Emili Vesilind is currently a Senior Editor at JCK Magazine, covering the bustling intersection of retail and technology. She is also a freelance writer, and in recent years has contributed to sites and publications including Yahoo Travel, Los Angeles Times magazine, The Daily Beast, W magazine, Los Angeles magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Magazine and Glo.com.
In 2009 she co-founded hyper-local, niche style website Style Section L.A. — which was syndicated on the Huffington Post and cited by WWD and Gawker — where she edited, wrote, produced and styled fashion photo shoots through early 2012.
How many children do you have? What inspired their names?
Liam (4) and Ruby (2) Liam always seemed like a very cool-boy name to me—and someone once told me all Liams’ are good-looking. The name Ruby always brought to mind one of those street-smart townie girls in West Side Story who would be snapping gum, laughing and dancing like crazy. And strangely, that’s kind of how our Ruby is.
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family?
My husband Jeremy and I love to do anything outside with them—long walks in the woods, throwing stones in the creek behind our house, exploring public gardens, or just digging in the dirt. We also have amazing dance parties in the living room; Ruby is a dancing queen and schools us all with her avant-garde moves! Liam is super interested in space and the universe, so I adore cuddling up and watching Cosmos with him during Ruby’s nap time.
Are there any children’s brands you find yourself buying over and over again?
California Baby products are a staple in the bathroom, and I also slather their faces in the winter with RMS Beauty raw coconut cream, which pretty much heals dryness and small cuts overnight. I love Melissa & Doug for toys, especially puzzles. I buy a lot of H&M kid’s clothes, and I’ve always bought Adidas sneakers for both children—they last forever and lend a little retro style to outfits. Also, they feel really unisex to me, so Ruby can wear Liam’s old kicks. It’s all about hand-me-downs.
How has motherhood affected your personal style?
I’m still working to get back to my fighting weight, so it’s been about foraging for flattering key pieces; leg-lengthening jeans (so excited for the return of the skinny bell bottom!), a great-fitting long cardigan and tuxedo-style blazer, amazing boots with a heel that’s chunky but higher, and a few fine jewelry pieces I can wear every day. I have enough costume jewelry to accessorize a small town, but I find I barely wear any of it now. The fine pieces I have, including an 18k gold initial necklace from Helen Ficalora and an estate citrine cocktail ring, I wear every day—and even sleep in.
What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
That moment when I walk in the front door after work and my kids come roaring into the living room, literally shaking with excitement that I’m home. I know that enthusiasm will morph into a deep apathy as they get older! So I try to savor every single homecoming.
What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
Finding time (and energy) to do fun adult things is always hard. I hear it gets easier as they get older. However, I’ve found that lunches and nights out with friends are no longer optional. For me, there needs to be that third slice of life—beyond work and kids, but it can be so hard to schedule.
Has your beauty routine changed at all since you’ve had kids?
It’s much more brief. I still take my makeup pretty seriously—I live for foundation and am on a forever quest for the perfect blush, but before the kids I was much more interested in testing new products. Since the kids, I’m all about finding go-to products I can reorder, particularly in the skincare realm. Embryollise Lait-Crème Concentre is a constant, as is Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector, which I recently started using. Both make my skin feel and look more awake, and since the kids, it’s all about looking awake and alert. This is especially important because half the day I feel like resting my face on my laptop!
What have you learned from your kids?
I guess the biggest lesson has been that the more I live in the moment, the happier I am. Kids really keep you in the moment—it’s all about getting the Play-Doh back in the package before it dries out, or seizing a moment to try to teach them something they’ve shown interest in. Also, you learn that all those moms of small kids that look like they have it 100% together are really just holding on by a thread sometimes, just like you. That makes you feel more human, and more empathetic towards other humans.
What is your favorite, easy, go-to recipe that your kid(s) love?
I have to say I’m kind of hopeless in the kitchen, but Salmon and Mashed Sweet Potatoes has been a favorite since they were babies, and it’s so easy!
Shop Emili’s favorite kid’s sneakers: