Elegant Homemaker: Christina Brian of Full House
What an inspiration! Christina is the mother of one set of beautiful twins, and a set of handsome little triplets (you read it correctly the first time), making her the mother of five little ones. She also has a fabulous blog that happens to be one of my favorites! I am so honored that she agreed to do this interview for Genuine Elegance. She is a busy lady as one can only imagine.
What Christina shows me through following her blog is that just because you are a mother, you can still keep yourself up. She has shown me what it is to be a mother who puts her children first. She has shown me that elegance doesn't have to be about money, but more about thought and creativity. But, most of all, she has shown me that motherhood can be so fabulous. She is what I call, a Fabulous 31!
I know you will love her!What led you to start your blog?
I was encouraged to start a blog by my sister and a friend who were already avid bloggers.
Can you tell us about who you were before you had those adorable children?
Lets see, I would say that I was pretty much the same person with a lot less patience. Although I do have to say that I would not have learned or gained the strength or experience without having 5 kids in 2 years so I guess I have changed a bit from my pre-kid days.
I always smile when I reflect upon an experience that I had before kids as I was commuting home from work. I remember driving behind a very slow mini-van who clearly had a mom with a car full of kids and thinking, "Go faster you mini van mom". Followed by the thought, "I will never drive a mini-van". Anyone who knows me around town can attest to the fact that I cruise around town with an electric door opening silver mini van..it's a true story and it works really well for this situation I never thought I'd be in.
Right before I became a Mom I spent most of my time working for Goldman Sachs.
You have created a beautiful home for your family. Can you tell us about your design style and who your favorite designers are?
It’s really like what I consider to be a modern cottage. I like to blend the sleek & glamorous with worn in pieces. I am a big fan Steve Gambrel, Celerie Kemble, Brad Ford, Kelly Wearstler, Angie Harnowsky, Palmer Weiss…just to name a few.
What is a typical day like in your home?
Lots and lots of laughing, crying, teasing getting into things, loves, chores especially sweeping, laundry and dishes. We are a 2.5 load a day family..that is if we are doing it correctly. Once the girls are in school and depending on if I am up for it, I take the boys on an outing or an errand. Time to go pick the girls up (they are half day kindergarten). Come home and take turns holding each and every child hoping that I didn't miss anybody that day. For some reason they are the most needy from 4 to 7pm.
I like to refer to different parts of the day as Round 1(breakfast), Round 2 (lunch), and Round 3 (dinner) and if we can knock em out in all 3 rounds then we haven't done too bad and it helps me, for some reason, to break the day into 3 parts. This goes without saying, but I usually have lost my juice by Round 3 so dinner can sometimes be iffy.
You always look so chic! Can you give us fellow mommies some advice on keeping ourselves up after having children?
I am not too sure I can give the best advice on this one...Although, I know for me, I always feel better when I take the time to get ready, but have been known to almost cross the unsanitary boundary lines. I am also more productive when I actually take the time to get ready. I think it is so hard to stay motivated to keep up on oneself after becoming a mommy.
My biggest advice is to wear a little jewelry & lipstick. Hats & scarves are also a great ways to fake it til you make it.
What are some of your favorite stores?
TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Marshalls, Alice Lane Home, SAS fabric by the pound, and thrift or vintage shops, Williams Sonoma Home, J. Crew, Zara, Anthropologie & Last Chance for awesome designer shoes @ discount prices.
I don't do much mall shopping, but I sure do enjoy window shopping from time to time for inspiration at many of the high end stores and boutiques.
You are also known for keeping it fabulous on a budget. Can you give us some pointers?
I think the above answers this question as well because most of the stores I mentioned are discount establishments. My only pointers are to know what you like and keep an open mind. Know just enough about brands to know what is quality. Train your eye to spy those treasures. Discount shopping can be tricky, because usually if you don't buy it right away, then you risk that chance of it being gone; which can create lots of extra stuff that you just purchased because it was a really great deal, but really don't need.
Your business, Madame Pumphrey, is fabulous! Can you tell us more about how we can purchase some of your fabulous hair accessories?
Thank you! These days Madame Pumphrey has been available by custom orders only. I plan to restock the Etsy shop here soon for the holidays so stay tuned.
I love when you do posts on fabulous places to stay when traveling. What would be your dream destination?
Right now I would love a great Europe trip. Prague, Italy, France, Austria. There is a certain hotel that I would love to stay in, close to Lake Powell, which is in southern Utah.
What words of wisdom do you have for all the mothers out there?
Don’t be so hard on yourself as a woman or mother; being a Mother is hard whether you have 1 or have 5...We all know that is so worth it though. It is refining, and you learn so much because you are constantly serving...which can build character. I feel like we are so lucky to be women and have the opportunity to have the motherhood role...keeps us soft.
**Christina, thank you so much for taking time to do this interview. You are such an inspiration, and we rarely get to see mothers like you anymore. Your family is blessed to have you. Stay fabulous, just as you are, and know that you are helping not only existing mothers, but mothers to be as well. xx
***Please note, this featured interview was published on the previous Genuine Elegance blog in 2010; but I wanted to update the photos and bring it here with me. One cannot move without their most treasured belongings; right? :-)