Elizabeth Anotonia writes a blog The Littlest. She has owned her own shop, is a freelance art director among many other talents, and lives in LA with her husband and two daughters. She is a real deal blogger who has been around the world and captures it so beautifully in images or words that we always leave inspired. This little write up is no exception. You can follow her on Instagram here. Thanks Elizabeth for letting us spotlight you! xo
Get Elizabeth's Blush mat here.
We’ve loved following you on Instagram. You’re a woman of many talents. Can you tell us about how you got into art directing, photography, or writing? I went to school for Linguistics and French, and while living in France started designing posters and invitations for my friends' parties. I taught myself Photoshop and Flash (and then took courses in both after I reached an impasse.) I then went back for courses on Graphic Design and slowly but surely got more into content creation that I could design over (so styling and art directing photoshoots.) The photography came secondary as I was working with a lot of photographers and wanted to be able to technically convey to them what I wanted (I always got frustrated when I was told something I wanted couldn't be done so I wanted to learn why!) I am largely self-taught but have worked on projects for companies as varied as Apple, J Brand Jeans, The New Yorker, Ergobaby and Coach. I am very left-right brain so think that has given me an edge. Since having my girls, I have only taken freelance projects so I can be there to pick them up. It's a sacrifice worth making (in my humble opinion) especially in their early years.
Walk us through what a normal day in your shoes looks like? I try to keep a good rhythm to the week for the girls and myself. The mornings are always a little bit of a crunch with school but we follow a little checklist and then scurry out the door after getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth and hair, and saying a little prayer/blessing before leaving each other for the day. On the way to school I only play instrumental music (a favorite lately is Yusuf Lateef's Plum Blossom or Erik Satie's Gnossiennes #1) or Bob Marley because I loooove his happiness (Lively Up Yourself, Three Little Birds or Small Axe are good choices.)
#gathrelove. Do you have a habit, mantra, or philosophy that you and your husband like to live by to stay close to each other and happy? Love one another. You chose each other! How lucky is it that we actually found someone to love that shares a joined vision with us? Choose each other every day. We have had many lessons lately that reinforce the need for us to stay connected. It's so easy to get in your own head and not truly see each other so I think having discipline about staying off the phone in the mornings and night is pretty critical. We also always kiss before leaving each other in the morning. I can be grumpy in the mornings so this isn't always easy! ha!
What is your greatest struggle and your greatest joy in this journey of motherhood? My greatest struggle is time management and discipline. I sometimes see all of the things that everyone else seems to get done and it can send me into a tail spin. Those feelings are usually short lived though and the flip side is that I really do enjoy the majority of the time I am with my girls. My greatest joy has to be seeing them love each other.
#gathreaway You family is so well traveled already, but where is the next spot you’d go if you could escape on a vacation? If I could choose anywhere for a vacation with my family it would be an exploration of the Greek Isles and maybe around Croatia. I am a huge fan of history and, now that Elodie is seven, I love sharing tales of mythology with her.
You have spent a lot of time adventuring abroad. Can you tell us some of your tips to traveling with littles? My first tip is just do it! Don't overthink it. I also would say don't overpack. I am definitely not the mom who packs a billion tiny snacks and books and toys (although having snacks on hand is probably the most important thing!) Let children find things in their environment to occupy themselves, it isn't your job to keep them entertained. Especially as they get a little bit older (I'm talking two or three years old.) The only time we allow media is on long-haul flights (and this summer when we will take a 3 day road trip - wish us luck!)
We all have gifts. You have a gift to gather one another in community.
If you could pass along one thing to your daughters Elodie and Francesca, what would that be? Wow, that is a big one. My greatest wish for them is to understand how lucky they are to have a healthy body and mind and to cultivate the mind-body connection. When you cultivate reverence for your body and mind (through healthy eating, mindful thoughts, exercise) there is no choice but for good to expand out to everyone and everything else that they come in contact with.
We love hearing people talk about their dreams. What is your biggest hope or aspiration in life? My biggest aspiration in life is to be healthy and sound enough in mind and body to become a matriarch and play with my grandchildren and to connect with women around the world in some way (I'm still figuring this part out) - that's the fun part!!