We admire Los Angeles based mother, Elaina Bellis for so many reasons. Daughter of a photographer and now wife to one, the former model turned art director is a shining example of grace and strength and a source of daily inspiration for many mothers across the globe. We sat down to chat with Elaina about living in the city of dreams, her Autumnal rituals and motherhood in the face of the loss of her son, Lincoln.
Describe the allure of raising a family in LA. Have you always lived here and is there anywhere else you’d consider living?
James grew up in LA, and his a big part of his family lives here. I've lived in LA for nearly 13 years, so it feels like home to me too. The only other place I would consider moving to is Lincoln, Vermont. It's where James and I met almost 8 years ago, and it holds a very special place in our hearts. We love Vermont.
Its Fall in Los Angeles right now. What does this season mean for your family? Are there any must do’s in Los Angeles for kids in the Fall?
I LOVE fall. It finally starts to cool down a bit in LA, but not crazy cold, perfectly cool outside. I love to cook so fall means lots of soups, and warm meals. Pumpkin spiced foods, and apples! We love to be outside in nature with the kids and there are so many beautiful hiking trails to see! I would love to take the girls apple picking.
You are the mother to toddler twin girls and a beautiful baby boy up with the stars. You have shown tremendous strength and courage throughout your motherhood journey so far. Did you always want to be a mother? What has motherhood taught you about yourself?
I am the proud mother of 3, yes :) Thank you for remembering our sweet boy. I've always dreamt of being a mother, more so then being a bride or what my wedding day would look like. It was always fantasizing about motherhood. I had an incredible mother, who made life so much fun and had she so much warmth . Motherhood has taught me to let go of expectation. Lincoln was the biggest teacher for me in letting go, and it's still something that comes up for me with the girls. Not having any sort of expectation and just being completely present.
Is self-care something you make time for? Any rituals or routines in your day to day?
YES! I need to move my body at least 3 days a week to stay sane. I give gratitudes all day long since finding time to meditate is hard to do with twin toddlers. I fall asleep every night going over everything i am grateful for, and wake up every morning doing the same. It keeps me happy and in a positive mind set. I eat really healthy (with some slices of cheese pizza and a pint of ice cream mixed in when it comes close to that time of the month ;)
Tell us about your girls, Quincy & Rowe. In what ways are they similar and are there any striking differences in personality or otherwise?
My sweet girls. They are so different! I'll start with Rowe- she is the most thoughtful, caring, loving little lady. She really takes everything in and observes all situations and people. She's a feeler and a lover. Quincy is too, but she's a rascal. She is my silly snuggly lady. Life of the party, Knows she's hilarious and will laugh at her own jokes! The two of them LOVE each other and are the best of buds. Always checking to make sure the other one is ok and nearby. I joke that they sound like 90 year old women bickering back and forth all day long.
Is there a story behind your children’s names?
Rowe James I picked. Rowe I just thought of out of nowhere, but I believe it is a last name. James is her daddy name. Quincy Kay - James picked. His late aunt was named Quincy and it's also my hometowns name. Kay was my mothers middle name and we wanted to honor her in one of the girls name so we went with kay!
You have a background in styling and art direction. What’s important to you when investing in pieces for your/ your family’s wardrobe? Do you have any non-negotiables when it comes to dressing yourself and your girls?
Comfort! I am a less is more kind of girl. I don't want to fuss with any sort of "extra" something. I love wearing jumpsuits, and high waisted pants with a white t. I wear white ALL the time. People think i'm crazing wearing white with two year old twins, but it makes me feel really beautiful.
Do you have a favourite piece from the Daughter Somewhere collection and why do you love it?
The Inca romper. It's easy, and effortlessly cute!
Elaina wears - James Jumpsuit in Earth and Night
Photography by James Branaman