Tell us a bit about you..
My name is Liis and I live in Tallinn, Estonia. I am happily married with two beautiful children - Ella, five and Lukas, three. I work as an art teacher and a freelance set/interior stylist. There are so many things in life that make my heart sing, to mention few - soulful food, outstanding interior design, big and inspiring cities, many forms of art.
What is your spiritual animal sign?
Komodo dragon - as Primal astrology page say: “Hard working, passionate, and idealistic, those born under the sign of Komodo Dragon have much in common with their animal namesake. The proverbial “big fish in a small pond”, members of this sign have little true competition in life. They take what they want when they want it and practically dare anyone else to try to stop them. Strong, proud, and resourceful, Komodo Dragons are aware that playing to their strengths gets them ahead, but it can also have some less than ideal side effects.”
What do you love about the city you are living in?
Even though Tallinn is a capital, it is so compact that in the city centre you can run your errands by foot. The vibe and culture here is a mix of soviet past and a nordic future so it offers many surprises and never gets boring. I love that in 15 minute car ride you can reach seafront, fog or forest - it’s up to you.
What is your daily routine with your kids?
On daily-bases it is quite ordinary: home-work/kindergarten/home. Ella takes art classes and Lukas attends football-practice so these days are slightly longer. In the workday evenings we just relax and unwind at home. In the spring and summertime we spend lots of time outdoors - we have a really cool group of people with young kids where we live so kids can play and parents can have a chat or a barbecue. We take a whole July and half of the August off so we can spend time in our country house located by the nordic sea. This is just a pure bliss for all of us.
What are your top three activities with the kids (home and out and about)?
Visiting museums and galleries (we have brought our kids to them since they were toddlers and now they are museum-crazy), spending time with our extended family and going to our country home in northern coast of Estonia where we have native forests with wild blueberries in our backyard and picturesque coastline with most romantic sunsets in the reach of 5-minute bike ride.
What are your favourite cafes and restaurants in your area you like to visit?
Our family-favourites are organic NOP in historical Kadriorg, Karjase sai with phenomenal pastries in northern Tallinn, La Bottega with delicious Italian classics in medieval old town and Mere38 restaurant in the resort we now spend our summers in.
Share your insights on mealtimes/snacks for kids.
In the mornings there is always a hot oatmeal porridge when at home, best with grandmas apple-jam and cinnamon.
My favourite trick snack wise is to offer kids a huge platter of vegetables and fruits (cabbage, carrots, cucumber, paprika, apples) after their kindergarten and before dinner. Usually they are quite hungry and the pile of vitamins and minerals is gone in 60 seconds and I don’t have to worry if they have enough veggies in dinnertime.
We do not forbid anything from the kids menu indicating that everything is all right in moderate amounts. It is so important to build a healthy relationship with food for them.
How does a morning in your household look like?
In workdays we usually have about an hour after getting out of bed and before getting to kindergarten/work. As Estonian kindergartens offer a hot meal every morning, we just take a light snack before getting out.
We spend our weekends mostly in our country home and take it really slow there - I usually prepare an abundant brunch and me and my husband listen to radio while kids are playing. Then we take a walk by the sea and depending on the season - take swim or just a deep breath of fresh air.
How would you describe your fashion style?
Contemporary and very simple. I love a good oversized suit or a dress matched with pair of bold sneakers.
What is your dream getaway?
City break in Paris, Copenhagen, Rome or NYC or just a nice and cozy weekend in our country house with no pressure to do anything.
What is the greatest lesson your mother taught you?
That women can do EVERYTHING and are immeasurably strong. I learnt that from her action, not words. As a single mom she just did do everything. From digging a ditch to starting her own business. No matter how hard the times were, she always survived. Therefore in later life I have always been amused when someone has said “women can’t do that” or “YOU can’t do that” because I know we can. :)
What has been your proudest moment as a mother?
When I see kindness and grace in my children.
Your daily inspiration / what inspires you?
As a person with an eye for details and little nuances in life I get very easily inspired by my surroundings. I seek contrast, boldness, authenticity. I feel most alive in a big city with lots of culture, local food and people watching to do.
Your favourite books?
Marjane Satrapi “Persepolis”, Donna Tartt books and all of the art and architecture books.
Best purchase you have made lately?
A country house big enough to accommodate all our family. I truly hope to give our kids a childhood of their dreams there.