My World: Blogger Scarlett Steiner
In this new series, I’ll be visiting bloggers, influencers and other interesting people who are active on the net. Join me and discover the world behind the attractive pictures and stories. Take a peek at these people’s everyday lives and the pretty things they live with. And of course, there’ll also be lots of tips and inspiration.
My first encounter is with Scarlett Steiner. I was so impressed by her blog that I was determined to meet her. I first visited Scarlett for a Sweet Home reportage four years ago, also during the Christmas period. Since then, she has married, moved into a larger flat in the same building with her husband Cyrill Steiner, and had a baby. Daughter Elma is now two years old. Scarlett Steiner has worked in the marketing and communications sector for 12 years, most of that time as a communications strategist in advertising agencies. She launched her blog, Fork and Flower, 10 years ago. What started out as a food blog is now also a mummy-and-baby blog, and is so successful that it’s become her bread-and-butter job. Scarlett now works freelance for agencies and brands, sells her communication channels and stories, and provides social media coaching for individuals and companies. As if that weren’t enough, last year she also established a children’s clothing label, Elma&Polina with her friend Mia Vadasz.
What time do you get up?
When my daughter, Elma, wakes up – usually around 7 a.m. Sometimes I wake up earlier; when I do, I daydream a little.
Do you have time for breakfast?
Not really. When I’m working, I’ll take Elma to the crèche first and then grab a glass of fruit juice and a croissant. Or I’ll arrange my first meeting of the day in a café, such as John Baker on Helvetiaplatz. But when I do spend the morning at home, I love to have yoghurt with homemade granola for breakfast.
What’s your beauty routine?
Above all, it has to be quick and easy. Before I had Elma, I would experiment with concealer, rouge and more besides. But now I need much less to feel comfortable and beautiful. I cleanse my skin thoroughly and use Avène moisturising creams. Most of the time, I only wear mascara and lipstick at meetings. I use more and more natural cosmetics and grooming products, which I find at Amazingy, the online shop for green cosmetics.
What’s your favourite scent?
“Musc Nomade” by Annick Goutal. I love that mellow, elegant, musky scent. I also like Annick Goutal’s fragrances for the home. Every year, theyissue a new version of the Noël scented candle in a pretty glass – a little luxury that makes me feel really Christmassy.
What are your favourite outfits?
I’ve adapted my wardrobe completely to the playground and life as a mother. In the winter I like sweater dresses and stockings, and in the summer patterned dresses are my go-to style – they make me cheerful and don’t show stains. Skinny jeans are always OK. At home or on the playground I team them with a sweatshirt; for business, I’ll often wear them with a white blouse.
How do you organise your wardrobe?
In a large, open wooden cupboard. I hang as much as possible; that way, things don’t get creased.
What clothes do you choose for your daughter?
As I’m constantly surfing the net, I’m always discovering inspiring new labels. For example, I love the “Wondersuits” by Bonds Australia. The pyjamas are really comfortable, like a second skin. They’re well cut and decorated with fun, cheerful patterns. And they turn Elma into a little super-heroine.
Where else do you shop?
I’m an online shopper. Of course, that’s to do with my job, but also with my lack of time and my enjoyment of certain labels, such as Stadtlandkind. On their site I not only find clothes and toys for Elma, but also party goods or decorative items for the home. Another shop that I like is called Smallabel.
When do you work?
Since having Elma, I’ve worked three days a week. It became difficult to balance my job, the family and the blog. It’s tough to find flexible jobs for mothers in Switzerland. Luckily, I’m able to work freelance on a contract basis.
How do you combine family life with work?
As I work a lot from home, I can bring my daughter to the crèche late and fetch her early, which gives me a lot of time with her. But on my working days, I work through from 8.30 till 6. My husband Cyrill, who works in marketing, is an early riser and always one of the first in the office. That also means that he also comes home early in the evenings. We share the household duties. I have to admit that he’s more efficient, conscientious and tidy than I am. I know that not every woman is that lucky, but in our case, it certainly holds true that my husband isn’t just “a support”: he really does share half of everything.
Do you take a lunch break?
Yes, I need the energy that a light meal gives me.
What’s your favorite for lunch?
I have a favourite little café just around the corner from where I live. It’s called Chez Oskar and serves fantastic salads, soups and delicious, freshly squeezed juice creations. Sometimes I take a break in the café, but usually take something back to the flat and have lunch at the computer.
What do you cook in the evenings?
Dinner preparation has to be fast. Whereas I used to love spending hours in the kitchen, I now prefer quick, uncomplicated meals. Healthy living is also very important to us, and we cook a great deal of vegetables. But I have to admit that Elma prefers noodles and sausage.
What do you always have in your fridge?
Green juice or some other favourite fruit juice. I love a glass of refreshing fruit juice in the morning – it helps get me going. I have the feeling that I’m pampering myself.
Where do you buy your groceries?
Of course, I love going to the market. Conveniently, I’m free on Tuesdays and Fridays – both market days –, so I usually go to the market twice a week. Good ingredients are important to me. That also applies to convenience food. I occasionally treat us to delicious gnocchi or tortellini, which I buy on my way home – at Jelmoli, for example. All you need to add are fresh herbs, butter and cheese – and hey presto, your feast is on the table!
And what about Christmas biscuits?
They aren’t as perfect as they used to be. Now, baking biscuits with Elma is great fun for all of us. All we need is a simple Christmas biscuit recipe and sometimes, or should I say, more and more, even a ready-made biscuit dough. But we do take our time to decorate the biscuits with icing and sugar pearls.
What do you most enjoy doing with your family?
We spend a lot of time outdoors – and in all weathers. In Zurich there are many very beautiful parks that are attractive in all seasons. We’re also great friends of Zurich’s district community centres. We meet our neighbours and make friends, and Elma has lots of pals there. There are so many fun activities available, such as weekly painting sessions for children, flea markets, and sometimes even proper festivals with bubble-blowing, bouncy castles or music.
How do you get in the Christmas mood?
We love candle-making at our Bachwiesen community centre. We also really enjoy the Christmas village at Bellevue, where Elma’s greatest pleasures are the balloons, the children’s fairy village, and ice-skating – for the time being only as a spectator. There’s also the musical Advent calendar in the foyer of the Opera House, where a free mini-concert is performed daily. We also like going to Café Schober to drink hot chocolate. Another favourite spot is the children’s department at Orell Füssli, the bookshop. The treehouse with its own life-size bear is always a highlight, especially in bad weather. And you can never have enough books.
And at home?
Besides baking biscuits, handicrafts are very much in demand. Whether we’re carving turnips into lanterns or making presents, working creatively brings us all together.
How does your home look at the moment?
I decorate less and furnish more. In principle, everything has become lighter and airier. For example, I’ve replaced the large, heavy coffee table we had with a lighter model with delicate copper legs. The dining table and chairs are also new. They’re made of wood and look more elegant and neutral than their predecessors.
How do you deal with toys in the living room?
Like many people, I of course first thought that toys should stay in children’s bedrooms. But I soon changed my mind and have now created a child-friendly family home. For example, Elma has space on the bookcase for her books, and her play kitchen is right next to the “real” kitchen. This means that Elma can be with us while we cook and live actively with us everywhere. After all, the point of living together is that everyone should have their own space and be able to do their own thing.
How have you decorated Elma’s room?
With simple wooden children’s furniture and a colourful palette. I change the look according to my mood or the season. At the moment, of course, it’s a little Christmas paradise with a mini-Christmas tree and a wreath that I made myself from wool pompoms. My friend Amanda makes the pretty fabric candy canes.
Do you have favourite pieces of children’s furniture?
I think it’s important to have old pieces as well as new. In Elma’s room, for example, there is an antique wooden cupboard and an old chest of drawers. Both of them provide pretty, practical storage space.
What about toys?
In a child’s room, toys are just as important as furniture. Fortunately, there are lots of pretty things made of wood and fabric in Elma’s bedroom. Toys like the mouse house, as Elma calls her miniature doll’s house, or a little “shop,” help to stimulate a child’s imagination.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Fresh flowers. I like ordering bouquets online from Bloem, which is now also available in Switzerland. Claire has a knack for crazy creations.
Do you have a dream piece of furniture?
A pale pink sofa. But I’m still negotiating with my husband!
Are you a collector?
Yes, unfortunately! I have a great passion for beautiful things. Whenever we’ve been to friends’ houses decorated in a minimal style, my husband will wax lyrical about purist living for a while. But I think we’ve found a good balance between cosiness and practical family life – a home in which we all feel comfortable and have enough space.
All photos are by Scarlett Steiner. The pictures showing Scarlett were taken by Andrea Monica Hug of Chic in Zurich.
Translation: Toby Alleyne-Gee
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