Stephanie Liu Hjelmeseth
Stephanie Liu Hjelemeseth started her creative digital journal, Honey & Silk, nearly eight years ago, which has naturally evolved to speak to fashion, travel, beauty, and the most rewarding addition yet: motherhood. We caught up with the new mama to talk all things career, style and how she plans to spend baby’s first holiday!
On Honey & Silk…
How long have you been on the blogging journey?
I started my blog in 2011. I can’t believe it’s been almost 8 years on this journey!
What inspired you to start Honey & Silk?
I started Honey & Silk when I graduated from college, because after so many years of schooling and studying Economics and Business, I needed a place to be creative. I was dying to pour my soul out and all my life, that way was through writing.
Honey & Silk focuses on style, but you also touch on many other subjects – do you have a second favorite?
My second favorite subject to talk about is natural beauty! I started integrating natural, organic skincare and makeup into my routine about three years ago when my lifestyle shifted to a more holistic approach. It’s a whole new world of brands and products and I’m still so excited about discovering new, great things that work for my skin and health.
You’re a new mom – congrats!! How do you see your blog evolving with this new chapter in your life?
Thank you! I’ve struggled with this question in my own head, before and after Jacob was born. It wasn’t until about 10 weeks later (quite recently) that I decided to let my blog evolve naturally as life does. My son is the biggest part of my life right now, so my content will reflect that. I’ll definitely be sharing content on new mom life, including how my style and beauty routine has already evolved with this new role. The blog will still be about me, now tackling a new, challenging, glorious role in life.
If you weren’t blogging, what would you be doing?
I’d be photographing, set styling, or putting together flowers. Preferably all three at the same time.
How did you and your husband meet? How long have you been together?
My husband and I met through the newspaper! Actually, I was in an article in the LA Weekly about bloggers (7 years ago), Kyle picked up the paper and read that article while he was getting coffee, and Kyle thought that I would be a great fit for this blogger campaign he was putting together for this big jewelry brand. He emailed me, we became friends, and by the time the campaign launched 6 months later, we were together. It’s been 6 years now!
Did you always know you wanted kids?
Yes, yes, YES. I can confidently say it was a dream of mine since I was little. I’ve always dreamt of marrying a prince and having beautiful babies (thanks Disney). Growing up, I’ve always naturally assumed a mom-like role with my friends and family. Becoming a mom would personally be my greatest achievement.
How has your life changed for you as a couple post-baby?
Our date nights include the baby now! We’ll go out for a nice dinner, some wine, and he’ll be cozied right up on my chest in my Sakura Bloom carrier. We have a permanent third wheel, but it just makes everything so much more fun and joyful, showing him new things and being able to experience our favorite moments with us.
What has been the most exciting thing about motherhood thus far?
Celebrating all of his little achievements, like his first smile, his first giggle, his first rollover, etc. It’s incredible to realize that babies have to learn all of these minute functions that we don’t ever think about, so it’s just exciting when you see them achieve these milestones for the first time, and to see the excitement in their eyes learning something new! Oh, and another best thing I have to mention is waking up next to Jacob every morning. When he opens his eyes and sees Kyle and me, he gives the biggest smiles. It truly inspires us, because he wakes up to a brand new day, with no worries or stress about anything, and just exudes bliss.
Do you have any tricks for finding work/life balance as a new mom?
The trick is to receive help! Keyword: receive. I’ve always been very independent, but one of my flaws is that I never ask for help. So with Jacob, it was so hard on me in the beginning because I tried to do everything myself - I thought I could do it and I thought I should do it. I know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting and receiving help from others (family, friends, hired help), so now I’m fully embracing help wherever I can. It’s the only way where there can be any work/life balance!
If you could give Jacob one piece of advice to live his life by, what would it be?
I’ll tell Jacob to live life by exploring - explore places, art, hobbies, and industries. Give things a try. Say yes often.
You’re originally from the East Coast – what brought you out West?
All of my mother’s family is here in SoCal, so my mother moved us out here to be close to them.
What are your favorites characteristics about each coast?
I like to think of the beaches of SoCal vs. the beaches of the East Coast (specifically North Carolina, where I spent my childhood): the brilliant sunshine and palm trees make living in SoCal feel like paradise, while the beaches and towns on the East Coast idolize a more elegant, nostalgic feeling with powdery sand and photogenic lighthouses.
What is your favorite LA neighborhood?
The neighborhood I live in - Hancock Park. It’s such a hidden gem in the middle of the city. Everyone passes it without really knowing what’s inside: gigantic mansions, art deco buildings from the 1920s, and picturesque tree-lined streets.
Any hidden gems you can share with us?
Larchmont Village is our go-to neighborhood street, which we visit nearly every day for coffee, ice cream, or errands. Angelini Osteria is my favorite Italian spot and I’m obsessed with the food and bar at Here’s Looking At You in Koreatown. It’s a place where fusion is actually done to perfection and beyond.
What are some of your favorite destinations to travel to?
Mallorca, Spain, because it’s kind of like a European version of California. But, it’s so much more fun because it’s the Mediterranean, of course. Provence, France, because the countryside is so beautiful and serene. And Hong Kong for its vibrancy and food!
What is one place you have not yet been but are dying to go?
Jiuzhaiguo National Park in China’s Sichuan province. My mother’s side of the family is from the province, so I want to go for the culture and food and to visit the insanely beautiful national park that is just like the landscapes from all of the movies.
Do you have any upcoming travel plans?
We are starting small, since we want to introduce the fun of traveling with Jacob. Next up is Sedona, Arizona, a favorite place of ours to relax and hike!
On style and beauty…
Describe your style using three words.
Romantic, Effortless, and Elegant
Has your style changed since becoming a mom?
I think my style is still the same, but since I’m nursing, I just have to wear clothes that allow that accessibility when I’m with my son.
Who are your fashion idols?
A couple of women on Instagram actually - @tylnnnguyen, @carolinedemaigret - and someone who is a super celebrity, I’d say Amal Clooney.
What is your fashion mantra?
Dress to feel beautiful.
What is your holiday styling and beauty tips to take you from holiday fetes to every day occasions?
A natural glowing face with a red lip will work for day to night and I think a pair of statement earrings can transform a look.
Any favorite beauty tips, tricks and/or products you can share?
A highlighter is a product I can’t live without, especially as a new mom. Putting highlighter on all the high points - cheekbones, inner and outer corner of the eyes, nose bridge, cupid’s bow, and just under the lower lip - really helps disguise dark circles and dull skin from fatigue. I almost exclusively use natural and organic makeup products and I love - Kjaer Weis for every product category. Manasi7 is also a newcomer that I love for their cheek and lip color!
Do you prefer dressed up or dressed down for Christmas?
Dressed down, with elegance. I say stay cozy!
On the holidays…
It’s your first holiday with a baby! Will you be traveling or hosting?
We will be hosting all of the celebrations in our home for his first Christmas. I decked it out in all of the decorations and we’ll have a feast here for our families. His 100 Day Celebration (a Chinese tradition) is the day before Christmas Eve, so we’re going to have a very festive week!
Do you have any holiday traditions?
One of the traditions from Kyle’s family is painting ornaments together on Christmas Eve. So excited for some potential baby art!
How do you decompress during the busy holiday season?
I turn off the lights and light up our fireplace. Kyle will join and we kick our feet up and just relax on the couch, while Jacob naps. It’s such a cozy, festive moment.
Have you decided on a New Year’s resolution?
My New Year’s resolution is to start cooking again! Since pregnancy and his newborn stage, I haven’t had the time to properly cook my favorite meals. I’d love to get back into the kitchen again.
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