The MNY Spotlight
Bernadette Holstein, Content Creator and Founder of B Home With Bernadette
This week's Mestiza tastemaker is Bernadette Holstein, a content creator from upstate New York who loves gardening, cooking, and all things beautiful.
My parents immigrated from Holland shortly after they were married in 1958. They raised my brothers and myself with all their traditions which were incorporated into daily life. Much of this included a sense of celebration and decorum. Simple things such as drinking coffee from a cup and saucer as opposed to a mug. This carried over to personal appearances as well, it was a type of self discipline. I suppose I’ve taken those traits into my life as well. I’m very organized, need things tidy and always try to look at the very least, put-together. I’m told quite often that I am graceful and I suppose that comes from my background as a trained classical ballet dancer. And yes, I speak dutch!
What motivated you to start B Home with Bernadette Holstein?
Years ago, when my children were small, I would get asked repeatedly by friends, etc. “how I managed it all”. I was always a little perplexed by what they saw. Apparently I put forth an image of someone whose children were always in order, a tidy home, etc. It makes me a little uncomfortable to say that since I am a bit self deprecating. However, what they saw was the truth. I was very schedule oriented with my children, I would never leave even a load of laundry sitting undone, a dishwasher unemptied, I entertained easily, etc. That was just my nature. Of course, I had many other tips to offer, but they just seemed common place to me, but apparently they were not. I knew I had something to offer but wasn’t sure how to go about it. At first I considered writing a book, but ultimately I decided instead to enter the world of blogging.
Ginger jars and florals from Bernadette's instagram feed (@bhomewithbernadette)
For me, “Living each day fully” is about seeing the little things to celebrate or perhaps just elevate. Something as small as taking out your favorite coffee cup for your morning coffee. Savoring each moment. Too often we race through our days and I’m not superhuman, I have those days as well. But every day, there are things I do for myself. I make certain to have any chores done by a certain hour. I take a little me-time, be it a wander through my gardens, leafing through a magazine or catching up with a friend. Every day I set the table for dinner, tablecloth and cloth napkins included. It’s about taking the ordinary and giving it a little of the extraordinary treatment. This can be challenging in the contemporary modern world, I am aware, but I am inspired by this new ‘grandmillennial’ movement, if you will, that I am seeing some younger women embrace. I think they are coming back full circle to when times were a bit simpler in some ways and reappreciating the finer details of life.
The most rewarding aspect of what I do is when I get such lovely feedback from my followers. The kindest words I’ve heard are graceful, elegant, kind and inspirational. It makes me certain that I’m doing the right thing. I love knowing people are inspired and motivated by what I do or say. I’m always happy to share my wisdom if it brings another happiness.
I interpret “invest in yourself” as a form of selfcare. Investing in yourself is taking care of that which makes you feel satisfied and complete whatever that may be and it is certainly different for everyone. I feel that you can’t be everything to all people, ie: family, friends, employers, if you’re not everything to yourself first. You exude and put into the world what you yourself embody. You have to believe in yourself. For me, investing in myself means giving myself that much needed quiet time everyday. It can be my early morning walk which I’ll do at any time of year. It gets me outside, no ear buds, in the quiet of nature. I watch the patterns of nature as they change from season to season. It gives me time to be inside my head and ground my day.
I want to emphasize that I don’t mean that in a weak sense either, it’s just verification to our mental stamina, they are good words to hear and I use them whenever I can. I also strongly support many female founded businesses and am so inspired by their drive and motivation. That being said, I feel that confidence alone is empowering. The older I get the more I feel emboldened and sincere. I think a woman who is confident can own any room.
When I received my Carlota Caftan, it was even more beautiful than I anticipated. The beading and the detail work are exceptional. My mind is often thinking creatively, so when I saw it, I immediately imagined it in so many different scenarios, from casual barefoot on the beach after a beautiful dinner, to an actual bridal gown for a gorgeous candlelight wedding in the country. When I slipped it on, I could not wait to wear it to my next summer event. Hopefully that will be soon!!
Such a lovely post! Bernadette elevates my every morning coffee. She is a kind, intuitive, inspirational and supportive blog friend.
Bernadette has a lovely way with words. These two quotes stood out for me:
“savoring each moment”
“I think a woman who is confident can own any room”
Thank you Louisa and Alessandra for sharing all these beautiful and insightful stories.