Sidewalk Talk with Nicki Sebastian
Nicki Sebastian lives most of her life behind the lens, but when she’s not snapping photos for some of the coolest mom brands out there, she’s a devoted mother of two herself. Hear her secrets for unwinding after a busy day, and how sometimes everything can’t be picture perfect...
Name: Nicki Sebastian
Occupation: Editorial, Lifestyle & Family Photographer | Portfolio
Children: Camila Rae (4) & Cecelia Lou (6 mo)
What’s your favorite child-friendly brunch spot in your neighborhood?
Our whole family loves Gjusta, but Cami especially loves their scrambled eggs and the fact that she's allowed to sit on the counter while she eats with us.
What are your children's favorite activities?
Cami loves Kidspace Children's Museum in Pasadena, LACMA (specifically Michael Heizer's Levitated Mass and James Turrell's Breathing Light), and the award-winning Noah's Ark exhibit at the Skirball Center. We also adore Meri Cherry and her art studio located in the Valley (and we wished we lived closer)! Meri has the most magical space that encourages endless creativity, and the projects that kids create with her are all masterpieces you'd want to display permanently at home!
What are you the most strict about when it comes to parenting?
I'm a stickler when it comes to good manners. Looking people in the eye when saying thank you, napkins on laps at mealtime, avoiding interrupting, and the list goes on. Politeness and respect go a long way in my book, and I don't think you're ever too young to learn proper etiquette.
Favorite quick child-friendly dinner recipe?
Snack plates! Cami's favorite pastime is snacking (and I too am a grazer)—so our favorite meals are really just a hodgepodge of odds and ends from the fridge and cupboards, placed "artfully" on a wooden serving board (I recently purchased a few of these after a dear friend recommended them). Something about the presentation and the variety of colors gets her to eat more adventurously—and the prep takes no time at all, so we all win!
What’s your favorite way to unwind?
I recently started running again, and as much as that sounds like the opposite of relaxing, it really does help with my anxiety. I also love to just veg out with a stack of catalogs, a mug of McConnell's ice cream, and a glass of vinho verde.
Best mom hack?
Doggie wee-wee pads (as disposable changing pads)! I never leave home without at least two in my purse—perfect for those occasions when you have to change a diaper in a tricky, non-baby-friendly location! And they're also great for use on top of our regular changing table—the less laundry, the better!
"The secret of having it all is believing you already do."
The funniest thing your child has said to you...
Cami loves making wishes in fountains with coins, and one time, when she threw a dime in the water, I asked her what she wished for. Without missing a beat, she answered, "A nickel."
Favorite bedtime book is...
We love everything and anything by Mo Willems and Oliver Jeffers! The Piggie and Gerald books are always a hit around here, and Cami's been really into Jeffers's "Once Upon an Alphabet"—it's a true work of art too!
One thing you'd tell your pre-parent self...
Forget any and all dreams of maintaining a neutral interior palette with all natural wood toys.