Farra Mirón is not just a close friend of mine, but someone I have looked to as a mentor & mother muse. She has been referred to as a "Fancy Hippy", which I love and is a true unicorn of a human. She is the mother to two beautiful babes (Junipero, 4 and Tutu, 2). She raised these babes all while building her own stunning tabletop rental company, Hostess Haven and went on to sell that company in a few short years. She has shown me that everything in life and motherhood is figureoutable if you believe it to be and that everything tastes better on a pretty plate. She has also shown me that we can not do this mom thing alone. We need help from our family and to learn from our elders. Today, I am beyond honored to share this interview with Farra that is admittedly just me trying to squeeze out all of the nuggets of wisdom on life and motherhood out of my talented friend. I hope you learn as much from this interview as I did.
What are some ways in which you practice healthy & sustainable living in your family?
We compost and use paper towels and plastic sparingly, and I’m most proud of this: I have a jar in our pantry area with a piece of paper beneath it that reads “This is to catch spiders”. It’s incredible to me to watch how kids lead by modeling. I came from a Vipassana retreat this summer and this is how we caught spiders to release them outside. It was one of the precepts before the retreat (as well as a basic principle along so many ancient beliefs) to not kill any living thing (Yes, I eat meat and I’m very conscious of how I eat it). It’s always been easy for me to kill flies, ants, and spiders when it’s quick and they’re in my way. My kids would see a spider and splat! within 2 seconds after they gasped or screamed. Now, they carefully catch spiders and release them outside. It’s really interesting to me how not killing spiders can create such a peaceful moment. That’s been a cool mom moment, for me.
You have two beautiful kids. Tutu, 2 and Juni, 4. Can you tell us about how you came up with each of their names?
Their papa is Mexican and I really wanted names that had history and culture and were tied to their heritage through him. We didn’t know the gender for either of them so for Junípero (pronounced who-KNEE-pero) we chose to have both a boy and girl name on hand. Along with Tutuli, which has been the name floating in our minds (via Juan’s mom, Cecilia who is from Sonora, MX) since we even thought about having kids; I loved the name Julep for a girl. For some reason, when I was sharing that with Juan I said Juniper and then that turned into Junípero in Spanish. It also is the name of a Saint that founded missions in Baja and throughout CA. It stuck and we love Juni for his nickname. His full name is Junípero Cruz Love Miron (Love is my grandpa’s middle name). Tutu’s full first name is Tutu’uli Uusi. It means niña bonita in Yaqui, the native tribe that Juan’s mom, Cecilia is from in Sonora. We originally thought we’d combine the two words to Tutuli, but we ended up keeping it exactly traditional in the spelling. We loved all of the different versions she could choose from as she grows into herself and chooses her own label. Tutu, Tuli, Tutuli, Uusi, Uli; I’m excited to see what sticks for her. Her full name is Tutu’uli Uusi Cruz Miron. Both kids have the middle name Cruz. Cruz was the gender neutral first name we chose from the first time we were pregnant and miscarried at 18 weeks.
From the outside, it seems as though motherhood comes very naturally to you. Does it? How would you explain your outlook on raising kids today?
Interesting question. I have a deep sense that I feel when I’m around my kids that they were born perfect. Anything that I experience in a day is because of me, not them. They are my mirrors and my teachers. I know nothing! That includes about motherhood, ha! I’ll get frustrated, say one thing and then change my mind or then respond to one of my kids and think, shit! Did I just shame them?! And how I respond, now, is finish out my emotion, detach from my ego, and then come right back to them full of vulnerability, kindness to myself, and with a growth mindset. We’re all the sum of our past experiences. I’m creating a solid foundation of love and truth with a healthy dose of vulnerability, presence, and openness that they can return to time and time again. They are developing their ego and I can’t stop that. I can, model awareness and being present. Beyond that, I’m certain I’m contributing to patterns and imprints that will be part of their life’s work. I’m open to hearing about how they perceived their childhood. I’m doing my best.
You are one of the best cooks I know. What is one of your go-to meals for the week? Can you share the recipe?
Thanks, Jen :) Mussels! I’m on a mussels binge. I can’t get enough of them. Alone, with bread, pasta. So easy, so good. My go-to recipe is from Gjelina and uses tomato, shallot, and garlic confit, but that’s a lot of prep work if they aren’t on hand. They are still delicious with just fresh garlic and a couple of glugs of white wine. 15 min tops! And with a glass of wine!
What are the essentials in your pantry or fridge?
Eggs, sauerkraut, apples, an array of nut butters, dried mangos, perpetual bone broth, caldo de res, fresh tortillas, fresh bread, good butter, an array of different good salts, raw dairy in all forms and Panda Puffs
How would you describe the design of Tutu & Juni’s room?
I found that wallpaper on smallable browsing through Pinterest with no intention of designing a nursery. That wallpaper is the only reason I went for it in that room and I have always been a big fan of black. The rattan crib was an Etsy find from Canada that I paid way too much for, but you couldn’t find these easily in 2013, ha! And it had a sweet story from a mom who used it for her babe. The brass bed is a flea market find from a friend. Beyond that, we just keep adding bits and pieces when we travel, some vintage finds and art from the kids.
Also, how in the world did you get them to share a room?
I couldn’t wait until they shared a room. I have friends whose kids share a room and it’s always such a sweet moment when it happens. Juni had always slept with us since he was born. We thought he might transition into his own room when Tutu was born, but Juni has the bigger personality and Tutu wanted her space so Juni stayed with us and Tutu peacefully slept through the night. We went with it until Juni started waking up at night and becoming a very light sleeper that we were tiptoeing around. It wasn’t necessarily hard to get him to sleep, but he really started to expect us by his side throughout his sleep. This is where boundaries came into play. He was asking for them and we didn’t notice it. I was talking to my therapist about parenting and he explained to me that we were on the verge of enmeshed and chaotic parenting. Huh?!? I never considered myself entirely an attachment parent but we have always been committed to honoring who each of our children are and allowing them to learn through experience. He explained that we needed to set some boundaries. We impose external discipline to internalize self-discipline in our kids. It allows kids to show up in life, cut through anxiety and dream of possibilities. That’s how it was explained to me and it has really served our family. The sleeping routine was the first boundary he suggested we put into place. One night I asked Juni if he wanted to sleep in Tutu’s room and he said, yes. It happened quickly. This was 5 minutes before bedtime and I just went with it. I thought we might plan out this first night more, but it happened just as it should. I put Tutu in her crib and Juni in his full bed beside her, we read one book, kissed them goodnight and I told him that I expect him to stay in his room and not come out until morning. He woke up in the middle of the night the first couple nights, but I insisted he returned to his bed and after 2-3 nights he was sleeping 12-13 hours straight and he seemed more confident in doing so. Those 2-3 nights weren’t painful, either. I listened if he was upset and insisted that he return to his bed. He didn’t fight it. And since we used to put him to bed in our bed, my nights changed in that I could go into my bedroom after 6pm ha! It’s working out beautifully. They aren’t sleeping in the same bed, yet. Tutu still really loves her crib.
Do you have a morning routine? If so, what does it look like?
Wake up, drink a bunch of water, nurse Tutu, brush my teeth and pour coffee with a bit of cream. We lounge around in the early morning for about an hour. By lounge I mean Tutu and I lay in bed while Juni does circles around us. Juan makes breakfast before he leaves for work and currently, Juni stays in his pajamas while Tutu changes her outfit 10 times by 9am. Then, outside! I grew up being told to go outside and play. I think it’s so valuable to encourage kids to play in nature and use their imaginations outside.
Tell us about the business you recently sold, Hostess Haven?
I started Hostess Haven wanting to source well-edited pieces for your tabletop for purchase and entertaining/ design inspiration. It evolved into a full-scale tabletop rental company and designed a collection of linens that could be rented. They were linens and tabletop pieces that I would use on my own table.
Why did you start the business and why did you decide to sell it?
I started HH out of a love for entertaining, collecting and gathering. It began as an extension of how I live my life. I decided to sell it because there was something I wasn’t doing in my life and I needed to connect with myself on a core level. Having kids pulled me in one direction and running a business pulled me in another. As it goes with business, the operations and logistics are very time consuming, but what really needed my attention was my creativity and my spirit, which was taking a backseat to family and business. So I sold HH to the most perfect new owners and I began digging deeper into me.
What is up next for you professionally, if anything?
I dove deep into a connection with myself and my true essence. I’m still in that process and what has emerged is pure creativity. I’m freelance styling for mainly food, drinks and gatherings and I also completed a yoga teacher training. There’s definitely a mind, body, spiritual interest for me. I’m taking it slow and I have faith something perfect will unfold that feels just right.
Where do you find creative inspiration for the events and homes that you style?
People. I am pretty good at reading clients and I enjoy honing in on their individual styles and really transforming their experience into something they wanted to do, but didn’t know how to execute. Apart from clients, themselves, I think it’s more of a space that I need to be in to receive the inspiration and then it just pops up everywhere. Traveling always helps.
How were you able to juggle work and motherhood? Do you have any help on a daily basis? What do you do for childcare?
For the first 2 years of Juni’s life, he went everywhere with me and always in a sling! We crossed paths with a beautiful woman referred to us to work for Hostess Haven that eventually became his nanny. As their relationship grew, I began having a more traditional work schedule with Hostess Haven. When Tutu arrived, she jumped right in and we all juggled Juni and Tutu, as needed. There was nothing traditional about our nanny in our home. She came when we needed her and we shared the kids as each day unfolded. I was always nursing and never pumped so I could only be away for a few hours until Tutu was older. She’ll take the kids walking to pick up her daughter from school and they all come back and play. That was the juggle, we all made it work and she was an integral part of it. Now, I’m not ‘working’ and she comes 2 days a week. I’ll take any work-related appointments or appointments for myself including lunches with friends, acupuncture and grocery shopping alone on those days! She’s a part of our family and cooks with the kids and really teaches me so much about patience and presence.
What are some of your favorite items from Noble Carriage right now?
Everything from the Noble Collective. I love the small run of well-designed pieces and the noble pieces like the utility suit, especially the ones that were embroidered in Oaxaca. I got a sneak peek ;)