Images by Beck Rocchi
Every corner of Courtney Adamo’s home is filled with pieces that mean something to her. A treasure trove representing her innate sense of style and a life shared with her husband and 5 children. The home evokes an earthy, simple and loving spirit like Courtney’s own. ELK was welcomed into Courtney’s serene Byron Bay home, to hear all about her passion project, The Loop and her philosophies of a simple and meaningful life.
Where did your passion to create The Loop come from?
I have been blogging for more than 12 years now at Babyccino, and I’ve been on Instagram for around 7 years, so I’ve been lucky to connect with parents from all over the world through these social platforms. It’s been an incredible way to share and receive ideas on parenting, travel, food, style and so many other topics. But… through these channels, you can only go so deep and it can be difficult to interact in a really meaningful, authentic way. I guess the idea for the e-course stemmed from this desire to want to create a space for a like-minded community to gather online — a place where we could raise topics, share tips and experiences, and connect more deeply.
I decided to divide the course up into five different topics: Family, Home, Food, Travel and Lifestyle. We spend a week exploring each topic and sharing our collective experiences. Not only do I share my lessons and tips, but I share interviews with experts, share links to relevant podcasts and articles, and I encourage a bigger conversation amongst everyone in the community. It’s been such a fun way to connect with people from all over the world in this more intimate way.
We love that a portion of sales will be donated to the Malala Foundation - how did this come about?
It’s funny how things fall into place sometimes. It started with an initial desire to want to support a charity that helped raise money for the environment. Then, one evening I overheard the girls talking about Malala, and we started reading her story. A few days later my friend, Lou, who owns Lunch Lady Magazine, mentioned Malala at dinner one night. And lastly, Michael read an interesting article in the newspaper about how one of the best ways we can increase environmental awareness and change is to educate more women around the world! So… we decided the Malala Fund was perfect! Educating women around the world creates better economies, stronger communities, more environmental awareness, and has lots of other enormous benefits.
Can you explain your ethos of living simply and living meaningfully?
I suppose I believe the two go hand in hand: the more simple you keep something, often the more meaningful it is. I see this in so many ways. For example, I know if I buy one or two special gifts (instead of splashing out on several gifts) for my kids on their birthday, they will value and treasure it more. If I keep a few toys out in our home for the kids to play with, they will play meaningfully and imaginatively, where too many toys will overwhelm them.
A few years ago we took 18 months off to travel with our family. We each had a small suitcase of clothes. No toys for the kids, no extra belongings for us. I wore the same seven dresses over and over again. And yet, it was the most special, meaningful year for our family. We stripped things back and really learned firsthand that what we value most is our time together. After that year, I became really conscious of not wanting to clutter our lives with things we don’t need. Of course it’s really difficult not to be tempted by new things, and of course it’s nice to invest in something that brings you joy, but I guess it’s really made me look at things with a different perspective. It’s true what they say: the less you want, the more you have.
And it really links to your love and focus on the environment?
There’s also a huge environmental aspect to this question too. It’s important for us to consider how our everyday choices are impacting the environment. We love living here in Byron because it makes it easy to be conscious consumers. The farmers markets here are wonderful, and we try to buy the bulk of our food from the local farmers. (We also grow a lot of our herbs and veg in our garden.) Here in Byron, there are so many wonderful local brands, so it’s easy to shop locally when it’s necessary. But more than anything, we try to consider the environment before we buy something, asking ourselves: Do we need it? Will it last? How was it made and will it end up in landfill some day? The simpler we live, the better off our planet will be.
How would you describe your summer style?
We spend a lot of time at the beach, so I’m usually wearing a dress that’s easy to throw on over a swimsuit. I’ll then throw on a pair of sandals or slides. I guess I have a bohemian, feminine style. Nothing too fussy or polished. We live in Byron, after all!
What has been your favourite design to wear on the ELK Tales shoot?
I loved wearing the copper Lund dress! It’s such a pretty colour!
What are your favourite ways to celebrate with your children and husband – whether Christmas time, achievements or just everyday victories?
We are big fans of weekends in our house, and we always celebrate with pancakes. We make ‘skinny pancakes’ (crepes) on Saturdays and ‘fat pancakes’ on Sundays. Breakfast is a serious affair in our house, and it’s my favourite thing ever. I love when everyone is gathered in the kitchen, bed head and jammies, music on, coffee in hand, kids on the breakfast stools. Michael and I are both from big American families, so we actually have a lot of traditions in our family passed down from our own childhoods. Christmas is huge for us, and I try my hardest to stick to our northern hemisphere traditions, even if that means baking cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning when it’s way too hot to turn the oven on!
What celebratory traditions do you love to share and continue with your family?
We have a felt birthday crown we’ve had since our eldest turned one. It has a plastic pocket at the front where you slide in the birthday age. This crown comes out at every single birthday in our house, whether we’re celebrating a 2-year-old toddler or a 49-year-old father! We also hang bunting throughout the kitchen on every birthday. Even when we travelled for 18 months, we brought the bunting and birthday crown with us. I love these little traditions.