Style Icon: Mama Azzarito

My mom, Susan Rose Azzarito, is a born and bred Southern California girl who met my dad at sixteen, got married at twenty-two and had babies early. (She had me when she was only twenty-four and my sisters followed in short succession. And because three wasn’t ever quite enough, my brother came along seven years after the last girl).  My mom’s personal style is casual and unfussy – Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion and cherry ChapStick are her scents of choice – but she is always decidedly feminine. Her middle name is Rose after all, and pink has always been her color of choice (except for a period in the ’80s when peach gave pink a run for its money). She has a love for all things British – tea, mysteries and TV shows. My childhood was filled with carefully crafted tea parties and tea time is still a tradition, although these days, it’s a bit more expensive. (Did someone say tea at the Ritz?) She spent hours reading to all four of us and introduced me to Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters and the Pink Motel amongst many, many others. She is always up for an adventure, whether it’s a long car ride, a trip to Egypt with three kids under the age of ten or a visit to Moscow with a two-year old.

(psssst: Tell us what you love about your Mom in our Mom Instagram Challenge)

My mom’s style domain has always been her house. She visited auctions and garage sales to hunt for bargains and painted, striped and sanded everything that came into our house. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen her get rid of a piece of furniture – she changes the color and finds a new home for an object rather than let it out of the house. She’s a champion room painter and has helped me paint my own countless times (and even passed along a few of her trade secrets). During that peach period in the ’80s, she stenciled peach flowers around the dining room, painting each petal by hand. We visited the U.K. when I was seven, and my most vivid memory is of coming home on the plane with boxes of porcelain dishes rather than carry-on suitcases. Her central focus was always about creating a house that was beautiful and nurturing. I feel lucky to have grown up in such a place. –Amy

Image above: 1. billabong flower bear womens tank $21.99 | 2. The Vintage Tea Party $29.95 | 3. paintbrush $17.82 | 4. cherry ChapStick $3.29 | 5. candied almond drops $32 | 6. jane austen quote mug $16 | 7. bois de rose candle $35 | 8. paper rose $14 | 9. KISMET basic wayfarer $12.50  10. leather colorblock passport case $45

See more style picks after the jump!

Image above: 1. Liberty Perfect Shirt $150 | 2. royal albert dinnerware, old country roses $79.99 | 3. frances palmer pottery may flower vase $650 (I first learned about Frances Palmer from my mom’s Victoria Magazine.) | 4. bubble bath $11 |  5. stripes pottery shard pendant $73.07 | 6. natural picnic basket $39.95 | 7. chatsford filter teapot $72 | 8. maxwell house french vanilla cafe $4.49 (No matter where she travels, my mom is packing French Vanilla. We all make fun of her and then make ourselves a cup when her back is turned)

  1. Kelsey says:

    Ah man, what a cool way to pay tribute to your mom. She sounds like a total badass, in the best way!!

  2. Very sweet! Love all the picks for mom too.

  3. what a lovely, lovely post.Thank you for sharing your mum’s awsomeness and your love for her with us.xx

  4. Lisa says:

    Great idea and a great post – I want to do one for my mom now too!

  5. Candice says:

    I love this Style Icon concept – I couldn’t wait for this week’s instalment. My husband and I were just talking about the value of individual personalities being the success behind great blogs. What a privilege to get to know your mums too!

  6. Beccy says:

    What a lovely post. Having read the newspaper on the way to work that is full of depressing stories. This is very uplifting! Thank you

  7. Bethany says:

    THE PINK MOTEL, I can’t believe someone else my age has actually read that book! Love it, pink cover and all. Thanks for resurfacing that memory.

  8. Maya says:

    What a wonderful Mom! :-)

  9. lei says:

    what you said about your mom is what i hope my possible-future kids will say about me! how sweet. :) happy mother’s day mama azzarito!

  10. Penny says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your Mom. I really enjoyed reading this , thank-you.

  11. Jorge says:

    Delicious tribute… loved every line of it!

  12. Emily says:


    What are your or your mom’s favorite British books of the mystery genre?



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