cc_jessica_header1 cc_blog_spacerWe’ve got to give the girl some credit. When Jessica Alba embraced healthy living she didn’t do it in the Stella McCartney-wearing, Sigg water-bottle carrying, quinoa-bowl-at-Cafe Gratitude sense. She threw herself into it, demanding answers from diaper manufacturers (what’s really inside there?) and then developing and road-testing her own, safer version. (Blowouts ensued. It wasn’t pretty.) It’s not exactly what you’d expect a blockbuster actress to be doing during her downtime.

By launching The Honest Company, Jessica made toxicity and kids’ health a conversation worth having, by shining a light on the questionable practices of some consumer goods companies and offering parents answers – and cute alternatives, like adorably patterned diapers that nix the plastics and gels (!) found in conventional ones. Hey, thanks!

Nice thing about Jessica: she’s not righteous about it – she admits cloth diapers weren’t right for her kids Honor, 5, and Haven, 2, and she can’t quit her Retinol habit. “It’s up to you to figure out what’s going to work in your own life,” she says.

“As a mom especially, you learn to let go of what you can’t control and just focus on a handful of things within your power. You’ll go crazy trying to figure out every possible toxic trap.”

Lucky for us, she’s figured out most of them and shared it in her book. We loved her advice on “greening” your beauty routine so much we asked her for more! “With help from great makeup artists in the business like Katey Denno, who has an awesome blog, plus EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, and my favorite green beauty retailer, spiritbeautylounge.com, I’ve got a 10-minute routine that doesn’t skimp on safety – or beauty.” And now so do you.
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cc_blog_jessica_tips1Tata Harper moisturizer is a multitasker – it’s tinted and has SPF.  RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up is great because it’s non-toxic and fits in your purse for touch-ups. And I’m still obsessed with any product containing Retinol because there’s no more effective wrinkle-fighter. It’s not the most green thing in the world, but as I say, it’s about being honest, not perfect!

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Open your eyes to the awesomeness that is the Shu Uemura Lash Curler! Though most brands haven’t figured out how to  do an effective, eco-friendly mascara, Physician’s Formula mascara comes the closest. L’Oreal Voluminous and Diorshow mascaras have the most impact.

cc_blog_jessica_tips3I love Youngblood or RMS Lip to Cheek cream blush. Don’t forget to tap where the apples of your cheeks touch your hairline, which is where the sun naturally shines. Try Korres Zea Mays Blush if powder is your thing. Hourglass bronzer duo does the “sun-kissed” feel, safely.

cc_blog_jessica_tips4I use Ilia in Perfect Day for a classic lipstick shade and Femme Fatale for a darker look. I had to let go of my favorite red lipstick – the lead levels were toxic! Kjaer Weis has a pretty lip tint called Passionate and I adore its packaging. Korres Lip Butter is a tinted lip balm I use on the center of my lower lip to draw the light and wake up the whole face. Koh Gen Do natural gloss works wonders every day.

cc_blog_jessica_tips5 Steer clear of the eau de nail salon at least while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding because there are chemical irritants in the air. Or find a well-ventilated or “eco-nail” salon – because going for a mani-pedi is the best version of a grown-up “time out”. (I love that free massage – never get enough.) Priti NYC and Butter London are nail polish brands you can bring home with a clear mind they’re “5 free”, i.e. lacking the 5 known carcinogenic ingredients. I’m into extremes this Spring, so I’m either wearing a cool, dark British Racing green or a rich Come to Bed red when I wear black, or a soft, classic nude to go with all those gorgeous pastels.

Image of Haven, Jessica, Honor and Cash Warren by Justin Coit

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Step-By-Step Transition To A Big-Kid Bed

Everyone knows the cardinal rule of infant slumber – never (ever) wake a sleeping baby.

We’d like to propose an amendment: never (ever) rush the transition of that sleeping baby from their happy crib to a big-kid bed. One cannot overstate the value of a child who sleeps unstirred through the night.

How do you know when it’s time to say “buh-bye” to the crib?

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You need the crib for #2


Leave yourself plenty of time to make the transition before your new arrival makes an appearance. Too much change all at once (new sibling, new bed, new room) is never easy – no matter your age.


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Jailbreak!


If Junior is climbing his way out every night – it’s not safe to keep him behind bars any longer.

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More space, please.


While we’ve known littles who have slept in their crib until age 4, we also know not-so-littles who needed more room to spread out. You know your kid’s limbs best – trust your instincts.


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So, you’ve decided it’s time to transition. Now what?

If you purchased a convertible crib, you’re in luck. Simply convert to a toddler bed. Toddler beds use the same mattress and sheets as your crib. Most come with attachments that serve as a bed rail. All you need to add is a pillow.

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Toddler Pillows


Don’t go for extra fluffy – the smaller the better. Remember they’ve been resting their head flat on the mattress happily for quite some time.
See our picks >


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Toddler Bed Sheet Sets


Pre-packaged sets come with fitted and top sheets. Our recommendation: hold off on the top sheet until he’s got the sleeping in one place thing down. We spent the first few weeks detangling our sleeper from the unnecessary layer of fabric. See our picks >


If the crib doesn’t convert, how do you choose what’s next: a toddler bed or a twin/double?

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If space is an issue


consider a toddler bed. They’re close to the ground (in case of falls) and the abbreviated height makes purposeful departures
(i.e. midnight potty breaks) easier to accomplish. They also use the same size mattress as a crib, so there’s no need to add that to the tab. See our picks >


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However, if you have the space


to go big – do it. This will be your kiddo’s bed for the foreseeable future. For a regular bed (twin or double), you need a bed rail. Try and position the bed with one side against a wall – this will minimize sides your sleeper can slip off of. If the bed doesn’t work against a wall, you will need two rails. See our pick >


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we opted to not use rails


and lined the ground beside our kiddo’s twin bed with bean bags that we repurposed in the playroom after falling out of bed was no longer an issue.
And, of course you’ll need new sheets. Let your little help you pick the designs to get them excited about the change. Some of our favorites: Little Auggie, Mia & Finn, Dwell Studio, Unison Home, Biscuit Home.


- The Extras -

1. If you have stairs and haven’t gated them yet, now is the time. Munchkin, KidCo and Summer Infant are all reliable brands whose sites walk you through finding the right solution for your space.

2. Add a nightlight in the hallway and the bathroom, so independent littles can make their way to the bathroom in the dark. We’re drawn to these kitschy versions of a gummy bear or kitty cat. Or you could go all out (it doubles as a piece of art!) with Mr. Maria’s giant bunny.

3. Teach them when to stay in bed and when to rise with a nifty nightlight clock. It’s About Time, Nuk, KID’Sleep, Onaroo, and GoodNite Lite are all good options.

4. Don’t make any changes to their bedtime routine. Keep nightlight, sound machines, woobies, and rules consistent.

And hope for the best.

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Homepolish Nursery

We loved the concept of Homepolish as soon as we heard about it: bringing the bespoke experience of working with an interior designer down to earth by charging a reasonable hourly rate vs. a project rate plus commissions, markups, and whoknowswhat else like the traditional model entails. We weren’t the only ones who thought it sounded like a great option – W Magazine digital director Christina Caldwell partnered with Homepolish designer Morgan Colletta for her new three-bedroom apartment in New York’s West Village. Here’s a peek at the nursery and toddler’s room!

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1. Crib, Oeuf 2. Chevron Rug, Land of Nod, 3. Rocking Chair, RH Baby & Child 4. Mobile, Moulin Roty 5. Wall Decals, Jesabi 6. Stuffed Animals, Jellycat

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1. Bookcase, Oeuf 2. Framed Animal Photos, Sharon Montrose 3. Stuffed Animals, Jellycat

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1. Play Table, RH Baby & Child 2. Play Chairs, Land of Nod 3. ABC Play Mat, Giggle 4. Play Tent, House Inhabit 5. Numbers Storage Bins, Land of Nod 6. Stacking Storage Bins, RH Baby & Child

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1. Big Lego Storage Bins, Giggle 2. ABC Play Mat, Giggle

To see the whole apartment, head over to homepolish.com.

Photos Courtesy of Homepolish

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She might be a Victoria’s Secret Angel, but she defies all model stereotypes: She’s totally down-to-earth and says being a mom is the greatest joy she’s ever experienced. We chatted with the gorgeous Lily Aldridge while she was sitting in the hair chair prepping for a Victoria’s Secret shoot at Milk Studios. The supermodel is married to Kings Of Leon frontman Caleb Followill (yes, “Sex on Fire” was written about her), and they have a two-year-old daughter Dixie Pearl. Lily is extremely hands-on, and unless it’s a quick overnight trip, Dixie comes with her wherever she goes.

The family splits their time between Nashville and New York and just returned from England where they celebrated Dixie’s second birthday at the London Zoo, complete with a cowgirl theme, of course.

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Lily got real with us about how she stayed fit during pregnancy, her secret to getting back in shape, her must-have beauty products (she’s obsessed!), her genius tips for traveling with a toddler, and much much more.

Stellar Advice

I was pregnant at same time as Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio and they gave me such good advice for how to stay in shape. I did a lot of prenatal yoga and got lots of massages. I relaxed and had the most beautiful pregnancy – I loved every second of it.

Back To Work

I saw all my friends bounce back with exercise and just being healthy. It was so inspiring to me, so I never worried about that. It was hard work getting back in shape, but I did it, and I was really proud.

After I gave birth, I started doing Ballet Beautiful with Mary Helen Bowers, and she got me ready for the VS fashion show four months post-baby. Getting back in shape with her was an amazing experience. She just had a baby too, so she has a prenatal workout video.

Model Moms

Being a working mom is such a good example for your child. All my friends I work with – Adriana, Miranda [Kerr] and Alessandra – are all amazing working moms, and it’s so great to have such a support system with your friends.

On The Go, Go, Go

Dixie already has so many frequent flyer miles – she comes with me everywhere unless it’s a quick overnight trip.

I pack tons of snacks (raisins and seaweed crisps are favorites) and download a bunch of educational apps on the iPad and let her go to town. It keeps her happy and the people around us, too, since she isn’t crying. Right now, she’s loving ABC Storybots, where robots sing songs about each letter. She can count and sing the ABCs – if you find the right educational apps, the iPad is a great learning tool.

I also have this amazing thing called the CARES Harness – it’s FAA-approved and you don’t need to carry on a car seat. It’s so incredible and makes traveling so much easier.

The Perfect Pregnancy

I did not model while pregnant. I checked out and really relaxed, enjoyed myself and had a healthy, happy pregnancy. I didn’t have tons of cravings, but one night at 4am, I was really wanting dried pineapple and I contemplated waking my husband to go and get it. I waited until the morning, but when I finally got it, it was glorious. Looking back, I should have woken him up!

Pregnancy Wardrobe

I loved my J. Brand maternity jeans. I also loved Hatch – they make such beautiful dresses. I had this one dress from them, and I swear every time I wore it, I got more compliments on it than any other outfit I have ever worn. They were so cute and comfortable. I would love to do a collaboration with them the next time I’m pregnant.

Beauty Junkie

I am a beauty freak. I went to Sephora yesterday and bought like the whole store. I love Creme de la Mer moisturizer, Proactiv Plus cleanser, Pure Fiji starfruit body scrub, Fresh lemon bath cubes, Tom Ford’s Jasmin Rouge and anything Kora [Miranda Kerr’s line].

When I was pregnant, I didn’t put anything on my body that wasn’t all natural. I went a bit wild. I have a whole new respect for ingredients and products. I used a lot of Mama Mio and Kora. To prevent stretch marks, I used a lot of oils – I put as many on as I could, and it worked! Loved the one by Mother’s Special Blend.

#Momfail

I swore I was going to feed her only healthy, organic stuff, but I totally give her juice and ice cream – you have to let them be kids! Also, trying to go down those swirly slides at the park always leads to an embarrassing moment.

The Name Game

I love classic names. I loved the name Pearl and my husband is Southern and he loved the name Dixie. We had two names picked out, and when she was born, I looked at her and just said, she’s a Dixie Pearl! She is such a firecracker and has so much personality – her name suits her perfectly.

Downtime

If you granted me three hours alone on a Saturday afternoon, you’d find me in bed watching House of Cards or Orange Is The New Black being so happy.

Lifesaving Baby Products

Water Wipes are so gentle and amazing, I now use them on my face! Other wipes were irritating her. I’m obsessed with Waxolene as a cure-all because it’s all natural and works. The Fisher-Price swing was a life saver, but next go around I’m getting the mamaRoo that sits on the floor.

The Challenge

Right now, Dixie is so social, and I’m really trying to teach her manners and to share, but it’s really hard to teach a two-year-old. I throw a full-on party in the street when she shares something with anyone, even me!

Night, Night

One of the greatest things I’ve done as a mom is put Dixie on a sleep schedule, using The Dream Sleeper book. It helps everyone get through the day – she knows when it’s time for a nap and is a great sleeper, and I can schedule workouts around that.

Yes, She Eats

I am a huge foodie. I appreciate delicious food, whether it’s a $1 taco or dinner at a five-star restaurant. One of my favorite meal is the roasted chicken at Barbuto, and the chef Jonathan Waxman just opened a restaurant in Nashville that I haven’t been to yet. When we land there tomorrow, the whole family is going directly to Adele’s for dinner. We are so excited he came to Nashville!

Fun With Dixie

We are members of The Nashville Zoo, which is incredible – one of the best zoos I’ve ever been to. At the end of my pregnancy, I would walk around there all day trying to get my labor started.

Dixie and I are obsessed with the homemade popsicles at Las Paletas and it’s right next door to the park, so we get popsicles and go to park and that’s my idea of a perfect day.

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