When we caught up with Jordana Brewster, fresh on the heels of filming season three of Dallas and getting ready to shoot The Fast & The Furious 7, she was as grounded as we’d heard (no makeup! in public!). Not that she doesn’t work for it, “I’m very passionate about constantly working on myself, whether it be through therapy, meditation or self help books.” The mother of eight-month-old Julian – who grew up in Panama City, Brazil and NYC and now lives in Santa Monica – has an adorable practice with her two best friends: “We email each other a gratitude list at the end of the day. Every day. Shifting your perspective is so important!”

Toys Schmoys

Take things you already have around the house — a rock, pine cone, paper towel tube — and put them in a bowl or basket for your baby to play with. They love the different textures and once they tire of one, they move on to the next. You don’t even need traditional toys. Next up is edible paint, but he’s not old enough yet. I love The Imagination Tree website for this kind of thing!

Clothes Make The Baby

I’m obsessed with Petit Bateau and Nununu baby clothes, especially Nununu’s pants. Some days Julian’s style is very hipster/skater, and others I dress him like Prince George: a little gentleman.

Be Present

There’s no such thing as multitasking as a mom – if you’re answering emails, you aren’t giving the baby the attention he needs. I’m trying to be more mindful and setting aside time to devote myself to work so I can give him my full attention when I am with him. It’s a work in progress. I meditate twice a day to resist the urge!

Lifesaving Baby Products

For the first 6 months, the Nuna Leaf saved me. I loved that it’s not motorized, Julian found it so soothing and I had my hands free for a short while. Now he wants to be held at all times, but it was great while it lasted. Also the Baby Shusher is a genius invention. At first it felt really lazy, but all that shushing is exhausting! There’s also an app, which I used after I dropped and broke the actual shusher. Oh, and buy the NoseFrida. It’s so convenient and surprisingly addictive.

Skip It

Diaper bags are overrated. I just throw a Bambo diaper, Naty wipes, one toy and a sippy cup in my purse.

Insider Tricks

Find a pediatrician that answers emails or texts. It gives me so much peace of mind to be able to get timely answers without having to take the baby to the doctor. Also, I constantly start email chains with my mom friends about any question I have and they always ease my worries and have good advice.


I thought I would be this zen earth mama, but I am more paranoid about things than I used to be. People say that once you become a mom you’ll know exactly what to do, but that isn’t necessarily true. I find myself more anxious than before.

A Bag of Tricks

I was shooting Dallas in Texas and traveled back and forth 10 times with Julian. The trick is to give a bottle on the way up and down and to have a bag of tricks. You’re basically an entertainer for the whole plane ride, so pull one toy out at a time and let him play with it until he gets bored. You have to switch up what’s in the bag every trip too.

Hey, Jules

My husband and I had differing opinions on names but out of the blue one day, he said I love the name Jules. And I loved it too. And there we had it.


One day, Julian ate a leaf and then puked it up shortly thereafter. That’s when I realized I have to have my eyes on him at all times.

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On Our Radar: April 16, 2014





Little Explorers: My Amazing Body
WHO: Parents of littles curious about their body (or yours).
WHAT: A new lift-the-flap book about how the body works that even toddlers will understand.
WHEN: Give it to them straight from the very beginning.


Ubbi 3-In-1 Potty
WHO: Parents ready to potty train.
WHAT: Proof that a potty can not only be brilliant but also beautiful – one contraption is both a potty chair, a potty seat, and a stool.
WHEN: Start ‘em early.

WHO: Parents looking for healthy, quick dinner options (hello, everyone?).
WHAT: Think Blue Apron but for spiralized veggies. These tasty, locally-sourced 7-minute meals (think carrot “noodles” with tangy Sriracha peanut sauce) are gluten-free, GMO-free, and under 500 calories each.
WHEN: Your kid knows the delivery guy by name.

Mini Rodini Bedding
WHO: Parents and littles with a wild side.
WHAT: Mini Rodini’s new bedding prints are to-die – hippos, pythons, and zebras, oh my!
WHEN: The sheets need a refresh.

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saturdays Melissa Kushner
Lives: Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Husband Jeremy, daughter Raya (4), twin daughters Aviv and Leyla (15 months)
You might know her: Founder and Executive Director of Goods for Good, an amazing nonprofit transforming orphan care in Southern Africa by building businesses that support children and uplift their communities.
Secret obsession: Exotic candy, Rachel Comey shoes, and teaching my children Chichewa, the national language of Malawi.



Wake-up call from one of my three little ladies. Milks all around and some romping around in the twins’ room. Inevitably, all three end up in one of our Oeuf Sparrow cribs, jumping and being silly. My hubby brings me breakfast number one (I am pregnant so I need to be fed every three hours), which usually consists of apple, plain yogurt, cinnamon, and almonds – I swear by it. Obviously, my kids eat half while Jeremy guzzles two cups of coffee.


We head downstairs for real breakfast. Twins get loaded into their Boon Flair highchairs and Raya is my sous chef – heart shaped pancakes for everyone!



All the ladies head upstairs to get dressed while my doting husband puts the kitchen back together and unpacks the loaded dishwasher from our Friday night Shabbat dinner party. Twins go down for a nap, and Raya and I finish getting dressed and make beds.


Aviv and Leyla are up, and we head off to the kids’ program at our local temple. My girls are in it for the unlimited grape juice and challah bread, while Jeremy and I get to catch up with friends.


Raya and Daddy are off to Brooklyn Boulders, an amazing indoor rock climbing facility near our new home. I get the twins down for a nap and breathe a sigh of relief/exhaustion. I either take a shower or catch up on work email. With a six-hour time change in Malawi and our annual Gala coming up on April 27th, work can be demanding, but I love it and my whole family is pretty invested. My husband and I lived in an orphanage in Malawi for a year before we started our family, and each of my children have both English and Chichewa names.


Twins are shouting in baby talk from their cribs! Quick diaper change before I pack them into our City Mini GT double stroller and head to Carroll Street Park.


We meet up with Dad, Raya, and lots of neighborhood friends. We are new to Carroll Gardens, but it’s filled with families and is so neighborhood-y.


We head home for dinner, baths, and bedtime. I heat up some veggie chili, which all three kids love and I can make big batches of – two reasons it is an instant staple in our house! There’s as much chili on the floor and on the babies as there is in their tummies, so we plop everyone into a bath, read stories, and tuck everyone in by 7:30 sharp! Raya has a menagerie of unicorns, dogs, and penguins that she arranges just so on her bed and the twins snuggle up with their Angel Dear blankies, that for some bizarre reason we call “snuffies.”


Everyone is asleep. Despite our exhaustion, Saturday night is date night in our house. I slap on some blush and mascara, jam my growing belly into the cutest thing I can find, and we meet up with friends at a new restaurant in Gowanus. Let’s just hope I don’t end up face first in the soup!

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