rebecca_minkoff

cc_blog_spacerYou’ve probably heard the one about how the designer behind the famous “Morning After Bag” became a mom, right? There goes glamorous, fancy-free nights and here comes early morning feedings and clothes launder.

But Rebecca Minkoff hasn’t lost an shred of her fierceness. In fact, the birth of her son Luca three years ago has emboldened her even more.

First of all, his birth was natural. Drug-free, ladies. And when we saw her out and about a few weeks later, wearing Luca in her Ergo, it was at a cocktail party. Then we heard she nursed during meetings! And when we asked the designer herself, the truth was even wilder. She co-sleeps! She even pumps in meetings! (“It was awkward in Japan. They’d evacuate the room.”) She almost got in a bar-fight while wearing her baby! (“This girl was talkin sh*#. I was like, do you have a problem with me?!”)

So here’s this uber-successful designer – her designs are sold in more than 1,000 stores in 35 countries – making the kinds of choices (nursing, co-sleeping, front-pack as uniform) frequently associated with attachment parenting and  lovey-dovey hippies. She’s a fashion biz badass with a serious motherly instinct.

Her tour de force continues with two special arrivals this summer: In June, a flagship store on Greene Street in Soho and in August, baby #2. “I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to do that and have a fashion show a month later,” she says. We say: refresh your bad self with the sage stories you shared with us. Here’s 8 ways Rebecca stuck to her guns – the heck with what you think.
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cc_blog_rebecca_tipscc_blog_rebecca_tips1I met Brandon Holley when she was Editor in Chief of Lucky magazine. I was pregnant and planning to do natural childbirth, but she had a home birth. I was impressed! She’s the editor of a magazine, but she still came as close to nature as possible.

cc_blog_rebecca_tips2You only get a little nugget of time before they grow older. I feel like I saw too many people take a clinical approach to childbirth. And I was like, what’s the point?

cc_blog_rebecca_tips3My friend never breastfed because the nurse said she was starving her kid. They’re nurses, not police! You have to take the stance of this is what I’m gonna do. You have to command respect in yourself first.

cc_blog_rebecca_tips4Before the baby, I wanted to nurse for at least a year. And once we settled into a routine I thought I might go for two. But he broke up with me at 15 months. I’d follow him around with my boob! My husband told me: It’s his decision, let it go.

cc_blog_rebecca_tips5We’ve never had a set time for dinner because our schedules are so crazy. So, when we’re all together as a family, we eat. My husband and I believe in treating Luca as an adult in a little persons body –  we trust him and he tells us when he’s hungry.

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Too many people are scared of what other people think. When it came to nursing and pumping, I didn’t care. This is the best thing I can do for my kid. I was always: Don’t eff with me, this is what I’m gonna do.

cc_blog_rebecca_tips7The longest I’ve been gone for work is 5 days, and I’ll never go longer than that. It wasn’t good for me, it wasn’t good for him. But I know fashion editors that leave the baby for 3 weeks; I just can’t do that. You have to do what you feel comfortable with.

cc_blog_rebecca_tips8We’ve had to roll with it. Luca slept with us until he was a year old – in our bed until 7 months and then in a crib in the room. He learned to basically “pole vault” out of his crib, so then we trained him again, but we were traveling a lot and the jet lag made it all fall apart. He soon got his own room, but he started crawling into our bed at 6am. So what. I figure, there’s gonna be a point where he doesn’t want me. It’s OK if he crawls into my bed for now.

On Our Radar: July 30, 2015

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Aden + Anais Layette
WHO: Every parent of a baby who can fit into 0-12mos clothing.
WHAT: Everyone’s favorite purveyor of precious cotton muslin baby goods has finally launched layette – and it’s to-die-for cute and very reasonably priced.
WHEN: Do not wait.
WHERE: adenandanais.com

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Milk & Bookies
WHO: Parents who want to teach their kids to give back and foster literacy to those in need.
WHAT: Host a “book-raiser” – choose an organization from a list, have kids donate a gently-used book, and have fun with provided stickers and bookplates.
WHEN: You have a free afternoon.
WHERE: milkandbookies.org

DockATot
WHO: Parents of newborns.
WHAT: We go nuts for multi-use products – this one is for tummy time, a safe place to put baby so you can pee, a portable napping spot, a changing pad, and it emulates the womb to promote sleep.
WHEN: You want this one from day one.
WHERE: dockatot.com

Follain
WHO: Anyone who wants to get educated and shop truly safe beauty products.
WHAT: This online shop stocks solely safe products and puts a huge emphasis on educating both themselves and their customers.
WHEN: Shop worry free anytime – there are no toxic options.
WHERE: shopfollain.com

chriselle_lim

There are a million-and-one clever, cute ways to announce a pregnancy, but Chriselle Lim went the opposite route: Her video announcement was deeply honest and profound (truly, you’ll get chills).

After relaying the happy news, the LA-based stylist/blogger behind The Chriselle Factor opened up about her subsequent miscarriage and the secret shame she felt around it. As a result, she created a highly visible yet safe space for her readers to talk openly about a very tough subject.

It’s hardly what you would have expected from Chriselle, who’s made a business out of things looking perfect – or at least close to it. Her blog, YouTube channel (going strong with over 35 million views), and Instagram showcase her hyper-dewy skin and highly-coveted outfits.

But pregnancy – and now motherhood to adorable Chloe (6 months) – has brought a heavy dose of #realtalk to Chriselle’s site, and we couldn’t be more impressed with how she’s using her reach to get so honest and open. “I don’t want people to see me as this perfect person with no flaws,” she told us. “I want them to see I’m just like them, dealing with the same issues.”

We chatted with Chriselle about the perception of perfection, fighting the urge to overcommit, and her body image journey (complete with her stealable postpartum dressing advice). Meet the completely lovely, brave, and can’t-be-pegged Chriselle.

On Getting Real On Her Blog

The response has been really amazing. In the beginning, people were a bit shocked because I was one of those women who kind of portrayed a perfect glamorous life on social media. Now I think I’ve been able to open the door on their perspective of me – who I am and what I stand for. It’s really important that women, especially new moms, understand that Instagram is just a platform to go to for inspiration – things are highly curated and edited and not necessarily “real”.

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On Postpartum Dressing

A week after Chloe was born, I was going to her first doctor’s appointment: I tried to fit into my skinny jeans, and I was so disappointed. Obviously I had an unrealistic idea of what my body was going to do after giving birth. And I still dread wearing skinny jeans! I’m finally back to my pre-pregnancy weight on the scale, but my body is totally different. So now I’m wearing a lot of high-waisted skirts, pants – anything that covers my midsection and elongates my body. I also like shift dresses, pieces that skim over the body and aren’t tight anywhere so your body can move and breathe comfortably.

On Moving Past The Hard Stuff

When I filmed our pregnancy announcement, I wasn’t going to talk about my miscarriage at all… but as soon as the camera turned on, I got the sudden urge to bring it up. I felt like I needed to tell my story. I started opening up, and we literally got the whole video in one take because I was speaking from my heart. I was really nervous to post it, but when I did the number of women who came out with similar stories was absolutely insane. Women who had never talked about it were finally opening up about their experience. Women who hadn’t thought about it in 10 years, women who just went through a similar situation and had no one to talk to… thousands of women. It was such a shock to me. There is a secret society of women who go through this and never acknowledge it. I made this short film dedicated to those women who haven’t had a chance to talk to anyone about it, to know they are not alone and that so many of us go through it.

Work It Out

Even though I know working out should be a priority and I try to make it a priority, after you have a baby… they have their own schedule. It’s definitely a luxury now! I love spin, I did it once since Chloe was born, and it was amazing, but I haven’t found the time to go back. In the first 3 or 4 months, I was really horrible on myself – it’s like I want to go back to the gym! I’m on camera, so I want to look a certain way. But at the end of month 4, I got realistic with myself… and that’s actually when my body started losing the weight on its own.

Saying Yes To Less

When you become a mom, you have to figure out a number of things… one of them is coming up with a schedule that works for you and the baby. Before Chloe, I was the type of person who overcommitted myself and would say yes to everything. I can’t do that anymore – I have to be realistic and do less. I’m also more efficient with my time and better at asking friends and family for favors. Right now, my amazing aunt is my nanny – she comes three times a week, and I schedule all my meetings around those times. I give 100% on those days, and when I’m home with Chloe, I give 100% there as well.

Inspired By Teen Spirit

I started my YouTube channel about 5 years ago and there was really a lack of women in their mid-20’s/early-30’s – it was all teenagers! So I saw an opportunity. Obviously glossy magazines are very aspirational, but I wanted to do something more personal and relatable – our channel is a good hybrid of aspirational and attainable. There’s something really important about showing outfits women can actually wear – things that aren’t just beautiful, but also work in everyday life.

The Name Game

I have a niece named Chloe, and I kind of helped raise her, so I’ve always loved the name. Victoria is after Allen’s father, Victor, whom I’ve never met – he passed away from stomach cancer 15 years ago.

Bonding Through Babies

One of the many joys of motherhood is the instant bond you develop with other mothers. Eva Chen and I definitely weren’t best friends before, but through motherhood we have become a lot closer. I traveled to New York with Chloe for the first time a few weeks ago, and she offered to send me a stroller so I didnt have to travel with one. It was one of the most thoughtful things. She was also there for me during my pregnancy because she had Ren maybe a month and a half earlier, and she pretty much reported everything she was going through and sent me all these lists to help prepare. Plus so many other women I don’t even know would send me articles, encouragement, and tops on raising Chloe on social.. it’s so thoughtful and amazing.

educational apps

Travel makes even the most screentime-averse parents hop off their soapbox faster than you can say Welcome aboard ladies and gentlemen. Maybe it’s the delays, your little’s sudden decision that her car seat HUUUURTTS MAMA!, or just the evil eye of the guy across the aisle. (Chill, dude. Haven’t you ever met a child? Or heard of noise-canceling headphones?)

It’s cool: Vacation was made for relaxing your limits, but there’s no need to ditch your standards. We tapped Alexandria Abramian, content director at Forcefield and an educational app guru who’s seen them all, for her top picks for each age group.

Then prep your tablet by signing up for Forcefield’s (free!) beta version: It lets you schedule, filter, and tailor your device so you don’t turn around to find your tot posting an up-nostril shot to Instagram.

1-2 Year Olds

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Petting Zoo by Christoph Niemann

Wonderfully quirky and imaginative, this interactive animal app includes a collection of 21 animated creatures that respond to up, down, and side-to-side swipes with fabulously unexpected results. Make a dog breakdance; tie the tentacles of an octopus; or watch a dog pretzel into shapes as it responds to your every swipe. All of it is accompanied by soothing music that won’t put you over the edge.

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Peek-A-Boo Forest

A soothing, Charley Harper-illustrated app lets toddlers explore an interactive forest while learning animal names and sounds. Kids can play peekaboo, learn about the seasons, and record their own voice saying the names of the animals.

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Busy Shapes

This one starts with dragging and matching shapes and grows as they do to hone thinking and reasoning skills, such as uncovering hidden objects and uniting matching objects around an obstacle. Beautiful graphics and great sound effects are an added bonus.

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More Trucks

Kids can operate fire trucks, monster trucks, tow trucks and more. Most satisfying: a crane activity, which lets kids move, lower, and pick up boxes, then stack them in an arrangement of their own design… then a wrecking ball feature lets them knock all those boxes down. More Trucks lets kids explore and discover as they go along, while teaching sequencing, sorting and problem solving.

3-4 year olds:

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Kalley’s Machine Plus Cats

A truly bar-raising interactive kids book, this app is inspired by real-life drawings of 4-year-old Kalley, who drew a machine she hoped her dad could build. The machine was never realized, but this great app was. Highlighted text and an unbeatable variety of ingenious interactive elements make this a keeper.

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Bop Underwater

Stunningly designed, this puzzle-making app challenges preschoolers to assemble underwater shapes. The look and feel is both cutting-edge and cozy, as the entire environment is made out of scanned pieces of fabric, which gives it both a handmade and high-tech feel.

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Fiete

With the look of hand-painted watercolors, the multi award-winning app has a whimsical, open-ended feel. Kids learn the game as they play, and along the way encounter a series of memory-style flip-the-card challenges that have a great twist: Instead of matching identical images, they unite pairs that connect. Think ice cream scoops with a cone; a ladybug with spots, etc.

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The Four Seasons: A Vivaldi Storybook

This app introduces toddlers to classical music while learning about the seasons. Kids interact by waking up sleeping creatures, shaking pollen from flowers, and other activities. Important to know: No narration mode, so you’ll have to do the reading on this one.

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Nighty Night HD

This popular and soothing app is a great way to wind them down for bedtime. A blend of storytelling, interactivity, and animation sets the scene for kids to turn off lights throughout a farm setting, putting animals to bed one by one before the entire app fades to black.

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Little Digits: Finger Counting

For a first math app, this one is hard to beat. Connecting finger counting with number recognition and early addition and subtraction, kids tap their fingers on the screen as they count. The concept works beautifully when it comes to very simple addition, less so when numbers go above 10.

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The Monster at the End of this Book

One of the best book-to-app translations available, it maintains the magic of the original while adding a level of interactivity. The irresistible story line – which urges kids not to turn pages while enticing them to do just that – features a series of hands-on activities as kids untie ropes and dismantle boarded up pages.

5-6 year olds:

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Cinderella by Nosy Crow

With beautiful illustrations and boundary-pushing interactivity that fully immerses readers in the story, the tale is set in modern day with a step-mom and sisters who are more misunderstood than malevolent and a prince who values Cinderella’s kindness over cuteness (hallelujah!). Kids can read the book themselves or hear it told to them through a mix of narration and dialogue, and almost every page has interactive elements that captivate.

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Sesame Street Family Play

A truly great one loaded with 150 off-screen (yes, as in device-free) activities for kids. Select where you are (home, outside, etc), then choose the number of kids playing. The app delivers fun that are clever and unique. Many don’t require much in the way of supplies (think paper, spoons, bowls) and even more only require kids’ imagination. Keep in mind this one requires active parenting to select, assign, and oversee activities – better suited to an airline terminal than the plane itself.

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Writing Wizard

There is no shortage of letter/number tracing apps but Writing Wizard may be the very best. Kids learn how to trace numbers, letters, words, and shapes with this highly intuitive app that also sounds out each letter. Detailed reports give parents and teachers updates on progress, and you can also create your own word lists. Perhaps less appealing is the slot machine-“inspired” sounds that accompany the tracing function.

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Faces iMake

Making faces out of everyday objects gets kids thinking creatively. By dragging and dropping items like dice and balloons, kids can assemble their own one-of-a-kind creations, then share them via email (hi, grandma!).The skills expand to real life where they’ll never look at plates or buttons the same way.

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Toca Kitchen

Taking that concept that little ones would almost always rather play with real objects, this lets kids chop, fry, microwave, and season to their heart’s content. Beautifully animated, it features four characters and 12 different ingredients that can be prepared in 180 different ways. But will the app’s resident creature like the prepared dish? Kids can feed their creations to find out.