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.

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On Our Radar: February 26, 2015

RADAR26

Blowout Blocker & Soaker Stopper
WHO: Parents who have experienced one too many poopsplosions or urine-soaked baby in the morning.
WHAT: New contraptions contain the mess (one for up the back, one for the front) – preventing soiled clothes and sheets.
WHEN: How many more times do you want to cut a poop-soaked onesie off your child?
WHERE: blowoutblocker.com

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Toddler Puzzle Woozle
WHO: Parents of toddlers suffering from iPad guilt.
WHAT: Rated the #1 educational app for toddlers, this is one you’ll both be happy about.
WHEN: You need a break.
WHERE: apple.com

LilleBaby Carrier
WHO: Parents (or soon-to-be) in need of a baby carrier.
WHAT: Hailed as a brilliant cross between the BabyBjorn and Ergo, this carrier offers 6 different carrying positions. With no infant insert required, the weight range for this carrier is birth to 45lbs.
WHEN: Give it a try before deciding which one is right for you.
WHERE: lillebaby.com

Ultra Violet Turbans
WHO: Stylish moms with baby or toddler girls.
WHAT: What’s cuter than a little girl in a chic turban? Only the fact that for every one purchased, another is given to a child fighting cancer.
WHEN: Before spring.
WHERE: ultravioletkids.com

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Reese Witherspoon

Fun fact: I grew up with Reese Witherspoon. We met on the first day of high school and were attached at the hip for the next four years.

We were football cheerleaders, avid concert-goers (I’ve got to let you know, I’ve got to let you know… you’re one of my kiiind), mallrats, huge Doors fans (i.e. saw the movie three times in the theater and had Jim Morrison posters on our walls), and Type-A honor roll students – work hard, play hard.

So it’s no surprise to me that her story includes an Oscar win, three beautiful kids – Ava (15), Deacon (11), and Tennessee (2) – and a Hollywood career that’s the stuff of dreams.

But there’s a lot more to Reese than red carpets. When she couldn’t find strong roles for women, she went and started a production company to produce just that (i.e. Wild and Gone Girl, with many more in the works). She’s launching her own lifestyle brand this spring, Draper James, that’s an ode to her Southern roots. And ask any of her friends – they’ll tell you she gives excellent parenting advice that she just picked up from, oh you know, Nelson Mandela (!!).

Read on for all of that and more from my kind, hilarious, super-smart, beautiful, and talented friend Reese Witherspoon.

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Baby Joy

When I found out I was pregnant with a third baby, I really had no idea how the older kids would feel about a new little person, particularly because of the age gap, but the older kids have been so helpful with Tennessee. They love to get him out of his crib and play with him. He makes us all laugh and sometimes starts family dance parties that would normally never happen. He brings out the best in all of us.

Food for Thought

The first few months with a baby are so disorienting. I felt like my brain was scrambled eggs, and I think it is, understandably, hard to get dressed or even get out of the house – you have to go easy on yourself. Having prepared foods in the fridge and freezer was essential because thinking about cooking made me want to cry.

Bouncing Back

I love the Belly Bandit. I swear it made my back hurt less and helped my abdomen get back to its regular shape. Those ab muscles are nonexistent after birth, and it provides support while you get your body back to working order.

Her New Baby

I’m launching an online business called Draper James in May. I love all the Southern traditions that I grew up with. My grandmother instilled in me a love for dressing up and hosting family. She surrounded herself with colorful flowers and beautiful things. I wanted to bring all these ideas to a retail experience – it’s my way of giving back to the place I love the most. We will sell products made in the South by local artisans who are sharing their own traditions (think looming blankets, casting silver, and denim). I can’t wait for people to see it because I have had so much fun working on it!

Organized Chaos

It is hard to manage everything. I have a great assistant Rachel, and a nanny, Rachel (I know, it’s confusing!) who keep me organized. I keep my schedule and the kids’ schedules (in a different color, of course) on my iPhone, so I know what is going on at all times.

Good Kids

I try to raise grounded kids. We say grace at dinner every night, reminding us how blessed we are. I truly believe the antidote to self-obsession is service to others, so I take the kids to help at food banks and visit veterans at the VA.

Good Parents

No one feels 100% confident as a parent. We are all just trying our best. As long as you are always trying to be better at it – reading parenting blogs in the bath, swapping stories with other moms during a yoga class, googling how to talk about puberty with your preteen – you are doing a good job.

The Doubt

I constantly question myself: Have I exposed them to the right amount of culture (no), do I spend enough time with each of them as individuals (probably not), do I have the right amount of work/family balance (who knows!). I’m trying!

Memories

Take one nice picture of the kids every year. It’s important that they feel loved, cherished, and remembered for each year of their lives. Plus, it’s a great tradition for them to have with their own families one day too.

Good Advice

I had a brilliant coach in my life who once told me that the things parents say to their kids is written in their minds with a Sharpie. In other words, your words stay forever – if you tell them they’re fat and lazy, they will always feel fat and lazy. If you tell them they’re going to be great human beings that will bring good into the world, they will. That really stuck with me.

Once In A Lifetime Moment

I will never forget meeting Nelson Mandela. Ava was 18 months old and while she sat on his lap, I asked him, “What did your mother say to you when you were a little boy?” And he said, “Every night, before I went to bed, she told me I was going to be a wonderful person when I grew up.” Your words are powerful and formative, so be gentle with your kids and talk to them with kindness and respect.

On The Go, Go, Go

We travel a lot, and it can be hard for the kids with school. I want them to have stability, so often I’m flying two or three times a week to make sure I don’t miss important concerts or birthdays. The flip side is my kids are incredible travelers and they have lived all over the world. I am so proud of the way they acclimate to new environments and are genuinely curious about other people’s lives – those are great skills to have in life.

Sundays, I’m In Love

I love Sundays. We go to church, brunch, and then just relax at home. We watch TV, play outside, and I attempt to cook dinner or bake something. Its all very relaxing and it reminds me how lucky I am to have such a wonderful family.

Alone Time

I love to go to a movie by myself. Sitting in a dark theatre, getting swept up in a story or laughing at actors I love – it’s nice to just forget about phones, computers, all the business of life, and just be alone for a minute.

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Birthday Box

It may seem like a well-stocked gift closet is just another figment of Pinterest’s imagination. But they really do exist!

And we should know – because we have one.

Here’s how to stock your own before the playgroup birthday party invites come rolling in.

Step One

Pick a space. If an unused closet seems like a suburban fantasy, designate a single shelf or drawer as your go-to spot.

Step Two

Pack a bin full of the gift wrap basics so you’re never left without the finishing touch.

bb-scissors

Scissors

$9.99
Cricket’s Circle
navy-shop

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Neon Tape

$3.99
Cricket’s Circle
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Gift Wrap

From $2.95
Paper Source

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Personalized Gift Tags

From $15
Minted

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Baker’s Twine

From $2
The Twinery

Step Three

Stock the loot. (We generally look for items between $10-$30.) Think gender neutral, crowd pleasers that store easily – in other words no clunky boxes or oversize toys. Buy in bulk so you always have extras on hand.

Our favorite finds for ages 1, 2, and 3.

Books

Make it Special: Inscribe the inside cover with a personal note.

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Fabric Books

$29.95
Pockets of Learning

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Alphablock

$16.95
Cricket’s Circle
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An Awesome Book

$12.74
Cricket’s Circle
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Art

bb-ediblepaint

Edible Finger Paint

$29.99
We Can Too

bb-animalcrayons

Animal Crayons

$12
Cricket’s Circle
navy-shop

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Jumbo Drawing Pad

$4.95
Cricket’s Circle
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Finger Printing Art Set

$6.99
Cricket’s Circle
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Keith Haring Paint Set

$18
Cricket’s Circle
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Puzzles

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Plan Toys Twisted Puzzle

$14.99
Cricket’s Circle
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Janod Fish Puzzle

$19.99
Citrus Lane

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ABC Zoo Puzzle

$23.99
Cricket’s Circle
navy-shop

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3-D Tree Puzzle

$24.95
Cricket’s Circle
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Balancing Boat Game

$20
Cricket’s Circle
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bb-alextoys

Alex Toys Mosaics

$10.99
Cricket’s Circle
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Imagination

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Animal Puppets

$19.99
Oriental Trading

bb-eyespy

Eye Spy Camera

$11
Romp

bb-tigerdress

Tiger Dress-Up Set

$24.95
Cricket’s Circle
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bb-pretend

Pretend Milk & Eggs Set

$19
PB Kids

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Zoo Crew Tattoo Set

$19
Shak Shuka

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Kinetic Sand

$15
Cricket’s Circle
navy-shop

Learning Toys

bb-balancingbaker

Balancing Baker

$14
Cricket’s Circle
navy-shop

bb-rainbow

Rainbow Stacker

$22
Romp

bb-memorygame

Memory Game

$19.99
Cricket’s Circle
navy-shop

bb-doctor

Doctor Kit

$22.99
Cricket’s Circle
navy-shop

bb-rainbowsatcker

ABC Magnatab

$24.99
Cricket’s Circle
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bb-memgame

Constructor Set

$20
Cricket’s Circle
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