Soleil Moon Frye

If you were a child of the 80s, you know her as Punky Brewster. It’s not often you see a child star disappear from the limelight and emerge on a new path of total success, but Soleil Moon Frye did just that.

Not only is she a totally hands-on mom of three (Poet, 8.5; Jagger, 6; and Lyric, 5 months), but she’s also a badass entrepreneur with an empire of kid-friendly companies. There’s Moonfrye, an app and website dedicated to getting crafty with littles – and her DIY projects are actually easy and fun (for you too, we swear). She’s the host of Home Made Simple on the OWN network, author of Let’s Get This Party Started, co-owner of eco apparel shop The Little Seed, Today Show contributor, a Target Mommy Ambassador, and she just launched PSXO – a chic line of party decor that also gives back, so for each party box you purchase, you’re “bringing a little celebration to someone in need.”

Amongst all that, she still found time to chat with us about how she stumbled on her kids’ unusual names, her favorite art projects and the guilty pleasure her husband does not approve of.

And in case you’re feeling nostalgic, Punky Brewster lives on (thank you, YouTube).

DIY Master

The girls and I have so much fun getting crafty. Some of our favorite DIY projects are making stress balls, concocting slimey goo and anything to do with collaging. We went through a homemade crayons phase – you take all the little crayon nubs around the house, break them into little pieces, put them in silicone molds (mix and match colors) and bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes.

Start ‘Em Young

My earliest memories are of baking with my mom, who was a chef – I remember sitting on the counter stirring batter. I started doing fun projects with my kids as soon as they could sit up – we would freeze toys in ice trays for sensory experiments. When they were a bit older, we would blindfold each other and do taste tests of different fun flavors.

Parenting Advice

You’re going to have these incredible moments as a parent where you feel great and empowered and like you’re doing it right. Embrace those moments because the next day, you may feel like you’re doing it all wrong.

Ahem, Yes, It’s True

Early on, people say, cherish the moment because it goes by so quickly, and at first, I was like, Really?! It’s all so new and overwhelming and sure doesn’t seem to be flying by. But turns out, it really is true – I can’t believe Poet is going to be nine. It goes even faster with the second, and it’s flying by with the third.

On The Go

When we aren’t at home, you’ll find us at the beach in Venice, strolling along Abbot Kinney, hitting up the farmers market or getting mom-daughter mani-pedis. On a rainy day, the movies or a museum. And scavenger hunts – we love scavenger hunts!

The Name Game

All of our kids named themselves in a way. Poet was a name we always loved, and on Father’s Day before she was born, we were walking around and said, What should we name her? And we looked up and saw a sign that said poet. We both love the Edgar Allan Poe poem “A Dream Within a Dream”, so we call her Poe for short.

Jagger had a seriously strong kick in my belly, and we felt like she needed a powerful name. We didn’t know if it was a girl or boy, and this worked for either.

With Lyric we were talking about names and saw a sign that said lyric and absolutely loved the name. And we kept seeing signs that said lyric throughout the pregnancy, so it just felt right.

Melt

I love those moments when we’re all together as a family. Lately it’s been group ooohing and ahhhing over baby Lyric (aka honeybunny, sweetie pie and lovebug). We have a lot of impromptu dance parties and cozy snuggles with everyone in our bed. It’s important not to take yourself too seriously.

#Momfail

I’ve had so many of them, even in the last three weeks. I was wearing ridiculous fancy heels at the girls’ school and fell going up a hill, did a couple of flips in front of the whole school! My girls were so sweet, but I was mortified.

Guilty Pleasure

I love indulging in a really bad gossip magazine once in a while. My husband gets on me, but I’m allowed if I’m going on an airplane.

A Night Out

The last time I was out past 1am was at the J/P HRO gala, a charity that is very close to my heart. It was an incredible celebration – people were in town from Haiti and a good time was had by all, including me, and I was really pregnant!

Who Knew?!

I love playing basketball. I used to play on an entertainment league basketball team – all 4’11” of me. I also used to spend summers rollerblading on the Venice boardwalk. I was one of those people!

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stroller resurrection

Your stroller is a means of transportation (just like a bike or car) and it can get all gunked up and slow you down if you don’t take care of it. A random squeak, a sticky brake, or a folding issue is likely from build-up of dirt, sand, salt, hair, raisins, and Cheddar Bunnies.

Thankfully, Sam Osborne from Uppababy happens to be a stroller mechanic of sorts (on top of her day job as a marketing exec), and in most cases, she says stroller woes can be fixed with a good DIY tune-up.

Here are her instructions for solving the most common ailments.

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The Problem:

Baby vommed all over
the stroller.

What You Need:

To start, a strong stomach and plenty of patience. BuggyLove Stroller and Carseat Cleaner or laundry detergent.

What To Do:

Remove fabric from stroller seat (check that manual and pre-treat with BuggyLove or laundry detergent, soak completely. Wash in machine on delicate (as long as you have a front loader machine – if not, handwash) and hang dry immediately.

Pro Tip:

Make sure the fabric dries thoroughly before putting back on stroller, otherwise you run the risk of mold developing.

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The Problem:

A squeaky wheel is driving
you batshit!

What You Need:

BuggyLove Stroller Lubricant, Vaseline, or White Lithium Grease (any hardware store will have)

What To Do:

Remove wheels and wipe clean of any dirt, grit, or salt (the worst culprit). Place a dose of Buggylove Wheel Love, Vaseline, or White Lithium Grease on the wheel shaft and reinsert into stroller.

Pro Tip:

Fixes it almost every time.

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The Problem:

Urine has seeped into the seat and it smells
like you’re pushing a fire hydrant.

What You Need:

BuggyLove Stroller and Carseat cleaner or laundry detergent and Nature’s Miracle Laundry Boost

What To Do:

Wash thoroughly either by hand or on delicate in a front loader machine. Nature’s Miracle works, well, miracles on urine smells and stains.

Pro Tip:

The smells hang around only when fabric is not completely dried, so be sure it dries thoroughly.

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The Problem:

All of a sudden, it feels like you’re pushing uphill even
on flat surfaces.

What You Need:

Elbow grease.

What To Do:

1. Remove all the wheels and make sure there’s no obstruction (refer to your manual on how to remove the wheels). Balloon strings are often the culprit here. 2. Brake mechanisms get filled with gunk. It’s usually a pin that comes out of a tiny hole to stop the wheel. When that hole is filled, you’ve got trouble, so clean it out. 3. Does your stroller have air filled tires? You may just need a quick inflate using a bike pump or the air pump at a gas station to get the job done.

Pro Tip:

One of these 3 things fixes the problem 95% of the time. If you do all 3 and are still having issues, call the manufacturer.

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The Problem:

The brakes are not so trusty. Safety is at risk!

What You Need:

wd-40 or forced air at the gas station (for chemical-free cleaning)

What To Do:

Most brake issues are due to build-up of dirt, sand, and other elements. Remove the back wheels (refer to your manual). Spray the brake housing (in tune-up speak, that’s the metal shaft where the wheel slides into the base) liberally with wd-40 (or forced air) and let it clean out the area. Hit the brake several times while the wheels are off. Place your back wheels back on, and brake should be good as new.

Pro Tip:

It’s a good idea to do this twice a year as a preventative measure.

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The Problem:

There are sunscreen stains all over the canopy.

What You Need:

BuggyLove Stroller and Carseat Cleaner or Dawn Liquid soap

What To Do:

If you opt for BuggyLove, shake the bottle well and squirt right on the stain, for Dawn pre-treat the spot then soak the whole canopy.

Pro Tip:

Mold is the enemy, so make sure it dries completely.

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The Problem:

The locking clip that holds the collapsed stroller together is broken!

What You Need:

bungee cord, carabiner, or zip tie

What To Do:

In a pinch hold it all together with any of the above until you can get a replacement locking clip from the manufacturer.

Pro Tip:

Ideally this is a short-term solution.

If DIY is not your thing, stroller tune-up businesses are launching left and right. Here are some of our favorites.

Stroller Spa

Clean Bee Baby

Baby Bubbles

Clean My Buggy Boo

Sudsy Buggy

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Beauty tips

As a new mom, the only thing more challenging than quieting a screaming newborn is looking bright eyed on little to no sleep. And while we can’t help with how tired you feel, we can offer our real-life bag of beauty tricks – from our inner circle of moms – that will have you looking cute in almost no time. And as for that screaming baby, get yourself a swing stat!

Flyaways

Anastasia brow gel works magic on hideous re-growth wispies around the hairline, without looking the slightest bit greasy or crusty.

Dark Circles

You haven’t gotten a full night’s sleep in months? Slap on Amazing Cosmetics concealer, and no one will be the wiser.

Hair Tutorial

Few things in life get easier after having a baby, but this Birchbox hair tutorial is sheer brilliance – and lets you say goodbye to blowdryers, straight irons, and curling mechanisms.

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No Shower, No Problem

Who needs a shower when you have BlowPro, the most brilliant dry shampoo that instantly de-greases and adds oomph to limp locks.

The Glow

Miracles do happen… if you use the EMK Placental anti-aging mask. Directions say put it on for 10 minutes, but we sleep in it, and the next morning we look fresh and dewy with noticeably fewer lines.

Gisele Locks

Stay on prenatal vitamins. Who wouldn’t want to have thick, magical pregnancy hair at all times?!

Clear Skin

A Russian facialist told us to use Witch Hazel as a toner when acne struck during pregnancy. It worked wonders, and we’re here to say 2 years on the flipside, we are religious about it and our skin has never looked better.

Pick Your One Thing

Pick just one item of makeup that you feel confident putting on and running out of the house with. For us, that’s Kevyn Aucoin mascara but some of our friends swear by a red lip or a pink cheek.

No Bad Hair Days

Have one tried and true method for pulling your hair back in a bun in 3 seconds to feel polished and put together.

Quick Wash

Turns out, washing your face before bed is just too much to ask after a long day. Which is why we keep Somme Transport Pads by the bed. Just one legitimately rids your face of the day’s gunk and leaves it fresh and clean.

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Saturdays With Dannielle Kyrillos

saturdays Dannielle Kyrillos
Lives: The West Village in NYC
Family:
Husband, JP Kyrillos, President of The Daily Meal; son Caspian (Cappy), 2.5
You might know: A little reality show called Top Chef: Just Desserts where Dannielle was a judge. Or her latest project, What’s New With You?
Secret obsession: I have to tell the truth: I adore the Athens, GA-based groovy band Widespread Panic. I’ve seen them play around the world and will do anything to get to a show. Southern fried rock that makes you dance your face off!

danielle

7am:

Is anything better than waking up to someone’s tiny, scraggly toes tickling your ear while the owner of the toes cackles to himself? Caspian seems to mysteriously end up in our bed at some point in the middle of almost every Friday night, and then we all wake up together, relieved it’s the weekend!

7:45am:

Ok, when I said “all wake up together,” that was technically true, but my saint of a husband always, always gets up with the boy and lets me snooze a little longer. But then I hear how much fun they’re having downstairs, so I get up and we have coffee and a little snack (“Breakfast #1″). Cappy builds something with his Magna-Tiles (best, best, most creativity-inducing invention ever), usually a parking garage.

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9am:

We love to go on a “breakfast date” at an easy little diner-y spot down the street called the PATH cafe (quaintly located right next to the entrance to the PATH train). We sit at the counter and visit with Bruce, the straight-out-of-central-casting, wonderful curmudgeon with a heart of gold who works there. We have smoothies and egg wraps and Caspian flirts with fellow diners.

9:45am:

If there is a farmers’ market within a thousand miles, my husband will sniff it out and take us there, so every Saturday we visit the awesome one at Abingdon Square. We buy eggs from Farmer Ben (his wife just had their 13th baby!), veggies from these nice New Jersey farmers, and fish from the fishermen. Caspian holds up the line asking them about their boat, and is recently obsessed with crabs (“Those crabs have a car they drive to the beach. They love that car. It is pink.”)

10:15am:

The market is right next to Bleecker Street Playground, one of Caspian’s most favorite places in the world, so we always stop and play for awhile. It’s really crowded on the weekends so we try to go early before the chaos. It’s impossible not to run into someone, so it’s nice to have more coffee (usually from Upright Brewhouse or The Elk) with the grown-ups while the smaller people play in the sand.

11:30am:

Naps on weekends are so hard these days. This is when we try to wind down the boy and walk him in his stroller (we live on a cobblestone alley so for me the only way to go is the Bob Revolution! What a treat to be able to steer carefully with one hand and enjoy a coffee with the other) until he falls asleep so we don’t have a crazy person on our hands later. I’d say we’re successful 70% of the time. Luckily we live right across the street from the Hudson River so the walking is really scenic.

1pm:

Caspian usually wakes up around this time and we make a little lunch with the farmers’ market goods at home. Grilled vegetables, yummy fish, very easy.

1:45pm:

Sometimes, especially if Cappy wouldn’t go down for a nap because he was too busy acting as one of his alter-egos, Jerry the Kittycat or Blueberry the Dog (“Blueberry” has been known to poop outside on the patio “because dogs poop outside and then their owners pick up the poop”), I beg Saint JP to let me sneak in a nap or a SoulCycle class while they do fun father-son stuff.

2:30pm:

On nice Saturdays we like to take advantage of every minute, so it’s off on “an adventure.” We’ll meet up with friends at a park or someone’s house, we’ll rent bikes and ride along the river, we’ll take our soccer ball and orange plastic cone collection (if your little person likes soccer and has seen them, they are the best, weirdest thing $10 can buy–also good for construction sites), and just run around enjoying the city. Oh, often this involves reviewing real construction sites because Caspian is obsessed and visits “the builders” throughout the week.

5:30pm:

Around this time we get really excited if Caspian says, “How about dinner at Barbuto?” because it’s the greatest luxury in the world after a long day to show up right when it opens for dinner. They are so utterly accommodating to families, and we can all feel like civilized people again. Caspian asks for olives and breadsticks to start, and loves their kale salad because it’s really just a vessel for cheese. The grown-ups drink Pio Cesare barbera, Cappy watches the world go by through the garage doors, and we all feel lucky to live in New York City.

7:30pm:

Bedtime, and not always just for Caspian. We all unwind with books (“Little Blue Truck” and “The Bear’s Sea Escape” are current favorites) and then it’s zzzzzzzzz.

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