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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Rachelle Hruska

Maybe you used to frequent exclusive Fashion Week parties and red carpet premieres. Maybe you always preferred ogling from afar. One thing’s for sure, there’s hardly any reason to go now – not when Guest of a Guest serves up all the best parts (read: fabulous outfits, not: queues for a cocktail) on a daily basis.

Omaha native Rachelle Hruska’s site began with a fly-on-the-wall approach to the NYC 20-somethings nightlife scene and it makes sense: at the time she was still working in finance. In 6 short years – grown to become the site of record for the young-and-photographed crowd from Downtown LA to the District – with an emphasis on her stomping grounds: NYC and Montauk and a healthy heaping of fashion-driven stories to round out those party pics.

While this fizzy, champagne-fueled lifestyle seems to follow Rachelle (her husband Sean McPherson happens to run the city’s chicest boutique hotels & boites), she seldom partakes. Rachelle, Sean and their two boys, Maxwell (2.5) and Dash (10 months), spend weeks in their rustic, bohemian West Village townhouse and weekends in Montauk.

Read on – Rachelle tells us about her secret hobby, baby must-haves, and “doodoo heads” (we’ll let her explain).

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Pregnancy Style

Don’t compromise, just have fun with it! I tried new styles that I normally wouldn’t pull off like long tunic dresses by James Perse. The only maternity items I bought were J. Brand jeans and nursing bras.

The Best Advice

I can’t even remember who told me this, but it’s the best advice: let your children become whoever they want to be and to strive to be the best version of yourself – your children will follow your lead. If all else fails I do what I’ve always done: call my big sister, a mother of four boys, who always knows what to do.

Rah Rah Rah!

I’m really good at getting excited! I’m a “YES” person. It’s so easy to be cynical, much harder to be enthusiastic about things – but it’s crucial to humanity’s progress. When someone tells me their new idea or concept, I’m usually the first to cheer them on. I think if you have an idea you are excited about, you should run with it because that excitement is most likely your soul urging you to march forward.

The Hardest Part

I am painfully sentimental, so one of the most challenging things about being a parent for me is how fast time seems to fly. It’s beautiful but heartbreaking to watch your babies grow up and become their own little beings. It’s hard to let go.

3 Baby Must-Haves

1. The BabyBjorn bouncer was a morning lifesaver: I would sit them in it so they could be at the breakfast table with us. (Note: this is not a recommended use, so don’t try at home!) 2. The Beaba Babycook makes it super easy to pop in whatever we are eating and make instant baby food. 3. Nature Baby and Makie for clothes.

Sleeping In

My business revolves around going to events and covering who was there, but ironically, I don’t really go out much! We have loads of writers that are much better at it than I am! I’m also lucky because my kids are late risers – it’s rare that they are awake before 8am. We tend to let them stay up a little later too.

The Name Game

Maxwell came out of “Maxine” – the name we had chosen for the girl we were certain we were having. We didn’t find out, and my husband was convinced it was a girl and his assuredness wore off on me. We also could only agree on girl names so it was really the only circumstance we planned ahead for. Dashiell was inspired by the writer Dashiell Hammett.

Special Moments

Almost every night, around 7pm after both boys have eaten, we all hang out in our big bed. I literally run home from work because I can’t wait for this hour of giggles, airplane rides, singing, and dancing. We have also been known to build human sandwiches and perfect our Monty Python-style “silly walks.” It is one of the only hours in my weekday that I put my phone in the other room and focus on being present. It’s my version of meditation.

Kids Will Be Kids

Everything and everyone is a “doodoo head” right now according to Maxwell.

3 Hours Alone

My only complaint about parenting is the lack of reading time. I used to read so much more before kids, so if I had 3 hours alone, you’d find me engrossed in a book on my couch. I’m currently reading The Patrick Melrose Diaries and am riveted by it! I have a growing list of books to read: Meditations, Men Without Women, In Search of Lost Time, The Kid Stays In The Picture, The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

Can’t Get Enough

Uber rides, orange juice from Kava in the West Village, and children’s books. I recently just purchased all of the Berenstein Bears books. I loved them as a kid, and it’s fun to reread them with Maxwell.

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10 Blog Posts
Every Mom Swears By

Before motherhood, we groused about baby pictures and viral parenting posts flooding Facebook (so boring!). But as soon as our own offspring came along, we posted Huffington Post essays with the best of them (so cathartic!). A form of social media-stoked Stockholm syndrome? Maybe. But we prefer to think of laughing, crying, and finding validation in parenting think-pieces as a ritual induction into the motherhood club. Below, 10 classic posts and articles you ignored pre-baby that you’ll totally get once you’re on the other side.

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The Post: I Read All the Baby Sleep Books
The Author: Ava Neyer
The Gist: No, you’re not crazy: Sleep experts give wildly conflicting advice.
Read it When: You’re starting to suspect sleep training’s a racket.

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The Post: Babyproof Your Marriage: 10 Things New Dads Need to Know About New Moms
The Author: Marie McKinney-Oates
The Gist: Moms and dads experience the early days of infancy in completely different ways; this spells it out for him.
Read it When: Everything still feels so new. (Make him read it, too.)

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The Post: What I Do All Day When I am Home with the Baby
The Author: Raquel D’Apice
The Gist: A hilariously accurate description of what it’s like to go toe to toe with an infant.
Read it When: All the visitors have gone, paternity leave is over, and you’re flying solo. [/two-column-left]

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The Post: The Mom Stays in the Picture
The Author: Allison Tate
The Gist: Motherhood isn’t always pretty, but your kids think you look like Gisele. So when capturing family memories, fight your urge to stay behind the scenes.
Read it When: You’ve got spit-up on your “going out” sweatpants.

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The Post: The Hardest Two Weeks of My Life
The Author: Joanna Goddard
The Gist: The beloved blogger trades her usually upbeat tone for an honest, accurate description of delayed postpartum depression.
Read it When: You’re feeling lost.

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The Post: You’re a Stay at Home Mom? What do You Do All Day?
The Author: Matt Walsh
The Gist: A dad blasts society and judgy moms for questioning whether parenting is really a full-time job.
Read it When: You’re staying home and your mom friends are finishing maternity leave.

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The Article: Why Women Can’t Have it All
The Author: Anne-Marie Slaughter
The Gist: A former director of policy planning at the State Department explains why American workplace culture and policies made it impossible to juggle high-level government work with parenting two boys.
Read it When: You’re back to work, still sleep-deprived, and mad at the world.

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The Post: There is Only Now
The Author: Liz Gumbinner
The Gist: Squash your working mom guilt and remember that, for kids, what matters is the mom you are in the moment.
Read it When: You’ve got your mojo back.

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The Post: The Day I Stopped Saying, “Hurry Up”
The Author: Rachel Macy Stafford
The Gist:Toddlers move at the pace of molasses. But it’s actually pretty wonderful.
Read it When: You’ve had a particularly manic day.

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The Article: New Parenting Study Released
The Author: Sarah Miller
The Gist: All this navel-gazing about parenthood is really getting out of hand.
Read it When: You’ve OD’d on the above.

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What’s For Dinner?

A printable guide!

Parent conundrum #582:
What to feed your toddler once purees are passe.
1) It should be healthy
2) But he has to want to eat it
3) It needs to be fast – like less-than-10-minutes-to-prep fast.
We’ve got answers – Check, check, and check!

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Breakfast

frozen mini whole wheat pancakes: Top with fruit and microwave for 30 seconds
frozen mini waffles: microwave 30 seconds, top with Barney Butter of your choice and sliced banana
parfait: greek yogurt + seasonal fruit + agave + flax meal (they won’t know it’s in there) + granola
oatmeal: cook big batch of steel cut oats + dried fruit (dates, figs, raisins, cranberries) + cinnamon. repeat other mornings, just add a little milk and reheat in the microwave for 30 secs.
mini whole wheat bagel: toast, spread with Barney Butter or cream cheese, top with banana or avocado slices
scrambled eggs: mix 2 eggs with a splash of milk, scramble, add cheese and veggies for variety

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Lunch / Dinner

spaghetti squash pasta: cut squash in half and roast, scrape squash into strings, add crushed tomatoes (or skip and just add butter), sprinkle lots of parmesan cheese on top.
mac-n-cheese: start with a box of Annie’s. while pasta is boiling, scramble an egg, then add cheese sauce and fresh spinach to egg, mix and add to pasta when done.
quinoa cakes: mix cooked quinoa, veggies, 2 eggs, bread crumbs; form into cakes and bake for 15 minutes at 350. make a big batch and freeze for easy meals. mix and match grains (brown rice, lentils, polenta) and veggies for variety.
bowtie pasta: boil pasta, add store-bought shredded rotisserie chicken with store-bought pesto
modern pb&j: nut butter (peanut, almond or sunflower) + banana slices wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla
omelette: 2 eggs + seasonal or frozen veggies + cheese (mix up cheese and veggies for variety)
broccoli cheese nuggets: mix 1 head of broccoli (or bag of frozen), chopped and drained + 1 cup breadcrumbs + 1.5 cups grated cheese + 3 eggs + herbs or seasoning if you like, form into nugget or other shapes, place on oiled baking sheet, bake 20 minutes at 375 (flip after 10 mins). freeze extras.
quesadillas: two whole wheat tortillas + cheese + rotisserie chicken + veggies cooked in nonstick pan for 4 minutes a side (lightly butter each side before cooking or use cooking spray)
bagel pizzas: mini whole wheat bagels + crushed tomatoes (or pesto) + mozzarella cheese, bake on cookie sheet at 425 for 10 minutes

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Special Treats / Snacks

ice lollies: blend a green shake (kale/spinach/apple/etc) and freeze in popsicle molds
banana: microwave banana in a bowl for 45 seconds, it will caramelize and taste like heaven
smoothies: frozen fruit (such as mixed berries) + juice, milk, almond milk, or yogurt, blend
dipping delights: cut fruit spears (peaches, pears, apples) and dip into vanilla yogurt
kale chips: remove stems and tear leaves into pieces, drizzle with olive oil, spread on cookie sheets, bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.
figgy toast: toast whole grain bread, top with ricotta and sliced figs, drizzle with honey
avocado toast: toast whole grain bread, mash up avocado and squeeze lemon and add salt, spread on toast

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A La Carte

This is what we call mix and match meals. Just pick 3 or 4 from the various categories, and, voila! – lunch or dinner is served.

Protein

meatballs (Earth’s Best beef, Fresh Direct turkey, Coleman chicken)
hot dogs (Applegate beef, chicken, turkey)
hummus (Sabra or Trader Joe’s)
chicken nuggets (Earth’s Best, Applegate Farms)
veggie nuggets (Dr. Praegers, Earth’s Best)
rotisserie chicken (store bought – who has time to roast a chicken?!)

Dairy

yogurt (Stonyfield YoBaby, Fage)
cheese (mini Babybel, Horizon cheese sticks)
cottage cheese (Organic Valley) (mix in jam for added flavor)

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Fruit (whatever’s in season, cut up)

grapes strawberries blueberries pear kiwi banana plum watermelon apple

Veggies

Fresh or frozen. (That whole “frozen veggies don’t have as many nutrients” is bologna.) Steam in a pot with about an inch of water until they’re soft – softer than you’d make for yourself and add butter or a pinch of salt! broccoli florets, cauliflower, carrots, edamame, peas or corn!

Carbs

chickpeas (Goya): open can, rinse, serve
lentils (Trader Joe’s pre-cooked): heat up or don’t
sweet potato: steam, add butter
pasta (Jolie Ravioli, Barilla White Fiber): boil and add butter and parmesean (tomato sauce or pesto for variety)

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