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When it comes to motherhood, Stacey Bendet Eisner is about as hands-on as it gets. The founder of Alice and Olivia and mom to two precious girls (Eloise, 5; Scarlett, 3) whips up specialty “green milk” drinks for the girls each morning and takes on crafts with a Martha-esque fervor. Yet she’s seemingly always decked out (literally, like in ball gowns) with full makeup and signature oversized vintage sunglasses – looking fun-loving, lithe and seriously together.

So just how does she do it? She starts each morning with an hour of yoga (before the girls even wake up), is committed to a mantra of ‘love yourself’, and focuses just as much on the fun parts of parenting (lemonade stands for charity!) as she does on the tricky tasks like disciplining her strong-willed daughter.

Lest she seem a bit, well, perfect, read on for her #momfail and somewhat unhealthy habit – plus more juicy details from the gorgeous and zany life of the A+O cover girl.

Everyday Namaste

I’m a hardcore Ashtangi, do it every day – some mornings at home and a few days a week with Eddie Stern.  Most of the time I’m all glam, but every morning I’m with my people – a bunch of folks covered in tats and sweat. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day.

Post-Pregnancy Secret

Yoga while pregnant is so soothing for yourself and the baby. It was the intense practices I did while pregnant that helped me bounce back right away – I was stronger from practicing with all that extra weight!

Wisest Advice

My dad always said, children are 80% hardwired at birth and 20% is up to you to mold. It’s so true. It’s important to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and keep that in mind every day. We call Eloise ‘The Little Force’ because she’s such a dynamo but can be bossy. My role is to teach her kindness and compassion. My youngest is an adorable glutton. She’ll hang out on the floor, staring at the ceiling. When I ask what she’s doing, she’ll say, “I’m just being happy.”

What’s In A Name

When Eric [Eisner] and I were dating, he lived in LA. I always stayed in a hotel, so he called me Eloise, plus that was my favorite book. When I was pregnant, I just knew I had a little redhead girl in me, and I was right! The second time, it was his love of The Grateful Dead, which he always listened to while I was pregnant. I love the song “Scarlet Begonias” so…

Newest Craving

I’m usually a healthy eater, but I’ve recently become a sucker for the Ice Blendeds at Coffee Bean because they opened one near my office. I never drank coffee until my second child, but I haven’t slept a full night since she was born – it’s always something. They were great sleepers in cribs, but once they got into big girl beds, it was all over.

My Learning Curve

Discipline is sometimes a struggle for me. My oldest is strong-willed and was jealous of her little sister. Her teacher pointed out that I was letting her be the boss and I totally was! I was talking to her like I was her buddy, not mom. So I stopped asking her and started telling her what to do. It didn’t come easily to me, but her tantrums were controlling my life. It’s so important to set rules and boundaries – kids actually want that. I don’t like being strict, but setting parameters has really helped her behavior.

Current Closet Crush

My favorite pieces change daily, but I’m currently obsessed with a hand-dyed silk ribbon-stripe skirt. It’s being made for Alice and Olivia next spring, but the samples arrived in the wrong colorway, so it’s mine.

Stacey Bendet, Chef de Cuisine

I make the girls whole wheat quinoa waffles in the mornings. Cut to… we’re staying at the Pierre Hotel while our home is being renovated, and the girls experienced real waffles. They told me I need to learn to make waffles like that. I’m in big trouble!

Meet George

I think up creative projects in advance and don’t waste time on the set-up because their attention spans are short. We made up a character named Naughty George and paint him doing mischievous things, making up stories about what he did. We’re creating a whole book!

The Key To A Good Vacation

My advice is: BRING HELP so you can truly relax and rest. It’s not a real vacation if you’re busy with the kids the whole time. It’s important to do things to make yourself happy and to have time alone with your husband.

Simply Put

Love yourself. The happier you are, the better you’re going to be with your baby.

Last Word

Instead of “bothering”, Eloise says to Scarlett, “you’re fathering me.”

Keeping Her Day Job

I’ve recognized with harsh reality that I have the worst singing voice in the world. Ever. You see moms singing lullabies to their babies, and it’s so sweet, but not with me!

Be Nice

In response to things like the Boston Marathon bombings, I started the Kindness Project, which is an effort to spread a message of love, kindness and peacefulness via beautiful watercolor murals in public places with positive messages attached to them. People are welcome to take, share or add their own. We do the same thing with the kids outside on our stoop. It’s a good way of teaching them about sharing and kindness. They get to paint and practice writing.

Heart Melted

Recently, Eloise got up one morning and wanted to have a lemonade stand and give all the money to charity, so that’s what we did! It was all her idea – she’s a go-getter. We whipped up cake pops and lemonade and made $105, and we donated it to the Ronald McDonald House.

Make iRules

The girls are so skilled with that iPad. My little one learned all her letters from an iPad app! I’ve designated mornings for watching something educational, like Magic School Bus or programs in Spanish.

My Go-To Skin Cure-all

Homeoplasmine is amazing for any sort of rash or dry skin. It was only available in Paris, but now you can get it here.

Biggest #Momfail

According to my husband, it’s that I let the girls eat candy, but I’m okay with it because they eat organic, healthy meals all the time.

BS Detector

With my first pregnancy, I was young and sorta clueless. With my second, I was anxious because I knew all the things that could potentially go wrong. I couldn’t be all la-di-dah. I just don’t get the blissful pregnant people, but maybe that’s because I’m a Type-A New Yorker.

With Three Hours Alone

I’d get a facial at Christine Chin and go vintage shopping at The Way We Wore Showroom.

Read Stacey’s Little Black Book of Activities for Kids

Cricket’s Circle IRL: Rachel’s Sip & See

Last month we gathered for what can best be summed up as Cricket’s Circle come to life: a Sip & See celebrating our founder Rachel and her second baby, Gemma. Not only did it channel the warmth, fun, and beauty we strive for on the site, but many of the guests – awesome moms with serious accomplishments – are CC profile alumnus (including the event’s gracious and charming hostess, One Kings Lane co-founder Ali Pincus). We had to share a few of the photos with you because it seemed fitting that it’s not a true CC moment without our readers. Plus, you’re going to want to steal a few of these high-impact, minimal-effort moves that made it so memorable. And speaking of wanting to steal…

Like mother, like daughter: Gemma is already killing it in the footwear department.

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THE SCENE

The Rooftop at the NoMad Hotel, a warmly elegant space with layered antique rugs and stunning city views – made all the more lush with plenty of flowers.

Copy this: Instead of dealing with floral arrangements, go to the flower market (or: Whole Foods EARLY) and choose the most enormous, stunning blooms, and put single stems in clusters of glass vases. How crazy-beautiful are these dinnerplate dahlias?

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The Guest List

Lto R: One Kings Lane co-founder Ali Pincus, Ivanka Trump Creative Director and blogger Marisa Kraxberger, Ivanka Trump, Compas’ Amanda Tarter, FEED Projects SVP Kim Nemser, co-founder Mini Mode Colleen Crivello, Instagram’s Director of Fashion Partnerships Eva Chen.

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The Meal

LOTS of coffee (hi, this is a working moms’ brunch), a tower of flaky, melt-in-your-mouth croissants (let’s split one! OK wait, no, let’s each have our own), savory quiche, and the biggest hit: A creamy avocado toast our team is still dreaming about.

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Copy This: The NoMad’s Chef Daniel Humm kindly shared his recipe that we’ve already recreated at home twice:

I took 3 avocados with about a ¼ cup of lime juice, added salt to taste, and pureed them in the blender until really smooth. You will need to cut the avocados up pretty small to get the puree started in the blender.

For the bread, I used Miche which is a rye bread. I took a good amount of olive oil and brushed both sides of the bread. The toast is at its best in a really hot oven – about 500 degrees with a high fan, if you have convection. After the bread is toasted, I smeared the Avocado puree on the bread and topped with fresh slices of avocado, fleur de sel, and cracked black pepper.

The Warm Fuzzies

Host Ali welcomed us all to the brunch and then revealed the day’s “activity”: We were all to answer one of three questions for baby Gemma on pale pink paper to be bound into a book.

Copy This: Grab some thick cardstock in your favorite color and a selection of pens so guests can create their own messages – it’s a perfect keepsake for mom and an easy and sweet way for guests to pass on well wishes and advice. PLUS: Prep each plate with an automatic thank-you (slash table decor) with a color-coordinated bag of sweets. Whether guests polish them off on the way home or ration them out as potty training treats for their own littles, it’s a perfect way to wrap up the event on a memorable and sweet (see what we did there?) note.

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All images by Belathée Photography

karen mordechai

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You know when you stumble upon a magazine spread or Instagram rabbit hole of a picturesque dinner party of perfectly dressed people having (what looks like) riveting conversation over farm-fresh food at a beautifully set table, and you start to feel really bad about your Saturday night of Chinese food and bad TV?

Karen Mordechai is responsible for those photos. But her aim isn’t to make you feel guilty: It’s to inspire you to get in the kitchen to cook and share meals. Her company, Sunday Suppers, started out as a series of beautiful, low-key dinner parties… and 5 years later has transformed into one of NYT’s top cookbooks and a second burgeoning business. Along the way, Karen has become a tastemaker endorsed by the likes of The Today Show, Martha Stewart, and Food & Wine.

Her aesthetic strips away the unnecessary – leaving simple beauty. One look at her Instagram handle, and you’ll understand why she has 233K followers and is considered as much a lifestyle expert as a cook and photographer.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, her presence is as calming as her images. Talking to her is soothing – there is no chaos in her voice. But instead of being envious of how seamlessly she manages her businesses and home life, you think wait a minute, maybe I can make a beautiful dinner tonight too!

Meet the inspiring Karen Mordechai.

#Obsessed

Because of our new line ILĀ , I’m obsessed with ingredients — their quality, how they are sourced, and how to use them beautifully in the kitchen. I’m equally obsessed with my little girl and have been every step of the way. She is starting kindergarten this fall and I’m not sure how that’s possible. The time has flown by and I just want to keep her 4 3/4 and right by my side forever.

Stressing Over…

Launching a new business! We’re about a week or so into our Kickstarter for a product line that has been my dream for many years. And seeing it come to life is both amazing and intense. I think I had forgotten how much care and attention goes into a young business.

Dream Meal

We just got back from Italy, so I would say a Tuscan steak, burrata, tomatoes and fresh truffle pasta.

Go-To Family Dinner

Hands down fish tacos. They’re super easy and also great for when you have friends over.

In Her Fridge

My refrigerator, as expected, is always full. Think greens, broccoli, kale, a cooked pot of quinoa, roasted beets, and staples like avocados, mushrooms, goat cheese and olives for Sophia (they are her favorite).

Chef Dreams

I would love to cook a meal with Julia Child or Alice Waters.

Wakey, Wakey

In the morning, I go to Instagram and my email— usually in that order.

On The Old Balance Topic…

Like most moms, I really struggle with balance. I’m hard on myself about finding time for Sophia, my husband, work, and myself without having any category feel under-nourished. I over-do things as a general rule and should let some of that go, but you know, easier said than done.

Life Hack

I try to streamline food making, so I’ll make a big pot of grains on Sunday for the week, or roast beets, or a whole chicken. And then lunches and dinners are easier. I spend less time cooking and more time on assembly. I’m also a huge fan of lists. I make a grid in my notebook and separate all the categories – home, work, studio, personal, Sophia. It’s kind of like a reflection of all the things bouncing around my brain, but I can see them visually on paper— in distinct boxes— and somehow that makes it easier to manage.

Raising Kids In NYC

The best thing is that there is culture at every turn. And the early exposure to the realities of life – both good and bad. We recently had to explain homelessness to Sophia because a man on the subway got up and told his story and asked for help. I saw an empathy in her eyes and I thought that’s actually very cool – what an interesting perspective she must have at the age of 4.

Parenting Is HARD

The care and the nurturing part comes easy. The rest becomes a challenge – becoming the parent that you would admire, setting boundaries and being structured, but also creating an ease and fluidity. These things challenge me all the time.

Her Comfy Clothes

l like linen, loose, comfortable, and hopefully a little chic with a pair of cool kicks. My go-to brands are Madewell, Black Crane, Elizabeth Suzann, and Steven Alan.

How She Unwinds

I need some form of quiet time. I’m actually a very introverted person and the time alone recharges me: Having coffee outside at Marlow and Sons. Stealing time for a yoga class at Abhaya. Or getting a massage at Great Jones Spa. A weekend away with a girlfriend is also a must at least once a year.

#Momfail

I actually forgot to pick up Sophia from school! It was the early days, when she first started nursery school, and somehow I thought I was supposed to pick her up at 4 p.m. So I sat gingerly sipping a tea at a coffee shop and at 3:15 pm the phone rang. It was her teacher asking where we were, so of course I rushed over frantically.

Eva Amurri Martino

Eva Amurri Martino charmed us in our recent interview, and then once again when she launched her blog Happily Eva After. Turns out the actress (and mom of Marlowe, 1, and daughter of Susan Sarandon) is also a funny, relatable writer when it comes to motherhood, style, and healthy living.

And yet, her recent post, where she opens up about her miscarriage with baby number two, moved us deeply: So much so that we got her permission to share it with you all. We appreciate how openly and honestly she conveys her sentiments, and, in the process, makes it easier for other women to share their stories. Thank you, Eva.

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It’s with a lot of heartache that I tell you Kyle, Marlowe, and I have some sad family news to share. I am sharing in the hopes that we can be a light for people going through similar circumstances, and to remind myself and others that there is no shame in voicing our heartbreaks and allowing others to comfort us.

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A couple of days ago, the baby I was carrying passed away. I was nine weeks pregnant. When we found out we were expecting baby number two, we were scared and joyful all at the same time. Two babies under two! I was filled with nervous excitement– so amazed that Marlowe would have a sibling so close in age. Kyle and I hoped it was another girl. I was feeling great, with only minimal nausea and as much fatigue is to be expected with a toddler and the first trimester of pregnancy. While we were on vacation in Hawaii, we took some “Big Sis” photos with Marlowe, and began to tell her about the baby. Towards the end of our trip, I began to experience some spotting, but once I returned to Los Angeles, I got the all-clear from my doctor. We heard the heartbeat on multiple occasions, and watched our baby growing at a normal rate. When we celebrated Marlowe’s birthday, we shared the news with our families and closest friends.

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At my next visit for a routine ultrasound, however, the baby’s heart was no longer beating. Just like that, it was all over. I remained in the office and went through the procedure to remove the baby from my uterus. I am so grateful to my wonderful doctor and his amazing staff, who were all so kind, compassionate, and loving with our family throughout the experience. I couldn’t have asked for better care as I went through such a painful day.

My doctor told me that this was most likely a case of there being an underlying major developmental problem with the fetus, and that it had simply stopped growing. That nature had taken its course in the most brutally honest and simple way that nature sometimes works. He also shared with me that this is heartbreakingly common (I won’t tell you the specific statistic because I don’t want to give anyone any unnecessary anxiety, but let’s just say we definitely all know at least one person this has happened to) Of course the fact that it is common doesn’t do anything to help the pain. But what was so shocking to me is how common miscarriages are, versus how little I hear them talked about. I’m not sure if this is because people are ashamed to suffer this loss, or whether the loss is simply too painful to share (I can see how this could be the case also).

To anybody enduring similar heartache, I will tell you what I’m feeling and processing as a result of this loss: A lot of confusion, some anger, deep sadness, and also an immense amount of gratitude. I have realized in the past forty-eight hours how incredibly grateful I am for the magic that I have in my life. I have the most amazingly supportive husband, and two loving families. I have wonderful friends, who have brought me nearly to my knees with their care and compassion during this hard time. And most of all, I have a healthy and happy daughter who I can hold in my arms and whisper in to her ear how much I adore her and how blessed I feel that I was lucky enough to bring her in to the world. I have so much.

Of course what I don’t have, and what I never will have, is this one little angel who has slipped away from me. And while it will take time for me to make peace with that fact, it gives me a lot of solace knowing that I told– that I have shared its existence with you, that it mattered, and that we loved it. And that will have to do.

Thank you for listening to our story.

xoxox

EAM