stacey_bendet

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

Comments   Comments   Comments

JenniKayne

We’ve been fans of designer Jenni Kayne ever since we discovered her laid-back, chic clothing line and signature D’Orsay flats years ago. Her effortless, LA-steeped vibe is 100% authentic – the girl doesn’t even blow dry her hair!

Jenni grew up in Santa Monica and now lives in Beverly Hills (cue the jaw-dropping!) with her real-estate agent husband Richard Ehrlich, son Tanner (6), and daughter Ripley (3.5). Having launched her first collection at 19, she’s well on her way to creating a brand empire that emulates her West Coast lifestyle – 4 boutiques, the inspiring Rip + Tan blog that she writes herself, and of course season after season of cute clothes and shoes.

Jenni spent last weekend transforming the front half of her West Hollywood store into a lifestyle shop, much like the Jenni Kayne Home outpost in Montecito. It’s Rip + Tan brought to life: a spot to shop curated housewares and travel finds alongside her collection of boxy blazers, tailored pants, feminine blouses, and those perfect everyday flats.

More

Come spring, we’ll be seeing a slightly different look from her, as it’s her first collection with a new designer: “It’s much more in line with my personal uniform, and I think my readers will find it speaks to their practical lifestyle and what they want to wear.”

We got more details on that “uniform”, as well as her key to glowing skin, her trick to stop a toddler tantrum in its tracks, and much more.

Meet the ultimate California girl Jenni Kayne.

Her Uniform

My look totally changed after kids, but I haven’t sacrificed style at all. I have to be able to get on the floor and be comfortable, and I have a uniform: high-waisted Acne jeans with a Jenni Kayne tee or button down and Jenni Kayne flats, loafers, or Birkenstocks.

Toys Du Jour

Tanner is outgrowing our playroom, so we are in transition mode. I have always been about wood toys and no plastic, but we’ve gotten really into Zoobs, Magnatiles, and Legos. He’s really into building and games, so guess who has a foosball table in her house?!

Ripley loves dressing up – she’s really into princesses and I refuse to go the Disney polyester route. So I’ve stocked a rack with costumes from Wovenplay, The Creator’s Touch, and Fire & Creme in Venice – the owner, Peggy, is French and has great costumes from Paris.

Keys To Parenting

You have to learn how to be flexible, patient, and focused. I’m a Virgo, so that can be difficult. I am always striving for balance – when the kids were younger, I used to take them to work, but that wasn’t very productive. And they notice when I’m on my phone in the playroom. So now I separate the two and am far less distracted and more productive.

Making time for me – yoga and horseback riding – keeps me sane. So does my great team at work.

Parenting Is Hard

Not having control over things is hard for me, especially when I see either of my kids struggling with something, and I don’t have the ability to fix it or make it better. Breaks my heart!

Fashion Pet Peeve

Get dressed! It makes me crazy when people wear workout clothes throughout the entire day.

Good Advice

When your kids are young and having a tantrum, you can’t force them out of it, but you can change the subject to something more interesting and fun for them. The art of distraction is brilliant!

Giddy Up!

I grew up in LA and rode horses in Topanga until I was 18, and I have been saying for years that I would get back into it. I finally did it this year, and I am hooked! I ride 2 or 3 times a week at Sullivan Canyon, and Ripley is taking lessons too. I’m learning how to jump – it’s pretty crazy!

Memorable Purchase

I recently took my daughter to Neiman Marcus for fro-yo (something my mom and I used to do together), and we walked right by the Oscar de la Renta section where I spied the perfect black dress. I’ve always loved my mom’s ODLR dresses, and I didn’t own one – this fit me brilliantly, and it felt like a sign, so I bought it!

Family Time

Weekends are my favorite. My husband and Tanner are taking surfing lessons together, so Ripley and I go and hang at the beach. Then we all go for lunch afterwards at Brentwood Country Mart. And for dinner, we love going to Fresh Corn Grill or Pizzeria Mozza – always early.

3 Hours Alone

I would go horseback riding then get a facial at Terri Lawton, who does cranial work, so you leave glowing and feeling like you had a deep tissue massage.

Secret Talent

I love needlepointing. I don’t turn them into anything because it’s not my style, but I love the process of starting and finishing one. It’s so satisfying! I should probably find something that suits my aesthetic more.

Name, You’re It!

With Tanner, we knew we were having a boy, but we hadn’t decided on a name. The day we went to the hospital, we went through a name book and towards the end, we saw Tanner. We both loved it, especially my husband because he’s a huge fan of Bad News Bears, so that was it. With Ripley, a friend of ours had a brother named Ripley and they kept describing him as this cool, eccentric guy. We both loved it and decided boy or girl, the next one would be named that. Her middle name is Jewel, so if she wants to switch them up later in life, she can do that. But I hope not!

Comments   Comments   Comments

Less
5 Tips To Raise Grounded Kids

As if providing for your little isn’t challenging enough, it’s also your responsibility to make sure he’s healthy emotionally (gulp). For our how-to-not-screw-up-your-kid questions, we always turn to Erica Komisar, a New York-based psychotherapist and parenting coach with two decades of experience helping parents raise emotionally-balanced kids. Here she shares 5 essential truths about toddlers – and the top takeaways for you.

1

Put Words In Their Mouth

Truth: Your child relies on you to translate what they are feeling – so help them out!Takeaway: Stop asking questions your toddler can’t answer (“What’s wrong babe?”) and take a guess: “You’re mad because you want to sleep over with the monkeys at the zoo” and then deflect, “but let’s go home, eat dinner, and read the monkey book!”

More

2

Keep Calm

Truth: Your kid learns to regulate emotions through you.Takeway: Duh: cursing, pot-throwing, and slamming doors are out. But you should try to choose a deep breath over an angry huff whenever possible. Likewise, celebrate life’s joyful moments: “Look, hunny, my J. Crew package arrived! Hooray!”

3

Set Limits

Truth: Kids need limits. Without them, they feel fearful and unloved.Takeaway: Use sensitivity when setting the rules: “I know you feel sad about going to bed now, but if you go to bed now you’ll have energy to play tomorrow.” Repeat like the broken record you have become. Moderate limits are best – too strict can create anxiety in a child.

4

Engage Immediately After Distractions

Truth: You child learns how to cope with frustration and stress via you.Takeaway: While at the park together, you have to take a work call and must ignore him for a few minutes. As soon as you finish, reconnect with him immediately: “Sorry about that, sweetie. Mommy is back and ready to play now.” This builds resilience and patience.

5

Acknowledge That Change Is Hard

Truth: Even small transitions can be hard for young children (going to bed, waking up, going to school), so be present, patient, and attentive.Takeaway: If drop-off at nursery school is bringing on a lot of tears, get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning to spend quality time together beforehand – read a book about going to school. It’ll relieve some of the anxiety.

Comments   Comments   Comments

Less
dressup

Somewhere around age 2 1/2 to 3, every day turns into what feels like Halloween: imagination takes flight and pretend play becomes a thing. Be prepared, you’re going to need dress-up clothes (and lots of them!).

Toddlers gravitate towards archetypes and realistic items for role play, but over time their imaginations grow, so make your collection a mix of representational items (fire chief hat, princess dress) and less obvious finds (scarves, goggles, antennae) that foster creativity.

And when it comes to gender, we’ve seen little girl construction workers and little boys in tutus play for hours on end. In other words, in our costume boxes there are no gender “rules”.

Princesses

Etsy is a goldmine. LoverDovers and Heart Felt Costumes do Disney costumes you can feel good about – they’re machine washable and lovingly handmade. The Creator’s Touch is for future couture clients (with price tags to match), but they’re showstoppers.

princess1

princess2

princess3

More

Knights

You can fight the no-weapons battle in your house, or you can get this knit helmet, shield, and sword. After all, creativity is mightier than the sword.

knights

Super Heroes

With great power comes great responsibility – and of course the need for an awesome flying super hero costume and a tiger cape. Lovelane kills it in this category.

super_heroes1

super_heroes2

121_DressUp_v4_03

Animals

It’s a jungle in that playroom, so why not let them roar, flit, and fly.

animal1

animal2

animal3

Fairies

Mix and match your own midsummer’s night dream fairy or opt for the tutu and wing combination.

faires

faires2

Police & Firemen

Leave it to the cops and firefighters to keep your house safe. (As long as they have the waterpack and boots, of course.)

police

fireman

Doctor

A pint-size pediatrician with the essentials kit is not only fun but also a great way to work through doctor’s office anxiety.

doctor

doctor2

Hats

Sometimes all you need is a tip of the hat. To wit: a train conductor, chef, construction worker, cowboy/girl, pirate, and crowns. Lots and lots of crowns.

hat1

hat2

hat3

hat4

hat5

hat6

Accessories

The extras – boas, scarves, beads, masks, antennas, glasses, wands – will work overtime once your kiddo wraps her head around the idea of mix-and-match. Your closet is also a treasure trove of items: Comb through your old purses, shoes, boots, ties, belts, vests, and other embarrassing accessories from the 90s (that crushed velvet babydoll dress looks better on an actual baby) to complete their collection.

accessories1

accessories2

accessories3

Storage

Depending on your threshold for wrinkles and clutter, we suggest a costume rack (so you can hang and organize flawlessly) or a trunk to stash it all out of sight. If you want a cheapie, this will do the trick.

storage

Comments   Comments   Comments

Less