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

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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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