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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eva_chen

1. Dress: Topshop, Shoes: Tibi
2. Dress: Issa
3. Dress: Rebecca Minkoff, Sunglasses: Anthropologie, Bag: Kenzo, Shoes: Tory Burch
4. Fringe Top: DKNY, Tee: Uniqlo, Bag: Edie Parker
5. Dress: Altuzurra, Shoes: Loeffler Randall

For Eva Chen, shopping is a full-time job. Sounds amazing, right? Don’t be fooled – when Anna Wintour hand-picks you to turn a flailing magazine into a smashing success, there’s an immense amount of pressure, but Eva’s not shaking in her Dr. Marten combat boots.

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Quite the opposite in fact. The truly modern editor-in-chief of Lucky (the youngest at the helm of any Conde Nast title) and Chief Creative Officer of The Lucky Group (the new company established to bring the e-commerce part of the business to fruition) is in her element. After 7 years as Beauty Director at Teen Vogue, it’s no surprise Eva was chosen to make everyone’s favorite magazine about shopping actually, well, shoppable.

She understands how young women want to shop because she is one of them. And she’ll never tell you that piece you splurged on last season is “out” – instead, she’ll show you how to style it differently.

Eva gets social media and has the following to prove it – 280K followers on Insta, 88K on Twitter. Her daily morning post of the shoes and handbag she’s wearing (accompanied by a piece of fruit!) is just the kind of whimsy and personality her followers can’t get enough of – so obviously they (we!) all flipped when she announced her pregnancy with an extra special take on her ritual posts.

The mom-to-be describes her personal style as high-street meets high-end, but we prefer to call it what it really is: badass. We caught up with Eva about her pregnancy wardrobe, the baby products she’s obsessing over, and the design of her nursery. Without further ado, the very real, super-cool Eva Chen ….

Pregnancy Style

I feel exceptionally lucky that sweatshirt dressing and oversized sweaters are on-trend this fall-winter. They’re comfortable, they’re forgiving, and they look great with flat combat boots.

Giving In to Maternity Clothes

Despite swearing up and down I wouldn’t buy maternity clothing, I invested in a pair of Isabella Oliver leather leggings and a pair of maternity jeans from Topshop and I honestly don’t know how I’ll go back to regular, non-elasticized waists come next spring.

Just Don’t

If something is uncomfortable in the beginning of the day, don’t even bother. By the end of the day, you’ll be erupting out of your clothes and really just cross with yourself for not knowing any better (as was my case yesterday).

Pretty in Pink

I am super obsessed with Kalon’s Caravan Crib. My friend Samantha sent me a link to it and it was the first thing that made me feel like ‘this is actually happening’ and also ’this will be fun.’

If These Walls Could Talk

For my nursery, I had custom wallpaper designed by my decorators McGrath II and Caitlin McGauley. I can’t give away too much about it because it gives away the name of our daughter. Everything else in the nursery is revolving around this one print.

Mini Me

Baby Dr Marten combat boots and baby New Balances: mommy and me shoes? Yes, please.

Product Junkie

I already used a lot of organic skincare, but have been extra into Weleda, Jurlique, Ren, Nude, and Indie Lee lately for facial and body skincare. On my tummy, I’ve been using a mix of Darphin facial oils (YOLO!) and Aden + Anais stretch mark cream. Here’s hoping the combination works!

Get In My Belly

Pizza: There was a week where I ordered 4 pies in 4 days from Ribalta. Listen, the baby wants what it wants. Sparkling water with extra ice: I get a shipment of Poland Spring sparkling water once a week and by mid-week I’m through. Cantaloupe: specifically the Sugar Kiss melons from FreshDirect.

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5 fabulous family trips

Family Trip (n.): the act of packing up a week or weekend’s worth of your and baby’s stuff and staying in a hotel or Airbnb in a desired destination, such as beach or mountain town, where PB&J and milk in plastic cups is on the menu and pool toys plentiful.
Antonym: Vacation
Used in a sentence: After a family trip, you will need a vacation.

While lovely, a “family trip” is not a “vacation.” There will be no sleeping in, no candle-lit baths, and no novels read. But what there will be is the look on baby’s face when his toes touch sand for the first time and his mind being blown when he hears cows moo IRL – which is awesome in a totally different way.

For this type of getaway, we went to the experts Pavia Rosati and Jeralyn Gerba of Fathom, our go-to resource for all things travel. They know about secret, cool, off-the-beaten path gems like, say – a restored castle on a mini pony farm/vineyard in Bariloche.

These 5 family-friendly destinations get their stamp of approval (and ours too!).

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italy

Destination: Tuscany, Italy

Where To Stay: La Bandita Townhouse (from $380 per night), where two ex-New Yorkers (and their five-year-old) created a stylish 12-room retreat in the most adorable, pedestrians-only town of Pienza. Besides their own spot-on recommendations, there’s a sweet kitchen restaurant and backyard where little tykes eat for free and play while they wait.
Where To Eat: Nearby Sette di Vino offers the best lunch in town.
What To Do: Take a stroll in the Tuscan hillside, then stop for gelato. Repeat.
The best part: The town is pedestrians-only, so littles can run around safely. If it’s seclusion you want, book the La Bandita Country House.

antigua

Destination: Antigua

Where to stay: Jumby Bay (from $1,575 per night – includes all meals, cocktails, and wine). A multi-generational family vacation in the Caribbean during spring break sounds like a recipe for disaster, unless you find a private island. This one is bright blue, secluded, and free of cars.
Where to eat: It’s the rare all-inclusive that’s not cheesy and won’t make you feel trapped.
What to do: Water sports, tennis, putting green, and kids’ club activities are all complimentary. The bird sanctuary, rainforest zipline, and cricket games are just a bike ride away.
The best part: You reach the retreat via seven-minute ride on the resort catamaran – huge hit with kids.

costa-rica

Destination: Costa Rica

Where To Stay: Andaz Peninsula Papagayo (from $236 per night), a new, beautifully designed compound with stylish amenities, attentive staff, and picturesque pools overlooking the beach.
Where to eat: Four actually cool dining options exist on site. Food is fresh and tropical (ceviches, salads), the coffee bar menu is extensive, and the cocktails (for mommy) are the real deal. The kids will love pizza night.
What to do: The resort overlooks Culebra Bay in a protected cove with crystal clear water. Little kids can snorkel or stand knee-deep and still see coral below. It’s a no-brainer for a four-day stay.
The best part: JetBlue flies direct from JFK to Liberia in less time than it takes to get to LA.

west-verginia

Destination: West Virginia

Where to stay: The Greenbriar (from $264 per night), where old-fashioned Southern hospitality is hard at work. The Dorothy Draper interiors make amazing backdrops for family portraits and jealousy-inducing Instagrams.
Where to eat: Hit up the Livery Tavern in the early bird hour for farm-to-table dining.
What to do: There are tons of activities for little guys (movies, laser tag, bowling, fishing, falconry) and VIP status for kids under 12. Gambling, shopping, and other vices are available for parents.
The best part: There are direct flights from NYC, and a luxury steam train from Washington, DC, so it’s really pretty accessible for being the middle of nowhere.

american-west

Destination: The Great American West!

Where to stay: in an AirstreamToGo (from $1,920 for 3 days), an adorable silver-wrapped apartment on wheels that you can rent in a Las Vegas/LA/Bozeman parking lot.
Where to eat: Kitchenettes are included, so stock up on favorite treats.
What to do: Head to the Grand Canyon, the New Mexico Hot Air Balloon Festival, or Palm Springs – you won’t even need a hotel!
The best part: It’s kitschy, comfy, cute, affordable, and you can fit the whole family inside.

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RelationshipSurvivalGuide

You’ll see! Your marriage will never be the same! It gets easier!

We’ll never understand why fellow parents feel compelled to utter a repetitive batch of unhelpful cliches upon announcing that you’re pregnant. Why not share a tips on keeping your relationship intact – thriving even – while everything else feels new and overwhelming? That’s what we’re here for…

Line Up Help

A baby nurse the first few weeks (or months!) makes life’s biggest transition immensely easier. It’s expensive but an investment that’s worth it if you can swing it.

Say Yes!

If a baby nurse is not in the cards, take family and friends up on their offers to help. An extra set of hands for an hour so you can take a shower will feel like a gift. Even better if you can schedule ahead and make the best use of your “free time”.

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Better Together

Don’t be a hero: let your partner help. Accepting help isn’t always about giving you time off (though that’s nice) it’s about letting your other half feel and be useful. And guess what: they usually are!

All Bets Are Off

Ignore anything your partner says between 1am and 5am – it doesn’t count!

Dinner Conversation

Eat dinner without phones or TV so you actually talk to one another.

Couples Who Plan Together…

Use a shared calendar (we love google calendar). 1) Now you’ll know where the other is in case of an emergency. 2) It cuts down on tedious scheduling chats. 3) Date night!

Don’t Go It Alone

Hang out with other moms if only to realize how good you have it. Oh, really, you haven’t had sex in 9 months? (Silently feel awesome that you did it last week.)

In The Trenches

Sleep train as soon as your doctor says your babe is ready. If that fails, call in a sleep consultant. Sleep deprivation makes even small relationship blips feel like huge issues. If you can survive sleep training together (and you will), you can make it through anything.


The remaining tips are doable once your babe
is sleeping through the night.

Take Turns

One person sleeps in Saturday morning, the other Sunday. Pick your day and make it “you time” to sleep, read, exercise, etc. while your partner tends to the baby. And keep your hand off the Message app – they’re doing fine without you.

Baby Bonding

On weekends, each parent has a one-on-one activity with the baby (swimming lessons, grocery shopping, etc), giving the other an hour or two to run errands, work out, or binge on TV.

Me Time

Each of you should claim a night of your own during the week where the other does daycare pick-up (or relieves nanny) and is free to work late, exercise, see a friend for dinner, or – gasp! – all three. Having a specific night lets you plan ahead and have something to look forward to.

Get Outta Town

Plan a weekend away before your baby turns 1. Have someone you trust watch your child, and go remember why you liked each other enough to have a baby in the first place.

Staycation!

Get a hotel room – sleeping in together for one glorious morning can do wonders for your relationship (not to mention the benefits of a little sexytime).

Have A Life

Your “me time” isn’t just for you – it’s for your relationship. Keep yourself sexy and interesting by seeing friends, hitting the gym or a class, and staying engaged with the world (read, girl!). It will give you something to talk about with your partner besides the baby.

Join The Babysitters Club

Have a regular sitter for date night either weekly or bi-weekly. Nothing to talk about with your other half? See a movie & then grab a bite.

Divide & Conquer

Split up household duties, so you’re each responsible for specific chores like food shopping (i.e. ordering from FreshDirect), laundry, necessities (i.e. ordering the essentials regularly from soap.com), paying bills, buying diapers, etc. You don’t want to be arguing at 3am about who was supposed to buy more toilet paper.

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