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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evamurri

You may recognize her distinctive beauty from Saved!, Californication, Undateable, or Robert Mapplethorpe’s portrait of her as a child (which hangs in the permanent collection at, oh you know, The Guggenheim!), but Eva Amurri Martino is about to be your new girl crush.

The actress and daughter to none other than Susan Sarandon has a lot of mom stuff going on — and not just the run-of-the-mill sleep training and diaper changing. She just wrapped a Lifetime miniseries playing the early years-version of Marilyn Monroe’s mother (in excellent casting, her own mother plays her in later years.), and her next project, Mother’s Day, features an all-star ensemble cast, including Sharon Stone and Sarandon (again!), playing a dozen mother-daughter sets over the course of a single Mother’s Day. Oh, and she was 9 months pregnant during filming and looked ahhhmazing.

Off-screen, Eva (Italian pronunciation: “Eh-va”) has a 7-month-old daughter, Marlowe (quite possibly the cutest baby EVER), with her soccer star-turned-NBC broadcaster husband, Kyle Martino, and she’s as passionate about her stand against mom shaming (preach!) as she is about styling Marlowe’s “luxurious mullet.” (Want proof? Check out her Instagram, but be prepared to lose an hour to precious pigtails and bedhead.)

We caught up with the new mom to talk bath time (the best), sleep schedules (so rough), and getting your groove back post-baby (all about it). She’s wise, hilarious, and incredibly grounded… take it away, Eva!

Pregnancy Style

I never went mumu or loose-fitting style; I actually wore way tighter clothes than I do normally. I got wider right away, so they held it all in – form-fitting maxi dresses were my thing! I was the biggest during the summer, which was so brutal. I found loooong tanks that I loved at A Pea In The Pod and I wore them with ASOS maternity jeans and denim shorts.

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Post Pregnancy Style

I’ve never been very practical when it comes to clothes, and I kind of got real after I had Marlowe. I went thru my wardrobe and purged, so now I only have things in my closet that I feel great in – there’s no time for the rest. When I was pregnant, I discovered Nike wedge sneakers, and I still love them: They’re so comfy and make your legs look great.

New Baby Must-Haves

For me, the must haves those first few months were Summer Infant’s SwaddleMe, Alaffia baby balm, and the BabyBjorn bouncer saved our lives – we put her in it way before you were supposed to and stuffed blankets in it. She would sit in it so happily forever.

Best Advice

I find that a lot of people have a lot of advice. You have to do what works for you, whether that’s co-sleeping or getting on a schedule, it has to work for your family. Otherwise, what’s the point?! And make sure that you check in with yourself and your partner along the way: Does whatever you’re doing feel right and is it sustainable? Our baby nurse got us on a schedule that was stressing me out, so we got rid of it!

Surprise Yourself

I am much more patient than I expected. I am good at waiting those few extra minutes to let her settle herself.

The Hardest Part

It’s so hard to find time for yourself, for your relationship, and as a family. We fell into the trap of handing off the baby, so we could each get things done, but we weren’t spending time all together. A baby is such a huge change for everyone, so acknowledge that. It’s hard and you don’t have to be great at everything right away. You know what’s not awesome – being inside all day with a baby with reflux screaming her brains out. Being real about that was so freeing. You have to get out of the house, go to the gym, and respect that you’ve been through a lot. It’s okay to have a lot of feelings that aren’t all positive.

Downtime

My husband and I love watching TV together – Veep, Game of Thrones, I’ve even gotten him into The Bachelor. If I’m feeling overwhelmed, I go get a mani and read a dumb magazine. Those things you didn’t think twice about pre-kids, I enjoy those things much more now.

Losing The Baby Weight

Honestly, it sounds so annoying, but breastfeeding helped a lot at first. I was eating really healthy because it helped produce more milk: A Korean friend’s mom made me seaweed soup that was delicious, and I ate lots of salad and fruit. At 3 months postpartum, I had 7 pounds that weren’t coming off, so I hit the gym and ran, did yoga, and pilates. Now I dress accordingly to hide the things I don’t like – it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors and certainly not what it used to be!

Relationship Saver

We have a built-in date night every Wednesday. We see a movie, try a new wine bar, go for dinner, go for a walk. Whatever it is, we get dressed up and get our groove back a little.

Why? Why? Why?

Mom shaming drives me crazy. Why does every mom need other moms to do things their way. New motherhood is such a vulnerable and powerful time, but it’s also really hard. Do not judge other moms on how they raise their children. We have so much power in numbers, and it’s just too bad so many women fall victim to this.

Secret Talent

Right now, my secret obsession is doing Marlowe’s hair. She has a really luxurious mullet, and I love to style it. I do pigtails, 3 pigtails, braids – it’s so fun! I went down a rabbit hole and have some fun hair accessories on the way from Wild Juniper, Mini Scoops, and Our Little Charmed Life

Perfect Family Moment

Marlowe loves the bath – she is so goofy and kicks and laughs. It’s such a sweet time as a family. One child is so manageable, and it’s amazing to just put our full attention on her.

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On Our Radar: April 23, 2014

primarybag

primarycrib

primarycarrier

primarybib

FEED + The Honest Company Collaboration
WHO: Moms in need of a diaper bag.
WHAT: Two of our favorite brands have joined forces and created an adorable diaper bag – for every bag purchased, one mother and child will receive essential micronutrients for a year.
WHEN: They’re limited-edition, so get one while you can.
WHERE: feedprojects.com and honest.com

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Oeuf Fawn Crib & Bassinet System
WHO: Parents expecting a baby.
WHAT: A smart 3-in1 from Oeuf – starts out as a bassinet on wheels, turns into a standard crib, then turns into a toddler bed.
WHEN: Order now for mid-May delivery.
WHERE: giggle.com

Moby Aria Wrap
WHO: Parents with newborns.
WHAT: Moby’s new carrier has it all – 3 positions (front, back, hip), integrated infant insert, 3 seat positions as child grows, and 2 shoulder strap options (straight or crossed) for maximum comfort and options.
WHEN: You’re ready to stroll.
WHERE: mobywrap.com

Nanana Bibs
WHO: Parents with a penchant for beautiful French designs.
WHAT: These sweet terry bibs have chic collars that baby will surely drool and spit up on.
WHEN: Makes a great shower gift.
WHERE: perfectlysmitten.com

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