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

Bethany

Bethenny Frankel started our phone conversation by announcing that she’d just smacked her head on the cabinet. Ah, celebrities, they’re just like us! But then it turned out she’d done it out of excitement from learning her new book, I Suck At Relationships So You Don’t Have To, hit the NYT Best Sellers’ list (her 5th book to make the list). Okay, so, not exactly like us.

That’s Bethenny’s specialty — well, that, and making us LOL with her #nofilter one-liners — she’s relatable in a way that few Housewives (or any sort of media figures, really) could ever be. And she’s managed to spin that wish-she-was-your-BFF charm into an unapologetically hustle-powered empire: multiple TV shows (including a current star turn on RHONY), the SkinnyGirl product line (everything from booze to hummus to blenders), 8 (!!) books, and a very active blog.

What has us most in awe of Bethenny, though, is how she’s wearing the pants and taking the high road while going through a very public – and extremely ugly – divorce. It’s all because she’s focused on her number one priority: 5-year-old daughter Bryn. She spoke to us about finding balance, what hurts her feelings, and why she took a month off from exercise.

The one and only Bethenny Frankel.

Writing Her Latest Book Taught Her…

I learned things that I already knew intellectually but not emotionally. Ultimately the biggest lesson in the book is that, as women, we have great intuition, but we don’t always use it. Ellen DeGeneres said it best: “If you don’t learn your lesson you’ll keep making the same mistakes.”

More

On The Possibility Of A Parenting Book

I don’t think so — a business book, maybe, a break-up book, sure, but I think motherhood is hard enough without people giving unsolicited advice about how to be a mother.

What Hurts

Hurting somebody else hurts my feelings. It’s important to take responsibility for people around you.

Her Work Ethic

If you’re going to do something, do it right, otherwise don’t do it! I’ve always had that mentality, and I don’t really know where I got it because I never had anyone tell me I had to finish anything or do anything. When I was young, I quit gymnastics – I didn’t have a lot of discipline. My father was a horse trainer and had an incredible work ethic, so maybe it’s genetic? I don’t know.

Here, Here

I love being a mom, it’s a beautiful adventure and the greatest thing ever. Everyone wants to prioritize and motherhood is a prioritizer. You know where you’re supposed to be and what you’re supposed to be doing, which is great. It takes out all the guess work in our lives. Your job is to do what you want to do – if you have a kid, that’s number one.

Juggling It All

People don’t think I do, but I have a work life balance. When I’m working, I’m really working. And if I can’t be with my child then I’ll work, exercise, or do charity work. But when I’m with Bryn, we’re having fun or doing an activity – I’m not sitting on my phone. That’s my balance: being exactly where I’m supposed to be at all times. There are moms who are with their kids every single day, but they’re on their phones or online shopping, not present. I make it a point that our time together is quality time.

Prioritization In Action

I was on a book tour for a month, and I was home in between events, but I didn’t exercise for that month because I chose motherhood — and sleep, though there wasn’t a lot of that!

Speaking Of Exercise…

I do yoga DVDs – I have my own or I go to Yogaworks. People say I don’t have time to work out or I can’t get to the gym, and workout DVDs don’t occur to them. They are great because if you get interrupted in the middle, you can just hit pause, and get back to it when you’re ready.

Getting Past The Hard Stuff

Don’t focus on the minutia and remember, this too shall pass. It is absolutely brutal, but it is all about perspective. I try to make it into something positive – I write things down so I get to tell other women about the experience. You have to find your “yes” in it. If you can’t be with your children all the time, then when you’re with them, you’re with them alone — you make it into something good. It’s hard, but I know that when you get through something difficult, it feels good, better than just coasting. And you have to know that later on, you’re going to find out why it happened and you’ll be able to make sense of it.

Staying Positive

I’m not into whining about whatever my situation is. I just do the best that I can.

What Makes Her LOL

The housewives make me laugh a lot – that’s part of the reason I went back. I’m really enjoying this. I mean, you can’t write this stuff. It’s hysterical, the things that happen! These girls are really funny, and they don’t even know how funny they are.

On Being A Housewife As A Mom

My priorities are different – I can’t go to all the things I used to. It’s part of the storyline this season. It annoys people, but I have to make my choice. I’m a mom now, that’s my number one, and it is what it is. You can’t do what you can’t do.

Dream Casting Opportunity

Empire, Real Housewives of Atlanta, or Modern Family.

On That Whole Wearing Her Daughter’s PJ’s Photo

It was just some dumb thing that happened. Honestly, it was much ado about nothing. There are certain things that are very polarizing – topics like weight just get people incensed.

The Great Uniter

There’s one thing that every mom agrees on: It all goes so quickly!

cleaning

Kids are cute. But man, are they messy. Industriously messy, really. Who else would think to use yogurt as a hair mask? (And face mask. And floor mask. Thanks, guys.) To clean it all up, 7 of the most effective, safest (as in high scores from the Environmental Working Group) products for your most common ew-situations.

***

Ring Around the Bathtub

The culprit: A grimy residue that’s one part baby shampoo and two parts dried remnants from today’s lunch.
The fix: Seventh Generation Natural Tub & Tile Cleaner, Emerald Cypress & Fir Cleaner
Cricket’s tip: Spray the tub right after each use and then rinse out – that way you won’t ever get to bath time and think “ugh”.
Environmental Working Group
Rating:
A

***

Clean Hands, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose

The culprit: We’re not afraid of germs: Science has shown exposure to the buggers is actually healthy. We’re talking about drippy popsicle hands, melty chocolate fingers, and some digging in the dirt.
The fix: CleanWell All Natural Hand Sanitizing Wipes
Cricket’s tip: They also come in individual to-go packs – perfect for stashing in our diaper bag for on-the-go messes.
EWG Rating: 1

More

***

Urine Luck

The culprit: Pee happens. Most of the time you’re hoping it happens in a diaper or a toilet. But you know where else it happens? In bed.
The fix: OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover
Cricket’s tip: It’s not billed as a fix for soaked mattresses, but we’ve found that an aggressive attack of OxiClean and blotting really works. (Note: do not use on wool.)
EWG Rating: B

***

Stain Alive

The culprit: Mealtime, enough said.
The fix: Babyganics Stain Eraser
Cricket’s tip: Try to apply to the offending mark as soon as possible – which is why we keep a 2 oz. travel size in our diaper bag.
EWG rating: A

***

Players Gonna Play

The culprit: For some reason, toddlers deem gumming their toys to be a necessary part of the playtime ritual.
The fix: Lysol Power and Free Multi-Purpose Wipes
Cricket’s tip: Use this in a 2-step process: Lysol wipe then rinse with water, so all of the not-so-good-stuff is washed away before the kiddos gnaw on the items again.
EWG rating: B

***

If These Walls Could Talk

The culprit: There’s just something about nice, clean walls begging for littles to muck them up – with their dirty fingerprints, crayons, ramming trucks into them.
The fix: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Duo
Cricket’s tip: Go easy – it sometimes takes the sheen off of paint, but it really is magical in its ability to rid unwanted scuffs and marks.
EWG rating: B

***

We’re Floored

The culprit: Shoes. Shoes. Shoes.
The fix: Babyganics Floor Cleaner Concentrate, Fragrance Free
Cricket’s tip: Since having kids, we’ve become those people, enforcing a “no shoes” policy.
EWG rating: A

***

Fit to Print

The culprit: Curious little hands leave fingerprints everywhere.
The fix: Attitude Window & Mirror Cleaner
Cricket’s tip: You can either run around with a spray bottle and cloth all day long or in the immortal words of Elsa, Queen of Arendelle, “Let it go.” Or at least try to let it go.
EWG rating: A

17 Real Moms On Inducing Labor

You’ve heard about sex to induce labor, but what about twerking that baby out or attending a community acupuncture session? Or, um, peanut butter cups? (Not like you’re eating them anyway, right?) We polled our inner circle of moms for the most memorable and EFFECTIVE (like, within-the-hour) ways they hurried things along. And remember: No matter how much it feels like it, you will not be pregnant forever.

“I started eating spicy food at 36 weeks. Like really, really spicy. Around 38 weeks, I started doing 50 squats every time I brushed my teeth. At 41 weeks, with a looming induction on the calendar, I sucked it up and had as aerobic sex as I could (considering I felt like a whale at Sea World and moved like one, too). Guess what? It did the trick. I was in labor within the hour.”

-Sarah

At 40 weeks and 5 days with a looming induction, I hit the interweb and read that putting pressure in the pelvic area could get things going. I cranked up the Juicy J and started twerking (thankfully in the privacy of my own home – it could have scarred small children). My womb was on fire and that baby was born 12 hours later.

-Eve

More

“My husband made a famous labor-inducing eggplant parmigiana from a restaurant in Atlanta (they even have an eggplant baby gallery on their website). I was one day past due, not dilated at all, and my OB told me to prepare for another week. I ate the eggplant (delicious, by the way) at 8pm and woke up in labor at 2am.”

-Brooke

“A cervical sweep and Indian food is a magical combo. The cervical sweep is not pleasant and makes you feel like a violated pregnant farm animal, but it is very effective.”

-Vanessa

“I read somewhere that nipple stimulation would do the trick. After my husband tired of playing with them (about the closest he got to my giant boobs all pregnancy), I broke out the breast pump – yes, it was incredibly awkward, but 2 hours later, we were headed to the hospital!”

-Jane

“I walked for miles and miles, listening to hippie-dippie hypnobirthing visualization tapes. I also rubbed primrose oil on my nether regions, sat in a crowded room under a garbage bag-esque blanket for community acupuncture, and did strange hip contortions/yoga poses every night. Did any of it work? Who knows. Will I repeat the crazy next time just in case? You bet.”

-Jasmine

“I wasn’t trying to induce labor – in fact, I was one month early – but my husband and I had sex, and RIGHT afterward I started having contractions.”

-Irene

“I used it as an excuse to eat the best spicy cuisine in my neighborhood. There was a spicy eggplant (win-win!) thing at Pok Pok, and I made my husband wait in line in the baking sun while I rested in the shade until it was our turn multiple times.”

-Sophie

“I made super-fun plans for 4 days before my due date. I knew if I scheduled a party, the baby would arrive early and I’d have to cancel. Worked like a charm.”

-Meredith

“I was induced but the first three pills they gave me to ripen my cervix didn’t work. After 20 hours, the nurse came in and said the next option was to inflate a balloon into my uterus (!!), which could stay in for… 24 hours. 24 HOURS!! My body said no way, and I went from 1 to 8 centimeters in 10 minutes.”

-Charlotte

“I was 38 weeks pregnant in August in Miami and danced my face off at a Justin Timberlake/Jay-Z concert in 93 degree-heat, then walked a mile back to the car (not by choice). I was in labor a mere 5 hours later. “

-Chelsea

“Red raspberry leaf tea, acupuncture, and sex. The acupuncture for real. I went to a guy feeling nothing at all, had a session… and by the time he took the pins out I was in active labor and NINE MOTHERF*&KING CENTIMETERS dilated within three hours.”

-Kora

“I wish I’d had time to induce labor. I’d hardly finished moving apartments before my baby popped out a week early. I guess the excitement of trying to haul couches through doors which were clearly too small and madly running around the neighborhood picking up anything and everything I could find on a listserve (who ever used a bottle warmer anyway?!) probably did the trick subconsciously.”

-Venetia

“I googled it and found some random source that said Reese’s peanut butter cups would induce labor. Did it work? Well, the baby was eventually born. I’d advise against it unless you’re looking to gain another couple pounds of, um, ‘baby’ weight.”

-Amy

“A dark chocolate brownie the size of my face and a prenatal massage on my due date all combined to send me into labor – I started feeling the contractions while naked and humming on the massage table, so if you can arrange that for yourself, I highly recommend it.”

-Ester

“My baby was breech until 37 weeks when I had to have a doctor MANUALLY flip him over. Before that I tried everything to encourage him to flip: moxabustion (Chinese medicine therapy), strange poses with my butt in the air, only letting my husband talk to him through my vagina… oh and I even emailed my medium in Bali to ask her to communicate with him and ask him to pleeeeeeease turn over.”

-Jen

“Reflexology. Stupid. I thought I was getting a massage, but ended up paying a fortune for this lady to press on my left foot (yup, just my left foot) for an hour, telling me all the while how she believes that flower petals can cure all ailments. I kept waiting for the real massage to begin – like on my aching back and tired shoulders – but I was too timid to ask. It was really awkward and disappointing. And unless foot reflexology has a two-week effectiveness lag time, it did NOT work.”

-Emily