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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mommy_board_acronyms

I’m a FTM, EBF my 8-week LO (actually NAK at the moment) and have a semi-embarrassing question: LAM is a real thing, right (not an OWT)? Because we DTD once, and I’m worried I may be PG again already. Have not POAS. It would be impossible to get a BFP, right? RIGHT?! WM on ML freaking out here. TIA.

Welcome to the MMB (mommy message board). Not only must you learn to interpret the unique cries of your baby, but those of your fellow mamas. And they also speak in code. Keep handy this mile-long list of acronyms to translate the beautiful craziness that is the MMB. While it can be a wealth of knowledge, consider yourself warned, it’s a serious rabbit hole.

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attachment parenting

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birth control (what reading a mommy board will drive you to)

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big fat negative (on the stick)

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big fat positive (on the stick)

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breast milk (we gotcha there, huh?)

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controlled crying (a sleep method)

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cloth diaper

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cry it out (aka hell on earth)

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dairy allergy

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dear daughter

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dear husband

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dear son

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did the deed (isn’t “sex” just as easy to spell?)

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exclusively breastfeeding

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expressed breast milk

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elimination communication (we had to wiki that one too)

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formula feeding

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first time mom

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Lactational Amenorrhea Method (natural birth control while breastfeeding)

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little one

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miscarriage

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maternity leave

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mommy message board

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nursing at keyboard

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old wives tale

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pregnant

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pee on a stick

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postpartum depression

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Resources for Infant Educarers (the parenting method all the LA moms follow)

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stay at home mom

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thanks in advance (the universal sign-off on the MMB)

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trying to conceive

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vaginal birth after cesarean

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work at home mom

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working mom

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what you’ll say after reading this list

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RachelHoat

When former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg named Rachel Sterne the city’s first chief digital officer, jaws dropped.

Was it her age – 27 – no, that comes with the digital territory. Her sex? Sure – a woman in the tech world is too rare – and a woman running it is downright refreshing. But how about this girl’s impeccable style and unassuming confidence as a key accessory? Now that we could get used to.

Married to a handsome Belgian-born tech entrepreneur and living in Bushwick (!), Rachel Haot has a new gig working with Governor Andrew Cuomo to improve the lives of NYers via technology at the state level. Imagine a ny.gov that offers live updates during an emergency and can help you renew your drivers license in a few clicks. With the Made In NY initiative, she’s supporting tech-company growth by making it easier to open new businesses, thus creating more jobs. But her work also includes hyperlapsing the Dannijo presentation – hey, they’re an NYC business, too!

Here, Rachel tells us how to stay stylish in the public sector and about her six-month-old Jack Alphonse Mars Haot, who obviously has a few stories behind his name. Meet Rachel!

More

Pregnancy Uniform

I work in a very conservative office, and somehow I found that a lot of my non-maternity shift dresses actually worked. When they couldn’t stretch any further, I relied on Rosie Pope – I wore her pieces to speaking engagements and meetings, and always felt appropriate and comfortable.

Great Advice

Don’t read any of the parenting books! And if you do, take it with a grain of salt – they can really stress you out. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to fit into molds or setting impossible expectations, just trust your instincts. When the parents are happy, baby is happy.

Daycare vs. Nanny

I had a really hard time deciding on childcare, but we ended up at a daycare that’s absolutely the right option for us and our needs. It’s convenient and a sustainable solution long-term for us. My advice is to go for the least stressful option that you’re able to support long-term.

First 3 Months Lifesavers

1. The Brooklyn HUI listserv is like a support group for moms. You can find everything from a pediatrician to hand-me-downs, and it’s going on all hours of the night, so you never feel alone when you’re feeding at 2am. 2. FlyCleaners – this app saved me! They do laundry pickup and drop-off anytime between 6am and midnight. 3. The BabyBjorn carrier was a revelation when I realized I could do anything when he was in there. I would put him in and even clean the house. Plus, babywearing is such a nice way to bond.

The Name Game

Jack is my maternal grandfather’s name, and he inspired my interest in the public sector, so I wanted to honor that. He was a union organizer, fought for worker’s rights, and later on devoted himself to helping the developmentally disabled – he’s a great example of the impact one person can have on the world.

My husband’s maternal grandfather was named Alphonse, and he was a Belgian fighter in the resistance during WWII, which was a very dangerous thing to do. He built his family’s home with his own two hands, and my husband has always looked up to him.

Mars is a reference to the greek god and obviously the planet and sort of represents the potential out there in the world for our son. I thought it was a crazy name, but there’s tons of Mars in Brooklyn!

Back to Work

The most surprising thing about going back to work is that having a baby made me more productive and better at managing and delegating projects.

Help!

I got a lot of great advice from female executives that I look up to when I became a mom. They were supportive and essentially it came down to: Focus on finding the right balance for you at that particular moment in your life. Nothing is static, there is never a perfect time, but you will figure it out.

Blissful Moment

We spent some time on Long Island with my family recently, and we went for a walk in Hither Hills State Park in Montauk on this beautiful, special walk next to Napeague Harbor. It was an overcast day with my father, my husband, Jack in the backpack, and my parents’ dog Gracie – Jack looked entranced by everything around him. It was such a wonderful moment.

3 Hours Alone

You would definitely find me at a Jivamukti yoga class. I’ve yet to figure out how to do that regularly with a baby.

Can’t Buy Enough Of

Hipp Organic formula and Bambo diapers.

There’s An App For That

I loved My Baby’s Beat because I could hear his heartbeat between doctor’s visits. And Diapers is our savior since it’s not easy to buy everything in stores where we are in Brooklyn.

QT With Grandparents

My husband’s family is in France, so we FaceTime, Google Hangout, or Skype with them all the time. It’s amazing how special that experience is, even though they are so far away.

Hanging In The Neighborhood

We live next door to Roberta’s, and the first wave is a lot of babies, so it’s fun to meet up with friends for dinner. It’s known for the pizza, which is always delicious, but I also love their scrambled eggs and homemade bread, and anything fresh from their garden. Fitzcarraldo has outdoor seating and we love bringing him there. Vinny is the chef, and he makes an incredible farinata, a chickpea pancake that comes with fresh tomato and cheese.Those are our two favorite local spots!

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