Veronica Swanson Beard

As you know, we’re sort of obsessed with finding the one perfect product for everything. So it’s no surprise we think of the apparel brand Veronica Beard, whose main mission is to help busy ladies simplify oh-so-stylishly, like a soul sister.

Like her co-founder sister-in-law (whom we featured in the spring), Veronica Swanson Beard has a little troop of kids – boys aged 7, 5, and 1 – and a surefooted approach to the dance of business-running and parenting.

So of course she was capable of tackling the latest challenge for the Beard brand: denim. “Our goal is to design the must-have pieces of your uniform and the thing we wanted most was denim – the kind you’d feel polished enough to wear to a meeting or a dinner with your parents or boss.” And as an alum of Narciso Rodriguez, Alberta Ferretti and Parsons, we trust that she got it right. (Find out for yourself this October).

Save room in your denim drawer and now enjoy this in the meantime: good advice from a woman fit to give it.

My Everyday

I take my boys to school and head to the office where I move between design, sales and PR all day. I’m home in time for bathtime and then I put the baby to bed. For the older kids, it’s homework and roughhousing followed by a book at bedtime.

I’ve Got This Nailed

Always give kids two choices – for food, movies, outfits, play dates etc. They feel empowered and you know what you’re dealing with. But only buy clothes and shoes you would want your kids to wear!

The Pregnancy Uniform

Mine was a Veronica Beard blazer, blouses from Zara, J Brand maternity jeans and Isabel Marant booties. It’s really important to feel yourself when you’re pregnant. There is nothing worse than feeling like shamu the whale in a bad outfit.

New Moms, Listen Up

Stay home for the first two weeks and limit visitors to people you wouldn’t mind sobbing or leaking in front of.

The Magic Ingredient

Amparo, our beloved nanny is essential to helping me keep it together. She lives with us and my boys think of her as family. She allows me the freedom to run a business and have a happy marriage and not feel guilt about my kids 24/7.

The Perfect Moment

Bonfire on the beach at our home in Locust Valley, Long Island. There is nothing more magical than watching your kids chase fireflies, chow s’mores, and feel special because they’re staying up late!

#Momfail

They inherited my insatiable sweet tooth and I did nothing to prevent it from happening. Ice cream is a particularly lethal vice in the Beard home.

Best. Purchase. Ever.

The Sit’n’Stroll. I CANNOT believe it took me three kids to finally buy this machine.

How To Travel With Tots

Each kid has their own roller suitcase that holds their toys, lovies and DVD player. I get a good meal in them and then it’s junk all the way – whatever they want as long as they behave and stay in their seat.

Say What?

In our house, cuddle cuddle means snuggle time.

3 Hours Alone, 3 Hours With Him

Alone: Hunting through vintage, thrift and antique shops anywhere in the USA.
With him: Dinner with my husband at Il Cantinori.

I Still Don’t Get It

Cooking. And downloading pictures.

You Can’t Do It All, So Do This

I had to make the decision for myself that once I get to work, it’s all about business unless there is an emergency with the kids. They respect my love for my business and know that they’re always my first priority.

I Never Have Enough…

Wipes and LL Bean totes.

Becoming My Own Mother

I say and do everything she does! My mom would drag us around to all her favorite antique and thrift shops and now my boys have to do it too. I always let them pick out their own piece of treasure so they don’t mind it too much.

Photo: Courtesy of Claiborne Swanson Frank

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saturdays Ellen Schmidt
Lives: Washington Heights, otherwise known as “Upstate Manhattan”
Family:
Husband Jason and our daughters Amelia (“Millie”, 5) and Vivian (3)
Spends her days: I work from home as a freelance writer, social media consultant, and blogger at Baby Meets City
Secret obsession: Reviewing every NYC-based children’s book ever written (the famous and the undiscovered!)

ellen

8am:

My little gals are wide awake and ready to start the day (we got lucky, they’re pretty good at sleeping in on the weekends)! That being said, I’m still tired and have been since 2009. I turn on Doc McStuffins and steal 15 more minutes of sleep.

8:15am:

Go in search of coffee. Luckily we have beans from my new favorite java roaster, Driftaway Coffee in Brooklyn. I like to make a big breakfast on one weekend morning, and it’s usually on Saturday. Pancakes (raspberr-wee pancakes from Weelicious are always a hit), eggs, bacon, and fruit… yummy!

9:00am:

Breakfast. Second cup of coffee.

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10:00am:

Ignore breakfast dishes and volunteer my husband to help the girls get dressed. Hilarity ensues, and we end up changing a second time. Fortunately (or not), I have two girly-girls on my hands, so they’re more than happy to change into another outfit.

11:00am:

We are big fans of the American Museum of Natural History, and it’s an easy subway ride from our neighborhood. We head down on the A train for a date with the big blue whale and a few dinosaurs.

1:00pm:

We exit just in time for lunch and head around the corner to one of our favorite places for a cheeseburger, Shake Shack. The girls like their chicken dog and french fries, of course. And while it’s not the healthiest meal out there, sometimes a parent’s gotta do what a parent’s gotta do. Or something like that.

2:00pm:

Central Park is one of our favorite locations in the city, and we especially like the Diana Ross Playground at 81st and Central Park West. Mommy is not a huge fan of the extremely high 1970s sliding board but tries to remain calm as the girls zip down happily.

3:00pm:

After telling Millie and Vivian it’s time to go at least three times, we finally leave the playground and head home.

3:45pm:

Home feels nice after being gone several hours. The girls play (and only argue a little bit) in the new teepee they received for Christmas, and I sit down at the computer to check email.

4:30pm:

My husband has a great idea: movie night! The four of us pile into our bed and watch a favorite film, The Wizard of Oz (for some strange reason, my children are not afraid of the Wicked Witch). Everyone is content and all is right with the world.

6:00pm:

Dinner is something light and easy, like pesto pasta from Farmigo (I’m a community organizer for my neighborhood).

7:15pm:

Mommy pours a glass of wine and the three “Bs” routine begins… bath, books, and bedtime!

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amandachantalbacon

There are people who are masters at covering up their flaws and making small talk, all while making it look like their life is all rainbows and unicorns. Amanda Chantal Bacon is not one of those people. The successful entrepreneur (her wellness mixology biz Moon Juice has three LA locations and a cult following) and single mom is real – which is especially refreshing at a time when we’re all guilty of projecting an Insta-perfect life.

Amanda has a 3.5-year-old son, Rohan, whom she co-parents with her ex: “I have been a single mom since the first couple of months after Rohan was born. It’s been a ride. There have been some dark, grim moments. I learned early on what it feels like to be in absolute hell with the person you are raising your child with – hopefully we’ll never go there again.”

In addition to running Moon Juice, Amanda’s writing two books, negotiating business deals, pitching a TV show, and raising Rohan without a nanny (!!) all while maintaining that perfect glow, makeup-free. How does she do it? Green juice, diet, and Kundalini yoga. Seriously.

So it’s no surprise that her booming holistic lifestyle business focuses on high-powered natural remedies that aim to help other women (and hey, men too!) power their lives with the kind of tools she’s mastered.

Read on for nutrition tips, the ultimate new mom affirmations, and so much more from an inspiring woman who has more depth, perseverance, and humility than we even thought possible. Meet Amanda Chantal Bacon.

Why Moon Juice?

I worked in the restaurant biz for years and loved it. I’m a total kitchen junkie, but I also knew I wanted to have a baby. I didn’t have anyone to have a baby with at the time, but a baby felt close by, and restaurant work isn’t really conducive to that. The idea of Moon Juice just came to me – it was what I personally wanted to put in my body, I liked the idea of helping people and the earth, and it was something I could do with a baby.

The Anti-Juice Cleanse

We have a holistic approach to juicing and raw foods – we are the antithesis of juice cleansing. This is a lifestyle of being good to yourself and ingesting the healthiest, most nourishing sustenance.

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Her Deal With Juice

I grew up in downtown Manhattan and frequented Healthy Chelsea, which closed in the 80s. It all started with carrot juice, then I started exploring green juice and making my own – I’ve been incorporating it into my daily life for the last 10 years.

Relief!

When I was 4, I was having a lot of health issues – difficulty breathing and sleeping, coughing so hard I would throw up. Western medicine couldn’t figure out what was wrong (one doctor suggested we move to Florida?!), and I suffered for over 3 years. While in a health food store with my mom one day, an Ayurvedic doctor heard my cough and approached my mom: He told her to eliminate sugar, wheat, and dairy from my diet. She did, and I was well within days. I learned right then that the food you eat directly affects how you feel. I was 8.

The New Normal

I quickly realized what I could and couldn’t eat at friends’ houses and restaurants – more no’s than yes’s. I didn’t want to miss out on foods and flavors, so I started experimenting, and have been doing so ever since. I’m not a doctor, but I know food, and I know how to resolve a lot of health issues with diet without making mealtime an unpleasant experience.

Jump Start

If you want to get healthy, I suggest a lot of raw fats and high-enzyme foods (safe for pregnant and nursing moms too):

1. Give yourself a break from sugar, wheat, dairy, alcohol, and coffee (green tea and matcha are great if you need to get your caffeine on). Not forever – just a break. 2. Start drinking unsweetened green juice every day, multiple times if you can. 3. Incorporate fermented foods (cultured vegetables, coconut yogurt, coconut kefir), all of which contain probiotics. 4. Blend adaptogens (Maca, Cordyceps, and Reishi) into nutmilk (hazelnut, almond, cashew, etc) – you will feel a drastic difference in mood and brain power. 5. I’m a huge proponent of pearl powder – add it to a warm drink and then watch your skin glow.

In Her Fridge

Tons of green juice, big vats of nuts, cultured vegetables, fresh seaweed, chia pudding, coconut yogurt, various nut cheeses, and there’s always a raw chocolate dessert. We have chocolate cake for breakfast on the regular!

How She Does It

I learned to stop putting more on my plate than is humanly possibly to handle. Plus, I have great tools: 1. My diet and lifestyle 2. Kundalini yoga and meditation: I’m not one of these people that has 90 minutes a day but, I have a practice that takes me 12 minutes in the morning that completely changes my world. Without those 2 things, everything comes crashing down.

The Early Days

I never had a moses basket or a crib – Rohan slept with me. His dad was wonderful with him, but he nursed on demand the first 2 years of his life, so I couldn’t go very far. My biggest piece of advice is: Just know everything will work itself out. I did use a Moby Wrap, which was great because it kept him close, so I could regulate his temperature and heartbeat with my own. He nursed, slept, and hung out there the first 4-5 months – I didn’t have a stroller until he was 8 months old.

The Key

I was blessed with 2 things: my tits and what I choose to fill them with. You can calm your child down by feeding him alkaline breast milk full of minerals.

Au Natural

Kundalini yoga will literally change your face. I started 5 years ago. It detoxes your subconscious, which shows up on your face. Wrinkles, scowls, smirks, deep lines, and even “bitch face” can be replaced with a look of relaxation and contentment. I’ve experienced this myself. And I don’t wear makeup: It’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’m next to women in print who are all polished and camera-ready, but that’s not me. People are down with it.

Ugh!

Waste and thoughtlessness, especially in the kitchen, makes me upset – throwing out perfectly good food because you aren’t being conscious about it. You don’t want to eat that apple as-is? Dehydrate it, make apple sauce!

Dating

I’ve had some good times! I’m very lucky that Rohan and his dad have such a great bond. So yeah, I find a couple moments here and there to have fun. But all post-nursing – those first 2 years, no way!

#Momfail

Anything most people would consider a “fail”, I’ve already done it: He’s fallen numerous times, I’m not with his dad… but I’m not a failure! We just keep moving along. When you feel like you have already cruised through the BIGGEST fails, you have a certain amount of freedom when you’re not living that perfect story – I let go of that so early in motherhood.

SHOP: Amanda’s Picks + Natural Products

Moby Wrap

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The Honest Co Diapers

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Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter

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what to expect

Baby’s out (welcome little guy!) and your body is yours again. Um, not so fast. While everyone’s postpartum experience is different, most moms agree it takes a while to feel at home in your own skin again. We asked Philly-based ObGyn Marisa Rose (and mom of two) to walk us through some of the most common “surprises” new moms face as it relates to their physical being post-baby. 1

Woah, Breastfeeding

It’s no surprise that most of us think breastfeeding is totally natural and will just happen. But according to Rose (and most of our mom friends), it takes a lot of hard work to make it feel easy. She considers everything from “my baby won’t latch” to “I’m engorged” to be normal responses in the first few days and weeks after birth.

Rose counsels her patients to start thinking about their breastfeeding plan during the 3rd trimester. Line up a lactation consultant, pick out a pump, and remain open-minded about what success means. Mixing in formula is not a sign of failure – it can take up to a month to get into a successful pattern of breastfeeding.

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Desperately Seeking A Libido

You just don’t want to do it. Rose understands, and she’s blaming your hormones. While breastfeeding, your estrogen drops and the decrease in hormones is responsible for everything from vaginal dryness (yes we just said that – sorry) to your lack of interest in doing the deed.

She also concedes that when your “breastaurant” is open 24/7, it’s hard to be open to much else, especially sex. Her Rx? Give yourself some time. Once your hormones start to get back into the swing of things (a good sign is you’re getting your period again), you should feel more up to it.

3

Adult Diapers?!

Remember when a sneeze was just a sneeze? These days a sneeze can also mean a dribble in your panties – but don’t go buying Depends just yet. Rose assured us that most pelvic floor issues should clear up by the time your little guy is six months to a year (if it’s not getting better, be sure to tell your doctor).

She suggests regular Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor. And if you’re wondering if you’re isolating the right muscle when doing said exercise, Rose says it should feel just like it does when you’re peeing and stop yourself mid-stream. She also recommends keeping a diary, so you can start to see the pattern of when you’re having, um, accidents and possibly isolate the culprit (like multiple cups of coffee without a bathroom break).

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Holy Hair Loss

Don’t lose sleep over losing your hair. According to Rose, you’re not crazy, it happens. Blame it on the hormones again. You don’t lose any hair while pregnant (hence the glorious magical tresses), but you make up for it on the flipside. Once your body stabilizes, it will stop. Until then, invest in a drain cover for your shower. 5

TMI But Is My Tush Falling Out, Too?

And now for the really unpleasant stuff: Some women experience blood and discomfort with bowel movements postpartum. Rose said that rectal fissures (which are small tears on the anus or rectum and different from hemorrhoids) will usually heal on their own. Our mom friends swear by regular sitz baths to help with the pain and healing. And be sure to drink buckets of water, a diet rich in fiber, and don’t delay when the urge to poop comes on. But according to Rose, if there is persistent bleeding, you should get it evaluated.

SHOP: New Mom Must-Haves

Hands Free Pumping Bra

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Nursing Pillow

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Bra Pads

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