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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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

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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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baby name

One of the most difficult things about pregnancy is agreeing on a baby name with your, ahem, opinionated partner. (Seriously, what’s wrong with Coco Lilypie Firchau?!) Before you find yourself settling on a moniker you’re lukewarm on just to get the hell out of the hospital, give these a try.

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BabyNameGame is a 99-cent app that randomly serves up names for you to swipe right (love it!) or left (NOPE!), Tinder-style. If you and your partner use it separately, it will let you know which ones are mutual winners.

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Put names you like through the blind date test. Imagine your baby is all grown up and being set up on a blind date – “hey, want to go out with my friend _____?” When you picture that person, do you want to meet them? (We owe Joanna Goddard for this trick!)

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Another mental check: the Supreme Court Justice test. How does your potential name sound after “Chief Justice”? (If the answer is “bizarre”, but you still love the name, consider it for potential middle names. You know, if you care.)

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Hit your favorite well-stocked newsstand and run through the mastheads of interesting magazines. If the name “Serena Van der Woodsen” makes you swoon, pick up every international edition of Vogue. More of a Blair Waldorf? Town & Country.

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If you want to honor, say, your Great Aunt Bertha and your partner’s grandfather Herbert, without giving your kid a scarring-for-life name, this crazy site will spit out anagrams of up to three names, giving you more elegant — but still commemorative — options like Heather or Barrett.

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Go to a museum and note artist names on placards. (Go big or go home, people.)

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Narrow your search with Awesome Baby Name: It takes your last name into account and suggests names based on available URLs. (At this time, ArloSmith.com is not taken.)

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The Baby Names by Nametrix app allows you to search by the most common names for each profession. As in “Hannah”s for playwrights and “Vernon”s for plumbers. And yes, there’s even data on how likely one is to be a stripper name.

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Know the first letter you want to use but wary of diving into the abyss of a general name site? (Maaike, Maalik, Mab, Mabel… not helpful.) Try Amazon’s alphabetized list of biography subjects and you’ll get a more succinct (and inspirational) list — think Marc (Chagall), Marianne (Faithfull), Morgan (Freeman).

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If you like the idea of a family name but aren’t crazy about the ones you know about, use Ancestry.com to dig in and unearth further-back relatives… and their (awesome) names.

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Scroll through photos in the #1weekold feed on Instagram to see what babies around the world are being named in real time. (Potential dealbreaker/maker for this one: You’ll also find some #1weekold puppies and chicks here.)

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