Megan Hilty: Making Memories Even Before Baby Arrives—You Might Want To Steal These

Parents caught up with former Smash star and Broadway headliner Megan Hilty and her singer-songwriter hubby Brian Gallagher at the launch of Wendy Bellisimo’s new collection for Destination Maternity. Due in September, this first-time mama spills about dealing with her cravings, making special memories with her baby girl before she arrives, and the song that makes her daughter go wild.

P: You’re coming into the home stretch. What has been the most surprising thing about your pregnancy?

MH: How much I’ve enjoyed it! I’ve really really loved being pregnant. She’s been an awesome baby and I’ve just really dug it.

P: Are you feeling the usual symptoms of back pain and swollen feet? What are your secrets for dealing with it?

MH: No back pain, but the reason I’m not wearing a dress is because I have no ankles anymore. So that’s been a fun thing to deal with at the end of summer.

P: And yet you’re in these huge stiletto heels!

MH: Oh yeah. Absolutely! You just gotta bind em up and keep them contained.

P: What have been your favorite fashion tricks to still look cool and have style while growing?

MH: Well, I’m actually wearing one of Wendy [Bellisimo]’s shirts. I love it so much because I do have to wear pants and at least this breathes a little bit. I don’t feel like I’ve had to sacrifice any style or anything because maternity fashion has become so hip.

P: You’ve said you’ve been craving everything that you can’t eat. How do you deal with these cravings that you can’t really curb and what’s your go-to snack?

MH: I trick myself. I really want a tuna fish sandwich, but everything that I read about tuna is like it’s awful for us in general now. So I go with a chicken salad. Vegetable rolls when we go out for sushi instead of raw fish. It’s not really what I want, but I try to just trick myself.

Coffee & Tea During Pregnancy: Safe or Not?
Coffee & Tea During Pregnancy: Safe or Not?
Coffee & Tea During Pregnancy: Safe or Not?

P: The two of you really seem to be bonding throughout this whole experience. What are you most looking forward to as a parenting team?

MH: We’ve been really lucky. Throughout this whole pregnancy we’ve been touring a lot and doing all these concerts and traveling. We do do everything together.

BG: When people ask me what I’m most excited about my sincere answer is usually to see her as a mom. I think it’s going to be pretty magical.

MH: And I’m just excited to see him be a dad.

P: You’re both musicians, so do you guys sing to her? Is there a choice favorite song?

MH: We’ve put together this project. For every concert that we did, our encore was “Rainbow Connection” and we videotaped it. She can hear everything but we wanted to show her all the amazing places she’s been and all the beautiful people she’s been surrounded by.

P: Does she kick around when you sing it or is there a different song that she reacts to?

MH: She likes it when I’m mellow so “Second Hand White Baby Grand” from Smash. Every time I sing that. The first time it happened I looked at him like [Whoa!]. He didn’t know what was happening. She always has a little party during that song.

P: So you’ve been pondering baby names and you’ve narrowed it down. I won’t ask you to reveal your choices, but have there been specific sources of inspiration?

MH: We do have a family name as her middle name and that has been a constant. But we did pick out a name. We went to Paris for our babymoon. You know that bridge you put your lock on? We hung her full name there and the lock came with three keys, so we each threw a key in and made a wish for her and then we have her key at home and a little map where she can go find it if it’s still there or if she even cares about it.

BG: Probably not. She’ll be in Paris with her friends and she’ll be like my parents did this stupid thing for me and now…

MH: …I have to find my dumb lock. [Laughter]

Need help choosing a name for your sweetheart? Try our Baby Name Finder!

P: It sounds like you have already been making memories and preparing for her. Is her nursery all decorated?

MH: It’s like the rest of our apartment. It’s a little shabby chic, antique-y with pastel colors. We knew we’d be getting a lot of pink stuff and I’m so not against pink, but I didn’t want it to define her just because she’s a girl. We have a lot of yellows and turquoises and violets.

P: With both of you being performers, will you nudge her in that direction? Is there a little singer in there?

MH: We’re hoping she’s our retirement fund, so we’re hoping she actually makes some money. [Laughter] No, but she’ll be surrounded by amazing people in the theater, of course, so she’ll see what it’s like and she’ll see how hard it is to make it there. So if that’s what she wants to do we’ll support her.

Photograph: Chad Davis, Courtesy of Destination Maternity

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Tags: | Categories: celebrities, GoodyBlog

Best Deals for the Week Across the Web

By Susan Yoo-Lee, Editor of Savings.com

There’s almost nothing better than getting something on a steep discount or for absolutely free, and this week’s deals will help you do just that. From eBay and Famous Footwear to Yoyo, Best Buy and Gaiam, use these deals to buy one item and get the second for sale or for free.

That’s our favorite way to shop.

  1. eBay. Buy 1 and get 1 50% off sitewide (Coupon code: HALFOFF). Expires 9/8/2014.
  2. Famous Footwear. Buy 1, get 1 50% off sitewide (No code needed). Expires 9/14/2014.
  3. Yoyo.com. Buy 3 books, get 1 50% off (Coupon code: 3BOOKS50). Expires 10/30/2014.
  4. Best Buy. Buy more and save more on select Blu-ray movies (Click through link). Expires 9/14/2014.
  5. Gaiam. Buy 2 or more and get 20% off all orders (Coupon code: AF20SAVINGS). Expires 8/31/2014.

This post contains affiliate links.

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Carter Oosterhouse on Building Active Communities and Living Green

Parents caught up with HGTV’s reigning expert on eco-friendly living, Carter Oosterhouse. He now plays host to four TV programs including Red Hot & Green all about eco-friendly design. Having discovered carpentry at the age of 12, Oosterhouse is now an expert, which is why he teamed up with Scott Naturals to launch their new tube-free toilet paper. He shares with us his tips to go green (easily!) in your home and the inspiration behind his youth charity Carter’s Kids.

P: What motivated you to start carpentry so young?

CO: My dad was a farmer and was constantly saying “You gotta work. You can’t just sit around the house and watch TV.” So that prompted all of us kids to always be busy. Something that was easy—a summertime job where you could have fun—was building. I liked doing it. I felt like I was getting outside and being active.

Seeing kids now being so stagnant, I started a non-profit [Carter’s Kids] where we build playgrounds and that’s because you see so many kids who don’t get out. You have to provide something that’s a reason for them to get out. Plus, I’m a big kid at heart.

P: What kind of impact have you seen from these Carter’s Kids playgrounds?

CO: We build one playground a month all over the U.S. in random cities, low-income neighborhoods, schools that really need it. It’s amazing to see how kids will respond when they have something attractive to play on. It’s like you put Disney World in their backyard. You have to remember back when you were a little kid and your world is your little town. When that’s just your world and you put something big and shiny it changes the whole dynamic. This playground becomes the community center point, which makes an even bigger impact. You’re not just changing the lives of those kids who are playing on it, but also the lives of the people who live there.

P: Do all Carter’s Kids playscapes include the same basic elements or are they each unique? 

CO: We usually work with whomever we’re building it for and say “What do you guys need? Are you by the water? Do you like boats? Are you in Iowa with cornfields?” They’re all different, but all awesome. Each playground takes a lot of prep. To build it only takes two days. I love doing it. If you do build one playground for the kids you get that rush that keeps bringing you back.

Find more ways for your kids to get outside and moving with Parents’ Activity Finder. 

P: You started on Trading Spaces, and now you have these other shows including Red Hot & Green. How did you get started in the green space?

CO: My parents were big nutritionists. So I thought, Well how else does that translate into other things? And that is: the earth. How could we build without taking away so much? Slowly but surely I got in the TV shows and I thought, I wanna do a show that has to do with eco-living and eco-repurposing and remodeling. Today when people see how they can be more efficient and cut down monthly bills, it makes more economical sense to be green within your home.

P: What are some ways that the average American family can be eco-friendly in their home?

CO: There are so many. It’s cool to buy secondhand stuff and repurpose it and give it another life. Whether that’s furniture or clothes. Around the house, lighting is huge and using CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs. Composting. Recycling is one. When [my wife and I] got married, we actually only had one bag of trash because we were able to compost and recycle. Also, VOC-free paint, and using organic cleaning products. That’s good for you and your plumbing in your house. Oh! And aerators on your faucets. Living eco-friendly is sort of like preventative medicine. This is a better way to provide for your home because in the long run you’re going to pay less, your home will last longer, your bills aren’t going to be as large.

Eco-Friendly Bottles
Eco-Friendly Bottles
Eco-Friendly Bottles

Top photograph: In honor of the launch, Oosterhouse and I posed in front of this 30 foot replica of the Empire State Building made of 14,000 rolls—the amount New York City throws away in only 15 minutes. Annually Americans toss 17 billion rolls, which is enough to fill the Empire State Building twice.

 

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Project Night Night: Give a Stuffed Animal or Blanket to a Child in Need

Project Night Night Care PackageEvery parent knows the soothing comfort that a security blankie or stuffed animal can offer a child at bedtime. But many children around the country don’t have that simple luxury.

Each year, 1.5 million children go to sleep at night without a home, and the nonprofit, Project Night Night, is trying to make those long nights feel a little more secure by providing care packages made up of a blanket, children’s book and stuffed animal for children in need.

“Project Night Night strives to give children something they can call their own, something that can give them that little bit of comfort, and confidence, to deal with what’s in front of them,” the organization states.

To help, the organization lets you give back in several ways.

  1. Donate items: you can mail-in or, if you live near a drop-off location, you can give new blankets and new (or like-new) children’s books and stuffed animals.
  2. Donate money: You can make a tax deductible donation online.
  3. Or, for $25 you can provide a fully prepared “Night Night Package” that will be distributed to one homeless child.
  4. To learn more about how you can contribute, visit projectnightnight.org.

How to Establish a Bedtime Routine
How to Establish a Bedtime Routine
How to Establish a Bedtime Routine

Photo of care package courtesy of Project Night Night.

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Star Moms Participate in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

By Jenny Schaferice bucket challenge

Celebrity Baby Scoop is joining in on the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS.

In the trending campaign, people are asking 2-3 of their friends to dump a bucket of ice water over their heads. If your friends do not accept the challenge within 24 hours, they must donate $100 to an ALS association of choice.

In the last few weeks, the #IceBucketChallenge has literally soaked some celebrities, including Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon and Martha Stewart. Not to mention, some of our favorite celebrity parents such as Gwen Stefani, Nicole Richie, Jessica Alba and Gavin Rossdale. Check out Gwen and Gavin’s video here, and then see their 8-year-old son Kingston also take on the challenge.

Pop superstar Jennifer Lopez also took the challenge, and got some help from her 6-year-old twins Max and Emme. The Jenny From the Block singer, 45, shared the video via Instagram.

And we loved Ben Affleck’s funny Ice Bucket Challenge via Facebook, where he got playful with his wife, fellow actress Jennifer Garner, and their daughters Violet, 8, and Seraphina, 5, erupted in contagious giggles when he threw her into their backyard pool.

Often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

Celebrity Baby Scoop’s senior editor, Jenny Schafer, lost her father to ALS and created her own video to challenge a few Hollywood moms: Hollywood insider GG Benitez, Real Housewives of Atlanta star Phaedra Parks, Real Housewives of O.C. star Tamra Judge, and Broadway dancer, singer and actress Courtney Lopez.

First to accept the challenge was GG Benitez. See her fun video here (andhere) and check out the online buzz from her clients who took the challenge: Mabel’s LabelsPOSH Mommy and Freebies2Deals and The Orange Rhino.

Next up for the challenge was Courtney Lopez. Check out this priceless Instagram video, showing her support for the cause — with some help from her adorable 3 1/2-year-old daughter Gia.

“I was nominated by @herscoop and @celebritybabyscoop for the #icebucketchallenge #alsicebucketchallenge!,” Courtney says, then nominates actress Eva Longoria.

“And I nominate @evalongoria and @kearrangiovanni ! #doit,” she continues.

Courtney’s husband, Extra host Mario Lopez, couldn’t help but show his support. The Saved by the Bell alum, 40, went on to tweeting about their video.

Use our Baby Name Finder to find the perfect name for your little one, check out which celebrities are pregnant, or find outdoor games at Shop Parents.

What's Your Parenting Style?
What's Your Parenting Style?
What's Your Parenting Style?

More celebrity & parenting news:

Katie Holmes: “I Was A Very Nervous Mother”

“The Guncles” Expecting Baby No. 2: A Boy

Christian Bale Welcomes Second Child: A Boy

CelebrityBabyScoop.com is one of the most popular blogs on the topic and the foremost provider of everything celebrity-baby, featuring baby fashion, baby names, baby trends and up-to-the-minute celebrity baby gossip and pics. Get all the latest news, updates, and photos about Hollywood’s most beloved celebrity moms, dads and their babies. Who’s the latest Tinseltown baby? Who’s due next and who just announced a pregnancy? It’s all on CelebrityBabyScoop.com.

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Parents Goodyblog Giveaway: Enter for a Chance to Win BIC® School Supplies

It’s time to hit the books! That’s right, school is in session! Whether your kid is starting preschool or middle school, showing up prepared is always in style.

To kick off the new school year and save you some cash, BIC®  is giving three (3) lucky winners a chance to receive his or her own BIC® backpack filled with fifteen BIC® school supplies–each prize has a total value of $50.

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day on August 25. Be sure to check back on August 26 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. We’ve also posted all the Official Rules. Goody luck!

Still shopping for a lunchbox? Here are our tips!

How to Choose a Lunchbox
How to Choose a Lunchbox
How to Choose a Lunchbox

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Best Deals for the Week Across the Web

By Susan Yoo-Lee, Editor of Savings.com

If your child wears a uniform to school, you know that doesn’t necessarily mean you save any money on back-to-school clothing. Between the skirts and scooters, blouses, polo’s, jumpers and pants, there’s plenty to prepare for when it comes to back-to-school, even if your child will be rocking a uniform. Use this week’s deals to score discounts on all the uniform staples from places like JCPenney, Justice & Brothers, Sears and more. Now your kid will look good going back to school, and you won’t go broke in the process.

  1. JCPenney. 40% off boys uniforms (Follow the link for savings). Expires 9/06/2014.
  2. Sears. Save $10 off orders $75 on Dockers school uniform styles for kids, plus free shipping (Coupon code: DOCKERS9). Expires9/20/2014.
  3. French Toast. 15% off sitewide (Coupon code: SAVINGS). Expires 9/30/2014.
  4. Justice & Brothers. 15% off all orders (Coupon code:15). Expires 10/4/2014.
  5. Staples. $5 off orders $25 or more on school uniforms (Coupon code: 92469). Limited time offer.

This post contains affiliate links.

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Wanted: Beauty Product Testers

Calling all beauty-loving moms on the go! We need your help.

For an upcoming issue, Parents is looking for moms to test out new “speedy” beauty products. If you’re interested, send an e-mail to parentsbeautydept@gmail.com by August 22, 2014 that includes the following information:

1. Name

2. Age of your child(ren)

3. E-mail address

4. Mailing address

5. Favorite type of beauty product

Important Notes

Sorry, but you are not eligible if you:

  • Are currently pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Live outside the U.S.
  • Receive mail at a P.O. Box

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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