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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Jessica Alba

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Parents attended a taping of  The Meredith Vieira Show, featuring special guest Jessica Alba. Movie star, entrepreneur and mom of Honor, 6, and Haven, 3, Alba is now a billionaire thanks to her venture The Honest Company. Dissatisfied with the home and baby product options on the shelves when she first became a mom, Alba founded the venture to provide non-toxic, truly organic, eco-friendly products in the baby, bath and body, cleaning, and wellness markets. But the conversation wasn’t all busines. Meredith and Jessica had a ton of fun on set and the audience learned a few things about Alba that they didn’t know before:

1. She loves her 30s. Alba confessed that her teens and her twenties were a time of insecurity. She says that she had a lot of the “normal” worries, but that much self-doubt came from her lack of a college education, which made her feel she wasn’t smart enough. Alba says that becoming a mom and making it over the hump of 30 was when she truly came into her own.

2. She can’t sing. At bedtime, moms will do anything to get little ones to go to sleep. Alba and her husband resort to singing. Well, Honor had a sleepover recently and Alba was going to tear her hair out if the girls didn’t get some zzz’s. So she sang to them. Honor’s friends were mortified because Alba is completely tone deaf (even though Honor never realized it)! Still, we have a feeling that with her acting chops, Alba will be just fine.

Playing With Baby: Let the Music Play
Playing With Baby: Let the Music Play
Playing With Baby: Let the Music Play

3. She has trouble at school drop-off. Alba admitted that just like a lot of moms out there, taking her eldest to school is much harder for her than it is for Honor. Alba misses her daughter during the day, saying that she wishes that during nap time she could just sneak in and cuddle with her.

4. She loves hand-me-downs. Alba is not too good for passing down pre-loved clothes to Haven. In fact, she prefers it. She loves seeing the outfits a second time around and reliving the memories of Honor wearing the same ensemble.

Shopping for your first? Parents has tons of recommendations for cute baby outfits!

5. She’s good at guessing games. This episode of The Meredith Vieira Show pitted Vieira opposite Alba in a guessing game much like “25,000 Pyramid.” Although Vieira’s team won in the end, Alba put up a good fight!

Jessica Alba appears on Wednesday, September 10th’s The Meredith Vieira Show, check your local listings or visit MeredithVieiraShow.com to find out when and where it airs in your city.

Photograph: Jessica Alba & Meredith Play The “Baby Talk” Game With Two Pregnant Audience Members/Courtesy The Meredith Vieira Show

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Open-Minded: Tennis Pro Sloane Stephens Reflects on the U.S. Open

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Just before the Open American tennis star Sloane Stephens joined American Express and the USTA to participate in the Fresh Courts Challenge as part of the USTA’s Fresh Court Initiative. The campaign refurbished courts in the five boroughs of New York City to promote youth tennis and works year round to refresh courts across the country.While Stephens may have lost early this past tournament, she continues to be a champion for youth sports and living an active lifestyle. She weighed in with Parents on her pro experience and her advice to young players.

P: What does it feel like to be an American tennis player at the U.S. Open?
SS: I am always grateful for the overwhelming support from the fans at the U.S. Open. Playing in New York is one of the biggest thrills of the season.

P: Is it exciting or do you feel pressure carrying the banner for the next generation of American tennis?
SS: It’s very exciting. Of course there’s pressure I try not to focus on that. Mostly it’s personal pressure not public pressure. I have really high expectations of myself.

P: How can we better nurture American tennis talent?
SS: Grass roots programs are really important. We need to get kids active and involved early.

P: What attracted you to the sport at age 9?
SS: I’m passionate about sports & was always active. When I was introduced to it, it felt natural.

P: What are some of the benefits kids may reap from tennis – particularly benefits that are different from other team sports?
SS: Independence and confidence in decision-making are two that come to mind.

P: What was it like participating in Saturday’s event and playing with those kids from the area?
SS: Health and wellness for kids is something I’m really passionate about. I enjoy their innocence and how much joy it brings to them. It’s refreshing for me.

P: What is your advice to young players and to the parents of those athletes?

SS: For kids, practice hard and study hard. You have to do both. For parents, listen to your kids and support them as a kid not as an athlete. It’s important to let them find their passion and not live your dreams through them.

If tennis isn’t your sport, that’s ok! Get out and get active!

How to Pitch Like a Big Leaguer
How to Pitch Like a Big Leaguer
How to Pitch Like a Big Leaguer

Photograph: Credit Craig Barritt/Getty Images

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Laila Ali: Be The Best You Can Be And Then Teach Your Kids Those Habits

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

On Monday, Parents joined the United States Tennis Association and boxer turned TV host Laila Ali to kick off National Obesity Awareness Month at the U.S. Open Championships. As an athlete and mom of Curtis, 6, and Sydney, 3, Ali is passionate about getting kids active from a young age. She shares her best advice for getting your kids up off the couch.

P: We’re here today to kick off National Obesity Awareness Month. How important is this cause to you as a mom and an athlete?

LA: It’s so important because it’s an epidemic here in the Untied States. Whenever children are involved they can’t be to blame. I’m always trying to spread awareness and inspire people to be the best that they can be, first, and then of course teach their kids those habits.

P: How do you get your kids to stay active and healthy?

LA: First and foremost, my kids see their parents being active. We live an active lifestyle so they get included. They’re introduced at a young age to different sports and they realize they like it. I think the key is getting them started young, giving them options and taking them outside.

P: What do you say to a parent whose child doesn’t want to get up off the couch?

LA: I think you definitely have to get involved as a family. Parents can’t be like, “Get up and go outside.” Sometimes you have to go outside with your kids, sometimes you have to go to the park, you have to go skating, you have to go to the beach and go biking. There are so many things that you can do just to get active. Also set parameters. “No you can’t watch TV right now, figure something out,” like they used to say back in the day. You’re going to find something to do because you’re going to be bored. It takes work and it takes consistency.

Find inspiration for fun with your child with Parents’ Activity Finder.

P: With your son just turning 6 and a 3-year-old girl, do they often have sibling squabbles? How do you deal with them?

LA: It’s a constant struggle in my life: these two fussing and arguing and my daughter coming in and wrecking whatever her brother built. He gets upset and I say “I understand you’re upset, but you can’t fight.” There are a lot of time outs in my house. They get tired of sitting out and they learn how to play.

It Worked For Me: Genius Discipline Tricks
It Worked For Me: Genius Discipline Tricks
It Worked For Me: Genius Discipline Tricks

P: What are you most looking forward to as your kids get older?

LA: I’m looking forward to getting them involved in sports because that’s a regret that I have—that I didn’t get involved in sports at a young age. I’m definitely getting one of those nets and racquets and setting it up in my driveway. I can get out there and play with them. I’m really excited about that and learning as I go.

Photograph: Courtesy of USTA

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

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

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

Carter Oosterhouse on Building Active Communities and Living Green

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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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There’s A New Kind Of Circus In Town: Marvel Universe LIVE!

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Summer is full of concerts, capades, and circuses for families to enjoy. But there’s a new show in town unlike anything you or your kids have ever seen: Marvel Universal LIVE! Before you brush this off as just another big arena show, think about this: The Avengers, X-Men, and Spider-Man all on a single stage. (I think your own little Spider-Man just lept to the ceiling in excitement.)

Produced by the creators of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey and Disney On Ice, comes a show of massive proportions. It’s an original story that brings together 25 heroes and villains from the Marvel Universe. The spectacle brings these icons to life “to show audiences their powers—things they could only imagine could exist in film or in animation,” according to Juliette Feld, the show’s producer and EVP of Feld Entertainment. From a wild live car chase to actors freefalling 26 feet, the stunts are big and the action explosive. Marvel Universal LIVE! uses never-before-seen technology and special effects to bring the comic book world to fruition for the whole family.

“We really try to create stuff that parents will love as much as the kids,” says Feld, who is pregnant with her first child. “I hope I have a good perspective on what is meaningful to moms and to dads because I’m one of them.” While the show is recommended for kids ages 5-12, Feld knows from experience that even younger kids can get into the hype: her baby reacts in utero to Feld’s time in rehearsal. “She really likes this scene where Thor is fighting Rhino and Lizard and Doc Ock,” laughs Feld. “There’s really heavy bass in that scene, so that might be what she’s responding to. I think she has her own hammer in there. She just starts knocking around!”

Marvel Universe LIVE! kicked off it’s 85-city tour last night in Tampa, FL as it brings the magic of superheroes (and the villains they battle) to audiences all over the globe.

Click her for other fun activities for you and your kids to enjoy this summer vacation.

Click here to find out if Marvel Universe LIVE! is coming to your city.

Make a mask and matching cape for your mini-hero!

How to Make DIY Capes and Masks
How to Make DIY Capes and Masks
How to Make DIY Capes and Masks

Photograph: Courtesy Marvel Universe LIVE!

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Jennie Garth: “It’s always family before friends, and the girls respect that….Family first.”

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Set your DVRs, ladies, because tonight is a 90210 reunion! Well, kind of. Jennie Garth and her longtime gal pal Tori Spelling are teaming up again in the new ABC Family series Mystery Girls, premiering tonight. Parents caught up with Jennie a few weeks ago and then met her at a special Mamarazzi screening event, hosted by The MOMS of SiriusXM fame. The actress and mother of three daughters, Luca, 17, Lola, 12, and Fiona, 8, opened up to us about raising her girls to be confident women, recovering from divorce, working her latest volunteer project, and filming her hilarious new sitcom.

P: Your girls are growing up so quickly. Is it tougher to be a parent to toddlers and preschoolers or tweens and teens?

JG: Oh my god I would have to say younger is tougher because they cannot articulate what they’re thinking or what they want or need so well. The language barrier is definitely a problem.

P: What traits of yours do you see in each of your daughters?

JG: All of my best ones [laugh]. I can definitely see qualities from myself as well as qualities of their dad. Good and bad from both of us. Luca today was listening to the same exact music that I was listening to at her age, which was The Cure. She didn’t listen to it today because of me, she listened to it totally on her own. So we have similar musical taste. She’s also beautiful. She has very similar body, dance, movement style. My middle one, Lola, is very organized and very much an organized thinker, a list-maker and she likes to have tasks and complete them—that’s how my brain works. My little Fiona, she’s very competitive. So when we play board games she likes to win, and she’s very quick-witted and those are definitely both qualities of mine. You definitely see yourself in them for good and for bad sometimes.

P: Is there a childlike thing that you get excited to relive through Fiona, since she’s your youngest?

JG: All of it. Easter egg coloring, and you know, she loves to play board games. Coloring. Coloring book coloring. I love just sitting and coloring. She loves any kind of game. Puzzles. We do all that. And reading with her. We still snuggle in bed together, where the other girls do their own thing at bedtime, you know. The book-reading at that time is one of my favorite times of the day.

P: Having three girls is no easy task, and you’re a single mom. Do you have any best piece of advice for women dealing with the same situation and transition?

JG: I have so much encouragement and wisdom to pass along to people. When I first was on my own, everything was so challenging. Everything was stressful. Everything was more than I could handle and I didn’t know if I was gonna be able to get through it on my own. I felt like I was swimming upstream all the time. And at some point it just changed. And all of a sudden, mornings are pleasant again. The morning rush isn’t stressful. It isn’t like “I can’t do this,” it’s like “Yeah, we got this guys.” Me and my girls will handle it and it will all be great. It rounded a corner for me and I think that that happens when it happens for everyone and nobody can force that, and it’s really hard to believe when you’re in it. Hold on to that faith and knowledge that it will get better.

From a kid’s perspective, it’s an ongoing condition. My kids are never going to not be sad that their parents aren’t together. And me acknowledging that and holding that really gently and tenderly is the best thing that I can do. I can’t change the situation unfortunately, but I can hold the fact that their feelings about it are always gonna be right there at the surface no matter how old they are.

P: It sounds like you are all so close. With such a busy career it can be tough to keep that “family unit” feeling going. Are there any routines to carve out family time?

JG: We do dinner every night together. It’s tough because my teenager’s got a full schedule. But it’s always family before friends and the girls respect that and they take that seriously, which is cool. I just keep it really tight. Family first.

Spice up your family dinner night:

How to Season
How to Season
How to Season

P: You’re involved in a new campaign that starts July 24 “Get an A+ in Eye Care” to help other families. Tell me about your work with this cause.

JG: Well with the three girls, two of them are now in glasses. I wear glasses. Eye care is something that’s a part of our family. I see when we provide vision care for the kids that don’t have access to it what a difference it makes in their lives. It’s pretty profound. I love being a part of it and this campaign is a very simple one. For every “like” on the Eye Solutions Facebook page Alcon is donating a dollar and that money goes directly to free exams and eyeglasses to children in need. I’ve been there and I’ve helped kids get fitted for their very first glasses.

P: Is activism and volunteerism something you hope to cultivate in your girls?

JG: Absolutely. It’s something that’s been instilled in me since I was a little girl. It’s something I’m just naturally handing down to my girls. It’s not something I really thought about. You pay it forward, that’s just what you do in this lifetime.

P: Mystery Girls with your longtime friend and co-star Tori Spelling premieres tonight. Tell me about the show and how you help your girls create solid healthy friendships like the one you have with Tori.

JG: Tori’s and my friendship is a pretty unique situation because we were on [90210] for ten years together. Not a lot of people get to experience what we did. So we have this crazy bond together and we are so blessed by that and able to carry that into our next job together. This is very a special love for each other. For my girls it’s just about teaching them their self-worth, first and foremost. Teaching them to love themselves and respect themselves and to gravitate toward other people who do the same and also to give them that same respect.

P: How did being a mom affect your decision to go back into the studio full time with Mystery Girls? 

JG: For me it was location. It’s very close to my kids’ school and our house, where we shoot it. The hours of the day that we work, sitcom hours, are much less than any other show you can shoot, and we work three weeks on, one week off. So I can have a solid week with my kids. And also, our kids come to the set and it’s so close to their school that they just come right after school. If this was a show that shot in West Los Angeles or something, it would be a totally different decision to look at. When you have kids, for me, they come first and my job comes second. So I have to look at all those factors, location and traffic and drive time all that stuff.

P: Your character, Charlie, is a bit concerned about being perceived as a cool mom by her daughter. How concerned are you with being a cool mom?

JG: I try to be not cool. I’m the mom with the tattoos. My kids admire the fact that I am kind of edgy personally, and they actually try to keep me in line. But I try to be not cool because I don’t want to be their friend. I want to be their mother.

P: Your book Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde puts it right out there: don’t stereotype me. How do you help your girls be confident young women and defy stereotypes?

JG: I think just in my actions and them seeing me function, you know. I’m so independent and capable that they have no other way of seeing a woman. I set an example not by choice but because that’s how I have to live. It’s so easy to stereotype women. Even my 16-year-old daughter is cast in plays as the “pretty girl,” the cheerleader, and she does it beautifully and she does it with depth and a certain depth I wouldn’t think they were expecting, but I’m already cognizant of what’s happening with her. It’s something that we’ll be facing and working on and discussing I’m sure for the rest of all of their lives.

Mystery Girls premieres Wednesday, June 25 8:30/7:30c on ABC Family. Check your local listings.

Photograph: Courtesy of Jennie Garth

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Tori Spelling: “This little community of love I created…that’s my legacy to pass on to them.”

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Attention all 90210 fans! Tori Spelling and her California co-star Jennie Garth are back with their new sitcom Mystery Girls, premiering tonight on ABC Family. Parents caught up with the pair at a Mammarazzi screening event hosted by The MOMS, one of a series of town hall style events hosted by the mommy lifestyle brand. In terms of mommyhood, not all of the mysteries are solved yet, but Tori revealed to Parents what it’s like to go back to work with four kids at home (Liam, 8, Stella, 7, Hattie, 3, and Finn, 2), the secret behind her fabulous birthday bashes, and her proudest accomplishment as a mother.

P: Having four kids, how did your mommy duties play into your decision to go back to work full time?

TS: Having done a lot of reality work since Liam was born, I’ve had that luxury of always being able to have them with me, so this is my first job that takes me away from them in eight years. It’s been a definite transition. I don’t think I was completely ready. Finn is still so young. But the timing was right and in this business you don’t always get a second chance, you know? We had an amazing show that ran for 10 years and to me that was like lightening in a bottle and that is what this felt like with this show. It felt like Wow this is the moment for it so I gotta take it and create it and do it. The nice thing is they do get to come to set, so I get to see my kids. We shoot very close to where we live, so it’s a nice balance.

P: Not only are you starring in the sitcom, you’re also the creator and executive producer. Where did the idea for Mystery Girls come from?

TS: When I first came up with the idea it was “Mystery Mom” because I was a mom and I wanted to do something in the realm of comedy, but I also love mysteries. I love like the 80s, 90s mysteries and I was like “I’ve never seen a sitcom do it, why not?” And two women doing it! The idea that [our characters] used to be on a show together was a wink wink to 90210. It went from Mystery Mom to Mystery Girls because it opened it up to everyone. But what we bring to these roles, it’s not just like you could have hired any two actresses to play these roles because there is a friendship and a sisterhood that goes for 20 years that you can’t write that.

P: Before Mystery Girls, your birthday parties on your reality show were famous. Do you have any fun parties planned and where do you get your inspirations?

TS: I did it the wrong way. I’m just putting it out there. I did it backwards. I went all out for the first two and then I kept having babies and now at four I’m like “There’s always a party, oh my G-d.” As a fulltime working mom, you just can’t keep doing the big parties. We’re scaling back now and we’re remembering it’s about family and who’s at the party, not about how big they are, even though I do still fixate on the details. It’s all about the DIY. Stella’s definitely a mini-me as far as decorating. Inspirations just come from when I was a kid. Everything that is out kind of comes back. So I always try to bring things back. Right now we’re into Jell-o molds. Bring em back!

Sign up for our Best Birthdays newsletter to throw your kid the party of the year!

Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake
Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake
Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake

P: You mentioned Stella got your decorating sense. Are any of your four kids a mini-me?

TS: I’m gonna have to hear that question again because as soon as you said four I was like oh my gosh I have four. All of them have a little, yes. Liam is definitely stubborn like me. He’s creative and passionate like me. He holds in his feelings like me. Stella does the same. Stella’s a DIY goddess, so she got my crafting gene and love for it. She loves fashion like I do. Stella does everything I do. We have a lot of fun together. We’re best friends. Hattie has a much bigger voice than I’ve ever had. I would love to have Hattie’s voice. I’m still trying to find my voice and Hattie has it. She’s loud and proud and she’s number three. I will see her using her hands like me—I talk a lot with my hands. The other day she was on the phone and she had her hands on her hip just how I talk on the phone. I saw her walking and I was like “That’s my walk.” And then Finn. Finn and I have a really special bond. I had a hard pregnancy with him, so he and I…I just want to hold him and never let him go. He has a little soulful spirit and he looks a lot like me when I was a baby. Oh my gosh there are so many.

P: What has your proudest moment been as a mom?

TS: [When they show love to each other.] Mine are so little that they were kind of their own people and now they’re starting to love each other. They are just starting to help each other and the other day Hattie needed help off the couch and she was starting to cry and she was like “Sissy Sissy!” Stella came running over and lifted her off the couch. She changes Finn’s diaper and he looks for her. It’s knowing that there’s a little community of love I created. That they have each other and that’s my legacy to pass on to them. I’ve given them this. I’ve given them love that will surround them forever.

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