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Josh Duhamel: “Nothing really meaningful happens without the help of many.”

Monday, April 14th, 2014

This past weekend, Parents joined Josh Duhamel as he closed out National Volunteer Week (April 6-12) and kicked off the Advil Relief in Action volunteer campaign. As part of the annual New York Cares Day Spring, Josh helped clean up Franz Sigel Park in the Bronx. The actor, husband of Fergie, and dad of 7-month-old Axl took a break from the dirty work to chat with us about volunteerism and fatherhood.

P: You’ve mentioned that your mom made volunteering a part of your life. 

JD: Yeah, and my dad really. For my mom it was more about organized volunteering. Getting out and doing things in the community. But my dad is a really selfless dude, too. He’s always helping somebody do something.

 P: What kind of volunteering did they have you doing when you were young?

JD: Everything from parking cars at events for the football team to the local downtown cleanup. It was always kind of a drag for me when I was a kid. I always felt good afterwards, but it wasn’t until recently when I started organizing things [that I became passionate]. I was having a bit of a problem with just putting on a suit and going to charity events and calling it charity. Even though they are raising money for a worthy cause, I didn’t feel like I was really doing anything. I started organizing youth runs throughout Los Angeles where I go recruit people in schools to come out, raise money for Haiti or Japan and then again we did it in Minot where I’m from. Ever since then I’ve just sort of been an advocate of volunteering. I just read something yesterday where it’s the lowest it’s been since 2002, volunteerism, which is a little bit disconcerting.

I really believe that nothing really meaningful happens without the help of many. So we’re here with Advil and the Relief in Action campaign trying to get people to go pledge to volunteer in their communities and share their stories and re-inspire people to get out and volunteer.

P: Obviously Axl’s a bit young, but how do you hope to encourage this spirit of volunteerism as he gets older?

JD: The best way to do that is by showing them by example. Definitely gonna take him [to volunteer], also to keep everything in perspective. There are consequences to not going to school, doing drugs, things like that. Take him to soup kitchens and places like that, not only so that he’s helping, but so that he can see “better keep myself in line.”

P: What other values aside from volunteerism, generosity, do you hope to impart to him?

JD: Hard work is one. Valuing money—things just aren’t handed to you. It’s going to be hard because people want to give [us] stuff and I don’t want him to think that that’s normal. Mom and dad had to work hard for what they got. It’s a tough thing to do in our position, in that town, but we were both raised with very modest houses.

P: When was the first moment that you felt that “I’m a dad” feeling?

JD: Immediately when he was born. There’s this excitement-slash-terror that comes with a newborn baby like “Oh my God I love him! Oh my God I gotta take care of him for the rest of my life!” But it came pretty naturally. I’ve been wanting this for a long time. All my friends have kids. There haven’t been any major shockers, but, you know, I still look at him sometimes and go “Omg, I can’t believe that’s my kid. That’s my kid. We made him.”  He’s got a very sweet nature about him, which we love.

P: I know you grew up with three sisters. How do you think will it be to having a little man around the house?

JD: Honestly, I was expecting a girl because I have three sisters, [my wife] has a sister, our dog is a girl. Everything around me is female, so when they said ‘boy’ it took me a minute to actually register. He’ll need me as a male energy in the house.

P: Father’s Day is a little ways off but at Parents we’re already working on our June issue. This will be your first Father’s Day as a dad. Any special plans?

JD: In June he’ll be close to 10 months. Maybe we’ll go to the zoo so he can see all the animals. I do look forward to that.

P: He’s still a baby, but what do you enjoy doing with him on a regular Sunday afternoon?

JD: Right now he’s learning how to roll. He rolls all over the place, that’s how he gets around. But he has this car that was given to him by one of our friends, it’s a little Ferrari—it’s the only Ferrari that he’ll ever own as far as I can control him—but he gets in that thing and he’s all over the place. He becomes very independent and it’s very funny to see him explore in this little car. He loves to go in the pool; he loves to sort of kick his feet and play in the water. I’m gonna teach him how to swim as early as possible because that’s one of my biggest nightmares.

P: Sounds like safety is constantly on your mind.

JD: Unfortunately you have these crazy scenarios that run through your head that I think are there to make sure that you’re keeping him as safe as possible. I see things vividly and I’m like “No no no no no, that’s never gonna happen. We need to put a fence around the pool immediately,” or “We need to put a door here because this is not safe.” You know that he’s gonna get hurt, but it’s just a matter of how hurt.

P: Some actors decorate their kids rooms with paraphernalia from movies or projects that they’ve done. Anything like that in Axl’s room? Maybe some Transformers goodies?

JD: No, he’s got nothing but Safe Haven posters all over his room. [Laughs] Ah no. We’re just about to move into our house. We didn’t make his room too babyish, so it’ll be a room that he’ll grow into. Behind our house is this beautiful little ravine, this valley with all these birds and geckos and there’s a fox down there. We painted a mural of all those animals that are down below. One of the things that I look forward to is taking him down to explore. That’s the kind of stuff I did growing up. It’s all about imagination and nature.

Help get your child’s creative juices flowing with these fun activities.

Nursery Ideas: Design a Bird-Themed Nursery
Nursery Ideas: Design a Bird-Themed Nursery
Nursery Ideas: Design a Bird-Themed Nursery

Photograph: Getty Images for Advil / Duhamel is encouraging everyone to join him in taking the #ReliefinAction Pledge on the Advil® Facebook page and commit to volunteering this year.

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5 Celebrity Moms Who Embraced Their Post-Baby Bodies

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

The urgency to lose baby weight in Hollywood is almost as serious as an Oscar win.

Who dropped the postpartum pounds the fastest? Who debuted her post-baby body on a magazine cover? How much did she gain during her pregnancy?

Celebrity moms face these and many more questions when it comes to their bodies after baby. So when we hear moms like Kate Winslet and Mariska Hargitay embracing their postpartum figures, we can’t help but celebrate with them.

Let’s take a look at 5 celebrity moms who did not focus on fast weight loss, but instead embraced the postpartum period and their post-baby bodies.

Kate Winslet

Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet is mom to three kids: daughter Mia, 13, and sons Joe, 10, and Bear, 4 months.

While recently promoting her new film Divergent, the actress said she’s in no rush to lose the baby weight.

“To be honest with you, after having a baby you end up being so busy with the baby and the nursing,” she said. “And I have two other children as well obviously, so there’s so much going on that the difficulty I find is remembering that you have to eat. Because when you’re nursing you really have to eat, otherwise you don’t produce anything that’s going to feed your child. So nursing’s a great excuse to eat heaps. That’s what I’ve been doing.”

“I have to say, so much attention is placed on this thing of bouncing back after a baby,” she continued. “I don’t advocate fast weight loss at all after a baby, because you are nursing, you can’t, you have to eat and you have to be well… throwing myself into some workout regimen is crazy.”

She added: “Having just had a baby, I’m not going to be thinking about my arse.”

Reese Witherspoon

Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon had great perspective after welcoming her third child, son Tennessee, in September 2012.

At just 3-months postpartum – when the media asked how she’s “bouncing back” to her pre-baby body – the Oscar-winner kept it real.

“I don’t know if I’m bouncing back. I’m slowly crawling back,” said the actress, who’s also mom to daughter Ava, 14, and son Deacon, 10.

Drew Barrymore

Currently expecting her second daughter, actress Drew Barrymore didn’t stress over losing the baby weight after welcoming her baby girl Olive in September 2012..

“I don’t worry about it,” she shared of her post-baby body. “I probably wasn’t totally in shape before I got pregnant, but I do think I’m back to where I was. Perfect for me! I take care of myself. But I’m never going to be the person who talks about diet and exercise — I would fail that conversation!”

Prior to her second pregnancy, the Blended star praised the postpartum period as “sacred,” and not a time to be focused on rapid weight loss.

“I’m still working on it, but I’m not worrying about it,” she said. “We live in a society where everyone’s like, ‘Look at how amazing she looks two weeks out [from giving birth].’ I don’t want to be on that hamster wheel; that’s hell. I’m never going to have the kind of body that makes me excited about bikini season. I’ve never had a ‘beach body.’ But I want to feel like I’m showing up and doing my best. My goal is to be nice to myself, gentle toward myself, during this process. It’s such a sacred time.”

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson’s weight gain during her first pregnancy was one of the most talked-about topics of 2012.

The Fashion Star mentor graced the January/February 2013 cover of Weight Watchers magazine, showing off her weight loss after the May 1 arrival of her daughter Maxwell.

“I really have to separate myself from the world’s expectations and really just be healthy with myself,” Jessica shared. “I’m not a supermodel. My body is not bouncing back like a supermodel. I’m just your everyday woman.”

And although she’s a multi-millionaire and one of the world’s most beautiful women, Jessica says she’s still human and it hurts when people bashed her body.

“It’s not fun to be talked about,” she shared. “It’s not fun to be judged.”

“I never listen to it, no matter who the press talks about when they’re pregnant,” she added. “It’s ridiculous and unfair. I think any woman who is pregnant and creating a life is pretty much entitled to eat whatever she wants as long as she’s healthy. I wasn’t going to let the media take away from what was one of the happiest times in my life.”

Mariska Hargitay

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Mariska Hargitay is mom to three children: August, nearly 8, Amaya, 3, and Andrew, 2.

The actress says she not only embraces, but loves her body after baby.

 “I love my curves because they scream, ‘I’m a mama!’ I’m the girl who started wearing maternity pants about an hour after I found out I was pregnant because I was so excited about becoming a mom,” she shared. “Things are sagging a bit – I’m not going to lie. But am I going to be upset about the sag or am I going to look at my three gorgeous kids and my husband and count my lucky stars?”

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

Exercise With Baby: Building Core Strength
Exercise With Baby: Building Core Strength
Exercise With Baby: Building Core Strength

More celebrity & parenting news:

Elisabeth Röhm: I Can Be The Voice & Compassion On Infertility

DeAnna Pappas Stagliano: “Motherhood Is Such A Blessing”

Danielle & Kevin Jonas: Take A Look Inside Alena’s Playroom

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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Minnie Driver: “It’s the quality of time you spend with your child, not the quantity.”

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Parents sat down with Minnie Driver during a lunch to celebrate the launch of the “Be a Claritin Trailblazer” campaign. In an effort to help everyone enjoy their time outdoors, the makers of Claritin have donated $50,000 to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a non-profit that converts unused railways across the country into public parks. Minnie talked with us about why this project is so important to her and her son Henry, 5, their favorite outdoor activities, Easter plans, and her latest role as a single mom on NBC’s “About a Boy.”

P: How did you come to be involved in this cause?

MD: [On "About a Boy"] I play a very overprotective mother of a very sedentary child who doesn’t really like to go outside and do much. My son is the exact opposite of that. All he wants to do is go outside and run around, but I come from a long line of allergy sufferers—which is how I got involved. I love the idea of recycling aspects of where we live into something that is going to be healthful.

P: Does your son have allergies, as well? 

MD: He does. He actually has them worse than I do. I’m about to take him to an allergist when we get back because it’s only just properly surfaced. Poor little bean.

P: When he’s feeling under the weather, is there anything special that you do as mom to make him feel a little extra loved?

MD: Essential oils have really helped. Lavender oil and eucalyptus really help clear out his sinuses. I get him to lie down and I’ll give him a massage on his arms and his head. He loves that. Swimming helps, as well. He loves to be in the water because I think the itchiness goes away and the salt water really helps.

P: When neither of you are feeling the effects of the allergies, do you like trips to the park? What’s your go-to outdoor activity?

MD: We’re very outdoorsy. We surf. We live at the beach. We hike in the mountains in the back of our house. He plays soccer and tennis and tee ball. We’re outside a lot.

P: It sounds like you have him combining exercise and enjoyment and nature through his activities.

MD: Definitely. In Callifornia you can really do that. The weather permits you being outside a lot. Plus, he’s a boy. Running around is just the best thing for him to do.

P: Now that he’s 5 it is an age where he’s coming into his own, like a mini person instead of a baby. What’s your favorite thing about this age so far?

MD: You know, that he’s just so interested in the world. Just watching him explore it and now he’s sort of confident in it and in his exploration. It’s incredibly sweet to see his independence blossoming. He’s never been a shy boy, but I love the delight that he takes in the world.

P: Speaking of delight, do you have Easter plans?

MD: We have a big egg hunt planned. We live up on the bluff, and it goes all the way down the trail to the beach and then along the beach up until there are big flags where it ends. All the dads hide all the eggs early in the morning and we go for it. I can’t wait. It’s my favorite thing. The level of competitiveness also cracks me up.

Easter Chicks
Easter Chicks
Easter Chicks

P: Is Henry competitive?

MD: He just gets so excited. There is something so exciting about looking around in foliage and then seeing a pink egg. We dye them all like the week before. But I also do a thing where I know how to drain an egg and wash it out and then fill it with chocolate. It’s pretty cool. I did it last year for Henry and in the morning he came and hit the top of the egg like it was gonna be his breakfast and he was like, “It’s not cracking Mommy, what’s going on?” And I said, “I don’t know, open it!” And he opened it and [GASPED!] “It’s a CHOCOLATE EGG!”

P: During lunch you mentioned Henry’s love of Happy Feet and Frozen. I know you did the voice for Jane in Tarzan. Has he heard you in the movie?

MD: He absolutely loves it. It used to confuse him when he was little hearing my voice. I’m actually doing another movie for Disney, another big animation movie which will be out in a few years called Zootopia and he’s fascinated by me doing that. I’ve taken him to Disney. It’s really all coming together for him now and he realizes that me being a part of that is something special and amazing.

P: On your new show “About a Boy,” your character, Fiona, is this mix of an alternative mom yet super protective and hyper-vigilant. How do you compare on the Fiona scale?

MD: I’m not like that at all. I think it’s really funny, though, because I know so many women like that who think that they’re not. She’s a high perversion of some people that I know. And I have to be quite careful with dropping things in, not to identify. But I love her. She cracks me up.

P: In one episode she’s juggling life as a full time working mom and giving her son some freedom, but there is mom guilt. Do you ever experience mom guilt? What is your advice to other women who may experience that?

MD: I do all the time, but it is a choice. If you are choosing to go out to work, because you have to (which most women who work do), it’s sending such a strong message of having a great work ethic. It’s the quality of time you spend with your child, not necessarily the quantity. There are plenty of people who are around their kids all the time and don’t really connect with them. You have to trust that the time you spend with them is well spent and that there are many different ways to live your life. Mom’s not supposed to just be home. Dad’s not supposed to just go to work. I think if one can, it’s an amazing thing to be able to bring your child to your workplace at least just to see where it is, then they can picture you there. Whenever I’m going overseas, I find a picture of the place to show Henry.

Find printables for fun Easter crafts and activities here.

Photograph: Minnie Driver; Helga Esteb/Shutterstock.com

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Bobbi Brown Chats About The Beauty Of The Pretty Powerful Campaign

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

For the second year in a row Bobbi Brown Cosmetics has launched The Pretty Powerful Campaign for Women & Girls through a partnership with Girl Rising, a global social action campaign for girls’ education. The goal is to raise awareness for the importance of girls’ education in an effort to remove barriers such as early and forced marriage, domestic slavery, sex trafficking, gender violence and discrimination, lack of access to healthcare, and school fees.

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics’ new product - Pretty Powerful Mascara – is available in a limited edition tube in the brand’s signature pink featuring the campaign’s logo. Every cent of the retail price of the Pretty Powerful Mascara will be donated to The Girl Rising Fund, which drives resources to effective girl-empowerment programs in the developing world. Celebrity Baby Scoop recently caught up with Bobbi Brown to talk about the campaign and family life with her three sons.

CBS: In today’s world where girls can be perceived as being bossy in leadership roles, how does the Pretty Powerful campaign work to dispel that stereotype? What role does confidence play in a girls ability to realize she can make a difference in her family and community?

BB: Pretty Powerful is a campaign that focuses on confidence and sharing women’s stories. It started with empowering women and girls through makeup—the idea that all women are beautiful without makeup, but by using the right makeup to accentuate the qualities that make them unique, they exude confidence, which is Pretty Powerful. That philosophy has evolved into one of empowering women and girls through education. I can’t think of anything that makes a woman or girl more confident than being educated, and therefore, able to care for herself and for her family. To me, that is Pretty Powerful.

CBS: In what ways are you most proud of the partnership between Pretty Powerful and the Girl Rising movement? What success stories tug at your heartstrings?

BB: I’m so proud of the way that this partnership highlights how much can be achieved when women stand up to support other women. When we launched the partnership, Bobbi Brown artists at our local makeup counters worked together with Girl Rising ambassadors to spread the word about the campaign and encourage people to get involved. The stories I’ve heard about that teamwork, how committed all these women are to coming together to raise awareness about the mission to educate girls and break the cycle of poverty in one generation, is truly inspiring.

CBS: How can we support The Girl Rising Fund in our local communities? What is your fundraising goal over the next two years to fund this global initiative?

BB: There are a number of ways to support The Pretty Powerful Campaign for Women & Girls and The Girl Rising Fund. First, you can spread the word. Host a screening of the documentary and invite your family, friends and community. We need to raise as much awareness as possible about the 65 million girls missing from classrooms around the world. Second, you can purchase the Pretty Powerful Mascara at counters or on bobbibrowncosmetics.com. It’s our best-selling Everything Mascara formula, in a limited edition pop-of-pink tube. Every cent of its $25 selling price in the U.S. will be donated to The Girl Rising Fund. Third, you can make a donation directly to The Girl Rising Fund at girlrising.com. Every donation helps—for example, just $13 will provide an Ethiopian girl with a uniform, books and school supplies.

CBS: You keep a full schedule, yet you make your family your number one priority. What advice would you share with other career minded moms about striking balance between work and family?

BB: It’s all about finding a balance that works for you. For me, family always comes first. I spend two days a week at my office in New York City and three days a week at my office in Montclair, New Jersey, which is where I live. When I’m not working, I love to spend time with my family and I always make time for important life events. The key is to find a healthy and happy balance and to prioritize. If you know what’s important to you, you will always make the right decisions.

CBS: You have 3 sons, Duke, Dylan, and Dakota, what do they think of the work you are doing through the Pretty Powerful campaign? What life lessons do you want them to take away from the work you are doing to impact the world in such a powerful way?

BB: I hope they always remember to be kind and respect others, no matter who they are. Also, that nothing is more gratifying than giving back.

CBS: Tell us about being a mom. Did motherhood change how you look at the world?

BB: Becoming a mother is like putting on glasses for the first time— your priorities become very clear. Your perspective shifts and you want to make the world a better place for your children. It’s the hardest but most rewarding job you’ll ever have.

CBS: What activities do you enjoy doing as a family? Do you have any favorite summer get-a-way spots?

BB: We love to travel together as a family—being active, exploring new places and trying different cuisines. Last year we went on a safari in South Africa, it was an unforgettable trip. In the summer, my favorite getaway is our beach house in Bay Head, New Jersey. My sons bring their friends, and usually a few nephews and an exchange student or two are there, as well. It’s busy, it’s noisy and it’s fun.

CBS: Do you have any new projects coming up that you’d like to tell us about?

BB: This spring has been full of new projects that I’m excited about. First, we launched Skin Foundation Stick in March, which is an updated version of my iconic Foundation Stick that I launched 21 years ago. The new formula has a translucent base, which makes it even easier to blend and layer seamlessly into skin. We also added four new shades for a total of 24 skin-tone correct options—there’s something for everyone, and the stick formula is portable and convenient for women-on-the-go.

I’m also excited about my partnership with Safilo Group to develop my own line of optical wear. In January I launched a collection of eyeglasses, sunglasses and readers. As a long-time glasses wearer, and after spending my entire career looking at women’s faces, I know how many women wear glasses and how hard it can be to pick frames that work for your face. I’m confident that the line we developed will cut down on that confusion and make women feel excited about and confident in their glasses.

At the same time, I’ve written my eighth book, “Everything Eyes,” that comes out in April and contains eye makeup tips and tricks for glasses and non-glasses wearers alike. Lastly, we have a makeup collection called Perfectly Defined to complement the eye wear and book launch. The highlight of the collection for me is the new Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner, which is my Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner formula in a convenient retractable pencil (in six shades) as opposed to the traditional pot.

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

Parenting Style: Positive Parenting
Parenting Style: Positive Parenting
Parenting Style: Positive Parenting

More celebrity & parenting news:

Trista Sutter: “We Have A Strong Family Bond”

Gilles Marini: My Children Are My Life & Everything

Gena Lee Nolin’s Blog: Girls vs. Boys

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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Alison Sweeney: “My best course of action is to model the behavior that I hope to see in them.”

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Like most moms, Alison Sweeney is super busy. But the Days of Our Lives actress, Biggest Loser host, author of the upcoming novel Scared Scriptless , and our cover girl along with her cute kids back in 2011 still makes living healthfully a top priority for herself, her husband, and Benjamin, now 9, and Megan, now 5. She’s recently teamed up with Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant to promote healthy smiles. Parents caught up with Sweeney to talk about good nutrition, keeping active, setting a good example, and maintaining a balance amidst the chaos.

P: How do you approach the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle?

AS: There are so many great tips from The Biggest Loser that I have incorporated into my daily life, but certainly I have tried to make it a lifestyle for my kids, too. Just that idea of healthy eating at home. Not making food or dessert a reward in any way. Trying not to put too much emphasis on food, trying to keep it in a healthy realm. I wish Popeye were on TV again eating his spinach to get big muscles, because that’s exactly what I’m going for: Your body needs fuel, but there’s good kinds and there’s bad kinds.

P: Are your kids healthy eaters naturally or do you get creative with your recipes?

AS: Maybe there are kids who are healthy eaters “naturally,” but I have yet to meet one. Our preschool taught us that kids’ palettes change over time so even if they don’t like something right away you should try it again. I just keep reintroducing foods, especially vegetables. I try different ways to prepare them. Brussesl sprouts are more a grownup thing, but I’m absolutely obsessed with them. They’re my favorite vegetable right now. I made a raw brussel sprout and kale salad the other day that I literally chopped up like a chopped salad and my kids devoured it. I had this olive oil and lemon juice dressing and roasted almonds on it and I’m not kidding, my son had third helpings. I couldn’t believe it. I do keep trying. I’m an old school parent; I’m pretty strict. “You don’t always get to eat your favorite thing. This is what I made for dinner tonight and you have to eat your vegetables.” That’s the rule.

Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids

P: Is there a go-to healthy snack that you like to give them after school or before an activity?

AS: I love greek yogurt. So I have tons in the house. It’s a 2% greek yogurt with blueberries, a little bit of agave and cinnamon and spiced almonds. My kids love it and so do I and it’s really good for you.

P: How do you like to get active with your kids?

AS: My kids are involved in lots of sports and different activities after school. I like to get involved with my son. He plays baseball and I love to go out and play catch with him and run the bases. I worked with him on his running technique because I am a runner. It was really fun to practice his breathing technique with him and his posture and his form. I was thinking to myself, “Wow. It’s pretty cool, a 9-year-old learning to run legitimately.”

P: With all of this encouragement of a healthy lifestyle, how do you still promote a healthy body image so that it doesn’t become a pressurized situation, especially because you have a young daughter?

AS: I think in today’s society it really is starting to become across the sexes. It’s something that I’m extremely aware of and concerned about. I know that my best course of action is to model the behavior that I hope to see in them. I don’t criticize my own body. I don’t cover up or shy away from wearing a bathing suit when we’re at the beach or when I’m with them. I work hard not to use dieting-type words in front of them.

P: How else do you set an example?

AS: It starts from the moment you wake up in the morning. We brush our teeth together. Your kids should see you work out and taking time for yourself. You would want your daughter to take time for herself to work out. You play with your phone in the family dynamic, that’s the choice they’re going to be making. I know lots of people with teenage kids who are like, “Why are they on the phone the whole time?” And I’m like, Aren’t you texting me right now to ask me that question?

P: It seems that women are always trying to achieve a perfect balance. How do you manage expectations and how do you hope to guide your daughter?

AS: I don’t expect everything to balance out at the end of one day or two days or even a week. I feel like it is a pendulum: We’re getting a little bit heavy on the work this week, so next week we’re gonna get a little heavy on the family life. If you’re looking at the scale over the course of my life, it will balance out in the end. It’s a conversation my husband and I work on together when we see how the family dynamic is shaping up.

P: Was the quest for that balance part of your choice to leave Days of Our Lives?

AS: I turned 16 at Days and I’ve loved being part of the show. That said, my son is now 9, my daughter is 5, and I’m wanting to spend more time with them and to explore new opportunities directing, acting, writing, and developing shows.

P: How do you hope to spend the time that this will free up?

AS: I’m still planning to be busy but I’m hoping the new schedule will enable me to take my kids to school more often, help them with their homework, go with them for a hike, and take vacations when they’re on break.

P: What is your favorite thing to do with your kids? 

AS: I love when my husband, kids, and I have an impromptu dance party at our house. It’s so much fun, and hearing their laughter is the best.

Photograph: Alison Sweeney with her kids Benjamin and Megan/ S. Buckley for Shutterstock

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Alicia Silverstone Gets Real

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Silverstone familyInterview by Patty Adams Martinez

All you may know about Alicia Silverstone’s parenting is what you saw in a video that went viral years ago: her feeding her son, Bear Blu (who turns 3 in May) food from her mouth. Well, there’s way more to the actress-turned-New York Times bestselling author than that. She shares her alternatives to the one-size-fits-all way of parenting from her new book, The Kind Mama, which hits stores on April 15.

You let your preschooler sleep with you. I have to ask what moms everywhere are thinking: How do you have sex when there’s a kid in your bed?

If anything it’s extra incentive to get creative. I’ve never been a “it’s the end of the day; let’s go have sex” person. Whoever said in bed at night is the only way you can have sex?

You’ve said that your first 14 hours of labor with Bear Blu were “sexy and amazing and totally blissed out.” Share your secrets!

Every woman’s bliss is different. I was in my bedroom, walking around and feeling completely comfortable. Yes, I had contractions (which hurt!), but there are all of these natural hormones running through you that make you feel amazing. And then it transitions and the real labor starts. It’s called labor for a reason—it’s intense and hard work.

The internet was in a tizzy when you posted a video of yourself feeding Bear from your mouth. Were you surprised?

Yes, very. I wasn’t trying to make a statement. Bear wanted what I was eating—kale or collards—and literally just went for my mouth on pure instinct. It’s not like I was practicing premastication [pre-chewing food for babies], but it is something people have done for years. That’s what women did before there were blenders.

Your son was using a toilet at 6 months, which sounds like heaven for all parents who’ve gone through potty training.

We used Elmination Communication, which is all about being able to read your child’s potty needs. When his whole body tightens up, he acts restless, or makes a puckered face or flirty eyes—those are signals you should take your baby to the potty. Once he walks, he’ll naturally take himself to the toilet. It means fewer dirty diapers: less to wash or thow away, less expense, and way less mess.

Are you and your husband, Christopher Jarecki, always on the same page, or does he ever need convincing?

He thought I was crazy with Elimination Communication at first, but once he saw it worked, he was a believer. I’m the one who does all of the research and asks the questions, and then we talk it out and come to a decision together. We just had this dilemma of what school to send Bear to: one we could walk to, or the school we really love that’s a 30-minute drive. We ultimately decided to go with the magical place that’s farther away. If your kid is going to be spending a lot of time somewhere, you want it to be the best place possible, not just convenient.

What was the inspiration behind The Kind Mama?

I wanted to provide women with a book full of valuable information that would help them get pregnant and have an ailment-free pregnancy—free of all of the icky stuff that we’ve come to assume is unavoidable, from hemorrhoids to swollen ankles to diabetes. I also wanted women to know their birth options and to empower them to make the right choices for themselves.

What is the book’s lesson?

Be kind to yourself. Being a mom requires every morsel of your being. When you’re better rested, you’re more patient and can enjoy every precious moment of mamaness.

Are you an attachment style parent like Alicia or are these other styles more like you? Take our quiz and find out!

Parenting Style: Attachment Parenting
Parenting Style: Attachment Parenting
Parenting Style: Attachment Parenting


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How Ivanka Trump Said Buh-Bye to Working-Mom Guilt

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

*Guest edited by Patty Adams Martinez

Ivanka Trump is a master multitasker. We asked the mompreneur and mom to Arabella, nearly 3, and Joseph, 5 months, to share her work-life balance secrets. Take note!

Is it easier going through life with a newborn the second time around?
Yes! I’m already much less anxious than I was with Arabella. I feel prepared having gone through it once before and have a better understanding of the fact that, no matter how much you plan ahead, there is no avoiding the chaos!

Which is harder: being a high-powered executive or a mom?
Though both are equally enjoyable for me, no matter how hard I work, how many hours I spend at my desk, how many countries I travel to, I’m much more exhausted on Monday morning after two full days of being a mom. Being a full-time mom is definitely harder!

Do you go through mommy withdrawals, being away from your kids all day?
I’m lucky to live only two blocks from my office, so I run home any time I have a spare moment, see my kids, and then return to work. It’s never easy balancing both, but my time with my kids is so fulfilling that it’s worth it. Spending time together as a family throughout the day also means I’m not always feeling drained when I’m with them. Each morning we sit down as a family for breakfast, and on Wednesdays Arabella comes to my office for a lunch date (soon Joseph will join her!). It’s my weekly working lunch appointment, and it’s the best part of the day.

Is it possible to keep your home life off your mind while you’re at work and vice versa?
It took time for me to adjust and learn to let go of the guilt I initially felt. But I realized that having a fulfilling career makes me a better wife and mother, so I’m present at the office and I work hard knowing that at the end of the day I get to go home to my family. Nothing makes you more efficient than having children!

What’s your multi-tasking style tip for going from mommy to executive? 
Accessorize. Making an outfit transitional is all about having the right accents, whether it’s beautiful statement jewelry, a scarf, or great shoes. Have fun with it!

TELL US: Share your best work-family balance secrets!

Images via Instagram

 

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5 Celebrity Moms With All Daughters

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Last week we took a look at 5 celebrity moms with a brood of boys. Now we’re talking about high-profile families with all girls in the mix.

Jessica Alba:

Sin City star Jessica Alba and husband Cash Warren are parents to two daughters: Honor, 5, and Haven, 2.

“Every day with my girls is a dream and just hanging out with them is the best thing ever,” Jessica gushed to Celebrity Baby Scoop.

The eco-friendly mama added: “We do a lot of DIY crafts like using cardboard boxes to make airplanes and dollhouses—our creative playtime together similarly shows the girls about repurposing old items.”

Denise Richards:

Twisted star Denise Richards and ex-husband Charlie Sheen are parents to two girls: Sam, 10, and Lola, 8.

The actress adopted a third daughter, Eloise, as a single parent in June 2011.

“I’m definitely a hands-on mom,” Denise has said. “For me it’s about priorities, and my girls always come first. I look at it as having a harmonious house more than balancing – it’s never quite balanced!”

Demi Moore:

Ghost actress Demi Moore and ex-husband Bruce Willis are parents to three daughters: Rumer, 25, Scout, 22, and Tallulah, 20.

The Charlie’s Angels star actress admits that she constantly asks herself if she’s a good mother.

There is no job in our life that you want less to make a mistake with,” she told E! News of motherhood. “And it is inevitable. The pain of that is deeper and more enormous than anything you could grasp because you spend most of your life as a mother wanting to save them from any pain at all. So to have to look at yourself as being the cause of their pain is excruciating.”

Alyson Hannigan:

How I Met Your Mother star Alyson Hannigan and husband, actor Alexis Denisof, are parents to two daughters: Satyana, 5, and Keeva, nearly 2.

The actress recently gushed to Celebrity Baby Scoop about the joys of motherhood.

“Being a mom is simply the best thing I have ever done,” she shared. “My kids make me laugh and smile every day.”

“Satyana is very into dressing herself and everything has to be bright pink or purple,” Alyson added of her girly-girl. “If it glows or is shiny that is even better. If you need sunglasses to look at her outfit, you know that’s a good outfit. Her choices are not always the fashion choices I would make, but they always make me smile!”

As for Keeva, it sounds like she’s Sati’s biggest fan.

“Keeva really wants to be like her big sister and follows Sati around — she’s always watching her,” Alyson shared. “At this point, they really get along and love being together which is great.”

Melanie Brown:

Girl power, indeed! Spice Girls star Mel B, a.k.a. Scary Spice, is mom to four daughters: Phoenix, 15, Angel, 6, Madison, 2, and stepdaughter Giselle, 8.

“I do want a boy,” she revealed shortly after welcoming Madison. “But I’m enjoying my girls and my baby. She’s about to start crawling in Sydney and I’m like, ‘Don’t let her move until I get back!’ It would be nice to have a son, but it wouldn’t be straightaway.”

“The gap between Madison and Angel works brilliantly,” she continued. “I’ve just had them all on Skype and Phoenix is holding Madison and Angel’s playing with Phoenix’s hair. It’s beautiful.”

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

Girl Nursery Ideas
Girl Nursery Ideas
Girl Nursery Ideas

More celebrity & parenting news:

Kendra Wilkinson: “I’ve Always Wanted A Boy & A Girl”

Bobbi Brown Chats About The Beauty Of The Pretty Powerful Campaign

Scott Wolf & Wife Celebrate Baby Shower

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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