Nancy O'Dell is all over your TV this fall -- from the Emmy Awards' red carpet to the hosting spot on Entertainment Tonight. Plus she still found time to write Secret Ingredients: Step-by-Step 'Recipes' for Creating Meaningful Gifts.
What made you want to write the book?
When I first got married to my husband, he had boxes full of photos of my two stepsons, ages 5 and 8 at the time, and I put them together in some little albums and wrote notes about how happy I was that they were a part of my life. When I gave it to them, all the sudden they were like, 'Oh my gosh, we mean something to her, she loves us, and we're important to the family.' So here's something that doesn't cost much, but it will make someone feel like the most special person in the world. Just like a recipe book, my book tells exactly how to do it -- all you have to add is the meaning.
How did you get into scrapbooking?
I like to call it 'album making' because everybody hears the word scrapbooking and thinks, 'All the glue and the glitter -- I don't have time for that!' One of the reasons I partnered with the album company Creative Memories is that I wanted to make a line that's easy for busy parents. But I'm like a fifth generation album maker. I started when I was a kid. Probably the first one that I did all by myself was for my J.V. basketball team. We lost every single game, but I was still proud enough to make an album.
Do you think your daughter's got the crafting bug too?
I do. She sees me doing it, and she's already falling in love it. Kids love to look at pictures of themselves.
What else does your family do together in your down time?
We play tag and kickball almost every day. It's one of the ways that I've figured out how to spend some fun quality time with my kids while getting exercise. When I come home from work, the first thing Ashby says is 'Let's go play tag!'
What's the best perk of being a famous mom?
I'd say the best is being able to take Ashby to some of the historical things that happen. She went to London with me to the Royal Wedding. I try to teach her about pop culture along the way. And even if she's 4 and doesn't remember them, you know I have an album for her so she'll be able to relive it later!
Originally published in the November 2011 issue of Parents magazine.