I was completely in awe of Dr. Cara Natterson upon meeting her in LA. This woman does it ALL! I’ve actually never met anyone this accomplished and brilliant, and yet charismatic and compassionate. I literally left her home with a stack of books I could hardly carry, all written by her, to help parents understand the different developmental stages of their children’s lives, and provide them with tools for each of them. She has parenting down pat, and I was just sucking in the knowledge! Cara is a mother, and author many times over, a pediatrician and a master of health and wellness for tweens and teens. Her most recent book, Worry Proof, give us insight into stress-free parenting with Dr. Natterson’s practical advice for every childhood struggle. My other favorite book she wrote was for boys going through puberty. There has been no other written material on this topic, and it’s so helpful for boys to also have help during this transitional phase of life. I could sit and listen to her words of wisdom for days, so if you are a parent in L.A., I advise you to take in her wisdom and her knowledge.Read More
Describe yourself in 3 words...
Energetic, Optimistic, Persistent
What inspired you to start a kombucha company?
I discovered my love for holistic and fermented foods, like kombucha, while I was in graduate school for nutrition at Tufts University. Eating fermented foods just made me feel so good and helped me develop my philosophy on health: that it really comes down to what makes you happy. I stuck to that philosophy, but didn’t realize it would be my professional calling until I found myself in corporate America in my late 20’s feeling unfulfilled, but knowing that I wanted to make a more substantial mark on the world. I formed an entrepreneur club with my now-husband, Justin, and best friend, Vanessa and as we sat around, sipping on my home-brewed kombucha trying to come up with the Next Big Thing, we suddenly realized the idea was sitting in front of us all along! A few weeks later we were in the Brentwood Farmer’s Market and Health-Ade was born!
What are your healthy snack tips?
Snacks that have fat protein and carbs satisfy cravings AND hold me off until meal time. I find that snacks that have only carbs in them just don’t do the trick and I’m never satisfied—I want more. A 1/2 avocado with truffle salt is one of my favorites, or I’ll go with cut veggies and hummus, or a piece of cheese with an apple. Sometimes straight Kombucha will do the trick—I find a glass of health-Ade Pom at 3 pm takes me from lunch to dinner with no problem. ;)
How did your son inspire your business?
Well, the business started before I had my son, so he didn’t inspire it, but being a mom has no question made me a better CEO in two ways. First, motherhood is demanding, so I'm forced to delegate work and elevate above it to lead, and direct instead. Not only does more work get done, it’s done at a higher quality. Second, motherhood is so emotional—you love your child like nothing imaginable, so the emotion tied to work becomes a little less important. I used to say Health-Ade was my baby—and it was, but nothing like Hendriks is my baby, of course. This is a good thing for me, because the less emotion I can have when making decisions at work, the more effective they are. Now I can more clearly and decisively make a call for the business and save my emotions for 6pm, when I rush into Hendriks’ arms.
What are your favorite healthy, family-friendly restaurants in LA?
I love Rustic Kitchen by the Santa Monica airport—awesome organic food, plenty of healthy and kid friendly options, and a well priced delicious wine list. I also love True Food Kitchen—never had a bad meal there and Hendriks loves it, too. Pitfire is also a go-to when it’s pizza night! The other day I went to Au Fudge in the Melrose area for the first time and was blown away! Fantastic food, options for kids and a whole supervised indoor play area for the children
What are the steps to starting a major brand like Health-Ade, for those who are moms and looking to start their own company? Please share your advice
Just like becoming a new mom has no rule book, entrepreneurial adventures have no “steps.” I’m sorry to say, but there is no right way to do it. The important thing is that you DO do it. That you believe in yourself. You prioritize the time. And you figure it out, one challenge at a time. You will have to manage your expectations when taking on more responsibility—you can’t do it all. Expect to take some risks and make sacrifices. For example, you might not be able to make dinner during the week anymore, you might need to hire a nanny that can do the shopping and the laundry, and you might have to miss those girls’ nights for a while. But if you’re dedicated and strategic, you can do just about anything (just not everything) you want, AND be a mom.
What are your favorite weekend activities with your son in LA?
Anything with him is my favorite, that’s why I love the weekend. One thing we love to do is hop on a bike and head west along Bollona Creek bike path (we get on by Centinela and Culver). It heads through the Marina, where we stop to skip stones on the water and look at boats, and finish up at the beach, where Justin and I will crack a can of good Rosé or bottle of Health-Ade and watch Hendriks run around in the sand. We usually always get on our bikes as a family on the weekend. I also love going to the Mar Vista farmers market. I find when he picks out the food, he’s more likely to eat it. We also love just chilling at home, since during the week we don’t get to enjoy it as much.
What is a typical family meal in your home?
I used to cook six nights a week. But now the demands of work and motherhood together are too much, and I was losing my mind trying to do it all! Now, I’m so much happier. During the week, I rely on my nanny to make fresh food for Hendriks, and Justin and I order our meals from Klean LA, a delicious, healthy and organic fresh meal delivery service. I love to cook, but this is something I had to give up during the week and save for the weekend. So dinner during the week is done in less than a minute—we heat up some food from the nanny for Hendriks, and Justin and I heat up our healthy and fresh ready to eat meals from Klean LA, and we eat together. I’m not wasting any more than one minute preparing food, and every extra minute at home is spent with Hendriks, which is what I wanted. On the weekend, we have fun cooking. We pick out our favorite recipes and usually get creative. Justin LOVES to grill, so we’re usually grilling some kind of meat or fish. A typical Saturday dinner meal might be grilled salmon marinated with ginger/soy/green onions, my roasted smashed potatoes with dill, and sautéed broccoli loaded with roasted garlic. Hendriks loves to partake in our weekend dinners all the same. We don’t drink during the week much anymore, so the weekend meals are when we enjoy beautiful wine, where I’m not afraid to splurge anymore. After all, if I’m only having one glass—it better be damn good!
Pay it forward and name a few favorite mentors in your industry...
So many females inspire me. Oprah, obvio. But more locally Carbon 38 founder Katie Johnson, Hedley & Bennett founder Ellen Bennett, celebrity fitness trainer Lacey Stone—who literally gets my confidence levels back up to “level full” EVERY time I see her.
How do you spend your “me” time being so busy with your growing business and family?
This is a struggle, but it’s my focus for this year and I’m happy to report it’s going well. I am working out 4-6 days a week, for one. And this was hard for me because I could never find the time. I’ve realized you CAN find the time, as long as you’re willing to get up early and be flexible. I go to a 45 min Flywheel (spin) 3 times a week at 6AM and then use Aaptiv (a workout phone ap for running and at home HIIT exercises) every other day. Aaptiv is perfect for moms because even if you only have 10 minutes, there’s a workout for you! Just commit to every day, go to sleep early, and you can do it. I also give myself a massage every other week, which as long as I plan it out, works. If it’s too hard to get to the spa for this, I get one to come to me after Hendriks is asleep. I LOVE PRIV, a mobile service app that will bring top notch facials, massages, hair styling/makeup, and even workouts to your home or work. Finally, I spend three minutes in the first hour of being awake and three minutes in the last hour of the day meditating and marinating on what I’m grateful for. I have a “I am” statement I read every morning that reminds me of what I want out of life. It centers me. For me, the best part of all of this is it hasn’t cut into my motherhood or work time much at all—it does take extra support from my husband, who has to be home getting Hendriks ready when I’ve gone to spin class, but he’s happy to do it I think because he sees how happy it makes me. Plus I always repay the favor whenever he needs time off.
In the dead of winter is when I crave the spa the most, so I use Little Barn Apothecary products and bring the spa in home. It truly makes you feel like the spa came to you! With the aromas and textures and results, I feel instantly transported to a treatment room.
Little Barn Apothecary is a 100% vegan, cruelty free, non-toxic line using organic ingredients and recycled glass packaging. Little Barn is inspired by the earth, thoughtfully selecting botanicals and hand crafting their products in small batches to create a personal luxurious and beneficial experience.
Little Barn Apothecary has a fantastic collection, all of which are winners in my opinion, but in efforts to make things easy I will highlight my stand out favorites.
This face serum is so great for anyone looking for a botanical face oil or even to add more to your collection. Working well on all skin types, the extract reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Enough said!
I love anything rosehip! It’s a miracle oil. The windex of oils. This light-weight eye serum helps to fade and prevent dark circles while lifting and hydrating the under eye area. I apply multiple times a day.
This smart little product has taken residency in my hand bag! I now double check -phone, keys, wallet, roller ball! Rushing around NYC can give daily stress. Every time I get into a taxi or I’m sitting in a waiting room I use my trusted anxiety oils on my pulse points breathing in the heavenly lavender smell to center and calm.
Honestly, I don’t even think I’m using this product correctly. It’s recommended to cool and hydrate the skin saying it’s great for after-sun or exercise. And while I would have to agree, I’m using it all over the place. First thing in the morning misting myself while I’m still in the bed. The smell is so light and refreshing it gives me that much needed push to get up even before the sun dose. I love to spray it in the shower right before I get and let the clean scent fill the room. I even chase my child around the house spritzing her because this is just the right amount fresh fragrance to make her even more delicious than she already is. This spray being $10 for an 8oz bottle, I plan on continuing to misuse it and repurchase.
The true spa experience. Easily forgettable when we are always keeping up with products for our face, but the body need attention as well. Pure sugar cane and beneficial oils scrub away impurities and dead skin revealing a softer, healthier, glowing body. The gentle and satisfying scrub is so luxurious and moisturizing this is a Little Barn Apothecary must.
When I met with Shira, I understood immediately why people gravitate towards her for advice and guidance. She is bright, warm and incredibly easy to talk to. Her new book, The Food Therapist, hits the shelves in a few days, and I have a feeling this will be a best seller. Shira is a nutritionist and dietitian in L.A. She has spent her career breaking her clients' bad eating habits and helping them find healthy relationships with food. When I sat with her, we discussed my own personal struggles with food, as we all have this complicated relationship. She informed me that when I overindulge in a “snack” day, not to stress about it because the stress will make me indulge more, and therefore have an undesired effect. She let me know that it’s important to succumb to our cravings, and be okay with it, and then get back to our healthy habits. I still have a lot to learn so I’m excited for the regimens and recipes in Shira’s book to help me along.
If you are living in L.A., and looking to learn some great recipes to plan family dinners, Pamela Salzman is your chef! Pamela, a beautiful, kind mother of three, works magic in the kitchen, and enjoys sharing her knowledge of nutrition with other women and mothers trying to keep a healthy household. Pamela holds cooking groups in people’s homes throughout L.A., where she teaches recipes from her amazing new book, Kitchen Matters. Pamela uses all natural ingredients in her meals and spreads her ideas of how to make healthy food delicious in each of her classes. Not only does her food taste great, but she dazzled me with her beautiful presentation when we were cooking together. As a mom who knows the importance of making food appealing to the kids, I couldn’t recommend a better person to teach you how to master a healthy home.
This time of year my skin can often feel like it’s never receiving enough moisture and hydration. The more products I apply or the more often I change products to remedy the situation, the more my skin looks angry, red and irritated. Many moons ago, I discovered Darphin Fibrogene Cream Nourrissant Anti-Age. I now have devoted years of relying on this product for when I need to incorporate a little something extra into my skin care routine. Darphin Fibrogene Cream Nourrissant Anti-Age had started to remind me of that best friend who you love and feel safe with no matter how long you go without speaking. The second you reunite, it is as simple and easy as if you never missed a beat. Soothing and calming for a minor irritation as only an old friend could. Leaving you happy and glowing like an overdue catch up session with a great friend. And the products lasts forever. As any good friendship does!
The most nourishing and age corrective cream I have found ever is Darphin Fibrogene Cream Nourrissant Anti-Age. This coming from someone who prefers oils says a lot! Saturated with Omega 3, Jojoba Oil and Siegesbeckia extract helps correct the first signs of aging while addressing the specific needs of dry skin. It also helps skin density and to repair its natural barrier to reduce the appearance of lines giving younger-looking, smoother, plumper skin. Instantly-absorbed formula nourishes dry skin and relieves "tightness". This being the icing on the cake for me since I often do not love the consistency and after-feeling of many lotions.
"Darphin is a professional botanical Parisian skincare line based on a harmonious blend of plants and pure essential oils." Pierre Darphin, 1960. So fantastically ahead of his time, Pierre Darphin was devoted to women’s beauty and the balance of making them feel luxurious while also helping in an effective and healthy way. I could not agree more. When I hold their heavy glass jars and feminine shaped products, I can’t resist and feel like an old Hollywood starlet sitting in the dressing room mirror. And with the comfort of gliding onto my skin, I’m rewarded with nothing but reality. A youthful, flawless, plump, and healthier skin. A face that looks the part of all my thoughts and fantasies.
ROBERT LOPEZ: Chris McMillan (The Salon), 8944 Burton Way, BEVERLY HILLS, Ph. (310) 285-0088
Every time I’m in L.A., my first call is to Robert Lopez to book my hair appointments in advance. Being that he works magic on anyone’s locks, his schedule fills up pretty quickly; he’s in high demand! Robert works out of the famous Chris McMillan salon in Beverly Hills, and also does house and hotel visits for those unable to get to the salon. He is adorable, has impeccable style, and is not only someone who makes my hair look beautiful, he has become a dear friend who I enjoy seeing every time I’m in town. Robert works very quickly, and has perfected the sexy, messy, wavy look, making my visits to L.A. some of my best hair days. If I had room in my home, I’d ask Robert to move in, so my hair looked that great everyday!
Describe yourself in 3 words..
Eternal Optimist, Colorful Explosion, Dance Party
How has your daughter influenced your career?
My daughter, Sunday, has completely redefined my view of success. As a fashion stylist and fashion blogger, I used to be so hard on myself for any single day that went by where I didn't work or bill hours-- but now I look at this career I created for myself as the biggest blessing of all. I get to live the life I dreamed of as a successful working mother, AND as a mother who gets countless hours of bonding time during the week with my baby when I'm not on a job. I feel complete.
Where do you like to shop for your daughter?
True to my personal style, I fill Sunday's closet with unique pieces from travels abroad, like African wax print harem pants from South Africa and woven rompers from Mexico. Cat & Jack by Target is my everyday go-to, and for special occasions, I love Rock Your Baby, The Ice Cream Castles, and Stella McCartney Kids.
How do you carve out time for yourself and how do you like to spend this time?
I try to book a few hours a week where I'm not working and not with my baby. Those hours are basically planned to the minute...jumping from pilates to the nail salon to a boutique with not a second to spare!! And I recently realized the power of ordering an in-home masseuse on a weeknight after Sunday goes to bed. Major plus!
How has having a baby influenced your style?
I'm a separates girl-- primarily skirts and tops, so having a baby threw my style for a curve ball. All those music classes and gym classes where we sit cross-legged on the floor left me grabbing for harem pants and midi skirts instead of the minis I was always used to. I also shop for more cottons and washable fabrics now, since Sunday has sticky snack fingers at all times!
What is your best advice for a new mama?
Don't compare yourself or your baby to anyone else. I had actually never held a baby before my own-- so you could imagine how little I knew about anything. Over the course of a few months, everything started to make perfect sense. I'm really happy and confident about the mom I was always meant to be.
What is your most memorable family vacation?
Family vacations have certainly taken a turn since Sunday was born! There's a lot less fabulous European getaways, and a lot more long weekends at kid-friendly resorts. I can honestly say these new baby-friendly trips are the most fun of all. Recently my husband, Sunday, labradoodle named Homer, and I spent a long weekend at Terranea Resort in Southern California. We kept Sunday up past her bedtime every night and had a blast!
Favorite family weekend activity?
Family Date Night... every Friday night at 5:30pm. There's a lot of laughs, a lot of mess, and lots of wine for mama and daddy!
Top 3 favorite designers?
This is impossibly tough. Today it's Gucci, R13, and Chanel.
What is your favorite part of your job as a stylist?
I love seeing my commercials on television. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears go into costuming global commercial campaigns-- all for those glorious 30 seconds of screen time that half the country fast forwards through anyway! Sigh.
What lessons or values do you hope to impart to your daughter?
I hope to teach Sunday about the power of a confident, independent woman. It's something that both my mother, and my first boss and mentor, Diane von Furstenberg, taught me. I live my life by that strength.
My research on beauty products includes going to beauty stores and asking dozens of questions and trying recommended products. Beauty is different for everyone, from skincare needs to personal style. This is why I love to try other people’s favorite products and expand past my comfort zone. This allows me to introduce a great find that would work for me personally and have the new information of what might work best for someone else. Hands-down the greatest product that this curious method has led me to is micellar water. I had recognized it as a French staple in pharmacies and I’ve noticed it's in every makeup artist kit. But for some reason I never looked into it.
So what is molecular water?
Micellar water is made up of micelles (tiny balls of cleansing oil molecules) suspended in soft water. Simply the micelles are attracted to any foreign substance on the skin, like dirt or makeup, immediately dissolving it without stripping us of all of the benefits our skin naturally provides, like moisture.
While micellar water has been around for over 100 years, it originally gained popular recognition in France. Since there was famously harsh water, women needed to find another way to wash their faces. Interestingly micellar water needs no water at all to do its job, making it the answer for many.
Although micellar water can be used alone, I’ve chosen to incorporate it into my routine and have been very happy with the results. I’m still a soap and water kind of girl, but Bioderma’s Crealine H2O is now my first step to cleansing, breaking down that dirty barrier allowing the rest of my products to do a better job. I’m a strong believer that the cleaner the skin, the better the skin because how can our products work if they can’t get passed the surface? Micellar water is also perfect to for anyone on the go. For traveling where you won’t know the quality of the water or when you want to limit the amount of products you pack, this 3 in one cleanser-toner-moisturizer is perfect. I even love it for a fast pick me up cleanse after the gym or off the beach. And when I need to do a lazy or rushed beauty regimen, my skin never looks compromised by only using the micellar water.
This interesting little product should be in every cabinet all over the world.
HANCOCK DESIGN: Ph. (323) 851-5900, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
L.A. was filled with very impressive, entrepreneurial, inspirational female go-getters, and this woman encompasses all of that and more! When you meet Estee Stanley, she makes her presence known. She has a strong voice, she says it how it is, and has no time for BS. She’s my kind of girl, and it was of no surprise that she is a Mama of two, a celebrity stylist, founder of her own interior design firm, Hancock Designs, and the owner of Au Fudge, LA’s most family-friendly restaurant and kids club! How does anyone have time for all of that!?! I’m not exactly sure, but Estee makes it all happen and once she sets an intention, she flies with it. She’s definitely one to admire, and her designs are calming, sophisticated and beautiful. You can take one look at Au Fudge and know it has her name written all over it. When in L.A., her restaurant is a favorite to visit since the food is all healthy and delicious, there is a great bar, and the kids have a full playroom with activities and caregivers at their disposal. The concept is unique, and it allows parents the ability to relax and enjoy their meal, without feeling like they need to have their eyes on the kids all night. I’m secretly hoping Estee brings her latest venture to the East Coast!Read More
RESERVOIR: 8820 Washington Boulevard #102, LA, Ph. (323) 300-5309
My entire L.A. wardrobe came from my favorite store in Culver City, Reservoir. If you missed some of my L.A. posts, I highly recommend checking out all of the looks. I was lucky enough to borrow pieces for my shoots, and I only wished I could keep the whole wardrobe. The owners Alissa Jacob and Aliza Neidich, two native New Yorkers, took their chic looks to the west side and it has been a big success. They carry so many contemporary designers we love like Shop Redone, Zimmermann, Ellery, and Hellessy. However, what’s even more unique is their curation of magnificent, eye-popping jewelry. It’s easy to get stuck in Reservoir all day, between the clothing, accessories, gadgets, and home goods, so carve out some time! The new store is located in Platform, the awesome indoor/outdoor shopping mall. You can go take the kids for ice cream, grab a bite to eat, and stop into Reservoir to shop, so it’s fun for the entire family, and serves as a great weekend activity.Read More
The most common concern women come to me about in the winter months is dull looking skin. It’s true the cold weather really takes the luster out of our looks. It’s hard for our skin to keep up and not get tired when we are in and out of blistering cold weather and into the dry heat. The toll it takes on our skin leaves it looking like it’s ready for hibernation. My favorite trick for tackling sad skin is adding Vitamin C to my morning routine. Who doesn’t want brighter tighter, hydrated looking skin? Vitamin C promotes collagen reproduction, reduces skin inflammation, corrects pigmentation and exfoliates. We know we need to take our vitamins, why not apply them to our face?
I have always had healthy looking skin, but when I introduced Drunk Elephants C-Firma into my life, my skin was elevated to such a level that friends were stopping me to ask what products I am using. After using Drunk Elephants C-Firma for a few weeks, I had to admit I was admiring my natural look a lot more. My skin looked so healthy and radiant like I had just left a weekend retreat of treatments and sleep.
Drunk Elephant is a clean skin care line committed to providing us with toxin-free products to better our skin. They believe healthy skin is happy skin. The C-Firma is packed with antioxidants, enzymes and nutrients to help tackle the daily irritants of sun, pollution and chemicals that our skin faces. While combatting all these enemies of the skin, the C-Firma simultaneously replenishes lipids visibly reducing dark spots and wrinkles leaving nothing behind but your natural glow. The light weight texture and fragrant-free formula makes it a great product for all skin types, just adjust the amount depending on how much moisture your skin needs. I personally love the innovative packaging which prevents air and germs from reaching the product allowing it to last longer and be more effective. Perfect for my germaphobia.
All skin types should be using this product, not only to look great but for the health of your skin.
PIZZANA: @candacenelson or email@example.com
When it comes to fine dining with the kiddos, the best spot in town is Pizzana! Candace Nelson, founder and owner, is a super Mom! She was the creator of Sprinkles Cupcakes, so she is a favorite among kids everywhere. Now, she tapped into her family’s other favorite food, pizza, and established a beautiful restaurant located in Brentwood, that is both kid friendly and mother-approved. She has healthy options as well, so it’s the perfect place to go for lunch with friends or an early dinner after school with the kids. The kale salad is one of my personal favorites, although lucky for me, she has gluten-free pizza that I can actually eat. Candace’s carb craze is one I admire! It’s particularly impressive to see a woman follow her passion and create two very successful businesses, while incorporating her children’s interests and involving them every step of the way.Read More
Describe yourself in 3 words…
Happy, lucky, in love OR mother, wife, entrepreneur
What inspired you to create Weelicious and One Potato?
When my son, Kenya, was born over 10 years ago I read books and scoured the internet trying to figure out how to make a baby a great eater from day one. There were few baby food recipes that were truly fresh and interesting and even less information about feeding kids. Weelicious started as my daily journal of articles and images of joys and stress of feeding my baby.
For years Weelicious families asked for me to create a meal delivery company. It was always on my mind, but it wasn’t until I met my now partners, Chris and Jenna (also parents- we have 7 kids between us) that the light bulb went off and I realized feeding families easy, organic, fun meals that take 30 minutes or less to make was my life long goal.
Were your children picky eaters? Please share your advice for mamas of picky eaters?
I’ve used the Weelicious principles since day one with my kids. All 3 of my kids have gone through stages of avoiding certain foods, but they have each come back. So much about feeding has to do with offering kids choice, allowing them to be a part of the cooking process and just knowing when to take a deep breath as a parent (that’s generally the hardest part).
What is your favorite recipe?
What is your personal diet and exercise regimen?
I exercised so much in my late teens and 20’s I basically got burned out by the time I had kids. I find that running around playing with my kids is more fun than being at a gym especially when you’re stretched for time as it is. We cook really balanced meals about 6 nights a week, make smoothies for breakfast each more for breakfast with tons of protein, fruits and veggies. When we go out to eat we’re much more decadent!
Any secret indulgences or guilty pleasures?
Ice cream! My dad and I used to go out for ice cream one night a week and still today it’s my favorite indulgence.
How do your children influence your career?
Weelicious and One Potato are totally inspired by my children. I create recipes based on their favorite foods and get cooking tips from them daily. They’re each my little muses.
What is your best advice for a new mama?
Breathe! It’s so hard to know how to care for all of babies need when everything is so new and foreign. Trust your gut and instincts to guide you.
Who makes your favorite lunchbox and food organizer?
What is your favorite restaurant to dine at with the kids?
The kids absolutely love Cliftons Cafeteria! One of the coolest buildings, free prizes for kids, amazing food no matter your age or taste preferences and taxidermy (not exactly the norm).
What is your favorite family vacation spot?
I took my daughter to Paris last summer which was absolute heaven. For the entire family we love Lake Tahoe, Kauai and anywhere in Italy!
What values or lessons do you hope to instill in your children?
Honesty and kindness. Those two values will take you everywhere.
VALLEYBRINK ROAD: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Instagram: @valleybrinkroad, Twitter: @valleybrinkroad, Facebook: www.facebook.com/barrettprendergast
If you are looking for the ultimate gift for just about any occasion, Valleybrink Road is a one-stop-shop. Founder and creator, Barrett Prendergast, has an eye for floral design that is unparalleled and the perfect little beautiful treats to complement her arrangements. Barrett started her company as a hobby. She loved creating these beautiful floral arrangements for friends and family, and from there, the demand poured in, and everyone wanted one of her packages. Whether it be for a birthday, holiday gift, house warming, or thank you, anyone who receives these unique presents are in luck, and each one is made with love by Barrett and her team. It’s so great to see how this company has grown and developed so organically into a big success due the talent and creativity of its founder.
POPPY STORE: Email: email@example.com
Of all the stores in LA, this one is by far my favorite! Poppy store is my first stop every time I come to town. Filled with the most well-curated selection of children’s clothing and accessories, and located in the cutest little corner of Brentwood Country Mart, owner Jenny Belushi nailed it! They carry various designers at all price points, and have the sweetest selection of boys clothing which is hard to come by. This store is a clear labor of love. Jenny was always inspired by dressing her own little angels, and wanted to create a space where families could share her passion. My girls always look forward to my arrival back from L.A., with Poppy bags in tow, as they too, appreciate the exceptional mini styling by Jenny Belushi.
PLAYCREATIONS KIDS: Email: PlayCreationsKids@gmail.com, Ph. (310) 571-8028
While researching for all the mamas in LA, I came across a fantastic class called PlayCreations, founded by Jasmine Moradfar. Since I was previously a reading and early learning specialist, I could spot a great, innovative teacher when I see one! Jasmine loves children, and her passion for watching them flourish and develop is evident in watching her teach a class. She believes in allowing children to have a space to be messy and stimulated through sensory play. Her classes include exploration of all the senses, including body painting, art projects with edible sand, and jell-o smashing. Each session also includes musical instruments, group reading, and some “sport time.” Jasmine has classes available at the Pump Station and also provides at-home private classes for small groups. I happen to really respect her ability to let mess happen, since I am a total neat freak. My kids could use a little PlayCreations!Read More
Describe yourself in 3 words:
Calm, cozy, dreamer
What was your biggest challenge becoming a new mom?
To be honest, being a new mom has been amazing and even the difficulties (mainly the very painful clogged milk ducts and lack of sleep) have blurred out of my memory now that Amelie is four months and we’ve found a good groove (for now!). The hardest part for me was definitely the first three months of pregnancy. I never expected to feel so isolated, anxious and SICK. It was definitely a dark time where I felt lost and alone.
What was your most useful purchase?
I’m more into the baby gear than I thought I’d be because I've found it all to be so useful! Believe it or not, the Fisher Price swing and the activity mat that we got as gifts have been total life savors… Amelie absolutely loves them, which buys me some time to get stuff done. I love the Nuna Pipa car seat which clips on to the stroller for easy transitions to/from the car. The Native Wilds “Nests” go over the car seat, protecting the baby from sun/germs/over stimulation and double as a breast feeding cover/ burp cloth, etc. We have gotten so much use out of our Plum and Sparrow Bassinet as well. Amelie still sleeps in it with the coziest Askr & Embla organic sleep pod, which she is sadly just about to grow out of.
Where did you shop for your nursery?
Our nursery was designed with the help of Laurel & Wolf. Our crib is by Oeuf.
What is your advice for other new mamas?
Self compassion. We are all doing the best we can!! Try to stay present and enjoy this time, it goes by so quickly.
What are your favorite children's books?
The Hungry Caterpillar
What is your beauty regimen and how does it help you glow?
I try to use clean, natural products on my skin.
— I wash my hair every morning using Playa Shampoo and Conditioner and then put it in pigtail braids with a few sprays of La Tierra Sagrado (my fave!)
— after the shower I use a dry brush to exfoliate my body and then lather myself in organic coconut oil with a few drops of organic essential oil mixed in.
— wash my face with One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme cleansing oil
— tone with True Botanicals Nutrient Mist
— hydrate my skin with Vintners Daughter Active Serum
For make up, I use RMS. Their Magic Luminizer definitely makes me glow, despite a lack of sleep.
What is your best tip to "glowful" living?
Try to live from your highest frequency, from a place of gratitude and generosity, and you will attract those who are on your wavelength.
Surround yourself with people who lift you up and encourage you to grow and evolve.
Constantly check in with yourself and periodically set intentions to keep manifesting your dream reality.
It’s the season.... to detox my skin! I haven’t even made it to New Year’s and my skin is looking tired and dull. Nothing relaxes me and my skin more than a cup of Yogi Soothing Rose Hibiscus Skin Detox. Made with Rose Petals and Hibiscus to sooth the skin and Dandelion, Burdock and Yellow Dock, to cleanse, your skin reveals its most natural and relaxed glow. While hydrating me, something I always need, the teas ingredients work to pull impurities from my skin and liver and deliver antioxidants. The light floral flavor is so relaxing to smell and sip and the green tea gives me that little extra boost I need to get everything done (especially around the holidays).
Yogi Teas are well know for there large selection of flavors which use Ayurvedic principles to formulate teas for well-being. Detox, Bedtime and Stress Relief are some of my favorites, but there are endless beneficial flavors. If you are what you eat, then I want to consume as much as I can to make me look and feel healthy, happy and beautiful for 2018.