We are living in a digital world, but I’ve always loved a good handwritten letter. There’s something far more meaningful and thoughtful about receiving a note in the mail, than your average email or text, that takes a quick click. My dear, chic friend Marcie Pantzer (my own personal Emily Post) has changed the game with her new set of stationary called Dear Annabelle that is so beautiful and clever, it will make you exclusively want to practice your penmanship! Whether it’s a set of classic Monogramed notecards, her fun, flirty illustrated cards, or notepads for the entire family, these Dear Annabelle box sets are a must. All wrapped up in the most exquisite packaging, complete with a pale pink ribbon. Marcie has every detail covered as she always does, with the sweetest sentiments in her branding, paying homage to her beautiful daughter, Annabelle. Now that’s a Mama Moment!Read More
Although my days at pre-school are long gone, I’m excited to share that my dear friend Valeska has opened up her fabulous Montessori-based program on the Upper East Side! There are so many programs out there for children age 2-4, but hers is by far my favorite because of the solid foundations she provides her students. When my girls were younger, they both started out at Playgarden Prep and have such strength when it comes to independence, confidence, socialization, and character. I loved the program so much, I would have kept them in school with her for pre-K too if she’d offered it! My favorite aspect of this early learning center is the education it provides giving our little ones the tools to thrive in the next chapter of schooling. It’s a perfect feeder program for both progressive and more traditional elementary schools, and the Upper East Side is lucky to have them in the neighborhood.Read More
As you all know, I do a lot of entertaining, whether it be dinners with friends, lunch for my children and their buddies, or a casual family bbq. Generally speaking, I like to celebrate! Lately, being very busy with Mama & Tata features and working on Black Iris, my hands are tied, and entertaining has taken a back seat. Fortunately, friends of mine, Amy Griffin and Jessica Latham, have launched their new business Social Studies, saving time and money to plan in-home gatherings throughout the year. Their idea is brilliant, sustainable, and chic, making party planning easy and seamless with their reusable party boxes. I love the idea of not having to buy new sets of dishes and linens, and still being able to access a variety of tablescapes that are high-end and beautifully curated. Social Studies has several different boxes to choose from, equipped with playlists, party games, and floral arrangements, so you really don’t need to bring anything but the food! Both Amy and Jess have fantastic taste, so I would trust them designing any table in my home, and hopefully we will see a Black Iris party box coming your way in the near future!Read More
There are plenty of kid’s products on the market and I’ve tried them all! Most brands claim to be “natural” or “organic” but if you study up on what the regulations are in this country, you will soon realize that although these companies market their products as safe, that is rarely the case. Anything with an artificial fragrance is a big red flag and completely unsafe, containing many carcinogens. I have recently been on the hunt for new and improved, kid-safe skincare and bath products, and was so happy to find Bubbsi, a female-founded business with an aim to keep our kids safe from toxins. I actually love using their lotion and oils as well, because I know it contains healthy coconut oils, and won’t have harmful effects. Their packaging is brilliant, as each product also doubles as great bath toys. My kids are totally obsessed, so I’m sold!Read More
Earlier this summer, I took my daughters to Blocks, Trucks, + Art, a business started by Jeff Mayer and his wife Angela De Vincenzo, with the goal of teaching my daughters to ride a bike this summer. We had a few ups and downs, but eventually they both learned to ride, and only after a couple of lessons. In addition to their fantastic biking facilities, Blocks, Trucks, + Art also has the coolest DJ booth inside the truck that my girls love to play in and mix their own tracks. Jeff is also a fabulous DJ in the Hamptons, so recently, I returned to talk with him a bit about his DJing booth and his work this summer DJing around the Hamptons.Read More
I’ve always felt the Hamptons was missing something. A place this naturally beautiful lends itself to a wellness center and retreat, but I’ve never known of one until now. The new, beautiful, serene Shou Sugi Ban House has opened its doors this summer, including chic, minimalist rooms to stay overnight or daily treatments for a relaxing, rejuvenating afternoon. They have a gourmet chef on board serving up healthy, seasonal farm-fresh cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner at their communal dining tables. The yoga room gets light from all angles, and has a beautiful fire pit outside where the sound baths take place. The spa has everything from Biologique Recherche facials and massages to plunge pools and salt water baths. The indoor/outdoor gym provides various workouts throughout the day, and the sound therapy and tea room are exceptional. I could go on and on, but the point is, make sure you remember self-care this Fall, and book a day for YOU!Read More
I love a good find, and for those Fall evenings quickly approaching, my new go-to accessory is a Carolyn Rowan cashmere shawl. Carolyn has been in the fashion industry forever, and started her own brand of beautiful accessories that complete every outfit. She takes pride in the craftsmanship, as each piece is handmade locally, and unique. Whether it be special jeweled buttons, fur trim or fringe, these shawls, wraps, and scarfs are made to last and be worn time and time again, a true staple in your wardrobe. Carolyn is all about quality, and her product is reflective of that. Whether you have a special occasion and need to warm up your look effortlessly, or simply want to be classic, cozy and chic in your jeans, Carolyn’s newest collection is the perfect finishing touch!Read More
I was thrilled when I heard that my friend Quincy Davis, ultimate beach babe and pro surfer, opened up her own shop in Montauk. If you follow her, you know she’s always in the cutest gear and has the best selection of swimsuits and coverups in town. Her store, conveniently located next to her brother’s place, Happy Bowls, is beautifully curated with rare finds that you don’t typically see in stores on the east end. It’s the perfect little beach hut, filled with swimsuits, rash guards, sweatsuits, and beach coverups, so basically everything you need out here in the sunshine! Quincy is a true inspiration, dedicated to health, wellness, athleticism, fitness and adventure at such a young age, and now the owner of her own store. I’m excited to see what’s next for this beauty!Read More
I’m all about trying to stay clean and healthy, particularly at home where I have the final edit. You would be shocked if you knew all of the toxins and chemicals that exist in products advertising just the opposite. Whether it be makeup, housecleaning liquids, shower products, pantry items and sunscreens, we need to conscious of what we are exposing ourselves to, and more importantly exposing our children to! I met with specialist, Ashley Perkins, founder of Natur, to discuss these secret toxic ingredients, and eliminate them from my daily use. Ashley has a wonderful service where she goes through your home, reading every label, and identifies the problem products, and then finds you better solutions to replace them with. She is efficient, and knows so many clean, natural products to choose from, and send links for each one, making the entire cleansing process a breeze! Here’s to new beginnings!Read More
Many years ago, I found my favorite pair of strappy sandals, that I wore summer after summer, by a designer who was unknown to me at the time. They are actually the only pair of shoes that have withstood the test of time in my closet, as they are currently still here about 7 years later! The designer was Alexandre Birman, and now the brand is back in my life collaborating with Black Iris for our Fall/Winter Look Book shoot. His shoes are unbelievably well-made, flattering, and unique. Whether it be his new Fall booties, a flat sandal, or heels for a night out, they come in an array of neutrals that go with most anything in my closet. I was thrilled and honored to have the brand participate at the annual Mama & Tata shopping event this past week at Topping Rose House, where they brought a beautiful selection of shoes to complement our new collection, and for a great cause, benefiting New York Children’s Hospitals.Read More
David Falkowski comes from a family who have farmed out east for generations. He grows his own mushrooms right here in Bridgehampton, and their healing properties are beyond belief. I had heard of him for many years, knowing other talented members of his family, but was always curious about his mushroom oils and hemp products. This year, David opened up his own OMO Apothecary in Sag Harbor selling all of his healing products and herbal supplements made from the mushrooms and hemp grown locally on his farm. I’d never truly believed in these natural remedies, but oddly a day after visiting the shop, my neck went out, and I was suffering in excruciating pain. I couldn’t move at all, and just the day before I’d been in perfect health. I had my OMO CBD oil and rubbed it on the areas where I felt stiffness and pain, as well as took droplets to dissolve under my tongue. Within 24 hours of using David’s products the pain had disappeared as of it were magic. Needless to say I’m now in love with these oils, and use them every night for aches and pains. There are so many incredible finds at OMO, I highly suggest going and stocking up.Read More
So despite all of our addictions to technology, I think most of you would agree that a good old-fashioned book will never go out of style. One of my favorite book stores in Sag Harbor has reopened in a different location in town, and it’s better than ever. Taylor Berry, has created Berry and Co, a space that feels like home, where you can go, grab a read, an herbal tea, and sit outside in the fresh air on her porch to enjoy some quiet time. The walls are covered in book pages of famous authors, which is fun to walk around and read, and makes the experience very welcoming. Berry has the best kid’s corner, with all of my favorites, where your children can go and have their own magical, uninterrupted story-time. Quiet time for both parents and kids, I call that a win win! If you are looking for books on school’s summer reading list, they are stocked! Also a great wind-down activity post-camp.Read More
For as long as I have been coming out east, I’ve been seeing Judith Desiree. She is a gem of a human being, and her talent when it comes to keeping skin heathy, tight, and hydrated, is unparalleled on the east-end. She recently opened up her new spa in Sag Harbor, creating a charming, serene environment for her treatments, where I typically dose off into deep sleep! Judy has become a dear friend. She has lived in the Hamptons for a lifetime, and is a great reliable source for me personally. Her techniques with Biologique Recherche are always innovative, and she always has the most updated equipment. In the summer time, when my skin is particularly dehydrated, she keeps me glowing, and I’m so grateful she is here. Book her ASAP as her schedule is already almost at capacity.Read More
Of all the farm stands on the east end, my favorite to visit is Bhumi, owned by friend and all around cool guy, Farmer Frank! Frank always made the experience of farming your own produce family-friendly, and my kids adore him. Recently, he has opened up a beautiful new restaurant in the town of Amagansett, with partner, Christina Isaly, to plate his farm fresh food for all of us local foodies out for summer. The chefs are innovative and creative in presentation, and the menu is seasonal. Rosie’s is a great place to bring the kids for a quick meal, and perfect for a romantic date night. Don’t forget to ask for the rose infused merengue after dinner, it’s special!Read More
Years ago, I shared a more temporary business Jeff Mayer and wife Angela De Vincenzo had established for summers out east. This dynamic duo has since made the Hamptons a permanent residence, and in doing so they have re-created and revamped their truck and biking facility Blocks, Trucks, + Art to be equipped for year-long use. Embarrassingly, a little secret about me, I learned to ride a bike out here when I was 11 years old. For whatever reason, I never spent time learning, but always wished I’d honed in on this skill that lasts a lifetime. Luckily, I have Jeff to thank for teaching my girls how to ride way earlier, at 5 and 7! They have been taking a few lessons and after just one, could pedal on their own for a few feet. I highly recommend this if you want to teach your children how to ride properly, and then accelerate to their incredible dirt bike path, where they get to listen to some great tunes from the DJ booth set up in the truck. Their track is a great way to encourage and facilitate both socialization and physical education. You may even want to join your kids for the ride!Read More
Describe yourself in 3 words…
I had to defer this question to Lauren and Ali… We always joke that we need to take class on how to talk about ourselves… or just talk to humans in general.
Lauren & Ali: Kaylee is loyal, open-hearted, and incredibly warm. She is literally the best!
How did you get inspired to create Milkit?
Milkit was inspired by the astonishing power of women and the transition into motherhood. Ali, Lauren, and I all became pregnant with our second children at the same time, and we were all overwhelmed by unnecessarily extensive checklists about how and what to pack for the hospital. We wanted to refine what mamas really need for that radically life-changing day. We also wanted to provide mamas with beautiful and ethical products to feel pampered and taken care of without having to think about it.
What is the story begins the brand?
We believe that aesthetics and ethics don’t have to be mutually exclusive. We feel we have a responsibility to how and where our products our made, and that conscientious drives our mission. So, we took our (almost 7) collective birth experiences to create simple, sleek, thoughtfully designed and ethically sourced postpartum essentials meant to take you beyond the delivery room and out into the world with your new babe.
How do you carve out “me time” being a mother of 3 boys, and co-founder of Milkit? How do you like to spend that time?
Well, I’m still baking number 3 right now, but it’s feeling increasingly difficult at the moment. Honestly, it’s not easy, but I couldn’t have a dreamier situation. I get to work from home with my two best friends and all of our children on a project that supports pregnant and postnatal women! It really couldn’t get better than that. It’s definitely challenging to get anything done when you have 6 kids running around. There’s never a dull moment, that’s for sure. But, what we’ve created is really beautiful. We are raising our children with an actual village. A tribe. It’s a cliche thing people always say when you have kids, and it’s not easy to accomplish in this day and age with everyone’s busy schedules and location proximity, but somehow we all found each other and it all happened in an amazing organic way. I wish that for all mamas entering this world.
What are your favorite go-to products for this motherhood master kit?
My favorite products in our kit currently are:
The MIlkit Diaper bag. It's the perfect no fuss bag. I use it with or without my kids present. It also doubles as the perfect work bag. The large pocket in the back fits my laptop. The side pockets fit my water bottle and usually a snack or coffee beverage. It’s become my biggest necessity.
Our Milkit Robe. It’s so soft and cozy, with 3/4 sleeves and a shorter hemline so you don’t have to fuss with a bunch of extra fabric for all those million times you have to pee. It is the only robe I’ve found that completely covers my belly at 9 months, and gives my that extra flow when my belly isn’t massive.
Our Milkit x O-M Ceramics Mug. I drink my labor prep teas by Oat Mama every day out of that gorgeous mug. And I will be drinking the Lactation teas we provide in the bag, very soon.
Poppy and Someday’s Rose Quartz face spray for during and after labor. I’m pretty obsessed with it.
And last, but not least, the Erbaviva Relax Room Spray. It works as a room and body spray and HAND SANITIZER. It smells incredible and its safe for you and baby.
If you had to choose the next 3 products you’d want to introduce to your customer, what would they be?
We’re always on the hunt for new ethical brands. Right now we are all obsessed with Olio E Osso’s lip tints. Orez Lifestyle has these amazing reusable napkin/utensil kits you can add on or customize. They are so beautiful and smart. I feel like that’s something all moms could use on the go. Sakura Bloom is another brand that’s on target with our company, providing beautiful baby slings and carriers. We’d love to incorporate any or all of those items in the next limited edition run.
What are your favorite nutritious snacks?
We are all obviously very into the snacks we picked for the bag, but on a regular daily basis, I’m a trail mix person. I always have nuts in my car or diaper bags. It’s always about what I can bring on the go that my kids will also eat. All of us and our kids are very into the nut butter by SuperFat. The kids devour the Original and we keep the MCT + Probiotic pouch for ourselves. Another easy snack on the go is just an old fashioned apple or banana.
What is your beauty and exercise regimen to help inspire all of the new Mamas out there?
I’m a big proponent of self care. I always take time for myself to do something that relaxes me and or makes me feel happy or pretty or in a perfect world, all of the above. When I want to splurge I do a lymphatic treatment at Ricari Studios. And before I got pregnant, I would do infrared saunas or sweat lodges to top my workout routine with a little detox. I love yoga and pilates, but if I’m being totally honest, these days I’m feeling pretty solid about myself if I can just get out for a walk.
What are your favorite kid friendly/baby-friendly activities and restaurants in LA?
It can be difficult to find things my 5.5 yr old and a 2 yr old both get excited about, and lets be honest, my husband and I also want to be entertained! We all love a trip to Huntington Garden or Descanso Garden. They have beautiful seasonal events for the whole family and it gets you outside. We’re also a big fan of Kitchen Mouse in Highland Park. They have delicious vegetarian food and a kids play corner for those restless babes… which is basically every child.
Pay it forward and name 3 mentors in your industry (can be other female entrepreneurs)…
I’m constantly inspired by Rachel Craven and Beatrice Valenzuela. They are two best friends and mothers that started selling their crafts out of their back yard in Echo Park and 10 years later expanded into one of the most desirable Craft Fairs in the US. They have completely different aesthetics, but both equally beautiful. To me Rachel signifies the simple-no bullshit-woman who always looks elegant without ever trying. And Beatrice signifies romance, desire, in a zesty rebellious way. I love those ladies and I’m so grateful for their friendship. They helped us launch our company on Mothers Day at the Echo Park Craft Fair. We couldn’t be more proud to have gotten our start there with all of those talented vendors.
Gwyneth Paltrow is another force we absolutely respect and admire. I love that she’s using her platform to bring awareness to ways we can make positive changes for ourselves, the environment, and our workplace. Her emphasis on ethics, sustainability, and eco-friendly products are right in line with our mission, and her aesthetics are on point too!
What values do you hope to instill in your children?
The big ones in our family are kindness and respect. We believe that is the foundation of all things great in life. If you come at any person, obstacle, or endeavor with a respect for them or the opposing view and a kind heart, you can accomplish anything.
Where can we purchase the Milkit?
Right now you can only get it at our website.
Each run is limited and exclusive. We will be changing up the products every new release to showcase all of the amazing brands trying to change the industry. Get yours before we sell out!
Starting off my Hamptons features today, and I couldn’t help but share one of my favorite new shops, Cabana, in Southampton. Julie Heller started off selling her vintage finds, and we all know how I love a good oldie. She has great taste, and always curated the best pieces, all in great condition. She’s opened up a shop where you can buy your elevated basics alongside her racks of vintage for all summer occasions. I love that I can go to her for my favorite white t-shirt, jeans or casual shirt dress, and then also find something vintage to add to the mix, and make an outfit unique and personalized. She will be having a lot of fun events throughout summer, so swing by anytime.Read More
Describe yourself in 3 words…
Wife, Mother, Founder, Dreamweaver, Mompreneur, Activist, Manifestor, Philanthropist…it’s hard for me to just pick 3!
How do you manage to carve out “me time” being a mother of 5? How do you like to spend that time?
I am a big believer in “me time,” especially as a mother of 5. I practice a self-care regimen that I call my “goddess rituals,” which helps me unwind from even the most stressful situations. One of my favorite go-to’s usually involves drawing a warm bath full of essential oils, lavender, and bath salts. I’m addicted to anything aromatherapy driven, I love scents! I’m also a big fan of stealing time for myself by doing yoga, daily meditation (a non-negotiable, ESPECIALLY when you have 5 kids), or treating myself to an at-home massage. I also love a movie night with my hubby, even if it’s at home after I’ve tucked the kids in bed.
What are your favorite Miami activities with the kids?
We do a lot in Miami, which is an amazing place for kids. We love to go to the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, Jungle Island, Frost Museum, The Poppet Project, or even the Miami Kids Museum. Also, my kids will never pass up a movie date, so sometimes it’s as simple as going to Ipic to see the latest installment of a Pixar movie. A movie night always keeps them in their happy place (which you can do in any city!).Read More
I remember the feelings of insecurity and anxiety when I was having my first baby, as if it were yesterday. Becoming a mother, and all of the unknown can be incredibly overwhelming, particularly when it comes to all of the baby “stuff” you need. The market is so saturated with products, and stores only promote and have knowledge regarding what they are currently selling. Moms need an honest and reliable resource for all things baby, and Monica Banks, aka the Gugu Guru, has filled this gap! Monica created an incredible lifestyle and parenting quiz, powered by an algorithm, that allows experts in the baby market to provide product recommendations suiting your personal needs. They are not fueled by any advertising dollars, it’s just straight up great advice from the people who know best. I cannot tell you how helpful this would’ve been for me in my beginnings of parenthood! It eliminates so much time stressing about giving your babies the best, and figuring out what that even means. Gugu Guru is your new BFF!Read More
There’s a new play space in town, and you’re going to want to sign up! The Wonder opened up its first location in TriBeCa, the Mecca of family life. This is a space for both kids and adults to congregate, truly bringing the outdoors in! There is a lot of open play space, filled with themed wooden toys, a cozy book corner, and room for arts and crafts. Unlike other play spaces, this one is also geared towards adults looking to sit and work or grab a bite in the cafe. There is a private room carved out as a workspace, as well as a soothing nursery to bring babies while the kids run around. I’ve never seen a more well-thought out environment for children and their parents in NYC. Founders and parents, Noria and Sarah, made this space a members only club you will want to be a part of, and it’s constantly evolving with the seasons to feel fresh and new.Read More