Congratulations on the publication of your latest book, Everyday Chic! How did the book come to be and what is the biggest takeaway you hope your readers get from it?
Thank you! I’ve always been passionate about entertaining and my home—but even more so as a wife and mother. I think that’s the Southern girl in me. My inspiration for Everyday Chic was to show people that entertaining shouldn’t be intimidating and your home doesn’t need to be perfect all the time. It’s all about doing the best you can, embracing that “happy mess” as I call it, and adding in those chic and easy touches. I will say that I’m fortunate enough to be able to know and work with some pretty amazing designers, party planners, and homemakers who have taught me everything I know. The book is a way for me to share their effortless tips and tricks to live each day with style and grace.
We still remember your feature in InStyle Home (RIP) from years ago – you have impeccable style. Have you always been interested in design?
I actually have. When I bought my first home in the Hamptons, that was the first time I was able to put my own touch on things. I started working with designers and learned a lot from them. Since then, I’ve been a part of designing seven separate projects so the love has grown even more. My style has changed over the years so it’s fun to be able to see the transition from home to home.
You’ve gone from supermodel to supermama with incredible ease. How has becoming a mom changed your outlook on your career?
I think it’s made me feel less guilty saying no to a job or an event. It’s kind of like “been there, done that” in a way. When I was working back in the day, it was all about work. I missed out on a lot and never took a break. Now, I can create some balance. Having kids a bit older definitely worked for me. With that said, I feel blessed that I’m able to include my kids in a lot of what I do through my website and YouTube channel. It’s a lot of fun.
Your own mama served as a huge inspiration for you and your latest book. What 3 things has your mom passed down to you?
My momma has taught me so much–especially about hospitality. She’s a southern girl through and through and I’d like to think I am too. She taught me the power of detail and those chic little touches. There’s never an occasion too big or small that doesn’t warrant a beautiful floral arrangement. She taught me to never show up to someone’s home empty handed whether it’s a bottle of wine, a candle, or an orchid (because they last longer.) Also, never ever ever forget to write handwritten thank you letters.
In your book, you call perfection a unicorn and encourage women to not get hung up on making things perfect. Was there a moment that you can recall when this was suddenly clear?
When I became a mom, I wanted to be perfect. Not only a perfect mom but I wanted to be a perfect wife, daughter, sister, and friend, too. It’s impossible and it wouldn’t be real either. But, it’s easy to get caught up in the guilt. I always remind myself to put things into perspective. Motherhood is messy. No one ever said it would be easy but nothing worth something ever is! You just have to plan and prepare as much as you can but when sh*t gets real? Channel your inner supermomma and roll with it.
You love to entertain at home. What is your no-fail spread for a spur of the moment playdate for mamas and their kids?
For something spur of the moment, a charcuterie board is my go-to. I always try to have cheese and crackers on hand. I also set out hummus, guacamole, veggies, and pita chips for my guests, too. For the kids, putting a pizza in the oven and cutting it up in small pieces is always a hit. Set up a silver bucket filled with ice and stick some juice boxes and drinks for the adults, too. It’s a chic touch…and so easy.
You are by far one of the busiest mamas we know. What are your non-negotiables for protecting precious family time?
It all comes down to time management and prioritizing. If I’m at work, I work efficient and get sh*t done. If I’m with my family, it’s all about them. My husband and I try to have date nights whenever we can even if it’s just opening up a bottle of wine and watching a movie at home.
You were open about your struggle with losing the baby weight after your first baby and now focus on a healthy diet. What advice would you give to a mom wanting to change the family diet for the better?
Set a good example. If you don’t have junk in the house, it’s going to be a lot harder to eat it. There are tons of healthy options that are delicious, too. Make it fun with veggie and fruit kabobs, healthy sandwiches in shapes, or bento boxes with their favorite snacks. Also, learn recipes that the entire family will love. It makes things a lot easier! I call these my one-pot meals. They can be prepared ahead of time and there are always lots of leftovers. Our favorite is a Moroccan Chicken. I shared the recipe in the first chapter of Everyday Chic. I’m definitely not a chef and I’m telling you–it’s so easy.
You have 3 littles under the age of 5! Do you have any advice for making each of your children feel special?
Make it a priority to carve out that individual time for each child. Since they have different interests, try to really cater to that. Scarlett loves going to the park and getting smoothies after. So, that’s what we do. For Brooks, he loves playing legos with me. Getting that quality time to reconnect with them while doing something that they individually enjoy means everything.
We love that you surround yourself with powerful women – from your mom to your mama tribe – you have a wonderful camaraderie with these women. What does community mean to you and what does being a good friend and daughter mean to you?
My momma tribe is my EVERYTHING! I feel extremely blessed. When I became a mom, they were my lifeline. We continue to help each other as our kids grow. It wasn’t until I had kids that I truly knew the truth of “it takes a village.” Being a good friend and daughter is extremely important to me, too. Most of my best friends still live on the East Coast or down south and we talk every single day. Even if it’s just a short phone call. Nurturing those relationships will always be important to me.
It’s important to know when to take a time out…and not feel guilty about it. As moms, we tend to do that which can definitely lead to burnout.
Your brand is so much about putting your life out there in the public eye. Are there things that you won’t share or rules that you try to enforce to keep work and life separate or do you welcome the overlap between the two?
There are definitely some things I’d like to keep private just out of respect for my growing family. People don’t need to see everything. But I do enjoy showing as much as I can whether it’s on my social media accounts, book, website, or YouTube channel. It’s important to show that as moms, we are not alone. There is a whole community of women out there that are going through the same experiences, good and bad.
What is your morning routine? Nighttime routine?
I always start my day with a cup of organic coffee with coconut milk. The kids normally wake up pretty early so we all head down to breakfast together. Egg whites, turkey bacon, and smoothies are normally our go-to. Same with egg white omelette muffins. The kids love them so I included them in Everyday Chic. Super easy. If we aren’t in a rush, we love to snuggle on the couch together before the day begins. Those little moments of quality time make all the difference.
At night, I try to keep to more of a routine. If I don’t, all hell could break loose. It’s like our witching hour. Once we eat, it’s bath time, reading, and off to bed. Then it’s a glass of wine for momma and we can all relax.
How do you stay sane with the juggle? What is your way of coping when you find yourself frustrated, overwhelmed or burned out? How do you treat yourself?
It’s important to know when to take a time out…and not feel guilty about it. As moms, we tend to do that which can definitely lead to burnout. I’ve been there. It’s definitely necessary for everyone, not just mommas, to recharge. I’ll go for a walk to the beach, I’ll shop, I’ll get a massage. I’ve even left the kids with my husband, told them I went to run errands, and meanwhile—I was upstairs taking a bath. If you need it, say it.
What’s next for your brand?
I’m looking to focus my brand in the motherhood and beauty spectrum. I have a couple exciting things in store so stay tuned!
Embrace the messiness of motherhood. It’s a blessing.
Always remember you are the captain of the ship. Try not to be a pushover (as hard as that can be sometimes!), but we do our children a huge disservice if we don’t give them boundaries. Don’t get me wrong – I’m by no means a strict authoritarian. Kids need to be wild and play like crazies, but that doesn’t mean all bets are off.
And, always remember that each child is different.