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All My Children’s

the best choices for your family

Alicia Minshew

and her unforgettable pregnant experience while on set

Adrienne Janic

discusses mixed heritages, fast cars, raising her son, Deuce drew sidora

on her son’s father’s incarceration, single motherhood, becoming TLC

the bc list:

Year-round shopping list for the fam

spring 2014

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The Fury actress and model dresses down and spends quality time with her kids and BC

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INSIDE BC contents 8 adrienne janic The Overhaulin’ host opens up about juggling work and motherhood in this exclusive interview 12 why attention deficit disorder doesn’t have to be a prison Find out how one man overcame his ADD and pursued his dreams, and how families who are affected with the disorder can do the same


36 required reading From book series to informative finds, we’re got a list of shelffillers for the whole family to enjoy


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INSIDE BC contents

32 diggin’ on drew Drew Sidora talks about being a single mom and her role as a pop star in a biographical film




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8 48 eugenia kuzmina The Russian beauty on her transition from being a model to an actress and mother of two 78 the role of mom All My Children’s Alicia Minshew looks back at her time on the show and shares about her family life now


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On the Cover: eugenia kuzmina with her children, Ted and Veronika




Kariz Favis Editor-in-Chief

Kariz Favis Chairman & President

Martin Favis Creative Director

Martin Favis Vice President & Publisher

Valerie Anne del Castillo Senior Editor & Assistant to the Publisher

Mark Cabalang Production Manager & Senior Graphics Artist

Job Ambrosio Director

Aiya Mai Rodjel Associate Editor

Ahlee Del Rosario Junior Graphics Artist

Dennis Castillo Online Director

Charina Mitra Finance Manager

Maricel Bancolita Account Manager

Contributors Russel Baer, Robert Bernardo, Paul Gregory, Dr. Amos Grunebaum, KSE Photography, M. Kaye Sigmond, Sarah Stone, Sonya Tisdel-McNeil, Lynda Wallace

BC (Baby Couture) is published by Medina Favis Publishing LLC, P.O. Box 1227 Fort Pierce, FL 34954. Reproduction, in whole or in part, without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. For advertising, subscriptions, back orders or other inquiries, please call 1.877.386.0209 or e-mail Visit us at,, or Opinions expressed in this publication are that of the writers’ and are not necessarily endorsed by Medina Favis Publishing LLC. BC is not responsible for unsolicited samples, products, work and materials, and submissions are non-returnable. If you wish to submit written work, photographs, artwork, products, samples, other services, etc., please accompany with a self-addressed envelope, postage paid, or a prepaid return label.


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Model Behavior When we got hold of model and Fury actress Eugenia Kuzmina’s photos with her kids, looking very relaxed and domesticated, it took me a few seconds to process it. A quick Google image search shows you many a glammed up Eugenia, in supermodel mode, sometimes topless, always leggy, and very perky-breasted. As I write this, I glance down at mine, which are unabashedly losing their battle with gravity after having nursed—and still going—three children for years. Going back to our cover mom, hers seems to be the type of body that was touched by God to always bounce back to its prenatal gorgeousness. Usually, our cover shoots are more polished, more made up than your everyday mom (such as those featured in other parenting titles), because we focus a lot on style and beauty stories. I don’t know if it’s my “flip-flops should go with every outfit” age, but somehow, Eugenia’s photos were a sight for this editor’s sore eyes, and we thought it would be a nice change of pace for spring to feature a more tranquil, at-home mommy look. Hailing from a poor family in Russia, it was even more calming knowing a bit about Eugenia’s life, and how she got to her feet in America. A lot of it can be attributed to her looks, but I think we all have our fair share of luck, regardless of how we may sometimes feel. Speaking of which, Midwest actress Drew Sidora (whose son’s father is incarcerated), whose name also headlines in the TLC biopic, is another interesting story. In fact, I will post our video interview online, just to show you all how much you’d wanna hang with her— and maybe sing a “Waterfalls” duet with her like I did. Uh-hunh, I am cool like dat.

Two other gorgeous mommas, Adrienne Janic and Alicia Minshew, also grace this issue’s pages. It’s always nice to see that whatever our day job may be, we all share similar emotions and experiences when it comes to motherhood. They may be used to being in front of the camera for their life’s work, and myself behind it, but their words will show you that we all just have different settings for our own runways or soap operas. Speaking of daytime drama, I had a close call with Sera, our Golden Retriever, late last year. One fine day, she starts vomiting and not eating, and threw up a mango seed. Thinking we were out of the woods after she did, the next day, she fell even more ill and was almost nonresponsive. Through a series of tests, we found out that she ingested two mango seeds. I feel majorly to blame, because I feed her off of our dining table, and after her near-death, we have now ceased to let her roam the house leash-free. I mention this now to warn all you other parents to four-legged babies. Sometimes what we think is harmless or play can lead to the demise of our unassuming pets.

editor’s note

1 Eugenia Kuzmina and son, Ted 2 Drew Sidora and i on skype, singing (you read that right) to tlc’s waterfalls 3 My darling furry ‘daughter,’ Sera

For the rest of us humans, this issue features The BC List, where we pick and examine products to make sure they pass your cool factor test. Thank you to all the companies who submitted for this story, because testing and curating them makes our work so much more enjoyable. But most of all, thank you dear reader for your support, making our job worthwhile. IG and { SPRING 2014 } b c



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p h o t og r ap h s b y K S E P H O T O G R A P H Y I NTERV I E W b y K A R I Z F A V I S

adrienne janic

Mexican/Serbian top Ford model, actress and host, Adrienne Janic seems to have it all, and we’ve got the inside scoop on her overhaulin’ success.



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Adrienne janic


he’s the host of the Veria Living Network’s new reality show, Fit, Famous and Fabulous, and has led a successful career in modeling—gracing covers of countless magazines and print ads (she’s also one of the original Fanta Girls). Moreover, the Overhaulin’ host (who’s known as AJ on the show) also has a gorgeous family to boot. BC gets the exclusive on the statuesque beauty as she opens up about her mixed heritage, overhauled cars, and a serendipitous meeting with her now-husband, and raising their son, Deuce.

You were born to a Yugoslavian father and a Mexican mother. What was it like growing up with such a diverse ethnicity? Do you have siblings?

My parents are from two completely different parts of the world! They ended up meeting in Los Angeles. Even though they both immigrated to the United States, they still had a lot of their culture in our home. I grew up speaking Spanish (along with English), some Yugoslavian, and very much enjoyed my dad’s Yugoslavian food and mom’s Mexican food—I still do! I have a younger brother. We both feel lucky to have such a diverse upbringing becau-

se our parents opened our minds to different languages, food, cultures, and people, which I feel is very important for children to learn about.

College theater was the best! I learned so much about the craft, met some amazing people who I’m still friends with, and definitely caught the “acting bug” during one of my performances. It was just so much fun becoming another person on stage and stirring emotions for the audience—whether it was laughter or sadness.

Ford Models Inc. has been my home for almost 20 years, and I am still represented by them! When I first started out, I thought I would be retired by 27. I’m grateful I still have a career in print! Like theater, I love modeling because you are a blank canvas when you walk in, but once you step on set, it’s a fun transformation! One of the biggest challenges for me now is aging in an industry that is focused on youth. It’s hard looking at pictures from when I first started out, and see there are no wrinkles or pores, to now—a few wrinkles, age spots, pores! I tell myself, that’s what great lighting and re-touching is for!

You model for Ford Models Inc., and have graced many magazines. What is the biggest challenge of being a model?

Exactly! Your modeling career took you to different places globally. What is your favorite travel destination?

You did theater in college. When did you decide that you wanted to become an actress?

Since I did not go to college/university after high school, I always told myself that the world was my university. I made the choice to not continue with school and instead took this amazing opportunity to travel. Before I traveled to each country, I would buy books on the country I was about to visit—along with a language book to learn the language. I would visit museums, historical landmarks, learn about the culture. I would not trade my travel for anything in the world! My favorite place that I visited and modeled in is South Africa. It is such a beautiful country in a raw, natural way. The beaches of Cape Town are breathtaking! { SPRING 2014 } b c



Adrienne janic


bc report

Sounds like a magical place. Going back, you’re also known as one of the Fanta Girls. How did it feel to be the only returning member of the group?




Becoming a Fanta Girl was one of the best jobs I ever had! CocaCola was such a great company to work for. Initially, I had a twoyear contract with them to be a Fanta Girl. When I heard they were casting for a new group, I thought, well, that was a good run. Then I got the call from my agent that they wanted to sign me for another two years! I was very happy to continue as the Pineapple (yellow) Fanta Girl! It was great because by Coca-Cola re-signing me, that told me that I was doing my job and representing the product the way it should be represented. Very true. You’ve hosted Overhaulin’ on TLC/Discovery Channel. How did you land the job? What was it like working on cars?

Overhaulin’ was another great job I had! I was initially hired as an actress during the hidden camera/prank scenes. When the first co-host left to pursue other opportunities, they asked me to step in as co-host for season 3. I told them no at first, because I never hosted before and I knew nothing about cars! I finally agreed but under one condition—that they do not expect me to act like I know about cars. I wanted to approach it in an honest way and ask the questions that viewers at home would ask, so they would learn along with me. Working on cars was awesome! On Overhaulin’, I learned so much about cars, especially about American Classics, and I now have such an appreciation for them. Because of Overhaulin’, I have my own classic—I have a 1968 Pontiac Firebird!

p h o t og r ap h b y r u ss e ll ba e r

That’s great to know! What’s your favorite car? Favorite episode/ experience on the show?

Well, my favorite car is my 1968 Firebird. Not only did I help design it, I also helped to build her! It’s such a great feeling driving a car that I built with my own hands. Best experience on the show? I have so many! The one that stands out is the one where I designed a car—I learned a lot on that episode. I learned how to prime a car for paint, weld, sand down bondo—not fun—and powder coat. You name it. De-construction was the best! Just taking a car apart, and a week later, it’s a show car. It was so exciting. It was an amazing show that did amazing things for people. How do you keep fit? Any beauty regimen?

1 Adrienne and Deuce after a helicopter ride 2 Deuce with a Spiderman mask on 3 Adrienne and Deuce getting a volcanic facial 4 Adrienne’s “favorite time of the day”, Deuce taking a nap


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“Since I did not go to college/university after high school, I always told myself that the world was my university. I made the choice to not continue with school and instead took this amazing opportunity to travel.” I set aside 3 days a week for myself to exercise. I usually take a one hour class. It has to be a full body workout, so I can be in and out and go about my day. I don’t have the luxury anymore to hang out at the gym and work out for two hours at a time. I pick classes that can give me the same results as longer work outs. Beauty regimen? Sleep! I feel rest is the best thing—when I can get it. When I’m rested, I feel better and can accomplish way more things. Favorite beauty products?

Moisturizer! Los Angeles has a dry climate, and I have dry skin. There is a new all natural line that I love called Keeki Pure & Simple. They make a great body lotion and sunscreen. I love when my skin feels soft after I moisturize. Also, mascara and concealer are great. My friend, Dimitri James makes a line called Skinn by Dimitri James. His products are the best. Mascara and concealer can take me from a tired looking mama to a fresh looking one! Tell us more about your relationship with producer Bud Brutsman. How did you meet?

Bud and I have been married for almost 12 years, but together for almost 16 years. He is such a fun, energetic, and honest person. Once I met him, he was so refreshing to me. He made me laugh from day one, and still makes me laugh today. We are both very supportive of each other’s careers and we want the

same things in life. It just works! We met in Paris. I was flying back from South Africa and had a layover in Paris, and he was in Cannes, France, and also had a layover in Paris. Well, as fate would have it, we were both on the same flight back to Los Angeles. The rest is history! Very much so! How do you and Bud split parenting duties?

After we had our son, Deuce, I decided that I wanted to take time off from modeling and hosting, and just be a stay at home mom. I’m very grateful to have had that choice because I know not a lot of women have that. I have to say, as hard as it was, it was the best thing I ever did. I love being a mom and seeing all the milestones Deuce has. Now that I’m back to work, sometimes Bud will drop him off at school and I’ll pick him up. Or if I have to work on the weekend, Bud will stay home with Deuce and be Mr. Mom! We have a good system mainly because Bud is such a hands-on dad, and he loves any minute where he can have Deuce all to himself. Tell us more about your son. What traits does he take after you and your husband?

Deuce is such a fun, energetic, loving little boy! It has been so amazing to see the world through his eyes. He is so curious and always wants to try new things—even scaring me by trying

to see what he can jump off of next! Deuce is a great sleeper—he gets that from me. Waking him up in the morning is most challenging, but I can’t blame him, I love my sleep too! From his dad he gets the adventurous, no fear attitude. That is all from his dad, but I would say that wanting to experience new things like places, he gets from the both of us! We just took him to New York and he loved it! He gets excited when he sees an airplane and asks when he can go to New York again. Favorite bonding activities with Bud and your son?

They both love to wrestle. Every time Bud gets home, that’s what Deuce wants to do! It’s great because it wears him out. Bud also likes taking him to the park, getting ice cream, and their latest father/son activity is playing with remote control off road vehicle toys. We have an empty lot next door to us, so it’s the perfect place for both my boys to play with their remote control toys! What do you like shopping for, for your son?

I love shopping for clothes for him. Girls have the cuter clothes, so it’s more of a challenge to buy boy clothes and have some style—but that’s the fun part! So far he’s a good sport. He pretty much lets me dress him in fun clothes. Lately though he’s having more of an opinion of what he likes and doesn’t like. bc { SPRING 2014 } b c




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why attention deficit disorder doesn’t have to be a prison Advocate and ADD patient reveals secrets to overcoming diagnosis W O R D S B Y R ob e rt b e r n ardo


obert Bernardo knows the stigma of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and he wouldn’t wish it on his worst enemy.

What’s worse is that the numbers of children being diagnosed are rising at an unprecedented rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a million more kids had a parent-reported ADD diagnosis in 2007 compared to 2003 in the U.S., a 22 percent increase in 4 years. More than 4.1 million had a current diagnosis in 2007 and 2.7 million were taking medication for the disorder. Bernardo, who went from growing up with ADD to authoring his first book, Johnny Paradise, believes that the stigma of ADD does not have to be an impediment in the lives of those who are diagnosed. While living with ADD can be challenging, Bernardo believes it only makes overcoming those challenges more rewarding.


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“I’ve lived with ADD for 55 years,” he said. “I have it and I passed it to my children, so I am intimate with both sides of the ADD equation. I know what it is to live with it as a patient, and I know what it is to raise children who have it. The odd thing is that I have no problem with either. Some elements of life are made more difficult by ADD, but it does not make achievement and success impossible. My issue is how others can sometimes treat it as an excuse or a reason why they and their kids do not achieve. I think that’s the wrong approach, and it only fuels the stigma surrounding ADD. I believe that a healthy attitude, forbearance, and perseverance can overcome any of the obstacles

overcoming o b s ta c l e s that ADD presents. People just have to show a little faith.” Bernardo is living proof, having just published his first novel, with several more on the way. For him, the novels are as much about telling good stories as they are about making a statement. “It took me five years to write my first book,” he added. “But I finished it. Without ADD, maybe it would have taken five months, but that doesn’t

matter. There are people without ADD who struggle for years to write their books, but never finish. I made it to the finish line, even though no one would have faulted me for giving up

the dream. My point is that anything is possible. ADD can be a hindrance, but it doesn’t have to be a showstopper. The secret is to discard the stigma, forget the people who say you’ll never be able to fulfill your dreams, and embrace only the words and wishes of those who support you. Stop looking to others for inspiration. Find the inspiration inside yourself, and pilot your own ship. If you want it bad enough, you can make it happen.”


What is ADHD and how does it differ from ADD? Attention-deficit disorder (ADD) is the term previously used to describe children who find it hard to pay attention, but are not highly impulsive or hyperactive, while ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is the umbrella disorder in which ADD belongs to.

scales—inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Children who are diagnosed with ADHD or ADD are often rated using these scales. Because the symptoms of this disorder may well persist into adulthood and there is no cure for it to this day, it is important for parents to be aware on how to deal with children with these disorders as they grow. Here are some tips on how to help your child, and your family, cope with this disorder:

According to Dr. Steven Kurtz of the Child Mind Institute, one can think of ADHD as having three Be open and communicate properly.

Break it down to basics, and be organized.

Kids who have ADHD or ADD may not completely understand what they're going through, and may not be aware that they are acting differently from their peers. This might cause problems at school, so make sure to explain to your child that while what he has makes him different, it does not make him less of a person than his peers.

When dealing with a child with ADHD, it's best to simplify things for him or her. If you're offering him a snack, ask him if he wants fruit or yogurt, and avoid too many options so that he isn't overwhelmed. Make his playroom and study area as organized as possible. Turn off the TV and keep away toys and video games during homework time to help him focus on his tasks. Keep his things in the same place every day—for example, a schoolbag may be placed on a chair by his door or desk, so he will always remember that area for his bag.

Be supportive.

Some children who have ADHD and/or ADD may have learning disabilities, problems with understanding and communicating, anxiety disorders, depression, conduct disorder, Tourette syndrome, and a string of other disorders that is linked to ADHD/ ADD. Make sure that you and your family are able to address his needs accordingly, by going to the doctor and seeking advice about medication, tests, and behavioral therapy, among other options. Make sure you're ready with information on patient and family history as well.

Connect with your school teacher, administrators, and counselors.

If they are already aware of your child's condition, they can better help him deal with his tasks in school, or address concerns in the classroom. Get in touch with the local government’s department of education for special programs to find out the best options for your child.

About Robert Bernardo Born in 1955, Robert Bernardo grew up in New Jersey and attended various schools. His Attention Deficit Disorder made it difficult for him to achieve, but he never gave up on his education. He continues to pursue a college degree, and has faith that he will graduate. He has a wife, Lisa, and three teenage kids, Adam, Emily and David. He was an investment broker during his years in Southern California, and also started and sold several highway construction businesses since moving to Texas 20 years ago. It has always been his passion to write on a full-time basis.


“My issue now is how others can sometimes treat it as an excuse or a reason why they and their kids do not achieve. I think that’s the wrong approach, and it only fuels the stigma surrounding ADD.” { SPRING 2014 } b c





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a weighty discussion

If your child is overweight, discussing that problem can be one of the most difficult conversations you’ll face as a parent. Now that the holidays have winded down, it’s time to broach the subject of weight—and not just yours. Here are some compelling reasons for overcoming the reluctance to have the “weight talk” with the kids


W o r ds b y S arah S to n e

you’re the parent of an overweight child, you probably feel like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, you know that your child’s health is in jeopardy and that you should take the lead in addressing this problem. But on the other hand, bringing up this touchy topic—not to mention figuring out how to make important lifestyle changes—is difficult, uncomfortable, and potentially embarrassing for all involved. If you’re like most parents in this situation, you probably find yourself putting off the “weight talk” for just a little while longer and a little longer after that. According to Sarah Stone, though, you’re making a big mistake. It’s time to stop stalling and start talking—for the sake of everyone involved.


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i m p o r ta n t c o n v e r s at i o n s “Communication is an essential part of effective parenting—but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy or enjoyable,” says Stone. “It certainly doesn’t help that most parents are never trained in this critical skill—especially when our children and sensitive topics are involved. And children’s weight in particular is too often the elephant in the room.” The good news is, as the current director of operations at MindStream Academy, a co-ed health and wellness boarding school for teens who want to get fit, lose weight, build self-esteem, better manage stress, and take control over their health and wellness destinies, Stone can shed some muchneeded light on this tough topic. First, she says, it’s helpful to understand that you’re not alone in feeling reluctant to discuss your child’s weight. In fact, a recent study conducted by FIT, a partnership of WebMD and Sanford Health, showed that about 5 percent of parents struggle when talking to their kids about drugs and alcohol and that 10 percent are uncomfortable talking

about sex, but 25 percent are hesitant to discuss their children’s weight issues. In fact, many parents of eight to seventeen year-olds admit to avoiding the weight conversation altogether. “These statistics are not surprising, but they are tragic,” says Stone. “The developing years are when the brain learns habits that will last a lifetime. So right now is when a lasting change can be made relatively easily. Frighteningly though, if parents don’t act, the health habits of today’s children will

only get worse from every conceivable angle—increased disease risk across the spectrum, poorer quality of life, and massive public and private expenditures that will weigh heavily on the economy and on the lifestyle of almost every citizen.” To help you get over your reluctance to have the weight discussion, here are five reasons she says parents are likely to hold back when it comes to talking about their children’s number one health issue.

“when broaching the subject of weight with your child (and in your own life), it’s important to stop talking about weight—and even, to some extent, appearance— and emphasize other characteristics.” They maintain complete radio silence (on parenting issues, anyway).

When your child is small, it goes without saying that you’ll tell her what to do in most areas of her life—or at least make strong suggestions. But as kids grow into their tweens and teens, this autocratic approach often falls by the wayside. Since teens are supposed to start making their own decisions and growing into their independence, some formerly involved moms and dads believe that they can stop being parents and start being friends.

“There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to cultivate a fun, positive relationship with your kids, but never forget that being your child’s buddy is not your primary function,” Stone insists. “A parent’s job is to provide guidance, love, support, and effective preparation for life, even if that causes temporary resentment. Good parenting means recognizing that children have issues and then guiding them lovingly to effective solutions.” They want to spare their children’s feelings.

It’s something of an under-

statement to say that your child’s wellbeing is important to you. The last thing you want to do is cause him any sort of hurt. For that simple reason— a reluctance to see their children in emotional pain—many parents avoid telling their kids that their weight is unhealthy. “Just as effective parenting isn’t about being a friend, it’s also not about sparing feelings,” asserts Stone. “On some level, parents know that if a child is very sensitive about a subject, that’s exactly why we should be talking to them. Let { SPRING 2014 } b c





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“A parent’s job is to provide guidance, love, support, and effective preparation for life, even if that causes temporary resentment. Good parenting means recognizing that children have issues and then guiding them lovingly to effective solutions.”

ting children continue to feel shame, humiliation, and embarrassment because they (or you) don’t want to talk is only compounding the problem. In other words, avoidance is a symptom that you don’t want to reinforce.” They know that food isn’t a clear-

“It’s a lot easier to talk about drugs rather than weight because there’s a moral structure to the discussion,” points out Stone. “Using illegal drugs is wrong, and therefore, the guideline is much more concrete for parents to set forth and enforce. But neither weight nor eating are moral choices; they are a function of everyday decisions. St. Augustine once said that ‘Abstinence is easier than perfect moderation,’ and of course, he was right.”

cut “bad guy.”

They don’t know how to help.

Understandably, many parents are reluctant to broach the subject of their kids being overweight because they simply don’t know what to say to effectively guide their children. After all, with incredibly lucrative industries revolving around health and weight loss, parents (as well as kids) are faced with a massive amount of often-conflicting information about how to best proceed. “It’s one thing to address the issue, but


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being unsure of where it’s going and what advice to give can certainly inhibit the discussion,” admits Stone. “It’s important to understand that in reality, weight management is about many aspects of lifestyle ranging from sleep to stress management, not just food and exercise. Meanwhile, the average parent is still stuck in a ‘fat culture’ that revolves around the concept of diet, rather than understanding that this is about more far-reaching behaviors and the whole person.” They have their own weight issues.

In a culture in which 70 percent of people are overweight if not obese, many parents struggle with the problem of carrying extra pounds themselves. If that’s the case in your family, you—the pot—may be (understandably) reluctant to call the kettle black. Plus, you probably know that the “do as I say, not as I do” strategy doesn’t tend to work over the long term. And, toughest of all to admit, you might realize that doing something about your child’s weight will force you to tackle your own as well. “Parents inevitably bring their own feelings about weight to the table, which can certainly prevent meaningful discussion,” points out Stone. “Often, they too feel helpless and thus, not in a position to give advice. Also,

raising your own child can elicit emotionally fraught memories from your own childhood. If weight has been a lifelong issue for you, you’ll instinctively try to avoid those resurrected emotions. Remember, though, while you cannot change the past, you do have the power to create a better future for yourself and for your child.” “Once they realize that it’s dangerous to put off the weight talk, many parents believe that they can safely leave the discussion to the family doctor, pediatrician, or other health professional,” adds Stone. “Getting professional input is a great idea, especially if nothing else is working. But know, though, that research suggests that health professionals also have difficulties raising sensitive issues with their teenage patients. “Ultimately, while others might talk to your children about weight, the most important discussion they can have is with you. That’s because parents control the health environment at home and establish the wellness culture in the family. They are in a position to actually do something about the obstacles their kids are facing. And given that your children’s lives are quite literally on the line, avoiding the subject is a terrible abrogation of parental responsibility. bc

i m p o r ta n t c o n v e r s at i o n s Eight Tips for Approaching the “Weight Talk”

If your child is overweight, deciding to talk about this unhealthy lifestyle is only the first step. It can also be a huge challenge to have a productive, helpful discussion—especially if your child is unwilling to hear what you have to say.


Put the focus squarely on health and off weight.

Whether by default or by design, each family has a health and wellness “culture.” This includes the types of food that are kept in the house, how heavily physical activity is emphasized, what sleep patterns are encouraged, how much health information is available, and more. As a parent, you should emphasize each aspect of this health culture, not just your child’s weight.

? Recognize that you spend too much time focusing on weight.

Most people don’t realize how much they use weight as a yardstick to measure their overall quality of life as well as their worth. That’s why, when broaching the subject of weight with your child (and in your own life), it’s important to stop talking about weight— and even, to some extent, appearance—and emphasize other characteristics. For example, talk about how an unhealthy lifestyle influences your child’s self-esteem and thus demeanor, as well as how he expresses himself and the impression he makes on other people.

Observe how your child (and the whole family) uses food.

Your discussion will be better received and more effective if you are well informed, so before instigating “the talk,” observe how your child uses food. If you see that she eats in order to manage her emotions, you’ve gained an important piece of information about a very damaging habit. The truth is, we aren’t always are best observers of ourselves. So if you can determine whether or not your child is using food as a drug to avoid discomfort or as a stress manager, you’re one step closer to attacking the root of the problem.

Don’t be judgmental.

One thing is for sure: nobody is perfect. And another thing is also for sure: if you attack someone, he’ll stop listening to you. Taking those two truths into account, Stone insists that you should avoid blaming your child at all costs. The fact is, we live in a fat culture—so in many ways, your child’s struggle isn’t his fault. However, it is his and your responsibility to do something about it. The focus should always be on how you can help your child move forward from here, expressed as lovingly as possible.

Walk the walk.

In the end, your example is the best way to change your child’s health behaviors. Stone points out that teens in particular are sensitive to hypocrisy. So if you aren’t ready to make any and all of the changes that you’re asking of your child, don’t instigate the weight discussion in the first place.

Focus on change, even if you run into resistance.

The purpose of any discussion about losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle is to bring about change. Talking to your teen about his weight angst for an hour might have some value because it allows him to vent, but try not to leave the discussion there. Try to take one step forward too, even if your child is resistant to change. An effective way to overcome resistance (or even cut the conversation short if things are getting heated) is to get a commitment to make just one change in the next week. Stone adds that focusing on one simple change a week seems manageable (as opposed to dropping 30 pounds, which is overwhelming), and is a very constructive way to move the conversation forward without getting too bogged down.

Ask your child what would help.

Yes, you’re the authority figure in this relationship, but it can be a mistake to assume that you know the best way to help your child become healthier. One of the problems with giving support from a position of experience is that you tend to think that your child’s situation is the same as yours, and therefore, the things that worked for you will work for her. That’s not necessarily the case. Instead, it’s always a great idea to ask what your child thinks the best course of action would be.

And if you really can’t get through…

Sometimes, despite their best efforts, parents just can’t get a positive response from their children. If this happens in your family, Stone is adamant that someone needs to have the weight discussion with your child. Getting professional help is always a good idea, but there may be siblings, other relatives, friends, or even teachers who might get a more receptive response. And if all else fails? Well, Stone insists, all else can’t be allowed to fail. Your child’s life is too important.

Sarah Stone is co-creator and director of operations for MindStream Academy. Along with founder Ray Travaglione, she has worked on the MindStream Academy project from its inception. She is an honors graduate of the University of Toledo whose dream was always to work with youth. After her previous work as director of admissions at a teenage recovery management facility, Sarah found a path that led her to her work at MindStream. Her dream has been realized as she takes great pride in helping teens work to heal and nurture what is broken and learn to be tolerant and understanding of themselves. { SPRING 2014 } b c



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lucky number seven One little girl, two bewildered and frustrated parents, and seven would be nannies W O R D S B Y M . K A Y E S I GM O N D I L L U S TR A T I O N S B Y A H L EE D E L R O S A R I O


o some New York parents, “seven” is the number of the train they ride to work, the floor they live on, or the series BMW parked in their garage. For me, well, it’s the number of nannies we’ve gone through over the past three years:


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an often-comical, sometimes frustrating, and occasionally agonizing series of trials and tribulations—all to find the perfect nanny to watch my one and only whirlwind of joy. After succeeding for two decades in

Hollywood and then Wall Street, I figured motherhood—and subsequently finding a nanny—would be relatively easy. Being a mother has simply been one of the single greatest experiences of my life. But finding a nanny? Well, that turned out to be another thing entirely.


After the birth of my daughter, I decided to extend the standard 12-week maternity leave offered in my benefits package. My husband was simply terrified of our newborn: other than changing the occasional diaper, he just stared befuddled at our sleeping, suckling, pooping, spitting-up angel. In order to regroup, I found a lovely doula named Jenny—the perfect short-term solution, even if she was a bit…granola/earthy. But what I really needed was some more permanent part-time help. It would give me some flexibility to go to doctor appointments, get back in shape, do household errands, and even stay somewhat connected with my office. So I started the search for what I will

call Nanny Number One (“No. 1” for short). During my few saner (yet still sleep deprived) moments when Jenny was around, I had joined an indispensable resource: an online mom’s group specific to our neighborhood. The postings allowed me to feel in touch with all of the things happening in our area, and connect with nearby moms over everything from common problems to current gear recommendations. I also attended a few of the local social moms’ gatherings. At one of those fetes, I met a very chic and quirky mom—also a career woman for many years—who already had a part-time person in place. The proverbial light bulb went off: I could just use her nanny the other days and we could share this great person whom she endlessly raved about.


I met No. 1. She seemed nice, and I asked the basic questions about her experience, safety, and how long she had been working for my newfound friend, etc. She seemed to answer everything in the correct manner, and so No.1 would work for us two days a week, while still working for my friend for three—the perfect “nanny share.” She was sweet, positive, and a mom too, which I liked a lot, and reassured me as to her ability in watching a newborn (which she did with a certain aplomb). The summer ended all too fast. I

wasn’t the least bit ready to get back to the office, so I resigned. I had No. 1 and the hubby (still lovable, and upgraded to ‘quasi-useful’) to help out with the baby, while I embarked on the search for a new position. During that search, I realized that while my future position might not be 60 hours a week, it would still be in the 40to 50-hour range—meaning I would need to secure a full-time nanny prior to accepting anything. I thought: I’ll ask No. 1 if she has any friends looking for a full-time gig. But No. 1 didn’t want to make any suggestions: she started recommending herself! Yes, she wanted to drop my

friend’s kid like a hot potato and come work for me full-time. In fact, she confided, her true desire was to work for just a single family. That was understandable, maybe, but also not terribly honest, and definitely not acceptable. I was not about to screw over my new amiga, especially after everything she’d done. No. 1 had to go. NUMBER TWO

To search for No. 2, I went back to my mom group postings. I found some names and started to call those who fit the full-time criteria. Thus, the first big round of interviews began. But after two weekends and about 15 { SPRING 2014 } b c




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babysitter prospects later, I had failed to come up with one acceptable candidate.




Plan B: reach out to friends and work colleagues who had children. Maybe they could give me some advice, or had a fabulous person they could recommend. That tactic worked: a former coworker suggested a nanny who had cared for her son for the past four years. The boy was off to a full-time preschool, and she no longer needed the help. Perfect, right? Plus, No. 2 had tons of experience and lots of personality. We hired her on the spot. Still new to the world of nannies, I didn’t formalize anything in writing of our arrangement. We negotiated a salary, the times she would work, a few paid holidays and the standard offerings that other moms had recommended (such as overtime and a taxi home if they left after 9 p.m., certain paid holidays, a metro card for the subway, etc.). No. 2 started, and I began a new job. Then, a few weeks into her employment, No. 2 started asking a lot of questions. First, she first wanted to know when she would get a raise! It was a bit precipitous, two weeks in. Then she wanted weekly petty cash. When I probed a little further, inquiring as to what she intended to use the petty cash for, she responded, “… snacks, coffee, or anything I might need during the day.” I was supposed to fund her Starbucks addiction while she watched my kid? I demurred subtly, mentioning that we had a fully stocked refrigerator. I also said that I would be happy to pick up any special requests she had next time I went to the market. Next, No. 2 asked if she could explore the City with my daughter, wanting permission to take her on the bus or the subway. She added that it was


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something she did quite often during her previous tenure; however, that child was 4 years old. At this point, my daughter was all of 6 months old. I wasn’t ready for a new nanny to venture on to public transportation with my infant. This was not going well at all. To top everything off, No. 2 was unhappy about my decisions. And then the truth came out…No.2 was still in touch and very friendly with several nannies from her former job (located near Union Square, we were in TriBeCa) and wanted to continue those social relationships while dragging my daughter along. It was not going to happen. Time to start the search again. NUMBER THREE

I am one of the best, and I will make your life so easy.” That was on top of her chanting: “Ronni rocks! And she will do it all.” She was a little loud in the house the first few days, which kind of annoyed my husband (as he worked from home on occasion), but I chalked it up to her enthusiasm. Everything went fine until day four, when No. 3 tells me that she simply must make more money—effective immediately. This was outright extortion. I knew I was paying top dollar after conferring with a number of other moms. However, the truth finally came out— No. 3 turned out to have another family—one with twins, and apparently willing to pay more. She took her weekly salary and walked out the door. Once again, we were without childcare.

We interviewed ten other candidates before finding No. 3. On paper, she was stellar! She had worked with newborns, multiples, preemies, knew the downtown neighborhoods, references couldn’t say enough and we seemed to be on the same page with all of the logistics and terms for her employment.

I simply had to find No. 4. I spent every spare moment in the search: before work, lunch time, after work, practically through the night.

Right before No. 3 started, she kept saying: “You won’t go wrong with me,

Then I bumped into a neighbor, the mother of a 2-year-old boy, in the eleva-


N A NN Y C A RE tad bit older than the previous nannies. Okay, make that a lot older. Could No. 4 keep up with my very active daughter for a full day? Both my daughter’s grandmothers and great-grandmother are on the West Coast, making her unaccustomed to long periods with someone older. These questions kept me up at night— but I needed someone fast, reliable, and it came from a resource I knew and liked. At least short-term, I hoped I could make it work.

tor. I told her my woes, and she offered a solution: Her son’s nanny had an aunt who was looking for a babysitting position. I agreed to meet with the aunt. My husband flew to Brazil and then Chile as part of a work assignment. The same day he flew out, I interviewed and hired No. 4, a.k.a. “Auntie,” on the spot. My only real concern was that she was a

She was quirky. She made soup every day for my daughter and herself. But she seemed a little reckless with things in the house. Pots and pans were being destroyed at an auspicious rate, along with glasses. The baby’s things suffered the same fate: she managed to flatten the tire on our big stroller—twice in two weeks. The money was less a concern to me (though fixing the stroller at 176 bucks a pop wasn’t inconsequential) than the looming question in my mind: where was this woman taking my 1-year old? No explanation was forthcoming. Finally, hubby came back. He was tan, happy, from a great, productive trip—I wanted to kill him. His first morning back, we sat down for a chat with No. 4. We were covering the basics; safety and whatnot, when he politely asked what she would do in case of an emergency. Most of us would say, “call 911,” “call the parents,” “call the pediatrician.” Except she told him: “There will never be any emergencies.” As lovely and optimistic of a notion as that might be, clearly this was the wrong answer. No. 4 was out. NUMBER FIVE

My new search approach involved a) Checking references and b) Having the next nanny work a few half-days over the

weekend in order to get to know her style and whether we could relate. I started to feel like I never should have gone back to the office, given how difficult this was all becoming. I had felt so good about keeping up my career while balancing a positive home life—but at this juncture, it all seemed to be such a mess and I was losing confidence that I could rally to find the “right” person. And then No. 5 walked in our door, proud as a peacock with colored hair to match. She could have been funk impresario George Clinton’s younger sister. I really liked her because she had been a former nurse, because that meant long hours working with newborns. She was also neat as a pin in her appearance (hair color aside) and very proud of her prior experience. After a few trial days, we hired her. Unlike the others, No. 5 seemed extremely social and liked to go out quite a bit. She made loads of play dates and tons of new friends. My husband agreed she was a winner. That was before the accident. No. 5 was coming up on almost a year when, one afternoon on the playground, my daughter fell and broke her leg. My husband and I were just crushed. To see our little one in a cast, immobile, was just so sad. Luckily though, a friend introduced us to the head of pediatric orthopedic surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, who assured us it was a common break for lots of toddlers and





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and expenses—I even had an attorney friend write up a letter agreement that spelled it all out.

not to worry. Certainly accidents happen, and No. 5 called me immediately to say my daughter had fallen. But what troubled me was how No. 5 really couldn’t explain how it had transpired. Obviously she fell, that much didn’t require an explanation, but the circumstances remained a mystery. The lack of details smelled fishy, and No. 5 was asked to leave. Soon after No. 5 left, the truth came out, courtesy of some nannies from the area who had seen our daughter fall. They all recounted the same sad tale: No. 5 had been sitting on a bench, gossiping with her friends, a fair distance from my little one, and just not paying attention. It was that simple. Five nannies in 23 months—was this a record? Was I an unreasonable Momzilla? Time for new tactics— again. I thought about an agency, but in the end I decided to speak with


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Edwina, a longtime staffer who worked in my boss’ household. He had a big and very professional staff, many from the agency I would have inevitably engaged. So I spoke to Ed, who seemed to have a solid network of people she could recommend to care for my daughter. I asked her for recommendations, which they happily provided. NUMBER SIX

So I began the interview process again, exhausted, but still determined to find the allusive “right” fit. This time, I insisted that my husband be much more engaged in the process. Maybe he would see something I didn’t. We decided to interview candidates separately. Now my list of questions was rock-solid: vacation days, time off, sick leave and any other issues that had come up in the past, in addition to a well-defined salary in the agreement and very specific terms about hours, overtime, travel

After an exhaustive search, No. 6 joined our little household. She came on board on the tail end of my daughter in her cast, but I could see from Day One she took exceptional time and care of her. I tried showing No. 6 how I liked things done and what was the best for our daughter, especially with the broken leg. Happily, the cast came off the day of her second birthday: we ate, drank and celebrated a lot. She was a little wobbly but seemed to bounce back almost immediately and was ready for a fun active summer. No. 6 seemed quiet around me, I think she was a bit nervous, because she came from a connection that worked for my boss and seemed to want to do a few extra things around the house to help out and show us she was a hard worker. She liked to clean, organize, and managed to redo our daughter’s closet and dresser every week. I didn’t mind, even if it took a few minutes extra to find things on the weekend, as it was very tidy and I appreciated her efforts. Late summer, we went away on vacation to Cape Cod for a summer holiday—and decided to take No. 6 with us (something we had mentioned in her agreement and prior to hiring her.) However, in the end it was decidedly no vacation for me. Apparently, No. 6 didn’t like the sand and surf (odd considering she came from an island nation

N A NN Y C A RE in the South China Sea). She spent her days hiding from the sun under the umbrella and relentlessly complained every minute of every day. While my daughter, now typical of any 28-monthold, wanted to play, build sand castles, find seashells, run her toes in the water, and enjoy a day in the sun, No. 6 was the inertia personified. I ended up being the one chasing after our daughter. Though we were having a ball, I really wanted some help, but No. 6 wanted no part of it. After three days of this nonsense, I sent her packing. Back home, No. 6 seemed to have lost her energy. If I didn’t organize classes, story time or other activities, she went to go on play dates with the same two neighbor sibs almost every day. I had started the preschool tour process, as well as searching for an alternative (at least 3 times a week) that would let us get rid of No. 6. I didn’t want to make a change until autumn, when our daughter would start preschool. But plans have a funny way of not working out. The holidays passed without incident, and we were on to the New Year. Our daughter’s 3rd birthday was in sight, along with summer, and then pre-school—until one ill-fated afternoon when I came home early from work to find No. 6 also in the lobby of our building, but not with my daughter. I shouted at her immediately: “Where is she!? Where is my daughter!? Why are you down here without her?!” No. 6 told me she had misplaced her cell phone and came to search for it in the lobby. The doorman, who adores our little perpetual energy progeny, got off the house phone, and looked at me aghast and ashen. I was hysterical. Livid! Panicked! I jumped in to the elevator, sobbing, and shouting at her to explain where my child was, and all she said is, “She’s fine, and she’s upstairs.” I thought, with

another babysitter? Napping? It was far worse: this idiot had left my 31-month old daughter in a waterfilled tub, alone, in a locked apartment. Thank goodness my daughter was just sitting there, smile on her face, singing the “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” This was inexcusable. No. 6 came back upstairs, and I told her to leave, immediately. I didn’t want to hear a word that came out of her mouth. She insisted on trying to explain her actions, and I literally had to push her out the door. I cried most of the weekend after this happened, and filled out the paperwork for the three-day-a-week pre-preschool program that started the following week.

will ever care for your child they way you will yourself.” After three years of trial and error, I can only agree. In the fall, my daughter will start fulltime preschool 5 days a week and I will go back to work full-time work. Which begs yet another question: who will pick her up at 4 in the afternoon each day? Maybe it will mark the return of No. 7. If my mother refuses to move back East, there will be only one solution: Nanny No. 8. bc


I was fortunate to get a space at a program in the City, but there was still the issue of covering two days a week when my daughter was not in school. After the weekend, our doorman (who had heard the lobby exchange with No. 6) mentioned he had a twin sister with babysitting experience who was looking for work. Their mother worked for another child in the building, she came highly recommended. This was it: a part-time hourly sitter, no vacation pay, no sick days, who I could send home if I got off early. After checking references, meeting her twice and introducing her to my husband, No. 7 would work just two days—when I made a drastic and fateful decision. I knew I loved my daughter more than anything. I didn’t have to work at the moment. What was stopping me from staying home and playing domestic goddess until my daughter started school in September? In making that decision, I was reminded what a friend told me at the beginning of this baby-care odyssey: “No one { SPRING 2014 } b c





bc lifestyle health


when infertility becomes a “guy thing” How men can combat declining fertility trends W o r ds b y D r . A m os Gr u n e ba u m


hen infertility strikes, it can be a massive source of stress for couples, and many are too quick to assume it’s a female issue. Alarmingly, the average sperm count for adult males has decreased by 50 percent since 1938 and is currently declining at a rate of 2 percent each year, according to a study in the British Medical Journal. Stress, exposure to environmental toxins and diets deficient in key vitamins and minerals are likely to blame.


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“It’s a fact that one in six couples will have difficulty conceiving, but many aren’t aware that almost half the time, it’s the male who is the cause of the problem,” said fertility expert, Dr. Amos Grunebaum. “When couples address this issue, it’s been my experience that the woman is the first to see a specialist to determine her fertility status. It’s a little more difficult to get the man on board with doing the same thing. Some men just don’t want to acknowledge that they may have a fertility problem. As such, they are more reluctant to get tested and I

male fertility

“A diet rich in antioxidants such as Vitamins C, E, and Zinc can go a long way in improving sperm health.” have seen a lot of men delay seeing a specialist or even avoid it completely.” Unfortunately, Dr. Grunebaum can confirm these disturbing statistics as he has seen sperm counts decline in his over 25 years of practice.“From my experience, low sperm count is one of the primary reasons that couples have a difficult time conceiving,” said Dr. Grunebaum, also a medical health advisor for Fairhaven Health. “Quite simply, the fewer sperm a man produces, the lower the likelihood that one will successfully fertilize the egg.”

ing task. “The testing process itself can be a little embarrassing and even more so when faced with the prospect of exposing their condition to the doctor, nurse, or office staff,” he added. “There are many benefits from determining early on if sperm count is a problem for you,” Dr. Grunebaum said.

“The sooner an issue is pinpointed, the sooner proper treatment can be started. Treatments for male infertility typically include lifestyle changes, vitamin, mineral or herbal supplementation, prescription medication, or even surgical procedures. But before any of that can begin, the couple has to be able to communicate and agree to take action.”

However, according to Dr. Grunebaum, there are a variety of ways men can help improve their reproductive health. “A diet rich in antioxidants such as Vitamins C, E, and Zinc can go a long way in improving sperm health. Exercising regularly plus limiting caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco intake can also help a great deal,” he added. While low sperm count is known to be a major cause of infertility, for many men, visiting a doctor or clinic to have a sperm analysis done can be a daunt-


or dads and dads-to-be, there are several ways to keep your fertility in check. The first step is to be aware of your overall health and consult a doctor to make sure your sperm count is well in the general average, which is 120 to 350 million per cubic meter. If your sperm count falls short, take a closer look at your lifestyle. Some factors such as smoking and alcohol contribute to infertility. Smoking causes blood vessels to narrow, thereby hindering the blood to


flow to the genitals, making it more difficult to produce sperm. Smoking also damages the sperm membrane and can alter DNA, thereby causing birth defects in babies. When it comes to clothing, wear comfortable underwear that does not raise the temperature of the testicles, or keeps it too close to the body. Funny as it may sound, don’t use your laptop on your lap for prolonged periods, as the heat can affect your testicles.

Remember that cooler temperature is best for healthy sperm production. Check your diet. Are you eating the right food to keep your sperm healthy? Go for food that contains zinc, folic acid, vitamin C, and essential fatty acids, like Omega 3. For those who want an extra boost, herbal supplements are available in the market, such as panax ginseng, ginkgo biloba, saw palmetto berry, nutmeg, among others. bc { SPRING 2014 } b c





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fun and easy ways to feng shui your nursery This 2014, keep your home organized and bad vibes-free with these tips from interior designer and Feng Shui expert, Tisha Morris W O R D S A N D I NTERV I E W B Y V A L E R I E A NNE D E L C A S T I L L O


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he New Year often brings new resolutions for families and individuals, and while most like to look to cultural habits and traditions to maximize their luck throughout the year, it’s important to stick to the basic, such as cleanliness and organization. Tisha Morris, Feng Shui Consultant and Interior Designer and author of Mind Body Home: Transforming Your Life One Room at a Time, talks to BC about the importance of energy flow in every room in the house, how to apply Feng Shui in our children’s nurseries, and make our homes an overall better place to live in. Her recently released book also talks about the energetic connection between ourselves and our homes, and discusses ways in which we can create a holistic

home for our families that promotes a healthier and more positive way of living. Here, Tisha sheds light on how

to apply Feng Shui to our kids’ rooms for better health and overall harmony in our homes.

“the energy as it enters the home takes precedence. Rooms towards the back of the home will have a more peaceful, calmer energy than those at the front of the home.” What must parents keep in mind when investing in furniture for their children’s nursery?

Keep it simple. The tendency may be to go all out and decorate a nursery to the nines, but consider keeping it simple. Remember that a baby is new to the physical world and can get overstimulated very easily. Murals or imagery of forests and storybook characters may be overwhelming. Avoid large furniture items that give the appearance of towering over the bed. Babies want to feel safe, protected, and cradled, but oversized furniture can feel overbearing. Be conscious of the history of the furniture that you place in a nursery. For example, an antique crib from the Civil War era carries with it the energy of its past. Consider the energy contained in family pieces and whether that it is positive or negative energy that you want carried forward for your child.

How must cribs and changing tables be arranged in a room?

Avoid having too much furniture. Only have furniture in a nursery that serves a function. Try not to put any furniture in the center of the room because it disrupts the energy flow of the room. The crib should not be in the direct of the door. Constant noises or people walking pass can be disturbing toward the child. I suggest keeping the furniture along the walls. Once your child is old enough to sleep in a bed, have nightstands on each side of the bed. This gives a feeling of support and protectiveness. Also avoid furniture pieces with harsh corners. Use soft blankets and textures for a cozy, safe, and comfortable space. What’s your Feng Shui advice for parents who co-sleep?

In Feng Shui, the master bedroom is for, well, adults only. In fact, it is a no-no to even have pictures of your

children in the bedroom. The bedroom is only for those who rule the roost. But as attachment parenting has become more popular, some would disagree with this 4000 year old science. Decide what is best for your family. And consider whether you are cosleeping for the benefit of your child or you. Is your child being used as a buffer or distraction from your intimate relationship? Also consider whether you are giving your child too much power by being on equal ground, so to speak. What colors are recommended for children’s nurseries and rooms?

The number one rule with a nursery is to stick with soft pastels and avoid primary colors. Babies are extremely sensitive to their surroundings and it just so happens that colors emit a lot of energy. The bolder the color, the more energy it emits into a room. The softer the color, the calmer it will be on { SPRING 2014 } b c




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a child’s energy. Since the primary function for a nursery is sleep, use colors that promote sleep. Pastels, such as soft yellow, blues, and greens, and monotones are calming to the nervous system. Save the bright colors for the playpen or areas where play is encouraged. Keep in mind that even though a baby’s world is smaller than an adult’s world, boundaries should still be acknowledged with regards to areas that promote sleep versus areas related to play.



How can parents optimally use Feng Shui to create a peaceful and harmonious environment at home?

Add natural elements. We naturally love the outdoors, so try bringing more of the outdoors in. Decorate with natural elements as much as possible. Use plants to liven up a dark corner, hide electrical wires, or even absorb your own stress. Stone, wood, and water are elements that mix great. For example, use a chunk of amethyst as a bookend or bring in natural texture with a reclaimed wood coffee table.

H OME ORG A NI Z A TION To entice all the senses, use a water fountain indoors or out to hear the calming sound of water. Also, When you come home, don’t automatically dive into more technology. Consider turning on music instead of the TV. Notice how you feel when the TV is on versus when it is off. Minimize the electronic equipment you have in areas of the home where you want to create a more peaceful environment, for example, in the bedroom. How does your house’s Feng Shui change as your child grows from a baby to a toddler? Are there specific Feng Shui guidelines for families with toddlers?

The rooms in our home set boundaries, literally and figuratively, that are a mirror for the relationships within the house. As children get older, they crave boundaries because it gives them a sense of safety. They also have a natural developmental desire to have their own space and a sense of their own identity and independence. Make it clear what room is their room.

Give them a sense of ownership of that space, as opposed to the whole house. As they get older, they can then express themselves through their room as they form their identity with their toys, art, hobbies, and décor selections. Is there a way to Feng Shui monsters from under the bed? Or at least foster good dreams?

Keep the room decluttered, especially under the bed. If your child has a good sense or inventory of items in the room, he or she will have a sense of control or power over the room. Have your child be part of putting items away in their proper spaces to foster of ownership and control. Keep a nightlight on. Have a safe item near or on the bed, such as a teddy bear, that your child relates to and feels safe with when he or she gets scared. When moving into a new house, which bedroom would be best to use as a nursery? (What direction should it face, etc.)

In Western versions of Feng Shui, the compass directions are not predominately used. Instead, the energy as it enters the home takes precedence. Rooms towards the back of the home will have a more peaceful, calmer energy than those at the front of the home. The bedroom or nursery is the one room that you want a quieter, more yin energy to promote sleeping, which is usually found towards the back of the home away from the street. Rooms towards the front of the home tend to be better for a home office or rooms for entertaining. The room should feel protected from hightraffic areas, inside and outside, and yet not too far away from the parents’ room. Having some natural light coming through a window is advisable to adjust to natural biorhythms. bc

“even though a baby’s world is smaller than an adult’s, boundaries should still be acknowledged with regards to areas to promote sleep.”


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shopping bag

UMI Made from the highest quality leathers and materials, UMI Shoes are a step above everyone else, making them a brand that is highly trusted and regarded when it comes to quality and environmental responsibility. Each shoe is created using child-safe materials such as non-toxic drum-dyed leathers and other environmentally friendly materials, so you know you’re not only giving your child the best, but also something that is eco-friendly.

zutano Drawing inspiration from the children of the world, Zutano is committed to celebrating the diversity of all kids, thereby creating exceptional, innovative, and versatile products for your child. The brand has always cherished the honor of creating your baby’s first garments, and is dedicated to the belief that every child’s individuality should be celebrated. The brand offers a wide array of products, from mix and match baby clothing and accessories to crib bedding, nursery furniture, gear, booties, hats, and decor, which both you and your child will love.

La piccola danza La Piccola Danza is the brain-child of the Nay Et Al group of brands (which include parent favorites Baby Nay, Da Lil Guys, Big Citizens, and Everyday Nay). This clothing line by Nay Khoubnazar, which launched in Spring 2012, offers children European inspired ontrend fashion for children, bringing everyday glamour and special occasion ensembles to your little princesses with modern embellishments on a canvas of lush fabrics in feminine silhouettes.



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what will really make you happy?




Research reveals four common misconceptions about happiness, and living a meaningful life wo r ds b y L y n da W alla c e


he idea of a happy and meaningful life has become unnecessarily complicated in some circles, says author and certified positive psychology coach Lynda Wallace, who left a high-powered executive career with Johnson & Johnson to pursue her real passion—helping individuals and groups achieve greater happiness and suc-


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Seller list.

“Happiness has been appropriately cited as a goal in political debates on issues from taxation, to the social safety net, to marriage equality, but the debate is often confused,” says Wallace, author of A Short Course in Happiness: Practical Steps to a Happier Life, which topped Amazon’s Self-Help Best

“Some people claim that happiness is all in your DNA or bank account. The truth is that happiness is largely a matter of everyday choices and actions. There are straightforward, well-researched and effective things every one of us can do to create greater happiness in our lives and in the lives of those we care about.”

achieving goals The essential elements of a happy life are not mysterious, she says. Research shows that the happiest people do four basic things that make the difference: they focus on what is good and positive in their lives; cope effectively with life’s inevitable challenges; develop strong relationships; and pursue meaningful goals. “We can all become happier by putting our efforts into these areas,” Wallace says. One of the first steps we can take is to get past some of the common misconceptions about happiness that can stand in our way. Wallace offers these four examples. Misconception #1:

Misconception #2:

Misconception #3:

Misconception #4:

Happiness is about getting the big things right. It’s natural to think that if we were suddenly rich, beautiful, and living on the beach somewhere, we’d be happy. But that type of good fortune turns out to have a surprisingly small impact on happiness. The happiest people are most often not those in the most enviable circumstances, but those who cultivate positive emotional outlooks and actions. So how can we do it? “Take concrete steps to practice optimism, gratitude, kindness and self-compassion in your everyday life,” says Wallace. “The cumulative effect of those everyday choices can have a tremendous impact on how you experience your life.”

Happy people suppress negative emotions. Happy people actually experience sadness, grief, worry, and other so-called negative emotions nearly as frequently as unhappy people do. The difference is what happens when those feelings occur. Happier people are generally able to experience negative feelings without losing hope for the future. “They give themselves permission to feel sad, angry, or lonely, but they remain confident that things will get better. As a result, their sadness progresses into hope and action rather than regressing into anxiety and despair.”

Pursuing happiness is self-centered. The strongest of all conclusions drawn by researchers into emotional well-being is that our happiness is determined more by our relationships with other people than by any other single factor. The happiest people build their lives around good, trusting relationships. “If other priorities are getting in the way of your relationships,” says Wallace, “take steps to shift the balance back to where it will really make a difference.”

“I’ll be happy when I achieve my goals.” Have you ever noticed that when someone wins the Super Bowl or an Academy Award, or when you achieve a long-sought ambition, that wonderful sense of accomplishment and happiness seems to fade faster than you’d expect? “That’s just the way our brains work,” says Wallace. “Committed goal pursuit is one of the keys to a happy life, but most of the happiness we get from striving for goals comes while we’re making progress toward them, not after we achieve them. That’s why it’s so important that we choose goals that are in sync with what we love and value, and that we make a conscious effort to enjoy them along the way.”

“Some people claim that happiness is all in your DNA or bank account. The truth is that happiness is largely a matter of everyday choices and actions.”


About Lynda Wallace After 20 years as a highly successful executive with Johnson & Johnson, where she was responsible for a $1B portfolio of businesses including Band-Aid, Neosporin, and Purell, Lynda Wallace chose to change careers to pursue her passion. She now helps individuals and groups apply proven insights and techniques to achieve greater happiness and success in their lives, families, careers, and businesses. Lynda holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and is a certified positive psychology coach. { SPRING 2014 } b c


Diggin' on Drew Actress and single mom, Drew Sidora, who recently appeared as Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins in the VH1 biographical film that garnered record-breaking stats for TV, CrazySexyCool, about iconic girl band, TLC. Drew talks to BC about pursuing her passion for acting, her Godsend son, Josiah’s fathers incarceration, and how being a mother has forever changed her life—and how parenting is made easier with a little help from Honeybuns.

I NTERV I E W b y K A R I Z FA V I S p h o t og r ap h s b y S o n ya T isd e l - M c N e il



No, I wasn’t handpicked. I had to prove myself...


K: Even better! D: I was happy that they were able to see

K: What memories are you most fond of as a child in Chicago? D: If you know anything about the

Midwest, we are very grounded and family-centered and [all about] culture and eating. My mom would make homemade bread, pies, and cobblers. Sunday dinners were a big thing. My mom is actually a pastor. My father’s a pediatrician, so growing up, the doctor visits—that was always great and all. I learned a lot about medicines, so I’m kind of like a doctor, unofficially. We’re supposed to know how to take care of ourselves. I was really independent. I played the piano by age 3. I would find my dad’s videotapes, and my friends and I would put ourselves on tape, [at] a lot of weddings and family reunions. I got in trouble a lot. I had a fascination for putting myself on tape, making myself cry, making people laugh. As a child, I was very busy with dance, ballet, tap, jazz—I was very much into the arts.

K: So we can say that your ultimate dream has always been in show business? D: As a child, it was a dream. So actually

That’s so Raven was my first recurring character on television. Working with Raven, being part of the whole Disney world, allowed me to propel to Step Up and Wild Hogs, so I was really thankful for working with someone with a Grammy. I learned so much from her—like reaching from deep inside, physical comedy—brilliant!


K: Step Up—That’s pretty major. D: Everybody loves Channing [Tatum].

I say I’ve worked with Channing Tatum, I don’t have to say anything after that. Working with him was unbelievable, but I got the chance of working with him before he was this A-list heartthrob, so seeing who he was then and who he is today, he has not changed. He is still the same person, and you don’t get the chance to say that about everybody. I’m so proud of his success. We all were worried about Step Up. We didn’t know it would be such a freak hit. K: Yes, it’s a franchise! You just never know! D: Yeah. Why didn’t we come back for

doing it is surreal.

2, 3, 4, 5? You never know, but it was great working with Adam [Shankman] who is now on Glee.

K: Is it true that you landed your first major role when you were 9, and appeared in Divas? D: Yes. Don’t go searching for Divas

K: Let’s talk about the TLC movie. How was it like preparing for a role in a bio for what was the biggest ‘90s pop group? D: They were the number 1 best selling

now! I was working with Nicole Ari Parker, Khalil Kain.

trio of all time, which I did not know until I started working on the film.

K: You also appeared in That’s So Raven and Step Up. Is this accurate?

K: Did you have to audition? Were you hand picked?

that inside of me, but I was actually at Chicago at the time, and the audition came from my manager. I said, “Oh my God, I’m not in LA. I can’t miss this opportunity.” So my mom put me on tape in the bathroom, with the white sheet in the background. I think I’m gonna throw that audition on Youtube. My mom was reading the other lines. It was so funny. I put it on my MAC and they accepted it, which typically does not happen, so that’s why I definitely say it was meant to be. It was definitely divine that Charles Stone III, our director, Skyped me for my call back, which never happened before.

K: So your director Skyped you for your callback... D: T-Boz recently had an interview that

she was frustrated about not finding anyone to play her, and it wasn’t until she saw my tape for the first time and she knew that it was me. She said, “That’s her.” It was definitely unorthodox, so that’s why I say ‘thank you’ to technology. What I learned was, whatever is for you is for you, and everyone has their own journey.

K: You are blessed, obviously. That role does not just roll onto someone’s lap. What was the most challenging and surprising experience in playing the role of T-Boz? D: Well, getting that six-pack of hers was

very challenging. It was important to me to embody her physique. They were under Pilates. I think I ended up having a two-pack or something. We wore their actual wardrobe. I wanted to physically be like her, since that was the essence. K: How long did you have to prep? D: We were in Atlanta where we

had about a month prep time, so I was in the gym 3 times a day for four weeks with a trainer before we started filming—4 or 5 in the morning, afternoon, and night. She would come on set, train me



“People make mistakes. I really hope that he’ll grow into a great man. I can’t judge him. We’re all one choice away.” —Drew, on her son’s father’s incarceration

in between scenes. I was like, “Are you seriously here right now?” I see lasagna and I was like, “Oh I’m about to eat lasagna.” She’s like, “No. You’re having a chocolate vegan protein shake.” I realized T-Boz and I had so many similar connections.We’re both from the Midwest—she’s from Iowa, I’m from Chicago. She struggled with Sickle-cell her entire life. I was actually the spokesperson of the Sickle-cell Association of Illinois for the last 8 years since I was a little girl. Growing up, I had a lot of friends with Sickle-cell. We were going to camp together, or the next year they weren’t there because they passed away, or they’re getting hold of an ambulance and couldn’t come because they were sick. In my mind, as a child, it really couldn’t process why that was happening. They looked like me, looked normal to me, so that’s what really got me interested into finding more about the disease and how I could be part of it. When I had a little name, they brought me on as a spokesperson to bring more awareness. I know that was important to [T-Boz]. That was divine. K: What a coincidence. So two years ago, you found out you were pregnant. How old are you now? D: My son is 2, so that was about

3 years ago. I’m 28, and I was definitely ready to have a family. I’ve always loved kids, so obviously, I was overjoyed and excited.



K: And you weren’t married? D: No, but my parents were

married for 50 or more years, so that was definitely the plan. I was engaged and obviously, it didn’t happen for various reasons. The relationship not panning out in that, ‘happily ever after’ as I went through that journey, but I am so thankful for my son—that was the biggest blessing. What was life before him?

K: Exactly. D: He helped

me grow as a person, as a woman. He gave me a new perspective on life, and passion. I’m so much happier. If I had to go through that heartbreak to have my son, I would do it all over again to have my son, because it has been the happiest two years. Right now, I’m watching Sprout. I don’t know anything about new bands, newest singles, but I can tell you whatever’s happening online at Sprout! I’m living my childhood all over again, and it’s just a blessing. I’m so happy. He was actually in the CrazySexyCool movie too. I was like, “Here’s Wally.”

K: So cute! So what are the best and hardest parts about being a single mother? D: This is really bad. I’m like, “I have

him all to myself.” Nobody’s gonna take time away because all my family and friends definitely call me a ‘stalker mom.’

K: I’m the same. D: Thankfully,

he’s been able to travel with me when I work. The best part for me is, just being a kid again, enjoying life. Not taking myself too seriously, having and sharing a lot of laughs. Unconditional love, you know? Understanding how that feels like. Having this person depend on me has made me stronger. I think the most difficult thing is not having that balance. I feel that when I have to leave him and go to work, that quality of time is the difficult part. Being a woman, raising a young boy, that’s a challenge because there are certain things I don’t know. So I surround with a lot of positive male role models. He has a lot of uncles, godfathers, and my dad, of course. K: Is he in his terrible twos yet? D: Thankfully, we didn’t [have]

that. This is my little bragging moment: he’s in this enrichment program and he just got tested. In the test, he was above average for the age of 3, and he’s only 2. It’s called FEP, Family Enrich Program. It’s in Chicago and you have to take a test to get in, and basically, they mark your child and his progress. They come to the home to make the sure that the environment is good for the development. They teach the parent things that they can do to help them keep on track of their development, so I even go to a class. It teaches them socialization,

interacting with his peers, following directions. K: That’s amazing. A single mother raised me as well. Has Josiah looked for his father yet? D: We have these conversations like,

“Mommy, where’s my Daddy?” He does have a very strong relationship with his dad’s side of the family. They’re wonderful. They send pictures and Josiah’s like, “That’s my dad.” He loves those photos, and uses that as a connection. And he watches Caillou, which integrates family. He shows everyone his dad’s pictures.

K: Where’s his daddy now, if I may ask? D: His dad’s in California. His father’s

incarcerated now—he wants to be. My son actually communicates with his father a lot through e-mail. He joined my mom’s ministry. My mom is actually more in communication with him than I am...People make mistakes. I really hope that he’ll grow into a great man. I can’t judge him. We’re all one choice away. K: Exactly. D: Some of

my family’s incarcerated, like my cousin, so I made it a point to start my foundation, Dream Makers. It is geared towards single mothers and young women who suffered a loss. Everyone goes through a journey in life. Just because I’m on TV doesn’t exempt me from going through pains. I have been blessed, so I wanna use my story to uplift and inspire people that you can go on and do whatever you wanna do, and not let that stop you from being successful in life. Embrace your mistakes, your struggles. Now, don’t make the same mistakes again. If

you make the same mistakes, we have an issue. But life happens. We make mistakes, and we grow from it. K: Best thing about being a mother is… D: When I don’t feel like going out,

I can stay in and spend time with my baby. No one can ever be upset with me. People understand. I can go to to Chuck E. Cheese, and really have my own fun. “You was [sic] racking on those sandwiches yourself, so don’t blame the baby!” Definitely, I think just having that balance in life? You know not being so consumed with work. Just being able to take that time with family.

K: That direction in life—you know you’re going. Like you were lost before, you know? D: I definitely was. I definitely deve-

loped my relationship with God, and I’ve gone off and became an ordained deacon. I found out that it’s so important in life and that’s having my own relationship and understanding what that means. And being on path and knowing where I’m going is important, as you said. The last thing, I would say, budgeting my money better because now, as a mom, even though I made all this money it is all going to savings, because I have to put a child through college.

K: And it’s not coming from trees. D: Just being more responsible—like

those shopping sprees? I don’t do those anymore. It put my finances and investments in perspective as well. It makes life real.

K: Three things in your purse that you can’t leave home without, now that you’re a mom.

D: I have a Spiderman in my purse. Hand sanitizer. Chapstick, because traveling a lot, different climates, my lips and the baby’s constantly get chapped. I definitely have to have a Honeybun— because if I don’t, oh! Life just got crazy. K: It’s downhill from there. D: I have to have a Honeybun,

because that’s all he wants. I don’t have to have anything.

K: That’s so funny. Why did you choose the name, “Josiah” for your son? D: Crazy! Three different people…

Number 1. My best friend who plays for the NFL—and who’s also a minister—calls me after a game. He was on the plane. I didn’t know I was having a boy yet. He said, “You’re gonna have a son, and you’re gonna name him ‘Josiah.’ Gotta go! Plane’s about to take off.” I’m like, “What?” Then, on my way to my doctor’s appointment, my sister, Christa, called me and was like, “I was reading the bible last night, and I was reading Chronicles. I came across a name ‘Josiah’ and I had never heard of the name.” I was like, “That’s crazy because Tommy just told me I’m gonna name him Josiah.” I went to Chronicles, and read about Josiah being the youngest king. My best friend, who was with me throughout my pregnancy—I call her my baby daddy because she was the one buying me eggnog, milkshakes, and all my weird cravings—she told about the name Josiah and she’s actually one of his godmothers. She says, “You know what? Have you read the story about Josiah?” I was like, “That’s three times.” K: That’s from God. Absolutely.


1 Drew with her son, Josiah 2 Josiah with TLC’s Chili 3 Drew with her family 4 Drew and Josiah at the Real Men Cook event



ADULT BOOKS wo r ds b y

ainment f o




bc reviews

required reading


the best


t er



A iya Mai R odj e l

This New Year, fill your coffee tables and shelves with inspiring stories and page-turners filled with history, fun facts, creativity, and life lessons you’ll love rereading (and passing on) to your kids

+flicks to remember... heart felt apps... VIDEOS WITH MEANING...SONGS ABOUT LOVE


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by the book


Schatz’s photography mastery is demonstrated as he himself acts, taking the role of a director and giving his subjects detailed situations to explore in this richly entertaining revelation of the fantasy of transformation. With captivating photos, and featuring A-List actors (and many who are parents) such as John Malkovich, Pierce Brosnan, Michael Douglas, Julie Bowen, Amy Poehler, Laurence Fishburne, and more—this inventive collection captures the complexity of a performers’ emotional and physical range as they demonstrate the skill of improvisation through the direction of Schatz. This book not only creates characters from these thespians— it shows us a glimpse of what their day jobs entail. Other Books

Organic Baby by KIMBERLY RIDER

Health is wealth, and record numbers of us parents are choosing organic food and non-toxic products that are healthier for the children and gentler on Mother Earth. Now, it’s easier to create an ecofriendly environment for the little ones without sacrificing comfort and style. In this read, Rider offers dozens of solutions that fit families’ priorities, lifestyle, and budget. She highlights health concerns, navigates the range of what’s available on the market, and guides the way to safe and appealing choices. This inspirational and practical handbook features a lot of colorful photos, smart tips and guidelines as well. Grace a Memoir by GRACE CODDINGTON

She’s beautiful, willful, charming and blunt, and her extraordinary talent and fierce dedication to her craft as creative director of Vogue has made her an international icon. It wasn’t until the post, “Devil” documentary came out that she was revealed to be fashion’s best-kept secret. In this read, Coddington creatively directs the readers through the storied narrative of her life so far—from model, to stepping behind the cam as fashion editor of British Vogue, and on to Vogue in 1988, where her breathtakingly romantic and imaginative editorials have become instant classics.

Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh My! by KAREN TACK AND ALAN RICHARDSON

From the Times bestselling authors of Hello, Cupcake! and What’s New, Cupcake? comes a spectacular, awe-aspiring collection of decorated desserts. Go bonkers with your little ones as you recreate refrigerator cookies, pound cakes, pie dough, cheesecakes, bar cookies and jell-Os—but transformed into amazing and playful desserts in this nifty book. Best of all, the authors have exerted extra measures to have the ingredients readily available at your neighborhood grocer or convenience store. Playing with your food has never been so exciting nor easy! The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science by SEAN CONNOLLY

Sean Connolly, author of The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science, engages kids’ (and kids at heart’s) scientific curiosities with lively, hands-on, seemingly “dangerous” experiments that pop, ooze, crash! In this enjoyable book, Connolly takes it a step further by leading young readers through history and science, and then creates amazing yet simple projects that demonstrate key principles. Fun, exciting and educational, it is an uncommonly exciting guide made especially for children to open their minds to the fun side of science, and the great stories of the men and women behind it. { SPRING 2014 } b c




bc lifestyle reviews go



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by the book Year of the Jungle Memories from the Home Front by SUZANNE COLLINS

From the author of The Hunger Games trilogy comes a deeply moving autobiographical picture book about a father who must go off to war-- and his daughters who stay behind. Collins’s own father went to Vietnam the year she turned 6, and she’s said the experience had a profound effect. This story, sadly, hits close to home for too many families with small children. Other Books


Does your child feel different from the other kids in class? Rawr might just be the picture book to help him or her get over these tough feelings of insecurity tackled by a polite and well-behaved TRex whose gym clothes don’t fit.

When Lions Roar by ROBIE H. HARRIS

Facing one’s fear isn’t as easy as you think, especially for our little ones. In this brave take at conquering fears, 2012 Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka and bestselling author Robie H. Harris team up to ask, “What if?” and open up our kids’ minds to the endless possibilities of life after overcoming the seemingly scary world.

Bugs in my Hair by DAVID SHANNON

David Shannon of the “No, David” series tackles head lice, a common problem for school children. In this bestselling award-winner written book, however, you get a comedic look at these little critters (imagine them “moving into” your child’s hair, complete with suitcases!), guaranteed to make you and your child laugh out loud.

Spot the Dot by DAVID A. CARTER

Although recommended for children aged 3-5, the colorful and eye-popping, search-and-finds throughout this read will delight younger readers due to its is bright, vibrant colors. Little ones will enjoy pulling on tabs, flaps, and more.

Cinderelephant by EMMA DODD

The much-loved fairy tale gets a gigantic (pun intended) makeover with this story that features an elephant who wants to go to the ball with the other animals. Little does she know, her dreams are about to come true, thanks to a Furry Godmouse!

Firehouse by MARK TEAGUE

Ever dreamed of being a modern day hero, or want your child to be one? Start them off with this fun, adventurous book, where Edward and his cousin, Judy, take time to learn how it is being firefighters. Catch their action-packed journey from sliding down poles, getting hold of an out-ofcontrol fire hose, to conquering a real life emergency.

Tough Trucks by TONKA

Younger boys will be ecstatic (there is even a unique tire texture on the cover) finding out about different kinds of trucks and their uses. Prepare to head to the toy store to load up on Tonkas, post-read. How do Dinosaurs say I’m Mad? by JANE YOLEN and MARK TEAGUE

Emotions—especially negative ones—are quite difficult to talk about with our children. In this fun, animated book (part of a “How Do Dinosaurs…” series), the topic of dealing with anger is discussed in a way kids will understand.

Shoe-la-la! by KAREN BEAUMONT

Four young girls go on a search for the perfect pair of shoes and subsequently turn a store upside down in their frantic frenzy. Left with no other options, the girls decide to create their own using their old shoes, a little glitter and glue, and some imagination. If only this were true in real life, we’d cut back on our shopping costs! { SPRING 2014 } b c




bc lifestyle reviews go



b c { SPRING 2014 }

by the book

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Hard Luck by JEFF KINNEY

The 8th book in the series, Greg Heffley is on a losing streak, and his best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has betrayed and ditched him for Abigail. Finding new buddies in middle school is hard so he takes a leap of faith and turns his decisions over to chance. Other Books Identity Theft by ANNE DAVIES

Teen-reader alert: Hayley was set to have the best school year but a fake Facebook profile of her pops up posting inappropriate photos and incriminating updates. Little did she know she has a twin sister who’s determined on taking over her life. Freak the Mighty by RODMAN PHILBRICK

Maxwell Cane, a doltish lad stuck in the body of a gargantuan teenager, and Kevin Avery, also known as “Freak,” a tiny genius in leg braces, forge an unparalleled friendship. This is the book version of the Sharon Stone family hit in the late ‘90s. The Pet War by ALLAN WOODROW

Otto wants a pooch while Lexi wants a feline friend. Their mom wants neither but their parents agree that whoever generates enough moolah first will decide which furry creature they’ll get. Let the Pet War begins...

Rainbow Magic Autumn the Falling Leaves Fairy by DAISY MEADOWS

Rachel and Kirsty love everything about the season, but everything goes wrong when Autumn, the Falling Leaves Fairy’s, magic goes missing. The girls help Autumn outsmart Jack Frost and his goblins to rescue fall. The Rescue Princesses in The Shimmering Stone by PAULA HARRISON

Princess Amina is ecstatic about her cousin’s wedding but when a wounded tiger is found in the hills, the girls know her little cubs will be at grave risk. Royal wedding or no royal wedding, the Rescue Princesses must come to the rescue. Star Wars Jedi Academy by JEFFREY BROWN

It had always been Roan’s dream to attend Pilot Academy but he curiously gets denied, and gets invited to Jedi Academy, a school he didn’t even know of and recruits students since they are just a few years old.

Almanac for Kids by SCHOLASTIC 2014

Packed with hundreds of facts, stats, and all the information you need to drive boredom away and get your homework done, this read is a must-have for the kiddos. Thea Stilton and the Journey to the Lion’s Den by GERONIMO STILTON

The Thea sisters are in Kenya on a photo safari. A lion cub had just been born and while they’re there, he gets kidnapped! It’s up to the Thea sisters to rescue him in an adventure across the savannah. 2014 Book of World Records by SCHOLASTIC

Featuring a foil cover, full-color photographs, refurbished facts and stats, spanking new content and new chapter openers, this fun, informative read will fascinate the chickadees as well as the the whole brood. Missy’s Super Duper Royal Deluxe School Play by SUSAN NEES

Missy’s class is putting on a show about George Washington Carver and she doesn’t land the leading role. This isn’t a setback for her though. She make it work and makes her role ‘the most super duper royal deluxe part’ ever! { SPRING 2014 } b c




love moviethon


bc lifestyle reviews ente


If there is anything that couples the world over will never outgrow, it is watching a movie together-whether at the cinema or the comforts of your couch. Rekindle relationships and recreate your dating days with the help of flicks about all kinds of love that will remind you of what truly matters

“We’re all traveling through time together, every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride.” About Time (2013)

If you had the amazing and miraculous power of time travel, what would you do? Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) comes from a family whose men have the ability to go back in time and change events—with a few conditions, naturally. Life-changing choices are made, making you ponder on whether you could make the same decisions yourself. But maybe making the most out life doesn’t need time travel at all? An extra sigh factor is the rendition of the song, “How Long Will I Love You?” by Jon Boden, Sam Sweeney, and Ben Coleman. It will tug at your heartstrings the same way a child’s lullaby does.


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movie night

Crazy Stupid Love (2011)

Ryan Gosling in all his ‘Photoshopped’ glory is icing on the cake in this touching and oftentimes hilarious movie. Joining him in this stellar cast is Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, and Emma Stone. It tells of family and how forgiveness can prove to be the ultimate show of love.

Love Actually (2003)

Arguably the best movie of all time (especially in our editor’s book), the writing and emotions brough upon by this movie never gets old. Love comes in many forms: the one we are all too knowledgeable of is keeping your marriage for the sake of the children; being in one’s employ; after a broken heart or grieving; unrequited; platonic; sexual; puppy; and more. This movie has everything for everyone—even those who do not want to feel. Lost in Love

Leap Year (2010)

So what do you do when your longtime beau doesn’t propose to you? Reminds us of an almost worn-out engagement we once had. According to Anna (Amy Adams), you should fly to Dublin and propose to HIM on Leap Year as the Irish do.

Ghost (1990)

Notting Hill (1999)

He said he would love and protect her forever and when Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) gets murdered, he does what it takes to keep his word...even as a ghost. Bring out the tissues for this one, and reenact a pottery session with your significant other.

She’s the world’s most famous movie star and he’s a simple bookstore owner. Both feel like there’s something missing in their lives and little did they know that what they’ve been missing is each other. Simple plot, really, but the dialogue is superb and often quoted. Plus the soundtrack will have you imagining yourself walking down red carpets and relaxing on a park bench, expectant with your first. Ahhh.

How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days (2003)

Ladies’ man Benjamin Berry makes a bet that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days (just look at the guy), but it just so happens that his target Andie Anderson is writing an article on how to lose a guy in 10 days. Hilarity ensues when these two meet up.

Stuck In Love (2013)

A story about first loves and second chances, this film goes to show that although there are no rewrites in life, we can always have a say on what happens next.

Pretty in Pink (1986) The Lucky One (2012)

How uncanny would it be for a photograph to save a Marine’s life in the midst of a war? This film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel follows a young man’s search of the woman in the photo, whom he eventually falls in love with.

Valentine’s Day (2010)

Grab a bottle of vino, put the kids to bed, because in the much anticipated day of hearts, people make up and break up, move mountains and go berserk—sound familiar?

Moms, reach into your teenage selves and remember your first loves. Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) steps into Cinderella’s shoes in this ‘80s coming-of-age flick, where she meets her first love and gets to know a thing called self-assurance. { SPRING 2014 } b c





bc lifestyle reviews ente


“When something happens to you that hasn’t happened before, don’t you at least have to find out what it is?” Something’s Gotta Give (2003)

Love transcends age and time in this romantic comedy that follows a playboy socialite who dates younger women as he finally finds his perfect match in a divorced Broadway playwright, who happens to be the mother of one of his newest flings. Gasp. Letting Go

Stardust (2007)

This heartwarming comedy follows a father (George, played by Steve Martin) who suddenly finds out that his daughter is marrying a man she met just three months before. He clashes with a foreign wedding planner, but soon gets schooled about how parents must let go of their grown kids. Daddies, listen up.

From the Neil Gaiman novel comes a film about the last heir of a magical world as he struggles to save Yvaine, the star who eventually becomes the love of his life. His journey is filled with challenges as he encounters his rivals to the throne and the witches who seek out Yvaine’s heart to gain immortality.

Two sisters whose outlook on life are very different are challenged when their father passes and leaves them with little to live on. Elinor pursues a wealthy man, while Marianne sets her eyes on a dashing young man. Both relationships are tried, and in the end, it is a question about love or money. Have you asked yourself that?

Pretty Woman (1990)

Made of Honor (2008)

Coyote Ugly (2000)

Not for impressionable kids, but definitely chick flick material. A successful businessman meets a prostitute down Hollywood Boulevard and randomly asks her to escort him to several events, (after negotiating benefits), but little does he know he had just found the love of his life.

A serial dater realizes that he has fallen in love with his best friend a tad too late when she gets engaged to her boyfriend during a Scottish business trip. The clock ticks away as Tom relentlessly tries to win her over, after she asks him to be her maid of honor.

A young girl leaves home to pursue her dreams as a songwriter in New York City, only to find work at a trendy bar called Coyote Ugly, where she meets a man who will eventually help her overcome her stage fright and push her to further follow her dreams.

Sixteen Candles (1984)

Water for Elephants (2011)

Written and directed by the late and great, John Hughes, this comedy defines what it’s like to live under someone else’s shadow as Sam (Molly Ringwald) struggles through her 16th birthday (which everyone in her family forgot due to preparations for her older sister’s wedding the following day. May we never be as negligent to our own teens.


Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Father of the Bride (1991)

b c { SPRING 2014 }

A Polish American vet student (Robert Pattinson) suddenly loses his chance at graduating from an Ivy League school after his parents die in a car crash. Left with no monetary support, he joins the circus train and gets hired to care for the animals, only to fall in love with the circus’ married star performer.

The Ugly Truth (2009)

Two people with seemingly opposite world views collide in this romantic comedy about how men and women think very differently. An uptight producer clashes with her chauvinistic correspondent, who helps improve her romantic relationship, but also eventually makes her realize, it was him she was in love with all along.

movie night

The Notebook (2004)

This epic cry-fest follows an elderly man (Noah) who reads to an aging woman (from a--surprise--notebook) suffering from dementia at a modern-day nursing home about the love story of a couple (theirs) separated by social differences and World War II. This romantic film skyrocketed Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams into household names. Bend it Like Beckham (2002)

Jess Bahmra (Parminder Nagra) rebels against her orthodox Sikh parents when she meets a fellow football fanatic named Jules Paxton (Keira Knightley) and they venture out to pursue their professional football dreams—and the same guy.

Last Night (2011)

New Year’s Eve (2011)

Married couple Joanna and Michael find themselves apart for a night, when Michael heads to a business trip with a female colleague he’s attracted to. Meanwhile, Joanna encounters her former flame that very same night. As the movie’s poster hints, “Temptation can lead anywhere.”

Directed by Gary Marshall, this romantic comedy flick follows several couples and singles during the big countdown to midnight on New Year’s eve. On this night, anything is possible, including making amends with family, finding new loves in an elevator, and settling down with an ex.

Sex and the City (2008)

The Butterfly Effect (2004)

The film adaption of the HBO television series hit follows the adventures of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) as she gets ready to marry Big (Chris Noth) but the posh wedding gets cancelled due to his cold feet, and her best friends end up going to the supposed honeymoon vacation with her in Mexico.

This psychological thriller follows Evan (Ashton Kutcher) as he blocks out harmful memories of significant events of his life. As a grown up, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life. He also makes the ultimate sacrifice for love, ever. 

Twilight (2008)

Stephanie Meyer has us rooting for two teams: a vampire or a werewolf. It may be fiction, but the conflicting human emotions cannot be denied—especially when darling Renesmee comes into the picture.

What Women Want (2000)

The Back-up Plan (2010)

They say women are from Venus and men are from Mars but when advertising hot shot Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson) gets into a fluke accident, he gets the best of both worlds as he can hear what women are really thinking.

Miss Independent (Jennifer Lopez) thinks she doesn’t need a man to be a parent, but serendipitously meets the man of her dreams (Alex O’Loughlin) on the very day that she gets artificially inseminated with twins. Baby Makes Three, or more

“I just wanted the glow— the one that they promise you on the cover of those magazines. Well, I’m calling it: Pregnancy sucks!“ What To Expect When You’re Expecting (2012)

Five couples with babies on the way remind you of the thrill and surprises of being parents—and comes to the universal understanding that no matter how much you plan, life doesn’t always deliver what’s expected. Understatement of the century. { SPRING 2014 } b c





bc lifestyle reviews ente



“Promise me you’ll survive. That you won’t give up, no matter what happens, no matter how hopeless.” Titanic (1997)

A struggling writer falls for the star of the show. They only wanted to make it big on their own but instead, fall madly in love with each other. One of the most bitter stories of all time.

Nothing on earth could come between these two star-crossed lovers in this tragic love story—not even the sinking of the greatest ship ever created. Grab your tissues again for another viewing of this classic flick that won the world over. Forever, and a Day 27 Dresses (2008)

Jane (Katherine Heigl) has always been the bride’s maid (27 times to be exact) and never the bride. But when her sister get engaged to the man she’s secretly in love with, she struggles with whether she wants to change that or not.

P.S. I Love You (2007)

How do you move on when the love of yoru life passes away? In this tearjerker, a widow (Hilary Swank) gets help from her dead husband (Gerard Butler) through 10 letters he wrote to encourage her to start over. The Vow (2012)

She was living a pseudo life in New York City, engaged to a fabulous man from a political family, but when she goes home to finalize her divorce with her husband, she rediscovers where her heart and loyalties truly lie.

How do you look at someone you love and tell yourself it’s time to walk away? Leo (Channing Tatum) struggles with this dilemma after his wife Paige (Rachel MacAdams) gets amnesia. We can only hope our better halves would know what to do in such trying times.

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

British debonair bachelor Charles (Hugh Grant) was skeptical about the concepts of true love and marriage but when he meets a beautiful American girl through five serendipitous occasions, he might just change his mind. Tip: a eulogy is said which puts all goodbyes to shame.

One of the greatest love stories of all time, by the Jane Austen. A tale of five English sisters and how they deal with wedlock and mortality. Watch the spirited Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) bicker and eventually fall in love with the proud Mr. Darcy.

Sweet Home Alabama (2002)


b c { SPRING 2014 }

Friends with Benefits (2011)

Take one emotionally unavailable guy and an emotionally damaged girl, and what do you get? An unconventional friendship that eventually ends up getting very complicated.

The Proposal (2009)

To avoid getting deported, a pushy boss (Sandra Bullock) forces her assistant (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her. They try their best to fool everyone that they’re in love, but they only end up falling for each other.

movie night

HEARTFELT APPS During this Valentine season, download some heart-friendly apps that are useful all-year round. Valentine’s Postcards by Nollie Apps, Free

If you’re the DIY type, this app will have a place in your iPhone or iPod touch. With this, you can create and email gorgeous, personalized greeting cards with your own photos and text. It features over 20 charming cards and more than 20 love quotes to include in your card. The Love Book by By iLiterature Ltd, $2.99

Highly regarded by several glossies and newspapers all over the world, The Love Book is an interactive app that features passages on love from William Shakespeare, J.K.Rowling, Emily Dickinson, E. E. Cummings (and more) narrated by awardwinning actors such as Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Hiddleston, Damian Lewis, Gina Bellman and Helen McCrory. Instant Heart Rate - Heart Rate Monitor by Azumio, $1.99

Winner of the best health and fitness app in 2011’s Mobile Premier Awards and featured in the Dr. Oz show, this app detects your pulse through your iPhone’s camera. It features heart pulse measurement, heart rate zones, pulse waveform graphs, and StandUp text for fatigue and fitness testing, among other amazing features.

MEANINGFUL VIDEOS These short clips are entertaining and fun to share with the whole family. Kids on LOVE!

Playlist Favorites These love songs are fun and uplifting, which is why we’re playing them loud in anticipation for spring. “Tie It Up” by Kelly Clarkson

The original American Idol (who recently announced her pregnancy) talks about her path to marriage in this single that is country-inspired and features her powerhouse vocals. “Made in the U.S.A.” by Demi Lovato

Lovato showcases her vocals in a fun, summer-themed track that’s enough to get you out of your chair and dancing to the coming of the hotter months. “Falling Fast” by Avril Lavigne

The punk/pop princess shows her softer side with a ballad that talks about new love in this track that tells the story of falling for a person wholeheartedly and taking a leap of faith. “When I Look at You” by Miley Cyrus

This pre-Wrecking Ball track shows a very wholesome Miley in one of her best performances as a vocalist, in a song that serves as the soundtrack to the Nicholas Sparks movie, The Last Song. “Everything has Changed” by Taylor Swift feat. Ed Sheeran

America’s pop/country sweetheart collaborates with Ed Sheeran for this heartfelt song about falling in love again and discovering how one’s world can change with one chance encounter.

Some kids attempt to define what love is and share their thoughts in the process. This features amusing answers, including one saying, “If you take someone to Hawaii, they would fall in love with you.” Ha! Teaching Kids About Charity

No matter what time of the year, it’s always good to teach our kids about charity—how to talk to them about it and how we can enlighten them through being role models. Kids Talk About True Love

A collection of heartwarming responses from children who talk about “true love” and what happens after “happily ever after”, this video’s amusing as it is adorable.

“Who You Love” by Katy Perry and John Mayer

Two pop giants collaborate to bring us what we predict will be one of 2014’s biggest hits. This track is written by the two reallife lovebirds, which makes it even more authentic emotionally. { SPRING 2014 } b c


“I don’t believe in being a perfect picture of a mother and career woman at the same time—it’s about making priorities every moment, and we compromise and laugh a lot about it all.”



(role) model mom


ell us more about your childhood and ethnicity.

I loved the outdoors as a kid—at any time I would prefer to play cowboys and Indians than be quiet, playing with dolls. I was also training to be a professional ice skater, and it was intense training every day for 2 hours in the Russian cold. It definitely builds character and humor. I really don’t have trouble raising 3 kids and juggling a career now. Most fun memories as a little girl?

My favorite moments were the performances on ice with sparkling costumes and lots of people. We grew up very poor, waiting in food lines. It was kind of fun, we fried sugar on the pan and made candies out of it. We also invented menu recipes, we made everything out of oatmeal and potatoes. We learned to be very creative.

From her humble beginnings and very early start in modeling (at barely a year old) to her successful career in the industry and acting work, Russian stunner Eugenia Kuzmina has definitely come a long way. Transitioning from a model working on huge campaigns for some of the world’s most renowned brands, this year starts her off with Fury, a David Ayer WWII film starring Brad Pitt, where she plays a German refugee. While Eugenia isn’t filming, she is busy trying to be present for her most favorite role: raising her gorgeous, jet-setting r astillo e c a children with B l e d ll husband, film e e y ss b n n producer Bill u w a R e ie y Block. v b ri r



e e s t h val in ap r & d og a n t

ds favis r z wo Kari


Do you tell your kids about growing up poor in Russia? How do you explain it?

Yes, of course I try to tell them about how tough it was growing up without a lot of money. As they get older, I am sure they will understand it better. Currently, we donate money to a charity called the Russian Children’s Welfare Society (



EK modeling for Armani, Dior, Gap, and L’Oreal?

Working for a cosmetic brand is fun! L’Oreal was the easiest, Garren— who cuts Linda Evangelista’s hair and who is amazing—chopped mine and we shot the whole campaign in 2 hours. Beauty campaigns are more about your personality than clothes, and emotions behind your eyes—it’s the closest to acting. Most unusual job I had was a show for Alexander McQueen, when we had animal skeletons from the museum instead of scarves, you definitely become open minded. Challenges of being a model versus challenges of being an actress?

When my kids stop playing with their older toys, we often donate them to this organization. There are a lot of foster children in Russia and I talk about it with my kids, and they already have a deep compassion for them. I often read books to them that describe Russian society so that they get a sense of what it was like for me growing up. Also, my husband and I like to travel with our children to show them other cultures and let them experience environments outside of Los Angeles. How do you tell her kids about their more privileged lives compared to yours?

Although I do tell them about how much more difficult my childhood was compared to their childhood, I try not to traumatize them or upset them too much. I try to make them understand by teaching them positive compassion for others. Having them share their toys with other children who are less fortunate and teaching them to understand that their actions towards others have consequences helps them



to grasp the idea that they are very lucky compared to many others. When did you decide you wanted to be a model/actress?

I saw Terminator 2 at age 10. American movies were just coming out, and the entertainment that it gave to people made me dream of living in that world—it was so unusual compared to our scheduled life. I fell into modeling since [I was] 2 weeks old, when a local photographer needed a picture of a baby for a newspaper. I’ve worked for commercials on the side [while doing] school, and at 13 was approached by Slava Zaitsev to represent his brand. He introduced me to Chuck Norris, who needed a Russian actress for his movie. I got the part, but couldn’t leave the country because didn’t have a travel passport. Then I fell into acting after a modeling agent in L.A. submitted me for Rodrigo Prietto’s film, “Likeness” with Elle Fanning. That’s amazing. What was it like

Most girls start modeling around 15, you travel to different countries by yourself every week, sign contracts, and a lot of times it’s about your external look that is being judged everyday. It has nothing to do with who you are. You have to have life outside your work and keep discovering who you are. Acting is relatively new for me, and I went through a period when it was challenging to get out of the character and the emotions you play straight away. I feel now, if you have a family, they don’t have to be part of your scene all the time. So I try to give gratitude to my husband whenever possible, and be a present mother to my kids. What was the transition like, from being a model and now an actress?

Acting and modeling are contradictory. In modeling, you’re super aware of your look, your body movements—it’s like a dance. In acting, you have to let it go, be open and raw, and work from your partner and instinct. I was definitely challenged, but doing stand up comedy is something that opened me up. How do you keep fit? Do you have a beauty or fitness regimen?

I like being active. We do Bikram yoga every morning, it’s the best! I lost all the pregnancy weight this

“Teddy takes after me, he’s very sensitive, likes to be goofy, and dreams to be a rock star. Veronika is more like my husband. She is very independent, puts her hand up and orders everyone around.”

1. Eugenia and Veronika with other model mothers and their kids 2. Taking a selfie behind the scenes of Castle 3. Eugenia and Veronika striking a pose while wearing matching wide brimmed hats 4. Eugenia in a pink wig for her role in True Blood



way. I also love to take dancing classes at a local studio. Favorite products for yourself? For your kids?

If I fly a lot, I use a hydrating mask on the plane—it’s a skin saver! There’s one by Dermalogica—it’s transparent, so you don’t have to scare passengers around. I also like to put yogurt as a mask for hydration, and if I got too much sun, it’s a miracle. The scrub by Harold Lancer will make your skin baby soft. I love SkinCeuticals sunscreen with a tint. It’s a perfect product for sensitive skin, and I always carry red lipstick by Clé de Peau. Tell us more about your new projects, Fading Gigolo, Are We Officially Dating?, and That Awkward Moment. Do you identify with the characters that you play?

Fading Gigolo is a story of an outof-work bookkeeper, John Turturro, whose best friend (Woody Allen) suggests that making money as a gigolo is a good bet in New York, so Woody becomes sort of John’s agent in the field. Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara play the clients, and I play the girl of the oldest profession trying to seduce John, not knowing we are actually competitors. I think we all play parts of ourselves emotionally, just tuned up a notch. I was always playful and flirtatious as a person, so it was easy to go from there. I also shot Castle for ABC, where my character is an FBI agent who is held hostage, and then turns the cards around on Stana Katic’s character. The feisty tomboy in me is good for action films. About your new film with Brad Pitt, Fury. What is your role, and how was it like working with him? Did you have a lot of screen time together?

It is a David Ayer WW2 movie about an American tank called Fury that is fighting its way to the Berlin Wall. It’s a story of friendship and values while going through the difficulties of war. I play a German refugee in a town that



EK surrendered to Fury. Through my character’s eyes, people better understand the women during that war and how they had to be strong to survive. It was very special to work with Brad Pitt and to be on the set with him. As an actor, he was so present and very aware of what he character was going through in every scene. It was freezing while shooting in the UK and it rained for long hours. We were in the middle of nowhere and Brad was the consummate actor, extremely committed and passionate about his craft. I was very inspired by him. Tell us more about your marriage to film producer, Bill Block. When and where did you meet? How did he propose?

Katie Ford—the owner of Ford models—introduced Bill to me. Even though both of us weren’t looking for a serious relationship, Bill has a son from previous marriage and I was married at 18 for a few months, we

found an amazing complement in one other. We are both very eccentric, open minded, and have a similar sense of humor. Bill found a Siberian diamond and proposed on a Christmas Day, which is my birthday. Now we have two kids—Ted, who is 5, and Veronika, who is 2. Ben, my stepson, lives next door. How do and your husband manage your career and raising a family with hectic schedules.

I have to be honest, it’s not so easy raising kids and having a career. We take it one day at a time. It’s important for us to be very present when we are with the kids, do what they want to do, listen to them and encourage them. I’d never be able to do it all without help! We have nannies, relatives. I ask for help whenever possible, I don’t believe in being a perfect picture of a mother and career woman at the same time—it’s about making priori-

ties every moment, and we compromise and laugh a lot about it all. Best travel destinations as a family?

We go to Maui every year. We stay at Paia town, eat local food, and go to surf beaches. One year, we all went to Japan, which was so surreal! It was eye opening for everyone from different perspectives. Ben found amazing video games, Teddy discovered Japanese rock music, and Veronika saw Tokyo lights. Favorite activities with your family?

Painting on the floor—we spread papers, crayons, anything available, and paint with our hands if inspired. We like to pillow fight, and put on costumes and hats, while listening and dancing to the Rolling Stones! Describe each of your children. Who takes after you and your husband?

Ben is a computer genius, he knows everything about everything and is very fast. Teddy takes after me, he’s very sensitive, likes to be goofy, and dreams to be a rock star. Veronika is more like my husband. She is very independent, puts her hand up and orders everyone around—a mini producer. bc




“I feel now, if you have a family, they don’t have to be part of your scene all the time. So I try to give gratitude to my husband whenever possible, and be a present mother to my kids.” 54


best choices list W o r ds a n d s e t d e sig n b y Kari z F avis P h o t og r ap h s b y Mar k c abala n g A S S I S TE D B Y V al e ri e A n n e d e l Castillo A N D A iya Mai R odj e l

Lean, Mean, Cleaning Machine No cleaning job is too tough for this “animal” that’s easy on you, but tough on dirt DC47 Ball Animal by DYSON,, $449.99







Although phone and iPad cases are aplenty, we prefer these American-made, customizable vintage and chic accessories for those gadgets we find ourselves not living without

Blue berry torte maternity wrap and robe by CAKE LINGERIE, $89.90, . Ripe Olive corduroy leggings by SPANX, $98, . Nursing cover in navy blue, oval style by PONCHO BABY, $58, . Hardcover for iPhone 4/4S in navy dots/golden, $34.95, Hardcover for iPhone 4/4S in orange/barbor blue, $34.95, both by DODOCASE, . Advanced double electric breast pump by EVENFLO, . Organic by Rosie Pope Belly Bandit in pink by BELLY BANDIT, $69.95, bellybandit. com . Rocky road bra, $64.90, Shortbread fashion maternity bra, $64.90, both by CAKE LINGERIE, . Popped corn in Chicago Mix and Just the Caramel corn by G.H. Cretors

for t h e breastfeeding mama

best choices gift list

Dark khaki Monkey Mat with animal print pouch by MONKEY MAT, $29.99, . Too Late 0.4 L water bottle by SIGG, $20.99, . 250 ml breastmilk bottles by MEDELA, . Silicone train spoon in blue, $5.99, Silicone train spoon in green, $5.99, both by OOGAA, . Training chopsticks by PIYO PIYO, $6.49,



ooh, baby l o ve

Soft Hygiene Silicone baby bottle, Orange silicone teether, both by COMO TOMO, . Hello Kitty Elephant 0.4 L water bottle by SIGG, $20.99, . Stylish bendable spoon and fork set, $5.95, Bento box, $20.60, both by PIYO PIYO, . Calma feeding solution by MEDELA, . Emerald/Navy Blue bandana bib by PONCHO BABY, $12,



best choices gift list

CASE (in point) Macbook Pro 13� sleeve brown felt by MUJJO,



From laptop sleeves to tablet cases, the Dutch designer label, Mujjo makes products as stunning in person as in photos. Watch your mom/dad cool factor shoot up 10 points while clutching one of these.

Jewelry, and then some Anne Taintor pieces have delighted us for decades, with their witty and ‘hit the nail on the head’ quotes. Custom pieces from Lisa Leonard never fail to melt hearts. “Entourage” actress JamieLynn Sigler, and her friend, Holly Freeman’s CJ Free dem luck bracelets give us a headstart on good fortune for the year.

Stainless steel flask 4oz, $21.99, 100% melamine long plate, $14.99, both by ANNE TAINTOR, . Gold basic rectangle necklace, $68, Gold original necklace, $68, Personalized leather cuff, $49, all by LISA LEONARD DESIGNS, . Original Dem Luck Bracelet (Rose) in red, emerald by CJ FREE, $67, cjfreejewelry. com



best choices gift list



Did you resolve to be fit this year? Hit the ground running with Pure Cadence trainers in white/fuschia/ anthracite by BROOKS,

these footwear

were made for walking

Whether your children are babies or in school, we spend most of our time on our heels, running errands. Be kind to them and reward yourself with shoes that are comfortable, stylish, and durable.

Bency Riding Boot, $69.99, Tess Rain Boot in brown, $69.99, both by COMFORTVIEW, . Valerie boot in taupe suede by NAYA, $99.99, . Pewter Sequins cordones, $74, Camel wool cordones, $69, both by TOMS,






Conceal your slumber-deprived peepers and be “that mom� with these snazzy spectacles that will make you look super fly during playdates or a quick grocery run

or hiding yoursleepless nights

best choices gift list



Ritzy in brown, $109, Killa in black, $109, Great Escape in tortoise, $109, Hell K in matte grey wood, $109, all by VINT AND YORK, . Kit Astuccio Rigido, Kit Astuccio Soft, both by TOM FORD, . Unfaithful snake bite in Dark Brown Gradient by OAKLEY,


Update your mini me’s spring wardrobe with these weather-transitional, colorful, and cool threads

Best Dressed Kids

best choices gift list



Argyle cardigan by RUUM, $29.50, . Pink Giraffe dress by WEE URBAN, $38, . Crystal K003 eyewear for kids (unisex) by CONVERSE, . Green classic polo shirt by LACOSTE, $45 . Fool Black and white striped long sleeve by CONEY ISLAND BABY, $39, . Skinny jeans by BURBERRY, $95, . BG Star cap by RUUM, $14.50,



Junior is counting his spots stuffed toy by MONKEEZ & FRIENDS, $19.99, . Eric Carle brown bear by KIDS PREFERRED, . Modeling compound by PLAY-DOH, . Fun figure rattle stacker by PIYOPIYO, $14.95, . Parade of Giraffes Blue baby rattle holder by LOOPY GEAR, $15.99,



best choices gift list

Blocks by THE GREEN TOYS, . Veggie baby finger paint by WEE CAN TOO, . Nursery rhymes my first puzzles by SOFT SHAPES, . Baxter is dreaming of honey stuffed toy by MONKEEZ & FRIENDS, $33.99,



First Mate Youth Tee, $16.95, Captain Daddy Tee, $24.95, both by DADDY & CO. BY DADDY SCRUBS, . Durables Sleeve for Macbook Air 13� in sage, $79.95, Elemental iPad case, $79.95, both by DODOCASE, . Essentials blanket in gray/red by JJ COLE COLLECTIONS, $29.95, . Infiniti Jacket IV in Midnight by BROOKS, starts at $78,



best choices gift list

Thomas and Friends blue rain boots by WESTERN CHIEF KIDS, $39.95,, . Sproutin’ Up Blake Olive shoes by LITTLE GREEN TRIKE, $41.90, . Sproutin’ Up Lacy Loafer Pink shoes by LITTLE GREEN TRIKE, $41.90, littlegreentrike. com . Blue and white baby top slippers by HAVAIANAS, $19, us.havaianas. com . Sproutin’ Up Ethan Brown shoes by LITTLE GREEN TRIKE. $41.90,



best choices gift list

2-section stylish toilet for children by PIYO PIYO, . 4� booster seat in Circus by LUV CHICKEN, $45, . Relaxation Mask in Lavender Relax, $10.49, Comfort Wrap in Lavender Mint Rejuvenate, $9.88, both by CAREX,



form & function

Ultra washable diaper by KUSHIES, . Toilet trainer soft toilet seat by PIYO PIYO, . Foot Warmers in Lavender Rose Restore by THE ORIGINAL BED BUDDY, $7.48, . Buzz B nail trimmer by ZOLI, . Cream Vine wipe wraps by CLEVER RELISH, $14.95, . Cruiser for him blue baby rattle holder by LOOPY GEAR, $15.99, . Seven seas gray baby rattle holder by LOOPY GEAR, $15.99, loopy



Allure Tote in black by TWELVE LITTLE, $235, . Wistful Weekender in Classically Crete bag by PETUNIA PICKLE BOTTOM, $180, . Elizabeth quilted bag in Stone by STORKSAK, $450, . Unisex Courage Satchel Grey by TWELVE LITTLE, $230, . Tender Bowler bag in faux croc by LASSIG,



for faking that natural glow

best choices gift list

Blow Dry Lotion by UMBERTO BEVERLY HILLS, . Hydrate Luxe Moisture-rich Cream by OBAGI, . Massage cream for stretch marks by PALMER’S, $5.98, . Eyebrow eye+ brow liner (dye-phthalate-paraben and preservative-free) by VMV HYPOALLERGENICS, $40, . Curl Enhancing Lotion by UMBERTO BEVERLY HILLS, . Dermal Repair Cream by SENTE, $169.95, . Honey foaming gel by L’OCCITANE EN PROVENCE, $34 . Extra-firming Day Wrinkle Lifting cream by CLARINS, $84,



Elicit some squeals of delight when you surprise the little ones with some faux snow year-round to those with a winter hangup; a new American Girl doll; Monkeez and Piyo Piyo toys; the Ubooly—which boasts of being the only toy that talks and listens to your child; and more

Forty snowball family pack w/carrying case by SNOWTIME ANYTIME, $39, . Rolling barrell shape sorter by PIYOPIYO, $11.95, . The Smart Toy in green for iPhone, iPod touch, and Android by UBOOLY, . Saige doll (comes with book) by AMERICAN GIRL, $110, . World’s Best Driver game for PS3 by HOT WHEELS, . Green rhinoceros by WABITOY,



best choices gift list

Lance is leaping and rolling stuffed toy, $33.99, Carlton is singing a happy tune stuffed to, $114.99, both by

MONKEEZ & FRIENDS, . Rolling barrell shape sorter by PIYOPIYO, $11.95, . Temporary tattoo earrings for girls and boys by BINKD KIDS,





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Two-time Daytime-Emmy nominated actress and mother, Alicia Minshew, is best known as Kendall Hard on the long-running soap, All My Children. Now, it’s her turn to raise a family with the birth of a lovely daughter in November 2009. Since ending her 9-year stint with the TV soap (and gaining thousands of supporters in the process), the 39-year old model-turnedactress and Florida native has graced the stage for an off-Broadway show and worked on a web series. Aside from being a mother to her darling Willow, she’s also wife to New York restaurateur, Richie Herschenfeld, practicing a holistic lifestyle, is a fitness and healthy food advocate, while supporting organizations such as the Americorps City Year and the Trisomy 18 Foundation. We get the inside scoop on her life with a 4-year old in tow. What was it like working with such a popular daytime drama, All My Children?

It was amazing to be a part of something so popular. All My Children was really a big part of people’s lives for years. I met, and still meet, generations of families who grew up watching the show. It was a blessing to be a part of that. What a fun job it was too! Tell us more about your character, Kendall Hart. Do you find any similarities between yourself and your character?

Kendall was a spitfire…more of a bad girl than me! She did some bad stuff, which was super fun to play! She was also loyal to her family and would do anything for her children. A total Momma Bear. Don’t mess with her kids! I am the same way with my child, and I think most mothers are. I put a lot of myself into her, so I would say I share her sense of humor and her passion for her family. Sarah Michelle Gellar previously played the role of Kendall. What was it like filling in her shoes? Did she give any advice with regards to the entertainment business?

It was very intimidating, filling Sarah’s shoes. She was


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alicia minshew amazing at the role. However, I did not watch when she played Kendall, so I was able to do my own take on the character. There were also six years in between our time on the show. The fans took a while to warm up to me, but I am grateful they finally did! Well, some of them did. Sarah sent a little note and a welcome basket to me when I first started the role. It was so gracious and sweet of her. How does it feel to have been nominated twice for the Daytime Emmy Awards?

It is really an honor just to be nominated. I know people say that but it is true. Just to have your hard work recognized feels good. However, there are so many people who have done amazing work and have never been nominated, so you also have to take it with a grain of salt. I worked so hard on All My Children and it honestly felt great! I felt lucky to be in such great company.

edgy, emotional, and deals with social situations. Even if you are not a fan of soaps, you will enjoy this series. I think it transcends the daytime audience. I play the senior producer, Angelica, the caretaker of the whole nutty group. Sonia put together such a talented group of people from the daytime genre, as well as people from theatre and reality TV. It is a really cool mix of people. We shot 12 episodes and it came out in January! The website is The indie film Desires of the Heart [has been] released and is being shopped around now to film festivals. It

Can you tell us more about the web series, Tainted Dreams? What should we expect from your projects like Desires of the Heart?

Tainted Dreams is a really fun, innovative web-series. It was written and created by Sonia Blangiardo, who was also a producer on All My Children. It is a behind the scenes look at the making of a soap opera and is based on a lot of real stories. Juicy stuff. It is sexy, funny,

You grew up in Florida. Tell us more about your family and your best memories with them.

I did grow up in Florida. I come from a big family, there are four of us girls. My poor dad. Actually, we had a fun time putting on shows, playing dress-up, and just being silly. I think at a very young age, we all knew I would be an actor—or a clown. I was always dressing up and goofing around, so there were a lot of laughs! You got married in October 2008, marking a 5-year marriage with Richie Herschen feld. Tell us more about how you met. What was your love story like?

You also recently did theater. How is it different acting on stage and on screen? Biggest challenges?

I love theatre! That is where I got my start, actually. Yes, I recently did a fun little stint off-broadway. I played Aunt Toniann in My Big Gay Italian Wedding and it was a romp…such a fun time! It is a totally different animal than TV or film. Theatre is bigger, so you really have to project and just be in the moment. There are no second takes—like in TV/film. Being in front of a live audience is the best feeling. I really feed off of their energy. Anything can happen, which is scary, but exciting!

up watching Days of Our Lives and to this day, I still see the actors and think “There are Bo and Hope!” So I get it. In fact, recently I had a big football player guy come up to me and say, “There is my girl, Kendall! My Mom and I miss you.” It is totally a family thing! I love it!

is truly a romance. I played a Southern girl falling for an Indian man, played by Val Lauren. I love Val. He is such a gorgeous, talented man. I am dying to work with him again—he is one to look out for. It was directed by James Kicklighter and produced by Solila Parida. Do people call you by your character’s name when they see you on the street?

People call me “Kendall” all the time. Even now, two years after the show went off the air. I think it is endearing. I was in their house every day for years, and they feel like they know me. Listen, I grew

Wow! We have been together over nine years. He is an amazing man and truly the best dad in the world, right next to my dad! He is the most handson father I’ve ever seen, and is so present. My on-screen husband on All My Children at the time, Thorsten Kaye, actually introduced us. Thorsten is awesome and is still a dear friend of ours. He is my Richie’s best pal. Richie owns a bar, and one Emmy night, Thorsten asked me to meet him at Richie’s place for a drink. In my fancy gown, I made my way up there, he introduced me to Richie, and we have been together ever since! Thank you Thorsten. I love both of those men. Tell us more about your daughter, Willow Lenora. What’s her personality like?

Willow Lenora is the love of my life! She is 4, which I cannot believe. She is a bundle of energy and a true character. She is not shy at all and very, very social. She is also very silly just like her parents. Richie and I are extremely silly, so she doesn’t stand a chance! She is a ham. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the { SPRING 2014 } b c




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My water actually broke when I was on the set of All My Children. Willow was 3 weeks early. So when they called ‘Kendall on set’ I said, “I don’t think so, my baby is coming!”

tree. I love being with her because she is so funny! She loves life and reminds me to, as well. Any funny pregnancy stories from when you were carrying Willow?

I loved being pregnant and had a great pregnancy. My water actually broke when I was on the set of All My Children. Willow was 3 weeks early. So when they called “Kendall on set” I said, “I don’t think so, my baby is coming!” It was a really exciting day. As for the pregnancy, I think I saw the Broadway show “Rock of Ages” 5 times when I was pregnant. Yup, I was a groupie. So, I did a lot of rocking out and dancing when I was carrying her! To this day she loves rock music! She used to move around in my belly non-stop. Now that she is outside my belly, she still moves non-stop! What are your favorite bonding activities with your family?

We love to go the park and just run around to get fresh air. We also happen to both have big families, so there is a lot of visiting family on the weekends. She is always ready to go with her ball, scooter, or bike! We all get our exercise. As long as she is being social, she is happy! We have a lot of friends with kids here in New York City, so we have lots of playdates. How do you and Richie split parenting duties?

Richie and I are really good at being a team. One of us will take her to preschool and one will pick her up. He is

the cook of the house, I admit. I am a lucky girl! So he likes to cook her dinner, and I do bath time as well as bedtime. We are both with her on weekends and try to take her places together. If I am out of town working, which I will be next week, he is great with her. We both have the kind of jobs with schedules that are always changing, so we just adjust accordingly. She is very good with change. I find most kids are really adaptable. I am lucky that Richie is around for her if I am not. Favorite brands for your daughter? Has she started picking out her own clothes yet?

We love Pottery Barn Kids for blankets and cute stuff for her room. As for clothes, Gap Kids is great. Naartjie Kids is adorable too. There is a place we love in the city called Z-Baby that we get her fancy dresses from. It is a p h o t og r ap h s B y P a u l g r e g ory


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treat to go there. Are you kidding? She has been dressing herself since she was 2! She is adamant about that, so I let her—or I try to lead her in a good direction. She is quite original. She loves to dress herself up. Every day after school, she comes home and puts on her princess dress and crown. It’s so cute! Do you plan to add more to your brood?

We are actually talking about maybe giving her a sibling—if we are able to, anyway. Richie and I both have a lot of siblings and there is nothing better. She has been asking me lately for a baby sister too! Oh boy, we will see. What if I have a boy? I would love a boy. There are twins in Richie’s family too. Yikes! I am open to whatever is meant to be. If she ends up being an only child, that is cool too. She is my pal. So, we will see what happens! bc

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