Mini Spring 2024, Lindsay Arnold Cusick

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PLUS THE MUST-HAVE STROLLER OF THE SEASON!

BLUEY x CAMP

Transport your Minis into an episode of Bluey in this hour-long immersive adventure at CAMP Stores! Inside, you’ll explore a 5,000-square-foot recreation of Bluey’s house, including the TV famous kitchen and Bandit’s office! Play a game of Keepy Uppy, Grannies, or Magic Asparagus and at the end of the experience, meet Bluey and Bingo! Grab your tickets for Bluey x CAMP in Los Angeles now through June 16. camp.com

A SYMBOL OF SPRING, THERE ARE CURRENTLY OVER THREE THOUSAND REGISTERED VARIETIES OF TULIPS.

FROM OUR FRIENDS AT

Smol comes a new way to visit the market this season. The pastel Market Splash allows your Minis to shop for their favorites, while also bouncing, splashing, and sliding— all without ever leaving the yard! But be warned, this adorable bounce house just may make you the hit of the neighborhood! —playsmol.com

The new minnow™ x Crewcuts collab has us ready to spend a day at the beach! “My kids have been wearing minnow suits since the beginning, so I’m jazzed about this cute collab,” says Mini’s Editor in Chief Kate Kirby. “I love the sweet prints and especially the knit sweaters for cool beach nights!” —jcrew.com

R A D A R 3K
MINI
THIS JUST IN
ON THE EDITOR’S LIST

With a 50 acre rainbow field of ranunculus, Sweet Pea Maze, and whimsical Butterfly Garden, the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is the quintessential spring outing.

Your muddy puddle jumpers will love the Peppa Pig Theme Park at LEGOLAND® Florida complete with Fun Fair, Splash Pad, and more!

MINI MUST-HAVE ▶

Head for the beach (or pool!) with this berry sweet longsleeved swimsuit from Boden.

Sign your Minis up for a Baby Music, Baby Social, Garden Exploration, Toddler Farmer or Cooking class at Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett this season!

Celebrate the return of warm weather with a stroll down the Fairy Trail of New York! Make it a challenge to find all 13 magical mini moments.

Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust return in the upcoming Inside Out 2 out June 14! Watch as the crew follows Riley into her teenage years and Headquarters gets a shakeup as they encounter a new emotion, Anxiety!

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ON THE EDITOR’S LIST INSIDE OUT 2 ▶ M I N I spring‘24
MINI APPROVED PLACES AND EVENTS TO VISIT

mini-magazine.com

Head to Mini for more interviews with parents around the world, style, and more

LIVING BABY+KIDS THE MAGAZINE

FOLLOW MINI

Be sure to follow Mini on Instagram and TikTok! We’re sharing behind the scenes peeks at making the magazine, new kids products, nursery tours, and much more!

Find us on Instagram: @minimagazine

THE COMPLETE LIST OF SOFIA RICHIE PREGNANCY ESSENTIALS The new mom shares her favorites from her journey to baby.

SOFIA RICHIE GRAINGE SAYS THIS IS HER PREGNANCY OBSESSION There is a trend in the new mom’s pregnancy favorites— let’s explore.

40 VIDEO GAME BABY NAMES GAMER PARENTS WILL LOVE From Peach to Mario to Zelda, these unique baby names from the gaming world are a must-see.

10 MINUTES WITH INTERIOR DESIGNER MOM PURVI PADIA

The philanthropist gets personal with details like her favorite kids movie, book, and what’s always in her fridge.

minisclusives
MINI LOG ON TO Find all of this and more on our website! FEATURES

15 | MEET THE TEAM The team that makes all the Mini magic possible

18 | EDITOR’S LIST

A carefully-curated list of Kate’s favorites this season

21 | THE STYLE SPOT Sweet sets and sandals that make getting dressed a breeze!

27 | MOM It’s the style spot for all of you chic Mini moms from bump to beyond

30 | IN THE BAG Lauren Ireland shows us what’s inside her everyday tote

32 | TECH KIDS Discover the latest and greatest from the Mini tech sphere

35 | BOOK CLUB Pack a few of these new kids books and head outside to read!

36 | ON THE CLOCK Firsttime mom Katy Schuele Scanlan’s pregnancy cravings, kids book, and more!

41 | ON THE SCENE Introducing a whimsical baby gear collab from Nuna and the must-have stroller of the season!

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spring

The coziest & chicest new addition to your wardrobe

FOR ALL YOUR LADY BUMPS.

BUMPSUIT.CO

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46 | WHAT’S IN THE BAG

Dorsey founder Meg Strachan spills the contents of her bag by The Row!

48 | SCOOP The perfect play house, the softest pajamas, and a thingy (no, really) to add to your car seat!

54 | ON THE CLOCK Mara Martin shares the last book she read, fave local shop, and what she’s watching right now!

58 | CREATIVES WITH KIDS

Todd Selby’s new book, The Selby Comes Home, explores how creative people live with their kids

66 | MEET THE VILLAGE

First-ever postpartum retreat Boram gives moms and their newborns a place to heal after birth

68 | ON THE MOVE Cover mom Lindsay Arnold Cusick talks how she fits movement into her routine with daughters Sage and June

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48 5 0 58 56 70
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contents

MINI-MAGAZINE . com

Discover daily content, interviews, and more in between issues.

Exclusive interviews, Mini fashion, Mom hacks

All in one place.

80 | BODY AND SOUL Pastry

chef turned skincare guru

Kate McLeod on creating her eponymous brand

86 | THE ART OF SLOWING

DOWN Interior designer

Ariel Okin brings an element of intentionality to every aspect of her life

6 6 70 68 72 7 4 76

94 | JUST PRESS PAUSE

Mother Untitled founder

Neha Ruch is on a mission to rebrand the Career Pause and stay at home mom

36 38
contents spring

For life at home.

MINI

Founder and Editor in Chief Kaitlyn Kirby

Cover Photography Paige Sovic

Contributing Photographer Charlie Juliet Photography

Mini Offices

Mini Magazine

Email | hello@mini-magazine.com Web | www.mini-magazine.com

Mini Magazine is a digital lifestyle publication for the modern parent available online at www.mini-magazine.com. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in digital and print reviews.

Copyright © 2024 Mini Magazine.

Editor

INSIDE LOOK:

(On Right) Cover mom Lindsay Arnold Cusick shares her own personal fitness routine as a mom of two in our cover story. (Below) Cusick and daughters Sage and June share a sweet moment during our cover shoot.

Now that the weather is warming up, all I want to do is spend time outside— walking, playing with my girls in the backyard. It’s all about movement right now and that’s what our cover mom (and Dancing with the Stars pro!) Lindsay Arnold Cusick brings to this issue.

Cusick founded on-demand fitness platform The Movement Club, offering a range of Pilates, HIIT, Strength, Dance and Yoga workouts and she’s honestly a breath of fresh air in the industry. “I felt there was a missing space for an unintimidating and practical workout program,” she

tells Mini in our late spring cover story. Her thoughts on making it through the Fourth Trimester are also ones to remember!

In this issue, you’ll find inspiring stories from moms from NYC to LA— including designer Ariel Okin, pastry-chef-turnedskincare-guru Kate McLeod, and Mother Untitled founder Neha Ruch.

I always love putting this issue together— it feels so fresh and fun after a long winter, so I hope you enjoy it, Mini friends!

1 M I N I spring‘24 6
EMAIL MINI’S FOUNDER AND EDITOR IN CHIEF AT KATE@MINI-MAGAZINE.COM MINI’S FOUNDER KATE KIRBY
AND NOW A LETTER FROM

Use code XOMINIMAG for 20% off your first Sakara Meal Program or 10-Day Reset.

If you have Mini chefs in your kitchen, these aprons are it. So durable and the cutest prints! hedleyandbennett.com

My kids are big snackers and I’m happy offering them these with no guilt. onceagainnutbutter.com

We recently switched to the Aura Smart Baby Monitor— love the tech! nanobebe.com

The Thule Urban Glide 3 is the stroller everyone needs this season. Find more in On the Scene! thule.com

I’ve been loving this sweet strawberry print sleep bag (1.0!) this season for my littlest Mini. kytebaby.com

M I N I spring‘24 18 MINI E D I T O R ‘ S L I S T
BERRY
◀ SUPER
SWEET
STROLLER
◀ YES,
CHEF
SMART BABY
◀ CLICK TO SHOP THE STROLLER OF THE SEASON!
EASY SNACKS
Perfect for gifting, made for play! @SUPER.SMALLS SUPERSMALLS.COM

THE SPOT TO SHOP FOR THEIR MINI WARDROBE

Style

GETAWAY CHIC

Fine art photographer Gray Malin brings his notorious vacation-loving vibe to this new collab with children’s fashion brand Janie and Jack. Gray’s first official children’s collection inspired by his 5-year-old twins Dove and Max will have you vacation ready in no time, with vintage tennis and swim looks, cabana sets, beach and surfboard emblems, and even t-shirts featuring his iconic dog! Available now at janieandjack.com

GRAY MALIN X JANIE AND JACK READY, SET, GO! SANDAL SEASON

outfits are getaway ready. Above : $22 ; Striped Waffle Knit

Set in Ink Blue, zara.com; Below : $35 ; Print T-Shirt and Striped Shorts

Set in Tropical Trees, hannaanders -

READY, SET , GO!

There is nothing easier than throwing on a set when the weather gets warmer— Try these!

LAID BACK LINEN

A playful puppy adorns this subtly striped, laid back linen set. $27; janieandjack.com

ONE KNIT WONDER

This sweet ruffle set will become a playtime staple. $12; target.com

TERRY SOFT

This set is smooth on baby’s sensitive skin. $43; hannaandersson.com

EASY BREEZY

This crinkle gauze set is both cute and cool during the warmer months. $34; gap.com

M I N I spring‘24 2
2

SANDAL SEASON

The time has come to ditch the boots and say yes to sandals! These adorable styles are ready to take your Minis right into summer. M I N I spring‘24 2 3 5 6 $55; Cozy Sandals in Lilac Glitter, shopmelissa.com 1. SPARKLE SHOES $39; Crocs Isabella Sandals in Bubble, amazon.com 2. EASY BREATHE $15; Baby Buckle Faux Cork Sandals, carters.com 3. CLASSIC CORK $40; Native Chase Water Wandering Sandal, nativeshoes.com 4. WATER WONDER $44; Logo Jelly Shoes in Surf Blue Strawberry, boden.com 5. FRESHLY PICKED $44; Teva Hurricane XLT2 Sandal in Popcorn Multi, amazon.com 6. COLOR BLOCK 4 1
M A T E R N I T Y S O Y O U C A N K E E P D O I N G Y O U

JUST FOR YOU MAMA, FROM BUMP TO BEYOND

A WHOLE NEW WORLD

Did you know the vagina is one of the most delicate ecosystems of the human body and yet, 9 out of 10 women have an unstable vaginal microbiome? Seed has set out to change that with the launch of VS-01™, the first vaginal synbiotic clinically validated to rapidly establish an optimal vaginal microbiome. Developed using 15+ years of research from the world’s leading vaginal microbiome scientist Dr. Jacques Ravel, VS-01™ is a vaginal suppository designed to work with your body’s unique cycle, restore your vaginal microbiome with an initial Reset and continue with monthly Sustain to maintain a regulated vaginal pH. Dare we say, the vaginal revolution is here? VS-01™ is leading the charge. —seed.com

SEED VAGINAL SYNBIOTIC CHIYO MEAL PROGRAMS SWEHL LACTATION COOKIES

Mom
M I N I spring‘24

CHIYO MEAL PROGRAMS

Personal nutrition concierge Chiyo is on a mission to nourish you through fertility, pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond. The nutritional therapy program includes expertly-crafted dishes shipped to your home, tailored broths and tonics that target where you are in your maternal health journey, health coaching check-ins via SMS, and a weekly health curriulum with resources to help you understand what your body is going through. —wearechiyo.com.

Mom-to-be Molly Baz’s world famous Big Titty Cookies from Swehl that caused a craze with their Times Square billboard. The lactation cookies—recipe available on Swehl’s website—include ingredients like oatmeal, turmeric, and flax seed and are perfect for postpartum prep. “I love the idea of making a big batch and throwing them in the freezer to have ready to go after baby is born,” says Mini’s Editor in Chief Kate Kirby. “Lactation cookies were my jam during the Fourth Trimester and this recipe is delicious with the hint of sour cherry and flaky salt.” swehl.com

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THIS JUST IN
RIGHT NOW WE’RE LOVING
Use code MINIMAG 10 for 10% off your first order Meet Belly Oil. Like a prenatal for your skin.

TOUCHLAND HAND SANITIZER

$10; sephora.com

COTERIE DIAPERS

“Our go-to diapers for baby East! I love how soft and simple they are in design. Plus, they hold so well!”

coterie.com

HAIR CLIP

“You’ll never find me without an EmiJay clip in my bag! The easiest way to throw my hair up quickly.” Big Effing

LIP BUTTER BALM IN SWEET MINT

$24; summerfridays.com

WHAT’S IN THE BAG

Lauren Ireland

“I aim to stay especially hydrated while nursing. The DripDrop packets are easy to add to my drinks on-the-go.”

The mom of three (to Evan, Ella, and East) and Summer Fridays co-founder spills her Mansur Gavriel Everyday Tote. MANSUR GAVRIEL EVERYDAY SOFT TOTE IN AVORIO mansurgavriel.com

CREAM BLUSH

“The creaminess of this blush is so nice to reapply as the day goes on.”

Merit Flush Balm in Cheeky, $30; merit beauty.com

JET LAG MASK

“We formulated this product during my first pregnancy, and the sleepiness of that season of life was my version of jet lag!” Jet Lag Mask, $26; summerfridays.com

3 M I N I spring‘24 0

Tech

MEET

YOHANA

Imagine you had a personal family assistant to help tackle those never-ending to-do lists, from birthday party prep to meal planning to home maintenance. Enter Yohana, a modern concierge app that allows you to offload joy-stealing tasks and add more breathing room into your schedule. Simply delegate your todo’s, choose the best option based on needs and budget, and chat with your specialist any time. It’s your own support team right inside your phone. join.yohana.com

RIGHT NOW IN PODCASTS

With the recent launch of her book The 5 Principles of Parenting and her realistic advice for today’s parents, it’s no wonder that developmental psychologist Dr. Aliza Pressman’s podcast is a major hit. Raising Good Humans goes deep with both experts and parents to share helpful tools and approaches that lessen the overwhelm of raising Minis. —spotify.com

3 M I N I spring‘24 2
THE LATEST FROM THE MINI TECH SPHERE
APP RAISING GOOD HUMANS WITH DR. ALIZA PRESSMAN
YOHANA
MUST HAVE
MINI
CLICK TO LISTEN TO RAISING GOOD HUMANS!
Paint you can feel good about Zero VOC paint & colorants No hazardous air pollutants GREENGUARD Gold certified No toxic air contaminants Ultra-low odor Get everything you need to paint, delivered. | Clare.com Color: Make Waves No EPA chemicals of concern
BODEN.COM

Book Club

The school year is wrapping up, but don’t let boredom get to your Minis— Grab a few of these new children’s books and dive into your next adventure!

EDITOR’S PICK

WILLOW THE WHITE HOUSE CAT

Dr. Jill Biden

Follow Willow on her journey from her cozy barn to Washington, DC!

FOR GIGGLES

BUBBLE GUM BISON NEEDS A BATH

A hilarious story about problem solving.

DINOSAURS IN TRUCKS

GORGEOUSLY ME

This confidence-boosting kids book celebrates everything that makes you extraordinary, reassuring that you are loved exactly the way you are, and to never let anyone dim your light.

Because hey, why not? You love dinosaurs, we love dinosaurs, why not find out what happens when they get their very own trucks? Renowned author Boynton speaks to truck-obsessed toddlers.

FOR FEELINGS

INSIDE OUT 2: MEET THE EMOTIONS

New emotions take over Headquarters in Disney and Pixar’s Inside Out 2, an all-new adventure inside the mind of now-teenager Riley.

FOR DINOS FOR SELF LOVE

KATY SCHUELE SCANLAN

MINI SPENT TEN MINUTES WITH THE first-time mom, lead trainer at The Sculpt Society, and host of the Honest to Pete podcast to get to know her favorite kids book, wardrobe staples, and ideal date night (a dream!).

ON MY NIGHTSTAND I have all my lotions and potions, lip masks, hand creams, lavender pillow spray, fresh flowers every week, and my reading glasses.

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE TO Cucumbers, radishes, and carrots... my pregnancy obsession.

IF I HAD MORE TIME I would shop, watch Bravo reruns, and spend more time talking to my mom... even though I call her 10 times a day already!

IDEAL DATE NIGHT Full girl shower, spending several hours doing my hair and makeup listening to my favorite podcast, dinner at 5 p.m., home early and in bed by 8:30 with our dog, Lady.

ON THE CLOCK

GUILTY PLEASURE Mint chocolate chip ice cream.

FAVORITE KIDS MOVIE Peter Pan.

FAVORITE LOCAL RESTAURANT Noodle Pudding.

CAN’T STOP LISTENING TO Kacey Musgraves’ new album, Deeper Well.

APPS I USE MOST Instagram, Tiktok, and Uber.

SIGNATURE SCENT Coco Fleur by Nette.

PREGNANCY CRAVINGS Froyo and a good burger.

WARDROBE STAPLES A good oversized blazer, Chanel ballet flats, Fewer Finer vintage charm necklace.

FAVORITE KIDS BOOK The Giving Tree.

GROWING UP, I WANTED TO BE A Professional dancer.

LAST BOOK I READ Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman.

FAVE LOCAL SHOPS Front Street General Store and the Six Bells.

MY COFFEE ORDER Iced vanilla almond milk latte.

BEFORE I GOT PREGNANT, I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD Encapsulate my placenta!

FAVORITE PLACE TO

3 M I N I spring‘24 8

STORYBOOK CHARM

Premium baby gear brand Nuna has partnered with historic English printmaker and retailer Liberty London on their whimsical, new Fantasy Land collection. The line-up includes the debut of the BRYN highchair featuring hand-selected maple wood accents, CUDL clik carrier, and the award-winning compact full-feature TRIV next stroller. The enchanting collab exudes storybook charm with a warm hand-drawn illustration print, instantly elevating your daily baby gear. Available exclusively in select Nordstrom stores and online at nordstrom. com.

Scene
on the
BABY GEAR EVERY PARENT NEEDS NOW NUNA x LIBERTY LONDON THULE URBAN GLIDE 3 ORBIT BABY G5
◀ CLICK TO SHOP THE NUNA FANTASY LAND COLLECTION!

THULE URBAN GLIDE 3

The Thule Urban Glide 3 is the stroller of the season, offering a winning combo of comfort, functionality, and performance on any surface.

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF THULE

CONVENIENT

Quick Fold

Easy, one-hand, compact fold with self-stand feature allows for simple storage and transport.

REST UP

Comfy Kids

A built-in legrest and comfortable seat with adjustable recline provides the most Mini comfort.

A+ Maneuvering

The sleek and lightweight design, along with 16” air-filled tires for superior suspension all make for an easy ride.

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ROAD TRIP
CLICK TO SHOP THE STROLLER OF THE SEASON!

SIRONA M WITH

Theonlysmart-techconvertiblecarseatthat providesessentialalertstokeepbabysafe whileyoudriveandwhenyouarrive.

LEARN MORE AT WWW.CYBEX-ONLINE.COM/US

ORBIT BABY G5

With 360-degree rotation, a compact fold (that fits in small car trunks!), and easy conversion to a double, this luxurious stroller makes traveling a breeze.

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF ORBIT BABY

ON THE MOVE

SmartHub™ Base

The base offers seamless transport and rotates so baby can be forward-facing or parent-facing, upright, or fully reclined when docked. NO BUMPS Smooth Strolling No-pump tires and Quadshock™ front wheel premium suspension system ensure a smooth ride.

Luxe details include memory foam cushioning and premium Oeko Tex® certified mélange textiles.

No more hassle putting baby in the car! Enjoytion and reclining in one fluid motion.

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TOP NOTCH Premium Accents

SUNGLASSES

“I just bought a new pair that are a collab from The Row. I’m afraid to lose them, so I’ve been using the case.” therow.com

“I’m really bad at putting on makeup and I don’t love the way I look in it, so I usually put on just a bit of Ilia cover-up, sunscreen, and a natural lip liner with Burts Bees chapstick.”

RANDOM CORDS

“My car is almost always out of gas and my phone is usually on 4% battery, so I’ve learned to carry a charger with me.”

WET WIPES

“My little girl is five and we always have food situations coming up.”

WHAT’S IN THE BAG

Meg Strachan

MY IPAD

“I haven’t owned an iPad in a decade but I just bought a new one with a portable keyboard. It’s life changing for working on the go.”

The founder of lab-grown jewelry brand Dorsey and mom to Vivienne spills her Margaux bag by The Row.

MAKEUP BAG

“I tend to do my makeup in the car at stoplights, so I keep an old Louis Vuitton makeup bag in my handbag.”

THE ROW SOFT MARGAUX 12 BAG IN COGNAC therow.com

THE BAG “I bought it two years ago after seeing it sitting on the back of a chair. The woman carrying it was in her late sixties, the bag was scraped up from the wears of life, and it had the most beautiful worn-in leather I’d ever seen.”

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MINI DREAM HOUSE

Enter a magical world of play with the Waldorf Playhouse from Cassarokids. This fun addition to your playroom will open up limitless opportunities— from creating a cozy book nook, tending to your own Mini house, or curating a pretend storefront. The Waldorf Playhouse features a plush pillow to make downtime extra comfortable and beautiful velvet/cotton fabric that can be rolled up or down on all sides to create a closed, serene space or more of an open air tent. Wherever your imagination takes you! cassarokids.com

4 M I N I spring‘24
THIS JUST IN IN THE MINI WORLD CASSAROKIDS PLAYHOUSE HANNASOFT™ CLEK P-THINGY 8
Scoop

Capturing the beauty, simplicity and magic of childhood.

SHOPPEHR.COM

HannaSoft

Premium children’s brand Hanna Andersson has introduced HannaSoft™, an exclusive buttery fabric made with TENCEL™.

SNUGGLY SOFT

The new HannaSoft™ collection, by popular children’s brand Hanna Andersson, brings a whole new, lightweight buttery softness to its made-to-last pajamas. The entire collection, designed for the littlest of Hanna lovers is OEKO-TEX® certified safe from hundreds of harsh chemicals and sensory-friendly with scratchfree seams. The breathable fabric is perfect for warmer months—or hot sleepers—and is now offered in a variety of styles from sleepers to wearable blankets. “We know parenthood is magical and stressful at the same time and these pieces are guaranteed to be a staple in baby’s drawer for years to come,” said Kara Carter, Chief Product Officer at Hanna Andersson. hannaandersson.com

5 M I N I spring‘24 0

Clek P-Thingy

A clever name for a clever car seat accessory— The new P-Thingy is a game-changer for potty training Minis.

SEAT SAVER

Finally, we can stop stressing about accidents in the car! Crash-tested and approved for use with all Foonf and Fllo models, the new Clek P-Thingy is the contraption parents have been looking for all along! P-Thingy includes a waterproof backing and helps protect against spills and accidents, prevents gunk from making its way into the deep crevices of your seat, and provides a little extra padding for an extra comfy ride. But best of all? It’s machine washable and can be installed and removed in seconds! clekinc.com

5 M I N I spring‘24 2

From left to right: @diymom.ca, @citysage, @myfavoriteroombykbmdesigns, @lewisishome, @tomboykc, @minimagkate, @lifeontheshadygrove, @ashleyaltenbach

KID APPROVED! Rugs that take mess
chaos in stride.
and

MARA MARTIN

MINI SPENT TEN MINUTES WITH THE mom of two who made headlines for breastfeeding her daughter on the Sports Illustrated runway in 2018 to get to know her through her favorite kids movies (ours too!), what’s on her nightstand, and even what she’s currently playing in her house that will probably strike a chord with you too!

ON MY NIGHTSTAND

My Ceres Chill, breast pump, two glasses of ice water, another drink of some sort, phone, and some toy that I roll over on in the middle of the night.

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE

Diet Pepsi. I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but Pepsi products are superior. I will die on that hill.

The Convertible Stroller

Bugaboo Donkey

Designed specifically to grow and flow with your family.

ON THE CLOCK

WARDROBE STAPLES A good maxi dress I can throw on!

GUILTY PLEASURE Taco Bell!

FAVORITE KIDS MOVIE

The old school Disney movies that I grew up with like Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid, but a newer one we love is Elemental. We actually saw it twice in the theater!

IDEAL DATE NIGHT Actually having a date night. I am in the thick of postpartum, so it’s been tough to schedule anything.

LAST BOOK I READ

The Source by Dr. Tara Swart.

FAVORITE LOCAL SHOP Kai Lassen has the cutest custom hats.

PREGNANCY CRAVINGS Watermelon with tajín and frozen grapes.

FAVE LOCAL RESTAURANT Sushi By Bou has the best sushi I’ve ever had.

MY COFFEE ORDER extra shot of espresso!

APPS I USE MOST Instagram, Tiktok, Slack, Zoom, and Notion.

FAVORITE KIDS BOOK My children’s book coming out soon called Gayl the Snail. It’s named after my mom who passed away last year.

CAN’T STOP LISTENING TO Anything and everything Taylor Swift. We are big Swifties in our house. I’m hoping to get tickets to her tour this summer and bring Aria! We already have our outfits planned!

BEFORE KIDS, I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD Cosleep, use screen time, breastfeed for as long as I am, bribe.

GROWING UP, I WANTED TO Radio City Rockette, a model, and a mom. I guess 2 out of

5 M I N I spring‘24 6

Todd Selby has traveled the world photographing people in their spaces for decades. Now, as a dad himself, Selby puts on the parenting lens for his new book, The Selby Comes Home , offering a look inside the homes of creatives with kids.

PHOTOG DAD TODD SELBY INTRODUCES HIS NEW BOOK THE SELBY COMES HOME

CREATIVES WITH KIDS

5 M I N I spring‘24
WHAT’S NEW ON THE HOME FRONT
Home
8
photography by THE SELBY Interior designer Kenya Drake and restaurant owner Beau Caillouette with twins Coco and Effie

“It’s been 10 years since my last book and now I have 6 and 8-year-old adorable kiddos. Living with their colorful, creative adventures definitely inspired this book.”

6 M I N I spring‘24 0
Bryan and Megan Edwards with son Arlo Rey in Nashville on his new book

“With kids, you never know what they are going to be like, so it’s really about reacting and living with these unique humans.”

TODD SELBY on key takeaways from shooting the book

Musician Jon Jackson and son Jupiter

“My personal space, i.e. my cave, is exactly the same. I try to keep the door closed to that mess, but my kids are always breaking in and raiding my art gear. ”

TODD SELBY on how his spaces evolved after kids Stylist Lisa Moir and daughter James at their Mill Valley home

“The last shoot I did, also the last chapter, where me, my wife Danielle, and our kids spent a week on a sand bar in French Polynesia documenting Nico and Francesca was an experience I won’t forget.”

TODD SELBY on memorable moments creating the book Former professional skateboarder turned artist Natas Kaupas and kids Clementine and Sunny
“I want them to feel the positivity and incredible diversity of how creative people can raise kids.”
TODD SELBY on what he wants people to come away with

Maurice Ayers-Lee and daughter Vivien at home in San Francisco

SELBY ON THE CLOCK

The Selby Comes Home author gets personal.

MY COFFEE ORDER Iced double espresso with oat milk.

FAVE KIDS BOOK Cat Kid Comic Club.

IDEAL DATE NIGHT Walking and talking.

CAN’T STOP LISTENING Yusef Lateef.

FAVE LOCAL SHOP General Store, Venice.

FAVE KIDS MOVIE Pee Wee Herman’s Christmas Special.

BEFORE KIDS I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD Go to so many birthday parties.

EXPLORE NYC’S BORAM POSTNATAL RETREAT FOR MOMS AND NEWBORNS

MEET

THE VILLAGE

A first of its kind, the Boram Postnatal Retreat in NYC offers postpartum care for both moms and newborns, with experienced professionals to guide your transition into parenthood.

6 M I N I spring‘24 Health THE LATEST IN THE WELLNESS WORLD
6

They say it takes a village to raise a child and that really begins at birth— not just for the newborn, but for the newly-birthed mother as well. Enter Boram, NYC’s first-ever postnatal retreat for moms and newborns.

After feeling the weight of her C-section recovery, work, and family life, founder Boram Nam knew something had to change in the realm of postpartum care. “I couldn’t fathom how New York City did not offer a place for new moms and their babies to rest and recover after birth,” Nam says. “So we decided to start one.”

A stay at Boram is an all-inclusive experience designed to ease the transition into motherhood, with a 24/7 experienced care

team on hand to assist mom and baby with breastfeeding, recovery support and pain management, mental wellness, therapeutic services, and nutritious meals.

Boram recommends a minimum of a five night stay in their unique retreat (with new moms staying anywhere between 3 and 40 nights), which should begin immediately after being discharged from the hospital to aid in your healing. With no set schedule, guests are invited to book spa services, attend daily classes and social events, or simply relax and enjoy their newborn.

Boram understands that postpartum is something you were never meant to do alone and thus, they are ready to be your village. —boramcare.com

ON THE MOVE

After recognizing the need for an unintimidating, relatable workout program during her first pregnancy, Lindsay Arnold Cusick started The Movement Club. Now as a mother of two (Sage, 3, and June, 1), Cusick leads the classes with a fresh perspective to support women through all the stages of life.

photography by PAIGE SOVIC interview by KATE KIRBY
“ You don’t have to go to the gym every day for hours to get a workout. ”

CUSICK has graced many major stages as a professional dancer—from her time as a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance to winning the Mirrorball Trophy as a pro on Dancing with the Stars—but her dedication to movement took on a whole new meaning when she became a mom to daughters Sage and June. “Movement has always been a driving force in my life and especially since becoming a mom, I have recognized how much moving your body every day can truly enhance your life,” Cusick tells Mini. “Even if it’s just 5 minutes, the mental clarity and confidence boost it can give you can be life changing.”

Cusick took that philosophy to heart when creating The Movement Club, her on-demand fitness platform powered by the

principle that movement is for everyone. “I started The Movement Club during my first pregnancy because I felt there was a missing space for an unintimidating, relatable, and practical workout program,” she tells Mini. “I wanted to create something that could be there to support women through all the stages of life, whether

they have never worked out before, are at the top of their physical game, are pregnant, or postpartum. I wanted to create a program for everyone that would be easy to fit into your schedule. With at-home workouts ranging from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, my program is here to make it easy for anyone to get movement in their day.

We sat down with Cusick for our late spring cover story to talk more about her fitness routine and day-to-day as a busy mom and entrepreneur and it all starts before her girls wake up.

Tell us what a typical day looks like.

“Mornings look like me waking up early to get a workout in and maybe a shower. Once the girls wake up, it could look something like breakfast, running [them] to their swim lessons, dance class, or preschool all while taking calls in the car with my management, PR team, or team meetings for my workout program. After the chaos of the early mornings, I spend the rest of the day working from home. Every day is a little different, but usually consists of filming workout videos for The Movement Club, filming content for brands that I partner with, creating content for both Instagram and TikTok, editing and posting content, answering emails, and

any deadlines that come up. Being a workfrom-home mom means that in between all the things, there are loads of laundry, kids to feed, nap times, and much more, so I try to navigate all whenever I can.”

With all of that, how do you manage to make time for fitness?

“What is working for me now is to wake up an hour before my daughters wake up and use that time to get my movement in. I will do a 30-minute workout and if I’m lucky enough to have extra time, I’ll make myself a protein smoothie, take a shower, and fit in whatever ‘me time’ I can.”

What workouts are you doing right now?

“A quick walk on the treadmill to warm up in the early mornings, then I’ll pick one of my full-length workouts from The Movement Club program, and if I have some extra time, I’ll throw on one of my quick 5 to 15 minute workouts to get a little extra burn.”

nancy, I created a pregnancy program that I filmed in real time. This program is trimester specific and designed to support your body through all of the changes it makes during pregnancy. Since I was filming the program in real time, what you see is the exact fitness routine I followed throughout my pregnancy. There were definitely days where I needed to take it easy or pull back to take care of my changing body and it is so important to give yourself grace through everything.”

How about your wellness routine? What does your diet look like?

“ Working out while pregnant can feel so scary which is a huge reason I decided to start my program. ”

“Infrared sauna and cold plunge therapy have become a huge part of my wellness routine over the past couple of months and the benefits have been incredible. I have never followed a strict diet, but believe in practicing moderation in everything. I try to be balanced with my different food groups throughout the day and also put a huge emphasis on hydration. Drink as much water as you can!”

What was your fitness routine when you were pregnant?

“Working out while pregnant can feel so scary, which is a huge reason I decided to start my program. During my second preg-

With a fitness forward life as a Dancing with the Stars Pro and now founder of The Movement Club, what has been your proudest career moment to date?

“Winning the Mirrorball Trophy on DWTS

was such a rewarding moment for me as someone who has dedicated my entire life to becoming a professional dancer. Since that moment though, I have to say I have felt just as much, if not more, pride in creating and growing The Movement Club. This program is like my baby and starting from square one by myself, not knowing if it would even work out, to now having an entire team behind the program and thousands of members has been the most rewarding thing.”

Let’s talk motherhood. What has surprised you most about motherhood thus far?

“I remember people always telling me about motherly instinct and I honestly never really believed in it until becoming a mom. There are so many things that you just know and don’t even really know how you know. It can be terrifying, for sure, but I have been very grateful for those moments of instinct that just came to me.”

On the flip side, what is your greatest joy?

“Nothing makes me happier than watching my girls grow, learn, and experience new things. I also love how having my daughters has completely changed how I view myself and how I want to be an example to them. I have learned to speak to myself the way I would want my daughters to speak about themselves. They are always watching and listening and I feel honored to be an example to them.”

Where have you seen the biggest changes since becoming a mom?

“ I went into postpartum

giving myself grace and patience.

“In the best way possible, my entire life has changed and I love every bit of it. I think the biggest change is that time alone has become almost impossible. I have found how important it is to carve out time for yourself each day to be the best mom.”

What advice would you give to moms about to have their second baby?

What have you found to be the most challenging aspect thus far?

“I think the inconsistency of motherhood can be very challenging. Just when you think you have a routine down and everything figured out, your kids change and you are back to the drawing board.”

“Trust yourself and remember that the hard phases always come to an end. In my experience, I felt so much more confident with my second baby, having been through it before. You got this!”

The postpartum stage can be equally as hard. How did you feel going into the Fourth Trimester after your Minis?

“I went into postpartum giving myself grace and patience. I am so grateful for my husband and family who supported me. I think it’s also important to understand that it’s okay to need help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others and be open with your feelings to those around you.”

How did you decide on your kids’ names?

“My husband actually chose our daughter’s name, Sage. He didn’t tell me at the time, but he got the name from his fly fishing rod; the brand was named Sage. He came home one day and said the name and I fell in love. It wasn’t until a couple of months

later he shared where the name came from and I was so in love with it at that point that it didn’t even phase me. With our daughter June, we actually found the name on a generator app, so nothing crazy there! We wanted a one syllable name and loved that June wasn’t too common but still classic.”

If you could give your kids one piece of advice, what would it be?

“I hope they always know that they are enough. They are perfect just the way they are. I hope to instill confidence [and] help them know they never need to change who they are for anyone or anything.”

LINDSAY ON THE CLOCK

mom of two
fast facts. MY COFFEE ORDER I have never liked the taste of coffee! 1 2 FAVE KIDS BOOK Goodnight Moon . FAVE LOCAL RESTAURANT Pizzeria 712. 3 4 CAN’T STOP LISTENING Espresso by Sabrina Carpenter. FAVE KIDS MOVIE Moana . 5 FAVE KIDS SHOPS Quincy Mae, Rylee and Cru,
Janie and Jack. 6 ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE Fruit! My girls can’t get enough. 7 8 ON MY NIGHTSTAND Stanley tumbler full of ice cold water, red light LED face mask, Anfisa ANGLOSS lip treatment.
The
shares
Zara,
You can Framebridge just about anything. framebridge.com

Body and Soul

Before she became known as the most popular purveyor of the Body Stone, Kate McLeod was a pastry chef with dry skin. The Hudson Valley entrepreneur and mom of two took one ingredient (“the best thing you can put on your body”), crafted a revolutionary recipe, and an award-winning skincare brand was born . YOUR BODY STONES ARE A MUST-HAVE FOR US! TELL US HOW THE INFAMOUS KATE MCLEOD BODY STONE CAME TO BE.

“I was a pastry chef with dry skin until I started using one of my favorite ingredients, cocoa butter, on my body. The results were transformational. Cocoa butter is the best thing you can put on your body: it’s a powerhouse of fatty acids that naturally lock in moisture, soothe dry skin, and nourish your skin barrier. However, raw cocoa butter is a rock hard solid and difficult to apply. Most lotions are 75 to 90% water. While water

dilution makes ingredients like cocoa butter easier to work with, it also reduces their efficacy. As a pastry chef, I looked at this through a food lens and created the recipe of the Body Stone to be completely waterless. The Body Stone is 80% cocoa butter, 100% plant based, with zero water dilution.”

HOW DID THIS EVOLVE INTO YOUR EPONYMOUS SKINCARE LINE TODAY?

“What started as a recipe in my kitchen turned into a movement to feel better and do better. When I started working on this

recipe, I was going through a really hard time. I felt lonely and disconnected. What I discovered, purely by chance, is that days when I applied my Body Stone were better days. That moment of connection with myself fueled my desire to get up, go out of the house, get dressed, and connect with others. The practice became so meaningful to me that I felt a sense of responsibility to share it. If it could help me, it could probably help others, and it has resonated. This is more than a moisturizer. This is about giving yourself some love, a warm embrace— it’s about connecting with yourself and your body. That’s what really drove me to put myself out there as an entrepreneur.”

WHAT DOES YOUR OWN SKINCARE ROUTINE LOOK LIKE?

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION YOU THINK PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT SKINCARE?

“That you need a complicated, multi-step skincare routine. I believe our bodies have innate intelligence— a wisdom born out of our evolution. We don’t need much!”

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST NO NO WHEN IT COMES TO SKINCARE?

“By becoming a mother to my children, I’ve really learned how to step in and mother myself.”

“I keep it very simple. I wash my face with water and a Face Halo microfiber round. I spritz rose or jasmine water onto my face. I apply my Face Stone solid moisturizer, which is made with a nourishing blend of kokum butter and plant-powered face oils. The lightweight, buildable texture spreads and absorbs easily without clogging pores and gives you this balanced, beautiful glow. It provides a wonderful base for mineral sunscreen and for makeup. Most days, I’m bare faced, but I’ll sometimes apply Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush for extra glow and rosiness.”

“Layering on loads of chemicals and synthetics. Remember that your skin is porous. You might not be putting whatever you are pumping out into your mouth, but you are consuming it.”

IN ADDITION TO RUNNING THIS BEAUTIFUL BRAND, YOU’RE ALSO A MOM OF TWO! WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU ABOUT MOTHERHOOD THUS FAR?

“I’m surprised every day. It’s a never-ending, constantly shifting, evolving journey. I think what has been the biggest unexpected gift is that by becoming a mother to my children, I’ve really learned how to step in and mother myself. Mothering is wild and completely sacred.”

WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF MOTHERHOOD?

“Taking care of myself while taking care of two little humans; it’s a lot to balance. Throw in a business, friendships, life in general, and it’s very easy for self care to go out the window. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that if I don’t take care of

KATE ON THE CLOCK

The Body Stone creator shares fast facts.

MY COFFEE ORDER

Cacao or tea for me.

FAVE KIDS MOVIE

Three way tie: Cars , Elemental , Moana

IDEAL DATE NIGHT

A fancy night out that ends in comfy sweatpants.

FAVE LOCAL SHOP Bread Alone.

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE

Honey Mama’s Tahini Tangerine Cocoa Truffle Bar.

CAN’T STOP LISTENING

The Tortured Poets Department by Taylor Swift.

ON MY NIGHTSTAND

A body stone, my face stone, an LED mask, and a pile of books.

IF I HAD MORE TIME

I would move more. Dance, yoga, walk.

FAVE KIDS BOOK

The Lovevery books are the only ones that stand the test of time.

LOCAL RESTAURANT River & Post.

myself, I can’t show up in all the other areas. Motherhood requires learning to balance. It’s not always going to be perfect, it rarely will be. There is a lot of joy and wisdom in embracing the ebb and flow.”

ON THE FLIP SIDE, WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY?

“Seeing them blossom. This past winter, my almost five-year-old really took to skiing. Seeing him as his own little human, exploring the mountain, taking risks, focusing on improving his skills, and experiencing pride. It was really amazing to watch.”

HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON YOUR KIDS’ NAMES?

“Ollie was always an Ollie. I just knew. Margaux is named after my mother whose middle name is Margaux. I didn’t know for certain until I held her, then I knew it fit.”

AS A BUSY MOM, WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF THE PERFECT SELF CARE DAY?

“If I move my body, put a pen to paper, put my hands on my skin, feed myself thoughtfully, and get into bed early, I’m over the moon!”

WHAT ONE PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR KIDS?

“In the future: take a deep breath, tap into your inner wisdom, and trust that above all else. Right now: have fun!”

THE ART

Interior designer Ariel Okin has risen up the ranks as a top name in her field. And while the New York based mom of two manages a busy schedule and bustling client roster, she notes the importance of slowing down and being intentional in both work and motherhood.

OF

SLOWING

DOWN

8 M I N I spring ‘24 6
photography by DONNA DOTAN

AARIEL OKIN IS THE BRAIN behind swoonworthy spaces like Goop’s Manhattan headquarters and children’s brand Maisonette’s beautiful Brooklyn offices. As the founder of the eponymous interior design firm Ariel Okin Interiors, she has a knack for bringing her elegant yet striking style into her work.

“I really gravitate toward interiors that are classic, timeless, and personal. Some of our signature elements are polished tailoring, an interesting mix of textiles and color, and a heavy use of antique and vintage items,” Okin tells Mini. “We are known for being ‘traditional with a twist,’ but each project really differs by client. The most important element of our designs is that they reflect their owners, and feel warm, livable, and timeless.”

We caught up with the mom of two to and

break down her process for putting together practical family spaces, plus get a sneak peek into her day-to-day and personal motherhood musings.

ON HER OWN HOME

“I spend a ton of time in our family room and eat-in kitchen. It’s the only ‘open concept’ space in our house and we spend 90% of our time there, eating as a family in our breakfast nook or watching TV on the sofa. It’s such a happy, layered space. We’ve got a lot of framed family photos mixed in on the bookshelves with our library, some of the kids’ toys are downstairs in woven baskets so they can play in there while we’re getting dinner ready

and we have a lot of board games, puzzles, art materials, and Zingo hidden in the built-ins and bookshelves for crafts and games. It’s just a really practical, high-traffic area in our house that feels very ‘us’!”

ON HER DAUGH -

TERS’ SPACES “I really wanted my girls’ rooms to be spaces they can grow into over time. I never like to design nurseries that need to be updated or changed just a few years after install and I really like children’s spaces to feel just as sophisticated, considered, and functional as all the other spaces in a home. In my older daughter’s room, I used a wallpaper from my collection with The Mural Source, which has birds and chinoiserie elements to it; it’s really sentimental to me to have something I made in there and it’s become special to both of us. She is going to be five in August and she always says, ‘Mommy made the wallpaper!’ For my younger daughter’s room, I used a solid rose-hued grasscloth for texture and it’s really serene. In her

room, I have a bunch of framed botanicals from my childhood home on the walls, which is really special to me too.”

ON KEEPING SPACES PRACTICAL FOR HER FAMILY “I try to always utilize fabrics that can take a beating, whether they are performance formulas or just easily wipeable. I also like to use patterned textiles, because it’s easier to disguise a big stain when there’s a lot of movement, rather than something solid. I also love slipcovers, because you can zip it off and throw it into the wash! I use large woven wicker baskets from Serena & Lily and Pottery Barn with lids to hide toys and books and keep clutter contained. I really try to think about the intention of the space and how I want to use it before I create my floor plans, which allows for little ‘active moments,’ like creating a book nook tent in my older daughter’s room for nighttime reading (twinkle lights are a must!).”

ON MISCONCEPTIONS AROUND FAMILY-FRIENDLY DESIGN “There are so many misconceptions about family-friendly design! Namely, that you have to wait for your kids to get older until your house can be beautiful or fully designed— that is just so not true! Utilizing the right textiles, durable materials, and furniture that can withstand a bit of a beating and can patina over time (vintage and antiques!) are all surefire ways to create a beautiful home that you don’t have to worry about being ‘perfect.’ Also, perfect doesn’t ever exist in the real world, kids or not!”

ON CHANGING HER HOME STYLE

AFTER KIDS “Yes! I definitely think about

M I N I spring‘24 88

practicality and intention of use more than ever before. Especially when creating floor plans and choosing textiles for clients, livability and practicality are always the first thing I think of as we’re building out a space. I try to anchor our work in ‘how is this space going to be utilized’ and then everything spools from there.”

ON INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS “I am actually anti-trend in general for interiors! I always go by the old Billy Baldwin adage: “buy what you like, because it never goes out of style.” Good, classic design is always in style.”

ON HER GREATEST BUSINESS LESSON “Interior design is a client services business, and learning the importance of really listening to our clients, slowing down, and taking the time to fully understand what it is that they’re after is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned thus far. Generally speaking in business, be nice to everyone, hold firm boundaries, and always go with your gut. And understand your brand identity inside and out, so you know immediately when something is right for you (or not!).”

ON HER PROUDEST CAREER MOMENT “Signing my book deal with Rizzoli recently was definitely a pinch me moment! I can’t wait for my first book to come out in 2026.”

ON MOST SURPRISING ASPECT OF MOTHERHOOD “Truly everything about becoming a mother is world changing, life shifting, and altering to the core in such a beautiful way. I think one of the most anchoring things about motherhood is that it really helps you to align your priorities. It becomes your North

Star when you’re creating your ‘non-negotiables’ in life and it allows you to prioritize work-life balance more clearly when you view everything through that lens. It also realigns the things you care about; your core values take precedence. The little stuff that I used to get worked up about doesn’t bother me as much anymore. It shifts your perspective entirely. Also, the community of mom friends I have made; the bond between two moms going through it in the exact same stage of life with their kids is really, really strong.”

“Motherhood helps you to align your priorities. It becomes your North Star.”

ON THE ONE THING NO ONE PREPARES YOU FOR “Literally everything! (Because if someone told you before, you’d be terrified!) And not to be a cliché, but it’s so worth it. The lack of sleep and the mental load is just all-encompassing. Your brain is always thinking about something, you’re functioning on college-level all-nighter sleep at times, and expected to keep these little things alive while also hitting deadlines at work, keeping up with school forms, and also just generally being a person in the world, maintaining relationships. It can be a lot! I have a really big soft spot for first time moms who are in the fourth trimester. Those first few weeks can be so shaky, raw, new, and unsure. I always ask new moms how they are doing because everyone always asks about the baby! My

favorite thing that someone told me early on in my postpartum experience with my oldest daughter was ‘the power of and.’ You can miss the freedom you had before, be totally exhausted, overwhelmed, and be so grateful, happy, excited, and in love. Motherhood really is all of the things at once, and giving yourself the space to hold two things as true at the same time was really powerful for me.”

ON

THE TRANSITION FROM ZERO TO ONE KIDS

“Zero to one [was harder], for sure. I had no idea what I was doing! I also think you have a sense of a loss of freedom with zero to one, because you go from owning your schedule to being owned by the baby’s schedule, and sometimes you can’t even get out of the house in those early days. It’s just a shift in the way you exist in the world that takes some time to get used to. Someone told me zero to one is an identity crisis, and one to two is a logistics crisis, and nothing has ever been more true. From one to two, it’s just figuring out how to juggle two schedules— that’s the hardest part. One to two is nice because so much of the anxiety of a first time parent is gone; you know what you’re doing! There’s a sense of confidence that comes with experience.”

ON CONQUERING MOM GUILT

“I have mom guilt at least once a day, if not more! I am often working from home, and when I’m in the house at my computer and I hear the kids in the next room, I always get a pang of guilt. It’s a really hard balance. Some of the things that I’ve found to help: family dinner is one of my non-negotia-

bles. I sit with the girls during dinner and catch up on their days. I also do bedtime every night. It’s rare that I will miss either of those things. I often turn down evening events because dinner and bedtime is really important to me. Yes, I miss out on some really fun and cool stuff, but it’s important to me to be present for those moments in a consistent way. I also do drop-off every morning, unless I have a completely un-movable meeting, which is rare at that hour. I find having those baked-in, set moments with the girls each day makes it easier for me to be fully present at work. When the guilt creeps in, I can logically tell myself that I have that quality time at those

times, so that I can feel OK about not being around when I need to get work done.”

ON HER GO-TO ENSEMBLE “Right now, I’ve been living in Kule shirts (striped, solid, long sleeve, short sleeve, you name it!) with high waisted wide leg jeans or green utility pants, and loafers or white sneakers, with a cable knit sweater or field jacket thrown around my shoulders in case it’s still chilly. I’ve been loving my Rue de Verneuil tote at the moment for hauling my laptop to the office or into the city for days that I have meetings. I also love my trusty L.L. Bean totes with our AOI logo. And for rainy days, I love my olive green Stutterheim rain jacket or a classic trench.”

ARIEL ON THE CLOCK

The interior designer mama shares fast facts.

MY COFFEE ORDER

Iced vanilla latte! Or an iced tea with a splash of lemonade— my go-to.

FAVE KIDS MOVIE

I love Leo , the Adam Sandler movie on Netflix.

IDEAL DATE NIGHT

Anywhere with my husband is an ideal date night!

FAVE KIDS BOOK

The Bear and Mouse series by Bonny Becker.

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE Olives, pickles, cheese. My kids and I love salty snacks! My husband, not so much.

FAVE LOCAL EATS

Happy Monkey in Greenwich. Amazing margaritas, and the arroz con pollo and veggie selections are delicious.

ON MY NIGHTSTAND

My huge Owala water bottle, my Kindle (I finally became a Kindle person recently and I am obsessed with it!), a stack of physical books that I have yet to get through, La Neige vanilla lip mask, my Canopy humidifier, and Malin + Goetz bergamot B5 hand cream.

JUST PRESS PAUSE

The founder of Mother Untitled, NEHA RUCH is on a mission to rebrand the Career Pause, the ever-growing reality of ambitious women downshifting work while focusing on family life for a season.

9 M I N I spring ‘24 4
photography by CHARLIE JULIET PHOTOGRAPHY interview by KATE KIRBY

THANK YOU FOR INVITING US INTO YOUR HOME— TELL US ABOUT THE PLACE!

“When I first designed this home, the process was a labor of love that I took on as a creative outlet while I was still in the early years of having little ones. I pored over every light fixture and fabric swatch, and for that reason, every little nook takes me back to where we were when we found it. I would say the space is fun, meaningful, and open.”

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ROOM IN YOUR HOME WHERE YOU SPEND THE MOST TIME?

“We have a big cream sectional in the living room and it’s an I-told-you-so moment because everyone shook their heads when I picked white, but you’ve got to know your family and what works (and doesn’t) for you. My kids love working at tables, so they reserve the mess for elsewhere. Our white couch feels like an adult luxury now, even when we’re all curled up watching Is It Cake? or the kids jump on it.

“ The reality is that a career pause is not a life pause.”

women recalibrating work for a season and thinking out loud about the shifts. Like many of us elder millennials, I derived a lot of identity and pride from my career in advertising and brand marketing in my 20s. I attended business school at Stanford, and when I graduated, landed what, on paper, seemed like my dream job. Still, when I had my first son, I found something I’d been looking for a long time— a different purpose and an opportunity to reset. When I shared with family and friends I was choosing to downshift and eventually pause my work to be a ‘stay-at-home mom’ for a chapter, I was blown away by the stigma that surrounded this decision. I heard everything from ‘What will you do all day?’ to ‘Did you waste your business school degree?’ At the time, the Lean In Movement and Girl Boss Era were loud, and so I wanted to create a platform that shifted the narrative for women who were choosing to pause for a period so that they would be able to feel the confidence they deserved.

TELL US HOW YOU’RE REBRANDING THE CAREER PAUSE.

WE ARE SO INSPIRED BY MOTHER UNTITLED— BIG FANS OVER HERE! CAN YOU WALK US THROUGH YOUR JOURNEY OF STARTING THIS MOVEMENT FOR AMBITIOUS WOMEN LEANING INTO FAMILY LIFE?

“That means so much. Women like you and your readers help this movement by reshaping the collective image of ambitious

“For too long, if we took our foot off the gas, we were counted out, but the reality is that a career pause is not a life pause. We are still growing in a chapter focused on family life, often in incredible new ways that were unimaginable to us before. The minute-to-minute caregiving demands personal growth and leadership skills of a different kind. Other stages allow you new opportunities to network—whether it’s in

the drop-off line or the PTA—learn what you care about in various forums from volunteering to social media, and explore new hobbies and interests. The reality of a career pause for modern women is that our previous work experience doesn’t evaporate. We add new experiences and sharpen our perspective, and we can emerge from it more robust and with a more expansive identity.”

WHAT DO YOU WANT MOMS TO KNOW WHO MIGHT BE CONSIDERING A CAREER PAUSE?

“First, if you need or want to pause or downshift your career for a chapter, congratulations on listening to yourself, tuning into what feels right for right now, and making that bold choice. Anything is a transition, so there will be one, and there will be dull moments, just like at work, but you can walk through this as a train stop to consider how you want to grow and how to enjoy this time. I always want you to know your work is of immense value to your household, so don’t fall into the trap of believing you don’t deserve support or that you are entirely dependent on your partner; they depend on you, too. You are allowed to enjoy this stage of life and set it up so you can thrive alongside your kids, and remember, this is one part of a long career journey, and there are tools and resources available to support you when and if you’re ready to return to paid work.”

FOR STAY-AT-HOME PARENTS, THAT DIFFICULT QUESTION OF ‘WHAT DO YOU DO?’ OFTEN COMES UP. HOW WOULD YOU ADVISE MOMS TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION, THOSE WHO’VE PAUSED THEIR CAREERS AND TRANSITIONED TO STAY-AT-HOME LIFE?

“ For too long, if we took our foot off the gas, we werecounted out.”

“It is the universal stumbling block that has come up in countless interviews with women in our community. In our culture, ‘What do you do?’ has come to stand in for ‘Who are you?’ which is unfortunate, but I don’t think we will shift suddenly. I dive into this more in [The Power Pause book], but you can find a script for answering ‘What do you do?’ in the Mother Untitled library. The big trick is to say, ‘Right now, I’m focusing on…’ because it grounds the conversation on what you’re working on for this chapter and leaves the door open. While scripts can feel contrived, language matters, and having words that help you feel confident in what you’re doing lets you walk through the world and have the conversations that will help this time away from the workforce feel expansive.”

CAN YOU GIVE US THE RUNDOWN ON THE STAY-AT-HOME VS. WORKING MOTHER “WARS” AND HOW THEY’RE HOLDING WOMEN BACK?

“My understanding is the ‘wars,’ as they were dubbed, can be traced back to media and advertising in the 1970s, 80s, and early 90s. In the second wave of feminism, there were tremendous efforts to show women’s capacity in the workforce. Still, fighting for that vital opportunity, culture cemented an archetype of the ‘stay-at-home mother’

as the opposite— upending tradition. The media caught onto that, so the headlines started spiraling, and we started to see that power chasm grow. Furthermore, we saw women at home defend their choice by saying it was better for their kids, and we saw women in the workforce say they were modeling ambition for their kids, and when we make it about the kids, it becomes intensely defensive. Mother Untitled’s first-ever study of American women on career pauses that we commissioned in 2023 [found] that 1 in 2 women working out of the home want to downshift in the next two years, 1 in 3 women working out of the home are planning to pause in the next two years, and according to a Harvard Business Review, 90% of women want to return to the paid workforce eventually. So we are more alike than we are different, and I think the fractures prevent us from coming together to support each other in the myriad of ways mothers need support in the workplace and at home.”

the right decision for him as a child; I did it because it was the right decision for me as a human. I wanted the headspace to enjoy those early parenting years, work on my new marriage and its adjustment to family life, and grow as a person. And I did. If I were to look back, my superpower was selftrust and intuition that this pause would lead me to where I was meant to be next. Still, my time outside the traditional workforce meant figuring out who I was without a title and a salary— and I think that might be my superpower now.”

HOW HAS THE TRANSITION BEEN TO RETURN TO WORKING AFTER THAT PAUSE?

“ Until I had my son, I sought a lot of approval and self-worth from what I did. ”

LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL CAREER PAUSE. YOU PAUSED YOUR CAREER AND SALARY FOR 5 YEARS. WHAT LED UP TO THAT DECISION FOR YOU AND WHAT WERE YOUR BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS FROM THAT EXPERIENCE?

“Until I had my son, I sought a lot of approval and self-worth from what I did. When I had my son, I finally felt like the best thing I could be was myself. I didn’t pause my career because I thought it was

“I knew when I was ready to dial back up more work out of the home. My kids had aged into a more extended school day and enjoying more after-school activities and culture was ready for this work. Yet, it was still an adjustment. I had to reconcile that I couldn’t be the parent at pick-up anymore, which means I don’t have the same involvement with the parent community I miss. I draw on a lot of the lessons I learned from my time away from the workforce, though mostly, that this is what works for our family right now, and I will get to recalibrate over and over again.”

YOU’VE ALSO MENTIONED THIS GRAY AREA THAT EXISTS IN BETWEEN THE NOTIONS OF STAY-AT-HOME AND WORKING. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS AND HOW IT’S CHANGING THE NARRATIVE?

“I think the gray area is such a hugely unifying opportunity for women. The black-and-white notions of ‘stay-athome’ and ‘working’ mother no longer apply with so many women pausing, downshifting, and existing in the vast in-between of entrepreneurship, freelance, consulting, and part-time work. Suppose we can reexamine these blackand-white notions and think about how we shift our priorities and ambitions at any time. In that case, we can change to a model where we open up more choices and come together around the universal fact that there’s no one right way besides the right way that works for you and your family.”

YOU’RE RELEASING A BOOK SOON, THE POWER PAUSE! CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE BOOK AND WHAT WE CAN EXPECT TO FIND INSIDE?

“It is available for pre-order [now] and coming out in the new year on January 14th—9 years after I became a mother and 8 years after I started this work—a reminder that none of this work is overnight. The book combines personal narrative and insight with interviews with real moms and expert guidance. It is a first-of-its-kind guide for women to walk through a career pause. It follows the arc of preparing for the identity and financial shifts, enjoying the time at home by making it also about you, and finally using the time to network, explore, and return to work should you wish with confidence.”

YOU’VE SAID THAT IT CAN FEEL REALLY DIFFICULT TO PUSH THIS WORK

M I N I spring‘24 100

FORWARD—YOUR MISSION TO REWRITE WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A STAY-AT-HOME PARENT. TELL US WHY THAT IS; WHAT DO YOU THINK NEEDS TO CHANGE?

“When I first started, this mission was almost considered ‘controversial’ or ‘anti-feminist’ in an era when we were rightfully trying to uplift women in the workforce. Anything related to stay-athome motherhood seemed like I was defending tradition, and it felt like an uphill battle trying to convince people that if we can infuse dignity and respect into career pauses for caregiving, we can help women make supported choices. Ultimately, they will have fewer penalties for returning to the workforce. But things have changed immensely over the 8 years I’ve been doing this. I’m actually really hopeful about this moment we’re in, where, post-pandemic, in the midst of a flurry of layoffs and a childcare crisis, men and women are looking around, realizing that something’s not working, and we’re open to new ways to think about work and family. The moment is ripe for change.”

HOW AMAZING TO HAVE YOUR OWN CHILDREN WATCH YOU LEAD THIS MOVEMENT FOR MOMS. IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR KIDS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

“To be kind, always. No matter what you do for work, paid or unpaid, if you’re a good person, you’ll sleep well at night. And after that, don’t let anyone tell you what you care about isn’t necessary. It’s often the problems that are overlooked, that you uniquely notice, where your voice matters.”

NEHA ON THE CLOCK

The Mother Untitled founder shares fast facts.

MY COFFEE ORDER

Iced americano with a splash of almond milk and a pump of vanilla.

FAVE KIDS MOVIE

The Parent Trap .

NOW WATCHING Ozark . Waiting for The Morning Show !

FAVE KIDS BOOK

Matilda .

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE Poland Springs lime sparkling water.

FAVE LOCAL EATS

Don Angie.

NOW LISTENING

Taylor Swift, You Belong with Me. My daughter is obsessed!

IF I HAD MORE TIME I would design a physical space for women to gather.

GUILTY PLEASURE

Ubers, Abby Jiminez books, a glass of prosecco and a back rub at Spa Bene while I get an express manicure.

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