Mini Magazine Summer 2021, Lea Michele

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FO R T H E M O D E R N PA R E N T

L E A

COVER MOM M

E IC H E L

Mini Royalty N U R S E RY FIT FOR A LITTLE PRINCE

INSIDE A

T H E AC T R E S S A N D S I N G E R TA L KS L I F E WITH SON EVER— P LU S , A N E W ALBUM!

The Dads

Behind the Hottest New Brand in

Baby Gear

T V Host

Lilliana Va z q u e z ’ s

Six Year Journey to

Baby


Made for little foodies. high chair that turns into a play chair

non-toxic FDA grade silicone easy for little mouths to sip

easy for little han9s to grip

dishwasher safe

meetlalo.com


RADAR

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MINI

B E T W E E N M E M O R I A L DAY A N D L A B O R DAY, A M E R I C A N S E AT OV E R 7 B I L L I O N H OT D O G S .

ON THE EDITOR’S LIST

FUNBOY has the best pool floats and sprinklers for the season, and now it’s time for baby to get in on the water action! This FUNBABY Private Jet Float features a steering wheel with a horn to honk, wings to sail, and an overhead shade to keep them protected from ol’ Mr. Sun! —funboy.com

THIS JUST IN

PARACHUTE BABY Home goods favorite Parachute recently expanded their adorable assortment of baby and nursery goodies, including all OEKO-TEX certified swaddle blankets, crib sheets, bandana bibs, and changing pads. In addition to their hit collab with children’s clothing label Rylee + Cru, Parachute has also partnered with Oeuf to introduce eco-friendly, design-forward nursery furniture worth coveting, like their beautiful Sparrow Crib and 6-Drawer Dresser. —parachutehome.com

FROM OUR FRIENDS AT

Yoto Player comes a brand-new collection of Five Minute Disney Stories, perfect for bedtime or just a quick, imaginative rest. From Moana to Mickey to Anna and Elsa, there’s plenty for kids to explore in this five card series of short stories, read by a range of dynamic storytellers. Cards priced at $8.99; Available at us.yotoplay.com

M I N I s u m m e r ‘21


Cal

SAFE AC T I V I T I E S TO T R Y THIS SEASON

S O C I A L LY D I S TA N T P L AC E S A N D E V E N T S TO V I S I T

MINI MUST-HAVE ▶

This Maison Me swimsuit is perfect for those dog days of summer ahead!

Spend your Tuesday mornings stimulating the senses through play and music this summer with Union Square Play in their free event series at NYC’s Hudson Yards!

Visiting Chicago this summer? Enjoy a fantastic fireworks show every Wednesday and Saturday night at Navy Pier!

Take a driving tour through popular animatronic dinosaur exhibit Jurassic Quest at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena July 23-August 1.

Celebrate storytelling in its many forms on NYC’s Little Island July 2125, along with singers, songwriters, musicians, poets, and more!

ON THE EDITOR’S LIST

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TURNER AND HOOCH ▶

M I N I s u m m e r ‘21

The TV series adaptation of the 1989 classic Tom Hanks film Turner & Hooch comes to Disney+ this month, featuring a tightly-wound detective (Josh Peck) who solves crimes with his oversized, junkyard dog named Hooch. —disneyplus.com


For life at home.


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F E AT U R E S

with parents around the world, style, and more

LIVING

F O L LOW

MINI Be sure to follow Mini on Instagram! We’re sharing behind the scenes peeks at making the magazine, new kids products and collections, and much more! Find us on Instagram: @minimagazine

BABY+KIDS

THE MAGAZINE

25 SUMMER BABY NAMES TO USE THIS YEAR If you’re expecting a little one this season, these baby names might just fit the bill! 30 BEAUTIFUL BABY NAMES INSPIRED BY THE BEACH Beach lover? These summer-loving baby names are perfect for your Mini. 20 QUESTIONS WITH AUDWELL FOUNDER LAUREN MAAT Meet the new mom behind the new, sustainable kids furniture line that created the best learning tower.

THIS NYC COUPLE CREATED A BOLD NURSERY WITH ZERO DEMO You won’t believe the makeover on this couple’s spare bedroom, with no demo whatsoever!

minisclusives LOG ON TO

MINI Find all of this and more on our website!



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21 | THE STYLE SPOT A

summer selection of sandals and splash-ready suits 14 | 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

27 | MOM It’s the style spot

for all of you chic Mini moms from bump to beyond 28 | DOEN X ERGOBABY

Infuse your baby carrier with a dose of dainty florals 30 | IN THE BAG Babiators

founder Molly Fienning shows us what’s inside her rainbow Cesta bag

32 | TECH KIDS Discover the

latest and greatest from the Mini tech sphere

35 | BOOK CLUB Beat bore-

dom this summer with this stack of new kids reads!

36 | ANASTASIA GANIAS The Fancy Peasant founder and soon-to-be mom of three goes on the clock with Mini



MINI-MAGAZINE .com Discover daily content, interviews, and more in between issues.

Exclusive interviews, Mini fashion, Mom hacks—

All in one place.


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50 | DISNEY X TUBBY TODD Make your bathtub the most magical place on earth with this super fun soap set 52 | HEALTH The latest from

the wellness world— including Yumi kids vitamins and Holle organic pouches

41 | ON THE SCENE Find the

hottest new baby gear, from white linen car seats to a collab with the Bellas!

45 | BELLAS X COLUGO Former Mini cover moms Brie and Nikki Bella debut their first baby gear collab!

42 | CLEK LINEN Just in

46 | SCOOP Learn all about

time for summer, this new eco-friendly fabric is a musthave for car seats!

the latest Maisonette label, a creative subscription, and Disney bathtime

54 | WHOLE NEW WORLD Cover mom Lea Michele opens up about her pregnancy, birth, and navigating life with son Ever


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76 | MY JOURNEY TO BABY

64 | FIT FOR A KING Celebrity nursery designer Vanessa Antonelli curates a royal space for this Mini prince 72 | HELLO LALO Mini catch-

es up with the CEO of HATCH Collection at her West Village home

Style expert and TV host Lilliana Vazquez recaps her long, winding road to welcoming her first baby this summer 82 | UNEXPECTED BLISS

Blogger and influencer Kathleen Barnes talks her parenting style, raising a family in the South, and what she didn’t see coming

88 | FANCY FOOTWORK

NYC-based mom of three Jessie Loeffler Randall gives us a tour of her first retail store in Manhattan 94 | FAMILY BY DESIGN Fashion and interior designer Erin Fetherston offers pointers on putting together family spaces


Life equals Style SHOP SPRING >

hatchcollection.com


MINI Founder and Editor in Chief K aitlyn K irby Cover Photo graphy Charlie Juliet Photography Cover Hair M egan M otter Cover Makeup Shanaya “N ini ” Hewitt Editorial Team Contributing Photo grapher I v y R eynolds

M ini O ffices M ini M agazine Email | hello@mini-magazine.com Web | w w w.mini-magazine.com M ini M agazine is a digital lifest yle publication for the moder n parent available online at w w w.mini-magazine.com. All r ights reser ved. No par t of this publication may be reproduced, distr ibuted, or transmitted in any for m or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other elec tronic methods, without the pr ior wr itten per mission of the publisher, except in the case of br ief quotations embodied in digital and pr int reviews. Copyr ight © 2021 M ini M agazine.


serenaandlily.com


Editor

INSIDE LOOK: (On Right) Summer cover mom Lea Michele shared an Insta photo of our shoot day with her son Ever! (Below) Our family went on our first vacation in almost two years and I already need another one— but here’s to going places again!

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Sweet summertime! I hope you’re all enjoying your time in the sunshine, playing in the pool, and doing whatever it is makes you happy during this gorgeous season! Our family took our first vacation in nearly two years and it felt so wonderful to get back to a place we love by the water. We have an inspiring lineup in this summer issue, with moms like fashion and interior designer Erin Fetherston (I am obsessed with her home!), Jessie Loeffler Randall, the designer behind the eponymous celebrity-loved footwear brand,

A LETTER FROM MINI’S FOUNDER K AT E K I R BY

Kathleen Barnes of Carrie Bradshaw Lied, and cover mom Lea Michele who opens up about her intense pregnancy, unexpected delivery, and how she’s getting back into the recording studio to release her first-ever lullaby album, Forever, later this fall! There’s even a nursery fit for a little prince inside and I just know you’ll love every page! Wishing you all a memorable rest of your summer (we’re into the Dog Days!) living life with your Minis!

E M A I L M I N I ’ S F O U N D E R A N D E D I T O R I N C H I E F AT K AT E @ M I N I - M A G A Z I N E . C O M

M I N I s u m m e r ‘21


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

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


WILD SIDE

EDITOR’S LIST

I’ve been loving this bold Animal Spots collection from Solly Baby! —sollybaby.com

CLEAN MACHINE

MINI

This new 3-in-1 Air Purifier + Sound Machine + Nightlight filters out the bad stuff. —frida.com

Erin Gates x Olive & Cocoa Arrangement, oliveandcocoa.com ◀ LUCKY CHARM

Mama jewelry is always a must and this gold charm bracelet by Zoe Chicco x Ariane Goldman is a stunner. —zoechicco.com

LINEN LOVER

I live for anything linen in the summer and these eco-friendly French linen kids tees are a must. —alexcrane.co

◀ SUN BLOCK

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I love every shade of these adorable kids sunglasses— they even had a Bonpoint collab! —izipizi.com


SIRONA M WITH

The only smart-tech convertible car seat that provides essential alerts to keep baby safe while you drive and when you arrive.

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


You can Framebridge just about anything. framebridge.com


T H E S P OT TO SHOP FOR THEIR M I N I WA R D R O B E

Style

N AT I V E J E F F E R S O N B LO O M SANDAL SHUFFLE SUMMER SUITS

◀ SUSTAINABLE SHOES

C L I C K TO SHOP THE NEW JEFFERSON B LO O M S H O E S !

These new kicks are really going places! The Kids Jefferson Bloom shoes by Native ($40) are made with repurposed algae using Rise by Bloom technology and feature a perforated upper, shock absorbent sole and a rubber rand and toecap made with recycled materials. The innovative process to craft one pair of the earth-friendly edition of the brand’s classic Jefferson shoe helps to restore clean air and water back into the environment. This slip-on style is easy to clean and comes in 8 bright shades to match every Mini personality! —nativeshoes.com


SUMMER SUITS

Suit up this season with these adorable Mini swimwear picks for your trips to the pool or beach!

FRUIT FRENZY

Now’s the time to rock all of your fave fruits at the pool! Above: $23; Sunblock Swim Trunks; hannaandersson.com; Below: $33.99; Cross Back One-Piece, teacollection.com

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AYE AYE CAPTAIN

CHECK IT OUT

This one-shoulder suit comes adorned with three sweet bows. $39.99; jcrew.com

Gingham is the unofficial summer print and these follow suit (oh!). $10; target.com

SEEING GREEN

STAR BRIGHT

These avocado print swim trunks will be a hit all season. $50; maisonette.com

This sunny swimsuit was made for days spent in the sand. $64; pearlstreetswim.com


Capturing the beauty, simplicity and magic of childhood. S H O PP E H R .CO M


int r o c u d ing

®

a paci fie r f o r t im e- s t rap pe d pa r e n t s w it h t as t e . www.doddleandco.com @doddleandcom pany #becausebabies


SANDAL SHUFFLE

We’re headed into the heat of the summer, but these sweet sandals will keep your Minis nice and cool on the go.

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1. TECH TOES

3. CRAYON COOL

5. ICY BLUE

$29.90; Kids Technical Sandals, zara.com

$38; Charley Crayola Block Child Sandals, nativeshoes.com

$10; Mini Amalfi Frosted Jelly Sandal, cottonon.com

2. SCENTED SANDAL

4. SUNSHINE SHOES

6. OLIVE RAD

$55; Mini Melissa Jump Jelly Sandal, nordstrom.com

$40; Freedom Moses Two Band Slide, Mikado, maisonette.com

$9; Faux Leather Double Buckle Toddler Sandals, oldnavy.com M I N I s u m m e r ‘21



J U S T F O R YO U MAMA, FROM B U M P TO B E YO N D

Mom

LO V E S H AC K FA N C Y X SUPERGA D O E N B A BY C A R R I E R T H E A F T E R B I R T H B OX

◀ FUN WITH FLORALS

LoveShackFancy, the rapidly-growing womenswear label by Rebecca Hessel Cohen, has teamed up with Superga in a fabulously floral collaboration! Designed in classic LoveShackFancy bloom-bursting prints and featuring exquisite details like custom laces, and gold-tone eyelets, the collection includes styles for women, men, and Minis too! Prices start at $65 for this fun collab which is available now on LoveShackFancy.com and superga-usa.com. Outfit your feet for days spent basking on the beach in the sunshine or dancing in the moonlight all summer long! —loveshackfancy.com C L I C K TO SHOP THE NEW LSF X SUPERGA CO L L E C T I O N !

M I N I s u m m e r ‘21


THIS JUST IN

DOEN BABY CARRIER LA-based women-owned clothing brand DÔEN recently launched a limited edition carrier collection with industry favorite, Ergobaby. Born from the two brands’ shared desire to support women through their ever-changing seasons of life, the collection includes Ergobaby’s most popular carrier styles: Omni 360 Carrier, Aura Wrap Carrier, and the Doll Carrier. Three new DÔEN prints were created for this special collab, bringing delicate, floral blooms to one of your most-used baby gear essentials. Available now on ergobaby.com.

RIGHT NOW WE’RE LOVING

The Fourth Phase AfterBirth Box (Starting at $150) filled with 11 to 12 organic, non-toxic, phthalate-free, cruelty-free and sustainably-sourced products from woman-owned companies to help new moms physically, mentally, and emotionally during the exhausting “Fourth Trimester.” For every box sold, the brand also donates a box to new moms in shelters in the US and Sub-Saharan Africa. —fourthphasebox.com

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RAFFIA VISOR

“I try to walk everywhere I can, so I usually pack my beautiful Marysia raffia visor so my face doesn’t get too much sun in a day.” $179; marysia.com

CITRUS SPARKLE

“A pair of my friend Natalie’s bright & playful citrus earrings. If I’m heading out to dinner after work, I put them on to dress up my outfit on a summer night.” $36; holstandlee.com W H AT ’ S I N T H E B A G

Molly Fienning MINI SUNNIES

“Two pairs of Babiators sunnies for my sons, Sawyer and Fox. The moment one is handed a pair of shades, the other one asks for his too. Same with swim goggles.” $22; babiators.com

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The Charleston-based mom of two and founder of Babiators and Red Clay spills the contents of her rainbow stripe Cesta bag.

RAINBOW STRIPE LUNCHPAIL

cestacollective.com

MARGARITA SALT

“Our new Red Clay Spicy Margarita Salt. The first premium drink salt. It’s delicious, clean, and it brings the party wherever it goes.” $18; redclayhotsauce.com

ROSELAND SUNGLASSES

$375; lowercasenyc.com


Bugaboo Ant

Your Greatest Travel Companion


T H E L AT E S T F R O M THE MINI TECH SPHERE

Tech

S AG O M I N I B OX F R I D A 3 - I N - 1 TO U C H L E S S THERMOMETER

MINI MUST HAVE

SICK DAY SAVER

The new 3-in-1 Ear, Forehead + Touchless Thermometer is the ultimate multi-use infrared thermometer, delivering accurate temperature readings in one second. Seamlessly move from in-ear to forehead checks and detect high temps with color-coded screens and sound alerts (which can be silenced during nap time!). Use the IR thermometer on both children and adults from a safe distance, plus check the room or a surface temperature in touchless mode—yes, even bottles! —frida.com

RIGHT NOW IN TECH KIDS

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Packaged with everything a preschooler needs for hours of creative, educational play, Sago Mini Box ($15/month). offers two subscription options to keep the fun coming to your door all year long. Each box features reusable packaging (even the shipping box turns into a prop!), three activities, and a collectible Sago Mini figurine! —sagominibox.com


C R E ATO R O F T H E L I T T L E N O M A D P L AY M AT

Super-so, hand-illustrated, foam mats reminiscent of an heirloom rug.

THEHOUSEOFNOA.COM



Book Club

School’s out! Pick up a stack of these new children’s books to keep their little minds entertained and you just might find you enjoy the tales too!

FOR FEELINGS

SHADY BABY

by Gabrielle Union-Wade and Dwayne Wade Jr. Come along as this shady baby learns to navigate hurt feelings after a frustrating park visit! EDITOR’S PICK

THE BENCH

by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex In her first children’s book debut, the Duchess of Sussex captures the special relationship between father and son. FOR RHYMING

PIGS AT A PARTY

by Hans Wilhelm Come along as three little piggies go to a party!

FOR LESSONS

FOR MOMS

KINDNESS WITH CONFUCIUS

HOW TO EAT WITH ONE HAND

by Duane Armitage Even little ones have big questions about life, so why not learn from one of the world’s greatest minds? Read about feelings, how to treat others, and more!

by Christine Flynn and Emma Knight Includes over 80 simple, delicious recipes for every stage of new motherhood.


ON MY NIGHTSTAND

My favorite picture of my parents back in the day and a pic of me and my dad at my wedding that I absolutely love. A vintage Hermes catch-all tray, a mason jar full of water, and a book. LAST BOOK I READ

ANASTASIA GANIAS MINI SPENT TEN MINUTES WITH THE

soon-to-be mom of three, olive oil queen, and founder of Fancy Peasant (fancypeasant.com), covering every base from her typical coffee order, to her favorite kids book (she’s never read it without crying), to pregnancy cravings (we love this one too!), plus the apps she uses most!

Untamed by Glennon Doyle. CAN’T STOP LISTENING

Peaches. Thanks, Justin. TO


Meet the all-new Bugaboo Lynx our lightest full-size stroller


ON THE CLOCK GROWING UP, I WANTED TO BE AN FAVORITE KIDS MOVIE

Actress.

Moana. FAVORITE KIDS BOOK

I Love You the Purplest. I’ve never read it without crying.

CURRENTLY WATCHING

NBA playoffs. I’m legit a boy mom and wouldn’t have it any other way. ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE

Lemon, green apples, celery, wild greens, vegan butter, feta, phillo, local eggs, almond milk, sprouted breads, probiotics, jalapenos, spinach, and capers.

IDEAL DATE NIGHT

Bottega flat sandals, Jennifer Fisher gold hoops, Eterne tees, Beyond Yoga pregnancy leggings, Ganni dresses, and silk kimonos that can carry me from the beach straight to dinner feeling chic.

FAVORITE LOCAL SHOP

Watermelon, anything citrus, and everything bagels with cream cheese and thickcut tomato slices.

Facials regularly by Judith Desiree and blowouts. GUILTY PLEASURE

Sunset dinner near the beach where I live sipping on fine wine and fresh, local foods— Perfection. Provisions Sag Harbor. It’s heaven and they sell my oil now which is a dream come true for me!

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WARDROBE STAPLES

PREGNANCY CRAVINGS

FAVORITE LOCAL RESTAURANT

Ambroeus and Duryea’s.

Sant

Instagram, Splice, Spotify, Podcasts.

APPS I USE MOST

TYPICAL COFFEE ORDER

with nut milk.

Iced coffee




on the

Scene

B A BY G E A R E V E R Y PA R E N T NEEDS NOW

C L E K L I N E N C A R S E AT B E L L A S X CO LU G O

BURST OF BLOOMS

C Y B E X S I M P LY F LO W E R S

On a roll with stunning new collaborations (including a tropical printed launch with DJ Khaled), CYBEX has just introduced a burst of blooms for their hit baby gear, including their Priam Lux Carry Cot and Cloud Q car seat. The Simply Flowers collection is available in three sophisticated shades— Dream Grey, Nude Beige, and the most joyful color of all, Pale Blush. Add accessories like the cozy Footmuff or grab a Changing Bag adorned with the signature glossy 3D floral appliques for yourself ! —cybex-online.com

AVA I L A B L E I N 3 CHIC HUES F R O M B LU S H TO N U D E !

M I N I s u m m e r ‘21


CLEK SNOW Clek, the award-winning car seat brand from Toronto, has introduced a premium white linen blend just in time for summer! PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF CLEK

T H I S FA B R I C I S S TA I N , M O I S -

SUPER CLEAN First and Only

TURE, AND ODOR R E S I S TA N T !

The new linen blend is the first and only fabric approved and sanctioned by the EPA as disinfectable.

GREEN FACTOR Safe and Sound

C-Zero Fabric is 100% fluorine-free, GREENGUARD Gold Certified, and free of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants.

GOOD GEAR Take Your Pick

The new linen blend is offered for Liing, Foonf, Fllo, Oobr, and Olli seats.

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BASE COLOR Two Neutrals

The new colorways from Clek are available in Marshmallow, with a black base, and Snow, with a white base.


available at Nordstrom

stroll on Whether it be an all day outing on cruise control or just a quick spin around the block, our MIXX is ready for the stroll ahead. With three riding modes, two crazily compact ways to fold, and one sweet, sleek sleeper seat, the MIXX is designed with all the little details in mind so your adventures in parenthood can be that much easier. Happy strolling — in smart style.

learn all about it at nuna.eu



BELLAS X COLUGO Former Mini cover moms Nikki and Brie Bella announce their first baby gear collection with Colugo, including stroller, carriers, and more! PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF COLUGO

COOL COLORS Bold Shades

The Bellas collaboration includes bold colors like a deep burgundy wine and neutral-toned zebra print. A+ ADD ONS Accessorize It

The On the Go Organizer was designed to fit the Colugo strollers and the Bellas love the Zebra Dune print!

WHAT’S INSIDE Styles Galore

The Bellas collab includes fun designs and shades for the brand’s two Strollers, Baby Carrier, Diaper Tote, Bibs, and more!

M I N I s u m m e r ‘21


THIS JUST IN IN THE MINI WORLD

Scoop

M A I S O N M E B A BY M AG I C P L AY B O O K T U B BY TO D D X D I S N E Y

◀ SUMMER IN STYLE

Online children’s retailer Maisonette recently launched their private label baby collection, Maison Me Baby, with mix-and-matchable elevated essentials to take the stress out of dressing your Minis. They’re back this summer bringing together Maisonette’s favorite patterns and coveted silhouettes (think checked rompers and ruffle bodysuits) sized for babies 0-24 months, with designs to match their Maison Me Kids line for a truly adorable sibling twin moment. Pieces start at $14; maisonette.com

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The VISTA’s intuitive design allows for multiple configurations, making transporting a second and third child a breeze – all while strolling like a single.

SAME RIDE. NEW TAILOR. Whether you always roll with neutrals or prefer a pop of color, there’s a VISTA to fit your style. Choose from a wide range of colors, including new innovative textile options with stylish 100% premium leather accents.

uppababy.com


Magic Playbook

The original digital print-and-play kids activities subscription, Magic Playbook is a creative resource for keeping kids ages 2 to 6 both engaged and entertained.

BOREDOM BUSTER

Say goodbye to boredom! This digital print-andplay kids activities was designed to spark a child’s imagination through dramatic and pretend play to make everyday moments extraordinary! Created by moms Caitlin Kruse and Mandy Roberson, Magic Playbook offers seasonal activities, crafts, and sensory ideas, in addition to a monthly collection of themed printables, easy-to-shop supply list, library list, and curated screen time ideas! Take the guesswork out of how to entertain your littles this summer— Magic Playbook is the answer! —magicplaybook.com

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Paint you can feel good about Zero VOC paint & colorants

No hazardous air pollutants

GREENGUARD Gold certified

No toxic air contaminants

Ultra-low odor

No EPA chemicals of concern

Get everything you need to paint, delivered. | Clare.com Color: Make Waves


Disney Bathtime

Turn your bathtub into the happiest place on earth with the new Mickey Mouse clad collaboration from Tubby Todd and Disney!

SPLISH SPLASH FUN

Tubby Todd Bath Co., a line of bodycare basics with sensitive-skinned babes in mind, has partnered with Disney on a limited-edition collection of bath and skincare essentials to help make your bathtub the happiest place on earth. The Tubby Todd x Disney Gift Set includes a Hair + Body Wash, Bubble Bath, and Everyday Lotion in a bright, punchy Citrus Splash scent, all featuring everyone’s favorite Disney character, Mickey Mouse! —tubbytodd.com

C L I C K TO SHOP THE T U B BY TO D D X DISNEY CO L L A B !

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Life moves fast. Our feature-packed, yet lightweight, G-Series strollers will become your ideal travel companion for quick jaunts or jetsetting journeys. Protect it with our TravelSafe Travel Bags for peace of mind on all your adventures. uppababy.com


T H E L AT E S T I N THE WELLNESS WORLD

Health

YUMI KIDS BITEAMINS H O L L E O R G A N I C B A BY FOOD POUCHES

MINI MUST HAVE

YUMI BITEAMIN

Struggling to get your Minis to eat their veggies? The new Yumi Biteamins could be a huge help! Made for toddlers 2+ and powered by Yumi+, the brand’s proprietary, science-backed formulation, these little wonders include 21 key vitamins and minerals from 15 whole vegetables and fruits. —helloyumi.com

RIGHT NOW WE’RE LOVING

A staple in the organic baby food market for over 85 years, Holle is known for their toddler milk drinks, cereals, and snacks. Now the brand has introduced organic pouches— six tasty recipes with animal-themed names like Carrot Cat and Panda Peach, all made with organic fruits, vegetables, and grains sourced from Italy. —holleusa.com

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#COVERMOM

WHOLE NEW

WORLD Actress and singer LEA MICHELE welcomed her sweet baby boy, Ever, last year after an intense pregnancy that ultimately led to an unexpected C-section delivery. Now the new mom shares how her whole world has changed upon her parenthood debut, including a career shift as she heads back into the recording studio for the release of her first-ever lullaby album, Forever, a compilation of reimagined pop songs and classics slated for this fall.

photography by

CHARLIE JULIET PHOTOGRAPHY

makeup by

S H A N AYA “NINI“ HEWITT

hair by

MEGAN MOT TER USING ORIBE AND LIVINGPROOF


fully focused and prepared when he wakes up. Then I go into his room, give him his morning bottle, and get him dressed and ready for the day. After that, we wake up his daddy, the three of us read some books together in bed, and then we all go for a walk. What do you think is the greatest challenge of motherhood so far?

MINI |

Personally, I think the greatest challenge is accepting the fact that not everything is going to be perfect and you’re not always going to know everything and do everything right. I can be very hard on myself (as I think a lot of us mothers and women can be) and I have to remind myself all the time that I’m doing my absolute best, I’m learning each day, he’s growing incredibly well, he’s a strong and happy baby, and that’s what matters the most.

LEA MICHELE |

We’re thrilled to have you on our summer cover! Let’s dive right into your life as a new mom. What does your morning routine look like now with baby Ever?

MINI |

Ever usually wakes up between 6:30 and 7AM. I always set my alarm clock for 6 so that I can have a few moments for myself before he wakes up. I’ll make a cup of coffee and either do some yoga outside quickly or just get back into bed with my coffee, catch up on some emails, and just take a few minutes to center myself so that I can be

LEA MICHELE |

What has surprised you most about motherhood?

MINI |

I think I’ve been the most surprised (but also grateful) for how resilient our bodies are as women. How we can carry our children for nine months and then immediately after they’re born, dive right into motherhood and taking care of them. For me, it was

LEA MICHELE |



breastfeeding, being incredibly handson, how my body was recovering from a C-section and nine months of carrying a baby, and it could still heal itself and be strong and nourish my son all at the same time. It was so beautiful and surprising and something I’m so incredibly grateful for. You’ve touched on your experience with PCOS and an intense pregnancy journey. Can you share what you remember most about that time— what you felt, why you withheld some of that experience?

MINI |

I remember feeling so incredibly discouraged and fearful that my PCOS would affect my likelihood of getting pregnant. Even though we faced our own set of challenges, I just prayed that each obstacle—as challenging as it was—would bring me closer to our future child. It’s a very sensitive issue for many women, so I think I didn’t share my experience for a long time because I was still personally processing it. When you’re filled with that kind of fear, it’s really hard to open up, but I’m grateful that I did because I received so much incredible support.

LEA MICHELE |

What do you want women to know who might be going through a similar experience?

MINI |

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M I N I s u m m e r ‘21


I wish I had just leaned on more people for support and been more open about what I was going through. I would want other women to know that they can feel safe in sharing what they’re going through and that it can help to feel better and less alone.

LEA MICHELE |

How would you describe your birth experience with baby Ever?

MINI |

I ended up having a C-section because my baby was breech. I had a very rough pregnancy, so even though a C-section wasn’t part of my plan, I was just so anxious to finally meet him after everything we had been through. I didn’t even worry because all that mattered to me was meeting my son and having him get here as safely as possible. The doctors and nurses helped me feel very safe and make [the delivery] feel as connected as the experience of a vaginal birth. Although the healing process can be very challenging, my body recovered well. I will never forget the moment I saw my sons face for the first time; it made everything worth it.

LEA MICHELE |

The postpartum stage can be an equally chaotic time. How have you felt going into this “fourth trimester” after welcoming your son?

MINI |

I think the thing I’m the most grateful for was how smoothly my

LEA MICHELE |


Were there some names that you liked and your husband didn’t, and visa versa? Ever has always been one of my most favorite names; I’ve been holding onto it for many years! It was [a name] Zandy and I talked about before he was born and we didn’t tell anyone. It was a very hard secret to keep, but we wanted it to stay between us. Zandy and I were pretty much on the same page with a lot of names, so it wasn’t a very challenging process!

LEA MICHELE |

What is most important to you in raising your son?

MINI |

There are so many things that are important to me in raising our son— I couldn’t pick just one! There are so many things I want to teach him and show him in the world. The most important is that he is happy and feels protected. That’s how my parents made me feel— that I could reach for my wildest dreams and I knew no matter what I tried and what the outcome that they would always be there to support me.

LEA MICHELE |

postpartum went. I mentioned the struggles I faced prior to conceiving and throughout my pregnancy, so thankfully we were blessed with a very peaceful postpartum. I felt very good after a few weeks of healing from my C-section and really enjoyed the quiet time that we had at home with our son. I think the one thing I was not prepared for were the many sleepless nights. They really do build up and after a while, you start to see double. Luckily, that phase is behind us now and we are in a really great rhythm. MINI |

Tell us how you decided on your son’s name.

What are you looking forward to most about raising your son in New York?

MINI |

Zandy and I are both East Coasters and we are so happy to be back in our hometown near

LEA MICHELE |


LEA ON THE CLOCK

KIDS BOOK Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

($5; amazon.com)

N O W W AT C H I N G

“Feel Good [on Netflix].” KIDS MOVIE

“The Little Mermaid.” IF I HAD MORE TIME

“I would work out and meditate more.”

BEFORE KIDS

“I never thought I would give them screen time.” N O W P L AY I N G

“Olivia Rodrigo.”

G U I LT Y PLEASURE

“Dr. Pimple Popper [on TLC].”

KIDS SHOPS

“Amazon.”

COFFEE ORDER

“Black with a splash of almond milk.” FA V E R E S TA U R A N T

“Cookshop.” 156 10th Ave, NYC


our families. I think New York is one of the greatest cities in the entire world and I’m so excited for Ever to be surrounded by so many people who love him. We all experience mom guilt, especially juggling a busy career! When do you find you experience it most and how do you get past it?

MINI |

I just started going back to work into the recording studio and leaving my son for the first time was very challenging. Even though when I’m gone he’s lucky enough to be with his grandma who he loves so much, it’s still so incredibly hard and something that you just can’t explain. Many of my working mom friends told me

LEA MICHELE |

the importance of not only having your own section of life that’s separate from your child, but having your children see you go and do the things that make you the most happy, so that’s what I try and remind myself. Plus, I am so excited to get back to music and create an album that makes me happy work-wise and also will be something that he knows was inspired by him. Last question! If you could give your son one piece of advice, what would it be?

MINI |

To never be afraid to try. Things will either work out or not, but never be afraid to try. Have the strength to always push forward and go for your wildest dreams.

LEA MICHELE |



Fit fo r

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M I N I s u m m e r ‘21


Dreaming of a modern space for their newborn son Romeo, Mike and Lauren Sorrentino worked with celebrity nursery designer Vanessa Antonelli on this showstopper with a subtle royal theme. photography by CHRIS VEITH

a King


THE INSPIRATION

While Mike wanted a space fit for a king (“It is definitely that!”), Lauren was after a subtle prince theme to match the couple’s modern, contemporary home. “I wanted the nursery to keep that feel while still being cozy and baby-friendly; Vanessa brought that vison to life. I also wanted a space that baby Romeo could grow into, so the playroom is absolutely perfect for that.” THE DESIGN

“When I first met with the Sorrentinos about their nursery and playroom, I fell in love with their incredible ceilings in the spaces and knew we needed to highlight them in the designs,” says designer Vanessa Antonelli. “I worked with Barron Designs to create custom beams to go across Romeo’s bedroom and then had Micalizzi Furniture match the exact color of the beams on his crib. The end result is a room that is modern, but feels warm with so many textures and an inviting color palette.”

THE ART

Antonelli played with the royalty theme throughout the space’s artwork. “Once the room was designed, Jessie Rubin worked with me to create two custom oversized canvases. In Jessie’s art, you can see a somewhat hidden crown and “Le Petit Prince,” as well as stars. On the other side of the room is one of my signature, acrylic frames created by Architectural Plastics and we filled it with thousands of tiny, little gold crowns.”




ONE OF A KIND

“Mike and I are obsessed with bubble chandelier. It is such a statement piece,” says Lauren of baby Romeo’s nursery. But that’s not the only stand-out piece in the Sorrentino’s kids spaces. Antonelli kicked it up a notch with custom pieces like printed wallpaper, a daybed, sectional, and swing. “We wallpapered the ENTIRE room, floor-to-ceiling with a custom wallpaper I designed with Spoonflower,” Antonelli shares. “Most clients would be terrified of that, but Mike and Lauren were like, “Cool, let’s do it!”


T H E P L AY R O O M

“Lauren wanted a bed in the room for guests or Romeo’s future sleepovers, but we also needed to accommodate all of the toys he would one day have too, so I designed it playful and fun where the top looks like a house and the team at BuildLane brought it to life for us,” Antonelli says of the custom daybed found in the playroom. The Sorrentino’s play space also includes a pint-sized custom sectional by Micalizzi and Fabricut, plus custom swing, and basketball hoop for baby Romeo. “Bringing spaces to life right now is extra hard due to so many material delays and worker shortages and the Sorrentinos were so patient with all of it,” says Antonelli. “I think it’s safe to say the end result was worth the wait for them, in more ways than one!”



C L I C K TO SHOP THE L AT E S T G E A R F R O M L A LO !

HELLO L ALO

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Motivated by the belief that parents deserve better, former colleagues and new dads MICHAEL WIEDER and GREG DAVIDSON put their heads together to create generational baby gear brand Lalo that is making quite a name for themselves with both their A+ products and service.

M I N I s u m m e r ‘21


We are such fans of Lalo! Can you tell us how the brand came to be?

MINI |

Of course! We used to work together and were catching up over dinner almost three years ago when Greg (dad to Jace, 15 months) mentioned to Michael (dad to Jemma, 17 months) how much trouble his friends were having navigating what to buy for their new baby and how there has to be a way to solve it. Immediately, we got working surveying parents about their experiences and what brands they loved. What stood out quickly was that there were some products parents really liked, but no brands that really stood out. From there we knew there was a huge opportunity to create a generational brand in this space.

WIEDER AND DAVIDSON |

What makes Lalo stand out in the massive sea of baby gear brands?

MINI |

First and foremost is our service. We came up with the idea for Lalo because we believed parents deserved better. They deserved a brand that created a genuine connection and listened to their customers. Our team members go out of their way to make every customer feel special. Whether it’s making a house call to help someone learn the best way to use a product or sending a little something extra to brighten their day. One crazy story to show this was, someone received a Play Table that got damaged in shipping just 45 mins from NYC. So Michael went to hand-deliver them a new table. On his way, he unfortunately got in

WIEDER AND DAVIDSON |

a car accident that totaled his car (he was OK!). He left his car, got in an Uber, and made sure to get the table to the customer. These moments are really memorable and help us stick out amongst the bunch. How do you two work together and what makes you a great team?

MINI |

We are extremely collaborative and we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. From Day One, we wrote down what each of us is responsible for at Lalo which has helped us execute at a powerful level. We also realize that building a business is never easy and that there is a common misconception that co-founders need to be best friends. Best friends however are more susceptible to break ups. To us, we are family and we treat each other with that same level of respect.

WIEDER AND DAVIDSON |

Lalo’s products are as beautiful as they are practical— How do you ensure these two elements stay in sync when developing new products?

MINI |

As new dads, we have a very practical viewpoint on what parents are looking for. We know safety comes first, but that doesn’t mean parents want to jeopardize their aesthetic sensibility. We have a customer advisory council where our customers apply to be a part of an intimate group that does product testing and gives us feedback all along the way. We also have an expert advisory council made up of pediatricians, educa-

WIEDER AND DAVIDSON |


LALO MUST HAVES

tors, dieticians, and other pediatric specialists that validate our product designs to make sure they truly are best in class. What has been the greatest lesson you’ve learned in business thus far?

MINI | THE CHAIR

$215; meetlalo.com

The greatest lesson is to listen intently to your customers. When we started Lalo neither of us were parents, so we were forced to be incredibly objective and listen to parents to make some of our most critical decisions. Now having our own little ones, we have to continue to listen and not just rely on our own experiences.

WIEDER AND DAVIDSON |

What advice would you give to other parents looking to start their own brand?

MINI | FIRST BITES S TA R T E R K I T

$28; meetlalo.com

Only do it if you can have fun. If you are thinking about starting a brand specifically in the juvenile industry and have kids, you need to be able to step back and watch your child use the product and just smile. Whether it’s feeding our kids in the high chair or now starting to do play dough with them at the Play Table, it’s amazing to step back and think, “Wow, we made that for them.”

WIEDER AND DAVIDSON | HUMIDIFIER SET

$150; meetlalo.com

How has Lalo evolved and where do you hope to see it go?

MINI |

T H E P L AY K I T

$250; meetlalo.com

We’re really focused on elevating family homes. We don’t think parents need to lose their own identity when they have a child. We want to make sure every room looks great and serves both the baby’s and parent’s needs.

WIEDER AND DAVIDSON |


You’ll lovebeing beingasked, asked, You’ll love

“How’s the baby “How’s You’ll love being asked, sleeping?” the baby “How’s sleeping?” the baby sleeping?”


“When you’re battling infertility, a bad day feels unbearable; a good day still feels hopeless.”


THE UN P RE DIC TA BLE

JOURNEY TO BABY After a six year battle with infertility and IVF, style expert and Emmy-winning TV host Lilliana Vazquez opens up about the long, winding road toward welcoming her first baby this summer. photography by J OYC E PA R K

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S O N E X P E C T I N G YO U R F I R S T L I T T L E O N E ! C A N YO U S H A R E YO U R F E R T I L I T Y J O U R N E Y W I T H U S ?

My journey to motherhood was challenging to say the least and involved a lot of heartbreak. In 2015, after a simple blood test at the behest of my OBGYN, I began a six-year-long battle with infertility and IVF. At the time, I was 35 and we weren’t thinking of trying to conceive just yet, but that diagnosis changed everything. I went through more than a dozen cycles of IUI/IVF and every failed cycle left me feeling broken. When you’re battling infertility, a bad day feels unbearable. A good day still feels hopeless. There were times where I said I couldn’t do this anymore and I’d stop for a bit. But then this strength and resilience would come out of me, and I’d try again. Finally, in April of this year, I shared with the world that I was pregnant with my first child due in July (any minute now!).

This pregnancy is a complete blessing, but pregnancy after infertility also causes many mixed emotions that we don’t often discuss. There was a large part of my first trimester when I started each day with anxious feelings followed by very difficult questions— Would today be the last day I was pregnant? Would I ever feel Baby M’s kicks? When would I start to replace the fear I felt with joy? And full disclosure, I felt ashamed for feeling this way. It seemed like everyone else who was pregnant on Instagram, in Mom groups, and even my own friends never seemed to feel this way, or at least they didn’t openly share these feelings with me. When your emotions inside don’t match up with the emotions people expect on the outside, it can feel very lonely and scary. But I’ve learned that there’s no right or wrong way to feel in this life changing journey— so give yourself the patience and permission to feel ALL the feels.


H O W D I D YO U U L T I M A T E LY D E C I D E O N I V F A N D W H A T W A S T H E P R O C E S S L I K E F O R YO U ?

At 35, and with an AMH level that was borderline undetectable, I wasn’t left with a lot of options. We quickly moved from IUI to IVF because of the numbers associated with my age and success rates. I’m grateful to have had an amazing doctor that was very honest with me about those numbers and also level-set at the start of each round so I could manage my expectations. IVF is not a cure-all; it works for some and not for others and it’s important to remember that as you enter each cycle. Personally, the shots, medication, and physical part of the process wasn’t what I found most challenging. I was mentally prepared for those challenges and knowing that they had an end date helped me move through those harder days. The part I wasn’t as prepared for was the emotional toll it took on me, my marriage, friendships, work, and my day-to-day life as a whole. Looking back, IVF felt like an emotional fog over even the best of days. Some days, it was light and I could find my way through it; some days, I could barely see what was right in front of my face. The only constant was that it was present every single day. If I could go back, I would work as hard (if not harder) at the emotional wellness pieces as much as I focused on the physical. They work hand in hand towards IVF success. M A N Y O F O U R R E A D E R S M AY N O T K N O W H O W I N F E R T I L I T Y D I S P R O P O R T I O N A T E LY A F F E C T S T H E L A T I N X C O M M U N I T Y. W H A T C A N YO U T E L L U S A B O U T T H I S ?

There’s so much education and access missing from the conventional conversations we have about fertility. My personal experience and research over the last six years also led to learning about how infertility disproportionately affects my community— the Latinx community. I would look around the room in some of the best IVF clinics in the country and rarely would I see another woman of color. It immediately made me ask why? Especially when we know that infertility doesn’t discriminate. It can affect any woman,

regardless of her ethnic background. I quickly realized that the Latinx community does not have the same access, education, or financial resources when it comes to advanced reproductive technologies (ART). There’s also the added burden of having to battle many cultural stigmas that surround sexual and reproductive health and family planning for many Latinx families. 12% of American women ages 15 to 44 have received medical care for infertility between 2006 and 2010, according to the National Survey of Family Growth. But white women were almost twice as likely as Black or Latinx women to have done so. 15% of non-Hispanic white women used medical help to get pregnant, while only 8% of (non-Hispanic) Black women and 7.6% of Hispanic women reported the same. These staggering statistics, along with a deeply personal mission to always use my platform to educate and empower my community, has inspired me to help bring awareness to the unique infertility struggles facing Latinas today. W H A T W O U L D YO U T E L L M O M S W H O M I G H T B E E M B A R K I N G O N T H I S S A M E J O U R N E Y O R W H O M AY B E I N T H E S A M E P O S I T I O N YO U W E R E ?

Make sure that your doctor isn’t just your physician, but your partner. Lean on them. Don’t be afraid to challenge their opinions and ask them all the questions you may have, they are there to help you find success and comfort through this very difficult journey. Sometimes that means you pivot and re-assess. A great doctor will welcome those changes. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all IVF plan. There will also be many moments where you feel completely alone, even with the best of support networks. But feeling alone doesn’t mean you have to further isolate yourself so don’t be afraid to ask for help, even from strangers on the internet! It took me a long time to learn this lesson and I wish I would have learned it sooner. There is a


“The Latinx community does not have the same access to resources when it comes to advanced reproductive technologies.”


“It’s been just the two of us for almost 15 years, so there’s a big transition that’s about to happen in our relationship.”


global community of strong and resilient women who are here, ready to listen, support, and share their kindness as you navigate this very difficult time. Finally, find a therapist that has experience in maternal wellness and IVF. There are so many challenging emotions to navigate through and talking to a professional shouldn’t be a luxury for someone going through IVF, it should be mandatory. W H A T D O YO U T H I N K I S T H E M O S T H E L P F U L W AY T O S U P -

much energy I’ve had, even in this last trimester. I’ve been moving my body and still working a ton. My days at work start with a 4:30am wake-up call and require long hours at the studio, but the structure and schedule of those days along with getting through a live TV show without a hiccup (despite serious baby brain) make me feel successful and more like myself! H O W I S T H E N A M E G A M E G O I N G F O R YO U ? A R E T H E R E S O M E N A M E S T H A T YO U L O V E A N D YO U R H U S B A N D DOESN’T?

PORT SOMEONE GOING THROUGH INFERTILIT Y?

You want to always be empathetic towards the experience, especially if it’s something you’ve never been through. Small, thoughtful “just because” gifts like their favorite dessert or flowers and cards are some easy ways to let someone know you’re thinking about them without forcing a conversation that involves a status report on every shot, appointment, and cycle. While I was appreciative of those calls, they can often create an emotionally draining conversation for the person experiencing infertility. Another great way is planning a fun outing that can serve as a much needed distraction to help them escape the everyday difficulties of IVF. H O W W O U L D YO U D E S C R I B E YO U R P R E G N A N C Y T H U S F A R ?

I’ve been blessed with a very “boring” pregnancy! My doctors says it’s the best kind, but to be honest, after six years of challenges and heartbreak, I think I’ve earned it! I’m not the kind of person to deprive myself of anything food-wise when it comes to my diet, so other than craving Sumo oranges (I would eat so many in a day, the grocery store clerks knew me by name), I haven’t had any crazy cravings. I was hoping the baby would push me to try some fun flavor combos like pickles and milkshakes (my mom’s cravings with me) but this baby just likes to eat, period! I think the one thing that has surprised me is how

We don’t know the gender so names have been twice as hard since we have to have both boy and girl names. We didn’t have any “rules” about names, but one thing we settled on as soon as we found out I was pregnant was that we would honor my Latinx heritage with a Spanish name. So for now, we have one girl name and two boy names to choose from. S I N C E YO U ’ R E S O C L O S E T O T H E B I G D AY, T E L L U S — H O W A R E YO U P R E P A R I N G F O R B I R T H ?

By doing the things everyone tells you not to do— moving into a new home and taking on major renovation and decor projects! I wish I was the kind of person who could sit still and just veg on Netflix, but I love a task and to-do list! In all seriousness, I’m really taking these last few weeks to focus on spending quality time with my partner and savoring every moment as a party of two. It’s been just the two of us for almost 15 years, so there’s a big transition that’s about to happen in our relationship. Prioritizing meaningful conversations, time together, and having fun doing the things we love has been at the top of my prep list. I F YO U C O U L D G I V E YO U R B A B Y O N E P I E C E O F A D V I C E , WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Always ask “why not” instead of “why?” Life will fly by and it’s much more fun to live this way!


UNEXPECTED BLISS

New mom and Carrie Bradshaw Lied founder KATHLEEN BARNES talks parenting style and the surprises of birth.


We’re thrilled to have you in this issue! Let’s dive right into your life as a mom. What does your morning routine look like?

MINI |

My morning routine is typically alarm-free. My 19-month old, Hudson, is my alarm! My husband is a surgeon and has early mornings, so he is usually gone before 7:00AM. When Hudson wakes up and starts chatting, I’ll wash my face, grab him, and bring him downstairs for breakfast. We have breakfast and play time together before getting dressed for the day. Around 9:30, I will hand him off and get started on my work day. KATHLEEN BARNES |

MINI |

How has motherhood changed you?

I have become fiercely protective of my time, particularly work hours. Prior to becoming a mom, Christian and I both worked pretty long hours. I now only have dedicated work time between 9:30AM and 4PM, so I have to really make those hours count. When I’m with my son, I don’t want to be on my phone or computer. I leave them in other rooms so I can fully focus on my time him. I always joke that my worst nightmare is for Hudson to “draw a picture of Mommy,” and the drawing shows me on my phone. No, thank you! KATHLEEN BARNES |

What do you think is the greatest challenge of motherhood?

MINI |

Maintaining your sense of self. We had our first baby at 32, so I had plenty of time to really settle in with my identity, interests, and passions. It’s really important to me not to lose those parts of my life I’ve grown to love so much. KATHLEEN BARNES |


How are you and your husband a great parenting team?

MINI |

I’m team captain in the morning and he’s team captain in the evening. It helps knowing who that default parent is, so there’s very little, “will you change his diaper? Will you prepare him a snack?” We both know who’s in charge, so it feels both fun and freeing. KATHLEEN BARNES |

Looking back to those first few days as a mom, what do you remember feeling? What do you wish you knew or what would you tell yourself?

MINI |

I felt intensely emotional. My husband loves to recount a hormonal moment when I cried to him that he always knew what to do and was so good with the baby, and I felt like an amateur. He said, “I don’t know what I’m doing! I’m pretending to have confidence!” Ha! As a physician, he has seen plenty of newborns as patients. I felt so much less comfortable with Hudson than I expected. I wouldn’t say my “motherly instincts” tapped in right away. I wish I could have told myself, you got this. You may not feel like you know what you’re doing, but neither does your baby! Newborn babies don’t know what gas pains are, what life is outside of the womb. In a way, we are all reborn and we’ll figure it out together. And when all else fails… they won’t remember being a baby (and that’s a pretty important and forgiving part that I will use as long as I can). KATHLEEN BARNES |

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M I N I s u m m e r ‘21


How would you describe your birth experience?

MINI |

Unexpectedly blissful. Which I know is a little obnoxious to say. I went into it with no expectations. The goal was to birth a healthy baby in a hospital with an epidural, and the rest I was going to trust the medical staff to do what was best for mom and baby. I casually rolled into the hospital around 6:30AM with Christian, and he insisted on leaving our bags in the car in case it was a false alarm and they sent us away. We walked into the labor and delivery wing only to find out I was already 8cm dilated. They wheeled me straight to the delivery room, and by the grace of God, the staff worked incredibly fast to get me an epidural before things moved even faster (my water had not yet broken— miracle!). By noon, we had our beautiful baby boy. I credit pilates and yoga for the breathwork and core strength. I really cashed in on those years of reformer pilates! KATHLEEN BARNES |

Tell us how you decided on your son’s name. Were there some names that you liked and your husband vetoed?

MINI |

My husband’s middle name is his mother’s maiden name, Hudspeth. We thought about naming our baby Hudspeth and calling him Hudson or even having a Junior, but ultimately went directly with Hudson. Christian didn’t want to overcomplicate his name KATHLEEN BARNES |


and we both agree it was the right choice. We had another name that was in the running until I gave birth. When I saw his dark head of hair, he just felt more like a Hudson and Christian agreed. However, if I have another little boy, I hope to use our backup name because I still love it!

MOM MUST HAVES A LW AY S I N MY FRIDGE

“Organic milk for Hudson and sparkling water for me!”

You’re from Mississippi! What aspects of your childhood or upbringing do you hope Hudson shares or you hope to pass down to him?

MINI |

“An orchid and photos of Hudson and Christian.”

Yes! Mississippi is the hospitality state, and it’s absolutely true. Even those who don’t have much are still generous with what they have. That welcoming and generous spirit is what I hope we will pass down to him. KATHLEEN BARNES |

ON MY N I G H T S TA N D FA V E K I D S BOOK

“Anything by Nancy Tillman.” COFFEE ORDER

“Iced latte with oat milk.”

Having relocated from California to Georgia, what do you love about living back in South now, especially with a little one?

MINI |

Ultimately, we had to decide what was more important to us: big picture lifestyle or day-to-day life. Big picture, California has it all— mountains, beaches, perfect weather, gorgeous views, incredible food. But day-to-day, the South has so much to offer. We can afford more space, a nicer home, a backyard, two cars with our own parking spots, a laundry room and pantry, the ability to hop in the car and see our extended families, welcoming arms from new friends, and endless warmth and love. Georgia felt like a strong support system for our family without sacrificing opportunities and education. As they say, it takes a village, and I think we knew in our hearts that our village was more likely to have a little Southern charm. We have never regretted moving back to the South, but I won’t deny that the West Coast will always feel like that sparkly prize out of reach. It’s straight KATHLEEN BARNES |

N O W P L AY I N G

“Amber Mark.”

FA V E K I D S SHOW

“Bluey.”

I D E A L D AT E NIGHT FA V E R E S TA U R A N T

“Five & Ten.” 1073 S Milledge Ave, Athens, GA

“Dinner with couples friends and late night cocktails.”


magical along the coast. I am heading back to California for a work trip for the first time since we moved and I truly can’t wait. What is most important to you in raising your son?

MINI |

That he feels loved and supported and respects and appreciates all people. KATHLEEN BARNES |

Has your style changed since becoming a mom?

MINI |

Funnily enough, I’ve become more modest. I used to live for a crop top or denim shorts. Now I just feel so “exposed,” if I’m showing too much skin and prefer to keep it stylish in cropped jeans or midi dresses. I always think, “I’m someone’s mom now.” But truthfully, life is short. Wear the crop top. I mean, who really cares? KATHLEEN BARNES |

As the founder of Carrie Bradshaw Lied, what is the greatest lesson you’ve learned in business thus far?

MINI |

It’s not over until it’s over. I try not to celebrate or count on anything until the contract is signed and the project is completed and paid. Curve balls come left, right, and center and I have learned to expect the unexpected! KATHLEEN BARNES |

Let’s end on a fun note! If you could give Hudson one piece of advice, what would it be?

MINI |

I would likely stick with the advice my artist mom always gave us, “dare to be different.” Don’t be a follower. Stay true to yourself and have confidence in being unique and original. No one is you! After all, confidence is silent, insecurities are loud. KATHLEEN BARNES |


Having grown the renowned, celebrity-loved footwear brand, Loeffler Randall, for more than a decade alongside her husband, there was one more facet of her brand just waiting to be brought to life. We caught up with NYC mom of three JESSIE LOEFFLER RANDALL, in her first-ever retail store to talk design, business, and her most recent motherhood challenge.

FANCY FOOTWORK photography courtesy of LOEFFLER RANDALL


Thank you for inviting us into your Manhattan store! Tell us about the place! What did you envision for the space?

MINI |

In the 16 years since starting Loeffler Randall, I have always dreamt of having this store. We had been keeping an eye out for retail spaces for years and found the perfect place at 10 Prince Street in Nolita, right near our offices in Soho. The store design is focused on spatial simplicity and an edited palette that feels calm, warm, and concise. It’s our brand aesthetic coming to life in a physical space— all of our signature colors, materials, and textures. The store allows us to control our product edit and experience. This is the first time all of our collections—shoes, bags, jewelry, accessories, and capsule ready-to-wear—will be housed under one roof. I worked with Poonam Khanna, Founder and Principal of UNIONWORKS, on the design. Poonam also designed our Soho office; she’s a longtime friend and collaborator. She’s also the nicest human. I love her!

JESSIE LOEFFLER RANDALL |

What are some of your favorite elements in the store?

MINI |

One of my favorite features is the back of the store that is lined with ripple-fold drapery panels that evoke Loeffler Randall’s iconic, hand-made pleats, first created for our best-selling heeled sandal, the Penny. Signature details of the store include the curving walls that softly guide the flow and circulation through the space, and a built-in sofa under a curved archway that divides the space into two distinct zones.

JESSIE LOEFFLER RANDALL |


I think there is a through line in the aesthetic that remains constant over the years. I’m proud that shoes I designed ten years ago are still lovingly worn by our customers. They are well made and their style remains current. People are always telling me how they still wear pairs from years and years ago. In terms of where we are going, I want to continue to be inspired and learn new things. I want to make things that are special and are made in small batches and not be wasteful. I also see us opening another store or two. Retail has been really fun for us.

JESSIE LOEFFLER RANDALL |

What has been your proudest career moment to date?

MINI |

Oh, there have been a lot of them! I’m proud of my team, I’m proud of thriving coming out of 2020, I’m proud of my marriage all these years to my business partner. Little things make me proud like seeing my mom wearing our floral sweatshirt last weekend and bigger things like Jill Biden wearing our shoes on the 4th of July. Lately, my proudest moments are probably the ways in which we have been able to support causes near and dear to our hearts with our For Good campaign.

JESSIE LOEFFLER RANDALL |

We are such Loeffler Randall fans! Can you tell us how the brand came to be?

MINI |

My husband Brian and I started the brand many years ago. I was working in design and he was working as an art director. When we decided to start a line we knew it had to be shoes because shoes have always been my first love.

JESSIE LOEFFLER RANDALL |

How has the brand evolved since it began and where do you hope to see it go?

MINI |



What has been the greatest lesson you’ve learned in business thus far?

MINI |

I think being a leader and running a company forces you to confront all your flaws, all your fears. I’m learning every day! Most enduring lesson is that when I go with my gut and focus on what I love and am excited about it, it works.

JESSIE LOEFFLER RANDALL |

Since you work closely with your husband at LR— can you tell us how you two make a great team?

MINI |

He and I have very complementary skill sets. He can literally conjure up anything and make anything

JESSIE LOEFFLER RANDALL |

come to life, make anything happen. He’s more extroverted. He is the entrepreneur and the business person and I am more of an artist. I think where I’m weak, he’s strong and vice versa. We love to ask— What do you think about the concept of ‘having it all?’

MINI |

I think it’s a myth. No one has it all and the people that seem to are probably struggling with something behind the scenes. It’s important to have compassion and not make assumptions.

JESSIE LOEFFLER RANDALL |

What advice would you give to other moms looking to start their own brand?

MINI |


JESSIE ON THE CLOCK

Make sure to have a business partner. It’s great to have a strong partner who has a different skill set.

JESSIE LOEFFLER RANDALL |

Let’s dive into your life as a mom of three! What do you think is the greatest challenge of motherhood?

MINI |

KIDS BOOK The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes

($6.98; amazon.com)

For me lately, it’s watching them grow up too fast. My twins will be in high school this year. I don’t want a life where they are all grown up and out of the house. I’m happiest when they are with me.

JESSIE LOEFFLER RANDALL |

What helps you to balance motherhood and career?

N O W W AT C H I N G

“Bob’s Burgers.” N O W P L AY I N G

MINI |

I don’t think I have it figured out. Especially this past year where there was zero separation between work and home. I try to spend one-on-one time with each of my kids and snuggle them every single day.

JESSIE LOEFFLER RANDALL |

We all experience mom guilt from time to time. When do you find mom guilt creeps in for you and how do you deal with it?

KIDS MOVIE

“Uncle Buck.” IF I HAD MORE TIME, I WOULD

“Design Time Domino Podcast and my guilty pleasure, True Crime Garage.”

“Do more crafts.”

MINI |

It was much stronger when they were younger. I’ve been feeling a lot less of it this year also because I was home so much.

JESSIE LOEFFLER RANDALL |

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

G U I LT Y PLEASURE

“Diet Coke.”

KIDS SHOPS

“Patagonia.”

MINI |

Be yourself! Everything that makes you different is what makes you special.

JESSIE LOEFFLER RANDALL |

COFFEE ORDER

“Decaf Iced with Oat Milk (and a little cream).” FA V E R E S TA U R A N T

“Jack’s Wife Freda.” 224 Lafayette St, NYC


Fashion and interior designer ERIN FETHERSTON has an unmatched skill for curating beauty wherever she goes, in whatever she does. Now the LAbased mom of two gives Mini the inside scoop on putting together practical family spaces that satisfy the needs for comfort, organization, and style.

FAMILY BY DESIGN

94

M I N I s u m m e r ‘21


photography by IVY REYNOLDS


kitchen where our children have an integrated play space. This flows to the outdoors, so when the weather is nice, there is a good indoor-outdoor experience. Now let’s talk kids rooms! What was your inspiration when creating spaces for your Minis?

MINI |

My older son thrives in open space and craves movement, so we recently got him a bunk bed which he loves to jump off of and the rest of his room has a minimalist Scandi vibe with a lot of open space so he can engage in active play. My two-year-old has a room that reflects his sunshine-y personality with pops of bright colors against a neutral palette and well-defined spaces for play. He loves imaginative play with his stuffed animals, toy cars, and really enjoys snuggling for storytime. ERIN FETHERSTON |

Thank you for inviting us into your home! How would you describe the feel, the design?

MINI |

Our home is a 1920’s tudor that was originally designed by the architect Paul Williams. We love the historic charm of the home and updated it to be a bright and airy space for our family. ERIN FETHERSTON |

Where do you spend the most time in your home?

MINI |

ERIN FETHERSTON |

We spend a lot of time in the

You have a beautiful design aesthetic! How would you describe your interior design style?

MINI |

My style is earthy-modern. I strive to create warm, inviting spaces that feel light and airy with an open flow. I lean towards a minimalist, uncluttered aesthetic, but also try to integrate charm and whim into a space. ERIN FETHERSTON |

Since we’re all spending more time at home now, can you tell us

MINI |


what you think are some must-have elements of making a house a cozy home? Strategic organization is key! Since so many more of life’s functions are being carried out in the home (work, school) having defined spaces for key activities is very helpful. This year, I discovered some amazing furniture designs with integrated storage that really made our home more flexible. ERIN FETHERSTON |

What is your approach to designing spaces for families?

MINI |

When children are in the picture, I take a multi-plane view of a space to consider the needs of each child. For example, I have a two-year-old and a five-year-old. ERIN FETHERSTON |

Sometimes they play together, and sometimes they need their personal space. My five-yearold loves to do art, so I created an art station for him with a counter height table and stool so his work will be out of the reach of his little brother. The two-year-old likes to play on the floor so I have a lightweight coffee table in our play area that he can push aside himself when his LEGO train needs to be 10’ long. Children experience a room at their eye level, so be strategic about what you want in and out of their reach. Is there a common misconception you notice when it comes to family-friendly design?

MINI |

ERIN FETHERSTON |

I wish people would take a


more integrative view of creating a family space. Often I see kids spaces allocated to a corner and adult spaces are staged like a showroom, creating a situation where the whole family cannot be comfortable being together at the same time. It’s important to make kids spaces inviting and comfortable for adults, and adult spaces should offer something to children and not be too precious. What are your favorite ways to keep spaces beautiful yet practical for families?

MINI |

Storage is key! Keep kids toys in easy-to-access beautiful baskets or bins, and you can control the visual clutter that is often presented by a play space. And performance fabrics! I love using durable fabrics and materials so everyone can feel relaxed at home. ERIN FETHERSTON |

Let’s talk motherhood! What has surprised you most about motherhood?

MINI |

It’s truly a 24/7 job and you are really never off-duty. ERIN FETHERSTON |

Would you say your transition was easier or harder going from zero to one kids or one to two?

MINI |

Going from zero to one was a pretty major shock to the system. I had to make some radical changes to accommodate my new life as a mom. By the time I had my second, I was already living a child-centric life, so I found it much easier. ERIN FETHERSTON |

We all experience mom guilt from time to time. When do you find you experience this and how do you get past it?

MINI |



I have guilt around not being a good arts and crafts mom. I think because I’m a designer, I have a hard time distilling art projects down to their age level, so I feel like I am failing them in a category where you would think I would excel. I just enrolled them in some art classes so I don’t feel so bad. ERIN FETHERSTON |

We love to ask— What do you think about the concept of ‘having it all?’

MINI |

I think having it all at the exact same time is pretty tough! I think it’s more important to be present in whatever moment you are living in and enjoy it. As they say with children, “the days are long ERIN FETHERSTON |

but the years are short”, so appreciate the experience you are having right now. What is your greatest parenting worry or fear?

MINI |

The world seems so unstable at the moment. Sometimes I feel unsure of how to prepare my children for a world I may not recognize by the time they are adults. ERIN FETHERSTON |

Let’s end on a fun note! If you could give your kids one piece of advice, what would it be?

MINI |

ERIN FETHERSTON |

Think for yourself!


MOM MUST HAVES ON MY N I G H T S TA N D

“Himalayan Salt Lamp.”

FA V E K I D S B O O K

“The Gruffalo.” COFFEE ORDER

“Sencha green tea.” KIDS MOVIE

“Mary Poppins.”

N O W W AT C H I N G

“Initiation.”

A LW AY S I N MY FRIDGE

“Green Juice from the Beverly Hills Juice Club.”

I D E A L D AT E NIGHT

FA V E R E S TA U R A N T

“The Tower Bar.”

“Lunch at the Bel Air Hotel (I’m too tired at night).”