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spring 2016

cupcakemag.com

Dinner & chatting with Tiffani Thiessen

EXCLUSIVE CHAT WITH KRISTIN CAVALLARI

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TALKING MOMMY SHORTS WITH ILANA WILES

TALKING FOOD & FAMILY WITH LAURA FUENTES

the real mama bear ONE-ON-ONE WITH CEO, SARAH DUNCAN

amanda stanton

ON LIFE AFTER THE BACHELOR

Oh! JOY CHO

INSIDE! small biz spotlight scoop on the must-haves spring fashion preview & gift guide


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Casi Densmore-Koon Founder and Editor in Chief Jessica Peterson Graphic Design Skye McLain Director of Advertising Katlyn Dziegrenuk fashion & beauty director Alex May cover art director Courtney Boone Editorial Assistant Kylie Bean content manager Rebecca Sanabria Photography cover photography Julie Ferrante cover hair stylist Larissa Ricci Cover stylist Nicole Burg Cover make-up cupcakeMAG.com

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contents on the cover

tiffani thiessen

at home with Tiffani | 30

kristin cavallari

exclusive chat | 56

mommy shorts

Ilana Wiles | 70

sarah duncan the real mama bear | 38

oh joy

get to know Joy Cho| 62

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spring 2016 cupcakemag.com

10 | Editor’s Note happy May

18 | The Scoop the latest buzz

76 | Amanda Stanton on Life after the Bachelor

11 | Editor’s Picks casi’s favorites

21 | On Our Radar what’s hot, for all, right now

80 | Spring Fashion 5 Must-Have Looks We Love

14 | Small Biz Spotlight a look at the hottest brands to hit the net

22 | Baby: Best in Show best of the best

82 | Shopping Guide must-have essentials

17 | The Lust List shop it because it’s hot

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48 | Talking Food & Family Laura Fuentes

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editor’snote

Happy May Loves! This might be one of our most jammed packed issue with the most amazing women….ever. From Tiffani Thiessen on our cover to some serious powerhouses inside - Kristin Cavallari, Joy Cho, and I just can’t name them all. In March, we had the honor of spending the day with the amazing Tiffani Thiessen. Talk about ah-mazing. She welcomed us into her home with open arms and you guys -- yes, she is such a gem in real life as she is on this cover. Can we talk about her gorgeous she is? Tiffani, you were just the best to let us into your home for the day and we had such a blast shooting you in California. As always, I have to take a second to say thank you to our cover girl. So a HUGE thanks to Tiffani for being part of this issue and making our cover look -- well, just gorgeous. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to hang out with us. You’re just amazing, inspiring and just such a wonderful person. As most of us, we fell in love with you when you were known as Kelly Kapowski and well - we never looked back. Tiffani -- we will always be your biggest fans here at cupcakeMAG and we can’t thank you enough! And did you happen to notice who else was mentioned on the cover? The amazing Kristin Cavallari! That just takes us back to the good ole days of watching Laguna Beach doesn’t it? Well, Kristin now wears a different hat as a Mom of 3. It was great chatting with her! Of course we couldn’t forget those hustlin’ mamas and we are sharing the best of the best in this issue. From Sarah Duncan of Loved by Hannah and Eli to Joy Cho who we know as Oh Joy. This issue is a must-read. And by must-read we mean read over and over! 10

Don’t forget to check out our Spring Shopping Guide filled with all of our must-have finds, plus what’s on our radar and more. We’ve done the shopping for you with the best of the best shops on the net while featuring our favorite small business shops around! As always -- I just want to thank you. Yes, you beautiful! Thank you for reading! Thank you for letting us be part of your day. Thank you for the support and love. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We wouldn’t be here without you.

Lots of love, cupcake!

Casi

Casi Densmore-Koon Founder & Editor in Chief

Say Hello!

Your ongoing support and emails always make me smile. Have a comment, suggestion, or just want to say hi?

Email me! casi@cupcakemag.com cupcakeMAG.com


editor’sPICKS Finley Lane Hot Pink Tassel Earrings, $98

Mama Said Tees Kind Tote, $40 Rainbow Pineapple Case, $49

vv Attire Shake It Off Grippy Socks for Barre, $12.50

Wrenn Jewelry Addison Ring in Hot Pink Druzy, $35

Little Adi & Co. Mint Pina Bummies, $24

Simply Made Greetings Mug, $17 Arla Creations Lucite Hostess Tray, $80 cupcakeMAG.com

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d+k RENEWAL

FOR THE MODERN BOHEMIAN HOME 12

www.dkrenewal.com @dkrenewal

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#smallbiz Not only does Gentry’s Closet have the perfect monogram touch, they have the cutest bags around. Theses seeruckers are a musthave for the season!

Modern Burlap is home of the best of the best swaddle blankets.

If you love handstamped goodness, you will love the beauties of the brand, Jessica N Designs. From hilarious hand-stamped spoons to beautiful

#SmallBiz Spotlight

a look at the hottest brands to hit the net

Smiling Tree Toys Wooden Name puzzle, $21

Juniper Grey is a newer brand to the scene that will sure to be a favorite. We can’t get enough of these sweet bloomers. 14


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MODERN EVERYDAY TEES FOR YOUR LIT TLES. inspired by mine.

Giving back to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit one Small + Mighty tee at a time. 16

jacobgracedesigns.com

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the lust list Wrenn Jewelry Alyssa Necklace Triple Midnight Black Druzy, $75

Caroline Randall Made Personalized Striped Pillow Cover, $38.50

THE

LUST LIST Loved By Hannah and Eli “It’s A Mama Bear Thing” Mug, $15

Mason Blake Apparel Beachin’ Tee, $30

Fresh Apparel Leggings Are Pants Tee, $29

Zozu Baby Liberty of London Spring Garden Zoey Bow, $13.50

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scoop FOR THE LITTLES

Plaid Buttercup The Zoe Dress and Shorts, $45

Ellia May Designs Hugs and Kisses Bow Pack Medium, $16.80

THE LATEST BUZZ

Mommy Mailbox is the best subscription box

ON THE MUST-HAVES OF THE SEASON

Mommy Mailbox Monthly Subscription, $33.95

Thomas & Rose pretty much nails it with their Living the Dream tee.

Bip & Bop Jessica Bracelet, $40

Thomas + Rose Living The Dream Tee, $29

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what’s new

Hole In Her Stocking Rose Rock Beaded Cuff, $38

Hobokin & Co Zodiac Coin Drop, $72

Letter and Grain Kid, You’ll Move Mountains sign, $69

on our radar WHAT’S HOT, FOR ALL, RIGHT NOW The Silver Loft Roman Numeral Cuff, $24

d + k Renewal 2 Pillow Covers, $80

Uh Oh Pasghettio She Leaves Sparkle, $25-$45

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Little Teether Geo Little Teether Teething Necklace, $24

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bABY

BEST IN SHOW NO MATTER WHAT YOU BUY, THESE ARE THE BEST OF THE BEST TO HAVE ON HAND.

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1. Babygancis Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizing Wipes, $15 Five words: Don’t leave home without them. You’ll thank us. 2. Skip Hop Grab & Go Stroller Organizer, $23 Because Mom always needs another hand. 3. Lily Jade Elizabeth in Camel, $295 4. Comotomo Bottle, $13.99 Your little one won’t be able to get enough of the skin-like, oh-so-soft body of this bottle. It truly stands out in it’s class.

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5. Orbit Baby The stroller of the season? Orbit Baby’s Drive + Stroll combo ($1340) is the best of the best in the stroller world. From the endless options from baby to toddler to the pops of color - it grows with your family. Not to mention the SideKick ™ is an obvious must for those with an older child who still wants to catch a ride just not in a stroller. ($120) 6. Ergobaby Adapt Baby Carrier, $145

Head to c up com/orbit cakeMAG. b it a Orbit aby to win Baby Tod dler Seat, Stro lle Shade, C r Base, Sun argo Bas ket & Side Kick worth ove r $1,000!

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P ERF UME S A ND BEA UT Y R IT UALS

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SHO P AT SHOP OL IVIN E .COM

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beauty

It works, it works, it really really works! One bottle down & a lifetime more to go. I could see the difference after using the shampoo every day for just a few weeks. And you’d be surprised how many washed you get out of that 8.4 oz bottle!

Okay, I know they say it’s for under your eyes... but this stuff works everywhere! Covers up stubborn brown spots that I’ve had for years & lasts all day or night. Fake Up Crease-Control Hydrating Concealer by BeneFit Cosmetics, $24

Kiehls Ultimate Thickening Shampoo, $18 Watch the youtube video on how to apply and you are set! you can toss your jergens to the side because this is the best fake tan around. and no nasty tanning booths needed! FakeBake Fawless Self-Tanning Liquid & Professional Mitt, $26.50

Beauty Bests FASHION AND BEAUTY DIRECTOR, KATLYN SHARES

HER BEAUTY ESSENTIALS AND WHAT YOU NEED TO BUY NOW. Say goodbye to those pesty zits, best spot treatment i’ve EVER had. i will never use another, does everything you could dream of! Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment I’m not a pink girl, that’s my sister, editor in chief however the second I threw on a coat of Passionfruit Pink - my world spun + I rethought all the bad things I’ve ever said about pink. Shop Wrenn Polish, Passionfruit pink, $12

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Of course, Osea is always a favorite on my list.

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Heart In Box Brave Mama Heartbox, $85.50

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TEES INSPIRED BY KIDS and the ones that

LOVE

them

SEE MORE ONLINE AT cupcakeMAG.com

tbeapparel.com

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ONE-ON-ONE CHAT WITH TIFFANI THIESSEN cupcakeMAG spent the day at Tiffani’s home to chat about Season 2 of Dinner at Tiffani’s, being a Mom and just who is coming over for dinner.

BY CASI DENSMORE-KOON | PHOTOGRAPHY BY REBECCA SANABRIA PHOTOGRAPHY

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So many women grew up watching you on shows like Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210 — and, like you, are now creating lifestyles and families they adore. On your site, you write about balancing your love of planning with your love of creating. Can you share some tips for women on how they too can be both a prepared-for-anything supermom and a spontaneous creative? With regards to food…I think having a smart stocked pantry is one trick. So you can whip up a meal when the time calls for it. Also knowing when to call for take out. Sometimes you just got to. It’s obvious that family is tremendously important to you! You welcomed your son Holt last year, who joins his big sister Harper – how has it been adjusting to life as a mom of two, especially given all that you do? I must say it’s such a different dynamic now that Holt is here. Juggling two kids has its challenges for sure. But I feel our family is complete and I love watching these two together.

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They both literally light up when the each other walks into the room. Your site features such a great balance of lifestyle content - everything from your Masterclass series to food, entertaining, décor and so much more. We know you must love them all, but which of these is your own personal favorite? I would say food and entertaining is what I am most passionate about.   We’d love to know – which of your past episodes have been the most fun to create on Season 2 of your Cooking Channel show, Dinner at Tiffani’s. The episode for my husband Brady’s Birthday was so fun as we got to have all his childhood friends visit from TX as well as his awesome sister Jill. So many memories we have shared with this group and to have them all in one room at the same time on camera no less was gold!

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s ’ i n a f Tif faves Drink at Starbucks? Green Ice Tea unsweetened

Go to dinner? Maude Restaurant (Curtis Stone’s establishment in Beverly Hills)

Obviously, you’re “in the know” when it comes to fashion and beauty — can you share any beauty must-haves we should try? Yes, anything and everything from Beauty Counter! I am obsessed with their whole line of TRUE natural and non toxic beauty products. Where do you personally look for inspiration, especially when it comes to food, festivities and family life? I am a huge fan of Pinterest and Instagram, I have over 150 cookbooks and I love to attend crafting retreats and surround myself with like minded folk.   Also on the topic of inspiration, we always love to leave our readers with something to look forward to – especially when we’re speaking with someone who’s building a lifestyle empire! So what’s next for TiffaniThiessen.com? What can your fans anticipate in the future? A lot more video content and how-to’s on my blog and fun collaborations with a ton of talented people I admire!   cupcakeMAG.com

Bag you’re currently coveting?

Spring musthave? A full 8 hours sleep

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Ten things we don’t know about tiffani ONE I can’t eat lamb after the second pregnancy two I collect eggs from my six chickens every morning three I love the color turquoise. Basically I love every shade of blue. four I used to have a pot belly pig named Betty. five I love going camping six I don’t like tomatoes on my sandwiches seven I want to move to Oregon and live on a farm with goats and chickens. eight If I could I would wear flip-flops all day. nine My biggest food craving is CHEESE ten My husband and I were set up on a blind date. cupcakeMAG.com

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arenlace.com

A renlace

boutique

@arenlace


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THE REAL

MEET SARAH DUNCAN OF LOVED BY HANNAH AND ELI, INC. Sarah Duncan of Loved By Hannah and Eli is known for her quite famous line of graphic tees like Man Cub ™ and Mama Bear ™ - she’s built an empire inspired by her two children, Hannah and Eli.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIELLE HATCHER PHOTOGRAPHY

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Even though you’ve worked with cupcakeMAG the last 3 years, tell those who may not be familiar with you, a little bit about your brand - Loved by Hannah and Eli. What really captured your attention and wanting to start this amazing empire you’ve built? I guess you could say that Loved by Hannah and Eli is technically a graphic tee shirt company. However, when you really dive into it, it is a space where women connect on a new level. Once I introduced my “Mama Bear’ design, I knew that this could be something really great and even empowering. With the help of social media, Loved by Hannah and Eli is a place where we embrace being a “Mama Bear” and all “Mom Victories” fashionably. A place where we can revamp the old Mom Uniform, cherish family, announce new pregnancy’s, share our “Ugh” and “Joyful” moments, and capture memories all through stylish graphic tees. You are running a very-successful business out of your home. What is a day like in your....shall we say, Tory Burch flats? Well Eli is home with me 2 days a week, so that makes for an interesting work day. I typically have a quick text meeting with my virtual assistant Kate, and see what’s on the social media agenda for the day. Then I’m off to the post office to pick up returns and exchanges. I typically have about 2-3 girls here 3-4 days a week folding, tagging, counting inventory, and packaging orders. During this time I am grabbing another cup of coffee, working 42

with my Returns Department assistant processing exchanges, answering emails, printing out invoices and labels, and because I’m me, I’m usually getting distracted a 100 times in between (. Once the sun out in the afternoon, I am typically found outside styling products and making flat lays in the good light. Then I’m typically racing to the post office again to drop off packages right before it closes. What do you feel is the hardest part of running your own business? What is one piece of advice you would tell someone starting their own business? Time management is the hardest for me since I do work from my house. The balance of work time verses family time or even chores/life get blurred. Either way, there is always something to do or something you want to avoid. I have days where I know I need to work, but laundry and dishes are piling up. Then I have Eli begging me to take him to the park. Sometimes it’s hard to decipher what’s more important in that moment and what can be done another time. As far as advice goes, since my business and direction sort of evolved organically, I can’t say I have a good checklist for others to follow. However, I would say, to first find something that makes your business different or interesting. Don’t be in it to make a quick buck. Entrepreneurs are passionate about their products or services. Success comes with your willingness to work hard and be original. cupcakeMAG.com


You are known for your “Mama Bear” tees and your “Man Cub” tees which have been heavily promoted and worn by some of the leading families in Hollywood like Kourtney Kardashian and Tori Spelling. The list is quite long of celeb spotting’s! Do you have a favorite? Or do you just giddy no matter who wears your tees? It is a very surreal feeling to see my items on pop up TV or on celebrity feeds. I get giddy with every sighting! To think that they like it enough to wear in public or to post about is really a great feeling. I think it just affirms that we are all Mama Bears and take pride in showing it off! Some of my favorite moments though are those I get from customers. Newborn babies in “Sleepy Bear” gowns, Christmas card photos in coordinating Bear shirts, and gender reveal with “Brother Bear” and “Sister Bear” onesies are really where my pride for my business comes from. I love that I can provide a product that helps capture and create memories for families. I know it’s like choosing your favorite child -- you can’t do it but, do you have a favorite tee? Currently my favorites are the “It’s a Mama Bear thing” items! The grey tank with mint is one of my favorite color combinations and the matte black mug with gold might be an obsession! I love this original phrase too! I think back to before children, when we really just didn’t get “it” and understand motherhood at all. cupcakeMAG.com

What’s up next for Loved By Hannah and Eli? Where can you see the brand in a year from now? I love supporting other entrepreneurs, so I would love to continue to build up our collaboration list of products. I think utilizing the talents of other brands in the small business community is a great way to develop and produce new items. I just relaunched our jewelry collaboration with The Silver Loft and I am working on something very special with Modern Burlap. In the next year, I’d love to have more of these types of collaborations and come up with some new products to show off . I also just launched my blog this year, and hope to build up over the next year. I want it to be a go-to read for moms, where we showcase our favorite things, introduce you to new people, and share our Mama Bear pride and stories.

SCORE YOUR FAVORITE LBHAE ESSENTIALS WITH CODE SPRINGISSUE FOR 15% OFF! THIS OFFER CAN NOT BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER DISCOUNT CODE.

Make sure you are following LBHAE on Instagram @lovedbyhannahandeli and Facebook too! Sources: Mama Bear Banner: Sweet Orange Fox, Sarah’s Jewelry: Wrenn Jewelry & Love Obsessed, Hannah’s Bow: Zozu Baby 43


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meet sarah

I would gladly drop a pretty penny on .... Justine Bieber tickets

current favorite pair of sandals.... Tory Burch

Bag currently coveting... Navy Seersucker Weekender from Gentrys Closet

drink at starbucks.... Iced Green Tea

one mom indulgence? A bath

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More to Love at nene shoes

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cupcakeMAG.com www.nene.shoes | hello@nene.shoes


Socks with grip, for yoga, barre, pilates and life.

www.vvattire.com @vvattire


santa fe chicken salad

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FOOD, FAMILY AND CHATTING WITH LAURA FUENTES

As mother to three kids isn’t enough to keep Laura Fuentes on her toes - she’s the Author of The Best Homemade Kids Lunches on the Planet and The Best Homemade Snacks on the Planet as well as creator and founder of MOMables. And well -- she is pretty darn amazing if we do say so ourselves. Not only does she share her knowledge throughout her videos on her YouTube channel, recipes and her column in the Huggington Post but she also hosts MOMables Radio, a top rated parenting podcast on iTunes.cupcakeMAG was thrilled to sit down with Laura to chat about balance, MOMAbles and so much more.

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lasagna soup

Laura, you’re developing your own empire around the things you seem to love most: food and family. Of all the ways you reach your audience – blogging, other writing, speaking engagements, television appearances, videos, your podcast – which has been your favorite, and makes you feel you best connect with people?

My favorite way to reach my audience is via my weekly newsletter that I send out to nearly 80,000 families in the MOMables community. Sitting down to write the email gives me the opportunity to reflect on what was important that week, how I can encourage them to try one of the recipes I’m sharing in my blogs and YouTube channel, and show them that I genuinely care about their family’s food adventures.

Owning a business that integrates seamlessly with family life is something many of our readers dream about. How has your journey as an entrepreneur evolved from how you first envisioned it? I began my personal blog, LauraFuentes.com six years ago with the intention of sharing my adventures and experiences with my kids with my friends and family back home. Putting our stories cupcakeMAG.com

spinach bacon mini quiches

up online and sending them the link was a lot easier than writing an email and attaching photos. When I launched MOMables.com, I never envisioned it to grow to what it is today. Actually, I just wanted to create a platform that would solve one problem: help parents add variety to their kids’ lunch boxes. Today, I share more than just lunch recipes, you’ll find recipes for every meal inside the blog, meal plans, and fresh meal delivery. For me, the most difficult part has been juggling my personal life and making time for my family. I say difficult because I’ve had to learn how to delegate things to my team and let go of the idea that MOMables and everything that surrounds it is only my vision. In truth, it is, but it’s also composed of the many suggestions and ideas given my team and my community. It’s definitely grown bigger than I could have ever envisioned it but the growth has not come without a lot of sacrifice. My biggest advice to any entrepreneur is to be very diligent with your time, as it’s the only commodity you can never get more of. I schedule my family and myself first; and then I honor my other commitments. This has led to feeling less of the “working mom guilt” and also allowed my family to be a part of our success. 51


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You wrote a really authentic, beautiful blog post recently about how nervous you were when you became a mom, and how you didn’t feel it came naturally to you. What advice would you have for new mamas who are worried about whether they’re up to the task of raising their little one?

It is true that I was nervous and felt quite inadequate when I became a parent. No parenting book prepared me for the moment I held my daughter in my arms for the very first time. As I wept and I kissed her warm cheeks and nose, I realized that I was about to embark in the biggest adventure of my life. So, I put all the “expert” advice aside and realized that I was enough for her. Over time, being a parent becomes second nature and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

What are your family’s top three favorite meals to enjoy together?

Breakfast night is the most requested one by my kids. I have dozens of pancake recipes on my blog and YouTube channel, as this is something my kids love. But really, breakfast anything. We go through 4 dozen eggs a week (I feed 6 hungry people). Taco night is a family favorite because it’s the most flexible meal. Everyone gets to build their own plates, family style, and they have ownership and control of what they eat. Everyone loves a good grill night as well. No recipe, just cooking up hamburgers, sausages, or fish in our outdoor kitchen. The kids usually play in the playground or jump on the trampoline while I get the food ready and the adults hang out around the food. For my family, mealtime is more about spending time together than it is about an actual recipe. When you feed six people, anything that still tastes good cold by the time I sit down to eat is usually considered one of my favorites.

On the flip side, are there any new recipe ideas you’re dying to try out on your family? What kinds of flavors are exciting to you right now?

for families whose kids may be reluctant to try new foods and let go of some of the processed junk?

I’m an everything-in-moderation type of person so you’ll never hear me suggest to throw it all out at once and go cold turkey. I believe this is one reason many parents who want to feed their families better get overwhelmed, they change too many variables at once. I always suggest they change one thing, and once they’ve mastered it, learned to take healthy shortcuts, and their families accept this set of new recipes, move on to another meal. Kids like familiar things, so too many changes at once isn’t a great thing. Being consistent with our changes is the #1 reason for success. Once you commit to feeding your family better, it should be a priority all the time.

Through your books, blog, and media, you’re providing support and inspiration for moms trying to feed their families well. What’s next for you? Any new projects in the pipeline for you, something for your fans to look forward to?

I absolutely LOVE Asian inspired recipes. I’m slowly teaching my kids how to enjoy them although they are rarely winners. I don’t know why, but they aren’t big fans.

My third cookbook, The Best Grain-Free Family Meals on the Planet, will be released this June. I’m excited to share this tool with families to support them eat more fresh, real-foods in recipes their families will love.

Obviously, your own children have been exposed to all kinds of good food through your amazing recipes – can you offer some tips

I’m also working on launching my websites in Spanish, since I’m bilingual and I’m from Spain, to reach thousands of more families world wide.

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simple ingredients. simply delicious.

simply7snacks.com cupcakeMAG.com

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Our editor chatted with former star of Laguna Beach to chat about just what has changed since she’s stared on MTV. Now a mother of 3, her priorities are different and we are loving how motherhood looks on her. PHOTOGRAPHY BY DOVE SHORE

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You’ve been in the spotlight since 2004 as the former star of Laguna Beach, The Hills and many more TV shows and films. Do you find many of your current fans were also fans of your Hollywood career, or are you mostly building a new audience altogether? KC: It’s a good mix, some people have followed me since Laguna Beach and others are newer fans. Obviously life has changed a lot for you since you first appeared on television! You’ve just welcomed your daughter Saylor, making you now a mom to three little ones – we’d love to hear how you manage to balance your career and your family life. KC: Once I had kids I decided to make them my priority and put them first. Now I only do the things I absolutely love and believe 58

in. Luckily with everything I do (the shoes, jewelry, and book) I can essentially make my own hours and work from anywhere. I feel very lucky I’m able to have both. You’ve worn many hats in your personal and professional life – you’ve achieved incredible success designing shoes through Chinese Laundry and jewelry through your own co-founded brand Emerald Duv. What kinds of creative projects are your absolute favorite, and where do you draw inspiration from in your creative work? KC: I like coming up with a concept and seeing it come to life. It’s really satisfying coming up with an idea and having a great response a year later when it comes out. You never know how the public will receive certain shoes etc. so I’m always a little nervous before everything comes out!

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Your brand-new book, Balancing in Heels, is a bestseller! What was it like to be so candid about your personal relationships and your journey through what’s clearly been a very extraordinary life? KC: That’s just who I am; I’m very open and honest. I knew if I was going to do a book that it had to be a great representation of who I am. I wanted people to get to know the real me. Obviously a big focus of the book is on your personal health and happiness, and that of your family - any favorite tips you could share with our readers, many of whom are on their own quests for wellness?

added colors) until it becomes second nature. Then slowly keep adding more and more chemicals to the list of items that you want to stay away from until you don’t have to think twice about it. I also think it’s important to have balance when it comes to the way I eat. I eat healthy 80% of the time and the other 20% I eat whatever I want and enjoy it so I never feel deprived. What kind of projects and ventures are coming up next for you? KC: I would love to do a cookbook!

KC: I would suggest starting small. For me, reading ingredient labels is key since I try and stay away from certain chemicals. Focus on one thing you want to stay away from (for example, cupcakeMAG.com

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“Once I had kids I decided to make them my priority and put them first. Now I only do the things I absolutely love and believe in.� 60

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Oh, Joy! This is reaction you get as her Instagram feed continues to be beautiful eye-candy for all. Everything Joy touches makes us swoon. From her Target lines to her website - she’s just a gem and oh-so-talented. Read on to get-to-know Joy Cho. Promise, if you weren’t a fan...you will be now.

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The Oh Joy! brand has definitely evolved over the years! Your site mentions how you began as a graphic design studio – we’d love to know how you decided to transition into the lifestyle arena! In 2005, I had left my 2nd job in New York to move to Philly for my boyfriend (now my husband). So I was in a new city, newly engaged, and looking for a new job. I started my blog as a place to keep my inspirations during a time when I had a lot of transition. The site slowly became read by more and more people and it helped me to be able to launch my own design studio due to the clients I was getting from folks who read my blog. The transition to a lifestyle site and brand was not planned at all. As the Oh Joy blog grew and as I was able to focus more on Oh Joy projects (and less on client projects) as we grew, I was able to really begin to tell my story (personally and professionally) and share the ideas and inspirations I wanted to be able to share with the world. It took a long time to get to where things are today, but it’s been a fun and ever-changing ride! You put so much of yourself into your daily blog, which seems to be a big reason women connect so well with your brand. What are some of the joys (pardon the pun!) and challenges of sharing so much of your life on your daily blog? The best part is being able to put a little bit of my vision out into the world for people to enjoy and be inspired by. I am not 64

at a place where I can be more selective about the work I want to bring to Oh Joy and the projects I want to give to my team to help me put out there. But to be able to have an idea go from just a tiny thing in your head to an actual, tangible result is really gratifying. A challenge is that my brain is constantly seeking new ideas and new things to share, so everything could be a possible source of inspiration. That may not seem like a bad thing, but sometimes it’s just really hard to turn it off! As for sharing parts of my life, I share parts of my journey as a business owner, designer and mother. I am well aware of how hard it is to juggle so many things and that my life is by no means perfect. I don’t think people need to know everything about you or see every up and down moment of your life, but I think it’s great to share some real life things that other people can relate to. Overall, I still try and keep my blog positive as I think positivity encourages people even in moments that they may be struggling through and looking for inspiration. So what are some things that we don’t get to see on your site? What’s a typical day like in the life of Joy? When I get up, I make my kids breakfast and get them ready for the day. I bring my older daughter to school and then head into work. No day is the same, but a typical day usually starts by checking e-mails, having staff/client meetings, and getting the more administrative tasks out of the way. Then in the afternoon, I focus on the creative side of my job, by working cupcakeMAG.com


“You should do the things that are most important to you. Place priority on the things and the people that you love most.�

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on editorial content and design projects with help from my team to brainstorm new ideas and make these projects come to life. I head out of work before 4pm to pick up my 4 year from school and get home to spend time with both my kids before the day is over. Since I leave work a little earlier than a usual day, I am often working again at night after my kids go to bed. It’s not ideal to be working in the evenings, but as a business owner who also wants to make my kids a priority, I have to fit the work in whenever I can without taking away too much from my personal/family time. You became a mom after launching Oh Joy!, which has to have been a huge adjustment in terms of balancing your work and your personal life. This is something a lot of our readers are juggling, too – we’d love to share your tips with them on how to do it all, so to speak! Throughout the course of my 4 short years as a parent, I have shared a few posts here and there about the struggles of being a working parent, feeling guilty, juggling it all, and how I attempt to keep it all going. “How do you handle the work/life balance?” or “How do you do it all?” is probably the number one question that I get asked when I speak at conferences or when I get to chat with Oh Joy readers in real life. After the birth of both of my kids, I experienced a very long string of guilt as I eased my new baby into my life and eased myself back into work and attempted to figure out how all those pieces would come together. The short answer to those questions is that I don’t “do it all”, and it’s taken me until recently to really be okay with that. cupcakeMAG.com

I rearranged my priorities. My husband reminded me how I don’t have to do everything and how he is there as my partner, too. As women, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to take on everything. So what I am saying is to please know that you should not do it all...because you can’t, and no one can. You should do the things that are most important to you. Place priority on the things and the people that you love most. And let everything else come second. At the end of the day, I think back on what happened and if I can say that my family loves me, that I am happy at my job, and that I did my best to make a difference in the world in the way that I know how, then I can feel like I had a good day. You’ve launched product lines through companies like Feed, Microsoft and The Land of Nod, and your newest collection of home décor and nursery gear is now available at Target. Which items are your own personal favorites? I think every year our product lines get better and better so I’m definitely loving all of our current products out at Target now. They really tap into some of my passions by offering items that add a little joy and whimsy into everyday life! We’re dying to know what’s next for Oh Joy! Any new product lines, books or creative projects coming up for you and your brand? I can’t give away all my secrets yet! But we do have a summer and fall home décor collection coming out later this year! 67


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If you don’t know Ilana Wiles you are missing out on so many laughs. Not only is she the lady behind MommyShorts.com but she’s a Mother managing it all. She also is behind the pretty hilarious @avereageparentproblems on Instagram. cupcakeMAG sat down with Ilana to get see just how she does it all. You’ve achieved something with MommyShorts that many women dream of – you’ve found success as a blogger while you raise your beautiful children. Because I know many of our readers are dying to know: how’d you do it? How did you manage to transition out of your corporate career and leverage MommyShorts into a source of income for your family? For starters, I don’t work from home. I tried that and it was impossible! Nobody can do it all and the last thing I want to do is mislead anybody by pretending I’m pulling this all off during nap time. When Mazzy was born, I was working in advertising as a Creative Director. I lined up a nanny to watch my daughter when my maternity leave was over. About three months after I returned to work, I got laid off and negotiated a severance package. I never intended on being a stay-at-home mom so I started freelancing at ad agencies during the day and writing the blog at night. I freelanced pretty much full-time until about two years ago when Mommy Shorts started doing well and it made sense financially to make the switch to a full time blogger. At that point, I got an office. I now employ three people who work on the business and production side of the blog so I can focus on what I like to 70

do best— creating content. Making a blog your main source of income is not easy— I worked every night for three years for no money before it started to turnaround. One of the very best parts of MommyShorts is the balance of great advice, hilarious anecdotes, and fun distractions – it’s just so relatable. How do you decide which direction to take when it comes to developing new content for your blog? What do you find resonates most with your audience? Creatively, I like switching things up to keep it interesting. I’m always jealous of those blogs that do one thing over and over again and become really successful because people like to know what to expect. I’m the kind of person who likes to test new creative ideas all the time, even if some of them fail. When I started the blog, the posts that did the best were the funny lists that were universal. Now people seem to like my personal posts about my family the best. I think people have just gotten to know us over time so the loyal readers want to know what we are really up to rather than a fun list that could be written by anybody. I still like writing those though! From my years working in advertising, I cupcakeMAG.com


“You will do a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong, same as everybody. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

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know art direction is just as important as copywriting. I always wanted my blog to be a combination of images and writing that worked in tandem. It seems that fostering a sense of community is a big part of MommyShorts, between the active reader comments, the contests and giveaways, and a busy social media presence. How has connecting with your readers – as well as with other collaborators – influenced the blog itself, as well as your own parenting? My favorite thing about blogging is the instant feedback. It’s reassuring, supportive and helpful. I have learned a ton from my readers. I think more than they’ve learned from me. I also love asking questions and asking for photo submissions not just so I can point to engagement on a post, but because my readers are my greatest source of content. The blogs I like to read are usually places where the comment section is as fun to read as the post itself (if not more). Having a smart, funny and engaged readership is the best asset a blog can have. Of course your own gorgeous children, Mazzy and Harlow, are front-and-center in a lot of your posts (and, for the record, we agree with what’s written on your site – that they could definitely hold their own in a cuteness contest!). How has the experience of being “in the spotlight” affected them, and your family 72

as a whole? I don’t think it has affected them much yet. Mazzy is just starting to understand that other people can read our stories and see our pictures. It helps that she likes seeing photos and watching snap stories of a few of my favorite people to follow. Then I can explain that they can watch us too. People have recognized us a few times when she has been with me, but I just explain that I write a funny blog about our family that a lot of people read for entertainment. If you had to boil down all your motherly wisdom into a single piece of advice for a struggling mom or a mom-to-be, what would you tell her? You will do a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong, same as everybody. Don’t be so hard on yourself. What kinds of projects and ventures are coming up next for you? Anything new on the horizon for MommyShorts? I’m coming out with my first book in the fall!!! I’d love to tell you the name but I don’t think I’m allowed yet. It’s being published by Abrams and I’m really excited to finally have a piece of my work that I can actually hold in my hand. One huge step up from the family photo album I never got around to making. cupcakeMAG.com


“I’m the kind of person who likes to test new creative ideas all the time, even if some of them fail.” cupcakeMAG.com

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WE FIRST FELL IN LOVE WITH HER ON THE BACHELOR. HER STYLE, HER PERSONALITY AND HER GRACE REALLY MADE HER STAND-OUT. BUT BEING A MOM COMES FIRST FOR AMANDA. LUCKY FOR US, WE GOT TO SIT DOWN FOR OUR VERY OWN ONE-ON-ONE TO CHAT.

Lots of our readers are Bachelor fans! We’d love to hear about what it was like being on the show, especially living with so many other women, traveling to different locations, and of course focusing on the show while missing your adorable girls at home! It was definitely a crazy experience. Missing Kinsley and Charlie was the hardest part. Living with so many girls with such big and different personalities has its ups and downs but overall, I made some amazing friendships and traveled to some incredible places. Sometimes I wish I could do it all over again! It was very obvious on the show just how much you love your daughters Charlie and Kinsley, and how seriously you took the decision to introduce them to Ben. Since we only saw what was shown on camera, how did the girls really react to meeting him? Did they have any tough questions for you when you returned home? What you saw on the show of the girls meeting Ben was pretty accurate. Overall, it was a fun day! Honestly, Kinsley and Charie cupcakeMAG.com

meet so many people everyday, especially that day, so while it was a big deal to me introducing them to Ben, to them was just meeting another person or friend of mine. I was back home with them shortly after and now they just think of him as my friend who chased birds with them on the beach one day. They did adore him though! Looking back, do you have any regrets about your time spent with Ben, or your decision to take part in The Bachelor? I have no regrets about my time spent on the show! I had such an amazing experience regardless of whether or not Ben and I were meant to be. I learned so much about what I’m looking for in a relationship, as well as learned about myself as an individual and as a mother. I also made lifelong best friends with some of the girls. I’m so glad I did it! I’ll always look back at it as a positive thing in my life. Some of the more controversial moments on the show came when another cast member, Olivia, made some unflattering comments about your role as a mom. (Which, by the way, you handled very graciously on the “Women Tell All” episode!) 77


Of course, we have to ask: what’s the reality when it comes to trying to find love as a single mother? Have you found that guys feel strongly about it one way or the other? Thank you! Finding love as a single mother can be hard especially when they’re so young! Being a mom is so much work. I hardly have any time for myself and when I do, I usually just want to sleep or take a long shower (lol) so finding time to date is tough enough on its own! I do think it’s something that men feel strongly about and take seriously. My kids are the biggest part of my life and I want the man I’m in a relationship with to not only accept that I have kids but also be very involved as a family. Single guys in their mid to late twenties aren’t always up for something like that, but I’ve learned that some totally are! Of course being on a popular television show is going to be life-changing for just about anyone – people must recognize you on the street every day! We’re curious how becoming a reality TV star has affected your life, especially as a mother. Are you finding anything is different in terms of how you and your girls go about your daily routine? Life really hasn’t been all that different since the show aired. We are back to our normal everyday life! People do recognize us daily when we are out and about so one thing that’s changed is that I don’t leave the house without makeup on anymore! Haha! But we 78

love it! I’ve ran into a lot of really cool people who watched the show and are so kind and supportive! What are some of your favorite things to do with your daughters? Any special activities the three of you enjoy? We are total beach bums. If the sun is out, we are probably at the beach! (Or Disneyland.) Based on your huge social media following (and what looks like some fantastic fashion and lifestyle endorsements!), it’s clear you were one of the most popular Bachelor cast members ever! So, now that the cameras have stopped rolling, what’s next for you? Thank you! So, I recently launched a fashion and lifestyle blog that I’m super excited about! It’s focused on women’s & kids fashion, interior design and life & dating as a single parent. So between that and mom life, I’m keeping busy! Any advice for other women out there who are trying to balance single motherhood while looking for Mr. Right? My advice is to be patient and never settle for less than you know you and your kids deserve! Focus on your kids and take care of yourself and the right guy will come alone eventually! cupcakeMAG.com


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cupcakeMAG // spring 2016  

cupcakeMAG // spring 2016  

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