Karolina Kurkova on her back-to-school routine, beauty hacks, and being the “Big Mama” of her household

Credit: Eduardo Rezende
Credit: Eduardo Rezende

Speaking with Czech-born supermodel Karolina Kurkova is like slowly sinking into one of those bucket-list European hot springs: refreshing, soothing and a bit of a jolt to the system. How is a woman this famous and stunning this… nice? 

You may know her as a hyper-glam, Fantasy Bra-wearing Victoria’s Secret Angel or from countless magazine covers and campaigns with fashion brands ranging from Bottega Veneta, Chanel and Max Mara to H&M and Mango. But what you may not know is that Karolina is a mom of two boys under age 10, and she’s had a keen interest in natural health and beauty since her teens. 

Her new company, Gryph & IvyRose, makes all-natural health, bath and body products for children that focus on treating “the very common things that kids struggle with, like sleep and mood, immune function, belly aches,” she says. And it’s all wrapped up in simple, beautiful packaging you wouldn’t mind leaving out on the bathroom sink. One of Gryph & IvyRose’s biggest winners with parents is its Probiotic Chocolate Hearts. Made from raw, organic, fair-trade cacao, just one per day feeds kids 3 billion active probiotics for immune support and healthy digestion – and what kid would say no to dessert for breakfast? 

As we chat, mom-to-mom, about the usual struggles – carving out quality time with husband Archie Drury and sons Tobin, 9, and Noah, 3, planning weekly meals, and juggling play dates – it’s easy to forget I’m talking to a fashion-industry legend with a private-island address, and not a regular mom doing her best to make it work. The thing is, she’s both. “When you’re a parent, and especially a working one, it’s a lot about being very organized and being a good planner. You constantly have to plan ahead,” she says. Read on for more of Karolina’s wisdom for working moms – including one brilliant hack for faking a full night’s rest!

Credit: Eduardo Rezende
Credit: Eduardo Rezende

What do you wish you could tell your pre-kids self?

I think children teach you so much, and they make you so much more profound, more strong, more interesting, more focused. We don’t often fully understand who we are until we have children, because they’re a reflection of us. It’s good to look at yourself when you parent and think about, well, what am I doing that my child is also doing by copying me? I need to think about how I’m handling the situation before I can ask my children to change. There’s a lot to learn!

Credit: Tami Jill
Karolina and Noah. Credit: Tami Jill Photography

What does one free hour to yourself look like?

I don’t really have so much free time to myself. I mean, my free time is the time to handle the household, maybe organize closets, create a schedule for the family, come up with menu ideas for what we can cook. For me, it’s relaxing, it’s meditative, it’s going back to that feeling of the “Big Mama of the House.” I travel a lot, so even if I leave my husband home with the kids, and even if he has help, I still have to go, okay, so I’m leaving – but is everything on the calendar that they need to know? Do they know when the sports days are, where they need to be and what time? If I’ve organized play dates, who to call, where to be? What are they going to have for dinner so they don’t eat the same thing every night? But what is also important for me, to kind of sustain traveling, working, and keep my sanity, is some type of workout, going for a class or going for a walk with music – doing something physical is very important for keeping me mentally strong and focused.

Just how crazy do the mornings get at your house?

It’s a very, very busy time, because it’s getting ready for school. I’m the one who wakes up early and gets everybody up and ready, makes breakfast, makes coffee for my husband, tea for my kids. I’m calling everyone, “Are you ready? Get ready! Get your shoes on,” being the general of the morning. But if you don’t have the energy and just say “whatever,” nothing gets done!

Credit: Tami Jill Photography
Karolina and Tobin. Credit: Tami Jill Photography

You must have picked up so many working-mom beauty hacks over the years…

I always carry a bright lipstick with me. I think bright red or orange, whatever suits your complexion or what color you like. It gives a pop to your face, it gives you color, a little sensuality. When I’m traveling or if I have a work event and didn’t get to sleep because my little one was awake, I like [to do] a face sheet mask. I call it the little “facial on the go.” That 20 minutes always does wonders without doing that much or breaking your bank. I really like the Sulwhasoo mask which is a ginseng face mask; it’s a Korean brand. Something else I do is meditation. Ideally, I do it two times a day. It relaxes your face, your muscles, releases stress and tension. You have your little mantra and just be by yourself for 20 minutes. You can do it anywhere, that’s what I like.

What’s one ritual you never miss with your kids?

We read books at night with each of the children. Tobin likes the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. For Noah, it varies. He loves animals, dinosaurs, and sea world, so we’re looking at a lot of those types of books. A book my oldest loves is The 7 Habits of Happy Kids – and now my little one is almost ready for it. When I’m home, sitting down for a meal together is very important. That’s the way I grew up. It’s such a beautiful bonding time, to talk about your day together.

Credit: Tami Jill Photography
Credit: Tami Jill Photography

Thanks, Karolina! Read more real talk from moms we think are awesome here and here.

Hatch Founder Ariane Goldman on Sexy Dressing, Conquering Mom Guilt, and Her “Aha” Moment

When Ariane Goldman was pregnant with her first daughter, she was “floored” when she realized an entire industry was leaving her out of the conversation…

When Ariane Goldman was pregnant with her first daughter, she was “floored” when she realized an entire industry was leaving her out of the conversation. Here she was, ready to invest time, money and energy into embracing her new body – and the only option was cheap, disposable clothes that essentially took her out of the fashion game for 10 months. How was this possible?

Goldman’s cool AF maternity brand, Hatch, was born out of her desire to find long-lasting, stylish and comfortable clothes that would last through every trimester and, most importantly, post-baby. Whether you’re three months pregnant, two weeks past your due date, or not even planning yet, there’s something for every stage of a woman’s life with Hatch. And guaranteed, it will be one of the softest things you’ve ever felt.

We chatted with the mom of two (Charlie Grey, eight-and-a-half, and Georgie Lou, four) about her “aha” moment, dressing sexy, and guilt.

What do you wish you could tell your pre-kid self? 

I’m glad I didn’t know anything. It’s such an adventure; I’d probably spare myself any advice and just wait for the surprises.

What was your biggest challenge while shopping for maternity clothes?

When I was pregnant with Charlie, I was looking forward to investing in myself and celebrating the fact that my body was about to go through this unbelievably superhuman moment of bearing a child. And I was just shocked when there was nothing out there [that spoke to me]. The options were disposable. It felt like people were forcing [pregnant women] to feel ostracized from fashion and society for these 10 months. I was just floored.

Is there such a thing as dressing appropriately when you’re pregnant? Is it okay to dress “sexy”? 

Sexy can be defined as so many things. Being able to show up and feel good about yourself is sexy and whatever dress or outfit that allows you to do that is totally allowed. I encourage it. So, if Kim Kardashian wants to wear body-hugging Lycra jumpsuits because that’s what she feels great wearing, more power to her. Show us what you’ve got!

How has your relationship with clothing changed since you became a mother? 

There’s so much less time to care about myself. I’m looking for easy options and quick solutions that allow me to get in and be a one-stop shop: put it on, feel great. And that’s the whole philosophy behind Hatch: pieces that can go with you at all different trimesters and then after the baby, too. You don’t have to be pregnant at all! It’s about relying on us to have that core piece down where you can throw it on, worry about everything else going on in your life and we’ll do a lot of the work for you.

What’s an unexpectedly awesome aspect of parenting for you? 

I just never knew that my heart was big enough to love this much. I think I was so self-focused for so long, the fact that I now have two beautiful children that come from me and my husband that I can nurture and put everything into is just overwhelming.

 Ariane with daughters Georgie Lou & Charlie.

What about a not-so-awesome aspect of parenting? 

I think the guilt and the real responsibility of when things aren’t exactly [going] the way your child wants. You know, if somebody says something upsetting to your child or you can’t be there for a recital or something important because work calls or you’re out of town. I think the reality of letting someone else down at this point is really hard. And I never realized how hard the responsibility of letting them down [would feel]. It was unexpected and it’s real.

What’s the craziest thing one of your children has said while getting dressed? 

Well, it’s funny because I feel guilty all the time about working and not being around. But then, my oldest one said she wants to be a fashion designer. Showing that she’s learning from me is [the] greatest reward ever.

Feel inspired with more awesome power-mom stories here and here

Hilaria Baldwin is Here For The Me-Time Commitment

Hilaria Baldwin was currently in a car with four kids under the age of six listening to the Shrek 3 soundtrack, and somehow sounds completely cool, calm, and collected.

“What do you wish you could tell your pre-kid self,” I ask her.

She begins to answer, “The one [thing] that everybody says is, “I wish I had slept more,” but is interrupted by a series of missed calls from her husband. “Alec keeps calling me,” she says. “You know what, maybe that’s what it would be. It would be that everybody is going to want something from you and it’s really okay to step away and say you need a minute.”

Here, Baldwin talks “me-time,” how to talk to your kids about health, and the most unexpectedly awesome part of parenting four kids.

What do you wish you could tell your pre-kid self?

When you’re pregnant with your first, people are always like, “Enjoy sleep now, because this is the last time you’re going to sleep.” To be quite honest, you can’t sleep in advance. You actually have to sleep regularly.

What does one free hour to yourself look like?

One of my favorite things to do is go out for a run. I use that time to disconnect. When I’m running, literally nobody knows where I am. It’s just this moment where I can run through the streets and for a whole 30 minutes, I can have me-time. I have learned it’s about doing small things throughout the day. For instance, in the morning and night, I take a bath, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes. Little by little I’m trying to take more frequent moments. It’s like the whole sleep thing. You can’t just bundle together a lot of me-time and then kill yourself the rest of the time. You’ve got to be [taking] care of yourself.

 

You are well known for being the picture of health. How do you talk to your kids about health without going overboard or making them anxious? 

It’s about [focusing on the] feeling rather than the way you look. You don’t want to say, ‘Hey, you shouldn’t eat this because you don’t want to be fat’ or ‘you want to eat this because you don’t want to be too thin.’ You want say, ‘You want to eat this because you want to feel good.’ And if people can associate what they’re eating with how their body feels, then they are going to have a big leg up in life.

 

What does 7 a.m. in your house look?

Today at 7AM, I was taking a barre class, but every single day is different. I did an interview a couple days ago where they were asking me what my typical day is, and I literally don’t have one. Everybody’s a little jet lagged right now from [a trip to] L.A., so my kids have been sleeping really late which has been nice. I’ve used that time to get up and go work out.  

 

What does 7 p.m. in your house look like?

Evenings are a lot more typical. Around six o’clock we start having dinner and then we take a bath, then pajamas and stories and then bedtime. Usually by 7PM the boys are going down to sleep and Carmen stays up until about 8 o’clock.

What’s an unexpectedly awesome part of parenting?

One of the things that I feel really lucky about is that I get to see how many different kinds of people you can make. Alec and I had a girl first and thought, okay, [Alec] + Me equals that kind of girl. And then we had a boy. So you think, [Alec] + Me equals that kind of boy. And then, if anyone goes for a third child, you start to see, wow! Him + Me equals a boy that’s completely different. And in our case, the fourth one, Him + Me equals a boy that’s completely different from those ones. Everything is so science-based now, which is amazing, but there is something very magical and bit mysterious about where the soul comes from. I’ve really been able to marvel at that from having so many kids with the same gender. People really are born with their own personality. It’s really beautiful.

 

How Adrienne Bosh Parents Five Kids and Meditates Daily

Adrienne Bosh is the ultimate multi-hyphenate. Just ask her Instagram bio. The mother of five (and no, that’s not a typo, she has FIVE children), is a CEO (check out her women’s networking site Sparkle and Shine Darling) , activist, philanthropist entrepreneur, “dreamweaver,” and wife (to former NBA player Chris Bosh.) Oh, and she looks flawless all while doing those things. Here, she talks about gender norms, the craziness of 7AM, and the importance of “me” time.

What’s the biggest difference between raising a girl and raising a boy?

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx0FGkeHiKw/

As a parent, I try to teach my children to embrace both their masculine and feminine energies. We’re no longer in resonance with the former “gender buckets” that I was raised with. I’m raising my daughters to be strong, and my sons to be sensitive. My girls will grow up knowing they are Queens that adjust each others’ crowns. I teach my daughters to be the hero of their own lives, and encourage my sons to cultivate empathy and compassion, which are emotions boys may have been formerly taught to hide. My boys are rambunctious, curious, and more physically active than my younger girls. They like to run, play and rough house. But they also love to garden. They love arts and crafts. My girls are also competitive in a healthy way, and they have been raised to know that they can achieve anything that the boys can! You hear “Raise your sons like your daughters,” and I think there is a lot of truth in that.

What does 7AM look like in your home?

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx5Y2swnF1Z/

7AM in our house is five kids waking up, getting dressed for school, the kitchen smells like a fresh stack of pancakes and I’m usually chasing my kids around for hugs fresh faced in a kimono. 7AM is a lot of chaos, but the energy is electric, wild and uncensored. Once the kids are all accounted for, I usually kick off my day with meditation. Alignment and visualization is a non-negotiable part of my day. After that, I have my kids set their intentions and mantras for the day. This is such an important part of their morning, and I believe it is essential as part of their growth.

What does 7PM look like in your home?

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvme5lEgz6Z/

7PM in our house sounds like Sade playing throughout the house, which is our wind down soundtrack. It’s bath time for the kiddos, followed by story time and “snuggle” time in their beds. 7PM is slow and loving, you’ll find the entire family in PJ’s (unless it’s a date night for my hubby and I, where 7PM in that case looks like #TeamOverdressed!).

What does one free hour to yourself look like?

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwpbWshHVIq/

I am a big believer in “me time,” especially as a Mama of five. I practice a self-care regimen that I call my “goddess rituals,” which helps me unwind from even the most stressful days. One of my favorite go-to’s involves drawing a warm bath full of essential oils, lavender, and bath salts. I’m also a big fan of yoga, daily meditation, or treating myself to an at-home massage. I also love a movie night with my hubby, even if it’s at home after I’ve tucked the kids in bed.

Advice as a powerful working mom?

https://www.instagram.com/p/ByYRzrxg6cP/

I really believe women CAN “have it all.” We get the luxury to design our lives, and I love that my children will always know a life where their mother works hard for what she believes in.

My job is to cultivate my kids’ creativity, encourage them to express themselves, and help them to navigate their individual curiosities. Above all things, I want to raise my children to have strong self-esteem, empathy, and compassion for themselves and others.

Something that everyone should know is that parenting is not for the faint of heart. You have to give it your all every day. But the key to getting through it is to be patient with yourself. You must push yourself, but remember that parents are human too. When things get hectic, try and laugh through the chaos. And in the end, the moments that we get to have with our families and the lifelong memories we make are what makes it all worth it.

How do you get your kids to take such great family photos? Any funny bribes?

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwdbOmOAxOz/

I am fortunate that my best friend for over a decade, April Belle (#aprilbellephotos), is an amazing photographer. She’s basically part of the family. She has documented every single one of my kids’ births, and even before that while they were in my belly. She takes so much time behind the lens getting to know each one of them, and has cultivated a special bond with each of my children. They love her, and they trust her. She also caters to their curiosities, teaching them about cameras, photography, and lets them peer behind the lens. Having her so close, especially while we’re traveling with our kids, makes them so comfortable with her. And even then, with five kids under 10 it’s still no easy task to get them all to smile at once!  Any shoot involving sweets is definitely a great distraction. It really helps to orient a shoot around an activity so the kids can have fun while making April’s job easier!