Name: Brooke Parkhurst

Kids: Parker Lee, Age 2

Occupation: Author, Cook and Blogger

Hometown: Pensacola, Florida and New York City (for the past decade)

H&H Interview with Brooke:

1.  What are your top three favorite recipes?

My husband, James, is an amazing professional chef and I’m a home cook so something yummy is always coming out of our kitchen. In our cookbook, Just Married & Cooking (May 11’, Scribner), we focus on easy, elegant food that pulls from our Southern roots. One-pot, summer vegetable sautees like our Seafood Succotash get dinner on the table in 30 minutes and incorporate fresh, local produce and good, lean protein. Fun salads like our Arugula & Peach Salad with Shaved Corn Vinaigrette make eating your greens something to look forward to. And I love a little Happy Hour every night so we created a chapter called Afterwork Apps for all those great dips and nibbles that’ll sustain you from work (or your work-out) to dinner. The best is our Feta & Sundried Tomato Tapenade. A bunch of fresh, flat-leaf parsley, feta, olives, scallions and sundried tomatoes are mixed together with good olive oil for the ultimate whole-wheat cracker or pita chip topping. Then we enjoy it all with a glass of rose’.

2.  What are you reading (honestly)?

I like to read several books at once to ensure I get at least one good food scene before I go to bed (at 9:30pm)! Just as I was finishing “The Paris Wife” and “Cleopatra,” I began “Lunch in Paris” and “You or Someone Like You.”

3.  What is your guilty pleasure when you get some much coveted ‘me’ time?

Massage chairs at the nail salon rank right up there with a bar stool at Balthazar Restaurant in SoHo. My best girlfriend and I sit at our usual perch, order steak tartare, French fries and a nice bottle of Cote du Rhone and talk for hours. Girl time is definitely good for the soul!

4.  What would we be surprised to find in your purse?

A teeny tiny pair of pink underwear can now always be found in my purse–I’m potty-training Parker Lee and you never know when disaster may strike! I also carry around a street map of Paris. I can’t bring myself to take it out after the trip I took this past winter. Too many wonderful cozy bistro and shopping memories.

5.  What is your favorite reality TV show?

BRAVO is king! I love the Real Housewives with their drama and the fancy outfits they wear to the grocery store. The Miami and the New York ladies are my favorite. James and I even dedicated a cocktail to them in the cookbook. The Smackdown packs a punch and we’re definitely not responsible for the ladies’ behavior after they have a few!

6.  What is your favorite cocktail recipe of choice?

I love really girlie cocktails served in martini glasses or champagne flutes and down-home drinks sipped from Ball jars. Our Raspberry Gin Fizz is elegant for holiday parties (or just because!) and our Rosemary Lemonade incorporates citrus and herbs making it different and delicious.

7.  What is the funniest thing your daughter has said or done lately?

I could learn so much from our daughter, Parker Lee, if I really took to heartwhat she said. A few of her recent favorites: “Mamma, gotta be patient!” and “Be sweet to the gentlemens.” And no matter what kind of day we’ve had, she always ends it with, “I love you too, Mamma.”

8.  What is your favorite quotation?

Lucille Ball once said, “Luck to me is hard work… and realizing what is opportunity and what isn’t.”

9.  What is your most dreaded household chore?

Doing the dishes– morning, noon and night. We’re constantly cooking so that means that we always have dirty dishes. Because he’s the head chef at our West Village apartment, guess who gets stuck with the pots and pans?

10. Who is your favorite celebrity mom and why?

Funny, business-minded moms who keep everything in perspective–and like a good glass of Sancerre at the end of the day–are my favorites. I’d like to hang out with Kelly Ripa after she puts the kids to bed. And Reese Witherspoon has struck such an enviable balance being a mom, an actor and a business woman. I’d love to hang out with her- but only if she let me take notes and learn the keys to her success!

11. What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I like to lose myself when I travel to another country. I try to speak the language, read the local newspaper and dress like I belong… That might explain my romance language major in college and why I used to be able to speak five languages (though now, it’s more like three). I like stepping out of my skin and living someone else’s life. And completely unrelated to that, I have terrible coordination- you don’t want me in your aerobics class. My terrible moves confuse everyone- even the teacher!

12. What is your secret to staying Hot & Healthy?

Consistency with my workout routine (nothing fancy–running, spinning, weights) keeps me in better shape than I was in high school. If I have the baby and not a lot of time on my hands, I’m not opposed to strapping her in the stroller and making her go on a jog with Mamma! Most importantly, I have a husband who loves me (and cooks for me more than I’d like to admit). He keeps everything in perspective and has taught so much about moderation with diet and exercise and in every element of my life.

Photos courtesy of Colleen Duffley Photography

*Check back on Wednesday to win your copy of Just Married & Cooking!*


Written by Lea Barlow • Leave a comment

Name: Rachelle Mittelstet

Kids: Preston (5) and Lincoln (3)

Occupation: Owner of Mittelstet Mobile Notary

Hometown: Roseville, CA

H&H Interview with Rachelle:

1. What advice do you have for moms to help them stay motivated with their fitness goals?

BE PATIENT!  Reaching your goals is a continuous process.  It takes time and commitment to being the best “you” you can be.

2.  What are the top 3 items in your grocery cart?

Eggs, Milk, and chicken

3. What is your guilty pleasure when you get a break from the kids?

Going to the Spa!  It gives me a reason to close my eyes and stop the world for a moment or two.  I have been known to fall asleep while getting waxed!

4. What would we be surprised to find in your purse?

Icebreakers mints…but the yummy flavors.  They are sugar free so I can gobble them up!  This week’s flavor choice is Orangeade!

5. What is your favorite reality TV show?

HGTV’s House Hunter’s International.  My husband Caleb and I try to guess which property the buyer will choose.

6. What is your go-to ‘Cheat Day’ treat?

Hands down, a brownie!

7. What is the funniest thing your kids have said or done lately?

While playing in the backyard on a hot summer day my 5 year old wipes his brow and says, “Mommy it’s hot, we need a pool.”  I shake my head in agreement and gingerly say, “We sure do Preston.”   He instantly drops his toy, points at my 3 year old and says, “Lincoln grab your floaties!”  Points at me and says, “Mom, you grab the water!”  He then runs over and pulls out his shovel from the sandbox and starts jabbing at the lawn.  He looks up at me and says, “Don’t worry Mom we will have a pool in no time!”

8. What is your favorite quotation?

“Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least” –Van Goethe

9. What songs are top on your iPod playlist right now?

Party Rock, Gonna Fly Now (Rocky theme song), and anything with Pitbull!

10. Who is your favorite celebrity mom and why?

Gwen Stefani.  She is super fashionable, she makes her children a priority, and her abs are ROCK SOLID!

11. What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I love music and play 5 instruments: clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe, tuba, and piano.

12. What is your secret to staying Hot & Healthy?

I strive to be the best person I can be every day.  Living a healthy lifestyle and being a positive role model for my children is number one.  Instilling healthy habits early and leading by example are a part of my daily life.  I also try to look my best, whether I am on date night or at the grocery store.  When I look good, I feel good and I feel that attitude carries through to others around me.  I hope I make them feel good too!

*Thanks, Rachelle!*


Written by Lea Barlow • Leave a comment

Name: Loren Ridinger

Kids: Amber Ridinger, 18

Occupation: Senior Vice President of Market America and SHOP.COM (Internet marketing and product brokerage companies)

Hometown: Miami, FL and New York City

H&H Interview with Loren:

1. What are the top 5 wardrobe essentials every woman should have?

Leggings, a white ribbed tank top, black blazer a good pair of fitted jeans and a little black dress!

2. What style advice do you have for a new mom stuck in a fashion rut?

Accessorize! Accessories can turn any simple or challenging outfit into a polished look.

3. What are a few quick beauty secrets to help busy moms on the go look their best?

Always wear mascara, lip gloss, Motives® No Shine Makeup Setting Spray and Motives® Pressed Bronzer which adds a sexy glow to your skin.

4. What beauty product are you never without?

My Motives® Liquid Powder Mineral Foundation SPF 15, Full Coverage Photo Finish Powder, Motives® Pressed Blush in Dancing Queen, Motives® Pressed Bronzer in Miami Glow, Motives®   Pressed Eye Shadow in Steel, Cosmic, Starstruck and Vanilla, Khol Eyeliner in Onyx, Motives® Rich Formula Lipstick in Pink Rose & Nude and Pucker Up Lip Plumper in Temptress and Diamond!

5. What is your favorite reality TV show?

I don’t really watch a lot of TV, because I don’t have much time, but when I do I enjoy watching House Hunters on HGTV, Keeping Up With The Kardashian’s and Selling New York.

6. What is your cocktail of choice?

Kettle one with soda and splash of lime juice

7. What is the funniest thing your kids have said or done lately?

When I was holding our best friends baby the other day, whom she is the godmother of, she was trying to tell me how I needed to hold him and what to do… I loved it.. considering she forgot I have done it already with her…

8. What is your favorite quotation?

My favorite quote is the one that is on Loren’s World, “You Become What you Think About All the time.”

9. What is your guilty pleasure when you get a little coveted ‘me’ time?

Massages! Nothing is better after a long day or week!

10. Who is your favorite celebrity mom style icon and why?

My good friend Kris Jenner, because she has a classic, yet edgy style to her and she is a mom to six kids!  Jackie O because of her classic, elegant and timeless style and my very dear friend, Jennifer Lopez because of her evolving style and effortless sexy style, and of course, Elizabeth Taylor for her remarkable Hollywood glamour and the fabulous jewelry collection she had.

11. What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

That I work from home in my pajama’s all day!

12.  What is your secret to staying Hot & Healthy?

I take a lot of supplements, Isotonix® OPC-3, Isotonix® Activated B Complex and Isotonix® Reservatrol. I love to ride my bike and when I’m in Miami I love to take a dip in the pool after a long day  of  work…it’s a great way to de-stress. I also get a lot of facials and drink plenty of water, which helps me stay hydrated and keeps my skin looking fresh, in addition I snack on lots of fruits.

*Thanks, Loren!*


Written by Lea Barlow • 3 Comments

Name: Jenny Brown

Kids: Wyland (2) and Sawyer (8 months)

Occupation: Proud mom / blogger

Hometown: Largo, FL

H&H Interview with Jenny:

1.  What are the top 3 items in your grocery cart?

My husband and I are currently eating no grains, dairy, legumes, sugar (real or fake) or alcohol so our cart is filled with fruits, veggies and lean meat.  Right now we couldn’t live without almonds and raspberries.  I could eat a whole pint of berries in one sitting.  I am also always buying goat’s milk for my two-year old son (he’s sensitive to cow’s milk).

2.   What are you reading (honestly)?

I’m currently reading Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run by Kristin Armstrong.  It is a compilation of her blog entries written for “Runner’s World” magazine.  They are great little bits of motivation since she too is a busy mom who loves running, like me.

3.   What is your guilty pleasure when you get a break from the kids?

My husband and I like to take the boat out and go fishing.  We don’t get to do that much when we take both the boys since they are so young.  I also enjoy dinner and drinks with my great mom friends.

4.   What would we be surprised to find in your purse?

Actually, I feel like my purse is a cliche for the stay at home mom.  I’m not sure any particular item is shocking.  Maybe the sheer volume would be a surprise.  My husband is a chiropractor and definitely doesn’t approve of my heavy bag.  But I need everything in there!

5.   What is your favorite reality TV show?

I LOVE the Real Housewives of New York and Beverly Hills (but I will watch them all), Flipping Out and The Amazing Race.  I would love to be on that show.

6.   What is your cocktail of choice?

Right now I’m not drinking so my exciting beverage of choice is coconut soda water.  When I do drink I love a good margarita or Chimay (a dark Belgian ale).

7.   What is the funniest thing your kids have said or done lately?

Wyland, 2, has just really started talking a bunch and a lot of what he says, or how he says it, is super-cute.  No matter how many times we correct him, he insists on calling his grandmother (my mom) Nano instead of Nana, which I think is adorable!

8.   What is your favorite quotation?

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

- Ellen Parr

9.  What are the top songs on your iPod playlist right now?

I really enjoy running without my iPod since life with a two-year old and a baby can be loud and chaotic.  But when I do get a chance to listen to my music (instead of kid’s music) I love anything by the Avett Brothers or Vampire Weekend.

10.  Who is your favorite celebrity mom and why?

I really like  Bethenney Frankel.  She seems very hands on with her daughter, Bryn, while being a savvy businesswoman. She is sensible about diet and fitness.  I understand that her personality isn’t for everyone, but I find her brutal honesty hysterical.

11.  What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I consider myself to be shy and get really nervous when I have to speak in public.  My husband is outgoing and very involved in our community.  I think the people who know us just assume that it comes naturally for both of us.   Since I’ve had kids I’ve really made a concerted effort to overcome this by getting involved in various groups, events and committees in town.

12.  What is your secret to staying Hot & Healthy?

I giggle every time I think of myself as a “hot” mom  but I am definitely proud as well.  I always told myself that when I had kids I wouldn’t be one of those women that let everything go.  It’s like when you’re in an airplane and they give you the safety schpeel.  They always say to put your oxygen mask on and then assist others.  I also believe this is true with a family.  You can’t truly take care your children if you don’t take care of yourself.  I believe it sets a good example for my kids.

Goal setting is also very important for me.  Shortly after I had Sawyer, I signed up for my first half marathon.  I’d never really been a runner before, but having committed to this event made me get out and run.  Now it is something I love doing.  My two-year old knows when I put on my workout clothes, Mommy’s going running.  Not only is it great for the body, but running gives me time to decompress, which is great for the mind!

I also think to be “Hot & Health”  you need a support system.  Mine begins with my husband.  Not only is he always telling me I’m hot (with a slight eye roll from me).  He keeps me on track.  If it’s been a hard day, and I don’t feel like running, he will always remind me that I should go.  And he brings the boys to most of my races to cheer me on, which is awesome.  It always pumps me up!

*Thanks, Jenny!*


Written by Lea Barlow • 1 Comment