Mamaista, the chic little daily for moms

June 18, 2010

Celebrity Mama – and Papa – of the Month

Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen

Last night’s reunion special wrapped up the strifefest that was the latest season of The Real Housewives of New York City. And, oh, what a season it’s been – thanks in no small part to Alex McCord.

The past few months have seen Alex come out of her shell and tell it like it is. Thanks to her candid comments, Alex and her husband Simon van Kempen have become the show’s couple to watch. And with their new book, Little Kids, Big City, they’re now also the couple to read.

Infused with the same humor and straight-shooting style that’s catapulted this Real Housewife to center stage, Little Kids, Big City is an honest, no-holds-barred look at the journey of parenting sons Francois, 6, and Jonah, 4. “The most surprising thing was that I didn’t feel more grownup or more capable or like a different person,” Alex says. “I’m still the same person I was at 17 and 25 and 30, just now with kids. That was both incredibly liberating and surprising.”

Here are some more revelations from the couple:

Fave baby ride: Bugaboo Frog. We bought one in 2003 and still have it – we replaced all the parts eventually, but never bought another one!

Fave gift at Bethenny’s baby shower: We got her a beautiful little dress and booties by Petit Confection, as well as a basket of practical stuff like wipes, bottles and soap.

Fave kids’ room decor item: With two rough and tumble boys, we swear by the multicolored foam floor tiles that are easily replaced when stained and pad the floor when boys bounce off them!

Fave tips for renovating: Always have a green zone where the kids can play, and keep their favorite items within easy reach. Remind them that when the work is over, they can fall in love with stuff that was packed away all over again.

Fave place to visit in Brooklyn/NYC: On a weekend afternoon, it’s always fun to walk from our house over to the Promenade and then getting ice cream at the Fulton Ferry Landing. We can’t wait for the new Brooklyn Bridge Park to open!

Fave kids clothing line: Small Paul by Paul Frank, Petit Bateau (especially for coats) and Pura Vida. H&M for jeans; no sense buying expensive jeans when boys tear holes in them at the speed of light!??

Favorite toys: Well, we just asked Johan what his favorite toy was, and he said “Your iPhone.” François is partial to his night-vision goggles and toy AMP robot suit from the movie Avatar.

The one item you couldn’t live without: As a mom who works from home, I couldn’t survive without my laptop and cellphone.

The one item you wouldn’t want to live without: My espresso machine!! Mom got me a Breville last year and I use it daily.

Available at For book tour dates and locations, go to

>>BABBLE ALERT: Need a seriously last minute gift for Father’s Day? Check out Mamaista’s Daddy & Son style roundup!