One of my fav parts about I Heart Heels, is being able to chat with "celebrities." But, you know what? Most of them, they don't even seem like celebrities at all - just real people who are so amazingly good at what they do. And that's Ali Landry to a tee.
The former Miss USA is pretty much doing it all - wife, mom of two (her youngest is just three months old and sleeping 'til 7 a.m...jealous, anyone?), fashion designer, TV personality/model and now add both Web site founder and reality TV star to her list. Whew, you can imagine the honor for me to be able to chat with her on my cell. (And, yes, she was as friendly as a BFF.) Did I mention she's southern (straight from small-town Louisiana)? So, yep, we clicked just fine, y'all.
She calls growing up in a small town like "one-stop shopping" where everyone lives close by, including aunts and uncles, and it was always easy to visit with everyone. And while she's sad she can't give that to her children, Ali says both Estela (her 4-year-old-daughter) and Marcelo (her 3-month-old-son) are both "excellent" travelers. Being a mom has always been Ali's "purpose on earth," she tells me. "I enjoy everything else, but I've always felt this was my purpose."
So much that Ali's made a real business out that "mom space" (as she calls it) - she loves to connect with other moms. Most recently she started a new venture called SpokesMoms.com, a Web site for moms with product reviews to help them make more informed choices when buying baby and child products. "[I love] to support other moms and connect with them."
And connecting with other (Hollywood) moms is exactly where you will find Ali come March 5 on The TV Guide Network when she debuts the first of five episodes of Hollywood Girls Night, which she hosts along with Alison Sweeney. It's an inside look at their monthly girls' night potluck (which they made a tradition two years ago), and there are different celebrity guests on each show.
Ali's children's line, Belle Parish, has grown larger than she could ever imagine. The label, inspired by her southern upbringing, is currently in the process of being licensed out to department stores. "It started out in my garage and it's now a lot of work. I have so many other projects, so I have to let someone take care of the daily aspects and take it to the next level." The line has been such a hit, it even showed during fashion week in New York last year.
And as far as what Ali's wearing these days? "Boots every day," she laughs. She does admit she gets to wear heels for date nights with her husband as well as meetings and events, but for everyday, "it's all about comfort - and still trying to look cute." At only three months postpartum, Ali only has 10 more pounds of baby weight to go (she's been in the gym twice a week with intense core/circuit routines), and tells me she and her husband Alejandro started a cleanse of proteins, veggies and salads just after the new year to get her to a March weight loss goal for a family trip. "[Alejandro and I] have to eat the same thing, so it's really nice to have each other as a support system."
With so much to do and so little time, how does Ali balance it all without going insane? She simply laughs with "I don't know." "It takes a village; my husband and I are a team, and there are lots of people who help us. Unfortunately my job isn't a 9-5, it's 24/7, so my office is wherever I am. [Right now] I'm busy, busy and really trying to sort of find a balance where I can give a little bit to everybody and still have something for myself at the end of the day." We hear ya, Ali.
Wondering what products Ali personally adores? Here's what she told me!
SPANX ("Every woman should own a pair! I don't care how thin you are, it smooths out everything.")
Clarisonic ("I really, really love mine!)
Palmer's Cocoa Butter
Great pair of ballet flats ("Tory Burch is a great one, but Target has cute ones, too.")
Riding boots ('My favorite pair is from Coach!")
[Photo Courtesy AliLandryLife.com]