If you watched MTV’s 2004 hit reality show “Laguna Beach” (and really, who didn’t?), then you might feel like you know Kristin Cavallari pretty well. But, the TV personality and shoe designer, who was 17-years-old when the show started, has always insisted that none of what we saw on TV was rooted in reality. (She has said the same thing about the spin-off series, “The Hills,” which Cavallari starred in during her twenties.) “I think people think they know me from being on reality TV, but they really don’t,” she told me. In March, Cavallari will launch her first book, Balancing in Heels, to show fans who she really is. “This is the first time I’ve ever been this raw and real,” the now-29-year-old explained. The book is part-memoir/part how-to on lifestyle topics ranging from fitness to fashion (she has her own jewelry and shoe lines). Recently, she took a break from her busy schedule to chat with us about work, raising three little kids, the crazy way her husband, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, had to help her after her recent car accident, and more.
MT: Why is this the right time for you to launch your first book?
KC: I feel like I’ve come a long way in the past 10 years. As corny as it sounds, I’ve finally found happiness, so I’m in a good place to let people in and share my journey.
MT: Some people might say you already put yourself out there as a reality TV star…
KC: “Laguna Beach” was really our lives being manipulated by being put in situations we never would have been in normally. And when I joined “The Hills,” I looked at it strictly as a job; we filmed three different scenes, three days a week. I had my life on-camera and a completely different life off-camera. I knew the character they wanted me to play, and this time I was game. Since I looked at it as a job, it was fun to play up the villain character.
MT: How did you finally find happiness?
KC: Becoming comfortable in my own skin by really figuring out who I am. It’s funny because on “Laguna Beach” I came off like the person who really had my sh*t together but I was a mess–like most teenagers. I was really unhappy. There’s a saying that you have to learn to love yourself before anyone else can love you, and it’s very true.
MT: Something else that we know is making you happy is your new baby Saylor James! How is she doing?
KC: She’s amazing! I have been in complete baby bliss.
MT: Was it overwhelming to make the jump from two kids to three?
KC: I thought it was more difficult going from one kid to two. Saylor is my easiest baby, which obviously helps a lot, and my middle kid, Jaxon, was a pretty difficult baby. I was expecting three to be complete chaos–and it is–but in the best possible way. Saylor is also my best sleeper. At 9-weeks-old, she’s already going eight hours at night without eating. And she’s a sound sleeper. With the boys, any little noise and I would be up. But when Saylor is out, she’s out!
MT: How have the boys reacted to their new sister?
KC: Camden is completely enamored. Jaxon had a rough first week. Anytime I breastfed Saylor, he’d try to take the pillow from underneath her and then he’d have a complete meltdown. But he snapped out of it quickly. Now he’ll hold her hand or do something else sweet.
MT: What’s your favorite thing in Saylor’s nursery right now?
KC: I didn’t want to buy new furniture so I kept the curtains, crib, dresser, and rocker that both boys had. I did splurge on a taupe canopy over her crib and twinkling lights under the crib, which are really beautiful.
MT: Did you always hope that you’d have a daughter, or did you see yourself as a “boy” mom?
KC: I always wanted two boys and a girl and I wanted the girl to be last. So, now, I could pinch myself because of the way things have turned out. It’s my kind of perfect. I always did think I was more of a boy mom but I have such a great relationship with my mom that I always wanted a girl, too.
MT: How would you describe your parenting style?
KC: Pretty calm and relaxed. We have our rules and if you don’t follow the rules, we count to three and if you’re still misbehaving then you go to timeout or to your room. I really want my kids to be able to make their own mistakes and then pick themselves up afterwards. The boys are both very independent. They know that there are rules and they know what they can and can’t do.
MT: What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you as a mom?
KC: In January, I was in a car accident and I dislocated my elbow, which meant I couldn’t hold Saylor. She’s a newborn, so I couldn’t just prop her on my hip. I needed to cradle her with two arms. Jay had to help me breastfeed. He literally had to put her on my boob. He even had to help me pump in the hospital after the accident. I never thought my husband would be holding my pump up to my boob!
MT: Now that’s marriage…You know, a lot of celebs advocate breastfeeding, including the right to breastfeed in public. What would you say to people who are critical of it?
KC: Don’t look.
MT: After Camden was born, I read somewhere that you love being pregnant. Is that still true after being pregnant three times?
KC: [laughs] I am one of those rare women who doesn’t mind being pregnant. The first time was the most enjoyable for me. I didn’t have to look after another baby. At the end of my third pregnancy, I was so exhausted after chasing both boys around all day. I’d also be lying if I didn’t say I was excited to close that chapter in my life. I’m looking forward to giving away my maternity clothes!
MT: Do you do anything differently as a third-time mom than, say, you did when your boys were babies?
KC: Not necessarily, I just have a lot more confidence this time around. I know all the signs and cues now, whereas I was still learning them as a first-time mom.
MT: Is there anything that you swore you’d never do as a mom before you became a parent that you do now?
KC: I always thought it was annoying when people showed a million pictures of their kids but now I find myself doing that! It’s hard not to when you are so proud of your kids!
MT: OK, let’s switch gears and talk love and fashion. First, love. What’s your favorite date night spot?
KC: We recently discovered a yummy, fun restaurant by us in the suburbs. I love getting dressed up and putting makeup on because it rarely happens these days. And, I like that I can go out and have a glass of wine but still be in bed by 10 p.m.
MT: You’ve talked about going to therapy with Jay to maintain a happy marriage. Is there anything else that you swear by?
KC: It’s all about making time for the relationship. You have to make a conscious effort. Therapy helps greatly with communication and forces us to focus on the relationship instead of entirely on the kids.
MT: On to fashion. It’s awards season! Who are you looking forward to seeing on the red carpet?
KC: I always love what Kate Hudson wears.
MT: What is your biggest fashion secret for looking amazing at glam events?
KC: Tailoring! It makes such a huge difference when something fits you perfectly.
MT: What’s the one thing you wish people would stop wearing on the red carpet?
KC: Obviously, I see stuff that I wouldn’t wear myself, but if it makes someone else happy then go for it!
MT: Last Q before we let you go: What’s something about you that would surprise others if they knew it?
KC: I’m such a neat freak. I’m a little OCD when it comes to organizing. There’s nothing I love more than organizing my closet, the fridge, pantry — you name it!
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- Claire Coffee: What it’s Really Like to Have My Baby on Set with Me (Photos)
- Elisabeth Rohm: 5 Things I Want My Daughter to Know By Age 15