Jessica Alba is all about good, clean living. In her first book, The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You (Rodale, $22.99), the actress talks about how becoming a mom to Honor, 4, and Haven, who turns 2 in August, changed her outlook on, well, everything.
As a new parent, Alba (along with husband Cash Warren) was determined to make their home as toxic-free as possible.
Frustrated by the chemical-filled stuff she found at the supermarket and beyond, she launched The Honest Company — eco-friendly family products like cleansers, toys, soaps, even diapers. In the book, the 31-year-old Spy Kids star offers suggestions on how to be a fabulous mom and includes tips on everything from DIY baby food to closet essentials.
Hear all about her impressive juggling act in Hollywood at a 7:30 p.m. Tuesday Books & Books event at the Coral Gables Congregational Church. We chatted before her visit:
What is a typical day like for you?
I start work the moment I wake up — checking emails, my daily schedule and appointments. I like to have everything organized before I head out the door. It’s the only way I can make it somewhere on time with two toddlers. So I pick out my outfit the night before and do the same for Honor and Haven.
I read you had allergies as a child. Do you still?
I have sensitivities to certain things, especially during peak allergy seasons. It’s no secret that I have very sensitive skin. A severe allergic reaction to conventional laundry detergent inspired my journey to found my company.
What stages are your girls in now?
Honor loves being the big sister. She’s a little sidekick to me, helping me take care of Haven. She’s also really becoming interested in cooking and creating things in the kitchen. Haven is such a bright light and so sweet natured. It is amazing how fast time flies as a mom.
Do they know what you do for a living?
Haven’s a bit young still, but Honor definitely has an understanding of what I do and where I go each day. She’s also visited me several times while I’m working at Honest, so she can get a better sense of what I do when I’m away from home.
How do you find time to juggle it all?
If I can stay organized, then I have more time to spend with my family and friends. For example, I make Haven’s meals on the weekend so that she has something homemade to eat all week long. Grains are especially easy to make on a Sunday and use in various and creative ways throughout the week. Getting ready in the morning has become a cinch now that I’ve identified my favorite makeup products, and I’ve found a way to label and organize them. Now that I’ve made an “honest living” routine, I’m no longer worrying about the health and safety ramifications of the lipstick I use or the meal I give my kids. It frees up a lot of time. At the end of the day, as long as my girls are happy and healthy I don’t mind if something doesn’t get checked off my to-do list.
What is your latest acting project?
I play the nemesis in Escape From Planet Earth, in theaters now. It was really fun to play that role because it’s one I don’t often get to explore, and the style of acting for an animated film is much more over-the-top. I’m especially excited that it’s a movie my girls can watch because it’s a really sweet story. Coming up, I have a part in A.C.O.D (Adult Children of Divorce), which recently premiered at Sundance. It’s about the effects that divorce can have on children after they’ve reached adulthood.
Any plans while you’re in town?
Unfortunately, there’s no time on the busy book tour, but usually I can’t wait to eat at Mr. Chow.
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