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How to Look Hot in a Minivan: A Real Woman's Guide to Losing Weight, Looking Great, and Dressing Chic in the Age of the Celebrity Mom

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How to Look Hot in a Minivan: A Real Woman's Guide to Losing Weight, Looking Great, and Dressing Chic in the Age of the Celebrity Mom [Hardcover]

Janice Min
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews


“Janice really pulled together the best Hollywood tips and tricks for all of us moms to laugh at and learn from. Whether you have one child or four, there is definitely something for you in here!” —Heidi Klum

“Min’s familiar tone makes the book read like a girlfriends’ chat after mommy and me class. She shares personal stories about her pregnancy, postpartum and parenting issues — from muffin tops to working-mother guilt — with refreshing honesty, candor and humor. It’s no surprise the book is reminiscent of a lifestyle magazine filled with stunning celebrity photos, but Min’s style is engaging and she provides useful advice for regular moms. “If it were your full time job to look ... glamorous — and you had all the money in the world — you could probably look like an A-lister too. But this is real life ... we have to start aiming for goals that are actually attainable,” she says.” —Associated Press

"[Janice] shares advice for looking glamorous after baby, along with plenty of self-deprecating humor, and tips from doctors and experts in beauty, fashion and fitness." —

"A clever, honest, and practical guide to motherhood. J.Lo, Gwyneth, and the rest enjoy the aid of trainers and makeup artists; Min has gathered advice from the experts and experiences of celeb-world (whether or not we believe Jessica Alba struggled with postbaby weight, it’s reassuring to read about it) for our benefit. The result: a trove of info ranging from nutrition tips to how to dress for every occasion. Min, a mother of three, makes clear that while we can’t all be Angelina Jolie, we’re all—silver-screen siren or suburban mom—united in our quest for nonugly diaper bags." —Elle Magazine

“[How to Look Hot in a Minivan] is filled with a lot of great tips…it’s a terrific book” —Kathy Lee and Hoda on The Today Show

“As a mother I was laughing through everything [in the book]!” —Kit Hoover, Access Hollywood

“A very funny and yet very frank take on what it means to become a mother…get the book!” —E! News

“[How to Look Hot in a Minivan] offers a much-needed sense of humor about what really happens post-bump.” —SELF magazine

"Filled with awesome tips (like how to have celebrity-worthy hair, even on school days), this book will become your new best friend." —

“She divulges the inside info, from the perspective of a less than perfect real mom of three. She’s a great writer and includes many personal stories of her own pregnancy and parenthood experiences that are extremely relatable– from the time someone asked when she was due weeks after the baby was born… to the guilt of working motherhood…The book offers valuable advice in a funny, easy way with a message of being good to yourself. It would make a great gift for new moms as it’s filled with stories that most people won’t tell you when you’re pregnant (stretch marks, hair loss, cellulite!) Somehow Min breaks it to them gently, with lots of pretty celebrity photos.” —

About the Author

JANICE MIN has garnered rave reviews for her recent editorial revamp of The Hollywood Reporter, including a spot on the Huffington Post's 2011 list of "Game Changers" in the media. During her six-year tenure as editor in chief of US Weekly, she doubled the magazine’s audience to 13 million and earned some of the publishing world's highest honors, including Advertising Age's Magazine of the Year and AdWeek's Editor of the Year. Min has been named one of the New York Post’s Most Powerful Women, was described as having an "Oprah-esque power over celebrity culture" by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and is an in-demand expert for the Today show, ET, CNN, Good Morning America, and other national news outlets. She currently resides with her husband in Los Angeles, where they drive their three children around in a minivan.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

How to Look Hot in a Minivan
what i didn't expect after expecting
The 10 Terrible Things That Happen Postpartum
The morning after I gave birth to my first son, Will (the same morning I realized my stomach had morphed into something resembling a pool toy), I gathered the courage to step on the scale. Happily, I discovered that I'd already lost twenty-five of the thirty pounds I'd put on during pregnancy. Victory! Within weeks, I was still flabby, but I was back in my regular clothes (and, admittedly, feeling a little superior about that). Twenty-three months later, I delivered a second son, Tate--in the same hospital, no less--and I smugly hopped on the scale expecting the same results. I think I just assumed that I was one of those "lucky" women with good genes who would bounce back to my normal weight with little to no work. Unfortunately, I was not. I'd just had a six-pound, ten-ounce baby boy, but I was only seven pounds lighter than I'd been before giving birth.I actually stepped off and back on the scale at least four times, just to make sure it wasn't broken. It wasn't. I still had twenty-three pounds to go, and seemingly all of them were centered in the middle of my gut (every new mom knows the feeling; it's the perma-five-months-pregnant look). Losing the baby weight would prove much more difficult the second time around.
In fact, I was riding the New York City subway to work one morning, right around the time I came back from maternity leave, when an older gentleman repeatedly offered me his seat. I realized in horror that he thought I was still pregnant. And even though he was trying to be kind, the attempt at chivalry made me sort of hate him--not to mention feel absolutely ashamed of the way I looked. Not long after that, I was vacationing with my family when some bizarre woman approached me, told me she was "psychic," stared at my stomach, and asked if I was pregnant. (I wasn't.) After that, I was with my kids at a petting zoo when someone else asked me how far along I was. For seven long months, people would periodically ask if I was expecting and completely ruin my day in the process. (This is why I will never, ever ask a woman if she's pregnant--unless she's actually being wheeled into a maternity ward.)
One year after I gave birth, I hadn't lost all my baby weight. People were like, She's pregnant. And I was like, Nope--I'm just fat! I'm not one of those girls who can lose all that weight in six weeks, and, by the way, who are those people?
--Actress and mom Debra Messing
I remember waiting for some kind of miracle to happen, for my old metabolism to "kick in" or my hormones to straighten out--anything that would help rid me of that postnatal paunch. Despite the old adage that breastfeeding will help the pounds "melt away," the babyweight just wouldn't budge (and I nursed for fourteen whole months!). I even had my thyroid tested, more than half hoping I had some kind of legitimate health problem. It was enough to make me want to hide at home (not an option, unfortunately) or just give up altogether. I felt like I was teetering on the precipice of just letting it all go. Why even try when nothing seemed to work?
Sometimes I look at old pictures of myself and I think, Aaagh! I need to get that back.
--Reality star and mom Kendra Wilkinson on life after childbirth
Thankfully, I discovered that I wasn't alone--lots of women think they're prepared for the aftermath of pregnancy, but most are in for a really rude awakening. That abracadabra I'm-back-in-a-bikini tap dance that celebrities do, usually between three and six weeks postpartum, is just not in the cards for the average woman (and, of course, it completely distorts our expectations for ourselves).
"I think we're all a bit sheltered from the realities of life after childbirth," says New York OB-GYN Shari Brasner, M.D. "For example, if a woman has an abdomen that's incredibly scarred by stretch marks, she probably isn't showing it off in a bikini at the beach." New York dermatologist David Colbert, who counts celebrity moms Angelina Jolie and Naomi Watts as clients, agrees: "I've often said that we should have pre-pregnancy support groups, where we explain to women: This is what will happen to your body. Women need to be informed and prepared, because if you're not, it's like bungee jumping."
Well, I know I certainly bungee jumped into motherhood--and if you felt like crying because Skinnygirl Bethenny Frankel somehow managed to don her size 4 bathing suit just twenty-one days after giving birth, you probably bungee jumped, too. And let's be realistic: Somewhere along the way we all got tricked into thinking that no matter what we looked like before baby, we would bounce back looking like smoking-hot Jessica Alba. Not gonna happen. Most women are not rubber bands that just snap back in place after having a baby. In fact, your body--no matter how hard you work out or how many pounds you shed--will probably always look a little different after you give birth. Not worse, necessarily, but different. And it's important to understand all the ways your body likely has changed before you attempt to get back in your skinny jeans (and beat yourself up if you can't). Right off the bat, I thought it would be helpful to explain exactly what we're dealing with. So here's what can you expect ... after you've finished expecting.
1 Rapid and Sudden Hair Loss
Remember how gloriously thick your hair felt during pregnancy? Then, just a few months after giving birth--wham!--you're suddenly shedding like a sheepdog. It's not uncommon for new moms to develop a little halo of "baby hairs" around the forehead and the hairline or to feel as though they're losing more hair than normal. For months after I gave birth, I would torture myself in the shower, counting just how many hairs had fallen out into my hands, calculating how long I had left before the inevitable baldness set in. And I wasn't the only one who noticed: Once, I was getting made up for a TV appearance, when the makeup artist announced that he was going to dust dark brown eye shadow onto the part in my hair so that it would look "less wide." Horrifying.
So what's the deal with this sudden succession of bad hair days? Everybody sheds a little bit; in fact, typical hair loss is about one hundred strands per day. During pregnancy, however, elevated levels of estrogen in your body prolong the growth phase of the individual hairs, making them grow longer before they fall out. When your hormones eventually return to their pre-pregnancy levels, usually somewhere around four to six months postpartum, the normal hair loss cycle returns, too, in a process medically referred to as "telogen effluvium." "All those hairs that synchronized in the growth part of the cycle are now entering the loss phase together," says Dr. Brasner. That's when you'll start to feel as though you're suddenly going bald.
Though in most cases post-pregnancy hair loss will resolve on its own, it can sometimes be exacerbated by a thyroid condition, such as postpartum thyroiditis or severe postpartum iron-deficiency anemia (tests for both can be performed at your OB-GYN's office). In the meantime, you can help keep your hair healthy by using a conditioner and a detangler, rather than yanking at stubborn knots, and by not pulling your hair up in a high, tight ponytail (which can cause added strain at the hairline as well as additional breakage). "Since some of my patients want to be proactive while waiting for their hair growth to kick in," adds Dr. Brasner, "I sometimes prescribe iron supplements, even if their iron levels are relatively normal." If you feel that you're suffering from excessive hair loss, don't hesitate to speak with your doctor.
2 "Momnesia"
I used to have a near photographic memory. I could recite phone numbers without ever having to look them up, knew all my credit card numbers by heart, and had such detailed recall of events and conversations that more than one of my friends described my ability as "elephantine." Now, I seriously can't remember a thing. I create passwords for all my online accounts and mere moments later have no idea what I typed. Sometimes when I'm traveling for work, I actually have to stop and think about which airport I'm in. I even managed to leave my purse in the American Airlines lounge in New York once ... and didn't realize it until I had landed in California.
If having a baby has made you a little scatterbrained, you're not alone. Recent research suggests that "maternal amnesia"--with symptoms including, most commonly, an increase in forgetfulness, clumsiness, anxiety, stress, or the inability to concentrate--is a legitimate phenomenon among new mothers. (Though the prevalence of buzzing, vibrating devices and nonstop Internet access doesn't help. These days it's almost impossible to focus on one thing at a time. And it drives me crazy that any device that makes a beep or buzz--BlackBerrys, iPhones, etc.--somehow must be acknowledged by its owner, even in the middle of a conversation. Horrible.)
But don't let the term amnesia scare you--it's not as though you suddenly won't be able to recognize your own husband. However, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, performing new memory tasks, like learning a new phone number or remembering a new acquaintance's name (or recalling where in the world you put the pacifier that your baby wants right this minute), may prove slightly more difficult than before you got pregnant.
Researchers aren't sure what causes "mom brain," but it's thought that a variety of factors, including sleep deprivation, hormonal fluctuations, and the general upheaval that occurs when you bring baby home from the hospital, pr...
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