You likely know Ali Manno (Fedotowsky) as the chic former bachelorette on, you guessed it, The Bachelorette. Little did you know she has now graduated from that glam life and is currently dodging pool poop like the rest of us parents. Congrats! But that’s not all: The former TV presenter, entertainment journalist, and, of course, reality star has now rebranded as a blogger, influencer, “and mom trying to survive” (as her Instagram notes).
But most importantly, Manno is the proud and ever-honest (we’re obsessed with her postpartum body realness, like the post below) mom of daughter Molly and son Riley, with radio/TV host husband Kevin Manno. The Manno troupe recently returned from a trip to Hawaii and slammed straight into quarantine, so it’s only natural that they’re going a bit stir-crazy — just like absolutely every other parent, celebrity or not, that we know.
We caught up with Manno this week to get her dispatches from the throes of parenting, and she’s a breath of fresh air for sure. Just like us, Manno struggles to find time to read a book (that’s not about potty-training) and don’t even get her started on podcasts (girl, same). That said, she does have a few tips and tricks up her sleeve — in the form of oh-so simple parenting products from apps to snacks to butt paste (yep) — that make the hustle so much easier. Here are Manno’s mom essentials, in her own words.
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Just a quick little reminder that you are beautiful, your body is amazing, and our children are watching. Show them what self love looks like by choosing to love yourself everyday. ❤️ Oh and go put on the dang swimsuit, jump in the pool and PLAY!!!! Unless of course it’s freezing where you live, then maybe wait a few months 😉 ☀️ #everybodyisbeatiful #selflove #bodypositive #bodypositivity #bodypositivemovement
The podcast I’m listening to right now
“I’ve honestly never listened to a podcast except for the one I used to cohost. Ha! I just have so little time in my day to do things like this… I listen to my husband’s radio morning show!”
The books my kids are obsessed with currently
“Molly loves anything with her name in it. So, we have a bunch of personalized books that she gets so excited about. Her current favorite is one about how she’s an elf who saved Christmas… She still talks about how she saved Christmas this past December. It’s adorable.”
The books I’m reading myself
“The only book that I’ve read in the last five years since having kids that wasn’t related to potty-training or sleep-training is Rachel Hollis‘ new book, Girl, Stop Apologizing. And I haven’t even actually read it. I just listen to it on a CD in my car. So whenever I’m driving and my husband’s radio show is not on, I just play that CD. I find it very empowering!”
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5 hours into our self quarantine and we are totally not losing it #lies 🤪😬🥴 Swipe to see 😂 I just found these whistles and gave them to the kids and Kevin said “Yeah I’m pretty sure the CDC just recommended giving your kids small object to put in their mouths that blow spit everywhere” 😂😂😂To my credit, I did wash them with soap and water first 😉 It’s gonna be a long couple weeks or more but looking forward to the quality time with my family. And I feel passionate that it’s important that those who are able to stay home do just that – stay home (as much as possible)❤️ It will save lives. 🍷 But just in case I lose it, swipe to slide 3 – 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷😉 Tag your wine buddy to remind him/her to stock up too! 😉 #schoolsout #selfquarantine #coronaviruspandemic
The snacks I always have on hand for my kids
“My pantry is stocked with Campbell’s Well Yes! Sipping Soups. They are convenient, grab-and-go cups of soup that you heat up in the microwave in just one minute. Some flavors, such as Sweet Tomato & Basil, can even be served room-temp. Before I discovered them, I found myself grabbing really unhealthy snacks when I was in a rush or short on time. But the great thing about these soups is that they have 20% of your daily veggies, no GMOs, no preservatives, and they are so yummy. For me it’s all about nutritious snacks that are super convenient. Otherwise I eat junk or I don’t eat at all. I’m obsessed with them.”
The beauty product I always keep in my bag
“Sunscreen, sunscreen, and more sunscreen! I consider it a beauty product because it helps with aging and sunspots. I do not leave my house or even leave my bathroom in the morning without putting sunscreen on myself and my children.”
The app that makes my life as a parent easier
“When both of my kiddos were infants, I used an app called BabyConnect all the time. It tracks nursing, diaper changes and so many other things! Plus, you and your significant other can both have access to the same app so I could see when Kevin has changed her diaper or how long a nap was even when I’m at work.”
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Dimples on my cheeks and on my face 😉 🌴 One week post Hawaii and I find myself sitting here reminiscing while looking at photos on my phone. Best trip of my life. I ate what I wanted, I drank what I wanted, I rocked a bathing suit without any fear whatsoever, and as a result, I created the most amazing memories with my family! ☀️ It’s incredible how much time we spend worrying about how we look – and then end up missing moments like this. I vow never to miss them again! ☀️ P.S. @mollymanno’s swimsuit is totally on backwards. Mom fail moment 🤦🏼♀️ ha! #wedgie #cellulite #selflove #liveyourlife #youmatter #familytime #bodypositive
The parenting accounts I love to follow on Instagram
“I follow @scarymommy because a lot of what they post just makes me laugh. I also follow @mother.ly because they post inspiring things about motherhood. Sometimes, I need to be inspired in this whole process, and sometimes I need to just laugh about how crazy being a parent can be.”
The toys that keep my kids occupied for hours
“Both of my kids love art, so I find they will stay occupied for quite some time if I just put them in a giant box with markers or paint and let them go to town.”
What I like to watch with my kids
“Since my kiddos are only three and one, there really hasn’t been any TV shows that they want to watch that I want to watch. However, I will say that we took Molly to see Frozen II in the theater, Kevin and I loved it so much.”
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We are reaching all sorts of new levels of weirdness/craziness over here. Today (day 8 of our quarantine) I put hand soap all over my face thinking it was my moisturizer. And this 1st video, swipe to see it, is Molly and Riley‘s reaction to us telling them we could go in the backyard and pull up weeds. 🌱 😂 Check out www.AliManno.com for all the crafts we’ve been doing with our kids. It’s all stuff that we already had in the house and you probably do too. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done or weirdest thing going on in your house right now?
The kid-friendly music I don’t hate playing around the house
“I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I have to go with the Frozen II soundtrack!”
The best subscription I have for the kids
“Yes! We’ve been getting the KiwiCo box for over a year now. I love that it uses the STEAM model to make learning fun! When Molly sees it delivered to the front door, she gets so excited.”
My favorite kid skincare pick
“Triple Paste! It’s a diaper rash cream, but honestly we started using it on Molly after she was potty trained. She would get really red in her private area in the stuff helps so much. Riley gets really red cheeks and chin and we’ve actually been putting it on his face even though it’s diaper rash cream and it’s been helping.”
My favorite under-the-radar kids brands
“Lately I have been getting mommy-and-me matching from Mia Joy and Show Me Your Mumu. I just think it’s so fun to do mommy-and-me matching with Molly while she’s young and lets me do it.”
How I keep my mom wardrobe on point
“I love Rothy’s shoes! They are made with recyclable material so they’re doing something good for our planet and they are ridiculously comfortable. I definitely think they’re worth investing in a pair. I love the loafer in leopard!”
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Manno’s KiwiCo pick is just one of our favorite all-in-one craft kids kids will love.