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Momsessed: Eva Chen’s Parenting Essentials Include Bath Bombs and (of Course) Cute Clothes

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Eva Chen was a style icon and Instagram influencer long before she had children — but ever since she added “mom” to her list of roles, the director of fashion partnerships at Instagram and bestselling children’s book author has been serving up inspiration not just for the fashion-savvy, but their kids, too.

It helps that Chen’s own children — daughter Ren, 7, and sons Tao, 5, and baby River — provide plenty of fodder for both her books and her long-running partnership with Janie and Jack. “I have a built-in focus group of three kids!” she told SheKnows via email (while recovering from a COVID diagnosis!). “I get to hear day-in and day-out what they like and don’t like, so the collections I’ve done with Janie and Jack always have a sport element as well as some dressier elements. A little bit of high-low, which is exactly how I like to dress as well.”

Chen’s latest collaboration with the brand is a Lunar New Year Collection inspired by her latest book, I Am Golden, and the pieces in the line pull details, like lotus flowers, directly from the pages. The book is described as an “ode to Chinese joy and family” and Chen is teaching her children to honor both.

“Being Chinese to me, in the last two years especially, has become an even bigger part of who I am,” she says. “The animosity and racial attacks toward Chinese elders, those especially struck a chord with me. In a lot of cultures — I know it’s not unique to Asian culture or Chinese culture –– cherishing and honoring your elders is so important, and to see all these horrific things happening to my people and to people who look like my parents and grandparents, made me examine my own upbringing more and feel closer to who I am — and be even louder and more declarative and proud to say I’m Chinese.

“And of the many things I love about being Chinese American, the closeness of family and the family structure is something that is really important to me,” she adds. “The idea that family always comes first and should be prioritized is something that I carry on with my children. I also feel like the celebration and joy of eating together is something that I really love, and I want to instill in my kids, as well.”

Chen also shared the must-have products that help her parent. Keep reading for her totally relatable picks — and, of course, style inspo (including one of our favorite Eva Chen poses ever).

The podcast I’m listening to right now

“Oh my goodness, it could be a side effect of being on conference calls literally from 9-6 each day, but I don’t listen to podcasts too frequently and instead will zone out with a book (or Instagram). Like every other parent out there, I’m currently obsessed with Dr. Becky. And I have a baby who is insisting on eating solids, so I’m following Solid Starts and Kids Eat in Color.”

The books my kids are currently obsessed with

“Besides my own? Ha! Too many to name! Ren loves the How to Train Your Dragon series, Tao loves Richard Scarry books. River… is not quite there yet reading-wise. But it’s truly a delight to see the kids embark on their literacy journeys and how much they love books.”

What I’m currently reading myself

“I’m reading a book called The Magnolia Palace, a historical fiction novel about the Frick Collection and family that hops between the present day and past. It’s a great read, fast and zippy, and I’m learning all about the museum that I’ve been to dozens of times!”

The snacks I always keep on hand for my kids

“Oh boy, I’m trying to think of something under the radar or offbeat and not be THAT annoying mom who says ‘fresh fruit,’ but the kids really and truly do love raspberries and can slam a box of raspberries so quickly that my wallet cringes.”

The beauty product I never leave the house without

“Does hand sanitizer count? Even pre-COVID, I always had sanitizer in my bag (and even pre-COVID I wiped down airplane seats!). My favorite is AMASS, which smells like cinnamon and cloves.”

The apps that make my life as a parent easier

“I love my Nanit baby monitor app — that is my version of must-see TV! But less of an app and more of a hack is that I use the “snooze” function for Gmail to remind myself of appointments because if something is not in my calendar, it literally does not exist. I set 2-3 reminders for every commitment I have, otherwise, I forget!”

The parenting accounts I love to follow

In addition to the ones above, I follow a lot of literacy ones (no surprise!): Here Wee Read, Little Free Diverse Library, and The Conscious Kid are just a few!

The non-screen toys that keep my kids occupied

“Does their baby brother River count? Ren and Tao are fascinated by him… and luckily he thinks they are a hoot!”

The movies I actually enjoy watching with my kids

“I think I was more emotional watching Luca than they were! I love Pixar movies so much, they always make me weep liberally.”

The kid-friendly music I don’t hate playing around the house

“So Tao has a thing for classical music, actually! His favorite song is Ride of the Valkyries or Flight of the Bumblebee.”

My favorite subscriptions for the kids

National Geographic for Kids! We have a subscription and love it. Ren and Tao love animals and we have a whole stack of them piled up. It’s their version of the New Yorker.”

My favorite bath & skincare products for the kids

“Tao recently has discovered the delights of bath bombs. And since we are just recovering from a household full of COVID, we’ve been through a boatload of them! The Boogie Wipes brand bath bombs are good because they are devoid of glitter, dyes, or anything else that will make cleaning even harder than it already is.”

The under-the-radar kid’s brand that I love

“We’ve used the Ollie Swaddle for both Tao and River and it’s something I’ve gifted so many friends. It’s literally a stretchy wrap that both my boys have felt super safe, swaddled, and secure in… and it’s incredibly easy to use.”

The clothing brand that helps me ‘mom’ in style

“I can’t think of one particular brand (I’m going to blame COVID brain or mom brain on that) but when in doubt I’d say a colorful sweater and pulled-back hair and big earrings can really distract from everything else (exhaustion! food stains on jeans!).”

To get even more parenting recommendations, click here to read about the other stylish moms featured in our Momsessed series.

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