NO! I shouldn’t go there.
But I do. EVERY week. I simply have to find out what Gwyneth Paltrow is up to on Goop, her lifestyle website, and torture myself at the utter perfection that is Gwynnie’s life. With her rock-hard abs, toned thighs, designer wardrobe, rock star husband, cooking skills, and Oscar award — not to mention the fact she once dated Brad Pitt and was previously best mates with Madonna — is there is ANYTHING this woman cannot do?
So I try, desperately, to live my life according to Gwyneth’s rules. I’ve even bought Tracey Anderson videos and almost managed to keep up with the dancing (for about a minute). I’ve studied those cookbooks that promise that her (and your) kids will love Brussels sprouts — but when I try the same thing my kids spit them out and ask in all seriousness if I’ve tried to poison them. I’ve read about what spring wardrobe I should have, all the fine things Gwyneth will be wearing, before remembering I don’t have a spare $12,000 to spend. I’ve coveted her home furnishings and accessories, which as it turns out, are really made only for Hollywood stars and not us mere mortals.
Then I go away and feel like a complete failure. So, for once, I thought I would share the 7 best (or worst?) tips that Gwyneth imparted to us all on Goop — but are they helpful?
Advice 1: Buy your kids clothes from these expensive stores! 1 of 7
Goop advice: My favorite tip from Goop is where to get kids' clothes. If, like me, your kids wear through their clothes in a heartbeat and grow out of them faster than you can say 'beanpole,' then you'll probably not want to spend the earth on their threads. According to Gwyneth, she shops for her kids at Busy Bees — where a kids' T shirt costs $50. Yep $50! How about a jumper for your son from Waddler, a UK brand, that retails about $100 for each one. There's also a Deluna kids' swimsuit at $70. Now, I don't buy myself a $70 swimsuit, let alone my 2 year-old ...
My advice: Buy your kids' clothes off ebay and then re-sell once you are done — a win-win situation! Or there are always Old Navy stores or supermarkets that do great cheap kids' threads. There's obviously nothing wrong with buying your kids expensive clothing, it just seems like a lot of money for clothes they grow out of real quick!
Advice 2: Eat at the Wolseley! 2 of 7
Goop advice: Gwyneth helpfully suggests restaurants to take your kids to when you are swinging by London, NY, or LA, as you do. We all know how hard it is to find places that are kid-friendly — other diners get grumpy as our offspring shout and frolic. So, she recommends The Wolseley in London. It is the kind of place Kate Moss frequents, and a burger will set you back $25 and then extra for fries! For afternoon tea it is around $40! Every restaurant she recommends has private dining, and naturally in these establishments people are nice to your kids as you are paying $$$, but who has the $$$?
My advice: What's wrong with your local cafe? Local eateries do kid-friendly offers all the time... and kids love a pizza!
Advice 3: Home cooking! 3 of 7
Goop advice: Gwyneth also suggests some lunchbox ideas — brilliant! Well, if your kids like homemade vegetable sushi, and you've got the time to boil the rice and asparagus and wrap them in nori seaweed. But if not, there is always beet and walnut dip — yum! Or French onion dip, where Gwyneth says it is a fun recipe that kids will enjoy assembling at school, choosing which vegetable stick to dip next. How many of your kids likes to dip with celery and broccoli? Nope, mine neither...
My advice: You can't beat a wrap, can you? Be it veggies, hummus, chicken, cheese or ham — shove them in and wrap it up! My kids love 'Frubes' that you get in the UK — healthy yogurt sticks that you can just suck up! My kids also like plenty of fruit and dried fruit, too. All credit to Gwynnie though if she can get her kids to eat broccoli — if only mine did!
Advice 4: How to get through a typical day! 4 of 7
Goop advice: At one point Gwyneth talked about a day in her life. It sounded pretty stressful (?!) as she had to try on lots and lots of clothes for a press junket tour she had coming up for a film she starred in. Her kids magically appeared home from school (no mention of nannies or helpers), and Gwyneth scolded that we should all make the time to do 45 minutes of exercise a day — even she can! She makes do with doing her warm down exercises in the shower. Yet, she still somehow went out that night (no mention of prices of sitters!) to meet Stella McCartney and some other celebs for dinner. Y' know, just like we all just nip out for cocktails on a school night. Easy peasy.
My advice: Make lists. Lots of 'em. Lay out all clothes/books/schoolbags/gym kits the night before so mornings aren't a rush. Make big batches of food on weekends and freeze them so you aren't trying to cook up a storm every night. Invite your girlfriends over to your house and everyone brings dips and chips and drinks — that way it's less pricey, and no sitter needed for you! Exercise when you can and remember, running costs nothing! Neither does hiking or walking!
Advice 5: Nursery essentials for the mom-to-be! 5 of 7
Goop's advice: For the mother-to-be, Gwyneth recommends an OEUF crib which is a mere 665 euros (almost $900, and lord only knows how much to ship to the States), and a Joya rocking chair that sells for $895 plus shipping. Why not get two? There are Tane organic blankets at a mere $118 for your baby to spit up on. And for mama, well get your butt in J Brand maternity jeans — a steal at $235 ... Why not get 3 pairs? If only all mamas-to-be could have Gwyneth's luck to have a glowing and luxurious pregnancy.
My advice: Borrow from friends! I remember crying in a department store when I was first pregnant wondering how on earth I would afford all the stuff it seemed babies needed. Then a friend offered to lend me her Moses basket, another lent me a chair, another lent a sterilizer, etc. As for maternity clothes, there are loads on ebay — and then I passed these on to other friends who got pregnant after me. It really felt like paying it forward. I was delighted folks got use out of clothes I only wore for about 5 months ...
Advice 6: Treats for your kids! 6 of 7
Goop advice: According to Gwynnie, her kids prefer kale crisps to real potato chips. Or Zucchini fritti. NO KID EATS ZUCCHINI by choice! She also has recipes for Rice Krispie treats — but not the kind you or I make. Oh no, for her kiddies, the sweet taste comes not from the sugar and chocolate but from brown rice syrup and high-protein peanut and almond butters. What???? Never fear though, because she has recipes for BOTH of these butters. To be made from scratch. My kid would chuck these back at me and ask: "Where is the chocolate, mom?" There are always her cookie dough bites with er ... oats and nuts and coconut oil and honey.
My advice: Everything in moderation! If you deny your kids something, they will only want it all the more! There is nothing wrong with some chocolate Rice Krispie treats made with good quality chocolate. A little treat once in a while won't hurt...
Advice 7: Decorating your kids’ rooms! 7 of 7
Goop advice: How about some cool art for your kids' walls? Or some bedroom furniture? Gwyneth suggests Danish brands such as Lummel chairs at almost $200 for one piece. Another of her suggestions, chairs by Morosof, has no prices available on the site — you need to email them. Sounds pricey already! Especially when you can choose the wood color palette for each chair frame... Let's not even ask the price to ship from Europe. What is money in a Goopster's world?
My advice: Once again, vintage rules! Check out thrift stores or local auctions to get things at great prices. There is no better feeling than getting a bargain! Plus, lots of furniture can be sanded down and repainted to look as good as new. As for kids' walls, I bought frames and filled them with their own artwork which gives them a sense of pride in their drawings. Or you could look on Etsy — there are lots of colorful prints there at reasonable prices.
Photo credit: Pacific Coast News
Photo credits: PR photos
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