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Jenny Slate Mother Essentials
Mother Essentials

Mother Essentials: Jenny Slate

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by Katie McCurdy

Last year was a big one for beloved actress, comedian, and writer Jenny Slate. Her animated short film Marcel the Shell with Shoes On was nominated for an Oscar, and she won a SAG Award as part of the impressive cast of Everything Everywhere All at Once, amongst other achievements. This year she’s continuing the momentum with two major projects.

First up, on February 23, Jenny’s stand-up comedy special, Seasoned Professional, debuts on Amazon Prime. Filmed in April 2023 in Brooklyn, some of the laugh-out-loud jokes are about meeting her husband, stalking her therapist, and becoming a mom (her daughter, Ida Lupine, was born in 2021). For a preview, you can check out her hilarious bit on being blessed with a pair of “double D milky psycho naturals” after the arrival of her baby girl.

Jenny’s funny rumination on motherhood will continue this fall when Life Form, her book of essays about life, love, and having “a whole baby blast through her vagina during a global plague,” drops on October 22. Below, Jenny shares her current Mother Essentials list—which is as utterly charming and unexpected as the woman herself. Enjoy!

“Red Moon” by Big Thief. “We dance to this at least once a day. It is most likely one of my favorite things happening in my life. My daughter and I love shouting, ‘THAT’S MY GRANDMA!’” Big Thief via YouTube.

Hannah Andersson Long John PJs. “I wore these long johns as a kid, now my child wears them too! They are comfortable, durable, there are a million wonderful patterns, and I can match with my daughter and I am not too cool to admit that I love that.” Long John Pajama Set, $46, Hanna Andersson.

Phoebe Wahl Books. “These books are a favorite! The art is beautiful, the stories are magical and tender, and I love these books as a way to pair beauty with shadow. The Blue House is an honest, gorgeously written and painted work about loss, transition, memory, and renewal. Little Witch Hazel is a great way to try out feeling scared or grumpy!” The Blue House, $17.66, Bookshop; Little Witch Hazel, $18.59, Bookshop.

Gluten-Free Beer. “I’m happily gluten-free, but I would be devastated without my beer! My favorite brand right now is Damm Daura.” Damm.com.

Ina Seifart Phone Chain. “I never lose my phone, and my daughter and I like using the colorful beads to pick a ‘color of the day.'” Phone Chain, $49, Ina Seifart.

Barbara’s Cheese Puffs. “I have eaten one billion of these. I feel good about giving them to my daughter and I never get sick of them!” Barbara’s Cheese Puffs 2-Pack, $6.78, Amazon.

Jellycat Bunnies. “I actually had a large one of these BEFORE I even had a child. I’d bring it with me to help with loneliness during travel. When I had my daughter, I gave her my bunny, and now we have a whole bunny family that she sleeps with. They are soft, washable, and I love their perfect, round tummies and long ears!” Bashful Beige Bunny, $28, Amazon and Jellycat.

Harvest and Mill Sweatpants. “These are lightweight and nice-looking, perfect for long stroller strolls!” Organic Jogger 2-Pack, $130, Harvest & Mill.

Chani App. “I truly look forward to every Sunday when I get to listen to my reading for the week ahead. I love Chani’s perspective, I love how she uses her words. She’s speaks lyrically, warmly, and this is a ritual that I never miss. Whatever your feelings are about astrology, this app is a sweet way to think about one’s development, choices, and goals.” Chani.com.

Ranavat Brightening Serum. “I love this brand! Smells so good, makes me feel beautiful, my skin loves it, and it’s a small moment of luxury for me every morning and night when I pat this potion on my face!” Ranavat Saffron Brightening Serum, $135, Sephora.

Potty Seat Thingy. “I keep it in the car in case a toilet in a public place is just too big for my tiny gal!” Toilet Training Seat, $34.99, BabyBjörn.

Catbird Full Heart Necklace. “Mine is inscribed with my daughter’s name. I love this simple, chic design, and I find it romantic to wear my Ida’s name in a heart over my own heart!” Yellow Gold Full Heart Pendant, $248, Catbird.

The Office. “I—and everyone in the universe—love The Office, but it holds a special place in my heart and soul, because my husband and I watched it over and over again right after I had the baby. I was nursing, exhausted, hormonal, and I could not only count on laughing, but it was a way for me to feel true joy and to feel like myself during a time of being taken apart and coming (slowly) back together. I hope that I can tell anyone/everyone associated with this show that they genuinely made my life better and I love them and their masterpiece.” The Office via Peacock and Amazon Prime.

Schoolhouse Cotton Grid Flatweave Rug. “Affordable, stylish, and hides all of the stuff that gets spilled on it constantly.” Cotton Grid Flatweave Rug in Brick, $44, Schoolhouse.

Mushroom Light. “Makes a room magical and works well as a nightlight for a little one who is currently very afraid of the dark.” Small Red Mushroom Light, $80, Bando.

The New Yorker Fiction Hour. “There is such a wide variety of authors and the stories are always brilliant. The magazine asks a writer to read another writer’s story from The New Yorker archive. Sometimes I listen just to entertain myself, and something about listening to these readings makes me feel that I’m treating myself well! Oftentimes I listen to clear my mind in preparation for my own writing. I love the interviews after the readings themselves, a really wonderful way to experience some of the most interesting writers out there today. It’s both soothing and exciting to listen, no matter whose writing is being read and discussed.” The New Yorker: Fiction via Apple Podcasts.

Matzo Ball Soup Mix from The Matzo Project. “It feels like a special occasion every time, yet it’s easy to make and I feel deeply accomplished every single time I make this classic Jewish comfort food (and I make it often).” Matzo Ball Soup Kit, $17.95, The Matzo Project.

For more MOTHER ESSENTIALS, peep our recent features on poet Maggie Smith, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream co-founder LAURA O’NEILL, author and doula BRANDI SELLERZ-JACKSON, designer CLARE VIVIER, Miles & Milan founder SHENNEL FULLERGRACE NA of Pistola, the designers behind MILK TEETH, photographer NICKI SEBASTIAN, Duster co-founder MELISSA MAGSAYSAY, Herman Miller creative director KELSEY KEITH, chef VALERIE GORDON, artist ERIN JANG, Chicago party mom KRISTEN KAZA, Hedley & Bennett founder ELLEN MARIE BENNETT, Mochi Kids founder AMANDA STEWART, chef CRISTINA KISNER, chef CAMILLA MARCUS, artist CAROLINE Z HURLEY, Just Date founder SYLVIE CHARLES, food icon AMANDA HESSER, Prickly Pear founder MONA BAHRAINI, Solace Summer founder MEGAN BRE CAMP, Wonder Valley co-founder ALISON CARROLL, OZMA designer HEIDI BAKER, author TIFFANY ROSE SMITH, and PHOEBE SUNG of Cold Picnic.

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