Mother Essentials: Legendary Party Mom Kristen Kaza
Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
Kristen Kaza is one busy mama these days. Not only has she just celebrated the 1st birthday of her adorable identical twins, Nova and Jade (check out the Sesame Street-themed bash!), she’s also toiling away on multiple events for Pride Month and beyond. As the founder of No Small Plans Productions, Kristen has been the architect of hundreds of “parties with a purpose,” collaborating on events designed within an intersectional framework. She is most widely known as producer and resident Party Mom of legendary Chicago-based queer party project Slo ‘Mo. After many years focused on nightlife, she is shifting her focus to building a future where queer families can thrive. This Saturday, alongside the folks at Kido, she will bring the Queer Fam Pride Jam to life! If you’re in the Chicago area, come out for an all ages outdoor festival that celebrates LGBTQ+ families and their allies. Below, Kristen shares her favorite Mother Essentials getting her through her packed days.
Skin-to-Skin Bra. “I bought these when I was pregnant and I lived in them because they have hardly any elastic in the band. I was so sick during my twin pregnancy, so I couldn’t wear anything tight on my stomach. I still wear these pretty much everyday. It’s the perfect shelf bra. You can even sleep in it, it’s so comfortable.” The Skin-To-Skin Bra, $38, HATCH.
Telfar Bag. “I have nine Telfars, plus regularly use my wife’s two for a total of eleven. I promised her I would stop, but it’s a minor addiction. I use the small ones every day, which are perfect for me when on the job in the club and at events when I need my phone and small, random things, like wristbands and drink tickets, on me. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I have the lavender in small and medium.” Small Shopping Bag, $150, Telfar.
Ultrabland Facial Cleanser. “I have eczema, which flairs up terribly especially around my eyes in the winter. This is the only product that I can use when my skin is really sensitive, especially for taking off makeup. It has beeswax that serves as a protective coating for the skin. It’s the only product I truly live by.” Ultrabland Facial Cleanser, $36, Lush.
Bobbi Brown Atomic Orange Lipstick. “This is the greatest orangey-red coral lipstick that ever existed and, of course, they don’t make it anymore, so I have to buy it off eBay or any random resale site I can find it on. I love the gold packaging and weight of the lipstick, too.” Luxe Lipstick, $40, Masters Beauty & Bobbi Brown.
Getting My Hair (& Nails) Done. “When I found out I was having twins (and was afraid my personal life was over), I promised myself I’d always get my hair done (and a soft promise on my nails). I have been keeping my hair in a very short platinum pixie for many years, going to the salon at least every four weeks at Spoke & Weal, which has locations in Chicago, New York, and L.A. I always feel better and more like myself after I’ve gotten my hair done. I grew out my nails in the pandemic, and go for a hard gel manicure monthly across the street at Backstage Nail.”
Pulse Oximeter. “I have been in peripartum cardiomyopathy (pregnancy related heart failure) recovery for a year, which necessitated the 28-week delivery of my twins. A big part of my day is related to monitoring and investing in my health, which includes regularly testing my blood oxygen saturation.”
Bobo’s Bites. “Through pregnancy and breastfeeding these little bites saved me. I still keep them stashed in the car and purses.” Bobo’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oat Bites (30-Pack), $27, Amazon.
Drowsy Eye Mask. “This is THE eye mask for sleeping. I didn’t want to believe it because it seemed silly expensive, but it has changed the quality of my sleep, and all a parent wants is a good night’s rest. It’s made of mulberry silk and it’s so soft and squishy. The padding goes over the ears, so it also muffles sound, and it has velcro rather than elastic, which I prefer because I have a teeny head.” Silk Sleep Mask, $79, Drowsy.
Ritual Supplements. “My wife works for Ritual, but I was a subscriber long before she joined. I love the transparency of the ingredients and the lack of ‘vitamin smell,’ especially when I was pregnant and nauseous. Also, they are a very parent and family supportive company. My wife got five months paid leave when the twins were born.” Prenatal Multivitamin, $39, Ritual.
Coffee Walks. “Every morning our family goes for a walk and we often head to our neighborhood coffee spot, Four Letter Word. It’s a lovely little shop with a walk-up window. They have fantastic coffee and espresso, and their packaging is cute too.” 4lwcoffee.com.
OSEA Hyaluronic Sea Serum. “You really feel the benefit of this stuff when you layer a moisturizer on top of it. I’m a huge fan of every OSEA product I’ve used.” Hyaluronic Sea Serum, $88, OSEA Malibu.
Records + Technic Turntable. “Music is such a major influence in my life, especially as a live events producer. My records—and my wife’s records—include vinyl passed to her from her late father, who had the most incredibly curated collection. We often put a record on and dance with the girls as a way of summoning his love and spirit. We also have her parents’ Technic turntable, which is such a special heirloom to continue the family tradition of good times and music.” Technics Turntable, $1099, Amazon.
Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint. “I love this light, dewy skin tint with SPF.” Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40, $48, Ilia.
Gold Hoops. “Having short hair, I feel naked without earrings. My style is very colorful and I often wear patterns, so I often just wear hoops, even though I have a collection of pretty eclectic earrings.” Sade Hoop Earrings, $25, Melody Ehsani.
Oversized White Shirts. “I’ve been wearing oversized shirts as dresses or over jeans ever since I used to wear my dad and brother’s dress shirts when I was a teenager. It’s comfortable and timeless.”
Byredo De Los Santos. “I only buy perfume every few years because when I find a scent, I live in it. This has clary sage and palo santo in it and just smells divine.” De Los Santos, $205, Byredo.
Lovevery Play Kits. “My babies love these Montessori-inspired, age-specific learning development toys.” The Play Kits, $80 per box, Lovevery.
Solo Walks with Music. “I’m a live events producer, and nearly every party or concert concept was sparked by listening to music, usually walking the dog. I will listen to favorite music to stimulate creativity, especially R&B, disco, and house. I will always return to Sade, my favorite album being Love Deluxe.”
Nuzzling Face-to-Face with my Babies. “Feeling and smelling my babies on my face is one of the greatest, most healing and grounding feelings. No matter what is happening, their little laughs and breaths always bring me back to staying present in the moment.”
The Sunday Crossword with my Wife. “My wife and I will work on the New York Times Sunday magazine crossword as a way to wind down before bed. It’s a really nice way to connect without having to talk too much, and it has become this sweet little ritual we share.”
Best Friend Memes + Calls. “My best friend lives in L.A., and like many millennial girlfriends, our love language is sharing memes. Our exchanges are an irreplaceable balm.”
For more MOTHER ESSENTIALS, peep our recent features on 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, PR pro TEMI ADAMOLEKUN, HEIDI BAKER of OZMA, and PHOEBE SUNG of Cold Picnic.
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