It’s no secret that we love a little (or a lot of) BRAVO TV.  We’ve had housewives and more on the blog to date, however I’m not sure I’ve ever revealed exactly which show on Bravo is my hands down favorite… until now.  I am powerless against the comedic banter that continues to ignite between Jeff Lewis and Jenni Pulos season after season on Flipping Out.  Few things will actually make me laugh aloud while sitting alone in my living room, and this lovely lady and her wacky office antics are one of them!  Imagine my delight when I found out Jenni’s current book tour, for Grin and Bear It, had her climbing out of my TV and into one of my favorite bars.  We caught up with Jenni during an event hosted by Chicago Sun-Times SPLASH at DrumBar, and it turns out not only is this author, design assistant, rapper (yes, you read that correctly), mother, and wife hilarious… she is actually one of the nicest and most genuine women you could hope to meet.  I’m a little nervous that she still might be over there signing books a week later, because she was taking the time to sincerely talk to and get to know each and every person who showed up with the hope of catching a glimpse of her.  Here’s what Jenni had to say to us…

Congratulations on the new book, and welcome to Chicago!

Thank you! Chicago is like a second home to me now.  I just drove by where Jonathan and I got married.  I really love Chicago!  The architecture, the city.  We did the architecture tour with our guests the weekend of our wedding and everybody is still talking about it.  The last time I was here it did hit that -9 degrees, but as I mention in my book there’s no such thing as perfection so Chicago is as close to perfection as it gets.  It’s a beautiful city, and I have to say the men aren’t bad!

I love that you married a Chicago guy!  By the way, congratulations on your beautiful daughter!  How old is she now?

She’s 8 months.  Her name is Alianna Marika.  She’s named after both our mothers, and both of our grandmothers, or “Yaya’s” as we call them since we’re Greek.  I’m very lucky, she’s the love of my life!

Is it had to believe it’s been 8 months?  In the current episodes of Flipping Out we’re still seeing you pregnant.

It is hard to believe!  It’s so funny to go back and see that, it feels like longer!  Just driving by and seeing the church where we got married today, it seems like so long ago.

How are you settling into being a working mom?

You know, it’s a balance.  I think that you just figure out the groove and some days are harder than others.  You really just have to take it day-by-day and moment-by-moment.  You can’t be afraid to fail, which is one of the messages in the book.  I have so much respect, even more so than before, for parents, especially my own mother.  This whole book is really a love letter to her, I wanted to write this because I thought why not put out a ‘How Not To’ guide because I had suffered a lot of disappointment in life between my career not going the way I wanted, and my first marriage not going the way I wanted.  I just wanted to say to anyone going through something, hang in there 5 more minutes and it will get better.

What a great message!  I’m assuming the book is also hilarious, knowing you, I mean just look at the cover…

Thank you!  I was the high school mascot, and I tried out to be the Bruin Bear at UCLA, but I didn’t get it… I did something a little inappropriate at the try-out…

Oh my gosh, is that story in the book?

Oh yeah, it’s in there.  Regardless, I have always loved, and still do love dressing up in costumes, especially now with my daughter.  I’m all about fun costumes, wigs, props… as you can see from what we brought with us today.

How much fun did you have putting Alianna’s nursery together?

So much fun!  I kind of waited until the very end, which Jeff always teased me about, but it all came together.  I used Jeff Lewis Color, which turned out beautifully.  One thing I’m really proud of is that we used a wall stencil, because we don’t own our home, so it’s a really great idea for anybody who isn’t an owner and doesn’t want to wallpaper.  You have to get a good painter, but when done right it looks just like wallpaper!  The stencil was from Etsy, it was a Moroccan pattern, you just need your painter to get everything lined up properly.  We also used some really beautiful furniture from a line called Romina.  It’s from Romania, and it’s all handmade.  My friend Chirstine Zoumas designed a really beautiful rocker and ottoman, we did some great artwork, and a rug from Jonathan Adler.  I didn’t know if I was having a boy or girl, so it was gender neutral, but we did blues and greys.  I have to say it’s definitely my favorite room in the house!

And Jeff approves?

He does approve!  He likes the baby!  He has a real soft spot for her, and he was very protective of me during the pregnancy.  There’s a soft side to Jeff Lewis… it’s in there.  He hasn’t babysat for me yet though!  Baby steps…

[Photos by Gregory Fear]

 

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