Mama Bear: Kristin Cavallari shows just how far she’s come

By / Cover stories / April 28, 2016

It’s springtime, and the Cutler/Cavallari household is in motion. Jay Cutler is in his offseason and, when he’s not quarterbacking for the Chicago Bears, he’s playing dad. Sons Camden, 3, and Jaxon, almost 2, are enjoying their 5-month-old sister Saylor, who has brought balance to the male-dominated home and, with it, a sense of calm.

Dress: Arthur Arbesser, price upon request, ikram, 15 E. Huron;

Dress: Arthur Arbesser, price upon request, ikram, 15 E. Huron;

The not-yet-30 matriarch of this loving family unit is Kristin Cavallari, fresh off a media tour for her book, Balancing in Heels, a lifestyle guide filled with fashion tips, fitness tricks, recipes and more essentials for all women, but especially mothers. This isn’t the Cavallari you know from TV.

“I wrote the book for anyone who is going through the same stuff as me,” Cavallari says. “Anyone who’s a new mom or newly engaged or plans on being soon. All the stuff I’ve gone through, a lot of women have as well.”

Before you roll your eyes, she’s being honest. Cavallari’s life may seem unreal, but she’s vocal about how different the two worlds she occupies are. “I feel like I live a double life,” she told Perez Hilton in a recent interview. “All of this stuff — the hair, the makeup, doing interviews — this isn’t me, this isn’t real life. I live in Chicago. I’m essentially a stay-at-home mom; I always have no makeup on, my hair’s in a ponytail and I’m in sweats.”


Dress: Erdem, price upon request, ikram, 15 E. Huron;

The real Cavallari, the one who lives in Lake Forest, deals with the same issues as other women. She sees a therapist with her husband on occasion, to keep their relationship solid. She cooks dinner for her family nearly every night. She just wants to sleep in this Mother’s Day (but knows she won’t be able to because she’s still nursing her newborn daughter).

And she’s the first to admit she doesn’t have all the answers. “There’s a lot of peace in knowing that no one really has it completely figured out,” she says. “We’re all just trying to do the best we can.”

Dress: Alberta Ferretti, price upon request, ikram, 15 E. Huron; Boots: Kristin Cavallari for Chinese Laundry, $169;

Dress: Alberta Ferretti, price upon request, ikram, 15 E. Huron; Boots: Kristin Cavallari for Chinese Laundry, $169;

Cavallari, of course, rose to fame more than a decade ago as a teenager on MTV’s “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.” But while it was reality TV, it wasn’t exactly her reality. She didn’t spend her childhood in Southern California, but rather in Barrington (she moved to Laguna with her dad while in high school). “I grew up in Colorado and a suburb of Chicago,” she says. “I remember snow days and getting bundled up [to go play] in the snow, and I loved that. I want that for my kids.”

Cavallari and Cutler have made a conscious choice to keep their kids out of the media. (While she posts adorable peeks into her family life on Instagram, her 2 million followers rarely see the kids’ faces.) “We just want them to be kids,” she says. “We want them to live as normal of a life as possible.” The couple hopes to keep the kids from being recognizable and, thus, away from the media scrutiny they’ve both experienced. “We just want them to be good people, to do the right thing and really go after whatever they want in life. We want them to be happy and, whatever that means [for them], we’ll support 100 percent.”

Come late summer and fall, things will pick up for the suburban family of five. Cutler will be back on the field, while Cavallari manages the household and continues designing shoes for her line with Chinese Laundry and jewelry for Emerald Duv. And while there may be another book in the works — she’d love to do a cookbook next — Cavallari says when it comes to kids, she and Cutler are happy with three. “We feel like a really complete family.”

12394219_535529596618005_368846692_n< Date night: “We try to try to go to dinner occasionally — it’s not as often as we would both like,” Cavallari says about her date nights with husband Jay Cutler (pictured here, from Cavallari’s Instagram). “We have a few places we like to go in the city: Girl & the Goat [809 W. Randolph], Balena [1633 N. Halsted], The Bristol [2152 N. Damen]. We’re always looking to try new restaurants, as well. In the ’burbs we really like a place called Westwood Bistro [950 N. Western, Lake Forest], and Guildhall [694 Vernon, Glencoe] is one of our favorites.”


Photographer: Maria Ponce
Photographer’s assistant: Evan Jenkins
Stylist: favia, Ford Artists
Hair: Anthony Cristiano, 401 N. Wabash;
Makeup: Shannon O’Brien; 
Floral: Morgan’s In Bloom, 1707 W. Chicago;
Shoot producer: Katerina Bizios
Shot on location at: PUBLIC Hotel, 1301 N. State;
Dress (top photo): Alberta Ferretti, price upon request, ikram, 15 E. Huron;
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