Jen Garica was born in Westport, CT and resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband Jefferson Allen and daughter Flynn. For more than eight years, Jen Garcia has served as an integral member of PEOPLE‘s team that covers entertainment and celebrity news. As the West Coast Deputy News Editor and Deputy Movie Editor, she coordinates film coverage and PEOPLE’s Awards Season coverage. In addition, she edits PEOPLE’s One Last Thing section.
Some big entertainment cover stories that she has written include Reese Witherspoon’s wedding, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel’s wedding, all the Kardashian family features including Kim Kardashian’s engagement and marriage to Kris Humphries and wedding to Kanye West, and Jack Osbourne’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
Jen Garcia regularly appears on television, most recently on Good Morning America, Today Show, CBS Early Show, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, Extra and Showbiz Tonight. She can also be spotted regularly interviewing celebrities on the Red Carpet for People TV during awards season.
How many children do you have? What inspired their names?
I have one daughter who is 17-months, going on 17. Her name is Flynn Sayles. My husband and I had a tough time agreeing on any name but Flynn was one we were both drawn to. I wanted something different but not too different and I love the idea of unisex names. Sayles is a family name that goes back a few generations and there was something special about selecting a middle name that not only meant something but that we just loved period!
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family?
Just spending time with my family in general! As a working mom, finding that time is always tricky buy I’ve really had to prioritize and at the end of the day I’m happiest being with my daughter and husband. I love seeing her do simple things like play at the park or have more memorable experiences like a recent trip to San Francisco where we spent time with extended family, rode a cable car and took in the sites. Hard as it might be with a young child, we LOVE to travel as a family!
Are there any children’s brands you find yourself buying over and over again?
I have a serious shopping problem when it comes to my daughter. There are just so many adorable children’s brands. I love classics like Splendid for everyday (and you can’t beat Carter’s PJs for the price!) but when it comes to her wardrobe overall I really love finding things with a unique style and brands that not every kid on the playground is in. Some favorites are Nununu, Arrow and Aspen, Mi & O and Egg.
How has motherhood affected your personal style?
I still love fashion with a passion but I’ve learned that keeping things simple goes a long way. A great pair of jeans, a simple tee and an awesome sweater is not only comfortable, but practical and I still feel put together and stylish. I stick to basics that are fashionable and comfy and while I still love a good heel I’m much more apt to go for my Rag & Bone booties as opposed to a pair of sky-high stilettos (I save those for date night with my husband!). And I’ve come to the realization that for every day, flashy flats are truly the best solution (I love Pretty Ballerina).
What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
My favorite thing about being a mom is watching my daughter learn, explore and develop. To see her change week to week and month to month is like this incredible science experiment. And watching her discover, with that incredible look she gets on her face when she accomplishes or sees something for the first time is just priceless. And the added love in my heart just goes without saying. Having my family of three really has completed me in so many ways.
What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
The hardest thing for me is all the juggling. I’m a career woman and I absolutely love my job but of course I adore my daughter and husband and love them above all else in the end. So I worried about giving the best to both and it’s a constant struggle. I work on balance every single day. I feel rewarded when I’m at work and doing what I’m passionate about but being at home with my daughter gives me a whole different feeling of reward.
Has your beauty routine changed at all since you’ve had kids?
I’ve always had a no-nonsense approach to beauty. More is less for me. For every day I use concealer for my under eye area and anything that needs some evening out (Cle De Peau might be the best ever made!), bronzer (Nars Laguna), I fill in my blonde brows to give them more definition, and curl my eyelashes and I’m out the door! Skincare has always been super important to me so I moisturize every day and use serum and eye cream at night before bed. I wouldn’t say my routine has changed much since becoming a mother aside from the additional under eye concealer but I have realized that I have to be much more diligent about remembering to care for my skin and not just slipping into the bad habit of hopping into bed because of exhaustion without going through my routine.
What have you learned from your kids?
It’s only been 17-months but my daughter has already taught me a lifetime of lessons. She’s taught me to be more patient (and I don’t always succeed), to live in the moment and enjoy the little things in life, but above all else I’ve learned to be selfless. At the end of the day she means everything to me and she’ll be my lifelong project, which I’m just fine with.
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