Saturday, August 22, 2015
by Ruthie Fierberg
We have one more reason to love the Lacheys. Yesterday, Toys “R” Us released its annual Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids and we couldn’t be happier that Nick was featured on this year’s cover. Growing up with a special needs brother, Nick is dedicated to showing love and respect to all kids—especially his son Camden, 2, and daughter Brooklyn, 8 months. Parents chatted with the singer about raising respectful children, how he keeps his loves close to his heart, and the potential for another album(!).
P: How much does it mean to you to be on the cover of the Toys “R” Us special guide, particularly having a brother on the spectrum?
NL: I was very honored. The shoot was a real treat. I got to spend the afternoon with four fantastic kids and their families. As someone who grew up with a brother who has Asperger’s and is a special needs child, I feel like I got to see firsthand that there needs to be some considerations. This guide is a perfect resource. Whether you’re a family member or a caregiver or a friend of the family who is wondering what to get for a birthday party you can make sure you’re getting something that is good for that child.
P: Our culture has recently made strides to be more inclusive—to show special needs kids with typically developing children. What in your mind do we need to do to continue that forward progress?
NL: I think it’s about understanding and it’s about inclusion to use your word. I think the worst thing for a kid is to feel like they’re different or feel like they don’t belong. What’s great about this guide is these are all toys they can play with alongside their siblings or their friends. These kids may learn in a different way but they’re still a part of families and still a part of classrooms and we need to make sure they feel that way.
P: How do you plan to teach Camden and Brooklyn to be accepting and look past differences between themselves and other children?
NL: My parents were always very good about emphasizing that no matter who you come in contact with—no matter their race, their status in the economy, whether they are special needs—everyone is deserving of being treated with respect. That’s something we teach Camden and we’ll teach Brooklyn. Camden thankfully has been able to spend the last year in school and when you’re put into a school you’re automatically thrust into a situation where you’re around so many different types of kids. It’s been great for him to learn that everyone is deserving of being treated with respect. When you’re a 2-year-old that means don’t put your hands on them, you share your toys with them. Those lessons are good to teach at any age.
P: You recently opened Lachey’s Bar with your brother and he has two kids. What is the cousin dynamic like?
NL: It’s really cool. His youngest is a boy and my oldest is a boy. Huddy’s 5 and Camden’s almost 3, and Drew and my age separation was about 2 years and 9 months so they’re roughly the same gap that he and I were. It’s fun to watch their dynamic. They’re at the point now where they can run around together and have fun together. And his oldest is 9, so she’s getting into babysitting age. The biggest thing about moving back to Cinci, at least part time, and having houses next to each other is a chance to get those cousins together all the time and spend time together.
P: Even though Camden is your oldest it’s almost like he has an older sibling.
NL: It really is. Huddy is the first one to knock him to the ground and whoop up on him a little bit, which I’m sure I did to Drew growing up. Drew’s getting his little semblance of revenge here, next generation.
P: You travel a lot living in Cincinnati part-time, but in New York for “Big Morning Buzz.” What do you do to carry a bit of your family with you wherever you go?
NL: With technology it’s easier. When I was in New York I would wake up at 5:45 in the morning and click on the baby monitor and watch my kids sleeping. Whether it’s getting my makeup done and watching Camden while he’s sleeping or saying goodnight to him with Facetime, singing him to sleep, those things make it easier to be away. It still is hard, but it makes it a little easier to stomach. I have a dog tag that Vanessa gave me with Camden’s birthdate on it and now with Brooklyn’s birthdate on it. That’s my little symbol that they’re always with me. That’s why I always wear it.
P: You released “A Father’s Lullaby” for Camden about a year after he was born and you said you don’t want to play favorites, so is there anything in the works for Brooklyn?
NL: I’m getting pressure from home and now on the phone! Gotta get this going. Let’s be honest and I’ve thought about it. Nothing imminently planned but it would be something cool to do so maybe I’ll have to get on that.
P: Is there a song when you are with her that seems to soothe her?
NL: It’s funny because I’ve gotten so used to singing the song I wrote for Cam called “Sleepy Eyes” and I sing it to him every night to this day and I’ve already handed it down to her. I feel like maybe I’ve given her the raw end of the deal. I might have to write her her own, to your point.
P: I think just hearing dad’s voice is probably nice.
NL: You like to think that if no one else in the world wants to hear you sing your kids still do. But no matter where you are in your career, that’s the concert that matters the most: the one at the crib.
P: Now that you have two, how do you hope to cultivate closeness between Camden and Brooklyn and minimize rivalries?
NL: Maybe I’m overly hopeful with this but I feel given the fact that he’s a boy and she’s a girl the rivalry thing will be less so than if they were both girls or both boys. At least that’s my hope. I’ve already started to tell Camden, “You always protect your little sister you want to look out for your sister.” I think that as family it’s all about love and respect. They’re gonna be kids. They’re gonna hit each other and steal each other’s toys and that’s sort of part of the fun of it in a sick way. At the end of the day, if you as a family teach respect, that will trickle down to the next generation.
P: What’s one thing you want to do as a family before summer is done?
NL: We were fortunate to take a vacation to the beach so that was nice. We talked about going to Disneyland. Camden’s very much into Mickey Mouse clubhouse He’s at the age now where he really would have a blast with it. So we may see Disney on the agenda before we get back into the fall.
Friday, August 21, 2015
MORE PICS CAN BE FOUND AT THE LINK
MORE PICS CAN BE FOUND AT THE LINK
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
When an email asking if I wanted to do hot yoga with 98 Degrees' Nick and Drew Lachey landed in my inbox last Wednesday, I was beyond excited. Sure, the last time I listened to their music was maybe 2002 (peak middle school angst), but how could I pass up an opportunity like this?
After all, I really love yoga. I love vinyasa yoga, hot yoga, aerial yoga, I even love teaching yoga. Then there was the whole 98 Degrees element and bittersweet memories of blasting "The Hardest Thing" in the midst of emotional teenage breakdowns until the track started to skip on my scratched-up CD.
The few days between finding out I was going to do hot yoga with the Lachey brothers and actually doing hot yoga with the Lachey brothers were full of anticipation. I barely slept the night before (this probably had more to do with me drinking coffee too late in the day, but let's just give the credit to 98 Degrees for now).
But when I arrived at the Bikram Yoga lobby on Fifth Avenue at 7:30 a.m. all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I was bombarded with tons of Bud Lite paraphernalia (they were sponsoring the event), a water bottle and a bunch of forms to sign. Although those first few minutes bore little resemblance to previous hot yoga experiences, I was still fully prepared for a sweaty, hour-and-a-half long yoga class set to some of my favorite '90s tunes.
When I stepped foot in the actual studio, Bud Lite yoga towel in hand, my teenage dreams officially started to crumble down.
The images I had conjured up over the past few days of Nick and Drew calmly leading me through tricky Bikram poses couldn't have been more wrong. Actually, the class was led by a real-life yoga teacher and the Lachey brothers acted as "assistant," assigning 98 Degrees-themed (and kind of lame) names for every pose like, "I Could Be A 98 degrees Backup Dancer Pose." OK ...?
Also, Nick isn't even that into hot yoga. In fact, this was his first time doing it. WHAT?!
Other things I took issue with: The class was only 40 minutes long, I don't think it was 98 degrees in that room -- "It felt hotter than 98 degrees in that room," the Lachey brothers told me via email, but I'm not convinced -- and not one 98 Degrees song was played during the entire class.
OK, so maybe I'm being a little hard on Nick and Drew. Bikram yoga isn't traditionally set to music, so I'll have to let that one slide ... and they were also really nice and funny guys. And although they're not crazy into yoga, they still have admirable health routines that I can get behind.
"I try to get in as much cardio as I can, but I also love to play golf and get outside and be active in other ways as well," Nick told me, while Drew added, "As I have gotten older, I have moved away from weights to more Pilates and yoga-based workouts."
Plus, they have some great suggestions for music if they did have the opportunity to play some during a yoga class. "Eminem's 'Lose Yourself.' It's not very yoga-esque, but it's a great workout song," Drew said. As for Nick? He just wants to play "anything Stevie Wonder."
Even though it didn't live up to my very high expectations for all things yoga and 98 Degrees, at the end of the day I still get to say I did hot yoga with 98 Degrees. Hey, that's pretty cool.
I AM NOT GONNA LIE... I AM SOOOOO SUPER JEALOUS OF THE GIRL IN THIS ARTICLE
Full disclosure: I'm no stranger to hot yoga with celebrities. Once upon a time — during another life in Los Angeles — I regularly practiced with a certain Hunger Games actress. Turns out, exercising as though your body is made of hot taffy is more tolerable when there is star presence to distract you. Which is why, when the opportunity to take a heated class with the two most famous members of 98 Degrees presented itself, my motivation to get back on the hot yoga horse was renewed. Also, I am a sucker for puns, and this experience was rife with them, obviously. A 98°F (and rising) room with 98 Degrees? Color me sold.
So, early on a muggy Tuesday morning, I dragged my spandex-clad body to the Flatiron district of NYC, with the goal of sweating somewhere near the Lachey brothers. It's pertinent to mention that this experience was part of Budweiser's #UpForWhatever campaign. Yep, the same one that spawned the controversial "remove 'no' from your vocabulary" hashtag. For that reason, the studio was bathed in the cobalt blue of Bud Light, pretty much from floor to ceiling.
Subsequently, I am now the proud(ish) owner of a heavily ad-laden yoga mat, which has definitely elicited some weird looks from fellow practitioners in other studios. To this I say: Whatever dudes. A free mat is a free mat, even if yoga and beer don't really belong in the same 103°F room.
Along with a host of other media folks hoping to get a glimpse of their high school heartthrobs, I crouched on the floor in a creaky childs pose, wondering why class hadn't kicked off yet and when the guys would make their debut. We were coached by the Bud folks to keep our foreheads on the sticky PVC surface, like a grown-up game of Heads Up, Seven Up. Suddenly, the room became very still, save for the clicking of ankles. We sat up, and there they were: Nick and Drew, looking every bit like the boy band fantasy of my tweenage mind. Except for the Budweiser T-shirts. Those were not part of the fantasy. Let's be honest: The hope was that this would be a slightly more shirtless experience.
Things got sort of weird after that. We were being filmed by a camera crew, which was not something I had anticipated, or I would have worn fancier Lululemon gear instead of boring black leggings. Apparently our shock and awe of seeing the guys was not significant enough during their first romp through the room. We returned to child's pose and reacted to their presence a second time for the cameras. I'd give the authenticity rating of that moment a seven, at best.
Next, the guys led us through a series of postures, modifying the names to be more Budweiser-centric. For those of you out there unfamiliar with hot yoga, it can basically be summed up thusly: 26 poses, done twice, in the heat. We did more like six postures, done mostly twice, in uncomfortable warmth that I don't think was quite 98°F.
Instead of calling poses by their normal names (example: chair pose), though, the brothers called out things like "reaching-for-the-last-Bud-Light-in-the-fridge" pose, and "all-my-friends-have-FOMO" pose. I don't remember the rest; I may have purposely blocked out the new monikers. I did, however, check with my friends: They do experience FOMO every so often, including when I am doing hot yoga with 98 Degrees.
Other highlights from the 30-odd-minute session included: Nick saying every six minutes that he had never done hot yoga before, the actual instructor assuring him that he was doing just fine, and, on a personal note, pulling an unknown muscle in my right shoulder during standing bow pose, which was probably called "I-drank-15-Bud-Lights-and-I-can-still-balance-on-one-leg" pose. At the end of the shortened series, somebody brought out a cooler of Bud Light. It was just past 8:30 a.m. I reached for my coconut water, feeling a little as though I had not earned it, and the guys stood by the door smiling million-watt smiles and holding bright-blue beer bottles as we fled toward the changing rooms.
About an hour later, I had a chance to catch up with the Lacheys, who are just as sweet, delightful, and toothsome in person as anyone could hope. Nick is slightly more dreamboat-esque than Drew, but at 41 and 38, respectively, they could both pretty much pass for the age they were at the height of their careers. We spoke for fewer than 10 minutes, which was not enough time to trick them into saying there was another, more preferable way to get sweaty so early in the morning, theoretically involving sheets.
Nick did, however, admit that he'd been hearing a lot of puns since kicking off this #UpForWhatever journey, and that the name of their band luckily had some staying power. It could be worse, he told me, laughing. "We could have named it skunk piss."
I'll just leave you to ponder that one. Namaste, folks.
Are you Team "Stupid Freaking Idea" or Team "Investment?"
Those were the competing sides in Wednesday's "Lachey's Bar," the fifth episode of the A&E reality show documenting the journey of opening Lachey's in Over-the-Rhine.
Those team's namesakes: The sibling's two quotes explaining their position in the bourbon barrel debate.
Nick Lachey's negative response – he's the captain of team "stupid freaking idea" – to Drew Lachey's purchase of – or "investment" in – a one-of-a-kind Woodford Reserve bourbon barrel prompted the biggest conflict of the series so far.
The battleground actually stretched all the way to Kentucky. About three weeks before the expected opening of the sports bar, the Lacheys and a group of friends, including fellow 98 Degrees member Justin Jeffre, planned to trek the Bourbon Trail.
The idea was for the brothers and bandmates to purchase something special along the way for the bar.
"Ninety-nine percent of the bourbon in world is made just across river," Nick says. "Bourbon is a huge deal in Cincinnati."
Nick, however, is delayed by West Coast work and Drew, a non-bourbon drinker, is sent to 100 miles from Cincinnati without his bourbon-loving brother.
First stop: Town Branch Distillery in Lexington. "This looks like something from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," Drew says of the still.
The scenes along the trail serve as education for both Drew and the those in the show's national audience who may not be familiar with Kentucky's bourbon heritage. Distillers, for instance, explain why Kentucky produces so much of this particular liquor: It's because the area's water is limestone-filtered, with no iron in it.
"This is definitely not my wheelhouse," Drew says.
Ultimately, the spotlight that's been shining on Cincinnati in the first four episodes shined a bit to the south this week.
But that doesn't mean the Queen City was put in a corner. While Drew goes to bourbon school, we follow Nick back at the bar.
He's got to decide which television to buy. And goes with the largest option at 90 inches. "Go big or go home," Nick says.
The weekend is about to get even more expensive for the budding business owners.
At Woodford Reserve, Drew decided to take home a lavish souvenir. You know, the $12,000 barrel of bourbon we talked about earlier.
His friends do the math: The barrel is equivalent to some 220 bottles, making it about $54 a bottle. "I want to make sure it's cost effective," Drew says.
The master distiller also claims that there hasn't been a bar in the United States that's opened with a unique double-oaked single barrel from Woodford Reserve.
That superlative plus the results of the cost effectiveness equation is enough to get Drew on board with the barrel.
Nick, however, drops some of the only bleeped-out expletives when Drew shares his purchase. The result is the most heated argument of the series. But it's still mild. Think a low simmer, not a boil.
Still, Nick's visiting wife, Vanessa, is the one who turns off the stove, "putting in perspective what's ultimately important," Nick says.
The duo invites Drew over and Nick quickly raises a white flag with an apology. So, the battle of the bourbon barrel concludes.
The final words on that peace treaty? A joke, of course.
"I need a $12,000 loan," Drew says.