It’s been a big year for our June 2015 guest editor, HGTV host Sabrina Soto. The Cuban lifestyle expert is taping a new pilot for the network and she’s expecting her first child, a girl, with her partner Steve this fall. Recently, Sabrina chatted with us about her work, designing her baby’s nursery, her love of cooking, and more.
Q. You’re shooting a new pilot for HGTV this month. Details, please!
SS: My sister is an investor and my cousin is a real estate agent, so the show is basically following the three of us as we invest in and fix up properties that are already for sale in the Los Angeles area. In addition to my work life, viewers will see a slice of my personal life. Right now, the show is called “Equity Angels,” but that may change.
Q. You also recently launched the design site Casa & Company. Why did you decide to venture into the publishing world?
SS: I was driven by the desire to create an online magazine that covered all of my passions, from home to food to fashion. Casa & Company is my outlet to provide resourceful, budget-friendly content for the aesthetic-minded, creative reader.
Q. Your DIYs on the site are so cool. Where do you get the inspiration for your projects?
SS: I’m renovating my own home at the moment – I recently relocated to Los Angeles from New York City — so there is ALWAYS a project to do around this house. I also have wonderful contributors. My only prerequisite is that the project be easy.
Q. OK, let’s get to the really important stuff: You’re pregnant! Why did you chose to share the news before your first trimester ended?
SS: I waited as long as I could, but I am a VERY open book. As soon as I found out the news, I immediately called my family. I couldn’t even wait to tell them in person!
Q. Did you know all along that you were having a girl?
SS: As soon as I found out that I was pregnant, I started to design the nursery because I was confident I was having a boy. Of course, I was completely wrong!
Q. So where are you with the baby’s nursery right now?
SS: Not very far. I don’t even have a coffee table in the living room of our new house yet! But, I still have a little bit of time to get my nursery together, although everyone keeps saying how FAST time flies. Right now, I’m playing around with colour palettes.
Q. What else are you doing to get ready for her?
SS: I’m trying to put together my registry, but I feel lost. I’m hearing conflicting feedback about what I need. Like, I thought I needed a nappy pail but now I’m hearing that I don’t. Send registry tips my way, please!
Q. Have you and Steve discussed names for your daughter yet?
SS: He isn’t into the idea of naming the baby after any of the characters from “The Golden Girls” — even though it’s my most favourite show ever — so it’s back to the drawing board.
Q. What’s the best piece of parenting advice you’ve gotten so far?
SS: To trust my instinct. I know I’m still going to need more advice when the baby arrives and I am all ears. Pile on the tips, please!
Q. Have you heard any scary stories?
SS: Yes. I’m actually surprised by how many people have been sharing sad or scary stories with me lately. My sister has four kids, so anytime I get worried after someone tells me something horrifying, she calms me down.
Q. Are you craving anything unusual these days?
SS: I am eating a LOT of carbs, which wasn’t typical for me before I got pregnant. Bread is my new BFF.
Q. You recently took a trip to Tulum, Mexico. Was that your Babymoon?
SS: Nope. That was for my sister’s 40th birthday. We planned that trip way before I found out about the baby. I drank MANY virgin pina coladas that week!
Q. How fun! It seems like family is really important to you. You often share fun family pics with your fans…
SS: My family is EVERYTHING to me! I speak to them every single day and we try to get together at least once a week. We are a very close-knit, loud, and passionate Cuban family.
Q. Are there any traditions that you enjoyed during your childhood that you plan to pass down to your child?
SS: I don’t know if I necessarily enjoyed it, but my mum made us baby food from scratch every single day. I plan on trying to do the same thing for my little girl, too.
Q. Does your love of cooking come from your Cuban roots?
SS: Definitely. I grew up in the kitchen, hanging out with my Mum, Grandmother, and Aunt. The smell of garlic and onions combined with the sound of the women in my family gossiping could keep anyone intrigued for hours.
Q. What’s your favourite dish to make?
SS: I’d rather eat my Mom’s Cuban food, than my own. She makes the best arroz con pollo in the world!
Q. What else do you enjoy doing in your free time?
SS: I love to hike with my dog, paint, and entertain. I am a homebody, so I’d much rather have an intimate dinner party than head to a fancy restaurant.
Q. What do you wish you had more time to do right now?
SS: I can’t wait to have a few hours free to be able to read, although, with the baby on the way I doubt that will be anytime soon.
Q. Any go-to beauty secrets? You always look amazing!
SS: Thank you! First of all, I have an amazing makeup artist. Other than that, I am a beauty product addict. I’ll try any potion. Lately, I’ve been into different facial oils. I’m trying to come up with my own special concoction. If I get the recipe right, I’ll share it ASAP.
Q. What’s the one thing about you that would surprise people who don’t know you?
SS: I swear like a sailor at times, although I’m trying to kick the habit.
Photo: Courtesy of Sabrina Soto