We’re several weeks into spring, but if you haven’t gotten around to starting that ol’ spring cleaning yet (even with the help of our cleaning party essentials), don’t fret: We feel you.
There’s one celeb in particular who feels you too: Alexa PenaVega. As a new mom (she was busy prepping son Ocean’s next meal and rocking him to sleep while chatting with us via phone), downtime is a rarity for the former Spy Kid. She also let us in on a little secret: She’s not exactly a neat freak.
“I am a mess,” she laments with a laugh. “Everyone [always] thinks it’s the guy — it’s me… I have little piles of mess everywhere. I have a pile here and there [and] it adds up very quickly.”
Despite her recent partnership with Clorox, which saw her filming an absolutely adorable video of herself cleaning her own fridge as part of the brand’s “30 days of Springvent” calendar cleaning challenge (don’t worry, there’s still time to get in on the fun!), the 28-year-old admits it can be tough doing it all.
And make no mistake: She IS doing it all. In addition to being a loving wife and mom and prepping for a family move to Maui, Hawaii, she’s also hard at work on her next Hallmark film, Destination Wedding, which should be hitting the small screen come June. “I play a girl named Ellie, [and] she’s a maid of honor in her sister’s wedding,” she dishes. As in real life, PenaVega says her character is the one struggling to keep it all together when an uh-oh moment puts the wedding at risk.
Unlike her character, however, PenaVega has plenty of help in the form of her husband, Carlos. “I’ve been very fortunate to have an awesome partner,” she tells us. Not only does he help her get ish done (“He goes on a cleaning spree out of nowhere”), but he takes turns caring for Ocean when she needs a moment to herself — a fact we can attest to, since he sweetly took the babe off her hands so she could finish her chat with us interruption-free. “We switch off,” she shares. “We go back and forth.”
Still, it’s the time when Ocean is awake that has spurred PenaVega to be more on top of her tidying game, particularly since she also happens to cook a lot. While she tells us she would love to have the microwave from the Spy Kids secret lair to whip her up Big Macs or McDonald’s, the reality is that the actress, who boasts a large Colombian family, is constantly hosting friends and fams for big dinners.
“It’s a big feast,” she says. That means lots of meal prep, and lots of potential germies. [“There’s] raw chicken juice [and] and pig’s feet [and] weird stuff being cooked, [and] when you have an infant, you become really worried about everything,” she says. Enter the Clorox sprays and disinfect wipes. When there’s salmonella, I need something [strong] — I can’t hope!”
The cautious mommy is also wary of the germs her makeup case can hold. “We don’t think of makeup as being super dirty, [but] those sponges hold onto so many germs,” she says. Opting for the Beautyblender egg for its rewashing properties, Penavega says that she does her best to shoot for makeup that’s long-lasting, since she doesn’t wear it often, mostly sticking to moisturizer from the natural, organic skincare line she and Carlos co-founded alongside his former Big Time Rush bandmate Kendall Schmidtt, brother Kevin Schmidtt, and Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson, Hapbee Company. With, of course, the exception of mascara. “Sometimes, it’s all you need,” she says.
Her pared-down makeup kit is reflective of the lifestyle she and Carlos are currently striving for as a family: It’s one of the reasons for their impending move. “We wanted to start fresh,” she tells us. “We’re just kind of downgrading everything and [letting] go of the things we don’t need.”
Sounds like the perfect motto for spring cleaning to us!
What do you think of Alexa’s cleaning tips? Tell us over @BritandCo.
(Photo via Jason Kempin/Getty)