Though you may know her best from TV and the pages of your favorite magazines, you’ll find Vanessa Lachey doing what *you* love to do on a beautiful summer day: grilling hot dogs, passing out popsicles by the pool and having a summer crafternoon with her kiddies — Camden, 2 and a half, and Brooklyn, 6 months. We caught up with the former TRL and Entertainment Tonight host to talk about life as a mom, Pinterest addict and pool party-hosting pro. You’ve been warned — Vanessa will make you want to take the rest of the day off to DIY and eat Popsicles…

You + the fam recently welcomed baby #2! A lot of our readers have a family and work and are always trying to balance the two. How do you decompress between taking care of your young children and working?

Every now and then if I try to do something for myself I feel guilty and selfish. I just want to get home! I want to do something with them. I want to hang out together. Like while I was speaking on the phone with you, Nick was like, “I’ll take the kids on a walk,” and I was like, “Well, I want to go on a walk with you guys! Can you wait?” It really is the best feeling to be a mom and a wife. Every moment that we can spend together is something I cherish.

Summer is one of our favorite seasons to DIY — what are your favorite summer DIY activities?

Well, we are in the super exploring stage. Everything I do in the kitchen I love to have my son help me with. In the mornings, it’s making eggs. He scrambles them and stirs them and I cook them, of course. We did a Father’s Day banner. I used Brooklyn’s footprints for the rays of the sun and Camden’s handprints for the flowers and Wookie [the family dog]’s paw prints as the clouds in the sky. It took me forever to get Brooklyn on her feet, but actually Wookie was the hardest!

It sounds like you love to throw a good summer get-together!

Yes! I’ve become a pro at decorating with mason jars, using streamers, banners, grilling up hot dogs, making those sides and, of course, the ultimate summer treat is a Popsicle. We are LA-based but we come out to Cincinnati [husband Lachey’s hometown] for some of the summer, so we try to have a lot of get-togethers. It is so great to be right down the street from Drew and [his wife] Leah, the grandparents, some of Nick’s fraternity brothers. Whenever we can get away from Los Angeles and come here to be with family and friends we try to. We try to give a balance to our kids as much as we can.

I love get-togethers. You nurture your friendships and they will always be there for you. But you can’t wait for it to happen. Any excuse to party I will do it! Easter party? Let’s do it. Fourth of July party? Let’s do it. In fact, we are going back to LA soon and I am already thinking of a welcome-back-to-LA summer party. Do I want to do a crab bake or clam bake? I don’t know! I just love creating moments where all our friends can get together and we can just laugh and create moments. It’s what life is about!

Are fun summer cocktails incorporated into these parties?

I like to do a fun infused water treat, but every now and then you want an adult cocktail. There is a great one where you can put little pieces of Popsicle in a glass of champagne. Then you have a festive drink! Actually for Halloween we did a great blood orange drink with a Popsicle.

How do you come up with your DIY ideas? Are you a Pinterest fan?

I am definitely brainstorming and looking all the time. I totally fall into the Pinterest wormhole and will be there for days, never coming up for air. I also love Instagram for finding ideas that are inspiring to me. One recently that I loved was this woman who did her baby’s age at each month in flowers, so every month I do that for Brooklyn with different flowers. I make the number in flowers and put her next to it and then send the photo to friends and family. When she is 1 year old we will have a book and then I’ll give it to her! I think the personal touch is what makes it so much more. If you can hand write something on a dinner table setting instead of printing it out, people just appreciate it more.

We’re pretty excited about your upcoming fall show People are Talking. I mean… Mark-Paul Gosselaar!?!?!

It premieres in October on Friday nights on NBC. My husband is played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar. I’m beyond excited! I’m not in denial, but still in shock that this is happening and that I get to go do this. This literally is like a dream scenario for me. I have two kids, a great supportive husband and a great sitcom on TV. I feel very lucky and very fortunate to be able to manage and juggle all of this as my life.

Were you a big Saved by the Bell fan? ::cough cough:: we might know some ::cough cough::

I am a huge Saved by the Bell fan! I don’t think he quite knows how big a fan I am, but he will after reading this! I will say though when he was Zack Morris he was a young kid, and now he is just the warmest, sweetest, kindest guy. He is not the schticky guy like Zack was. I thought I would see him as Zack, but I just see him as Mark now. I don’t even really think about it now because he has done so much since then. When I found out he golfed I told Nick, you got to get good at your game because I want you to go golf with Mark-Paul Gosselaar. I set up kid dates and man dates!

What are your favorite summer party DIYs? Share them with us (and Vanessa ;) below!

(Photos via Photo by Jason DeCrow for Popsicle)