Whatever Nicole Richie is doing these days, it's working. The Fashion Star mentor, 31, has never looked better or happier than she looked on a recent beach trip with her kids, daughter Harlow, 5, and son Sparrow, 3. (Dad is Richie's husband of more than two years, Good Charlotte rocker Joel Madden.)
Sporting a red bikini top and blue bottoms, Richie flaunted her tiny waist and lean legs as she clowned around with her little ones in an impromptu, just-for-fun photo shoot. One picture from the afternoon shows all three standing on rocks and waving their arms in the air in goofy poses.
Harlow, in a cute ruffled bikini, could be seen making what looked like a heart with her hands, while Sparrow, in printed swim trunks and a T-shirt, had his hands clasped above his head in a shark fin pose. Richie, meanwhile, flashed peace signs and made a funny face at the camera.
The mom of two -- once criticized for her pin-thin frame but sporting a toned, healthier figure now -- has said she tries not to brag about all the adorable things her kids do. "[Parents] want to talk about their [children's] spit-up and how cute their boogers are. I try to not be that mom," she told Chelsea Handler earlier this year. "I know what is really cute and what I only think is cute."
That said, she and her husband keep a record, just for themselves, of their kids' sweetest moments. "My mom told me you should write down every cute thing that they do because you will forget," she shared with Us Weekly. "Joel and I really write down every adorable thing they do and save them."
Speaking about her parenting style with DuJour last fall, Richie said she wants Harlow and Sparrow to have as normal a life as possible. "One of the biggest differences in the way I'm raising my kids versus the way I was raised is that I was on tour a lot," she explained of growing up the daughter of musician Lionel Richie. "I don't really do that with my kids. It's important to me that they have stability. I like them to be home."
Which is not to say she's a perfect mom. "There's no right or wrong way to raise a family," she told the mag. "Look, I don't know anyone who can say they don't just try and do the best that they can do."