Behind the scenes with Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon juggles her career, family and love life, yet still is able find time for herself
She refuses to dwell on the past and accepts that she can’t control the future.

For Reese Witherspoon, it’s all about living in the moment. And with a thriving career, two children, and a handsome boyfriend — Jake Gyllenhaal — who can blame her On her divorce from Ryan Phillippe … You have to keep it together for your kids and for yourself too. I’m trying to learn from the things that have happened in my life, live more in the moment, and have more fun. Someone told me recently to live in the present but make plans and take pictures. And I am. I’m writing more, I’m reading more. Going to more concerts. Jake and I went to Coachella this year. On being confident … As you get older, you know what you like and what you don’t like, and you’re not apologetic about it… I used to judge myself so harshly. I think women in their 20s do. You’re hard on your body, you’re hard on yourself. But you start to realize that none of it is really all that important. As long as you’re comfortable, the best parts of yourself come through no matter what. Your mother can tell you that a million times, but you don’t understand it until you live it! On if she likes to cook …

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I do. And Jake is a great cook, he does a lot. We spend the weekends outside L.A, in Ojai, where I have a farmhouse. We have chickens and we grow cucumbers and tomatoes. I love it. It reminds me of where I grew up in Tennessee. On working out … I try to exercise every day. I like to run for about an hour, and I’m big into working out with girlfriends. It’s an acquired skill, being able to discuss your love life, children and friends, all while you’re running! But we have mastered it. On her new perfume … I have a lot of favorite smells from growing up in the South that I wanted to capture in this scent. As a kid, I was always outside. There was a magnolia tree in the front yard that I think I spent most of first, second and third grade in. And there was the smell of honeysuckle from the creek that ran down by our house. Gardenias were important too, because every Mother’s Day or on my birthday my father would buy small bouquets or corsages for my mother and me. While we were working on the perfume, Avon asked me if I could explore other notes, but I kept going back to white flowers! The packaging reminds me of my grandma’s bureau, where she’d have little perfume bottles out. I love it. On her girlfriends … There are three of us who wear pretty much the same size, so we’ll get together on a Friday night and I’ll bring clothes I want to trade and they’ll bring theirs. We swap shoes and purses a lot. I wore my girlfriend’s dress to a wedding recently. It’s fun. On raising her kids, Ava and Deacon, far from home … Sometimes it’s really difficult for me, being far away from home. L.A. is where my job is and I have to be close, but I never imagined that my children wouldn’t grow up next door to my brother’s children. Or my mom and dad wouldn’t constantly be around. You know, I had dinner every night with my grandparents as a kid, so I think missing out on that is a hard compromise. At least I have a lot of Southern friends in L.A. I gravitate toward them. I think of those people as a part of my family: They take care of me and I take care of them. On being a mom and a career woman … I love my life without work and I love my life with work. My mom, who’s a nurse, called me the other day when I was really stressed out from working a 15-hour day. And she was like, “Yeah, but think of it as a part-time job.” And I thought, that’s actually right, it puts it in perspective. I work incredibly hard for three months, but then I get a break. It’s about really enjoying my time off. Where do I relax the most Where are my children happiest My ideal scenario is to do one movie a year. But as an actor, I don’t think you can do an awful lot of planning. In fact, my new philosophy in life is I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I used to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, as if I could magically predict it if I planned it enough. And then I realized, I can’t.