Julie Bowen

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We're used to seeing Julie Bowen play overly worrisome mom Claire Dunphy on ABC's Modern Family but in real life, the mother of three definitely has reason to be a bit overprotective.

That's because back when her oldest son Oliver was only two-years-old, the toddler suffered a severe allergic reaction—also known as anaphylaxis—and she had to rush him to the hospital.

Since then, Bowen has teamed up with website Anaphylaxis101.com to spread the word to unsuspecting parents and kids on the dangers of being caught off guard to an allergic reaction. In addition to lending her voice to its new educational e-book, she also logs time playing the site's online supermarket shopping game with a now six-year-old Oliver.

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"Even I can do it, and I'm definitely not technologically on the cutting edge," Bowen says. "It is really simple and it happens to be something my oldest likes because he loves cooking. He calls it, and I quote, his ‘sport.'"

Bowen also took the time to fill us in on other things she loves doing with her little ones—as well as what she enjoys when she can sneak in a few moments to herself.

Here's what she had to say:

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What's your favorite restaurant?
If it's with my kids we have a couple go-to places—and yes it does have to do with Oliver's allergies—in Los Angeles that we love. There's a place called Take a Bao that I personally love. It's right near our house in the Valley. They don't use nuts in the dishes that he likes. I've never even asked about the other dishes, and I don't want to make any false claims on their behalf. But it's lovely—feels like a grown-up restaurant but they don't mind loud children. It actually feels like grown-ups and children can coexist and it's not just a loud, kind of insane Chuck E. Cheese party.

And without the kids?
I know it's hackneyed and everybody does it now, but anywhere where you can share food. I love classics like A.O.C—they were the originator of the small plate. I love it because I don't have to commit and I love getting my hands in everyone else's food. Then again, I don't have any allergies so it's just fine.

What's inside of your makeup bag?
I just started working with Neutrogena and they gave me a gargantuan bag of stuff. I've been working my way through it and, you know, some colors and some things are just not going to be right for your skin tone. Everyone's wearing the pop of color on their lip—and they gave me one that I love. It's a bright pink, it's a chubby stick—the MoistureSmooth Color Stick in Bright Berry. It's actually like a bright pink that I can rock. I'm into it!


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What's the last cool thing that you purchased?
I would have to say my Zara cargo pants, but they're satin—and they're washable! I don't know what you call that: fake satin, sateen, awesome satin? They're awesome satin. And they look really chic and happening but you can pack them and throw them in the wash. I love them. I'm wearing them right now. It's cargo style but they have a sheen to them as a satin might. For award shows you always have to wear dresses but at night I like to funk it up with some pants—I like some fun pants. These are olive...they also have them in midnight blue that I covet and die for but they were out of them in my size.

What are you watching on Netflix?
I went through the House of Cards bender in about one day. No, it took about a week. I'm on Orange is the New Black. It was a slow burn but now I'm obsessed. Love Jenji Kohan, the creator, who also created Weeds, and I would kill—let me put it out there—kill to be on Orange is the New Black. She reinvents people better than anybody out there. Let me tell you, I love [Modern Family's] Claire, but if anyone could make Claire go away for a week it would be Jenji Kohan.

What are you reading?
I just finished The Orphan Master's Son and just started The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt's new novel.



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