Actress Alison Sweeney, 40, is known to many TV viewers for her long-time role as Sami Brady on “Days of Our Lives,” host of the reality show “The Biggest Loser” and star of the “Murder She Baked” series of movies on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. She and her husband, Dave Sanov, have two children, Ben, 12, and Megan, 7. We asked Alison about her upcoming movie, “Murder She Baked: Just Desserts,” motherhood and more.
1. The fifth “Murder She Baked” movie airs March 26 on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. What’s your favorite thing about this series?
I’m incredibly proud to star and executive produce a series of movies that tells a great story, combining intrigue, romance and fun moments.
2. What can you relate to most about playing Hannah in those movies?
I definitely relate to Hannah being inquisitive — whether solving a problem at home, listening to a podcast series or watching a compelling television series or movie, I love finding clues to determine an outcome.
3. Will there be more “Murder She Baked” movies?
From my many years of on daytime television, I’ve learned to never say never.
4. You executive produce these movies, act, have directed and published books. Do you have any advice to other working parents in regards to juggling and balancing a positive home life?
Definitely plan as many routines as possible — everything from the basics of brushing your teeth every morning and night to preparing snacks to last throughout the week. We start our day with Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant spin brushes and toothpaste to have a clean and confident smile. We then make breakfast and clean up from it together, have healthy snacks prepared for the week (check out my Instagram for some of our favorites) and after our busy days apart, circle back to make dinner as a family and finish our day with bedtime rituals. My goal is to always set the best example for my children, whether at home or at work. I’m fortunate to be able to spend considerable time with my kids while showing them that mommy is pursuing a career she loves and that I work hard every day to be successful at both which I’m sure many others can relate to.
5. What do you do for your own Mommy time to unwind?
I love to cook, work out or read a good book during my down time.
6. Where’s your favorite place to vacation with your kids?
If it’s snowing, I love to be skiing with them in the mountains, but otherwise we love our time in warm water at the beach.
7. What’s the funniest thing one of your kids has ever done?
My kids constantly make me laugh. We crack up playing Jenga all the time.
8. What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
Celebrating my kids’ accomplishments.
9. The phrase you’ve said to your kids more than any other is…
10. The kids are asleep. What are you binge watching?
“Survivor,” “Narcos” or “House of Cards.”
11. Are you a morning person or night owl?
12. If your parenting style was a book, what would it be called?
“A Work In Progress.”
13. Do you ever catch yourself doing things as a mom you thought you’d never do?
14. How do you encourage your kids to be healthy and active?
My kids have been raised living a healthy and active lifestyle so they really don’t know anything else. We have always had open communication with them about the importance of being physically active and eating quality foods so they’re aware and educated to make the best choices.
15. What is your favorite family ritual?
I love that my entire family is part of the dinner cooking process. Ben and Megan prep, Dave grills and I make the marinade, do the salad and other vegetable side dishes.
16. What would surprise people about you?
17. What has surprised you most about being a parent?
I think the thing that surprised me most was how everyone was right in saying, “You’ll never know how much your life changes until you have a child.”
18. One thing that always makes you laugh is…?
I have two things — my kids.
19. What is something important life has taught you?
Always work hard, do my best and be proud of the accomplishments along the way.
20. What is the best gift a parent can give her child?