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Over a decade later, Nicole Richie is still living the Simple Life–except with way, way better hair. See, purple isn’t for everyone, but the girl who’s gone from reality TV star to style icon is making us all wish otherwise. But behind the pastel-pigmented locks is a pretty (very pretty) regular girl, a girl who loves to garden, in fact.

Nicole and her colored coif cover Paper magazine for the May issue, which serves as a reminder to some of us that spring has sprung and the flowers are blooming, in her backyard, at least. In the mom’s entire editorial, she’s blooming in pieces from ValentinoOscar de la Renta, and Marchesa that are just as pretty as her favorite homegrown hobby, something she shares with her dad Lionel Richie, except he’s “more of a landscaping type of guy, and I’m more of an edible garden person.”

In the cover story, the 32-year-old talks her (surprisingly) regular life as a mom and wife, her House of Harlow 1960 plans, and her upcoming VH1 show, #CandidlyNicole. Keep on reading for some of her excerpts below.

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On raising her children in Hollywood:

“The best part about raising kids here is that I was never told that being gay or mixed race was different at all. It’s such a big melting pot, and everybody is so open-minded and welcoming here, I don’t know where else I would raise them,” she tells Paper. “We’ve obviously gone back and forth because we did grow up so differently, and there are aspects about the way he was raised that I wish I’d had and vice versa. We just apply both of those ideas to our family.”

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On her L.A. style:

“I love L.A. style because seasons don’t really play a role. I’m able to wear whatever I want, whenever I want,” says Nicole. “It gives me the opportunity to experiment and try new looks.”

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On her six-year-old daughter’s role in her brand:

“Harlow’s interested in what I do, and I’m going to bring her in and show her. But more importantly I really respect her eye,” explains Nicole. “Nobody knows kids better than an actual kid. So I’ll be using her eye when I move into kids’ apparel.” 

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On being a grown-up:

“My idea of being a grown-up was living behind a white picket fence and changing who you were–getting a bob and wearing beige,” Nicole says, “but I found freedom through my brand and being myself and being able to do it my way.” Which is really the essence of House of Harlow 1960. “I really just want to empower people to feel like they’re strong enough to make their own decisions.”

Be sure to head over to Paper for more.

PHOTO CREDIT & SOURCE: Paper

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