As the youngest of eight children, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon need look no further than her own late mother when she’s in need of parenting advice. “She [knew] a thing or two,” the 42-year-old actress told the Celebrity Baby Blog on Tuesday at the Buzz Girls Creatives Dinner in West Hollywood.

Among the biggest lessons taught? The importance of three square meals a day. “That was a big thing for her…that’s really important,” she said; Like so many moms, however, that effort often leaves Garcelle feeling “like a short-order cook” for 21-month-old twins Jax Joseph and Jaid Thomas. “I’m always at the stove,” she notes.

As for her own advice to new moms, Garcelle says: “Try to laugh.”

When asked to name her biggest baby must-have, Garcelle doesn’t hesitate. “There are these little blue diaper bags that when you have a poopy diaper, you put in, they smell like baby powder inside,” she revealed. “We use it at home, we use it on the go…[When] you’re at a friend’s house, you don’t want to spoil her garbage, her kitchen.”

Jax and Jaid are Garcelle’s children with husband Mike Nilon; In addition, she is mom to 18-year-old Oliver from a previous marriage.

— Missy with reporting by Alexis Chiu