EXCLUSIVE: Christina El Moussa on Moving Forward, Co-Parenting & How the Last Year Made Her a 'Better Person'

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Christina El Moussa is getting ready for the next big chapter in her life.

"I just sort of take things day by day and I don't overthink things," Christina told ET's Lauren Zima at a photo shoot for GoodHousekeeping.com, where she opened up about the drama she's faced in her personal life and her excitement for the future. "I have a lot of exciting things coming up and I'm just looking forward to this year."

The HGTV star has spent the last few months in the headlines, first for her high-profile divorce from her husband, and Flip or Flop co-star, Tarek El Moussa, then for her new, burgeoning relationship with boyfriend Doug Spedding. 

But now she's looking forward to a whole slate of new projects to tackle, including a brand new book about the challenges she's faced in both her personal and professional life.

"I'm writing a book and we just finished the proposal, so I'm going out to New York next month to interview publishers and I'm really excited about that," she shared. "It has to do with everything I've gone through [in] the past couple years and how I've coped going through a public divorce and things that have helped me get through it. Just things I hope to give back to other people that are going through hard times."
 
Christina and her ex called it quits in December, announcing their separation in a joint statement released to the media. The couple, who share two children -- 6-year-old Taylor and 2-year-old Brayden -- were subsequently thrust into the spotlight, which Christina says she found difficult.

"Things have gotten significantly easier since January. You know, the initial shock of it hitting the media was extremely stressful. [It was hard] having to be so public, but I feel like now everything's calmed down and everything's on the up and up."

Another upcoming project on her plate is the new season of Flip or Flop, where she will still be starring opposite her ex. Despite their split, the pair have decided to move forward as co-hosts on the popular HGTV series, and Christina said their different personalities are a benefit to the show.

"We both have different qualities that we're good at. You know, I still focus on the design, he still focuses on finding the house. We both meet with the contractors. We're both totally involved in the whole process, so for us, when we got approached about continuing the show, we both decided it was what was best for both of us," she explained. "We're always going to continue to co-parent together and remain friends, so it's just something we're going to do in the future and we're both happy about it."

While they've decided to work together despite their marital strife, the former couple's relationship was a big part of the show for a lot of fans, and Christina said they haven't quite figured out how to address the split on the show just yet.

"We just started filming again and we're kind of working that out with production," she admitted. "I'm not exactly positive what we're going to do,  but we both still film with the kids and it shows his new house in Newport and me here with kids and other things that we're both doing in our lives. So, it should be interesting."

For the upcoming seventh season of Flip or Flop, Christina said they are shooting 15 episodes and then they're "going to reevaluate." However, she teased that they've already shot some really fun, very strange episodes.

"Recently I walked into a house, and there were pigeons in there. They were like, flying at us. Another house, there was a turkey that had been left on the table since like, the previous Thanksgiving. There were cockroaches and bugs everywhere," she recalled. "With the show, honestly, you just never know what to expect and there's always something interesting happening, so it's fun."

While Christina and Tarek are trying to keep things as amicable as possible, their split has still been challenging for their family. But the dedicated mom says she has always been upfront with her children about how the separation hasn't changed a thing about how much she and Tarek care for them.

"I would just say, 'Mommy and Daddy, we still love you and we'll always be here for you and we'll always be friends. But it's just, you know, it's better for us to live apart,'" Christina said, recalling what she told her daughter when she asked about their split. 

Co-parenting has been a big part of her life since her split, and Christina said that the most important thing for her and Tarek is respect, especially around their children.

"What doesn't work [when you want to] co-parent is to have all that animosity towards each other," she said. "Kids sense that, so Tarek and I will never say anything negative about each other to the kids, in front of the kids. I think that's so important. It's so important to still communicate and show [our] kids that we're still friends, that we'll always be a family. Whether that's sports events together, birthday parties. It just makes our kids feel more comfortable."

"I think that's a good thing for other people, to put your differences aside and to know that your kids are the most important, and you know that's what matters," she added.

While calling it quits thrust their lives into the spotlight perhaps more than they intended, Christina said that she wouldn't have really done anything differently if she had to do it over.

"I don't have any regrets. I think that things happen for a reason and this is just what was best for us," she shared. "I think everything is as it should be."

"There's are a lot of things that happened in the past year that I had to really evaluate, and it helped make me a stronger, better person, a better mom, [and a] better friend," she added.

However, Christina admits that there are certain days -- especially days when Tarek has the kids and she feels a little more alone -- that are more difficult. But that's when she truly appreciates the support network she's lucky enough to have.

"Having good girlfriends, having family that I can call, go to dinner with, spend time with, I think that's the most important thing," Christina said, adding that it helps to just keep busy.

"My favorite thing is exercising," she said, regarding her efforts to get into a good mental space during her infrequent down time. "I love going for like, a three-mile run around my neighborhood… [that] has always been my stress reliever. I just like you know, a nice dinner, I like to just relax. Swim with the kids in the pool, go to the beach, go on a boat ride."

Apart from her family, her TV show, her book and her seminar company, Christina is also spending some of her well-managed time with her new beau, Doug, an Orange County businessman.

"Doug and I met about 12 years ago and we dated for a couple months and then we recently ran into each other at a hockey game," Christina explained. "We're getting to know each other again and taking it slow."

"He's just very easy to talk to. I have a lot of respect for him. Our communication is very strong," she added. "But like I said, just one day at a time."

Doug has six kids of his own, but his 10-year-old twins have become fast friends with Christina's daughter, which has been a great way to bring their families together.

"Taylor really looks up to them and we have a really great time," she shared, adding that the pair's newly-rekindled relationship has been very relaxed. "We just mostly barbecue here. Swim. Hangout. Really low-key."

Christina also said that, with everything she's working on and trying to juggle, she's not really considering the idea of having any more kids.

"I'm not thinking about other kids right now," she explained. "I think I'm done."

The 34-year-old TV personality said that this time in her life is really a "very transitional period," what with all the new opportunities on her horizon -- and she's going to focus on relying on her instincts when it comes to navigating her upcoming personal and professional journey.

"I think it's nice to feel your emotions and really trust your instincts," she said. "I feel like, since I turned 30, life has just gotten easier. I trust my gut, I trust my intuitions and so far, they haven't steered me wrong."

As she moves forward, Christina said she's looking toward "becoming a better businessperson" and creating a "global-type empire" with her business acumen and persistence.