Funny Observations From My Life As a Single Mom: 12 Times Fashion Failed You

1. Girl, if you are out to brunch and working hard at finding the bottom of the "bottomless mimosas" don't teeter around town in 5 inch platform wedges.  They look cute one drink in, but by the third you're falling flat on your ass on the way to the bathroom.

2. Let's talk about rompers.  First of all, if the romper rides up in the back then let's assume its riding up in the front.  That's not cute, girl. NOT CUTE.  Also, if your ass checks are falling out of said romper you would consider upsizing.  Real Talk: it's complete rare that a real human can pull off this look, so maybe just don't.  OK?

3. I am all for leggings, don't get me wrong.  But, in the unfortunate event that the pattern of a kitten, unicorn, rainbow, or any other majestic being looks like is leaping from your ass (or even worse...vag) just don't wear them in public.  Remember that the internet it a cruel place and you don't want to end up next weeks most popular meme.  

4. If high-wasted jeans are making you look like you have a mile-long-flat-ass and a "front-butt", please consider that some trends are for 17-year-olds with a lightening fast metabolism...and thats not you.  

5. If you are wearing leggings and I can see your maxi-pad outline you may need to find a longer shirt. (You have no idea how common this is...for reals.) 

6. If your bra makes you look like you have four boobs or one big mono-boob you may want to rethink the size of said over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.  

7. Fellas can have a fashion fail, too.  If your shirt reads as a dick/fart joke, you've failed BIG time.  

8. If you wanna smoke weed, thats cool.  If I see you at the school function wearing your pot leaf necklace circa 1994 you're gonna retire that shit ASAP.  

9. Over the age of 14 ironic t-shirts are no longer cute or ironic.  

10. Crocs are not shoes for every occasion.  If you think they are you need a smack in the face with one.  

11.  When heading to the beach or the pool, please remember that the rules of swimwear are not just a loose interpretation.  Seriously, some of y'all need to get a grip on that shit. I'm not your doctor or your partner so I don't need to see that much of you in public. 

12. If you aren't sure about whether or not you are a walking fashion fail just go to places like WalMart or Disney and look around.  If your outfit looks like most of their outfits, you fail.  If not, you should be all good.  (We all know WalMart and Disney are the two places fashion goes to die, just admit it.) 

 

Monday Fave Rave: Back to School 2016

Hallelujah it's back to school time! Today B starts his first day at a new preschool and my nerves are shot already.  He's not a huge fan of change or new situations and gets anxiety at drop-off even if he is comfortable with his surroundings so today is a big day for both of us. I will try not to cry too much.  As always, I want to share some of our must haves for school and let you all know how I prepare for Back-to-School as a single Jedi parent of a young Padawan in training.

I like to lay all of his stuff out after he falls asleep and make it a surprise when he wakes up.  It gets him excited and motivated to put it all on and get ready for the day.  THis worked so well this morning.  He had no anxiety at all, didn't fuss over getting dressed or leaving the house.  I was also able to snap off a few cute pics to share.

Here's a list of our must have items for school:

1. Name Bubbles for labeling everything...and I mean everything we send or wear to school.  It's way easier than labeling with a sharpie like my parents did or losing uber cool items to the lost-and-found bin.  I keep the clothes labels in his drawers so I can just pop one on to his shirts and shorts when we lay clothes out for the day.

2. Shoes! We buy two new pairs of shoes at the beginning of each school year.  I typically let B pick his out, too.  In the past we have been a huge fan of Stride Rite. They are great for  early preschoolers.  This year we chose to go with a more athletic shoe from Nike.  I know it can be very pricy to buy name brands but try shopping at Shoe Carnival or Famous Footwear for discounts.  (Also, the Name Bubble mentioned above have shoe labels! Sweet!)

3. Clothes: Well of course my child will basically only wear clothes with his favorite characters on them, including his underwear.  Ugh.  I have found great success with Hanna Andersson for everything from socks and undies to back packs.  Their shorts and pants are amazing! Thanks to European sizing and attention to detail their clothes will last forever.  Organic material, adjustable, washable and durable...all of the things you're looking for when's you spend good money on school clothes.  (Check out the PJs too...so cute!) I like to have him help me pick his clothes out the night before and lay them out for him to see.  It makes getting dressed in the morning a lot faster and he feels more confident when he picks the outfit.

4. Lunches: We have a variety of lunch boxes from Thermos.  I like to switch it up. Because my little guys is more of a snack eater I pack a selection of little things for him to pick and choose from.  Typically he will eat most of what I pack.  Hummus, yogurt, and cheese are good protein options along with a fruit (he likes apple slices, strawberries or grapes) in these cool camp tins from PB Kids.  I alway include a juice and a surprise treat like nut free cookies, gummie bunnies, organic chocolate cookies, Yummy Earth treat for fun.  Add a cute little Star Wars note to make his day or a sticker to keep him smiling. I prepack lunch boxes as soon as we get home from school.  It helps me just stay on top of that task and I am not scrambling to pack it all in the morning.

5. Nap Mat: This is our first time having to bring a nap mat to school.  He's not a napper so...good luck with that, teacher.  Getting B to take a nap is like getting anything done with a toddler at home...nearly impossible.  I decided to go the discount route when purchasing the nap mat for fear that he may not use it and it will end up a wasted chunk of change. Zulily  had really cute Robot nap mat by Olive Kids that we are going to try out.  Kiddo has already been laying it out on the floor and reading books on it so maybe it will work for quiet time at school.  Fingers Crossed.

6. And last but not least a cool back to school Star Wars themed printable for uber cute pics!

So, there you have it.  Our MLR Back to School list for 2016.  Wish us luck on our new journey at a new school. We are very excited to be attending Bright Horizons this school year.  I was pretty impressed with the tour of the facility, the teachers all seemed really great and they plan a full day of learning from my little preschooler.

Good luck to all you parents braving the back-to-school crazy this week!

Just remember...

image

Traveling with your kid: Managing the Crazy

  Traveling with kids SUCKS! It's horrible. I absolutely want to take adventures and see the world with my child, but let me be honest by saying that I'm literally praying daily for someone to invent teleportation or the "beam me up" situation from the Star Trek. TSDSTTR PA062 Before I had a child I would say I was an expert traveler, I had packing down to a science, and the ability to travel anywhere at anytime.  Now? Oh, how the game has changed my friend.  As a person living with anxiety I really don't enjoy the traveling with my kid in tow.  It freaks me out!  I need lots of time to prepare, pack, repack, panic, and repack again.  That usually helps me control the anxiety, so needless to say, I'm pretty good at it.  Here's what we so to get through it.  ***Note this is for ONE parent flying with ONE child.***

His Carry On: (Boy 3 1/2 years old): Pick a backpack that has plenty of room but that your little one can wear or even better a rolling back pack like the ones from Pottery Barn Kids that they can pull around behind them. In quart size ziplock bags separate the small toys, crayons, etc so that you can not only see them but feel them while you're searching thru their bag for them because they just can't (ugh.) Grab a few brand new Grab and Go fun packs from the Target dollar section or the Dollar Store.  Get one new decent sized toy that kiddo has never seen before but really likes (i,e. a Spider-Man or Barbie, or an Imaginext) this way they have a surprise that will keep them preoccupied for part of the plane ride. On this trip we're trying a new Disney Star Wars kinetic sand playset...it may be a disaster, but he loves them and it will keep him entertained (wish me luck.) image   I swear by the iPad mini, but make sure you have enough memory to download a new movie and maybe a few episodes of their favorite show, just in case there isn't any wifi.  Other Apps to consider are VUDU, Disney Anywhere, Netflix and YouTube Kids for wifi hotspots or even use your phone as a hotspot for driving. Snacks: just a few so that they can grab it themselves. I pack 1 Pirates Booty, 1 Veggie Stick, 1 Annie's fruit snack, and one small pack of cookies or graham crackers...but here's the thing if you run out of room just grab some snacks after you get through security.  We usually find hummus packs, yogurt, a bagel, or pick up a smoothie at Starbucks. Pack a hoodie, an empty water bottle, some toddler flushable wipes, a spare pair of underwear and a wet bag or gallon size ziplock bag for any accidents that could occur.  Don't forget their blanket or favorite stuffed animal for comfort.

My Carry On: I carry a pretty big (but very chic) back pack.  I don't do the tote bags because they tip over, can be reached inside of and they pull one shoulder down or slip off and just make your life a little more unbearable.  A backpack makes your hands free to hold onto little ones and a rolling suitcase.  Keep liquids to a minimum (if any at all) and contained to a quart size ziplock or clear makeup bag.  I pack a few daily wear contacts, mascara in travel size, hand sanitizer spray, lip balm and a good tinted CC cream (you can buy anything at your destination that you may need beyond the bare essentials.)  I highly suggest skipping the laptop computer if you can and investing in a good tablet that can replace it while you're traveling.  I love my iPad Pro and found it at a good price at Costco! You won't have to unpack the iPad's at security so that totally rules.  Grab a comfortable, light and versatile cardigan for the air conditioning and a bonus is that it can double as a blanket. Lululemon or Three Dots make great ones.  I pack a compact cross-body bag in my carry on.  When I need it on my trip it's there but one less bag to sling around my neck at the airport.  You can even store your wallet, keys, and sunglasses in it and ready for when you get to the hotel.  All you need accessible for travel is your photo ID, boarding pass (which you can put on your phone now), cash and your phone.  Hello! That's why I suggest a backpack  plenty of little pockets for that crap.  Remember to bring a snack for yourself, a refillable water bottle, toothbrush,  antibacterial wipes, facial wipes (please don't confuse the two...ouch) and your phone charger.  In fact, most of the time I only carry the USB cord to save room because you can plug it into a hotel TV or charging station at the airport.  Most places have joined the tech revolution and have USB ports for charging now.  We only need one cord for all of our devises.  A good pair of ear buds or headphones just in case you can manage to catch a movie or listen to your tunes if kiddo falls asleep is a bonus.

What we pack in our Carry On Size Suitcase: Basics and favorites.  For a 4 day trip we need to keep it simple.  Anything longer try to see if laundry is available.  I only fly with a carry on suitcase.  I almost NEVER check a bag.  I can't stand waiting for it to get off of the flight and such, and for us that has added an extra hour stuck in the airport and not on our way to the fun stuff.

For my little dude:  I pack sunglasses, a baseball cap, 4 pairs undies, 3 t-shirts, one collard shirt, 2 shorts, 1 pant, 1 pair of pjs, one swim outfit, 2 socks, 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair flip-flops or crocs. (Remember the hoodie in the carry on.) Roll each outfit together including undies.  Stick socks into shoes.  Anything over that is too much probably.  Lay it all out and see if you can edit or combine outfits to make even more room.  Here's where you can get them involved....have them pick out the clothes they want to wear.  My son hates to wear a collard shirt or anything dressy so I have him help me choose his outfits.  I have a higher success rate when his opinion has been factored in.

For me: I can get away with dresses for day or night and simple sandals.  For a 4 day trip I do denim cutoff shorts and 2 cotton tank tops, cotton sundress, simple black dress that can be worn day or night, white jeans with a grey or black cotton t-shirt, maxi shirt and white tank top and one basic black bathing suit. (Remember you have a cardigan in your carry on bag for layering.) Do your self a favor and just leave the crazy big platforms and whack ass fancy heels at home, girl.  You won't want to be burdened with them in your bag.  Simple black sandals, comfortable flip-flops, one pair of comfy pjs, however much underwear you feel you need, and 2 bras should be sufficient. You can wear your sneakers to travel in.

Consider shipping: Diapers, liquids, bulky items and extra clothes can be shipped to Grandma's, but you can also check hotel policy and for longer trips this is super simple and easy to do and just makes dealing with checked bags a thing of the past. Hallelujah!

image

What we're wearing to fly: Gone are the days of dressing to the tens for airline flights. Boo can wear his favorite t-shirt, comfortable cotton shorts (with pockets if you can,) crocs and a baseball cap.  I always travel in black leggings, cotton tunic style t-shirt, 'no-show' socks and Adidas sneakers (preferable black and white because they go with all of my other clothes.) I wear a sports bra to travel in just in case I get the ol' frisk and fondle by the TSA agents.  A baseball cap always is helpful so that you don't ruin your blowout by pulling your hair up and wasting that time an energy.

Airport Tips: Buy snacks and fill water bottles after you get through security checks.  Make sure you are early for flight times...and by early I mean like an hour or more kind of early.  You have no idea how long the lines can be, who will need to pee or poop (which with a newly potty trained kid can take some time) and it gives you plenty of time to make sure you can check in at the gate and let them know your needs to pre-board.  A few times I have been lucky enough to upgrade seats to first class or business class on the cheap so look out for these options.  Trust me, they call it first class for a reason.  I don't like traveling with a stroller or car seat.  It's just as easy to rent if you need to.  Try finding a car service that supplies the seat.  You'll have to buckle it in but that's old hat for a seasoned parent.  Less is more here, people.  I have been known to buy a cheap umbrella stroller at Rite Aide or Target in desperate times, but I prefer not to relive those.  Once you've been seated on the plane make iPads readily available along with water bottles and blankies.  Sometimes the pilot will let the kids see the cockpit which is pretty cool and totally take the flight attendants up in the little wing pins...cause that's about all that is free on an airplane now.  Also, if you can allow your little one to sit in the window seat you'll be happy to have that entertainment but if not the middle seat will do and if the person next to you is annoyed offer to buy them a drink.  This is real life and in real life kids travel so we all have to deal with it.  They can be nice or go to sleep.

Many trips will be taken, many people will be annoyed by kids on an airplane...even in a train or on a boat...it all sucks.  But for us it's about memories.  Try to be prepared, try to keep your wits about you, try not to over pack or over stress (like I have a tendency to do) and remember to have fun.  As much as we hate the travel grind the kids can't help who or how they are and most of the time they're more well-behaved than the adults.

Good luck and ALL Love,

W and B

 

Mom Purse: WTF is in there?

Let me just preface this by saying that I hate wearing a purse.  In my former life I would never wear a purse.  Cash and keys in pocket and out the door.  Now, with a child, I'm just proud I'm not leaving the house without luggage.  So while I was walking around the grocery store the other day and realized...this purse is heavy as F%$#! Then I stuck my hand in there..."WTF is in here?!?" In an effort to be as transparent as possible here's what I found in there after I removed the 47 crinkled up receipts and about a dozen expired coupons: sunglasses (severely scratched so thank good they're cheapos from the drugstore), Disney passes, 14 pounds of loose change, enough singles to make a stripper jealous, 4 tubes of lip balm and 2 shades of lip gloss that I NEVER wear, a beer ticket (you know, just in case), some Boogie Wipes (because I have used a sleeve in the past and thought that maybe that was my "rock bottom"), hand sanitizer, hair ties for pulling up my barely brushed tresses, a lollipop stick (that was still wet), my hard case wallet that holds my debit card, Costco membership card (hallelujah) and my variety of discount cards for ice cream, cupcakes and coffees from around town and the piece de resistance...hidden in one of the pockets was a unwrapped and unused (obviously) tampon that I found Boo swinging around by the string one day in the middle of Target (not pictured...you're welcome.) Feel free to share what's in your purse because we all know it's a disaster in there.

image

 

 

Monday Fave Rave: Tis The Season

Tis the season for frantic shopping, assembling, wrapping, and stashing all of those gifts for the kiddies. But what about the adults? You know, the ones that wipe noses and asses, that run the errands and cook and clean, are up all hours of the night and rise with the sun to face the day head on…yeah, those people. Don't forget to get something special for the ones who do all the work and expect nothing in return.  I have a great little list of local places to stop in and find something for the parental units on your gift giving list this year that caters to every style.

  1. Got Karma? Major karma points for stopping in this unique and zen boutique to grab a great gift to keep the qi flowing.  Perfect for your hippy momma gal pals.
  2. Retromended is the perfect place for your throwback kings and queens.  I can always find the perfect accessory for my Mom Uniform.
  3. Rocket Fizz  is the perfect place to put together a special gift for your favorite sugar addict.  They have everything you could think of all in one awesome place that will bring you back to the old school days.
  4. The Lovely is a a beautifully put together boutique market that brings together both locally made artisan crafts and impeccably selected vintage finds brought to you by local entrepreneurs.  You will find something for everyone and probably some stuff for you too.
  5. Etoile Boutique has some of the coolest and one of a kind creations you will find in Orlando…or anywhere.  You can always walk out of this place with something special.

Try to remember to shop local this season.  You won't be disappointed and neither will your friends and family!

 

Good Luck!

-W and Boo

 

 

Monday Fave Rave: The Mom Uniform

I swore to myself when I was pregnant that I would be a "cool mom."  I would dress every day. No pajamas at the grocery for me, dammit! Although it is tempting, don't let your style slip.  Often our kids are dressed better than we are but that's not fair (insert adult tempter tantrum here.) You wouldn't send them to school or take them to a birthday party wearing sweatpants and stained t-shirt, so you shouldn't for the sake of "comfort and ease" look like a disaster.  This is totally doable with little to no time to spare in the morning with the right combinations of school-drop-off-appropriate pieces, a 5 minute face, and a commitment to stepping up your style game even when you're tired.  We know it's easy to fall into a rut, but lets try to remember that you already sacrificed shapely figure, perky boobs, beauty sleep, and patience. From hospital to home, you can still look hot.  It's just takes knowing what works in a pinch. This is how I keep from feeling like a fashion failure.

Top 10 go-to pieces for my "mom uniform":

  1. Don't just throw on any old t-shirt.  There is a time and a place for your college team logos, free shirts from random work events, or that ugly thing you scrub the bathrooms in…please, just don't.  A tunic top that drapes and hangs nicely on all figures, is the perfect foundation to a great outfit.  I own this top in black, white, grey, navy and forest green.
  2. An exception to the t-shirt rule: vintage is always cool…I love Junk Food Clothing for this very reason.  These shirts look great with anything.
  3. Just say NO to "pajama jeans" or anything you see on an informercial.  Go for a legging.  They are versatile, comfortable and fashionable, but sony just throw on any old pair of leggings.  Look for and purchase leggings with some structure and detail such as faux leather, paneled, jegging in a dark wash, and moto style all offer the comfort and simplicity of a yoga pant (please keep the fitness wear for fitness…really.)
  4. If you just need a slouchy pant go for a boyfriend cut. Old Navy makes a great pair for all shapes and sizes.
  5. Gym shoes are for the gym, but I do love a sneaker.  Try a Converse All Star Chuck Taylor for comfort and they look great with legging, skinny jeans or a comfy dress.
  6. If you need a coat (we live in Florida so I don't get wear them as often as I would like) I am currently obsessed with this Lululemon option.  Sleek and modern…not frumpy and lumpy.
  7. Add a scarf any time and any season.  I like to get mine from Target or Old Navy.
  8. Need a dress option? Try this hot Faux Suede Shift Dress. So versatile and a better option than the same old back shift dress.
  9. If you just have to wear sweats…please…do an Adidas Track Suit.  Dope.
  10. And if you don't have to carry a diaper bag, try a small cross body bag like this one.  Black, simple, and goes with everything.

I know that some days are harder than others, but looking good is feeling good.