On our twelfth and final day of gift guides for 2015, we focus on gifts that transport and navigate. They take you places, shift your mindset, and widen your perspective. If you missed any of the other 11 days all of the guides are listed here, along with a cool contest to win $250 in Visa Gift Cards. Happy Holidays!
When people ask me what do for a living, I usually say, “I’m a fashion writer and blogger”. More often than not, this is followed up with, “oh, you are a mom blogger?” The thing is, being a mom isn’t what defines me or my dress sense. I’m an entrepreneur and fashion blogger, and I happen to be a mom. To me being fashionable doesn’t stop being an option when you have kids. If you had a sense of style before, it’s still there, just a little dormant now.
I have learned over the last two years of being a fashion blogger and connecting with an online community of moms that there are certain style issues that plague most of us that have had children. Maybe it’s a subliminal thing, but we’ve picked up some bad habits, and now people are calling them “mom style”, cringe. So for my first post here at Urban Mommies, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of my quick fixes for these style zappers.
Get out of the sweatpants funk – I understand; they are comfortable, but I promise you there are other comfortable clothes out there. The first step to regaining your pre-baby style sense is to make a commitment to look beyond the athletic wear department for clothes. How about creating a Pinterest board to get excited? Here’s one with mom friendly looks. (link to Pinterest Board)
Ditch the maternity clothes – If you child is over 12 months; it’s time to say adios to the maternity wear. I know it still fits, but the mindset is all wrong, the message you are sending to yourself and the world is; I’m not worthy of any better. A new outfit doesn’t have to be expensive, as long it fits well you will feel like a million bucks.
Switch out sneakers for flats and a diaper bag for a purse – I see way to many moms wearing beaten up sneakers and carrying a bag with circus clowns, it’s time for a change. If you can splurge a little on your flats, Tory Burch is the way to go, but if you are in need of a quick fix find a Payless coupon online and grab yourself a pair of cute ballet flats for $20. I promise you will walk with more grace and feel a bit more stylish. Same goes with the diaper bag, upgrade to a roomy purse. If you are in the mood to splurge my picks would be Kate Spade or Michael Kors (these are investment bags that you will keep for years), but if you want something seasonal head straight to Aldo.
Treat yourself to some new underwear – Do it for yourself not your mate! Most moms I know are wearing stretched out granny panties an old maternity bra; you can’t feel great about yourself with that as your foundation. Treat yourself to a new bra, and while you’re out, get a proper fitting – sizes change after pregnancy and nursing.
Get a new flattering haircut and learn to style it – I’m not suggesting you get an Anna Wintour bob or some drastic bangs (like I once did), because you don’t have the time to blow that out every day, but maybe some layers and highlights? Ask your stylist what products to use and then play, or even check out You Tube tutorials. I hate straightening my hair everyday so I found a tutorial online that showed me how to curl my hair while I sleep. Yes it takes a little time to learn, but it’s a skill you will use for the rest of your life.
Get out of the mom jeans lady – I can’t believe they still make these, but anything with a high waist, pleats, or light discolouration on the thighs and butt area is not a good look. You want a nice dark rinse with a straight or slightly boot cut leg, my personal favourite; the Sweetheart Jean from Old Navy.
I think many of us get stuck in a rut after having kids and somehow convince ourselves that being a mom and having a sense of style just don’t go together – but they do! How you dress has a profound effect on how you feel, how you interact with the people in your life, and the way your children remember you when they grow up. I want my kids to remember me as a competent pulled together woman who takes pride in her appearance – how about you?
Image: A compilation of fashions available at Holt Renfrew. Floral Jacket: Erdem, Motorcycle Jacket: Acne, Dress: Aquilano.Rimondi, Jeans: Rag + Bone, Flats: Roger Vivier.
We all know that the end of August brings an obsession with things ‘wooly’ and the exciting task of acquiring school supplies and clothing for the kids. Parents scour busy stores overflowing with pencils in order to outfit their children for back to school. Not to worry! The back to school shopping guide features lots of stylish goodies that can be found online. In hopes you used a bit of the summer to de-clutter and inventory what you already have, you can fill the holes in your kids’ back to school shopping list with a few of our picks. We’ve shopped around to find the best supplies, gadgets and funky fashions for your little collegiates.
And we have a little something for you too. If you’d like to win a prize pack valued at over $300 including a Sketchers backpack, Staples school supplies, a Hello Kitty flash drive, Sony Pictures videos and a $75 Coupon for Zutano – here’s how you can enter (up to 3 times – one with each entry method)!
1. Facebook: Follow us, then like/share our guide on Facebook and email us the link or screenshot to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Pinterest: Follow us and repin your favorite items from our guide tagged with: Fresh from the @urbanmommies #BacktoSchool Guide
3. Twitter: Follow us and tweet a link to our guide including @urbanmommies #BacktoSchool
One winner will be drawn at random on September 30. Good luck and Happy #BacktoSchool!
Back to School Supplies
1. The Spencer Stainless Steel Bento Box Container: Crafted of stainless steel with a spacious bottom compartment, an interior tray for separating snacks and a snug plastic lid, this is sure to be a winner. Just make sure you check our our healthy snack ideas when you fill it! $59 Available at www.potterybarnkids.com
2. Text Bands. Now kids only have to bump fists in order to pass notes. The text bands allow the message to appear on a friend’s wrist with a light bump. You can type up to 10 characters and each band can hold up to 24 messages at once. (Turning the band off will delete all messages). Now that’s a heck of an improvement from note passing. Hallmark.com
3. ABC Sigg Water Bottles are BPA and phthalate free. You can recyclable them at the end of their lifetime, and the nonporous interior lining in the bottles ensures that it remains taste and odor neutral. Know what that means? You can put grape juice in it (or something stronger for Mom) on the weekend and send it to school with milk on Monday. www.mysigg.com
4. Fun, Fictional Flash Drives – From The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Looney Tunes to skateboard USBs, students can transport files with their favourite characters. Unfortunately, they do not come with your very own Princess Leah hologram. You’ll have to hit the rides at Disneyland for that. www.staples.ca
5. The Madbox from Land’s End is the coolest lunchbox we’ve seen in a while. Five kids from Madison, WI set out to build a better lunchbox and Land’s End liked their idea so much – they produced it! It comes with an adjustable ice pack that focuses the cold to the food that needs to stay cold and leaves room temperature food alone. No more soggy crackers. www.landsend.com
6. Who doesn’t love labels? Mabels Labels has a cool new Tween pack that is sure to delight your kids. They’ve also got a rock-sold back-to-school pack and even preschool shoe labels. www.mabelslabels.com
7. New for the fall, the Native ‘Jimmy’. From the makes of our favourite summer show comes the Jimmy, just in time for fall. These durable and funky boots will look great with this season’s signature trench for kids. www.shop.nativeshoes.com
8. The Lunchkin reusable sandwich bag. In Hermes orange, or course. Wait. That’s for me. Well, if you want uber-cute, they’re available in crabs, sailboats, soccer balls and school apples too. And they’re great for the environment. And cool. Need we say more? www.raspberrykids.com
9. Any flower-lover would eat every bite out out of this adorable PVC-free grab-and-go lunch purse. But be careful. Unless you snag a couple you may have a fight on your hands, as we guarantee you’ll want one too! I think I may grab one and use it for a funky back tie clutch… www.lavishandlime.com