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by Pretty Mama  
September 15, 2006

Back to School Style

Where did the summer go? I have a somewhat vague memory of a beach trip with the kids. (Well, there is sand in the back of the car so we must have been to the beach at some point!) Now that I think about it, I do remember sitting under a beach umbrella in my gorgeous paisley halter and sassy swimsuit coverup and never removing the coverup because I hadn't been able to lose those last ten+ pounds of post-pregnancy weight. And speaking of such, don't you think it is extremely rude for people to ask you when your baby is due when the little angel (clad in her absolutely adorable beyond belief onesie) is so obviously sitting right next to you snoozing in her carrier?!? (Although I must admit hearing that particular comment one too many times was the catalyst to adding 100 sit-ups to my morning routine, which has me very nearly able to button the fly on my new jeans! Oh, that reminds me; must find fall mules.) Where was I? Oh yes, lamenting the disappearance of summer. I swear someone hit the fast-forward button on my life-remote about a week after school got out in June. The rest of the summer is a blur.

So, I find myself once again performing the juggling act that is my life. As the mom of a preschooler and a new baby I admit that there are days when I find it virtually impossible to have a shower before noon (yeah, right; more like late afternoon!) and I seriously cannot remember the last time I was able to go to the bathroom without an audience, but I am hoping things will calm down a bit now that my little boy is back in preschool. I have congratulated myself several times on the magnificent timing of the birth of my new daughter. She arrived just a few weeks before summer break began, and since I had plenty of help those first few weeks my schedule was quite easy to handle. There was lots of sleeping in, lazing about and a great deal of surfing for skinny clothes (I know, wishful thinking at that point but I was extremely sick of maternity clothes), because we had no time commitments in the morning.

Now, however, it is a completely different story. With preschool starting at 8:30 a.m. and hubby off to the commuter train by 6:00 a.m. I am on my own with two little ones and a very full morning schedule. Having learned my lesson at the beginning of last school year (preschool moms are UncommonGoodstotal fashionistas) I was determined to start the school year off right this time. Word to the wise: do not opt for new hairstyle and/or color at any point within three weeks of any major life event. And yes, in case you are wondering, the first day of preschool is a major life event! These are the future movers and shakers of America that my son will be finger painting, glitter-gluing and eating graham crackers with! And I will, in turn, be making play dates with the super stylish moms of said future movers and shakers, and it does not bode well for one to show up at preschool in saggy maternity pants and an old Raiders tee shirt. At least my son will be stylin' in his darling new duds! Isn't it fun to shop for little ones? Just love those adorable styles. Let's get back to me. And my scary hair. Which is exactly what I ended up with when my regular stylist fractured her wrist rock climbing and I was passed off to the "new girl" at the salon. My carefully explained cautions about the porousness of post-pregnancy hair went in one multi-pierced ear and right out the other, and now my normally honey-hued hair with glints of shiny gold, silver and platinum is the color and consistency of straw. Yikes! Needless to say, this put even more pressure on me to show up for that first day of school looking very chic. Well, what is a sleep deprived, still-hanging-onto-those-last-few-pounds mother of two with fright-wig hair to do?

Enter Pilar: boutique-owner, British, gorgeous, style maven and very dear friend. She had me decked out in no time at all. Skinny jeans, gorgeous belted tunic—helps hide that still-shrinking (hopefully!) belly and Jell-O thighs—comfy flats (on mom duty—can't push stroller and keep up with preschooler in platforms!), fun necklace from her shop, and for the finishing touch, a chic newsboy cap! Just the ticket. After waving tearful (joyous) goodbyes to our little darlings we mommies all repaired to the local patisserie for sustenance and moral support. Andrea, one of the other moms (who, by the way had on a very chic black twill skirt, crisp white blouse with fun retro vest and suede clogs) noticed the straw beneath my cap and instructed me to immediately order a tub of Stephen Knoll's Deep Treatment Hair Mask, (turns out she's a stylist—my new stylist in fact!) which has totally and completely saved my hair. After just a couple of treatments my stiff and brittle hair has tamed and softened considerably, and I can now wear a beret as a fashion statement and not as coiffure camouflage.

So, with my son in preschool and my baby girl napping (with her darling blankee—the best baby shower gift ever—super soft, perfect size, and most importantly, machine washable!), I find myself with a couple of hours of "me" time at my disposal each morning. Oh joy! Oh luxury! Oh what shall I do first?

Things to do with a couple of hours of free time/me time:

  • Catch up on Spring Fashion Week. It's never too early to start planning ahead for spring! Can possibly pick up items now that will carry over into spring styles. Keep eye out for florals, poppies, girly dresses, loose floaty styles, ribbons and lace. Am in love with Carolina Herrera for romance and style.
  • Relaxing mani/pedi. Good time to brush up on my skills. Great time for soothing foot soak. Besides, can catch up on celebrity/fashion/home décor mags at same time!
  • Check online sales! Surely will be able to find those great spectator pumps I have been craving. Am certain to save money, which will allow me to snap up a pair of comfy slides to wear with my new denim skirt.
  • Handbag comparison shopping. Have determined that I will only buy handbags (like this lovely red satchel) that meet specific criteria. Am tired of rogue handbags (aka handbags that look perfect in the shop, but tend to morph into huge, unwieldy suitcases once I get them home) taking up space in closet. Will donate said vehicles-of-deceptiveness to Goodwill.
  • Check great new website, for innovative ideas and helpful hints for working moms like myself!
  • Order new diaper bag online. Found this perfect bag at Target (after seeing it on The View). Actually turns into baby carrier - how clever!
  • Narrow down final choices for fall boots. Do I want boots with sexy heels or boots with practical heels. I know, as a mom I should go with practical, but as a girl whose hubby likes to take her out to dinner on the weekend, I really want to go with sexy! Looks like it's time for compromise. Sexy knee high boots and practical ankle boots! Problem solved.
  • Cashmere comparison. Luscious to-die-for sweaters and tops, dresses and wraps. So many choices…good thing winter stretches into April!

Oh dear, I've spent my entire allotment of "me" time daydreaming! Time to go pick up my little guy from preschool. Happy shopping!

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