Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Playground Style: Essential Shoes for Fall

I have a lot of shoes in my closet.  The only problem is that most of them have not gotten a lot of wear in the past two years.  And as much as I miss my patent leather slingbacks, I'd say about six or seven pairs are really essential for every day and will carry me through the fall. These are the shoes that I'm wearing out constantly, go with everything, and hopefully add a little something to the every day outfit.

Essential Fall Shoes

1. The Casual shoe: Start at the very beginning.  This is going to be the go-to comfortable shoe for walking around, attending classes, etc.  You'll want a slip on shoe that can take every day wear and tear.  My choice is the Sperry Top Sider, but, as I described last year...some people fall into the TOMS camp.  That's cool, you can make your own decision.

2. The Loafer:  I actually debated calling this category "The Slipper" but decided that sounded a little too cutesy.  But basically, that's what these are, a take off of the Stubbs and Wooten classic slipper.  They were absolutely everywhere last year in New York and are making a go of it nationwide.  Good for them!  I have an animal print pair from Topshop that are very similar to these, but really like the embroidered Gap ones in the set above.

3. The Knee High Flat Boot:  Knee high flat boots are a staple of any wardrobe, but as a mother, they really prove their worth.  You can walk for miles, pushing a stroller, run around the playground, run errands, etc and still look good doing it.  It's a cliche for sure, but the fall mommy uniform is "sweater plus skinny jeans tucked into boots."  Don't mess with what's good for you.  Go for brown (don't be afraid to pair it with black) and don't skimp.  These Frye boots are killer cool and I have it on good authority that they last forever.

4. The Sneaker:  Here's something they don't tell you in "What to Expect...," you have to take your shoes off a lot when you have a child.  Many people require it for entrance into their home (there was a whole Sex and the City ep dedicated to it) and most music classes will ask you to go barefoot too.  So, ballet flats are not always an option, because trust me, your toes are not "music class ready."  Sneakers give you that perfect excuse to wear socks and look cool doing it.

5. The Red Flat:  Last fall, I looked into my closet and realized that 75% of everything I owned was black, navy, grey or brown.  Except my red flats.  For some reason, all my casual clothes end up in the neutral department. To avoid walking out the door looking like I'm joining some kind of throwback Soviet army where people don't brush their hair, I choose my red flats and voila! Outfit.

6. The Rain Shoe: Look, I love knee high rain boots as much as the next girl.  But those suckers get warm.  Like super hot.  And again, as a mother, there is the whole pulling off your wet rainboots outside your friends' door while your child gets antsier and antsier just knowing that there is a graham cracker on the other side of the door.  Unpleasant.  These little rainshoes are a cute alternative for the fall and spring rainy days when there's still a chance you could overheat on the walk to the grocery store.

Let's not get all silly and assume that it's all essentials and practicality over here.  To be sure, I did add something fun to the mix...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Body Post Baby: The Truth, Nothing But the Truth

I'd like to take a moment to talk about something unpleasant.

Truth in post-partum blogging.

Nothing infuriates me more than reading about how some blogger *just* spit out a baby and is telling the world that she is buttoning up her skinny jeans and has a "flat" tummy.  Why?  Because it's NOT TRUE.

Look, I know that tabloids are more than happy to perpetuate the myth that we are all fat slobs because celebrities are super special creatures of the wind who give birth in the morning and are posing for bikini pictures by tea time.  They have access to photoshopping wizards and binding garments that would make the ancient Chinese blanch.  That's fine.

But blogging is supposed to be different.  We are regular people.  People without a publicist.  I feel that it is unfair to the internet reading world to say those things when they are simply not true.

Everyone who is being kind-of honest will tell you will still look six months pregnant after you give birth.  Also wrong.  Before you kick that baby out in to the cold cruel world, you have that nice round basketball of a belly, right?  Alright, so, you deflate the basketball and what do you get?  Well, if we are just talking about your abdomen, it's a squishy flabby mess.  Your muscles and skin and everything stretched to god only knows where to keep the baby on the inside.  Your uterus gained more weight than the men of Friends over 10 seasons.  That simply does not vanish and snap back to attention right away.  Plus, to give birth, your pelvis basically spreads apart to accommodate the baby so you may actually be wider in the hips than while you were just pregnant.  Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try to put on your pre-pregnancy jeans after 8 days just for funsies while the baby naps and you are super hella hormonal.  Even your baggy-ish boyfriend pair.  Holy downward spiral, Batman.

And yes, I absolutely did that.

Things will return to normal.  I mean, I did not believe it was humanely possible after seeing what I looked like post-partum, but it did.  But it takes time.  Maybe less time for some people than for others, but I would put realistic expectations in the weeks, not days.  In the meantime, ignore the bloggers spending their post-birth time photoshopping pictures of themselves and lying to the world.  Relax, take care of your baby, and let nature take care of itself.

For some other honest blogger experiences with a post-baby body check out these posts by Jaclyn Day and Terra of Stylish White Female.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Maternity Style: The Coat

You know how some women get all weepy eyed and hormonal at the sight of a newborn and turn to their partner and say, "I want a(nother) baby!"?

Well, I get that way when I look at the Hatch Collection maternity line.

Especially the coats.  Oh, god.  The coats.  

My ovaries just exploded.

I had a summer pregnancy, so there was no need for a coat, but if you are pregnant right now...INVEST.

Don't give me the business about you can just wear your regular coat, it's sized up a little so you can wear a sweater, blah blah blah.  Buy a maternity coat.  For a more authoritative voice, read this post by the Pregnant Fashionista as to why it's necessary.  

And while we're at it, let me add another reason: babywearing.

In the winter, babywearing is often the warmest and easiest way to get around with an infant.  You will want a coat that will fit comfortably over the carrier on your shoulders and be able to wrap around the baby in the front.  A maternity coat will give you the wiggle room to bundle that baby up and get out for a walk.

Now, please excuse me, I need to convince my husband to have another baby in time to buy that coat.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Sid the Science Kid Reunion

I'll just go ahead and apologize for this upfront.  The whole preschool application process started this week and my brain is kind of fried.  This started brewing this morning while Reese was watching Sid the Science Kid, one of my least favorite kids shows and of course, one of her favorites.

Scene opens on happy hour bar scene in Southern California.  It is the 5 year high school reunion of the kids from Sid the Science Kid.  Sid (the kid who wants to know everything about everything), Gerald, Gabriela and May have all gathered post college to catch up.

May, Gerald, Gabriela, and Sid.

Sid walks in a little early and orders a Heineken from the bar, even though only domestic beers are on happy hour special.  He's sipping it slowly after leaving a shitty tip when Gerald shows up.

Gerald: Hey bro!  What's up?!?  I can't believe it's been FIVE years since we graduated from high school!  How's it hangin'?

Sid:  Oh, hey man!  Um, pretty good.  You know, graduated from college, working for the man.

Gerald (ignores Sid's painfully awkward attempt at slang): Right on, dude!  Yeah, I just got out of school too.  Took me a few extra semesters, but I managed to fit in some extra "freshman orientation" if you know what I mean!

Sid: Um, yeah, totally!  So you were at Wisconsi...

Gerald (swigging gulps of a Bud Lite can): No, no, man.  Notre Dame.  Joined a frat, had a blast with my bros.  Just didn't want to leave, y'know?  Hey..where is everyone?  I thought we were meeting at 7?

Sid: Uh, no.  Eight. It's eight p.m. right now.

May enters the bar, punctual as always.  She's wearing high waisted khakis and a prim buttoned up shirt with thick rimmed hipster glasses.  She waves brightly at the guys and comes over to say hello.

May (in rapid fire): Hi, hi!  How are you? How are you doing? What's happening? Can I have a Midori sour?

Sid: Hey May, um, not much, Gerald and I were just saying that...

Sid is interrupted by the arrival of Gabriela, ever fashionable in her layered skirt over pants combo and flowing orange hair.  Sid stares at her wistfully, thinking about how his crush on her went unrequited.  

Gerald (as an aside to Sid): Damn, son.  Gabriela has been keeping it tight.  Glad to know that not everyone has been letting it go like you-know-who over here.

Sid pauses, remembering the night that he hooked up with May after way to many homemade seabreezes and cough syrup.  It was the same night that Gerald and Gabriela disappeared from the party early.  They hadn't talked about it since.

Gabriela (swanning around, giving double kisses to the boys, and hugging May like a long lost sister): How is everyone? It's so good to be back! San Francisco is so busy! I feel like I never come home!

Gabriela orders a glass of Chardonnay and the gang settles in to rehash the past five years.  Gerald reveals that his post-graduate plans include an upcoming court date for a DUI and checking out a job in his dad's real estate brokerage.  May has started medical school after graduating from UCLA without attending an good parties and says that while the human body icks her out, her parents are really pleased with her.

Gabriela talks about her live-in boyfriend (but things are pretty casual) and her job at the art gallery. Even though she left Smith with some girl-on-girl smooches and a degree in psychology with a minor in feminist art, she hasn't had a paying job yet.  Sid reveals that he started at Cal in science, but freshman chemistry kicked his ass and he, sadly, did not get to learn everything about everything.  He's working on getting his CPA license.

Gabriela (while indicating that she'll have another white wine): So, Sid...how's your family?

Mort, Alice, Zeke, Sid and Grandma in happier times.

Sid: Well, so...my grandma died a couple of years ago. (murmurs of condolences from everyone except Gerald who is busy getting his third beer)  Then Mom and Dad started have a bunch of fights, and my dad eventually moved out.  Turns out, my mom is gay and she's now living with another woman.  Zeke lives with them while he goes to junior college.  The whole thing was really hard on him.

May: Wow.  That's a lot to handle.  How's your dad?

Sid: Um, he's ok.  He got an apartment and we stay there sometimes. He's on JDate, but nothing's panned out just yet.  (Trying to change the subject.) Hey, does anyone know where teacher Susie is these days? I heard she left the preschool.

Gabriela: Oh yeah! My mom ran into her recently at the farmers market.  She went back to grad school and got a master's.  She's now running an inner city charter school with a focus on healthy eating.  I heard they just got a grant from Alice Waters!

Whole group chit chats about the old days.  Gerald orders everyone a round of tequila shots, but ends up doing most of them himself.  Gabriela spends a lot of time putting her hand on Sid's arm and giving him meaningful looks, until her her boyfriend shows up at the bar to take her to someplace with a really good "mixologist who makes his own bitters."  May claims she needs to go home and study for her immunology exam next week.  Sid ends up giving Gerald a ride home, narrowly avoiding him puking in his car.  He ends up in his room at his mom's house thinking about Gabriela's polka dot sweater, science and what could have been.

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