Monday, November 12, 2012

At Long Last: Fall Must-Haves for Moms!

Well, I'm still sick. My only consolation is that pretty much every other mom I know is or has been experiencing this same circular-virus phenomenon, if not this fall, then pretty much every other fall and winter since her first child entered school. What can you do? It's like clockwork: the minute you have a child in daycare, preschool, or elementary school, the germs are relentless. I've been sick more times in the five years I've had a child (or both children) in some sort of organized school setting than in all my years of life prior combined, I swear.

Before becoming a mom, I used to get a really bad cold or respiratory infection of some sort about once a winter. That's pretty much it. I considered myself a super-healthy person and never would have guessed that after having children, we all become 24/7 incubators for the numerous germs our kiddos bring home with them on a constant basis, no matter how many vitamins we take, how much sleep we get each night, how fit we are, and how many nutritious foods our diets contain. Ugh!

So, to distract myself from my never-ending cold symptoms, I decided today would be the perfect day to discuss something purely fun and distracting: fall must-haves for moms!

In reality, these fall must-haves are not necessarily limited to fall. But, since I like to do a round-up of some of my favorite things every season or so (or whenever I think of it), let's just call these autumn essentials, OK? Or, alternatively, you could just call this your holiday gift wish-list, and present it to Santa or whomever else gives you presents on Christmas Day.

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The Ellington Julie wristlet bag. I'm a huge Ellington fan; they use the softest, most luxurious-feeling leather and the quality is out of this world. This little clutch is beyond adorable, and it comes in burgundy and black as well as my favorite, this pretty autumnal orange. It's pricey, which is why I don't own it. But a mama can dream, right? And I DO have that 20% off promo code sitting in my e-mail inbox....

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L'Occitane shea butter hand cream. Moms wash their hands a million times a day. And even when the cold weather hits, they're outside in the elements an awful lot--running to the bus stop, doing the carpool, taking kiddos to the playground--which can be really hard on skin. I can't be the only one whose hands seem perpetually parched from October to April. This hand cream is a classic, and right now it comes in some fun limited scents, like date. Doesn't that sound luscious?

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Maybelline Illegal Length fiber mascara. I'm a non-monagamous masara user. I find a formula I like, and then I'm always looking for the next, better thing. This isn't an easy quest, because my lashes are blonde (read: invisible), short, and sparse. I know. It's the worst. The good news is that this new mascara makes my lashes appear looooong. Longer than they ever have before with any other mascara. That's more than 25 years' worth of mascara-wearing experience, people. At this time of year, you may not be able to control the way your cozy hat squashes your 'do or the fact that the chilly wind is drying out your hair and skin, but you can always brighten your eyes. It's a nice little autumn pick-me-up--for under ten dollars. Oh--and if you're worried about the whole "fiber" thing and if it will be hard to take off, don't be. It goes on like regular mascara, and washes off easily with soap and water. Try it.

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Old Navy Rock Star Super Skinny Jeans. It's autumn, ladies, and that means boot weather. What better to wear with a great pair of fall boots than the perfect skinnies to tuck into them? This is where the Rock Stars come in.

These pants are old news, I know. They have a giant cult following and have been all the rage for about a year (I ordered my first pair during the after-Christmas sales last year). But I am a superfan so I cannot stop talking about them. I know I used to go on and on about the Land's End Audrey UltraFit SlimLegs, which I still love, but these skinny jeans are my new obsession. I have two pair, and the "Campfire" color especially--the perfect denim color, in my opinion, and super soft--is so awesome that I pretty much wear these every day. OK, not quite every, but if I could get away with it I would. I love them. So. Much.

Why are they so great? Well, due to some magical powers that I cannot explain, these jeans, although they are super skinny and trendy, are crazily flattering to a bevy of body types. I mean, no, I don't look anything like the model in the picture up there, but the Rock Stars still look cute on me--or at least I think they do! (And what else matters?) I can only speak for the denim versions, but the Rock Stars are incredibly soft, super-stretchy, and unbelievably comfortable. Even though my waist is ten inches smaller than my hips, they are the first jeans EVER that don't gap at the waist, slip down, or give me a muffin top. These jeans move with you, and let you bend down to lift babies, run around after toddlers, and climb jungle gyms and bleachers, all without losing your jeans or flashing anyone your underthings.

I will warn you, though, that the sizing is CRAZY. I normally wear a size 2 or 4 Petite/Short, and in these pants I take an 8 Regular. It took a few tries for me to figure that out, but once I did, I was able to order my second pair with no sizing problems.

These pants go on sale all the time, and it's not hard to get a good deal. Heck, even full-price, can you really beat a fab pair of skinnies for under $35?

Minnetonka Thunderbird II moccasins. By now you all know the story of how I became the lucky recipient of these mocs. And if not, you can read it here. They're adorable, super-comfy, classic, casual yet stylish, and they go with almost everything. And what mom doesn't need a comfortable, easy-to-run-around-in shoe?

That's enough for now, lovies. Enjoy. Whether you actually try any of these must-haves, or you simply browse them and window-shop (so to speak), I hope this list gave you something fun to think about today--something completely unrelated to autumn cold viruses.

Be well!

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