being a mom

The Working Mom: Is She An Oxymoron?

September 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm , by

Ahh…back to school time! It’s that time of the year when stay-at-home moms rejoice over having a few free hours to relax. (And by relax I mean clean the house, do the grocery shopping without someone nagging you, run countless errands, volunteer and maybe even squeeze a little part-time job into the day.) But what about the working moms like me? The ones who juggle a full-time job, an hour-long commute, and two young kids in school/daycare with no nanny or family nearby. It’s not the most wonderful time of the year for us. It’s the guiltiest.

Listen, I love my job. Yes, I need to work but even if my husband made a million a year, you’d have to pull me kicking and screaming from my desk to make me quit. (Sorry to my kiddies. I love you more than anything but mommy really likes putting on her big girl shoes and going to New York City everyday and talking to grown ups. You’ll understand when you’re older.)

Since Sophia started first grade last week (yes, she absolutely loves it—thanks for asking!), there have been no less than 10 (TEN!!!) emails, fliers and invitations to sign her up for events that we will not be able to be a part of. Some are sports or cooking classes that take place in the afternoon but lots of them are school events—like the open house that was scheduled for 11 a.m. or the back to school picnic this Friday at 4:30. Where will I be this Friday at 4:30? At work. And Sophia? She’ll be at After Care at the Y.

It kinda makes you wonder if being a working mom is really possible. I mean, we know that a full time job is more than 40 hours a week and being a full time parent is 24/7 so it just doesn’t add up. Of course, the working parents with babysitters, nannies or even family nearby have it a lot easier. (Remember Amy Poehler’s great speech where she thanked her nannies for everything they do. Loved that.) But I guess for me, I’ll just have to do homework with Sophia until 9 p.m. and then maybe get a few minutes to myself before I crash for the night. (And by “minutes to myself,” I mean packing the girls’ lunches, folding some laundry and cleaning the house.)

I know it’ll get better. It’s just this time of year that is so stressful for working parents. And while we’re at it… whose brilliant idea was it to have Fashion Week the same week as back to school? Certainly not a mom.

How Did My Kids Get So Old?

April 28, 2011 at 5:32 pm , by

It’s just not possible that I am the mother of a 6-year-old and an almost-3-year-old. I mean, I am almost 39…but still! Just. Not. Possible. I remember finding out I was pregnant with Sophia—it seems like that was yesterday. But those 6 years have flown by. Here’s some proof that my girls are BIG GIRLS already:

Sophia’s favorite singers are Katy Perry, Ke$ha, James on American Idol, and Justin Bieber (who she says is her boyfriend).

Speaking of boyfriends, Lily told us last night about a fellow in her class named Adam. She said he’s cute, she likes him, and he is her boyfriend. (Let me tell you, this did not go over well with Daddy, who—until last night—was the only boyfriend she ever had.)

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Guest Blog: A Real Mom’s 10-Minute Beauty Routine

October 27, 2010 at 9:47 am , by

audrey-about-us-2009This week’s guest blogger is Audrey McClelland of Mom Generations.

I love all things beauty and fashion related. All my life it’s been this way. But it’s funny, because there are two definite versions of my fashion and beauty self: the one before kids and the one now, after kids. Running my fashion and beauty blog for moms, Mom Generations, and also being the Beauty/Style editor on Lifetime Moms allows me to share (and truly understand) the need for beauty routines that don’t take much time. We’re talking 10 minutes, tops. As a mom of four young boys (ages 2, 3 5 and 6) and a 50 percent work-at-home mom/50 percent work-out-of-the-home mom, I’ve had to simplify my beauty routine down to minutes. I no longer have the luxury to be in the bathroom for 30 to 45 minutes prepping and beautifying. I need to act quickly, and that means finding products that work well for me and apply easily. I have blogs to write and deadlines to hit by 7am. And, of course, my mom duties! When you have four boys asking to help them get dressed, put toothpaste on their toothbrushes, brush their hair, find socks that match, tie their shoes… you can see that my morning beauty routine is constantly being interrupted. But, you know what  It’s okay. This is why I have my beauty routine down to a well oiled-machine. I’ve come to rely on 6 products that save me every single morning and make my beauty routine, well… an actual beauty routine.

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1. Olay’s Deep Cleansing Face Wash This face wash leaves my skin feeling clean, fresh and soft. It’s the perfect way for me to start in the morning.

2. Lancome’s Imanance Tinted Moisturizer I love this product because it moisturizes my skin beautifully, but also leaves it with a wonderful tinted glow. Imanance also stays on all day long, which is a huge benefit because I’m usually running here, there and everywhere all day.

3. Estee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess I never, ever leave home without my “goddess” on. This is my hands-down favorite and must-have beauty essential. I love the pick-me-up that the bronze powder gives my cheeks. It’s ALWAYS on.

4.  Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil It’s amazing what a little eye makeup can do. It literally makes eyes come alive… even on mornings when you were up all night with your baby (or in my case, babies…).

5.  By Lauren Luke’s My Glossy Lips This gloss is utterly amazing. I’ve never had anything condition my lips the same way. It’s smooth and soft and gives my lips the ultimate shine.

6.  Dove Cream Oil Hand Cream Don’t laugh! I’m obsessed with this stuff! My hands are always dry. They’ve been this way my entire life. Add 4 little boys, washing, changing, laundering… you get it! This cream is my saving grace in the morning after I apply my makeup and all day long. It leaves my hands amazingly soft for my little guys and for me!

A Shoppable Video Storybook from Ralph Lauren

August 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm , by

I love children’s books. Who doesn’t, right? Luckily my daughter, Sophia, and I tend to like some of the same themes: a little fashion (like Birdie’s Big Girl Shoes), great art (like Abuela), and imaginative kids (like Olivia). So, when I saw The RL Gang, A Fantastically Amazing School Adventure, I know she’d be as smitten as I was.

But The RL Gang is no ordinary book, it’s a completely shoppable video storybook featuring Ralph Lauren childrenswear. It’s a treat for the eyes (thanks to live action kids—adorably dressed, of course—against an animated background) and the ears (it’s narrated by Harry Connick, Jr. who my singing, piano-playing family just loves). It begins: “This is the story of a not so ordinary group of children who came to school and had a not so ordinary day.” The children go on an adventure thanks to “an incredibly incredible book” brought by their teacher, Professor Randolph Lattimer.

And here’s the bonus, after you enjoy the great fantasy story (and I’m sure you will), you can click to buy any of the kids’ clothing featured in the book. (I’m thinking about Zoe’s purple dress for my girls.) Love it so much you want a hard copy? No problem. You can order one here. Enjoy the story!

Shopping For Boys’ Clothes

July 22, 2010 at 4:16 pm , by

As you know by now, I am mom to two of the most fashionable little ladies on the east coast. And I love shopping for them! Pairing together silk bubble skirts with ruffly tops and necklaces makes me so happy to have girls. But sometimes I see a little boy’s elbow-patch sweater in the Mini Boden catalog and I long for a little dude to dress up to my heart’s content. OK Moms-of-boys: I know, I know—boys’ clothes are nowhere near as fun as girls.’ Not fair, I know. That said, there are lots of cute boy clothes to be had. (Why else would I dress Sophia in a unisex Peter Beaton tee and Vans like in this picture? I could get away with the androgynous look when she was 3. Now it’s all pink tutus and gold wedge sandals and “don’t I look glamorous?”)

Anyway, here are my picks for best boys’ clothes with a little help from my good friend, fashion writer and mom-of-a-stylish-boy, Selene Milano Angel.

Crewcuts – You know I’m obsessed with all things J.Crew and their boys clothes are no exception. All of the clothes are perfection but my favorite item is the MacAlister boot—but don’t forget the neon laces. (Those laces make me crazy. They almost make me want to try for a third…)

Mini Boden – The aforementioned elbow-patch sweaters, supersoft graphic tees (with the best designs), and a little bit of kooky fun stuff like this shaggy lined hoody make this one of the best boys’ resources.

77Kids – The store that made boyfriend jeans for my little girl has equally cool skater-type stuff for your little man. And coming soon near you, they’re opening free standing stores that’ll have lots of fun kid activities to keep ‘em happy while you shop.

Egg Baby – Selene swears by this brand for cool button downs, cute little trousers and shorts for her hip two-year-old.

Cool sneakers – From pink Converse high-tops to checkerboard Vans, my girls have always had cool kicks. Selene recommends black and white Adidas Sambas as a boy’s must-have but she also likes Puma. These tiny suede ones are adorable for the little guys. And I especially love Converse’s Dr Seuss collection and Vans’ Crayola collection for boys and girls.

See moms-of-boys? It’s not that bad out there. And just think about how much you’ll be saving in the teenage years when my girls are busy putting me in the poorhouse!

So tell me…where do you get clothes for your little man?

Cooking With Your Kids

July 8, 2010 at 9:04 am , by

Sophia - pizzaThere are a few things I’m good at, but cooking is not one of them. So, what do I do with a kid who says she wants to be a chef when she grows up?

Somehow, we manage to have a great time in the kitchen. We wear matching aprons and use princess spatulas. We make a lots of brownies, cookies, and cakes from box mixes. And we spend way too much time on the decorating part—see our Ariel birthday cake for evidence of that. (Another Erneta family fun activity is getting store-bought cookies and decorating them with frosting.)

Recently on a trip to my parents’ house, my mom got a few Boboli pizza crusts and the kids (both of them, the 2yr old included!) had a blast making pizza. Their sense of pride was enormous as everyone complimented the chefs.

I asked our savvy Food Editor, Tara Bench, for some tips on getting your kids in the kitchen and she had lots of great ideas. She told me, “Anything that they can layer or build feels like a big treat for them.” That must be why Sophia loved helping me make lasagna. Tara also recommends sandwiches, tacos and fruit kabobs for more layering fun. Some other great cooking ideas for kids: peanut butter cookies (kids love mixing and they’ll like making marks with a fork), no-bake cheesecake (so fun to press in a graham cracker crust),  and easy drop cookies. Pancakes and puddings can be fun too—just reserve the hot stove part for bigger kids only. Happy cooking!

So, tell me: What do you cook with your kids?

How To Throw A Dora Birthday Party

June 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm , by

lilybackpackMy little baby, Lily,  just turned 2 (I know, I can’t believe it either!) so we celebrated with a Dora-themed birthday party at our local zoo. Where else should little Explorers celebrate, right?

Each kid was given a Backpack—you’ll notice that’s capitalized—as in Backpack, Dora’s animated friend she wears on her back. I bought cheap purple nylon backpacks from Oriental Trading and drew Backpack’s face on them with glossy fabric paints that I bought at Michael’s. Each backpack was filled with a compass, binoculars, Dora gummy snacks, a Map (just a color copy of Dora’s friend that I made from one of Lily’s toys) and some Dora stickerslilyzooThroughout their trip around the zoo, the kids got to ride the carousel, saw bears and jaguars and even got to feed the sheep and birds.

It was a much simpler party than Sophia’s fashion show bash birthday but it was totally Lily’s speed. And I was so proud of myself for pulling off an economical birthday party that was still totally fun.

So even though half our guests couldn’t come (blame the June birthday!) and it rained for most of the party, Lily really loved it—especially looking for animals with her binoculars. Does it get any cuter than that?

So, tell me, do you have any tips for throwing a kids birthday party on a budget?