Style is about a lot more than just a wardrobe, but in this case, we'd love to raid their closets!
May 24th, 2012 | 11:30 PM
Mom bloggers are engaged in their communities, seeking useful, fun, and trendy information to share with the world. These particular mom bloggers have style (and brains!) that we absolutely adore!
Nicole Feliciano – Mom Trends
Some fashionistas refuse to give up high heels even after the kids come along. You’ll find regular tips for living well and making the most out of motherhood, profiles of inspiring Momtrenpreneurs, fashion trends, reviews and more.
Audrey Couto McClelland – Mom Generations
Audrey Couto McClelland left the fashion world of Donna Karan International in NYC to raise her brood of four boys. She’s learned that you can take the girl out of the Fashion District, but you can’t take the Fashion District out of the girl.
James Kicinski-McCoy – Bleu Bird Vintage
James encourages other moms to get up and get dressed every day. When you take a little bit of time for yourself each morning, you feel better physically and emotionally. There’s no need to give up your style just because you had a baby!
Nina – Momma Go Round
Nina offers style, on a real budget, for real women. Join her as she tackles the latest fashions, discovers what works, and what doesn’t, craft new styles and accesories, while making it all toddler-friendly!
Andrea Fellman – Savvy Sassy Moms
Andrea Fellman is a mom who hasn’t lost her style to motherhood! Savvy is to be experienced, well-informed, intelligent. Sassy is to be lively, spirited, stylish and chic.
Becki Crosby – Whippy Cake
Becki Crosby is the mom in the grocery store sporting the just-rolled-out-of-bed look with a posh twist to make you think she did it on purpose. She wears stripes with polka dots and white after Labor Day!
The things we inherit from Mom - besides her mannerisms, her nose, and her favorite phrases.
May 22nd, 2012 | 9:11 PM
As I was frantically trying to decide what to get my mom for Mother’s Day (ended up going with a set of lobster crackers – known to fellow New Englanders as ‘lobstah crackahs.’), I started thinking about the things that she’s given to me.
For my 30th birthday, my mom gave me her red leather jewelry box, embossed with her initials. I have so many memories of scrambling underneath her bed to pull out this box so I could pile on all of the ‘sparklies’ inside of it and parade around the house, feeling like a princess. Now, it sits on top of the vanity table in my bedroom – which was once my grandmother’s! – and is filled with jewelry that I’ve acquired from varying family members over the years.
That box also contains my mother’s pearls, which she gave to me when I got engaged. I wore them on my wedding day, carefully removing them after our photos were taken so there was no chance of the string breaking. I’m clumsy like that.
It goes without saying that my most treasured possessions are items that once belonged to my mother, and when I started asking around the office, I discovered that plenty of other Plum District ladies feel the same way. From Louis Vuitton bags that are timeless tributes to your family’s stylish lineage (Anna Lipshaw: Lead District Consultant, Bay Area) to custom capes that Mom meticulously designed and created as 4-H projects (Kate Goepferd – Site Manager, Midwest Region), the most special gifts from Mom are ones that once belonged to her.
GALLERY: Treasures passed from Mom to Mom [click on photos to enlarge]:
Shannon Vetter – District Consultant, Maryland:
“My grandmother, mother and I were all married using the same ring. When my mother was married, her mom gave it to her and she decided to use it for the ceremony. When I was married, my mom then offered it to me. How could I turn it down? It already carried 79 years of marriage in it!
It’s a simple gold band but it means more to me than anything. Its inscription, J.B.C. to P.J.A. 6-16-45, also means C.S.N. to S.J.C 12/31/66 and F.J.V. to S.C.N 5/27/95.
When my beloved grandmother passed away in 1999, as the oldest grandchild I inherited her mother’s wedding ring. My grandmother wore that ring for as long as I can remember and it is so special to me to wear it now. Its inscription is J.B.C. to A.W. Sept. 26, 1889.
When I think about the hands on which these rings were worn, all the places they have been, all the meals they have prepared, all the children’s backs they have rubbed, all the words they have written, all the music they have played, all the gardens they have tended, all the toys they have put away and all the faces they have held, I am inspired to live up to their legacy and make these rings and their owners proud.”
Helen Connor – Regional Manager, Boston:
“I have several pairs of my mom’s high heeled shoes from when she was my age. Now that I’m a mom I realize what big shoes I have to fill!”
Lisa Barnes – District Consultant, San Francisco Bay Area:
“I wear my grandmother’s diamond on a chain around my neck 24/7. My grandma was one of the most important women in my life. She treated me like I was the most amazing person in the world. Always complimented me and made me feel so loved and important. Any time I was down and needed to talk to someone, I would call her. She always know the right thing to say. She always told me that I was her “diamond” (I was born in April, and that is my birthstone) and that when she died, she wanted me to have her diamond.
She passed away four years ago, and her funeral was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. After the service, my sisters, my daughter, my cousins, and my mom all went back to her house and sat on her bed with all of her jewelry boxes. We sat there for over three hours laughing, crying and sorting out all of the “treasures” she had saved over her lifetime. She saved everything, included all the notes that accompanied the jewelry. Going through all of her jewelry that day is a memory I will never forget – it helped ease the pain of the funeral. We all choice pieces that held important, strong memories for us. Her diamond, stays on me 24 hours a day. It’s a reminder that I was so loved by such an amazing woman, and I can hear her little words of encouragement and praise still.”
Marie Kagay – Sales Operations Coordinator – San Francisco:
“I love wearing my moms old clothes, especially her summer dresses. They have an authentic vintage feel, and are a great reminder of how cool my mom used to be!”
What are your favorite gifts from your Mom?
There are plenty of jeans out there that are comfortable AND stylish. One Plum District Consultant shares her favorites.
May 15th, 2012 | 12:08 AM
Gigi is a District Consultant in San Francisco, California. She has a 4-year old son (Liam), a 1-year old daughter (Amelie), and a 12-year old Pug (Penelope).
Motherhood isn’t always stylish, and it certainly isn’t glamorous. But if you’re like most females on the planet, you know that finding a pair of jeans is critical, and is often a humbling battle with the victor being anyone but you (at least that’s my experience). Whether you’re short, tall, curvy, or straight, getting a fantastic pair of jeans is almost as good, if not better, than – well, you fill in the blank…
Being a mom and being a jean-wearing mom can be a bit tricky. Tina Fey and our friends at SNL gave us countless laughs (and a complex!) with their timeless spoof on the Mom Jean:
My favorite jeans come from a variety of brands. My criteria – aside from wanting to look fantastic – is comfort, since I’m herding kiddos and managing a household. I have no time for binding, pinching, and certainly no time for sucking it in. Believe it or not, and all laughing aside, we can be moms – in jeans – and look fabulous, glamorous… and, yes, even rockin’…
Old Navy makes fantastic and affordable jeans that not only flaunt your figure but also help keep the budget-conscience mom in a happy place.
- The Women’s Sweetheart Skinny ($29.50) is my personal fav and is great for those wanting the sassy skinny leg coupled with comfort:
- The Women’s Sweetheart Boot-Cut ($29.50) is terrific for casual days, and rest assured – no style is left behind:
A good trouser is unbeatable. The best pair I’ve found is by Level 99. They have a classic tailored cut and quality, and they look terrific dressed up with heels and a jacket, or can be dressed down for a more casual look.
- The Jerry Sailor Trouser ($55) is my favorite (accessorized with buttons at the hip – love!):
- Level 99′s Storm Wide Leg ($106) is runner up.
I was also recently introduced to the Miraclebody denim line, from the makers of the celebrated Miraclesuit swimwear. The Katie Signature Tacked is excellent, comfortable, and, I have to admit, they make my body (and booty) look pretty phenom.
A mom should never show up to a party empty handed - here are some ideas we know your hostess will love
May 14th, 2012 | 11:30 AM
Kansas City’s Deb Clem offers a list of gracious hostess gift ideas that will have your friends grinning!
The month of May marks the start of the summer entertaining season. From Mother’s Day brunches to graduations to outdoor barbecues, you’re social calendar is filling fast! You’ve had your fair share of get-togethers, so you know planning these events is a lot of hard work, and it only seems right to reward your hostess with a lovely gift. But what?
Hostess gifts aren’t required but they’re a sweet gesture your friends and neighbors will appreciate. Most of my friends show up with a bottle of wine, but not everyone is partial to vino, so over the years I’ve learned to get creative. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Blooming plants — Cut flowers die within days, but plants can last for months or years. Bamboo, is easy to care for and is said to bring good luck. I just happen to have a great Asian market nearby to pick one up, but they are also fairly typical at most green houses. I just adore Orchids as well. If you happen to live in a Trader Joe’s market you’ll have to check out their selection of elegant offerings.
- Artisan Foods — I often gift a dip, cheese ball, or bread mix in a gorgeous bag. I love Tastefully Simple products and so do lots of my friends. It’s an easy and useful way to say thanks.
- Picture frames – You never have enough of these little gems. Why not pick some up at the end of each season and have a few on hand? Instead of a thank you note, simply add a sweet message or “thanks” in the frame to show how much you appreciate the invite.
- Monogrammed anything — From towels to napkins to coasters, we all love to receive personalized presents. Guess what? Your hostess does too. Anthropologie always has adorable, monogrammed handkerchiefs and mugs that your friends will fill for.
Always remember to match the gift to the hostess. Think about what she really likes before you make a choice. A couple of months ago, one of my friends showed up with the perfect gift — a bottle of Skinny Girl Cosmo’s. The note read, “Save this for a girl’s night.” We’ll be having one soon!
We have some ideas about how you can add a little sparkle to Mother's Day brunch!
May 11th, 2012 | 12:13 PM
Maria Oakes is a mother, wife, and writer living and loving in Las Vegas. She is also currently penning a children’s book. Today she is sharing her Sparkling Jewels Cocktails recipe that’s sure to class up any brunch or event.
Some people say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but as an on-the-go mom I respectfully disagree. Brunch, my friends, is where it’s at! What’s not to love about a dining experience that can only take place after sleeping in past breakfast? More importantly, hosting a brunch gives you and your gal pals the chance to start the day off with a tasty glass of bubbly! From the sweet peachy Bellini to the classic Mimosa, a sparkly champagne cocktail adds a hint of elegance to any gathering. That’s why I’m sharing my Bubbly Jewels recipes for your Mother’s Day brunch.
Start with the bubbles. Some people say to use the cheapest stuff you can find as you’re going to mix it anyway. I find that good ingredients make for good cocktails, but don’t go popping that bottle of Cristal either. I like Moet & Chandon Champagne or good old Yellow Tail Sparkling White, and don’t be afraid to add a twist with some Italian Prosecco or Spanish Cava as well – sparkling wine is tasty in any language. Whatever wine you use, be sure to choose “Dry” or “Extra Dry”. “Brut” is sweeter and adding juice or liqeurs to it makes it too sweet.
- Chill your bottle or bottles of bubbly (who’s counting anyway?)
- Then gather:
A small bottle of Midori (melon-flavored liqueur)
A small bottle of Chambord (raspberry-flavored liqueur)
A small bottle of Curacao (orange-flavored liqueur – you can get blue-tinted Blue Curacao, too!)
A bottle of club soda
- Pour 4-5 oz of the bubbly into each champagne flute
- Add about 1 oz of your desired liqueur to each glass
- Add a splash of soda water (you can never have too much sparkle in you cocktails!)
Display your Sparkling Jewel cocktails on a table or platter and tell guests they have their choice of the Emerald, Ruby, or Sapphire!
We can’t wait for you to add some bling to your brunch this Sunday!
One day a year just isn't enough.
May 10th, 2012 | 11:45 PM
I don’t have children yet, so Mother’s Day is still all about celebrating my own special Mom, Carolyn.
Many of my friends have kids, and I love hearing their hilarious stories about what the little scamps get up to in an effort to please Mom on ‘her’ day: Sloppy art projects; sloppier breakfasts in bed; backyard plays and impromptu evening jam sessions on drum kits fashioned from pots and pans.
Of course, I have special memories of doing all of those things myself – even scars on my knuckles from the disastrous time I attempted to make Mom my ‘specialty’ (cheese melted on Portuguese Sweet Bread) in the toaster oven. Mother’s Day reminds me of the wild lilacs that grew along the remote dirt road I grew up on. Every year, my brother and I would sneak out before Mom came downstairs, snipping as many of those fragrant lavender blooms as we could carry. Though this became our annual ritual, Mom never failed to gasp in delight, as though we’d brought her the moon instead of an armful of wildflowers.
She deserved so much more, this woman who was always in the front row at my choir concerts or cheering like a maniac at my soccer games. She cried with me the first time I had my heart broken. She cried with me the day I got engaged.
Now that I’m grown, my relationship with Mom has shifted. It’s become less about trying to please her and more about finding a balance, finding a friend. I want her to be proud of me, and I want her to be proud of herself for raising kids who became loving, conscientious, and ambitious adults.
I still have cooking disasters. All the time, actually. And the first thing I do when I realize I’ve used salt instead of sugar or have added too much milk to the damned mashed potatoes is call Mom. Though I moved 3000 miles away from home, she always picks up the phone, no matter what time it is. She always knows just what to do.
My mother was on my left arm as I walked down the aisle at my wedding, and I imagine she’ll be there in the hospital when I finally do have a child. (Does a hospital waiting room have a front row? If so, I know exactly where she’ll be.) How do you thank someone for that? How do you properly celebrate the unconditional love and support that a person has shown you for your entire life?
I don’t know the answer. But I do know that Mother’s Day has taken on a whole new significance for me, particularly now that I’m the same age my mother was when I was born.
I know that she deserves more than just a day of celebration. All Moms do. After all, you Moms are shaping the lives and perspectives of little people who will one day grow up, as I did, and rely on their foundational values to make good decisions. No pressure.
Thank you, Moms, for all you do, and thank you, Mom, for all you do for me.
Grab your girlfriends and take a well-deserved night off or grab a glass of vino and join Plum District for a fun hour-long MOM Twitter party.
May 8th, 2012 | 9:43 PM
For those of you who may not know, Thursday, May 10th is National Mom’s Nite Out. This is not a Hallmark-created event, but rather one that began five years ago after a simple tweet from Maria Baily – host of Mom Talk Radio – who said, “Mother’s Day is a lot of work for me. Anyone want to join me for a National Mom’s Nite Out?” The response was immediate and tremendous, and now, thousands of media groups, companies, malls, mommy bloggers, and social networks have come together to create events, discounts, and more, in effort to give moms a well-deserved night off.
What’s the difference between National Mom’s Nite Out and Mother’s Day, you ask? Well, on Mother’s Day, between the cooking and dinner planning and the visits to mothers-in-law and grandmothers, not that much relaxation happens! National Mom’s Nite Out, however, is meant to be a task-free evening.
So this Thursday, look out for local events and discounts from great brands, who are all looking to reach those of you who know you deserve an actual break. Grab your girlfriends and go have some fun.
For more information on National Mom’s Nite Out – and to view a list of local and online events, mom discounts, and giveaways – visit www.momsniteout.com.
Can’t get out of the house for a nite out? How about a Twitter party with @plumdistrict?! Join us from 5:30-6:30pm PT for an hour of all girl fun and prizes hosted by Plum District moms. Be sure to RSVP to be eligible for prizes! (Follow #MomMonth to join the party)
Shape it, shape it, shape that healthy butt - just in time for bathing suit season. Baby, you got back.
May 2nd, 2012 | 2:01 AM
By Heather Dawson
Heather is a District Consultant and Group Exercise Instructor in Fishers, Indiana. She’s a busy mom to four kids and enjoys teaching cardio kickboxing and body sculpting classes at the local gym.
Want to get a better booty, but don’t have time for anything but a super quick workout? You can do these exercises quickly while your little once naps, or even during the commercial breaks of the latest Real Housewives! Check out these expert tips for a quick bootylicious fix (with a little help from PD staffer/”model”, Sara).
- Stand with one leg forward and one leg back.
- Bend knees and lower down into a lunge. Try to get both legs to a 90 degree angle. Be sure your front knee doesn’t come past your toes – it should be centered right above your ankle.
- Concentrate the weight in your heel and push back up to your starting position.
- Repeat until you’ve done 15-20 reps on each side. To add difficulty, you can hold weights and rest them up on your shoulders.
- SInk into a sumo squat position.
- With your legs bent at 90 degrees, push your knees to the back of the room about 1 inch and then return to start.
- Aim for 25-30 slow pulses.
- To really challenge yourself, do another round of this exercise while in a sumo squat on your toes!
Sumo Penguin Walk
- Begin in a sumo squat position where your toes are angled to the corners of the room, knees are bent at a 90 degree angle, and chest is lifted. Don’t sit back into this squat – go straight down.
- Staying in a low squat with feel pointed out, walk forward for 8 and then walk back to your starting position.
- Repeat this 6-8 times.
Side Band Walk
- This exercise requires a circular resistance band to put around your ankles.
- Start with feet hip width apart and a slight bend in the knees.
- Hold your core tight and step out to the side with your right foot, and then bring your left foot back to the starting position. Continue moving right until you’ve taken 10 large steps.
- Repeat moving left.
- Aim for 2-3 sets moving right and left.
- Lie on your back, with your knees bent.
- Raise your hips in the air to create a bridge.
- Keeping your hips raised, slowly lift and lower your hip aiming for 25-30 pulses.
- To finish, hold your hips in the air and alternate lifting your hips by squeezing your glute muscles one at a time. Aim for 12-15 pulses on each side.
Follow these tips and you’re just ten minutes away from a better behind. (Right, Sara?)
We think all moms deserve to pamper every once in a while
April 28th, 2012 | 12:51 AM
Hosting a spa night for your friends gives you all time to unwind, laugh a little, and pamper yourselves like you deserve, in the comfort of your own home! Take tonight night off, Mom.
These DIY Spa Night suggestions are easy and fun to do at home:
- Let the kids have a sleep over with movies and pizza at a house different than where you’re setting up spa. Call the babysitter or enlist the hubbies for bedtime duty, so your spa zone remains quiet and peaceful.
- Suggest that everyone wear pajamas or comfy yoga clothes, bathrobes and slippers.
- Welcome your guests with soothing music, dim lighting and scented candles that will make the room glow. Seda France home fragrances fill any room with a warm, comforting fragrance.
- Start with a simple 15-minute yoga session to help release tension and induce relaxation.
- Provide hand soaks in bowls, filled with warm water and flower petals. You can also use larger plastic tubs for feet.
- Offer a variety of nail polishes that the ladies can choose from to paint each other’s nails. The newest Essie Nail Polish collection boasts bright, cheerful summer colors and are only $8 a bottle. Shades of pinks, corals and oranges flaunt names like Lights, Camera, and Action, which will leave you feeling like a star.
- Ahava Purifying Mud Mask is easy to apply all over your face and let set for just two minutes, then rinse with warm water. It’s gentle but deep cleans and invigorates your skin.
- Toast with a flute of glamorous and relaxing Lavender Champagne.
- For pregnant friends or those who prefer non-alcoholic beverages, brew some green tea. For a chilled drink, have a pitcher of ice water with cucumbers.
- Serve a platter of cheeses, crackers, fresh fruit, nuts, and chocolates so everyone can indulge in sweet and savory treats.
Tips for finding the perfect sitter
April 23rd, 2012 | 12:45 PM
Carly is one of our hardworking moms in Connecticut. When she’s not out making moms day, shes making her own day with her children and husband. Here she shares her tips on finding the perfect sitter for your family.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the phrase “date night” I gently sigh as I briefly think back to what life was like before kids. Don’t get me wrong – I simply adore my children and I wouldn’t change a thing about having them, however, there are times when I crave the quiet nights my husband and I used to have before kids.
In order to have some well-deserved time alone with your sweetie, you also have to find a good babysitter. If you don’t have friends and family close by, then that can be a difficult and daunting task. Weeknights are busy and by the time our long-awaited weekend arrives, we find ourselves over-committed and ditching the idea of going out (yet again).
The first step in reclaiming date night is committing to a date. Once that is agreed, established, and officially written in pen on the calendar, we come to the truly hardest step in getting out for a night:
Finding a reliable and responsible babysitter with whom you can feel confident with leaving your kids in their care.
Here’s some helpful tips on how to find the perfect babysitter so you don’t have to stress while you relax with the hubby.
Tip #1: Stay local
Luckily, my sitter lives right across the street from me, but if I couldn’t connect with her, backup plan is to contact the guidance department at my local high school. They put me in contact with their program that works directly with people and businesses in the area to provide students with job opportunities and work experience. Not comfortable with a high school student? Consider contacting local colleges and universities and get in touch with a coordinator at student services. Often those who are seeking a degree in early education may be looking to gain some experience with kids and some extra cash, too!
Tip #2: Get a friend’s recommendation
If you have a good friend whose sitter they trust, their sitter probably has friends who are also looking for some extra cash. It’s well worth the effort to ask. If they’re really your true friend, they might even loan you their sitter just this once!
Tip #3: Create or join a sitter swap
Create a fun solution to your own problem! Take full advantage of your network of friends, family and neighbors and see if they’d be interested in doing a sitter swap. One week, you drop your kids off at their house for an evening play date while you and your significant other go out for date night. Then, the next week, you take their kids and do the same. A huge benefit: it saves money and your kids get to hang out with their friends.
Tip #4: If all else fails – Google it.
There are new services popping up with parents like us in mind. Two relatively new sites are Sitter City and Care. Both offer similar services for finding babysitters, nannies, and even daycare. Some of the benefits of these sites is that they have free trials so you can see if you like the service. You’ll find there are reviews from parents who have used certain individual’s services through the site. Once you have added your information, and the type of sitting services you are looking for, the rest is easy – the applicants come to you! The cons? The drawbacks include a fee to join to get the “premium” information.And of course, the big caveat that it is the Internet – you just can’t be sure what information is true or not, despite background checks. Being very careful is always the best advice when choosing to use the Internet for these searches.
Tip #5: Talk to your kids
Once you’ve found a sitter, it’s critical that you some feedback from your kids. See if they like the sitter and are excited to see them. Ask your kids if they like being with the sitter. If they do, then book them for some nights in advance so you have some date nights to look forward to in your future to reconnect and get some time away – even if it is just for a few hours!