Gig Tip: Have your clothes WORK for YOU

It may just be my style, or lack thereof, but I’ve decided to follow some simple rules when it comes to clothes for the workplace:

Must Have’s:

  1. It must not itch.  ANYWHERE.  Not at the seams, not at the frills, not in the collar, not under the armpits, ANYWHERE.
  2. Similar to the above, it needs to be COMFORTABLE.   You need to feel like you can run from your house (with clingy kids) to the minivan to the train station to the office and sit/stand/present/walk around and then back again back home without the clothes getting in the way.   You have enough things to worry about let alone having your focus misdirected to your damn, uncomfortable clothes.
  3. It must be FLATTERING for you.  It must work with your body and make you feel sexy.  I know you are a mother, but you are also a woman.  You need to feel like one.  You need to feel like the clothes are enhancing you – looking good on you.  DO NOT BUY SOMETHING THAT ONLY LOOKS OK BUT HAS A GREAT PRICE-TAG.     Absolutely do not do that.   You will wind up filling up your clothes with mediocrity, wasting your money, and not feeling good about yourself.
  4. The simpler, the better.   Anything too trendy does not pass the test of time, and my closet (and bank account) is limited — I simply cannot have several closets of clothes and cycle through them through the years when things come back in style.  So call me a frump.   I have thick skin.
  5. It must not break the bank.  I don’t like paying full price on clothes.   Suggested retail price is a fabrication of imagination.   I don’t mind paying more for simple, muted classics though (e.g., black blazer, black pants, etc.).

(not me, but a dress by Three Dots)

Nice to have’s:

  1. I absolutely love it when I buy something that I feel can take me to the office yet also be worn on the weekends, or with the kids, or out to a casual dinner.  You get it.   Time is too limited for changes.   Space is too constrained for multiple sets of clothes in bulk.   Streamline your life.
  2. I love it when it is made of a fabric where I can launder it myself.  I despise the cost of dry cleaning and also the piles of clothes and the extra trip/errand that needs to be done.   It is so much easier for me to collect the stuff that I can launder with gentle soap on a gentle cycle and then hang dry.  I don’t mind it at all, especially when I know it is saving me money and giving me versitility with what I am wearing.

My favorite in terms of brand is three dots.   Very comfy clothes that work well and play well.   My favorite stores right now are (of course — they make it so easy to find things, sort, filter, and find great deals) and believe it or not, Kohl’s (especially at the end of the season – you can find DIRT CHEAP clothes that feel and look great – again, the simpler the better – so great for layering or even waiting until the next season).

When it comes to shoes, I still have a lot to learn.  I keep some heels in my office drawer but have not yet perfected the shoe thing in terms of comfort, style or durability.   I’ll think about that going forward.  I have some favorites, but nothing I can fully endorse.

In short, have your clothes work for you, versus you working for your clothes.    ‘Nuf said.

What other ideas do you ladies have???   Please share!!

Hope everyone is having a good start to the week

– Mama K

September 4: First days!

Today Twin Crazy and Twin Husky started “traditional” daycare, versus the “home” daycare that we’ve had them in since they were babies.   And it was Red’s first day in a new “classroom” at daycare – “Pre-K”.   I decided to drive down to co-parent’s neighborhood to see their first days in action…
Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I woke up early and left the house at 7 AM, with my phone free of pictures and fully charged.
  • I got there way early – there was hardly any traffic.  So I went to co-parent’s at 7:45 AM.   Red was having problems with socks.   I offered to take her into school and meet the rest there.
  • Red and I waited for Twin Crazy and Twin Husky and I took lots of pictures of her.  For some reason I missed her like crazy yesterday.    I just kept thinking about the times she says “what can I do with you” and I’m always too stretched to really spend any time with her.   All I wanted to do yesterday is sit down and color with her.   I missed her so much; so this morning I grabbed extra hugs and kisses and tried to make her feel extra special.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky came in, with their little backpacks.  Sooooooooo cute.  They were really excited.  They checked out their cubbies, the sofa, the potties, a crayon activity (and talked to each other about the colors), the play-kitchen, the doll house….   Twin Husky carried his Tiger non-stop and even took off his shoes when he sat on the little couch.   They had no problems with our leaving.  They looked like they were already having a blast.
  • Red’s drop off was fine.  She was shy at first, but then warmed up when she saw some friends.   Her face was glowing and she jumped right into activities with her friends.
  • I missed the ferry, so I decided to work from Starbucks.   The commute was literally 5 minutes.


Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I set up at Starbucks, got another coffee.   I was actually very productive.   I had several conference calls and got closer to firming up the Agenda and attendees to the forum we are having later this month.
  • I followed up on old invoices
  • I started to confirm the Agenda for the other forum we will have in October.
  • I did some admin items such as timesheets


The Rest of the Day:

  • I called a quits at 4 PM and went clothes shopping at Kohl’s with $3o Kohl’s Cash.  I spent an incremental $2 on 2 dresses and a pair of “skorts”.  I’m psyched about the killer deal and will wear one of the dresses tomorrow.
  • I did some food shopping – again with coupons.  Safeway’s deals are great and they give you discounts on gas which I really appreciate these days.   But, I saw that they double charged me for bread and believe it or not but I actually spent the time to go back to get the $5 returned to me.   Again, watching every dollar.   Oh how my life has changed.
  • I had the kids tonight since co-parent is on a business trip.   So this Tuesday night with them was a gift.
  • Pick ups were EXCELLENT!   Twin Crazy and Twin Husky looked tired, but very very happy.  Again, Twin Husky was carrying around his Tiger.   They were eating snacks.  They seemed really happy – each with their own seat right across from each other.  I asked if they were set up next to each other for naps and the teachers confirmed yes.   There were no tears.  I am thrilled.  They had a great first day.
  • Red was excited at pick up too; she had a great day and I came back with lots of art.
  • Pick up for Big Bro was fine; he goes with a neighbor who is a life-saver to me.
  • On the way home we reconnected and caught up with each other.  We talked about the past few days and the birthday party they went to and Big Bro’s owie and the first days of school.  I talked about the guinea pig and how I bought her different greens and how big she’s getting.   It was a great ride home, but we hit traffic.   The kids were happy despite this.
  • I started dinner as soon as we got in; the kids were playing with Cocoa.  And drawing.  And cutting pictures out of magazines.
  • I did homework with Big Bro.  He read some words, counted to 100, and wrote a sentence about the drawing of his family.  His sentence was “I have a new pet.”  He spelled out all the words and the sentence by himself.  I can’t get over it.
  • We ate well except for Big Bro.  He still has stomach issues.   This has been going on way too long… almost one week.  I think I need to take him to a doctor.
  • After dinner Big Bro took it easy on the couch while the rest of us took out the garbage.  I usually don’t have them on these nights so this was fun with them.  They “helped” me carry the bins down to the street.
  • We all picked out the clothes for the next morning so we can get a jump on that without hesitation tomorrow.
  • Bedtime was great; they got changed without a problem.  Books were no problem.  Getting them to sleep was a minor problem – the girls wanted to talk.   They talked about what scares them.  Red is scared of alligators but I assured her that the zoo is very far away and there is absolutely NO WAY that the alligator is going to escape his tank and walk all the way over here.   Twin Crazy agreed that the alligator does have a big mouth and could eat us.   And bugs.   And that the bugs would be mad if the alligator ate the other bugs.   Big Bro was busy looking at Cocoa eating her new dandelion greens.  We sat there for awhile looking at her eat.  I asked him if he likes having a pet and not only did he say “Yes” right away, but he immediately said that he wants to have a dog too.   Twin Husky was excited about the day and kept saying that he is a big boy.

It was a great day; I was actually a working mom again which feels good but also extremely exhausting since I am out of practice.   We are going to have a VERY early morning tomorrow so I need to get some things done tonight.   I will work from Starbucks again tomorrow but for only 1/2 day; I’m looking forward to getting home with the kids at a more reasonable time tomorrow so we can eat earlier, spend more time together, and not be stuck in commuting traffic…  I want to talk to them more since their conversations either crack me up, surprise me from the intelligence, or both.

It was a GREAT day.  One that I will remember because of the “first days”.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

February 6: Shoes

This morning was a morning of frustrations. Mondays are terrible with me to begin with but there was an extra layer of anxiety that could have been prevented.

  • Good morning to Big Bro and Red! I missed them last night. They didn’t come home with Daddy until well past their bedtime so this morning we reunited. Red eagerly showed me two animal purses that she was given the night before and asked Twin Crazy which one she wanted. Twin Crazy wanted the doggie purse. I gave Red a fist-pump for sharing with Twin Crazy and also for giving her the opportunity to pick which one she wanted.
  • Big Bro was excited about the R2-D2 and C-3PO Legos in his pockets and we talked about how funny it was how Red and him switched 1/2 their bodies the other morning and switched heads and bodies.
  • Big Bro was very cooperative; Twin Crazy was cooperative but wanted to be held and dance. Twin Husky was having problems, since he wants to put all of his things in these big bags but one of the bags is actually quite heavy so he can’t carry everything around. This frustrates him so much and I had to deal with his crying and trying to help him with his bags and trying to explain that the one bag is way too heavy for him.
  • A Lego light-sabre fell into the toilet and had to be rescued.
  • I found out that Red lost her shoes at the party last night while with Daddy. I knew this was going to be a HUGE problem. This is the girl that would freak out about the wrong type of socks. Her Dora sneakers never felt comfortable for her so she rejected them. She had one pair that fit and was comfortable. And now they are missing. I spent time with her shuffling through shoes to see if we had hand-me-downs that would be big enough but most of that gear is for the little ones. We had some boots and also some boy shoes that would fit but I could understand the reason why she wouldn’t want to wear them. We were running out of time. We had to leave to get Big Bro to school on time. We had to split up the drop off and I took Big Bro and Twins, leaving Daddy behind to deal with the shoes. I gave Red a huge hug.
  • Drop offs for Twins was funny. Apparently Twin Husky wanted to wear sparkly silver shoes as we were going through the shoe frenzy this morning. He put one of the sparkly shoes on his foot ontop of his pajamas and I laughed when I pulled him out of the car. He also had a sparkly princess cup with him. And he is in love with a cute pair of red flowery shoes that he’s been wearing the past few weeks. So me and our daycare provider started to laugh and raise our eyes about Twin Husky’s choice of accessories. “It’s OK” we say, I love his happy face and if he wants to dress like a princess then let him.
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  • Drop off with Big Bro was fine. I held his hand and we had his 100 project (a Lego house). I noticed that he let go of my hand as we approached his school yard where the classes were waiting in line. My heart sunk but also inside I was proud of his need for independence. This is just the beginning.
  • I rushed to the ferry in fear that there would be no more parking spots, but I scored one without a problem. So, the day is gray, and I will be busy at work. I have to document the planning meeting calls and distribute to the groups, and also start to plan the agendas. I have to complete the go-to-market materials for the other initiative and get that going as well. Finally, I have to start to think about the kick-off for the client project we are beginning next Monday. I will be very busy today.

    HIghlights of my Working Day:

  • I grabbed some to-go breakfast on my way to work. I’m glad I did, since I was busy non-stop.
  • I had to attend to various emails on various topics as soon as I got in. This took some time.
  • Since we won the client project, I needed to get some administrative items done. I needed to complete the paperwork to get a project number set up, get the team together, put files onto our shared server, distribute some key documents to the team (such as budget, proposal), set up a debrief meeting with the team for tomorrow AM, and begin to work on the discussion document that we will be using to Kickoff the project next week.
  • I lead an internal office “touchpoint” meeting to get a sense of workload and also an update on our office move. I’m looking forward to a new location to a busier part of the city. Change is good.
  • I also had an impromptu meeting related to one of the initiatives we are launching. I started working on go-to-market materials to start soliciting interest. I want to start sending out these invitations TOMORROW since the event is only 2 months away…. This will be critical for me to focus on tomorrow.
  • I did not have time to work on the planning minutes or the planning for the other two forums – I carved out time to start on that tomorrow.
  • Now I’m on the ferry and looking forward to picking up the kids. I have not thought of dinner but I think we may have some chicken that is not frozen. There are some cherry tomatoes too – I recently sent out a recipe with these ingredients so maybe I’ll try that.

    I’m interested in hearing about Big Bro’s 100 project, and also seeing what kind of shoes Red is wearing. And of course, I want to see if Twin Husky is wearing his one sparkly shoe. Too cute.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • All pick ups were great; Red was upset about her shoes so we decided to go out and buy a new pair for her. The kids decided to go out to eat versus go home first so I took them to Applebee’s…. crayons on tables, bottles of chocolate milk everywhere, Red needing to go to pee so we all paraded across the restaurant into the ladies room, etc. etc. Kids ate like champs.
  • We then paraded to Kohl’s, right next door, but the walk felt like an eternity, with four little ones hyper on chocolate milk.
  • At Kohl’s the ONLY thing on the list was a new pair of shoes for Red. So all kids couldn’t ask or throw a tantrum for ANYTHING else. This rule works well. However, the kids did get sidetracked at a rack of Angry Bird t-shirts. Red tried on some shoes, Twin Husky tried on some shoes when I wasn’t looking. We found a pair for only $16 on super-sale. Twin Husky tried to walk away with the shoes he found but we were too quick for him.
  • Once we got home Twin Crazy tried on Red’s shoes, and also Twin Husky. I’m not sure about that boy recently, but he’s only 2 so he has some time to figure things out. 🙂
  • Big Bro read an entire book tonight. He was wiped out by the end. I can’t believe he’s a reader.
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    I’m typing as I’m listening to my daughter cry through the monitor. I am downstairs. I try to console her and as she’s asleep and as I’m walking out, she starts screaming again in anguish. Daddy is up there now with her. It’s not good. She is suffering. I’m not sure what to do.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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