My Summer Beauty Obsessions, So Far.

It is officially summer. My kids are currently both home all day and, as such, we try and get out and about as much as possible. Yeah, I know- the days are long but the years are short- but the days are ESPECIALLY long if you sit around the house with 2 stir crazy girls for hours on end. So, as often as possible, we leave the house in the morning, and don't come back until bedtime. These 5 items (and of course tons of sunblock but I'll save that for another post) are perhaps not what you would expect one to pack in her beach bag, but let me tell you- when I am pulling an all-day-er, they come very much in handy.

1- Oribe Bright Blonde Conditioner: Getting in the pool is inevitable for me- if one is within Alexa's view, the entire family must be immediately dunked. I finger-comb this through my hair and throw it up on top of my head as high as possible in an effort to minimize sun and chlorine damage, and make the post-pool hair situation slightly less scary. It keeps my color in tact and my on-the-dry-side hair smooth. Plus- can we talk about the gorgeous packaging?!

2- Rodan + Fields Lip Renewing Serum: YES, I started my own Rodan + Fields business so let's just get that out of the way right now- I do sell the product. I have been in the beauty industry for 15 (gulp!) years without personally direct selling anything. So, I would only "go there" on behalf of products from a brand that I am fully obsessed with. Hence, this Lip Renewing Serum would be high up on my favorite list. Half-way through a day outdoors, my lips always start to feel parched and crackly. I pop one of these single-serve capsule puppies open, apply the anti-oxidant, peptide and Vitamin E formula to my lips and around my mouth (it reduces the inevitable appearance of those annoying fine lines), and, knock on wood, this is the first summer in recent memory that I have not endured painfully chapped lips before the 4th of July.

3- Urban Decay NAKED Smoky Palette: It wins every beauty award for a reason- it has the best of ALL worlds. Natural hues for day, deeper shades to amp it up for evening, and a double-sided brush that can be used to create multiple looks- from a tight opaque line to a sheer splash.  Not only do I love this for travel- or beach-to-bbq-without-stopping-home-to-primp-days- but once you own this palette, you can throw out every other eyeshadow you own without thinking twice. 

4- Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Las Salinas: Use it on your cheeks, dab it on your lips- it is dewy perfection and even in the blistering heat of sitting atop concrete in the blistering sun, it has yet to crack or melt. (Wish I could say the same for my daughters...and myself if I am being honest here.)

5- Suave Deodorant: I have no idea why, you guys, but this deodorant has worked better for me than anything I have ever tried. As you know if you have ever read a fashion post of mine, I sweat a lot. Not sexy, but true. And while Suave was never the name that came to mind when I was at the drugstore picking up a new deodorant, a PR person sent it to me like 2 years ago and I have used it ever since. During summer, I keep it on me at all times because it is just too risky not to. 

FOUND!: The Most Affordable, Most Perfect Beach Dress.

Qualities a perfect beach dress must have:

1- Billowy, breathable shape
2- Skinny straps that stay in place
3- Cut that works over a swimsuit with flip flops but also with wedges for evening
4- Wrinkle resistant material that somehow also doesn't suffocate your sweat glands

And I am sure there are more that I am not thinking of at this exact moment but, guess what? It doesn't matter. Because whatever criteria you have for the aforementioned item to be one of the most worshipped items in your summer closet, THIS DRESS from Lou & Grey not only meets it, but surpasses it.

I spotted it on Saturday morning in the window of Lou & Grey, which arrived in Westport a little over a year ago as a concept test store housed next to it's sister brand, LOFT.  By Saturday afternoon, it was mine. And starting today, it is on my body and likely will remain that way for many a beach day to come. 

The straps are adjustable which I like because depending on my swimsuit (or bandeau/bralette) I can make it fall exactly where it should. The low scoop of the neckline along the back shows that part of your upper back that, even if you aren't feeling at your most skinny/toned/buff, usually looks muscular and fit. The fabric is the softest, most breathable polyester ever (I thought it was gonna be silk when I first saw it and I was like oh well- there goes that potential purchase- I sweat wayyyyy too much for silk) and it has this chalky, textured finish that keeps it from ever appearing wrinkled.

Oh- and in all my excitement I realize I forgot to tell you the ZINGER: It's $69.50. Yup. 

Buy it now, wear it all summer, and join me in a silent prayer willing Lou & Grey to make like a dozen more of this exact same dress in different prints and colors so I can get rid of everything else I own until September. 


Why Every Mom Needs These Neutral Wedges For Summer.

Summer with little ones...ahh, dripping in sweat while chasing your child as she bolts in every direction possible on a quest to accumulate sparkly shells/be the first in line at the ice cream truck/get as dangerously close as possible to the road every time you blink at the playground. Sure, we may want to look all easy-breezy-summery, but for functionality purposes, many of us are relegated to flip flops or sneakers that make it feasible to carry a kid/catch a kid/stand for what feels like hours on end pushing a kid on swing.

The perfect middle ground for hitting the ground running? Wedges. But they need to be sensible wedges- even though I detest using the word "sensible" in any post relating to motherhood and fashion.

Here are 5 very stylish yet (she says in a whisper) sensible options to buy now- neutrals that you can wear every day, not too high, not too low, not too narrow, not too Goldilocks would say, these are "jussssssst righhhhhht."

1: Splendid Genevieve Wedges: The elastic straps have the comfort you expect, but the fact that they are coated, disguise that way-too-sensible fact.

2: Dr. Scholl's Warner Wedge: Yup, you read that right- Dr. Scholl's. And, they are currently on sale so you kind of have to buy them just to see if I have totally lost my mind or Dr. Scholl's really are stylish, right? (I haven't lost my mind, promise.)

3: K. Jacques Thong: I have religiously worn this exact pair of shoes since 2010- I bought them for myself when I found out I was pregnant right before doing an on-air thing with QVC where I knew I'd be standing all day, and so glad I did.

4: K. Jacques Cork Wedge: Clearly I am sending you a message- K. Jacques wedges are essential. And this new version with neutral snakeskin-ish material is gorgeous. I like the extra support from the additional strap- and the fact that you can get said support without anything tying around your ankle because sometimes (ok, most times), you want your legs to look as long as possible.

5: Piampiani Sandals: This under-the-radar Italian brand has the coolest styles- and they are insanely comfortable. I own a similar pair and will be ordering these as soon as I finish this post- modern and minimalist but totally practical. Plus the slight wedge pitch keeps them from being at all nurse-shoe-y.

6: Blank Canvas Wood Wedge: The toe strap keeps feet securely in place, and love the sleek wood wedge as an alternative to traditional cork- easier to dress up when you feel like throwing on a black t-shirt dress and being slightly fancy. 


Going From My College Reunion To Kindergarten Orientation In A Span of 48 Hours Was SUPER WEIRD.

Wish I could come up with a stronger title for this one but really I have no clue how else to put it. See, on Saturday night I was downing tequila at the bar I where I spent at least three nights a week when I was a student at University of Pennsylvania. Surrounded by many of the same people, listening to most of the same tunes (Sweet Caroline, Build Me Up Buttercup, Mo' Money Mo' Problems, Vivrant Thing and a host of other random yet classic songs that made up the soundtrack to my college experience), and feeling pretty much like not a day (let alone 15 years!) had passed since I last stumbled out onto 40th Street after the oh-so-unflattering last call lights started to flash.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning, where I stood in front of a bunch of grown ups at the local elementary school where my daughter will soon attend kindergarten, espousing the importance of signing up for lunch duty and making sure to attend the summer playdates my fellow "K Committee" mom and I were planning for July and August. 

As I walked from my folding chair in the third row to the front of the gymnasium-turned-auditorium, I had this flashback to Saturday night which subsequently turned into a fast-motion "This Is Your Life"-style video montage in my head of numerous and similarly un-adult-like recent experiences and thought- HOW THE HELL AM I STANDING IN AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WITH A CLIPBOARD IN MY HAND WHILE MY KID WHO IS OLD ENOUGH TO GO HERE IN THE FALL TOURS HER CLASSROOM?!  I am not adult enough for this! Heck, I am wearing wedge sneakers, ripped jeans and a freaking SWEATSHIRT! And I ate Skittles I found at the bottom of my bag for breakfast this morning when my daughter wasn't looking. And I think I totally forgot to pay my cell phone bill this month, and we have no groceries in the house. 

This weekend, everyone I knew from college looked the same. I mean, sure- some hairlines were farther back than I recall but, for the most part, I recognized everyone instantly.  Maybe part of it is because my memory of those days feels so recent that my eyes auto-adjust to create a "15 Years Younger" filter on every face. (Hmm, there should be an app for that, no?) 

On the flip side, new people I meet at my daughter's soon-to-be elementary school seem so adult! Like, they all totally know what is going on and as such, every school supply has already been ordered and organized on a shelf in a closet at their house with a P-touch label noting "For 2016/2017 School Year". When the women from the PTA stood up to speak about volunteer opportunities, I honestly thought to myself "Wonder which one my mom is going to be involved in" before realizing, this time around, I am the target audience to step up and organize book fairs and field days. 

But, I have imagine that at least some of them feel exactly like I do. They wake up on Sunday mornings with a pounding headache from the previous night and let the kids watch 4 consecutive episodes of "Goldie & Bear" while they sleep it off; they sometimes put their own parent's name on the "Parent's Name" line when filling out forms at the doctor's office; they don't remember to water the flowers in pots next to their front door until it is too late and they come home to a wilted mess; and they wonder how on earth they are sitting in a gymnasium-turned-auditorium listening to some old chick in a bedazzled sweatshirt espouse the importance of signing up for lunch duty.

Mom-Friendly Off-The-Shoulder Top Options.

The current "off the shoulder" top trend is potentially dangerous for a parent. See, even the slightest tug could result in, at the very least, a nip slip. Or, at the very most, we are talking total boob exposure- at which point I don't know who would be more embarrassed- my daughter or myself.  But, so much about the style is insanely appealing- including showing off shoulders which always tend to be slim (even after a weekend vodka and pizza binge), and a billowy silhouette that is equally flattering and forgiving.

Below, details on three off-the-shoulder options that I can confidently recommend to women everywhere who are currently quite familiar with the feeling of a child attached around a leg or tugging on a blouse while repeatedly saying "Mom. Mom! MOMMY! MAMAAAA!". The elastic is trustworthy, the materials are substantial and the styling is simple- throw on jeans (I recommend a pair of these) and you are done. 

Love Sam Bella Off Shoulder Top: The material is a breathable gauze- and the best thing about gauze is that it never looks wrinkled, because, well, it always is kind of (purposefully) wrinkled. So the longevity of each wear is maximized. 

Wayf Lace Top: Built-in lining, generously cut (but not poufy looking) sleeves and, even if the day is super hot and sticky, the crochet style means ZERO sweat spot potential. 

1.State Off The Shoulder Top: It is rayon, so it's resilient. And pom poms are the most fun embellishment of the moment, don't you agree? 

NOTE: Before proceeding with any of the above options- make sure you are armed with a full coverage, supportive strapless bra. I love this one from Wacoal. It stays put, gives you great shape, and in the event of an accidental sneak peak, the material has a subtly shiny and luxe looking finish.  I also recommend a stash of this- a little double-stick tape goes a VERY long way.