My twins are now 23 months and Brielle is 3, going on 4. They take a lot of time and energy. I try to plan my mornings so that we can all leave the house and feel good about how we look. I am a visual person, so I admit, I like to feel good about the way I appear every day. However, with a limited amount of time in the day I have learned to make it happen for myself in a short time frame.
A comment I get almost every day, is something along the lines of “wow, you look fabulous, I don’t know how you do it”. I will share with you all some of my tips and tricks. I believe every Mom deserves to feel good about herself when she leaves the house in the morning.
I am an involved Mommy. I am President of the Lake Cities Moms of Multiples (with almost 90 Moms in membership), I am on the hospitality committee for the Southlake MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers group), I co-lead an intensive weekly bible study group of 30 ladies for Gateway Church (someday I will write about this awesome study called “The Amazing Collection”), I volunteer at the welcome center at Gateway church, and most importantly I am a Wife and Mother. With everything on my plate I still manage to look nice when I go to these regular activities each week. By nice, I mean, nice enough to get compliments from others, which I do appreciate, as being a Mom is a hard job that seems to suck every fiber of youthful, restful, “put together” feeling I have.
Looking put together has everything to do with what you put on and very little to do with the time that you put into getting ready. I literally get myself ready in about 15 minutes every morning. No exaggeration.
So how do I do it?
- I dress up. Would it be easy to throw on workout pants and a t-shirt? Probably, but personally I am not comfortable in that type of clothing on a daily basis. I like comfortable clothing, but I prefer to dress up. Why? I have always been this way. It also gives the illusion that you put more effort into getting ready than you really did. It is just as easy to put on jeans and a sweatshirt as it is a dressy tunic and leggings. Don’t get me wrong on this. My clothing must still be functional with three small children. Dresses always appear like you put in more effort. I don’t know why, but it just seems to be the case. I like dresses. They are easy to throw on and there is no mixing and matching tops and bottoms! Maxi dresses have served me well as a Mom, as they are long, flexible, and fluid. If you are friends with me on Facebook you can see from my photos that I trend towards dresses or tunics with leggings regardless of season. In the Summer I love Lilly Pulitizer dresses (which are super short), so I always wear lightweight Capri leggings. In the winter, I wear dresses and tunics paired with full length leggings. Depending on the weather I can wear boots or shoes, I have dressy and flats of both.
- I have several “go-to” outfits that are dressier than yoga pants and require no effort. Mine are all leggings and tunics. Now that it is winter I have 3 “go-to tunics” in my wardrobe. They are at the front of my closet. Two of them are simple black tunics. I wear them with comfortable stretchy leggings. I also have “go to” accessories- necklace, earrings, and scarves that I can mix and match to make the outfit look complete.
- I wear some type of heel when I go to my daily functions. However, I am not die hard. I like comfortable shoes too, so I carry a spare pair of shoes daily. I always lay out two pairs of shoes with my outfits. One pair that is the perfect accent to the outfit and the other more comfortable (in the summer it is flip flops and in the winter it is my black flats). I can always change shoes while I am out for the day if I want. But I do like leave in the morning with some sort of heeled shoe.
- I accessorize. I have my entire outfit planned from shoes (both pairs), jewelry, scarves, and hair accessories. Everything coordinates. It doesn’t have to be perfect or too Matchy-matchy. Having accessories makes it look like I put a great deal of effort into the ensemble (and I really didn’t). Sometimes I run out the door with my accessories in my purse and put them on it the car. Whatever it takes. In my 20’s I used to change purses everyday to match my outfits. I don’t have time for that now! Instead I have a purse that tends to match all. I change it up sometimes, but I don’t concentrate on this one too much. I have a variety of costume necklaces and earring that coordinate with different outfits. I keep them hanging in my closet, so they are visible and easy to grab and go.
- I lay out everything the night before. I do this with my outfit, purse, and things I need for the next day. I do the same for my kids. I have their clothing, backpacks, school lunches and everything they need for the next day laid out in the kitchen. Mornings run smoothly when we aren’t looking for shoes and socks! Having it all there before I even go to bed at night makes it easier to get up in the morning because I know things are ready to go.
The above photo was taken on Thanksgiving. I was not feeling well that day (literally I had fluid in my lungs and was suffering from a severe sinus infection). However I still managed to look nice enough. I got ready in less than 15 minutes. The kids take about 45 minutes from feeding, dressing, to loading in the car. For myself that 15 minutes is valuable time and I spend it wisely. I took a 5 minute shower. I didn’t wash my hair, as I had washed it the day before. Instead I did a simple up do with a headband and bun (I will share more about this in the next posting), which took about 2-3 minutes. My makeup took about 3-4 minutes, with a touch up of powder and lipstick when I arrived (those are the most noticeable makeup features). Brushing my teeth and dressing was just another couple of minutes. I move with purpose in the morning and having everything laid out the night before makes it easy to move quickly. I wore a dress (which looked more like a tunic on me), with carpi leggings, strappy heels, and matching Kendra Scott earrings and necklace. Dressing up made me look much better than I was feeling.
Hair tends to take the most time in a woman’s daily routine. I try to minimize the hair time while still looking great. I will share those tips in my next posting…and perhaps a posting about makeup shortcuts to come as well.