Category Archives: Moms on the run

The Church Catwalk: Communion and Confirmation style

girl_pretending_to_be_an_angel_with_a_halo_0071-1008-1315-0213_smu

So it’s that time of year again in Ireland, the rite of passage that is Confirmation and Communion season. (Full disclosure here, I opted out of all the catholic stuff many years ago so I won’t be partaking myself, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still help with some outfit planning!)

I don’t know if it’s just me but confirmation and communion celebrations seem to be getting bigger and bigger every year. Not bigger in the sense of flashiness that the Celtic Tiger days enjoyed  with limos and marquees, but more so in the importance in the family calendar as an EVENT! And with any big Irish event, it’s the mammies who will usually do the lion’s share of the planning and organising, including stressing about “The Outfit”.

The biggest factors to take into account when planning your outfit are as follows:

  • It’s usually a really early start – you don’t want to be a sweaty melty mess by 2pm
  • It’s in a church - so you need to be respectful and church appropriate
  • There are children involved!
  • The event will be held in Spring/Summer – so even though the Irish weather is unreliable at best (and generally shite at worst!) you will need to inject a bit of colour and freshness
  • There will be eating, drinking and a fair bit of standing and moving around involved - this is not the day to go for the bet on bodycon number and 6 inch heels

So keeping all the above in mind, here’s a few of my tips and outfit ideas for you. It is a big day for you and you want to look and  feel your best (and photos last forever!!!) so why not pull out the stops and wear something that makes you feel amazing and suits your personal style.

  • The Prep 

I am a born organiser and control freak and firmly believe there is no such thing as being too organised for any event or planning too early. You will be up to you eyeballs organising your precious offspring and partner and planning the celebration meal/party so make time for you!!!!! Go shopping, try things on, look at styles you like on Instagram or Pinterest, order online to get your size. Work back from the big day and  book  your appointments. I insist you have nails, toes, blow dry and tan done at least!!! If you can manage to squeeze in your make up application on the morning then go girl, but at least get the other stuff done in the days leading up to D-Day.

  • The Practicalities

Mama is going to be on duty big time on the day so you need to be practical when it comes to the outfit planning. If your kids are anything like my kids then EVERYTHING will get passed over to you to “mind”. So you need a big handbag where you can dump cards, tissues, rosary beads, spare hair clips, bottle of water etc.. You also need shoes that you can wear all day and run around after younger kids in as well as stand around in at the church and school. This is not car to bar territory trust me! I love my shoes and always feel like a bit of a sell out or a granny if I go for the comfy option so you need to be smart and go for a heel that has a platform support, a wedge or block heel or just a really comfy shoe that you can rely on.

And now for the outfit suggestions. This is just a selection to get the thinking caps on, remember everyone has their own personal style and now is not the time to go for a completely out there look or something you would never usually wear as you will just end up feeling awkward. Be yourself, be comfortable, wear a colour that you know suits you, get dolled up so you feel glam and then sit back and let the compliments flow and enjoy yourself.

 GREEN QUEEN

Green is the absolute colour of the moment and it is such a fab, fresh colour for Spring/Summer. You can’t go wrong with choosing bright green for the big day. Here’s a few different ways to wear it, full on green or as a  background colour with a nice floral print.

Green lace dress Warehouse

Green lace dress Warehouse

mangogreendress

Green silk wrap dress Mango

greendusterriverisland

Green duster jacket River Island

THAT’S A WRAP  

A wrap dress is so flattering on all shapes and sizes and a nice wrap style with sleeves is perfectly church appropriate. Once you pick a dress then it’s all about glamming it up with fab accessories to really take it to the next level.

Cream wrap kimono style dress - Closet London

Cream wrap kimono style dress – Closet London

Oriental style wrap dress HandM

Oriental style wrap dress H&M

Blue wrap dress Warehouse

Blue wrap dress Warehouse

two tone wrap dress Bella Dungarvan

Two tone wrap dress Bella Dungarvan

SUITS YOU SIR 

Why not consider a suit style for the big day. This is definately my kind of style, a bit different but very dressy and feminine if you go for the right fabrics and colours so you won’t look like you’re heading for the  boardroom.

Mustard slouchy style  suit from River Island:

yellowblazerriverislandyellowtrousersriverisland

Silky kimono style suit from Zara

zarakimonojacket zarakimonotrousers

Pink tailored suit Zara

pinkzarasuitjacket pinkzarasuittrousers

 A FEW MORE IDEAS……………..

Very nice black  and red dress from H&M that’s very Spanish in style and would be lovely with red accessories and a nice red lippie

hmblackreddress

If you’re style is a bit more conservative or formal then this preppy style skater dress from H&M would be very nice with a black or white blazer over it and bright green shoes

hmgreenblkpreppydress

 

Gold is such a classy colour and a lovely daytime colour too as it’s soft and subtle. Best on darker skin tones  (i.e. get the spray tan done!)  This patterned gold dress is from Mango

mangogolddress

I’d love to hear your thoughts or outfit planning ideas so please comment or let me know if you are on a mission for find something specific and I’ll happily help with the research.

Happy shopping and enjoy your big days

Avril x

 

 

 

 

 

A Mother’s Morning Prayer

Inspired by Tina Fey’s brilliant “Prayer for a daughter” from her book, Bossy pants (if you haven’t read it, get cracking!) I thought I would pen a new morning prayer, for the frazzled working moms on their daily pilgrimage to crèche/school/work.

The morning rush is definitely not for the faint hearted and no morning  is complete without a daily dose of “For Fucks Sake!!” or “Sweet Jesus!!” so why not combine the natural pairing of prayer and expletives into a mother’s morning prayer:

angel

A Mother’s Morning Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, let everyone sleep tight, all night,

So that mommy may be woken gently by the dulcet tones of her 6.45 am shrieking alarm, and not a moment sooner,

Hallowed be the 5 minutes of peace for mommy to shower, brush teeth, dress, do hair at the speed of light,

Hallelujah if mommy finds a pair of ladder-free tights,

Give us this day some docile, obedient children, so that the morning remains calm and tantrum free – no pukes, no fighting, no wrestling into clothes, no bribery

Let your celestial lights blind their eyes so that they do not get distracted by TV or computers,

Give us strength Lord, to lug the many, many bags of stuff to the car, but also give us the wisdom, to not forget any of the many, many bags of stuff,

Please Lord, let the gentle warm winds of heaven blow so that the car is not frozen over or covered with snow!

Deliver us Lord, a day free from planking, so that everyone jumps joyously into car seats, buckling up in jig time, and that mommy’s muscles and sweat ducts remain in their unused state.

Lead us not into Satan’s black cloud of panic and rage, but allow us to be smugly pulling out of the drive by exactly 7.46 am,

Give us no cause to shriek “For fucks sake” at a flashing fuel light, for we have no time to stop today Dear Lord,

But please do grant us at least one red light so that we may attempt some half arsed make up job before interacting with the public,

Now grant us every other green light so that we can get to work on time!!!!!!

And forgive us, as we curse at all the f***ing traffic/f***ing buses/f***ing bikes that are sent to test us. Every.Single.day!

Deliver to us Lord, the kind of independent, obedient children, who skip happily into crèche and NOT the kind who decide they love mommy waaaaaaaay too much to ever be parted from her leg.

Give us this day, our daily bread, otherwise known as a crushed granola bar in the car, while enjoying some me time, listening to Ian Dempsey and attempting to finish our make up.

Lead us not into the office, without a quick coffee pick up for a nice skinny latte , while wondering HOW the hell this has become the highlight of our day!!

And deliver us Lord, please please please, a few minutes to kill, so that we may check our phones, cry over our banking app, curse the crèche fees, the pittance of a childrens allowance and the bastard children that bleed us dry.

Then grant us the wisdom to forgive those beautiful bastard children who were sent to test us, and let us rejoice by defiantly checking our Zara app to purchase  a new top, and remembering why we work……..so we can buy clothes and drink coffee!!!!!

AMEN

And on with the day………………

Musings from a Mom of Three (Or “Things that wreck my head”)

i have to scream

I have three young kids (three babies in just over four years!) so in my house we are really in the trenches at the moment. Obviously, every parent has their own individual challenges, no matter how many kids you have, and some kids are definitely higher or lower maintenance so it really can be the luck of the draw in terms of how easy or hard you have it. I will hold my hands up and admit that individually, all my kids are actually fairly easy and fall onto the lower maintenance end of the scale. However, collectively, it is a different matter and it can be very hard core!!

Recently, my husband was away for five days at a conference so I had the pleasure of sampling single parenthood for the duration. Despite my absolute joy every night once bedtime was done, I wasn’t long getting bored and a bit lonely most nights so on my last night before my knight in shining armour returned, I took to musing on what are the most annoying/frustrating/unexpected things about parenting that I have experienced in my 4.5 years so far of being a mom. Although I have no doubt that I will be dealing with a whole new set of challenges as the kids get older, here is my current list of things I will not miss about being a parent of babies/toddlers:

1. I f*****g hate Weetabix! Yes it’s healthy and good and I’m lucky that my 4 year old loves it and asks for it every day. But mother of Jesus, what is that shit made of. Firstly, it must be the most absorbent matter on the planet, each biscuit seems to soak up about 14 litres of milk In nano seconds. Then, it hardens to an indestructible cement, I mean diamonds have nothing on this bad boy! It gets everywhere, faces, hair, the table AND it does not come off without a fight! I have pulled off some impressive WWF moves in order to pin my son down while trying to wipe/scrape/pick the crispy flakes off his eyebrows! I might just take it upon myself write to the minister for housing and put forward my solution for the Pyrite shambles: Weetabix filler for all shoddy foundations and building work! You’re welcome Ireland.

2. See above and replace “Weetabix” for ” Play Doh”! Have you ever tried to scrape play doh from the sole of a kids shoe? Or pick it out of your carpet? Once you have, you will understand why I will never ever give Play Doh as a present and why I will kind of hate you a little bit when you give it to my child. And you obviously already hate me a little bit for doing so, so we’re even.

3. Ive fallen for all the promises and bought every cup and beaker going but am still yet to find a “Super duper non-spill no-leaks” sippy cup! My almost 2 year old has a promising future in NASA to test anti gravity equipment! Every liquid in our house has made it to floor.

4. There is nothing quite as annoying as a toddler who has decided they want to start talking to people on the phone! You will never have a phone conversation again without your little angel swinging from your leg roaring hello and bye bye REPEATEDLY! Cute when it’s your mom or sister, morto when your trying to make a dental appointment!

5. There is no feeling quite as amazing as the moment you find yourself in that crouchy/tippy toe braced/statue pose on the landing waiting for confirmation that there is SILENCE from every room! They are asleep! Cue solo (and silent) victory dance/twerking combo and a ridiculous level of excitement not really appropriate for 8.30 on a Tuesday evening when all that awaits is the washing up, mopping the floor and a recorded episode of Million Dollar Listing!

6. Four year old boys are ridiculously messy when they wee. How they manage to get it into the toilet while also simultaneously splashing the toilet seat, the floor, under the seat, their pants, jeans and shoes is beyond me!

7. Hell hath no fury like a little girl who doesn’t want to get her hair done. But just to make a complete asshole out of you, she will go to crèche with a knotty, sticky, birds nest and will return with a silky French plait because she spent the afternoon lying in her teachers lap getting her hair done. Go figure!!

8. Kids and remote controls – gaaahhhh!!!

9. I defy anyone to find me a work out as effective as the “sprint up and down the stairs 20 times a day” work out! The advanced version consists of also hanging one, two or even three children from various body parts for some additional strength training

10. The TSUNAMI of bodily fluids is relentless and endless. Nappies to change, puke to mop up, potties to empty, noses to wipe, dribbles to wipe, arses to wipe, soiled beds to strip………… I dream of the day when everyone is old enough to take care of their own shit…..literally!

So that’s my list for now. Tune in for future musings as the list evolves! Feel free to share your parenting best bits so far, nothing like a good old rant to clear the head.

What to wear? Returning to work from Maternity Leave

Returning to work from maternity leave is a BIG day! Kind of like the first day of school all over again, a mixed bag of excitement and nerves and feeling like the new girl again. And of course, there is one burning question at the forefront of every mother’s mind as she counts down the final days. No actually, it is not “How will my poor darling child survive without me” but rather, the age old rhetorical, usually uttered as a juvenile wail “WHAT THE FUUUUUUCK AM I GOING TO WEAR?”

Forget about sleepless nights caused by teething, you are more likely to toss and turn in the days leading up to D-Day with thoughts of your return to work outfit. The script of your inner voice will look something like this:

“Oh Jesus, I need to get the bag of work clothes out of the attic soon”

“OMG, was it really 12/15/18 months ago that I packed everything away?”

“Hmmmmm, can’t really remember now what was actually in the bag of work clothes, I think I fired in anything with a waistband once I was 4 months pregnant”

(Starting to panic) “Hopefully something fits me”

(Nervous high pitched laughter) “Something surely will fit me, right?”

(Slumps) “What if I hate everything or it’s all completely out of date and untrendy……..”

“I don’t want to be the fat, frumpy, untrendy aul one of the office……….”

“I want to be like Miranda Kerr getting off a transantlantic flight – cool, coordinated,effortlessly stylish….and skinny”

(Delusional reassurance) “Sure I’ve lost a fair bit of the baby weight and I’ve been doing my walking…….”

(Sitting bolt upright)  “FUCK, I’m going back to work in a week, I need to join weight watchers,lose 2 stone and invest in a whole new wardrobe  by next Monday!!!!!!!!”

Sound familiar? If so then here’s my step by step guide to putting together a return to work outfit that will make you at least look the part, even if your mental state is questionable at best.

So let’s assume that you work in some sort of office type environment that is of the usual semi-formal, smart casual dress code of modern day corporate Ireland. Let’s also assume that regardless of how many millions you have just handed over in crèche fees, you are going to go shopping, that’s just what us ladies do in these circumstances.

Laying the foundations: You need to start with your underwear. Believe it or not, if you have been on leave for the best part of a year you have probably let your standards slide in the lingerie department and have been probably wearing the same three nursing bras on a loop (breastfeeding optional!). Plus, your poor aul boobs have been through an awful lot over the last while and may have changed forever in the process, it’s time to treat them again! Go get measured in M&S and get  some nice, grown up, new bras. I’m also a big fan of Calvin Klein bras and their store in the Kildare outlet always has some great basics at really good prices.

Make sure the trusty spanx/hold in knickers are to hand as they will work wonders under work dresses and trousers in helping to get the right silhouette. And don’t forget you may need to invest in some new G-strings to avoid wearing your granny pants under your work trousers. You may be a busy working mom now but there is NO excuse for the dreaded VPL.

Shops: M&S, Calvin Klein (Kildare), Dunnes do great hold in knickers

Tights: So every Irish lady needs a few decent pairs of tights to hand. Since we enjoy that uniquely Irish climate known as “year-round winter” most of us will be wearing black opaque tights pretty much all the time. So no matter what season you plan to return to work I can guarantee that you will need some nice new tights to hand – black opaque in a heavy denier and you’re sorted. Do not make the mistake of leaving your maternity tights in the drawer and wondering why all of your tights have suddenly grown a pouch and don’t fit you anymore. Bin those bastards as soon as you get the chance.

Shops: Dunnes, Pennys, Wolford, M&S

Footwear: Even if you were the queen of the high heels pre-baby, just remember that it’s probably been a while since you wore proper heels for 8-12 hours straight and also bear in mind that you will most likely be doing a  childcare run involving hoisting a maxi cosy out of the car and waddling under the weight of car seat plus infant to the drop off point,  then a sprint back to the car as you realise how late you are for work. You need shoes that can look stylish and work appropriate but pack a secret punch of practicality and comfort. While flats are great for driving and running around, the bottom line is that they just won’t make you feel as good about yourself as a nice heel. Every inch counts towards making you feel taller and slimmer and arriving back to work with a presence.

Enter the perfect shoe –I discovered these bad boys recently in Marks and Spencer and have been evangelizing about them to all my work girls ever since. They are affordable, comfortable and stylish and their classic style means you can wear them with any outfit, all year round. The added bonus is that M&S are one of the few remaining shops that do half sizes so I went up half a size and they are the perfect fit, so comfy and genuinely wearable all day long. In black and nude patent and at €35 a pair, you would be mad not to get a pair in each colour. The cost per wear you will get out of these shoes will soon be in the minus figures.  And the lady in M&S reliable informed me that they are stocked all year round.

Other tips for a return to work heel – a block heel or a wedge shoe

The clothes: So obviously the options of what to wear are endless (which doesn’t help alieviate the panic). Blazer and trousers, skirt, suit, jeans, dress etc. are all acceptable work wear and all come with their own pros and cons. In order to stay focused and kill lots of birds with one stone, I am going to make that decision for you and narrow it down to one recommendation ….the wrap dress.

A good wrap dress (or wrap effect) is a must have in every working moms wardrobe. It is flattering on every single body shape, is dressy enough for any office environment but casual enough to be comfortable and appear that you’re not trying too hard. Plus the biggest bonus of choosing a nice dress is that it is your whole outfit in one and you can avoid all the challenges of trying to match separates and find the right shoes to go with trouser lengths and tops that will cover waistbands etc.

With the right underwear and good tights, a good wrap dress will sit well and give you a lovely shape, it will flatter boobs, disguise bellies and give you a proper waist and overall feminine silhouette. If you are top heavy or carrying a bit of extra weight then you can wear a vest or shirt under the dress or a nice long cardi or blazer over.

The best places to find a good wrap/effect dress are:

1. DVF – Diane Von Ferstenburg pretty much invested the wrap dress and cannot be beaten in terms of fit, quality and lifelong value. Yes, we are talking designer prices here -a DVF dress will set you back about €400. BUT if you are looking to invest in a really good dress that will last you for years and you can rely on for all manner of dressy day time occasions then you literally cannot go wrong here. Sizes are also generous which will make you feel great about yourself. If the pricetag is a bit much for you, fear not, use the website to check out styles and then look for clever replicas on the high street.

DVF dresses are stocked in Brown Thomas and BT2 and can be purchased online from netaporter.com and theoutnet.com (keep an eye out for the sales on the outnet and you may be pleasantly surprised)

http://eu.dvf.com/dresses/wrap-dresses

2. Phase Eight – this is a great brand for exactly the kind of dresses I am talking about, thick jersey, wrap dresses with sleeves and flattering cowl necks. You may not have heard of them because they are a UK brand and are only stocked in Brown Thomas, however they do ship to Ireland so you can buy online too. I can promise you that you will find the perfect return to work dress in Phase Eight and while still on the higher end of the price range (about €100) they have great sales where you can pick up a fab dress for about €50. And the big bonus, nobody else will have it!

I absolutely love this heart print dress, navy is a gorgeous alternative to black and you will sashay back into the office in a pop of colour and fun. Currently on sale at €49!

Phase Eight Dress

Phase Eight Dress

And currently this fab black number is on sale for €46, you CANNOT go wrong here.

blackphaseeight

Phase-eight.co.uk

3. Dunnes Stores – Admittedly, Dunnes tend to have a better selection of wrap style workwear dresses in Winter than in the Summer but they have made it onto my list as I have got some gorgeous dresses for work here over the years, especially from Savida and Gallery. I got a fab wrap effect red dress in Gallery just before Christmas that was only €35 so well worth keeping an eye out in Dunnes when their Autumn/Winter collections arrive.

4. Marks&Spencer – I’m a big fan of M&S dresses if for no other reason than the fact their range is so vast. If time is limited, you can make M&S your only shop, safe in the knowledge that you are guaranteed to leave with something. Their clothes are very good quality but wearable and washable too. I love their autograph and limited edition ranges for some really stylish and “could be designer” numbers but for staple work dresses, M&S really holds it’s own too with secret support dresses, very reasonable basics and lots of comfy day dresses that are pretty and stylish enough for work. This lovely wrap style is on their Irish website for €54.

5. Oasis – I’ll be honest, I don’t actually buy a whole lot of stuff from Oasis, but I would still always rate them when it comes to looking for a nice dress. They always have lovely feminine dresses and their fabrics and prints are always so pretty and nice for work. Think polka dots, heart prints, florals. Oasis is always an option for a flattering wrap style too. I found this little stunner online. It ticks all the boxes, respectable neckline, sleeves and a really flattering knotted waistline. It comes in a gorgeous royal blue or red (two of my favourite colours) and it’s only €37!!!!! Sure you may as well get one of each :)

Oasis dress €37

Oasis dress €37

The accessories

  • If you have to sell your soul to the devil, try to find some time to get a blow dry the day/night before your return to work (Top Tip, try not to go back on a Monday if at all possible!)
  • Failing the above, make some time to wash/dry your hair properly the night before
  • Do your nails or even better, get somebody else to do them for you. A good blow dry and manicure should be part of your back to work treat to yourself.
  • Dig out all your nice jewellery and WEAR IT! Nice ear rings especially and a necklace since your little one(s) will usually be swinging out of them chances are you haven’t worn any jewellery for the last few months
  • Dust off your best big handbag – DKNY and Michael Kors are top of the pile when it comes to quality, classic, large shopper style bags that are perfect for work
  • Don’t forget to put your make up on, even if it is a half arsed job in the car its better than nothing

 The outerwear

  • A classic beige trench coat is perfect for any time between April-September. Zara, Mango and Massimo Dutti always do lovely trenches.
  • October through March – make sure your good black winter coat still fits you, get it dry cleaned to spruce it up and off you go. If you don’t have a good black winter cost then make a beeline for Zara. (Top tip: if your good winter coat is now a year or two older since you’ve last worn it then give it a really quick facelift by it by changing the buttons. Good buttons will make a coat look way more expensive than it is!)

Hopefully the list above has given you a good shopping list and a few tips to prepare you for the big day. Best of luck and big hugs.

Avril

 

 

10 handbag essentials for busy moms

The contents of my handbag

The contents of my handbag

This list applies to all moms that ever leave their house with their children. Please print and stick to the back of your hall door as you see fit.

Smart Phone – yes this is a “don’t leave home without it” piece of equipment that would naturally be on anyone’s list.  However, throw in mommy brain and the herding cats activity that is getting children out of a house and into a car – whilst dragging more luggage behind you than Kim K going on vaycay – and it can be pretty easy for moms to completely overlook the phone that is sitting in the middle of the hall table (just so you wouldn’t forget it!). Our phones now literally control our lives and act as calanders, shopping lists, reminders, address book, mobile bank etc.

I usually leave the house with two iphones, a laptop bag and an ipad and my daily ritual usually involves strapping the kids in, loading up the Kim K luggage pile and then dashing back to the house shrieking “where’s my phone”. There’s a high likelihood that my 9 month old’s first proper sentence will be “where the f**k did I leave my phone?”

Baby wipes – If you do not have a pack of wipes in your handbag or car then please stop reading, drop everything and go out and do it NOW! You will thank me the next time your child decides to puke their ring up on the way to crèche/sneezes all over their new clothes/decides to eat any form of chocolate/walks into dog shite. (all have happened to me, all more than once!) if you are a mom of more than one then it may be easier to keep a big 64 pack of wipes permanently in the glove box of your car. There are smaller packs of wet wipes that are brilliant for handbags for quick clean ups on the go for mom or kids. Don’t forget that baby wipes are also brilliant for cleaning handbags and shoes and wiping puke/yogurt/snot off mommy’s good work jacket or trouser leg.

Roll up shopping bag. I got myself a bargain and snapped up this fab Cath Kidson one in the Kildare outlets for €6, so treat yourself to a pretty roll up shopper if you don’t already possess one. Don’t kid yourself with talk of “sure I have all the Tesco bags in the boot of the car”. Believe me, once I have done a weekly shop I usually find I leave said shopping bags in the porch for the next week or two and then kick myself every time I stop off to grab a few bits. It’s also great for bringing lunches to work, carrying your flats or when you just want to grab a few bits at lunch or on the way home. It’s a really practical must have for the handbag but it’s pretty and stylish too so win win.

Sunglasses – In my opinion you can never have enough sunglasses. I currently have three good pairs, one which I keep in the car at all times (Ralph Lauren)and two other pairs for throwing into the handbag/changing bag when I am out and about at work or weekends. (Ray Ban Aviators and Prada cat eyes) Irish people are still a bit morto about the whole sunglasses wearing thing, as if we’re getting a bit above our station by walking to the shops in our Ray-Bans but believe me, as busy moms we should have the fecking things stitched onto our faces. The benefits are endless, the bigger they are the more of our tired and aging eyes they cover, they are an amazing cover up for early morning crèche/school drop offs when you have no make up on and they always look stylish, even when worn with the old reliable leggings and ballet pumps combo. Plus the overarching massive benefit is that a good pair will actually protect your delicate eye area from the sun and harmful rays that contribute so massively to aging and fine lines caused by squinting. If you need a treat for your next birthday, anniversary, payday why not splash out on a really nice pair of designer glasses – you’ll have them for ages and like shoes, they will always fit you and make you feel good no matter what shape or size you are. Just remember to keep them in your handbag so you have them at all times!

A snack – We are busy. We are moms on the run. We skip meals or eat breakfast in the car. You need some food in the handbag for when the slump hits or you haven’t had a chance to grab lunch yet.. A nature valley granola bar and an apple are my recommendations, both are perfect for a snack for you or the kids, when on the run or for when meals get skipped on the go. Note: Do not put bananas in your handbag – don’t kid yourself, you will invariably forget to eat it and leave it in your bag, they will go black and manky and wet banana mush will leak onto all your things.

A pen – Ah yes the simple, underrated biro. With our all our fancy smart phone apps and reminders, digital devices etc., why is it I always find myself scrambling for a pen to scribble a phone number or appointment time on the back of my hand. Always have a pen in your bag, preferable with a lid so you avoid ink scribbles all over the lining of a good handbag (guilty as charged!)

Tinted moisturiser – I only really discovered tinted moisturiser when I became a mom. I don’t actually wear a lot of make up and really see it as something I have to do for work and something I like to do for a night out but I usually don’t bother wearing any at weekends or in my casual gear. However, I’m well aware that I’m getting older and looking  more mutton and less lamb by the year. While it’s all well and good swanning around Dundrum or Marley park sans make up, I don’t exactly have the dewy complexion of a 21 year old to pull it off. Tinted moisturiser is a great middle ground when you want a bit of coverage but don’t like wearing make up. I tend to lash it on before I walk out the door or even in the car on the way to the crèche, just so I look a bit more human before I get a chance to put my proper make up on. A good tinted moisturiser with SPF will also ensure coverage while out and about at the park or playground, but means you look natural and casual. I’ve tried a few and I really like my MAC studio moisture tint SPF 15.

Mini dry shampoo - I have really dark hair. When dark hair gets greasy it looks like an oil slick. I also have really thick hair. Thick hair is a bitch to wash and dry and can require an entire evening set aside to tackle. Being a busy mom, I sometimes skip this job in favour of a veg evening on the sofa and then panic the next morning when I realise that I really can’t get away with another day of manky hair tied into a topknot. Baliste dry shampoo is my friend. I love it, it is a great emergency product, it smells lovely and makes your manky hair feel just a little bit less manky for one more day. They have a dedicated dark hair version to avoid that grey haired look and the mini cans are perfect for handbags for travel and on the go top ups. If you’re not already in the dry shampoo club, get thee a can of Baliste on your next shopping trip – stocked in Pennys, Boots and most supermarkets and chemists.

Hair grips/bobbins – maybe you’ve already gone for the mom cut by now, maybe you have managed to maintain your long glossy locks (yeah right, see above!!) or maybe you fall somewhere in between. Personally, my hair is only nice down when I have shelled out for a proper wash and blow dry and someone actually styles it for me. For the other 29 days of the month I usually wear my hair up in a bun, or a fancy bun with a donut, or a messy bun with bobbins, or a low bun with bobbins…you get the picture. So even if you have short hair, you will definitely need a clip or bobbin at some stage. And what’s with the baby fluff hair that always seems to grow around my hairline and needs to be pinned and sprayed into place? Keep a selection of grips and bobbins in your bag at all times, especially on a night out. Because let’s face it,  the fancy blow dry only lasts about two hours before you are itching to tie it up. And the bonus is, you can always be that good friend who has a spare bobbin in her bag.

Mini deodorant – Believe it or not, running around like a madwoman can sometimes work up a bit of a sweat. Ok, I’m over sharing here but by the time I make it to my desk I can sometimes feel like my 7am shower is a distant memory. I travel a lot for work to the UK (which requires 5 am starts) and also can be on the go in the car out at meetings etc. and I love the security of having a mini deodorant in my bag for a blast of freshness whenever I need it. Boots are great for all the mini versions of everything so whether you’re a roll on or spray girl, you should be able to find something to throw in the handbag.

So that’s my handbag survival kit. Did I miss anything or anything you would add to the list? Would love to hear your tips or feedback below.