Saturday, June 27, 2009

The No-frump Zone

We took a family trip last week to So Cal, stopping along the way in Carpinteria (near Santa Barbara), where my in-laws have a beach condo. While we were there, we hit up the Santa Barbara zoo. Being that there are always lots and lots of moms at these types of places, of course I kept my iPhone ready and waiting. And waiting. And....

Seriously, what is in the water in Santa Barbara? Not only did I see almost no frump whatsoever, these moms were all impossibly skinny, annoyingly youthful looking, and impeccably dressed. I was both inspired and intimidated. Take a look at what I encountered just while waiting in line to get in.

These were three moms who had at least six kids between them. Look at the cute jeans! Look at the footwear! Look at the lack of asses! They were effortlessly casual and comfortable. And lest you think these were the young, cute nannies, nope. I heard the kids calling them mom. Damn.

Now I'm inside the zoo, at the otter exhibit. My train of thought goes like this: "Wow, these otters are cute. Ok, they're cute but they stink. Holy crap, is that a professional blow-out? With THREE KIDS?"

Later, we're the zoo's playground area when I spot this get-up.

It may be hard to see, but suffice to say this outfit was on the level of what I'd wear out to a nice dinner. That is, if I had nice clothes and went out to nice dinners.

Like Columbus accidentally discovering America, I stumbled upon a territory barren of frump. I looked for it, I really, really did. Hats off to you, Santa Barbara moms. I alternately hate you and want to be just like you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This one's for Kerry #2

My friend Kerry is on the verge of flying to Africa to welcome a little baby from Ethiopia into her family (you can see her blog in the FABlogs section). So amazing. And the girl wants to do it in style! She asked me in the comments of my last post for diaper bag recos, and, since I just went through this myself, I am more than happy to oblige. (Plus, really, what kind of critic am I to make unflattering comments and not provide any suggestions for alternatives? Shame on me.) On my recent and exhaustive search for a new diaper bag (because my dog chewed a hole in my last one), here's where I netted out. Click on the name to link.


This is what I ended up with. I got the Emily Pewter bag and I love it. Turns out I even have sandals that match it, but that's just an accidental bonus. It's very functional but it doesn't scream "I'm filled with butt balm and barf cloths". The pewter one may be a bit much for the dads of the family when forced to carry it, because of course they will be, but there are a lot of less flashy colors. My husband has given up all hope of manhood while toting a diaper bag long ago, so I'm golden.

Skip Hop

This is what I used to have and it was great, too. I had the Dash bag, which was nice and compact -- though maybe too small for two kids. (It's shocking how much cubic feet I need these days for all the crap -- and I mean that literally and figuratively.) I love a messenger-style diaper bag because they are so easy to wear when you're dealing with your kids. I feel like shoulder bags would be forever sliding off my shoulders, and I have neither the patience nor the energy for strap maintenance these days. The backpack is kind of cool too, a little too Sporty Spice for me, but if you're a sporty mom, then there you go.

Oi Oi

I almost bought the Oi Oi giraffe print bag but changed my mind at the last minute. There are tons of cute ones from this brand... I pretty much die for the yellow leather bag, but $330 is a bit much for me to drop on a bag that's bound to carry around poop at some point.

Storksak and Oi Oi are both sold at BabyGap, and Nordy's carries Storksak and Skip Hop if you want to see them in person.

Good luck Kerry, and here's to carrying our diapers/bottles/toys/balm/sunscreen/poop in style!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Technicolor Frump

Lightning strike me, but one of the things I love about taking my kids on fun kid-related outings is that there is ALWAYS good frump for me to witness. Their boundless joy is of course the first and foremost benefit, but I'd be lying if I said that the potential for frump wasn't the nutritionally-vacant cherry on top.

Shall we? (God, I love my iPhone.)

Ok, I'm not suggesting designer labels for diaper bags (though I've seen it done and done WELL... yes Amy, I'm talking about you and your Gucci "diaper bag") but allow me this— If your diaper bag has a logo on it, please don't let it be Eddie Bauer. Fine for dog beds. Money for fishing and camping gear. Great for dads. FRUMPY FOR MOMS.

Apparently, this is a family of people with no waists. Not sure if you can see this in the picture, but this woman and her two sons (only one is visible) were all wearing jackets tied very tightly around their nipple regions. That was a new one for me. Add to that, on mom, a pale yellow turtleneck (I could just stop at "turtleneck"), crazily mismatched sweats and a fanny pack worn in front (crotch pack?), and you've got what I call Family Frump Ties.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Last Frump Sighting Without Visual Proof

I saw a good one in Starbucks the other day, frumpfighters. (Why is Starbucks such fertile frump territory?) The outfit was the usual -- unflattering sweats topped with an unflattering baggy t-shirt topped with an unflattering hairstyle -- nothing new there. But what especially drew my attention was this mom's shiny bubble-gum-pink purse. At first, I assumed it was a Barbie-related item of her daughter's. But wait... she had a son. Hmmmm. Upon closer inspection, I notice that there is a Charlie's Angel-type cartoon on it of a woman who looked like Lisa Rinna holding a strange shape. What is that thing? Maybe I should read the type on the purse to help me solve this great mystery. Ok, let's see... "Passion Parties. The Ultimate Girl's Night In." Huh. I wonder what.....

Then it dawned on me. Passion Parties. Sex toys. This frumpy mom is a sex toy consultant!!! And she's advertising it on her shiny bubble-gum-pink purse that's accessorizing her frumptastic outfit! (Oh NOW I know what that strange shape was...) My head was spinning. And honestly, though I was still horrified by her frump and her icky plasticky pink purse (not to mention her brazen wearing of such item while out in public with her small son, who hopefully can't read), I felt like saying, "Right on, sister!" Because really, who among us has the time or inclination for sex toys these days?

I wish I had photographic proof for this one. But here's the good news.... I will have it for ALL FUTURE FRUMPSIGHTINGS! For lo and behold, I have purchased myself an iPhone. I think I feel about my iPhone the way my husband feels about our minivan. It is magic. It is beautiful. It can do no wrong. And, it takes great pictures that I can post here. That's WAY better than a sex toy. (Though I'm sure there's an app for that.)