So this is how paranoid I've become about germs this winter- I'm actually leaving Luke's gloves on whenever he want to touch something other kids were playing with in public! (I know, I'm insane...or am I?)
This has been the winter of sickness in our house-- of course, what else can you expect when you have a toddler? My hands are completely showing the result of nonstop hand sanitizer usage and it's not pretty. Why can't I have sanitized hands that don't feel like sandpaper? That's why I was very happy to get a sample of BabyGanics Foaming Hand Sanitizer to review. Sure this pump-on foam sanitizes, but the real test is how my hands feel. I gave it a day of using only BabyGanics between washes and hid my Purell away. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my hands did indeed feel softer than when I use other sanitizers. This is important not just for me, but for my poor toddler who I have to practically hold down to get sanitizer on him. Maybe it was the foamy feeling, but he wasn't as bothered by this formula as others. So the verdict? A winner worth adding to your diaper bag, car, kitchen, desk, changing table..did I miss any place?
Meet Lauren DeCandido, writer of The Mom Report, a must-read mommy blog. You'll laugh out loud at Lauren's musings about motherhood, life with her toddler Serena, and her pregnancy with #2. Lauren is this month's stylish mommy because even with her hectic life, she always finds time to look completely pulled together (and from what I gather, also finds time to pull together completely yummy gourmet meals! Meanwhile, my poor kid and husband are on the chicken nuggets/pasta diet!)

Here's the lowdown on Lauren's style secrets:

SM: Tell me about The Mom Report and how it came about.

LD: My blog is really just about being a working mother and trying to balance the life I knew before I was a mother with the life I know now.  It’s all about trying to fit in all those things that are important to me like family, work, fitness and healthy delicious foods while keeping my life together and achieving some magical sense of harmony.

SM: How would you describe how your style has changed now that you're a busy working at home mom?
LD: I would say my style has collided with my active lifestyle goals. Everyday I throw on a pair of yoga pants and a cotton maternity shirt with some sneakers in the hopes that during one of my little snuggle’s naps I’ll squeeze in some time with Tracy Anderson a la DVD. I feel like if I put the clothes on, the time will be made!

SM: What are your mom/maternity wardrobe must-haves?

LD: Leggings. And some of those wrap-type shirts that could be casual or nice. If I’m looking to fancy it up a bit, I opt for some maternity pants and one of those clingy shirts topped with a bathrobe inspired sweater. Comfort is key. And if I throw a little mascara on, it doesn’t look too shabby at all! 

SM: Now, on to beauty and accessories! Fave diaper bag? Fave skincare?
LD: I just recently ordered a new one from Land’s End that my neighbor recommends and swears is the perfect size for two kids. She’s pretty much right about everything so I’m looking forward to its arrival. Also, I swear by the Aqua Glycolic 3 step system. You can find it on Amazon. It’s great for acne and fine lines. I use this with my Clarisonic and find it’s been great at minimizing lines and breakouts. Aside from that, I love Mac Zoom lash mascara for daytime and Smith’s Minted Rose lip balm.

SM: What mommy-friendly item are you currently lusting after?

LD: Anything from LuLuLemon. Once I have #2 this March I’m looking forward to stocking up on some chic active wear.

SM: Which famous mommy's style do you admire and why?
LD: Gwyneth Paltrow. She’s effortlessly chic and always achieves the perfect balance of comfort and class. Not to mention, she still knows how to sex-it-up for award shows and dates with her hubby Chris Martin.

These are a few of Lauren's favorite things:

Now that the holidays are over and it's one dreary day after the next, Gilt.com's Valentine's Day shop for kids came just in time. Be sure to go over to the site today and check out all the adorable ideas for getting your little one all dolled up for Valentine's Day- what's not to love?
Very excited to also be writing monthly about all things stylish in Fairfield County for the Fairfield County Moms Blog. Check out all the great writers on this site, so many unique voices from moms in the area!
A mommy friend of mine recently asked me a very important question. "Stylish Mommy," she said, "I've been wearing my Uggs every winter for years. I'm sooo over it. What can I wear instead?" I think it's the shoe conundrum a lot of us at- home mommies have. Uggs are so warm, so easy to slip on, and fit so well into a casual lifestyle in the 'burbs that just doesn't call for daily wear of Loubitons. But if your Uggs are making you say "ugh", here are some other ideas:

Alex Ralph is one of those moms who makes you think, "How on Earth does she do it all?" Alex is a mom to toddler Adalyn and baby Eloise, a wife of a busy business student, and a photographer with her own business, Alex Christine. She specializes in adorable newborn shots, families, and weddings. On top of it all, she always looks great!  (I think I'd hate her if she wasn't so darn nice! ;-)

So naturally Alex was a perfect choice for the Stylish Mommy of the Month. I wanted to hear how she manages to stay so together with such a busy life!
  Read on....

If you have someone  (and that can mean yourself, too!) who you would like to submit for this feature, send me a note!

SM: How would you describe how your style has changed now that you're a busy working mom?

AR: Well, I've been either nursing or pregnant since November 2010, so my style has changed A LOT.  My number one change in style is having to find tops that I can nurse in.  You will now always find me in a v-neck or button down shirt.

: What are your mom wardrobe must-haves?

AR: Every mom of young kids needs a few good pairs of back yoga pants.  I actually get mine at Victoria Secret because I'm 5'8 and need their tall lengths.  My next MUST HAVE is a coat that has a hood  [SM: like this one.]  Whether you're pushing a single or a double stroller, there will come a day when you have to get your babies out of the car in the rain.  My umbrella is always covering my babies, so a hood is a must for me. 

SM: What do you use as a diaper bag?
AR: As a photographer, I bring my camera almost anywhere, but even when my camera isn't along for the ride, I have my Kelly Moore 2Sues.  I love all of the compartments that help keep me organized and love that it can all be easily wiped down with a wet cloth.

SM: Describe your beauty routine.

: I use Moroccan Oil when I blow dry and their curl cream when I don't have time to blow-dry.  I could not live without either of those! It's rare that I leave the house without concealer under my eyes, a quick dusting of Bare Minerals foundation, my MAC blush, and a coat of Maybelline Great Lash mascara.

SM: What items do you like to have in your home to keep you feeling calm and create a soothing environment?

AR: Pictures!!!  But seriously, when I'm stressed or frazzled, or fighting with my toddler over dinner, nothing calms me down more than glancing over at one of the pictures I've taken AND printed out and put in a frame in my living room.

What is currently on your wish list?
AR:  A Keurig machine!  I feel like I'm way late to game on this, but my husband just currently quit coffee for tea.  There is no way I'm giving up my coffee, but I hate making a pot just for me.  I also love that we can buy pods for his tea.  So Santa, if you're reading this, that's what I'd like for Christmas. ;)

PictureWhat every busy mom needs: A Keurig....

...and a super stylish big bag.
It's one of my favorite days of the year, the day that my online shopping problem actually becomes a good thing! I've quickly compiled for you some of my favorite deals of the day from my usual roster of favorite sites:

Amazon: up to 60% off clothing, half price on some toys

Asos.com: free shipping and up to 25% off women's clothes and accessories

Carters.com : 50% off entire site

Hautelook: free shipping all day long

Nordstrom.com: various Cyber Monday sales

Old Navy: 30% off entire site

Potterybarnkids.com: free shipping and sales on dolls, ornaments and kitchen toys

Shoes.com: 25$ off entire site

Target: buy one get on 30-50% off toys, clothes and home stuff

Tech stuff, various: check out the deals listed here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/02/best-cyber-monday-deals_n_4371546.html

My favorites, you can tell I use them a lot :-)
When I only have a minute to get ready (which is most days), I have a  makeups musts routine that I turn to. Here are my favorite go-to's that work for a playdate or party. What are your everyday makeup musts?

Step 1
Slather on the BB cream of your choice, which conceals, moisturizes, and perfects fine lines. My top pick:
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream.

Step 2:
Concealer time! I love Bobbi Brown Face Touchup Stick because it can go under eyes, on zits, or on freckles- it's a one stop concealer shop.

Step 3:
Give cheeks a glow with a liquid bronzing/illuminating potion.
I love how this product perks up skin fast: Stila One Step Illuminate.

Step 4:

Use the most volumizing, lengthening mascara you can find to play up eyes with one product. I keep the mascara wand close to the lash line to make it look like you're wearing eyeliner. I recently got a sample of Korres which makes lashes look super plush.

Step 5:

Swipe on a tinted lipbalm that doesn't require looking in the mirror. I love how sheer Burt's Bees is.

As I revamp what was formerly the blog 9 Months of Style into a commentary on my (attempt at a stylish) life as a mom to a toddler, it seems like a perfect chance to share those items that have become staples over the course of the last two years. These are my all time mom must-have picks, from head to toe:
Lancome Waterproof Concealer

Do you know what tired is spelled backwards? MOM. If there's only one thing that you do for yourself this month, buy this concealer. This is the only one that made me look like I was sleeping close to 8 hours when it was really more like half that amount; it blends in without making lines look worse, and best yet- it's waterproof, so when you are crying out of frustration that your kid won't stop crying, at least it won't show!
Gap Legging Jeans

These are seriously my go-to mom jeans. They are stretchy enough for climbing around on your hands and knees with a kid, high-waisted for holding in muffin top, and sexy enough to wear for the rare date night. They make your hips look small and your legs look tall. They should be renamed "Gap Magic Pants". I have them in a stack of washes and patterns, but start with the 1969 pair and build your collection from there. (see about me pic at top- I'm wearing a pair!)
Belli Pure Radiance Sunscreen spf  25

I have been using this fantastic lightly tinted sunscreen since before Toddler was even conceived. I used it all through pregnancy and nursing, and while I could easily switch to a paraben packed concoction now, I keep using it because it never breaks me out, it's moisturizing, it gives me a glow, and it's made without yucky bad-for-your-body ingredients. I've gotten a few friends hooked as well.
Toms Shoes

I may have an obscene amount of Gap legging jeans, but my Tom's collection is a close second. Aren't they just the perfect mom shoes? You can slip them on while holding a kid in on arm and your diaper bag in another. You can wear them to just about any event and with any outfit and look cute. I promise to line up my whole collection for you and take a pic, so I can prove to you that I probably have too many pairs. But how can you say no when they help a kid in need? That's what I tell my husband. :-)  What are your mom must-haves? Let's start the discussion below!
If pictures are worth a thousand words,  then this is why I use Babyganics  The Grime Fighter.  When your toddler   insists on sitting bare bottomed on the kitchen floor, you want to make sure you are using something that really keeps things clean. The Grime Fighter is tough on dirt, but gentle on kids. it leaves no toxic residue behindd for little  behinds, because Babyganics knows what goes in your young child's mouth  (or on their bottoms): is pretty much...everything.