Routine Sweet Routine

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Coming back to the routine can be tough after an exciting and eventful vacation but I’ve learned through the years to appreciate returning to the order and predictability of my routine and particularly now that I have two kids, the routine’s structure makes it easier to manage them (as they inevitably get spoiled and lose good habits due to gifts and treats here and there by friends and relatives… one of my main concern was their eating and sleeping schedule which was, despite my best efforts, a bit chaotic during the vacation as I could not control relatives insisting to spend more time with them or giving them this or that treat!) The transition back though is inevitably though as you have to deal with the unpacking, cleaning and the very early morning run to the grocery store to get your daughter breakfast before her first day of school and then convincing her that she has to now go back to school! Ultimately however there’s a time when you feel that the wheels are in motion again, and precisely then you should look for a calm moment and take a small celebratory / reflective tea break! In any event I think that small daily rituals like a tea break make a hectic routine much more bearable so make sure to carve out some time for yourself on any day!

The Anglesea Arms

morning walk chelsea

There’s a pub in my neighborhood called The Anglesea Arms, as soon as there’s a shred of sunlight, its terrace gets flooded with drink and sun-seekers… the mood in it is often contagious and the crowds overflow to the streets. One way or the other I end up passing by this place on weekend afternoons with my family and just as my eldest is throwing some sort of fit and my baby daughter is demanding to be held…My husband and I inevitably look at the crowds, then each other and grimace a nervous resigned smile and keep on strolling our two kids away into a non-pub / kids friendly environment. I’m sure many mommies out there have that place in their neighborhood, which just like The Anglesea Arms, is the constant reminder of how much their lives have changed since they used to hang out carelessly sipping a drink with friends at a bar terrace on a weekend morning. These days my weekend ritual starts, not much later after the last Anglesea Arms enthusiasts are forced to go home, inaugurated by my morning alarm / aka my 3 year-old daughter shouting in my ear: “maman j’ai faim! / mommy i’m hungry!” (an earlier stint occurs as well sometimes, while Anglesea Arms revelers are probably counting down their shots, by my daughter shouting “maman, pipi!”)… So she’s got my attention, I remove all the bed linens and open the garden door to let in the freezing air to force my husband out of bed to help. I head to the kitchen to prepare my toddler’s breakfast and then head back to the bedroom to find that my husband has still managed to stay asleep and before I get a chance to say a word, inevitably, baby # 2 starts crying and I have to go breastfeed her. It’s at that time that my husband usually wakes up and passes by the nursery to ask me what we’re going to do today and it’s usually at that point that my baby # 2 burps all over me and that my daughter starts shouting from the kitchen that she wants more Cheerios…

Despite the increasingly grey and wet weather in London these days, I refuse however to be imprisoned at home over the weekends caught in attending to one then the other or acrobatically attending to both and generally find that it’s easier to distract the kids outside the house so I endeavor to make my best to head out of the house as soon as possible. There’s of course a lot to get done for that to happen: showers x 4, getting dressed x 4, etc… Slowly but surely however we do head out (I’m glad to report that we hit a 10am record yesterday!) + 2 strollers and having gone through our 100 items checklist of things we need to have done or need with us on the go… On our way, we often pass by The Anglesea Arms again, which by then is of course empty and my husband and I stare at the place, our well-groomed and calm kids, then stare at each other, take a deep breath of fresh air and unreservedly smile and keep on strolling into our new parent identities…

LoOse Yourself!

Hanging out in the Victoria and Albert Museum I was reminded of the creative ways 18th Century fashionistas showcased their silhouettes while adding sophistication and story to their looks. While tight body outfits definitely have their place in a woman’s wardrobe, playing with loose effects (in the right proportions of course!), can throw in a unique edge and flow to your look and when contrasted with tight closing in the rest of the outfit can still highlight the hard work you’ve put into your silhouette. So don’t be afraid to mix it up and if you’re in London and want to try on the effect, head to the Victoria and Albert Museum where you can try on a wide petticoat… Now of course, you won’t be streetstyling the 18th Century look (although it would be priceless to see someone try that in a crowded city! Weddings however are fair game… done that! 😉 ) but what you can definitely do is loosen your streestyle looks with wide-leg trousers or harem pants…

Right: Adjusting dress volume to nowadays city life where living spaces are shrinking compared to Left: Mantua and petticoat illustrating the grandest style of court dress in the 1740’s and 1750’s in England. This mantua is a display of decoration in Rococo embroidery along with patterned silks and printed textiles. The dress can be seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

My favorite on the run, comfy and passe-partout outfits

With or Without the Diaper Bag?

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Not that I always have the choice! #embraceyourdiaperbag

Quick Style Tip: Try to balance functionality with a neutral / soft colored or minimally patterned diaper bag, flexible enough to fit with more than one outfit! I know it’s hard to think of your diaper bag as another fashion accessory but if it’s going along for the streetstyle ride, it might as well fit in!