FAB mama


Kate Pancero


It’s all in the bag

One of the most important items in any woman’s life is her baby bag. But what makes a good baby bag? The Wee Generation project, an interactive community, is looking to create an environmentally friendly, fashion-forward bag for parents. Participate in the design process if you feel you have the answer or share baby bag horror stories online at www.weegeneration.com. The bag will be released in 2008 and can be pre-ordered.



What a sweetheart

"I am the mother of six. My husband, William, and I run a small company from home. I am 43 years old and am going completely out of my cotton pickin’ mind. I have lost all sanity. So my darling husband sent my mother and I on a vacation without a single child. We went to Nashville for three wonderful nights at the end of August. Pray for me."

Gina Hunter, Elmwood Park



Talk Back

Every woman has that one thing she can’t do without. For me, it’s my very favorite, fit-half-my-life-in, brown leather Big Buddha bag. What accessory can’t you leave home without? Share your must-haves in 30 words or less. E-mail kpancero@chicagoparent.com.


Bring sexy back


If the idea of crunches, pull-ups and running for miles on a treadmill isn’t for you, try flirting your way into fitness. With classes named "Booty Beat," "Hottie Body Boxing," "Hula-Hoop’lah" and "Pole Dancing," getting down and sultry at Flirty Girl Fitness sounds so much naughtier than your regular gym class.

Located in the West Loop, 1325 W. Randolph St., Chicago, Flirty Girl Fitness is bringing sexy back into many Chicago women’s lives since its opening this past June, with no boys allowed.

"This is a workout that everyday, average people can do," says Heather Williams, one of the gym’s owners and mom of three. "I completely understand what it’s like to be home with your children all day long, you tend to lose yourself … it’s your ‘me’ time, everyone needs that."

Flirty Girl Fitness is best known for its pole dancing classes, which work core muscles. This flirty girl tested the class and I must say, you’ll feel it the next day (or two in my case). The best part—you don’t really realize you’re working out because it’s just so much fun. If learning to perfect your "fireman’s spin" and "falling angel" on the pole doesn’t really appeal to you, there are plenty of classes to choose from.

"It’s for younger and older mothers," says Melissa Gonzalez, a 30-something mom from Avondale who has found the Sexy Strip class to be a welcomed spicy addition to her marriage. "When you’re a mom, it’s like you’re constantly on the go … you kind of lose your sexuality and a sense of who you used to be."

If going to the gym still doesn’t sound appealing, the Toronto-based gym offers at-home workout DVDs and the "Elite Edition" comes with an adjustable fitness pole you can set up in your home. The DVD packages run from $39.90 to $199.80 and are available online.

There are gym packages for every budget, starting from $25 for drop-in classes to $300 for 20 classes. A yearly membership is $110 a month. For more information, visit www.flirtygirlfitness.com or call (312) 666-2266.

Mommies gone crazy

Sometimes mommies get out of hand, their children get the best of them and everyone goes crazy. The Three-Martini Family Vacation: A Field Guide to Intrepid Parenting by Christie Mellor gives one mom’s account of mommies gone crazy.

Mellor makes family faux-pas into comical, albeit honest, accounts of what she has seen other families do. This includes baby talk to your 6-year-old, family vacations and over-priced room décor.

For a fun mama-humored quick read, this book is for you. $12.99, www.chroniclebooks.com.

Kids Eat Chicago

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