January is all about new beginnings, fresh starts and renewed willpower. Isn't it?
But seriously, folks, if I see "New Year, New You!" slapped across another magazine cover, I'm gaining five pounds, wearing sweat pants for a week and letting my roots fully grow in as an act of personal protest.
Truth be told, though, there are a few "messy spaces" in most of our kid-centered worlds that could use a little tidying-up and a light sprinkling of self-improvement. I'm sharing my picks to get us all geared up for growth in four common areas of our modern mom existence.
This year pare down the mass in your overstuffed closet and save your loot for a few meaningful pieces you'll wear over and over.
One of my favorite sites for jaw-dropping deals on high-fashion designer duds is Gilt.com. With weekly sale updates sent straight to your in-box and prices slashed up to 80 percent, you can now own a pair of Christian Louboutin pumps, a Vera Wang dress or some sweet new duds for you fashion-challenged man. Yes, you can.
Here are a couple of goodies to add a bit more va-va to your voom. Birds do it, bees do it, stop blushing already and just do it.
The Luxury Theodora sequin corset from O Lingerie. The perfect solution for post-baby bodies. You gotta love any lingerie that provides a padded front panel that smooths the tummy. figleaves.com, $57.75
Hanky Panky thong. This is the most comfortable thong alive. If you think you aren't a thong person, these will convert you. Scout's honor. And it's the only one you'd want to wear when you're preggers, too! Barenecessities.com, $21.99
These products help me pretend that planning and cooking healthy dinners each night and then doing the elaborate song and dance to get my kids actually to eat them is somehow fun.
Hip Hostess aprons. These fun and quirky aprons will take you back to the 1950s when TV dinners were applauded and kids knew how to mix a martini for their dads. They come in café, sheath and demi styles with lots of fun designs and are created by a mother-daughter team. hiphostess.com, $24-$32
Gloveables. Doing the dishes just got a whole lot more glam. I simply adore Gloveables. They're fun and chic and make scrubbing anything look cute. Gloveables come in a huge array of styles, all very girly. gloveablesinc.com, $15.49
While I think the sport of boxing is barbaric, I love putting on a pair of boxing gloves and beating the tar out of a stuffed bag. It just feels good. And it's your road to Kelly Ripa arms.
The Everlast 6-piece boxing glove and bag set is an excellent way to de-stress and show your kids what they're up against if they break curfew. Amazon.com, $43.99
Under Armour Women's UA Tech Shortsleeve T's are my new favorite workout shirt. The colors rock, they're longer at the bottom for maximum coverage, and they keep the stink and sweat away. Find yours at a favorite sporting goods store or underarmour.com, $19.99
Meredith Sinclair is a freelance writer and blogger living with three quirky guys on Chicago's North Shore.
See more of Meredith's stories here.