Working at home provides as many challenges as it does comforts, even more when you’re a mother. Balancing a need to get work done without too much fuss but also needing to get your kids to school without looking like a hot mess is a conundrum pretty unique to WAHMs.
You’re going to be at your computer, on conference calls, meeting with clients, and chasing toddlers – what single outfit covers all those bases? Sure, a pencil skirt and a button-down blouse might work for a woman crushing her 9-5, but as a work at home mom, you need versatility. You need comfort, but also style.
Work at Home Mom Wardrobe Ideas
What you need is a wardrobe that fits your personality and unique set of circumstances. Let’s look at some essentials to make sure that every event, meeting and tea time has you looking and feeling your best.
Boss chick chic
Even if you don’t go to an office to meet people, you’re likely on client calls and doing some face-to-face. While working at home gives you the opportunity to be comfortable, you want to look professional and put-together. Plus, there’s something about getting dressed up, doing makeup and assembling a look that is intentional. It really can impact how you work and how effective you feel!
Pieces to consider are wrap dresses, which you can get with relative ease at most clothing retailers. Paired with a cardigan, they’re effortless and they look incredible. Plus they’re exceptionally comfortable.
Button-down blouses and flannels are another solid choice when you want to present yourself as not-quite casual. They’re exceptionally cute with jeans or leggings and in a pinch are simple to swap out if a baby throws up on you or you spill your coffee, both very real hazards when you’re a WAHM.
Make sure your wardrobe has room for a pencil skirt or two. With the right pair of heels, these will make you feel like boss-mom queen of New York, and you’ll command attention in any room you saunter into.
Of course, not every day will have you meeting with clients and jetting across town for business lattes. Most days are just plugging away at your desk, writing copy, running numbers or cleaning up websites.
For these days, you want to embrace the fact that you work from home. No, I don’t necessarily mean work with no pants (though of course that’s your choice and I don’t judge!) What I mean is there are so many options for comfortable clothes that a WAHM can put together.
Leggings are the new jeans, going well with any outfit and for most occasions. The best part of a good pair of leggings is the fact that you can be sporty or just extremely not into pants that day and nobody will know the difference!
Jeans are a must-have for any wardrobe. Simultaneously casual and dressy if need-be, these staples don’t need to be expensive to have a big impact.
Cardigans are great because they up the fashion factor of almost anything they’re paired with and they’re ultra comfortable. Especially in the winter, you can’t go wrong upping your wow-factor with what is essentially a reverse-blanket.
Comfort is key
If you are really snuggled in for a day of focused work, then why worry about dressing up? We all have days we just want to get comfortable and attack our workload with a cup of coffee and some muffins, so dress accordingly!
Hoodies are the best piece of clothing on the planet by far. Just pull one over your t-shirt and you can do anything; pick up your kids, go to work out, stare daggers at the kids who park their cars too close to your driveway (that might just be me). The point is that they’re incredibly comfy, warm and versatile.
Thigh-high socks are the perfect footwear choice when you’re looking to cover a bit more skin than with a pair of knee highs, but don’t want to wear full tights. Cute enough to go out in but comfy enough to stay warm while you solve client crisis after client crisis, thigh-highs are a must-have. Whether you decide to have a bit of fun (foxy fun, that is!) or a simple black, long thigh-high socks are a fantastic complement to any outfit.
Layering tank tops and simple v-necks are comfortable on their own, and they’re pretty essential to build an outfit. If you’re not going anyway, toss on a tank and a hoodie and get to work!
Can’t forget shoes!
I love Chucks. They’re great because you can put them with a date night outfit or just wear them literally anywhere casually.
A good pair of tennis shoes are great in a pinch and pair well with leggings to provide the illusion that you are, in fact, quite sporty. And if you ARE sporty, then they’re actually practical, too!
Mules are nice because you can slip them on to run errands but they’re so trendy and cute that they’re not un-professional, either.
What are your wardrobe staples when tackling home and business life?
As a child, I always remember my grandmother getting Christmas cards, usually starting the first week of December. She’d place them all over the huge bay window along with her decorations and I’d marvel at them as they accumulated. My other grandmother had her piano absolutely covered in them from December 1st through January.
Now I consider how many cards we’ve gotten in the last few years – maybe one or two per season? It’s a tradition that is more often than not going out of style, and that’s very unfortunate. The feeling of going to your mail and in the midst of all the ads and bills finding a colorful card with warm greetings is impossible to replicate with email or Facebook posts.
Keeping the Christmas Card Tradition Alive
If you’ve got fond memories of Christmas cards or the concept simply sounds interesting, keep reading. We’ve got some great tips for dipping your toe into the holiday card experience or upping your Christmas card game if you’re a seasoned pro.
Recruit your kids
Nothing resonates with the holidays more than the love and wonder of children. Getting a holiday card with a message of season’s greetings from a child is the height of holiday cheer.
This is also a good exercise in writing for your younger children. Have them write their own well-wishes and draw a picture. If they’re not great at drawing or they prefer coloring, a quick Pinterest search will pull up thousands of card templates for them to color and customize. This is also a good time of year to get their most recent school photos out to friends and family they don’t see often.
And if you don’t have human children, you can always make some cat Christmas cards. Meowy Christmas! (that pun’s free)
Try your hand at a new hobby
Personal card making is a creative, fun hobby with a practical purpose. Many hobby outlets sell cutting dies, card stock, stamps and other decorative accessories.
Especially around this time of year you can find plenty of starter sets for card making. If you poke around on Facebook or Pinterest, I guarantee you have at least one friend who does it that could help teach you.
The key isn’t getting wrapped up (har har) in making the perfect card. Rather, you should focus on the zen of creative pursuit that allows you to express yourself while engaging in a cherished holiday tradition.
Even if your cards look a hot mess, your friends will be stoked to get them.
Utterly wow your friends and family
If you’re ready to dive headlong into the next level of holiday Christmas cards, you can enlist the help of a professional. Basic Invite is revolutionizing the holiday card and invitation process with layers up layers of customization. With over 180 colors to choose from and nearly unlimited combinations of those colors, you have complete creative control over your card making. They’ll even print you a sample of your card before you commit to buy, letting you see exactly what you’re getting.
You can even customize the color of the envelopes your cards get mailed in! They’ve got stock photos and illustrations, but of course you can add photos of your family, decorations or a really cool cloud if it tickles your fancy. There’s even an option to apply a foil layer to the cards in gold, silver and rose gold, which after a childhood of collecting Pokemon cards, carries a certain appeal.
Whether you’re looking to invoke the ancient tradition of holiday cards or you’re mulling around Christmas party invitation ideas, Basic Invite is a great place to get it all together. Their intuitive address capture tool allows you to post on Facebook, Twitter, etc asking for your friends and family to provide their addresses for correspondence. Basic Invite will store this information and allow you to autofill it when you go to create cards, printing it on the envelopes for you. All you have to do is get them to the post office!
You can check out the full range of services that Basic Invite offers. If you decide you want to totally rock the holiday card tradition this year, use promo code 15FF51 to save 15% off your order.
Indulge in a classic tradition
No matter how you engage in the holiday card exchange, it’s a fantastic tradition to pass on to younger generations. It’s also a great way to brighten someone’s day, especially older family and friends for whom holiday cards were a fact of life.
Whether you make them yourself, enlist the help of your kids or you go through a professional card maker like Basic Invite, Christmas cards are a tradition worth keeping.
Kitchen cures for colds and the like are a dime a dozen, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work! With sickness season upon us and will soon ramp up into the absolute worst that tiny microbes can throw at us. If you have kids in school – literally any school, even home-school somehow – they’re going to turn into walking, talking petri dishes. You can load them up on medicine, give them three scarves and an overcoat, but they’re going to be sneezing regardless.
If you’re like me, you love science – I think medicine, vaccines, and pizza bagels are all wonderful advances for humankind. Sometimes, however, you might not want to give your kids (or self) 3 different medicines, all filled with items you can’t pronounce. Luckily there are some simple-to-use, cheap and easy home remedies that absolutely work to fight off colds and other nasties.
Some of these you will buy at the store, some you’ll make yourself, but all of them are things I personally do and I very, very rarely get sick. Even when my kids are little germ tornadoes, I weather the storm with these witchy kitchen hacks, and you can, too!
Kitchen Cures for Colds
When I know I’m going to get sick, I feel it at the back of my throat. It starts not as a sore throat but as a tickle, usually, maybe scratchiness, but I still know. That’s when I start taking raw, whole garlic.
Garlic has anti-microbial properties, but it’s especially good for when you’re getting sick in the sinuses. For most people, eating a whole clove at once might be…difficult. Dicing it up, however, makes it easier to take, and has the bonus of being incredibly spicy, which often clears out sinuses.
For colds or influenza, I will mix 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic with a tablespoon of raw honey and take that. It helps with sore throats, coughing, and it shortens the duration of my colds. If I get ahead of getting sick by taking this mixture, I can often completely avoid a full-blown cold entirely.
Kombucha is another thing I’ll start chugging at the first sign of a cold. The probiotics in kombucha bolster the gut microbiome, which in turn makes your immune system more robust. Opt for kombucha with less sugar, however – sugar itself can damage your gut biome and we want to avoid that.
Chicken soup is good for more than a light meal when you feel bad. Actual scientific research shows that hot drinks like soup or tea help thin out mucus, which makes it less gummy in your lungs and easier to get rid of. Chicken soup in particular (when made with bone broth) has anti-inflammatory effects which can reduce nasal swelling, helping you breathe. The collagen in chicken bone broth also boosts the health of your gut lining, which again makes your immune system stronger.
Get a whole chicken from the store and toss it in the crock pot on high for 3-4 hours with some veggies. Strip the meat off the bones and use it in whatever you’d like – we’re here for the skeleton (I told you this was witchy). Drop the crock to low, add 6 cups of water, some salt, 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and let it cook for about 10 hours. This will draw out the collagen and give you a lovely bone broth. Just make sure you strain it before enjoying this kitchen cure.
Spice Kitchen Cures
Ginger is great for soothing a sore throat and it can suppress a cough as well. You take a few thin slices of fresh ginger and steep it like tea in hot water, adding actual tea bags if you like. The spicy ginger is soothing on your sore throat, and if you add some honey it can be a one-two punch against coughs. It definitely my go-to kitchen cure.
Echinacea root, taken as a tea (around 1-2 grams) a few times a day can help prevent the cold from getting a hold in your body. This is best done when I see my kids or husband’s eyes get that glassy, “I’m getting a cold” look. It’s like those over-the-counter cold preventatives but this actually works.
Turmeric mixed into your morning coffee – about a 1.5 tsps – has a potent anti-inflammatory effect. If coffee isn’t your thing, try turmeric tea instead, which you can make the same way as turmeric coffee with black tea bags, or you can buy turmeric tea bags already pre-made.
Especially in fall as mold grows in the damp weather and fields are harvested, allergies are rampant. If not treated, allergies quickly turn into upper respiratory infections and we don’t want that.
Honey has been proven to be as useful if not better than dextromethorphan (cough syrup) at treating, well, coughs. This study showed that 2.5ml of honey at bed time was better at suppressing coughs than over-the-counter cough syrups, and that’s great because cough syrup has a taste that is staggeringly awful. Do remember that you cannot give honey to kids under 1 year old, due to the chances of botulism spores being present.
Black licorice – whether you love it or hate it – can be a powerful medicine. Now, it’s not the candy that people who don’t love you give you as a treat – this is flavored with anise and has no medicinal properties. You want actual licorice root which contains glycyrrhizin, which reduces inflammation in the lungs. With all that said, you should avoid the root in excess of 1 gram a day (you can make a tea with it), as it really is potent and can cause problems in high doses. Best to stick with a lozenge that has licorice root as an active ingredient and stick strictly to the usage limits.
Eucalyptus oil and vaporubs are the smell we might have grown up with, but for a very good reason. These vaporubs can improve cold symptoms in just a few hours of application, opening airways, fighting inflammation and improving coughs. While I like essential oils, I don’t rely on them to fix my family’s sickness BUT eucalyptus oil in a humidifier is great when your family is coughing their lungs out at nighttime.
Nobody wants this but it’s there so let’s talk about it. Woof.
Ginger again, steeped in hot water with peppermint tea will do wonders for nausea. We often break up peppermints into hot water with a slice of ginger and give it to our kids, as sucking on a peppermint is great for tummy troubles but the choking risk of hard candy is a no-no.
While not a remedy exactly, if you’re nauseated, closing your fist around your thumb can suppress the urge to vomit. Massaging point where your thumb is anchored to your hand is another way to ease nausea.
Don’t believe me? Try closing your fist around your thumb (same hand, basically make a fist with your thumb tucked inside) and then test your gag reflex; pretty wild, eh?
Mint is an herb we grow quite a lot of around our house, especially since it’s perfect for gardening on a budget. Since it’s somewhat invasive, make sure you tend to it regularly or it will take over whatever bed it’s growing in. That said, a tea made with 4-5 bruised mint leaves helps reduce nausea and stomach pain when you’ve got gastroenteritis or food poisoning.
Chamomile is another herb we love, as it’s similar to turmeric with its anti-inflammatory benefits. If you don’t grow chamomile, you can buy dried flowers online (or if you have a holistic/health food store nearby, you can probably get them there). Steep 3 dried flowers in hot water for about 10 minutes and then add some honey. This mixture is good for cramping, diarrhea and nausea.
Home remedies for colds are legit
Again, I don’t want to suggest you be afraid of science, but there are traditional medicines that have real, absolute uses in the 21st century. Sometimes letting a fever run its course is better than taking ibuprofen unless it’s keeping you from sleeping. Inflammation is the cause of a lot of the nastiness with almost all illness, and dealing with that using medicine can sometimes hurt just as much as it helps.
For instance, if you’re dealing with stomach pain and cramps, taking aspirin or ibuprofen might make the pain much worse. Soothing herbal teas have scientific validity and real-world applications. Plus, you can grow the necessary herbs yourself!
Do you have any kitchen hacks for colds that you think are worth sharing?
We’d love to read about them in the comments – building up a repertoire of useful home remedies for sickness is essential for any kitchen witch (and even non-witchy moms or dads)!
I’m a big fan of Alton Brown and his idea on single-use items; there are a lot of really odd, single-use kitchen gadgets out there that might seem cool at first but will honestly just take up space and you’ll end up selling them at a garage sale and all you’ll have is .50 cents and a small pile of regret.
Most carpet deodorizers you buy from the store are this formula listed below (with potentially a few extra, not so-healthy, ingredients). But guess what? Those store bought ones are going to cost you 10x as much and there’s no guarantee you’ll even like the scent you’re left with!!
Saving time during the holiday season doesn’t always seem to be a priority for some – it’s a lot of “rush rush rush” and “oooh I can’t wait for (this day)!!”
What we need to remember, though, is that saving time during the holiday season is of the utmost importance, as our hours should be spent relaxing with family, not sweating in a kitchen or stressing over entertaining house guests.