I’m not sure what came over me, but shortly after our visit I went on an online shopping spree. In part, I had been on hold for a few months waiting to see what attire I’d need for my new job and if I could forgo buying more suit coats and sensible black heels.

Online shopping — for the household and for myself — is one of the few ways I keep my sanity. I hate the malls in Los Angeles and I almost never go, thrifting here is a mixed bag but it’s time consuming of hours I don’t have at the moment. So, that leaves the beautiful internet. Nearly every gift I’ve purchased in the last five years has been from Etsy or Amazon. And not that I’d ever be one to order a shipment diapers during a conference call (only because I’m on automatic shipments at this point)…but there’s always that option in a pinch.

photo-9I actually fell for a Facebook ad, which is maybe the first time in the decade I’ve been on it, for a company called Thread Up. It’s an online consignment shop and the clothing is in fabulous condition. I had browsed about and had all but forgotten it when I got a coupon for 40% off my first order. An hour and $80 later, I walked away with two dresses — a classic black cocktail dress from Ann Taylor and a trendier leopard print tunic dress with pockets from J. Crew. I got two skirts, a black maxi from H &M and a navy and white polka dot pencil skirt. (My staff at my last job used to tease me about how many pencil skirts and embellished tank tops I own but when it works it works) and two dress tops for under blazers or just with jeans for a night out. I threw in a scarf for good measure. The terrible picture to the right is a J. Crew ruffled ivory tank that will be nice for work events.

Next to immediately after hitting purchase I had buyers remorse but I figured I could always return it. I have to say I love it all. You’d never know the stuff was second-hand. And, it came in adorable packaging with a lovely brochure reminding me how environmentally friendly I am. What could be better than that? Here’s a referral link for anyone interested that will give you $20 toward your purchase (and in the interest of full disclosure, I get it too).

Meanwhile, I’ve been crushing on this LA-based shopping service Golden Tote ever since I read about it on BowerPower nearly a year ago. For a flat fee, you pick one or two items that you like and a stylist surprises you with the rest. Plus it all comes in an adorable tote bag. I figured this was a great deal especially if you had to have the items you selected, but, it just never worked out that they had something I had really wanted. Until this month. They had two dresses that I had to have. My fix came with another 2 dresses and two tops. I added on a pair of lace up ballet flats that I’m sure I’m going to live in. I actually gasped when I saw the items the stylist picked out for me. I love them all and they’re really good options for work or for running around with Luke.

As timing would have it, the week before Golden Tote had released the dresses I loved, I had ordered a Stitch Fix to be delivered as well. Stitch Fix pairs you with a stylist for a $20 fee. The stylist sends you five items based on your style profile. If you keep something, the $20 gets applied to your fix. I’ve gotten 5 fixes so far and always found at least one thing I had to have. Unfortunately, this time I had a new stylist and the one piece I loved looked like a wetsuit when I put it on it was so tight. Sometimes with online shopping you have to face the music, it was a dud. Its a good thing I’m sure because I want to actually wear and enjoy my new purchases, but before too long I’m sure I’ll be scheduling another fix.

photo 3One of the things that challenges me most as a career mom is keeping up my hair, wardrobe, makeup, figure. I truly believe people judge your work based on your appearance and I know it’s important to dress the part. I’ve worked in places where your clothes were what made people take you seriously and being fashion forward gave you a seat at the table for important business decisions. It goes against my nature as a jeans and white t-shirt girl, but shopping services like these make it fun and allow me to spend what free time I have on the floor playing MegaBlocks and coloring pictures with my little man.