Back to school is here and with that comes those hectic school mornings! You know the drill: get everyone ready, breakfast served, lunches packed and everyone out the door on time. Bonus points if you are half presentable. Double bonus points if you rolled out of bed early enough to exercise before the kids wake up. The morning usually sets the tone for the day and those chaotic mornings can leave you feeling deflated. It is important that we take care of yourselves as well during the school year. Here are six fashion and fitness tips to help out the busy Mom- even when a school morning is nothing but mayhem!

_DSC5515Plan It Out
On Sundays while putting away laundry pick out what you want to wear for the week. Grab a few pieces that you want to wear, like a favorite top or dress. If time allows, pick out a few complete outfits (or all!) for the week. Designate a small area in your closet to set aside the clothes you have selected. A small rack hook or clothes organizer work perfect for this task! If you are feeling really ambitious, do the same for your kids’ outfits. Spending a few minutes at the end of the weekend to pick outfits for the week saves crucial time on school mornings!

Pencil You In
With the kids back in school there will be homework, after-school activities, school functions, sport events, fundraisers, and everything else that happens when school is not in session. Life is busier more than ever! Of course your kids are a priority, but making sure your health should be one too. Consider the time you set aside for your exercise as a really important meeting that you cannot afford to miss! In some ways this is absolutely true. Take a look at your schedule, a find a time that works best for your day and physically pencil in your fitness plans. Maybe it is while your son is at soccer practice or maybe it is first thing in the morning. Display the time slot on a calendar the whole family can see and/or have it on your phone with pop-up event reminder. Schedule that Me-eting and make sure you show up for it!

Get Some Essential Layering Pieces
An utility vest, a fitted blazer, a light jacket and an oversized cardigan are great staples to have in your fall wardrobe. Why? Layering pieces are not only functional for the cooler mornings but will make your outfit feel polished! They work well with your favorite tee and a variety of bottoms. Mix with your favorite jeans, a great pair of black ankle pants, beloved leggings or even a cotton dress for an endless combination of outfits. Look trendy by adding a utility vest over your favorite long sleeve tee and leggings combo. Add insta-style by throwing a light weight jacket over a maxi dress! With just a few great layering pieces you can achieve effortless style fast. We could all use a little bit of that on a busy school morning!

Plan B
Keep a backup plan on how to squeeze in a little exercise for days that do not go as scheduled. Pop in a ten minute fitness DVD, do some squats and pushups while waiting for dance practice to end, take a quick walk at lunch, or run through some relaxing yoga poses before bed. Even if the workout is not what you intended for the day, any bit of exercise is going to be better than none. You’ll feel better that you didn’t totally bail on you fitness goals!

Keep Basics on Hand
Inevitably, there will be some mornings that involves a crises that needs attention like running out of a favorite lunch snack, forgetting a homework assignment or over sleeping. Keep a few makeup staples in your purse or bag for mornings like this! Apply a volumizing mascara to intensify eyes. Swipe on some finishing powder to absorb any oil. Dap on a favorite high sheen lip gloss to brighten your smile. Keep these basic makeup products accessible for application while idle at a stop light or in the parking lot before walking into the office. The makeup might be minimalist but it targets three key players (eyes, oil control and smile) and is just the right amount to keep you feeling confident!

_DSC5526More Burn, Less Time
Without a doubt, interval training is the most efficient way to exercise. When you interval train you scorch more calories than you would at a steady pace. Your body actually continues to burn calories after the workout is finished! The other great benefit to interval training is the length of a workout. Interval training should not last longer than thirty minutes and some really high-intensity workouts are only four minutes long! The theory is to push yourself to work hard for short time bursts with little recovery to maximize calorie burn, muscle gain and boost endurance. For a busy Mom, interval training is where it’s at! Do a quick internet search and give one a go. You will love targeting all the body parts and getting that cardio effect all while saving yourself time in the morning!

As Mothers our days are spent tending to the needs of others and it is easy to let our needs slide. Back to school is a busy time but it is still crucial to make time for yourselves. Setting aside a few minutes to plan an outfit, scheduling exercise like a meeting you cannot miss, and having a few trusty back up plans for those crazy days will only ensure a more peaceful mind for us Mamas. Give one or all of these tips a try and find a few that will work for you and your family!


Jen Pilchak is a thirty something wife and mother with a very serious love for online shopping and fitness DVDs. She is your typical midwest suburban busy gal balancing marriage, motherhood and a career like the rest of us. After the birth of her daughter, Jen envisioned a space to express style and share attainable fitness goals.

Her blog, Style in Shape, empowers women to feel great about themselves without sacrificing too time and money. Come celebrate the clearance rack victories and concurred ten minute ab routines with Jen!

CLICK HERE to learn more about Jen.