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Cool Mom Q&A: Gretta Monahan

Professional stylist, spa owner, author, and Boston mom

In an ideal world, we’d get downtime, a sitter, and a service (or two) at Gretta Monahan’s spa, Grettacole. Monahan, a local mom, is also the resident style expert for the Rachael Ray Show—so she knows a thing or two about looking and feeling awesome. Her new book, Style and the Successful Girl, has a section dedicated to looking good when it's perhaps most difficult—during pregnancy and new motherhood. We chatted with Monahan about her favorite local spots to shop, dine, and hang with her 2-year-old son, Kai.

ST: Okay, so as a style pro, you must know where to find the best clothes for kids in this town?
Gretta Monahan: Lester Harry's on Newbury Street is a favorite. They have a curated collection of beautiful clothing and accessories—and excellent customer service.

ST: Yep. Been there. Love it. Why, exactly, is it your fave?
GM: The staff and environment are warm and welcoming—as well as calm. The toys and nursery décor are also unique . . . not the same stuff you find everywhere else.

ST: What about when you were pregnant? Where did you source your maternity wardrobe?
GM: I shopped larger sizes of regular women's clothing and did some home tailoring to make certain pieces work. Basic black leggings and boyfriend cardigans were my maternity favorites.

ST: What about dining out in the city? What’s your favorite place to take Kai?
GM: Flour Bakery is great for kids. The food is delicious, and the atmosphere isn’t stuffy. I like the quinoa and tofu salad, and Kai gets his favorite PB&J. The oatmeal raisin cookies are delish, and packed with goodness.

ST: Yum. What about activities? Are there any special hangouts your family loves? 
GM: The Children's Museum is a must-do for anyone with kids. With an annual membership, you can go for an hour and not feel guilty. The toddler play space inside the museum is almost a second home for my little guy.

ST: Agreed. It's such a great space. You always manage to look so put-together, even when you're running around with Kai. What’s your secret?
GM: Mascara, concealer, lip-gloss. The absolute must haves to look awake and polished.
ST: Good tip. We'll certainly give it a go.