Why Daily Alone Time Is Critical For The Introverted Mom (and how to make it happen!)

Are you an Introverted Mom? Here are 5 easy to implement ideas for daily self-care and alone time that will change your life and increase your happiness! Fill your cup so you can pour into your family and those around you!

Hello there friend! It’s been a while, but I have something to share today that I hope speaks to your heart if you’re a fellow introverted mom.

I’ve sat on this idea for a long time because I don’t want to be perceived as “selfish,” but I KNOW that some of my readers are introverts as well and I want you to feel A) validated, and B) understand that “me time” for you is NOT being selfish; it is also non-negotiable if you want to be your happiest self and keep burn out at bay.

This is a post that is near and dear to my heart because, for me and so many other introverted moms I know, daily self-care and “me time” is the difference between being happy + content, or unhappy + burnt out.

The heart of the matter is that you need to fill up your cup in order to continue to pour into others, most importantly your children. If you’re running on empty, you’re not able to give your best self. Taking time alone isn’t being selfish; In fact, when done with this intent, it’s quite the opposite.

An introverted mom can burn out quickly and sometimes not realize why or how she got there. I knew this about myself going into my new role as a stay at home mom (who’s extroverted hubby also works at home!), and have never felt happier, which I credit largely to the routine I’ve established for us that includes daily alone time for me.

I hope that by sharing some of the things that work to keep me from feeling drained as an introverted mom and wife, you will then find ways and give yourself the permission to have the alone time you truly need each day!

But Ashley, how can I find “me time” every day? There’s just no way – my kid stopped napping, gets up at 5:00 AM, I’m a mom of 4, I work full time outside the home!! No matter how busy even the most introverted super mom among us is, I promise you that you can find a way to make that “me time” DAILY. I would argue that it’s non-negotiable if you want to feel content and happy as an introverted mom. The ideas I’m going to share with you are not ALL going to be possible to do every day, or at all depending on your circumstances, but I KNOW that it’s possible to fit at least one of these in each day even if only for 5-10 minutes. And, those 5-10 minutes will make all the difference for you.

So, how do I know if I’m an Introverted Mom?

The core of introversion can be defined by this simple distinction: you predominantly derive your energy from being alone versus from being around other people.

Being an introvert does not necessarily mean you are shy, although many shy people are introverts. Being an introvert does not mean you are necessarily self-conscious either, or that you don’t enjoy being around other people. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you don’t like to talk. Being around others and talking is enjoyable to most introverts (at least they are to me!) but definitely, drain our energy resources. Just as an extrovert feels filled up through and seeks out being around people, introverts are filled up through time spent alone.

Being an introvert just means that, in order to feel balanced and filled up you need solitude (AKA quiet, “alone time”)…daily.

Why does it matter?

Why is this important to realize, particularly as an introverted mom?

As a mom/wife/friend/etc. constantly giving of yourself to others around you have to be creative and intentional about finding the alone time you need to feel centered and re-energized.  ALL moms experience some degree of burnout from time to time, and we certainly all need to practice self-care and find space for “me time,” but for introverted mamas, this need is at a whole other level.

Before we became moms, it was easy to find ways to be alone each day, and mostly these things were naturally occurring. But as soon as our incredible bundles of joy arrive gone are the days of solo commutes, quiet time around the house, regular trips to the gym, or even trips to the bathroom or showers in some cases! We wouldn’t trade the hours upon hours of reading to, talking to, singing to and playing with our kids for ANY amount of alone time, but I don’t want you to feel guilty about missing that quiet, alone space; It’s my hope to  help you think of ways to infuse it back into your daily routine in new  ways  that fit with your busy life as a mom!

5 Self-Care Ideas for the Introverted Mom

1. Asking directly for what you need to feel refreshed.

The first and most critical piece of self-care for an introverted mama is for your partner to understands and therefore support your biological need to be alone each day, in some capacity, in order to feel centered.

Since I left my career to stay and work at home, our family situation is somewhat unique and awesome in that my husband (AJ) works from home also, so our family spends A LOT of time together. Taylor and AJ are both extroverts, and I am most certainly an introvert.

Probably THE  most beneficial thing my husband and I have ever done for our relationship is to take the Myers Briggs personality test as part of our premarital counseling.  Until then, he perceived my desire for alone time as me not wanting to be around him, which couldn’t have been further from the truth. The two are not mutually exclusive; As an introvert, in order to be a good wife and now as a mom, I NEED alone time each day, and he understands that. If your partner, especially if they are an extrovert, doesn’t quite “get it” I would recommend taking one of those tests and reading through the results together as a first step in creating that understanding. It really helped us to understand one another, and I hope the same for you.

The reason this understanding is important is that you will need to ASK your partner, or even your mom, to give you alone time.

One day per week AJ takes Taylor on a special outing and I stay home. This is something I asked him for, and he quickly agreed to do because he realized 1) this is awesome for their relationship/bond, and 2) I would benefit from time alone in our home to recharge. Happy wife, happy life right?

Ask your partner for a block of time alone, either in your home or out of your home (some intro-mamas love going and sitting at a coffee shop for 30 minutes, or even cruising the aisles of Target solo!) and explain why you need this to be the best mom and wife you can be. I bet once he sees how much happier you are, he’ll be asking YOU if you need that time!

2. Get up before your kids wake up.

Even if it is only 10-15 minutes before your earliest riser, I cannot say how much of a difference this can make. Drink a glass of water to rehydrate, think of or write down the things you are thankful for, take a shower, do 100 air squats, drink a cup of HOT coffee, or just sit on your couch and watch the news. Whatever it is and in whatever time makes sense for you, enjoy those quiet moments before your day gets going! I started this ritual after reading Miracle Morning, and I’m never turning back. Now that Taylor is waking between 7:45 and 9:00 AM, I am able to have a couple of HOURS of alone time to think, write, pray, meditate, etc. and it’s glorious.  

3. Take advantage of gym childcare.

Finding a gym with childcare we trusted has been an absolute game changer for me. Taylor loves going, and I am able to get the endorphins and solo time I need to feel re-centered!. We do this 4 days per week as part of our mommy and toddler routine! Even if you aren’t a big fitness buff, just go walk on the treadmill for an hour and listen to a podcast. I bet you’ll feel better on several levels once this is a routine! You can read more about how to fit fitness into your busy life in this post!

There are many gyms, at many different membership cost levels that have childcare.  If a gym membership isn’t something in your budget right now, but this idea resonates with you, make it a priority to tweak things or save in other areas to see if you can make it happen. There are women I work with through my SeneGence/LipSense business who get started with the goal of making enough money monthly FOR that gym membership – and then far surpass that! What difference would an extra $200, $400, or $1000+ a month make for you? If you’re interested, I can show you how to make that happen (read this blog post,  send me an email or comment on this post and we’ll chat!!

4. Take a walk.

If you have a supportive partner, have them watch your kiddo when they get home (or when you both get home if you work outside the home!) and get out for a quick walk. Listen to a podcast or your favorite playlist, or just have silent space to think and be as you also get in some exercise.

If you’re home alone during the day and have a little one who will sleep in their stroller, take a longer walk with them and (gasp!!) let them have one of their naps as you walk and enjoy some quiet, reflective time as well as the benefits of movement/calorie burn! I did this every day during my maternity leave (read about our routine at that time in this post!) when Taylor was a newborn and I swear it saved me in so many ways.

5. Hop in the bath at night.

AJ and I switch off every other night with who does the bedtime routine. Most nights I have “off” you can find me in the bathtub with a bath bomb, glass of wine and maybe a podcast or music playing. A bath, regardless of what time you take it and for how long, is one way you can care for yourself and get alone time. This is one that could actually be done daily after the kiddos are asleep. I can’t think of a reason why this wouldn’t be possible. Even if you don’t have a bathtub, you can relax in your shower for 10-15 minutes accomplishing the same thing!

I know these ideas aren’t rocket science, but that’s the beauty of them – they can all be done by almost every introverted mom on a regular basis.I sincerely hope that you start incorporating alone time in some capacity daily and reap the benefits for yourself and therefore your family!

What are your favorite ways to put “me time” into your days? Did any of mine resonate with you? I would love to hear if incorporating “me time” into your DAILY routine makes a difference in your energy and happiness levels – would you let me know?

XO,

Ashley

P.S. When I understood what it means to be introverted, I understood myself. I also read the book Quiet – and recommend anyone who is or loves an introvert – which made me feel validated and positive about this trait and the things I could accomplish because of it. I highly recommend this book to every introvert I know!

 

5 Ways To Help Your Toddler Learn To Eat With Utensils: Featuring Trial Size Persil® Laundry Detergent From Target®

how to teach your toddler to eat with utensils and silverware

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PersilLaundry #CollectiveBias

how to teach your toddler to eat with utensils and silverware

Did you know that a typically developing child is expected to be able to feed themselves completely independently with a spoon by the age of 2? Well don’t worry if you didn’t, because I didn’t either until our Pediatrician told us at Taylor’s 18 month appointment! However, most toddlers are capable of learning to do this at a much younger age; Taylor is well on her way to independently eating with a spoon AND fork at 19 months old! Today I wanted to share 5 ways you can help your toddler learn to eat with utensils as well, and clean clothing stains from the inevitable mess they’ll make with trial size Persil® ProClean® laundry detergent. Persil® Original Pro10 was named “Best New Liquid Laundry Detergent” by Family Circle magazine in 2017, so I was curious to put it to the test! I have to say, I was quite impressed with the cleaning, brightening and whitening results, especially given the amount of time the marinara had to set into her bright white shirt (my bad because, #momlife)!

5 Ways To Help Your Toddler Learn To Eat With Utensils Independently:

  1. Provide your toddler with utensils that are, well, toddler-sized. Silverware with thick, weighted, rubber/textured handles are best as they are easier to grasp and control. HERE are our favorites to use (the set comes in green, pink or aqua!).how to teach your toddler to eat with utensils and silverware
  2. Demonstrate how to use utensils with slow, exaggerated motions accompanied by a verbal explanation of exactly what you’re doing. (e.g. “Mommy is scooping some applesauce onto her spoon, now I’m going to raise my arm and put the spoon in my mouth like this… Yum!”). You’re basically their eating mechanics coach!
  3. Start out with thick foods that will stick to a spoon, like yogurt or applesauce when scooped. When your toddler is practicing eating with a fork, I recommend easy to spear pasta shapes like penne!how to teach your toddler to eat with utensils and silverware
  4. Provide ample opportunities for practice eating with utensils. At first, your toddler may not have much control or accuracy, but it’s still important that they have the chance to learn to manipulate the fork or spoon.
  5. Praise your little one for trying! Most toddlers prefer to use their fingers over a fork or spoon, so they deserve some applause for their efforts.

All of that said, one thing you can expect is A LOT of mess when your toddler is learning to eat with utensils, so you’ll want to have a laundry detergent you can trust to get the job done!  I purchased the convenient trial size Persil® ProClean® laundry detergent last week at Target and challenged it with the marinara sauce stains featured in this post.

Persil® Original Pro10 was named “Best New Liquid Laundry Detergent” by Family Circle magazine in 2017, so I was curious to put it to the test! I have to say, I was quite impressed with the cleaning, brightening and whitening results, especially given the amount of time the marinara had to set into her bright white shirt (my bad because, #momlife)!

how to teach your toddler to eat with utensils and silverware

Persil Laundry Detergent To The Rescue!

By the time I got around to washing Taylor’s shirt after she finished her pasta, over an hour had passed, so I decided to pre-treat it with Persil® laundry detergent. I poured a very small amount of Persil laundry detergent into the cap, dipped a finger in and rubbed a very small amount directly onto the stain. After leaving the shirt to pre-treat for 5 minutes, I placed it in our washing machine with the rest of Taylor’s whites in the warmest water possible with a capful of Persil® laundry detergent, per the Laundry Tips on Persil’s webpage. Remember to check the results before drying. I really like that Persil® laundry detergent can be used in all machines, including an HE like ours.

how to teach your toddler to eat with utensils and silverware

The Results

WOW. I was honestly surprised at how well Persil laundry detergent was able to tackle the stain. I imagine that, had I pre-treated and washed right away, the results would have been even more impressive. Persil laundry detergent is certainly a great choice for everyday laundry as well as stain fighting!

how to teach your toddler to eat with utensils and silverware

If you haven’t tried Persil laundry detergent yet, I encourage you to do what I did and pick up their new trial size bottle at Target (AKA Mecca) for only $1.99.  The trial size bottle (10.1-ounce package) washes 6 full loads of laundry! Plus, there is a $2 off coupon on the back of the bottle for a future purchase, excluding the trial/travel size.

Give it a try and see the results for yourself!

how to teach your toddler to eat with utensils and silverware

how to teach your toddler to eat with utensils and silverware

I would love to hear any other tips you have for teaching your little ones to eat with utensils independently. What successes have you had as a toddler/eating mechanics coach duo? Any epic messes you could have used Persil laundry detergent for?! Email me or leave a comment on this post.

Thanks for reading!

Modern, Family-Friendly Playroom Reveal

Modern, family-friendly playroom. Playroom Decor

Modern, Family Friendly Playroom Reveal. Clean, Chic and family friendly playroom design. Gold accents. Playroom decor.

This post includes some affiliate links. I may make a small commission if you purchase an item through my links. See the full disclaimer in my footer for details. As always, I only recommend products I actually use and enjoy. 

After completing Taylor’s Modern Nursery 2.0, my next project in our new home was to create a modern, family-friendly playroom out of the loft at the top of our stairs. It’s the first and only thing you see when you walk upstairs (which is MANY times a day in my case), so I wanted to make it both functional + fun for Taylor and her friends, but also aesthetically appealing. The result is now my favorite room in our home, and I’m so excited to share it with you today.

I linked everything I thought you might be interested in at the very end of this post!

Modern. family-friendly playroom reveal. Modern Playroom Decor.

Creating A Space For Imaginative Play + Relaxation

What are your best memories from childhood, and do you intentionally try to recreate opportunities for similar memories for your own kids?

When I think back on my childhood, I am especially grateful for memories of imaginative play with friends. Sometimes I laugh at some of the activities we came up with! I credit my friends’ and my own mom for fostering such creativity in us by providing dress up clothes, helping to construct epic forts out of pillows and chairs, and generally providing us with tools, space and freedom to create our own worlds during play time. I want Taylor and her friends who come to our house to grow up with these special, formative play experiences as well. You can read about how playtime figures into our toddler + stay at home mom routine in this post!

Modern, family-friendly playroom. Playroom Decor

Modern, family-friendly playroom. Playroom Decor

Imaginative Play + Dress Up:

Now that I am working/staying at home with Taylor, it’s been such a blessing to have a dedicated area for her to play and be creative in on her own and with her buddies. I look forward to seeing her grow into this space, make memories with dear friends, and develop her play skills over the years to come!

The Kallax bookshelf and Knipsa seagrass baskets from IKEA were great purchases, if I do say so myself – ALL of T’s toy and book storage for less than $200.  I rotate the toys, books, balls and puzzles that are in the reachable boxes about once a week, and keep a couple of them empty so that she doesn’t have too many options at once (less mess for mama to clean up!). In the upper boxes I store toys she has outgrown, and art and craft supplies I don’t want her to have immediate access to.

And, before I forget – how adorable is her Arabian Princess costume from Little Adventures Dress Ups? She has an entire trunk full of Little Adventures dress ups because I couldn’t choose just one! Her dress-up trunk is just an old ottoman I had with holes cut into it for the wooden hangers. I love it because it’s the perfect size for her to open and choose the costume and accessories she’d like to wear on her own now! When we’re all done, the trunk closes (hangers and all!) up leaving the room look clean and chic, and also allowing additional seating for when adults/guests are in the room. I pick up little accessories here and there, as well as stock it with my old costume jewelry, racing medals (“participation only” because I’m no track star), etc. I found this mirror at Target (I still need to actaully secure it to the wall!), which she and her friends use to admire themselves in costume!

Modern, family-friendly playroom. Playroom Decor

Modern, family-friendly playroom. Playroom Decor

Modern, family-friendly playroom. Playroom Decor

The Family Friendly Factor:

Another reason this room is my favorite  in our home is that when our friends (who also have little ones) come over, this Modern, family-friendly playroom makes the perfect spot for everyone to spend time together; the kids can play, sit at the table and chair set for arts and crafts or a puzzle, or chill out while watching a movie, and there is still plenty of room for the adults to sit + socialize. It’s pretty perfect, except for the fact that we have to bring up any snacks and beverages we want to enjoy while the kiddos play! We’ve joked that we should just put a wine fridge up there. Which is actually not a bad idea…but, I digress.

We do have a T.V. in the playroom because, although I’m all about the imaginative play, sometimes a marathon animated movie session is just what the doctor ordered. Also, my husband and I can also watch sports, the news, etc. while Taylor gets to play. We use one half of the media center below it as a bookshelf for Taylor, and the other side is child-locked to protect our cable box, etc.

One of the best things about having this space is that the mess/toy chaos in our house is pretty much all contained in this one room upstairs, leaving our entire downstairs living area clutter-free (for the most part)!! I try and give it a once over during her naptimes (an exercise in futility, perhaps), but often wait until the evening when she’s gone to sleep to pick everything up.

Modern, family-friendly playroom. Playroom Decor

Modern, family-friendly playroom. Playroom Decor

Modern, family-friendly playroom. Playroom Decor

A Comfy Space To Chill:

The piece that brings the biggest comfort factor into our family-friendly playroom is this daybed I found on Wayfair.com (a close second is the “Let’s Play” piece on the wall above it!)! Taylor and I often snuggle up to read books or watch a movie, or I’ll sit there working on my computer while she plays independently. The daybed also doubles as an additional guest bed (or bed for me when AJ snores too loud and I can’t sleep at night!), so we wanted to make sure we had a high quality, comfy mattress.  was contacted by Tomorrow Sleep at an opportune time to try out their Medium Soft and Medium Firm mattresses.  Tomorrow sleep makes the best hybrid memory foam mattress I’ve tried! We will probably use the twin mattress (currently on the daybed) for Taylor’s first toddler bed when she is ready to make the transition, so I’m glad we have such a quality, comfy mattress for her already!  Check out this post for my review of both Tomorrow Sleep mattresses! You can also use code MAMA150 to receive $150 off any $500 purchase from Tomorrow Sleep (expires 12/31/17)!

Modern, family-friendly playroom. Playroom Decor Modern, family-friendly playroom. Playroom Decor

Play Kitchen + TeePee:

A few other areas of the playroom I wanted to show you are Taylor’s play kitchen and reading/chill-out teepee. What I really should have done was take a camera and do a 360-degree video around the room to show you everything, but hopefully, you can get the lay of the land. Taylor’s kitchen was this white one from Teamson Kids, but I wanted the hardware to match her teepee, so I used this spray paint on all the hardware before putting it together. I also used this chalkboard paint to paint over the decal on the refrigerator door. T’s favorite part of her kitchen is the working “ice cube” (wooden block” maker! Right now she does some pretend cooking, but also enjoys dumping all her cooking pots/pans, utensils and play food everywhere. An opportunity to teach her about being a helper for clean up time, right?

She likes to sit on the round, (faux) furry rug and read her books from the book box, which I rotate on a weekly basis. Sometimes she will invite me in, but other times she is content to enjoy “reading” on her own. You can’t see it, but I also store this 6 foot, pop-up tunnel behind the teepee – it’s SUPER fun but doesn’t exactly “go” with the rest of the room : )

Modern, family-friendly playroom. Playroom Decor

Modern, family-friendly playroom. Playroom Decor

Modern, family-friendly playroom. Playroom Decor

Well, there you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of Taylor’s modern, family-friendly playroom!

Below are links to almost everything that I thought you might be interested in, but please email me or leave a comment if you’d like a direct link to anything I left off!

Modern, family-friendly playroom. Playroom Decor

Kitchen: Teamson Kids play kitchen // play food // pots/pans //faux plant // utensils // small potted plant

Furniture: Wayfair daybed // Brooke Linen sheet/duvet set (LOVE the Luxe Hardcore Bundle!) // black striped pillows // entertainment center // Eames style modern table and chair set // rug (ours is a Persian rug, straight from Iran but check out the gorgeous Persian Style rugs from Anthropologie!)

Dress-Up Area: dress up clothes // trunk (similar) // long mirror

Art: Let’s Play // Zebra

Tent: Land of Nod TeePee (comes in silver or gold finish) // round faux rug

Toy Storage: bookshelf  ($109 at IKEA!) // baskets // chalkboard (secured to the side of the bookshelf with these Command Strips!)

Miscellaneous: most of Taylor’s other toys can be found in this post!

What would you include in YOUR ideal playroom?

 

XO,

Ashley

Comfortable At-Home Mom Style Staples

comfortable at home style staples for moms. Mom Style. Stay At Home Mom Style

Are you on the hunt for some comfortable staple pieces in your mom uniform? Then  CLICK THROUGH for this comfortable At- Home mom style staples round up is just for you! The most comfy and cozy clothes for days working or playing at home. Basics for the stay at home mom wardrobe | Mom Style | Stay At Home Mom Style | Comfortable Winter Clothing

As I was Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping this past weekend, I found myself again ordering way too much gravitating toward super comfy, cozy clothing – the kind you can lounge/work/play around the house in, yet still be considered socially acceptable when you need to go out to run an errand in. Comfortable at-home style is my jam.

Now that I’m no longer working outside of the home, I  have tasked myself with rebuilding my wardrobe, and this type of apparel is definitely lacking. Over the last decade, my closet has consisted of 90% A) business wear or B) workout apparel, so I’m working on filling in the in-between now that I’m officially a stay/work at home mom!

Well, based on my online shopping tour de force this weekend, let me tell you that NOW is definitely the time to be stocking up on comfortable at-home mom style staples. There are SO  many cute pieces out there –  especially for these winter months when we want all the warmth and comfort (I’ll take a pair of joggers in each color of the rainbow, please and thank you!). Take this sweater for example which is essentially like wearing a chenille blanket around the house (but still totally cute, right?!):

Comfortable at-home mom style

So, if you’re a budding comfy clothing connoisseur like me, a stay at home mom who wants to up her mom-iform game, or a working mama who needs some comfy weekend wear, this is the round-up for you! I included items I purchased recently, ones I own, and also several that are on my wishlist – with a range of price points.

I hope you enjoy shopping this round-up, and being super comfy, cozy and cute all winter. Click on any of the images below to shop!

Comfortable At-Home Mom Style Staples:

Have you ever had to shift your wardrobe in a similar way? Let me know what your mom-iform consists of, and if there are pieces I must have in my newly minted stay at home mom wardrobe!

XO,

Ashley

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you purchase an item I like and recommend. 

 

The Best Black Friday Deals For Baby, Toddler AND Mom!

black friday deals for babies, toddlers and moms

This post contains affiliate links but, as you already know, I only post about things I actually buy, use and love!

Hi there! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with friends and family yesterday.

Let me get right to the reason for this post: Black Friday is kind of THE day to get the bulk of your Christmas shopping done and/or score great deals on items you’ve had your eye on for a while! I know I will be scouring the web to see if any of the items on my Ultimate Toddler Gift Guide For Christmas are on sale, as well as checking out  my favorite sites to up my #momstyle game (i.e. Nordstrom, ILY Couture, etc.)!

All day today (Black Friday 2017!!) on the Taylor-made Mama Facebook Page I’ll be sharing the best deals for babies, toddlers AND their moms from the places we LOVE to shop, including (but not limited to!):

3, 2, 1, GO head over to my Facebook Page for all the deals I’m finding in real time today, starting…..NOW! I’ll be posting in the comments every chance I get when I find a deal I think you’ll love:

Let me know if there is something in particular you are looking for and I’ll see what I can find:

Lastly, an admittedly shameless plug for my LipSense Black Friday sale going on in my Facebook Group – Taylor-made Beauty With Ashley.

Black Friday LiPsense Sale

Try the liquid lip color everyone is talking about! 💋👏🏻
Snag YOUR perfect color for *15% OFF + FREE Shipping through midnight on 11/24/17 plus tons of other fun deals and freebies! THIS LINK will take you straight there!

Happy Shopping!

P.S. If you don’t already have an Amazon Prime membership then today is a great day to become one. Many of the deals I’ll be sharing with you throughout the day on the Taylor-made Mama Facebook Page are Prime Eligible (free 2-day shipping and exclusive deals!). You can get a FREE 30 Day Trial to Amazon Prime HERE, just in time to take advantage of all the Black Friday Deals! You can also check out a full list of ALL the benefits of a Prime membership here.

SOME OF WHAT I’VE FOUND TODAY!

The Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress You Need In Your Life

Memory foam hybrid mattress the best memory foam mattress the best hybrid mattress

Best hybrid mattress Memory foam hybrid mattress

Thank you to Tomorrow Sleep for sponsoring this review post. All opinions are my own.

Are you in the market for a memory foam hybrid mattress but not sure where to order one, or if the claims the online retailer makes can be trusted?  Are you, like me, a TIRED mom, in search of a way to maximize the sleep that you can squeeze in! Well, I’m here to tell you about the best hybrid mattress I’ve ever slept on. My husband and I have ordered mattresses from three different online mattress retailers and this one takes the cake for sure. We actually returned one and replaced it with a Tomorrow Sleep mattress because we loved it so much!

As a busy mom, attempting to keep up with a VERY energetic toddler, this blog, and a quickly growing LipSense business, sleep is one of my most treasured resources. A good quality mattress where I can catch the most comfortable, restorative Z’s possible is paramount!

I also happen to have a TERRIBLE back; In college, I herniated two discs in my lower back (L5 and S1),  bulged a disc in my neck (T2) during my CrossFit days,  and things have never been the same. Despite lots of PT and consistent maintenance work, I still struggle with chronic pain.  I have been on the hunt for a mattress that actually helps my back for YEAR – hence all the online ordering! I actually delayed in writing my review post because, ironically, the day our Tomorrow Sleep mattresses arrived I reaggravated my lower back and didn’t feel I could give an honest review until I was feeling better.

THE MEMORY FOAM HYBRID
Isn’t it amazing that a King Mattress WITH a coil system fits in this box??

Fortunately, I think that this hybrid mattress was a catalyst for my back healing more quickly than expected…

Tomorrow Sleep actually has an entire system, based on science, designed to help you sleep your best. From that system, I chose to review both Tomorow Sleep’s Medium Soft (our King bed) and the Medium Firm (the daybed currently in Taylor’s playroom) so that I could tell you about the difference.

The whole “mattress in a box” thing is really amazing to me – especially this mattress because it does actually have a coil system within it that work in conjunction with the memory foam to provide for a very comfortable, yet supportive mattress. Tomorrow Sleep includes a special tool that looks a bit like an envelope opener that you use to slice through the air-tight plastic packaging to release the mattress to expand within seconds!

THE MEMORY FOAM HYBRID

Memory foam hybrid mattress the best memory foam mattress the best hybrid mattress

Memory foam hybrid mattress the best memory foam mattress the best hybrid mattress

Tomorrow Sleep Medium Soft Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress:

My husband and I have both noticed that we are not tossing and turning at night anymore. Tomorrow claims that their mattresses help you to, “fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.”; I can attest that this is actually the case! I feel like the mattress molds to my body, yet has a “backbone” of support, if that makes sense. I’ve been waking up feeling more refreshed and energized over the past couple of weeks (despite getting far less than 8 hours) and I know that that is because I’m actually getting into the deep sleep and REM cycles that our bodies need to run optimally because I’m not tossing and turning anymore.

Memory foam hybrid mattress the best memory foam mattress the best hybrid mattress

Tomorrow Sleep Medium Firm Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress:

We have the Medium Firm Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress on the daybed that is currently in Taylor’s Playroom (stay tuned for our playroom reveal post!). This mattress will most definitely be her first toddler bed. I will likely start with this mattress on the floor, rather than an actual twin bed frame, but I haven’t quite decided.

Full disclosure: when my husband snores, I immediately pack up (my pillow and monitor) and head out to the playroom to sleep on the daybed, so I actually have had a few nights rest on the Tomorrow Sleep Medium Firm mattress, in addition to many a Moana or Sing watching sessions with T during the day. I must say that, although we’re sleeping comfortably on our King, I actually prefer the Medium Firm to the Medium Soft! The Medium Firm still provides the comfy, molding to your body effect of the Medium Soft but with a twinge more support. If I had to do things over again, I would definitely order a Medium Firm for our master bed.

Memory foam hybrid mattress the best memory foam mattress the best hybrid mattress
Princess T enjoying her Tomorrow Sleep daybed

The only negative I can mention is that the memory foam pillows we received did have a bit of a smell to them for the first week or so. I wouldn’t say it was bad, but it was a noticeable earthy smell. I DO love that one side is nice and cool, and the other is super cuddly and comfy.

In conclusion, I would definitely recommend Tomorrow Sleep’s memory foam hybrid mattress if you’re in the market for a comfortable, supportive, affordable mattress made by people who truly care about getting you the sleep you NEED to thrive as a mom!

Guess what?? You can use code MAMA150 to receive $150 off any $500 purchase from Tomorrow Sleep (expires 12/31/17)!

 

 

 

 

 

A Toddler Diaper Bag Packed To Perfection

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

Thank you to Coco & Kiwi for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own and any affiliate links are to products I actually use and like.

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

The last time I posted a “what’s in my diaper bag” style post, Taylor was only 7 months old. Time has absolutely flown by….Now that she is 18 months I want to share what’s in our Toddler Diaper Bag. I keep my Toddler Emergency Car Kit and a Toddler Restaurant Kit in the trunk of my car which  contain many of the things I would otherwise have to worry about grabbing on the way out the door or lugging around in my already full diaper bag (i.e. bib, utensils, first aid kit, change of clothes, etc.). If you haven’t already, and  have or will soon have a toddler, definitely check out those two posts!

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

Why I Love The Coco & Kiwi Provence Bag

I have gotten more compliments on this Coco & Kiwi Provence Diaper Bag since I started carrying/wearing it, mostly from girls at my gym who are non-moms actually! As a Coco Ambassador this season, I had the option to choose my favorite bag; it wasn’t even a question which I’d choose.  I adore the classic, chic sandstone stripes paired with the camel colored leather of the Provence Bag. Aside from how cute and stylish it looks, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite features with you – game changers I don’t know how I didn’t look for in a bag sooner:

1) detachable stroller straps,
Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.
2) the bag can be carried as a clutch, over the shoulder/messenger style, or as a BACKPACK! If you couldn’t tell by all caps, I’m definitely loving the diaper backpack option these days, running around after my toddler.
Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.
3) The ingenious zip-in wet bag. I use mine for opened snacks!
Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

You can check out this and all of the stylish Coco & Kiwi Diaper Bags and accessories here.

What’s In My Toddler Diaper Bag?

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

FOR TODDLER:

  1. 2-3 Diapers – if your toddler still wears them which, at 18 months, Taylor does.
  2. Wipes – I love Water Wipes travel packs because they are all natural, and can be used to clean little ones’ hands and faces as well!
  3. Sanitizing Wipes – the Wet Ones Sensitive Skin canister makes for easy packing as well as pulling out wipes to sanitize shopping carts, restaurant tables, etc. quickly.
  4. Snacks – did you know that when your baby becomes a toddler you then become a snack peddler? I keep a variety on hand at all times because, at this age, T is starting to really exert her independence through making her preferences known!
  5. Comb and hair ties/bows – because, #girlmom.
  6. Changing pad – a burgundy colored changing pad, which matches the lining, comes in the Coco & Kiwi Diaper bags, and it is actually long enough to accommodate a growing toddler bod!
  7. Wet bag – this is another convenient feature of the Coco & Kiwi Diaper bag. The wet bag zips in and out. I personally use it to store opened + unfinished snacks!
  8. Diaper bags + dispenser – I am obsessed with the Munchkin diaper bag dispenser. Okay, maybe not obsessed, but I do own 5!
  9. Kleenex – toddlers tend to need nose wiping every now and again, and it’s nice to have these on hand when a runny nose occurs. These travel packs are the cutest I’ve found – it’s the little things : )
  10. Mini first aid – I only carry bandaids in my diaper bag because I have a mini first aid kit in my fully loaded Toddler Emergency Car Kit (which includes this AWESOME portable potty for you potty training mamas!)
  11. Sunglasses
  12. Water bottle – sometimes I will just bring my adult sized version of this bottle and share with Taylor but, again, these days my toddler likes to have her OWN things!
  13. A small toy that she is reallllllly into – at this moment, Peppa Pig!

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

FOR MAMA:

https://cocoandkiwi.com/?aff=30

  1. LipSense Lip Gloss I literally do not leave the house without at least one of my LipSense glosses (Matte, Glossy or Bouganvillea), whether I’m wearing the lip color or not. LipSense is a kiss-proof, smudge proof, waterproof lip color that lasts up to 18 hours – talk about a busy mom MUST HAVE! The gloss is the only thing you need to reapply a couple of times throughout the day to keep your lips moisturized and your color it’s staying power.  LipSense has been a game changer for me as a new, busy mama: if nothing else, I walk out the door with tinted moisturizer and LipSense on and feel pretty + put together! I loved this stuff so much that I became a distributor myself, at first for the discount but now I have another stream of income for my family because of it! If you’re interested in learning more or placing a LipSense order – check out my Taylor-made Beauty Facebook Group (lots of sales and fun giveaways!), and my In-Stock Album and Order page.
  2. Gum
  3. Feminine products
  4. Phone
  5. Sunglasses & Eyeglasses
  6. Phone Charger – a must since becoming a mama/responsible for someone else besides myself!
  7. Wireless headphones
  8. Lifetime Athletic Gym card – I can’t insert the praise hands emoji through Word Press, or else I would. Adding this element into our toddler and mom weekday schedule has been a game-changer, sanity saver, etc.!
  9. Hand sanitizer
  10. Wallet (I linked the BEST price I’ve seen for this classic LV wallet!)
  11. Protein bar – not pictured because I literally ate it an hour before taking the pictures for this post
  12. Keys
  13. Pen

To access the printable Toddler Diaper Bag Essentials Checklist use this link or just click on the image below.  As a subscriber, you can access and download this and any of the other printables from my website by going to the Printables Library Page and entering the password I emailed to you when you subscribed (if you can’t find it, just email me at ashley@taylor-mademama.com and I’ll re-send!).

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

What are your toddler diaper bag must-haves

 

 

 

 

 

Other Ta[y]lor-made Mama posts you may be interested in:

 

Toddler Schedule + Routine For A Stay At Home Mom


Are you a stay at home mom of a toddler looking to add more structure, routine and “me time” into your weekdays?  A work at home mom who wonders how to get everything done in the day? New to the stay at home mom club and need more routine in your daily life? A mama thinking about making the transition from working mom to stay and/or work at home mom? Or perhaps you’re just curious about what Taylor and my routine looks like these days (the last updates I gave were this one when I was on maternity leave and this one when I was still nursing/pumping at work!).

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then this post is for you.

Before I jump into our toddler and stay at home mom routine, I feel compelled to write something straight from the heart :

Recently, I had a conversation with a long-time friend. She shared that, through following my journey from working to stay/work at home mom over the last year or so, a fire was lit beneath her to leave her own VERY successful career to start a business working for herself + stay at home with her two little ones.  And, guess what? She has made it happen for herself and her family! I couldn’t be more happy for my friend who had a vision of a different lifestyle and, despite any fears and hesitancies, followed her heart and went for it.

In turn, her story stoked MY fire to encourage women who may be in the same place I found myself a year ago – a heart being pulled toward being at home, yet also with the fear of uncertainty of letting go of a career and identity outside the home.

If this resonates with you right now, please know that I get it. I’ve been there, and I can tell you that I do not regret the decision for a minute. The moments I get to share with Taylor EVERY DAY now, even the hard ones, outweigh anything I could be accomplishing at work. Do I continue to think about what the future of my career may look like as I did a few months ago when I left? Sure, those thoughts still cross my mind…

BUT, here is the evolution in my thinking:

There is always someone who can do my/your day job (maybe not as well, maybe just as good, maybe even better) but there is NO ONE who can be YOU to your child. If you want to be at home with your baby, and it is possible for your family, don’t be afraid to make the big transition because, “the days are long, but the years are SHORT.”

Remembering this always brings me back to a place of content with the decision we’ve made. Fortunately/strategically on my part, between this blog and my LipSense business, I’m finding ways to satisfy the creative, social AND entrepreneurial sides of myself WHILE getting to be at home with Taylor and focussing on my family.

The last few months have truly been the best of all worlds for me, and I would LOVE to chat with you if you have any specific questions about my journey or what I’m up to these days if I don’t answer them within this series(or heck, if you want to join my LipSense/SeneGence team even!).

If you haven’t yet read the first post in this series, How To Rock The Transition From Working Mom To Stay At Home Mom, I encourage you to go back and read that first. In it, I discussed my newly minted stay at home mom response to the question, “what do you do?” as far as work, and finding confidence in however you choose to live your own #momlife.

Working Mom to Stay At Home Mom Update #2

This brings me to another question (or variation of) I’ve been asked many times since becoming a stay at home mom is,

“So, what do you DO all day now?”

That’s actually a really good question, and one I felt super nervous about in the weeks leading up to the transition from working to stay/work at home mom. I was SO used to a jam-packed, tightly scheduled, daily routine that the thought of open-ended days gave me a ton of anxiety. Full disclosure, I remember crying the week before I was finished with work, for many reasons, but mostly because I just couldn’t picture what my new days and weeks would look like.

I wanted to do this stay at home mom thing well and didn’t want to lose myself in the day to day mom-ing/home-making or waste days sitting around watching cartoons with Taylor…. As it turns out, I have spent several days with Taylor sitting around doing mostly just that- and I’m totally okay with it. In fact, I’ll take those extra snuggles any day of the week.

Having a predictable schedule and routine is important for you/your sanity and your toddler. However, it is also important to be flexible and adjust according to your little one’s (or your!) needs on a given day. Moods happen. Things come up. Kiddos and mamas get sick. Naps are dropped. Structure without rigidity is key!

Structure without rigidity is the key!

Weekday Toddler Schedule and Stay At Home Mom Routine

That said, I wanted to share what a typical weekday for this stay at home mom and her 18-month-old toddler looks like. I work best when I time block (as you can see in my admittedly OCD Google Calendar below), and I hope it’s helpful to see what typically takes place during each block:

7 AM – Taylor wakes up and plays with her stuffed animals and reads books in her crib for 15-30 minutes while I “wake up”. One of the goals I have for myself is to start getting myself out of bed at 6AM in order to build in a little more me/work time before the day begins. I’m SOOOO not a morning person though, so we shall see how that goes….any tips?

Stay at home mom schedule and routine for a toddler

7:30 AM – AJ or I (my hubby works from home with is AMAZING) get Taylor out of her crib, change her diaper,  and bring her into our room to drink her bottle (yep, still drinking a bottle of milk in the AM + PM) while we watch the news/I get ready for the day. Most days I just put on some tinted moisturizer, my LipSense color o’ the day, curl my eyelashes and that’s about it. I can’t usually get Taylor downstairs without making a pit stop at the playroom, so we play there for 15-20 minutes before breakfast. Conveniently, the laundry room is connected to that room so I can start on or fold a load of laundry as she enjoys!

Stay at home mom schedule and routine for a toddler

8:30 AM – Taylor eats breakfast and I drink coffee and check emails. Her breakfast is anything from a banana + oatmeal, to a bagel, egg + raspberries. At this point, she is able to request her favorite foods which is so amazingly cool!

9:30-11:30 AM – Monday through Thursday (again, not EVERY Monday through Thursday because flexibility is key!) we go to Lifetime Athletic Club within this time block. Joining this gym is hands down the best decision we made as a family when I quit working and we moved to a new city. Their childcare facility, programming, and staff are absolutely phenomenal and Taylor LOVES going there. While she participates in toddler art or music class, I get to workout for an hour or so. This time is SO good for both of us; she gets to develop her independence and play skills while I get to maintain (maybe even increase!) my fitness and sanity, win-win! I always bring a snack for us to share outside the gym when we’re finished up. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see that I often document our “conversations” during this time that has come to be a special tradition between she and I.

On Fridays during this time block, we go to the local library for a Mommy & Me developmental play hour which is super fun for Taylor, a little stressful for me (because she is literally the Energizer Bunny + Tazmanian Devil in this environment), and overall great for her development. Anything for T.

11:30 AM – When we get home from the gym, I make lunch for Taylor to eat before she goes down for her nap. Her lunch is usually leftovers from the night before, a toddler approved Green Smoothie, Annie’s Mac and Cheese (no shame in my game!), plus some fruit and water.

12-2 PM – Naptime, glorious, naptime. Although T’s naps have been hit or miss over the last few weeks, she typically naps for 2-3 hours a day. During this time I shower, work on blog-related stuff and/or my Lipsense/SeneGence business, start or finish a load of laundry, and (somedays) clean one room of the house. I create a prioritized “to do” list for each naptime block at the start of the week and get as far as I can through that day’s list, bumping unfinished business to the evening “Task” block or to the next day. Obviously, this system gets WAY backed up when Little Miss decides to boycott her nap/s, but I digress…

Stay at home mom schedule and routine for a toddler

2-4 PM – This is the time we either A) get outside of the house to play (if I have an errand to run that day, we’ll go on the way home), or B) play indoors and incorporate a learning/developmental activity. This may be a trip to the park or zoo, going outside in our backyard to play with her water table or playhouse, artwork or another craft in the kitchen (this art smock is a must, and under $5!), a make shift “fort” in the living room, or up to her playroom to “cook,” in her kitchen  or play with her toys and dress up clothes. 

Around 4:00 I offer T a snack whether we are at home or out and about. Her favorites these days are gummies, protein + fiber bars, and Goldfish.

http://bit.ly/2z0ZiJH

6-7 PM – I begin preparing dinner around 6:00. While I’m prepping for dinner AJ (the hubs), Curious George, Peppa Pig or Daniel Tiger babysit for Taylor, and we eat together around 6:30 PM.

7-8 PM – Almost every weeknight Taylor takes a bath, and then we go through her bedtime routine. Since I’ve been at home with Taylor, my hubby and I have been switching off every other night with who is “in charge” of the bedtime routine. On my nights off, l usually take a bath with my favorite bath bomb and enjoy some “me time.” This time is so critical, especially on the nights when I need to put in evening work to catch up on or create something for my businesses.

9-11 PM – This is the time where I (usually) try and get things I didn’t get done earlier in the day done. Although, many nights all I do is enjoy a glasses of wine (or 2 or 3) and a crime show with my hubby on our comfy couch. Those are the best weeknights of all : )

I would love to know what your stay at home mom routine  and toddler schedule looks like. I love getting ideas from other mamas like you! How is it different than ours? How is it the same?

XO,

Ashley

How to create a low stress daily routine for a stay at home mom and a toddler schedule

 

Top 10 Useful Apps Every New Mom Needs On Her Phone

Make life as a New Mom a little easier with these top 10 (FREE!) phone apps - for iPhone or Android - recommended by a new mom herself!

Make life as a New Mom a little easier with these top 10 (FREE!) phone apps - for iPhone or Android - recommended by a new mom herself!

Thank you to Caseapp.com for sponsoring this post. As always, all views and opinions are 100% mine.

Yes, yes, I know that women for centuries got by just fine without all the technologies available to us moms these days. However, I truly don’t know what I would have done without my iPhone, laptop and particularly the apps that made life SO much easier and much less stressful for me as a new mom. 

I want to share the top 10 apps that I personally used and think would benefit any new mom + will continue to be useful as your baby grows; I’m still using all of these apps now and Taylor is almost 1.5.  All of the apps listed are available in the iTunes App Store and I’m almost certain all are also available for Android phones as well. I hope one or more of the apps I share will make YOUR life as a new mom a little easier or sweeter!

Make life as a New Mom a little easier with these top 10 (FREE!) phone apps - for iPhone or Android - recommended by a new mom herself!

On to the top 10 apps for a new mom …

    1. White Noise App – I personally used the Sound Sleeper app and could often be mistaken for a walking thunderstorm with Taylor in her stroller during those early months when she would only fall asleep to fairly loud “rain” (read my other 4 tips for newborn sleep in this post). Whatever works, whatever works…It’s also useful to have white noise on your phone when traveling if you don’t want to bring along a bulkier sound machine; This brings me to the next app…
    2. Baby Monitor Annie – You have to have another person set this app up on their phone as well, but once that’s taken care of it’s easy to then utilize your phones as the camera and receiver – just like you would for a baby monitor. We did this a couple of times when we stayed at my parents’ house and didn’t pack our monitor.
    3. Starbucks App – I used this embarrassingly too often to order + pay for my coffee ahead of time if I knew I was already going to be out and about near a Starbucks. Sometimes I would make a trip out of walking there from home (we used to live about a mile away). It’s the little accomplishments, like getting out for a coffee with a newborn, that makes a new mom proud! If you have a baby prone to fussing while not in motion like mine was, then you don’t want to be waiting in line and then for your drink if it can be avoided. Stroll in, grab coffee, stroll out. It’s not lazy, it’s GENIUS.
    1. LifeCake – this is an app you can start using from your baby’s first day in the hospital through their first day in college if you really wanted to be a Mamarazzi like that. You can grant access to as many friends or family as you want. It’s nice because you can post pictures every day if you want, and not have to worry about privacy and/or annoying everyone else on your Facebook feed that isn’t immediately related to your little, photo-overload worthy cutie. Anyone you add can then see and comment on photos you post, which are labeled by their day and month of age. This app is especially useful if you have parents/grandparents who don’t live nearby and want to see their grandchild and share in their day to day. We added our parents and siblings, who don’t live in our immediate area, and it’s been a great way to stay connected. LifeCake will also put together a photo book of your photos for an additional cost. Make life as a New Mom a little easier with these top 10 (FREE!) phone apps - for iPhone or Android - recommended by a new mom herself!
    1. Wonder Weeks – have you ever wondered why your baby or toddler is more fussy than usual over a period of days or weeks? Well, “wonder” no more with this app! You create a profile for your baby and then have access to a personalized weekly calendar of their mental development that keeps you informed of their “leaps”, when you can expect fussy behavior, and why! Make life as a New Mom a little easier with these top 10 (FREE!) phone apps - for iPhone or Android - recommended by a new mom herself!
    2. Web MD Baby – this is an app I discovered after the newborn days but wish I’d had sooner! Not only is the app a feeding, diaper and sleep tracker, but also a great resourece tool;  The Baby 101 section has hundreds of articles and resources on everything you’d want to know about your new baby, from colic to skin care.
    3. Facebook – so this app (and the next one) you could access through your laptop or computer, and probably already have BUT are you a member of the Facebook Groups Precious Little Sleep and Breast, Bottle & Beyond?? I cannot tell you how many times admins and members of these groups came to my rescue, even in the middle of the night. See the evidence of this below! I probably would have thrown in the proverbial breastfeeding towel if it weren’t for the support of the community in BB&B, as well as my friend who also happens to be a lactation consultant. You can read my interview with her + her top tips for breastfeeding mamas in this post. You do have to request to join both groups, but I am sure you’ll be approved!Make life as a New Mom a little easier with these top 10 (FREE!) phone apps - for iPhone or Android - recommended by a new mom herself!Make life as a New Mom a little easier with these top 10 (FREE!) phone apps - for iPhone or Android - recommended by a new mom herself!
    4. Pinterest – Forget Google, THIS is my (almost) All Things Motherhood search engine. I spent a TON of time on Pinterest when I was home on maternity leave and nursing newborn Taylor all the time.  I’d sift through articles, read, then pin the best ones related to sleep, feeding, new mom hacks/advice, inspirational quotes, postpartum, and basically all things new mom (like thousands). I would love to save you the trouble of doing all of that, so just follow me on Pinterest and check out the pinned posts on all my new mom related boards!Make life as a New Mom a little easier with these top 10 (FREE!) phone apps - for iPhone or Android - recommended by a new mom herself!
    5. BabySparks – Developmental Activities & Milestones – I love having this app to give me ideas of activities to help Taylor develop in the seven critical areas: Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Cognitive, Speech, Sensory, Self-Care, and Social Emotional. The app includes information regarding development from month to month (from 0 to 2 years old), as well as specific activities that you can do with your baby. Each activity has a demonstration video as well as a detailed how-to description. You can also search for your specific need/s, which for us was Tummy Time/rolling!
    6. Instacart – This just might be THE most useful app for new and/or pregnancy moms, especially in those first postpartum weeks. You know, when all+ of your energy is taken up trying to take care and sustain a little life, and the last thing you can think about doing is getting out of the house to go grocery shopping? If Instacart is available in your area you can order groceries from your local store via Instacart, then one of their shoppers will pick them up for and deliver them to you at the time you specify. Say whaaaat?! This was a lifesaver for me as a new mom, particularly when I went back to work and didn’t want to spend any of my non-working time doing anything except being with T! My referral code is ALATIMER14 – you’ll get $10 off your first order and I’ll get $10 too! You can then share your own referral code with friends and get $10 in InstaCart credit.

Make life as a New Mom a little easier with these top 10 (FREE!) phone apps - for iPhone or Android - recommended by a new mom herself!

So, let’s talk about my iPhone case and Laptop Skin for a minute; how cute are they? Both are from Caseapp.com. You have the option to create your own custom cases and skins, which I had every intention of doing,  but I honestly couldn’t get past how stinking cute their ready made patterns were! Is it weird that I chose a laptop skin that matches my downstairs decor/color theme?? Okay, I didn’t think so… : )

Make life as a New Mom a little easier with these top 10 (FREE!) phone apps - for iPhone or Android - recommended by a new mom herself!

I think I picked the cutest patterns ever, but check out all of the options here yourself,  and let me know which one you like best! You can use code TAYLORMADE20 to receive 20% off your order at Caseapp.com, valid until October 21, 2017.

Are there any Apps you would recommend for new moms or moms with toddlers? Leave me a comment and let me know!

 

 

 

Other Ta[y]lor-made Mama posts you may be interested in:

 

Everything You Need In A Toddler’s Emergency Car Kit

What to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler. Be prepared for any emergency

What to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler. Be prepared for any emergency

Do you have a toddler car kit stocked with everything you would need in case of emergency (i.e. forgotten diapers, sudden need for a potty break, stuck in traffic, car wont’ start,  flat tire, etc.)? Do you lug around a huge diaper bag full of everything under the sun in case of emergency and want to lighten your load? If you answered yes to either question, then this post is for you!

Taylor and I were out and about the other day when she needed a mid-shopping diaper change. I realized I didn’t have a diaper in my diaper bag – TOTAL #momfail. Then I remembered the Baby Car Kit I keep for her in the trunk of my car (this also happens to be one of this blog’s most popular posts to date!). Relieved, we walked to the parking lot for her change. Much to my chagrin, I realized it had been quite a while since I’d updated her kit, and the diapers I had in stock were a size too small. Although I was able to squeeze her into the diaper until we made it home and I wouldn’t necessarily categorize this as an “emergency” situation, it did remind me that our original emergency car kit needed a little updating.

So update I did, and here is exactly what is you need for an emergency car kit, fit for a toddler.

Everything You Need In A Toddler’s Emergency Car Kit What to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler. Be prepared for any emergency

Here is a list of everything you need to pack in an Emergency Car Kit for your toddler to keep them fed, changed, happy and entertained in case of an unpredictable situation (or if you just don’t feel like dragging a big ole diaper bag around with you everywhere!). I pack all of this in this bin + lid from Tar-jay – it’s less than $10 and fits all our supplies (minus the portable potty) perfectly!

What to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler. Be prepared for any emergency

        1. Water bottle with a spout (at least 1) to  keep both you and your tot hydrated.
        2. 3-4 diapers
        3. Wipes – I keep my wipes in a lined, zippered bag like this one so that moisture doesn’t escape over time (especially when it’s hot!).
        4. Non-perishable snacks like Annie’s gluten free oatmeal bars or these Sprout Power Pouches.
        5. Disposable diaper bags + dispenser –  I have these Munchkin bags and dispensers in my diaper bag, daycare bag and car kit.
        6. Diapering creams
        7. Roll of toilet paper – if you’re in the potty training stage, this is critical, along with this portable potty (scroll down for more details).
        8. 1-2 activities/toys – I always keep 1-2 books and an activity that could consume my toddler’s attention for the maximum amount of time possible. This Magnetic Curious George Set is perfect for the car and developing imagination, and T loves it!
        9. Travel first aid kit  – you could, of course, put one together yourself, but I chose to buy http://bit.ly/2xKe7PVthis one from Target for $6.49.
        10. Sunscreen  – my favorites are this spray version and  pure mineral sunscreen face stick from Babyganics.
        11. Changing pad  – the one pictured here is sold out, but this is a great option on Amazon Prime + only $6.
        12. Hand sanitizer – I have one of these Babyganics hand sanitizer pumps in our change table caddy, nursing station basket and in the emergency car kit. I like this brand because it is alcohol and paraben free, yet 99% effective in killing germs.
        13. Tissues
        14. Spare outfit (socks, pants, shirt) – I keep a t-shirt and pants that are 1-2 sizes too big so that I do not have to think about updating the spare outfit every couple of months because – growth spurts. The Cat & Jack line at Target has super cute T-Shirts for between $4.50 and $6.00  (both short and long sleeved depending on the seasons you’re in/entering).
        15. 2 gallon Ziploc bags
        16. {NOT PICTURED} Lightweight blanket – I keep a swaddle blanket by Aden & Anais in the car in case it gets chilly.
        17. {NOT PICTURED} A Restaurant Kit – create a Restaurant Kit with all the essentials you need to reduce the stress of dining out with little ones and keep it in your trunk. I have actually been bringing the Airplane Entertainment Kit in the car lately because it’s so packed with things to keep T busy.
        18. {NOT PICTURED, but a MUST HAVE} Potette portable travel + training potty – I don’t yet have this portable potty because we haven’t started potty training at this point, but it is already on my Amazon shopping list for later. My best friends both have this in their cars and it’s come in incredibly handy on numerous occasions. You can actually be out and about during potty training because it can be adapted to any toilet seat OR you can just plop in on the ground anywhere you are and the disposable liners catch everything. Genius, right?!

      everything you need to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler

      What to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler. Be prepared for any emergency

      To access the printable Toddler Emergency Car Kit Checklist use this link or just click on the image below.  Print it, shop with it, then keep it in your kit to make sure you’re always stocked up. As a subscriber, you can access and download this and any of the other printables from my website by going to the Printables Library Page and entering the password I emailed to you when you subscribed.

      What to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler. Be prepared for any emergency

      Is there anything I’m missing? What other ways do you keep your car organized and prepared for your little ones? Let me know if I’m missing anything in the comments on this post and I’ll happily update my kit + this post.

       

       

       

      P.S. This post is part of the Packed to Perfection Series. Each post (including one of my most popular – “What To Pack In A Carry-On To Entertain A Toddler On An Airplane”) includes tips for what to pack and printable checklists to make sure you don’t forget anything. It’s hard enough remembering what to pack for yourself, right?!  I like to print my checklists, laminate them and keep them in my bags/suitcases/kits so that they are right on hand and I can keep track of what needs packing, refilling, etc.

      Other Ta[y]lor-made Mama posts you may be interested in:

      What to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler. Be prepared for any emergency