Let's face it people, life is busy, especially with tiny humans. I've been a mama for almost three years, & now with two littles, my life is definitely a little crazy. After a while, we all find ways to survive the madness & maybe find some things to make the every day a little bit easier. I was recently challenged on Instagram by my friend, Annalee (@storie.with.the.ohs), to come up with a list of my top 10 items that I love/need to make my busy days less crazy.
We've both decided to go a little more in depth with the idea & each make a blog post of our choices.
Red Rose Tea
Most of my list is in no particular order, except #1, Red Rose Tea.
A nice hot cuppa (or realistically like...4) sustains me throughout my day, first thing in the morning all the way to before bed. I can safely say I am a tea addict, but only my "old lady" tea. I've tried so hard to like other teas & I have tried so many, but nothing hits the spot like a boring, yet delicious, cup of orange pekoe. I started drinking tea around 3 years old (yes judgy-judgerson, 3 years old). Every Sunday after church, my family & I would head over to my Grandma's house where she would always serve me tea out of my favourite rose patterned mug with those chocolate sided digestive cookies. As you can imagine, tea doesn't taste amazing on its own to a 3 year old, so I drank it with a lot of cream, & quite a bit of sugar & even at 30 years old, I still drink it exactly the same. The only change I have made is cut real sugar & switched to Splenda (so I don't die).
One of the biggest life savers I own (a gift from my sister) is my Mamaroo. It's definitely a pricey item, but I can assure you it is worth every penny. Even when I just had Holly, it was a perfect safe spot to put her down so I could eat & enjoy hot tea (The Mamaroo has buckles to hold babies in). Now, with a busy 2.5 year old & a 4 month old, I don't know how I would make it through the day without it. I can get basic tasks done without carrying around my 16 lb baby. The Mamaroo also has an attached mobile that Penny is in love with. Sitting in her chair entertains her for a good chunk of time which also means I don't have to feel guilty about putting her down either.
This is another splurge item, my Lovebird Sewing Co. baby nest. I knew once nice weather came, chasing & entertaining my busy toddler around outside would make it hard to hold a baby, not to mention visiting at other people's houses, so I needed a portable comfy spot to put Penny down that wasn't sketchy like a car seat. The Lovebird nests are amazing, high quality, stuffed nice & full so they're safe & sturdy, super durable (they can go outside!), not to mention all the gorgeous fabric choices. Not only is it a great place to put baby down, but the raised edges are great for tummy time! I love to put the nest in the middle of my bed, or on the floor of the bathroom, & pop Penny up on the edge for some tummy time practice as I have a quick shower.
This company is also a local one, but this one has delicious products! GORP. GORP energy bars are so delicious. I discovered them in individual bar form, but everyone in my house loves them so much that I have to buy the ready-mix bags to make a large batch myself. They are made from Canadian ingredients you can feel good about & unlike other energy bars, they are actually super tasty. I use them as a quick breakfast/lunch on the go, a snack for myself or Holly & they have even been a super satisfying dessert (the toddlers choice!) I have also just tried their new oatmeal as well, the prairie berry flavour, & it makes a great breakfast or snack too, but my original love are those energy bars.
I find myself grabbing one of my scrunchies almost every morning when I get ready. I recently cut my hair short, so I can't rock the mom bun anymore, but I love to put up half of my hair in a "bun" with the scrunchie. It gives the illusion of volume to my flat, dry shampooed hair & bonus, totally on trend right now! But, unlike other scrunchies out there, the Loose Thread Co. ones have a ridiculously strong hold so they stay in all day, even through time at the park & laying down for story time. One other thing that makes them exciting for me is that they are made right here in my province! That always makes my heart happy! I only have two so far...but I definitely need more!
Anyone who has kids can relate to the constant lack of a free hand. After I had Penny, I decided to give a ring sling a try, & they are by far the best things EVER, hence making the list. I tried wrap style carriers, but I could never get mine good & tight & it took forever to put on. I do own, & love my Tula carrier but it's way too bulky for just kicking around or in the house. Bring in the ring sling. So easy to put on & throw baby in, doesn't hurt my shoulders, good to 35 lbs &super lightweight. I actually got my first ring sling from Annalee, a Hope & Plum single layer linen in a beautiful soft pink called Laurel. I loved my sling so much that I bought a 2nd one to have. I bought a Kyte baby ring sling in Wisteria (a super soft blue). The Kyte Baby one even has a magnificent double pocket! Awesome for times where I don't want to lug around the diaper bag & just need my keys, phone & wallet. I don't know what I would do without my ring slings. They have made times where I am alone with the kids way easier. I'm talking lone shopping trips where I put Holly in the cart, park days, long walks or when Penny just wants to be held but I still have to function as a mom for Holly. So if you're looking for quick hands-free help, seriously, a ring sling.
Continuing with the hands full theme, these I have loved & owned even before children. My Toms. Super comfy, easy to slip on without needing your hands, pretty cute, & buying Toms supports many great causes. Every pair I have ever owned end up with many holes from excessive use. But, even with holes they are still so comfy! I only replace them so I don't look like a crazy person.
Yes, you read that correctly, on my list are the Backstreet Boys. This is definitely a self care "item". BSB music has always been my go-to feel good music. Whether it be getting ready to go out, background music to my cleaning or just teaching my toddler early to love it, I almost always have them playing. My amazing sister just bought me tickets to their new show for my 30th birthday, & I could not be more excited! With those tickets came a CD copy of their new album, DNA, so naturally, that is the current CD in my car. If you haven't heard it yet, the song No Place is my favourite. Even Holly knows all of the words in the chorus. I especially love the music video for that song, gets me in the feels every time. It makes me happy, because it's like my favourite boy band has grown up, & I can totally relate to that song & video, just as much as I did their old music when I was a teen.
Tim Horton's Steeped Tea
I know I have tea on here already, but the addiction is strong my friends. There isn't always time to steep a good cup of tea, especially when you are in the process of wrangling a 2.5 year old & getting a baby ready to head out the door. I always end up with chaos & cold tea if I ever try to make a to-go cup. So, the start of almost all outings is a stop at the Tim Horton's drive-thru for an XL Steeped tea with all the fixings, & a couple chocolate Timbits for the beast. It's not the best habit for many reasons but there is something to be said for convenience & a perfect cup of hot tea handed to you almost instantly after you ask for it is pretty darned convenient. At least it's not as expensive as Starbucks!
White Noise App
This one is sort of random, bit it seriously has been a life saver with both of my girls. It's called White Noise Baby Sleep, & it's a free app to download to your phone. It has 28 different sound options; a volume control & it has a timer you can set which includes an infinite option. All I need to do to put Penny to bed at night is put her in her nest with a soother & turn on "vacuum cleaner 2" & she is out cold in less than 5 minutes. True, she is an amazing baby, but without white noise it takes a lot longer & there's a lot more fussing. I do have to sacrifice my phone at night to use it, but it's also nice to be forced to unplug now & then. Also, why buy a pricey white noise machine when you can use a free app!?
Those are my 10 favourite things right now. I won't lie, it was fun to think about the things that I use everyday that I might normally overlook. Makes me wonder if I could handle mom life without all these bells & whistles...do you have any favourite items that are essential to you? Did any of yours make my list? If you're curious to know Annalee's list, head over to her Blog & check it out!
A little more about my friend Annalee
Annalee is one bad ass Mama. Already a mama to 3 sweet little ones, she always seems to be so organized & get everything done. Annalee does it all, cooks, bakes, blogs, plays piano, crafts, & still has the time for her family & home. She seriously makes me want to get my shit together more, & I am constantly harassing her for ideas & tips on how to do so. We "met" through an engagement group on Instagram, originally mainly for our child brand repping, but through that our relationship has become more. It's awesome how you can be friends with someone you have never met in person, sort of like modern day pen-pals.