There are lots of items I would consider absolutely essential as a mom, but honestly there’s only one item I can’t go 20 minutes without and that’s my phone. And it’s not because I’m playing Candy Crush or posting pictures on Facebook. It’s because of the collection of free apps I’ve gathered that tell me what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Ones that calm my baby, put him to sleep, then calm me. And ones that tell me what’s going on outside the world of baby. And for those moments when I do have time to post on Facebook, it makes the process possible (and fun).
Putting together a baby registry (especially if it’s your first!) is one of the most exciting parts of a pregnancy. You can really start to visualize your baby being with you! There are tons and tons and tons of things to add to your registry – and you’ll still get a ton of stuff not on your registry – but you really don’t need (or necessarily want) all of those things. So here are the things you definitely DO want!
It’s hard to believe that at such a young age your toddler is able to actually help out with the cleaning, but it’s the perfect time to get them started! Not only do they love to be little helpers, but it’s a great way to keep them busy and mix things up a bit. Not to mention that it’s great to get some habits instilled early so that they eventually do certain chores on their own.
Most of the chores my son has taken on started because he wanted to be doing exactly what I was doing. Then I started to realize that he was capable of doing more and before long he had his own list!
Believe me, you (and they) are ready for this! Here are some chore ideas to start handing off to your toddler:
For me, nothing beats being a stay-at-home mom. It is the best decision I ever made and I wouldn’t change it for the world. But I feel lucky that in addition to being a stay-at-home mom, I’ve found an outlet that lets me escape the hardest parts of the day – the times when you feel unproductive, flustered, lonely, or out-of-control. Being at home is worth it – but it’s still tough!
For me, that outlet has been through writing. It has culminated in this blog, but behind that are freelance jobs, pet projects, and other sources of writing for pleasure or pay. And I didn’t start out as a writer. In fact, I often can’t believe that I’ve even found myself here because writing was never something I actually enjoyed, nor was it something I planned on doing. It just happened. But thank God it did, because now I don’t know what I’d do without it!
Related post: How to Start a Money-Making Blog
So, if you’re considering leaving the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom, or already are and are in desperate need of an outlet, here are all the reasons you need to seriously consider taking on some freelance work:
I’m a HUGE fan of self-help books…though not even slightly a fan of referring to them as “self-help books.” So I’m going to call them what they are – motivational books. These are the books that get you so excited in the morning that you achieve way more than you normally do. You have an extra beat in your step. You exercise more, you eat better. You smile more and you sleep better. They literally have the power to transform your life. And when they’re that good, you should definitely reread them every single year (which is what I try to do).
So what are the best of the best? The ones you should definitely reread every single year? 😉 Here they are:
Christmas for your 3-year old is a BIG deal. In many ways, it’s almost like their first Christmas because they’re finally old enough to understand everything and get excited! Which means you obviously don’t want to leave out any detail – including the stocking! Stockings are a ton of fun to shop for, but obviously you don’t want to spend too much money. All of these ideas are relatively cheap, but don’t forget about the easy wins, like their favorite snacks! Those will help to fill up the stocking so you can mix it up with other nice things.
If you have a blog or website, you already know (or will surely find out soon) that high-quality images are almost more important than the content of your site. As they say – an image is worth a thousand words. When your images aren’t up to par, not only is it way harder to market your material and products, but it also can appear unprofessional.
Basically, it’s worth the investment to find and create amazing images. And luckily nowadays you really don’t need to pay for a thing, so the only real investment is your time.
My absolute favorite go-to site for editing and creating images without a doubt is PicMonkey. It’s totally free, though I’ll be honest that this is one of the few online services where I pay for the upgraded version. I stubbornly refused to pay for years and then when I finally gave in, the increase in quality of my images paid me back 10 fold. Every single image that appears on my blog has been put through PicMonkey for minor or major edits, or has been created there from scratch. I’m telling you, if you use (or need) a lot of images, this site will be a game changer.
It’s fairly easy to play around with and figure out on your own, but here are my best tips to make the most of it and transform your images:
Shopping for 1-year olds can be so much fun. Everything is brand new to them! But it can still be tough because they haven’t quite grown into full-blown toys and there’s just so much out there to choose from.
My son was fortunate to be showered with gifts as a 1-year old and there were definite, obvious winners. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a lot for these little guys, which is especially the case when you’re looking to fill up their first little stocking! All of these gifts are inexpensive and small, so they’re perfect for little stocking stuffers!
Related post: 10 Gifts that 1-Year Old Boys Will Love
If you ever want to borrow money – whether for an emergency or to make an investment – you’ve got to have a good credit score. It will make the borrowing process ten times easier and more importantly, it will get you a lower interest rate on your loan. In the end, it will put more money in your pocket (and not the bank’s). Whether you’re just starting to build your credit or need to increase your credit score, here are some quick and easy fixes that could make a huge difference:
Related post: How to Buy Your First Investment Property
The ABC’s are one of the funnest things to start teaching your toddler – assuming they’re interested in learning. Luckily, there are so many different ways to incorporate the ABCs into their day – and more importantly, a billion ways to start exposing them to their letters so that they start to pick it up on their own.
Having a late talker, we were obsessed with learning the ABCs, so I’ve tested out more than you can imagine. Here are some of the coolest ideas I’ve come across, as well as some new fun things to try: