If only we were all so easily entertained by an apple slice and fork! Or more likely, his wild momma who was rocking out to the Space Jam soundtrack- trying to stay positive while watching this dang cute boy throw rice all over the floor. Haha, we all need a little oomph here and there throughout the day to help breakup the monotony sometimes, especially during this rainy season (does anyone find themselves getting stuck in a day-long cycle of mealtime/cleanup, mealtime/cleanup, mealtime/cleanup??? or is it just me…).
I’ve rounded up a comprehensive list of my current favs of podcasts, shows, books, apps and Insta accounts that may give you something new to look forward to when the kids are tucked into bed (or while you are having “me-time” with a chocolate bar in the pantry):
You guys, I can’t even explain to you how obsessed with this podcast I am. Truly, I believe that just by listening to it, you will become a better, fuller, more enriched person, and start to live a more purposeful life.
I didn’t really ever watch Oprah’s talk show growing up, so you could say I am a new fan of Oprah- but she completely won me over with these amazing, thought provoking and enlightened conversations.
Each episode Oprah speaks to various renowned thought leaders who explore their spiritual beliefs that span across the board from mystics to Baptist ministers. Each conversation has opened a new facet of self-understanding for me, and has truly helped me understand why I am the way I am, and in turn how to awaken my best self.
I’m a true believer of the idea that “you are what you consume”- whether that is the food you eat, the products you buy, or the music, movies and media that is constantly streamed into our senses. It is up to us to choose to fill ourselves with only the best- and I am telling you this is the best podcast I have ever come across.
This podcast has become a parenting life-saver for me and I am so grateful to have found it while the boys are still really young. Janet focuses on respectful parenting, affirming emotions and practical advice. She addresses very specific situations (for example, the best way to deal with intense tantrums), and provides examples of exactly what to do and say that will most of the time return a positive or productive result.
Most of the podcasts are pretty short- around 20 minutes, and they all provide insight into what is psychologically and developmentally going on in your child at different stages that affect they way they are able to behave. For me, being reminded that children are simply not capable of certain things because their brain is still forming, is so important to modifying my expectations of them and then in turn my reactions.
So this app was recommended to me a few years back and is something I still use regularly. EWG aka the Environmental Working Group is a non-profit org that does research and advocates healthier lives via consumer education. Their app helps you check the safety and ingredients of your cosmetics, sunscreens, household cleaners, or food. You can either search for the item in the app or you can scan the barcode with your phone’s camera.
Ideally this is used best when shopping for products, but when I first downloaded the app, I scanned all of my baby food & baby care items in my house and ended up throwing a lot of it away once I realized how incredibly toxic it all was. It has been a great resource to help me make smart choices. They say once you know better– do better, and this app helps you easily become educated in what you are consuming as a family so that you can do better moving forward.
b. Le Tote
Le Tote was invaluable to me when I was a working mom and also pregnant with both boys. Similar to Stitch Fix, Le Tote is a monthly clothing subscription service that ships you a box of clothes each month to try. If you end up really loving an item, you can just keep it, purchased at a discounted rate, and send the rest of the items back. Then, when Le Tote receives your returns, they send you a brand new box of items. Le Tote styles each box for you, but you have the opportunity to switch out items, which is what I ended up doing 95% of the time.
Although I love to shop, right now I have zero time to shop for clothes, let alone on a monthly basis, so Le Tote helps keep my wardrobe fresh and also helps me find items I would normally not select for myself but end up loving.
I really loved the maternity option too when I was pregnant. I hated buying maternity clothes, knowing I would only wear them for several months- and also I constantly needed new sizes for my growing belly. It only made financial sense to use this service instead of constantly shopping for new clothes.
a. Jasmine Rae
Ok, so let’s talk about hair. Y’all, I HATE washing/drying/styling my hair. You can find me in a pony or top-knot 95% of the time, because I have always felt it is completely necessary to wash, dry, curl ect. every time I want to wear my hair down and that whole process just takes WAY. TOO. MUCH. TIME. to do everyday. But this lady @jasmineraehairco is here to change the game. She is a professional hairstylist who knows her shizz and just went 30 days without washing or curling her hair and on day 30 it still looked CLEAN & GORGEOUS. She has tips on how to “train your hair” in her story bubbles on her page and I am eating them up right now. So if you want amazingly healthy, beautiful hair without spending any time on it- follow this chica. She’s hilarious too!
She has a lot of kids (5!). She knows the struggle. She keeps it real. But she also is a mom-blogger and party-thrower extraordinare. Sooo many cute but doable ideas for throwing sweet but simple parties at home. Nothing too fancy or over the top. Check her out at @athomewithnatalie!
c. Clean Mama
I started following @cleanmama a few years back when I realized I needed to get a schedule down for keeping up with the house. I couldn’t handle doing it ALL on the weekend anymore- I wanted to use the weekend for fun and relaxation time, not scrubbing the house from top to bottom.
Clean Mama provides a simple weekly schedule to maintain the cleanliness of your house and also always gives little pointers and tricks on how to clean specific or hard to reach items. She also has a whole library of printable tools you can use to do monthly deep cleans or when you need to purge your house. Her daily reminders on my feed keep my on my toes and I have definitely noticed a positive impact on how I keep up with the house.
To sum up what Eckhart says in the first chapter- you are either ready to read this book and apply it to your life, or you are not. If you are not ready, it’s not that you aren’t smart enough or worthy enough, its just that you may just need to face some more struggles in your life or do some soul searching to prepare yourself for this book.
If you consider yourself someone who feels strongly about spirituality, or are just interested in different spiritual ideaologies, this book will hold a special place in your heart. The impact of Eckhart’s explanation of the ego has truly reshaped the way I think about myself and how I interact with the world around me. I eventually would like to do a longer blog post dedicated to this book, but to keep it short for now, I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes that really resonated with me and I had a hard time narrowing these down!
I am trying to get through all of Lewis’s books, and this one was a short and easy read but nonetheless impactful and thought provoking. Lewis provides a possible depiction of the afterlife through a fictional story that begins in hell and ends in heaven. It draws parallels to Dante’s Inferno but through lighter and simpler tones.
The major takeaway for me was the idea that we choose which arena we want to go to, we are not damned there by anyone else besides ourselves. And God gives us ample opportunity to make the right decision, even in the afterlife, according to this presentation. There are several examples of why people would ever choose to go to hell, and the one that resonated with me the most was the mother who loved her son SO, SO over the top much that she had actually created an idol out of him. Overall, this is a quick read that will leave a lasting impression on your thoughts of the afterlife.
Ok you caught me, so I don’t watch a lot of adult TV, and should definitely not be the one offering any sort of advice on what cool new show you should watch. I’m up to date on Game of Thrones, but I’m pretty sure that the finale of series 7 (in 2017!) was the last full episode of adult television I’ve watched since Kristian was born.
But that’s alright, that’s ok, because trust me I am fully locked and loaded when it comes to opinions on children’s television and movies. We don’t have the TV on all day here, but one show in the morning and a few movies a week before bed definitely add up and force us to keep the entertainment fresh or else we might go bananas. And its hard to find stuff that both the boys and I will like- besides Space Jam obviously.
The whole BBC conucopia of natural history film has kept us all super happy though with their outstanding film technology, interesting animal and nature facts, and their ability to capture two animals in the octogon way better than UFC ever will. And I really do think it has been educational especially for Kingston, who now fully knows and understands the cycle of water.
I hope everyone is surviving the last week or two of rain & snow (depending on where you are reading from), and I hope you have found ways to entertain yourself and your families! What are you guys into right now that I need to know about??? Leave below in the comments! xoxo