3 things to try this summer

things to try this summer

I’ve already seen the back to school tax-free weekend signs popping up in stores around town. I don’t know about you, but I’m not quite ready to throw in the beach towel quite yet.

With several weeks left to take advantage of these hot sunny days with the kids home, I wanted to share my 3 summer discoveries. {Bonus: the first two were created by working moms.} I hope you find a few new things to try this summer!

things to try this summer jl childress car organizer

Hit the road

Summertime means road trips for a lot of families. We were no exception this year with our 12 hour drive to our new home in Texas. There’s no way we would have survived the trek without two things. First, a portable DVD player stocked with all of the Disney Jr. favorites. Second, this Backseat Butler Car Organizer.

The car organizer from J.L. Childress {you met the co-owners back in June} has a lot going for it. It’s the perfect size with just the right amount of pockets for tucking away books and baby wipes. The main compartment is huge and stores plenty of toys and activities to keep kids busy. The two cup holders are a lifesaver in my SUV where typically neither kid can reach their drinks while strapped into their carseats.

My only con for this road trip essential was that it’s designed to sit on a bench seat. We tried to strap it to the cooler in between the bucket seats, but my son always found a way to take it off every hundred miles!

Take a hike

After spending nearly a week inside our new house in Houston unpacking, my family got stir crazy. Desperate for social interaction with the outside world, we hit up a park nearby where we bumped into several families finishing a walk together. Thanks to Hike it Baby these group family outings are happening everyday all over the world.

It’s no surprise this organization was started by a mom looking to get out of her house with her newborn son. It has grown into an international community, many offering multiple meet ups every single day.

With so many options there’s never an excuse not to get out and enjoy some fresh air. And not only is Hike It Baby a great way to get your family outdoors this summer {and all year long}, but you’ll likely make some new friends and explore some new places along the way!

Go Green, Go Deep

e-cloth-deep-clean-mop-free-mamaWhen I found out I was pregnant earlier this summer I had to make some changes. No more changing the kitty litter. No more heavy lifting. And no more chemicals. These last two were especially tough as we attempted to keep our Kansas City home clean for showings and began packing.

Then I came across the Deep Clean Mop from e-cloth. It’s super light and is so flexible it can practically lay flat to reach under low tables and couches. Plus, I can go from my tile kitchen to my wood floors with the same product and all I need is water. Yup, the fibers remove over 99% of all bacteria and dirt your kids and pets track in without using any chemicals.

The best part is that you can have one too! Tell me about something amazing you discovered this summer in the comments and be entered to win a Deep Clean Mop of your own.

Disclosure: this is a sponsored post. I received free products from J.L. Childress and e-cloth in exchange for a review.

Bouncing back: 5 tips for climbing out of a rut

climbing out of a rut

Y’all. I’ve been in Texas almost a month and I’ve realized two things. The first, I say y’all now. The second is that I am in a big time rut.

For starters, I’m coming off of one of the most stressful experiences of my life. Buying and selling a home doesn’t always bring out the best in a person. Moving cross country is a total mental, physical and emotional drain. Uprooting toddlers and finding new friends, new things to do and a new school isn’t my idea of a walk in the park. Plus, I’ve had to pull all this off before climbing into bed at 9 p.m. each day because baby Golden is zapping all of my energy for him {or her!} self.

So it’s no secret why I’m in a rut. The boxes are unpacked, the kids are settling into their new school and yet finding a way to climb out of this uninspired, unproductive hole still seems impossible.

If you’re normally quite constructive like me but have found yourself in a rut from time to time, read on!

Cut yourself some slack

As women we tend to be so hard on ourselves. Yet when I give myself a hard time about something, it tends to make me feel way worse. But who hasn’t been in a career or life rut? It happens to the best of us! Over the last few months I’ve chosen to be generous with myself when it comes to how much television I’ve let my kids watch or how little I’ve contributed to this blog. I was doing my best given my situation, all of which was temporary after all.

Start small

You’ll never get out of your rut if you acknowledge you’re in one and decide to to try to climb out. I recommend starting with something small. A big, overwhelming undertaking could send you right back into rut-mode, but taking on a manageable task and finishing it with ease may give you the encouraging boost to move on to the next to-do. Momentum gained!

Find inspiration

If you’re having trouble even getting started, you need to find a bit of inspiration. Maybe it’s going for a walk outside {I always bring my phone on walks because A. music and B. note taking for when those big ideas pop into my head}. Or listening to music. Or visiting an art exhibit. Whatever activity clears your head will help you forget your rut and fill your mind with motivation.  If that nature hike doesn’t shake your rut strut, spend some time with your children, husband or best friend. These people we love {who don’t judge us!} tend to remind us of what we’re capable of.

Do your best

If you’re like me, you are used to giving everything 110%. But vying for perfection could leave you drained or disappointed. For climbing out of a rut you need to abandon your usually high standards and find satisfaction in getting the job done. There’s plenty of time to improve when you’re rut-less.

Keep climbing

You did it! You’ve done something. It may not be your best work. It may not even contribute to your goals at all. But it was something. Anything. And now you can – and will – move forward, gradually introducing a renewed focus and quality. You’ve got this, mama!

“We committed to finding a solution for moms just like us”

help for nursing moms

Q&A with Priya Nembhard

Have you ever seen a man try to figure out a breast pump?

Neither had I until I came across this video on Facebook as a special Father’s Day shout out to nursing moms last month. It was cute and clever and showed some serious support from a husband to what his wife went through to feed their child.

The video was posted by Moms Pump Here, a service that helps breastfeeding moms locate a clean place to nurse or pump while on the go all from a smartphone. Why didn’t I think of that?!

It turns out this App is just one of the successful businesses co-creator Priya Nembhard has up her nursing bra. I couldn’t wait chat more with this mompreneur extraordinaire.

Self-promo time. What do you do?

I’m a serial entrepreneur who loves talking about topics I’m passionate about. I once applied to be an astronaut with NASA, ran a couple of marathons, broke a state dead lift record when I was 17 and my life goal is to save the planet.

I am the Co-Founder of Moms Pump Here, the Nursing Room Locator App helping moms find, rate and share places to breastfeed and breast pump around the world. I am also the Founder of a non-profit in Miami, The EDGE Charitable Foundation, Co-owner of the digital media company, Blue Box Media and a bunch of side projects that remind me that I’m human.

What is a typical day like for you?

An entrepreneur’s life is a constant hustle…brainstorming 24/7. Thinking about your next move and what you need to accomplish. So work tends to happen most of the day if I am not careful. I do love to start my day with a cup of black coffee and quiet. So if the kids sleep late it’s like a mini vacation every morning.

Where did the inspiration come from for Moms Pump Here?

My business partner, Kim Harrison, and I are both moms of 3. We both breastfed and breast pumped for our children. We have also known each other since college. Kim contacted me one day complaining about the horrible experience she had looking for a place to pump at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan while attending a conference. She had to resort to using a dirty bathroom stall. We both thought that no mom should have to go through that. No one would eat in a bathroom, why should we nurse our children or prepare their food in one. So we committed to finding a solution for moms just like us and Moms Pump Here was born!

Where’s the strangest place you’ve pumped?

My wedding! My husband and I did everything backwards. I had my first 2 children prior to getting married. My daughter was born 2 months before my wedding. So I had to run to the bathroom, which happened to have a small lounge in it, to pump. Plus I had to wear nursing pads under my dress to absorb leakage.

help for nursing moms

Finish this sentence. Before I had kids, I wish someone had told me…

To not be so serious or to rush. We should have traveled a little bit more before getting married exploring the world, going camping or just being more adventurous. But then again everything happens the way it’s supposed to.

How have your professional goals changed since starting a family of your own?

I prefer to be home and have the flexibility to be with my family. It’s also more important now to leave a legacy for them. Professionally, it’s more about changing the world {for the better} for them and their children.

What’s your best advice for working moms?

Balance will always seem like it’s unattainable, especially if you have more than one child. Be kind to yourself. We are living on a tiny blue ball rotating around a massive sun among millions of stars in a galaxy among trillions of galaxies in a multi-verse. At the end of the day we are all just stardust.

What’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of?

My children are easy first place winners. But professionally there is so much. One major milestone is coming up for me next year. My Foundation, the EDGE, will celebrate its 10 yr anniversary. I put my blood, sweat and tears into building the organization and helping so many children. This past January I stepped down from my Vice President position after serving in the role for 8 years, to become Board Emeritus. And to bring it full circle my children grew up in the EDGE. It’s a part of who they are forever.

I’m on a quest to having it all. Do you think you have it all?

Having it all for me means my children are happy and loved. There is no point in changing the world for the better if they’re not. Physically it also means sitting on my boat, under a beautiful night sky with my telescope, with calm in my heart and a glass of wine in my hand. Of course, with my kids and husband. No wine for the kids.

Want to be interviewed for #workingmomwednesday? Contact me to find out how.