Moms, Here’s How You Can Pamper Yourself

Moms do it all. They manage houses, they sooth wounded knees, they kiss any pain away, and they cuddle all nightmares away. If you ask any mom if they still have any time to themselves, you would probably hear most them say that they don’t have any left to pamper themselves.

With busy schedules that a lot of mom handle, especially for working moms, it would be very impossible to find a free weekend all to themselves. Most moms still have to manage their households in the weekend. If you are a mom, then you would experience the same busy weekends as other moms. But, you should also give time to yourself. A 10 or 20 minute off your busy schedule is all that it takes to give yourself some relax time. Here’s how:

  • Allow yourself to waste time. Multitasking is something that busy moms are very familiar with. One hand is busy carrying a baby, and the other is busy checking off each item on the grocery list. But, moms, you are also allowed to waste some time all to yourself. Try to insert this 10-minute or 20-minute of “wasted” time in your busy daily schedule and mark it as “ME TIME”. You can do whatever you want in this 20 minutes. You can read your favorite magazine, eat your favorite dessert, or have a very nice bubble bath. The most important thing is that you do whatever makes you happy and relaxed.
  • Call your person. The allotted weekly me time of 10 or 20 minutes would not be a lot of time to meet your most favorite person for a cup of tea or coffee. But, it will give you time to speak to him or her over the phone and just catch up. Talk about the things that you both like. Try to avoid talking about house chores, kid sports, or any activity that your kids are doing. Make this time about you and your friendship. Use this time to connect or reconnect.
  • Have a foot massage or get a new Mani-Pedi. There are a lot of places in the malls or private salons that offer a 10 or 20-minute foot massage. The same time can also be used to having new manicures and pedicures. To do this, find that one salon that is nearest you. If you have a favorite salon, then you should go have your me time there.
  • Get bubbly. You should make this a weekly routine to have a bubble bath. This is not only relaxing, but very rejuvenating. If you are having a busy week, adding a bubble bath to your weekly routine would make you feel awesome. If you can, add this to your daily routine. It would not hurt to have a bubble bath before you say goodnight and get your good night’s rest.

It is very important that moms also give time to themselves. Not only are you busy managing your own careers, but also busy managing your family’s daily routine. A 10 or 20-minute of me time will really help you relax, reenergize, and rejuvenate yourselves.

A Healthy Diet For A Healthy Breastfeeding Mom

“Breastfeeding is best for babies up to two years”. This ad would be very familiar to you if you are a breastfeeding mom. You will also notice this advertisement on baby formulas on television. The reason why breastfeeding is best for babies is because it will ensure the best health and best developmental outcomes for them.

Breastfeeding is nutritionally demanding for both moms and babies. They both require more calorie and nutrients than the usual; and for moms, you need more than the usual calorie you take in the last trimester of your pregnancy. The calorie and nutrient intake need to be increased when breastfeeding to meet the nutrient requirement you need and what the baby needs. This means eating the right food for moms. With this in mind, here is a list of food that you can eat to set the stage for a lifelong and healthy eating pattern for you and your baby.

  • Eating avocado is good for you and your baby. It is rich in fiber, potassium, and mono-unsaturated fat, which is needed to absorb certain vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K. These vitamins are essential for the growth of your baby and for their brain development.
  • Pumpkin Seeds. Pumpkin seeds, also known as Pepitas, are a good source of fiber, protein, and most especially, iron. Iron is needed for proper development of nerve cells in babies. It is also essential in developing the brain and their specialization. In addition, iron is good for both mom and babies as they regulate the production of blood in the body. An ounce of pumpkin said on a daily basis would be enough to regulate the needed amount of iron for moms and babies.
  • Sweet Potatoes. This food is a good source of Vitamin A, potassium, and carotenoids. Vitamin A is essential for bone growth, immunity, cell specialization, and vision development. During pregnancy, even when you are taking more than enough Vitamin A for you and your growing child, your baby can only absorb and store so much of this Vitamin. This is why you still have to continue taking more than enough Vitamin A to sustain the growth and development of your child. One medium sweet potato can help you achieve this.
  • Yogurt. Yogurt is good for dessert and for snacks. It is best for breastfeeding moms as it is reach of protein, calcium, and probiotics. Calcium is essential for strengthening your baby’s teeth and bones. It is also needed for different bodily functions like muscle contraction and nerve functions. For mothers, high intake of calcium is important as you lose 300 to 400 milligrams of calcium on a daily basis because of breastfeeding. Thus, it is very essential that you eat different varieties of food that are rich in calcium. A small yogurt (eight ounces) has over 400 milligrams of calcium. This is why, it is recommended that you make it a habit of having a yogurt snack in a day. You can pair calcium-rich food with food rich with Vitamin D. This will increase absorption of necessary vitamins and minerals while breastfeeding. Some food rich with Vitamin D are tun, salmon, sardines, and fortified orange juice. When eating yogurt, you may avoid eating it together with spinach, collards, beans and sweet potatoes as they compete with calcium in body absorption.
  • Garbanzo Beans. This is commonly known as chickpeas. This food is a good source of Vitamin B-6, fiber, and protein. Vitamin B-6 is essential for your baby’s cognitive development, hemoglobin production, and in your baby’s immunity. Half a cup of chickpeas a day will provide you more than half of the recommended amount of this nutrient needed in breastfeeding.

Healthy Tips For Pregnant Moms

Getting pregnant could be one of the greatest things that a mother can experience and go through. This is especially true for parents who are going through the process for the first time. It can be very nervous and excited process with a few maternity check-ups along the way. As a pregnant mother, it is very important to stay healthy and be healthy throughout the process. This means eating the right amount of calories and eating the healthiest way possible. For pregnant moms, eating an extra 300 calories a day is a must to nourish your growing baby inside you. Eating a third of the extra calories at breakfast would help fuel your day-to-day activities, and also help nourish your growing baby. If you don’t particularly like eating breakfast or if you are having your morning sickness at this time of the day, there is nothing to worry about. You can still incorporate the extra calories in your breakfast in several ways.

Remember Your Daily Goal

For many expectant moms, eating breakfast could be a struggle. More often than not, pregnant mothers experience nausea and sickness in the morning, which leads to vomiting and not feeling so great. This is a result of the hormonal changes happening in the body to accommodate the growth of your baby. In your first trimester, it would feel like you can’t keep your food down. On the other hand, in your last trimester, it would feel like you will always have a room for an extra scoop of ice cream every meal. As mentioned above, it is important to eat an extra amount of calories on your daily diet. However, you should not pressure yourself to take that extra 100 calories at breakfast. The best thing to do is incorporate it throughout the day. You don’t have to eat that extra calorie in the morning if you don’t feel like it. The important thing to remember is the quality, not the quantity. This means that you don’t have to worry about meeting your food requirement in one seating. In addition, you can start your meal slow. Two hours later, if you feel like you can eat some more, then do so. Having an empty stomach in the morning is not recommended.

Healthy And Nutritional Breakfast Meals

It is not always that you will be able to hold everything down at breakfast, especially if you are still experiencing your morning sickness. No need to worry about eating as much as you can in breakfast. All you have to remember is incorporating one from each basic food group in all your meals. This could mean having a fruit juice with your breakfast, having a dairy product for your calcium and protein needs, or eating cereal or a toast of wheat bread in the morning. If you are always on the go, you can have a yogurt smoothie mixed with dried or fresh fruit in the morning. This is a very good and healthy on-the-go meal for pregnant mothers. If you can tolerate a full breakfast meal, then you should consider having a whole grain toast, with fresh fruits on the side. You may want to have an egg-white omelet with it, too.

Everything that you eat should be fresh. Thus, it is recommended to stay away from frozen products and eating ham or bacon in the morning. These traditional breakfast meals have high sodium levels, which is not good for you and your baby.

Minimize Your Coffee Intake

Coffee can be considered staple for those who are used to a few cups the entire day. However, for pregnant women, it is recommended to keep caffeine to the minimum. It is not entirely off limits. You just have to keep it up to 300 milligrams in a day. This means that your cup of coffee in the morning is the most that you can take in the day. If you want to drink coffee while you are at work, then you should consider drinking a decaffeinated coffee in the morning or having a half-caffeinated cup of coffee from the drive-thru. If you are a tea-drinker, then it is good news to you. Teas with caffeine does not have the same quantity of caffeine as those coffee served in a drive-thru. This means that you can drink two to three cups of tea during the day.

Safety Traveling Tips When Traveling Abroad With Kids

Traveling abroad can be very adventurous and fun especially if you have that adventurous side in you. However, traveling abroad with kids is a different kind of story. It can be very stressful to both parents and children. But, this does not mean that you have to limit your travels to where you can bring your car, or within the limits of your community. You certainly have all the rights to go out there and enjoy the fruits of your own labor. For you to enjoy your vacation abroad with kids, are some tips that may help you achieve just that.

  • You have to be realistic. If you are planning a 10-mile hike to enjoy the beauty of the Great Wall in China, then you are out of your mind. You should know that your kids will not be able to keep up with your energy or walk that long or be out with the elements that long especially in a strange environment. This may go well if you carry strollers with you, but that doesn’t sound so practical. If you really want to travel abroad with fun and enjoyment in mind, then you should plan it according to what your kids can do. Try to keep it balanced.
  • Plan and practice it. Before you start booking your ticket, make sure that you have emergency plans laid out for the most common family emergencies, like a child getting lost or being injured. It would help if you give your family members specific jobs to do when you are abroad. Who monitors who, and who does what. You can even tell your 18 months old son or daughter to always grab your hand whenever you are out. You can also tell your kids who to talk to when emergencies occur or which number to dial. Giving them a whistle to carry around would also help. But they might end up playing with it even when there’s no emergency.
  • Keep your photos around. This will be very helpful especially if one of your kids have separated from you (but God forbid it happens). In times of panic, you will not be able to think straight and will not be able to provide the authorities what they want to know in terms of how your kid look like or what they were wearing on the day it happened. One tip that is very useful is taking a photo of your kids before you go out for an adventure on a daily basis. That would make things very current and accurate for you.
  • Security and Blanket. Decide who will act as the security of your entire family or who will be the blanket when you travel. The “security” will be the one to get in line and buy tickets, talk to locals or tourist guides, or to keep an eye for any danger on the streets. The other parent will be the “blanket” of the entire family. This parent will be responsible for all the needs of the entire family. The “blanket” should know where each family member is, watch for any signs of a heat stroke or prevent one before it starts occurring, keep medicine and track which has been given, or mediate any family dispute. If you are a single parent, you can always ask your eldest child to be the blanket for your family.
  • Be hands-on. If you are traveling with preschoolers or kindergarteners, make sure that they know that they should always hold your hand (at all times), especially when you are out and about exploring the area. Each kid should be told which parent to hold whenever you are out with the crowd. Children can easily get lost in a very crowded environment and it is for this reason that they should always be by your side holding your hands. Knowing which kid is holding whose hand will also let you know that your kid is present. Otherwise, each parent will assume that the kid is holding the other.
  • Assign a place to meet. This is very helpful, especially if you are going to a new place. If by any chance, one of your kids get separated from you, then you would know where to look for as a place has been assigned when this kind of situation arises. This assigned place should be very visible and safe for anyone to be there. If you have a location map, give it to your child with the “X” mark on the spot where you are supposed to meet. This will help kind adults guide your child to that location.

The safety of your family should be a priority whenever you are traveling with kids abroad. With the tips above, it would be easier for you to plan, execute, and enjoy your vacation without worrying who does what. Enjoy your travels!

Mommy Tips: How To Balance Work and Family Time

One of the many things that every working mom may face at work or at home is time management. It is also important to know that everyone around cannot do everything done in a single timetable. If you are already used to doing a “To-Do List” when you still don’t have a baby, then managing your time now would not be that difficult. You just have to add a few more things on your list to get you organized.

To help you get organized, here are some tips that you may consider following:

  • Make use of your lunch breaks. If like everyone else in the working world, you enjoy a one-hour lunch break every work-day, it is recommended that you use this time to accomplish as much as you can on your To-Do List. If you come to think of it, that one-hour lunch break could sum up to five hours of free time from Monday to Friday without your kids around. If you have personal tasks that can be done in less than an hour, then you should try doing it on your lunch break.
  • Make use of technology. With the presence of technology in every day life routine, it would be very convenient of you have technology on your side. One of the many things that you can do to take advantage of technology is make use of free mobile applications that you can use to remind yourself of any pending tasks that need your attention. Mobile apps like Evernote or Wunderlist are very helpful with this. You can say goodbye to sticky notes when you have this on your mobile phone. You can also make use of cloud servers like Google Drive to save your coupons. Who doesn’t like discount coupons, right?
  • Plan your next day. It may sound so tedious doing this especially after juggling different tasks from work and at home but doing so will help you organize your time better. If you already have a plan in mind, it will be easier for you to go on with your day knowing all the things that need to be done – urgent or not. Also, if you are able to pack lunches for your husband, children, and yourself the night before, your mornings would be so much easier. You won’t feel the need to rush and get things done quickly.
  • Don’t be afraid to delegate. You are not superwoman or wonder woman who can get things done in the speed of light. Thus, delegating some task would be very helpful to you. You can make a To-Do List for the entire family. You can make this your routine so everyone will make it a habit of checking the To-Do List made by you. This can be very helpful, especially on the weekends when you have a lot of cleaning and organizing to do. If your children are old enough to make their beds and clean their room, you can make them so. One tip that is very useful is changing the Wi-Fi password and only giving it to them once their tasks are done. Awesome, right?
  • Learn to let go. You have to remember that you can only do so much in a day in a given time. Learn to let go. It is always possible that the things you need to do can’t be done on a certain time that you have scheduled it. You can always add it on your next To-Do List and make it a priority over other tasks.

How to Baby-Proof Your Rugs With These Simple Tips

Carpets and rugs are becoming to be home essential must-haves. It is now common to see houses with rugs or carpets laying around, or see mothers shopping for one in a rug store or in a department store. However, one challenge that a lot of mums face when it comes to rug is its cleanliness, especially when there is a child involved in the process. It is no question that a rug or a carpet makes your home look more beautiful and appealing with them in it. But, it is also important to baby-proof your rugs.

Your baby is probably sitting, rolling, lying, or crawling all around your house, including your rugs. Your baby is most probably going to stick his or her hand in his or her mouth after doing all the activities that he or she can do while on the floor. Thus, it is very important to keep everything clean and tidy to protect the baby from harmful dirt and germs which may come from anywhere in the house. The following tips will help your rugs become safe and baby-proof so you can relax and enjoy watching your baby playing on your rug.

Minimizing Dirt. It is unavoidable to have dirt come into your house. However, this can be minimized. Every mum should know that prevention is better than cure. Thus, it is very important to place doormats in every entrance in your house. With a doormat, everyone who is about to get in your house will have the chance to wipe away any dirt that may have stuck in their shoes. This will minimize dirt from getting trapped in your rug. However, the best way to avoid dirt from getting in is to practice what Japanese do, which is removing shoes before getting in the house. You can always provide slippers that are specifically used for when inside the house. You can also provide a shoe rack where people can leave their shoes to get things organized by the entrance of your house. This basic cleanliness tip will surely keep anything that is dirty out of your house.

Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Materials. When you are shopping for cleaning materials for your rug, it is a must that you look for the ones that are not harmful to your baby. There are a lot of alternatives that you can buy that are not toxic like the regular cleaning materials that you can easily buy in the market. Always look for alternatives. In addition, you can also use what is already available in your house when cleaning the rug on your own. When spills occur, you can use blotting papers or paper towels to soak it up. Paper towels or any absorbent cloth can help minimize the spill from ever staining your rug, and thus keeping it clean. Furthermore, for other cleaning purposes, you can mix water with a mild detergent to keep your rug clean. This mixture added with vinegar can clean dirt on the spot. This mixture is safer than buying cleaning materials in the market. Keep club soda, baking soda, or cornstarch handy in your house. These materials are very useful when removing stains, bad odors, or grease.

Keeping Your Rug Dry. An additional concern to all mums out there is how to keep their rugs really dry to keep fungus, mold, or mildew from growing. If you are cleaning your rug with water, it is a must that you keep it dry under the sun. Flip the rug on each side to maximize drying. You can also use fan to hasten the drying process. However, if it is avoidable, don’t wash your rug with water. If the stains and dirt can be removed without the use of water, please do so. However, if you really need to get it cleaned with water, you also have the option to call the professionals to have it done correctly. A professional cleaner will make sure everything is safe and baby-proof so you can just relax and wait for your rug to be delivered to your home.

Making Working and Breastfeeding Work

Many mothers already have a hard time breastfeeding their babies. But what if you’re also working? We are now seeing a growing number of women forgoing the norm of being plain housewives and actually joining the workforce. And when these women have babies, they are faced with the dilemma of continuing work or giving it up and just staying at home to take care of their child. If you’re one of them, here are some tips to help you make working and breastfeeding work.

  • Many employers have made their offices child-friendly; some allow mothers to bring their baby to work, while others offer an on-site daycare for their employees’ children. Explore your options and make the best out of them.
  • Make your breast pump your best friend. Learn how to effectively use one so you can efficiently pump enough milk for your baby before you leave for work. Your baby can have enough supply until you can get home.
  • If you can, squeeze pumping during your work times. There are hands-free pumps available today so you can extract milk while working in front of your computer or filing paperwork. Your office mates won’t even notice.
  • Be flexible and prepared to constantly change up your schedule from time to time. Babies can be quite unpredictable; the routine that works for them today might completely change the next. Re-evaluate your lifestyle and, if you can, explore other work possibilities.
  • If you cannot bring your baby to work, you can spend quality time with your baby at night after work. Use this time to breastfeed and bond with them. Also make the most of those days when you don’t have work.
  • Mothers who cannot pump enough milk can opt to mix feed their babies. This means feeding them formula as a backup for when they cannot extract enough milk. Ask your doctor for the best way to go about mixed feeding.
  • Finally, make sure that you also take care of yourself. All the initial stress of adjusting might leave you too tired to set aside time for your well-being. Eat properly, get some exercise and allow yourself to enjoy small luxuries and pampering once in a while.

Breastfeeding and working truly are hard to do simultaneously. Unfortunately, many mothers have to do it. But with the tips above, these tasks should be a lot easier and manageable. If you have any more questions about breastfeeding, talk to your doctor now. He should be able to give you more tips to ensure that you efficiently do your work while giving your baby optimal nutrition and care.

The Benefits of Hardwood Floors Vs. Carpeted Floors

When properly taken care of, the advantages a hardwood floor can offer as compared to carpeted floors are quite many and pay off in the long run.

Carpeting or Hardwood floors? Both options have very distinct benefits and disadvantages. While different working and living environments call for the use of specific materials, some features of hardwood floors and carpeting are normally consistent in almost all environments.

Carpeting

Comfortable and Quiet

One outstanding attribute of carpeting is that it is soft, buffering and insulating in nature. Carpeting not only absorbs sounds naturally but also retains heat, an aspect that can be quite beneficial in colder environments. Considering that carpeting is comfortable, it can be a great option for people who are regularly on their feet for long periods of time, and has proven priceless in the case of slides, trips, slips and for dropped items.

The 70’s Shag

The sad thing is that it is difficult to catch floor carpeting at its most ideal “peak”. Carpets tend to get out of style meaning that you probably will be forced to replace yours a couple of times as the trends come and go, and as the look and feel of the environment, you live in changes.

New Carpet Smell is Equal to Chemical Cartel

Did you know that new carpeting can be hazardous to health? Most modern manufacturers use synthetic materials – that smell you smell in your newly carpeted shop or living room – which can be harmful to you. New carpets usually leak for years while installations often use chemicals that emit harmful fumes that could cause breathing or sinus problems in people who have been exposed to them for long periods of time. The great thing is that there are carpets that are made using all-natural and eco-friendly materials, however, they usually are quite costly.

Advancement in technology today has even made it possible to install some more permanence in carpeting – today’s carpets are being made almost fireproof, with anti-fade color fastness, and almost-perfect stain protection.

High Maintenance

Sadly, all forms of carpeting will deteriorate with time, and the more traffic a carpet experiences, the worse the effect. Most carpets normally end up looking ragged within five years.

Most types of carpets have loops that can easily be pulled loose. Considering that carpets are of a woven nature, once they start unraveling, then things move from bad to worse very fast. And when this happens, then you have a problem at hand as it is very hard to repair a damaged carpet. Replacing it is usually the only option available.

Extensive Cleaning, Very Minimal Results

The sad thing about carpets is that they require intensive yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily cleaning using expensive, extensive aids, equipment and chemicals. And the worst thing is that they are mostly a one-way street. Given enough traffic and time, carpets will always matte and will become increasingly hard to care for.

Even with regular cleaning, particles like grit, grime, dust, and dirt find a way through the fabrics and sink through the weaves and pads, eventually settling near the floor. Moisture brought about by spills, accidents, traffic, and even carpet shampoo can increase dampness, increasing the likelihood of carpet rot and creating a conducive environment for mildew to grow. People who’ve ever removed old carpets can relate to this and can share some really horrifying stories about this.

Good thing I’ve found a great rug cleaning service called Silver Rug Cleaning. They saved a lot of my rugs and I don’t know what will I do with my carpet if I hadn’t found them.

Allergy Nightmare

Carpets can be a living nightmare, especially for people who suffer allergies as they are a constant source of irritating dust, fur, dander, fluff, pollen, mildew, mold and dust mites which thrive in carpets.

Hardwood

Clean and Safe

Unlike carpeting, hardwood does not hide any harmful particulate matter, making it a healthier and safer flooring option for living environment, more so, for people who suffer allergies.

While hardwood floors generally cost more than carpeted ones, they require lesser maintenance, can be repaired (they often require no replacement), and last much longer.

In older homes, a hardwood floor can be colder and draftier. But this can be remedied by putting well-selected area rugs in areas people use a lot.

Low Maintenance

Compared to carpeted floors, hardwood floors normally require very little maintenance – in terms of equipment and effort. Just consider the price difference between a vacuum cleaner and a mop. At the same time, hardwood floors are more resistant to stains and spills.

However, hardwood floors can get dented, scuffed, scratched, damaged and scraped – especially if they experience a lot of traffic. Nonetheless, wooden flooring can often be smoothed and refinished. In most cases, there is never a need to replace a wooden floor

Sustainable

Consider that wood’s a naturally occurring resource that can be reforested, wooden floors are normally a more ecological option to go for. Fast growing wood type materials like bamboo, which is a grass, make this option an even more reasonable reality.

Unsurpassed Value and Beauty

Perhaps the main reason to consider going for a hardwood floor is because of the aesthetic benefits it has to offer.

Hardwood floors have been around for the longest time, and this type of flooring is probably one of the oldest forms flooring materials available. Wood never gets out of style; and since woods and trees are available in many forms, types, designs, patterns, grains, consistencies, and colors, you have plenty of options to work with.

While most new homeowners will opt to remove the existing carpeting once they purchase a house as they consider it an extra expense, that is not the case with hardwood floors as they increase the house’s value.

While a wooden floor may cost you more to install, with proper maintenance, it can be a sound investment that pays off over time.

A Quick and Healthy Meal for Less Than 15 Minutes

I’m gonna show you how to put together a quick and easy meal that you can prepare and have a bunch in advanced. This is some of my top secrets putting together a clean-eating, healthy-eating meal really quick.

Chicken breast.

A lot of people are having a hard time cooking chicken breast. They always come out dry. Now, I’m gonna show you my secret. What I usually do is I butterfly cut the chicken. Hold a sharp knife and cut it down the center. You will have two pieces. One half is usually one good portion. This technique will allow you to cook your chicken super fast while keeping it moist and delicious.

You have a few piece of chicken breast, butterfly them. Then stack them up in a bowl and seasoned them. I use a seasoning called Goya Adoba. You can use any seasoning of your choice just make sure there’s no MSG. Then squeeze some lemon or lime, up to you. I normally use half of lemon for every 4 chicken breast. Then mix the chicken and make sure they are evenly coated. Adjust the seasoning and spices to your liking.

I cook my chicken breast on the grill. Because the slices are thinner, they will cook much faster. And they’re going to be moist, too. But you can also cook your chicken breast on a stovetop.

Next thing on the plate are sweet potatoes. Some sweet potatoes are too large. You can cut them in half, or choose smaller sizes. Place them in a paper towel or use a microwave bag that allows you to steam sweet potatoes in a microwave for just 5 minutes.

While the potatoes are steam, get some spinach and gently heat a saucepan with water until steam comes out, but not boiling. You can cook as much spinach as you want. Add a bit of olive oil for flavor, season with sea salt and pepper and any other spice that you want. Cover the saucepan and cook the spinach for just under a minute.

That’s it. Easy, quick and healthy. Go get your grilled chicken, sweet potatoes and spinach and you have a great clean-eating meal for less than 15 minutes.

5 Road Trip Essentials for a Busy Mom

Here’s a fun article for you today where I share my top 5 road trip essentials.

1. Clean out the car – I know this might be a no-brainer for some and for a long time I was like “Why would I clean the car when I know it’s gonna get messy after the road trip?” But it’s a good thing to start with a clean car to be more organized and for some reason, it helps to get it cleaner longer. It’s also easier to travel when you know where every single thing is. It feels better and and everything is more enjoyable. So before any road trip, I do clean out the car. I vacuum it. I make sure that everything is wiped clean. The cupholders are empty, seats are clean, there’s space everywhere because you’re gonna be packing stuff and you don’t want last week’s trash mix with the next weeks clothes. So clean the car, give it a good vacuum and call it a day.

2. Car is ready. Make sure that all the fluids are top up, oils are changed and you have a full tank of gas before you set out. This one is really important at least for me because I had experiences of having my car not ready for the trip. It’s gonna help your trip to be a little smoother.

3. Entertainment for the kids. Let the kids pack their own bags and bring their own entertainment for a road trip. This is really important because it gives them a sense of independence. They are responsible for what they can bring. I don’t know what entertains them as well as they do – what they love changes weekly. When they were younger, I did that for them. I would pack them several different things. I would even get them a new toy or something they can play with. But now that they’re 4 and 7, I tell them to pack their own bags and choose exactly what they like to bring. They’re likely to be better entertained than if I pack their bags for them. Of course, there are always ipads and iphones but if want to step out from sitting them with electronics, you can tell them to bring their own entertainment.

4. Snack packs. I’ve had some bad experience with snacks in the car in the past. Everytime I clean the car, I always say “no more food in the car”. But let’s be honest, that’s not practical. A lot of the time, you’re just trying to get somewhere in a hurry and you’re like “just eat this so you’re not hungry”. It kinda makes a little hard. So I just try to stay away from things that can make a big mess. I try to pack things that are easier to pick up like string cheese and carrots. Granola bars are great because you have one piece of everything versus small pieces that can spill everywhere. Here’s a good homemade granola bar recipe.

5. Emergency supplies. You have to be prepared and even if you think you’ll never use it, you can never tell. A few of emergency items that I keep in my car are water to keep them hydrated, extra sweatshirts, umbrella, plastic bags for trash, bandages and essential oils, alcohol, pads, flashlight and a very basic tool kit. Everything you might need for emergencies, pack them in the car.

Those are my 5 road trip essentials. I hope this help you have a better road trip. Please do share if you have road trip essentials of your own.