If you’re like me, you love checking out new things that a friend recommended and exploring new products/tools.  Here are some of my favorite items and activities that improve my life daily and/or inspire me to do the things I love:

  • Love and Logic books and programs.  This small company (made up of two founders and then joined by one of their sons) has published many books on the different stages of parenting and I believe them to be brilliant.  They’re unique perspective on parenting is fascinating and it works like a charm.  I’ve used some of these techniques with my stepdaughter and it has made a world of difference (they have a few products/books aimed at stepparents).

 

  • Audiobooks!  You can download audiobooks from the library and they go straight to your phone or mp3 player.  It is awesome.  I can listen to new and interesting ideas throughout the day and don’t feel like I’m disconnected from my daughter (who is pretty much 24/7 care right now, as she’s just over 8 months).  I don’t have the ability to sit and read right now because of all the demands on my time.  Audiobooks are a fabulous resource for learning and entertainment.  Audible is a service through Amazon that may also work well for you.  You get an audiobook every month and its yours to keep.  30 Day Trial available here.

 

  • Wayne Dyer’s books and lectures.  You can watch/listen to these on YouTube for free.  There is also a group who he worked with before his death in 2015 called Hay House (named after Louise Hay, author of the well-known bestseller You Can Heal Your Life).  In addition to books, they have a number of different programs and offerings.  And if you subscribe to their list, they send inspiration into your inbox a few days a week.  I love getting those emails.

 

  • Brene Brown.  My friend turned me onto her by emailing me a link to her initial TED lecture.  She is funny, smart, and interesting and has an incredibly unique perspective that she gained from her research and experience as a social worker.

 

  • Ebates.  Seriously; it’s free money.  I didn’t believe it at first but it’s true.  Click here, sign up, they give you $10 when you spend the first $25.  Refer someone.  When they spend $25, you get $25.  No kidding. Click here.

 

  • Jack Canfield videos and lectures.  He has a book called “the Success Principles” but also has many lectures you can see on YouTube that are incredibly inspirational and I’ve learned a lot about going after my dreams.  He’s the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books.  Type his name into YouTube and you’ll find many presentations and interviews he’s given that I find very compelling.

 

  • The public library.  I always liked the library, but I now love and appreciate it on a whole new level.  I can hang out there with my little one, without having to buy anything, and its peaceful and inviting.  A lot of them even have free coffee now.  I take my infant daughter there and I do a little work while she eats (drinks) or plays.  And everyone is so nice.  Free stuff is awesome.  And I love having somewhere we can go and just hang out.

 

  • Jillian Michaels‘ workout app.  This app is incredible.  I’ve been doing Jillian Michaels’ workouts since I saw her The Biggest Loser all those years ago.  This app is great because its a low monthly fee for any kind of workout I could ever need.  She has them for all levels (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) and you can change your level of difficulty anytime you want.  I change mine frequently between beginner and intermediate because I’m lazy some days and feel supercharged on others.  The workouts are unique; not the same old exercises I’ve done for years.  You can set reminders for yourself and also use her diet plans.  You can sign up for a free 7-day trial. Check it out by clicking here.

 

  • Meditation.  You’ve heard it a million times, but it really does do wonders for your state of mind and ability to manage stress.  Even for just a few minutes a day.  If doing it on your own is too daunting, there are many guided visualizations and meditations online that you can get for free.

 

  • Comedy radio.  If you live in a major metropolitan area you may have a radio channel dedicated to stand up comedy.  If so, check it out.  It’s hard to feel sad, angry or stressed when you’re laughing. You can also out stand up comedy on a loop or mix on YouTube. I’ve been following standup comedy since the late 80s, so if you wanna know who to check out, just ask. I’m sure I can point you in the right direction. My faves: Louis CK, John Mullaney, Maria Bamford, Mike Birbiglia, Brian Reegan, Gary Gullman, Sarah Silverman, Dave Chappelle.

 

  • Standing dates with my friends!  I go every Friday night for a couple hours. Pick a day that works for you and do this. Schedule them for at least once every other week.  Try to do it when your partner is home (if this is an option) and they can watch the little one.  You need a break!  This is vital in order to stay sane and feel connected to the world.  Even though becoming a mom has changed your life, it doesn’t have to take it over.  You are still you.  The best thing you can give to your son or daughter is a happy mom.