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Mother Essentials

Mother Essentials: Amber Thibaut of Coco Moon

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Born and raised on Maui, and now residing on Oʻahu, connecting to Hawaiʻi has always been top of mind for mom-of-two Amber Thibaut. This started when she gave her sons—Kaiea, 11, and Taj Kanoa, 9, their names. “As a Native Hawaiian māmā, it was important to me that each of my children have a Hawaiian name to connect them to our culture, just as I do. Kaiea means ‘rising sea’ in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, or the Hawaiian language. This name was chosen for him as we felt that he would lift up those around him, just as a rising tide. And he sure has. Our 9-year-old is named Taj Kanoa. Kanoa means ‘the free one’ in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. He came charging into the world 4 weeks early and from that moment has been a vibrant, free thinker ever since!”

It was the birth of her youngest that gave Amber the idea for her business—Coco Moon—a collection of super-soft blankets, quilts, and baby essentials infused with the spirit of Hawaiʻi. “I first got the idea for Coco Moon Hawaiʻi when Taj was about 6 weeks old. At the time, I would often use my favorite, bright pink pareu, or sarong, in lieu of a baby blanket. Late one night as I was nursing Taj, I found myself wondering why I repeatedly reached for the pareu instead of one of the many baby blankets we had around the house. I realized that it was because of all the baby blankets I had, none represented our island way of life. I longed for a baby blanket that was connected to the Hawaiʻi I loved, where a sense of community, beautiful arts and traditions, and devotion to ʻohana (family) are woven into all we do. In essence, Coco Moon was born that night.” Get to know more about Amber, her family, and her business in her MOTHER ESSENTIALS list, below!

Surfing As Often As Possible. “Just as with anything else that is truly for ourselves as moms, it can be tricky for me to make time to surf. But it’s the one thing that truly fills my cup, so I have made a promise to myself to prioritize that time whenever there is a decent swell in the water. I am so much happier after I surf and when mom’s happy, everyone is happy.”

Working Out. “When I can’t get in the water, I make it a point to work out at least three times a week. I am happier and think clearer when I’m moving my body regularly and recharging my mind in the process.”

Greenlight App and Debit Card. “As my kids are getting older, they’re craving more independence and time with their friends, which is also associated with wanting to have their own spending money. We love this app because we can tie chores, extra studying time, and other activities to earning and deposit those earnings right onto the card. We love that it’s created transparency into earning and managing their own money.” Greenlight.com.

Coco Moon Throw Blankets and Quilts. “After hearing time and again about our customers ‘borrowing’ their baby’s blankets for themselves, we created a ‘big kid’ version that everyone in our house loves. They’re generously sized, luxuriously soft, and the perfect weight that’s not too hot, which is particularly important with our tropical weather.” Coco Moon Throw Blanket, $60, Coco Moon.

Hobonichi Techo Planner. “We are in a very busy season of life at the moment, with each of my boys playing on two different basketball teams and a soccer team. While my Google Calendar houses the full schedule for both Coco Moon and family life, I find it easiest to pull out the most important notes for the day in a written planner. I add personal notes around carpooling duties, practice times, as well as my top 5-6 priorities for the day in my planner. Doing so helps me stay hyper focused on the most important things of the day (and not confuse what time to pick up the kids that day!).” Hobonichi Techo Planner, $23, Hobonichi Techo.

Simple Habit. “After a busy day, my kids can sometimes have a hard time winding down. We tried meditating in bed with them and it has totally transformed our nighttime routine. We love the ‘Body Scan for Deeper Sleep’ meditation to help them release any built up tension in their bodies or anxieties on their minds.” SimpleHabit.com.

Mohala Eyewear. “Polarized sunglasses are a must in our bright island sun. The lenses on these are some of the best I’ve found and this inclusive brand makes frames for all face types, meaning that these shades are super comfortable and won’t slip down your nose or rest on your cheeks.” Hana Sunglasses, $189, Mohala Eyewear.

Coco Moon Robe. “Wearing a beautiful, soft robe around the house is a tiny daily luxury that I really enjoy. I’ll often pair it with my fuzzy pink house slippers from Olukai to really get into the lounge vibe.” Bamboo Robe, $68, Coco Moon.

Espresso Bites from Big Island Coffee Roasters. “These look and taste like a chocolate bar, but they’re actually made almost entirely of Hawaiian coffee. Each bar has the same amount of caffeine as 3 espresso shots, so I’ll often have an afternoon bite of one of these in lieu of a cup of coffee. But I’m a caffeine weakling, so I have to be careful to just have a little bite so I’m not up all night.” Espresso Bites, $24, Big Island Coffee Roasters.

Meli Wraps. “We have completely eliminated plastic wrap from the kitchen by using these wraps in their place. They are totally reusable and a great option for storing leftovers, half a papaya, sandwiches, and more.” Beeswax Food Wrap, $21.99, Meli Wraps.

Indoor Basketball Hoop. “We clearly are not a ‘no-ball-in-the-house’ kind of family! My kids absolutely love playing on this mini hoop, which mounts on the wall and is super sturdy. It keeps them active and playing ball even when it’s too hot outside.” Elite X9 Mini Basketball Hoop, $269.99, Indoor Hooper.

Yogi Super Antioxidant Green Tea. “I don’t like to drink coffee too early in the mornings, but I do love the routine of making a cup of tea. This green tea is my daily go-to. It’s got a hint of sweetness to it and much less caffeine than a cup of coffee, which helps to ease me into the day.” Yogi Green Tea Super Antioxidant 4-Pack, $15.96, Amazon.

For more MOTHER ESSENTIALS, peep our recent features on photographer NICKI SEBASTIAN, Duster co-founder MELISSA MAGSAYSAY, Herman Miller creative director KELSEY KEITH, chef VALERIE GORDON, artist ERIN JANG, Chicago party mom KRISTEN KAZA, Hedley & Bennett founder ELLEN MARIE BENNETT, Mochi Kids founder AMANDA STEWART, chef CRISTINA KISNER, chef CAMILLA MARCUS, artist CAROLINE Z HURLEY, Just Date founder SYLVIE CHARLES, food icon AMANDA HESSER, Prickly Pear founder MONA BAHRAINI, Solace Summer founder MEGAN BRE CAMP, Wonder Valley co-founder ALISON CARROLL, OZMA designer HEIDI BAKER, author TIFFANY ROSE SMITHHEIDI BAKER of OZMA, and PHOEBE SUNG of Cold Picnic.

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