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Mother Essentials: Eli Yonas, Founder of Toki Mats

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

As a mother of three (under 7 years old), Eli Yonas knows a thing or two about having her hands full. Which is one of the reasons she launched Toki Mats in 2017. The beloved, beautifully printed mats are an ideal safe play space for babies and toddlers, allowing parents to set their kiddos down to go hands-free for a bit. Crafted with Toki’s signature natural latex foam (made from tree sap), the organic foam is the best chemical-free baby mat on the market, which has led to its cult-like status amongst many moms. Just recently the company expanded its offerings to include matching nursing pillow covers featuring Toki’s best-selling prints that blend seamlessly and stylishly into one’s space. Below, Eli—who runs Toki Mats while holding down a  demanding full-time tech job and raising her adorable kiddos (daughter Shaya, 5, and sons Noam, 7, and Boaz, 1) shares the current Mother Essentials that are getting her through her busy days.

Little Urban Rompers. “Gender neutral onesies are just the most practical baby outfit, and I love these ones!” Boxy Romper, $48, Little Urban Apparel.

Sheltered Co. Weighted Blanket. “I cannot live without this weighted blanket. I have the small size, so it’s my personal sleep aid at night.” Weighted Petite Blanket, $365, Sheltered Co.

Go-To Leggings. “These leggings and sweat suits got me through this past year! You cannot find a comfier lounge outfit, and I’m sorry, but tie-dye is here to stay.” Sunset Leggings, $98, Electric & Rose

Toki Mats Play Mat. “I didn’t have these for my first two babies, but so happy I have them for my third! As the other two run around, it’s been amazing having a safe play space that my baby actually loves.” Standard Size Play Mat, $165, Toki Mats.

Junie Bees Lip Butter. “One of my favorite chapsticks, so creamy and makes my lips super smooth.” Lux Lip Butta, $10, Junie Bees Butter.

Bear Poncho Towel. “These towels are the easiest for kids either at bath time or the beach! And Modern Raised is my go-to shop for any toys as well.” Konges Slojd Bear Ear Terry Poncho, $62, Modern Raised.

Bole Road Turkish Towels. “Super practical and beautiful. I love these towels that we have all over our kitchen and bathrooms.” Turkish Towels, $45 and up, Bole Road Textiles.

Candle Holder. “These ceramic candle holders are one of my favorite accessories in our home. I’m also obsessed with every drop from this shop, Five Suns!” Wild Bower Studio Speckled Candle Holder, $36, Five Suns.

Raising River Earrings. “Even with sweats, these earrings totally elevate my look. Especially for Zoom calls, they’re my favorite pair to wear. And I love the maker!” Raising River Clay Ever Earrings, $45, Madewell.

Rooted Journal by Ka’ala. “Through the chaos of life, having this weekly intention-setting journal has been so grounding for me. Journaling doesn’t come naturally to me, so having the prompts makes this more accessible.” Rooted Journal by Ka’ala, $15, Oat & Co.

TruFru Snacks. “These are dangerously addicting, but they’re made with real fruit so I convince myself they’re healthy.” TruFru Chocolates, $5.99, Target.

Freedom Apothecary x Freda Salvador Rose Face Oil. “Dream collab! One of my favorite face oils—so soothing.” Freedom Apothecary x Freda Salvador, $45, Freda Salvador.

Bink Water Bottle. “This bottle has gone viral for a reason! I use it daily ever since I got it, really easy to stay hydrated.” Mama Bottle, $38, Bink.

Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough. “Vegan! And insanely yummy. I make sure not to fully stock up on these because I’ll go through entire bags in one sitting.” Ben & Jerry’s Vegan Frozen Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Chunks Snackable Dough, $5.49, Target.

Golde Superfood Latte. “Depending on my mood, I drink one of these and feel immediately elevated. Tastes so good too!” Superfood Latte Sampler, $22, Golde.

Toki Mats Nursing Pillow Cover. “Who doesn’t love to match home decor and baby products? I got the matching cover to our play mat and it just makes me happy.” Nursing Pillow Cover, $45, Toki Mats.

Highlights Books. “Out of all the toys I bought my kids to entertain them from home, these were the true winner. The stickers make them an extra fun hidden-pictures activity that kept the kids attention for longer than 15 minutes!” Highlights Sticker Hidden Pictures Adventure Puzzles Books, $6.79, Amazon.

Seviin Children’s Apparel 2-Piece Sets. “I love this shop and all their gender neutral kids’ clothes, so I can keep for siblings or gift once my babies grow out of them.” Ribbed Shorts Set, $39, Seviin Children’s Apparel.

Our Lovely Goods Hanging Baskets. “I’m addicted to organizing, and if I can make it cute too, huge bonus. I love these hanging baskets that we have in our kitchen.” Hanging Raffia Baskets, $63, Our Lovely Goods.

Everyday Necklace. “I never take this necklace off, and I always get compliments on it!” Leo Necklace with Gold Fill, $210, Catherine Sheppard.

For more Mother Essentials, peep our past columns with Material founder Eunice Byun, best-selling author Joanna Ho, Brave + Kind Bookshop owner Bunnie Hilliard, TV personality Leslie Antonoff, author Rio Cortez, Kido Chicago owner Keewa Nurullah, small-space mama Laura Fenton, Curasalve founder Kelley Williams, Trade Street Jam Co. founder Ashley Rouse, Weelicious and One Potato founder Catherine McCord, interior designer Susan Work, author Tiffany Dufu, Les Gamins founder Veronique Nguyen, Lonny editor Angela Tafoya, Wiley Body founder Vanessa Wade, designers Anna WallackCynthia RowleyRebecca Atwood, and Dana HaimOlympian Alysia Montano, cookbook author Hetal Vasavada, model and muse Slick Woods, wellness influencerJoanne Encarnacion, author LaTonya Yvetteand many, many more!

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