Mother Essentials: Erin Boyle
Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
Like so many of you, we’re pretty dang smitten with Erin Boyle, the author and OG blogger behind Reading My Tea Leaves. While there are lots of things to love about the Brooklyn-based mother-of-two (Faye, 4, and Silas, 1 1/2), it’s her commitment to simple, sustainable, conscious living that really inspires us most. Which is why we were so excited to have her spill the beans on her current “Mother Essentials” (a.k.a. the products and practices that are currently making her tick). Read ’em all below.
Rose and Chamomile Facial Tonic. “I don’t have a very complicated morning skincare routine, but it’s nice to spend at least a few minutes putting on makeup, or moisturizer, or making sure I don’t have poppy seeds between my teeth before I leave the house. Two kids in a small apartment make that a challenge. Enter the spritz. Great for me and endlessly entertaining to two little ones who like to watch me get ready.”
Rose & Chamomile Facial Tonic, $22, Marble & Milkweed.
Lavender Essential Oil. “I put a drop or two of lavender essential oil on my pillowcase every night and I swear it puts me directly to sleep. (Well, it’s either the oil or the exhaustion, but either way, the the oil makes me happy and it makes my house smell good, so let’s go with it!). Also it’s good for sprinkling in the diaper pail, putting into the dish soap, dabbing on the shower curtain, et cetera!”
Lavender Essential Oil, $6.99, Amazon.
Hair Brush. “I have two little kids with long (and getting longer) hair and I’m extremely into these little wooden hair brushes for them (and me!). They’re the perfect size and they feel so good on your scalp. (And, if I’m being honest, I’m also extremely into the stopwatch function on my iPhone—something about watching the watch tick up to one minute helps my 4-year-old tolerate speed grooming. Sometimes even for two whole minutes!).”
Widu Ash Wood Bristle Hairbrush, $29.62, Amazon.
3.1 Ounce Duralex Picardie Cups. “In our house we went straight from bottles to glasses for our kids and these tiny glass cups are our favorite. They’re really resistant to breakage and they’re the perfect size for little hands. (Not bad for a sip or three of wine, either).”
Duralex Picardie Set of 4 Toughened French Clear Glass Tumblers, $11.43, Amazon.
Popsicle Molds. “This summer my husband started freezing our kids’ morning smoothies into a popsicle mold. The novelty of popsicles for breakfast has yet to wear off and the popsicles help keep things calm long enough to give us the chance to drink coffee.”
Onyx Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold, $33.99, Amazon.
Library Card. “I lean heavily on the holds service at my local library and constantly request books from other branches to read to my kids. Stopping by the library on my way home from work and picking up a big stack of new-to-us picture books is one of my favorite parenting tasks.”
Library Card, free, Brooklyn Public Library.
Washed Paper Bags. “I love these washed paper bags for keeping small things organized. We use them to keep our kids’ clothes from getting messy in a wardrobe without drawers. Best of all: They are as sturdy as a basket—which lots of parents will tell you helps with kid clutter—but they don’t take up nearly the same amount of space. If your needs change for awhile, you can just fold them up and pull them back out again when you need them again!”
Washed Paper Bag, $16, UASHMAMA.
Stain Remover. “We keep a stain bar in a little jar in our bathroom so we can treat stains as quickly and easily as possible. Lately we’ve been using the Nellie’s Natural bar and it’s been terrific for getting out chocolate ice cream drips and grass stains and other mystery spots.”
Nellie’s All-Natural, Wow Stick, Stain Remover, 2.7 oz, $9.40, Amazon.
Unpaper Towels. “We don’t buy paper towels in our house, but we do have a big stack of these organic cotton cloths that I love. They’re really absorbent, but super thin, so they dry quickly and can be used for…everything.”
Organic Unpaper Towels, $21, Natural Linens Boutique.
Unruffled. “I’m neither an RIE expert, nor an exceptionally unruffled person, but I still really love tuning into Janet Lansbury’s parenting podcast. It helps reframe difficult toddler moments and, like other similar resources, I find it to be so helpful to have a neutral voice that both my husband and I can listen to and learn from. Parenting is hard and it’s nice to be able to look outside of your own wisdom (and marriage!) for guidance.”
Unruffled by Janet Lansbury, free, JanetLandsbury.com.
Reusable Totes. We have a standard-sized Baggu with us nearly all of the time. They’re so handy and fit so much while still folding up into a small square. We use them for last-minute grocery shops, toting books back from the library, and dragging miscellany around the house on imaginary plane trips.”
Standard Baggu Tote, $10, Baggu.
Coffee. “Cliché for a reason! My favorite is the Counter Culture blend called Forty-Six and I’m eternally grateful that my husband brings me a mug with steamed milk every single morning. (I’ve nursed two kids, so by my calculation, we’re more than even).”
Counter Culture Forty-Six Blend Coffee, $15.25 for 12 oz. bag, Counter Culture.
Apple Music Subscription. “A few years ago my husband and I got ourselves a family subscription to Apple Music when we realized we were constantly at risk of waking up a sleeping baby when an ad blared in the middle of a lullaby playlist. Hands down the best monthly subscription we have.”
Apple Music Subscription, $14.99 a month, Apple.
Face Oil. “Since having kids I’ve started to take my bedtime routine more seriously and my favorite part is putting on a face oil or serum before bed. It’s so nice to get into bed feeling like you’ve done something just for yourself. I’ve never really met a face oil I haven’t loved, but lately I’ve been loving this rose one.”
Rose Serum, $30, Island Apothecary.
Slip-On Sandals. “My first kid was a summertime baby and I’ll never forget getting all sweaty wrestling her into a carrier only to realize I’d forgotten to put my shoes on first. I bought these slip-on sandals that summer and I’ve worn them ever since.”
Pon Avarcas, $79, ModCloth.
Cloth Prefold Diapers. “Not for diapering only! We have a stack of cloth diapers reserved just for cleaning up spills, spit-up, and other things that make messes, but they’re mostly my potty training secret weapon. They’re ultra absorbent and let you wick up a puddle before it has a chance to soak in.”
Dandelion Diapers 100% Organic Cotton Natural Unbleached DSQ Cloth Diaper Prefolds, 6-Pack, $22.80, Amazon.
Buttons! “Before becoming a mother, it never occurred to me how much I would come to rely on something as simple as buttons. Buttons alone can make just about anything breastfeeding friendly and I’m eternally grateful to all clothing designers who incorporate them into their designs. (My friends at Storq just launched a cotton jumpsuit with buttons, which looks perfect, pregnant or not).”
Supima Jumpsuit, $105, Storq.
Roof dates. “After our kids are asleep, my husband and turn our phones into a makeshift baby monitor and sneak onto our roof to watch the sunset. It’s not officially sanctioned, but it is officially mood-lifting and a really nice reminder that there’s a whole wide world out there (and that we made it through another day).”
For more on Erin, be sure to check out her 2016 Mother profile. And for more Mother Essentials, peep last week’s debut column with Joy Cho of Oh Joy!
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