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Mother Essentials: LaTonya Yvette

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by Portrait by Amanda Petersen

This week’s Mother Essentials roundup comes from Instagram favorite and Brooklyn-based mama of two LaTonya Yvette. Since it’s been well over a year since our profile of LaTonya and her kiddos—River, 7, and Oak, 4—plus with her debut book, Woman of Color, on the horizon (the release date is 2019, but pre-orders just went live!), we felt it was the perfect time to catch up with the multi-talented creative on her current set of must-haves. Peep ’em below!

Speakers. “I listen to music several times a day, but mornings are most necessary. We have a Sonos that plays off of Tidal and floats into the rest of the front half of the apartment.”
Sonos PLAY:1 Compact Wireless Smart Speaker for Streaming Music, $149, Amazon.

Reusable Tote. “I stuff one in the kids’ school bag and in my purse for end-of-the-day excess school papers, last-minute dinner runs, and so on. You will be surprised what a few blocks from school to home will rack up. After years of being a parent with a kid in school, this is the one silly but grand thing that makes all the difference.”
Baggu Reusable Bag, $10, Baggu.

Chocolate. “Late at night, when I’m getting a bit of work done and the kids are asleep, I treat myself to chocolate and a glass of wine. I am at the stage where I crave and look forward to the chocolate, so it’s more like giving into a full-blown pleasure after my kids are down. I never used to like sweets, so it’s always a bit surprising as a huff it down. Ha!”
Justin’s Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (Pack of 6), $14.98, Amazon.

Bike Rides. “Because of a knee injury—and subsequent knee-injury trauma and fear—I wasn’t allowed/didn’t feel comfortable riding a bike for the last two years. The weather has cooled here in the city, and my PT says that riding a bike will help strengthen my knee, so I’m getting back into it. It’s such a welcome stage of motherhood to be able to ride alongside my kids on our way to school.”
PUBLIC Bikes V7 Comfort 7-Speed City Bike, $549, Amazon.

Brush. “We are a curly-headed, thick-haired bunch and this is the only brush that really works for all of our various curl patterns. The kids get their hair washed more than I wash my hair, so it helps to have an easy tool to use.”
Denman Cushion Brush With Nylon Bristles, $10.88, Amazon.

Reusable Coffee Cup. “I’ve been trying to bring this cup out every morning. Though I sometimes forget it on the second coffee of the day, it’s cut my plastic use nearly in half. It also helps me out with cost, as well, as I am now more eager to make my coffee and bring it on the way to drop my kids off to school. I’m trying to remember that it’s not about being perfect, it’s about trying to just do better.”
Stojo S2-ROS Collapsible Silicone Cup, $19.99, Amazon.

M+P Sweaters. “My kids have been wearing the same Misha + Puff sweaters for years. They last so incredibly long, are gorgeous, and warm.”
Misha + Puff Cobalt Popcorn Sweater, $168, Acorn Shop.

Book Faves. “I’ve been going in and out of my own books, lately. It’s hard for me to stick to one thing. Here’s one I’ve been highlighting. And one for the kiddos.”
Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, $10.87, Amazon.
The Day You Begin, $11.39, Amazon.

Bold Turtleneck. “For years as a kid I was obsessed with turtlenecks, and when I got a bit older I thought black turtlenecks were always so sleek and clean. I love adding pops of color in the cooler seasons when it’s least expected with basics. This turtleneck under a denim dress or with plaid pants with boots would be the perfect combo.”
Balloon-Sleeve Turtleneck Sweater, $98, J.Crew.

Lipstick. “When on-the-go, I swear by a little of this matte lipstick.”
Generation G Sheer Matte Lipstick, $18, Glossier.

Meditation. “I’ve been using headspace for a few years, and even when I get off track, I realize it’s just an easy app to help you check back into your mental health again.”
Free, at Headspace.

For more on LaTonya, check out her 2017 Mother profile. And for more Mother Essentials, peep our past columns with Morgan Walker of Make.do, Jeanne Chan of Harlow & Grey, Bekah Stewart of A Well Traveled Woman, Joy Cho of Oh Joy!, Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves, and an entrepreneur mom mash-up featuring Mara Hoffman, Jeni Britton Bauer, Justina Blakeney, A-lan Holt, Bee Shapiro, and Dominica Rice-Cisneros.

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