Organize my Life – A Toddler Mom’s Self Improvement Journey

After the last video, I really took some time to reflect on not only where my YouTube channel is going, but to also take stock of the undone tasks that have been cluttering my mind; those “to-do’s” and “wish-I-could-do’s” that have been stagnant in the far recesses of my life, gathering dust and waiting for a moment of weakness. In that moment, some random appliance will spring out with a “Surprise, lady! Just when you thought you were in the clear, I’m going to break because you didn’t properly clean or maintain me as clearly indicated on the warranty card you threw out last week – ha!“.

I mean, the fact that my appliances scream at me in the first place is completely unreasonable. Maybe next time it will be a body part. The knee, instead (“shoulda stretched more, like I tried to tell you eighty thousand eleven times” my lateral collateral would scoff at me, as I wince and hobble around).

Don’t wait until a friend blows out a joint (in the painful way, not the medicinal way), before you get your own health under control.

Health also means MENTAL health. Your sanity. The thing that keeps you from going off the deep end.

Because, just when we think we aren’t doing enough and deserve a break – not a chance. There’s stuff to PREPARE for! To PREVENT! (So go clean those washing machine seals, and your toilet siphons – if you don’t know what that means, neither did I until I started watching ridiculous mommy cleaning channels like @bitsofbri (Brianna K on YouTube).

Bri also has awesome hack like toilet paper stamping – good for those who might have to display their inventory as part of their home decor due to space constraints. So basically go watch her channel, not mine!

It works! Instagram @brandi_n_hightower

So, how do we stay sane and try to manage it all?

Well, maybe we can’t. Maybe we embrace insanity!

Because when you’re hurting, the first thing you want to hear is SUCK IT UP.

Really, though. Maybe there’s a way to get more hours in the day without getting up earlier or staying up later. Because without sleep and water, you’re as good as worthless, IMHO.

PRODUCTIVITY. Aha! That’s where it’s at, for me. That or exercise.

For you, it might mean a day at the spa. Do you, and do it with conviction.

This week I’m rolling up my sleeves and digging into everything “icky”. The clutter. The negativity. All the things that don’t feel good.

Emotions. Yard-sale leftovers. The list goes on.

So bear with me as this channel takes yet another twist and turn. I think the resounding theme has continued to be:

Hang on for the ride, you never know what’s about to happen but at least we can be prepared. In theory.

MommaAMommaB

If you’ve been following our YouTube channel, maybe you’ve seen some of our product unboxing and tutorials. While these have been so fun to make, and we’ve actually come across some amazing items we use all the time (like the cheapie handheld vacuum below, not sponsored), we also come across items that are interesting or useful – for someone else.

An unexpected “WIN” – One of our favorite review items

Most things we have managed to give to friends and family, with great pleasure. And some items have been resold or donated. Nothing has been trashed…

…except the alarming quantity of packaging that Amazon provides. Much of it non-recyclable or from overseas, which when compounded by millions of shoppers each year, takes a huge toll on our environment.

As items began to stack up, I am constantly forced to deal with it in some way: sort it, find a home for it, donate it. Which feels lovely when you get a smile and thank-you from the recipient, but not so lovely knowing the ecological impact as I wait for another package to arrive – most likely containing something neat, no doubt. But not necessary.

I have decided from this point, the only collabs we will be doing is with companies we truly value – regardless of how cool or trendy the item might be. I simply can’t handle the amount of waste, and I want to be a more responsible steward of this planet. Yes, this might mean we have to save up for more thoughtful purchases and it might mean I have to severely cut back my Target Dollar Spot purchases.

Wait. Now THAT’S crazy.

Still, I am trying to focus on the following before buying:

How will our lives benefit (or not) from this purchase?

Is there a more satisfying alternative?

Do we need it?

What sort of cleanses and purges are you up to this month? This week? Today?

What can you declutter – in your home or mind?

Until then,

B

Surviving a Day with Toddlers | Real SAHM | Mental Health Awareness

The day started off pretty promising: after regrettably having to skip yesterday’s workout I was a little nervous I was going to feel some backslide in progress (and scared my workout was going to hurt) but it wasn’t the case.

I have been trying to network a little bit more here in the valley and decided to head to Pybus marketplace to share some treats with The Littles.

That is: the one and two year olds.

After somewhat coaxing them to eat last nights dinner of a recent “hit” (a side of fresh blackberries plus tortillas with mozzarella, pepperoni and…ketchup), they’d both woken up starving like they’d not eaten in 46 days.

just why

If you see next weeks Vlog you’ll know that I’m not starving them; we have plenty of marinara sauce, yet they for some reason both think that it’s poison. So…ketchup.

After refusing the eggs I cooked and turning their nose up at the peanut butter toast, I gave in to cereal.

I’m not advocating for being a pushover parent but two days without my wife will do that to me. (I am so much looking forward to her return from overnight work travels this evening!)

Amos if you can read this: I love you!

But I digress as per usual.

For some reason I left the stroller at home thinking they were both old enough to walk 25 feet through the front doors and another 25 feet or so to the front counter and wait in line for about three minutes or so.

It was about as good idea as putting two unleashed rabbits on the floor.

Wild animals, I tell ya! This was before the chaos. More at MommaAMommaB on YouTube

Loud rabbits. Rabbits that wanted to touch the display case even though we talked about looking with our eyes at this EXACT CASE on the car ride and on the walk over to said display case.

As I try to corral them in the same general area, and yell loudly enough for the barista to get my order, also yelling BITE ME because my kid couldn’t make up his mind and that’s the first one I saw.

His increasingly-heavy-in-my-arms sibling was starting to arch her back and do tornado moves and scream. Boy, did she scream, demanding in her 17 month old way to also touch and possibly lick the cookie case.

Bite Me! Cookie

It was the first one that stood out to me, and I’ll admit it felt good to yell it. Only because I did it with a half smile on my face, and the barista smiled back. I think it made her day.

Instagram @cafecolumbiapybus

Or maybe I looked scary (I noticed smeared mascara when we fiiiiinally got back to the van – has it been there??!) and maybe she didn’t smile but grimace.

No, it was a smile. She was friendly. But gosh, I could hardly see anything through my embarrassment – parenting in public is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Menu @ #cafecolumbiapybus

Regardless, instead of me just sitting there like usual being too shy to reach out to people I actually had people offer to help – and struck up quite a few conversations with interesting folks which was the exact reason I went there: I had been hoping to bring my work from home mentality to the public realm, thinking just maybe my kids would sit and be distracted with beautiful cookies while I chatted and it would be chalked up as a business expense.

But, kids are unpredictable- especially young kids! Or maybe I am. I mean, they’re just doing what they do best. I was the foolish one thinking that pre-feeding, pre-watering, pre-entertaining, pre-napping them and bribing them majorly would buy me TEN MINUTES.

Nope!

But you know what? I embrace it. I didn’t have a choice in the moment.


Thank you from the bottom of my soul to whomever made these cookies

I marched those sugar-laden children to the minivan and ate my cold tuna melt in the park. Well, near the park. With the window rolled down. While the kids slept.

My lunch from the park as experienced from inside the mom van

Oh, how I wish to have sat on a sunny bench – but there was no way I was waking up one sleeping soul. And what would I do with them once they were awake? No sunbathing was happening today. Or was it?

Since unattended children in running vehicles is frowned upon, I engaged the parking brake and kept the seatbelt on, then craned my neck until I needed two Tylenol, aiming my gaze out my van window and into the sunshine – and enjoyed the moment. Really. Someday they will be grown and I will look back at this and miss it immensely. Of course I will probably glorify it. And oh the advice I’ll have!

we arrived home and it’s been a nightmare ever since…

…but now my Mom#2 is finally back (!!!) and I can post this and give you all a look at my day as a stay at home mama trying to network and meet new professionals in the valley. Tough and very rewarding!

Thankful for my coworking days at Wenatchee WorkSpace – a time I get to truly maximize my productivity so I can be both “on” as a parent and “on” as a community member. When you start using a coworking space like mine, and begin growing your business…well, it’s hard to go back to the home office! Hats off to those who can pull it off. Mamas everywhere being SuperHuman!

Rainbows at yesterday’s lunch meeting @ #wenatcheeworkspace

Wenatchee WorkSpace is also located half a block from the Apple Capitol Loop Trail – Perfect for days when you need to blow off some steam or get creative energy flowing.

It’s all about work life balance.

Until next time!

Mama B

You may have noticed a lot of my recent posts and YouTube videos have focused on mental health. Even my most positive and chipper friends have thrown an occasional “…gee, February sure is a long month!” For those of us who got through a tough December, February is dragging on and on.

Can it be spring yet?

Or are there changes we can make now to improve productivity?

I’m talking, clear the clutter or rearrange your if need be. Shake things up! Try something new! Modify your routine if it isn’t working for you.

Stay positive and good things will come.

Until next time,

Mama B

xxxx

no filter day – love yourselves

MAONO Lapel Mic | Unboxing and First Impressions

Thanks for testing the lapel mic AU100R by MAONO with us!

If you’ve been considering starting a vlog or podcast, you need to think about audio, which makes up a percentage of the complete user experience.

Since paying more attention to our audio ducking and music levels, we have noticed a change in overall satisfaction (increased watch time) even when our videos aren’t generating more clicks per view, necessarily. Bad audio and shaky footage are two things that will cause a viewer to quickly close your video – often they won’t come back to your channel/page after that experience.

YouTube Behind The Scenes at MommaAMommaB.com

One way to manage audio is by painstakingly editing every track “in post”. In post production, tracks are placed into a timeline sequence inside your editing software. Depending on your program, you can “duck”, adjust gains and more. To save exponential amounts of time, reducing your need for post-production editing as much as possible is your best bet.

This means the images and audio coming from your recording source has to be as smooth and crisp as possible.

Imagine trying to add color to a black and white image – this is inherently more difficult than transforming an Andy Warhol into a gray-scale.

Same concept as taking shadows out of a video. Possible. But it will make you want to pull your hair out and ask yourself why couldn’t there have been just ONE hair light on set, instead?

Lighting and Mics, people!

So far I’ve been using this lapel mic from amazon.com and it’s working nicely for on-the-go recording when you need your subject to be turning and moving – when they are also the ones dictating audio.

This lapel mic by MAONO is a lapel / lavalier microphone which attaches to the user or interviewee by a small alligator style clip, keeping your audio more consistent (and also more convenient) than a hand-held microphone or boom.

Save yourself the hassle of adding voice overs or syncing your audio tracks post-production – have your raw audio be “good enough” right out of the camera.

The lav mic is compatible with DSLR cameras, USB devices and smart phones, making it a flexible choice for multi-platform producers.

The MAONO lavalier microphone has a built-in rechargeable battery to make it available for over 90 hours working time.

**Note** I did experience functionality issues using a knock-off apple dongle or two that are known working cables. This device prefers the original Apple Official cables (which currently run $9-12 new from Apple).

3.55mm to Lightning Adapter not included

#AD Thank you to Maono for providing us with our first lav mic in exchange for our honest review

Unboxing the Maono Mic

This product is available on our amazon shop, at no additional costs to you.

Every purchase made directly through amazon affiliate links like this will never increase your purchase price, but does help us by sharing a small percentage of commission – thank you!

If you have any questions before making your purchase, please let me know in the comments, below.

XOXO!

Want to be a vlogger / podcaster? Find more tips and tricks on starting your channel by clicking on the YouTube Creators tab on the menu!

Love,

Mama B

Behind the Camera – Amy “busted” me this week!

It was fun to have an extra person (and camera!) this week to give you a closer look into our true daily routine.

We always joke that in order to give a full picture, we need to have a camera crew (and we almost did, one time. Do you guys remember that interview we had for the Courtney Cox documentary “9 Months”?

I still haven’t seen it, but apparently it’s a facebook series.

Needless to say, they didn’t think we were interesting enough – but I’m glad you guys do!

Sometimes we catch the occasional blooper, like sissy bonking her head or brother bonking his head (both in the same video; kids, amirite?).

Hope you enjoy this week’s footage and thanks for staying positive with us during Amy’s big job transition. We have made the most of the couple extra days we got with her this week:

We picked the wireless headphones from a list of possible review items – how interesting were our other choices, though?

Love,

Mama B