Our Beach Days in Florida

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, FUN TIMES, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, PHOTO, Photo Stories, TODDLER


The other day we were supposed to put together a storybook of a day for our music class. So instead of printing photos and glueing them to paper ( who has time for that), I put together a quick (and very basic) slideshow of our beach trip with friends.


I picked out some of the better photos to post here and since I already had the slideshow ready, I am publishing it as well.

I can’t stand it!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, LIFE, PHOTO


This blog has become such a big part of my life that during times when I can’t blog, I get this nagging sad feeling.

Right now we are frantically working to finish the National Breastfeeding Month with a bang and planning the annual Vegas trip for the ABC Expo, so very little time is left to blog, which will change again shortly at the end of this month.

In the meantime, this is what has been keeping us busy….

BUSY MOMS: How to get more done in less time (GTD technique)

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, BUSY MOM TIPS, Daily, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, LIFE, New Mom Experience, TODDLER


This is a part of BUSY MOM series of posts.
To see others, click here: BUSY MOM TIPS

All my DM girls have been asking for this post and here it is. I know many of my readers, busy moms, might love this concept too.

I have a post pending on 10 best tips for productivity and time management and a related post about my work out routine, but it all wouldn’t be complete with an in-detail account of my main time management technique, POMODORO.

BUSY MOMS: How to get more done in less time (GTD technique)

{ Glasses c/o David Kind }

Up until recently I have been struggling with fitting everything into a 24 hour day. With all the hobbies and projects, obligations and websites, desires and an active and engaged toddler, it seemed like there was no way to find extra time to be more productive, or accomplish nearly everything on my constantly growing to do list. It turns out there is. Or at least there is a way to make it a little bit more manageable. It’s a several step process most of which I will give away in my 10 Tips for Time Management post, but the biggest concept that turned my life around is right here in this article.

For those unfamiliar with time management and GTD (Get Things Done) concepts, Pomodoro is a technique where you work in increments (pomodoros) and then take a break. Usually it’s 25 minutes of work with a 5 minute break. That’s one pomodoro.  But in reality, you can adjust each pomodoro to be as long as works for you. It seems like a simple concept, but it works fabulously.

In an effort to be even more organized and efficient ( I didn’t think it was possible), I downloaded a pomodoro app to see if I can make it work for me. IMG_3305

At first it seemed counter intuitive. What? I barely have time and now you want me to take a 5 minute break out of my already jam packed schedule? That’s insane.

And then I made a change to it. Instead of actually “taking a break”, I took a break from the activity I was doing (which is the goal in pomodoro). In my eternal chase for efficiency, I HAD to do something useful during the 5 minute breaks.

So the first 5 minute break, I sat there for a few seconds, completely NOT ok with wasting even five minute of my precious time on “rest” or something silly like that. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. Rest is subjective, too. I wasn’t going to go surf the Internet when there were so many important things to be done and not enough time to do it all. So after a few seconds of sitting there, lost with what I am to do on this self-imposed break, I think I went and did some personal care: brushed my teeth, washed my face, actually moisturized. All the little things that I need to be doing anyways, but never have time to do. Hmmm, It felt good!

Five minutes went by really fast and I was back to working. This wasn’t so bad. But again, I needed to have a more strict use of my extra 5 minutes to feel good about it. Prioritized use, so to say.

I had  to find something better to do during those 5 minutes. The next five minute break I lay down on the floor to do some exercises. Just because I never get time to exercise.

That’s when it dawned on me.

I could work out during the 5 minute break! Duh!


{ Glasses c/o David Kind }

Of course!

I had been working out using Fit Star and their 12 minute a day program but I always seemed to prioritize other things over the work outs. Even with only 12 minutes.

It’s well known that it’s beneficial to do short exercises throughout the day to boost your metabolism so it seemed perfect. And it was.

In this new situation I didn’t have a choice. I HAD to take a five minute break and Fit Star had to be it.

I think that’s where it really worked for me. I am a very driven person, I don’t take time to rest or chill out. Not often. I feel BEST when I am busy, working, maximizing every second, getting things done. I become depressed when I feel like my time is wasted on something low on the priorities list. So this was perfect. For the kind of personality that I have, I needed to be FORCED to take a break from the activity I was doing. And that’s exactly what this technique did for me. Just like for a less intense person, the technique will force them to work, rather than do things they want to do.

You are also much less likely to skip out on it because it’s just 5 minutes, no biggie. When I think of a half an hour work out, I’m like “ I just don’t have time or energy for that“. But five minutes? Sure why not.

So fast forward to now and I am obsessed.

What a great way to be productive. The break gives you new energy to tackle your to do list but  too short to be distracting. Five minutes turn into 30-60 by the end of the day depending on how much you work. It’s amazing.
So nowadays after I finish two sets of fit star during my first five minute breaks, I do the 7MWO ( read work out post here), then I do some personal care stuff like shave, do my hair, floss, brush, moisturize, whatever needs to be done. And if I have any breaks left, I clean.

I haven’t tried this concept on days where I’m with Lexi all day, only on my “working ” days but I think it could be applied to those days too with some self discipline.


As a work at home mom, this concept works really fabulously, especially at nights when I only have 3-4 hours to work after Lexi goes  to bed (if that) and need to maximize every minute of it.

You can use the pomodoro concept and apply it to everything. Define what your main goal is for the purposes of pomodoro for that moment and take 5 minute breaks from it to either do something else or rest.

So in case of SAHMs, the main job would be taking care of kids, so one could spend 25 minutes playing and interacting with them and then say “OK, mommy is going to go do so and so for 5 minutes“. It’s a short break for you to do what you need to do and your kid isn’t upset because you’re back to playing with them before they can say “Mommy!”

Since I am writing about it, I am going to try doing that with Lexi next week. We are out of the house all the time, so it only works if you stay in ( though can probably get adapted for outdoor time), that’s why I haven’t tried it yet on the SAHM side of things. But on the WAHM side, it is life changing.


{Maxi Dress by Garnet Hill. Check out their Sale of the Day}

After a day of using the Pomodoro technique, I feel like I have had a balanced productive day, rather than a day where I got something done for one aspect of my to-dos, but nothing for others.

In fact, as I am writing this, I have 8 minutes and 45 seconds left on my 5th pomodoro of the day, after which I will have to take a break and  in my case it will be 7MWO, since I completed FitStar today already. Then the next breaks, I will get ready for bed, take a shower, etc etc.

So check out this app. I tried a few and this one is the most pleasant to use.  The app has a ticking timer so you always feel like “Tik tok, work faster! Concentrate!”, as well as a great and easy to use interface. It makes it pleasant to keep track of your pomodoros.

The feeling of being efficient is what gives me the energy to do this, work without a real break. Every day, all day. Knowing that I am getting so much done is the best feeling in the world and is so much better than taking breaks and never feeling like you have enough time or accomplished, and realizing that it’s also balanced makes it so much more rewarding. I still get to chill out when I feel like I need to. usually by Friday, I’m all “Baby, let’s just watch a show tonight and go to bed”. I still get on my computer and work half the time, but I am not chasing productivity at that time and just enjoy unproductive multitasking.


{ Sunglasses c/o See Saw Seen Eyewear }

Of course, one pomodoro technique isn’t going to help if a person is disorganized to begin with, so that why I am working on a post about 10 time management tips for moms and 10 amazing apps that will make you an efficient mommy machine. These will include everything I have learned and tried in the years of working and the 3 years of being busier than I can ever imagine ( kids do that to you and so do new projects).

I feel I have a really good handle on things now. I spent the last two years trying everything in the world to see if it works, throwing it against the wall till it sticks. This has become my trifecta of productivity. I feel like I spend extra quality time with my daughter and my family, get work done without feeling too behind (though I know I will always BE behind until I find more ways of delegating my work or not take on new things), I take care of myself and my body and that results in  a more relaxed mommy, wife and an individual who isn’t constantly watching the clock and wondering when she can get to do all the things on her to do list, rather than playing with her kids and really being in the moment.


{Maxi Skirt by Garnet Hill. Check out their Sale of the Day}

Having a more self-sufficient 2 year old rather than a baby is helpful, too, but that’s another story for another time.


10 time management tips for busy moms

10 amazing apps that will make you an efficient mommy machine.



Closing Comment Section For a Period of Time

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, Fun as a Toddler Mom, LIFE, New Mom Experience, TODDLER


Hey, guys!

I wanted to give you a heads up that I will be closing comments on the blog for a little bit. It’s not permanent, just during this time when I need to concentrate on things that are really important.

Not that your comments aren’t important- they always are- but THAT really is the biggest problem. I want to and try to respond to most comments that need (or even those that don’t need) a response. That takes a very long time and right now time is a commodity. So I have to pick between posting regularly or responding to comments, since they take about the same amount of time as writing a post does.

Not closing comments and just not responding to them doesn’t work for my personality, I will always WANT to respond. I can’t handle things left open and people thinking I am ignoring them :) Because I never do.

Painting and Kite Flying with Friends

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Daily, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, PHOTO


Last week I wrote about messy toddler painting on a big canvas.

What followed that painting session was inviting some of our friends over to join us and a sprinkler run that ensued. Pay attention to their faces as they run through the water- priceless!

Then we pulled out a kite and the kids were just amazed! They kept begging for a turn to fly the kite. We try to repeat these golf course gathering at least once a week when schedule allows and everyone is in town.

Enjoy the pictures!

Outdoor Painting

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, Daily, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, PHOTO, PRODUCTS


About two months ago, I decided to explore the idea of painting on a bigger canvas than a notepad.

I brought out a big roll of paper, Crayola washable tempera paints with brushes and let Lexi explore it.

Painting on paper quickly got old and she proceeded to color all over her body. She was probably one of the most fun and creative activities that can be done with a toddler. Lexi is usually very active and prefers either doing something physical or reading. Drawing or painting wasn’t something that kept her attention for TOO long.

However taking it outside and making it messy opened a whole new world of possibilities for her. This is the activity we do virtually every day. Sometimes she gets VERY messy, other times she paints on paper, but she always gets some paint on her and around her which makes our patio the perfect place for it.

Because tempera paint isn’t supposed to be used on skin (even though we wash it off almost immediately), I bought the Crayola Finger paint to be used for this activity. It’s not a nice and bright as tempera but it certainly is good enough.

Want to be a part of Daily Mom?

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, Fun as a Toddler Mom, FUN TIMES, LIFE, New Mom Experience, PHOTO, Photo Stories, PREGNANCY, PRODUCTS, TODDLER


As I mentioned earlier on Facebook, we are ready to expand at Daily Mom, which means adding new team members and contributors.

If you read Daily Mom and would like to be a part of it, read on.
If you’ve never heard of it, visit the website and then read on.

Don’t mistake the goofy photos in this post for lack of seriousness. We are fun bunch, but we also take what we do seriously. Photos for this post are from a Daily Mom editors meet in 2013. I never got to post about it so at least sharing some of the photos in this post seemed semi-appropriate :) We value our team and how big Daily Mom has gotten, but we would not have been half the team we are without the humor and the craziness and all the fun we have together online and in real life. Also these are just a few of our team members, as well as some honorary ex-team members. Current staff is slightly different from the pictures below.

Stuff Lexi says: 24-27 months

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Daily, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience


Right now has got to be the cutest age for talking. I know they get more complex and say even funnier things, but the cuteness probably overloads right at around 2-2.5 year of age.

The things she says blow my mind. The things she understand give me a better appreciation for a child’s growing brain.

It’s hard to know what they are thinking and what they know when they don’t talk. But once that talking box start up, oh my there is no stopping it.

The cutest things here are always said after a nap or in the morning. It’s like a chatterbox. The second her eye open she starts telling me stories: things she saw in her dream (I assume), things she wants to do, things she wants me to do, things she is reminiscing about.

I try my best to remember and then email them to myself when I can. I often forget. We would be at the playground, my phone would be dead, I will try to remember all the funny/cute things she said but by the time we are home, I only remember a few of the sayings.


So here is what I’ve got from the last week or two.

  • Waking up…
    “I got dinosaur bone in my hand. Oh-oh! Now it’s in my bed”
  • While breastfeeding and choking on breastmilk….
    “Oops choked on mommy’s boobie!”
  • I am looking for a phone because she asked to call daddy…
    “Mama say can’t find phone. Silly momma. Phone is in the offa (office)”
  • Hears our cat meowing while trying to fall asleep…
    “Mama hav to pet kitten. Kitten get happy. “
  • Before bedtime, talking about Lavanila diaper rash cream that we call “butt cream”…
    “Put butt cream on. Make peepee happy”
  • After I come back with a new haircut (without saying anything to her about it)…
    Mommy cut hair. Mommy hair is nice and shiny.” (we were really surprised at the use of the word “shiny” because we have never used it in that capacity and in general it’s not a word we use a lot)
  • Struggling with something…
    “Cant do it now now (right now)! Only mommy can do it” She says that a lot and in such a cute voice, it’s one of my favorite phrases.


  • Reading Dr Seuss about how borfin goes shlump every night…
    ” Mommy hab to fix shlump like this. Hab to go to one more store to buy borfin. Momma Hab to go store and buy more borfin!!!!”
  • Don’t worry, Momma, I’m doctor. Got to find a band-aid.
  • Lexi “wrote” her first song. At first we thought she was just singing random things, but then the next day she repeated it word for word refining to better sentences. Then the next day she did it again. When finally we realized, she came up with a song. A real song that she can sing over and over again without changing words. It goes like this:
    “I like for car.
    I like for bus.
    I like mommy and daddy and Yaya.
    I like mommy pick up and kiiiiiiiiiiiss heeeeeeeer cheeeeeeeeek”
    She does the last “her cheek” with the sweetest smile on her face. I seriously laugh every time she does it.
  • So after about a week or so singing that song, she came up with new words for it.
    “I like cucumber I like strawberry
    I like water I like milk.
    And mommy too.
    And daddy.
    I like mommy pick me up and and kiss ooooon heeeeeeer cheeeeeeeeeek.”


  • While riding a bike to the playground…
    “Birdie in the tree fall down. You ok. I gotcha!”
  • Then at the playground, seeing a bird…
    Birdie fly really high up in the sky, looking for food and mommy. Mommy says time to go bedtime. Birdie say no, go paygound.
  • While I am cleaning up, she asks to play. I tell her that I am cleaning up and need to finish. She answers:
    “Mama, you make house really pretty”
  • Seeing our cat run out into the backyard…
    “Kitten you all dirty? Have to clean up.
    First gotta go around….
    Kitten come here. You all dirty. Momma come get kitten – kitten run”
  • When she asks for something we don’t have at home (usually food), we often say “Sweetie, we are out. We will go to the store and buy more”. She quickly caught onto that and is using it every time something is missing…
    “Hab to buy new one. Hab to go to the store to buy new one.”
  • Daniel Tiger has an episode about not giving up and trying until you get better. She really took to this lesson and instead of freaking out when she can’t do something, she now sings “Try Try Try and Try it again. Till you get BETTE..” and then finishes it with “HEEEEER”. Really the song just has “Betteeee-er” in a long note, but she thinks BETTE and HER (-ER) are two different words and sings them that way. It’s so hilarious!
  • I think she was on my phone and it ran out of battery, or maybe she saw my phone lying around and picked it up, I can’t remember for sure. But she starts calling me..
    “Momma, momma!!!” I come over and ask what the matter is. She  says in a singsongy voice “Grown ups come back…” and then adds “And fix my phone”.


  • So one day, we were out of some food she wanted, I think it was almond milk and when I told her we were out, she ran up to me and exclaimed:
    ” Momma, go to the store!” Then realized her mistake in the fact that daddy usually goes grocery shopping so that he could shop without someone destroying the whole store and mommy stays with Lexi, and she goes to correct herself:
    “No momma, daddy go to the store to buy new one. Only daddy can go to the store.”
  • Early on, she picked up on the song “Old McDonald”, especially words “Something here, something there, something everywhere”. So one day she applied it to boobies, while asking to nurse. She went pinting “Boobie here, boobie there, boobie everywhere” Spreading her arms wide when saying “everywhere”. That in itself was cute enough.
  • Then recently she was asking for Daniel Tiger and I said we didn’t have it or I didn’t know where it was ( I don’t remember why), so she goes pointing:
    “Daniel Tiger here, Daniel Tiger there, Daniel Tiger everywhere!”…then she pauses and announces “Like boobie!”
  • She often details what she wants to do after she wakes up. It usually goes something like this:
    “After nap, go to the gym. After gym, go to new gym. After new gym, go to the lidaberry (library)” and so on and so forth. But the thing is she actually plans it out, tells me exactly where she wants to go. Like I tell her we will be going to the beach after her nap, she will add “After go to the beach, go to the pooo-yo (pool)!” So then I might add “We’ll have to eat first!” So she will amend “After nap, go to eat. After eat, go beach, after beach, go poo-yo”
  • She has been obsessed with traffic lights (“taffa wight”). So every time we ride in the car, she screams out
    “Mommy, got to find a Taffa Wight. Wed means GO, Geen means TOP, Orange means Warning! Momma, Taffa Wight coming up! Hab to find a WED Taffa Wight”
  • Looking at a messy carpet ( crumbs, pieces of paper, cat hair), runs up to the robot vacuum, pointing at it…
    “Momma, have to put on and make vacuum ALL THIS MESS!”


There are a million more things she says that make me go “Aaaaaawwww” on daily basis. I am hoping to continue writing them down, as this was incredibly amazing to write at this moment. In a few years, I’ll be bawling reading these.