On traveling solo, sleep and being away from Lexi

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, Daily, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, Parenting, TODDLER


As I am sitting here at 11:40 pm on a Wednesday night, two days late on my promised (to myself) weekly post, trying to decide what I can write about that I have the inspiration for and doesn’t take literally 4-5 hours to complete (writing to formatting to photos). I have a few drafts started but it’s all informative posts that really need some time put into them.

So the easiest, I thought, would be what I personally consider (harshly put) “useless babble”, but people seem to like. I have trouble writing posts that I don’t feel in some way benefit the reader, aside from photo posts or travel posts-I am sucker for those.

So that being said, how about we talk about a huge change that has happened in my and Lexi’s life: having to and being able to leave her with her dad and travel (for work or pleasure) solo.

Perfect Blogger Life: a conversation with a reader…

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

This is a completely different post for me. I’ve had it in drafts for a year, fully written. I thought it was time to get it finished up and published. All photos here are very random, mostly from age 2-2.5,  and are inserted for visual interest, mainly due to the fact that I didn’t have the time to look for relevant photos.
I have never posted anything like this and I think it will be fun for my readers to get a little glimpse into it.

My 12 best time management tips for busy moms

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, Daily, FOR MOMS, LIFE


I often get asked how I manage to do everything that I do. On weekly and daily basis  I run Daily Mom, attempt to write in this blog, receive and respond to somewhere on the order of 100-150 emails per day (often behind on them), currently working on two new businesses (I just announced one of them on my personal IG @everyavenuegirl : www.melodylane.com), each one is a large project in itself. All that’s just a part of my working day aside from being a mom to Lexi, playing volleyball 12 hours a week, working out every other day when I can, cooking, and doing whatever meager cleaning that I can (mostly just organizational). All the usual duties of a mom plus the work aspect of at least 4 different businesses/projects. With a possibility of two more on the horizon.

The answer to the earlier question is barely.

Some Days Call for a Beach Day

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


Sometimes I just want to share photos. That’s all. I have let go the feeling of obligation of making every post count, every post informational or educational or based on experience. Sometimes I don’t need words. Just imagery.

It doesn’t mean I won’t write about our lives, but it means that I now put less pressure on myself to do what I think I should do and instead do what I feel like doing in the moment. I have too many “SHOULDS” right  now to turn this blog , something I write for pleasure, into another SHOULD.

Also, some amazing things on the horizon that I am very excited about, that are keeping me even busier these days, but that’s the only way I’ve ever been able to live. Busy, with too many things to juggle. That’s the only way to be productive for me and driven and into what I am doing.

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 Pomodoro 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.