Sunday, March 19, 2023

5 Things I love about masks that have nothing to do with Covid-19

5 Reasons to wear a mask that have nothing to do with Covid with an image of a green KN95 mask on a pink background

Please note: links may be affiliate links in nature. If you purchase through them, I may earn a small commission -- thank you in advance!
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of mask wearing, there are some people for whom wearing a mask has multiple benefits that have nothing to do with Covid-19. I happen to be one of those people. 
I love wearing a mask for several non-Covid reasons and I hope doing so will become normalized even after Covid-19 is far in the past.
Here are five NON-Covid reasons why people might wear masks even after the pandemic is far behind us:
As I write this, we are rapidly approaching my least favorite season of the year -- spring! I know, I know! Chances are you love spring and can't wait for summer, but I suffer from such serious and widespread pollen allergies that I can't stand the two seasons. I'm sniffling, itching, wheezing, and more from mid-March through mid-September. 

What does my hated of spring and summer have to do with masks? Well, one byproduct of mask wearing during the Covid-19 pandemic is my discovery that masks were MORE effective in dealing with my pollen allergies than most medications I've tried over the years!

As with my allergies, it turns out that wearing a mask has greatly improved my asthma! 

Cold weather, despite how much I love winter, is my primary asthma trigger. Wearing a mask means the air that enters my nose and mouth is already slightly warmed and thus I'm not prone to a coughing attack and possible asthma attack. 

Since the pandemic started, and since it has largely been considered to be over, I've had zero cold-weather induced asthma attacks! The difference? I wear a mask outdoors when it's cold.

If dust, pet dander, or odors bother you while cleaning, wearing a mask is a great barrier! It will block a lot of dust and dander while you clean, but you can also dab a tiny bit of your favorite essential oil onto a mask to help cover unpleasant odors when you clean.
Side note: my favorite essential oil is a peppermint-eucalyptus blend from Thrive Market. You can shop Thrive HERE. If you are first time Thrive shopper, you may qualify for 40% off your first order! 

I have two dogs, one of which sheds a lot. Cleaning up her fur, especially after grooming, is made more pleasant by wearing a mask. Both are senior citizens and we live in an apartment. One of our dogs is old enough that she goes to the bathroom so frequently that it would be difficult to take her out to the park. As a result, we have a dog potty on our patio. It is not fun to clean up. Wearing a mask with a dab of essential oils has made the job much more tolerable.
Much like my experiences with asthma and allergies, I've had far fewer colds when mask wearing -- even post-pandemic. I don't know about you, but I hate coughing, sneezing, and having to blow my nose all the time. I hate it enough that wearing a mask is worth it.
If you are a woman reading this, you probably have men (and maybe even some women) telling you to smile randomly and without reason. They don't take the time to learn anything about you (and you probably don't want them to anyhow!) and they don't take a moment to consider that maybe you aren't smiling for a reason -- but also, do we really want to go around smiling 24/7? Sounds creepy and exhausting, right?

Wearing a mask has really cut down on the number of people that randomly, and without reason, tell me to smile. I happen to be an incredibly serious person, and I LIKE BEING SERIOUS. I find joy and fulfillment in my serious nature. When you tell me to smile, you disregard who I am as a person.
Wearing a mask resolves that for me. 
What are some non-Covid reasons that you might continue wearing a mask post-pandemic? Leave a comment and let me know.
P.S. -- Mom2MomEd is about to undergo a re-brand and re-focusing, including getting a new name. I'm a middle aged single mom to an adult child and living in the city. I love to travel, but also care about and am worried about the environment. I love drawing and crafting and selling on Etsy, and a bunch of other stuff. You'll be seeing a shift away from topics related to younger kids or generalized educational content and more towards single, middle aged mom life. I would love for you to stick around, but I also will understand if that type of content just isn't for you.

P.P.S. -- My drawing and illustration Etsy shop now has an associated YouTube channel! Right now, I am primarily filming ASMR drawing videos (visual content with ambient sounds, such as the sounds of my pen on the paper). Check it out HERE. If you read the video descriptions, you'll find a link to my shop (I'm waiting for YouTube to verify my account, so you may have to copy and paste the link) and a discount code for the shop!

P.P.P.S. -- The Mom2MomEd Etsy shop will be closing on March 31st and items from that shop will transfer to my drawing and illustration shop.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

My favorite YouTube channels for simple living, de-cluttering, and lifestyle

My favorite YouTube Channels for simple living, decluttering, and lifestyle

Last week, I mentioned that I've been watching a lot of YouTube (read the post HERE). This week, I'm giving you a run down of my favorite channels. Most of what I watch on YouTube focuses on simple living, de-cluttering, and lifestyle with a few other topics sprinkled throughout. 
A to Zen Life: This channel features a family of four that downsized from mom's near hoarder status to fitting all of their possessions into 8 suitcases which they then took with them to move from the United States to Germany. The mom, Marissa, posts videos about de-cluttering and minimalism, mom and family life, routines, frugal and simple living, and more. 
Benita Larsson: Benita is my style and home decor guru and lives in Sweden. She is a single mom of an adult son who downsized several times and now is a dedicated minimalist but with a realistic streak, noting that minimalism means different things to different people. She regularly de-clutters and talks about simple, intentional living. 
Carter Sullivan: Carter is a 20-something young woman who vlogs about her daily life, career and personal goals, books, productivity, goal setting, and so on. She also is very realistic and up front about her mental health. She reminds me a lot myself at her age (I'm literally old enough to be her mom). Carter is in Canada.
Cecilia Blomdahl: Cecilia and her boyfriend live above the arctic circle on the island of Svalbard. Her channel is fun and funny. She vlogs about life in the arctic north, the highs and lows of extreme sunlight and extreme darkness. She also shares occasional book content, de-cluttering and home renovation content, adventures, and more. I like that she basically radically transformed her life by moving to Svalbard and has leaned into it. 
Jules Acree: I'm not sure how old Jules is -- late 20s? -- but I really like her aesthetic and her approach to productivity and working from home. Her home is clean lines and simple, but also soft and comfortable. Jules is from the United States.
Levi & Leah: Levi and Leah are a Canadian younger couple in their late 20s/early 30s who are committed to intentional living, the environment, healthy sexuality, and adventure. At times they feel a little out of touch with reality, but I still enjoy their vibe and approaches to life. 
Mallikkas Life: Mallikka is Danish and closer to my age -- maybe a few years old (I'm 48 as I write this) and she posts about frugal living, de-cluttering, and being intentional in life. Her channel is pretty straightforward. She's fun and funny too. 
Max & Occy: Max is an Australian van lifer who lives in his van with his dog, Occy. He's chill and cool, has lots of great adventures, but he's also very open about mental health issues and life challenges. 
Natalie Bennett: Natalie is in her late 20s, maybe very early 30s, and vlogs about decluttering, home life, life with kids, and journeying towards minimalism. Every now and then her husband also appears in her vlogs and he's pretty funny! I like that Natalie is generally very upbeat but also realistic about life with kids.
Not Just Bikes: The dude behind this channel is from Canada, but he and his family live in Amsterdam now. They go everywhere by bicycle and his channel is dedicated, primarily, to going places by bike and bike friendly city design. I aspire to being car free and going everywhere by bike, by foot, or by public transportation. I also live in a US city that has a reputation for being extremely bike friendly -- it. is. not! My city has a lot of work to do in this area!
Propel: The guy behind Propel is based in New York City, but also has strong ties to California. He is an e-bike shop owner and much of his channel is dedicated to topics related to e-bikes, alternative transportation, and similar topics as those found on Not Just Bikes.
Roots and Refuge Farm: Roots and Refuge is the vlog of Jessica Sowards and her family as they homestead and build up their family, home, and business around all things homesteading and gardening. Jess is passionate about homesteading, home gardening, and self-sufficiency in terms of food. I am working on improving my patio container garden every year and have learned a lot from Jess. You can buy her first book, The First Time Gardener, HERE (this is an affiliate link -- thank you in advance for any purchase through this link as it may result in a small commission for me).
Sustainably Vegan: This channel is hosted by a young woman from Great Britain who recently moved to the United States with her husband. She is a calm presence amid the chaos of the world! She is primarily focused on frugal and simple living with a lot of cooking. 
This Crazy Life: Ok, I'm a total nerd, and I love to watch "clean with me" videos! Amanda, the host of this channel, often shares home cleaning and organizing videos, day in the life videos, and occasionally home renovation and home decorating videos. She also regularly shares recipes -- she is on a semi-restricted die that I relate to. I like to turn on her videos for inspiration to clean and organize my own home!
Whispering Willow Farm: Jill and her husband are friends with Jessica Sowards and family from Roots and Refuge, listed above. In fact, Jill's family bought their home from the Sowards! Jill is another passionate home gardener turned homesteader and farmer. I've learned a ton from her! In addition to gardening content, she also shares cooking videos, often focused on sourdough bread and fermenting. 
Wild We Roam: This channel features a young family exploring alternative lifestyles. When I came across their channel, they were van lifers in Europe (they are from the United States). Since my finding them, they have also lived on a boat, lived in Hawaii, and recently moved to be closer to family when they became parents. They currently are working on building a shipping container home and a homestead. 
Yoga with Adriene: Adriene is such a calm, gentle, soul! She teaches yoga through her videos, but she is very loosey-goosey and encourages viewers and participants to go at their own pace and adjust things as they need to. She is not a strict teacher at all!


Tuesday, February 28, 2023

5 Baby Shower Gift Ideas

5 Baby Shower Gifts

One of my dearest friends became an auntie yesterday and will become an auntie a second time very soon. She asked recently about ideas for baby shower gifts. Here are my top 5:
Links may be affiliate links. Thank you in advance if you make purchases through these links as they may result in a small commission for me. 

1. Lingerie bag
A lingerie bag is perfect for all the small bits that come with a baby but get separated or lost in the wash -- especially socks! Besides socks, I used it for drool bibs, gloves, and mittens. I also keep all of our family's single, unmatched socks in the bag, and over time I usually am able to find the matching socks! I like to use a big lingerie bag rather than small one as that gives the items inside of it room to move around and actually get washed while still staying contained. A large bag also leaves room for my own unmatched socks which I do wash every time I need to wash the little kiddo's socks.  
The bag I use for baby socks is actually an old lingerie bag that belonged to my grandmother, but here a few good options to check out on
2. Restaurant delivery gift cards
In the past 10 years or more, I've only been involved in one group that has done a meal train for a family in need. When I was a kid, meal trains were incredibly common for new parents, sick people, grieving people, and so on. Someone would organize a group to make and deliver meals to the person or family in question. Although I know these still happen, it seems they are far less common than they used to be.
When my uncle passed away, someone arranged a meal delivery service for my child and I as we were his caretakers and he was our best friend. The meal service was great, but it had limitations -- pre-selected meals, allergens I couldn't avoid, and didn't always match up with what we were in the mood for. 

Consider a restaurant delivery certificate instead. GrubHub, DoorDash, Postmates or similar gift cards will provide ease and payment for the new parents or parents to be while also allowing them the flexibility to order food that fits their taste preferences, dietary needs, and so on.

3. A photo mini printer and tons of cartridges
In this day and age, many of us tend to keep our photos on our phones. Gone are the days of dropping off a roll of film or a disposable camera at a store for developing and printing. 

I miss having actual printed photos. It's nice to scroll through the photos on my phone, but printing them out is better! Make it easy for new parents by getting them a photo mini printer and plenty of cartridges. I love my Kodak mini printer and wish I'd had it when my child was a baby. 

Here's the printer I use on, as well as extra cartridges:

4. A baby first aid and grooming kit
A combined baby first aid and grooming kit was one of the most useful and thoughtful gifts I received when my 23 year old was born. Even though I never used several of the first aid items, knowing I had them gave me peace of mind. And, the grooming items were more useful than I ever expected -- as a first time mom, I had no idea how often I'd need to use some items like baby nail clippers!
As a gift giver, combined baby first aid and grooming kits have always been a hit as a baby shower gift! Every time I give one, someone at the shower says what a thoughtful and important gift it is and asks why they didn't think of it.
Here are my two favorites on
5. Diapers and wipes
If you know if the family you are buying for plans to use cloth or disposable diapers, buy them some! Diapers are expensive and having a reserve is beneficial. Buy one small package of newborn and then larger packages of the next two sizes, if the recipient will have room to store them. If you are hosting a baby shower, ask all of the guests to bring a pack of diapers in addition to any other gifts -- at my sister's baby shower, not only did we ask that everyone bring one package of diapers, but we gave a raffle ticket to everyone that actually followed through! At the end of the baby shower, we raffled off a movie theater gift certificate.

What are your "go to" baby shower gifts? Leave a comment and let me know!

For older kids and partners, consider grabbing some of my download-and-print lunchbox notes -- available on Etsy HERE. Print them out and slip a note into your child's lunchbox or backpack or into your partner's purse or bag. 
Etsy printable lunchbox notes for adults and kids

Monday, February 27, 2023

25 Things To Do When You Don't Want To Do Anything

25 Things To Do When You Don't Want To Do Anything featuring a woman sitting against a wall with her head in her hands

I am having a day. A boring, no motivation kind of day. Maybe you are too! If you're at all like me, you might also have some messes here and there around the house. Or maybe you haven't been taking the best care of yourself. Or maybe you've been neglecting your personal interests and hobbies. 
Here are 25 tasks for when you need to do something but have no interest in doing anything:

1. Wash five dishes
2. Fold and PUT AWAY five pieces of laundry
3. Set a timer for 10 minutes and speed tidy your living room
4. Sort and deal with a stack of mail
5. Clean a window
6. Clean and vacuum under the couch cushions
7. Clean, tidy, and de-clutter your fireplace mantel or a shelf
8. Do a quick walk through of shared spaces and pick up trash and recycling -- then dispose of them properly!
9. Drink a glass of water
10. Take 10 deep, slow breaths and stretch your arms out and open as widely as you can with each breath
11. Tidy your wallet or purse
12. Tidy around your home's entry
13. If you carry a medical or allergy kit, make sure it's up to date
14. Read two pages of a book
15. Eat some fruit or veggies
16. Sit on the floor and stretch for ten minutes
17. Grab a piece of paper and a pen and doodle for five minutes with no particular goal or ideas in mind -- just scribble if that's all that makes sense in the moment!
18. Clean a toilet or sink
19. Do a face mask or other easy beauty treatment
20. Floss your teeth (brush them too if you haven't yet today!)
21. Unsubscribe from five email lists
22. Delete 10 terrible photos from your phone
23. Delete two unused apps from your phone
24. Clean out the center console of your car
25. Make yourself a cup of your favorite coffee or tea and close your eyes and savor it

When life is crushing us and beating us down, it can feel impossible to do anything. I find that breaking my day down into micro-tasks like those listed above can make a difference. I like to keep track of what I'm getting done over the course of these "I don't want to do anything" days as it helps me to see that I am actually capable of doing a lot and of taking control of my life.

What are your go-to tasks for when you don't want to do anything?


Sunday, February 26, 2023

Currently -- February 2023

February 2023 Things I'm currently reading, listening to, watching, loving and more with a close up image of a woman's hands holding a blue mug and a book

Hello, dear readers,
Over the next few weeks, you'll see some changes around Mom2MomEd headquarters (also known as this blog), in the Etsy shop, and on social media (both Facebook and Instagram). I'm going to do a rebrand and refocus. I hope you'll stick around!
In the meantime, here's what I've been doing, experiencing, working on, etc. over the course of February 2023:
Listening to: 
(Links are to the respective YouTube channels)
(These books are affiliate links to -- thank you in advance for any purchases you make through Bookshop. They may result in a small commission for me.)
  • No Land to Light On by Yara Zgheib (5/5 -- excellent! Contemporary fiction, dramatic, tense)
  • The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (still reading -- Contemporary Swedish fiction, humorous)
  • Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan (5/5 -- so good! Contemporary fiction set in the near future, dramatic, tense, psychological thriller, family and friend psychology and climate crisis)
  • The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson (5/5 -- lighthearted and sweet; Contemporary fiction set in a village in England; a rom-com about underdogs/unsung heroes)
  • Cold by Mariko Tamaki (4/5 -- contemporary young adult fiction, murder mystery)
  • Coca Cola...always, but trying so hard to not drink any soda at all!
(links are to my Etsy shops or individual Etsy listings)
  • Junk journal bundles and supplies
  • Stickers (the most fun I've had creating in a while!)
  • Envelopes and stationery
  • Book plates (still creating and have not listed any yet)
  • Collage kits (still creating and have not listed any yet)
  • A collage how-to course (still creating, but likely will be hosted on Teachable)
  • A how to become a private tutor course (still creating but likely will be hosted on Kajabi)

One change that is coming up relates to Etsy. I will be closing my Mom2MomEd Etsy shop and instead combining it with my Shop The Junk Drawer shop unless I suddenly start having100 or more monthly sales in the Mom2MomEd shop consistently. I'm looking to streamline and finesse my Etsy shops. 


  • Loads of produce! I'm working on eating 30 different fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds every month. In the process, I discovered that I'm allergic to goji berries!
  • A trip to Paris
  • A trip to Buenos Aires
  • Snow days
  • Cuddles on the couch with my dog
  • Warm blankets
  • Hot coffee
  • More hours in the day
  • More Etsy sales
  • More energy
  • To drink more water every day
  • Navy blue Patagonia hoodie
  • Raspberry pink Adidas leggings
  • White ankle socks


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

The Rule of 5 Mini-Tasks for Easy Housekeeping

Lately, I've been struggling to keep my house tidy due to a number of factors ranging from just everyday life to anxiety and mild depression to trying to work from home and beyond. As a result, I've reverted back to a lot of simple, but effective, little tricks to make housekeeping easier and faster. Each one centers around the number FIVE, and you can read them (and other housekeeping posts) HERE.

Today, I decided my rule of five would center on five mini-tasks. These are the small tasks we all know we should do, but we ignore them in favor of either things that are bigger projects, bigger eyesores, or things that we perceive as being more important.
As a result, we end up with a build up of small annoyances scattered about our physical space and creating both physical and mental clutter. 

I get tired of walking past the same jacket over a chair back, the items on my steps waiting to go upstairs, dishtowels that need to go to the laundry, and so on. 

It takes next to no time to do these things, so why does it seem to take so many of us foreeeever to actually do them?

Enter the Rule of 5 Mini-Tasks for Easy Housekeeping. I want you to set a timer and see how long it takes you to do five tiny tasks. I'm betting it takes less than ten minutes.
The five mini-tasks I completed right before writing this were:
  1. Put away my coat (fully hanging it up in the closet)
  2. Emptied and put away my backpack (in the same closet as my coat!)
  3. Took two items upstairs (sweater shaver -- put in dresser drawer; book -- put on bedside table)
  4. Put away small stack of folded laundry (mostly belonged in three drawers total)
  5. Put away small amount of clean dishes (the longest task, but still easy!)
These five tasks took me just about eight minutes total!
To some, these tasks may seem like no brainers and so easy to complete, and maybe at times they are, but if you are suffering for depression, anxiety, burn out, and other overwhelming feelings, these small tasks can feel like huge burdens. 
By doing five mini-tasks rather than larger cleaning or organizing chores, you are still getting something done. If you feel motivated, continue and find five more mini tasks! Do this and one (or more) of my other easy housekeeping rules every day, and over time, you should start to see some shifts in your living space.
Have you seen my other easy housekeeping posts? Check them out HERE.
I mentioned putting away my sweater shaver -- do you use one? Should I write a blog post or film a video about using mine?

 Check out our Etsy shop and a few more blog posts:

Visit us on Etsy!

Sunday, January 15, 2023

The 5 Minute Rule for Easy Housekeeping

The 5 Minute Rule for Easy Housekeeping
I am a fan of the idea that nearly anyone and everyone can do something for five minutes -- even if there are times when you feel like you can't for whatever reason. Maybe you are seriously depressed or anxious or over-excited or sick or exhausted. 
You can probably carve out five minutes to do something, even if it's a tiny task.
On its own, five minutes isn't going to revolutionize your life or your housekeeping, but five minutes multiple times per day or multiple times over a week and built into a habit can have a significant impact.
If you are struggling with housekeeping, de-cluttering, getting things in order, or anything else, set a timer for five minutes and tackle one thing. 

In five minutes, you can probably:
  • Unload one rack of your dishwasher, if not the whole thing
  • Hand wash a few dishes
  • Hang up several pieces of clothing or coats
  • Gather shoes and put them away where they belong
  • Clear a small counter space 
  • Go through a small pile of mail
  • Match food storage container lids and bottoms
  • Sweep through a room with a trash bag and pick up trash
  • Take your recycling or trash out
  • Tidy a section of your workspace
  • Wipe down a counter
Some days, I choose one area of my house to focus on in five minute increments. Other days, I kind of go slipshod through my house and clean lots of small areas in five minute increments. Some days, I manage to do both. 

On days that I choose an area of focus, I make it a point to clean or de-clutter that area for five minutes either every time I go in that space or every few hours throughout the day -- I work from home, so this may be easier for me than it is for you, but you can still follow this method on a day off or over the course of an evening. 

Most recently, after a dinner gathering, my kitchen was an absolute wreck. My kiddo and I attacked the kitchen in five minute increments over and over throughout the day to make it more manageable. For us, it looked something like this:
  1. Gather any visible trash or recycling and put it in the appropriate bins. If full, empty the bins into the appropriate places.
  2. Put away clean dishes and items and move as many dirty dishes as possible to one defined space. Try to open up a clear space for air drying dishes later. Remove dirty dishtowels and linens.
  3. Put away any ingredients that have been left out -- usually spices, herbs, pantry items like pasta or rice, and so on -- or unused cooking tools.
  4. Wash dishes using my Five Items rule -- read about it HERE. Repeat until five minutes are up or repeat for another five items/five minutes.
  5. Choose a small counter space -- maybe 1ft by 1ft in size -- and focus on cleaning and clearing that space. Repeat several times over the course of the day. If our stove is particularly messy or cluttered, this might mean focusing on one fourth of the stove at a time.
  6. Spend five minutes tidying items in the fridge or freezer door or on a fridge or freezer shelf.
By repeating these tasks over and over throughout the day (or over several days, if necessary), eventually the mess gets taken care of and you begin to see progress. 
Of course, there is a risk that the mess will reoccur -- it does -- but, these five minute tasks have made subsequent messes much easier for us to handle and much easier for us to get back on track when we get derailed.
I've even used this rule when sick -- with the flu, with Covid, with food poisoning. When sick, I might take my time getting to the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, living room, and so on, but once I am there, I sit down for a few minutes and focus on catching my breath or gathering some energy, and then I choose a small task that I can focus on for five minutes, even if those five minutes are with me sitting down or with me expending as little energy as possible. I might fold socks and underwear (yes, I fold my undies) while sitting in bed or put away silverware while sitting on a stool or wipe down the dining table while sitting in a chair, but I get at least a few small tasks done. Of course, do NOT do this while sick if it will impair you further or put others in your home at risk! Follow your doctor's recommendations, please!

When it comes to doing these tasks, I also find it helpful to use tools that feel good in my hands or that make the jobs easier. A few of my favorites are from Grove Collaborative -- this post is not sponsored by Grove, but I do have an affiliate link following this small list -- and include: 
  • Grove Collaborative Free & Clear dish and hand soaps
  • Grove Collaborative glass spray bottles with silicone sleeves
  • Grove Collaborative Replaceable Head dish brush (the head can go in the dishwasher!) 
You can sign up for Grove Collaborative using my affiliate link -- I will receive a small commission if you sign up and order and YOU will receive a free gift set and $10 after your first purchase. Sign up HERE and login to take a look around! Please note that per Grove's terms, this offer is only open to new customers and they currently only ship to the contiguous United States.
I love that Grove Collaborative is committed to the environment and has worked hard to greatly reduce plastic and other non-sustainable products and waste. They are a certified B-corporation and I've had great customer service experiences on the rare occasions I've had to contact them about an order.

Have you tried any of my "Rule of 5" housekeeping tips? Have they helped you out in any way? What are some of the ways you make housekeeping more manageable in your home?

Check out all of my Rule of 5 and other housekeeping posts HERE.
And, please consider visiting our Etsy shop where we've got printable lunchbox notes, thank you notes, Valentine's and more! Just click on the image below: