Hi there, friend! We are so happy you have stumbled upon our blog. Trina started Mom Smart Not Hard in August 2017 one year after having her first baby because she learned that smart solutions always exist but the challenge exists in finding them. One timeless avenue to navigate the treacherous road that is parenting is to do it with a friend. So, who better for Trina to blog with than her best mom friend, Alli, who joined Mom Smart Not Hard in November 2017. We have spent hours at the library and each other’s houses for playdates since our baby girls were less than 6 months old. Our friendship was founded upon being a support system for each other and finding those smart solutions to help us be the best mom possible to our little ones. In fact, we probably wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for our children. Now, our daughters are great friends but could not be more different, which means together we are able to provide a well-rounded perspective to help moms with all types of children mom smart, and not hard.
What you will find here:
We don’t look for simple fixes if it comes at the cost of getting the best long-term result. Because when it comes to your kids, you want to make the smartest choices that give your kids the best start in life to become a happy, confident person who has successful relationships and careers. For us, the desired outcome is to determine how you can get the best long-term effect on all things “mom”. What does this mean? When we look into a parenting topic, we exhaust all research databases, mom blogs, books, and personal anecdotes. We compile all of the information and pick the best course of action to achieve the most positive long-term outcome, because parenting is a marathon.
Where would any of us be as a mom without Pinterest and Google? Now that we are on the other side of the whole first-year as a first-time-mom thing, we are eager to share know-hows and add to the conversation especially on expecting, breastfeeding, sleeping and nurturing. The learning curve is steep, but the payoff is well worth the work, we promise. If we saved you stress, time and money, or improved your life as a mom or a parent in any way, then creating this blog was more than worth it to us. If there are topics, struggles or stresses you would like to read about, leave a comment! What we want most is to be helpful to you and bring you content that is useful to you right now, today. Things you can implement right after you put down the phone or close the computer. We want to help you with what you are already doing every day: being the best mom you know how to be 🙂
Happy Mom Smarting!
Where to start?
Want to know more about the bloggers? Meet the bloggers and their cast of characters below. Curious about what we have on our blog for you? If you’re pregnant, then definitely check out the expecting section. Did you already have your baby and are now working on breastfeeding? Start there. Have you already mastered baby feeding, then check out baby sleep. We are also currently working on developing our nurturing section, which you can follow along as it grows.
Meet the Bloggers
I am a wife, mom, engineer, blogger and an avid reader with an insatiable appetite for learning and knowledge. If I could, I would sit in college lectures all day. I have a PhD degree in Chemical Engineering and teach part-time as a lecturer at a University. Shortly after graduating, I had L and decided that my job needed to fit my family, not the other way around. I never thought I would choose my career path based on having kids, but I did, and it was the best decision I have ever made. Getting a PhD gave me a set of skills in problem solving that I have since transferred over to how I solve any problem in my daily life, including all things parenting. After leaving research, I needed to find another outlet for my scientific passion so I’ve spent hours upon hours poring over the information available in academic journals that pertain to L as she grows up. Her first year was truly the hardest, yet best, year of my life so far.
Being in the Northeast has resulted in a love of seasons for our family. The summers are filled with days at the local lake beach, playing in the backyard, Saturday mornings at the farmers markets and watching Cole play softball in the evenings while L and I play on the jungle gym. Fall is for walks where we can watch the leaves turn colors, and of course apple picking because they are L’s favorite fruit. Winter is for spending quality time at the library curled up with a stack of kids’ books and a toddler on my lap while watching the snow fall. Spring is for riding tricycles in our basement until the weather warms. With each season that passes, our family grows and creates memories and traditions that I hope my children will come to remember.
I’m a mom to a sweet and lively toddler, N, wife to a hardworking and silly husband, Patrick, part-time teacher, part-time blogger and full-time housekeeper. I completed an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, Masters in ESL Education for grades 1-6, and spent a few years as an Elementary school teacher. With this background, my penchants for organization, planning, and teaching children have translated to the way I run my home and parent my toddler.
When not fulfilling my family roles, you will find me working on craft projects, knitting, cooking something healthy and delicious or getting some fresh air. I am a lover of food- in all forms- from meal planning, to cooking, to restaurants, to the family dinner table. Most of my mornings include a family walk in the woods with our dogs, and always a big cup of coffee. Saturdays in our house are for pancakes and the blues- after hitting a few yard sales of course. I fill our weeks with trips to the library, time spent in the woods, at local museums and socializing with friends. I love to read. Fiction, magazines, blogs, parenting books, informational texts- I like it all. As a new-mom and elementary school teacher, I adore children’s literature. Gorgeous illustrations and books filled with rich vocabulary are what I love in a Children’s book. Chris Van Allsburg, Patricia Polacco, Emily Winfield Martin, Eric Carle and Jane Yolen always keep me coming back for more. I strive to keep our life simple, and my goal is to always live in the moment. Less is more and love is everything.
I never thought I would be working on a mom blog… I work full-time as a traffic safety researcher and help Trina and Alli with the Technical and Financial sides of the blog during my spare time. Occasionally, I’ll write a post about blogging or fatherhood when I feel inspired or learn something that I just have to share.
I am an avid baseball fan and play in multiple slow-pitch softball leagues (if there was any sport Trina could wipe off the face of the earth it would be baseball/softball). I do enjoy tackling some of the challenges that running a blog presents, but I mainly do it because without me, Trina would have hand-written each blog post, taken a picture of the paper, and then posted that picture to Facebook…
On a more serious note, I was able to see first-hand how difficult it is to be a new mom, so I’m happy that I’m able to help Trina and Alli share everything they know with world. It is encouraging to me every time I see a positive comment on a post because I know someone’s life just got a little bit easier because of us.
Meet Trina’s Cast of Characters
I started to date my future husband, Cole, freshman year. We were both in engineering and have always enjoyed working on challenging projects together that require analytics and problem-solving. After college, we both went to graduate school. While in graduate school, he proposed on a beautiful hike in the northwest and we got married two summers after. While in graduate school, we went abroad for a year to Germany. With my A-type personality, I packed 8 suitcases (yes I overpacked… packing is still a skill I have yet to learn) for Cole and I to bring to Europe. Cole was so not thrilled but luckily has the exact opposite personality, which is very good for both of us. I graduated with my PhD in chemical engineering and then two months later we welcomed a baby girl into our family. Cole graduated shortly thereafter and now works at the University in traffic safety. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to raise a family with. Cole is a very involved dad and takes every chance he can get to spend with L. L loves to FaceTime with daddy at lunch every day.
I started to date my future husband freshman year. We were both in engineering. After college, we both went to graduate school. We added our first member of our family, our dog Max. We both have never had a dog before so it was quite a lot of fun. We absolutely love being in nature and now had an excuse to go on hikes all the time. He is a shizu-poodle so he is tiny (we end up carrying him a lot). We also got engaged on a beautiful hike in the northwest.
A few years before L, we added our first member to our family, Max. Neither of us had ever had a dog before so it was quite a lot of fun. We absolutely love being in nature and now had an excuse to go on hikes all the time. He is a Shih Tzu-poodle so he is tiny (we end up carrying him a lot). He was definitely our first baby but I am not sure anyone showed more excitement than Max on the day we brought L home from the hospital. He never left her side and now as a toddler, L and Max are best friends, or maybe a better term is partners in crime. She is constantly feeding him her food, dog food, and treats. She has learned from Max how to tear apart toilet paper and leave it all over the house like a puppy. I am not sure who begs more for walks as L loves to hold the leash and “walk” Max or more accurately Max walks L.
On the day L was born, I knew my life would be different, but I could never have imagined the amount of love, laughter and joy this little person could bring to our lives. I absolutely love watching her grow and see her personality come to life. She is a lover of all accessories including hats, shoes, belts (that she wears as scarves), hairbands, and any bag she can lift. She always has the most mischievous smile and is a determined, strong-willed toddler. She is also quite a jokester and loves to point to any picture of a grandpa in her board books and call them dada. She can’t get enough of fruit, dinosaurs, trucks, yoga, dogs, and sheep. After dad and dog, her next word was Ba, the name she has given all sheep. Obsession could not even come close to how much she loves The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Everywhere we go, she finds the caterpillar and points it out. We might need to inform Eric Carle that she has adamantly renamed the Caterpillar “Baby”. She could spend all day reading, especially if it’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Alli’s Cast of Characters
My husband Patrick and I met during college in NYC. Patrick works at a large University as a research engineer in drinking water treatment. Patrick is the busiest person I know with many talents and hobbies. He enjoys playing guitar, home improvement projects, yard sales, DIY projects, fixing up and reselling items, hiking, spending time with the dogs and family. He is a loving father and we have so much fun together keeping our home. Nobody can make N laugh like him and she absolutely adores her time with him in the morning and in our backyard. Watching him take on the role of dad has made me fall for him in a completely new way and seeing him parent in his own way has been a source of learning, respect and often humor.
Eyva and Banjo – The Dogs
Eyva and Banjo are our two dogs. Also known as the driving source of energy and chaos in our house- though N is quickly eclipsing them. Eyva is a Siberian husky. She is a crazy adventurer and hunter when outside, but inside is a sweet and cuddly cat-like dog. She loves the snow, running in the woods, digging in the yard and anything sweet. Banjo, our black lab, lives for the tennis ball and we’re pretty sure he thinks he’s a husky too. He is the ultimate family dog and just wants to be wherever the humans are.
N is a toddler with a love for dogs, reading and much like her parents- being outside. She wants to help and be involved with our everyday tasks and loves to be silly. She just adores Eyva and Banjo and watching them form bonds with each other has brought us so much joy. N loves the tub and thrives on routine. A trip to the library, hummus for lunch, a hike with the dogs, and playtime in the backyard pretty much sums up her perfect day. She is the light of our lives and inspires us daily to live in the moment, enjoy the little things and slow down.