The Bachelor‘s Melissa Rycroft Strickland is weirder than she looks, folks. Behind that pretty, polished Bachelor star exterior, she’s totally honest and up-front about everything from postpartum depression to peeing herself during workouts. In other words: Moms, she’s just like us! And that’s a relief, because it means we can take her mom recs to heart; this is no celeb-bot mama who’s buying her kids a $2K mini Bentley. In fact, we’re pretty sure her top pick for keeping her kids’ skin soft is something our grandmas used. Doesn’t get much more down-to-earth than that.
Plus, Rycroft Strickland is a serious allergy sufferer, and she’s committed to making the lives of others with allergies (kids and parents alike) easier through UnderstandingAIT. We caught up with her this week to get more of her recommendations for surviving #MomLife — in quarantine and otherwise.
The podcast I’m listening to right now
“Totally Mommy is one of my favorite parenting podcasts. It’s a great listen about the ups and downs of parenting, and makes me feel like I’m not alone in this crazy world of mom-hood. I also love all my crime podcasts: Crime Junkie and True Crime Garage are my current faves.”
The books my kids are currently obsessed with
“Ava is really into the Goosebumps series — which is weird, because I remember reading those when I was little. She’s always been my little reader though, and it’s a challenge to keep enough stocks of books in the house for her. And Beckett is into anything sports or superhero right now; he’s so proud to be on a reading level 3, so he loves going to the bookstore to get new books.”
The books I’m reading myself
“I’ve actually just started reading Jessica Simpson’s Open Book. I don’t have much time to read, so I am listening to the audio version. It’s a pretty fascinating story starting with her childhood, her intro to the music industry, her romances, her marriage and kids, and all the struggles she’s had in between everything. I’m pretty into it!”
The snacks I always have on hand for my kids
“Anything that is easy to eat, and that I don’t feel guilty giving to the kiddos as a snack. Breakfast bars are usually a good go-to, or child protein bars (so the kids don’t know they’re actually eating something healthy). I try to keep the fruit snacks and chips to a minimum, but we all know that sometimes you just have to give in to avoid a meltdown.”
The beauty product I always keep in my bag
“I love BB and CC cream on my face. I don’t like wearing a lot of makeup, so the BB and CC cream allows me to not have to wear much, but still covers up the spots on my face.”
The app that makes my life as a parent easier
“Cozi Family Organizer is a great one. It helps to coordinate everyone’s schedules, keeps the whole family in the loop, and sends reminders for events. Being as busy as we are… it’s been super helpful to keep us organized.
“While it’s not an app, UnderstandingAIT.com is a new website I recommend for allergy sufferers like myself. I suffer year-round from allergies and the site offers educational information about symptoms, treatment options including allergy immunotherapy (AIT), an interactive map of pollen levels in your area, a Doc Finder to find a local allergist and more.”
The parenting accounts I love to follow on Instagram
“@KidsAreTheWorst is a hilarious parenting account to follow on Instagram. It’s filled with memes and pictures of everyday parenting fails, and it gives a good, relatable laugh. @BuzzFeedParents is another pretty funny parenting account to follow. And I recently discovered @artsycraftsymom which is an account of arts and crafts ideas and activities for kids. I’m not super creative, but I love getting crafty, so this account is a great place to get ideas — and the kids love them, too.”
The toys that keep my kids occupied for hours
“Puzzles are a big hit in our house. I grew up loving puzzles, so I love that the kids do. They each get their own, and then they like to race each other to see who can finish first. Competition that gets their little minds working — I’m in!”
The TV show I actually like to watch with my kids
“Netflix’s Magic for Humans is amazing. Magician Justin Willman is so good at magic and is super relatable and funny. It’s rare to find shows that truly entertain both the parents and the kids, and this one definitely kept all of our attention.”
The kid-friendly music I don’t hate playing around the house
“We actually love soundtracks. Moana is the hit right now. And Ava is really into musical theater, so we listen to Broadway songs too; they’re catchy and upbeat. We don’t really listen to the radio (I guess we don’t have time!), so my iTunes playlist is usually our go-to.”
My favorite kid skincare pick
“This is random, but we love Castor Oil! My son gets season dry, red spots on a few areas of his body. We tried everything (everything), and our pediatrician recommended topical Castor Oil. And boy! We saw an immediate improvement. I’d never heard of it before, and didn’t really know about it, but I am sold now.”
My favorite under-the-radar kids brands
“Jessica Simpson’s kids clothing line is really cute. I actually accidentally stumbled on it online, but I really like it! I stocked up on a bunch of things for my daughter during a big sale, and it’s all so cute.”
How I keep my mom wardrobe on point
“LimeLush is an online boutique I discovered and I really like it. I like my clothing super comfortable (nothing too tight, please), not too trendy, but timeless classics. And LimeLush gives the perfect mix of classic staples, and cute options.”
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