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No one knows the Atlanta food scene quite like Erica A. Thomas. For a decade now, she has been writing about all the delicious eateries in the southeast’s largest metro area. Since founding Eating with Erica in 2013, she has continued to share restaurant recommendations with her loyal followers, and her business has grown to include her own recipes as well as lifestyle and entertainment coverage.
In 2022, the award-winning blogger, recipe creator, world traveler, and Criminal Minds aficionado added yet another title to her plate: Mom.
And so she swapped brunches and bars for nausea candies and ginger tea as she prepared to welcome a baby with her husband Desmond Thomas. Like the experience of so many moms-to-be, those first 12 weeks were brutal.
“Seriously, I have had Everclear and Bacardi 151 hangovers better than my first trimester,” she said on her website.
Since welcoming baby Maverick last spring, Thomas has shared an open, honest, and insightful look into her life as a new mom, and we are so here for her brilliant advice.
“As my husband and I enter this new season of parenthood I have fallen completely in love with him all over again,” she said on Instagram. “Here is some advice for my relationship/married friends: KEEP DATING. Baby Thomas has kept us busy, but we still manage to date.”
It may be an ice cream, she said (at Sugar Factory, perhaps?), or a lunch together (we are dying to try her turkey, cranberry, and brie sandwich) but they set aside that time to focus on each other as they also focus on the newest addition to their family.
Now, as we soak in her parenting advice and patiently await the baby food recipes we hope are on the horizon, we turn to Thomas’ parenting essentials for some much-needed shopping inspo.
The podcast I’m listening to right now
I’m loving Real Talk with Father & Son. It’s a new podcast that recently launched and is hosted by a Millennial son and his Gen X father. They discuss hard topics like finances, relationships, masculinity and more in a laid back atmosphere as a way to bridge generational divides. I like their perspective, that they’re real, and that they’re funny. As a wife and mother of a son, it’s great to listen to men have open discussions about their feelings.
The books my kid is obsessed with
I’m very classic when it comes to storybooks! I love reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; The Very Hungry Caterpillar; Llama Llama Red Pajama; and Thank You God, Goodnight to my son. I like reading him baby books that I grew up reading as a child. A newer one that I like is called Kayla With The Curls — it’s always great to see girls as the heroes of children’s storybooks!
What I’m currently reading myself
Let That Shit Go: A Journey to Forgiveness, Healing and Understanding Love by Bruna Nessif. I’m a big advocate of self development. The more you pour into yourself, the more you’re able to pour into your family. You can’t pour from an empty cup, even as a mom!
The beauty product I never leave the house without
I make an effort to always be put together before leaving the house and I’m never without a lipgloss — MAC Cosmetics and Huda Beauty are my favorite brands.
But I’ll also tell you five beauty products I can’t live without:
1. Mario Badescu Facial Spray – Hydrated skin is happy skin.
2. 24K Gold Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches By PETER THOMAS ROTH have been a life saver especially since Maverick has been teething.
3. Crest Whitening Strips – White teeth compliment any smile.
4. Hatch Nipple and Lip Rescue Balm – It has been a lip-saver. This balm is perfect for dry lips and cracked nipples.
5. Sunday Riley C.E.O Afterglow – It has my skin glowing, and it’s really hydrating. And it’s free of parabens, phthalates, and sulfates, SLS & SLES. It is also gluten-free and cruelty-free.
The apps that make my life as a parent easier
Google Tasks. My husband and I have such rigorous schedules that we schedule EVERYTHING! This helps us see what the entire family has going on at any given time so we don’t miss a thing.
The Samsung Refrigerator App for when I’m grocery shopping. I can see what it’s in my fridge at any given moment as long as I have my phone. There’s nothing worse than going to the grocery store and coming home to realize you thought you had something in your fridge that you don’t, especially as a busy mom.
The Hubble Club is an app that is linked to my son’s Hubble Connected Grow+ changing table, which weighs him every time we change him. It tracks his measurements for healthy development. It’s informative, and fun, to keep up with his milestones.
The music we listen to as a family
Ever since Maverick was in my stomach, I’ve listened to Mozart and it really calms him down. There is proven scientific research about the positive effects that classical music has on development and mood. The University of Georgia published a series called “Building Baby’s Brain.” In one article it explains that “the complexity of classical music is what primes the brain to solve spatial problems more quickly.”
The subscriptions I have for my kid
I love Lovevery Play Kits for helping Maverick develop his motor skills. He loves playing with the different toys.
The skincare products my kid loves
I love Aveeno. Maverick had eczema and it’s been beneficial for his skin.
The non-screen-related toys that keep my kid occupied
Maverick is 9 months old, so he isn’t watching screens right now. However, he does like listening to his mom, dad, and sister read to him. He also loves the High Museum of Art. I think the various types of art capture his attention.
The product my kid can’t live without
He loves his rattle.
The lesser-known baby brands I swear by
There’s this brand called Lalo, and The Play Kit is absolutely amazing.
Also, a lot of people don’t initially think of Pottery Barn as a place to get great baby items beyond furniture, but it is. Pottery Barn isn’t necessarily under the radar, but it truly is a one-stop-shop for all my needs! Their blankets, rocking chairs, and bathtime items are great.
The clothing brand that helps me ‘mom in style’
I love this company called Hatch. They have amazing maternity clothes and specialize in the fourth trimester, which is very underrated. After you have a baby and you welcome guests into your home, it can be hard to find something to wear that feels stylish and comfortable. They have so many amazing outfits. I love their Visitor Dress, Softest Rib Nursing Dress, and the Ultimate Before, During & After Legging.
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