Everything on this page is something I personally have used, read, or experienced. In an effort to keep everyone’ s life simple, I have chosen only to include my absolute top favorites in each category. Though there are other good books I’ve read, or other good products I’ve used, this list includes our family’s favorites. The “must-haves.” These are the things I give to family and friends, the things I come back to time and again. If you choose to purchase anything listed, I hope it blesses you!
The recommended resources are organized by category: motherhood, parenting, finance, infants, toddlers, preschoolers, fun mom stuff, organizing, photography & photo books.
Contact me or comment on this page if you have any further questions.
(Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a commission off purchases from customers I refer, at no additional cost to you of course. You can read what I do and don’t promote here.)
These are 2 of my all time favorite mom books. I love giving them to new moms. If you haven’t read them, please order them immediately. It will be well worth the $10 each! Both are the type of book you can’t put down, but want to slowly savor every word.
If you only ever read 2 parenting books, read these. I’ve read a lot of popular parenting books, but these 2 sum up all the best advice. “Parenting” will give you a big-picture vision of principles to guide your parenting. It’s the best parenting book I’ve ever read. “Parenting by the Book” will give you the tools to take that vision and apply it in your every day life.
If you’re pregnant, I’d highly recommend reading both now, and then storing them away for another read later. If you’re further along in your parenting journey, read them ASAP. Both books were huge “ah-ha’s” for us.
- Millionaire Teacher is a common sense basic investing guide. It’s super easy to understand! When I read this, I wasn’t even totally sure how the S&P 500 worked, or what the difference between an index fund and mutual fund was. Now, we feel comfortable investing our savings with Vanguard on our own! I learned a LOT from this book!
- Both the Total Money Makeover & Financial Peace University (FPU) are products by Dave Ramsey. The “Total Money Makeover” is a DIY of sorts. You order the book & workbook, and it walks you through a personal finance overhaul. FPU is a course that you can either take online or locally, usually at a church. Total Money Makeover is a good start, but FPU is more in-depth. Plus, if Dave Ramsey knows how to do anything, it’s how to motivate people to get out of debt! The FPU course includes a bunch of video teachings from him. If you think you’d thrive from the class format, group accountability, and video learning, skip the Total Money Makeover book and sign up for FPU.
- YNAB is the online budgeting tool we use and love. After the free 34 day trial, it costs $50/ year (which is $4.17/ month). If you use YNAB and don’t save more than 10 times the cost of it per year, then I don’t know what to tell you. It is TOTALLY worth the money.Note: YNAB functions like a fancy, automated spreadsheet. There’s a slight learning curve with it, but once you get used to it, budgeting is fast & easy. They have quick & easy tutorials, and amazing email customer service if you need help! Here’s my detailed review of why we love YNAB!
- God’s Money is the best sermon series I’ve ever heard on money. It’s the most in-depth exegetical Biblical instruction I’ve ever heard from the pulpit. You can buy the entire sermon series on mp3 for $18. It covers every money subject in the Bible. The accompanying workbook and extra video resources are linked above as well.
INFANTS (birth – walking)
We read several books on infant sleep. Healthy Sleep Habits is a zillion pages long, but it’s sectioned out by age. The idea is you read only the section that pertains to the age you’re on. I also have a popular post on infant sleep that covers everything we’ve learned. Our babies sleep 8-12 hours through the night by 10-15 weeks old.
Instead of listing all my suggestions for infant gear on this resources page, I have a separate page with categorized recommendations for baby products. It includes everything we’ve needed & loved for the first year with a new baby.
TODDLERS (15 months – 2.5 years)
Melissa & Doug Puzzles | Chunky Puzzles | Water Table | Lego Duplos | Duplo Platform |Rider Toy | Push Wagon | Double Stroller | Cheap Little Potty | Potty Train in a Weekend Book | Fisher Price Little Builders | Books | Fat Pip Squeaks Markers | Do-A-Dot Paints (not pictured) | Cupcake Liners | Big Triangle Crayons | Ikea Dragon Dessert Silverware
Also a couple reading materials for parents of toddlers:
- The aforementioned parenting books (scroll up). I highly recommend them during toddlerhood.
- Things to Say to Your 1 Year Old
- Things to Say to Your 2 Year Old
PRESCHOOLERS, FUN MOM STUFF, EVERYTHING PHOTO BOOKS, ORGANIZING