Prepare to have a huge mom crush on our next Noble Babe, Amanda Tyler J. Amanda is a film producer, badass mom boss, and organic-obsessed mother to mini-me Lila.
What we love most about Amanda is that she makes living an organic life approachable, as you can see on her lifestyle blog, Raising Lila. We have a ton of admiration for a mother who is able to make living an organic life a priority(it isn't easy!) and so we of course had to spend the day with Amanda and Lila and take note of how mother nature plays a part in her day-to-day.
1. Tell us a little bit about what you do and about raising Lila…
For work, I’m a commercial producer for video. It’s actually the perfect mom job. I choose which projects I want to be a part of and when I want to be a part of them. I mostly work from home except when I’m on set shooting and that’s only once a month for a few days. I’ve never worked a 9-5 or been stuck behind a cubicle which is just how I like it. Recently, I’m getting back into screenwriting which is where I started. Raising my daughter, Lila, is the most inspiring thing I’ve ever done. I got pregnant unexpectedly at 24 and had just decided I didn’t want to work in LA. I led a totally different lifestyle until the day I got pregnant. I lived fast. She’s taught me to take better care of myself in taking care of her. Wouldn’t have it any other way.
2. What does healthy living mean to you? How does that influence how you raise Lila?
Healthy living to me means no processed foods, daily physical activity, and always talking about the real issue. We aren’t perfect by any means, but taking care of yourself from the inside out is my philosophy. I try to teach her to be conscious of her thoughts and her choices - living a fast and unconscious life did not work for me and I think slowing down is always a good idea. When I first had Lila, I remember her sitting in her carseat looking at me as I was rushing all over the place trying to get out of the house and I had a moment. I had no idea what I was doing or what I needed to bring with me, but as soon as I acknowledged it everything became more simple and a calmness washed over her.
3. Okay, your house plant game is on point. Have you always had a green thumb? What are some tips and tricks you can tell us for keeping plants alive?
I was never really a “stuff” person. I don’t like littering my house with trinkets and meaningless clutter. To me, plants have always been my way of decorating my space and I guess I just learned over time. I remember my college dorm, I had nothing on the walls but I hung plants above my bed and created this cozy vine sleep area. My roommate thought I was a weirdo. It took a lot of googling and trial and error to get my plants looking happy but Home Depot has a pretty sweet plant-return policy ;) Most everyone I know who has trouble with their plants overwaters them. Try not to smother your plants with love, if it’s a plant that needs watering 2x a week, you’ll know when it starts to wilt a bit. If it’s looking ok after drying out, then let it dry between watering!
4. Can you list off some of your favorite natural products you use on Lila? What do you use in the bath? What do you use for lotion etc?
Mama earth is the best route so we mainly stick to coconut oil and Manuka honey in her bath when she’s super dry from the weather. We also use coconut oil and aloe for lotion. For our diaper situation, we stick with Honest. Also, Dr. Bronner’s has a baby line that we’ve used when we need a good scrubbing. I’m proud to say Lila has only had one rash in her whole life!
5. What do you do to keep your house so Zen. The moment I walked in I felt calm and comfortable. Can you list a few of your cozy home tricks?
I think a lot of it comes with the minimal approach we take to decorating. Everything has it’s place and we’ve managed to stay away from acquiring too many unnecessary toys. I cannot live without my essential oil diffuser. It’s always my go-to gift for someone. Also, when I clean my hardwood floors with my steamer, I smother lavender all over the pad. I think the oil lives in my cracks at this point. My most favorite smell is Palo Santo. I burn it when we need an extra cleansing around here and it does a good job at cozying up the house.
6. The juggle! You are a working mama, how have you made it work? Do you have daycare, grandparents, nannies?
Lila goes to Montessori twice a week for about 6 hours and I have our nanny come to my house 1 or 2 days a week, depending on how busy I am. No matter how busy I am I always make sure there’s at least one day where it’s just her and me. We have finally figured out a good way to make working and caring for Lila easier on me but it took 2 years! It’s totally a learning process and is made 100x harder by not having family around (they are all in LA!)
7. Your daily uniform? Lila’s? What are some of your favorite pieces from Noble Carriage right now and why?
My daily uniform has taken many different forms in the last 2 years. Honestly - I feel like I’m still trying to figure out my style. Motherhood changes you in every way and it may be obvious but a woman’s appearance is the first thing to transform. I’m just now starting to feel sexy again. Sometimes something in me tells me to put on a dress with huge daisies on it and I do but I think I’m pretty basic (in the most non-basic way) and cozy most of the time. I try to dress Lila in the same way, she’s pretty neutral. Lila’s daily uniform is leggings and a cozy top, preferably including a cat face somewhere. Right now she’s obsessed with the Mini Rodini Dress, she calls it her “mouse dress”. It’s so cozy and easy, she loves to dance around and watch the dress twirl. My favorite is the Gray Label Salopette in black, I could eat her up in it, we wear it with and without a shirt underneath depending on the weather. The Gray Label playsuit is another one of our favorites. It is so cozy and loose fitting, I put her in it when we are having a slow day at home or hanging in the garden. Her most favorite Noble Carriage piece is by far the PopUpShop kitty leotard, I wash it twice a week and I have to hide it on her school days because she can’t wear one pieces!
8. What are some of your favorite natural snacks to make for Lila?
So simple, nature can make 'em the best. Apples. Pomegranate seeds. Carrots. Dried cherries (she’s got a weird thing with bitter treats). Edamame.
9. Any advice for a mom who is trying to live organic on a budget?
If you’re on a budget, there are certain foods which can be eaten non-organically. You can prioritize your list based on the amount of pesticides a food can contain. Avocados are one of these foods. Their thick skin keeps the insides safe and mostly toxic-free. Same thing with bananas because their thick peel keeps the pesticides from seeping into the food. Fish is another one! First of all, there is no organic standard for fish in the US and secondly I think it’s most important to find a fish that has been farmed sustainably rather than fished from the wild. Onions are another safe bet since they grow underground + they have a thick outer layer. Quinoa is another one that's naturally bug-repelling and safe to grow without pesticides. There are many - you just have to do your research.
10. Did you learn anything about motherhood from living in Paris?
Goutte. A designated snack time at 4PM for a sweet or savory snack. This keeps Lila from grazing all day and having an excuse not to gobble up the delicious meal we’ve made for dinner.
11. Anything else? We are envious of how you make healthy living seem effortless. Any additional tips, tricks, or words you want to offer? Any tips for a mom who feels super overwhelmed by the idea of going organic or making healthier decisions.
I’ve always been someone to second guess what I’m given or told. I don’t think the huge corporations have our health in mind. I don’t think the brains behind these companies are worried about our children and I don’t think proper cash or time is spent on finding out what the effects of specific chemicals or toxins will have on us in the long run. It’s simple. Your family is yours to take care of and you’ve got to be smart about the choices you’re making. If not organic, it’s just as good to shop locally. Head to your farmer’s market. Stay conscious and keep living slowly.