For San Francisco-based creative Becky Hui Chan time management is her biggest essential. Between drop-offs and pick-ups of her two active kiddos (a 10-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son), she spends most of her days creating human-centered design experiences for her studio, Honey & Bloom, and designing a line of fine jewelry for her other company, The MIE Collection. And if that wasn’t enough on her plate, she recently co-founded With Each Other, an organization providing visibility and support to fellow AAPI artists, makers, and entrepreneurs through events and community-building projects. From morning rituals and go-to beauty products to comfy sneakers and upgraded PJs—check out the 20 Mother Essentials currently getting her through her days!
Reading Glasses. “It was a matter of time, right? I finally needed reading glasses this past year and embraced it by getting myself a pair of stylish frames. I didn’t want to overspend and wanted to be able to replace them easily if needed, so opted for a pair from Warby Parker.” Winston Frames, $95, Warby Parker.
All-in-One Face & Body Lotion. “My whole family uses the Ultra Repair Cream by First Aid Beauty. It’s great for treating everything from dry skin to eczema and you can apply it to the face and body.” Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration Cream, $38, First Aid Beauty.
Morning Rituals. “I purposely wake up at least an hour before everyone else in the house so that I get that alone time to start off my day. First thing I do is wash my face with cold water and apply a vitamin C serum, then I brew a cup of coffee and watch the morning news. This routine helps ground me before the morning commotion when the kids and husband wake up.” CE Ferulic Serum, $169, Skinceuticals.
Daily Walk. “After I get the kids off to school, I usually do a 30-minute walk on my no-fuss, compact, mini elliptical that I’ve had for a couple of years. If I can find time to head out, I’d take a walk around the neighborhood and enjoy some fresh air.”
Reusable Grocery Bags. “I’ve tried so many different types of reusable bags and have always gone back to the Standard Baggu bags. They fold up and fit anywhere, so I usually have one tucked in my bag, a few on the bench in our entrance, and a handful in the trunk of my car. I love these for my groceries. My kids are 14 and 10, between school, sports, dance, and other activities, they’re always carrying a backpack and an extra bag, so these are great for all types of uses.” Reuseable Bag, $14, Baggu.
Good Skin Care & Regimen. “I don’t do a 10-step skin care regimen or anything like that, but I do believe in investing in good skin care. It’s harder to reverse signs of aging than to prevent it by keeping a good regimen that works for you. Mine includes a good face wash, vitamin C serum (mentioned above), hydro-softening lotion, and moisturizer.” Clarifying Cleansing Foam, $75, Clé de Peau Beauté. Hydro Softening Lotion, $115, Clé de Peau Beauté. Protective Fortifying Cream SPF 22, $160, Clé de Peau Beauté.
Bodysuits and Scoop-Necks. “These have become a staple in my closet, from long sleeves to sleeveless and turtlenecks. I love how effortless they are and being able to achieve the look I want by just throwing jeans, pants, or a skirt over them.” Contour Crew Longsleeve Bodysuit, $58, Aritzia.
Comfy Jeans. “My worn-in jeans are the best! I think investing in a few good pairs will last you a long while.” 90’s Pinch Waist High Rise Straight Denim, $198, AGolde. Riley High Rise Straight Crop, $178, AGolde.
Candles & Room Sprays. “With 4 humans and a cat occupying our living space, there are a lot of smells that circulate the house (and not always pleasant). A good clean scent calms me and brings me joy, so I’ll either burn my favorite candle or spray my favorite scent when an unwanted smell makes an appearance.” No 11. Pomelo + Ginger Candle, $38, Basik Candle Co. Tuberose Breton Stripe Large Candle, $49, Stockhome. Istros Aromatique Room Spray, $60, Aesop.
Cheek + Lip Color. “Always in my bag is my all-in-one cheek + lip color. A little touch up in the middle of the day can go a long way!” Multi-Stick in I Put A Spell On You, $34, Ilia.
Plants. “Yes, I became a plant mom. I always thought I wouldn’t be able to keep my plants alive, but within the past two years, my family and I have been able to successfully grow our plant collection that’s filling up our window sill. My kids take turns watering and grooming them too. Local nurseries we frequent are Sloat Gardens, The Succulence, Clement Nursery, and Flora Grubb.”
Sneakers. “The whole family is in sneakers these days! We don’t have a go-to brand, but invest in sneakers that are comfy and stylish at the same time. My current everyday pair is the Converse White Run Star Hike Sneakers and my kids love their slip-on Vans.” Converse White Run Star Hike Sneakers, $105, SSense. Kids Checkerboard Slip-On, $60, Vans.
Crossbody Bag. “My kids are grown up and I’m so happy to have ditched the big bag that holds everything from wet wipes to coloring books and crayons. I love being handsfree and a crossbody bag that can go from day to night is the most ideal.” Mini Cloud Clutch, $545, Mansur Gavriel.
Everyday Accents. “My go-to outfits are simple and minimal, so I like to pair them with fine accents that I never want to take off, such as unique diamond studs mixed and matched with stacking rings and custom initial or nameplate necklaces. There are so many beautiful pieces by many independent designers, and I will shamelessly plug miecollection.co here. Currently always on my lobes are MIE’s Diamond Droplet Earrings and Diamond Moon Drop Earrings.” Diamond Droplet Earrings, $588, MIE. Diamond Moon Drop Single Earrings, $510, MIE.
Layering Coat. “I love a good coat that can go over everything. Between a busy work schedule and trekking the kids around, sometimes I just have to grab a coat and go.” AllSaints Coat, $329, AllSaints.
Cat. “We love our fluffy silvertip British Shorthair, Mighty, whom we adopted last year. He’s become the most spoiled family member in the house. He’s our stress reliever, seeks attention in the most adorable ways, and loves to cuddle too!”
Journal+Ink Pens and Pencils. “We all have ideas to jot down, love to sketch, and need to take notes! We have a drawer of blank notebooks, pens, and pencils. My 14-year-old son loves to sketch with Micron ink pens, my 10-year-old daughter loves doodling, I write down and sketch almost all if not all of my ideas, and my husband takes copious amounts of notes for work.” Leuchtturm 1917 Classic Notebook, $10.95 and up, Amazon. Sakura Pigma Micron Pens, $23, Amazon. Blackwing Pearl Pencils (Set of 12), $30, Amazon.
Sleepwear. “I don’t think I can ever go back to sleeping in sweats and a t-shirt after indulging in silk pajama sets from Lunya. They’re honestly the dreamiest and most comfortable sleepwear I’ve ever worn and if I could I would wear them all day long…well, maybe I do sometimes.” Washable Silk Cami Pant Set, $248, Lunya.
Honeycrisp Apples & Tangerines. “My kids love fruit, especially Honeycrisp apples. We’re constantly stocking up on apples and I always have tangerines around because they are so easy to pack into lunch boxes or bring along for a snack.”
For more Mother Essentials, peep our recent past columns with author Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, ByHeart co-founder Mia Funt, Backdrop founder Natalie Ebel, Oui The People founder & CEO Karen Young, author-illustrator Grace Lin, the co-founders of ODDOBODY, Happy Family Organics’ CEO Anne Laraway, YA author J.Elle, kid-lit authors Karen Chan and Suzanne Greenlaw, the founders of EADEM, Minimalista author Shira Gill, Domino’s Chief Content Officer Kate Berry, the two-mom duo behind Morrow Soft Goods, mega-influencer Nabela Noor, Angela O’Brien of Cleobella, Nikki Osei-Barrett of District Motherhued, Blair Paysinger of Post 21, Idia Lanlokun of Ola & Mide, Karam Kim of Bluecut aprons, children’s authors Evan Sargent and Joanna Ho, Eli Yonas of Toki Mats, Shaina Kerrigan of Molly J., Jenna Levine of LINNÉ botanicals, Eunice Byun of Material, and Sandra Lin of Kiwi Co.
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