12 Products that Make Moms' Lives Easier

Marcy McKenna, mother, designer and entrepreneur Marcy McKenna, mother, designer and entrepreneur Every once in a while, I fantasize about inventions that would make my life easier. You know, like Whine Out: Spritz it on your whining child and she instantly shuts up. Or Invisi Block: An invisible shield you can activate for your bedroom doorway that keeps your child from wandering in there in the middle of the night. Or, like they had on the Jetsons, a shower/drying combo with a conveyor belt that whooshes kids through.

I'm not sure any of these things will ever happen, but happily there's a whole lot of incredible stuff out there that seriously makes mom's lives easier. Few women know this better than Marcy McKenna, an inventor, entrepreneur, designer and mom of three.

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McKenna's Style & Go Hair Care ValetMcKenna's Style & Go Hair Care ValetBased in Newport Beach, California, she was the first winning inventor on TLC's Homemade Millionare show for her Style & Go Hair Care Valet, a wall-mounted cabinet for electric hair appliances that's basically like your own personal styling station. Especially brilliant: You can turn everything on and off with the switch of a button, and there's a compartment to keep cords under control. It's slated to debut on HSN July 25.

After meeting McKenna at an event, I was dying to hear about her go-to products, the ones that have made life better for her as a mom. These are her top faves.








The DoorganizerThe Doorganizer 1. The Doorganizer
"This is so simple, but an absolute must-have," says McKenna. "It saves me serious time when I'm running out the door, which is almost always! It hangs on the door to our garage, and has a spot for car keys, sunglasses and iPhone. I also put anything and everything in it that needs to be taken out, like the mail. Thankfully, the days of racing around the house trying to find everything are gone forever. Love the red, because I can't miss it in my dash to the car!"
Get yours here










Mr. Clean Magic EraserMr. Clean Magic Eraser2. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

"Obsessed! I go through these like crazy," says McKenna. "They almost instantly erase fingerprints and grime on walls, doors, cabinets and light-switch plates. You know, so company will think your house is always that clean. I just tried The Magic Eraser Kitchen Scrubber, and it works wonders on dishes with baked-on food. Thanks, Mr. Clean!"
Get yours here











Orbit LabelsOrbit Labels3. Orbit Labels
Perfect for labeling cups, bottles, sippy cups, snack containers, toiletry items, your kids if you're Michelle Duggar, whatever. "They're great for preschool, day care, camp, parties or organizing stuff at home, and they're dishwasher and microwave safe," say McKenna. "My kids love that they have their 'own' things."
Get yours here













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Shemergency KitShemergency Kit4. Shemergency Kit

"I keep one in my car, one at work, and a bunch in my closet to give as gifts," says McKenna. The kit packs 24 compact solutions for practically any mishap a mom can face; there's clear nail polish, bandages, a mending kit, earring backs, breath freshener. Alas, it does not contain a solution to stop kiddie meltdowns.
Get yours here









Zipit BeddingZipit Bedding5. ZipIt Bedding
Bedding that all but makes itself? Definitely invented by a mom! "If your child can zip a zipper, he can make his bed," says McKenna. "It's also great that the bedding stays intact while kids sleep-no more covers kicked off in the middle of the night." Available in navy and pink. "My kids are obsessed with the zippered side pockets for storing their tech gadgets, book lights and who knows what else," she adds. "I love telling them to go zip their beds before school."
Get yours here






Tide PodsTide Pods6. Tide Pods
Nobody ever said laundry was fun, but these make the job a little less painful. "Because there's no need to measure, pour or clean up spills, you can start teaching your kids to do laundry sooner than you thought," says McKenna. "My five-year-old loves them; she's all but taken control of the washer. Genius!"
Get yours here













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SmartShopper Grocery List OrganizerSmartShopper Grocery List Organizer7. SmartShopper Grocery List Organizer

"Until my iPhone 4S has a built-in printer, I'm sticking with this!" says McKenna. "It sits on our kitchen counter and lets our whole family add to the weekly grocery list. Even my youngest uses it - just press 'record,' say the name of the item and the built-in voice recognition software takes care of the rest. There are 2500 items programmed in, but you can add your own too. When I leave for the store, I hit "print" and my grocery list is ready to go - even categorized by department! This saves me so much time at the store. Granted, you may need to edit your lists. My little ones are known to sneak in things like M&M's."
Get yours here








 Milk Proof Milk Proof8. Milk Proof
"I'll tell you what to expect when you're expecting...leaky boobs!" says McKenna. "These disposable nipple covers with a leak-proof center are a maternity must-have." Saves your clothes, spares you mortification moments and lets you focus on other important matters. Such as, ewwww, why's the poop that color?
Get yours here











Second Wind Battery RechargerSecond Wind Battery Recharger9. Second Wind Battery Recharger
"Like many families, we go through batteries like crazy in our house," says McKenna. "Instead of buying new ones, we pop them into this charger-it works with regular AA or AAA alkaline batteries-and within 90 minutes they're ready to go. It's saved us so much money and aggravation! Love that it's eco-friendly too. If we all used something like this, the number of batteries deposited in landfills would decrease dramatically."
Get yours here







Related: 10 nutrients all working parents should add to their diet





SpanxSpanx10. Spanx, Spanx And More Spanx

"We all have our favorite Spanx product but I have to say, it's hard to beat The Hide & Sleek Adjustable Strap Cami," says McKenna. "Let's face it, after giving birth our tummies just aren't as taut and our breasts just aren't as...hmmm...lifted. This camisole lifts and tucks me in all the right places, and is completely seamless so I can wear it with even my silkiest tops. I call it my instant confidence boost!"
Get yours here











The Green GamentoThe Green Gamento11. The Green Garmento
#Ecofail: An estimated 300 million pounds of dry-cleaning bags clog up our landfills and waterways every year. Enter The Green Garmento. "It's one of my favorite inventions," says McKenna. "It starts off as a hamper for our family dry cleaning, then becomes a duffle bag of sorts to transport the clothes to the cleaner, and then it turns into a hanging garment bag for bringing clothes home from cleaners. I don't have to spend time removing each individual bag and I'm helping the environment in the process. There's even a built-in pocket for wire hangers, so you can bring them back for recycling. The only one who loves this product more than me is my dry cleaner!"
Get yours here






BlowPro Faux DryBlowPro Faux Dry12. BlowPro Faux Dry

Oily roots are an instant Bad Hair Day-but moms don't always have time for a daily shampoo. (Sad how showering becomes a luxury, isn't it?) No worries, you can fake it. "This dry powder is my best kept secret-just a couple of quick poofs at my roots and oil literally vanishes," says McKenna. "Then there's the added bonus of the instant lift and volume. This product buys me at least one extra day before I have to shampoo!"
Get yours here













- By Ellen Seidman

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Ellen SeidmanEllen SeidmanEllen Seidman is mom to two kids, and occasionally her husband. She has held senior positions at Redbook, Good Housekeeping, SELF and Glamour, where she helped relaunch Glamour.com. As a freelancer, she's done projects for Redbook, American Baby, Martha Stewart Living, Allure and In Style, plus content development for Huggies.com and Makeup.com. She's a blogger for Parents.com and also writes Love That Max, a blog about kids with special needs who kick butt-and #20 in Babble's list of Top 50 Mom Blogs.

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