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Natalie Lopez Mom Next Door in Arlington, photo by Nick Prendergast

Educator Natalie Lopez Shares Her Favorite Things

Our Mom Next Door recommends running gear, Halloween ideas and more

Our Mom Next Door Natalie Lopez shared her favorite things with us from the best education apps for her kids and her favorite mom purchase to the best social distancing date night. Read our full interview with Lopez here.

Best education app for kids
“I like Kids A–Z because it allows kids to read books appropriate for their reading ability. My 6-year-old, Austin, and I have used that app daily, and he has been able to continually progress up levels as he obtains mastery.”

Best family Halloween costume
“We love Halloween! We start decorating Oct. 1. For costumes, we have been characters from Ace Ventura and Ninja Turtles, a superhero family—Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman and Robin—as well as The Incredibles and a monster family. That was my favorite so far. I was a vampiress, Matt was a wolfman, Austin was Count Dracula, Dylan was Frankenstein’s monster and Connor was a mummy. This year, we are leaning toward Super Mario Brothers characters or an all-Batman theme. We usually start planning in May.”

Best social distancing date night
“Matt and I like escape rooms. I love puzzles and timed tests since I’m a nerd! Escape rooms feel like a safe, fun way to spend time these days. You’re in a room just with your partner, and everything is contained and can be sanitized for the next group. We really like Escape Pro and Grapevine Escape.”

Escape Pro // 1825 Airport Freeway, Bedford 
Grapevine Escape // 160 N. Main St., Grapevine

Best mom purchase
“Since I’m a runner, I love the BOB stroller. I have a BOB that seats one child as well as a double stroller. Whether we’re going on a family walk or I’m going on a long run, I use them every single day. They are amazingly smooth and easy to handle. They turn on a dime.”

Natalie Lopez with family in Arlington, photo by Nick Prendergast

Current read
“You probably can’t put this in print and I’m a little embarrassed at the title, but I’m halfway through Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F—. I’m constantly overanalyzing everything and trying to prepare for every possible scenario; I think that comes with being a mom. So I thought I’d read about how to possibly let go some of that type of thinking where you worry about every little thing.”

How she met her mom friends
“Two ways: Old friends who had children at the same time in life as I did, and in my neighborhood. The street we live on in Colleyville has quite a few families with little kids, and their moms have become great friends of mine. We are all working moms and talk openly about our experiences.”

How to keep kids busy at home
“Legos, puzzles and art projects. Anything that keeps their hands occupied and doesn’t involve screen time is my preference.”

Favorite activity with girlfriends
“I’m not very girly, but I do like to get a pedicure from time to time. Usually I just paint my toes myself, so a pedicure is a treat.”

This article was originally published in August 2020.

Photos by Nick Prendergast