The Changing Room: A Mother’s Journal of Gratitude

by 5 Minutes for Books

As moms, most of us desperately want to preserve our children’s memories. We blog, we take photos, we scrapbook, we write journals.

For those of you who are looking for something to help guide you in recording your thoughts of this very special time, Cristina Carlino has written the changing room. It’s called “a mother’s journal of gratitude to her little girl.”

Now my own little girl is not so little anymore. She just turned twelve. BUT I was surprised when I looked through this book how useful it could be to me today. I had such resolve to keep a journal for Amanda to read when she was a mother, but I’d write a nice full entry, and promise to do better in the future, and then many many months would go by, where I wouldn’t write at all. Is anyone with me on this?

For all of those who are filled with regret for not recording your thoughts about those early years of motherhood, I think that this is just the book for you.

The prompts go back to finding out you were pregnant and bringing the baby home. But more than that we are invited to explore our own early years with our mothers. We also look back to our childhood home, and how our own home changed with the addition of a baby.

The beautiful classic muted colors and artistic design inspire just as much as the prompts.

This journal is not only a great keepsake for your daughter to have when she’s a woman, but it’s a great way to remember things from your life, write them down, and process them within the framework of the time, distance and perspective that being a mom has given you.

What a lovely idea — a perfect baby gift, gift for a friend or sister, or just for you. All net proceeds go to The Joyful Heart foundation which benefits abused children and adults.

Find out more about Cristina Carlino and her project at her Facebook page or her blog.

If you like the sounds of this, but you think in blue instead of pink, Mariska Hargitay is working on the boys’ version of the Changing Room, so stay tuned. . . .

But for those of you who love the idea of this journal, please leave a comment as your entry. We will award journals to 2 winners (U.S. and Canadian shipping addresses). We’ll announce the winners in our 5 Minutes for Books column here on Monday September 27.

You can buy the changing room journal on amazon.

The winner of the complete set of 39 Clues books is #50 Achinthya.

The winner of The Wild Soccer Bunch book is #11 Marj M.

Original post by book blogger Jennifer Donovan, who manages 5 Minutes for Books and blogs at Snapshot.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the journal for review purposes. Links to amazon are affiliate links, for which I earn a small referral fee if a purchase is made.

Email Author    |    Website About 5 Minutes for Books

5 Minutes for Books is the 5 Minutes for Mom sister site devoted to reviewing books for adults -- fiction, memoir, and nonfiction -- and kids of all ages. Managed by Jennifer Donovan, other contributors are Dawn, Lauren, Nancy, and Elizabeth. Follow us @5M4B on twitter and subscribe to our feed or like us on Facebook so you don't miss a thing!

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah September 13, 2010 at 1:18 am

I love this idea…would love a copy!


2 Rebecca clerc September 13, 2010 at 1:24 am

I have two girls and two boys so I will need 2 in pink and 2 in blue. ;)


3 self sagacity September 13, 2010 at 3:38 am

I am with you on not recording enough, especially when I can remember. What is worst is when the children ask and you can’t even come up with something to tell them.


4 Ruth Hill September 13, 2010 at 8:54 am

I love this idea also! Please enter me to win.


5 Jen September 13, 2010 at 9:35 am

This looks like an awesome product!


6 Julie Beasley September 13, 2010 at 10:51 am

I would love to win this for my upcoming baby girl. At least I think it’s a baby girl. Ultrasound this Wednesday! We’ll see!


7 Jessica Harwood September 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I just had my first little girl {first child, actually} almost two months ago. Something like this would be perfect for recording about her life.


8 shelly September 13, 2010 at 1:50 pm

This sounds great! I wish I had kept something like that with my first. I’m hoping to do more with my 2nd.


9 Hailey September 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm

This book sounds neat. I need to start writing things down more often.


10 Nicole September 13, 2010 at 2:47 pm

I love this idea! I have 2 kids and try to keep up their own individual journals about cute things they say and do.


11 Barb September 13, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Sounds wonderful. I’m always behind at this task, unfortunately.


12 Anastasia B September 13, 2010 at 6:20 pm

I have a little journal and wrote about my daughter today – for the first time in three months that is!


13 Michele Rice September 14, 2010 at 6:41 am

I LOVE this!!! Such a great idea!! Would love to be entered into your giveaway!!

Thanks so much!!
Michele R.(CA)
Luvkittysgiveaways at Gmail dot com
Butterfly Whispers


14 Elizabeth September 14, 2010 at 8:02 am

After three boys, we now have a 3 y/o daughter. this would be such a precious keepsake for her.


15 Angie September 14, 2010 at 8:36 am

I used to love writing in a journal, but I too have gotten out of the habit. This would be a great gift for anyone!


16 Kathy Stevenson September 14, 2010 at 8:46 am

I would love this book!


17 Gina September 14, 2010 at 10:22 am

I love to make journals for my kid but I just don’t got the chance. I would love to get this book.Thank you so much.


18 nan lara September 14, 2010 at 10:50 am

i’d love this
nannypanpan at


19 Jaimie K September 14, 2010 at 11:57 am

I love this idea! I have 4 girls and have been not near as good about keeping memories as I should.


20 Petula September 14, 2010 at 12:15 pm

This is a fabulous idea! I have “Reflections from a Mother’s Heart,” which is the story of my life that I plan on giving my daughter for her 20th birthday (she’s 19 now and the date keeps changing because I never get finished!) and I’ve been wondering what to do for the other children. I know she’s the oldest… and she knows about the book and expects to get it one day. This would be perfect to give to my middle daughter and when the boys one comes out that will be good for him. Now all I have to do is get one for the youngest daughter and I’m all set. They’ll all feel special and thought of. (Yes, I’m talking like I already won! LOL)


21 LaVonne September 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I like books like this. Preserving memories. thanks


22 emily September 14, 2010 at 8:08 pm

I would love to win this. It sounds like exactly what I need.


23 melissa September 15, 2010 at 10:59 am

what a great idea! i would love to win!


24 Tammy September 15, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I’d love one!!


25 melissa n September 15, 2010 at 4:07 pm

this is just the cutest!!


26 tennille September 15, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Great looking booking-especially for the days when it is tough to be ‘grateful’-ever had glue in your carpet?


27 Jenn B. September 15, 2010 at 11:30 pm

I’m so far behind in my journaling and scrapbooking. I had time when it was just my son, but I have not done any journaling for my 2 girls. This book would help me “catch up”!


28 Marj M. September 16, 2010 at 8:13 am

I would like to win this for my oldest granddaughter who has a nearly 5 month old daughter herself. How wonderful to read.


29 Sandra Joseph September 17, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Since my life’s calling is to encourage women to Recognize, Record and Remember – I would love to have this journal (plus I raised 3 daughters).


30 Jen C September 18, 2010 at 2:03 pm

What a great journal! would love one to start writing for my daughter. When we found out the one kid we were expecting was two, life became a whirlwind and still is. Something like this would really help me focus on one child and one day give something special to her!


31 Carolyn September 19, 2010 at 1:41 pm

So perfect! My daughter is my #2 and nothing is recorded as well as for #1. Prompts would be great!


32 Marj M. September 19, 2010 at 4:58 pm

This would be a super special gift to give at a baby shower


33 edj September 19, 2010 at 5:14 pm

I had such grand ideas to journal my children’s babyhoods, and of course I didn’t at all. I am a chronic (if sporadic) journaler though, so I think I would LOVE this! Esp as (oh the things we admit in public comments) my girl is 13 now and things are beginning to go up and down.


34 Kristi Duncan September 20, 2010 at 6:54 pm

I would love one of these journals – it sounds just like me – I try and try to keep up, but, honestly I journal a couple of times a year, like when my daughter got seriously hurt by her horse (bucked off) I wrote in my journal because I needed an outlet. Thanks for the chance!


35 Joanne K. September 22, 2010 at 6:46 am

This is an excellent idea. I’m with Jennifer… I always had the best plans for keeping a journal for my kids, but I think I’ve filled in about 3 pages thus far, and now they are 12, 9, and 6. Even their baby books are sadly empty. I’d love to have a structured way to organize my thoughts and write things down for them. :)


36 JulieK September 23, 2010 at 8:48 am

oh yes, I can totally relate to the part about writing a nice long entry and then NOTHING for months! That is so what I have been doing since I had a baby 7 months ago! Would love this book (AND the one for boys when that comes out!) :)


37 Sheri September 24, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I love this idea, since it is difficult to comeo up with new ideas, the prompting would be very helpful and jarring your memory from years back! cheers to you for a great concept!



38 Kimberly September 26, 2010 at 5:10 am

What a neat idea. I would love to use this.


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