Mothers Day Gift Guide
With Mothers Day right around the corner, I wanted to put together a little gift guide that might help you or someone you know, but the perfect gift for Mothers Day. Normally, I may suggest a Spa day, massage, lunch with girlfriends, or even a night out and stay at a hotel, but with this year looking a little different, we will just need to improvise! I would suggest purchasing a gift card to a Spa though that can be used in the future. I know all ALL mamas will need a little pampering once we are out of this pandemic, am I right?!
I am going to list things by category and I will attach a link for easy shopping. No matter your price range, there is something for everyone!
Most importantly, don’t forget to make Mothers Day and whatever you decide on for a gift, fun! Whatever is going to make you feel loved on Mothers Day is what you should do. Maybe a long walk with family, breakfast in bed or even a car ride alone (who is with me on this one?!?)
Also, feel free to forward this to your significant other who may need a little help. ;-)
Gifts Under $25
Mini Salt & Sand Scented Candle: Anthropologie makes my absolute favorite candles. They are beautiful, scents are delightful and they last forever!
Silk Pillow Case Dupe: This pillow case is amazing!!! At a great price, I have compared both the original and this one and this is just as great. Awesome for your hair, skin and keeping cool at night. Total favorite.
Custom Silhouette: This is just priceless. Have a beautiful silhouette done of her favorite littles, something she will have forever. I purchased this for myself this year
Mom Embroidered Dish Towel: This is just adorable. I love the fun colors and embroidered detailed. Unique and pretty!
Monogram Coaster: Beautiful and elegant. These monogram coasters are a great personalized gift option.
Corckcicle Stemless Wine Glass: Dreaming of warmer days on the beach, this Corckcicle wine glass will be perfect. Several colors and you can have it personalized.
Mama and Me T-Shirts: These are so adorable for a little girl and her Mama.
Gifts Under $50
Brinkley Cuff: Beautiful cuff style bracelet that is great for every day wear and would look beautiful styled with a stack.
Under Eye- Gels: These Prepwork eye gels are a miracle in a jar. They soothe and cool tired under eyes on contact and help transform tired, puffy-looking eyes. A mom must have!
Capri Blue Candle: This is my favorite candle from Anthropologie. I have several around the house and I just love the beautiful jar and light refreshing scent!
Jewelry Stand: Beautiful and functional jewelry stand for a great price.
Box of Fizz Sticks: Because what mom doesn’t need a clean, refreshing bubbly drink to enhance motor performance and help reduce fatigue?!
Delicate Monogram Necklace: A subtle, off to the side initial brings a little bit of personality to this simple, charming necklace.
Living Proof Dry Shampoo: Because every woman needs this, especially now!
Plush Throw Blanket: These blankets are super soft and cozy and a great gift option!
Gifts Under $150
Barefoot Dreams Bathrobe: This bathrobe is a total dream. Barefoot dreams in general just has the most soft, comfiest fabric, but this bathrobe is a great gift for any Mom!
Apple Air Pods: I don’t have these, but I hear nothing but great things about them. Great for at-home workouts and staying focused while trying to work from home.
Kitchen Aid Mixer: This is totally on my wish list. Not just great for baking, but its great for shredding cooked meat, and mixing up chicken salad. With all the baking Hudson and I are doing these days, I cant wait to get my hands on one of these! It also looks pretty on your kitchen counter.
SuperCalm & InnerCalm Beauty Set: This three step face regime along with the innercalm powder is an integrated approach to achieving overall wellness and sense of calm. What mom doesn’t need this??
Adidas Ultraboost 20 Running Shoe: These are on sale, come in tons of colors and fit TTS. I love these for my workouts, but they are also just super cute with leggings or joggers and on the go! Perfect for the busy mom or the mom who likes to workout.
It has been a year. That’s right… It has been an entire year since I have plugged into this community, and I am greatly sorry for that. It has been a busy year at that! I have had so many of you check-in, reach out and ask if I would get back to my blog anytime soon. With what is going on right now, and with being home for a while, I thought now was a great time to check back in…
Pandemic. Crazy right? This can be such a trying time for many. The uncertainty of the future is really hard for all of us to wrap our head around. First and foremost, financial stability can be a real short coming during this time as many are getting laid off, or others, who own their businesses like myself, are seeing a huge decline as we are mandated to shut down and stay home. Then you have your kids and they need their education (right?), so many working parents are now home with their kids trying to work and keep their jobs a float while also taking on the role of teacher and doing their very best to provide an environment for their children that is productive, fun and most importantly safe right now.
Hudson just turned two, so thankfully we don’t have a school schedule to follow or homework that must be completed but entertaining a very busy two-year-old all day is no easy task. Especially when you are in your 8th month of pregnancy and some days just want to sit your butt on the couch and enjoy. What Tim and I have found to work really well and I am grateful we have the flexibility to do this, is we split the day between the two of us, giving each other time to have “office hours” and continue getting things done that we need to for our business and our life. Meanwhile, the “on duty” parent takes on the task of playing with Hudson and can be completely present in parenting rather than trying to “do it all.” With April bringing lots of rain showers Hudson and I have become quite the bakers and spend a lot of time painting and bouncing in our bounce house. (That’s right, we purchased a bounce house for everyone’s sanity). Almost seven weeks into stay-at-home orders and we are definitely in a groove and it feels really good! The recent sunshine has helped too…
June 13th, 2020 (or sometime around then) we will be bringing our beautiful addition to our family into the world. If you had told me back in September that I would be pregnant through and be giving birth during a state of a national emergency/pandemic, I would have never believed you. This journey has been difficult at times. I find myself completely calm, cool and collected about the situation at times and then other days I am in complete panic mode and my anxiety is crazy, worrying about the “what ifs” of our future. What I have found works best for me to manage the stress around the situation is taking a few moments every day to reflect on everything I am grateful for, and remembering that God has this, staying in a place of faith rather than fear and speaking truth to the situation, that everything will be just fine. I will tell you this… there are some wonderful things that will come from this situation. First, we will never take a hug from a family member or friend for granted ever again. Second, it’s been a real eye opener to what we really need versus what we desire in life. Also, it has been really great to have this time with Hudson. Most parents know the guilt that can be associated with taking time off to spend with your family or needing to take vacation time to really “unplug.” This time right now has given all of us the ability to be home with our children. Spending every day with Hudson from sunup to sundown, has been really, really special.
Business is not as usual. For those of you that don’t know or may be new around here, I have two businesses. I work in the Bankcard business with my father, who started Bay State Merchant Services, 25 years ago or so. It has been such a journey working with my dad full-time over the last couple of years and I am one of the lucky few who can say they really love what they do. My husband Tim joined us in the business six months ago or so and it has been a real pleasure to teach him the ins and outs and really work together as a team. I plan to do a separate post about what it is like being in the Bankcard Industry and a female entrepreneur soon, but basically, we support businesses and provide merchant services and Point of Sale systems at very low and competitive rates. It is something I take great pride in, because helping small, medium and large business owners save money provides me with such joy. With non-essential businesses being mandated to close, you can imagine that my work life has shifted tremendously from cold-calling and selling to really checking in with existing customers and doing wellness “visits” to see how we can support them.
I also decided to partner with an amazing health and wellness company about 2 years ago, because while I love my business in Bankcard, I missed my passion and hobby for all thing’s health and wellness. Partnering with Arbonne has allowed for me to still stay connected to the coaching side of wellness and allows for me to share really incredible and safe products to people all over the world! Plus, the people I have met and the friends that I continue to make are priceless.
I could go on and on, but really I just wanted to stretch myself and get this blog post up, to commit to tuning into my amazing community that follows along here. If you have any suggestions as to what you want to hear about next, please feel free to drop it in the comments.
Being a mom is a gift. Running two businesses is a privilege. Being home with my family is a blessing and blueberry pancakes on Sunday morning from the Chatham Filling Station is perfection.
Count your blessings today, even write a few of them down. It’s a great way to keep your mind right and carry on!
Sending you all love and happiness on this beautiful day, talk to you soon! xoxo
When I was pregnant with Hudson, I felt like I had a vague idea as to what to expect postpartum, or really just a lot of preconceived notions about what "postpartum life" would be like.
I had some sort of idea about how my life was going to change, but I was very intentional about making sure the baby fit into our life, and not the other way around.
I knew I would be tired, pretty busy, but there was no way I could of ever prepared myself for exactly what life was going to be like. I knew my body was going to be a little different than it was before pregnancy. I knew that postpartum depression was a possibility and I knew breastfeeding was hard for some.
Reflecting back now as we are quickly approaching Hudsons first birthday (I can't believe it) I realize how clueless I really was going into the whole parenting thing. The truth is: having a baby is really one of the most incredible blessings that life has to offer, it's fun, exciting, beautiful and truly has provided me with the most happiness in the world. I feel blessed to have Hudson in our life, to have had the opportunity to birth him and to have the privilege to raise him.
Here is another truth: having a baby changes everything.
In amazing, blessed, difficult and challenging ways.
Anything that you assume about parenthood before having a child will be flipped around and turned upside down. What you thought your baby will like, will in reality be the opposite. I am certain that you will reflect back on what you thought postpartum life would be life and just laugh, like I do. The reality is, how could we have known right? We only set the best of intentions.
Hudson is a miraculous little boy. He is a wonderful sleeper and has been since day one. But the truth is even with a baby who is a wonderful sleeper, those first six-eight weeks they need to either wake or be woken up to eat. So you are still not getting anymore than 3 hours of sleep at most, at a time. And when Hudson got the okay from the pediatrician to let him sleep longer, Mama still needed to wake up every three hours and pump so my breasts didn't get engorged.
You will experience a level of exhaustion that you did not know was possible.
He was very easy to nurse, but he wanted to nurse 24/7 😊. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY can prepare you for what life is like when nursing your little babe. Despite how time consuming and challenging it can be at times, I would never have changed my decision to nurse Hudson and I still intend to nurse our next baby. That being said, cluster feeding is no joke. I can remember days on end, nights on end even weeks on end where 4 o'clock would come around and it was time for Hudson to eat and he would stay on my breasts for nearly 8 to even 10 hours. I didn't see the dinner table most nights during that time because I was on the couch nursing him.
Your body will change, and it will in more ways than one. But that is OK. You may have stretch marks, and you will have some loose skin for a little while. You may decide that those tiny itty bitty bikinis that you once rocked no longer make you feel comfortable. Again, that is OK. You will still look six months pregnant for a few days (or weeks) after you have your baby because your uterus takes time to return to its normal size, but things will go back to the way they were. Every woman's body is so unique and so different, with this incredible capability to grow another human being inside. To create this beautiful life inside our bodies... Really think about that... it is SUCH a gift. Dealing with a little extra skin, or a stretch mark here or there is such a small sacrifice for the beautiful beings we bring into this world.
Your emotions will be all over the place and I am not saying that you will have postpartum depression, but you will feel overwhelming feelings of happiness, sadness, isolation, being overwhelmed and everything in between. It's ok to not feel ok. But if you do sense that you have some postpartum depression, that is OKtoo, and it is so important that you talk to someone about it and get some help. It's ok to need help.
You are about to experience a love that you have never imagined before. You will be absolutely consumed by and in love with your baby. Your life will change to accommodate that child. And yes, you’ll find ways to fit the baby into your word, but more likely you’ll find yourself navigating this strange new terrain for the first time WITH your baby. You will create a new world together. It is such a beautiful experience.
Postpartum life is full of a love that is so overwhelming and beautiful that you will not remember how you ever existed before it. It’s full of late nights, rocking your baby and forming a bond that can never be broken. It’s about going through a transformation, becoming a new person. You are a MOTHER. It’s going through an incredible, wonderful metamorphosis, and looking back a year later and thinking, THIS is who I was meant to be. It’s about learning so much about yourself and about what really matters in life.
It is about feeling incredibly accomplished when you cook a meal, finish the laundry or get out for a walk with your baby. It is about bursting at the seams with excitement every time your little human accomplishes another amazing milestone. The joy that I get from Hudsons amazing little accomplishments outweighs any joy I have ever felt before. His first smile, his first foods, his first steps, his first word...
Those newborn days are hard, and you will feel like you are in a fog. But let me tell you mama, that fog will clear and before you know it your baby will grow more and more independent by the day. You will sleep again. You can do this Mama. You are not alone.
You are embarking on life's most beautiful journey, motherhood. Embrace each and every little moment, and know that time has a way of picking up speed, and you don't want to miss a moment.
Long time no talk, and I am sorry… I had huge aspirations that I would be able to maintain 2-3 blogs a week with a newborn, and that was just CRAZY talk. So on that note… I wanted to share what I have learned in the last 15 weeks about being a mom and life with a newborn.
I have learned SO much in the last 15 weeks. Life with a newborn can be hectic, sleepless and crazy, but is by far the MOST rewarding thing I could ever, EVER imagine. I am hoping that this post will help any new mothers out there get through those first three months with a bit more ease and assurance.
1) Breast feeding is by far the number one hardest thing I have ever tried to do in my entire life. If you decide that you want to breast feed your baby, bottle feed with your breast milk or use formula, this choice is yours and yours alone. Always remember that a fed baby is a happy/healthy baby. This decision needs to be yours, and yours only. I decided to breast feed Hudson, and I still am, so I am going to speak to breast feeding right now.
You will get discouraged. You will be in pain at some point or another. I dealt with milk coming in to fast and engorgement, which led to mastitis (hello 105 degree fever = dying). You will have moments where you cant get your baby to latch and you want to cry. You will have weeks where you feel like the only thing you can get done is feed your baby, 24/7. BUT, you will make small progress day by day and it will get better. I am here to PROMISE you that it gets better. Hudson and I are 15 weeks into breastfeeding and we can basically do it anywhere, any position, in the middle of the night with no lights on or in the back seat of a crammed Tacoma.
You will want to focus on getting the correct latch early on. That is what is most important. I can’t recommend enough talking with a lactation consultant while you are at the hospital. I had a few LC help me during my stay at the hospital and it was HUGE. After we got home, I went back to speak with the same LC at the hospital a few times to make sure we were on track. It was super helpful.
2) Sleeping is a thing of the past. And those words are coming from a VERY fortunate mama who has a baby that has slept through the night since we got home. (Except I had to wake him to feed every 3 hours for the first 8 weeks) I honestly think he slept so well because he is a big baby, 9 lbs. 9 oz. at birth. But, regardless I am here to tell you that sleeping a sound 8 hours at night is a thing of the past. So just own it. Get ready for it and certainly sleep while you can! Even when I was given the go ahead to let Hudson sleep through the night, I needed to get up to pump milk in order to avoid engorgement. If I am not up pumping, I am still half sleeping as I always have an ear listening for the little guy. I think its just mothers instinct.
3) Schedules are a lifesaver! I have to say, I found that introducing a schedule as soon as I could was a huge help. I had people tell me that you couldn’t possibly get a newborn on a schedule and I am here to tell you that, that is not the case. Sure, there is going to be fluctuations due to cluster feeding and growth spurts, but you can still get a good “idea” of a schedule down. Hudson is now soooo on schedule that my Husband and Mother laugh at how regimented he is (just like his mother ;-))
Here is a quick overview at what our schedule looks like…
7 am Wake & feed
7:30-8:30 am Play
8:30 am Nap time
10 am He wakes up and I feed him
10:30- 12 pm Play
2:30-3 pm Hudson wakes up and I feed him
5pm Last nap, this one I keep short - 45mins (some days he doesnt take this nap)
7:30 Bath time followed by 3-5 minute infant massage
8 pm Bottle and book
8:30pm Bed time
4) Exercising! Getting out of the house can seem like SUCH a task , but I have to tell you… if you can get into a routine of bundling the baby up and going for an afternoon walk, or doing a 30 minute workout during the baby’s nap time in the morning, it will make you feel so much better. Being a mom is HARD work. You are taking care of every one elses needs all the time and it is easy to lose sight of yourself and your needs. When I got cleared to exercise (at 6 weeks) I was still dealing with post partum sciatic pain, so I really didn’t get a chance to start exercising till 10 weeks or so. I started with walks and working my way up to running and 30 minute weight circuits where I do a lot of plyometrics and light weight, high reps. That’s just what feels good for my body, and I refuse to do anything that doesn’t make me feel good at this point in time.
5) You are blessed. This is such a total gift. Before I became a mom, I never knew how life changing it would really be. It is such an incredible blessing and I am thankful for Hudson every single day. To wake up to his precious smile and go to sleep with the sounds of his tiny snores, I am so blessed and so are you! Don’t lose sight of that. The laundry might be piling up and the house may be a mess, but honestly… in the realm of what is REALLY important, you have Gods' greatest gift in your arms and you are totally blessed.
Hudson at Three Months!
Oh what a joy motherhood has been and continues to get better and better each day. Hudson is such a love. At three months he loves to babble and laugh, he smiles quite often and he is eating like a champ! He loves to listen to music and go for runs with mommy. He is also having such a fun time with his big brother, Hawkins, and enjoys when Hawkins reads and sings to him.
A Day in the Life of Hudson and Mama
7:00 am: Hudson and I wake up for the day. Every morning at 7 am his eyes flutter open and our days begin with smiles. I feed him right when he wakes up.
7:30am – 8:30 am: Playtime
10:00am: Wake & Feed
(Playtime) Go for a walk with the dogs, read books
1:00pm: Wake & Feed
(Playtime) Afternoon run with Mama usually!
4:00pm: Wake & Feed
5:30- 6:15pm: A short nap if he wants it
7:30 pm Bath
8:00pm Story and Eat
Hudson is currently sleeping from 8:30 pm til about 5:00 am , we do a quick feeding at 5:00am and snooze again til 7am. Its been like this now for the last month and we really seem to be thriving with a consistent schedule.
Q & A: Your Questions Answered
What are you using for sunscreen?
Hudson is too young for sunscreen at this point, but when the time comes I will use Beautycounter mineral sunscreen for babies. I am also looking into a few other mineral sunscreen brands that I may try after I am certain the ingredients are safe.
Are you sleep training?
Hudson has been a very “easy” baby, but I also have not had any other point of reference to refer too. We didn’t really need to do much “sleep training” per se. We have been able to just kinda develop a routine, play with the times in which we wanted to put him down, and we walk out of the room. So far… that’s the extent of “training.”
Are you back to work?
Fortunately, I am back to work on a very part-time basis. My career affords me the opportunity to work from home for the most part, and I go out and work in the field a few days a week for a couple hours, which I think is great for both Mommy and baby. As far as child care goes, Hudson is either with Mommy or Daddy. We are very fortunate.
Fisher price Kick & Play Piano Gym
Sophie the Giraffe
Nat and Jules Book with Sound, Barnyard Friends
Babiator Baby Sunglasses
Baby Rattle Ball