mother's day gift guide

This will be our last Mother's Day as a family of three! It seems so surreal to me that in only a few short months, we will be learning to juggle life with a newborn AND a 2.5 year-old toddler. Crazy!

Obviously, flowers are always a nice treat to gift a mama as well as a morning of sleeping in and sweet potato pancakes in bed but I have put together a gift guide for those who want to wrap up something with a bow on top. 

1. Beautycounter Lip Shear: It is not quite a lipstick but not a gloss. The lip shears give you the good amount of coverage while being very moisturizing. Sometimes I even use them in place of my lip balm. Plus, they smell amazing and are beautifully packaged! I think I have about five colors. This would be the perfect pick-me-up for the new mama who doesn't have time to shower but wants to look a little less tired. 

2. India Hicks Carmen Clutch: My go-to tan clutch of nine years died a tragic death last summer (mojito stains) and I kept stalling to replace it. I finally splurged on this Carmen Clutch and have already used it for two weddings. The leather is like butter and the tassel gives it a funky edge. Plus, the inside is an unexpected surprise. This would be great for the mama who is starting to venture out into the world again sans kids. 

3. Stella & Dot Gita Tassel Earrings: I made my first Stella & Dot purchased a little over a month ago to get a few pieces for two weddings I attended in April. I was very impressed with the quality of the items I received and loved the help I had from my "stylist." I keep thinking about these white tassel earrings. Aren't they perfect for spring and summer? I think this would be great for any mama that loves fun jewelry or wants to get out of her comfort zone (like me!)

4. Eberjey 'Gisele' Shorty Pajamas: I have been lusting after Eberjey for quite some time now but haven't quite brought myself to splurge. I loved having anything that buttoned down at night for feedings after Olivia was born and I will need to replenish my stash with short-sleeve pieces. This set would be perfect for a nursing mama or anyone you want to give something luxurious to. 

5. Birkenstock 'Mayari' Sandal: Two years ago, a few months after Olivia was born, I bought myself a pair of of the black Gizeh sandals. I basically never took them off - they were so comfortable. Last spring, I purchased a pair of rose gold Sydney sandals and thought that would round out my Birkenstock collection. Well, after spending last summer and some of this spring chasing a toddler in both pairs, I am crushing on these Mayari sandals. This would be a great purchase for the mama with small children who doesn't mind a "crunchier" looking sandal. 

6. Simple Sugars Smoothness To Go: Between the weird winter weather and being pregnant, the last few months have wreaked havoc on my skin. My skin is already on the drier side but from December through the beginning of April, my skin even became flaky. I started exfoliating regularly, which helped a lot. Some of my favorite exfoliants were from this set my Mother-In-Law gifted me. Each exfoliant smells so tasty! I am almost out of all of them and considering another set. This would be a great gift for any mom!

What are some of your go-to Mother's Day gifts? 

toddler capsule: olivia's summer wardrobe

I stumbled onto the idea of a capsule wardrobe a few years ago. I tend to get overwhelmed when I have too much in my closet so I thought it was an amazing concept. But, of course, I have been either pregnant or losing baby weight or pregnant again so I haven't exactly gotten around to building my own.

However, I unconsciously started doing this for Olivia's clothes the autumn before she turned one. I purchased clothing that pretty much all coordinated together, I felt like she always had something cute to wear, and it was really easy to build outfits for her. I continued to do this without realizing it the next few seasons. However, this past autumn and winter, I just bought random items and found myself buying more and more because I felt like nothing ever went together. 

So, after figuring out why I was struggling so much this time and spending more money, I decided to build a toddler capsule wardrobe of sorts for her for summer. I started out with a color palette in mind but only used it as a guide  - you don't want to become a slave to the colors, especially if you find something you really love. Plus, you are at the mercy, somewhat, of what is being offered at stores. 

I am actually really happy with how it turned out. After snapping these pictures a few weeks ago, I did add a few pieces. I realized that I needed a few more bottoms - I only do her laundry once per week and Olivia always comes home with something on her from daycare. 

So, where do I buy clothing?

+ Gap and Old Navy: This is where I buy the majority of her clothing. I love the styles and they tend to have a lot of items that coordinate together but aren't matchy-matchy. However, I NEVER pay full price. Every few weeks, at least one of brands is having a 40% off sale online and, if you are lucky, they may both be having a big sale. Plus, I never pay for shipping. They offer free shipping for orders over $50 and free returns. And their customer service is top-notch. 

+ Target: Before kids, you would find me in Target all. the. time. But I don't have the time to peruse like I used to so I do most of my shopping online. For some reason, though, I never thought to check Target's website before now. This season, I scored a lot of cute items for Olivia from there. 

+ Small Brands: Now that I have my "base" wardrobe, I may pick up one or two items from smaller (more expensive) brands if I see something that works with the rest of the clothing. I am more apt to do this now that I know we are having another girl in July but, considering you can't control stains at this age, I don't do this often. 

If building a capsule wardrobe for a child seems silly, it's not. Listen, I am not one of those mom's that is extremely fashion conscious and always has bows in my daughter's hair or has her perfectly layered. Really, for me, it is about a few other things:

+ It saves money. I spent way more money last season because I kept buying clothing since nothing ever seemed like it went together. Plus, it keeps me from impulse buying because I have a better idea of what is in her closet and if something won't coordinate with everything else, it isn't worth the purchase. 

+ It saves time. When pretty much everything goes together, it takes me about five minutes on Sunday evening to put together her outfits for the week. This past season, sometimes it took me fifteen. 

+ It keeps things organized. Olivia's drawers are usually pretty organized but, this past season, her drawers were a mess. This happened because I was constantly digging through drawers trying to find SOMETHING that matched the shirt I was holding in my hand. 

+ Eventually, it will allow her to dress herself. Let's face it, Olivia is saying "my turn" way more often now and it is only a matter of time before she insists on dressing herself. If everything coordinates, she is more likely to look put together than if the clothing didn't. And, with a baby on the way, I may just let her start picking out her clothing. 

How do you save time and money purchasing clothing for your children? 

life, lately: olivia's first trip to disney

I finally had some time to download all of our photos from our trip to Disney World in January. It was so much fun looking through them and reliving our time there. Olivia loves everything Disney and had a blast meeting her favorite characters and going on all the rides. 

I know many people say to wait to take children until they are older and can remember but I know I will always have these memories from when we were a teeny family of three. Plus, Olivia is still talking about "Mickey's House" and talks about our trip anytime she sees an airplane. So really, the joy it brings her now is enough for me.

In addition to being Olivia's first trip to Disney, it was also her first plane ride. Although we were delayed a few times and had to switch around our flights on the way down to Orlando, we lucked out by getting upgraded to first class which meant an ample space for her to nap (and for mama to take a much needed break.) We even got invited up to see the front of the plane!

Our first full day, we went to Magic Kingdom. This was the only day we were in a park from right after breakfast until after dinnertime. I know a lot of people want to cram a ton in since they paid for the tickets but, for us, it was more important that we were able to relax a bit and fit naps in so we didn't have a cranky family. 

Olivia was a little "starstruck" this day and wasn't too warm towards the characters but she loved seeing them from afar. She also received her very first haircut in the barber shop. We had a great experience there and I would highly recommend it to anyone. 

The next day, we headed to Epcot. There isn't as much to do at Epcot with little kids but our resort was a five minute walk from there so it didn't make sense NOT to go. And Olivia was thrilled by all the Frozen themes in Norway. She came back with a love of Elsa, Ana, and Olaf like I have never seen before. 

We only stayed in Epcot until mid-afternoon so we could go home and take a nap. However, if I had known that a lot of attractions don't open up until the afternoon in Epcot, we probably would have swam at our resort that morning, napped, and then went to Epcot in the afternoon and stayed for dinner. 

After naptime, we made our way to Disney Springs for dinner. Rich and I had gone there for our babymoon when I was pregnant with Olivia and, man, has it changed. It looks gorgeous and I wish I had more time to spend down there.

For our last day in the parks, we went to Hollywood Studios. Honestly, I may have skipped this park for a toddler but they have a ton of Disney Junior rides and shows there. I am really glad we didn't skip it because she may have had the most fun here. And it was just enough time to do all of her stuff in the morning, have lunch, and then catch the afternoon Indiana Jones Show before we went back to our resort to rest. Plus, it was pretty cool that we could take a boat to and from the resort to the park. 

For dinner, we headed to the Animal Kingdom Lodge to eat at Jiko. I loved our meal but Olivia was overly tired that day so I am not sure I would go again with a toddler unless you were saying close by. 

Our last full day there, we journeyed over to the Polynesian to have breakfast with Lilo and Stitch. We were all pretty tired and cranky at this point in our trip but man did that turn around once Olivia saw two of her favorite "people." She went right up to both of them and gave them huge hugs. 

The rest of the day was spent relaxing at our resort and swimming in the pool. I love that there was a sand bottom, zero-entry section for Olivia. 

Our flight didn't fly out until later on the last day there so we had breakfast with Minnie, traveled to Disney Springs for lunch, and then I walked around our resort, the Beach Club, a bit while Olivia napped and Rich did a bit of work. 

We had an amazing family trip and I can't wait to take both of our little girls when they are a bit older!

life lately: olivia at two

A few weeks ago, we met up with the wonderful Mary of Mary Bell Photography to snap a few pictures of Olivia at age two. She did an amazing job of capturing Olivia's spirit: pensive and adventurous, silly and sweet. I can't believe how much she has grown over the past year

I really can't stop looking at these pictures - I just keep thinking about how these first two years have gone by. It is hard to imagine life without her now. I can't wait to watch her grow over the next year and see what see is like as a big sister. 

style: my maternity stitch fix review #1

This is my first maternity Stitch Fix box as well as being my my first Stitch Fix ever. I have been wanting to try a subscription box for awhile and, when I found out I was pregnant, I decided on Stitch Fix because of their maternity styling. 

This is my second pregnancy so I do have a decent maternity wardrobe. However, Olivia was born in December and this baby is due in July so the seasons are completely switched. Plus, I really focused on basics the first time around for longevity's sake so I want a few items to spice things up and create a bit more interest in my closet. 

I had my husband snap a few pictures of the pieces I received. As you can see, my husband is not a photographer and I am not a model. Plus, it was super windy and cold that day. BUT I thought it would give you a good idea of what I received. I looked at a bunch of maternity Stitch Fix reviews before I took the plunge and I wanted to "pay it forward."

LOVEAPPELLA GRETA KNIT MATERNITY DRESS

I loved this dress right out of the box. I am a sucker for olive and the material was super soft. However, when I put it on, my husband said, "Are you sure you that is going to last you more than a month?" And, after looking at the pictures, he was right. I had plenty of room for a belly to grow, not so much for the ladies. So, unfortunately, this is getting returned. 

FULL MOON HUSTON MATERNITY CROSS FRONT KNIT TOP & RUNE PORTER MATERNITY LEGGING

This is not a top I would normally purchase, however, it was a nice material and pretty flattering. Plus, I have a lot of basic tops and this is very different than anything I have. I also think it will be a great postpartum top when we enter autumn to hide the post-pregnancy belly. I kept it!

I specifically requested leggings since my old maternity leggings had a hole in them. I purchased a pair of maternity ponte leggings from The Loft that I love but they are very thick so they won't last me into the warmer months. I love how these leggings feel and, since leggings are basically my uniform on the weekends, they are going in my closet, 

I loved the look of the dress out of the box, however, as I looked at it more, the material was very thin and almost see-through. And I am glad we took pictures - the stripes are NOT flattering. This dress is going back!

MARKET & SPRUCE WILCO SOLID QUILTED VEST

I requested a vest but wasn't very specific. I guess in my mind I was thinking something more along the lines of a cargo vest. I did like this. I don't have one like it and I liked that it was lightweight but I just couldn't justify the cost since I didn't love it. It is going back!

Overall, I didn't think this was bad for my first Stitch Fix. I didn't hate anything they sent and I kept two items. I will definitely give them my feedback and order again as I get a little bigger and the weather gets warmer. 

Have you tried Stitch Fix?