11.19.2018

HOLIDAY FAVORITES

Since I'm almost 100% sure that I'm part Christmas elf, I pretty much LOVE all things Christmas related. Let's just make the whole world festive this time of year, okay? All the twinkling lights, the Christmas music, the smells of fresh evergreen and holiday candles, baking cookies, and decorating the tree, Holiday movies playing on the Hallmark channel, Christmas family pajamas... it's all just my most favorite. So of course there's some holiday related things I'm loving this year that I have to share with you, I just can't keep all the goodness to myself!


I recently came across this ornament from Goldie Letter Co. and loved how simple and unique it was. I just love the honeycomb/hexagon shape which is absolutely perfect for our simple minimalist-ish tree. How pretty is it that you can leave it empty to just enjoy the simplicity, or you can add a family photo, or you can even add a small piece of greenery in if you'd like. You can also have it completely personalized! You can add your family name, choose a lovely word that has meaning to you (I chose the word "Joy") or anything you'd like! So many adorable holiday items over at Goldie Letter Co. that I'm pretty sure you're gonna need, like this "4 main food groups" mug that I'm obsessed with, Elf is probably my all time favorite Christmas movie so this mug is pretty much perfect!


I don't typically burn candles a lot during the rest of the year, but candles are a forever favorite around the holidays, the scent of Christmas. You know that smell that instantly brings back childhood memories? That's what it was like for me when Jill & James Candle Co. recently sent some hand poured natural soy candles our way and I smelled "Holiday Hearth". Instantly I was transported back to the holiday seasons from my childhood and the home I grew up in. Surrounded by my Dad and Mom, my older brother and 3 little sisters. Helping haul in firewood for the old wood cook-stove, a simmering pot of homemade holiday potpourri on the wood stove filling the home with the best aroma, a cold nose and hands from standing in my Dad's work shed for 2 hours hand crafting an evergreen wreath for the front door, hanging Christmas lights with my siblings, running to the mailbox to see if the rural mail carrier had brought us any new Christmas cards, and spending time around the table eating and laughing with my family. It's amazing how one sniff of a candle can bring back so much. Grab all the best holiday scents (including these apple and cedar, and chestnut and clove candles) over at Jill and James Candle Co.!


We've been huge fans of Petit Collage for the past several years and are still loving all of their sweet items for children! All of their toys are eco-friendly and certified ethically made. Founded by a woman immigrant, Lorena Siminovich, each toy is as pretty displayed on a shelf as it is on the floor when your child is playing with it.Their wooden puzzles are our absolute favorite (we have this one and Bella is still obsessed after 2 years) so I of course wanted to add a few more items to our collection and especially to have a few fun things for the holidays! Those cardboard pop out and play figures are so much fun, Bella gets hours of play at a time out of them and they're such high quality I'll be able to store them away after the holiday season and bring them out again year after year! I chose this gingerbread house set, this winter wonderland set, and just fell in love with this winter wonderland advent calendar as well! I've always wanted to get Bella a fun and interactive advent calendar so this one will be perfect! Also, we had a trace and erase board for Bella a few years ago, and while she loved it, it was also made of plastic so of course didn't last very long before it broke and quite working. We've been wanting to get her another one, but finding the right one that would last longer than the other one, was a bit more difficult than I imagined, so of course you can probably imagine my excitement when I found out that Petit Collage just released a wooden one! She is going to be so thrilled when she finds this under the tree on Christmas morning and I cant wait. it's simply perfect for traveling, and moments when you need a minute of quiet but don't feel like cleaning up the mess of real art supplies afterwards and definitely don't want to set the kiddo down in front of the TV again, this is the perfect solution! Also, how ADORABLE is this soft book and wooden teether for baby boy AND that wooden ferris wheel toy?! I simply cannot handle the cuteness. Use code JOYFULTRIBE15 for 15% off your order too!


Frank is always jotting down notes to remember things and keep himself organized, making grocery lists and writing our the bills, so when I came across this notebook/journal from the shop And So They Wrote one day on etsy, I knew it would make the perfect gift for him. He can keep all his notes in one place, organized and tidy now! My favorite part of this little book, it that I was able to completely personalize it for him! The color of the outside (isn't that sage green color just the prettiest?), lined paper or no lines on the paper (I chose lined for him), the design on front and even the wording! And so they wrote has so many options to choose from so grab yourself a journal or two, and maybe grab a few to gift too!


Who says you can't wear white after labor day? This beautiful "Arabella" dress in white (I mean, it's seriously exquisite you guys, even better in person) from Ivy City Co. would be beautiful for photos against a background of evergreen and snow, don't you think? We're doing an indoor family/newborn photo session with our amazing photographer (Livi Photos) right after baby boy is born and I can't wait to wear this for our photos. It's going to be absolutely perfect! Use code JOY15 for 15% off your purchase when grabbing all the prettiest dresses from Ivy City Co.!


One of my most favorite and go-to items to gift to Bella are art supplies. I love them because not only to they get her creativity and imagination flowing when she sits down with crayons or paints and paper, but the other reason why I think they're some of the best gifts, is because we like to keep things minimal rather than overcrowding our home with things that won't get played with or that we'll get frustrated with because we have too much stuff always underfoot, and the good thing about art supplies is that they're so much fun, but they also get used up rather quickly and then you don't have "stuff" and toys just strewn about everywhere. Ooly of course is one of our most favorite and loved brands for our art supplies and I can't wait to fill Bella's sticking up with some of these goodies! These star shaped crayons are ones we've loved for a couple years and there's not much left to ours, so a new set came at just the perfect time! And I can't wait for her to try out these sparkle watercolor gel crayons, paint sets (this one and this one), and the most adorable carry along sketchbook! Oh, and can you even handle how adorable those little cactus erasers and panda sticky notes are? Because I can't.


In this day and age of digital and online everything, it's difficult to remember to print photos sometimes, but I've learned over the past couple of years... it's literally so important to not only back up your photos, but especially to print off physical copies of them as well. That's why I love Parabo Press so much, they make it so easy to print off my photos, and with each order, you can get 25 free square prints too! As most of you know, we had a family photo session this past summer right after we found out we were expecting a baby boy! Our photographer even got to capture our reactions to finding out we were expecting a boy and it was just priceless. So of course I wanted to get them printed so we'd have them forever, even if something ever happened to our computers we'd still have them. I printed off every single photo from that photo session (almost 200) and I couldn't be happier that I did. They all printed so beautifully and I love being able to pull these sweet square prints out and look at them. I also recently took a look at all of the fun photo accessories that Parabo has and of course ended up adding a few more items to my order! These wooden photo holders are perfect for our nightstands or on a shelf and this go-getter box is so fun and makes the most perfect gift! Oh, make sure to use my code APRIL for 30% off any of your Parabo Press orders from now until December 13th!


Christmas ornaments are one of my favorite things, just so festive and I love that they can have such sentimental meaning too! Like these from Susabella! I was searching for the perfect baby's first Christmas ornament on etsy when I found this one, because I wasn't loving all of the pink or blue options I was finding in the stores, I wanted something simple, something minimal, and something classic that would never go out of style. I immediately knew this was "the one" when I spied it, and kept dreaming of getting it for our new baby boy, and of course Bella needed a matching one too since we've never really had a formal baby's first Christmas ornament for her. When they arrived I might have teared up just a little, I mean, I'm about to have TWO babies! And it's just the absolute best feeling on earth, to be a mama to my little girl and this sweet boy still growing in my belly who will be arriving soon. I love that these ornaments are handmade, which makes them even that much more special, knowing someone hand crafted these with time and love. Susabella also offers beautiful ornaments to celebrate any occasion or to honor the memory of a loved one, I can't wait to add more of her ornaments to our ornament collection with each special occasion in our future!


I'm all about everything cozy during the winter months, and since Bella is old enough that she's starting to protest wearing bonnets, I started looking for the cutest knit hats I could find to keep her little head and ears warm. I remembered seeing a cute shop called Blueberry Hill a few years back on Instagram, so I looked them up and was so excited to find out they were still making the absolute cutest hats around! Bella fell in love with this heart design knit pom beanie hat and I think it might be one of the cutest things I've ever seen (and totally makes up for the fact that she doesn't want to wear bonnets anymore haha). New baby of course needed a softer than butter bonnet (at least he won't be able to protest wearing a bonnet haha) and can you even handle how cute this pom knit bonnet is? It is going to look so cute on his tiny little head and most likely he'll be wearing it home from the hospital since it'll be cold out. I have a feeling that a few more Blueberry Hill knit hats are going to make their way into our home before too long, we need them allllll they're all so adorable!

11.12.2018

2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE | GIFTS FOR HIM

Men are seriously difficult to buy for aren't they? My husband sure is, he never wants anything, but I can't let there be nothing for him under the tree, so I've scoured the Internets for the past few months, selecting just the perfect gifts that I know he'll love and I can't wait to give them to him! These are the perfect gifts for any guy, so this year when your significant other tells you not to get them anything, you can be prepared and here's a list of some of our favorite items where you're sure to find the perfect gift!


Savannah Bee Co. Honey Gifts
Last year while on vacation in Myrtle Beach, we came across the cutest little shop called Savannah Bee Co., and of course us being as honey and honeybee obsessed as we are, we had to go inside... we even ended up going again a few days later, we love that little store that much. The honey was divine, the stuff of honeybee dreams, so as soon as we got back home, I looked them up and was elated they they offered all of their products online! Perfect slathered on homemade bread or naan flatbread, stirred into hot tea, blended into smoothies and even just eaten by the spoonful we love honey, especially honey from the Savannah Bee Co.. This Savannah honey is our absolute favorite, and I'm super excited for Frank to find it under the tree on Christmas morning as well as this whipped original honey, this Charleston honey, his favorite "tupelo honey" lip balm and even an old fashioned wooden honey dipper perfect for getting all the honey out of the jars!


A hot cup of coffee is the way Frank starts off every single morning, so I always try and find him a fun new coffee to try every Christmas. This year, he'll be finding Driftaway Coffee under the tree! The cutest little shop based in Brooklyn, New York, that offers a coffee subscription box, or you can purchase individual bags if you prefer, and it smells so heavenly! This box comes with 4 different kinds of coffee (you can personalize it after the first box to only receive the roast you love most, if you want) and I already can't wait to find out which roast will become his new favorite morning brew and wake up call. That hard to buy for person that you still have to buy for? This is the perfect gift!


2 years ago for Christmas, I gifted Frank a Field Shave Soap Canister and a Vegan Travel Shave Brush from Imperial Barber Products. And would you believe that he is STILL using that same container of shave soap? Yep, it has lasted him that long. We are just as shocked (in the best way possible) as you. It has saved us so much money from not having to purchase traditional shaving cream every month, not to mention that by using the shave soap from Imperial Barber Products, we bypass all the icky and toxic ingredients found in most traditional shaving creams sold at the store. He loves it, and says it shaves better than anything else he's ever used, and I think he looks mighty adorable and old fashioned when he's brushing on the shave soap before he shaves.


I fell in love with all of the pretty items over at Betsy Farmer Designs a few years back and just love the simple and minimal designs she offers. I own a necklace with all of our initials on it (though I need to grab an extra initial disk for it with another B, since new baby's name starts with a B) and it's one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. So when I found out that Betsy also offers products for men, I knew I had to get something for Frank. I LOVE this personalized dog tag style key chain and it's absolutely perfect for him. Frank is notoriously difficult to buy for, and is man of simple tastes who usually tells me not to get him anything (but if you know me, you know I can't not get him anything), so when I spied this personalized hand stamped dog tag keychain, I knew it would be the perfect gift for him. Not only because it's something simple that doesn't take up a lot of room since he's become a minimalist these past few years, but also because it's hand stamped and personalized with the names of the 5 people he loves and cares for most (myself and his 4 children). So if you're looking for the perfect gift for that one hard to buy for person, you've found it.


Tee shirts are one of my go-to gifts for Frank for every occasion, I feel like he's always in need of a new tee shirt or two since that's what he wears most be it at work or at home, and when I recently found this "explorer of the wild" tee from Larissa Kay Designs, I immediately knew he would love it. While he's a homebody like me, we also love exploring and adventuring, even if that means something simple like going for a drive in the countryside and discovering fun new places, or going for a nature walk, so this shirt couldn't be more perfect. It's super soft, the perfect color, and I can't wait to give it to him on Christmas morning!

11.11.2018

2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE | GIFTS FOR HER

Happy Holiday Season Friends! It's that time of year, the time of year when Christmas shopping is upon us, and there are so many choices for gifts, not only for ourselves but for everyone else, that it's sometimes difficult to sort through all of the things and find "that perfect gift". So I've compiled a list of some of my personal favorite items to make it a little bit easier, also, now when your husband wants to know what you want for Christmas, you can just make it easy for him, and send him the link to this post!


One thing I was never really into growing up, was jewelry, but a few years ago, I started loving jewelry, maybe it has something to do with getting older, who knows haha. I tend to keep it minimal and not wear a lot when I wear it, but I do love having a few pretty and sparkly pieces. So when I found Everly Rings on Instagram a couple years back, I fell in love with their pieces, not only are they beautiful, but also super affordable (and they run sales constantly that make them even more affordable). I love vintage style, and all these pretty stacking rings they let me choose, are so vintage-inspired, and so timeless. I feel like they'll go with everything, and if I'm wanting a dressed up look, I can wear two or three of them as stackables, or if I'm wanting to keep it simple, I can throw just one on and wear it all day! The 3 stackable rings for $150 is such a good deal, and you can't beat the price of $99 for an engagement style ring. Everly Rings are perfect for pretty stackables, or as gifts, as a promise ring, a travel/vacation ring, an anniversary ring or even a pregnancy ring! My hands tend to swell when I'm expecting, and with my first pregnancy, I had to wear my wedding ring on a necklace around my neck for the last couple of months of my pregnancy. So this time I was going to be prepared and chose this amazing ring from Everly to get me through the last half of my pregnancy and my swelled hands, so I don't have to without a ring or wear it around my neck. These make the perfect stocking stuffers, or the best tiny under the tree gift that will make her eyes and her hands sparkle as soon as she opens them!


One reason I love art prints is because it makes it so easy to switch out art in your home during the holidays or if you're craving a fresh new look. Lily & Val is one of my favorite (and local to me, based in Pittsburgh, PA) shops to find all of the prettiest prints, we have their "Collect Beautiful Moments" print from last year framed in our living room, and it's still one of my absolute favorite pieces, I smile every single time I walk past it, reminding me that it's the moments and the people, not the things that make life good. I was wanting to find a nice holiday print to add to our home this year during the Christmas season, so this "Silent Night" print immediately caught my eye, partly because of how stunning and beautiful it is, and partly because Silent Night is both mine and Bella's most favorite Christmas song. I've sang it to her as she's fallen asleep every single night since the night she was born (almost 5 years ago), and even sang it to her while she was still growing in my belly. I have a feeling baby boy is going to love the song just as much as she and I.


I've been carrying a Fawn Design bag for almost 3 years now, and will never go back to carrying any other diaper bag. It's just that good, plus I love, love, love the sleek, minimal and classy look of their bags. I've had black, bloom (a limited edition from last year that will forever be my favorite), a brown mini (which works perfectly as a camera bag btw), and now this newly updated version of the original Fawn in Gray! I'm so excited to start wearing this bag and carrying all of my two babies things in it. One of the other reasons I love the Fawn Design bag is because of how functional it is! It holds so much, has never ending room for all of the things I always need as a mama, and I always still have extra room for my own things like my wallet, feminine and personal care items, essential oils, keys and of course my favorite natural lipstick! The new updated design has so may features that I always wanted and needed in my previous bags, a large pocket in back, removable backpack straps that can be tucked down inside, a convenient carry handle and so much more. Just. The. Most. Perfect. Bag. Ever!


One of the biggest reasons I love shopping small, is because I feel I can support causes in a bigger way that are near and dear to my heart. SUDARA products are made by women in India, women who otherwise wouldn't have an education or the resources to provide for their families and are at high risk of becoming sex slaves, and also women who have escaped and are survivors of  sex slavery, SUDARA provides them with skill training and safe jobs to put their talents to use and keep them from harms way. Because of SUDARA and all of the purchases made over the past 10 years, hundreds of women have found hope, a new life, new useful skills and freedom through living-wage employment. Many women have even graduated from the training that SUDARA has provides, and went on to start and own their own businesses! I just love these cozy SUNA grey over the heel long leggings (so perfect for cold winter days (you can use them for working out, or like me and use them for just being comfy haha). This SARU cut-out back long sleeve tee is also just the cutest, I LOVE the open slit back detail, I've never had a shirt with a fun back detail like this so I just love it.


If there's one word that resonates deeply with me, it's the word "Gather". Family and friends are so important to me, and I love gathering them around me, gathering them in my home for memory making and dinners filled with laughter. Another reason I love that word so much, is because Jesus said "if two or three gather in my name, there will I be in their midst", such an important scripture. I've wanted an art cutout of the word gather for a couple of years, and I just love this one from Twisselman Trading Co.. It's made from hand cut steel, handmade in the United States, can be any color or finish you like and is so unique! The perfect statement piece to add to your home. Twisselman Trading Co. has the cutest items for everyone, every style and every occasion, this adorable ornament  (I especially love the "joy" design option) would be perfect on any tree don't you think?