Mother’s Day Gift Guide

I’m not going to lie–I’m pretty excited for my first Mother’s Day! Last year I could not even fathom what motherhood would be like. It is truly impossible to imagine a love this big and I can’t wait to celebrate with those I love the most.
I am one of those people that would rather have experiences than items as gifts, but I think everyone could use a little assistance with ideas. Below is a list of gifts I’ve loved in the past or would love to receive on May 10th. (hint, hint TJR!) Actually my husband is a really great gift giver. He uses holidays as an opportunity to spoil and splurge, where I’m very practical and buy him sweaters and socks. #lamewife  On to the gift guide!
1. I love personalized jewelry. It is so meaningful and special. Right after my daughter was born, I treated myself to a delicate gold bar necklace with my baby girl’s initials. I wear it every single day and get compliments on it all the time. The photo below sucks. It is way cuter than that. FullSizeRender (6)
I purchased mine from etsy shop Miaearrings, but Stella & Dot also has great personalized items. In fact, they have an entire section dedicated to charms and engravables. For Christmas I bought my mom this engravable bar in gold. My daughter and I share the same birthday, so I put 9.13 on the bar–the date her daughter and granddaughter were born. She burst into tears when she saw it.

gold-base

I’m also loving this locket and this disc, all which can be personalized with varying fonts and styles. My friend Kristen is a Stella & Dot stylist so all my links are through her site. You must order by May 4th in order to guarantee Mother’s Day delivery! If you want to do a little shopping for yourself, I highly recommend checking out their Summer Collection. I will be buying these hoops and this freaking adorable anchor cuff.
I also have had my eye on these bangles for a while. One with the coordinates of our wedding and one of the coordinates of our baby’s birthplace would be perfect! Sidenote: how do you figure out coordinates?
2. The one thing every mama wants and needs (present company included) is a spa day! A full day of pampering at a spa would be absolutely amazing, but since I’m still breastfeeding, a massage and facial, or even a mani/pedi would be fantastic. I have yet to do a full spa day since moving to Chicago, but I’d love to try Bliss at the W Lakeshore. I love their products, namely the Bliss Triple Oxygen set and Incredi-Peel resurfacing pads, and like the idea of spending the afternoon in a cushy robe sipping cucumber water.
3. Speaking of robes, I definitely want one of these on Sunday morning. My husband gave me fantastic cozy winter robe for Christmas, but the dog ate it. Yep, ate an entire arm. It was Ugg brand (who knew they made robes?) so you know it keeps you nice and toasty during cold winter mornings or middle of the night feedings.  I’m hoping I’ll get another one next fall to keep me warm through the winter. Ugg Robe
For spring and summer, I’ve had my eye on kimono robes. Light and oh so pretty. Considering I usually wear wifebeaters and pj pants to bed I need all the help I can get in looking put together in the morning.

Anthropologie Robe 
Eberjey Robe
4. Chatbooks! This app takes your instagram photos and puts them into a cute little paper photo album. I have not printed one, not ONE, photo of my 7 month old baby girl. My mom is horrified I have no photos of her in the house. Terrible mother. Chatbook made it super easy, and I was able to sort through all photos (not just insta photos) on my phone and pick the ones that captured the first six months of my baby gal’s life.FullSizeRender (5)
It cost me like $14 and you have options to include captions and dates–which I love, so I can see her grow and change over time. The photo/printing quality is not great, but the sentiment is lovely! I liked mine so much that I’m ordering a duplicate for my mom for mother’s day. Get your first book free if you use my code: 9JJZ76C2.
5. If the weather were warm enough (why oh why do we live in Chicago? I’m still rocking my puffy vest!), I’d love a family picnic. I am the social manager of our family and planning events, activities, vacations is not my husband’s strong suit. I would absolutely love if he planned an afternoon for our family, with a packed picnic. No thinking or shopping for me, just an enjoyable afternoon with my favorites complete with my fave bubbly.
Now can someone direct my husband to this post? Please and thank you.

Weekend Recap

One of my best friends came to visit this past weekend. This is the first time one of my friends has visited in a year. You hear that ladies? One year! Buy a ticket already!
Anyway, it was so wonderful to be in the easy company of one of my nearest and dearest and so special to introduce her to my daughter. They loved one another quite a bit which made my heart happy.   She also gave some much needed attention to my other baby and took her on two runs! Addie was obsessed.   I really showed Claire a good time! Thursday night I worked until midnight, Friday night we watched a marathon of Say Yes to the Dress and Bride By Design (good concept, poor execution but it allowed us to be really judgy) and Saturday I took her to the grocery store and out to dinner at 5:30. We were wild! (Why doesn’t anyone visit?)
Honestly it was wonderful. We did go out to a delicious brunch on Saturday where we ordered our signature breakfast app and tasty brunch cocktails. Frasca is where it’s at!
IMG_7812We got manis on Saturday afternoon, went for a few walks, had a great dinner out at Chicago Q, and played plenty of board games. Eating, drinking and games are our favorite things so all bases were covered. The visit was too short and it had me questioning why I am so far away from many of those I love. Then I passed out on the couch at 7:30pm because I’m old.

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Come back Claire! We miss you! And everyone else, get your butts to Chicago and you too can go grocery shopping with me.

Can’t Live Without It

It’s Friday (thank the Lord!) and although I’m late to the party I’m joining Laura, Cait and Stephanie for the Can’t Live Without It link-up.

I’ve written before about my mama guilt, and I get sad that someone else is feeding my baby during the day. To assuage my guilt a little bit, I’ve been making E’s baby food. For those few minutes a day while I’m steaming her fruits and veggies, I feel like super mom. Then she falls over and bangs her head on the floor and it’s back to reality.
I registered for the Beaba Babycook and absolutely love it. It doesn’t take up much space on my counter, is easy to use, and you can steam and puree in one little container. The babe has only been eating solids for about six weeks so we’re not going crazy yet, but I’ve easily made sweet potatoes, peas, applesauce, carrots and pears. 

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The container looks small, but holds quite a bit, enabling me to make a few batches to freeze. For smaller batches I’ve used the OXO Baby Tot Freezer Storage Containers. These are fantastic because I can pull them out of the freezer the night before daycare and they are thawed and ready to go for the next morning. For larger batches, I purchased the OXO Baby Tot Freezer Tray, which obviously I have not used.
IMG_7800So, maybe on the more practical side, but this is what I Can’t Live Without this week! Have a wonderful weekend friends.

Lilly Madness

I was one of the brave souls (read: crazies) that headed out to Target for their Lilly Pulitzer collab. I was expecting some crowds and enthusiasm based on their past designer launches but wowza.
I stayed up until 11pm on Saturday night in hopes that it would launch at midnight EST but no luck. Then my sweet girl woke up around 1:30am. Before, I mean after, AFTER settling her down, I logged onto Target. Sadly the site wouldn’t launch so I went back to bed like a normal person. I logged back on at 6:30 but was only able to score an eyelet romper for Em and a gold candle holder and iPhone case that I don’t really even want but I got nervous and they were the only things available.
My insta feed was flooded with east coast peeps standing in line so I considered not going, but my enthusiasm got the best of me. I went to a “hidden” Target near my house and arrived around 7:45 to this:
Doors opened at 8 and people legit started running up the stairs. I did put a little hustle in my bustle but definitely didn’t want to knock people out of the way. Everyone made a beeline to the women’s section (including me) but by the time I got there at 8:02 the only thing left on the racks were two XXL dresses and a few pairs of shoes. I’m not sure how it happened but I did snag the pineapple sandals in my size!
I quickly moved on to the infant toddler section and had much better luck! Most of the stuff below is 12 months, but I also grabbed 2T and 3T items for next summer. The maxi dresses and the romper (back row) look crazy long though so they may be going back. 
Look at the sweet pineapple detail on the zippers!
I got so excited about my kiddo purchases that I walked directly to check-out. When I got there I saw a lady with a pillow and remembered homegoods!! Rookie mistake my friends. Most everything was picked over by the time I got there, but I did manage to get two overpriced beach towels, a beach blanket and super cute drink stirrers. I wanted the matching bottle stoppers and corkscrew but they were not to be found.  If anyone has them, let me know!
I perused the beauty section and considered some make-up bags but are they really any different than the million bags I already have clogging up my bathroom drawers? They were out of the headwraps but I did get a few cute hairbands for $5. I was checked out and in my car by 8:13. In typical Target fashion, I spent $200 in less than 15 minutes. Don’t tell my husband.
While I would have loved to get my hands on a few of the shifts and more of the home goods, I walked away with a decent amount and the experience was pretty fun. If I had a chance to do it again I would gotten there earlier and teamed up with a friend to divide and conquer. Can’t wait to see my little munchkin in her Lilly this summer!

Embracing the Little Moments

Today I took a nap when the baby napped. I put her down, curled up in my lovely white sheets, let the sun peek through the shutters and closed my eyes. It was wonderful. I allowed myself a break–something most of us don’t do often enough.
There is so much to be done. Housework. Real work. Laundry. Vacuuming. Grocery shopping. I need to work out. Or mop my floor. Or finish unpacking. But right now, I will let my baby nap in my arms because I know these moments are precious and she won’t do this forever. I will sniff her head and let her hold my index finger with her fat little hand and give myself a day off. Because this moment right here, with the dog snoozing at my feet and a baby nuzzled into my chest, is what I will remember, what I will treasure, when the dog is gone and the baby grows up and I rattle around, very lonely, in my clean little home.  

Can’t Live Without It

I’m linking up with a few of my favorite bloggers this Friday for something new! Be sure to check out Stephanie, Cait and Laura as well to see what they can’t live without, and I dare you to not get sucked into their blogs for the remainder of the day.

Beauty products are not my thing. I buy most of my make-up (mainly lipstick and mascara) from the drugstore, and have only recently started spending my money on higher quality brands like Bobbi Brown. That’s what getting older does to you.
My biggest beauty splurge, and definitely something I can’t live without, is Kiehl’s Creme de Corps.
I love Kiehl’s and use a fair amount of their products (my faves are the Creamy Eye Treatment and Midnight Recovery Treatment) but always felt like this was outside my budget.  I mean, lotion is lotion right? But every time I was home, I would slather myself in my mom’s stash, so I decided to bite the bullet. It is worth every penny, especially in the middle of Chicago winter when my skin gets so dry it starts chapping. My husband started using it too and now we fight over who “deserves” it more. I’ll be using it a ton this week as I attempt to prolong my Florida tan and prevent peeling from an accidental burn, and attempt to get these legs ready for dress and shorts weather!
What can’t you live without this week?

The Day After. 

There is nothing more depressing than returning from vacation. That first day back in the grind takes it out of me. Yesterday I was waking up to coffee on the balcony, a dip in the pool, abundant sunshine, 24 hours of uninterrupted time with my munchkin and the helping hands of my mom and dad.  

Today, I woke up early to wipe down counters and sweep up the inch of dog hair that covered my house, defrosted frozen milk and washed bottles and pump parts, while throwing coffee down my throat and putting make-up on with one hand. The day ended with a Hot & Ready pizza from Little Cesar’s as I had no time for groceries and a massive appetite. Gross.

I’ll do a vacation recap and baby in swimsuit photo dump once I crawl out from this massive pile of laundry. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with photo of Em & I in matching outfits. 

 

Emma’s Dress//My Tank