BOTANICAL GARDENS

10 BABY SHOWER GIFT IDEAS

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Not long ago I posted 10 gift ideas for a mama-to-be. Today I'm sharing a few gift ideas that are a little more baby centered. Baby showers are typically filled with lots of blankets and onesies and maybe a diaper cake. If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind gift or something a little out of the ordinary keep reading. =)

// 10 UNIQUE BABY SHOWER GIFTS //

KNIT TOYS
I love love love the knit dolls from Cuddle and Kind! They are a wonderful family-owned company helping feed children in need - every doll sold provides 10 meals! You can read more about their mission here. Another really adorable doll company is Hazel Village. So unique and sweet!

SLING / WRAP
Babywearing is so big right now! There are a bunch of companies that make beautiful slings and wraps but my favorites are Solly Baby and Wildbird.

SWADDLE
A swaddle might not seem like a unique gift but when you see the ones from The Ollie World or Little Unicorn (also love their muslin quilts and crib sheets!) you might change your mind! And I can't get enough of the knotted gowns from Candy Kirby Designs! Add. To. Cart. haha

MOSES BASKET
While I've never used one, I think they are precious! RH Baby & Child has a bunch but also check out Plum + Sparrow for more of a bohemian look.

WASH WITH WATER
I found Wash with Water on Instagram and love everything they are about! Made in the USA, vegan, cruelty free, hypoallergenic and family-owned! Their products have glowing reviews - I don't think you can go wrong with anything from this company and I don't know a mama that wouldn't love to receive this pretty little gift set

PHOTO SESSION
Is there anything more sweet and beautiful than those first few hours/days/weeks with a sleepy newborn?! I can't tell you how many times I've pulled out my box of photos to look through all of Olive's baby pictures. I took hundreds and still don't feel like I have enough. Loving this candid shoot in the hospital and this one done at home.

OWLET MONITOR
A new tech toy on the market and perfect for first time mamas. It's a little pricier than a pack of onesies but definitely just as useful! The Owlet tracks your baby's heart rate and oxygen levels and alerts you if they fall out of a preset range. Olive was such a sound sleeper when she was born and Isaac and I couldn't even tell she was breathing she would sleep so still - this would have helped us relax knowing she was fine and we didn't need to worry. 

PUJ TUB
Love my Puj tub so much! I think it was my first purchase when we were expecting Olive and definitely worth every penny. New mamas do not need to be bending over bath tubs! Get a Puj. It will save your back and make bath time so so fun! 

WOODEN TOYS
Wooden toys are classic and basically last forever. I'm a huge fan! If you follow me on Insta you probably saw me gushing about these gorgeous wooden blocks we got Olive for Christmas! They are soooo pretty! Land of Nod has a great selection of wooden toys for babes of all ranges.

CLASSIC BOOKS
I grew up on Winnie the Pooh and Beatrix Potter (didn't we all?) and I can't wait to share those same wonderful stories with my baby girls. Absolutely loving this hardback copy of The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter, this one of The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh, this sweet gift set, and this board book set! You can't go wrong with the classics!

OCEAN ISLE BEACH

MATERNITY PHOTOS IN NEWPORT

Sunday, February 19, 2017












Today I'm sharing some maternity photos we took on our babymoon in New England a couple weeks ago. It snowed the day we arrived and made everything look so beautiful and wintery. It was cold and windy but absolutely breathtaking standing on these cliffs watching the water crash on the rocks. I'm pretty sure we could have spent the whole day out here!

Our winter babymoon was everything we hoped for! We spent a few days at the Vanderbilt Grace hotel in Newport, RI and got so spoiled and pampered by the staff there! They were all so friendly and took really good care of us. Isaac had arranged for chocolate covered strawberries and drinks in our room when we arrived and a couples massage for later in the week. We did the Cliff Walk (where these pictures were taken), toured Rosecliff Mansion (so pretty!), and went ice skating outdoors at night under a million stars and dozens of twinkle lights! We found plenty of gluten free options at local cafes and restaurants and really enjoyed slowing down and taking time to relax. It felt like we were dating again walking (& skating!) hand in hand just talking and dreaming about our future. =)

Big hugs and thank you to my sister and her husband for staying with Olive while we were gone! They took such good care of our baby and definitely helped make my first time away from her as easy as possible!

Hope you all have a beautiful week! xoxo Christine

10 GIFTS FOR A MAMA-TO-BE

Sunday, February 5, 2017









Maybe it's because I'm pregnant, but everywhere I look I'm seeing pregnant mamas and newborns! I love it. I have several friends on Instagram that are due within just a month or two of me and I love following all their sweet bump pictures. I can't wait for my feed to fill up with (even more) adorable babies! Here are some fun gift ideas to spoil the bumpie in your life that go beyond the baby store gift card. =)

// 10 GIFTS FOR A MAMA-TO-BE //

PRENATAL MASSAGE
I was so spoiled to have received multiple prenatal massages during my last pregnancy! I absolutely love them and feel like they are such a fun splurge for a mother whose body is going through some serious changes in a short amount of time. If you're local to Charlotte Urbana Wellness Spa offers a great prenatal massage.

TEA
I follow Mama Body Tea on Instagram and love the idea behind their organic herbal teas for pregnancy, breastfeeding and motherhood. They have some really pretty gift packages to choose from, too!

BATH BOMBS
My friend recently gifted me a whole box of bath bombs and I am completely giddy over them! Taking a long hot soak after Olive goes to bed has become a weekly tradition during this pregnancy and I love throwing in a fizzy bath bomb packed with all kinds of goodies to make my skin soft and glowy. I've been drooling over Free People's bath salts and soaks, too - any of them would make a pretty gift!

MEMORY BOOK
I've talked about my love of Lucy Darling's baby memory books on the blog before - they are such a sweet, pretty way to remember the milestones. I recently came across Mushy Book's memory book which is so beautiful and clean looking. And for the mama that does a little more writing check out Promptly Journals!

BUMP BOX
My sister just told me about this idea! Subscription boxes are huge right now so it's no surprise that there are a bunch to choose from when signing up your pregnant friend. Check out Bump Boxes and Mama Bird Box. Both look like so much fun! I think I need to mention this idea to Isaac...

ENGRAVED NECKLACE
I love the hand stamped necklaces from Leila Jewelry. If your friend has already had her baby you could have a necklace personalized with the baby's name, initial or date of birth. Or go with something simple and classy like this Mama bar or disc pendant

PHOTO SESSION
I love looking back at my maternity photos! Gifting a photo session (maternity OR newborn) is a great way to help your mama friend remember (and embrace!) this special / crazy / eventful / exciting time in her life. Who wouldn't want sweet newborn photos like these to look back on?!

LOUNGE WEAR
My mom got me a set of pajamas right before I had Olive and I remember thinking it was such a sweet and practical gift. I was so happy to have something pretty and comfortable to wear for those first couple weeks of recovery. Della B. makes some beautiful and thoughtfully made hospital gowns for delivery and recovery.

GLASS BOTTLE
A prettier way to stay hydrated than lugging around a week-old bottle of Deer Park. I like glass bottles and BKR makes some really pretty ones with silicone sleeves.

SUBSCRIPTION TO A MEAL SERVICE
Fresh, easy-to-prepare meals delivered to your doorstep are all the rage right now and so perfect for a family with a newborn. Hello FreshBlue ApronGreen Chef and Freshly are all great choices. If your friend has food sensitivities a cleaning service would be a great alternative! 

SUNSET ON THE GREENWAY

Monday, January 30, 2017













JACKET / TIGHTSOLIVE'S HAT + MITTENS (on sale!)

We leave on our babymoon tomorrow! EEK! I'm so excited to take a little trip - I love seeing new places! We're flying into Boston and spending a day there before heading to a spa in Newport, RI for a few days. I think it's going to be a beautiful #winterbabymoon and I'm secretly hoping for a teeny bit of snow to make everything look magical while we're there... we'll see!

In between making a dozen lists (I'm a huge list maker and have about 20 going all the time) and getting things ready for our trip we snuck out to the greenway with Olive for a sunset walk the other night. Everyone we passed had a dog and Olive got excited over every single one! She loves seeing doggies but is still a little nervous when they come up to her to say hi haha
Spending time outside with this little family of mine is one of my favorite things to do - even when it's chilly and our noses are freezing!

I came across this video on Apartment Therapy of 9 Habits To Make You Happier At Home and had to link it here because it's so cute and I agree with (and practice!) all 9 habits. =)

Hope you all have a beautiful week!

2ND TRIMESTER FAVORITES

Monday, January 23, 2017














ROBE: Victoria's Secret / TANK: Blanqi

This weekend I started my 3rd trimester (yay)! We are soooo excited to meet this little firecracker! I've been feeling kicks and jabs 24/7 for the last couple months - she's definitely an active little thing!
I've had a lot of contractions over the last few weeks and had to really slow down and take it easy. As much as we are dying to meet our baby girl, we want her to keep cooking until April! Nesting kicked in early at like 24 weeks or something (it probably helped that we just moved into a new home) and I'm loving getting the house organized, cleaned and decorated so when baby girl arrives I can sit back and enjoy my sweet newborn in a pretty home. Down side to moving in to a new home is that every room has been taking priority over the nursery... hoping to get something sweet and pretty together soon to share with you all.

Here are a few of my favorites for the 2nd trimester (aside from the obvious bottle of water and prenatal vitamins that accompany every bump)...

Blanqi Support Tanks / I feel like a broken record talking about this brand but their pieces are just brilliant and have made my pregnancies so easy! I bought 2 tanks when I was pregnant with Olive and wore them night and day till she was born. They held up great (I don't put them in the dryer) and I've been able to use them this pregnancy, too. I wear one every day and love the way they hug my bump.

Blanqi Postpartum Leggings / because I loved my Blanqi support tanks so much I decided to try their leggings and I'm so glad I did! I bought a pair and was wearing them every day I didn't want to take them off on laundry day so I ordered a second pair so I will always have a clean pair to wear! haha I read the reviews and a lot of people said these tights weren't quite as tight and snug as they'd want postpartum, but they are the perfect amount of comfy-snug for a growing bump. If you stay kinda smallish maybe give them a try and if you tend to get really big maybe try Blanqi's maternity leggings. I don't think you can go wrong with this brand.

Spirulina Smoothies / I have low iron and during my pregnancies I drink spirulina in my smoothies to boost my iron levels. My go-to smoothie for the last couple months has been 3 bananas, 1-2 cups frozen mixed berries, 1 heaping tablespoon of spirulina and enough apple cider (not sweetened) to blend. I share this smoothie with Olive and we both love it! It's so yummy and you can't even taste the spirulina!

Boomsilk Moisturizer / ok, so there are a zillion creams on the market for you to choose from to hopefully avoid stretch marks but I've heard that you either get them or you don't. I'm not really sure the cream has a lot to do with it. That said, with both pregnancies I've been big on keeping my bump super moisturized (which also helps with itching!) and eating healthy fats. Sort of preventing stretch marks from the inside and the outside, if you will. Last time I used a pregnancy-specific belly cream and a whole lot of coconut oil. This time I'm using my current favorite moisturizer from Boom. Since it's what I'm already using on my face I was all for not having to buy a second product. My method is to moisturize morning and night and again anytime I take a bath or shower.

Bardot Dress / just came across this beauty last month and ordered one in every color! I love dresses that show off the bump and this dress definitely does that! It's also super comfy and easy to dress up or down for any occasion. I wore this gorgeous blue velvet one to a holiday party a few weeks ago and felt so pretty (not to mention in style with the popular velvet trend going on right now). Also love this long sleeved one. And you can't beat the price point! Buy 2.

Bath Bombs / our new house has a bigger master bath than our last place and I am loving it! About once a week I take a soak after Olive goes to bed. I like to light a candle and throw in a fizzy bath bomb or a few cups of epsom salts. So relaxing! Lush is usually my go-to for bath bombs, but I've been drooling over Free People's selection of bath salts and soaks lately!

We leave on our babymoon next week and I am so excited (and also completely NOT ready to leave my Olive girl for that long)! I've only ever left Olive for a date nights and this is 4 days away from her! But I think a little relaxation and quiet time away with Isaac is just what I need before this family grows by another 2 feet! Hopefully we will get pics and face time with her so I don't miss her too much! =)

Hope you all have a beautiful week! Thanks for reading! xoxo Christine

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