Tag Archives: Friends

Happy Galentine’s Day!

February 13, 2015

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Hello! Happy Galentine’s Day!

What’s Galentine’s Day you ask?

Only the greatest day of the year.

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Every year on February 13th, Leslie Knope fans gather together with their girlfriends to celebrate friendship and eat all of the things. Even if you don’t watch Parks & Rec, it’s a great holiday to adopt just for the sake of chocolate covered fruit and margaritas.

This year I threw myself head first into the festivities because celebrating women is one of my very favorite things to do. Gift bag goodies included nail polish, candles, hand towels, magnets, pins, Galentine’s Day cards, and even a Galentine’s Day shirt.IMG_2002

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I read once that building a community around you is the best thing you can do for your health. I didn’t know how much this would be true until I had kids.

It takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to raise a mother. Today I celebrate the women who have helped me be a better woman and mama. To the family and friends close and far away, and also to many of you. Your comments, emails, and hand-written letters have inspired me to be a more kind and thoughtful person.

From the bottom of my very happy, weepy heart– thank you.

Happy Galentine’s Day, friends. There is no better thing than women helping women.IMG_2737

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Celebrate women by supporting shops run by strong, creative female business leaders.

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Shirt –> Fourth Wave Apparel Twitter, Facebook, & Shop
Each of Fourth Wave’s designs are based on vignettes from women’s history and pay homage to courageous women who refused to know their place. Shop owners Noelle and Anna believe in honoring the legacy of women who insisted on their right to vote, own property, access education, ride a bicycle, wear pants, etc. by inspiring today’s generation of women to speak up, stand up, and shine. Everything they make is screenprinted by hand in Boise, Idaho and 5% of all profits are used to give back to other women through Women for Women International, an organization that supports women in eight countries where war and conflict have devastated lives and communities.

Towels –> Viva Sweet Love Facebook, Twitter, & Shop
After being a mosaic artist for nearly two decades, Amy Fancher longed to do something different. So in 2006, she started exploring screen printing and acrylic painting, beginning the journey to starting her own business. In her shop you’ll find a magical assortment of original illustrations that have been screen printed onto soft tee shirts, flour sack tea towels and napkins, messenger bags, his and hers pillow cases, cushion covers constructed from natural hemp and organic cotton, and more. And the arrow onesie? Yes please. Make sure to use coupon code “KATEJBAER” for 10% off the shop!

Cards –> Carly Reed Designs Instagram, Facebook, & Shop
Print designer Carly Reed is inspired by simple and beautiful things. From wedding invitations to everyday cards and stationery, she has everything you need to keep your paper needs classy and unique. In addition to the collections and custom options, her designs are also for sale at Minted and carlyreeddesigns.com. Make sure to also check out her stamps and t-shirts. One of everything, please!

Magnets –> Turtle’s Soup Instagram, Twitter, & Shop
Shop owner Melanie (and Christopher!)’s goal was to make eco friendly and totally awesome pop culture and original art products for all to enjoy. Lucky for them, they are succeeding while also going to school full time! I don’t think I’ve ever ordered something off off Etsy that has made me laugh harder. Uteruses before Duderuses forever. Check out their other magnets/pins for more happy mail ideas. 

 Candles –> HollyBeeez Instagram & Shop
Holly from HollyBeeez loves yoga, coffee, and creating. She especially loves making candles and specializes in bridal and baby shower candle gifts. She currently lives in a small town north of Pittsburgh with her husband, three teenagers, cats and dog. Use coupon code “love10″ for 10% off the shop, and make sure to also check out her garlands!

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PS: Treat yo self to a free wardrobe for a year. 1,200 dollars worth of White Plum clothing, for free, in your closet. It’s a no brainer. All you have to do is join their mailing list. Easy peasy. Giveaway runs from February 11th to the 22nd.

WP Free Wardobe Giveaway

Top Ten Gifts For New Moms

January 30, 2014

Top Ten Gifts For New Moms

When a baby is born, it is only natural to want to help. You want to do something, anything, because either you’ve experienced it firsthand or you’ve heard about the physical and emotional toll that comes along with bringing home a lumpy, needy meatball.

It is a beautiful thing, women helping women, but sometimes it’s hard to think of a way to help. What does she need? What will make a difference?

Here is a list of ten great ways to show mama some love. If you’re here for ideas, thank you for helping. You are a blessing. You are a saint. You will make her day.

A special thank you to those who have sent care packages, brought bags full of Trader Joe’s groceries, picked up my toddler to play for the morning, and other wonderful things since the baby’s been born. It is not polite to brag about your friends, but it’s worth mentioning that all that help and love makes a big difference in a person’s morale when you find yourself scooping poop out of the tub after a long day of crying.

As an aside, often when bloggers make gift guides they make them very beautiful and link to 65 dollar wooden rattles. I think this is wonderful (I like beautiful things), but realistically your new mom friend does not need a 65 dollar wooden rattle. Babies don’t need much of anything, which is why most of these gifts go to mama.

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Spa Gift Certificate

000See it on Amazon.

Giving a new mom money for a manicure or pedicure is like giving her an open mouth kiss with Ryan Gosling. So fresh. So nice. My college friends rallied together to give me a whopping 100 dollars to spend on myself during pregnancy and after the baby was born and I have stretched that into three pedicures and one, wonderful eyebrow wax. Last week I left a 10 dollar tip on a 25 dollar pedicure because my feet were like dinosaurs and now they are like J-Lo’s bottom. Really, truly wonderful. A massage is also a great choice.  What better way to say “Congratulations for pushing a 9 pound child out of your vagina” than an hour alone, in the dark, having your shoulders rubbed.

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Food

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Dropping off a meal for a new family is a really nice thing to do. Dropping off a bag of groceries is even nicer. Suggested drop off items: Fruit, bread, cheese, nuts, trailmix, homemade jam, white cheese popcorn, chocolate truffles, frozen pizza, chips, salsa, fresh vegetables, cranberry juice, soap, toothbrushes. This is, hands down, one of the best new mom gifts.

Out of town? Don’t live close by? Order a pizza at your new mama’s local pizza shop and have it delivered. Add garlic knots. Instant win.

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Water Bottle

000See it on Amazon.

Breastfeeding makes me very, very thirsty. The second the baby latches, my mouth turns to cotton and all I can think about is carnival lemonade. A fresh, new water bottle is a great way to stay hydrated on the go, but also at home when your toddler is jumping on the couch like a drunk midget and knocking down all your glasses.

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Service

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One of the best gifts for a new mom is acts of service; gentle, no nonsense, quiet service. But there are rules. For example, don’t give a printed out coupon that says  “This coupon equals one dish washing experience!” or make statements such as, “Let me know when you’d like a load of laundry done!” Instead just do the dishesDo the laundry. Make sure it’s a good time, yes. But don’t make a new mom ask for help, just help. Don’t bring your kids.

For moms having second babies, one of the greatest gifts is spending time with the older sibling(s). Pick them up! Give mom the morning off! It is a rare treat, that quiet. A treasure.

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Netflix or Hulu Plus Gift Card

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Feeding a baby takes time. Boost morale with some feeding entertainment, like the ability to watch favorite shows on Hulu or Netflix. Suggested TV binges: Mad Men, Parks & Rec, The Office, Downton Abbey, The New Girl, Parenthood, Modern Family.

Or drop off a few of your favorite chick flicks. The act (and the movies) will make her cry.

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Extra iPhone Charger

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See it on Etsy.

When you are stuck on the couch feeding a baby and trying to survive toddler armageddon all day, that cell phone dies fast. Give mama some love with the convenience of an extra cell phone charger. It may seem like an odd gift, but not having to move that charger from room to room is one less thing to think about during the day. Bonus: find one that glows in the dark.

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Nursing Tank Top

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See them at Target.

Newsflash: Most nursing bras are uncomfortable. Before I had a baby, I spent much time and money trying to find the perfect nursing bra, unaware that I would never wear one. Luckily the nursing tank top was invented. I live in these. I wear one to bed and change into another to wear all day long. Not only are they more comfortable, they are easier to maneuver and allow you to shed layers  of clothes to feed without flashing your ta-tas. I have eleven. Mama can never have enough. 

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Burp Cloths

000See it on Amazon.

Every two hours I am looking for a burp cloth. I turn over all the pillows, look under all the toys. I send my toddler on a personal walkabout to find one and yet they disappear faster than you can say “old cheese smell.”

There are never, ever enough burp cloths.

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Diapers

000See it on Amazon.

Does this seem boring? It’s not boring. Diapers are expensive and always dangerously low for those of us who can’t stay on top of things and hate leaving the house. Order in bulk on Amazon and ship it right to mama. Easy, affordable, a God-send.

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Mail

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Getting a care package in the mail when you’re hibernating with needy spawn is a beautiful thing.

Suggested care package contents: Personalized onesies, cute sleepers, sea salt infused chocolate, lip balm, notepads, an Etsy gift card, handmade stationery, notes of encouragement.

Magic.

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Thank you for loving on a new mama. It will come back to you in a good way.

You are loved.

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