Mother's Day Gift Guide: the Sentimental Mama

My astrological sign is Cancer and I fit the description to a T. Emotional, loyal, and all about family. This is my favorite selection of gifts. I would be happy to get any of these for any gift giving occasion.

The Sentimental Mama

Dog tag necklace Personalize it with your children's names, birth dates, or even latitude/longitude coordinates. Love this unique way to celebrate being a mom. Don't have a BaubleBar account? Create one using my referral link.

Children's silhouette I think this is a sweet alternative to the more traditional gift of a framed photo.

Personalized Voice Gift On Reclaimed Barn Wood By far, one of the coolest ideas I've seen. It's just a little bit geeky and the perfect way to document baby's heartbeat while in utero or a tiny voice saying, "I love you." I'm tearing up thinking about this.

Mom's One Line a Day A friend recently lost a year's worth of memories she had painstakingly documented on the notes app on her phone. This five year journal that lets you write down memories and silly things your child says.

Mama Bear top I have this shirt and it's one of my favorites. I often say that I've become a "mama bear" since having children - I would fight the fiercest predator to defend them.

Child's Own Studio - The art of softie-making with children's drawings. Has your LO drawn a particularly adorable creature? Turn it into an actual doll through this service! 

#Momlife Vintage Pink Tee It used to be quotas & deadlines & email & meetings. #momlife is definitely a step up!

Mother's Day Guide: Pamper the Mama

Want to make the mom in your life feel really special? Looking for some suggestions to #treatyoself? Check out my picks below!

Spoil Your Mama

Tiffany Notes Alphabet pendant I received the letter E for my first Mother's Day and the letter R last year after Rohan's birth. Not only are they simple and classic, but they come in that beautiful blue box. 

Lush Secret Garden Bath Bomb A bath is a luxury for me these days. Why not enjoy an inexpensive way to make it feel more luxurious? Available in a variety of scents and under $10, so you can build a variety pack.

Godiva chocolates I don't think I need to provide reasons for this one.

Raspberry Maternity Nursing Chemise At the end of a long day of diapers, nursing, and food making, it's wonderful to slip into this chemise instead of pajama pants. I felt beautiful, feminine, and sexy. 

"Tiny Humans" coffee mug A must have for every mama, because raising tiny humans IS exhausting. Substitute a nice cuppa if that's your hot beverage preference.

ipsy Monthly Subscription Service Each month, subscribers receive a Glam Bag filled with 5 products or tools. Many of the products are deluxe sized and there's at least one full sized product in each bag. I've found many new favorites using this $10 a month service [link is my referral].

"Caroline" Diaper Bag in Brandy If you're going to tote around diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, snacks, and toys, you might as well use a bag you're going to love. It can also be used as a tote after your diaper bag days are over. I may have found my perfect non diaper bag diaper bag, but this one will always be on my lust list.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: the Hostess Mama

Do you love to entertain? Here are a few picks to help make your next dinner party a fun affair. My favorite is the chalkboard table runner - very kid friendly!

The Hostess with the Mostest

My Mom Uniform: the Weekend Outfit

While I've been finding ways to put my existing clothes together in new ways, I've purchased a few great pieces over the last several months. The pieces work well with each other and my current wardrobe. This is a great outfit to wear on a busy Saturday morning of errands and then lunch out with the family. I think it's fun, functional, and on trend. Links to purchase are below.

On the Go Mama

J Crew sleeveless tank top - I liked this shirt so much I bought it in a solid gray with black ruffle, too. The shirt is a baggy cut. I decided to size down for a more fitted silhouette. The asymmetrical ruffle adds interest to a classic top. Plus it's breastfeeding friendly!

Old Navy black skinny jeans - My old pre-pregnancy jeans were getting saggy in the butt and too tight everywhere else. Since I got these on sale, a little DIY customizing will happen shortly - I plan to distress these myself!

Nursing Shirt - I don't leave home without this!

Peter Pilotto canvas shoes - I was unable to find the actual flats I picked up, but these are similar in pattern and price point.

Sole Society "Dacia" brown handbag - my non-diaper bag diaper bag. Stylish, large, and easy on the wallet [sign up for your SoleSociety account using my referral link]

Aveda nourish-mint™ smoothing lip color in Magenta Berry - this is a gorgeous shade for spring and summer!

Women's Cateye Sunglasses - Tortoise : Target - a nice change to the Wayfarers I'm usually wearing.

BaubleBar "Mariposa" Ear Jackets - I cashed in my points these earrings and I'm glad I did. They're a lot of fun and really dress up a simple outfit [sign up for your BaubleBar account using my referral link]

"My Body is Home"

It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I can write this post, but I read something so hateful this morning that I have to get this out. This isn't a post about loving your stretch marks or saggy skin. This is about loving your body as a whole.

I lost trust in my body over a year ago. From the day I found out my cervix was failing me, whatever self love I had stopped dead. I didn't know if I would carry the pregnancy to term or even close to term. A half dozen trips to Labor and Delivery because I thought I was in labor didn't help either. Laying in bed for nearly 4 months made me lose weight in the form of muscle. For once I was loving the numbers on the scale, but I was hating why they were so low. The thought of a long labor was nerve wracking. How would I handle those contractions?? I would get winded walking from the bedroom to the kitchen.

After R was born, I was thrilled to be a size smaller than I was pre-pregnancy. Everyone kept telling me how great and tiny I looked. Round the clock breastfeeding and an insatiable appetite made it hard to keep the weight off, but I knew that nourishing my tiny baby was more important than the label in my pants. The move to a new city, the PPD, and anxiety caused me to use food as a crutch and I gained weight. The poor food choices and lack of exercise caught up with me. I hated the way I looked in the mirror. I didn't bother to get dressed most days, staying in pajamas and ordering online so I wouldn't have to go to the store.

I was unhappy with so much and it was leaking into all aspects of my life: motherhood, being a wife, sister, friend, and daughter. Thankfully therapy has helped me come out of the fog of PPD and (most of the) anxiety. I'm at a point now where I joined a mom's fitness group and go at least twice a week for an hour. I can bring the baby, if I need to stop and nurse, it's no big deal. We all try to calm each others kids down when they're cranky from being in a stroller.

My body feels stronger. I feel stronger. I feel good. I am still not 100% where I want to be, but I know I'm getting there. I have more energy, I'm eating better. I'm making friends, including that mama tribe I (we) so desperately need. We are friends now, my body and I. Certainly not best friends, but we are getting there. I'm proud of the new muscles I'm building. I love being able to carry my 24 pound chunky baby, and it not hurt my arm or back.

I don't think I'll ever be 120 pounds, but that's okay. My job to be strong enough to keep up with my boys. I will not let anyone make me feel bad for the way I look. To all you mamas who are angry with your body, to those who've lost trust in it, know it gets better. To those who feel they need to come up with rules about who wears what and when, focus on yourself and your life. And kiss my ass.

Edit: Trigger warning The video "Body Love" by Mary Lambert made me cry hard. It's very powerful, but could be incredibly triggering for some.

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