5x5 Holiday Gift Guide | Gifts for Gals

If you've been following along lately, you've seen two posts as part of my 5x5 Holiday Gift Guide and today I'm so excited to share my Top 5 gifts for the gals in your life, including Moms, sisters, aunts and dear friends. These are all gifts I would not only love to receive as a Mom of 3 but have so much fun giving, because they are unique but useful and fun!

Find the 5x5 Guide for Guys here | Find the 5x5 Guide for Hosts here

I'm not sure there is anything more special to me than receiving jewelry that symbolizes my three daughters or being a Mama. Of all the jewelry I own, those pieces are the ones I wear with the most joy because they represent who I love most and my life purpose. My go-to shop for custom jewelry is Made by Mary, run by Mary Moody, Mama of 2 boys, and based out of Utah. Launched in 2013, Made by Mary started when Mary discovered a desire to design & create handmade jewelry with heartfelt meaning. She offers countless pieces for every style and so many options for personalization. I love her skinny bar bracelets (perfect for a child's name, nickname or birthdate), the sleek bar necklaces (beautiful with a child's birthdate or wedding date in roman numerals) and her disc necklaces for initials of multiple children. Jewelry is something I rarely buy for myself but that holds so much meaning to me, so it makes a perfect gift for any Mom or a dear friend. Enter BLESSEDNEST10 at checkout for 10% off your Made by Mary purchase today through December 6.

I was introduced to these delicious granola bars when I was pregnant with Poppy and oh my goodness, they are still my favorite snack whether I'm nursing or not. Oatmama was started by two dear friends, Kristy and Eliza, and specializes in handmade small batch lactation granola bars in the yummiest flavors. All their bars come individually packaged, perfect for throwing in your hospital or diaper bag, purse, car and more. My favorite flavors are chocolate almond coconut and peanut butter chocolate chip. You can shop each flavor in packs of 7, 14 or 40 bars and they also offer a 10 pack sampler so you can try multiple varieties at once. They are the perfect gift to give a new or expectant Mom, because they're not only practical but delicious! Enter BLESSEDNEST15 at checkout for 15% off your Oat Mama purchase today through Sunday December 4.

One of the best decisions I've made as a Mom is to have diapers delivered to my door. It is so convenient and makes the transition to motherhood much smoother, because it takes one thing you have to do -- buy diapers -- totally off your to-do list. And let's get real, hauling big boxes of diapers while I've got two kids in my cart and my hands full...totally not practical. Our favorite company for diaper and wipe subscriptions is Parasol Co. Their diapers are fluffy and so soft, eco-friendly and they come in fun, hand painted modern patterns that you don't even feel like you need to cover up because they're so cute. Their wipes are the closest thing I'll get to a day at the spa because they smell so fresh and can be used on faces, hands and everywhere else in addition to your baby's bum. We've been using them for almost 6 months now and couldn't be happier. If you have a best friend with a new baby or expecting one, a diaper and wipes gift subscription would be a gift that rocks her world this Christmas. Parasol's Holiday Cheer Box comes with 2 packs of diapers, 2 full size packs of wipes & 2 travel packs of wipes and 1 surprise gift. Parasol Co. also recently released a gorgeous diaper tote bag...another perfect gift for a new mama! Enter BLESSEDNEST at checkout for 20% off your first subscription.

four | a native wilds nest

One of my favorite products since having Penelope has been a Native Wilds Nest. Made of the softest (seriously, so so cozy) eco-friendly fabric sourced from sustainably grown Eucalyptus trees, the Nest is a motherhood game changer -- making it the perfect gift for new or expectant mamas (or to add to your own wishlist). It functions as a nursing cover, carseat cover, cart cover and more. It can also be worn as a scarf when not in use. I love the stretch it has without stretching out as its used, something I've run in to with every other nursing cover I've tried. Each Nest is US-made and designed without a tapered end for flexible coverage options; it also has a built in pocket to store essentials like keys, pacifiers and more. In addition to being ultra-soft, it's breathable, naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic. It regulates temperature, wicks moisture and protects your little one from the sun's UV rays. If that isn't enough to convince you, Native Wild Nests come in a handful of modern, stylish patterns and shipping is free. Our favorite pattern is the Lyla Nest in black and cream stripe but I also absolutely love the Indy NestEnter BLESSEDNEST20 at checkout for 20% off your Native Wilds purchase today through Tuesday December 6.

five | a book or journal

I recently came across a book in a tiny boutique called the 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration. As soon as I saw the word "lists" in the title, I was curious (because I love making lists!) and after flipping through it, I knew it would be a perfect gift for some of my girlfriends that love to (a) make lists like me, (b) enjoy journaling but (c) don't have hours and hours to sit and write long posts or do it daily. There are so many fun journaling books available that make a fun and thoughtful gift and encourage a little alone time to sit and write creatively, and pick up right where you left off as you're able. A few other favorites of mine are Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal, Start Where You Are, One Line A Day and Mom's One Line A Day, and for us sentimental Mamas, Letters to my Baby.

Stay tuned for next week's final two gift guides coming out -- all about babies & kiddos! 
Happy shopping!!


5x5 Holiday Gift Guide | Gifts for the Hostess with the Mostest

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and relaxing holiday weekend! We had a small gathering in our home on Thursday, stayed up late playing games after the girls went to bed (a favorite tradition of mine) and enjoyed the delicious leftovers all weekend! Dustin and I did some Christmas shopping on Friday and then on Saturday we went to our local tree farm with the girls, took a horse drawn wagon ride and cut down our tree. We spent the rest of the weekend decking the halls and watching lots of movies in pajamas. I also decided I wanted to redo our master bedroom before baby girl arrives (something about pregnancy that always has me finding projects...) so my Dad and Dustin painted that this weekend and we picked out a new bed, bedding and curtains. Can't wait to share more of that soon!

Last week I launched my 5x5 Holiday Gift Guide, where I'll be sharing my Top 5 favorite gifts in 5 different categories. I started off by featuring my 5 favorite picks for the men in your life, because let's be honest, they are the hardest to shop for, am I right?! You can find that post here

To kick off the week I'm so excited to share my Top 5 gifts for the "hostess with the mostest," a phrase I grew up always hearing my Mom and Grandma use and just adore. I have the opportunity to host a few different events this season, including an annual girls night + Christmas Cookie swap alongside my best friend, as well as our marriage small group in our home each month and of course, big and small gatherings with friends and family to celebrate the season. We'll also be going to a handful of homes over the coming weeks and I love having a few simple gift ideas that any host would love.

There is something so cozy & comforting to me about an oversized mug. Maybe its the endless possibilities of how it can be used -- coffee or tea in the morning, your favorite cereal for breakfast, a big bowl of chili on a cold winter night, icecream (for those of us that could eat it seven days a week...), and hot cocoa of course. I love giving mugs as hostess gifts because they're versatile, inexpensive and you can find them just about everywhere to fit anyone's style. Even if you've never been to someone's home before or don't know a host that well, you have so many neutral options and who could turn down a beautiful mug?! You can pair it with a tin of cocoa, bag of coffee beans, a favorite seasonal treat and more. My go-to mugs are from Sir | Madam, sold online and locally in a lot of my favorite boutiques. They are easily recognized for their classic black and white color scheme and large illustrated word that circles around it. I love them for all the uses listed above and more and they are gorgeous sitting out on open shelves in the kitchen when not in use!

two | a letter folk co board

I always think the best gifts to give are the ones you'd most love to receive, and our Letterfolk Co. Boards are some of my very favorite pieces in our entire home. Offered in a handful of different sizes (The Poet pictured below), these US-made felt letter boards allow you to share all your favorite quotes, lyrics, scripture, reminders, menus and more. They make great photography props too and most definitely a beautiful, memorable gift that you might just want to keep for yourself...Not to mention a fun way to leave surprise love notes!

three | beautiful dishtowels

I love dishtowels. I use them everyday and between our fridge, oven, dishwasher and farmhouse sink, I have about 4 hanging in our kitchen at any given moment. A beautiful dishtowel or dishtowel set makes a lovely gift that is equally practical, perfect for a host gift, some even under $10. You can find them online and in many small boutiques. If I ever come across one I love, I buy a few and save them, roll them up and tie them with brown twine and I've got simple but thoughtful gifts ready to go! I love this set of three in seasonal colors (without being too red and green) and this good day dishtowel set.

four | a market pad

We love all things Rifle Paper Co. and this magnetic market list notepad is one of my favorite things on our fridge -- so handy for jotting down groceries as we run out of things so I don't forget what I need the next time I'm at the store, but still pretty enough I don't mind looking at it every day! I also love this to-do list notepad, this neutral market list and this bright one. And if you're as big of a fan of RPC products as I am, now is the time to stock up because everything (including their amazing art prints!!) is up to 30% off online through today only (no code needed).

five | edible gifts

One of my favorite gifts to give a host when I'm headed to a holiday get together is something edible!  Whether it's something they can put out that evening for the guests they're hosting or a treat for them to enjoy later, who doesn't love yummy food?! Plus the options are pretty much endless! One of our favorite brands, Pipsnacks, makes delicious mini popcorn (fittingly called pipcorn), perfect for adults and kids alike for a fun and unique host gift. We love their Rosemary Pipcorn and their Kettle Pipcorn (my favorite!!), but they also offer Sea Salt and Truffle flavors. Of course, everything is cuter when it's mini and around our home we love the Mini Snack Packs, available in all 4 flavors in packs of 16. Popcorn is one of Olivia's favorite treats and these are the perfect size for her. I love throwing them in my diaper bag, and if I'm going to a party (especially one that will have kids at it), bringing a few of these in a gift bag along with some pipcorn kernels they can pop themselves is another great gift. The best part? Everything from Pipsnacks is 50% off today for Cyber Monday and they are offering $5 flat rate shipping anywhere in the US. This is the perfect time to take advantage of an incredible deal if you've been wanting to try it! 

Hope that gives you a few new ideas if you're on the hunt for hostess gifts!! Stay tuned for my 3rd gift guide coming up later this week for all the gals in your life, including us Mamas!! XO


5x5 Holiday Gift Guide | Gifts for Guys

Happy Wednesday! I am so excited to be launching a one of a kind gift guide this holiday season to share my very favorite products by category to make shopping simple & fun. Over the coming weeks I'll be featuring 5 Gift Guides by category, each with my Top 5 Favorite products. All of these products are either things our family uses & loves or ones that I have on my own wishlist this Christmas! I find so many gift guides to be overwhelming because of the endless options and wanted to launch a unique format that gives all of you a handful of tried and true ideas for each of the loved ones on your list.

First up: Gifts for Guys. 

Finding unique but useful gifts for Dustin and my Dad seems to be the most challenging part of my shopping each year. Maybe because when I ask Dustin what he wants, he never comes up with anything...he is a contractor by trade so he owns every tool you can think of. He's the least picky person ever -- which I actually think makes it harder to shop -- because he will appreciate anything I get him, but then I'm overwhelmed with options. So to kick off my 5x5 Holiday Gift Guide, here are my Top 5 picks for the men in your life.

This Christmas Eve will mark 10 years since Dustin and I met. Yes, we met on Christmas Eve! And I was only 16 years old then...wow how things have changed! For such a special occasion, I wanted to give Dustin a Christmas gift that he could not only use on a daily basis, but one that would remind him of the journey we've been on together and how much he means to me. To be totally honest, I find 95% of wallets in stores to be so boring...they are all the same, mass produced and therefore lacking in character and quality. When I stumbled upon Red Leaf Leather, the handmade leather wallets immediately caught my eye; then having the option to personalize them?! Hands down, best gift ever. Each wallet is handmade in Salt Lake City, Utah by Kelsey Roberts. The leather is as soft as butter, and such high quality. Being able to include a special quote for him inside the wallet sealed the deal. A wallet is something every guy uses, and I love giving practical gifts that still hold sentimental value, so this was a total win. Now the hard part is waiting another month to give it to him! Enter BLESSEDNEST10 at checkout for 10% off your Red Leaf Leather purchase today through Thursday December 1.

Daniel Wellington watches are just so classy. They are thin, minimalistic and refined, making them perfect to pair with any + every outfit and style, even for guys that normally skip the watch altogether. Dustin wears his casually and equally as much when he's all dressed up (find his brown one here + his black one here). The leather bands add to the overall elegant look of the watch and with so many options for the face (including their new classic black collection below, my favorite!), you can be sure to find one that suits his needs. Enter BLESSEDNEST at checkout for 15% off your DW purchase today through January 15. 

three | bluetooth wireless earbuds from sudio sweden

Featuring cutting edge Bluetooth 4.1 technology, the Sudio Vasa BlĂ„ earbuds offer up to 8 hours of unlimited play-time. Offered in 4 colors (rose gold black, rose gold white, blue and pink), these are one of the gifts going under the tree for Dustin that I'm pretty sure I'm going to borrow for myself (and had to try out before I wrapped them...oops!) I love their modern look, outstanding sound quality and light weight design. Oh and anytime black and rose gold are paired together, sign me up. Enter ABLESSEDNEST at checkout for 15% off your Sudio Sweden purchase. No expiration.

four | handmade soap from mirasol farm

This may seem more like a gift for the women in your life but handmade soap actually makes a great stocking stuffer for your man. Our favorite soap company, Mirasol Farm Organics, offers a wide range of gender neutral and masculine scents and it's the only soap I buy for Dustin (and our whole family!), we love it so much! Their soap is vegan, organic and made with essential oils, plus lathers really well and they all smell amazing! His favorites are Rosemary Mint, Litsea & Avocado and Northern Lights, which is a nice woodsy scent perfect for Winter. They offer soap sampler packs where you can get a pack of 4 mini bars and can try a variety of scents. PS If you're in the market for your own soap, I can't get enough of the Lavender & Patchouli. The Lavender Oatmeal (yes, I'm obsessed with lavender!) is another favorite of mine for exfoliating.

five | a one of a kind bookmark

Dustin loves to read. He can be found reading a half dozen books at any given moment; he just finished Driven By Eternity and hasn't stopped talking about it since. A few weeks ago I asked him for a few ideas of small gifts he'd like and he mentioned he'd love a nice bookmark. I loved this idea and honestly had never thought of it before (probably because I barely have time to read...) but it makes a simple and inexpensive gift, an ideal stocking stuffer or even something you can have your kids help you with to make by hand. I love this classic leather bookmark, this bookmark that can be personalized (a name would be fun but I thought a favorite quote or lyric would be even better), this longitude latitude bookmark (another option for personalization), and this set of sprout bookmarks, which I love for marking multiple pages or sections. Olivia and I decided we would make him some by hand for Christmas, she loves crafts and I have loads of supplies on hand from my scrapbooking days (another pre-kid activity) so we'll see how they turn out!

What are you giving the main men in your life?! Hope this gives you a few new ideas if you're stuck like I tend to be! And Happy Thanksgiving Eve!! We are dreaming of our family recipe cranberry apple salad, Nana's stuffing and our favorite pumpkin pie! XO


our kitchen tour

I'm so excited to finally share our kitchen tour! We renovated June to August and it was a huge project. I found out I was pregnant the weekend after we started demo (which was an answer to prayer but also hilarious timing!) and Dustin did the majority of the renovation himself, being that he's a contractor and master licensed plumber. His buddies helped with sheetrock, electric and tile but he took on about 90% of the project, working nights and weekends, while I tried to keep two little girls occupied while feeling miserably nauseous 7 days a week in the hot summer heat. Ha! Sounds fun, doesn't it?! Sometimes I look back and still can't believe we made it through the summer, it was definitely a long one. But once we finished, I couldn't have imagined not doing the renovation and it turned out even more perfect than I envisioned it would.

As for our old kitchen, it wasn't terrible but certainly lacked in storage and function for our growing family. I had next to no cabinet space and everything was so brown...it was by far the darkest and oldest looking room in our home. We removed the soffit (which made such a difference in being able to take cabinets and tile all the way to the ceiling), completely took down the ceiling to replace all the old insulation (that was a mess...I remember coming downstairs and seeing Dustin standing in insulation up to his waist) and took all the walls down to studs, reinsulated and put up new sheetrock. 

The final steps were all new custom cabinets, new appliances, new flooring, a new white window and door. Paint, white subway tile backsplash with dark gray grout, white quartz counters, a white farmhouse sink, the faucet of my dreams (seriously) and adding shiplap to our accent wall (one of my favorite parts)! We hung live edge open shelving above the dishwasher (open shelves are so much fun) and then added additional counter space where our old oven used to be mounted into the wall (our range and oven were separate before). When all was said and done, it was a big undertaking but such an amazing transformation. I still can't believe my dream kitchen exists in our house! This is our first home and we've taken on 5 major renovations over the past 4 years (and 3 pregnancies!) since we bough it, and the kitchen was the final piece of the puzzle to really transform our house into a home and a space we love to be as a family. Enjoy!

Sources are linked at the bottom of the post. 

Sources: Cabinets / Drawer + Door Pulls / Wall Color: Natural Gray by Behr / Ocean Foam Silestone Quartz Counters / Farmhouse Sink / Faucet / Fridge / Combination Oven + Range / Microwave Oven / Dishwasher / Subway Tile Backsplash / Grout in Natural Gray / Open Shelving Brackets / 24x30 Come Thou Fount Canvas c/o Lindsay Letters / Love Letter Canvases c/o Sugarboo Designs / Gather Sign c/o Feather and Birch / Light fixture above sink from local lighting shop, 2014 / Shiplap (painted with Behr Ultra Pure White) + live edge lumber for floating shelves from local lumberyard

Have you done any renovations in your home?! By now I feel like we could do them in our sleep! As much work as they can be, seeing the transformation from start to finish is one of my favorite parts and it's always worth the hard work in the end. Realizing we lived the first 3 years in our home without it (and without a dishwasher and hardly any storage!) really makes us appreciate every part of it! Hope you're having a great week so far! Watch for the first of my 5 holiday gift guides, hitting the blog tomorrow morning! XO


our weekend

Every year we have a tradition of visiting a local nursery & garden center for their annual Holiday Open House. We have been doing this since Olivia was just 6 months old in 2013 and it's become a fun way to kick the season off and get in the Christmas spirit. Waking up to our first snow of the season didn't hurt either ;)

Shortly after we arrived, Santa and his live reindeer "landed" from the North Pole. There was live music, cookies, crafts, different holiday activities and of course lots of fun photo ops! We met up with a handful of my girlfriends and their kids while we were there, so that was extra fun...sneaking in a little girl time even if our kids were in tow! I just can't get over Poppy's smug look in this photo! She cracks me up.

The rest of the day we relaxed, napped and I decorated the house a little bit more. We had beautiful sunshine all afternoon so I had some time to (finally) photograph our kitchen tour since our renovation this summer. We went to my parents, Nana and Grandpa's, for the evening for dinner. Girls were tired after a full day so it was an early bedtime for them and a Christmas movie and cocoa for us! 

Sunday was spent at church, grocery shopping, putting flannel sheets on the beds (my favorite!!), reading lots of books and homemade pizza for Sunday night dinner. Olivia has been asking to make snow angels all month long, but there isn't quite enough on the ground for that...yet! We are looking forward to a short work week for Dustin and hosting Thanksgiving on Thursday, then going to the tree farm to find our tree on Friday and finish decorating throughout the weekend. This time of year is just my favorite!! It makes me so happy to think next Christmas we'll have three little girls to take to meet reindeer. And I can't believe the 3rd trimester is already here!!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!! Do you have any special traditions this time of year you look forward to all season long?! I love hearing what other families love most as the holidays approach!
P.S. Stay tuned for our kitchen tour and the first of my 5 holiday gift guides coming this week to the blog! XO


friday favorites

Happy Friday!! Hope you all have had the best week!! Snow is in the forecast tonight and I'm actually really excited about it. Normally this time of year we've had quite a bit of snow and in some ways November has felt empty without any (though the 50-60 degree days the last few weeks have been incredible)

Yesterday afternoon I had my 28-week OB appointment and 1 hour glucose test and for the first time my whole pregnancy, was able to fly solo since I didn't want the girls to have to sit and wait with me. My clinic is in one of my favorite parts of the city on the most charming street with darling little shops & boutiques and our favorite grocery store. I passed my glucose test and to celebrate, did a little early Christmas shopping and picked up some fresh cut greens for the kitchen. I told myself I would wait to decorate until after Thanksgiving (we cut down our tree every year on Black Friday and then decorate throughout the weekend) but once I got home and lit my fresh balsam candle, I had to pull a few trees out of storage to pair with my greens. Dustin already had the girls fed and ready for bed so I curled up on the couch with a Hallmark Christmas movie, a big mug of chili and a sliver of my favorite chocolate cake. All my cozy November dreams came true! 

Our biggest plans for the weekend are taking the girls to see Santa tomorrow morning and meet live reindeer, decorate Christmas cookies and do a Christmas craft at a local flower shop and nursery. We've done it every year since Olivia was born in 2013 so it's become a fun tradition we always look forward to. And to kick the weekend off, here are a few Friday favorites!

one || I love these vined monogram ornaments for the tree, I picked up one for each of the three girls. We have a lot of ornaments that I've had since I was a little girl, passed down from my grandparents and parents, but every year I love finding a few to add to our collection and these are simple but so pretty.

two || These suede bow boots (below) are some of Olivia's favorite, she wears them almost every day and everywhere we go. She can easily get them on and off herself and I love that they're neutral to pair with every outfit. They're on sale with an additional 40% off right now too!

three || Our absolute favorite bows are by Free Babes Handmade and a few weeks ago she released the most gorgeous hand tied velvet bows as part of her holiday collection. They have been sold out since her release but she is restocking her shop today!! Berry (above) and Ginger are our favorites!!

four || My go-to shop for handmade personalized jewelry, Made by Mary, is offering 20% off everything in their shop through November 19 (or until they sell out) using the code HOLIDAY20 at checkout. I love so many of their pieces, especially the skinny bar bracelets and hammered crescent necklace. They are elegant and timeless and with personalization, hold so much extra meaning. A perfect time to start shopping for the special gals in your life with a little extra savings!

five || This picture book is one of our newest favorites; it's beautifully illustrated and with a creative, unique storyline. We've taken almost all our Christmas books out of storage so those tend to be what we read the most of this time of year and this is a fun non-Christmas one to add in to our rotation!

six || You all know my undying love of floral and I especially love floral dresses. It's not often I shop for myself but this black floral dress is at the top of my wishlist from one of my favorite online boutiques, Piper and Scoot. I also love this cozy Cabin Fever sweatshirt.

Hope you have a fun + festive weekend!! The first of my 5 holiday gift guides will be kicking off next week, so excited to share them with you all!! XO

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