Category Archives: Fashion

Gift Ideas for Pregnant Friends

One of the many things that I have learned on my journey to becoming a first-time mom is…boy do today’s babies need a whole lot of stuff! As my husband and I prepare for the arrival of our little kiddo, our previously minimal home style has been taken over by large boxes of everything imaginable to keep a small human happy.

While I have fully engaged in the organization and planning of all things needed for our little kiddo, I have been blessed to have several family members and friends who have gone out of their way during my pregnancy to remember to ‘treat’ me as well.

Finding things for pregnant ladies is not the easiest thing. You’re going through so many different changes and transitions and I have been so touched at what these amazing people have thought to gift me.

Jewelry and Accessories

No matter what stage of pregnancy, it’s highly likely you’re not really comfortable in your clothes and not really feeling exactly like yourself. Accessories and jewelry are a great gift for pregnant women because it’s something they can add to their new wardrobe and can utilize during and after their kiddo arrives.

Snacks and Edibles

Anything edible is a good choice. Whether you’re in the “I’m starving every minute of the day” period of your pregnancy or you’re suffering through morning sickness and trying to experiment with different foods that might help, getting a gift bag with a variety of treats is always a welcome gift. Bonus Tips: Whole Foods and other stores have fabulous healthy and clean options for those moms that are particular about ingredients.

Relaxation Elements

Finding your zen time during the midst of this crazy life transition is always a challenge. A scented candle or a delicate lotion is a nice way to pamper your pregnant friend with a few relaxing elements that can put her into a state of relaxation.

Cooling Items

No matter what season it is, your friend is likely feeling warm! If you’re like me, I didn’t time things well and now I’m in my final stretch in the heart of summer. My mom and my good friend were so thoughtful to think of how overheated you can get and gifted me personal fans to help stay cool in these final weeks.

Beautification

Nothing is better than a few beauty products to make you feel just a smidge better. Whether it’s an exciting and bold lipstick color or simply a few fix-its (like my Glossier items shown below) – gifting a few makeup treats to your pregnant friend will always be a welcome treat.

The arrival of a new baby is an incredibly special tim, and it’s also a wonderful time to shower baby’s new mama with a few things to keep her feeling supported.

Organizing Camisoles

For many people, camisoles are a wardrobe essential and it’s easy to accumulate a collection. I’ve tried a few different ways for organizing camisoles. My favorite, by far, is on a belt hook.

Before I tell you why – I’d like to show you a few other options you could consider for your wardrobe based on your organizing style and preferences.

On Hangers

  • One hanger for every camisole. If you like to hang clothing and have ample closet-rod space, this could be a nice option for you. It allows you to easily see each camisole and its details such as color, length and trim. For my closet, though, this method took up too much rod space.
  • Camisoles organized by color, per hanger. This method lasted a few months for my closet. I love that it was more compact than the previous method mentioned, but I found that I wasn’t a fan of having to remove some camisole straps to get to another that was a layer or two deep. You may want to give this a try!

  • Camisoles on shower rings, all on a single hanger. I’ve seen on Pinterest and some other blogs that people love this method. I can see why. It’s a space saver, for sure. However, having to unlock the closure of the ring every time I wanted a camisole wasn’t a fit for my organizing style, so this method lasted about a week before I scrapped it. Given how popular this seems to be, it may work for you, so don’t knock it ‘til you try it!

Folded in Drawers

  • If you like to fold rather than hang, this could work for you. My only qualm is that this method makes it hard to discern the differentiators for each camisole such as the length of the top or if it has detailing such as lace trim. If I had more drawer space, I might consider this as my second favorite method, but the belt hook won out! Tip: consider separating the folded camisoles using a sock-drawer divider with labels for an even faster way to find the one you’re looking for.

On a Belt Hook

  • This is my winner (so far – never know what the future holds!). With this method, it’s so easy to see what I have and it’s super easy to take out each item and put it back. I keep this in my closet on the rod, but you could hang it somewhere else in your home, of course.

While you may think it’s trivial to spend so much thought and time organizing something as simple as a camisole, when you combine it with the other organization tools I’ve put into my wardrobe, getting dressed is a breeze, since a lot of the stress and guesswork has been taken out of the process.

What are some of your favorite things to organize for a more streamlined day?

Decluttering Dilemma: Does it Spark Joy?

In the popular book by Marie Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, she recommends that as you sort through your belongings, you hold each item to help you determine whether it sparks joy. If the item doesn’t spark joy, you should remove it from your home (e.g., donate it, recycle it, repurpose it or toss it, as appropriate).

If I hold an item and it’s not sparking joy, then what is it sparking? Oftentimes, for me, it’s guilt.

I’ve been known to hold a beautiful scarf in my hands and turn it over a few times, only to gently put it back into the same drawer it came from. And there it sits for another 6-12 months until I open the drawer, take it out, feel the fabric run through my hands, mumble to myself with regret about the amount of hard-earned money that was spent, and wistfully put it back into its designated storage space. I don’t wear it because it’s uncomfortable — scratchy. And while it’s nice to look at, I don’t love it enough to turn it into a piece of artwork for my wall.

What is the cost of keeping these items? After all, it’s just a few square inches of drawer or shelf space. No big deal, right?

No. These things – dare I say “junk” or “stuff”? – add up to piles of clutter that emanate bad vibes. So piece by piece, I’ve learned to let things go. And it feels amazing.

What I’ve come to realize is that it doesn’t feel good to put an unloved and unused item back into its storage space. If it doesn’t fit my style or is no longer functional, then there’s no great reason to continue to allow it to take up space that could be used for an item that I’d want to use and love.

You know what feels good? Passing it on to be a blessing to someone else who would find the item useful and give it the respect it deserves.

Once I turned over the leaf from hoarding items out of guilt to moving them out of the house to be a blessing to someone else, it became addicting. One bag of donation items grew into two and then three. As it turns out, that scarf made an excellent gift-wrap option for another small boxed gift item.

But… I might need it someday!

I realize this may not be the case for everyone, but I think it’s worth mentioning:

In my 5+ year journey of decluttering, the regret of letting something go has only come up twice! Both, incidentally, were cords for electronics. The first issue was remedied by a $6 purchase on Amazon and the second by a quick text exchange: “Dad, do you have an extra Ethernet cord?” “Yes.”

The lesson I learned: it’s important for me to put labels on cords. Previously, I would let random cords pile up (albeit in neatly organized piles with twist ties to keep them looking orderly); however, since I didn’t know what purpose each cord served, the cords became clutter that I moved to the donation bin.

Otherwise, I’ve been ever so thankful to have a less cluttered, more serene home.

Some of you may be cringing: she’s been decluttering for 5+ years? Why, yes, I have. The purge is never fully complete. Sure, you might have one large pile to move out in a single go. However, the skill of discernment is constantly put to the test. I’ve had to learn to say “no” to items entering my home on an ongoing basis and it’s not easy, but necessary.

After going through a large purge and maintaining a somewhat clutter-free home, I’m no minimalist. I have one neck, but still there are more than a dozen scarves in my dresser. (I use a sock divider to organize my scarves, by the way!)

I have two feet, but more than a dozen pairs of shoes in my closet. Two wrists, but more than a dozen bracelets in my jewelry collection.

However, the items that I’ve kept are items that I use and appreciate.

Does less stuff=less stress? I think so! Has the decluttering bug bit you? What kind of impact has it had on your life?