Your 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for Christmas this year!! I can’t wait to decorate the home, bake some sugar cookies,  and play in the snow with Natalie. There is so much to do during the holidays and I am so excited to start the festivities! Usually the first thing on my list is planning out gifts. So what that can only mean is creating a 2020 holiday gift guide!

I have compiled a list of my favorite shops that should cover your holiday shopping. You can find all things from kids toys and clothing, home decor, gifts for him and her, and a few of my favorite small businesses to support!! I hand picked my favorites that I believe makes an ultimate holiday gift guide for this season! At the end of the blog you can download your 2020 holiday gift guide!

Gifts for Him and Her

  • Tula Skincare: This is my favorite skincare product. They offer clean and effective skincare products that gives you that extra glow.
  • Getaway House: Plan a romantic getaway with your love or friends. These tiny cabins are tucked away in the woods and perfect for a cozy night away from work and stresses of life.
  • Little Words Project: I came across this company a few years ago and fell in love immediately. Not only are their products beautifully handmade, but the mission their brand stands on is powerful! These bracelets are the perfect gift for a friend, wife, or yourself!
  • Bespoke Post: This is a one stop shop. Whether you are shopping for your home, travel accessories or for your man, you can find it all!
  • Fount: Heirloom leather bags and accessories handled with care and made from the finest ethically made materials.
  • Oceanne Jewelry: Local jewelry studio located in Cleveland, Oh that provides beautiful jewelry, apparel, and gifts for your home.
  • Box Fox: Beautiful, high quality boxed gifts for your loved ones or a friend. They provide custom or pre-designed gift boxes! They are perfect for the holidays or any celebration throughout the year!

Gifts for Your Little Ones

  • Odin Parker: Beautifully handcrafted wooden toys and accessories hand selected for your kids. Odin Parker stands by the quality of their heirloom products.
  • Brixton Phoenix: Modern designed nursery apparel and accessories
  • The Dearest Grey: Versatile baby dishes and accessories designed for the modern momma and safety of your child in mind.
  • Melissa and Doug Toys: Affordable toys and books that encourage educational and imaginative play.
  • Little People, Big Dreams: When I came across this book series, I fell in love immediately. These are one of my favorite books I have for Natalie. The illustrations are beautiful and the stories are well done!
  • Childhoods Clothing: A husband and wife team providing the coziest children clothing.

Gifts for Your Home

  • White Hearth Pottery: Fine handmade pottery for your home.
  • Auburn Hoops: One of my dear friends company. Handmade wooden embroidery hoops for your artwork and home.
  • Home Girl Shop: A mix of modern and vintage furniture and decor for your home.
  • DW Home Candles: This is my favorite candle company I have found. One of the things I look forward to in the winter is when I can light my favorite candle (warm tobacco pipe) and relax on the couch. These candles won’t disappoint.
  • Magnolia: Of course Magnolia is on my gift guide. It’s my favorite section at Target and I am always waiting for the next thing Joanna puts out.
  • Stump Plants: Plants are the perfect gift for those who have a green thumb or hosting a party. Who doesn’t love receiving a beautiful plant to brighten up their home.

Support Small and Shop Local

  • Art of Sucre: Luxury cotton candy and toppings for your next party or when you are in need for a treat.
  • Chalk Full of Love: Hand lettered prints and pieces for your home.
  • Polished Prints: Graphic tees for mommas and kids, and hand selected gifts for your home.
  • Little Golden One: custom crewnecks and thrifted baby goods
  • Ana Maria Photography: Gift card towards a photo session with Ana Maria Photography
  • Little Words Project: I came across this company a few years ago and fell in love immediately. Not only are their products beautifully handmade, but the mission their brand stands on is powerful! These bracelets are the perfect gift for a friend, wife, or yourself!
  • Artisan Coffee shop: This is my go to local coffee spot in the Akron area. I love the environment they set, coffee drinks, and fresh made treats.
  • Emily Roggenburk: Fashionable and high quality apparel supporting and empowering the Cleveland community
  • Encourage Co: Hand lettered products, custom canvases, and lettering workshops

Gifts for Photographers and Creatives

  • HoneyBook: This is my favorite business tool. I use Honeybook to stay connected with vendors, client communication, emails, tracking invoices, and more. It has all you need in one place and the best community to be apart of!
  • Holdfast Gear: This is how I carry my two cameras at each session. Holdfast provides leather accessories, most specifically, camera leather straps.
  • Cloudspot: Online Gallery delivery system for client.
  • Box Fox: Perfect gifts for your clients!! Beautiful, high quality boxed gifts for your loved ones or a friend. They provide custom or pre-designed gift boxes! They are perfect for the holidays or any celebration throughout the year!
2020 holiday gift guide
Download your 2020 Holiday Gift Guide HERE

**Please note that I hand picked each of these items for this 2020 holiday gift guide. All of these shops are my personal favorites and ones I am personally gifting from. While I do not receive any credit from these shops, I hope you gain a new favorite company you will do your annual holiday shopping from!**

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November 5, 2020

Say Hello to Healthy Wedding Hair

When it comes to wedding planning, most brides let their wedding hair plans fall at the end of the list. Throughout the stress of details and booking vendors, your body is not only taking the toll, but your hair is! Why is it so important to take the time to care for your hair during wedding planning? Healthy Wedding hair is one detail that will help elevate your images and lead to you having that “wedding glow” on your wedding day! Who doesn’t want that extra shine and bounce, and confidence on their wedding day!

I am so excited to bring back the wedding planning series with an amazing list of vendors. For the first week back, we are talking with Shelby Hance, an independent hair stylist at Brush Studios. She shares all her hair tips for brides and how to get that timeless bridal look. This is a jam packed blog post and I am so excited for all of you to learn from Shelby and the secrets of healthy wedding hair!

Meet Shelby and her bridal hair experience

Hi there brides! My name is Shelby Hance. I am an Independent hair stylist at Brush Hair Studio in Fairlawn, Ohio. Along with working in the salon, I also enjoy traveling  throughout Northeast Ohio for wedding parties, and styled photo shoots. What I  love most about my job is making women look and feel their natural, beautiful self. 

 My bridal hair experience always begins with a Bridal Agreement. This allows me to receive full details of their vision and what they are wanting for their wedding day.

Alongside the bridal agreement, one other thing I love about doing weddings is going on-site. I love seeing the beautiful venue and celebrating with the bridal party. On site bridal services truly allow the bride to feel so much more at ease, and more comfortable throughout their day.

How to get that Healthy Wedding Day Hair and Timeless Bridal Look

The key to a timeless bridal look is happy healthy hair! I canʼt stress this enough. Here are a few things you can do to get your hair wedding day ready: 

  • Regular trims to upkeep split ends
  • Be sure to know what bridal style you prefer incase your cut requires layers
  • Plan hair color goals appropriately to line up with your wedding date. Allow for multiple sessions to get you to your desired hair-color. (This is crucial to maintain healthy hair!)
  • Use scrunchies or loose hair bands to prevent breakage, and sleep on a silk pillowcase. This helps prevent knots while sleeping. (Coil Hair ties are the best and I highly recommend them!)

Finding the Perfect Hair Stylist for Your Wedding Day

What is the perfect hair without the perfect stylist? Where to begin? First I advise you to ask your personal stylist first. This ensures that they know your style preferences, personality, and not to mention the relationship that is already established. In case your stylist does not do weddings, Instagram and The Knot are two great resources! You can always search through hashtags or places, and youʼll get to see stylists work right from your phone.

After finding a few stylists you like, I highly recommend booking a trial appointment. This will give you the opportunity to see if their personality and performance is a good fit for you! Lastly, the power of referral is huge! If you’ve been in a bridal party in the past or know someone who just got married, take note of who they worked with. Connections really do matter in the world of weddings, so always be on the lookout!

Thank you Shelby for sharing these tips!! You sure know that we will all be implementing this and sharing this with all future brides! If you are needing a local hair stylist for your wedding day, you can learn more about Shelby here.

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October 29, 2020

Top Baby Products For New Mommas

This post is for all the new mommas out there! I am no expert when it comes to motherhood, but I thought it would be fun to share a list of my favorite baby products I have used over this first year with Natalie. While my list is growing each day, I narrowed it down to the items I use on a regular basis. I hope this post is helpful for you or at least enjoyable to look through. Enjoy my top baby products for new mommas!

Diaper Bag Essentials

All mommas have their go to items for the diaper bag, so here are my “must have” items that I can’t live without when I am on the go with Natalie.

GroVia Magic Stick: All natural diaper balm stick. This is both my husband and I’s favorite baby item. There is no extra mess with it and works with all types of diapers (disposable and cloth!)

Seventh Generation Wipes: I have tried majority of the brands out there for wipes and these have been my favorite. I feel I don’t need to use an over abundance of wipes for each diaper change and they are safe for baby’s skin/ face and hands.

Philips Avent Pacifier: I know that each baby is different with this, but we have found this brand of pacifier to work well for Natalie. I always make sure to have one of these in the diaper bag and clipped on her carseat!

Aiden + Anais Silk Swaddle Blanket: These swaddle blankets are my favorite! I love the soft, silk material and how lightweight and breathable they are. They have become a must have item in the diaper bag and any trip.

Baby Toys and Books

These toys and books are just a few that Natalie has chosen as her favorites over this first year and ones I have personally fell in love with too.

Wooden House and Shape Sorter: A great find from Ikea. Natalie loves these blocks and loves placing them in the house. A great educational toy and colorful piece to have on the shelf displayed in the playroom.

Wooden Wagon and Building Blocks: Another great find at Ikea. Sometimes I have more fun with these blocks than Natalie, but these are great for her to build and be creative with.

Sophie the Giraffe: YES, this is a great teething toy and worth the money! I had several moms tell me about this when I was pregnant and how this was a life saver for them and their kids. I was at first hesitant because of the cost, but once Natalie was teething, I gave it a try. It’s a great toy for Natalie as she is teething and something for her to play with when in the car. It’s definitely worth the investment, you won’t be disappointed! At least I wasn’t!

HABA Soft Baby Doll: My mom gifted this to Natalie and she fell in love with it right away. She is able to teeth on it and it’s the perfect size for her to carry it around. Plus the fabric is soft and it is machine washable! Definitely a plus when toys can be thrown in the washer!

Fisher Price Playmat: This playmat is one of my best purchases ever! It was highly recommended on Amazon and I know why! It comes with a rainforest themed playmat with toys and a musical parrot, which is Natalie’s favorite. She has grown out of the playmat, but still loves to play with the toys and parrot it came with. Definitely worth the investment!

Taggies Stuffed Animal: This cute stuffed animal is the best!! I came across of it because of my mom. She noticed that Natalie would always find the tags on her toys and play with that instead of the actual toy. So when she came across this company, she knew it would be a favorite for Natalie. And she was right! This has become Natalie’s favorite stuffed animal to sleep with or snuggle with. Thanks mom for this amazing gift!

Jellycat Fox Stuffed Animal: I love this brand of stuffed animals and Natalie does too! This bashful fox is her favorite.

Splash Pad and Sprinkler: I love this splash mat. It is perfect for hot summer days and doesn’t require much work in getting it together. Plus this will grow up with Natalie over the years.

Munchkin Mozart Cube: We got this as a gift for Natalie’s first birthday and we love it!! It plays a variety of Mozart music and allows you to add or take away instruments while the song is playing. I personally am not a huge fan of toys that play lots of sounds/ music because I find them to be annoying, so this one is the perfect balance because it is educational, fun for Natalie to play with and not annoying for momma!


Hippos Go Berserk: This book has been a favorite of ours since day one. First of all we love all of Sandra Boynton’s books, but this one is a must have.

Dream Big Little One: This book is a new favorite in our collection of books.

Little People, Big Dreams- Jane Goodall: I love this book series and hope to get Natalie all of the books. This series highlights stories of bold women throughout history and tells their story through beautiful illustrations. Natalie enjoys the stories and can follow along with the pictures. She loves animals, so looking at the chimpanzees in Jane Goodall’s story has become her favorite.

Soft Cloth Books: These are great for the first year. We got several of these as gifts, but Natalie has her two favorites: Peek a Boo Forest and Bumble Bee.

ABC What Can She Be: This book is so fun and very creative in the different careers they go through. Natalie loves looking at the pictures and choosing her favorite!

ABC Baby Signs: This one is great when you are starting to introduce sign language to your baby. It covers all the basic words they will need to know!

Baby Wise: This book is for the parents!! I highly recommend you reading this when you are preparing for baby! If you don’t have a chance to read it, make sure to snag a copy at your local library to copy the pages on sleep schedule. I had so many friends tell me how this book helped their baby sleep hours within their first few weeks and through the first years. That’s all I needed to hear to sell me and it is totally true! Natalie transitioned to sleeping six hours by five weeks and continues to sleep 12 hours a night. I personally only read this book, but I feel like it prepared me well when Natalie arrived!

Nursery Essentials

Changing Pad Liners: These have become an essential item in the nursery. When was only a few weeks old, I would always have one of these in her dockatot or diaper bag. This has been helpful to cover the changing pad itself, so I am not always throwing it into the laundry. They are something you might not think of at first, but they are definitely worth having.

The Hatch Sound Machine: From the beginning I knew I wanted a sound machine in Natalie’s room. This company came highly recommended to me and I am so happy with it. It’s easy to set up and comes with a library of sounds and colors to program with it. My favorite part is how easy it is to travel with and how its all programmed through an app on your phone. No stress setting it up and Natalie sleeps like a baby through the night!

Digital Thermometer: This item has been helpful because we wanted to keep an eye on the temperature in Natalie’s room. It’s not a must have item, but it has been helpful for Matt and I.

Crib Sheets: I have found two companies I love. Brixton Phoenix and Mebie Baby. Both of these companies offer soft, muslin crib sheets with great design that won’t lose the quality after loads of laundry! They are my favorite.

Playroom Items

For Natalie’s first birthday, Matt and I created a space upstairs outside her bedroom as a play area. I am so happy we took the time to create a space where she can be creative in and where I can store all her toys at. I thought I would share a few of my favorite details from the play area and some of Natalie’s favorite toys.

skiphop playmat play room
skiphop playmat playroom with toys

Skip Hop Playmat: We were looking for a floor that would add a pop of color to the space and cover the entire room. One thing I love is that you can build your own pattern with these squares and customize the size you want. To give you an idea, we purchased four packs, as seen in the photos above.

Cube Storage Bin: I love this cube storage because it gives a space for all her books and toys. Plus Natalie will learn where her toys go as she grows up. It’s a win, win for momma and her!

Cloth Storage Bins: The cloth storage bins you see in the photo are a few years old, but they were purchased on sale at Target. I linked the closest ones I could find on their website. I love the cloth bins, because they are not to bulky for Natalie to pull down herself.

Kids 3 in 1 Tricycle: This tricycle is so well designed. It’s perfect for your child if they are just beginning walking all the way to learning how to ride a bike.

Crawl Through Play Tunnel: This was another gift idea from my mom. Natalie loves crawling through it and finding her stuffed animals on the other side.

Rollimate Educational Wooden Toy: This is not only a great educational toy, but it is well made. This is a 4 in 1 learning toy that includes, hammering and pounding, shape sorter, musical xylophone, and patterns/ number learning on the wooden cubes.

All in all, when it comes to baby products for your little one(s), it comes down to knowing what brands fit your lifestyle and having confidence behind what you research! You can easily become overwhelmed with knowledge from articles and friends, so take the time to discern what you are wanting and who you want to learn from. One great thing about parenthood is that everyone’s journey is unique. So as you enter this adventure of motherhood, know that you are not alone in this and you are going to find your own rhythm! You’ve got this momma!

Feel free to comment below or email me if you have any question or suggestions to share to other mommas!


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