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Hi! My name is Emily and I'm a writer, a wife to Nick and mother to two very sweet little girls named Daisy and Ella. We live in a quaint little town outside Philadelphia, PA, with our two black lab sisters.

 

I started this blog as a way to stay connected with friends and family after Daisy was born and it has now become a home for musings on everything from our favorite family recipes, books, travel destinations and, ultimately, my quest to balance work, life, self-care and family - all while staying grateful. Happy reading!

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A Holiday Gift Guide for the Moms in Your Life

December 4, 2018

I revel in any opportunity to make a gift guide – especially when it involves dreaming up what the amazing women in my life might like to receive around the holidays. We work hard – really hard – and generally expend all our energy taking care of others and making sure events like Hannukah and Christmas are a joyous time for everyone around us… So it’s especially nice when we can feel appreciated and honored for all that we do. This is a round-up of gifts that are on my wish list and would make me feel extra loved on Christmas morning (hint hint Nick).

 

Luxe Jammies

 

Only this year have I really fully come to terms with the fact that pajamas are a category of clothing I need to invest in. I spend a fair amount of time in PJs between working from home during the week and lounging on weekend mornings with my family. The old college tee shirt and boxer shorts just don’t cut it these days – I want something soft and luxurious to slip into after a taxing day. These Eberjey jammies have been on my wish list for a few years and I don’t know any mom who wouldn’t love these. I also love the idea of opening gifts in this festive, super soft set.

 

Good Face Cream

I love a good face cream for two reasons. 1) I love to wake up with soft skin in the morning and 2) I love this part of my nighttime routine. Applying a sweet-smelling, silky lotion to a tired face is so relaxing. I recently visited Sephora and one of the store associates raved about Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream ($45) which smelled absolutely incredible. I’ve also been lusting after the Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream which has a blend of 6 rare essential oils that help bring dull and scaly skin back to life ($60).

 

Great Books

 

 

I will never tire of opening books on Christmas morning. Ever. I love coffee table books, cookbooks, novels, biographies, poetry – even children’s books! Right now, I am dying to read former First Lady Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming. She is one of my favorite modern day heroines and I can’t wait to dive into this book and learn more about her meaningful life and incredible accomplishments. I’m also secretly hoping that somewhere, on one of those pages, is a tiny indication that she really is willing to serve as President after all. Hey, a girl can dream…

 

Another wish list item is Sharp by Michelle Dean. “The ten brilliant women who are the focus of Sharp came from different backgrounds and had vastly divergent political and artistic opinions. But they all made a significant contribution to the cultural and intellectual history of America and ultimately changed the course of the twentieth century, in spite of the men who often undervalued or dismissed their work.”

 

I don’t know how I have not yet read – or even purchased! - The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer but I’ve been fantasizing about it since its release. Vogue calls Woltizer’s commentary on the feminist movement “ultra-readable” and the Wall Street Journal calls her “funny” and at once “queasily on target.” I am all in for this exploration of negotiating who we want to be with and who we are deep down.

 

Yotam Ottolenghi is a celebrated chef and cookbook author who is best known for bringing Persian and Middle Eastern cuisine to the American home kitchen. I have many of his cookbooks and while I love them, the ingredients can be hard to find and the recipes are often a bit too complicated for a weeknight meal. I am hoping his newest book, Simple, is a bit more accessible to the harried working mom trying to prepare gourmet meals on a conference call with a screaming infant on her hip (AKA me).

 

Good Luggage

 

Is there a mom in your life who loves to travel? I can almost guarantee that her luggage smells faintly of old, wet bathing suits transported back from a tropical vacation or formula that spilled during an international flight. This Nine West hardside luggage set is gorgeous and super functional - the three different-sized pieces will keep the traveling mama in your life ready for a weekend getaway or an international journey at the drop of a hat. I also love this set of two carry-on milk marble suitcases from Calpak - sturdy and durable hard shell on the outside with soft compartments for toiletries and items small and large on the inside. For the mom who likes to travel in style, these are gorgeous. Finally, if you spend a lot of time in airports, cars or on airplanes, having a good scarf that doubles as a blanket like this cashmere  wrap from J. Crew or this lightweight version from Bloomingdales (40% off right now) will keep you looking stylish and staying warm no matter where you are!

 

Glam Candles

 

 

One of my favorite ten second self-care acts is the lighting of a really luxe candle. I light candles in the afternoon before picking Daisy up at school to help bring about a sense of calm and also help her feel at home as soon as she walks through the door. For this purpose I like to choose something seasonal – right now my favorites are BBW Marshmallow Fireside, Capri Blue Spiced Cider and Capri Blue Fir Firewood.  They just feel like the holidays!

 

I love lighting candles around the tub for a comforting bath and violet is one of my favorite clean, floral scents – I would love to add this Diptyque Violette candle to my collection. These burn for 60 hours and among the best candles money can buy.

 

Finally, I light a candle on my nightstand as part of my nighttime ritual while I read before bed. A few years ago, my Dad gave me this Egyptian Jasmine candle from K Hall designs and it is one of the most calming, gentle fragrances - perfect for the bedroom. Voluspa also makes amazing candles and their French Cade Lavendar would be a perfect addition to any weary mom's nighttime routine – lavender is such a calming scent, perfect for winding down after a long day.


Fab Flat Shoes

 

If the moms in your life are anything like the moms in mine, they refuse to sacrifice style for comfort. There is a way to achieve both! These flats are so chic they may as well be three-inch heels straight off the boat from Paris. I absolutely love the black and jungle print combo and that pointy toe is a flattering look with jeans or work pants.

 

I have been dying for a pair of Rothy's since I saw them on another mom at school pickup. Rothy's are machine-washable, made from 100% recycled materials, feel like lightweight sneakers but look snazzy enough to be designer flats. I have my eye on the leopard mocha loafer

 

If the mom in your life is girly and sophisticated (or likes being a little "extra" from time to time), think about buying her these gorgeous loafers with a sparkly bow or these sweet ballerina tassel slides (Nick I'm a size 37). 

 

Toys & Trinkets for the Kitchen

I don’t know a mom who loves to cook who doesn’t also collect aprons. Anthropologie carries the best line of colorful, delicate designs in fabrics that are sturdy and functional. I love this one! A Sous Vide machine is the magic wand every busy home cook desperately wants and needs. This particular Precision Cooker ($99!) lets you set the time and temperature for cooking food in a sealable bag in hot water so you’re not tied to the kitchen and are guaranteed to cook everything perfectly - no overcooking, no drying out.

 

... I really could keep going, but, I think I've given you all enough to think about. Don't forget to reward the mamas in your life this year - and moms, don't forget to reward yourselves! I always buy myself one gift at Christmas. Now, which one of these to choose... ❤

 

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