Posts in Lifestyle
Banana Crumb Muffins
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Ok so I don’t know if it’s this pregnancy or what but I’ve been on a crumble kick lately. I’ve always loved baking and eating carbs and finding reasons to bake but the desire to do this has been on another level. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen me post at least 1 new baked treat a week to bring to the birth center for our midwives and team in anticipation for baby #2. It’s becoming pretty comical I guess since this has been going on for a month now! I’ll share more after baby is here but we’ve been on a bit of a rollercoaster for the past 8 weeks in anticipation for baby. We went from baby trying to come too early to now-baby coming after our due date. The eviction notice has been served, kid!

Anyway, this week I decided to make my banana muffins with crumble on top! We always have bananas on hand and they had been ripe for a few days now and I wasn’t feeling like my usual chocolate chip banana bread so I decided more muffins it is!!! My friend and I have an ongoing joke that the reason baby is so cozy is because I keep feeding him/her muffins. Possibly!!!

These muffins are SO good. They are a little messy cause as they bake the buttery brown sugar crumble kind of melts into them so the wrappers get a little buttery but I rather have a moist, buttery muffin than a dry dense one, right? You can make this recipe into a crumble cake if you want but I love the individual servings of muffins so much more! Don’t forget to post your pics on Instagram and tag me. I love to see them!

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Banana Crumb Muffins

by Brandi Milloy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour

  • 3 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 3 ripe bananas

  • 2 eggs, room temperature

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line your muffin tin with liners. This recipe makes about 21 muffins.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, mash bananas. Mix in eggs, sugar, vanilla and butter.

  4. Add milk and flour and mix until combined.

  5. To prepare crumb topping combine the cold butter, brown sugar and flour and cut them together with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over muffins and bake for about 25 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.


My Birth Center Bag

Packing a birth center bag is slightly different than packing a hospital bag. When I had Milly, I was at the birth center barely 3 hours total. I delivered her, we nursed, they weighed her, we cuddled, etc and then we were in the car on our way home. One of the best parts of having your baby at the birth center is the convenience of leaving and going back to the comfort of your home when you’re ready. Therefore, my birth center bag doesn’t need to have nearly as many goodies packed as for a traditional birth/hospital bag. Check out my Amazon store and find Birth Center Bag for all of my favorite things.

In the meantime, here’s my checklist:

For Mama

  • weekender bag or suitcase

  • clothes for coming home

  • robe

  • a few large towels (especially if planning on a water birth)

  • nipple butter

  • nipple shields

  • disposable undies (ex. Depends)

  • camera

  • phone charger

  • vision board or affirmation cards

  • labor ball

  • essential oils & diffuser

  • snacks & beverages for staying hydrated

For Baby

  • diaper bag

  • 2-3 footed onesies

  • 2-3 onesies

  • newborn diapers

  • a few swaddles

  • a blanket

  • carseat installed in car

Three Ingredient Donuts
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When Home & Family invited me on the show to share something special for #NationalDonutDay I knew exactly what I wanted to make! These three ingredient donuts are so easy they will blow your mind. Essentially being only 1 ingredient made with biscuit dough, you can transform these donuts into your favorite glazed, cinnamon sugar or jelly donut! For something extra special, stack your donuts on a tiered cake stand and add a few sugar pearls and edible gold to make a donut cake! You can watch my segment on the show here and then scroll down for the full recipe!

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Three Ingredient Donuts

By Brandi Milloy

Ingredients:

3 packages of biscuit dough (like Pillsbury)

6 cups powdered sugar 

3/4 cup half & half 

3 teaspoons vanilla extract 

2 cups granulated sugar 

3 tablespoons cinnamon 

Vegetable oil, for frying

Edible flowers, for garnish 

Gold leaf, for garnish 

Directions

To make the donuts:

1. Fill heavy bottomed pot (at least 2 quart) with oil, about 3” high and heat over medium heat until 350F. 

2.  Open container and separate each biscuit. Using a small 1” cookie cutter, cut hole in center of each biscuit. 

3. Fry the dough in hot oil for 60-90 seconds on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towel lined baking sheet allowing them to cool. Repeat until you’ve fried all of your donuts. 

For glazed donuts:

1. Into a bowl, add powdered sugar, half and half and vanilla and mix. 

2. Drizzle or dip each donut in the glaze and allow to set. 

For cinnamon sugar donuts:

1. Into a bowl, add granulated sugar and cinnamon and mix. 

2. Dip each donut in the cinnamon sugar mixture. 

To assemble donut cake: 

Arrange donuts on cake stand, filling the stand completely to make the first layer. Begin to lay the rest of the donuts on top between each of the first layer to create a sacked cake. Repeat until you’ve created your donut cake! Alternatively, you can also stack three cake stands and fill each with your donuts. Once you’ve created your cake, garnish with edible flowers and edible gold leaf. 

Sticky Wings with Asian Blueberry Sauce

Thank you to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council for sponsoring this post

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These are one of my favorite entertaining appetizers for summer!  These sticky wings with asian blueberry sauce are spicy, sweet and tantalizing!  Head to my IGTV channel to learn how to make them and then scroll down for the full recipe!

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Sticky Wings with Asian Blueberry Sauce

by Brandi Milloy

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce

  • 1/3 cup Sesame oil

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

  • 1 cup soy sauce

  • 1 lime zested and juiced

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

  • 24 chicken wings, uncooked

Directions

  1. Into a bowl add everything but the chicken and mix. Slightly break up the blueberries with a whisk and then pour half of the mixture into a plastic zippered bag. Add the chicken to the bag and marinate 4 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, pour the remaining sauce into a pot and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.

  2. Preheat oven to 350F. Place wings on a baking sheet in the oven for about 45 minutes turning them half way through. When ready to serve, finish wings on a hot grill for about 3-4 minutes on each side to get that smoky flavor and add some grill marks!

  3. Serve with sauce and enjoy!

Our Maternity Shoot for Baby #2

Thank you to our friend Jenny of Jenny Quicksall Photography for capturing this special time in our lives.

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What a gift to go back to the same spot we took maternity photos when I was pregnant with Milly. El Matador Beach in Malibu, CA will always hold such a special place in my heart but it was even more magical being there this time around knowing we are about to be a family of four very soon. Seeing Milly run into the water and kissing “her baby” gave me all the feels . It’s no secret I love being pregnant but being pregnant the second time around is even better. I think it’s mostly because you know how much your heart will burst open and the intoxicating way a baby makes the entire home feel like heaven. It’s also the pure anticipation of seeing Milly thrive as a big sister. I’m just so grateful we are bringing new life into this world.

What’s great about experiencing these big moments like being pregnant with baby #2 is it encourages you to capture this chapter with photos. I used to have to drag Mr. A to do these with me but now he totally gets it and understands the value in having professional family photos. Every time we get photos back he says to me, “I’m so glad we did this.” So if you’re reading this and realize it’s been forever since you’ve taken real family photos (not on an iPhone) together, book something immediately. They are such a priceless gift you’ll cherish forever! We really did nothing for these photos to come together. I mean we posed for a second here and there but it was all Jenny’s God given talents that made these photos so amazing! Milly was constantly running into the water, eating snacks, ignoring us and wanting to do her own thing. The wind was obnoxiously strong and my hair was flat the minute we walked out of the car. I mean it was really hard to get any photos of us three actually looking the same direction but she pulled it off despite an energetic toddler!!! I’m so happy with how these turned out. It makes my heart sing to have these photos and I can’t believe one day I’ll say I can’t imagine life before baby #2. Ok, I’m gonna go cry now. Bye.

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Meal prepping: Chicken 3 Ways
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Being a busy working Mama means making the most of my time and a huge part of that is by meal prepping! Post-it® Extreme XL Notes make it easy for me to tackle 3 of my favorite weeknight meals-Greek Chicken Bowls topped with roasted veggies, Chicken Enchiladas and my One Pot Chicken Pasta. 

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Post-it® Extreme XL Notes are perfect because they have enough space for me to write out the full recipe, and stick securely on my counter, near the oven and even on containers in the fridge or freezer, making them the ultimate meal prepping hack!

I'd love to know your tips for meal prepping in the comment box below and don't forget to subscribe to my You Tube channel if you aren't already. Scroll down for the full recipes.

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MEAL PREPPING: CHICKEN 3 WAYS

Key Ingredients:

  • 6 large chicken breasts, cubed

  • 8oz. white mushrooms, sliced

  • 8oz. mini bell peppers, sliced

  • 8oz. rainbow carrots, sliced

  • 8oz. broccoli, sliced

  • 8oz. butternut squash

  • EVOO

  • Seasoning salt

  • fresh rosemary, chopped

  • fresh thyme, chopped

To start: place chicken breasts on baking sheet. Drizzle with EVOO and season with seasoning salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme.

Place vegetables on baking sheet and drizzle with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 425F for about 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

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Greek Chicken Bowls

by Brandi Milloy

Ingredients

  • 1/3 of the prepped and cooked chicken

  • The roasted vegetables (peppers, carrots and butternut squash)

  • 1 cup quinoa

  • 1 bouillon cube

  • 2 cups water

  • 4 oz. arugula

  • 6 oz. feta cheese

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 cup mayo

  • 1/2 tbsp. Italian spices

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

  • 2 Persian cucumbers

  • 8oz. cherry tomatoes, sliced

Directions

  1. To make quinoa: Pour quinoa, bouillon cube and 2 cups of water in rice cooker and cook.

  2. To make dressing: Into a blender, add feta cheese, sour cream, mayo, italian spices, salt, pepper and lemon juice and blend until smooth.

  3. To assemble grain bowls: Add desired amount of the arugula to a bowl or glass container. Top with quinoa, chicken, veggies, cucumbers and tomatoes. Serve with dressing and enjoy!

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One Pot Chicken Pasta

by Brandi Milloy

Ingredients

  • 1/3 of the prepped and cooked chicken

  • Remaining roasted vegetables (broccoli and mushrooms)

  • 8 oz. dry penne pasta

  • 3 tbsp. butter

  • 3 tbsp. flour

  • 1 1/2 cups half & half

  • 3/4 cup reserve pasta water

  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to box and reserve about a cup of water for sauce.

  2. To make sauce: Into a large pot melt butter and add flour to make a rue. Add half and half and water and mix until smooth. Add chicken, vegetables, pasta and cheese and serve warm.

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Chicken Enchiladas

by Brandi Milloy

Ingredients

  • 1/3 of the prepped and cooked chicken

  • 12 oz. jar salsa verde or enchilada sauce

  • 2 cups cheese

  • 16 corn tortillas

  • sour cream

  • cilantro

Directions

  1. Shred chicken using a fork or knife and toss with half of the salsa verde or enchilada sauce and 1 cup of cheese.

  2. Place a few tablespoons of chicken filling in a tortilla and wrap. Place in casserole dish, seam side down. Repeat and layer until you’ve filled all your tortillas.

  3. Cover with remaining cheese and bake covered at 400F for about 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream and cilantro.

Tips For Connecting with Your Family Over Breakfast

Thank you Hilton Breakfast Alliance for sponsoring this post

All photography by @Ographr

All photography by @Ographr

If there’s anything you need to know about me (and if you follow me on Instagram you absolutely know this), I am crazy about eating breakfast together with my family. That’s why I’m so excited to team up with Hilton and its five brands that offer free, hot breakfast, on a mission to transform breakfast from an often overlooked meal to an opportunity to connect. 

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For us, eating together in the morning is pretty much a non-negotiable. Maybe its because when I was growing up my family always sat down together for breakfast or it could just be because Mr. A and I can’t start our day without a nice hot meal in the morning. I mean I neeeed my breakfast sandwich, you feel me? It’s also about connecting and spending quality time together.  Honestly- I still don’t understand how people go to work and function without having eaten breakfast. 

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A new nationwide survey reveals that despite their love for breakfast, Americans are sacrificing the morning meal due to their hectic schedules. And many wish they weren’t so busy so that they could enjoy breakfast with others. Here’s what really blew my mind: 80 percent of parents are willing to give something up to have more meaningful conversations with their children at the breakfast table. 

“80 percent of parents are willing to give something up to have more meaningful conversations with their children at the breakfast table.”

Here’s the thing: I get it. Between work, being a full-time mom and just the hustle and bustle of the day, it’s easy for the mornings to feel rushed. But for us, eating breakfast together each morning is the most powerful time to connect (as opposed to the end of the day when work might get in the way or extra-curricular activities). 

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For me, starting each morning with breakfast is really a mind, body and soul thing. When my mind is refreshed, body is fueled and my soul is filled by the emotional connection with my family is really when I can start my day!

This summer and everyday after that (for that matter) I’m joining Hilton to celebrate their mission to encourage everyone to take the pledge to Eat Breakfast Together and make breakfast the most connected meal of the day. 

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Here are some of my best tips for making time in the mornings to eat breakfast together:

WAKE UP BEFORE YOUR CHILDREN

Mr. A and I always wake up early, at least an hour or more before our daughter. This allows us to spend time together, get ready for work and not feel rushed before Milly, our toddler daughter needs us. We also allow her to play for about 30 minutes in her crib after she wakes up just so she has time to herself before we all sit down together for breakfast. 

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TAKE TURNS MAKING BREAKFAST

My husband and I take turns each morning making breakfast. He makes a killer scramble and breakfast sandwich and I love his Belgian waffles. I usually make eggs over medium and avocado toast.

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MAKE EVERYDAY A SPECIAL OCCASION

We always keep our favorite breakfast staples on hand but we will switch things up depending on what we have going on in our day! For example, we'll do Tuesday Breakfast Tacos or Waffle Wednesday (reminds me of staying at Hampton by Hilton)! 

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PLAN AHEAD

On the mornings we don't have time to make breakfast, we plan ahead. Sometimes I'll make a double batch of frittatas muffins or a quiche and keep them in the freezer for those busy mornings. We also love overnight oats that keep in the fridge for a couple days and my hashbrown casserole is pretty killer and SO easy to make! That way we aren’t spending our mornings cooking and instead-connecting!

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INVOLVE YOUR FAMILY 

Making breakfast is the first meal our daughter Milly learned how to make. Involving our child in this important meal has proved so powerful. She can crack eggs, scramble them and makes a fierce fruit oatmeal! Even when she was little, she would help by rinsing blueberries and putting them in the bowl.  When she is involved in the cooking process, she's more excited to sit down and enjoy breakfast together at the table.

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SLOW DOWN, SIT DOWN AND RESET

Sometimes we just need to slow down, sit down and reset. When we travel, we always prefer to stay somewhere that offers free, hot breakfast so that we can easily keep our morning ritual.  Our favorites are Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites Anytime I feel rushed in the mornings or overwhelmed by my to-do list for the day, I will take a moment to "reset." In our family, this could mean turning on the music and having a quick dance party together or going outside to our patio and just doing a few deep breathing exercises-focusing on the sounds and sensations of the morning (the chirping birds, the cool beach air and the warm sun).  I’ve found that also laying out our clothes for the next morning the night before is helpful too. I try to pack our lunches and snack bags at night as well. That way everything is ready to go and we aren't spending precious time together looking for last minute items. All it takes are small steps and a little intention to make time for your family. After all, the most precious gift of all is time.

I would love for you to join me in taking this pledge to eat breakfast together. Be sure to visit HiltonStateofBreakfast.com and share your tips and photos on social media using the hashtag #HiltonBreakfast.

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Mum's Amazing Hashbrown Casserole
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This is hands down the easiest way to serve my family breakfast! Prep everything the night before and then pop into the oven to bake in the morning. The comforting taste of cheesy hashbrowns, ham and sage is absolutely delicious! When we have family in town I’ll make a double batch and it’s one of those dishes everyone gets seconds of! This is really one of my favorite morning meals. Scroll down for the full recipe!

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Mum's Amazing Hashbrown Casserole Recipe

by Brandi Milloy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded hashbrowns, thawed

  • 6 oz. ham, diced

  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 8 large eggs

  • 2 tbsp. half and half

  • Pinch seasoning salt

  • Pinch pepper

  • 1 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped

Directions

Tip: I usually assemble this the night before in the refrigerator so it’s ready to bake first thing in the morning. This dish serves 4 so if you need to serve more, double the batch and bake in a 9x13 dish.

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray 8 x 8 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Place hashbrowns in dish and spread to make even. Sprinkle ham and cheese on top.

  3. Into a bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, salt and pepper. Add sage. Pour egg mixture over hashbrowns and cover.

  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Remove cover the last 5-10 minutes for a crispier cheesy top if desired. Enjoy!

Registry for Baby #2
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You might think there’s not a lot that Mamas need if they are having their second baby (and I thought the same thing before becoming a mother) but goodness was I wrong! Here’s some of the things I registered for that I think all Mamas could use! Would love to know what else was helpful to you or if you have any other ideas for expectant mamas of two. Leave your ideas in the comments below! xoxo, Brandi

Registry for Baby #2

Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time to Rise

Solly Baby Wrap

Cloud Island Sheets

Personalized Baby Blanket and Swaddle by Bee Boutique NC

Knotted Sleeper by Indie Claire Boutique

Baby Mori Clothing (big sibling and little sibling matching sets)

Brica Car Mirror

FridaBaby Nose Frida Snot Sucker

California Baby Massage Oil

The First Forty Days Postpartum Book

MotherBee’s Healing Broths and Teas

Gift Card for Meal Delivery

Big Sisters are the Best Book

Summer Must Haves

Summer time is my favorite time of the year! Take a look at my favorite must haves for the season and then let me know what yours are in the comments below! xo, Brandi

CALIFORNIA BEACH TOWEL BY LAUREN CONRAD  $17 ON SALE  I love a good beach towel and this one by LC is amazing! The print is so retro, love the summery colors and the price is too good not to get a few!

CALIFORNIA BEACH TOWEL BY LAUREN CONRAD $17 ON SALE

I love a good beach towel and this one by LC is amazing! The print is so retro, love the summery colors and the price is too good not to get a few!

DISTRESSED DENIM SHORTALLS  $45  I’m so glad overalls and shortalls are back in style because I forgot how comfy and cute they are! I’ve been rocking these weekly and love the way they fit. These aren’t maternity, I just got them in a bigger size. LOVE the way they make me feel and the distressed accents are a nice touch!

DISTRESSED DENIM SHORTALLS $45

I’m so glad overalls and shortalls are back in style because I forgot how comfy and cute they are! I’ve been rocking these weekly and love the way they fit. These aren’t maternity, I just got them in a bigger size. LOVE the way they make me feel and the distressed accents are a nice touch!

KONERY ARTISINAL WAFFLE CONES  ($5 ON SALE)  Ever since I had these cones in NYC at  Ice and Vice , I’ve been obsessed. They taste SO good and elevate even the most basic vanilla ice cream. I’m partial to the birthday cake flavor but I’ve tried several and they are all good! When we hosted an  ice cream social , everyone raved about these!

KONERY ARTISINAL WAFFLE CONES ($5 ON SALE)

Ever since I had these cones in NYC at Ice and Vice, I’ve been obsessed. They taste SO good and elevate even the most basic vanilla ice cream. I’m partial to the birthday cake flavor but I’ve tried several and they are all good! When we hosted an ice cream social, everyone raved about these!

ROUND STRAW CROSS BODY BAG  BY LAUREN CONRAD $41 ON SALE  The cutest accessories trend this year. Love the neutral strap on this one with rose gold hardware. I rarely change out my handbags but during other seasons but there’s something about the summer that inspires me to pack lighter and go for it!

ROUND STRAW CROSS BODY BAG BY LAUREN CONRAD $41 ON SALE

The cutest accessories trend this year. Love the neutral strap on this one with rose gold hardware. I rarely change out my handbags but during other seasons but there’s something about the summer that inspires me to pack lighter and go for it!

FRINGE 9FT OUTDOOR UMBRELLA BY WORLD MARKET  $54 ON SALE  Obsessed with this fringe umbrella and the boho vibe. We get so many compliments on it every time people come over. The natural hued canopy provides amazing shade and I can’t believe it’s on sale.

FRINGE 9FT OUTDOOR UMBRELLA BY WORLD MARKET $54 ON SALE

Obsessed with this fringe umbrella and the boho vibe. We get so many compliments on it every time people come over. The natural hued canopy provides amazing shade and I can’t believe it’s on sale.

KUAUI WEARABLE BLANKET  $44  Made locally in Los Angeles, this silky-soft and eco-friendly bamboo jersey fabric is breathable, gentle on sensitive baby skin, and naturally anti-microbial. This is our go-to sleeper for Milly during the summer. It’s perfect for keeping your child from overheating, while still providing safe, soothing sleep.

KUAUI WEARABLE BLANKET $44

Made locally in Los Angeles, this silky-soft and eco-friendly bamboo jersey fabric is breathable, gentle on sensitive baby skin, and naturally anti-microbial. This is our go-to sleeper for Milly during the summer. It’s perfect for keeping your child from overheating, while still providing safe, soothing sleep.

COFFEE SANDAL BY LC  $12  If these aren’t the cutest summer sandal I don’t know what is! I love the fringe and the faded gray green material but these also come in pink, yellow and black. You can never have enough flats for summertime and I love how these perk up any outfit.

COFFEE SANDAL BY LC $12

If these aren’t the cutest summer sandal I don’t know what is! I love the fringe and the faded gray green material but these also come in pink, yellow and black. You can never have enough flats for summertime and I love how these perk up any outfit.

TAKEYA KIDS INSULATED WATER BOTTLE  $25  Days at the pool and park mean a lot of time outdoors and in the hot sun. I was always putting ice in Milly’s cup but it would never last. Finally I decided it was time to get her an insulated water bottle and it’s been amazing! Easy to sip and just the right size for toddler hands.

TAKEYA KIDS INSULATED WATER BOTTLE $25

Days at the pool and park mean a lot of time outdoors and in the hot sun. I was always putting ice in Milly’s cup but it would never last. Finally I decided it was time to get her an insulated water bottle and it’s been amazing! Easy to sip and just the right size for toddler hands.

QUAY AVIATOR SUNNIES  $50  Can’t go wrong with a pair of aviators and I own several. Love the thicker frame of these and how they provide just a bit of colored tint. The adjustable nose fits nicely on my nose so I’m never worrying about them sliding down or the frames messing up my makeup.

QUAY AVIATOR SUNNIES $50

Can’t go wrong with a pair of aviators and I own several. Love the thicker frame of these and how they provide just a bit of colored tint. The adjustable nose fits nicely on my nose so I’m never worrying about them sliding down or the frames messing up my makeup.

INFLATABLE SPLASH N SLIDE  $47  Mr. A surprised Milly with this and so far, it’s been the best summer activity ever! It really has provided us endless hours of fun. I love all the little water features and how it’s a less stressful alternative to a kiddie pool (where kiddos need constant attention).

INFLATABLE SPLASH N SLIDE $47

Mr. A surprised Milly with this and so far, it’s been the best summer activity ever! It really has provided us endless hours of fun. I love all the little water features and how it’s a less stressful alternative to a kiddie pool (where kiddos need constant attention).

ICE POPSICLE MOLD BAGS (125)  $10  We love making homemade popsicles and these bags make it super easy as opposed to traditional molds with wooden sticks. Milly and I have had the best time making these together. We’ve mixed citrus, fresh squeezed juice and even whole milk yogurt for these and we always have a dozen on hand for playdates. Check out this  recipe for grapefruit creamsicle pops!

ICE POPSICLE MOLD BAGS (125) $10

We love making homemade popsicles and these bags make it super easy as opposed to traditional molds with wooden sticks. Milly and I have had the best time making these together. We’ve mixed citrus, fresh squeezed juice and even whole milk yogurt for these and we always have a dozen on hand for playdates. Check out this recipe for grapefruit creamsicle pops!

GRAPHIC SWIMSUIT FOR GIRLS  $12 ON SALE  I guess you could call me a Cali girl cause anytime I see prints that pay homage to the state or any California love, I want it. This graphic swimsuit is so cute. I just wish it came in my size!

GRAPHIC SWIMSUIT FOR GIRLS $12 ON SALE

I guess you could call me a Cali girl cause anytime I see prints that pay homage to the state or any California love, I want it. This graphic swimsuit is so cute. I just wish it came in my size!

SET OF THREE MESH FOOD TENT  $7  We do a lot of entertaining outside and I can’t stand with snoopy flies linger and land on the food. It’s such a turn off. These are easy to store, affordable and something all hosts should own.

SET OF THREE MESH FOOD TENT $7

We do a lot of entertaining outside and I can’t stand with snoopy flies linger and land on the food. It’s such a turn off. These are easy to store, affordable and something all hosts should own.

NIKE LOW SNEAKERS  $95 I’ve been looking for a low sneaker I could wear with jeans and sundresses and when I found these, I was sold! They are super comfortable and a nice alternative to sandals. Love being sporty spice.

NIKE LOW SNEAKERS $95
I’ve been looking for a low sneaker I could wear with jeans and sundresses and when I found these, I was sold! They are super comfortable and a nice alternative to sandals. Love being sporty spice.

BEACH BABE TIE DYE MAXI DRESS  by STARDUST BOUTIQUE $55  I love, love, love this dress! It’s light, stretchy, breathable and such a gorgeous neutral maxi. Worn with your favorite pair of summer sandals, it’s the dress of the summer. Easily add a denim jacket or cute leather moto and big hoops and you’re ready for date night. And who else gets extra excited when they find a dress with pockets?

BEACH BABE TIE DYE MAXI DRESS by STARDUST BOUTIQUE $55

I love, love, love this dress! It’s light, stretchy, breathable and such a gorgeous neutral maxi. Worn with your favorite pair of summer sandals, it’s the dress of the summer. Easily add a denim jacket or cute leather moto and big hoops and you’re ready for date night. And who else gets extra excited when they find a dress with pockets?

LANEIGE LIP BALM IN GRAPEFRUIT  $15  Maybe it’s because I fell in love with their  Lip Sleeping Mask , but call me loyal! I love the way this balm feels and the smell is intoxicating! Glossy, not sticky it also comes in berry, peach and pear OMG.

LANEIGE LIP BALM IN GRAPEFRUIT $15

Maybe it’s because I fell in love with their Lip Sleeping Mask, but call me loyal! I love the way this balm feels and the smell is intoxicating! Glossy, not sticky it also comes in berry, peach and pear OMG.

OUAI CLEAR MINI PURSE  $15  Maybe I’m late to this clear bag trend but I have the Ouai pink bag and use it all the time! It was limited edition but I found this one on their site and I love the shape and cute buckle. Perfect for poolside or summer travel vibes, right?

OUAI CLEAR MINI PURSE $15

Maybe I’m late to this clear bag trend but I have the Ouai pink bag and use it all the time! It was limited edition but I found this one on their site and I love the shape and cute buckle. Perfect for poolside or summer travel vibes, right?

Woven Hearth & Hand Tray  $15  I love a good breakfast in bed moment but these days that doesn’t happen very often and not because Mr. A doesn’t spoil me with breakfast almost every morning. I just rather eat with them at our island. :) I love this tray for when we have guests-we’ll use it for dessert when we serve affogatos or night time espressos.

Woven Hearth & Hand Tray $15

I love a good breakfast in bed moment but these days that doesn’t happen very often and not because Mr. A doesn’t spoil me with breakfast almost every morning. I just rather eat with them at our island. :) I love this tray for when we have guests-we’ll use it for dessert when we serve affogatos or night time espressos.

TORTOISE SHELL AND PEARL BARRETTES  (16 FOR $14)  If you’re like me and love the barrette trend happening but not sure how to begin, these are perfect. I couldn’t believe how affordable and adorable they are and even though I’m still not sure if I’m wearing them the right way, I know they look good!

TORTOISE SHELL AND PEARL BARRETTES (16 FOR $14)

If you’re like me and love the barrette trend happening but not sure how to begin, these are perfect. I couldn’t believe how affordable and adorable they are and even though I’m still not sure if I’m wearing them the right way, I know they look good!

HOT DOG ROLLER  (FITS 18 HOT DOGS AT A TIME) BY OLDE MIDWAY $100  Here’s the thing, I had no idea how much we needed this hot dog roller until we bought it. We LOVE this thing and it makes entertaining so easy! We love hosting friends and family but sometimes it can feel overwhelming to shop for all of the ingredients, cook and have all the other things you want to provide your guests. Lately our go-to is having a DIY hot dog bar. It’s so easy! We got our all beef hot dogs, all the condiments and fun toppings, buns and then buckets of beer. Stress free summer entertaining!

HOT DOG ROLLER (FITS 18 HOT DOGS AT A TIME) BY OLDE MIDWAY $100

Here’s the thing, I had no idea how much we needed this hot dog roller until we bought it. We LOVE this thing and it makes entertaining so easy! We love hosting friends and family but sometimes it can feel overwhelming to shop for all of the ingredients, cook and have all the other things you want to provide your guests. Lately our go-to is having a DIY hot dog bar. It’s so easy! We got our all beef hot dogs, all the condiments and fun toppings, buns and then buckets of beer. Stress free summer entertaining!

Organizing Your Fridge with These 5 Easy Tips
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Organizing my fridge and labeling everything has been on my list of things to do for a while now so as soon as I put these labels on I couldn’t wait to snap some pics. I actually needed to do a fair amount of grocery shopping when I took these photos so this is not a post about my fridge must haves because that is something I’m thrilled to share with you. We were out of a lot of food we keep on hand (Dr. Pepper to name one!) so stay tuned for that post and IGTV episode. In the meantime I’m excited to share how I organize our food in the fridge.

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PURGE AND CLEAN

I mean, this is self-explanatory really but get rid of any old food (check expiration dates), condiments you never use and random things you’ve been keeping in there. For example, small jars of jam you got at a hotel that you thought were super cute so you took but you’ve never used? Tip: these are really cute but maybe put them in the pantry (as long as they’re unopened) and bring out the next time you put together a charcuterie board! Take out each drawer, shelf and bin and wash in hot soapy water and dry before returning to your fridge.

CHECK INVENTORY

As I was putting each food item back, I started taking inventory of anything I needed or what I realized I had a lot of. For example, we love hot sauce so I made a mental mark that we’d probably want to designate an area for all of our spicy sauces!

DECIDE WHERE YOU WANT EVERYTHING TO GO

Everyone has different needs and eats different foods so once you’ve emptied your fridge and cleaned it out then you can really access what kinds of foods you keep on hand. This helped me see what space made the most sense for each category and helped me choose the place where I wanted everything to go. Traditionally you see refrigerator drawers filled with vegetables and fruit but for us, we keep a lot of fruit on our counters so having a drawer just for fruit would be a waste of space for us. I decided our love of cheese would go in a drawer instead.

LABEL IT

When I came across these custom labels on etsy by Vinyl Goods Co I knew I wanted to use them in our fridge (and pantry…blog post part 2 coming soon)! The farmhouse calligraphy script font was just perfect for our style and I loved that I could custom design exactly the categories that made sense for us. I mean, have you ever seen a label for a fridge that says “cookie dough”? Probably not. But in our house, we always have it on hand! Once I decided each category I wanted and the color and size I needed, I emailed Tiffany at Vinyl Goods Co and shared my list with her. For all of the clear bins, I choose white and then black for the labels on each shelf to make them easy to read. Here’s what I ended up with:

  • Leftovers

  • Refreshments

  • Milk

  • Snacks

  • Eggs

  • Specialty

  • Sauces

  • Veggies 

  • Fruit 

  • Cheese

  • Protein

  • Condiments

  • Dressings

  • Butter 

  • Spreads

  • Yogurt

  • Briny

  • Spicy

  • Cookie Dough

The labels were really easy to transfer onto each surface and they included instructions for how to do so. With each label I got more and more excited to finish!

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MAINTENANCE

The only way for your fridge to stay organized is by weekly check ins. Every time I take something off a shelf, I give a quick glance at what else is over there. I wipe down bbq sauces and make sure things are staying in place. I find that every time I grocery shop I end up doing a bit of maintenance to keep things nice and organized. This has been especially helpful when we have someone care for Milly. I love that they can easily find her snacks and since we added a bin just for Milly she can choose her snacks and the nanny can find her lunch easily because it is all contained.

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What I love about an organized fridge is the more organized you keep it, the less chance of food going to waste! It also discourages you from buying things you don’t need. I hope this helps inspire you to organize your fridge. I’d love to see your photos and hear about any other ideas you come up with as you organize. Post your photos on instagram and tag me! xoxo, B

A Gift For Dad This Father’s Day

This post is sponsored by ibi

Jenny Quicksall Photography

Jenny Quicksall Photography

It’s still so surreal to me that at the end of next month we’ll go from being a family of three to a family of four.  Especially with Father’s Day right around the corner, I’m feeling extra sentimental thinking back at how much our lives have changed since becoming parents to Milly.  I remember a few days into being a new mama and trying to find the first photo I took of Milly in my camera roll and laughing at how many photos I had already taken of our new bundle of joy. It was practically like a flip book because I had taken almost 100 in just 3 days! Hashtag mom life, right?

ibi companion app

ibi companion app

I used to always take a ton of photos because I love to document everything. I mean- I am a journalist after all! But when I became a mom the documenting went to a whole other level! I was taking photos of every expression, every moment, every new experience-I wanted to capture everything! A product I mentioned I loved for a Mother’s Day gift and I’m equally excited to share for Father’s Day is ibi.

We love our ibi!

We love our ibi!

It’s a smart photo manager that allows me to collect, organize, and privately share photos and videos with only the people I want. The device holds 2TB (that’s about 500,000 images) – so we can relive our favorite moments with our closest friends and family. 

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Even though Mr. A isn’t the biggest fan of taking photos, I swear one of his favorite things to do is look through old photos. He just loves it! And as much as we love sharing our lives online, not every moment goes up on social media. I think becoming parents has tremendously changed the way we share those moments.  For us, some special moments are only meant to be shared and experienced by our inner circle of friends and family, and ibi gives you full control over who to share each memory with.

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I love that ibi saves and organizes our precious memories in one place so they’re easy to find, which for me is so important, because my photos are spread across all sorts of different devices and sites. 

We keep our ibi in our family room

We keep our ibi in our family room

This means that with ibi, you can sync all of your favorite photos and videos from your devices, cloud and social media accounts – and store them all in one place. This has really been a game changer! Right now ibi is having a price promotion on meetibi.com. They’ll be offering ibi for $149.99 down from $179.99. This goes from 12:01 am on June 9 CDT to 11:50 pm CDT on June 15. 

Jenny Quicksall Photography

Jenny Quicksall Photography

The other day Mr. A and I were reminiscing with Milly about when she was a baby and going through all her newborn photos.  It was so nice that we had ibi at our fingertips to revisit all of those great memories.  With the ibi companion app you can easily organize and find what you’re looking for  by searching location or using the timeline to find your photos and videos by date.  I really think this has been a powerful way to prepare her for her new sibling. As we prepare for baby #2 these next few months we are just soaking up every moment together as a family and anticipating our hearts exploding all over again!


 

 


Mini Blueberry Hand Pies

This post is sponsored by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

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These are one of my favorite anytime treats and are way better than the toaster pastry in the box that you ate when you were 10. Bursting with bluetiful blueberry flavor, these are straight up sublime!

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Super simple to make and made with three ingredients (store bought pie crust, homemade blueberry jam and glaze), I find myself whipping these up during the week for a sweet treat.

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Filled with delicious blueberry jam and topped with sweet glaze and sprinkles, they are almost too pretty to eat! Check out my latest episode on IGTV where i show you how to make these and then scroll down for the full recipe!

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BLUEBERRY HAND PIE RECIPE

by BRANDI MILLOY

INGREDIENTS

  • BLUEBERRY JAM

    • 4 heaping cups organic blueberries, rinsed

    • 1 cup sugar

  • HAND PIES

    • 1/2 cup blueberry jam (recipe above)

    • 1 large egg

    • 2 refrigerated pie crusts

  • ICING

    • 1½ cup powdered sugar

    • 1 tablespoon heavy cream or milk

    • 1 tablespoon blueberry jam (recipe above)

    • 1 teaspoon almond extract, optional

  • Sprinkles, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. For the blueberry jam:

    Place berries in a stainless steel pot and bring to a full boil, mashing the berries with a spoon. Boil for 1 minute on high heat, stirring constantly.

    Using a potato masher, break and smash blueberries. Add sugar and continue to gently boil for 3-5 minutes. Keep cooking and stirring for about 10 minutes or until thickened.

    For the hand pies:

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

    2. Crack egg into small bowl with a teaspoon of water, whisk and set aside.

    4. Unroll pie crusts and using a pizza cutter, cut the edges off (about 1 inch off all sides to create two 9-inch squares). Then cut each square into three 3-inch wide strips. You should have 6 total.

    5. Place 1½ tablespoons of jam on the bottom end of each strip. Brush exposed piecrust with egg to glue the sides. Gently fold top part of piecrust over the jam end. Using a fork, crimp the edges together on all sides. Repeat the process with the remaining piecrust.

    6. Place hand pies on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes.

    For the icing:

    In a bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, heavy cream, 1 tablespoon of jam and almond extract until smooth.

    To serve:

    Drizzle icing on top of each pastry tart and garnish with sprinkles.




Grapefruit Creamsicle Popsicles

This post is sponsored by Sunkist

All photography by @Ographr

All photography by @Ographr

These popsicles are creamy, tart, sweet and so refreshing! Made with fresh squeezed Sunkist California Star Ruby Grapefruit juice and vanilla bean ice cream, they are like the older, more sophisticated sister of the orange dreamsicle. You know, the one that traveled after college and lived in Europe for a year so she could immerse herself in another culture!

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This grapefruit creamsicle popsicle is luxurious but also super easy to make and the best treat to serve after an evening of al fresco dining. I keep at least half a dozen on hand in the freezer for those hot summer days too. Great for grown ups and children, it’s my go to sweet for summer. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Be sure to scroll down for the full recipe!

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GRAPEFRUIT CREAMSICLE POPSICLE

Makes 10 popsicles

Ingredients

  • About 2.5 cups of fresh squeezed Sunkist California Star Ruby Grapefruit juice (2-3 grapefruits)

  • 2-3 tablespoons of agave (optional)

  • About 2.5 cups of vanilla bean ice cream, softened

  • Supplies: Frozen Popsicle Molds with Sticks

Directions

  1. If you’d like your grapefruit juice sweeter, sweeten juice to taste, adding 1 tablespoon of agave at a time.

  2. Fill each popsicle vessel with about 1/4 cup of juice. Top with about 1/4 cup of ice cream.

  3. Add popsicle sticks and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.

  4. Enjoy!

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My New Podcast: MOMMY GROUP
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Our podcast, MOMMY GROUP is LIVE!!! Just go here to listen or search Mommy Group on itunes or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. We are three mamas who decided to start our own virtual “mommy & me” group but in this group it’s a judgement-free zone and we are talking about ALL the things that we love, not just our LO. You’re invited to an unfiltered, yoga-pants-only, it’s fine if you’re on your third cup of coffee (or wine) today and you never wanna make a Pinterest recipe for your kids-podcast. We get it. No mommy shaming but we speak our minds and we hope you’ll join the discussion! I just adore our group featuring @amidesai & @orlyshani and I know you will too! Follow us on Instagram @MommyGroupPod for all the BTS! And we would so appreciate it if you subscribe and leave a review for us! This would just make our day!

Milly's Zucchini Carrot Banana Muffins

Anytime I post these muffins on IG, I get dozens of comments asking for the recipe. I finally wrote it up and even shot a video with Milly making them!!! Still need to take pics but it’s on my list of things to do!

These are my go to homemade snacks for Milly. She loves them and as I’ve said before, I never give Milly food I don’t love too. These muffins are slightly sweet, packed with veggies, whole wheat and I did a few healthier swaps too (no refined sugar). One batch makes 12 standard muffins or 24 mini muffins. I usually double the batch and freeze half for those weeks when I open the fridge or pantry and feel like there’s nothing to eat between meals. They are great for on the go. Anytime we travel, you can find these in our bag! If you like zucchini/banana bread and carrot cake you’ll love them too!

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Last fall I swapped out carrots for pumpkin puree because I had some leftover in a can already. So instead of adding 1/2 cup of carrots, just add 1/2 cup of pumpkin. I know there are many of you reading this right now thinking “Blasphemy! You can’t have pumpkin if it’s not fall!” and I actually agree with you LOL but from what I know about all you PSL Basic B’s out there, you’re already imagining it so I’m giving you permission. Do it! This photo is from last year when I did just that! Scroll down for the full recipe and then tag me on IG when you make these!

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Zucchini Carrot Banana Muffins

By Brandi Milloy

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted and at room temperature

  • 1 cup zucchini, finely grated and patted dry (about 2 small zucchini)

  • 1/2 cup carrots, finely grated

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed

  • 1/2 cup applesauce

  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (you can also use honey or agave)

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (we use white whole wheat flour) or all purpose flour is fine!

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place cupcake liners in muffin tin.

  2. Into a bowl, mix your wet ingredients (egg, butter, zucchini, carrots, banana, applesauce, syrup). Into another bowl, mix your dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt).

  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix.

  4. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each tin about 3/4 full.

  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until muffins rise and bounce to the touch.

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My Mother's Day Gift Guide 2019

I can’t believe this is my second Mother’s Day! I get so emotional just thinking about how much of an impact being a mother has made on my life. Milly is such a gift from God. Mr. A and I say all the time that if we knew how wonderful being parents was going to be we’d find each other sooner and have all the babies! Last year’s Mother’s Day was just perfect. Mr. A took me to brunch at 189 by Dominique Ansel where they serve food dim sum style so servers walk around with food on boards and you choose what you want. It was SO much fun! Not sure what his plans are this year but all I know is mothers should be celebrated everyday and especially on Mother’s Day! And while gifts are never the goal here-we all cherish those hand written notes 100X more than any monetary thing, those thoughtful gifts are special as well. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite things I think any Mama would appreciate. Head to my instagram IGTV Channel to watch my gift guide or scroll down to read about each of them.

THE MILLY PENDANT BY EDWARD AVEDIS

I designed this necklace with my good friend, Avo of Edward Avedis with my daughter, Milly in mind. I love having her initial around my neck and it’s a piece of jewelry I never take off. You can choose any initial you like in this beautiful delicate font. The Milly Pendant is available in 14 KT yellow, white or rose gold and sterling silver, too it’s something Mom will cherish forever. Use code BRANDI for 20% OFF

PHOTO ALBUM

Mom would love it if you just put all of her pictures into an album. There are so many apps available that make it super easy to choose the photos from your phone and have it printed into a book. I decided to start doing this every quarter so that Milly has photos she can look through and we can start documenting our lives better. We don’t do screen time in our home or let Milly play on our phones but I realized she really enjoys looking at photos on my phone! So after my parents and sister and nephews visited us from AZ I decided to compile all of the photos we took into a book for her and it’s now one of our favorite things to look through!

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GIRL WASH YOUR FACE by Rachel Hollis

This book is such a powerful read you won’t be able to stop turning the pages. Rachel Hollis has such an authentic, relatable, inspiring sense of energy you’ll feel like the badass Mama you are when you’re done reading it. It’s one of my go to gifts and one any woman would appreciate!

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IBI at MEETIBI.COM

If your Mom takes a ton of photos or has boxes of old photos, hard drives and laptops this is the gift for her. Ibi is a smart photo manager that comes with a companion app so you can sync all of your social media accounts, , cloud accounts etc with this device and have all of your photos in one place organized by date and location. It collects, organizes and saves all of your photos in one place! We take so many photos but never know where any of them are! This has been a lifesaver for me! The device holds 2TB (that’s about 500,000 images) so she could even share the space on the Ibi with you!

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SAJE ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSER BLENDS

I swear by essential oils and have been using them for a few decades. We diffuse them in Milly’s room at night or when she is resting/napping to create a calm relaxing environment. I love the natural blends Saje carries and enjoy so many of their products including their diffusers and essential oil rollers. You can choose the individual oils for Mom or get her a collection of them. I especially love their Peaceful and Blend Collection.

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MARA UNIVERSAL FACE OIL

I have been using this oil for almost a year and I can’t live without it! So many of my friends started using it too and swear by it! It’s really the only face oil you need for bouncy, glowing skin. MARA Universal Face Oil is for all skin types and is loaded with age-defying algae, plankton extract and four superfood plant oils to replenish and hydrate tired, dry skin. It feels SO good on the skin. You can use it day and night but I definitely I don’t go to sleep without putting my MARA on!

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GIFT CARDS

Gift cards should never be considered impersonal or unemotional because I think it’s so thoughtful when someone finds out your favorite restaurant/spa/nail salon etc and gives you a gift card to that place! A handwritten card with a gift card inside is absolutely a wonderful gift. The best way for Mama to feel pampered is for her to be treated!

MARBLE & WOOD BOARD

This board is not only functional but beautiful! Just leaning against the backsplash in her kitchen is sure to make Mom smile. This is the gift for the mom that loves entertaining and having people over. It doesn’t matter what she puts on the board (cheese & meats, desserts, fruit, crackers) it will make her the hostess with the mostest!

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MY HOMEMADE BLUEBERRY LAYERED CAKE

Making something for Mom homemade is so sweet and a much appreciated gift! My blueberry layered cake is one of those desserts that looks impressive but isn’t difficult to make! Layers of butter cake, juicy blueberry filling and creamy buttercream frosting make up this showstopper that will have Mom gasping, smiling and crying all at once. It’s that good! The full recipe can be found here.

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Be sure to tag me on instagram letting me know what you did for your Mom on Mother’s Day! And if you gave here one of these gifts, I’d love to know her reaction! Hope everyone has a beautiful day celebrating our everyday superheros, Mothers!