Ten weeks ago, while hospitalized for preterm labor, I remember the OB doctors telling me how I had a very high chance of delivering our daughter prematurely. Staying pregnant until 34 weeks, although unlikely, was “the goal,” as the complication rate drastically decreases and the survival rate approaches that of a full term baby.. The stressful weeks following that hospitalization passed extremely slowly. But we got here, and I’m extremely grateful for that.
I’ve felt so relieved since hitting the 34 week mark. Babies born at 34 weeks do typically need to stay in the hospital for a short while to ensure they have adequate temperature regulation, glucose regulation, feeding ability, etc. Given this, I still hope to make it to the 36-37 week mark so I can take the baby home with me right away! So, while bedrest restrictions have now been lifted, I’m still advised to take it easy. Not that I can do much anyway! You’d be surprised how deconditioned you become after 10 weeks of extremely minimal activity! I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me.
With the amount of “free time” I’ve had these past few months, you’d think I’d be completely finished with my holiday shopping! Unfortunately, no. I’m quite the holiday shopping procrastinator. I’m constantly trying to come up with the “perfect” gift for someone and repeatedly second guess myself! That said, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite, go-to ideas (item description and more ideas in the text below!).
Value Sets/ Gift Sets. These make such great gifts (and so cost effective)! You can find sets for both men and women, but in general, women’s kits are so much better. I love looking for travel size items so the gift receiver can try out a variety of products (and hopefully find something they love!). I find lip balms and hair products to be the best received. Sets I’ve personally tried (and love) are the Oribe Styling Kit (includes their amazing Dry Texturizing Spray that I can’t live without), the Thin to Thick Styling Kit (readying myself for postpartum hair loss…) and the Dry Shampoo Starter Kit (which happens to include my favorite dry shampoo). I bought all of these at full price and thought they were great deals… and now they’re and extra 30% off!
Fancy Household Essentials. My mom has always been a fan of gifting very practical items (like lint rollers and such). Although I totally appreciate it, I’ve found that gifting practical items that are just a bit fancy is so much more fun! Some of my favorite “fancy” household essentials are by The Laundress (sold everywhere from Target to Saks). I absolutely love their Signature and Baby detergents, they smell amazing and almost make me look forward to doing laundry. Their Wool & cashmere spray, Home spray and Fabric spray would also make great gifts (I have them all :))!
Scarves, Hats, Mittens, Socks. Especially if you live in a colder climate, winter accessories are essential! Although there may be a few people who feel their winter accessory collection is 100% complete (who would those people be?), most of us would welcome a beautiful new scarf or some toasty new socks! I don’t think its necessary to link any of my favorites… you can find great deals on these everywhere you look!
Plants or Herbs. I love how plants add such life and character to a room! A small plant, like a cactus or succulent, is easy to incorporate into most decor themes and makes a great gift. If your gift receiver likes to cook, you could even consider potting their favorite herb (just be cautious, herbs can be difficult to grow and require a lot of light!). You can find adorable pots anywhere from eBay to Etsy to Anthropologie. I’m loving these vintage inspired terra cotta pots at the moment (Amber: you do not need more pots). If you’re gifting a plant lover (who perhaps doesn’t need yet another plant), consider gifting vacation plant watering vessels instead (perfect for forgetful waterers, such as myself).
Mugs. Especially if your gifting someone “younger” (meaning they don’t already have 100 mugs), finding a cute/ funny/ unique mug can be quite the welcome gift! One of my favorite pre-made mugs is the “You’ve Been Poisoned” one… amusing without being overly obnoxious! You can always design your own mug with sayings or pictures if you have some time, otherwise Amazon and Etsy have have tons to choose from!
Coffee. Ben is quite the coffee addict. We go through so much coffee, its amazing. For the coffee lover, an extra bag or two of beans (or grounds if they don’t have a grinder) is always welcome! I’ve actually gotten quite a few tasty varieties from Amazon (taking advantage of two day shipping when the beans are running dangerously low and there’s no time to hit the store). Sampler packs are a great idea if you just don’t know which one to choose. You know what goes perfectly with coffee? Chocolate.
Chocolates. I don’t mean you should walk into Target and grab some Ghirardelli… although nobody could fault you for that! It just seems more personal to go to an actual brick and mortar chocolate store and grab some fresh hand-picked chocolates. Its more expensive, but sometimes quality beats quantity (especially if given to a diet-conscious someone).
Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed. Not everyone is a lover of the DIY. But there are some tools that make basic tasks that we all have to intermittently do so much easier. Take hanging pictures as an example. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of hanging pictures and always end up with more holes in the wall than necessary. Welcome this brilliant level/ tape measure/ wall marker device. I had no idea this thing existed, but I know that I need it (for less than $15). This site has a ton of other interesting “inventions” for your browsing pleasure.
Homemade Treats. If you find some extra time and have a few ingredients sitting around, whipping together some homemade treats is always welcome. Sweets are quick and easy. If you’re gifting a more health-conscious person, consider a freezer-friendly quiche (my absolute favorite quiche recipe).
I can’t believe I only have one more week of bedrest (assuming we make it to the big 34)! Staying “busy” these past few months has been quite a challenge. One of my go-to pastimes has been browsing eBay. Like I’ve mentioned previously, a significant amount of my baby purchases were pre-owned. Of course, I’ve done some shopping for me as well! One of the (admittedly trivial) things I was looking forward to this pregnancy was “dressing the bump” and taking bump pictures. I accepted that it just isn’t going to happen, and I gave up buying maternity clothes months ago. Instead, when I’ve been browsing eBay, I’ve been looking for things I can wear or use postpartum. I’m mostly buying clothes in my pre-pregnancy size, perhaps a size up, depending on the item (like shirts that would be tight in the chest). Over the past few months I’ve found some fun items, some of my recent favorites are below! I also found my long-time wish-listed (over-priced) handbag for a steal. Its huge, and will make the perfect diaper bag!
As always, thank you for reading and thank you for your support, especially during these past few months!