2021 Mother’s Day Gift Guide For Every Type of Mom

Home, Kitchen, Lifestyle, Mom & Baby
Great Mother’s Day gift idea: Adventure Chef Knife from Messermeister

Mother’s Day is fast approaching on Sunday, May 9, and if you’re struggling with what to get Mom this year, this gift guide is for you!

I get it, moms can be hard to shop for!

Since women make up 70-80 percent of all consumer purchasing, your mom likely does a lot of shopping for herself already! Those three Amazon packages at your door? I promise that not all of them are “things for the baby!”

Plus, some moms can be so picky! Like, she loved rose gold jewelry two years ago but now only wears yellow gold… What?!?!

So, how do you choose a gift for mom that says I love you and appreciate you without resulting to the boring old vase of flowers and Hallmark card?

*Please note: Flowers and cards are still ALWAYS a welcomed thoughtful gesture!!

Below, I have put together a Mother’s Day gift guide comprised of five truly unique, one-of-a-kind gift ideas for every type of mom. Happy shopping!

My Top 5 Mother’s Day Gifts in 2021:

1. FOR THE JEWEL LOVING MOM:

Ring Concierge’s Personalized Pieces

Perfect Mother’s Day gift idea: this Ring Concierge Personalized Multi Name Necklace

If you have a mama who loves jewelry, the new personalized pieces from Ring Concierge make for a perfect Mother’s Day gift because you can add your children’s names or initials. There’s nothing sweeter than wearing a reminder of your babies everywhere you go! The line offers a variety of styles, metals and fonts to customize and fit your mom’s personality… and your budget!

An especially thoughtful gift that gives back are the jewelry pieces from Ring Concierge’s engravable heart collection. Fifteen percent of gross profits are donated to Pretty Brown Girl, a non-profit promoting confidence and leadership development for girls of color. I love a gift that also makes a difference!

I’ve gotten to a point in my jewelry collecting days where I don’t necessarily want another piece of trendy costume jewelry, and that’s why I love Ring Concierge. The brand offers bespoke “elevated classics.” It’s high-end jewelry that you can personalize and buy online… How cool is that?! Fashionable celebs like Victoria’s Secret model Devon Windsor and former Bachelorette Joelle Fletcher are fans of Ring Concierge, so you know you’re giving mom something that will make her feel like a “cool mom” when she wears it!

Starting prices for the personalized pieces range anywhere from $90 to over $2,000. I’ve shared a few of my favorite styles below, or you can browse the collection yourself at http://www.ringconcierge.com.

2. FOR THE CHEF MOM:

Messermeister’s Adventure Chef Knife

For the mom who loves to cook or be on-the-go, I love the new folding Adventure Chef Knife from Messermeister. We’ve been home long enough this past year during the pandemic, so take the kitchen on the road and cook from anywhere with this full-sized knife! It’s the same high-quality of a chef’s knife you’d use in your kitchen, but compact and portable. I know our family will love using this at the beach to prepare lunch and for future camping trips! You can even have the knife engraved with mom’s name to make it extra special and personalized!

What makes this gift even more special, in my opinion, is that Messermeister is a local mom-owned company. The brand has been around for 40 years and is based out of Ojai. The family business is led by Debra Dressler and her two daughters, Kirsten and Chelcea. Shop all of Messermeister’s knives at http://www.messermeister.com.

3. FOR THE STYLISH AND ECO-CONSCIOUS MOM:

Aurora Sage’s Silk Scarves

If you have a stylish mom, she’ll love these one-of-a-kind silk scarves from Aurora Sage, an LA-based sustainable women’s fashion brand. The scarves come in three sizes and can be worn a variety of ways, like on your head, around your neck or shoulders, or even as a top! Aurora Sage specializes in organic silk pieces, and all are hand-dyed using natural ingredients such as rose pedals, avocados and turmeric… how cool is that?! And, you’ll be supporting a local mama, as everything is manufactured in LA and dyed in-house by founder and fellow mom Stephanie Carollo. Stephanie created the company just after she had her second son and wanted to create a line that made women feel beautiful while also being safe for their bodies and the environment.

I personally love all of Aurora Sage’s clothing, and it’s fun mixing and matching the different colored pieces. Right now, I’m really into all the yellow pieces, as they feel so cheery for spring and so on-trend with Pantone’s color of the year, Illuminating Yellow. And, the silk blazers look so chic over the slip dresses! Shop all of Aurora Sage’s items at http://www.aurorasage.com.

4. FOR THE BEAUTY OBSESSED MOM:

Curateur’s Special Edition Beauty Box by Rachel Zoe and Estee Lauder

If your mom can’t get enough beauty products, Curateur has launched a Special Edition Beauty Box just in time for Mother’s Day! The Beauty Box is curated by celebrity moms Rachel Zoe and Estee Lauder and features some of the leading and most innovative beauty products on the market. Additionally, sales from the Beauty Box benefit the Breast Cancer Research Fund (BCRF), a cause that’s near and dear to Rachel’s heart and mine, as both my mother, grandmother and mother in-law battled with breast cancer. Curateur will give 20% of the purchase price to the BCRF and their life-saving work. Another gift you can feel good about!

Rachel Zoe with Curateur’s Special Edition Beauty Box

The box is valued at over $230, but is sold for only $49.99!! It’s a real steal including some amazing products like:

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex: This supercharged treatment helps repair the visible impact of lack of sleep, UV, pollution, even blue light. It’s proven to reveal a bright, hydrated, visibly revived look with comprehensive benefits for the eye area.

Bumble & Bumble Surf Styling Leave-In: This UV-protective gel-creme conditions, detangles, and fights frizz creating beautiful surfer girl waves!

Origins Plantscription™️ Multi-Powered Youth Serum: Their most comprehensive serum for face, neck, and eyes that helps provide a youthful transformation with every use.

Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base: One of Bobbi Brown’s bestsellers—a primer plus moisturizer for smooth makeup application (it’s the best of both worlds)!

So many fabulous products at fantastic price in Curateur’s Special Edition Beauty Box

You can purchase the box by becoming a Curateur member for $99 at http://www.curateur.com. As a member, you’ll receive a seasonal lifestyle box featuring the most coveted beauty, fashion and home brands on the market. Imagine how excited mom will be receiving her Curateur box with each new season!

5. FOR THE DOG MOM:

Paw.com’s PupProtector Blanket

All moms deserve to be celebrated on Mother’s Day, including Dog Moms for everything they do for our furry family members! As a dog mom myself, I can’t recommend this Paw.com PupProtector Blanket enough! The blanket is designed to seamlessly blend into any home, and it looks super chic at the end of our bed and on our living room couch. Made from plush faux fur on one side and ultra-soft microsuede on the other, the blanket protects areas from pet hair, dirt, spills, pet accidents, and scratching damage. Our toddler even likes snuggling with it! The blanket comes in so many color options and matches with many of Paw.com’s dog beds. Plus, its so easy to clean – waterproof and machine washable! The blanket comes in a couple different size options and can be purchased on www.paw.com.

Naps are cozy (and chic) on our Paw.com PupProtector Blanket
We have the Polar White color available here: Paw.com PupProtector Blanket

I’m hopeful you’ll spoil mom with one of these very thoughtful gifts for Mother’s Day! Tell me which gift idea is your favorite in the comments below, or connect with me on Instagram at @maggiehjackson.

Happy Mother’s Day!!

XO, Maggie

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love.

Diaper Bag Essentials

fashion, Mom & Baby

The baby product industry is always working to convince us that we need MORE STUFF, so I’m determined to keep our approach as minimalist as possible. With all the options out there, it can be easy to get overwhelmed guessing what you truly need in your diaper bag – for baby and mom! Rather than carry half the nursery with me “just in case,” I personally prefer to stick to just the essentials.

The first step is choosing the right diaper bag. I have two: the Freshly Picked Classic Backpack in black and my new favorite Cleobella Taylor Mama Bag in Moccasin.

Here’s what’s important when shopping for a diaper bag:

Backpack style – Only once did I attempt to carry a large shoulder bag with me when out with the babies, and it was so challenging! Backpacks keep your hands free and the bag off the dirty ground – especially important when changing diapers in public restrooms!

Pockets! And more pockets! – Staying organized on-the-go is necessary when you’re quickly trying to clean up a mess or wipe a runny nose. Sometimes, you only have one hand to quickly grab a wipe! Pockets provide a place for everything, so you’re not digging toward the bottom of your bag for the loose hand sanitizer, sunscreen or whatever it may be.

Just big enough for a small laptop – Our family loves traveling and I’ve even brought the babies with me on work trips. In my opinion, there’s nothing more annoying than carrying additional bags through the airport when you also have kids in tow, so having a diaper bag that’s large enough for a small laptop – but no larger – is ideal.

Chic – As someone who considers herself a “cool mom,” there’s nothing more annoying to me than an item that screams baby. Like, I want carry a diaper bag, but I don’t want to look like I’m carrying a diaper bag. I like that the two bags I have can also function as stylish backpacks without looking like I’m carrying a pack of baby wipes with me.

Quality – This bag will go everywhere with you for a couple years, so you want it to be durable.

My diaper bags:

Freshly Picked Diaper Backpack in Black

This was the bag I had on my baby registry, and it has been such a wondeful gift! This Freshly Picked diaper bag has survived almost three years of baby and toddler craziness. I’ve brought this bag everywhere with me, and I really don’t see why a mama would need any other bag. In addition to the zipper closure, it has a flap that goes over the top, which is so handy when you only have one hand to close your bag and go! Because its black vegan leather, the bag can be dressed up and doesn’t stand out when I’ve had to take it to more formal occasions. I’ve brought this bag with me to present at work conferences! Bonus: It comes with a portable changing pad, so you don’t have to buy a separate one!

Cleobella Taylor Mama Bag in Moccasin Leather

Y’all, I am so obsessed with this Cleobella bag that I’ll probably continue to carry it as a chic travel backpack even when we’re out of the baby stage. I got this diaper bag after having my second baby, Lucy. I’d been carrying the Freshly Picked bag for the last 2.5 years and was ready for a change. I’ve been gravitating toward more neutrals since having a girl, and I think the moccasin color is perfect for spring and summer. The leather is so soft, and there’s so many pockets and compartments inside making it so easy to stay organized. I love that it also comes with a long shoulder strap to wear as a cross body. The braided detailing is very stylish. When my mother and husband first saw it, they did not think it was a diaper bag – WIN!

What’s in my diaper bag:

Portable Changing Pad

For diaper changes on-the-go, an easy-to-clean portable changing pad is vital. I like this portable changing pad from Amazon because its small and thin, so it doesn’t take up too much space in my diaper bag.

Muslin Swaddle Blanket

I love these aden + anais Muslin Blankets because they are multifunctional while being beautiful and long-lasting. I use these as a nursing cover, a swaddle for baby, a blanket for baby to wrap up in or lie down on, or to cover dirty surfaces baby may touch, like a grocery cart. They come in several beautiful colors and patterns that are easily washable. I like that they can cover a large surface while still being able to fold small to fit in my bag.

Burp Cloth

My favorite burp cloths are by KiddyStar, because they are thick and hold their shape. I’ve ended up with spit up all over me when using other brands’ thin, short, floppy burp cloths.

Disposable Diaper Bags

I carry these Munchkin Diaper Bag Refills in case I have to change a yucky diaper on-the-go and there’s no where to dispose the diaper. Believe me, you don’t want to have to keep an exposed yucky diaper in your beautiful new diaper bag or inside your car – ewwww!

Backup Clothes – Kyte Baby Footies

Spit-ups and blow-outs are just a part of everyday life when you have a baby, so always keep an extra change of clothes for baby in your bag. I especially like to have Kyte Baby Footies, because they’re sooooo soft and fold up really small inside your bag! They come in so many colors, so when you’re making your baby registry, register for a bunch!

Huggies Diapers and Wipes

After trying every brand of diaper out there, Huggies Diapers seem to be the best at keeping blow-outs at bay – very important when you’re out and about with baby! We also use Huggies Natural Care Wipes.

Extra Teething Toy

I always keep an extra teething toy or two in my bag to give something “new” to the baby that she’s currently not playing with in her stroller. It helps when she’s starting to get bored and fussy. I like these natural wooden teething rings because they’re non-toxic and have fashionable neutral colors.

Cuyana Wristlet

After carrying around my heavy wallet for a year with my firstborn, I finally wised up and got this cute, slim wristlet wallet from Cuyana. This wristlet has been so handy, especially when traveling. I keep my diaper bag on my back and this wallet around my wrist as I’m going through the airport and have to consistently pull out ID’s, tickets, credit card, etc. I also like this for quick errands when I don’t want to carry my diaper bag to the store. Now, I don’t need to transfer my wallet to another bag, because this wristlet does it all. It also has a pocket big enough for my iPhone 12 Pro Max. Cuyana has become one of my favorite leather goods brands. It’s such good quality at a perfect price point. And, the brand works to be as sustainable as possible.

Quay Sunglasses

I’ve owned several pairs of Quay Sunglasses, and these are my newest pair. I like that they’re fashionable, good quality, and at a good price point, so I don’t feel guilty buying a couple new trendy pairs at a time to try.

Other items that I always keep in my diaper bag include disinfecting wipes (to wipe down yucky surfaces), hand sanitizer, chapstick or lip color, and snacks for my toddler and me.

Our matching outfits:

While I have you, let’s talk about how cute these matching mommy-and-me dresses are from Cleobella. My mother and I used to wear matching dresses and jumpers back in the ’90s, so when I found out I was having a daughter, I got so excited for our future matching outfits! The main difference is that my mother actually used to sew our dresses back in the day, and since I’m no seamstress, it makes my heart so happy that Cleobella sells these adorable dresses. I’m wearing the Magdalena Mini Dress in natural and Lucy is wearing the Littles Magdalena Dress in natural.

I’m wearing the Magdalena Mini Dress in natural and Lucy is wearing the Littles Magdalena Dress in natural
Holding my Cuyana Wristlet

I hope this post was helpful for new mamas trying to plan outings with their littles or for experienced mamas looking to revamp their diaper bag! Comment in the posts below or let me know on Instagram!

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love.

The Best Rosé Wines! Plus, My Favorite Wine Accessories!

Home, Kitchen, Lifestyle
Cheers to rosé! The Palm by Whispering Angel is a favorite “pink wine!”

With summer upon us (yayyy!), it only makes sense to do a post about my favorite rosé wines…. Wait, who am I kidding – I drink rosé all year round!

What I love most about rosé is its versatility. In addition to being a delightful wine right out of the bottle, I also love it as a spritzer! And, it can be paired with EVERYTHING – from BBQ to sushi!

However, I don’t consider all rosés equal, so this post highlights only my top 10 favorite rosé wines. If you’ve previously passed on “pink wine,” I highly recommend that you give one of these rosés a try and let me know what you think. For those of you who already understand the gloriousness of rosé, let’s be friends! Comment on this post or connect with me on Instagram to tell me your go-to rosé!

Before we get into this list, I do have to add the disclaimer that I am not a sommelier – just an amateur rosé connoisseur. No one has dubbed me as an expert, but since I drink rosé so often, I feel like a professional… Alas, I have no certificate to prove it.

As you’ll see from my list below, I lean towards rosés that are from France, specifically the Côtes De Provence region. However, not all the rosés on my list are from France. There’s some California in there, too! I also prefer dry rosés over sweet, and I’m drawn to rosés that are more pale salmon pink than dark cherry pink.

The majority of these wines can be found at your local grocery store. Or, you can make your life easier and get the wine delivered from Amazon Fresh, which is conveniently included in an Amazon Prime membership. When you have two little babies, like me, grocery and wine shopping is so much simpler when ordered online. Plus, I love that Amazon Fresh has same-day delivery, and I often get the groceries delivered to my door in 2 hours or less!

So, let’s dive in! My list of best rosés below is in no particular order.

My Top 10 Rosé Wine Recommendations:

Chateau D Esclans Whispering Angel

Region: Côtes De Provence, France

Winemaker Notes: “Whispering Angel is today’s worldwide reference for Provence rosé. Made from Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle (Vermentino), its pale color is pleasing to the eye and draws one in. The rewarding taste profile is full and lush while being bone dry with a smooth finish. Highly approachable and enjoyable with a broad range of cuisine, Whispering Angel is a premium rosé that you can drink from mid-day to midnight.”

Maggie Notes: Whispering Angel is perhaps the Holy Grail of rosés. It’s on the pricier side for a reason – it’s darn delicious. Bring this rosé to a party and you’re guaranteed to make friends.

Chateau D Esclans The Palm by Whispering Angel

Region: Côtes De Provence, France

Winemaker Notes: “Made from Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan, this authentic rosé from Provence operates as a playful, trendy, energetic “little sister” to Whispering Angel. The Palm is expressive both inside and out as it shows great aromatic freshness on the nose followed by more subtle, fruity notes on the palate. The colorful and playful label has been called “almost as perfect as the rosé itself”. Signed and approved by Whispering Angel.”

Maggie Notes: A more affordable rosé by the same folks behind Whispering Angel – what’s not to like?! Also, the bottle feels so fun and perfect to bring to a pool party!

Chateau Miraval

Region: Côtes De Provence, France

Winemaker Notes: “Pretty petal pink color with shiny undertones. Instantly reminds of Provence with its beautiful aromas of fresh fruit and spring flowers. Airy and balanced, it delicately combines great freshness and complexity, and develops saline and mineral notes. Its long and intense finish is the signature of a rosé with incomparable elegance: Miraval.”

Maggie Notes: I recently learned that Miraval is a joint venture between Perrin family and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. It’s safe to say the Pitt-Jolie family knows their rosé, as this is one of my most favorites. To me, this wine offers the perfect balance of light fruit while still being dry and sophisticated. I especially love pairing this wine with a fancy brunch or lunch.

Chateau Minuty M Rosé

Region: Côtes De Provence, France

Winemaker Notes: “M de Minuty is the quintessential Cotes de Provence Rose, a style that Chateau Minuty defined,and is the reason behind their success as the world’s top producer of premium rosé. Fresh, lively and perfectly balanced, fantastic quality, a glass in hand transports you to the seaside and the French riviera lifestyle, watching the sea and the sky, surrounding yourself with friends and family, and enjoying life to the fullest.”

Maggie Notes: This rosé is so refreshing and drinkable. I imagine being at a pool party in St. Barts surrounded by other fabulous people drinking M de Minuty in private cabanas. It’s lovely for a day in the sun or to liven up your brunch.

Summer Water

Region: Central Coast, California

Winemaker Notes: “This dry rosé reflects the pale pink promise of the perfect warm-weather wine. It’s delightfully crisp, lighthearted, and destined for a good time. The grapes for this Central Coast Grenache and Syrah blend were picked early in the season to achieve a natural acidity that’s ideal for summer drinking. To ensure as little extraction from the skins as possible, we used the direct press method, retaining the delicate fruit aromas and pale color rosé is known for. The result is light, aromatic, and dry – with notes of melon, peach, rose, and citrus. Summer-friendly fare like shellfish, ceviche, and salads will pair swimmingly or just drink it chilled with the ones you love.”

Maggie Notes: While hailing from the Central Coast, this rosé is as drinkable as the rosés from Provence with the bonus of American Spirit. This is the rosé you bring to the beach or have waiting in an ice bucket for your guests at your July 4th BBQ. It goes with everything, so be careful – it really can go down like water!

Gerard Bertrand Cote des Roses

Region: Languedoc, South of France

Winemaker Notes: “A wine to celebrate the Mediterranean Art of Living! Its originality lies in its original rose-shaped bottle, created by a young designer from Ecole Boulle. This cuvée boasts a lovely yellow color with golden tints. It is fresh. A soft, pale, brilliant pink with bluish tints developing over time towards more orangey nuances. The bouquet releases aromas of summer fruits, cassis, and redcurrant. Floral notes of rose along with hints of grapefruit complete the picture. The finish is fresh, offering notes of candy. On the palate, the impression is fresh and full, with great aromatic persistence and balance.”

Maggie Notes: A great balance of floral and fruity, this rosé makes for a lovely hostess gift because it comes in such a beautiful bottle.

La Vieille Ferme

Region: Rhône, France

Winemaker Notes: “Pale pink in color, this rosé offers fresh, delicate aromas of red fruits (currant, cherry), and citrus (lemon). On the palate, it shows a beautiful balance between ripeness and acidity, with notes of fresh fruit.”

Maggie Notes: This the most affordable rosé on my list, and it just so happens to also be one of my favorites. I recently learned that La Vielle Ferme is made by the Perrin family, who also produces the top-rated Miraval (also included on my list above). No wonder it’s so good! We always have this rosé in our wine fridge. I will sometimes use it to make rosé wine spritzers, too.

Meiomi Rosé

Region: California

Winemaker Notes: “Delicately pink in color, Meiomi Rosé is delightfully dry with vibrant acidity. The wine opens to delicate aromas of watermelon, orange peel, and subtle hints of rose petal. The palate offers a lush mouthfeel with flavors of stone fruit and strawberry with a cool minerality on the finish.”

Maggie Notes: This is the rosé I want to drink when vacationing the Coast of California. It’s delightful for pairing with snacks at a picnic or sipping on your hotel room balcony before dinner. It’s dry and fruity. It feels like vacation, and it feels like California.

Thorne 2019 Rosé

Region: Santa Rita Hills, California Central Coast

Winemaker Notes: “The 2019 vintage was Estate Grown, in our Rio Vista Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills appellation and is our first rosé production. Produced in limited quantity, the resulting wine was made using a saignee, or juice draw, taken immediately upon crushing the grape clusters into the fermenter. This saignee was taken from small 1 – 1.5 ton lots of Pinot Noir from 6 different blocks and is 100% from Rio Vista Vineyard. The brief contact with the red grape skins renders its beautiful pale salmon color. The juice was fermented in stainless steel barrels, then aged on its lees for five months, adding depth and complexity to the wine without overshadowing the fresh fruit components. This Rose was bottled on March 4, 2020 and is an expression of the unique terroir of our vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA.”

Maggie Notes: This is the only wine on my list that’s not easily found in your local grocery store, but it is too good to leave off. I’m usually skeptical of California rosés, because I’m convinced no one can make a good dry rosé like the French, but this rosé from Thorne Family’s Rio Vista Vineyards is absolutely delicious. I was introduced to this rosé from a Thorne family member who became a friend in a local mommy-and-me class. I ordered a bottle to sample, and I liked it so much that I ordered more! I love supporting local winemakers (we have a collection of California Cabernets from small, independent winemakers), so I encourage you to try this rosé if you live in California. You can shop and buy at this link.

Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial

Region: Champagne, France

Winemaker Notes: “Rosé Imperial displays a pink color with amber highlights. Lively and intense, the bouquet exudes red fruits (wild strawberry, raspberry, cherry) with floral nuances of rose and a slight hint of pepper. On the palate, the wine shows a juicy intensity of berries (strawberry, raspberry, red currant) rounded out by the fleshiness and firmness of peach and the freshness of a subtle note of mint.”

Maggie Notes: For the Champagne lover, you can’t go wrong with Moet & Chandon’s rosé. It’s the perfect accent to any elegant summer soiree (or just when you want Champagne!).

Do you know of a lovely rosé that didn’t make this list? Let me know in the comments below or connect with me on Instagram! I’m always ready to try a new rosé!

Brunch is better with rosé wine, especially Chateau Miraval!

And, while I have you thinking about wine, below are my favorite wine accessories – perfect for adding to your home wine bar or wrapping up for a gift!

My Favorite Wine Accessories:

Riedel O Wine Tumbler

We received these as a wedding gift, and we use them ALL the time. I love stemless glasses, because I worry less about potentially breaking them!

Marble Wine Chiller Bucket 

A fashionable way to keep your wine chilled after opening!

BrüMate Winesulator

BruMate makes taking wine to-go so much easier! Never drink a warm glass on the beach, at the park or while camping when you have this!

Personalized Bottle Wine Stopper Top

Maybe its the Southern in me, but I love all things monogrammed!

Custom Engraved Personalized California Champagne Saber

My favorite tradition at St. Regis hotels is their evening Champagne sabering ritual. Ever since staying at The St. Regis Bal Harbour, I’ve dreamed of hosting a fancy soiree where I kick off the evening sabering a bottle for friends. This engraved saber is super classy!

YETI Rambler 10 oz Wine Tumbler

You can’t beat the Yeti brand. It seems glass will always find a way to get knocked over and break when outside, so my anxiety level is way down when using these tumblers during our outdoor happy hours and BBQs.

Rabbit Bar Tools Classic Wing Corkscrew

We’ve yet to have an electric wine opener last longer than a couple of months, so we stick to the classic corkscrew. Rabbit is one of the most trusted wine accessory brands out there.

Cote des Roses is a perfect hostess gift because of its beautiful bottle!

I hope you have a beautiful summer filled with good times with family and friends – and rosé!

CHEERS!!!

XO, Maggie

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love.

My Favorite Spring Dresses and Accessories on Amazon

fashion, Lifestyle

I could not be more excited for spring! Here in Los Angeles, the weather is warming up and more businesses are starting to reopen now that coronavirus numbers are down. It feels like we may actually get to be social again this spring! I’m so looking forward to dressing up and seeing friends!

I don’t know about y’all, but I have a major shopping itch after a year of rarely going anywhere. I also was pregnant all of 2020, so I haven’t bought any new clothes in what feels like forever! We have a few trips planned this spring, and with Easter and some friends’ birthday celebrations coming up, its time to update my dress selection!

It’s often so challenging for me to go shopping with two little babies in tow, so I love the ease of shopping online – especially with Amazon Prime! I’m able to receive my packages in a couple of days and always have free returns and exchanges. All the reviews from other shoppers make picking outfits such a breeze, too. It helps getting insight from other customers on the fit and quality of each item.

Below are the beautiful spring dresses and accessories on Amazon that I’ve either already added to my cart or have my eye on for a future purchase. Scroll to the bottom to see me wearing dress #6 in my newborn photo shoot with Lucy!

My Favorite Spring Dresses on Amazon

Spring Dresses:

  1. VintageClothing Women’s Floral Maxi Dresses Boho Button Up Split Beach Party Dress
  2. Relipop Women’s Polka Dot Jumpsuits Deep V-Neck Long Sleeve Knot Front Ruffle Hem Floral Rompers
  3. Women Floral Mini Dress Sexy V Neck Ruffle Flutter Sleeve Smocked Summer Dresses
  4. Romwe Women’s Casual Floral Print Off Shoulder Trumpet Sleeve Swing Dress
  5. Romwe Women’s Cute Tie Back Ruffle Strap A Line Fit and Flare Flowy Short Dress
  6. Dokotoo Womens Square Neckline Long Sleeve Floral Print Mini Dress
  7. BELONGSCI Women’s Dress Sweet & Cute V-Neck Bell Sleeve Shift Dress Mini Dress
  8. MITILLY Women’s Summer Boho Polka Dot Sleeveless V Neck Swing Midi Dress with Pockets

My Favorite Spring Jewelry, Bags and Sandals on Amazon

Spring Accessories:

  1. Turandoss Dainty Adjustable Layering Choker Necklaces for Women
  2. Allen&Danmi Dangle Earrings Made with Woven Rattan for Women
  3. FUNRUN JEWELRY Rattan Tassel Earring for Women
  4. Miuco Womens Bamboo Handbag Handmade Large Tote Bag
  5. Handmade Wicker Woven Purse Handbag Circle Boho Bag Bali
  6. Sam Edelman Women’s Yaro Heeled Sandal
  7. Steve Madden Women’s Travel Flat Sandal
  8. Steve Madden Women’s Platform Sandal Wedge

I bought this Dokotoo Womens Square Neckline Long Sleeve Floral Print Mini Dress when I was in a bind right before my newborn photoshoot with Lucy. I was 2 weeks postpartum and none of the dresses I had originally planned to wear were properly fitting. Thankfully, Amazon Prime got this dress to me in two days! I think it worked out well – what about you?

XO, Maggie

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love.

Our Favorite Baby Products (4-6 months)

Mom & Baby

Wow, we’ve moved past the newborn stage already! Lucy is changing so much every week! With all the recent baby changes, we’ve also had to make some changes to the products and toys we’re regularly using. Below, I’ve listed all of our favorite products we’re currently using – everything from nap time to playtime!

(PS – If you’d like to see my ultimate baby registry list, which includes TONS of great products to use for baby the first 4 months, click here.)

Best Baby Products for 4 to 6-Month-Old Babies:

Skip Hop Activity Center

Lucy’s starting to get busier and mommy still needs to do chores around the house, which is why the Skip Hop Activity Center is perfect for both of us! We did not have this activity center for Landon when he was a baby, and I wish we had! I truly think its helping with Lucy’s development, in addition to keeping her busy! She’s been able to practice keeping her head and body steady and getting her legs strong while standing. I love seeing how her interactions with the toys changes week over week. She used to just stare at the toys while I played with them, and now she plays the piano, pushes the spinner and moves the beads along the wire. Love it!

Summer Infant 3-Stage Super Seat

This was a leftover item from when Landon was a baby, and I honestly wasn’t sure if we’d use it for Lucy. At dinnertime, Lucy started getting bored sitting in her bouncer while we were all dining at the table, so we started placing this Summer Infant 3-Stage Super Seat on the dinner table so she could sit and join us. She loves it! She feels a part of our family dinner while also having the option to play with toys in front of her.

Little Giraffe Baby Blanket

We were gifted a 14×14 Little Giraffe Baby Blanket when Landon was born and its such a soft, sweet blanket, but I didn’t think much of it than that. Starting around 8 months, Landon really grew attached to it, and now it’s his lovey, known as “B,” that he MUST have when he sleeps. I thought it was so sweet that I had to get one for Lucy. I introduced it to her as a lovey at 4 months to encourage self-soothing and help her sleep longer stretches at night. It’s a beautiful little blanket and such amazing quality. I recommend adding this to your registry or gifting it to any of your new mommy friends! If not used for lovey, it’s a nice blanket to put over baby in the stroller and car seat.

Organic Silicone and Wooden Baby Teething Ring 

Lucy has a couple silicone and wooden baby teethers that she likes to chew on, and I love that they come in muted colors and don’t look super baby-ish. We took a trip to Palm Springs this past month, and it felt good hanging out around the resort with these toys rather than something bright, loud and colorful that would distract the other guests (and me!) from an adult vacation.

Halo Sleepsack Swaddle

Lucy’s transitioned out of her Love To Dream Swaddle and moved on to the Halo Sleepsack Swaddle, which seems to be much easier for her to roll around in. We also use the non-swaddle version of the Halo Sleepsack for naps. We’ll be using these sleepsacks until she’s old enough to sleep with a blanket, so its a very good investment to have a couple on hand!

Kyte Baby Footies

These Kyte Baby Footies are sooooo buttery soft and come in so many beautiful colors! These are the best rompers to have baby in all day that look fashionable without looking like PJ’s. Plus, they’re made with bamboo, so they’re organic, natural, hypoallergenic and eco friendly!! They’re a little pricey per one footie, so make sure these are on your baby registry. They also make for an awesome baby gift!

Soft Interactive Baby Book

We were gifted this Soft Interactive Baby Book when Landon was born, and it was one of his favorites for over a year. The same is now true with Lucy. She loves to grab on to the book’s different elements and feel the different fabrics. I love that it’s soft, so it’s light and easy to throw in my diaper bag to take on-the-go.

Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib with Toddler Bed Conversion Kit

Lucy’s now spending nights and naps in her crib, and I love the Babyletto Hudson Crib because it’s so aesthetically pleasing to the eye – it’s perfect for our modern home decor! It’s also Greenguard Gold Certified and made with sustainably sourced wood (who doesn’t desire more clean products, especially for baby?!). We used the same crib for Landon for 2 years and will use it for Lucy even longer, because we’ll convert it to a toddler bed when she’s ready.

Little Unicorn Waterproof Blanket

My mama friends and I agree that this Little Unicorn Waterproof Blanket is the best for outdoor adventures and playdates with your little ones. This blanket has become especially essential for our family during COVID when all of our activities were moved outside. We use this at our mommy-and-me class, at the beach and when we take big brother to the local playground. I love that it’s so easy to clean and waterproof – perfect for all the messes! It folds so easily and has a shoulder strap, which is necessary when you’re wrangling two kiddos! It also comes in a variety of sweet patters. We have the tropical leaf pattern.

These are the products that we are currently using ALL THE TIME that were not on my master baby registry list! Is there anything I missed? I’m always down to add a new baby product to our routine to make life easier! Let me know your favorite baby products by connecting with me on Instagram.

XO, Maggie

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love.

My Daily Skincare Routine

Health & Wellness, Lifestyle
A couple of my favorite Drunk Elephant products

I’ve told y’all before how much I love Drunk Elephant, but that’s not all I use for my skincare routine. I have a few other products that have helped transform my skin from ongoing breakouts to a smooth, clear, bright complexion.

But, first, some background…

Throughout my adolescence, I took my good skin for granted. Thanks to my genetics, I had practically flawless skin and didn’t have to do much for it. I slept in makeup and didn’t put on sunscreen without much thought.

That all changed in my mid-20s when I moved to California… I started breaking out ALL. THE. TIME. I thought it was the dry weather or exposure to a new type of water here in California, but looking back, I think it a lot of it was hormones and stress. To this day, I’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly what caused the breakouts.

I was constantly embarrassed by my breakouts, always adding extra makeup to cover my blemishes and popped pimple scars, which often made them worse. I went to a dermatologist who only dried out my skin without stopping the breakouts. I went to an esthetician whose treatments were very costly and needed to be kept up every other week. I tried a wide range of pricey products that were recommended to me by friends and gorgeous Instagram influencers, and nothing worked.

Then, a couple years ago when I was in Sephora, one of the saleswomen recommended I try Drunk Elephant sunscreen. I did, and I loved it. I liked it so much that I went on a deep dive researching all the brand’s clean products and basically bought all of them to try. I started noticing results just after a couple weeks and stuck with it. I’m so delighted to share that I haven’t had one of my old breakouts in over 2 years! I knew it was working when someone asked me what I used on my skin to make it so smooth! After years of battling with my skin, it was the best feeling to have someone ask me that!

Today, I have a bit of melasma and sun damage, but I’m working to treat those, too. My skin is definitely not perfect, but this is the best I’ve felt in a very long time!

Below, I outlined my exact daily skincare routine for you to get an idea of how I use Drunk Elephant products, along with a few other brands. I need to add this disclaimer: The products I use in my routine may not work for you, just like all the MANY products I tried that others recommended to me… BUT, Drunk Elephant only uses clean ingredients (which means pregnancy and breastfeeding safe!) and they have cheaper trial sizes (called the “littles”), so I think it’s very worth trying!

Morning Skincare Routine:

  1. Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser and Bamboo Booster


I always wash my face before going to bed, so I rarely wash my face in the morning. If I do wash my face in the morning, I use a scoop of this butter cleanser. I use a couple other exfoliating products, so I rarely ever use the Bamboo Booster, because I don’t want to over-exfoliate. I feel like this cleanser melts away any leftover makeup or grime from the day before. It’s very gentle on my skin.

2. REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic


I put two pumps of this toner on a cotton pad and swipe all over my face (minus the eye area) first thing in the morning. This toner gently brightens and exfoliates. REN uses only clean ingredients, so there is no irritation. Once I added this product into my skincare routine, I noticed a significant difference in my skin being smoother and brighter!

3. Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream


I love this Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream. I truly feel like it makes my eyes brighter – much needed for my lack of sleep with a baby and toddler! It also works as a great primer for my makeup.

4. Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum


I learned several years ago the benefits of using a vitamin C serum to help heal blemishes and boost skin glow, but I couldn’t find one that I liked. Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma is very potent – “packed with powerful antioxidants, essential nutrients, fruit enzymes and a chronopeptide that all work together to firm and brighten the appearance of skin while improving the signs of photoaging.” It’s the only vitamin C serum I’ve tried where I’ve actually seen results.

5. Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum


Prior to using this hydrating serum, I was consistently in search for the right daytime moisturizer. I could never find one that I liked to wear under makeup. I always felt greasy and like my makeup would fall off. This B-Hydra Serum is so light but also offers the perfect punch of moisture. I discovered that I need to add two pumps of this serum to properly hydrate my face while also using a couple of exfoliating products.

6. Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Sunscreen


This is the product that introduced me to Drunk Elephant and spawned my DE obsession. It was important to me to have a sunscreen with Zinc but not make my complexion white. I’ve tried a couple other tinted zinc sunscreens, but what I like about this one is how it makes you GLOW and how easy it is to wear under makeup (or glow WITHOUT makeup!). I mix it with the product below for when I need even more glow if I’m applying self tanner to my body or want a sun-kissed look.

7. Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Antipollution Sunshine Serum


I mix the D-Bronzi with my sunscreen when I want an additional boost of bronze without the sun exposure. I don’t like to add my self-tanner to my face, so this is the perfect product to put on my to look like I’ve been on vacation. Bonus: It’s comprised of a mix of protective antioxidants to boosts skin’s defenses against pollution and environmental stressors. It’s like Vitamin D without the damaging exposure!

Nighttime Skincare Routine

  1. Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser


This cleanser is one of my top products from Drunk Elephant. It wasn’t until I started having breakouts that I realized my cleanser could be my biggest culprit for irritated skin. I had been using harsh cleansers that promised to solve breakouts, but then it dawned on me that most of them are designed for adolescent, hormonal skin! I’m in my 30’s, not 15 years old. This cleanser is so gentle and removes ALL my makeup from the day to prepare my skin for the next products I put on to create skin magic overnight.

2. Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum


Okay, I need to keep it real with y’all… This is my least fave DE product on this list. I think it does the job of hydrating my eyes, but that’s about it. I haven’t seen dramatic results of eliminating wrinkles, like it’s supposed to do, but maybe my wrinkles would be worse without using this… I’m honestly not sure. With that said, if you have an overnight eye serum that you recommend that helps with fine lines while hydrating, please tell me!!! In the meantime, use this to keep your eye area hydrated overnight.

3. Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream

This retinol cream is potent – you know because of its yellow tint. Unfortunately, you can’t use while pregnant or breastfeeding, but I saw great results using it when I was able to use it. This retinol is wayyyy better than any I’ve tried and think it’s 100% worth its price tag!

4. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum


This is another one of my top products from Drunk Elephant, because it WORKS! The morning after my first use, I immediately noticed a smoother complexion – seriously! I’m going to be bold enough to say that I think it provides similar results to retinol! The glycolic acid exfoliates and helps resurface skin and for a clearer, smoother looking complexion. The best part is that I experienced no harsh side effects, like dryness or irritation, when mixed with the moisturizer below. I use this nightly now, because I’m breastfeeding and don’t want to use retinol. When I’m using the retinol, I do not use this product, because I think that’s too much exfoliation.

5. Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream Replenishing Moisturizer


Drunk Elephant has two moisturizers: Lala Retro (this one) and Protini Polypeptide Cream. I’ve seen so many influencers recommend the Protini, but after trying both, Lala Retro is the moisturizer that works for me. It feels thicker and more moisturizing to me, which is needed in the dry California climate where I live and while using exfoliating products. I use this every single night, and I never wake up with dry, tight skin.

So, that wraps my current morning and night skincare routine. I’d love to know what products I may be missing that I could add to my routine… Please hit me up with your current faves! Comment below or connect with me on Instagram!

XO Maggie

~~~~

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love.

Self-Care Amazon Finds

Health & Wellness, Lifestyle

Spring is upon us, and I’m definitely ready for a refresh! Since springtime is all about renewal, now is a perfect time to check-in with yourself and determine if you are getting the self-care you need to become the person you want to be.

Now, let’s talk self-care… Everyone says how important it is to incorporate self-care into your habits, but I think some people confuse self-care with self-maintenance. For me, sometimes the best self-care is a walk alone, writing in my journal or reading a good book rather than getting my nails done or wearing a face mask.

I know that I’m in desperate need of some self-care when I feel out of “flow.” I always felt like life had a flow to it, but I never knew how to identify and lean into it until I listened to Oprah Winfrey speaking about flow on her “Super Soul Sunday” podcast. Basically, every person’s life has a flow, or a frequency, with their name on it. Your flow is your inner voice, your life’s intention and purpose. When you’re out of flow, you don’t feel right. And, when you’re out of your flow, it’s your #1 job to figure out how to get back into your flow in order to take care of your wellbeing (and the wellbeing of those around you).

When I’m feeling out of flow, I practice self-care to get back to my true self. I take a long bubble bath to relax my mind; I spend time writing in my journal writing down all my worries and dreams; I get dressed and put on a full face of makeup in the morning even if I’m not going anywhere, because it makes me feel good (when you look good, you feel good). To do these things, I have to wait for the kids to go to bed or ask my husband to spend more time with them. But when I engage in self-care, I’m able to come back to center, feel more like myself, and continue on my FLOW.

Here’s some of my favorite self-care items that are easily found on Amazon! I put them in two categories – fun & flirty and sexy & sophisticated to fit your springtime mood… I think I’m a bit of both! Add a new candle, journal, silk pillowcase, or one of these other products to your cart to begin your self-care practice ASAP!

Fun and flirty self-care Amazon finds
  1. Silk Charmeuse Hair Scrunchy
  2. Pink Yeti Coffee Mug
  3. Dr. Teal’s Foaming Bath
  4. Diptyque Mimosa Candle
  5. Slip Silk Sleep Mask, Pink
  6. Madison Park Duke Reversible Fur Throw, Blush
  7. Moleskine Cahier Journal, Persian Lilac
  8. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum 
  9. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial
  10. Women’s Cross Band Soft Plush Fleece Pink Slippers
  11. Tahari Womens Sparkle Sherpa Warm Robe Bathrobe
  12. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle
  13. Heritage Store Rosewater Facial Mist
Sexy & sophisticated self-care Amazon finds
  1. Diptyque Grey Feu de Bois Candle
  2. Canvas One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Journal
  3. High Waisted Yoga Pants with Pockets
  4. OPI Nail Polish, Funny Bunny
  5. Satin Hair Scrunchies
  6. Silk Pillowcase for Hair and Skin
  7. Women’s Cross Band Soft Plush Slippers, Beige
  8. White Yeti Rambler
  9. Dead Sea Salt Organic Body Scrub
  10. Honest Beauty Tinted Lip Balm
  11. Black Lightweight Short Robe
  12. Blue-Light Blocking Glasses
  13. Faux Fur Cheetah Print Throw Blanket 

I hope you all find some time to practice self-care soon. Let me know your fave self-care products or practices by connecting with me on Instagram!

XO Maggie

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love.

Best Nespresso Accessory Ever!

Home, Kitchen, Lifestyle
Nespresso coffee is my fuel for mornings with babies!

I’m a morning person… And morning people need their coffee! Especially if you’re a mom to a baby and toddler!

My husband gifted me a Nespresso machine a few years ago, and I have to admit that it was probably a better gift than a piece of fine jewelry. (Shhhh… don’t let him know! I still want fine jewelry! LOL!)

But, seriously, Nespresso is the gift that keeps giving EVERY MORNING.

I love how easy it is to make gourmet coffee and clean. And, I love all the yummy flavors!

My favorite flavor is the Intenso XL (because mama needs XL coffee with two babies!) and regular Intenso. I also really like Melozio and Caramel Cookie when I want an afternoon coffee or a fun flavor.

A few of my favorite things: A cup of Nespresso coffee, Intenso XL coffee pods, Diptyque candle, Chanel and Tom Ford coffee table books

But, what I’m here to share is the best Nespresso accessory that you need if you have a Nespresso machine — POD STORAGE!

EVERIE Crystal Tempered Glass Top Organizer Drawer Holder

We had a Nespresso machine for three years before I found the perfect glass top organizer drawer holder on Amazon. We used to throw our pods in a drawer, and even with drawer organizers, they never felt truly organized and they took up precious drawer space! This glass top organizer is perfect to go under the machine, and beautifully organizes all of our pods. I love that it fits with our modern, minimalist kitchen design.

My favorite part of every morning – Our Nespresso machine and coffee pod organizer!

And, for those of you in the market for a new coffee machine, Nespresso is the way to go for the best tasting coffee that’s so easy to make. We used to buy freshly ground beans and make a big pot of coffee every morning. That was lovely but started to feel like such a chore to make and clean… And, when having two little babies in the house, the last thing you want is another chore! Like, why am I counting spoonfuls of coffee grounds at 6 a.m. to make the perfect pot when a little baby just woke me up three times last night? GIVE… ME… COFFEE… NOW!!!

Here is the coffee machine my husband gave me:

Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Maker Bundle with Aeroccino Milk Frother 

I honestly only use the milk frother a couple times a year when I’m really craving a latte. I truly love the regular Nespresso coffee with some creamer or half-and-half.

If you really want to step-up your coffee game, here is a barista level Nespresso machine that could potentially be a 5-year anniversary gift from my husband (but I still want fine jewelry!):

Nespresso Creatista Plus Coffee Espresso Machine

With the Creatista, you can level-up your coffee game by making fancy recipes for flat whites, cappuccinos, and latte macchiatos. You’ll never need to go to a Starbucks again!

XO Maggie

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love.

Best At-Home Workout Finds on Amazon

Health & Wellness
Outdoor workouts at home

My husband and I have been working out at home long before the Covid-19 pandemic. After we had our first baby, we wanted to spend more time at home to be close to him, but it was still important for our mental and physical health to get our workouts in. So, we made a mini makeshift gym in our house with free weights, resistance bands and a floor mat to do what we could until we were ready to go back to our official gym. We ended up liking working out at home so much that we recently built a more legitimate gym in our garage! But, I still find myself working out all over our house – running the stairs while baby naps in her nursery, jumping rope and lifting free weights in the backyard while our toddler rides his bike, doing yoga in our living room, and other creative at-home workouts. We’ve found that there’s really no excuse not to squeeze in a 20-minute workout at home – especially when you have the right gear. Plus, we’ve saved tons of money by getting rid of our expensive gym membership!

Below, I’ve put together a round-up of my favorite at-home workout gear that you can easily find on Amazon. I also will be sharing some of my favorite workout moves on Instagram, so be sure to follow me @maggiehjackson for frequent updates.

Resistance Loop Bands

I use these resistance loop bands all the time for booty workouts. I love that they come in a fun pink palette, but they also come in a muted gray color palette for guys or those who aren’t super into pink like me. These hardly take up any space at all, so they’re easy to store for at-home workouts.

Ankle and Wrist Weights

I use these ankle weights way more than I ever thought I would. When the baby is napping and I want to do cardio, I’ll often strap these on and run up and down our stairs.

Yoga Mat

This pink yoga mat comes in six other colors. I don’t love the super thick yoga mats, because I want to feel steady when I’m jumping up and down and happen to step off the mat, so this 1/4-inch thick mat is perfect. I also like that it comes with its own carrying strap to take to a yoga class.

Jump Rope

Another great tool for at-home cardio is this jump rope. It comes in six colors, and for under $10, it’s a steal. My favorite way to use the jump rope is to break up weight training. I’ll jump rope for 1 minute straight, then do a weight circuit, and repeat.

5-Pound Free Weights

10-Pound Free Weights

We have adjustable dumbbells that go up to 50-pounds each, but I find myself always going back to my 5-pound and 10-pound free weights. I like that they are easily transportable, so I use them in our garage gym but also take outside or anywhere in the house where the baby is napping or playing.

Functional Trainer

We worked at home for a couple years before pulling the trigger on getting this functional trainer. If you want a full-body weightlifting workout, this is the only gym equipment you need. We’ve transformed our garage into an at-home gym and use this there.

Weight Bench

This adjustable weight bench works great with the functional trainer, but I also use it for other workout moves, like as a step-up bench for some cardio.

Perfect Pushup

I bought the Perfect Pushup stands for my husband as a gift several years ago, and they’re still used all the time in our at-home gym. They help keep uncomfortable weight off your wrists and encourage you to do a pushup with better form.

Home Gym Flooring

Get this home gym flooring to protect the floor in your home, as well as provide a safe, soft ground for your workouts.

adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Shoes

I have these adidas Cloudfoam shoes in black but heavily considering getting them in pink, too. They’re affordable and comfortable, so great for at-home workouts, running errands or chasing the kids around the park. I use these ONLY for weight and HIIT workouts – NOT running. These do not have the support I need for running. There’s so many color combos, so you can pick exactly the shoes you want for your style.

Workout Leggings with Side Pockets

These workout leggings are by 90 Degree but are so similar to my Lululemon Wunder Unders. In fact, I find myself wearing these leggings more than my Lulus these days. They have a side pocket, so they’re super convenient when I’m running around with my phone (or baby monitor!). The best part is that they’re about one-fourth the price as Lululemon leggings!

adidas Workout Cap

If you’re going to workout outside, like I often do, I like to wear a breathable cap to protect my face from the sun and keep me cool. This adidas workout cap matches with the Cloudform shoes that I recommended.

So, that wraps my Amazon list of fitness gear for home. What else would you like to see? Want to know more of my workout routine? My fave workout clothes? Let me know in the comments or contact me on Instagram.

XO Maggie

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love.

My 10 Best Books of 2020

Lifestyle
“Winging It” by Emma Isaacs was one of my favorite books I read in 2020
I’ve always enjoyed reading but often found myself too busy with work, kids and social activities to get through more than a couple books a year. And, when I read, I like to READ! No audiobooks or e-readers. I want to physically turn the pages as I lounge in my bed, a large bubble bath, or pool chair. I want to highlight my favorite lines and dog-ear the pages that I want to go back and reread once I finish the book. I want to connect with that book and make it mine forever… (Gosh, I never knew I had such a love affair with books until writing that! LOL)

This past year of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders put a hard stop to my “too busy” excuse. My work slowed down, trips were cancelled and social activities came to a halt. That all sucked, of course, but I was able to read more again. If I didn’t have a toddler and newborn baby (goodbye sleep!), I’m certain I would have read even more!

I enjoy meaningful fiction, memoirs, self-improvement, and books that celebrate and empower today’s modern women. So, if any of those genres interest you, read on for my most recommended reads from my time in quarantine. The list is in the order that I read them.

The 10 best books I read during quarantine

The 10 Best Books I Read During Quarantine:

1. Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals, a self-improvement book by Rachel Hollis


I found self-help guru Rachel Hollis in what I think was a backwards type of way. I think most people were fans of her Instagram first, then her books, then listened to her podcast, and then watched her Netflix special. I became her fan the complete opposite way around. My husband was on a conference trip and I was home alone for the first time since having baby Landon. I decided I’d watch the girliest thing I could find on Netflix that still had substance (no housewives or other reality shows)… Voila! Rachel Hollis’s “Made For More” special. This is no diss to Rachel, but from the Netflix description, I didn’t think my manly husband would be interested in watching a cute empowering lady dance on stage while inspiring women that they’re “made for more.” So, I watched it… And, Oh. My. God. I was crying. I LOVED Rachel Hollis! That Netflix special was the impetus to kickstarting a plan for achieving my life’s dreams. Then, reading her “Girl, Stop Apologizing” book provided me additional moments of self-reflection as well as tools to move forward in achieving those dreams. Rachel’s book taught me that I can always be thinking big and working toward big dreams, even while having a newborn, being a mom, working another job… There’s no excuse, really. I got a lot of valuable information from this book, but here are a couple of takeaways worth sharing that I dog-eared while reading:

1. The only thing standing between me and my new goal is the willingness to find time for it. It’s not whether or not I have the time, but whether this goal I have is so compelling, so beautiful, so necessary to my future happiness that I’m willing to trade my current comfort in order to achieve it (page 23). If I can’t commit the time in my schedule to becoming the person that I want to be, what am I even doing here? (page 25)

2. CONFIDENCE is a skill. And, we don’t need to apologize for it. A key part of confidence is how you look, and it only matters if YOU like the way you look, not from you looking any certain way. This felt important to me, because I’d already been working from home for over a year prior to COVID quarantine, and I was letting my daily appearance slip. I actually didn’t think it mattered much since many people never see me at home every day. And, according to some beauty influencers, I was actually doing the best thing possible for my skin by not slathering a bunch of makeup on every day. But, what’s very real is that WHEN YOU LOOK GOOD, YOU FEEL GOOD, AND WHEN YOU FEEL GOOD… YOU DO GOOD WORK! (pages 168-175). Now, I try to put on a little mascara every day and not look so homeless haha.

2. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, a self-improvement book by Steven Pressfield


This book was a much-needed wakeup call for why there are certain things in my life that I was struggling to get accomplished. This was a good book to read right after Rachel Hollis’s “Girl, Stop Apologizing,” because it sort of connected the two. This book is not just for artists. It’s for everyone. The WAR of art is resistance. And, resistance is fear. We all struggle with some resistance in our life. This book is a great guide to getting past that resistance and start doing the work you were put on this Earth to accomplish. This is a very quick read, so anyone and everyone should read it.

3. Little Fires Everywhere, a novel by Celeste Ng


This book was a fun read, because the setting and many of the characters reminded me of movies from the 90s while the story followed high school kids around in their day-to-day life. It was “10 Things I Hate About You” but with more substance, because the book also examined clashes between social, race and economic differences. The book follows three different mother-child relationships, and it really had me thinking a lot about what it means to be a good mother. Consider this scenario: Two families want the same Asian child and both can offer unconditional love. Is it better for the white, well-off family to adopt the child because they can provide everything the child will need for success, or is it better for the natural mother to raise the child, even though she can hardly pay her bills and may be considered “unfit” as a mom? Read to decide for yourself!

4. American Dirt, a novel by Jeanine Cummmins


This book had me hooked from the first page. Not only was this novel a page-turner, it was a very relevant read while following the trials of a Mexican immigrant woman and her young son fleeing Mexico’s violence for a safer life in the U.S. – all while being romantically pursued by a top drug lord. This book received a lot of praise but tons of criticism, as it was written by a white woman and many felt the main characters were not true representations of real immigrants and drug lords (the book’s immigrant was middle class and the drug lord was sophisticated and romantic). I can certainly see this misrepresentation being a problem and understand why critics are concerned that American readers may assume the book is loosely based on a true story. But, I know that this book is fiction. And, for me, it was helpful reading the book from the immigrant’s middle class perspective, because her journey was more relatable to me. I was able to get on her level throughout the whole book and understand her thinking. It helped me understand what ALL immigrants go through to get to a better life by reflecting on my own life. With that said, I understand most immigrants are poor, come from horrible backgrounds and abusive husbands, and their stories are important to be told. So, I’d love for there to be more books on this topic that also receive as much press attention and praise as “American Dirt.” If you have any curiosity about the Americas’ immigration crisis and also enjoy a thrilling romance novel, I recommend this book. Hopefully, we’ll see more novels on this subject.

5. Untamed, a memoir by Glennon Doyle


I think every woman should read this book, as it brings a lot of self-reflection while uncovering what it means to be female in today’s society. Doyle’s “Untamed” follows the notion that every woman has been caged in some way, whether by our patriarchal society, silent misogyny, her appearance, her sex preference, fear of judgement, her mental disorder, etc. As humans, it is our instinct to live free, uncaged lives, like animals. That feeling we have that something’s not right and we’re being held back is not us being disobedient, bad or strange – it’s that we’re being restricted from being our true selves.

The two most important ideas I took away from “Untamed” were this:
1. You don’t start living a beautiful, fulfilled life until you let go of others expectations. No one has lived your life before, so stop trying to follow someone else’s roadmap.
2. You’re not supposed to be happy all the time. You’re supposed to FEEL EVERYTHING. Stop trying to protect yourself from feeling the hard stuff. Some of my most profound moments of insight, self-discovery and Knowing have come during or after grieving or suffering.

6. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, a self-improvement and leadership book by Brene Brown


I love Brene Brown, and her book about the importance of vulnerability was a homerun for me. I’ve always had lots of feelings (LOL) and enjoy connecting and sharing with others. So, reading this book was a relief and a greenlight for me to continue being myself without guilt or worry. I especially enjoyed the section about shame. We all feel shame. Opening up, verbalizing and understanding your shame is the key to releasing yourself from shame. I also loved that she highlighted the importance of being vulnerable for our children. They can only be what they see, so be a role model and be brave enough to be vulnerable.

7. The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears, Christian literature by Mark Batterson


Since we couldn’t attend church during Covid, I was craving a good book to reconnect to my faith and stir some spiritual reflection. This book wasn’t perfect – it was quite repetitive and sometimes felt a little cheesy. I probably wouldn’t recommend it if you are at the beginning of your faith journey, because it might seem a little too “woo-woo” for skeptics. But, if you are like me, and you attended church growing up and have some familiarity with Christianity, I would recommend it to reignite your prayers. I had gotten in the habit of praying for simple acts of help from God, like “Please help me do this… Please help heal him… Please help here and please help there…”. I realized with these small requests that I was limiting God’s potential to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. This book reminded me that He is ALMIGHTY God, and can do ALL things. I used to feel embarrassed to ask God to answer my big prayers, because I thought, “Who am I to ask for such a big thing when there’s so much suffering in the world? Surely God should take care of the REAL needs first.” But I was reminded that God wants to answer all your prayers of need and want. He’s probably offended that you doubt his ability to answer them! He put that prayer on your heart for a reason. Pray for it and pray hard. If you’ve been neglecting prayer or need a push to pray bigger, I recommend this read.

8. The Healing Self: A Revolutionary New Plan to Supercharge Your Immunity and Stay Well for Life, a health and self-help book by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi


I found this book interesting but not as revolutionary as I was hoping for. I’ve been on a new health journey for the last several years, and there really weren’t many ideas in this book that I hadn’t heard before. For your best immunity possible, Chopra and Rudolph challenge readers to start thinking of their health with a whole-system approach, or the “bodymind,” which is summarized as this: “body and mind are one domain, and every organ, tissue, and cell works toward the same goal: sustaining life.” This is an approach I’ve personally been working on for the last few years, so it wasn’t major news to me. What I did like, though, was all the scientific research that Chopra and Rudolph included in this book and how they emphasized how important it is for modern medicine to accept this whole-system approach and stop treating ailments as separate from the rest of the body and mind. What I ultimately got from the book is that I am responsible for supercharging my immunity to lead to a longer, healthier life, and to do that, I need to become the most whole person possible. I need to love more, connect more, continue my education, move more, strengthen my spirituality, stress less, and make a conscious effort to eat healthy. For those looking to kick-start their mind-body health journey, there was a great, easy-to-follow 7-day plan toward the back of the book.

9. Winging It: Stop Thinking, Start Doing: Why Action Beats Planning Every Time, a nonfiction business book by Emma Isaacs


Attention all working women (or any woman with a dream): Read this book! Even if you are not an entrepreneur, like Isaacs, this book has so many wonderful tips for women to follow their dreams and career goals. The book’s concept follows the idea that we’re all just “winging it.” Everybody. Do you think Steve Jobs knew how to run one of the world’s largest computer and consumer product companies before he did? No. He figured it out as he went. Don’t wait until you have all the experience, the right timing, all the money, or perfect people around you. You know that thing you’ve always wanted to do? Stop giving excuses for why you haven’t done it, and start doing it! Isaacs’s book provides advice and the confidence boost you need to get started and “wing it!”

10. Greenlights, a memoir by Matthew McConaughey


As a fellow Texan and UT Longhorn, I’ve always been a big McConaughey fan. And, let’s be real, he was my celebrity crush for a long time, too. For the last couple of years, I’ve been impressed by his publicized desire to make a difference in areas of life that are important to him and his attempt to inspire others to do the same. I was interested in this book with all the press hype built up around it, but honestly did not expect to love it as much as I did. I think I read this book faster than any other book on this list. Not only has McConaughey lived a very fascinating life that’s detailed throughout this book, he shows us how to truly LIVE – make the mistakes, follow your intuition, don’t apologize for who you are, and make a conscious effort to make a difference in this world. Just keep livin’…

Now that I’m back on my book reading train, I don’t want to get off! Please send me your favorite books, so I can add them to my reading list. Email me at maggieholmesjackson at gmail dot com or connect on Instagram.

XO Maggie

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love.