Help Your Child Learn to Swim!

Lifestyle

Summer is officially in full swing, which means it’s time for pool parties, beach visits, and water play! If you have a little one in your house, you’re probably concerned about whether your child is water safe… Good for you, mama and dada! It’s so important to get our children comfortable around water at a young age! After all, the CDC reports that drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4, and no parent wants to experience the nightmare of an accidental drowning.

At the beginning of this summer, I made a concerted effort to get my kids swimming on their own. We recently remodeled our backyard with a new pool, and it was very important to my husband and me that our children would be safe in and around the water. I’m so proud to say that at 3.5 years old and 19 months old, both kiddos are swimming! Currently, the oldest one can swim to the bottom of the shallow end and pick up diving toys. He also can take a breath on his own while swimming across the pool and he’s working on developing his freestyle stroke. The youngest one can swim about 14 feet across the pool. She hasn’t mastered taking a breath while swimming yet, but I think she might before summer ends! Both children know how to find the edge of the pool when in trouble, which is a relief to mama. But, my favorite part about their swimming is that they LOVE it! They love feeling their weightless body in the water and exploring new ways to play in the pool. It’s so rewarding for me as a mama to see my kids safely love and play in the water!

Playing in the pool with my youngest child

I’ve been so happy with my kids’ progress this summer that I’ve been sharing videos of them swimming on my Instagram and TikTok. Every time I post a video, I get so many DM’s from parents asking for tips on how to get their children to swim, too. As a former swim instructor, I wish I could take all the credit, but my kids aren’t always fond of following my swim guidance – haha! But, because there’s been so much interest from other parents, I wanted to share a post about what’s worked for our family to get our kids swimming! Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this page to check out some of my favorite kid-friendly pool products, too!

Watch our 19-month-old swim!

6 Tips to Help Your Child Learn to Swim

  1. Exposure, Exposure, Exposure!

This is listed as the first tip because it’s the most important! The more your child is in the water, the more comfortable they will get with how their body feels in the water and more likely they are to easily learn to swim. Please don’t consider swim lessons the same as practice for another sport or activity. Unlike going to their once-a-week dance class or twice-a-week basketball practice, little kids need to be in the water almost daily to learn to swim. When I was a lifeguard and swim instructor (almost 15 years ago – yikes!), I’d teach morning swim lessons on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays. There were some kids whose parents only brought them to the swim lessons and I never saw them at the pool any other time. Then, there were the parents who let their kids stay after swim lessons to play. Even better, there were a couple parents who brought their child every day to the pool to play. Guess who learned to swim that summer? The kids who came to the pool every day were little fish by time the summer was over! The ones who only showed up to the lessons knew the basics but ultimately weren’t very comfortable in the water. I know this can be a challenge for families who don’t have regular access to a pool. If you take lessons at a public pool, ask the instructor if it’s okay for your child to play on the steps for 10 minutes when the lessons are over. Even a baby pool or smaller inflatable pool at home is a great way to get your child exposed to water play. Let them play longer in the bathtub, too! Scroll to the bottom of this post to see some of my favorite baby pool products!

Playing in a baby pool to help with exposure to water

2. Take Swim Lessons

As a former swim instructor, I honestly never thought I’d need to sign my children up for swim lessons. I thought that water exposure and my own instruction would be good enough. Well, just like almost every parent-child relationship that’s come before us, my firstborn child was not interested in my instruction. As he was getting older and still not swimming on his own, I decided it was time to bring in assistance. We did an 8-day intensive private swim lesson that was 30 minutes a day for our oldest and 15 minutes a day for our youngest. The oldest was in a class with two other kids his age. My youngest did her class alone. I was thrilled with the results of our lessons! After 8 days, both kids were swimming to the wall on their own! Lessons with an instructor other than myself forced my children to learn the skills they needed to get comfortable in the water. The lessons helped my kids develop a respect and love for the water, because they were doing it on their own. They felt proud that they could swim without mommy! It also was fun my for my oldest to swim with other kids his age. While the 8-day private swim lessons are a phenomenal way to get your kid swimming, I believe that any swim instruction is beneficial. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see recommended swim lessons in Pasadena, Calif. and surrounding areas!

Our son Landon, age 3, at semi-private swim practice

3. Allow for Free Play

It’s just as important to give your child the opportunity for free play in the water as it is to give them swim lessons! This way, your child associates the pool with fun rather than only strict instruction. If getting in the pool is fun, they’re more likely to swim! This is especially great for the kids that are scared of water or nervous about lessons with a new teacher. To incorporate more free play, I recommend getting to your swim lessons 15 minutes early and sitting on the steps with your kids with a water safe toy of their choice — maybe a plastic car, boat, or doll from home, for example. You can also bring water toys or diving toys, but if they’ve never played with a diving stick before, it may add to the uncomfortable nature of the pool. Bringing something they’re familiar with makes it safe. Allow your child to go at their pace to get in the pool and get used to the water. After swim lessons, ask the instructor if you can stick around for a few minutes to play more. If the facility has a baby pool, that’s a fun place to let your child free play, too. As I mentioned before, the more exposure they have to water – no matter where it is – the better. Encourage other children from swim lessons to join in. If you have easy access to a pool, schedule pool play dates so your kids learn how much fun it is to swim with friends! Even playing with kids in mini plastic or blow-up pools at home is helpful. I included a few options for baby pools at the bottom of this page, along with some toys that are great for free play.

Our daughter enjoying unstructured free play in the water

4. Play With Them

Let your kids see how much fun swimming can be by playing with them in the water! Not only do little kids love the opportunity to play with their parents, but they’re also the best mimickers at this young age. I promise that if your child sees you enjoying the water, they’ll have more interest in playing in the water, too! Imagine being forced to do swim lessons in a big scary pool with a stranger while your parents sit off to the side and watch. That’s not always a fun situation for a little one, especially if their personality is more on the sensitive side. But, if you got in the water to play with your kids in between lessons, I’m certain they’d start feeling more comfortable with a little bit of time. When I get in the water with my kids, I try to show them what fun things they can learn by blowing bubbles, floating on my back, swimming to the bottom of the pool, doing handstands and front flips, etc. They love watching mommy be playful! Be sure to make it pressure-free playtime. Ask if they want to try to blow bubbles with you, and if they say no, respect it. Eventually, they come around and want to play, too!

My husband playing in the pool with our toddlers

5. Bring Positive, Patient Energy

Your children match your attitude towards the water. If you act fearful of the pool, so will they. If you love the water, your children will, too. Be really conscious of your reactions when they’re around the water. Don’t panic or overreact when they get splashed or accidentally go under water. That will immediately teach them that the pool is not a safe place. If they accidentally go under water, calmly pick them up, look at them in the eyes, and say something caring but relaxed like, “Whoa! You went under! Was that fun?” It also helps to give them a positive pep talk before swimming so they enter the situation confidently. For example, when we’re driving to swim lessons, I like to positively narrate to my children what they can expect from the day. I’ll usually say something like this: “We’re on our way to swim lessons. It’s going to be fun so fun! Coach Tim (or enter the name of your swim instructor here) is so nice and wants to help you be a great swimmer. There will be other kids there to play with, too! It’s a big pool, but you’ll only swim in a small area. Mommy is so excited to watch you swim with everyone. We’ll all be watching you and close by, so you’ll be very safe. You should be so proud of yourself for trying something new today!” Setting up positive expectations for your child helps reduce the fear around learning to swim! Lastly, please be patient with your little one. I know it can get frustrating to see your child sitting on the edge of the pool while the other kids happily play in the water, but allowing your child to go at their own pace will help them develop trust with the water and you. As long as you keep exposing your child to the fun of the pool, I promise they’ll eventually learn to swim!

Don’t be concerned if your child is like mine — desperately holding on to the side instead of playing with the other kids. This is the same child that is swimming freestyle in the video I shared earlier in my post! This picture and that video were taken one week apart! All kids come around with time!

6. Don’t Introduce Floaties

Okay, this is a tough one. I know those baby and toddler floaties can be so tempting to put on your children to ensure they’re safe in the water. But, if you really want your kid to start swimming at a young age, don’t even bother. The floaties are a signal to children that they’re not safe in the water without them. Floaties quickly become a crutch and a very tough item to transition away from. Because I used to be a lifeguard and swim instructor, I swore to myself that I wouldn’t introduce floaties to my kids. While I was working at the pool everyday, I saw firsthand how the kids who became attached to their floaties took longer to swim on their own. Flash forward to a decade later when we were at a pool party with our 2 year old and 7 month old, and to be honest, my husband and I were TIRED of holding and entertaining our children in the water. As exhausted new parents, we craved a moment to chill by the pool and talk to adults while our kids played safely in the water. We saw this swim vest on another child and liked it because it didn’t have big tubes around the arms like other traditional swim floaties. I thought it could be a good floaty that would still encourage our children to learn to use their arms in the water. We got one for our oldest child, and while it did give mom and dad a few breaks by the pool, he got addicted to the swim vest. He knew he was safe in it because mom and dad acted more relaxed when he was wearing it. Before we knew it, he wouldn’t take off the swim vest even if we offered to hold him in the water. He finally broke the swim vest habit once we put him in the 8-day intensive private swim lessons, but looking back, I really wish I would have kept him out of it from the beginning. With that said, if you are a parent that just never wants to get in the water or can’t keep a close eye on your child, buy the floaties. It’s better to be safe above everything else. But, if you want your child to be a confident swimmer at a young age, don’t do floaties. Our youngest, who is 20 months old, has never worn floaties and she can swim about 14 feet across the pool by herself. She can swim out, turn around, and swim back to the edge. It’s amazing to me!

Those are my six tips to help encourage your child to learn to swim! I’d love to hear your tips on how you taught your child learned to swim, too! Let me know in the comments below or connect with me on my Instagram and TikTok!

My happy swimmers!

Best Products for Early Swimmers:

Mini Pools for Home:

If you don’t have a pool in your backyard and rarely have access to a big pool, it’s great to keep up exposure in a mini pool at home! Even if you do have a big pool in your backyard, our kids still love playing with their toys in a baby pool!

Mellow Yellow Kiddie Pool – A more aesthetically pleasing pool that adults may like to wade in, too.

Tropical Palm Splash Pool – Another more “adult” looking pool that you wouldn’t mind having in your backyard for a party.

Venezia Luxe Inflatable Pool – A luxury mini pool for your bougie baby.

Play Day Round Kiddie Pool – A cheapy but a goodie

Inflatable Ocean Scene Sun Shade Kids Swimming Pool – The canopy makes this a perfect first pool for your tiniest swimmers.

Swim Toys and Tools:

Chuchik Diving Toys: All the diving toys you need in a convenient mesh carrying bag.

Junior Kick Board – Our son fell in love with kick boards after a swim lesson and its been fun for him to practice his kicks.

Splash Swim Goggles – These goggles won’t get tangled in your child’s hair!

Kids Speedo Goggles – Trusted brand Speedo makes great kids goggles.

Swim Lessons Recommendations in Pasadena, Calif. and Surrounding Areas:

  • Rose Bowl Aquatics Center: The Rose Bowl Aquatic Center has long been recognized for its great swim lessons with experienced instructors. They have options for group, private, and semi-private lessons. If your child is under 3 years old, one parent has to be with the child in the water during lessons. The Rose Bowl Aquatic Center’s pool is outdoors, so I know it’s been a popular option for families in the summer or for people who don’t love indoor pools. I personally love that the Aquatics Center is right next to Brookside Park and Kidspace Children’s Museum. You can make a fun family day out of swim lessons by visiting Kidspace or hitting up the playground before or after the Aquatic Center. Learn more at https://www.rosebowlaquatics.org/.
  • Waterworks Aquatics Pasadena: Waterworks is dedicated to teaching children and adults the lifelong skills they need to feel comfortable and confident in the water. The pool is indoors and heated year-round, so its always comfortable for lessons. Waterworks has private lessons, semi-private lessons, and parent-and-me lessons. For kids 5 and older, Waterworks offers stroke clinics for kids to develop their technique. Learn more at https://www.waterworksswim.com/locations/pasadena
  • YMCA of the Foothills: You don’t have to be a member of the YMCA to take advantage of their phenomenal swim programs. The YMCA of the Foothills has three campuses, and two of them have indoor pools available for swim lessons: CCY (Crescenta-Canada) and VHY (Verdugo Hills). The YMCA offers parent-child lessons, group preschool lessons, youth lessons (ages 6-12), adult lessons, and private lessons. The group preschool lessons are especially attractive for parents who aren’t interested in getting in the water with their child. Learn more at https://www.ymcafoothills.org/aquatics.

What products have you loved for your little swimmer? Do you have any great recommendations on where to take swim lessons in the Pasadena or LA area? Let me know in the comments below, or connect with me on my Instagram and TikTok!

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. For more information about affiliates and your privacy, view our Terms & Conditions page here.

Easy July 4th Dessert: Red, White and Blue Fruit Skewers!

Cooking, Holidays, Kitchen, Lifestyle
Festive in Red, White and Blue!

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday! It’s the best of summer all rolled into one day — family, friends, BBQ, parties, yummy treats, fun drinks, great music, and fireworks!

We’re hosting our first big Fourth of July party at our house this year, and it’s a party I’ve been dreaming of hosting ever since we bought this home almost five years ago! We finally finished our backyard remodel last fall, and I can’t wait for everyone to enjoy our pool and great view of fireworks from our balcony this year!

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I love cooking and hosting parties. But, when it comes to hosting a really big party, like we are this year for July 4th, I’m all about making dishes that are simple, quick, and festive! That’s why I look for easy recipes that can feed a crowd but look fun to eat, too!

Enter: Red, White and Blue Fruit Skewers!

Easy Red, White and Blue Fruit Skewers

Because beautiful red strawberries and sweet blueberries are in season, it’s easy to add patriotic color to your July 4th party table. I love these Red, White and Blue Fruit because they’re fun to make AND eat! Your kids will love helping you assemble them! Just make sure they’re old enough to handle a wooden skewer without poking themselves! I love the mini marshmallows in this recipe because they instantly upgrade your treat from a simple fruit skewer to a dessert!

Ingredients for Red, White and Blue Fruit Skewers: Strawberries, Blueberries, Mini Marshmallows and Wooden Skewers

Here’s how to make Red, White and Blue Fruit Skewers!

Red, White and Blue Fruit Skewers Recipe:

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Wash and dry strawberries and blueberries
  • Cut strawberries to match the size of blueberries and mini marshmallows
  • Thread berries and marshmallows onto skewer in red, white and blue pattern
  • Cover and store in fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy within 24 hours.
Red, White and Blue Fruit Skewers for the Fourth of July!

Other Ideas for July 4th Fruit Skewers:

  • Swap out mini marshmallows for bananas or angel food cake
  • Try other blackberries or raspberries instead of blueberries and strawberries
  • Use mini star shaped cookie cutters to make festive shapes out of the strawberries or angel food cake

Let me know if you try these skewers, and please share other fun July 4th dessert recipes with me! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and TikTok for more ideas!

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. For more information about affiliates and your privacy, view our Terms & Conditions page here.

A Few of My Favorite Things – Great Holiday Gift Ideas!

beauty, fashion, Health & Wellness, Holidays, Lifestyle, Mom & Baby

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… These holiday gift ideas have me feeling so smitten!

Okay, okay… I’ll drop the cheesiness…

But, seriously, below is a list of a few of my favorite things divided in two categories: things in my vanity and things in my closet. I use many of these items daily! I wanted to share a list of my favorite things as an easy gift guide resource for those of you struggling to find a holiday present for a deserving lady in your life. I’ve tried, tested and approved all these items, so I know any smart, chic lady like myself (LOL) would love these!

When all your shopping is done, come back to this list and choose something for yourself, too! I’ve rounded up a wide range of affordable and luxe items that I feel are truly spectacular! After a long almost two years of pandemic craziness, we can all use a little holiday pick-me-up 🙂

One of my FAVORITE things: Coola Sunless Tan Firming Lotion

A Few of My Favorite Things:

In My Vanity:

Supergoop Glow Screen – A 40 SPF sunscreen that doubles as a primer while leaving your skin with a dewy and glowy finish… YES, PLEASE! I seriously think I look more awake, fresh, and youthful after putting this on! And, its so easy to apply makeup on top, too! *virtual high five*

Drunk Elephant The Littles Gift Set – I love ALL of Drunk Elephant’s products and these are my most favorite go-to’s! If you’re interested in trying Drunk Elephant but don’t know which product to start with, or if you love Drunk Elephant and need some travel size products, this gift set is PERFECT!

Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara – I love this mascara because not only does it make my lashes look long and full, it’s a nourishing product made with clean ingredients that doesn’t flake off — all while still being easy to remove at the end of the day! I have deep set eyes, so I always struggle with my mascara smudging, and this is one of the best mascaras I’ve found!

Aquis Hair Turban – This towel is amazing at absorbing water while limiting damage to your wet hair. I love how easy it is to tie up and wear around while I do my makeup and get dressed.

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer – Worth the hype – and the price tag! Less noise, less damage to my hair, and dries my hair faster!

Coola Sunless Tan Firming Lotion – I’ve tried so many sunless tanners in my lifetime and this has been my favorite so far! It’s so easy to apply, and I never get fake looking streaks. The color is very natural. There is a slight hint of a smell that comes with most self tanning lotions, but I find it not as strong compared to others I’ve used. I love that it’s made with clean ingredients, too… Used it during my pregnancies!

Bond No. 9 Madison Avenue Perfume – I found this sexy scent when I was shopping in Vegas, and I love it, because I don’t have a single girlfriend who wears it… Bond No. 9 Madison Avenue is MY SCENT, ok?! But, now I’m sharing with you, because I know you’ll love it! It’s sexy, but not too skanky… It’s high energy but not too annoyingly happy… ya get me? It’s my favorite perfume to wear for special occasions.

Versace Bright Crystal Perfume – This perfume is so versatile, so I like to wear it daily. It’s fresh, floral and bright… the way I want to feel going throughout my day. Any lady will like Versace!

In My Closet:

Veja Sneakers – These are the best sneakers to go with EVERYTHING! I’ve worn them with dresses, jeans, shorts and joggers. They’re classic and felt like a good upgrade to my everyday casual mama wardrobe. I like the Veja Campo style in white leather and natural suede, but Veja has lots of styles and colors to choose from to fit your personality!

Schutz Ariella Mules – The heels that go with (almost) everything! They’re like Cinderella’s glass slipper emulating a “barely there” look. The plastic is flexible, so they’re really quite comfortable! I’ve worn these for hours at a time and can dance in them, too!

Levi Wedgie Straight Ankle Jeans – Since skinny jeans have been fading on the fashion circuit, I scoured the internet for a pair of new non-skinny jeans that didn’t make me look like I was a Gen Z-er (sorry Gen Z). I wanted jeans that were still a bit fitted but made me feel like a cool mom, ya know? Enter these Levi Wedgie Straight Ankle Jeans! They def give off some 90s vibes but with a much better fit. They don’t have a lot of stretch, so consider that when choosing sizes!

Madewell Cropped Sweatshirts – I am really digging copped sweatshirts lately to wear around the house, to mommy-and-baby play dates, running errands, etc. I love these from Madewell. They’re perfect for layering and look great with the Levi jeans and Veja sneakers listed above.

Reformation Dresses – Reformation knows how to make a flattering dress. I love all their dresses! I have a couple that are staples for winter and summer festivities. I absolutely love this cherry red one for the holidays!

Cleobella Taylor Mama Bag – My friend Taylor designed this diaper bag, and it’s been the perfect bag for Lucy and me. I love that it’s so chic and doesn’t look like a diaper bag! The leather is soft, and the braided detailing is beautiful! I can even fit my laptop in it when I need to balance work and mom-ing. It comes in three different colors, too!

Salvatore Ferragamo Chain Wallet – After carrying around a big diaper bag during the day, the last thing I want to do is carry a large purse with me for a night out. This little chain wallet is so chic and perfect for date night or mommy’s night out.

Lunya Pajamas Washable Silk Set – Never knew I could get this excited about PJs, but I need to share that these are the ULTIMATE pajamas! The silk is soft, cool, and machine washable (bonus!). Plus, they make me feel luxurious! I’ve never found a set of PJs where I felt both comfortable and sexy in front of my husband. These are it! They come in a few colors and styles, so pick your fave!

Beechwood Crew Pajamas – I’m a sucker for matching with my mini, and Beechwood Crew has launched several fun holiday prints for the whole family to coordinate! A former colleague of mine launched Beechwood Crew with her longtime BFF earlier this year. They wanted an alternative to cheap, fast fashion for their families with high-quality, small-batch pieces they will wear forever… And they did it! The quality is amazing, and the PJs are so soft, warm and comfy – perfect for the holidays! Make sure you order before December 15 to get your made-to-order PJs in time for Christmas! And don’t forget to use my code MAGGIE15 to get 15% off your order! YAY!

Stackers Jewelry Box Set – I love this convenient and space-saving way to store and organize jewelry. It also looks really sophisticated and modern in our home.

David Yurman Cable Classic Collection Bracelet – A timeless heirloom bracelet that you can make personal – how fabulous is that?! My husband gifted me this bracelet with the green gemstone to represent our first baby who was born in August (the August birthstone is green Peridot). I love that you can get different versions of the David Yurman Cable bracelets and create a beautiful stacking look that’s classy enough to wear to church, chic to wear to brunch, or fancy for a night out. This would definitely be a special gift!

Ladies, tell me which of these gifts you’d like to receive in the comments below! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and LTK for more fun shopping and gift guides like this one!

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. For more information about affiliates and your privacy, view our Terms & Conditions page here.

Non-Candy Halloween Treats

Health & Wellness, Home, Kitchen, Lifestyle, Mom & Baby

Blake’s Seed Based Rice Crispy Treats are a yummy (and healthy!) treat for the whole family!

First of all, I know many of you may have read the headline for this blog post and rolled your eyes… Look, I’m a kid who grew up in the late ’80s and ’90s (Gushers! Mountain Dew! Pop Tarts! Sugar on top of SUGAR!), and I promise you that I’m NOT ready to give up the tradition of genuine TREATS for Halloween! What is Halloween without candy, anyway?! But, as I review the holiday activities we have planned this month… WHOA… it’s major compared to when I was a kid! We don’t just have a class Halloween party and the classic trick-or-treating… We also have the pumpkin patch visit, the multi-family immersive Nights of the Jack experience, our local YMCA trunk-or-treat… and I’ve already said no to a few other local Halloween festivities that include kids getting treats! I realized that if we don’t take the time to be mindful of moderation, the candy exposure can get really out of hand!

So, here I am… being that annoying healthy mom that I used to roll my eyes at before I had kids. I assumed “her” kids drank kale smoothies for breakfast and their favorite treat was the olive bar at Whole Foods… Well, I’m here to tell you that my kids DO NOT drink kale smoothies for breakfast and my oldest wouldn’t touch an olive with a 9-foot pole. But, I do know that my kids can appreciate “treats” in forms other than candy, like nutrient-packed muffins, festive shaped foods and seasonal flavors!

I put together this list of non-candy Halloween treats for parents desiring to limit the candy craziness this year. Whether you want to create healthier habits for your family, dread the kids’ candy sugar high, or responsible for sending a non-candy treat to school for the class Halloween party, these non-candy Halloween treat ideas are great for parents who need an easy, individually wrapped goody this fall season! From pumpkin rice crispy treats to pumpkin dog treats, there’s something for the whole family to snack on and feel good about!

6 Non-Candy Halloween Treats for the Whole Family:

  1. Blake’s Seed Based Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispy Treats  

I have lots of memories around my mom making homemade rice crispy treats and purchasing the prepackaged cereal treats to put in my lunchbox as a kid. These are EVEN BETTER! Blake’s Seed Based Rice Crispy Treats come in many yummy flavors like strawberry, birthday cake, chocolate chips, and now PUMPKIN SPICE! Blake’s is the very first vegan rice crispy treat on the market, so it’s the perfect allergy-friendly trick-or-treat candy. They’re 90 calories, only have 7 grams of sugar, nut-free and gluten-free! If you live in Southern California like me, you can find Blake’s Seed Based Rice Crispy treats available in local Sprouts stores, or you can shop the snacks online at Amazon or on the company’s website.

Blake’s Seed Based Rice Crispy Treats are a perfect treat for Halloween!

2. Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Chips Ghosts & Bats   

We already eat Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Chips in our house as a better-for-you alternative to regular fried potato chips, so I was really excited that the brand came out with Halloween chips in spooktacular shapes! Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Chips Ghosts & Bats have the crispy crunch and flavor you want in a snack, but without all the artificial flavors and artificial preservatives that you don’t. The seasonal chips are packaged in individual-sized bags that are perfect for trick-or-treaters, classroom parties, or lunchbox treats. They are available in major retail stores across the nation, as well as online and Amazon, sold in individual bags or packs of 24.

My kids’ treat bags filled with Sensible Portions Veggie Chips Ghosts and Bats!

3. Bobo’s Pumpkin Spice Oat Bites  

I often get frustrated with store-bought muffins and snack bars, because the ingredients show that they may as well be cupcakes and candy bars! Not Bobo’s! The Bobo’s brand offers delicious, simple, handmade 100% whole grain oat bites and snacks and released a brand-new pumpkin spice flavor just in time for the holidays! The slow-burning oats give kids clean energy that won’t leave them with a crash, while satisfying their sweet tooth. Each bite is non-GMO, gluten-free and plant-based, and there’s a variety of flavors in addition to pumpkin spice, like apple pie, chocolate chip, coconut, lemon poppyseed and peanut butter & jelly! You can easily find them at your local Kroger flagship, Whole Foods Market, or Target and online at Amazon

4. Bare Baked Crunchy Apple Chips  

Nothing says fall like apple harvest season, which is the perfect reason to pass out Bare Baked Crunchy Apple Chips to trick-or-treaters!  Bare Baked Snacks are real apples baked into deliciously crunchy chips and never fried. The apple chips are non-GMO verified and have no added oils or preservatives. They’re sold at select retailers, or you can purchase in multi-packs online at Target and Amazon

5. Dole Mandarin Orange Jack-O-Lantern Fruit Cups  

Get a little crafty by turning Dole’s Mandarin Orange Fruit Cups into cute Jack-O-Lanterns! All you need is a black sharpie to draw a Jack-O-Lantern face on the cups! Bonus if you decide to add the green pipe cleaner for a stem! These are the perfect festive snack for a class party! Dole Fruit Bowls Mandarin Oranges in 100% Juice are made from the best sun-ripened fresh fruit that nature has to offer, and they’re non-GMO and naturally gluten free. Dole Fruit Bowls are available at all major grocery stores or you can get multipacks on Amazon.

6. Greenies Dental Treats, Pumpkin Spice Flavor  

If you want to share holiday treats with your furry family members or pass out treats to dogs trick-or-treating with kids, Greenies Dental Treats for dogs has launched a puppy-approved pumpkin spice flavor!  The unique texture of Greenies Dog Chews cleans down to the gumline to fight plaque and tartar and freshen breath. The treats are sold at Target, Amazon and Chewy.

Would you share these festive treats with your family? I’d love to hear what other better-for-you store-bought treats you pass out at Halloween! Please share with me in the comments below or connect with me on Instagram at @maggiehjackson!

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. For more information about affiliates and your privacy, view our Terms & Conditions page here.

The Best Hair Tools and Products for Long, Voluminous Hair

beauty, Lifestyle
Good Hair Day

On most days, my mom hair is in a low ponytail under a hat while I bounce between running errands, chasing after kiddos, working from home and still trying to somehow squeeze in a workout. But, when I do get the opportunity to get “done up,” I actually love taking the time to style my hair!

I know spending time to fix your hair can sound exhausting to some moms, especially you new mamas who are just trying to find 10 minutes to take a shower! But, if you are able to take some personal time to style your hair, I highly recommend it.

Doing my hair helps me feel like a normal human again – not just an exhausted mommy who rarely has a reason to wear anything else besides athleisure! And, styling my hair gives me a major confidence boost!! I’ve always loved the saying, “When you look good, you feel good!” For me, I feel so much happier (and sexier!) when I take care of my appearance.

I’m sharing this post with my favorite haircare products and tools for three reasons:

(1) I often get asked how I curl my hair or what I do to get volume.

(2) Despite popular belief, good hair does not have to be super expensive!

(3) I hope this post inspires you to get yourself glammed up soon to give yourself a jolt of confidence!

So, if any of those reasons interest you, read on! If not, read on anyway and click on some product links to give my pocketbook a boost (shameless plug – LOL!!).

First, about my hair…

I’ve been very fortunate that I never lost a lot of hair after having my babies, as I know that’s a huge challenge (and totally normal!) for most moms postpartum. I have very fine hair, but I have A LOT of it. Because it’s fine, it tangles so easily. But, because I have a lot, I’m able to make my hair very voluminous with the right products and tools. My natural hair is stick straight and a mousy light brown color. I had platinum blonde hair as a child, and ever since puberty stole my beautiful blonde locks, I’ve been coloring to get it back. I currently get my hair colored once every 8-10 weeks, and my hairdresser does the balayage technique. I do not wear hair extensions. I keep my hair growing long with regular trims, rarely putting lots of heat on it, and protecting it with a nourishing treatment that I’ve linked below. Read on for all my favorite hair products and tools.

My Favorite Haircare Products and Tools:

UNITE Hair Blonda Shampoo

I’ve tried several blonde toning shampoos, and UNITE’s Blonda is my absolute favorite. My hair consistently looks brighter after I use it even if its been several weeks since I’ve been to the salon. I typically use it once a week on Friday or Saturday, so my hair looks extra bright blonde for any weekend date nights or socializing with friends.

L’Oreal EverPure Moisture Shampoo

I have pretty dry hair as a result of living in Southern California (where it never rains), dying my hair, and breastfeeding (babies suck all hydration from you!), and this moisture shampoo keeps my hair soft and silky. Plus, because it’s sulfate free, its very gentle and doesn’t wash away my color. I love that this shampoo is inexpensive and widely available, so I can easily pick it up when I’m running errands. See, I told you haircare does not have to be expensive!

L’Oreal EverPure Moisture Conditioner

The counterpart to L’Oreal’s Ever Pure Shampoo, this conditioner also is my go-to for all the same reasons!

Milk Anti-Frizz Leave-In Nourishing Treatment

I discovered this leave-in conditioning treatment from my phenomenal hairstylist Janelle Harris-Gearhart while she was working at Garrett Markenson’s salon. Garrett is the founder of Reverie, which creates exceptional clean haircare products for all types of hair. His Milk treatment is amazing for my hair – on both dry and wet hair! I put about six pumps in my palm and run it through my wet hair. After blowdrying, I add another three pumps throughout my hair to smooth and protect it from any additional heat I may put on with curling irons. This treatment keeps my hair healthy and encourages long lengths!

OUAI Wave Spray

When I want to add texture to my hair, I use OUAI’s wave spray. It’s like adding gorgeous beach waves to your hair without getting in the ocean! OUAI recommends adding it to wet hair, but I like to add a light mist to my dry hair before curling or using my wave wand.

TRESemmé TRES Two Hair Spray For a Frizz-Free Look Extra Hold

I have tried many expensive hairsprays, but I keep coming back to Tresemme for its effectiveness, affordability and availability. I’ve been using Tresemme hairspray for over 15 years – ever since high school when I’d perform on stage in beauty pageants and dance contests!

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Believe the hype, y’all! The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is worth the high price tag. Although I have naturally fine hair, I have A LOT of it, and it takes sooo long to dry! Not only does this hair dryer dry my hair far faster than any other I’ve used, Dyson claims that it increases smoothness by 75%, increases shine by 132% and decreases frizz and flyaways by up to 61%. My hair looks like I got a professional blowout at home!

Hot Tools Professional Nano Ceramic Flipperless Curling Wand

You can’t beat Hot Tools’ professional grade products. According to Hot Tools, the wand has “Advanced Nano Ceramic technology that helps create sleek, glossy shine, and reduce frizz. What’s more, there’s no ‘stick’…hair glides effortlessly along the wand.” I use this wand when I want loose gorgeous waves. This wand provides my most favorite hairstyle look that I know how to do; however, it takes me the longest time to do it. When I wrap my hair around the wand, it takes about 15 seconds of heat to hold each piece, and that takes a long time with the amount of hair I have! That being said, I think it’s definitely worth the purchase for the look you can achieve!

Gorgeous loose beachy waves with Hot Tools Flipperless Curling Wand

Alure Three Barrel Wave Wand

I was seeing tons of influencers on Instagram tout this other more expensive 3-barrel wand for mermaid-like waves, so I was really interested in what all the hype was about. One of my girlfriend’s had a similar hairstyle, so I inquired and she spilled the secret on this much more affordable wand from Alure on Amazon! This wand works so well at creating smaller waves that give off a beachy mermaid hair vibe! And, because it has a clamp, unlike my Hot Tools wand above, it is a lot faster to style! This has become one of my go-to looks this summer!

Mermaid waves with 3-barrel wand

Conair Double Ceramic Curling Iron

I have used these affordable Conair curling wands for YEARS. I had my last one for 15+ years before I decided it may be time to upgrade. This cute rose cold ceramic wand works great for my hair. It creates classic loose curls and doesn’t take too much time. My hair will hold a loose wave from this wand for two days, which I really love. All I have to do on day two is lightly run a comb through my hair, and voila!

Classic big curls with Conair Ceramic Curling Wand

Batiste Dry Shampoo

Batiste has the best dry shampoo on the market, in my opinion! It’s light, smells great, affordable, and most importantly, WORKS! I don’t get a yucky white residue in my hair, and there’s no weird extra stick. I sometimes will even use this dry shampoo on clean hair just to get an extra boost of volume on my roots. HIGHLY recommend!!!

Conair Gel Grips Paddle Brush

Here’s another Conair tool I’ve been using for many, many years. These paddle brushes last forever, they’re affordable and effective! I use this brush while I’m blow drying my hair. I get super tangly hair because its so fine, and this brush is helpful and detangling without creating more tangles or ripping out my hair.

Conair Teasing Brush

I’m originally from Texas where “the higher the hair, the closer to God,” so I’ve always been a fan of adding some lift to my roots. I like this teasing brush more than a comb because its gentler on my hair and easier to get a bit of volume. When I use a comb, I have to really back comb my hair aggressively which does lots of damage, but this brush only takes a few strokes to get the lift I want.

Silk Pillowcase

My grandmother gifted me a silk pillowcase when I was in elementary school, and I never went back to a normal pillowcase again. First of all, they’re simply cool and comfortable! But, if you also care about how your hair looks in the morning plus want to protect it over time, silk pillowcases are amazing for protecting your strands and reducing frizz. I love this silk pillowcase from Amazon, because its affordable and comes in lots of colors! Silk pillowcases are fantastic for your skin, too!

Silk Scrunchie

Now that scrunchies are back in style, I’m wondering why they left in the first place! They’re so much gentler on hair than regular hair ties! I especially love this silk scrunchie for preventing hair breakage! And, it looks so stylish!

Are there any hair products you absolutely love that I need to add to this list? Please let me know in the comments below or by connecting with me on Instagram at @maggiehjackson!

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 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

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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.