6 Last-Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for Mom from Mom-Owned Businesses in the LA-OC Area

beauty, fashion, Holidays, Lifestyle, Mom & Baby, Travel

I’m so excited to share this list of great gift ideas for mom from some of my favorite mom-owned businesses in the LA-OC area! In addition to sharing the list below, I’m featuring these gifts LIVE on KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles today, Dec. 22, 2021 at around 11:45 a.m., and I’m so hopeful you’ll tune in! *UPDATE* If you missed the live TV segment, you can view the recorded version here.

Monogrammed Travel Bag from The Monogrammed Home in San Marino

Okay, so… You made your list, checked it twice, and… Oops! You STILL need a gift for mom!!

This is when some of you will quickly run to Target to find a mug that says “MOM” or grab whatever overpriced, picked-over item you can find at Tiffany’s or Nordstrom. Don’t be one of those people wandering blankly around the big chain store only to get mom ANOTHER robe or slippers. Didn’t you get her that last year? Crap, you can’t remember!

Y’all… Don’t do this to mom! Yes, those gifts mentioned above are nice… I have thoroughly enjoyed every robe I’ve been gifted… BUT!!! (This is an important “but,” thus needed additional emphasis) … I need y’all to think of what kind of gift mom really deserves after what she has been up to this holiday season…

Those holiday cards your friends and family received? She designed, signed, and addressed those… Not to mention she licked all 75 envelopes!

Your kids’ reindeer antler headband, the “holiday themed red sweater,” and new dress shoes (grew out of last year’s shoes) that their teacher required you to buy and have your child wear for their school holiday performance… MOM.

Who coordinated the family holiday outings? Photos with Santa, holiday lights show, kids’ museum holiday activities, etc., etc. … MOM.

Who made cookies for Santa? Sure, the kids helped… But, it was probably MOM who had to set it up and clean it up! ALL THOSE SPRINKLES AHHH!!!

Gifts for your neighbors, extended family, newspaper delivery person, mail carrier, kids’ teachers, etc… MOM!!

All the dang wrapping… MOM.

And who usually makes Christmas Eve dinner and/or Christmas Day brunch as everyone enjoys their new gifts or watches football… not always but usually MOM!!!

The exception to all these tasks listed above is a mom who has an incredibly helpful and/or available partner, a mom who has the financial means to outsource everything, or the mom who just stopped giving a F—! Nevertheless, the holiday hustle can get to any mom no matter the level of support she receives.

SO, LET’S HOOK MOM UP THIS YEAR, Y’ALL! Let’s get her something that’s truly unique and thoughtful while also supporting a local MOM-owned business!

REASONS TO BUY FROM A LOCAL MOM-OWNED BUSINESS:

  • Shopping local is a great way to give back to your community where you live and want to see prosper. Local stores tend to keep their profits local, hire local employees, and donate to local charities and organizations.
  • It’s the best shopping method to limit your environmental impact. There’s less shipping and typically more local products available, so less transportation needed.
  • The experience is unmatched! You’ll have the opportunity to personally connect with a member of your community who really cares about their customers! Also, the knowledge of their products is superior to some of the big box chains that hire seasonal employees. Because they’re passionate about their products and filling a need in their community, local business owners often go the extra mile to make sure you are a happy customer!
  • If you love your mom, you’ll also love supporting another local mom. Imagine your own mom putting her blood, sweat and tears into a business on top of all her mom-ing… That is one bad mother!
  • Interesting products! Local businesses sell products that fulfill the interests of the owner and the owner’s customers. They are not limited to some national chain store’s sales and marketing plan, so you’ll often get some really unique and special product options!
  • It’s hard to trust last-minute shipping these days with all the supply shortages and shipping delays we’re seeing on the news. When you shop local, you’re typically perusing all the products currently in stock, so you don’t have to worry about your gift not making it to mom before Christmas.

Now that I’ve convinced you that shopping at a local, mom-owned business is the way to go, below is a list of my favorite gift ideas from mom-owned businesses in Southern California. These business stretch from Sunset Beach to Montrose, and all have ways to secure gifts in these last couple days leading up to Christmas. I’ve included gift ideas for every type of mom – the new mom, the expecting mom, and moms who love wine, traveling, skincare and wellness.

6 Holiday Gift Ideas for Mom from Local Mom-Owned Businesses:

FOR THE EXPECTING MOM

Cleobella Taylor Mama Bag in Cognac

Cleobella Taylor Mama Bag

This leather bag is so chic and high-quality that you’d have no idea it’s actually a diaper bag! Perfect for the stylish new mom who doesn’t always want to look like she’s hauling around baby gear! The braided detailing on the handle and zipper pulls is gorgeous, and it comes in three different colors (black, moccasin and cognac) to fit any mom’s style. I personally love how this bag is well designed for versatility. You can wear it as a backpack, crossbody, or with your hands for style and convenience. Multiple pockets are large enough to hold all the essentials. I can even squeeze my laptop into it in case I need to mix work with mom life. I fully intend to carry this bag even when we’re out of the diaper phase! Cleobella was founded by a SoCal mom, along with her husband, who desired ethically handmade fashion inspired by her global travels. The brand is deeply rooted in its commitment to sustainability and employment that uplifts independent artisans around the world. One percent of every purchase goes back to charities that support our planet and people who need it most. 

How to Buy: The Taylor Mama Bag is available to purchase in-person at the Cleobella boutique in Sunset Beach located at 16792 14th St Sunset Beach, CA 90742. The boutique will be open from 10a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 22-23. The company website www.cleobella.com offers expedited shipping options from their local headquarters, in addition to e-gift cards for those extra last-minute shoppers. Be sure to use the code KTLA at checkout for 20% off your order! The code is good through December.

FOR THE NEW MOM

Saranoni Mommy-and-Me Matching Luxury Blankets at Babies, Bellies & Bosoms

Keep mama and baby cozy this winter with luxury matching blankets from Saranoni found at Bellies, Babies & Bosoms in Montrose. Saranoni’s Bamboni Collection is made from bamboo fibers that are converted to rayon, so the blanket’s cloud-like fabric is light, breathable, stretchy, and as soft as ever! When you’re snuggled up with this blanket, “you’ll feel like you’re wrapped in a cupcake!” said Laura, the owner of Bellies, Babies & Bosoms. The blankets will undoubtedly bring comfort and warmth to mommy and baby this holiday season, and I’m obsessed with the idea of giving a matching mommy-and-baby gift to a new mom! The blankets come in a variety of colors and patterns to match mom’s style and home. If you purchase the “Mudcloth” print, Saranoni will donate a portion of proceeds to Well-Africa, an organization that strives to end child slavery, build schools, and educate children in West Africa. Love a gift that gives back!

How to Buy: Saranoni’s Bamboni Collection of blankets are available to purchase at Bellies, Babies & Bosoms in Montrose, a quaint historic community just north of Glendale. I love this shop because it was founded by a mom in 2003 with the passion to promote breastfeeding, support new mothers and be a sanctuary for all motherhood needs. She carries so many special gifts for new parents and babies! Bellies is located at 2430 Honolulu Avenue, Montrose, CA 91020 and will be open from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. on Dec. 22-23 and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Dec. 24.

FOR THE BEAUTY LOVING MOM

Tinted Lip Jellies from Facile Dermatology and Boutique

Just in time for the holidays, Facile launched its fan-favorite lip moisturizer in a collection of brand-new Tinted Lip Jellies with a plumping complex that instantly boosts hydration and leaves lips looking fuller, firmer, and more defined with each wear. The Tinted Lip Jellies come in three effortless shades: Rose, Rouge, and Berry. I tried all three shades and each of them looked good on my skin tone, but my favorite is the Rose to wear every day for a very natural look. Glossy but never sticky, the Tinted Lip Jellies soften and condition lips with a long-lasting, hydrating blend of Peptides, Jojoba Oil, and Essential Fatty Acids, leaving lips with a wash of beautiful color. Not only are these lip jellies amazing for your lips, every purchase goes toward an amazing cause! Throughout the month of December, Facile will be donating 20% of all Lip Jelly sales to NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) which provides advocacy, education, support, and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives. Co-founded by skincare-obsessed entrepreneur and mom Danielle Nadick Levy and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Nancy Samolitis. Facile opened in 2016 and quickly garnered a celeb following from beauties like Mandy Moore, Lucy Hale and Dove Cameron. If you really want to win big with mom, accompany the Lip Jellies with a gift card for mom to get a personalized treatment at Facile. They do it all from mini facials to fillers to microneedling and PRP injections! Perfect for any beauty or skincare loving mama!

How to Buy: Facile has two locations in West Hollywood (8457 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, CA 90069) and Pasadena (140 S. Lake Ave., Suite 104, Pasadena, CA 91101) where the products can be purchased on Dec. 22 or 23.

FOR THE WINE ENTHUSIAST MOM

Aervana Travel Aerator from Emerald Forest Gifts

This brand-new Travel Wine Aerator from Aervana is perfect for any wine lover who loves to travel or simply save space at home (glass decanters don’t travel well and take up lots of space!). This aerator is small enough to fit in your purse or drawer, plus, it comes with a cute carrying case and corkscrew. At the touch of a button, it turns tannic wine into smooth-as-velvet liquid in seconds! Simply attach the single tube that accompanies the Aervana Travel to the body of the aerator, slip it over an open wine bottle, and press the button on top.  Perfect for travel, road trips, the beach, picnics – anywhere! To be honest, my husband and I love this aerator so much that we use it at home most of the time!

How to Buy: Get the Aervana Travel Aerator before Christmas at mom-owned Emerald Forest Gifts in the San Fernando Valley located at 12638 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604. The owner, Michelle, started Emerald Forest Gifts in 1987 and is celebrating the store’s 36th Christmas Season! Known for carrying unique, elegant gifts for all occasions, Emerald Forest will even gift wrap your gift to make it easy for you to give to mom! Her shop will be open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 22-23 and from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 24.

FOR THE WELLNESS WARRIOR MOM

Juna Essential Roller Set

If mom is always looking to optimize her wellbeing (or if she simply needs some help chilling out this holiday season – LOL!), Juna’s new essential oil rollerballs offer a therapeutic mood lifting experience throughout the day. The Essential Roller Set from Juna includes three nanoparticle mood-shifting rollerballs – Balance, Nightcap and Ease – designed with a complex blend of scientifically proven functional botanicals that will reset the mind and shift mood. Roll on temples, behind the ears, wrists, breathe deep and experience the mood shifting benefits.  The Balance helps you feel awake and clear; the Nightcap helps ease you into a deep sleep; and the Ease can help you shift your mood from overwhelmed to calm and relaxed. They are great for daily use, for on-the-go, fast, effective relief. Based in Dana Point, Juna creates plant powered products with over 40+ active botanicals that solve the stress, anxiety, and sleep issues women are facing daily. The wellness company was founded by two busy career women and mothers seeking an effective solution to optimize their every day.

How to Buy: The rollers are available to purchase with expedited shipping for Christmas on juna-world.com. If you use code KTLA at checkout, you’ll get 20% off your order! The code is good through December. Perfect time to consider getting Juna’s bestselling Nightcap drops, too! Juna also sells several of its plant-powered solutions in Erewhon markets.

FOR THE WELL-TRAVELED MOM

Personalized Jewelry Round and 3-Piece Travel Set from The Monogrammed Home

Nothing is more thoughtful than a personalized gift, and The Monogrammed Home can help you secure these monogrammed travel cases just in time for Christmas! I love this adorable Seersucker Jewelry Round and 3-Piece Stacking Set that can be used for toiletries, makeup, hair accessories, and whatever you can fit, ready to be monogrammed with mom’s name or initials! I also love the idea of monogramming the 3-piece set to stay organized around the house with labels like, “cords,” “sunscreen,” “vitamins,” “safety pins,” etc. The stacking set is available for $78 and comes in 7 different colors. The jewelry rounds are available for $38 and come in four different colors. Pricing includes monogramming, and customers can choose from over 100 monogram and font options and over 50 thread colors! You’re sure to find a style that mom will love! The Monogrammed Home is one of my most favorite gift shops close to my home! The shop offers a variety of thoughtful, personalized home and lifestyle gifts for everyone in your life. I seriously get every special occasion gift from this shop! The shop was founded by two sisters in 2014, who are now mothers.

How to Buy: Available online at the-monogrammed-home.com, by phone (626) 405-1153, or at The Monogrammed Home located at 2556 Mission St., San Marino, CA 91108. KTLA viewers will not incur a rush charge for purchases of the Jewelry Round or Stacking Set. Purchases placed today (Dec. 22, 2021) by 3 p.m. will be ready for pick up tomorrow (Dec. 23, 2021) between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Gift cards also are available to purchase. 

The Taylor Mama Bag from Cleobella is a perfect gift for an expecting mom!

MOMS! Which of these gifts would you like to receive? Let me know 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.

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.

6 Healthy Halloween Snacks

Health & Wellness, Home, Kitchen, Lifestyle, Mom & Baby
6 healthy Halloween snacks that are easy and fun to make with your kids!

Got a picky eater? I’ve found the best way to get my kids to eat healthy is to get them involved in the kitchen with me! And, what better way to celebrate the spooky season than with these fun Halloween inspired healthy treats! These snacks are SO EASY to make! Plus, they’re too fun not to eat! Hope you enjoy these fun treats with your kids all month long!

Green Goblin Smoothie Bowls

Halloween Snack Idea #1: Green Goblin Smoothie Bowl

Adding spinach into smoothies is one of the easiest ways to get kids to eat their greens! And, you can’t taste the spinach – promise! For this Green Goblin Smoothie Bowl, make a green smoothie, pour into a small bowl, and have your kids toppings like granola or coconut for hair, dried fruit like raisins, dates or cranberries for the eyes, and pumpkin seeds or marshmallows for the smile. Kids have lots of fun decorating their green goblin face! 

Here is my favorite easy Green Smoothie recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup water (or almond milk or oat milk)

Instructions:

Place all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy immediately.

Peanut Butter Spider Crackers

Halloween Snack Idea #2: Spider Crackers

Have your kids help assemble these spooky spider crackers made with round crackers (I like Ritz Whole Wheat Crackers), pretzel sticks, peanut butter (or another nut or sunflower seed butter) or cream cheese, and small dried fruit, like raisins or blueberries. 

Ingredients:

  • Round crackers
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Peanut butter (or your preferred nut/sunflower seed butter) or spreadable cream cheese
  • Small dried fruit like raisins, blueberries, cranberries, or Wilton Edible Candy Eyeballs

Instructions:

  1. Spread nut butter or cream cheese on two crackers thick enough to hold pretzels
  2. Break 4 pretzels in half
  3. Place the 8 half pretzels sticks around one cracker to resemble spider legs
  4. Top the cracker with the second cracker to secure the legs and make a sandwich
  5. Dip 2 dried fruit pieces in the nut butter or cream cheese and stick them to the top of the spider cracker sandwich to resemble eyes
  6. Enjoy!
Clementine Pumpkins and Banana Ghosts

Halloween Snack Idea #3: Clementine Pumpkins and Banana Ghosts

These fruity treats are so easy to make and fun to eat! Peel clementines and cut celery into small sticks. Have kids add the celery sticks to clementines as stems to make pumpkins! Peel bananas and cut in half. Have your children add mini chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth to create ghosts!

Spooky Grilled Cheese

Halloween Snack Idea #4: Spooky Grilled Cheese

Turn everyone’s favorite lunch into a frightful treat with Halloween shaped cookie cutters and dark rye bread! You can use wheat or white bread, but the dark rye bread is much more spooky! Plus, my toddler surprisingly loves it! Because of its color, he calls it “chocolate bread,” even though it tastes nothing like chocolate! Your kiddo will have lots of fun using cookie cutters to make ghosts, bats and pumpkins in their bread, but I recommend leaving the stovetop cooking to parents!

Ingredients: (makes 1 grilled cheese)

  • 2 slices dark rye bread
  • 1-2 slices of pre-sliced cheddar cheese (depending on how cheesy you like your sandwich!)
  • Butter

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter over medium high heat in pan on stovetop.
  2. Take one slice of bread and use Halloween cookie cutter to cut shape into middle of bread. Butter one side of the bread cut-out bread.
  3. Take the other slice of bread and butter one side.
  4. Place both slices of bread in pan with the buttered side up.
  5. After cooking for a couple minutes and letting the bread get to your toasty preference, flip both sides of bread to cook the other side. Immediately place cheese on the slice of bread without the cut-out.
  6. Continue cooking until cheese is melty.
  7. Place cut-out side bread on top of cheese and press down so the cheese sticks the slices together.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
Creepy Eyes Cereal Bar

Halloween Snack Idea #5: Creepy Eyes Cereal Bars

Add funny eyes to pre-made cereal bars (or my favorite 3-ingredient cheerio bars seen here!) by rolling cream cheese into tiny little balls and adding a mini chocolate chips for eyes. If you’re low on time, it’s fun to add these eyes to anything pre-made, like muffins or frozen waffles!

Halloween Snack Idea #6: Green Halloween “Cupcakes”

My toddler loves these green “superpower” muffins, made with spinach, bananas, rolled oats and sweetened with honey! I love the ghastly green vibes of these for Halloween! Top with Nutella spread for “icing” and have your kids add Halloween sprinkles to make healthy-ish cupcakes! 

Which healthy Halloween snack do you want to try with your kiddos? Let me know in the comments below, or connect with me on Instagram @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.

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.

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.

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.