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"CLEAN UP" YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE

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One thing I didn’t realize before getting pregnant was how important it is to research everything you are putting into or on your body to ensure that it is safe for baby. That even includes skincare and makeup!

On a recent shopping trip at my favorite Raleigh shopping center, Cameron Village, I discovered an incredible store filled with clean beauty products that are perfect for pregnant women. I am so excited to introduce you to AILLEA! AILLEA is a place where women can “clean up” there beauty routine and find products that are free of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, endocrine disruptors or other toxic chemicals, and were not tested on animals. I loved being able to shop around and find products that were safe for me and baby during this critical time in my life!

I even got to test out a few of their wide range of products and have my makeup done! It was such a treat for this overdue mama-to-be, and I LOVED the finished product. One of my favorite products was the Lily Lolo mascara, it truly lengthened my lashes with just a couple of coats + it’s only $20 and is the perfect place to start if you are looking to switch up your beauty routine to include clean products. I also loved the CLOVE + HALLOW line of lipsticks and found the perfect shade of pink for Fall.

AILLEA is such a beautiful store and has a wonderful staff eager to help you find the best products for your lifestyle. Did I mention they even have a section of safe products to use on baby? I know I will be stocking up on diaper cream, baby oil and sunscreen once baby finally decides to arrive!

 
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WHAT'S IN MY HOSPITAL BAG | THE ULTIMATE PACKING LIST

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For some reason, I have been seriously putting off packing my hospital bag! I think in my mind it means that this is all really happening, and I guess I better come to terms because it's REALLY happening. This week, I decided it was finally time to get our bags all packed! I asked for advice from my followers on Instagram, friends and family and have come up with a cohesive list of all the essentials! I decided to break it up into three parts- what i'm packing for me, for the baby and for Ben!

WHAT'S IN MY BAG:

  • My Overnight Bag: I recently got this bag from Henri Bendel, and I am OBSESSED! It is definitely a splurge but amazing quality and will be something I have in my closet for years. It is super roomy and fits everything I need for our hospital stay. I can't recommend it enough.
  • Toiletry Bag: Along with the overnight bag, I picked up this toiletry bag. It is technically an organizer for a diaper bag, but works perfectly for this purpose. It will also be great to use in the diaper bag!
  • Toiletries- I've been trying to narrow down my products to what I will truly use and have come up with a pretty good list. Hair ties and bobby pins (in case I want to braid my hair back for labor), hairbrush, dry shampoo (definitely a necessity), makeup removing wipes, toothpaste, electric toothbrush, deodorant, razor and moisturizer!
  • Makeup: I've been told that having a small amount of makeup on will make you feel more like yourself after labor (especially when you have a bunch of visitors). I'm bringing my favorite foundation, concealer, bronzer, blush, mascara, eyeliner and eyebrow product!
  • Chapstick: Evidently your lips get extremely chapped in the hospital! I am in love with this one from Hatch.
  • Nipple Cream: This one is supposed to work wonders!
  • Breast Pads
  • Extra long phone charger (the outlets are supposed to be far away from the beds in the hospital)
  • Towel from home: supposedly the ones in the hospital are small and scratchy 
  • Pillow: again, the pillows in the hospital are flat and scratchy (It was also recommended to have a colorful pillowcase so it doesn't get lost).
  • Comfy Robe: I'm planning on wearing the hospital gown for labor and then changing into this robe for easy access for breast feeding. We also plan on taking a few pictures in the hospital, so this will photograph well.
  • Nursing Pajamas: I am also bringing these pajamas from Belabumbum. They make great loungewear that is comfy, soft and perfect for breast feeding!
  • Nursing Bra: I'm bringing both this one and this this one. I have worn this one for the past few months and love it. Its super comfy and provides just the right amount of support. I'm also bringing this nursing tank in case I prefer it.
  • Flip Flops: I bought this cheap pair to have on hand for showering or walking the halls.

WHAT'S IN THE BABY'S BAG:

  • Diaper Bag: I decided to pack the baby's diaper bag for the hospital so that it's all ready for when we get home. We are using this diaper bag from Fawn Design. I love that it is roomy and has plenty of space for everything we need. It's made from a durable faux leather that feels like the real thing and is easy to wipe clean. Plus it is pink and perfect for our little girl!
  • Coming home outfit: I'm bringing two different sizes in case the newborn option is too small
  • Onesies: Also bringing a few sizes for these
  • Lovie
  • Swaddle and hat for pictures: I got this one from Copper Pearl and LOVE it. Copper Pearl has the cutest prints and are made from the softest fabrics.
  • "Hi My Name Is" name tag: I ordered this one off of Etsy
  • Little Giraffe Blanket: This blanket is SO soft and one of my favorites that we have received.
  • Pacifiers: Not sure if we will give one to her right away, but I want to bring them in case
  • Bibs: These are my favorites!
  • Car Seat: Ours is already installed in the car and we are planning on taking it to the fire station to ensure it is properly in there.
  • Nursing Pillow: I have heard this is nice to have in the hospital for when you are getting the hang of breast feeding

WHAT'S IN BEN'S BAG:

  • Overnight Bag: We have traveled with these for years and they are our favorite. They are perfect for overnight trips or weekend trips
  • Comfy Clothes: Ben loves a good pair of joggers, a T-shirt and a hoodie!
  • Button Down Shirt or Zip- Up Hoodie: for skin to skin when the baby arrives
  • Blanket and Pillow: the sleeping situation for Ben at the hospital is not ideal but hopefully these will make it a but more comfortable
  • Laptop and Charger
  • Camera fully charged
  • Extra long phone charger
  • Toiletries
  • Both of our driver's licenses and insurance cards

Everyone says to bring an extra bag to fill with all of the freebies from the hospital. Take advantage of the diapers, wipes, disposable underwear. Ask for more when there is a shift change for nurses!

 
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EVERY DAY ACCESSORIES

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BIRTHSTONE WRAP BRACELET | SKULL WRAP BRACELET | ZODIAK NECKLACE C/O VICTORIA EMERSON DESIGN

I like to consider myself a minimalist when it comes to accessories. Don't get me wrong, I love accessories and what they do for an outfit, but I like to find pieces that go with my every day looks. Today, I am excited to introduce you guys to Victoria Emerson Designs. They are an affordable accessory line with perfect pieces for for casual, every day looks!

I styled a few of their gorgeous wrap bracelets and a Zodiak necklace (i'm a gemini) and am obsessed with how they complete my look. The bracelets are SO fun and make a huge statement. I love that I can wear just a few simple accessories and look like I put a ton of thought and effort into my outfit. I am wearing one of the Birthstone Wrap Bracelets (only $34)  and think it along with a Zodiak necklace (on sale for $29) would make the perfect birthday gift.

Check out Victoria Emerson today! They are generously offering 30% off for all of my followers with code MOLLYSMUSINGS30 at checkout. Happy Shopping, friends! 

 

 
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*This post is in partnership with Victoria Emerson, but all opinions are my own!*

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MY BABY SHOWER

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My baby shower was everything I could have dreamed of and more! Ever since getting pregnant, I have looked forward to my baby shower day. There's just something about being surrounded by family and friends supporting and celebrating our little girl that I knew would give me so much joy. 

I might consider myself a slight control freak, so I knew I wanted to be a part of the planning process. I along with  my mom, sister and a few close friends started dreaming up exactly what we wanted the shower to look like. We stumbled upon the most GORGEOUS venue in Concord, NC right outside of Charlotte called Ritchie Hill. Ritchie Hill is a historic home that was renovated to its original charm and now serves as an incredible event venue. I first fell in love with the HUGE wrap around porch and knew it would make the perfect backdrop for my shower. I was a little hesitant that it might be too hot to have everything outside ( hello middle of July in NC), but thanks to Ritchie Hill's amazing fans and natural breeze, we decided to go for it.

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There wasn't a particular theme for the shower, but it ended up having a girly vintage flair. We enlisted Evermore Event Company to help with the table styling. They brought over several of their GORGEOUS (handmade) farmhouse tables and an assortment of beautiful vintage china, linens, gold flatware and rose depression glass. The tables couldn't have looked more beautiful and came out better than I could have imagined. The mother-daughter duo behind Evermore couldn't have been more sweet and have curated such a beautiful collection of vintage rentals.

My mom, best friend Kelly, and I actually did all of the floral arrangements for the shower. We spent a total of $100 at Trader Joe's and got an assortment of gorgeous flowers and greenery. We made a greenery garland for each of the tables and probably put together a total of 15 arrangements. Not to toot my own horn, but I think they turned out pretty good! Just a little money saving tip for you gals that are planning a shower or wedding anytime soon.

My gorgeous and talented sister-in-law did all of the hand lettering (signage, place cards and mirrors) and also created the beautiful floral hoops. She just started accepting custom orders through here Instagram @_warrendesigns_ and would be amazing to contact for your next event. She is seriously one of those people that is good at EVERYTHING, and I know she will be the best Aunt to our little girl.

One of my favorite elements of the whole shower was having the vintage camper and the team from Jade & May Company serve coffee and mocktails to all of the guests! Jade & May Company is a full service mobile bar and quite possibly the cutest thing I've ever seen. It was so fun to be able to order from the window and the vintage camper provides such a fun atmosphere. The adorable and sweet duo behind Jade & May, Kaci and Renato Barbosa are such great people and were wonderful to work with. If you live in NC and are getting married, you have to hire Jade & May Company for your beverage needs!

For the food, we served a light brunch of various dishes made by family and friends and finished with a few delicious desserts! Cristina, the creative and talented baker behind The Batchmaker made a delectable coffee cheesecake (one of the best desserts I have ever had) and a layered crepe cake. They were both SO good and I'm already dreaming of how I can get her to bring me a cheesecake in Raleigh. You don't need an excuse to order one of her yummy desserts. You can thank me later.

The whole day was captured beautifully by my favorite girl Autumn from Autumn Harrison Photography. You might have seen when she took some maternity photos for us (still obsessed with them). I seriously adore her style of photography and was so thrilled to have her celebrate this special day with me. I can't wait to show my daughter these photos one day!

I cannot thank my family and friends enough for such a wonderful day! It was EVERYTHING I could have ever dreamed of and more for our little girl. She is 100% already spoiled and is going to be surrounded by so many people that love her. Ben and I are truly so blessed!

Venue: Ritchie Hill

Rentals-Farm Tables/ China/ Napkins / Flatware / Candle Sticks: Evermore Event Company

Mobile Bar: Jade & May Company

Hand Lettering & Floral Hoops: Warren Designs

Desserts: The Batchmaker

Photography: Autumn Harrison Photography

Dress: ASOS Maternity

 
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