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5/1/18

Gifts for Mom - A Mother's Day Gift Guide


{Click on any of the above images to shop}

How on earth is it already May?! Mother's Day is already a short two weeks away, which means it's time to start prepping and shopping for all the special mommas in your life! (And maybe pick up a thing or two for yourself, too. Don't worry, your secret is safe with me. 😉)

Today I'm rounding up so many pretty picks that would make the perfect Mother's Day gifts! With all the selfless love, care, and support our mothers and mother-figures have given us over the years -- yes, even at our worst -- it's so important to give back to them and to let them know how much we truly love, respect, and appreciate them and all their countless sacrifices! I've chosen gifts from all different categories to help you with some ideas -- fashion, home, beauty, and more -- all at varying price points for every budget.

Pictured in the collage above are some of my top picks. All the colorful prints and feminine details are so darling and perfectly gift-worthy! These are all gifts that caught my eye (and a few that I already own and love!) Several of these can be bundled together, too, for a unique and personal touch that shows the extra thought you put into it. I've talked about this before in previous gift guide posts, but some of the best and most memorable gifts I've received from friends and family have been those that have been bundled within each other, like gifts within a gift. For example, a darling bag like this one that is stuffed with a lipstick set, perfume, candle, earrings, or cute pouch and finished with a pretty scarf or ribbon tied around it in a bow. What gal wouldn't love to receive such a sweet gift tailored to her?

The "Home Is Where Your Mom Is" dish towel is possibly one of the most precious towels I've ever seen -- I know my heart would explode if my babies gifted this to me! Or this "Best Mom Ever" scarf...100% silk and so stinkin' cute! 💗

Also, the flutter-sleeved floral robe is such a beauty! It comes in a pretty blush floral print, too! I think this would be such a lovely gift for all mommas or any mommas-to-be, too; it's something she can feel extra pretty in, especially on those rough days when just getting dressed is a tiresome feat. Get her a matching garment bag and sleep mask for the ultimate lounge set and I'm sure she'll love you to the moon and back!

I'm really crushing on all the beautiful silk scarves this season, too, like the lilac toile one above and this whimsical picnic one, too! Mom can wear them around her neck, in her hair, or tied to a cute Summer bag.

One of the coolest gifts I came across is this heart-shaped portable charger! It's simple and sweet with its gold-heart design but it's also super practical and something every mom-on-the-go could use daily! Few things are more aggravating than your cell phone dying when you're out and about and need it the most. (We've all been there. The worst.) I love that you can just attach this cutie to your bag or clutch and have one less thing to worry about! It gives your phone just enough "juice" until you can get home or get to a charger to fully charge it.

I'm rounding up all my Mother's Day Gift Ideas for you below!
Have fun browsing, and I hope you're able to find that perfect gift you've been searching for!

MOTHER'S DAY GIFT IDEAS


XO,

Sara

4/25/18

Vacation Style: Favorite Swimsuits, Reviews + Cancun Outfits/Photos

Hi, Everyone!

It's been a crazy few weeks filled with so many amazing things, it's hard to know where to start! As you know, I've been doing some traveling with family, with us recently returning from our Spring Break trip to Cancún and then immediately heading off to Yosemite. We went from a warm, tropical climate by the Caribbean Sea to the crisp, dry climate in the high elevations of the snow-covered mountain peaks. Both were so incredibly beautiful in their own right and would be impossible to choose between! But since Cancún was the longer trip of the two and the one with the most varied outfits, I wanted to do a round-up of what I packed and wore, including a review of some of my favorite swimsuits and outfits. I also wanted to share a few other photos from the trip as well. 😊
SWIMSUITS
Let's start with the swimsuits! Admittedly, I may have gone a little crazy with the swimsuit packing. But, what can I say? I like to have a little variety and have fun with different prints/colors, especially on vacation! ;-)

You may have seen several of these already on my Instagram, but I'm sharing them here on the blog as well with my reviews, including all sizing/fit details, pricing, etc.
White Ruffle Swimsuit (xs) - only $40! //
Striped Wrap Skirt (xs) - also worn as a cover-up (also cute here) //
Bamboo Bag (small) // Sunglasses - old (similar here) //
Medallion Necklace // Woven Slides in Tan - only $18! (also cute here) // 
By now you no doubt know that this white ruffle swimsuit is my favorite -- I've been raving about it since I first discovered it online about a month ago, and have been recommending it to everyone ever since! Ladies, I can't tell you how happy it makes me to receive your messages letting me know you bought it on my recommendation and love it just as much as I do! It truly makes my day! 💗

It really is the CUTEST one-piece I've seen in awhile. It's simple yet elegant, super flattering, and super affordable at only $40! I was amazed at the price since so many other stylish swimsuits I've seen have been ridiculously-priced at nearly 5 times this amount! I don't know about you, but I wasn't prepared to spend $200+ on a swimsuit! So, thank you, Target, for getting it right -- you really knocked it out of the park with this one!
I want to mention the quality, too. It's a really well-made suit and not thin or flimsy at all. Initially, I was worried it would be see-through given the white material, but thankfully it's double-lined and fully opaque, even when wet. 

It also comes in black, but I wanted something light and Spring-y, so I opted for the crisp white, especially since it also makes you look tan when you really don't have much color to start with, like me. ;-)
 I had so much fun splashing around in this little number (can you tell how much I loved the warm water?) and had several ladies compliment me on it! I wore it both as a swimsuit and as a "top" with a skirt and sandals for a quick and easy look to grab a bite to eat.

The ruffled detailing is my favorite detail, of course, and I love that the suit itself has good, modest coverage while still lending a sexy-sweet look to it. 
I took a size XS and found it to run a little loose on me in the strap area, but it was still manageable and fit nicely everywhere else. It has a built-in shelf bra that adds support, which is a must for me. I find that some one-pieces leave you looking flat and shapeless (who the heck wants that?) which has deterred me in the past from buying them. But I'm happy to report that this one still offers good support and has softly-lined cups that flatter and shape you.
I tied this mesh pareo around it for the photos above, coincidentally matching the turquoise water, as well as this striped wrap skirt that I styled both as a cover-up on the beach and as a skirt for lunch/dinner. 
If you've been on the hunt for the perfect one-piece, definitely give this one a try before it sells out! It already looks like several sizes are temporarily out of stock online, but keep checking for any re-stocks!
I wanted to share a different way I styled it using this pretty, floral scarf. I adore the feminine look of this and think it would look darling for lunch or even for a stroll to explore the beach/resort. This scarf is only $13 and can be worn multiple ways: as a wrap, neck scarf, or pareo like I'm doing here. I love the print and the navy-blue contrast edging!

Other details: Bamboo bag (small) // Medallion necklace (only $4 and love!)

 This light-yellow swimsuit is another favorite! It was a steal for only $25 and is another one of those suits that is effortlessly pretty. I love the soft color and the tropical print, and the braided straps that criss-cross in the back. 
 It's double-lined for opacity and is stretchy and comfy. It also has a shelf-bra with soft-lined cups for good support. I'm wearing size 4 and it fits a little tighter than the white one above, but is very flattering and fits nicely throughout. 
I really like pattern-mixing the large florals of it with the micro stripes of the wrap skirt; it's such a fresh combination for vacation!

I also paired it with my favorite crochet pareo. The bubble texture of it so cute and the ivory color makes it easy to pair with multiple swimsuits! Love and highly recommend it as well! (It comes in a few other colors, too!)
This lemon-print, off-the-shoulder flounce bikini was the only bikini I brought. I adore all things lemon-print, so of course I had to have it, but more than that, the flounced off-the-shoulder top had me sold! Isn't it just the sweetest? 

I'm wearing size S and it fits perfectly. The top has a shelf bra with soft cups instead of just a thin, bandeau-style front, which I really like. I'm pairing it here with this same crochet pareo for the sake of photos since the bottoms had less coverage than my other swimsuits (and because I didn't want to reveal too much skin here) but suffice it to say it's super flirty, sexy, and oh-so-cute! ;-)

This suit was another total steal, too, at only $20! The brand is "Cabana Del Sol" and I was so excited to stumble on it at T.J. Maxx. Unfortunately, it's now sold out online, which is not a shocker at this price point for such a cute set, but I found 3 similar lemon-print bikinis that I'm also loving here:


This pink floral one-piece was another keeper from my T.J. Maxx order. It was the last one available online in my size and was only $40, so I pounced on it. I'm so glad I did because it fits like a glove and is so much prettier in-person! The color is a coral-pink with hints of ivory, turquoise, cobalt, lilac, fuchsia, and yellow. I just love the print and fit so much, even with the molded cups, which I wasn't too sure about. They give you a really nice shape and enhance your assets. ;-)

I'm wearing size XS and it fits true-to-size. I was able to find this exact swimsuit at another retailer here with most sizes available, but the price is a bit higher at $100 compared to the better price at T.J.Maxx, but it's still a better deal than the original retail price of $176. Most sizes are still in stock, too!

 I also fell in love with the tile print and design of this cut-out one-piece by the brand "Bleu Rod Beattie" from T.J. Maxx. The tonal blues and contrasting patterns are so pretty and eye-catching! 
I'm so happy the cut-outs down the front of it aren't too revealing; they're narrow and keep you covered while still adding some style and interest.
I'm wearing size 6, which was the only size available at time of ordering, and it fits nicely except for the waist, which runs about an inch or two wide on me. Despite that, it isn't too noticeable and still looks adorable.
Can you believe I snagged this suit on major clearance for only $10?! You can see why I had to add it to my cart and take the chance on it -- it was too good to pass up! Sadly, this exact one is now sold out on T.J.Maxx's website, but I found a nearly identical one here that I absolutely love from the same brand and in the same beautiful, tonal blues. It's available as a modest tankini that you have to see, too: 

Top // Bottoms 

Both suits are gorgeous! If I didn't already have this one, I'd definitely be considering either of these!

Other details: Ray-bans in blue gradient // Color-block hat - size small (only $13!)

 This hot-pink monokini is definitely an attention-grabber and one that received so many questions and compliments both in-person during my trip and on Instagram when I first shared it! 

Funny thing, I almost didn't bring it, but thought, "Oh, what the heck." I'm glad I did because it's one of those that makes you feel incredible wearing it! I felt really confident wearing it and mostly attribute that to my ongoing BBG exercise program and overall fitness journey, which I set out on earlier this year (and touched on in this blog post, in case you missed it.) Feeling stronger and in better shape than I have in a long time, especially as a mama of 3, I decided I wouldn't let my insecurities stop me from wearing this bright, sexy number. And you know, what? I felt amazing in it all day. My husband definitely loved this one, too, so I guess it was a good decision after all. ;-) 
This suit was an older ebay find in brand-new condition with tags, and is unfortunately no longer available (I tried to find the same exact one) but I found a few similar hot-pink, cut-out one-pieces here and here. I also love this ruffled one-piece sans cut-outs here

This lilac-floral one-piece arrived in the mail just after we returned home, so I'm sharing a quick try-on snapshot. The colors of this swimsuit are so gorgeous in-person, and the one-shoulder ruffle detailing is too cute for words! 

I bought this one on sale, and the good news is that it's still on sale for $70 (originally $155, so 54% off) with limited sizes available, so if you love it grab it before it sells out! I'm wearing size XS and it fits perfectly. The fabric is nice, thick, and stretchy and the top interior has a shelf bra for good support. The back is less "cheeky" as well, with modest coverage compared to most. Love and highly recommend this one, too!

SHOP MY FAVORITE SWIMSUITS & COVER-UPS


OUTFITS
Now onto the outfits! I may have over-packed outfits for this trip, too. I'd rather be over-prepared than under, so that's how I justify it. After 13 years of marriage and knowing my packing habits, my husband just rolls his eyes at this point. (lol)

Though I was mostly in swimsuits/cover-ups each day, I still changed and dressed for dinner each night, and for the occasional lunch if we decided to take a swimming break.

Here's what I brought and wore:
Lemon-print Cami (I also have the matching bodysuit - so cute!)// 
Striped Midi Skirt (xxs) // Tan Leather Espadrilles - on sale with code LTDAYS // 
Circle Straw Bag (also cute here) // Gold Hoop Earrings - lightweight and only $4!

Simple, sweet, and perfect for the warm, humid weather!

Lace Cover-Up (only $28 and comes in blush & black, too!) // Straw Tote //
Skinny Scarf - old (love this one!)

I actually wore this lace cover-up as a dress, too, swapping out my swimsuit for a nude cami and slip and no one was the wiser! I love the flounced hem! I think I need to go back for the blush one, too...
(I'm wearing size Small for a relaxed fit.) 

These were on heavy rotation the entire trip and looked so cute with everything! When I just wanted something small, I used the polka-dot bag as a clutch. It added such a fun pop of color!
From Left to Right:

Mauve Polka-Dot Dress (also similar here) // 
Marigold Lace Dress (see this blog post for more photos & details) //
Lemon-Print Dress (also love this one in similar colors) //

More Not Pictured:

White Fit-and-Flare Dress (also similar here) // 


Behold my colorful, vacation "dress shop." Well, that's what I called it anyway. ;-) 
This photo just makes me happy. You all know by now that I'm a dress-lover through and through, so naturally, I brought as many sundresses in all the pretty colors and prints as I could fit into my suitcase! And not one of them sat idle. I wore every.single.one. 

I love that they're all lightweight and breathable (perfect for tropical climates) and that they pack well for traveling. Bonus: most of them are $30 or less!
 
 Striped Dress (also cute here) // Bamboo Bag //
Silk Scarf (also similar here, here, here) //
Pearl Hoop Earrings (only $5!) // Sunglasses - old (similar here) //
Blush Suede Ankle-Tie Sandals - old (similar here, here

I shot this outfit flatlay just before leaving and wore this exact look to dinner one night. It was perfect for outdoor dining in Cancún since temperatures remain close to 80 degrees well into the evening! 

(See this blog post for more photos & details)

I wore this same look out for dinner as well. I love the gorgeous, cheery color and intricate lace of this dress, and it's now on clearance for $19.58! (It comes in a pretty coral color, too!)

 
 
Straw Tote // Striped Scarf - old (similar here, also cute here //
Ann Taylor Nude Ankle-Tie Sandals - old (similar here, here)

You may have seen these snaps from my Instagram, but I'm sharing them again here on the blog because I wore this exact outfit during the trip. I absolutely ADORE this dress! The color, the fit, the button details -- perfection! I loved this one so much, I bought the blue-and-white striped version, too! The straps are adjustable and there's smocking in the back that allows you to step into the dress and pull it on easily (buttons aren't functional.) And can we talk about the front patch pockets? Love, love, love! Dresses and skirts with pockets are always a "yes!" in my book!

This dress is available in regular, petite, and tall sizes, too! I'm wearing size XST for added length, though the style is meant to be "mini." (I'm 5'2" for reference.) Sizing runs on the small side, so if you're in between sizes or have a larger chest, you'll want to size up one to two sizes, depending on how form-fitting you want this dress to be. I could've gotten away with a size XXS in this dress given the measurements, but didn't want it to be too tight. It's super comfy and super flattering. I can't recommend it enough! I got both of mine on promo, but even at regular price of about $60, they're totally worth it.

Woven Slides in Tan - only $18! (also cute here) // 
Circle Straw Bag (also cute here)

These were on heavy rotation as well! They're the perfect, nude accessories for vacation!
Woven Slides in Tan - only $18! (also cute here) //
Mesh Pareo - only $27 and comes in other colors!

Darn sun-burned foot! Figures I'd burn only one somehow... (lol)

Mauve Polka-Dot Dress (also similar here

I wore this darling wrap dress to dinner, too -- just swapped out the heels for these sandals. The lower block heels make them easy to walk in and the tassel ankle ties are such a cute detail!

White Cami (not shown) // Blush Long Cardigan (not shown) //
Black Leggings // LOFT Outlet Scarf - old (similar here) //
Tan Leather Wedges - now 20% off with code LTDAYS //
Gucci Tote (pre-loved options for less here) // Pink Carry-on Suitcase (similar here) //

I took this quick snap while waiting at the airport. We were all tired and hungry, so this was as good as it got in terms of an outfit picture. (lol)

I also packed this must-have open cardigan in my tote (not shown) plus a few other goodies that you can find in the widget below.

SHOP MY VACATION OUTFITS



TRAVEL PHOTOS

I have entirely too many photos from our trip that I'm still trying to sift through, but I wanted to share at least a few of them with you here! If you've never been to Cancún, you really must visit at least once! The weather is warm and beautiful (we usually go in late March/early April) and the water is absolutely beautiful! Not only is it a blend of vivid turquoise and cerulean blues, but it's nice and warm, too -- perfect for swimming! We easily swam 5 - 7 hours every day! (So fun and great exercise, too!) The kids had a blast, and would crash in their beds from sheer fun and exhaustion every night. And don't get me started on the food. Oh my YUM. The fresh seafood and desserts alone still have me salivating. You'll see what I mean in the pictures below. I think I have close to 100 food/dessert pictures on my phone. (lol.)

Hope you enjoy!

(Celebrity sighting at LAX Airport: Rebecca Romijn, her husband, Jerry O'Connell, and their twin girls. They were on our flight to Mexico and were so sweet and unassuming, just playing games and reading books. 😊)

Our trip was another one for the books, and I'm so grateful we were all able to go again this year. I'm thinking this will be a new annual family tradition for us, just like the Yosemite trip. We created so many wonderful memories and the kids are already asking when they can go back. I'd call that a huge success! Now I'm back to reality, waist-deep in projects including re-organization of some areas of the house (we had renovations done while we were gone) but I'm so excited for more future travel adventures!

Thanks so much for reading, and I hope this post gives you a few helpful ideas and some #vacaystyle inspiration if you're planning your own getaway soon! Let me know if you have any questions on the swimsuits or outfits and I'll be happy to help!

Have a great week!

XO,
Sara









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