Mother’s Day Gift Guide

In case the ridiculous amount of commercials for Garry Marshall’s latest movie haven’t yet tipped you off, Mother’s Day is right around the corner! Time to come up with a game plan, people. Is anyone else’s mom really hard to shop for? Mine can be a challenge since she’s so unmaterialistic (it must skip a generation, because I’m basically a shopping addict). Fortunately, my shopping skills come in handy here. So if you don’t have any gift ideas yet, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered!

Mother's Day Gift Guide


1. Whether she’s a beauty junkie or not, your mom will appreciate a luxurious facial oil like this one from Drunk Elephant.

2. She already knows she’s the best, but a little reminder of that wouldn’t hurt.

3. Despite being a fairly traditional gift, this beautifully packaged bubble bath is anything but generic.

4. Give your mom the gift of quality time and take her to a concert! Bonus points if that concert is at a winery.

5. If she’s an iced tea lover, this sangria-inspired blend is destined to be her new favorite.

6. Engrave a necklace with her kids’ initials – or maybe the coordinates of the house where you grew up – for a gift that’s sweet and meaningful.

7. If she’s been very good this year (and you received a giant tax refund) consider the greatest gift of all: a fancy espresso machine!

8. These cute pineapple jars are perfect for storing anything from sweets to sentimental trinkets.

9. If you and your mom both like to cook, give her a book filled with fun recipes you can work your way through together.

10. Treat her to something she’d never indulge in herself, like silky soft pajamas in a stylish otomi print.

11. A beach vacation may be out of your budget, but this classic, fresh fragrance is a close second to the real thing.

My mom reads this blog, so none of the above will be her actual gift (hi, Mom!) but I’m planning some fun surprise activities for Mother’s Day weekend. What about you?

♥ Mil


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Brands We Love: Raven + Lily

raven + lily brands we love south by northwest @mrsmalinowskiI’m a big believer in the saying “practice what you preach.” Lately it has me thinking about where and how I choose to spend my money.

A few months ago I stumbled across the company Raven + Lily and was immediately taken by both their mission and well as their beautiful jewelry. In addition to jewelry, they also offer women’s clothing, bags, and home goods. Raven + Lily’s mission is to empower women through skill development and design. They employ over 1,500 women in more than 8 countries and their employees receive fair trade wages and are given access to health care and education.

CEO Kirsten Dickerson was quoted in the Baylor Magazine saying “I think the most effective way to alleviate cycles of poverty is through the education of children as well as the empowerment of women through skills training and sustainable income opportunities.” All I can say to that is YES. This is a company I wish I was smart enough and cool enough to have created. Since that’s not the case, I’ll just have to satisfy myself with wearing their jewelry!

raven + lily socially responsible jewelry brand

Kirsten posing with a few of her craftswomen

I particularly love that Raven + Lily is B Corp certified. Cause marketing is a growing trend. So many companies know that “giving back” is a great selling point for the millennial generation. However much like the difference between “natural” and “organic,” there’s a whole spectrum of companies that fall into the socially responsible category. B Corp status provides third party validation that Raven + Lily is committed to not only talking the talk, but walking the walk.

Their jewelry is modern and generally minimalist, but incorporates traditional artisan crafts and techniques. I’m a particular fan of their Kenya Collection, which features a lot of bold brass jewelry. I’ve shared a few of my favorite pieces below. You can learn more about their work in Kenya and shop the entire Kenya Collection here.
raven + lily necklace socially responsible jewelry

raven + lily socially responsible jewelryraven + lily brands we love sustainable jewelry and fashion south by northwest
Isn’t that last piece, the Dani Statement necklace, just gorgeous! I love that these days it’s pretty easy to find socially responsible brands committed to sustainable sourcing and making a positive impact on the communities in which they work. The Ethical Fashion Forum is a great resource for finding brands that fit this mold.
What do you look for in a beauty or fashion brand? Mil and I are both suckers for beautiful packaging.
Photos sources: Raven + Lily

Galentine’s Day Gift Guide

Guys. It is February. How did that happen? I’m not quite sure, but I’m already looking forward to the next big holiday on the calendar…Galentine’s Day! Much like Leslie Knope, the genius behind Galentine’s Day, I will take literally any excuse to celebrate my friends and shower them with love (and cute gifts). If you’re in the mood to treat the ladies in your life to a little something special, look no further than our Galentine’s Day gift guide. Everything is under 50 bucks, but most items are way cheaper!

Galentine's Day Gift Guide


1.  A cute Valentine is a must and this one is adorable.

2. Chic rose lip polish is the perfect gift for your beauty-obsessed BFF.

3. Four words, y’all: champagne-soaked gummy bears.

4. This mobile backup charger is festive yet practical.

5. A book of Parisian cocktails is an excellent excuse to get together for a drink (or to start planning your girls’ getaway to France).

6. She’ll smile every time she takes a sip from this cute water bottle.

7 & 8. A lovely votive and a sassy matchbook is a classic combo.

9. Who wouldn’t love these delicate zodiac rings?

10. I’m so intrigued by this party girl surprise ball (it contains 12 mystery prizes)!

11. Every girl needs a compact, and this is the classiest one ever.

12. Use a cupcake decorating kit to whip up some insanely pretty treats for your friends.

13. This awesome makeup pouch tells it how it is.

14. Add a little sparkle to her life with some keychain bling.

Do you and your lady friends celebrate Galentine’s Day? This year Jules and I will both be traveling (not together, sadly), but last year we spent a glorious day together watching rom-coms and eating Thai takeout. It was the best.

♥ Mil

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

Only four days left until Christmas! I’m looking forward to a short work week, mainly because it will give me time to wrap up my holiday shopping (and finally put up my Christmas tree). Do you have everything checked off your list already? It’s especially easy to forget about stocking stuffers until the eleventh hour, so if you need a few last minute gift ideas, I’ve got your back.

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

1. This chocolate passport from Trader Joe’s is a no-brainer for anyone with a sweet tooth.

2. These faux fur earmuffs are an excellent gift for the person who cares equally about comfort and style.

3. This fabulous hot pink gem speaker would add a pop of color and whimsy to a desk or bookshelf.

4. Every girl on the go needs a pretty compact in her purse!

5. Earbuds are a practical gift for anyone, and these come in a rainbow of fun colors.

6. A carry-on cocktail kit instantly makes any plane ride a million times more bearable.

7. This brass squirrel has got to be the cutest bottle opener ever.

8. A minimalist handmade ring holder will be appreciated by anybody with a surplus of jewelry.

9. This fanciful trinket tray would look adorable on any bedside table.

10. NUXE’s famous dry oil is an everyday luxury, and their fancy limited edition is perfect for gifting.

11. A plaid hanging jewelry holder is a great pick for the trendy traveler.

12. This retro key tag is such a random gift, but that’s what stocking stuffers are for! (Bonus: it only costs $9.)

13. A duo of truffle salts is the perfect treat for your favorite foodie.

What are you hoping to find in your stocking this year?

♥ Mil


For more gift giving ideas, please peruse our other holiday gift guides:

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