2019 Oregon Family Mom's Gift Guide
● By Sandy Kauten
I don’t get sentimental about much, except my kids. The four mom-centric jewelry items I reviewed for this year’s guide all felt special and unique. The Moonglow Jewelry locket carries two small charms, each one shows the phase of the moon on the night each of my two kids was born. And the Isabelle Grace Jewelry Starlight Initial Charm Necklace keeps my two stars close to my heart. Exactly where they belong.
When I say “I love you” to my seven-year-old, he says “I love you more.” So I couldn’t resist Mantraband’s thin, silver bangle with those words stamped in the metal. It makes a cute stack with Luca & Danni’s “Mama Bear” bangle, too.
Moonglow Jewelry: moonglow.com
Isabel Grace Jewelry: isabellegracejewelry.com/
Luca + Danni: lucadanni.com/
Feel Good (& Smell Good)
Self-care can be as simple as soft skin. The moisturizing sugar polish from South of France comes in three lush scents and after exfoliating, leaves behind the perfect moisture. Bonblissity’s Sweet & Single Candy Scrubs look like wrapped candies, but after you squish them in your hands, scrub away the dead skin, your hands and arms are left soft and smell so good. Plus, they’re adorable.
Winter skin is often cranky skin. The Banish face wash and
pumpkin enzyme mask feel so good. The mask, in particular, smells like pumpkin
and, once it goes on, tingles a bit. Rinse off to softer and healthier skin.
Bonus: my teen son and I did this mask together and it definitely cleared his
My favorite find this season for mom is the facial oil from Portland-based Blendily. I tried Ruby Skies and Golden Hour and loved both, but Ruby Skies get the edge. I’ve used up my samples and this is going on my personal wish list this year. The products are also made in Portland.
Finally, Scentered’s mini tin with 100 percent natural and portable aromatherapy balms feel like zen on the go. The five balms — Sleep-well, De-stress, Be-Happy, Focus and Escape — speak to the stresses of mom life. In fact, my De-stress balm may need a refill.
- South of France: amazon.com
- Bonblissity: https://bonblissity.com/
- Banish: https://banish.com/
- Blendily: blendily.com or 1532 NE Alberta in Portland, OR
- Scentered: https://scentered.com/
Planning & Dreaming
Busy moms keep a lot of balls in the air and need support for staying organized. A great planner can be a lifesaver. But a planner decision is not one-size-fits-all. My Infinite Agenda is a beautiful desk-size planner with room each month to set and review short and long term goals. You can vision board and still have the right structure for managing your time. Each page also has a place to note what you’re grateful for today (my favorite part). If you find a more common planner like Erin Condren or Happy Planners stifling, I’d consider this option.
The Dreambook Planner is a little less about the day to day and more focused on self-reflection, dreaming big and creating rituals for more balance and living with intention. It’s a good portable size for a bag and perfect for my sister. She pored over the pages and I could see her artistic brain at work.
The Balance Bound Planner ended up being my personal favorite. I need room to plan forward, but I’m mostly interested in how my days look. I use my planner to write everything down. The act of writing helps me remember. So I need room on each day, a bit of structure, but not too much and space for the random notes and doodles that are the glue of life.
If you’re more of a bullet journal fan, Ghost Paper Notebooks will be your new go-to. I don’t bullet journal, but I love great paper and always have a notebook with me. The paper in this book is lined, but the lines are invisible (they’re embossed and debossed).
My Infinite Planner: https://www.myinfiniteagenda.com/
Dreambook Planner: https://dreambook.vision/
Balance Bound Planner: https://www.balancebound.co/
Ghost Paper Notebooks: https://www.ghostpaper.com/
Time moves too darn fast. Motif is available on your Mac or can be found as an iPhone app that will help sort and select your best photos of good quality and makes it easy to order either hardcover or softcover books. I picked the camera roll album with photos from a weekend my teenager and I spent in San Francisco. The app grouped similar photos & selected the best 51 or about 160 choices. With a few clicks you can rearrange pages and order your photo book. Rather than just a Facebook album, I have a physical reminder of the great time we had together
A different spin on the photo book is the Image3D RetroViewer. Remember the old ViewMaster toy? You can go retro with your own favorite photos. The hardest part for me was narrowing down the images to use. But the process with easy! And the result is a clever twist with a little dash of nostalgia (plus, they’re based in Portland).
We build strong connections to places — the town we grew up in, where we went to college and where we build our families. My Ever Map gives you a beautiful print of your favorite places. It’s elegant and simple, with a few choices of style and color, but really it’s all about the map. Our Ever Map is of Eugene - our home - in a deep teal color.
Image 3D: www.image3d.com
First the practical: Grocery shopping can be a chore. All the plastic involved with buying fruits and veggies is such a waste! I’m impressed with Lotus Produce Bags. They’re durable, washable and reusable. Three color-coded sizes will fit anything on your list. And really, they look great. You could use them for many more applications than just veggies.
I have a weakness for bags, purses, wristlets and totes of all sorts. Sea Bags, based in Maine, up-cycles old sails into beautiful, unique pieces. The wristlet is a perfect size for carrying a phone, ID, maybe a credit card and some lip gloss. I love the octopus print, but I’m also putting the one-of-a-kind totes on my wish list.
Another must-have accessory is absolutely an infinity scarf. And as a University of Oregon Ducks fan, when I saw the Waypoint Goods Stadium Series travel infinity scarf in green and gold… well, I was in. Waypoint’s scarves have a built-in pocket — perfect for taking just the essentials to the stadium and avoiding having to carry a clear bag. Of course, Waypoint has dozens of other gorgeous styles, too, if for some reason you don’t feel compelled to wear UO colors.
Two things are always tucked in my Waypoint scarf (or my Sea Bags wristlet) is FOUR: organic lip balm and my phone with a cute case from Casery. Why FOUR:? Because the lip balm made from just four ingredients: coconut oil, beeswax, jojoba oil and peppermint oil. Nothing else. It makes my lips happy. And why Casery? Elegant, fun, fashionable case styles that aren’t ridiculously expensive and are drop-tested. My phone is currently the light purple agate style, but I’ve also got my eye on the "Like a Bird” print.
Lotus Veggie Bags: https://www.lotustrolleybag.com/
Sea Bags: https://seabags.com/
Waypoint Goods: https://waypointgoods.com/
Girls Wanna Have Fun
The hours we spent in school organizing our Trapper Keepers — and you’ll never forget the sound of the velcro closure, right? As a child of the 80s, the Trapper Keeper Game bring back so many memories. It’s silly, sure. But it’ll pair well with Zima and Boone’s Farm at your next girls night out.
I also recommend bringing Caroline’s Cakes cake bites with you to girls game night. Famous for their seven-layer caramel cake, the company now has cake bites. You’ll find several varieties of cake bites available on the website, but do not be distracted, Go for the caramel cake bites. You’ll thank me for it.
Trapper Keeper Game: http://www.biggcreative.com/
Caroline’s Cakes: https://carolinescakes.com/
Too Big for the Stocking
We all know exercise is important. It helps our brains function better, releases “happy” hormones and improves focus - but it’s hard to find time and space, especially at work. My Cubii creates an easy way to move a little more during your day. The Cubii is a compact elliptical - get your legs moving while you sit with a book, watch a movie or click through your email inbox. It really is that simple, it takes up very little room and everyone in my family enjoys it.
As you plan your holiday gift giving (and getting), I hope the
ideas in this year’s guide provide some inspiration!
by Kelli Matthews