It’s that time! You have all you need for your little one, but there is one person left to greet for the new year – your teacher!

A fun fact about me is that I have a minor in education! I am a teacher at heart and have always held a special place for teachers close. Now, as a parent my appreciation for the amazing educators in our lives is even bigger.

One thing I love to do is to get a list of their favorite things. This helps me give thanks most intentionally throughout the year. I have refined this the past few years and this year am so happy with everything it covers! I simply tucked the questionnaire in the back for their first day basket so it was ready to go.

I love a good gift, and I love to give a first day gift to our teachers! This year we gave a personalized (with my Crucit) tumbler with lid (I have gifted this cups for 3 years now and love them), the most amazing hand sanitizer (spoiler, it’s also a moisturizer and FDA approved), a personalized cookie and a gift card for dinner. The tag for our gift basket gives a nod to dinner. Take a look below for our teacher gifts and for the free downloads of my printables!

TIP: Punch a hole in your DINNER ON US tag if adding it to a gift. Simply loop the hang tag or ribbon through it to attach to your gift basket, box or bag.

NOTE: Please check with your school. There are some PTO/PTA groups that keep a favorite things list for each teacher on file and the homeroom teacher has that information.

Simply click on the image to save it and print it from your printer. Don’t forget to add your teachers name and to sign the sheet from your kiddo so the teacher knows who to return it to!

If you are looking for a fun gift to add to your teacher questionnaire I crafted this little dinner on us gift card tag to tie on our baskets. I also made a stand alone card for a place to secure your gift card if that might be helpful to you!

We went with Chick-fil-A gift cards and when I polled what your first day of school traditions are a teacher added Chick-fil-A or Pizza for dinner because of how busy of a day it is. I’m fairly certain I made a good gift card choice!

Simply click on the image to save it and print it from your printer. Don’t forget to add your teachers name and to sign the gift from you!

I always love to see what you all come up with! Leave me a comment here with your first day teacher gift ideas or take me on social media @ChristinaLeighFrederick and @TheHelpfulHost so that I can celebrate with you!

I’m hesitant to even call this post a gift guide, but alas here we are! The truth is these items I have and love, or are on my very own list! I asked a series of questions to Instagram and here are the most requested ideas all summed up!

What mom loves accessories? Whether its a new pair of statement earrings or a fun gift set these three items are my must haves!
1. MOTHERS DAY BUNDLE – How amazing is this set in green! I love the fun scarf for a mom who loves scarves, or hasn’t yet jumped into the trend. The head hand, socks, adorable earrings and this fun clutch make for the perfect gift that’s already curated!
2. MAGNOLIA STUD EARRINGS – If you know a southern mama these are the perfect accessory! I love the blush pink and they are the perfect size! These are definitely on my list!
3. SUMMER SUN PACKABLE HAT – These packable hats are all the rage this summer! I love that you can leave it in your car and wear this hat no matter what style your hair is! This one has my heart because of the adorable bow on the back!

When asked clothes vs shoes, it was close but the majority of you voted for clothes. These are definitely a few of my favorites!
1. PUFF SLEEVE T-SHIRT DRESS – It’s no secret I love this brand! Most of their clothes are made in their small LA factory and they are made from dead stock. Basically, they use old fabric that big design houses no longer want or have thrown out. They cut each piece for order and you can return/exchange something if it’s not the right fit! I’m so tempted to grab this for post-baby!
2. THE ELLIE NAP DRESS – You have seen the trend everywhere, but I am here to tell you it is real. I ordered my first nap dress this spring and feel in love, so when the new collection debuted I had to grab another one. This navy is the perfect weight, great color and will transition thru fall! Your mom will thank you for this beautiful, comfortable piece she can wear again and again!
3. TIERED TANK DRESS – If you’re not quite sure on splurging on the name brand nap dress then this is your ticket! This adorable dress is almost the same silhouette, with a few mini differences, still a lightweight fabric and the perfect option for her to try out the trend!

If you’re looking to splurge on mom this is the guide for you. These are all items I own and wear almost, if not, every single day.
1. DECO DIAMOND WATCH & BRACELET – Definitely another splurge, but I love that this watch holds its value, has interchangeable bands and is the perfect mix of silvertone and goldtone. This is a gift that is for a special mother’s day for sure!
2. PEARL EARRINGS – My sweet husband gifted me these earrings years ago and I wear them every day. They are the perfect size and weight, and what women doesn’t love a little blue box.
3. STUD EARRINGS – Splurge, or not, shh I won’t tell! I love these options for a busy mom of littles! You can look classic and put together at the pool without worrying you are going to loose a diamond. Let’s just say I am a fan of this one for sure!

Sign me up for this gift guide year round! I don’t know what mom isn’t loving that loungewear has come out of the last year, and these fun sets and pieces are all on my list!
1. FRENCH TERRY JOGGER & CREW – If you are anything like me I have binged all of The Home Edit shows, read the books and shopped The Container Store collection, but this collab might be my new favorite! How fun is this star print! So happy, and super comfortable!
2. CHERRY BLOSSOM SWEATSHIRT & SHORTS – These sets sell out every time a new pattern is released, but how cute is this yellow! It’s so happy and perfect for summer! I love the short sleeve on the sweatshirt, too!
3. GINGHAM SWEATSHIRT – For me, this is another southern staple! If your mom is looking for the perfect sweatshirt that is lightweight, perfect for layering and the most amazing gingham this is your gift! I personally own this in two color options, and have my eye on that pink!
4. ALIGN LEGGINGS – I own the real deal and the lookalikes and lets just say if you are spoiling mom these are for her! I love all of the color options these come in and when I say these are butter soft I mean it. Truly the best loungewear option for any mom!
5. BAREFOOT DREAMS CARDIGAN – I love my cardigan! If your mom doesn’t own anything barefoot dreams this is the perfect piece to gift her! Great for year round (ok, maybe only inside in the AC during the summer), but great for lounging, traveling or carpool line!

If there was a landslide vote on what moms want, or would like to gift this year, it is a spa day! There is nothing I love more than adding a tangible gift to a gift card and what better than a robe. I own and love all of these options, and you can’t go wrong!
1. GINGHAM ROBE – I said it before, and I will say it again, there is nothing more southern than gingham. I own this robe in navy and love it. It’s soft, lightweight and the perfect level of comfort! This color is now on my wish list!
2. SPRING GARDEN ROBE – This is another robe I own and love. Similar to the lightweight feel of the gingham robe, but in the most amazing garden print this robe will be loved, there is no doubt about it!
3. LONG WHITE ROBE – If your mom loves a more plush robe this is the robe for her! I love the personalization option and you can’t get more luxurious than this beautiful option!
4. SPA GIFT SET – I love this brand and this gift set is a steal of a deal! A headband, hair towel and two scrunchies (does anyone else always loose scrunchies like I do) and the most adorable print! The perfect set for spa day at home!

If your mom loves summer like my mom why not gift her goodies that she will love! I grabbed a few of my favorite options and know that any water and sun loving mother will be ecstatic about!
1. STRAW TOTE – Straw is back again this year and I love the lining and detail of this bag! It’s a big enough tote for all of your moms favorite poolside goodies, yes even sunscreen and googles for the mama with littles!
2. SUN HAT – I love this hat! The brim is big enough to cover every inch of your face, it has a super cute ribbon and the classic tan and black color option is perfect.
3. FACE SPF – If your mom loves the sun help her take care of her skin. This face spa is my personal go to and I love that it doesn’t make my skin greasy, it applies without a white cast and is reef safe!
4. SUNGLASSES – I get asked a lot what my sunglasses are and while my personal color way is sold out, I LOVE this fun print! Truly the perfect pair to fit any face shape, scratch resistant and 100% UVA/UVB coverage these will be any moms go-tos this summer!

Do you know a mother who loves the kitchen? I have been on a personal journey to clean up the way we eat in my home and these are a few of my favorite things!
1. SWEET LAUREL COOKBOOK – Don’t ask me how Lauren Gallucci and Claire Thomas have an entire cookbook, filled to the brim, with sweet treats that don’t contain any gluten, dairy or refined sugars – but they have. I have personally made multiple recipes from this cookbook and my family doesn’t even know what is missing!
2. SWEET LAUREL SAVORY COOKBOOK – That’s right, they have done it again, but this time with savory recipes. All grain free cooking these 85 recipes are bound to become new staples in any moms home!
3. EMBER COFFEE MUG – This is a gift I received that I didn’t know I needed, and I can guarantee any mom will feel the exact same way! With an app that helps control the temperature of your coffee, or tea, for hours on end any mom, new or seasoned, will appreciate this gift!
4. RUFFLE PIE DISH – Dare I say I love a dish in my kitchen any more than this one? I received it for my wedding, but if your mom doesn’t have a pretty pie dish add this to a cookbook and your mom will love for forever. It’s heavy, yet dainty and I love the color options!
5. CAKE – Yes, that is right. You can ship your mom a cake! My love for Sweet Laurel runs deep and if you want to surprise your mom with the sweetest gesture you can order a cake from California and ship it nationally! You’re welcome.

If there is a prettier option for how to keep a mom organized I have yet to find it. As a mom I love this guide most of all – hint: I own all of these things!
1. DAILY PLANNER – I love a good desktop planner, one that I can write in and make messy. I love this daily option that runs from August – July, in vegan leather because it is just as beautiful as it is functional. It comes in a beautiful white box that any mom would love.
2. MONTHLY PLANNER – If your mom is like my mom she has always been a monthly planner gal. This academic yearly option is a great glance at a full month at once and perfect for any mom on the go!
3. GINGHAM PEN – Have you found the overarching theme of this Mother’s Day post? It’s gingham, but I just can’t stop! Every mom needs a great pen and this is it! It comes in a beautiful box and is refillable!
4. GROWING BOLDLY – Any mom who loves a good read would love this book. It’s full of inspiration, love and the best way to feed your soul – after all isn’t that what any mother is?
5. RAINBOW GIFT SET – The perfect pair to any of these self development gifts! The most adorable pair of earrings and lovely soap bar. I love both of these small businesses and love that this gift is as pretty as it is intentional. No need to add to moms clutter, just ways to fill her heart!

So, what do you think? Does this gift guide help? I hope it does and that you find something for yourself or for the mothers in your life. I would love to hear what you think below! Tell me your favorite gift guide, if I forgot something or what you are excited to gift/have on your list this year below!

We’ve already covered my top five makeup favorites, you can find them HERE, so lefts dig in to skincare! I love that Christy Coleman said it best when she said,

“Your makeup can’t be an A if your skincare is a D”
– Christy Coleman

So is your skincare a D? If so, this post is for you. This post is also for you if you’re looking for easy swaps to safer. I love these products because they work into any regimen, or stand alone for each specific need. Don’t forget, you can always see my beauty favorites on my BEAUTY page on the site HERE.

COUNTER+ CHARCOAL FACE MASK – This mask is life. I loved it long before the existence of maskne, but if you’re still looking for the perfect mask to detox this is it. The Cadillac of all charcoal masks it does the job, but doesn’t strip your skin.
TIP: Mask 10-15 minutes before you shower and wash your mask right off!

COUNTERCONTROL SOS SPOT TREATMENT – Let’s face it, no matter your age everyone can use a spot treatment in their skincare drawer. This little tube packs a big punch! Maskne, extra dairy or sugar, a little extra stress? No matter what pulls our your pesky blemishes this is what you need!

COUNTERTIME ULTRA RENEWAL EYE CREAM – As a mom of a toddler, business owner and girl who when I don’t get sleep – you notice – this is my go to! This amazing little jar is my saving grace! Formulated with our Retinatural Complex this is my all time favorite dark circle correcting, fine line reducing miracle cream! I promise it doesn’t disappoint.

COUNTER+ NO. 3 BALANCING FACIAL OIL – I had no clue that adding a face oil to my skincare routine would be as amazing as it is! I a oily in my t-zone and thought adding oil to oil would be the opposite of what I needed, turns out I was wrong! All three of our face oils are amazing (I truly don’t think you could go wrong), but I am partial to the balancing oil. I add 2-3 drops in my morning moisturizer and it’s as easy as that!

COUNTER+ OVERNIGHT RESURFACING PEEL – Let’s be honest. I have had the peel that wrecked my skin. It left me peeling for days, I felt like my face was burnt and I never wanted to try a “peel” ever again – in my life! Enter this peel. A peel that doesn’t actually peel – that’s right! You get all of the amazing skin resurfacing results (bye, bye dark spots) while you sleep! The morning glow is undeniable and I will never get another “professional peel” in my life!

Have you tried any of these? I would love to know what skincare you can’t live without! To shop any of these visit my direct affiliate link HERE!

It’s my first official “Makeup Monday” on my new blog and since Easter is a few weeks away I thought it would be fun to talk clean beauty and self care for the ladies in your life!

Who says an Easter basket has to be an actual basket? I am a firm believer that if you are going to do a themed gift, you might as well go all in! I love using a fun makeup bag as the base “basket” for these Easter treats below!

Let’s start with the teen or tween in your life that is just getting in to self care. If you know me, you know that clean beauty is the real deal and I am a huge advocate for protecting our skin, even at the youngest of ages. Start with the Beautycounter Counterstart line. It’s the perfect alternative to drugstore options without the harmful ingredients. Keep up with the clean beauty trend and opt for this amazing Bella Hue dry shampoo trio. Two different dry shampoo options with application brush, yes please! Round out the “basket” with some Clean Deo, makeup eraser towel, brush and don’t forget the candy!

Sources: Makeup Bag, Cleanser, Moisturizer, Clean Deo, Dry Shampoo,
Makeup Eraser, Wet Brush, Candy Eggs, Bunny Bites

If that wasn’t fun enough, let’s look at the Easter basket I am hoping for! When Julia Berolzheimer teamed up with Neely and Chloe I knew the collaboration would be amazing – I mean look at this vanity case! The shade of green, the perfect floral. I am in love. Only the best skincare could be in this “basket” so I went for my all time favorite eye cream and supreme cream. Add a facial steamer for a fun twist and face roller to really work that eye cream in. A silk pillowcase set and body glove + dry brush are the perfect pair to complete this fun gift. Of course the bunny never forgets to add a sweet treat and I love this fun truffle set!

Sources: Makeup Bag, Eye Cream, Face Roller, Silk Pillowcase + Eye Mask, Supreme Cream,
Chocolate Truffles, Facial Steamer, Body Dry Brush, Body Glove

Which basket is your favorite? I told you mine! If your bunny brings a fun beauty basket your way this year I would love to see it! Now, let’s have a little fun!


I am so excited to share that I am giving away one Spring in to Self Care Basket! That’s right! Everything you see here (minus the plastic easter eggs 🙂 ) Is up for grabs! A Value of $140+ can be yours! Simply follow the prompts below to receive entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway runs until midnight March 25. Winner will be announced and contacted on March 26, 2021. The giveaway is not sponsored by any brands represented and is an independent giveaway by USA and CA residents only. Giveaway is not open to international entries.

Yes, I said that correct. I can’t un-know what I now know.

By no means does that mean that I know everything, but what I am slowly starting to open my ears and eyes to is decades of our nation growing, but not following along with laws and regulations.

I never thought I would be a “crunchy” mom.

It’s a huge responsibility to raise a little one and when I learned that our bodies absorb 60% of what we put on it – did you know your skin is your largest organ – directly into your blood stream it gets you thinking.

So why should I put harmful things on him, or myself when I cuddle him as much as I can, if I can avoid it.

Here are just a few things that I can’t un-know:

  1. Did you know the word “fragrance” or “perfume” is an umbrella for over 4,000 ingredients?* This means that any company can put ANYTHING in to a product and label it as “Fragrance” – the kicker is they can keep said ingredients secret because that umbrella allows for “proprietary information” to be housed under it.
    One of the MANY ingredients that can be used includes methylene chloride – a known carcinogen, and banned by our own FDA in the late 1980s, but no regulation exists due to the fragrance umbrella term. What do you think about added “fragrance” now?
  2. Did you know that the FDA hasn’t passed a law governing the health and beauty industry since 1938. That bill is also only 2.5 pages long… I know for a fact there’s not enough in those 2.5 pages to keep up with the industry today.
  3. Did you know there are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today. Many of them do not have any safety data – most specifically those used in the health and beauty industry.
  4. The kicker, and maybe worse of all. Did you know that the FDA does not have the authority to remove harmful ingredients from the products that we put on our bodies and the bodies of our babies. Even if they found out what ingredients were hidden in products they couldn’t do anything about it!
  5. How about the fact that the European Union bans close to 1,400 chemicals in the product formulas of personal care products, plus regulates the levels of another 250 products. Canada has banned close to 600 and the United States has banned thirty – three zero – from the products we absorb in to our blood stream day after day.

There is more, much more, but to me these are the biggies. The lack of regulation is the root of the problem and something that I am committed to helping change.

This is the biggest reason I believe in Beautycounter. We are a company founded on a mission, we don’t have a mission just because it’s cool. We believe in education first before producing products. However, I am 100% confident in the products we produce because not only are they well performing, but they are safe.

Beautycounter has prohibited the use of more than 1,800
questionable and harmful chemicals in our products.

The Never List is our list of ingredients that you will never find in our products. I have the coolest story about our process to confirm this, but will have to save that for another post. 🙂

In addition to creating standards for ourselves Beautycounter is being recognized industry wide. We are proud to have been recently re-certified as a B Corporation with a score of 95—our highest rating ever and a 14-point jump from two years ago.

The B stands for Benefit, and it means that, unlike the traditional corporate structure, we consider people, the planet, and profits equally. We use the power of business to help solve social and environmental problems by voluntarily meeting rigorous standards of transparency, accountability, and performance. Becoming a Certified B Corporation is a difficult accomplishment, and we did it right from the very beginning.

To be certified as a B Corporation, a brand must meet high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. We are pleased to participate in this growing community of more than 2,000 Certified B Corps from 50 countries and over 130 industries working together toward one unifying goal:

to redefine success in business.

I could talk all day about the amazing things that Beautycounter is doing for the industry, but for now what can I help with? Are you ready to switch over your beauty products in your home? Are you curious about how to get involved with our movement and mission? What questions can I answer for you? I am here to help, educate and cheer as we join together to change one law at a time.

Beauty Industry
B Corporation

I’m back! Wow has a lot happened since my last post! Yes, my baby bump is growing, and as much as I would love to share a baby Frederick update with you today I want to share another piece of my heart.

If you read THIS POST you know that our journey took a few years and while it was tricky to be in that season I will forever be grateful for it.

You see, without that part of our journey I wouldn’t know what I know now when it pertains to safer beauty products.

Let’s rewind 3 years, better yet to my 6th grade year of grade school. That’s the year it all started; acne, cramps that lead me to miss school and yes my doctor placing me on birth control to try and contain most of that. I remember crying to my mom that I didn’t want people to think I was a slut and she assured me that no one would have to know. We got most of the cramps under control, but the acne never really went away.

Five years ago I jumped on a very popular bandwagon with products that were being sold by independent distributors or consultants and what miracle products those were. For a year and a half I was an avid, twice a day, user of said products and then with a simple question from my doctor it all changed.

“Christina, what daily products are you using?”

My initial thought was why does my facewash, shampoo, lotion, you name it matter? Well, because your skin is your largest organ and what you put on your body ends up in your body.

When I told her what I was using she simply cautioned me to do some research and look in to alternatives. When I began educating myself on what I was putting on my body I was shocked!

I was slathering my skin every day with ALL of the following by only using the two lines of products I had:

  • Benzalkonium chloride – a disinfectant used as a preservative and surfactant associated with severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation and allergies.
  • BHA and BHT – synthetic antioxidants used to extend shelf life. Studies have shown they are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors and may cause liver damage.
  • Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) – a chelating (binding) agent added to cosmetics to improve stability. Studies have shown toxicity to organs.
  • Formaldehyde – used as a preservative in cosmetics. A known carcinogen that is also linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity. Present in the following ingredients: quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), and several other preservatives are listed.
  • Hydroquinone – a skin-lightening chemical that inhibits the production of melanin and is linked to cancer, organ toxicity, and skin irritation.
  • Methylisothiazolinone – chemical preservatives that are among the most common irritants, sensitizers, and causes of contact skin allergies.
  • Oxybenzonergies – sunscreen agent and ultraviolet light absorber linked to irritation, sensitization and allergies, and possible hormone disruption.
  • Parabens  (methyl-, propyl-) (found 50 times on said company’s website product list) – a class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Parabens are endocrine (or hormone) disruptors, which may alter important hormone mechanisms in our bodies.
  • Polyethylene glycol (PEG compounds) (found 27 times on said company’s website product list) – PEGs are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. Depending on manufacturing processes, PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both carcinogens.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES) – SLS and SLES are surfactants that can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies. SLES is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of a petrochemical process called ethoxylation, which is used to process other chemicals in order to make them less harsh.
  • Synthetic flavor or fragrance (multiple leads to this being present in the company’s said products, but when you search the ingredient list the result reads “A description for this result is not available because of this site’s robots.txt”) – an engineered scent or flavoring agent that may contain any combination of 3,000-plus stock chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens. Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets and therefore can remain undisclosed.
  • Toluene – a volatile petrochemical solvent that is toxic to the immune system and can cause birth defects.
  • Triclocarban (multiple leads to this being present in said company’s products, but when you search the ingredient list the result reads “A description for this result is not available because of this site’s robots.txt”) – antimicrobial pesticides toxic to the aquatic environment; may also impact human reproductive systems.

NOTE: These ingredients are all part of BeautycountersNever List.” The Never List™ is made up of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals that we never use as ingredients in our products. This includes the over 1,400 chemicals banned or restricted in personal care products by the European Union, plus additional chemicals screened by Beautycounter and found to be of concern.

I also found that the United States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938!

Y’ALL! My jaw hit the floor. I was so ashamed at the fact that I had no earthly idea what harm I was doing to my body. I quickly started to do research on well preforming products that were clean.

I quickly threw away hundreds of dollars of products, some of which were brand new and unopened, and got in to contact with the one person I knew was a consultant for BeautyCounter.

For two years I have been an avid user of these amazing products, have become an ambassador for safer beauty and have learned more than I ever thought when it comes to words like “natural,” “clean,” “organic” and yes even “safe.”

Yes, we have now reached the part where I tell you that I am so excited to have joined the movement for safer beauty!

You see after two years of watching this amazing company grow, head to Capitol Hill to lobby for better regulations and appear on the Today Show I couldn’t sit back any longer. The BC mission is to “get safer products into the hands of everyone” and I couldn’t be more excited to be part of just that.

If you only read one part of this post please read this.

Do your homework. Look at the ingredients that you are putting on your body, your spouses body and the skin of your children.

The Environmental Working Group is a great advocate for safer products and a great source to check in on what is happening in the beauty industry. I have this page tagged as one of my favorites and have been surprised to read facts and learn things that I didn’t know before.

Of course, if you are curious about BeautyCounter I would love to chat! From skincare and makeup to sunscreen for the summer I now have access to it all. I am learning more and more each day and would love to help equip you with better knowledge and products for your home and the people that you love.

Check out my new website: HERE

Or send me a message: HERE

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