Maternity photos. To say I have a love hate relationship with photos of just myself would be very accurate. I love that my family has old photo albums and I love looking at photos of the amazing women that came before me. That being said, I am working at doing better about getting in the photo opposed to behind the lens. Any other mamas feel me here?

Blair and I knew that this baby would likely be the last one that I would carry. This sweet baby would complete our family. I didn’t take maternity photos with Barrett, and truth be told I didn’t even think about it. It was at our announcement photos with Courtney Leigh Photography that Blair mentioned I should do maternity photos. I laughed it off at first, but there was something pulling at my heart that had me message Courtney.

I told her she could do whatever she wanted. If I have learned anything in the creative industry, it is that whenever you give a creative (photographer, florist, baker, designer, etc) full control they produce work they are proud of. Work that stretches their boundaries and creates a finished product that is one-of-a-kind and just for that client. In this case, it was for me.

We took the photos in a field that are what every mother (I think, at least) dreams of. The humidity that day was for the record books, but with a professional like Courtney behind the camera she captured pure magic. I was hesitant to let her capture my actually belly, yes at my maternity session, but after receiving the images back know I will hold these close for a very l long time.

These photos represent so many things for me. A visual of what a women’s body can do – it’s truly remarkable. A reminder of the grace that God gives each of us when growing a family, however that might look for you, and the ability to let go. To let go of not just the creative control of the photo session, but the timelines, baby charts, toddler expectations, etc. Yes, I am a firm believer in structure, but there are days I feel the Lord chuckle at me for trying to take full control and not letting Him lead the way.

So here is my one thing to all of the moms, today. Take the photo. You wont regret it, I promise.

xo, Christina

Photographer: Courtney of Courtney Leigh Photography
Makeup: Butter Artistry
Dress (field)

Hat
Boots
Dress (water)

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!

ACCESSORIES
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!

CLOTHES
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!

CLASSIC JEWELRY
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!

LOUNGEWEAR
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!

SPA DAY
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!

POOL
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!

KITCHEN
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.

SELF DEVELOPMENT & SMALL BUSINESS
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!

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