Curated Gift Boxes with Ari and Elle

ari elle curated gift box

I LOVE gifts.  Sure, I love to receive them.  But I also get just as much joy out of giving them!  I enjoy picking out gifts for others, but sometimes I really get so stumped.  Men are so hard to buy for.  Coworkers, aunts...there's just some occasions that require a gift and I have NO IDEA what to buy.

Enter Ari & Elle. Curated gift boxes for pretty much every kind of recipient.  Gift Boxes for HimThe Foodie. Get Well boxes.  There are SO many options.  Over 800 actually!!!!

ari elle curated gift box baby

I received the  Welcome Home Gift Box and it's SO amazing!!  It was the perfect thing to get us even more excited for Little Man!  Here's what I received in my box!!

+Itzy Ritzy Silicone Teether, Cactus Green

+Moulin Roty 'Monsieur Lapin' Stuffed Animal

+Wubbanub Infant Pacifier

+aden by aden + anais Hooded Towel, Dream - Stars

+Aden by Aden + Anais Swaddle Baby Blanket, 100% Cotton Muslin

Do you know what I think will be the next box I buy?  A Kids box.  Because you know what a new mom with a baby doesn't know what to buy for?  A four year old birthday party.  I'm SO SO glad I found Ari & Elle!  And so are my friends and family ;)

xoxo, Lauren

Non-toxic SPF for the Whole Family

nontoxic safe clean organic sunscreen

Have you heard?  As of May 1, many common sunscreens are being banned in Hawaii, due to the destruction that their ingredients cause to the coral reefs.  Read more here.  Can you imagine?  If these ingredients are so destructive to sea life, what are the effects that they are having on our bodies?  When you apply a lotion to your body, it seeps into your pores and truly effects your blood, organs and nervous system!

Label reading is a tough job and we don't always know what to look for.  I have been asked about sunscreen by SO many this summer, so I put together a list of my top favorites for your entire family.  The basic answer for you is to use products with mineral filters vs. chemical filters - look for the active ingredients of zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. DO NOT USE products that contain oxybenzone or octinoxate.  These are the ingredients that have been banned in Hawaii and they are found in many common products at the drug store like Coppertone, Banana Boat, and Blue Lizard. 

This list is a compilation of the products that I have tested and choose for our family. At the bottom of the list, you will find products that I would choose (and not choose) at Target if I found myself without sunscreen and had to make a quick Target run.  They aren't my top choices, but this happened to me recently and I had to make a decision, based on their selection.  If you can, order your products ahead of time from one of these superior choices - but in a dash, I've got you covered ;)

beautycounter countersun mineral sunscreen

 

Makeup with SPF

Hynt Beauty Sun Prep Makeup Primer with SPF 25

Beautycounter Dew Skin SPF 20

Ilia Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20

Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Tinted Daycream SPF 30

 

Moisturizer with SPF

Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30

Ursa Major Force Field Daily Defense Lotion SPF 18

 

Lipcare with SPF

Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner SPF 15

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30

 

SPF for the Family

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30

Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen Unscented SPF 30 (make sure you get Unscented, if using on children)

Coola

 

SPF for Babies

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

Erbaviva Baby Sunscreen SPF 30

Coola Mineral Baby SPF 50

 

If I had to make a quick Target run, here's what I would choose:

Sun Bum / Baby Bum

Badger

Bare Republic

Babo Botanicals

I would NOT choose:  Blue Lizard, Alba Botanicals, BabyGanics, Goddess Garden (not because of ingredients, but this one is terrible to rub-in), Coppertone, Neutrogena, Banana Boat, Aveeno

 

Additional Sun Protection for Baby

We went to the beach a couple of weeks ago with our 8 month-old and plan to go back a couple more times before the end of summer (praise hands!!).  Here are some items that we found useful:

Rashguard for baby girl

Rashguard suit for baby girl

Sunhat (a lot of hats we've tried are too floppy and Chapel wouldn't wear them.  This one has a just-right brim!)

Pop-up Tent

Beach Blanket that folds into a tiny bag!

Battery operated fan

Swan baby float

** GIFT WITH PURCHASE** From now through Monday 6/11, make a $100 purchase through My Beautycounter Site and I will personally send you a FREE Countersun Sunscreen Stick ($20 VALUE) Swag Bag!!!  All you have to do is make the purchase and I will see it + ship the Sunscreen and Samples to your mailing address on Tuesday!  You must make sure that your Consultant is listed as Lauren Hull to get the FREE GIFT!!  **

Happy (Safe Sun) Summer!  xoxo Lauren

Natural Baby Care Products

chapel bath

I put so much thought and care into the products that I choose for myself, that I'm sure you can imagine the weight of responsibility I felt in choosing products for my baby.  I am so happy to announce that I have found a line that I LOVE!  It's not just for bath products, but also a natural baby sunscreen and bug spray!!

Erbaviva from Pretty Pure Beauty is a truly organic line of products that are effective and beautiful.  The natural scents from essential oils and extracts make bath time + baby care even sweeter.  I truly believe that these are some of the BEST products that I can use on my baby.  

For bath time, we use the Erbaviva Baby Body Wash.  It is incredibly gentle and has a slightly sweet + bright scent from organic mandarin and chamomile.  Chapel absolutely loves bath time and has discovered kicking + splashing.  A bright + happy baby wash is so fitting for her!  After her bath, I wrap her in a hooded towel and moisturize with the Erbaviva Baby Butter.  The Baby Butter is amazing because I enjoy applying the excess to my own hands, too!  It is smooth and non-greasy!  

B8B63FF9-D876-428D-A0C1-474CD4A26B52.JPG

For outdoor play, I am happy to have the Baby Sunscreen and Buzz Spray on hand.  These are both lightweight, lightly scented and effective.  The Baby Sunscreen is SPF 30 and naturally crafted with zinc oxide + essential oils.  It rubs in very easily, too! 

In Georgia, we have a terrible time with bugs + mosquitoes.  I ALWAYS have bug spray with me in the Spring + Summer because you cannot enjoy being outdoors without it.  Most bug sprays are scarier than the insects themselves, as they are made from harsh + harmful ingredients.  This Buzz Spray is made of organic ingredients and essential oils, so I can feel good about spraying it on a tiny baby!  My baby girl LOVES to be outdoors, so nothing is going to stop us this Spring!!

Pretty Pure Beauty offers Free Shipping on orders over $50!  It's a great time to stock up on clean products for your precious little one.  Not sure how to read labels of what you're currently using?  Download the Think Dirty App to check your products. Time to get some Erbaviva on those baby bodies!!

xoxo Lauren

Baby Things I'm Loving

lorena canals rug
She puts the color inside of my world
— John Mayer from "Daughters"

So much about motherhood has been different from what I had expected.  One of most fun discoveries is watching my daughter's personality unfold.  Before she was born, I had all of the soft, muted neutrals colors waiting for her.  As we are getting to know her, it seems more fitting to add some color into her nursery and wardrobe.  She is drawn to bright colors and patterns.  I'm sure most babies are, but I love watching her discover the colorful things around her.  It's made me want to add some color to my own wardrobe, too!

I have compiled a list of some of the things that we have discovered lately that have made our life easier, less toxic and sometimes a little more colorful ;)

lorena canals

Lorena Canals Rug

This rug is GENIUS.  It's 100% Cotton, dyed with Non-Toxic Dyes and MACHINE WASHABLE.  Not to mention the prints are the CUTEST.  Guys.  This changes everything.  HA!  But seriously, I wanted a shag rug for our nursery but I was nervous about all of the fluids that would be projected onto it and didn't pull the trigger.  When I discovered, Lorena Canals - all of my nursery rug dreams came true.  We will have this rug FOREVER because we can just throw it in the washer whenever we need to.  This is the type of piece that is truly an investment because it can grow with our kids.  I can also feel good about the fact that it's natural + non-toxic when my little baby is rolling all over it and let's be honest- putting her mouth on it.  It's been so fun to see her take to the colors and patterns on it, too.  I love this print, this print (on sale!) and this print too!(received with compliments from Lorena Canals)

Diapers + Wipes

It's so important to have non-toxic diapers and wipes because my baby is in constant contact with them.  However, it's the hardest thing to pull the trigger on putting extra money into because they get thrown away. I found a truly budget-friendly option for non-toxic diapers with Thrive.  I think the best part may be that they show up at my door and we aren't making last minute diaper runs!  I am also a plain white diaper person because our girl wears so many white outfits and I didn't like the diaper patterns showing through.  I am so happy that Thrive started making these diapers because they are CHEAPER than any of the other non-toxic diapers that I've found!  I feel good knowing that I am putting the purest disposable diapers + wipes possible on my baby's body.

dockatot

DockATot

DockATot is such a good find for my baby who loves to be COZY.  She wants to snuggle up to anything and everything at naptime.  I feel great about letting her cozy up in the DockATot at naptime.  It's also portable, so we can move it to any room in the house and take it with us on the go!  Some of the benefits of the DockATot include it's breathability - it's made from 100% cotton - and handmade in Europe.  It's one of those things that we didn't buy right off the bat, but we are so glad that we have one now for our cozy girl.  (received with compliments from DockATot)

binxy baby

Binxy Baby

I will never forget the first time I parked my car in the grocery store and it occurred to me that I had no idea what to do with my baby while I shopped.  I didn't have a babywearing carrier with me.  Do I put the carseat in the cart?  (Which, by the way, is nearly impossible at Trader Joes - tiny carts!)  Do I put the baby in the stroller and put the groceries in my stroller?  That feels weird.  And the basket in my stroller is way too small for all of my groceries.  I can forget buying toilet paper with any of those options.  After struggling with my first several attempts at grocery shopping (I know all of you organized mamas are doing Clicklist, but I rarely shop with a list!!) - I am so happy to have discovered  Binxy!  It takes up so much less space than the carseat in the grocery cart.  And still allows for my baby to be comfy during the shopping trip! Not to mention, she LOVES it.  She can see everything and still wiggle around, as opposed to riding in a baby carrier! (received compliments of Binxy Baby)

Natursutten Pacifier and Bottles

Before Chapel was born, I knew I wanted to use the all natural rubber pacifiers.  I ordered the Natursutten and to this day, it's the only one she uses.  I have tried others and she just loves her Natursuttens.  She only uses it in her crib and I feel great knowing she's not sucking on plastic in her sleep.  It also made bottle feeding easier because they make a nipple that is similar to the paci that she was already used to. Not to mention, the bottles are glass and I will choose glass all day, every day over plastic for my family.

Have you tried any of these products?  What do you think?

xoxo, Lauren

Our Whimsical Nursery Reveal

whimsical nursery
land of nod unicorn
nursery fireplace
changing table nursery
nursery family photo

I absolutely loved creating a space for our new baby when I was pregnant.  Truthfully, I never planned to fully decorate a nursery.  I thought that since the baby was not old enough to really enjoy it, I would put more effort into the rest of the house and later design a 'big kid' room.  Call it 'nesting' or simply 'getting carried away,' but the room was ready for our baby girl (even though she showed up 2 weeks early)!  Once I had a vision for the room, it really started to come together piece-by-piece.

I had to make some big decisions for the room very early on.  We were half-way into our complete home renovation when I found out I was pregnant.  We needed to stay on schedule with the renovations, so I had to make some design decisions for the room before we even knew the baby's gender.  (Fun fact:  Initially, we weren't going to find out the baby's gender until they were born.  It drove me CRAZY and it was all I could think about.  So, we found out at 21 weeks!)

The nursery was originally the master bedroom of our 1929 home and the fireplace is on the back side of the living room fireplace.  (We turned our craftsman from a 3 bed/1 bath to a 4 bed/3 bath.)  The room is pretty spacious for a nursery and I love all the character that it has.  I knew I wanted some sort of wainscoting in the nursery because I love how sweet that feels for a baby room.  I decided to go with the shiplap because I love the texture that it provides, without feeling fancy.  We also used shiplap in the living room because it felt consistent for the time period of the house (1920s).   I chose a very light, warm grey (Sherwin Williams Repose Grey) for the wall paint.  The shiplap and fireplace were painted with Sherwin Williams Alabaster.  We retiled the fireplace with antique French tile from Wyatt Childs Inc (@wyattchildsinc on Instagram).

Once the renovations were complete, I really began to dream about who this little person would be and that began to take shape in the choices I made for her room.  I wanted her little world to be filled with whimsy and even though she won't remember her nursery, I hope the photos one day inspire her to dream

Baby girl, we wanted you so badly.  We prayed for you and we waited.  And now that you are here, we pray for you and we show you that anything is possible.  We love you so much, dreamer girl.

"Living a life fully engaged and full of whimsy and the kind of things that love does is something most people plan to do, but along the way they just kind of forget." - Bob Goff

Chapel's Nursery details:

Crib - Love this pink one too!

Crib Mattress and waterproof cover

Crib dot blanket

Crib sheet

Crib pillow SOLD OUT (find similar here)

Canopy (love this onethis one,  this onethis one and this one, too!)

Unicorn doll

Moses Basket + Mattress

Moses basket sheet

Faux sheepskin rug

Macrame chair- contact Sugarboo & Co. (similar here and here) love this and this, too!

Patterned rug from World Market SOLD OUT (love this one, this one, this one, this onethis one, this one, and this one, too!)

Pouf

Glider - Family heirloom (find similar here, here and here)

'Love You' Pillow (Similar)

Side accent table - contact Sugarboo & Co. (find similar here)

Chapel art print Use my code HAVEFAITH10 for 10% OFF your purchase!

'I love you' art print (I also love this, thisthis and this.)

'You are my sun' art print

Heart square art print

 Floral art print (also love this)

Woven wall hanging SOLD OUT (love this one, this one and this one!)

Heirloom doll

Yarn tassel garland

Ride-on Unicorn (love this one, too!)

Seagrass basket and fringe basket

Labradoodle playmat

Chandelier SOLD OUT (love this, this,  this, this,  this, and this!)

Antique wood sideboard/changing table - contact Sugarboo & Co. (find similar here, here, here, here, here, and here)

Changing table topper

Changing pad

Changing pad cover (like this linen cover, too!)

Hospital Bag

Paint Color - Sherwin Williams Repose Gray

Eucalyptus wreath - handmade by my sister-in-law

nursery reveal

My dress / Chapel's knot gownChapel's bow headband / Chapel's flower headband / Chapel's bow swaddle / Booties / Floral art print / Heirloom doll

All photos by the amazing Shannon Jean Cole.  If you are in the Atlanta area, book her for your family portraits!!

xoxo Lauren

Non-toxic Cold Weather Rescues

As a native Southerner, I do not consider myself an expert on the topic of cold weather care at all.  However, it seems that we are getting just as much of the freezing temps as other parts of the country this year.  And with a new baby, I have more than just my own dry, cracked hands to worry about.  For this post, I am listing a few tried and true cold weather products for mom + baby.  Atlanta is seeing some cooler temps and will likely get another snow, so I am thinking ahead for those wintry days!

Baby Cold Weather Care

Erbaviva Baby Cream - Chapel's skin on her face has been dry lately and this has worked great for her dry cheeks!

Honest Diaper Rash Cream - My baby girl has not suffered too much from diaper rash, but when I see a little pink - this diaper cream clears it up immediately!

Beautycounter Baby Oil- This is what I slather all over my baby girl's body after bath time.  She LOVES it!  I think she feels like she's getting a little baby massage!  The only ingredients are sunflower oil, jojoba oil, vitamin e, and coconut oil!

Beautycounter Protective Balm - I use this balm on any of her tiny little scratches, like from her finger nails.  (Anyone have advice for cutting baby finger nails??  Nothing gives me more anxiety that trying to clip those miniature nails!)  This balm clears her little scratches so quickly!

Baby Cold Weather Gear

Click on the photos for our favorite cold/snow suits for baby!

MY Cold Weather Essentials

It sounds counter-intuitive, but the best thing you can do for your skin is a body scrub like Indie Lee's Coconut Citrus Scrub!  The scrub will slough off dry, dead skin and moisturize your fresh skin with yummy oils.  It is seriously a game-changer and a MUST.

Indie Lee Body Oil - All over moisture without feeling greasy!

Oy-l Manuka Latte Lip Balm - It's so sleek on and super moisturizing!  My go-to for my lips right now!

You also need a good face oil and my current faves are Osmia Organics Nectar Vital Rose Drops, Vintner's Daughter and One Love Organics Vitamin C Brightening Serum.

If face cream is your thing, I love Osmia Organics Purely Simple, One Love Organics Coconut Dew and Indie Lee Squalane Facial Cream.

Stay warm!  And moisturized ;)

xoxo Lauren