My Birth Story- Scheduled C-Section

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Today I’m sharing a recap of the best day of my life, the day my baby girl Kensington was born!

Around 30 weeks, I found out my baby was breech and if she didn’t flip, I would have to have a c-section. For those of you who don’t know, most doctors will not allow you to attempt a breech delivery. I had a feeling she wasn’t going to, she just seemed really comfy the way she was. I could feel her head up in my ribs, so every day I was able to tell that she hadn’t flipped.

Around 37 weeks we went ahead and scheduled the surgery. I had to really start mentally preparing for this. I am the type of person who freaks out just at the talk of any kind of surgery. The thought of laying there in the operating room, basically paralyzed being cut open while awake terrified me. I was also SO scared for the spinal block.

Throughout the end of my pregnancy, I had gestational thrombocytopenia (low platelets). Every week, I would go get a blood test to check my platelets. They continued to drop during my pregnancy, and if they got much lower I would not have been allowed to get an epidural/spinal block. Most hospitals require your platelets to be above 100,000 in order to receive an epidural. If your platelets aren’t high enough the day of delivery, and you can’t get a spinal block, c-section patients have to be put under general anesthesia, so you’re completely asleep for your baby’s birth.

This was super upsetting to me and I just continued to pray that they would be high enough for me to receive the spinal block. If she hadn’t been breech, there would have also been the option to have an all natural drug free birth.

So, let’s talk about her birthday!! My surgery was scheduled for 7:00 AM, and I had to arrive at 5:00 AM to check in and get prepped.

I didn’t sleep at all the night before. I tried so hard to get a couple hours of rest but it didn’t happen. I was way too excited and nervous. It’s so hard to sleep knowing you’re meeting your baby in the morning!

4:00 rolls around and it was time to get up and get ready. I already had all of our bags packed and ready, so I just had to get dressed, and do my hair and makeup. To me, being able to get ready was a huge perk of having a c-section and I wanted to look good for pictures. It’s such an odd thing to get ready to go have your baby. I always pictured my water breaking somewhere out in public and having to rush off to the hospital, so having a scheduled birth was so odd!

I was almost 40 weeks and never thought I would actually make it to her scheduled delivery date. My surgery was only 3 days before her due date and I was convinced she would come sooner. I had been having really strong consistent contractions for days prior.

Driving to the hospital I wasn’t overly nervous, just SO excited. One of my favorite songs How Sweet The Sound (Amazing Grace) by Citizen Way was on the radio, and I felt so peaceful and ready to meet my Kensie Grace!

When we got to the hospital, we took the elevator up to the delivery floor. When it reached the floor, the doors wouldn’t open all the way. They just kept opening about a foot and then closing and opening and closing. One of my absolute biggest fears in life is being trapped in an elevator. We just stood there watching the door partially open and close and my heart started to race. Then the door opened and I jumped out as fast as I could. Not a good start to my hospital experience haha.

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[In the waiting room at 5:00 AM waiting to be called back!]

After checking in, I was called back and immediately changed into a gown. I wasn’t able to wear my own gown that I brought because you aren’t allowed to bring your own things into the operating room. Then I got my IV placed and my blood drawn. I had never had an IV before so I wasn’t sure how badly it would hurt but it honestly wasn’t too bad at all. The nurse did a great job. She was super nice and really calmed my nerves. Then I had an ultrasound to confirm baby girl was still breech, which I already knew like I mentioned because I could literally feel and touch her head up in my ribcage.

I wish I had more time to vlog beforehand but it was just one thing after the other. I was constantly with a nurse being prepped in some way. Before I knew it, it was time for surgery! Time to meet my baby!!

Walking myself into the operating room was such a weird experience. I always pictured being wheeled in on the hospital bed but nope! They just walked me down the hall into the OR! Then they told me to get up on the operating table and cross my legs. It was time for the spinal block! My husband wasn’t allowed back with me until after the spinal block, so it was just me and the nurses and surgical staff at this point.

I was so so SO scared for this part!! I’m not going to lie, it hurts, but it really isn’t terrible. You feel a pinch and pressure. Almost immediately after the shot, my body started getting warm and numb. They laid me back and I started shaking. Shaking is a super common reaction to the medicine and unfortunately it made me shake uncontrollably the entire procedure.

The doctor walked in and it was time to get started! I was extremely anxious and scared during the procedure and having a major panic attack. I hated the feeling of being numb from my boobs down. I got a random shooting pain in my neck which they said was normal. Then I started to feel like I was going to throw up. The anesthesiologist gave me a bag and I laid there numb on my back dry heaving into a bag. I had been fasting so nothing actually came up but it was horrible.

I feel like it was about 15-20 minutes and then they said “Are you ready to meet your baby!” I was so happy and emotional.

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I heard her crying and looked up above the curtain and there she was! My perfect baby girl! I said “She’s so tiny!!” because for some reason she looked so small to me. She was actually over 7 lbs. so not super tiny. I was instantly in love with her! I wanted to hold her so badly. She was just perfect.

They cleaned her up a little and took her weight and measurements. Then they let my husband hold her next to me while they finished the procedure. It was such a bummer not being able to hold her right away but I’m happy he was able to. I reached over and just kept touching her with my left arm anxiously awaiting the procedure to be over with so I could cuddle my sweet baby!

I seriously can’t get over how precious and perfect she looked. Meeting her was the best moment ever!

I am going to do a whole post on c-sections and recovery tips soon.

I am so in love with my little best friend and feel so blessed to be her Mom!

 

Second Trimester Pregnancy Recap

 

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Hi guys! I wanted to quickly give a little recap of the second trimester of pregnancy, now that I’m entering my third.

It was much more uneventful than the first, so I don’t have a week-by-week break down but instead a general recap. It was also MUCH more enjoyable than the first 🙂

So as you guys know, the first trimester for me was spent extremely sick, throwing up, and laying around trying not to throw up. I always heard that the nausea went away after the first trimester or around 12 weeks, so I pushed through excited to get to that point. Then when I actually turned 12 weeks, and was still as sick as ever it was a little discouraging. I actually continued to throw up every week until I turned 16 weeks.

16 weeks was the turning point for me where all of a sudden I felt SO MUCH BETTER!! I felt like my old self again. It was strange being able to ride in the car without getting sick, and continue about my normal life again. I wanted to run around and do all the things- lol! I would still have random occasional sick moments, like during week 18 and 22, but they were quick and manageable.

At 20 weeks we had our anatomy scan, which is the big ultrasound where they check baby in detail. They look at all the limbs, organs, etc. It is a super fun appointment because you get to see your baby up close and admire their little fingers and arms and toes 🙂 You also get a bunch of pictures to take home which is fun. I have a long print out of like 20 pictures of her hanging on my fridge. I am blessed to say we got a perfect report and everything looked amazing at this appointment! Baby was growing right on track and very healthy.

Week 22 was when my bump finally popped and the first week that strangers started commenting on it! I remember multiple people that week mentioning it which was so funny to me and also exciting because people could finally tell that I was expecting and not just bloated haha. My eye doctor couldn’t get over how cute my bump was, a waitress at the Cheesecake factory congratulated me, as well as a stranger at the grocery store.

Things were pretty much the same up until week 26 when we went on our babymoon! If you haven’t heard of a babymoon- google it! It’s basically a popular vacation that soon-to-be parents take before the baby arrives- the last getaway before you become parents. We knew we wanted to go somewhere warm, but wanted to go before I was in my third trimester, so we were looking at spots that would be really warm in early May.

We ended up deciding on Miami, FL and had the best time! I will have a full babymoon post and recap coming soon, if you want to hear about where exactly we stayed and what we did.

I felt pretty healthy during the babymoon, except during Uber rides. The traffic was bad in Miami, and it was extremely hot, so I would often get car sick. On the last day of our trip on the way to the airport, I actually threw up in an Uber- so embarrassing. Luckily I had a bag with me and was prepared but it was still pretty embarrassing. The driver was so nice about it luckily.

It was amazing spending a whole week relaxing and just hanging out at the beach and pool. I definitely recommend taking a babymoon if you’re able to! You deserve to relax and it’s so much fun having a week off with nothing to do! I had the best time taking pictures of the bump at the beach and exploring a new place with my husband.

So that is my 2nd trimester recap! I can’t believe I’m in the 3rd trimester now!! I posted a new vlog recently recapping my glucose test and going over some new things we’ve gotten for baby. You can watch that here.

XO

Erica

 

 

First Trimester Pregnancy Recap

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Hi everyone! A couple weeks ago I announced that I am pregnant with our first baby, and now that I am in the second trimester, I wanted to recap the first before I forget!

I made an entire video about weeks 3-8 on my channel and you can watch it here.

I know some of you prefer to read and I want to have this post as a pregnancy journal so here we go!

Weeks 3-4: I found out I was pregnant during week 3. There is a clip of our reactions in my gender reveal video which you can watch here. I wasn’t planning on sharing the video originally, and I wasn’t even sure it was going to be positive, which is why I’m wearing pajamas and it’s late at night and very casual, but it is now one of my favorite videos ever and I’m so glad I filmed it. I had no standout symptoms during week 3-4, and I honestly think it’s too early for symptoms so don’t drive yourself crazy looking for them.

Weeks 5-6: I started feeling nauseas during week 5. It wasn’t anything crazy but I could definitely feel it coming on. My Mom didn’t throw up one time during her whole pregnancy, and my Grandma claims she threw up every single day until she delivered (sounds slightly dramatic-lol) so I was anxious to find out how my body would react. Well, on day 1 of week 6 I threw up for the very first time in over 10 years!! I was sooo scared to throw up for the first time because I totally forgot what it was like! I had been dreading this moment for years. Everyone thinks it’s so crazy that I hadn’t thrown up in so long but its true! Not from sickness, drinking, the flu, anything. It was definitely unpleasant but kind of a relief to get it over with since it was something I was so scared of for so long. I didn’t know it yet but this was just the beginning. I craved spicy things, hot sauce, and mashed potatoes.

Week 7: This week my stomach started burning and feeling really acidic. I had been taking the Smarty Pants prenatals for months, but starting during week 7, I couldn’t stand them anymore. I actually took them for a few months before I was even pregnant and loved them. All of a sudden the texture grossed me out so much and they would make me throw up every time. For one thing, you have to take 6 of them, which is a lot when you’re feeling nauseous. I would force myself to take them because I wanted baby to have their vitamins, but when I started throwing up every time I decided it was pointless and counterproductive and went out and got a different brand. Now I only have to take 2 which is so much better. This week I was craving ice cream, fresh fruit, and really cold water. I’ve always liked my water cold, but when you’re sick to your stomach, room temperature water is so gross!! I loved using my Yeti cups and filling them up with ice water and lemon.

Week 8: I was VERY sick during week 8. I was still throwing up almost every day since day 1 of week 6. I had very low energy and was feeling super fatigued. I was sick ALL DAY LONG! Not just in the morning. I would often be really sick around lunch time. We were in line at McAlister’s, waiting to order food, and I felt myself getting super sick and had to run out the door and I threw up outside in the parking lot. I always took a bucket in the car with me, and used it many times. Car rides were the worst during weeks 6-8! I was either throwing up or about to every time I rode in the car. I had an ultrasound during week 8 and was throwing up right before I had to run out the door to the appointment. But as always, when I got there and saw baby on the screen it was all worth it.

Week 9-10: I thought I was feeling better for a couple of days but it was short lived and I was back to throwing up in no time. I actually got worried when I felt decent for a day because I was worried something had happened to the baby. I was so used to feeling horrible all day long, that when I felt ok for a little bit I didn’t know what to think. I would occasionally get these sharp pains near my ovaries which I explained to my doctor and she said was totally normal and ’round ligament pain’. Basically if I was in bed and I went to sit up, or I twisted my body, I would get a super sharp shooting pain. I looked it up and apparently it’s very common and all part of your body growing and stretching. My boobs started getting very sore and I wanted to cry every time Daisy walked across my chest (which is often!) She always wants to be cuddled up right under my chin and when her paws would dig into my boobs it was horrible haha. I had a doctors appointment during week 10, and took the stairs instead of the elevator (long time viewers know why!) and when I reached the floor I needed I almost passed out. This was shocking to me as I consider myself to be in decent shape, and it had never happened before. I knew this was something new and pregnancy related. I could not catch my breath for a solid 10 minutes and started panicking because I was sure I was going to faint. I think I need to start doing some cardio to get in better shape for labor 🙂 At my 10 week appointment I got NIPT blood work done, to rule out genetic disorders and also find out the gender of our sweet baby! They took 7 viles of blood which seriously grossed me out. After this appointment I was giddy and counting down the days until we could find out the gender!

Weeks 11-12: During week 11 I was anxiously awaiting the results from my bloodwork. Originally, my husband and I planned on finding out the gender just the two of us. We planned on having my doctor leave it on my voicemail, and listening to it right away. Then we were going to have a party to share the gender with our family and pop a balloon for them. So my results were supposed to be in on a Tuesday, and we were going to announce to our families on Saturday. Well the lab ended up being really behind, and the results didn’t come in until Friday afternoon, so we decided to wait and find out with our family! I knew if the results were available on a Tuesday there was no way I could wait until the weekend, but since they didn’t come in until the day before we thought we would go ahead and be surprised with them, and WOW I’m so glad we did!! Talk about a special day! We had two of our closest friends fill the balloon with the appropriate confetti, and were beyond thrilled and excited to find out our baby is a GIRL!!! It was seriously the best surprise ever. If you haven’t seen the video yet, definitely check it out. I will never forget all of that pink confetti raining down everywhere. I’m so excited for my tiny bestie to arrive!

So that pretty much sums up the first trimester. I threw up about 4-8 times per week and rested a lot. It was really hard being nauseous all day long, and throwing up in public and in the car, but sooo worth it! I have a healthy baby girl growing inside of me and I feel so blessed. I’m still very sick but I’m hopeful that it will keep getting better and better as I get further into the second trimester. Baby girl already has so many clothes and cute things and I can’t wait to share it all soon! She is SO loved!!

 

Holiday Gift Guide #5

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Hi loves! Today I’m sharing Holiday Gift Guide #5! I missed last week, because I was SUPER sick, and I didn’t want to pick random items when my heart wasn’t in it. I’m feeling so much better, and I found 7 awesome gifts for you guys today!

  1. Sparkly slippers: I’m a fan of anything sparkly, especially if it’s white! There’s just something about white glitter that looks so beautiful to me. These slippers come in a few colors, but ‘Ice Glitter’ is my favorite. They are a more high end brand, and just under $50, with free shipping from Nordstrom. What I like about these is they come in actual shoe sizes! Normally slippers are just S, M, L, which can make it tough to find a good fit so I love that these are actual sizes. If you’re in between sizes, size up according to the website!
  2. Stainless steel tumbler: I’ve heard really good things about the Corkcicle brand. It’s very similar to Yeti, and would make a nice practical gift. I love this light pink color!
  3. Satin pillowcases: I just recently purchased these for our bed, and I am IN LOVE! I’ve always loved silky pillowcases and these are amazing!!! I got silver to match our bedroom decor, but they come in over 10 colors! They are just under $20 and I promise anyone would LOVE these! They feel so luxurious, and as a bonus they’re good for your skin. Satin pillowcases help prevent wrinkles.
  4. Beauty blender gift set: I found this beauty blender set while browsing the Nordstrom website and had to add it to this weeks guide for the beauty lovers out there! It comes with 3 sponges and a case, and is currently on sale.
  5. Cozy sweater: I think if you’re going to buy someone clothes, you should go for a very basic staple item, such as a comfy sweater. It’s hard to pick out clothes for other people, but everyone loves staple items like this. You can’t go wrong with a soft striped sweater. It’s on sale from $40 to $15, and Nordstrom always has free shipping!
  6. Fiddle leaf fig: I had to include this because I get sooo many comments and questions about my fiddle leaf fig tree in my videos! Everyone loves them! I love that this one comes in a really pretty basket. If your room is feeling a little blah, add a fiddle leaf fig! Trust me!
  7. Glam cocktail shaker: If you have a friend who loves hosting parties, or decorating her bar cart, this is the gift for her! Not only is it cute decor, its functional too! This would be a cute gift for newlyweds or someone who just purchased a new home.

I hope you guys loved this week’s gift guide! I’m having so much fun helping you get your shopping done. Hope you have a great and relaxing weekend! XO, Erica

Holiday Gift Guide #4

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  1. Slippers: Omg! So we all know that Gucci slides are HUGE right now. I found these Gucci look-a-like slippers and thought they were hilarious and such a great gift for a luxury lover in your life. Gucci mules run around $1,000, but these cute slippers are under $15!
  2. Nylon Backpack: I included a Rebecca Minkoff purse in a previous gift guide. I love RM and wanted to include a different style of bag that would suit a traveler in your life, a Mom, college student etc. This would make such a great carry-on travel bag. I love that it’s nylon so you can just wipe it clean.
  3. Storage Poof/Ottoman: This poof is SO pretty and would look amazing in a walk in closet or girly bedroom. It is meant to store shoes, so not only is it beautiful but it’s functional as well!
  4. Cat Mom Sweatshirt: This is so me!! “Ask me about my cat!” that is the way to my heart. Wildfox is known for their super cozy sweaters and I think any Cat Mama would love this!
  5. Blush Card Case: For a few years now, I’ve used a card case instead of a wallet. I don’t carry cash, only cards, so typically I don’t need a full-size wallet. I use a crossbody bag most days, so I love how tiny my card case is and that it doesn’t take up much room at all. Mine is from Louis Vuitton, but I think this blush pink Tory Burch one is so pretty and less than half the price!
  6. Beauty Advent Calendar: I thought this was such a cool idea! It is a 12 day advent calendar, and each day has a beauty tool inside. So at the end you have 9 new brushes, and 3 makeup sponges. This is a super cute gift idea for a beauty lover or someone just getting into makeup brushes.
  7. Marble Oil Diffuser: If you watch my videos, you know I use a marble oil diffuser in my kitchen! I love diffusing essential oils, because they’re healthier than candles, and you can leave them unattended for hours. You never have to worry about the flame, and you can switch up the scents as often as you want.
  8. Rose Gold Makeup Organizer: I am an organizing addict. It makes me feel so much more relaxed when everything is in it’s place, and I feel like you can better enjoy what you have. One of the things that I always make sure is nice and organized, is my makeup. This gorgeous rose gold makeup organizer would look so pretty sitting out on your dresser or bathroom vanity. I love that is has the dividers on top, as well as drawers on the bottom. This is a perfect way to display and organize your everyday makeup.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s gift guide! Let me know if you braved the crowds this Black Friday or stayed in and shopped in your pajamas! You know which one I did! 😉 XO Erica

Holiday Gift Guide #3!

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It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving! Time to start making your holiday shopping lists if you haven’t already. My goal is to help take the stress out of your holiday shopping by finding you amazing gifts that you can order from the comfort of your own home. I’d choose online shopping over in store any day! Here I am, in bed, in my pajamas, wrapped up in my favorite blanket, no crowds, no traffic, just the way I like it!

  1. Leopard rain boots: These particular boots are by Hunter which is a very popular brand for rain boots. I always see people in the typical solid color boots, but I’ve never seen these before, and I LOVE them! These are a great gift because you can get so much wear out of them throughout the year. They can be worn in the snow all during the winter, as well as through the rainy spring time!
  2. Candy cane candle: Everyone loves a good candle. Voluspa always comes out with fun seasonal scents, and as a lover of anything minty, I thought this one was perfect! I love the jar too. It’s festive but still simple.
  3. Fuzzy pullover: Fuzzy jackets and sweaters are huge right now. I personally have a handful that I wear all the time. Whenever I wear them in my videos I always get tons of questions about them. This one is from one of my favorite brands, and since you can purchase it at Nordstrom, that means free shipping! It’s originally $80, but currently on sale for just under $50.
  4. Glitter phone case: This is the phone case I currently have on my phone. I like that it’s clear, because you can still see my rose gold phone underneath. It has bumpers, so it’s protective which is important to me. These cases last forever too!
  5. Nest thermostat: I decided to add this to this week’s gift guide, as I was sitting here working and turned up the heat right from my phone without getting out of bed! How amazing! I love love love our Nest thermostat. You can program it to different temperatures throughout the day, so for example you can keep your house cooler while you’re away at work, and set it to become warmer right when you’re about to get home. You can adjust it from anywhere right from your phone which is priceless if you ask me.
  6. Cashmere gloves: I tend to buy a cute new pair of gloves every year. I love this pair because I think the ruffle is super cute, and they’re cashmere so they’re good quality. They’re $20, and come in pink too.
  7. Metallic luggage set: Hard luggage is the way to go. The canvas ones don’t hold up over time, and can’t be cleaned. I love being able to wipe down my hard case luggage, and it doesn’t get all dirty during airport travel. This silver set is gorgeous!
  8. Leather leggings: These are on my personal wish list. They’re definitely a splurge but I’ve heard such great things about them. They’re nice and think so they can definitely be worn as pants. I’m super picky with leggings, and hate when they’re too thin. The leather look makes them look a lot fancier than typical cotton leggings, and I love the subtle design.
  9. Faux fur jacket: I love this faux fur jacket, because it’s neutral and will go with any outfit, but it also makes a statement. This would look so cute for holiday parties over any color dress. It is currently on sale for less than $60, and in stock in all sizes so grab it while you can.
  10. Blush pink packable jacket: I have a gray packable jacket that I wear all the time. It’s lightweight and the fact that it folds up into a tiny square is so convenient. Blush pink everything is so popular right now, and I think this jacket is adorable!! It comes in black as well if you want to go for a more classic look.

I hope you guys enjoyed this week’s gift guide! Let me know if you’ve started shopping yet. If you need some holiday home décor inspo, check out this week’s video on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1i7znF2Ksk

Hope you have an amazing weekend!! XO, Erica

Holiday Gift Guide #2

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It’s time for Holiday Gift guide #2! I stayed up super late last night searching for these items. Everything in today’s post is from Nordstrom (not sponsored) and direct links can be found within the post, in black text. One of my favorite things about Nordstrom, is that the shipping is always free, so if you purchase any of these items you won’t have to pay shipping! Yay! I’m really excited about ALL of these things and think any lady in your life would love to receive them.

  1. You guys know I’m a bag lady. Rebecca Minkoff is one of my all time favorite brands. It is high end, but not ridiculously priced, and such good quality. The bags are still an investment but they wear so well and last forever. This black studded crossbody was my favorite one on the site!
  2. I am loving all things studded. Not only do these booties have studs, but they also have a scalloped top which is adorable. Short booties are so in, and these are probably my favorite pair I’ve seen! They’re super trendy and unique, but not over the top. These are on my personal wish list!
  3. For day to day life, I love a good pair of mules by the door! So easy to slip on and off, and so comfy too. These studded loafer mules are currently on sale, for under $100, and come in 5 colors.
  4. Nude lips are my fav! This Bobbi Brown nude lip gloss set, is perfect for the makeup lover in your life. It comes with 4 limited edition nude shades, and the holiday pouch to store them in.
  5. Jewelry is always a fun holiday gift, but so is something to store it in! I found this black studded travel jewelry case and thought it would make a great, unique gift. It is made of leather, so it’s good quality and will last a long time, and it comes in white too. I love the size of it because it’s small enough to throw in a carry-on bag or purse without taking up too much room. It is priced just under $50, and is perfect for your friend or family member who loves to travel.
  6. I recently became a big fan of Charlotte Tilbury makeup. I use her iconic nude lip liner every week. This highlighter trio palette contains two gold, and one rose gold shade. Charlotte Tilbury makeup is super high quality, and paraben free.
  7. I love initial necklaces! They are so versatile, you can wear your own initial, your boyfriend or husbands initial, or your child’s initial. This initial necklace by Nadri, is such a great value, at under $50. All of the letters come in silver, rose gold or gold. I have had many Nadri necklaces over the years, and they all still look brand new. Even the ones I left on for weeks at a time and wore in the shower (oops!) This is a dupe for a high end necklace by Bony Levy which looks almost IDENTICAL, except it is $500. I’d choose the Nadri one 😉
  8. When looking for the travel jewelry box, I also found this monogram keepsake box. It is priced just under $40, and is so my style! I love anything black and white. This would look so pretty sitting out on your bathroom counter or nightstand, and is a really great price point.
  9. And finally, sunglasses. I wear sunglasses all year round. I always panic when I get in the car and don’t have a pair. They’re an essential for me. I picked this pair of black aviators, because they’re simple, classic, and most people would like them. I have heard great things about this brand too.

So that’s it for this week’s gift guide! I hope it gave you some good ideas. Let me know if you’re going to purchase any of these items for yourself or as gifts! Check back every week for a new gift guide all the way up until Christmas! XO, Erica