My Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift Guide 

How is May here already?! I swear – I blinked at some point in January and the next thing I know, it’s Jack Rogers weather. No complaints from me! May brings two major life stresses- bathing suit season and Mother’s Day. Both of these things give me nightmares, tbh. I love my mom, but shopping for her is near impossible. The woman has everything she wants, and is on a first name basis with our UPS and Fed-Ex delivery people, mostly thanks to Amazon Prime. Even worse? I have a wonderful step-mom, so this holiday is twice as hard- two women who deserve the world, and who have completely different tastes. What’s a near-broke 20-something year old girl-woman to do?

This year, I’ve really done my research. Check out my Mother’s Day 2017 Gift Guide for every type of mom!


For the mom who cherishes family photos

Framebridge was my go-to for this Mother’s Day – I’m truly impressed by the quality of the photos + frames for the price. I ordered 2 Instagram Minis – 1 for each mom – and they were only $39 each! There’s a pretty large selection of frames, and they’re all so beautiful! Weather your mom would prefer a single photo or a gallery wall, she’ll be hanging this one on the wall as soon as possible. The frames I ordered were the Laurel and the Camden but like I said, there’s a ton more to choose from.

Framebridge is actually giving my readers a discount to celebrate their mamas! 15% off when you use code laughingblonde15 at checkout 🙂




Framebridge Instagram Mini – $39

For the mom who loves something pretty (and thoughtful!)

As soon as I saw the Lemon Krate curated boxes, I fell in love. I first saw them featured on Lauren Conrad’s The Little Market Instagram feed a few months ago, and immediatley began following them. Their Instagram is full of amazing gifts that have me legit finding any excuse I can to give one to someone I know! My two favorites for this Mother’s Day feature Little Market candles, Elderflower + Rose lemonade, pink macaroons, cocktail kits for a long flight, lotions, etc. I seriously can’t wait to give this to my mama, I know she’s going to love it! Part of magic of these Krates are how beautifully they’re packaged. I’ve actually spoken to Lisa, one of the founders of LK, who says, “Our goal for this was to offer pre-curated Krates for all types and ages of mamas! We always match a nice paper with the Krate so that from box to product, they are having fun and enjoying opening!” Because the Krates are custom, pricing can range from $50-$200 – and they make Krates for tons of other things besides Mother’s Day, so they’re really willing to work with your budget to get you what you’re looking for.

unnamed (2)

unnamed

unnamed (1)

Lemon Krate: $50-$200    Instagram:@lemonkrategifts

For the mom who deserves a new piece of jewelry

How perfect is this handwriting bracelet!! Sadly, I didn’t even know these existed until last week when my best friend ordered the manly version for her boyfriend and sent me the link. I immediately became obsessed and had to have one made for not only my mom, but for me as well! For $31, I’ll always have a little piece of my mama with me.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 10.32.24 PM.png

IMEsilver Etsy Shop – $31

For the mom who loves a good sassy phone case.. or wall art!

I fell in love with Verrier Handcrafted a few years ago when I discovered them at Chelsea Markets. I’ve had my fabulous wall-art displayed in my living room for almost 2 years now, and never have someone in my apartment for longer than 10 minute without them complimenting it. I showed my mom and within 2 weeks, she’d ordered at least 8 prints for herself! Her most recent purchase was the “Swear On My Chanel” phone case – too cute for words!

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 10.38.46 PMScreen Shot 2017-04-25 at 10.39.36 PM

Verrier Handcrafted $35 – $100

For the mom who loves a delicious smelling candle

I consider myself a candle connoisseur, and I just so happened to have found my new favorite candle at the Anthropology that opened up in my office building earlier this month. My go-to scents would be the Panjore Lychee and Goji Toracco Orange. Made in the USA and have 100 hours of continuous burn time? Go get yours asap!

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 10.43.34 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 10.43.47 PM.png

Voluspa Cut Glass Jar Candle – $26

For the mom who loves to host

Crate&Barrel has this insanely cute Ice Mold/ Wine Bottle Chiller that will look fab on every table for girls night. And tbh, this is probably the only thing I can afford at Crate that my mom would like, so it’s hard to pass up..

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 8.23.13 PM.png

Crate&Barrel Wine Bottle Chiller -$39

For the sentimental mom

A book filled with all the things you love about your mom. Cue the tears, and make sure you bring a pack of tissues with you for when she opens this emotional terrorist of a present …

Francesca’s What I Love About Mom Book – $18

 

For the mom who’s in the market for new skin care

Fresh-scented and affordable, the perfect combo. The Body Wash Infused Buffers last for 30+ uses and are fantastic for exfoliation and boosting circulation. The body lotion is enriched with Vitamin E, Macadamia Oil, Shea Butter and tons of other ingredients that will leave your mama’s skin smooth and hydrated. Not only are they great for you and your mom, but they’re vegan friendly and cruelty-free, so they’re helping all of our furry friends as well!

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 8.15.29 PM.png

Spongelle’s Bulgarian Rose Box Duo Set – $45

 

Your Life, as Told by Golden Girls Quotes

 

When your friends are roasting you in the group text:

group text

When your ex sends you the “hey, u up?” text at 2am. Boy, BYE.

exbf

When you’re thinking about how broke you are:

old is expensive

When you’re complaining about your latest Bumble guy to your best friend:

bumble compaining

When you really stop and think about the state of your life

uncomfortable laugh.gif

When you see your bf comments on another girl’s Insta and your bestie asks what you’re gonna do about it:

ice cream fle

When you’re PMSing:

PMSing

And then when it finally happens:

better late than.gif

When you say you’re only having 2 drinks but end up having 8:

drunk home

When your boyfriend asks you what’s wrong and you know you’re being irrational:

needy

When your doctor tells you that you should probably eat less ice cream and more broccoli:

doctor

I’m Still Fly, I’m Sky High

You can book your own experience at FlyNYON.com

You know in those action movies where people run on to a rooftop and there’s a strategically placed helicopter that’s somehow already whirring at full-speed and then the second the character jumps into it, it takes off? Yea, FlyNYON wasn’t like that at all.

suns out

It was still INSANELY cool though! I actually found out about FlyNYON while I was browsing Instagram. I took one look at their feed, and sent them an email to book. There was no way I was going to let this opportunity pass me by! 2017 has been the Year of Yes for me, so saying no to riding in a helicopter over the city? Not an option.

I’m not gonna lie, the experience isn’t cheap. A 15 minute ride over NYC will run you $218 – but keep in mind, 15 minutes in a helicopter is actually kind of a long time. (They have longer packages too, but I’ll stick to the one that I went on.) Here’s how it works:

You start off by the water in Jersey where the office and helicopter hub is. There’s a bunch of different helicopters in their garage and on the tarmac (is that what it’s called? You know what I mean) so you immediately feel like you’re on the set of Top Gun. Very boss-like. There will be a max of 5 people on this flight (including you), so it’s pretty personal. The team is incredibly nice, and really helpful at answering any questions you might have. You arrive about 45 minutes before your flight so that you can go over a quick safety video, make sure all your clothing + shoes check out, and secure your phone or camera to a rope that attaches to you. The people of NYC that you, FlyNYON – nothing ruins your Tuesday morning quite like getting nailed with an iPhone 7 from 2,000 feet in the air.

Once you’re done with all of that, you walk outside and then strap you up into a harness that will attach you to the helicopter so you don’t pull a Vin Diesel and jump out. Pretty smart. You’ll take a golf cart out to the helicopter and that’s when you realize that you’re really about to go 2000 FEET IN THE AIR OVER NEW YORK CITY. Holy. Sh*t. You take the mandatory photo in front of the helicopter, get strapped in, and put on a fancy headset that I’m sure is there to block out the crazy loud noise, but really just made me feel like I was a badass fighter pilot. I loved every second of it.

helicopter.jpg

And then you’re off – the helicopter rises up quickly and you’re suddenly shivering from both the cold and the adrenaline, while simultaneously trying super hard to look out over the water without your face flying off. I feel like I finally understand what my dog must experience when she sticks her head out of the window when I’m driving. I’ve seen the photos of me – it’s nothing I’d want in a yearbook, that’s for sure.

Then suddenly, you’re over the city and it’s just kind of surreal. You see the whole island of Manhattan right there below you and you’re so high up that you can barely see the people, but you just have this massive smile on your face because OMG, who really gets to do this?! I was so insanely happy and just in pure awe over what was happening. The pilot flies right over the Freedom Tower, because he’s very aware that it’s the money shot. And of course you take a shoe selfie. It was no accident that I was wearing my Suns Out Buns Out shoes by Sam Edelman. It’s like they were made for this exact moment.

downtown

 

freedom 2

nycsuns

And then you’re on your way back to Jersey and you’re just like ahhh omg WHAT JUST EVEN HAPPENED?! Once you land, you’re unhooked, and you take a quick ride back to the office and you’re all done. I can’t really explain the feeling, other than just to say I’ve never experienced anything like it. It’s not the feeling like when you’re on a roller coaster, it’s actually a lot easier. I think the excitement of the whole thing tunes you out to how high up you are, so it’s not actually scary. The only truly frightening part about it all was what my hair looked like when it was all over. Ladies, make sure you bring a hair tie. You’ve been warned.

FlyNYON has the NYC experience, but they’re also located in a few other cities as well, including Miami, LA and San Francisco! They’re also opening up 2 experiences in Vegas next month – one over the strip, and one over the Grand Canyon – that’s going to be BEYOND insane! The pricing and timing is different for all cities, so make sure you check out their site and see which one is a good fit for you!

De-cluttering Your Beauty Stash

Confession time: I’m a bit of a hoarder. It’s true, I have very little self control when it comes to buying clothes, shoes or beauty products. When I think back to the amount of money that I wasted over just the last 12 months alone on unnecessary products that I absolutely didn’t need to buy, I’m a little nauseas. Even more so when I think about all the different ways I could have spent that money. Ugh.

IMG_3643

IMG_3646.JPG

Anyway, that isn’t even the worst part. What’s worse is that after I buy it, half of it seriously just sits there for months on end, unopened and unloved 😦 Typically my 18 year old sister makes out like a bandit because of this – I usually give her a ton of my old stuff that I either haven’t used or barely touched. And lucky for her, she gets it for Free-Ninety-Nine. These products below are just the ones I’m giving from this last clean-out.

IMG_3656.JPG

IMG_3655.jpg

IMG_3658.JPG

I’ve put together a guide below for you to reference while you do a HUGE spring cleaning this weekend *Hint Hint*! I always feel 10000% better when I’ve organized. Not sure whether to save or toss that unopened lipgloss from Victoria’s Secret’s 2007 collection? TOSS. We’re about to get super organized up in here ok ladies? Now let’s get in formation:

  • Check the expiration date. Once you open a product, the clock starts ticking. Face makeup? 6 months for liquids, 2 years for powders. Mascara? 3 months. The dark, wet environment is a total breeding ground for bacteria. And what’s more horrifying than putting a want of bacteria 2 centimeters from your eyeball? Lipglosses + lipsticks? 1-2 years. Hair products? 1 year. Skin care? No more than six months. Bottom line- if it’s questionable, TOSS IT.
  • If you’re wondering if you should buy it, the answer is simple – probably not. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought something strictly because I was bored. A good rule of thumb is to think about it and if you really want it, order it online. Or if you’re mindlessly online shopping, ask yourself if you’d go all the way to the store to buy it. If the answer is no, then you probably don’t really need it.
  • There’s no need to “save it for later”. See all these samples? My mom gave them to me as part of Christmas present… in 2015. No lie, theses samples are all two years old. And you know why? Because I’m always saying that I’ll “save them for later”. The great thing about samples is that they’re the perfect way to try products out without having to actually spend money on them. So why the heck would you not take that opportunity? Use your samples and then decide if you like them enough to spend money on the real thing!

IMG_3659

IMG_3662.JPG


The Final Product

IMG_3653

IMG_3647.jpg

 

5 Thing You Use All The Time That Are Super Germ-Infested

It’s time to talk about the gross tiny creatures that are crawling all over you and everything you love. GERMS.

It may finally be warmer out, but I’m here to tell you that germs aren’t going anywhere. Even though it’s no longer technically cold & flu season, these guys are still EVERYWHERE, and they have No Mercy mentality. Obviously we all knows the basics- your phone is covered in bacteria, you should always use hand sanitizer after riding the subway, blah blah blah. But do you really know what types of bacteria you’re fighting or what it can cause? If you have a weak stomach, I’ll warn you – you probably don’t want to read below..

1) Your Laundry Basket: This one really grossed me out – did you know that a load of underwear can transfer at least 100 MILLION E. coli bacteria to the washing machine, where you then go and cross-contaminate with all of your other laundry? According to Reader’s Digest, front-loading machines are the worst offenders – “water settles at the bottom and creates the moist environment bacteria loves.” I’m really not happy about this. If you can , a good way to clean it is by first washing your whites with Bleach, which will disinfect – then run a towel over the insides to soak up moisture and leave the door open to air-dry.

laundry basket

 

2) ATMs: Ugh, yet another reason to stop spending so much money… There have been some studies done recently that show ATMs typically have high levels of bacillus and pseudomonads. Ever heard of them? Me neither. Fun fact- it’s the same bacteria that’s found in public toilets. So basically, withdrawing that $20 a few hours ago is the same thing as running your hand around the rim of the portapotty at GovBall. FML.

3) Your Bathtub: This one hits me in the feels. I’m all about #MeTime and taking bubble baths (see post here). I’d say I’m pretty consistent with cleaning but after learning what’s breeding in my tub, I’m about to douse it in bleach. What fun treats can your bath tub give you? Staph infections, pneumonia, septicemia and urinary tract infections. This is usually caused by build-up around your drain that accumulates over the days/weeks between scrubdowns. Moral of the story? Break our your Mr. Clean, Scrubbing Bubbles, etc. before you try for a relaxing soak.

4) Your Re-usable Water Bottle: Just when you think you’re helping out the environment, you learn you’re also practically poisoning yourself in the process. Basically, re-using your water bottle is the equivalent of eating out of your dog’s dirty food/water bowl. The Daily Mail even reported that lab testing of 12 refillable water bottles used by athletes over the course of one week showed an average of 300,000 colony-forming units of bacteria. That’s super great news, considering I’ve been using the same water bottle for a month and can’t remember the last time I stuck it in the dishwasher 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

IMG_3616

5) Your Phone (obviously): Turns out people are pretty gross. 90% of Gen Y, 80% of Gen X, and 65% of Baby Boomers have reported using their phones while on the toilet. I get it, what’s a trip to the bathroom without a little game of Candy Crush to get you through, amiright? Except, you’re a breeding ground for an immune system catastrophe. Here’s what Reader’s Digest has to say about it: “In a 2013 study, British researchers swabbed 30 tablets, 30 phones, and an office toilet seat. The tablets had up to 600 units per swab of staphylococcus (also known as staph, which can cause severe stomach sickness) and the phones had up to 140 units. The typical toilet seat had less than 20 units.” That Candy Crush level 48 isn’t looking so appealing now, is it?


So how are we supposed to combat all these germs if they’re crawling all over the place?! Don’t get your germ-filled panties in a bunch just yet – death is not necessarily on the horizon. First of all, it’s important to remember that up until now, you probably didn’t know about all of these different kinds of bacteria and how you’re swimming in them right now, but you’ve still survived. Your body knows how to handle + combat most of this. Second of all, now that you know, just take regular pre-cautions. Wash your water bottles more often, scrub down your bathtub more than once every three weeks. Carry a travel-sized Purrell with you in your bag.

I’m sure you’ll be fine but if not, it’s probably because I told you all of this info and you didn’t listen sooo just saying, told ya so.