• gift guide

    Top Three Baby Shower Gifts for First-Time Moms

    I received products compliments of DockATot, The Ollie World, and Lorena Canals, but all opinions are my own.

    Who’s that crazy lady who goes around sniffing at newborns just to soak in that lovely baby scent? Hiiiii! I’m three and done, but every once in a while, I get a slight twinge of baby fever especially when I’m in close proximity to a newborn. Danger, danger! My brother and his wife just gave birth to a sweet baby girl named Paige, and obviously, this boy momma is smitten. I’m already planning for all the pretty pink and pastel knits, bows and Mary Janes that I’ll be spoiling her with as she grows up, but for now, it’s all about the first-time parents and their needs as they embark on this life-changing journey. Read on for three of my fave baby products to give new parents that make life easier all-around – because happy mom, happy life.

    aunt and newborn niece


    Listen up, mommas. This one is life-changing! If you’re seeking something that is snug, secure and comfortable for your wee one to rest on, look no further than the DockATot. The DockATot is a multi-functional lounger, co-sleeper and playtime lounger that mimics the mother’s womb with its smart Swedish design. It comes in two sizes (Deluxe for younger, smaller babies 0-8 months, and Grand for 9-36 months) and is basically a cocoon of comfy-ness. Why again don’t they make this for adults? Whenever I babysit my new baby niece, I love seeing how easy it is for her to get a comfortable sleep nestled in the DockATot. It’s tested for breathability, all natural, and made of 100% cotton – basically, the ideal micro-climate for babies and young tots. The DockATot is handmade in Europe, and has been rigorously tested and fully compliant with both federal law and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission proposed standards. I wish the DockATot was around the U.S. when I had my firstborn!

    aunt and newborn niece

    The Ollie Smarter Swaddle

    As a first-time parent, you may not know that you gave birth to a little Houdini. By then, it’ll be too late because you’ll be fumbling around in the dark trying to re-swaddle your little babe as tightly as possible while wracking your brain at in the middle of the night wondering where you went wrong. Enter: The Smarter Swaddle by The Ollie World. Besides being effective at containing wriggly babies, this swaddle can instantly soothe a crying baby in seconds. It’s also easy to wrap, Velcro and close up! (If you don’t believe me, see for yourself right here.) The custom fit allows for fit to be individualized to meet the needs and size of each little one, and its one-size promotes ease with transitional stages. The Smarter Swaddle is made from custom moisture-wicking material to reduce the risk of overheating – that’s one less thing for us moms to worry about! When you’re up changing diapers again at 3am, the Smarter Swaddle allows for easy access diaper change accessible through an opening at the bottom. I’ve been through three rounds of diapers with my three boys, so I can test to how awesome this is. (And that’s pretty freaking awesome.)

    aunt and newborn niece

    Lorena Canals Rug

    Didn’t know you *needed* a rug? Yea, you do! But not just any rug. A machine-washable one that fits into a standard washer and dryer, like this plush beauty from Lorena Canals. For all the poop explosions, baby spit-up, milk spills, and cereal crumbs, this rug will grow with you and your baby through the years. It’s sophisticated in design so a nice area rug can brighten up any nursery but also any adult space. Best of all? Lorena Canals rugs (and cushions!) are handmade with all natural dyes, eco-friendly and contains no VOCs like most other carpeting and rugs. That’s a win-win for mom and baby. (p.s. when you purchase a product from Lorena Canals, all proceeds support the Sakula project and provide schooling for children in India!)

    aunt and newborn nieceaunt and newborn niece

  • gift guide,  holiday

    Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Box Subscriptions

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    It’s December 16… how are you doing on your Christmas shopping list? If you are like me, you might have clicked a few gifts to your shopping cart on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But truth be told, I despise shopping in malls and I’m not really into wrapping presents as much as I love to give them. I’m also often a last minute gifter – but last minute doesn’t have to mean any less thoughtful or inspired. (You might have seen this post about my winning subscription gift to The Giant for his birthday one year.)

    So if you are still scrambling around to find the perfect last minute gifts for friends, family and/or your significant other, take a look at my favorite picks for the best box gift subscriptions. Some of them are SO good, you’ll have your recipient gushing about how out-of-the-box you think. (Excuse the pun.) Don’t feel bad if you end up gifting yourself, too!

    Rent the Runway Unlimited: $139/month. You choose 3 designer pieces that you can keep as long as you want and exchange anytime. Return 1, 2 or 3 of your items when you’re ready and select new pieces for your next shipment. You can cancel your auto-renewal anytime.

    Stitch Fix: $20 styling fee (apply towards your final order) plus whatever items you choose to keep. Your personal shopper selects pieces customized to your spending preferences. Celebrate with a discount when you love all 5 items!

    Trunk Club: No styling fee and pay only for what you choose to keep. Though technically not a subscription service, Trunk Club will send you a trunk featuring hand-selected, premium brands. Because there are no commitments, trunks are scheduled only by you, only when you see fit. Take 10 days to decide what you love, and return what you don’t.

    DITTO Endless Eyewear: $24/month. Classy. Country. Nerdy. Glam. Let them express their unique style all year long with an gift subscription in 3, 6, 9, or 12 months. Members receive 15% off the purchase of their glasses.

    Ipsy: $10/month. Sample 5 amazing beauty products tailored to you in a collectible bag.

    Craft Beer Club: $39/shipment. Exceptional craft beers from the country’s best, small, independent brewers.

    Blue Apron: Plans starting at $59.94/week. Fresh ingredients, great recipes delivered weekly to the home. Meal delivery is especially awesome for those who live in cold climates and don’t want to get out to grocery shop!

    Nourish Snack Box: You’ll enjoy an assortment of pre-portioned, healthy and yummy snacks ranging from sweet to salty to chewy to crunchy.

    BarkBox: Plans starting at $39/month. BarkBox is a delivery of 4 to 6 natural treats and super fun toys curated around a surprise theme each month. 1, 3, 6, or 12 months subscriptions available.

    Kiwi Crate: Starting at $19.95. Every month a new theme, with all the materials and inspiration for kids to build, make, and develop their creative confidence. 1, 3, 6, or 12 months subscriptions available.

    See all holiday gift guides curated by Melissa Takes Fashion:

    Holiday Gift Guide for Him

    Microfashion for the Littles

    For the Stylish Mom on the Go


  • gift guide,  holiday

    Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

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    Drone / Quilted jacket / Polarized sunglasses / Leather wallet / Rubber driver shoe / Flannel pajamas / Digital camera / Craft beer subscription / Personal transporter / Dartboard set / Wireless streaming music system

    I work extra hard to make sure the gifts I give feel special and are thoughtful. This men’s holiday gift guide is inspired by my Giant, who is the sexiest man in my life. He’s down-to-earth but appreciates fine details and little luxuries, and if you know any guy like this, then you won’t want to miss this gift guide for him! I like to stick to items in simple colors that can seamlessly blend with other things they already own. I can’t wait for the Giant to open his gift on Christmas, these awesome polarized sunglasses. For an out-of-the-box idea, try a craft beer subscription – I got this beer selection for the Giant’s birthday and it was a real winner! Like, Best Wifey-type-of-winning gift. Other great gift ideas for men include a super soft pajama set (I would steal this if he weren’t 6’5”!), a sleek pebbled leather wallet, and of course, it’s not the holidays without some fun toys (because men will always be boys!) like this camera drone and this personal transporter.

    See all holiday gift guides curated by Melissa Takes Fashion:

    Microfashion for the Littles

    For the Stylish Mom on the Go


  • gift guide,  holiday

    The 12 Best Holiday Party Dresses

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    I’m so excited for the holidays – especially dressing for the occasion, and holidays provide the best opportunities for this. From festivities at work to those with family and friends, there are a million excuses to get dressed up! (Not like I need any excuse on a normal day, but for parties, I do like to amp up the glam factor. WAAAAY up!) If I’ve learned anything in the past about dressing for the holidays, it’s that you need to start planning and shopping early, or all the best pieces are gone. Once Thanksgiving has passed, the holiday parties start happening in early December (I’m not mad about this!).

    This season I’m loving laces dresses that are anything but matronly, like this red HAWT lace number or this romantic floral lace. To sparkle all night, how about a gold sequin dress or this silver metallic high-shine halter dress? If you’re feeling demure but still want to make a statement, try this sculpted hi-low hem beauty. Check out my top 12 festive frocks at all different price points!

    What will you be wearing this holiday season?