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The only 10 Christmas decorations you need this season: our favorite, festive picks

We ❤️ the holiday season, we really, really do. But we have a little confession... sometimes, all that goes into “doing” the holidays feels like yet another item on our (already-very-long-and-always-growing) list of mama to-do’s. We’d love to string lights for days and arrange the perfect Insta-worthy holiday home, but wow, life gets in the way sometimes, doesn’t it?


Stress no more, mama.

These 10 holiday decorations are timeless, beautiful, and most importantly easy, and will transform your home into the fun and festive place to be this season.

Best of all? One click later they’ll be delivered right to your door, letting you cross one more thing off your to-do list this holiday season ✔??

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1. A classic wreath
Hearth & Hand with Magnolia for Target Pine Wreath with Bell, Target, $34.99
In case you missed it, we’re here to share with the most exciting news of the season: Magnolia, the home and lifestyle brand from omg-we-couldn’t-be-more-obsessed-with-you couple Chip and Joanna Gaines, has teamed up with Target for a home and holiday collection.

A wreath is a simple way to add holiday style to any space, and this faux pine beauty is one of our faves—it’s classic, features just the right amount of glimmer, and will look great both at Christmastime and throughout the rest of the winter season.

2. Kid-safe candles
Essential Flameless Wax Candles, Pottery Barn, $99
Kids + candles = bad idea. Kids + flameless, LED-powered candles that are just as beautiful as the real thing = genius idea! Candles make any space cozy and serene, especially around the holidays.

We realize these are a bit of a splurge, but we promise they’re worth it—they look just like the real thing (which isn’t the case for a lot of the cheaper options), are made with a real wax exterior, and have a 500-hour burn time.

3. Go-anywhere garland
Magnolia Felt Mistletoe Garland, MagnoliaMarket.com, $28
This felt garland puts a fun and modern twist on the traditional greenery. Garlands can be pricey, but this one won’t break the bank and no one will be the wiser. It’s perfect for wrapping or for adding a touch of green to your mantle.

4. Holiday pillows
Assorted decorative pillows, Target, $17.99-$59.99
Holiday pillows are a quick and easy way to add a touch of Christmas cheer to almost any space. Swap out your usual couch pillows with a few of these, add a tartan plaid throw, and just like that, Christmas has arrived in your family room!

5. Stockings for stuffing
Knit Metallic Starburst Stockings, West Elm, $24
These knit stockings have just the right mix of modern + vintage style. They’re simple, charming, and are perfect for filling with lots of gifts!

6. Ornaments to deck out the tree
Kids and Baby Christmas Ornaments, Land of Nod, $1-$25
With so many swoon-worthy options out there, it’s tough to go wrong with Christmas ornaments, but Land of Nod’s are truly some of our favorites. From cute critters and playful designs to tons of personalized options, there’s something for everyone—and every tree—here.

7. Something with sparkle
Cylaplex LED Starry String Lights, Amazon, $9.99
There are SO many uses for these flexible, starry battery-powered string lights. We love them strung across a mantle, around a banister, or wound inside an empty glass jar. They’re super affordable and one of our favorite, easy ways to add holiday sparkle to your home.

8. A touch of vintage decor
Mercury Glass Trees, Pottery Barn, $14.50-$69
In our glorious Christmas decor dreams, our mantle is adorned with half a dozen of these vintage beauties. (Hey, a girl can dream, right?) These mercury-glass trees are gorgeous on their own, but really shine when filled with LED lights or flameless candles. You’ll want to stare at them all Christmas long!

9. A holiday tradition for the kids
Typealive DIY Advent Calendar, Etsy, $25.32
Nothing is more magical for a child than the countdown to Christmas. Mark the days for your littles with this minimalist DIY advent calendar, featuring 24 sweet little paper houses that can each hide a surprise inside. All you’ll need is scissors, some glue, and some hot chocolate!

10. A festive tablecloth
Fennco Styles Buffalo Plaid Table Runner, Amazon, $20.99
This cotton buffalo plaid table runner is trendy and affordable, two of our favorite things. It will add a fun pop of holiday color to any table, and it’s machine washable so you won’t have to worry about stains.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Life

It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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