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It's that time of year, friends. We're opening up our windows to let in that sweet spring air, we're buying ALL the strawberries at the grocery store and we're being invited to another graduation party. Every. Single. Weekend. And we're guessing you are, too.

Sure, it seems like just yesterday we were all graduating, but it's actually been a minute since you were walking across the stage to accept your diploma. And the definition of a "good gift" has totally changed.

Feel like you have zero idea what to give your little sister or the neighbor's son? From a water bottle that can keep liquid cold for 24 hours (and hot for six!) to a completely waterproof and party-proof Bluetooth speaker, these are the prezzies grads will love.

Shop our picks below, and if you're headed to a graduation party this weekend, be sure to party like its 1999, mmk?

1. The Suitcase

Away's Bigger Carry-On

A gift with meaning! You're setting your grad up for success as they embark on new adventures, and giving them the spiffiest possible piece of luggage to get them there. We love Away— 360-degree spin wheels, its battery that charges your phone, and oh yeah, that super durable polycarbonae shell that is pretty much indestructable... which is just what a 20-something-year-old needs at this point in their life. We recommend Away's Bigger Carry-On, which still fits in overhead compartments but gives you that teensy extra bit of packing space we all crave.

Price: $245.00

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2. The Journal

Lisa Congdon Journal

Don't we all wish we had kept a journal in the days, weeks, months and years following our graduations? What a treat it would be go through those entries today—which is exactly you need to encourage your grad to do so. This peppy journal from illustrator Lisa Congdon in collaboration with Emily McDowell would motivate anyone to put to paper to pen day in and day out.

Price: $15.00

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3. The Water Bottle

Part of "adulting" means having life basics covered. And one of the most important basics of all is staying hydrated! Everyone needs a decent water bottle as they head out the door, and Hydro Flask is one of the best you can buy. We recommend the durable, BPA-free 21-ounce Standard Mouth bottle, which keeps cold drinks cold for 24 hours, and hot drinks hot for six hours.

Price: $35.95

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4. The Speaker

best portable speaker

Recent grads are armed with a degree and unbridled ambition... but they can still be, well, pretty clumsy. So why invest in a fancy portable speaker that *might* get dropped in a pool, or *might* get doused in beer, when instead you can get them Kicker's Bullfrog BF100 Bluetooth speaker? Fully waterproof, your grad can literally bring it with them in the shower or the ocean, and at just two pounds, it's super portable, too.

Price: $149.95

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5. The Gift Card

Amazon Gift Card

Whether they're buying socks or shampoo, tell them their necessities are on you!

Price: $25+

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6. The Thoughtful Photo Collage

Minted Years Frame

This sweet photo collage hits all the points on graduation gift check list. Thoughtful? Check. Nostalgic? Check. Artwork for their very, very empty walls? Check!

Price: $24+

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7. The luxe bag

Holly & Tanager Professorial

Give her the gift of a bag that is equal parts luxurious and practical. The Professional from Holly & Tanager converts from a backpack to a cross body to a tote via removable straps and it's soft, sumptuous leather and gold hardware make it a head-turner. With five interior pockets, one bottom zip pocket (perfect for shoes) and a travel sleeve to slip your suitcase handle through, this is about to be their most favorite and most versatile bag. Yes, it's price is a bit steep, but split it with a few friends or relatives and the cost can easily be justified!

Price: $550

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8. The Mattress

Bear Mattress

A mattress might seem like an odd gift to ship to your new grad, but consider the fact that you'd actually giving them the gift of better, higher-quality sleep! We love both of Bear's offerings—both the original and the hybrid mattress—which both come in a box. Designed for someone with an active lifestyle, the Bear mattresses provide a supportive sleep for your young friend... trust us, they'll be thanking you for the next decade.

Price: $540+

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9. The Cheeseboard

Swivel Cheese Board

Nothing says, "I don't live with my parents anymore" like a cheeseboard. Set them up for entertaining success with this bamboo beauty, which folds back up into a triangular wedge when not in use. We love that it comes with serving knives that store themselves in a tidy drawer within the board.

Price: $42.00a-$64.00

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10. The Bracelet

Bead Intentions Bracelet

Send them on their way with the best of intentions, literally! This beautiful Wishbeads Intention bracelet is also incredibly thoughtful—jot down well-wishes for your grad on a snippet of included paper, and tuck it inside the bracelet, so they'll literally carry your words of wisdom with them day in and out.

Price: $58.00

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11. The Beauty & Grooming Box Subscription

Let's face it: Your grad likely doesn't have disposable income to splurge on beauty supplies. Solve that by gifting them a Birchbox subscription, and they will receive a monthly shipment of sample-sized products, ranging from skin care to haircare to makeup. But your grad is a dude? No worries, they have boxes for him, too. This is truly the gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving.

Price: $45.00 for 3 months, $84.00 for six months, $132.00 for 12 months.

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12. The Prime

Amazon Prime

If you're grad isn't a Prime member, well, then you now have the gift to give them. While Amazon Prime may be a mainstay in your own life (it certainly is in ours!) never underestimate how useful membership could be to others who don't have it. Beyond free two-day shipping, the subscription also includes access to thousands of TV shows and movies with Prime Video (including shows like Red Oaks and Mozart in the Jungle!) and the ability to stream millions of songs (ad-free!). Sounds like a pretty sweet gift to us.

Price: $39.00 for 3 months, $119.00 for 12 months

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13. Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix

Pretty young things are many things—Exuberant! Ambitious! Determined!—but independently wealthy isn't usually on that list. So, help your grad out with a wardrobe boost. Available for both men and women, Stitch Fix is an online styling service that will fix them up with spiffy new duds so they can look as great as they feel.

Price: $20.00+

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14. The Food

Hello Fresh Delivery Box

After a long day of studying or working, it's REALLY easy to whip out your phone and have food delivered to your house lickety split. But get your grad on the right path to a healthier diet (and instill in them joy of cooking!) by giving the gift of a Hello Fresh meal delivery kits. One box includes three meals for two people, along with each meal's ingredients and step-by-step instructions on how they should be prepared. When your grad opens a restaurant in five years, they'll have you to thanks!

Price: $59.00+

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15. The Tailored Sweatpants

Kids these days, they always want to be in their sweats! And we can't blame 'em... but considering they could meet their future boss at Starbucks or on their way to the movies, let's make sure they're sweatpants are of the sophisticated sort, mmk? Public Rec's solution is the All Day Every Day pant, which the brand brilliantly describes as being a more stylish alternative to sweatpants, a more comfortable alternative to jeans.

Price: $95.00

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16. The Candle

Homesick Candles

They might be on their way to adulthood, but that doesn't mean they're not going to miss home sweet home every now and again. Splurge on one of these hand-pour soy wax candles, each of which are formulated with input from state locals to create aromas that match each state's familiar scent.

Price: $30.00

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17. The Framed Photo // Framebridge

Have a favorite photo of your grad when they were just a wee babe? Or maybe you've been holding on to their genius artwork from Kindergarten? Frame it! Framebridge makes the process of custom framing incredibly easy—simply your frame, upload or mail in your imagery, pick your size and voila, you've got your gift!

Price: $39.00+

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18. The Kitchen Appliance

Instant Pot

This is the perfect cooking tool for young people who are used to instant gratification, because Instant Pot creates amazing dishes in the blink of an eye! Literally everyone on the planet needs an Instant Pot, and this one is compact but mighty. In addition to being able to make hard boiled eggs in minutes, the Lux Mini can also prepare soups and stews, steam and sauté vegetables and much more in just minutes.

Price: $59.92

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19. The Bicycle

Priority Bikes

Because a car would be way too extravagant, lol. Seriously though, every grad in the world would love a set of (two) wheels as a gift and Priority Bicycles is one of the best you can buy right now. Weighing less than a few bag of groceries at 25 pounds, Priority Classic Plus features a grease- and rust-free belt drive… meaning no grease on the pants on the commute to work! The bike comes with a kickstand, water bottle cage and tire pump. Available in a black matte, glossy white and glossy blue hues, this 3-speed bike just might make your grad cry with happiness.

Price: $499.00

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20. The Steamer

Hilife Steamer

We can't have our grads showing up to an interview look all schlumpy, can we? But, alas, we also can't expect them to pull out an ironing board and iron to get their clothes wrinkle-free. Enter: This portable steamer never spits water and it has more than 135,000 reviews on Amazon!

Price: $26.99

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21. The Paperweight

Shattered Glass Paper Weight

It's 2019—and yet it's still difficult to be a woman. On the hardest days (because she will have them!) remind your girl grad that she can and will shatter the glass ceiling with this elegant shattered glass paper weight.

Price: $48.00

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22. The Instant Coffee Maker

nespresso

Listen, they're going to want a daily Starbucks—or even fancier coffee!—fix, but let's save them the $5 a day cost and supply them with the best of the best at-home brew. Nespresso's smallest machine (it's only 4-inches wide!) can serve up two programmable cup sizes using the brand's famously delicious coffee pods. Bonus: Nespresso is said to be releasing Starbucks coffee pods later this year. Woot woot!

Price: Sale $119 (Regularly $149)

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23. The Cozy Throw

Cozy Throw

A cozy, furry throw blanket is never a bad idea and this one gets the job done. Like something out of a Game of Thrones scene, Mellanni's faux fur throw looks way more expensive than it is and will certainly be a welcome accoutrement to your grad's couch.

Price: $49.70

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24. The Linens

Brooklinen Linen Sheets

Get them adult sheets for their adult digs! These linen beauties from Brooklinen are chemical-free and soft as can be. The core set includes one fitted sheet, one flat sheet and two pillowcases, and we're definitely digging the charcoal chambray pinstripe!

Price: Sale $224.00 (Regularly $249.00)

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25. The Backpack

MZ Wallace Metro Backpack

Sure, tote bags and fanny packs are all well and good, but there's no better way of transporting your stuff safely and comfortable than a good ol' back. And we're obsessed with the unisex Metro style from MZ Wallace. Ultra lightweight, the backpack comes in 14 colors and is roomy enough for a laptop, gym sneakers, a water bottle, headphones and more. The best part? The quilted nylon's super slick appearance!

Price: $245.00

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26. The Stationary

Bignet Stationery

For all those memos, reminders and love notes they'll be handing out over the next year, gift your grad they're very own personalized stationary. Because nothing says, "I mean business!" quite like thick card stock emblazoned with your very own name.

Price: $35.00+

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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.

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Sometimes it can feel like toys are a mama's frenemy. While we love the idea of entertaining our children and want to give them items that make them happy, toys can end up taking the joy out of our own motherhood experience. For every child begging for another plastic figurine, there's a mama who spends her post-bedtime hours digging toys out from under the couch, dining room table and probably her own bed.

Like so many other moms, I've often found myself between this rock and hard place in parenting. I want to encourage toys that help with developmental milestones, but struggle to control the mess. Is there a middle ground between clutter and creative play?

Enter: Lovevery.

lovevery toys

Lovevery Play Kits are like the care packages you wish your child's grandparent would send every month. Expertly curated by child development specialists, each kit is crafted to encourage your child's current developmental milestones with beautiful toys and insightful activity ideas for parents. A flip book of how-tos and recommendations accompanies each box, giving parents not only tips for making the most of each developmental stage, but also explaining how the games and activities benefit those growing brains.

Even better, the toys are legitimately beautiful. Made from eco-friendly, sustainable materials materials and artfully designed, I even find myself less bothered when my toddler leaves hers strewn across the living room floor.

What I really love, though, is that the kits are about so much more than toys. Each box is like a springboard of imaginative, open-ended play that starts with the included playthings and expands into daily activities we can do during breakfast or while driving to and from lessons. For the first time, I feel like a company isn't just trying to sell me more toys―they're providing expert guidance on how to engage in educational play with my child. And with baby kits that range from age 0 to 12 months and toddler kits for ages 13 to 24 months, the kits are there for me during every major step of development I'll encounter as a new mama.

So maybe I'll never love toys―but I will always love spending time with my children. And with Lovevery's unique products, mixing those worlds has become child's play.


This article was sponsored by Lovevery. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Summertime is here, mamas! And while we couldn't be more thrilled about beach outings and pool days, both of those activities require one major thing—getting into a bathing suit. No easy feat when you're not pregnant (FYI: we tested many and these are our favorite five), but it's even tougher when you are prego and your body is changing daily.

To help, we've rounded up 15 super-cute maternity bathing suit options for you.

From sweet one-pieces (like Old Navy's watermelon-pattered cutie that has matching options for dads, toddlers and girls!) to color-blocked bikinis that will ensure your bump gets nice and tan, we've got something to fit every mama's personal style and body. Because we want you to love your pregnant body and celebrate it—you know the saying: Sun's out… bumps out!

The best part? They start at just $22! Happy shopping, mamas.

1. Motherhood Maternity ruffle front one-shoulder swimsuit with UPF 50+

Motherhood Maternity One-Shoulder Swim

Super flattering with a ruffle and in navy polka dots, this suit will be your go-to all summer long.

Price: $39.98

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2. Hatch Antigua maillot

Hatch Antigua

Did we mention we love ruffles? This beauty from Hatch is sweet as can be, and while it's on the pricier side, the quality is there and it will last you multiple pregnancies.

Price: $218

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3. ASOS Design maternity recycled glam high-neck swimsuit

Asos maternity high neck swim

Who says you need to be in a boring black bathing suit all summer? Let's embrace color (and some sexy drama!) with this high-neck suit that will have everyone asking where on Earth you found such a fun maternity look.

Price: Sale $33.50 (Regularly $48.00)

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4. Motherhood Maternity 'Beach Bump' maternity one-piece swimsuit with UPF 50+

Beach Bump Swim

This suit is anything but plain with it's adorable "beach bump" sign.

Price: $39.98

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5. H&M Mama swimsuit

H&M Mama Swim

Spice up your pool days with this super fun pattern that is also super flattering—after all, it's hard to spot flaws with all that leopard going on. The wrapped top, low-cut back and ruched siding all add to why we love this one so much.

Price: $29.99

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6. Hatch color-block bikini frutto

Hatch Colorblock Bikini

Show off the bump in this color-blocked bikini that looks like something straight out of the 1950s.

Price: $208.00

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7. H&M Mama swimsuit with ruffles

H&M Mama Swim

Bohemian perfection, this suit is perfectly on-trend for the season.

Price: Sale $24.99 (Regularly $34.99)

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8. A Pea in a Pod rib knit striped maternity one-piece swimsuit

A Pea in a Pod Striped Swim

Preppy but also a little bit sexy thanks to the cleavage-baring peephole, this suit screams "summer" in the best way possible.

Price: $98.00

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9. Summersalt Maternity ribbed voyager bikini top + bottom

Summersalt Maternity Ribbed Voyager Bikini

Summersalt is one of our favorite swimwear brands and they just released maternity options! Giving their ubiquitous high-waisted bikini bottoms the prego treatment, this is one suit that will grow with you from first to third trimester.

Bikini top price: $50.00

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Bikini bottom price: $45.00

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10. Pez D’or stripe one-piece maternity swimsuit for Nordstrom

Pez D'or Stripe Swim

Love you some stripes? Then you can't go wrong with this halter-neck option that is flattering and cute all at once.

Price: $98.00

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11. Old Navy Maternity halter v-neck swimsuit with UPF 40

Old Navy Maternity Halter V-Neck Swimsuit

We're obsessed with this suite for two reasons: One, that crazy cute watermelon pattern! Two, the halter cut with tiny peephole is perfection and there's lots of support thanks to an extra strap at mid-back.

Price: Sale $22.50 (Regularly $44.99)

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12. Gap Maternity tie-back print one-piece suit

Gap Maternity Tie-Back Print One-Piece Suit

This one-piece is as pretty as can be with it's tiny floral print! We love that the straps criss-cross in the back and that the sweetheart neckline drawcord is adjustable.

Price: Sale $58.99 (Regularly $69.99)

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13. Pink Blush ruffle trim ruched one-piece maternity swimsuit

Pink Blush Light Blue Ruffle Trim Ruched One-Piece Maternity Swimsuit

Oversized ruffle? Check. Removable straps? Check. Ruched siding? Check. Adorable baby blue hue? Check.

Price: $46.00

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14. Jojo Maman Bebe flamingo halterneck maternity tankini

Jojo Maman Bebe Flamingo Halterneck Maternity Tankini

Tankinis for the win! Perfect for pulling up when you want the bump to get some sun, but tugging down when you don't want to show some skin.

Price: $59.00

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15. PregO Maternity Wear roll waist dot bikini set

PregO Maternity Wear Women's Maternity Roll Waist Dot Bikini Set

We love how sporty chic this suit is and that you can wear it after pregnancy, too.

Price: $68.00-$72.00

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Babies love it when their mamas sing to them, and Carrie Underwood's son is no exception. But does he love his dad's singing? Not so much.

If your mom has a voice like Carrie Underwood's, chances are your lullaby standards are a bit higher than most. And, if a recent video from the singer is any indication, even Dad's singing may not quite make the grade.

The country singer shared a cute video clip of her son, Jacob, reacting as her husband, Mike Fisher, sings him a song. Let's just say the little guy isn't having it: Jacob cries throughout his father's mini-performance...That is until Mama steps in to sing the same song.

The clip shows little Jacob calm immediately when he hears his mom's voice (relatable, right?). Mike takes that opportunity to step back in and resume his vocals...but Jacob begins to cry again. "Everyone's a critic," Carrie captions the adorable video.

But don't take this to mean you have to be a recording artist in order to sing to your children! Even the most tone-deaf among us can (and should!) sing to our babies—not just because it's fun, but also because singing to your babe comes with some pretty awesome benefits. The act may even improve your baby's attention span and increase positive their reactions towards you, as we've previously reported.

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While Carrie and Mike opt to belt out the song "I Still Believe" by singer Vince Gill, you don't have to get too fancy. Singing a good old-fashioned lullaby to your kids is a great idea (they work for a pretty good reason). We are fairly certain that most babies out there love the sound of their mama's voice more than just about any sound (with the possible exception of the "Baby Shark" video), so keep up the family singing sessions even if you don't have a hit song on the charts.

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I am generally not considered a sentimental person, and I do not keep a lot of junk. When I moved to college, everything that wasn't part of my closet fit into a single trunk. By the time I got married, I had shrunk those keepsakes down to a single box. When I got pregnant, the box had shrunk down to a tiny container I shoved under my bed.

Then we had kids.

The sheer amount of stuff we received from well-wishers was overwhelming. I figured that we needed most of it—babies are high maintenance, right?—and took comfort in the fact that when our child got bigger, we could ditch the bassinet and the bottles and shrink down our lives again.

I could not have been more wrong. The stuff continued to pour in, and it became impossible to throw anything out. Some of it was useful and consumable, like diapers, and some of it was thoughtful and small, like a special stuffed animal, but most of it was simply too much…like the 1,398 toys that began a procession through our lives over the next three years.

It was nobody's fault. My children have four grandparents, two great-grandparents, and five aunts and uncles within a 20-mile radius. Many of them express their love through purchases. Constant purchases. For Christmas, birthdays, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, your regular Saturday. There was bound to be a build-up.

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The problem was that my children received so many presents the gift-giving itself began to lose meaning. Every time a family member came by the house, my 3-year-old expected a treat.

The amount of stuff piling up in our house started to grate on me, but I didn't know what to do. My oldest child has the memory of an elephant: the other day he cried because he couldn't find a specific drawing that he made in preschool 12 months ago. And my family was constantly checking up on their gifts: "Where's the special bear I gave you, little guy? Do you play with it a lot?" I didn't want to offend anyone.

Then I had an evening that changed my life as a mom. We went to a friend's house for dinner; they had young kids too, about a year or so ahead of us. We walked in and I was shocked at how completely their house had been taken over by their kids' belongings. You couldn't see the living room floor because there were toys everywhere—not in use but stacked up to the ceiling. They apologized for the mess, and it didn't seem to bother them, but I was panicking on the inside.

Was this what was in store for me as a parent? Were my children going to accumulate so much that I wouldn't be able to find my own life under all the mess?

We went home that night and put the kids to bed. And I ransacked. Three years of accumulated playthings, old "special" clothes, and my concerns and ideas about disappointing our relatives, were all ruthlessly sorted through.

If I was going to be a good mom, it would have to be on my terms, and my terms included the right to dispose of accumulation. It included the right to gently but firmly inform relatives that we may not have room for the stuffed bear as big as a house as a Christmas present this year, could there be a special place at their house to keep it? It included the right to shape my family's values, even when they clash a little with those closest to us.

I love our extended family very much, and I am glad they shower my children with affection, including gifts. But every mom has her own way of keeping her sanity, right? And for me, the key to a happy household now includes the occasional purge, when the kids are looking away, and knowing inside that your family will love you anyway.

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If you buy Parent's Choice baby formula at Walmart you need to check to see if your product is being recalled.

The manufacturer of Walmart's Parent's Choice Advantage Infant Formula Milk-Based Powder with Iron, Perrigo Company, is recalling the product because it may be contained with metal. There are no reports of babies experiencing adverse effects, but the company says it is proceeding with the recall out of an "abundance of caution stemming from a consumer report."


If you buy this formula look on the bottom of the tub to check the lot code and use by date. If it is lot Code C26EVFV with a "use by" date of February 26, 2021, it is part of the recall. Don't use it and take it back to Walmart for a refund.


These tubs retail for just under $20.

The FDA suggests "consumers with any health-related questions should contact their healthcare provider", and you can also call Perrigo Consumer Affairs at 866-629-6181.

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