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giving bliss | the lotion symbol

month 4 - lotionOk, you’ve started giving bliss. I hope your expectant friend was a little surprised and a lot excited by the concept. You gave her a thoughtful paper gift a month ago and now it’s time to come up with an idea for the lotion symbol.

Lotion is the second bliss symbol given in month 4 | weeks 18-21 of pregnancy. There are so many lotions and clever little potions that can make the transition into motherhood a little smoother. Giving a lotion gift is easy, I usually opt for one of two choices. Either lotion for mom’s belly or bath goodies for the babe-to-be.

Naturally, as an expectant mother’s belly (and let’s face it, entire body) expands, she may be getting nervous about stretch marks. There is no 100% guarantee that moisturizing can prevent these badge-of-honor lines from getting too out of control, but it can’t hurt to attempt preventive measures. There are two types of emollients that are considered the gold standard when it comes to preventing stretch marks, shea butter and cocoa butter. You can find a range of pricing and packaging for these products, so take your pick.

 

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products-pumpkin-body-butterFor a friend who loves all things pumpkin this time of year, consider a jar of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Body Butter. For the girlfriend who appreciates handmade products Carriage44, a shop that specializes in handmade soaps and lotions, offers whipped shea butter in several different scents. Etsy.com is always a fun place to search for special gifts!

 

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Bathing a baby is an experience most parents quickly grow to enjoy and there is a huge array of bath washes, vapors, lotions and even water coloring tablets to make the experience truly blissful for all involved. Go for the classic (& budget friendly) Johnson & Johnson baby products or to go the extra mile, sign your expectant friend up for a subscription to The Honest Company’s eco-friendly baby products, how cool would that be to get as a new mom!

 

If you’re looking for a really creative lotion bliss gift, once again, I found it on Etsy.com! The Ouch Pouch is a beautifully designed, waterproof travel bag, perfect for organizing all of mom and baby’s essentials in the diaper bag. These handmade bags come in a huge selection of fabrics and it always makes me feel good to support small-business moms.

 

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So there you have it, whether you pick up some baby lotion next time you grocery shop or go online and search for something extra special, make sure you wrap it up and make it pretty. Bliss is a thoughtful tradition and you’re expectant friend will appreciate the extra effort you’re making to celebrate her little miracle.

 


book launch party

Thank you to friends, family and bliss fans who joined us for an evening of sharing and celebrating the publication of my little guide-book. I was so delighted to see family from far away walk through the door! Paper Delights was the perfect host and I think we all found something we needed from their beautiful selection of cards and gifts.

Alicia Olson’s bliss merchandise display delivered the perfect example of how bliss can partner with baby retail shops. Local shop owners were able to see more clearly how the new tradition of bliss symbols for pregnancy can actually promote the baby goods they already offer. A bliss display can elevate the baby section of any gift shop.

I wanted to toast several of the people who helped make my vision come to life. To Peter, my soul mate, for giving me three babies and for your support throughout my writing, designing and self-publishing ups & downs. To my mom, Debbie Kellogg, an inspiring writer and in this case my editor. Special thanks, to Alison Ashmead and Gretchen Cook, graphic design friends who offered critiques and advice and without whom this book would not be nearly as lovely. Thank you to Arlene Brown of Brown Foto Bug for the gorgeous photographs of the evening (seriously, call her for your next event). And to my dear group of girlfriends, you are a constant source of support and encouragement.

THANK YOU FOR A WONDERFUL EVENING!

 

 


start giving bliss | the paper symbol

month 3 - paperCongratulations, your daughter is having her first baby! Or your best friend just told you she’s expecting her fourth, BOY! Let’s say your sister finally adopted and promptly found out she’s pregnant…Yep, it’s time to start giving bliss! Paper is the first bliss symbol, given in month three | weeks 13-17 of pregnancy, when most expectant parents feel comfortable sharing their happy news. Paper is a timeless and practical material to represent the first symbol in a series of seven gifts given throughout the pregnancy of a close loved one. It’s also probably the easiest bliss gift to find.

BOOKS | When it comes to paper bliss gifts my first thought always turns to books. There is no shortage of subjects that make great gifts for a mom-to-be. From pregnancy journals and infant care to favorite children’s stories, books always make thoughtful gifts. These are a few of my (& my kids’ favorites).

Studies have shown that babies respond to familiar sounds they hear while in the womb whether it be mom and dad’s voices or a book read aloud. Oh, Baby, the Places You’ll Go!: A book to be read in Utero
is kind of like a starter Dr. Suess book to read while baby is in utero. No No Yes Yes (Leslie Patricelli board books) has been a favorite with all my kids. The simple communication style and darling illustrations are entertaining and help kids understand their world.

 

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The Baby Owner’s Manual is a clever little book designed and written as a technical manual and makes learning to care for your offspring humorous and entertaining.

Dunstan Baby Language is the amazing discovery of a pattern of sounds that infants worldwide use during the first three months of life. Once parents familiarize themselves with these sounds they are able to understand their baby’s needs and respond with confidence. It worked wonders with my last two babes, I only wish I knew about it for my #1 son! Remember, when giving a book, add a little dedication on the inside cover.  “To baby Smith, this was your mom’s favorite book and I can’t wait to read it to you too! Love Grandma B.” These little gems make a simple book a true bliss gift.

 

GIFT CERTIFICATES | As a gift giver, I’ll admit that giving a gift-certificate is not very creative, however I have many friends who would prefer a day at the spa or a dinner out with their spouse to almost anything else I could buy them. This is especially true for the veteran mom who doesn’t often take the time to indulge herself. Keep the gift certificate specific so that she can’t spend it on the kiddos and has to treat herself! Maternity clothing, professional infant photos and restaurant gift cards would all be fun ways to express your friendship and excitement for her new bun-in-the-oven.

 

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MEMORY BOOK | One of my favorite items to give is materials to build childhood memories. My inner archivist wants to collect pictures, cards and cute kid’s quotes to save for posterity. There are so many different ways to do this and it’s a big job. Most of the moms I know feel overwhelmed when it comes to organizing photos or scrapbooks.

 

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This brilliant little album keeps things simple. It’s a 20 Questions Birthday Interview. Conceived and designed by a mom. Basically, during birthday festivities each year take a few moments to ask your child about their favorites. What is your favorite breakfast food? Favorite color? What are you grateful for? What do you want to be when you grow up? Slap a photo on the opposite page and you have a fun annual tradition and archive of your quickly changing child. This book starts on the third birthday when children can start expressing clear opinions, but I stuck a few pages in the front with general growth statistics and fun facts about my babes in their first few years. New moms will love this album and be excited to know they have a really doable way to capture memories.

So that’s it… choose a paper gift be it a book, gift certificate or just a beautiful greeting card. While expressing your sentiments, include a short explanation of bliss, preparing her for six more surprises over the course of her pregnancy and …you’ve started giving bliss.

An expectant woman who is finishing up her first trimester, depending on her circumstances and how bad her morning sickness has been, may be having a hard time getting excited for baby. The first bliss gift is a wonderful way to show your support and excitement for her. Believe me, your expectant friend will be blown away by your thoughtful gesture.