This time last year I was in my third trimester, feeling pretty sick everyday, and trapped in my house thanks to the pandemic. When I tell you the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale kept me going there for a few long nights when I was too uncomfortable to sleep. I planned out a whole ‘Wish List’ of things I was going to need for delivery/new mom life. I was thrilled when I was able to find just about everything I wanted in stock, but of course there was the question of whether or not I would actually use this stuff. There is always that expectation versus reality thing that gets you, especially when entering parenthood.
A year later I can say that all of my top picks from the sale last year have actually been some of my most used/worn items throughout the end of my pregnancy and first year of motherhood. Honestly, a lot of these picks I couldn’t justify getting if I didn’t snag them on sale so I want to share them with you all so you can add them to your ‘Wish List’ as the Anniversary Sale kicks off.
I will never not recommend this blanket. It is the softest, coziest blanket and worth every bit of hype surrounding it. This is probably one of the most used items in my life. I brought one to the hospital with me when I had Maddox and we snuggle in it everyday. They are also super easy to wash and care for which is a must when dealing with baby mess.
I have two pairs of these pajamas and they are a staple in my closet. Their buttery soft fabric has me looking forward to changing into them at the end of the day and honestly, I spent many consecutive days right after Maddox’s arrival in these. The button down style makes the top breastfeeding friendly and the bottoms are super stretchy so they accommodate for that postpartum diaper look or c-section recovery.
These Barefoot Dream cardigans are worth the price. They are basically like wearing a super cozy blanket. I pretty much lived in these all Fall and Winter. I paired them with nursing tanks and leggings and was ready for lounging on the couch, feeding the baby, or a Zoom meeting.
After having Maddox I needed some good walking shoes because as a new mom you walk a lot. Something I learned the hard way is that you also need treads/a good grip. These are perfect for strolling through the neighborhood and eventually chasing you little one around. I have the plain white and grey ones, but can’t wait to get my hands on this pattern this year.
What Else I Would Add This Year
Hospital slippers are so necessary and you want a pair that is both comfy and soft effective (in case they get yucky). These check both of those boxes and would be at the top of my list if I was expecting again.
I lived (and still do live) in leggings so having a few quality ones to rotate through its a necessity. These Zella leggings are a great price, are high waisted, and have pockets. They are on my ‘Wish List’ this year!
Scroll through a few more of my picks below to see what I am hoping to add to my cart this year.
At the beginning of summer we planned a last minute getaway to Williamsburg, VA. We chose the destination for a few reasons.
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Historic Powhatan Resort, which was perfect for what we needed. We had a two bedroom condo with a full kitchen. This was ideal for so many reasons. Maddox was still drinking bottles all day so the kitchen made it easy for us to store and clean them. We were also able to keep our own food/drinks/snacks handy. The second bedroom was a game changer since we could have Maddox set up to sleep separate from the main living space and our room. At that point he was going down for bed around 7pm, and we were not going to turn in for the night at that point. Every night we waited to have dinner until he went to bed and ordered something to be delivered. I picked up a mini charcuterie plate and wine downtown so we could have our own happy hour in the room while we waited on our dinner to arrive. We could then freely watch movies and hang out without having to worry about waking up the baby!
The grounds of the resort are beautiful and were great for walking Maddox around. We also had a full deck which overlooked a pond. It was perfect for blowing bubbles and showing Maddox all of the ducks swimming by.
Start Here: Merchants Square
The center of the downtown area, this is where you can find some of the best restaurants and local shops along with seasonal events like the farmer’s market. This is where we started all of our days. We strolled around in the morning to grab coffee and sometimes breakfast. I recommend Aromas, which was our favorite. They have to go orders and seating available indoors and outdoors so you have options depending on what your schedule allows. Whether you stop to grab a bite to eat or pop into a shop, the area is beautiful and very stroller friendly so I would recommend this as a must.
The Cheese Shop: Gourmet food and every type of cheese and meat you could imagine. You can make your own charcuterie board using their assortment of delicacies or buy a spread pre made. This is where I grabbed some appetizers for our in hotel happy hours with Maddox. There is also a wine shop in the basement that has a good selection and very decent prices.
The Farmers Market: Saturday mornings starting at 8am in Merchants Square. It was rainy when we went, but we still had a great time perusing through the stands of local merchants. Some of our favorite finds were a quality gluten free pasta, fresh pressed juice, and fresh tzatsiki dip.
Where to Eat:
Berret’s Seafood - Daily rotating specials of fresh, seafood centered meals. Outdoor seating is first come first serve, so we went a little after the lunch rush and has no issues grabbing a table. Their seasonal cocktails were delicious as well!
Blue Talon Bistro - This place is a must for breakfast with mouth watering sweet and savory options. We had to wait a bit for outdoor seating here, but you can put your name in and shop around while you wait.
Amber Ox Public House - Out of everywhere we tried, this was my favorite! The whole vibe of the place was relaxed, but also very cool. There was ample outdoor seating and we were able to get a table to a weekend brunch. The menu has unique snacks and features a lot of “boards”. I am a huge fan of that concept! They also have full entrees as well if you are looking to get your own meal. All of the food we got was very fresh and tasty so I certainly am planning to head back during our next trip to try their dinner menu. The cocktails were also very fun and they also have some handcrafted mocktails if you want to skip the booze!
What to Do:
Visit Sweethaven Lavender Farm
This was my favorite stop of our entire trip! The charming farm is home to lavender fields along with other flower gardens. They also have a barn with a gift shop and area to try some lavender flavored treats. We picked lavender (Maddox sort of helped but mainly ate dirt) and then tried some lavender lemonade and a lavender snow cone. We spent a couple hours just hanging around the grounds. It is a beautiful place to walk around or sit and relax in one of their cute seating areas. There is plenty of space for kids to run around and the whole family to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.
If it Rains:
I had to add this in here because we, of course, found ourselves with less than favorable weather for a portion of our getaway. Taking precautions for Covid, we were hesitant to head to any indoor activities with Maddox. We ended up at the outlets, which actually worked out pretty nicely. One of us ran into stores and shopped while the other walked Maddox around under the covered areas. He got to be outside and see new things while we got to score some deals on new clothes (mostly for him, of course).
On our next visit definitely want to make sure to get to some of the historic sites. We wanted to wait until Maddox is a little older before we get into some of the more historic attractions.
Overall I would rate this a very successful first family getaway. We didn’t worry much about sightseeing since we are planning to visit the historic sites when Maddox gets older. We tried to take on the town in as leisurely of a way as possible and this was a great place to do just that. We also spent a decent amount of time just playing around with Maddox at the resort, which is another reason I am so happy we opted for a family friendly spot with more room for us all.
Let me know if you end up visiting Williamsburg, VA and check out any of my favorite spots! Feel free to share your top restaurant or activity so I can add it to my list for our next visit!
Mental health advocate.
Sharing my raw and real journey through motherhood and navigating Crohn’s Disease. CrohnicallyBlonde is a place where I serve up my unfiltered commentary on chronic illness, mental health, pregnancy, and motherhood alongside lighter lifestyle content like beauty product reviews, travel tips, and book recommendations. My hope is that by authentically sharing my story I can help others going through similar situations not feel so alone and maybe even laugh along with me.