Tips for Holiday Shopping This Year

You can count me in the group of people who started decorating for and celebrating Christmas extra early this year. My desktop tree went up in my office the first week of November, and my husband and I started decking our halls that first weekend. We're excited to go pick out a Christmas tree this weekend and really have the house looking festive.


With the past few months feeling extra heavy, November has turned out to be a good month full of holiday cheer. I'm not ashamed in how much Christmas music I've listened to and how many Christmas movies we've watched so far. We've taken our Christmas card photos and they've already been printed and delivered (thank you, Paper Culture). Excited to mail them out next week!

Beyond the decorating, I've started my Christmas shopping earlier than usual this year, and it's been nice to feel a little ahead of the game! Although I've made a few online purchases so far, my goal for the majority of our gifts for family and friends is to shop small and local businesses.

The annual Small Business Saturday, happening this Saturday, November 28, is an extra important reminder to support your favorite locally owned small businesses and online small business vendors. Especially after all the challenges this year, so many entrepreneurs and business owners are struggling to remain open, and the Christmas shopping season may well be a deciding factor on some being able to stay open.

Take advantage of extra shopping options that many businesses are offering, like delivery or curbside pickup. This is one thing I actually wouldn't mind if businesses kept permanently! Before going to shop in person, check a business' website or Facebook page, or give them a call to see if their store hours are different than normal. And of course, when shopping in person, please wear your mask and respect social distance.





Ariana had a fun time checking out a few local business storefronts recently, even running toward the wine shop. Hint: This year is an excellent year to gift bottles of wine to family and friends! (And surprisingly, I do not have a countdown going yet to drinking my first glass of wine since June!)

If you choose to shop a small online business, check order deadlines to ensure delivery by Christmas, especially if you are looking at something personalized or customized. Shipping delays have been a little extra crazy lately, so definitely reach out to a shop's owner or customer service department if you have any questions.

One small business spotlight: For any moms of girls, Well Worn Bows is a great online shop to check out! The owner uses vintage, thrifted and reclaimed fabrics to make bows, headbands and scrunchies. It's fun to know that your bows had a previous life, and that your girl has a unique accessory to wear.


Although I typically prefer to give and receive tangible gifts rather than gift cards, they are a great way to support many local businesses and restaurants and allow your friends and family to do some of their own shopping or dining throughout the next few months. One of my favorite things to do is build a gift off of a gift card. For example, if you give someone a gift card to a local restaurant, include a bottle of wine from a local wine shop, a pretty pair of candles from a local gift shop, or even a couple sets of reusable utensils from an eco-friendly shop for an outdoor picnic. It could inspire your gift recipient to really create a date night at home.


It's hard to put together a truly comprehensive list of Lafayette-based businesses (because pregnancy brain is real and this year has knocked me sideways!) but you can peruse my recently updated guide to sustainable shopping in Acadiana as inspiration for your eco-friendly holiday shopping.

I hope everyone has a very safe, healthy and peaceful Thanksgiving this year!


Sustainable Maternity Style, Round Two

It's hard to believe that as of this post, I am already 26 weeks pregnant with our second baby. It's been quite a roller coaster to this point, in many ways. And now it's blowing my mind as I realize I'm almost to my third trimester.


With a repeat pregnancy, it can be inherently easier to be more sustainable and less wasteful. Since we knew we would want to try for a second child, we kept a lot of baby and maternity items in storage, and it's been a relief to know we have almost everything we need.


I'll have another post on what we've saved for a second baby and what we are purchasing! Today, I'm talking maternity clothing and gear.

How this pregnancy compares

While I saved almost all of my maternity clothing from when I was pregnant two and a half years ago, the biggest difference this time is the change of seasons, as I'm due in February compared to September. I won't be wearing too many sundresses and shorts in my third trimester this time around!


I've learned what I like and don't like from last time and have adjusted accordingly. I'm not one to go crazy shopping for such a temporary season of life, so I've found many ways to minimize spending money on maternity items. In addition, knowing that this is my last pregnancy has helped cut down on frivolous shopping. Y'all, maternity clothing can get so expensive!


Make your existing clothing work

Once you start to show, it's extremely helpful to go through your closet and see which of your pieces may be bump-friendly and which are not. Save yourself some frustration by putting away the clothes you know you won't be wearing until after baby. It'll also help save you time when you get dressed.

Loose and flowy tops or dresses or longer sweaters work well to accommodate growing bumps.


I've also made do with the maternity clothes I saved from last time. I purchased a pair of maternity yoga pants last time because they were on sale and I was in the store, although they are not the greatest quality and not made of any kind of sustainable material. I don't love them, so I spent the first few months of this pregnancy hunting for a sustainable pair... with no luck. 


I bought a new pair of compression-like maternity leggings off an Instagram ad recently and they didn't fit right, so I returned them. It made me realize the hunt really wasn't even worth it, being halfway through my pregnancy and only needing them for four more months. Although I don't love my existing yoga pants, they do the job, and I can pass them along or sell them when I'm done needing them.

Borrow or freecycle

Ask around to your friends and social media networks to see who might have some maternity clothing stored away that you can borrow for a few months. 


I am grateful to have a good friend in my neighborhood who is close to my size and has two young children. We've gotten closer this year thanks to social distance walks with our kids during the stay-at-home phase. When I told her about my pregnancy, she generously loaned me her saved collection of maternity clothes, which has helped provide me with just enough fall and winter work-friendly and casual pieces. 


The dress in the top photo of this post is one of those loaned items, and it is extremely comfortable, forgiving and season appropriate!


Shop secondhand

Almost all of the maternity clothes I bought while pregnant with Ariana were secondhand, either from my local Clothes Mentor or from ThredUP. Since then, I've learned Clothes Mentor stopped selling maternity clothes. I'm disappointed to not have a local secondhand option, although there are plenty of online outlets.


I decided I wanted to get a maternity dress for the holidays and any nicer events coming up (although at this rate, I might just be wearing it around the house) and browsed both Poshmark and ThredUP for a couple weeks for something that would fit my style. My current nice cool-weather dresses are overall not bump-friendly. 


It helps to try a few different secondhand outlets, because you'll find a wider variety of options. In my search, I first tried Poshmark, but gave up quickly because all of the dresses I found were asking $50-$100, and I'm just not willing to spend that much on a secondhand maternity dress. (Although as a seller, you can earn more money through Poshmark compared to ThredUP.)

ThredUP certainly offers more affordable dresses, and I found one that works. Tip: Take your time and search a few times over a few days, because their inventory changes so frequently. You can favorite the dresses you like to keep tabs on them.

Shop sustainable

There are sustainable and ethical brands that offer maternity and nursing-friendly clothing and accessories as well. 

Pact is one of my favorite stores for organic cotton basic pieces, and they sometimes stock maternity tops and leggings, but it comes and goes.

Boob Design is a Swedish-based company that uses eco-friendly materials in their nursing and maternity clothes. I have one of their nursing-friendly dresses that I'm actually looking forward to wearing again!


My friend Natalie over at Sustainably Chic wrote a guide over the summer about sustainable and ethical maternity clothing, so check that out as well!

The Good Trade also has a roundup of eight sustainable maternity/postpartum brands.

One of those brands, Isabella Oliver, even has a pre-loved section where you can shop secondhand pieces. It would be amazing for more brands to adopt this practice!

Shop new and sell, donate or pass along later

Another item that I saved from last time and didn't want to wear again was a secondhand pair of jeans. I donated them (they didn't sell on Poshmark) and treated myself to a new pair from H&M. It wasn't a really sustainable purchase, but I knew I would want to wear jeans I actually like. I've already gotten a lot of use out of them, and will keep wearing them during these cooler months. They're much more my style and feel like regular jeans (with a belly band!)

I've bought three other things brand new: a comfortable dress and top also from H&M, and a pregnancy support band from Amazon. I didn't feel like I needed a support band for my first pregnancy, but it has absolutely been a life saver this time. I am sure there are plenty for resale online, but I was getting to a point where I needed one to come in quickly! 

And I'll be selling everything on Poshmark next spring, ha.


Even if I didn't buy everything secondhand, I'm wearing my new items often enough to be worth it.

Whether you're in your first pregnancy or not, if you're thinking about having more children, save as much as you can to rewear!



This outfit (one that has been on repeat many times) is a combination of my different tactics: I already had the kimono in my closet, the top is new from H&M and the pants are borrowed from a friend!

In the end, having a minimal maternity wardrobe helps to decrease your cost per wear, which makes buying clothing more worthwhile. Don't feel the pressure to buy a completely new wardrobe for just a few months of your life. Sure, it gets tiring wearing the same things over and over again, but you'll be back to your regular clothes soon enough.

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