Sooo in case you weren’t aware, I am currently pregnant with my first baby (James) and due in August. With the due date mere weeks away, it’s really started to sink in that I’m going to be a MOM. This pregnancy is only a chapter in life, and so many wonderful women have stepped in to give me their support, encouragement and love as I approach motherhood for the first time. Women like my pastor’s wife, Amy, who has been there for me even before found out I was pregnant, and has been an amazing comfort as I’ve dealt with the death of my dad. Women like one of my best friends, Brooke, who has loved on me, shared her sweet daughter with me and answered all my new-mom questions without hesitation. And women like Monique, who I’ve never met in real life (YET!) but know what it’s like to see the overwhelming expectation of motherhood on the horizon and offered advice and encouragement when I’ve needed it.
I’ve decided that that’s the beauty of being a mom. I brings women together. It creates a bond that can only be understood by others who have also experienced it. And it builds friendships that can withstand the test of time. I may not know what my son will look like, nor have I been able to kiss his little forehead and snuggle him in my arms, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less of a mom. And I thank the Lord every day for giving me the opportunity to not only bring life to my sweet baby boy, but for showing me the grace, mercy and patience you need when you are a mom through the lives of the women around me.
So with a baby on the way, and lots of questions on my mind, I reached out to Monique asking her what must have items every mom needs. And she did not disappoint! If you read my Sseko Ribbon Sandal review, then you know that Monique is a Sseko Fellow. That means she works for the company as a distributor for their products here in the states. And I knew she’d be THE perfect person to talk to! Turns out I was right. ; ) She sent me over a list of things she and other moms swear by, and I decided to give some of her suggestions a try.
Y’all. I’m in love.
Ever since putting on my ribbon sandals for the first time, I fell in love with Sseko, and now (believe it or not) I love it even more. Not only are all the products high quality and obviously well made, but knowing I’m able to support hardworking women in Uganda brings a smile to my face. It just doesn’t get better than that!
Before diving into the six must-have items for every mom, I wanted to share a little bit about the company. I talked about it in my ribbon sandals review, but in case you haven’t heard of them yet, I gotchu girl! Sseko Designs (pronounced say-ko) is an ethical fashion company based out of Uganda that was started to help create jobs for women so they could go to college. This year they will enable their 106th woman to go to college, all because of the vision of two people and their desire to help women make a change in their world.
One of my favorite parts about Sseko is actually knowing WHO is making your items. Each product you purchase comes with a tag signed by the sweet lady who labored over your sandals, purse, jewelry, clothing and accessories. And on their website, you can read a little bio about that woman, putting a face to a name and a story to a stranger. It not only empowers the women they employ, but shows you that you really are making an impact on the lives of these ladies.
And on top of that, not only are you supporting the lives of women in Uganda, but you are also helping women here in the United States who act as Fellows (or distributors) for the company. Because of the Fellows program, I was able to “meet” Monique and form a relationship with her that I never would have otherwise. All thanks to a fashion company that two people in Oregon started because they had a heart for helping others.
I could go on and on about Sseko, but I’ll save you from that. If you’re interested in learning more, though, I highly recommend checking out their story and reading about their mission and impact across the globe.
Now for the super fun part! These six must-have items for every mom are all from Sseko and have become some of my favorite things ever. And best of all, you don’t have to be a mom to use these! From the sandals to the purse and the multiway shawl, there’s something for everyone. ; )
Click on this link to shop!
You can read a full review about these sandals here, but I couldn’t do today’s post without mentioning how much I absolutely LOVE them! Not only are these sandals oh so cute, but they are SO versatile. There are dozens of different ways to tie them (although my personal favorite is their classic tie) and even more different ribbons to choose from. My favorite part about these sandals, though, is how after time they start to conform to your feet. Making them the most comfortable sandal I’ve ever worn. No lie! I’ve worn mine to the past five weddings I’ve photographed and my feet are noticeably less sore by the end of the day than when I wore other footwear. And if that isn’t proof enough, remember I’m also very pregnant. ‘Nuff said. ; )
Baby Ring Sling
I am a huge lover of babywearing, and hope to be able to do it all the time once James is born. So naturally when I saw Sseko had ring slings, I was all for it! These slings are made out of 100% cotton textile and are oh so cute. According to the website, “Sseko is a proud member of the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance and this sling has been tested and approved to meet the highest safety standards. This sling is approved for use from 8-35 pounds. Ideal for newborn snuggles, this ring sling is also fast and easy to adjust making it an ideal carrier for your mobile toddlers who have a propensity to change their minds a wee bit more often.”
Whether you’re a mom with a newborn or chasing a toddler around, these slings are perfect for you! They come in two colors: Black/Ivory stripes and Mixed Indigo. I went with the first one because I thought it would be the most neutral pick to match more outfits. #priorities
As much as I love my ribbon sandals, it’s getting harder and harder to tie them as my belly gets bigger. Especially if I’m in a rush and need to slip on some shoes as I run out the door. That’s where these Crossover Sandals come in to play! They have a different sole than the ribbon sandals, but are just as comfortable. It’s cushioned and perfect for my sore and tired momma feet! Best of all, I can just slip them on and go, making them so easy to wear. Oh and did I mention they are ADORABLE and come in five different colors?!
Sseko has some super cute jewelry, including what’s known as their Brave Jewelry, which features jewelry items with interchangeable charm pieces that easily slide on and off and can be worn in countless ways. Each charm signifies a moment, decision or dream you’ve had in your life, which I think is SO cool. I don’t have any of the necklaces or bracelets to build my Brave collection yet, but I fell in love with the Motherhood Charm. It’s made from a Mother of Pearl and represents a mother’s love. According to Sseko, “May this piece serve as a treasured reminder of the journey that is motherhood, and a milestone celebrating the moment a child is born and you become a mother.”
Since I don’t have any of their items to add my charm to, I put it on the necklace I wear every day, and it makes me smile every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror. The circle has an H in the middle and my wedding date below. And beside it is the Motherhood Charm, reminding me of this incredible blessing that has already begun changing mine and Isaac’s lives. Cue all the mom tears!
So I have to confess… I got the Sheba Handbag because Brooke has it and I absolutely LOVED hers. I’ve come to find that I prefer smaller purses for every-day use, and this one fits the bill! It’s made out of small batch, rugged, oil-tanned cowhide leather and I love that every bag is a little different depending on the small scuff marks, color variation and scratches that come with this kind of leather. It’s oh so soft and very well made! It may not be big, but I’m constantly surprised by how much stuff I can fit in there. I judge bags based on whether or not my 32oz Hydroflask will fit, and it easily fits in this purse. #winwin This purse comes in caramel (what I got) or black!
And moms with babes in diapers… I tested it out and it fits my changing station easily. Heck yes!!
I am a huge fan of kimonos, and have been for years. They are such an easy way to dress up an outfit, or in my case to cover sweat stains during the hot summer months. (You think I’m kidding…) So when I saw Sseko had some kimonos – or Multiway Shawls – I couldn’t wait to get one for myself! I fell in love with the Poppy design and was lucky enough to snag mine before it went out of stock. Thankfully they have other patterns like Pink Swirl and Brush Stroke Batik (which is the same pattern as one of the ribbons for my Ribbon Sandals!), or there’s a short duster in an adorable Tropical Palm print.
According to the website, “Wear it as a casual shawl, tie it up as a scarf, slip it off the shoulder, tie the corners together to make a wrap top, fold up the sleeves for a vest effect… let your creativity take over!” And Monique even said it can be used as a nursing cover, which I think is genius! I’m all for pieces of clothing that can be used all sorts of ways. : )
And there you have it. Six must-have items for every mom. Made by real women in Uganda. High quality and fashionable. And best of all, when you purchase from Sseko you are supporting women across the globe.
Interested in shopping? I have two options for you!
1. I’m hosting an online Sseko party next week and would LOVE for you to join! You’ll learn all about the company, their products and have a chance to purchase some of your own.
2. Shop using this link to shop with me!