Category Archives: notes

A Letter to My Little Boy

His one year old photos are so adorable. #olliehayes

Little Mister Oliver Hayes,

I’ll never forget the day you were born; we had no clue what we were getting ourselves into. We waited and waited for you and you very much decided to come late… and honestly, you’ve been running us late since you got here. You came in the world with a bang, making sure that you were the center of attention. You took extra care to make sure you arrived safely and a few extra days to make sure you were healthy. Those were such long days and all we wanted you to do was come home.

The day we got to bring you home was amazing. We felt such an empowerment from being parenting. You immediately fit right into our lives as if you were always there. You quickly became the heartbeat of our home. You cried a lot at the beginning as you were trying to figure out this crazy world, but day by day you grew into the most perfect happy, healthy, and easy baby. We could not have pictured it any better.

I spent countless hours nursing you, playing with you, taking you on walking, and just holding you. We had the best quiet time together in the middle of the night each night were it was just you and me as the rest of the world slept. It honestly was my favorite time.

We found the most perfect babysitter for you who loved you like her own and you quickly became the center of her world as well. You grew, became a world traveler, and became incredibly fun. You became my little sidekick. My favorite Target co-shopper. My little buddy. I have learned so much from watching you learn about the world. You have taught me how to savor moments more. You keep me on my toes and inspire me. You make me better.

I will never forget the first time you took your first steps and how it made my heart smile. Or the time you stood at the front door, repeating “dada” over and over while your dad mowed the yard. I will never forget the days we spent in the hospital just hours before Christmas morning hoping and praying that they had fixed your intestines and you would no longer bleed. How helpless you looked in that hospital gown and in your little bed… or how quickly you bounced back and learned how to crawl all in one swing.

We made it through your first year, baby Ollie, and you are such an incredible joy. I cannot wait to see what you are going to do for this world and what an adventure you will create.

I love you.


Shop Small Spring Series is Here!

Shop Small Spring Series

I’ve been hinting on social media for a bit around my Shop Small Spring series for a few weeks… and it is finally here! I cannot wait to share with you each and every one of these wonderful shops over the next few weeks. Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. Although I am a summer girl at heart, the world waking up through blooming, blossoming, and warming weather makes me so excited about life. Everything is new and growing and the earth just whispers that summer is near.

Spring also comes with a season of busy. Weddings, showers, holidays, and a lot of family birthdays. Throw the start of baseball season, graduations, and summer vacation in there, and I always just feel as if the weeks fly by! During this Shop Small Spring series, I hope to make some things a bit easier with giving you some great ideas for all of these springtime events. Easter baskets, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation, wedding showers, baby showers, and more, there is a lot of gifting opportunities and I have partnered with some of the BEST shops!

Starting tomorrow I will start sharing with you some of my new favorite entrepreneurs and allowing you to enter their stories about their shops, their journey and tips for success, and how they manage to balance a small business with family, friends, and everyday life. The best part? You can also help support them as we explore their great products together by purchasing one of their items for all of these great gift giving events this spring!

Are you ready?!

5 Skin & Hair Care Tips for Winter

Thank you, Honeywell Top Fill Cool Mist Humidifier, for sponsoring this post, 5 Skin & Hair Care Tips for Winter. I was selected for this opportunity by Honeywell through Influenster; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

5 Skin & Hair Care Tips for Winter

I don’t know about where you live, but Illinois is absolutely frigid. Terribly cold. Brr.

At heart, I am a summer girl. My hair, my skin, my health, my happiness are all better in the warmer weather with an abundance of sunshine and pool time, but living in the midwest, I get to enjoy all seasons at their fullest, including winter. One of the reason I have such a hard time in the winter months is due to the fact that my skin and hair become extremely dry during this time. It is so hard to feel good about my look when my hair is static clinging to everything and my face and legs feel like sandpaper. So when winter rolls around, the colder temperatures, dry air, and wind affect the look and feel of my skin and hair, I do everything I can to keep myself looking radiant all winter!

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Drinking water isn’t something that comes naturally to me. I will grab a cold RC Cola over a glass of water anyway, but in winter, I have to drink plenty of water during the day to stay hydrated. Lack of hydration may cause dry and flaky skin during the winter months. I like to drink my first glass of water in the morning while I’m at my vanity while putting on my makeup. There’s something refreshing about drinking fresh water while getting ready for the day! I also drink water when I take breaks from working each day and when working out as well. I don’t go to bed without a glass of water next to my bed at night for those moments when I wake up feeling thirsty and during the early hours of nursing baby Ollie.

My Camelbak is something that has helped me out tremendously with this. If my water bottle is next to me and full, I’ll drink it. I do a thousand times better with staying hydrated with my Camelbak than I do with a plain glass of water. There has to be some sort of science behind this… but whatever it is, this has helped me keep my water intake up.

5 Skin & Hair Care Tips for Winter

2. Exfoliate Once a Week
Exfoliating can help get rid of dead skin cells to reveal newer skin underneath. Use a gentle scrub during the winter months to remove dull skin cells. During the fall months, I have been using a simple charcoal and brown sugar scrub; however, for Christmas, I received my all time favorite scrub from Basin, their orange vanilla shea salt scrub. I “test” this scrub out each time we visit Disney Spring and it is the best! I cannot wait to add this product into my weekly routine.

3. Moisturize Twice a Day
Moisturizing is necessary for keeping my skin looking the very best during the winter months. I moisturize in the morning and at night. Moisturizing is one of my favorite routines of the day because I feel so much better after I give my skin the extra moisture it needs. Skin is best moisturized soon after bathing or showering. I have been sticking to the same moisturizer that I used during my pregnancy, Fruit of Earth Vitamin E Skin Care Cream. It is my cheapest skin care item I own, and my favorite hands down.

Your hand also could need moisturizing! I try and get at least two deep conditioning treatments over the winter months at the salon and boy, do they make a difference! I also deep condition my hair at home every other week as well. It is so helpful to keep my hair from being a static mess all winter.

4. Lukewarm Showers
I am super guilty of taking hot, hot showers in the winter time; however, the best type of shower during the winter months is lukewarm. Hot shower actually dry out your skin! It is hard to make the switch and cool down the temperature of my steamy showers, but I know it is so much better for my skin.

5 Skin & Hair Care Tips for Winter

5 Skin & Hair Care Tips for Winter

5. Use a Humidifier
This is my best kept dry skin and hair secret. The air gets dry in the winter and lack of moisture in the air may cause your skin to crack, leaving your skin feeling itchy, and my hair just a mess! Our home thankfully has a whole-home humidifier; however, we sleep with a room humidifier in our bedroom as well as in Ollie’s bedroom. You would not believe the difference it makes.

We have a thermometer in the house that tracks our humidity levels in our room. From the nights that we run on humidifier compared to the nights that we do not, there is a drastic difference. A healthy humidity level for your home should be in between 40% and 60%; however, the nights that we do not run our humidifier, our humidity levels in our house drops below 30%!

I am in love with our Honeywell Top Fill Cool Mist Humidifier because it is so easy to refill late at night as we are getting ready for bed. The top-fill feature means that you don’t have to disassemble the humidifier and hold the tank under a faucet which makes a bigger difference than you might think in terms of convenience and ease of use. The controls are simple, one knob that you turn cockwise to control output. It is super quiet when it is running and is easy to clean.

I cannot believe the amount of people that do not sleep with a humidifier every night and honestly, this has been the most helpful item that I have added to my list. It helps with my skin, hair, and overall health — keeping my throat less scratchy and sore, nose less dry, and more.

5 Skin & Hair Care Tips for Winter