Flamingo Pool Party

Toady I did something that I have not done for a very, very long time. I did something just for fun, with the sole purpose of being the type of person I want to be. You see, I host a lot of parties and do a lot of projects on this blog, but I’ve gotten to the point where I feel a little glum about it. A lot of pretending happens here and while it can be really fun (and it truly fuels me, if I’m being honest!) sometimes I really want to have actual fun. I see a lot of other people going out to real events, with real people. So, while it can be fun to create my own events, actually having someone to celebrate them with is even better.

Looking to add a little bit more fun to your everyday blow-up pool? How about making a super easy Flamingo pool party for your kids for less than $100?! This setup took me about 10 minutes, so it’s perfect for an impromptu summer day. Click for the full post to do it yourself! #poolparty #flamingoparty #flamingopoolparty

So, when my husband suggested we fill up the pool and take a dip with Hailey, I got super excited and decided that I didn’t need a huge pool or a bunch of friends over to enjoy a tropical/ flamingo pool float/ colorful adventure. I just had to grab my supplies, set them up, and enjoy a tiny party all for myself. 

Looking to add a little bit more fun to your everyday blow-up pool? How about making a super easy Flamingo pool party for your kids for less than $100?! This setup took me about 10 minutes, so it’s perfect for an impromptu summer day. Click for the full post to do it yourself! #poolparty #flamingoparty #flamingopoolparty

Our flamingo pool float, that my sister and I named Javier, was blown up as a chair to lounge on after a dip in the pool. It also provided a great photo op! Hailey wasn’t really in the mood to be in the pool for very long, so it was nice to have Javier for her to sit on and still have the pool party fun.

Looking to add a little bit more fun to your everyday blow-up pool? How about making a super easy Flamingo pool party for your kids for less than $100?! This setup took me about 10 minutes, so it’s perfect for an impromptu summer day. Click for the full post to do it yourself! #poolparty #flamingoparty #flamingopoolparty
Looking to add a little bit more fun to your everyday blow-up pool? How about making a super easy Flamingo pool party for your kids for less than $100?! This setup took me about 10 minutes, so it’s perfect for an impromptu summer day. Click for the full post to do it yourself! #poolparty #flamingoparty #flamingopoolparty

I used a small folding table next to the pool to hold the essentials- cell phones, glasses of water, and mini flamingo pool floats. I also dressed it up with some tassel garland (left over from Hailey’s half birthday party!) plus mini flamingo ornaments and tropical leaves from my baby shower. I’ve had these mini flamingo pool floats for so long- I’m not even sure when I first got them, but they came to my bachelorette party, Mexico, and even my wedding! I love keeping them in my purse and then blowing them up when the need arises. Which for me, is anytime!

Looking to add a little bit more fun to your everyday blow-up pool? How about making a super easy Flamingo pool party for your kids for less than $100?! This setup took me about 10 minutes, so it’s perfect for an impromptu summer day. Click for the full post to do it yourself! #poolparty #flamingoparty #flamingopoolparty

We don’t have a pool in our backyard, so I had purchased this mini one from Target that holds 3 adults. It was perfect for us and Hailey! I love the fun tropical pattern too. We keep ours inflated and store it in the shed, so it’s ready to go for the next pool party.

Looking to add a little bit more fun to your everyday blow-up pool? How about making a super easy Flamingo pool party for your kids for less than $100?! This setup took me about 10 minutes, so it’s perfect for an impromptu summer day. Click for the full post to do it yourself! #poolparty #flamingoparty #flamingopoolparty
Looking to add a little bit more fun to your everyday blow-up pool? How about making a super easy Flamingo pool party for your kids for less than $100?! This setup took me about 10 minutes, so it’s perfect for an impromptu summer day. Click for the full post to do it yourself! #poolparty #flamingoparty #flamingopoolparty

Hailey and I put on our fun, tropical bathing suits and added some festive accessories, like a big flower headband for Hailey and earrings and sunglasses for me. Everything was super easy to set up- it only took a few minutes to gather up all my supplies and then a few more to decorate the space. I was super happy while we splashed around in the pool- it was really fun to make an ordinary experience like hopping in the inflatable pool just a little but more festive.  

Looking to add a little bit more fun to your everyday blow-up pool? How about making a super easy Flamingo pool party for your kids for less than $100?! This setup took me about 10 minutes, so it’s perfect for an impromptu summer day. Click for the full post to do it yourself! #poolparty #flamingoparty #flamingopoolparty

I know that to some having so many pictures of the impromptu pool party seems like I wasn’t in the moment truly having fun, but for me that’s how I celebrate! I love to look back and have nice photos of events. I could snap a few cell phone pictures but then I wouldn’t feel that moment of being back there. Hailey’s getting SO big and so quickly that I want to preserve every single moment with her. 

Looking to add a little bit more fun to your everyday blow-up pool? How about making a super easy Flamingo pool party for your kids for less than $100?! This setup took me about 10 minutes, so it’s perfect for an impromptu summer day. Click for the full post to do it yourself! #poolparty #flamingoparty #flamingopoolparty
Looking to add a little bit more fun to your everyday blow-up pool? How about making a super easy Flamingo pool party for your kids for less than $100?! This setup took me about 10 minutes, so it’s perfect for an impromptu summer day. Click for the full post to do it yourself! #poolparty #flamingoparty #flamingopoolparty

While an amazing, huge, Pinterest-worthy party can be fun and envy-inducing, it’s also important to enjoy the less noteworthy, everyday things that happen. By adding a little bit more fun to the everyday, you’ll be able to enjoy every minute instead of waiting for something important to happen. Well, my friends, YOU are important and that is worth celebrating!

Looking to add a little bit more fun to your everyday blow-up pool? How about making a super easy Flamingo pool party for your kids for less than $100?! This setup took me about 10 minutes, so it’s perfect for an impromptu summer day. Click for the full post to do it yourself! #poolparty #flamingoparty #flamingopoolparty
Looking to add a little bit more fun to your everyday blow-up pool? How about making a super easy Flamingo pool party for your kids for less than $100?! This setup took me about 10 minutes, so it’s perfect for an impromptu summer day. Click for the full post to do it yourself! #poolparty #flamingoparty #flamingopoolparty

What type of mini party will you be celebrating? Is there anything you want to see for inspiration? Perhaps a Christmas in July party? Halloween tea party? Face mask party? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll try to make it happen!

How I Find Time For Doing My Hair

For years, I’ve wanted to be the kind of woman who does her hair. You see, I have curly hair that I usually do nothing with. Sometimes I put some product in it when I’m going out. Most days, I just wash it and let it air dry with nothing in it at all, because I don’t go anywhere. This has been going on for years, and I can count on my hands how many times I’ve truly felt like I had a good hair day when my hair was curly. But that’s a somewhat separate issue. 

Despite not going anywhere, I’ve straightened my hair the last 3 months and I don’t regret it one bit. Here’s 7 reasons why I do it and how I find the time- all while taking care of a baby, a puppy, 3 cats, and trying to grow a business. Plus, the magic tool that helps me do it in 20 mins or less!

While I’ve wished that I was one of those women who actually styled their hair, I spent years just going around with hair I hated. In high school, my hair was split right down the center and extraordinarily long. In college it was usually down or in a lazy bun. When I’d go out, I’d straighten my hair and make loose waves and I felt gorgeous. But aside from those days, I was basically living life on the curly side. 

When I started working full time, I became even lazier than I was in college. I went out less, aside from going to work every day. It seemed pointless to do my hair just to go to work- I wasn’t doing anything special. For the most part, I felt secure with how I looked even if that meant disliking how I looked most of the time. It just didn’t really matter THAT much to me. 

Well, let’s flash forward to a few months ago. The post-partum hair loss began. The pesky knot I always got at the base of my neck suddenly became 3 times as big. In fact, my hair was starting to tangle at the roots! I sat around at home all day on maternity leave, so that whole “not doing anything special” kicked in big time. I had my hair down a day or two then it would get super tangled and I’d just toss it into a bun, making it MORE TANGLED. Wash, brush, rinse and repeat. After spending 10+ minutes brushing out my hair in the shower a few times, I was tired of it. There had to be a better way. 

Despite not going anywhere, I’ve straightened my hair the last 3 months and I don’t regret it one bit. Here’s 7 reasons why I do it and how I find the time- all while taking care of a baby, a puppy, 3 cats, and trying to grow a business. Plus, the magic tool that helps me do it in 20 mins or less!

Despite not going anywhere, I’ve straightened my hair the last 3 months and I don’t regret it one bit. Here’s 7 reasons why I do it and how I find the time- all while taking care of a baby, a puppy, 3 cats, and trying to grow a business. 

  1. I look good, so I feel good. Me lounging in my pjs with straight hair? I consider myself a 9. Pjs and curly hair? A solid 4, maybe. Some girls really rock the curly hair look. I don’t feel like I’m one of them. Feeling good (human, I should say) is essential when you’re home all day with a baby. It’s so easy to lose yourself and say you’re “too busy” for this or that (SHOWERING) so by doing my hair, it helped to remind me that I’m still a woman, a wife, and a sexy one at that!

  2. It prevents tangles. Although I don’t brush my hair when it’s straight (I guess that’s a curly hair habit that stuck with me) it just doesn’t tangle nearly as much. Even if I put it in a bun those last few days or sleep with it down, somehow it just doesn’t form that giant knot anymore. Hallelujah!

  3. It really isn’t as much work as I thought to blow dry my hair. It takes about 20 minutes using the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer. That’s only 10 minutes more than it was taking me just to brush my giant curly knot. And my hair ends up looking 10x better. This magic tool leaves my hair looking smooth and full of body. I talk alllll about it here.

  4. It’s silly, but it’s important. You may be thinking that it’s pointless to style your hair when you’re home, or that you have better things to do, or you don’t have the time. And whatever you believe to be true... well you’ll convince yourself it is. I know I did, for years! I finally decided that I was going to prioritize my looks a little bit. You won’t see me in a full face of makeup anytime soon, but I can at least run a round brush through my hair to make myself feel presentable. 

  5. If you prioritize feeling good, you’ll find the time to do it. I blow dry my hair while Hailey takes her nap. If she wakes up after my shower but before I can do my hair, I’ll put her in her bouncer and pop on a Disney movie. She loves it and although I feel a little guilty sometimes, she never finishes the movie. It’s only for about 20 minutes and then I whisk her back into my arms. You can also do quiet time or activities with the kids, like having them do a puzzle. Or let them be kinda wild and play pirates or something together. 

  6. If all else fails, get your husband/partner involved. You may be thinking that your husband won’t understand why you even care about your appearance. It might be hard to justify at first, because it’ll seem so frivolous. I felt a little embarrassed the first time my husband came home and my hair was done. It seemed silly and unnecessary. But after a couple of weeks I don’t even care what he has to say. I care for Hailey all day long and this is my way of feeling sexy again. Once your partner sees how confident and sexy you feel, they’ll likely get on board with it. It’ll probably have some perks for them if you feel good too!

  7. Maybe you’re thinking that your husband is useless with the kids, so you can’t expect him to watch them while you do your hair. Um, girlfriend, that’s even more reason to get him involved. Your husband should be your partner, and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be able to carry his weight with the kids. Even if you’re a stay at home mom, you deserve a break. Even if he acts like he doesn’t know what to do with the kids, this is how he’ll learn. I’m 1,000% blessed to have a husband who’s probably more useful than I am when it comes to running a home, but this is how the dynamic should be in every family. We all pitch in to help, and it’s much better for your kids when their dad is happily involved in all aspects of their lives.

Despite not going anywhere, I’ve straightened my hair the last 3 months and I don’t regret it one bit. Here’s 7 reasons why I do it and how I find the time- all while taking care of a baby, a puppy, 3 cats, and trying to grow a business. Plus, the magic tool that helps me do it in 20 mins or less!

My motto for this year is “if not now, when?” I’m tired of living for “someday”. My entire life has been me putting off the things I truly want while waiting for me to magically be the type of person who did the things I wanted to do. You don’t magically become that person- you gotta do the things to actually… you know, do the things, and become the person. Whether it’s dressing better, being braver, being more present, or even just doing your damn hair.  If you keep living for “someday” you’ll die waiting for it. 

Hailey’s Happy Half- A Confetti Carnival Half Birthday Party

On March 28, Hailey officially became 6 months old! I truly cannot believe how quickly time flew by, but it’s true! I love a good party (surprise surprise!) so I decided to throw Hailey a small (but adorable) half birthday party to mark the occasion. I knew the party had to be cheap, because our budget is a little tight these days. I also knew it had to be simple so my husband wouldn’t get annoyed at me for having an unnecessary party. And I knew it had to be cute, because IT’S ME and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The result was an adorable little party on a budget that any mom can throw for their baby!

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Picking a Half Birthday Party Theme 

The first thing I had to do was pick a theme for the party. I was a bit stumped at first, but I knew I wanted something colorful and maybe with confetti. I browsed Pinterest for ideas, then I looked up the silly holidays and found that March 28 is food on a stick day. My mind instantly went to carnival food like corn dogs, and that’s how the confetti carnival theme came about! I created a mood board for the party (more on that coming to the blog soon!) and I began planning my purchases and menu. 

One of my goals for this party was to not generate a ton of trash afterwards. So, I purchased reusable supplies like the honeycombs instead of balloons. I decided not to use cute patterned paper/plastic plates because we had enough everyday plates for the guests. I also used our turquoise footed glass goblets that we never get to use with company and regular silverware. The only plates I got where these half circle plates because they just fit with the theme wayyyy too well, and I knew there was no way I’d find that affordably for a reusable set. I skipped paper straws altogether because no one really uses them anyway. 

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Carnival Party Crafts 

The good news is that all the fun DIYs that I did will be coming to the blog soon! I wanted to get this party post up before Hailey turned 9 months (or 9 years!) old. Like I said, I kept it simple and only did a few diy projects. I made Hailey a crown to wear with a 1/2 on it which at first seemed a little big but looked pretty cute overall. She wore it comfortably for most of the party! Then, I made a 1/2 cake topper. I had big plans for it with hanging ribbons but it looked funny, and 9pm the night before means you just gotta move on. I kept it simple with just glitter paper and a skewer stick. And lastly, I really wanted to display the photos I’ve been taking of Hailey each month so I made some picture holders! I picked my favorite photo from each month plus one from when she was first born.  It was really amazing being able to capture her growth each month because I can’t believe how big she’s gotten already and it hasn’t even been a year yet! I think I’m going to look back at these with such appreciation.

Psst- I made a baby photography course so that you can learn how to take better baby photos too! Learn more about Dreamy Baby Photography here.

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Carnival Party Decor

I knew I wanted to make a tent (even though it’s more circus than carnival) so I raided my fabric stash and found some tulle that I had bought for my veil, but it was too narrow. I would have preferred something bolder but hey, sometimes you just gotta move on! I also knew I wanted to have balloon animals, so I used these figures I had and put them around the house. Finally, I wanted to add some pizzazz to the party area so I purchased a set of tassel garlands and a pack of honeycombs and lanterns. I made some of the garland tassels thicker and some thinner (2 pieces of tissue paper vs 4) so I was able to make a ton of tassels and hang them up around the party area. I also used the tassels and the honeycombs to decorate the tent and give it more of a carnival feel. I also added my DIY cotton candy garland which is so fun and complimented the theme!

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Carnival Party Menu

You can’t have a party without food! Well, you can but it wouldn’t be as good haha. We decided to keep the menu really simple (and cheap!) with traditional carnival fare. 

Popcorn chicken
Corn dogs
Mexican street corn (elote)
Loaded tot kabobs (recipe here)
Cotton candy
Cake pops
Popcorn
Buffalo wings (brought by family)
Spinach pies (common at Greek fairs!)

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Rainbow Layer Cake 

I decided that I wanted to do a layer cake and make it rainbow. I’ve never made a layer cake before nor a rainbow cake so I was a little worried. But it came out soooo cute! Since it was her half birthday I cut the cake in half, which left the layers out for everyone to see. The cake was actually really easy to make but in case you want a “tutorial”, here’s what I did. I used 2 white cake mix boxes and dyed them using neon McCormick dye. I sprayed the pans with flour spray which helped the cake not to stick to the pan. After they baked and cooled, I took them out of the pans and cut them flat using a long sharp knife. Then, I cut them in half and assembled the cake with a layer of frosting in between. Hailey was too young to eat the cake, but we took some pretty cute photos of her with the cake!

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I mean…. look at that rainbow gorgeous goodness! Not bad for my first attempt at rainbow cake and a layer cake. I served the cake on the half circle plates, because what better to eat half a cake on than half a plate?! Once the cake and dessert was served, Hailey opened a few gifts from my mom. We requested no gifts but she said she had purchased the items months ago and since my parents were moving, she didn’t want to lose them. Fair enough! Most of those toys ended up being some of her favorites.

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Such a fun and simple way to celebrate Hailey’s Half Birthday! Most of those decorations are still up, 2 months later. I love how festive the honeycomb balls and lanterns are! Even the circus tent is still up, although that’s probably due to laziness more than anything else. It’s hard to believe that in less than 4 months, we’ll be celebrating her first birthday. Seriously, where has the time gone and how do I stop it?!

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Well, that’s all folks! I’ve got the individual DIY projects for this party (including the crown and photo holders!) coming to the blog soon, as well as Hailey’s monthly updates. It’s been a little busy around here and sadly I’m slacking on those! Part of me was thinking maybe I shouldn’t bother with them anymore but I think someday I’m going to look back at them longingly so I’m going to keep going! Keep an eye out for the DIY projects and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes plus reminders for new posts!

Hailey's 5 & 6 Months Updates

Time has flown by (again!) and I missed an update so here’s a 2 in 1 for ya ;) A lot has happened in the past few months and overall Hailey is a much more alert, vibrant baby than she was before! Let’s see what happened, shall we? 

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Got a Puppy

Perhaps the biggest thing that happened in the last 2 months is that we got a puppy! Lexie joined our family and it’s been madness ever since. But, she and Hailey LOVE each other so it makes it worth it. I’ve got a post about having a puppy AND a baby coming soon, so let me know any specific questions you have about it! It’s funny though, because a few days before we adopted Lexie, we saw another puppy that was a small poodle mix. As soon as Hailey saw me with the puppy, she started to cry! Luckily she got over it really quickly and soon enough she was loving Lexie. 

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Touch your Toes

At 5 months, Hailey started holding her feet and toes which made changing her much easier! Eventually she started eating her toes too, which was pretty funny to watch. She could basically be found with a foot in her mouth at all times!

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Rolling over in secret

This kid- mind of her own I tell ya! John and I would lay her down to try and encourage her to roll over. She came close but never really did it. Then a few times that we left her laying on her back and moved away (like on her play mat in her room and went to grab something, or in her crib) she’d secretly roll over on her own! Now she won’t stop rolling at all. On the floor, your lap, the changing pad... this little lady’s flipping over all day long!

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Crib

We transitioned Hailey into her crib and I mayyyy have cried. We tried to have her sleep in her room but she kept waking up, so we brought her back into our room where she stayed for 2 months! After she started rolling over, she insisted on sleeping on her tummy but then she couldn’t turn back and would cry to get turned.

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Loves tummy time

In an interesting turn of events, Hailey now loves being on her tummy! She’s always flopping over from her back to her tummy so that she can play with stuff. She also loves being laid down on her tummy and looking around the room or trying to move around. She hast quite mastered it yet, but she’s determined!

(Sorta) Sitting up

Hailey’s starting to get the hang of sitting up, but she doesn’t want to do it on her own. She prefers to flip over onto her tummy instead! It’s frustrating because at 3 or 4 months old she was starting to sit up, but then she completed regressed once we got the puppy!

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Playing with the pets

Hailey’s favorite pastime is playing with Lexie. Which is great, because Lexie loves her too! They spend the day making out (I try to separate them but it’s so difficult), and Hailey loves to stick her hand in the puppy’s mouth to get nibbled. If Lexie’s sleeping, Hailey will touch her paws and call to her. It’s the cutest thing. She’s not very gentle but Lexie doesn’t mind at all! I had Hailey and Lexie laying next to each other and Hailey was excited and kicking Lexie in the ribs and face. I made Lexie move to the other side of me so she was safe. She laid down for a minute and decided she wanted to be near Hailey, kicks and all! Hailey’s also trying to get attention from the cats but they’re not quite as interested as Lexie is. Well, except that one time.

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Waking Up Again

Well, I guess the honeymoon had to end sometime. Hailey went from sleeping 12-14 hours in her bassinet to waking up at night in her crib. I had hoped she was just crying because it was new, but she ended up waking up once or sometimes twice a night. It’s made this momma tired! It doesn’t help that it’s also totally random. Some nights she wakes up at 2-4 am hungry. Other nights it’s 4-6:30 am. She usually has a quick snack and goes back to bed so I can’t complain too much!

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Mirror games

Hailey loves to look at herself in the mirror! We like to play “who’s that baby?” I take her over to a mirror and point her out and she gives me a big smile. She also loves selfie mode and it’s resulted in lots of fun smiling pictures of us for daddy while he’s at work. She also loves when I dance with her in front of a mirror!  I either put on a Pandora station, or sing my rendition of “who’s that lady” by the Isley brothers. And it goes “who’s that baby? (Who’s that baby?) Cutesy baby (who’s that baby?). She loves it!

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Singing

Hailey’s been singing a lot more lately and making a ton of noises. She has a wider range of sounds and loves trying to go high pitch and shouting. Then, she looks around for our reactions to make sure we are paying attention to her. It’s really cute!

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I can’t believe how quickly she’s growing. I know I say that every month, but wow is it flying by! She’s becoming such an amazing little person.

Helping The Border Crisis With Dreamy Baby Photography

I’m interrupting the regularly scheduled blog programming to share a special message. Without going into too much detail, since I’m sure all our hearts have had enough, the crisis at the border was weighing on me heavily yesterday. I can’t fathom a situation so horrible that I’d risk my life AND my child’s life so dangerously in the hopes that things would get better. That’s a privilege I am lucky to have. Others are not so lucky. We should not be punishing these people. We should be trying to find ways to help. I hope that if I was ever so desperate to save my child, that things would finally start to look up for me on the other side. 

From today until July 4, I’ll be donating $20 from each sale of my Dreamy Baby Photography course to RAICES. By enrolling, you’ll not only be able to learn to take photos of your own baby, but be able to help a mother reunite with hers. That’s a donation of over 50% of the proceeds. I created this course with the dream of helping mothers. By donating, together we’ll be able to help the mothers that need it the most. 

Instead, these people are met with force and punished, their children taken away from them and not given proper care. There are young children taking care of babies. There are kids without access to nutritional food, clean clothes, a toothbrush or even soap! The list of atrocities seems to keep growing, but I think the fact that children are dying in these conditions should be setting off major alarms for people. This is not ok. None of this ok. 

There isn’t much I can currently do to help, and so I thought about ways in which I could help, even in a minor way. 

From today until July 4, I’ll be donating $20 from each sale of my Dreamy Baby Photography course to RAICES. By enrolling, you’ll not only be able to learn to take photos of your own baby, but be able to help a mother reunite with hers. That’s a donation of over 50% of the proceeds. I created this course with the dream of helping mothers. By donating, together we’ll be able to help the mothers that need it the most. 

By purchasing the course, you’ll be making a $20 donation to help the crisis at the border. To purchase the course, visit this link. If you don’t have a baby but still want to help, you can forward the link to someone that does or share it on social media. If you have the means and want to donate directly to RAICES, click here. I donated $10 last night, but I felt like I wanted to do more. Alternatively, you can donate to Together Rising, who says “Every penny we receive from your personal donation goes to people in need” by clicking here. I saw that most of their donations were only small amounts like $5 but they still managed to raise 2 million dollars!

Disclaimer: Because the donation will be made ASAP, any course refunds during this period will only be for the value of the course minus the donation. The usual donation to March of Dimes will be placed on hold until after July 4. 

Loving your child is universal. It knows no race, religion, or bounds. I’m sure many of us would risk our own lives to save our children, doing anything we could to help them. So please, imagine the torture these families are going through. Parents don’t know where their children are. Children are abandoned and alone, dirty, hungry and crying. We need to help them however we can. Please donate now to help these families in need.