Pamper Yourself In An Unlikely Way

Oftentimes when we hear the word “pamper” or “treat yourself” we are automatically tossed into a luxury hotel suite, soaking in a claw food tub and snacking on macarons with a glass of wine in hand. It’s often something of a quick escape, a way to momentarily forget about what ails you and insead enjoy a moment of peaceful relaxation.

Looking to pamper yourself? How about going beyond the usual face mask and Netflix marathon, and doing something a little bit more fulfilling? I’m detailing why it’s really important to have your self-care also be pushing you towards your goals. Click to find out why it’s so important to challenge yourself even if you’re tired, plus how I make laundry part of my self-care routine. Yep you read that right! #selfcare #pamper #selfcaresunday

Well I’m here to challenge that thinking. What if, instead of chocolate cake and face masks, the way to relax was in doing the hard work? That the way to pamper yourself isn’t a few minutes (or hours) of forgetting your life, but remembering exactly what you want it to look like? Deciding to carefully craft the type of life you want to lead, instead of trying to get away from the one you have?

Let’s think of it in terms of baking ingredients. Doing things like facials, taking a bath, or shopping is like butter, flour or eggs. Good enough on their own, sure. But it’s when you make it more complicated- growing a business, advancing a skill, or training for a marathon- that’s how you go from butter, flour and eggs to cookies. It’s through these more complex forms of self care and pampering that you create a true reward for yourself. It’s not always about what’s easy or even what’s relaxing. It’s about what sustains your life. Mixing relaxing with hard work that you do for yourself. A balanced diet, if you will.

Looking to pamper yourself? How about going beyond the usual face mask and Netflix marathon, and doing something a little bit more fulfilling? I’m detailing why it’s really important to have your self-care also be pushing you towards your goals. Click to find out why it’s so important to challenge yourself even if you’re tired, plus how I make laundry part of my self-care routine. Yep you read that right! #selfcare #pamper #selfcaresunday

How do you do it? You just gotta change the narrative. Folding clothes sucks. But having a neat closet and an easy time getting ready in the morning feels indulgent. It feels like shopping without spending a dime. Maybe you dress better or wear those earrings because now you can actually see them.

Sure, taking a relaxing bath now and again is nice. And sure, folding clothes every day sucks. But it’s all about mixing it up and balance. Listen to that inspirational podcast while you take your bath. Jam out to music while you fold your clothes. Don’t let being lazy with half-assed “I deserve this break” derail you from the things you want in life. A break is fine and needed and should be enjoyed! But putting a break and the easy thing over everything else is sometimes the worst type of self-care you can do. It’s self sabotage.

Looking to pamper yourself? How about going beyond the usual face mask and Netflix marathon, and doing something a little bit more fulfilling? I’m detailing why it’s really important to have your self-care also be pushing you towards your goals. Click to find out why it’s so important to challenge yourself even if you’re tired, plus how I make laundry part of my self-care routine. Yep you read that right! #selfcare #pamper #selfcaresunday

There are always exceptions to the rule. In 2018 I was pregnant and exhausted. I did FAR less work on the blog. And now in 2019 with a baby I’m taking it slow. But I didn’t give up. It’s not about working until you’re totally burnt out or stressed. It’s about taking small steps towards what you want in life. It’s never giving up. It’s finding a way to prioritize yourself and your goals however possible, even when it’s easier to flop yourself on the couch or make yourself busy with menial tasks like the dishes.

It’s about balancing those necessary types of self care (like dressing nice or doing your hair) with the mundane tasks that make your life work in a practical manner (like folding laundry, or doing it to begin with) and combining it with long term goals (like learning piano or growing a business) to create a life that truly feels fulfilling. It’s about not getting so bogged down with the everyday “urgencies” that you end up putting aside the goals and dreams you really want to achieve. We’ll always be busy. It’s about making time for what’s most important to you.

Self love and treating yourself can be eating an extra cupcake, or doing your hair, or re-decorating your home. There’s no one way to do it and by flopping on the couch with Netflix every day, you’re relaxing in a way that isn’t moving you forward. By all means, watch your tv shows. But do what you love too. Don’t be too scared or too busy or too tired to go for your dreams. Work towards them and you’ll see how amazing and fulfilling your life will become.

The Easiest (Reusable!) Packing List

I think there are several different opinions on the worst part about traveling. Some say it's packing, others say flying, or jet lag, or unpacking. Personally, I think the worst part (and my greatest fear) is forgetting something I needed. I have dreams, even when I'm not traveling, that I forgot to pack and therefore have to grab everything at the last minute. Also because in my dream I apparently "forgot" I had a trip too! Even if this were to happen someday, somehow, I'd be prepared. I have a packing hack that surpasses alllll the packing hacks. And the best part is that all you'll need is your iPhone or iPad. It's totally free, and really easy to use.

Never forget anything again! I have a packing hack that surpasses alllll the packing hacks. And the best part is that all you'll need is your iPhone or iPad. It's totally free, and really easy to use. Click to read more, along with some bonus features! #packinglist #travelhacks #packinglistfortravel

All you need to do is go to the Apple pre-downloaded Reminders app. It comes standard on all iPhones and you’ve probably even used it before for something like a grocery list!

The first thing you want to do is open up your reminders app, press the (+) sign and create a new list. You can call it Packing List for now, or label it after the destination you are going to. Then, you're going to want to start typing out all the things you need to bring with you. I think the best way to do this is to use a laptop or other device to see a generic packing list online, and adapt it to your own items. Keep adding items, one at a time, until you have a completed list. Then, as you're packing, click each item to "check” it off your list.

Oh but wait. That's not all! This hack gets even better, because this list is reusable. Next time you are traveling, you can rename the list, click "show completed" and uncheck the items that you need to bring with you. You'll leave all the other stuff on there, but it'll be checked off so it doesn't show on your packing list. You can use this over and over, and you'll never have to worry about forgetting anything again! Plus, as long as you have your phone on you, you have your list. This makes it really easy to add things on the go!

Other features

If you want to be a little bit fancier, you can use one of these features as well.

1. Share with a friend/spouse. If you're traveling with a friend/spouse, chances are that they need the same items you do! So, create a list with all the items you both need and share the list so that they can be as organized as you are. This is perfect for avoiding double the items, so you can add things like a selfie stick, sunscreen, toothpaste, or even a portable speaker! Since the list is shared, this won’t be ideal for packing clothes because when they check the items off, your list will be checked too. But, this feature is great for a family because you can add all your kids’ items and know what exactly has been packed already!

2. Set a reminder for a location. This is perfect in case you need to get something from a certain store, pick up something a friend borrowed, or grab items from your storage unit. Or, you can set a reminder at the airport to grab a bottle of water, a magazine, or a snack.

3. Set a due date. You can set a deadline for the items that you don't use often, the ones you need to pack at the last second, and everything in between.

4. Add a priority. If you're an overpacker like me, this feature is great for prioritizing what needs to come, what you want to bring, and what to include only if you have room.

5. Add notes. You can use this section to list out the individual items (i.e., pink swimsuit, blue swimsuit, black one-piece). It's also handy for listing out a quantity (i.e., 6 pairs of undies) or a location (from garage).

Here’s a handy dandy video showing off the features! It doesn’t have sound, but you can see how I navigate around the app to get to the features and settings I mentioned above.

So what do you think? Will you be using this app for future trips? Do you know a better way? Let me know in the comments below!

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. 

The Easiest Way To Get A Salon Blowout At Home

If you're following me on Instagram, you know that I started straightening my hair after I had postpartum hair loss. My hair is pretty thick and curly, so I was ending up with HUGE knots that took about ten minutes to brush out in the shower. Plus, my hair was getting tangled within a day of being washed. It looked horrible and felt even worse, so I decided this was as good a time as any to start straightening my hair. I've always wanted to be the type of girl that does her hair and tries to look nice, so this sort of gave me the excuse I needed to just get it done. So, I decided to try the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer and holy cow. I’m a convert!

*This post contains affiliate links.

I always hated the process of straightening my hair, and I especially hated the way it felt and smelled after being straightened. Overall it wasn't really worth the effort. That is, until I found the magic wand of hair tools! Seriously, this thing is a godsend and it totally changed the game for me! Most of all, my hair looks, feels, and SMELLS healthy. #hairstraighteningtips #blowdryhair #hairtutorialseasy

I always hated the process of straightening my hair- it left my hair feeling really damaged and brittle, with a lovely fried smell on top of it. Overall it wasn't really worth the effort. That is, until I found the magic wand of hair tools. Seriously, this thing is a godsend and it totally changed the game for me! It works quickly, it's super easy to use, and it leaves my hair full of body. Most of all, my hair looks, feels, and SMELLS healthy. No more fried smell for this gal!

I've told several friends about this magic tool and they all went and got it (seriously... all of them!) so I thought it might be helpful to write a blog post about it for anyone who's either on the fence, or doesn't know about this tool at all. I imagine it's a sad life to be living, smashing your hair in a flat iron or trying to juggle a round brush and a blow dryer. I mean, I know because I lived that life haha so this way is much easier.

The process is really simple. For starters, I add a small amount of heat protecting spray in my hair. This helps to (duh) protect my hair but I also think it keeps it from getting too frizzy.

I always hated the process of straightening my hair, and I especially hated the way it felt and smelled after being straightened. Overall it wasn't really worth the effort. That is, until I found the magic wand of hair tools! Seriously, this thing is a godsend and it totally changed the game for me! Most of all, my hair looks, feels, and SMELLS healthy. #hairstraighteningtips #blowdryhair #hairtutorialseasy

After that, the process is simple. I separate my hair into sections using a jaw clip and sectioning clips. Then, I take a small section and run the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer through several times, making sure to get the roots and ends, which both seem to be the most troublesome. The roots always seen to stay curly, and with a flat iron this is where I end up burning myself. However, with this tool I don't have to worry!

I want to talk a minute about how this tool works, because it was slightly different than I originally thought. It’s literally a hair dryer within a round brush. So, it sounds like a blow dryer and has 3 temperature settings- high, low and cool. It doesn’t get hot like an iron or twirl like other tools. So, to get it to work you twist your wrist like you would with a round brush. Except your other hand is free, which makes it much easier than trying to juggle both a brush and a blow dryer.

I always hated the process of straightening my hair, and I especially hated the way it felt and smelled after being straightened. Overall it wasn't really worth the effort. That is, until I found the magic wand of hair tools! Seriously, this thing is a godsend and it totally changed the game for me! Most of all, my hair looks, feels, and SMELLS healthy. #hairstraighteningtips #blowdryhair #hairtutorialseasy
I always hated the process of straightening my hair, and I especially hated the way it felt and smelled after being straightened. Overall it wasn't really worth the effort. That is, until I found the magic wand of hair tools! Seriously, this thing is a godsend and it totally changed the game for me! Most of all, my hair looks, feels, and SMELLS healthy. #hairstraighteningtips #blowdryhair #hairtutorialseasy

Since the ends of my hair are always the most damaged, I pay them special attention. After I blow dry each section, I twirl it so that it ends up with a little bit of a curl. I like doing this so that it’s not just straight, and it also prevents me from having to use a curling wand afterwards. I think it also helps that my hair naturally has a curl.

I always hated the process of straightening my hair, and I especially hated the way it felt and smelled after being straightened. Overall it wasn't really worth the effort. That is, until I found the magic wand of hair tools! Seriously, this thing is a godsend and it totally changed the game for me! Most of all, my hair looks, feels, and SMELLS healthy. #hairstraighteningtips #blowdryhair #hairtutorialseasy

The Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer is honestly my favorite straightening tool, and I have plenty of them! It's the only one that's sustainable for keeping my hair straight, week after week. It only takes me about 20 minutes and I can do it fresh out of the shower, which really helps. The results speak for themselves- look at this amazing shine and body! I don't even need to use a finishing oil after, because it just looks so good. Even without the curl, my ends still look good. I could never say that about flat ironing it! The ends were always dead and scraggly looking.

I always hated the process of straightening my hair, and I especially hated the way it felt and smelled after being straightened. Overall it wasn't really worth the effort. That is, until I found the magic wand of hair tools! Seriously, this thing is a godsend and it totally changed the game for me! Most of all, my hair looks, feels, and SMELLS healthy. #hairstraighteningtips #blowdryhair #hairtutorialseasy

If you're looking to straighten or style your hair regularly, you owe it to yourself to get this Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer! It's not the cheapest tool, but at around $60 it also isn't the most expensive (looking at you, Dyson). In my opinion, it is a very worthwhile investment and it’s a total necessity for me now!

Gentle Mommy Blogging: Avoiding Accidental Child Exploitation

I was on buzzfeed the other night (spending my time taking useless quizzes) when I stumbled down a rabbit hole and ended up reading several articles about mommy bloggers exploiting their children. This new internet thing we have going on has made all the lines blurry and I’m left wondering if I’m doing the right thing. Being a mom seems to be second-guessing everything you thought you knew, and I’m not about to break tradition. 

When you’re learning how to become a mommy blogger, how do you avoid accidentally exploiting your kids for likes? I’ve got some advice on kids and social media, plus some questions to ask yourself. Click to see how to protect your children from yourself. #mommyblogger #momblogs

Let’s backtrack a little bit. Hailey is the light of my life and I absolutely love her. This makes me share about her, a lot. I do monthly updates on the blog and take monthly photos of her (in addition to daily cell phone pics... there are thousands of those already!). I do all this because I love her and I want to have these memories someday. So I can look back at great photos and comment on how tiny she is. I already do this with her newborn photos and 1 month photos, so I can’t imagine how I’ll feel when she’s a teenager. 


I recently did a blog post for a brand where I created some really stinking cute magnets. I dressed Hailey up in pink and red outfits and snapped some adorable pics, which I then printed on magnets. These became the basis of my blog post. After I took the final photos, I giggled and proclaimed to friends via text that Hailey was a model. But... do I want my daughter to be a model? I don’t know. I can’t say I do in the traditional sense, but is it different when I’m the one behind the camera, making the decisions? Is she safer that way? There’s no real answer to that question. 

When you’re learning how to become a mommy blogger, how do you avoid accidentally exploiting your kids for likes? I’ve got some advice on kids and social media, plus some questions to ask yourself. Click to see how to protect your children from yourself. #mommyblogger #momblogs

I find myself now exploring the line between “loving mother” and “exploitative mommy blogger”. At what point does my desire to share her pictures and stories cross the line into embarrassing TMI? How do I avoid inadvertently exploiting my child, when all I want to do is share her with the world? The answer could be simple- don’t share her in any commercial capacity. Or don’t share her at all. But how can I hide such an important part of my life? Is it ok to have her join me in campaigns for a “mommy and me”, business edition? Is it ok only when my husband agrees? Is it acceptable only if I pay her for her work? I don’t really know. 

My job as her mom, first and foremost, is to protect her. In this crazy, fucked up world, do we as parents need to be more careful with our children on social media? We aren’t talking about sharing a story with a friendly old lady at the park, or your mom telling her neighbor the funny thing your kid did. We’re talking full-on photos and video (with commentary) being shared to that guy you went to college with and never speak to anymore. And that former coworker from 2 jobs ago that you barely know. And the chick you befriended at a bar 4 years back that posts funny memes. Are these strangers (let’s call them what they are!) people we really want to know all about our children? Or, more importantly, does it matter that they see it, or is it fine since they just scroll on past your pics because they probably don’t care anyway? 

When you’re learning how to become a mommy blogger, how do you avoid accidentally exploiting your kids for likes? I’ve got some advice on kids and social media, plus some questions to ask yourself. Click to see how to protect your children from yourself. #mommyblogger #momblogs

When I think about what I want for my child, some days I feel like it’s the opposite of what I’m doing. That whole “practice what you preach” thing is going out the window. I don’t want her to be obsessed with her looks and yet I dress us both up for photos. I don’t want her to be obsessed with screen time and yet all I do is watch tv. I want her to have face-to-face interaction in a world full of likes and LOLs, and yet I spend most of my time on my phone. I try to create a balance, but it’s hard to know where the line is between laying a good foundation and crazy, neurotic new-age mom.

When you’re learning how to become a mommy blogger, how do you avoid accidentally exploiting your kids for likes? I’ve got some advice on kids and social media, plus some questions to ask yourself. Click to see how to protect your children from yourself. #mommyblogger #momblogs

Those articles didn’t open my eyes to these things, because I was already thinking it. They just forced me to confront my thoughts finally. In reading these scary articles, it caused me to see a tiny sliver of myself in these people. I couldn’t judge them too harshly because I understood what they were saying. What they were actually saying... not what the articles were trying to vilify them for. 

Using your child for your social media business is a double edged sword. On the one hand, you’re using your child to gain an income. But on the other hand, in doing so, you’re able to provide them with things they might not be able to have otherwise. I’m not talking about free swag, money for vacations, or even a nice home. I’m talking about quality time with them instead of hiring a nanny or putting them in daycare, showing them how you work hard to run your business, and being available at a moment’s notice for them because your flexible schedule allows it. These are things that most traditional jobs do not provide us. 

If it wasn’t for my efforts on my blog, being at home with Hailey would be absolutely out of the question. We cannot afford it, period. She most likely would be in daycare (at least part time) since both my mom and mother-in-law work. She wouldn’t be waking up to my face every after nap, breastfeeding for every meal, and hearing me sing terribly to her just for a smile. Someday I’ll tell her about how I spent all day playing with her with tears in my eyes full of joy, and then after she went to bed spent an hour feeling happy that I had a break, then would immediately miss her and look at her photos. I’ll tell her all about how I had tears in my eyes at night once again, as I worked from 10pm to 2 or 3 am. All the while looking at her photo and telling her I’m doing this for her. Telling her I KNOW I can do this. 

When you’re learning how to become a mommy blogger, how do you avoid accidentally exploiting your kids for likes? I’ve got some advice on kids and social media, plus some questions to ask yourself. Click to see how to protect your children from yourself. #mommyblogger #momblogs

So you tell me- where does the line get drawn? How do I know I’m doing right by my child? The area is gray and I don’t want to open myself up to hatred and extreme criticism, but I genuinely want to know what people think about this. How do you share your children on social media? Perhaps through kind discussions, we can find the safe middle ground for all our children that doesn’t scar them for life.