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. 

2018- The Year In Review

Happy 2019! Every year, I like to recap what happened the year before and outline the posts I did. This year, I’d like to do something a little different and more meaningful. (You can see the 2017 recap here and 2016 here)

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2018 was an amazing whirlwind of a year. I transitioned to working part time at my job since everything seemed to be going well at the end of 2017. I had some sponsored posts, an e-course client, and a brand partnership. By January of 2018, I had none of that stuff (of course! It’s how life works!) and I basically had to start from scratch. But before I could even start a plan on how to make that happen, life said “Nope! Not this year.”

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It all started on Jan 31 when I found out I was pregnant. The blog post has the whole story but let’s just say I was shocked and thrilled when I found out and literally everything changed after that. For starters, I was exhausted the first trimester and some days I could barely get myself to do anything besides watch tv on my days off. I also felt nauseous, so it was pretty hard to do anything... let alone blog work. I think I did the fewest blog posts EVER this year and in the end it was ok. I had a lot of time to think and made some amazing mindset changes. More on that later. 

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By the end of spring, I was starting to feel better (and, getting bigger!). I found out baby was a girl and I created the best blog post about it, in my humble opinion.

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Despite feeling better, the attic was such a mess and I was out of the posting loop for so long that I kinda gave up blogging. I was seriously going through a funk and going on social media and seeing everyone else’s posts really bummed me out. I wanted to create blog posts more than anything, but I’d sort of lost the spark. 

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Most of the summer was spent with me getting bigger and bigger by the day. I spent most of my time working on my photography e-courses and getting them ready to launch. When they did, they totally flopped but I learned SO much from the process. Including the fact that all this time, I wasn’t really honing in on what I was doing in the first place. I was doing EVERYTHING under the sun to see what stuck and -shocker- nothing did. But, I really enjoyed creating the e-course and being able to teach the skills I’ve learned. I’m revamping the free course now so that it’s even more helpful for everyone! 

One of the things I started (and never completed) in 2018 was cleaning up my house. I started doing it around March but then kinda got sidetracked doing “all the things”. And yet, nothing at all. Everything felt like a race against time before Hailey came, and I was trying to do so much that, in the end, absolutely nothing got done. 

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Fast-forward to September 28, 2018 and sweet Hailey Irini made her debut. It was one of the hardest and easiest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. The best and worst moments. The post-partum blues are no joke and they knocked me out for a few weeks. But I suddenly started to get immense clarity after Hailey was born. It was like the fog had lifted and I could finally see everything in a new way. I saw my faults, my strengths, my purpose, and where I wanted my life to go. It was absolutely astounding and of course, it didn’t come all at once. But I guess spending a lot of time reflecting will do that to ya. It almost felt like an entire year of reflection. 

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The word of 2018 probably would have been growth.

There was plenty of it. Physical growth, as my body stretched and nourished my baby. Spiritual growth, as I began to ponder the meaning of my life, and what I wanted it to look like in the future. And family growth, as we welcomed a new member. And overall, I felt the love grow. Love from our family and friends, from myself to my baby, and a new love for my husband. 

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By the end of 2018, I felt like I knew exactly what was holding me back and what needed to change. 

In the past, I felt like I did everything “just because”. Nothing had a real purpose. I couldn’t tell you why I did things or where exactly I was going. But now, I feel like I really know what I need to do and what’s important to me. I hopped off that work-work-work treadmill that was getting me nowhere. I finally understood that busy does not equal productive. I’m pushing for financial growth this year, because I’d really love this blog to be my primary source of income. I also want passive income, because I don’t want to live project to project, paycheck to paycheck. It’s not a sustainable method for my life. 

In 2019, the word I’d like to guide me is intention.

My goal is to know exactly why I’m doing the things I am, not just doing them because some guru told me to. Having faith in myself to create my own path, and knowing exactly where it’s taking me. I’m getting off that tradmill- this year, I’m really going places.

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So, what’s in store for 2019? Well, I’d love to refresh our home. I want to update our decor and tidy up (FYI- I liked the KonMari method before it was cool). I want to DIY things with a purpose- fun home decor, crafts for the baby and things to wear. I think one of the biggest things that I’m excited about is improving my photography. It’s something I’ve been working on for the past 3+ years now and I’m ready to go from hobbyist to “pro”. I mastered my blog and DIY photography but now I want to get into more lifestyle photography, room setups, self portraits, etc. 

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I think the biggest change I have going into 2019 is an unshakable faith in myself. For so long, I thought I needed someone else to help me succeed. I bought courses, listened to others tell me how to run my business (I mean... what?!), looked for every secret trick and surefire way to success. And I failed miserably. For 3 years!!! Simply because I wasn’t looking at the one and only person that could bring me success- myself. Maybe it was the labor and childbirth, or the fact that I’m raising and (almost solely) responsible for another human... but I finally feel like I can do anything. I don’t need someone else guiding the way- I can figure it out for myself and get help as needed. I’m not a lost cause in need of saving. I won’t let anyone else steer this ship. I have faith in myself to get to where I need to be. 

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There are probably going to be some changes around here, but they may not be that noticeable to other people. I’d like to see it as the blog growing up, sort of like I have. DIYs are here to stay, since they’re my favorite. New, fun topics are coming too. And I’m going to spend time teaching and giving back, as much as I can. Another big change is coming that I can’t talk about quite yet but I’ll share more about it next week. Overall, life is good and I’m ready to take on 2019!

Hailey's Birth Story 

I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for! 

I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

The Beginning

Almost 2 weeks before she was born, John and I went to BJs to get groceries. I started having contractions and I thought for sure she was coming today. But, they turned out to be Braxton Hicks and went away. Then almost a week before she was born, I had painful contractions but those didn’t go anywhere either. I was starting to get frustrated and confused.

After these 2 false alarms with contractions that led to nothing, I was starting to get cranky about baby’s (lack of) arrival. After the first false alarm I was thinking, holy crap- I’m not ready for this! But, then I started to get excited. With every additional day (and false contraction) I started to get more and more impatient. 

On September 27, I woke up at 4am with the beginning stages of labor, but at this point I was unsure what was real and what wasn’t. This felt a little different than the other times, but I wasn’t willing to bet on it. My husband went to work (he leaves around 5am) and I went back to sleep. I kept having contractions while I was asleep (the pain kinda made its way into my dreams!) and they finally woke me up around 7am. 

I monitored my contractions all day, but they still weren’t regular. Strong contractions came and went, sometimes every 15 minutes and sometimes nothing for a half hour or more. I really felt like today was going to the the day, so I got a manicure to try and relax. I luckily had an OB appointment at 1pm, so I told her my symptoms and she checked to see if I was dilated. I was 3-4 cm dilated, and she said normally she would have sent me to hospital at this point if contractions had been regular! She didn’t seem too convinced that I would be having this baby today so I went home confused once again. 

I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

John got home around 3:30pm, and my contractions started to get more regular. I was hungry at this point, so we went to McDonald’s and called the family to let them know I was probably going into labor. We stayed home for a while but by 7pm my contractions were 5 minutes apart (or less!), so we went to hospital. Everyone met us there and we were in the waiting room a while. I finally got admitted, they checked me out in an exam room, and determined that the contractions had slowed down to 5-7 minutes apart. They gave me 2 options- go back home to wait it out, or down to the lobby to walk around for an hour or two. I decided to go home so I could at least be comfortable (it could’ve been more than an hour or two!) and we ended up bringing my MIL and sister back with us. My parents went back to their house to rest for a bit. It was probably around 10-11pm at this point and everyone was tired. 

The 20-minute drive home was full of contractions, which came every 5-7 minutes pretty strong. Everyone was hungry so we hit the McDonald’s drive-thru, and the contractions were so intense that I made everyone be quiet while they were happening. It was so hard to go through the pain with everyone chit chatting and asking me questions, and I felt like I had a hang over! Everything seemed loud, I was nauseous and the smell of the food wasn’t helping. We got home and I took a shower, where I had my husband hang out in the bathroom with me and time the contractions. They were super strong and a minute apart. We got a little worried, so we sat down on the couch and they were 2-3 mins apart. I knew they would make me lay in bed at the hospital so I practiced getting through the contractions while laying on the couch. I somehow slept through the less than 5 minute break between contractions. John kept reminding me to breathe through contractions, since I tended to hold my breath. I wasn’t in a rush to get back to the hospital and possibly sent home again, so we stayed home to about 2 am then headed back to the hospital.

Natural vs Epidural 

I really wanted a natural birth. John and I had both decided it would be best for me and the baby. I was worried about the epidural slowing contractions, then needing pitocin to speed up the contractions, then eventually needing a C-section. I knew a few people that ended up on this route and I didn’t want that for us. 

When I got to hospital, I was 4-5 cm dilated. Then an hour later only 5 cm dilated. Around 4am, after being in labor 24 hours and awake almost a whole day, John convinced me to get an epidural and I’m so glad I did. I was terrified of the epidural (um, it’s a needle in your SPINE!) but my contractions were hurting in my back. I figured at least this way, the stabbing pain would only be for a few minutes as they were doing the epidural then go away, vs labor going on who knows how long. After I got the epidural, I felt immediately calm. We finally were able to get a few hours of sleep around 6am. At 9am, visiting hours began and our moms and my dad came into the room. My sister had stayed at my house and doesn’t drive, so my aunt gave her a ride to the hospital and stayed with us for a little while too.

I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

At this point, my contractions had slowed down again, so they gave me pitocin to speed them up. Despite the epidural taking away the pain, I was totally weak and out of it. I hadn’t eaten in so long but luckily I was able to get some apple juice and jello, which honestly gave me some strength. If I wanted ice chips, I couldn’t even say it- I would pinch my fingers together and my husband would hand me the cup. People were asking me questions and I wasn’t even answering. I didn’t have the strength to listen, process it, form a response and speak it. I talk SO much and the fact that I couldn’t say a word just showed how tired I was. 

Around 2pm, the doctors finally told me I was about 9.5 cm dilated and would be pushing soon. It was such a relief because things felt like they had stalled, but the pitocin was finally helping. They also showed me the magic blue button that you can press to get a boost of the epidural, which ended up being a lifesaver since the pain was getting more intense. I couldn’t really feel most of the pain from the contractions, but there was still some happening and I was so exhausted I couldn’t handle anything

The Birth:

The nurses came in and determined that I was ready to start pushing soon. I was fully dilated and baby was in position. They asked John if he wanted to see her head and he said no, but I made him take a peek. The first thing he said was “wow, she has a lot of hair!”  Luckily Hailey was right in position, so it only took a few pushes to get her out. John said it was about 20 minutes but to me it felt like only 5! The epidural was still pretty strong, so I didn’t really feel anything. As soon I started pushing she was already making her way out, so I figured hey I guess I’m doing something right!

I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

First Few Moments

As soon as Hailey was born, she started crying. It was such an amazing thing to hear, and I immediately started crying too! Our family was right outside the door and my sister recorded her first cries, so we’ll always have that video. They cleaned her up a bit and handed her to me and I was staring at this foreign creature, really confused. They say some women feel an immediate connection to their baby, while others need some time to bond. Despite feeling so connected to her in the womb, I was definitely more in the “who are you” category! We couldn’t even get a good 3D scan of her, only sonograms. And I was staring at her trying to figure out who she looked like, but she didn’t really look like anyone. I couldn’t really grasp the concept that that tiny little human wiggling around inside me was finally out in the world!

the doctors cleaned me up and I got a few stitches while we decided her name and then she gave us the (middle) finger for the very first time! It was so funny and I tried to have John get a picture, but then I had to push the placenta out so we didn’t capture it. Darn!

I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

We decided we wanted to spend a little time just the 3 of us before letting the troops back in. This was perfect because I had decided while I was waiting to deliver that I wanted a smoothie. I was parched, exhausted and starving. A smoothie commercial had come on and it was exactly what I needed. So I half-joked that no one could see the baby unless they brought me a smoothie. And let me tell you, that smoothie was one of the best things I have ever had in my life. I literally passed my child off to anyone that would take her so that I could enjoy my smoothie. At one point I had to put it down for a photo, and I started asking for it again. And they thought I wanted the baby so they were ready to hand her to me. Nope- I wanted the smoothie! Labor is so tough guys. I swear I’m not a monster! It’s just that after 24 hours without eating and being in that much pain, I really needed some fuel. I mean…. I think this photo says it all.

I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

The Name

John and I had decided early on that we didn’t want to tell anyone the baby names we were considering. We really wanted to decide on our own, without people influencing our decision or criticizing our choices. We both liked the name Hailey, and John suggested using my sister’s name, Irini (pronounced ee-ree-nee), for a middle name. I’m really close to my sister and she’s going to baptize the baby and be an important part of her life, so John thought it would be a very fitting middle name for her. It was soooo sweet that I couldn’t resist. When we told her the name, she got adorably awkward about it. She told me that when she got home she cried because she felt so honored that we named our baby after her. 

I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!
I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

The Next Few Days

We stayed at the hospital another couple of days, and we had tons of visitors! Everyone wanted to see the baby. Although it was a bit exhausting, it was nice to see everyone so happy to meet the baby. Plus, they made the time pass by faster AND they brought us food! I was getting hospital meals which were ok, but John wasn’t. It was nice to get some tasty food and sweet treats when people came to see her, especially after a tough labor and sleepless nights with the baby.

I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!
I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!
I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

We are so in love with our beautiful little Hailey. I spend most of the day holding her, and we all have enough pictures of her to start a gallery haha. I can’t believe my first pregnancy is over, but I am so happy to have my little girl! If you’re interested in postpartum tips and advice, stay tuned. I have a whole series coming up since I learned SO much in these past few weeks!


*Special thanks to my sister Irini for taking these pictures of us at the hospital! I really wanted to hire a photographer but it wasn’t in the budget, so I really appreciate having these photos from the day :)

My Favorite Summer Pregnancy Snacks

While I wasn’t planning to be in my third trimester of pregnancy during the summer, I quickly learned just how difficult this can be! Apparently everyone else knew it, but I was blissfully unaware of what was to come. That being said, being pregnant in the summer allows you to have some pretty amazing snacks. Some of these may just be a pregnant lady’s cravings, but here were some of my favorite things to eat this summer!

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Water and Frozen Fruit Smoothies

Ok, so smoothies aren’t exactly a new thing, but I quickly learned how much I craved sweets with my baby girl. We want them ALL THE TIME. In order to satisfy these cravings without going into sugar shock, I had to be a little bit creative. I started mixing frozen fruit (you can do packaged fruit or fresh fruit that you’ve frozen) and water, about a 50-50 ratio, then blended it in my Ninja Blender. The result is a cold, watery fruit juice that tastes a little bit sweet and super refreshing. It’s sweet but not too much, and it also sneaks in some much-needed water.

 

Ice Pops

When I was feeling especially hot or craving sweets, I’d grab an ice pop from the fridge! I didn’t want anything super sugary, so I stocked my freezer with Outshine Fruit Bars. The fruit and vegetable ones were the best because it gave me some extra nutrients since I’m not a huge fan of veggies. You can also make your own, which would allow you to make them whichever flavor you want, plus reduces waste since there's no box or plastic wrappers!

 

Hummus & Veggies or Crackers

If you’re craving something savory, try some hummus! I definitely had a hummus phase, where no one was allowed to touch my hummus haha. It’s so tasty and healthy, plus you can dip fresh veggies (extra nutrients for baby!) or some crackers for a filling snack. Add some cheese and you’ve got a tiny meal!

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Ice Cream

Ok this is a no-brainer! Ice cream is fabulous in the summer. Barely an explanation needed here, but I enjoyed ice cream on a cone, and going out for some gave me a nice walk. Be conscious to avoid soft serve, as it can be dangerous. But, a scoop or two of regular ice cream is just perfect!

 

Oreos & Milk

My pantry was pretty much stocked with oreos throughout my entire pregnancy! I don’t think this is a particularly summer snack, but it was one of my faves so I had to include it. Paired with a cold glass of milk, it was perfect for those chocolatey cravings!

 

Fresh Fruit

Summer has some of the best, juiciest fruit in season! When I first got pregnant I was craving watermelon like nobody’s business but it was February/March and it definitely wasn’t in season. I had watermelon flavored EVERYTHING but nothing satisfied the craving like real watermelon. Then, as summer came, I started craving nectarines, peaches, and apricots! By the end, I was really loving blueberries in my cereal. Fresh fruit is a great and healthy way to satisfy those sweet cravings.

 

Salads

Summer is hot hot hot and sometimes you don’t want to eat a hot meal on top of it. But, a girl’s gotta eat! I really enjoyed salads, especially after a long day commuting in the heat. My favorite was anything with fruit (hah, duh) and a nice light dressing. There are plenty of homemade versions on Pinterest but you can also grab tasty ones at takeout places like Panera!

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Water with Frozen Fruit

We’re supposed to drink a whole lot of water through pregnancy and it can get pretty boring. So, I started freezing my leftover watermelon and strawberries, then adding them as “ice cubes” to my water! It added some nice flavor to the water and kept it really cold. Win win!

 

Fresh Iced Tea

Avoid the sugary powdered stuff and the sugary packaged stuff and make your own iced tea! Grab your favorite (decaffeinated!) tea bags and steep them with some honey or agave syrup. Then, pour it over a glass of ice and enjoy. I have this cup which makes perfectly cold iced tea that’s perfect for at home and on the go! It has an auto-close feature that shuts the lid once you remove the straw, so you can add your ice to your hot tea and shake it up well!

 

Low Fat Cream Cheese & Pita Chips

Another new snack I started to love! Some Stacy’s Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips and cream cheese to dip it in! It’s crunchy and cool, slightly tart and sweet. Plus you can add some fresh fruit too if you want, like strawberries and blueberries!

I think one thing I’ll really miss about pregnancy is being able to eat all.the.time and never really gaining the weight! It’s been fun, but all good things must come to an end. Baby is coming soon, and that’s even better than anything else!

What are your favorite summer or pregnancy snacks? Was there something you just couldn’t get enough of? Let me know in the comments below!