Why I’m Not Making Any New Year’s Resolutions.. and Why You Shouldn’t Either

Why I’m Not Making Any New Year’s Resolutions.. and Why You Shouldn’t Either

New Year’s Resolutions.

I feel like as soon as you decide you are going to make a new years resolution… you are setting yourself up to fail. Hard core. It’s not that we don’t want to better our life by changing certain habits. It’s that we go at it full force, cold turkey and so suddenly that a few days or weeks into the process, we find ourselves struggling. A lot.

Don’t believe me?

Check out your local gym on January 1st. There will be so many people there, you might have a hard time find an empty parking space. Group classes will be packed. Treadmills and ellipticals will be occupied by good intentioned people telling themselves this is THEIR YEAR. Everyone will be gung-ho about their new years resolutions.  It’s awesome. There is a certain energy that comes along with the new year. People are ready for change….

And then will come mid- February. The gym won’t be bustling anymore. All the new faces you saw just weeks ago have disappeared. The instant results we thought we would see just aren’t there. We feel defeated. It happens every year.

Don’t feel bad. It happens to me too. Every.Single.Year.

My New Years resolutions usually look something like this:

  • Workout Every Single Day for 60 minutes
  • Don’t eat sugar, carbs, dairy, etc
  • Only drink water. Ever.
  • Loose 60 pounds
  • Count your macros
  • etc, etc, etc


Why We Are Unsuccessful

Guys… this is just not attainable for me or any of us to do in one big foul swoop.  I know I can’t just go from not working out and eating whatever I want, to this muscular athlete with a perfect diet. Those are some huge lifestyle changes. They may take a little time to perfect. It’s not because we are failures. It’s because we’re human. Sometimes we want chocolate. Sometimes we want Cafe Rio. Sometimes, we’re too exhausted to go to the gym. Then, suddenly we find ourselves eating whatever we want because, well, we  blew our diet on a candy bar so why not?

I think a lot of us struggle with the all or nothing mentality. We try to make big huge changes and if we slip up a little with our goals, we feel like failures and quit. There’s always next year.. right? Wrong. We need to allow ourselves to be human. We need to allow for mistakes. We need to realize it’s not the end of the world if we fall of the wagon and eat a treat, or two, or a whole bag or chips.  Tomorrow is always a new day and we can try again. We can always keep trying.

Instead of making a long list of resolutions, this year I am trying something different. This year, will be about baby steps and self-love. We could all use a whole lot of self love. I am re-wiring my brain this year. My goal is not to be as skinny as (fill in the blank to whatever super model, celebrity or fit mom you constantly compare yourself to).  My goal is to be fit. To be healthy. To love myself more than I did last year.

It’s all about the baby steps.

I will be adding baby steps to my journey every week. Little tiny baby steps. Every week, for the entire year, I will be trying to better myself. A baby step is a step in the right direction.

Some examples of some baby steps could be :

  • Go to bed 10 minutes earlier then you did the last week
  • Replace one Diet Coke with water
  • Meditate for 5 minutes one a week
  • Write in your journal every Sunday
  • Make lunch at home instead of grabbing fast food
  • Say one affirmation every morning

Lou la Belle Photography

It’s the little tiny changes we make over a period of time that will help us with our goals this year. Don’t even say the words ‘New Year’s Resolution”. Just think of one baby step you can start. Build on your baby steps. I promise you, one year from now, you will be amazed at how your baby steps have added up!

Check back next week for another post about the baby steps I will be working on in 2018 as well as how I found success in the gym with baby steps this year. My results and before and after pictures will also be posted.

Happy New Year Friends!!!!

XO- Haylee

How to Treat Croup in Babies and Toddlers

How to Treat Croup in Babies and Toddlers

Last night, I was awoken by the old familiar barking cough from my baby, Ezra. I cringe when I hear this high-pitched cough. It honestly sounds like someone has replaced your sweet baby with a seal… an angry seal. I went into his room and picked him up and he was burning up.  He had had a slight runny nose before I put him to bed but otherwise has been just fine. Croup usually sneaks up on you like that. With my kids, they seem to be feeling okay and then halfway through the night, I start hearing the cough. It can be very scary to deal with so I rounded up some great information about croup as well as my tips on how to treat croup at home.

*** I am not a doctor and you should always seek medical advise from your pediatrician in you have a sick child. If your child is having a hard time breathing or is blue around the mouth and lips, call 911


What is Croup?

Croup is a viral infection that affects the airway and vocal chords and causes them to swell. It often begins as a typical cold. The more your child coughs, the more irritated the area becomes and soon, the you will notice a loud barking cough. Your child may also develop a hoarse or raspy voice, fever, and noisy breathing.  Croup is more common in fall and early winter. Children under five are more likely to develop croup.

Symptoms of Croup

  • a barking cough (that usually sounds worse at night)
  • hoarse voice
  • labored breathing
  • fever (most of the time


When to Seek Medical Attention

  • if you child makes a noisy, high pitched breathing sound when breathing in or out (doctors call this stridor)
  • your child starts drooling or having a hard time swallowing
  • your child is anxious, agitated, has no energy or is listless
  • your child turns blue or gray around her mouth, nose or fingernails
  • your child struggles to breath


How to Treat Croup at Home

  • keep your child calm and comfortable, if they get worked up, breathing becomes more difficult
  • use a cool mist humidifier  (I use this one) or if it is cold outside, wrap your child up and take them outside for a few minutes and let them breathe in the cold air
  • run a hot shower and let the bathroom steam up and then sit in the bathroom with your child and let them breathe the moist air
  • continually offer your child fluids
  • if you have an older toddler or young child, keeping their head elevated while sleeping will help (Do not elevate the head of a baby)
  • even if my child has a mild case of croup, I always call and talk to the nurse at my pediatricians office. She will let me know what to watch for and answer any questions  I may have
  • you can always take your child in to see the doctor. They can prescribe a steroid to help treat your child.


Good Luck Mama’s. Croup is never fun and can be extremely scary.

When in doubt, see a doctor.


How to Take Great Candid Photo’s

How to Take Great Candid Photo’s


One of the questions I get a lot is “How do you take such great candid pictures of your kids?”. Trust me, it wasn’t always the case. When I got my first camera, I took so many pictures of my kids that were the opposite of candid. I would set up a shot and say “Okay everybody, look at me and smile”. So basically every picture I have of my children for an entire year was of them sitting or standing and looking straight at the camera smiling. It took me a while to find my documentary style of photography. I put together a few tips to help other mama’s ( and dads too) strengthen their photography skills while documenting the lives of their precious little ones.

Tip #1: Always have your camera handy

One morning,  I laid Ezra down on the floor and went into the kitchen to load the dishwasher. I looked over to check on him and found my oldest son, Owen,  was right next to him. Ezra was staring at him and touching his face. It was the sweetest mommy moment ever! I grabbed my camera and snapped this picture.

Lou la Belle Photography

Tip #2:  Experiment with light

I love to play around with light and shadows. Some of my most dramatic photo’s have been captured in very harsh lighting. I say experiment because sometimes,  when I am playing around in weird lighting situations, the pictures don’t turn out… and that’s okay. It happens.

lightalexalaughsLou la Belle Photography

Tip #3:  Document them at play

I love to get pictures of my kids playing with friends, toys, each other. It’s awesome to look back and remember the things they loved playing with. Motherhood can sometimes be such a blur of cooking, cleaning, and activities and I don’t want to forget the way my children looked while they were playing.

Lou la Belle PhotographyLou la Belle Photography

Tip # 4: Don’t be afraid of motion

Do my motion pictures sometimes turn out so blurry you can’t even tell what I was trying to photograph? Sure do. It doesn’t stop me from always trying to catch them in motion because I love a good action shot!

Lou la Belle Photography

Tip # 5: Don’t forget their little fingers and toes

I love my kids faces. They are the most beautiful little faces! But so are there hands, and feet, and hair. Capture it all !!!

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Tip # 6: Capture Emotions

You don’t always have to have a happy kid to capture a great photo.

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I hope these tips will help you get some beautiful candid pictures of your sweet babies!  My most important tip is to take pictures… a lot of them! You will never regret having them! Follow me on Instagram to see more photo’s of my tribe!

XO- Haylee