The Friday Five : Five Podcasts You Need in Your Life

The Friday Five : Five Podcasts You Need in Your Life

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone has had a great week! One of my new favorite habits that has helped me become more productive has been to listen to podcasts while I clean, fold laundry, organize, etc. I honestly find myself wanting to do these things around the house if I know I have a new podcast to listen to. I decided to share my top five favorite podcasts with you today. My podcast subscriptions are a lot like my iTunes downloads, rap to country and everything in between.


My Favorite Murder


Okay I this one sounds weird. This is my absolute most favorite podcast in the world! I love true crime and I love comedy and this podcast has combined these two unlikely genres. I laugh until I cry pretty much every time I listen to this. Give it to try.. I know you will love it! {disclaimer:  they swear a lot so if that isn’t your thing, skip this podcast}

Healthy Moms Podcast


Health and nutrition have always been a huge interest for me. Now that I have children, I am constantly trying to learn as much as I can to try to keep my family healthy.  I love the format of this podcast and the way the information is presented.


Better Than Happy { Bold New Mom}


This podcast has changed names a few times but the adorable host Jodi Moore keeps me coming back week after week. She is a life coach who has an arsenal of tools and tips that are easy to implement into your daily life. This podcast is very empowering and uplifting.


Someone Knows Something


My love for true crime continues with this podcast. This podcast is a narrative of a criminal cold case.  This podcast is very well produced and the reporting is very detailed without being boring. Each season is one case spread out over several episodes.


The Love Love Love


Probably the most raw podcast I have listened to. The very first episode,  Yan Palmer interviews her ex-husband about the dissolution of their marriage. Her raw emotion and ability to have such an honest conversation so publicly captured my heart.  The Love Love Love talks about different love stories and is purely magical.

I hope you guys enjoy these podcasts. I am always looking for new ones to check out so comment and let me know what your favorite podcasts are.



The Cutest Valentines Tradition

The Cutest Valentines Tradition

Hi Guys!


It’s the last week of January and Valentines Day is right around the corner! I will admit, I haven’t always been a fan of Valentines Day. Most years I would put up some cute decorations and help my kids make Valentines and that would pretty much be it for me. Then, I met my friend Tara who is a die-hard when it comes to V-Day. She goes all out decorating her house and celebrating basically as soon as her Christmas comes down. One tradition that she does with her kids that I have stolen and completely fallen in love with is something I like to call ‘The 14 Days of Love Notes’.


The 14 Days of Love Notes

I bought these darling mailbox chairbackers from Pottery Barn. You could also make your own very inexpensively.  Mine have my children’s names on them, but that isn’t necessary. I get them out right before February and place one on each chair at our table. Then every morning starting on Febraury first and ending on Valentines Day, my kids wake up and check their mailboxes. In them, I have left a little love note, treat or toy.



I don’t spend a ton of money doing this. I love to go through Target’s dollar section and find little gifts. I also scroll through Pinterest to find cute sayings or ideas. The idea isn’t to make it about the gifts but about the love we have for each other. I encourage my kids to leave notes in each others mailboxes throughout the month as well.


My kids absolutely love this tradition. I really wish I would have ordered myself and my husband one as well because I want some love notes.. haha! Maybe next year I will do that. What are some of your Valentines traditions?


You can find the Chairbackers I have HERE




How Drinking Water Helped Me Lose Weight

How Drinking Water Helped Me Lose Weight

Hiya Guys!

Recently, I have started a health and fitness journey. I decided instead of jumping in with a lot of big lifestyle changes, I would add baby steps to my journey. No crash diets. Just slowly adding good habits and SLOWLY cutting out some bad habits. To read more about my theory on why most people don’t succeed in their weight loss goals, and how I am changing things up this year, click HERE.

So here I am, four weeks into 2018 and I am finding it much easier to stick to my new habits. My first baby step was to start working out on a regular basis and I have been so happy with the results. Today I am going to talk about the second baby step I have implemented in my life.


Water * Water * Water

I started drinking more water. I still was drinking a fair amount of soda but I really tried to drink more water then soda. Then, I started to aim for 100 ounces of water a day. Once I started hitting the 100 ounces mark, I started to want soda less and less. Don’t get me wrong, I still love me some Dr Pepper, but for the first time in my life, I would find myself reaching for water over soda.  After four weeks of consciously trying to drink more water, I feel so much better! I feel less bloated and I am having less cravings for soda. I would say I might have soda like once a week these days but I am mostly drinking water. Its all about balance.


Tips to Help

I found that if I was drinking water out of a cute glass or water bottle, it made it easier to reach for water. Sometimes I would get bored with drinking water. I started cutting up fruit to throw in my water so that it had a bit of flavor. My favorite thing to add to water is limes or lemons. I also love my water to be really cold. I started buying pebble ice at a local gas station to put in my water.



I weighed myself after two weeks of drinking mostly water and I had lost five pounds. Five pounds in two weeks from just swapping my soda for water!! I was so excited about that. I also noticed that my skin was much clearer and felt softer. I felt much less bloated all the time.

Try it out guys! Swap you soda or juice or whatever else you are drinking for water. Just do it for two weeks and you will be astounded at how many positive changes you will see if your body.

Be kind to your self and your body!

XOXO- Haylee

Boxy Charm Product Review

Boxy Charm Product Review

BoxyCharm is by far the best thing that I spend money on every month!! If you haven’t heard of BoxyCharm, it is a monthly makeup subscription service. You pay them $21 a month, and they send you 4 to 5 FULL size makeup and beauty products.

I really love beauty products. So when my friend told me about this service, I signed up right away. I was like a kid waiting for Christmas when I got an email saying my first box was on it’s way. One day the mail came and there it was… my first BoxyCharm box. I ripped it open and honestly felt like it was my birthday. I mean, I got a box full of awesome, brand name beauty items.

I have been subscribing to BoxyCharm for 6 months now and decided to show ya’ll what it is all about.  Here is a picture of my January 2018 BoxyCharm box.


I received 5 products this month. One brow product, a primer, a lip plumper, an eye shadow palette and a bronzer.


it Brow Power


Eyebrows are all the rage right now. I have quite the collection of brow products because I am constantly trying to find the perfect product. I really liked how easily this product went on my eyebrows.

Retail Price:  $24

You can buy it Brow Power HERE


dr brandt Luminizer Primer


This primer went on smoothly and gave me great coverage.

Retail Price: $38

You can buy the primer HERE

PUR Bronze & Brighten


This is a great bronze and highlight kit. I have used it almost everyday since I received it.

Retail Price:  $34

You can find it HERE

Grande Lips Hydrating Lip Plumper


I wasn’t super excited when I opened this box and saw what a dark berry color it was. Turns out, I actually really love it! The product isn’t as dark as I thought and you can layer it to get a darker look. I also loved the way it made my lips tingle.

Retail Price:  $27

You can find it HERE


Crown Glam Metals Eyeshadow Palette


I really like these colors. This is the second big palete I have relieved from BoxyCharm and I just love getting them! Unfortunately, this palete was delivered with one of the colors completely smashed.

Retail Price: 29.99

You can find it HERE




I really enjoyed all of the products in my box this month. The best part about BoxyCharm is you get to try products you may not normally buy. I have had a lot of fun playing around with different makeup looks.  The total retail amount for the products in my box was $152.99! I got all of the products for $21!!!

Join BoxyCharm today by clicking HERE… I promise you won’t regret it!


How Baby Steps Helped Me Lose Weight

How Baby Steps Helped Me Lose Weight

Hi guys!

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Last week, I talked about why I’m not setting new years resolutions, and what I am doing instead. If you missed that post you can check it out HERE.

Baby Steps

Today I wanted to talk a little more about baby steps. Back in October, after months of STRUGGLING to lose weight, I decided I would start going to the gym. At the time, I was working a full-time night job at a hospital,  so most of the time I was so exhausted I couldn’t even think straight. I had been searching Pinterest for weight loss success stories. Most tips I found said ” workout five to six days a week”. I could absolutely could not make that work with my schedule. I mean, I was working full time, plus running a photography business plus raising four kids. Five days a week at the gym wasn’t going to happen for me.


I ended up finding a workout program that I felt was a good fit for me… but the program was a five workouts a week type of thing. I decided to use the program but modify it to my needs. Instead of working  out five days a week, I worked out when I could. I aimed for three days a week. Some weeks, I only got to the gym twice a week. But every single week, I worked out at least twice. Even though working out three times a week doesn’t sound too hard, it was for me. It was hard to find the time. It was hard to find the motivation. It was hard to find the energy.

But I just kept going.

I found myself getting stronger every single time I worked out. Suddenly, 20 minutes on the stairmaster didn’t make me feel like I was going to die.  The five-pound weights I had started out with became eight pounds, and then ten. I started to feel more confidant every time I walked into the gym.

Working out was my first  baby step.  I didn’t change anything else. I just started going to the gym. I still ate the same foods. I still ate the same amounts.  I still drank Dr Pepper. It’s all about the baby steps. Now, three months later, going to the gym has become part of my routine. I actually look forward to it.



Here are my results from three months of work-outs. I did mostly strength training and about an hour of cardio a week.

weightloss collage

I still have weight to lose but I have lost about 15 pounds so far. I have also gained muscle in the process.

Before I started working out, I searched for weight loss blogs. I needed inspiration. i needed motivation. I needed help.

I found a lot of blogs that had incredible transformation pictures… but they were written after the person had lost weight.  I couldn’t find one that documented the process of loosing weight.  I didn’t want  a single post on how they lost the weight. I wanted it all.  I wanted the good days, the bad days, the scale and non scale victories. The more I looked, the more I started to understand why this may be…

Loosing weight is hard.

Starting a weight-loss journey is scary.

Trying to do it publicly is just down right intimidating.

But here’s the thing… We are all here on this earth struggling with something. Instead of trying to conquer our personal obstacles alone, why not help each other out? After wrestling with myself for a few weeks, I have decided to document my weight loss journey.

I feel very vulnerable doing this…

like it took me three days after writing this post to push the PUBLISH button.

However down right terrifying it feels to me, my hope is that we can form an accepting community to help each other. I will be posting about workouts, food, motivation and finding self-love along the way.

Check back next week for a post about the second baby step I have implemented in 2018.


How Making A Vision Board Will Help You Smash Your Goals This Year

How Making A Vision Board Will Help You Smash Your Goals This Year

It’s a New Year.. Yay! I am so excited about 2018. I have so many personal goals I will be working on this year as well as so many things planned for this blog. While my first instinct is to jump into the new year and my goals head first, I am doing things a little differently this year. I wrote a post about why I’m not setting New Year’s Resolutions this year, you can read it  HERE. 

So… no New Year’s Resolutions for me.  I still really like the idea of sitting down and thinking about the previous year as well as dreaming about the future one. I knew I wanted to make a vision board this year. I originally thought I would make one late one night when all my kids were in bed. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted everyone to make a vision board. I wanted the process of creating a vision board to be a new family tradition on New Year’s Day. In trying to explain vision boards to my children, I realized they first needed to understand what visualization is.


Here is my daughter, Alexa’s vision board. Her goals for the year are to read everyday, work on gymnastics and make her bed.


Visualization is a mental practice. It is the process of creating images in your mind of things you want to manifest. It is similar to meditation, only with more mental activity. When you meditate, you try not to think. When you visualize, you think of all the things in your life you want.  You repeat these images over and over and over in your mind. Your mind has the power to manifest anything. Visualization helps this process.

So What Exactly Is a Vision Board?

Simply put, a vision board is a board you create to display images that represent what you want in your life. Most vision boards have pictures, quotes and affirmations on them.


Here is my vision board for 2018. I will be working on fitness and meditation, eating more greens and reading more books. We are currently in the process of buying a home so that is one there was well. I also have several uplifting quotes as well as daily affirmations.

Why Should I Make A Vision Board?

A vision board will create a space where you can display your visualizations. Placed in an area you will see several times a day, a vision board is a constant reminder of all the things you desire.

Let’s say you start the new year with new goals you are working toward. Well six weeks later, after a rough day at work and an even rougher commute home, you walk in the door, and fall into the couch while searching Netflix for some entertainment to get your mind off the day. You lay there for hours watching mindless TV and forgetting about everything else. You eat dinner, and stumble to bed. You lay in bed thinking about your awful day and dreading tomorrow which is bound to be just as bad.

You did nothing today to help you manifest your dreams.

Now, lets say you come home that same day, rough work, rough commute. You walk in the door and there, right where you can see it, is a vision board. Pictures of your dream vacation cover the board as well as affirmations and positive quotes. You still had a rotten day, but right there in front of your face is a reminder of everything you want in life.  You repeat one of the affirmations out loud to help you get out of your funk. ” There is no positive result through a negative attitude”. You say it over and over until you feel peace start taking over.  Having a vision board helps you clarify and concentrate your focus on your goals.


Here is my one year old, Ezra’s vision board. We obviously helped him although some of the artwork is his 🙂

How Do I Make A Vision Board?

There are no rules to vision boards. You are free to get as creative as you wish.  Most people set goals in different areas of their lives.  Here are some examples

Vision Board Categories

  •  Spiritual
  • Family
  • Career
  • School
  • Personal Growth
  • Travel
  • Financial
  • Health

Gather some supplies. Magazines, glue, poster board, markers, etc. Find pictures, quotes, drawings of things that represent your goals. Add everything to your vision board. Put the vision board somewhere you will see it a lot.

For more tips and ideas on vision boards, follow my pinterest board.




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.