Happy Wednesday Y’all!
I’ve received tons of messages recently asking for tips on how to get through those first few weeks after having a baby especially once your husband goes back to work! I think I may have actually done a post like this when Hayes was a newborn but I figured I’d put another post together for y’all because, well, you can never have enough encouragement as a new mom!

I remember the day Kyle went back to work like it was yesterday…
Before I had Hayes I was SO scared of when that day would come.
Would I be able to handle him by myself? Would I cry all day and beg Kyle to come home? Would I be a good mom? What the heck were we going to do all day?!

Hayes was born on a Sunday morning (3:35AM) and Kyle stayed home with us for that first week, he had planned on taking two weeks off but ended up staying home the week before Hayes was born because our doctor had told us that he could come any minute..and being first time parents we took that VERY seriously and I didn’t want Kyle to leave my side in case I went into labor.

After Hayes was born we had visitors NONSTOP, like for real, it felt like every hour of every day someone new was coming over! Which was honestly, SO awesome… but also really overwhelming and totally exhausting.
I remember being a little excited to have Hayes all to myself and finally see what it would be like, BUT of course also very nervous about it. That Monday morning came quickly and I remember waking up and feeling totally fine, I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I’d be and I felt confident that we’d be just fine. I remember nursing Hayes in bed that morning and Kyle kissing us both goodbye, I was absolutely fine until the front door shut…I immediately burst into tears (HELLO hormones).
I wasn’t scared or nervous, I just missed Kyle already. We had just experienced the most incredible thing together and been side by side nonstop being a team and learning and growing together for two weeks straight. Our relationship grew and strengthened so much that week Hayes was born and gosh I missed Kyle SO much when he left us for work…
(For those of you messaging me about how our marriage has changed since having a baby, I talk about that on this blog post {HERE})

If you’re not a mama yet, but will be soon, you’ll learn VERY quickly that motherhood is full of ups and downs, there are really great days and there are really bad days…BUT even on the really really bad days there are still good moments, and I’ve learned that those moments are what you’ve got to cling onto when you’re about to lose your mind or start to consider selling your baby on instagram. (no joke, I literally told (shouted at) Hayes if he didn’t stop crying I was going to sell him…#momoftheyear)

There will be days where you will feel like superwoman and your child behaves perfectly, you shower and put makeup on, you clean the house and do the laundry, and you feel like you WERE MADE FOR THIS. And then there are other days where your baby won’t stop crying and the house is a mess and your dog won’t stop barking and you stink and haven’t had time to eat and you call and text your husband all day long in tears begging him to come home and help you.
We all have those days, all of us!

Motherhood can be extremely lonely and I know I’ve talked to y’all about this before but there are a few different things I did at the beginning that really helped me get through each day! I remember getting overwhelmed with visitors coming every day and I was honestly totally over it and couldn’t wait for Hayes and I to just have some time to ourselves! But once the visitors stopped coming, I’m not going to lie, I totally felt sad. So if people want to come hold your baby so you can shower, or want to bring you coffee or whatever LET THEM!
Tips for surviving:
#1 GO OUTSIDE – this is so so important. Fresh air is so good and it really does help when you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, sad, tired, you name it…do yourself a favor if you’re a new mom and go on a walk, or sit in your backyard or on your front porch because I’m telling you it is SO much better than being locked inside your house all day.

#2 Get in the car and listen to music – If you have a baby that loves the car and falls asleep as soon as you turn on the engine, TAKE ADVANTAGE of it! Even if you don’t actually go to a store or public place, get in your car and drive around and listen to music or get yourself a milkshake (you deserve it), I swear a car ride with some good music is good for the soul.

#3 Join a facebook group or some kind of community for new moms – If you don’t have friends that are going through the same thing as you or people that can relate to you, you will feel SO ALONE. I was extremely lucky and had a good amount of friends going through the same thing as me or friends that had just gone through the same thing but also having all of you on here and on Instagram to chat with or ask questions was seriously so incredibly helpful.

#4 Start your day with Jesus and coffee. In the beginning when I was extra hormonal and extra exhausted I would always start my mornings with worship music and I swear it would always put me in a better mood and make me feel so grateful no matter how tough our night was. And well, coffee is everything…

#5 Stop putting so much pressure on yourself to have it all together – This may be the most important tip, the absolute worst thing you can do to yourself as a new mom is compare yourself to other moms. Everyones story is different, everyones baby is different. The moms you see on social media with perfectly posed pictures and beautifully decorated spotless houses are a freaking hot mess too they just know how to hide it! Y’all should see the amount of laundry I let pile up each week, its absurd. And don’t even get me started on the dog hair all over E V E R Y T H I N G. I post cute outfits on Instagram pretty often but day to day? I’m wearing the ugliest/most comfortable granny panties with a huge tee shirt, no make up, and dirty hair. So embrace the chaos mamas, we’re all just doing our best, and YOU are doing great and deserve a really nice prize.

For those of you that will become a mama soon or are in that newborn phase, HANG IN THERE!
I promise you it does get easier, and as each month passes your baby will just get cuter and cuter and more fun!
I still learn new things every day but I also feel like I’m really getting the hang of this whole “mom” thing,
and heck I feel pretty proud of myself and YOU should too!
We are 5.5 months in and we are all sleeping through the night (since a few days ago, shout out to Jesus)
Hoping it stays that way, but not counting on it because as soon as we all get an awesome routine going Hayes decides to go through a growth spurt, or developmental leap, or starts teething or SOMETHING and throws us all off.
BUT, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Mom life is the best life.

Okay y’all,
The post that SO MANY of you have been waiting for!!
I really really hope this post doesn’t disappoint and answers all of your questions, BUT if it doesn’t, please feel free to comment/email/DM me if you have any questions whatsoever!!

Before I get started I HAD to show y’all my outfit from last weekends rehearsal dinner…
I felt more confident than I have in a WHILE and I figured that needed to be documented!
I’m completely obsessed with this rainbow dress and I’m going to wear it AS MUCH as possible while it’s still hot outside.
Can’t wait to dress it down and pair it with some cute sneakers soon.



 

Okay so, I really wanted to wait and do this post when I was 100% back in shape BUT I’m getting overwhelmed with all of the DM’s asking about what I’ve been doing to lose the baby weight SO I figured I would share a little about what I’ve been doing to slowly get rid of it and what my long term plans and goals are!!

First things first, I gained about 35 lbs during my pregnancy and I really didn’t do much working out, which I regret!
I did a good amount of walking and would very very occasionally do some body weight exercises at home BUT the next time around I really want to try and work out through my entire pregnancy…
Because working out again when you haven’t worked out in over a year is NOT easy… it actually freaking sucks haha

So the first 6 weeks after Hayes was born I really wasn’t even thinking about losing weight. I was in full on new mom mode and just soaking up everything and appreciating my body for what it had just done!

However, I swear breastfeeding helped me tremendously those first few weeks when it comes to weight loss! I started going on little walks as soon as I felt up for it just to get my body moving, but BE CAREFUL and do not overdo it in those first few weeks! I was super sore one morning and way overdid it on one of my walks so I had to take a break for a week or so. Giving birth is SERIOUS business and your body needs plenty of time to heal, so seriously y’all, do not rush into working out!!
As far as eating goes, I feel like my main food source was straight carbs the first 3 months of Hayes’s life,
I seriously couldn’t get enough carbs and they were the only thing that satisfied me.
Breastfeeding hunger is no joke!
I kind of just ate what I wanted and then as soon as I was cleared to work out again I continued to eat what I wanted but was way more aware of my portions and wouldn’t overdo it, especially at night!

I’ve worked out a good amount since having Hayes but I’m definitely not as consistent as I’d like to be!
I think the hardest part for most people is finding the motivation to get up and get moving…especially for new exhausted moms!
But now, on top of that, I have to find the TIME. Hayes is always pretty consistent with his morning nap so I’ve learned that I need to do my work out during that time frame or it most likely won’t get done!
I usually use that time for blogging or household stuff but in order to make sure I get a work out in I’ve had to switch up our schedule a little bit, but y’all, I am SO MUCH HAPPIER and more energetic on the days that I get a work out in!

Alright, WHAT WORKOUTS HAVE I BEEN DOING?! 

Before I get started I just want to preface this and say I AM NOT trying to sell this to y’all.
I am “technically” still a coach (became one a few years ago so I could get discount on the shakes) and if you do order stuff through my links I will get a small commission, but y’all, I genuinely SWEAR by these work outs and this shake and I probably won’t ever get a gym membership again because I believe in the program so much.
Honestly, throughout my pregnancy I gained weight pretty quickly at first but I was NEVER worried because I knew exactly how I was going to lose it all afterwards.

Okay, so anyways…
A few years ago I decided to order a challenge pack from BeachBody and it completely changed my body.
After about 2-3 months of doing the at home work outs and drinking their protein/superfood shake for lunch every day I was legitimately in THE best shape of my life. Please don’t be confused though, I DID put in the work every day (5 days a week) and this is not some “miracle program” where you can drink some shake and get abs. This is a program that is designed to help you create a habit of working out regularly and living a healthy lifestyle, it provides you with awesome 30 minute work outs that can be done at home as well as a meal replacement shake that is packed full of superfoods. So basically, it’s teaching you to make better/healthier choices each day, which of course leads to a healthier body!
I have always struggled with eating junk or grabbing something quick (like an XL bag of hot cheetos) when I’m starving and having this shake on hand has been a total game changer, especially since becoming a mom. It’s full of nutrients and good things that your body needs and I have always sucked at making sure I get in all of my fruits and vegetable so I LOVE that I can quickly make a healthy shake after working out and know that I’m getting a ton of nutrients from it.

Now, yes I had heard of BeachBody before and I had even done some of their workout programs in high school and college, but for some reason I wasn’t a huge fan, they were either CRAZY hard or I just couldn’t get into it…but this one was different, no clue why, it just was…or maybe I was just super motivated. I don’t know what it was but it is hands down MY FAVORITE work out program.
So whenever I first started the program I decided to go with the 21 day fix challenge pack (work outs + shake) and after doing two rounds of that (6 weeks) I moved on to the 21 day fix extreme challenge pack and that’s really when I started noticing some muscle poppin’ and the love handles that I had been trying my entire life to get rid of finally disappear.
After having Hayes I just went straight into the extreme work outs again because they’re my favorite, did I have to modify some of the moves? YEP. Do they kick my butt? YEP. But I loved what they did to my body previously, so I’ve been doing those occasionally as well as drinking a shake for lunch every now and then.

(When I first did this work out program years ago I had AWESOME before and after photos but I can’t find them anywhere and I’m so disappointed…so I guess I’ll have to take some new ones for y’all!)

Since we have Hawaii coming up I really want to start being more consistent and get my butt back in shape.
I have lost the baby weight BUT my tummy is nowhere near as toned as it used to be and my booty is pretty sad right now.
So starting Monday I’m going to restart the 21 day fix extreme program and I’m super pumped about it!!
I’m going to do two rounds of it which means I have exactly 6 weeks to get my butt in shape for our trip!
I’m also going to start having the shake for lunch every single day instead of just occasionally.

BeachBody has TONS of awesome programs but the 21DF programs are definitely a favorite of mine AND I’ve done them before and know that they can change your body significantly if you’re consistent! I’ll be keeping y’all updated with everything and will of course let y’all know when I decide to try out a different program of theirs!
If you have any questions on the work outs or the shake or if you want to start a program with me and keep each other accountable just holler at ya girl!

As far as my diet goes, I definitely am not super strict!
I love a good queso + margarita night and pizza and I are totally BFFs.
But I really do try to eat “good” most of the time!

I typically have some oatmeal + an English muffin every morning (& fruit if we have any!)
Shakeology for lunch
And for dinner we’ve been doing Blue Apron!
It is SO easy and convenient and you can even choose your meals for the upcoming weeks.
I love it because I am NOT a cook and trying to come up with meals to cook every week totally stresses me out…
Bonus, the meals are usually super healthy and always delicious!!

I’m sure I’ll get asked this – I drink the Vegan Vanilla shakeology! and I get the bag instead of the individual packets.
I’ve tried both chocolate and strawberry but I like the vanilla because you can make so many different recipes out of it!
If you’re thinking about getting a work out program and also want to try the shakes make sure you order a challenge pack and don’t order them individually, you’ll save $$ that way!!

Okay y’all, that’s it for today!!
Love you and thanks for stopping by!


There is something about becoming a mom that completely changes you.
Ever since Hayes was born I’m different, in the best possible way.
There really is no way of explaining it, or pinpointing exactly what has changed, but once you become a mama,
you’ll know what I’m talking about.

It is mine and Kyles responsibility to raise Hayes to become a wonderful human being and incredible husband one day. And we don’t take the job lightly!

Hayes is only 5 months old so he’s not learning any major life lessons right now BUT,
as his mom I am constantly praying for him and the man that I hope he becomes.
There is SO much negativity in this world and evil things are ridiculously easy to access these days thanks to technology, which gives me soooo much anxiety.
(please just stay a baby forever Hayes Wyatt)

I was chatting with my mom the other day and she mentioned some friends of hers having
a special bible verse that you pray over your child, a “life verse” and I absolutely fell in love with that idea.
When it came to choosing a verse for Hayes I had SUCH a hard time.
So I’ve decided to change it //add on each year, as he grows into his own little person.

Hayes’s current life verse is Isaiah 26:3
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
I pray every day that Hayes doesn’t get my anxiety, I pray that he trusts in the Lord always.
That he looks to the Lord for wisdom & advice first, before he comes to me or Kyle.

I’m not going to lie, it is NOT every day that I’m able to sit down and spend time with Jesus.
My talks with Jesus are usually short and sporadic throughout the day.
But I wanted to share a few different books with y’all that I HIGHLY recommend!
Whether you sit down for a few minutes every day, or for a few minutes each week, I promise they will fuel you,
make you a better parent, and help you pray for your children!

#1. The Power of a Praying Parent

I can’t recommend this book enough, it is SO SO good and relatable and empowering.
As parents we always want to pray for our children and their future, but with lack of sleep and busy schedules sometimes it’s hard to know where to start or what exactly to pray for…this book is INCREDIBLE and I promise you will be so thankful you ordered it.

#2 Embraced-100 Devotions to know God is holding you close

This devotional is SO good!!! and it’s for anyone!

#3. Treasuring Christ when your hands are full

I haven’t started this one yet but I am SO excited too, and will be keeping y’all updated on how I like it!
I’m pretty positive I’m going to L O V E it because it’s an “encouraging book for frazzled moms”, which um,
HELLO, that’s me.

I know this post is totally random and short and unorganized BUT for some reason I really felt like it needed to go live TODAY.
No clue why, but here we are!
Hope all of you have THE BEST weekend.

I have mentioned a few times now that we LOVE essential oils and that I diffuse them and use them on Hayes every single day! A lot of you have been wanting more details on the oils we use and how we use them,
so that’s what todays post is all about!
{link for starter kit is at the bottom of this post!}

I’ve started to become more aware of the dangers of chemically filled products since Hayes was born.
These oils have been a lifesaver for our health AND my peace of mind. We use them for sleep, for occasional tummy aches, for soothing his skin, for calming him down, for boosting his immune system – ALL THE THINGS.
And I mean, just look at that little dude…he’s the happiest & healthiest baby because of it!
We diffuse them, apply them, and you can take them internally too. I can’t recommend this starter kit enough. There’s actually a KILLER sale going on until Friday, where you get a second diffuser for 40% off with the purchase of your starter kit.
The oils that come in the starter kit are MUSTS, I’ll never be without these – for Hayes and for myself!

Hayes will be 5 months old next week and he is teething like crazy,
the drool & the fussiness are on another level and nothing breaks my heart more than knowing he’s in pain.
I recently started using Copaiba and it is a total game changer!!
Here’s a quick summary of how I use the oils that come with the premium starter kit!!
(For Hayes)
Copaiba: Excellent for teething
Stress away: Helps calm nerves and fussiness
Lavender: Helps Hayes sleep better/more soundly – Also smells freaking AMAZING
Raven: For healthy breathing during seasonal changes (I’m pretty positive Hayes got my allergies, sorry dude!!)
DiGize: For happy tummies
Thieves: For a healthy immune system

(For me, all of the above, PLUS..)
Panaway: 
For muscle soothing & relieving head tension
Peppermint: For first trimester queasiness & healthy digestions (I also LOVE diffusing this)
Citrus Fresh: For clean aromas
Lemon: For cleansing my body and taking off sticky residue (love diffusing this with thieves for a clean smelling house)

If you’re planning on getting a starter kit I also HIGHLY suggest their baby wipes..
We have been using them from the beginning and Hayes has NOT ONCE ever had a diaper rash.
Also, I totally use them as makeup remover wipes occasionally!
If you’re currently pregnant you MUST start drinking Ningxia red…
I drank it throughout my pregnancy and it made me feel so much better knowing all of that healthy goodness was going into my body and nourishing my growing baby every single day.

I’m pretty much obsessed with all of the YL seedlings products as well.
We use the wipes and the baby wash every single day!

We put Gentle Baby oil on Hayes’s tummy every night and y’all I JUST DISCOVERED that you can dilute it
with V-6 vegetable oil and massage it into your skin for a healthier complexion.

We use a ton of other oils BUT these are the main ones I use for Hayes, and I wanted to get this post up ASAP while this major deal was still going on so if y’all have ANY questions whatsoever leave a comment here OR leave me a comment on my most recent Instagram post. Can’t wait to chat with y’all!

Here’s the link to order the Premium Starter Kit.
-Make sure “member” is selected.
-Then select Premium Starter Kit (the one with the 10 everyday oils collection and the diffuser), or the duo diffuser.
>>Signup link: Click {HERE}<<

Happy Monday y’all, hope everyone had a relaxing weekend! Ours was busy, but lots of fun!

I’m super excited because this week on the blog I’m going into detail and answering some of my
MOST FREQUENTLY asked questions.
One question I get multiple times a day is, “how do you edit your photos?!”
I’ve responded to hundreds of DM’s and even shared on stories before on how I edit, BUT figured I would do a full blog post for y’all today and include some before and after photos as well!

I recently started taking my “Instagram game” a little more seriously and completely fell in love
with the presets that Dreamy Presets has to offer…with that being said,
I’m so pumped to be partnering with them to celebrate their two year anniversary today!!
The best news is, I’VE GOT A DISCOUNT CODE for those of you interested in purchasing some presets!!
You can use code “MONICADREAMY” for 15% off for the next 48 hours!
Head straight to their site {here} to check out all of the different presets they have available.

I’ve been using their Millennial Pink Presets for about 3 months now & not only does it make “editing” SO much easier & faster but it gives my feed a cohesive look that I just L O V E.

Here are a few before and after photos using the Millennial Pink Presets! These are hands down my fav!
I take all of my pictures on my iPhone in all different settings and lighting, every now and then I will need to adjust the brightness of my photo if the picture turns out too saturated/orangey but for the most part I just apply the preset and I’m all done!!

 

Before:

After: Edited with Millennial Pink Presets

Before:

After: Edited with Millennial Pink Presets

Before:

After: Edited with Millennial Pink Presets

In my opinion the presets always turn out better when you’re outdoors and in good lighting thats not too shaded and not too harsh, here’s an example of a photo where it was a little more shaded.
The preset looks a tad different, but still great!
Before:

After: Edited with Millennial Pink Presets

Dreamy Presets has 6 gorgeous styles for you to choose from and I promise you will NOT be disappointed with any of them!
Feel free to leave me a comment here or on my most recent instagram post with any questions you may have,
I’d be happy to answer them for you!

And make sure you check back here tomorrow because I’ll be answering another FAQ for y’all!!