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!!

I did a post like this back when I was pregnant but now that Hayes is actually here and I’m constantly needing new clothes for him {because he just WONT.STOP.GROWING.} I feel like I’m becoming more of an expert! I’m all about finding deals and I’m not about spending ridiculous amounts of money on his clothes especially at the rate he’s growing, BUT every now and then if something is just *to die for* I’ll spend a little more…
Actually now that I think about it, I probably find things that are *to die for* a little too often…
haha whoopsies!!

#1  Little Bipsy  

(Use code “Monica15” for 15% off your order!)
Hayes has a few items from Little Bipsy and I LOVE them. The quality is excellent and they’re so soft and comfy…I feel like Little Bipsy just has really “cool” clothing and I’m obsessed with the neutral colors.
Just tap the photo to shop the romper that Hayes is wearing below! That’s one of my absolute favorites!
It’ll take you straight to the shop and you can see what I mean by how “cool” all of the clothes are!

#2 Baby Gap
Hands down my absolute FAVORITE place to buy clothes for Hayes.

#3 H&M
H&M has such great prices, and I’ve found a ton of really cute things for Hayes there!

#4 JCPenney


Y’all, I havent stepped foot inside a JCPeney in YEARS but I’ve gotta thank my mom for this one.
They have THE best deals all the time and carry some great baby brands!

#5 Nordstrom

Y’all I L O V E baby shoes and feel like they can make any basic onesie turn into a precious outfit so I’m linking some of our favs below!! 

We also love shopping at Zara, Old Navy and Target (duh) but Hayes just woke up and I know a ton of you have been waiting for this post for a while now so I wanted to get it up ASAP!!

Hope this is helpful and hope you can find some precious items for your sweet baby boys!!

Sheesh, it’s been a while since I got a blog post up, and I’m SO sorry about that y’all!!
Mom life is ALL consuming. I’ve been so distracted and honestly, so lazy.
My mind has been going crazy with all kinds of blog post ideas but I haven’t sat down and taken the time to just be still and W R I T E.
I’ve also found myself prioritizing social media lately and I definitely don’t want to make that a habit.
This blog of mine is so special to me and I love that I can come on here and express myself and share my experiences and feelings and life with y’all, of course I can do that on social media as well…
But the fact that this Blog is MINE, I own it, I created it, and pour my heart into it regularly…
It’s just an extra special place!

Well, ANYWAYS…Let’s get on to today’s post…
I know a lot of you who follow me are currently pregnant or are new mamas!
So I wanted to share a few of mine and Hayes’s favorite things!!

Favorite baby essentials:

Favorite Diapers: Up&Up
We’ve tried a few (4) different brands and the Up&Up diapers have been the best for Hayes, I love how they fit him and he very rarely has any leaks and they’re seriously SO soft!!

Favorite Bottles: Munchkin Latch (currently using level 3 nipple)
Okay y’all, if you follow me on Instagram you know we had a ROUGH time getting Hayes to take a bottle…I ended up purchasing a bunch of different brands and

Favorite Swaddle: The Ollie Swaddle
Hands down, no questions asked, we use it every single night and he can’t escape from it! It’s made of a breathable fabric and is velcro so it’s SUPER easy, even for newbies!

Favorite Pacifier: Wubbanub 
Hayes has NEVER been into pacifiers, he took a Natursutten occasionally but I would always have to hold it in his mouth for him. He has completely fallen in love with his wubba, holds it himself and gets SO excited when he sees it! I think the stuffed animal aspect helps comfort him and it’s the sweetest thing ever!

Favorite Carrier: Boppy Carrier
I also have a Solly and a Wildbird carrier but the Boppy carrier is more sturdy and seriously SO much easier// more convenient!!! Solly and wildbird are great for around the house, but then again so is the boppy haha

Favorite Wipes: Young Living Lavender Wipes // or Pampers Pure
I love everything about the young living wipes, they smell phenomenal, they are a bit pricey though and you need to have an account to order some, I highly suggest ordering the starter kit, you get all of the main oils (we use oils for bedtime/diffusing/tummy issues etc) We love pampers pure wipes as well!

Favorite Blankets: Little Unicorn Quilts and Carters Swaddle blankets
We have 2 of the Little Unicorn quilts in different prints and we seriously LOVE them and use them every day for different things – they’re perfect for laying down for tummy time & naps and GREAT for when it’s cooler outside. These swaddle blankets are also super soft and cozy but more lightweight and easy to throw in the diaper bag//take anywhere!

Favorite Play Mat: Simple + Not obnoxious or Fun & Interactive
Okay, this Pottery Barn play mat is by far the cutest//least obnoxious play mat ever invented and Hayes loves it!! I just purchased this interactive one after seeing so many other people share their babies using it and having SO much fun, Hayes hasn’t used it yet but I have a feeling we’re both going to have SO much fun with it!

Favorite Burp Cloths: These swaddles make excellent burp cloths
They’re big and absorbent and get the job done!

Favorite Bath Soap: Honest shampoo & body wash

Favorite Lotion: 100% Organic Coconut Oil
Been lathering little dude in this since he was born and it’s been so good for his skin!

Favorite Pump Accessories: THIS hands free pumping bra & this Haakaa pump & THESE storage bags 

Favorite Diaper Bag: Fawn Design & Freshly Picked 
I find backpack diaper bags WAY more convenient and I honestly can’t even imagine using a regular bag.

Favorite Jammies: Anything that ZIPS! Like this or these

Favorite Towels: Cloud Island
I have a severe obsession with hooded towels…like it’s bad, I think we have 928 hooded towels…but they’re SO DANG CUTE.

Favorite thing to put Hayes in while I shower/get ready: Bjorn Bouncer & Dock A Tot 

Our Bassinet: Halo 

You can easily shop all of the products I mentioned by clicking on the picture below!

If I missed anything that y’all are curious about leave me a comment and I’ll add it to the post as soon as I can!!
Hope all of you have a fun & relaxing weekend!!

Happy Monday! Kyle and I attended our really good friends wedding this weekend and it was SO unbelievably beautiful. Weddings ALWAYS make me cry…
I have always been the girl crying whether I personally know the couple or not…
Mainly the moment when the bride walks down the aisle, it’s just such a special and exciting moment and I always think back to when that was ME and how excited I was to see Kyle waiting for me.

These days, weddings take on a whole new meaning, I no longer see myself as the bride,
I now picture myself as the mother of the groom and HOLY SMOKES, whenever the mother + son dance happens you better believe I am in the corner BAWLINGGGG like a baby.

Life is so different now, I am so different now, we are so different now.
And sometimes “different” is a really really really good thing.

So today I’m sharing how our marriage has changed since Hayes came into our lives.

I will never forget all of the little details and special moments Kyle and I shared together the day that Hayes was born and we became parents.
I remember seeing Kyle hold Hayes for the first time, I remember staring at him while he was staring at our son and just being in disbelief at how any of this was real life.
There are no words to explain the amount of pure joy I experienced that day,
I remember thinking that it was all too good to be true, how in the world did I get so lucky?!

My love for Kyle grew tremendously after going through the whole labor and delivery process together.
It’s funny because so many of us women, me included, don’t want our husbands to look “down there” when we’re having a baby. I told Kyle I didn’t want him too because I was scared he’d never be able to look at me the same…
Well, he ended up being down there, right in the middle of the action, front row seat…
He watched our son come into this world and I’m pretty sure he sees me in a completely different way now,
but you know what? That’s actually a GOOD thing. He witnessed firsthand what my body is capable of.
He got to witness how strong I am. I can’t tell y’all how many times he told me he was proud of me that day,
and honestly I have never been more proud of myself.
Having a baby is the hardest, most intense, scary, painful, amazing, wonderful, empowering thing in the world and I’m so glad Kyle was there with me every single step of the way.

Fast forward to our first few days home, I was SO incredibly emotional.
Those first few nights/weeks are definitely the sweetest but also the most challenging.
I remember Kyle would walk into our room and I would just be staring at Hayes and sobbing uncontrollably because I was so in awe at this beautiful life that Kyle and I created and that the Lord blessed us with.
This sounds crazy, but the happiness/thankfulness that I felt was almost too much for my heart to handle.
Now that my hormones have settled down a bit I’m able to handle those feelings much better haha
But goodness I just could not keep myself together those first few days // weeks!

The first week or so was definitely hard but when it comes to our relationship we were still in that “honeymoon” phase of the whole new baby thing. Kyle took a week off work to stay home and help,
he originally planned on taking two weeks off but he ended up staying home the entire week before Hayes was born because we thought he was coming any minute!

That week while Kyle was home was hands down one of the best experiences of my life.
We grew so much together in that week and Kyle was SO helpful and encouraging.
I remember just crying all the time when I would look at Kyle because I knew I wouldn’t have survived that first week without his support. When you’re breastfeeding it’s honestly hard for other people to help you because you’re doing it NONSTOP and it’s kind of just something that you and your baby have to figure out, but gosh Kyle went above and beyond to make sure he was there for me in whatever way possible that first week and it was AMAZING and much needed. He changed WAY more diapers than I did and was always asking me what I needed or what he could do to help. It made me see Kyle in an entirely different way. He knew how fragile I was and he was extra gentle with me and my emotions and went out of his way to speak praise over me and tell me how great I was doing.
(literally crying right now thinking about all of this)

The first week home with your baby is a complete learning experience, not only just trying to figure out what the heck to do with this tiny human but also figuring out your roles as parents and who does what.

Gosh, I remember my first meltdown like it was yesterday, Hayes was probably 4 days old and I really hadn’t been sleeping whatsoever at night and my hormones were all over the place.
Hayes was crying… screaming really. I had changed him, fed him, done everything I could to soothe him and NOTHING was working.
I remember being SO upset and so frustrated and just feeling defeated.
It’s extremely discouraging as a new mama when you can’t calm/soothe you’re own baby.
I just started sobbing and angrily yelled “JUST TAKE HIM!!!!” and basically threw him at Kyle.
I wish I could say that was the only time I did that, BUTTTT it wasn’t…
{For those of you that won’t have any help, the best advice I can give you when situations like this occur is to set the baby in a safe place and step outside and take some deep breaths.
If you’ve already changed, fed, made sure the baby wasn’t hurt or being pinched and attempted your best soothing methods and the baby is still screaming and you are about to lose it, set the baby in the crib or a safe place, walk outside, take some deep breaths, and just give yourself a minute to breathe and calm down and then go back in and try again!}

One thing I found interesting was that Kyle and I both would have our “melt down” moments, but they were never ever at the same time.
If I was super frustrated and losing it and hysterical Kyle was calm as a cucumber and would immediately take Hayes and would be super patient and soothing to him.
Whenever Kyle would get frustrated and angry and just be “done” I was always there to happily take over.
I don’t know if that was a coincidence, a God thing, or just what happens when you’re parents.
But anytime one of us would lose our cool the other was perfectly fine and in good spirits and would be able to take over.
In those moments it would be a bit chaotic because one of us would be at our wits end but it was also always really beautiful because if we looked past all of the stress we were able to see how great of a team we are and it was such an awesome feeling.
Every time one of us was struggling, the other would always be there to carry the weight until the other was strong enough again, I can’t tell you how many times during those HARD and LONG and frustrating first few weeks we’d just look at each other and say “we make a really good team…”

It definitely hasn’t all been rainbows and butterflies when it comes to our relationship as new parents though.
It was a huge adjustment for us when Kyle went back to work.
I remember his first day back, I was SO excited for him to get home and I had these super high expectations. Hayes was really good that day and I managed to clean the house and even make myself look decent! I figured as soon as he got home he would just run up to Hayes and grab him and love on him because he missed him so much all day and then he’d be amazed at how good the house looked and ask me how the day went and tell me how proud he was of me etc etc….
Well, Kyle got home and of course said hi to us but immediately sat at the table, got his computer out, and had to do more work, didn’t ask how the day went, didn’t notice the clean house and just wasn’t as excited as I thought he would be to see us. I remember my feelings were SO hurt and I felt so disappointed.

I was so used to him being extra sweet and fully present and energetic and willing to help in any way possible and that’s what I was expecting when he got home…of course he was still sweet, but it was just different.
Kyle going back to work was really hard on me because his personality changed, mainly because he was just exhausted and his desire to help at all hours wasn’t quite there anymore because he knew he had to get up early and work all day, which is totally understandable and I don’t blame him one bit, but goodness gracious it was hard!
I kept my feelings to myself at first
(& by at first I mean the first hour he was home, then I broke down in tears…surprise surprise lol)
I was honest and told him how I felt disappointed that he wasn’t SO excited to see us when he got home and how he didn’t notice the clean house etc and he apologized and of course said that he’s ALWAYS excited to see us, that he was just completely worn out.

Communication is extremely important in relationships and even more important when you become parents. You’ve got to be on the same page with your partner and you’ve got to be open and honest about your thoughts and feelings, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed or stressed or disappointed so being open with one another about that will only make things easier.
Once Kyle got used to being back at work he was back to himself, it just took him a few days to adjust.

There also comes a time when you may feel resentment towards your husband, particularly if you’re breastfeeding. I can’t tell you how many times i’ve been up all hours of the night nursing Hayes and Kyle is snoring next to me and I seriously wanted to just throat punch him hahaha
I maaaayyyyy or may not be guilty of “accidentally” elbowing him while changing nursing positions in the middle of the night.
Oh, and if your husband ever complains about how tired he is you will most likely start thinking about all of the different ways you could murder him…totally normal.
Having a newborn comes with a WHOLE lot of extreme feelings for us mamas, you will either be so in awe and in love and thankful for your husband or you will want to whack him across the head with a stick.
All normal, as long as you don’t actually harm your husband…
however “accidentally” elbowing him to wake him up when he’s snoring and you haven’t slept in 4 days is fair game.

There really isn’t an easy way to explain how your relationship changes when you become parents.
It’s so special having this little human that’s a part of both of you and it’s so special having this little human that you both love more than you ever even knew your heart was capable of loving.
Having Hayes has definitely brought us closer as husband and wife,
of course Kyle and I love each other SO much and we love our families SO much…
but there really is nothing like the love you have for your child, it’s definitely a special kind of love.

As parents you both play very important roles in that sweet babes life, but there’s definitely a BIG difference in the way a mama thinks and the way a dad thinks, this can make things hard because men and women think so differently so it’s hard for men to understand why us mamas do or don’t do certain things.

I am on high alert at all times, I can’t tell you how irritating it is when Kyle says “just nap when Hayes naps!!!”
I FREAKING WISH it worked like that. My mind never turns off during the day, so when Hayes is napping I’m thinking about all of the things around the house that need to be done and I’m thinking about when he’s going to need to eat next and constantly checking to make sure he’s comfortable and breathing etc….

Another thing that’s changed is my want and need for affection/cuddles from Kyle.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love to cuddle on the couch every now and then.
BUT I have a baby on me or my boob pretty much all day long so once Kyle gets home I just want some time to myself, which is something he’s definitely had to get used too. Physical touch has always been extremely important and necessary to me but now that I’m being touched nonstop by a baby I am desperate for 10 minutes where my body is just my own and not being used for the comfort of others! haha

There have definitely been a lot of changes to our relationship since having a baby but I really think they’ve mostly all been positive. I actually think we get out and go on more dates now than we did before Hayes was here! Of course we bring Hayes with us but I still consider that a date, he’s still little so half the time we forget he’s there lol

We have our good days and bad days and we are so imperfect.
We still learn new things every day but the most important thing is that we’re learning and growing together, I think Kyle is hands down the best dad in the world and Kyle is constantly telling me how lucky Hayes is to have the best mom around. I can’t tell y’all how important it is to praise your partner and tell them they’re doing a good job, because being a parent is hard work. It’s physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting and to hear your partner tell you that you’re doing great is the best thing in the world and also just makes you feel more confident as a new parent.

Having a baby will definitely test your relationship but it doesn’t have to ruin it.
Work together as a team and make it clear what you expect from one another.
Be open and honest about your feelings.
Don’t expect your husbands to read your mind {guilty}, tell them what you need from them.
Don’t forget to love on your husbands, ask about their day, talk about things other than the baby.
and MAKE FRIENDS WITH OTHER NEW PARENTS.

I swear it is life changing being able to hang out with people who are in the same stage of life as you and can relate to ALL THE THINGS. This has been the most helpful thing for me especially, having new moms to talk too and hang out with and relate too. Being a new mama can be very lonely, having even just one friend who’s a mom is seriously so important and will make your life so much better and help you feel more sane.

Well guys, Hayes is waking up from his nap and we’re going to go get some fresh air and hang out in the backyard. I hope y’all enjoyed this post and I hope it helped you realize that becoming parents doesn’t mean your life is over or your relationship is doomed!

Watching my husband become a father has been one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed.
I have never loved Kyle more than I do in this moment and I know as we continue on this whole parenting journey I’m only going to continue loving him more and more and more.
It’s funny because you think your heart is only capable of loving someone so much and then you experience something new with them and it’s like you fall in love all over again but even harder than the last time.

CHEERS TO ALL THE NEW PARENTS OUT THERE,
YOU GOT THIS.