My journey with network marketing: where I’ve been and what’s to come

If you’re here reading this post you’re probably a friend, a customer, a follower, or someone that knows a bit of my story… but in case you’re not, I will do a little recap for you here. Please don’t just scroll to the bottom, as I’d love for you to hear these words.

In 2016, my first baby was born and it flipped my world completely upside down. We weren’t expecting it – in fact we had just moved across country for my job. I was a career woman through and through – working full time as an Account Supervisor on one of my marketing agencies largest and newest clients. Suddenly everything I had thought I wanted professionally, changed. I missed my baby and I wanted so badly to have the flexibility and freedom to spend more time with him while he was little. Parallel to this, my Dad was very very sick. He had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2013 but things took a horrible turn for the worse the same year that I had Calvin. By June 2017, he was gone and I was a changed person. They say grief and loss will do that to you…. I learned QUICKLY that life is too short 1.) to care what others think about me and my decisions and 2.) to be unhappy in my day to day life. It is up to us to take control if we want to make a change.

That same year, I found a solution and opportunity with a company called SeneGence International (the company that owns LipSense which you might be more familiar with.) I saw other women and moms with what I wanted – more money, more time, leaving their jobs, earning the company car reimbursement, leading others, investing in other women, etc. I’ve always had a knack for all things beauty & leadership so I jumped right in with both feet. That’s kind of how I am… if I’m going to do something, I’m going to give it 150%. Within 5 months I hit car qualification and by the end of 2017, I was putting in my resignation at my full time job. Less than 1% of distributors reach this level. I did it. I had taken a leap of faith and succeeded in what I was trying to accomplish.

Over the next year things were still going awesome – my team was growing, my customer base was growing, I was doing trainings for my team, traveling, attending conferences, and I loved it so much. It was my life. Sometime in 2019 – I can’t pinpoint exactly when, probably when I had Cora, my second baby, I started to realize that the back end business model and things being taught were no longer aligning with some of my beliefs about how a network marketing business should be run. (If you want more details on this just reach out to me and I’m happy to chat about those details and logistics.) I tried to overlook my bottom line for a long time because I couldn’t fathom the thought of giving up what I’d worked so hard at, starting over, ever leaving SeneGence or my team of at one point, 200 women. That was never my intention. Fast forward a few more months and these thoughts kept creeping in. Things didn’t seem to be flowing well anymore and my team was not duplicating – many women were getting hung up on the same things I was before they could even get started. I had a new baby, less hands, and I really had to get honest with myself about where my time was being spent.

I started talking to both new, old, and potential customers and I realized that what I’ve been sharing with SeneGence might not be what they’re looking for. I took a poll and asked what your deciding factors in make a beauty purchase were… the answers were price/affordability, clean ingredients, ease of ordering, and MOST said “all of the above.”

As much as I wanted everyone to love what I was offering – I couldn’t help but feel like maybe there was a better fit from both a business model and product standpoint. My passion is helping women feel extraordinary with the right products and knowledge of what they’re using. It’s to TEACH and show others through product knowledge and demos. Was I really sharing the “every day” products or a growing opportunity that my demographic might be interested in?

One thing I knew is that I was not giving up on network marketing or returning to a traditional 9-5 job. I have a new baby and a growing toddler that need me around – and I need the flexibility that only this industry can offer. I’ve spent years studying, learning, and becoming an expert in this field. I know it works because I did it. I know it works because even up until the end of 2019, my commission checks have been paying our bills. We can’t live without my network marketing income. I don’t have hours to put in for someone else but I can certainly put the time and effort I can offer, into an opportunity I believe in. I also knew I did NOT want to leave the beauty industry. I believe that outer beauty can help how we feel on the inside and that there is a lot to be said about a women feeling confident in her own skin.

The universe, god, whatever you believe in, must have heard my conversations and my prayers as a new opportunity literally came into my email inbox. It was from someone I didn’t know personally but trusted big time in the blogging, social media and business world. She knew things I didn’t know and don’t know – she studies market trends of companies and I had to hear about her newest venture.

The company she had moved to is still in the beauty category but there are a few things that really caught my eye and peaked my interest:

• The products are affordable without sacrificing quality. I’m talking like 1/4-1/3 the amount of products I’ve recommended in the past.

• The company represents “clean beauty” and follows European beauty standards, banning up to 1400 chemicals that aren’t banned in the US.

• The company is already successfully operating in hundreds of other markets but is new to the US as of 2019.

• The ordering process from both my end and my customers, is seamless and done via a website that is set up for me by the company upon signup.

• The product offering allows me to find less expensive and cleaner “dupes” for the SeneGence products I have come to know and love over the past 3 years. There is even some overlap.

• There is a clean baby line! Right up my alley.

I decided to try some products. What can it hurt, right? I ordered a full face of makeup for under $100. I was impressed by that and also skeptical – I wanted to hate everything so that my decision would be easier. So that I could get this pulling out of my mind and off my heart and be done with it. So that I didn’t have to risk disappointing people who trust me. So that I could stay where I felt safe and comfortable. So that I could coast along with what I had already built.

I’m not going to lie. Even after I tried my new makeup and cleanser and LOVED them, I boxed my new products up and was going to get rid of them. I tried so hard to push this away, but it just didn’t work. I was having dreams, the beauty influencer I was talking with was offering to help and teach me things I’ve never been taught, doors were opening. After a few weeks, I unsigned my management agreement with SeneGence, signed up with the new company for just $19.99 and decided I’m going to go all in.  The response from those I’ve talked to 1on1 has been nothing but supportive and congratulatory. I wanted to tell and talk to EVERY customer and friend 1on1, but it turns out there are a lot of you. If you’re wondering how I can go from one company directly to another – remember that network marketing is like a job would be to most others. It’s how I support my family and couldn’t have left without a researched plan.

When people ask what happened? Nothing happened – it’s just that nothing changes if you change nothing.

I’ve always felt like I have made good decisions for myself and my family, and in turn it has allowed me to make good monetary and business decisions for myself and my family. I’ve always felt I’ve been honest, open, trustworthy in my intentions. I’ve always taken calculated risks. In my heart of hearts I truly believe that this decision to pursue a new opportunity is not only the best decision for me, but for everyone involved…. my customers, my team, my future customers, my future team, and mostly, my babies – who I want to continue to stay home with.

…I once heard that if you found something you love and that others could benefit from it, you are doing a disservice if you don’t share it. 

So let’s share. I’m not good at keeping secrets. 

The new company I’m partnering with is called Farmasi US!

Here is the Jan-March 2020 beauty book if you want to browse a full catalog.

Here is my new shopping website if you want to scope it out this way.

So what’s next? Well I figure there are a few ways this could go….

You could decide to hate me forever and never trust me again.

You could sit back and watch skeptically as I start to do tutorials with new products.

You can sign up as my Farmasi Customer here for free and when you are ready to buy your account will be set up. If you need refills on any products, Senegence or not, I’d love to help you find a Farmasi alternative.

You can sign up as a Farmasi Beauty Influencer here for as low as $19.99 to get a 50% product discount and a free personal affiliate link to share with others. I’ll be doing another post about the opportunity soon.

If you are happy with Senegence and want to continue purchasing these products, you can do so here for the time being.

I’m sure there will be questions so feel free to reach out to me directly – I’d love to chat with you. If you’re surprised, so am I! But I am also extremely excited to get this show on the road in 2020! I’m excited to be excited again. It’s going to be an amazing year and I so appreciate your support.



Holiday Gift Guide for the Whole Fam {with Big Lots}

*This post is sponsored by Big Lots, but all thoughts and opinions here are my own. Thanks for your support!*
If you’ve been around here for a minute, you are well aware of my love for Big Lots. Whether I’m working with them or not, I am frequenting our updated location here in Cincinnati …so good! Lucky for me, I also get the pleasure of working with them this holiday season.
Christmas is just a couple of weeks away, so I have put together a gift guide of my favorite items. I walked every aisle and picked out awesome gift ideas for the entire family.

Your BIG LOTS Gift Guide!


1. Makeup Brush Holders – at just a $5 price point these ceramic holders are so cute and affordable for any beauty lover in your life.
2. Dream Street Kids – this is a full line of kids pillows, chairs, plush items and just overall cuteness. A perfect and cuddly gift for the littles!
3. Plants & Planters – hello affordable plant heaven. Dozens of faux plants and planters for the plant lady on your list.
4. Frozen 2 anything – need I say more? You want a frozen gift, toy, book, etc, they have it!
5. Candles – an oldie but goodie. Everyone loves a nice smelling candle. Choose from all sizes, colors, and scents.
6. Seasonal Gift Baskets – take the work out of hand picking a gift basket and buy one that is thoughtfully curated already.
7. Blankets & Throws – winter is just getting started, nothing says comfort like a comfy blanket.
8. Essential Oil Diffusers – I love the marbled ones best. A great gift for an “oily” mom.
9. Ear Pods – a fraction of the cost of real air pods but look identical. Choose from white or black.
10. Dearfoam Slippers – I absolutely love my leopard dear foams from Big Lots. Pick a pair for the entire family!
11. Candy for Stockings – we all buy it. We all want it!
12. Coffee Mugs – choose from a full wall of cute mugs. Perfect for literally anyone who drinks coffee or tea.…which is everyone.
13. Small Kitchen Appliances – the air fryer is a crowd favorite but there are tons more to choose from. Click here to see.
14. Pajama Sets – a longtime family tradition for so many …matching PJs! Grab yours all at once here.
15. Decorative Baskets & Bins – if you choose to make your own gift basket, choose one of these!
16. Dr Teal’s for Self Care – available in gift sets and individually. Give the gift of self care to yourself or the whole family.

Order by 12/18 to guarantee delivery by Christmas or just stop into your local Big Lots to check out the amazing stocking stuffers and gifts they have in store. Let me know what you pick up – Happy Shopping!


My Beauty Lovers Gift Guide

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Better late than never, right?! You guys know I love all things BEAUTY – so I put together this guide of the products I often recommend in this space. Lucky for you, it’s dropping right before Christmas and most of these items can be found on amazon or in your local target! Check out the links below as well as descriptions for why you or any beauty lover would love to receive any of these recommended products!

Glamcor Riki Skinny Mirror : let’s first address the elephant in the room that this is definitely the biggest splurge on the list. BUT I also get asked about this item the MOST and I use this mirror every. single. day. The Riki mirror is the best quality mirror I have ever used, it has a phone mount attachment for recording videos, and it is FLAT so you can literally take it anywhere with you while traveling. I have wasted so many $$ on cheap makeup mirrors, it’s worth just investing in a great mirror to use every single day! Anyone I have ever recommended this mirror to, loves it!
Eva NYC Dry Shampoo : About a year ago, I worked with Eva NYC and fell in love with some of their products and hot tools. Ever since, I have been obsessed with this dry shampoo… I’ve tried a TON and this is my favorite. It is afforable, light, leaves no white residue, and really does absorb oils while leaving hair feeling fresh. You won’t regret trying this dry shampoo!
Real Techniques Everyday Essentials : you cannot go wrong with real techniques makeup brushes! I specifically love their shadow/eye brushes best, but if you are looking for a good, affordable, set of brushes with a good mix of face and eye tools, this is your best option!
The Original Makeup Eraser : I was totally late to the game on trying this makeup eraser, but everyone has great things to say about it! It’s literally a re-usable washcloth that basically removes all your makeup (even waterproof!) with just water. So underheard of, and so sustainable. Give this a try or drop in your sisters stocking!
Sonia Kashuk™ Weekender Bag : this is my very favorite makeup & toiletries travel bag. It holds SO MUCH product, lays flat in your suitcase, and has different pockets for different categories of toiletries. I have it in two colors and they have lasted me forever. This is a must have!
Sincerely Jules Clips : no long explanation here – I just love these hair barrettes and you get 3 sets for just $7.99 (gold, silver, and rose gold.) I wear these allll the time to take my “do” up a notch.
Hot Tools 1.25in Iron : Hot Tools makes amazing hot tools – imagine that. 🙂 This is the best curling iron and the size I most often recommend! The clamp is great, the quality is great, and my curls always stay when using it. It’ll last forever and is a classic must have.
The Billie Razor : Have you heard of this razor subscription yet? The quality of this razor is LEGIT and comes with refills for just $9. You put in how often you shave and it tells you how often it’ll send refills. No more spending $25 at the drugstore on refills. If you’re like me, you’ll only get sent a $9 every few months. Freaking awesome.
Sonia Kashuk Dry Brush Spray : this stuff is the bomb. You spray it on your makeup brushes and then swipe on a towel – it leaves behind a clean, dry brush. It is honestly the strangest thing ever but SO amazing! I’ve tried other dry brush cleaners and they often are very expensive or leave behind a funky smell. This one is awesome and lasts forever! You have to give it a try.
Amazon BS-Mall Brushes : these makeup brushes are so afforable and can be found on amazon. I’m not THRILLED about the eye brushes that come with this set, but I love the face brushes. At just $10, it is worth buying for those. If you want great eye brushes, check out real techniques. I have had this set for over 18 months and I am SHOCKED at the great quality!


I hope this list was helpful and that you find some items to either gift to another or add to your line-up …let me know if you choose to grab any of these and what you think!



Breastfeeding Supply Haul {from a second time mom}

In no particular order of importance – here are my recommended breastfeeding essentials! I BF my first, Calvin, for 9 months and I’m so glad we did, but there is a little bit of a learning curve. My goal was to make it to one year but a demanding work schedule left little time for pumping and a lot of time away from my baby. This time around, I now work part time out of our home and will be able to be with my little girl more frequently. If you are a full time working Mom, it is so possible to breast feed a lot longer than 9 months, just make sure you advocate for yourself and for your breaks to get those pumping breaks in!

Vinyasa Scarf / Nursing Cover

For covering up during those very public feedings. MOST places don’t have a nursing friendly area for Moms. I found this scarf at Lululemon and it is PERFECT for a nursing cover – breathable, functional, and pretty. 🙂

Medela Pump in Style

This is the pump that I used with my first born and it worked great. Because I already have extra parts for it and bottles that fit onto the pumps, I decided to just replace and use the same one. Visit the medela website to insert your insurance here and see if you are eligible for a FREE pump. Most plans will cover one pump per pregnancy.

Racerback Nursing Bra

Supportive, comfortable, affordable, and functional nursing bras are EVERYTHING! My favorites have always been from Motherhood Maternity.

Clear Fridge Bin

For easily storing and organizing your breastmilk in your freezer or fridge.

Button Down Pajama Set

Supportive, comfortable, affordable, and functional pajamas are also EVERYTHING! I love this set for both the hospital and lounging at home.

10 ft phone charger

You will want a long charger for both the hospital and home as well. You are pinned under a feeding baby so often, you’ll likely need a longer cord for charging that phone. I know I will be using some breastfeeding time to get work done. And take photos of her sleeping. So many photos.

Medela Collection Bottles

Medela 8oz Bottles

These bottles twist and secure right onto the medela pumps. The collection bottles are great for when baby is 4 months or less and only eating about 5 oz at a time. After that, the 8oz bottles are great for taking to the sitter/daycare with milk.

Milk Storage Bags

Because I used the medela pump, I thought it would be smartest to grab the medela bags. This was not the case….these bags hold more milk, store better, and are all around just easier to use. They are my favorite!

Boppy Pillow

For breastfeeding support that wraps right around your waste. Don’t forget to bring your boppy to the hospital – they don’t always have a great nursing set up or supportive pillows.

Nipple Cream

For the early days when you are dry, cracked, and hurting. After a few weeks you should be healed and in the clear.

Disposable Nursing Pads

For milk leakage. You will have a lot at the beginning, especially in the night! These are so helpful and will keep you dry.

Haakaa Milk Collector

The Haakaa wasn’t a thing with my first born, so I am pretty excited to try this and save even more milk this time around. You connect to the breast you are not feeding on so that any leakage goes into this device and is not wasted!


Essential Maternity Basics You’ll Love

It’s true – I’m a creature of habit with the clothing items I love! Especially when I am pregnant, and even more so when I have found the perfect level of comfort! After two pregnancies, I can confirm that these items are my very favorite go-to’s. Most of the items are shown in black but most do come in other colors as well – I just tend to wear a lot of black when pregnant! Black tends to be a bit more slimming while lighter colors and patterns add to the cause. 🙂 All items are linked below, trust me, these are the very best – I wouldn’t steer you wrong!
Aerie Real Me Boybrief Undie
Comfort Slip On Memory Foam Slippers
Surplice Front Jumpsuit
Full Busted Seamless Nursing Bra
Play Real Me High Waisted Legging
Pure Body V-Neck Long Sleeve
Pure Body V-Neck Short Sleeve
Maternity Tank Dress
Maternity 3/4 Sleeve Dress
Ruched Waist Sleep Shorts
Secret Fit Shaping Panty
Jill & Joey Maternity Belt 
Here are some images of me wearing these items over the past 9 months:

I’m so basic 🙂

Which items will be you be grabbing? What am I missing from this list? Let me know which items you try!


2019 Baby Registry Essentials

Baby #2 is on the way (just 8 weeks to go!)

….and I started to find myself more confused than ever with what we need! Although we have a ton of the basics and essentials – a lot has changed with recalls, technology, innovations of what is recommended for an infant, in the past 3 years!
I’ve been doing a ton of research on my own + I asked a handful of real life acquaintances & friends what the #1 item I need for a baby in 2019 is! A lot of the answers lined up with what I had already added to my registry/list of things to grab! Here they are – with a small reason to why it’s on my list. Click the image of each item for a direct link to website where it’s available to purchase!

Dr. Browns Bottles

I’ll admit – I really love these bottles because they are my favorite color and perfect for a baby girl. BUT they also have amazing reviews and we are getting rid of 99% of our old used bottles. These bottles also come in several other colors and sizes! They are also BPA-, PVC-, lead- and phthalate-free.

Chicco Fit2 Carseat

We didn’t love our carseat for Calvin and we actually got rid of the stroller that went with it when we moved back to OH – so we need a new one! Craig and I finally made it to the store to look at some carseats in person and I fell in love with this car seat in particular! To me, a lot of the car seats we saw, looked and felt so cheaply made. Although we aren’t looking to spend a ton, this one is at the higher end of our budget, but I just love it so much! It is sturdy, padded in all the right spots, safe, and durable. I am really hoping we end up with this one for baby girl!

The Play Gym by Lovevery

I have gotten a ton of recos for this playmat, which isn’t just any play mat, it’s a “Stage-Based Developmental Activity Gym & Play Mat for Baby to Toddler. Lovevery’s award-winning debut product is essential for all your baby’s learning stages, providing what your baby wants to see, touch, and do as their little self starts to emerge. The Play Gym includes everything you need in an activity gym-from batting to teething to learning to focus-for a whole year of play.” I didn’t think that there was much of a difference in play mats but it seems a ton of research and strategic development has gone into making this perfect for a baby’s growing brain. Now look at me, I’m the mom who needs the very best for her baby that isn’t born yet. 🙂


Metene Thermometer

One of the scariest things as a Mom is when your baby is sick, has a fever, and is miserable. You want to know right away what action to take – but first you need to know how high the fever really is. With Calvin, we only had an underarm/rectal thermometer, which can be hard to use on a wiggly baby. I knew from the beginning this time, I wanted a medical grade thermometer that could be used quickly on the forehead and in the ear. This one is just that, is sleek, and has a great price point.


BIBS BPA-Free Natural Rubber Baby Pacifier

These are super super cute and come in both sets of 2 and 4 & multiple colors. The bibs natural rubber baby pacifier mimicks both the shape and soft materials of mothers’ breast. Their classic appearance captures a look that’s both timeless and elegant. They are also 100% free from BPA, PVC and phthalates, things I didn’t necesarilly research with Calvin, but care about now.

Simple Joys Short-Sleeve Bodysuits

There’s nothing I underestimated with a newborn more than how much they’d wear and need basic white onesies. Most of the time your baby will be in a simple onesie, not the pinterest approved attire that you may have envisioned. They will also wear basic onesies UNDER every outfit. You will need several in case of accidents, and they will get stained over time. I registered for short sleeve 0-3 months since she will be a summer baby. We will switch to long sleeves shortly after.

The Ollie Swaddle 

This swaddle is another item that I had dozens of recommendations for. I don’t have experience with testing it against other brands, but everyone who has it seems to love it! We swaddled Calvin for MONTHS and if this item promises a calm, soothed, better sleeping baby, we’ll take it! I love the Lavender color but it is also available in multiple shades.

The Dock-a-Tot

When Calvin was a baby, we used the Rock-N-Play as a place to set Calvin/as his “lounger.” Now that it is recalled, I’ve been told we need a new place to set baby. The Dock-a-Tot can be placed in a bassinet, in a crib, in a bed, and is designed to offer a soothing, snug environment for baby.

The Boppy Lounger

The boppy lounger is the same idea as the Dock-A-Tot, meant to be a place to set baby. One upside to the boppy is that it is a much better price point – although I don’t think it is meant to be a place for baby to sleep for long period of time, just to “lounge.”

img_1903The Halo Bassinet 

Since it is not advised for infants to sleep in the rock ‘n play (Calvin slept full time in it for 5 months!) we were on the hunt for a new bassinet to put in our room. The halo is one of the only bassinets I’ve found that can raise to our bed height and that swivels. It also has one side that can easily be pushed down to get baby out at night from bed. This item was also recommended dozens of times!


Baby Shusher

Save your lungs and get a baby shusher to put next to baby for easy soothing. I almost feel bad telling Craig this exists because of how much time we spent manually shushing Calvin to sleep!


Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine

 This particular sound machine combines nightlight, sound machine, and time-to-rise alert in one easy-to-use device that you can control from your phone! Customize color, brightness, sound, and volume level. Set programs to turn off and on automatically based on your family’s sleep schedule. I’m most excited to be able to control this device from my phone! The Haakaa Breast Pump 
I’m so excited to save a lot more milk with this little contraption! You suction to your breast and let the pump do the work for you as it draws your milk using suction, or you can use it for letdown what would otherwise be lost in a breast pad as you breastfeed on the other breast. Perfect for long distance trips, planes, car rides or anywhere you would like to discretely express silently and quickly. I had a manual pump with Calvin and it saved me so many times when I was out without Calvin or in the car and couldn’t feed right away! The Haakaa has been recommended a TON this pregnancy!img_1897There are so many other items that I want and need but these are at the very top of our list! What am I missing? What would you add to this list?
Thank you so much to all of my friends who have given advice, recommendations and input on baby essentials this time around!KaylaSignature-07

The easiest way to build a gallery wall in your home

Okay – so I am NO home interior expert, at all, but I am pretty damn proud of how this gallery wall turned out. I thought I could share how we did this, what we used, and some tips & tricks that I learned along the way. It took me about a week to figure out the best way to do this, so I thought I’d help you skip the research and use these tips – if you like how it turned out, of course!

We had a huge, blank 100in x 100in wall in our living room and putting a gallery of my favorite photos up was the clear answer for covering this white space. I’m so glad we did because the completed gallery makes the space look so much larger!

Here is your list of supplies:

Ribba FramesRIBBA Frame IKEA You can place the motif on the front or back of the extra deep frame. The mat enhances the picture and makes framing easy.These frames also come in a few different sizes and colors.

PS: You can now order online from ikea and pick up! This is super convenient if you know exactly what you want but don’t want to walk through the entire store, go find on the shelves, pay, and then cart out to your car. I can’t recommend the curbside pick up enough!

Nails for HangingHardware Nail Assortment Kit, Includes Wire, Finish, Common, Brad and Picture Hanging Nails

Tape Measure

Any kind of tape for marking angles and where photos will go.

9 printed photos that are 11.5 x 11.5

Let’s stop and talk about the printed photos real quick, as this was 100% the hardest part of this process. I decided to have my photos printed at our local UPS store. I called to make sure they could print this size of photo and the guy working told me yes, I could email them in digital files to the store, and he’d take a look. Make sure when you are sending the digital files that you are sending them as “actual size” in your email. It might take a few emails but this is how you guarantee they won’t be pixelated. Make sure that you are sending photos of good quality (I suggest choosing professionally taken photos, if possible.) Make sure you are doing your best to “crop” to a square size image if you are using square frames. They will likely still have to adjust the images but there will be less room for error if the photos are sent with square dimensions. The UPS store did have me come in to check the edits they had made on the photos before printing. This was an extra step but I’m so glad he let me help and provide my input. I fear if I would’ve just sent to the drugstore for prints, I wouldn’t have had this kind of customer service. He also told me that when researching what to charge for these type of prints, the cheapest they found was Walgreens and they charge about $2/print less.


Step One: put printed photos into frames. You’ll need to tape the photo to the mat so that it is centered and hangs correctly.

Step Two: lay out frames on the floor and arrange which image you want, where.

Step Three: Decide how much of the wall you want to cover. This will help determine spacing between each frame. We wanted to cover a 72in x 72in square. Between the size of the frames and even spacing, this puts almost exactly 5 inches between each frame on top and bottom (since they are even squares.)

Step Four: mark off the top and bottom edge of 72 x 72 on your wall with tape.

Step Five: start with the bottom left frame. Mark with tape where it’ll go. The hardest part of hanging was measure where the nail hanger is on the frame, so you’ll have to measure that too. For example, the nail needed to be exactly 4.5in down from where the top of the frame would be, and 10.25in in from the side. This definitely takes two people to hold, eye, and measure at the same time!

Step Six: Start hanging! Once the first frame is up, the next one will be either 5 inches above, or 5 inches to the side of the one you just hung.

Step Seven: Have a glass of wine ready, lol! This can be hard to do, and quite the project!

Step Eight: Admire your work! Craig even said at the end how great of an idea this was and how much he loves the final product!

Let me know if you decide to try this project! Tag me, message me, etc – I’d love to see!!

1st Trimester (and beyond) Pregnancy Essentials!

Hello! Welcome to my first post as a publicly pregnant mama! I shared on my instagram this week that the start of this pregnancy has been a bit more challenging than the start of my first. Nausea, fatigue, and illnesses kept me down most of weeks 6-10, but lucky at 13 weeks I am starting to feel better!

These essentials have been my “go to’s” for the first trimester – and I know they will continue to be for the remainder of this pregnancy!

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Aerie Play Real Me High Waisted Leggings


Almost right away, my regular clothes became insanely uncomfortable, so I went on a search for the best athleisure items I could find. I can’t say enough good things about these leggings. I tried on about a dozen styles of Aerie leggings in store and these are hands down the most comfortable and provide a ton of stretch to get me through at least the second trimester. They come in 4 colors, they come in short or long, and like the name, are amazingly high-waisted. I did size up to a large to ensure they would make it with me through the winter. Oh, and I got every color!

Cara Loren Prenatal Pre-Workout Supplement – Pink Lemonade


Do you know how hard it is to find a pregnancy safe pre-workout? With coffee being a big aversion for me, I really needed something to help give me the energy to exist, I mean, exercise. One of my favorite bloggers, Cara Loren, collaborated with Bucked Up to create this all-natural prenatal pre-workout supplement. One scoop contains 100mg of caffeine – they recommend 200mg or less per day for pregnant mamas so even if you had one scoop of this, you could still enjoy a small cup of coffee. The time of day in which I take this, depends on how much I use. If it’s early I’ll do almost a full scoop, if it’s later I’ll do half. The pink lemonade flavor is pretty tasty, too!
2919.pngAlthough I’d love to tell you I was as consistent with my skincare regimen in the first trimester as I normally am, it just wasn’t the case. By the end of each day I have been WIPED (pun intended.) Thank god for these color removing wipes that have SeneGence skincare properties in them. They remove makeup, condition skin, and yes – they are anti-aging with the edition of seneplex complex. Is this is good as cleansing, treating, and moisturizing? Not at all, but it is better than sleeping in makeup when we are too tired!
61CfNevPVlL._SL1500_I have been sooo thirstyyy this pregnancy and I had been wanting this cup for so long. The size and straw help me to drink so much more water, especially when I am on the go. Really any large cup with a straw will do the trick but this one is so sleek looking. It goes with me everywhere!
I have tried a couple different prenatal vitamins – I am currently using vitamin code but still like these RAINBOW LIGHT vitamins best. Make sure you choose a vitamin with a probiotic, it really helps to keep things moving during a time where digestion can be questionable. I think this prenatal is best with that, so far. You can purchase really at any drug store, target, etc, or you can buy on amazon to get shipped straight to your doorstep! I am trying another prenatal from PREMAMA this week, and will keep you all updated on how I like that one as well.
This product is a holy grail, both in and out of pregnancy! This tinted moisturizer is like a BB cream or CC cream, but way better. It is water resistent, anti-aging, and just one pump take the unevenness and redness out of my skin completely! It is truly color correcting, and truly a life saver! This is essential for the days you want to feel put together but not necessarily do a full face of make-up…aka every day of the first trimester!
I have talked about this dry shampoo several times over the past few weeks, but it is so key when the pregnancy exhaustion really hits! There are a lot of things I need to conserve and use this energy for – and redoing my hair from scratch isn’t one of them! This dry shampoo smells great, sprays clear, and is very lightweight! Find a good dry shampoo you love for pregnancy and more importantly, motherhood. You’ll need it!
ONE good thing about being in the first trimester during the holidays: peppermint is in! Why is peppermint so special? For me, the smell AND taste would help with my nausea almost instantly. I would diffuse it often in our kitchen, and one night I even took it with my to teach my dance classes so I could smell it if I really felt sick. I also put it topically under my nose some days to help me feel better. I have been using this Ellia Oil for a while but any peppermint essential oil should do the trick!

Lastly, I want to talk about the BAGELS & the BATHTUB. I have always loved both of these items but they have become an OBSESSION during this pregnancy. I have taken a hot bath almost every night to help my mind & body relax. Nothing is more soothing than taking that alone time after my toddler goes to bed and using it wisely. Grab yourself a candle, some good tunes, possibly a bath bomb, and RELAX, because we all know once a baby or another baby is in the house, it is a different story! Secondly, I have been joking a TON about bagels, but they are easily my #1 craving and nausea fighter this time around. I know that I don’t need that much bread, or that there are better things to eat, but you know what, I am letting myself have the bagel, and not stressing about it. If you’re wondering, I love mine to be blueberry, with strawberry cream cheese, please!!
What are your pregnancy essentials? What did I miss? Are there any other pregnancy posts you want to see?
Don’t forget to follow me on instagram (@kayla_cantor) or Facebook at Kayla Cantor.
Love you!

Winter Styling Must Haves {with Eva Hair NYC!}

**this post is sponsored by Eva NYC but all thoughts are my own**

* girl power + world domination…one strand at a time *

…now that’s a tag line I can get behind!

I recently got the opportunity to work with and try several styling tools and styling products from from Eva NYC. They are just entering the midwest (specifically in Meijer) and I am happy to help them spread the good news. The ladies from the Eva team that I chatted with were so sweet and I love what the company stands for.
“Eva NYC represents the duality found in real women. We stand for a community that embraces a (beauty) lifestyle that is un-regimented, fun and free.”
The premium Ingredients found in their products that are meant to encourage stronger, healthier hair:
Keravis™ protein complex
Argan oil
omegas 3, 6 & 9
vitamin C
natural rice starch

My personal favorite characteristic of the styling products is the GLORIOUS SMELL and the soft finish that they leave behind – so so good!
Eva NYC Mane Magic 10-in-1 Primer 
I spray on my damp hair as a primer and heat protectant before blow drying! Has a super light misting bottle and leaves a silky finish after using the hot tools.
Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask
Deeply conditions, repairs, and strengthens. Leave on hair in shower for 5ish minutes!
Eva NYC Freshen Up Dry Shampoo
Every girls best friend. I love this dry shampoo because it is so LIGHT, but it still is powerful enough to work. No white residue, no crunchy hair! Absorbs excess oils in the root.
Eva NYC Skip the Spa Thermal Hair Wrap0081757401705_0_A1C1_0600
Kween Glitter Spray
Super subtle hair and body glitter – perfect for the holidays or NYE!
Eva NYC Healthy Heat Ceramic Styling Iron – 1 1/4″
This heavy duty ceramic iron gets the job done and is healthier for your hair than your typical metal tool.
mini healthy heat ceramic styling iron 
Eva NYC Healthy Heat Digital Clip-Free Curler – 1″
This wand is LEGIT. And so powerful! My favorite feature is that you can adjust the heat – I had never used a wand where you could adjust the temp! These waves lasted me 5-7 days with no wash – seriously!

healthy heat pro-power dryer

This dryer has replaced my old hair dryer for good. It left my hair feeling smoother and shinier, and I love the attachment on the end which helps to cut dry time in half.


mini healthy heat pro-power dryer


My very favorite of the products listed are the 10in1 Primer, the Dry Shampoo, and the Healthy Heat Dryer!
*Products used for straight hair below: 10in1 Primer, Healthy Heat Dryer, Healthy Heat Ceramic Iron
*Products used for wavy hair below: 10in1 Primer, Healthy Heat Dryer, Healthy Heat Ceramic Wand, Freshen Up Dry Shampoo
Which products would you be interested in trying? It was a pleasure working with Eva Hair NYC – expect to see much more of them in the midwest soon! Let me know if you decide to pick any of these up!


5 tips for Transitioning from Crib to “big kid” bed seamlessly

Hi Mamas! If you are here – that PROBABLY means you are about to go through the infamous crib to big bed transition. I was dreading this day for so long. The crib was the last form of confinement we had, and I was so nervous to lose that! But….we got a bit lucky! Calvin lasted in his crib until he was over 2.5 years old! He is a crazy, persisent, outing child, but has never been a HUGE climber. Probably because he is so big! When I first witnessed him scale his crib to perfection on the first try, I think I literally yelled, “NOOOOOO!!!” lol…. while I was glad that he learned how to do it safely on his own, I knew we were about to turn over a new chapter and likely lose some sleep.
To our surprise, the transition went extremely well. Knowing what I know now, I would tell other moms, it’s not nearly as bad as you think and as long as you have a good mindset and set some expectations – you will be fine! Although I didn’t read any tips (I’m more of a wing it type mom), I am here to share mine, ease some fears and give you some ideas to make the transition that much easier.
1.) Hype up the BIG bed
We decided to go straight from the crib to a big bed that my mom had saved for Calvin. Although taking the side off the crib first is another option, we just pulled the band-aid off all at once. We didn’t want to have another transition for him in a year or less, we wanted this to be it for a while. Plus, we are lazy and wanted to keep the crib in tact for baby #2 and just move it out of the room (no, I’m not preg!) Once we got the plans in place to put his big bed together (it is a double bed but pretty low to the ground), we let him know. He watched us put it together, bring the mattress in, etc. He knew that this was going to be his big bed. We did this as opposed to just putting it together, removing the crib, and then saying, “here’s where you’re going to sleep now!” He watched the whole process and was more than ready when it was his first night to sleep in the big bed.
2.) Pick a room theme or bedding your LO will LOVE
When I picked out Calvin’s new “big boy” sheets, I made sure to get something he would love. Although he didn’t come with me, he was sooo excited when I came home and showed him his new dinosaur bedding, new pillows (he had never used pillows) and SUPER comfy new blanket. While we’re talking about blankets, I have to share that this isn’t just any blanket, it is a MAGIC blanket – I feel like when we put it on him, his eyes just start closing. It is SO SOFT and affordable, and now he associates it with sleeping in his big bed. Once we lay him down it is the first layer we cover him with, and you can just feel him settle down. This gray blanket is the one…go get it!!


dino sheets

dino 2

3.) Continue your normal routine or establish one ASAP!
Bed time routine – this one is different for every family but our bed time routine is the same every night and has been for about 18 months. Bath and/or diaper change, jammies, movie of his choice on the big tv, brush teeth, sip of water, kiss from mommy and then daddy takes Calvin into his room. Then Calvin turns on his noise machine and nightlight before we lay him down. Yes, we tend to do a movie instead of a book before bed…sorry, not sorry. It is one of my favorite times of the day because Calvin gets so calm and snuggly and we do it as a family. If your routine has previously included your child getting into bed with you, make sure that you start to develop a consistent routine where they are now going into THEIR bed. Do the same thing each night before you take him/her in so there are no surprises. We did change ONE thing about our routine, which I’ll talk about below, but only for a few nights.
4.) Use the Certified Cantor COMFORT and then COUNTDOWN method
The first couple of nights in the new bed, Calvin would cry hysterically when we tried to lay him down and leave him. He never cries at night when he is ready for bed, so we knew that he really was genuinely scared when he said he was. It wasn’t a whine cry, it was a what’s happening, I’m terrified cry. We decided to lay with him and comfort him for 30 minutes the first night, 20 minutes the second night, 15 minutes the third night, and so on. Almost like sleep training, but he didn’t keep crying when we left. We then started saying we will lay with you for only 5 minutes, buddy. Now he basically asks us to leave so he can sleep. He doesn’t want us to lay with him at all, and we don’t. 😂 I know a lot of people believe in the cry it out method but this was so new for him – and honestly the days where he needs us to comfort him are so limited. We didn’t mind laying with him for a week or so until he got used to the new, open sleeping arrangement. We knew he needed our comfort for a few nights and that is OK with us. We would have drawn the line had he asked to sleep in our bed night after night or had he wanted us to keep laying with him for 30+ minutes every single night. We call this the “comfort and countdown” method, I’m not sure if we made it up or not. But basically we will comfort him and then say okay you have x amount of minutes left and he takes it so well. We also do this with iPad/TV time, meal time, bath time, etc. We let him do what it is he wants to do but we set boundaries with the timing of it. (Ex: you have 5 minutes left, you have 4 minutes left, etc.) Its a give and take method that really seems to work with our persistent, strong willed child who needs boundaries but won’t comply if we just try to take something with no warning. I don’t read many parenting books because of limited time, so everything we have figured out has been trial and error – including this method. It is probably named something else, but this is what we have discovered to work!
5.) Become a story teller
Sometimes if Calvin is having a hard time calming down for either nap time or bed time, we talk about all the fun things he’ll get to do and people he’ll get to see when he wakes up. We talk about how he won’t get to see those people if he’s tired or play with those toys if he doesn’t sleep first. Because he naps later in the afternoon, I usually use the daddy bribe. “Daddy will be home from work to play with you when you wake up, but only if you take a nap!” Now I will say you have to hold true on those after nap promises if your child has the memory of a steel trap, like ours does. That way, the next time you say it, they know you are telling the truth. It’s all a mind game, my friends!
These tips tend to work MOST of the time. There are nap times and nights here and there where he won’t nap or he keeps climbing out, but 99% of the time they do! Once of the nice things about his big bed is that he can get out on his own and come up to us, we don’t have to go get him out of the crib now. Mini perk 🙂
Let me know if you try any of these tips – I know that this transition is one of the biggest in the toddler years, so I hope they help! Good luck!


Our Fall Home Refresh with Big Lots!

This blog post is written in partnership with and sponsored by Big Lots.
Hello, Friends! I am so so excited to bring a new element to the blog – some home decor convo, items, photos, and inspiration! It’s about time!
Most of you all know that we purchased our first home back in March of this year! 3 months prior to this, I made a career change and have been staying at home with my 2.5 year old, Calvin. Sooo needless to say, things have been a little chaotic – and decorating and making our place just how we want it hasn’t been our #1 priority.
About a month ago, it started giving me a lot of anxiety. We had done NOTHING to make our house feel like home, and I just wanted to spruce it up a little bit and make it feel cozier for fall. We didn’t want to totally break the bank but we wanted quality items for our otherwise boring decor situation.
I am so happy with how our “Fall Refresh” with Big Lots turned out. We were able to make our MAIN living area and dining area feel like FALL by adding some decor, storage solutions, and a bar/snack cart! I didn’t have to sacrifice my personal style for price, and I will no longer be embarrassed to have guests into our home this season. It feels so cozy and welcoming!
When I hung up these prints from Big Lots, Calvin told me that “I did a great job with decorating.” 🙂
I had a blast picking everything out in the convenient, re-designed store just a couple of miles from our home.
Big Lots’ new store layout is open and organized; you can easily find everything from furniture to decor to home organization to food, snacks, and drinks. There are items for every room in your home, as well as for both your indoor and outdoor needs.

I went back to the store a few times because I kept thinking of more things I wanted! Each day that I went back, the store was re-stocked, re-organized, and the employees were just as welcoming every single time. You HAVE GOT TO go check a re-designed store out for yourself!
^I was extremely impressed by both the furniture selection AND area rug assortment!
The first area of our home that I really wanted to refresh was our main living area! We had no rug, no table, old pillows, nothing on the walls, and no extra decor! We were able to get ALL of these things and more. All of the decor pieces in the below photos are from Big Lots.
img_4139^These pillows and blankets are sooo soft! After Thanksgiving, I can just replace the pumpkin pillow with a Christmas or winter themed pillow and keep using the others!
^These signs took me approx. 30 seconds to hang on my own!
^these bins are what I call stylish storage!
The second area that we wanted to “refresh” was the area behind our table in our dining room. We decided to make a snack and beverage station with all of our favorite fall treats. ALL of these items are from Big Lots including the yummy edible items!

So what do you think? I still can’t believe the selection and how in line with my personal style these items that are picked out, are! I love everything we chose so much. Now that our fall home refresh is done, I will definitely be going back for items as we decorate my son’s new big boy room later this month.
One huge perk to shopping at Big Lots, is the BIG Rewards program. You can start earning rewards on your very first purchase – such as credit rewards, VIP shopping days, furniture bonuses, birthday surprises, and saving more each time you make a purchase. This is not a credit card – but more of a rewards program only. Sign up and create an account here!
Please let me know if you go check out a remodeled store near you – and let me know what you get! I would love to see your own fall home updates!
Thank you again to Big Lots for sponsoring this post.

Learning to Swim at Goldfish Swim School + A Jump Start Clinic Giveaway!

Hi, Friends! It has been a HOT MINUTE since writing over here on Running with Strollers! I have been soo busy with my business, mommyhood, and we also bought a home back in March!
But I’m back with an awesome post as a GIVEAWAY for you all! Goldfish Swim School in West Chester, OH was kind enough to let our family try 8 weeks of swim lessons for Calvin this winter. Outside of it being a fun weekly outing for us, Calvin also learned some amazing skills and now has absolutely zero fear of the water! I knew that swim lessons were super important for our toddler but had no idea how much he DIDN’T know until we got there. Being a parent is scary, especially when your child is near water, so we are super passionate about teaching him the skills he needs to know to be safe in the water.



The variety of class times each week made it super easy for us to find a time that worked best for both Craig, Calvin and I to attend. You do pick a set day and time to attend, but they were also super flexible with rescheduling days and times as needed. We had to change our set day several times and it was absolutely no problem.
Since it was Calvin’s first time swimming at all, we were in the ‘mini’ level swim class which requires adult participation, is 30 minutes per class, and there is a maximum of 6 kids in each class. I felt as if 30 minutes was a good length of time – Calvin was always worn out after a half hour and started to lose interest in the rules of the class after about 30 minutes, lol.


Each class started with a welcome song, and consisted of “play” type activities to help learn necessary skills such as kicking his legs, pulling his arms, holding onto the edge of the pools, floating on their backs, closing mouth and eyes/getting used to water on his head and shoulders, jumping into the water, etc. They would use big goldfish, balls, boats, to help assist with learning these skills. At the end of each class there was a “fun” activity such as the water slide or riding in the canoe.


Outside of the actual class, I was very impressed with the friendliness of the staff (both in and out of the pool) and the cleanliness of the facilities. There are showers, dressing rooms, tables and chairs for waiting, and large viewing windows if you are the parent not taking the class that week (we tried to alternate.)
Here are some photos and videos of Calvin in action both on vacation this Spring and at our neighborhood pool this Summer. He absolutely loves the water, trips to the pool, and can stay afloat by kicking his legs and arms in just a small life jacket. We are continuing to work with Calvin on pulling his arms and getting more practice with holding his breath under water. The goldfish mini session was just what we needed to get Calvin started and I am so thankful we got this opportunity!


 ^^”alligator, alligator on the wall” – his favorite song from class!
And last but not least, since Goldfish Swim School is so incredibly generous…they are giving away a JUMP START CLINIC to one lucky RWS follower! This clinic is a $127.50 value and available at participating locations.
“The Jump Start Clinic is specially designed for families looking to get their kids water-ready in a hurry. They’re a great way to introduce kids to the fundamentals of water safety during the Summer months. Jump Start Clinics include four or five consecutive days* of 30-minute swim lessons that focus on everything from teaching the fundamentals of water safety to fine-tuning stroke technique.  Jump Start Clinics are held over the summertime and other select times during the year.”
Find your Goldfish location here.
To enter the clinic giveaway, please visit my instagram account and follow the directions on the latest post. It is super easy to enter and a winner will be chosen on Sunday, July 1st.
As always, thank you for reading, engaging and supporting my blog. Can’t wait to see who wins this giveaway!