I cannot believe I’m already through my second trimester! I am currently 28 weeks, & here are ya’ll’s most FAQ’s from weeks 13-28:

Why four names? When we found out we were pregnant with Holland, we had chosen two boy names & two girl names. Once we found out we were having a boy, we chose Harrison Paul Eugene Halicki.

  • Harrison is a name we’ve loved for years, one of my sisters friends named her son that & since then, we’ve always loved it.
  • Paul is my husbands name, so it follows suit with Holland Katherine, her middle name being my first.
  • Eugene is my Grandfathers middle name & my fathers middle name, which I love having the generational aspect.

We will obviously never call him by all those names, but I love that his name has true meaning to both male sides of his family.

Have your cravings changed? Yes, I don’t crave really anything any more. I’m able to finally eat beets, salad, chicken, everything I did prior to the first trimester, aside from salmon. Salmon still doesn’t taste right to me.

How are you feeling? Aside from getting energy back, I feel about the same. I still get nauseous every-so-often & I’ve acquired a new symptom, heartburn/indigestion.

Are you still nauseous? Unfortunately, yes. I thought I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with being nauseous but, I was wrong! At 26 weeks, I was still super nauseous, it would hit me in the middle of the night, if I was standing for too long, & so many other times. Also, a new feeling hit, heartburn/ indigestion — which is awful. This has been really hard for me because I’ve never had that feeling & boy does it burn. This is actually still happening into my third trimester. I’ve noticed that there are not triggers, it just happens when it wants to. I thought maybe it was spicy food, eating to fast, drinking too much water, regardless of what I thought it was, I was wrong. Nothing has seemed to help & I cannot pin point a single trigger.

Have you purchased any significant maternity wear? YES! I’m obsessed with it too! Because it’s going to be perfect lounge wear for even after the baby is here. It’s a maternity essential set by Ingrid & Isabel it’s so comfy, lightweight & versatile. I’ve also purchased some Spanx maternity leggings, which I will be sad to not wear afterwards because I love them so much too!

Are you working out more now? Yes. I’ve finally had the motivation & energy to use the Peloton to bike, take yoga & stretching classes & I’ve been occasionally lifting weights in our gym. While also lifting my 2 yr old!

What changes in your body have you noticed most? Aside from the obvious weight gain…

  • My hair has grown 10x more than it did with Holland
  • The hormonal acne is less aggressive than it was with Holland (which seems to take the “Old Wives Tale” of girls steal your beauty)
  • Sleep is more uncomfortable & I’ve had weird, scary dreams
  • My belly is more round & pronounced as opposed to with Holland it was wider
  • Nausea is real
  • Heartburn is real

How does it feel to ride with a belly? LOL. It’s challenging. I can see myself stopping in the coming weeks because it pushes my knees outward which is not good. However, I LOVE having enough energy back to ride again.

How much weight have you gained? Although I find this a very personal question, because there are so many factors to one gaining weight during pregnancy: height, body structure, pre-weight, genes of their significant other all have a factor (along with many more). Here is what I will say:

  • Have I gained a healthy amount of weight? Yes.
  • Have I noticed a difference in my body regarding weight? Yes.
  • Am I proud of the weight I’ve gained? Yes.
  • Does gaining weight get to me? Yes.

With that being said, so far, I’ve gained close to 28 lbs. & I still have 12 weeks to go. I’m proud of my body, as any woman should be creating life. Everyone gains weight differently during pregnancy & that weight does not determine a damn thing about you as a mom, just remember that.


Having HER cake & EATING it too!

My BEST girl, had the BEST day! — Today was less emotional (but I still cried). We celebrated with a TULIP TEAPARTY, guests were asked to wear their “Tea Party Attire”, champagne, rose, sparkling water & tea were served alongside three different kinds of tea sandwiches, cookies, fruit & scones. To top off the afternoon, guests were asked to create their own Tulip Bouquet to take home as a “Flower Favor.”

We had tons of fun with a tea party themed photobooth, all the little girls playing with Holland’s new kitchen from her GeeGee & PawPaw & then of course, the fun of opening ALL the presents!

Holland was surrounded by women that love her unconditionally, as if she were their own child or grandchild. That to me alone, is the most special gift I could have ever asked for. These women know who they are & I’m so very blessed to call them my family. Because as you know it, friends become family & all of these women have.

As I said before, this part of the day was less emotional than her first birthday. I did cry singing “Happy Birthday” because in that very moment, I looked around to see all those important women singing & smiling so lovingly at my best girl & it gave me all the feels. Also because, we made it to year two & I wish I could bottle this stage up as well. Holland is SO talkative, loving, caring, LOUD (like her daddy), independent & has the biggest & brightest personality. I like to think she got the best of both of her daddy & I. We did pretty damn good.

the most perfect decor for our perfect 2 yr old!
beautiful tea sandwiches made by one of my best friends
sweet treats
paper everything for five little girls (except for the drink ware/silverware)
for the women who don’t drink tea 😉
Pop Fizz Clink
the garland I’ve used for both of her birthdays, this year I added tulips
the ONLY cake I buy is from the same lady who made our wedding cake (which this is also the same flavors – Bavarian Creme)
Flower Favors – each guest got to take home their own homemade bouquet of tulips

Here are the fun things that Holland has learned/done in her second year of life:

  • How count to 12
  • She can say full sentences & ask for specific things
  • Her favorite thing to say is “More Peas” – translation: “More Please”
  • She is EXTREMELY tidy; something I think she picked up from me 😉
  • Loves to “I workout” with her Daddy
  • LOVES books, we read every night
  • HATES sharing food; something else I think she picked up from me
  • Learning to potty train
  • How to climb down the stairs unassisted
  • Throwing the ball to “my Hanz”
  • She got her first haircut
  • Had her first Hot Chocolate
  • Eat/drink unassisted
  • & became a BIG SISTER <3
    • there are SO many other things I could list but these are the ones that stick out to me most.

Last year on her birthday post, I wrote a poem that I had come across that spoke so deeply to me as a new mom. So, to my sweet girl – I’m going to repost that every year for you, because there are things that are already taking place that I no longer have to do for you. You are so bright & you learn so quickly which in-turn means that I have done my job in teaching you well but it still makes my momma heart hurt that you don’t need me for it.

So once again my little Valentine, here is the poem that I will hold near & dear to my heart. To remind me to cherish each day, the good & the bad… because you are only little once & only for a little while.

“From the moment you hold your baby in your arms you will never be the same. You might long for the person you were before, when you had freedom and time and nothing in particular to worry about. You will know tiredness like you never knew before. Days will run into days that are exactly the same. Full of feedings and burping. Nappy changes & crying. Whining & fighting. Naps or a lack of naps. It might seem like a never-ending cycle. But don’t forget… there is a last time for everything & babies don’t keep.

There will come a time when you will feed your baby for the very last time. They will fall asleep on you after a long day & it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child. One day you will carry them on your hip & then set them down & never pick them up that way again. You will scrub their hair in the bath for one last time & from that day on they will want to bathe alone. They will hold your hand to cross the street & then will never reach for it again. They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles & it will be the last night you ever wake to this. One afternoon you will sing, “the wheels on the bus,” & do all the actions to never sing that song again…

They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate & the next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone. You will read a final bedtime story & wipe your last dirty face. They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time… The thing is, you won’t even realize it’s the last time until there are no more times. Even then, it will take you a while to realize. So while you are living in these times, remember there are only so many of them & when they are gone… you will yearn for just one more day of them. For one last time.”

I love you beyond measure. XO

Currently I’m in the Second Trimester but during my First you all have had questions regarding how I’m feeling, how Holland is taking the news, etc. So I decided to put together your most frequently asked questions all in one spot! XO ~ Kate

Does Holland understand that you’re having a baby? Yes! She understands that there is a baby in mommy’s tummy – but I’m not exactly sure she realizes it’s a REAL baby, as opposed to her American Girl bitty baby that she LOVES but occasionally throws across the room 😐 However, we make it a priority to explain to her to be gentle & sweet to baby but also show her photos of the sonograms so that she can try to comprehend what we mean. Like when we’re around our friends who have babies, we explain that’s what’s in my tummy. Although, I don’t think it will click until he is actually here.

What was your first reaction to being pregnant? Honestly, “HOLY SHIT!” I also cried, a lot!

Did you have any signs that you were expecting? Yes! I was overly emotional when it came to my friends saying nice things or being their sweet selves to Holland. Also, if being completely honest, when I would have two or three glasses of wine – I wouldn’t “feel” anything.

Have you registered? If so, where? We have! The Tot & Babylist – if you’re interested in knowing what I’ve registered for, go here for The Tot registry & here for Babylist registry.

Have y’all picked out a name yet? We have! 🙂

Were you nervous it was twins? HAHA! YES. But after having two sonograms within two weeks, we were 100% sure it wasn’t twins.

How many kids do you want? I was never really ever sure of how many I wanted. I do know that now knowing this could possibly be my last pregnancy, I’ve been a little more kind to myself & emotional with the belly, kicking, etc. phases.

What are you craving? Burgers! Burgers! Burgers! & Steak! haha

What makes you nauseous/ Have you been nauseous? Oh gosh, this is a fun one. Yes, I have been nauseous. The one thing that made me overly nauseous & still does a little bit is Holland’s dirty diapers. I had to resort to begging Paul to change them or if he wasn’t around – sticking Kleenex up my nose before I did. Fish, poultry, beets, avocado, salad – basically anything healthy that I LOVED was currently the things making me gag.

Have you purchased any maternity clothes? If so, where? So far, I have not.

Have you changed your skincare routine? No, all BeautyCounter products & BeautyBio products that I use are safe for during pre/during/postnatal.

Have you changed your workout routine? This is good. SO, being extremely nauseous until about 18 weeks I had not worked out. I would walk around the block with the family or stretch but working out was not an option.

OMG, what do I even say. If I had to choose one word in the world to describe how I feel, it would be – Grateful. I think it perfectly describes pretty much all of my feelings in regards to finding out we are pregnant, how we found out, the whirlwind of time a frame that was & then, finding out it is a BABY BOY!!

Everyone has a “time frame” on when they want to start having babies, or when to plan for the next. Well, Paul & I had the talk of, “Okay, we’ll possibly start trying around this time.” Then BAM! God said, “hahah… this isn’t on your time… it’s on mine.” With Holland, we were not even considering babies yet. Sure, it was a thought in hindsight that we wanted them but we didn’t want one just yet. But, that’s not the plan God had for us & oh how we are ever SO grateful that it was.

This time around, we actually had talked about 2020 being the year we would consider starting to try for baby number two. Again, God laughed because if my timing is accurate, which it is… I was already pregnant during that conversation.

November of 2019, was nothing other than a whirlwind. There had been several times that I was out with my girl friends & “things” just didn’t feel right. I would either feel SUPER emotional, or I would be – what my friends say now, “just not yourself.” Then one night a few of us were out having the time of our lives when, again, I just didn’t feel right. So I mentioned to them… “Y’all… either I’m pregnant or my body is just needing a change.”

Later that night, the girls insisted I take a test. I just KNEW I wasn’t but figured I would take one to humor us all. As I took the first test, set it on the back of the toilet, I walked away & when it was time to look… I let the girls look because a part of me just didn’t want to & the other part of me knew it was going to say “negative”.

They grabbed the test, turned it over & when I saw the look on their faces (which will forever be ingrained in my brain) I immediately said, “shut up, you’re lying.” They turned the stick around for it to blatantly say, “pregnant.”

We all cried together, because of course, none of us really thought it was going to say yes & the fact that they got to witness first hand, for the first time a pregnancy test saying, “pregnant.” — We favored two more just in case, & those two said “pregnant” too – so there was no denying that I was! Like I said earlier, whirlwind.

The emotions, the high, the “OMG I’m pregnant… AGAIN!”, the “OMG I actually have to tell my husband now!”, “OMG Holland is going to be a big sister!” & all the other feelings that you can imagine going through my brain in .008 secs.

It took about two weeks before it actually started to sink in that we were pregnant. But, it didn’t feel REALLY REAL until I was able to tell my family. I didn’t want to do it over the phone since we live 5 hrs apart. So, we had to wait until Christmas morning – which was almost two months from finding out. IT DROVE ME INSANE. More so because my sister & I talk EVERY DAY & at least once a week she would say, “Are you okay?” or “Have you been crying?” – “Yes, I’m fine. BUT NOT REALLY BECAUSE I’M PREGNANT!” & “No, I just sneezed. WHICH IS ALSO A LIE BECAUSE YES I’VE CRIED EVERY. SINGLE. DAMN. DAY!”

Once I was FINALLY able to tell them, everything seemed to fall into place.

We soon had our genetic testing done, to which then I let one of my best friends keep the secret of what the baby was for our Gender Reveal.

Leading up to that I had so much anxiety/excitement – would Holland get a sister to play barbies, babies & ballet with? Or would she get a little brother who would protect, pick on her & also pick his nose.

I was convinced it was a girl. I would have put my life savings on it that we were having another girl. But, BOY was I wrong. 😉

So, back to my one word — Grateful. Grateful that we are blessed with a girl & a boy. Grateful that God is trusting us to raise these tiny humans in this crazy world. Grateful to have such an amazing husband (that I need to give more praise to than I currently do) that helps me more than I could ever imagine.

Let alone, we are so grateful to be able to carry another baby, to have the most supportive family & friends that surround us, that love our babies as if they were their own & to share these moments with them & even with you.

Tip of the Day: Even on your worst days, remember to be grateful. Always.

XO~ Kate

Over the past several months I have been HORRIBLE at writing blog posts. Mainly because I would start one, not finish, go back & read it to only then realize, I hated it. Or, I would just post 15 stories on Instagram about what I would essentially say on here anyway. — I hate when some bloggers write a blog post, link it & then spend 30 minutes saying {the EXACT same thing} in their 30 Instagram stories. Drives me nuts. But to each their own. So, I will vow not to do that.

But I have to give myself a little bit of grace. One, this is not my mainstream job like it is for most. I have a full-time job outside of blogging, which is consuming in itself. Two, I don’t have an assistant, web designer or someone to double check my work, most of my friends do that for me after I mention I’ve posted one. Three, this is a hobby for me, something I love doing. So when I get to a point where I feel overwhelmed or stressed about posting, I have to remind myself…. this is for them – not for me. Meaning, the money doesn’t matter, sure a nice little paycheck every once-in-awhile is nice & it’s nice knowing someone liked what I suggested. But, that is not what I love about doing this. It’s finding items YOU love, posting outfits that inspire YOU, sharing tips, tricks & tidbits of knowledge that I have that in turn, helps YOU.

With that being said, 2020 I will vow to write at least 2 to 3 blog posts about topics you all care most about! Instead of focusing on the perfection of a blog post, I’m just going to focus on getting it out there.

Going through my past highlights, posts, polls & purchases, you all seems to love deals, discounts, baby/toddler, BeautyCounter, & my #OOTD posts! Which I don’t blame you, I love them too!

So, let’s do this! XO~ Kate

Last year, I’m sure you saw that I’ve made quite a few changes around my house with better, healthier & more importantly, cleaner products. Not just beauty, but cleaning products too.

Let me introduce to you my new favorite cleaning product: Branch Basics.

I feel that after using Branch Basics for over six months now, I can give you a genuine review. From kitchen cleaner, detergent, hand soap, & bathroom cleaner. This stuff is the shiiitttt. Excuse my language, but I’m serious!

First off, if you haven’t heard of Branch Basics, they are:

  • Human-Safe
  • Plant & Mineral Based
  • Free of Harmful Preservatives
  • Biodegradable
  • Not Tested On Animals
  • Non-GMO

The Founders: Marilee Nelson, Allison Evans & Kelly Love are a true testament to how living a cleaner, healthier lifestyle can change those “normal” problems that doctors consider to be “allergies” or whatever other nonsense someone diagnoses you with. Just read their stories, they’re so intriguing in itself, that is what sold me on wanting to try the products in the first place.

Once you read their stories, then check out the ingredients in their product. Not plural, singular. They sell ONE product called the Concentrate, to which you fill 5 separate bottles with that & water. THAT IS IT. It’s an All Purpose cleaner. Along with an Oxygen Boost, which is like the holy grail of getting baby poop, food, grass stains, whatever your child throws at you, THIS will get it out.

Ingredients in the Concentrate just to show you:

  • Purified Water, Coco Glucoside (Sugar-Based Cleanser), Organic Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Decyl Glucoside (Sugar-Based Cleanser), Sodium Citrate (Food-Grade Emulsifier), Lauryl Glucoside (Sugar-Based Cleanser), Sodium Bicarbonate (Food-Grade Baking Soda), Sodium Phytate (Plant-Based Antioxidant)

All of which one, 1) I can pronounce & 2) I can google without reading “harmful” or “toxic” next to it.

Then you have the Oxygen Boost which is again, for All Purpose. Check out the ingredients:

  • Sodium Percarbonate & Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda)

Shocking, isn’t it. What’s in your current product? I bet it says, “Two main ingredients” or “Active Ingredients Are These Two” – but what are the others?

Regardless, after using Branch Basics & then using, a different product, like Windex at my office, the smell is revolting. It’s crazy to think that it can make such a difference, but it does.

Okay, but enough about the facts of Branch Basics. They ACTUALLY work, did y’all see my videos of my stove top?! I mean, what product cleans THAT well, without leaving residue? — I’ve used the Concentrate to clean counters, cabinets, toilets, grout in our showers, windows, mirrors, my wedding ring, dirty vegetables & so much more! It doesn’t leave streak marks, oily residue or any residue for that matter. I truly & genuinely love this product.

One of the best parts about it is, when you purchase the Starter Kit + Oxygen Boost ($69), the bottles are REFILLABLE because all you’re using is one product with water. You don’t have to consistently repurchase a new bottle every time you run out. The only two you need to buy are the Concentrate ($49) & the Oxygen Boost ($10) – which I have been using the Concentrate for 6 months & still have over half the bottle left, & even more of the Oxygen Boost! It doesn’t take much & it lasts! But more importantly, again, IT WORKS!!!

I’m clearly obsessed with Branch Basics, & with another baby on the way, it only intensifies my desire to make my home a safer, healthier place for my babies, husband, myself & our dog to live.

Check out www.BranchBasics.com to see for yourself & start #TossingTheToxins in your home.

~XO, Kate

As promised, I told you all that I would do a Natura Bissé product update after I had used it for awhile. It has been almost six months since Paul bought me several of their products for Christmas – & although I’ve used their Vitamin C Scrub before, I had never used any of their other products.

Let it be known before I go into my mini-review…

No, I’m not an expert.

Yes, this is all MY opinion.

Yes, I use other brands of beauty products, not just BeautyCounter.

However, with that being said, my daily routine consists of about 97% of BeautyCounter products.

I do think it’s best to use one line because it’s specially formulated to work together for a particular skin type, like: oily, dry, acne prone, etc. However, always do whats best for you & your skin. But, make sure that you’re using products that are actually helping you, not hurting you.

I’m sure some of you are asking, “What does that even mean Kate… “Not hurting you?” – What I mean is, some products have Retinyl Palmitate or Retinol, Formaldehyde or Benzalkonium Chloride all of which are NOT GOOD FOR YOU. Before you use a product, just check the labels. Make sure you know what you’re putting onto your skin… just like you do when putting food into your body.

So, without further ado, let me introduce to you the Natura Bissé products from left to right.

Natura Bissé C+C Vitamin Cream – promoted to “prevent & protect against free radicals”, “improve skins firmness” & to “provide hydration & suppleness”. After about 2 months of using this on & off, maybe two-three times weekly… I came to the realization that it just wasn’t for me. The texture of the cream is a little too oily for my likening.

Natura Bissé C+C Vitamin Souffle Mask – promoted to “repair damage”, “improve skins elasticity & firmness” & “recover the luminosity of the skin”. – I used this simultaneously with the C+C Vitamin Creme & I can say that they benefit each other in a sense that you have to use them as a daily/nightly regimen. They both promote skin firming, which after 30… is something to start considering. However, it’s never to early to start. Masks are always a great, regardless if you do them once a week, twice or daily.

Natura Bissé C+C Vitamin Eye – promoted to “prevent & correct dark circles, puffiness, etc.”, “hydrate, brighten, etc. & improve skin firmness”, & “reinforces & protects skin against premature aging”. – The texture is just what you want in an eye gel, light & dries quickly. I didn’t use this product as much as I thought I would. So, I really don’t have a good analysis to give.

Natura Bissé C+C Vitamin Scrub – promoted to “exfoliate”, “restore radiance & luminosity” & “eliminate impurities & dead skin..”. – I used this for over two years. The smell, the texture, & the results are always perfection. I also used to use this more so than I’d like to admit. I just haven’t ran out to find a different product to try.

Natura Bissé C+C Vitamin Complex – promoted to “anti-aging formula”, “restore firmness & luminosity” & have “superior antioxidant power”. – WOWZA. This is on another level of anti-aging & antioxidant “super-food.” However, it’s quite pricey.

Overall, I wouldn’t personally buy these products again. Their price point is on the higher side. When Paul purchased these, I still wasn’t deep into doing my research about what I was putting onto my skin. I’ll never be perfect, I know I cant control a lot… but my skin care is one of them that I can.

XO~ Kate

Have you ever been around someone or you are that someone, that says, “I’m so nervous to turn ___” or “I don’t know what to do once I turn ___.”

Well, turning thirty was never one of those times for me… at what point do you say that?

I mean, I was excited when I turned 16, since I could finally drive without the not so comforting backseat driver… aka parents.

I was confused when I turned 18. I could buy tobacco products but never in my life have. Still to this day.

I was racing to turn 21, although not sure why, considering I had been to a college where most are drinking at bars well before that. But even when I could buy it legally, it was nerve wrecking, not fun.

When I turned 25, all I could think about was babies. Which was odd, because I wasn’t even married yet.

Are all those birthday in between are just fillers to prepare you for the next steps in life? I’m not sure..

However, there are so many things I’ve learned in the past couple of years that have made me fully prepared for turning thirty. I haven’t quite hit the birthday mark that makes me think “OMG I’m old!” or “What am I doing with my life?!” and shockingly, I didn’t cry because I turned 30.

I’m sure at some point I’ll get there.. maybe 31? Who knows. Until then, I’ve decided that I should make bigger goals for myself. Goals that set me outside of my comfort zone.

For example: I recently went to a birthday party where I knew games would be played. I’m all for card games, Scrabble, etc. but not ones that make you the center of attention. So, when the games started… I realized it was going to be more like charades. Not like, it was. I never in my life have played, I was SO nervous, & immediately wanted to say, “Oh gosh, I’ve got to go.” & pull the “I have a baby at home.” card. Which I NEVER do, but in that moment, I wanted to crawl into a hole.

Instead, I played & never have had that much fun playing a game. I think my husband heard me talk about if for a week!!

Stepping outside of my comfort zone would also include me selling BeautyCounter, I am NOT one to initiate a conversation with a stranger. Much less ask them to listen to me about a product, I think they should buy from me. Sounds ridiculous. But true. Yet, so far, its been a lot of fun!

I was actually, discretely excited to turn 30. I think that these are the years are where life gets sweeter. You make time for those you love, live more, feel more accepted within yourself, have more faith, ignore the bs & find friends that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

30 is not just a number, I believe it stands for where you’ve been & where you’re going. Not, that you’re “old” or “no longer fun” or whatever you perceive it as. I’m excited for 30, I think it’s going to be a great year!

Follow along with me & we’ll see!

XO~ Kate