Observations of service

IMG_4895IMG_4884IMG_4890IMG_4897A random act of kindess usually entails anonymity. However, I was asked to participate in the #lighttheworld challenge and agreed to share my experience. My specific assignment was to do an act of service that lines up with the scripture “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat.” (Day 21). As I was thinking of a service project to do my mother-in-law immediately came to mind. She volunteers weekly at the Youth Detention Center and often feeds homeless youth downtown. I asked her if we could set aside a night to serve dinner to at-risk and homeless youth downtown during the month of December. She agreed and prepared a hot meal made up of delicious orange chicken, rice, green salad, rolls, and gingerbread cookies. I should also mention that she made enough for 50 PEOPLE all by herself. This is not her first rodeo and she did it all without breaking a sweat. She has fed this specific group at the Volunteers of America Resource Center many times and was able to lead our group through the necessary steps. I want to share a few of my observations throughout the night. But before I do, here is a little background about the center. They offer emergency shelter beds, 24/7 assistance, 3 meals a day, and free legal services to 15 to 22 year olds in the community. Overall they are able to help around 800 at-risk teens every year. The facility is clean, tidy, and provides the kids with a safe, warm place to stay.

A few observations:

  • As we unpacked the dinner in their kitchen I found myself wondering what it would be like to have to rely on strangers for your next meal.
  • As an angsty teenager I was allowed to make mistakes and be forgiven by loving parents. Where were these kids’ parents? Did they know where they were or what they were going through?
  • These kids were once babies, just like my little Lila, that depend on parents to nurture and help them. I need to take my role as mother seriously and make the most of my opportunities to teach Lila what matters most.
  • These kids are fighters who are battling the world on their own and doing the best they can.
  • These kids are brave and polite. The vast majority offered thanks for their warm meal and polite small talk.
  • My breath caught in my throat when I asked one of the teenage girls how old her pretty baby girl was that she was lugging along in her car seat and she responded “3 months”, the exact same age as my Lila. This little baby did not have grandparents, aunts, and uncles doting on her every move and smile. Why was I so lucky to have a loving support system in my life? Do I take it for granted sometimes?
  • My attempts at eye contact and small talk felt very inconsequential to these kids that are facing unthinkable troubles in their lives. But at the very least I wanted to treat them with dignity and respect.
  • I hope they know that each of them matter.
  • God loves us all the same. No matter if you are rich or poor. I think of what Pres. Uchtdorf said in the Christmas devotional. There is no shame in being poor. Remember that the Savior of the World was born in a stable and laid in a manger “because there was no room for [Him] in the inn.”5
He went on to say, “Even if all we have is a handful of crumbs, we gladly share them with those in emotional, spiritual, or temporal need as an expression of our gratitude for the divine feast God has prepared for us.”
So December 21st is the day to “feed the hungry”, lets all find a way to participate big or small and light the world!

A few things that are helping me survive the “4th Trimester”


{newborn photos by the wonderful Meg Turley}

First things first, I just have to say being a mom is the best! I feel so lucky to have sweet Lila here and every day gets more fun as she continues to grow and change. And obviously nothing beats baby snuggles all day long. That being said, the “4th Trimester” is very real and has been an interesting process. Women’s bodies are incredibly resilient, but there are definitely some things that have made a world of difference that I wanted to share with you.

  • Grandmas: Lucky for us both Lila’s grandmas live within 5 minutes. That means they visit often – especially after sleepless nights. Aside from holding and loving Lila they have offered much needed encouragement through these first few weeks of her life. I truly don’t think I would have made it through the first two weeks without them.
  • A husband that is your equal partner in parenting. Parker wakes up at night with Lila just as much as I do (we switch off every other night), he changes diapers, knows how to give her a bath without having her squirm out of his arms, and sings her to sleep.  He has kept his same calm demeanor throughout everything which has definitely been a blessing since this momma’s hormones went a little bonkers those first couple of weeks.(cue the tears) Suffice it to say I am so grateful for Parker.
  • A baby wrap. I spent the first 3 weeks trying to do everything with one hand because the little lady demands that she is held at all times. Bless the heavens above for baby wraps! She fits into it snug as a bug and I have both of my hands back so I can at least brush my teeth! Parker even wore her in it this week while he aerated our lawn! #bestdad
  • A stroller. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one. Just something that can get you both outside for some fresh air. This has been so important for my mental health during this process. Those good vibes get flowing when you have some sunshine on your face and wind in your hair.
  • Minky Couture Baby Blanket. Now that the temps are dropping I am always worried that baby girl is cold. I take this blanket on all of our outings because it is small enough to wrap around her in the car seat or to have in the diaper bag just in case. And we all know that nothing tops the softness of a Minky!
  • Caring friends. I cannot even count how many kind friends have stopped by with dinner, a treat, or flowers. The visits have buoyed us up on some bleery eyed, exhausted days. They have made me want to be a better friend and neighbor. And yes, I cry just thinking about all of them and how much love we have felt.
  • The Boppy makes middle of the night feedings much more manageable thanks to the support it gives to you and baby. This is the one that I have. I also feel like it helps with back support and posture. My husband also uses it for middle of the night bottle feedings and gives it two thumbs up.
  • Lanolin for the nips and lips! I love the nipple cream but this lip gloss is seriously the bomb. Both heal dry, cracked skin super fast.
  • Belly Bandit products. I faithfully wore my wrap the first couple of weeks after delivery and it definitely made my body feel put back together again by holding everything in. It is a great precursor to a corset because it has a velcro closure which helps when your body is drastically changing in size those first few days and it is so easy to put on. I also highly recommend their shirts and dresses that are made of the most buttery soft fabric. This is the shirt I wore home from the hospital and bonus -it’s nursing friendly!
  • Bellefit corset. After the first few weeks I transitioned to the corset which is a total confidence booster! It helps you get back into your old clothes and have a defined waist again. This is my favorite one. I can honestly say I plan to wear it faithfully for the next six months because I love it so much.

I have so much respect for all of the parents out there! I am all for products that make it easier to take care of your little ones. If you have any recommendations let me know so we can all help each other!


Introducing Hazel Goldy Haslam

HazelBabyPicOur baby girl is finally here! She was born on August 27 at 4:53 AM. I went into the hospital on Saturday, August 26 (which was the day after my due date) because I was not feeling her move. I figured I would get sent home so Sam and I both went in gym clothes. Well after 90 minutes of monitoring, the doctors and nurses told me I was going to have the baby that day. All plans of being freshly showered and looking decent were happily thrown out the window. After being in labor for about 14 hours, she made her grand entrance. There are no words to describe the moment when Sam and I got to see her for the first time. It was so special. She weighed 8 lb. 4 oz. and has continued gaining weight since then and is nearly ten pounds! We never imagined we could love something so tiny so much. So far, the large majority of people think she looks like Sam and I have to agree. We stare at her all day long and can’t imagine life without her.

7999_0007_### Newborn_Haslam-3 Newborn_Haslam-8Screen Shot 2017-09-25 at 4.57.44 PM Newborn_Haslam-12 Newborn_Haslam-20 Newborn_Haslam-22 Newborn_Haslam-27 Newborn_Haslam-29 Newborn_Haslam-30 Newborn_Haslam-40 Newborn_Haslam-45 Newborn_Haslam-54 Newborn_Haslam-60

A few things that are helping us survive the 3rd trimester

3rd trimesterThe third trimester of pregnancy is no joke – shout out to all the mamas out there that go through it without complaining! With only a few weeks to go, we are both battling swollen feet, sleepless nights, and moments of pure exhaustion. However, in the midst of all this, we are loving seeing family and friends at baby showers, prepping our nurseries, and getting ready to meet these little humans! Here are a few things that are making us feel happy right now:

  • MAC Concealer: Pregnancy has been a bit of a curve ball when it comes to my complexion. Thankfully this concealer is a WINNER! It is not greasy and stays put all day long. The very best part is that it is now carried at Ulta which is nice and convenient since there is one just down the street from my house. You can find it here.
  • Homemade Ice Cream: Instead of a birthday cake I requested homemade chocolate marshmallow ice cream from my mom. She has an ice cream maker that is old school, at least 30 years old, and makes THE CREAMIEST ice cream! Here is the recipe she uses.
  • DryBar Flexible Hold Hairspray: Now that I am moving into mom territory I anticipate not having too much free time to do my hair in the beginning. This stuff keeps my curls looking good for multiple days in a row. Plus, it totally doubles as a perfume in my book because it smells really good. You can find it here.
  • An everything bag that fits all my stuff: Rosemary Card, of QNOOR, gifted me this gorgeous leather bag for the baby and I immediately fell in love. The leather is really supple and the gorgeous caramel neutral color works with everything. Quite possibly the prettiest diaper bag of all time!
  • Tassel Earrings: it’s only fun to shop for three things right now – sunglasses, earrings and makeup – because they are the only things that still fit! I got bright purple tassel earrings from JCrew and have been wearing them probably a little too often, but it’s because they make it look like I sort of tried when paired with any outfit. Here are some that are similar.

The countdown is on! Here’s to a few more weeks of waddling :)

Britt & Sam Maternity Photos

Sam and I were hesitant to get maternity photos taken just because it seemed kind of indulgent to take them before the baby is here, but now we are so glad we did. Although I feel the least glamorous I ever have, I’m sure I will look back and be happy to remember this time of life. In more exciting news, only one month until we get to meet this baby girl! Here are a few of my favorites from our session with Meg Turley. Maternity_Haslam-6Maternity_Haslam-28 Maternity_Haslam-8 Maternity_Haslam-9 Maternity_Haslam-11 Maternity_Haslam-14 Maternity_Haslam-15Maternity_Haslam-34

3 Tricks for Tired Eyes

Everyone tells you how uncomfortable you are going to get in the third trimester, but you don’t get it until it actually starts happening! Both of us are learning to survive on a little less sleep these days (don’t worry we know, we are just getting started on that journey!). We’ve found three things that have helped a little bit in the quest to look awake on television every day :)

skyn iceleandSkyn Iceland Undereye Firming Gels $30 for a pack of 8 pairs, Ulta Beauty

These feel better than 100 frozen cucumbers on your eyelids. These little gel pads are great because they actually work. Pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes, then place them on your eyes and rejoice because it feels cooling, relaxing, and moisturizing all at once! We have used these for several years and always go back to them after a long night or when we just want to feel a little bit pampered. Hint: husbands love to use them too :)

anastasia pro pencilAnastasia Beverly Hills Pro Pencil $18 Ulta Beauty

This is one we learned about while getting our makeup done in Los Angeles before the Grammy Awards several years ago. The makeup artist told us she liked to use it in the waterline above the lower eyelashes to brighten up the eye. Try it yourself and you will see how much it opens up the eye and makes you look more awake. We’ve both had ours for about three years, so they last forever. I like the color of Base 1 the best for my skin tone.

waterline(thank you internet for this creepy, but helpful waterline image if you’re wondering where to apply the pencil)

visine doneEye drops (Visine Redness Relief, $4 at any drugstore)

It sounds dumb, but these actually help a ton. We both use these on days when our eyes either feel dry and achy or just look a little tired and bloodshot.

I think it’s time for a nap :)

Dressing the (growing) bump

Pregnancy as a first-timer has so many surprises. One of the most exciting things happened a couple of months ago when I felt the baby really kick for the first time. It is such a relief to feel a baby moving around in there! Something that has caught me off guard a bit is that my body is changing every.single.day. My bump grows at random rates and my chest just keeps expanding. I wake up not really knowing what clothing items will fit. This has made getting dressed tricky – especially because I have to look semi-presentable Monday through Friday on the show. Thank goodness for dresses! They are now my go-to. From flowy to more bodycon styles it is so nice to have something that is stretchy without a waistband! All waistbands are now my enemy. I abhor anything that feels tight and constricting. Some maternity clothes out there make you feel bigger and more pregnant than you are however I have found a few winners that I wanted to share! When you find a good thing you should share it, right?Thank goodness for Seraphine Maternity! I knew about this brand thanks to Princess Kate. She wore the brand during her pregnancies with George and Charlotte and always looked FLAWLESS. After hopping on the website I was pleased to find the exact dress she wore was available in a variety of colors and prints. Being the good sister that I am I talked Britt into getting one as well :) She settled on the magenta, I went with the mint print. We both love the dress because it flows and can be worn during pregnancy and after! As for the black printed maxi, it is by far Britt’s most complimented pregnancy outfit. I went with the red dress because I needed a piece that was a little more dressed up and could flow through all the different stages of pregnancy. seraphine maternity 1
seraphine maternity 3

5 things learned in 5 years of marriage

wedding bs
Celebrating 5 years of marriage is a big deal! Ok not that big of a deal when I consider my parents have been married for 35 and my grandparents were all married for more than 50. We’ve got a long way to go, but we have learned a lot these past few years. Sam and I have been together for nearly a decade – we met in high school and started dating in college. I’ve grown so much since we got married. I thought it would be nice to share a few things I’ve learned. Read on if you would like!

  1. Try and do one kind thing every day. This sounds simple and it really, really is. Trying to be a perfect wife is overwhelming and frankly impossible, so I try to do this instead. It’s as easy as it sounds, I pick something each day that I think would make Sam happy and I do it. These are ridiculous things like making the bed, making a Costco run, or making evening plans I know he will enjoy. He is WAY better at this than I am and has taught me what it really means to be thoughtful.
  2. Celebrate the small stuff. I notice we get little happy bursts when we celebrate small accomplishments or events. Whether someone got a raise or a really great golf score, we try to celebrate.
  3. You can’t say I love you too much. I never tire of hearing it. I think it’s so important to let Sam know I love him every single day and he does the same for me.
  4. Marry the guy that will do all of the jobs you don’t want to. This sounds terrible, but it’s true. Sam is much more responsible than I am. He keeps our finances in check because I hate dealing with numbers (hello journalism degree!), he keeps our yard looking nice and always does the dishes and takes out the garbage because he knows I hate those chores. He never complains about doing any of these things and I think we balance each other out quite nicely, even if my only addition is the fact that I’m kind of good at baking :)
  5. Enjoy every stage. Our relationship now is much different than it was five years ago. We are a bit more grounded, but also much more deeply in love. We’ve gone through lots of stages – The Honeymoon Stage – The College Graduation/Searching for Real Life Jobs Stage – The New Homeowner Stage – and now, the Pre-baby Stage! All of them have been so fun to experience together. It’s crazy to think I’m now having a baby with the boy I’ve loved since I was 19. I feel so lucky to experience life with Sam and I think this next stage of parenthood will quite possibly be the best one yet!

Before and After pics from Brooke’s living room makeover!

IMG_4617 (1)flooringprogressshotIMG_3099IMG_3139IMG_3292

Parker has been hard at work over the last few months working on some of our bigger house projects. We have now officially lived in our house for one year and it has gone by so fast! The home was built in the 1950’s and definitely needed some TLC. When we first walked through the house we made a mental list of big projects that we wanted to do and the fireplace was near the top of the list. We knew that the outdated red painted brick had to go! Along with the wallpaper. I am so happy that the previous owner only did a statement wall in wallpaper because that stuff is so stubborn and takes forever to get off. (Many thanks to my mom and brother for helping me peel it off piece by piece!) It has been a long process to do the fireplace and the rest of the living room flooring and walls but I am so happy with how it turned out! Here are just a few of the things that were done during the process:

  • wallpaper removed and wall painted gray
  • brown carpet removed and wood flooring put in
  • old baseboards taken out and new ones put in and painted
  • demo of the fireplace and rebuilding the entire wall and shape of the space with cement and drywall
  • building the actual wood mantel and painting it white
  • tiling the surround with Carrera marble

We are still working on a few furniture and art pieces for the walls but I love how it turned out! The most amazing part of the transformation is that Parker did it without a blueprint or plan! He knew what he wanted it to look like and made it happen which is something I really admire. Some advice I have if you are thinking of doing a living room remodel:

  • Be patient: every house project takes 2-3 times longer than you expect and there will always be unexpected bumps along the way.
  • Test multiple paint colors in various areas of the room. I am so glad we did this. Also, do not be scared to have them specially mix two different colors together so that you can get the perfect shade – it is free!
  • Decorate slowly with furniture, art, and accessories. It is really hard to know what things will look like in a space before it is finished.

Happy remodeling! Now we are moving on to start working on the nursery. 3 months to go, updates to come!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

mothers day gift ideas 2017

We had fun putting together this gift guide filled with things we are loving right now!

  • Katie Waltman necklace: Local Salt Lake City jewelry designer. Affordable pieces that support local!
  • Robert Matthew bag: A great Mary Poppins bag that can contain everything a mother needs on a daily basis.
  • Blue Lily Candles: Handmade in East Millcreek these candles smell divine and are one of a kind.
  • Slipper Socks: At $1.99 these slipper socks are a STEAL and so cozy! You can find them on ulta.com or at your local Ulta Beauty store. They also have incredible aloe vera socks that leave your feet feeling silky smooth.
  • Pastel Hue Wallet: These wallets are both affordable and adorable. The best part is they come FREE inside a matching purse when you buy a fragrance over $75 from Ulta. So buy mom some perfume and get yourself a new bag and wallet!



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