10 Things Vol. 8

It’s time for another “ten things” post. I stole this idea from my friend Kelly– but it’s basically just an old school blog post where I share the first ten things that come to mind… Ready, set, go!

MY OWN ADVICE // I’m finally taking my own advice on work. Over the years I’ve helped a lot of people with their various small businesses (and even wrote a book). Sometimes I don’t take my own advice though and end up kicking myself down the line for not being smarter about various decisions. This year, thanks in large part to being a mom to a toddler, I was forced into taking my own advice. Namely, I’ve hired a great “team” of people– hiring was always a pain point for me because I can be a little (read a lot) controlling. But I had to otherwise I knew I would drown and it’s been amazing… so much so I think I’ll end up hiring for a position or two in 2023 as well. And I also worked with my management team to figure out what campaigns to say no to. It’s paid off in a big way. It’s allowed me to say yes to bigger campaigns and keep my head above the water. This is the first year where I don’t feel like I’m drowning and I am grateful. It’s a little intimidating to take on the role of a manager and it can be scary to turn down opportunities when you don’t know when the next one will show up, but so far so good.

LETTING GO OF LETTING PEOPLE DOWN // Speaking of saying no, I have been so much better about letting go of the fear of letting people down. I wouldn’t necessarily label myself a people pleaser at first glance, however, I definitely found myself with certain habits that were totally out of fear of letting people down. I have that dreaded issue of feeling like people are always “mad at me” and it’s such a bad insecurity to have! I hate it! I catch myself writing stories in my head about why someone is mad at me, even though it’s totally false. Working on it actively and I’d say the work is paying off. Do you remember that game as a kid where the elephant would shoot like butterflies from its trunk and you’d run around with a net trying to catch all of them? (Please tell me you know what I’m talking about– I have such a distinct visual, haha!) That’s how I felt trying to please and not let down everyone. Butterflies everywhere and me just running around like crazy trying to not let any drop!

I’ve let go of that fear– at least a little bit– and I feel so much less…. harried? Is that the word I’m searching for? Basically I just feel at peace. It’s not that I want to let someone down, but if doing what I need to do (within reason, obviously!) lets someone down, it’s not the end of the world. (A large part of this personal growth was realizing it was okay to let go of some friendships altogether.)

  1. WINTER SHOES FOR TODDLERS // Moms, help! What shoes do you put on your toddlers? Jack is growing at an insane rate and he’s blowing through shoes. Right now he has one pair of sneakers that he wears pretty much every day and then we have a couple of “cuter” shoes that we wear on occasion. He definitely has the walking thing down now so that has helped with the shoe choices as he doesn’t lose his balance 🙏🏻 But we need winter shoes! For snow, yes, but mainly for warmth. Any favorite brands or styles I need to look for, especially for a chunkier foot?!
  2. APPLE WATCH // After hemming and hawing for a bit, I finally upgraded my Apple Watch. I have one from a few years ago, but once the pandemic hit I had absolutely zero need for it since we were home all the time. I went to charge it a few months ago and it wouldn’t even turn on. I probably should have waited for Cyber Week deals, but I was impatient and wanted to get it ASAP once I decided I definitely wanted one. I was debating between the Oura Ring and the Apple Watch, but leaned Apple Watch because of the notifications. The main reason is that when I’m with Jack, I don’t want to be looking at my phone (and I’m usually at the very least keeping tabs on work emails) and when I’m not with Jack, I want to make sure I get notifications from Mike or the babysitter or daycare no matter what I’m doing.

I also really wanted the accountability for working out. See more below 😉 I got the Starlight Series 8 in the 40mm and so far am really happy.

RUNNING // So I’m mixing up my workouts with running. I LOVE spinning on the  Peloton, but I’ve been working out at the gym more because they have babysitting hours in the morning and I can bring Jack with me (and have time to shower and blow dry my hair there!). I have been doing the 3-12-30 workout– 3 speed at a 12 incline for 30 minutes– and loving it. I spontaneously decided to try one of the Peloton programs for running and I’m….. I can’t believe I’m about to say this…. really enjoying the running 🙈 The classes are so enjoyable and actually make the running fun! I’m definitively not a runner, so this feels crazy to me. I’m not trying to go out and run competitively or run long distances, but I think I want to try to run a 5k or two. I actually signed Mike and me up for a 5k in Tampa on Thanksgiving…. we’ll see how it goes!

  1. HANDMAID’S TALE // Whew. Anyone still watching Handmaid’s Tale? I was late to the game, but got really into it a few years ago. I watched a lot of it while I was pregnant, which was a weird kind of torture. And I’m still watching it. I just finished this last season and I am already ready for the next, and final, season. I don’t even enjoy watching the show. It disturbs me and yet I can’t stop? I just need to know what happens at this point. 
  2. CHRISTMAS PRESENTS // I have major mom guilt over last year’s Christmas. It was the hardest month so far as a mom. Jack’s first cold, he had two teeth show up early, we were traveling, work was crazy. I didn’t feel like myself and was questioning everything. I totally let all of that taint the “magic” of Christmastime. Even if Jack couldn’t remember it, I just feel guilty. Not that I’m trying to “make up for it” this year, but I am definitely going to step up my game at least, haha. I’m already trying to plan out Christmas presents for Jack…. I know he’ll love this pretend cleaning set and I have a text thread with a couple of my friends to share more ideas. But would love to know your greatest hits for toddlers– trying to think ahead to the next year….
  3. HOLIDAY CARDS // I am going to try to wrangle my family in front of a camera for our holiday cards. Honestly I usually have a campaign for holiday cards and that forces me to do it earlier… I do have a couple of options from this summer photo-wise that I like, but ideally I’d love to get a family picture. I was thinking though, do you guys do the whole family or just kids?! 

TAYLOR SWIFT // I’ve been having so much second-hand anxiety from this Taylor Swift concert ticket sale situation. My TikTok For You Page is filled with videos of people trying to score tickets! Absolutely wild…. I have to say, you know I don’t love concerts, but my sister and I did consider trying to go to one of the Taylor concerts together. But we both got overwhelmed before it even started. Now I’m glad we decided to sit it out 🙈 With all this said, I’ve been ROOTING for everyone to get their tickets!! I hope if you want to go that you were able to score a ticket…. sending good vibes your way!

MY “BAD HAIRCUT” HAS ALMOST GROWN OUT // I got my haircut back in September and it was not necessarily a “bad” haircut, but it was 100% not what I asked for. I don’t like a ton of layers and I ended up with (what I’ve since learned) a U-Shaped cut, which is trendy on TikTok. Great for some people…. it just wasn’t me. I went back to the stylist to get it cut again and then went to another stylist to really fix it. She, thankfully, talked me out of going too much shorter and instead took off a little bit of length and blended the layers a bit more so they’d grow in better. It’s been a couple of months and I don’t hate my hair anymore 🤣 I know it’s just hair and I know it grows back…. but I have to admit it affected my mood. I didn’t even want to wear it down for a while because I hated how it looked on me. Now I feel better about it and I’m just working on growing out some of the shorter layers around my face.

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We received a pair of hand-me-down baby bogs when my now three year old was one and I’ve bought a new pair every fall since. They’re lined and have a strap on the back that makes them easy to put on. They have a rubber sole with good traction and never seemed clunky on my very active toddler’s feet. I don’t think they’re technically waterproof but we never had any issues even after playing in snow or stomping in puddles. Can you tell I’m a fan?!


Yes! The Bogs with the back Velcro are great for squeezing tiny feet into! Our Bogs are on to our second kiddo and definitely held up to the abuse kids shoes take!


I really like Bisgaard shoes for my chunky-footed toddler! They have some really nice warm ones.

Jenn Record

I love the idea of experiences as gifts, including for toddlers! Museum, aquarium, zoo memberships make great gifts from grandparents, too, esp. when they visit and you bring them to the spot they got you a membership for…plus memberships have tons of perks and it feels “okay” to “only” go for an hour or two before/after time time and not feel pressured to go all day and “get your money’s worth.” Lots of memberships have levels that earn you reciprocity at others museums so you can explore tons of places for free or at a steep discount.. Can you tell I’ve explored this concept for a while 😉

Sarah & Fewer & Better

We loved Baby Bogs for winter footwear, and use the regular Bogs now that we’re in the preschool stage! Machine washable, waterproof, super cozy, and easy to pull on.


Also came to sing the praises of Bog boots- have found them to be great quality and great for chunky toddler feet. Smart wool socks underneath always worked great for us too!


Toddler shoes: I love Stride Rite. They have several widths and a wide range of sizes including half sizes. Their 360 line is perfect for new walkers. Cute styles that are designed to help little feet build strength and move the way they’re intended to. Lots of bootie options perfect for cold weather. I would look at Columbia or a similar outdoor brand for actual snow boots, though.


We love the Adidas Grand Court sneakers for our three year old. He’s on his fifth pair since he started walking. They’re sturdy, easy to clean with a Magic Eraser, and go with everything. They are velcro closed instead of laces (without looking terrible) which is a must for chubby toddler feet!


This instagram post has some good ideas for toddler / kid winter boots:

I have a 17 month old son and live in Canada and we have Jan and Jul winter boots for him (the toasty dry puffy winter boots) and they’re working well so far in our first snowfall! This brand has lots of great outdoor gear for kids.


I’m just starting to get into running as well! Although I don’t think I have the right pair of shoes. Do you have a pair of running shoes you would recommend? I was looking into Hoka’s but I have no idea where to start.


Hi Carly! I’ve also just started to get into running! Although I don’t think I have the correct shoes because I’ve been getting shin splints and I’m only 3 weeks in. Do you have a running shoe you would recommend? I was looking into Hoka’s but there are so many options I’m overwhelmed and am not quite sure where to start.


Just stopping here to say to go to a local running store (not a big box sports store)! Every foot has several different factors that require someone who can evaluate those and help you find the right shoe. There is no “right” shoe for running, just right for you. My husband swears by Brooks, but Asics are what work for me, and I am a chronic shin-splint sufferer without them!


Crocs for chunky kids feed. Even Crocs boots. New Balance is great for little feet as well!


That toy is called an Elefun! They’re still in production– the boys I babysit have (and love!) it. You’ll have to keep it in mind when Jack gets old enough. ☺️


Cat and jack are great for chunky feet and target often has 30% off shoes so they are pretty inexpensive! Lots of snow and casual boot options! Especially with little boys that play rough with their shoes and need new ones often!


We got Baby Bog boots (I think just rain boots not snow boots) when our daughter was a younger toddler, bought them a few sizes up so she wore them for two winters. They are great for normal winter weather but she did also need real snow boots for when it actually snowed too.

For Christmas cards I always put a picture of the whole family because we send to a lot of people who live further away and don’t see our daughter often. When I get cards with just the kid’s picture on them, I often wonder whose kid it is!


Can you please share what you decide on for winter shoes for Jack? Also, would love to know the gifts you end up getting him (the Melissa & Doug cleaning set is awesome!). Thank you!


I like the kid’s Uggs, but they are expensive and they grow out of them so fast. Old Navy typically has dupes for the kid’s Uggs for really reasonable prices! I buy them a bit big, and they work with the shearling and thick socks. Plus, they are pull on/pull off, which is huge for kids that don’t dress themselves yet!


Can’t recommend C25K (Couch to 5K) more highly enough! It’s an app-based program that will ease you into running a 5k. After taking some time off due to injury, I’m using the app to get me back into running shape. You can pick which week/day to start so I began at Week 3. Currently doing it on the treadmill, too!

Hilary A

I have a cleaning enthused two year old and these are his favorites:

Casdon Dyson Cordless Vacuum | Interactive Toy Dyson Vacuum For Children Aged 3+ | Includes Working Suction For Realistic Play

Play22 Kids Cleaning Set 12 Piece – Toy Cleaning Set Includes Broom, Mop, Brush, Dust Pan, Duster, Sponge, Clothes, Spray, Bucket, Caution Sign, – Toy Kitchen Toddler Cleaning Set – Original

Melissa & Doug Laundry Basket Play Set With Wooden Iron, Ironing Board, and Accessories (14 Pcs)

And the Kid Kraft stackable Washing machine and dryer 🙂 huge hit!

Also just got the Melissa and Doug ice cream small set (it’s on sale still on Amazon for $20) and he’s just as obsessed as everyone said he would be (just went back and bought 2 more to have on hand for kid gifts) 🙂 he found it today so he got an early present haha 😂


We love bogs winter boots! They’re easy to get on and off and are waterproof and keep their feet really warm! We order a size up so they last the whole winter!


Hi! Love your blog. Would you ever do a post on winter footwear for moms? I live in Minnesota and have 4 young kids…I want a shoe/sleek boot that is warm, goes from slushy outside (parking lots, standing on school plaza) to inside seamlessly, and that looks cute with anything from cropped jeans to joggers. Am I asking too much ;)?


If you are open to sharing, I would love to hear more about how you structure your management team and the support you’ve set up. I’m in a different line of work, but am fascinated by how people work, and I’ve always enjoyed your posts about how you run your business. Of course only share what you’re comfortable with, but wanted to let you know it would be really interesting!!

Rebecca HT

Re: holiday cards – I’m not sending any out this year, but I think I would like to do family photo cards once we have a kid.
Right now, it’s just me, husband, and 2 cats, and sending out MORE cards this year (after the many many wedding related thank you cards) just sounds like too much.


Sorel Snow Commanders for the chunky feet. Whole family! Your children will love to see you all together.

Josephine Schulte

Love this!! Especially that you’re into running now. So fun! For toddler winter shoes, we do classic Uggs and size up one size. They’ve lasted both my boys all winter that way for a few winters now and they are so easy and warm! And we do the whole family on the holiday card 🙂


Oh I feeeeeeel you on the haircut! I tried out a new salon around the same time as you, and the stylist went scissor-happy with my curls. She ended up giving me a shag haircut which is not what I asked for at all. From the front, it looked like my hair was above my shoulders when really it’s to my shoulder blades…yikes. Growing out the short layers has been such a process but thankfully it looks like it won’t be too much longer before I can get it evened out.

Bad haircuts are definitely tough (and this one made me so upset for weeks), so know that you’re not alone!!


The thing about kids shoes is they grow so fast they often don’t wear out. And they are expensive! This local used to pick up shoes at Sprouts (the consignment store past Staples). If you haven’t been check it out – she has limited hours but she posts the hours for the day in Insta stories most days.