Josiah’s Birthday Easter Shoot

Josiah’s one year old. How did this happen? This year literally flew by so fast. He’s changing and learning everyday and I just can’t keep up. So, I had to do this shoot for his 1 year milestone. I struggled with a theme for his shoot until I realized his birthday was on Good Friday. So, an Easter theme seemed perfect. Originally, we wanted an outdoor shoot at one of the awesome parks here in Cincinnati, but it started snowing the day before his shoot. Can you imaging a half-naked baby eating a birthday cake in the snow? It might be pretty but that would be one unhappy baby. Plan B was us meeting the photographer at her studio.

We brought a few simple props for the shoot but the star of the show was definitely Josiah and he did not disappoint. He was so funny and cooperative for the photographer and that shocked me. He doesn’t like to sit still especially when he knows you want him to.

She did a few test shots and we couldn’t believe how he was posing. He’s just too cool.

Here are some Easter themed shots.

And……. more!

Now for the cake smashing. This boy has never had cake before and I was so excited to watch him try it. When he tasted it and realized it was good, he started slapping it like he was beating a drum. It was fun to watch. He ate a few more bites before he turned the cake upside down.

Boy was that a mess to clean up. We all had fun at this shoot and Josiah crashed early that night from all the sugar.

Photographer: Loren Danae Photo


My Favorite Little Tea Room

I just had to write a blog post about my favorite cafe/tea room. Laura’s Tea Room. I’m telling you this place is a must if you near the area. Me and my sisters travel an hour and 15 minutes for the High Tea experience at this charming place. We visit every season because the menu changes and it’s just wonderful. Be sure to click the link and read all about he history of this place. 

I just love the inside of this cafe. It’s full of charm, unique gifts, vintage vibes. I never leave without bringing home a brand new teacup and saucer to add to my collection. 

This time, I went with my both of my sisters and three of my cousins. Here’s is a little about the high tea experience. First, you go up the stairs and into the hat room and pick out a hat. There are tons to choose from. We always use this time to take many photos. 

Then, you pick out a teacup and saucer from their vintage collection. This is so hard because there are too many pretty cups to choose from. 

I chose this one because it kind of matched my dress.

Here, are some pretty pictures I took before we sat down. 

A pretty Fall place setting for all of the awesome food we were about to consume. You get three courses of food which changes with the seasons. You also get three teas to try. During this visit, we had Fall Cinnamon Apple as our iced sweet tea and both Pecan Pie and Pumpkin Spice as our hot teas. They were wonderful.

Our first course was a White Chocolate Rasberry Scone with Devonshire Cream and Lemon Curd. Yum!!!!

The next course is my absolute favorite and I can’t even describe how and why it tastes so great. This is their Warm Apple Bisque. Lord help me!! 

The third course is our savory and sweet bites. In this pic, the savories included Cucumber Dill Sandwiches, Tomato Sandwiches, Pemento Cheese on Cinamon Raisin Bread, Egg and Red Pepper Sandwiches and Brie Tarts with Blackberry Jam. Can we just go back already? 

Here in this pic, the sweet bites include: Carrot Cake Cupcakes, Apple Toffee Truffles, S’mores Brownies, Mini Pumpkin Pies and Chocolate Clementines. 

After we finished eating and enjoying the different teas, we took a few more group pictures before we left.

Like I said, this place is a must!!! Everyone needs to experience High Tea at Laura’s Tea Room. Can you see why it’s my favorite place? 


A Good Night’s Sleep With Zipadee Zip.

It was that time. Time to transition from the swaddle when Josiah started breaking free from it and trying to roll over. What in the world were we gonna do now? He slept soo good when he was swaddled. Well, I remember an episode of Shark Tank where a husband and wife invented a safe wearable blanket called the Zipadee Zip. Their company is called Sleeping Baby. I kept researching and reading about it and it seemed like the perfect solution for us. 

We went a few nights without any kind of swaddle before purchasing the Zipadee Zip just to see if he would sleep ok. Well, let’s just say I lost sleep those nights. Josiah just kept waking up every couple of hours crying, and he NEVER does that. So, we ordered the Zippy.


The Zipadee Zip came in and he looked so cute when we tried it on him. Like a little starfish. I wish we had of ordered a cute print though. I’m not sure why we ordered a plain teal color because they have so many prints to choose from. The first night in the Zippy was a success and every night since then. Josiah loves to hold something in his hand while he sleeps so this is the perfect solution since the hands are covered. He doesn’t startle as much and he feels secure all night long. I love that he is able to roll over while wearing it and will also be able to crawl whenever that time comes. 

It’s also the perfect bedtime cuddle blanket.

The other night at bedtime, I was searching for his Zippy and realized it was still in the dirty laundry (mommy brain). There was no time to wash and dry it so we had to just go without it. He woke up every hour and kept falling asleep and waking up. This went on until 3:30 am. I blame this on me not having his Zippy clean. While I enjoyed the extra cuddles, I was exhausted. Needless to say, this momma needed all the coffee the next day and I will NOT forget his Zippy again. The next night, after his bath, we put him in his Zippy and bedtime was a breeze. He’s was asleep by 8:30 PM and slept until…………….. 8:45 AM. That’s 12 hours. It’s a miracle! Lol.

If your interested in this miracle blanket click HERE and browse their site and use the coupon code EMILYH to receive $5 off your order. I’m gonna need to pick out a second one to help prevent another sleepless night. 


Pull-Through Braid Updo

Ok! This hairstyle is so easy and I’m all about easy these days. I’m pretty sure anyone can do it. It only took me minutes to do and it’s so beautiful and elegant. I can just see this style with a nice dress for a wedding or formal event. It even looks good with this white t-shirt. Lol. I think you will be surprised how simple this style is to create.

Let’s start with the supplies that you’ll need: Elastic bands, Teasing Comb, Hairspray and Bobby pins

STEP 1) After teasing the crown for volume, make 2 small ponytails in the back behind your ear.
STEP 2) Take the first ponytail and split it in half.
STEP 3) Take the second ponytail and place it in between the first ponytail and clip it out of the way.
STEP 4) Grab another section of hair and add it to the hair that you previously spilt. Create a new ponytail.
STEP 5) Unclip the ponytail that you have out of the way and split it in half. We are repeating this process several times.
STEP 6) Place the next ponytail in between the split one and clip out of the way.
STEP 7) Keep repeating this process until you reach just behind the opposite ear. Tie off the rest of the hair with one last ponytail.
STEP 8) This is the step that makes the hairstyle great. Pull the edges of the hair to create texture. Don’t be shy.
STEP 9) Take the loose hair, twist it and tuck/hide it under the updo and secure with bobby pins.

That’s it! I hope you enjoy this style as much as I did. It’s a fun one! 



Peaches For Fall

Every Fall season, I tend to want to change things up a bit. My house, my wardrobe, my hair and my makeup. I found this beautiful peach haircolor by Joico and told myself I would attempt to use it the next time the baby fell asleep. So while the baby was sleeping, I was coloring and this was the result. Peach perfection! 

Now let’s talk makeup. I also tried some new makeup shades to compliment the hair color. They’re not your typical fall shades, actually, they’re are more like summer. Lol. I guess I just like the warmth of these colors for a change. I was surprised at how much I loved these shades of peach on me.  Products used are listed below. 

Blush: Bare Minerals blush in Vintage Peach. Now, this isn’t a new shade for me. It’s my favorite blush and I’ve used it for about 4 years now. 

Highlight: Highlight Trio by City Color Cosmetics. I got this in my ipsy bag 😉

Shadow: Meet Matte-Trimony Palette (The Balm) and the Makeup Geek shade in Cosmopolitan

Lipstick/Gloss: Meet Matte Hughes lipstick in the shade Doting (The Balm) and Bare Minerals gloss in future star. 

Check out that glow!!! I absolutely love this highlight by. It has 3 shades in the palette that are warm cool and neutral. For this look, I wore the cool pink shade. I have also fallen in love with the Meet Matte-Trimony Palette by the Balm Cosmetics. The colors are very intimidating, but I enjoy experimenting with them. Here are the order of shades I used to create this peachy, glowy look.

1) I used Matt Lin all over the lid.

2) I used Matt Thomas in the crease.

3) I used a little bit of Matt Moscowitz also in the crease for depth. The purple shade will bring out the peachy tones since they are opposite tones.

4) A touch of Matt Ahmed at the outer corner and lower lash line.

5) I finished the look by adding this shimmery peachy shade by Makeup Geek called Cosmopolitan on my lid. 


Simple Twisted Updo

What a beautiful style that’s also simple to create. It’s super elegant and perfect for any occasion, especially for weddings. Follow to steps below to create this twisted style! 

Supplies needed: Elastic bands, Bobby pinsHairspray

STEP 1) I started with leftover curled hair and teased the crown for volume. Take the hair at the crown and pin it in place to create as much volume as you want.
STEP 2) Grab a large section of hair from the side and split it in half.
STEP 3) Twist those two sections together.
STEP 4) Pull on the edges of the twist to expand and add texture.
STEP 5) Now, drape that hair over to the opposite side and pin in place.
STEP 6) Do the same on the opposite side. Twist, pull, and pin. **You can stop at this point for a cute half-upstyle!
STEP 7) Take the hair at the nape of the neck and put an elastic band at the base and near the ends just like this picture.
STEP 8) Tuck the end elastic into the elastic at the base to create a bun and secure with extra bobby pins. Why? Because this will create more volume for the steps to come.
STEP 9) Time to repeat the twist steps again. Start on one side with two sections, twist and pull.
STEP 10) Pin that hair in place on the opposite side and continue these steps until to run out of hair. Just remember to use a good amount of hair for the twists.

Wasn’t this easy? I mean, it’s a lot of steps, but very simple steps. If you try this style, I would love to see it. Just tag #hairandmakeupbyemily.



My Tiny Dance Partner

Many of you mommas know that waking up in the middle of the night with your baby is hard. Sometimes, you finally drift off to sleep only to hear your little one cry, or in my case, grunt. Lol. I never wake up to Josiah crying, but instead, he  grunts like he’s clearing his throat until I wake up and get him. I think that’s weird but at least he’s not upset. Thankfully, I’m a light sleeper or I would never hear him and the poor kid would be grunting all night if it was up to his hard sleeping daddy. I get up and unswaddle him, change his diaper, feed him until he’s happy and play with him until he seems tired again. I then have to try to get him back to sleep. This isn’t easy for Josiah. He needs a little help settling down and rocking comfortably in the rocking chair just doesn’t do it. He likes to be high on my shoulder with his face buried in my neck with me standing, swaying back and forth, almost like a slow dance. Trust me, he knows when I sit down because he wakes right back up and gets really antsy. After a few weeks of this repetitive, “dancing” him to sleep, it was becoming such a task to me. A task that was making me roll my eyes after 20 minutes of trying to get to sleep only to see that he is still awake. One night as I was holding him, slowly swaying from one foot to the other, I felt his little body go limp like he was asleep. I glanced at him in the mirror to see if he’s asleep and notice he has the sweetest smile on his face as he’s still awake. He was so happy and content just dancing in my arms and that smile never went away. It was the sweetest moment that only we shared right there in our room while watching his daddy sleep. A few minutes later, I noticed he’s asleep with the same smile still on his face and I no longer wanted to rush to put him down. Instead, I just wanted to hold him and keep on dancing. I thought about how many times my mind was on rushing him to sleep while missing moments like this. How many opportunities does a mother get to slow dance with her son in a lifetime? NOT MANY! I mean, maybe on his wedding day or something like that. I knew moments like this wouldn’t last long at all. Soon, he will be a hyper, loud toddler who might not want to, “slow dance,” anymore. Since that night, everytime I’m up with him, I try not to think about rushing him back to sleep for the sake of me going back to sleep. I just try to enjoy my time slow dancing and humming in his ear until he drifts off to sleep or sometimes much longer. I’m aware that this may sound silly to some, but for me, it made me start to enjoy those midnight moments instead of dread them. I know every baby is different and some might be a little more difficult, but this is my story. Count every late night and early morning with your little one an opportunity instead of a task or a job and you might not mind the loss of sleep as much. For me, it’s another opportunity to slow dance!


My Top Favorite Hair Products

I’ve used lots of products throughout the years and I must say that none compare to these. They are truly the best and most dependable products I’ve ever used. I work with lots of bride’s and I know that when I use them, I have confidence that the styles will last. Since they work so well for my clients on their special day, why wouldn’t I used them on myself everyday? All of the following products are by Kenra Professional! 


Let’s start off with this incredible product! This product isn’t for everyone but it’s definitely for me. I have very course, dry hair and need all of the smoothing moisture I can get. This product smooths the hair, add shine and smells like candy. If you already have silky smooth, or flat hair, you could just use it as a heat protector on the ends only. This is perfect for sleek and polished styling. 


What a fantastic product this is. It’s light weight and easy to use. It adds texture to any style and doesn’t build up on the hair, unlike waxes and pomades that leave a sticky residue. Anyone can use this product. 

TIPS: Add it to your roots before teasing for extra lift and grip. Spray on pre-curled hair and break up the curls with fingers for a textured look. Spray all over before braiding so braids really hold well. Spray on hair before adding bobby pins for extra grip. BUY THIS NOW!!


This is the best hairspray out there! Kenra makes many levels of hold and this one holds even better than the freeze spray to me because it has a super fine mist and dry very quick. You can add many layers of this hairspray and the hair will never look stiff and plastered. It’s definitely my go to hairspray for my clients as well as myself. 


This is a new product by Kenra Professional and definitely a keeper. I would describe this spray as a mix between the 25 hairspray and the texture spray. It’s matte (no shine) finish creates a textured feel much like the texture spray but has hold like hairspray. The best of both worlds. It also has a smell that is great for men to use. Not feminine at all! I’ve been using this product along with the 25 hairspray and I don’t even have to think about my hair the rest of the day! 

Hopefully you will enjoy these products as much as I do. 



As some of you may already know, I am absolutely obsessed with light fresh neutrals. I’m not really a dark smokey eye kind of girl. My long time favorite palette is the IT COSMETICS Naturally Pretty Palette, but this one is rising to top of my favorites list and the best part is it’s totally affordable. I paid $20 for it!! It’s called the neutral iBook Palette by Shany Cosmetics. 

Check out the packaging of this palette. It resembles and IPad. It has a case that is easy to flip open and prop up. Totally adorable! 

I am pretty much able to wear any of the shades in this iBook especially the light warm soft shades at the top. DREAMY. The colors are pigmented enough to be super blendable. Most of these shades are warm neutrals so if you don’t like warm shades, this isn’t the palette for you. I will say that I wear the bronzers, blushes and highlighters, (at the top and bottom of the palette) as eye shadows because I like others better. I also do not like the primer (located as the home button) at all. It’s sticky and it creases, but hey, you’re not purchasing this for the primer. I use my own primer. 

Just look at these shades. They are creamy and dreamy and perfect for everyday natural looks. Do yourself a favor and order this NOW! 


Our Birth Story

The happiest day of our lives, for sure, was when  Josiah Michael Holland was born. I’m glad to share our birth experience with everyone. I’m also a little nervous because I know everyone has their own opinion about how they think you should bring your child into this world, but our story is OUR STORY! 


It was was that day! We arrived at the hospital at 8:00 on Wednesday, March 29th to start the induction process.

Why induction one week early? It was my choice and I chose induction because I wanted my doctor to be the one to deliver Josiah. She wouldn’t have been able to if we had waited. I was healthy and the baby was healthy enough for an early delivery.
The process started at midnight with the Cervidil induction to prepare me for Pitocin induction in the morning. It was a super long night simply because I was so nervous and anxious. The night was going well though and the cervidil was doing its job.

They started the pitocin at 6:00 am Thursday, March 30th. We were so nervous because we knew it could either get labor rolling quickly or slow it down dramatically. It instantly started contractions that progressed very strongly and quickly. Since my contractions were so strong and close together, the doctor advised that I go ahead and get my epidural. My epidural was put in around 9 am and then they broke my water.  So, now the waiting begins. I was feeling fantastic despite the lack of sleep. But everytime the nurses checked me I wasn’t dilated past one centimeter. So they kept increasing the Pitocin. At 3:00 that afternoon, I had only made it to two centimeters. Three hours later, at 5:00 I had only made it to two and a half. We were bummed and the epidural started wearing off. Around 6:00 I was in so much pain and they gave me more meds through my epidural that wasn’t working. The doctor told me that I was in that small percentage of women who’s body got use to the epidural and it no longer worked for them. I was having strong regular contractions but just wasn’t dilating. The baby was so low, I felt him being pushed up against me so strongly with each contraction. He was ready but my body wasn’t. I talked with my doctor about opting for a cesarean and she said she would definitely do that for me if that is what I wanted. I told her I would give it a couple more hours to see if I progressed anymore. Well, after a few more hours, I hadn’t progressed.  I just felt strongly that a cesarean was the best option for me. After he was born the doctor agreed because she realized how low he was and how it would have potentially been dangerous if we had waited since I was failing to progress.


It was around 8:45 p.m. and we were super excited and super nervous because our baby would be here in the next 30 minutes for sure. Jonathan kissed me as they wheeled me off to prep for surgery. The surgery prep was terrifying to me because of all the bright lights and I knew I was about to have major surgery. Lol. After they numbed me from the chest down I couldn’t breathe very well and was extremely shaky, so I was in a small panic. I needed Jonathan there to help me but for some reason, the nurse hadn’t brought him in yet. My doctor began the surgery and I still didn’t have my husband. Talk about scary. I just kept asking for him as they were cutting me. I just took some slow breaths to concentrate on breathing and not passing out. I saw someone rush around the corner and I recognized Jonathan’s eye in his O.R. attire and I just lost it with relief and happiness. He got me through that surgery with his excitement and confidence about what was happening, but I on the other hand, was a wreck, emotionally and physically. The ten minutes of the doctors getting my baby out felt like an hour. Then my doctor called my name and said, “Ok Emily, you’re  about to feel a lot of pressure because I am about to pull your baby out.” The anesthesiologist said, “Take a deep breath because you’re about to be a mommy!” Jonathan was right by my side rubbing my head and holding my hand. Then we heard the sweetest cry ever! Josiah was here!  Jonathan stood up and took some pictures of him as they held him up in the air then he kissed me and went to cut the cord and watch them weigh and measure him. Since my chest was so numb and I was crying, I couldn’t get enough breath or strength to talk out loud so I just mumbled hoping they would hear me. I was telling Josiah, “I love you Josiah!” “Happy Birthday baby!” “That’s your daddy beside you!” “You sound so beautiful!” “Thank you, Jesus!” The only person that heard me was the anesthesiologist, he never left my side. Then, I heard Jonathan singing the song to Josiah that he sang the entire time I was pregnant and he stopped crying and was completely calm. Talk about losing it. I lost it. Jonathan brought Josiah around the corner for me to see him for the first time and kiss those fat cheeks from the sonogram pic that I couldn’t wait to see in person. He was perfect to me. 

This was literally the happiest moment of my entire life! Nothing else in the world will compare to this moment.