Fool’s Spring


Congratulations, everyone. We’ve made it! 

March is finally here and the telltale signs of Spring are all around us. The rising temperatures, the chirping robins, my weirdo neighbor doing laps around the hood on his electric skateboard and the swimsuits being placed 2 feet from the entrance of Target remind us that it’s about to get springy up in here. That being said, someone really should let them know that putting those flimsy suits that close to the entrance is a great way to lose good, loyal, chubby customers like myself. 

Spring just has a way of making us all feel a little better, doesn’t it? As a kid Spring brought the promise of outside recess and the chance to totally reinvent yourself during Spring photos, especially if the photos taken in the Fall didn’t exactly caption your true essence. Spring photos were special and they gave you the chance to be your best self and even better, gave you the opportunity to provide any prop that helped really drive that message home. For example, if you were a sporty girl, you could bring a basketball! A studious, yet edgy boy, you could bring a stack of Goosebumps books! But, if you were a bad ass with a bitchin’ haircut,  you’d wear a Pocahontas track suit and bring your Maltese with the worst grooming job this side of the Mississippi to really show the world that you’re here to tear things up. Not like I’m speaking from experience or anything.

As an adult, it’s much more simple. The days are finally starting to get longer and I don’t know about you, but I’m about ready to put away the fleece, the flannel and the sweaters and go out lookin’ for some D! (Vitamin D, that is.) Speaking of…ahem…the D, I recently received a text from a lady who hosted one of THOSE parties which I attended back in college. For those of you who either aren’t good at math or are in as much denial as I am about my age, that’s been like 10 years ago. And for those of you who have no idea about the kind of shindig I’m referring to, I’m talking about a Pure Romance party. Basically, a network marketing situation that sells kinky stuff, like “toys” that require AAA batteries as well as flavored water based lubricants.

KY? Because we gotta!

Anyway, the text was something along the lines of “Hi Mackenzie, it’s “Sally” from Pure Romance! We are running a flash sale and I wondered if you needed to stock up on anything?!”. First of all, Sal, great job keeping that list of leads warm for 10+ years, I salute you. Second of all, I have two children under 2, have worn only full coverage undergarments for years and have a preferred bedtime of 8 pm, so no, I do not need to “stock up”, but thank you for asking! In fact, the only thing getting spanked tonight is my beloved Iowa Hawkeyes basketball team, and honestly, that’s just sad.

But, back to business. What was I rambling about? The weather? Oh yes, Spring! Take it from me, nothing can take away the bliss an early Spring day brings like the distant sound of f bombs being dropped by your husband as he tries his best to blindly assemble the brand new double stroller you just spent too much money on. If there are any single ladies reading this, please make sure you know how your man is going to behave while putting together furniture, strollers, or even toys from your Pure Romance parties before you let him put a ring on it. Could be a real deal breaker if you’re not careful. JUST KIDDING. Although he loses his shit here and there, my husband is one of the good ones and he puts up with a lot. Also, hi, have I introduced myself lately? My name is A lot. He takes care of the important stuff, like the bills and the taxes and even answers the doorbell when it rings, (although the jury is still out on whether or not that is a good quality or not). Can you believe that? The doorbell rings. He answers. Just like that! My brain almost can’t process it, especially because I have one hard and fast rule in my life, and that’s to never answer the doorbell when it rings. Why, you ask? Serial killers, that’s why.

My husband, or as I like to call him, Geoff, is a good guy. And although he’s an ISU fan and sometimes forgets I’m a beautiful goddess who deserves to be complimented every hour on the hour, he’s very responsible, very tall, very handsome and maybe most importantly, doesn’t judge me when he catches a glimpse of my nips after a good pump session, which is really saying something. We started officially dating a million years ago in the Spring, so this time of year always makes me reflect on just how far we’ve come. It’s like, really far.

His job does require quite a bit of traveling, which can be hard, but it makes it that much sweeter once he gets home, especially when he comes home bearing treats like Canadian candy bars (whatchu putting in your chocolate, Canada?!). You know that saying about absence making things grow harder? (Right??) Well, it’s true. I recently compared my behavior when he arrives home to that of a drunk college girl, doing stuff like yelling “YOU WANNNA EGG SANAWICH” from the kitchen while sipping wine and flirting with two other boys to make him super jealous. The boys are our sons, but still. I think it works.

I don’t know when this turned into a husband appreciation post, but somehow it did and I’m just going to roll with it. And not JUST because I want him to buy me new teeth when mine inevitably all fall out due to me not doing my research and starting Smile Direct Club without a care in the world, but because he’s a good man who works hard and loves his family harder. Maybe it’s the warmer weather or all the talk of raspberry flavored lube that’s got me feeling this way, but I’m just really glad I’ve got a man who is generous enough to share his airline points and life with me, and that’s that.

Til next time.



Tots Out Tuesday

TitsOutTuesdayHeaderThe other day, as I was sitting in the Wellness Room at work trying my hardest to draft a serious email while simultaneously working to beat my PR of pumping 10 ounces at a time, I realized two things.

1) Women are multi-tasking goddesses that should be applauded every time we enter a room.


2) I probably need to put a piece of tape over my webcam because becoming a video star on the Russian dark web as “Funny Looking Fembot” is not at all how I intend to become famous.

Pumping at work is weird, there’s no way around that. You go into the only room with a lock to “do your thing” and everyone knows exactly what you’re doing. It’s weird. I will say though, pumping at work is the safest place to do it. I can say that with confidence because I’ve pumped everywhere. I’ve pumped in the infield of an IndyCar Series race just feet away from speeding cars, the Iowa State Fair just feet away from the bore with the big, well, you know, and maybe the scariest of all, in the parking lot of a Walmart. Pumping at work is even safer than home, because, well, I’m just going to come right out and say it, I fell asleep pumping the other night and not to sound dramatic, but the damage is still being assessed.

So, although pumping at work is a little awkward, there IS something about drafting an important email while tethered to a Medela Pump In Style Advanced that gives me a sense of power. Like, real POWER. Now, I realize anyone who receives emails from me on the reg may be worried that I’ve done it topless, laughing maniacally as I fill up a couple milk bags, but NO. Don’t worry, I only write emails to people I’ve either never met or simply just don’t like.

But the Wellness Room isn’t ALL about writing emails. Sometimes it’s taking a peek at my social media feeds, more specifically the dumpster fire that is Twitter. I’ve always loved it, but I spent A LOT of time on Twitter during maternity leave using it as a diary of sorts to record my nonstop stream of consciousness. It helped my postpartum mom brain in a strange way, which is cool. All of my random thoughts live on Twitter, the good, the weird, all of them, which just means there will be plenty of content for the media to dig through when I finally decide to cut the crap and run for political office or Miss America *hair toss*.
So, while I love Twitter and the friends I’ve made there, there are parts of it I just don’t explore and never want to. It’s kind of like an “everything the light touches” situation, but with the internet, yaknowimean? But sometimes, those dark parts creep into my timeline where they just don’t belong. For instance, I recently learned the hard way that Tuesdays can get especially wild over there, because of a little trend called… and I’m truly sorry in advance for what I’m about to type, #TitsOutTuesday. YOU GUYS! It’s a THING and some people take it very seriously, anxiously looking forward to Tuesday and NEVER missing an appointment. Remember when I mentioned my webcam earlier? I wasn’t joking. Imagine my utter confusion when, on what seemed like a regular old Tuesday, I’m minding my own business just pumpin’ and scrollin’ and BAM, I’m nose to nip with a pair of boobies that looked like they were rode hard and put up wet. Underneath those ol’ girls was the hashtag “#T*TS OUT TUESDAY”! I thought I was being pranked. I also thought it was quite the coincidence that I was being served up such relatable content as I sat there slowly covering up the girls, Gladys and Beverly, with a torn in half paper towel. I work in marketing and I know how these things work. I also know where the electrical type is and will be putting it to good use very soon.

A few blog posts ago, I mentioned that I don’t often offer advice because I’m no expert on any one topic, but the tape advice is some I’d probably take. Thanks to my self-deprecating sense of humor, nobody is probably looking to get advice from me anyway, which I’m cool with. But, I mean, I’m not dumb. I know some things. For instance, I know that if you say “I deserve this” you can pretty much get away with doing whatever you want. As an example, if you’ve just HAD it and need a little something to take the edge off at 10 am on a Saturday, pop a bottle, take a sip and say confidently, “I DESERVE THIS”. It now becomes against the law for anyone to give you any shit about your decision.
Another favorite move of mine is to refer to glutinous behavior as “self-care”. Say you bought your children Valentine’s Day candy that just so happens to be your favorite. The infant is too young to eat said candy and the toddler probably shouldn’t because, I don’t know, bedtime? As if by witchcraft those candy bars magically transform from regular Snickers to SELF-CARE SNICKERS and you deserve them. See? It’s easy. I know some stuff.

Well, I hate to cut things short, but I had better get going. I’ve got a date with the Medela I just can’t miss. I also need to find my electrical tape.

Til next time!






The Final Countdown

FinalCountdownToday, while I was online shopping for some new outfits for work, bitterly pressing the “add to cart” button while a single tear ran down my cheek because the clothes were a size larger than I usually wear, it really hit me that I’ll be heading back to the office next week. Normally, I would have no problem dropping some coin on a cute little number that is easy to take off, but for a completely different reason than using my breast pump at work. Sidenote, can we talk about how breastfeeding/pumping is not the “cheaper option” everyone says it is when you have to spend your life savings on new tops that accommodate your larger bacon hangers? UGH. Anyway, like I was saying, the feeling of heading back is undoubtedly very bittersweet. Returning to work means no more sitting on the couch for 2 hour periods staring into my sweet baby’s face while I hold him. No more middle of the day Target runs, chatting with my favorite cashier about how she doesn’t need a husband, because she just bought a candle that smells like a REAL MAN. No more binge watching Netflix shows about murder or baking (they go hand in hand). It’s all gone so fast! Was it really only 11 weeks ago that I was wearing an adult diaper? Only 10 weeks ago that I was able to transition to wearing a pad the size of a futon? Only 9 weeks ago that I took a vow to only wear “granny panties” for the rest of eternity?! I guess it’s like they always say, time flies when you’re sporting Depends. 

Ah, maternity leave, you were a good time and I’ll miss you. I won’t complain (too much) that it’s over because I, unlike a lot of new parents, was fortunate enough to have been granted my request to spend 12 weeks at home with my beautiful boys. We’ve just entered our last week and I can honestly say, it’s been a rollercoaster. It’s been beautiful and ugly and hard and so much fun and so depressing and perfect. I’ll tell you what it hasn’t been, though. A VACATION. I recently read a short post by a working mom that sums it up perfectly, and I encourage you to read it too: READ ME. So, let me say it a little louder for those in the back: MATERNITY LEAVE IS NOT A VACATION. If anything, it’s more like college spring break! The beginning is a blur, and all I really remember is some hot guy running around in his underwear in the middle of the night and the police coming to the door because the smoke alarms wouldn’t stop going off. The middle is when you start to get used to your new surroundings and think, “I could stay here forever!!” and the end is filled with regret around the things you didn’t get to do while you were gone, but you’re a little ready to get back to your routine. None of this includes a beach or fruity drinks, though. So maybe it’s not like spring break at all. 

It’s insane that there are humans out there that view this time as anything other than REALLY hard work. Do people really think moms on maternity leave spend their time away from the office jackin’ around and getting facials? I mean, if you count sticking my face in the dishwasher immediately after it finishes running and letting my face absorb the steam while I maniacally grab for bottle parts to feed my screaming baby, then yes, I get facials several times a week. 

While I’m on my soapbox, let me take a second to give a shout out to stay-at-home moms and daycare providers. I honestly don’t have a clue how you do it. Just last week as I was listening to the baby scream at the top of his lungs and witnessing the toddler swan diving out of his crib onto the hard floor, I contemplated if 9 am was too early for vodka and finally decided once and for all that I’m not cut out for that kind of work. It’s too tough for me, mentally, physically and financially. Financially because of the wine habit I would almost certainly develop, and I have expensive taste. So, cheers to you ladies and all you do, both for your own kids and for mine. You da real mvp’s. 

While I’m excited to go back and get to work, I’m also a little nervous. While 12 weeks feels like a short time to be home with my baby, 12 weeks away from the office is a very long time. Do I just waltz back in there pretending to be the same person I was when I left? I’m not the same person, I’ve changed! Mostly because I watch cartoons 16 hours a day and my brain has melted a bit. Needless to say, the scary thoughts are swarming. When I go back will I be as creative as I (thought I) was before? Will I accidentally refer to myself in the third person as “mama” during a client meeting (again)? Will I be judged because I didn’t lose this baby weight as fast as I did the first time? As I was doing my daily “Naked Captain Morgan” in front of the mirror the other day, I gave this bod a real long gaze, and YIKES. Wait, you don’t know what the “Naked Captain Morgan” is? It’s that position you get into when you’re naked and have one foot on the floor and one foot up on the toilet as you apply your body lotion. It can be a real scary process if you aren’t ready for it, so I suggest taking a big swig of your finest scotch beforehand if you’re trying it for the first time. ANYWAY. I’m sure going back to work will be fine. In fact, becoming a mom of two HAS improved my multi-tasking skills. Just ask the coach bus full of people who witnessed me breast-pumping while eating a chicken sandwich as I drove 78 mph down Interstate 80 yesterday. It’s fine. Plus, I’m lucky to work where I work and have long been accepted as the “crazy” one amongst my coworkers, so if nothing else, I have that going for me. 

So, while maternity leave was no vacation by any stretch, it was a beautiful time spent at home with my boys. A time to heal, both mentally and physically. A time to bond. A time to laugh and to cry and to nitpick the shit out of all of the locally made commercials I saw on TV 80 times a day – (I’ve got opinions, folks). Wish me luck this week, because I’m going to need it, especially if all of those clothes I ordered online don’t show up.

Til next time! Xoxo



I Get So Emotional, Baby

SoEmotionalHormones, man. They’re really something. They make us laugh, they make us cry (sometimes within the same 5 minutes). Sometimes they make us throw our blow dryers into the bath tub after they convince us to cut all our hair off and dye it a color that’s too dark for our skin tone (or so I’ve heard). If you think about it, hormones are very disrespectful. 

But hormones after a baby? Oh my, now those little guys are downright awful. What’s even worse is they come with friends. The bad influence type of friends, like mood swings, intrusive thoughts, acne (and bacne!?) and even hot flashes. Oh yes, the hot flashes. Just the other day I somehow worked up the motivation to vacuum my staircase and by the end of that little adventure, the warmth radiating off my boobs and out of my shirt would have been powerful enough to heat one of those one-roomed school houses that my Great Grandma used to teach in. You’re picturing it, aren’t you? Not so hot flashes, am I right? On the bright side, I found a new way to save us a little on our utilities bill this month.

But, hormones, just like accidentally flashing your neighbor your entire nipple after a mid-afternoon pump session (sorry, Greg!), are just a natural part of becoming a mother. And perfectly normal. It’s TOTALLY normal to cry at the grocery store when the lady behind the deli counter gives you two stamps on your rewards card “because it’s cold out”. It’s PERFECTLY FINE to weep in your vehicle after seeing yourself in the self-checkout camera at Target. It’s actually natural to think about your two very young children graduating from high school and then promptly sob into the quart of ice cream you’re eating. It’s fine. I’m fine. 

I really am fine, but, I do get so emotional, baby! Since I had done this less than two years ago, I was pretty positive I was prepared for anything the second time around might throw my way. Spoiler alert, I was wrong. Completely wrong. I mean, really, so far, everything except the way my boobs look (not great, Bob), has been completely different. All of the “stuff” I dodged the first time, from weird body stuff to confusing emotional stuff, found me, even with all of the “preparing” I thought I had done. It’s all very overwhelming, kind of like being in downtown Chicago without a GPS, and no natural sense of direction, with HUGE boobs that hurt and the unrelenting urge to sob and call my mom. So, where to begin?! First, I thought I had a handle on breastfeeding, because how hard would that be with these ol’ udders? Just look at them! It certainly isn’t their first rodeo. Well, it turns out, it’s very difficult, especially when a little bitch named mastitis comes a knockin’. Mastitis, as it turns out, stands for:
M – Misery
A – Accompanied by
S – Shit, I ran out of words, but it doesn’t really matter because it’s just actually the worst – TITIS.
If you haven’t experienced this for yourself, consider yourself lucky. If you have, God bless you, and God bless antibiotics and heating pads and ibuprofen and your cousin who assures you that even though you feel like dying, you WILL survive!

This second go ’round has also brought on some mind games that for some silly reason, I thought I was somehow exempt from. I definitely knew better to think that the hard part was over once I had this precious baby of mine, but to have my body and mind gang up on me like a pack of 8th grade bullies? Nah, bro, hard pass. But alas, as the anxiety started to grow and the intrusive thoughts started to creep in, I realized that nobody, not even ya girl, is safe from what hormones and chemicals and the human body can conjure up. I have no real advice on how to navigate this messy topic, other than to have a solid support system, and a trusted sounding board that will hear you out, no matter how “crazy” you might think you sound, be it a professional or someone who’s maybe been through something similar. P.S., you don’t sound crazy, promise.

So, you may be feeling like this took a turn. And you’re right, it did! Right onto Real Life Blvd…(you’ve maybe been there, it has an Applebee’s and the carwash with the cool lights inside). This is real life and real life stuff happens and that stuff should be addressed right along with all the funny business. Nobody has this parenting thing figured out, especially me. All parents, from new ones to old ones, are in a constant state of learning. I thought I knew what I was doing after one child, which is hilarious because I didn’t even learn how to tie my shoes correctly until middle school.

So, since it’s clear I know nothing, I’ve decided to really lean into this learning thing, and I’m happy to say I’ve learned a lot! For example, I’ve learned there’s a huge difference between real Goldfish crackers and the generic version the grocery store has on sale, just ask Hayes. I’ve learned that I like the Nose Frida a little too much, and it shouldn’t be used as a toy, just ask Cash. I’ve learned that my emotions aren’t something to feel ashamed of or embarrassed by, and I’ve earned the right to have a quick cry in a dressing room at the mall if I need to. Most importantly, though, I’ve learned that Miss Piggy from Muppet Babies is a little bitch and Kermit is a kiss-ass. Gotta teach your children to catch those character flaws early, am I right?

Learning is fun, and so helpful, especially when I start to feel overwhelmed. I wish I would have known that when I was in college instead of learning how many shots of UV Blue I could do in my dorm room in one night (sorry mom). I encourage you to learn, too. Learn from your mom, your dad, your grandma, your friends with kids, your friends without kids. Hell, learn from your friend’s kids. It doesn’t matter what you’re learning as long as you’re doing it. So, learn some new stuff and report back, because sharing is caring.

Well, I better go. I hear sirens and I’m afraid my neighbor may have caught another glance at “the girls” and called the cops on me.

Til next time, xoxo!


2020 Vision

2020VisionHappy new year, everyone! I still can’t believe it’s 2020. It sounds so…futuristic, doesn’t it?  I wasn’t necessarily expecting we’d have flying cars by now, but I definitely thought someone would have at least invented some sort of genetically engineered house plant that I couldn’t kill…but alas, here I sit, surrounded by half dead succulents just begging to be put out of their misery.

But enough about the depressing stuff, it’s a new year full of hope and opportunity and realistic looking faux plants available at my local Target. 2019 was a real humdinger, with a new little baby boy joining our family and Instagram wellness influencers deciding that exposing our sphincters to the sun is beneficial to our overall well-being, so, 2020 has a lot to live up to. I mean, in 2019 I can’t even count how many hours I spent primping and getting ready for the countless date nights I had.

*insert record scratch sound effect here*

Oh, shit, did I say date nights? I definitely meant OBGYN appointments. Yes, fellas, if there are any of you reading this, if your lady is spending a little extra time in the shower, shaving her legs, putting on those “special” undies and just putting forward a bit more of an effort overall, she’s not getting ready for a date…she’s heading to see her gynecologist. If you’re smart, though, you could capitalize on all of that pre-appointment prep work, but that’s for you to figure out on your own…I’m not Dr. Ruth.

But really, 2019 had it all. A trip to Nashville with Geoff that I’ll never forget. Well, some parts I’d like to forget, like when I crashed Geoff’s work trade show and made an ass of myself after drinking too many screwdrivers on the plane with my seat mate and new friend Doug (Doug, if you’re reading this, I hope your 50th birthday was a smash and your Golden Retriever and German Shepherd are doing well). We also celebrated the first birthday of the one and only Hayes in March. How many gray hairs can a lady get from planning a Pinterest perfect first birthday party? Well, I got pissed and quit counting after 17, but I am sure there were PLENTY more that my tweezers never got the chance to meet. Sigh.

2019 also brought the sip of corn syrup heard around the world (still not thrilled with you, Bud Light), the announcement of a new sister on the way and the devastating loss of our sweet, perfect, sometimes growly Lulu bear. And last but certainly not least, 2019 brought the arrival of the most anticipated collaboration project of 2019 (that I had the honor of co-producing), the handsome Cash William Eddie, officially earning me the title of boy mom. That’s right, it’s all boys in this house now, leaving me all alone on a little place I like to call “Vagina Island”. Please don’t get it twisted, I love that these boys will have a brother to rely on and grow with and I also love that I will have leftover tampon budget to spend on jockstraps and baseball cleats and maybe some new eye cream from Sephora.

The beginning of a new year is always an exciting time and for most people, it’s filled with clean slates and big resolutions. As for myself, I’m going to focus on keeping the people (and dog) in my house healthy, fed and as happy as I can. Honestly, to promise myself anything more than that would be irresponsible and a set up for failure. I’m just here to do what I can for the beautiful family that I’ve helped create. This blog is a place for me to share little pieces of our life and to see the funny side of the situations we find ourselves in. I’m definitely not here to give advice, because I’m not qualified to do so. Well, I take that back. I can share one piece of advice that works 100% of the time, and here it is: If your baby is constipated and you want them to poop, all you have to do is put them in a cute outfit. Seriously! Put them in that outfit and they’ll shit their pants immediately. That bowel movement will be headed north, clearing that diaper and ruining that onesie and perfect photo shoot you had planned in your head in no time flat. No need to thank me, the first one’s always free.

I hope your new year is filled with love and peace and health and happiness. I hope 2020 is kind to all of us, leading us on new adventures and teaching us new lessons we never thought we’d need to know. I hope we are able to control the things we can and to roll gracefully with the things we cannot. I also hope scientists finally figure out that houseplant situation, because, come on, it’s 2020 and we should be there by now.

xoxo, Mackenzie


A Few of my Favorite Things


Well, 2019 is out like a fat kid playing dodgeball and today starts the beginning of a new year… AND decade. That’s right, I’m Barbara Walters and this…is 2020.

2020! It’s crazy to think about. If you would have asked me 10 years ago what 2020 would be like…I probably would have been too busy crying at my desk at the Ottumwa Courier to give you a good, solid prediction. But, I can guarantee you I never would have guessed the events that were ahead of me. Marriage. (Two) Celine Dion Concerts. Puppies. Babies. Baby Shark. An upstairs AND a downstairs breast pump.

A lot has changed in 10 years, and I’m not just talking about my eyebrows. I mean, we might as well have put those things on a milk carton, because they were missing for like half a decade. Yikes. But seriously, a lot has changed, including the products I choose to use every day. In 2019, I decided I wanted to grow the heck up and go on the search for those “staple” products (both beauty & otherwise) that I could rely on to just work when I needed them to. Like most people, when I’m going to spend money on something, I want it to do its job, so through reading reviews, snooping through my mom’s stuff and sampling it without asking (the woman has great taste) and spending too much time in Sephora, I found a few that I love and actually work. So, from lip balm to canned wine to the best damn moisturizer I’ve ever put on my face, here’s my list of favorite “stuff” that I discovered at the end of this wild decade.

  1. Treat Beauty Lip Balm. I don’t want to sound like a Kardashian, but I am obsessed with this stuff. I got my first tube from a friend (hey thanks, Megan!) for Christmas a couple of years ago and have been hooked ever since. The tubes are big and fat which means they last forever and are harder to misplace. Noice! The product itself smells amazing and works like a dream. Recently, I bought lip balm in Candy Apple, which has the perfect amount of color. No brag, but I get compliments on it all the time, mostly from my favorite Target cashier who sometimes tells me about her messy divorce. Getcha some.
  2. Maison Margiela REPLICA Whispers In The Library Perfume. I had gotten a sample of this after one of the 100 trips to Sephora I take in a year and loved it. The smell is really subtle but fancy at the same time. The fragrance description says “paper and waxed wood”, but since I’m not a person that spends a lot of time around paper or waxed wood, I can’t really be a good judge. I just know it smells good and can be used by a guy or a gal!
  3. KIEHL’S Ultra Face Cleanser. I’m probably the pickiest person ever when it comes to face wash, and I have tried them all. From Noxzema (hot damn, I’d love to take a whiff of that stuff right now) to St. Ives Apricot Scrub (what up 7th grade!) to Proactiv (yes, I ordered it from the tv). While they were all great, none of them were as good as this stuff. It’s thick and foamy, which takes all of your makeup off faster than your bra after a day of work AND doesn’t dry out your skin. My face has definitely been a lot clearer since I started using this – making even my RBF look nice.
  4. Philosophy Uplifting Miracle Worker Eye. Alright, now that I’m a mom of two, I’m a real two-bagger. Wait, no, that’s not right. What I mean is, I have bags and the real kicker is, those things aren’t even designer. Howevs, after putting a little bit of this magic stuff under the ol’ peepers, things have improved. It cools. It lifts. It makes me feel like less of the old witch from Snow White.
  5. Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops. I’m not sure why the name is so long. Seems like overkill to me, but I’m sure there’s a reason. Anywhosers, put a couple of drops of this stuff in your moisturizer and damn, girl. It adds the perfect amount of sun-kissed bronze and will adjust to any skin tone. I LOVE this stuff and it’s perfect for this time of year when the sun gotten out of Dodge. It’s a little pricey, but I’ve had my tube for over a year, so a little bit really does go a long way.
  6. IT Cosmetics Secret Sauce Anti-Aging Moisturizer. Excuse my language, but this shit is the real deal. It’s thick and creamy and will not make your face greasy. There’s some science in there that helps with wrinkles and sun damage and it makes your skin feel soft as a baby’s butt. I have two babies, and can confirm this is accurate. Again, it’s on the pricier end, but this jar will last several months and I would almost guarantee you see a difference in your complexion after a week or two of using it.
  7. Connoisseurs Diamond Dazzle Stik.  Okay, we’re done with skincare, so please do not attempt to put this on your face, as I don’t see that ending well. This THING, you guys! It is magic. Available on Amazon for $10, it will get your jewelry sparkling like it just left the pawn shop you bought it from. Just kidding. But seriously. I love it and I make all the ladies in my life try it. It works on rings, earrings, bracelets, teeth. Anything you want to sparkle. It’s worth the trip to, if you ask me. Which you’re not. But it’s fine.
  8. Pura Smart Device. If you want your house to smell amazing and also feel cool by controlling the scent with your phone, then you need this thing. I will be honest, I spent way too much on mine by buying the NEST version, but I’m happy to let others benefit from my mistakes. I really like this because you can shut it off when you’re not home, or create a schedule so it turns on and off automatically, so you don’t waste any of the precious scent. I’ve got Volcano Capri Blue in mine right now, which makes me feel like I’m in Anthropologie (minus all of the beautiful, expensive stuff).
  9. BABE Canned Wine. The canned wine scene exploded while I was on the DL. By DL, I mean while I was pregnant, but same diff. I was a huge fan of canned wine before I found out I was pregnant with Cash, so imagine my utter delight when I found myself presented with several options while casually browsing the aisles of my favorite place, HyVee Wine & Spirits. I took a chance on BABE Grigio with Bubbles and was hooked. It’s not too sweet, a little bubbly and a lot delish. Plus it comes in skinny can that makes me feel like a lady. Just kidding.

So there you have it. A few of my favorite things! So now, I want you to share yours! I love hearing about what works for people and then promptly stealing it for myself and acting like I was the first to discover it. Just kidding!

Cheers to 2020. I hope this year is good to you.


Salon La Di Da | Iowa City, Iowa

Well, it’s been a minute hasn’t it? How’s everyone? How’s the family? Have you lost weight? Girl, work it.

It has been on my to-do list for forever to share some of the fun projects I’ve been working on and here’s my first attempt. It’s only about 12 months late (12 months sounds better than a year, right?), but listen, I have an excuse. A really good one. My excuse’s name is Hayes and he’s a pretty good justification for most things, for instance:

Someone invites me to something I really don’t want to do: Sorry – Hayes is trying out for American Ninja Warrior Jr. that day – but have fun with your cat’s 8th birthday party!

Someone asks if I’m eating macaroni and cheese for breakfast: Yes, it’s all Hayes will eat right now and he’ll only take a bite if I do it first. It’s organic, which means it’s basically diet food, it’s fine.

Someone asks if I’m feeling okay because I look tired: Hayes kept me up all…ya know what, nope, screw that, it’s never okay to tell someone they look tired – here’s a quarter, go buy yourself some manners, loser.


Last year around this time I was asked to do a redesign of a logo for a small business in Iowa City, Salon La Di Da. I was honored. I was excited. I was nervous—because this particular redesign was not only for a highly regarded and very popular salon in Iowa City, it was for family. My cousin’s amazingly talented wife co-owns the business AND my own brother’s equally talented and sweet as sugar girlfriend is a stylist there, as well. The pressure was on to do a good job and to create something worthy of representing Salon La Di Da.

The ladies wanted something simple, yet elegant. Classic, yet modern. The brainstorming began, the sketches were drawn and three comps were designed and delivered. A few days later, we landed on “the one”. After a few emails back and forth double and triple checking to be sure they didn’t feel guilted into saying they liked it, even though they really thought it was trash (imposter syndrome is real, y’all), I was finally convinced and packaged up the final files and sent them to their new home.

The logo and applications below are part of the new identity of Salon La Di Da, and I’m so happy they’re pleased with how it turned out! This was such a fun project for an awesome business that just celebrated its 15 year anniversary, which is such an impressive accomplishment.

Thank you for choosing me to help you out with this one, ladies! I appreciate it so much! Oh, and before I forget, I need a trim and color. It’s been awhile, because ya know…Hayes 😉 Portfolio

Thirty One

31Well, guys…it looks like I’ve really committed to my thirties.

That’s right, in a few short hours, the clock will strike midnight (waking Hayes up, I’m sure…) and I’ll be 31.


Can someone please go ahead and tell me how that happened?

It feels like just yesterday I wore that gaudy purple dress (WHO TOLD ME THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA, FRIENDS?!), bobby pinned a cheap tiara to my head and “woo girl”ed into every bar in Cedar Falls with my hands in the air, exclaiming “I’m tweeeennnnny onnnne betches!”

That’s right. “Twenny one”.


While I miss a few things about being a fresh faced 21 year old, with boobs that had not yet been exposed to the shriveling effects of a 6 month relationship with a breast pump – it goes without saying I feel nothing but happiness in my heart to be where I am now.

I spend my time a little differently at 31 than I did at 21, which for my sake and the sake of all others, is probably a good thing. WOO!

At 31, I spend less money on minutes for the tanning bed, and more money on skin care products to reverse the damage I caused in college (you’re welcome Sephora). I spend less time sharing overused quotes by Marilyn Monroe, and more time trying to find genuine words for every conversation I have. I drink less UV Blue and more “good” wine. At 31, I spend less time making plans and more time hoping whoever I’ve made plans with cancels first (I’m sorry). I spend less time avoiding calls from home and more time reaching out to my parents for advice that only they can give. I spend less time online being catty and more time trying to be a positive spot in timelines that are full of arguments over politics and questionable recipes (Doritos Pie?!?). I still spend about the same amount of time looking at cute boys on the internet, but I spend less time browsing Pinterest for “kinky but cute Halloween costumes” and more time browsing for DIY projects to do with someone who’s stinky and cute.

At 31 I try to spend less time worrying about what I don’t have and spend more time loving what I do have. I spend more time saying my prayers and reading a devotional and less time reading gossip columns online.

Lately, I’ve been spending more time feeling thankful for the friends (like you!) and family that I have in my life. I’m so incredibly lucky. Thank you all for making turning 31 a little less scary and a lot more sweet!



Back to School

BacktoSchool“Hey, Mackenzie, is your shirt on backwards?”

Yep. It happened again.

For a person who claims to “pay great attention to detail” I sure walk out of the pumping room at work with my shirt on backwards A LOT.

Sorry for the cold open there, I just had to get you up to speed with what’s been going on around here quickly, and I figured talking about my pumping routine would do the trick.

But really – it HAS been a while! The last time I blogged, Hayes was a bald little nugget who had me completely wrapped around his chubby little finger. And now…well, Hayes is still a bald little nugget who has me wrapped around his chubby little finger. I can tell he’s a little self conscious about the bald thing, and even though I’ve reassured him that it’s totally normal to be follicly challenged at his age – I get it! I’ve seen those other kids at his daycare, and I’ll be damned if they aren’t all sporting heads full of glossy, thick hair…to which I tell Hayes, “don’t worry, bud – when lice season hits, those kids are totally screwed.”

Just kidding.

A lot has been happening around here. I’ve been back to work for 3 months already. Summer has come and gone and school is already back in session, for goodness sakes! My social media timelines have been filled with adorable back to school pictures that I can’t get enough of. I have a weakness for pictures of little kids in their shiny new kicks, book bags and shit eating grins. If I’m being completely honest, I almost shipped Hayes off to school just so I could take one of those pictures for myself.

With school back in sesh, it means those brave, brave teachers are back at it again. Somehow they are able to control entire classrooms filled with different personalities, varying attitudes, (hilarious) meltdowns and the occasional uncontrollable bladder. Bless them all.

I give mad props to all teachers. I honestly don’t know how they do it. I found out the hard way a very long time ago that teaching just wasn’t for me.

You might be thinking to yourself, “you…YOU?!?!…attempted teaching?!” and the answer is: kinda.

Allow me to explain.

The year was 2004, the city was Hayesville and the gig was teacher at Vacation Bible School.

V.B.S., honey.


If you ask me, VBS is the bees knees. I grew up attending and I have SO many fond memories from it.


I mean, where else can a girl kick her first boy between the legs (sorry, Dustin), sing “Jesus Loves Me” AND memorize your first scripture/dirty joke all in the same building?! Needless to say, it still holds a very special place in my heart. Plus, have you ever had the pleasure of hearing the stories of Sunday School Charlie and his best bud Red? If ya don’t know, now ya know. Just amazing.

ANYWAY. My sweet grandma was a HBIC (Head Bonnie in Charge) at Bible school, and one summer, long after I had finished attending myself, I was asked to teach a class. One of the usuals had a conflict with their schedule and they were in a pinch. Enter yours truly.

I of course agreed to this offer. I had nothing better to do that week besides text boys and chat on MSN, anyway. Plus, it paid in homemade morning snacks, daily visits with my grandma and on top of all of that, I desperately needed to flex my power with a position of authority – and teaching three 4th/5th grade boys would be just the way to do that…plus ~*SO*~ easy!

Narrator: It was not easy.

Yeah, what he said.

It was not easy.

Everything started out as fine as could be. Our first day kicked off with the large group in the chapel singing songs, smiling and learning each others names. But once it was just the four of us in our tiny classroom, I quickly uncovered the truth: these kids were nuts. The tallest one was MEAN. The stocky one would say things like “Oh, REAL cute” and roll his eyes at anything the mean one said. And the little one…well, I actually don’t have anything bad to say about the little one, because he was my buddy. He was kind of a wimp, though. 

What I thought would be 5 days of crafts, Jesus and singing quickly turned into chaos, swearing and crying. How could three boys be so naughty in the house of the Lord?!

It was awful.

By day 3, the weakest one quit showing up, and the two bigger ones were bound and determined to kill each other. In fact, on the afternoon of day 3, what started out as a friendly game of HORSE on the basketball court during recess turned into an all out fist fight. I remember it vividly. One minute giggles and bank shots, the next a ripped collar and some blood. I just remember yelling, “JESUS CHRIST……uh….would be SO disappointed right now!”

(I know. I’m still impressed with that save. Thank you, Jesus – you’re my homeboy.)

For those still reading, it turned out fine. Everyone lived. We had a literal Come to Jesus and I made the boys write an apology to my Grandma and God himself. It’s fine. We even had a special bonding moment when we came up with a very believable lie to tell their parents about the ripped collars and face bruises (something along the lines of a locust attack or something Biblical like that, I can’t really remember). The little one eventually came back, and we all made crafts, sang songs and attended the annual Bible School Program together a few days later. Still, I told myself after that whole experience, “I’m NEVER going to be a teacher and I’m DEFINITELY never…ever…having boys”.

Well, the joke, per usual, was on me.

I kept my promise about the teaching thing – it just isn’t for me, but I applaud those who can do it. You’re the real MVPs and we need more people like you.

I am happy to report that I was wrong about the having boys part – and my boy Hayes and I LOVE singing “Jesus Loves Me” every single day. Maybe someday he will be the mean one and he’ll have a stocky one and little one to attend Bible School with.

I hope so.

Happy school year, teachers and students! Be nice, be safe and have fun.

– Mackenzie

I’ve Come to a Conclusion.

ConclusionI’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve come to several conclusions over the past 11 weeks…

Conclusions, whether valid or not, are pretty easy to make when a person spends 20 hours a day awake. That is by no means a complaint…

Okay, you got me. It’s a little bit of a complaint. I mean, I haven’t entered the REM cycle since last July and I’ve aged approximately 20 years in the past 11 months. But, (and I’m not just saying this because it’s the “right” thing to say), it’s all been worth it. Hayes is changing every day. He continues to look absolutely nothing like me, and I continue to be absolutely annoyed about that. Like, hi, I carried you for 9 months. I had an awkward conversation with a Target worker while buying Preparation H because of you. I developed a new layer of cellulite on top of my other layer of cellulite because of you…

Okay, that last one isn’t really his fault. But, the least he could do is have one itty bitty feature that resembles me, right? I don’t want to sound dramatic, but I’m pretty sure I have third cousins twice removed that resemble me more than my own child! And honestly, I’m getting sick and tired of everyone thinking I’m his hot, young nanny instead of his mother…

Got me again…

Even though I wish the two of us looked slightly more alike, I can’t kid myself. I love the little person he is becoming. He’s uniquely himself and perfect in every way. His voice is my favorite sound on this planet and the sight of the back of his chunky little legs makes me melt every time I see them…which is a lot because that boy shits his pants several times a day. Getting to know him has been the most fun I’ve ever had and, I’ve come to the conclusion that he and I will be attending the same college in about 18 years. Yes, I’ll be the weird, non-traditional student that makes everyone feel slightly uncomfortable. Sorry in advance, bud.

As for the other conclusions, well, there are plenty, but I’ll only share a few because I’ve heard releasing all of the crazy at once is a great way to lose friends. And I like all of you alot!

So, here goes nothing…

I’ve come to the conclusion that my boobs, the girls I once named, cherished and adorned with expensive bras, are now nothing more than a great source of calcium. Yes, gone are the days of low cut tops or simple gray t-shirts. Here to stay are the days of uncomfortable nursing pads and applying Lanolin three times a day.

They still have names, though, and the next time you see me, I encourage you to say hello to Blanche and Dorothy. Like all old ladies, they LOVE visitors.


I’ve come to the conclusion that the doors are never creekier, the floors are never squeakier and my hands are never as completely useless than when the baby is taking a nap. I’m not exaggerating when I say I promptly become the clumsiest asshole this side of the Mississippi when Hayes is trying to get his snooze on. Dishes go flying, hair straighteners bounce off every wall before hitting the floor and my sneezes become exponentially louder and IMPOSSIBLE to stifle. I know the universe is just playing tricks on me and to be honest, I find it a little rude. Thanks a lot universe – if this is about us shunning Pluto, just know I had NOTHING to do with that decision.

Speaking of naps, I’ve come to the conclusion that I will whisper whenever I know the baby is sleeping, regardless of his location. Hayes could be napping two counties over and I will still lower my voice to a whisper to prevent waking him from one of his precious siestas. I’ve found it’s important to save my normal speaking voice for those awkward mid-day conversations with Target workers, anyway.


I’ve come to the conclusion I’m never going to have the petite little body I’ve always dreamed of, but I have become more accepting of the one that allowed me to carry my baby and continues to allow me to take care of my boy. This thing’s a temple, man. A temple that sometimes acts like a double-wide trailer and enjoys the occasional Bud Light and bag of Funyons. It’s fine.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m already mad at my son’s future girlfriend for making him spend Christmas morning of 2036 with her family instead of ours. I mean, I’ve only met her parents once and her mom is a better cook than me. Not as breathtakingly beautiful, but definitely a better cook. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I’m completely nuts at this point.

I’ve come to the conclusion that babies are just messing with us. I mean….can anyone tell me how Hayes can sleep through a carwash that sounds like it’s ripping every speck of paint off of my car without so much as a flinch, but will wake in a screaming fit at the sound of my old, cracking joints as I carefully moonwalk  away from his crib? Anybody? Bueller?

Finally, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is what I was always meant to do. Hayes has always been in our plan. He was a gift just waiting to be opened at the perfect time and he’s absolutely amazing. I’m blessed to be his mama, am so incredibly lucky to have his dad as my partner in life and I look forward to all of the new conclusions I get to make with each new day I get to spend with them both.