Baby Essley is Here! (Best Birthday Gift Ever!)

Today is my birthday.  Today is also the start of a brand new year.  And today is the day that we’d expected our baby girl to arrive.  She had other plans though, and after over 30 hours of labor beginning last Thursday night, Essley Morgan Williams was born at 3:42 AM on Saturday, December 28th.  She weighed 8 pounds 1 ounce, measured 21 inches, and had a full head of dark brown hair.  She is the best birthday present ever, hands down.  I am so in love that I feel like my heart might explode.  I won’t lie – labor was the most difficult, surreal experience of my life.  I did 25 of the 30 hours with no pain medication, and by the time I gave in and got it, I was violently shaking and throwing up.  But the second I saw Essley, I forgot about all of it.  Immediately.

As for our sweet girl’s name, we wanted something unique that wasn’t too ‘out there.’  Essley was my grandmother’s maiden name.  She was one of my idols, and before she passed away this summer, I was able to tell her that the name was at the top of our list.  Morgan is my little sister’s name.  She is one of the most amazing people in the world, and was my unofficial doula during labor.  (I seriously wouldn’t have been able to get through it without her.)

I am still in a daze (the word ‘exhausted’ doesn’t begin to describe it), so although I do plan to share more of our story with you guys, I hope this quick update will suffice for now.  I have only been a mom for four days, but I can say with 100% certainty that it is the best thing I’ve ever done.  Happy New Year from me, Robbie, and Essley Morgan.  I can’t wait to see what this year brings.

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Why Hair Is So Important To Us From A Trichologist Prospective?

Shuna Hammocks explains why hair is so important for us to build our self esteem, personality and how she can help patients suffering from hair loss, itchy s…
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Post-Partum Style Tips

Post-Partum Style Tips

So very happy to be a guest here as Melissa gets to enjoy sweet baby Essley!

My name is Anna, and I blog over at In Honor of Design. I recently had my third little one, Max, in June and I thought it would be helpful to share some post-partum tips for dressing your best since it can be a challenging time in the closet. After we have a baby, there are many emotional highs and lows. It is one of the most joy filled times, but our bodies are still recovering from the life changing event. Often times our body image conceptions can go through the ringer! I never feel more beautiful than after having a baby… maybe it’s because you take part in something so miraculous and I feel like I am right where I am supposed to be in this life. However, I have to mentally accept that my body will go through a lot of changes and I need to give myself due time to re-couperate. It’s important to be forgiving of your post baby shape and also wear forgiving clothes! This doesn’t mean you have to compromise style along the way though. Here’s a few tips that have helped me with my post-partum time!

1. Avoid pieces that are too snug, and go for the feminine and flowy. This is almost a fool proof method for every shape. For instance, you can wear a form fitting top that starts to flow below the bust for a piece that is much more flattering to your figure and forgiving around the waistline. Depending on your shape you can also try an item that is shaping around the waist and flows around the hips.

2. Pay attention to where you wear your prints. Fun colors and patterns don’t need to be avoided altogether, just make sure they aren’t happening around the wrong places. For instance, you can find a bold dress where the print runs across the bottom trim, and the solid colors run across your waist and hips.

3. Choose the right fabrics! I went though a cotton jersey skirt phase until I realized it really hugs all the wrong places, and is severely unflattering. Oops. Its amazing what a good sheer based material can do on the other hand. Work that with the flow of tip #1 and you have got yourself a winning look.

When you feel your best it can help battle the post baby blues or desire to stay in pajamas all day. I realize I am my best self to those around me when I have taken the time to shower, put on something pretty, and have a good breakfast. It can change your day! Every person is different with the amount of time it takes to recover and get back to your normal routine, so don’t compare to anyone, and just enjoy those sweet infant days with your little one!

Thank you Anna for filling in for me here while I care for little Essley (who is 6 days old today!).  Anna has such gorgeous style and an amazing eye for design, and I’m looking forward to trying out some of these tips.  If you’re not already a fan of her blog, In Honor of Design, I highly suggest checking it out.  And if you have any post-partum style tips of your own, I’d love to hear them in the comments!  xo, melissa

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Ellen always makes us want to dance! Check out this Oscar night preview, and stay tuned for exciting Halo programs around Oscar time (hmmm, wonder if it might help shelter pets!…).



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Jan 19, Love for food and Science Hill diet ultra allergen

I remember the first time I adopted my white and tan Maltese X name Coco. My friend was giving her away because they were moving overseas. My other little
Dog Food Blog | Best Dog Food Guide

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On the twelfth day of Christmas AND another giveaway!

My doggie gave to me:

12 Yummers Yumming!


Eleven Crunchy Carrots

Ten Snorers Sleeping

Nine Surfin’ Santas

Eight Toes a-Twinklin’

Seven Noshes Nibbled

 Six things to lay on

Five faaaavorite things

Four doggie nerds

Three Irish Hounds

Two turtles, Dove

And a cat messing up my new tree!

Thank you to Annette at Biscuits By Lambchop for bringing up the end of this crazy train :) Treats for all tonight!

Speaking of that, for those of you who are still around, I do have another giveaway to bestow upon you:

For the Holiday Hound

I’m giving away two beautiful collars from 2 Hounds Design to keep your pooch stylin’ for the New Year. They are both size medium (13-18 inch) which is by the way the ONLY reason I am giving these away, because they are gorgeous. The blue one is a Martingale and the snowman is a standard collar.

To add to the fun I’m also sending two awesome toys, a Bottle Buddy for all your crinkly noise needs and a Tricky Treater puzzle ball because the dog needs something to do while you clean up all that wrapping paper, right? Approximate retail value of this set: $ 90.

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You all the know the drill- enter below!

Congratulations to Leslie R., the winner!

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December Golden Poodle awards

A Golden Poodle award goes to Jefferson Cox who stopped to help a dog running along the road and to the remarkable dog who led him back to a garage where her elderly owner had fallen and lay helpless on the floor. A second Golden Poodle award goes to the medical staff at Duke University Medical Center and to J.J., a fluffy little dog who became an important part of their medical team by being…
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Flea Control for Dogs | K9 Advantix II

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Adoptable Dog of the Day: Mocha in Arkansas

Mocha is an adult female Yorkiepoo who is in the care of Helping Hands For Little Paws in Little Rock, AR. Mocha is a friendly, happy girl who loves everyone. And she gets along fine with everyone,…

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