I’m For Love with Michael Hill – A Love Journey

This post is sponsored by Michael Hill Jewelers. All opinions are mine alone.

couples fall autumn in tight embrace happy smiling natural light

Bye, beige. Moody mauves, matte blacks and white gold are the new neutrals. In fact, I have a little extra sparkle in my step today as I’m writing this post. That’s because last week Michael Hill Jewelers invited me to visit and shop its store at Oakbrook Center and today I’m gratefully wearing my very first pair of diamond studs. When Michael Hill Jewelers first extended the invitation to me, I was excited, though I couldn’t help but think, ‘really, me?’

We’re For Love

I’ve seen Michael Hill Jewelers’ ethereal and magical brand campaigns all about love before (you might recall this “We’re For Love” commercial – I  tear up every time I see it!). As you walk past the store’s dazzling displays it’s hard not to get the overwhelming feeling of everlasting commitment. Michael Hill Jewelers creates timeless, handcrafted jewelry that is accessible to all and serves as an expression of love for any of life’s moments, both big and small! A single piece of jewelry not only transforms your look, but also helps frame your mindset about love every time you wear it or look at it. With jewelry and love on the brain, it got me thinking, what does love mean to me? Through my own experiences I truly believe that there are three buckets where love serves as the biggest impact in my life: motherhood, partnership and marriage, and self-love.

mommy and me son happy playing hugging

Motherly Love

There’s motherly love. I became a mom six years ago and not a day goes by that isn’t filled with laughter, screaming, or tears. Not necessarily in that order, and not necessarily coming from the kids. But above all, love trumps – it’s what makes motherhood so rewarding.

fall lifestyle couples embracing


There’s the love I have for The Giant, love of my life for over 10 years and father of my three boys. Every time I look at one of my boys, I see him. I love how he’s an equal partner in raising our children, without me having to tell him what to do. I thank him for putting up with me and my crazy ways, his belly aching laughs, how he falls asleep on the couch while waiting up for me every single night just so we can go to bed together. I’ve fallen in love with him so many times.

michael hill jewelry store oak brook Illinois


And then there’s self-love. For the woman I was before kids, the woman I am now after kids. And how none of who I was before changed simply because I am a mother. I’d say self-love is the most important of all these to me because you cannot pour from an empty cup.

Don’t be Afraid to Express Yourself

Did you know my left ear is deformed? I was born this way. I was told when I was newborn, my dad used to tape my ear down. (Kidding, obviously.) My dwarf ear doesn’t bother me. I’m not shy about it and I don’t mind calling attention to it with these beautiful halo stud earrings from Michael Hill Jewelers with ½ carat total weight of diamonds in 10kt white gold.

When I got married, my mom wanted to gift me diamond studs. At the time, I refused to accept this as a gift because she really couldn’t afford it, and because I just wasn’t into studs. Over the years, my taste has evolved, and two years ago, I started wishing that I would’ve said yes to my mom’s offer. Lucky for me, today I have the perfect pair from Michael Hill Jewelers and I’m ever so grateful to have had the opportunity to pick them out and to spoil myself. I loved the personalized shopping experience I received at Michael Hill Jewelers – which extended beyond the open concept, modern store layout to the knowledgeable store associates. I learned that Michael Hill Jewelers is one of the few jewelry retailers to have an in-house team of master craftsmen, which makes the piece I selected even more special to me knowing it was handcrafted by passionate pros. Diamonds really are forever and these round diamond studs are a classic piece I can wear every day!

Whether in love or life’s passions, don’t settle. This morning of reflection was a simple way to remind myself of this and of gratitude, and to feel like the best version of myself. What does love mean to you?

(p.s. I also got to meet Brett Halliday, President North America of Michael Hill. Any reality show junkies like myself out there? Guys, he’s the esteemed jeweler on The Bachelor Canada where the guy does the ring selection at the end – so cool!)

michael hill diamond earrings clusters

michael hill jewelry store diamond clusters


michael hill jewelry store oak brook Illinois

fall lifestyle couples embracing

fall lifestyle couples hugging tight

How I Achieve Big Beach Waves in 5 Minutes

loose sexy beach waves long asian hair

With fall leaves dropping left and right and all the PSLs in hand, thought I might show you how to warm up your look with bouncy beach waves year-round. And since I can’t live in short sundresses and bathing suits all 365 days, I’ll just let my big beach hair do the talking. What does your hair say about you? If there’s one statement I like to make all day, every day, it’s that I’m a confident and feminine woman, and my flirty waves speak this truth. I get asked often how I manage to do my hair routine on the daily with three young kids – and now it’s time to share my 5-minute everyday look and my favorite hair hacks!

How I Curl My Hair

Armed with my curling weapon of choice for the past 3.5 years, the Caruso Steam Setter, I am confident I will achieve big, flirtatious beach waves in 5 minutes. With the steam setter, I find that I don’t have to do any prep work to set my hair. With traditional curling irons, I used to have to prep my hair with leave-in conditioner before blowing dry and curling to achieve volume. The steam setter seems to hold my curls better and for longer, and causes less damage to your hair. A win-win, since I style my hair every day so the less stress (and product) on your strands the better, ya know?

Small, Medium, or Large? Goldilocks wants to know. Just kidding. Always go with the bigger sizes for beach curls. I use a Large roller for the three sections around the face, and Medium for the back sections.

Time to curl. Simply drop a roller into the steamer and heat for 10-15 seconds.

  • Clip up the top front section of your hair in a 1-1.5 inch chunk. Take the hot roller off the steam setter and twist your hair around it TOWARDS your face, making sure the very ends get tucked in all the way for a seamless look. I like to roll this top front section towards my face because it gives it a “tucked in” look around the ear.
  • Repeat with the two sections on each side of your face. For these sections, I like to curl it AWAY from the face, but this is a personal preference.
  • Curl the back sections down towards your head.

*Pro tip: Before you curl a section, make sure to drop in another roller into the steam setter to warm it up and get it ready for the next section.

Ready to unveil. As soon as all sections have been curled, remove each roller. Don’t leave in the rollers too long, or the curls will be too curly.

How I Finish

Transitioning to the dryness of the fall/winter months, I look for any way to add texture to give my hair that lived in, fresh-from-the-ocean look. So basically… don’t skip out on the texturizing spray after you curl. My favorite is the ORIBE Dry Texturizing Spray, which acts as an alternative to dry shampoo, absorbing oil and leaving you with just-styled hair for days. Together with the Caruso Steam Setter the pair adds big volume and texture for the most perfect, easy breezy beach curls.

Finger brush your hair, then seal it with Got2b Glued Blasting Freeze Hairspray for everlasting hold.

And that, my friends, is how you achieve 5-minute beach waves. Et voila!

loose sexy beach waves long asian hair

loose sexy beach waves long asian hair