the weekender

chouquette bakery stl st louis tower grove

We had such a fab weekend!  Saturday was my birthday, so my parents picked up Claire for a 24-hour baby break and we sort of did all my favorite things in St. Louis. 

olio st louis stl

First we hit up Olio, an adorable Spanish wine bar in our neighborhood, to have lunch and drinks.  Olio is in an old gas station converted to a restaurant and bar, and it's one of the coolest spaces ever.  

(We took outfit shots of this at the restaurant outside, but I linked the details in the widget below this post!) 

Not one of these bottles was recognizable to me!  They're big into artisanal and small batch ingredients at the bar.  
olio st louis stl 
Then after lunch we popped over to Chouquette, a french bakery next door.  These cakes were astonishingly beautiful to me - I think Claire might need to have a princess themed party just as an excuse to have one!  We just picked up some macarons on this trip.  

I wore this simple grey minidress and lace up heels to dinner, but it was kind of dark out so I just selfie-d on the way out the door!   We went to Modesto for tapas, it was so delicious, and my sweet friends that couldn't make it had champagne sent to the table!  We got ice cream after dinner and then ended the night early at home, we were in bed by 11 I think! 

southwest diner st louis stl bus

The Southwest Diner bus never fails to amuse me - it's their "waiting room" on busy brunch days and there's even a bar on board.  Waiting is basically half the fun at Southwest Diner.  We went there for brunch Sunday morning since it's my absolute favorite. 

(I'm currently obsessed with these jeans, but definitely size down one or two - these are size 25 and I'm normally a 26 or 27.)  

I don't think Claire missed us at all!  She didn't even want to come see me when my parents arrived with her, preferring to hang out with my dad instead!  I hope you all had a great weekend as well, at least the coming week is short and ends in a holiday!  
If you are wondering about anything I'm wearing in this post I linked to it in the widget below, or something similar!  


The Hayes Family


friday link love

Guess what?  It's my birthday this weekend!  I'm just turning 27 (so not the most exciting birthday) but I have fun plans to go out to dinner with friends Saturday night and brunch with family on Sunday.  We might hit up the farmer's market too!  And of course, there will hopefully be no shortage of champagne.  Basically my perfect St. Louis weekend.  

Here are a few of my favorite links from this week!  

I love a good hat in the fall, and this blush one just got added to my closet. SO similar to this insanely expensive Rag & Bone one!

Speaking of fall favorites, I'm obsessed with this sweater that's under $20.  I ordered the oatmeal color, and if it's as good as I think it's going to be I may go back for the black. 

The best movies (so far) of 2015 - I have to keep track of lists like this because we almost never make it to the theater!  
Khloe Kardashian's "fitness closet" is totally insane.  

I'm in need of a new podcast for my morning daycare/office commute, and this one might fit the bill!  

An introvert's guide to dining and eating out.  

I'm a huge fan of balm like lipsticks, so I'm thinking I need to try this one out!

"As for my girls, I'll teach them to think they breathe fire."  Wise words from a mother, in her now-viral Facebook post regarding how Anna Duggar may have been raised.

Breaking news: stay-at-home moms and working moms are all going equally insane. 


self portrait

free people santa cruz dress fringe booties karen walker super duper

free people santa cruz dress fringe booties karen walker super duper

free people santa cruz dress fringe booties karen walker super duper

free people santa cruz dress fringe booties karen walker super duper

The title of this post is just my way of making lemonade out of lemons - my photographer (husband!) was out of town this weekend for a bachelor party so I took these photos during naptime, with the self timer function.  It is NOT easy and I have no idea how so many bloggers pull this off - I can honestly say these are 4 of like a million photos I took, most of which were um....sub-par.  

So, I'm completely obsessed with these booties, which are (as every blogger out there is saying, I know I know) surprisingly comfortable for their heel height!  I want them in every color, you need them in at least one!  

Also, before anyone asks, I am definitely wearing hair extensions in this post!  I wish my real hair was this long, but I'm pretty sure it stops growing around my shoulder blades.  I linked to the exact ones I have in the widget below - they are crazy easy to put in after watching a few youtube tutorials and I can honestly say that a long braid will be my go to style for after figuring this out!  They just clip in, I braid, I'm done and my hair is out of my face for the day.  I was getting a little tired of my constant messy bun but I'm the worst about actually fixing my hair - it's always in a ponytail like two minutes later, because #momlife.  

Thank you for stopping by!  




claire's fall favorites

Today I wanted to throw together a post of my favorite things for toddler girls this fall!  Most of these items I've already bought for Claire for the coming season, and even though I'm really a lover of warm weather, I can't wait until she can wear these (I mean, those baby Hunter boots!?  I die!)  

The thicker Aden & Anais "Dream Blanket" is hands down the best baby blanket I own, we were given many as gifts and purchased a lot on our own, but I find myself reaching for this over and over.  The full sized adult version is on my list, but it's a splurge!  

Gap sells out of their pom knit hats pretty much every year so snatch that up while you can - I may have been a little bit overly optimistic about buying her a matching floppy hat to mine - in the wine color, so pretty - but even if I get a photo of her wearing it for a minute, it's worth it right?  I take the obsession with "mini-me" pretty far, you can see that stripes might make as big of a part of Claire's wardrobe as they do in mine, but how can you blame me when they match everything?  Time to put together a perfectly coordinated toddler outfit every morning is something I don't have.  

ps - size up in that Carter's chambray, it's a great buy but it's running small!  

Thanks for stopping by!  


The Hayes Family


flowy dress + lace up sandals

prada sunglasses giuseppe zanotti sandals, free people monogram necklace dress

prada sunglasses giuseppe zanotti sandals, free people monogram necklace dress

prada sunglasses giuseppe zanotti sandals, free people monogram necklace dress

Dress // Sunglasses (similar) // Sandals (old, these are identical) // Necklace

For summer, I really embraced a preppy & put together aesthetic, but I'm nothing if not fickle and I've been drawn to just the opposite for fall.  Floaty dresses in deeper shades are perfect for getting that fall feeling without leaving you overheated - I definitely see this dress with over the knee boots and tights come October.  I linked to several versions of these sandals in the shop-widget below, they are a surprisingly comfortable style and will look so cute with tights (colored tights maybe?) once it cools down!  


friday link love

These late summer weekends, they have a precious feel to them.  It starts to seem more urgent, those questions of "what should we do with this time?"  Should we go to the lake?  Stay at home and walk the park many times?  Farmer's Market then brunch?  A weekend away?

These do not seem like tough questions, and indeed they truly aren't, not in the scope of the word "difficult" but they do seem important - especially when you have a one year old, who will only be one once and only have one summer when she's a toddling, babbling, fascinated baby who touches grass like a foreign object and delights in the sound of splashing water.  A baby that falls asleep in the stroller on the walk home from Food Truck Friday, so that naturally you park it at an outside table to sit and enjoy and a beer and the jazz band playing at your local pub.  There are only a few mornings left where it's already toasty when you step onto the porch with your morning coffee, and you know that soon you'll pull on a sweater to enjoy the quiet time.

So my only suggestion for this weekend?  Do something you want to do with your time and do it well, because we only get a hundred or so summers each life and really, that isn't very many summers.  Okay on to my favorite links this week, end sentimental rant!

A parking ticket could ruin anyone's day, but this is an especially lovely gesture.  

Confidence needs to be earned, and other life lesson's from Mindy Kaling (worth a read, I promise!)  

I love it when things that are just concepts become part of the vocabulary of other languages ("tsundoku" is something I have a problematic habit of.)  

Claire goes to a Montessori school, and I feel more grateful for the education she's receiving there all the time.  This, about their approach to sharing, makes so much sense.  

If "mom sayings" were made into motivational posters (made me laugh.)  

These rain boots are SO GORGEOUS and on a crazy good sale.  I kind of think I need them.  

I'm a sucker for Anthropologie's coffee mugs (the best, heaviest, longest lasting I swear!)  This one is next on my list.  

It's extremely far out of my budget, but this dress would be lovely for winter weddings.  


an outfit post, and some advice on buying secondhand

chanel treasure bond plaid mini steve madden style fashion blogger aquazzura dior so real lush tunic work outfit

chanel treasure bond plaid mini steve madden style fashion blogger aquazzura dior so real lush tunic work outfit

chanel treasure bond plaid mini steve madden style fashion blogger aquazzura dior so real lush tunic work outfit

chanel treasure bond plaid mini steve madden style fashion blogger aquazzura dior so real lush tunic work outfit

chanel treasure bond plaid mini steve madden style fashion blogger aquazzura dior so real lush tunic work outfit

Blouse (under $50! wearing size small) // Skirt (also wearing small) // Bag (similar, less expensive here) // Sunglasses (similar here) // Shoes (also LOVE these) // Necklace (old but this is so similar and under $20!)

I've been wanting to post a little bit about buying secondhand accessories on the blog for some time now, and I thought today was as good a day as any - especially when many of us are in the market for a new fall handbag.  So first things first: if you see me carrying a luxury bag, wearing high end sunglasses, or styling an expensive dress on the blog, the odds are that I bought it secondhand.  

No shame here!  High end brands are usually also high quality meaning that they last and last, with very little if any wear being shown even by the time the items make it to the second owner.  I will always link to a similar item (or the original item at retail) here on the blog because I know that not everyone enjoys "the hunt" but I truly do and it's definitely a hobby of mine.  Another thing to note - high end brands will have GREAT resale - I am usually funding new purchases with $$ from eBay sales, which go far better when you list things with a brand name.  This skirt, for example, will not have great resale because it's not a well-known brand.  It was under $50, and I'm okay with that.  HOWEVER.  These very trendy Dior sunglasses will not always be my favorite thing, but I'll have a very easy time selling them on eBay once I'm tired of them because of their label.  Then I can get something new!  

Here are some other examples of items you've seen on the blog that I found secondhand: 

These Karen Walker sunglasses have made numerous appearances, and I got them brand new with tags and case for less than 50% off retail on Tradesy, a fantastic site that offers free returns or exchanges on anything you buy.  That was a particularly lucky find, because they usually sell for not much under retail, but I was hunting for them (searching daily on multiple websites) until an affordable listing came up.  There is sometimes a little legwork involved to get the right price! 

The wedges from this post were purchased on eBay for half off retail while they were still full price at Nordstrom.  I just searched the style name and a pair popped up that had been worn only once, and the seller decided that didn't match enough of her clothing.  Her loss, my gain!  

Other than buying secondhand, I'm a huge fan of Nordstrom Rack.  The shoes in this post were purchased there (they aren't online, sadly) for $40!! I've worn this Rebecca Minkoff "Mac" bag in multiple posts, and I paid less than half retail for it.  On that same trip I found a "Mac Mini" for $80, along with several other styles for $150 or under, all brand new.  You also can't beat their designer jean selection - usually a mix of J.Brand, Hudson, Citizens of Humanity, and Current/Elliott around $90.  

For very very high end handbags, I would recommend going through a reputable site like TheRealReal.  They authenticate their bags through a tireless process, and you can get some amazing deals.  I carted this shearling and leather Reed Krakoff "Boxer Bag" in Excellent Used Condition, and with all the discounts on their site it came to $300.  INSANE.  That bag retailed $1500.  

Here are a few other tips and tricks to find the best prices: 

On eBay, search potential misspellings of the brand.  For example, I often type in "Lily Pulitzer" (it's correctly spelled "Lilly") and find a plethora of results with very low bids.  

Also on eBay, if the "Buy It Now" price is within your budget, snatch it up!  Once you place a bid the buy it now option often disappears and you want to avoid that, because frequently the price will go even higher.  Never be afraid to use the "make an offer" button, because sellers are often motivated to move something quickly, but be respectful!  I scored a large Tory Burch Robinson tote for fall at way at less than half of retail, and it showed up in pristine condition, including the dustbag.  Also,  instead of sorting results by "ending soonest" sort them by "newly listed."  A seller may not always know the true value of their item and sometimes the best deals have to be found quickly, before someone else beats you to the low price!  

If you find an item with the tag snipped or soles marked at a low price, don't be wary!  Mistakes happen in manufacturing and retailers have extremely high standards.  Factories will often sell these barely seconds quality items at much lower prices on eBay - it's how I've purchased many an "Elsa" top by Lilly Pulitzer, and the quality is often exactly the same as ones I've purchased at Saks.  

I hope this post was helpful!  Do you have any other tips for finding a great fashion deal?  Please share in the comments!  I'd love to hear your secrets.  


fall favorites + a shopping tip

I know it's only mid-August, but seeing as how the #PSL ( aka pumpkin spice latte) is already back at Starbucks  - and perhaps more importantly, how Schlafly's Pumpkin Ale is back in the beer aisle - I can't help but be excited for autumn!  I wanted to link to a few of my favorite things I'll be wearing this fall.  Hopefully you're not already sick of the Lush tunic, obviously I'm obsessed!  Those fringe booties are surprisingly comfortable for the heel height, and I've always been a huge fan of a "Black Honey" lip once the temps turn down!  Nothing is easier for getting that fall feeling than a deeper nail color, especially when it's still a little too warm for mahogany leather riding boots.  

Now that I've put together my Pinterest board for my fall fashion vision, it's time to shop!  More importantly, it's time to get paid to shop.  

Cue collective "huh, what?"  

I don't mean in that "I'm a blogger, I get paid to shop" way (I'm not that big of a deal, hah!) I mean with eBates!  

Honestly, I can't believe I haven't shared the magic of eBates on the blog before now, it's really overdue.  eBates is a shopping referral website - their stores pay them a fee when customers shop there, and eBates gives a portion of that fee back to their users.  Pretty simple!  You join by providing your email address, and after you've made a few purchases - after logging in with eBates - you get a deposit to your Paypal account, or you can choose to receive a check in the mail.  I use the eBates Cash Back plugin - linked here - and it automatically checks that any website I'm shopping at is or isn't offering a percentage of cash back if the purchase is made through eBates.

You can sign up for eBates here - it's totally free, they are basically making $$$ off of referring you to stores (that you probably would have shopped at anyways!) and you get to benefit from it as well.  The magic of the internet!

* This post isn't sponsored by eBates at all!  I just love sharing deals and discounts with readers, and it's always fun to see a little extra spending money in my Paypal account!

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bohemian tunic: from summer to fall

boho fashion asos french connection tunic hippie dress hat floppy rebecca minkoff

boho fashion asos french connection tunic hippie dress hat floppy rebecca minkoff

boho fashion asos french connection tunic hippie dress hat floppy rebecca minkoff

boho fashion asos french connection tunic hippie dress hat floppy rebecca minkoff

boho fashion asos french connection tunic hippie dress hat floppy rebecca minkoff

Dress (similar, also LOVE this one) // Mules // Hat (old, but this is similar and I've always coveted this one.) // Bag, and this smaller version on sale! // Similar Personalized "Family Names" Necklace

I've always been a fan of bohemian fashion, so I've been thrilled to see it making its way back in for fall.  Some of the trend's best colors like dark red, navy, evergreen, plum, are easy to wear as a mom and busy patterns hide a multitude of stains!  I'm also loving mules, since they give me a few inches up while being extremely comfortable to wear - this creamy white pair looks especially good with a tan, but I linked it in all colors below, along with a few other adorable tunic dresses.

Thanks for stopping by!


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the weekender

As I type this post up on a Sunday night I'm scolding myself a little bit for working on a Sunday - not on the blog, on my "real" job.  The thing is, I have this thing about Mondays, and making them as painless as possible.  Nothing is worse (to me) than a break from the weekend fraught with a terrifying to-do list, so I frequently take an hour or two on Sunday night when I'm supposed to be sitting and watching TV or reading with Darrell to clean up my inbox, respond to any pressing questions, and generally take down my to-dos from 20 to 10.  

I know, I shouldn't do that.  Shouldn't.  But tell me how to stop?!  Because for some reason, I get into the BEST grooves of work sometimes on Sunday evenings - admittedly, it really annoys Darrell.  

Okay, on to the fun things we did this weekend!  

We went to Food Truck Friday, and then had dinner at our local pub while Claire snoozed in the stroller!  

We taught Claire how to make bouillabaisse. 


But she does love to try to stir!  Future chef?  Time will tell.  

We watched a LOT of Sophia the First - perhaps more than I'd like to admit, but I'm a sucker because I melt when she dances to the theme song.  

We practiced eating like a grown up, because our toddler has decided she is above the high chair.  

Even if she does not yet understand the concept of unscrewing the lid before trying to take a drink.  

Don't I look cute in this picture?!  I have no idea what's happening with my hair, but I ran a 5K on Saturday (my best time ever, but sadly it was gun timed so I have no proof, boo)  Then we had the all important "I ran on a Saturday!" celebratory brunch.  In race clothes, obviously.  Actually, I both worked out and ate eggs benedict twice this weekend.  #IREGRETNOTHING

(Second workout was a class called "Aerial Yoga Fit" and more on that later - I'm planning a run of all the best fitness studios in St. Louis this month, reviews included!)  

Claire was positively angelic the entire meal, she tried everything and was altogether excellent company - not always the case when we dine out lately, it really depends on her mood.  

 That's all I've got folks - we're boring.  Basically we ran, ate, and snuggled.  What more to life is there?  


exciting news!

Guess what y'all?!  The floral pullover from my blog post Wednesday is being re-released on Brickyard Buffalo this weekend!  I just got the notification, and NO this post is not sponsored at all - I actually had no idea they'd be restocking it, but I had to share!  

You can buy it HERE , it runs true to size (wearing a small here) and it's one of my very favorite pieces for fall.  

friday link love

Hello, Hi Friday!!! You are so welcome to be here.  Not that this week was very long - oh no, it practically seemed to fly by with lots of work (the good, interesting and creative kind) a concert/date night on Wednesday night, and now we're heading into a weekend of not much at all!  Celebrating a friend's birthday, running a 5K, and not much else!  Maybe some yoga?  Brunch?  I love it when my weekends are mostly unplanned like this one.  And now, my favorite things from the interwebs this week!  

A vegetarian, organic drive thru?  Sign me up!  I need as many locations as McDonald's!  Please!  
(I tend to all but starve on road trips, so this is beyond exciting to me as a prospect.)  

I was kind of anti-snapchat due to the fact that I think it's VERY confusing.  This guide makes it really simple, and hey, follow me!  @maryhayes (Okay, it's mostly clothes and baby videos.)  

More cathartic revelations about motherhood via Coffee & Crumbs - this is my favorite in a while from them.

Does anyone else use Groopdealz?  It's my favorite daily deals site - you've seen clothing items from them here (the sweatshirt!) You can sign up here - totally free - and there are some amazing deals today.  My favorites are this herringbone vest, so J.Crew for fall - also love this baseball tee, this striped top, and this plaid button down.  

I have something to admit - I'm addicted to "Bachelor in Paradise."  It's horrible, but I can't help it.  So instead, I'm hoping you all get addicted too - and hey let's talk about it on Twitter!!

I can't stop thinking about this purse in the cognac color - it looks like the ultimate hands free fall bag!

This is so funny: distance runners mostly think about how hard distance running is, according to a study.  NO KIDDING.

This podcast episode shone a very dark shadow over the city of St. Louis and our school systems.  I love my city, but we have problems that need work.  Take a listen, it's excellent.  

Distressed denim seems to be the thing for fall, and this pair straddles the line between skinny and slouchy so nicely!  Might have to go try them on this weekend....

The most adorable way to transport cocktails for a picnic! 


stitch fix #4

I just have to say, I love when this little box comes in the mail. Trying on clothes at home feels like such a luxury.  It reminds me of something my mom did when I was a kid - see, I live in a bigger city now, but I grew up in a small town in southern Illinois.  My mom was (and still is!) close friends with a boutique owner in Mt. Vernon, and I remember when she used to bring things home from the store "on approval" to try.  Sometimes to see if my dad liked them, sometimes just because we were busy and she didn't have time to spend in the dressing room at the store, but it was such a luxury to take things home and really live with them for a bit before deciding to make a purchase.  That's how Stitch Fix feels to me.  

I've had Celeste for a stylist for a few different fixes now, and she gets better every time.  This fix I specifically requested transitional clothes in basic patterns and colors, and she totally delivered.  I mean hello, how cute is this top??

So, I LOVED these black jeans/skinny pants.  They're a tencel blend - a super cool fabric that holds it's shape, is mega light, and doesn't trap heat - and they had a bit of a sheen that made them sort of "rock n roll."  They're a size 27, and although I'm weirdly in between a 26 and 27 right now they fit pretty well!  I might have the waist band taken in a tiny bit, but it would be totally worth it, and I think a size down would have been too tight in the legs.  At $78, they were priced right for the quality.  

The t-shirt I also loved.  Heart eyes for the stitching detail at the neckline!  I've already bought lots of stripes for fall, so I reluctantly sent it back.  (Darrell was totally giving me the side eye like "another striped top?")  For reference, this top is an XS.  I've found so far that the brands they carry at Stitch Fix run large, and I filled out my style profile with a size down from what I would usually wear at, for example, Madewell or J.Crew.    

This dress was alright, but not spectacular and garnered a solid "meh" from Darrell so it also went back.  I did think it was incredibly figure flattering and was this close to keeping it!  The solid "it goes back" point was made when I checked the billing sheet and realized it was $60.  I would have kept it for $40.  

This crochet yoke top was nice from this view but I should have turned to the side - it made a funny little tent over my boobs and frankly would just be better on someone with a smaller chest.  That said, I thought it was super cute and just wish it was cut a little differently!  I don't think sizing up would have made me like it more - I think this cut just isn't good for me.  This is an XS as well.  

All in all, finding awesome pants is a huge win and I think I'll get a ton of wear out of these pants over fall and winter.  Thanks for putting up with my no makeup & glasses on selfies!  My Fix is always so fun to get in the mail and I love doing these posts - I already have my next one scheduled.  You can sign up for your own Stitch Fix here and you can even request my stylist if you want!  If you're already getting them based on my previous posts I want to hear how it's going!  

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