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Maternity Style || Comparing Pregnancies

7.29.2016

top (only $20, three colors) || necklace || pants (old) similar here || shoes ($12.90)

I was looking back at my post from my pregnancy with Maddox at this time. Talk about swollen face! I am so glad that I blogged through my pregnancy weekly with Maddox so I can look back at it now. It makes me slightly regret not doing it this time around with Baby Girl, but I knew I couldn't keep up with it and I remember it becoming quite repetitive towards the end the first time around. It's been fun to reflect though on what he was doing and see that it lines up with what she's doing. And it's fun to compare the differences in how I feel or what I crave. I've even had the same weight gain thus far at this point so I'm counting that as a plus!

I love this swing top I snagged from Old Navy recently in blush for only $20. I swear I own way too many blush tops, but they are my favorite. Especially paired with olive green. See a similar look here when I was pregnant with Maddox. Oh how I miss my long hair!

Well if you need me this weekend I'll be over here sweating my buns off because our AC is broken in our house. That might be a pregnant woman's nightmare in Summer...



Blog || Top 5 Apps For Blogging

7.28.2016
look at my little dapper dude!

custom iphone cases c/o

I have a code for you to to snag a custom case of your own for your phone, ipad or computer at the end of this post!

I've found there are certain apps I truly can't live without as a blogger and I've mentioned some here on the blog before, particularly in my 5 steps to organizational freedom as a blogger post. You have probably heard of all of these apps, but if you haven't I recommend checking them out right away as they have helped me improve my organization, collaborations and quality of my photos. Bonus, most of them are FREE!

Later 
(FREE)
This is my favorite app by far! Numerous times I would find myself out in public doing something and realize, "crap I haven't posted on Instagram yet" and we all know there is a window when our posts typically do the best. If you miss it, you have to wait until the next window and that can throw your whole schedule off. It was so annoying to then have to pull myself away from what I was doing to edit a photo, come up with a caption, tag appropriately and add all the right hashtags. We all know that takes time! So now I sit down every few days and upload upcoming photos to Later, add the caption and schedule them so all I have to do is copy and paste it when my phone tells me it's time. The hard work is done ahead of time so no more getting pulled away from what you are doing to post.

Hootesuite
(FREE)
I can't live without Later or Hootesuite. They save me from being on my phone 24/7 to keep up with social media. I love the ease of scheduling everything ahead of time anyway so that I am not left wondering what the heck I am posting each day. I use Hootesuite for Facebook and Twitter only. If you are running a giveaway, Hootesuite is a great way to go ahead and set up tweets to go out each day, multiple times a day to remind people to enter your giveaway, etc. It's a favorite of mine!

Collabor8
(FREE)
If you like collaborating with brands then you should definitely check out my post 4 ways to start reaching out to brands. But you also need to download this app because it connects you to a whole world of brands looking for bloggers to share their product. Once you fill out your profile explaining what your interests are, your follower counts and share some photos you've taken brands can start contacting you to share their product. Or you can go searching for them! I've had multiple positive experiences with Collabor8! Plus it's a great way to keep your collaborations in one area to find them easily. (I still use email to speak with most brands that don't reach out via Collabor8)

A Color Story
(FREE)
This has become my favorite photo editing app, even above afterlight. I mainly just use it to brighten my photos, but I usually clarify a bit and add a little contrast. It's so easy to use and I can't live without the brightening feature. You obviously need good lighting when taking a picture, but if your picture is dim, this will brighten it right up without loosing the pictures quality and making it grainy.

Facetune
($3.99)
This is worth the money if you like bright, white photos on your feed! If you are all about that flatlay you need this app because you can whiteout any area of your photo that you want. For example, if I lay a pink shirt down on a whiteboard and brighten the picture, but the white still isn't bright enough, I can upload the photo to Facetune and run my finger over all the white areas to make them BRIGHT white and clean looking. It's like an eraser for color, stains, shadows, etc and it's awesome! I like to use it if I take style shots in front of a concrete wall, but the wall is dingy and dirty. It cleans it right up.

Snapseed
(FREE)
This app is great for when you take a picture and maybe the sun is coming in at an angle causing you to have a shadow or dark corner in your photo. You can simply brighten that one particular spot to match the rest of your picture's lightness. I love it!

And of course you can't have your tech looking drab, so snag a new custom iphone case or custom laptop skin from caseapp and use code THEMODERNTULIP20 for 20% off your purchase.

What's your favorite app for editing, organizing, planning, etc?

Style || It All Started With a $15 T-Shirt

7.26.2016
 dress (old boutique has since closed) || earrings || boots (in gray)

I did it.

I gave into the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

Que the eye rolls.

I really can't stand the constant hulabaloo about the NSale. It's non stop all over our social media feeds and blogs. I know that so many bloggers are sponsored to write those posts and that is completely fine and wonderful - I just get so overwhelmed by everyone's picks and shares that it becomes too much and I tune it all out.

Some of you may share my feelings.

But on the other hand, I also know that it's a wonderful way to find some trendy steals for the coming seasons. And Nordstrom clothing is quality, so spending a few extra bucks is well justified knowing those pieces will last awhile. Well, that's how I got suckered in. It all started with a $15 t-shirt...

Before I knew it I had a cart full and I was clicking "complete my order". So I got suckered into the sale, but I am excited about the pieces I have coming, which I have shared at the bottom of this post including prices. Some things are still in stock too if you are interested. I am, however, super sad that I didn't make in time for these boots. I want them in gray so freaking badly. If they come back in stock in my size they will be going into my shopping cart stat!


So what about you? Did you give into the sale or did you stand strong?


Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

Motherhood || So Over It

7.25.2016
top || jeans || sunglasses ($14) || wedges || lipstick

I have hit that be-dreaded point in my pregnancy when I am just truly over it. The sleepless, insomnia has hit strong and I feel like I watch all hours of the night tick through each time I roll over and check my phone to see if it's time to get up. Many mornings Jon wakes up to find me on the couch, finally passed out, just in time to wake up before Maddox does. I'm exhausted and ready for a nap by 3 or 4pm every single day. I can't sit and or stand in any comfortable position. My breathing feels restricted and heavy most of the day thanks to baby girl sitting high in my ribs and then my poor bladder takes the grunt of her kicks at night when I almost feel like she's low enough to be birthed.

See what I mean? All the whining over here.

I didn't hit this "over it" point until 35 weeks with Maddox. So I'm trying to prepare myself to go the distance these next 9 weeks before her anticipated arrival.

I'll tell you what I can't wait for! Breathing normally, a glass of sangria and to stop hearing that obnoxious grunting sound that escapes my lips when I bend over 50 times a day.


Style || Ruffle Tunic

7.22.2016


I am still pulling out items from my shopping trip at Serendipity. I have a few more tops to share and oh my goodness they are all so beautiful! I am thinking my next baby free day I'll have to pop in there again... #someonetakeawaymywallet

There are a couple random things I wanted to address today so bear with me, folks!

You may notice I am not posting five times a week anymore and have started taking one (sometimes two) days off during the week. I was starting to notice my anxiety levels were always high and my type-A, anal retentive self was not going back in her cave, but simply dwelling in my home. It wasn't fair to me, my husband or my kids (anxiety takes a toll on a pregnancy for sure). So to save myself and enjoy what I'm doing I tapered off a bit. I'm loving it because it gives me a day off to not have to worry about my post/social shares. And it gives me times to get ahead if I am feeling spunky and have free time. Most importantly it's brought my stress levels back down and I'm a better wife and mom for it. Plus I feel like I bring better content to you when I have more time to work on each post.

On another note, this is totally random, but I have been getting comments from no-reply bloggers lately and I would HATE for you to think I was ignoring your comment or not responding to you. I always respond to every comment via email so please... if you don't hear back from me you are most likely a no-reply blogger. Don't worry it's an easy fix. In fact here's a tutorial for you to fix it so we can communicate :)

Okay I feel better getting that taken care of! I hope you have a fabulous weekend! We are going to be knee deep in home projects and kicking butt getting our ice cream truck finished. Guys, it's being inspected by the health department today and we have our first event next Saturday! We might be completely crazy so pray for our sanity!

If you want to follow along you can follow us, Mimi's Cookies N' Creamery, here: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat: mimiscreamery


Motherhood || Honest Confessions of a Mother

7.20.2016

 
It always amazes me when mothers are so willing to cast judgement upon another mother. We are all just trying to survive while loving and protecting our sticky little human sinners, right? So why do we feel the need to gawk at one mother's decision because it isn't one we'd make on our own? I can remember saying, "I will never do that when I'm a mom" and yes, I wish I could go back in time and slap my immature, judgemental self who was in dire need of a reality check. I didn't know what it was like then. Now I do. And I promise not to stare at you in disgust as your child reaches up and grabs apples at the grocery store only to throw them down in the floor. Instead I will pick up that apple and give you a warm smile that assures you I've been there and you AND your child are normal.


That actually happened to me at the grocery store the other day and it left me feeling annoyed at people and their lack of empathy, but it also caused me to think about the other things I do as a mother that would probably cause some more judgemental looks.

Confession time...

one // I give Maddox french fries and ice cream. I feed him fruit/kale smoothies and oatmeal and lean protein 95% of the time, but the other 5%? I'm doing what's convenient and running through a drive through. He's even tasted soda... the horror!

two // He watches cartoons at least twice a day. Usually 45mins in the morning while I slowly wake up, drink hot coffee and get breakfast going and another hour in the evening when I need to get dinner started or blog work done. I don't have a problem with screen time. In fact I need it to keep my sanity. Don't tell me you only allow 30 minutes of screen time a day if you are a stay at home mom. I'm going to have to call your bluff.

three // Sometimes my kid goes to bed with dirty feet. I would love to have the energy and be willing to fight the fight to bath my child every night, but "ain't nobody got time for that". If he's already cranky by the time dinner is over it is just survival mode to get his diaper changed and his booty in pajamas before prayers and bed. Leaning over the bathtub on my hands and knees to wash my child who doesn't like water in his face isn't my favorite pass time right now either at 30 weeks pregnant.

four // I let my child eat dirt. Sometimes I catch him scooping up some dirt or sand at the park and putting it into his mouth. I look at him and tell him "no, shew that's gross", but by no means do I go running to him to get it out or worry about the next handful he's probably going to consume. "God made dirt, dirt don't hurt" right? If you are the type of mom that frantically wipes their child's hand before it goes to their mouth than more power to you! I don't have the energy to keep that up 20,000 times a day! Would you die if I told you Maddox has also consumed a ladybug, mothball, dog food and a cigarette butt in his life time? The cigarette butt totally grossed me out, but it happened.

five // I breastfed Maddox until he weaned himself at 11 months old, but I would have ended it at 12 months regardless. He was becoming distracted often so it was making feedings quite difficult. But in all honesty when my child can come up to me and lift my shirt on his own I am really not comfortable feeding anymore. I will forever be grateful and happy to breastfeed for that first year of life. I count it as a HUGE blessing! There just won't be any 16 months, 19 months, 24 months happening over here.

So are you turning your nose up to me yet? Because I could go on. I've learned to be a laid back and get a bit of tough skin as a mom. People can have their opinions and you can't keep them from voicing them. So it's best to just learn to shrug it off. At the end of the day I love my children unconditionally and I will do everything to make them know that in their bones.

What's something you've done as a mother that you think would cause a judgemental stare or comment? And don't you tell me you don't have something. Surely you've left your kid in a dirty diaper too long or something!


Hair & Beauty || Headband Hair Tuck

7.19.2016
headband || similar top (old)

I got a lot of requests and comments about my hair after I posted a photo on Instagram so I thought I would share how easy this look is to accomplish. Although I have to admit - 5 seconds after this big fat kiss Maddox planted on me, he grab the sides of my head and ruined this hair-do. Luckily it's easy to tuck right back in and fix, but that's just true life for ya!

It's nearly impossible to stay polished with a kiddos hands all over you! 

Necklace from Rocksbox (use code moderntulipxoxo for a FREE month)

This beautiful beaded headband is from Headbands of Hope - an incredible company that gives a headband to a child battling cancer for each item sold. They restore kids confidence while going through cancer treatment. What a mission! They sell adult sizes and sizes for your little one too! I'm thinking baby girl and I need matching mommy and me flower crowns :)

If you would like to see how I accomplished this look make sure to tune in on my Facebook page live today Tuesday, July 19th at 1pm EST to watch me complete this look. Can't make it? Don't worry the video replay will live on my Facebook page forever! Go here to watch --> click here.

Macbook Air And Kate Spade Tote Bag Giveaway

7.18.2016
Happy Monday, friends! I couldn't pull myself away from my fun, long weekend to get a blog post together for you today, but I am a part of an awesome giveaway you are going to want to enter to win! The prize is pictured below with the exception of the scarf and wallet.



May the odds be ever in your favor :)

Motherhood || A 29 Week Pregnancy Update

7.15.2016
 dress (only $24) || bracelet

If you follow me on Snapchat (themoderntulip) you know the funny story behind these photos. But if you don't have Snap I don't want to leave you out of the fun! So.... this dress actually would not zip up on me because I'm a dummy and ordered it in my non-pregnant size, but I had to take these photos for my collaboration with Tobi. I told Jon we had to find a private place to take these pictures because my entire back down all the way down to my butt and underwear were wide open for the world to see AHHH! 

So we found these weird little twig huts on the ETSU campus and the area was deserted since school is out for Summer. Y'all, I kid you not, as soon as I got out of the car and ran into position a couple pushing a baby stroller rolled on up to scope out these huts. A man walking his dog LET HIS DOG OFF HIS LEASH to run free... it was pure chaos and I was slowly backing into a corner trying to hide my butt! #bloggerproblems

The bright side - I don't look totally scared to death in these photos AND I have a new pretty dress to wear post birth :)

** You get 50% off your first purchase with Tobi. They have the cutest sandals, sunglasses and tops like this one.


So I've hardly talked about this pregnancy at all here on the blog. I don't know why I just hardly even think about it! I know that sounds terrible, but being the second child, my whole world doesn't revolve around it like it did with Maddox. Sad, but true.

So a couple of things I want to remember from this stage...

// Baby Girl sits HIGH up under my ribs at all times. To the extent that I get shortness of breath and feel like she's crushing my rib cage and organs.

// All I want is lemonade all the time. I swear they know me at McAlister's Deli now and just simply ask what flavor I want today.

// Heartburn is constant. I had heartburn with Maddox nightly, but with girlfriend it is all day. Every day.

// She is so active all the time. It feels like she never sleeps because I'm constantly feeling her jab, roll, squirm, hiccup every moment. She does not like when Maddox lays on my belly and puts pressure on her. She jabs him right back.

// Her nursery is almost finished. I lack curtains and hanging wall decor. I seriously can't wait to reveal it in the next few weeks!

// We have finally decided on a name. It's official... I bought a monogram. I am so happy to finally call her something other than Baby Girl when Jon and I talk about her.

Everything is going great with this pregnancy. I am just so grateful for another healthy baby and I still just can't believe it's a girl. Can't believe it! I dream about giving birth to her and seeing her sweet face for the first time. It takes me back to Maddox's birth and brings tears to my eyes. Oh motherhood... you are simply the sweetest journey.


Thank you Tobi for sponsoring this post and for you, my sweet readers, for supporting the brands who support The Modern Tulip.

5 Steps To Organizational Freedom As A Blogger

7.14.2016

Recently I did a "overhaul" let's call it, on my organizational system to blogging. I finally decided enough was enough when I realized I was actually ignoring all things blog and pushing it to the back burner because it was too overwhelming to tackle. I never want to feel that way about anything and I knew I had to do something so I took a step back to re-evaluate how I approach my blogging process.

this top is maternity and it's so stinking comfortable! And the flutter sleeve? I mean!
 
Here are 5 steps I took to relieve myself of some anxiety and get a plan of action for my blog instead of being so chaotic on a daily basis. You can easily implement these and I would honestly love to hear if you have anything to add to this list that you've tried and tested!

one || an editorial calendar

I truly don't know why it's taken me this long to figure this out, but man it helps to plan ahead instead of scrambling last minute! I finally created a monthly editorial calendar to plan my blog posts weeks in advance. Not only does this give me the ease of jotting down things I know I need to post about, but if I have free time I can look at this calendar and say, "okay I need to shoot pictures for this post coming up in a few days". And then I'm not scrambling to shoot and edit the day before. Plus this gives me extra time to get creative because I actually have time to think about the post verses throwing some words together late the night before. I personally am a hand written kinda gal so I made a white board that I can easily make new each month and erase if I need to swap blog posts out between days due to something coming up. If you prefer technology, I have heard CoSchedule is amazing, but you have to pay monthly for it. You can read a little more about CoSchedule here

two || a blog post checklist

What a stinking time saver! Create a list that you check off each time you are writing a post of all things you need to complete start to finish. Now you won't forget even the slightest detail AND if you aren't able to finish a post all at once you can look back at this list and see what still needs to be done before you can hit "publish". I am still working on tapering the list that works perfectly for me, but here is an example of what I mean:

          - reasearch topic
          - write post
          - proofread/edit
          - create pinnable image
          - edit photos
          - SEO/tags
          - schedule social media for post

three || schedule social media in advance

When you are done writing your blog post and you schedule it to go live, take a few extra minutes to plan the social media shares to go along with it. Now you aren't spending the entire day with your face buried in your phone trying to promote your post and you've shared when the topic was fresh on your mind. I use Hootsuite for Twitter and Facebook and Later (formerly Latergramme) for Instagram. I currently don't use anything for Pinterest and I just pin that day, but you could use Buffer or Tailwind.

Follow my Pinterest board dedicated to all things helpful for blogging.

four || take a day off

I don't know about you, but my brain needs a break from time to time. And so often I find myself lacking inspiration, creativity or the ability to think a clear thought. When that happens the worst thing I can do is make myself blog because I get even more frustrated staring at a blinking cursor on my screen and I can hear the echo's of hollow emptiness inside my brain. By creating an editorial calendar and being ahead of the game, hopefully if you have these moments you already have a few posts under your sleeve and you can rest easy knowing tomorrow is another day you can take this one off.

five || when your brain is chugging, don't stop

On the complete opposite end of what I just mentioned, when your brain is in full swing blogger mode make haste! I can't tell you how many times my brain has started firing off ideas randomly at the most inconvenient times. Like on the couch at 10pm at night, when my husband gets up to go to bed and I follow suit because it's late, I know I have an early wake-up call in the form of a small child and I should probably sleep. BUT then I toss and turn in bed while my brain goes a mile a minute thinking of all the things I could be writing, scheduling, editing, planning. Then when I wake up in the morning it's all gone. POOF! Has this ever happened to you? Now I've learned to tell my husband I need a late night and I stay up into the wee hours blogging my heart out. Then when I wake up in the morning I don't typically leap out of bed, but I groggily wake up and feel a weight lifted off my chest knowing how much I got done. And rest assured there is a large enough amount of concealer to cover those dark circles under my eyes.

Well, I hope you found these tips helpful and you are on your way to a saner, less anxious you! If you did I would love it if you'd pin the image below so others bloggers in need can find this post.

Any words of wisdom or advice on this topic? Please share it in the comments below!


Thank you to Kimi and Kai Maternity for sponsoring this post and thank you for supporting the brands that support The Modern Tulip.