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Blog Friends Become Real Life Friends & Freshly Picked Giveaway

4.03.2017
 Note Emery's face... her brother wanted her to swim in the "pewl"! Poor child!
 I can't stop laughing at these pictures! Maddox tugging her arm to get her in the pool, Emery's face of "what the heck is happening? S.O.S!"

I'm always so grateful when blogger friends become real life friends. It's such an odd thing, blogging. We know so much about each others lives because we share so much and make ourselves transparent and then we meet... it's like we know we are strangers, but yet we know each other so well. So weird! Katie and I started off following each others blogs over two years ago and have watched each other become mothers. To get to meet her and her daughter Charlotte on our trip to Destin was such a thrill! We spent some time at the aquarium with the kiddos.


Emery's outfit: bow || shorts || moccs c/o Freshly Picked
Maddox's outfit: similar shirt || shorts || moccs c/o Freshly Picked

We had such a great time in Destin! It was the perfect way to kick of Spring for our family. And I'm surprised at just how much fun we had with the kids. I knew we would have fun, but I was expecting it to be pretty hard. Instead it was quite relaxing! Maddox was all about the adventure of seeing the beach and going on walks and learning to swim. He couldn't get enough... he's so busy! And Emery had just started sitting up all on her own, which gave me a break from having to hold her all the time. And she just loved watching her brother and being in on all the action. I had to make sure I packed both of their Freshly Picked moccasins because they are a staple in our house. I love that the soft sole moccasins protect their tiny, tender feet when they start wanting to stand. I think Emery needs these for Spring! And I had no idea they sold hard sole moccasins for Maddox's age and up when they start walking and running and basically getting into everything. I was stoked to find that out! It should also be noted they clean up really well. Maddox gets scuff marks all over all of his shoes and a Magic Eraser will take the scuffs right off!

Today I'm teaming up with Freshly Picked to celebrate Spring with a giveaway for a pair of FP moccasins of your choice! Enter to win with the rafflecopter below! All entries will be verified.

Thank you Freshly Picked for sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Strollin' At the Beach With Evenflo

3.31.2017

Taking our Evenflo stroller with us on vacation was the most genius idea ever. We used it multiple times a day. Every single day. Maddox and his MiMi took it out in the morning for their morning walk to feed the ducks at a nearby pond. We stayed in a community on the beach, but we had about a half a mile walk to the actual beach itself. So we used it multiple times a day to tote the kids and all our beach gear to and from our house. And then we used it again at night to go to the beach and watch the sunset. We did a LOT of walking!

This stroller packs down so compact so it was easy to pack in the car along with our 5,000 other things for the kids. It even fits in my Ford Fusion and I've had such a hard time finding strollers to fit in that car, but at last, this stroller does! Plus it's so easy to break down with one pull of a handle. And it's lightweight so I can lift it into the car.

Not to mention it cleans off easily too! Our stroller was constantly covered in sand from being at the beach. And not just dry sand, but wet beach toys covered in sand. You know... the kind that you basically have to hose your kid off or dip them in the pool to get off. It wash right off with the hose and dried out in the sun. 

Now that we are back home and I the weather finally screams Spring here I am really looking forward to running again outside! I ran so much with Maddox after I had him on our local trail in town because I was looking for reasons to get out with my new baby and go somewhere other than Target (my poor wallet). Now I'm itching to run with Emery the two days a week that Maddox goes to school with my new Evenflo stroller! And maybe loose those last few pounds of baby weight while I'm at it!





this post is in collaboration with Evenflo. Thank you for supporting the brands who support The Modern Tulip.

Vacation Bums

3.27.2017

I hate, hate, hate that this swim cover up is sold out and taken off the website. I guess it's not going to be restocked #wompwomp. Between the ombre and the different colored tassels I was in love with it the second I saw it. I typically buy the dress cover-ups, but I wanted one that would still show off some of my suit - this skirt did just that. I've linked a few others in the widget below that are very similar and super cute!

We are having such a great vacation. The trip down here was surprisingly a breeze with the kids - I always vote driving through the night with kids. They sleep like champs and the time passes quicker. The weather has been perfection and the kids are loving the water. Oh my gosh, Maddox is such a water bug. He would stay in the pool until he shriveled into a raisin if we'd let him. Papa even spoiled him by serving him his lunch poolside so he didn't even have to leave the pool to eat. Now he thinks he always has to eat his snack or lunch in the pool. #toughlife

I have to brag on my kids a bit, they are so stinking adaptable. I've just been so impressed with how they have adjusted to being here, away from home. They aren't giving us any trouble with naps or sleep. They are just fine being thrown off schedule and are totally go with the flow. I'm just super grateful because it's made vacation enjoyable for us! I may never come home.

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Motherhood & Style || Post Baby Body With Kid Number Two

3.24.2017

Let me start with some honesty, after I had Maddox I was the mom that a lot of women hated. Why? Because within about a month of having him I wasn't just down to my pre-baby weight, I was SMALLER than I was before I was pregnant with him. I have worn a size 4 in jeans since high-school and my weight has only ever fluctuated within 5 pounds. A month after having Maddox I was purchasing size 2 in everything because my old pants were falling down and sagging on my butt. My top size changed from my typical small to x-small. I was told that nursing would work wonders, but I didn't realize it would work that good! I mean I was eating whatever I wanted, not hardly working out, nursing like a dadgum milk cow and I couldn't keep any weight on. Here is a picture showing how stick thin I was. Even my wrists look scrawny.


Now, almost six months in with baby number two, I can't get an ounce of the weight off! And she nurses like a wild animal. I swear the elasticity in my belly is gone - I have the saggy skin to prove it. My thighs are more than touching. My face has filled out. My hips have gotten wider.

Let me just stop real quick to make sure you know I'm not knocking myself. I had a BABY! I give myself plenty of grace in the post-partum body department. But after six months and working out I am ready to see some changes people!

I am getting to the point where I need to start buying the next jean size up and I'm purchasing looser fitting tops more than ever. When I'm home I am in my husbands t-shirts because they are loose and cover my butt. It's reality and there is nothing wrong with that, but I think it's time to start setting in hard on counting macros, paying attention fully to what I'm eating and pushing myself harder in workouts. I have been focusing more on building muscle, but I think I need some more HIIT (high intensity interval training) to really see some progress, then when I get back down to my pre baby weight I can start hitting the heavy weights hard for muscle gains.

Until then I will stick to loose fitting shirts the hide the belly bulge and this top is a winner for just that! Plus it doesn't hurt that it's nursing friendly too! I added my new favorite blush skinnies (which I also bought in olive) and peep toe booties for a soft feminine look for church a few weeks ago.

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Style || One Piece Swimsuits on Amazon Under $30

3.22.2017
One Piece Swimsuits


I was attempting to find some one-piece suits this year that didn't scream "MOM SUIT" to appease my husband, but that also didn't make me feel scandalous. I'm not big for showing cleavage or booty, but it's kind of hard not to in a swimsuit... Lord please help me and my mom bod.

I searched a lot around town and online and I found a few, but once I started packing I realized I only had two three suits for a week vacation. Y'all I have to kids who spit-up on me and smear their chubby, sticky hands on me so naturally I need extra's if I don't want to wash suits on repeat. I turned to trusty ole' Amazon to see if there were any Prime deals (praise Jesus for 2 day shipping)!

How cute are these one piece finds? All under $30 and most (not all) are Prime! Of course, some are going to be cheaper quality and material, but if you are rushing to find a suit for a last minute trip or just wanting to find a trendy piece to wear a few times these are perfect. I ordered the adorable palm leaf, striped suit on the bottom row. It's going to be arriving the day we leave for vacation... again, praise Jesus for Amazon Prime!

in order from top left to right

This Black scalloped halter is so flattering and the scallop is just enough detail to keep this suit from being boring.

I love the mesh cutouts in this swimsuit and it comes in 7 colors. I bought one very similar from Tjmaxx this year in black and I love that it is off the shoulder on one side and the cut-outs still have mesh paneling so I'm not showing all my skin.

This floral retro number is so cute and also comes in a black and white stripe option. The high line on the thighs gives the illusion of longer, leaner legs which I know I could use some help on. Give me all the illusions please.

The floral pattern and lace detail on this swimsuit make me googly-eyed. I almost bought this suit last year, but I ended up forgetting about it and then I stumbled upon it again this year. Unfortunately I've reached my quota on the swimsuit budget so I guess I'll be waiting for this suit again for another year.

I ordered this suit the moment I saw it! I'm not big on pattern mixing, but I love this. It may not be completely mom-friendly by not having straps, but I'm hoping I won't have a flashing incident. In any case, it's nursing friendly ;-P

This adorable lace crochet suit comes in 14 different colors. It's perfect amount of coverage, but still showing some skin. You really can't go wrong with this suit.

No one ever went wrong with a black and white striped suit. And the zipper detail is cute if you are feeling like showing some extra skin.

I like the tiny amount of mesh in this suit on the neckline and hips. Plus it's full coverage all over the rest of the body so it's a really even mix of skin and coverage. And black is always flattering.

Are you ready for swimsuit season? I don't think I've ever really been ready, but I'm embracing my mom body this year and giving myself some grace.

Motherhood || 5 Tips To Getting Out the Door On Time with Kids

3.20.2017
 
^^^ Emery's face cracks me up

Get up before the kids. 
I hate the sound of my alarm, but I hate waking up to the sound of my kids crying more. I mean, helloooo I haven't even had my coffee yet. It never fails, if I get up to the sound of babies fussing I am a crank for a majority of the morning and my day feels chaotic from the get-go. I've learned to set my alarm to be up at least 30mins to an hour before my kids typically wake up for the day. It's so much more peaceful to do my make-up without having to tell Maddox to get out of the toothpaste 20 freaking times.



 fawn diaper bag | littlebunches diaper clutch (includes clutch, changing pad and wipes carrier)

my outfit: sweatshirt ||  leggings

Pack the diaper bag the night before.
I have this weird thing about keeping up with the diaper bag. I am constantly cleaning it out and refilling it because somehow within one outing with the kids it becomes a disaster. I'm ripping diapers out, throwing paci's in, pulling out snacks, throwing in receipts. By the end of the day it's full of crushed goldfish and a mashed banana I never got to eat. Every night I like to prepare it for the next day and whatever plans I have. Refill diapers and wipes, make sure I have a paci for each kid, as well as my wallet and car keys. I also set out a sippie cup and a snack cup to quickly fill in the morning for Maddox. Seriously a lifesaver to be able to grab the bag and go!

I've become obsessed with my new diaper clutch from Little Bunches. I was struggling on Sundays packing two separate bags for each kid because they go to different nursery rooms. This solved my problem. I pack Emery's diapers, wipes and paci in the clutch and stick it down in Maddox's diaper bag (the fawn bag) and then all I have to do is take out the clutch and give it to Emery's teacher and leave Maddox's bag with him. I have started keeping her stuff in the clutch full time too because when Maddox goes to school two days a week I can just pull out her clutch, throw in my keys, wallet and phone and I'm able to run errands will all that I need while I keep the main bag with Maddox. I carry it like a wristlist or hang it on the stroller. It's seriously a lifesaver with more than one kid! Plus the clutch and the changing pad can been thrown in the washer - just hand the pad to dry.

Lay out everyone clothes.
I say this mainly because I have a girl now and I never knew I could take so long picking out an outfit until I had a little girl! Shew, gosh y'all. SO many bow decisions! I like to lay out the kids clothes according to weather and what we're doing the next day. Why waste time searching for a clean pair of socks or somebody's jacket when you could have already had it all laid out. I don't always lay out my clothes, but when I do it's definitely more helpful. Who am I kidding, I snag a pair of my zella leggings and an oversized shirt or sweater and I'm out the door anyways. #sorrynotsorry

A simple breakfast.
My son has this weird way of eating yogurt. He likes to pretend it's finger paint. So he takes his spoon and scoops up some yogurt, then proceeds to place some on each finger and eat it off each finger very deliberately. It's hilarious to watch, but not so cute when I need him clean and ready to go out the door in a timely manner. So on mornings when we need to be somewhere I scratch yogurt or oatmeal and go for easy clean up breakfasts like protein pancakes, toast, or dry cereal.

Leave the mess.
I am very O.C.D. so having kids has thrown me for a loop when it comes to accepting the mess and enjoying the chaos. But I am starting to grasp the concept (two years later) and learn to let go a little. I used to always clean the kitchen immediately after breakfast. I'm talking dishes cleaned, dried and put away and counter-tops wiped down. Now I'm typically begging Maddox to take his last bite so we can go. (side note - I should really figure out how to stop rushing). I don't have time to clean up the kitchen unless I want to be running through every yellow light and yielding at stop signs to make it to where I'm going on time. Now I leave the mess for nap time or post bedtime. Trust me... the mess will be there when you get back. I haven't figured out that magic trick yet.



What tips do you have to getting out the door on time? I need all the help I can get!