Bumpdate: 33 Weeks

We are sticking true to our pink theme these days and twirling our little hearts out. Olive has started singing a lot more and its the cutest thing in the world. If I'm singing, she'll sing or if someone in a movie is she'll start belting it and look at you for approval. Her pitch is so high and cute I can barely handle it. She is my total girly girl who loves to snuggle but is also SO silly. She is such a lover and is so kind I can't wait to see how she is with the baby.

Baby Size:  A pineapple! I'm still hanging out between the 15 and 20-pound weight gain. I've lost weight at my last few appointments which is random since I haven't worked out in the last month but baby girl is still growing perfect. August has been such a hard month. I haven't felt much this entire pregnancy about having two kids or giving Olive a sibling and all the sudden it hit me so hard. I was crying every day and feeling so many feelings about it all. I think I felt like I was losing Olive and that when I have the baby I won't get to spend time with her and Austin reminded me that Olive is my little BFF and she's going to be right by my side helping me and loving on me and baby sister. Yes, they'll be times when Austin will take Olive out and give me some space with the baby but he reminded me that I'm not losing Olive and that helped me calm down and become excited again.

Current Cravings: Balsamic Dressing. Not a huge craving but it's oddly satisfying. 

 The Bump: So fun! Our little P girl is making herself known more and more. I feel like she moves more during the day than Olive did and she likes to really hide up under my ribs. This dress above and my orange romper below are my two favorite pieces in my closet right now. Both are non-maternity and fit so well. I'm really in a style rut right now and want to sell so many of my clothes and buy a whole new color pallet. I keep reminding myself to wait until after the baby comes because I'll probably change my mind again.

Looking Forward To: Our home visit! Our downstairs is SO close to being done and I'm excited for it to be finished so I can let me nesting go in full force. Right now we have so many random things everywhere that I'm going insane. I'm feeling that "I MUST ORGANIZE EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW" feeling so excited to actually be able to do that soon.

Meaningful Moments: Olive acknowledges baby P every day. She sings, talks and tries to feed her a bottle. Sometimes she randomly points to her belly and says baby P's name but when she's "playing" with my belly she really seems to understand. I've been making sure to tell her that "her baby sister is going to come out of mamas belly and drink mama's milk and that she can hold her and sing to her" Besides that, when I actually get the chance to nap it feels like a meaningful moment! I'm sleeping less and less at night but recently added 3 more pillows to our bed and that has helped so much. My friend recently told me about taking a spoonful of honey when I wake up to help me fall back to sleep so I am going to start that and I'll let you know how that goes next week!

My Pink Dress is from MIRTH Craftans and Olives Cute outfit is from Angeli Bebe and our shoes are from Soft Star Shoes

BRANDING & ESTABLISHING YOUR ONLINE COMMUNITY#THEMOMBLOGCOLLECTIVE WEEK 2 |

Welcome to the second installment of The Mom Blog Collective: How to Build an Online Community and Define Your Brand. If you're new here, here's the scoop. Every other week, our group of amazing and inspiring mamas will answer the same set of questions to do with blogging, Instagram, photography, collaborations, sponsored posts, balancing it all with motherhood, and more. We each have different perspectives and different opinions, so this is a fun way to learn from one another. We hope you'll join along! Check out the hashtag #themomblogcollective to see everyone on Instagram, and I will also link you to all of the amazing blog posts here at the bottom of my post! To see the very first post you can click HERE

How do you define your brand?

I've always described my brand in motherhood/lifestyle category. My intention is to share about our lives, being a mama and everything that I learn along the way and I get to share about products, small shops and companies we love and support. I have a pretty broad topic but at the same time, it's specific enough to be defined. 

How did you grow on Instagram in an Organic way?

Ah, Instagram, I will admit with Instagram's new changes its much harder to grow and the changes just keep coming. Some helpful, some not. But here are a few of the ways I find successful for growth.

  • Hashtags
  • Collaborations 
  • Tagging "hub" accounts to get your photo reposted
  • Follow Fridays/ Mom Crush Mondays
  • Consistent photos

    I personally see a difference when using hashtags in my caption and when I don't. I have read articles about hashtags being on their way out the door and that eventually Instagram will get rid of them but for now hashtags are still useful. I pretty much copy and paste all my hashtags and change a few that might not apply to the photo. I also use hashtags in my insta-stories and that seems to really give them a boost. 

Collaborations! Don't be afraid to reach out. When I first started collaborating I sent emails out and paid for most of the products or asked for a great discount in return for featuring their products on my page. For example, I work really close with a clothing company and I was the second person she ever worked with and I bought my items at a discount and put in a lot of work at first to grow that relationship. Now, I get free items and still buy certain items at a discount but we have a mutual relationship and respect for each other. She always told me how much she admired that I just didn't ask for something for free like the hundreds of emails she gets every day. 

This isn't how every collaboration will work and I definitely get paid to work with certain companies nowadays BUT you have to start somewhere. Don't be intimated, send a friendly email and don't be hurt if you don't get a response. Follow up 1-2 times and if you don't hear anything move on.

Tagging accounts like @uniteinmotherhood, @ig.motherhood @thebump in order for them to repost your photo and then their followers see your account and you gain followers. Obviously, my account is centered around family and being a mom so I tag big accounts who feature profiles like that but if your account is about food or travel look for those types of accounts that you can tag. Also, you can ask brands you collaborate with to repost your photo from the collaboration that way their followers are seeing that you collabed and finding you in the big ocean of Instagram!

Follow Fridays and Mom Crush Mondays don't work as well as they use to BUT they do help you make genuine connections and find some really great accounts to follow. I know it can be annoying to see a million #FF or #MCM posts in a row but if you have the time and patience you might end up finding your insta-BFF or some major inspiration!

Find a way you like to edit your photos and try your best to keep them all edited the same way. This makes your feed look cohesive and appealing to look at. Obviously, you can still share real everyday moments and not every photo has to be from a fancy camera. If you can find a way you love to edit it will keep all your fancy photos and grainy photos looking the same and represent your "brand" in a cohesive way. Think of it like you are telling a story with your feed and you want your story to make sense!


How not to grow

  • Buying Followers
  • Using a follow/unfollow apps

    These two options above might work for a little bit but it will show in your engagement and you will not make genuine relationships and have connected following. It will be a bunch of random spam accounts who you don't want using your photos.

How do you engage with your followers?

This is my biggest struggle with social media. I LOVE connecting, I love hearing peoples stories and sharing but it can be overwhelming to respond to everyone. I try to empty out my private messages each week and I have the best intention to reply right away but life gets busy and I try not to sit on my phone all day. One great tool is Facebook now links your Instagram posts so you can respond right away to comments on your computer instead of your phone.

 Also if I get a ton of questions about the same thing I usually try to throw together a blog post that way I can tell people the answers all in one place. Lots of bloggers have a question & answer page and a "shop my favorite things" page which I plan on adding before the baby arrives but it's a work in progress. 

Make sure to check out the other lovely ladies perspectives below!

occasionallyperfect.com | @occasionally_perfect

mrsseacannon.com | @mrsseacannon

britthavens.com | @britthavens

koleimpressions.com | @steph__pollock

cultivatemotherhood.com | @cultivatemotherhood

www.ashleynoel.life | @_ashley_noel_

hellobabybrown.com | @hellobabybrown

www.a-blessed-nest.com | @blessednestblog

thelovedesignedlife.com | @thelovedesignedlife

kristlesclarity.com | @hereyeswereolivegreen

@amylouhawthorne

darlingnightingale.com | @darlingnightingale

 

Bumpdate : 30 Weeks

Happy 30 weeks to us! When I hear someone say 30 weeks I'm always like WHOA you are going to have your baby any day when really there are two more months of pregnancy left. Maybe it's because Olive came way early, but I just always feel like 30 weeks sounds like you are at the end. I keep reminding myself that there's plenty of time left. Also sorry for the picture overload, I narrowed it down from 30, but we just had so much fun snapping these. Olive was cracking me up trying to feed me carrots.

Baby Size: A Large Cabbage and approx 3 pounds. 

Current Cravings: fatty foods likes salmon, avocado, eggs and coconut oil. Usually, I don't ever eat fish unless we are in California and I had a taste for some the other day. I ended up getting grossed out by it but forcing myself to eat it since I bought it. I also don't usually eat eggs but during pregnancy, I really do crave them and as long as someone else makes them for me I don't get grossed out.

 The Bump: My muscles are not loving all the pressure this bump is giving them. I've been going to the chiropractor a few times and it helps SO much. If you're pregnant I SO recommend going to the Chiropractor while pregnant and especially after you have the baby. I go to someone who specializes in pregnancy and kids.

Looking Forward To: My mom coming at the end of August and us getting to go on a super small babymoon. We have two weddings to shoot the first weekend of September and they aren't super long days so Austin & I will get to get away while my mom watches Olive for a few days.

Meaningful Moments: Olives vocabulary is exploding and she says the babies name all the time and points to my belly. She also will say her name randomly and then come kiss my belly. I know she doesn't fully understand what is going on, but I think it will all make sense to her once the baby is here.

My dress is non-maternity from Hurst Clothing and shoes are Lotta From Stockholm. I'm wearing a size small in the dress for those wondering and I have plenty of room! Olives adorable dress is from Greece, shoes are from Old Navy and her bow is from Pippa & Indy