Monday, October 30, 2017

Olive Sleeveless Sweater









All Photos by: Jim Trice Photography

Happy Monday! This past weekend started out great for us but then ended really badly. If any of you follow me on Instagram or are friends with me on Facebook then you probably saw my posts about my cat Whiskey. Sunday was by far one of the scariest days I have ever had. Just to give you a little bit of the background story, I grew up with cats my whole life. I had a great experience with all of our cats and grew to love them so much. My husband and I did a lot of research about a year ago and decided that we wanted a rag doll cat. They are the best breed cat that you can find and act a lot like dogs. They follow you around, want to have your full attention, are very playful, and are very loving. When we finally made the decision to get a cat and brought our little boy Whiskey home, it was quickly love at first sight. I love this cat like he is my own child as many of you feel about your own pets. I couldn't imagine our lives without him now. 

So this past Sunday we took him to the vet to get his normal yearly vaccinations done. Everything seemed fine until we were half way home from the vet. My husband and I suddenly realized that he had pooped all in his crate and he was open mouth breathing. We called the vet immediately and they told us to bring him back to the vet so we turned right around. By the time we got back to the vet he was covered in his own poop, still open mouth breathing, salivating, and making really painful noises. After what seemed like hours the vet finally came back out and told us that he had a very rare, uncommon allergic reaction to one of the vaccines and that he was in respiratory distress. His blood pressure was extremely low, he could barely breathe, and he was in extreme pain. The panic really started to settle in when the vet told us that we needed to take him to the emergency vet for 24 hour care and when we asked if he was going to be okay she said she honestly didn't know. She told us she hoped that he would make it but that it wasn't looking too good. Cam and I then had to rush him to the emergency vet which was 15 minutes away, not knowing if he would make it or not. 

Thank God he did make it. They immediately took him in the back and within an hour they were able to get his vitals back to what seemed pretty normal. The vet at that hospital told us that things were looking good for him and that he was fighting hard for us. We went back to visit him last night and I held him in my arms and he was purring and looking into my eyes and I swear it was the sweetest sound I have ever heard. We got the call this morning that we could come get him to take him home and it was the best news. My little boy is back home with us. His stomach is still upset from all of the medicine that he was on and he is really, really tired but other than that he seems to be back to normal. I can't explain to y'all the amount of panic that I was in yesterday. To go from seeing your fur baby being completely normal and happy to seeing them in such agonizing pain and not knowing if they are going to make or not it is the most excruciating pain I have ever felt. I can't imagine the way a mother would feel with their own child. We had so many friends and family praying over us and Whiskey yesterday and I can tell you that God heard our prayers. It is by His grace that Whiskey made it out alive. God is SO SO good. I also swear everything happens for a reason. Yesterday was a true eye opener and it made me realize what is important in life and what isn't. God works in mysterious ways and I feel in a weird way that all of this happened to help me learn a lesson. So for all of you that prayed for us yesterday and spoke words of encouragement to us, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. We will forever be grateful. 

In a little lighter news, this sleeveless sweater from Foi Clothing is one of my new favorite tops and it is absolutely perfect for Fall. My favorite part about the sweater is the keyhole neck and the lace detail on the sides. I also found this same top in white and black here. You can't go wrong with this top or any of these colors. Did I also mention that these are my new favorite jeans and booties? I have these same jeans in a lighter wash and wear them all the time so I was so excited when Levi's came out with this darker color. These will be on major repeat all Fall and Winter long so get ready to see them all the time. :) 

XOXO 

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Chenille Colorblock Sweater










It's FRIDAY!!! This week has flown by that is for sure. How has everyone's week been? A little quick life update on me: therapy is going really, really well. I think it is one of the best things that I have done for myself in a while so if you are going through anything and need someone to talk to then I highly recommend it. We are still waiting to get 100% placed in small groups. I am a little frustrated that it has taken this long for us to be placed because I am so ready to start it but I am praying for the Lord to give me patience. My husband and I are going to actually go talk to someone in person about it this Sunday at church so hopefully that will speed the process up a little. My heart is just so excited to start this new adventure. 

Also, my blog site got a makeover!!! I am so excited and I absolutely love the changes. My site now has a mobile version which is really easy to navigate on your phone. The version before this one just had a desktop version which made it really hard to use if you were looking on your phone. You weren't able to easily navigate the shop tabs or anything like that. I also added a new "Shop My Instagram Looks" tab at the very top of my site which makes it really easy for you to shop all of my Instagram looks now. There are several ways to shop my looks on my site but I think this one is the easiest. You can see all of the full enhancements from your desktop or laptop. Let me know what you guys think! :) 

Can we stop for a second and talk about how CUTE this color block chenille sweater from Pineapple Collective is?? I am so in love with it. First of all, I am obsessed with this really soft chenille material for Fall. I can't get enough of it. I am also in love with the color block trend right now. This sweater has two of my favorite trends all in one sweater. It doesn't get much better than that. I also love the colors. Blush is one of my all time favorite colors so this sweater couldn't be more perfect for me. If you are looking for a super comfy sweater for Fall then this one is it. It fits true to size. I am wearing the size small and it still has that cozy oversized fit that everyone loves. Plus, you can use code "MUMU20" at checkout to receive 20% off of your entire purchase. :) 

Does anyone have fun weekend plans? My husband and I are finally celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary next weekend in the mountains so we are going to take it easy this weekend. We have dinner plans with our friends Caitin and Connor on Saturday night but that's about it so far! 

XOXO 


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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Fashion Blogging Advice & Tips-Part 2











It's hump dayyyyyyy and as promised, I wanted to finish telling you the rest of my Fashion blogging advice and tips. But first, I had to share with y'all this cute little corduroy skirt from Sabi Boutique . I actually have had this skirt for a while now and they sold out really fast so I wanted to wait to post about it until they got some back in stock and they did! Not only does it come in this pretty maroon color but it also comes in grey (which I also linked for you above). Skirts are so big for Fall and this one is absolutely perfect. It looks great paired with a blouse like I have here but it would also look SO amazing paired with a sweater tucked in and your favorite pair of boots. Talk about an amazing Fall look. *insert heart eye emoji here* Hurry and grab this skirt before it sells out again because trust me when I say you will love it! It also fits true to size. I am wearing the size small. :) 

These last 3 tips that I have for blogging are a little more in depth and a little more specific than the first 6 were which is why I wanted to break everything out into 2 separate posts. So here is where I left off:

7) Post things that are 100% true to you and your style. It is so easy to get caught up in looking at other blogger's content and to see all of the new trends that are out there. Just make sure to not get caught up in all of that. If a new trend comes out and you don't like it that much then don't post it. I have done that plenty of times. My rule of thumb is that if I don't 100% love the outfit, love the picture, or love the trend then I will not post it. If I don't 100% love it then how will I expect others to love it? I feel like staying true to my style and to who I am has really helped me. 

8) Be authentic. People want to see and get to know who you really are. This is so important. It is so easy to make your life look like it is so perfect and so happy on social media. But we ALL have struggles and all have problems that we face on a day to day basis. When I started being very real with my struggles in life on my blog and on my Instagram I quickly realized that people noticed. I wrote a big blog post on an emotional journey that I was having with my dad and it has the most views out of any blog post I have ever written. I also can't even explain to you the amount of comments, emails, and messages that I received in regards to that post. People want to see the REAL you. People appreciate when people are genuine and people can see through people who aren't. I think being real and genuine with your followers, good times and bad, will help them to respect you and to feel like they know you which in return results in lifetime followers who will want to stay engaged with you. 

9) Try to grow as organically as possible. This means not buying followers/likes and not participating in a ton of giveaways. All of these things can be very tempting, especially when you are first starting a blog. But all of these things will only hurt you in the long run. Buying followers is the worst mistake you can make. Take my advice and do not EVER do this to yourself. It does nothing for you at all. These followers are basically fake followers and will never engage in your content. Also make sure to be careful about how many giveaways you participate in. It can be a quick and easy way to gain followers but you need to make sure that they are the right type of giveaways for you. For example, I only participate in Nordstrom giveaways from time to time with other fashion bloggers that have around the same amount of followers and engagement as me. I participate in these giveaways sometimes because they are with other bloggers that I respect and our audience is likely bound to be the same which means if I gain some new followers, they are more likely followers that will stay and will actually want to see my content. I also truly love being able to give someone a Nordstrom gift card since it is one of my top favorite places to shop. Make sure to stay away from the big international giveaways. I have heard horror stories from these kind of giveaways and I just don't think they are a good idea. You basically end up with a bunch of followers who aren't interested and won't engage in your content and you will lose a ton of followers right after the winners of the giveaway are announced anyways. Also make sure to not have any kind of company managing your account. I have just never heard anything good about this. It is always easier to manage your own account especially since Instagram is trying to cut down on people who use companies to manage their accounts. Instagram wants people to be as organic and genuine as possible so it is always easier just to do everything yourself even if it might not be the easiest thing to do as far as time goes. 

I also wanted to touch base on Instagram and how it can be a beast within itself. With the new Instagram algorithm, it is very hard to understand how and if the stuff you are posting is actually getting seen by your followers or even new potential followers on Instagram. I will go ahead and let you know that I unfortunately have no "tricks" in this arena although I wish that I did. I have grown faster than I ever expected to on Instagram and I have a lot of people wondering why and how I did it. The true, honest answer is that I have no idea. I simply take pictures in my favorite clothes, post them on Instagram, tag my photographer and the clothing brand, and use hashtags just like everyone else. I wish I knew how pictures ended up on Instagram's "Explorer" page but I don't. Whenever a picture of mine has really good engagement (for example, 4K plus likes), I tend to notice that the followers come along with that. They go hand in hand. If my pictures don't do that well, then I don't gain a lot of new followers. It is also nearly impossible to know what content is going to do well and what content isn't. Some of my favorite pictures don't do that well and some of my least favorite ones do exceptionally well. I think every blogger in the world could say the same thing. Instagram can definitely be a science and I know a ton of people are trying to figure it out. My best advice is to not focus so much on Instagram and the likes/followers. Those will come with time. As long as you are posting good quality content that truly reflects your style, then success will come. Also make sure to not compare yourself to others. Everyone has different strengths, different looks, different personalities and no one will ever understand why one person grows faster than the next. You will drive yourself crazy if you do the comparison game. I know that it is so hard to do sometimes. I struggle with it myself. Just try to focus on yourself, be happy for others, be humble in your own success, and there is no way that you won't be successful. 

I am sorry that this post is SO long but there was so much to touch on and I wanted to be as thorough as possible. If you have any questions about anything that I noted in this post, please feel free to write a comment, shoot me a DM on Instagram (@mumuandmacaroons), or send me an email to mumuandmacaroons@gmail.com and I will get back to you as soon as possible. 

XOXO

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Fashion Blogging Advice & Tips-Part 1








All Photos by: Jim Trice Photography

Happy Monday loves! I hope everyone had the best weekend. I had the most amazing one with my friend Holly. It was so great finally meeting her in person and showing her around my city. My friend Ashley also came to Charlotte to hang out with us on Saturday and that made it even extra special. I didn't get too much sleep this weekend so today was a lazy Monday for sure. I am ready to get this week in full swing tomorrow! This little cropped sweater from Revolve was too cute not to share with y'all. It also comes in red which is so perfect for the upcoming holidays. Since it was cropped I decided to pair it with my favorite taupe over the knee boots. I have told y'all about these boots before but I am going to say it again, you NEED these! They are the best dupes of the Stuart Weitzsman boots that I have found. They also come in 3 colors; taupe (pictured here), camel, and black. 

So as I mentioned in one of my blog post's from last week, I am going to write you all a post giving you my tips and advice for the fashion blogging world. I get a ton of emails and DM's a day from you guys asking me about this topic. Since I don't have the time to get to every single person I figured it would be a great idea to just go ahead and write a blog post. I remember when I was just starting out and wanted to have some questions answered. Caitlin Covington, my favorite blogger, was nice enough to give me her advice so I wanted to do the same for y'all. I had so much information to cover that I had to break this topic up into 2 separate posts. The rest of this post will go live this Wednesday  morning! 

Below are my first 6 biggest tips for blogging: 

1) Make sure to have quality pictures. I found a couple of reasonably priced photographers in the Charlotte area and take pictures with them a lot. However, I know not everyone can afford to do that. So I highly recommend getting a nice camera. This was one of the best purchases that I made when I started my blog and Instagram page. I have a Sony Alpha A6000 and bought a 50 mm lens with an F stop of 1.8 to use with it. It really doesn't matter what camera you have as long as you have a 50 mm lens. The lens is crucial. It is what makes the background blurry in most of the blogging pictures you see which allows the camera to focus on you and your outfit or whatever else it may be that you are trying to capture. Luckily, cell phone cameras have actually gotten to be really good cameras as well. I see a lot of bloggers use iPhone pictures and their content seems to do really well with that. If you do decide to use your phone for pictures then I recommend using one that has great reviews. For example, the iPhone 7Plus and the iPhone 8 and 8Plus both have phenomenal cameras. They even have a "portrait" mode that will help give you that blurred out affect that the 50 mm lens gives you. 

2) If you do want to start a blog then I would recommend having someone design your site for you. If you are anything like me and not very tech savvy then I think this is the best route to go. I can always give you the name of the lady who designed mine but there are a ton of them out there that you could find with just a simple google search or even by reaching out and asking other bloggers. These designers know exactly what they are doing and they can make your actual blog site look so nice and so professional which can go a long way. 

3) Make sure that you are posting consistently. Your followers will want to know when to expect a post from you which is why this is so important. I post at least 1-2 times a day. My posting times are anytime between 8:00-8:30 am and 8:00-9:00 pm EST. I feel like these are great times to post because most people are on their way to work in the morning and are more likely to be looking at social media in the car or on their walk into work. At night this is a good time to post because most people are done with dinner and are sitting around on social media or watching TV. That's why I post around those times and they seem to work very well for me so I highly recommend them. 
If you really want your Instagram to grow you must make sure that you post every single day. This is key to growing your account. I understand that some people like to take social media breaks on the weekend and that is totally understandable and sometimes necessary. However, make sure the break isn't too long. If at all possible I would still post on Friday morning, take a break on Saturday, and then post on Sunday night. Sunday nights are a great posting day so I highly recommend always posting on Sundays. 

5) Make sure that you stay active with other bloggers/people on Instagram who have similar interests as you such as fashion and clothes. Make sure in your spare time that you are trying to follow new people, like their pictures, and comment as much as you can. This engagement really tends to do well and people will most likely notice you, follow you back, and also engage on your pictures. 

6) Make sure to utilize your actual blog site as much as possible. As social media outlets are constantly changing and new things are emerging, this is really important to remember. It is so easy to focus on Instagram and to think that this is the main channel for most bloggers. To a certain extent it is. However, this could change at any moment. Think about how MySpace used to be the biggest social media platform, then it was FaceBook, and now it is Instagram. What happens if Instagram was gone and shut down tomorrow or replaced with something bigger and better? You don't want to put all of your blogging eggs into one basket which is why it is so important to utilize your blogging site. Your blogging site will always be there and you never have to worry about that going away. I recommend posting consistent blog posts as well. Now that I blog full time I make sure to write 3-4 blog posts a week. I do not write blog posts on the weekends or I could even possibly write more. I know that a lot of people work full time and writing 3-4 blog posts a week is not realistic but if you are serious about blogging then I would definitely try to write at least 1-2 blog posts a week. Let your followers know when you have written a new blog post and try to write them on the same days every week. I usually let my followers know that I have a new blog post up by mentioning it in my Instagram picture caption and by doing a quick little video on my Instagram stories. Just like on Instagram, your followers will start to recognize a trend in your blog posts and if you have a blog post written for example every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, then they will most likely go and read your posts on those days. In the blogging world, consistency is key. You also want to make your blog as "shop-able" as possible for your readers. Whether you are affiliated with RewardStyle or ShopStyle, make sure to have "Shop" tabs on your Instagram so that people can go click on your favorite outfits and it will easily take them to where they can shop the looks. If you look under my "Shop" tab on my blog you can see where I have multiple drop down options such as "Currently Obsessed", "Under $100", and "Fitness Gear" to give my readers a variety of options. I also include ways for my readers to shop my outfits on every single blog post. This is also very important. 

My other 3 biggest fashion blogging tips are a bit longer and a little more in depth so I will post those on Wednesday! Let me know if you have any questions about any of the stuff I mentioned today and I will make sure to answer your questions as soon as possible. 

XOXO 



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Friday, October 20, 2017

Free People Striped Bell Sleeve Top









All Photos by: Paige Winn Photography

HAPPY FRIDAY! I am SO happy it is finally the weekend. This isn't just any normal weekend. This is the weekend when one of my best blogger friends Holly from @hollymarievanselow is coming to visit me! Go follow her if you haven't already because she is ahhhh-mazing! But seriously Holly is the best and I am so excited that she decided to spend her weekend with me. There is a funny story on how Holly and I became such good friends. She lives in Minnesota and we really couldn't live further away. I just started blogging when I noticed that I had been tagged in a girl's Instagram post and blog post and it was all about her favorite bloggers and the girls that inspired her to start her own fashion blog. They were both Holly's posts. There were a few BIG time bloggers on the list, I mean some with over 200-300K followers. And then there was little ME with only about 5K followers. I couldn't believe that someone had noticed little ole me and didn't even just notice me but was inspired by me enough to want to start her own fashion blog journey. Since then it was love at first sight. We immediately became friends, started talking all the time, and suddenly it felt like I had known her forever. I have had a tough year and Holly has spent countless hours with me on the phone helping to calm me down, helping me to see the light at the end of the tunnel and just being an overall amazing friend. I can't wait to finally meet her in person today and SQUEEZE HER. :)  It's been ten months too long. 

I also wanted to talk about how CUTE this bell sleeve Free People top from Foi Clothing is. This is hands down one of my favorite tops for Fall. I actually wore it to dinner at Ruru's last night with my best friends Liz and Caitlin and got so many compliments on it. I love how easily it can be tucked into your jeans and the sleeves are just absolutely to die for. I also love wearing stripes so this one was an immediate winner for me. This top comes in this white color and also a few other colors which I have also linked for you. I already have my eye on the maroon colored one so that may have to be my next purchase. I originally got this top from Foi Clothing. It's so cute that it sold out in a couple of days, so the owner ordered even more and it is on preorder right now. However, those are flying off the shelves too. I just looked and there are only a few sizes left. So make sure to grab yourself one before it completely sells out again. 

I hope you all have an amazing weekend! Love all of you!

XOXO 

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