Read the series
02.13.18

{Part Two} Releasing Shame Through Self Acceptance

For 8 years I held a secret. I was exposed to a STD and it shook the very core of my existence. I felt shame, I felt such heavy guilt. I blamed myself. I believed I was dirty, unloveable and indeed forever undeserving.

Before the exposure I had only been with one man. We were together for 9 years. I followed all the rules. We were married young and I was his virgin. For years he taught me how to discover my sexuality. I was ashamed having been raised that sexual energy was bad, and only good when making a child in wedlock. Religious jargon to hide the unsettling truths around sexual molestation, abuse and control that existed in the shadows of my closest loved ones.

He left me after 6 years of marriage with a painful confession that he was unfaithful for 5 of them.  I translated that experience as not being enough.  Enough for his desires, and definitely not enough for my own. 

Our ending sent me on a short lived mindless emotionally drained journey.  Feeling like any man who showed any sort of interest in me, even if I was uninterested in him meant I had to be there for him.  If I showed up this way, I would totally understand myself more, I would surely be better at this sex thing, and that would mean I would be loved. Right? 


I met a man, a sick man who was just as energetically imbalanced. I consented to sharing myself with him, out of fear if I didn’t I would forever be undesired. 


The union never united.

But the memory of my desire to save him, or save myself, left the disease he passed down to me dormant in my cells.


7 years this disease slept. I bargained with God.  I did spiritual work, pulled cards, visited countless doctors to draw the same blood test again and again.  All proving it was there.

I met another man. I might of stayed with him out of love, or fear of not being loved.  I know many times, I wished I had left, but I stayed. His love was functional, offering less affection that I would of wished for.  He pretty bruised himself welcomed my bruised parts in. 

As time allowed, I began to see I could heal.  With a bit of distance, a lot of the struggles I found in my relationships with men related to my deepest desire to just accept myself, my story, and the stories that were passed down to me from the people who carried them and cared for me.

In that deep acceptance I allowed myself to seek support.  The shame I held in my body manifested in pelvic floor issues where sex was unbearable.

I learned a few exercises but the one visit that made all the difference was when the Physical Therapist shared her story.  She was my elder and had walked a similar path related to issues in her partnerships because of histories of sexual trauma.  On our next visit, my pelvic floor pain was completely released and she discharged me.

I learned there at that moment the importance of sharing our stories.  When ready, a story can be like the wick of a candle, the candle the shame.  When in safe spaces, we share parts of ourselves that long to be seen, like the flame, bringing light to these parts, we allow the story to do it’s part in healing us, reminding us of the journey traveled and the shame that will melt away.

What manifested as physical limitations, was simply shame.

This year, I’ve made a pact with myself, that I only keep what’s sacred to me. The precious moments that uplift me and shower my soul with love, those, I keep. The shame, I take responsibility for and then I allow it’s teaching to shower it’s lessons into my life and flow away.

Sexual trauma, abuse, shame, has helped me explore the power of sexual energy.  It’s power to create life or to manifest passions into creative pursuits.  I can’t blame the people who misunderstood it’s purpose, nor myself for having been in the path of their ignorance.  I’m no longer a victim to the story or experience.  I don’t allow it to sit in my body any more.  I know that the love I was desiring from others was simply reminding me of the love that I have for myself.

I believe I chose my path this lifetime and it is indeed one to help me see my brightness and accept the dark shadows of my essence.

What I’m most grateful for today is the knowing that I am not dirty, unloveable and undeserving.  That a STD is not a life sentence.  That I could still realize my dreams and that even in sharing my story, I might learn a bit about the power that was granted to me for simply being a woman.  I’m still learning and that is why I’ve devoted my life to living Love and being kind to the very body that held the memory of trauma.  Self care is not something we need to do as survivors, self care is simply how we must live to survive and thrive.

Bio:  Didi is a writer and influencer living in Florida with her daughter and husband. Her compassion for humanity led her to pursue a career as a holistic health educator. On becoming a mother, she developed her passion for storytelling and purposeful living. Her words and creative work is immersed with life lessons, & continues to serve as an anchor for those navigating identity, self-healing and empowered sisterhood.

Follow Deanne on instagram: @deanneziadie and @thedivinefriend

A huge thanks and HUG of love and gratitude for Deanne’s willingness and power to deliver such an incredible heartfelt story with us.

xx,

Sophia

02.11.18

Dream Hair with “The Hidden Crown”

Ahhhh. I’m so excited to share the hidden crown with you all today! In my opinion, you can never have too much hair. Haha! Plus, if you’re into braiding and doing fun things with your hair, you will want this amazing crown! I was so happy with how easy it was to put on and take off. It’s very comfortable and forms to your head the more you wear it! The quality of the hair is really quite spectacular, and incredibly soft.

Hidden Crown is the hair extension that gives you the perfect dream hair in less than a minute. They do not use clips, or glue that can damage the hair! Instead, they use a very soft and strong clear wire that is adjustable to the size and shape of your head.They have several options when it comes to all your personal hair problems. I’ve always LOVED doing my own hair, and have since I was just little, so having this Hidden Crown to add more length and fullness is the cherry on top! The extension is just like it says, a halo that fits on the crown of your head. When you first get your halo crown you will follow the directions to ensure a good fit around your head, along with easy to follow instructions should you need to re-wire your halo or make it a bit smaller. I’m so excited to play around with more braiding styles and ponytails. I’m also obsessed with putting flowers in my hair lately as I feel it gives a fresh and whimsical touch to any hair style!

Click here for a video tutorial that explains how to properly wear your hidden crown extension: https://youtu.be/P-dwDp6VWNw

Now go on and get yours :)))

Xx,

Sophia

Read the series
02.07.18

{Part One} This is my Story, Rewritten.

Photography credit: My beautiful and talented friend: Maya, find her work @Mayamaitri

I would like to start by introducing this series to those of you who are new here! Chasing your whole self is a blog series I’ve had in the works for many months and is dedicated to helping and empowering women to find hope and healing whether they are working through depression, suicide, sexual trauma, anxiety, or anything of that vein. I wanted to be able to share my story and my healing process, and to empower other women to do the same. My hope and vision for this series is that it will open up the stagnant, dry, and bitter places of your heart. I pray it would empower you to confront your fears, to stand tall and proud in the face of shame, and to look yourself straight in the eyes and say “I am enough.” I am so excited to have some very close and special women guest-blog on this series to bring fresh perspective to each topic. Let’s dive deep into the waters of hope, healing, and self-discovery together.

Vulnerability. It’s a word I’ve come to be close with, to explore, and to declare as a safe and wildly important word to emulate and become. It’s been a long road; the kind filled with fear and shameful thoughts, on which I was harboring bitterness deep in my bones, wondering why, becoming a victim to shame, fear, and the pursuit of a wrong version self. My story is mine alone. One I’ve tried to become one with, to believe that I am not what I’ve thought I was for so long. I so badly wanted to detach myself from my haunted memories of sexual trauma, so badly wanting to let go, soften my fists, relax my shoulders, and relax my body to embrace love and trust. But it wasn’t working. Everywhere I turned, every time my body felt tense, memories flooded. Fear gripped me and tossed me into many anxiety attacks. I was crippled. I was alone in my thoughts and shame. I was scared. I was broken. I was slowly becoming someone I didn’t want to know. It was affecting my marital intimacy. It was affecting the way I viewed my body. I needed help.

And so my story of healing begins the day I was born. You see, I was born redeemed, bought and paid for by a love that never shames, never doubts my existence, never lets me go. My whole life I’ve been sought after by a love so deep and wide that I could cry great tears of joy. I could bask in the glory and holiness this love has transformed me into. I was born into a family that loved and accepted me for who I was. A family that cultivated the important things in life such as quality time, connected conversation, and a whole lot of love. My family was and is incredible, supportive, and constantly cheering me on. But just like you, I believed the lies.  I became what happened to me. I often relived the memory of being blacked out on a pile of rocks, waking up in a car, hurting, crying, wondering what the hell had happened to me. I relived the memories of a girl taking advantage of my eight year old self, doing things that were never meant to be done to my body. So today I am opening up about my sexual trauma, things that happened to me that we’re never meant to be that way, for the sake of humans just like you and me that are flawed, secretive, hurt, and in pain just looking for a way out like me.
 After years of not knowing what to do, I truly believed it was time for me to seek therapy. A lot of people are fearful of therapy, and I too had that fear. I cringed at the thought of exposing myself to someone that I didn’t know. Sharing memories/secrets I had never spoken out loud. My husband and friends and family were a huge support walking through this season of my life. They helped me get to a place of accepting that I needed help. And so I walked into my first therapy appointment at the hospital. I sat and waited for them to call my name. I was tense. I was afraid. I filled out many papers, answered what seemed like a million questions, feeling shaky and disheveled I was diagnosed with PTSD. I had never thought of that affecting me.  I thought it was something that was only associated with soldiers coming home from war. And so we talked about the therapy they would like to try. This particular therapy is called “Prolonged Exposure Therapy. I have included the Goodtherapy.org definition and uses of this therapy.
          Types of Exposure:
  • Imaginal Exposure: In this type of exposure, a person in therapy is asked to mentally confront the fear or situation by picturing it in one’s mind. For example, a person with agoraphobia, a fear of crowded places, might imagine standing in a crowded mall.
  • In Vivo Exposure: When using this type of exposure, a person is exposed to real-life objects and scenarios. For example, a person with a fear of flying might go to the airport and watch a plane take off.
  • Virtual Reality Exposure: This type of exposure combines elements of both imaginal and in vivo exposure so that a person is placed in situations that appear real but are actually fabricated. For example, someone who has a fear of heights—acrophobia—might participate in a virtual simulation of climbing down a fire escape.

My particular therapist suggested “exposure therapy” for me. My exposure therapy was spread out in eight sessions, once a week. I am not going to lie, there were weeks I dreamed of skipping, making excuses for why I couldn’t get through the homework, and through the pain. But with support of loved ones and my own stubbornness, I pressed on. I remember in each session wondering if it would get easier, but the truth is.. it was so much harder than I could have ever imagined. Opening up about such personal and intimate things are painful. Reliving memories that I had stuffed down deep hurt. Seeing myself a crying, moaning mess in front of another was bittersweet.

I faced many fears in those eight weeks. I revisited many dark memories, and I paved a way for hope, healing, and restoration to be opened back up in my life. The very things that haunted me, the fears I had never tested were now all reminders to me of how far I had come and will go. For the first time in years, as I finished up my “Exposure Therapy”, I was FREE. Wildly free from shame, bitterness, and fear. There is something incredibly healing about diving into the face of fear.

A few thoughts I have for those of you processing the thought of therapy:

-It wasn’t until I realized how hurt and affected I was by past traumas that I sought out therapy and took a big step with “Exposure Therapy”.

-The only way to experience a better, whole-hearted life, is to get deep into the mess of things. Opening up, and beginning to let your raw emotions be seen is what it takes to get there.

-Past traumas do not disappear overnight. We all know this is a process. It’s in deep connection with ourselves where we learn to discover our story in a new way.

-What if I told you YOUR story could make a difference, impact another, free another from the bondage of self hate, depression, and a tortured mind? When you choose to look fear in the eye, you are choosing another woman, another scared and hopeless woman. You are choosing to become a part of your story that once hurt, and turning it into something that will bring restoration to the hearts of many.

Through the process of healing, I also turned to Yoga. I began my certification to become a yoga teacher and during those six months my life was changed in so many incredible ways. I learned that the movement and breath of my body was a tool in my healing process. I learned that breath work was not only good for energy levels and lungs, but that it could calm down my anxiety, center my emotions, and help me feel incredibly peaceful. I become closer and more self-aware of what my body was capable of. I became aware that there was a tremendous freedom in discovering the art of movement and breath. I became more aware of who I was. Yoga was one of my saving graces while I was working through some pretty deep things.

Lastly, my friends, I want to provide you with some resources/tools for you to look into! These are tools I have used in my healing process, including books I’ve read and communities of people that support and make this world a better place.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy: Here on this website you can type in your zip code to find a therapist close to you.

Restorative Yoga: This is a yoga practice is usually only a series of five-six yoga poses supported by many props to make you as comfortable as possible. The purpose of this deep practice is finding stillness within your body and beginning to become one with your breath.

Expectful : Expectful focuses their efforts on the  impact that mental health and well being have on the journey to motherhood. They believe the mind-body connection isn’t just an idea — it’s the key to navigating the physical, mental and emotional aspects of every stage of motherhood from the moment you decide to conceive. I used their services with my second pregnancy for anxiety and fear, it was tremendously helpful. I continue to use their meditations for everyday life.

Brene Brown:  Author and Public speaker. My top suggested books: “Daring Greatly, The Gift of Imperfections!”

Stay tuned for next weeks blog post featuring a very dear friend, Deanne Ziadie.  She will share her incredible story of healing and continued restoration of owning her own beautiful story.

xx,

Sophia

 

 

 

 

 

01.17.18

A New Year, a New YOU with Helix

Ever since I can remember I’ve had a sensitive stomach. Some of it, of course, caused by my anxiety and sensitivities to different foods. It’s taken some time to figure out what I can and can’t tolerate; I am still on a journey of figuring it all out! So when Helix sent me the at-home food sensitivity kit from EverlyWell I was really excited to see what my results would be like I once I got them!Do you find yourself wishing you had easier access to taking care of your body and knowing more about the very things that keep you energized and in check? Our bodies have such an amazing way of telling us when things are off or feel funny. But sometimes we want answers to why we feel a certain way, or what is causing sleeplessness, irritability, or maybe even exhaustion. I am truly excited to be sharing my personal experience using Helix a product called FoodSensitivity+by EverlyWell (one of Helix’s partners). Helix is dedicated to making DNA learning accessible and actionable for everyone. They strive to help others make more informed choices on their health, fitness, nutrition, and much more. Helix is on a mission to empower and educate others to discover the sequencing and storing of DNA. Helix “believes in a world where everyone benefits from their biological information and is able help all of humanity lead better lives.”

The process of opening up my kits and following the instructions was quite simple, informative and easy to follow. You simply order your at home test kits online, pick it up at your door-step, and follow the easy instructions to send back your samples. I can hardly wait to see what my results will be and some ways to better my health and overall wellness. I love that this product was made to save time, educate, and build stronger bodies to better serve and nourish what we have.

Empower your-self and others by taking an active step to get to know your whole self. Find out what foods your body may be sensitive to and how your DNA may influence nutrient levels with the ease of an at-home blood and saliva kit from EverlyWell. Use my personal code ‘CULTIVATEMOTHERHOOD’ to receive 30% off an product on the Helix platform. Click here to shop: DNA kit!

XX,

Sophia

This is a paid/sponsored post, however the opinions stated are my own.

01.07.18

All We Have Is Now

Memories..photos..notes…become the very things you want to keep, hold onto, bottle up, and save for a life time. My family is truly one of Gods greatest gifts to me. Each one of them blessing me in a different way each day. Each one of them unique and full of grace and love. Each one of them reminding me that I am stronger, braver, and more adventurous with them by my side. This year my husband Aaron will be deploying overseas for the first time. For those who maybe don’t know my husband is in the national Guard reserves, he flies Black Hawks for the Minnesota Guard part-time alongside his civilian job. Although he would say I am the glue to this family I too feel the same way about him. We compliment each-other is so many different ways. He is gentle, kind, and always understanding. We have graciously learned over the years how to better support one another and truly listen and be heard and seen by each-other. Since finding out-we both have taken quite a bit of time processing both personally and together and continue to do so each day. As we hold on to each present day we are trusting and believing in the power of grace and strength to get us through our time apart. When I found out about his deployment I really wanted to capture our family unit through photos. Photos we both can hold onto, look at, and remember why were in this together. To remember that what we have is magic, sacred, and full of love.To remember even on the messiest and hardest days that what we have is pure goodness. We had the chance to work with a beautiful photographer  named Chrystal in her cozy white studio a few weeks back and I am so thrilled with what she captured. Crystals Photography  

I am so excited to be sharing her amazing work with you, and giving you a glimpse into the day!

I love this photo because it captures what my girls love to do each and every day. Dance and make believe! These dresses are from our favorite small shop Mien Studios

This photo above melts me. Aaron was made for girls but I know our creator knew that long before he was formed and conceived. His heart is tender yet strong with his girls. I admire his desire to see them flourish and be exactly who they are.

My heart already aches for how missed this man will be when he is gone. But I will trust, and I will remember my purpose, our purpose. I will remember that this is a season for growth to expand our hearts in love and grace. This is a season of pressing into strength and vulnerability. This is a season for asking for help when I may need it. This is a season of great purpose because on the other side we will see the fruit and we will build upon our story, our family story, our individual stories. All we have is now.

xx,

sophia

If you are interested in booking a photography session with Crystal click on the link below. Crystal is located in Cambridge Minnesota.

http://www.crystalsphotographymn.com/

 

12.07.17

Beatrice’s Big Girl Room Reveal

Excuse my while I wipe away my tears..a big girl bed, a new bedroom style, a new Beatrice these days. My little girl is maturing and becoming more aware of others feelings, becoming more independent, and beautiful everyday. I had the pleasure of partnering with some beautiful companies for her bedroom reveal and will be listing and linking them all here!

For Beatrice’s new style I wanted something soft, feminine, and whimsical. When it comes to Bea’s personality she is all girl. She’s sparkly, passionate, wild at heart, smart as a whip, and fully present about life and others. I hope she likes her bedroom as much as mama does 😉

ShopBdarling is one of our favorite wallpaper companies out there! They make damage free wallpaper that is SO easy to put on. The colors and patterns are vibrant, quality, and unbelievably beautiful!

PehrDesigns makes the softest and dreamiest bedding! Beatrice has the Meadow Duvet set which includes a reversible Meadow/Dotty Duvet Cover, the Dotty Sheet Set and two Meadow/Dotty Quilted Pillow Shams. The fun pops of color make for such a fun and whimsical feeling.

For Beatrice’s mattress we partnered with Tomorrow Sleep who makes memory foam mattresses that are so comfortable and support a full nights rest. Pictured here is their “full size” mattress.

This beautiful doll collection was handed down to me by my precious grandmother. As a little girl I use to be mesmerized by my grandmothers china hutch full of dolls, now my Beatrice has something quite special and meaningful to fill her tiny wall.

This handmade Peacock comes from one of my favorite stores! Everything she makes is truly whimsical, fun, and always unique. I thought this beautiful peacock was the perfect touch for above her bed. Feminine, whimsical, and truly one of a kind.

Wallpaper Vinyl Decals: ShopBDarling

Mattress in a box: Tomorrowsleep

Feathered Peacock: WhimsyWonderlandCo

Bedding: PehrDesigns (Use my personal code “cultivatemotherhood25” to receive 25% off your purchase!)

Hanging Wall Lamp: PeachStream

Floating shelves: Shelfology

Lamb stuffy: Cuddleandkind

 

Xo,

Sophia

 

11.27.17

My Holiday Gift Guide for kids!

So fun to be joining a few of my blogging friends from #themomblogcollective to bring you a very simple holiday gift guide! If you’re new here, here’s the scoop. Once a month, our group of amazing and inspiring mamas will discuss the same topic having 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!

We thought it would be kind of fun to switch it up and talk about something besides blogging. This week, 6 of us mamas are talking all about the holidays! We have a total of 13 kids between us ranging in ages from 3 months to 7 years and we each put together a gift guide for our littles in this installment of #TheMomBlogCollective.

1) First up is the lovely natural dollhouse from IKEA! This dollhouse is $30.00 so such a steal of a deal. I plan to spray paint this wooden dollhouse light pink and add some handmade table legs to the bottom of it from a beautiful shop called PRETTYPEGS! They specialize in making custom legs for tables, consoles, coffee tables and much more. They offer an array of fun pops of colors for every piece of furniture. For this particular dollhouse I have purchased the below Plan-house dollhouse furniture pieces from Amazon! I love the natural wood and darling wooden people figures. I think it will fit nicely with the simplicity of the dollhouse! Each furniture grouping was under $24.00 dollars!

This photo above was my inspiration for Beatrice’s dollhouse! Her legs will be the ones pictured painted light pink! I will be adding some wallpaper to each room to give it a little extra shine and fun!

I love this tea set because it’s natural looking with a few pops of color! Elouise loves anything that has a cup and spout:) I found this beautiful set on Amazon for $22.95

These onesies come from a beautiful shop I follow and support on Instagram Mini&Meep! Her onesies, shirts, and bibs are seriously so amazing and 100% organic cotton.

The girls have lived in their soft organic cotton pinafore dresses from Mien studios! The colors and patterns she designs are like none else! The cotton is thick yet breathable! One of my favorites for sure!

This is my favorite bonnet shop around! I have people stop me at stores all the time asking where Eloise’s bonnet is from! This a favorite shop of many called Specific Pigeon each bonnet and hanker chief is hand dyed naturally with pressed botanicals. They are truly one of a kind!

Well my friends I think that rounds up my simple gift giving ideas for girls ages 1-5yrs old! Giving gifts is so much fun and I think you can’t go wrong with these ideas and shops listed above! Please be sure to check out my lovely friends from #themomblogcollective who have all written and shared their own Christmas gift guide for kids of many different ages! Here are their direct links below!

occasionallyperfectstyle.com
@occasionally_perfect

jordanandcoblog.com
@jordan.and.co

thelovedesignedlife.com
@thelovedesignedlife

stephpollock.com
@steph.pollock

hellotinylove.com
@hellotinylove

Happy Holidays!

Xo,

Sophia

11.06.17

Holiday inspired tablescape with The•Company•Store

The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling. -Fabienne Fredrickson

The holiday season…is there anything more magical and festive? From Bing Crosby’s holiday music, to warm hot chocolate, wood fires, the smell of sugar cookies, hot soup, warm blankets, and a decorated tree…it truly brings so much joy and comfort to me every year when the holiday season comes around. I wanted to share with you all how easy and fun it can be to prepare a beautiful tablescape for your friends and family this year. Whether your hosting a small and intimate get-together or having a few girlfriends over, The Company Store has everything you need and more!

One thing I’ve really been exploring this year are my passions; things that inspire me, challenge me, and things I feel called to that bring great purpose and connection to my personal life as well as my families lives. Hospitality has always been a part of who I am, engrained and stamped upon my heart with great intention and purpose.

For me hospitality is the art of deep connection, laughter, and acceptance. When I host, I am not inviting them over as a guest but rather a friend, someone that will feel a part of my family; accepted and heard. My goal is to create a space that is welcoming and fully inspired by all of my favorite things. My goal is not to make the tastiest most delicious meal (although that’s a bonus;)) but rather to connect, accept, and be intentional about forming relationships that are purposeful around my table.

I was really inspired to keep this tablescape warm, neutral, earthy, and simple. I love the pops of greens, the touches of gold and silver metal, and the intricate details of the leaf napkin rings. The first thing I focused on to achieve this look was color choice! Here I have white, green, pops of red, gold and silver. The second thing I did was create the centerpiece of the table by taking simple holiday greens and clipping them into the appropriate length to be placed in various sized glass vases. I added gold berries my grandmother found to bring out the greens even more. When you decide on your colors and themes, you’ve already done the hardest part! From there you get to be creative and put together something that represents your style and aesthetic. Creating this space that just calls for glasses of deep red wine, crusty bread, and delicious homemade soup. Your friends will be cozy, and surrounded by the view and ambience you’ve created.

To shop specific pieces in my dining room click on the links below!

Linen table runner, Silver wood holiday tree, Hanging ornaments, Leaf brass napkin rings, Linen napkins, Evergreen gold holiday tree, White felt holiday garland, Thyme throw blanket

Sea grass basket: AllModern

This blog post was in collaboration with the amazing The Company Store! They have the perfect assortment of holiday decor to cozy up your home and get you in the holiday spirit. From table decor to bedrooms, bathrooms, they have you covered this holiday season to welcome and hold special memories in your home and with your family.

Xo,

Sophia

10.17.17

{Part Four} How to balance motherhood, blogging and Instagram

Hello friends, I feel like this is a topic that is not talked about enough and I couldn’t be more excited to be collaborating with so many of my favorite bloggers and friends in real life!

If you’re new here, here’s the scoop. Once a month, 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!

How do you balance motherhood and posting on Instagram and your blog?

I think this is a really good question we probably all wonder about and question with some of our favorite bloggers we scroll through daily. Do they just do it all and be it all so effortlessly all the time? The answer is definitely “NO.” Just like any other momma out there I have good and challenging days. I have days where I feel like balance is my best friend and other days where I can’t seem to figure out how to be present with my children and get my work done, and complete deadlines for sponsored posts! Especially on the days my daughter is fighting naps and or sleeping very little 😉 My best piece of advice is to figure out what your priorities are with Instagram and blogging. For me Instagram has turned into a source of income for my family I never thought imaginable. It has created a way to for me to be home with my babies, present with their milestones and everyday smiles. It has created a way for me to be creative, share my heart through writing, and share about things I find interesting and helpful all while making a monthly income that supports our lifestyle. So for me sometimes I can’t take a lot of time commenting and engaging with all of my favorite accounts simply because I don’t have the time. Most of my time that is carved out goes to editing and submitting content for sponsored/paid posts. If I ever do get some extra time I like to catch up with my friends and favorite accounts giving them as much love as I can. But just like any job it has it’s ups and downs. Some days I feel very uninspired while other days I have a lot of inspiration. For me I have created somewhat of a loose schedule for my work.

How do you work Instagram into your daily schedule?

When all three of us go to the gym in the mornings I take that time to catch up and respond to emails, edit photos, and write captions that can easily be copied and pasted into my notes for sponsored posts so they are ready to go when I need to meet a deadline. In the afternoon when the girls are having quiet times I catch up on household things and generally tie up any other things I need to get done such as blogging, editing, or communication with companies and friends on Instagram. It’s definelty a balancing act I will be trying to find for awhile. As with any job some days I have to finish up my work when the girls go to bed, but I try to do that as little as possible as I like to put my phone away after dinner to read, watch a show, and spend time with my husband.

How often do you post to Instagram?

I usually post everyday with the exception of weekends. If I am feeling overwhelmed and have gotten all deadlines posted I will take a break and come back on a Monday.

How many collaborations do you take on in one week or a month?

I would say generally I take on about two-three collaborations a week just depending on the flow and feel of my week! Lately I have been taking on more paid sponsored posts and very few unpaid so that I can better manage my time and also have time and inspiration to post what’s on my heart or a photo that is sentimental to me. Month to month it’s always different, but one thing I feel strongly about is only sharing products I genuinely love and use as well as my family! For me two to three collaborations a week feels balanced as I can still have room to post things on my heart or photos that make me smile.

Thanks so much for reading, I have linked all the other blogs below! Be sure to check them out as these mommas have so much wisdom and talent when it comes to motherhood and blogging!

The girls are dressed in Tea collection apparel to shop these wallpaper party dresses Click here!

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occasionallyperfectstyle.com | @occasionally_perfect

mrsseacannon.com | @mrsseacannon

britthavens.com | @britthavens

koleimpressions.com | @steph__pollock

cultivatemotherhood.com | @cultivatemotherhood

www.ashleynoel.life | @_ashley_noel_

hellobabybrown.com | @hellobabybrown

thelovedesignedlife.com | @thelovedesignedlife

our guests this week:

henaandcompany.com | @henaandco

momwifefoodie.com | @momwifefoodie

amandapahls.com | @amandapahls

09.21.17

You were made for meaningful connection. 

Dear Beatrice and Elouise, did you know you were made for meaningful and purposeful connection? That love is meant to be soulful and ablaze with passion? Did you know that freedom to be yourselves is a gift that was given to you before the beginning of time? Did you know that life is meant to be felt deeply, softly, and wholeheartedly? I hope and dream for you two to find great purpose in serving others and caring deeply for their needs. I pray and dream that you will never question your abilities to conquer challenges, your strength to lean into pain, or your courage to be who you were designed to be. I pray you never spend your days at the alter of productivity and striving just to prove that you can keep up with the hustle and fast pace of life our culture begs us to have. Instead I hope you will lead a culture that seeks rest, peace from within, sharing meaningful connections with others, sharing kindness, vulnerability, and welcoming people with open arms through hospitality and acceptance. I dream for you to raise up a culture that seeks out meaningful living, truth, passion, and real self love. Letting go of the false hope that you can do and be all to everyone. Instead hold on to the power of what you know your body needs to be fueled and nourished in this life. Hold on to what makes your heart flutter, hold on to what your body needs and craves, hold on to what is meaningful and good in this life. May you nourish the softest parts of your souls by giving space and time a chance to find hold ground in your hearts. Giving peace and joy a chance to flood in and cover the areas of hopelessness and sorrow. I hope you say YES to a life that is present and fully aware of the beauty and need for your unique selfs. I love you more than life itself. I just know that you both will be the brightest light shining through the trees, illuminating kindness, courage, and beauty in the face of darkness. The girls and I are dressed in MIEN. This beautiful shop out of California uses only organic cotton and hand dyes all of their clothing. This collection is responsibly made in the USA which is pretty amazing if you ask me! The clothing is beyond comfortable, versatile, and fitting for day wear/evening. 

Women’s collection pictured: Lakeside wide leg jumper in zinc, Maven open side tunic, Lakeside wide leg culottes Shop this look here!

Madrid low woven clogs: Sandgren Clogs
Mini collection featured on Bea and Elouise: Mini pinefore dresses is color terra-cotta and zinc grey. Shop this look here!

Xo,

Sophia