Friday, October 9, 2015

Sexy Shoes,Toddler Troubles & One Month! {Friday Link Ups}

Hello Weekend | Kercia Jane:

1| I Miss You
Yes, you! All of you - especially those of you that I'm accustomed to chatting back and forth with daily via our blogs and emails. I am still here. Still posting and trying to interact as much as possible. But I miss you all! I miss the daily postings and interactions, and feel so behind on everything that's been going on. Is that weird to admit? I feel like I've been a bit removed from blogland - which, in all fairness, I have been. And for good reason, but still. I miss you. Just thought I'd throw that out there:) And if you'd like to fill me in, I'm down. Email me. Text me. Comment. 

2| Sexy Shoes (and Sheets) Are ALWAYS a Good Idea
Soooo, remember these sexy heels we talked about earlier this week? Yes? Well, I finally bit the bullet and bought the darn things. In both the leopard and the black. I knew I had to have the leopard. But then I realized that I don't own a single pair of classic black heels. What??? How that's possible I don't know, but I decided to right that wrong immediately. I mean, for that price, how could I not? Such a good deal, and honestly, they fit great and look a lot more expensive than they are (which is always a good thing, am I right?) On top of that, Target is currently running an online special of buy 2, get 20% off or buy 3, get 30% off on all shoes and accessories right, so scurry over and take advantage. Caleb may or may not have also gotten these cute little boots. My child will never have to run around in the rain without boots again;)

Also, I admit...I went back to Target and snagged these adorable sheets. Target wins again. I am officially done shopping for, like, weeks. They make it impossible to resist buying things! #targetallthethings 

EV Holiday Flannel Sheet Set - Multicolor

3| Toddler Troubles
Remind me to share some more on this at a later date, but long story short, Caleb got into trouble again - for the second time in less than three weeks - at preschool this week. Apparently, he was pushing and even hitting, which really shocked me, as he doesn't behave that way at home. Needless to say, it was very upsetting for me to hear that, but the way it was handled at school upset me even more. Like I said, story for another day, but I can honestly say that my first milestone as a mama - the milestone where I called my husband crying over how my child was treated - was reached. Mark that off the list, eh? It happens to every mom at some point, right? 

4| A One Month Surprise!
Y'all. Next week will mark one month of business ownership for me! How is that possible? It's been a great - VERY busy - 30 days. God has blessed this first month beyond my wildest expectations, and I am so, so, so grateful to Him for that. And to all of you, too! You have been so amazingly supportive and excited for me, and it has meant the absolute world to me. To celebrate the one month mark, I have some very exciting things planned for this coming week over at the boutique. Stay tuned for that! And if you're not already following Pearl & Monroe on IG, find it @pearlandmonroeboutique.

5|  Weekly Photo Dump

 Hey Mom, is Scandal on?

 My happy place. I'll make it easy and just take one of everything, please.
 One of my favorite items to hit the boutique so far:)
 Two, going on twenty

 What I'm doing at 11 pm every night.
 Little fuzzy head.
 Say, what???

 The most comfortable dress ever. I definitely kept one of these;)

 Feeling a bit more professional now

Linking up with my favorites for the Friday fun! Visit any of the blogs shown below to participate. Happy Friday!

*Affiliate links used in this post

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

So, What Do You Guys Want to See? And Hear?

Two quick questions today. One for the blog and one for Pearl & Monroe:

1|  What do you want to hear about on this old blog? Anything you wish I would address more? Less? Anything I've never talked about, but maybe you wish I would? Now's your chance to let me know!

2| What do you guys want to see in the boutique? Anything in particular? Let me know! I need style inspiration. I will be going to market next week in Atlanta, and would love to know what to look for!

On another note, to those of you that saw my post over on the boutique IG yesterday and responded - thank you! Owning a business is a process, and one that is ever evolving (well, if you want it to continue to grow and flourish, that is - which I do!) I'm constantly searching for how to do things better and more efficiently, and with your input, I think I have done that today. As a result of your feedback, from this point on, you can expect to see new items from Pearl & Monroe on a daily basis at 11 am and 3 pm. This time frame is one that will hopefully work for everyone, including all of my west coast friends and customers. If you don't seen anything posted by around 11 in the morning, you can assume that I won't be posting. But be sure to check back again at 3. It's my hope that having a bit of a time frame will help you all know when to look for new items over at P&M, have a better chance to snag items you like in your size, and to know what's going on at the boutique.

I will continue to make a concerted effort to show modeled photos of the styles I am selling whenever possible. However, that said, it is not always possible to get good modeled shots before the product becomes available. I shy away from posting a plethora of selfies on the boutique IG - trying to keep the aesthetic as clean and visually appealing as possible. But I am absolutely open to sending you a quick DM or email with a photo of any items you may be questioning and wish you could see on someone. So feel free to ask! In fact, feel free to approach me with any questions you have. The business email is Love to hear from you!

Okay. Whew. Sorry for this very business-like post today. Back to fun stuff tomorrow. Promise. But don't forget - tell me what you'd like to hear! Comment below and let me know:)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Let's Talk Affiliate Links {And My Pet Peeves}

YES PLEASE Money Balloons - a cool way to present money as a gift, esp for a young person (as opposed to a boring check in a card). I have a friend whose parents blow up a balloon and put a one dollar bill in it and have the number of balloons for how old their kid is on their birthday and then after they open their presents they can pop open the balloon and get their $. very cute.:

Today, I'm going there. To a topic that, for some reason, seems a bit taboo in the blog world. Do you know what I'm talking about?

Affiliate links.

For those of you who do know what that is, you know what I mean - how hush hush this topic seems to be, even though so many of us are doing it. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, well, here's the gist: there are all kinds of companies out there that offer affiliate programs to bloggers. As a result of being signed up with one of these programs, bloggers like yours truly are able to use affiliate links for products that produce a small return - or commission, if you will - when our readers click on the links to products we think they might be interested in.

It doesn't sound like anything to be covert about, or to keep so hidden. But, for some reason, it is. People don't discuss it. They don't share their sources. They don't disclose their affiliate partners. They're sneaky about their links. It's rampant. And I say this because I've been privvy to it - and guilty of it, too. But, as a blogger who places a huge emphasis on maintaining a following that feels they can trust me, both as a legitimate person and as a blogger, and who expects the same from the blogs that I myself follow, I thought that I'd put it all out there today. So, here we go.

On my blog, I use the ShopStyle affiliate program. There is a disclosure on my sidebar to inform followers of this, but lately, I've wanted to make it a little more clear, so I've recently started including a little disclosure in any posts in which I do use affiliate links. I've noticed a couple of other bloggers doing that lately as well, and I applaud them for it. It's actually an FTC regulation to disclose that information - something that I don't think a lot of people know - and something that I've seen a lot of discussion about lately.

What's the point of using affiliate links? Well, honestly, it's a good little (and by little, I do mean little - I am not banking from affiliate links some big name blogs) source of income; especially for our little family, where every penny counts right now. And it's truly easy for me to use when I have something that I want to share with you all. To those of you that click on the links I include - thank you! I try to do the same for my fellow bloggers, as really, isn't it a great thing that we can all help each other by simply clicking on some links? So easy! Imagine how much more successful we could all be, if we made a concerted effort to support one another in this way. It could be mind-blowing.

In theory, affiliate links should be an easy, simple way for bloggers to make some coin while sharing things they love with their readership. However, there are some big no-no's when it comes to affiliate linking. Please note that these are things that drive me crazy, personally, and may not be things that bother anyone else. I'm not going to claim that I've never done any of the following things, but I do strive not to.

Here are my top three pet peeves when it comes to affiliate links:

1) Links Thrown Around Like Word Vomit
I have seen blog posts in which it seemed like every other word was an affiliate link. What the what? I can tell you right now, more links does not mean more money. Most bloggers will simply exit right out of your post if they feel like you are simply trying to sell them something or a make a buck. Or at least, I would. If you got a new pair of shoes, and you want to share them with me, great! I'd love to know where you got them (especially if they were a good deal.) But if you're going to put 700 other shoe options in your post, and then include some accessories to go with your shoes, and maybe add in a men's bag just for the heck of it....well, bye.

2) Random, Meaningless Linking
Here's another thing that is red flag to me with affiliate linking - and an indicator that a blogger is solely linking for money and likely has no real investment in sharing the product:  linking to random stores or products. For example, let's say Jane got an item at Target, but was unable to find an affiliate link for that certain product at Target, so she pulls in a link from some random store from Ding, ding, ding. If you don't actually shop at a store, but are suddenly linking to it, well, your readers aren't dumb and will notice it for the money grab it is. If there isn't an affiliate link to something, and you still want to share it - well, then just share it! Link directly to it. Shocking, I know. On Friday, I shared a link to a monogrammed sweatshirt that I liked. No affiliate link - just a direct link. I try to follow my own advice:) But again, I'm sure I've been guilty of this is in the past. We live, we learn. 

3) Like It or Nothing
I'm am not going to badmouth this program, because I do understand that it's likely a good source of income for a lot of people, and I am all about supporting fellow women and mothers in finding ways to generate income for their families. But I will tell you, there are certain people that drive me nuts with this program. I get that the point of the program is to garner likes - and that, in order to be successful (ie bring in money), ou have to do so.  But, if you are so focused on getting the likes that you refuse to share one shred of info on what you may be wearing in a certain photo without referring someone to like your photo and then get an email with the product info, well, you killed it for me. I just wish people would use common sense and some kindness with this.

So, there's my thoughts on this topic. I do want to emphasize this this is not directed at any blogger or blog in particular, but is a conglomeration of things I've learned personally, and of things I've seen done in blogland and tried to remember NOT to do. I'm sure we all know blogs that may fit the bill for some of the pet peeves mentioned above, but let's be kind and not share anyone in particular! xoxo

Monday, October 5, 2015

Potatoes to Peaches {Weekend Review & Blate}


I just came off of the best weekend in, like, ever. And now, it's Monday morning, and I am off traipsing around a farm in the mud for Caleb's first preschool field trip. Which, theoretically, was a great idea when it was planned several months ago because, small children and animals. But, which, after all this rain, is now the worst idea in history because, mud. I realized last night that Caleb doesn't own rain boots, so the whole experience ought to be super fun.

On Friday night, I put on some makeup and curled the little bit of hair that I have left (does post-partum hair loss EVER end?) Just look at the blonde hairs clinging to  my shirt in this photo.

Then B, Vivi and I dropped Caleb off to play at Pop's house, and went on a super fun dinner date to Biergarten in Atlanta with one of our couple friends, and another surgeon that B works with. If you couldn't tell by the name, the restaurant is German, and serves only German food. It was my first time trying sauerkraut (not impressed). And also my first time trying a Moscow Mule (very impressed). Vivian did great, and loved hanging out with everyone. I got only one measly photo after the selfie taken in the car on the way there. But I love this photo - real mean aren't afraid to show they love their babies:)

On Saturday, B was on call, and Caleb ended up going back to Pop's house to watch the Georgia versus Alabama game (which I'm sure glad I didn't plan my day around since it ended up being such a slaughter).  So I did what any mama in her right mind would do with the sudden freedom of only having one child to care for. I popped Vivian into the car and we headed out. 

We went to TJ Maxx first, where I picked up a bunch of new baskets and things for some organizational projects I've been wanting to get started on around the house. And Vivian got a couple sweet little outfits, including the outfit shown on the left in this picture. I mean, the fur? Dying. 

Then we headed to Hobby Lobby to pick up a few things for Pearl & Monroe, and ended up browsing the Christmas aisles for a good thirty minutes - which made me so happy, though I am proud to be able to say that I managed to leave without picking up any holiday items. Yet. I may be heading back soon though, to snag one of each of these little 2 foot trees for the kids' rooms. I love that they are not full of branches, and think they would be so cute with some fun little ornaments and lights on them. I'd love to cover Vivi's in sweet treat ornaments, like donuts and cupcakes and little fairies, and then let Caleb pick his own ornaments, which would likely mean lots of planes, trains, trucks and cars:)

Our last stop was Target. The mother ship. I did some serious damage in there - they really just make it too easy.  Picked up some flannel sheets (in the snowflake pattern) for our bed for the cool nights on the way, and am planning to return and grab the deer set for Caleb's bed. I mean, how cute are these?
EV Holiday Flannel Sheet Set
I also took advantage of a 30% Cartwheel coupon, and grabbed these amazing flats, which I think will up my stay-at-home mom game. I tried on these pretties as well, but left the store without them, as I don't wear heels very often. But, now I can't stop thinking about them -  they were SO sexy. And Target is offering a buy two, get 20% off or buy three, get 30% off online right now, so they may end up coming home to mama anyways. I think B would sure appreciate them for a date night, am I right? And they do have some Paw Patrol rain boots I could grab for Caleb while I'm at it...

Women's Lainee Pumps

After all that errand running, my little sidekick was worn out. But we had such a good time - it was the first time we'd been shopping together that Vivian hadn't ended up crying me out of the store. Milestone! Hopefully we will have many more shopping days to come:)

Sunday, I was super excited, and also super nervous, to meet my sweet friend Karli, of September Farm. I have only gotten to meet one other blog friend in real life so far (hi, Lynn!) but there are SO many of you that I'd love to connect with. So, when I found out that Karli would be in my neck of the woods - all the way from Idaho - I just knew we had to meet up. And guys, if you need an indicator of how it went...Well. We met at 11 am for brunch at Murphy's (best brunch in Atlanta). And we were there until 4 pm. Five hours. Five. Hours. I have never had a five hour brunch! You were my first, Karli:) The time really flew though, we had so much to catch up on, and - shhhh - we may or may not have over indulged in a few too many mimosas. I mean, hey, we were ladies who lunch without kids for a day. We had to take advantage. We did manage to completely tick off our waiter, who I'm sure just wanted to turn over his table to make more money, which I understand. But telling him that it may be years or longer until we see each other again held no sway with this man. Between every mimosa, he attempted to bring us a check. Ha! We forgot to get a picture until the very end, so please forgive our rain ruined hair, and our rumpled appearances for sitting for so long! Love this girl! So sad to know that she is headed back home to her farmer and family across the country today, but loving that I got to meet her in person. 

After leaving brunch, I headed home to my little family. B had worked an all night call shift Saturday night, and had then agreed to watch both kids all day Sunday on no sleep while I was brunching. I have a good man in that one, I really do. We had dinner together, and Caleb got to open his little Halloween surprise - most of the items shown from the $1 Spot at Target:) He was so excited for this little treat.

He was especially excited about his "big boy" Paw Patrol cup!

I did a quick grocery run while B did bathtime, and then when the kids went to bed, B and I spent some time together, and I spent some time updating things for Pearl & Monroe. Here's a sneak peek of a couple of items that will be hitting the shop this week:) Love.

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Welcome, October & Idaho Comes to Georgia! {Friday Link Ups}

24 more days left to register for our #BuildAHouseBBQ:

First of all, can we just take a second to pay homage to the fact that it is OCTOBER! I think Anne of Green Gables said it perfectly with, "I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." Yes, indeed, Anne. Me too. I look at October as the pre-cursor - the screen door, if you will - to my very favorite months of the whole year, November and December. So, when October arrives, I just know that the rest of the year will be amazing.

Case in point, I got a serious case of the happies when I got on my computer, and saw that The Atlanta Ballet, which hosts The Nutcracker at the Fox Theater every year, already has tickets available. Yay! B and I go every year, and so look forward to it. Okay, truthfully, I might be the only one who really looks forward to it. It's tradition! B goes to make me happy, but doesn't love watching "men running around in tights." He's so cultured:) 

I miss this so much already, and it isn't even Thanksgiving yet... Nutcracker Snow Scene, Atlanta Ballet:

Moving on to our Friday five, and even more exciting things:

1|  A Blogger Brunch Date!
My sweet friend, Karli, of September Farm is coming to Atlanta. You guys know Karli, right? If you aren't already following her blog, well, click on over there stat and do so. Not only is she dominating the farm wife life with two amazingly adorable farm gals and a hottie farmer husband, this girl is also running her own stationary business. You may recall that she designed my logo for Pearl & Monroe? And is still working with me on bits and pieces for different things. Love it. Love her. Of course, I couldn't let her come all the way from Idaho to my home state without setting up a meeting. I cannot wait to sip on some bubbly with her on Sunday, and enjoy a meal with no whiny little people to interrupt us. Her farmer and my doctor will be on kid duty. And we may never go home;) I mean, look how stinkin' cute she is!

2|  Pretty Things
Part of my job on the daily is to pick out pretty things and then sell them. Hard life, right? But seriously, as much as I love looking at clothing all day, and imagining how to style things, once in a while I like to look at other kinds of pretty things. Lately, I am loving:

This monogrammed fleece jacket, and several of the other monogrammable options from MarleyLilly.

This plaid and houndstooth blanket scarf. It just screams fall, and the classic color combo is perfection. Love.

These comfy-casual booties (for which I have precisely one spot left in my closet). But, in black leather or dark taupe suede? Decisions, decisions.

This necklace - gorgeous, right? And this ring. Dying. As usual, Kendra Scott can do no wrong. I need both, but have a feeling the hubs won't be too pleased if I break our budget to buy either one. Sigh.

3|  A Fun New Drink Concoction
I love a glass of wine every now and then, but don't indulge too regularly because, y'all - lately a glass of wine in the evening makes me so incredibly sleepy! I am a total old woman. So, one night recently, I decided to whip up a different concoction, but had very little to work with. I ended up with vodka, tonic, and a sparkling black cherry ICE. Have you guys ever had those? They are yummy! And at zero calories, are a great way to enjoy a refreshing beverage - or mix with your alcohol of choice for an adult drink:)

4| My (Shipping) Partner in Crime
I have to take a second just to share this with you: I have the best husband in the world. I really do. Lately, the shipping from Pearl &  Monroe has been a bit overwhelming for me - which is a great problem to have! But keeping track of my invoices, packaging everything up and getting it all ready for mailing is a big job. And B has been my savior through it all. He comes home from a long day at work, and then helps me get everything ready to go. I couldn't do this without him! So glad for such a hardworking and supportive better half. I am a lucky girl.

5| Photo Dump
You're weekly dose of random cuteness.

Linking up with these lovelies for the Friday fun!

*Affiliate links used in this post.