8.23.2016

the blogger's guide to becoming an influencer + pitching brands

ya'll.  I am so excited to share today's post with you!  I have been working with Krista of Social Graces Media for over a year now after getting connected through a brand she represented and she has been nothing but a God send to me as I wade through this adventure of blogging I've found myself on the last several years.  I have been blogging for a long time and when I started I never once thought to myself where the future of this blog would go, what partnerships would flourish, the shape this space would take and what message I would send.  when big opportunities followed by even bigger opportunities started to present itself, I was so thankful for Krista's guidance through all this- because honestly, I was totally lost the first time someone asked for my media kit.. or requested the number of unique visitors to my site, and who the heck is the FTC
I have been begging her to put all this knowledge down onto paper and finally she's done it! 
As a blogger, you probably started writing because you wanted to share something with the world. Whether you’ve been doing it for years or you are just getting started, the possibility of getting PAID to share things you love with your audience is no doubt an alluring prospect. So, how does one go about doing just that? That’s a great question, of course, but one that needs explanation since there are several aspects involved. 

YOU GOTTA HAVE THE RIGHT STUFF!
Let’s look at it this way: as a blogger with all the right stuff (no worries, I’ll explain what all the “right stuff” is in just a sec), you are known as an “influencer” - the popular kid everybody wants to hang out with. Brands really, really, really want to work with influencers on social media (a.k.a. the playground) because no one trusts them (the brands) so everyone simply ignores them

You, on the other hand, have already devoted the work and time to building a rapport with your audience, they trust you and will easily purchase things that you suggest because they believe you when you tell them it’s something they should have. 
*Image via Pinterest
Cue the NKOTB - “Oh, oh, oh, oh oh. Oh, oh, oh, oh. Oh, oh, oh, oh oh...the right stuff!” 
(This will now be stuck in your head for the rest of the day - you’re welcome).  
But just what is the “right stuff”, anyway? Let me break it down for you:

There is a myth that you have to have an audience the size of a small country to have influence but this just isn’t true. It might make you look cool to have all those followers but if none of those people interact and engage with you, they are not the right audience. In other words, they hold no value. 
The value is not in the number of followers that you have but in the percentage of followers that interact, engage, return to your blog and are genuinely interested in you and what you have to say - these people are most likely to buy, based off of your suggestions. 

This kind of love doesn’t happen overnight, folks. It takes consistent blogging about topics that are important to your people and relationship-building through social media. And you can’t just assume you have the right stuff, you have to prove it. That proof comes from analytics! So, if you haven’t already, link your site/blog to an analytics tool (hint: Google Analytics does a fabulous job...and it’s free). 
All of the data is important (to someone, somewhere, I just know it!) but for brands, the following ingredients are key to their secret sauce:
Page Views - how many people have viewed your blog over the last 30 days?
Demographics - who is your primary audience - gender & age? 
*Unique Visitors - how many new people have viewed your blog over the last 30 days? 
Bringing people back to your blog, time and time again, is most definitely something to celebrate. But...brands want to know that you’re not only good enough to bring peeps back but that you’re also attracting a decent percentage of new visitors on a regular basis, too. 
Social Drivers - which media is most responsible for driving traffic to your blog & how many followers do you have on each?
NOTE: All of this information (plus a few other key ingredients) should be packaged in a professionally branded media kit that is regularly updated so you can easily shoot it over to those that are interested in working with you. No worries if you don’t already have one, Social Graces Media can design one for you (and if you’re wondering whether or not I’m any good at it, I designed Amber’s...so, there’s that). → MEDIA KIT 
Ok, so, once you’ve armed yourself with the right audience, your analytics and your shiny new media kit, you might think it’s time to approach “Brand Central”, right!? Wrong...

YOU GOTTA DO YOUR HOMEWORK! 
First, you have to determine “who” you want to approach? Scratch that. 
The real question to ask yourself is not who you want to partner with, but who you should partner with? 
In other words, if you don’t take the time to consider whether or not a product or service is right for your brand and audience, and you start pushing every product under the sun (think: Kim Kardashian - girl doesn’t turn down an opportunity to make a buck), the fiercely-loyal followers you’ve come to know and love will run for the hills. Now that you’ve earned their trust, it’s best to pick and choose products or services that you would truly use and that would best serve your audience. Remember, they trust you - don’t let them down...or this will be you: 
*Image via Google (E News)
Not a good look. 
So, do your homework and figure out who you want to collaborate with - whether it be another blogger, a social celebrity/brand ambassador, a small business or a larger brand; you will need to narrow down the possibilities so you have a clear vision of who you will (and will not) work with. 
The second assignment in your homework, is to determine your value

Say what? 
What I’m saying is, I have a formula that will help you calculate what you should charge brands who want to work with you - you can read all about it HERE. This will prove helpful so you don’t undervalue or overvalue yourself...you know, rookie mistakes (wink, wink). I got you!  

YOU GOTTA FOLLOW THE RULES!
Now...this one is something TOO MANY bloggers & brands aren’t even aware of, or even if they are aware of it, they aren’t familiar with it. You don’t want to be one of them. You want to be one of us - the ones that are in-the-know about the FTC guidelines
*Image via Google: Brook’s Beat (Mean Girls)

Basically, to summarize, it states that if you should advertise or promote a product or service, you have to disclose that information to your followers in a clear and prominent way. This ARTICLE explains the guidelines further and even though the author is a bit blunt (to say the least), she preaches the truth - Amen! 

But just to reiterate my point, here is an example from PB+J Babes (Amber Massey’s blog):
Exhibit A

*Image via PB+J Babes (Blogspot)
Did you happen to notice her “fine print” - yeah, it isn’t so fine, is it? The section header is in a different color and all caps so that YOU will notice it and read it - which is exactly what the FTC requires of her. Let this be a good example to follow. And this doesn’t just apply to your blog, but to your social posts as well! Believe it or not, there is yet another set of rules you should be aware of, too: each social medium has their own guidelines pertaining to influencer marketing. 

This girl is crazy if she thinks I’m about to look up all these rules! 

Yep. I am. Why? Because you’ve put A LOT of hard work into building the perfect audience for your brand & I don’t want to see you get removed or banned from social media because you aren’t following their rules! Each medium is passionate about their space, just as you are about yours, and they will not hesitate to remove you if they think you are spamming their people. 
*The same link above, that directs you to a blog post on determining your value, also goes into more detail about this topic as well - click to read more. 

“YOU CAN’T RIDE IN MY LITTLE RED WAGON!” 
(are you tiring of my metaphorical magnificence yet?)

Here you are, having checked off all the boxes on the “right stuff” list. You are officially “influential” and you can now go forth with a pep-in-your-step, knowing you offer significant value to brands who want to reach your audience. Congrats, friend! You have most certainly worked hard to get here and now you get to put your sassy pants on! 
Who better to convey sass, than Miranda Lambert, herself! 
Image via Google (Lyrics: Little Red Wagon), Graphic: Social Graces Media 

If, at this point, you haven’t already started receiving requests to collaborate, you may need to let those you are interested in working with, know you exist. Now, I’m not saying you should just start throwin’ your media kit to whoever. What I am trying to convey to you, is that pitching yourself to brands or brand ambassadors is like navigating a preschool playground...you have a crowded space, with lots of players and it’s time to learn the rules of the game. 
When considering the best place to find and approach a brand, there is only one playground to meet on: social media. You are the popular kid (influencer) so you get the upper hand in choosing who you play with. Once you’ve determined why certain players would be a good fit for your brand and audience, it’s up to you to recruit them - there are a few ways to do this: 

This may go without saying but...blog about them! Use your best superpower to write about them (a product or service) and why you love them. Make sure and share it across mediums and TAG them (or use their handle) so they are made aware of your post - especially if your audience eats it up & they earn an additional profit because of your suggestion.  

Find out which social medium that brand is most active on and interact regularly. Use their custom hashtags to highlight yourself participating in their social efforts, like and comment on their posts and start a conversation about them with your followers (make sure and tag them to make them aware), etc. The point is to build a relationship so they become familiar with you. 

Take the traditional route and research the brand & their staff, determining who the best contact person is and reaching out. Send them a short-but-sweet email, attach your media kit and make sure to tell them why the two of you are a match made in marketing-heaven. Be sincere about it and show them you’ve done your homework! 

Brand Ambassadors & Small Businesses: All of the suggestions above apply to these groups as well. The point is to connect and help them see the value in what you have to offer. And just FYI: in my experience, brand ambassadors are much less likely to agree to work with you if you haven’t already taken the time to build a relationship with them.

Even though you probably get the point, I have included this very recent ARTICLE, by The Southern Coterie, that provides insights and tips from two top editors on the best ways to pitch and what to avoid - it’s definitely worth the read! 

YOU GOTTA DO YOU! 
Just some words of wisdom.. Throughout it all, though, remember this: you started your blog for a reason. Don’t forget what that reason is. Be true to you, stand your ground and always provide more value than you promise...word-of-mouth is powerful and you want the players on your playground to whisper all good things. 
To ensure a positive experience for everyone involved: Make sure you have a contract to protect you, your brand and your audience; always track the outcome of your campaign so you can provide results/benefits of your efforts; and if you are going to align yourself with another brand of any kind, make sure that you adhere to online social graces - refrain from vulgarity, engaging in highly controversial topics, posting inappropriate images, etc. 

Finally...you’ve got this. Anytime you start doubting yourself, just jam out to Miranda’s Little Red Wagon and you’ll be good-to-go! 
“...you can’t step to this backyard swagger!” 
Krista Cassidy is the founder of Social Graces Media, a boutique firm in Charlotte, N.C. that specializes in social media, digital marketing and branding. She empowers creatives & entrepreneurs with the knowledge, tools & resources in growing their businesses using contemporary marketing & advertising methods (including the importance of online social graces). When she isn’t consulting, blogging, making e-courses or planning workshops, the few hours left in her day are filled with the love & laughter of twin 5-year-olds. And a little sleep. Maybe. If she’s lucky. 




8.19.2016

five on friday

one. my guy
how many times do I forget what Jordan actually does for a living.  how many times am I brought to my knees in thanksgiving to have him walk through the door after a night full of medical and fire incidents that he is called to be first on the scene..  Irving FD has what they call citizen's fire academy that are the beating heart and soul of the department.  they host parties in honor of retirements.  they bring ice cream and sandwiches to active fires and medical scenes (if it weren't for them the guys sometimes wont eat for hours at a time), and they capture these firemen doing what they do best.  last week there was a large apartment fire in Jordan's district and his station was first to the scene. one of the citizens goes to almost all the fires to take live action photos and he caught a picture of this guy I know just coming out of the heat and heavy black smoke to change his air pack.
he's like the coolest person on my planet. 
 two. baby snacks
I am ALWAYS looking for easy baby snacks with a little more nutrition than "puffs", which Baker is totally over by this point.  she is obsessed with yogurt melts (I get these at Target!) and will eat an entire bag, but I came across these multigrain snacks the other day (again, I got them at Target!) and they are almost like cookies!  her BB always gives her those snackwell cookies and I texted her this picture and said "no more snackwells!" but that's probably the best part about BB in all three of my girls' eyes.  she always has the best treats.  and she occasionally has a lalaloopsy in her purse. 
why my kids LOVE those dolls is so random.
 three.  $8 camp gladiator.
say WHAT?!  eight bucks.  that's like.. FREE.
Camp Gladiator is having their 8th Birthday next week and to celebrate they are dropping the price of their 4-week camp from $189 to $8 for a limited time!  it will ONLY be this price ON their birthday next Wednesday 8/23 at 10AM - 6PMif you have been reading here over the last couple months you know my love of CG and how its basically brought my health and fitness to the next level.
you can read about my first camp gladiator camp experience HERE
want to register??!  c'mon. 
CLICK HERE on Wednesday, august 23rd between 10am and 6pm and the price will automatically be lowered (no promo code necessary)!
four. pink blush + lily jade.
did you catch my blog post earlier this week?  I'm giving away a $50 shop credit to pinkblush! you don't want to miss it!  they have some great transitional items, not just maternity.. and this dress is SO freaking comfortable.  you need it. 
also.
while I tend to gravitate towards the warmer earth tones of brown and orange, the cailin in black from none other than lily jade is SO good!  the best shape and the canvas/leather combo is genius.. and its on sale. SALE my friends. a diaper bag that doesn't look like a diaper bag. lily jade has got you covered!

five. weekend sales
is the turtle neck BACK?!  ya'll.  I went through a phase about 6 years ago when all I had in my closet as far as sweaters go were cowl and legit turtlenecks.  something about the preppy style and classic look gets me drawn in as something to wear during the fall and winter months.  I got my LOFT email this morning and its BOGO 50% off right now on their tops and sweaters.  Gap also has a couple of fun things (and more turtlenecks!).  I am totally digging this layered look.. and its 40% everything (online only) if you use code TGIF before noon and 35% after noon (PT). get your shop on, ladies!

8.18.2016

back to school with Zappos + Stride Rite

I cannot believe we are already halfway through August!  I have seen about half of my fellow world wide web mamas send their babies off to preschool, kindergarten, FIRST grade!  I cannot even imagine fast forwarding a couple years to that moment of Parker and Jolie's (real) first day of school. the twins are going to preschool again this year (they started when they were two) and start back in just a couple weeks.  when I started thinking about preschool-friendly clothing and shoes for them to run and play and get dirty in, I knew we needed another pair of 'go fast shoes' for this new school year.  
ahem, that would be sneakers in P+J speak, for the big girls.
I've teamed up with my friends at Zappos.com to share Parker + Jolie's favorite pair of shoes EVER.
literally.
I forced sweet Jolie out of them so she could take a bath and the entire time she was trying to convince me her reasoning for why she needed to wear her neeeeeewww shoes again after she got out.  
"mama, I can wear my pink go-fast shoes with my jammies, you know."
gah.  I love her.
 of course the bright cotton candy colors of the Stride Rite Leepz caught their eye when I pulled them out of the Zappos box, but when they realized that they LIGHT UP I thought they were going to have a stroke.  I told them their new shoes were for when school starts, and well, that basically opened a can of worms.  they asked me about 11 times between dinner + bathtime + bed if they were going to school "tomorrow"? 
 I would totally be freaked out if school started tomorrow. and I wish you could hear Parker say tomorrow.  she doesn't have a country girl accent like Jolie's (and J's is thick for some of her words..) but when she says tomorrow, she drops the 'ow' from the end of the word and replaces it with an "ah".
ANYway..
even if I would have waited to the last minute to figure out shoes for school, I would totally be confident in ordering from Zappos- these came in just one day!  ONE!  shipping was fast and free and  their 365 day return policy and helpful customer service would allow me to exchange sizes if I needed to. I honestly kind of took a guess as to what size I was going to get them in sneakers this year..I feel like my kids are in giant sizes, and when I ordered Parker the 10.5 in the Leepz; it was no longer toddler sizing.  *tear.
 aside from the twins absolutely loving the look of these shoes, the girls are completely capable in putting the Leepz shoes on by themselves.  how easy is it to tell them to go put their shoes on and they can actually do it without a meltdown of needing me to help them tie the laces.  school encourages clothing and shoes that are functional for little hands (think potty breaks and nap time) to be able to help themselves, and I think these are right up that alley.
 we are SO excited for preschool to start! 
that.. and any reason to see our new go-fast shoes light up.

thank you Brittany for capturing the color and joy of my sweet girls in your amazing photos and to Zappos.com and Stride Rite for sponsoring this post.

8.17.2016

time-out from the crazy with pinkblush + giveaway

this last week the weather has been outrageous- a real break in the heat from the 100+ temps we have become accustomed to over the last several months.  we have wanted nothing more than to just soak it in while we can!  it is August, so summer is definitely not over yet!
we live just outside a funky little college town..home to some really unique spots with hole in the wall diners and some of the best ice cream you have ever eaten. live music plays on the grassy knoll in from the court house after the sun goes down, and in this same spot just an hour earlier, under the 150 year old trees,  you can find about 75 men and women doing yoga in the grass.
the BEST kind of weather to enjoy this kind of esthetic of our town.
we have a favorite little breakfast spot- its open 24 hours a day and serves the BEST omelets (for me!) and chocolate chip pancakes (for the kids). after going back and for a minute about having breakfast for dinner or cheese burgers, we went for the breakfast! even though.. cheeseburgers are delicious at this one little spot.  not to mention it was open mic night and the rooftop seating was phenom! but alas.. the nibbles of chocolate chip pancakes soaked in maple syrup I steal off of Jolie's plate were calling my name.

after dinner we made our little spot on the grass to listen to the live music.  these days I am always looking for something to wear that is comfortable and cute but still allows me to not look like a complete mess when I'm trying to wrangle my little people.  I was introduced to pinkblush when I was pregnant with Baker.  looking for something to cover this bump, their maternity style of clothing was right up my alley.  I actually didn't even realize they had a full (and amazing) line of women's clothing completely outside of maternity clothes until recently.  the cold shoulder dress I am wearing is actually versatile enough to transition from maternity to non-maternity.  but for this bump-less gal over here I appreciate the longer length that this dress has to offer!


I've teamed up with pinkblush to offer one lucky winner $50 gift card to this trendy online boutique  towards anything they wish!  I know you mamas out there could use some easily transitional staple pieces in your closet, and every little bit helps to kick off a fresh start to this season's fall wardrobe, right?  RIGHT!! in the meantime, pinkblush has a promotion going right now, just use code WHATUNEED for 25% sitewide!
Enter for your chance to win in the rafflecopter giveaway below. 
so much crazy going on right now in our little bubble- taking a break from the day to day and getting out and about for a family date is the best part of life and the kind of things I look forward to.
other things include.. starbucks.  solo target trips... starbucks on said solo target trips.
dont let me fool you. life is good, folks. 
as always, thank you to Brittany for her talent in catching my crazy crew in the best light, and to Pinkblush for sponsoring this post.
dress c/o pinkblush
bag c/o lily jade
littles outfits c/o crew + lu
felt bows // a little lady shop
Jordan's jeans + shirt 

8.15.2016

weekend

this weekend we celebrated 11 years together.  ups and downs and all arounds and I would have to say that the last couple of years have been the VERY best of all.  Jordan and I don't usually exchange anniversary gifts.. we kind of save the day/evening for a nice dinner and a movie and these days that easily $100+ not even counting the babysitter money.  BB + Papa volunteered to take all three babes for the evening on Friday night so J and I could grab a bite to eat and see a movie.  there is this little trendy restaurant in our town that has the most amazing food!  so, after dropping the girls off for their sleepover with the g'parents, we made our way out sans kids to celebrate.
after dinner we sat in the target parking lot contemplating the movie options before us, and ultimately decided that watching the DVR in our pajamas sounded much more fun..
after we made that decision we then proceeded to convince ourselves that we aren't the lamest couple in life for the next 10 minutes before pulling to trigger to head home.  
saturday morning came quick- we started the day with bootcamp, which rarely happens together because someone is always home with the kids.  we grabbed coffee and headed to pick up the girls.  as much as we LOVE time alone and without obligation to three babies, the house was way too quiet and I was ready to get my hands on them again!  we made a quick swing through the market to grab some necessities for the weekend before home for naps.

while Baker napped, the big sisters helped give Oscar his first bath.  let me tell you, that Parker Jane LOVES that dog.  she is so helpful and wants nothing but to be right in the middle of taking care of him for everything. 

next stop on our busy saturday was to my sister-in-law's house for dinner.  the twins absolutely LOVE their time spent with cousin Kendall and the company for the adults isn't bad either:)  saturday was our actual anniversary, so we forced the three amigos into taking a picture in honor of the occasion.  Jolie was her typical self.. as was Parker..
you can find my sweatshirt HERE and my shorts HERE


every so often they have the families come up to the fire station for lunch and grill burgers and hot dogs and let the kiddos play on the engine and shoot the water hose.  me and the girls headed up to the station for lunch on Sunday, and sweet Baker finally got her chance behind the nozzle.

if that's not the cutest sight you have ever seen..

sunday evening was quiet.. Baker has been sick off and on for about a week with cough and congestion.  I attributed it to teething because I can see her incisor teeth popping through, but when she spiked a fever of 103+ on Saturday evening I knew something was up.  she was miserable and I just felt helpless!  we gave her a cool bath, alternated motrin and Tylenol.. and nothing would help.  I couldn't get it below 101 all night.  finally we broke fever to about 100 Sunday morning, and she ran fever off and on all afternoon on Sunday and honestly hasn't had a real meal in about three days.. finally I got ahold of her pediatrician to make an appointment for this morning. 

pretty significant double ear infection for this baby girl. we are hoping that the fever is related and nothing else like a virus or something (hand foot and mouth is rampant right now in our area.. but she didn't have any of the other symptoms for that- praise!) 
she was on antibiotics last month for an ear infection and we are thinking it did just enough for it to clear up but not completely. she was in a little better spirits this morning and being her silly self- I hadn't seen that Baker in a couple days and I missed her!!  for now, lots of snuggles and lots of popsicles!  just about the only thing she will eat right now.  fine by me. 

I hope your week starts a little better than mine:)  it can only get better from here, right?

8.12.2016

five on friday

1. eleven
me and my guy celebrate 11 whole years of marriage this weekend!  tomorrow is our anniversary, and while we don't have grand plans, Jordan arranged with BB to take all three babies for a sleepover so we could have date night. love him.  a lot. 
circa 2009.. in other words: b a b i e s 
2. the night's sky
I think w finally found a night light that will suffice into keeping the big girls (ahem.. PARKER) in her bed at night.  she has come up with about a million reasons to leave her room every night at all hours, and the biggest one was because it was 'too dark'.  she had even started to ask to leave the closet light on.. so I figured I needed to up my game on the night light situation.  after browsing amazon for about an hour, I settled on this one that projects constellations on the ceiling (basically covering every inch of their walls, too).  its working, for now.  everything is always short lived with these kind of ideas, but I am hopeful. 
3. my circus
taking my girls anywhere is complete insanity.  its not like they are complete monsters at all but its all the moving parts I have to manage that makes it a little hectic and takes twice as long.  last night me and the babes went to dinner with BB and papa while Jordan was at the fire station and while we were eating I mentioned that we desperately needed milk and I would need to make a quick stop with all three just for milk.  on our way out, BB and Papa pulled a fast one and sneakily followed me to the store and Bree took the kids to walk around while I did the little bit of shopping I needed to do on my own.
she's amazing.
my sweet neighbor sent this to me after I posted this picture of my circus the other night.
as badly as I want to just walk away sometimes from my full cart of monkeys at target when they are completely embarrassing me- this is my circus and those are my monkeys.  even more so, I love my support system and there is NO WAY I could survive without the help that they give.
4. rifle paper co.
OMG. is it true??  my favorite paper products have fabric now? whats even better is they have fabric AND a couple of my favorite hair bow shops have gotten their crafty hands on it and created the most amazing floral inspired head gear EVER.  I got Baker this one and the blue version, too. and can I just get this sailor bow x 3??
5. love a good sale
it seems like the perfect time of year to welcome the cool weather clothes.  you know.. because a cold front is supposed to come in this weekend here in Texas.  it will be 90 degrees instead of 110.  
time for sweaters and boots!  
basic or not, fall is my absolute favorite time of year.  the clothes are my favorite part, mainly because I naturally gravitate to the warmer tones which seem most appropriate in sept-oct-nov.  
all that to say..
my favorite boyfriend cardigan is 40% off (I have just about every single color, no joke..) and I'm seeing this utility blouse everywhere and kind of loving it.  my other favs are 20% off, which rarely happens, so you know its going to be a good Friday.

8.11.2016

baker bree | 13 months

thirteen months old, today!! I feel like we just celebrated her birthday- like last weekend!! 
she's growing like a weed.. her baby thighs are thinning out a teensy bit, but oh thank heavens for her belly.  THAT BELLY is out of control.  
 
 on the move and constantly having some place to be or go or see.  
climbing up and down off the couch and then on the couch.. and then off again. moving herself around as she pleases.  the personality spewing from this little girls face and demeanor is absolutely hilarious and kinda frightening.  terrifying actually.  she is already sassing everyone around her until she gets what she wants when she wants it. 
I cant imagine where she picked that up from.
I mean.. exhibit A:
Baker Bree
continues to be the sweetest little girl on the planet.
..her demeanor is beyond anything I can describe in words.
..she loves loves loves her baby dolls.  
..the light up of her face when you hand her the baby is like outrageously cute.

LOVES her paci.  
..she isn't ready to get out of her crib in the morning or after nap until she has managed to fit 6+ in her tiny hands.
..points and squeaks towards things she desires or needs.
 grunts at the pantry or fridge if she wants a drink or snack, and she especially loves to tell you that she wants to go outside.

she is so patient, so sweet, so gentle.
..and then she'll slap you square in the nose.
..all while she laughs until tears are running down her face.
she only does this to me.  
..never her dad. 

Baker girl sleeps 12-14 hours a night.
..naps like a champ {one 3-hour nap in the morning and occasionally another 1-2hrs in the afternoon}.
..and become quite the chubby bunny when it comes to food.
 ..guarantee a clean plate anytime grilled chicken, macaroni, strawberries and raspberries, & waffles are served.
..particularly piggy when she eats guacamole, yogurt, or peanut butter. 
..will choose the veggies or fruit on her plate before touching the meat.
..unless its chicken or a turkey meatball.  

currently cutting her fifth and sixth tooth. 
..but you wouldn't even know it, unless its 2am and she's screaming her head off. 

she loves to be outside. 
..she would stay outside for the day's entirety if I allowed it.
she also loves loves loves to dance.  
..she shakes her little bootie at any sign or sound of music or a beat.  
I cant even explain how hilarious her dancing is.. 
..its like the deepest/lowest squat and then back up. squat and pop.  squat and pop.   
I'm telling you.  nut job. 

over this last month she has started to independently play along with her sisters and having every movement monitored by me or her daddy isn't a complete necessity.
she has become so attached to those big sister girls.  
..she comes running to sounds of one of them crying and will do anything to attend to them in their time of need.
..and {again} in the same moment steal every toy they are playing with in sight and take off running.
I think she loves to hear the big girls loose their minds in frustration. 
..when I find her to retrieve the stolen toys, she's got the biggest grin on her face.
she knows what she's doing.

she has a serious 'tude at times..
..its hilarious and cute now, but I am actually terrified for what the next year will bring.
purses, scarves, bracelets, and necklaces..
..just a few of her favorite things.

Her laugh is absolutely contagious.
..her smile is super cheese-y.
..puts perfection to shame with her ridiculous crazy curly hair.
..and her eyes are the most beautiful in the sunlight.

I.am.so.smitten. with you Baker girl.





























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