18/ 12/ 16
Those of you who follow my Instagram feed (@morganaliana) have inevitably seen all my brand rep search posts by now. I stumbled across the world of brand repping on maternity leave and fell deep into the addictive repping universe. (Disclaimer: If you’re just here for cute pictures of my kid then don’t read…just view 🙂
For those wondering, brand repping is a way for kiddos, adults and even pets to represent items from small shops in exchange for discounted or items given to you. I don’t want to say “free items” because you do work for them.
Most searches are looking for well lit photos that highlight a shop’s products. It’s fairly simple and can be accomplished with your camera phone with the right lighting.
I’ve learned a few tips as a beginner rep and thought I would share if this interests you.
1. Only enter searches if you actually like their stuff. Really, you’re going to have a “they really like us” beauty queen moment when a shop picks you. It’s exciting, however if you don’t like their product and you sign a contract you may be obligated to buy items you don’t want.
2. Learn the lingo. Enthusiast is more “B” team status. They enjoy your feed, want to give you a nice discount. Reps are “A” team status where you typically are given items or a better discount. Both are good, Wave does both.
Terms usually last for 3 months or so. If you agree to rep you are to follow that shops rules during that time. Repost sales, sent pictures to them by a certain date, take so many pictures with the product, etc.
Loops are giveaways that followers like and follow an account making a full circle or “loop” to be entered for a drawing. A brand rep can pay a small fee to be part of the loop to boost followers. More followers helps in a rep search but be warned, some people will unfollow you quickly because they just wanted the prize. ? Dont be upset.
Hashtags bring people to your page but also group similar photos together or help you find things. #brandrepsearch is a great way to find searches and shops. It also lets you find other accounts for inspiration.
A lot of times you will see features. This is when a shop shares a photo a brand rep or customer took. Features are what you are shooting for. It shows that the shop owner likes the way you styles their product and increases your chance of staying on for future terms.
3. Look at the shops whole newsfeed and store before diving in. How many followers do they have? What kind/style of photos do they post? How much do the items cost? Are they made by hand or retail? Are the terms of the search resonable?
4.There is a community for brand reps. We are part of @igbrandreprefferal. They offer features on their page that a ton of small shops follow so it’s an easy way to be noticed. You’re also placed into a group where you can swap ideas, learn about searches and grow as a rep. Very very helpful and knowledgeable.
We didn’t magically get a ton of new shops right away signing up, however I’ve learned from the community, my photos are better and it helps shop know you’re professional. Think of your feature as a digital resume where people can go and state how great you are, strengths, etc. Check out their feed.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “Isn’t this just modeling?” I don’t see it that way. Some accounts do use backdrops and lighting and have more of a studio feel. I personally am taking the photos anyways so getting to dress Wave in cute outfits and support small businesses is a win win. I try to keep my Instagram feed clean and lifestyle themed. Some photos are a little staged but we live in the moment and I want to capture that.
Ready to dive in yet? Follow us on Instagram @morganaliana for more info!
16/ 12/ 16
It’s nap time here. So I’m trying something new. Below is a product review video on two of my favorite products, the EZPZ Mini Mat and the Lil’ Sidekick. The review focuses on why I like them for transitioning to eating solid foods. Lets not make fun of how many times I say “super easy” and focusing on these amazing products. If you want a discount on an EZPZ mat, click the link under the video!
Click the link for the video (It’s on the SLP Caravan Facebook Page)
25/ 11/ 16
I’ve had the story of my grandparent’s business saved to my desktop for a couple years now. When my husband (fiancé at the time) was deployed, I lived with my grandparents to save some income. It was a unique situation and one that I will always cherish.
One afternoon I sat at their kitchen table and complied a simple bio of the business they started. On a leap of faith and high risk they’re still in business 50 years later. They recently celebrated this accomplishment, along with my parents, in October. Below is the story of Lefty’s Pump and Drilling, told by my grandma and through my eyes as a child who was lucky enough to watch it grow and give water to our community. This is why I support small business Saturday and encourage you to do the same!
Drill Rig with the Lefty’s Logo
A $2,000 loan and $1,000 for living and inventory started it all. Lefty had been working at the Farmer’s Exchange as a manager, but after Greg, my Dad, was born he knew he needed something else. As the Exchange began to fall, Lefty and Sharon took the risk and got a loan from Bank of Aurora from the help of Lefty’s Dad.
Younger Lefty, circa?? Can anyone guess by the Pepsi Can?
They bought the business for $2,000. They began working with the equipment that was left, it wasn’t great and needed lots of TLC. My grandparents bought a small home across from where they began to build the business.
The original office, Baby Me and Grandma Sharon
Sharon would take calls from the office”, which consisted of the house phone and a cabinet in the kitchen. They loaded up the truck with equipment, lunch, Greg (my Dad), bottles and diapers and ran a few calls a day. Sharon worked the truck until a $20 remote later replaced her, however she didn’t feel cheap after the trade. (Her words not mine). She began running the office at home and Lefty did pump work, plumping and HVAC or anything that would make them a little income. After a few years they were able to purchase a drill.
Business became better and another drill was purchased. Greg began working the shop at a very early age. During his summers off school before he had his license to drive, my Grandma would drive him to a job and wait on him while he ran the truck.
Grandpa Lefty and Greg at the Broiler Festival. Original caption on the photo read “Teaching Sonny all the Tricks”
My Dad eventually left for college and returned to continue helping my Grandpa Lefty. After college my Dad married my mom, I came along and my Grandma retired early when my mom began running the office.
Fast forward to today, my Dad and Grandpa are still working the water well drilling and pump service. Myself, sister and our little brother have all been raised around the business and even Waverlee gets her fair share of the shop a couple days a week hanging out with my mom.
Don’t pass by small shops and businesses this Saturday. They all have a story like this, keep them in your community with your support!
22/ 11/ 16
I’m just going to flood your screen with Scottish Highlander Bliss. You’re Welcome!
17/ 11/ 16
As the Christmas Season approaches, or blows up in our faces at every major retail store we enter, I wanted to focus on something a little smaller with a bigger impact this year. In our house we decided to start the three gift rule. Something you need, something you want, and something we can do together. I like that it takes away the feeling of purging on Christmas gifts and allows us to focus on our Savior, Family and Sweet Traditions.
That being said, if Santa is reading this, Waverlee would like to support small shops this year and we have compiled 10 shop small stocking stuffers under 10 dollars!
2. This teething bracelet from Chewable Charm is really like a gift for baby and mom. I have one of their necklaces and love it! It’s beautiful, and you don’t hear that about a teether very often. Visit www.chewablecharm.com for their whole line.
3. This turban beanie is $8 available Milania’s Sweet Boutique. She has the cutest hoodie and sweats sets to match as well. Use code Morgan at checkout for 20% off. Visit www.milaniasweetboutique.bigcartel.com.
4. We will probably be ringing in the New Year with extra drool at our house. Aren’t these cute for $8? Visit Little Panda Treasures for bibs, bows and affordable outfits for your little. www.storenvy.com/stores/330001-little-panda-treasures
5. If you’re a Disney fan you need to visit Emma Grace Shoppe over at Etsy. Waverlee has a buffalo plaid head wrap and it’s the best! Big bow (she will send you a diagram to learn to tie as baby grows) and doesn’t leave a mark on her head (Daddy’s rule on headbands/bows). Priced at $10, but use code FAMFRIENDS20 for a discount. www.etsy.com/shop/EmmaGraceShoppe
6. Baby knee high socks. Do I have to say more. Little Stocking Co has socks and tights in all colors and sizes. These beauties start a $6 a pair. www.littlestockingco.com
7. This awesome product retails at 10.95 but if you sign up for their newsletter you’ll receive 20% off. The Lil’ Sidekick comes in four colors and adjusts length . The creators claim they keep a hold of you child’s toys, silverware, etc. saving you from losing items or having to pick them up over and over again. www.lilsidekick.com
8. More of a small shop turned big….these snack containers are super cute and functional. We have their diaper pail and it’s awesome! Available at www.ubbiworld.com
9. I love these little bracelets, this snowman is only $6! If you head over to www.alittledollyshop.com and use code SHARE20 you get 20% off.
10. Dylbug has a variety of eating wear designed to let kids play with their food. (Big plus for this Speech Therapist). You can customize the boy, girl, animal on your plate and then add these cute shaped food items with their cookie cutters starting a $8. You can even customize freckles. (Another plus for this freckled human). Adorable. Visit www.dylbug.com.
06/ 11/ 16
For those of you new to the blog, I’m a speech pathologist by trade. Going through five years of a tough speech program was honestly my biggest accomplishment to date. Between work, tests and what felt like thousands of hours of clinicals it was a great day when I graduated and began my practice as a licensed SLP. I love my job. It’s a fantastic way to express my creativity, help others and feel extremely rewarded by what I do. Bonus…it also pays the bills.
Enter the birth of the sweet thing I’m holding in my arms as I type this. Motherhood. It’s now my greatest accomplishment. There’s nothing like it. I love her. I love her daddy for creating her with me. Lots of love around here.
Fast forward two months of maternity leave, going back to work was never a maybe…it was a “have to”. I honestly began to feel a little guilty because a part of me was really ready to go back. Before the baby, my job and my husband were my identity. I enjoyed staying home on leave, I loved being with my baby but my identity before “Waverlee’s Mom” was SLP. I was really torn. Let’s also be honest here, I would run around SW MO and shop all day everyday if we could afford it, but we can’t. So. Back to work.
I’ve been back to work two weeks now. I am lucky enough to have family watch my kiddo and a company that worked with me to change my schedule to four days a week. I didn’t cry when I dropped Wave off for the first day, but you better believe I was rushing to get back to her.
I feel like I have that equal balance of “me” back. Work and mom. You can accomplish both. I get to do my passion and I think it makes me a better parent. I know for sure it makes me a better wife. Time for me, time for them. Balance.
Some things about it are hard. Leaving her is hard. Pumping at work is hard. The first day I felt like I was yelling a dirty word out of the office when I said “pump”. Now, even when a male co-worker walks into the office while you are pumping…it’s getting easier. On that note, apparently a large sign and me yelling “Hey, I’m pumping?!” just isn’t enough to keep a person out. After that experience you just walk that breast milk out to the fridge like a boss. No cooler bag or anything around that bottle. A naked bottle. And you say words like “breast” and “pump” all you want.
Work and motherhood are a good mix for our family. It’s so great if that’s not how you do things. No judgement here. However, for those of you who have to go back, it’s going to be ok. And for the rare breeds like me who were mostly ready to go back, hopefully I’m not the only one.
01/ 11/ 16
We wrapped up a busy weekend.
We’ve read our favorite books about Fall.
Finished up the weekend with a bath.
Then we were so exhausted we took a cat nap. Here’s a re-cap of our adventures:
We enjoyed our first college basketball game cheering on our favorite C of O Bobcat.
We also got to see some of the Sisters on the Fly this weekend and their awesome campers.
This one is called brown trout. How clever!
Those ladies knew how to have fun. Retirement goals right there.
09/ 10/ 16
It’s not a secret, I haven’t stayed home much since having the baby. I’ve been enjoying this season and sharing it with baby Wave. From festivals to the smells of the season she’s been well cultured the past few weeks.
We hit up the the pumpkin patch and snapped a family photo.
We’ve visited the local orchard and picked up a few apples and some cider. I’m not a pumpkin spice fan but give me apple cider any day, hot or cold!
We’ve hit up several festivals like the Ozark Craft Fair, Apple Butter Making Days and Farm Fest. These are all local to our area.
But this is how we spent most of the time at all these festivals.
We’ve decorated the shouse for the fall season, I’ve already managed to kill a few mums so nothing new there. Aren’t they supposed to be hearty?
Waverlee and I have played around with some fall pictures too.
05/ 10/ 16
8 Things New Moms Are Thinking…If They’re Being Honest
I’m loving being a mom. It’s exhausting and equally rewarding. But…lets be honest moms, you’ve probably thought some of these things listed below. I am sure some of you much more seasoned mothers are saying something like “Bless Your Heart” right about now. The rest of you fine ladies out there who are dreaming of motherhood … or not … this is a nice peek for ya. For all that this doesn’t apply to, well just give new moms a break, pat on the back or some caffeine. Some below is a list of the most common thoughts popping into my head.
1. How are you hungry again? It’s been like 15 minutes since you finished. Seriously how are you still hungry?
2. All those blogs I read about mothers loving breastfeeding are big ole liars. Big liars. I know you’re not liars. I know some moms love it. But after experiencing your first week of cluster feeding with a newborn you’re not claiming you love it. That must take longer than 5 weeks. I’m more at a, “I’m really glad I can provide you with nature’s nutrients here but go easy on me ok” level of love.
3. When your husband asks if you were wearing those pants yesterday and you confidently reply with “Yes, I did and there’s nothing wrong with it”. Even though you’re thinking that you’re above wearing leggings two days in a row and it’s really not ok.
4. How did baby poo get on the baby, my hand and multiple linens? And way over there. How did that happen?
5. I have to pee. I try to hold it, but you can’t. You literally drop everything you’re doing to try to make it on time. There is no holding it. Kegels for life.
6. It’s 80 degrees outside. My child doesn’t need socks on. Don’t judge me.
7. You haven’t ate in like two hours. What’s wrong with you? What’s the pediatrician’s number? Same thoughts apply for sleeping over 4 hours in a row.
8.How on earth did I create something so cute? I guess her dad had something to do with it.
04/ 10/ 16
Clever name isn’t it? When researching for baby products for baby Wave, I stumbled across this beauty on Pinterest. Yep, leave it to Pinterest for baby research.
I honestly scoured for bad reviews on this thing. Want to know why? Because I knew I really wanted one but the price had me a little hesitant. I couldn’t find a SINGLE bad thing said about this product. Nothing. I looked. So many moms and dads gave testimonies of how awesome this item is. And I was sold.
So, months ago this beautifully packaged co-sleeper arrived at our door. Waverlee is 5 weeks old now and we’ve used it every single day.
So let me break down how versatile this little genius invention is. It’s designed to make baby feel comfortable, like still in the womb comfortable. Like there’s no crying in the Dock A Tot comfortable. It’s won numerous awards and passed above and beyond safety testing. You can read all about it on their website.
So far I’ve used it for her naps and sleeping next to our bed at night (we aren’t co-sleeping with her in our bed). The convenient handles on the side allow for easy access in the middle of the night while nursing.
I have a super handy Pack-n-Play, however if you’re fighting between purchasing one or the other, I might sway towards the Dock. It’s light weight, easy to clean, and you don’t have to worry about folding anything. It’s all one piece and easy to throw in the car or even take on a plane. The Dock A Tot Deluxe is designed for up to 50 pounds and the Grand is for kiddos over 50 pounds. I’ve taken our Dock to my parent’s lake cabin a couple of times instead of grabbing the Pack-n-Play or Rock-n-Play and it’s been flawless. Also makes it easy for going up and down stairs. You already have so many things to pack, why make it more difficult on yourself?
We also use it for our bath time routine. Since I use the kitchen sink right now, I can have her towel sitting on top of the Dock on my counter and transition her to something comfortable but easy for me to get a slippery baby dry.
So what about cleaning the thing? Because having a baby triples your laundry! I was pretty intimidated to wash the cover to be honest. It looked difficult at first glance. It wasn’t though, easy off and easy on. Just a zip and click of the snap. Just another perk. They have such cute cover options too if you want to buy a spare between washings.
*Dock A Tot generously gave The SLP Caravan a discount for an honest review.