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I am so excited to be bringing you another affordable Friday! These are some of my favorite posts, because who doesn’t love affordable and cute clothes!!! They’re so affordable that you can buy a few items each month and not even feel guilty about it! Today I’ll be talking about some items that I think are perfect for the current spring season, and can be worn well into summer!

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1. TOP | 2. YELLOW BIKE | 3. PLAID TODDLER DRESS | 4. YELLOW BOOTS 

First of all, how stinking cute is this blue striped top? I wore it in a post I posted earlier this week so you might recognize it from that. It is the perfect spring color and very light weight. Not only can it be worn tucked in like I did above, but it also be worn untucked (it’s long) and it will cover your backside. What I also really like about this top is that it also covers your arms, which I tend to be more self-conscious about. When the top comes in the mail, the arms might seem awkwardly long, but all you have to do to achieve this look is cuff them! So don’t be alarmed by that. In fact, when I first got it in the mail, I didn’t think I was going to like it when I took it out of the package. But once I steamed it and cuffed that arms I really liked how it looked on me. It definitely works better for smaller chested ladies, I do believe that it would probably be too tight around the bust for anyone that is more full chested (I’m a 32D or 34C), and I unbuttoned the top button.

I haven’t even mentioned the best part about this top yet. The price!!! It’s only $10! Yes, you read that right. Not to mention that it also has free shipping. The material isn’t the highest quality, but I expected that with a $10 shirt. I still think it looks super cute. As you all know, I love to keep each of my affordable Friday posts dedicated to one website or store so that it is easier for you to shop – this week it’s Ebay! That way you can get everything all at once without having to check out on a bunch of different sites. I always find the best items on eBay for ridiculously low prices. Especially on their Daily Deals page.

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1. TOP | 2. YELLOW BIKE | 3. PLAID TODDLER DRESS | 4. YELLOW BOOTS

When friends ask me about something I’m wearing from eBay, one of their main questions is how to shop eBay effectively (most people don’t realize that over 80% of eBay products are brand new). There’s definitely some tricks for getting the best items and deals! When I’m searching on eBay, I usually check a few boxes in the left-hand side bar to help me find what I’m looking for. I will check “new with tags”, “US only”, and “free shipping”! Sometimes I’ll check “free returns” too if I am unsure about the item I’m getting. That will help you sort through whatever you’re trying to find on the site. And right now, just an FYI, they’re having a really awesome sale on Nike Sneakers. And speaking of shoes, I got these white rain boots for under $20. I don’t even plan on wearing them though. I think I am going to plant flowers in them to leave by my front door. What do you think? I’ve always wanted to plant flowers in rain boots but they are always so dang expensive and I didn’t want to have a $100 rain boot pot – ha! So I was pumped to find these super affordable ones to use. In the pick below, I put tulips in them and brought them outside to see how it would look. I am obsessed! And how darling is my little model behind them

Anyway, back to my look! I love a cute brown loafer and I found a bunch on eBay here. I found a really cute pair for under $20 that would look so cute with my top in these pics. I’m sure you guys recognize this hat that I love to wear, and I found a similar one for only $6! I love wearing hats because they truly elevate any outfit! Not to mention they can cover up a bad hair day, ha!

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1. TOP | 2. YELLOW BIKE | 3. PLAID TODDLER DRESS | 4. YELLOW BOOTS

And how ADORABLE does Molly look?!?! I just can’t get over how absolutely darling this outfit looks on her. I’ve been wanting to get her a pair of yellow Hunter boots for a while. I own a red pair and have my eye on a really cute pink pair for her too. So when I found a great deal on the yellow pair on eBay I snatched them up! And I found so many super cute plaid dresses like this at really good prices on eBay too. I just think the plaid with the yellow boots is a really cute spring look!

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1. TOP | 2. YELLOW BIKE | 3. PLAID TODDLER DRESS | 4. YELLOW BOOTS

And last but not least is my cute yellow beach cruiser! I actually got this beach cruiser years ago at a shop for close to $500 honestly. But I found a bunch of cute ones on eBay for under $250.

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I can’t wait until Molly is old enough to ride this bike herself! I’ve been trying to get out and ride more often lately. You guys may remember I went to the beach a couple weeks ago and rented a bike and I felt like I was 20 years old again! And I totally forgot that I had this bike in my garage for so long, so I’ve definitely been taking it out more to get exercise and just feel young again!

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  1. BAR NECKLACE | 2. TOP | 2. BELTED BAG (AKA – FANNY PACK

Another item I am loving right now is a fanny pack! I swear they are back in style now guys, ha! When you’re a mom, especially a mom of two, sometimes both of your hands are occupied. In fact that is usually the case!! Fanny packs make it so easy for you to keep all your small items on you, without the need to carry a purse. Not to mention this one is only $6!! I love wearing one to the farmer’s market with some money and a chapstick! That way I can hold onto one kiddo and stroller, Kevin can hold onto the other, and I am hands free when I need to grab some money to pay for some fresh produce! Talk about the perfect solution! I am so glad that they are back in style! I hope you love them as much as I do.

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  1. BAR NECKLACE | 2. TOP | 2. BELTED BAG (AKA – FANNY PACK)

If a $6 bag isn’t your thing and you’re more into designer bags, eBay is honestly a really great spot to get them too. They have a program that authenticates designer handbags so you can make sure you’re getting the real deal and not a knock off. So when you’re shopping for authenticated luxury handbags here, you know they’re legit. I’ve never been one to have a luxury handbag, but I’ve always dreamed about pulling the trigger and having just one or two designer purses! OK OK I do have a Louis Vuitton travel bag that I think I spent well over $1000 on! Even closer to $2000 possibly. And I found the exact bag on eBay through their authenticated handbags link and it’s under $900. If only I had known! Ha! Another tip for finding authentic bags – there’s an “authenticity verified” filter on the left when you search for any designer/bag. So just make sure you see a little check-mark badge confirming that eBay guarantees it’s authentic (like the one on this bag’s listing)! Just thought I’d share with you guys.

Anyway, I’m really loving doing these Affordable Fridays! Let me know what you guys think of them in the comments below! And let me know if you have any questions about items I talked about above. Do you want to see more affordable Friday posts? I love all your feedback!

And a huge thank you to eBay for partnering with my for this Affordable Friday post!


The post Affordable Friday – Got it on Ebay appeared first on Ali Fedotowsky.

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It’s that time of year! Wedding season! I’m sure a lot of you are looking at your calendars and realizing you have multiple spring/summer weddings to go to and have no idea what you wanna wear. Well, I thought today would be a good opportunity to share some of my favorite dresses that you can wear to a spring/summer wedding! And really, these dresses are beautiful to wear to any spring/summer event. Not just weddings! Every dress is from Nordstrom. So if you can’t pick just one Nordstrom has a GREAT return policy. You can order a couple to try on and return whatever you don’t wear! And if your event is ASAP, you can order online and pick up in store. They will have the dress waiting for you! So let’s talk about them.

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1. FLORAL DRESS | 2. BAMBOO PURSE | 3. HEELS

I absolutely adore this first dress! I love everything about it from the full skirt, to the fittest bodice, to the adorable spring print! I love it so much that I actually wore it when we went to this gorgeous field of flowers with the intention that it would be one of the looks/photos I use when we re-launch my website in May. I’ve mentioned this briefly on my Instagram stories but I’m working on a big website redesign! I’m taking this blog from a blog that a girl started in her 20s, to a full-fledged sophisticated website for the modern woman! I’m so excited for you guys to see it! Anyway, point being that I love this dress so much that I chose to wear as one of the outfits when we were shooting content for my new website redesign.

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1. FLORAL DRESS | 2. BAMBOO PURSE | 3. HEELS

This next dress I’ve had for well over a year. And I’ve worn it to multiple events. I wore it to a wedding, to an event I hosted, and I wore it out to a girls brunch. What I love about it is that it’s casual enough that you could wear to a casual event. But it has enough detail and structure that you could wear it to a fancier event. When I look at it I almost can’t tell if it’s a casual dress or a fancy dress. Ha! It’s a Chamaeleon! I just love it and it’s super flattering! In these photos, I think I was two months postpartum and I feel like I look skinnier in them than I do now. It’s the dress! It’s so flattering! If your body conscious then out of all these dresses I have to say I think this one is the most flattering. However, your arms are completely exposed. But the neckline makes up for it because it really slims everything out.

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1. MAXI DRESS | 2. SIMILAR WOVEN BAG | 3. SANDALS

This next dress is actually a dress that I wore to a very special bridal shower recently! Rachel Lindsay’s bridal shower! That’s right, one of our recent Bachelorette and my girl Rachel Lindsay is going to walk down the aisle soon! And she had the most adorable bridal shower that I had the privilege of attending! I love this dress because it’s super flattering, and it covers your arms! And guess what?!?! It comes in plus size too! Crap, you know, I just said that last dress was the most flattering of all of these. I might have to take that back it say that this one is! Just because it’s super flattering all around and it covers your arms. My sister immediately texted me after she saw me wearing this dress and asked me where I got it because she loved it so much too! I ended up sending her mine as a gift because I already wore it to two events and figured it was time to pass it on to somebody else who would love it as much as I do.

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1. WRAP DRESS | 2. PLUS SIZE WRAP DRESS | 3. BLUSH HEELS

This pink dress is also an extremely flattering dress and it also comes in plus size. Yay! I had to take down the front because it didn’t quite fit around my boobs the way I wanted it to. But I think that’s just how it fit on my body. It might fit somebody else’s body perfectly. Who knows! But I just think the pink color is very girly and feminine. The first time I wore this when I was on Home &Family, the TV show I work on – so many of you wanted to know where it was from. So I shared it with you guys and thought wow, this would be a great wedding guest dress. So that’s why am sharing it today!

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1. PINK WRAP DRESS | 2. PLUS SIZE PINK WRAP DRESS | 3. LOW HEELS

And last but not least of the wedding guests, is this yellow dress! I love the color. It’s perfect for Spring. Those of you who have been following me since my Bachelor days know that I love the color yellow! I love that it a fitted dress from the waist to the mid thigh, but it is still flattering for my lower belly and hips. (You guys probably notice that 90% of the dress I wear are a-line to hide my hips) That’s because the ruching down the side/front. The ruching is great for camouflaging any extra love you may have around your belly area. You guys know I’ve been super open about my extra squishy belly and even though I love my body, sometimes I like to hide things too. And the dress does that beautifully for me. Sorry I don’t have the best photos of it! But I’m wearing it today on Home & Family and wanted to snap a quick pic because I thought it be fun to include it in this post. I also really like how the fabric is draped over my shoulders. Like I’ve mentioned before I do love a dress that can cover my arms sometimes.

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1. YELLOW DRESS | 2. WHITE PUMPS | 3. SUNLESS TANNER

This yellow dress is an all around flattering form fitting dress, and I know I say that a lot, but that’s because it’s what I look for for my own body! I’m not a size 2 or size 4 . Don’t get me wrong, I follow a lot of tiny bloggers who are just darling and I love everything they do! But when I buy things that they are wearing that look super cute on them I look ridiculous in them! I’m 5’7 and about 150 pounds right now. And all of these dresses I feel like make me look like I am 20 pounds lighter. So when I say flattering, the reason I love wearing dresses is because they’re, well, flattering! I feel like I look like I’m 130 pounds. Ha! Not that I want to be 130 pounds. I’m happy and healthy and content with who I am and how I look. But I think we all want to look great and feel our bests, right? So these are just a few of my favorites. And I’m also going to link my go-to sunless tanner here just because looking at my legs right now (and in this picture) I’m realizing that I need to put some on when I get home. Ha!

I couldn’t do this post without offering a dress option for the brides out there! I recently received a few comments asking me to show a few affordable, non-bridal wedding gowns! This might not be what you would wear to walk down the aisle, or maybe it would! But I just think this dress makes the perfect bridal shower or engagement party dress! Really any function that you have for your wedding! And you’ll actually be seeing me wearing it on TV very soon! I wore this dress when I got together with all of the past Bachelorettes recently to film a special that’s airing on ABC on May 6! I hope you guys tune in. I think it’s gonna be a really fun show. Also, if you pick up a copy of People Magazine this week you’ll see me in this dress as well I think it will sell out when the show airs, so snag it now if you love it as much as I do!

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1. BAR NECKLACE | 2. WHITE LACE DRESS | 3. NUDE HEELS

It was so cool to see all the girls together and we had the absolute best time! I chose to wear this dress to that gathering because honestly I just felt good in it. I knew I was going to be standing next to a bunch of beautiful women, many still in their 20s, and I was worried I was going to feel a little bit self-conscious. I’m not trying to say there’s anything wrong with my shape because they’re absolutely isn’t! I’m proud of my body and everything is done for me. But to be honest, I am the biggest Bachelorette size wise. Just damn. That’s a fact. Ha! And I’m pretty proud of that fact actually! Regardless, when I put on this dress I thought it was super flattering and I felt like 1 million bucks on it!

It was important to me to share that with you guys because I hope any bride to get it feel the exact same way when she puts it on. And how gorgeous is the least detail on the sleeves and on the neckline? It’s just the most stunning dress! And if you’re not a bride, get it and wear it to a non-wedding event like I did!

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1. BAR NECKLACE | 2. WHITE LACE DRESS | 3. NUDE HEELS

And since this post is all about dresses, I just wanna share the link for this dress under $50 that I JUST got in the mail. Oh Em Geeeee! I think it is so darling. I will be posting pics on insta story this week. So keep an eye out. But wanted to post link now in case it sells out before I show it to you guys!

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Anyways, I just want to share these looks with you guys! If you’re searching for the perfect dress for an upcoming event I’ve got you covered! Let me know what you guys think in the comments below. And since I’m a romantic and my wedding was a few years ago, I’d love to hear any blushing bride’s stories out there about their upcoming wedding! Or stories about weddings/events you are excited to go to! Let’s share in the comments below

And thank you Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!

The post Five Great Dresses to Wear to a Spring/Summer Wedding – And One for the Bride! appeared first on Ali Fedotowsky.

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Are you guys ready for the mother of all stroller’s?!?!?! Ha! I’m not even kidding. The Maxi-Cosi Lila is the ONLY stroller you will ever need. Well unless you have triplets or quadruplets – then you’ll need two of them So if you are pregnant, thinking about getting pregnant soon or already have little ones that use a stroller, this blog post is for you! Or if you’re a grandparent out there wanting to get a stroller for your son or daughter, then this is for you too!

The Maxi-Cosi Lila

There are so many reasons I love this stroller, but in my mind, the absolute best thing about it is that it’s the only stroller you need. Any parent out there who has had young kids knows that you usually end up with more than one stroller. And usually that’s because you need one for your baby when they’re born and then when you have a second child you have to splurge on another stroller with two seats.

The Maxi-Cosi Lila is not only a single stroller for all you moms out there looking for a quality stroller for your one kiddo. But it easily converts to a double stroller just by adding another seat. That’s right, you only have to buy another seat. Not an entirely new stroller! You have no idea how much money parents waste on buying multiple strollers. Heck, how much we’ve spent! So when I saw that Maxi-Cosi launched this new Lila stroller I knew I had to tell you guys about it! And naturally I reached out to them to do a giveaway so I could give not one but TWO away! Always looking out for you guys Keep reading for deets!

I’m just obsessed with the stroller because I feel like it’s going to save so many parents out there a lot of money! Of course it’s an investment in the beginning, but when you break down how much it costs to buy a single stroller and then buying another double stroller, you realize you’re actually saving! And saving space! Having multiple strollers in your garage takes up a lot of room. And if you live in a city where you have very minimal space, then you definitely don’t want more than one. I highly recommend putting this on your baby registry if you are pregnant. If you get a different single stroller and eventually decide to have another baby, you are usually the one stuck paying for it at that point since gifts are usually reserved for first baby showers and not sprinkles (showers for your second baby don’t normally have gifts). Which means you’ll be stuck buying a second stroller! Now do you see why I think this stroller is so cost effective?!

And let me tell you. it’s a GREAT single stroller even if you have no plans for a second kiddo. Sometimes I’ll take off the second seat if I’m going out with just Molly or just Riley. It’s a smooth ride, folds down easily and the seat easily detaches so you can make it front facing or rear facing. I can’t even tell you or emphasize enough how grateful I am that it comes out easily. I’m not gonna say what brand, but we had a stroller before this that was almost impossible to detach the seat. You have to push both buttons in at the same time while pulling up and it always got stuck. What I love about the Maxi-Cosi Lila seat is that you push the button on one side, it unlocks and then you push the button on the other side and it unlocks. Then pull the seat up without holding any buttons in simultaneously. Any parent out there who has had a stroller where you have to push the buttons in at the same time and pull up simultaneously knows what I’m talking about when I say it is super frustrating at times because it never works properly. SO as you can see I love it as a single and double stroller! Below is a side by side. The first pic is the Maxi-Cosi Lila as a single stroller and then second is the Maxi-Cosi Lila as a double stroller when I added a second seat.

I also really appreciate the snack holder that can attach to the seat. Molly loves to keep all sorts of stuff, from snacks to toys, in there! Another favorite feature of mine is the privacy/sun screen that’s hidden away in the canopy. No need to buy a blanket or sun protector for your stroller. This stroller has one built in! One last thing for me to put in my diaper bag and lug around.

And I LOVE that the storage underneath is actually a detachable bag! So it’s easy to pick up and take whenever I need to use it.

Other features that make it extra awesome, it has an ergonomic memory foam inlay that reduces space around your child’s body that makes them feel super comfy and secure. Also a HUUUUUGE plus is that the strollers shaped cavity reduces pressure on your child’s head which helps prevent flat head syndrome (something I worried about so much when my kiddos were infants). It converts from carriage mode for newborns to parent facing or world facing depending on what stage your child is at. It has an adjustable handlebar that makes it easy for parents of different heights to use. What else? What else? Well, it has a rain shield, parent cupholders, a zipper accessory pouch to keep things in, and it’s made with vegan leather accents! I’m sure I’m forgetting something but there’s just so many great things about the stroller and I want to give you guys as much information as I can.

Maxi-Cosi Car Seats

We also have Maxi-Cosi car seats. Riley has been in a Maxi-Cosi car seat since he was born. And we switched Molly over to Maxi-Cosi recently and JUST turned her around to forward facing a few days ago. She loooves facing forward. I wanted to keep her rear-facing until 3. We almost made it, but for multiple reasons we decided to switch her a couple months earlier than planned. She is in the Magellan Max. It’s a 5-in-1 convertible car seat that can be used with kiddos from birth to age 10. Anywhere from 5 pounds 120 pounds! So it’s pretty much the only car seat you’ll ever need! It also has the highest safety guidelines. I feel good about putting my kiddos in these car seats knowing they have Adjustable Side Impact Protection – which creates a custom fit for all growth stages and therefore ensures maximum protection.

The main reason we got Riley the Mico Max Plus instead of putting him right into the Magellan Max. Is because we like that the Mico Max Plus can easily come out of the car when the baby is sleeping and attach to the Lila stroller. So it’s really a preference of if you want to be able to detach your baby’s car seat while they’re still sleeping. The Mico Max Plus is compatible for babies 4 to 30 pounds and up to 32 inches tall! And it is so stinking easy to install! The stay-in-car base literally installs with a one latch system. It couldn’t be easier! We love it and I think you guys will too!

And the great thing about having the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus infant car seat is that it easily attaches to the Lila stroller as well. It comes with two attachments that you put in place of the stroller seat and you can easily attach the car seat using them. So I can put the car seat on the stroller when Riley is in it and then put Molly in the front regular seat when we are out and about. The stroller has a few different double stroller configurations that you can check out on their website.

A Fave of Mine

Anyway guys I just wanted to tell you about this rad stroller and this brand. Oh ANNNNNND I’m giving away two Maxi-Cosi packages that BOTH include:

  • A stroller with the Duo Kit (the single stroller retails for $799.99!!!! And the Duo kit is sold separately for $199.99)
  • The Magellan Max (retails for $399.99)
  • And the Micro Max Plus (retails for @299.99)

That’s right, I reached out to Maxi-Cosi and they agreed to give away all of this to TWO of you – one for you and one for a friend. That’s TWO packages worth $1,861.96 EACH!!!!! I think this might be the biggest giveaway I’ve ever done on my blog. Yay! Here is all you have to do to enter. And my apologies but this is only open to US residents! But I love you ALL!

  1. Follow me @alifedotowsky and @maxicosiusa on Instagram (Or Facebook!)
  2. Tag a friend on either my Instagram post or Facebook post (which will be up later this morning) where I’m pushing my Maxi-Cosi Lila stroller, because that friend will also win if you win!
  3. And the last thing you have to do is comment below telling me something about yourself! AND tell me what color stroller and car seats you want in the comments as well! (Please include insta handle or FB account so I can find you on social!)

I will pick a winner tomorrow morning at RANDOM! So make sure to check back then. I will literally have Molly scroll down the screen and whatever person the mouse lands on wins. Ha! (I’ll check to make sure that person does step one of the contest rules). And if you don’t win don’t worry! These items are currently on sale at retailers like BuyBuyBaby, Nordstrom, and Target for 15% off! So you can get the Lila stroller for $120 OFF! Heck yes!

The post Maxi-Cosi Lila Giveaway appeared first on Ali Fedotowsky.

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It’s that time of year! Wedding season! I’m sure a lot of you are looking at your calendars and realizing you have multiple spring/summer weddings to go to and have no idea what you wanna wear. Well, I thought today would be a good opportunity to share some of my favorite dresses that you can wear to a spring/summer wedding! And really, these dresses are beautiful to wear to any spring/summer event. Not just weddings! Every dress is from Nordstrom. So if you can’t pick just one Nordstrom has a GREAT return policy. You can order a couple to try on and return whatever you don’t wear! And if your event is ASAP, you can order online and pick up in store. They will have the dress waiting for you! So let’s talk about them.

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1. FLORAL DRESS | 2. BAMBOO PURSE | 3. HEELS

I absolutely adore this first dress! I love everything about it from the full skirt, to the fittest bodice, to the adorable spring print! I love it so much that I actually wore it when we went to this gorgeous field of flowers with the intention that it would be one of the looks/photos I use when we re-launch my website in May. I’ve mentioned this briefly on my Instagram stories but I’m working on a big website redesign! I’m taking this blog from a blog that a girl started in her 20s, to a full-fledged sophisticated website for the modern woman! I’m so excited for you guys to see it! Anyway, point being that I love this dress so much that I chose to wear as one of the outfits when we were shooting content for my new website redesign.

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1. FLORAL DRESS | 2. BAMBOO PURSE | 3. HEELS

This next dress I’ve had for well over a year. And I’ve worn it to multiple events. I wore it to a wedding, to an event I hosted, and I wore it out to a girls brunch. What I love about it is that it’s casual enough that you could wear to a casual event. But it has enough detail and structure that you could wear it to a fancier event. When I look at it I almost can’t tell if it’s a casual dress or a fancy dress. Ha! It’s a Chamaeleon! I just love it and it’s super flattering! In these photos, I think I was two months postpartum and I feel like I look skinnier in them than I do now. It’s the dress! It’s so flattering! If your body conscious then out of all these dresses I have to say I think this one is the most flattering. However, your arms are completely exposed. But the neckline makes up for it because it really slims everything out.

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1. MAXI DRESS | 2. SIMILAR WOVEN BAG | 3. SANDALS

This next dress is actually a dress that I wore to a very special bridal shower recently! Rachel Lindsay’s bridal shower! That’s right, one of our recent Bachelorette and my girl Rachel Lindsay is going to walk down the aisle soon! And she had the most adorable bridal shower that I had the privilege of attending! I love this dress because it’s super flattering, and it covers your arms! And guess what?!?! It comes in plus size too! Crap, you know, I just said that last dress was the most flattering of all of these. I might have to take that back it say that this one is! Just because it’s super flattering all around and it covers your arms. My sister immediately texted me after she saw me wearing this dress and asked me where I got it because she loved it so much too! I ended up sending her mine as a gift because I already wore it to two events and figured it was time to pass it on to somebody else who would love it as much as I do.

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1. WRAP DRESS | 2. PLUS SIZE WRAP DRESS | 3. BLUSH HEELS

This pink dress is also an extremely flattering dress and it also comes in plus size. Yay! I had to take down the front because it didn’t quite fit around my boobs the way I wanted it to. But I think that’s just how it fit on my body. It might fit somebody else’s body perfectly. Who knows! But I just think the pink color is very girly and feminine. The first time I wore this when I was on Home &Family, the TV show I work on – so many of you wanted to know where it was from. So I shared it with you guys and thought wow, this would be a great wedding guest dress. So that’s why am sharing it today!

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1. PINK WRAP DRESS | 2. PLUS SIZE PINK WRAP DRESS | 3. LOW HEELS

And last but not least of the wedding guests, is this yellow dress! I love the color. It’s perfect for Spring. Those of you who have been following me since my Bachelor days know that I love the color yellow! I love that it a fitted dress from the waist to the mid thigh, but it is still flattering for my lower belly and hips. (You guys probably notice that 90% of the dress I wear are a-line to hide my hips) That’s because the ruching down the side/front. The ruching is great for camouflaging any extra love you may have around your belly area. You guys know I’ve been super open about my extra squishy belly and even though I love my body, sometimes I like to hide things too. And the dress does that beautifully for me. Sorry I don’t have the best photos of it! But I’m wearing it today on Home & Family and wanted to snap a quick pic because I thought it be fun to include it in this post. I also really like how the fabric is draped over my shoulders. Like I’ve mentioned before I do love a dress that can cover my arms sometimes.

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1. YELLOW DRESS | 2. WHITE PUMPS | 3. SUNLESS TANNER

This yellow dress is an all around flattering form fitting dress, and I know I say that a lot, but that’s because it’s what I look for for my own body! I’m not a size 2 or size 4 . Don’t get me wrong, I follow a lot of tiny bloggers who are just darling and I love everything they do! But when I buy things that they are wearing that look super cute on them I look ridiculous in them! I’m 5’7 and about 150 pounds right now. And all of these dresses I feel like make me look like I am 20 pounds lighter. So when I say flattering, the reason I love wearing dresses is because they’re, well, flattering! I feel like I look like I’m 130 pounds. Ha! Not that I want to be 130 pounds. I’m happy and healthy and content with who I am and how I look. But I think we all want to look great and feel our bests, right? So these are just a few of my favorites. And I’m also going to link my go-to sunless tanner here just because looking at my legs right now (and in this picture) I’m realizing that I need to put some on when I get home. Ha!

I couldn’t do this post without offering a dress option for the brides out there! I recently received a few comments asking me to show a few affordable, non-bridal wedding gowns! This might not be what you would wear to walk down the aisle, or maybe it would! But I just think this dress makes the perfect bridal shower or engagement party dress! Really any function that you have for your wedding! And you’ll actually be seeing me wearing it on TV very soon! I wore this dress when I got together with all of the past Bachelorettes recently to film a special that’s airing on ABC on May 6! I hope you guys tune in. I think it’s gonna be a really fun show. Also, if you pick up a copy of People Magazine this week you’ll see me in this dress as well I think it will sell out when the show airs, so snag it now if you love it as much as I do!

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1. BAR NECKLACE | 2. WHITE LACE DRESS | 3. NUDE HEELS

It was so cool to see all the girls together and we had the absolute best time! I chose to wear this dress to that gathering because honestly I just felt good in it. I knew I was going to be standing next to a bunch of beautiful women, many still in their 20s, and I was worried I was going to feel a little bit self-conscious. I’m not trying to say there’s anything wrong with my shape because they’re absolutely isn’t! I’m proud of my body and everything is done for me. But to be honest, I am the biggest Bachelorette size wise. Just damn. That’s a fact. Ha! And I’m pretty proud of that fact actually! Regardless, when I put on this dress I thought it was super flattering and I felt like 1 million bucks on it!

It was important to me to share that with you guys because I hope any bride to get it feel the exact same way when she puts it on. And how gorgeous is the least detail on the sleeves and on the neckline? It’s just the most stunning dress! And if you’re not a bride, get it and wear it to a non-wedding event like I did!

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1. BAR NECKLACE | 2. WHITE LACE DRESS | 3. NUDE HEELS

And since this post is all about dresses, I just wanna share the link for this dress under $50 that I JUST got in the mail. Oh Em Geeeee! I think it is so darling. I will be posting pics on insta story this week. So keep an eye out. But wanted to post link now in case it sells out before I show it to you guys!

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Anyways, I just want to share these looks with you guys! If you’re searching for the perfect dress for an upcoming event I’ve got you covered! Let me know what you guys think in the comments below. And since I’m a romantic and my wedding was a few years ago, I’d love to hear any blushing bride’s stories out there about their upcoming wedding! Or stories about weddings/events you are excited to go to! Let’s share in the comments below

The post Five Great Dresses to Wear to a Spring/Summer Wedding – And One for the Bride! appeared first on Ali Fedotowsky.

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I feel like I’m constantly on the hunt for the perfect way to spend time on myself. So often when people have kiddos, their “me time” gets put on the back burner. We want the very best for them, and this often means we forget about the self TLC that we need. I’ve started looking for ways to give myself that time, and have found a few that seem to be working for me! I thought that I would share them with you today on the blog in hopes that they will help some of you too! We’ve got this mamas!

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1. HAT | 2. JEANS| 3. $10 SHIRT | 4. BAR NECKLACE

Dress for Success(ful) Me Time!

I have said this so many times before so I just want to mention it briefly. I am a firm believer it’s truly important for mental health to wear items that make us look and feel our best. I for one am most comfortable in a easy to through on top (mine is $10 FYI) and jeans – like I am wearing in these pics. Quick side note, how gorgeous are these lupine flowers that we found! Anyways… this is what I would call step 1. Even if you are unable to get out of the house, putting on an outfit where you feel confident can give us such a boost! And take 5 minutes to throw on simple makeup. Tarte products are really great for that and they are natural. Anyway, I feel like this first step is a crucial step for me during my me time, because when I think I look decent, I feel so much better. And “me time” is ALL about feeling good and self care! Ok no to the real tips!

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1. HAT | 2. JEANS| 3. $10 SHIRT | 4. BAR NECKLACE

Tip 1: Have Your Me-Time Scheduled

One of the ways that I have found that I am able to get the most me-time in, is to have it permanently built into the schedule! 2-3 times a week, I have chunks of time (whether they are 10 minutes, or 2 hours) on my calendar where I use that time to do whatever I want to do, just for me. I go to hot yoga, or meet a up with a friend, or get my nails done. Or really whatever I feel like doing during that time! The 2 hours time slots are usually once every month or two (let’s be real), but I like to schedule in 30 mins here and there throughout the week to stay sane. I totally recommend getting a planner, like this one, and using it to keep track of your (crazy busy) schedule! I use a planner, white board in my kitchen AND my phone to try to keep track of… well – life with kids!

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By planning this time into your schedule, you are making a commitment to yourself. I know it seems hard to plan me-time into your schedule when your life revolves around your kiddos, BUT this time for yourself benefits the both of you. It gives you the recharge that you need in order to be your best self for you little babes! For you, that may be going on a walk, getting to the gym, or even just time to read a book. One suggestion that I recently read about was making a list of things that you like to do for yourself that take different increments of time, like 10 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour.. etc. That way when it comes time for your scheduled me time, or you happen to have a moment to yourself organically, then you can remember all the things you love to do for yourself that fit into that time frame!

You might have noticed in my post the other day that I got in some pool time! I scheduled some childcare so that I could take a little time to myself and tan by the pool with a virgin cocktail! I cannot tell you the last time I did that! Oh! And I have to mention that my swimsuit top is only $7. I know this post isn’t about my purchases, but I cannot NOT share this since it is so cheap! I’ll pop the photo in here again so you can see what I mean! It has the perfect amount of coverage, especially if your girls are like mine and don’t look like they used to. Ha! I also found sunnies identical to mine for only $9.

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1. BIKINI TOP| 2. SUNGLASSES | 3. SIMILAR $9 SUNNIES | 4. SELF TANNER

Tip #2 : Hair Goals

As moms, it’s no secret that a lot of the time we just throw our hair up and call it a day. Sometimes it is days before we actually get around to showering, let alone washing our hair! For me, this is a big one and it has slowly gotten a little easier now that both Molly and Riley are sleep trained. BUT I have come to realize that having my hair done is such a treat for me – and that is why this trick is all about treating your hair like the gorgeous built-in accessory that it is!

There are multiple ways to do this! First of all, I would make sure that all of your hair appointments (for cut and color) are scheduled well in advance. That way no matter what, you know that you will be getting treated at least that one time. Not to mention that a lot of the time when it actually becomes time to get our hair done, we are busy and so is our hairdresser! It becomes a Tetris game trying to find free time in both the hairdressers schedule and our own that work together. So definitely, definitely plan those in advance! You will feel so much better knowing that it is on the calendar and when it comes around (faster than you would think) it will feel so great to get that time to yourself.

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1. HAT | 2. JEANS| 3. $10 SHIRT | 4. BAR NECKLACE

Another way that you could treat yourself that can happen as often or as little as you like would be to get a blow out! I know this idea may seem slightly far fetched at first, but just hear me out. One of the most relaxing feelings, at least for me, is having a scalp massage! When you get a blow out, not only do they blow try your hair, but they give you a full wash. And the time it takes, is basically equivalent to the time that it would take to do it yourself – without the distractions! Usually about 35-45 minutes, including wash and dry time! If you could get in just an hour to leave the house, this would be the perfect quick pampering treatment, that will leave you with clean hair, that is styled and ready to go! Usually for me, this means that I am now in the clear of washing my hair for a couple of days! Not to mention you guys feel all around put together!!!

The last hair tip doesn’t involve leaving the house! Much like getting yourself into one of your favorite outfits, having your hair done is one of the best go-to feel goods! Even if you can’t leave the house on a given day, just being able to do your hair can make life feel more put together. One of my friends recently recommended this Beachwaver, where you only have to section your hair into about five pieces! She said it takes her only about 5 minutes to have perfect hair. I haven’t tried it but I trust her. I found some refurbished ones that are almost 50% off! It curls the hair for you, and leaves you with flowy beachy waves! I know I will have to try it soon, so I thought I’d share it since it is such a fast option! I also use dry shampoo to make my hair last a little longer in between washes. I’m always switching it up regarding what I use, so here’s a bunch of options at different price points!

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Tip #3: Trade Your Time with Friends

I know that it can become hard to get childcare just for me-time, especially if you’re on a budget! I have found the perfect solution for this! Remember how I said going to the blow dry bar only takes about an hour? Or how in my schedule, I set time for myself? There’s no doubt in my mind that your mama friends want this time for themselves too! So here’s where you use each other as the best form of care! Free care!

Swap hours watching the kids here and there so you can get in that much needed time for yourself, without worrying about the cost. You can drop your kids off for an hour while you head to get a blow out, grab some lunch on your own (or with another friend!), or head to a workout class. And you can offer the same to them! Mamas helping mamas, I love it! This is even something you can add into your schedule. Once a week, you can watch each others kids at the same exact time! This will even help with the kiddos schedules, because they will get used to this, even if it is only a short amount of time! I’ve just started doing this, and already loving it!

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1. HAT | 2. JEANS| 3. $10 SHIRT | 4. BAR NECKLACE

Truly, the time you spend on yourself matters! Even if it’s just a little bit here and there! Scheduling in some me time as made all the difference in the world for me, and I hope it helps you too! What do you do for yourself? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.

The post Quick Tips for “Me Time” appeared first on Ali Fedotowsky.

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Yay! It’s Affordable Friday!!!! I haven’t been doing these as much as I would like to so I’m really going to make an effort to bring these back to my blog more often! My goal is at least one affordable Friday post a month! And if it’s a good month maybe two! I’m really excited about today’s post because pretty much everything is under $20. So this is a SUPER affordable Friday post

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1. PEACH DRESS | 2. EARRINGS | 3. RAINBOW DRESS

I want to start with my peach dress. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I adore this dress. And I’m so bummed because I feel like these pictures don’t quite do it justice (plus I didn’t iron/steam it beforehand). And honestly, I ordered one size too big for me. I think I tend to think I’m a larger size than I really am. So I ordered a size large in the dress but it was definitely too big. I would’ve returned it and got a medium but I wanted to wear it to a party so I just went with it. I might go ahead and order the medium anyway because it’s only $13! Oh yeah, you heard me right. This dress is $13! For $13 you really can’t go wrong. I feel like it’s cute enough to wear to a casual summer or spring wedding but you can dress it up with heels and jewelry to wear to a fancy brunch or daytime event! Honestly, I wore it out with Molly the other day with sandals and a wicker purse and it felt very farm girl chic.

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1. PEACH DRESS | 2. EARRINGS | 3. RAINBOW DRESS

Molly’s cute little rainbow dress is also extremely affordable at only $13. I got both dresses at Walmart. In fact, everything in this post is going to be from Walmart. When I do post like this, I like to keep them from the same retailer so if you decide to get something you can get it all from one place. And if you get multiple things usually you can get shipping for free. At Walmart, you can get free shipping when you spend over $35 dollars. Pick pick up one or two things in this post! Also, I just like showing you guys items from Walmart because they have a huge selection of items and there’s a Walmart pretty much close to where everybody lives! So if you see something you like here you can always order it online and pick it up in the store. That’s one of my favorite features they have. If you like one of the pieces I wrote about in this post, you can order it online and then pick up so you know it’ll be there waiting for you! Anyway, like I was saying, Molly’s dress is only $13 as well. I just think it’s so cute and she absolutely loves it – it looks like a rainbow! They have the same/similar dress in a few other prints as well. I’ll link them below:

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1. PEACH DRESS | 2. EARRINGS | 3. RAINBOW DRESS

My black maxi dress is also a steal for under $20. It comes in a bunch of different colors and it’s just the perfect summer dress to throw on no matter what you’re doing. I like the black a lot and other neutral colors because I feel like they can so easily be dressed down or up. You can wear it over a swimsuit at the beach or you can dress it up with a belt, sandals and hat and maybe throw a jean jacket over it to go out to lunch with girlfriends. Plus, I just love a good comfortable maxi. This one is so soft and comfortable.

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1. MAXI DRESS | 2. A BROWN BELT

Speaking of wearing it over a swimsuit. How stinking cute is this white beating suit top I got at Walmart. And get this, it’s only seven dollars! I love it because it’s simple and flattering. I can’t wear those plain triangle top bikinis anymore. My boobs just like totally flat and weird after breastfeeding two kids. Ha! But this bikini top is the perfect amount of support! You can get the bottoms too to get a matching set. But it’s such a plain, simple and classic top that really can be paired with any bikini bottoms that you like!

$7 BIKINI TOP

The last item I want to tell you about revolves around these shorts! I love these $10 shorts! I do want to say upfront however they are a little bit sheer. I do wear them out and about with nude underwear and I don’t feel like you can see through them at all! But other people might be more comfortable wearing these as beach shorts when you wear a bathing suit underneath. But what I love so much is that they are high waisted and super flattering! I’m 145-150 pounds and about 5’7″ and I got a size large and I thought they fit perfectly. Especially after I washed them.

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1. JEAN JACKET | 2. WHITE TEE | 3. $10 SHORTS

I just think you can’t go wrong for $10 to have these shorts to wear to the beach over your swimsuits this season! The jean jacket I’m wearing is also from Walmart but I’m not counting it as one of the Affordable Friday pieces since it’s not under $20. But it’s still a super affordable for a jean jacket and I just love the cute stitching detail on the arm. Plus I like a good light wash denim jacket. I think it stands out from all the other medium wash denim jackets out there.

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1. JEAN JACKET | 2. WHITE TEE | 3. $10 SHORTS

Anyways guys, I hope you like today’s blog post! I really did my best to search for affordable items that I love and think that you guys will love! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

The post Affordable Friday appeared first on Ali Fedotowsky.

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So how do you start a blog? I’ve gotten hundreds of emails from you guys asking me this question. And since I’m not able to respond to everyone I wanted to write this blog post to give you guys my top tips for starting a blog of your own! A lot of the people email that me asking about this are stay at home moms who are looking for a way to earn a little extra income for their family. I love that! And admire that. I know that stay at home mama’s have the absolute toughest job of all so to want to add another job to your plate to help provide for your family (more than you already do!) is truly awesome and I wanna help you guys out with that! And if you’re not a mother and you’re just a girl or guy out there that feels inspired and wants to share something with the world – this blogs for you too!

  • P.S. My couch in this photo is part of the Wayfair sale today! Linked it below

1. SHIRT | 2 . JEANS | 3. COUCH | 4. PILLOW | 5. RUG | 6. FAUX FLOWERS

Before I get into it I realize that some of you might be starting from literally square one. If that’s the case. You’ll need to do things like come up with a blog name and create a blog. I recommend using Squarespace. I’m using WordPress now but when I first got started I used Squarespace. When I used it, I believe it was free. It might not be free anymore but I’m pretty sure it’s pretty reasonable at around $100 a year. Which if you break it down that’s less than $10 a month to host your blog. As you grow, you’ll spend a lot more than that, but Squarespace is a great place to get started.

Also, before you start sending people to your blog to read what you’ve written, make sure you have a decent amount of content. You wouldn’t want to send people to your blog if you only have one post up. Try to have a handful. So if you are able to get someone to go to your blog they feel like they get a grasp of who you are and feel like they’ve gotten good information.

So if you got your blog name and you have your site up and running here are my top five tips for getting that blog going and how to grow your following!

One – Follow other Bloggers You Admire

I think this is an important step when you’re considering blogging. However, it should begin after your blog is somewhat established and you figure out what you want it to be! First, you should come up with a vision of what you want your blog to be. Figuring out what kind of content you want to share and what kind of voice you want to have. The reason I think it’s important to do that first is because if you don’t do that first and then start following other bloggers you might not even realize or remember who you were because you’ll just want to emulate what you see other people doing. Don’t do that! But here’s what you should do once you have your voice! Follow bloggers to get inspiration. I for one follow dozens of bloggers that I admire. For example, I follow Jenna Kutcher for inspiration on having more meaning behind my Instagram and blog. She has such a way with words and I feel good every time I go to her page. I want people to feel that way when they come to my page. I follow Jillian Harris, because she has beautiful photos! And she’s a friend! But I get so much inspiration from her photos because I love the way her feed looks. I also follow a handful of other’s that have a similar body type as I do. And that’s not necessarily for inspiration for my blog. That’s more for my own sanity. Ha! I find when I used to follow others who all were size zeros and then purchase the clothes they were showing me, I always felt bad about myself and the clothes would arrive and it looked like crap on me. Ha! So I highly recommend that if you’re gonna follow a fashion blogger try to follow one that has a body type more similar to yours. I also follow The Birds Papaya, she posts amazing inspirational photos about her postpartum body and I’m constantly inspired to love myself more every time she posts. I recommend you guys follow all these ladies! They’re wonderful!

Two – Collab Collab Collab

OK so you have 200 followers and you want to start growing. What do you do? My recommendation? Team up with other bloggers! The more you team up with other bloggers the more you can cross promote each other stuff and help each other grow. That said, I don’t recommend reaching out to somebody with 10 or 20 times you’re following. Well, I take that back! Go ahead and reach out but you don’t have a great chance of hearing back because people with really large followings often are so busy that they don’t have time to dedicate to these types of collaborations. Or they only collaborate with their other friends/bloggers who have similar Instagram following is that they do. That said, you could get lucky and if you share your story with somebody they might want to feature you. In fact, in light of this blog post I am going to feature of my top three favorite blogs from all of you! So comment below with your blog and I will check it out. I’ll choose my top 3 favorites and feature them in an upcoming blog post!

But back to what I was saying, let’s say you have 100 followers, I recommend reaching out to other bloggers that have anywhere from 100 to a few thousand followers to see if they’d want to collaborate with you. Then as you grow and say you get to 5000 followers. Then reach out to bloggers that have anywhere from 5000 to 25,000 followers who might want to collaborate with you. I especially recommend reaching out to bloggers local to you. That way you can team up and (style) shoots together and really work with each other in a meaningful way. And at the end of the day it’s a win-win situation. You can encourage your followers to go follow that blogger and that other blogger can encourage his or her followers to follow you! It’s the quickest way to grow following!

For example, one of my girlfriends Orly Shani, you can follow here, does a DIY YouTube channel. It’s really great by the way, you should totally check it out. And she recently teamed up with another DIY YouTube or who had a ton of followers! They both encourage their followers to follow the other and Orly’s Youtube following doubled pretty instantly. It’s so cool how we can work together and help each other grow at the same time! Women supporting women! I love it!

Three – Get GREAT Photo Apps

Starting a following of your own all begins with a photo. If you don’t have interesting images for people to look at they’re not gonna see a reason to follow you on Instagram. And I say Instagram because Instagram really is the Jagernot in the blogging world. And that doesn’t necessarily mean beautiful photography. You could have fashion collages that are really beautiful and stunning or you could have graphics with quotes on them that are interesting and unique. You just want to make sure whatever you’re showcasing on Instagram is visually pleasing the moment someone comes up on your page.

1. SIMILAR TOP | 2. $39 JEANS

There are a few apps that I use regularly for photo editing. And you’re gonna want to get really comfortable and intimate with these apps. I say intimate because you’re gonna want to know them inside and out so you don’t spend hours editing every photo you take. You will however, spend hours learning how to edit before you get your groove. I honestly can’t even tell you the amount of hours I’ve spent on my phone figuring out photo apps and what works for me. Yes I use my photographer and she edits her own photos that I use on my blog. But I use iPhone photos too, and I want them to fit in with the aesthetics of the professional photos on my blog so I edit them to make sure the colors and tones all fit together seamlessly.

One of my favorite apps for this is Lightroom. With Lightroom you can change everything from the brightness, to the color tones, to the graininess and beyond on your photo. What is also great about Lightroom is that you can buy people’s presets that you’re able to apply to your photos and instantly change the aesthetics of them. I’ve actually been playing with the settings for a while and thought about doing my own presets. Would that be something you guys would be interested in? Tell me in the comments below. I’m curious! Presets range in regards to how much they cost. Most bundles are around $50 if you want good quality ones. But the investment is so worth it – especially if you’re trying to start a blog. I even think the investments are worth it if you’re not trying to start a blog, and just wanting to have beautiful photos of your family and friends.

I also really love Face Tune for editing! And no, not to edit out wrinkles on my face. That’s not something I do. I’m not saying I’ll never do it but it’s not something I do now. Ha! But what I love about Face Tune is that it actually has a feature where you can expose only parts of a photo. For example, in the photo below you can see that pavement is really dark in the first photo and color wouldn’t necessarily fit in the aesthetics of my feed. So in the second photo I edited it on Face Tune by only exposing pavement and not the rest of the photo (The lighting on my face and body stayed the same). That will really come in handy when you’re editing your photos.

I could go on and on about a bunch of apps I love, but I’ll save that for another blog post. But I’ll list a few if you want to check them out: Filmborn, PicTapGo, and Snapseed are all good.

Four – You have pretty photos – now what?

Now that you figured out how to make your photos look just the way you want them, now you need to know when to post them. I used to post whatever photo I felt like posting and whenever I wanted. And sometimes I still do that. But to get the look of your feed to look and feel the way you want it to, you want to see how the photos look laid out before you actually post them. I use Planoly to do this. I know there are other apps, but this just happens to be the one that I use. It’s free if you only post a certain amount of photos per month. I can’t quite recall how many that is. But once you go past that threshold you have to pay a monthly fee. I pay the monthly fee but it’s totally worth it for me. Try the free version of it for as long as you like and see if it’s something that will be helpful for you. It also is a great way to plan content out for a week if you don’t have a ton of time. You can put all your photos in there and plan what you’re gonna post each day so you’re not stressing the day of and trying to get content up. And I’m not saying you need to post every day as a blogger. You absolutely don’t! I think quality is better than quantity.

  • I’ll blog all about this $13 dress tomorrow!

MY $13 DRESS

Five – Have Something to Say

There are so many bloggers out there and you want to stand out among the rest. So having a pretty photo and arranging them in the perfect way is not enough. You want to have something to say. So try to connect with your audience! Make them feel something! That feeling doesn’t necessarily have to be a warm and fuzzy feeling all the time. But get them thinking, get them talking. Ask a question in your caption to get people discussing a topic with you. Not only will it encourage engagement, but it will also spark a really cool conversation between you and your followers!

My absolute favorite thing is when people get passionate in the comment section‘s. Whether it’s on Instagram on my blog. If you’re reading my blog you guys probably know this about me, but I try to respond to every single comment that’s on my blog. It’s something I work really hard at doing because I feel connected to the people that follow me. And the people that follow YOU want to feel connected to you too. So talk to them. Not only an Instagram captions, but on Instagram stories as well. Jenna Kutcher, one of my favorite people to follow, always says if you have one follower you are an influencer! You’re influencing that one person. And it’s so true.

Six – Make Instagram Happy and See Your Followers Grow!

OK so I talked a little bit about overall what you’ll need to get going with blogging but I’m sure some of you are sitting there thinking, “OK, I get it. I need to have something to say, cool content, pretty photos, and plan things ahead. But how the heck do I get followers?!” I hear you and I get asked this question all the time. Me and the girls that I work with constantly sit around in our trailer at work and I try to give them tips on this. Here are by far the best things that I have learned about growing your following – and everything I’ve learned has revolved around the idea of making Instagram happy.

So what the heck is that mean? Well, Instagram wants to keep people on Instagram! The algorithm is set up in a way that photos that are engaged with the most are shown more often, but that’s not the only way to get your photo to pop up in people’s feed and get your stories to pop up to the front of the line of other Instagram stories. What you want to do is keep people using all the different tools on Instagram. One way to do that is to use hashtags. But not just in photos, also in Instagram stories. By adding hashtags, you’re encouraging people to look at those hashtags and then therefore look at other photos on the Instagram platform that have that same #. Therefore keeping people on Instagram!

Another thing you want to do is use all the tools that Instagram has to offer. Use the question box in Instagram stories and the polling feature as well. Those are tools Instagram wants to be able to tell their investors that people are using every day. So if you’re using them, you’re going to make Instagram happier than camel on Wednesday (btw – happy Hump Day!). And when they’re happy with you, they want to show your content. Make sure you’re also engaging with other people on Instagram. Spend a designated amount of time every day liking photos on Instagram and commenting on photos. If you follow all of these things I really think you’ll be surprised at how quickly your following can grow.

Now I Wanna Help You and Your Blog!

Now for the super fun part! I want to help you guys with your blogs! In a perfect world, I could feature every single one of your blogs. But if I did that nobody would actually read the blog post if I just listed out hundreds or even thousands of blog URLs. So what I’m gonna do, in hopes of helping a few of you in a meaningful way, is I’m going to pick my 3 favorite blogs from you guys! Just comment below and put the URL of your blog. I’ll look through them all as soon as I have time, hopefully within a week, and choose my top 3 favorites. Then in the future blog post, in the next month or so, I will feature of those 3 blogs and say a little bit about why I love each one of them! I can’t wait for you guys to share your content with me I want to see all the amazing stuff you guys are doing!

And if you don’t have a blog yet, which you may not and that might be the reason you’re reading this post, just comment below with any questions you may have! I’m here and happy to help as best I can!

The post How to Start Your Own Blog AND Grow Your Following! appeared first on Ali Fedotowsky.

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Before I say anything, I want to say thank you for coming to my blog today! I’ll start by saying upfront that I’ve been compensated for this post by QVC and HSN. But it’s almost too good to be true when you’re offered the opportunity to work with brands that spread awareness for great causes! And today I’m excited to tell you guys about QVC and HSN’s Beauty with Benefits campaign. The Beauty with Benefits campaign supports Cancer and Careers, which is an organization that helps women with cancer in the workplace. I am so incredibly fortunate that no one in my immediate family has suffered from cancer. But even though we’ve been lucky, there are countless others who have not… friends of mine, family members of friends of mine, my followers, wonderful families I have read about online. Whether you’ve experienced cancer yourself or you love someone who has, cancer affects many people. So I think it’s so beautiful that Cancer and Careers help women stay in the workforce. Whether they have to work for financial reasons or if they want to just because!

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So this year, QVC and HSN are offering a gift valued at $200 worth of products with any Beauty with Benefits purchase. It doesn’t matter how much you spend, as long as it’s a Beauty with Benefits purchase. So I’m taking the opportunity in this post to show you some of the products that you can buy that support the Beauty with Benefits cause. These are a few of my favorites but there are so many good ones!^

But first I’ll tell you what’s in the gift bag that you get for FREE with your purchase. The bag is PACKED full of goodies valued at $208!!!!! Yup, you heard that right $208 of FREE product! This is what’s in it: a Philosophy purity 3oz bottle, a full size 16oz WEN Cleaning Conditioner, a 15ml MoroccanOil Treatment, a Full Size Korres Sean Lavender Body Butter, a SKINN Fruit Fusion Mask (Deluxe Sample), an Elemis Marine Cream, a Bareminerals Mineral Veil, a Skin Fix Lip Repair Balm OR Hand Repair Cream, and a Perricone product – plus 4 other mysterious products. ALL of this comes with your purchase for FREE! I honestly thought this was too good to be true until I got one myself. So not only do you get to support a great cause by buying a blow dryer (like the Martino Cartier Pink Turbo Hair Dryer pictured below or any of the other qualifying products), but you can also get a ton of free stuff too! That’s a win-win-win in my book! Cool products for you, tons of free stuff and helping an amazing cause. It just makes me so dang happy to be a part of it! And did I mentioned that 80% of the purchase price goes DIRECTLY to Cancers and Careers? So your money is going right where it is needed

The hairdryer I just mentioned is just ONE of the cool things that are part of this campaign. I do love the pink hair dryer. I needed a new one badly and I knew Molly would love the pink so I can dry her hair too. Let’s face it, I love the pink too!

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Molly is putting the Clinique Dramatically Different Lipstick in the shade ‘Barely’ on me in the picture above. It’s also one of the items you can purchase in this campaign to get a free gift bag. It’s a very subtle light pink color. Not nude. But a solid light pink.

I also got the Grande Cosmetics GrandeLASH-MD Lash Serum. OH EM GEE! Sooo excited about this thing! I was so pumped when I saw this was a part of this campaign because I have been wanting to try it forever but couldn’t because I was pregnant or breastfeeding. Well, I really think it was worth the wait! Just check out the reviews online for this serum. Thousands of people gave it 5 out of 5 stars. Can’t wait to start seeing the results (I just started using it 5 days ago). How cool is it that just by getting it, you get a ton of freebies (that I listed at the beginning of this blog post) and you get to help a GREAT cause?! Doesn’t get any better. Truly. I know I sound like a car salesman, I’m just really passionate about this cause and these products!

I love the sunless tanner I usually use (I’ve linked it on my blog a bunch), but I can’t resist trying new ones too! So I got the Vita Liberata Phenomenal Tanning Mousse. I love it! It also has incredibly good reviews online. I read them before I got it. And it’s really easy to apply.

What else did I get… Oh! The Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Holiday Set. It comes with a mascara and eye shadow pallet, and the mascara is just fab! Mascara is one of my favorite things to try new ones when they come out. I had never tried this one and I’m so glad I did! I like it a lot! And last but not least I snagged the Perricone MD Neuropeptide Night Cream.

And I can’t end without mentioning that IT Cosmetics Perfect Lighting with Travel-Size Hello Lashes is also part of this! I LOVE this highlighter! It’s so great! I already own one so I didn’t need get another since mine is new. But I highly recommend it!

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So there you have it. Everything I wrote about in today’s blog post is part of QVC and HSN’s Beauty with Benefits campaign. So just by buying something I’ve talked about in this blog post (or any of the MANY other products part of the campaign that are listed HERE), you can help support Cancer and Careers which is an incredible organization that helps women with cancer in the workplace. I am so beyond grateful to be working with QVC and HSN to tell you guys about this campaign.

I know this topic may be sensitive for some so I invite all who feel like sharing to share your stories with me below. Maybe you want to share how cancer has affected your life or your loved ones. Maybe you’ve had experience with Cancer and Careers that you want to share. Or maybe you just want to be a part of this post by sharing what products above you’ve tried and love! Whatever you want to say, I’m here and listening! Love you guys.

The post Beauty with Benefits appeared first on Ali Fedotowsky.

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When should I stop breastfeeding? It a question every breastfeeding mother has asked herself countless times. I’ve been super open about my breastfeeding journey on Instagram stories, but something about writing it all out makes it feel so much more personal and vulnerable. Everyone’s breastfeeding journey is different. Some people choose not to breastfeed at all or simply can’t. I’m in no way at any point in this blog suggesting that anybody else should breastfeed as long as I did or even stop when I did. I’ve just gotten many hundreds of emails, DM’s, and comments from you guys saying that you wanted me to write about my breastfeeding journey so that’s exactly what I’m doing today. I call it MY breastfeeding journey because it is my journey and mine alone. So let me say first that FED is best. I wholeheartedly believe that with every ounce of my being. That’s why parts of my story almost seem contradictory – keep reading and you’ll see why. Even though I know in my heart fed is best, I put so much pressure on myself to keep breastfeeding because I told myself I was a failure if I didn’t. But let’s start from the beginning.

I breastfed Molly for a year. Just over a year to be exact. I made up my mind when she came into this world that I was going to breastfeed her for one year because that is what the pediatrician recommends. It’s funny because when people would ask me how long I wanted to breastfeed, I would always say six months. It’s almost like I wanted to give myself a buffer just in case I didn’t make it for the year. I didn’t want to seem like a failure in their eyes. So silly that we do things like that to ourselves. People would’ve thought it an accomplishment to make it to 6 months! And those who didn’t, to heck with them! Regardless, I didn’t want to say I was going to go a year and then only do 6 months. I didn’t want to be judged about something so personal and I truly didn’t know if I could do.

It’s hard for me to recall all of the specifics when I was breastfeeding Molly because it was two years ago. But essentially I remember that I mostly breastfed, and pumped twice a day. Once after the 1st feed of the morning and then once again at the end of the night before I went to bed. And my supply was pretty good up until around 8 or 9 months. I feel like I remember around 8 months it started to go down a little and then by 9 months I found myself struggling. By 10 months, I thought “oh my gosh how am I going to make it to a year?!?!” It didn’t seem possible.

What about supplementing with formula? I very well could’ve supplemented and easily made it to a year with no stress – maybe even way past a year! But someone once said to me something that stuck with me and I couldn’t get it out of my head. She said “my kids never had formula”. I want to say up front that I know she didn’t mean an harm by saying what she said – I truly believe that. But those words stuck with me like you wouldn’t believe. I would repeat them in my mind every time I thought about buying formula. Every time I thought about supplementing I would see those words in my mind over and over and over. If her kids never had formula why would my kids have to have formula? The “have to have” being the key part of that thought process. Almost like she would look at me and think “poor little formula fed baby”. As you can see, my mind got the best of me. My mom guilt and shame got the best of me.


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1. MY FAVORITE NURSING HOODIE

“My kids never got formula”. I want to take that sentence and throw it in a bonfire somehow. Consider this blog post my metaphorical bonfire. I want to burn every last letter of that sentence until it’s erased from my mind. It’s a toxic thing to think. I was even hesitant to even put those words in this blog post cause I don’t want somebody else to read this and somehow take it completely different way than how I meant it to be read. In other words, I don’t want anyone to internalize those words like I did. Instead, I want you guys to know that I was able to let go of those words with Riley – I gave him formula. And I am so glad I did. He is a happy and healthy baby!

It’s a scary thing for me to admit that I had these thoughts because like I said at the beginning of this post, I truly in my heart believe that fed is best. We all have different lives and different stories and no one‘s situation is ever going to be the same. And it was easy for me to breastfeed Molly at first. I was able to stay home on maternity leave for 6 months! SIX MONTHS! It’s not lost on me how incredibly lucky I was to do that! I’m certain that was a major reason why I was able to breastfeed for so long. Things were a bit different with Riley.

But before I get to Riley, let me just finish my story about my breastfeeding journey with Molly to say that I struggled so hard to produce enough milk to keep her fed and happy every day. I would stay up late to pump and pump in the middle of the night. I would stress so much at the end of the night if I gave her a bottle and she didn’t drink every last drop! I remember at one point she was drinking 6 ounces at night before bed. And then all of a sudden, some nights she would only drink 3-4oz and I would absolutely freak out! I didn’t want to heat up less milk because if she needed more, stopping in the middle of feeding her would sometimes make her stop eating. But then I didn’t only want to heat up a little because I wanted her to eat as much as possible so she would sleep through the night! I didn’t want to heat up too much because I didn’t want her not to finish it. And I didn’t want to breastfeed because I couldn’t tell if she was getting enough to feel full all night. I was exhausted. Heck just typing all that out and re-reading it is exhausting!

I think I told you guys this before but Molly nursed every 3 hours for the first 9 months of her life. Which meant I was up every three hours until she was nine months old – all through the night. That’s when we did sleep training. Which I blogged about here if you’re interested or curious about that.

The stress was eating me alive. I was stressed out about breastfeeding, about lack of sleep, about my marriage suffering – I was stressed about just about everything! And for what reason? Why? Because someone told me their kids never got formula?! I wasn’t gonna let this happen to me with Riley. At least I didn’t think I was going to let it happen.

Let’s talk about Riley. I breastfed Riley exclusively until just over 6 or 7 months. Honestly I can’t even remember at this point because it’s just not that important to me anymore. I was able to let go of those words and not stress so much about how long he was exclusively breastfed. But things are different with Riley. I couldn’t quietly nurse him in my arms when he woke up in the morning or after his afternoon nap. I have a toddler now that’s running around my living room screaming “Let it go!” at the top of her lungs! Not exactly ideal conditions to nurse the baby in. So as much as I tried to breastfeed him, I found I just couldn’t keep him focused on breastfeeding! That’s when I had to switch to pumping for a bunch of his meals. I found the only way I could get him to have a full feed was to pump and then give him a bottle otherwise Molly would distract him. So I was pretty much only nursing him when he would wake up in the middle of the night, for the first feed of the day, and maybe once throughout the day. That was from about 3 months to 7 months.


1. BOTTLES

Around 7 or 8 months, and again the exact timing is fuzzy, I bit the bullet and began giving him formula. I was honestly pretty distraught about the decision at first. I kept saying I was going to start giving it to him and then I would push it off a couple weeks. I kept putting it off because I felt like a failure (SO crazy right?! Post-partum hormones make me crazy!). Just because I didn’t hit my “goal” of of year. I’ve always been competitive with myself like that. I told myself once again that I was going to make it to a year and once again told other people 8 months. Again giving myself a buffer zone in case I “failed”. But once I gave him those first couple ounces of formula mixed in with breast milk it was like ripping the Band-Aid off. All of the stress and things I have been told and pressure I put on myself all the sudden melted away. And he liked it! He wouldn’t drink it straight right away. But then again I didn’t even want to give it to him straight right away. I needed to ease them into it as much as he did. So from about 7 months to 9 1/2 months, almost 10 months, I supplemented with formula. It was such a relief that I thought, oh my gosh I could breast-feed until two years old at this rate! Supplementing took the pressure off of me to produce a certain amount in order to keep him full. I highly recommend it to any breastfeeding moms out there! Don’t feel bad about it, as moms we go through enough.


1. NURSING DRESS 2. NURSING TANK

At 8 1/2 months is when the major bite happened. Some of you may have seen on Instagram stories that Riley bit me so hard when feeding that I was bleeding pretty bad. My breast milk looked like strawberry milk. That’s right, bright pink strawberry milk! And even a little clumps of blood would come out in my nursing bra. Sorry if this is TMI but I just want to be upfront about what it was like. The first time I did it I thought OK I can get through this and fight through the pain and keep nursing. The second and then third time I was done. It was just too much for me. So then I started exclusively pumping. I have the absolute best pump in the world! I talked to you guys about the Willow pump – it seriously makes a mothers life so much easier when breast-feeding! But because I was pumping so many times a day, between six and seven times a day, my breasts were becoming broth. So I kept exclusive pumping for maybe a month and then when Riley was 9 1/2 months I started bleeding pretty bad again. And this was just from pumping! No biting involved. I decided at that point I was done. I think I pumped maybe a week longer and almost made it to 10 months. And it was hard! It’s still hard. My milk stopped coming in pretty easily, I didn’t have to put cabbage in my bra or anything like that. But I remember 10 days after I stopped breastfeeding I noticed that there were STILL little lumps of milk in my breasts. I had to express them out when I was in the shower. And of course I was immediately flooded with a ton of guilt. Guilt thinking that I could’ve made it longer. Guilt thinking that my body wasn’t ready to be done. So so so much guilt!


1. WHITE $19 V-NECK TEE

But I shouldn’t feel guilty. I should feel so freaking proud! 10 months! I made it 10 months breast-feeding with two kids two years old and under! That is a freaking accomplishment. And even as I say those words right now to all of you, there still that little glimmer of doubt in the back of my mind. Thinking I should’ve done it longer. So as much is I can preach to all of you that whatever you’re able to do to feed the baby is the right thing, I can also openly say that even as I say it makes me feel doubt about myself. And that’s what mom guilt is. We all go through it and we just have to do our best to find ways to let go of it. Writing this blog post today is a way for me to let go.

Cheers to all you moms out there whether you bottlefeed, breastfeed, exclusively pump, or whatever you have to do to feed your child – know that I see you, I feel you, and I am you!

1. GREAT BREASTFEEDING TANK

This post has really meant a lot to me, so I would love to hear all of your breast-feeding stories in the comments below. How long did you breast-feed? Did you breast-feed at all? Why did you decide not to breast-feed? Please share your stories and everyone else commenting please be respectful of those who are sharing their stories. I want this to be a judgment free zone. I love you guys!

The post When to Stop Breastfeeding appeared first on Ali Fedotowsky.

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So how do you start a blog? I’ve gotten hundreds of emails from you guys asking me this question. And since I’m not able to respond to everyone I wanted to write this blog post to give you guys my top tips for starting a blog of your own! A lot of the people email that me asking about this are stay at home moms who are looking for a way to earn a little extra income for their family. I love that! And admire that. I know that stay at home mama’s have the absolute toughest job of all so to want to add another job to your plate to help provide for your family (more than you already do!) is truly awesome and I wanna help you guys out with that! And if you’re not a mother and you’re just a girl or guy out there that feels inspired and wants to share something with the world – this blogs for you too!

  • P.S. My couch in this photo is part of the Wayfair sale today! Linked it below

1. SHIRT | 2 . JEANS | 3. COUCH | 4. PILLOW | 5. RUG | 6. FAUX FLOWERS

Before I get into it I realize that some of you might be starting from literally square one. If that’s the case. You’ll need to do things like come up with a blog name and create a blog. I recommend using Squarespace. I’m using WordPress now but when I first got started I used Squarespace. When I used it, I believe it was free. It might not be free anymore but I’m pretty sure it’s pretty reasonable at around $100 a year. Which if you break it down that’s less than $10 a month to host your blog. As you grow, you’ll spend a lot more than that, but Squarespace is a great place to get started.

Also, before you start sending people to your blog to read what you’ve written, make sure you have a decent amount of content. You wouldn’t want to send people to your blog if you only have one post up. Try to have a handful. So if you are able to get someone to go to your blog they feel like they get a grasp of who you are and feel like they’ve gotten good information.

So if you got your blog name and you have your site up and running here are my top five tips for getting that blog going and how to grow your following!

One – Follow other Bloggers You Admire

I think this is an important step when you’re considering blogging. However, it should begin after your blog is somewhat established and you figure out what you want it to be! Your first should always be coming up with a vision of what you want your blog to be. Figuring out what kind of content you want to share and what kind of voice you want to have. The reason I think it’s important to do that first is because if you don’t do that first and then start following other bloggers you might not even realize or remember who you were because you’ll just want to emulate what you see other people doing. Don’t do that! But here’s what you should do for step one, once you have your voice! Follow bloggers to get inspiration. I for one follow and dozens of bloggers that I admire. For example, I follow Jenna Kutcher for inspiration on having more meaning behind my Instagram and blog. She has such a way with words and I feel good every time I go to her page. I want people to feel that way when they come to my page. I follow Jillian Harris, because she has beautiful photos! And she’s a friend! But I get so much inspiration from her photos because I love the way her feed looks. I also follow a handful of other’s that have a similar body type as I do. And that’s not necessarily for inspiration for my blog. That’s more for my own sanity. Ha! I find when I used to follow others who all were size zeros and then purchase the clothes they were showing me, I always felt bad about myself and the clothes would arrive and it looked like crap on me. Ha! So I highly recommend that if you’re gonna follow a fashion blogger try to follow one that has a body type more similar to yours. I also follow The Birds Papaya, she posts amazing inspirational photos about her postpartum body and I’m constantly inspired to love myself more every time she posts. I recommend you guys follow all these ladies! They’re wonderful!

Two – Collab Collab Collab

OK so you have 200 followers and you want to start growing. What do you do? My recommendation? Team up with other bloggers! The more you team up with other bloggers the more you can cross promote each other stuff and help each other grow. That said, I don’t recommend reaching out to somebody with 10 or 20 times you’re following. Well, I take that back! Go ahead and reach out but you don’t have a great chance of hearing back because people with really large followings often are so busy that they don’t have time to dedicate to these types of collaborations. Or they only collaborate with their other friends/bloggers who have similar Instagram following is that they do. That said, you could get lucky and if you share your story with somebody they might want to feature you. In fact, in light of this blog post I am going to feature of my top five favorite blogs from all of you! So comment below with your blog and I will check it out. I’ll choose my top 3 favorites and feature them in an upcoming blog post!

But back to what I was saying, let’s say you have 100 followers, I recommend reaching out to other bloggers that have anywhere from 100 to a few thousand followers to see if they’d want to collaborate with you. Then as you grow and say you get to 5000 followers. Then reach out to bloggers that have anywhere from 5000 to 25,000 followers who might want to collaborate with you. I especially recommend reaching out to bloggers local to you. That way you can team up and (style) shoots together and really work with each other in a meaningful way. And at the end of the day it’s a win-win situation. You can encourage your followers to go follow that blogger and that other blogger can encourage his or her followers to follow you! It’s the quickest way to grow following!

For example, one of my girlfriends Orly Shani, you can follow here, does a DIY YouTube channel. It’s really great by the way, you should totally check it out. And she recently teamed up with another DIY YouTube or who had a ton of followers! They both encourage their followers to follow the other and Orly’s Youtube following doubled pretty instantly. It’s so cool how we can work together and help each other grow at the same time! Women supporting women! I love it!

Three – Get GREAT Photo Apps

Starting a following of your own all begins with a photo. If you don’t have interesting images for people to look at they’re not gonna see a reason to follow you on Instagram. And I say Instagram because Instagram really is the Jagernot in the blogging world. And that doesn’t necessarily mean beautiful photography. You could have fashion collages that are really beautiful and stunning or you could have graphics with quotes on them that are interesting and unique. You just want to make sure whatever you’re showcasing on Instagram is visually pleasing the moment someone comes up on your page.

1. SIMILAR TOP | 2. $39 JEANS

There are a few apps that I use regularly for photo editing. And you’re gonna want to get really comfortable and intimate with these apps. I say intimate because you’re gonna want to know them inside and out so you don’t spend hours editing every photo you take. You will however, spend hours learning how to edit before you get your groove. I honestly can’t even tell you the amount of hours I’ve spent on my phone figuring out photo apps and what works for me. Yes I use my photographer and she edits her own photos that I use on my blog. But I use iPhone photos too, and I want them to fit in with the aesthetics of the professional photos on my blog so I edit them to make sure the colors and tones all fit together seamlessly.

One of my favorite apps for this is Lightroom. With Lightroom you can change everything from the brightness, to the color tones, to the graininess and beyond on your photo. What is also great about Lightroom is that you can buy people’s presets that you’re able to apply to your photos and instantly change the aesthetics of them. I’ve actually been playing with the settings for a while and thought about doing my own presets. Would that be something you guys would be interested in? Tell me in the comments below. I’m curious! Presets range in regards to how much they cost. Most bundles are around $50 if you want good quality ones. But the investment is so worth it – especially if you’re trying to start a blog. I even think the investments are worth it if you’re not trying to start a blog, and just wanting to have beautiful photos of your family and friends.

I also really love Face Tune for editing! And no, not to edit out wrinkles on my face. That’s not something I do. I’m not saying I’ll never do it but it’s not something I do now. Ha! But what I love about Face Tune is that it actually has a feature where you can expose only parts of a photo. For example, in the photo below you can see that pavement is really dark in the first photo and color wouldn’t necessarily fit in the aesthetics of my feed. So in the second photo I edited it on Face Tune by only exposing pavement and not the rest of the photo (The lighting on my face and body stayed the same). That will really come in handy when you’re editing your photos.

I could go on and on about a bunch of apps I love, but I’ll save that for another blog post. But I’ll list a few if you want to check them out: Filmborn, PicTapGo, and Snapseed are all good.

Four – You have pretty photos – now what?

Now that you figured out how to make your photos look just the way you want them, now you need to know when to post them. I used to post whatever photo I felt like posting and whenever I wanted. And sometimes I still do that. But to get the look of your feed to look and feel the way you want it to, you want to see how the photos look laid out before you actually post them. I use Planoly to do this. I know there are other apps, but this just happens to be the one that I use. It’s free if you only post a certain amount of photos per month. I can’t quite recall how many that is. But once you go past that threshold you have to pay a monthly fee. I pay the monthly fee but it’s totally worth it for me. Try the free version of it for as long as you like and see if it’s something that will be helpful for you. It also is a great way to plan content out for a week if you don’t have a ton of time. You can put all your photos in there and plan what you’re gonna post each day so you’re not stressing the day of and trying to get content up. And I’m not saying you need to post every day as a blogger. You absolutely don’t! I think quality is better than quantity.

  • I’ll blog all about this $13 dress tomorrow!

MY $13 DRESS

Five – Have Something to Say

There are so many bloggers out there and you want to stand out among the rest. So having a pretty photo and arranging them in the perfect way is not enough. You want to have something to say. So try to connect with your audience! Make them feel something! That feeling doesn’t necessarily have to be a warm and fuzzy feeling all the time. But get them thinking, get them talking. Ask a question in your caption to get people discussing a topic with you. Not only will it encourage engagement, but it will also spark a really cool conversation between you and your followers!

My absolute favorite thing is when people get passionate in the comment section‘s. Whether it’s on Instagram on my blog. If you’re reading my blog you guys probably know this about me, but I try to respond to every single comment that’s on my blog. It’s something I work really hard at doing because I feel connected to the people that follow me. And the people that follow YOU want to feel connected to you too. So talk to them. Not only an Instagram captions, but on Instagram stories as well. Jenna Kutcher, one of my favorite people to follow, always says if you have one follower you are an influencer! You’re influencing that one person. And it’s so true.

Six – Make Instagram Happy and See Your Followers Grow!

OK so I talked a little bit about overall what you’ll need to get going with blogging but I’m sure some of you are sitting there thinking, “OK, I get it. I need to have something to say, cool content, pretty photos, and plan things ahead. But how the heck do I get followers?!” I hear you and I get asked this question all the time. Me and the girls that I work with constantly sit around in our trailer at work and I try to give them tips on this. Here are by far the best things that I have learned about growing your following – and everything I’ve learned has revolved around the idea of making Instagram happy.

So what the heck is that mean? Well, Instagram wants to keep people on Instagram! The algorithm is set up in a way that photos that are engaged with the most are shown more often, but that’s not the only way to get your photo to pop up in people’s feed and get your stories to pop up to the front of the line of other Instagram stories. What you want to do is keep people using all the different tools on Instagram. One way to do that is to use hashtags. But not just in photos, also in Instagram stories. By adding hashtags, you’re encouraging people to look at those hashtags and then therefore look at other photos on the Instagram platform that have that same #. Therefore keeping people on Instagram!

Another thing you want to do is use all the tools that Instagram has to offer. Use the question box in Instagram stories and the polling feature as well. Those are tools Instagram wants to be able to tell their investors that people are using every day. So if you’re using them, you’re going to make Instagram happier than camel on Wednesday (btw – happy Hump Day!). And when they’re happy with you, they want to show your content. Make sure you’re also engaging with other people on Instagram. Spend a designated amount of time every day liking photos on Instagram and commenting on photos. If you follow all of these things I really think you’ll be surprised at how quickly your following can grow.

Now I Wanna Help You and Your Blog!

Now for the super fun part! I want to help you guys with your blogs! In a perfect world, I could feature every single one of your blogs. But if I did that nobody would actually read the blog post that I just listed out hundreds or even thousands of blog URLs. So what I’m gonna do, in hopes of helping a few of you in a meaningful way, is I’m going to pick my 3 favorite blogs from you guys! Just comment below and put the URL of your blog. I’ll look through them all as soon as I have time, hopefully within a week, and choose my top 3 favorites. Then in the future blog post, in the next month or so, I will feature of those 3 blogs and say a little bit about why I love each one of them! I can’t wait for you guys to share your content with me I want to see all the amazing stuff you guys are doing!

And if you don’t have a blog yet, which you may not and that might be the reason you’re reading this post, just comment below with any questions you may have! I’m here and happy to help as best I can!

The post How to Start Your Own Blog AND Grow Your Following! appeared first on Ali Fedotowsky.

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