How scheduling posts improved my Instagram

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I honestly believe Instagram is the most important social media platform right now.
When it comes to both my blog and my small business, Instagram plays a crucial roll.
I had always been envious of those gorgeous feeds that others had created, and I couldn't quite figure out how to make it happen for my own page.
It wasn't until I got my business account established that I was able to really improve my personal/blog account.
A few months back I decided to give my IG an overhaul, and one of the most important tricks I learned was to schedule my posts.

It helped me create a cohesive feed // I've always wanted one of those gorgeous Instagram feeds where all the pictures flow and have a similar feel, where everything just seems to go together
It wasn't until I started planning my posts that I was able to make strides in that direction. By scheduling my posts ahead of time I'm forced to really think about the photos that I'm sharing, and whether or not they go with what I've posted recently. It has also stopped me from posting those spur of the moment photos that aren't so great, and in the long run really disrupt the look of your feed. That's not to say that every one of my pictures is planned out, but I'm a bit more mindful before sharing. I've learned a few tricks, like making a photo black and white when I really want to share it but it doesn't seem to flow with the look my feed. 
It helps me post regularly // If you are trying to build a following I think it's important to post frequently. It helps you attract new followers and helps you stay relevant. No one wants to follow an account that is rarely updated. Life gets busy, and by taking a few minutes to plan posts for a day or two in advance I'm able to make sure that I always have new content to share. 

It saves me time // I think this one is obvious. When you plan ahead of time, it saves you time in the long run. Writing out captions to go with my photos is half the battle, and what consumes most of my time. Being able to do this in advance is SO helpful. When I'm feeling particularly on top of things I'll plan the posts for my personal/blog account and my business account for the next couple of days. The great thing is none of the planning apps automatically post to your Instagram, so if you change your mind you can just skip a planned post or go with something else. 

It helps me post during peak times // If you haven't checked out the analytics for your Instagram, do so immediately (I like Iconosquare, you can sign up for a free 7 day trail). This helped me discover what time of day my posts get the most traffic so that I can gain the most exposure. 
Scheduling my posts is crucial to posting during those peak times. There is no way I could remember to post at specific times every day, that's insane.

Ok Nicole, you've told us why you like to schedule posts, but what about the how?
I like to use the Later app (formerly known as Latergram). It's free, allows me to link multiple accounts, and it gets the job done.
The app can't automatically post to Instagram (IG doesn't allow any apps to) but it sends me a notification when its time to post. I actually prefer it this way because sometimes I change my mind about posts I've scheduled. 

Once I started handling my personal Instagram the way I handle my business Instagram, I saw a huge change.
I love to connect with new friends, so be sure to follow me (ncravinho) and say hello!


Memorial Day Weekend Sales

Friday, May 27, 2016

The temperature isn't quite as warm as I would like, but we decided to kick off our Memorial Day weekend early with a trip to the park! 
It's a holiday weekend, which means that shops have also kicked off the weekend early with their Memorial Day sales!
Here are what some of my favorite shops (big and small) are offering this weekend:

Gap is offering 35% off your purchase, which isn't anything super exciting. But they've marked down a ton of their baby dresses and some swim suites, so with the already existing sale price plus an extra 35% off that's a pretty good deal. I am loving this striped romper and I've already snagged this sweet little swim suite for miss Belle. Jacob has these shorts in three different colors (love them!) and I'm going to have to snag him a pair of these slip on tennis shoes. He had a pair last year and loved them! 

Classic Dot
Classic Dot has select moccasins on sale this weekend, and for $25.99 you can't go wrong.
They always offer free shipping too! I'm obsessed with these flamingo moccs

Land of Nod
Land of Nod is offering 15% off of everything this weekend, and I feel like they don't run specials very often. I really want this changing pad cover for Annabelle's nursery and how sweet is this flamingo growth chart!? 

Old Navy
Old Navy has 50% off all tanks, tees, shorts and swim for everyone.
I want to grab these denim bloomers for Annabelle in the next size, she has them in her current size and it is too cute. I'm also obsessed with this patriotic swim suite and this little tank is too good of a deal to pass up! 

Lachlan and Lenny
Lachlan and Lenny is a small biz I recently discovered and fell in love with! This mama makes gorgeous custom watercolor portraits and I cannot wait to share more about this shop soon! 
She is offering 15% off any portrait with the code REMEMBER until Monday night!

I am sure there will be many more sales popping up through out the weekend, these are just a few that I'm looking forward to!

I hope you enjoy your holiday weekend, and God bless those who served and continue to serve our country.


Green Beauty {Beauty Counter's Lengthening Mascara}

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I'm pretty sure that mascara is the one thing that I will not leave the house without.
Being a redhead, I have the fairest of lashes that go invisible without any mascara to help them out. 

I was super excited to try Beauty Counter's brand new lengthening mascara.

This mascara was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are completely my own.

Beauty counter is all about making safe products that are free from harmful ingredients. 
Honestly, I hadn't given much thought to what harmful things my current makeup could contain.
After learning about Beauty Counter I checked out EWG to see what some of my everyday makeup contained. 
Boy, was that eye opening. 

My go to mascara contained a number of potentially dangerous ingredients, which made me even more thrilled to receive Beauty Counter's new mascara.

I really wanted to love this product, but I have to be 100% honest: it just didn't work for me.
I have thick eyelashes, and with them being so fair it required many many coats to cover them with this mascara. After so many coats things naturally started to get a bit clumpy.
Now, this isn't necessarily a problem that someone else would have, but for me it was an issue.
It was also difficult to remove, but I'm the kind of girl that likes my makeup to come off with my face wash. I'm sure if you used some sort of makeup remover this wouldn't be a problem. 

I love everything that Beauty Counter stands for and what they are trying to do. I would most definitely try more of their products in the future, the mascara just wasn't a great fit for me. 

If you would like to give some of Beauty Counter's products a try or have any questions, be sure to contact my friend Kendra!


Our Weekend {home updates}

Monday, May 23, 2016

This weekend was on the rainy side, and we spent most of it working on the house. 
Moving into a new home is always fun, but the whole unpacking thing is anything but. 
We've made a few new editions/changes that I'm excited about, like getting rid of the ugly as sin builder grade light fixture in our dining area and replacing it with this one.

industrial edison light fixture
shop: chandelier
We painted Annabelle's room the sweetest shade of light mint, and it's quickly becoming my favorite place in our house. If only girlfriend would sleep in there, ha.

baby girl mint nursery
paint color: SW lighter mint
I'm still on the hunt for some important stuff, like our bedroom lamps, but trying to make things feel as cozy and homey as I can along the way.

pottery barn mug pillow blanket

There's still a lot of work to be done, but hopefully by the end of the week we can get pictures on the walls and rid ourselves of all the boxes.


Classic Dot {New Colors}

Friday, May 13, 2016

If you follow Classic Dot on Instagram (@classicdot) than you've probably seen that this week we released four new moccasin colors! 

I am beyond excited to be adding more options to our moccasin selection, and it has been so much fun revealing each new color this week!

Flamingo is the perfect hot pink for summer, Vanilla Bean is classic and timeless, Champagne is soft and shimmery, and silver is always an important staple! 

All of these colors and more are now available in the shop!


Baby Style: Lottie Lemon Bows {Review}

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

There's a new bow shop in town, and their name is Lottie Lemon.

The first thing I noticed when I received our bows in the mail (besides the adorable patterns) was their awesome quality!
They are very well constructed and the fabric has a nice weight to it.

These bows were given to me in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are completely my own.

Annabelle has quite a head of hair for her age, so we skipped right over the headband stage and have gone straight to clips. Her bangs are so long now that bows have become a necessity to keep her hair out of her eyes! These are the perfect size and look absolutely adorable! They also stay in her hair well, which is important when you're dealing with a busy 7 month old.

Lottie Lemon classic bow in "dotty"

Lottie Lemon classic bow in "milly"

Lottie Lemon offers a variety of different patterns. We choose dotty, milly, and tribe in the classic bow style and love them all! 

At 3 bows for $12 these are a steal! 
I love shopping small, especially when I'm buying from fellow mamas. These are quality bows at a great price point!


Mother's Day 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Mine was spent with my favorite people eating good food,  taking in great views, and enjoying the sunshine! 

We had brunch at my favorite little spot with my mom and dad (if you find yourself in Bend, be sure to stop at Mckay's Cottage), then ventured out for some playtime at the park. Watching Jacob have a blast probably makes me happier than anything else. 

We ventured to the top of Pilot Butte and looked out over Bend and the mountains in the distance. 

Jake finished Annabelle's dresser/changing table, which was a fantastic Mother's Day gift (along with a few other goodies for the new house)! And just in the knick of time, because this week we will be moving into our new house! 

This week is going to be crazy busy, between the new colors launching on Classic Dot and moving into our new house, so I'm extra thankful to have had a relaxing Mother's Day with my little crew!


Backyard S'mores

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Over the past couple of weeks we have discovered a new favorite past time:
family s'mores in the backyard.

We've enjoyed making these yummy treats for the past two Saturday nights, and I have to say it is too much fun (not to mention delicious). Jacob has discovered a love for marshmallows, and for only being two years old I've been pleasantly surprised by how cautious and safe he is around the fire. He's a pro!

I know this is going to become one of our favorite family activities this summer!

You can shop our fire pit, along with many other awesome ones, at Discount Hearth.