My Boys Were Offered Modeling Opportunities, Here’s Why I Said No.

Hello, my Gals!

It’s been a hot, hot few minutes since my last post! I’m trying to be better about updating more regularly, but it’s crazy around here!

Anyway–

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We absolutely nailed this photoshoot.

I have to say, this is a pretty cute picture, right? My little hero and his sidekick! This shot were the best I could get of them on my own. I didn’t feel like waiting for my husband to be able to help me take a better one.

It took a lot of time to get, too. Like too much time, and a lot of sweat and tears. I’m sure a lot of you Mamas can relate.

Professional photographer I am not, but you get the idea of the point of the picture, right?

Despite its quality (or lack thereof), I could have possibly made some money off of this picture.

With a simple hashtag and code in my post description on Instagram, I could have had the potential to get some side income all from my boys just being cute in some cute outfits. Not just from one company, but two.

But I decided against it.

Why on Earth would I do that? Read on, my Gals!


In the age of social media, it feels like everyone is out there trying to be an influencer. I’ll admit, the concept has been appealing to me (and almost everyone else with a smart phone).

I’ve definitely been that guy and have put up one or two too many insta stories to my meager audience of 183. If nothing else, it’s a fun way to keep family and friends up to date on our little family adventures!

Now when it comes to our babies, we all think we have the cutest ones on Earth. And of course every baby is beautiful. But sometimes we can let a few extra likes on a milestone photoshoot go to our heads.

In recent years, Instagram has turned from a fun platform to share your pictures and videos with family and friends (and whoever else out there is really that interested in looking at pictures of Starbucks orders) to a multi-million dollar industry complete with paid models and spokespeople. Kind of like YouTube, in a way.

And in a similar fashion as YouTube and its family channels, there has been a rise in family pages on Instagram, independent from and supplemental to family content on other platforms.

Now, I’m not trying to police people having Instagrams starring their little ones. My own account is lousy with shots of my boys being “the cutest,” so I can’t cast stones.

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An ancient meme on this #throwbackthursday

So where am I going with all of this?

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s been a lot of companies that have been offering people the chance to be “ambassadors” for their brand. In the past, you’d have to have thousands if not millions of followers or subscribers in order to get a chance to represent brands, and now brands seem to be ISO just about anyone.

These companies advertise this search as a chance to represent them, get noticed as a page, and even make a little money on the side. From what I’ve seen from most of these ads, the companies offer “ambassadors” a discount, usually up to 40 percent off their clothes. Once you place an order, you’re given a hashtag to put in your post as well as a discount code for followers and viewers to use towards their own order and for you to make commission off of.

I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t want to get paid to just wear clothes for Instagram, so this sort of thing appeals to hundreds, thousands, possibly millions of people.

And that 40 percent off the price of their stuff out of pocket sounds like a small price to pay for a potential chance to become Insta famous, right?


Recently, I had been presented opportunities by two different avenues for my boys to model clothes.

The first company was an ad that popped up in my Facebook feed, which stated the company was “Accepting applications” for models ages newborn through five. I figured I’d give it a shot. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

So I filled out the information and almost immediately I got a notification saying I was accepted.

interesting

Upon clicking the sign up link, I discovered that how this was going to work was I would be given 40 percent off of any order which my child/ren would then wear for a picture. They could only be wearing clothing purchased from the site in the picture, and I would have to post a brand-assigned hashtag and a code for potential buyers to get 20 percent off their orders.

I was skeptical, but placed an order anyway. Hence the pictures at the beginning of this post.

Then not even a week later, I posted my youngest’s 5 month pictures to Instagram, and got a comment on them from a different company asking me to DM them for information for him to model clothes for them!

I have to admit I got a little excited that my child had been “noticed.”

The conditions for this “opportunity” were similar, except that I could order an outfit for “free” and just pay shipping.

After sending them a message (again, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?), I posted an inquiry on one of my Mom’s pages on Facebook, asking if anyone had heard of the company.

Right away I got responses saying that the company seemed fishy, and they had even stole a screenshot from a Target promo to promote their matching family outfits!

I followed up with both companies, and I didn’t really like the answers I received. I’ve decided to share screenshots of my exchanges with these companies, but I’ve blurred out their information.

Company 1:

Company 2:


After these exchanges, I got the feeling that these companies are part of the “fast fashion” industry.

Fast Fashion is a term that basically means cheap, disposable trendy clothes. H&M, Wish, Romwe, and companies like these are examples of fast fashion, which usually draw in a younger, hip crowd.

In this case, instead of appealing to broke trendy college kids, these companies seem to be edging in on Moms looking for insta-worthy outfits on the cheap, and potentially for Moms looking to boost their likes and follows on social media.

There isn’t as much sticker shock with these companies as with other brands, so a lot of Moms jump at the opportunity, from what I saw on the websites.

However, the affordability comes with a hefty price.

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I didn’t make this, I found it during a Google search.

This mass consumption of fast fashion impacts the environment and the quality of life of many of the workers behind the crazy fast production of these clothes.

In my research, I have found a fascinating article written on WordPress by Sustaining Community. Graeme presents this information in his post far better than I could, but I will provide a very little nutshell of the impact some of these cheap online clothing stores can have on a larger scale.

From this post, I learned that over HALF of the garments made for fast fashion are sent to a landfill or an incinerator within just ONE YEAR of production. This stuff just SITS there, contributing to the suffocating amount of waste we are piling onto our planet, and then literally suffocating it with the toxic smoke and chemicals from burning the cheap, artificial fibers and materials these clothes are made with.

What’s worse, many of the people making these convenience clothes are subject to horrific working conditions and wages. And some of these workers have been found to be CHILDREN.

Just imagine your children for a second. Now imagine them being forced to work inhumane working hours and conditions for very little sustenance in return. Those cheap clothes hardly seem worth it now, don’t they?


I highly recommend reading the article I linked, and doing more research on this for yourself. Although there’s so much information out there already, I’d be surprised if many of you weren’t aware of some of this stuff already.

But it was enough to convince me to think twice about the next $5 trendy onesie I happen to come across in my Instagram ads.

Now I can’t say for certain whether these places in question are a truly part of the problem, but I’ve seen enough to be convinced not to try them anyway.

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You might be thinking, “So what now? Do I have to pay an arm and a leg to dress my second born in sustainable, made in the USA clothes after selling my first born for the funds to afford it?”

The answer is simple: No!

I have fallen in L O V E with secondhand shopping since becoming a Mom. As more people become environmentally and financially conscious, there are more and more nice clothes you can find gently used at thrift shops. It’s so much fun to scour these places for the hidden gems within!

And if GoodWill or Savers squick you out, a simple google search for a higher-end consignment shop is sure to yield impressive results, depending on where you live.

Facebook Marketplace is another amazing resource for cute clothes on the cheap. You can even find things brand new with tags sometimes! I once scored my oldest’s entire winter wardrobe complete with snowpants and boots along with a ton of stuff in two sizes up for just $20! It all easily once retailed for over $200!

In my quest to make it as a blogger, I fell for the smooth moves of fast fashion. But now I know, and knowledge is power!

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ThredUp is just one example of resale/consignment apps and resources that are out there. If you have some old clothes you were thinking of throwing away, consider donating them to the less fortunate, or using a resale app and make a little $$ back!

I think for now my family will stick with consignment clothes. It’s better for the environment, and our budget. And you’d be surprised what you can find out there!

Later on down the line if we find we have a little extra money, we might seek out independent business owners via Etsy or something for more of the cute matching onesies.

And who knows? Maybe later on down the line, my boys or future little ones might get the chance to model some locally made or even consigned clothes to promote sustainable fashion! A Mom can dream…

Here are some “expectation-vs-reality” bloopers from our photo shoot as a reward for making it this far through my ramblings! As you can see, the terrible two’s have come in like a lion for our little Vin.

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What do you guys think? How many of you have been against fast fashion from the start? How many of you secondhand shop already? Who’s going to start? Talk about it in the comments!

Thanks for reading, my gals! 😘😘

👀If you’re new here, and this content or any of my upcoming content interests you, make sure you add your email and follow so you don’t miss any updates! 😁😁 And if you’re already following, thank you and bless your heart and soul! 🙏🏼🥰🤗

📋 Upcoming Content: Battling Body Dysmorphia As A Mom, Why Small Parties Are Better Than Big Birthday Blowouts, and The Boys Finally Share A Room!

 

 

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Save Money and the Environment Next Christmas!

Hello, my Gals!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas 🎁🎄🎅🏼 or whatever else you may celebrate, and that going into 2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣9️⃣ has been full of fun and happiness and good things to come! 😌😌

A couple of posts ago, I said I’d share what I’ve been doing to keep things low cost this Christmas, so here ya go! 😁😁

That DIY label, tho. 😂😂 #nailedit

Just a quick photo of some Keto Honey Roasted Peanuts I made for my Dad with Type 2 Diabetes. 🍯🥜 Sugar free and still delicious! 😋

I used ingredients we already had, with the exception of brown sugar substitute and peanuts. Recipe linked in the top picture!


❤️Despite being Introvert AF, I know and am pretty close with a lot of people. I have my biological family, my blended family, my in-laws, and my own growing family. Not to mention my diverse circles of friends.

That being said, I have a lot of people to shop for. Which I’m sure I don’t need to tell you can be stressful, both socially (wth do I get this person this time??) and financially.

In the past I could wild tf out on Christmas shopping with my “disposable” income, but with a mortgage, kids, and life expenses, I definitely don’t have that luxury anymore. 😅

I refuse to go into debt over the pressure of commercialism, but at the same time I do want to do or give something to my loved ones to show how much I appreciate them💖🥰

So how have I managed to cut down on this stress this year? I’ll tell you! 😙😙


🛍Stop Shopping Altogether🙅🏻‍♀️

In recent years, amongst my in laws we’ve all agreed to stop buying gifts for each other entirely, 🎁❌ opting instead to enjoy each others’ company and maybe baking/cooking for each other.

This has been AMAZING. 🙌🏻🙌🏻 Now we just get the kids gifts, which is honestly so much more fun! 👶🏽👦🏼👶🏻😁❤️

💰So obviously this is the best way to save money, and it encourages appreciation for what you already have. This would probably work best if you have a group of people that doesn’t need anything or who are impossible to buy for.

And if you don’t feel right not having anything to offer on Christmas Day, agree to make each other baked goods or freezer dinners or something of that nature. Everyone loves cookies and not having to cook! 💯

Not to mention, time spent together is so precious. The best gift we can give each other truly is ourselves. ❤️💯

🧮Set A Strict Budget👝

If you don’t think any of your family members or friends would want to go the no-gifts approach, the next best thing is to set a strict spending budget for each person on your list. 💵

This year for my immediate and blended family, I set a budget for $10 per person. And you’d be surprised what you can find for under $10. 💎🎯🤩

💭I’ve found that setting these spending limits forces me to be more creative and thoughtful with what I give. For example, I know my younger stepbrother is a guitar player 👨🏻‍🎤🎸so I’ve bought for him this year and last a different guitar accessory he doesn’t have, but would be useful, that was under $10!

I did something like this with each person, thinking hard about their interests and needs and going Amazon hunting for the best items within my range. 👀

It can be helpful to perhaps look through your expenses and see realistically how much you can afford to spend on Christmas shopping. Then make a physical list of who you have to shop for, and do some…

For instance, if you can afford to spend $200 on gifts that season, and have 15 people to shop for, the price cap would be about $13 per person (dividing 15 by 200…Or is it 200 by 15? 😅😅 Math was never my strong suit).

Think long and hard about what each person needs or what would really make them happy, and set your sights on stores and websites that work with your ideas and your budget.

You could also coordinate with other family members to see what they are buying for others to see if you could contribute an add-on to their gift. 👍🏻

For example, if you have a niece who is obsessed with LOL Dolls and you know Grandma is buying her an LOL Dollhouse, you could buy her a piece of furniture or whatever goes with that thing. 😂😂

Don’t feel the need to break bank over these fad toys. Chances are she’ll be over it in a year or two. 👌🏼👌🏼

💡I’ve also seen on Facebook to start a fund in the New Year set aside for gifts for the next Christmas Season. So maybe every other paycheck set aside $5-10 or whatever you can swing and put it in a shoebox, open a new account, or whatever will help you not touch it until you start your shopping. 💵💰

📜Give Them An IOU😘

So this is my favorite because it combines repurposing with saving money and forces you to think outside the box. 📤📦

And it is helpful if you really can’t think of anything to get a person on your list that would be useful or appreciated within the budget you just set. 🤷🏻‍♀️😅

As you can see, my DIY skills could get me a spot on Netflix’s Nailed It! 💯😂

For my close friends this year, I got the idea (although I never checked to see if it was a case of parallel thinking but I like to believe this was an original idea 😅) to create “IOU Jars.”

🥜I buy Teddy’s peanut butter for my family, which comes in a glass jar. In the past I have used these jars for storing food items, loose change, and even for other holiday-related things like hot cocoa and cookie mixes for Yankee Swaps.

This year, I took my collection of peanut butter jars and lids and filled them with my friends’ favorite candy that I purchased from the dollar store, a packet of hot cocoa that I got in bulk, and enclosed a personalized note telling them how much they mean to me and why I appreciate them individually. ❤️🥰

On this note I also included an “IOU,” or something that I would get/do for them in the upcoming year.

🍷So instead of spending a chunk of change on a bunch of hastily picked out stuff for the sake of getting a gift (I go into panic mode if I don’t know what to get someone and I end up just grabbing stuff that they might vaguely like), I included in my note that I owed them either a matinee to see a movie they’re excited about coming up, a brunch date to a cute but affordable restaurant, or a night in with a bottle or two of wine for them to “cash in” at some point during the year.

This way, I still feel like I’ve gotten all my special friends a good gift, but didn’t have to stress about the extra expense all at once.

Not because they’re not worth it. They deserve that and so much more. ❤️❤️❤️We just happened to have a bit of unexpected expenses come up just before to Christmastime and money was getting a bit tight, so this idea came to light as a result.

📦Go Ahead And Horde (Responsibly!)

Lastly as a bit of an afterthought, I save almost everything. Which as a recovering pack rat and someone who is trying to convert to minimalism can be a challenge, but in cases like this it helps!

🛍🎁I have amassed a collection of gift bags and tissue paper over the years for birthdays, showers, and of course Christmas, so I actually haven’t bought any of the stuff in a couple of years. If you have the storage space, I highly suggest starting a big “bag of bags and tissue paper” you can visit for your gift-Giving needs.

I used to spend a ridiculous extra amount on gift wrapping… 💸💸💸

Also, save those candy canes!! Most people don’t like to eat them, and I feel like a lot of them get thrown away, but they make super cute decorations for things other than the tree!

My Insta Pic skills aren’t the sharpest, but just an example of what you can do with those cute candy canes! 😍

🎨And instead of spending extra money on decorations, make some with your kids! It will keep them busy and happy during cold days and your house will be festive and adorable!

Not to mention the priceless keepsakes you’ll have afterwards. 🥰🥰🥰

🎄👣My little Vinny’s Christmas Tree Foot😍😭

💬Did I miss anything? What tips do you have for saving money over the holidays? Leave them in the comments!

Thanks for reading, my gals! ❤️😍

Stay tuned for posts on What’s In My Hospital Bag For Baby 2, Why Spending Time Away From My Son Makes Me A Better Mom, and maybe a Second Pregnancy Update/How This Time Is Different Than The First.

If any of those sound interesting to you, subscribe so you don’t miss it! 😘😘