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!


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.

influencer meme
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.


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.

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.



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!

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.


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!



How To Keep The House “In-Law Clean” With Kids (2 Under 2)

Hello, my Gals!

With all we have going on in our lives. Keeping one kid alive and well is a full time job in and of itself, never mind two or more.

And keeping the house clean on top of that just seems like a lot of extra work.

I’m not supposed to be on social media as much these days, so I’ve been on Pinterest a bit to save recipes I’ll definitely make and DIY’s I will absolutely get to, and also to just find some information to accompany the tumbleweeds that now occupy my Mom-brain.

And through my scrolling my Pinterest page has decided I need to see a bunch of perfectly pretty magazine homes because I needed something else to feel inadequate about.

As I was scrolling my feed one day, making sure to keep perfectly still within visual range of the Tyrannosaurus Mess that was my kitchen (it can’t see you if you don’t move…), I found myself wondering how these people do it. Take all these candid pictures of their multiple young kids without even a crumb on the floor or a smudge on the wall.

And then it hit me. I’d found the secret to keeping the house looking Pinter-istine while at the same time keeping two or more kids alive and in line!

Keep reading to find out!

Wait for it…


wAaAaAaAaAaAaAiIiIiIiIiiIt for it…


Wait fOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOor it…


lol CLICKBAIT! There is no secret. The reality is, those posts most likely are not reality. Just like many Instagram Models, those house pictures are likely photoshopped and staged.

Unless you have an Au Pair or live-in maid, chances are your house is more likely than not doomed to be somewhat of a hot mess for the foreseeable future.

But hear me out!

No matter how much you clean up around the house, if you spend any quality time with them at all, aside from feeding them, bathing them, keeping them clothed, and putting your oxygen mask on in between, chances are your living room looks like this, too:


Now I do try to keep things looking somewhat kempt around here. But I’m sure you all know most of the time cleaning up is like shoveling against the tide, especially the younger your kids are.

Of course I make sure the basics are done, dishes, kitchen and bathrooms sanitary, and living room free of trip hazards. But beyond that is beyond me the majority of the time.

Making my bed, organizing the mail, having closets without junk piled up to the ceiling…all those bells and whistles? You most likely won’t find it at Casa Ruiz.

If I think about it, technically I could keep up with the house. Technically, I could find the time. Technically, I could get more than one load of laundry done (and only washed once because I would remember to switch it over…unlike the musty load that’s currently in my washer from yesterday…).

But if I took all the time I have between feedings, changings, potty trips (attempts), and all that extra stuff, I’d never be able to get any writing done, for myself and for “work.” Not only that, but I’d miss out on all of the book readings, all of the smiles, all of the first time displays of new skills, and just generally time with my babies that I will never, ever, ever get back…we all know babies don’t keep.

This little bean is going to be T W O in a month!! It happens so, so fast, you guys…

Here’s what I think.

IMHO, as long as the house is free of food filth and generally hygienic, pee is cleaned up off the living room floor, and there’s a clear path towards the door in case of emergency, you’re doing just fine.

You might be like me and not be too bothered by clutter, or you might be my Bizzaro and have to have things spotless at all times.

Either way, you got to admit, it takes energy to keep it clean the more kids you have. Energy that can be really hard to come by. Energy that could be better used towards other things.


It might be rough right now, but the house won’t be messy forever. Sooner (much sooner) than you think, those little heckians running around making a pig sty of your home will actually be your little assistants and will be able to help you clean up around the house.

Although, if you start them early enough, you might get a little help around the house sooner than later 😉

One day you’re going to look around at your pristine home and feel your eyes sting with tears, wishing you could look at your living room floor and see a wrinkled tummy time blanket, a million blocks, and yes, even crumbs across it again.

Because that meant your babies were still babies. And you’re going to miss that.

So yes, please do your best to keep it clean. But don’t stress about it being perfect.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it now, because the adage is too, too true: The days are long, but the years are short…

What do you gals think? Am I way wrong and it’s totally possible to keep a museum-level cleanliness of the home, while taking care of the little ones? Or are you with me on this one? What are some hacks you might have to keep things a little less chaotic in the cleaning department? Don’t pull a Gandalf and “Keep your secrets!”

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 and The Boys Finally Share A Room!