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mama chit chat

35 Weeks-Baby #4 Update + VIDEO

I can’t believe I can say 5 more weeks! It just sounds crazy to say that out loud.
Pregnancy feels so long at the start, but all of a sudden I’m at my check up and they are talking labor plans!
The baby has dropped which makes me feel not so crazy lol. I felt a difference!
Baby is head down and, with all this activity, wants out. haha.
I’m weighing 164, which is a pound more than I was at 30 weeks.
I’ve stayed right at 163/164 at my appointments since I hit 30 weeks.
I usually have my babies at 170!
My body is progressing but not enough to make us think it’s go time.
As uncomfortable as I am, I’m hoping baby goes a few more weeks!
(33 weeks and 4 days. – top from target)
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(both at 34 weeks.)
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Goodbye feet. see you in the fall.
(top – 33 weeks …
bottom left- 34.5 weeks… bottom right-almost 35 weeks)

35 weeks update-athomewithnatalie

I’ve been gathering the items for my hospital bag.
Washing old and new items for baby. I can’t handle how tinyyyy the clothes are! I just can’t. haha.
I still am pulling a few things together and then will blog about it!
My Hospital bag for Micah is one of my most popular posts via Pinterest…Excited to share this round. :)
I’ll link everything I love.
I feel like I’ve learned what I reallyyy want and need each time.
35 weeks update-athomewithnatalie4

Doctor told me the baby is “right there”…and that it’s all out low and in front.
There isn’t much holding that bump up haha. I find myself holding my lower belly when I get up and walk.
Still having intense contractions that knock the wind out of me..but nothing time able yet.
I usually go close to my due date. The girls were both 5 days late and Micah was 5 or so days early.
Everyone keeps telling me YOU ARE GONNA GO ANYTIME!
But…I always hear that and I’m trying
to ignore that and just have in my head that it could be 5 weeks.
It’s all mental at the end. ;) (34.5 weeks below)
(non maternity dress from target)
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Baby Bump – Kicking at 34 weeks…It’s still shocking to see it!

As I was working on this post off and on this afternoon, my contractions have
been every 10 minutes for a couple hours…missing some and then coming right back on time.
Some more painful than others. Keeping an eye on it and drinking water.
Hoping they slow down and ease up like they have in the past!
This baby is a tease.

How I Monetize my Blog – Blogger Tips

This is kind of a funny topic to blog about, but I know that there are other bloggers out there
who want to find out more about monetizing their blog!
I love blogging and it’s been a great creative outlet for me.
It also is really nice that it can bless my family financially while I’m a stay at home mom!
The other day I met up with a blogger friend who wanted to pick my brain on this topic…
so I thought I would share what I told her on here too!
HOW I MONETIZE MY BLOG-ATHOMEWITHNATALIE

First off, I want to say that you don’t have to do any of these things on your blog.
You can do some…or none at all..it’s really up to you!
There was a time, earlier in my blogging, that I was soooo annoyed with ad networks and
their payout system that I didn’t do any ads on my blog.
But then after a few years I realized that it was silly to hold onto one
bad experience and I found better companies to work with!
There are a lot of different ones you can use…I’m sharing what I currently use.

1. AD NETWORKS:
The Blogger Network
This is the site I use for ad spots on my blog.
They pay twice a month, which is nice, and keep the ad spots filled.
They also have great customer service if you ever have any questions!

2. SPONSORED POSTS/BRAND CAMPAIGNS:
Massive Sway
I have loved working with this group. They approach you with different campaigns.
You can apply and if the brand chooses you then they pay you a set amount.
So far this number has been going up every few campaigns…or some are more than others
depending on the type of content they want you to produce for them.
The only downside is, they pay you when they get payed by the brand…soo..sometimes it takes a while.
I get payed a lot quicker when working with brands directly.
But they have great campaigns and I usually love the topic.
capecod-thebusybudgetingmama

Linqia
This blogger network goes by pays per click.
If you reach your clicks on that campaign, they up the amount of clicks/pay you could get for the next campaign.
These work the same way where you can apply to the ones you are interested in.
Some of the brands/campaigns don’t always make sense for my blog or lifestyle…but others I’m excited to share!
And my kids are always up for eating ice cream so that I can use the HUGGIES on them and photograph it. haha.
huggies4-athomewithnatalie

Brands contacting me
Again, when choosing to monetize your blog, it’s not black and white.
You don’t have to say YES to every brand that comes your way asking for you to share them.
Your blog is your space.. you can choose what you want to
have included in your content and shared with your readers.
You also need to give value to your time and effort! DON’T do a sponsored post for 20 bucks. lol. just don’t.
I was recently approached by a very well known brand to do a Campaign that included
TWO posts, online reviews and social media shares…
in exchange for product and $15…….NO. no no no.
I understand they are seeing what they can get away with OR working within their budget……..
But it’s not worth the effort of photographing the product, editing the photos, creating the blog content
and sharing across social media. If I’m going to spend my time creating content
for them and away from my kids, I want it to be worth it.
Now, if the product was worth a good amount, then that is a different story. but not when it is $24.99.
Even if you are a new blogger… that’s a “thank you for thinking of me but my
sponsored post rate is higher. happy to chat options” response.
Don’t worry that that will be the last brand that ever contacts you..
You have skills and an audience and your voice has value..don’t ever forget that!
solo cup - athomewithnatalie

Brands I contact.
(I’ve found Instagram a great source for reaching brands.
Their people who run their social media accounts usually get the benefit of working with bloggers
and either I work with them directly or they have someone contact me.)
I usually do not do sponsored posts in exchange for product.
It depends on the brand and the product… but I usually have a rate that I work with.
I’ve built some great brand relationships just by tweeting or instagraming them!
So don’t be shy, go for it!
ikea-athomewithnatalie

2. AFFLIATE PROGRAMS:
Through Brand sites directly
Some brands have their own affiliate system through their website.

Through ShareaSale.com
This site is great if you are already loving a brand or item and want to share
it on your blog, you can apply and earn money for sharing them.
I am signed up with a few through this site that I would share
with or without an affiliate program…but it’s a nice bonus!
If your a brand, wanting to try out an affiliate program, ShareASale might
work for you to get leads. You only pay when it works.

AFFILIATE EXAMPLE:
I first teamed up with Little Cosmetics for an instagram share and we
loved it so much in our house that I told everyone about it!
This brand is a natural and authentic share for me, and that’s important when choosing what programs to join.
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3. AD SPOTS + SOCIAL MEDIA SHARES:

I usually reach out twice a month via social media, about
available ad spots and social media shares.
I offer sidebar spots to fellow bloggers and brands.
Their one month includes a share on facebook and twitter.
My instagram shares are usually separate, or saved for sponsored post brands.
I’m a little more picky about the instagram spots…that’s my special space.
Here’s an instagram share of Sienna’s birthday cake with the cute Zurchers Cake stand!
I love this shot during her party..she was so excited to blow out those candles!
iphone photo

Here’s some basic tips for working with brands…
whether you contact them or they contact you:

1. LINK your blog in your email to them….seriously.
I’ve had people reach out to me and not link their brand or blog.
It seems simple enough, but my sister of BLANQI said they get bloggers reaching
out to them all the time who don’t link anything. I link in the first sentence and then again later on in the email.
You want to make it easy for them to check you out.

2. Take good photos. Brands want to see their products in the hands of real people…
but they also want you to be professional photographers haha.
JK. But, I’ve found that taking good crisp bright photos helps a lot when wanting to work with other brands.
They see your work and are more likely to want to collaborate if it looks nice!
So that means you can use your iphone…but edit them so they are bright!
I have a whole post on how I edit my phone photos.

3. Throw a number out..even if you aren’t sure it’s doable. You can always talk details.
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Some people put ads in their blog posts…some put them at the bottom of posts near the ‘read more’ widget…
I’m currently taking a break from those areas and only having ads on my sidebar.

I hope that this info has been helpful!
I’m sure you can find a lot more info on other blogs
who are making way more or doing way more in this area,
but this is what I’m choosing to do at this time and it’s working for me!

Thanks for stopping by! For more tips and info like this, be sure to sign up for my newsletter!

My Kids Outgrow Diapers not Messes – Huggies Wipes

Today is our LAST DAY of Summer!
I can’t even believe it. But even though we are sad to see the summer days over,
we are so excited for the next couple months!
The girls are starting at a new school…
and a new baby brother or sister arrives sometime over the next 7 weeks!
We are also potty training Micah! (super funnnn.)
He might be outgrowing diapers, but my kids are still mess makers!
My go to wipes I use for all three of my kids are the Huggies Wipes.
They are a staple in my car and are always thrown into my tote bag!
They are perfect for cleaning up those messy kid faces, hands…entire bodies.
We went and got ice cream the other day, living up the last summer days, and I have
no clue how they get ice cream where they do!
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Micah.
He cracks me up. And is also the one that gives me the most contractions. lol.
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The silly bug struck. All of them.
I’m pretty sure ice cream helped the silliness too.
I only have myself to blame.
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Seriously…I don’t even know how they get ice cream where they do.
But I had my Huggies Wipes on hand..what would we do without them?
They make it so much easier for clean ups! Especially when eating ice cream always involves
forced ice cream mustaches. They all were seeing who could make the best one. ::head to palm::
Luckily the Huggies Wipes come in great convenient packs that we can whip out!
Goodbye sticky kids. until 5 minutes later. lol.
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Baby #4 makes a bump appearance! haha.
Mirror reflections make you seem larger than you are…. it’s a known fact.
Moving on.
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You can purchase Huggies Wipes at your Walmart!
Head over to their site to see new creative ways to use wipes.
101 uses of Huggies Wipes Video
huggies4-athomewithnatalie