Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Game Day with Ana Patricia

Fall is FINALLY in the air and we are back with Ana Patricia to continue with our boutique series. Game Day is a BIG deal around here. If you are anything like me, it's the perfect opportunity to have a large assortment of cute RED gear. 

AP is ready to style you for Fall - whether that be Game Day, girls night out, date night, or a day at the office… you're covered! These tops are so versatile and can be dressed up or down with your shoe and accessory choice. 

Game Day Look #1 
I am obsessed with this top. I loved it on the hanger and I loved it even more when wearing it. It is soft, just the right weight, and the bell sleeves deserve all the heart eyes in the world. This top is perfect to dress up with a pair of wedges or booties for game day! And did you see the adorable bracelet?! You can also find that stack at AP! 

Game Day Look #2
Cute & Casual

I don't know about you guys, but I am naturally drawn to the strappy look that is all the rage - and the ladies at AP know how to pair the cutest looks with their strappy tanks! 
This look would be absolutely adorable dressed down with Converse or a cute sneaker! And like I said, this shirt could EASILY transition to dressy for a fun night out! 

and bonus look..#3
Sporty Casual

I dont fancy myself to be a "hat girl," though my husband can vouch for the fact that I grab a hat the second my hair can no longer be rescued by dry shampoo. But this hat?! It's sporty and stylin' and I actually loved it! It fits perfectly and would be the cutest addition to your game day attire! 

And last but not least, if you're headed to a game, this clear bag is a MUST! Check it out! I unexpectedly love it. And the best news? 

Every NEW customer order will be put into a drawing to WIN a CLEAR HANDBAG! 
So… if you are thinking about making your first AP purchase, now is the time! Between now and October 1st, your name will be entered to WIN! 

Check them out on Facebook here or Instagram here to see the latest pieces available!

And remember - all first time purchases will be entered into a giveaway for the clear bag pictured above! Your perfect game day accessory! 

Big thanks to Ana Patricia for this amazing giveaway AND Heidi Thorson Photography! 

Friday, September 22, 2017

6 months

You guys - I wrote this last night. Today my baby is 6 months old. And while I am ecstatic about everything he is doing, this milestone also makes me feel a few other things. I debated sharing this, as it is so personal. However, I know - KNOW- so many moms struggle with their journey in regards to feeding their baby. So I am sharing regardless. **Please know that I have zero judgment against any method or reasoning for how you feed your baby. This is just my experience. **

Breastfeeding was important to me from the moment I found out I was pregnant. I knew I wanted to. And I knew it could be tough. But I planned to do what I had to do. 

6 months. 
 6 months I told my husband. I want to feed him for 6 months. Please don't let me stop before then, I said. 

 We took a class about breastfeeding. I read about techniques, positions, supply. I asked everyone I knew about their experiences. I was as ready as I ever could be. 

And then he arrived. Early. And fast. And not when we expected. And then we were in the NICU. And none of it was what I "planned".  

The first time I nursed him, I felt such a connection that I couldn't imagine it any other way. I loved nursing. I loved the time with my sweet baby. And suddenly, my ambitions and goals sky rocketed. I would breast feed him a year. Two years! As long as he would.  And as long as I could. Nothing could stop me. And then my baby was given formula, and no one asked me if that was what I wanted. That was what had to happen, I was told. So I worked. I tried to get that tiny baby to latch well. And I pumped. Every 3 hours. On the dot. 

My milk came in easily, and abundantly, and I felt so proud. And so relieved. But it didn't seem to help my sweet little guy. He struggled. So we struggled.  

And we struggled more. And he cried. And I cried. And then, some days,  he would do so great. And I felt relieved and happy. And I loved nursing. Some days it worked. And some days it didn't. And I fought to get rid of the formula. And we did. But then the bad days became more than the good days. And then I cried when I had to reinstate the bottle with breast milk. But still, I thought, we can get this. If I keep trying, he can get it.  

I tried everything. Four different lactation consultants. Multiple phone calls to other lactation consultants. Frequent calls to the pediatrician. Regular visits to  MilkWorks. Weighted feeds.  MSPI diagnoses. Nipple shields. No nipple shields. Chiropractor. Physical therapists (yes, this is a thing). Lip and tongue ties. Specialty dentists. 

The weeks spread into months and nursing never got easy. I watched moms in public effortlessly bring their babies to their chest and begin nursing, without even looking down. Or using a second hand. Things I was absolutely   not accustomed to. I felt envious and kept thinking "our day will come. I have to keep trying."  

And then one day, it was over. I thought it was maybe just a bad day. But it wasn't. And it wasn't my decision. And I thought my heart was going to break in half. He couldn't possibly know what he was doing, right? He can't just "decide" to be done nursing, right? 
But he did. Just like he decided he was going to bust out a month early, he also decided when this would end. 

And so I was sentenced to the pump. I was bound and determined to at least supply the breast milk for 6 months. But without the connection to my sweet little one, I struggled. I cried. I stressed. I was already sleep deprived and the extra stress and time restraints of it nearly sent me over the edge. I knew so many mothers who had done this and I kept telling myself I could too! If they can do it, so can I!  

The pressure became so great that I decided, with my husband, to start bringing some formula back in. I have nothing against formula. I never have. But my own desires got in the way and I cried when he had to have formula again. And then I cried when he hated the formula. Because that meant I needed to try harder to make sure I had enough. 
I quit. Every single day. In my head. "I'm done." I said after my last pump session. "I'm done" I said every time I passed out on the couch, woke up..... and realized I still needed to stay up longer  to pump.  

Somehow, the days and weeks kept passing. I accepted the reality and made a choice. I knew I could get to 6 months, but what killed me is that I still felt like I failed. 6 months ago, while I held my very small little angel, I promised myself that I would do the very best for him. And at the time, to me, that felt like nursing him. Maybe even up until the day he could drink cows milk out of a sippy cup! 

But that is not what happened. And now, on the eve of his 6 month birthday, my heart hurts and my mind is racing. I'm excited. Because we're done.  I'm heartbroken, because I "failed." I'm overjoyed, because all of the hours lost being hooked to a pump can now be replaced spent with my baby. I'm devastated, because I can't (or won't) provide breast milk longer. I'm proud, because I did meet my original goal. I'm sad, because I didn't make it longer. 
 I know in my mind that I am not a failure. But tonight, my heart is aching. Being a mom truly is a roller coaster of emotions. And I certainly don't expect that to ever end. But for now, the journey of breastfeeding has been a part of my highest highs and lowest lows. And I want to remember all of those feelings, good and bad, and remind myself that we did it.  And though I'll never look down and see this tiny, sweet face nursing again - I will always remember how beautiful and special it was. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Ana Patricia Boutique: Meet & Greet edition

Hi! Welcome to Sweet and Modern! It's no secret, the blog has taken a backseat to the baby. I wouldn't have it any other way. However, we are still here and I have some SUPER exciting news. Ana Patricia and Sweet & Modern have teamed up to provide a monthly series for all of you! If that doesn't make a Monday better, I don't know what will! 

The first part of our series is a simple meet and greet. Not everyone knows about AP, much less how they got started. No doubt you love their clothes and accessories, but read ahead to find out how they came to be! 

Read to the bottom for special giveaway info! 

Tell us about how AP started. 
Nancy went on a mission trip to Ensenada, Mexico about 20 years ago with her church. While they were waiting in the park she was standing by a young girl who was creating flowers with wire by using her teeth to bend them into the shape she wanted. At that moment, Nancy suggested that she make earrings and sell them.  When all of the earring sold, Patti kept making more and Nancy would keep selling. We have to admit looking back that the earrings she first made were not as pretty as we thought at the time! Patti came a long way with her jewelry making over the years. Nancy would ship supplies to Patti & Patti would ship the jewelry back to sell. For about, 10 years Nancy had a room in her house that the jewelry was set up in and it was named “Ana Patricia” after the creator..Patti!

What sets your boutique apart from the rest? 
Ana Patricia Boutique offers big city styles & trends with keeping the small hometown feel. We LOVE to make each and every one of our customers not only look their best but FEEL their best from the inside out.   We take pride on our ONE on ONE customer service as well! 

How would you describe the vibe/style of AP? 
We love casual pieces that can be worn everyday as well as those go to pieces for special occasions.  If I had to put us in a category I would say Casual with Bohemian flair!

Share about the personalities begins AP?
We have an AWESOME team at AP! We are so blessed to find the right mix of girls who keep each other balanced. Behind the scenes- Nancy, Erika, Mariah- We are a mother daughter trio who works together EVERYDAY!  We do everything from Social Media, Invoicing, Unpacking, Shipping, answering emails/messages & getting merch in the store.  

Frontlines- Morgan, Arianne, Lauren, Katie (Nancy, Erika)- these girls will be the faces you see when you come to the store in Milford. They also help with posting on Social Media.  Morgan & Arianne do POP UP Shops for us as well! ( Yes, we will come set up in your home, place of work, sorority, etc!)

How did AP get started and when?
The “Original” Ana Patricia was started back in 2002. After years of selling jewelry only we took the leap in 2014 and added clothes. That is when we decided to change the name from Ana Patricia to Ana Patricia Boutique.  

What is the best / most rewarding and hardest part of owning/running AP? 
The most rewarding part of running AP is seeing the look on our customers faces when they find something that makes them feel confident! The hardest part of owning the boutique (or any business, I believe) is learning how to separate work from home. With everything being on your phone these days it is hard to put “work” down. 

What is Patti's involvement level now and what does she do with and for AP?  
Patti has a full time job and graduated with an Industrial Engineering degree but still continues to make jewelry when she has time. Her jewelry making is what allowed her to go to college and she could have never dreamt that would have happened. Patti is also married and has a beautiful baby girl Emma. Although Patti’s jewelry making has slowed down the mission behind the business still remains. 

Matthew 25:40  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Tell us where you are located /store hours?
Ana Patricia Boutique is located in Milford, NE but we ship ANYWHERE in the US for FREE! We are Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 11-8 and Saturdays 10-4!  We don’t have a website but you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram. We do have Snapchat as well..not going to lie it’s not my forte but you can follow us there as well as ap_boutique 


So, what now? 
1. Go check out AP on Facebook or Instagram to browse/shop. You will not be disappointed!
2. Follow along to be the first to see and purchase all new trends.
3. WIN a $30 gift to AP!

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Hi everyone! 

This kind of post is somewhat out of the norm for Sweet & Modern... I love to bake and some of the recipes I share are FAR from calorie friendly. However, when GoMacro Macrobar approached me about trying their bars, I agreed without hesitation. The big reason for that? Breastfeeding. Yep. Pregnancy hunger is legit, but breast feeding hunger is another monster! 

During pregnancy, you are constantly aware that you are feeding and growing another human being. During breast feeding, it feels like that and more! I cannot believe how hungry I get - and it always seems to be during those late night feedings. I constantly found myself drowsy (understatement) and stumbling around in the kitchen at 3 AM looking for some kind of fast nourishment. Beyond it being fast, I wanted it to be filling and healthy for both me and baby. 

I started browsing the GoMacro website. I was impressed that they have 11 different bars - perfect for someone like me who easily tires of eating the same thing over and over. More importantly, I was able to find out what a MacroBar is! 

From their website: 

"GoMacro® MacroBars™ are cold-pressed, nut-butter based nutrition bars that offer a chewy and filling experience. Made from simple, clean ingredients, all MacroBars™ are certified vegan, gluten-free, organic, R.A.W., C.L.E.A.N., kosher and non-GMO project verified. Our combination of high-protein and plant-based ingredients serve as the perfect way to keep you fueled throughout the day."

And... sold. 

My variety pack arrived a few days later and I'm not going to lie... I probably had 3 that day. These bars are SO GOOD! My best comparison is a Larabar... but better. So much better. Tastes much more fresh and homemade. My favorite bar ended up being the "protein pleasure" which is peanut butter and chocolate chip (go figure!). You can find all of the flavor options here

So, will I be keeping these bars on hand? Absolutely. And you should too! Right now they are offering 30% off for first time users!  It's the perfect snack for the nursing mama, the perfect pick me up for a busy day at work, and a great way to start or finish a work out. Something for everyone! 

Thank you to GoMacro for providing me with the bars. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Update: We have a baby!

Hi you guys! 

If you follow me on Instagram, it's no secret... Baby Beckstrom bumped his due date up by 4 weeks and is now coming up on 3 weeks old!

And also no surprise... we are so in love with him. He is the sweetest baby ever and my heart is bursting! For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a mom. And to be honest, it's more wonderful than I could have ever imagined. Every time I look at his precious little face, I cannot believe it is real!

Even when I am so drowsy/tired that I feel dizzy, I am still so thankful for him. :)

Anyways, I just had a few minutes to spare.... #momlife (I've been waiting to do that!) and I wanted to share the good news! 

I have plans to share our nursery tour (umm.. when it's done. We weren't quite ready!) and also Beckstrom's birth story, in the next few weeks! Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fire Wife Fashion {earring style}

Hi everyone! 

We are cruising through the last weeks of pregnancy (even though it's more like a slow waddle) and I have been TERRIBLE with updates. But at 34 weeks, does anyone want to hear updates about back pain, heartburn, exhaustion and multiple trips to the bathroom throughout the night? I didn't think so…

What you do want to hear about are my new favorite earrings! The talented Alexis of Fire Wife Fashion was so sweet to introduce me to her collection and let me browse until I found a pair that would be the perfect accessory to multiple outfits. I am in love with my chosen earrings and have found they amp up even my most boring outfits!  

Here's the deal with her collection:

Earrings are made of genuine leather and nickel free hooks

Beautiful and affordable

When you buy these gorgeous, trendy statement pieces - you are supporting a small business!

The earrings are SO light that I can wear them ALL DAY LONG. I literally cannot wear other earrings for a full day anymore without taking them out from pain

There are so many different styles… perfect for every personality! 

All styles are unique and make amazing gifts 

I cannot get enough of this darling collection! I have about 10 more pairs on my "want" list and I'm thinking about stocking up on a few to keep for gifts as well!

The good news for you all? I've teamed up with Alexis for ONE reader to win a FREE pair of earrings!   How amazing is that? 

To enter the giveaway:

1. Share this post on Facebook

2. COMMENT on the original Facebook post and/or blog that you shared AND what your favorite style of earring is (this part is very important!)

3. Follow Fire Wife Fashion on Instagram here

The winner will be announced on Friday, March 17th! 

And for those of you who want to shop NOW… you can find Fire Wife Fashion here - and as a special "thanks" - your first order will receive FREE SHIPPING with code "sweetandmodern". 

DON'T WAIT… enter the giveaway now! Find your favorite pair by browsing here

AH! What to order next?! I'm sure I'll figure it out! :) 

Big thanks to Alexis and Fire Wife Fashion for hosting this giveaway! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Blanqi Maternity/Support Leggings

Today I am very excited to share about my very favorite maternity item: my support leggings

I heard about Blanqi via Instagram and was super intrigued by the promises they made. I had already added to my maternity collection and found the leggings I owned to be too much pressure on my sensitive stomach, too saggy in the front, or too restrictive throughout my expanding hips and thighs (pregnant ladies… am I right?!) So to say I was skeptical would be an understatement. 

However, as I assume most of you expectant mothers are, I am desperate to feel more supported, comfortable and secure throughout my day. It was recommended to order a size up to ensure  that the tights are not see through, which I did. I sized up to a medium and it was the PERFECT choice. 

My Blanqi maternity leggings are my favorite maternity piece for a multitude of reasons. To break it down, I identified the things that make them above and beyond other maternity leggings. 

I cannot tell you how many times I take off other pairs of pants and see lines ingrained in the side of my legs. Being pregnant comes with its own set of discomforts, and the last thing I need is my movement restricted and my skin being dug into it. With Blanqi, you won't have ANY of this! Completely unrestricted movements and no pressure on my thighs. 

It's a fine line with maternity gear. You want fluid movement, but you also want to feel "held in". Somehow, Blanqi has managed to achieve this all in one! The stomach portion of the leggings is designed for maximum comfort and support. No awkward pressure, but I still feel like I am held in place. 

Well, I wear these leggings everyday. I wash them constantly so that they are always available! 
I am able to wear these to work and dress them up. At the same time, I have worn them to work out in! They hold up beautifully, are NOT see through, and are completely breathable.

Finding a pair of pants/leggings that I can wear ALL DAY LONG has been absolutely priceless. I was hesitant to purchase a pair as it's hard to know what to invest in for pregnancy clothing. But this item has paid for itself over and over. I would recommend these pants to everyone expecting and I would buy myself several more pairs! 

I already have my eye on the Postpartum Nursing leggings and cannot wait to try more Blanqi gear. Being pregnant is not easy… finding clothing that is comfortable and makes you feel good is SO important. Get your pair of maternity support leggings HERE

Special thanks to Blanqi for the privilege of trying their leggings! All opinions are genuine and mine alone. 

Big thanks to Rocking J imaging for capturing my favorite leggings