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I hope you guys are loving this “Dressing The Bump” series… and here is look #3!  This look actually uses a fitted maternity dress (but could still use a non-maternity jersey dress) paired with tights.  Technically since this is a dress, it could be worn without leggings, but we don’t quite have the weather to NOT wear leggings and I am not brave enough to bare it all yet.  ;)  When I was trying to figure out what shoes to wear with this outfit, I was thinking of sandals or wedges or flats, but my husband actually suggested I wear boots.  So I put on my Hunter’s and I actually really love how this look turned out.  And it’s perfect for those April showers.  Of course I had to throw in some florals to get that classic pattern mixing that I love oh-so-much in!

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Outfit Details:

Dress: ASOS
Boots: Hunter
Scarf c/o Boden
Purse: Rebecca Minkoff

P.S. The winner of the $25 credit to PinkBlush Maternity giveaway is Amanda Healey or Perfectly Beautiful Things!  Congrats girl, send me an email at sandyalamode(at)gmail(dot)com to claim your prize! :D

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This last Friday and Saturday I attended the second annual Go Blog Social Conference in Kansas City!  This year’s event was hosted at the Berg Event Space, which was an absolutely stunning and perfect venue for this type of event.  It was my first time there and I was just blown away by all the wood, the architecture and the light coming in through the ceilings.  The conference was full of amazing speakers in which I learned more about blogging, how to grow my blog, but the best part of all was getting to hang out with old friends and making a ton more blogging connections.  I’d say about half of the attendees were local to KC, while others came mostly from other Midwest states.

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For Friday’s schedule, there was a wonderful line up of speakers and I am just going to highlight a few.  Kelly of Kansas City Mamas talked was about “How to Create A Media Kit”.  This is something that I don’t really have for my blog and something that I really need to think about starting!  I have an Advertise page on my site, but the Media Kit would include much more than that.  It’s about putting a professional face forward when working with brands and letting them know you are serious.  The Media Kit can just be a one-pager, but it should include your elevator pitch, demographic information, site and social media stats and an about section.  Another thing that I may need to implement from this is a Reader Survey, so that I can get a better idea of what you like and don’t like on my blog, and it can just be much more relevant than Google Analytics stats.

Amanda of Amanda Marie had some awesome photography inspiration and tips to help bloggers up their photography!  She reassured us who don’t have the top of the line dSLR’s that you don’t need an amazing camera to get some amazing photos.  I loved that most of the photos in her presentation were taken from her camera (that’s where I do a lot of my photographing these days too)!  And the thing I learned is to use photo editing apps and NOT Instagram filters, because everyone has those!

Jessie of Style and Pepper was the Keynote Speaker of Friday and not only is she super stylish, but she is so bubbly, fun and super inspiring!  Her blog is just amazing and one to look up to.  She consults with others on how to grow and market blogs, she is full of ideas, and so confident in what she does.  She stressed the importance of building each other help and helping each other out in this big ole blog community of ours.

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On Saturday, I joined the conference a little later, but wanted to highlight the Keynote Speaker which was Kaelin of Better Homes & Gardens.  First of all, their online e-mag and paper magazine are some of my favorite reads.  I wish my home could look like any one of the pages on the magazine, but for now, it’s all just great inspiration to look at and aspire too.  Kaelin’s speech came from the perspective of working with a magazine (which can be much different than working with traditional sponsors who just want ads on sidebars or giveaways) and how about having a specific pitch is always the best way to start off.

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As you can see, the conference was sponsored by lots of great vendors such as Farm to Market Bread Co., Vita Coco, Skinny Girl bars and so much more.  The swag bags were full of beauty products and gift cards that I will surely be using!!

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Again, it was so great to hang out with old friends and meet so many new ones!  I only wish I could have gotten a picture with everyone I had met, but I do have a good stack of business cards to show for it!

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And I do want to give a special shoutout to Sarah and Kat, the co-founders of Go Blog Social, as well as the entire GBS Team for hosting such an awesome event.  I was so glad to be a part of it this year!

P.S. The “Dressing The Bump” series will be returning tomorrow!

The second look in my “Dressing The Bump” series this week is also great for hiding the bump.  It consists of wearing a flowy top that hangs down over your belly and track or harem pants.  I think this look reminds me of being in a beach city or just walking around and shopping near Manhattan Beach so I added a hat and some wedges (or you could totally wear sandals) to this look.  I kept the jewelry light and simplistic since this is also a casual-ish outfit as well.

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This outfit makes me want to go on a vacation right now.  I wish we had more family trips or vacations to warm places planned, but unfortunately we’re just failing to schedule them into our life right now.  A babymoon before baby #2 would be truly nice but again, not sure if we have time.  I do have a baby shower for a friend that we’re having in Las Vegas (girly time is the best time, yes!), a possible fun trip to California as an extension of a work trip, and then a couple of weddings this Summer which will be awesome, but that’s about all the vacation we have planned.  And some may think that 3 months off for maternity leave is “vacation”, but it’s surely no walk in the park waking up every 2 hours with a newborn.

Don’t forget to check out the first “Dressing The Bumppost from yesterday if you missed it!

Outfit Details:
Tank c/o Roe Boulevard (take 20% off code with SHOPROE)
Cardigan: J.Crew
Pants: H&M
Hat c/o Conversation Pieces (free shipping with code SANDY)
Shoes: ShoeMint
Necklace: Swell Caroline
Earrings c/o Roe Boulevard

This week I am going to bring you a fun little series called “Dressing The Bump”.  This week’s pictures are a bump that has just entered the second trimester.  Some looks are good for “hiding” it if you aren’t quite ready to reveal your secret and some are good for if you don’t mind if people know or not (i.e. the stage where you can be confused for having a big food baby or are actually pregnant).  This first look is totally great for hiding a bump, it consists of a long loose top with some skinny jeans.  Since I kept it plain for these pieces, I spiced it up a bit with a fun 9th & Elm striped scarf and my fave floral sneakers that I literally wear twice a week.  It’s a pretty casual look that could be worn for running errands, going out with friends, or even taking your kiddo to the park.

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Even though it’s officially Spring, once in awhile we will get a little reminder of the brutal winter that we all just barely survived through.  So although I’m dressed in pastels and florals and look all peppy and happy… a coat and scarf were totally necessary or else that smile would have looked even more forced than it already does.  It’s actually kind of funny to see that Austin actually DOES NOT like cold.  When we take him to go outside and play in the snow, he stands out there for 3 minutes and says “It’s too cold, I wana go inside”.  When it’s 50 degrees and I take him on a stroller ride, he requests to wear a hat, scarf, gloves AND for me to put a “blanket on”.  And just the other day, when it was a BEAUTIFUL 65 degrees, we stepped outside for a bit and still said it was too cold even though he was wearing a tee, sweater, light jacket and sweatpants.  I swear, he has the body temperature of an old woman.

I wore this outfit for the grand opening of a local Ulta Beauty store.  Stay tuned coming soon to the blog, a giveaway from them!  And don’t forget to come back tomorrow for my second look in my “Dressing The Bump” series!

Outfit Details:
Top: Golden Tote
Pants: Gap
Jacket: J.Crew
Colorblock Infinity Scarf c/o 9th & Elm
Gold Monogram Bracelet c/o 9th & Elm
Shoes: ASOS
Necklace: Madewell
Earrings: Hello Cheeseburger
Bag: Tory Burch

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Just wanted to share that for the next few days I will be at the Go Blog Social Conference in Kansas City!  It’s pretty exciting to see how much the Kansas City blogging scene has picked up in the past couple of years and I’m excited that I’ve gotten to be a part of it (well, attended many of the events and met so many blogger friends)!  At this conference, I am most excited to expand my Kansas City network of friends, learn more about how to run a successful blog while still maintaining a family/life/work balance, and figure out how to get my blog out there in front of more eyes.  In the first year or two of blogging, I felt like I did a pretty good job of building my community and getting my blog out there.  And of course the topics that I blog about and my “community” have changed throughout the years as my blog has evolved.  But in the last couple of years, I feel like my blog has plateaued a bit and although time/life/work are working against me at times, I still do want to grow my blog as much as I can.  Here’s the line up of speakers that I can’t wait to learn more from!  And I’m also excited to discover and possibly work with some new brands as well!

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So if you will also be attending the conference, leave your blog link in the comments so I can check out your blog before meeting you in person.  And I hope to meet as many of you as possible in the next couple of days!!

For those who have been to blog conferences before, do you have any tips for getting the most out of the conference as possible?