How To Feel More Beautiful

October 25, 2020

Today we're doing something a little bit different here on Cake After Midnight and I've got a great guest post comin' at ya from my beautiful & lovely friend Emma Johnson of Emma J. Agency. So let's dive in!

Answer me this: When you look in the mirror, how do you see yourself? 

This is not a topic of vanity. 

Research suggests that how we think affects how we feel. This may not be news to you, but do you actually apply this to yourself? It also suggests that having negative thoughts about ourselves can cause us physical and mental harm. 

What to Expect from a Tarot Reading

October 23, 2020

I’ve always taken an interest in the metaphysical/mystical, ever since I can remember. We had a Ouiji board growing up, but like most kids messing around with that stuff (word of warning: DON’T), we just used it for asking silly things like if our crush was into us, and then we would all scream with excitement as we took turns yelling over each other, “You’re moving it! Ok, really guys, who’s moving it? I’m not doing it!” 

I was also super into faeries as a kid and collected all things fae – books (this Suza Scalora photography collection moved me so much as a teen), figurines, and I eventually graduated to this beautiful faerie oracle deck. I had no idea really what I was doing or how to use it, but I found the idea alluring – plus, you can’t deny the art is serene and ethereal (quick side note: a tarot deck is much more structured and has ancient roots, whereas an oracle deck can take many forms and there is no set number of cards or a specific set of rules it has to follow). Some of my favorite decks are the faerie deck and the self-care oracle deck, which I use on a daily basis (it’s all positive cards that tell you different self-care things, like meditate, do yoga, take a bath, etc.)

The Ultimate Spooky Season Playlist

October 20, 2020

Purple glitter skeleton

I'm a huge fan of music. There have been so many times where I feel like music literally saved my life. I use it to express myself/listen to whatever I may be feeling at the moment, get me super pumped for a workout (or chores, ugh!), or turn up the volume as high as it will go, and jam out on my commute to work. One of my favorite things has always been creating mixtapes/CDs. That's kind of a thing of the past now (though if you're like me, you still buy, collect, and regularly play CDs), so the next best thing has become playlists. I love using Spotify to curate different playlists to fuel my moods. I also love creating individualized playlists for friends. One of my bridesmaids gifts (ahem, years ago I might add) was a unique playlist for each friend, created specifically just for them, of songs that either reminded me of them or spoke to our friendship on some level (so, as you can imagine given my age, most of those mixes had a ton of Spice Girls, Backstreet & Britney).

Halloween is no exception. There are so many great songs out there that inspire that spooky mood, even outside of your typical "Monster Mash" type songs. So I've created the perfect playlist for October that's sure to get you in the spirit (but honestly, I listen to this year round. The first song is legit a banger).

Dayton, TN: The little town you never knew you needed to visit

August 16, 2020

If you live in Chattanooga or one of its surrounding areas, you've probably been to - or at least heard of - Dayton, TN. It's one of those quintessential small southern towns. You know - the kind that conjur images of people sitting on their front porch, sippin' sweet tea, a quaint Main Street with little mom & pop type stores, and a church on every corner. Cute, right? Well if you were passing through Dayton, you'd think just that, but you'd be wrong. Dayton is so much more than that.

Working with Brands 101: Tips for New Bloggers & Micro Influencers

August 9, 2020

Collab/shopping event with Ann Taylor

I was actually inspired to write this post by a DM I recently received. A new blogger had reached out to me asking for advice because a company commented on one of her posts about collabing (red flag, #1. We'll get into this later). I was able to steer her away from potentially being scammed and it got me thinking: what if there are others out there that need to hear this? I wish someone had given me a rundown of how things worked when I was first starting out!

I have actually worked with quite a few brands, but let me preface this by saying I am by no means an expert on the subject, and the number of brands I have worked with pales in comparison to some of my blogger friends (sidenote: all of the photos on this post are pulled from brand collabs I did). I merely wanted to share what I have learned thus far as a "micro influencer" (more like nano influencer, and honestly, I don't even really like the term "influencer" but it is what it is. I just consider myself a blogger, first and foremost.) Anyone can be an "influencer." If you have followers, you have "influence" and by that, I just mean that clearly there are people out there that care about you and what you have to offer & share with the world.

What To Expect When You're Expecting [A Disney Vacation]: A Guide to Disney's "New Normal"

July 23, 2020

Disney reopening

Recently, my friend & fellow Disney-lovin' Instagrammer, Tara, returned from a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. I know a lot of us are really curious about all of the new procedures, how they work, and what it's like at the parks right now (especially in a hot mask all day. Hellooooo sweaty face)! So I asked Tara if she would be into doing a guest blog post here on Cake After Midnight. It's been a minute since I've had a guest post, and since I'm such a huge Disnerd (& I know a ton of you guys are too!), I thought this would be a great time for this type of post. So without further ado, let's see what Tara had to say!

Best Gulf Coast Beaches in Florida: St. Pete, Tampa & Clearwater Area

July 21, 2020

One of the reasons I, like countless others, love FL so much is the mermazing beaches dotted along the coast (I see what you did there). I'm a Gulf Coast girl, so I much prefer the gulf side rather than the Atlantic side. Narrowing it down even further, the Greater Tampa area has some of the best beaches in the state, thanks to pristine white sugar sand and crystal clear waters.

We went to numerous different beaches on our recent trip but three of them seriously stood out and each has its own set of reasons why I love it. So if you're headed down south, keep this list handy (even if you're not - you'll want to save this one for later)!

Among the Sunflowers: Where to Catch the Sunflowers in Chattanooga

July 18, 2020

A visit to this sunflower field has become an annual tradition for me. My first trip was back in the summer of 2017 when I was newly pregnant with Lilly, and we have been coming ever since. This particular location is Smith-Perry Berries Farm in Ooltewah, TN (about 30 minutes from downtown Chattanooga).

In addition to a sprawling field of sunflowers that stretch on for what seems like miles, the farm also offers strawberry picking and of course, sunflower picking by the bucketful! This is a great location to visit in the early morning or late evening to avoid the incredibly hot sun (& harsh lighting for all my fellow content creators)! The farm is open until sundown, usually about 9pm each evening.

Trip Report: Exploring Tampa, Clearwater & St. Pete

July 3, 2020

Love St. Pete posts? Check out my other trip reports here & here!

My love affair with FL stems from my childhood and the numerous summers spent visiting family down there (Miami, Delray & Ft. Lauderdale just to name a few), as well as the obligatory trip to Disney any time we even set foot in the state. I love the beaches, the theme parks, the crystal springs, the palm trees (kind of obsessed with them), and yes, the heat (I will gladly take 365 days of boob sweat if it means I don't have to suffer through 4-5 months of cold weather). So naturally, FL is without a doubt, always my #1 destination of choice. There are lots of wonderful towns to explore, pristine sugar sand beaches to visit, and old cities steeped in rich history (I see you, St. Augustine)! But somehow, St. Pete has become one of our favorite places to vacation (this was our 3rd summer in a row) so a few weeks ago, my family & I roadtripped it down for a weeklong stay, which got rescheduled 3 times & almost didn't happen, due to the-virus-that-shall-not-be-named.

We love this area of FL because it has some of the best beaches and is pretty centrally located to lots of other fun cities & beach towns. Downtown St. Pete has a really cool & funky vibe, with a small town feel, and I could 100% see myself moving there one day (soon...if I get my way! But those who know me also know that I've been trying to make this my reality for years now).

Lavender Fields Forever: An Evening at Lookout Lavender Farm

June 19, 2020

You know those stunning wanderlust photos on Instagram of girls in white dresses, looking wistfully off into the distance in the middle of a lavender field that goes on for miles & miles? I've always wanted to experience that. Well, majority of those are in Provence, France, and unfortunately, a luxurious trip to France just isn't in the cards for me anytime soon (I can only imagine the insanity that would ensue on a transcontinental flight with my two year old. Hard pass).

Lucky for me, I stumbled upon a little farm just outside of Chattanooga where I could live out my travel bug dreams & experience a little taste of the lavender fields for myself.

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