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.

Everyday Pixiedust: 10 Ways to Live the Disney Magic on the Daily

April 29, 2020

Buckle up and por favor, mantenganse alejado de las puertas, guys, because this is going to be one long ride! I mean post...(if you're reading this, you're probably at least a little bit into Disney. If you make it all the way to the end, congratulations, you're officially a Disney junkie).

So we're stuck in quarantine, the world feels like it's falling apart at the seams, and the Disney parks are closed (insert exaggerated 3 minute long gasp here). For some of us addicts, this is absolutely soul crushing. Ok, I'm being dramatic here because in the grand scheme of things, there are more pressing matters. BUT we still need a little pixiedust in our lives, now more than ever. So what's a Disney fan to do when you can't go to Disney? You bring Disney to you. 

No, I'm not talking about those epic overchieving people that have gone viral with their videos about how they made a Jungle Cruise ride in their backyard or completely transformed their living room into Cinderella's Castle (I'm a working mom stuck at home with a 2 year old. I do not have time for that - kudos if you do). This post is all about simple & easy ways how you can bring home that Disney magic that we all know & love. Whether it's muddling through quarantine, a long gap between Disney trips, or getting over a Disney vacation hangover, there are plenty of ways to keep the Disney spirit alive & well at home.

Staying Sane in Quarantine

April 13, 2020

It's been a minute since I last posted. You'd think with all this quarantining and being stuck at home it would be just the opposite and I should be killing it right now at the blogging game, but I'm trying to work from home and at the same time care for my 2 year old & attempt to keep her entertained (Disney+ has become our version of Mary Poppins: it makes for a great nanny when I'm busy with work - more on this later)!

These days we're all stuck inside a lot more than we'd like, but it doesn't have to be all doom & gloom! I wanted to throw a quick post together to share some of the things I've been doing here at home to stay sane during these uncertain & unprecedented times, and offer up a list of some things you guys could try too!

Dealing with Anxiety in the Age of Corona

March 27, 2020

Looking for more self care articles? Be sure to check out this post on self care here!

Y'all know I love fun, colorful, whimsical content. But in today's ever changing environment, I would be doing you guys a disservice if I wasn't churning out some content that might help deal with what is going on in the world these days. Even if only one person reads this, if they can take something away from it that is helpful in any way at all, that matters to me.

So by now, we're all probably sick of hearing about COVID-19, but unfortunately it is unavoidable: it's everywhere! It's absolutely terrifying, and for someone who already stresses out on a regular basis about normal everyday issues like cleaning the house & being on time for appointments, layering a debilitating, life threatening, incredibly contagious disease on top of that is a recipe for a panic attack (or 5).

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