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 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Random + quick dinner idea

Hi everyone! It seems rare that I pop in with a weekly hello these days… that's because it is! But here I am! Halfway to 28 weeks pregnant and gearing up for the ever popular glucose test tomorrow. Woo! Not. I've never heard good things so I can't say I'm thrilled. 

Other lingering thoughts…

Choosing a pediatrician...

Wondering what the baby will look like and hoping he isn't 10 lbs at birth...

Getting excited for baby showers! 

And in other unrelated news, we took date night to the movies last night. And we saw M. Night Shyamalan's "Split." It was amazing. It was one of the most suspenseful, disturbing and horrifying movies I have seen in quite some time. We see A LOT of movies. And I would say this is one of my favorites in the last 6 months. I really don't want to give anything away but I highly suggest seeing it. It isn't your standard scary movie scream fest - it is so much more. Sweet & Modern gives it a big thumbs up. :) 

And for a super fast dinner and crowd pleaser…

Taco Skillet. This recipe is SO easy. Your children could make it (if you trusted them with a hot stove).  There are many variations to this recipe… honestly, you can't mess it up. I make it sort of differently every time! But here's the basics:

photo courtesy of Campbells

1 lb hamburger  (or turkey works too!)
1 can tomato soup
1/2 to 1 cup of salsa
1/2 cup water
8 soft tortilla shells (torn into 1 inch pieces)
Shredded cheddar cheese (as much as you can handle!)

1. Brown hamburger in a 10 inch skillet stovetop. Add seasonings as preferred. 
2. Drain grease. 
3. Pour hamburger back in to skillet. Add tomato soup, water, salsa and shells. 
4. Increase temp until it starts to bubble/boil. 
5. Reduce heat. 
5. Add shredded cheese. A little or a lot. (I do a lot!)
6. Let simmer and let the cheese melt. Serve with a dollop of sour cream! 

That's it! Seriously. So flavorful and easy. You can even sneak in spinach or anything else you want to add! I love that this takes under 30 minutes - start to finish - and ONE PAN. Go forth and make this delicious, easy, old Campbells soup recipe. :) 

PS - husband approved! 

Hope everyone is having a great week! 


Thursday, January 19, 2017

26ish weeks

I am almost 27 weeks. But not quite. But basically. It's all very technical. 

I wanted to do another fun, cute questionnaire to update you all on "the bump" progress, but I decided I have enough random thoughts concerning this point in pregnancy that I would simply just share those. 

Comfort is key. Too tight of pants will ruin your day. 

Having the stomach flu while pregnant is the worst. It's always the worst. Being pregnant makes it double suck. 

Underwires suck. Leave them behind. 

I know in the back of my mind I can't prevent stretch marks, but I am trying. Religiously. So far, so good. 

I still don't regret having my belly button pierced. Everyone told me I would once I got to this point. But I don't. (And yes, it's been long gone for awhile now!)

People constantly ask me, are you having cravings? I always say no. But I would say my thoughts are usually 90% about food.

It's getting uncomfortable to bend over. I've noticed to pick something up, I've started doing a weird squat thing. It's definitely not cute. 

Pregnancy brain is real. 

I've learned to try my hardest to not start crying when it "comes on". One, single emotional thought can turn into a huge, ugly cry session. In my car, on the way to a meeting. No thanks. 

I read a lot about how to make your regular clothes last far into maternity. I disagree. If I could go back, I would start wearing the stretchy, high waist things immediately. 

It is still the greatest thing ever when he is kicking, even when it's my bladder. He's wild!

Speaking of bladder, I despise you 4:30 AM bathroom break. You are the worst. 

No strangers have touched my stomach... yet. Apparently this happens.

I can't breathe. 

I need to update my baby registry again. 

Are my ribs breaking? 

Heartburn is the worst. Well, second to nausea. 

I still can't believe he will be here in a few short months. 


Friends who loan you cute maternity clothes are amazing. 

Pregnancy would be so much scarier without my husband. He is the best. 

And so many other things...

Pregnancy is so many things I had heard, but also so many things I didn't expect to feel! The general consensus is always "it's all totally worth it"... and I absolutely believe that! I cannot wait until our little guy is here. 

Here's to 13 more weeks!