Happy Monday y’all, hope everyone had a relaxing weekend! Ours was busy, but lots of fun!

I’m super excited because this week on the blog I’m going into detail and answering some of my
MOST FREQUENTLY asked questions.
One question I get multiple times a day is, “how do you edit your photos?!”
I’ve responded to hundreds of DM’s and even shared on stories before on how I edit, BUT figured I would do a full blog post for y’all today and include some before and after photos as well!

I recently started taking my “Instagram game” a little more seriously and completely fell in love
with the presets that Dreamy Presets has to offer…with that being said,
I’m so pumped to be partnering with them to celebrate their two year anniversary today!!
The best news is, I’VE GOT A DISCOUNT CODE for those of you interested in purchasing some presets!!
You can use code “MONICADREAMY” for 15% off for the next 48 hours!
Head straight to their site {here} to check out all of the different presets they have available.

I’ve been using their Millennial Pink Presets for about 3 months now & not only does it make “editing” SO much easier & faster but it gives my feed a cohesive look that I just L O V E.

Here are a few before and after photos using the Millennial Pink Presets! These are hands down my fav!
I take all of my pictures on my iPhone in all different settings and lighting, every now and then I will need to adjust the brightness of my photo if the picture turns out too saturated/orangey but for the most part I just apply the preset and I’m all done!!

 

Before:

After: Edited with Millennial Pink Presets

Before:

After: Edited with Millennial Pink Presets

Before:

After: Edited with Millennial Pink Presets

In my opinion the presets always turn out better when you’re outdoors and in good lighting thats not too shaded and not too harsh, here’s an example of a photo where it was a little more shaded.
The preset looks a tad different, but still great!
Before:

After: Edited with Millennial Pink Presets

Dreamy Presets has 6 gorgeous styles for you to choose from and I promise you will NOT be disappointed with any of them!
Feel free to leave me a comment here or on my most recent instagram post with any questions you may have,
I’d be happy to answer them for you!

And make sure you check back here tomorrow because I’ll be answering another FAQ for y’all!!



Okay y’all, I have been SO overwhelmed with all of your sweet messages lately!!
I can’t even count how many of you have told me how great I look and
how it doesn’t even look like I just had a baby, and while all of that is SO sweet and so nice to hear.
It’s not the truth.
Now, don’t get me wrong! I’m SO proud of my body right now, and I’m extremely happy with how it looks and how it’s slowly transforming back into my new normal.
However, I totally DO look like I just had a baby, and guess what? THAT’S OKAY.

A ton of you have asked me how I’ve managed to “bounce back” so quickly,
and the truth is, I haven’t, and I always want to keep it real with y’all.

A good outfit can seriously do wonders and a postpartum girdle REALLY does wonders.
But the truth is, it’s really really unlikely that your body is going to immediately “bounce back”
after having a baby, especially when you’ve only had a baby a few weeks ago!! (3 weeks for me)
So please DO NOT look at my photos and compare yourself to me, or to anyone else for that matter!
I may look like I have my pre baby body back under a flattering outfit but I can promise you I’m still rocking a tummy pooch that is ridiculously squishy, back fat, extra skin,
that dark line down my tummy (linea nigra), and I’ve still got stitches in my lady parts that are pretty dang uncomfortable, oh and don’t get me started on the cellulite that’s replaced all of the muscle that I lost…

A lot of people have this pre conceived notion that if someone has just had a baby then they’re going to look “bigger” for a while, and if they don’t look that way then they have some secret super power of “bouncing back” and having abs a week after they popped an 8 lb baby out. While, yes there are some people who manage to have abs after popping out a baby, I can assure you, I am NOT one of those people.

While I may look small and in shape and it may appear that I have my “pre baby body back”,
I totally don’t. I lost every ounce of muscle I’ve ever had during my pregnancy.
I used to be pretty fit, and my legs used to be pretty dang muscular. During my pregnancy, although I didn’t swell or get big everywhere, my body totally did change, and that’s okay – I was busy growing a baby!

A lot of you have asked how I managed to stay fit during my pregnancy and I mainly just walked A LOT.
I’ve spent my entire life working out and wanting my body to look a certain way, and once I became pregnant I wanted to soak up every change. I felt this HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders and I couldn’t wait to have a big belly. Of course I was still going to be healthy, but I was going to stop putting so much pressure on myself to look a certain way and just enjoy the heck out of my growing and changing body,
and I did JUST that the entire 9 months!
(Of course every now and then some changes are hard to accept/deal with & that’s totally normal)

I really think how much weight you gain during your pregnancy plays a huge role in how fast you’ll be able to “bounce back”.
But the truth is, everyones body is SO different, and no matter how healthy you are,
or how much you work out during your pregnancy,
there’s just no telling how your body is going to react after baby.
Honestly, it takes the majority of people quite a while to get their pre baby body back,
and I hate that SO many women feel a ridiculous amount of pressure to “bounce back” immediately.

All throughout my pregnancy I was SO curious to know what my stomach was going to look like right after I had my baby,
I remember right after I had Hayes my nurse helped me up to use the restroom and I was basically naked,
and my body was still shaking really bad from delivery…I remember looking down while I was peeing and thinking, “Holy crap I’m SO skinny!!!”
and also being shocked at how much my tummy was jiggling from my shaking hahaha
As soon as I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I realized I wasn’t skinny and actually still looked about 6 months pregnant, but when you’ve been a whale and haven’t been able to see anything below your stomach for months, it’s easy to feel skinny AF even when you really aren’t haha
My stomach pretty much resembled a blob of jello and I honestly didn’t mind it and thought it was kind of funny/cool, I’m pretty sure I had the majority of my visitor poke it, and if you were one of those visitors I’m really sorry I put you through that…must’ve been the lack of sleep. lol

Once we got home I was in no rush to start wearing my postpartum girdle,
I was in mama/recovery/survival mode and I also just really wanted to see how my body was going to heal
and shrink on it’s own. It was so amazing and interesting waking up each morning and seeing small changes in my belly, I let my belly gradually shrink naturally on it’s own and once I stopped seeing changes is when I decided to start wearing my girdle! Now, a postpartum girdle is NOT a miracle worker.
However, I do love how it allows me to wear some of my pre pregnancy jeans!

I don’t plan on this girdle getting me back to me pre pregnancy body,
I’m pretty realistic and know I won’t really have “my body” back until I can start working out again.
I know I’m going to have to put in some work and that’s fine by me!
But I’m happy wearing my girdle until that time comes to help me out.

So, a lot of you are asking about the girdle I have and what exactly it does!

If you decide you want one, make sure you use my discount code “monicak20” for $20 off!
If you want to head straight to their website and read all about it click {HERE}
Here’s a little excerpt from the site:

“Postpartum Abdominal Compression is applied with a garment that a woman wears tightly around the torso following the birth of a baby. To maximize their benefits, postpartum girdles should fit quite snugly around the midsection. It is this tightness that helps improve posture and aid in recovery after baby is born. Bellefit is the maker of the best postpartum girdle for recovery after natural birth or c-section.

Postpartum binders apply steady pressure around a woman’s abdomen and lumbar region meant to reduce swelling, expel fluids, improve posture, provide support for both the abdomen and back and allow women to have more mobility after giving birth.

In addition, postpartum binding has the added bonus of helping women fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes comfortably and sooner than they would if they went through a C-section or natural childbirth recovery without it.”

I really have loved wearing mine lately, I try to wear it for at least a few hours a day.
I think most people wear it all day long!
I love wearing mine when we go on walks in the evenings and especially when I’m going to be out and about or wearing a cuter outfit, it just makes me feel a little extra put together and confident!

With allllllllll that being said, please know that you and your body are INCREDIBLE.
Please please be easy on yourselves and your bodies ladies.
You are so beautiful and no one expects you to have a picture perfect body right after you birth a child!!
So give yourself some grace, be patient, and know that your body will slowly get back to normal.
Get yourself a postpartum girdle for support and recovery but DO NOT get one if you’re expecting it to perform a miracle!
And in the meantime soak up all the newborn snuggles you can!
Because those are moments that you will never ever get back, and I can guarantee you that your little babe loves you JUST the way that you are!

Happy Thursday guys!
I’ve been getting asked the same question on repeat lately! And that’s “How do you edit your photos?!” So instead of responding to everyone individually I figured I’d do a quick post on my favorite photo editing apps!
I’ve used a TON of photo editing apps throughout the years but I’ve been pretty loyal to these
4 apps for months now…

#1. Darkroom
I LOVE the filters in this app, that’s pretty much all I use it for. This app can actually do SO many amazing things but I haven’t taken the time to sit down and learn all of it’s capabilities.
When I first start editing my photos I’ll immediately go to Darkroom and throw my favorite filter on there. I think my favorite part is that you can adjust the strength of each filter! I’m not super big into the whole “cohesive Instagram feed look” but I do try to use a Darkroom filter on all of my photos so there’s somewhat of a similarity in each photo and everything flows nicely together!

#2. Snapseed
After I’ve chosen a filter I’ll head to Snapseed to “tune” the image. I’ll adjust the lighting, contrast, saturation, or just whatever I think the photo needs! This app also has “looks/filters” you can use, my most used are Portrait and Pop – However, most of the time I find that they’re a little too filtered for my liking so that’s why I like to go in and tune the image myself on this app!

#3. Retouch
This is a great and SUPER easy app if you have something in your photo that you need to remove.
For instance, if there’s an ugly telephone pole right behind you, you can head to the Retouch app, click “object removal” and highlight over what you want to remove and it does it for you! Have a stain on your shirt? Retouch will fix that for ya!

#4. Mendr
Every now and then the Retouch app just can’t do what I want, and that’s when I head to Mendr!
Mendr is kind of like the app of all apps. With Mendr, you send your photo into a professional editor and leave notes for them on what you want fixed/changed! They can literally do ANYTHING.
I took this selfie on our babymoon and had them remove the toilet seat in the background and also had them fix the shadow on my belly! Then I adjusted the lighting/colors how I wanted – but they can even do that for you if you’d like! See their amazing skills in the photo below.

Sometimes I just use one of those apps for a photo and sometimes I’ll use them all!
I know I said I would be sharing “my top 5” favorite photo editing apps with y’all so
I’m going to list a few more great ones below!

#5. PicTapGo
This app is also phenomenal and super easy to use, I think they have the largest variety of free filters and everything is adjustable as well – you can even put a filter on top of a filter if you want! I still use this one occasionally and it will forever be one of my favs!

#6. VSCO
This was my “go to” app for a while, before I discovered Darkroom. SO many people love and rave about this app, and it really is great!!

#7. Colorstory
This is also a great photo editing app! If you’re trying to give your Instagram feed a nice cohesive look when it comes to colors, this app is great for that!!

Hopefully this post answered all of your questions!
Keep on sending me suggestions on blog topic ideas, I love knowing what y’all want to see more of.

Tomorrow’s post is for my pregnant ladies – I’ll be sharing some of my fav places to shop for maternity activewear, So make sure you come say hi and check out all the cute things!