September 27, 2017

The Blogging Tools I Can’t Live Without

Hello friends! Today I thought I would share a bit of a behind the scenes post, with some of the blogging tools I can’t live without, and find myself using all of the time! Some of them are quite simple, but definitely make my life easier when it comes to staying organized while working full-time and running this blog! I’m also mentioning a few of the software/more technical components of my blog that I use all the time but you might not think of, and the basics of what I use to keep my YouTube channel going. Okay, let’s get started!

The Blogging Tool I can't live without

(affiliate links used for convenience)

Canva– I use Canva at least once a week, to make the main graphic of a blog post (just like the one above). There are so many free templates, and I can add brand colours to make everything match! It’s very user friendly, and I even have the app on my phone! Most templates are free but there are paid options as well. I can also add my own pictures, which is great for YouTube!

Lightroom- Adobe Lightroom is the program I use to edit all of my photos! Ethan and I both used the free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud before purchasing it, but I definitely think it was worth the investment. The program itself is very user friendly, and I find it much less confusing than Photoshop. There are other programs in the Creative Cloud that could be useful, but that’s not really in the budget right now, so it’s nice to have Lightroom and know that we will have it forever.

A Planner and Notebook- You guys know I love my Erin Condren Life Planner, and it’s where I do my rough scheduling for the blog. I use the monthly pages to jot out blog posts months in advance. Then, I copy the schedule to the weekly pages and add them to the back end of my website a few months at a time. I always do the scheduling in pencil because I change my mind a lot! But the planner is my basic content calendar. I also use just a plain notebook all the time! To brainstorm blog posts, take notes of any courses I take, and to make notes for videos I’ll be filming. I always just write the order of things, without writing a ton because I want videos to be more personal and not me reading from a script.

iMovie- iMovie is the software I edit all of my videos in! I find it’s very user friendly, and fairly simple. While I’d love to have software like Final Cut Pro, the price is very intimidating, and I like using a program that came free with my desktop.

Camera- Luckily Ethan and I had purchased our DSLR cameras before I started the blog, otherwise that would be a huge expense to get started. You can use your phone or a point and shoot camera, but I really like using the DSLR’s to take pictures for the blog, and to film my YouTube videos with. My camera is a Canon Rebel SL1, and Ethan’s is a Canon Rebel T5i. I use his more for filming because the screen can flip around, and I like how mine is a little bit smaller. I go through all of the camera equipment we currently have in this post if you want to read more! Below I’m shooting with Ethan’s T5i.

Taking a picture

Lighting (similar to what I have)- I bought an umbrella light kit from Amazon, and it’s working for now! It was around $80 but I have definitely gotten my moneys worth out of it! I decided to go for this style of light instead of a ring light, because the reflection in my eyes is a little more natural than that of a ring light. I might upgrade at some point, but for now what I’m using is working!

the blogging tools I can't live without

WordPress- I don’t want to get too technical here, but while some bloggers use word documents to compose their blog posts, I work straight in the back-end of my blog which is in WordPress. I create new posts for the dates scheduled in my planner, and do this for a couple months at a time. As the blog post approaches, I start to fill out a rough layout (for example with this blog post I started listing all of the tools I could think of that I wanted to talk about), and then I go back and flesh it out. There’s editing software in here, and this way I don’t have to worry about copying and pasting from a word document that would be on a specific computer. The only thing you might be thinking of is the fact that I don’t have an extra copy of each blog post. That’s where the next tool comes in.

Backup Buddy– This is the program I use to back up my blog every single day. I didn’t have a backup for the longest time (which was a huge risk I was taking and wouldn’t recommend it), and then I purchased Backup buddy. For ~$80 a year my blog backs up every day, and I get an email when it’s done. From there I can download the files if needed. For the peace of mind, it’s TOTALLY worth it.

Hootsuite– Hootsuite I use every week to schedule my Facebook and Twitter posts for when I have a new blog post! The only weird thing about Hootsuite is I can’t schedule the posts before the blog post is live, because the link will show up blank. But I’ve made it part of my routine to do it every Wednesday morning. But it’s free (there is a paid option available) and does what I want it to, so it’s all good!

Social Media- Lastly I use social media every day to post something for you guys! I edit a bunch of pictures at a time in Lightroom, and then email them to myself to upload to Instagram! Not following me? I think you should start! 🙂 I’ve linked most of my accounts, but they’re all also up at the top of this page!

I hope you guys enjoyed taking a look at the blogging tools I can’t live without! A lot of the tools I use are free, so blogging doesn’t always have to be super expensive! If you’d like to hear more behind the scenes content, definitely let me know!

If you blog, what’s the tool you can’t live without? Let me know in the comments!

Kelsey
September 20, 2017

Have To’s at Magic Kingdom!

Hello everyone, I hope you are well! I have another Disney post for you today, and I’m starting a small series! If you’ve ever stayed at a Walt Disney World resort, you may have turned on the tv and found the Must Do channel. Hosted by Stacy, she goes through all of the “must do” things at each of the park. So I thought that in the next couple weeks I would share the things that I have to do in each park, and that I would want to do if I only had one day in each park. So don’t expect it to be all of the thrill rides or anything like that, but just the attractions or shows that make up my ideal day in each park. Today we are starting with Magic Kingdom! Okay, let’s get started with my have to’s at Magic Kingdom!

Have To's at Magic Kingdom

Because I don’t want these posts to be lists of every single thing, we are going to try and keep this under 10 things! I also tried to pick at least one thing from each area in the park!

Splash Mountain- I’ve mentioned before that this is my favourite attraction in Walt Disney World, so of course I want to ride it! I love the length of the ride, the characters, the big drop and the smaller ones that keep you guessing. Riding it when it’s hot is awesome, and it’s fun at night! It’s definitely my favourite mountain in the Magic Kingdom, and it’s a ride I definitely want to do every time I’m in Magic Kingdom!

It’s a Small World- A classic! This ride reminds me of my childhood, so I love revisiting it. My favourite room is the jungle, I love the winking hippo and the Elephant on the wall swinging the kids on it’s tusks. This is my must ride attraction in Fantasyland!

Have To's at Magic Kingdom

Pirates of the Caribbean- Something about walking through Adventureland I love. The way the music kicks in just tells me I’m in Disney! If I’m going to go on one ride in Adventureland, it has to be Pirates of the Caribbean! This might be weird, but I love the smell! I love how long it takes to walk up to the ride, and so many of the scenes are classics!

Have To's at Magic Kingdom

The Peoplemover- Sometimes you have to take a break, and the Peoplemover is a great was to do it! Tomorrowland has an energy to it that’s different than the other lands in Magic Kingdom and I love travelling around it on the Peoplemover! I remember seeing in the Disney community how much everyone loved it and always kind of thought it was weird, but once I went on it I got it!

Have To's at Magic Kingdom

Carousel of Progress- There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow! I love this show! The songs, the scenes, it just screams classic Disney to me. I love knowing that Walt was responsible for the creation of this show, to me it just makes it that much more special. The rotating theatre is different than any other attraction in Walt Disney World, and I like how you travel through time with each scene. Some people like Carousel of Progress because they can take a nap, but you can bet I’ll watch the whole thing.

Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid- I had to mention my favourite ride in New Fantasyland! This makes my inner child so happy, because The Little Mermaid has always been my favourite! I love the “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl” scenes. On my last trip I rode it with my friend Hayley, and we were singing the whole time! After my Dad said he looked over at us laughing and singing and just knew we were having fun!

Have To's at Magic Kingdom

Haunted Mansion- Another one of my favourite rides in all of Walt Disney World! I could ride this over and over and notice something new! My favourite scene is the scene with all of the dancing ghosts, and it has been since I was a kid! I bought an eye mask with the wallpaper from Haunted Mansion on my last trip, and it makes me so happy.

Have To's at Magic Kingdom

Fireworks- A day at Magic Kingdom wouldn’t be complete without fireworks! If you were headed to MK today you would be seeing Happily Ever After (which I haven’t seen in person yet!), but a six months ago you would have seen Wishes! Disney does fireworks like no one else, and I love finishing the day with a bang! (Sorry, I had to!) And they always make me cry to, they just get to me!

That about wraps up my have to’s in Magic Kingdom! I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the things I like to fit into my days at Magic Kingdom!

If you were heading to Magic Kingdom today, what would you want to do? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for joining me today as I share my have to’s at Magic Kingdom!

 

Kelsey
September 13, 2017

10 Books I’m Loving Right Now

Hello friends! Today I thought I would share a list of sorts. You may have noticed that I’ve been sharing books in recent monthly favourites, and since my vacation in May, I have been reading so much more! It makes me so happy because I’ve always loved to read. I’ve just realized that when I enjoy it, I need to make time for it! Ethan and I are getting out of the habit of watching tv before we fall asleep, and instead reading, which makes my heart happy! So today I thought I would share some of the books I’ve been loving recently! Some you might recognize from some monthly favourites, but recently I’ve been quite ahead in filming so some of these didn’t make the cut! I also included a few books that I could re-read over and over because I love them so much. Okay, let’s get started as I share 10 books I’m loving right now, in no particular order!

1. Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane- This book got me hooked quickly! It’s about a girl who as a reporter has an on-air breakdown, and end up pretty much not leaving her house. Then, her husband ends up not being the man he seems. Then a whole bunch of stuff happens that’s crazy and keeps you reading until the very end!

 

2.Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty- This book recently became abn HBO mini-series and both are good! It’s about a group of mom’s in Australia and their kindergarten kids, but someone is murdered. And you don’t know who was murdered or who did it! The school drama mixed with the relationships between the parents and their spouses keep you guessing.

monthly favourites june 2017

3. My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella- I love any book by Sophie Kinsella. In fact, I’ve read every single one! Her newest book tells the story of a girl trying to make it in London, who is trying to recreate herself from where she grew up in the country. Things get a little messy, and kept me laughing the whole way through! An easy but fun read that I finished in less than a week!

4. The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson- Two people meet in an airport, and decide to tell each other about their lives, putting everything out there. The man finds out his wife has been unfaithful, and he wants to kill her. The woman wants to help. This book had so many twists and turns I couldn’t stop reading! But just a warning, it ends abruptly. I was angry! But it was such a good book! While I was composing this post I found out it’s going to be a movie, and I can’t wait!

10 books I'm loving

5. Love Real Food by Kathryne Taylor- This cookbook is new to me and I’ve already tried a few recipes that I’ve really enjoyed! I even went through the whole book and wrote down two pages worth of recipes I want to try! I mentioned this cookbook in my August monthly favourites.

10 Books I'm Loving Right Now

picture from cookieandkate.com

6. The Child by Fiona Barton- This is the book I’m currently reading, and even thought I’m not halfway through it, I’m enjoying it! It’s told from a few different perspectives after the remains of an infant are found in a construction zone. But they look like they have been there for years. The chapters are short so it’s nice to read a bit at a time, and I can’t wait to see what happens!

7. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman- I’ve been reading this book in between all of the other books I’ve read, and it’s really cute so far. Each chapter is sort of a short story, and Ove is your typical grumpy old man. It’s funny to hear things from his perspective! This book was also made into a movie, so once I’m finished reading it you can bet I’ll watch the movie!

10 books I'm loving

via

Books I could re-read Anytime

8. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling- I think I’ve only read the series twice all the way through, and I wish I could re-read them every year! I just finished watching all of the movies, so of course I now want to read the books. I don’t know if anybody has not heard of Harry Potter, but the books tell the story of a boy who is more special than he knows, and he grows up and goes to a school for magic.

10 books I'm loving

via Amazon.com

9. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin- I’ve read every book by Emily Giffin, and I think this one is my favourite. She has a way of intertwining the characters from the different books into each other’s books, so it’s neat to see how the characters evolve. Plus, I love this movie too! It tells the story of two best friends, one of whom is getting married, while the other is secretly in love with her fiancé.

10 books I'm Loving

via

10. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn- Although I don’t know if I could re-read this book again right now because I still remember some of the twists and turns, I wanted to mention this book because it got me hooked on thrillers. I feel like I used to stick to rom-com type books, and now I’ve read quite a few thrillers! Gone Girl tells the story of a husband and wife, and when the wife disappears in what looks like a murder, her husband is the first suspect. I love the movie as well (because Neil Patrick Harris!), and would definitely recommend this book!

 

Thank you so much for reading the 10 books I’m loving right now! Depending on how much I keep reading posts like these might become more frequent!

What are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments!

 

Kelsey