October 11, 2017

Monthly Favourites- September 2017

Hello friends! I hope October is treating you well! It’s finally cooled off in the greater Toronto area (which made thanksgiving feel a bit more like thanksgiving), and while I’m sad to see the warmer weather leave, I love sweater weather! It’s monthly favourites time once again, and I’m sharing some of my favourite things from the month of September! Okay, let’s get started!

September 2017

(affiliate links used for convenience)

entertainment

The Bucket List Family– I discovered this YouTube family while they were completing 30 Stays in 30 Days at Walt Disney World, and I now want to follow them on all of their adventures! Two years ago the Gee family sold their belongings and started travelling the world, and wow have they seen a lot! After watching their Instagram stories and the ones shared on Walt Disney World’s Instagram, I really feel like I’ve gotten to know them, and I will definitely continue watching them!

Monthly Favourites September 2017

Hercules– Okay so funny story. When I was a kid I went to a babysitters after school, and they had the Disney movie Hercules. Well I didn’t own it, so I watched it there EVERY SINGLE DAY. After really wanting to watch the new fireworks show at Disney which Hercules is featured in (which Ethan said it wouldn’t), I really wanted to watch Hercules! One night while I was editing a weekend vlog, I heard the beginning of a Disney dvd :D. So Hercules had to make the list this month!

Friends From College- I started watching this show on Netflix, and I’m enjoying it! It makes me cringe a little bit (because it involves people having an affair), but maybe the more episodes I watch the less that will happen. I’ve only watched 4 episodes so far, but it definitely has made me laugh!

The Child by Fiona Barton– I mentioned I was reading this in my 10 Books I’m Loving Right Now post, and I finished it a few weeks ago. IT GOT SO GOOD! The subject matter is pretty dark (the remains of a baby are found in a construction site), but I really liked the ending. I would definitely recommend it!

Orange is the New Black- I’ve been catching up on the last few seasons of Orange is the New Black in the mornings, and while I think the first two seasons were the best (I’m currently watching season 5) but I’m still watching because I want to know what happens!

 

clothing

Boots from Aldo– I got these adorable booties to wear in the engagement pictures Ethan and I had done in September, and I love them! They are comfortable and not too high that I can’t walk in them! Plus I love the black, and the wood heel helps it to go with even more things.

Monthly Favourites September

 

Dress- This dress I also bought (from H&M but unfortunately I can’t find it online!) for the pictures, and I love how it fits! I was stressed the week leading up to our pictures because what I thought I was going to wear was way too big on me, and I just love this dress! One of our wedding colours is navy as well, so this fit :).

Monthly Favourites September 2017

beauty

Micellar Water by Garnier– Okay so in the craziness of baking and packing and getting everything ready for my cousins wedding, I forgot my makeup remover. So I thought I would try the micellar water, and I really like it!

Food

Peanut butter cookies- I had to mention these because I made probably about 200 in September! 120 were for my cousins wedding, but my Dad and Uncle love them so much I knew the extras wouldn’t go to waste. My Grandma always made these, and having the recipe in her handwriting is so special to me. She passed away when I was in high school and had Alzheimer’s so I dont’ remember much of her when she was healthy, but I remember the peanut butter cookies. My family loves when I make them 🙂

 

If you’d like to hear more about my September monthly favourites, check out the co-ordinating video below!

What did you enjoy in the month of September? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you so much for reading about my favourite things from the past month!

 

Kelsey
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 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