August 9, 2017

Monthly Favourites- July 2017

Hello friends! I hope you are all well, and enjoying summer! I can’t believe how quickly it’s going by and I’m trying to soak up all of the sunshine! It’s monthly favourites time once again, and I’m sharing some of my favourite things from the month of July with you! Some months it’s easier to think of favourites than others, and this month was so easy I filmed the video earlier than ever! I’m sharing my favourites in entertainment, home goods, and drinks instead of a recipe this month! Okay, let’s get started!

monthly favourites july 2017

*affiliate links used for convenience*

Entertainment

The Arkells- Morning Report- I’ve mentioned before that we now have Spotify premium, and we can play that through Ethan’s car when we are going on road trips which is awesome :). When he created our “travel” playlist, he added the Moana soundtrack for me, and The Arkells for him. So we’ve been listening to for a while and I’ve really been enjoying their newest album! My favourite song it “A Little Rain (a Song for Pete). To a funny story about why Ethan has been obsessed with a certain song on the album, check out the video below :).


Jillian + Justin- I’ve been following Jillian Harris since she was on The Bachelor, and started following her on Instagram right before she had her son last year. So of course I wanted to watch the 4 episode series Jillian + Justin, which took a look at building their dream home, and going from a baby on the way, to having a baby, and moving into their home! I really enjoyed it, and even got Ethan to watch it with me!

Harry Potter- Since the first Harry Potter book came out 20 years ago on June 26th, Ethan and I celebrated by watching Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on that day, and spent the rest of July finishing the rest of the movies! I grew up with Harry Potter, and remember seeing all the movies in the theatres! It will always hold a special place in my heart! I might even do a blog post about the trip to England I took a few years ago, which had to include a trip to the studios where the movies were filmed! I can’t promise good pictures, but it might be fun to share 🙂 And I’ve always wanted the Blu-ray collection, so I linked that below!

Spiderman: Homecoming- I went to see this movie with not really understanding why there was another Spiderman movie coming out, but I loved it! Tom Holland plays Spiderman perfectly, as an excited teenager who just wants to help people. My favourite part was when he does into “interrogation mode” :D. I’m definitely glad I went to see it on a whim!


The LadyGang Podcast– I’m seriously on a podcast kick lately! The Landgang is made up of Keltie Knight, Becca Tobin, and Jac Vanek, and they talk with other celebrities each week! I’m listening to the current episodes and going back to the beginning when I have time, and it’s nice to have a bunch of episodes to listen to! Their conversations are not G rated, but they will definitely make you laugh! I would highly recommend checking it out.

Drinks

watermelon sparkling water– I’ve never really been into drinking sparkling water because I didn’t find it very refreshing, but that has definitely changed! I picked up a bottle of this Sparkling Watermelon Water from Loblaws, and have had probably 10 bottles since. It’s best cold in my opinion, but I’m loving it! In an attempt to drink less pop, I’m hoping by drinking it a lot I can trick my brain into reaching for that instead of pop.

 

Iced Cinnamon Almond Macchiato from Starbucks– This is definitely my go-to summer drink! I was a little nervous about trying something with almond milk because I haven’t really ever had it outside of a smoothie, but this drink is delicious! I had it once with milk (because it was made wrong) and I like the almond milk so much better! If you are nervous about it, get a tall (small) because it will be a little sweeter with only one shot of espresso. With caramel sauce and cinnamon, this drink is delicious! And pretty for Instagram too ;).

Home Goods

wax warmer- I’d been wanting one for a while since Ethan said he didn’t really like me burning candles in our room (which is a fairly small space so I understand), and I finally got one! I love it! Of course I had to get some wax melts to go with it which I mention next! To me the warmer is a bit of a safer option, and the wax melts are generally less expensive. But check out the co-ordinating video for a glimpse! I don’t think it’s currently available because the summer items are gone, but I got it from Party Lite!

wax melts from Walter & Rosie Candle Co.– I’ve talked about this company before in a monthly favourites and I wanted to mention them again! I got a bit of a haul from them recently and wanted to share a few of my favourites! The Land, and Thank the Phoenicians! Thank the Phoenicians is a dead winner for capuring the smell of Rome burning from Spaceship Earth! The Land is a melon based sent that is perfect for summer! I also picked up Animation,  The Flight, and Race You to the Castle. I also have another order arriving today from them… I’m a little obsessed!

If you’d like to hear more about my July monthly favourites, check out the video below:

Thank you so much for joining me today! I’d love to know what you have been enjoying lately in the comments below!

 

Kelsey
July 26, 2017

My Wedding Planning Experience- The First 8 Months!

Hello friends! I’ve been hinting and hinting about this post in my weekend vlogs, and today is the day! Since getting engaged in November, I thought I would film a video walking you guys through what my wedding planning experience has been like so far. I thought I could do an update every six months or so, as well as a video after the wedding, to give you guys all of the details! I decided to film a video because I knew it would be long, and I’ve briefly listed the things we have done so far below the video. And it’s already been a journey!

Wedding Planning

For privacy I won’t be giving details/names of our vendors until after the wedding, which I hope you can understand! You can watch the video where I go through the last 8 months below:

A brief summary of the last 8 months!

November

We got home from out trip to Walt Disney World in the second week of November, and started the venue search right away. We knew we wanted something a little less traditional, and a place that we would feel reflected us and where we could feel comfortable. We looked for venues any spare moment we had (and it was exhausting!) but we found one we liked! We arranged a meeting for December.

December

We met with the venue- a brewery that was expanding to a new location, and hadn’t been built yet. It would be three floors, the actual brewery on the first floor, the venue space on the second, and a restaurant and patio space on the third floor. Estimated completion was September 2017.

January

We booked the brewery for September 2018! The venue is inclusive with food and alcohol, so we had a big check mark on things to do, and took a bit of a breather! I also attended a few bridal shows and got lots to see lots of things! Photographers, invitations, it was a lot!

February

We met with and booked a month of co-ordinator, to help take some of the stress of the final months before the wedding off, as well as having someone to make sure everything runs smoothly. I didn’t want to be the person everyone was asking questions to!

March

We took a break and basically just researched different vendors.

April

We met with and booked our photographer, the sister of the co-ordinator of the brewery! We also started our registries with Hudson’s Bay, Bed Bath & Beyond and Disney Honeymoons. Yes, Disney, but I won’t be saying anything about that right now! 😀

May

Oh May! Definitely the hardest month so far. In the second week of May I received an email that the brewery building had to be re-done to accommodate an accessible parking spot that is required by law. Remember the original completion date of September 2017? Since the plans would have to be re-done and resubmitted, the new estimated completion date is July 2018, aka 2 months before our wedding. The sinking feeling in my stomach was not one that I wanted to re-live, especially that close to the wedding, so we decided to look for another venue. Don’t worry, we got our full deposit back!

We spend the next two weeks researching venues, and picked a new one :D! It’s at a conservation area and is more of a DIY venue where we hire and bring in all of the vendors. But it will be an all weekend events because it also has lodging for 86 people! I think the new venue suits both of us, and I really fell in love with it. I got that feeling that I think you should get when you find the place you are getting married! We also had a tasting with a preferred caterer and booked them as well! Below is a picture from our new venue 🙂

Wedding Planning

June

We hired the bartenders in June, and relaxed a bit after checking off a big item! We also brainstormed ideas for centrepieces and décor, and the overall “look” we are going for. It was something I found overwhelming to think about, but the ideas just came to me 🙂

July

In July I spoke with and booked our officiant, so we are definitely getting things done! And I made a dress appointment for the beginning of August! We also scheduled our engagement pictures for September! We’re on a roll!

Overall thoughts

The past 8 months have seriously flown by, and although we had a major setback, I’m feeling really good with where we are on our list! I can definitely start to see the day coming together in my mind, and I can’t wait to be married!

If I could give one piece of advice to any future bride reading this: don’t book a venue that isn’t built yet! Even if you think it is going to be finished really far in advance (we thought we were going to have a year), don’t book it. The feeling of a venue falling through is not good, and I wouldn’t wish that feeling upon anyone.

 

Like I mentioned above I think I will do a video and post like this probably towards the end of this year or the beginning of next year to cover what we have done by then, and so on until the wedding, plus a recap after! I definitely want to share the wedding planning experience with you guys, and if you have any advice, let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for reading!

Kelsey
July 12, 2017

What I Learned in My 2nd Year of Blogging

Happy Wednesday friends! I thought today I would share some of the things I’ve learned in the past year of blogging, just like I did last year! While I’m in no way a blogging expert, I have learned a lot, and I think it’s always helpful to share with others what I’ve learned. Okay, let’s jump in!

blogging

take a course

I think this is so important! I purchased my first course this year, Building a Framework from Abby at justagirlandherblog.com. I plan on doing a review once I’ve finished it, but I’m almost done! I know there are so many courses out there, and some really expensive ones. I don’t think you need to jump in to a $500 course, but I think it’s important to put a little money into your hobby, especially if you’re hoping to make some money from it. I promise I’m not trying to sell you anything, I’m just using Building a Framework as an example below :). The course itself is much less expensive than others out there, and it really lays out everything to help you start a blog. I wish I had purchased it a long time ago, but buying it when I did helped to reinforce what I do know about blogging and have learned by myself. It’s just adding to what I already know, as well as teaching me a ton of new things.

post to Instagram (or your social media profile of choice) every day

One of my goals for this year was to post to Instagram every day, and I haven’t missed a day yet! I’ve noticed a slow increase in followers the more consistently I post, now sitting at around 120. I definitely still don’t have Instagram figured out, but by paying more attention and posting more often, I’ve noticed a gain in traffic.

I’ve also recently updated my bio to be a little more personal, which I hope will help! Once you reach 100 followers, you can look at insights as well, which can help tell you what time you should post at, and what posts are the most popular. You can also see how many people are viewing your profile and clicking over to the link in your profile. Speaking of which, you can follow me here. 🙂

be social!

I’ve noticed that the more I like and comment on other people’s pictures on Instagram, the more comes back to me. While it’s  nice to live in the bubble that’s just me and my blog, it is fun to build relationships with others on the internet. Find some accounts that are similar to yours, and start liking and commenting! It’s something that doesn’t take a lot of time, and you are most likely scrolling through it already, so try not to forget it! It’s something that I really want to get better at.

blogging

try and build up posts as a buffer

Going on vacation? Happen to get sick? Having a few posts ready to go can come in handy. I love how productive I feel when I’m writing a few posts ahead, so this is something that I hope to work on as well. I’d like to have 5 blog posts ready to go at a moments notice, so if I don’t have the time that week I already have a blog post done. I would encourage all bloggers to do the same!

join some blogging Facebook groups

While I don’t look at all of the posts, sometimes certain posts catch my eye, and remind me of something to look into! They are great resources, and a lot of people are going through the same things you might be! I’m a member of the Creative Superheroes group run by Allison at Wonderlass, and the Building A Framework group I got in because I bought the course. If you have a question, you will get an answer quickly, advice when you need it, and support when you succeed!

find some pictures!

I don’t always have a picture of what I want to talk about, or a picture that will make a good graphic. I mainly use Canva to put together a picture that I use as the main one for a post, and I try to make it as cohesive as possible. You can associate a colour as your brand, and it makes it easy to find and stay consistent! Notice the green at the top? That’s my colour! Canva has tons of free designs, and the interface is super easy to use! And while I wish my desk looked this pretty… I didn’t have time before this post went up to take any stock photos of my desk, so I found these on style stock.co! I definitely want to try and take some of my own though!

don’t be afraid to promote yourself.. but do in a classy way

I will be the first to admit, I am horrible at promoting myself! On my last trip to Walt Disney World I met 2 YouTubers, and forgot to mention to both of them that I 1. have a blog, and 2. am on YouTube as well! As I mentioned above, it’s nice to be in the bubble of just me in the blog. It’s really weird how I’m open to sharing things on the internet, but feel weird promoting myself.

Anyways, I’m not saying go everywhere saying “READ MY BLOG I HAVE A BLOG!” but when you feel it’s right, mention you have a blog. I’ve connected with people just by mentioning my blog, so don’t be scared! (I should really take my own advice here). Comment on other’s blog posts, and when it asks if you have a website, enter your blog! Your name will show in a different color, and people will find your blog. It doesn’t take away from the content someone else is sharing, and makes you look pretty good!

blogging

I hope you enjoyed a little behind the scenes today, and learned a little something about blogging! If you have a blog, what is the most important thing you have learned since starting a blog? If you don’t have a blog, what are you most surprised to learn? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for joining me today! I still can’t believe I’ve been blogging for two years!

 

Kelsey