HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, FRIENDS! I’m bring back one of my favorite blog posts from last year! Celebrating holidays is actually one of my favorite things… there’s something that is fun about breaking routine for a day every now and then to CELEBRATE that I love. Now admittedly, Valentine’s Day isn’t my favorite holiday, but it still is a lot of fun to celebrate…. mostly because it is an excuse to eat as much Dove Chocolate as I can get my hands on. (OOPS did I just say that out loud?!)
Last year, I chatted with my sweet friend, Savannah, about a fun way to celebrate the holiday with our audiences, and we came up with the idea to share 14 things that we were absolutely LOVING at the moment! Read last year’s post HERE! I’m cracking up because quite a few things I was loving this time last year, I’m also loving this year too!
I remember having SO much fun crafting this list last year, and that was no different this year too! I love that looking for my favorites encourages me to record who I am in each season! Like last year, I’ve broken my list up into two parts–Life & Personal and Business & Photography! From apps to products and all of my random thoughts in between, I’m sharing it all! Tune in below and be sure to send me a message if we have anything in common!
Life & Personal
I asked for a subscription to Audible for Christmas this year and wasn’t really sure what to expect! I love reading but just haven’t been able to make it a priority these days. Listening to Podcasts while I walk around the city and edit is also one of my favorite things, so I thought I would combine these two loves into one thing: audiobooks! Well… I think it is safe to say that I am pretty much OBSESSED! I listened to Becoming by Michelle Obama in January, and I loved everything about the experience.
This app is new in my life, and I am loving it! There is nothing I love more than a really good, sweaty workout, and recently, I’ve been looking for a way to mix things up. I wanted to incorporate more weight training in a structured program. I’ve been diving into PWR with Kelsey Wells, and so far, so good! It is challenging, fast paced and different than what I was doing before! I will say that I have had to modify some of the movement options because of the equipment in my apartment gym, but the workouts still feel great! The app also offers a few other training programs, but I haven’t given any of those a try yet. You can try the app for free for one full week through the link above! (Send me a message if you want to try the app free for a month!!)
Work from home friends… you get this one. Does anyone else feel more human after putting on a pair of shoes, or is that just me? There is something about putting on a real pair of shoes with a hard sole that makes me feel like I am starting my day, and when you work from home (in your bedroom, no less), it is a little weird to lace up a pair of sneakers or boots to sit at your desk all day! I asked for a pair of moccasins for Christmas, and I have absolutely been loving them. They’re cozy, warm, and the perfect way to make me feel like I’m officially starting my day!
I’ll admit it: I’ve never been a huge fan of The Bachelor. I watched the season with Sean Lowe when I was a freshman in college, but that was it! After hearing from so many people that this season was entertaining, I binge watched one weekend and got myself caught up! Y’all… I think I may officially be a fan! While I don’t necessarily love the idea behind the show, I literally cannot look away! Anyone else watch The Bachelor? Who are you cheering for?! I’m on Team Cassie, but I’m not about how long she’ll be around after seeing last week’s preview!
Raise your hand if you’ve jumped in on the blue light glasses train?! I’ve been fighting through some not-so-fun eye and vision issues recently and found out that I need a slight (and when I mean slight, I mean barely anything at all!) prescription. My eye doctor recommended trying my prescription with blue blocking glass to help reduce eye strain, and I have to say, my eyes feel totally new! I’ve also been using eye drops, but I swear, the glasses make a huge difference. I used Warby Parker to fill my prescription with their blue blocking lenses, but there are a ton of other amazing non-prescription options from online shops like Felix Gray and Pixel!
I’ve posted about this tea on my story a few times now, but y’all, I swear this stuff works miracles! I have been drinking echinacea tea for a long time now to help support my immune system, but with the elderberry added in, I swear this tea has about 10 times the power. I am one of those people that seems to get sick all the time. I work in a gym, which is basically a petri dish during cold and flu season, and have just never had the best immune system. I drink a few mugs of this tea each day, especially when I feel something coming on, and knock on wood, I’ve been good so far this year. I loved it so much that I decided to order a full case of it at a time… HA! (Linked above) If you want to buy just one container, I used to buy my tea at Giant!
I love Tarte…. they’re the only makeup brand that I use these days, in part because I love their products and brand so much but also because their products are gluten free (which makes my celiac skin really happy!) I don’t know why it took me so long to jump on the Shape Tape train, but I recently did, thanks to a sample pack, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back! I’ve tried both the matte and hydrating formulas and definitely prefer the look and coverage of the hydrating formula for my skin! I have photographed one winter wedding while wearing my Shape Tape foundation, and it held up well! I’ll let you know how it does with a sweaty summer wedding!
If you don’t live in the city, you are going to think I’m crazy. If you DO live in the city, you’ll totally understand. I recently got one of these grocery carts, and OH MY GOODNESS, I cannot believe I have lived in the city for over two and a half years without one of these in my life! I walk to and from the grocery store, and carrying a load of groceries every week was starting to get really old. I decided to try one of these carts to see if it would help, and y’all… this thing is a GAME CHANGER. A few people made fun of me, but honestly, this cart is THE best! Trips home from the grocery store are SO much better now! The wheels seem to be holding up great, and I love that the bag is waterproof and durable! I got caught in the rain with it last week, and everything inside was safe and dry when I got home. I could literally go on and on about why I love this thing so much! I have the navy cart, but I just realized they have a rose gold color too when I pulled the product link! UMMM so cute!
Business and Photography
If you know me, you know that I am a bit of a Katelyn James fan girl! I love her educational resources, have attended her in-person workshop, and really look up to her as a business woman and person! Just over a year ago, KJ released KJ All Access which is basically a behind the scenes look at how she works with clients! I hopped on the KJAA train months before it was even released! I just knew it would be amazing, and I was right! If you are looking to get your feet wet in the industry or just want to see what it is like to be a wedding photographer, seriously, look no further! KJ All Access is such a POWERFUL tool! I learn SO much from every monthly episode and always look forward to the content to be released on the 15th!
The Biz apps that keep my life together:
Y’all are getting some bonus points here! I couldn’t just pick one!! I had a few of these apps on my list last year, but I’m still loving them, so I had to include them again! These apps seriously keep my life together on a daily basis, and I LOVE each of them. Let’s dive into why!
- Honeybook (Save $200 on your first year with Honeybook using this link!): This is the system that I use to manage all of my client relationships… from contracts to invoices, questionnaires and my workflow/to-do list. Honeybook tracks my day-to day and big picture tasks. It helps me keep track of it ALL!
- MileIQ (Save 20% on an annual subscription!): this app makes tracking mileage a BREEZE! It runs in the background on my phone and tracks my individual drives, and then once a week, I go in and categorize the drives as business or personal. At the end of the year (or whenever I need it), the app organizes everything into a spreadsheet for me to send the total business mile tally to my accountant! I had a LOT of miles to write off this year which I am so grateful for now that it is tax time. I’m no tax expert, but I will take free money any chance I can get! (Especially when it is SO easy to track!)
- Plann: I use the free version of Plann to plan my IG feed and to test individual images in my feed! There are SO many apps out there that do this, but I loved the ease of this one and really loved that it is FREE! Yes, there are paid plans, but I haven’t found that I need the paid plan. The free one has been working just fine and has done wonders in helping me stay on top of social media!
- Google Suite: I got hooked on Google apps and programs in college and couldn’t get away from them afterwards! Within my business, I utilize Gmail, Google Drive, Surveys, Spreadsheets, and a Google business listing to name a few. I literally couldn’t live without this online suite and throw up my praise hand emoji’s for it every single day. I DO pay for my email address to end in my domain, but you can opt to use Google Suite for free if you don’t mind things ending in @gmail.com!
If you are wondering what Showit is, you are looking at it right now! Showit is the AMAZING platform that I use to design my corner of the Internet. I’m new to the Showit Fam, but I have absolutely been LOVING life with them! I will say that there was a bit of a learning curve, but once I got the hang of it, oh boy… I fell in LOVE! You can do pretty much anything your heart desires, and if you can’t figure out how to do it, I can almost guarantee that their support team CAN! Photographers: if you have been looking for a sign to tell you to jump on the Showit train, this is it!!! Do it! You will be thrilled that you took the leap. (If you have any questions about the platform, please don’t hesitate to send me a note!)
I’ve officially used my Think Tank bag for over a year now, and not to be dramatic, but I have NO idea how I lived without it! This bag (I am 90% sure I linked the one I currently use!) is perfect for lugging all of my gear to and from weddings. I can load it up with my camera bodies, lenses, laptops, batteries and accessories, and I don’t have to carry a single thing on my back! I have some back pain, thanks to a fractured hip and about 15 years as a dancer, and I cannot tell you how amazing it is to roll out all of my gear at the end of the night. This suitcase keeps me organized AND pretty much looks like a regular travel bag when I’m walking into and out of my apartment during the day. (That is a HUGE plus for a single city dwelling gal that often has odd work hours!!)
This bag doesn’t come with me to weddings, but it does come with me on portrait sessions, engagement sessions and other photo excursions! I got this bag when my back decided that it just couldn’t handle a sling bag anymore. I get compliments all the time from photographers AND regular people… so it is great to know that this thing blends in too! (LOVE that!) This bag has it all… from a roomy padded camera compartment with the ability to customize the grid of protective padding (Someone help a girl out with the technical terms…), to a big front pocket that is perfect for a phone and wallet, to the luggage slip that allows me to toss this on top of any rolling suitcase… I just love it! I have it in tan and can’t say enough amazing things about their customer service team. I’ll say that it is sometimes a bit of a challenge to get things in and out quickly, but I’ve slowly but surely gotten used to this! I would much rather have a happy back and safe equipment!
Bulk Content Planning
This is something that I am trying my HARDEST to power through during my quieter season. It’s hard, but I know I will be SO happy when I do! I’m trying to prep, not only my content for THIS season, but I am also trying to create content for the future! Little by little, I’ve been prepping a few week’s worth of content at a time. I’m not too far into the process, but I am really looking forward to seeing how this helps me out during my busier season. Updates to come, friends… and maybe a blog post or two in the future after I see how all this prep plays out!!!
P.S. This post contains some affiliate links and coupon codes. I will make a small commission based on purchases for a a few of the products mentioned. I so appreciate you stopping in and using the links!
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