For so many of us, our phones are a huge extension of our daily lives. We communicate, we take photos, it wakes us up, we work from them. The list goes on! I love finding new apps that help make tasks easier, and here are 5 that I've discovered recently that are great!
1. Alpaca - Tired of sorting through 24,000 photos on your camera roll like me? Alpaca groups together like photos (ex: when you take 15 photos of the kids to make sure you get one good one) so you can go through them quickly and select which ones you want to keep. I've been trying to use it at the end of each day to cut down on the excess photos on my phone.
2. Hallow - A Catholic meditation app that offers guided meditation sessions, prayers, and daily readings. If you've been looking for a way to incorporate some of these things into your day more easily, check this app out. There is a subscription if you want to access everything, but there are also many prayers you can access for free.
3. Splitwise - If you take trips with friends or family and want to make sure you split expenses, this is a really good one. We used this with our friends on our recent trip to Lake Oconee and it was so easy to keep track of the expenses.
4. Instagram Threads - This is for my social media peeps. I often get messages on Instagram asking me to caption my stories because people are watching them while baby is sleeping or they don't want to disturb someone around them. Instagram Threads allows me to caption my stories and use my favorite Instagram filters at the same time.
5. Libby - I have talked about Libby before! I use this to borrow digital copies of books from my local library, which saves me a TON of money. You can place books on hold, and once you borrow them, they stay on your device for 21 days. If Libby doesn't work with your library, you can try Overdrive.
Let me know if you try any of these and how you like them! And if you have any other super cool app suggestions, let me know - I'd love to try them out!
Thanksgiving is around the corner, and in case you are hosting like I am, chances are you are thinking about your table setting and what that will look like. A few years ago, I invested in plates and flatware, and I've been acquiring stemware over the years. But this year, Suzy and Magita from Plume Home Decor reached out to me about styling my table for Thanksgiving. They have these gorgeous placemats and all the items to put together a gorgeous table setting for your holiday table. What I loved about these placemats is that while they are gorgeous and look stunning in this table setting, they are versatile enough for everyday use! They wipe clean and are lightweight.
So I sent them photos of my space, and the items I thought we could use, and they got to work. They showed up at my house and worked their magic, and this was the result. This is a service they provide, so if you are in need of table styling for an event, don't hesitate to reach out to them! We also reached out to Melanie from House of Lilac, and she gave us this spectacular magnolia garland, which was the perfect touch for this table.
I think it turned out to lovely and I can't wait to hear what you all think!
Sweet Potato Casserole
Pumpkin Spice Syrup
I did a roundup of some of the best things I had bought online a few months back and you all loved it, so I'm doing it again.
Before I get into it, I wanted to share with you a little bit about how affiliate links work. Affiliate links are a way for me and other bloggers to make a little bit of money off of items we are recommending (but aren't necessarily sponsored). When it comes to an affiliate link, you won't pay more for the item, but I will get a small (very very very small) commission if you do purchase from that link. Every affiliate network has their own rules about how bloggers will get credit for their links, but most of them don't give credit after a certain amount of time has passed and you have added the item to your cart (24 hours in most cases). In any case, I always appreciate when you all shop my links, but even more so I love knowing that I helped you find some new product that you love, too!
I was recently asked by a follower and emerging blogger how I stay organized. The truth is, I work really hard at being organized, and actually, I probably waste some time each day just trying to "get organized" instead of actually doing what I need to do. But over the last few months, with less to do and more time to work on things like this, I started to put a system in place to help me stay organized.
Right now, there are three main tools I have been using to keep myself organized.
My iPhone's Calendar App
I have always used my calendar app, and recently Eddie and I started sharing a calendar and anything that we both need to know about goes on there. I use this mostly for events and things that require physical presence, school events and important dates - birthdays, vacations, things like that. We include work events, my shoots, and appointments. Lately this is looking a little sparse, but I'm okay with that!
A Paper Planner
I am and always have been a paper girl. I love to physically write, use pens, stickers, and all those silly things. It's another way I decompress, I guess. I use my physical planner to map out what my week looks like, to plan out blog posts, and to have a "picture" of what everything looks like together. This is where I keep due dates for campaigns, blog posts, where I write notes from calls I've taken, and most recently, I had been including all of our zoom calls on there. I have been using Erin Condren for a few years, but I decided to switch over to the Blessed is She planner starting in August. It has an hourly breakdown per day, plus note pages for each week, a place to make a grocery list, meal planning, and prayer reminders. (Blessed is She is a network of Catholic women - they have a daily devotional e-mail you can subscribe to and they sell products, like this planner). I have been very happy with my Erin Condren planners, but was looking for an added way to boost my prayer life, which is why I made this switch.
Thanks to my friend Marylin, I recently discovered how functional Trello is and I've created several boards for some categories I found helpful. I have a board for general to-do's, one for sponsored blog partnerships, and one for blogging in general. In Trello, you create columns, and under each column you add cards. Within each card you can add attachments, checklists, due dates, and labels. You can easily move cards from one column to another, so cards can go from an "Idea" column to an "In Progress" column and make their way to when they are complete! I am currently using a free account and still have plenty of functionality. What I like about this is that it can be used across all my devices so if I have an idea I can just add it, even if I am on the go. It has really come in handy during my consistency challenge in July!
I think organization is such a personal thing. It looks different for everyone, and each of our brains works differently. These are just some of the tools I use and have found to work for me. I've tried a lot of different strategies, but for now, this is what I have found that just works best for me and my needs.
Have you used any of these tools? Is there something else that you have found that works really well for you? Let me know in the comments below!
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
With the weather warming up and summer showing its sunny face, we are all looking for ways to cool off and relax. There is nothing like taking a dip in the pool on a warm summer day and sipping on a refreshing drink - that goes for both kids and adults.
As a kid, one of my favorite treats was always popsicles. (Okay let's be real, they're still a perfect treat, even at 34 years old.) My kids love popsicles, too, and Whole Fruit has some of the most delicious ones we've tried yet! They're fruit bars made with chunks of real fruit. They are non-gmo project verified, gluten free, dairy free, peanut free!
But what do you do when you want to enjoy your beverage AND a popsicle? You make a poptail! One of my favorite things to sip on a hot day is sangria - it's light enough that I won't overdo it, and it's refreshing with all that fruit. Of course, the kids wanted their own version, so we made them their own version using sparkling water, and it was a hit.
Whole Fruit has several different flavors, and you can order online using Shipt or Instacart or in the freezer section of your local Publix! And to get more fun ideas on how you can enjoy your popsicles in new ways, head over to their Instagram account @wholefruitfrozen.
Kid-Friendly Mango Poptail
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