August Favorites (Home + More)

Beauty, Home, Lifestyle, Spirit & Soul

Can you believe there’s only 3 months left in 2020? I can’t wrap my head around it just yet, but hey, I am definitely here for having better days ahead.

I wanted to share with you a few of my favorites that made life a little sweeter the month of August, things I’ve loved for the home & things I’ve loved using on a day to day basis. I already have a few favs lined up for the month of September, but I’ll save those for a later post.

Home

House Slippers

Currently living in these slippers, I had to get me a backup pair because I love them that much. They’re so cozy and soft AND only $15! You can find the link to them here: Slippers

French Press

I look forward to my coffee routine every morning since learning how to use a French Press. If you don’t have a French Press yet (or anything to make authentic coffee at home), I strongly encourage you to get one. There is something so special about taking the time to make coffee from scratch, and the coffee is honestly so much better.

Find links to my French Press & Coffee essentials here: Coffee At Home

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

My husband gifted me a stand mixer for my birthday this summer, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used it already. I know a lot of us have discovered a love for baking during this season in our lives, and I can really say I enjoy it and even find it therapeutic. It is an investment well worth it if you love to bake!

Stand Mixer + Hand Mixer here: Kitchen Aid Mixers

Casaluna Bedding

I’m sure that by now you’ve heard of Target’s new bedding line Casaluna, and I was able to get my hands on the comforter I had my eye on when it first launched. It is linen and neutral and just about everything I was looking for in a comforter. Loving all of their neutral and cozy bedding.

Get it here: Casaluna Neutral Comforter

Books

Dream Big by Bob Goff

I’ve really enjoyed reading this book! I mentioned it in my last blog post, and although it’s taking me quite some time to finish it (insert friendly reminder that I’m one busy mom here), it has been very inspirational to read. If you’re looking for something to motivate you to start and chase your dreams, you can’t go wrong with this book!

Get it here: Dream Big Book

New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp

I love starting my mornings with this devotional book. Paul Tripp has a way to break down the word beautifully in every page. I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a devotional book.

Devotional book here: New Morning Mercies

Music

Bethel Music Revival ‘s In The Air

I can’t believe I am just now listening to Bethel Music, but I’ve really been enjoying listening to their latest album. They have many great worship songs to chose from, but my current favorite is Champion. God of Revival is also pretty great!

Taylor Swift Folklore Album

I love how different this album is from her latest releases. RED has been my favorite album of hers for years, and Folklore definitely takes runner up. If you haven’t listened to it yet, what are you waiting for? It’s such a good album!

Skin

Summer Fridays Super Amino Gel Cleanser

Really loving this cleanser. It smells fresh and very spa-like and is very lightweight and gentle on the skin.

Get cleanser here: Summer Fridays Super Amino Gel Cleanser

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

The older I get, the more I love a soft natural look and the less I wear on my skin. This is a sheer, natural & dewy skin-like tinted moisturizer, and that’s what I love about it. Less really is more.

Tinted Moisturizer here: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

Sunday Riley’s Auto Correct Brightening And Depuffing Eye Cream

If you’ve been with me a while then you know I’ve been through my fair share of eye creams. This is the latest I’ve tried and it truly is the most effective one. It is quite pricey for an eye cream, but after 4 kids I needed to make the investment myself. If you’re looking for effective under eye results, look no further.

Eye Cream Here: Sunday Riley’s Eye Cream

Essentials

Face Mask

Loving this reusable silk mask from this one boutique I found through Instagram. Very well made and super cute.

Linking this one and my other fav here: Face Masks

Print Mask: here

That concludes my favorites for the month of August! I know we’re a week into September already, but I really wanted to share all that I enjoyed last month. I’m hoping to share more favorites in the future! What were some of your favorites last month? I’d love to know (:

Wishing you a beautiful week ahead!

Hugs,

Things To Do At Home

Lifestyle

I’m sharing these checklists I made to keep my boys and I busy at home as we stay indoors for the time being. Online community is needed to motivate and empower one another in times like these as we practice social distancing. I hope you all find yourselves well and healthy, and that you’re able to find a silver lining in the midst of chaos. Here’s a friendly reminder to take a break from all media + news throughout the day as many times as needed. Stay home, stay safe, and stay calm. This too shall pass, God Bless!

Things To Do At Home Free Downloads:

Books To Read in 2020: Personal Growth| For The Soul

Lifestyle, Spirit & Soul

Welcome back to the blog friends. I’m super excited about today’s post because it’s dedicated to one of my favorite things ever: Reading!

I’ll be sharing the books I’ve wrote down on my reading list for the new year, and I’ll also be sharing some of my favorites I read in 2019 -so good!

For the Soul and Spirit:

Read More: here

Starting off the year with When Less Becomes More by Emily Ley, and wow. Seriously so amazing, I highly recommend it to all my mama friends out there!

Read More: here

You Are The Girl For The Job by Jess Connolly seems like the perfect book for me to read next. I’m in a season of life where I could use all the encouragement and empowerment.

Read More: here

Rhythms Of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons. I’ve read such great reviews about this one and I can’t wait to read it!

Read More: here

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Read More: here

I started reading It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst as I was going through a life changing experience, and it was such a good read. I’ve yet to finish reading it but I definitely plan on picking it back up to finish it off. SO good.

I don’t know why I’m so late on finding out about Sadie Robertson‘s upcoming release: Live, but I’m so excited and I can’t wait!

Personal Development:

Read More: here

Smart Women Finish Rich by David Back. I listened to a podcast last year where Author David Back was interviewed and I remember loving all the wisdom he had to offer. He is most known for his Finish Rich book series so I definitely had to put this on my reading list.

Read More: here

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Another book I’ve been seeing everywhere lately that is highly recommended.

Read More: here

Excited to read Atomic Habits by James Clear and see how this will help me undo and replace bad habits.

Read More: here

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero is known to be a great book. I picked it up last year and I didn’t get around to read it, I’m hoping to cross it off my list sometime this year.

Read More: here

How To Have Your Life Not Suck by Bianca Juarez concludes my Reading List!

You can find my favorite books of 2019 down below!

My favorite book of 2019 has to be A Love Letter Life by Jeremy & Audrey Roloff. It was so good I read it all in two days. It’s filled with so many good nuggets and I highly recommend it to anyone who is married, in a couple, and even to all who are single. Soooo good!

Other Faves:

Girl Stop Apologizing: here

Own Your Everyday: here

Anxious For Nothing: here

What are some of your favorites & what’s on your list this year?

XO,

Easter Basket Ideas for Toddler Boys

Lifestyle, Motherhood

Spring has officially sprung, and we’re only a couple weeks away from Easter! This makes my second year following this Easter basket tradition for my boys, so I figured I’d post some ideas since I got a few requests regarding so on Instagram last month.

I tend to search for things I know will actually be put to use, and won’t be dumped or forgotten about a day later. Most of the things I found were from the dollar section at Target, excluding the Paint Poster booklets. Those I found at Michaels as well as the natural excelsior to fill the baskets with. (Baskets were found at the Target dollar section back in January, but Michaels has some similar ones linked here.)

Goodies in their Easter basket:

Easter book, Mickey Mouse & Paw Patrol Play Pack Grab & Go, Water Paint Posters, Pj Masks bandaids, Sidewalk chalk, Bunny Ears, Carrot Decoration, Kinder Joy Egg, Hearth and Hand Easter Gifting Toy, and their favorite action figure at the moment.

Now, I will say I was a bit obsessed with Hearth and Hand’s Easter Gifting Collection for kids when I first saw it. So many cute toys that would make the perfect addition for any Easter basket! I went for the Wooden Toy Blocks and the Bunny Pull Along Toy.

You can find the rest of their collection here: Hearth & Hand Easter Gifting Collection

As we all know, Easter isn’t actually based on some bunny, and the true reason behind it all is Jesus’ resurrection. I knew for sure I wanted to add a book in each one of their baskets, so I ended up going with something that would help my boys learn the true celebration of Easter.

Books to the left were found at Hobby Lobby, and The Story of Easter is from Target.

Other Spring Books we’ve enjoyed over the last couple of weeks:

We Are The Gardeners by Joanna Gaines

The Little Rabbit

The Week That Led To Easter

When Springs Comes

I hope you found some of these Easter basket ideas helpful, and I wish you all a great Easter weekend with your loved ones!

XO,

A Day In Palm Springs

Lifestyle, Travel

We moved out of the Coachella Valley towards the end of last year, yet we find ourselves back there a lot of the time. We visit our family pretty often, and sometimes we enjoy a nice day out doing some of the things we love most.

A couple weekends ago, our 2 littlest ones stayed the weekend over at my parents, and we had such a nice little day date with our firstborn.

We started our morning with some delicious brunch at one of my favorite little spots in Palm Springs, FARM. If you’ve yet to try it and if you’re ever in town, it’s a definite must try. Soo good, and the scenery is just beautiful.

My usual is a Grilled Chicken Sandwich with a lemonade on the side. So delicious!

After brunch we decided to hit up one of Desert X’s locations, and it was pretty cool to say the least.

If you’re not familiar with Desert X, it’s an annual art exhibition displayed throughout the Coachella Valley by many artists who create and showcase some pretty rad -but amazing- art.

You can find a map with all of Desert X’s locations: here

We ended our day with some dinner and ice cream with my brother in law, and we finally stopped at the Palm Springs windmills to get a quick pic right before heading back home. The Valley holds a special place in my heart, and I will forever be in awe with its beauty. So glad my husband & I were able to spend some much needed one on one time with our firstborn, we sure made it a memorable day.

See you all in my next post, gender reveal coming soon! (:

XO,

Holiday Gift Guide! – 2018

Lifestyle

Hey all! It has been a long minute since I’ve blogged and I’ll fill ya in as to why I haven’t done so in another post, but today I’m bringing you all a Holiday Gift Guide for those that have yet found a gift for those we love!

For starters, let’s talk about the special women in our life.. Mom, mother in law, sister, cousin, best friend, aunt, you name it, I got you covered. Pulling a few of my favorite items this season I thought would make perfect as gifts!

Gifts For Her

Horacio Print 2019 Planner:

I recently got a few items from Horacio Print that have been quite life changing, and I wanted to share a planner that would be perfect for the more-organized woman in your life. They have 3 different select styles of their planners, and they are AMAZING. You totally have to check them out if you’re in need of one, or you know someone who would love one. I can’t wait to fill mine up this coming year!

Planner: Here

Summer Fridays Overtime Mask: 

Y’all. This mask has been my favorite this season! It smells like the holidays & leaves your skin feeling amazing after rinsing. Pumpkin scented but not to the point where it’s overwhelming, and it refreshens & rejuvenates your skin in a matter of minutes. Definitely recommend checking this mask out!

SF Overtime Mask: Here

MatchMaven Crossbody Bag:

One of my favorite mamas I follow on IG launched her business and released her very first product recently! This beautiful crossbody bag/clutch she designed herself is the simplest but most beautiful statement bag I never knew I needed! Linking it for y’all to check out because everyone needs a go-to bag when running errands to help carry all your must have essentials. Now, it’s only available for pre-order, but in the meantime, she will send you a free Christmas card you can place under the tree as the person you’re gifting to awaits its arrival. Comes in beige & black!

Beige Crossbody Bag: here

Poppy Bracelet by Made By Mary:

One of my favorite jewelry pieces at the moment. I picked one up for myself and 2 other people in my life. Loving the simplicity & minimalistic look this bracelet gives.

Bracelet: here

Yeti Mug:

The perfect mug for the mom who’s coffee always gets cold because hello, mom duties. With this mug, there is no reheating needed as it keeps your coffee hot long enough for you to actually finish it.

Mug: here

Slippers and Eye Mask Set:

You can’t go wrong with gifting anything from the Hearth and Hand collection. Love how cozy and cute this set is.

Slippers Set: here

Jesus Calling Devotional Book:

One of my favorite purchases this year was a devotional book by Sarah Young, Jesus Calling. With the new year coming in no time, I thought it’d be the perfect gift since there’s a devotion to be read for every day of the year.

Jesus Calling: here

Girl, Wash Your Face (Book):

One of my favorite reads this year! Such a great inspirational book for any woman. If you haven’t read this book yet, make sure to get yourself a copy too!

Book: here

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For Him

Keeping it very simple for the guys, and giving a few ideas other than the usual – tools, boxers, portable speaker, etc.

Backpack: 

Perfect for travel, and even work.

Link: here

Yeti Rambler: 

Your perfect to-go coffee cup, keeping your coffee nice and warm on the go.

Link: here

Slippers: 

Idk about y’all, but if I don’t buy my husband slippers for the winter season, he won’t bother to get himself a pair. This makes such a perfect gift for the men in our lives.

Link: here

AE Hoodie:

Can’t go wrong with a hoodie as a gift, ever. They’re cozy, and I’m loving the neutral tones in this particular hoodie. Oh, AND it’s on sale, hollaaaa.

Link: here

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-For the kiddos-

For Them

I put together a mixture of educational flash cards and fun play things.

Teepee: 

My boys have this one, and we love how fun and spacious it is.

Link: here

        Scripture ABC Flash Cards:

The most beautiful flash cards I’ve ever seen. Love the beautiful scriptures on each card.

Link: here 

Hearth And Hand Farmhouse:

This would be such a great playhouse for a little girl! I don’t have any of my own, but if I did, best believe it’d be on the Christmas list!

Link: here

Jesus Calling Devotional for Kids:

I love this devotional for older kids. Brings them closer to God, and each devotional is worded in a way they’re able to understand.

Link: here

    Kids Play Kitchen:

This play kitchen is perfect for any little girl or boy. You can always DIY to give it some cool upgrades!

Link: here

Learning Flashcard Set:

These flashcard sets are awesome to help improve and learn ABC’s, colors, and shapes! Perfect for your little one.

Link: here

BeyBlade Stadium: 

My firstborn has been asking for this Beyblade stadium for months, so I figured I had to include it for the moms with older little boys. Apparently, these beyblade toys are a hit, and are very popular at the moment.

Link: here

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Hope you guys were able to get a few ideas off of this gift guide, and I wish you all the happiest of Holidays! Talk to you all soon!

XO,Signature

(Disclaimer: I do not own rights to any of these images)


How I Edit For The Gram – VSCO style

Lifestyle

Another Wednesday, another post friends! Over the last couple of months, I’ve received a few messages of people asking what apps I use to edit my photos, so today I’ll be sharing some tips & tricks, and a little “how to” when it comes to editing on the app VSCO.

I started using VSCO a little over a year ago, and if you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a really cool app where there are many filters you can choose from when editing your photos “for the gram”.

IMG_8958

I have to be honest, I hardly edit on the app now, and I’ve mostly switched over to LR even when editing phone pics, but I thought sharing how I edit on ‘VSCO’ would be perfect for those that want to learn how to edit fast & easy.

 

So if you want to learn how to go from this.. to this, “just keep on watching”, just kidding. Keep on reading.

To start off, I want to mention a few tips that may help improve your photo taking skills.

  • Lighting is KEY. I prefer natural lighting when taking any sort of pic whether it be taken with my phone or camera, and I never use flash. A picture can always be brighten up later in editing, & flash with an iPhone just defeats the purpose and the picture
  • Even light from head to toe. I ensure to take a picture (or get my picture taken) somewhere where there is shade if taken outside, & there are no shadows in the background. I also tend to stray away from harsh lighting when taking self portraits.
  • Clean background. You don’t have to take your picture at some fancy place all the time, I love using walls as backdrops from time to time. As long as the background is clean, then you are good to go.
  • Golden hour is my favorite time to take pictures. If you’re not sure what that is, google it. It’s the best time to take pictures!
  • Pictures Inside? As many of you already know, I am a mom of three, and that only means I’m constantly snapping pictures of the kids no matter where we are. If I want to document a moment, I ensure to take it where the lighting is best. So if you happen to be inside when taking “the picture”, move around & find a spot with the best lighting.
  • Enable Photo Grid. For some reason I prefer having the grid on rather than having it off. It helps to some degree, and it may help you too.

Okay now for the fun part…

I went ahead and upgraded the VSCO app to Pro that was around $19.99. Now you don’t have to do this, and before I went pro, my favorite filter was S3.

Once pro, I fell in love with the Fuji filters! I have a love for fuji film-like photos as I would actually love to take on film photography sometime in the future, but for now I’ll stick with Fuji film filters & presets. My favorite to use on VSCO are FS4, FP2, and sometimes FS1 depending on the photo.

Now, I’m no pro when it comes to editing, but this is the style I’ve developed with time, and I’ve enjoyed getting creative with it!

I always bump the exposure as I see needed (I like my photos pretty bright), and I also bump the contrast just a tad bit. I play with the highlights and white balance (temp & tint) – for Fall I like them a little cool, and since we’re in Summer now, I prefer them on the warmer side. I always sharpen the photo, adjust & straighten or crop, get rid of a few shadows, and if needed I will increase the hue of a certain color while decreasing its saturation just a bit. Another cool & trendy thing you may see often on “instagram photos”, is grain. It’s pretty cool, but it’s not really my thing even though I do use it occasionally.

 

(Taken during golden hour)

FP2 , Exposure: +1.6 , Contrast: +.3 , Sharpen: +3.4 ,

 Highlights: +1.1, Shadows: +1.0,

Temp: +.7 , Tint: +.6 , Skin Tone: -1.1

HSL:  Hue: +1.1 , Saturation: -1.0

If you’re new with the app, I suggest to just play around using whichever filter interests you the most, and get familiar with an editing style of your liking. I don’t always use the same tools, & I switch filters accordingly as I see fit depending on each picture.

I hope you find this helpful, and if I happened to miss anything, or you have any questions or any requests on what you’d like to see next, please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment down below!

Other apps I like to use:

Facetune to whiten or remove anything from the picture

UNUM to move & organize photos for my feed

Unfold for getting creative with pictures for my story

OHH!! And before I leave you all until next Wednesday… I was nominated by Locale Magazine to be part of a poll for “Favorite Lifestyle Bloggers in Greater Palm Springs”! What!! If it’s not too much to ask of you, I’d love to get your vote! Voting is open until next Tuesday at 5pm, and only one vote is allowed per day. This is so exciting for me as you can only imagine, and I’m grateful to even be nominated. Thank you all in advance if voting, and I’ll see you all next week!

Link to vote: here!

XO,

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The PRESS Espresso

Lifestyle, Travel

Hey guys! If you know me, you know finding cute coffee shops is one of my favorite things to do, and recently, I finally had the opportunity to visit a shop I had been dying to go to for months! This coffee shop exceeded all expectations I had, I figured I may as well blog about it, and tell you about my experience.

First and foremost, the staff, wow. They were super friendly, and I loved the service they gave my husband, baby, and I. They were very kind when giving me suggestions of all their best selling lattes and pastries, and they were all so very kind to Max – kid friendly coffee shops/employees are everything.

The coffee- SO good. I tried 2 different lattes (one hot, one iced), and I really loved them both. One in particular that my husband & I can’t stop thinking about, the rose vanilla latte. Delicious, and possibly the best latte I’ve ever had in my life!

IMG_8879 3

(Pictured: Rose Vanilla Latte, Coffee Cake Iced Latte, Apple Pop Tart, & a Chocolate muffin)

The shop/scenery- Amazing, beautiful, glamorous yet modern. By far, this has been the prettiest shop I’ve ever been to. I was telling my husband that if I were a coffee shop, this would be me. The style, the vibes, the decor, the greenery.. y’all, even the bathroom was glamorous. It was beyond beautiful, and the fact that I had an amazing experience, just adds the cherry on top.

IMG_1567IMG_1104IMG_3523

The outside was beautiful too. It’s located in a little center surrounding a few unique boutiques that also seemed intriguing. The boutiques were closed when we made it to the shop, so we definitely plan on going early next time.

IMG_0785IMG_0175IMG_6243IMG_9518

The Press Espresso

(Located in Temecula, CA)

You can find their locations here: The Press Espresso

Dress: Forever 21

Sandals: Mexico

Fedora Hat: H&M (similar)

Bag: Fawn Design

I hope you guys enjoyed this quick post, and I’ll see you all on my next one on Wednesday!

Xo,

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Create your own Instagram Story Highlight Covers! (Simple & Free, Step by Step Examples)

Lifestyle

 

Hey all! If you follow me on Instagram, you might’ve noticed that I added a cover to all of my highlight stories a few weeks ago, and I’m finally getting around to sharing how I made my own covers!

First things first, I’m aware this isn’t for the average person and it isn’t an absolute must to have them, but if you’re here and you want to learn how to take your gram up a notch, or you simply like a more polished and well put together look, I hope this serves you well & you leave inspired and ready to create your own icon covers! (:

APPS YOU WILL NEED:AppsYour most used apps will be Google (Safari) and Phonto only if you’re able to find all of your icons in PNG file format.

If not, no worries, app #3 (Background Eraser) will be your bff & it will sure come in handy later on! (Info on how-to, towards the bottom)

 

Step 1:  Find a color background of your choice via google (preferably something that matches your profile’s color palette). Once you’ve found your color, save the image.

(I went with a light neutral color, and I searched something like “blush nude” in Google.)

save image

 

Step 2:  Find as many icons as needed specifying each highlight story you may have. You can find them via Google or any other website you may know of that offers cute icons. My icons range from different categories such as, Motherhood, Beauty, Blog, Home, Style, and more. Feel free to add and subtract as you please. The key to finding the perfect icons and requiring much less work, will have to go as follows:

Search your icons in PNG file format. For example, if you’re in search of a coffee mug icon, you want to ensure you search “coffee mug icon png“. The “png” is essential and it is key, it will make it a lot easier to work with, therefore, making it less work for you. Also, don’t be afraid to be specific, I’m a perfectionist & things have to be a certain style/color. I went as far as searching specific colored icons, and it was worth it. Keep it simple, yet specify.

i.e :

png ex-3

 

Step 3:  Once you’ve saved your background color and all of your icons, you are ready to proceed in putting it all together in the Phonto app.

( Disclaimer: I don’t have the exact screenshots of how I put my own icon covers together, but I happened to make a few for a friend on Instagram, and I was able to screenshot step by step, so, sorry for any confusion there may be with the different colored backgrounds. You can find her Instagram page here, if you’d like to see how they turned out )

Steps for Phonto:

  • Upload background colored photo
  • Add Image (icon)
  • Play with sizing if desired, but be mindful that when sizing too big or too small, it may result in decreasing the quality of the icon.
  • Save image!
  • The final step would be to upload the image to your story, save to Highlights, make it your primary cover, and voila!

 

phonto ex

 

And this is what it will look like when all of your new highlight covers are side by side. My Highlight Covers:

X Marks The Spot-3

 

Now for the part that requires a little more work. Say you end up finding an icon you really love, but it doesn’t come in PNG. There still may be a way to make it work – save the image, but instead of uploading it straight to Phonto right away, upload it to the Eraser app first, & follow this collage’s simple steps:

Eraser Example:

eraser ex

  • Upload icon to ‘Eraser’
  • Click on “Erase”
  • Click “Target Area” (it’s faster & less time consuming than hitting “erase” again.) Hit your color background and/or any other area you may want to erase.
  • Save image in Max & in PNG!
  • Upload new icon to Phonto & repeat the Phonto steps’ from up above, and save.
  • Upload to Instagram Stories, Highlights, edit as Highlight Cover, and you’re all set!

 

I hope you guys found this useful & easy to follow! Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions if you have any, I tried elaborating as much as I could! Also, feel free to tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see how your covers turned out! ( Or hashtag under #loveeesally )

Thank you for reading & for making it to the blog today! Talk to you all soon!

 

XO,

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