Lipstick Of The Week//Mudslide

Buxom Lip Cream

Happy Friday! I am so excited for the weekend I’ve been dancing around the house and doing ninja moves around corners. Yeah I bet that’s funny to picture, believe me it’s more hilarious in real life. No major plans for the weekend, just excited to be one step closer to our trip! Starting the packing and cleaning tomorrow. I think I am grossly underestimating how much to pack for five people. Plus, I need to stock the fridge for our house-sitter. The to-do list is long my friends but there are white sandy beaches at the end so I really don’t care at all.

Right now I’ve got all the kids asleep (nothing short of a miracle) so I decided to take some time and post the LOTW. I know that I missed last week and I’m sure you were devastated…. But no worries! The one for this week is a fun one. 

Buxom Lip Cream

This is a lip cream by Buxom. It’s creamy (duh) with no shimmer or sparkle, which is great because I’m not a huge fan of either of those things. It smells delicious (like cupcakes) and has this tingling effect which is this natural plumping agent apparently. It has no GMO’s or paragons which is the bombdotcom.

buxom mudslide

I’m wearing the color “Mudslide”. So while I like this one, I don’t like it enough to get it in another color. If that tells you anything. When I really like a lipstick I’ll have it in at least a couple shades. I know. I have a problem.

Buxom Lip cream

If a little bit of color and shine is your thing then you’ll want to check this one out!

Have a wonderful weekend friends! Make sure you do a little dancing and some ninja moves to celebrate.

~BM

7 Tips For Better IPhone Pics & A Pretty Instagram Feed

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Ok so discloser first. I do not consider myself a professional photographer by any means. I enjoy taking pictures, especially nice ones. Over the past few years I’ve really discovered that not only is it something that I enjoy doing but I actually kinda love it. But more on that later.

Pictures taken with an actual camera are without a doubt much better than anything you’ll take on your phone. However, at times it’s so much easier to just whip out your phone to capture a moment (because lets be real, it’s pretty much glued to the hand anyway) rather than hunt around frantically for your camera. Even here on the blog, you’ll find that these days, most of my photos are from my phone. It’s easier to edit photos while I’m nursing plain and simple. With that said… I am looking to invest in a DSLR for something pretty awesome I’m working on (yay for being vague!). So if you have any camera suggestions send them my way!

I’ve also realized that I have a pretty unhealthy obsession with Instagram. Like if you call me while I’m scrolling, I won’t answer because I don’t want to loose my spot. Yeah it’s that bad. I know some people get a little down looking at Instagram because it’s filled with so many pretty and seemingly perfect pictures and then your life suddenly feels messy and not Pinterest-y enough. I don’t have that problem. I LOVE looking at all the “perfect” pictures. Maybe it’s just because I’m a realist and I know that surrounding every pretty picture is some sort of mess. Messy house, messy room, messy desk, messy emotions etc. Whatever. I don’t mind one bit that people use Instagram as a “highlight reel” because I know it’s exactly that, just the highlights. And for whatever reason if you’re super clean, and organized, and amazing, without a care in the world AND you post perfect pictures. Well more power to you. I’m fairly certain you aren’t a real human but like I said,  all the more power to you. So when I post on Instagram I like putting my best foot forward. I like posting pictures I’m proud of in those little squares. I like to have a nice feed to look at. That’s it. Nothing more.

So, for those of you who want to up your iPhoto/Instagram game, here are my 7 tips for better pictures with your iPhone…

1) Post whatever and whenever you want.

I know this seems like a no brainer but you’d be surprised at the mind set people have with Instagram. Afraid to over post or that their picture isn’t good enough. WHO CARES PEOPLE. It’s a simple social media site and that’s it. Post pictures of what you love! If that’s food, go for it. If that’s of your cross-fit equipment, do it. Whatever! Don’t post what you think people want to see. If they don’t like what they see, all they have to do is simply “unfollow”. Don’t change who you are just to get “likes” on social media. That is literally the worst. Same thing goes if someone doesn’t like you “spamming” their feed. Ok fine then stop following. It’s just that simple. And please please don’t delete a photo because it doesn’t have enough “likes”. That’s taking away a little part of who you are because you think it’s not good enough. Just be yourself. Whether that’s posting every now and then or a few times a day… Just be authentic.

2) Natural Light

Ok. For reals tips… Here we go. Natural light is always best. If you’re taking a picture of something inside your home, do it near a window. If you’re outside, move into the shade so that you don’t have the super harsh light making weird contrasts and shadows. Soft natural light is the first step to a good photo. This is a picture taken on the patio of a restaurant during the “golden hour” (5:00-6:00ish depending on where you live).

Tips for better iPhone photos

Soft clean light. This picture barely needed any editing. Same with these balloons.

Tips for better iPhone photos

See? Love that natural light.

3) My Favorite Apps

While filters are fun, you have to make sure you don’t over do it. I look back at some of my early Instagram pics and LAUGH. I was filter crazy. So I really like apps that allow you to control how much filter you add to the pictures. I very rarely leave a picture with the filter turned all the way up. I use Snapseed, Afterlight, VSCOcam, and PicTapGo. For making collages or adding text I like Diptic and A Beautiful Mess.

4) Basic Adjustments

Before adding filters I like to play around with the basic adjustments first. Mess with the contrast, shadows, highlights and light. You’ll be surprised at what a difference that can make. Sometimes after that you don’t even need a filter. Also, be careful of making adjustments after you’ve added the filter. Sometimes that can make things look a little off. Or if you add a border make sure you add it after all the adjustments have been made, otherwise it discolors the outside.

5) Dealing with Indoor Lighting 

When you do end up taking a picture with indoor lighting it can come out a little yellow and/or dark. Playing with the highlighting can help that. In Afterlight you can change the highlight color to blue which cools the picture down and counters the yellow light. Like this!

Iphone photo tips

Then brighten it up!

iphone photo tips

That’s what I did with this picture as well.

Before:

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After:

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See? A little better!

6) Pretty Feeds

Like I mentioned earlier I like having a nice Instagram feed and I love following other nice feeds too. My favorite accounts all have a “look”. They either have a theme, a similar editing style to all their photos, or a focused content. Let me show you what I mean… When you glance at a feed you can just tell that the pictures are connected in some way.

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This feed is filled with bright colors and gold accents! All the pictures are different but they have a few things in common to weave them all together.

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This feed has lots of flat lays, florals, and views from above.

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Happily Grey incorporates lots of marble back drops and earthy tones. The saturation is also turned down just a hint in every picture. Giving everything a…well… “gray” vibe.

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Corynne Hogan’s feed is all about that natural light, clouds, and open spaces.

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In Jenna Guizar’s feed she puts a pretty hand lettered quote as every third picture as well as using borders to put her pictures in landscape format.

Back in February I started alternating between portraits and landscapes.

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It was fun while it lasted but then I just got bored with it and moved back to squares.

FullSizeRende//

Having a theme for your Instagram photos is fun and purely that. You don’t need a theme by any means. It’s just another way to try and stretch yourself creatively. Ya know, if you’re into that sort of thing.

7) The Flat Lay

About a year ago I discovered the “flat lay” I actually didn’t know what it was called until a few months ago but I knew it was taking pictures of things “laying flat” against a background (most commonly a white one). So I started using the white foam boards we have around the house (left over church posters) as backgrounds. It’s been a learning curve for sure but it’s one of my favorite ways to take pictures. Making the ordinary beautiful things of every day stand out just a little bit more.

Flat Lay

You can do a flat lay with just about anything. There are really no rules but having a theme or common color scheme in your flat lay can help. Like in the picture above ^^ I’ve got lot’s of green going on with just a little bit of pink. The leaves and hemp help give it an earthy look. The teacup and candle are there to help you picture yourself in the woods, writing in your journal, with just this little light to guide your hand across the pages. Make sense? Each flat lay should tell a story or make you see everything as pieces of a puzzle coming together.

Well I hope these tips are helpful! The first one is really the most important. Just be authentic when taking photos. These are moments in time that you want to capture. If you want to share them that’s great! But the vital thing is that it’s a picture of something special to you.

~BM

Lily And Mama Ring Slings

baby wearing

Lily and Mama Ring Slings

Right before Easter I discovered Lily and Mama ring slings. Being a strong believer in baby wearing, I was really excited to have found this adorable little shop. I began emailing Kaitlyn (the awesome mommy who makes these slings) and we quickly realized how much we had in common! As coffee loving Catholics living in AZ, we formed a fast friendship.

Just a few days ago my first Lily and Mama ring sling came in the mail. With a pretty package, business cards, and a pamphlet on safe baby-wearing, I couldn’t wait to try it out. I quickly decided we needed a family walk. It was love the second I had Aria snuggled inside.

lily and mama ring slings

I know she looks terrified in this picture but thats just because we were near the playground and her brothers were making A LOT of noise.

I picked the single layer linen sling in “The Pacific” a gorgeous mix of a light purples and deep blues. I chose this color because it’s soft and subtle. I also picked it’s neutral and my husband is more likely to use it too! The linen fabric is fantastic and perfect for hotter climates (ahem AZ) It’s breathable and light weight but secure enough to offer a strong seat for baby. It spreads along the shoulder really well, making the weight distribution ideal.

Mama and Lily Ring Slings

Dress//Old Navy, Shoes//Rainbows, Sling//c/o Lily and Mama

Lily and Mama Ring Slings

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again….Supporting small businesses is so important. Kaitlyn works so hard to make these gorgeous slings. I have learned so much about her and the heart and soul she puts into each sling by following her Instagram account. You can see the devotion she has to her craft as well as her desire to please God with this talent she has been given.

I know there are a TON of options out there when it comes to baby wearing and it can be overwhelming. Well I’m here to tell you that the search is over. If you’re looking to give a ring sling a try or even just baby wearing a try, THIS is the place to start. now your only decision left is what color to choose!

Kaitlyn was sweet enough to make sure I got my sling before our vacation. I am so excited to document our adventures with my lovely new sling. So hop over and visit her beautiful new website and grab yourself one! Or two….

~BM

What We’ve Been Up To And Other Randomness

Live Auction Bidding Wand

Hello everyone! I know things have been a little quite here the past few days but that’s just because we’ve been so busy! Thankfully things are sorta slowing down this week. We are getting back into our routine and starting to get things ready for our trip to Florida. I’d really like to leave the house nice and clean but we’ll see if that actually happens.

So here’s what we’ve been up too..

Friday was filled with me driving back and forth from the church and my house, taking care of the kids, and helping set up for the regalia. So I made sure we started the day right. Donuts and coffee!

Donuts and coffee

This won’t be the last time I say this so just be prepared… but I have such an amazing team/committee. So many people just stepped up and did a fantastic job. I will readily admit that putting this event together has been filled with challenges, mostly because of my three littles and leaving the house with them in tow is a HUGE deal. However, everyone that contributed to this event was understanding of my situation and offered me encouragement and support.

So after leaving the church around 10:00 Friday evening, we were all up bright and early on Saturday morning to get the day rolling. I went back to the church, did a little more work, then went to get my haircut. Now a haircut might seem like no big deal but I hadn’t had mine cut in a really really long time. I went to a brand new salon downtown and was super pleased with my cut. My stylist even did my hair flapper-esque for the regalia, free of charge!

1920's style

We then dropped the boys off with my sister Gabi and then headed off to the big event.

This was Andrew and I before the fun got started!

Roaring 20's style

The evening was spectacular and like always, it went by so fast. Words will never be able to adequately describe how thankful I am to everyone who helped make this night so amazing. We were all so exhausted by the end of the evening, especially my little helper Ms. Aria.

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The next day was spent just relaxing and resting. I consumed copious amounts of coffee and let the kids watch entirely too much t.v. but I felt like I didn’t have a choice.

Sunday mornings....

All the stress and intensity of the past few weeks just hit me. And it didn’t help that Andrew was gone for half the day doing other youth ministry stuff at another parish. So no regrets Sunday morning. It was simply survival mode and that’s fine by me.

So on Monday we were all feeling a little bit better. I filled out my planner and that helped me get a better handle on the coming week. I put together some essential oil blends to boost our immune systems. With all the craziness and stress that’s been going on, I’m sure they’re not that strong and I’d hate for us to get sick before our trip!

Immune system boosting doterra blends

Later in the morning, I randomly decided it was a good day to get Aria’s ears pierced. I took my younger sisters along for the support and then treated them to a little something after.

Coffee

Then that evening Andrew came home and we went for a walk. We stopped by the little park in our neighborhood. There were two Dads there with their kids but it was actually really sad. Why? Because both Dads were on their phones the whole time. Hardly interacting with their kids. It was heartbreaking. I’m so thankful that Andrew is such a good father. So naturally I took out my phone to document his good parenting. Yes, I am laughing at the irony don’t worry.

Fatherhood

After our walk, I headed out the door to margarita monday for another “Make It Happen” meet up. These ladies are so awesome and have really helped me discover so many things about myself. Wife, mother, teacher blogger… I’m all these things, but there is another layer under there and I’m so happy to have found it.

make it happen//meet up

So that’s where the Starbuck family is at. Life never slows down and I’m totally ok with that! Have a great day!

~BM

P.S. Keep checking my Instagram page today! I’m going to be having another little giveaway!