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Our Favorite Things: Photography

Hello Friday 🙂

Today I am sharing my favorite things about one of my favorite topics…photography. I absolutely love taking photos just as much as I do editing and sharing them. If you want to up your photo game -for fun or for business- keep reading! I’m spilling all the tea on how I do what I do for the photos I use on Instagram and my blog.

Taking Photos

Canon SL2

This camera is my new favorite thing. Although you do not need a fancy pants camera to blog, it does help! If you’re just starting out, I encourage you to wait and make a camera a goal. We love this camera because it does come with a viewing screen for vlogging, the photos are stunning, and it has WiFi! You definitely don’t need to spend the big bucks—you’d be surprised at all the tools you hold right on your phone!

IPhone 7+

The phone I have is an iPhone 7+. I think it does a great job for photos! Just remember, lighting is everything! My iphone photo tip: Portrait Mode! If you don’t already know, now you know! You will gush over how amazing your photos will look

Editing Photos

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This app is my favorite. It’s the only thing I use to edit my photos! The filters are seriously the best. I was using the free version up until recently. I decided to pay the $21 for the full version last week. I think this app is like the fancy pants camera: don’t feel like you have to spend extra money, dive around in the free version first!

Spicing Things Up

My holly grail of apps right here! These are my everyday IG enhancers 🙂

Rhonna + Rhonna Collage + RD Magic

Here’s two photos I just whipped up while making this blog post. I wanted to show some of the fun elements you can add to your photos. You can add text to existing photos in Rhonna. You can also create your own fun text + clip art photos like I did above. The Rhonna app comes with a ton of free fonts and images – options to upgrade as well! The Rhonna collage lets you put photos together like the Layout IG app. I used the RD Magic app on Trevor’s photo. I don’t use this app everyday, but it’s fun to play around with. I added the flash and light effects.

iMovie

This is where I make my videos right on my phone. It’s pretty self explanatory and easy to use! There’s a lot of times I make a video but never get around to editing it on the computer. This makes it really convenient for me.  I definitely recommend it.

Hype Type

This is what I use to “hype” up my Instagram stories. Shout out to Layla Living for giving me the 411 on this app. It lets you add fun flowing text and music to videos+photos. I love how easy it is to add music! iMovie makes it so hard at times – hype type links straight to the Apple Music library! I find myself leaning more towards hype type to make quick videos! Love it!

Camera Connect

This is app and our new camera go together.  Not only can I control the camera with my phone, but I can send my photos straight from the camera to my phone in seconds! This is also so nice to use while I’m taking photos with friends. I can link up to them and send the photos right away. I really like stream lining the creative process if you can’t tell. When I can navigate through my entire process take-create-upload all on my phone, I’m personally the most successful at staying consistent!


I hope this blog post helps you all spice up your photos -for blogging or just for fun! I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of memories and opportunities to take photos. If you learned anything from this post let me know! Tag me in your uploads so I can love on them and share 🙂 

Love from,

Beauty guide me

Alice's Table + Lunatic Fringe = Blowouts & Blooms

“After Women, Flowers Are The Most Divine Creations.”

Layla (@laylalivng) and I had a wonderful time Saturday night at the Blowouts & Blooms event! Layla is another Cincinnati Blogger who actually co-hosts the (@cincinnatibloggers) Instagram page with me! There is something amazing that happens when women get together…there’s something even more amazing when supportive women get together.

Alice’s Table and Lunatic Fringe Salon collaborated to bring together such an uplifting girls night out. Layla and I entered the salon receiving a warm welcome. We all introduced ourselves, had a few glasses of wine, then headed to the chair to talk about what kind of style we wanted.

Haley was my stylist. She was such a sweetheart. She did a wonderful job transforming my hair from a drab ponytail to a voluminous, fun beach wave. As she washed my hair and styled it, she was so informative walking me through each step. She made sure to describe the products and what they do.

The salon was beautiful & the atmosphere was incredible. The team at Lunatic Fringe were so hospitable and really made all of the ladies feel welcome. You could truly see the girls at Lunatic Fringe love what they do and enjoy working together as a team.

After we all looked fabulous with our fresh blowouts, it was time to bloom. Hannah, the Event Exec for Alice’s Table, had us all set up ready to create. From all the flowers and tools being provided to Hannah’s passion for sharing her knowledge, she set us up to be successful! I can be a little OCD at times. I thought for sure I would be nit picking my arrangement until the last minute, but surprisingly I was not. Hannah walked us through the process so well while teaching us tips and tricks. It was a flawless process with a beautiful outcome.

This event was more empowering and inspiring than I expected. I left with a beautiful arrangement and the skills to recreate arrangements in the future. Between the blowout and the way creating an arrangement felt therapeutic, I left feeling pampered and relaxed. I left feeling so excited for Hannah and her new endeavor bringing women together. I wish her all the success and I can not wait to watch her grow! From seeing the stylists in the salon collaborate and work so well as a team, to everyone supporting Hannah and her new business…women supporting women was a big underlying theme for the night! We all were giddy complementing each others arrangements and hair. And let me add, Greg from Lunatic Fringe was so supportive! He was there to lift us all up and let everyone know we did such a great job.

I am so excited I got to attend this event and share it with you all. It was so much fun. I needed to recharge my batteries this weekend, and that’s exactly what happened.

Definitely check out Alice’s Table and follow Hannah to see upcoming events. You can even host a private event with Hannah if you have a group of 10 or more!

Read about Layla’s Experience Here

Check out Alice’s Table

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Check out Lunatic Fringe

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I hope you all have a wonderful week! I hope this blog post inspires you to get a group of girls together for an Alice’s Table event, go to Lunatic Fringe for a blow out, or even just text a friend and lift her up with a little pep talk! Women are amazing.

When women support women…we bloom!

Love from,

Family Fun guide

Our Favorite Things: Children's Books

We love books. It’s a love passed down from my mom. We thought it would be nice to share our favorite children’s books with you all. I say our favorites because these are genuinely books I don’t mind reading over and over. Now that Trevor is reading on his own, I do get off the hook a little bit. He loves reading to Jax, and I love listening to him reading to his brother.

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Beauty guide i tried it

5 Things To Know Before Getting Your Eyebrows Microbladed

So this week I got my eyebrows microbladed…it was magical. 

For those of you that don’t know…“Microblading  is a form of semi-Permanent Makeup that provides a means to partially or fully camouflage missing eyebrow hair with the appearance of simulated hair using fine deposits of cosmetic tattoo pigments.” Microblading uses a hand-held-tool that looks like an X-ACTO knife. It puts pigment into the skin but doesn’t go as deep as a tattoo. 

AKA A GAME CHANGER!

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DIY Family Fun guide

30 ways you can reuse a household item found in your bathroom:

So, I have used a new toothbrush everyday for the past month. Sounds a little crazy right? Yea. When I noticed there was a monthly subscription about daily toothbrushes I may have rolled my eyes…and then googled toothbrush germs…and then about gagged. Did you know, the average toothbrush can be home to more than 100 million types of bacteria?! I know, so gross…but your mouth is full of bacteria & your toothbrush probably wont make you sick…but I do have a convenient, affordable solution for you to step up your oral health! Raise your hand if you thought about a trash can full of toothbrushes? That’s where my mind went. So I put my DIY head to work and came up with 30 ways you could reuse those brushes instead of trashing them.

  1. Cleaning Bathroom/Kitchen sink
  2. Cracks and crevices in the shower/tub
  3. Woodwork dusting – this is a fun chore you can have the kids do!
  4. Shoes! (Check out how I used one to scrub Jax’s smelly shoes here)
  5. Jewelry
  6. Giving some extra love to stains after using spray n’ wash, before throwing something in the wash.
  7. Car seats
  8. Car vents/cup holders
  9. Cleaning crayon from walls is
  10. Cleaning out the lint trap of the dryer
  11. The shower head
  12. Dust out the vent of your hair dryer
  13. Cleaning the holes in the pasta strainer
  14. Inside the Keurig
  15. Cleaning the hard to reach spots of the whisks and spatulas
  16. Cleaning remotes and keyboards
  17. Windows and doors
  18. Picture frames
  19. Applying dry shampoo
  20. bracelets — check out the how to Here!
  21. splatter paint fun!
  22. they’re nice to keep handy for any staining or texture top coat art projects!
  23. Plant in the garden bristles down and use the handle to make garden labels
  24. Keep one in your make up supplies to tame brows
  25. Cleaning fingernails
  26. Unclump mascara
  27. Scrub fish tanks
  28. Coloring your hair at home? Use a toothbrush to apply color to your roots
  29. Cleaning baby/kids toys
  30. Bringing Velcro back to life

https://www.cratejoy.com/subscription-box/clean-brush/

Check out the link above to learn more about Bright Brush and getting your hands on this really cool monthly subscription! It’s an affordable way to not only improve your dental hygiene…but give you a month worth of cleaning, fun, and recycling.

Follow Bright Brush on IG Here!

I hope this list inspired you. Creating it inspired me to start doing a little more deep cleaning myself!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Xoxo

Ddotts

 

 

 

Family Fun guide

Trevor's Big Shots Sports Training Birthday Party!

We had Trevor’s 6th birthday party at Big Shots Sports Training (located inside Recreation’s Outlet)DSC_0008.JPGEveryone says it goes by so fast…and it truly does. I promise he was just this little toothless boy!171.JPG

Everyone had such a great time celebrating Trevor’s birthday! There was so much to do between Big Shots Sports Training Facility & Recreations Outlet! Trevor really got to call the shots and make the day everything he wanted it to be!

Aside from being my new favorite place to have a birthday party, it’s a really fun place to spend the day! Take the kids to a little dribblers class at Big Shots, get a hair cut at Junior Cuts (also located inside), then play on the equipment at Rec Outlet. You never have to leave the building. The kids will be wore out. It’s a mama’s dream!

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With your party you also get time in the party room. We did light snacks, cake, and gifts. Trevor’s friends know him too well, he was spoiled with everything he loves and more!

There is so much planning when it comes to hosting a party:

Clean—you clean the house spotless because you have people coming into your house…I can’t let them know my house doesn’t actually look like a Pinterest photo! Then everyone leaves and it’s a disaster—get to cleaning again!

Food—you provide a meal..but what does everyone like? How many people are coming? I always end up cooking for an army and we have left overs all week!

Party Favors—okay, let me buy a ton of junk stuff that breaks before the kids get home and waist my money…no, I’ll get something meaningful—multiply that by 16 $$$—oh wait, I can’t leave out the babies, let me grab some stuff for them…should I get stuff for their dogs too? What am I doing? Why am I doing this again?

Decorations—I am all about a good party theme…I haven’t thrown a party without a theme and I get a little lost in the tiny details…like the hubby is digging me out of 20 homemade pacman goodie bags the morning of…I love it, but it’s exhausting!

Entertainment—what are the kids going to do?!

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At Big Shots:

I didn’t have to worry about anything said above…and I LOVED IT!! It was so refreshing. With your party you get an amazing party host who organizes the kids entertainment. She was beyond amazing by the way! The kids loved her and she looked like she had just as much fun as them! We didn’t decorate the party room, I thought it looked really great already! There is an option where you can even order balloons beforehand during your party consultation. We did prepackaged party bags from Amazon Prime (amazing idea from the hubby!) The kids had a blast & I actually got to enjoy myself too! I may have been jumping with the kids on the trampolines by the end!

Another big take away from this party was seeing all the age ranges having a blast…from the babies to the preteens to the adults…everyone was entertained and having a good time. That meant a lot to me. Trevor has friends and family of all ages…and everyone was smiling! Trevor said this birthday party was his favorite! I can’t argue with that! After two kids & 6 years of birthday parties…I finally understand the best way to go about celebrating! Am I too old to have my birthday party at Big Shots?



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“Thank you Big Shots Sports Training & Recreations Outlet for the best party ever!” – Trevor

We made a fun video of the party! Check it out below!

Check out our video here!

Check here for more >>> Party Info!

Don’t forget to enter their monthly drawing for a FREE party!

http://recreationsoutlet.com/

http://www.bigshotstraining.com/

BIG SHOTS, 885 OHIO 28, MILFORD, OH, 45150513-BIG-SHOT

HELLO@BIGSHOTSTRAINING.COM

Beauty guide

Mom & Me Time with Jord Watches – Giveaway

My mom is seriously my best friend. She is the strongest woman I know! At a young age she taught me to hold high the value of our time here on this Earth.

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There was & still is nothing better than spending time with my mom. Time is treasure you can not measure, you must only make the most of it. I am the mother I am today because of her. I love you mommy. Happy Mother’s Day.

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Time is a gift. It’s packaged in this beautiful box. We open it everyday as if it will always be there. We take time for granted. I am so guilty of living 10 spaces ahead of myself. I know what I am doing now, 3 weeks from now, I’m thinking 5 months from now, years from now. My mom has taught me to STOP…slow down…and live in the now. Live for today. It’s a tough one…the older I get the more I learn from my mom & the easier it becomes.

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Time is strong, just like the zebrawood and emerald of this watch. Time waits for no man—or woman. It is strict and firm. Enjoy life…ride the waves…go with the flow! The emerald has long been the symbol of hope. Believe in yourself. You must work with time, not against it.

“How to stop time: kiss.

How to travel in time: read. 

How to escape time: music. 

How to feel time: write.

How to release time: breathe.”

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This Jord watch is absolutely amazing! I have only just received it and have already been blown away with the amount of complements I’ve received. It is so unique! Ordering the watch was top notch. You get to print off a size guide and order to fit you perfectly. I absolutely love my one of a kind style watch! It’s a great reminder of the most treasured life lesson my mother taught me…don’t count the time, but making the time count.


To check out this beautiful Jord Zebrawood & Emerald watch visit the link below:

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https://www.woodwatches.com/series/reece/zebrawood-and-emerald/#ddotts_

I want to thank Jord for collaborating with me on this beautiful Mother’s Day piece. They have been so kind to give one of my followers a $100 E Gift Code!

All other entrants receive a $25 E Gift Code.

Enter below now!

Best of luck!

ENTER HERE!

(The contest will close May 21st at 11:59pm)

Shop the men’s collection: https://www.jordwatches.com/shop/men/#ddotts_

Shop the women’s collection: https://www.jordwatches.com/shop/women/#ddotts_

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xoxo

ddotts

Beauty Family Fun fashion guide

Mother's Day Gift Guide

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1.Adornlee Adventure Tote Bag  2. MaLyn Logic Clothing and Accessories 3.Patchology Flashpatch 5 Minute Hydrogels   4.Loopy Stop The Drop Phone Cases 5. Planet Jill Personalized Jewelry & Gifts 6. Page 261 Travel Mug  7.Personal Planner 8.O-Venture Key Ring & Card Case 9.Ugg Tye Sneaker  10.Thread Tank Motherhood Threads

 1. Adornlee Adventure Tote

This tote is so perfect. I love the saying “and so the adventure begins darling”…This would be an adorable gift for a mom to be or even a seasoned vet. Everyday is an adventure as a mama! I love canvas bags! They even make a great functional gift bag to present more gifts inside! You can use it as a diaper bag or work bag…the options are endless!

2. MaLyn Logic Clothing & Accessories

This brand has adorable Mother’s Day gift options…from tees to sweatshirts to jewelry to notepads! I especially love their “grandma” selection of gifts! They really have something for every style of mom and grandmas!

3. Patchology Flashpatch 5 Minute Eye Hydrogels 

These have been a godsend for me. I have had permanent dark circles under my eyes since my oldest was born. These eye hydrogels make me look like I’ve had a full 8 hours of sleep in 5 minutes! Who doesn’t need more help in the “I woke up like this” department than a mama?! I love the packaging and the fact that you get 30 in a jar! These make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift that is a little outside the box. Instead of a spa day…give her this spa in a jar that she can use 30 times!

4. Loopy Phone Case

This might be one of my favorite things of all time. A definite “why didn’t I think of that” item!  I am always trying to carry everything I can in my hands, including my phone. I have shattered a phone screen or two in my life…all because I was holding too much. This phone case has a soft silicone loop on the back, it has a very slim design. You can hold onto the loop with your fingers freeing up your entire hand….my mind was blown! I can carry my coffee cup and my phone in one hand!! But that’s not all…use the loop as a prop to set your phone up to watch videos or use the loop to hold your phone in bed…no more dropped phone on your face! (I have witnessed this with my husband dozing off watching YouTube videos at bedtime) Although I get a giggle out of it…I may need to get him a case for fathers day! Everyone I see asks me about this case and instantly orders it. It’s a serious must have! It’s great for the mom holding the world in her hands while her children ask her to hold their rock.

5. Planet Jill Personalized Jewelry

Planet Jill has the most heart felt jewelry.  It’s personalized but so sleek and beautiful for everyday wear. I have the gold monogram photo locket. I love that the monogram lies over the photo and it can be easily uncovered. I have a photo of my boys inside. They absolutely love seeing me wearing their photo! I absolutely love having them so close to my heart everyday. Their jewelry makes the perfect gift for mothers and grandmothers! The “key to my heart” wavy charm bracelet would be the perfect gift for a grandma to showcase her grandchildren!

6. Page 261 Travel Mug 

This brand is so much deeper than their product. I am very thankful that Nicke shared with me the meaning behind her movement. Being a mom is hard, it’s so tough…everyone is watching, everyone has an opinion! This movement is about moms coming together to celebrate being a mom…no matter how you choose to raise your children…all mamas are welcome! “No shame in my mom game”…don’t feel guilty for eating the last bag of fruit snacks while hiding in the cupboard…oh is that just me? This adorable mug is a great gift! I want to buy one for all of my mama friends and let them know I love and support them! I am giving this mug to someone who stands out in my mom crowd right now. A special mom friend of mine recently decided to home school her child. She voiced to me that so many people gave her negative thoughts about it…but she made this choice for the better of her child…and not only is she feeling amazing about the decision…but her daughter is too!! I seriously applaud her for that! I can’t wait to leave this little mug and a note on her doorstep for encouragement!

7. Personalized Planner

Am I the only one who can’t stick with a planner for an entire year? I want something new and fresh after a few months. This personalized planner has broken that cycle for me! I finally have a planner I love! Personalized Planner is the best gift idea for that busy mama in your life. They even offer gift cards to give! Going the gift card route let’s you  give but your special someone gets to customize every detail themselves! You even get to create the layout and extra pages! It also comes with stickers!

8. O-Venture Key Ring & Card Case 

This is amazing! I was always tracking my keys and wallet separate! This is a great gift idea for the mama always losing her mind stuff! So not only does this product keep your things together…but frees your hands! *insert clapping here* —I can actually clap because my hands aren’t full! The key ring can be worn around your wrist down to your elbow! It is perfect for the mom who just wants to run errands without a big bag. No more digging in a bag with your hands full searching for your keys! Another product making our lives a little simpler! They say it and it’s true “our patent pending design will change yOur life!”

9. Ugg Tye Sneakers 

These are perfect for mom or grandma. They are stylish but also comfy and light weight. My UGG boots are my go to winter shoe. I love that they now have UGG sneakers! You can wear these with leggings and a tee, jeans and a top, or even a fun spring dress! As a mom I look for fashion pieces that can be versatile and used in different ways. These shoes are it!

10. Thread Tank Motherhood Threads 

Last, but certainly not least. My favorite “mom” tees! Thread Tank has a laundry list of fun mom-grandma tees! It is seriously so hard to pick just one! I need all 6 pages! Basic graphic tees are my mom uniform..wear them with leggings (yes they are pants), jeans, a skirt…it’s such a fun way to wear your humor on your sleeve! They have so many different styles and sayings. You will be laughing while you shop. I showed my husband the “mama lama” shirt cry-laughing. Then he started laughing. We have no idea what that means but we loved it and shared a giggle together. I especially love the “99 problems” shirt. I totally feel it. I have 99 problems but being a mom ain’t one…can I just be paid to be a mom? Please!


There you have it, my round up of Mother’s Day gift ideas. These are all so amazing products for any mom with any style. Do you all love giving gifts? I promise I love giving more than receiving! There really is no greater feeling than giving a special/practical/funny/much needed gift and seeing their face light up. My friends anticipate my face after I give a gift…if I can see that they like it, or everyone in the room gets excited…I slowly do the Kip Dyamyte “yes” fist clench and whisper “gift success” 🙂

I hope these gifts give you all the satisfaction of gift giving!

Happy Mother’s Day to all kinds of mothers:Pet Moms, Grand Moms, Aunt Moms, Step Moms, Old Moms, Young Moms, Tired Moms, Stressed Moms, Blessed Moms, Working Moms, Stayin’ Home Moms…I hope you get my point…momin’ ain’t easy…thank you for doing you! 

XOXO

DDOTTS