The other day I had the pleasure of visiting "The Sweet Potato", an adorable food truck/stop located in Carp (a pretty short drive from where I live). I immediately fell in love with the bright yellow truck as well as the whole area in general. This truck is located on the main road (if you know it well, it's the road where the Carp fairgrounds are) across from a beautiful house that I couldn't help myself but to mention. The same day, I also got to try out "Carp's Custom Creamery", an ice cream place with super unique flavours that are frequently changed. This one's located just down the street from "The Sweet Potato", in an adorable yellow building (can you tell I love yellow?) across the street from the fairgrounds.
"The Sweet Potato" has quite an appetizing menu - there's truly such a variety to choose from. Luckily, I snapped a photo for future reference! You can choose anything from their infamous sweet potato fries all the way to Funnel Cake Fries (which are pretty intriguing, I'll have to go back someday and try those out). I was lucky enough to try out their normal french fries, and I'm happy to report that they're the best I've ever eaten. We ended up coating them in vinegar and salt, and I'd actually never tried fries with vinegar before then, so it was basically an eye-opening and life changing experience for me! Something I really enjoyed about visiting this fry place was the yellow picnic tables and seating areas. Yellow is so bright and makes me feel so happy as well as content while I eat my delicious fries (seriously, I could probably eat 5 large bags if I really wanted to. They were that good). Just another thing to add to the list of "loves" for this tiny food paradise is the location. It's conveniently located on the main road in Carp, and if you're heading to the fair in the fall it's a walking perfect distance away if you're craving a great batch of fries.
The "Custom Creamery" was a place I'd never heard of up until a couple months ago. We were originally going to visit there for my birthday, but sadly plans changed and that never ended up happening - I'm still extremely glad we ended up going even if it was much later than expected. Not only does this place make incredibly unique ice cream flavours, but you can also purchase cakes for any upcoming events (or for your own personal pleasure, that works too). As I mentioned before, they're constantly switching up all of their menu options - so here's a list of some that may or may not be featured on the board there if you ever end up visiting.
As you can see from looking at these five examples, you can get some pretty interesting (but definitely not disappointing) flavours there. That sums up my day visiting a couple of wonderful food places in the Carp area that you definitely should try out if you ever find yourself in Ottawa!
Comment below the best ice cream flavour you've ever tried!
For those of you who know me, you know I absolutely adore dogs (and all animals, but dogs especially). I always enjoy checking out photography books as well, and when I spot a photography book about dogs it's truly the best of both worlds. I've actually followed the author (Elias Weiss Friedman) on Instagram for a while now, and I'm in love with all of the photos that he takes.
First of all, I'd like to mention that I have a love for corgis - it's hands down my favourite breed out there so whenever I see a corgi online or on the street it's super exciting to me. I was extremely pleased to see some corgis in this book, as well as so many other adorable canines. I like this book because it's planned out so perfectly and formatted with so much expertise. There's everything from action shots of dogs catching things to close ups (where the dogs started to get curious about the camera?) and tons more!
One morning, I was lucky enough to catch an interview with Friedman on TV and I got to see one of the techniques he uses to capture his magical moments. The method that he demonstrated was to hold a tennis ball or a toy of some sort above the camera so it catches the dog's attention, and then to squeak it. Then he'll take the shot, but there's obviously more to it then that - I bet he has lots of other tricks up his sleeve!
This book also features some pages with categories. There's one page with the title "smiles", that includes photos of dogs smiling (one of my personal favourites) and even a page just for bulldogs (which I also have a soft spot for). Friedman's photos are so well thought out but also spontaneous - I really enjoyed looking through all of the pictures as well as the descriptions. Another one of my favourites is the "barkers" section - all of the dogs that are featured are pictured mid bark or howl and it's totally one of the cutest things ever.
I'm not a big reader, so I love books with a lot of pictures (especially when they're as high quality and as well composed as the ones included in this hardcover). Being a photographer, I also love admiring and taking inspiration from the photos captured in books similar to this one. Something I enjoyed about this is that each and every picture had a completely different background - they were all one of a kind, much like the dogs featured. Elias Weiss Friedman didn't just stick to the cookie cutter breeds either, he also ventured into the world of beautiful, unique mixes which I adore because I myself am a proud owner of two mutts.
The picture quality is nothing short of incredible. Each photo is exceptionally sharp, and has a beautiful blur to what's out of focus. I can definitely tell why "the Dogist" has so many followers on Instagram, all of his photography is simple but so special and unique. I love dogs of all breeds, sizes, and shapes and this book has introduced me to even more types to obsess over for all of eternity!
If you don't follow him already, I strongly recommend that you go follow Elias (or show him some Instagram love) by clicking the photo below. If you're a dog or animal lover, you should also either purchase his book or order it at the library because I promise that you won't be disappointed.
I've seen a lot of people out there struggling with getting the best pictures for their social networks or even possibly their blogs. Taking beautiful flat lay photos can lead to more attention on your social accounts and is a great way to showcase new products, shoes and pretty much anything else in a simple, minimalistic and stunning way.
1. Find a background
Backgrounds are super important, and you need to choose a background that's based on your feed or how you're trying to come off on your socials. Most tend to go for a plain white - but what do you do if you don't have access to a white counter or wall? A lot of home improvement stores offer tiling or countertop samples that you can purchase for as little as $5. Here's a list of other background ideas that would look amazing for flat lays, and some examples from Pinterest:
2. Choose some objects/products
Some might call this part the most important of them all. I can't tell you exactly what to do for this section of the post, because it's really all up to you. So, here's a list of some objects or product ideas that you could use if you're having trouble finding some, as well as some examples I took recently (admittedly they're not my best, but I wanted to share my new shoes!)
The idea behind most flat lay photos is to make it look as accidental and as casual as possible. Some people tend to have more of an eye than others - things will just generally fall into place to them. However there are definitely some things to keep in mind with the composition of your flat lays. One thing is to really make each item look as different and as opposite as possible. Whether it's playing with diagonals or displaying smaller things beside larger things to create a clear contrast, try your best to compose each object in a different way. Depending on what you're going for, sometimes straight lines can be an asset as well. If you're looking for those sophisticated and organized vibes, make sure to use your lines and to appropriately organize everything how you want. Below I'm including some examples of flat lays I found on Pinterest with great composition. (I don't own any of them, if you took them feel free to let me know and I'll give you credit)
Editing flat lays is pretty simple. Basically just edit them normally according to your personal theme and style! Something that can make them look a whole lot better is to download Snapseed (free on the app store), and apply the exposure brush tool on the background if it's white or a light colour. After that, it's always good with these photos to increase the contrast to make the objects stand out more. One of these photos is before and the other one is after editing - to achieve this brighter and more colourful look, I adjusted the exposure, brightness, contrast, and saturation.
In conclusion, flat lays are really all about you. It's important to be creative and it's also great to take inspiration from Pinterest as well as Instagram, but remember to stay true to your own personal style! I hope you learned something from this post and I look forward to seeing any flat lays that you have to share.
I've been trying out quite a few new makeup products lately and a lot of them have become a part of my everyday routine. In this post, I've decided to share my personal favourites that I've been using lately, why they're so great, and where you can get them for yourselves!
"No Bare Brows" Pencil (Know Cosmetics)
First of all, I've never been one for eyebrow pencils. Ever since I've started putting the time and effort into doing my eyebrows, I've been a hardcore gel girl! However, my mom got two of these pencils sent to her and I couldn't resist trying one of them out for myself. Something I love about the "No Bare Brows" pencil from Know Cosmetics is that it includes 4 useful eyebrow related tools all combined into one compact package. In the box, this amazing eyebrow tool includes the coloured pencil, a wax side of the pencil (to keep your brows on fleek all day long), a sharpener (super useful, right?) as well as a brush. If you're a beginner at makeup, this is a great kit for you because there's so much for you to use when you purchase a single product. It's also so creamy and ever since I've started using it, my brows don't move a muscle for the entirety of the day. You can find this holy grail item at Sephora for $24 USD - if you ever see it it's seriously a great purchase and you won't regret it at all!
"Pro to Go" Palette (Tarte Cosmetics)
The second product I've been obsessed with is the Tarteist pro to go palette. It's so compact but also manages to fit in so many essential eyeshadow shades into a tiny package, perfect for everyday use (more specifically, perfect for back to school looks). I bought this from Sephora last week for about $30 CAD, and I've been using it practically religiously ever since! All of the colours are perfectly pigmented and look so beautiful on any skin tone. This is the first thing from Tarte I've ever purchased, and it's inspired me to make Tarte one of my go-to brands to look at while visiting my local Sephora. They're cruelty-free and have the prettiest packaging, so if you've never tried them out yet I strongly recommend! This palette is the best possible size for travelling, so if you find yourself constantly on the move but still want to put your best face forward, be sure to check it out.
"Fit Me Loose Setting Powder" (Maybelline)
This next product is still pretty new in the drugstores - it's the Maybelline Fit Me loose setting powder. I like this powder because you can wear it without foundation for a more natural look, or over foundation and concealer for some extra coverage. This is a great addition to my everyday routine, and I strongly recommend this item because it really does provide amazing coverage and comes in super sleek, trendy packaging. I only purchase makeup from 2 or 3 drugstore brands, and Maybelline is one of them because they rarely disappoint (at least in my books). This powder is definitely a great thing to have for those of us who are constantly on the move, since we can simply swipe it on if we're running low on time and then we can be on our way!
"Coralista" Blush (Benefit Cosmetics)
A product that I've been using for a couple years now that I'll always love is the "Coralista" blush from Benefit. Coral tones are one of my favourites to wear as a blush, and this blush is long lasting as well as totally flattering. This item is perfect for adding the perfect amount of colour to your daily look, and I really will always keep it by my side. As most of us know, Benefit has incredible packaging - this one is so tropical and (obviously) coral toned! This will be forever one of my all time favourites because it adds such a pretty touch and has a creamy, long lasting formula. It has a consistent look that could never be disappointing and is very much worth the price.
"Pro Glow to Go" Palette (Tarte Cosmetics)
Okay, so this next one was purchased extremely recently. In fact it was actually purchased today - however, I had to mention it because it's such a great product and I can see myself obsessing over it for years to come. This is another mini-palette from Tarte, and it includes two absolutely gorgeous highlighters as well as a stunning bronzer/contour! It's called the "Pro Glow to Go" palette (a play on the name of their other small palette which I wrote about earlier in the post) and I couldn't be happier with it. This palette is perfect for anyone who is either a beginner when it comes to makeup or isn't an avid makeup user but still finds themselves interested, since it has everything that you could need to highlight and contour within the same package. In fact, if you purchase both of Tarte's small palettes, you're pretty much good to go. The "Pro Glow to Go" is insanely pigmented and much like the eyeshadow version, it's also extremely useful for packing light while travelling.
I may not be a pro makeup artist, but I do know my way pretty well around a highlighting palette! I truly think that everyone out there needs consistent products that they can rely on for great results daily, and the short list that I've provided to you today includes all of my current favourites. I strongly encourage you to check some of these items out, because who knows - one of them could end up being a holy grail for your everyday routine!
Some people are still under the impression that Ottawa is lacking in the cute coffee shops area. That's definitely not the case, and year after year more and more are constantly opening! If you're a coffee lover just like myself, you're always on the lookout for new places to try and I've got quite a few recommendations.
I know a lot of my current viewers don't live in Ottawa (more specifically around the Stittsville area), but if you do live around here, all of these coffee shops are truly amazing and I strongly recommend each and every one of them for any coffee or tea lovers out there. I also recommend that wherever you are, you should order a mocha next time you find yourself at a cute coffee place!
Photographers can be anyone. They can be bloggers, Instagram enthusiasts, or even just people looking for a new hobby. They can also be business owners, and of course professionals. However obviously, every photographer starts somewhere - and at some point or another, the time comes to start looking for a DSLR camera. I myself am just moving out of the beginner range to the slightly more intermediate levelled range, but I definitely still can remember a time where I was searching and searching for the best possible camera to start out with.
Appropriate for your Niche
Figure out what your "niche" is - meaning what will you be shooting? Your kids? Travel destinations? This has an impact on what you should be searching for. If you know that you'll be travelling or spending a lot of time outside, you might want to look out for cameras that have weather sealing or protection.
Type of Sensor
Sensors are usually why some cameras are so cheap, or so expensive. APS-C sensors are the ones most likely to be found inside cameras at the lower end of the price range, and full frame sensors are usually included inside the ones that are slightly more up there in price. So what's the difference? If you're using a camera with an APS-C sensor (also known as a crop frame), it looks like you're zoomed in more than you really are. Full frame sensors don't make the picture look cropped at all.
Next, I have a couple recommendations for anyone looking to buy their first DSLR. They're both amazing cameras (especially to start out with) and I know I'll be keeping mine for a long time no matter what else I purchase.
I hope you learned something from this post, and if you're on the search for your first DSLR (or even a new DSLR) I hope you considered some of my recommendations. I would love to hear any feedback you have in the comments! Getting a DSLR can make such a huge impact on your photos and it's a really great decision to make.
P.S. All of the photos featured in this post were taken with the Nikon D3200!
It can be difficult to put together a gorgeous Instagram feed. In this post, I've selected 10 deserving and underrated bloggers who have beautiful feeds and deserve so many more followers than they have. They're all such kind people and I strongly recommend that you give them a follow!
I genuinely hope that you go and check out (and maybe even follow) a few of these accounts. As I've mentioned already, in my opinion they all deserve so many more followers than they have. They seem so so sweet and beautiful in every way possible, I hope everyone enjoys their gorgeous feeds!
Don't forget to check out my Instagram and give it a follow
by clicking the button below!
Now and then, everyone gets at least a little bit stressed from what's going on in their life. It can be from work, from school, or even sometimes from the activities outside of those like blogging or being part of a sports team. Being a high school student myself, my stress levels are constantly skyrocketing - but luckily I've found some tips and tricks to help myself (and you) out.
1. Get outside
There have been so many studies about how important getting outside is for your health. Going for a bike ride or for a walk around your neighbourhood can actually improve your focus, as well as your cognitive function. That means that if you've got to really buckle down to study for a huge test or write a new blog post, going outside beforehand can help you become less distracted (helping you concentrate on the task at hand) and much more creative (improving the quality of your work). Even if you're not feeling stressed, exploring the outdoors is always a good idea, since it gets your heart rate up and also exposes you to sunlight (a source of vitamin D).
I don't think many people out there are really into meditating. And honestly, it's sort of a weird thing to do if you're watching someone else do it - but believe it or not, there are actually loads of stress relieving benefits to having a good meditation session. I learned more about this strange activity while reading Bobbi Brown's book (check out my review of it it in the "style" category of my blog) and found out that there are quite a few ways about going about doing it. Not only that, but meditating lowers blood pressure, boosts concentration, and even can lower the chances of stress related diseases happening in your future. Apparently it can make you feel happier as well, and who doesn't want more happiness in their life? Taking deep breaths is also the fastest way to keep your mind under control.
4. Stay Positive
Staying positive is another thing that's been proven to relieve stress and improve your life in general. For an example, something as simple as laughter can have you feeling much better - so pop on that "try not to laugh challenge" video on Youtube and let 'er rip! Something else that you can do is try to eliminate the majority of your negative thoughts. Whether it's thinking "there's no way this report is going to turn out good" or even "my hair is looking really awful today", it's important to at least attempt to shut that negativity somewhat off because it can only make you more distracted and build more stress hormones. Below, I've included some videos that will definitely make you laugh (there may or may not be some swearing, so if you're not about that I'm warning you now)!
"Try Not to Laugh or Grin Funny Fails Compilation 2017": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E04EDFFnIZQ
"I bet $1,000,000 Dollars You will Laugh!": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvLO06auZLo
"Try Not to Laugh | Funny Puppy Video Compilation 2017": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiBBfWyApyA
5. Take a technology vacation
This one tends to be the most difficult of all of these tips - technology is something that's part of everyone's life these days. Even if what you're currently stressing about is something to do with your laptop or phone, there's never any harm in taking a break. I suggest sitting in your backyard or maybe reading one of your favourite books, leaving all forms of technology behind in another room. Fun fact, 4 out of 10 people admit that they "could never live without their phones" - that's pretty crazy because that's nearly half.
Stress isn't fun, and most people out there understand that. However, I hope I can help some of you out there who maybe have problems sometimes dealing with it with today's post. Next time you're completely overwhelmed by a deadline, or anything like that, feel free to try out all of these things and find out what works for you.
I’m going to be totally honest here - I’m not a massive fan of reading. However I do enjoy the occasional book about beauty or photography, so naturally I had to pick this one up from the library a few days ago. “Beauty from the Inside Out” is an inspiring and creative book, with plenty of little known tips on how to look and feel beautiful from - you know, the inside out.
This book has 8 main parts that range from healthy eating to simple and beautiful makeup. In this review, I won’t give you every single detail from this hardcover - you’ll have to check it out for yourself to find out all of the unique tips shared by Bobbi Brown herself. On both the outside and the inside, this book is very aesthetically pleasing (I know, I know, never judge a book by it’s cover) and includes very simple and raw photos.
One of my favourite things about this book is that it has some pretty cool recipes that are super healthy and that are described as “beauty food”. Like many other sections, there’s a guest who specializes in the subject sharing their personal tips and secrets which I think is unique and a great addition. If you’re into clean eating or just health-inspired recipes, I’m sure you’d be extremely impressed with this portion!
There’s even a workout guide that shares some ways to work out and how they affect you and your body. On each and every page I learned something new about taking care of myself, especially while reading the section on confidence. This part is what i'd call the most inspiring part, Bobbi Brown talks about her personal experiences as well as the effect social media has on how you view yourself. A variety of different, inspiring women are featured as well and had been interviewed on themselves and their own personal tips for healthy, confident living. There are seven, to be exact - and they share everything from their best beauty tips to how they feel confident even on the hard days. To add onto that, each and every one of them have been crazy successful and have accomplished so much.
If you are interested in living a healthy lifestyle and if you’re interested in learning more about beauty and feeling younger, I strongly recommend that you check out this book. It’s very inspiring and motivating for those of us who can be total couch potatoes at times. Bobbi Brown has many different resources from all over the United States who know their facts - every single page is extremely useful and helpful.
This book is available for purchase on Amazon, and can also be ordered to pick up from your local library.
Have a fantastic day,
Top: Forever 21
Flannel: Thrifted (originally Hollister)
Jeans: American Eagle
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