Coffee Conversations

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Happy Friday-before-a-long-weekend, also known as, "the best kind"! Truth be told, I'll likely be working over the weekend, but it's still nice to be in the mindset of getting an extra day off next week! 

Speaking of the weekend, SALES. So many sales happening. I'm not going to share them here because...you can find them yourself. But, I will give you a little inside scoop and tell you to check Elisabeth Ashlie in the morning...we may be running a Memorial Day promotion. Maybe. But before then, you need this new Farmer's Market Tote. Fun fact: that's my handwriting!

I realized yesterday that I haven't done a Wedding Update yet this month, so that's coming next week, like on Tuesday since that's almost the last day of the month. 

I've been on the hunt for the perfect pair of distressed denim shorts. I had three requirements: not too short, not too distressed, not diaper-like. I FOUND THEM. These shorts are the perfect length (you can adjust the cuff to whatever length you want!), the perfect amount of distressed, and fit like actual jeans. I believe I bought my regular jeans size, if that helps. 


Ok gotta go to work to make this workday as short as possible! 

Have a great (long) weekend!

Loungin' Around


If I had to pick just one category of clothing to wear for the rest of my life, it would be loungewear. Some of you might think, "yeah, duh. WE ALL WOULD." But, this means that you would have to show up to a wedding in leggings. You so sure about your decision now? I am. I would take being the really weirdly dressed person at a really fancy event for the 364 other days of the year that I'm not at a fancy event.

6 out of 7 days, I'm in at least one of the items seen above. More than likely, my outfit is entirely made of said items. I just can't quit the comfortable, relaxed feel. What I really love is that all the tops are easy to dress up a bit. Throw on your favorite ripped jeans or add some booties and you're a little less lounge-y, but still cozy.

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Elisabeth Ashlie Hairties


Sunday Skincare


Sunday has become my official "skincare" day. I use my regular skin care products during the week, but like to do some extra things for my skin and hair about once a week, as well. Since Sunday evening is usually spent relaxing at home, I like to spend a little extra time pampering myself. Plus, I love setting my skin and hair up for success for the week! 


One of my absolute favorite things to do is a mask. I do one at least once a week, depending on what my skin is doing. I switch between Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask (my absolute favorite!) and Origins Original Skin Retexturing Mask (a new discovery!). I'll choose the mask depending on what my skin is doing. If my skin is having a few breakouts or just feels extra oily, I'll use the charcoal mask to clear that all out. If I've been wearing a lot of makeup that week and feel a little grimy, I'll go for the retexturing mask to get some exfoliating. I like to use the Maskimizer spray to get the most out of those products, although it's not necessary. 


After my mask, I'll typically do some kind of lip treatment. I've been enjoying using this sugar scrub lately. It helps get some of the dead skin off, while not being to harsh or drying our my lips. I'll follow with my favorite lip balm. Tip: after a day of wearing a bold lipstick, I'll do the scrub to remove any remnants of color that may have stuck around!


After skin and lips comes hair! I've been admittedly pretty bad about caring for my hair. I heat-style 3-4 times a week and don't ever let my hair air dry. Shout out to the girls who have horrible air-dried hair - I'm one of them! My sister has been hounding me for years to use a hair mask or leave-in conditioner, so I've finally introduced it into my routine. I was always hesitant to use a leave-in or deep conditioner because I assumed it would weigh down my hair and make it hard to style, thus creating a bad hair day and who wants a bad hair day?! I'm happy to report that my assumption was wrong, at least about these two products!


I've been using the Kristin Ess Reconstructive Moisture Mask 2-3 times a week and I can tell that my ends are more moisturized and smooth after using. If I'm really in need of some moisture and TLC, I'll use the Overnight Perfector by Living Proof.

I typically give myself an at-home manicure on Sundays too, so I might add some cuticle cream or heavy hand lotion to the mix!

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Coffee Conversations

mug
Good Morning! Milo woke me up at a ripe 6:22am this morning with his incessant purring, so...yeah. I don't even need to sent an alarm on my phone because of him. That fact is sometimes appreciated but mostly irritating, if I'm being honest.

It's been a busy week for me with more errands than usual, so I'm looking forward to having a typical "day at my desk" today. Time is literally flying by - I just saw it out the window. With only about 6 weeks left of work, I'm feeling like I have a million things to do, plan, prep, and finish. It's overwhelming at times, but I know I need to just sit and make a plan for the next few weeks and it will all be a-okay. 

Speaking of errands, I popped into Madewell yesterday and picked up these ultra-comfortable jeans. They're so stretchy and without a single tear or destructed mark, which I was in the market for. All of my other jeans have holes in the knees, so I needed a pair that were whole ;) 

I'm seriously considering pre-ordering this agenda for 2018. 

I've recently gotten back into listening to podcasts and am really enjoying the recent episodes from This American Life


I've been wearing these ear jackets a lot lately!

Hope you have a great weekend!

How I Edit My Instagram Photos

I've received a number of questions about how I edit my photos for Instagram, so I thought a little step-by-step would be a fun way to show my method! I almost exclusively use the A Color Story App, which you can download here

First things first, I take about 20-30 photos. Kidding, sort of. If I'm taking photos of an outfit, I'll take a pile of them with slight changes in my expression and pose and rifle through to find the one I like



Once I've landed on the best one, I turn my brightness all the way up on my phone to see what kind of lighting I'm working with. My light source is a decent sized window to the right of me when taking photos, but the weather can really impact how much I need to edit the brightness. If the original is bright enough to work with, I open it in A Color Story to edit. 


My first editing step is to play with the brightness. I like light and bright photos, but I don't like when they're too light that they get grainy or discolored. I toggle with the brightness a bit until I find one that looks good - sometimes that's just a little to the right, other times it's nearly all the way to the right. 


When brightness is set, I go into contrast to add in a little bit of the definition and...contrast...that was lost when adjusting the brightness. I don't tend towards high-contrast photos, so just a few ticks on the scale will do the trick! Next up is adjusting the temperature. The walls on my rental apartment are an obnoxious yellow that I loathe with many parts of myself. Yellow walls paired with my warm-toned rug make for a strong yellow tint, at times. I'll adjust the temperature to add in some blues, if I'm feeling like I have a lemon filter on the photo. 


Those are the typical adjustments I make to the original - brightness, contrast and temperature. Every once in awhile, on a particularly sunny day, I'll lower the exposure just a hair, but that's not often. 

Next, I move onto the filter


I don't like overly-filtered photos. My fiancé and I couldn't disagree more on this. Let's just say he loves sepia. I bought the "Flashes of Delight" filter pack by Glitter Guide and love it. So many good filters! I almost exclusively use Carrie or Cassidy on my Instagram photos. Carrie has more blue tones, Cassidy is more yellow, so I'll choose based on the existing temperature of the photo. (I.e. if my photo is already erring towards blues, I'll go with Cassidy.) When you first select the filter, it's at 100%, which is usually a bit aggressive. You can see the difference that just one filter makes:


I tone the filter way down, rarely going past the halfway mark on the scale. I find the spot that looks right and set it in place! Once the filter is on, it's ready to be shared



You can see just how much of a difference it makes to take a couple steps to adjust some of the elements of a photo. All in all, the whole process might take me a total of 2 minutes. I've got my methods down pretty solid and know exactly how I like to edit, so it's a rather quick process. Plus, there's nothing better, in the social media world, than a well-edited, cohesive looking feed, if you ask me. It's worth taking that extra 2 minutes to make a photo look just how I'd like it to look!