I lost myself

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately. Just for self growth purposes, and I realized that I’ve really lost myself.
My husband has been doing a lot of studying on complacency, and how a lot of the time many relationship issues stem from it. And one of the things it points out about being complacent is not doing the things that you used to not being the person your significant other originally fell for. I’m not sure what I’m realizing is so much complacency, as it is I’ve been putting everything I used to do on hold. I’ve been living in overwhelming and crazy survival mode. But I’ve started to notice, that most of it is just my perception. The way I’m choosing to mentally deal with certain situations.

When my first son was born, I still did a lot of what I’ve always loved to do. I’d make my own tinctures, I cloth diapered, I enjoyed living as naturally as I could. I went foraging for wild plants, and was very much into herbalism. I loved reading, I loved journaling. And I’ve put that all aside to be a mom. I started doing less and less things that brought me joy, and it hasn’t been intentional. But I’ve really trying to work towards being the best mother and wife I can be, and I’m beginning to realize that sometimes doing things for yourself is the best way to be the best you.

I’m realizing there’s a difference between taking time for yourself and being selfish. And honestly, I can include my kids in a lot of the things I enjoy doing. I’ve let all these little hardships in life become this overwhelming monster that doesn’t let me do anything.
I let my day run me, and I need to start taking charge of it again. I need to start being way more intentional with my time. I need to start running my day. And instead of being relieved that the sun is going down and it’s bedtime again, I need to be sad that I’m out of time for the day to do the things that I love.
I’ve lost motivation, and creativity. And I’ve been too overwhelmed to even go look for it. I started to tell myself that I’m just not a creative person… But then k realized, I used to be. I used to draw, paint, play piano, write poems, read, listen to music, make things. I was the person who would go through Hobby Lobby and not buy a thing, because I knew I could make it. I’ve been waiting to get it back, but I’ve been doing nothing to get there. I’ve been sitting around waiting for my life to change, and for everything to finally get easier and brighter. And all I ever had to do to change that is change my view of things. To be the best mother and wife I can be, is to be me. And not stifle the things that made me who I am. So tomorrow, we’re going to paint, draw, and create. Even if it doesn’t turn out perfect, we’re creating life. 🌱

The most engaging times to post on Instagram

Here’s the sources and apps I mentioned in my IGTV video on the best times to post on Instagram.

https://later.com/blog/best-time-to-post-on-instagram/

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/best-times-to-post-on-social-media/

The scheduling app I mentioned is called:

“Preview – Plan Your Instagram”

And here’s a link to a tutorial on their website on how to use their app!

https://thepreviewapp.com/use-preview-app-instagram-step-step-tutorial/

Instagram Insights & Tips. Part #2: Photo Editing

Another thing you can do to make your photos stand out, is use filters sort of as a theme for your feed.

I personally am still trying to find what I like, but if you don’t want to make your own presets theres other options for you!

Presets are pretty much just filters and photo edits that are presaved and you can add them to your photos without messing with the settings everytime.

Although other apps have their own preset options, Lightroom is the best for this. With Lightroom you can make some presets on the mobile app, even if you don’t have LightRoom on your computer. But those who do have it on their computer have more control over them and they can even export them. So a lot of people have their own personal presets for sale which you can purchase and upload to your own LR mobile app.

But if you’re not ready to jump into investing money into your photo edits, I understand! And I’ll share with you some of my favorite photo editing apps!

1. Afterlight (iPhone & Android):

Afterlight was one of my favorite apps back when I had an iPhone. It’s pretty straightforward and user friendly, it even has it’s own preset settings. The android version is a sad comparison to the iPhone version though… you can’t set presets or adjust a lot of the settings like you can on the iPhone version. Which is pretty disappointing considering it was my favorite app. 😒

I believe there is now an Afterlight 2 for iPhone.

2. Mextures (iPhone):

Mextures is pretty similar to Afterlight, just different options. You can’t however, save presets. (Last time I used it anyway.)

3. VSCO (iPhone & Android):

VSCO is another favorite, it’s pretty much the same app on both iPhone and Android. It does have preset options, and it’s pretty much its own social media network. You can make your photo edits public on it, or just use it as a photo editor and export your photos to your gallery.

4. Snapseed (iPhone & Android):

It’s been awhile since I’ve used Snapseed on iPhone, so I’m not sure if it’s exactly the same or not. I remember being able to adjust the filter strength, but I could be remembering wrong. But on Android, you definitely can’t adjust them. Which is dumb in my opinion. It’s not my favorite app, but it does have some cool settings that you might like.

*after looking it up, it’s definitely better on iPhone

5. Airbrush: Easy Photo Editor (iPhone & Android):

While Airbrush does have it’s own filters and photo edits, I like it best for light cosmetic touch up and overall photo brightening. It has a lot of options and you are able to adjust settings pretty well. They also have filter packages that you can either purchase or download for free depending on the package.

6. Neptune Camera (Android) :

Neptune Camera is a new favorite! I just stumbled upon it the other day, and so far I love it. It has a lot of awesome filters and settings. It doesn’t have preset capabilities, but still fun to use!

7. A Color Story (iPhone & Android):

I figured I’d mention A Color Story, it’s not one of the top apps I personally use but it does have some cool settings and options.

I usually use a few of these apps together to get whatever look I’m going for, but you definitely don’t want to over do it. The more you edit a photo using different apps the more the quality will deteriorate. So you definitely don’t want to go overboard with editing.

I hope my list of photo editing apps help you out! I’d love to see what you come up with so make sure to tag #CassiesFaves or @Cassie.Lelis on Instagram.

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Instagram Insights & Tips. Part #1: Photo/Feed Quality

Hey everyone! I’ve decided to do a little series on Instagram tips specifically for mom/child/family photo blogging.

They’ll probably be pretty short and sweet, and I’ll do 1-2 tips per post, depending on how in depth I feel I need to go with them.

So let’s get started!

Tip #1, photo/feed quality:

In my personal opinion your photo/feed quality is important. This doesn’t mean you have to pose and stage all your shots, or have a fancy DSLR camera to make your photos look good. But posting dark, out of focus, over exposed, low quality photos isn’t going to help drum up followers or engagement.

My Instagram isn’t the brightest of prettiest out there, but I definitely do try to put a little effort into my feed and photos. Some of them aren’t as good as others, and that’s ok! I like keeping it real. My house is really dark, and sometimes it’s hard to get certain shots to look nice, but I work with what I’ve got. 😉

Natural light is your best friend! It’ll improve the quality and look of your photos tremendously. In turn your photos will edit better, and just be easier to work with.

Another thing I recommend is trying out some new angles! There’s nothing wrong with a centered straight on profile shot, but it can get a bit boring looking if that’s all you post. Try higher overhead angles, or closer to the floor just to give your photos a creative look.

Here are a couple of my own overhead angles:


And here are a few lower/same level angles:

It’s just a super simple way to add a unique perspective to your photos, And it’ll give your overall feed a little more diversity than your average front and center shot.

Just play around with it! Taking pictures can honestly be so much fun, and while I do have a DSLR. More often than not, I use my phone because it’s much quicker to snap a photo of a quick little moments. I honestly hardly ever pose any of my photos of my kids (the one of me and my son reading the book is obviously an exception), and while I love my DSLR it’s not very practical to keep it on my body at all times just to take pictures of my kids when they’re cute. 😝

I hope this tip helped! And I hope you guys enjoy this new series. 🧡

Here’s a little list of things I’m planning to share my insights on as this series continues:

How to get more engagement/followers part 1 & 2 (possibly 3 part depending on how long it gets)

Photo editing/filters

The best times/days to post

What hashtags to use

Green Tea Enzyme Powder Wash by Wishtrend

If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw my post and brief review on Wishtrend’s Green Tea Enzyme Powder Wash.

I wanted to write a more in-depth review on here, and really focus on the benefits of the ingredients.

This is specifically made for all skin types, which is a plus. It hydrates the skin while controlling blackheads, and is made to not pull skin or cause irritation while cleansing. Which is great for sensitive skin!

So lets get into the benefits of the key ingredients!

The main ingredient is of course, Green Tea, which is a powerful antioxident as is full of vitamins A, C, & E.

Vitamin A encourages healthy skin cell production, it stimulates the cells that develop tissue that keep the skin firm and healthy.

Vitamin C has antioxidant properties, which help to fight against free radicals. Which in turn helps to fight against aging skin.

Vitamin E also helps block free radicals, it can also reduce the visibility of scars, reduce the signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and brown spots.

Green Tea also is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer.

This face wash also contains baking soda, which is a great exfoliant. It also helps to neutralize chemicals that can cause skin irritation. It also helps to fight against blackheads, cleanse pores, and helps improve acne-prone skin.

The next key ingredient is Papain, it helps renew the skin as well as lighten it. It’s also a natural exfoliant, skin softener, moisturizer, and helps fight acne. It also helps the body to fight free radicals, thus again, preventing aging.

And the last key ingredient is Amino acid surfactants,

“A weakly acidic surfactant derived from coconut. Great skin-affinity and excellent moisture retention.
Low irritant and has excellent moisturizing effect, without creating much foam.” – (Taken from the Wishtrend website).

To use this product you pour a decent amount of powder into your hand, and add a little bit of water until you get the amount of lather you’d like. If you have thin sensitive skin, the website recommends not to use more than 2-3 times a week.

I really did enjoy this face wash, it left my skin feeling the smoothest it’s ever felt from a face wash, super refreshed, and clean!

My Brow Routine | ABH Dipbrow Pomade

Hey everyone! I’ve gotten quite a few requests on a brow tutorial, and it’s been a minute since I’ve done an updated version.

I thought I’d go a little bit more in depth this time around, and just filmed a short tutorial to really show you guys my technique. This is just what works well for me, so you might need to tweak it a little bit to work for you!

I originally used e.l.f.’s duo brush, which is a great affordable alternative! I’m pretty sure it’s only about $5 at your local Target!

But I just recently bought an ABH duo brush 7B, and I can really tell a difference when it comes to precision and quality. The bristles are just a lot denser, and it’s easier to get sharper looking brows with this brush.

I just bought a new pot of the dipbrow a well, I had a little left in my old pot, but it wasn’t nearly as creamy as it originally was. Although I’ve heard you can revive it using baby oil, I only had a liquid moisturizer available (or olive oil), which definitely worked well enough until I could get some more.

Products I used:

ABH 7B Duo Brush
ABH Dipbrow Pomade
Rimmel London Perfect Match Concealer

I hope you found this tutorial helpful! Don’t forget to like and subscribe to my channel, and follow my blog for updates! 💙

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