My Pool Party Essentials! 

Summer!! It’s HERE! While I only love it for a short time, I do love summer. June is my favorite month. It’s my birthday month…and it’s not toooooooo hot here in OK yet. (And by that I mean it’s 90s not 100-110)

Whether you have a fancy pool, a kiddie pool, or a hose, you have to have some water fun in the heat of the summer days. This year, I wanted to share all my favorite essentials for a perfect summer pool party. Hey, even for a party of one! Let’s celebrate summer with a pool party post! Who’s ready?

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Today is all about My Pool Party Essentials! Everything I need for a fun day outside beating that hot summer heat.

A Pool

I know this seems obvious, but my first essential for a summer pool party is, well, the pool! I know everyone is on different budgets, so it doesn’t even matter what kind of pool-just something to get your feet wet in and enjoy! The pool I bought was a $26 blow up pool from Amazon. It is a square so there is four corners to lounge in and it’s like 7 feet long! I love this Intex swimming pool.  But Walmart and target sells many options as well. Honestly there are so many that no matter your budget, you should be able to get a little something!

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It is this vibrant lime and blue color that looks so summery!

A Beach Ball 

No pool party is complete without a beach ball! Always fun to kick or toss around, and it just seems to make the beach feeling a little stronger, am I right? I purchased this Aquarium Transparent Beach Ball that is also from Intex. This particular beach ball was from Amazon for $6! It is clear with some decor on the sides and a bright pink blown up crab in the center! I loved the different colors and theme of this ball; I had never seen one similar to it. It adds such a fun aspect to your pool party!

Sunscreen

I used to be one of those that never bothered with being very intentional with my sunscreen application; until my mom had skin cancer a few years ago. While it wasn’t sun caused, I still need and want to be extremely careful. Therefore, sunscreen is a huge essential for any pool party or outdoor activity. I prefer the Sport Continuous Spray and I usually just buy the Walmart brand. I use at least 30 SPF if not more! I do like to tan, but not burn and I need to be safe!

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Floatie Cup Holders

Ok, maybe this isn’t part of your pool party essentials, but it is definitely one of mine! I am obsessed with the floatie craze! But sadly because of the size of my pool, I can’t use a full size one. Luckily I found these equally as cute, cup holder floaties! They have donuts, palm trees, flamingos, and probably many more! I purchased a three set of fruit ones that came with a watermelon, lime, and pineapple one. SO CUTE. I bought these from Bed Bath & Beyond for $9.99, a total steal! DSC_1510

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Cold Drinks

I love a cold, crisp drink on a hot day! I try to drink mostly water at the pool, because of the heat, but I do love San Pellegrino Sparkling Beverages. They are so light and I love the fizz. But really any cold drink that is your favorite would work! I also love lemonade or a nice ice tea. As long as it’s cold, it’s great for a pool party!

I will add, I try not to drink something with to much sugar in the heat. I don’t want to get sick!

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Popsicles

Whatever your favorite cold treat is, it’s an essential for a pool party in my book.  My favorite right now is fruit Popsicles because they aren’t heavy and are so refreshing! I am loving the Outshine Fruit Bars in berry or lime. In this Oklahoma heat, they won’t last long, but they are worth the melting! What is your favorite cold treat on a hot day? Whether it’s frozen fruit, popsicles, or ice cream…I consider it a pool party must-have!

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oh, and maybe share a pupsicle with your cute pup too!

What are YOUR pool party essentials? Did I leave something important out? Let me know in the comments what you love to have around during a fun day in the sun! XO

My Photography Essentials 

If you didn’t know, W&W is also my photography business! I’m still learning but have already came so far in just two years. While I’m not expert, I wanted to share my personal Photography Essentials.


There’s are just my go-tos, yours might be different! But I love seeing what others use in their business! Like I said I’m still new, so I’m slowly building up my props and gear! Feel free to tell me a few other things you think I might need!

I do newborn, maternity, fresh 48, senior, family, birth, etc. so I don’t always use the same gear but I am just going to share my base gear and essentials I use for almost all of my shoots. I will also link everything that is still available to buy in case you want to get yours as well! I hope you find this interesting, here we go! Also, ironically this isn’t sponsored by Amazon, even though most of this is from it-I just love it!

Nikon D3100 with kit lens 

I believe that this one is now discontinued because its fairly old, but it does me just fine. I currently only have the kit lens but I am looking to add another one here in a few months! I love this camera, I can work it well and I am even still learning all the things that it does.

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Neewer 32″ 5-in-1 collapsible disc reflector

This is a new purchase that I am still learning about, but it was extremely affordable and has been a huge help already. Amazon once again is my saving grace and had these for under $15. I know there are much better quality out there but for me, just learning how to use them, this was perfect. If you aren’t familiar with these, the picture is confusing. It is actually one disc with different outside coverings that you can turn inside out for other colors; perfect for travel! It is portable and collapsible and fits perfectly in my bag. It has gold, silver, translucent, white, and black-all you could need! 61xV+5KZUqL._SL1001_

Vera Bradly Campus Backpack as camera bag

This one is possibly controversial, ha! I know it isn’t a typical camera backpack but I love it. It can stay on my back so I don’t have to carry anything. I also bought some inserts so the camera would stay safe which I will mention next. It has inside pockets where I keep batteries and chargers. Honestly I bought it so on sale it was much cheaper than any of the camera bags I first saw. It also has a good outside pocket where I keep smaller props like onsies, ducks, confetti, etc.

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Camera travel protection insert

Honestly, this little bag is perfect! It can take any bag and make it into a camera bag. I sit this in the bottom of my backpack and the camera and lens fit perfectly into it. Amazon carries it for under $13 and eligible for prime. One of my favorite essentials! 91U+rEvG7NL._SL1500_

EN-EL14 travel charger

I am honestly ashamed by how many chargers I seem to lose. I will probably find about 5 if ever move houses because I seem to lose them right and left. But thanks to Amazon again, they have them really inexpensive. This is my favorite charger because it has both a plug in and a car charger adapter, perfect for if you are on the road and need to charge. But it is always good to have one at home and one in my camera bag as well. 71yZSCu3PlL._SL1500_

San Disk Memory Card 

While there are many different kinds of SD cards, I tend to buy San Disk. I had to buy them for a college class anyway and have just always liked this brand. I have never had any problems with them so far either. Right now I have a 32 and an 8 but am looking to add maybe a few 16’s just so I have enough and don’t have to constantly delete things off my 8.

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Fur rug from Ikea 

The link and picture isn’t the exact on I have but it is the closest I could find for you to get! I do a good amount of newborn and child shoots so this is so perfect! I picked it up at Ikea and it is amazing. It is a great size for little ones and mine is a light grey so goes with boy or girl! If you don’t have something like this, get ya one! I found a similar one at Hobby Lobby too.

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Three Step Ladder 

I’m honestly not sure that this is the exact same ladder as I have, but I linked it anyway. The ladder I use is my grandparents old one that they have had for years. As a 5’2 photographer, most of my clients are much taller than me; which proves for awful angles! I prefer shots from almost a little above them if its face on to provide my clients with the best angle. So in comes the ladder! Some might need only a step stool, but I prefer this on because it gives me some much needed support and a handle if I need to balance if I am doing flat-lay shots.

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I am currently looking for a newborn posing bag, so if you know anyone or place that sells them…let me know!! If you’re in Oklahoma, i’d love to be your photographer! For more info see my photography page.

What are YOUR photography essentials?? I’d love to hear!

Beauty Blogger Tag

Happy Makeup Monday! Let’s start off our week with a fun post! Today I am doing the “Beauty Blogger Tag!” I was inspired by Christina’s Chic Corner after I read her post of this tag as well, so make sure you head to her post as well!

I honestly love tag posts! It is a fun and informal way to get to know the blogger and just answer some fun questions! I have don a few tag’s in the past, but not a beauty blogger one! So here we go:

1.) What is your natural hair color? Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon?

My natural hair color is a mid-to-dark brown color. I feel like it is right in the middle but closer to dark if I had to guess. I do dye my hair, not all the time, but when I get an itch for something different. I do both salon and at home. If it is just a plain one color, I usually do it myself to save money. But if it is a harder color, highlights, any bleaching…I go to the salon! It honestly just depends on what I want and how much money I have at the time.

2.) How often do you wash your hair?

I used to have really oil hair, but I don’t now. So I aim for two to three times a week. Sometimes more and sadly…maybe sometimes less?? My hair seems to do better when it isn’t washed every day.

3.) Will you leave the house without makeup?

Yes! While I don’t have perfect skin, there are so many times I just don’t want to bother with makeup! Especially if I’m just running to the store or something. While sometimes I may feel self-conscious about it–I still do it!

4.) How long does it take you to do your makeup?

Honestly depends on the look I am going for that day. Just a simple every day look no more than probably 15 minutes, if that. But if I am doing a bigger look or for a special occasion I take my time and could probably use up two hours! I don’t like to have to rush!

5.) Do you read the comments on your posts?

Absolutely! That’s one of the best parts of blogging is getting feedback and getting to connect with readers. I try to read and respond quickly too.

6.) What camera do you use for your photos?

Either my Nikon D3100 or even just my iPhone. I prefer my Nikon obviously but sometimes it is just too much trouble for a little photo or two.

7.) What skin type do you have?

Who knows really. Most of the time I have oily skin, but lately I have had oily cheek bones and a dry dry dry forehead! I usually air on the side of oily though, because that seems to be what I am most of the time.

8.) What is your current facial cleanser?

I am currently using the Ole Henriksen Oil Control Cleanser. But I also love the Clean and Clear foaming cleanser as well.

9.) Do you have freckles?

Not really! A few on my arms but that’s about it. I do have a few beauty marks/moles that tend to look like freckles though.

10.) What is your favorite eye-shadow color?

Yikes! That is a hard one. I love grey, so versatile. Anything shimmery. I also love a purple eye look.

11.) How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?

Oh, probably every day!

12.) Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner?

Both! I usually use a pencil on the bottom and a liquid on the top. I have a hard time using a pencil on the top lashes! They’re too rough. And liquid on bottom is a nightmare.

13.) What is your favorite lipstick?

Currently YSL Rouge Volupte! They are so moisturizing and so easy to apply.  But I am also loving Lipsense too!

14.) Name a makeup crime that you hate.

Foundation that is too dark!! I have when you/my neck doesn’t match the face…but it is something every one does! It is hard to perfectly match your skin unless you test it well.

15.) Do you like drugstore makeup?

Oh yes!! I use a good amount of drugstore makeup. They have some great quality stuff!

What would your answers be?? Let me know in the comments! 

17 Things to Make You Smile

Happy Sunday! I hope you are enjoying a great day full of Jesus and family. What do you typically do on a Sunday?

Today I wanted to brighten your spirits! We all need a reason to smile sometimes. We can all use a little happiness in our busy and often stressful lives. Sometimes we get caught up in the chaos and the problems in our lives and forget to be happy and to remember the little things. That’s why I wanted to share 17 simple and easy ways to get your smile front and center!

  1. Buy yourself a new lipstick- A new lipstick always brightens my day and brings a smile to my face. How about you?
  2. Take a moment and read a chapter of the Bible- I suggest any of the Psalms, Exodus 14, or a chapter in Matthew.
  3. Stop and look at the flowers…literally- Sometimes even a glance at something beautiful like flowers can cause a smile on a hard day.
  4. Write a kind note to someone else- Remember that we aren’t the only ones that have hard days. So to cause a smile, try giving someone else some kindness!
  5. Take a walk and see Gods creation- When life is stressful, go for a walk and take a look around at God’s brilliant and beautiful creation. It always makes me smile.
  6. Have a Netflix marathon of your favorite funny movie or show- There is nothing in life that a Psych marathon or a few episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond can’t fix. Grab a snack, a blanket, and a crack a smile while laughing and enjoying your favorite show.
  7. Buy yourself a new outfit- Sometimes we need to spoil ourselves, so when life is tough go buy a new outfit and smile—show the world you’re in control.
  8. Pay it forward- Buy someone’s coffee or lunch! Spread smiles and happiness to others even when life is hard for us.
  9. Create something- If you paint—paint. If you make cards—make a card. If you write—write! Create something and I bet you will smile.
  10. Read a new book- For me, reading a new book (or a classic favorite) always tends to put a smile on my face.
  11. Take some time to yourself- Go get a manicure, a massage, or go have lunch on your own. Take a few moments to yourself to gather your thoughts and to relax.
  12. Have a worship service in your room- For me, nothing makes me happier than a worship session alone in my car or my room. God’s presence never fails to put life in perspective.
  13. Drink out of a fancy glass- Maybe this won’t make everyone smile, but it does me! There is nothing better than sipping tea out of a fancy wine glass.
  14. Spend time with loved ones- Show your family some love. Crack some jokes and love on each other.
  15. Talk with an accent- Some of the biggest smiles happen because my sister and I talk in fake accents while doing housework.
  16. Be intentional- Smile by being intentional. Love others, be caring, and have fun in life.
  17. Order a Venti instead- treat yourself and order a big coffee on those crazy mornings and smile because at least you have coffee!

Those are just a few ideas of things to do to make you smile. There is always something to smile about even on our darkest days. Jesus is always a reason to smile and have hope. If you don’t know about Jesus or salvation, I’d love to talk to you about it!

What are a few things that make YOU smile?? Let me know in the comments!

Birthday Wishlist!

We are fast approaching the month of June which means one thing…we are getting closer to my birthday! On June 30th, I will be another year older. I always love birthday’s and celebrations.

My family has always made birthdays a big deal. Today, I thought I would share a few things that are on my birthday wishlist! A few of the things I want or “need” this year. This is always fun to see what others want and always gives my family a few ideas, right??

Here’s whats on my list!

Harry Potter DVD  Complete Collection 

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I have all the DVD’s scattered around but I would love having all of them in a complete set. I love these movies and it would be cool to have a collection of them. I know it wouldn’t be anything fancy, but a die-hard fan loves all things collection and complete, am I right? Walmart sells it for only $50.

Too Faced Bon Bon Palette 

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If I had a nickle for every time I almost bought this palette…so I am finally taking the plunge and seeing if any of my family gets it for me. My mom has this palette and I need it for myself! It has such beautiful colors; and the shimmer in them is to die for! I actually don’t wear much brown on my eyes but this palette is so versatile and smooth that I don’t mind the browns. I love the neutral shades and the pops of color that it has as well.

ESV Personal Reference Bible 

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As I was heading to church last Sunday, I realized that all my Bible’s are student ones. While the text is obviously the same…I wanted a “grown up” Bible. I also now love the ESV version, so I loved this one! It has references in it as well as a cute outside cover. The ESV version is the one my church uses and I would love to be able to follow along exactly as we read. The ESV study Bible is HUGE but I might eventually buy that one as well. But for now, I’d love this personal size one.

Nikon 35 mm f1/8 lens 

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I would call this a “well, why not at least ask for it present.” A little on the pricey side, this lens would be great to add to my collection of photography gear. Right now I am working with just my kit lens and would love to add a second one. If you’re a photographer and have another lens you think I should start with, let me know! But so far my research keeps bringing me back to the 35 mm with a low aperture. I can always do my business without it, but hey, I can ask can’t I??

Marble Monogrammed Phone Case 

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I am in love with mgramcases new marble line. I have bought their cases before and once I saw the marble with the bright colors…I was hooked. I am impressed at the quality of this marble and how real it looks. The bright pink and orange swirled in with the other colors make it pop! It would be a perfect case for the summer. And, like any southern girl, I love anything with a monogram.

Fresh Flowers

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I am a sucker for fresh flowers. Because I am single,I don’t really get flowers often. But I would swoon over a fresh delivery of peonies, roses, tulips, or daisies! Any and all flowers…as long as they are colorful I would be grateful. Opening the door to a delivery of flowers, would be a perfect birthday surprise!

XOXO!

My quick and easy makeup tips! 

Let’s face it, we don’t always have a few hours to make slowly get on our makeup all while dancing to our favorite tunes. Sometimes, we have, maybe, five minutes to throw on something to make us look semi-alive in the morning.

Over the years, I’ve gathered my own tips and tricks to help you when your in a rush but want to do a quick and easy makeup look. Now these are just my ideas-and I’m no expert. But I thought it would be fun to share my tips and maybe give you a few ideas to help you next time you hit “snooze” one to many times.

Tip #1 – smudge pots are your best friend 

Every brand has a name for it: smudge pot, paint pot, cream gels…its all one in the same. Basically it’s a cream eye-shadow in a pot. If you’re in a hurry, these help make a quick but beautiful eye look! On busy days (or lazy ones) I slap on the smudge pot all over my lid and simply blend it out. One color, one products, and one step- it’s that easy.

Some of my favorite smudge pots are actually from elf- super cheap! Below is a picture of my look with just a elf smudge pot on my eyes! So simple but looks great! 

Tip #2 – forget the contour 

Maybe you love contour but for me, it’s something I don’t mind dropping from my makeup routine if I’m in a hurry. Most of my “makeup wearing” years have been spent having no clue what contouring even was so it’s never a bad thing to just forget this and just go for blush.

Don’t get me wrong, I love contouring but it’s not an absolute essential for me. If you’re in a hurry don’t be afraid to just do foundation and blush on the face!

Tip #3 – try a full coverage powder foundation 

My routine is normally a liquid foundation, concealer, and a finishing powder to set it. But if I’m in a hurry I don’t mind grabbing a one step powder foundation. One of my favorites is the Clinique SuperPowder Double Face! Most of the time I prefer a fuller coverage liquid but when I’m in a hurry, a powder foundation might be all I have time for; just apply to the whole face and you’ll get some much needed coverage. All while still being fast and easy!

Tip #4 – Mascara is your best friend

My lashes are one of my favorite features and I try not to neglect them even on a rushed morning. If you’re anything like me, a little mascara can do wonders for you. I might be extremely tired, but mascara always seems to brighten and perk up my face! It makes my eyes seem awake.

Slap on mascara as you walk out the door or in the car and you are set to go! I’m a believer that there is always time for a little mascara.

Tip #5 – Don’t be afraid to go natural

While I love makeup and looking put together and fresh, I don’t wear it 24/7. If I am running late, just running to the store, or don’t feel like it…I go without makeup at all! Most of us are a little uncomfortable about that, but if I am taking good care of my skin and getting some sleep-then I am much more confident in my own skin.

Never feel like you HAVE to put on makeup when you’re in a rush or just not up to doing it. Be confident in yourself and wear that bare skin proudly! Makeup isn’t what makes you beautiful friends, don’t forget that.

What are your tips for easy makeup looks?? Let me know in the comments!

DON’T FORGET TO ENTER MY GIVEAWAY!

 I partnered with Smile Brilliant for this giveaway! See the original post for info on how to enter.

Easy Home Whitening for Sensitive Teeth + Giveaway

*This post contains affiliate links and was sponsored by Smile Brilliant but all thoughts and opinions are my own*

Hello friends! Today I am excited to announce my partnership with Smile Brilliant to inform you about their easy at-home teeth whitening system; and give YOU an opportunity to win some yourself! Read till the end for a chance to enter the giveaway and receive a coupon off your order!

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The whole kit for sensitive teeth as it comes

If I’m honest, I struggle with letting my true smile out because my teeth are definitely stained and worn. My coffee and tea addiction really hurts the color and quality of my smile. So when I was contacted by the amazing people at Smile Brilliant, I knew it was something I needed to go forward with at once!

Smile Brilliant allows you to make custom fitted trays at home, mail them back, then receive your molds and start your sessions to a better and whiter smile! Now this was a big deal for me. I, like many, are terrified of the dentist; so knowing I could make the molds in the comfort of my own home without having to sit in a dentist chair or use generic trays was a BIG positive of this company.

I also have extremely sensitive teeth so the fact that this product is tailored to help sensitive teeth is amazing!  So if you have sensitive teeth or are prone to sensitivity like me, don’t worry, this kit is perfect for you! Also, for those who are cognitive of what you put in your body, Smile Brilliant’s ingredients are vegan and cruelty free!

Today I am giving you a little run down of the process and my first impressions! I will post an updated review in a few weeks to show you my results! HINT: I could already tell a difference after only two treatments. Also, if you have questions about getting started, Smile Brilliant has 7 things to know before buying to help answer any questions.

Step 1

Order your package, either sensitive or non-sensitive, and get ready to do some easy at-home whitening! Each package includes: whitening gel, impression trays, custom work on your impressions, desensitize gel (if you order the sensitive package), 3 way postage, and 3 sets of the impression material. They also allow you to choose how many applications you want, based on the level of stains you have; which I love because you can tailor it to your needs. I highly suggest if you have sensitive teeth in the slightest to get the sensitive package. That is what I have used and I love using the desensitize gel to help my teeth throughout the process.

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Step 2 

When your package arrives, it is time to make your molds! I promise this is easy and not as intimidating as it sounds. All you do is mix the base and the catalyst together, apply it to impression molds, and press the mix into your teeth (one at a time). Once you wait the allotted time, take the impressions out and mail them back in the pre-addressed and paid for return envelope. Mailing them back is so easy and they make it a simple step in the process.

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Step 3 

Once your custom fitted trays are mailed back to you, you can start the process! The process is very simple:

  • Wash your teeth with water
  • Apply whitening gel to the trays
  • Wear the trays for 45 minutes to 3 hours
  • Take them out and wash your teeth with toothpaste
  • wash off trays and pat dry
  • apply desensitizing gel to the trays
  • wear the trays for 15-20 minute
  • DO NOT brush teeth after this, spit out the excess and clean your trays

These are the steps in their simplest form. Your package will come with full instructions, I just wanted to give you a little glimpse at how easy and fast Smile Brilliant makes getting your teeth brighter and whiter.

I can’t wait to update you on the process but so far, I am loving it and already seeing results. The process is easy and Smile Brilliant makes it easy to achieve whiter teeth all while catering to your sensitivity.

Giveaway!

Want a chance to win $139 worth of product from Smile Brilliant?? All you have to do is fill out this information in the link given and wait to see if you win!  http://www.smilebrilliant.com/g/writingsandworship 

This giveaway will run from 5/17 until 5/31 and is open to USA, UK, Canada, and Australia! Don’t forget to enter through the link above!!

Coupon!

Interested in getting 5% off your purchase? Use the code writingsandworship5 on your order to receive 5% off!

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