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Snail Mail Favorites

If you're like me, when you became a blogger you also became a fan of snail mail and adorable notecards and stationery. I have quite the collection of personalized notecards and notebooks but am constantly buying new stationery with the excuse, "Oh, I can find someone to send that too!"

While scrolling through Pinterest yesterday I came across a brand that I have only heard briefly about. Sugar Paper, Los Angeles is a company that has anything and everything a snail mail and stationery lover, like myself, could ever need.

After browsing the website for a solid portion of my night I picked out my favorite notecards and am going to be sharing them with you all today!

||one|| ||two|| ||three|| ||four|| ||five|| ||six|| 

Where do you get your stationery?

How I Edit my Photos

There's no hiding that I love Instagram (follow me @northprepster). I love being able to share a snap of my life with everyone and I love seeing what others are up to as well. But I think I enjoy editing my photos more then actually sharing them. I just love to experiment with all the different filters you can add and just find so much joy in making my photos seem a little more professional.

This might be shocking to all my fellow bloggers but I don't own a professional camera. I take all the images you see on this blog & my Instagram (minus a few) with my iPhone 6. Yes, they don't turn out as professional looking but over the past few weeks I've experimented with and developed an editing routine that allows me to feel like a professional when I'm actually just a girl with an iPhone.

I have several different ways of editing my pics based on the content being photographed which is why I'm going to be breaking up my editing routines into several weekly posts. Today I'm going to share my 5 basic photography tips, my favorite editing apps and the basic editing that every single photo I upload to my Instagram goes through.

Everybody knows the struggle of having a beautiful photo and then trying to upload it to Instagram but realizing that you have to either size it down and have a border or cut out the edges. Save yourself the stress and frustration and take the initial photo using the square setting on your iPhone.

Natural light makes your photos look so much better in my opinion! Experiment with different spots and find one that provides the best amount of light to make the photo look natural. If you don't have natural light, try to use white light. All my photos (excluding outfit posts) are taken next to my bedroom window at around 5:45pm when the sun is at my ideal spot in the sky. Bonus tip: try to use a solid white background to make the subject being photographed pop!

Please, please, please focus your photos. It takes two seconds to tap on your screen to set your focal point and it can be the difference between a fuzzy photos and "You took that with your iPhone?!"

My favorite and go-to editing app was one I had to pay for but ever since I bought it I have edited every photo in it and every one of Instagram photos goes through my paid apps.

Having an overall theme may just be a personal preference. If you like using different, go for it. I just prefer to have all my photos have the same theme because I think it makes my feed look neater.

Moving onto my favorite editing apps. Here's a screen shot of the first page of my editing apps. These are my most used so I like to have them where I can easily get to them. First I have Rookie, InstaSize, Studio, PhotoMirror, VSCOcam, PicsArt, Afterlight, Snapseed, PhotoCollage. While I'll occasionally use all of these my two most used apps are VSCOcam and Afterlight. Afterlight is the paid app I was referring to above and below I'm going to be explaining to you the editing every photo goes through before I post it.

Every Photo Editing: Afterlight App
All of these photos went through the exact process described below

  1. Once I have my photo in Afterlight, if I didn't take it using my square camera I will go to the crop tool and select the square crop so I can make sure it will be Instagram compatible.
  2. After I've cropped the photo I will play with the Clarity, Contrast and Brightness until I have them adjusted to my liking.
  3. Then I'll adjust the Saturation which is probably my favorite part out of all it. I usually keep it between 15-30 just because sometimes too much saturation is overwhelming.
  4. Next it's time to apply my filter. Every photo on my feed has the Russ filter applied which can be accessed via the Guest filters. Sometimes I'll leave the filter intensity at 100 but usually it floats in the range of 60-70.
  5. Save my photo at Maximum quality and upload to Instagram! I've included a before and after photo below so you can see the difference. The top is the original, the bottom has been through the above process:

That's it for this (rather long) first post of the Photo Editing series. Next post will focus on mirroring my images and my favorite Instagramers.


I {Heart} Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope everyone is enjoying their day full of chocolate and lots of pink & hearts! Valentine's Day isn't a really big deal in my family and we usually don't do anything to special unless you count a heart shaped pizza ;) But this year I actually had one little festivity planned; a Valentine's Birthday Brunch! Yesterday one of my very good friends, Anne, celebrated her birthday but decided that since everyone was busy in school yesterday she would hold a brunch for all our friends to gather and just relax. So at 9am this morning we all piled into our cars and headed out into the blizzard to enjoy some delicious waffles and lemonade and celebrate Miss. Anne!

Seeing as it is Valentine's I decided to dress for occasion so I went with my fav sweater for Valentine's day, a pink sweater with hearts all over it from Forever 21, some simple black jeans and my favorite booties. While booties may not have been the best decision for the snow they're just so comfy and I liked the way my outfit looks with them!

Along with my outfit I managed to take some photos of the goodies my mom surprised my brother Ryan and I with this morning!

As you can see, it was snowing pretty hard when I took the photos but we haven't had snow like this for a long time and I thought it would be neat to see the snow in these photos!
 My attempt at an artsy Valentine's day photo

Happy Valentine's Day!

Pins I'm Loving

It's no secret that I'm addicted to Pinterest (follow me here). I am constantly pinning anything and everything from quotes and flowers to interior d├ęcor and style inspiration. Recently I've been seeing more and more pins with super cute shorts and I immediately knew I needed to share them with y'all.
Not only do I love the look of these shorts but the colors are so fun and perfect for spring and summer!

Which pair of shorts is your favorite?

Tuesday's Thought

I know this isn't much of a post but I just wanted to share a quote that's really hit home with me recently. What quote are you loving right now?

January Recap: Let's Catch Up!

Wow, January sure did fly by! I am happy to say that 2015 is off to a great start and I'm so excited to be catching up with and updating y'all on everything that's been happening! January was full of exciting events and adventures and I'm so excited to finally be talking about them all! If you follow me on Instagram {which you totally should @northprepster} then you've probably seen pieces of some of these adventures but today I'm going to talking more about them!

Since this is the end of the 1st month of the year, I've decided to start a blog series where I recap my high points of the month. I'll be sharing my most popular Instagram posts, Pinterest pins, and updating y'all on what's happening behind-the-scenes of Northern Prepster!

pajamas {no longer available}||mug

I had a few questions as to what my Starbucks drink is in this photo, it's just a lemonade. I know, pretty boring but it's sooo good!
I honestly don't know why, but this pin that I uploaded via my old Polyvore has recently exploded with repins and likes! It's insane because each time I log onto Pinterest I have 48 notifications just about this pin!
Northern Prepster: Behind the Scenes
New Domain
I don't know if any of y'all noticed but I recently purchased my domain name and now officially own www.northernprepster.com! So if y'all have bookmarked my blog, I would recommend you change that! If you don't want to, even when you type in northern-prepster.blogspot.com you will automatically be redirected to my new URL. I am so excited to officially own my blog & can't wait to see what my new big step for this blog will be!
E-mail Me
I love talking to you guys and getting to know my subscribers and followers so feel free to email me with post requests or especially collaboration inquiries! I am hoping to get a few collaboration posts scheduled for this month! My email is northprepster@gmail.com!
Prints & Bits
I am so excited to be representing Prints & Bits! For those who are unfamiliar, Prints & Bits is an etsy shop that makes printables that are oh-so-cute! I'm waiting to pick mine up from getting it printed but when I do I'll be sure to post photos of how I incorporated it into my room! If you aren't following them on Instagram, I strongly suggest you do!! And, if you're looking to purchase a print from the shop use code: RILEY10 for 10% off your purchase!
What's Riley Been up to?
 This past Sunday, my dad & I attended the 2015 NHL All Star Game and I am still thrilled I got to attend! I am a HUGE hockey fan so I was in hockey heaven the entire time! This was my early birthday present and I couldn't be more happy with my experience! We even ran into my two friends, Lauren & Anne and were able to snap a few photos! You may recognize Lauren & Anne from my Chilly College Football post back in November.  (More photos to come later this week).
 Tuesday was my Sweet Sixteen and I am so happy & grateful for all the gifts and cards I received from my family! Major points go out to my Dad for all the Tommy Hilfiger clothes, the Kate Spade bow earrings, and the pink & navy IZOD pullover! And major points to my Mom for the pink & green color scheme she had going on, the Southern Pup shirt & the monogrammed bangle!

For those wondering, I am going to be having a Sweet Sixteen party with my friends later this month but I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do for my party! Any suggestions?

And lastly, yesterday my dad & I road tripped down to Lexington, Kentucky to catch a UK game at Rupp Arena! I LOVED getting to drive through campus and the overall feel of the city has definitely made me add Kentucky to my list of possible colleges. Plus, Mom attended UK and knows Lexington like the back of her hand! (More photos to come later this week)