Day Designer Today & To Do Blue Sky Review

Today and To Do Day Designer Review

I’ve wanted a Day Designer for a while now, and when I saw that Blue Sky was releasing a daily version last year for Target I jumped on the opportunity. I absolutely loved having a to-do list built into my planner alongside my schedule. I had the large daily/monthly planner and while it definitely fit what I wanted, I ended up not using every single daily page and the coil started coming undone because I used it so much. Lucky for me, Blue Sky and Day Designer partnered up again to release more versions of their coveted planners!

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Day Designer Today & To Do Blue Sky Review

I purchased the Monthly/Today & To Do in the 8×10 jade. I wanted the navy small version originally, but my Target only had the jade in the larger size and I’m glad I went with this one. The binding makes it easy to lay flat and I won’t have to worry about the coil coming undone this time.

Day Designer Today & To Do Blue Sky Review

The planner starts with a monthly view from July 2016-June 2017. I love being able to see my whole month at a glance, and it’s really helpful that each box is big enough for me to write a lot for each class if I need to. Typically I’ll write out my color key on the left in the to-do and notes section using my Staedtler triplus fineliner pens (these don’t bleed through the pages). I’ll then write important events in the monthly pages. For school, I’ll usually just write out big assignments instead of every single one–that can get cluttered fast!

Day Designer Today & To Do Blue Sky Review

This is the weekly layout, with Monday-Wednesday on the left side and Thursday-Sunday on the right. My favorite part about the Today and To-Do is that it’s undated, so if I have a break from school or won’t have enough to write for the whole week, then I’ll just rely on the monthly view. The undated planner also makes it much smaller than the daily is!

Day Designer Today & To Do Blue Sky Review

The weekly view has enough space to write in your schedule for the day on the left side and write in your to-do list on the right side. There’s fifteen weekly pages included. When I’m in school, I’ll write out my assignments that are due that day in the left column and what I need to finish in the right column. The Today & To Do also comes with two striped ribbons to easily keep your place.

Day Designer Today & To Do Blue Sky Review

Here’s a look at the daily view! There’s 90 of these included. It runs from 6am-8pm (as if I get up that early…) and includes a small ‘tonight’ box to add in extra activities past that time. I love that it includes a box to write down what you’re grateful for each day. These pages also have a notes section to write down random things you need to remember throughout the day, but I’ve seen some people use this as a journaling section.

What planner are you using?

xo, Hannah

The Everlasting Road Trip

Last weekend, my family and I went on a road trip down to Dallas, TX and made some stops along the way! Our first stop was in Stillwater, Texas, home of Oklahoma State University. I can see the appeal–the campus was gorgeous. We stopped at Eskimo Joe’s for a quick lunch.

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Then we kept going down to Roanoke, Texas (population 6,400) to visit my grandparents. We had to go to my all-time favorite place to eat there, Babe’s. If you live in the Dallas area and haven’t been there, you’re missing out! When you order, all they ask is if you want chicken or chicken-fried steak, and then they bring out your choice and a ton of sides. Biscuits, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, you name it, they’ve got it. Helpful hint, though: always be sure to split your order in half. We accidentally ordered four portions and they brought out a huge platter of chicken, half of which we ended up taking home. Don’t stuff yourself when you can save some for later!

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After eating at Babe’s, we headed down through Fort Worth and hit up Steel City Pops. The first time I had this was in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to have it again! I had the strawberry lemonade and my mom had the coconut. The best thing about Steel City’s popsicles is that they’re not overly icy or just strawberry lemonade poured into the molds. They have creamy pops too (i.e. the coconut) and they’re absolutely amazing. I had a cookie pop (chocolate brownie) in Alabama and it was a flattened brownie inside a chocolate fudgesicle. Could that combination be any better?

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Once we finally made our way down to Waco, Texas, we walked around Baylor Univeristy’s campus. Long story short, it was way too spread out for a very hot place, but it’s always interesting to see other college campuses.

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I put together this video of our trip for my family to look back on. Let me know in the comments below if you know the place featured in the last part of the video–a post will be up next week all about it!

xo, Hannah

Branding and Blog Design: Updated

Back when I started my blog, I had some design experience, but not much! I created my blog design a year ago in February with a modern and classic design in mind. Since then, I still love my design, but I feel like my personality has changed a bit and I have a bolder taste in colors. I took my old design and updated it a bit, in part after taking inspiration from my graphic design Pinterest board.

I first created a vision board by taking screenshots of a lot of my favorite graphic design pins and arranging them how I liked. After, I found a common theme of hand-drawn graphics, sharp photography, and bright colors.

Hannah With A Camera vision board images via Becca Clason, Peyton Perry, Sophie Ledesma, Lucia Litman

I definitely recommend creating a vision board or a board on Pinterest when you’re designing anything. It helps you find a common theme with the colors and photos that you usually gravitate towards. My design taste has changed a ton since I first created my blog, so I was due for a redesign.

Hannah With A Camera Blog Design Branding Board

The biggest difference that I think you can see with my old design and this new one is the color scheme. These colors are so vibrant and make everything bolder. I kept the typefaces the same, but I changed my patterns and my header to reflect the hand-drawn aesthetic.

What’s your favorite thing about the new design?

xo, Hannah

Adobe Bridge Camera Raw Editing Tutorial + GIVEAWAY

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Today I’m sharing with you a look inside my photo editing routine. I’ve done this post before, but I wanted to do an updated version now that I have a lot more experience and knowledge with playing with Photoshop and all it has to offer. Warning: this is going to be a photo-heavy post to help explain everything! I also have a giveaway at the end of the post, go check it out!

Adobe Bridge Camera Raw Editing Tutorial

Above is the original photo. For this post, I’m using Adobe Bridge CS6’s Camera Raw function to edit my photos. I usually use Bridge for editing and then sometimes I’ll use one of A Beautiful Mess’s photoshop actions from the Fresh Collection for a final touch. I shoot every photo in Camera Raw. (I can do another post later on this if you all would like, but here’s a more in-depth explanation on why you should shoot in raw vs. jpeg.)

Adobe Bridge Camera Raw Editing Tutorial

1) I started by increasing the exposure by +.65 to make the photo lighter. This is a step that a lot of people overuse, so be careful about your exposure usage!

Adobe Bridge Camera Raw Editing Tutorial2. I increased the contrast by +50 to fix the fade that occurred when I lightened the photo. This draws out the dark tones and the light tones in the photograph, and you can tell it made a huge difference just in one step.

Adobe Bridge Camera Raw Editing Tutorial

3) I decreased the highlights by -8. I shot this photo in direct sunlight, so I had to find a way to take out the glare caused by the harsh lighting.

Adobe Bridge Camera Raw Editing Tutorial

4) I decreased the shadows by -28. I say that I’m decreasing them because I’m referring to the sliding scale, but I’m actually making them more contrasted by drawing out the shadows. You can see the difference when you look at her hair.

Adobe Bridge Camera Raw Editing Tutorial

5) I increased the whites by +18. This isn’t making the whole photograph lighter like exposure, instead, it makes the whites crisper and sharper.

Adobe Bridge Camera Raw Editing Tutorial

6) I decreased the blacks by -18. This is the same process with the shadows–it’s not actually decreasing them, it’s drawing out the black tones in the photo to make it a lot richer.

Adobe Bridge Camera Raw Editing Tutorial

7) I increased the vibrance by +51. This is the step I messed around with the most to be sure it was just right, because it’s so easy to overdo it! Notice that I used vibrance and NOT saturation for this photo. Here’s why.

Look at the difference between these two photos. The one on the left looks like your elementary-aged cousin edited this on Picmonkey. Her skin is way too orange, and there’s no way her hair is that yellow. The one on the right, while still a little overdone, is much better. Her skin tone is even and looks natural, but the background is still rich and vibrant. The key here is using saturation (on the left) for landscapes and vibrance (on the right) for portraits. This is a huge mistake I always see people making, so please, for my sake, don’t do it.

Adobe Bridge Camera Raw Editing Tutorial

8) I increased the sharpening to +75. This feature is on the detail tab (third one) and I like to use it for portraits. (This is another classic example of landscape vs. portraits–when you’re editing landscapes, use clarity, when you’re editing portraits, use sharpening.)

Adobe Bridge Camera Raw Editing Tutorial

9) Last step! I increased the vignetting by +5. This is another step I see being misused all the time. I wouldn’t recommend going past +10 for portraits, unless you’re going for a really dramatic look.

Adobe Bridge Camera Raw Editing Tutorial

Here’s the final photo! This may seem like a lot of steps, but it didn’t take me long at all to go through and make my decisions in editing. It just takes practice to know what looks best on your photo.

You should go enter my giveaway for a sorority gift set on Instagram! Giveaway closes 4/27.

What’s your favorite photo editing tool?

xo, Hannah

A List Greek Jewelry Review

I’m so excited to share this collaboration with A List Greek today! Their founder, Hope, was kind enough to reach out to me and send me some fun jewelry to share with my friends. A List Greek is sold in a couple local boutiques around town and it’s definitely a popular way for girls to wear their letters in a way that’s not overly flashy.

A List Greek Jewelry | Hannah With A Camera

A List Greek Jewelry | Hannah With A Camera

A List Greek Jewelry | Hannah With A Camera

This is my cousin Rachel rocking the Sigma Kappa state necklace and the Sigma Kappa stack rings. Even though the necklace is small, it’s a great way to combine a piece of home or your university with your letters. The rings are adjustable as well, so you can make it fit your fingers and they won’t fall off easily.

A List Greek Jewelry | Hannah With A Camera

A List Greek Jewelry | Hannah With A Camera

A List Greek Jewelry | Hannah With A Camera

This is my friend Emalee wearing the Gamma Phi Beta state necklace, the Gamma Phi Beta stack rings, and the Gamma Phi Beta hair ties (in the confetti picture)! My favorite thing about all this jewelry is how transitional it is–it’s subtle enough to wear to work or to class, but super cute to wear out or for a sorority photoshoot! The hair ties are a great way to show off your sorority without even trying, because let’s be real here: when are you not without a hair tie?

Along with the jewelry and the hair ties, Hope sent me metallic flash tattoos for everyone too! While they’re not the type of thing I’d throw on for class, I’m excited to save them for bid day or date parties coming up in the fall. I’ll be showing off a couple photos on my Instagram throughout the week with my Alpha Delta Pi jewelry, so be sure to follow me to get a look at how cute everything is.

While A List Greek is primarily a website for sorority women, they also have a lot of custom jewelry options for girls looking to customize their jewelry with their initials or their favorite phrase. I think their bar necklaces are one of the best options for custom engraving with a lot of space.

Thanks for reading and thanks again to A List Greek to giving me this opportunity!

xo, Hannah

Dorm Room Tour

I’ve been meaning to do this post since August when I first moved in, but I’ve never had a room this clean since the initial move in! Honestly, the only reason there isn’t a bag thrown on the floor or a sock somewhere in these photos is because my mom came up this past weekend for Mom’s Weekend with my sorority. So while my room might look somewhat like #goals currently, it’s definitely not that way all the time!

Dorm Room Tour | Hannah With A Camera

I have the Peyton bedding in Royal Navy from Pottery Barn Teen and I absolutely love it. (It’s on sale in the pink and light pool colors!)  My all-time favorite color scheme involves some variation of coral, turquoise, and navy, so this was a perfect way to combine them. I also have a long body pillow in coral (on the left). My roommate Jordan and I are in the same sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, so we hung our flag from bid day up over the window.

Dorm Room Tour | Hannah With A Camera

I have this strand of photo clips from Urban Outfitters that’s been great for hanging photos without sticking holes in the wall. Before college, I printed out a ton of photos from Mpix and I definitely recommend using them for printing photos! The tea towel of Lawrence is from Tammy Smith Design–it came in a print version too,  but I like having the bigger size of the tea towel to hang for decoration. She has a ton of cute drawings of other cities as well and if you’re from a big city area, that’d be a great way to have a little piece of home in your dorm.

Dorm Room Tour | Hannah With A Camera

I used washi tape to put up the photos on my wall and the majority of them have stayed up since August. The two canvases on the left are from my friend Abby (top) and my big diamond sister Mackenzie (bottom). I painted the ‘h’ canvas myself. In the space under the canvases on the left, I had a Hogwarts travel poster (this one is similar), but it fell from the command strip recently for some reason! On my desk I have a lamp with two outlets on it (which has definitely come in handy), my alarm clock, a couple decorations, and a plastic organizer from Target with 3 drawers to hold my jewelry.

Dorm Room Tour | Hannah With A Camera

Dorm Room Tour | Hannah With A Camera

Under my bed I have a butterfly chair, another organizer with 3 drawers to hold some random craft stuff, my dresser (provided by my dorm), and some more boxes on top to hold random things that don’t have a specific category to them. I also have a shoe hanging organizer to hold random things like command strips and nail polish.

The majority of these have come in handy, but I definitely didn’t need it all. Keep an eye out for an updated post of my college dorm essentials!

Thanks for reading!

xo Hannah

All About the Instagram Algorithm

If you haven’t heard already, Instagram is changing its algorithm, and everyone is freaking out.

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Here’s the deal with the algorithm (this only applies if you have the latest update). Instagram is taking a cue from Facebook and switching from the normal order of posts showing up in chronological order…to what they think is what you want to see.

You have two options to make the algorithm what you want. First, you can follow all the other blogger’s pleas to turn on post notifications.

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To do this, you just go to a profile (like @andrewknapp, one of my favorite photographers) and click on the top right corner with the three dots.

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Then all you have to do is tap that ‘turn on post notifications’ button, and you’ll get a notification every time that account posts a new photo.The perks to this is that you’ll never miss a post, except your battery will drain asap depending on how many people you turn on post notifications for. I personally wouldn’t recommend doing this for more than 5 people.

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The easy option is to just keep doing what you’re doing: comment every once in a while and like people’s pictures like normal. Instagram will curate your feed based on the photos that you engage with. If everyone follows this rule of thumb, then you won’t have a problem.

Want a more in depth post? Krista from Covering the Bases has all the details.

xo Hannah

Thursday Threes

It’s only been two weeks since my last post, but a lot has happened! I’m currently on spring break and while I’m not relaxing by a beach or exploring a new city, I’m happy to be home with my family. Here’s an update on what’s been going on lately.

ONE

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via sadp.ku.edu

I got accepted into the design school! My parents encouraged me to apply last minute (literally 6 hours before the application was due) and I just learned that I’ll be starting in the fall. I’ll be double majoring in strategic communications in the journalism school and graphic design (visual communications design if you want to be fancy) in the design school. I’ve been interested in the idea of pairing the two with creative advertising or working in the magazine industry lately, so I think this is a perfect fit for me. Plus, there are several amazing and innovative ad agencies in the area that I would love to move forward with a possible internship come junior or senior year. 

TWO

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I updated my portfolio website to a cleaner, more colorful design. I’d love to upgrade my blog website to a WordPress domain with a customizable website, but right now I feel like I don’t have the time! A summer project might be in the works.

THREE

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I can’t say a lot about this yet (I want it to be a surprise) but here’s a not-so-subtle hint with the picture! Keep an eye out for a future collaboration.

xo Hannah

100 in 1001

This post is inspired by Mackenzie Horan of Design Darling, who created her own 101 in 1001 list! As she said, it’s a happy medium between a to-do list and a bucket list. This list is to be completed November 22, 2018, or 2.75 years. After that I’ll create a new list! I’ve had this draft in the works for a long while, since junior year of high school, and it was interesting to see some of the things on my list that I wanted to do that I’ve since achieved only in my first semester of college.

  1. Complete all 101 items.
  2. Have a picnic
  3. Go to an FCKC game (April 16th, 2016)
  4. Purchase a domain
  5. Get registered to belay at the rec
  6. Drink 64oz of water every day for at least one week
  7. Join a youth group on campus
  8. Make ten recipes off Pinterest
  9. Read at least thirty new books
  10. Find the perfect way to curl my short hair
  11. Keep up with a solid editorial calendar for at least a month
  12. Donate blood
  13. Save $25 out of every paycheck for a year
  14. Do yoga every day for a week
  15. Collaborate with a brand that I love
  16. Find a devotional and read a chapter each week
  17. Make a video documenting every single day for a month
  18. Have a filing system for my college classes
  19. Design a solid resume (April 4th, 2016)
  20. Hit 10,000 Fitbit steps every day for a month
  21. Finish an entire scrapbook
  22. Apply for five scholarships
  23. Take a self-portrait every day for two weeks
  24. Find a signature scent
  25. Go on a road trip
  26. Do a thirty-day photo challenge
  27. Take care of a plant all the way up until it blooms
  28. Finish my San Francisco video
  29. Do five random acts of kindness in a day
  30. Try sun butter
  31. Sew a skirt
  32. Hit 100 balls successfully at the golf course
  33. Buy flowers for myself
  34. Reach 1,000 followers on Twitter
  35. Intern for a company either online or in real life
  36. Become a campus ambassador
  37. Visit one of my friends at a different college
  38. Make a tassel garland
  39. Read ten nonfiction books
  40. Go to sleep at 8:30 every night for a week
  41. Learn how to use Adobe Illustrator
  42. Throw a surprise party for someone
  43. Take a Skillshare class
  44. Have a Spoon University post go viral
  45. Journal every night for a month
  46. Go on a spring break with friends
  47. Take photos for the Lawrence Humane Society for their social media
  48. Get 100 service hours in a year
  49. Go to every KU football game in a season
  50. Learn how to cook a signature dish
  51. Score in intramural outdoor soccer
  52. Reach 1,000 Instagram followers
  53. Take my brother to a KU basketball game
  54. Try cutting out added sugar for a week
  55. Leave a 100% tip
  56. Finish all Codecademy courses
  57. Learn how to use a film camera
  58. Call my grandparents at least once a month if I don’t see them in person
  59. Go without social media for a week
  60. Be an adoption ambassador for Lawrence Humane and get at least 5 dogs adopted
  61. Run a 5k (April 24th, 2016)
  62. Find a solid workout routine
  63. Go to the ballet
  64. Go skiing
  65. Make a stop motion video at least a minute long
  66. Take a cooking class
  67. Visit 10 new cities
  68. Study abroad
  69. Put away $10 in a savings fund each time I check something off the list
  70. Reach a $100 payout on Redbubble
  71. Get a 4.0 GPA
  72. Finish Mad Men
  73. Join ad club or marketing club
  74. Dress nice for a week (i.e. no leggings/tennis shoes)
  75. Rock climb at the rec once a week for a month
  76. Get a signet ring for my pinky
  77. Apply for the Amazing Race (or at least have an application ready for when I’m 21!)
  78. Visit one of my friends in their hometown over break
  79. Go to a Kansas City away game (Royals/Sporting/FCKC)
  80. Go blueberry picking again
  81. Design a media kit for my blog
  82. Do a film/photo essay with my sorority on defeating stereotypes
  83. Go back to Dallas to see my grandparents (May 22nd, 2016)
  84. Go horseback riding
  85. Develop my own version of a capsule wardrobe and use it for 3 weeks
  86. Create my own font
  87. Get a position in my sorority that I love
  88. Purchase pointed heels/flats
  89. Redesign my sorority chapter’s website
  90. Go to a concert at the Granada
  91. Finish giving away my deck of Sneaky Cards
  92. Use my DesignLoveFest gift card on a really cool painting
  93. Go to a drive-in movie
  94. Upgrade my phone
  95. Try a workout class
  96. Go at least 10 Royals games
  97. Sit in the Blue Hell at a Sporting Game
  98. Try Glace ice cream from Christopher Elbow
  99. Host a friendsgiving
  100. Clean out my closet using Poshmark