ValenteHalo Extensions

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Ok so I finally joined the bandwagon of hair extensions and the only thing I’m bummed about is WHY didn’t I start using them sooner?! They can change your look, especially when your hair is short, and they add volume… which I always can use!

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These specific hair extensions are halo extensions by Valente Extensions and I couldn’t be happier with how fast they are to put on! So basically, the extensions are on a clear string that you place on your head like a halo (literally). Perfect for this busy mama of 3…

Check out how easy they are to put on, around 30 seconds tops!

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  1. Put the halo extensions on top of your head, where it naturally sits comfortably.

2. Start pulling out the top section of your hair to go on top of the extensions.

3. Adjust as needed and add some volume on the top. Style it to blend your actual hair with the extensions… voila! DONE!

Ladies, you need some ValenteHalo Extensions in your life. They’re a game changer! They come in different lengths and colors too so I’m positive you will find your perfect match ๐Ÿ™‚

*This post was sponsored by Valente Hair Co. As always, all opinions are my own.

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FAQs About Blogging

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Hi everyone! Hope your 2018 is off to a great start! This post is long overdue since I’ve had few ladies reach out to me about blogging over the past couple of months. They were all asking the same questions so I figured that I’d just do a post on it since I’m sure there are more of you wondering the same thing but just never asked ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope this helps you!…

“How did you start blogging?”

I know a few bloggers and follow a bunch on social media and it just looked like so much fun. I was already active on social media so I figured why not take it to the next level and see how it goes! To be honest, it took me a couple months to officially convince myself to just go for it because I was worried about what other people may think or what if I don’t succeed, etc. If you’re thinking about starting a blog though, listen to what Nike said and JUST DO IT! Once I made my decision to become a mom blogger… I made myself a Wordpres.com account, bought myself a DSLR camera and never looked back ๐Ÿ™‚

“Should I post every day?”

I started my blog when I was on maternity leave with my 2nd baby, Landon. It will actually be my 2 years of blogging in a few months! Since I was on maternity leave and my husband was (still is) super hands on, I managed to get a post up every day. I think that’s what helped jump start my blog to be honest. Now a days, I just post when I can because it’s definitely better to have quality over quantity! If you can give good, quality posts every day… I say go for it!! Be authentic, especially in the beginning when you might not have collaboration requests yet, share everything you love… products, recipes, favorite outfits, or whatever fits your niche! OH and always tag the brands you post about.

“What platform do you use?”

I use WordPress.com but have been wanting to switch to WordPress.org because their sites are more customizable and look more professional! Hey, maybe my blog will get a complete new look for my 2 years?!

“How did you find your target audience?”

Finding a specific niche was tough for me because there are just so many bloggers these days and it’s so hard to set yourself apart. Yes, I’m a mom but I love everything about fashion and beauty. I eventually decided to go with a mom lifestyle niche and still focus on fashion and beauty. Most of my followers are fellow mamas, which I love, then I also have some who are interested in my fashion and beauty posts.

“How do you work with brands?”

When I first started, I posted about products that I truly loved and always tagged them and used appropriate hash tags on my IG posts. Also, when you do start collaborating with brands, always be honest with your audience about the products. I’ve actually turned down collabs because their product wasn’t beneficial for me and my audience.

“How do you reach out to companies?”

Most companies have their Instagram accounts set up as a business account so you have an option to click “e-mail” on their IG page. When you feel comfortable, you can totally e-mail them and introduce yourself, share you social media accounts and pitch a possible collaboration.

“What camera do you use?”

I use a Canon Rebel T6i… it was a splurge but I knew that I eventually wanted to make my blog a side business so you’re going to need good, quality photos that brands and followers will appeal to. If you have an iPhone though, that works too! I edit all my pictures using Adobe Lightroom (even the iPhone shots). Just know that you may need to spend some money to market yourself.

“Do you make money?”

A lot of people who reach out to me about blogging asks if they can make money… you totally can! I feel grateful to have paid collaborations here and there but that is after more than a year of putting in A LOT of work and COUNTLESS hours into growing my blog and IG. (Honestly, once I started blogging I was so surprised at how much work it really takes… it’s more than a pretty IG feed). You can’t just expect to start a blog and all of sudden make a ton of money… patience, patience, patience. You should start a blog for the right reason which is sharing information/products/etc. that people will find helpful. It will help to really love what you do.

Well I hope that helps you guys! Let me know if you have other questions. You can ask me personally too by DM’ing me on Instagram: @rainaelegadoย ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great holiday weekend!

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New Drugstore Beauty Finds

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If you’ve been following my blog or IG for some time now, you know that I am obsessed with make-up! It’s a bit of a problem… according to my husband that is lol. I mean, you can never have too much make-up right?! Any way, if you didn’t already know what I do for a living… I work at a school where I help produce the Musical Production Shows and teach dance, which is totally my dream job. Why does that matter on this post? Well, this mama of 3 can’t go bare face to work so I do wear make-up everyday but can’t go super glam because I’m going to be dancing and sweating haha. I used to wear my name brand make-up products everyday like my Make Up Forever powder foundation and my Shiseido mascara baseย everyday. Let’s be real though, it was starting to break the bank SO I did some research to see what drugstore make-up are good dupes to the name brand ones to wear during the work week and save my more expensive products for the weekend.

What I found out is that a lot of the drugstore brands are owned by the bigger name brands, like Lancome, and are just branded differently SO we are getting a lot of the same products at the drugstore that we would get at Sephora or department stores. Not all of course but I did some research and these products definitely have my approval!

Powder: Maybelline Fit Me Set + Smooth Pressed Powder

Retractable Brush: Sonia Kashuk (Love that it has a cover so it doesn’t get dirty from everything I have in my make-up bag)

Concealer: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer (dupe of Nars concealer)

Foundation: L’oreal True Match Lumi (dupe of Giorgio Armani foundation)

Lash Primer: L’oreal Voluminous Primer (my FAVE find of them all because I just love lash primers and have been spending a fortune on Shiseido’s mascara base and this one works just as good and easier to take off)

Well, I hope I convinced you to got Target some time today to pick these products up! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy almost Friday!!

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Happy 3rd Birthday, Scarlett Rae!

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3 years ago today, my life changed forever… I officially became a mommy. I remember being excited and nervous all at the same time. My life no longer consisted of just caring for myself, Leo and our doggies, rather we now hadย a little human being who was under our care and who would impact all of our decisions from then on. Scarlett showed her sassy personality right away (fussy as newborns can get) and she already knew what she wanted right away, like nap all day and stay up all night (specifically 3 – 7am haha).

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I’m typing this post about her and she’s right next to me and it’s so crazy to think that she’s been in my life for 3 years now and it’s truly hard to imagine how life was without her. I still remember the first time I held her and how I felt a different type of love that I never knew existed. She has grown into such a smart and spunky 3-year-old beside me who I love spending time with, having funny conversations with and sharing special moments with.

In honor Scarlett’s birthday, I want to share a bunch some random things about her:

  1. She says the darnest things. When Leo and I talk to her, she’ll say stuff back and we just start cracking up because we have no idea where she learned them from.
  2. She LOVES to perform. She doesn’t like it when we ask her to but as soon as we play the music, she can’t help but start to sing, act and dance. Her faves right now are How Far I’ll Go, Let it Go, Single Ladies by the Chippettes, and a bunch of the songs from the movie “Sing.”
  3. She’s obsessed with going to dance class. She actually retains all the terms and movement, even though she only goes once a week. I bribe her with skittles after so I can take her weekly dance outfit picture after haha. She loves wearing leotards, tutus and ballet shoes… a girl after my own heart ๐Ÿ™‚
  4. Her favorite things to play with (and watch on YouTube) are play-doh.
  5. Sometimes when she’s playing, she pretends she’s bring recorded like her favorite YouTube Star and she’ll all of a sudden say “Hi everyone, I’m Scarlett and I’m playing with yellow play-doh!” Haha.
  6. She’s definitely been a ‘threenager’ for awhile now and can be so sassy but she’s very caring. Every time any of us get hurt, she’s the first to ask if we’re ok and kisses our “boo-boo.”
  7. She likes watching me put make-up on and play with them whenever she sneaks into my make-up bag haha. She even knows what everything is for, thanks to YouTube Disney Princesses make-up videos she used to watch. She also knows all the Disney Princesses, her favorite right now is Queen Elsa.
  8. She calls everyone her “friends” but me and her daddy are her “best friends.” She started calling us her “pawents” too… love it!
  9. She has so much fun playing with Landon up until he starts bothering her. She just adores Liam or in her words “Baby Yee-Yum.” When he cries, she’ll tell me right away and even try to calm him down by saying “shh” or try to make him laugh.
  10. She still pronounces some colors wrong but we don’t mind cause it’s too cute. She says lellow, greem, and wipe (white).
  11. Her imagination is insane. I love watching her play and how she uses her toys to be anything she wants. She’s also really good at building legos!
  12. She loves to pretend to be me sometimes and calls me “sweetheart” cause that’s what I call her lol.
  13. She has a blast coming with me to run errands like get my daily Starbucks and especially “the store” AKA Target! We’ll literally be at the dollar section for awhile.
  14. Her favorite foods right now are soup, mac n cheese, and bananas.
  15. She knows how to work my phone and get to her coloring app.
  16. As soon as we get home from somewhere, she goes straight to her room to put her shoes away.
  17. She still loves to cuddle with me, especially at night before she goes to sleep and in the morning when she wakes up.
  18. She has biggest personality and some extreme facials! Haha. Everyone who meets her always tell me how entertaining she is.
  19. She loves things in quantity and is super organized! She’s super smart and amazes me every day.
  20. When I say “love you, Scarlett” she always says back “love you, Mom” *tears*

I did the same thing last year and I had so much fun reading my random facts about her then because a lot has changed in just a year! I’m definitely hugging my baby girl tighter tonight because one day she won’t just be a ‘threenager’ but an actual teenager. Omg! Excuse me while I go ball my eyes out looking at old pictures of Scarlett ๐Ÿ˜›

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My Favorite Apps

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Happy 2nd day of 2018 everyone! In honor of my new Ghostek phone case, I wanted to share some of my favorite apps that you definitely need to download stat ๐Ÿ™‚

Mamas: The Wonder Weeks (A personalized weekly calendar of your babyโ€™s mental development that will keep you informed about the leaps and bounds and the fussy phases of your baby.. SO helpful)

Photo: Photoshop Fixย (I do all of my editing on Adobe Lightroom on my laptop but if I want to post a picture ASAP on IG, I use this app by Adobe)

Finance: Cash Appย (It’s like venmo but better! What’s great about it is that you’re able to transfer it,3 instantly to your bank account with a small 5% fee)

Blog Related: LIKEtoKNOW.it (I’m sure you’ve seen this on your fave blogger’s instagram so if you don’t have it yet, you need it! It makes it so much easier to get their outfit deets cause they’re sent to your e-mail as soon as you “LIKE” or screenshot the picture. Follow me @rainaelegado)

E-mail: Unroll.Me (This helps clean up your inbox to get rid of the unwanted e-mail blasts that you probably subscribed to awhile ago but no longer want anymore)

Instagram: Hype Typeย (Love this for my IG stories! You can create creative videos with the text, makes it look more profesh)

Productivity: Forest (I shared this app in my previous post since it’s helping me achieve my New Year’s resolution which is being more present. Read more about it here)

Groceries:ย Shopping List Easeย (Due to my over spending at Target, my hubby now makes me bring a shopping list LOL. I love this app because it separates the grocery item by category)

P.S. My phone case is from Ghostek! I love it because it’s sleek, simple, not too thick but is so protective. This is coming from someone who drops their phone often lol. Dress is from Vibe Apparel Co… only $15!

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Hello 2018!

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Happy New Year!!! 2017 was such a memorable year and my most favorite memory would have to be when my little Liam was born ๐Ÿ™‚ As much as it’s important to set new goals for yourself throughout the year, there’s just something about starting fresh on a brand new year, am I right?! Leo and I were sharing all of our new year’s resolutions with each other last night and gave each other permission to hold each other accountable, which helps so much in reaching goals! I have a few on my list like being more organized (mom duties, work, blog, etc.) and working out (of course haha) but I wanted to share my #1 resolution for 2018… it’s to be more present.

I could be the first to admit that as a lifestyle blogger, it’s hard to balance blog life and real life. A lot of times I find myself updating my Instagram to see how many more new likes I got on a post and trying to engage with other accounts to continue to grow mine. It’s crazy! I LOVE blogging and it’s been such a great creative outlet for me but it’s definitely a challenge to turn that mindset off sometimes.

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I’m so glad to have received the book “Present Over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist in last month’s Faithbox! It arrived a couple weeks ago and I was thrilled because I knew that being more present is my #1 resolution for this upcoming year. I’m not done with the whole book yet but so far, so good. I’m learning to try to not be so controlling of situations, be more acceptable to change, and to go with the flow more which are all good things to apply in my life because usually I’m not a fan of when things don’t go my way haha.

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I also found this amazing app that will help me with my New Year’s resolution of being more present… it’s called Forest. Basically, you log into the app and set a timer for how long you don’t want to touch your phone and during that time, a tree/plant will be planting and once it’s fully grown that means you completed the time that you set for yourself. I love this so much because as a blogger, it’s so easy to get addicted to social media. Blogger or not though, you need this app! It’s awesome for when you want to get things done without the temptation of scrolling through Instagram or Facebook or when you just want to be present at family functions without the distraction of your phone. You’re welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you all had a wonderful NYE and an even better year ahead. Here’s to making 2018 the best year yet! What are some of your resolutions?! I want to know in the comments! xo

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