5 Apps Every Blogger Should Use

     The community of kind young women has to be one of my favorite things about blogging.  That being said, I love to share advice and ideas with other bloggers!  Today I’m sharing five apps I have found to be super helpful in regard to blogging and its correlated social media platforms!  These apps are by no means necessities for producing good content, but I think they’ve definitely made my blogging experience easier and made my content more successful!  A few of these apps have also helped me with my personal social media accounts, so even if you aren’t a blogger you might still find this post beneficial!  Enjoy!

1. Planoly


     Planoly allows you to upload and schedule your Instagram posts!  If I know I have a busy week ahead, I often use Planoly to schedule my Instagram posts so I don’t have to take the time to pick, edit, and caption a post amidst my busy after school schedule.  Once you upload a photo to the Planoly app, you can caption and schedule it.  Scheduling a post means that you will receive a notification at the scheduled time, please note that this app will not upload your posts for you!  However, once you open the app through the notification, your caption is automatically copied and Planoly opens Instagram for you, so all you have to do is paste the caption, tag any accounts you planned on tagging in the photo itself, and hit post!  My friend Olivia from @oliviasteppyt on Instagram showed this app to me when I took over her Instagram while she was at camp this past summer and it has totally changed my Instagram game.

2. Hype Type


     I get asked constantly about how I make my animated Instagram stories, and this is it! Even with just the free version, you can use Hype Type to create animated Instagram stories with moving text and background music!  Paying to upgrade to the full version of the app allows you to remove the Hype Type watermark from your animations and creates a greater number of font and color choices for your text.  I recently upgraded to the full version and love it, but I definitely think the free version is perfectly useful as well!



     Using Planoly covers this area as well, but for a long time before I knew about Planoly I used UNUM to arrange my Instagram photos to my liking.  If you’re one to follow a theme or just desire a cohesive Instagram feed you’ll love this app!  UNUM allows you to upload several images and arrange and rearrange them to your liking so you know what order to post the photos in (or which photos to post at all).  Scheduling posts on Planoly also displays your projected feed, but if you’d just like to quickly see which photo or edit works best with your account’s theme UNUM is a little more convenient.

4. When to Post


     It may feel like it’s just you who struggles with engagement, but truth is it’s everyone right now.  The fluctuation in likes relies heavily on when you post and when most of your followers are on the Instagram app.  When to Post tracks your following’s most active hours on Instagram and gives you three times that are ideal for posting each day so you can maximize engagement!  I refer to this app daily and while it’s not always going to result in an insane number of likes, I’ve definitely noticed that my posts do better when I follow When to Post’s suggestions rather than going against when it advises me to post.

4. LIKEtoKNOW.it


     I recently joined LIKEtoKNOW.it’s influencer community, but I had the app and used it frequently way before I was invited to join the program!  If you have the app, shopping your favorite influencer’s posts (as long as they use LIKEtoKNOW.it) can be as easy as screenshotting an Instagram post and opening an app.  Having the app gives you more opportunities to connect with other bloggers and shop what they’re shopping.

Thanks for reading!

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My 17 Favorite Blogs of 2017

     It’s not often enough that I stop to share my favorite blogs with y’all.  Within the fashion blogging community, I am surrounded with tons of beautiful, talented, passionate young women who have been nothing less than kind to me in my time blogging.  This time last year I shared a post called “My 16 Favorite Blogs of 2016,” so this year I thought I’d do the same thing (except plus one because “My 16 Favorite Blogs of 2017” wouldn’t quite make sense)!  I hope you love hearing about these fabulous ladies as much as I’ve loved getting to know them and read their content myself!

  1. Dani Austin – Dani Austin has hands down become one of my favorite fashion blogger finds this year.  Her Instagram stories are always hilarious (so are her YouTube videos), her clothes are just the cutest, and her blog looks so professional and sleek.
  2. Live the Prep Life – Brooke’s fashion and lifestyle blog and YouTube channel are rather impressive for a high school sophomore.  Her content is constantly impressing me and her sense of style is so great!  She’s also one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met!
  3. Styled by McKenz – McKenzie’s drive for blogging and consistent posting never fails to amaze me.  Not only does she manage to publish about five blog posts a week, but they’re also always good quality.  McKenzie is also so nice and her trendy chic outfits are some of my favorites on my Instagram feed!
  4. CNPrepster – Cayleigh cares more about her followers than just about any blogger I follow.  She not only posts the basic gift guides and lookbooks necessary to assist her readers in preparation for big events and holidays, but she’s constantly searching for ways to bring her readers what they want.
  5. Lonestar Southern – With her bright wardrobe, Southern accent, and beautifully crafted Instagram stories, Kate is sure to steal your fashion blog-loving heart.  I feel like I’ve been reading the Lonestar Southern blog for years and it’s always packed with helpful shopping guides, gorgeous outfits, and detailed travel guides.
  6. MollyPreps – As a senior in high school, Molly is bringing her love for preppy Southern style and Christian faith to her blog.  I’ve gotten to know Molly this year through the Jadelynn Brooke high school ambassador program and she’s too kind!  I adore her drive and genuine love for people.
  7. A Sunny State of Mind – Meg’s blog has been a favorite of mine for years.  She has the neatest style, often posts fun recipes that meet her strict diet due to her several food intolerances, and is such an advocate for female empowerment.  She’s just a genuinely cool and kind human and her blog certainly reflects that!
  8. Ebulliently Ella – Ella is a little younger than me, but her blog is so adorably well written!  Her style is just the cutest and her Instagram photos are so creative!
  9. Absolutely Olivia – I came across Olivia’s blog when she started commenting on my Instagram posts this year.  Her style is super trendy but she also posts about her love for photography, beauty, and lifestyle.  She goes to YoungLife too, just like me!
  10. The Style Journal – Carolina, a High Point University student, runs another cute fashion and lifestyle blog.  I love her recipes, lifestyle tips, and adorable outfits!
  11. Belle of the Ball – I’ve been following Abby’s blog and Instagram much longer than I’ve had my own blog.  Abby’s classic New England style has always inspired my own in one way or another and she’s so kind to her followers!  She’s had tons of experience working with companies, especially considering she’s only a college student, and I don’t see her blog slowing down anytime soon.
  12. So Chic so Miche – Michelle, or “Miche,” is a college student with and amazing sense of style, awesome experiences from traveling abroad, and great advice to share.  Her blog layout is one of my favorites and I think you’ll love her blog if you like mine!
  13. The Road Les Traveled – Lesley’s blog is a fun melange of her travel adventures with a dabbling in fashion.  I am so beyond jealous that she’s been able to make a career out of traveling!
  14. Gracefully Ginger – Grace was a new Jadelynn Brooke ambassador this semester and was in a small group of girls that Jadelynn Brooke asked me to mentor!  Grace has great style and isn’t afraid to get personal with her followers, which I personally love.
  15. Sunshinestatejulia – As her blog name suggests, Julia is a fashion and lifestyle blogger based in Florida.  Julia’s blog layout is as beautiful and colorful as the content it contains.  You’ll love her bright personality and creative posts!
  16. Carly the Prepster – Perhaps the most iconic and well known on this list is Carly Heitlinger.  Carly has been blogging since college and has now made a career out of it.  Her classy and chic style keeps me coming back to her blog but she also shares lots of food, fitness, and lifestyle related posts!
  17. The Brightest of the Bunch – Just as the name of her blog suggests, NC State lifestyle blogger Olivia’s style is certainly bright.  Olivia’s Instagram, blog, and YouTube followings are growing fast thanks to her hard work and preppy outfits!

Thanks for reading!  Be sure to follow some of these blogs in the new year!

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How I Edit My Instagram Pictures

     As weird as it sounds, I love editing pictures.  I’ve had the VSCO app since it was called “VSCOcam” back in 2014 and I’ve loved it ever since!  Today I’m sharing how I edit my Instagram pictures for my account that corresponds with this blog, @apocketfuloffaith.  I’ve always loved watching “How I Edit My Instagram Pictures” YouTube videos so I thought this might be fun!  I’m by no means a pro, but I really like the way I’ve been editing my pictures lately!  Keep in mind, these steps vary from photo to photo, but this is typically about what I do.  Enjoy!

     After I take and upload the photo from my camera (I use a Canon EOS Rebel T6), I open my photography/editing folder on my iPhone.  These are all of the apps I ever use on my Instagram photos, but it’s very rare that I use anything aside from VSCO, so that’s all I’m going to show you today!  I really love VSCO and I would definitely recommend downloading it if you don’t have it already, it’s free and it will seriously improve your Instagram game if you use it correctly!


     Once I’ve opened the Instagram app, I choose “Import” and select the photo(s) I’m considering posting.  Today it’s just one, but often I’ll have a few that are pretty similar and I’ll edit all of them before choosing one to post.


     Now that I’ve uploaded the picture to VSCO, you can get a better look at the before.  I don’t think anything about this picture looks really bad, it’s just a little darker and less colorful than I’d like it to be.


     The first thing I do to all of my Instagram pictures is choose the filter C6.  As extra as it sounds, I did buy this filter in a package on VSCO but there are lots of great free options too!  If you’re not willing to put down money on photo editing (I wasn’t until a few months ago), I would highly recommend the filter C1 if you’re looking for a colorful theme, HB1 or HB2 for a more minimalistic, black and white kind of theme, and F2 for a colorful but soft, muted look.  You can actually adjust the intensity of your filter by tapping on it again and playing with the levels, but personally I usually just leave it all the way up.


     The first thing I really mess with after I’ve filtered the picture is exposure.  I usually turn it up just a smidge if the picture’s a little darker like I mentioned this one was, but sometimes when I use flash the pictures appear a little washed out and then I would turn the exposure down to -1 or -2.


     After I’ve brightened up the picture a bit, I like to turn up the contrast just a little too.  This usually makes your photos look like they’re better quality than they actually are, even if it was taken with an iPhone (been there)!  The trick is to turn it up no higher than 2, once you pass 2 the picture’s shadows begin to get too dark and the highlight points become white.


     Next I like to use the straighten tool to make sure all of the lines in my picture are straight.  When a photo is taken without a tripod usually they’re a little crooked, so this is really helpful.  I think having all of the lines in a picture straight (like the line where the road meets the grass in this picture) makes it more aesthetically pleasing to the human eye and therefore more likable if you know what I’m saying!


     After straightening the image I usually turn up the sharpness a bit.  I would recommend never turning your sharpness up past 4, at that point photos tend to become grainy, dark, and honestly kind of ugly.


     Once I’ve sharpened the picture I usually like to turn up the clarity a bit too.  This feature also helps to add more definition to the picture, but the same “don’t go past 4” rule applies here too.


     Here’s a little trick for my fellow pale girls out there.  I discovered the highlights feature a couple years ago while messing around with settings on a picture and it has been a bit of a life changer.  Turning highlights up to about 7 or 8 will decrease the flash or sunlight reflection on your face (or whatever your picture’s subject might be) and make your skin appear a tad darker.  Yes, I just taught you how to make yourself appear realistically tanner in photos, you’re welcome.  This trick is especially helpful for all of those late night, bright flash photos that tend to make your face look completely washed out.


     Next I like to turn up the saturation just a bit to bring a little more color to the photo.  This tool can definitely make or break a photo.  If you use this the right way, it’ll make your pictures seem bright and colorful, but if you use it the wrong way it’ll be super obvious and your skin will literally be orange.  I would recommend never turning the saturation up past 4.


     At this point, I’m pretty much done editing the photo, but I like to go back to the initial exposure setting and turn it up a little more now that there’s so much edit on the picture.  Settings like clarity, sharpness, and contrast are all great, but they often make a picture grow darker, so always check exposure again before saving the photo.


     My camera takes pictures that are classified as “2:3” and “3:2” in VSCO, but Instagram makes you crop it to what VSCO calls “3:4.”  I usually do this cropping in the VSCO app instead of through Instagram because I’d rather crop the photo than zoom into it more, which is all Instagram really allows you to do.


     This is the final product!  I like my photos to look realistically bright and colorful and I think this editing does a nice job of accomplishing that.  Like I mentioned in the intro, this editing varies from photo to photo because the lighting isn’t the same in every single picture I take, but this is a good example of what I usually do!


Thanks for reading!  The outfit shown in the image I edited for you today is featured in this blog post.  Be sure to check it out (linked here) and find all the details on this outfit there!

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Two Year Blogiversary

     Today I’d like to share something sort of special with you all.  While I have prewritten this post to go up while I’m at YoungLife camp, this specific date is so special to me and I want y’all to know that.  May 31st is the anniversary, “blogiversary” if you will, of this blog, and today marks two years.  It’s so crazy to think that it’s been two years since I decided to make my own blog and it’s even crazier to look at how far it, and I, have come.

     Two years ago, I was leaving middle school with a big love for Lilly Pulitzer and monograms (which has since decreased a bit), passion for writing and fashion (that definitely hasn’t changed), some outfit photos taken on my iPhone 5s (boy am I glad that has changed!), and a little fashion Instagram, @apocketfulofprep.  I’d begged and begged my parents to allow me to start a blog and was so thrilled to finally have the permission to do so.  I had no idea what I was getting into and if you told me then that I would become an ambassador for Jadelynn Brooke, own a DSLR camera, have over three thousand Instagram followers, make travel videos, and write a total of 111 blog posts in the next two years, I would’ve thought you had the wrong Faith.  I didn’t realize the commitment that having a successful blog entailed nor did I realize how much fun it had the potential to be.

     As a person I have shifted from large obsessions with material possessions to grasping onto experiences, whether it’s a concert, trip, or night at YoungLife club.  As my relationship with Christ grew, I decided to use this platform as a place to share God’s love every once in a while and I think that’s one of the best decisions I could have made for this blog.  I have begun living a life of adventure with God and I have never been happier.  I hope you can see this through some of what I write, as that has become my one of my greatest missions.

     A year ago, I was almost somewhat ashamed of this blog.  I was teased for my blog all through freshman year of high school which wore down my motivation to make time to write blog posts and ultimately led to me taking a long hiatus.  Before sophomore year began, I decided I wanted to own up to this creative space I had made and make it something to be proud of.  I reread and edited all of my old posts, adjusted and reorganized my site, and began posting regularly again.  I later invested in a blog domain and renamed my site A Pocketful of Faith to expand the blog and leave the name I was teased about for a year.  I came to realize that this is something I love, something worth fighting for.  This blog has illuminated my passion for style, writing, photography, and sharing God’s love.  It has helped me realize what I want to do with my current life and with my future.

     Thank you so so much for your support in this blog, whether you’ve been following me from the very start or you’re reading it for the first time today.  It means the absolute world to me that you take time out of your day to read the things I have to say and look at what I’m wearing.  That’s still so surreal to me.  I appreciate you all more than you could ever know and your comments, direct messages, likes, participation in livestreams, and emails never fail to brighten my day.

I love you all so very much.  See you here tomorrow for a new outfit post!

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My 16 Favorite Blogs of 2016

     If you follow multiple blogs, you’ve probably seen a number of “Links I Love” posts or something of the sort where bloggers share their favorite blogs with their readers.  I’ve always thought about it, but have never gotten around to writing a post like that.  Today, in honor of approaching the end of the year, I thought I would share sixteen of my favorite blogs of 2016.  These blogs are run by young women in whom I see class, kindness, ambition, and style in and I am so happy to share the works of these lovely ladies with you all.  It is my pleasure to have acquaintances with a few of these girls and I have truly loved getting to know them through collaborations, giveaways, and snail mail throughout 2016.  Without further adieu, here are my sixteen favorite blogs of 2016!

  1. A Sunny State of Mind – Meg is a high school blogger I’ve read from and collaborated with and I have to say I just can’t get enough.  She’s so sweet and all of her posts on her blog and Instagram are just plain adorable.  Her style started as “preppy” but has definitely evolved and I love it.
  2. The Road Les Traveled – If you’re looking for a blogger that will give you a serious case of wanderlust, Lesley Murphy will fulfill your need.  Not only does she get to travel 24/7, have the cutest closet, and is absolutely drop dead gorgeous, she was also on season 17 of The Bachelor.  Cool, huh?
  3. Belleoftheball45 – Abigail is one of the bloggers that made me want to start my own blog.  Her style is pretty well described as “classic New England prep” and her blog is so well done!  She’s worked with a ton of companies including Vineyard Vines, KJP, and Jadelynn Brooke.
  4. Lonestar Southern – Kate is a fashion blogger from Texas and her style is seriously my favorite.  She follows trends but always stays modest and classy which I love!  I also follow her on Snapchat and her Southern accent is the cutest.
  5. Classy Girls Wear Pearls – Sarah Vickers, better known as the wife of KJP, has one of the oldest “preppy” blogs and has been an inspiration to each of the newer preppy bloggers in some shape or form.  She’s such a classy woman and her relationship with Kiel is actual goals.
  6. Navy Striped Peonies – Paulina is a high school senior from New England.  Her style is also best described as classic New England prep, much like that of Abigail and Sarah Vickers who are mentioned above.  Paulina began her blog just a few months before I started mine and I’ve always loved reading her posts.  She’s made stickers and sent them out to readers and I was so happy to receive one (little fangirl moment haha)!
  7. The College Prepster – Carly Heitlinger is one of the first bloggers I ever followed and I have loved every post she’s written from the start.  Her super chic, classy Kate Spade-esque style and constant travels into New York City never fails to draw me in.  I also love watching Carly’s vlogs, she has the cutest dogs named Theodore and Hamilton (are those not the cutest dog names you’ve ever heard?).
  8. I Believe in Pink –  Amy is a senior in college at the University of Richmond as well as a life, style, and travel blogger.  Her style is similar to Kate (from Lonestar Southern, mentioned above) in its class and simultaneous trendiness.  Her bright smile and fun style radiates in my Instagram feed and her blog posts are some of my favorites!
  9. Lucky Day – Shelby Revis is a Lilly lover and Disney parks pass holder located in Celebration, Florida.  Her blog posts are typically fashion or Disney related, which are two things I adore!  Her younger sister, Bailey, has an Etsy shop called SailBows (I’m pretty sure Shelby co-owns it) in which she sells “preppy park ears” (the original Lilly Pulitzer mouse ears), which honestly totally describe them both.
  10. Kelly in the City – Kelly Larkin is a preppy Chicago blogger who is often seen in a Lilly Pulitzer shift or a Barbour jacket.  She’s married and this year she had the most beautiful baby girl named Emma!  Emma has already made appearances on her mother’s blog and adds to the love I already had for Kelly’s blog posts.
  11. Preppy NYC – You might recognize this name from a couple collaborative posts I’ve done this year (here and here).  Fiona is a super sweet friend that I’ve made through blogging who lives in New York and travels yearly to Nantucket (I’m so jealous).  She, like a few other bloggers I’ve mentioned, has a classic New England style and I love it!
  12. Live the Prep Life – Brooke is another friend I’ve made through blogging who is located in Texas.  She’s so sweet and her style is what I would describe as Southern prep, consisting of Lilly shorts, Lauren James dresses, and things of that sort.  Her blog reminds me of mine when I first started in summer of 2015 and I love reading her posts!
  13. Daily Dose of Prep – Lucy, who goes to James Madison University in Virginia, is preppy life and style blogger from Richmond, VA.  I love her sense of style and when she is home from college she works at the Lilly store in her local mall (job goals!).  She is also a rep for KJP (the brand owned by Sarah Vickers, listed above, and her husband Kiel), which I think is super cool.
  14. XOXO Allison Nicole – Allison Nicole is a college student at the University of Kansas who runs a lifestyle blog with the occasional fashion post.  What I really love about this blog is how authentic and incredibly herself Allison Nicole seems to be.  Read a few of her posts and you’ll see she seems so fun and spirited!
  15. Preppy Life Texas – This blog is run by three super sweet middle school girls I have met through the Jadelynn Brooke ambassador program; Mackenzie, Gabrielle, and Avery.  Mackenzie and Avery are twins, and Gabrielle completes their best friend group.  Their blog is absolutely adorable and I can’t wait to read more of their posts as their blog grows!
  16. Classic Katie – Katie is a preppy blogger from the Richmond area with a super classy style.  It’s not at all rare to see her blog and YouTube channel feature pieces from Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines.

Thanks for reading!  I hope you check out some of these blogs and enjoy them as much as I do!

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