Lifestyle Blogger – Creative Must-Haves

Over my two years of blogging, I have discovered several blogging “creative must-haves.” For lifestyle bloggers in particular, blogging requires being open to our surroundings and learning about different topics to communicate to our audiences.  We share our hearts and emotions, and huge parts of ourselves to people we’ve never met online.  How do we reach a creative, insightful end product? A beautiful blog full of heart and soul and ideas to wow audiences?

Y O U (2)


Photo Watercolor Backdrop – My Textile Design

It’s all about using your resources and creating the right environment for your blog to succeed. We all know that it takes more than writing to have a blog–it takes design, photography, marketing and much more “behind-the-scenes” work. It means living a creative life and gaining inspiration to make our blogs shine. Are you ready to do that? I hope these creative resources can help you in your blog journey, as they have done wonders for my own creativity!

1.  Camera/Camera Accessories

Having high-quality photos can turn a good blog into a great blog. Having my trusty DSLR camera by my side has been so helpful for blog photos. I have the Nikon D200 which is a great DSLR to start off with.  Don’t think you need to have a DSLR to have great photos for your blog. Using a smartphone and apps like VSCOcam can produce amazing photography as well! I usually use a combination of iPhone photos and DSLR photos when shooting images for my blog. You get different effects, which are good to compare afterwards when editing photos.

Camera – Nikon D200
Lenses – I have 2 lenses. A Nikon 50mm f/1.8 and a Nikon 24-120mm f/4. The 50mm is my main lens as it’s perfect for covering the majority of what I shoot, plus it’s light and fast.
Speed Flash – Nikon SB-600
Camera Bag – Porteen Gear Bag
Camera Strap – iMo Strap (Chevron)


2.  Photoshop Elements

This program, for me has been a game changer.  I was torn into buying the full version of Photoshop or buying Photoshop Elements.  The main reason I wanted this program was to edit photos.  Photoshop is more in depth, but for what I’m was going to be using it for – Elements was a way better investment for me, at a much cheaper price tag.

You can get your Photoshop Elements Program HERE


3. Blog Organization

Ever since I started blogging, I had an obsession with this organizational notepad by Thyme Is Honey.  This list works great for putting down the most important tasks for the day – which includes planning for blog posts.  Making sure to break up the day for your 3 main meals is crucial.  Its a great way to take 30 minutes to whip up a meal and take a small break from what seems like the never-ending list of to-do’s.  Checking items off of a to-do list is one of my favorite and rewarding things.

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4.  Porteen Gear Camera Bag + iMo Camera Strap

Accessories are a girl’s best friends – and that stays true even when it comes to camera accessories.  Ever since I got my new camera, I have been on the hunt for a great camera bag +strap.

Porteen Gear has very stylish and bohemian style camera bags for every style.  Just look at the inside (A couple of photos down (c/o)) –  Swoon! Take a look at their online shop HERE

I came across this chevron camera strap (c/0) from iMo and knew I needed to get my hands on it.  Check out their online shop HERE


IMG_2612_edited-2 IMG_2614_edited-2 IMG_2619_edited-2

5.  A Creative Spot

Whether it’s sitting at a bench in a park, curled up on your couch or soaking in the sunshine through your kitchen window, having a designated place for blogging and creative work can help get new ideas flowing. It’s always nice to have an inspiring place that makes us feel like home. For me, I love decorating the walls in my room to inspire me, and I love working on the futon in our living room with the sun shining through the windows. Your place could be a coffee shop downtown or in a library. But it’s good to know what environments fuel us creatively and push us outside our comfort zones to create meaningful work for this world.

6.  A Creative Spot

Having a designated place for blogging and creative work can help get new ideas flowing. Your place could be a coffee shop downtown or in a library. But it’s good to know what environments fuel us creatively and push us outside our comfort zones to create meaningful work for this world.  My creative spot is our kitchen island, believe it or not.  The sun shines perfectly there, and I feel the most inspired in that particular spot.

7.  A Blogging Community

I could go on and on for days about how I love connecting to bloggers and getting to know them on a deeper level. Plus, being involved in communities gives us the support when we have blogging questions or technology problems or want to share some good news! Some of the communities I love are #fireworkpeople and The B Bar. The B Bar has a linkup every month to meet new bloggers from all over.  This month’s linkup subject asks you the question, “What are your hidden talents.” Are you joining in?

What creative tools do you use on a regular basis? Do you have any must-haves for blogging?

*This post does contain affiliate links.*


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  • Reply Chloe July 8, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Wonderful tips and advice!! Thanks for sharing….so this may be a stupid question, how do you tell what kind of lens to use for the project? I generally use my 18-55mm but have another one that I call “the big zoomer”.

    • Nicole Thien
      Reply Nicole Thien July 24, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      Thank You! I definitely appreciate it! It all varies on what I’m taking photos of – If I’m styling photos close up I use my “big zoomer” but when I’m taking pictures of people in a photo shoot, I would use the 18-55 like you have! Hope that helps.

  • Reply Suze Ford July 28, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Awesome advice! I can relate to so many of these! Awesome advice about connecting with a community too!

    • Nicole Thien
      Reply Nicole Thien July 28, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks Suze! It was fun creating this list. It is great finding a community within blogging to connect with!

  • Reply Mary October 31, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Great list! I mostly shoot with the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 as well–love it! And I’m swooning over that camera bag. It’s gorgeous!

  • Reply jusztravel October 31, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Love the camera strap and the bag!

  • Reply HayliDJ October 31, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    These are great for any blogger 🙂 not just lifestyle

  • Reply Heather with WELLFITandFED October 31, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I love the bag. It is gorgeous. You have a lovely style about you too!

  • Reply Chantal October 31, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Oooh what a pretty camera bag! I can’t wait to make a good camera investment for my blog. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Amanda @ Grad Girl October 31, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    That planner is beautiful! I’ve been using the boring ol’ iCal, but the paper ones are getting too pretty to resist!

  • Reply Shadi October 31, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Excellent post! I really needed something like this to organize my thoughts!

  • Reply Carol Cassara (@ccassara) November 1, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Some very good advice for all bloggers! Definitely must-haves for us.

  • Reply Sarah Bailey November 1, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    I love these and so true – I don’t do well with organisation myself that’s something I need to work on a lot. x

  • Reply Kathryn with Going Zero Waste November 1, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I also have photoshop elements, and I love it!!

  • Reply Sarah November 1, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Oh my gosh I love this! And that camera bag + camera strap oh mercy, I need.

  • Reply Ashley November 1, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    What great tips! I love what you said about finding a creative space, it’s so important!

  • Reply Diane November 1, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Good advice – thanks! 😀

  • Reply Alicia November 1, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Great advice love! I love the organizational note pad – I need one of these! Did you find it easy to get your head around Photoshop Elements? I’ve tried Photoshop once and even though i’m pretty tech-savvy it completely baffled me so i’ve been avoiding it ever since. Not sure I can live without it for much longer though!

  • Reply Claire November 2, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Yes these are definitely all musts! I also love using lightroom!

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