Instagram Story Tips

I learned a couple Instagram story tips/tricks recently and thought I’d share. You may already know these, but if not, here you go…

The first is if you want a plain background to just put text on (or a gif or a photo).
• Go to add a new story
• Take a photo (it doesn’t matter of what)
• Hit the paintbrush – like you’re going to draw something
• Select the color you want as your background
• Hold your finger down on the screen for a few seconds
• Voila!

Second…how to put multiple photos into one Instagram story frame. Yes, there are apps to make it prettier and I use those, but sometimes I’d just like to throw a couple of photos/videos up and be done. Basically, you turn them into stickers that you paste into the story. What?! Yes. Check out the video below for the how-to (it also mentions quickly my first tip above).

ALSO, while surfing Youtube, I came across a great video with lots of tips/tricks for making your Instagram Stories pop! Click over to Youtube to check it out —>

Hello *waves*

Hello again. It’s been a little while, eh?

Since it feels a kind of awkward to just jump back in, how about a [re]introduction and an update…

I’m Katie, the blogger behind Freckled Latte. I’m a 41 yr old mom and wife, living in NE Florida with my husband, two teenagers, and our goldendoodle, Junie. I like health/fitness, food, coffee, reading, travel, photography, and occasionally, I *try* to look trendy (but I usually fail miserably because deep down I’m a jeans and tee girl all the way). I’m also working on growing out my grays. #Grombre ladies unite!
*and apparently I use hashtags even when I shouldn’t. I don’t talk in hashtags, I swear.

My blog is where I blab about random stuff. To be honest, it’s mostly just whatever is on my mind, but I try to put some reviews, tips, share my latest finds, etc so I like to believe it’s not 100% useless drivel. I could be biased though. I like to make connections with my readers (if there are any out there). I blog mostly because it’s my form of documenting life. I don’t share everything here as some of my family members prefer to keep their life private (well, as private as this day and age allows).

Let’s catch up since I blogged last…

• I’ve traveled to Paris, London, Dublin, Cuba, New York, Vegas, and Quebec. I even started a travel blog, Wanderlust and Lattes. But I’m a little behind in posting. 🙈

• I got a new workout obsession. TWO, actually since I blogged last. Orange Theory Fitness and a Peloton bike*. I post about both in my Insta-stories. We also recently added the Peloton Tread to the family. If you have any questions about either, let me know!
*If you are buying a Peloton, you can use this referral code to get $100 towards accessories on purchaseGW3E68 

• Our goldendoodle of 7 years, Lucy, passed away from lymphoma in late 2017. We’ve since added another fur baby to our family. You can find her @junie.b.doodle on Instagram.

• I ran my second (and likely last) half marathon

• I entered my 4th decade

• My oldest just graduated high school and I could not be more elated

• I’ve been reading consistently, but I’m in a slump at the moment so I’ve been reading at a sloths pace. However, when I finally finished Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, I flew through Waiting at Hayden’s. It’s a short, satisfying, easy, beach read so if you’ve been in a rut like me, you might want to check it out.

• Surprise…I’m still obsessed with lattes…even though my waistline has me drinking more black/semi-black coffee lately.

Cheers to the summer! And hopefully, more blogging!  😊

Wake up and kick ass

Not gonna lie, I’m usually an “ugh, it’s Monday, pass me alllllll the caffeine” kind of gal, but I’m trying something new this week. I woke up on this Monday morning and decided to kick some ass today.

First of all, I have this awesome blog post coming at you bright and early! I RARELY get my blog posts up early in the day. #winning already!

Second, it’s the beginning of October, the month of all things pumpkin and the start of some of the busiest months of the year and the perfect time to set some monthly goals.

Personal Goal: Wake up earli(er) than normal. On a day when I don’t have to go into work (MWF), I’m usually rolling out of bed at 6:40a.m., making the kids’ sandwiches and then heading out for my 1.5-2 hr trek of driving them to school and getting back home. SO, instead, I’m going to get up at 6am on those days and sip some coffee (from my Bialetti that I brought out of retirement yesterday and wondered why I ever stopped using) while I browse and see what’s happening online.

Business Goal: Work hard at getting my Beautycounter business off the ground. I’m going to share share share about how our beauty care industry needs a major overhaul and how what we put on our skin matters. You can clicky that link over there 👉🏼 in the sidebar (the Never list) to see all the awesome products we offer. If you want to try some in person, I can hook you up!

Health Goal: EAT BETTER. I’m tired of burning 600+ calories 3-4 times a week and seeing zero physical results. The scale hasn’t budged, but more importantly, my measurements haven’t changed one teeny tiny bit. I am no doubt stronger, healthier, and overall more fit than I was 5 months ago and that’s nothing to take lightly, but I would love to be a little leaner. I’m just eating too damn much and all the wrong things. I’m going to be more intentional in my eating and think more about what I’m putting in my mouth.

Mental Goal: More yoga & meditation. I plan to follow a 30 day yoga program (not sure which one yet) and add some actual studio classes in as well. One per week is the goal.

This week is going to be hectic with a lot of appointments and meetings after school, but I’m gonna rock it!

Awesome mug up there ^^^ can be found here. *not sponsored*

Taking Stock // 03

Since I’m working on getting back on that blogging wagon and I haven’t done a “currently” post in a very long time, I thought it’d be a good way to jump back in and catch up a little bit.

Eating: Junk. But mostly these freaking Mozart Reber chocolate balls I found at World Market over the weekend. Our first German exchange student brought them as a gift when she came to stay with us a few years ago and I ate almost the whole package by myself! Every time I find them out and about around town, I have to buy some.

Drinking: Iced tea. All day…Erry day. Okay, not alllll day. I drink a lot of water too. And iced lattes…duh.

Watching: Flipping Out w/Jeff Lewis. If I could have one designer redo my house, it would definitely be Jeff! I love everything he does and he’s pretty amusing to watch.

Listening to: Kesha! Woman is my jam.

Waiting: for fall weather to arrive. I’m tired of sweating balls just walking outside.

Ordering: This fun light box. I’ve wanted one for several months now so I finally ordered it.

Reading: The Alice Network, I’m so behind on my yearly book goals this year, but at the very least, I’ve been consistently reading. Just not reading fast. I’ll catch you up on the books I’ve read so far in a future blog post.

Getting used to: my mom’s dog being here for a few days. She’s very different from our Lucy. We’re not used to a stubborn, bossy dog.

Pumped for: breakfast with my SIL tomorrow. As busy moms who live on opposite sides of town, we don’t get together very often by ourselves, but we always go out to breakfast/lunch for each other’s bday.

Working on: my fitness. 5 months ago I started going to Orangetheory Fitness and I still go 3-4 times a week. I need to be working on eating healthier, but I haven’t found the focus for that yet.

Excited about: My new Beautycounter business. I wanted to switch up my skin care routine and I fell in love with Beautycounter’s amazing products so I became a consultant! Woot! Now I have beautiful, luxurious, high performing products that are also healthier and safer for me and my family! Come join me on my FB page and see what BC is all about!

Needing: to make a few appointments, specifically an annual for myself. Not fun, but it needs to be done and I keep “forgetting” to call and schedule it. Not to mention that I loathe calling and making appointments.

Wearing: Workout gear, what else?!

Feeling: Grateful that we didn’t incur any damages during Hurricane Irma.

Loving: The Complete Guide to Home Organization because lord knows I need help in that department. I really do love organization, but I get overwhelmed and discouraged because I try to make it too perfect. It’s got some great organization tips with nice photos. Hopefully it will motivate me to throw some stuff out and get more organized.

What’s happening in your life lately? Something exciting happening? What are you loving? Please share!

📷 via Rab Fyfe

Bringing this baby back to life

It’s been awhile. I’ve thought about blogging for months now but every time I sat down to write, I had nothing to say. There’s so much to catch up on, but for today I’m just easing back in with a “hello, it’s good to see you” post.

I woke up this morning with a slight headache and the beginning of DOMS setting in. [DOMS is muscle soreness/stiffness after a strenuous workout] It’s just mildly stiff and sore at the moment so hopefully it won’t get too bad. Those skater lunges always get me. The headache is from two glasses of wine last night. 😕 I wasn’t even tipsy! I guess this a sign of getting old.

Yesterday was the first day of fall and it might be just in my head, but I can definitely feel the shift. It’s Florida so I don’t particularly feel it outside, but it’s only supposed to get to mid-eighties today so yay for that. It’s more of an energy in the air though. I was making my coffee this morning while the rest of the house is still sleeping and the air just felt different. In a good way of course. I love the fall. It doesn’t last particularly long here and it’s not as pretty as up north, but it’s all I’ve known so I embrace it.

Welcome back if you’re still with me from before my hiatus and WELCOME if you’re new here. The fall/winter is full of holiday hustle & bustle, but also down time. The plan is to be here on the blog more often. Hope to see you around!

I’m alive! {+ Sunday Lately}

Yes, folks, if you follow me on Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram you know that I’m still ALIVE! I’ve lost my blogging mojo, but I’m working on getting it back. Not going to promise much, but I’m going to try to post at least once a week.

Today I’m starting something new (new year…new blogging!) and trying out Sunday Lately. It’s a once a week e-hangout and linkup party where we share our week with a little help from weekly prompts. So, here goes…I’m slightly dusty on this blogging thing so bear with me.

This past week, I’ve been…

Picking at my fingernails! Ugh. My nails are a hot mess. Just a month ago they were beautiful and long(ish) and I loved them. Now they’re peeling, jagged, dry and I can’t get them to a nice stage where I stop picking at them. I blame it on too much cooking/cleaning. Guess I’ll just have to go on strike so my nails can be pretty again. 😉

Telling myself to stay on track with my workouts. I started my fitness resolutions early because tomorrow was always “tomorrow” and never today. I was motivated to get started this past Monday and start I did! I decided on Lee Labrada’s 12 Week Lean Body workout program. It was a little more than I wanted to bite off considering I don’t normally workout 7 days a week, nor do I think it’s good to workout that many days, but there are 2 cardio only days each week so I’m going to either take a rest day on those days or have an active rest day. An active rest day means that I’ll focus on simply doing something active which could mean walking, a paddleboard excursion, a run, yoga, etc. So far so good. I’ve worked out 5 out of the last 6 days. Today I am super sore and debating on whether I’m going to do a weight workout or just some light walking/stretching.

img_8009New gym + New kicks = Happy Girl

Debating on a new camera lens to buy for my Fuji X-T10. I bought the Fuji early last year and only have the 35mm f/1.4, which I love, but it’s time to add another lens to the family. I’m going to NYC in March and I don’t want to lug my big Nikon DSLR, so I need (yep, physically neeeeeed) a new lens so I can capture our trip the way I want to while not looking like a total tourist. I really, really, really, wanted the Fuji 16-55mm f/2.8. The photographer in me was drooling over that big gorgeous piece of glass and the fixed 2.8 aperture. BUT…that beautiful baby comes at a big price and people were saying that the 18-55mm would work just as well for what I want to use it for so I went with the 18-55mm. I also bought it used for 1/3 of the price of the 16-55 so there’s that too. It arrives on Tuesday and I’m kicking my cheapo self for not getting one day shipping because I’m dying to play with it!

Mixing green smoothies! I’ve been drinking green smoothies for a few years now, but not consistently. I have my favorites that I’ll throw together when I get a hankering or when I’m eating healthy. I really enjoyed a 30 day challenge I did last year from Simple Green Smoothies so I bought their book the other day so I can stop googling every time I want to try a new smoothie combo. I was reading it this morning and decided to start their 10 day kick start!

Humming whatever I was last listening to. For a LONG while, I was humming anything and everything Hamilton, both the original soundtrack and the mixtape. Those songs are like earworms you can’t ever get rid of, but I love them so much!


Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe

Monday Morning Rambles…

Hola blogland! My little corner of the blog is feeling kinda neglected so, since I have random thoughts bouncing around in my head, I thought I’d type them out and share.

You’re welcome.


Moving on…

I’ve been having a hardcore love/hate relationship with Facebook lately. Between the politics and the stupid people in the comment section of pretty much any company post, it’s both infuriating and a total time suck. I removed the FB app from my phone, but that only lasted a few days. Then I started using safari to get to FB. :o/ To curb my FB addiction, I decided to finally try and tackle Snapchat. Trading one addiction for another? Maybe! Maybe I’m too old or something, but it’s super complicated for being a stupid simple app. Even though my 15yo doesn’t have an account on Snapchat yet, she knows how to work it because all her friends have it so she’s been teaching me the ins and outs. You all probably have this Snapchat thing figured out, but for anyone like me, who might not have teenagers to help them out, I’m going to write a “how to use snapchat” post. I’m still gathering knowledge/tips/tricks, but I hope to get it done soon.

IMG_3809 2

I’m getting back on the healthy train again (summer is almost here!!) and I made this super yummy refreshing green smoothie this morning. It’s clean tasting, not super sweet and has a nice tart-but-not-too-tart zing to it. My kids didn’t like the ginger addition, but if you aren’t opposed to ginger, it really does give it a nice little kick.


I’m still on track with my reading goal this year. Yay! March was a little weird because I kind of got burnt out so I ended up reading some novella’s and a book of poems, but I’m ending the month with The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. Highlights of my Feb/Mar reading coming up in a blog post this week.

It occurred to me the other day that if you look at my Instagram, it would seem that I workout/run a lot. This could not be further from the truth and yet another example of our Instagram lives being a little more perfect than our real ones.

I have about a 30 min drive home after dropping the kids off at school and I love listening to a podcast on my way home, but I binge when I find one I like and now I’m searching for something new to listen to. I’m caught up on Serial Season 2…Hidden Brain has some interesting episodes, but I haven’t gotten sucked in completely so it’s hit or miss…I was listening to Happier with Gretchen Rubin a lot, but I needed a break from the self help. How to Be a Girl is really good, but there are only 10 episodes and she doesn’t have a regular schedule. Invisibilia was a great one that I listened to with the kids, but it’s on hiatus right now. Have you been listening to anything good lately? Please share!!

K. I’m done purging my morning thoughts. Thanks for listening! Now I’m off to get some housework done and do some prep to get back into the school zone after being on Spring Break for the past 10 days.


Feeling Restless


Last week I was a puddle of emotions. Crocodile tears spilling out with very little coaxing. I read a story online about a dog at a shelter and was ugly crying because I couldn’t handle thinking about how sad he must be. Yes, seriously. I chocked it up to a death in the family while feeling sick, having to adult instead of being able to wallow in my emotions and possibly some out of whack hormones.

This morning I was grateful to not feel like I could burst in to tears at any moment, but now I’m feeling super restless. It was a snowball effect that started with a trip to World Market. I remembered that they sell the Pocket Coffee that was all the rage with us Americans when we were in Italy last year (I’m pretty sure our obsession with Pocket Coffee also started with a stop at an Autogrill). Then as you stroll around the store you see pieces from lots of different cultures, which led me to then start reminiscing about our trip to France a few years ago. My next stop was The Fresh Market, where while perusing the aisles, I found a Mozart Chocolate bar (the same brand that our German exchange student gave us when she arrived!).


When I got home I slipped on my new Tieks (recent purchase that reminded me of Italy because they’re made of Italian leather) and ate a Pocket Coffee while flipping through the photo book I put together from our France trip.

Then I was mad at myself because I haven’t made an album from our trip to Italy. Putting on the to-do list now! With a deadline or it will never get done!

I have a love/hate relationship with traveling. I love going to new places, trying new things and having new experiences, but I wouldn’t say I really love the act of traveling or being away from familiarity. I usually get the brunt of the planning duties, I have horrible anxiety leading up to the trip, and if we’re flying I have to keep myself doped up on Dramamine the entire flight and STILL hope to have a relatively tame journey or I’ll get sick anyways despite the meds. Even with all of that though, I think it’s time to start planning the next journey. I’m longing for somewhere new and fresh. I’m yearning to explore new places, ignore reality for a few days and get lost in making memories.

New York, Chicago, Seattle, Yellowstone Nat’l Park, Niagra Falls and the Grand Canyon (I’ve been, but the rest of the fam has not) are all on my short list. Of course I’d love to travel abroad again, but that’s a much bigger trek and I need something that scratches my itch sooner rather than later. What’s on your short list? If you could take a trip somewhere in the next year, where would you go?

What I Read – January

I just barely achieved my book goal of 36 books in 2015 (thanks to a productive couple of weeks at the end of the year I actually read 38 books for the year). Not a super ambitious goal, I know, but I need balance in my life and last year’s goal seemed to give me a nice balance of reading + time to enjoy other activities. This year I decided to up my goal just slightly to a nice round 40 books for the year. I could read all the time, but I do actually like to do other things as well. You know, like talk to my kids and husband. lol. Some people are fast readers, but I’m not one of those people.

It’s been awhile since my last blog post, so I thought I’d start with something nice and simple…what I’ve been reading since 2016 started!

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 7.59.44 PM

• • • • •

girlonatrain 2

Girl On a Train (not to be confused with The Girl on the Train) – Girl On a Train was written before The Girl on the Train, but sales picked up when buyers started getting it confused for the one that was getting all the buzz. I was intrigued and it was kindle unlimited (free to borrow) so I figured why not!

It’s a murder/mystery and the story goes like this…Anna Rothman is riding home on a train, there’s another woman on the train that’s acting strangely. Said woman gets off at a stop and jumps in front of the train, committing suicide. But Anna doesn’t believe it’s suicide and the journalist in her pushes her to investigate into this woman’s life which takes her on a rollercoaster of a ride.

It had some story lines/characters that weren’t relevant and the end was just “meh”. To be fair, I read it fairly quick so it kept me interested, but it was just okay.

Rating: 3 Stars 


• • • • •

boston girl


The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant – This book had been on my radar for awhile and after waiting in line for months, it was finally my turn to borrow it digitally from the public library!

It’s set in the early 1900’s and it’s a nice coming of age story about a woman born to an immigrant family in Boston.

Nothing really earth shattering, but it was a good read.

Rating: 3.75 Stars



• • • • •


Henrietta Lacks: The Immortal Woman – This one was the January book club pick with some friends and it’s not one that I would have picked on my own, but I really enjoyed it.

In 1951, an immortal line of cells were discovered that gave scientists the building blocks for many medical breakthroughs, starting with the cure for Polio. Those cells were harvested from a woman name Henrietta Lacks and this is the story of how the infamous HeLa cells came to exist.

It was a little slow in some parts, but overall I found the story fascinating. The science of the cells, but also a glimpse into the life of a black americans in the mid 1900’s.

Rating: 4 Stars


I also read a murder/mystery, Hit the Road Jack by Willow Rose and a YA fiction, One + One = Blue by M.J. Auch. I gave both 4 Stars. Worth reading, but nothing to write home about.

• • • • •

Just finished: Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Next in queue: My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem, Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Did you make a reading goal for 2016? What book(s) are you reading or what was your favorite one from last year? I’m always looking for good books to add to my list. I’m on Goodreads if you want to add me. 🙂

I’m sorry for what I said when I needed caffeine


This morning started off pretty calm…I got up earlier than usual, made the lunch sandwiches, clothes were clean, backpacks were packed. There are only 2 days of school this week so even though it was Monday, I wasn’t feeling too rough.

and then it happened…


I find out that the 12yo wants to wear the pair of shoes that currently had one shoe outside with dog poo stuck to it. It’s 40 degrees outside and he wants to clean it off so he can wear that specific pair of shoes instead of one of his other pairs of tennis shoes. I tell him, no, he whines…he has “gym today and those are his athletic shoes!”…”I wiped them off last night, they’ll be fine!” Okay, bring it in, but if it’s too much, you’re not wearing them. He brings it in…there is still poo in 2/3 of the cracks of the shoe! Tell him absolutely not…he whines some more…puts on other pair of tennis shoes.

Crisis 1 averted. Crisis 2…

12yo tells me at 6:55am (we leave at 7am) that sister just woke up.


Thankfully the teen is pretty quick when she chooses to be, we leave 10 min late, but crisis 2 is averted.

As I mentioned it was 40 degrees this morning. Mother eff’ing cold in this Florida girl’s mind. Do you think my kids thought it necessary to wear jackets today? Noooooo. I had to flat out demand that the one wear jeans instead of shorts and then they both got into the car with no sleeves! Hayden had gym so he didn’t get an option, he was taking a hoodie, but I may or may not have screamed, “I hope your extremities freeze off!” when the teen refused to get a jacket.

Thankfully, despite my short fuse and our crises this morning, traffic was heavenly so we left 10 min later than usual, but got to school at the same time we always do. The kids were in a great mood, I apologized for the things I said when I needed caffeine and we were all smiles by the time I kicked kid 2 out of the car.

Promptly headed to my favorite local coffee shop where their credit card machine was down, but thank God I had cash, treated myself to a vanilla latte and one of their new mugs!

Happy Monday!!