The New Year is exhausting.

I’m usually an optimist on any given holiday. I enjoy anything that includes extra glitter, food and celebrations. However, The New Year is exhausting in many different ways.

The exhaustion of a New Year doesn’t just come from staying up past midnight which is always a struggle for me. It’s also mentally exhausting. During New Years we are always focused on how we can be a super human this year and how much we sucked last year. Focusing more on our past and future rather than being in the present moment, one of the most important things I learned from 2017.

A new beginning is so forced by society during a new year. How are you going to change your lifestyle? How are you going to change your body? How are you going to change your relationships? I’ve had my fair share of new beginnings and I’m telling you this, it’s much more rewarding to let these changes come naturally rather than forced. We grow at our own time and not by January 1st, two thousand whatever.

I used to be obsessed with New Year’s Resolutions and sharing my goals for the upcoming year with the world. I even created a vision board art piece last year but lost it a month after posting about it. Do we actually set these resolutions to make ourselves a better person or to just prove to the world that we too have goals?

I hope you wake up everyday thankful for the lessons you learned from the previous day and how you can better yourself and goals daily.

With all of this being said, I did have a fantastic New Years which ended with a New Year’s kiss and pancakes for breakfast.

Stay Sunny!

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Increasing your motivation while working from home.

Dreaming big is one thing, being motivated and working toward those goals is another. Working from home is pretty fantastic, it comes with all of the perks of working on your own time, taking your lunch when you please (actually eating whenever you want) and in the comfort of your own home. You are your own boss! Groovy.

However, it can also be very difficult to stay motivated when you work from home. When you don’t have a nine-to-five job to run to, it is easy to get into the habit of waking up later, procrastinating more, and becoming overall a little more sluggish. I have a good friend who recently started her own business and she was discussing how when she started her own business from home she became depressed, even though this was something she’s always wanted!

Currently,  I am a full-time graduate student online, a freelance photographer and blogger and recently started selling Perfectly Posh. I have had to defeat the low motivation and productivity while doing all of my work from home!

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Here are some things you can do to increase your motivation and productivity. (These could definitely apply to anyone, not just those who work from home)

  • Create a vision board

This week one of my good friends came over and we made vision boards. Place your vision board so you can see it in the morning when you wake up and in the evening when you go to sleep. Your vision board should be something you look at and take in before scrolling through Facebook. Think about YOUR goals and life at the beginning of the day instead of other’s lives.

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  • Wake up and meditate

When you wake up and meditate, you are setting positive and productive intentions for the rest of the day. There are many podcasts and even videos on Youtube that have guided meditation. 10-20 minutes is all you need each day to become present in the moment and set some good intentions throughout the day.

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  • Organize your day

Staying organized is very important. Make sure you invest in a planner that works for you or even better purchase a nice bullet journal and create your own layouts. Bullet journals are also really great because you are not only staying organized but it’s also a great way to get creative with your daily thoughts. My days are separated by events that day, to-do lists and also goals. Each weekly spread I also have a quote to reflect on and my weekly goals. Some bullet journal spreads are some serious eye candy. Can we also talk about my obsession with planner stickers?

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  • Get ready for the day

When you see advertisements for online schools they often say “Go to school in your pajamas!” I highly advise you not to do this. Sometimes you’ll just want to wake up late and stay in your pajamas because “you can.” When you stay in your comfortable clothes all day you have little motivation to do anything professional because you will not feel professional. I’m not telling you that you should get dressed up in a suit everyday but you should at least put on some pants and a decent shirt. “Dress for the job you want” they say.

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  • Set Do Not Disturb on your phone

Nothing grabs me more into social media than to see a notification. “Ooo attractive male liked my selfie? Let me stalk his Instagram feed for a minute” *20 minutes later on Instagram….* No, stop! I assure you, Felipe can wait. When you set the Do Not Disturb on your phone it will eliminate notifications popping up from all apps. If you will still be distracted by your phone after setting it to Do Not Disturb, place it in another room.

  • Move your body and get fresh air

Your body will always feel better when you get your blood pumping! You can get your blood pumping by doing yoga, going on walks, going to the gym or even dancing in your bedroom. Try to keep your body moving throughout the day as well. Often times I will go to the gym midday because I know my mind needs some movement, away from the screen. The fresh air will also benefit you. Every once in a while go out and get some fresh air. Take a walk around the block or eat your lunch outside. The sunshine will also be good for you soul.

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  • Take your work somewhere else

When I have little motivation I will pick up my things and go to another location outside of my home. My bed and Netflix often call my name. Libraries and coffee shops are great options to take your work. Some libraries have some great little spots where you can have complete privacy from anyone else. Personally, I find my best working vibes in coffee shops. Just me, my work and a green tea latte.

What do you do to stay motivated?

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Walk with fear

During my travels I have been listening to many audiobooks. You may have heard of the award winning Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Gilbert also has an incredible book, Big Magic, which is all about creativity and creative living. There is a part of her book which I found most inspiriting, the difference between being fearless and being courageous.

When I tell others about my driving and traveling around they always seem in a bit of a shock that I am driving around by myself to all of these places which always leads them to ask “That doesn’t scare you?” and when I tell them that enjoy traveling by myself they follow up with the famous “Wow, you are fearless!”

Here’s the real truth behind all of this…I’m not the type of person to just wait for someone to hop in the car with me. I don’t believe I should wait for great opportunities just because I don’t have a friend or significant other to join me in the passenger seat of my car. I leave at sunrise and if you’re not there, you’re not going. This has nothing to do with being fearless but more so of being selfish with a great amount of wanderlust and motivation.

That being said, I have many fears when it comes to traveling. I understand all of the possibilities of what could happen while traveling. I watch the news, I read articles, I know and understand all of the terror. I have had my scary calls and have shed a few tears. I am not fearless.

I had the crazy opportunity at Tumalo Falls, a few miles from Bend, Oregon. My good friend Dustin is always talking me into crazy adventures. With the motivation of Dustin I did something I would have never dared to do. I jumped the wall at the top of Tumalo Falls to get as close as possible to the edge and take photos of the water rushing and crashing down, 90 feet below. This was not me being fearless, I was still scared shitless, I was allowing fear to walk by my side.

You do not need to be fearless to be courageous. When you are courageous you are allowing fear to walk by your side. Do not be fearless, when you are fearless you simply have no emotions. Creative and courageous individuals thrive on emotions. Be courageous and gladly walk hand in hand with fear itself. Let fear motivate you to see more, do more, and be the best you can be.

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Moments in black & white

Currently, I am on a month long trip between Eastern Idaho & Western Oregon.

During this trip I have not only been able to experience beautiful places but most importantly connect with friends that inspire me. I often find myself in a rut of guilt when I’m not always updating others on social media, keeping up with Instagram posts and a camera around my neck while traveling. Although I have had my camera with me most of the time and taking photographs, I do not take near as many as I used to in the past and especially while traveling. I have been trying my hardest to take in moments rather than capture them all. Feed my soul with memories and experiences that don’t necessarily need to be recorded onto a memory card and stored into my hard drive. I have been inspired with not only what’s been around me but the connections and conversations I have had with friends who inspire me with new light and ideas.

I have seen waterfalls and rainbows that have been unphotographed because I simply want to take it in for myself, selfishly, without sharing it with others.

I got to a point in my life where I was shooting much less because I was honestly getting bored of what I was photographing & needed a new boost of inspiration. I started to get sad and anxious about it not because I thought I was losing my passion but because others were noticing and questioning my passion for photography. However, stepping back from the camera has helped me tremendously. Now that I have spent sometime traveling without my camera always around my neck I have found some new light and have built some new concepts which I’m excited to experiment with.

Black and white images have stepped into my life recently with a newer meaning than they have before. I used to focus on black and white just as a artistic element to my photographs. Today I have found that black and white really enhances the moments rather than the colors. We always look at how beautiful the colors are in art and images but take little time to appreciate the light, texture and details of objects. Here are a few black and white details of my trip.

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Photograph taken of me by my friend Jayde Silbernagel for our personal photography project of running wild, free and nude along the wildflowers in Tetonia, Idaho.
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Owls at Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City, Utah
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I ate this wildflower in Tetonia.

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At the top of our mountain hike watching the storm quickly approaching us.

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Opening Our Minds To Creativity.

Creativity is often and unfortunately pushed to the side as something that is not the most important skill to have in our daily lives, education, and careers. Creativity has become the green beans of the Thanksgiving meal when it should be seen as the turkey (or, the cherry pie) However, creativity is much more than playing with colors and crayons. Creativity is the motivation to innovation! Creativity helps us question, solve problems, and create. If there was no creativity in our lives we would still be living in the Stone Age.

Creativity is a vital skill to have on your resume and for good reason. Creativity is not only an important skill for employees but also enhances the environment you are working in. A creative environment for employees has become a foundation for successful companies today such as Pixar, Apple, Google, and Zappos.

Creativity is not only important in our careers and professional lives but our daily lives as well. Creativity makes life exciting and fulfilling!

Back to the idea of playing with colors and crayons.

Have you sat down recently with a handful of crayons just to scribble or doodle? I literally mean scribble. If you answered “no” I challenge you to take 10 minutes to do so and see what thoughts, questions, and ideas come up in your head.

“Creativity is experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun”
– Mary Lou Cook

“But I’m not a creative person!” you say. Did you know that creativity is something that is not just a natural-born trait passed down by our DNA but a trait that we can actually learn, build, and grow?

One of the best ways to help build your creativity is to open your mind and spirit to the world that is out of your normal comfort zone and environment. If you allow yourself to be stuck in one environment you will not have the room to grow your mind and gather new thoughts and ideas from other people, environments, cultures, or even religions.

My challenge to you is to try something new. Go somewhere new. Talk to someone new. Cook something new. Step out of your daily environment and routine. You might find a new passion or discover a new talent. You might come up with a groundbreaking idea and become a millionaire in the near future.

You might fall, you might fail, you might not even enjoy the outcome. Let me say this loud for everyone to hear in the back. FAILING IS OKAY. We are meant to fail and fall because this is how we broaden and grow our mind, thoughts, and nurture our creativity.

You CAN be creative!

 

Holga Digital

When we were in Vegas last week we made our way into Urban Outfitters and I walked out with a little pink Holga digital. I didn’t even know this was a thing and you can just imagine just how excited I was about it!

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If you are not familiar with what Holga is, it is a toy plastic camera that shoots 120 or 35mm film. My holgas are all 120mm film and I have been obsessed with them for years. Holgas are known for really great distortions, light leaks, and interesting colors. The object of Holga is to “just shoot” and to not think too much about the rules and principles in photography.  It creates very artistic and unique photographs and a great creative outlet. I am located in a place now where I cannot get my film developed and have been going through some serious Holga withdraws. When I saw this Holga Digital I purchased it without any questions.

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I have had the chance to take it out shooting a few times and here’s what I learned from shooting with this cute little camera.

  • The Holga Digital is supposed to give you the “surprise” experience just like film would, so when you take photos you cannot see them on your camera until you put the SD card into your computer.
  • There are a few options with the holga digital that you can use to mix and match. You can either set the format to 35mm or 120mm and also between black and white or color. I personally like the 35mm setting because it gives you a vignette.
  • I would highly suggest taking photos with this in sunlight. If you try to take photos in darker light there will be a lot of camera shake.

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What are my thoughts about the Holga Digital? It is definitely not the same as film and probably a product you might not totally enjoy if you are very familiar with the film formats and overall quality. I was a little disappointed at the lack of unique color and light leaks. The quality of the images is quite low as well, nothing you can end up blowing up into a large print in the end. I would highly suggest this to anyone who wants to step into the Lomography and Holga community though! It’s user friendly and will help you get into the concept of Holga. Its a small and lightweight camera that you can take anywhere. It will also help save a lot of money on film and film processing!

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Stay Sunny!

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The Parade of Homes | Luxury & Environment.

I like to think that I’m fairly low maintenance and then I attend The Parade of Homes in my hometown of St. George, Utah and I quickly realize that I have a little more of an expensive taste then I’d like to admit and that I’m going to need to marry rich.

I haven’t attended The Parade of Homes for years and was very excited that I was in town to do so this year. Although I was not able to attend all of them I do believe I was able to see some great homes and get a feel as to what’s popular this year. I did notice this year was a little different from the past. I used to remember huge homes that were priced at 2 million- 6 million dollars but this year the homes were much smaller and I believe the most expensive home was a little under 2 million. This was actually really great because it seemed a little more realistic as to what I can put into my future home someday.

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Decor is not the only thing that I swoon over in homes but also the environment! As a grown Southern Utah desert rat I am obsessed with my red desert rocks and believe it is one of the most beautiful environments you can surround yourself in. The Georgia O’Keeffe in me finds great inspiration with colorful desert land. Kayenta homes always fulfill my love of colorful desertscapes.

The importance of sunlight in my life is huge and is what brings me great motivation. I am a huge fan of large window spaces that pour in sunlight and a detail I know I will need in my future home someday. An office and creative space filled with sunlight would be an amazing working environment.

 

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Obviously, we need a selfie.

 

Here are some luxurious spaces that are worth mentioning.

  1. This home was bought and decorated by a lover of someone who hunts, can you tell? This is a space that no vegetarian wants to walk into, it even made me feel a little uncomfortable. Do you see the hippopotamus? I’m not exactly sure how I’d feel about living in a wildlife museum but it was still interested to see.
  2. This meditation room, probably something that everyone should learn to apply into their busy lives. You can even move the pillows off the floor and make it into a small dance studio. Again, the window space is great.
  3. With my love of red rocks, large windows, and baths….just bring me a coffee with baileys and leave me to my heavenly peace.
  4. Kids are not on my mind for quite sometime but how can you not go crazy of this kid’s bedroom?! This space is actually made for an army of children but that teepee! These kids have it made.
  5. I’m not really a pool person but this pool space makes my heart sing and actually makes me reconsider myself as a pool person. THAT VIEW, THOUGH.
  6. This nearly all white home made you feel the need to wash your hands every few minutes but it was so beautiful! Makes you feel so fresh, clean, and new!
  7. This sitting/reading space in front of that view, yes please! Pass me my favorite book and I’ll be set for days. Although I would like to switch out that chair with a floor of cushions!

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Stay sunny!

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7 ways to not let Valentines suck while being single.

I’m single this year on Valentine’s Day. DUN DUN DUN.

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It is a little strange and I’ve almost become a Valentine’s Day humbug because of it…but why?! You might as well just make the best of it because who wants to be a Negative Nancy after all? Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to the be mushy gushy commercial nonsense. Make it a day for you and focus on other loved ones in your life! Here are ways that you can enjoy your Valentine’s Day while being single and not let it suck.

  1. Go out to breakfast with a loved one! Strawberry crepes are always a great meal to kick off V-Day.
  2. Hang out with your single friends. You can giggle and talk about your love life or maybe in my case, lack of a love life. Coffee and cupcakes are always the way to go.
  3. Buy yourself a box of chocolate. Because obviously, isn’t that one of the main reasons Valentines is so great?
  4. Take a trip to Victoria’s Secret. You don’t need a man to feel sexy in that new pair of lacies, girl.
  5. Bake some treats, make some valentines, and take them around to friends and neighbors. Everyone enjoys getting a little valentine treat and card.
  6. Is there a movie you’ve been dying to see but nobody cares about that nerdy documentary? Just go and sneak in your box of chocolate! Going to a movie alone isn’t as scary as it seems, trust me!
  7. Pamper! Treat yourself to a pedicure or massage. Make it a perfect evening for a face mask and a bath bomb.

I hope I have inspired you to make the best out of your Valentine’s Day as much as possible!

Xoxo

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Fisheye fun

Happy Thursday, Wonder Seekers!

I’m officially back in sunny Southern Utah! It’s always different living back in my hometown but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts! Today I started my old job again at The Art Museum which I’m totally in love with and very passionate about! Between school, a great job, and new traveling opportunities I am feeling so excited and blessed! It was gloomy the first few days I arrived but we finally got out sunny days with perfect 70 degree temperatures. “Winter” in Southern Utah is something I do not complain about especially after seeing the blizzards in the eastern states lately…I am happy to not be in the New England area right now!

I ordered a new toy and was happy to see it when I got home…a fisheye lens for my iPhone! I’ve been dying to test it out and yesterday was the perfect day! I love Pioneer Park and wandering around the red rocks that remind me of Mars, it’s a place that really reminds me that I’m home. All photos were taken with my iPhone and edited with the 1967 app using the LA Groove filter.

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Stay Sunny!

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