Be your own person

20140630-102616-37576092.jpg

Hello! I’m coming at you from the Amtrack today as I’m in route to Santa Barbara with my best friend.

I just wanted to share some things I’ve been thinking about lately. This post has been in my drafts for a week now. Here goes!

A few weeks ago my boyfriend and I were at a concert together that he was really excited about. I wanted to go admittedly mostly because he wanted me to go. He said it would make him happy if I was there to enjoy one of his favorite musicians with him. Well, I ended up not having much fun, getting myself in a bad mood and being a grumpy munch. (Random Friends reference, anyone?)

Another day last month I was hanging out with my childhood best friend and let her pick the activities. Originally we had planned to go to a local chain restaurant with a bar, but then she suggested a new place and I said sure. It was a family style place and we ended up spending slightly more than I had planned. The food was okay, but not all that great. After lunch, we hung out at her house and watched some TV. She suggested we watch the show Mixology on Hulu. Within the first few minutes, I could tell it wasn’t my cup of tea, but I wanted to see the whole episode any way.

Continue reading

Like someone? Tell the person.

newborn baby Ann
If you appreciate someone’s work or just plain think the person is cool, go ahead and tell him or her.

I’ve always been the type to wear my heart on my sleeve and I firmly believe that if you like someone you should tell the person.

I’m not talking about romantic relationships here, although I have done that my fair share before too. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. What I am saying is that if you appreciate a person for who he or she is or even if you have never met the person, but admire her work, go ahead and say it. People love compliments and love should be spread all around.

Continue reading

Practicing photography

IMG_0678

IMG_0713

One thing I’m trying to work on lately in this in-between time of unemployment is photography. I have the free time, I’ve always loved it and it’s a great skill to have. I’m trying to put my Cannon to good use. Hey, maybe one day I can even take on clients.

I took my first photo class two years ago and now I’m at a total of three. I had a different professor each time, each with different styles and backgrounds. The classes were called Film Photography, Photojournalism, and Digital Photography. Well, actually the last one was officially called Photoshop, but the professor taught it with a wider focus in mind and changed the title.

Grandma Donna

As a little kid, one of my favorite things was carrying around a disposable camera and taking photos. Is that what phone pictures have become? Hmm, that probably only makes sense in my head. But what I’m getting at is even then I enjoyed taking photos. I just didn’t have a technique down.

At stoplight

Lifestyle photography is what I’m going for. I love the photography on lifestyle blogs like A Beautiful Mess and Sincerely Kinsey. I also always enjoy the photos on Lifesize Paperdoll and if found, make. The blogs have different styles, which are each easily recognizable. The photos have a sort of uniform look.

My friend Mina and I were just talking about this recently. She was actually taking pictures of me for class, so I turned the camera on her too. That gave me some good practice and made me realize I really would like to take more photos of people. A lot of my photos have been of my dogs and nature. I might start soliciting my friends for a photo session so I can get in the practice.

close up in the corner

I found some good photography articles around the web today that my fellow photogs could find useful.

14 Portrait Photography Tips / Digital Camera World, 5 Tips for Lifestyle Photography / A Beautiful Mess

The photos above were all taken by me. I took them all over a few months, but am just now sharing them here. I’m slightly embarrased to let my practice stuff out, but I’m starting to see improvement. It’s just for fun now any way.

What to do when you’re feeling blue

IMG_0342

One of my least favorite things is being home alone for long periods of time. Unfortunately, that’s been happening a lot lately. I finished all my classes in December, but I’m on the job hunt now. It kind of sucks. Everyone I live with is working and gone for the day.

Sometimes I get a little blue being alone. Or sometimes I don’t even get sad, I just get sucked into a sea of the vast Internet web pages of articles, tweets and tutorials. I’m trying not to do that as much anymore. I have to focus on my 2014 goal of embracing all the possibilities in my life right now and actually take hold of opportunities instead of wasting time.

In the spirit of being productive and positive, I’ve come up with this list to help myself out. Hopefully it helps you too!

1. Eat breakfast before 10 a.m. If you don’t, you will regret it and be hungry. That’s not good. Have something yummy like cereal and then maybe make yourself a smoothie too.

2. Watch something funny. Laugh along with your favorite comedians on YouTube. If you haven’t already, watch Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s opening monologue from the Golden Globes. I also suggest watching Superwoman, Smoothiefreak and Random Ass Girly Channel on YouTube.

3. Get some sun. Even if you’ve got a busy day indoors, be sure to take a few minutes on your break to step outside in the fresh air or at least hang out by a warm window. If you can work outside, do it! The sun has Vitamin D, which may increase levels of an antidepressant in the brain.

4. Hang out with animals. My dogs love having company and I love it too. Furry friends are the best. If you don’t have pets, maybe you can hang out with a friend who does when you’re feeling down. If you’re not much of an animal person, then I don’t know what to say to you. That’s just weird.

5. Exercise. Take the dogs for a walk. Or just take a solo walk. Or a run. Run to the nearest Starbucks, treat yo’ self and run home. Hey, that actually sounds awesome. I may do that.

6. Do something productive. That could mean something domestic like washing all the dishes in the sink, making dinner or vacuuming. If you’re like me, it could also include looking for opportunities, writing cover letters and submitting applications.

7. Do something creative. I try to do something creative every day. Sometimes that means writing on this here blog. It could also mean updating my websites and learning more HTML in the process, adding more magazine cutouts to my female inspiration board, or getting started on one of the article ideas I have in my head.

8. Volunteer. This week, I vow to start volunteering. I have too much time on my hands not too! Also, I would love to help out somewhere and having a place to be would do me good.

9. Call up a good friend. Sisters, best friends, old friends, family and the like are all great to call up when you’re feeling blue or just plain bored. Actually, they’re just great any time. Not just when you’re feeling needy! They need you too, after all.

10. Listen to music. Nothing elevates my mood quite like music. It’s also good to change it up. I’m guilty of listening to the same songs over and over. That’s cool and all, but sometimes I can use some change. Discovering awesome new music totally lifts my mood.

This list is mostly a “note to self.” Self, get your lazy butt out of pajamas before noon and do the things on this list. You will feel much better once you do.

Note: With all this said, dear reader, if you are experiencing depression, please seek help. Let others know what you’re feeling and get professional help, if needed.