November Mood Board | 2018

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Hey guys, Sorry I have been MIA I’ve been dealing with a bunch of school stuff. I had a project that took up more time than expected but I am back. November is here which is crazy but I can’t wait for Thanksgiving and all that amazing food! I am going to do a quick life update.

College

Like I said I recently finished up a project and I am about to start another one which means I am going to be busy again but I will schedule out some things so I don’t go missing again. I’ve already registered for my spring semester classes! The last classes before I graduate. I only have to take 2 classes unlike this semester with 5 classes so I will have more time to make content and really buckle down and focus on my blog and YouTube which I am super excited about.

Blog / YouTube

With the blog I have been slacking which always happens when I get back in school. I really try to balance everything but sometimes it’s out of my control. School is always my #1 priority even when I would rather be working on my blog. That’s why I am so excited for next semester, I will have a lot more time. I have some awesome new ideas for the blog and YouTube that I have been thinking about for the upcoming new year.

Personal

I feel like this time last year I was stressed the hell out and it was taking a toll on my body really badly. But this year I am not letting things stress me out as much. During this school year I have learned to accepted that I can’t do everything and somethings have to be put off and I will get them done when I can. My well being is much more important than trying to juggle everything.

Goals for November

  • Finish out the school year strong

  • Film More

  • Start Christmas shopping early

  • Try new recipes

  • Workout (this is my goal every month!)

Taking Photos With Natural Light

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In my three years of blogging I have never used artificial lighting to take my pictures. I know it sounds crazy right. I have been tempted to buy a ring light but just never got around to it. I personally prefer shooting my pictures in natural light. Now there are some challenges when it comes to taking pictures and natural light. Timing, not enough light, weather, etc. But I am going to tell you my tricks to making natural light work for you.

Get close to the light source

For me I shoot right in front of my window. Try to get as close to your light source as possible, it can be a window, balcony door, or even go directly outside. The Closer You Are the brighter the image will turn out. If you are using a window Open your curtains and blinds. Sometimes if the sunlight is too harsh I will keep the blinds close to act as a diffuser. Just try both and see which one looks better.

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 Turn off other lights

Make sure when you are taking your pictures you turn off other lighting. Other lighting can interfere with your natural light source. I find that if I have other lights on my pictures come out with more yellow tones which is not what you want. Make sure all windows are open and other lights are off and take your pics.

 Bright sunny days

The downside to taking pictures in natural light is that it's not always sunny and if it's not sunny you can't take pictures, I mean you can but they won't be good. Most of the time I will plan in advance and look at the forecast for the week. Sometimes I will have not the best luck and have rain for a whole week so I will just have to wait until it clears up. The only exception to taking photos with natural light and it's not sunny outside is if it's a snow day. Have you ever noticed when there is snow on the ground it gets really bright outside? Yeah that is a prime time to take a bunch of pictures. Those pictures always turn out fantastic. But other than that exception take your pictures when it's bright and sunny.

 Whiteboard

When I am taking my pictures and I need some more light I will use a white foam board as a reflector. I normally do this for my flatlays. All I do is place the board opposite of the light source that way it will reflect back on my subject. It really makes a big difference.

 No flash

Don't use your flash when you are shooting with natural light unless that's the look you're going for. The flash can bring a harshness and glare to your photos. Make sure that your flash is off. It will make your photos come out a whole lot better.

 Edit your photos

This step is the most important when it comes to shooting in natural light, editing your photos is a must. Most of the time you will need to edit your photos to make them brighter, sharper, Etc. My favorite apps to use when editing are Snapseed, VSCO Cam, and Facetune.  And for both phone and computer I use Lightroom which is my number one photo editor. I'll  use Snapseed  for the selective tool when I want to brighten up certain areas in a photo. In VSCO Cam I like the black and white filters and adjusting grain. And for Facetune I use the whitening tool for backgrounds and sometimes tones and smooth. And for Lightroom I do everything else but mainly color mix to get rid of yellow tones.

Making Time for Blogging

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It’s sometimes impossible to blog and go to school full time. When I am not physically at school I am working on school work at home. Sometimes I feel tired and can’t figure out how I am going to make the time to blog. I know I am not the only one who has an insane schedule but also want to work on their passion projects. This is how I make time for blogging.

 Use Your Free Time

 So when I don’t have school work and have some free time . Instead of just catching up on tv shows, which is what I really want to do, I will work on my blog. Any free time I get that is what I am doing. I use the time I have in between my classes, weekends, late nights, all to get my blog work done.

 Get Things Done Early

 With school it is easy to do things at the last minute. Some due dates seem so far away but if you have other responsibilities it is best to get all that done early. I try to do anything I can do in advance done as early as possible. This will be things like readings, studying, and papers. I do them in advance to offer up some more free time that I can be using to work on my blog.

 Make it a Priority

 It is often easy to think of blogging as something you can do whenever you feel like it which you can but if you want it to grow you must make it a priority. I love blogging and making content . I realized that I needed to take it a bit more seriously than I was and really start paying more attention to it. When I started doing that I noticed I was able to get more post done and really create the content I wanted to make.

 Schedule Everything

 There are so many different aspects to blogging. Writing, Photos, Editing. It’s harder than you think. So I would recommend scheduling out everything, that’s how I stay on top of it all. My blogging schedule works around my school schedule. Those free windows of time are always schedule with something.

October Mood Board | 2018

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Cant believe how fast time is moving it seems like I was just making a mood board for September. I am already about to take midterms, which really puts things in perspective. September was full of me trying to figure out my new blogging schedule while taking 5 classes, and so far so good. I am not stressed out yet. I am supper excited for October. October is one of my favorite months of the year because of all the autumn festivities. and Halloween of coarse!

Goals for October

Get through Mid Terms

Make awesome fall content

Cook some new recipes

Start back working out

Maintaining Creativity

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When it comes to any creative outlets sometimes you lose your sense of creativity. With blogging I get to a point where I can't come up with blog post ideas and can't get my creative juices flowing. Which is understandable, we all get writer’s block but here are some things to keep in mind to maintain your creativity.

Don't compare

I feel like one reason why people lose their creativity is because they're comparing themselves to others. And I am so guilty of this as well. You start to compare and then you think that the things you are creating are not good enough or could be better. So instead of coming up with original ideas that you enjoy making you try to be like someone else. And that causes you to make content that is not good because you don’t enjoy making it. Everyone falls victim to this at some point. But don't worry just keep in mind to not compare but be inspired which brings me to the next tip.

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Look at inspiration

Sometimes if I am not sure what I want to post on my blog or need some ideas for Instagram I will try to find inspiration through making a stroll through Pinterest or watching a TV show or just getting out the house. You can get inspiration from anything and everything. When it comes to getting inspiration never copy but get inspired by it. Do your own spin or twist to it. Never forget to be you at the end of the day.

Go and do something fun

If you're like me with a million things to do you know that going out and having fun doesn't happen often as we would like it to. Having a bunch of school and blog work can be a lot. I spent a lot of time cooped up in my room working on things. And being cooped up in the house is when I feel the least creative. Getting out catching a movie, going out to eat, trying new things will drive your creativity. I recently went on a small vacation which I haven't done in a while and I was so refresh when I got back. I was less stress and saw things in a different light. So, getting out and just letting your hair down well bring you new ideas.

Setting and Achieving Goals

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I love setting goals, to tell you the truth I think I set too many goals. Goals for me is a way to motivated me to achieve something. I feel like when I set goals for myself I feel more accomplish when I finish them, and I feel like I'm growing and getting better.

 Make realistic goals

When it comes to setting goals, it is easy to get overly ambitious. Set goals that are challenging but realistic and reachable. If you have 50 followers on Instagram, you can't just say your goal is 1 million. Yes, maybe that's something you can reach down the line but maybe for right now make your goal 100 followers and then 500 followers and so on. Setting realistic goals will make you more motivated to keep going if you reach that goal you set, you will be ready to challenge yourself even more with the next goal.

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 Make new goals

After I have reached a goal I always set a new goal. You should always be striving for something better. By making new goals that makes me continue to work hard and keeps me moving forward. Don't ever get comfortable where you are, things can always be better.

 Step by step

Not only do I make goals, but I think about the necessary steps I need to take to accomplish those goals. For an example if my goal is to lose 5 pounds, I will write down the steps I need to take to get there. Maybe that’s going on a low-carb diet or increase my cardio. I do this, so I know what it is I specifically need to do to achieve my goal.

 Time

When I set a goal for myself I put a time limit on it. This allows me to keep things moving along and not have a goal for too long. At the beginning of the year I set yearly goals and I also set mostly goals. My monthly goals are a little more specific and smaller then my yearly goals. Most of the time the monthly goals will help me in achieving and reaching my yearly goal. Setting a time on your goals will make you push yourself even more.

 Don’t give up

Setting and achieving goals is not an easy task. Sometimes you might not reach your goal at your set time and that's okay. Just reevaluate and never give up. You will get there through perseverance!

How I Juggle All My Responsibilities

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For those of you who don't know I am a full-time college student, I work part-time, I blog, and make videos for YouTube. I know it sounds exhausting just thinking about it. But over time I have mastered the art of juggling. Now it hasn't always been this way, to be honest it's something I mastered recently.

Schedule Everything Out

When you have so many responsibilities it's best not to just wing it. I have had so many times where I thought I could just go about my day with a list of things to do and remember all of them and get them done but that never works. I have learned it's best to schedule everything out. I schedule studying, taking pictures, drawing, writing post; you name it, I schedule it. It's best to do this, that way you get everything on your list done.

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Don't over think

Sometimes I find myself thinking about the million and one things that I must do and all that does is make me feel overwhelmed and stressed. So, when I find myself doing that I say “Manique snap out of it.” Don't overthink, it will only do you harm. Instead think of one task at a time and focus on that until you move on to the next task.

One day at a time

This is kind of like overthinking. The best thing I ever started doing is taking it one day at a time. The way my mind works is that I will think months in advance which is a blessing and a curse. But I found out that it was stressing me out. So now I try to take things one day at a time. If I dwell on the busy week ahead it will only make it worse, so I focus on Monday then Tuesday and so on.

Breaks

Every now and then I take breaks. That might be for a day or sometimes even a week. And I take breaks in many ways. It can be a social media break or a Blog break, whatever break I choose it helps me refresh and get a better perspective on things. Taking a break can only make you better. Sometimes you get caught up in constantly moving and you forget to take care of yourself. I have had times where I push myself so much I end up making myself sick. I had to learn that it's okay to take a breather.

Stay motivated

Staying motivated is probably the hardest for me. Sometimes I don't feel like taking pictures for Instagram or studying for a quiz, but I try to motivate myself to do those things. One way I motivate myself is by looking at the bigger picture, now this is when looking ahead can be a blessing. I look at what I am trying to accomplish, the goal I am trying to reach. And normally that's all the motivation I need. So, when you don't feel like doing something think about the feeling you will have once you meet your goal.

How I Plan A Work Day

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Planning a work day for me is a little complex. I always have a million and one things on my plate. Going to school full-time while trying to blog and on top of that work, is a lot to juggle. So when it comes to planning a work day every second counts. 

Prioritize

First thing is to prioritize tasks. I normally will deal with time-sensitive things first. On a typical work day I will start out with school work because school always comes first. Once I have done my school work I will work on blog post for the upcoming week. Most of the time I will have the blog post written out but I just need to take pictures for the post so in that case I will take photos. Next I might work on scheduling out social media posts. Then if I have time I move on to YouTube content maybe edit a little. But that's pretty much how I prioritize. School, blog, social media, and YouTube. YouTube is usually last on my list because it's newer and something I just started doing.

Make  A list

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Normally the night before a work day I will make a list of all the things I need to do and I make sure the list is detailed. So instead of just putting school work I might put landscape project AutoCAD drawings or landscape perspectives street view. That way I know what I exactly need to do.

Batching

One thing I have learned when it comes to juggling a lot of different things is to not multitask. If you multitask you are only setting yourself up for failure. So what I do is I will batch different task. The blog stuff in one part of the day and maybe the school work in another part of the day. For an example I will  take pictures for the next 2 hours but I will not focus on anything else other than taking pictures.  As far as school work unless I finish all of my landscape architecture work I will not move on to my other homework or anything else until that's done. Focus on one thing at a time.

Timeblock

When it comes to a work day I will go as far as time block to make sure I get everything done. I will block out specific times for different tasks. I get that specific because if I don't I will just spend all day on one task and then I will still have a list of things to do.