A Fresh Take On The New Year

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A lot of us look at the new year as a new beginning, but fresh starts can happen at any given moment. I’ve always viewed January 1st as just another day because I’d wake up in the same bed, with the same job I had the day before and still using the same excuse of why I didn’t hit the gym! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ The changes I make in my life are typically spontaneous.

Now, I’m not a New Year’s Grinch. I love to celebrate the holiday, and I’m still excited for 2018! Next year, I will finally be even closer to starting the Master of Public Administration program, and my shows come back from winter break! Woo Hoo! I’ve just never been eager for a year to end for some reason. My outlook is, you don’t need a new year to debut the new you! Here’s how to adopt this mindset:

Start fresh on a Monday!

Hell, start fresh on a Thursday! If you’ve fallen off the gym wagon, have been eating terribly or just feeling like you need to reorganize your life, start at that moment. Postponing change for the start of a year is just a waste of time and could lead to even more procrastination.

Leave the toxic people in your past now!

I often see posts on social media about leaving certain people in, *insert current year here*. No, leave them now! Toxic friendships and relationships need to end immediately for your well-being and the sake of personal growth.

New Year’s resolutions are for the birds!

Reflect on your personal goals as they come and plan out how you will achieve them at that moment. No new year required! Also, you won’t feel like you’ve failed your resolution if it’s something you’re continuously working on. Revisit your goals frequently, make a list of possible solutions and decide what works and what doesn’t. There’s nothing wrong with being a work in progress.

Don’t use the year to victimize yourself!

A year cannot impact you at all. A year is a calendar of days and the number of times it takes for the Earth to make one revolution of the sun. It is in no way related to your struggles. Yes, it’s possible to have a rough year but get to the root of your issues and find realistic solutions. No need to year-shame. What did 2017 ever do to you? 🙄

I’m all about looking for ways to stay motivated and if the “New Year, New Me,” strategy works for you, who am I to tell you any different? I just want to make sure we’re all seizing the day and making the most out of each moment we’re here. You may not have a tomorrow, next month or next year. Act now, Loves!

P.S. Although I’m not a “New Year, New Me,” partaker, I am still entirely against active gym goers who complain about full gyms at the top of the year. Get over yourself! Don’t hate on people trying to make a change. So what if you have to wait for a treadmill or park far away. They may or may not keep their resolution, but your rudeness is not necessary. Instead, offer encouragement to keep going!

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Jacket – Forever 21

Graphic Tee – Target

Jeans – H&M

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5 Ways To Take A Mini Vacation From Your Phone

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I saw this quote on Instagram and had yet another wake up call! (Two epiphanies in one week? I’m on a roll!) I need to find more activities that pull me away from my phone and into adventures.

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I’m definitely guilty of being a social media addict so I am no expert, but I thought I’d share some ideas I had on ways that we can take a vaca from our devices:

❤ Something outdoorsy like hiking or camping.

(Because nature is cool! 🍁)

❤ Water activities that require us to put our phones aside like swimming, jet skiing and kayaking. I don’t partake in these activities but they sound fun!

❤ Host a game night at home with friends and make everyone put their phones in a bowl for the duration of each game. After all, we can’t win with our faces in our phones!

❤ Play a game of Phone Stack the next time we head out to dinner with friends. Who ever touches their phone first, pays the bill! Who doesn’t want free dinner? 😉

❤ Get a group of friends together for a few rounds of sand volleyball, corn hole or putt putt. Any outdoor sport or activity that requires both hands would work 🙂

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Processed with VSCO

There doesn’t have to be a strict no phone rule. Occasional breaks to snap, take pictures and do a status update is fine but I think we’ll enjoy life much more with our phones away and our focus on the experience!

Have any other ideas to add to mine? Leave them in the comments below!

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Processed with VSCO. RBF by Me lol

Shop my look!

Skinny High Ankle Ripped Jean (On Sale Now!)

Twisted-Hem Crop Top

Floppy Hat (Mine is sold out but I found a similar one)

*My GAP jacket was thrifted!

“Mr. Photographer, I Think I’m Ready For My Close Up”

Well, not quite yet but I’m getting there!

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As lifestyle bloggers, photos are a requirement. We post OOTDs, makeup tutorials and our everyday activities. The difficult part is that a lot of us don’t have modeling experience. We’re regular people, doing regular things so getting comfortable with having our picture taken can be a struggle. Luckily, I have an amazing photographer, who just so happens to be my husband, to direct me through the beginning stages of my relationship with the camera.

We shot this past weekend for a little practice and he gave me a few tips that I want to share with my fellow bloggers and Instagrammers. Hopefully they will be as helpful to you as they are to me. 🙂

1. Look Away

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 I’m not sure if you guys run into this issue but I’m a smiler. I’m not comfortable with serious, seductive looks so I literally just stare awkwardly into the lens with a huge, cheesy smile. That definitely gets old and starts to look unnatural after a few shots. My husband instructed me to turn my head to shake things up a bit. It also takes away a lot of the pressure since you’re not face-to-face with the camera. The focus is less on you and more on your outfit or your actions.

2. Keep Your Hands Occupied

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To avoid a boring picture with your hands dangling to your sides, do something with them. Place one on your hip, put them in your pocket, hold onto your belt loops or play with your hair. Use props like a coffee cup, bouquet of flowers or a camera. Any prop would work as long as it’s relevant to the content you’re posting and the environment that you’re in. This method gives the image a more organic look and adds a little spice to it without having to actually “pose”.

3. Lean On Something

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Try resting on a wall, a car or a railing. Leaning naturally relaxes your body and allows you to take a breather. I’m not sure why but I tend to hold my breath during photoshoots because I’m nervous. Don’t do that! Inhale, exhale and loosen up. I cannot stress enough that the more natural you look, the better.

4. Exaggerate Movements

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On the contrary to the last tip, sometimes photos require a little drama! Pop that hip out, flip your hair around or throw your hands in the air. You may feel a little silly but this translates really well in photos. It may even make you laugh which will create a genuine, open-mouth smile. Also, try looking over your shoulder while it’s dramatically lifted toward your chin. This isn’t a natural position but it adds elegance to the shot. Get creative with this one, you might surprise yourself.

Now, I’m no expert on this subject by any means but these tips have changed my mindset completely. I went into it thinking that I would be posing in front of a camera. However, what the photographer really needs is continuous natural movements. These tips will help me improve over time. I will certainly update you guys on my progress and share more tips as I learn them.

Follow me on Instagram to see more of my photos. Most of them will be taken by husband so follow him too 🙂 If you have any other suggestions, please leave them in the comments! 😉

-D.O. ❤