Now that summer is winding down and most kids around the country are back at school, it's time to get back into the swing of things and re-establish routines that may have been interrupted by summer.
Here are some tips for getting over summer:
1. Sleep- Your sleep routine was most likely affected by summer: going to bed later than normal and perhaps waking up a little later too. It is important to try and get 7-8 hours per sleep per night and start your day EARLY. At night put your phone in a different room to charge, so that you won't be tempted to lay in bed scrolling. Set your alarm to get up an hour to thirty minutes earlier than the rest of your household and when the alarm goes off, DON'T SNOOZE! Get up and start your day enthusiastically and full of energy. You'll be surprised at how much you'll get done.
2. Exercise- I am probably one of the few people in the world who doesn't drink coffee. So to get my blood pumping and energized, I get moving. It doesn't have to be a full blown Zumba routine but make sure you move throughout the day. Take the stairs, do 20 jumping jacks, walk to the corner. Do this whenever you feel sluggish and it's guaranteed to get your blood pumping and make your endorphins happy. This will allow you to focus on getting work done instead of daydreaming about the beach (or your bed).
3. Plan- Do not discount the effectiveness of handwritten to-do lists! Get a bright colorful note pad (just for fun, white plain paper will do!) and do a bulleted list of everything you need to do for the day. If this is too old school for you, create a list in your Notes app. The point is just to make sure you have a plan and you prioritize your daily tasks so that you can feel a sense of accomplishment.
4. Establish a routine- Work all three of the above into your daily schedule until they become a routine. This will help keep you from wandering aimlessly through your day. You need a purpose to keep you focused and on task!
5. Keep a positive attitude- Every morning you wake up is a blessing and none of us are promised tomorrow. So stay positive and think of it as a privilege to leave your mark on each day. And don't wish away the days for days of summer past. . . .time is fleeting and summer will be back in nine short months!
This my last post for the Summer Blog Series! I won't be consistently blogging after this post but may pop in from time to time. In the meantime, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter for more information, tips and updates.
I get a lot of compliments about my Instagram feed. And people often ask what kind of camera I use. I actually use my iPhone 6S Plus. The camera isn't even the best camera phone on the market (although the Portrait feature on the iPhone 7 is a game changer!) I've just learned some tricks for taking Instagrammable (yeah, that's a word!) photos:
1. LIGHTING, LIGHTING, LIGHTING- Did I mention lighting? Lighting is everything when it comes to taking good photos. Whether you're taking a selfie or a book photo (my fave) you need to make sure your lighting is good. I usually leave my flash off and take photos near my back door because there is a large window nearby that brings in natural light.
Very Basic Shot to Show My Super Simple Set up!
2. Focus- As a lover of photos my biggest pet peeve is a blurry or grainy picture. Especially if you didn't do it for an artistic reason. Most (if not all) camera phones have a focus feature. You can tap the screen and make sure the focus is on your subject. If you don't have this feature there are several apps that can take over your camera and add this function. My favorite is the Camera+ app. Pictures that are in focus provide more visual interest AND we can actually see what you snapped!
3. Background- If you are doing a prop or product shot or even a selfie be mindful of the background. You don't want something so busy it takes away from your primary subject. I prefer a solid background when I'm taking book photos. I purchased a white foam poster board from the dollar store and I take the majority of my still shots using this background. I also splurged ($7) for a distressed wood plank from Walmart to take photos on as well, mostly food shots.
More basic shots just to show my background example
4. Content- Choose something of interest to take a photo of and provide a clever caption. It might seem cheesy or fake to stage a photo but that is what Instagram is all about (to some degree) taking CREATIVE photos. If you want to take a photo of your cup of coffee, add a muffin or book/magazine that you're reading. Light a candle or put a flower in a vase. . .so many options! Check the #proptoit tag on Instagram for inspiration. Or if you just want to capture sunsets or birds or flowers do it in an interesting way- zoom in, zoom out, take the photo off center, blur the background just make it interesting and visually pleasing! (Bonus tip: to get some different ideas for content try a photo challenge like the Fat Mum Slim Photo A Day Challenge #fmspad. It's a month long challenge (every month) with different fun daily prompts!)
5. Edit- I'm not really a big fan of filters. Not unless you plan on using a special filter for ALL of your photos and creating some sort of uniformity for your feed. I've seen this done before and it's pretty cool. However I just like to edit my photos using the Camera+ app. I'll back light them, add or remove shadows, add some clarity and turn up the saturation. Whatever makes the photo pop without looking overdone.
What are some of your Insta tips? | Follow me on Instagram @traciemomie
During the summer months I admit I don't exercise as nearly as often as I should, which means I have to be more conscientious about what I eat. I eat a lot of salads and fruit during the summer. One of my favorite salads is a simple salad with only three main ingredients: cucumber, tomato and feta cheese.
The thing that's interesting about this salad is that I generally don't like tomatoes but in this light summer salad they are delicious!
I like my salad slightly chilled, so I put the cucumber in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before I use it. I peel the cucumber and cube it; then chop the tomato and crumble the feta over the top. I add cracked pepper and a splash of my favorite salad dressing to finish it off.
To make it more hearty, you can add shrimp or chicken. The great thing about this salad is you can make/mix as little or as much as you want. There is no strict recipe to follow, just toss and enjoy!
What is your favorite summer salad?
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