I don’t consider myself to be a self indulgent person but on the rare occasion that I can spend a day doing anything I want, I do have some things that make me absolutely giddy.
Here are ten things that make me happy:
What are some of the things that make you happy?
If you are a blogger or someone who likes sharing quotes or other information online/via social media I would strongly encourage you to start taking your own photos.
Here is why:
1. It is technically illegal to pillage through the Internet and use random photo's of images you do not own.
2. Everyone uses the same images over and over from the Internet and even the stock photography sites.
3. Some of the images are horrible. They are pixelated and your message tends to get lost.
I know you think you don't have the time or the skill to take your own photo's but you're wrong. Anyone can take a photo especially since most smartphones have built in cameras. Now I will drop a disclaimer here: If you need head shots or product shots, I definitely recommend contacting a professional photographer to maintain some integrity for your brand.
But if you just need a background for a quote or to accompany a blog post. . .you got this!
One trick for taking good photo's with your camera phone is a steady hand. If you are shaky then hold down on the screen once you get the image you want, on most phones not only will the light be adjusted but you can lock your target, so that even if you're shaky the image is already in focus.
Another trick is using filters. Filters give images a more artistic look and even photo's that aren't that great become more interesting with filters. I would stay away from filters that make the images too colorful sometimes it looks unnatural.
There is inspiration all around you. If you see the clouds making an interesting pattern or looking like cotton balls, snap a quick photo filling the frame with nothing but the sky, no light poles or rooftops.
Another disclaimer: I am not advocating that you do this while driving. If the sunset is just perfect and you want to capture it, PULL OVER to a safe spot, put the car in park and snap away.
Just take images whenever you can and save them on your phone even if you don't think you need them, you'll be surprised how they can be used. Picture of your kids running and playing but maybe only capture their feet or if the photo is blurred use it! That's a great artistic statement. Even taking photo's of a candle on a table could make a good image.
A great phone app to use (for both iOS and Android) for adding text to images, adding clip art and filters all in one is Studio. You can save the images to your phone and them upload them to your blog or social media. If your blog platform doesn't have a phone app, just email the pictures to your self so that you can get them on to your computer.
I saw this idea on a 1,001 blog post ideas page and thought it might be fun to try. I usually just have random ideas pop in my head for posts and then some times I can't thing of a single thing to blog about. Today is one of those days. So without further ado I give you some tidbits to help you get to know me better:
What I'm. . . watching: I'm binge watching Once Upon A Time on Netflix and Hulu. I cannot even believe I've been missing out on all this fantastical fairytale goodness all these years!
What I'm. . . reading: Currently, Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I was hooked by the first chapter. I can soooo relate to her testimony and I'm hoping it will inspire me to have my own Year of Yes starting with the new year!
What I'm. . . eating: I'm low key addicted to the Boom Chicka Pop popcorn, specifically the holiday drizzle kettle corn with sea salt and dark chocolate. My eyes just rolled in the back of my head when I typed that and my mouth started to water. I see a trip to the store in my future. Like right after I finish this post!
What I'm . . . loving: My new iPhone 6S Plus. I still remember over seven years ago when I huffed and puffed because my husband bought me my first iPhone. "Nothing was wrong with my Razr." I argued. Yes, I was in love with my pink, Razr flip phone. But I've had an absolute love affair with my iPhone for almost a decade. However with age comes issues and that small screen was about to have me crossover to a Galaxy but then I got the 6S Plus and I feel like I can see again! I'm even loving all the new features and because I got the 32GB it's hella fast. One thing I've been pouting about is that I just don't think the camera is any better than the iPhone 5. I seriously don't see a difference. But I'm getting tips online to optimize the experience, so time will tell. . .but everything else about it is fanfreakingtastic!
What I'm. . . wanting: I love my Macbook. I love laptops in general because of the portability. However, I plan on saving my pennies to get a new 27 inch iMac with Retina 5k display. It is the Ferrari of desktops for designer's, writer's and old people with bad eye sight! The only thing I'm afraid of is that I would probably never leave my house again if I had one. But it's a chance I'm willing to take!
I used to be a "mommy blogger". My blog name was Phenomenal Mama. I blogged about my experiences as a mom and posted cute photo's of my kids and the places we traveled. Then one day my kids asked me to stop posting pictures of them.
It made me pause and think about what I was doing. I believe I fell into mommy blogging because well, I'm a mom and I had struggles with working outside the home and then challenges when I became a SAHM, so I felt I had stuff to share and needed an outlet. But soon it all started to feel a bit staged and contrived. Every time we did something or went somewhere I tried to see how I could turn it into a blog post. It was exhausting and started to infringe upon our quality time as a family.
Also, a scary thing happens when you share so much of your life: people become really invested and they think they know you- which is fine- but they also think they know your kids, most of it is totally harmless but given the world we live in, it can still be scary.
And I totally understand that if you plan on blogging and want to build a community, you risk losing that anonymity because people want transparency. But there is soooo much more to me than being a mom. I LOVE being a mom and it brings me joy but I'm also a writer, designer, reader, etc. I just felt I wanted to explore my creative side more, so I granted my children's wishes and stopped posting about them. I rarely even post about them on social media. I figure if they are so inclined, one day they can get their own blog and share their own stories.
I have to admit I really miss the community of mom bloggers- the support I received from those ladies was amazing! But life is all about new experiences and I'm enjoying my new journey!
Houston African American Bloggers (htxaab) is a blogging community for bloggers of color in the Houston area. I first learned about the Facebook group at an entrepreneur luncheon I hosted earlier this year.
I joined HTXAAB to meet and connect with bloggers from my community. I've attended many blogging events in the city of Houston and there has definitely been a lack of diversity. HTXAAB fills a void for bloggers of color to not only have a place to go for support and resources but also for brands looking for a more diverse group influencers.
I think it's important to belong to a community of like-minded individuals who can not only relate to the specific struggles of blogging, as part of a particular demographic, but who can also serve as inspiration to motivate and encourage you on your journey!
(This post is part of the #htxaab September blogging challenge.)
Writer. Reader. Designer. Creative Spirit.
“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”