Okay so here we are, a new week, how are you feeling about that? Energized? Not motivated? I’m a little of both because the lingering gray weather has made January and February super duper depressing. Blizzards, ice, tons of snow – totally fine by me – but wow, gray dark days with no sunlight for weeks and weeks?! How can the sun be so naughty? Why is he playing mean games? Not nice, sun! I will stop complaining now. It serves no good purpose but it is sometimes a little fun, right?
Let’s talk about me first, then you. I know, I know, me first. :) Yes so what I am doing? I ask myself this a lot lately because I am always doing so many little things and sometimes I wonder if all of the little projects add up and then I pause and say, Yes they do because well, they really do. Each little number is contributing to a combined total – the goal. For instance, today I am writing two articles, one for the beautiful Sweet Paul magazine (on decorating) and another for the inspirational new business magazine, Where Women Creates Business (on blogging). I’m also writing out my course materials for the upcoming Blog Boss e-class that kicks off March 1st! We have an amazing group of students and teachers for this class so I’m even more eager to get started with teaching. I always get nervous before school starts because I want to be the super cool teacher that all of the students love but I get a bit of stage fright! You’d think that after teaching for so many years both on and offline that I’d be super chill about it but nope, I’m shaky at my knees before the first day. As soon as day one begins though, I shoot off like a rocket and am absolutely comfortable.
I often wish this stage fright would disappear as I get older but it likes to stick around. I think it comes from always wanted to do my best and make people feel happy. I like to create Tiggers. Do you know who Tigger is? The fictional tiger in Winnie The Pooh? I want my students to have invisible springs on their feet for the four weeks that they spend in our virtual classroom – bouncy, smiling, happy, energized and full of absolute glee because they are doing something great for themselves.
On top of work stuff there is also play stuff. I’m enjoying a new crochet class that I’ve just started (next I will learn knitting) at Stricklounge, so now everything in magazines like Mollie Makes is finally starting to make sense to me. I sew already, but when it comes to needlepoint, crochet, knitting, etc. I’m helpless yet determined to change that, so it is time to learn new stuff. I want to learn how to make the pretty project from Emma Lamb (she is so talented) in the most recent issue, have you seen it yet? I am calling 2013 my Learning Year because I will take a ton of classes and throw myself into really deep water because I have this craving to learn. I am also learning more about making videos and considering how I will apply this newfound hobby to my business. Hmmmm.I do not want to allow myself to have this comfort career. I need challenge.
Now it’s your turn. What are YOU doing?
(images: holly becker for decor8)
Today is Valentine’s Day but for many, it’s not a day of love and happiness but a total drag. I was never a fan of V day for this reason – it simply isn’t fair to those who haven’t found their valentine (yet). And big deal if you have a true love in your life or not, right? Having someone on your arm doesn’t define who YOU are. For this reason, I want to dedicate this post to all of my readers – those who have a valentine today and those who are simply thinking, “I really need a lot of cocktails to get through this”. I want to let you know that you are loved SO MUCH. Someone out there, if not many someones, love you loads and loads appreciate having you in their life. Like me.
I have some friends going through some pretty rough divorces currently and today isn’t their favorite holiday and some of them are going out and partying with their girlfriends (YES! Do it!) and others are simply at home feeling like something is wrong with them because they lost their marriage. Don’t assume that everyone partnered is getting roses and chocolates and having hot sex tonight. Honestly, I’m married and I’m cooking lasagna and having over my mother-in-law and her 60+ year old friends over for dinner and a piano concert afterwards. Nothing hot or Fifty Shades about that.
So anyway, a big hug to ALL OF YOU. You rock. You are loved. And I’ll see you tomorrow for some lovely posts and some really good news too!
As a blogger who is out a lot playing around with my camera and meeting up with people, I’m asked frequently about my loot – what’s in MY bag? In this post I’ll share a list of what I think is some pretty great gear for bloggers that I use – and everything is quite affordable (my camera is well under $1,000 which, in DSLR terms, isn’t high end but still does a beautiful job). What works for me may not work for you but I really LOVE my Canon 600D and the 4 lens that I have (one is a kit lens, the other 3 I purchased). I also like my other goodies, like my camera strap and my cute camera bag that just arrived today.
Here is a list of my loot:
Camera: Canon 600D with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens by Canon that came with it. This camera is great because it not only takes amazing photos but it has full HD movie mode – my latest obsession! Camera details/price can be found here: Amazon.de/Amazon.co.uk/Amazon.com
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-200mm 1:3,5-5,6 IS (Amazon.de/Amazon.co.uk/Amazon.com), Canon EF 50mm 1:1.8 (Amazon.de/Amazon.co.uk/Amazon.com) Note: I want to upgrade this lens soon though to the Canon EF 50mm/1,4. And the latest lens I’ve picked up is the Canon EF 35mm 1:2,0 (Amazon.de/Amazon.co.uk/Amazon.com)
Tripod: I use a Manfroto #222 joystick head on top of a standard tripod that my husband bought on eBay awhile ago. If you’re in the market for a tripod, Manfrotto is a really good one to try and they are super sturdy though not so lightweight – I only use this one for shooting at home. I haven’t gotten to the point yet to where I’m bringing tripods on the road with me… Ha! Baby steps, here.
Phone/Apps: I also want to add that I frequently use my iPhone 4 to take photos (Instagram addict) and I really like the KitCam app though I find myself using the Camera+ app most of the time. I’m also taking videos frequently with the Vine app and having a lot of fun with it!
iPad: I use my iPad constantly. More than my MacBook Pro even. It’s the best thing ever and the funny thing is, it took me 6 months after I purchased it to even get into using it. One great thing you can do with an iPad that is pretty cool for photographers is that you can pop an Eye-Fi card into your camera and transfer pictures wirelessly to your iPad while you’re shooting (as in instantly!) using the ShutterSnitch app. My husband and I shot about 30 photos for my last book like this and it worked like a charm when it came to styling and really helps you to pick up the pace on shoots, too.
Camera bag: Ketti Chevron cloth camera bag. Note: Mine arrived with a dark purple lining that I really don’t like (it’s hard to see inside because it’s very dark) – the website says green lining (with photos showing it so I know I’m not crazy)- so I insist when you purchase a bag from them you make sure they get your order right. Other than the purple interior, the bag will work great for me – I love that it’s padded and has adjustable slots for the lens, the camera, etc. inside – yet it looks like a very “normal” handbag. I got so tired of running around in my ugly black (very standard, very boring) camera bag!
Camera strap: Stardust camera strap from Bloom Theory in silver.
So! That’s what I use when I’m out shooting and having fun. Hope some of these tips help you out! A few of the Amazon.com links above are affiliate links by the way, which means I earn about 6% if you buy something on the US Amazon site. All of the other links are not affiliate-related at all. No one has paid me or given me products, discounts or any freebies for mentioning any of the above items. I paid for absolutely everything at the same retail price as everyone else. :)
If you have any questions or want to share what you use, please do in the comments section below! What’s in YOUR bag?
Happy Friday everyone – loads of love to you!
(images: holly becker, thorsten becker and bloom theory)
I mentioned in a post yesterday that I have a new company to share with you that hasn’t been featured online yet so it’s time for a little show ‘n tell. This was sent over by my dear blogger friend Irene Hoofs from Bloesem. Are you ready to see something shiny and new? Meet Nala Design, a new stationery and home decor line from Malaysia founded by Irene’s friend Lisette Scheers.
Her patterns are inspired by Malaysia’s melting pot of Chinese, Malay and Indian culture. Nala means successful in Swahili and is also the name of Lisette’s daughter. Lisette first started her company as a way to revive the forgotten art of letter writing and, “Began modestly with a collection of stationery based on Straits Chinese motifs.” She decided to branch out to include homewares (mostly pillows at this point) and this is her debut in the blogosphere so I hope that you’ll welcome her with open, supportive arms. I imagine she is reading this thinking, “Wow, there are my products on some blog called decor8!”. When I’m blogging I always wonder what the people on the other side of the screen are thinking – especially those whom I’m writing about, ha ha!
Irene styled the photo shoot in her home showing the collection and she did a beautiful job showcasing these colorful, happy products. Irene’s beautiful styling work looks great – good job, Mrs. Hoofs! As a side note, I saw Irene’s home recently in a big magazine, I cannot recall which one, and I nearly died of shock. Irene lives like a celebrity, her home is gorgeous, really! I had major home envy after seeing that feature.
If you like what you see, you can purchase from her web shop and she will ship anywhere in the world.
Hello, hello! I’m back from my holiday break but oh no! Please forgive me! I’m not feeling very motivated to get back to work though I’ve heard I’m not alone… You too? Hopefully with this first post I’ll be feelin’ my flow again. I need to get back into the game!
It’s like anything… Mind over body. I want to feel the groove but my body is a bit like “bleh”. So first thing I did on Monday morning was to make small but positive changes. I decided to drink more green tea and water, eat mostly salads and go on daily walks (Currently I’m doing 3.1 miles/5km). It’s time to get that energy back, focus and start planning ahead because this is going to be a very big year since I’m going on another book tour in May to North America hitting more cities this time and extending certain parts of my journey to teach a workshop, visit family and work on my next book when I’m out on the west coast. Must. Reboot. Mojo.
So! Did you have a nice holiday? What did you do? I didn’t really DO anything but that was sort of the point. It was healing to go into a fox hole and hideaway for three weeks. It allowed me time to think which sounds silly but stopping to really THINK isn’t something we find ourselves doing often, is it? I believe that is why topics like Slow Living and Mindfulness have become more and more a part of daily conversations happening around the world. We need to be asking ourselves questions like, “Do I want to be doing what I’m doing today by this time next year?” and “What changes do I need to make in my life now?” along with “Am I really happy and if not, what do I need to change to get more HAPPINESS into my life”. Oh yeah and of course the most important thing to ask is, “Ryan Gosling?”.
Okay maybe that one isn’t a question but it most certainly is always the answer (smile). I saw Drive over the holidays and though it’s one of those revenge action flicks (not really my thing), Ryan was so charming and authentic in his performance that I finally GOT why so many women are lured in. It’s not just the abs, really. If you’ve seen Drive, you will immediately know what I mean – the boy can act. You know what really struck me though about Mr. Gosling in that film? He comes across like the real deal and aren’t we all so much more attracted to people who are authentic? I think sincerity really goes the distance.
You don’t have to be perfect to succeed but wow, being genuine can make or break so many of us. In a funny way, watching Drive really highlighted that fact to me because his character was flawed but real and it made me think that all of us are flawed but often that’s what attracts us to one another so much. Flaws, imperfection, not being 100%. It’s relatable and we want relatable don’t we? It’s often that slowing down that we do mentally around the holidays that allows us room to think and for me, I have been thinking so much about the importance of being sincere, standing up for what we believe in, owning up to every piece of ourselves (even the flawed bits) and embracing imperfection, individuality and love for self.
I’d like to welcome you back to a new year of decor8 and wish you all a very happy new year. I’ll be back in a moment with a post showing products photographed in the home of one of my favorite bloggers featuring newly designed products not shared yet online – in fact the photo above is a glimpse of what is to come. Stay tuned!