Summertime and the livin’s easy

^^ See this movie!

Summer break is here! I’ve sufficiently caught up on some much needed rest, thus it’s time for me to do what I assume many a blogger is doing and write the “my summer” post!

Read like a fiend

I have absolutely no excuse not to. Summer is great for reading and hobbies. Even if you are putting in mad hours at a job, you don’t have all that pesky paper work known as homework to consume your life when you’ve finished for the night. As you can see, I have a few books to preoccupy myself with. I have this habit during my breaks at The Goodwill of buying books that look interesting and then I never getting around to reading them. No longer! I’m really excited to take a peek at the two Carl Hiaasen books. I love his work! I even studied him Fall Semester during Literature Seminar. He never lets me down. Middlesex is a book I read in high school, but it was so good I’d love to read it again, which means a lot because I rarely give books a second go-around. I also have some cool yoga books in there (no, not EAT-PRAY-LOVE), and I hope to start reading bits and pieces of the Gita. It’s kind of a heavy read, so maybe I’ll chew on it like a sweet  bovine might munch on a clump of grass—slowly and deliberately. Sorry, the writer inside me likes to be silly, but really, I’ll probably do 2 pages a day and reflect back when all is finished. I also have a guilty read in there, you know, the kind of thing you bring to the beach. Bet you can figure out which one it is!  I also plan on keeping up with my poetry and writing a piece a week and submitting to a few places every month. Oh the toil’s of us writer folk.

Hone my food photography skills

This summer I’m buying a new camera and lens, but I swear I’m going to learn how to use it properly. I’m going to be sticking with the Canon family, so I’m very excited to get that security deposit check back so I can go shopping. Until then, I’ve been playing around with my little guy and seeing how I can tinker with lighting, aperture, and the “f” function.  I’m not sure what the “f” function means, but I know when I fiddle with it things get either lighter or darker in a very cool way. My user manual is AWOL so I’m kind of figuring stuff out for myself, which is honestly the best because its keeping me from becoming technologically overwhelmed.  So, I’m more of less ditzy-dancing my way into the world of photography! This blog post was SUPER helpful, and anyone else looking into food photography should go there. Taking some sage advice from the blogger, the first thing I did was go out and buy some white plates to shoot my food on. It really does look a lot cleaner. When I move into my new place I’m going to buy a little end table that is for my food photography and food photography only and plant it right in front of the window. I’m starting to realize I need to start making my fun meals for lunch so I can utilize the natural light #foodbloggerproblems.

Some shots I’ve been playing around with

 

Write a book

Yup, I’m writing a yoga book for my Capstone project, which isn’t due till next spring, but it obviously takes a few months to write, edit, and photograph a book. I’m thinking ahead! It’s going to be about arm balances and inversions, because I like living life on the edge and upside down (can you sense a possible title brewing?) Next week I start figuring out what poses I want to feature, and I’m sure you readers will all be my guinea pigs!

Besides devoting more time to the blog, those are my three biggest priorities, and I imagine keeping the list short and sweet will make these hopes more obtainable. Plus, I honestly want the chance to kind of relax this summer. I’ve been busting butt for a year, and a little chill time would be much appreciated.

I’d love to hear everyone’s plans for the summer!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

New Year:: New Plans

New Year’s Resolution

I put on my sports bra, my leggings, and I sort of look like the girl who was running this past summer, but it’s all a beautiful and cruel illusion. Three back to back to back reps of that fitness list was NOT happening. The first go around took almost 6 minutes, and, really, is it that realistic to imagine myself moving for 20+ minutes when I haven’t done any cardio for months? I think not. I did the first round, thought I was going to puke (even Body Rock workouts have 10 second breaks every minute or so), laid on the floor for a few minutes as the world twirled above me, and contemplated defeated. We all have your weaknesses and honestly if I wasn’t blogging I probs would have given up—you guys keep me on my toes. I did today’s Random Abs workout (I really have no strength in that region) and mustered up the courage to try another round of the fitness list. The second time was much better. Maybe after a few more tries I’ll be well on my way to three reps.

 

…Which brings us to looking forward to New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve mentioned before that we generally make diet/body related goals and we usually let go of them come February. I’ve been really hitting you guys with these opening posts about diet and a bit of exercise, because they’re things I’m passionate about (well the food yes, not so much the exercise), but being healthy means also having a positive state of mind. What makes a person attractive is not only their body and how we perceive they treat it, but also their brain. Smart and even tempered people are sezzy, and thus many of my resolutions actually revolve around ways to better my brain and life.

Diet/Body/Exercise Based Changes

1.)    Get Gluten out of my diet: Honestly, I really need to do this. Since realizing I cannot eat it I’ve been being stupid and munching on it regardless. It’s not fair to my intestines, my poor hands (they always get so sore), or Chris who has to deal with me doubled over in pain. Step one: start checking labels. Step two: start making my own buns (they are my weakness.) Step three: sucking it the hell up. When I see other people who are in an obvious rut and only insist on digging themselves deeper I cringe, so I best not start being hypocritical.

2.)    Continue to refine my diet: I like this one because I’m not saying eat more this and less of that (except for the gluten.) Instead I’m leaving it open to add more veggies, reduce my Reese’s intake, and continue to try more recipes. I have big hopes and dreams for that kitchen.

3.)    Drink more water!: Okay, this is something I really need to do more. We can go weeks without food, but hardly a few days without water. For environmental reasons I’m normally anti- plastic bottle, but when I was home for Christmas my mom had bought me and Chris a huge pack of these mini orb water bottles. The spaceship shape is supposed to be appealing to kids and the smaller size is better suited for them. I had no issue swigging back 2-3 in a short time period. My brilliant idea: maybe if I reduce the size of my water bottles it’ll be less daunting and I’ll drink more. See, we often have the solutions to our problems, and they are often rather easy. We just need to face them and put our big girl panties and big boy boxer-briefs on.

4.)    Do more yoga: Self explanatory. I want to start working on having a better self practice and really start opening this right hip of mine up. Lotus here I come.

Other Resolutions:

1.)    Start reading before I go to bed:  Studies have shown that spending time watching T.V, browsing the internet, and texting friends before bed is horrible for our sleep cycles. It makes it much harder for us to go to bed and we end up staying up longer than we want or need to. With reading you are actively using your brain instead of randomly clicking; admit it college students and 20-somethings,  what sites do you really go on besides Facebook? Also, the lights in our computers and TVs are constantly pulsating, though, we just don’t realize it, and our eyes must work extra hard to focus. With this change I can finally stop complaining that I don’t have time to read. I already have several books in mind! Tomorrow I’m going to the library to borrow We Need to Talk about Kevin, which is going to be out in theaters the end of January. Below are the American & UK Trailers. I really hope it comes out in all places and not just artsy movie houses or I might be out of luck.

Ezra Miller plays Kevin and can I say CUUUUTIE? Those cheek bones, those full lips, that dark hair. I feel like a cougar in training all ready. I also want to get The Hunger Games. Apparently they were a really good series of books growing up that I never heard about, and the movie is coming out in a few months.

2.)    Learn a foreign language, sort of: Right now I’m battling between French or German. I did take French for 3 years, and I can read it okay, but I was never in love with it. They all spoke so fast anyway. Something about German speaks to me. It’s so fierce, so bold, and so guttural. Plus, my last name Harvey is derived from German Warlords.  Maybe I’ll put a poll up so you guys can decide, though I’ll probably go with German for the fun of it.

3.)    Submit work once a month to Literature Magazines: My poetry needs to start making its way into the world, and it clearly isn’t going to do that collecting dust on my desk.

4.)    Start Vloging: I love writing, but I really love talking. They called me Jabber Jaws when I was little. I’d love to make this place part blog/part video chats because sometimes it’s nice to absorb stories and ideas through your ears instead of your eyes. This also means I need to learn how to video edit. Any awesome suggestions on programs to use? I have a basic Toshiba laptop, so nothing to fancy here.

5.)    Become more DIY: One of my interests on StumbleUpon is DIY projects. I’m envious of people who can take something old and make it awesome and “new.” Sadly, aside from writing I’m really not artistic. My handwriting sucks. My mother didn’t even post my art pieces on the fridge. Boo. I’d love to learn basic sewing techniques so I could hem pants, make cool scarves and shirts, and put my Goodwill Discount to better use.

 

Well, I think that is a pretty extensive list. I imagined this post being tiny, but why should we short change our future hopes and dreams? Tell me about yours. I want to know what you plan on achieving this next year, and I hope I’ve inspired you to look beyond the body goals and typical resolutions we like to cling to year after year.

Now let’s peel back that last month on the Calendar and spring into the Near Year.

❤ Jocellyn