My favourite thing about Travel Tuesday is having a location where like minded bloggers and readers can meet to share our passion of travel. The best part for having that camaraderie across an online forum is you get a global view from many different perspectives. I will share with you my most favourite travel tips that I have picked up from my travels around the world.
Welcome to 2014 and a new year to embrace the possibilities! A beautiful thing about life is realizing all the opportunities that await you. It all starts with a thought and grows with action. What will you be accomplishing this year? Are there deep hidden passions from within that you have been waiting to act out? A goal you have often thought would be great to have happen, but have not yet seen it through? Let this be your year!
HOW TO DO YOUR 2014 RESOLUTIONS
Brainstorm | Whether you already have one set idea in mine or many floating around in your mind, take the time to think it out. Get in your zone. Find a place where you can be a lone and think. Perhaps put on music that will inspire you. Be inside or outside. The important thing is to be free from distractions where you can really just brainstorm all the possibilities. You do not have to do everything you think of, you just want to open your mind, your heart, and soul to all that awaits you.
Write it Out | Get that paper handy or write out out on your choice electronic device. Write out all the ideas that spoke to you when you were brainstorming. Then write under each idea what it is you like about it. What goals do you want to accomplish? What do you want to be able to say at the end of 2014? What grabs you personally about it? This is all about you, so do not worry what others will think.
Make a Plan | Now that you know what you want to achieve in 2014 you have to make a plan. Starting out with day one. If you can accomplish one day, you can accomplish two. Think of it as a day to day thing to make it not overwhelming when thinking in bigger and longer terms of weeks and months. They say it takes 28 days to form a habit so remember that it will get easier and that you are capable of sticking with anything you put your mind to achieving!
Have a Plan B | We are all human and we are going to have our bad days. So make a plan B. For example last year I wanted to blog every day. If I knew I was going to be out of town I would schedule guest posts from other bloggers (ie. Love Week in July/August when we were having our 10th Anniversary Vow Renewal in Wales). I also wrote up non time sensitive posts that I kept in ‘draft’ mode in case I was uninspired one day and needed something ready to go. Also remember that sometimes our Plan B will not always work out. It is okay to make mistakes. Pick yourself up and get ready to keep going.
Share it Out | If you keep your plans and goals to yourself and you mess up who will know? Better yet if you share your goals and resolutions you can have your family and friends help keep you accountable. The best part is they are not just there for you when it gets hard. They can help encourage and celebrate with you during the great times and moments of greatness too! Perhaps you will inspire others to take part or get involved with their own goals too. Share it forward!
There you have it in five easy steps how you can get started in your resolutions for 2014. Remember to stay focused and positive. Do not let the negativity get you down or limit yourself to constraints. Last year I did not start my blogging every day until February…but I did it through to December. It is up to you to make your plan and what you want to achieve. Best yet is you can do it!
Q: What will you be achieving this 2014?
For me when I think of the holidays the first thing that comes to mind is family. Directly after that my mind wanders to locations across the globe. Basically because my family is spread out and we have not all ever lived in the same place. There will come a time in the near future where my side of the family will be split up on four different continents! Returning to a childhood home in the states every year for the holidays just does not fit our expat family. When it comes to planning our upcoming holidays my family has decided we will start choosing destinations where we can all meet.
TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY + FAMILY PORTRAITURE
Now not only will we be wanting to focus on our travel photography on our holidays, we will want family portraits at the same time too. For us we never know the next time we will all be together in the same location, let alone that destination. Time is precious on holidays and when it comes to family photos quality wins over quantity. Take 600 photographs of your travels with family member scattered in the mix but do not get one great group shot of everyone and the opportunity is gone. How do you plan family photos when there is already so much going on with the holiday and travel plans?
How to take Family Photos on your Travels
1. Communicate with your Group | Once everyone knows where you are going for your holidays it is time to start talking about the photographs. My family knows that when I leave the house I will have a camera on me. However, I cannot pretend that everyone is a mind reader and will know that I want to get family photos. Some people will need reminding, others coaxing, and some will want fair warning so they can be feel amply prepared.
2. Prepare Before Leave | Any task will be pulled off more efficiently with before thought and preparation. Think about the location you are traveling to and how far your family will be traveling from. It is best to not to ask your family to bring a lot of extra clothes or props just for a family photo. With the right preparation and communication you can still pull off a rather stylized family shoot.
3. Stylize your Shoot | Think of a colour scheme that will work well with your group and let everyone know in advance. However do not then leave it up to chance. You either risk having everyone wear the same outfit or having one person looking out of place because perhaps they did not have dark trousers and wore light blue jeans instead. The key is coordination and simplicity. For balance check ahead of time what everyone has and what they are thinking of wearing. The best way I have found this to work for my family is to think of a basic colour palette that you know people will have and then build on it with a little bit of colour. Have different members of the group ‘pop’ that colour into their wardrobe in different ways. If your ‘pop’ colour is green you may see it introduced in different items of clothing on each person and even in accessories like hats, hair pieces, jewelry, ties, scarves, and shoes.
4. Posing | Once you know what people are wearing you can work with colour balance and family relations to decide who will stand where in the photo. Before hand look at family poses online that you like and bring it with you on your mobile device or printed out for reference. You can try different poses but go with your favourite pose first. This will be beneficial if you are working with children (or adults) with short attention spans or a dislike for having their photo taken.
5. Be Efficient | If there will be children, older family members, people with special needs, or pets in the photograph, let them relax until you are read to start snapping away. Let the other family members work with you to set up the group shot first. Once you are ready to add everyone in then get ready to smile and aim to get ‘the shot’ there in the beginning.
6. Timing | It really is everything. Think about the time of day you are shooting and how it will affect lighting and shadows. Also take in account how the time of the photo will affect the members posing. As my family photos involve children I like to take photos when they are not hungry, not tired, and before something that they can look forward to after the photos are finished. My favourite time of day is the golden hour after the sun comes up. Others also like to shoot during the golden hour in the evening during the last light of the day.
7. Take the Shot | Whether you are having someone else take the photos or you are using your camera’s timer or a remote, remember you are working with a group of people in one photo. This means some people may be blinking or making a strange face in one shot, while looking great in another. Start with having everyone feel comfortable and relaxed and then take a lot of photos to achieve a shot where everyone looks great. The shorter the shoot the nicer it will be on those who feel uncomfortable or would rather be doing something else. Make sure to check the photos before you deem the shoot as ‘over’ to know you are satisfied with the results.
8. Have fun | Once you have the shot you need then let your group have fun. Maybe break out some props to use or bring in elements from your trip to show off your holiday. Let people mingle, be themselves, and pose with different people. This is a perfect time to get candids!
There you have 8 tips for family photos on a trip. Perfect for you to implement on your holidays this year! I have other photography geared posts that you can check out including the How to Take your Family Portraits which you can read by clicking the image below.
Share your Travel stories and wanderlust addictions.
* Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | www.bonnie-rose.co.uk
* Side by side vertical photos by Miriam Pinkston Photography © 2013
- The transition period is frustrating. I heard that it would be and I will not lie and say that it is a breeze. The trick is to keep your hair back and just stick with it. I ended up going with a french braid and keeping my hair in a plait, instead of wearing it down. It also benefited that I work mostly from home. If I was working in the salon still, I am not sure how it would have gone down with my coworkers to be honest. Just remember that it is a transition and will not last forever.
- One size does not fit all. In this case what may work for one person may not work for you. This could also apply to your journey with no poo and you may find you have to switch it up a bit. The tricky part of breaking up with your shampoo and conditioner is to find the right mixture and ingredients for you. I initially started with using the paste method of baking soda because it was what I tried before. However it was making my scalp very itchy, no matter how well I tried rinsing my my scalp. I switched it to the baking soda wash method and went from Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) to White Vinegar (WV).
- I needed a new brush. As a hairstylist I have a gazillion brushes but oddly enough did not own an all natural Boar Bristle Brush (BBB). Since my goal is to grow my hair out long I have been trying to not touch my hair if possible. That means if I needed to brush my hair I used a wide tooth comb and if I needed to use a comb I tried to just use my fingers. However I realised from trouble shooting online that I needed to use my BBB. Ever heard of how women used to brush their hair a hundred times every day? I use to discredit that and say how horrible that was for your hair as a stylist. Upon research I now actually think it is a good thing. One you need the right kind of a brush. The natural bristles of a BBB will help distribute the natural oils from your scalp down the hair shaft to make it soft and shiny.
- I lose a lot of hair every day. This is something I know for a fact. I knew this back when I gave birth to my first son eight years ago. Along with the knowledge that after you give birth you shed even more hair. I kid you not, I was still bawling my eyes out in the shower as I saw how much hair I was ‘losing’. So with not brushing my hair very much I started to freak myself out with seeing all the hair in the brush when I did use it. However all those hairs that were going to come out anyways have just added up. I am not going bald, nor is my hair thinning. I am just overreacting to the number of hairs we can lose every day. If you are wondering that could be up to 130 hairs a day! Wash your hair once a week and do not be sad if you see around 700 hairs coming out in your hands.
- I need to change things up. At my 3 month mark I noticed my hair was almost reverting back to what it was like during my transition stage. Except I felt that it was almost worse because I was already three months in. My hair was not just oily near the scalp, but really sticky. It also seemed like my BS wash and vinegar rinse were not helping. After doing some research I tried an egg and honey wash. I used two egg yolks, 1 tbsp of honey, 1 tbsp of vinegar, and 1/2 tbsp of baking soda. It made a frothy mixture which I rubbed on my scalp for three minutes. I left it on for another five and then rinsed really well. I sprayed my ends with my diluted white vinegar mixture. I could tell my hair felt better immediately but after my hair dried it was confirmed. So just know that sometimes you may need to change up your routine.
- There are many different ways to be ‘no poo’. You do not have to rely on just baking soda and vinegar. There are so many other ways to go about it and you just have to find what works for you. I also tried using a mixture of honey and aloe vera fresh from the plant to help when my scalp was itchy from the baking soda paste. There are so many tea rinses out there that I have been meaning to try out sometime too.
- I spend less time on my hair. When I was using shampoo (which strips your hair of natural oils, which makes your body then overproduce) I would have to wash my hair every few days. If I used product or straightened may hair I would have to wash every day. Now that I can go seven and ten days it has really cut down on how much time I am spending washing my hair. But it gets better than that! My hair now dries so much faster on its own. I do not need to be outside in the sun either. Just being in my house my hair dries on its own in just a few hours. I have not really timed it, but I know normally my hair would still be quite wet and not fully dry as it is now. Which means I do not spend tons of time blow drying hair, flat ironing, or using my curling iron.
- It can work! Since going about it this time I realised it can work and that has been the best lesson of all. I can go seven to ten days between washing my hair. Between that time I will use water only (WO). Which means yes I still bathe regularly. However I will wear a shower cap to keep my hair out of the way. Especially if I am going 10 days between my ‘no poo’ wash I will use water only every four or five days. The trick for me is using hot water and scrubbing my scalp.
HOW I STYLE MY HAIR NATURALLY.
What You Will Need:
You will need either a circular stretch headband or you can use a scarf. I found the headband creates tighter curls, wear the scarf will give you looser curls. If you are going straight to bed you can wet down your hair slightly with water. Do not do this with very wet hair or your hair will not dry fully. Also your hair can stretch longer when it is wet compared to when it is dry which can cause breakage.
1. Comb out your hair with your fingers or a comb and determine your parting. Now that my hair is long I am keen to use a center part. Put your headband or scarf around your head like a halo and position accordingly.
2. Start with one side and take a section of hair in your hands. You will hold it up rap it around the headband and down. Take the same size section and add it to what you are currently holding and repeat. You will be working your way all the way to the back of your head. The trick is to take the same amount of hair each time. Do not feel you have to match the amount of hair that you have accumulated, otherwise your curls will get bigger and looser the farther back you go.
3. Once you have finished one side continue wrapping your end around the headband until the end is secured.
4. Repeat on the opposite side.
5. You should now have a Princess Jasmine looking hair do. Enjoy your beauty rest or your day if you happen to do this as a day up style.
6. When you are ready slowly take your hair down. If you used the scarf technique the easiest way is to untie it from the back and then slip the scarf out from your hair.
7. Using your fingers comb through the curls gently. You can re curl sections with the direction they are curled to help refresh the look.
8. Use hairspray if you prefer or just use a little coconut oil to tame any fly-a-ways and add shine.
Egg Yolks & Honey
Hi, A Compass Rose readers!
I blog about my family and also my photography hobby.
Tip 2: Trains, trains, and more trains
I visited the Kyoto region on my second time to Japan and took trains just about everywhere. If you’re planning to take a lot of trains, look into a Japan Rail (JR) Pass. Be sure to read the FAQ page to find out the details on the pass. For longer-distance trains, I reserved seats and got my pass stamped at the various stations – Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo. It was fun collecting them.
Tip 3: Restaurants with food displays are everywhere
When in doubt, eat at a restaurant with a food display. I once took a waitress outside to the window to show her what I wanted to eat. A few times cold noodle dishes were served when I was expecting a warm dish, but it certainly didn’t affect my appetite. Japanese food is one of my favorite cuisines.
*All photography in this post is copyright to Lisa C. Ng for expandng.com © 2013
F A M I L Y P O R T R A I T S
You can surely take an impromptu family portrait and love the results. However you could also prep for a more stylized family portrait and take them yourself. Look over this list of points to keep in mind before taking your portraits is key to satisfaction. But do not forget about your equipment. Make sure your camera batteries are charged and with you, that your memory cards have available space (and not just becoming storage to unbacked up photos) and double check your camera settings. If you shoot in lower quality for selling items on eBay, make sure to change it back to RAW or a higher res for your portraits to save from crying later.
My last family portrait was taken at Christmas time by our home here in Bath, England. I let my family know ahead of time what the colour palette was and sort of kept tabs on my mum and sister about what they would be bringing. When it came to plan out the outfits I let everyone ‘punch’ the colour of red in a different way. I wore a red cardigan, my sister wore red shoes and red accessories, my mum wore a red hat, my eldest son wore a red tie, and my youngest had red stripe detail in his dark plaid shirt. My husband did not have anything with red but matched the palette. Since we all punched red into the photo in different ways it did not matter that Ryan stayed neutral because it became a cohesive balance.
Kids & Animals. They infamous quote is you should never work with children or animals. However of course those will be the two categories we want to focus on in our photographs. Keep the little ones in mind when going planning each stage of your family portrait. If you know the kids will be tired during a certain hour, obviously do not plan to shoot at that time. It is better to work around the little ones and their schedule. Make sure the kids present are neither tired nor hungry when it is time to pose. Bring treats and have something for them to look forward to after the photographs have been taken.
Props. They can be fun. Especially with the right group of people a few key props can pull a theme together. Kids especially will love things they can wear or play with and will be drawn to the excitement. However make sure you get your standard portraits first. Always aim to get the shot you want in the beginning and then from there have fun. It could be the shots you do not plan that may surprise you and turn out the best in the end.
SPONSORED: How to Quickly Catalog, Cull, and Edit Photos using Lightroom
- Choose a username that matches your online personality. If it is mainly personal use your name. If you own a blog you could go with your blog name. If you own a business create a business Pinterest account with your company’s name.
- Choose a clear and eye catching profile photo for your profile picture.
- Have your About You section filled with a short, sweet, and concise description of who you are in under 160 characters. Key words are vital.
- Add your website and verify it for use of the analytical features of Pinterest.
- Simple is Best. Keep your pages looking attractive with simple descriptions. Do not make lengthly paragraphs with too many hash tags.
5) Use Pin Descriptions. Include several key words. Make it Personal with using ‘your voice’ and even try to be funny. Use trending hashtags, but do not go overboard. I have heard conflicting information whether Pinterest is currently using hashtags for when it comes to searches. However hashtags are great to have for pins that get reshared over twitter.
8) Check Before you Pin. Just as you would read the label before buying something, do not take a pin by its word. Just because that photo looks pretty, does not mean you actually want it on your board. You should always check the pin to make sure that it doesn’t go to spam, that it is content you want to share, and that the link indeed works.
11) Keep the Boards Organized. This could be by grouping similar boards together or even alphabetically. Feel free to continually keep your boards organized by moving them around to keep the most engaging boards in the first two rows. These are the first boards other pinners will look at when searching for pins or interesting boards to follow.
13) Be Involved in Group Boards. Pinterest users can create boards with other users to pin together towards the same goal! This is not only a great way to help each other out but to build a community. It helps in cross promotion and finding new followers.
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16) Have fun! Pinterest should be fun and if you find it to be work maybe you should take a step away for awhile. I equate it to trying to build something with legos. After awhile things can get frustrating and it just ends up in more frustration. Just step away, enjoy life, and come back when you are ready. Remember too much of a good thing can be bad. Life is too short not to have fun. Enjoy Pinning!
Since growing sites like Pinterest are constantly evolving, things will change. In the act of researching before writing this post I learned a lot myself about ways I have been neglecting my own account. I look forward to correcting my bad Pinterest habits and making some positive changes from what I have shared with you today. I hope this post has helped you learn something new if you are already in love with Pinterest already. If you have any questions post a comment below.
Most recent pinners on I love to follow