What I Wore 2013

2013 was the year of a new job and tons of thrifting! Tired of seeing myself as a person that CAN'T. No more excuses... I'm glad that I just went for it. If you're thinking about doing something then DO IT.

It sucks feeling like you're in the sideline/going nowhere and too scared to try.  So I'm going to work on becoming more social and hanging out with new people.  It's time for me to start making friends with people that really mesh with me, if that makes any sense? Some friendships I need to let go because it's borderline toxic.

My online presence has been on and off lately.  I took breaks from blogging a couple of times and the last one was because of my mom! (**warning: picture of a covered up amputation**) The bad experiences with photography on top of that,  I couldn't take it anymore and had to step away.

I needed some time to breathe  and felt so discouraged since October.  The day after Christmas I shot some candid's of my beautiful friend in her wedding dress and it was the extra push I needed!  (I'll be sharing these soon.)  Plus I randomly started a 365 project last week to share pictures and art!  Picking up my DSLR should be a nearly daily thing.

It feels like last weekend was my first break in a long time thanks to the holidays!

What are your plans for New Years?


Sponsor Feature: Mercantile519

Say hello to one of my sponsors, Nicole from Mercantile519!!! She makes awesome hand knit accessories like giganto neck warmers, geek headwear,  infinity scarves, headbands, scarves and handmade jewelry!

Want to win 3 months of ad space from Nicole (plus other goodies from others)
then enter into the giveaway here!


Photo Series: Tips For Better Portraits

New series about photography related things. I'm thinking tips, post processing, camera settings, plugins, apps, etc! If anyone has any questions or requests, feel free to ask in the comments or email me! I could do a video and/or photo tutorial!

1. Get a tripod.
Depending on what camera you have, you need to find out the weight and get a tripod that will hold it plus your lenses. I brought my camera and the heaviest lens I own to the store with me. A sturdy tripod for $40 instead of spending $$$!

2. Wireless remote. 
Much easier than going back and forth pressing the timer or asking someone to photograph you every time. Put it on auto focus and choose your seconds!  I got one extremely cheap from eBay and has 2 & 10 second modes.

You can also reduce camera shake by using a remote than touching the camera. Especially if you're using a 2 second timer with a slow shutter speed.

 3. Shoot in RAW format, if you have it.
I personally like to do most of my editing in Camera Raw. You can save your settings as presets as well. When you shoot in RAW, you are able to record the image's information. You can recover blown out highlights because the data is there. Have you ever shot in JPG and couldn't recover highlights because the area was just white? Yep!

Same goes for underexposure. You can bump it up and the quality could still be good as long as it's not in extremes. JPG's already have a processed look while RAW format is pretty dull straight out of camera. A preset can be made to mimick it anyways and you can save it as your settings so all images will update with it.

 4. Turn your back to the sun.
That way there's no angry squinting, shadows on the face or impossible to fix hot spots. It's best to shoot when it's 2-3 hours before sunset if you prefer the glow and hazy look. This lighting is usually easier to work with and more even depending on your location. Your subject can be placed to cover the sun like in this photo. :)

A reflector can help soften or get rid of shadows on the face. It can get blinding though...

5. Raise the aperture. (f-stop)
A blurry background is still possible if you don't use the lowest number (examples: f/1.4, f/1.8). You just have to be at a distance from the background.  The camera will try to lock focus on what has the most contrast and if there's too much haze, then it may continue to auto focus, take soft focus or out of focus shots.

Soft focus.
When I first started shooting I set mine at f/1.4 and got completely out of focus shots even when using manual focus. I was in focus and sharp on my screen until I took the shot and looked completely different. When the lighting is too bright, raise the aperture and put the lowest setting for ISO. You can always make adjustments as you go.

6. Use faster shutter speeds. 
I have been using tons of blurry pictures lately. You can avoid camera shake and capture motion with a faster shutter speed. I know people generally go by this: If you use a 50mm lens then your shutter speed should not be less than 1/50 of a second. A longer exposure will let in more light and either be 30", 15" 4", etc. Faster speeds look like 1/50, 1/125, 1/500, 1/1000, etc.

7. Learn to use Manual. 
That way you have control over everything: aperture, iso & shutter speed. I love this infographic by Esther Beazer! Easy to read.

8. Take more shots in one session.
Generally I take around 100-200 for my self portraits and a couple hundred more for portrait sessions depending on the type. There has been times when photos look so lovely on your camera screen and then you open it up on the computer. Nope. It can have had focus issues, lighting issues (hot spots on your face, blown out details, etc) or the subject (self portraits) can be halfway outside of the frame!  

9. Multiple shots.
What if you like one image in particular but your subject's eyes (or yours!) are closed or mid blink? Mouth open, arms moved or something. Yeah, that happens.  :(

You can also have one of your pets walk right into the background of your self portraits.  Use another photo with your pet out of the picture and use an inverted layer mask to cover their butt. I'm saying butt because my dog's always show up in mine. 

Plus there's always the Brenizer method which stitches photos together.

VSCOcam is finally out for Andriod!! It's my go-to camera app now because it's like RAW on your phone. I was aware that there were presets but if you take pictures with their camera, you get access to those addionital settings.  You can adjust exposure, temperature, contrast, highlights, shadows, sharpness, grain, fade, etc

3 days left to enter into the $100 Paypal Cash Giveaway!


Holiday Group Giveaway: $100 Paypal

Hello!! I have teamed up with these lovely bloggers for a Group Holiday Giveaway on Josephine Nychole.com. You can win $100 Paypal cash perfect for some late holiday shopping for yourself, family and/or friends!! Your money, use it the way you want!  This giveaway will run for approximately two weeks and will end December 27.  Do as many entries as you like and you'll increase your chances of winning. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cute Finds

Custom Portrait
 I love Rachel's style! It's on my wishlist to get a couples portrait done. So adorable!

Totoro Knit Hat
Knit hats are my favorite! This is super cute and soft looking :3

Glow in the Dark Galaxy Necklace  
I have been a hug fan of this shop. These galaxy necklaces are SO pretty.

Sweet Fawn Print
Isn't this amazing? LOVE. There's also some temporary tattoos that I'm considering getting...

Chocolate Brownie Ring
Too cute! I get jealous over these clay creations. It really takes some skill!

Bazinga Crop Top
The Big Bang Theory is one of my favorite shows. I would love this top!

Galaxy Space Dinosaur Charm
More clay goodies.  These are adorable. There's also other colors in the shop as well as plushies!!

Cookie Dough Stuffed M&M Cupcakes

Cute and yummy?! I have been having an unusual sweet tooth lately and cookie dough inside of cupcakes... sounds too delicious! I definitely want to try this one out.
Spock Plugs 
Yes please! One day my plug collection will grow and hopefully these will be in it!!

Reindeer Sweater
UGH. This is so amazing but that price tag. :(


Denim & Floral OOTD

It is my goal to become healthier, flexible and toned. I'm giving myself until my birthday so that's a bit over five months! I have gained 25 pounds in the last two years thanks to yummy drinks. I want to get into better shape because I always die while working out for small periods of time.

Floral Crop Top & Jacket

Go on over to The Soubrette Brunette to enter into a GIVEAWAY to win a premade blogger template from my shop, a portrait doodle and 3 months of large ad space!!

I started Tuesday and might have done a total of 20 minutes worth spread out throughout the day. I'm on Day 3 of being sore. All I'm doing is stretching and walking around. In the past I have pushed myself to do a couple of days of those 30 day challenges but I can't walk afterwards for like a week LOL

I really want to focus on measurements rather than weight. If I'm gaining more weight because I'm building muscle then yes. AWESOME. I used to have some baby muscles when I was younger. Now I'm a weak baby that can barely hold bags of heavy groceries. I'll like to cut out meat and diary eventually. I'm not sure how possible it is for me to do without dairy though :( I'm going to focus on veggies and fruit then gradually get there.

Floral Crop Top & Jacket Floral Crop Top & Jacket Floral Crop Top & Jacket Floral Crop Top & Jacket Floral Crop Top & Jacket

jacket- charlotte russe
top- gojane
skirt- gojane
shoes (not pictured)- diy fox
sailor moon pin- gift
other pin- adieholly
This whole outfit is new (went a little crazy during Black Friday) GoJane had some cute crop tops and bottoms for around $2. I'm ready for the summer heat. Wish there were more winter clothing out though. I'll probably scoop up some sweaters on sale when seasons change.

Just tried out Punky's Turquoise for the first time! It was surprising how dark it was and how LITTLE dye I actually used since I mixed conditioner in. Normally I would use Ion Brights Aqua but I wanted to try something new. My camera really doesn't pick up my purple ends at all! I need to mix more red in it since it's a blue based purple haha.



I got an order for two headbands! I used Red Heart for the black and purple. The teal is Wool of the Andes Yarn from KnitPicks! I started with 10 chains for these and did it a bit differently just to secure it into place :)  Surprisingly how I don't have much teal yarn.

Bow Headband Pattern

Jacket- Forever21


I love Tell 'Em Steve Dave and I've been listening since about two years ago. So excited to get my hands on Cryptozoic Man ever since I have heard about it! I love the artwork. Can't wait til I read more.

Flower Hexagon Bag Crochet Pattern

The Flower Hexagon Bag crochet pattern is now available for download! It's a great project to use up leftover yarn. You need approximately 3 yds of main color, .5 yds of contrasting color, and 5 yds of second contrasting color per hexagon.

The pattern includes written instructions, chart, diagrams, and photos. PDF has 5 pages.

Download PDF

Materials & Tools:
 Worsted weight yarn
♥ E/3.5mm crochet hook

Hexagons are about 3" (7.6cm) across between the points and each straight side is about 1.5" (3.8cm). The bag is 10" (25cm) wide and 9" (22.8cm) tall, excluding the straps. Results will vary depending on your tension and your yarn & hook choice.

I also made a Pinterest board for some color inspiration. Check it out for some ideas!

I've been working on pink & yellow ones:

If you make this bag, don't forget to share it on Ravelry or post it in the comments so we can all see! :)

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