Blog Photography Tips For The Minimal Sunlight Months

Hello you, and welcome to inside the mind of an Obsessive Compulsive Designer.

If you rely mostly on natural sunlight, as I do, you know the struggle of the winter months where there’s barely enough sunlight in the day to get your usual work done. I always hate these darker months because it makes photographing things for my blog SO much harder. Here are my three tips on how I combat the lack of sunlight and get great quality pictures year round.

Plan Mass Shoots For Weekends

It’s no secret that I’m a huge planner. I have my blog posts planned out months in advance which makes it very easy to see what is coming down the pipeline. I usually look and the next couple weeks and plan out all the shots I want to get for each post and take them all at once! I live for the weekends because those are my big photoshoot days. I’ll take a week or two’s worth of blog photos in those couple days. Planning so far ahead really makes the darker months more manageable!

Natural Light LED Bulbs

I bought LED bulbs that mimick the natural sunlight and I.CANNOT.STRESS.HOW.MUCH.I.LOVE.THESE. OMG these are so much better than the usual yellow or orange tinted lights that are standard in every place you live. In my apartment, I just switched out the standard yellow bulbs but held on to them so I can take my beautiful LED bulbs with me when I moved. It’s such an easy switch that homeowners and renters can do!

Work Around The Sun

Depending on your job, this may or may not be an easy task. If you’re someone who has the ability to switch shifts or pick and choose your hours. I highly recommend choosing hours throughout the year that work with natural lighting. It will make your life so much easier not needing to stress about getting all your shots in and gives you the freedom to blog on the fly.

Photo cred goes to the amazing Kirstie of Capture Life Portraits. A new photo shoot coming to you soon 🙂

Leave me a comment below and tell me how you shoot around the year!

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How To Find YOUR Wedding Dress

Hello you, and welcome to inside the mind of an Obsessive Compulsive Designer.

This was a highly requested topic by many of you and for good reason! Selecting your wedding dress isn’t the easy beautiful process that you see on TV or in movies. It’s a tough process but the process can be made much simpler with some planning. It’s one of the most important details of wedding planning and deserves to be as stress free as possible. For many people, it’s one of the most stressful due to lack of availability in your area, body image issues, not knowing what style you like, budget, etc… Needless to say, there are way too many factors that come to play in this decision. Let’s make it easier!

Deciding What You Want

I think one of the best things I did during this stage of selecting my dress was to look at models with similar body types to mine. I knew, with my body shape, a dress I saw on a deathly thin model was not going to look the same on my body. The worst thing you can do is create unrealistic standards of dresses in your mind. Once you know how dresses look like on girls with similar body types to your own, you’ll be able to see the styles and fabrics that will best fit your frame.

Pulling Inspiration

Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest. Pinterest is great to search around for the styles you’re wanting once you’ve seen how they work on your body type. My one problem with Pinterest is that it’s overflowing with thin models in fabulous custom unattainable dresses. Before you flock to Pinterest, it’s essential to know your styles that you have to work with. Pull a few images that best represent what you want to look at and save them BEFORE going to a dress boutique. Knowing a smaller scope to look at when you get to the shop is great and gives you direction.

Dress Boutique Do’s & Do Not’s

Do search for certain designers to see what they actually carry and what dresses are actually available in your area.

Don’t rely on your Pinterest finds to actually exist and be stocked at every shop you visit.

Do your research on the shops you’re going to visit to find out how they work. I visited a shop that refused to let me look at their inventory and only allowed the assistant to bring me dresses (DISASTER).

Don’t visit shops that don’t allow you to browse their inventory. Call ahead and be sure you know exactly how they work.

Do call ahead and confirm they carry the designer you’re looking for and any particular dresses you want to try on.

Don’t let pushy sales people pressure you into buying anything. Stand up for yourself and what YOU want.

The Perfect Duo

What really helped my dress search process was the perfect duo, the perfect sales associate and bringing the perfect guest(s). Finding a sales associate at the shops you go to that has a clear vision of what you want or has a similar style can help immensely. Through the duration of my shopping, I NEVER clicked with anyone besides my final sales associate. I sat down and showed him the exact designer and a few styles I liked and we gushed about how gorgeous her designs were. He pulled the exact dresses we were talking about and really pulled my vision together. He now owns his own boutique and has his own line of dresses. Finding someone who has a knack for wedding fashion versus someone who just needed a job makes ALL the difference.

If you aren’t as lucky to find the perfect sales associate, your trip is not wasted. Bringing the perfect guests along with you can help more than you realize. Of course your mother is going to tear up and your friends are going to tell you how amazing you look in everything; but, if they also aren’t afraid to tell it how it is, you’ve found the perfect guests. Bringing someone who knows your style, your facial expressions, and understands your vision can help you find the perfect dress. Your guests can do as much pulling of dresses and coaxing of the sales associate as you!

My Advice For Others

Overall, my advice would be as informed as you possibly can. Research your body type, your designers, your local boutiques, your local sales associates. Going in knowing as much as you possibly can will never be a bad thing. Sometimes you’ll need to go in and try a style of dress to confirm whether or not you like it and that’s ok! Pictures show so much differently than real life; however, going in with options and a plan can never steer you wrong.

Good luck to all searching for their dress. Have fun and enjoy the process! Leave me a comment below and tell me how you found your dress!

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How To Manage Stress

Hello you, and welcome to inside the mind of an Obsessive Compulsive Designer.

It’s a stressful time we are living in right now. With everything being broadcasted 24/7 about what is happening in the world and the normal stressors in everyday life, sometimes it all can become a little much. In my personal life, 2017 has definitely taken a stressful toll on my health. Earlier this year I became crippled by it until I found a few extremely helpful tips for conquering any stressful situation thrown my way. Everyone gets stressed, it’s unavoidable, so let’s all learn how to properly deal with stress and come out the other side a more positive calm person.

Breathe

The first thing I try to do when faced with a stressful situation is breathe. I’m easily worked up and prone to anxiety so breathing is crucial to focusing my mind. When breathing is not helping, try focusing on your breathing by using meditation. I love meditating before bed every night to calm my mind and prevent stress. Calmer heads will always prevail; so, take the time to breathe before stressing yourself out.

Detox

Depending on where you are with your life and what is stressing you out, this will mean different things to you. Whether you need a detox from technology, toxic people/situations, or even food (No, this isn’t a diet post. The food we eat has a large effect on our mental health.). In my case, a good technology detox helps me immensely. It is so easy to become overstimulated in the culture we live in. A detox from technology now requires conscience thought. I always feel better when I lock myself in my room with nothing but a book and have a relaxing night without a screen being shoved in my face.

Take Things in Stride

I’m a big believer in a clean and healthy mindset so you know I had to mention this. When encountered with a stressful situation, it’s so important to take things in stride. Don’t let stressful or unpleasant situations get you down. Keep your mind positive and try to find the best in every situation. Everything happens for a reason and finding the positive in everything will help you realize that. If you have searched through your mind for a positive aspect of a current stressor in your life and cannot think of one, just think that this may be teaching you a lesson or guiding you in a different path. Take everything in stride and you’ll live a much better life!

Leave me a comment below and tell me your go-to stress management tip!

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Favorite Posts This September

Hello you, and welcome to inside the mind of an Obsessive Compulsive Designer.

Ugh, I’m beginning to see that the months go by faster and faster as the year goes on. I cannot believe this month is already gone! October is going to be a VERY busy but VERY fun month. I have so many exciting things to share with you so be sure to stay tuned. As for this month, take a look at my favorite posts from September!

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DIY Air Freshening Bouquet

I feel like fall and DIY’s go hand in hand. Tackle this easy and cute DIY this season!

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5 Helpful Tips For Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

A chore no one likes to do; but, oh so important!

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Everyday Makeup Look Under $20

Check out this super simple and fresh makeup look. And yes, you read that right, it’s all under $20!

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Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Lifting Neck Cream Review

Skincare is my absolute favorite and this product deserves to be shared again!

Leave me a comment below and let me know what you’d like to see in October!

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Thinning Out My Wardrobe


Hello you, and welcome to inside the mind of an Obsessive Compulsive Designer.

If you’ve been keeping up this year, you know that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to purge my wardrobe of items I just don’t wear. At the beginning of the year I turned all my hangers backwards and as I wore certain pieces, I put them back hanging the right way. I’m very proud to say that I’ve kept this up ALL YEAR LONG. So proud! With an impending move date, I wanted to start purging the clothes from the warmer months since they’ve had their season. I’m not completely purging my winter wardrobe since real cold weather hasn’t hit us yet; but, I wanted to share the experience as I go through my warmer clothes.

I did not expect this much to come out of my wardrobe! It just goes to show how much rationalizing you do in your head when you look at your closet.

“I’ll wear this!”

“I just didn’t know I still had this, I’ll definitely break this out this year!”

“I paid too much to not wear this. I’ll make myself wear this!”

I’m guilty of saying all of these phrases. I’m forcing my hanger method to be the deciding factor in whether a piece stays or goes. I highly recommend everyone looking to purge their wardrobe of non-essentials to try this hanger method out. It was so useful for me to see what I actually touch and what I should just forget about (however bittersweet that may be). You don’t have to wait for the New Year to roll around to give it a go. Just put a reminder on your calendar for a year from now to look back at your wardrobe.

Now, it’s time to march all these clothes down to my nearest donation center. I love donating all the items I don’t want/need/use. I don’t need it so why let it go to waste? Be sure to consider donating any of your items you remove from your wardrobe. There are plenty of people who will definitely appreciate it!

Leave me a comment below and let me know if you’ve tried this method or if you plan on doing it in the future!

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3 Tips To Stay Organized During The Busy Months

Hello you, and welcome to inside the mind of an Obsessive Compulsive Designer.

School just got back into session. The holidays are coming up. We are starting to get less hours of sunlight. Needless to say, it’s a busy time of year! I can’t stress enough how a well maintained organizational routine is key, especially this time of year. Here are three major components on how I stay organized throughout the year.

Google Calendar

My saving grace! I love planners and journals for the occasional desire to physically write things down. However, most of the time, I love using a digital planner. I love the ability to switch things around and mess up an entry without having to erase or cross something out. It keeps my whole thoughts together and gives me the ability to move things around. Love! I plug everything into my calendar from what blogs to write, pictures to take, and when to actually post my blogs. However, I use my calendar for much more than just blogging. I use it to keep track of personal appointments, bills, and even planning out larger projects. You can color code, assign times, set up alarms, and so much more. I’m so glad I switched over to Google Calendar! They even have an easy to use app so I can get notifications on my laptop and phone. I highly recommend!

Carefully Scheduled Timers

Having an iPhone spoils me. It’s as easy as, “Siri, set a timer for….” I like to set timers for reminders of when I need to start working on things; as well as, using the timers to tell me when I need to stop doing a task. It can be tedious at first but once you really start getting into this habit, it will really start to boost your productivity. It will start to show you how long tasks actually take and how quickly you can get them done! It’s a great self-accountability habit to get into. It’s important to work and get things done but it’s equally as important to rest. Having an alarm to tell you when to quit will help act as an outside voice to really tell your brain to stop.

Set Routines

I’m a creature of habit and a stickler for routines so you know I had to include this. I have certain things that I like to routinely do every day or every other day. Keeping to a schedule helps balance all the different events going on in my life. For those who are new, I have a full time job and also push to post four blogs a week. That’s a pretty full schedule and I like to make sure it all works into my routine! If you aren’t a routine person, using timers will actually help get you on a scheduled routine. Once your mind can settle on a routine throughout your day, you’ll rest a lot easier and be so much more productive.

Leave a comment below and tell me how you stay organized during these busy months. I’d love to hear!

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5 Helpful Tips For Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes


Hello you, and welcome to inside the mind of an Obsessive Compulsive Designer.

It’s not a fun task, but it’s a necessary one! Cleaning my makeup brushes is always a dreaded task for me and I have no idea why. It takes me all but 15 minutes and is so SO beneficial. I really need to get into a better habit of just doing it (I’ll touch on that later though). Here are some tips that will make your cleaning process easier and hopefully cheaper!

Use Household Products

Feel free to skip out on the specific cleaners out there on the market that are dedicated to cleaning makeup brushes. There are much cheaper alternatives that you most likely already have! I use a mixture of dish soap and just a dash of extra virgin olive oil. The soap will sanitize your brushes while the oil will keep the hairs/fibers of your brush moisturized and prevent them from splitting. I have been using this concoction for a few years now and love it! No use messing with the big name brand cleaners that are way more expensive.

Down Is Always Right

When you are sink washing your brushes be sure they are always pointing down. If they are facing up, you’ll get water into inner parts of your brushes and upsetting the glue. You’ll find more bristles will start falling out and your bristles may even become deformed. Just always make sure the bristles are pointing down while washing and you’ll avoid any problems!

Your Hand Is A Powerful Tool

Sure the cute little glove or insert you clip in the sink that makes “washing your brushes a breeze” looks cute and every Instagrammer has them; but, you really don’t need this. (Unless you have like 40 brushes to wash then, in that case, you do you booboo!) The natural grooves and curvature of your own hand works just the same and the textured mats. More money saved!

Elevate Your Brushes

When you’re all done washing, be sure to lay them out to dry before setting them back upright. I like to elevate the handle of my brushes to even further prevent any water from settling inside the brushes. It helps dry them faster and ensures the longevity of my brushes. Win, win!

Schedule Your Washes

Personally, I need to get much better at this. I like setting reminders on my Google Calendar to remind myself to set aside a few minutes at the end of the day to get this done. This makes remembering to wash them so much easier! Now, I just need to work on the follow through. J

Leave me a comment below and tell me if you’re better at remembering to wash your brushes than I am!

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