33/365 Sweating in PJs


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33/365 Sweating in PJs

It’s getting cold outside and that air blows up and down the hallways of our building. When I go to the gym, I put on layers so I don’t freeze on my way in and out. When I took this pic, I was pretty tired from jumping on the elliptical. Haven’t gotten my pre-thanksgiving stamina back yet!

12/365 Sweating in the Gym


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12/365 Sweating in the Gym. I got goals!

I didn’t get down to the gym in time so I didn’t have as much time on the elliptical as I had hoped but I did manage to break a sweat. Getting my heart rate up and sweating is my main goal in the morning. Then I do a little stretching, I’m trying to get back to doing the splits! My head gets all shiny but since I wear layers, I can’t quite tell where else I perspire as I’m working out. I’m glad because I don’t want wet stains on my shirts and tights!

6/365 Making New Habits


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I took today’s pic with my phone and a remote but I’ll be using my DSLR again soon. All my life I’ve had trouble waking up early due to not sleeping through the night. Now I’m trying to create some consistency via a new morning and evening routine. The idea is to give me plenty of physical activity, devotional time, time dedicated to working and winding down. I’ve been following this new routine for a few days now and I’ve already noticed improvements. Right now, I’m waking up at 5:50am to get the day rolling but my goal is to get up an hour earlier eventually. But first, I’ll master this routine so I can get used to doing things in a certain order. Then I’ll bump the time a little earlier by 15 minute increments until I’m rising and grinding by 5am!

I think these new routines have been helping me mentally as well. I used to find myself getting pretty anxious and overwhelmed during the day. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough, didn’t know what to do next despite the many to do lists I’d written. I also felt depressed some days, spending most of my time alone without a plan or solid routine. Now that I have a regimen to follow in the morning and evening, both including exercise and prayer, things are a lot more balanced. I can focus again, I can see logical paths to follow as I work each day and I’ve stopped trying to do everything all at once. I realize it’s ok to take things step by step, a few things a day. It’s ok to have fun, to take breaks, in fact, it’s necessary.

The next time you feel anxiety, ask yourself if you have a solid morning and evening routine. The way you start and end the day can really help you get through difficult times. Are you getting physical? Are you meditating? Praying? Are you taking breaks and doing things for fun? Getting enough sleep and eating right? Take care of yourself friends. Everything else can wait, and the people who love you will understand. If they don’t, find new people.

Have courage,
Elle

I’m in the ‘Before’ Fitness Stage


One of the things I’ve been doing to improve myself is focusing on my fitness and food/water intake. I know, some of you are thinking ‘what the heck do you have to worry about? You’re skinny!’. Well feast your eyes on these pics I took the other day and see for yourself! I’m in that ‘before’ fitness stage where you can see what I ‘looked’ like before I started my fitness routine.

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My biggest goal is to get rid of the fat on my back. Seeing that weight has snuck up behind me, I was pretty shocked. At the same time, it was the jolt I needed to be realistic about my physical state. I’m not as in shape as I used to be but that doesn’t have to be permanent! Secondly, I want to tone up my thighs. I didn’t show my bare legs but the other day I discovered cellulite on my thighs. Talk about adding insult to injury! WTH man!

Lastly, I want to flatten my stomach and shrink my overall waistline so I can get a more curvy silhouette. I’ve never had a curvy figure but I figure with toning up and adding some weights into the picture, I can build my dream body, one I can put into a bikini without having flesh hanging over the straps! I’ve seen lots of ladies online showing off their well deserved figures and I want to be one of them. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not obsessed with building a bigger butt via squat mania. But if my gluten end up getting built up I won’t complain, LOL.

As apart of my fitness plan, yesterday I started tracking my water intake, my meals and how I felt before and after eating to keep myself motivated. Part of my problem is eating/drinking too much sugar. So my first initiative is to find replacements for all the sugary things I’ve been drinking and eating so I can still feel satisfied without jeopardizing my fitness routine. It may sound kinda weird, but writing about how I felt emotionally and physically before eating really helps me understand my meal decisions. You guys should try it sometime.

Anyone out there working on some fitness goals? How are you planning to build your ideal body? Got any before/after photos I can look at? Leave me a comment or question below.

Have courage,
Elle

The Last Six Days


The last six days have been a roller coaster of events and emotions.

On Saturday, my husband and I moved from our fourth story studio to a cozy bungalow up the street. While we were really happy about the new space, we ran into a few issues up front. The place hadn’t been cleaned, there were dead bugs in the closet and an unidentified splatter of some brown liquid in the kitchen. I was able to help get everything inside of our place before running off to shoot a wedding. I was exhausted leaving the reception at 11:30 and had to call Brandon up so he could keep me company on the way home; and keep me awake.

The next day we went to church and celebrated our 6th anniversary with my twin sister and her husband at Red Lobster. This was really special for us because Red Lobster is where we had our rehearsal dinner two days before our wedding day. We came home to discover that our box of books had been chewed open and our books were spread across the floor. I vowed to get a kennel ASAP! That evening, surrounded by boxes and slightly peeved at the dirtiness of our place, Brandon and I cuddled up on the couch as he munched on Tortilla chips before going to bed.

On Monday morning, I heard Brandon exclaim “Ants!” in the other room. Apparently at some point in the early morning hours, the ants came marching two by two through a small opening at the base of our living room wall to feast on the bag of Tortilla chips Brandon had munched on the night before. Brandon called in PTO day for work as we scrambled to move our things out of the critter’s path and resolved to move out if the front office didn’t agree to do something about our place. It was bad enough that it was dirty but this was too much to take. Thankfully, the manager was very compassionate and helpful.

She sent in the property managers to clean and reseal the windowsills and clean up the sloppy job that had been done to the flooring in the bathroom. A few hours later, pest control came in and sprayed down our carpet and couch. I pulled back the edge of the carpet while he sprayed the base of the wall down. We could see the opening where the ants were coming in and I made a mental note to seal it up with hot glue later. We then spent the night at our sisters’ house chatting while I uploaded two weddings to my contractors.

The next day, Brandon and I returned home and found an ant free bungalow waiting for us. Brandon went to work and I headed off to shoot a mid week wedding an hour away. The bride and groom were so kind and you could see how much they loved each other. The food was amazing and the bride invited me to dance with her and her family so I danced and sang along to ‘Living on a Prayer’ and taught them how to do ‘the wobble’ dance. At the end of the night, her mother blessed me with a $100 tip and thanked me for my help. It really was my pleasure. The next morning, my friend Isidora drove me to the oral surgeon to get a tooth extracted and prepped for a dental implant. The procedure was fast and I was asleep the whole time.

When I woke up, my friend Isi took me to pick up the three medications and medicated mouth rinse from CVS before dropping me off at home. I ate soup and a smoothie before resting a few more hours. We still hadn’t really unpacked but I felt so comfortable and at home. This place feels so much more homey than our other place! Speaking of, Brandon and I went back there to clean things up but he forgot to grab the broom so we’ll have to finish up tonight once I come back from covering an elopement in Fort Worth.

That’s my update, in case you were wondering where I’ve been! Thanks for checking in with me. If you like my blog, please subscribe. I’ll be rebooting the OOTD posts once we are settled in.

Have courage,
Elle

P.S. We borrowed a kennel from my sis and Justice (woof) is slowly adjusting to life behind bars when we are gone, lol. Our belongings are once again safe from his reign of terror!

My Vision Board is Complete!

this is my mini vision board! It covers my career and personal goals in a minimal, chic layout with a great color scheme.

To keep things simple, I made small vision board centered around my professional and personal goals. I wanted to keep things pleasant to look at so I used minimal images, colors and spacing to make sure everything was nice and neat. I’m really happy with how it turned out! Here’s an explanation of what each part of my board means.

elleword-my-vision-board.jpgThe cityscape panel is all about my career goals. I want to work remotely as a photographer. When wedding season is slow, I plan on picking up web development jobs that I can fulfill on my laptop. That way, I can travel and make a paycheck at the same time, no matter what’s going on with my work load. This pic made me feel energized and excited. I could see myself finishing up a task and then chilling in this pool with my husband. If I focus on learning new skills daily, it won’t be long before this is my life.

The bikini and shades represents my sense of style. Aside from working, I want to use every opportunity to look my best. This includes staying fit so I can wear a bikini proudly. I’ve got some work to do in this area but I’m confident that I can get back to bikini shape in no time.

The teepee image stands for my travel aspirations. I want to see so many parts of the world, talk to locals and share my adventures via vlogs on my Youtube channel. My goal is to take three or four adventure trips a year at least! Huge goal, so I’ve got to hold up my end of the bargain in the business arena if I want this to become a reality.

The bowl of food is centered around feeding myself the right things. Not only literal food, but studying the bible, listening to positive messages and saying them daily. Good things in = good things out.

Babe is pretty obvious – to me at least, lol. I want to get my life together and keeping my life on steady rotation in these areas will make me a babe! I’m in my 30s now so there’s nothing to it but to do it. I’ve stumbled though my 20s, now it’s time to thrive and arrive!

Have courage,
Elle

I suck at Juggling


It’s hard to keep consistent with one thing, let alone 3 or 4, yet here I am trying to balance two brands, a personal blog, and a Youtube channel. As you can see from the date of my last post on here, I suck at juggling. hahahaha. It’s ok though, because I’ve got some help coming in the form of interns! Seriously, I’m getting some interns for my company to help me take care of some things so I can focus on growth and finances.

Ok, enough of that. Here are some photos to update ya on my life lately. I’m slowly and surely getting my life in the health department. I’ve been eating more fruits, especially mango via  smoothies, and taking my dog on longer walks in the morning. I don’t have a real fitness routine as of yet, but I can feel myself getting more energetic. I’m hoping to incorporate biking, hiking, walking and yoga into my weekly routine. By my next birthday, July 5th in case ya want to get me a present hahah, I want to have mastered a fitness regimen. I’m also hoping to have ditched this bra budge and have a flatter stomach.

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Chilling like a villain by the pool in the middle of the day. Winning!
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Super cheesy shot of us together, but we like cheesy, haha.
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All snuggled up on the couch at Nae’s house.
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Hitting the road to get Brandon to work on time.
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Making a mango blueberry smoothie!
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Justice seems to love sleeping on his back the most.
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Another shot from the botanical garden.

One thing I have started to be more consistent at is making videos for our (my husband and I) Youtube Channel. I didn’t expect him to get into the vlogging spirit but he has started to enjoy the ride and record on his own! Can’t wait to post the next one featuring him getting physical training from our friend David. In the meantime, here’s our most recent vlog below. If you had fun watching, tell us with a comment, thumbs up and hit the subscribe button.

It’s been a little over a year since I left the corporate world and I must say, I don’t miss it at all! Cue the Beyonce “I ain’t sorry, I ain’t sorry…”. Today my stomach was cramping so I took Justice (woof) for a walk before planting myself by the pool. Sitting there in the shade there was no annoying boss giving me a pile of non departmental tasks to do, no irritable clients calling about their websites…. It was just me and the soft sounds of the wind and water. I will work my butt off everyday if it means never having to go back to that kind of day to day stress! Now I can focus on what matters most to me.

Just in case you guys didn’t know, I’d love to hear from you. Leave comments and questions here or hit me up on Instagram some time. Let’s get social.

Have courage,
Elle

Moving Forward in 2017


2017 started with a romantic road trip to New Orleans with my husband Brandon and learning that one of my weddings had be published in a magazine! I wanted to just revel in the moment but time waits for no woman. It’s January 19th already. Time is moving on, I should too. I have some goals for myself that require more work and energy than I’ve needed in the past. I’ve already failed a few times to keep my new routine but I’m not giving up. It takes time to establish a new habit so I won’t give up, slack off or be too hard on myself. Just gotta take it day by day and improve.

My Daily Goals

  • workout 30 minutes
  • drink water and avoid junk food
  • prayer and read the bible
  • hand out a business card and work on something for my company
  • look at my bank account and budget
  • make $50

 

My Company Goals

  • Find a way to network with people one on one each week
  • book a new client each week
  • blog weekly
  • keep $1000 in the bank
  • partner with venues as a preferred photographer

Vetigo Took Over my Weekend


You don’t know how great some things are until they go missing. Things like being able to turn your head and stand/sit without the room spinning. That’s the kind of thing that has been happening to me for the last four days. I’d been dizzy since Friday so I went to the hospital on Sunday night. Apparently, I have been experiencing vertigo, something that most common in older people. It’s basically random motion sickness that you feel when you move your head because of some inner ear issue. Sometimes you just get dizzy, other times you feel like you could throw up or your head starts hurting. Continue reading “Vetigo Took Over my Weekend”