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5 Simple Ways to Go Green

This blog post was sponsored by Love Beauty and Planet, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

Ever since moving into our new house we’ve been trying to find ways to go green. I had this big lofty idea that we’d go cold turkey and just be completely green, sustainable, and 100% eco-friendly. I quickly realized that transitioning into a more sustainable lifestyle wasn’t going to happen overnight. Just like approaching any exercise or diet change, an ‘all or nothing’ mindset can just lead to shortcomings when the expectations are set a little too high. What I discovered is that sustainable living is just like a yoga practice. You have to set the right intentions and take it day by day. 

Here are five small, easy, green choices we can make in our homes. 

Reducing water usage in the shower.

I’ve been using the new brand, Love Beauty & Planet and love how it’s made my hair feel. The conditioner has a fast-rinse technology that can help you save water and rinsing time in the shower. I do my part by going easy on the tap.  Since there are 3 ladies in my household this is extremely beneficial in cutting down water usage and costs. Another shower saver tip is to bring the plants in the shower when watering or when plants need humidity from misting. Yes, I’ve taken crazy plant lady to a whole new level. 

p.s. I’ve been using the purposeful hydration shampoo and conditioner – it’s infused with wild shea nut butter and ethically sourced Australian Sandalwood Oil – smells so good! 

5 Simple Ways to go Green

5 Simple Ways to go Green

Recycle and compost food scraps.

Use a trash can that has a built-in recycling bin which has helped us mindfully recycle in our home. We recently picked up a Simple Human dual compartment trashcan and it has been a game changer. Truthfully, we purchased it for aesthetics and functionality, but we had no idea the amount of trash we would be reducing because we’ve been more mindful of the things we recycle. On top of that, we've also been more mindful of composting food scraps and other compostable materials, which has helped reduce the trash. We recently picked up a little container that we place right next to our kitchen sink as a reminder to toss any food scraps into the compost. What we’ve seen is a major reduction in our trash by garbage pick-up and the recycling and compost/yard trimming bins are filled.  

Upcycle used jars and bottles.

In the past, we’ve normally recycled old jars of pasta sauce, but this year we’ve been making a more conscious effort in upcycling them and using them to store nuts or other pantry items. I love doing this because it’s like giving jars another purpose or value instead of them getting smashed up in recycling facilities. Another thing you can do is use them for propagating plants, which we did for a few of our plant babies here at home before we repotted them in their new pots. I can’t wait to do this with my Love Beauty and Planet bottles when we’re done using them because I can think of a few other ways I can upcycle the bottles. 

Ditch the plastic water bottles!

Use a reusable water bottle and carry it everywhere! If you ever catch me out and about you’ll know I carry around a S’well water bottle everywhere I go. Occasionally there’s even more than one sitting on my desk during my work day. A reusable water bottle not only helps the environment by reducing our usage of plastic, but it’s healthier too. Carrying a reusable water bottle can even help you save nearly $260 a year. 

I carry around a S’well water bottle everywhere I go as one of the ways I go green.

I carry around a S’well water bottle everywhere I go as one of the ways I go green.

Ride your bike instead of driving your car to work.

Since I work from home I can’t really ride my bike to work, but what I have done from time to time is swapped out my workouts for a bike ride which saves me time from getting into my car, driving to the gym, and even reduces my carbon footprint. If you’re walking distance from the store, try walking or biking instead of driving. 

 portraits © gofitjo- www.gofitjo.com - all rights reserved

Going full green at once can be daunting, but if you take small baby steps you’ll quickly see it’s easier than you think. Which one of these will you try first? 

How Self Reflection Can Help You Smile

Do you remember a time when opinions of others didn’t matter? Hmmm...what was that answer?

No...me neither.

The older I get the less time I seem to have, and when I do find the time I really feel the necessity to invest in taking care of myself by slowing down and hitting the pause button. It’s so easy to fall into the trap, get caught up with what other people are doing, and how they’re living their life. Sadly, what screws us up the most in our life is this picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.

wearing the coziest lounge wear from Third Love

wearing the coziest lounge wear from Third Love

One day it just clicks… you realize what’s important and what isn’t. You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. And you SMILE. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become.

You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover.

Anxiety happens when we worry about the future, planning for it, and trying to predict it, as if figuring it out now will cushion the blow. The thing is the future is always changing and will always be a place of uncertainty and fear. But the future can also be the home of our wildest dreams and hopes. Don’t hold yourself back because of something you cannot control, instead adapt. The quicker you can learn to adapt and redirect time and energy the easier it become to get things things you value in life accomplished. Looking back at the past only causes us to ruminate over things we cannot change. Give yourself grace. Failures are an opportunity for us to reflect on what we did and how we failed, so we can change the mindset and path in the present moment.

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A lot of my self reflection happens in those few moments I get to pause, while I’m home lounging around in comfy clothes like this new lounge wear from Third Love. It’s when I can strip off any of the fictitious labels that workout clothes puts on me as a fitness blogger or influencer and I can just think for myself. It’s funny how clothing can do that to a person, but it does. We often say “here are my regular people clothes” when referring to items that are not exercise gear so I guess I’ll label my lounge wear as “my pausing from life” clothes.

Third Love recently launched loungewear which is awesome because there are days where I just don’t want to be in workout clothing and silky PJs is just a little extra. It’s made with seamless bamboo, which means no itchy seams and naturally antimicrobial to keep you dry and cool.

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ThirdLove is an internet based company who utilizes tech in order to help you find the perfect bra fit from the comfort of your own home. They even offer bras with half-sized cups which is incredible because I feel like I’m one of the 50% of women who fall between standard cup sizes. To start, you can take the Fit Finder Quiz.

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ThirdLove let’s you Try Before You Buy (choosing from one of their best selling bras: 24/7 Classic T-Shirt bra, 24/7 Classic Full Coverage bra or 24/7 Push Up bra) or my personal favorite the Longline Lace Balconette Bra. You just pay for shipping and try it out (even wash it) for 30 days. If you like it, you keep it and if you don’t like it, you can return it and the bra is donated to both local San Francisco charities and women’s charities through their Bras for All program where they’ve given over $1 million worth of bras to women in need since 2013.

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Thanks to ThirdLove, a brand I love and trust, for sponsoring this post. Partnerships like this make GOFITJO possible.

photography by Encarnacion Photography


Shop my favorite things from Third Love:

5 things I wish people told me before launching my blog!

As I sit here and work on changes after changes on my blog I'm thinking to myself WTF, I've been sitting here for days going back and forth and making page changes, replying to emails, opening packages, creating social media content, and feeding my daughters their afternoon snacks. 

I love what I do and I love being able to share my world with you guys. It's been such an incredible treat to do so and surprises just seem to come at every corner. Now that I'm blogging full time while going to school there has been so many things I've learned that I wish I knew before I started my blog.

For all of you who's thinking of creating a blog here's the top 5 things I wish someone told me:

1. You will evolve as a blogger or brand and that is 100% OK! When you're in the beginning process of starting your blog, you are building your brand. A brand essentially is your identity as a person or a company. When you first start you may have this idea of what your blog or brand will be about. Over time, as you grow as a person some of these initial views you may have may evolve to. When I started GOFITJO I had the intention of it being a heath and fitness blog. In my head that meant healthy food recipes and workouts. As I continued to learn more about myself in my fitness journey I realized I was more than just a before/after photo and I wanted to share more about my life and so I did. In fall of 2015 I made major changes to my blog and started to incorporate more of my life. At that point I didn't feel cornered in to just writing about workouts and healthy recipes, I felt free to write about the things that mattered most to my heart. 

2. Focus on your own lane. There will always be a shit ton of people doing the same thing you're doing whether this be blogging or Instagramming (also referred to as micro-blogging) and there will always be more for you to write about if you focus on your story. When I was a hairstylist I remember thinking to myself "Who is going to come to me as a hairstylist, there's so many talented stylists here in the Bay Area?" As I continued to focus my craft as a hairstylist I built an incredible clientele. This attitude is what is needed to constantly remind myself when I started my blog. Your story will resonate for a particular audience and there are millions of people who can potentially connect to your writing. Focus on your story, focus on refining who you are as a blogger, the rest will follow. 

3. That my dishwasher would be filled with bowls. Maybe this is just me, but ever since I became a full time blogger all I do is eat out of bowls. Salad in bowls, poke bowls, smoothie bowls, ice cream bowls...Sadly I feel like its due to the number of meals I have throughout the day and the time spent in front of my computer either writing, editing photos, or studying.

4. Find coworkers! Starting something new can be scary. You'll experience frustrations, accomplishments, and moments that you just need someone to cheer you on when you're feeling a little low. I'm so grateful for a few handful of girlfriends who have not only been able to be there to help me spell check blog posts, web pages, and emails, but they are there when I need to rant. They are my virtual coworkers. Two of my favorite coworkers is Remi of rrayyme.com and Meg of megsexton.com, they help make my days go by quicker and are typically second eyes on my work. 

5. Schedule out time to do the housekeeping items like updating your blog/site, bookkeeping, looking for inspiration outside your industry, photoshoots, etc. I get distracted really easily especially working from home. It's a good practice to schedule things out that are important to get done so that you can treat them like important appointments. When there's an endless list of things you can do for your blog you want to make sure you take the time to organize your schedule so you know what needs to get done and when. Right now one of my biggest priorities is building out an editorial calendar so I know when to launch blog posts consistently on specific days of the week. At the moment its really ad hoc, but I know it's not going to be sustainable when I become a health coach! 

I know that starting a blog, learning photography, or knowing what kind of content to create can be hard and I'd love to help in whatever way I can. I mentioned last year that I'll be starting to share a series of posts that are geared towards blogging, content creation, or social media. If this is something you'd love to know more I'd love to know! Fill out the form below if you are. Since its #TBT I'd love to share a little throwback Thursday blog post of one of my posts I wrote when I was a hairstylist about branding

Let's Get Profreshional

Name *
Name

How Positive Thinking Can Help Your Fitness Goals

Positive thinking plays a direct role in your fitness goals. Each thought we create manifests an energy flow internally as well as externally. If you think “well...I’m never going to get to my goals.” Then the energy that you expend will actually turn out to be negative and every action or choice that you make will turn out to become a negative force that works against your fitness goals.

Your subconscious mind is extremely powerful. In fact some say that it’s more powerful that your conscious mind. The subconscious mind does not differentiate itself from visualizations and reality. Do you ever have dreams that you that feel real and you wake up almost questioning if what happened actually happened? This is because your subconscious mind is not governed by time or space. You’re probably wondering...how does this all play into your health and fitness? Well picture this: you wake up discouraged to get started on a workout, actually you wake up with the single thought that the workout is going to suck. You’ve planted the seed in your mind that the workout is going to suck therefore your body will begin to react to your thoughts that the workout will be tough, a pain to endure, and you will probably lack the motivation to really put the best effort forward. Have you ever had one of these days? I know I have! Now flip the negative thought into a positive one and imagine those days when you’ve been fueled by so much motivation you felt like a speeding train and unstoppable. That is what you need to manifest in your daily thoughts in order to see the greatest impact in your fitness journey.

Setting yourself up for positive thinking is truly dependent on how you live your life and how you incorporate positive thinking to your everyday life. It’s about being in tune and aware of yourself and your surroundings. Some days I lace up my Teva Arrowood sneakerboots and go for a hike in my local county park. The Arrowood boot is waterproof and incredibly light because of "because of Teva's FloatLite™ technology, so they are perfect for the fall weather that’s getting my favorite park muddier in these colder seasons. The change of scenario always sets my mind in a better mood and ready to tackle the week.

But if you can’t do that, one of the most impactful ways I’ve been able to get myself out of a funky mood when I wake up is to meditate and say some simple affirmations as I sit quietly with my thoughts. When I meditate I like to picture myself enjoying the warmth of the sun and traveling somewhere warm, close to the water, where the skies are as blue as the ocean, like Santorini.

I start with these 5 simple ones:

  1. I am beautiful and strong.
  2. I have the power to live my greatest potential.
  3. I fully embrace and trust the journey I am on, both struggles and accomplishments.
  4. I create the life I want to live.
  5. I deserve to be healthy and happy.
Teva Flatform Retro in Sangria currently on  SALE .

Teva Flatform Retro in Sangria currently on SALE.

What are some of the things you do to infuse more positive thinking? I’d love to know what’s helped you push yourself just a little closer to your goals both in your health and fitness and your life!

Teva provided me with compensation in exchange for this sponsored blog post. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.

Basics of Photography

We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.
— Ralph Hattersley

I think the biggest advice I have for you on learning how to take better photos is mastering the best lens you have on you, which is your eye. We can go on and on about the basics of photography which I will get into a little bit within this blog post, but the most important thing is understanding the visual story that you’re trying to tell. 

Before you begin to check out Amazon and purchase the latest and greatest cameras out there one of my favorite photographers of all time, Chase Jarvis said this, “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” I have seen some of the most visually captivating photos taken with a mobile device and some of the most amazing ones taken with the world’s most expensive cameras. Neither one is better than the other because the image captured is not dictated based on all the bells and whistles and how its taken. An image moves you because of the visual story its telling your heart. 

I studied photography in high school and co-own a wedding/lifestyle photography business with my husband. On top of the creative environment we have in my personal life, I work for a company called VSCO, who’s mission is to empower people to create, discover, and connect. Basically I’m surrounded by photography left and right. But most importantly, photography for allows me to create and I do believe that as humans creativity is built in our DNA. It’s something we thrive on.

Now that I’ve rambled a little a little bit about my own personal philosophies on photography here’s some of the basics that I lean on with every photo I take. 

Lighting

Some would argue that lighting may come last as the thing you have to learn or get a grasp of, but for me lighting is the king to all photography. After all, photography in Greek means writing with light. Begin by starting to train your eye with lighting that bests suits your visual storytelling. As you walk around a room or down the street look at different objects to see what the light source is doing to it. Ask yourself what is the light doing to the space around me, around a particular object? Begin to notice whether or not certain lighting is giving an object more dimension or is it looking flat. Light can make the most mundane looking objects come to life and its important to start to pay attention to the different lighting scenarios around you. 

Composition

Composition in its truest form of thinking is simply framing. How are you framing a particular subject or object in your photo? I’m sort of a purist which means I like to follow the rule of thirds when it comes to art. Then I start to break the boundaries and think outside the box. Framing is all about how your eye travels through a photograph. For me as a general rule of thumb I want to make sure that the eye travels through about 2/3rds of any photograph I take. Sometimes this drives my husband nuts when it comes to looking through the shots I get at a wedding because I love to give more space around my subjects and he likes to come in close filling the frame. It’s a perfect example of why we work so well together. His artistic vision on how he captures subjects is completely different to my own, but we’re both storytellers in our approach.

Creative Vision

“Don’t look. See” is this quote splattered on the top of a page in one of my favorite easy to read photography books called “Read This If You Want To Take Great Photographs.” by Henry Carroll. BUY IT NOW! Everyone’s artistic vision is very different, it’s personal, it’s the magic sauce that makes us as artists unique. It’s how we want to tell the story of what we see, not what we’re looking at. Two very different things and two things that are hard to explain. I guess you can argue that it's like hearing and listening. When someone hears you it’s the mere act of hearing sounds, when someone is listening they are engaged, understanding, and taking in every bit of what you say. You can say that this is true with photography. 

If you begin to see how lighting can play and dance with mundane or inanimate objects around you, you will begin to frame the the story of a beautiful photograph.
— Joanne Encarnacion

An incredible photographer and great friend of mine Tanja Lippert once told me,”start to see your photographs as frames in a movie.” When she said that during one of her photography workshops I took, it clicked. I began to see things one frame and one moment at a time rather than the whole picture. 

That moment when Jonathan jumped into a pool to capture this shot of the bride and groom jumping into the pool on their wedding day! #doitforthephoto

That moment when Jonathan jumped into a pool to capture this shot of the bride and groom jumping into the pool on their wedding day! #doitforthephoto

My Personal Camera Gear

Here are some books that I love and get inspired by:

Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs by Henry Carroll

The Best Camera is the One That’s With You by Chase Jarvis

Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton

Vivian Maier: Street Photographer author John Maloof

The Photographers Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas by Jason Fulford

 

Photo Editing Apps

  • VSCO for iOS
    • My favorite preset happens to be A6, 04, A8, and M5. Depending on the image, I do make adjustments to exposure, temperature, tint, sharpen, and contrast. 
  • VSCO Film for Lightroom
    • My ultimate favorite VSCO FIlm packs are VSCO Film 05 & 06, however depending on the lighting of the image I may go back to the good old classics of VSCO FIlm 01. Start with the Essentials Pack, it has the best of all 7 packs.
  • Lightroom
    • use Lightroom for most of my DSLR photo edits, this way I have full control of all the RAW capabilities when editing with my RAW DSLR Files

 

Other Recommendations on Camera Gear

I hope that this helps to inspire you a little bit more to gain a better understanding of the basics of photography. If this is something you’d love to see more of comment below and let me know what you’d like for me to dive into.