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Health And Fitness? I Have Work To Get Done!

sleeping at deskAround 2 p.m. on a work day, two words come to mind: tired and stressed. This seems to be how many people feel at this time of day. Why is that? Working 8 or 9 hours is a long day! When you are doing it week after week on top of the other responsibilities in your life, it can start to wear on you. There is no way to completely avoid it, but there are some great ways to lower the amount of stress and fatigue you are feeling.

HOW? Eat better! It sounds cliche, but your diet makes a difference! That does not mean you have to eat salads every day for lunch, but maybe skip the deep fried foods. Filling yourself with more fruits and veggies will give you energy. If you are thinking: “I’ll just drink a Monster,” think again! While energy drinks will give you immediate energy, they are very unhealthy. Did you know that the amount of caffeine and sugar in energy drinks can lead to some serious health problems? Not only that, but there is no nutritional value in these drinks. They may give you the boost you want, but those spikes and crashes can hurt you in the long run. Have you ever heard of the health risks associated with eating an apple or cucumbers? I didn’t think so.

fruit and yogurt

Not only will eating better help you feel less fatigued, but throwing in about 20-30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times a week will help with both fatigue and stress. Taking a brisk walk during a morning or lunch break balances neurotransmitters and other chemicals in your brain, which cause you to be more alert. It strengthens your brain and increases your learning capacity! Exercise helps you cope with stress because it boosts your brain activity and gets rid of some stress through blood flow. To put it simply, it clears your mind and re-energizes your brain so you can focus without getting bogged down.

cycle exercise

What have you learned? That health is more simple than you thought! As simple as substituting a couple of those donuts and muffins for some eggs and fruit. Starting your day on the right foot with a healthier breakfast choice. Finding a co-worker and go for a 20-minute walk on your lunch break. (This is also a great way to catch up!) You will see a significant difference in your energy levels and health, and maybe you’ll even find yourself more motivated to get ahead.

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Capitalize On Your Competition

There is nothing more glorifying to a brand than when the competition makes you look good. This usually happens when your competition does something stupid, unethical  or makes an unprofessional mistake. The beauty of living in the digital era is that we can now capitalize on these errors and the world will know.

iggy azalea text messageYou may have heard of the rather “fancy” Australian rapper, Iggy Azalea. Her recent frustration with Papa John’s is a great example of a brand slipping up. She received much more than a pizza with her delivery order, including texts and calls from fans when the delivery driver gave out her number to a family member. Thanks to the power of social media, the world heard all about it via Twitter.

What does this mishap give to Papa John’s competition? An opportunity to capitalize! DiGiorno Pizza jumped on that right away by tweeting to the pop star, “@IGGYAZALEA delivery. Smh.” So while Papa John’s is begging for forgiveness, DiGiorno’s simply shakes their head (smh) at their pizza delivering competition and comes out the hero. Although it’s short and sweet, it’s in the consumer’s language and this gave them a lot of exposure and seemed to be appreciated by the grammy nominee. They earned themselves a retweet, a response from Iggy Azalea and kept the conversation going with her fans. Well played DiGiorno Pizza, well played.

iggy azalea digiorno tweetThe beauty of this passive marketing is that you never have to say anything negative about your competition; they did that part for you. Make sure you are in the right position to capitalize on your competition in the digital world.

Don’t just utilize social networks to only stay in touch and reach your current and prospective clientele, use it to stay up to speed on your competition. Know what promotions they are offering, analyze their tone and take note of any changes they make. You can usually get a good feel of what your competition is doing through social media if you pay attention. You may even find someone saying something poor about your competition. This is your chance to capitalize!

iggy azalea papa johns tweetsLike the Iggy Azalea example, DiGiorno Pizza didn’t have to say anything bad about Papa John’s to make a strong impression on the customer. Something short and sweet will do the trick and if it’s appropriate, throw in a call-to-action. Somehow let them know you feel bad they’ve had an unpleasant experience and imply they would have a better one if they came to you.

What brand have you seen do a good job of capitalizing on their competition?

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Simple Tips To Make You More Social

Life can be hard sometimes, but I’ve realized there are a few simple actions you can do to help you be successful and get to where you want to be in life. They may seem basic, but if you actively practice these in everyday life, I promise that your overall happiness and likability levels will go through the roof.


Hello – As a culture we have become socially awkward. People text each other from a room away rather than make the “long trek” across the hall. People don’t even say hello to each other anymore. So if you’re standing in line at a store, waiting for class to start, etc., just say hello. Networking is important and you never know who you’re standing next to until you make an attempt to find out.

How ya doin’? – People like to talk about themselves, which isn’t a bad thing, so why not use it to your advantage? You might even learn something in the process. If the conversation keeps on, you can get the chance to talk about yourself as well. Again, this can help with networking. Being a good conversationalist can open doors for you in life.


Have a good day – When you’re saying goodbye, throw in a “have a good day.” Little things go a long way so why not get some good juju if you can? Putting some positive vibes in the world will help you in the long run.

Smile – Smiles are infectious. You can even fool yourself into being happy by smiling enough. People who smile often tend to be more liked and less stressed, so put a smile on and be happy!

candeo creative new year

Positive attitude – Nobody likes a negative Nancy or Nate. You’re alive and well, so be happy! It can be easy to focus on life’s negatives, but focusing on the positives will benefit you. If you’re always taking to social media to talk negatively, others may want to distance themselves from you.

Get out there! Mingle, smile, be positive and actively listen to what others have to say. It’s only a matter of time before you become happier and see changes in your life!

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What Is Cinematography?

In 9th grade english class we read “The Outsiders”, took an exam and got to watch the movie after as a treat. In case you haven’t seen or read “The Outsiders,” it is about the protagonist, PonyBoy Curtis, and his friends that make up a gang called the Greasers, who rival with a gang of wealthy kids called the Socs. One evening PonyBoy and another Greaser, Johnny, are attacked in the park by the Socs and while Ponyboy is getting dunked in a fountain, Johnny takes out his switchblade and stabs Bob, accidentally killing him.

At this point in the movie, my english teacher pressed pause and said, “Pay attention here, the cinematography is amazing!” She pressed play and we watched the fountain slowly fill with red blood. She paused again, “wasn’t that great? Let’s watch it again!”

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t that impressed, and neither was my friend Amelia. After that we decided that “cinematography” was just a term used by movie critics to sound like they were smart. We thought it was a hoax. Kind of like how my grandpa doesn’t believe in cruise control because he thinks it actually uses more gas. But after learning more about filmmaking and pursuing studies in digital cinema, I was brought back to the light.

So what is cinematography? Google defines it as “the art of making motion pictures.” There is a lot that goes into making a film: writing a script, casting actors, scouting locations, building sets, renting equipment, I could go on and on. All of that makes a motion picture possible, but cinematography adds an important, but often over-looked element, the “art.”

medium shot

Sure, we can tell a story by filming the dialogue and interactions between two characters using a basic medium shot like the image above.

We can understand a lot by the subject of their conversation, but can we use the camera as a tool to further describe what is really happening? Here’s where we can bring in the cinematographer.

The following images show two different examples of shooting dialogue in a more interesting way. The first is an over-the-shoulder shot called a “dirty over.” This is good for showing the intensity or closeness between two characters – good for a heated debate or a romantic moment.

dirty over

The second example is called a “clean over,” because you don’t catch the shoulder of the second character in the frame. This is good for showing uncomfort or disconnect between the characters.

clean over

Where are the characters? What are they doing? Walking or sitting? Waiting for something? How are they feeling in this moment? The cinematographer should take advantage of the physical surroundings and the inner emotions to make every shot an intentional component of the bigger picture.


The cinematographer also has a close working relationship with the director to make sure the overall vision for the film is being accomplished. Not only are they overseeing that the camera operators use the  appropriate lenses and shooting techniques, but they also communicate with the light gaffers, actors and other crew members to make sure the scene is shot perfectly. Another important element they must keep in mind is the final edit and what shots they need to make a smooth and consistent final product.

There are many films with excellent cinematography, but here are ten of my personal favorites to get you started. And yes, animated films and television shows use cinematography as well!

  1. Gravity (2013)
  2. Breaking Bad (2008 – 2013)
  3. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
  4. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
  5. Up (2009)
  6. No Country For Old Men (2007)
  7. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
  8. Road to Perdition (2002)
  9. The Shining (1980)
  10. Apocalypse Now (1979)

What are some of your favorite films that you think have great cinematography?

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Why Writing Down Your Goals Helps You Achieve Them

top 10 resolutions

I used to write all of my future plans on an 8 by 10 sheet of paper. By senior year in high school, my once short list grew into an 11 by 17 sheet. After college, I crossed off quite a few goals, including work as a barista; travel outside of my hometown, home state and country; lead a student organization; take dance lessons; learn a foreign language, etc.

A few years in the “real world” and lots of apartment leases later, I had packed my list away and forgot it existed. I thought I had them memorized. It hadn’t occurred to me how much its visual presence helped me in my daily routine.

Recently, I came across the list again, folded and tucked in my memory box. I sat down and read through them, snort laughing at some of my unrealistic and no longer relevant goals. For example, I once considered Colorado a good place to retire. But a more “realistic” retirement destination would be Hawaii, right? In my present state, I would only consider Colorado for the mountain camping and hiking to alleviate poor health in my thirties. Others I had accomplished only after mentally tweaking them to my current situation.

When I’d put my list away, I’d forgotten I had goals outside of searching for a career.

What made me write down my goals?

writing goals

My dad told me once that successful people were more likely to reach their goals in life if they wrote them down. Plus, new year resolutions weren’t working for me (like they don’t for many people), so I decided to type up a lifetime worth of goals on a piece of flimsy paper. I taped the list onto my dresser mirror as a reminder to get through each day, no matter how much I wanted to go back to bed. Back then, it only took one tap of the snooze button to get out of bed every morning at 5:45 a.m.

What can you do to make your dreams come true?

listing goals

Writing out your goals helps you visualize the words associated with your dreams. That’s why it’s important to have a physical copy visible somewhere in your living quarters or at work in a drawer.

Once you have a basic list, start conquering the items. Don’t wait until you’ve reached a certain age (unless required) to meet your goals. Start crossing them off the day you complete your list. Do not waste time daydreaming how you want your life to be; you are the only one who can make things happen and the more goals you accomplish, the easier it will be to complete the rest.

Look at your goals every day. Put them in a place that you will see each morning and/or night. As you grow and change in each stage of life, so do your goals. Therefore, it is also important to reevaluate your life and update those goals every month or at least once a year.

Whatever motivates you to write down your goals, do it. It will help you achieve your dreams.

life changes list


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