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3 Easy Ways To Get A Blurry Background in Your Photos

Blurry backgrounds in photos are not only insanely beautiful, but they also help bring all the attention to the subjects and it gives our photos that signature “watercolor” look and feel!

It’s kinda embarrassing, but when I first got into photography I thought that the blurry backgrounds happened either in post (in photoshop) or was done with a ultra-super-duper special lens or camera. 

Now, the lens does matter, but I’d argue that how you position yourself & the subject matters even more! 

Yep! You read that right!

There is NO editing necessary to achieve that beautiful blurry background we all know and love! 

Here’s the scoop on How to Get A Blurry Background in Your Photos (without ANY editing or even an iPhone!)

You can easily achieve that beautiful blurry background in your photos with my 3 simple tips!!

1) LOWEST APERTURE SETTING

Set your camera lens to the lowest aperture it can go (commonly, f/1.2, f/1.4, f/2.8, f/4)

You DO NOT need an ultra-super-duper special lens to get a blurry background in your photos!

If you hear Caleb and Me saying things like, “I’m shooting wide open.” We are simply referring to our aperture being “wide open,” meaning we are shooting at the lowest aperture our lens can be.

2) MOVE CLOSER TO YOUR SUBJECT

The closer you are to your subject the blurrier the background will be. Therefore, the further back you move from your subject the more in focus everything in your photo will be.

3) THE SUBJECT POSITION

Have your subject stand further away from the specific backdrop. As example, if you are photographing your subject in-front of a brick wall, you will want to instruct them to move several steps away from the brick wall in order to achieve a blurry background. 

Isn’t this brilliant? Just by adjusting your lens to the lowest aperture setting, standing closer to your subject, and/or by having your subject stand further from the backdrop you can achieve a blurry background in your photos.

I hope you have fun practicing this technique for taking photos with blurry backgrounds. 

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5 Essentials to Making a Positive Change In Your Life

Usually the People in life who experience positive change follow personal development principles that have been around since the dawn of thought. The life we now have has enormous potential when we learn to utilize the resources available within us. So how can this inner potential be harnessed to create the life you truly want?

Everything around us, and within us are in constant cycles of change creating new challenges and opportunities as we evolve. However one thing that seems to never change is human nature. Our primitive instincts to survive, and thrive cannot be ignored. The one common denominator we all have despite every cultural diversity is a deep desire for wealth, health, and happiness. But for any of these things to truly happen we must make some positive changes in our lives. 

We all have areas in our life that need improvement, but the reasons vary! Maybe it’s time to start a new business, make new friends, get into a new relationship, or out of an old one. Usually it’s our intuition that lets us know when our life needs to change.

5 Essential skillsets for positive change

1 – Master Your Time Wisely

Every person on the planet has 24 hours each day to use wisely, or waste it away. We can easily find ourselves habitually wasting away time on things that don’t matter.

The choices we make everyday determines how we spend our time which determines our present state we find ourselves in. This reflects our true priorities, and measures our incentives. Time is priceless. We can either build our dreams, or waste them away on endless distractions that get us nowhere. Learn to increase your daily productivity, and eliminate time killer’s.

“Time= Life, Therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life”. Alan Lakein

2 – Create a Dynamic DMO ( Daily Method Of Operation): 

When you put your dreams into action your daily routines become detrimental to your success. We should know where we are, where we’re going, and how we plan to get there. Have you ever noticed how we get less done when we have no direction, organization, or plan in our life. Creating an Organized daily planner with a method of operation is a great tool that shows exactly what you want to achieve. Here’s some suggestions below.

  • Develop a dream
  • Find a mentor that has what you want
  • Duplicate what they do
  • Organize a daily method of operation
  • Avoid time killer’s

3 – Develop better people skills

Without people skills we simply don’t get far in life which makes positive change much harder. This one skill-set is what separates high income earners from low income earners in every industry. In most cases the better people skills we learn the more money we earn. At a deeper level this same skillset has an enormous affect on our marriage, family, and friends. The more energy, and effort we put into our relationships the more friends, resources, and opportunities pour back into our lives. Developing better people skills is not very complicating. Here’s 3 simple effective ways to make a positive change in the way others perceive you.

Three people skills that will make, or break you

  1. Train Yourself to Smile More – A simple smile signals to other people that you are approachable, and likeable. On the hand when you don’t smile you seem unapproachable, and unlikable. Another good thing about smiling more often is it changes your mood from …. Ok another day ….. To … Wow, I’m smiling… Today I feel fantastic! When you feel good, others feel good around you.
  2. Make Casual Eye Contact – Eye contact suggests that you’re honest, and trustworthy. When you look down, or away when people are talking with you they feel disrespected, unimportant, and ignored. To get anywhere with people they must feel respected. Learn to smile with your eyes, and nod slightly as to say ….. I like you …. You’re very interesting. Ask questions with your eyes engaged with curiosity, and interest. You can learn a lot about a person by looking into their eyes. The eye is a window to the soul. However don’t stare intently at them. This makes people feel uncomfortable. The whole idea is to connect with people at a deeper level.
  3. Learn to Listen – Developing a keen ear to listen to other people talk takes practice because it’s our nature to premeditate what we’re going to say next. As a result we’re not paying attention to what’s being said to us. Learn to listen, and you’ll be praised by others without hardly saying a word. People are much more interested in how much you care then how much you know.

I have always wanted to be a catalyst for bringing about positive change, inspiring others to choose goodness. Shari Arison

4 – Grow your life in personal development

Personal development is not about perfection, but growing despite imperfections. Applying a few simple things daily can grow your self -confidence, and success enormously. Here’s some examples below:

  • Develop a Plan of Action – Having a life plan on paper is helpful, but without action it’s worthless. The more we put off what needs to be done the easier it gets to procrastinate on our dreams.
  •  Put Goals Into Perspective – Writing down your goals is easy! The hard part is living it out once the ink dries. Knowing what you want will sharpen your clarity, but the power of change is in your mind not a piece of paper.
  • Make small changes – Small consistent changes create big results overtime. If you feel overwhelmed doing big things, try doing small things in a big way. The main thing is to stay consistent as you grow your life in personal development.

5  – Transform your power into positive change

Information without transformation is worthless. Ask yourself what really matters then move your daily activities in that direction. We can choose at any moment to either build our dreams or ignore them. To do what’s important, or waste time on things that aren’t. We can transform bad habits into good habits or do the opposite. It’s in our power to make positive changes, and once we do it can literally transform our life.

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What You Need To Know About The Art of Personal Development

Learning the Art of Personal Development is not about perfection, but growing despite imperfections. Those who are willing to put their dreams into action with practice, intention, and determination will achieve whatever they want. Those who don’t will never get that experience. There is a dividing line between a life of personal success, and a life of poverty. You can choose at any moment which side of the line you want to live on.

To increase your odds of success your probability factor is not about luck, or how much pain you’re willing to put yourself through. It’s about the ability to think, act, and react in such a way that opens a whole new world of possibilities. This site can help you do that, along with developing the skillsets, and mindsets necessary to accomplish your dreams.

Planning a Perpetual Life of Success

There are three phases of personal development which holds the fundamental foundation to high levels of success. First, we must be teachable, and willing to expand our learning curb. Second, we must be in a constant state of growth regardless of our age, education, or wealth. Third, we must take action at once. Without action nothing gets done, or changes in our health, our relationships, or bank account.

To experience perpetual success, and abundance most of us need to change our DMO ( Our Daily Method of Operation) with organization, intention, and discipline. This means replacing negative habits that pull us away from our dreams with new habits that bring us closer to them. With this in mind we’re now ready to take a closer look at the Art of Personal Development.

Mastering the Art of Practice

Whatever you desire to get good at takes practice. As elementary as this seems many people confuse practice with failure. Those who use practice as an art will focus on one thing until they master it, which makes them exceptional over time. There are many ways to accomplish personal success, but you probably won’t get far without practice, a laser focus, and a deep commitment to win. There is an art to practicing on things we already do that perhaps need improvement. For example being more organized, building better relationships, and getting better with money. When we become robotic in our daily activities none of these things ever improve.

Do small things in a BIG way

Every area of your life can dramatically improve. With a little incentive doing a few small things can literally change your life. After accomplishing smaller challenges you’ll be ready for bigger one’s. Start with small things, but think big, and you’ll see big things happen.

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way”. Napoleon Hill

Obviously if you want massive success you have to step it up a notch, but the concepts are basically the same. Once you learn the formula you can accomplish anything you want. Many will never experience it because they quit, before they ever get started. Somehow they thought things would be easier, so they try 10,000 other things that usually never work. In reality failure is only practice … And practice makes those willing to fail much more likely to succeed.

Grow Your Life

Grow your life, and be unstoppable. Always remember that big things often have small beginnings. The best time to plant seeds for harvest is right now. There’s never a perfect time for personal growth, and usually it comes in some form of pain. Either emotional, spiritual, or physical.

“Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it’s almost always due to personal growth”. John C. Maxwell

Everyday we choose to either grow, or remain in a constant state of stagnation. Sometimes we have to stir the waters before miracles will begin to manifest in our lives. God won’t steer a parked car. At any moment we can choose to cross over the dividing line that separates prosperity and abundance from mediocrity, and poverty.

Anyone with an authentic desire to learn, grow, and achieve is primed for personal success. Even if you find yourself in a present state of emptiness with little desire to better yourself there’s still hope. This does not have to be a permanent state of being. It won’t be easy, but small changes can make a big impact in your life.

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Ways to Motivate Yourself When You’re Exhausted

The best techniques that you can use to motivate yourself usually have a shelf life. Motivation is the driving force needed to fuel any dream, but what happens when the fuel runs dry? What happens when the core of your being is being stretched, and tested beyond anything you’ve ever experienced. To stay motivated we need a plan of action with the motivation to make it a reality. The problem for most of us is not motivation, but sustainability Even highly successful people find themselves in a rut at certain times in their life.

How to motivate yourself

Who needs Tony Robbins when you can motivate yourself? Overcoming the emotional hurdle to get stuff done when you’d rather sit on the couch isn’t always easy. But unless calling in sick and waking up at noon have no consequences for you, it’s often a must.

For those of you who never procrastinate, distract yourself or drag your feet when you should be doing something important, this article isn’t for you. But for the rest of us humans, it’s good to have a library of motivational boosters to move us along.

The best way to motivate yourself is to organize your life so you don’t have to. If work is a constant battle for you, perhaps it is time to start thinking about a new job. The idea is that explicit motivational techniques should be a backup, not your regular routine.

Here are some other things to consider making work flow more naturally:

  • Passion. Do things you have a passion for. We all have to do things we don’t want to. But if life has become a chronic source of dull chores, you’ve got a big problem that needs fixing.
  • Habits. You can’t put everything on autopilot. But I’ve found putting a few core habits in place creates a structure for the day. Waking up at the same time, working at the same times and having a similar productive routine makes it easier to do the next day.
  • Flow. Flow is the state where your mind is completely focused on the task at hand. While there are many factors that go into producing this state, having the right challenge level is a big part. Find ways to tweak your tasks so they hover in that sweet spot between boredom and maddening frustration.

Motivation Tips

Despite your best efforts, passion, habits and a flow-producing environment can fail. In that case, it’s time to find whatever emotional pump-up you can use to get started. Here are a few:

  1. Go Back to “Why” – Focusing on a dull task doesn’t make it any more attractive. Zooming out and asking yourself why you are bothering in the first place will make it more appealing. If you can’t figure out why, then there’s a good chance you shouldn’t bother with it in the first place.
  2. Go for Five – Start working for five minutes. Often that little push will be enough to get you going.
  3. Move Around – Get your body moving as you would if you were extremely motivated to do something. This ‘faking it’ approach to motivation may seem silly or crude, but it works.
  4. Find the Next Step – It’s impossible to work on a project. All you can do is focus on the next immediate step. Fighting an amorphous blob of work will only cause procrastination. Chunk it up so that it becomes manageable.
  5. Find Your Itch – What is keeping you from working. Don’t let the itch continue without isolating it and removing the problem. Are you unmotivated because your tired, afraid, bored, restless or angry. Maybe it is because you aren’t sure you have time or delegated tasks haven’t been finished yet.
  6. Deconstruct Your Fears – I’m sure you don’t have a phobia about getting stuff done. But at the same time, hidden fears or anxieties can keep you from getting real work completed. Isolate the unknowns and make yourself confident you can handle the worst case scenario.
  7. Get a Partner – Find someone who will motivate you when you’re feeling lazy. I have a friend I go to the gym with. Besides spotting weight, having a friend can help motivate you to work hard when you’d normally quit.
  8. Kickstart Your Day – Plan out tomorrow. Get up early and place all the important things early in the morning. Building momentum early in the day can usually carry you forward far later.
  9. Read Books – Not just self-help or motivational books, but any book that has new ideas. New ideas get your mental gears turning and can build motivation. Learning new ideas puts your brain in motion, so it requires less time to speed up to your tasks.
  10. Get the Right Tools – Your environment can have a profound effect on your enthusiasm. Computers that are too slow, inefficient applications or a vehicle that breaks down constantly can kill your motivation. Building motivation is almost as important as avoiding the traps that can stop it.
  11. There are No Small Problems – The worst killer of motivation is facing a seemingly small problem that creates endless frustration. Reframe little problems that must be fixed as bigger ones, or they will kill any drive you have.
  12. Develop a Mantra – Find a few statements that focus your mind and motivate you. It doesn’t matter whether they are pulled from a tacky motivational poster, or just a few words to tell you what to do. If you aren’t sure where to start, a good personal mantra is, “Do it now!”
  13. Build on Success – Success creates success. When you’ve just won, it is easy to feel motivated about almost anything. Emotions tend not to be situation specific, so a small win, whether it is a compliment from a colleague or finishing two thirds of your tasks before noon can turn you into a juggernaut. There are many ways you can place small successes earlier on to spur motivation later. Structuring your to-do lists, placing straightforward tasks such as exercising early in the day or giving yourself an affirmation can do the trick.

Learn to motivate yourself without getting burned out. That’s the key to success in whatever you do. Staying motivated is an art that is not easily achieved. Some great techniques stem from a passionate desire deep down inside. You need to get emotionally connected to whatever it is you need in your life. For example if you need more money start dream building at once. Go do some window shopping, and imagine yourself buying anything you wanted. This takes practice, but over time you’ll feel a stronger connection to what you want in your life. When this happens a desire is born, and with desire comes motivation, and once you learn to motivate yourself the sky’s the limit to your success.


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6 Rare and Easy to Maintain Houseplants

Trust me, you’re going to want to snag one (or all) of these beauties for your home ASAP so you can say you had one before they were everywhere! 

No boring last-season houseplants for your home because you’re better than that. 

1) TRICOLOR STROMANTHE

The Tricolor Prayer Plant is a fairly easy to care for houseplant that loves bright indirect light. The tops of the leaves are variegated white and green, and the undersides are a beautiful reddish-pink. The Tricolor Stromanthe prefers high humidity and would love to live in your well-lit bathroom!

2) TRADESCANTIA ZEBRINA (AKA SPIDERWORT OR INCH PLANT OR WANDERING JEW)

This is one of the easiest houseplants to grow. I find that the most difficult thing about growing wandering Jew plants in your home as a houseplant is getting the moisture levels stable.

It thrives with moist soil but HATES if it remains soggy for too long because they can easily develop root-rot. I have mine in a self-draining planter, in well draining soil that is 20% organic perlite and gravel in the bottom. 

3) GREENOVIA ROSE SUCCULENT 

Your typical freshly cut roses are beautiful, but eventually, wither up and die. Want your roses to last longer? Meet the Greenovia Rose Succulent!

Succulents are plants with leaves and/or swollen stems that store water. The word “succulent” comes from the Latin word “sucus”, meaning juice or sap. Succulents are relatively easy to care for because they love being ignored. Currently in our home, we have over 10 varieties of succulents!

4) MONSTERA ‘VARIEGATA’

The Variegated Monstera requires similar care to that of the solid green Monstera deliciosa. The main difference is the white portion of the variegated Monstera leaves cannot absorb light, so the plant needs to work twice as hard to photosynthesize. Low-light conditions are not ideal so you should keep your variegated Monstera in bright ambient light to keep it thriving & happy.

5) ALBUCA SPIRALIS (AKA FRIZZLE SIZZLE)

Native to South Africa, Albuca ‘Frizzle Sizzle’ is recognizable by its distinctive leaves, which are narrow, spiral tipped with glandular hairs. I love it because the blossoms smell slightly sweet with a hint of vanilla.

frizzle zille plant

6) CALATHEA PLANT

This plant loves moisture and humidity!!  Like many plants, calatheas are very good at removing toxins from the air which makes it one of my favorites! I have mine hanging in a wall-planter in our foyer.

These rare houseplants are so interesting because they are not your average color or shape! I