I took these photos the other day at the beach. I had a horrible, horrible headache and hoped some fresh air would help. (It didn't. I couldn't get back to the couch soon enough...) While I strolled the beach I picked up glass, which isn't something I really do anymore. Despite not feeling well I took a handful of photos of my finds, and I ended up really loving them. I tried so hard to think of something to write along side these photos and was kind of just stumped...

One way that blogging has effected the way I take photos is that if I know that I'm planning on sharing something I will shoot more photos than needed. I'll take the extra effort to search for angles I may not usually go for, and find as many ways as possible to visually represent whatever the post is about. It's great because it pushes me out of my creative comfort zone sometimes, and it encourages me to take more photos which is always a good thing. But upon looking back through my folders I realized that this leaves me with a lot of photos that never make it blog posts. Sometimes because I don't think they're good enough but more often than not it's because I don't know what to say about them.

When I look back through some of my older posts something that bothers me is that I didn't write much. Things seemed to apparent at the time why would I take the effort to write more? But I see now that I should have typed more to go along with photos. Lately I've been trying my hardest to write more in posts when I can. I hope that it shows, I know that I'm a lot happier with my posts. The bad thing about that is that are so many photos I don't share and just end up forgetting about.

As a way to get those photos up on the blog I'm starting a new little series called "on the cutting room floor".  In this series I'll just be sharing photos that I've taken recently but haven't blogged about for one reason or another. Unlike the ones in this post the photos I share most likely won't have a theme but I'm not really giving this series any rules! It'll just be a fun little way to mix things up and share more of my photos.


Ps that's the first bottle neck I've found washed up on the beach! I don't know how it took like four years for me to finally find one but WAHOOO! 

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Fairly often I get emails asking how I'm so productive and I always kind of feel stumped - I don't necessarily feel more productive than other people but I guess being my own boss and being the sole person who keeps this ship up and running has taught me a few things about getting stuff done.

Jeff and I were sitting at the train station the other day and he was telling me about how he read list of things that successful people did and one of the items that really stuck with him was making lists. He told me what he'd read and my response was "Well, yeah! That's how I make lists!" Most people make lists daily but it's how you write those lists that really matters.

So your typical list might be:
▴ clean house
▴ buy groceries
▴ laundry
▴ do social media stuff
▴ blog

It looks simple enough but those tasks aren't very specific. I've found that when I break my lists down as simply as possible I am SO much more productive. My lists look more like this:
▴ wash dishes
▴ vacuum house
▴ make bed
▴ clean kitty litter
▴ write grocery list
▴ get groceries
▴ wash clothes
▴ fold clothes
▴ queue Friday Favorites
▴ edit project 365 photos
▴ draft Monday's post
▴ share post on FB
...etc, etc

The things on the second list are easier to cross off. They get right to the point. There's no questioning whether or not you completed the task.  Being able to cross of items more quickly will make you feel more productive. I wish there was a prettier way to write this but nothing is better for productivity than feeling productive. Looking at a massive list that you've already half crossed off by noon feels like you're majorly kicking some butt which makes you want to keep on chugging!

For larger tasks that can't be completed in a day I usually set a time limit so that I can cross it off and move on to the next. For example instead of "design media kit", I might write "work on media kit for one hour". This means instead of avoiding it and deciding "oh, I don't really have time today. I'll do that tomorrow..." I can tackle it knowing that I don't have to finish and that's okay.

notebooks from Moorea Seal, who seriously has one of the greatest "office" categories. So many beautiful paper things!

This very simple little tip drastically improved my productivity when I figured it out. Hopefully it does the same for you. Do you guys have any easy tips to boost productivity? I'd love to hear them.

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When I moved to Cleveland I met some really awesome people. People who inspired me to be a better photographer, to become a bad ass babe on a bike, and who made me fall back in love with small businesses. Anji falls into that last category. Just to be clear I've always been a big fan of small biz but being able to see one in action outside of my own makes my heart flutter.

Anji is allergic to flowers so before her wedding she realized she needed an alternative. She ended up making her own flowers, and basically, the rest is history. Six months later she was selling at local markets and shows. In July 2013 she opened up a stall in 5th Street Arcades. Fast forward to September 15th of this year and she just opened her very own store front in the Arcade!

Last week she asked me to come work at the store while her and Jake celebrated their anniversary. For some reason this lady thought I was responsible enough to take care of business while she took a much deserved day off. Haha! I was pretty nervous but I had an absolute blast. In general, with people I don't know, I'm extremely shy but I actually really really enjoyed interacting with customers. Two of which stood out from the rest. The first was a younger guy who was buying his wife a bouquet for their first anniversary - the paper anniversary! I'm pretty sure there literally could not be a more perfect gift. He was so nervous. The second was an older gentleman who was also picking out a bouquet for his wife. I helped him choose the perfect flowers. It was cute to see how much thought he was putting in to it. I just enjoy being a tiny, tiny part a love story. I'm a huge sap. That was always one of my favorite things when I saw sewing full time, wrapping up orders that included notes for loved ones.

Anyway while I wasn't just melting over people buying things for loved ones I shot some photos of the store because I knew I had to blog about this place...

Anji does weddings, takes custom orders, and is basically the sweetest lil thing ever. I'm proud to call Anji a friend and more than excited to share her work here with you! If you're in the Cleveland area make sure to swing by the new store. If not, be sure to check out her website!

Love, Anji
530 Euclid Ave.
Suite 20
Cleveland, OH 44115

ps. If you ever want to look her up but can't find this post or remember her name, typing "paper.florist" in your address bar will forward you to her site. How awesome is that?! 

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I've been a big fan of ONA for a while now. If you haven't heard of them before, ONA makes insanely beautiful, high quality camera bags. This whole love affair of mine started back in 2012 when I first spotted their bag, Brooklyn. I eventually got my hands on one which I subsequently blogged about often. here, here + here. That bag and I have been through thick and thin together, and it's still holding up beautifully. I know their bags are of great quality so I was more than excited when they reached out to see if I'd like to give one of their newest bags a spin.

A few weeks back, ONA released their new Black Collection, three beautiful designs featuring premium nylon, Italian leather accents, and gunmetal hardware. I chose the Camps Bay backpack. I actually really liked Brixton but I have a tendency to carry way more equipment than I need and my shoulders can't handle that anymore. Anyway now that I've had a little while to tote this backpack around I wanted to share a little review.

First things first, this is a solid bag. Not so much in terms of weight, I'm talking about how safe I feel my equipment is inside. When I think backpack I think something soft, malleable, made from a light fabric, etc. This bag, on the other hand, essentially has a shell. The material is stiff but still manages to be comfortable to wear. I'm sure given some more time it will begin to break-in and not be so stiff but I rather enjoy the feel of the bag now.

ONA claims this bag will hold your camera with lens attached as well as seven (!!!) extra lenses. I unfortunately don't own seven lenses to test that  but I'm sure it would. This baby can hold A LOT. I've found that by rearranging the dividers I am very comfortably able to hold everything I use regularly, including a polaroid camera which is something I'm never quite sure how to bring along. I love that anything I could want to bring along I can most likely find a way to safely pack it in this bag since all of the interior dividers are removable and adjustable.

Under the flap, and above the main camera area, there is another zipper compartment that I've found to be the perfect size for a light lunch or snacks. Along the backside of that compartment is an area for your laptop. The camera bag also has two side pockets. They are a little bit tight but I'm still able fit a water bottle inside. They're a great size for my shutter release! Basically just about anything you could want to bring along this bag has room for it.

One main downfall I find with this bag is that to get anything out you need to take the bag off, set it down, unbuckle it, and unzip. It's a bit of a process and there are certain situations where that just doesn't cut it for me. I might need to get my camera out or switch lenses quickly sometimes and this bag would hinder that. There are other times though when I feel like that this bag is exactly what I want, specifically when I'm on my bike. I don't need my camera right away and I enjoy the added security this bag provides. 

A second setback is the price, currently $409. The bag is obviously beautiful. ONA's craftsmanship is impeccable. It's certainly an investment. Out of all the camera bags I own I feel that my equipment is the most safe in this bag. Is it necessary to spend that much to get an awesome camera bag? No but I'm doubting you'll find something as nice as this one. Ultimately it's up to you to decide if it's worth it.

All in all, color me impressed by the Camps Bay. It's beautiful, it's comfortable, and it can hold a heck of a lot of equipment, which for an over-packer extraordinaire is the best!

Thanks to ONA for providing me with the camera bag! All opinions are my own.

PS. I own a handful of other camera bags. If you'd like to see reviews on some of the others in my collection let me know! 

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