Things I Wouldn’t do in America

Have you ever traveled to a different country or even a state, and their norms don’t seem at all “normal” to you? When I first arrived in Italy, there were so many different things happening left and right that was normal to them, but it was overwhelming for me. You mean the vehicles won’t even slow down for you?

  1. Eat a panini every day for breakfast. Italy doesn’t have normal breakfasts here like in America. It is definitely far from eating at IHOP. Most Italians will buy some type of drink and a pastry, and that’s it. Good luck waiting until lunchtime.
  2. Going along with different breakfast styles, Eat your food standing up in a bar (cafe, restaurant). What I’ve learned is that it actually costs more to sit down in bars (They are cafes, but are called bars because they also serve alcoholic drinks) than it is to stand up and eat. Which I guess now that I think about it more, it does make sense. Anyways, the only time I eat standing up is in my house kitchen, and when I’m in a rush. There’s no way I’ll be going to Panera Bread and eat my bread bowl standing up.
  3. Walk in the middle of the road. I feel like walking just slightly on the road in America you can get hit. The roads in Italy are city roads, so they are smaller. So small that two cars can’t be going opposite directions on the same road, cyclers are lucky they can even fit most of the time. It is so much easier to walk in the middle of the road and really any area of the road you prefer. You just have to avoid vehicles and dodge humans, but not their dogs. Never dodge the dogs.
  4. Speaking of avoiding vehicles, they will NOT stop for you. I think the whole two months I’ve been here, there have been a few occasions where a vehicle has let me go forwards–and that’s rare. Vespas? Forget it.
  5. Not say “Excuse me” while passing by someone. When I first got to London, the people were faster walkers than I am, and didn’t move out of the way. They also never said “excuse me.” Most of the time I say, “Scuzi,” or “Scuza,” depending on if the situation was formal or informal (I guess I learned something from Italian), but other times I go without saying it. I considered myself of local after living there for three-and-a-half months. Not language wise, but tourist season just started in the beginning of March, and all I wanted were my emptier streets and shorter activity lines back.

 

Needless to say, everywhere you go will be different. There are probably so many things in the country you live in or are visiting in, you would never do where you grew up. I mean I would certainly not drink a cappuccino at 8 pm and then be completely wired, but hey, everywhere is different. Going off that, it’s not a thing to drink cappuccinos after dinner, mine was just offered to me for free. BUT, do learn about other cultures and spot out similarities and differences from your culture, you might learn something new!

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Everyone Should Have This Photography App On Their Phone

Hello! Long time no talk. Midterms and field trips…and more field trips are coming up! This week I’ll be going to the Ferragamo Museum with my Fashion Marketing and Retail class, and this weekend I’ll be heading to Siena for a day trip that was included in my program. Also, I’m not sick anymore. The stomach flu was probably one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced, sick wise, and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. Stay healthy.

I want to start a series on my blog reviewing different things. Whether it’s a photography app or things in Florence, or anywhere else I’ve been, and more. I’m sure everyone who has been following up on my blog and just talking to me in general, are wondering what places I would recommend in Florence. I think that would be great for people who are traveling to Florence, and are looking for things to do (or eat…cause that’s all I do).

Anyways, on my photography Instagram, I follow a little over 160 accounts, and a majority of them are professional photography accounts, of course. I have experience with Photoshop, but not with Lightroom. Being abroad, I don’t have the extra money to spend $90 on a filter pack for Lightroom that I really liked nor do I have the extra money to buy a program on my laptop. So, last night, I searched on Google, “Apps like Lightroom for iPhone.” The first link that popped up was an article talking about an app called, “Darkroom.”

Reading the article, I learned that Darkroom was created by ex-employees of Apple and Facebook. From looking at Lightroom filters in the past, and even Photoshop filters, the Darkroom filters look pretty similar. I used to be a “VSCO-only” kind of person, but not so much anymore. I discovered an app just a couple of weeks ago called 1967 that I was using constantly, but then quickly realized I need something different. I will be inserting screenshots of comparisons between Darkroom (free, in-app purchases), 1967 (free, in-app purchases), and VSCO cam (free, in-app purchases). I will also be inserting screenshots of what filters I use with what type of picture, and so on.

Darkroom is probably my favorite editing app right now, even though I’ve only had it for a day. It was love at first download.

Darkroom can be similar to other editing apps where they have the filters, and the editing section of exposure, contrast, saturation, etc. Darkroom however, has specific filter packs for specific pictures that do cost about $1.99 each, but if you want all of them, then it costs about $5.99 total I believe. I would say that’s pretty cheap for lightroom-esque filters, compared to $90.

When you download the Darkroom app, it does already come with filters, and they are good starting out filters. You don’t have to buy the extra filter packs if you’re looking for some quick editing, but being a photographer, I personally want more control over my photos. I like to edit them in a way where I still use filters but the picture doesn’t look super filtered, and where it doesn’t look too noticeable compared to the original. Besides, why would you super filter nature? Or a person? Both are beautiful just how they are. But if certain filters and edits are your type of aesthetic, by all means, go for it.

Another thing about the Darkroom app that is different from the rest, is that you can create your own filter. To be honest, this is something I haven’t tried yet, because I just got the app and I’m am still figuring out how to do it, but I’m sure it’s a really nice feature. You can also use curves, cropping, straightening, you name it. Everything you’ve ever wanted in a free photo editing app, Darkroom has it.

I have screenshotted quite a bit of edits and features from the app so I could visually tell you what the app looks like when you open it, how I edited certain pictures with specific filters, etc.

In the darkroom store, you can purchase what ever packs you choose, or you can buy all 4.

  1. XPRO – ” 5 filters offer an homage to the age of cross processed film.”
  2. PORTRAITS – “5 filters tailor-made to add punch and emotion to skin tones.”
  3. LANDSCAPES – “For the blue sky, the green grass, and the yellow sand, 5 premium, custom-made filters.”
  4. B&W – “Rediscover the range that B&W photography is capable of with these 5.”

 

Another great thing (I’m telling you this app is amazing) is that in the Darkroom Store section, swipe down and they have what they call, Darkroom Sunday School. Love the name. The pack(s) that you purchase, offer one or more articles on the photography/filter style, how to pick one filter from the other in the pack, and also how to specifically edit them in the app. I am just falling in love all over this app. You can still look at the articles even before buying anything.

I would also like to point out that I took all of these photos on my camera–Sony Alpha a58. I got a few great shots with my iPhone 5s, but I prefer my camera. I am pretty sure I had my ISO at 100 and 400 for the pictures, and I was on “P” (Program). Having a lower ISO creates smoother-looking pictures, and higher ISO settings can create more grainy, soft (not in a good way), not-so sharp images–at least that’s something I just recently experienced, and I looked up tips on it on Pinterest.

Here I have examples of some pictures that I just took recently at Piazza Michelangelo in Florence–highly recommend, just be prepared to walk up some hills. It’s worth it though, because you’ll not only have great pictures, but you’ll also have calves of steel.

 

When you first open the app, it brings you to,”All Photos,” which is also your camera roll, and app library all in one. What’s nice is that the photos you have edited will have a little pencil with circle around it telling you that you’ve already edited that picture. Amazing. Using other editing apps, I sometimes couldn’t tell what pictures I edited and which ones I didn’t. Good thinking Darkroom.

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You also have other categories like, “Favorite,” and “Edited.” “Favorite” holds the pictures you that you really like after you edit them, and you don’t have to scroll through hundreds of pictures to find that one. All you have to do is tap the heart at the top when editing a photo. “Edited” has the pictures that you have already edited. You can find those edited pictures also in the “All Photos.”

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Here is one of the many sunset pictures I took last night, using one of the “Landscapes” filters called, “L110.” L110 is a filter that I discovered that I like to use for sunsets. I will get into another filter I discovered that I also like to use for sunsets that isn’t in the Landscapes pack.

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Clicking on the filter, you can adjust how much or how little of the filter you want on your picture. I usually drag the circle down to this spot on almost all of my pictures, sometimes I’ll make it halfway, but it depends on the original’s colors and the fiter I choose.

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I went into the editing section, and pretty much for every photo, I will bring up the contrast, saturation, and temperature up at the slightest. Sometimes I will bring the brightness either up or down on the picture as well.

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Here is another sunset picture with more color, and I decided to bring the filter down to just below the middle, otherwise it would’ve looked super filtered. Still using L110.

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I also used the same editing section steps as the first example.

This next picture was of the sunset, but in a brighter area, so the sunset wasn’t as noticeable. Still very pretty and pastel though. (original)

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I experimented with the Landscape filters, but I didn’t like the look of them on this picture, so I went into “Portraits,” and I found P400, that made it look even more beautiful (in my opinion).

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With this one, I turned down the brightness, and then continued with my normal steps on the others edits.

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For city-scapes and non-sunset pictures, I use the filter L220, and once again, brought up the brightness as well as  contrast, saturation, and temperature. (First: original, Second: filtered and edited)

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Here are two pictures of the comparison between L110 and P400:

As you can see, L110 is more blue-toned and brighter, while P400 is more pink-toned and pastel.

After editing a picture, to save it, swipe down on the screen, which will bring your picture forward so you can see the finished product, and on the top right-hand corner will be a “Share” button, and click that. When you click share, you can do, “Save as copy,” which is what I click, and it saves to your “All Photos” folder as well as your camera roll on your phone. You can also save as a square photo, and it has different percentages of how much of a white border you want on the sides or not at all. If swipe down again, you have more options to share to other social medias.

 

Now I will insert screenshots of what I would do if I was editing a picture in the VSCO cam app.

 

If I am editing a photo in VSCO, I usually use either HB1 or HB2, but those are pre-made filters, and they didn’t really do much for this picture. So I used K2 which is a filter that I use sometimes, more in the summer though.

Now we have the 1967 app. When I was obsessed with this app for 2 weeks, I was telling a good handful of people about it. My go-to filter was Wild Thing, and I will show what other filters that I have used that could go with this picture. Now having Darkroom, it’s not my go-to app anymore, but it is still a good filter app.

On the occasion, I will use Facetune to bring out details, whiten areas, and blur backgrounds, but that is more for YouTube thumbnails.

That is my review on the Darkroom app that you can download through the app store. Just like every editing app that you are excited to download, there may be better ones that will come out, but as for right now, Darkroom is my holy grail photo editing app.

Let me know in the comments section what your favorite photo editing app is and why you like it so much!

 

xx   Jordan

 

LAZY Sunday

I am really emphasizing on the word “lazy,” because that’s what I am today.

I woke up after 9 am, and of course, I stayed in bed.

I did the usual non-productive routine of listen to Spotify, and go on social media.

I haven’t really been picking up the Italian language as much as I had hoped for. Not saying it isn’t the only hard one to learn, but it’s definitely one of them. I decided to look up on google, “learn Italian.” I am currently creating a huge Quizlet set with all the basics to help me more with the language.

Being in an Elementary Italian I class, you would think that we would be going over maybe animals, or just certain words that are basic. We did go over some basic things, and we are learning basic phrases, numbers, and now verbs and all that stuff–which is really what I am having trouble with, but we’re just going too fast. We just had our 1st test recently, and now we’re having another test in two days, and then we’ll have our midterm soon! I don’t like it!

The class is SO long. It’s T TH from 2:40 – 4:40 pm. My last class out of three that day. There I am starving, falling asleep, and frustrated.

It’s also hard when everyone is at a different level than you, even in the same class. I feel like I am the absolute slowest learner in that class. My brain just doesn’t pick up things that quickly. You would have to say something a million times in order for it to be drilled in my head, and even sometimes, I still won’t remember it. But hey, that’s just my brain.

After I entered over 100 terms into my Quizlet, I started feeling so tired, and it was after 1 pm. I honestly just knocked out. I took 2 naps. I don’t know how I was that tired.

It is now almost 4 pm, and I feel like the time is flashing before my eyes.

Sunday’s aren’t my best motivation days.

Do you ever wake up and think I’m going to do this this this this and this today and I will feel so productive and have my life together? Yeah, that’s me every single week. I still somehow can’t find the motivation to do some things.

I was thinking maybe after I write this blog post, it will help me “start my day.” Help me get going a little bit. Well, we’ll see.

If you have any great motivation tips, PLEASE write them down in the comments section. It would help me a tremendous amount 🙂

 

xx   Jordan

2017 Resolutions

Resolutions are weird, right? Resolutions have people going to the gym or eating healthy for a week, or doing something else that sounds wack. My perspective of it is that people create resolutions of goals that they want to achieve at some point in their life, but they don’t make it realistic enough, and they don’t break their resolutions down. Going to the gym? Great. How many times a week? What are you specifically working on? Eating healthy? Good for you. Are there certain foods you’re cutting out, and some you’re not? Make a list, and put it somewhere on a wall to constantly remind yourself — so just like the gym, you don’t quit after a week, because you “Can’t handle it,” or “It doesn’t fit in my schedule (gym-wise),” or honestly, maybe that method isn’t working for you. Whether you believe in God or not,  I believe that God put us on this earth with great intentions, and he wouldn’t give us anything we can’t handle. If something or someone is really important to you, you will make time in your schedule for it, no matter how busy you are. We’re all busy. I get it.

I created a video last year on my YouTube channel, naming it my, “2016 New Year’s Resolutions.” I had about sixteen or seventeen resolutions. That’s a lot. I wanted to accomplish a lot of those, but I definitely did not complete a majority of them. Why? I didn’t break down my resolutions as much as I should have. I explained them, and how I would approach them, but looking back, I really don’t think I broke them down to the fullest. Reading the bible, for example, I said that I would read it every day, which I did the first month and a half, and then for whatever reason, I gave up. It was like I wanted to read it, but I had other things distracting me. Last year I was single, and I was single from my senior year of high school to this past fall semester in the middle of October (we are juniors in college) when my best friend asked me out, and it’s been amazing since. Because I was single for a few years and including the Spring 2016 semester, I let BOYS get in the way of me reaching out and reading God’s word. Wow. I can’t believe that just came out of my mouth. That doesn’t sound like me. That’s literally throwing out a relationship with someone who created you and put you on this earth, and me saying, “I can’t read the bible right now because I’m texting this guy.” REALLY? Who even was I during that semester. I was going through a weird funk that entire semester, I can tell you that much. But what I am trying to say here is that whether a resolution of yours is reading the bible, or something else, do not make up excuses. Do not let stupid things distract you.

Now I don’t have a specific number count of the resolutions I have. After last year with having sixteen or seventeen resolutions, that felt like too much pressure on me. It stressed me out. “I have to do this every single day or else I’ll become a failure and have to wait until next year to start all over again.” That is something that pretty much went through my head a lot in 2016. Not fun. This year of 2017, I have truly accepted that there will be days that aren’t filled with sunshine all day long, and I’m not talking about the weather. It took me years to finally realize that. I realized that it’s life. “Everything happens for a reason.” The one non-bible verse that I swear by. So we’re currently on the 6th day of the new year, and I’ve already had some interesting experiences. By interesting I mean, I’ve already experienced not-so-great situations. Guess what? I’m accepting it. By accepting it, it is not stressing me out, and even though I have plans of what to do during this month and on, I’m just going with the flow. Yeah, I’ll admit that I’ll think about it at random times during the day, but that’s just how my mind is, and since I can control how I feel, I can get myself to stop thinking about it. I am not going to stress myself out by situations that are currently happening, or happened in the past. It’s ok to let yourself be sad or upset with someone or something in the beginning, but don’t let that ruin you forever. It’s not worth it. They’re not worth it. I have to say that I’ve been better at that, and when I think about something in the past that either I did, someone did to me, whatever it may be, I say to myself, “Jordan, f*****g chill.” And after that, I move on with my life. Yup, I do say that swear. I can be fine with or without the swear, I’ve said it both ways, but I use the swear if my anxiety is making the past or current situation worse, because I am overthinking it. It’s definitely helping a lot.

Alright, enough rambling, now onto my actual resolutions of 2017. I will break down each resolution to you of how I plan to approach them, and what I would do if  I forgot to do it, or whatever reason it may be. I am certainly not going to punish myself for doing so.

2017 Resolutions:

  1. Continue the habit of saying, “I am happy today!” when I wake up in the morning. I have been doing this since last year starting of 2016, and I believe that that has helped me the most with getting through my days. I’m not gonna lie, there were days where I just completely forgot to say it, or I randomly remembered about it during the day –and I still said it. If I completely forgot to say it, it’s because I was with family or friends that day, and I already know that I am feeling happy by being with them, and God knows that too. So yes, in the past I had said, “OMG I can’t believe I forgot to say it!” Then I thought about it and realized that God knows I was happy, and I know that I was happy, so it’s not a big deal. Don’t beat yourself up when it comes to those things.
  2. Every night in a notebook or in the notes app of my phone, write however many things I am grateful for that day. I do this at night, that way anything that happened during the day, I can reflect on that, and really think about how I handled situations, good and bad. Most of the time it takes just one thing or person to make me realize how grateful I am for someone or something else, it depends on the situation though. I can definitely tell you that my boyfriend, Kevin, is always at the top of that list, and family and friends are almost always on there too. I could write blog posts on Kevin, my family, and my friends all separately. (Stay tuned for that in the future maybe)
  3. Eat healthier foods than I normally do, but if I don’t every day, it’s ok, let myself eat what I want. Once I thought about this broken-down resolution, I became more aware of how I eat, but I don’t beat myself up for it. I am a thin young adult, and even in high school, I had always opted for healthier options than others. I am not a chip person, unless they are tortilla chips. Those to me are the healthier chips. I don’t eat fries that often, I opt usually for sweet potato fries. I don’t eat fast food. The other day, I started my day off with a bagel, and then something else after that. Not the healthiest, but I wanted to eat it, and I would say a bagel is healthier than other items like a sugary cereal for example. Bagels fill me up and I love them, so I am going to continue eating them. That same day, I really wanted to eat an apple, and I did. It gave me more energy, like the peppermint tea I drank earlier as well. Please please please do not beat yourself up for the foods you put in your body. Now I can say that putting super junky foods is definitely not the way to a healthier lifestyle, but if you like it, do what you want, it’s your body. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE CARBS…BUT carbs make me have lower energy (Italy should be interesting). I eat more carbs when I am at home more than I do at school. Also, do not deprive yourself from chocolate. That’s a girl’s best friend right there. Chocolate is actually good for you, dark chocolate specifically, but I am not a fan of it. Chocolate has de-stressing purposes, and I will say this does work, if you eat chocolate before any sort of test, you will do better on it. I don’t know about you, but I am going to continue eating what I want to eat, and eat that chocolate from time to time. Also because I got a lot of it in my stocking.
  4. Work on butt and ab exercises every day, it doesn’t matter the time of day. When I do the ab and butt workouts, do 1 set of each exercise only, and for each exercise, do 17 reps (because it’s 2017!). I hope that makes sense. I just figured that doing 17 reps per exercise is enough for me to be satisfied, and I also don’t want to overwork myself. Everyone is different, so be mindful of how everyone chooses to exercise.
  5. I wouldn’t say I am a messy person, I am just a young woman with a lot of stuff aka clothing. With that being said, organize clothing areas when I can, and do not leave stuff lying around. Not just clothing, but organize different areas of my bedroom when I can. I cannot tell you how many times my Mom and I have donated clothing items and non-clothing items that mostly came from my room over the years to Big Brothers & Big Sisters (or Salvation Army). Big Sisters (for short) come pretty often during the year to our house to pick up garbage bags full of stuff. Trust me, I know if I had less, I wouldn’t have the problem of having messy areas. I will obviously keep the clothing, but once in awhile, I go into purge-mode with clothing and non-clothing items. It feels great to donate items to people who need things more than I do. So, I will not get upset with myself if I don’t clean out this certain area by a specific time.

 

Now I don’t think I have any more regular resolutions, but I definitely have travel goals for when I go abroad. I will definitely be posting in the next two weeks a lot of about travel goals, what my packing list looks like, etc. I will also create videos of these ideas on my channel, because I think that can help out anyone who is taking a semester abroad soon, not just to my location, or anyone who likes to travel often and they need inspiration. Stay tuned!

Instead of having sixteen or seventeen resolutions that I know I won’t complete well, I created five broken-down ones, ones that I will actually go through with. I wanted to share these with you to just inspire you and to tell you to create more realistic resolutions that fit  YOU best. Just because a celebrity is doing this thing, doesn’t mean you automatically have to, unless you want to try it out, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself to complete it often. I know this turned out to be a longer post, but I really hope that it helped and inspired you to really look at your resolutions and break them down to the fullest if you didn’t already do so. Remember, you are not a failure if you can’t complete something in a specific time period. Do not beat yourself up for things because that clearly won’t make your resolutions fun anymore, and you’ll become stressed out. To end this on a more positive note, I hope you are having a great year so far, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

 

xx   Jordan

Rainy Tuesday

It’s 2:58 pm as I am writing this, and I am a mix between lazy and just slightly productive. It’s just one of those rainy days. Do I lay in bed, watch YouTube videos, nap, and research traveling? Or do I finish cleaning out my room, finish putting away the tree ornaments (so sad), and polish my boots? Eh, I’ll figure that out, and maybe complete those at like 8 pm. Rainy Days are confusing. I feel like the Universe is testing me on productiveness. Let’s look at what I did today: got out bed (big starter), read my Bible app, skincare routine, ate some food (not the healthiest, but it filled me up), watched Ellen, blasted the Acoustic Pop Spotify Playlist in my living room while taking down tree ornaments, called my work and got some shifts in (early ones, but you gotta make money somehow) ate an apple (okay that’s healthier, we’re getting there), and now I’m back into bed. I have to relax people. Nothing is cozier than laying in blue and gray snowflake FLANNEL (yes, I did say flannel) sheets, a nice comforter, comfy clothes, string lights around the room, and just being able to live in the WARMEST room in the house – AMEN. It all gives off such a nice vibe. It’s so peaceful and quiet in here.

While it’s so peaceful and quiet in my bedroom, it’s giving me a chance to focus and look around. Focus on this blog post, and look around my room. It makes me appreciate of what I have: a closet, a bureau, and a dresser full of clothes (but let’s be honest, I am a girl who is always looking for new clothing items, no matter how much I already have), decor, my Memere’s golden non-digital clock, a BED, light sources, outlets, a ROOF over my head, a great quality speaker, a door that I can close (thank god), precious memories and moments – a picture frame of the first two pictures of Kevin and I on my Instagram (part of my Christmas gift), and the baseball he gave me when he asked me out – two very special items to me, and other memories and items that I store and display all around my room.

It can take the smallest person, place, or thing to make you appreciative of what you have. I always do my best to put myself in other people’s shoes and see their perspectives. You don’t need material items to make you happy, but if you’re like me who wants to become a photographer and loves filming and editing, cameras and a laptop make me pretty happy. Having a loving family, loving friends, what you’re passionate about, and your cat will make you the happiest person ever. It’s up to you to choose happiness. Everyone in the world, even the biggest celebrities have gone through the toughest storms. There is a quote that Taylor Swift wrote that I saw on Pinterest this morning, and it’s a long quote, but I will include this one blurb,

“And you are the person who survived a bunch of rainstorms, and kept walking. I now believe that pain makes you stronger. And I now believe that walking through a bunch of rainstorms gets you clean.”

Great quote, huh? The last sentence very much hit me, because it’s so true. No matter what you’re going through in life, everything always gets better. You can’t just sit around and mope and think, “my life sucks, the worst things always happen to me” and not doing anything about it. Get up, do what you need to do, and figure out your life (harsh reality).

Now this isn’t something that is for everyone because everyone isn’t Christian, but I am. I may not be extremely religious as others, but I do know the difference between good and evil. I have my own morals that I follow, even if they may not match up with yours, but you are you, and I am me. Everyone is different. You can’t expect a Christian girl to be perfect and innocent, with a bow in her hair while licking a lollipop. That is not how I am, and that is certainly not how others are, but there may be a few, and if they are like that, good for them. One thing that at least everyone who does believe in God, does this: read the Bible. Yes, it’s that huge book with a lot of pages and fine print, and uses a specific type of English language that most can’t understand. Those quotes that you happen to see on home decor and on social media for example, “She believed she could so she did,” yeah that’s a bible verse. Luke 1:15 to be exact. That’s my favorite bible verse of all time. I have other favorites, and if you’re interested in finding new, refreshing verses and quotes relating to God, I created this Pinterest board – it get’s me through the day.

So what I am trying to say here is that I really started using my Bible app in the beginning of last January in 2016. I knew that it would help me grow closer to God, and it would bring joy and happiness into my life – and that’s the definite truth. Reading the bible every night for me, I realized that every. single. day. of that month, I was as happy as a dog with a bone, maybe even happier. You could see it on my face, I was just beaming with joy, and pretty much every day was an awesome day for me. I remember there was one day during that month where something didn’t work out as planned, or I had to make a decision, and I didn’t let it ruin my day or my happiness. That’s the key people. Only YOU are in control of your happiness, no one else. For those who are in relationships like myself, my boyfriend has always and will continue to make me the happiest girl alive, and I feel like the luckiest girl alive to be with him. I know that can sound cliche, but I don’t know a better way to explain the love that we have for each other.

The other loves of my life would have to be God and the Bible. I am not forcing you to read the Bible, I am just recommending that you at least try it out. If you’re like me and zone out while reading a physical book in your hand, try the “Holy Bible” app. It’s free, and you can choose what plans you want to read, or you can just dive straight into the Bible. The app will provide you with verses of the day words and images, what you have highlighted in your texts, your plans, etc. It’s a great app. Although if the Bible just isn’t for you, looking up quotes on Pinterest or Google, or just finding what you really love to do, do it. Whatever floats your boat.

Another habit I like to continue with is whenever I wake up, I look upwards and say, “I am happy today!” Even if your day turns out to be crappy, you can at least say that you started with positivity, AND since you’re in control of your happiness, you can decide whether to stay positive or milk the five-minute situation all day.

I guess this kind of turned out like a rant, but it’s more of something that I’ve always wanted to get across to people, and hopefully others will see where I am coming from, and take my advice. Just because it’s rainy and cloudy outside, doesn’t mean you can’t be the sunshine that breaks through.

xx  Jordan

Welcome to my blog // Happy 2017!

Hello! Welcome to my blog, Jordan Du Jour! Here I will write posts about my travels through London, Rome, Florence (where my program is), Siena, Venice, and who knows where else! I cannot wait to use my YouTube channel (JEBeauty) as another platform to show the world my personal perspective of Europe, and use the coolest camera to film – a GoPro. Along with using the GoPro, I take my pictures and film my YouTube videos with a Sony Alpha a58 DSLR camera. The camera takes beautiful pictures and videos and wanting to become a free-lance photographer, I cannot wait to play around with it when it comes to scenery, people, food, etc.

To be quite honest here, I have never been into writing. I hated anything that had to do with writing in high school, but the hatred started to dwindle a bit once I entered college in 2014. I guess taking Academic Writing Process, Writing Workshops 1 & 2, and writing papers up to ten pages really helped my skills develop…I guess. Despite how much I hated writing, I have always wanted to create some sort of blog. A blog that truly expressed my passions and perspectives. A blog that described me well. A blog that someone looked at and would say, “That looks like something Jordan would write,” or “If Jordan was a blog, this would be her,” something like that.

So here we are, January 2, 2017, and I have finally created that blog that I’ve always dreamed of having. I find it easier for me to write blog posts more than essays, because I can write whatever I want, include pictures/videos, and start the post anyway I want. I can skip the overused grade school “hamburger” writing style. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, did you really attend grade school? Blog posts to me are more personal, and I have journals that I write in from time to time that help me dump my brain out on a piece of paper. Not every blog you come across will include the negatives – the reality of things that we all go through in a day. This blog is different. While I write about my happy travels, I will also write about my fears and honestly, what is giving me anxiety the most during the days. That’s just me. I don’t think I could give you sunshine and rainbows through a blog, because I am not all sunshine and rainbows. I am a college student with as much anxiety as the next. A college student that has never been out of the country, and especially has never traveled without her parents.

This blog is designed to update you on my travels, my daily/weekly life living in pizza and pasta heaven – and the real question is, will I get fat? -> I guess we’ll see, I’ll update ya. Not only showing you pictures of hot, cheesy pizza and me drowning in a bowl of pasta, I would also like to create OOTD (Outfit of the Day) posts, fashion tips – apparently Italians who live in Florence dress on the classier side, and don’t wear bright colors…so I guess that rules out 95% of my wardrobe. Makeup posts/videos as well – GUYS I found out they have a Sephora in Florence HALLELUJAH, but also OH CRAP because we all know that will break my bank account. I’m trying to save every penny I can right now. Me? Not spending money? That’s rare.

Anyways, I am excited to start this new journey (traveling and this blog), and take you guys along with me – it’s a little easier than trying to fit everyone in my suitcase.

xx  Jordan