Fall Family Photo Session at the Howard County Conservancy

This past Sunday we had Tiffany’s family photo session at the Howard County Conservancy in Woodstock. It was a beautiful, cool and crisp day and her family arrived in great spirits as always. I knew Tiffany through school since we taught together briefly before I left to stay home with my own kids. We originally had our session scheduled in August, but it started to rain so we rescheduled and were lucky to have a beautiful fall day instead.

When they first arrived at the conservancy, Tiffany’s son hopped out of their car looking so handsome in his plaid shirt and khaki pants and her daughter looked cute as ever in her sweater dress and cowgirl boots. Her children immediately began talking to me and were comfortable with me right away and I was with them too.

Talking to Tiffany’s son made me miss my days as an elementary school teacher since he was in 3rd grade and close to the age of the kids I used to teach. His humor was infectious and his happy and friendly attitude made the whole session so much fun. His sister was sweet and gentle and so cuddly with her parents too.

I could feel the calming presence of the family and could see how much they loved each other and were happy to spend the day together in this way. Tiffany’s husband carried my equipment around for me as we moved from spot to spot and you could see what a hands on dad and loving husband he was too.

We first spent time by the barn capturing their family portraits and next headed into the field where Tiffany said her daughter looked like a little bunny rabbit posing in the long grass. Next, we went to the rock garden and the kids enjoyed walking along the pond and I was able to capture great candid photos this way. One of my favorite parts was when her son started offering suggestions on poses to try and I just loved how much he seemed to enjoy modeling for the camera. Overall it was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday and I’m so grateful that Tiffany chose me to photograph her beautiful family!

Sara’s Senior Portrait Session at The Howard County Conservancy

This past week I had the honor of taking senior portraits for Sara who is a senior at Liberty High School. When I first met with Sara and her mom for their pre-design consultation, I liked them both immediately. Sara seemed so content and relaxed and you can tell by their interaction how much her mom loves and admires the person that she is. Sara is a competitive cheerleader and cheers almost every day of the week. We were so excited to take her portraits but then an injury during tumbling caused us to push back her session along with a series of very rainy days here in Maryland.

However, it was well worth the wait… the night of her session was the first sunny day we’ve seen in a while and Sara was glowing when she stepped out of her car. She had on the cutest outfit and her hair and makeup were flawless. Truly a photographer’s dream come true in a model….

Sara’s mom wanted to give us the space we needed to create our magic together and she joked that she felt like a stalker lingering through the gardens, watching Sara as she posed for her shots but not wanting to get too close and mess up the flow that we had going together.

As soon as we started shooting a beaver or something looking like one ran out of the bushes and startled us but was so fun to see. Sara said she loved nature and was happy to see it. Her mom said that there were lots of frogs in the gardens who were quite vocal during the shoot as well.

The highlight of Sara’s session for me was when we placed her in a field and she had on a gorgeous yellow gown that glowed in the sunset. She looked absolutely stunning and I told her that I had just captured the shot that I had envisioned upon our first meeting when she said she wanted to be in a rustic location and to be in a field.

As the night ended I found myself not wanting it to be over and wishing that Sara was younger so that she could be one of my Street Team models and we could continue shooting together throughout the year. She moved so effortlessly from pose to pose and has these gorgeous eyes which show her confidence and belief in herself and her power as the strong young woman that she is.

As the sun set and it was time to part ways there were hugs all around and I thought to myself what perfect clients they were and how they made my job so easy and fun. Just then her mom texted me thanking me for making this such a positive and fun experience for them so I was happy to hear that they felt the same way.

If your daughter or son is a senior and you would love to have some beautiful images of them, you can call the studio at 443-900-5170 or email julie@summermintphotos.com to learn more about what to expect from a senior portrait session.

If your daughter or son is currently a junior in high school and would enjoy modeling for us, you can check out my website here to learn more about our Street Team program and they can apply here to join us.

Senior Models – Class of 2019

Last night at 10:30pm I received a text from the mom of one of my senior clients saying that her daughter sprained her ankle and wouldn’t be able to make it to her session the next night. She said her daughter was swollen from crying because she’s a competitive cheerleader and would be forced to stay off her leg until it was healed. My heart went out to both her and her mom because first as a mom I know how much it hurts to see your baby in pain, but also for my senior who cares so much about her sport and ability to stay active.

I found myself trying to think of ways to make her feel better because although we’ve only met once I liked her right away and cared about her already. I remember feeling sad because she was already a senior, so we would most likely only be working together the one time. With my Street Team models who are juniors, we have a full year of experiences together creating deeper and more meaningful relationships.

It was then that I realized how much my Street Team models mean to me and that our relationship is so much more than just photographer and model. We become more like friends and as a former teacher myself, being a role model to the teens comes so naturally to me.

If you are a junior in high school, I hope that you will consider joining our street team too. I look forward to getting to know the real you and reminding you how amazing you are inside and out in case you forgot that fact somewhere along the way. While on our team, you will enjoy making new friendships, participating in our community service project, modeling for mini sessions, receiving social media images, team t shirts, swag bags and print credits to use towards your senior portrait sessions next summer. To apply you can go here. I can’t wait to get to know you better and to welcome you to our 2019 Street Team!

XOXO,

Madi’s Senior Portrait Session at Old Savage Mill

This past week I had the pleasure of taking senior portraits for Madi, a senior at Glenelg High School. Madi lives across the street and we are lucky enough to have her as our kids’ babysitter too! She has the most laid back attitude and just goes with the flow which I so admire about her. She also plays softball and works at NinjaBE, which is a fun place for kids to go for jumping and climbing.

The first thing I noticed about Madi when I first met her was how striking her eyes were.  She has these long lashes and her eyes are the prettiest shade of green.  She’s gentle and kind and I was so thrilled when her mom asked me to take her senior portraits.

We chose Old Savage Mill for her shoot location because she said that she wanted a rustic vibe and I thought she would really enjoy the bridge there and the beautiful stone and brick backgrounds.  We started at the bridge and the sun was shining so beautifully down on her that I stayed in that area with her for quite some time.  Next she changed into her casual outfit and I could see how much more comfortable she was which showed on camera as well.

She was in the flow and I was able to capture her natural laugh on camera which made me so happy. Her mom asked her to make a peace sign which she does so often in pictures because that is one of her trademarks.

Next her mom asked if she wanted to take some shots with a messy bun look because that’s how she normally wears her hair and she wanted her to look like herself.  This is when I captured some of my favorite shots of the day. She was radiating beauty and I decided to put some of these shots in black and white too because she looked like such a classic beauty to me.

At the end of the night I thanked Madi and her mom, Dana for making my night.  I love photographing seniors and there was something about their energy in particular that made me feel so relaxed and like myself that allowed me to capture some of my favorite senior shots I have taken.

If your daughter or son is a senior in high school and you would love to have some gorgeous photos of them too, you can call the studio at 443-900-5170 or email julie@summermintphotos.com.  The season ends the last weekend in October and won’t start up again until the spring. Thanks and I hope you have an amazing fall!

 

The Power of a Picture

Last weekend we traveled to North Carolina to reunite with my husband’s side of the family.  It was the first time that all 6 cousins have been together and the love and happiness we all shared in this reunion was something I will always cherish.  I love my husband’s family like my own.  From day 1 they welcomed me into their family and his mom even asked me to call her, “Mom” even before we were married.  I was with them the day they said goodbye to their father and it bonded us forever having gone through such a difficult time together.  Shortly after that my husband and I got engaged and then started a family of our own.  Our brothers and sisters all had kids at about the same time we did so they are all close in age which is great.  However, we are spread out across the country so it’s very rare that we all get together like this.

Being all together in North Carolina was more than we could have hoped for.  I met my niece, Elle (age 4) for the first time and I haven’t seen my niece, Bailey (age 5) since she was a baby so seeing her personality shine through was so much fun too.  I loved them instantly and hugging them in person was so special to me.  There’s something about Elle that really drew me to her and I immediately loved her quiet and gentle nature.  Bailey immediately connected with my daughter, Emily and the two of them were inseparable the whole weekend.

My mother-in-law told me before the trip that she would love pictures of all of her grandchildren so I made a point to capture all of them together.  Aunt Sara bought them all matching Frozen pajamas which made for an adorable shot.

Next my mother-in-law asked me to photograph her own, grown children together including my husband and his brother and sister.  It was this photo of her own children that brought her to tears.  I can only imagine how this must have made her feel seeing them all together after all of these years and with children of their own now too.  It was such an emotional moment that I am honored to have been a part of.  The gratitude she and we all were feeling was such a beautiful moment.  This is what made me think about the power of a picture.  Memories like this need to be documented and each time you look back at your photos, those beautiful feelings you were feeling that day will come flooding back to you. 

On our way home from the trip I told my husband that I was feeling sad that we were heading back to Maryland and that his family was not there.  It was then that I realized how hard being apart from his family really was for him too.  We agreed to make more of an effort to make annual trips to all be together again.

The night we got home from our trip, I received a text from my mother-in-law that she took while on an evening walk with her dog.  It was a photo of a fountain that I had said that I loved and in her message she said she knew that I loved it so wanted me to have a photo of it.  This made me feel so special that she was thinking of me and I responded by telling her what a great family we have and she agreed.  What great memories we all have now until we meet again!

A Journey to Self-Love through Acupuncture

A big part of my purpose is to help others to fully love and accept themselves as they are today. This goes a lot deeper than just how a person looks, but how they feel too. I believe that when we are in perfect balance and are doing what we are put on this Earth to do, we are truly beautiful. I love being able to play a part in helping others to uncover their true selves and to love what they see too.

In my personal quest for balance, I decided to give acupuncture a try. I had been driving past Glenwood Acupuncture and Healing Arts for a few years now and remember looking at their sign and being intrigued by the idea of it. I never went in though because I have been afraid of needles in the past and thought I had to have a very specific medical reason for needing the acupuncture treatments such as pain of some type. It was my husband who started going to acupuncture first and over time I saw what a huge impact it had on him. I saw his stress reduced, a much calmer state of mind and longed for this same type of calm. That’s when I decided to make an appointment with Riz from Glenwood Acupuncture and Healing Arts and I’m so glad I did.

Riz Lakhani, Acupuncture Practitioner

What first struck me about Riz, my acupuncture practitioner, was how comfortable I was basically telling him my life story and why I had some of my less desirable internal traits as a result of some traumas I had been through in my past. He helped me to see how far I had come despite what I had been through and told me that I was a, “beacon of light to others with my positive outlook on the world.” This helped me to see that despite my past, I am completely in love with the person I am today. Soon after we started treatments I wrote a difficult blog article about my upbringing called, “Uncovering My Truth” that you can check out here. After sharing this blog there was a huge release of emotions that felt amazing, like I was being honest for the first time in my life. For my next acupuncture treatment, I asked Riz to help me to release more of the emotions from my past and told him that I was open to receiving help from my spirit guides to do this. He arranged the needles in such a way to help me access my higher power and something miraculous happened next…

Not two minutes after Riz left the room, I felt a rush of cold over my body and saw just my legs raising off the table. I saw a cloud that looked like vapor rise out of my legs and immediately following that I felt a warm embrace that to me felt like it was from God himself. It was the greatest feeling of love I have ever felt and a moment I will never forget. I then called on each of my angels that I had known personally on Earth like my grandparents and family friends and felt each of them as they came to embrace me and tell me they loved me and how proud they were of me. After my treatment I told Riz what I had experienced and he said that although it was rare, people like me who are so open to receiving are able to enjoy sensations such as this while having acupuncture treatments. I was curious to learn more about how acupuncture works exactly and how Riz got started as a practitioner so decided to interview him and his responses are below…

How would you explain to others what you do as an acupuncture practitioner?

Some people call what I do “Alternative Medicine”, but I prefer to consider myself a resource for wellness, healing, and prevention. I’m fortunate to be able to practice true healthcare, rather than sick care — which has evolved over time to become our societal norm. My business is to humbly deliver the various types of care and knowledge that I have learned to the community, and spread positivity so that it may have a ripple effect out to the masses.

What exactly is acupuncture and how does it work in general terms?

At it’s very basic, acupuncture is a stimulus to the body that produces an internal response. When we stimulate the body with an acupuncture needle, or even a laser or light pressure, a cascade of beneficial effects begins – increased local blood circulation, reduced inflammation, trigger point release, a shift in the nervous system from sympathetic to more parasympathetic, and more. Scientists like Dr. Helene Langevin have extensively studied what happens when an acupuncture point is stimulated with a needle and found that more than forty separate reactions occur in those few seconds.

What are some of the reasons people first try acupuncture?

Here’s one reason people don’t try it – because they are scared of needles! Everyone should know how tiny our needles are, and I even carry a brochure at my office entitled “Do Acupuncture Needles Hurt?”. Please come by and grab one if this is a concern for you, and also be aware that we can do non-needle acupuncture too! OK so back to the question – most people are curious. They heard good things from someone else, and they may have unsuccessfully tried other things like pharmaceutical prescriptions, or surgeries, or just lived with something long enough and got tired enough of it to try something new or different. Another reason people come is because they discover that acupuncture is an included benefit in their medical insurance plan, which can sometimes make treatment plans more affordable. Others have had acupuncture in the past and did well with it. These days we are even having physicians recommend acupuncture to their patients, which is awesome!

What inspired you to start your business?

I had always wanted to be a business owner since I was a child, but as a youngster I did not know what kind of business would be best for me. I think like most people, I did not know what I wanted to do when I grew up. So, I decided to do what most people do – go to college and get a job. After being in the private sector for several years and enjoying some professional success, I yearned to be able to use my hands to do something more useful for the world. I felt like all I was doing was helping the corporation I worked for to grow larger, and often times the emphasis to increase profits would come at the expense of the customers. On a walk one day, I found a place called Tai Sophia Institute, which has since then become the Maryland University of Integrative Health. I had walked by it so many times, but never ventured in until that serene October day. They taught acupuncture and herbal medicine there, and I discovered that acupuncture was a licensed and regulated profession in the USA. In order to learn it I would need to go to graduate school and earn a Master’s degree, and then in order to practice it I would need to obtain a license from the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. It immediately felt like things had come full circle and that this was my true calling. I was so excited – what a unique way to be able to deliver natural health and wellness to the community! I decided that taking the risk to do something good for the world would be worth the potential cost of abandoning what I had spent most of my life pursuing, and I am so very glad and grateful that I did this.

Whom do you primarily serve?

The tools that i work with allow me to help just about anyone. I have treated my own children as babies, and in the clinic I have treated school age children and even patients in their 90’s! I thoroughly enjoy that I have “something for everybody” and that I strive to turn nobody away. However, it is important to know when it is appropriate to refer to other practitioners who may be better skilled at handling particular cases, so I also value maintaining a network of other high quality practitioners.

What is your “signature” or what sets you apart in your field?

This may be a better question for my patients, but if I had to pick something, it would be open-mindedness. Being receptive to learning about what’s new, strange, and different has exposed me to many types of things that aren’t necessarily a part of traditional acupuncture practice. I use a wide variety of technology – computerized meridian diagnosis, electroacupuncture, PEMF therapy, CES therapy, microcurrent, PBM therapy, HeartMath, and more. I think this lends itself to a very nice blend of mixing old and new, Eastern and Western; which I think is more harmonious and realistic in today’s world.

What does self-care mean to you and how can getting acupuncture and balancing nutrition contribute to self-care?

Self-care is a very broad term that could probably be discussed ad nauseum. It means doing that which keeps one strong and resilient, and balanced. It means not holding on to too much stress. It means getting enough movement and breathing, and social nourishment, and eating nutritious food. It means one takes the time to reflect and ponder and meditate, and unify the heart and brain. Receiving acupuncture treatment enables self-care because it can allow the nervous system to release pent up stress and tension, induce better breathing, and allow one to return feeling more like their actual self. However, acupuncture is not something most people do every day unless you live in Asia. This is why nutrition is key – because we eat every day. The state of health is directly influenced by the quality of the fuel being consumed.

I hope that you found these tips helpful and that you will give acupuncture a try too! To set up an appointment, you can contact Riz at 410-489-9175 or visit their website at www.glenwoodacu.com and you can say that I sent you! 😉

What Price Are you Willing to Pay for Freedom?

Last night as I was watching the fireworks with my family to celebrate the 4th of July, I thought of our forefathers who fought so hard for our freedom. They cared so deeply for their country’s freedom that they were literally willing to die for it. The quote by Patrick Henry came to mind, “Give me liberty or give me death.” I feel much the same way and thank the brave men and women who have worked so hard for our freedom so that my family and I have the opportunities that we enjoy today.

What does freedom mean to you in your own life? To me, freedom means getting to choose what I do, when I do it and with whom I choose to do it with and not just on the weekends, but all day every day. This is a freedom that I longed for most of my life and it wasn’t until I started my photography business that I felt a taste of this freedom.


What cost have I paid for this type of freedom? I believe the biggest cost is certainty. I have given up a consistent paycheck that comes every 2 weeks and have traded it in for what feels more like playing a high stakes game. Some weeks I win and some weeks I lose but the weeks I win are that much more sweet. There is great excitement in not knowing what the outcome will be ahead of time and I’ve learned that trusting in myself and my abilities has been the greatest secret to my success. Getting to this level of self-belief has taken a tremendous amount of focus on self-awareness that I feel that I am closer than ever to mastering. I have also shifted my focus to what my business can do for me to what I can do to serve others for the highest good. Sending loving energy to the clients I work with is an important part of my process which ends up resulting in not just great clients, but great friends too.

My business is coming up on its 2nd Anniversary in July and I am so grateful for the people and events that have come into my life to make it all fit into place so seamlessly. My goal was to start a photography business that would generate enough income that I wouldn’t have to return to teaching when my youngest started kindergarten. We are now two months away from my son starting kindergarten and I am so proud to share that I have reached my goal and surpassed it.


As a business owner there are days when I doubt myself and wonder if I started it at the right time with my children being so young or doubt that I can really sustain it by myself with all of the changes to social media and technology that make it easier every day for people to take pictures that they feel are good enough to not have to hire a professional photographer. I quickly dismiss thoughts like this though, because I know that what I offer is much more than beautiful photos. I am in the business of creating feelings and emotions in people that they don’t expect to come out after simply having their portraits taken. They leave me feeling confident, empowered and filled with self love and what greater gift is there than that?

Summer Mint Photography
Still there are those harder days that creep up and while I had a day like this recently my husband sensing my frustration asked, “How do you think your business is going?” I told him that I was struggling that day but that even on the hardest days being a photographer is something that is as much a part of me as being a wife or a mom. It’s a part of me that I can no longer deny or suppress as I did for years as a public school teacher with strict instructions on what I had to say and do each day. I am a creative and I need to be free. I am willing to pay the highest price to maintain this level of freedom and know that when I have a hard day, there’s an amazing day right around the corner and there always is.

So my questions to you are, “Do you feel free? What price are you willing to pay for your own freedom?” If you’d like to talk through your own aspirations for creating this type of freedom for yourself, you can email me at julie@summermintphotos.com to set up a free discovery call. Happy 4th and remember to thank all of the brave men and women who have fought for our freedom!

Uncovering My Truth to Help You to Share Yours

I hope that in uncovering my truth, it will help you to uncover yours..

I’ve made it my mission in life to help people to uncover the truth behind who they really are and to bring out the best sides in them through my portrait photography. I realize that before others can trust me to be vulnerable and expose their true selves to me, I need to be honest with them about who I really am too so here’s my truth.

I’ve been told by one of my mentors that I respect dearly that I’m too “polished” and what she meant by that is that I come across to the public like I have everything together, I’m happy and professional all the time and that I always point out the positive rather than focus on the negative of what is happening around me. There is a good reason for this and it starts with being brought up in a household with a mentally ill father. As a child I was afraid to speak up for fear that I would set him off and have to deal with the wrath of his temper. I believe this is why I was such a quiet child and it took me years to shed this part of me and to realize that I was safe and was not going to be hurt for speaking my truth anymore. As a teenager I feared for my life while being driven to school by an intoxicated father who would drift into intersections of red stoplights on my way to school and refused to let me drive us there to ensure that I arrived safely. To this day I have dreams about being in cars with no control as I felt so helpless and like I was going to die at such a young age. I reached out for help but it wasn’t until I met my husband at the end of my senior year in high school that I felt protected. I fell in love quickly with a man (he was only 17 at the time) who made me feel loved and safe and who took me out almost every night so that I wouldn’t have to be in a home where I felt so frightened and helpless. 20 years later we are still together and he is still my protector and biggest supporter in my life.

I was told by my family to never let anyone know what it was like in our home and to always put on a happy face. This privacy left me feeling suppressed and afraid to open up to more than a select few friends that I could trust. Today as a 38 year old woman, I realize that I am safe and that speaking my truth is important so that others will have hope of being free one day too.

Today my life looks much different. I have found my true passion and calling in life to help others see their worth and that are beautiful and loved too. My camera is my tool to capture this beauty and it has been an outlet for me that feels to me has saved my life. There is something deeply spiritual about photography for me. I feel like I am in perfect alignment with who I am when I am behind my camera looking for beauty in others and can’t wait to help them see themselves the way I see them for who they really are which is pure love. When a client is in alignment with who they are and I am in alignment with who I am, our results are nothing short of phenomenal. I prefer to be one on one with my clients because when they come alone they are more likely to be themselves and show me the side of themselves that is the most beautiful and raw.

I would love the chance to work with you and share in this beautiful journey to self discovery together. You can call the studio at 443-900-5170 or email me at julie@summermintphotos.com to schedule your free consultation to learn more about what to expect with a portrait session. If you are ready to book your session, simply click here to select your session date and time.

XOXO,
Julie

Centennial High School Senior Portrait Session with Caroline: Class of 2019

I first met Caroline at the beginning of her Junior year when she came to our meeting to learn more about what to expect as a Street Team model.  What struck me first was how confident she was and how she appeared to be mature beyond her years.  As confirmed by her parents she is a high achiever in all areas of her life, the most significant of her talents being her singing and dancing abilities. For one of our community service projects this year, Caroline sang, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” to the residents of Gilcrest.  She had the staff, some residents and myself in tears from the pure, angelic sound of her voice. You can listen to her song here.  I also had the opportunity to watch her in her school play at Centennial High School, and I was once again impressed by her confidence and ease with which she performed in front of such a large audience.  

For Caroline’s senior portrait session, she decided to go to Lake Kittamaqundi since she was going for a natural look with the lake in the background and also because she likes to go to Columbia mall which is close by so the location would have significance to her.  For her first outfit she chose to wear her ballet leotard with a skirt so we were sure to capture some photos of her in dancing poses since this is such a significant part of her life.  

Next, she changed into a flowery dress which highlighted her softer side and we had fun doing Cinderella spins during which she explained that acting like Cinderella was easy for her since she is in fact a princess.  ;). Her love of animals during the session came out while she was delighted to see the ducks swimming by and dogs happily walking by with their owners during her session.  All in all it was a great night and I am honored that she chose me to take these portraits for her.  My hope is that she and her parents will enjoy looking back upon these photos for years to come as they showcase exactly who she was at this time in her life.  

To learn more about what to expect while having senior portraits taken with Summer Mint Photography, you can call the studio at 443.900.5170 or email julie@summermintphotos.com. Sessions are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and the best time to have senior portraits taken is the summer before you start your Senior year.  If you book your session by the end of June, 50% of your session fee will be donated to the Ellicott City Partnership Fund to aid the victims of the flood and if you book your makeup session with Jayshree at Vedic Spa, she will be donating 50% of the cost of your makeup session as well.  Your session can be anytime this summer, it would just need to be booked by the end of June in order to contribute to our fundraiser.  

Want to hang out?  Follow me on Instagram here and on Facebook here.

My Top Ten Tips for Studying for Exams

The last day of school is quickly approaching and that means lot of final projects and exams too.  Here are some tips to help you get the most work done in the least amount of time.   Although I’m no longer a student, these tips still help me to this day to stay focused and get work done that I need to do for my business in a limited amount of time  I hope these tips are helpful to you!

  1. Start by writing on index cards everything you need to complete.  Each card gets its own task like, “Edit English essay.”  Once you’ve written all of the tasks out that you need to complete, stack them in the order that you need to complete them with the most pressing task on the top of your pile so you can focus on that first.  This will prioritize your tasks and help you to see that you only need to focus on one task at a time.  
  2. When you get home from school, choose a healthy snack like apples with peanut butter to give you a boost of energy before you start working.  
  3. Find a quiet place in your house to do your work that has limited distractions.  Leave your phone in another room so you won’t be tempted to look at it and if you’re typing a paper, close all of the other tabs so you can focus just on the task at hand.  Let your family know that you are doing this and can’t be interrupted.  
  4. Chunk your time and reward yourself at the end of the timeframe.  For example, set a timer for 90 minutes and during that 90 minutes you should do nothing else but complete the one task that you have chosen as top priority.  When the timer goes off, reward yourself with a 15-20 minute break.  You can do whatever relaxes you like listen to music, call a friend or go on social media, but make sure you don’t go pass your 20 minutes.
  5. Take a break to eat dinner with your family and don’t bring any phones or work with you to the table.  Enjoy your food and the break from working.
  6. Get back to your studies for your second time block and work on the one task that you chose as the priority for that block of time.
  7. When that time block ends, make a list of anything you didn’t finish so you can return to it the next day.  
  8. Map out the time blocks for the remainder of the week in a planner so you know how you intend to spend your time until all of your work is complete.
  9. Make sure to get off of your computer and phone an hour before you plan to go to bed so you don’t have trouble falling asleep.  
  10. To help you fall asleep, listen to spa or relaxation music or try a guided mediation on YouTune to relax you and help you drift off to sleep.
For some reason this is how I always sit to do my best work at home!  Since I don’t have an official office space, I clear all clutter so there are no distractions and make sure I’m comfortable before I start working.  🙂

I hope this list was helpful!  I still use these tips while working and have found that when I chunk my time and limit all other distractions, it’s amazing how much I can get accomplished.  Anything I don’t finish I just write in my planner to complete the next day.  Good luck and you are so close to being free for summer!!!  What do you plan to do after school gets out?  I’d love to know!  Just add it in the comments below.  🙂