New Year, Better Me feat. Jay from HelloTampaArt

Hey everyone, my name’s Lora and if you don’t already follow me, I’m a photographer, blogger, and content creator in Tampa, Florida. You can find me at my Instagram!

It’s officially 2018 and my friend Jay and I have decided to share our New Year’s resolutions with you all. Now, before you roll your eye’s, hear me out. To me, New Year’s resolutions are a great way to set goals for yourself and give yourself a timeline on when to achieve them. It’s nice to look back at your year and see all that you have accomplished (or even not accomplished). It provides you some guidance for what you’re hoping to achieve. I’m a planner and having long term goals keeps me motivated!

To get a more business and art related perspective on New Year’s resolutions,  continue reading after mine end!

Last year I wrote my New Year’s Resolutions down in my planner and had them organized into categories such as, “Fitness”, “School”, etc. I find this to be a nice way to keep them organized and it’s important to keep your goals well rounded. I decide to do the same for this year and I’m going to share those categories and goals with you here!


  • Lose 15 pounds and reach a healthy BMI
  • Run a 5k in 40 minutes
  • Become more plant based / consume less meat and dairy in general
  • Become stronger in general

Blog / Instagram:

  • Increase blog newsletter subscribers
  • Increase unique monthly visitors on blog
  • Reach 3K followers on Instagram
  • Maintain 10-15% engagement rate on Instagram


  • Raise GPA above a 3.6
  • Join a club unrelated to my major


  • Go on a solo trip
  • Appreciate myself more
  • Practice what I preach

I have more specific number goals for my Blog and Instagram, but don’t want to share them here for personal reasons.

I would recommend sitting down and thinking about what’s important to you. Do you wanna get stronger? Mentally? Physically? What do you need to be doing to reach your long term goals with your job? Your education? Where do you want to see yourself in one year and what can you do to get there?

My 2017 goals included: study abroad, lose 15 pounds, run a mile in less than 10 minutes, join a sorority, raise GPA to a 3.6. Some of these I reached like losing 20 pounds, being able to run that mile in 10 minutes, and studying abroad. However, I didn’t join a sorority and in hindsight, I’m thankful! As well, I did not raise my GPA to a 3.6, but I did get on the Dean’s list twice, so I’m still proud of myself. By having these goals to look back at now, I am able to see how much I accomplished in 2017.

I hope you all have a great and productive 2018 and I would love to hear some of your goals in the comments.

You can read Jay’s New Year’s Resolutions down below!

Who I am

Hello hello, I’m J from Hello Tampa Art – my Instagram / blog where I share my day-to-day of running an art business!  I’m a part-time painter, making custom paintings of scenery, landscapes, and logos for the Tampa area & beyond!  It’s a lot of balancing, so writing out New Year’s Resolutions and goals is important to me for planning!

Why You Shouldn’t Be Against New Year’s Resolutions

A lot of people I know are really against New Year’s Resolutions this year.  I believe in New Year’s Resolutions because I want to learn from my past year and act on those lessons by making changes in the next year.  Not only that but sometimes you need to call out the bigger picture before you make a smaller goal.  For example, last year my resolution was to start my shop, which needs to be called out because it’s made up of smaller goals

… if that makes sense.  But part of me is exhausted by it, can’t I just be me still?  But me is self-development obsessed.  

I believe in is taking action on anything to get things in motion.  So a good way that I heard it phrased is “What do you want from 2018?”  I don’t really think there should be a numbered end state to New Year’s Resolutions – like lose 10 pounds or make x amount of money.  It’s just like.. What do you want to do this time?  

Main resolution tip: Make your phone background a phrase or mantra that you want to keep in mind.  I made a couple of my favorite mantras as backgrounds – if you want to get them, you can find them here!

What I Want From 2018

  • Creativity
  • More learning
  • More reach & engagement

Fun things I want to do in 2018


  • Do a mural
  • Create more art for myself
  • Be more creative on social media & do more cool stuff


  • Do more blogger collaborations
  • Do markets regularly… when I’m ready


  • Learn a lot more in my full-time job & figure out a path.
  • Don’t work too hard.  Or find a new passion there.


  • Be more lowkey
  • Be a better and more loving person
  • Open my heart up and be more truthful to myself / others

Follow me on Instagram at @hellotampaart and let me know what your resolution / vibe for 2018 is!  I’d love to know 🙂

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15 Gifts for the Travel-Obsessed College Student

Happy Holidays everyone! I know everyone is either just starting or just about done with their holiday shopping and I’ve seen a lot of gift guides out there that are super helpful – I haven’t seen many yet specifically for people like me, aka travel-obsessed college students! So I put together this list of 15 items to help you figure out what to get your best friend, sister, daughter, niece, etc. who is obsessed with travelling. The best part is: every item is available on Amazon and are prime eligible. To purchase, just click on the photo of the product and it will take you right to it!

  1. Planner
    This is just a great gift in general, but especially for travelers. This can help them organize all of their plans so they can keep their trips organized and also work hard when they’re not travelling.
  2. Passport cover
    A unique passport cover not only looks good in Instagram photos, but will also help you locate it easily in your bag (while protecting it at the same time!).
  3. Luggage tag
    Having a luggage tag is a necessity in case of any lost bags, but it also helps you identify your bag from others if you have a very common looking bag!
  4. Water bottle
    I swear by my S’Well water bottle! They’re a little more expensive but they keep your water cold for 12 hours. Staying hydrated while travelling is difficult but keeping a S’Well water bottle on you makes it a loooot easier.
  5. Packing cubes
    Whether it’s a weekend trip or they’re taking off on a month long adventure, any traveler can benefit from packing cubes! They make packing and unpacking an ease and make the whole concept of living out of a suitcase a little more bearable.
  6. Foldable poncho
    This is a gift I could even benefit from here in Florida! This foldable poncho can be slipped into any bag or purse and your traveler will never get caught in the rain unprepared again.
  7. Travel journal
    One of my favorite things from my study abroad trip is my travel journal. Almost every day I wrote down what I did and some of my favorite memories. This is something I know I will keep forever and always have to remember that trip by. There are plenty of options on Amazon, but I love the cover of this journal!
  8. Scratch off map
    This is a fun gift for travelers to have in their home to remember all their travels by. As they travel to a place, they can scratch it off their map, and use the unscratched parts to inspire their future travels.
  9. External chargers
    I have four just okay external chargers, it can get very annoying to charge them all! Each one will just barely charge my phone one time. In hindsight, I wish I would have just gotten one really good one. This external charger can charge an iPhone almost 3.5 times!
  10. Travel pillow
    Hopefully your traveler isn’t like me and my friend, we literally forgot our travel pillows the second we landed in London! I really wished I would have had one on the flight home and all the train rides we took. Fun fact: did you know most people wear their travel pillows the wrong way? Your chin is supposed to rest on it and you’re supposed to lean your head forward, not backwards. The more ya know.
  11. Fisheye lens
    What’s the point in travelling if you don’t have cool photos to show for it? I’m just kidding, kind of. But really, having awesome creative photos from your trip to look back at it is one of my favorite things about travelling. I personally shoot with an Olloclip which is a bit more expensive but very trusty. However, this lens looks just as good and is compatible with a ton of phone types.
  12. Eye mask
    This has been one of the most useful things I’ve had for travelling. I got one for my study abroad and I’ve used it so many times since. It’s perfect for when you’re getting used to a time change, trying to sleep on a train or plane, or just trying to catch a quick nap between adventures.
  13. Instax Camera
    Okay, so here me out. This gift is definitely a little pricey but it’s more than worthwhile. I was gifted an Instax camera for my high school graduation and I have taken hundreds of photos with it since. It’s always great for fun travel photos and they’ll be super thankful to have it to have photos that weren’t taken on their phone.
  14. Airbnb Gift Card
    Airbnb is a gift from the gods to college students. I’ve stayed in Airbnbs in multiple states and have never had a bad experience. They’re also a much better experience than hotels and can lead to really interesting conversations with locals. A $25 gift card will probably cover a third of one of their night stays somewhere! Also, if you send them my link, they can get $40 off their first Airbnb stay. 🙂
  15. Mini Power Strips
    You can get this 2 pack on Amazon for $19.99! These are perfect for when there is only one outlet but many devices to charge. I wish I would have had one on my study abroad.

Happy shopping!

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Thursday’s Thoughts Volume 1

Hey everyone! So I’m going to start a new weekly post called Thursday’s Thoughts. It’s basically going to be used to give you some updates about my life, things I’m interested in, and a question at the end to stir up conversation. These will be great posts in between my larger travel posts and will hopefully help me connect more with all of you!

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Paris, France in 6 Hours

Long time no see, friends. Between working the rest of my summer away, moving across the country again, starting back up at school, and dealing with Hurricane Irma, my blog has fallen to the back of my mind. However, I’m back and am going to attempt to post at least once a week.

I want to post about my road trip essentials and finish out my road trip summer 17′ blog series, but I will have to wait until it’s perfect and I have my own photos to use.

So, instead, I thought I’d go ahead and start working on a different series of posts – my London study abroad trip series! I’ll start off with my trip to Paris, which was a crazy adventure that I can’t wait to tell you about.

My friends and I all wanted to explore past England on our trip and we came to agree to Paris as our best bet. However, our trip coordinators did not want us to leave the country and our teachers didn’t either. So, we decided that, to avoid getting into any trouble, we would do Paris in one day. That’s right guys, we left for Paris in the morning and came back to London that same night.

We booked out train tickets through Premium Tours and we chose the Paris special, which included our Eurostar guide, tickets on the Eurostar from King’s Cross to Gare Du Nord and back, and a one hour river cruise on the River Seine (which we chose to forgo due to time constraints). We paid £152.00 in the summer with the student discount deal, which came to $200.

So, here is how our 6 hour adventure in Paris unfolded.

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