It’s been a while…

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I can sit here and make up a lot of excuses, all true, on why I’ve stayed away from here so long. But I won’t bother you with the details.

I am making a comeback, slowly but surely.

For now, I will leave you with a fun idea that I found on the internet, as many great ideas are found, naturally. I recently got back from a trip to South Korea, visiting family I haven’t seen in ages. To commemorate the trip, I made a t-shirt that summarized the entire 1 weeks, all in just a few sentences:

“I should have learned more Korean before I left, visiting family I haven’t seen in nearly 20 years. This trip included vacationing on a honeymoon island – not with my extended family, not my lover. I made kids cry, and my sister wanted to noraebang so bad that our cousins stayed up until 1am on a school night karaoking with us. *Gangnam Style forever* We also found out that our family members are cat people: They hate rain and love naps. Family is the best.”

I plan on making a new commemorative t-shirt for every trip and vacation I go on from here on out.

What do you do to remember your trips?

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Road trip fever

Puppy window drivingIt’s no secret that I am in a constant state of wanderlust. While I won’t be going very far, my entire summer weekends will be filled with road trips for work and pleasure, and celebrations of love (it’s wedding season, of course). So here we go, let’s do this, summer! I’ll be sure to share my adventures with you.❤

Where do you plan on going this season?

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Back when selfies were self portraits

Hair Series Portrait by natalieerachel

Mindful

Love this girls crazy hair! Though I’m not quite satisfied with the face portion of this drawing because it doesn’t look exactly like her, I figured that I wouldn’t keep erasing and re-drawing for fear of ruining the rest of it. Hope you all like it! (Original:http://www.lomography.com/homes/shrista/albums/1800791-who-i-am-hair-series/photos/15247846)

Talk about talent! And no, I’m not talking about me. In addition to her beautiful photography, Natalieerachel recreates self portraits of other people by hand. I was lucky enough to have my self portrait drawn by her, she has so much talent and goodness knows I wish I could draw like her! Thank you for this, Natalieerachel!

Self portraits have taken on a whole new meaning, giving rise to selfies, cell phone shots, and numerous phone apps to help make the selfie easier and more flattering to take. Before the selfie craze started, I did a self portrait series about “Who I Am” – one of the things I did is exaggerate my hair because that’s how so many people identify me. This is one of the photos in the series, and the one that Natalieerachel recreated.

self portrait, hair seriesWhat kind of self portraits would you take in your own “Who I Am” series?

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DIY welcome home prayer flags

DIY Welcome home prayer flagsDIY Welcome Home Prayer FlagsOn the day I signed papers for my home, I naturally threw a “Bring Your Own Chair” housewarming party. I figured it would take a long time to get my place to where I would want it for a housewarming (and boy, was I right!). So instead of waiting for that day to (never) come, I wanted to ring in my new home with all of my close friends and family on the day I closed. It was the best idea ever. No furniture, no decorations, no expectations. Just friends celebrating.

To commemorate the evening and all of the support and love that came with it, I asked everyone to paint a flag on the blank canvas of prayer flag bunting I had brought. It was my first purchase for my house, and I am kind of the sentimental type (and am embracing it with wide open arms).

Well, it took many more months before I actually put it up. But I must say, I can’t stop smiling when I am spending time in the backyard or looking through my kitchen window over at the flags.

I am pretty sure that this blank canvas of prayer flags is generally used at weddings for guests to sign. But you can use it to celebrate any event in your life that you want to remember with the love and kindness from people in your life. Or you can just decorate one for the heck of it.

Prayer flags have a deep spiritual significance. Here’s my quick story about why I decided prayer flags were the way to go as my first purchase and captured memory for my home: In my apartment, where I lived for about 5 years, a mystery neighbor slipped some mini prayer flags underneath my door. I have always had them up in my apartment, but I still, to this day, have no idea who they came from. I think we can all do with a little more peace, kindness, and happy surprises in our lives.

If you are interested in bringing some DIY prayer flags into your home, all you need is a blank canvas of prayer flag bunting (I purchased mine through the Etsy shop, BooBahBlue), and some fabric ink. I used fabric paint, but any sort of fabric ink should work. Oh, and let me know how it turns out!

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31 Days of Healing (March Challenge Recap)

Sleepy dogOrganizing my personal spaceBallet night - Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of TaiwanMore coffee.Sunday morning puppy cuddlesPuppy napsMore puppy cuddlesBallet night - the Trocks!Ballet night in PortlandSocks, wine and fireplaceSocks, wine and fireplace

So February was a rough month for me. I don’t need to go into the details, but we all have those bad days that extend into a week, and continue on to a month, right? Well I wanted to challenge myself to do something healing every day in the month of March to recuperate and get back to a healthy body, mind and heart.

While I didn’t take a photo every day (yikes, I know), the challenge got me to thinking about taking care of myself every single day. Whether it was watching an all male ballet company dress in drag and dance en pointe, cuddling with my dog, or wearing polka dot socks and drinking wine in front of a fire, I was healing from some bad days.

Here are some of the things I did in March to heal:

  • Organizing my personal space
  • Morning cuddles with the puppy
  • Chasing sunshine every chance I got
  • Dressing up and going to a ballet (twice!)
  • Running
  • Coffee. More coffee.
  • Movie nights
  • Naturopathic doctor appointments
  • Sundae sister dates!
  • Date nights
  • Mentoring students who are about to embark on a “spring break” of volunteering
  • Ikea trip! Or, just organizing my house…
  • Cooking party
  • Bad (but exciting) movies

What do you do to heal?

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Paint your own pet

Huey Diptychimg274img272I’m not sure if it’s the same where you live, but in Portland, all sorts of painting and wine classes have cropped up all over town. Most of the classes look like this: Classes show you how to paint a specific painting, and an instructor shows you step-by-step on how to create your masterpiece. Some companies have a fixed location, while others float around to different bars and restaurants around town. Oh, and all of them offer wine. Or beer. Or other drinks. Sounds appealing, no?

Well, my friends and I decided to do a different take on the painting class, and there was one offered on painting your own pet! You send in a photo of your pet, they have a caricature artist who draws your pet on canvas, and then you show up to class to paint over the drawing. It’s sort of like paint by numbers. Super fun.

Huey sort of looks like a cartoon version of himself in my painting. It sorts of reminds me of Scooby Doo. But I love it and am proud of it. Also, it’s kind of hard to screw up a cross-eyed tongue out photo of your dog. He already looks silly, so anything I do would just add to that silliness.🙂

I love that dog.

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Little Things #46: Succulent dreams

Succulent dreamI’m not very good at plants. However, these succulents have managed to stay alive and even grow (by a lot)! So very excited and proud of them. I am hoping my good luck with them will rub off on my other house plants. Feel free to share any tips with me. Are you joining me in my May daily challenge?

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May Challenge: 31 days of spring

31 days of MayI am definitely feeling the spring vibes, and it’s my favorite season for a reason. I have been getting ready for spring by planning what will go into my garden boxes (almost built!), surrounding myself with greenery, and loving every minute of the spring blooms I never even knew existed in my yard. What a beautiful surprise.

For the month of May, I am challenging myself to intentionally notice the beauty of nature that surrounds me. My goal is to take a photo every single day this month to capture the beauty of spring. Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know it’s already the 4th of May and so I already fell behind on my daily challenge. But I don’t think it’s ever too late to be intentional about the world around us. Don’t you agree?

Join me in my challenge, and share your photos with me!

Also, I plan on posting my March Challenge (31 days of healing) very soon – I am so slow at developing my last roll of film with some of my March challenge photos on it. It will happen soon. I promise. Stay tuned, and share your springtime photos with me!

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Happy Earth Day!

Star jasmine on chain link fenceToday, make sure to do something about the environment and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you! I was one of those kids who bombarded my neighborhood with homemade signs to “save the whales,” and I even started my own garbage pick-up club, ridding my neighborhood of unwanted trash. Yes, I was that child.

These days, I can’t wait for my star jasmine to grow and cover my chain link fence. I love natural borders, and am looking forward to enjoying some backyard privacy with some greenery. The added bonus, I will be surrounded by one of my favorite scents in the entire world. Send my jasmine some good, healthy thoughts so it can grow, grow, grow!

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Little Things #45: (Un)broken lens!

Broken lens filterI hope my dad doesn’t see this…but I have been forever borrowing his Minolta SLR camera from the 80’s (which he knows about). However, what he doesn’t know is that his beautiful camera made a hard landing on the concrete floor of a museum, cracking this lens. I blame it on the tiny, thin camera strap. It slowly inched its way off my shoulder. Seriously. People were horrified when they saw the camera crash to the floor. It was the loudest sound in the museum.

So this happened last summer. It was my lens of choice (50mm), and I haven’t been able to use it or find a replacement since. Taking photos hasn’t been as fun without it, and I definitely haven’t been taking as many since then.

However, that all changed last week when I looked at the lens again…and realized I didn’t actually break it! Yes, it looks absolutely awful, but I only broke the filter, and not the lens itself. WAHOO! Lens filters are the greatest.

So now the lens is looking pretty again with a brand new filter, and it can come out to play. Best. News. Ever. Just don’t tell my dad.

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