January 12, 2017

thursday musings

lifestyle blogger
POST 1 OF 2017. Wow, 2017. This year started out with a bang already. I spent the first week of the new year in beautiful Tampa, Florida. I also survived Florida winter; January 7-9, 2017. Look at me go. I do believe that in the future I will be snow birding. Spending January in Florida sounds like a plan.

FIRST OFF, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE POST IMAGE. How badly do I wish to be sipping a cappuccino in Tampa right now instead of possibly bunkering in for 3 days because of an ice storm. Also, that's a freaking iPhone photo, y'all! Boom! (which, let's be real, is the actual reason I wanted to talk about the post image)

Secondly: this ice storm. I am co-chair of a committee that has been planning a trivia night. For tomorrow. And since, you know, the world is going to end because of this catastrophic ice storm, we have had to reschedule it. Which is sad and disappointing on many different levels. I'll just leave it at that. 

Thirdly: Fuji Apple Chicken Salad from Bread Co. (AKA PANERA) hold the onions. YES! Do yourself a favor and go get yourself one before the world is sure to end this weekend. 

Fourthly: I have gotten Invisalign. Ouch. The gap wasn't that big, but I insisted. Masochist.

Fifthly: I have taken down my Christmas decor & I am pretty bummed about it all. It was so festive! And now I just have fake succulents everywhere because I can't keep real plants alive. I mean, my home is adorable no matter what, but I just like my trees & lights!

Just a few musings that couldn't support a full post individually.

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December 20, 2016

white balanced bliss

My body is exhausted, my brain is foggy, my eyes are heavy & my puns are weak. (BUT I STILL TRY!) 

This is my afternoon diffuser blend to keep me focused, energized & frankly just to get me through until busy season is over. I thought of this post in a moment of trying to entertain myself. I had been working on color correction all.day.long. and thought "hey! you have White Fir & Balance in the diffuser, ha get it? get it? white balance" See, my puns are weak. 

WHITE FIR PROVIDES: Energy & supports clear breathing & thinking.

BALANCE PROVIDES: Relaxation, grounding & calming effects. This is the main ingredient in most of my blends. I have horrible anxiety and this is the key to all my potions.

CITRUS BLISS PROVIDES: emotional balance, it has stress reducing qualities, it's calming and invigorating. To boot, it helps to strengthen the immune system AND kills airborne pathogens. Can't be getting sick, especially this time of year!

All of these combine for a fresh and clean scent and are the perfect mix to keep my mind where it needs to be.


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December 13, 2016

things you shouldn't say


A typed out Facebook post that would piss off way to many people so it becomes a blog post. And it might still. But at least it isn't a public forum. so HA!

Here it is:

I read this article on the interwebs and it set me into motion. 

From the moment you email or call us until you walk out of our doors with your finished products it is an experience.  It is incredibly hard for me to keep my mouth shut when people comment on my pricing structure or get pissy because I will not give them a disc. You are paying for an experience. I am with you helping to choose your products and what will work best for your wants and needs every step of the way. From the moment my phone rings I am thinking about and asking questions to completely personalize your session and products. I refuse to send you out of my studio with a piece of plastic that you have to figure out what to do with yourself. Hell, I have toted my drill, level, and drywall screws to a few houses to hang gallery walls. With me, you get an experience.

While this price breakdown in the article doesn't exactly reign true to how my pricing structure sits, thats just it. We don't all price services/products the same. But believe it or not, we know what is best for our own business structure.

It's not even the article that upset me. It's the fact that it is so true. And if I'm being honest, I know from the second I read "I don't want to pay an arm and a leg," that this person I am corresponding with is not my customer. My customer values fine artistry and beautiful products. My client values a unique experience and building a relationship to last years.

I beg of you, before you say something TO A PHOTOGRAPHER about paying an arm and a leg think, would you like to go to work for free? Probably not. While yes, I love my job. My job is my dream and my passion. It is a gift that I have the privilege of doing something I love. And I love my clients & families. They make my life fun and enjoyable. But just because I love it does not mean that I am willing to give up other aspects of my life at the cost of doing business.

Just a little food for thought. Please don't be offended, I know I can sound harsh. That's why this isn't on THE BOOK

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December 10, 2016

a currently update vol. 5

Happiest of Saturdays to ya!
BINGING: actually nothing, I'm still on a Gilmore Girls low.
   I go back and forth between being disappointed and loving it. I need to watch it one more time, I think.
WATCHING: this is us. love. this show is everything.
   Again I only started watching this because of Milo Ventimiglia. And I am obsessed. It is a quintessential family show.
LISTENING: stuff mom never told you
   I've finally found people to learn from that share my views.
SIPPING: lots & lots of coffee
   and then wine. both keep me from going crazy.
SNACKING: lentil loops. believe it or not, they do taste like cheetos
WEARING: Christmas sweaters, of course!
PLANNING: a wonderful girls' day trip to St. Charles this weekend.
   there are apparently lots of cute little shops and restaurants. Along with characters dressed up in nineteenth century period garb and a parade. This is right up my alley.
READING: wild. so good.
   yes, I'm reading it bc of Gilmore Girls.
LOOKING FORWARD TO: finally being done with Christmas orders!


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December 7, 2016

self care is not selfish

DECEMBER 21ST.  The ever looming deadline. The final day for pickups. In all reality the ever looming deadline is probably the 17th. Because, let's be real. I need to have my shit together so people have several days to pickup.

I work fervently and relentlessly to get everything finished to perfection in time for Christmas gifts and so that all of my wonderful families can show off their beautiful new pieces. I initially typed out the lists at the bottom of this post. I'm going to leave them. But the lists are just aspects of my human doing that I ride this time of year. The point of this is so much more than that. I didn't want to lose an audience before I got to the real grit of it.

Today I did something different than merely my exercise of human doing. I ENJOYED.

I have planned for several weeks to take today off work. A Wednesday - insert shocked face here. If you can believe it, I went the entire day without going to or even driving past the studio. I didn't think about work once. And I didn't talk about work once. I didn't worry that I skipped the gym. I just spent the entire day with my best friend. We did some Christmas shopping. We talked about anything and everything. We had a solid girls day. Complete with sushi, burgers, and coffee. {not all consumed in conjunction}

It was a great day. We had so much fun. I haven't had fun like that, without feeling guilty, in a long time. As a sole proprietor if I'm not working, I'm not getting paid. It's very hard, but necessary to overcome that mentality. I am beginning to realize and understand that if I don't take care of me and take a day off every once in a while then my work begins to show it. I cannot afford that. Balance, is what I need. Balance is something we could all use more of. 

I can say with absolute certainty that I have never, before today, gone a WHOLE DAY without thinking  worrying about work. It was the most amazing feeling. Tomorrow I will be back and refreshed. Ready to take on the next 14 days. 

If you take anything away from this let it be this: self care is not selfish. Others will try to make you feel guilty. You cannot control them, you can ignore them though. Yes, easier said than done. You will try to make yourself feel guilty, stop it. Don't do it. You deserve time off. Self care is not selfish. 

This time of year you could compare me to good ol' Santa Claus:
I make lists.
I check them twice okay, 4 & 5 times.
I eat a ton of cookies.
Sub milk for copious amounts of coffee.
I bring mother fucking joy.

Then, imagine this:
September - December orders increase two fold as compared to the rest of the year.
I'm at the studio until 11 three nights a week.
I do not sleep.
I'm tired downright exhausted.
Believe it or not, I am extra cranky. BUT CAN'T SHOW IT. 
I think about work constantly.
It's really hard on my mind as well as my body.
It's hard on all of my relationships.
I go days without seeing or speaking to anyone but my dog. On the bright side, she doesn't get sassy, but I mean she doesn't talk either so I'm essentially talking to myself. 


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November 9, 2016

we have to have hope

As per usual, it's been a minute. As I've stated many times before this is my safe place to come and voice my thoughts. Comments will be turned off; because frankly, I am not looking to discuss at this time. I am writing solely to understand for myself. 

Last night I kept myself busy cooking dinner while watching the results roll in. At first, I was hopeful. But I found myself a nervous wreck; so I moved on to laundry and turned on American Horror Story: Murder House, seemed appropriate considering.

By the time I went to bed I was worried. Hopeful, yet worried.

I woke up at 3 with a sick feeling, I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep. By 4 it was evident I wasn't going back to sleep. I opened my news tab to read what I have feared most the past few months.

I read the national news first. I felt defeated as I realized everything is red. I felt one last glimmer of hope before I went to my local news. And then it was all gone. Locally, there is red everywhere. Not exactly surprising.

I am not afraid of change. Change is welcome. Change is needed. What is the norm in this country hasn't been working.

What I am afraid of is that there will be no check and no balance. Which is the cornerstone this country is built on.

Around the interwebs there are memes and posts telling us to proceed with life as normal. But I'll have you know, I have worked incredibly hard for the life that I live to be my "normal." The life I live is normal because of strong, fierce, & capable women who came before me to break the mold. I can do things like have a bank account in my name, have a credit card in my name, own a home in my name, own a business in my name. 50 years ago, none of these things would have been possible.

Less than 100 years ago women gained the right to vote. It was the 1960s before black men and women were able to exercise that right.

Unfortunately, I live in a very close-minded area. In any given room, as a strong feminist I am alone; there are male elitists looking to man-splain their frankly, uninformed opinions. And unfortunately, it isn't only men.

I am not upset because the woman on the ballot was not elected. (Do you realize there were TWO women on this ballot?)

I am upset because this election has taught not only children, but adults alike, that it is okay to disrespect anyone and everyone. And that it is okay to use people like stepping stones to get to the top.

I am upset because those who were elected into office have voiced feelings and displayed actions of extreme hatred toward not only women, but black people, LGBTQ people, and disabled people, to name only a few. 

I am upset because women's rights are about to be turned back 100 years.

I am upset because as a woman, I feel I have the right to choose what is best for my body.

I am upset because as a woman, I am a daily victim of sexual assault & harassment.

I am upset that men think that it is okay to shout lewd comments and honk their horns as I walk down the street or through the grocery store.

And I am upset because I have two choices: take it or be labeled bitch.

I am upset because if I stand up for myself and others I am not labeled a strong, fierce woman. I am labeled a bitch, a twat, a whore, and even a cunt. 

When I realized my two choices would be Secretary Clinton or freaking Donald Trump, I was less than thrilled.

People think that just because I don't support Donald Trump, I support Clinton. This is not the case.

I am not upset because we won't have I woman in office.

I am upset because I don't want a monster. (to borrow a quote from one of my friends who I won't name, but will know who she is if she see's this.)

Today, I am hopeless.

But only for today. Tomorrow is a new day; not that we can take back what we have done, but I have to have hope that people will lose some of their hate and start seeing the good in each other.

I am hopeful because if we have no hope, we truly have nothing.