Travel Log: Atlanta & Savannah, Georgia

Oh, the south. It has a special place in this southern girls heart, one that no matter where I travel or move, I always want to go back 'home.'

It's funny though ... because this was the first trip I have gone on where I didn't take pictures 99% of the time, instead I shot video.

Savannah was one of those places that makes you feel like you've arrived home within a minute of stepping out onto the cobblestone streets. Between the music-filled humid air, the endless beauty of trees and beaches, or the art and culture ... it's a place I imagined I would be moving to in the near future.

I know plans change, life give us a new direction but in the end, Savannah is always going to be there for me when I'm ready.

While in Atlanta and Savannah, I got to spend some time with a dear friend of mine of 11 years, Neil and his daughter Skylar who have lived in the area for quite some time. Getting to see some of the local side to each city was wonderful but don't let me tell you in words ... just watch the video below.

I'll be back there soon.

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Part One

Been so quiet this week because most of it was spent in bed -- I'm so sick everyone!

Anyhow, I thought this would be a good time to post my healthy lunches. If you're like me you probably work a job during the week and it's hard to find the time to make healthy lunches and also not get bored of just a plain old sandwich everyday. I know I get tired of it and so does Ayden.

So I decided to start changing that and making sure to change it up so I don't binge on fast food. I don't take a picture of every single thing that I eat, because let's face it, I'm human and get busy or have a random moment where I just want to go out and eat Taco Bell ... but for the most part, I like to spice things up with new ingredients and some healthy choices.

What are you some of your favorite easily packed lunches?
Let me know in the comments!

Lunch One-
Fruits: Apples/Blueberries
Veggies: Lettuce/Tomatoes
Main: Chicken spring rolls (lettuce/carrots/shredded chicken)
Snack: Hummus & Pita Chips

Lunch Two- 
Fruits: Apples with Peanut Butter/ Blackberries/Blueberries
Veggies: Cucumber/Tomatoes
Main: Turkey & Cheese Slices
Snacks: Mini Slim-Jim & Goldfish

Lunch Three-
Fruits: Blackberries/Blueberries
Veggies: Tomato, bell pepper, cucumber
Main: Leftover pasta from dinner the night before
Snack: Hummus & Pita Chips/ Applesauce (no sugar added)

Lunch Four- 
Fruits: Blackberries/Blueberries/Melon
Veggies: Lettuce/Tomato/Cucumber
Main: Turkey hotdog (all natural)
Snack: Energy Bar & Applesauce
Lunch Five-
Fruits: Apple Slices (not pictured)
Veggies: Half avocado/Cherry Tomato/Carrots/Lettuce/Cucumber
Main: Grilled chicken with pepper/Quinoa
Snack: Fruit cup (not pictured)/Cottage cheese

Lunch Six-
Fruits: Apple Slices (not pictured)
Veggies: Tomato/carrots/cucumber
Main: Turkey slices & Quinoa
Snack: All natural salt-free popcorn/Mini Slim-Jim/crackers with peanut butter

Weekly Recap and Word: Adjustment

Have you ever had those weeks where the universe starts throwing things into your path and where you once could walk around it quietly, ignoring the signs and going about your own way ... suddenly, everything is too big to just put behind you?

That explains my past week. And that's why with my first ever weekly recap post, I chose the word "adjustment."

Everything changes and everything evolves. Where one moment begins, another ends. Whether it be our feelings for someone we once thought were our world, or something as simple as the way we react when morning traffic is 30 minutes longer than usual ... change is part of growing and becoming closer to true happiness.

I've learned this week that adjusting to new things isn't something to be ashamed of, sometimes it's okay to just close the computer and watch Netflix for an hour for some peace of mind instead of responding to 20 emails. Sometimes it's okay to take an extra ten minutes in the shower because it's one of the few places you get alone time to think. If you have the ability to do so, don't forget to take those moments. You have those thoughts for a reason, and they keep us from walking on a thin line.

So with all of these adjustments in my life and figuring out the next step on my now clear path, Ayden and I had a quiet weekend in the forest (a full blog post will be up soon) and a small adventure during the week helping out a friend of the family make his way home to his horses. I won Best Food Photograph at the Spectrum awards at The Art Institute which made me ecstatic... and I had dinner with a boy named Ben and his girlfriend who were passing through Denver on their move to St. Louis.  We thought we knew what love was back when we were kids and it was amazing that after 13 years the universe gave us friendship even after all this time. Ben beamed with love for the woman he has chosen to spend his life with and I with my son's hand in my own thanked the universe for giving us such amazing people to share our lives with.

Time can give us amazing things if we are patient. 

Jenny & Her Skateboard

I've always had a fun fashion/lifestyle shoot in mind at this location, and Jenny, the model below was nice enough to show up last minute for it. Even though it was FREEZING, I love the images and she couldn't have been a better model under the cold conditions. She was quite a trooper!

Fun Fact: I broke my left pinkie toe right before this shoot. That lovely pink skateboard you see her holding fell out of the back of my truck and right on my toe breaking it straight down the middle (per the x-ray). Despite the fact that I was dying from pain while climbing in and out of these tunnels, we got what we wanted.

Its crazy the things photographers do for the perfect shot!

Model: Jenny Scofield

Transitioning to Minimalism

What is minimalism?

According to the dictionary: a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.

The last six months I've been obsessed with any blog, Pinterest photo, style guides, interior of houses and more that showcase a very minimal lifestyle. And I was having a hard time figuring out why I would gravitate towards such a lifestyle that was the opposite of my own. I don't have a lot of valuable things, in fact I find myself buying quantity more than quality and it has always seeped into my personal and emotional life as well.

Turning 29 this year effected me in so many ways and I realized that just like the wardrobe I longed for, just like the small and simple housewares I dreamed of living amongst, just like the idea of having extra money to travel instead of scrapping pennies for a t-shirt I'd never wear, and just like the many people I knew I had to cut out of my life in an effort to live more happily ... I wanted a change. I wanted to grow up. I needed to.

And with that realization I also knew I wanted a lifestyle to reflect the new version of me. The girl who was truly a woman now, making decisions, gravitating towards quality and not by what the eye can just see at first glance. I wanted deeper meanings, less 'fluff' and I wanted more time to spend stressing about a new adventure, being a good mom, and living life instead of worrying about the excess that in reality ... doesn't matter. 

I hear these stories about how the things we have will be someone else's burden one day. And I've seen it with my own friends and family ... fighting over who has to take what, or who has to get rid of someone's 600 piece wardrobe. 

In the end, none of these things matter. 

So, when I heard about capsule wardrobes, and the idea of a 37 piece wardrobe, I knew this was the exact thing I wanted to jump into.  It may seem so small ... to start with something like the clothes we wear. But it's actually been incredibly hard. And it makes me realize how ungrateful I am to have as many clothes/shoes/accessories when so many others are poor and have one thing to wear everyday. But it's phase one. I'm working on it. First world problems. -sigh-

Letting go of the clothes I just store in my closest but never wear is like tearing off a bandage. We become so fixated on the wrong things, thinking, "Well, if I have a full closet, I have a full meaningful life." When really, it's the opposite. These things don't love you. They have no remorse when it's 6:00 am and you're pulling your hair out because it's a 'fat' day and everything looks terrible on you. It doesn't care if you have 1 belt you never wear, or 30 ... (yes I own 30 belts ... Why .. WHY?!). These things do not share a life with you being stuck in a closet and gathering dust and years. Eventually you'll donate them on a whim, and it's just money thrown away all over again. The money you could have saved eating healthy food, or for an extra tank of gas to go camping in the mountains.

It's a mind cleanse to get rid of these things ... to shake off the "what ifs" in life and stop making plans that you don't intend to keep. Even if it is just future outfits that look cute on a mannequin and in front of a mirror that's conveniently altered to convince you that you're going to look good in a paper bag. I'm not kidding. Read about that here.

So, this past weekend, I donated 4 trash-bags of clothes. And shoes. And jewelry. And even though I donated roughly over 50-60 articles of clothing alone ... my closest STILL doesn't have enough space. And even though I do feel a little better, I'm not close to being done. This is a life journey and I can't wait to share my before/after with you. My guides and my desires to get rid of the excess and start being minimal.

I heard a quote not too long ago that changed my life and maybe it will for you too --

"You don't need more space, you need less stuff."

How are you living your life to the fullest? 

What are you willing to let go of?