New layout, and 100th post!
11:05 PM

Really, when I think about it, 100 posts isn't a lot at all. But this is the first hundred of many hundreds, and it'd be a shame to watch it pass without acknowledging the triple digit milestone.

And while we're acknowledging things, lookit the new layout! I was loving the minimalist theme from before, but craving some sidebars and better functionality. The header is a work in progress, as are some other tweaks and twerks, but for now I'm pretty satisfied. Now all I need are a couple hundred followers to go with my hundred posts.... ;)

Gluten-free check in: Ending day 4, and loving the lack of 2pm crash I'm so used to. I feel like I have way more energy already. The downside? Meal planning. No longer can I grab a granola bar on the go (I'm looking into recipes for homemade ones with dried fruit and oats, WHICH I can have in moderation) or make a quick sandwich. This takes work! But so far, so good.


A few deep thoughts
12:12 AM

Do you ever get smacked in the face with the person you used to be?

We all change. We all evolve, adapt, and move onward and upward and away from things that in their moment were the most important things in your life, until the next most important thing shows up. Some of these important things stay with you, and some don't make the cut. And tonight it hit me: I left a few things behind that I really should have packed in my life pocket.

This has got to be one of my favourite photos I've ever taken. It's the result of planning, determination, and a few frozen butts in the middle of November. Hard work, baby. But back then, I had vision. I had drive. What I left behind when I finished school and transitioned to real life? My spark.

It's hard to transition to being a real live grownup (really, I'm still a toddler with chocolate on her face, but don't tell anyone) after living as a student with boundless dreams and ideas surrounding your every move. Suddenly it's all about making it work: money, love, life, happiness, and suddenly... things fall through the cracks. I'm unhappy to announce that I've lost myself! Or, to be specific, a few pieces of myself that I'd love to restore: my drive, my spark, and my love of creative photography.

Don't get me wrong. I've been a photographer since those carefree days! I've been fairly successful with my wedding, family, and portrait work that has kept me on my toes for the mostpart. But tonight it hit me: I've lost the reason why I dove into this crazy profession in the first place! My inspiration for the crazy, creative, intoxicating and delicious, the wonderful passion for editorial and fashion that I used to love. 

 A pretty solid example of what I haven't kept up with: surrounding myself with inspiration. Tim Walker has the distinct privilege of having his own folder on my harddrive just for his ridiculously inspiring images. The last time I looked at them? 2010. Years. This has become an issue!

The reason for this rant is most definitely sparked by a recent interview with the wonderful Lara Jade. Meeting her and having the amazing opportunity to take her workshop has got to be one of the most ridiculously awesome experiences of my life to date, and I've gotta say that her work ethic and drive has been a constant inspiration pushing me to rediscover why it is that I love creative imagery. Check out the interview, go look at her body of work, and prepare to be inspired.

The bottom line of this crazy long-winded rant? Remind yourself of who you used to be. What you used to love. What used to make you tick. Because times change, and people change with them. With what I've gained, I've had equal losses and need to push to regain the ground I had once covered. INSPIRE YOURSELF TO DO MORE. And look back to when you can truly say you were in the thick of it: young, ambitious, and dream-driven. Get some of that back, and run like the wind.

A Tricky Undertaking - Beat the Wheat!
9:47 AM

Ok. If you know me at all, you know how I like my carbs: whole wheat, and lots of 'em. I would estimate that my daily meal breakdown includes at least some form of wheat or grain in each meal, and snacks on top of that. Breads. Cereal. OATMEAL! And we can't leave out my kryptonite: pasta. I love my carbs.

So welcome to my latest challenge: after months of tummy trouble and an interesting trip to the urgent care clinic, I've decided to take a month off from my carb-heavy friends. That's right, you heard me: GLUTEN FREE. I cringed at the thought of undertaking such a drastic diet change (for my lifestyle, personally) but with the benefits staring me in the face, I couldn't say no. So what is left for me? Lots and lots of veggies, meat (I'm not a vegetarian, as much as I'd love to be), fruits, beans, etc. What's missing? Bread, pasta, oatmeal, pizza, cookies, cake, wraps, muffins, and hopefully, I'll be missing my daily tummy troubles and 2pm carb coma. If those last two things are never to be seen again, consider me a converted.

Today marks the first day of my gluten free challenge. I'm aiming to try out the lifestyle (notice I didn't call it a diet? I hate the word diet. It reeks of unhealthy restriction; I'm simply swapping my wheat-heavy staples for other fiber friends instead) for the month of February, and if all goes well, as far into the future as possible. I'm starting today, January 28th, because it's a Monday. There is no way that I will attempt to start a new food plan on a Friday, February 1st. I'm not jumping onto any gluten-free replacements just yet, as I wanna totally break my habit of oatmeal breakfasts and cracker binges after lunch. Eventually I'll be able to reintroduce some wheat products once and a while, but for now, it's cold turkey (or cold oatmeal, really).

I believe I can do this! I have to say that because it's going to be difficult. Tracking through my average day, it's scary how much of each meal I've devoted to the gluten gods. It's also wildly apparent how dependent I am on the routine of my eating habits; simply walking through the grocery store last night induced a minor panic attack over the potential loss of my Premium Plus crackers and morning oatmeal. How has it gotten to the point where what I eat dictates every aspect of my life? I'm hoping by taking out this carby component of my day, I can come to a point where my food choices don't control my day, or my conscience.

I'll keep you posted, folks! (And if anyone has any helpful tips, you know I'll take 'em. I've been googling like it's my job and I'm following a few recipe blogs and gluten free goddesses to ease the transition.)


The stowaway: 4 things in my pocket this week
10:54 PM

A bit of colour and a savior for the terrible bitter cold attacking my lips.

Technically in my ears, not my pocket, but all the same a ridiculous song (and not just because there are fighting stuffed animals in their music video).

A new year, a new opportunity to become a little more organized. I didn't want to jinx this one by adding it to my resolutions list, but it may come down to it if I don't keep it up! But there is something about the new smell and crisp feeling of the empty pages that keeps me coming back for more.

One of my favourite blogs (aside from my other inspirational go-to's) had her book lingering in the Arts section at my local Chapters, and I couldn't leave without it in my hands. Check out her blog for regular updates, or head to your bookstore and pick up this gem asap!


all adventurous women do
12:13 AM

Do you ever think about when it is that a show hooks you, that you consciously make the decision to invest your time and concentration into actually following a series as opposed to simply catching it when it's on? Anyone who does not reside under a rock knows Lena Dunham's success at the Golden Globes this year, and I figured I'd give Girls a chance. This is the moment that hooked me. There is something unapologetically magical about how Dunham completely captures a moment, even one as simple as coming home to your roommate having a solo dance party, that you can't deny is just good television.

Anyone else hooked?

Bright-eyed and broke as all hell.
12:05 AM

Alright, friends. This is one of those posts that feels mildly desperate.. but when you think about it, everyone has been there. Insecure, unsure, worry... about the future. About your career. As someone in their early 20's, bright-eyed and broke as hell, just scrounging for any solid tidbit of hope that the path you're on is the "right one". So I've gotta ask.

Do you feel that you're on the right path? Do you feel like the decisions you've made have been the "right ones"? And if not, do you let the worry get to you that you may not be where you want to be right now?

I find my problem is one that is probably common for recent graduates and those from my generation: I want to do everything. Blog, shoot, sing, write, assist, direct, report, and maybe sleep. It's taking all that I can to not come up with an even new ambition each night to add to my melting pot of somewhat-unrealistic, pipe-driven dreams. My passions branch across so many genres that it is so difficult to say THAT. I want to do that. And then when the "that" is decided, a second can of worms opens up, and I have a second question for y'all:

Are you driven by money, or driven by passion? Both? Neither? Following your parents advice? Following your own drum? Too broke to afford a drum?

Lately, I feel like I've been put on one of those conveyor belts in an airport. You know, the sorter types, but this one has a time limit. If you don't claim your bag within the appropriate time, it lands in the incinerator. BOOM. Bye. If I don't pluck my career choice from the lineup right now, I'm going to end up in the inferno.

I have to say, I never thought I'd end up here. I always secretly scoffed at the various highschool friends that had graduated, and suddenly turned around and took a completely different turn in career choice. From drama to dentistry, photography to biology, I scoffed with satisfaction. That will never be me; I'm so grateful that I love what I pursue, and will enjoy my career path because I am doing what I love.

It turns out... doing what I love, is harder than it looks.

Maybe I'm just complaining, maybe I'm lazy, maybe I'm not working hard enough. But what scares me the most may just be the truth: maybe my heart isn't in it anymore. Maybe my heart, like my wallet, is suddenly budgeted and cannot spend anymore. And it's for this reason I'm scared, and asking for some advice. Some stories from experience, to let me know that it's going to be ok.

I think, worst of all, I'm incredibly sad that I'm disappointing the girl that was so proud, the girl that worked so hard; the girl that knew what she loved to do and would do anything to get to where she wanted to be. I'm letting that girl down, and I don't like it one little bit.

Thanks, friends.