Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Goal Wrap-Up

Wow! This month flew by! I didn't accomplish as many goals as I wanted to, but I enjoyed myself and that's the most important thing, right? If you missed my October goal post, you can find it here.

Here's my original list...

#1-2 The waking up early thing did not happen, well maybe a couple times, but definitely not regularly. I think I need a new approach. I also don't think I did more yoga, at least not whole sessions. I do find myself practicing various poses while I'm waiting for things and I think that counts. Anybody else do downward dog while they're waiting for the microwave to ding? Randomly plank? Just me? Moving on!

#3 I feel like I've done a good job keeping my shop stocked and am continually excited by my amazing customers! I'll keep it coming! By the way, you can sign up for my newsletter here and I'll be sending out some special deals for the holidays!

#4 I took a little too seriously. I think I read 3 books, including A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin that is particularly massive. I also remembered why I hadn't been reading very much. I get so sucked into the world of fiction and don't get much else done. If you're into series' check out George RR Martin's series. I thought Dance was the last one, but there will be 2 more. I also highly recommend Bossypants by Tina Fey. Hil-ARIOUS!

#5 I've gotten to spend some time with friends this month and I hope to keep it up. I get pretty caught up in my own bubble and it's nice to get out and have some good conversation.

#6 It feels so good to be shooting again! I did some family portraits for some friends that may or may not show up on here. I haven't decided yet. I also took a couple trips out shooting with friends to photograph the fall foliage. I'm glad I didn't put it off. I would've missed some gorgeous colors!

#7 I don't know if I'm getting more comfortable blogging or if I'm more aware of things that I'd like to blog about, but I feel like I'm making progress. Thanks for sticking around. I hope you like what you see so far! Let me know what you think of my new autumn layout!

Finally, I'm down to the wire on #8. I might fit in some baking today, maybe not. But it will happen soon!

What do you think my goals should be for November? Suggestions are welcome!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Listening to Tristan Prettyman's new album, Cedar and Gold 
TP has a beautiful voice and I've been a fan for many years now. She's really evolved from the surfer girl sound she had on her previous albums and I am loving it! I was a little afraid to give this one a listen because I had heard it was an album written about a breakup. I was pleasantly surprised that this album is about healing and it's wonderful! Very uplifting and doesn't make me want to curl up in a ball and cry! You can listen to the whole album on Tristan's facebook page here. I bought it on iTunes and I can't get enough!

Watching Dancing with the Stars All-Star Season
I have always wanted to learn to ballroom dance! One of these days, I'll get around to it. For now, I'll live vicariously through celebrities. The phenomenal eye candy doesn't hurt either! The problem is that they're all so good this season and I don't know who to root for!

Reading The Paris Wife by Paula McClain
This is a historical fiction novel about Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley. It's told from Hadley's perspective and isn't so much about art and literature as it's about people and relationships. I'm not even a Hemingway fan, but I was intrigued by this book and it turned out to be a really good read. You can buy it here. Although, I downloaded it to my nook from my local library.

Thinking about so much! Too much! I've been thinking about what I want my blog to be and that led me to some deeper thinking about what I want my life to be. All roads for me are beginning and ending with happy. Getting happy. Being happy. Staying happy. Living happy.

That's what's been going on with me lately. What about you guys?

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vintage Dress + Family Tradition

I thought I'd do a little "Throwback Thursday" on the blog today and share a family tradition. It all started with a sweet yellow dress that was bought for my Mom when she was a baby. My Grandma loved the dress so much that my Aunt wore it when she came along nearly 8 years later.

My Grandma doesn't hold to ANYTHING. She's very "Out with the old and in with the new!" Miraculously, she kept this dress for her granddaughters to wear someday.

My cousin's baby, Rikki, recently became the 10th baby in our family to have her portrait taken while wearing the dress.
Rikki waiting for her photo shoot to start

My Mom's really into digital scrapbooking and she makes beautiful pages like the one below.

Do you have a family tradition that you look forward too? Have you started any new traditions? I'd love to hear about it! Thanks for reading!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Think Pink!

I'm sure you already know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I want to take this opportunity to tell you about my friend Suzie. This spring, Suzie found a lump in her breast and went to the doctor to get it checked out. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and began treatment right away.

After she lost her hair to chemo, Suzie asked me if I would do some portraits. She wasn't sure if she would share them, but thought she should document this time in her life. I was happy to oblige.

Isn't she beautiful??
This month, Suzie decided to post the photos on facebook for all of her friends and family to see. She wanted to make sure that everyone realizes the importance of self breast exams. Suzie is only 32, has NO FAMILY HISTORY, and NO RISK FACTORS!

I can't even tell you how proud I am of Suzie. She has always been one of the kindest people I know and she has an amazing positive outlook. As a wife and mother of 4 young kids, she tried to keep things as normal as possible, even when the treatments wiped her out. I don't think she realizes how strong she is. She is truly an amazing woman!

She still has some more treatment to go through before this ordeal is over. I'm so excited for when Suzie can put this all behind her.

Suzie and her husband painted messages on each others' heads. Love this!
Suzie recently walked in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Cincinnati along with a big group of family and friends. If you'd like to make a donation to that charity here is the link to Suzie's team "The Bosom Brigade"

I had to include this shot. Not only are they getting photo bombed by their 2 youngest kids, but I  love all the laughing! It really looks like "them"!
 I love you, Suzie! Thanks for letting me share your story! XOXO

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Yoga Doesn't Suck

Yesterday, I mentioned that one of my goals for October is to do more yoga. I'm not a health or fitness nut. I don't generally even enjoy exercise. (loathe is a better word) I'm a curl up with a good book kind of girl. Moving around is definitely not my favorite thing. So, I wanted to tell you why yoga is my exercise of choice and what I think so far.

I didn't start doing yoga to lose weight. I could use some tightening of my "wobbly bits", as Bridget Jones would call them, but that isn't the reason I do yoga. I wanted to give yoga a try for two reasons. First, I've been trying to learn to meditate. I'm a high anxiety person and need to learn to relax my mind. I think this will always be a work in progress for me, but I wanted to add yoga to the mix. Couldn't hurt, right? Second, my body hurts. Back, shoulders, neck...they ache. Just sitting. This was a new thing for me and I didn't like it. My goal is to gain strength and flexibility so my posture improves and I carry my body better. Guess what??It's working! I'm already less achy. As for the meditation thing, we'll just have to see.

Below is what I've done so far and what I would recommend for true beginners, like myself.

For starters, you'll need a sticky mat, a yoga strap (or belt in a pinch), and I like to use a yoga block too. The best prices I've found were at Marshall's & TJ Maxx.

I attempted to take a photo of my gear for you guys, but someone wanted to help and never did get out of my shot. This is Satchmo, by the way. If you follow me on Instagram (@retr0phot0), you'll see him and the other furbabies quite a bit.

I decided to do yoga at home because I didn't think I would benefit from going to a class before I even knew the names of any of the postures. Also, I there are lots of different kinds of yoga and I wanted to find one that I liked. 

Turns out, I prefer slow flow yoga. That means you hold your stretches, which I like because I feel like I get the full benefit of the stretch. (Btw, in my 20's, I wouldn't have had the patience for slow flow yoga. I probably would've liked power yoga, if I'd known what I was doing or bothered to learn.)

Yoga for Beginners with Barbara Benagh has been the best DVD I've tried. I tried 4 different DVDs that all had excellent reviews. I like this one the best because she moves slow and explains everything. Also, she says that she's not teaching you anything new. She's helping your body remember the openness and flexibility it was born with. I like that idea. It reminded me of how my nieces folded in half (for easy storage) when they were babies.

I really like the way yoga makes me feel. I think my posture is improving too. Good posture definitely has a slimming effect. I haven't lost any weight, but my niece keeps telling me I look skinny. Go figure.

I started a  free 21 day yoga challenge from the Yoga Journal website in September. It'll take me longer than 21 days to get through the whole things because I don't do it everyday. I really like that it lets me try out different instructors and techniques. That'll be helpful when I choose my next DVD. Who knows? Maybe I'll feel comfortable enough to join a class.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

October Goals

Ok, guys. I'm posting my October goals up here for everyone to see. I tried to keep the list short and broad so that it didn't turn into my to-do list (it's crazy long and detailed) and so that I didn't set myself up for failure. Notice how the theme of this list is MORE and not specific numbers. Much more reachable goals.

Feel free to hold me accountable. Here they are!

1. wake up earlier

This is going to be a toughie for me. My sleep schedule has been messed up since I started staying up late to watch the Olympics. Then, I continued to stay up and watch Jimmy Fallon. It's getting ridiculous. I'm WAY more productive during daylight hours. Also, I require quite a bit of sleep..probably more than most adults would think is necessary, but I digress. Any suggestions on how to accomplish this? I'm all ears.

2. do more yoga

I don't know why I fight it. I always feel better after doing yoga. It's the actually doing it and making time for it that's the problem. I did recently start a 21 day challenge, so that should help. There's actually a lot I'd like to tell you about my recent experience with yoga, but I'll save it for tomorrow.

3. keep shop stocked

I hope this is always a work in progress because it means people like my stuff and are buying it! For October, it means that I get everything posted so there's a lot available for the upcoming holiday season. I've been adding things and updating a lot lately, so make sure you check it out!

4. read a book

I've always been a big reader. I haven't been reading too much for pleasure lately because I've been glued to my computer or out treasure hunting. I really don't think this goal is going to pose much of a problem since I just picked these up from the library...

5. spend more time with friends

This might be the toughest goal of the month (and where I try not to whine). It's hard when all your girlfriends become mommies and suddenly have families to take care of. It makes finding time to get together near impossible at times, even if they need girlfriend time as badly as I do. Anyway, I'm hoping to sneak in some coffee and lunch dates with the girls this month.

6. take more pictures

I should put post-its that say this all over my house. My mom has 2 naggy mom things that she says to me. One is "Some mascara wouldn't kill you." and the other is " What kind of photographer ARE you??" It's because I never have my camera with me when I need it. It's heavy and clunky. I don't take it everywhere. I have my camera phone in case of emergency now, but it's really not the same. My goal is to take photos for me and for this blog with my "real" camera.

7. blog more often

Working on it.

8. bake something pumpkin

It's OCTOBER. It's the law. Pumpkin baking will happen.

That's it, guys. What do you think? Do you have any goals for October?

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