December 31, 2013

2k13: a year in review

January. I started this year in Waupaca visiting Justin, and it was the best way to ring in the new year. I was still exhausted from Christmas season at Lifetouch and enjoyed all the days off that come with the slow season. I spent a lot of time cuddling with my Buddykitty. January was the month I decided to start doing ootd's and vowed to start blogging more.
February. There was a memorable amount of snow, including the time I had to drive to Southridge and back in it with my crappy car. I started watching Grey's Anatomy for the first time on Netflix (#lifechangingdecision). I counted down the days until Adrian's opened in March.
March. I WENT TO CALIFORNIA. I fell in love with San Francisco. I wanted to live in Yosemite. My trip to the west coast was awesome and was definitely one of the highlights of 2013. Adrian's opened a week after I got back. We had to put Buddy down. :( My friends and I started hanging out at IHOP, drinking coffee & eating breakfast & laughing until the wee hours of the morning.  At the end of the month, I quit my job at the studio--which was such a long time coming. It felt good to do something for me.
April held more change... I quit my job at Adrian's, packed up all my stuff, and moved 3 hours north to live with Justin. I turned 21. I got a job at Hardee's. I got the hang of all this fashion blogging stuff.
In May, I went exploring. I found my favourite photo spots. I got into the swing of things and found my routine. I went home for Chocolate Fest for the first time since I moved and was confronted with different ideas of home.
June was month for growth, for realizing that bumps in the road are inevitable and you have to deal with them and get over them. Lots of adventures were had and it was the perfect start to summer.
July was the perfect adventure month. Diners, taking pictures of wildflowers on the side of the road, going back to Burlington for a few days. I became an auntie in July. The sun was high and life was really really good.
August. We started apartment hunting. We adventured. I went home twice--once for girl's night with some old friends from high school, and once for senior pictures. I only photographed two seniors this year... a far cry from the 11 I did last year. Justin and I celebrated a year of us.
September. I lost my photo mojo. I quit my 365. I celebrated the loss of my innocence and the journey it's taken me on and all the opportunities it's brought me from how I've learned to deal with it.
October. My favourite month, and I have hardly any pictures to show for it... It was Justin's birthday, the start of my favourite season, WE MOVED INTO THE APARTMENT. Monumental, and absolutely perfect.
November. We got into the groove of living by ourselves. I fell in love with morning light, fell in love with quiet, in love mornings in general. I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner.
December. I got my second tattoo. Celebrated Christmas. Reflected a lot on time and love and home and how much I've changed this year.

2013. If I had to pick a word for you, it would be home. I feel like I have two homes now: one in Waupaca, and one in Burlington. It was the year I learned how to be an adult and how to do things for myself. I grew so much in 2013, and I'm excited to extend this growth into 2014.

December 30, 2013

one little word for 2014

Inspired by Elise & Ali, I've been thinking about choosing a word for 2014. UNAFRAID has been on my mind the last few weeks. I'm making it my goal for 2014 to drop my fear and start taking more chances. 2013 made me realize that I really can do anything if I set my mind to it, and now I want to employ that mindset more. I need to stare fear in the face and say, "I am more powerful than you." I've passed up so many opportunities because it's easy to say "Oh no thanks, I'm busy" when in reality I'm sitting on my couch watching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix. Here's to more adventures, more laughter, more chances in 2014.

Here's to hoping I can say 2014 is the year where I conquer my fears and take the world by storm.

December 27, 2013

i'll be home for christmas

Some snapshots from my adventures during Christmas. This year I was fortunate enough to receive new snow boots, as well as new tires for my car so I can 100% promise lots of adventures in 2014. I also got a new pair of flats, some nail polish, perfume, new pj pants, and the gift of just being able to be surrounded by my loved ones for the holidays.

What was your favourite present this year?

December 24, 2013

christmas eve

Happy Christmas Eve everyone! Today has consisted of a 3 hour drive home, lots of coffee, last minute shopping, family time, and cooking cooking cooking. My mom made homemade sauce for our Christmas lasagna tomorrow, we made homemade Chex Mix, and now we're multitasking making a lemon torte for dessert tomorrow and cream cheese stuffed French toast for Christmas breakfast! I've been in my Christmas jammies since about... 4 o' clock when we got home from the grocery store. ;)

I hope you all have the merriest of Christmases tomorrow!

December 22, 2013

our 2013 holiday card

Something simple, something sweet, something that came together exactly as I pictured it. Since I've been living in Waupaca, Justin and I have taken so many pictures together... it was hard to pick just one to be on our card. This one was taken back in August, on one of my favourite adventure days (walking on sunshine) and I think it's my favourite photo of us for 2013.

I'm still computer-less, but I can promise at least two more blog posts in 2013: a Burlington trip home for Christmas, and my 2013 wrap up post. I hope you all have a fantastic holiday!

December 15, 2013

life lately

Life lately... December has held chilly walks, library trips, beautiful winter sunlight, holiday socks & cute gloves, lemon tea in the morning, lots of hot cocoa, a new tattoo, and I'm in Christmas card land right now. They're going out in the mail tomorrow, so expect them to show up in your mailbox soon!

Things have been quiet around here because the screen on my laptop is broken. Every time I try to turn my computer on, the screen just stays black... so I'm on the hunt for a new laptop, and using Justin's on occasion.

I hope you're all well!

December 09, 2013

dress up

Some days you just need to come home from work and play dress up. Today included ridiculous layers, a 
Santa hat, gold ornaments, and side lighting via the window in my bedroom. The past two Christmas seasons, I worked at a portrait studio, and taking pictures today reminded me that I actually miss working there, creating little stories and helping to capture people's memories.

Taking pictures today reminded me why I love photography so much. I spent an hour prancing around my room, reveling in the gorgeous golden light from the comfort of indoors. This is the way my photography started. If you look back at my first 365 project, the first months are filled with indoor photos and natural light and something about this type of photo will always resonate with me.

Last call for Christmas cards! If you would like a Christmas card from me, please email me your address to

December 08, 2013

let it snow

Bandana: Mom, Sweater: Thrifted, Gloves: Kmart, Scarves: Gift/Home

Today was one of those days where I couldn't take pictures to save my life. So have a picture of me with snowflakes in my hair. It's snowing again, and I believe they're calling for 4-5 inches all together. There have been a lot of accidents, especially near Milwaukee and where I used to live. Everyone who's driving today, be safe! Slow & steady. Time for me to go brave the snow and go run errands. I'm printing my Christmas cards on Tuesday so last call for anyone who wants one: send me your address at !

December 07, 2013

i will follow you into the dark

This song holds so many memories, and this lyric has always struck a chord deep within me. I used this quote on my senior tile that's in the hallway mural of my high school. I have wanted this tattoo since somewhere between middle school and high school, and the fact that it is now a reality sort of blows me away.

My first tattoo (see it here) means a lot to me. I got it after I came home from Savannah and it symbolizes my need to always find my way home. My compass came first because I wanted to be sure I really wanted a lyric on my skin for the rest of my life, and I haven't stopped thinking about this tattoo since.

Through the ups and downs of my teenage years, this quote stuck in the back of my head. Through the loss of my innocence, the demise of my first relationship, my family being ripped apart from the inside out... Through all the bad times in my life, I have found that this quote holds true. Love is downright scary, and from your fear you have to learn to love--whether it's other people, different situations, any change at all. I think I most loved this quote this past year as my relationship with Justin grew and I formed a new and loving relationship with myself.

Now I only wish it were summer so I could wear skirts and dresses and shorts and show this off. ;)

December 04, 2013

christmas light walk

When I was little, my parents used to take me around the neighborhood so we could look at Christmas lights. I went for a walk tonight, partly for nostalgia and partly because I'm intrigued... Back at home, I know what everyone's Christmas decorations are going to look like because year after year they do the same thing. In Waupaca, I have no idea what to expect. I'm thinking my walk tonight was the start of a beautiful tradition.

Tonight calls for a Christmas music playlist, another round of hot cocoa creations, and dry socks. What are your favourite Christmas songs?