Moments in black & white

Currently, I am on a month long trip between Eastern Idaho & Western Oregon.

During this trip I have not only been able to experience beautiful places but most importantly connect with friends that inspire me. I often find myself in a rut of guilt when I’m not always updating others on social media, keeping up with Instagram posts and a camera around my neck while traveling. Although I have had my camera with me most of the time and taking photographs, I do not take near as many as I used to in the past and especially while traveling. I have been trying my hardest to take in moments rather than capture them all. Feed my soul with memories and experiences that don’t necessarily need to be recorded onto a memory card and stored into my hard drive. I have been inspired with not only what’s been around me but the connections and conversations I have had with friends who inspire me with new light and ideas.

I have seen waterfalls and rainbows that have been unphotographed because I simply want to take it in for myself, selfishly, without sharing it with others.

I got to a point in my life where I was shooting much less because I was honestly getting bored of what I was photographing & needed a new boost of inspiration. I started to get sad and anxious about it not because I thought I was losing my passion but because others were noticing and questioning my passion for photography. However, stepping back from the camera has helped me tremendously. Now that I have spent sometime traveling without my camera always around my neck I have found some new light and have built some new concepts which I’m excited to experiment with.

Black and white images have stepped into my life recently with a newer meaning than they have before. I used to focus on black and white just as a artistic element to my photographs. Today I have found that black and white really enhances the moments rather than the colors. We always look at how beautiful the colors are in art and images but take little time to appreciate the light, texture and details of objects. Here are a few black and white details of my trip.

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Photograph taken of me by my friend Jayde Silbernagel for our personal photography project of running wild, free and nude along the wildflowers in Tetonia, Idaho.
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Owls at Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City, Utah
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I ate this wildflower in Tetonia.

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At the top of our mountain hike watching the storm quickly approaching us.

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Here’s why it’s important to get the hell out of your hometown.

It isn’t easy but it’s worth it.

Since graduating high school from St. George, Utah in 2010 I have moved around a lot and currently planning another move. Although I have lived in St. G a few times as “pitstops” I have lived in Portland, Oregon…San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico…Denver, Colorado….Burlington, Vermont….San Felipe, Mexico….and currently planning my move to Grand Junction, Colorado!

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I always felt lucky to how strict my Mother was to make sure I left the state after high school, not because I was a pain in her ass (okay, maybe a little) but because she wanted me to experience more than Utah. She refused to help pay for my college and living at all right after high school if I stayed in Utah. Go, Mom! (Hi, Mom! I love you)

Why do I still do this after college? It keeps life interesting! People ask what keeps me moving around and it has been a variety of things such as school, work, family, and even relationships.

I have always found it extremely important to not only leave your hometown but also the state and take a chance to move somewhere new, even if it’s for a year or two. Your hometown will always be there. However, take a leap and leave for once.

Here’s why you should live in new places and get the hell out of your hometown.

You’re a local and not just a tourist • One of the main reasons why I love to live places for months at a time rather than just fly and visit is because you become a local instead of a tourist which means you are actually living the culture rather then wandering too all of the basic tourist locations and taking the same photos as every other tourist. When you live somewhere you discover something new everyday & you can be the one helping all of the lost tourists.

Experience culture shock • Culture shock does not only come from country to country but also state to state in the US. My culture shock didn’t come from living in Mexico but actually living in New England. The attitude and environment is much different in New England than the western states. The “New England attitude” is a real thing and something a sweet Utah girl was not ready for.

Become more openminded • When you live in other places you experience people that are not only different from you but different from everyone you grew up around. There is a difference from politics, religion, and lifestyle. You quickly figure out that there is good in people who are different from you and you might end up becoming very good friends despite your differences.

Create your identity • The thought of “Go out and find yourself” sounds incredibly cliche but it’s very important and something I think can only truly be done if you leave what you’re used to. You might discover new passions and hobbies, a new religious path or even just grow yourself as an individual by interacting in a new place with new people. I have changed & grown a lot since high school and in ways I knew I wouldn’t have if I didn’t leave.

Make friends for life • I think when you live somewhere and meet people, that’s when you can make friends for life instead of just a new Facebook friend. Because I move so much I have friends all over the country. I know some of the most amazing people from all different backgrounds who have helped me shape into the person I am today.

Experience homesickness & appreciation • When you become homesick you actually find a lot more appreciation to your home and the place you grew up in then you ever would have before. For me, my homesickness was not only my physical home where my family was but the dry heat and surrounding red rocks. I never had appreciation for it until I left the nest.

Here are a few things you will quickly learn leaving the place you grew up in

  • There’s more to life than hometown gossip. Who’s doing what and who’s doing who. Who Cares?
  • Your past doesn’t matter anymore, your mistakes are miles and miles away now and currently disintegrating.
  • You’ll get a boost of confidence because let’s face it – you’re a badass for taking this big step in your life!
  • You’ll be more inspired and creative.
  • You learn who your real friends are back home – miles away won’t change your friendship and love for each other.
  • There are so many opportunities in this world and it’s very exciting.

Leaving your hometown is not easy and moving in general takes a lot of work. What happens if it doesn’t work out though and you feel like you’ve made a terrible mistake? Mistakes are okay. Understand the comfort that your hometown will always be there and it was a good life lesson in the long run. Besides, comfort zones are made to be broken.

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Opening Our Minds To Creativity.

Creativity is often and unfortunately pushed to the side as something that is not the most important skill to have in our daily lives, education, and careers. Creativity has become the green beans of the Thanksgiving meal when it should be seen as the turkey (or, the cherry pie) However, creativity is much more than playing with colors and crayons. Creativity is the motivation to innovation! Creativity helps us question, solve problems, and create. If there was no creativity in our lives we would still be living in the Stone Age.

Creativity is a vital skill to have on your resume and for good reason. Creativity is not only an important skill for employees but also enhances the environment you are working in. A creative environment for employees has become a foundation for successful companies today such as Pixar, Apple, Google, and Zappos.

Creativity is not only important in our careers and professional lives but our daily lives as well. Creativity makes life exciting and fulfilling!

Back to the idea of playing with colors and crayons.

Have you sat down recently with a handful of crayons just to scribble or doodle? I literally mean scribble. If you answered “no” I challenge you to take 10 minutes to do so and see what thoughts, questions, and ideas come up in your head.

“Creativity is experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun”
– Mary Lou Cook

“But I’m not a creative person!” you say. Did you know that creativity is something that is not just a natural-born trait passed down by our DNA but a trait that we can actually learn, build, and grow?

One of the best ways to help build your creativity is to open your mind and spirit to the world that is out of your normal comfort zone and environment. If you allow yourself to be stuck in one environment you will not have the room to grow your mind and gather new thoughts and ideas from other people, environments, cultures, or even religions.

My challenge to you is to try something new. Go somewhere new. Talk to someone new. Cook something new. Step out of your daily environment and routine. You might find a new passion or discover a new talent. You might come up with a groundbreaking idea and become a millionaire in the near future.

You might fall, you might fail, you might not even enjoy the outcome. Let me say this loud for everyone to hear in the back. FAILING IS OKAY. We are meant to fail and fall because this is how we broaden and grow our mind, thoughts, and nurture our creativity.

You CAN be creative!

 

Only you can save yourself.

Let me say it loud and clear for everyone to hear in the back.
ONLY YOU CAN SAVE YOURSELF.

You can have thousands of dollars in your wallet. You can have 10K followers on Instagram. You can have the body every girl is dying to get this summer. You can have the most amazing man tell you everyday how smart, beautiful, and sexy you are to them and more.

You can have all of these things that everyone craves but if you have fallen, only you can help yourself back up on your feet.

Be kind to yourself and learn to love and accept yourself.

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Stay Sunny!

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7 ways to not let Valentines suck while being single.

I’m single this year on Valentine’s Day. DUN DUN DUN.

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It is a little strange and I’ve almost become a Valentine’s Day humbug because of it…but why?! You might as well just make the best of it because who wants to be a Negative Nancy after all? Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to the be mushy gushy commercial nonsense. Make it a day for you and focus on other loved ones in your life! Here are ways that you can enjoy your Valentine’s Day while being single and not let it suck.

  1. Go out to breakfast with a loved one! Strawberry crepes are always a great meal to kick off V-Day.
  2. Hang out with your single friends. You can giggle and talk about your love life or maybe in my case, lack of a love life. Coffee and cupcakes are always the way to go.
  3. Buy yourself a box of chocolate. Because obviously, isn’t that one of the main reasons Valentines is so great?
  4. Take a trip to Victoria’s Secret. You don’t need a man to feel sexy in that new pair of lacies, girl.
  5. Bake some treats, make some valentines, and take them around to friends and neighbors. Everyone enjoys getting a little valentine treat and card.
  6. Is there a movie you’ve been dying to see but nobody cares about that nerdy documentary? Just go and sneak in your box of chocolate! Going to a movie alone isn’t as scary as it seems, trust me!
  7. Pamper! Treat yourself to a pedicure or massage. Make it a perfect evening for a face mask and a bath bomb.

I hope I have inspired you to make the best out of your Valentine’s Day as much as possible!

Xoxo

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Fisheye fun

Happy Thursday, Wonder Seekers!

I’m officially back in sunny Southern Utah! It’s always different living back in my hometown but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts! Today I started my old job again at The Art Museum which I’m totally in love with and very passionate about! Between school, a great job, and new traveling opportunities I am feeling so excited and blessed! It was gloomy the first few days I arrived but we finally got out sunny days with perfect 70 degree temperatures. “Winter” in Southern Utah is something I do not complain about especially after seeing the blizzards in the eastern states lately…I am happy to not be in the New England area right now!

I ordered a new toy and was happy to see it when I got home…a fisheye lens for my iPhone! I’ve been dying to test it out and yesterday was the perfect day! I love Pioneer Park and wandering around the red rocks that remind me of Mars, it’s a place that really reminds me that I’m home. All photos were taken with my iPhone and edited with the 1967 app using the LA Groove filter.

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Stay Sunny!

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Plans change and that’s okay.

I’m sorry I’ve been away. My mind has been on a lot as of lately because of changes that are happening a little sooner then I expected them to and also plans I didn’t expect to happen in the first place.

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My original plan was to stay in Mexico until April and move somewhere new afterward. California and New Mexico were both big possibilities or just go straight to Denver. Going back to Utah was not part of my plan.

I had to make the responsible decision to go home and start working again so I can not only save up for my next big move but to also feed more of my wanderlust. I need to take this time now while I’m doing school full-time online to be where it’s convenient for me to work and save money so I can travel as much as possible because I know once I settle down in a expensive city that opportunity to travel around will be much more difficult. Denver is still in my heart and soul but I’m also not holding my breath because I am blessed enough to lead a life that’s open to new possibilities and opportunities! Who knows, I might even get married in the near future. I decided to go for my masters online because it does give me great flexibility to travel and I am planning on visiting a new place at least once a month if that’s alone or with a friend. (Here is my open invitation to adventure buddies!)

It always sounds so degrading when you tell others “I’m going back home.” Why has that become a sign of failure? Sometimes in life you have to do things that will help you in life in the long run because life’s success really is a long run. I am very guilty when it comes to what other people think about me and my life. I often feel the need to impress or explain and here’s the thing…I’m done. This is my life, my path, and the pages of my story. I have to remind myself that there is no failure in what I’m doing at all and I’m just still on the road to where I need to be and on a great path to where I’m going. I’m 24, single, and still have a gypsy spirit that I’m not ready to let go of quite yet.

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I have enjoyed my time in San Felipe greatly and sad to see my time has come to leave so quickly and much sooner then planned. I have had many incredible experiences, explored new land, and learned how to slow down a little bit and enjoy life’s little moments.  I love my San Felipe family and looking forward to coming back for many visits in the future!

A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

Stay Sunny!

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Life as of late.

Sometimes there are some things in my life that I would like to share with you all but that I wouldn’t necessarily share with you in a single post. So here is a post about life lately and my latest gossip.

One) I took a new self portrait for the new year. Hazah!

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Two) We took a run out to the desert on some Baja buggies to an interesting little hut this man owns and sells beer from in the middle of the desert. He also has some beautiful dogs and there was also a dead cow at our destination which was a really great photo opportunity. My camera needs a major cleaning now with all of the dirt and dust.

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Three) Speaking of dead things…a friend and I went out looking for bones on the beach and there was an interesting dead fish. Why are dead things interesting to photograph? Is it normal to have this fascination?

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Four) No, still no boyfriend.

Five) I downloaded some new Lightroom presets and have been totally geeking out about. You can find these free presents from NickCam and Sleeklens. It’s always fun to try some new editing styles and techniques.

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Six) I had a cavity which caused a quarter of my tooth to crack and break off. I went to the dentist and it only cost me $40 to fill…yes friends, $40 to fill a massive hole in my tooth. Did I mention it was totally painless? No, no drugs needed either.

Seven) I have officially started my Master’s degree online. OPA!

Eight) We are running out of gasoline in Mexico. Seriously….they are increasing gas prices but not increasing the pay of the truckers. So, the truckers are protesting by not bringing gasoline and other goods across the border. Time to whip out the bikes!

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Vision Board

Happiest 2017 to you!

Every year I wonder and ponder if I should share my New Year’s resolutions. Will I actually stick to them? Is anyone listening anyway? I was having the worst time writing a post about my resolutions and then became inspired by the idea of a vision board! Some people think that vision boards are bogus but there’s a lot of great research showing that they actually work! Plus, hey…it’s a fun and inspirational project!

What is a vision board? This is a board and collage made up with images, words, and quotes that inspire you to reach for your everyday or future goals. It’s a tool that will help one of the powerful mind exercises you can do…visualization! The Law of Attraction, people! If you see yourself in that place, time, and life everyday then that will become your life one day. The Law of Attraction is something I really believe in and wish I would apply it more into my life so I thought this would be a good step toward that!

I’m sure I will soon make a vision board of photos and printed quotes but I was feeling very inspired to create a piece of artwork the time and knew it would be a good step to get my mind on track of focusing!

The supplies you need for your project are a canvas, paint colors of your choice, printed out words and/or pictures, scissors, and modge podge. Also other creative supplies you would like to add…this is your vision! I of course chose some glitter.

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About my piece. I wanted my piece to represent a sun because sunlight brings me the most motivation and happiness. For my color choice I went with yellow and champagne gold. These colors really inspire me because they remind me of light and success.

The painting itself turned out much different then I first imagined it to be. Instead of shooting straight lines from the middle circle like a normal sun painting I decided to play with paint in a circular motion which created an orbit look in the galaxy to me! This actually makes sense and speaks a little more to the concept of my piece.

While my paint was drying I went into Photoshop to type up some words that are inspiring me. I used various sizes too based on what I want more focus on. I typed up and printed out some words in the font Traveling Typewriter…such a fun font that you can download here.

Once my paint was finished drying I cut out my words and scattered them around my piece and modge podged them into place. In the middle of my “sun orbit” I have placed a quote that says “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire

There are some words on my canvas that I would like to share with you.

Denver, Colorado….this is because my biggest goal this year is to move back to Denver! I fell in love with Denver while I was there for college and it became my own home. I have the greatest friendships there and know I could do really well there with my photography and artwork!

Education…I am starting my Master’s degree right now in Creativity Studies and I’m also doing it full time online so that is a huge focus for me the next year!

$$$$$ and Success…I really want to focus on making and saving money this year! Between traveling and making a move to a big city… I’m going to need it!

I have also added some other words that inspire me such as ambition, positivity, independence, kindness, and pamper (because as girl’s gotta treat herself)

This year I’m planning on working a lot and working hard! I love to see my daily planner filled with productivity. Between school, working, and my blog…it’s going to be a packed year of great opportunities  and success!

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