Wildflowers and Mountain Air

This post about Eastern Idaho is going to be short and sweet because I really can’t come up with all the wonderful words that can explain my time there.

There’s something particularly wonderful about waking up in the morning to sunlight and having fresh coffee along with the mountain air. During my time in Tetonia we spent many mornings on the patio with a breakfast full of fresh sautéed greens and coffee. We sat next to the river stream with a bag of cherries and good conversations. We meditated and ran nude in the wildflowers.

During my time in Tetonia, Idaho my mind was set free a little more and reminded me to breathe a little deeper, stop to smell the flowers, and that I definitely need trips up to the mountains more often.

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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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Seattle, Washington

I had a really great experience this past weekend. I was flown to Seattle, Washington where I took maternity and engagement photos for a friend who I’ve known since we were knee high to a grasshopper. The photos we took are gorgeous! They are so loving toward to each other and so excited about their future together and with the baby. I loved to capture their happiness! Here are a couple of black and white details.

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I was only there for a short time but I was able to experience some scenery of Seattle, Pikes Place and some of Fisherman’s Warf. Pikes Place was really a treat! I love anywhere that looks a little grungy, has an array of foods, and cute shops to look inside!

Here are some bits of my trip!

It was sunny while I was in Seattle. SUNNY IN SEATTLE.

  • The Needle is much smaller than I imagined it to be.
  • It was Pride in Seattle so there were rainbows everywhere. You can’t be sad being surrounded by love and rainbows!
  • I got to enjoy watching a famous Pikes Fish Market fish toss! I watched a documentary about this in school and was so happy I got to see it myself.
  • For lunch at Pikes Place I ate a small bag chicken gizzards, hearts and liver. SO GOOD. Except I didn’t fancy the liver as much. Give me all the hearts though.
  • Let’s talk about the organic blackberry apple cider, too. Oh lord!
  • I definitely fancied the fresh flower markets all along the market!
  • We passed the first Starbucks but the line was just far too big to go inside, I did enjoy that they kept the old logo and everything though!
  • Instead of enjoying Starbucks I went for a local coffee shop next to the Gum Wall called Ghost Alley Espresso which was an adorable hole in the wall. I got vanilla cinnamon something somewhat or another latte. That’s not really what it’s called, I just forgot, oops. BUT it was sooo good. Super creamy and wonderful!
  • I purchased $14 worth of Salt Water Taffy on Fisherman’s Warf & a souvenir shirt that has yellow on it to remember my time in Seattle, while it was sunny.

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Well, this about wraps up my short time in Seattle and I cannot wait to go back and explore more, except next time I’ll have to purchase cute rain boots and a stylish umbrella.  I might even make a big trip from Seattle to Canada! Train ride anyone?

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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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Here’s why the scale is a piece of shit.

Right now, I weigh the most on the scale that I have weighed in my life. 

My 5′ 3″ body is currently 165. My “normal” is 150 and my thinnest? 129. Right now, I also believe I’m the healthiest I have been in a long time and it’s taken me until recently to recognize that.

I used to struggle with terrible anxiety and would constantly feel sick, nauseas and tired and it’s until recently that my anxiety has been getting much better then it was in the past and I can feel it throughout my entire body. When I weighed 129 I had an ulcer which part of the cause of my rapid weight loss during college. I lost 31 pounds. Everyone kept saying “Wow, you look so good!” which is what we associate with when people lose weight regardless of the fact that I looked sick, tired and stressed to my bones.

Recently I’ve been eating very well. I can’t even eat greasy foods anymore without getting sick and I don’t consume sweets nearly as much as I used to. I have also been hitting the gym regularly and keeping up with my yoga practice.

I keep stepping on the scale though and wondering “HOW?” & end up getting incredibly frustrated and upset. One day I finally texted my good friend who is fitness instructor and told him about my frustration and he himself said that I’m gaining muscle, the scale is full of lies and to be patient with myself and my body.

The other evening I went into the gym and told myself to run 3 miles because that was the last goal I accomplished. I hit 3 miles and told myself “Okay you’re going to do 4 miles now” which was quite the stretch because I’ve never ran that much in my life and once I got to 4 miles I somehow got a burst of energy and ended up reaching 5 miles! I was honestly shocked and so happy I started to cry. I literally got emotional over this. All of the frustration on the scale didn’t even matter anymore because I was thrilled that I could push my body that far and completely blessed that my body feels strong and healthy!

The singer P!NK actually posted on her Instagram about the same problem who is 5’3″ and 160lbs. She stated that according “regular standards” that is obese. I AM OBESE. I stand with P!NK, “dammit I don’t feel obese. The only thing I’m feeling is myself” (P!NK)

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Here are the important questions to ask yourself….Am I nourishing my body with the foods it needs? Is my body getting enough exercise and fresh air? Is my mind sharp? Do I feel healthy and confident?

Bodies are so different and your 140 could be different from someone else’s 140. Your body could be a size 10 but someone who weighs the same as you could be a size 7.

We shouldn’t experience happiness by the number it tells us on the scale but by how our bodies and spirits feel!

You are beautiful, you are strong and you are so much more than a number. 

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Girl talk, period.

I have been a little hesitant to create this post but talked myself into it because being a woman has its challenges and we have to stick together! I have also made the decision to start creating more personal posts about womanhood called “Girl Talk” which includes confidence, health and beauty, fashion, career and success, friendships, and of course relationships.

Let’s talk about P E R I O D S

Most recently I have had the worst visits from mother nature and have felt like nothing but a sack of potatoes. Let’s talk about crying emotions, sweet cravings, and cramps from satan himself.

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Who has time to deal with this mess once a month? I know I don’t! I have too many things to accomplish rather than sit on the coach in pain and cry. After this round of my monthly visit I decided to make some changes to my routine to help me out!

Watch what you eat: This is the absolute worst and something I’m terrible at this time of month. The other evening I went to grab a small blizzard filled with cookies, brownies and caramel when I should have satisfied my sweet tooth craving with some sugar free frozen yogurt filled with fruit instead. Today I have been doing much better by eating an Acai bowl for lunch and quinoa, chicken, mushrooms, and spinach mixed together for dinner. Make sure to stay hydrated and add more fiber to your meals!

Yoga: What? You’re telling me that I need to get out and move my body when all I want to do is sleep? Yes! I wouldn’t say you should hop on that treadmill and work but a terrible sweat while you’re in pain but a great yoga flow and stretches will help your cramps. Create your own yoga flow of upward facing dog, downward facing dog, cobra, camel and fish pose.

Take a hot bath: After you did so well at yoga treat yourself to a hot bath and include some bath goodies like bubbles or bath bombs. A great excuse to go visit LUSH Cosmetics! If you don’t have a LUSH Cosmetics near you Bath and Body works has finally come out with a line of Bath Fizzes! (I honestly can’t say they are even half as good as LUSH, but they tried.)

Tea time: You’re really supposed to reduce your caffeine intake while on your period so go for some herbal tea and snuggle up with a book. Spearmint tea will help your bloating!

Invest in some cute bralettes: I live by bralettes but that’s also easy for me to say because I am already small chested. Breast tenderness can happen so why not let go of the wire and feel a little more loose? You can also layer bralettes with loose t-shirts which is not only super comfortable but also looks totally cute and sexy!

Watch an emotional film: When I’m PMSing, I don’t get an attitude but more emotional than I already am. If you’re also like this then relax with an emotional movie, it will help get your crying emotions out without taking them out on someone else. 

Get some extra sleep: So you can conquer your day tomorrow!

 

Stay Sunny!

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!

 

Muir Woods National Monument, California

While I was in the Bay Area of California we took a little trip to Muir Woods and Muir Beach and it was beautiful! Although I love my red desertscapes I definitely loved the change of scenery with big and luscious green surrounding me. The air felt so clean and fresh. The walking trails and paths are very friendly to walk and explore around. However, the best hike is up the hill around the monument and although it’s a bit more of a work out it definitely led to some gorgeous sights of the redwood trees and a couple of little waterfalls.

Before our journey into the woods I something fat, bright, and slimy on a tree in the distance and I thought “Is that what I really think it is?” so I walked up closer and Jimmy Cricket…it was a giant slug! Although it was definitely a fun surprise to see it gave me some real chills and a bit of the heebie jeebies! We then discovered these big guys are called banana slugs and hang out in Muir Woods all over the place. We saw a couple more throughout the day and I’m not going to lie, I was so nervous to step on one!

After Muir Woods we took a little walk down to Muir Beach which is a smaller beach but very beautiful, indeed. I always love beaches with rocks and hills surrounding the water. Also, could you imagine how beautiful of a view it would be to live in one of those homes on the hill? I can see it now… sitting on the patio with coffee and a book with the perfect view.

If you ever have the chance to see these gems, I recommend it!

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A trip to the Bay Area of California.

It’s also very cold in San Francisco.

I have been away from my little creative outlet to the world for nearly a month and I am so excited to be back! What has happened since I’ve been gone? I’ve been crying over finals and once I finished them I took myself on a trip to San Francisco, California! I actually had to finish all of my finals a week early so I could go on this little journey so you can see where all of my time has been. I have never been to San Francisco but happen to know a few people who live there so I thought it would be a great chance to see some new sights, see some great friends, and let’s be honest…eat some really good food.

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Since I flew back last Tuesday I am now getting the time, motivation, and energy to edit all of my photos and share my journey with you! Although I am not finished with the process of editing my plethora of images I am dying to share some of my trip with you. Although each of the days deserve their own post, here’s a little sneak peak and insight of my trip for you.

During my time there I stayed with a couple of friends and also stayed in a hostel. The first night I stayed in Walnut Creek with my friend Ashley who I know from Vermont, the next couple of nights I stayed in Petaluma with my friend Kim who I know from Mexico, and then the last night I stayed in a hostel in the heart of San Fran.

Where did I go?

  • San Francisco
  • Walnut Creek
  • Petaluma
  • Meir Woods

What did I do?

  • Rode the BART for an hour from SFO to Walnut Creek.
  • Rode the side of a street trolley.
  • Visited the sea lions at Fisherman’s Warf
  • Saw Japantown during the Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Rode across the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Explored Meir Woods and Meir Beach
  • Vintage browsing in downtown Petaluma
  • Visited the SFMOMA
  • People watched with hot tea in Town Square
  • Spent too much money from Victoria’s Secret in Town Square.

 

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There’s more to come! Stay Sunny!

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