Foto Friday: 7.12.13

12 Jul
Yesterday I emphasized the importance of maintaining friendships, something that I aim to work harder at in my own life. But for those of you who may not have the strongest connections with fellow humans, “man’s best friend” is a welcome alternative. Dogs provide us with the companionship, loyalty, and acceptance that humans are not always so willing to bestow upon each other. Every day when I return home, my dogs are waiting with their tails wagging, thrilled at the opportunity to simply lie at my feet. 
And if you happen to accidentally drop some of your breakfast on the ground, dogs will only love you the more for it.
“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” -Charles de Gaulle

Benefits of Friends

11 Jul
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to hang out with a two of my favorite people in the world (see picture right). Although we occasionally hated each other as college roommates (like that’s uncommon…), we are as thick as thieves ten years later and thousands of miles apart, and I know that we will stay friends for a long, long time.
Although some of my friendships have faded over the years, I cherish the ones that still exist and understand that I must tend to them like a gardener does his vegetables, as difficult as it may be, or they will wilt. It may come as no big surprise, but friends are good for more than just killing time. According to multiple studies, friendships improve your life in more ways than you may think. Friendships can:
1. Lower your stress levels
2. Add years to your life
3. Protect you from dementia (!)
4. Force you to make better decisions for and about yourself
5. Make you happier
To all my good friends, near and far, close and distant, new and old, thank you for being a part of my life. And for those of you who feel like you need to reconnect, take Neil Young’s advice.

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” -William Shakespeare

My Feet: A Perspective

9 Jul
Something really weird happened to me last weekend. While picking up some last minute essentials at a drug store before my Napa camping adventure, an odd character approached me and complimented me on my feet. Awkwardly, I humored him by discussing my low arches, and then, upon request, actually let him take a picture of them! (I later learned from my husband and friend just how naive I really am. Yuck.)
Anyway, the point of this story is that I’ve never been a huge fan of my feet. As a child, I always admired the The Little Mermaid’s cute little toes she wiggles upon gaining her land legs and dreamed that mine could somehow look the same. It’s funny how sometimes the things we wish we could change about ourselves are the things other people admire. The creep at the drugstore really proves the proverb, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Here are a few snapshots of my money makers, Instagram style.
Walking In the Baby Redwoods

Strolling Along the Brick Sidewalks in Historic West Chester, Pennsylvania

Searching the Tide Pools in Santa Cruz’s Natural Bridges State Beach

The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.- Leonardo da Vinci

Foto Friday: 7.5.13

5 Jul
Yesterday was the 4th of July, a national holiday where most Americans can readily admit that aside from our political differences, we live in a pretty cool country. One of the coolest things about it is its natural beauty: mountains, rivers, plains, oceans, deserts, volcanoes, swamps- you name it, we (mostly likely) got it. 
Just one year ago, I was enjoying a few of the said geographical areas on my drive across the country. There is something very freeing about life on the road- where you go and how you get there is completely up to you (and your Google Maps app on your iphone). For my next road trip, I hope to step up from my relatively trusty Subaru and ride in style. A vintage convertible? Maybe an electric powered car? Or how about an old school woody like the ones I shot during Santa Cruz’s annual Woodies on the Wharf?

Well, whatever I drive, I know that the scenery will be worth the ride. 

“The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.” -Walt Whitman

Backyard Ideas

4 Jul
One of the reasons why Dustin and I decided to purchase our home is because of the size of the backyard. Though considered tiny by national standards, we’ve got quite the spread for Santa Cruz (a whopping .1 acres!) Unfortunately, the lack of rain combined with an army of gophers has left our backyard resembling the surface of the moon. Barren, lifeless, and seriously depressing. 
Although the idea wheels are churning, I thought I’d take a stroll around the internet to see some of my ideas manifested. Here are a few that have caught my eye.
from Tumblr
from Pinterest
from Apartment Therapy
from Pinterest
from Pinterest
from Lonny
“I know that if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire, I’ll never go any further than my own back yard. For if it isn’t there, I never really lost it.”-The Wizard of Oz

Being Creative

2 Jul
As a creative person, I enjoy the freedom of producing something purely for the joy of doing so. Painting, playing the piano, photography, all put me in “the zone” where time is relative and my troubles are temporarily forgotten. Yet, there are unavoidable lows in the ebbs and flows of creativity, and sometimes they can be tough to take. 
Sometimes the pressures to produce can be overwhelming, especially when you’ve experienced any sort of success with your art. Creativity stems from an emotional, as opposed to a logical, place, and therefore it can be an unpredictable and sometimes mercurial (in my case) process.
Luckily, I ran across this TED talk a few years ago, and Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, explained creativity in a way that allowed me to stop, breathe, and look at it (and myself) in a new and liberating way- and then I started to create things. 

“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.”- Albert Einstein

Foto Friday: 6.28.13

30 Jun
I’m spending this weekend with a few of my favorite ladies in the world. Although it’s been over 7 years since we’ve lived together, my former roommates and I are closer now than ever. While I am beyond excited to ride a wine train in Napa, camp out under the stars,  and enjoy some girl talk, I will miss my weekend bike ride around Santa Cruz with Dustin. Here’s to my hubby. 
“If I get married, I want to be very married.”- Audrey Hepburn

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