I came home to a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, chocolates, coffee and macaroons topped off with a love letter. He then took me to BB’S restaurant where we ate scallops, quail, drank wine and ate a cappuccino mousse cake. Then he said: “Pack your bag I booked an Air BnB.” Swoon!!!! This year my love went above and beyond for my birthday. He has known this year has been a rough one, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this birthday for a number of reason.
We ate at The Wyld Dock Bar for dinner with plans of going out for drinks afterward. However the food and location were just so dreamy that we stayed for hours. We watched a storm roll in and then out. We watched the sun set and food disappear. Drink rounds come and go. It was just too good to leave. (If your ever in Savannah The Wyld Dock Bar is a must stop for a unique dinner experience, try the Okra for sure and the Pain Killer tropical slushy!)
Don’t sleep in, instead go to The Collins Quarter for breakfast/brunch… Trust me this place is worth sacrificing the sleep. Try the “Tag the Hash” its a unique dish that balances fresh and fried perfectly! Sip on a lavender mocha while your at it, or at the very least stop by and pick one up from their to go window and walk around the historic district.
Because you went to The Collins Quarter and you have already walked around the historic district for a few hours with your love stop into The Paris Market and purchase a unique trinket, drink a french press and munch on a croissant.
*Stop by Th Spice & Tea Exchange pick up something for the cook in your life.
For lunch eat the best noodles in Savannah at The Flying Monk. I tried a real hot number from Japan called the Suki Yaki, filled with shrimp, squid, shitaki mushrooms and bok choy. Soooooo Good!
1: Go orange picking
Didn’t know Orange season in Florida is in the fall, which means by the time I got around to planning a day to do it, it was spring. Waaaay past when we could go. So this November we will be picking oranges and making marmalade for sure.
2: See a manatee
We made two conservative attempts to see a manatee, even going as far as purchasing a guided snorkel tour… to no avail! We ended up going to Ocala’s Zoo which had two in captivity that were rescued due to illness and were being nursed back to health. So there is that right?
3: Go camping on the beach (Something I have always wanted to do)
We love going up to Talbot Island they have cute little campgrounds that back up to the water with easy access to the beach and hiking trails. While this isn’t directly on the beach itself it is as close as it gets.
4: Purchase a travel french press and mugs for said camping
Purchased a stainless steel french press and two travel mugs with locking lids for our hiking/camping needs. Because no matter how much I love nature I love my coffee just as much! My love thinks its ridiculous that I pack my own brewing method when I travel, until he wants coffee on a sleepy morning and then I whip own my magic french press.
5: Visit an orchid farm
Nathaniel took me all the way to a HUGE Orchid greenhouse which we proceeded to purchase this orchid from. I have an obsession with them, if I could I would have hundreds of them.
6: Explore Florida Keys, take my love scuba diving
7: Go flea marketing/antiquing for art supplies
I came… I saw.. but I did not conquer. Apparently Jacksonville doesn’t have the greatest of antique stores. Didn’t find a thing for art.
8: Buy a good piece of handmade pottery
I was lucky enough to have a beautiful hand thrown mug made for me by a dear friend as well as purchased a mug on our recent travels to Arizona. Im in love with them!
9: Get a tattoo
Finally joined the club! Thank you Maya Angelou for your poems that have metaphorically and literally marked me. “Still I Rise” is my anthem for overcoming depression. These words/poem have time and time again kept me going. *Thanks to @thedeadart at Florida Velvet Tattoo for tattooing on the fly and making this piece a reality. *Thanks to @penabranca for designing the gorgeous geometric art that I immediately fell in love!
10: Photograph epic mountains
Do you think The Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley or Zion National Park count? Ha! Ya, I thought so. I would consider this quadruple checked!
11: Photograph elk, bison or ram (Not picky)
Asheville surprising has a tiny elk population that I was lucky enough to sneak away and photograph in January. (The two end photos.) Then as we were driving into the Grand Canyon National Park my jaw dropped when I saw four beautiful elk nestled in the shade of tree’s. I had never seen elk before this year but I have fallen in love with them.
12: Curate & photograph a bohemian picnic
My cousin is this incredible boss lady with incredible friends and last summer when I was staying with her we curated this beautiful picnic for them. Mostly I was in it for the photographs. ;)
13: Scan all India collages, begin compiling book
I spent a lot of last year creating content for this book and gosh darn it I have to get my S*** together and create it. The “I need it to be perfect to finish it” anthem is strong in this one. I have never prolonged a project as much as this one. Either because I have actually finished it or decided I just wasn’t into it anymore. This project is different I still want to finish the book, it just scares the S*** out of me! You feel me? Have you ever had a project like that? Here are four pages out of the book:
14: Get a puppy
We went above and beyond on this one. Why get one puppy when you can get two? The adventures of Samsara and Ronin have begun!
***Seriously the hardest part of this post was choosing which puppy photos to use. TOO.. MANY… CHOICES!
15: Road trip the good old fashion way
Can we say UTAAAAHHHH to AAARIZONAAA. Damn if this wasn’t just a trip to die for. Hard as it was physically man was it easy on the eyes.
16: Hold a fox (Seriously can someone help me out with this lifelong dream? Pleeeeease!)
I have to plan a trip to Japan so I can finally make this dream come true.
17: Take an art workshop or go to a retreat
Had to cancel going to an art retreat this year because I had recently gotten a new job. You know life…
18: Become a brand affiliate for someone
19: Visit Utah… Hike, camp, photograph.
See 15, because I absolutely combined these two! Man I am so glad we did. A road trip through Utah and Arizona was just what we needed after a looooong year of changes and many months apart.
20: Write blog posts about being self employed in the art world
Did a few tiny ones and also a few more that were never published. But the whole not being self employed in the art world anymore… kinda side tracked me.
Here… Here… and Here…
21: Hire a photographer for my own brand portraits
22: Learn how to photograph the stars
I read some articles. Where we live in Florida there are not to many stars to be had. While in Arizona I tried my hand at photographing the moon but had forgotten the lens needed for it. Also it is just waaaaaay harder to do than I thought. So mad respect for those perfect starlit mountain photos I see on Instagram. Because WOW it’s hard!
23: Learn more about my genealogy
Loved learning about my family and seeing all the gorgeous photographs.
24: Take my love to the local farmers market
We have this incredible farmers market in Jacksonville that has been here for years. I love going and getting a coconut to sip out of while we shop for produce.
25: Go horseback riding with my love
Nathaniel took me on a stormy beach adventure VIA horse for our anniversary and fella’s take note because it was magical.
26: Attend a stargazing party
Could not find one in Jax to save my life.
27: Read 12 books
1: The name of the wind by: Patrick Rothfuss
2: The wise man’s fear by: Patrick Rothfuss
3: Love Warrior by: Glennon Doyle Melton
4: Harry Potter and the cursed child by: J.K. Rowling
5: The Graveyard Book by: Neil Gaiman
6: Podcast S*** Town
7: Podcast Serial Season 1&2
8: Salt & Honey by: Isabel Abbott
9: Letter to My Daughter by: Maya Angelou
***Bonus adventures included sky diving, eating Chick-fila chicken between Krispy Kreme donuts, shooting a shot gun, sleeping in a converted gas station.***
Dream making can be overwhelming. There are many things you can do.
Many things you are told to do. Told not to do. Don’t know how to do.
The list continues to immobilizing you.
(This is actually currently what I am going through.)
Your once burning dream quickly get extinguished under the weight of doubt and fear.
Leaving you in the dark.
But there is another way.
You can create your own constellation.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.
So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
You have to trust in something- your gut, destiny, life, god, karma, whatever.
Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart,
even when it leads you off the well worn path.
This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
This approach takes time and above all else takes a lot of trusting. I mean a LOT!
Like lost sailor’s trusting in the stars to navigate their way forward.
When your in the business of pursuing your dreams, your in the business of creating constellations.
Knowingly or unknowingly.
One connection at a time, trusting that this very connection will lead you somewhere.
Its a dance between Doing and Trusting.
Doing the next best thing you can do for your dreams and trusting where this doing will lead you. Don’t worry too much about ALL the things you could do.
Just do one thing today. Take that step.
Make that connection. Follow it wherever it leads.
Then repeat. Make a connection and follow where that leads.
I have never know a single soul that came up with an idea/dream
and accomplished it simultaneously; without any fear, doubt, hard work or time spent.
I can trick myself into thinking I’m the only one who gets overwhelmed. Gets afraid.
Spends long hours creating when no one sees. But it’s simply not true.
Each connection is a star in my dreamscape.
Chances are you wont notice each connection as it happens.
You certainly won’t know where these connections may take you.
You will over time begin to identify how one connection led to the other.
Keep connecting thoughts, events, people, opportunities,
eventually you will see the constellation of your dreams lighting up your reality.
You will be able to move forward with more ease because you trust this process.
(This is what I am choosing to believe. I am no where near there… Its just something I believe in my gut to be true. My constellation feels tiny barely bright enough to see my own hand in front of my face. But it is there and I believe it will get bigger.)
For several years now I have seen incredible images of slot canyons. The swirl of dirt mingling with sun beams.
The electric hues of pink, purple and orange that sand stone takes as the lighting shifts. It looked other worldly. I had dreamed of going ever since.
Before our trip while I was researching I was a little bummed to find out a lot of the slot canyons are only accessed by tours.
I wanted to see a slot canyon but without the tourists.
I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to see the beams or the bright colors.
I was afraid all my photos would have a crowd of strangers in them.
But damn we got lucky… Our guide Roe told us history/legends of the land and Navajo.
He made sure everyone got opportunities to take photos. Thank GOODNESS! We loved you Roe!
Somehow the crowd faded into the background, it felt like it was just us in a majestic fantasy world.
Even Nathaniel turned into a photographer. That’s saying something.
WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!!!! I wanna go back!
A little over a month ago we packed our backpacks/suitcases for our first official vacation. Not a honeymoon or weekend to visit family. Two weeks just the two of us… doing whatever our hearts desired!
After researching what felt like (to him) a million places I circled back to Utah/Arizona. A trip Iv been wanting to take, a trip that has nestled its way into my body as a “need to get there place.”
I had asked him where he wanted to go and what he wanted to do? his reply “mountains… I want there to be mountains.” Ahhhhh the simplicity of that answer gave me free range to plan the vacation I had been dreaming of. Oh and there were plenty of mountains believe me…
So with bags packed and pups thoughtfully being taken care of by my father. We boarded our plane for our western desert/hiking/road trip!