| a portrait | once a week | every week | in 2014. |
Summer is here and we are spending most of our days outdoors even if its simply just being out in the yard. My morning ritual is walking alone out back with a cup of tea to check on the vegetable garden and marvel at its growth overnight. Then I go back inside to make breakfast and then we all head out to the backyard to eat, talk about our dreams and discuss what we are going to do with our day. My daily request is always a nap.
LUCY / waiting for the sprinkler to makes its way over her, followed by a joyous scream and beaming smile. There are usually all sorts of containers, funnels and spoons spread about the yard but this day I got out before the toy scatter.
ANAïS / joining me in the evenings to water the garden rushing to get her shovel before I am too far off. She digs near the planters waiting for the little streams of water to make their way to her so she can mix the earth and water together.
linking up with Practising Simplicity
My eldest brother is one of my most favorite people in my life. He has a boisterous laugh and a personality that fills any room. When I was little he used to pretend to send my letters to Santa and in return I would make him Rush and AC/DC stickers out of sticky labels my 2nd grade teacher would give me. He has given me advice, remained young at heart and has been by my side forever. We have weathered our shares of storms, losses and failures but we also have had numerous celebrations together; winning a ton of tickets at whack-a-mole, having children, watching each other graduated from college, learning to drive a manual (not so good on my end), road trips and birthdays. This Sunday is his.
His wish is to go float, so we are, I am more than thrilled to be able to give him that experience along with a homemade cake. Its the least I can do afterall he’s been there for almost all my break-ups, my teenage angst and my many other annoying little sister habits/situations. Happiest Birthdays to you, Brian! May this year find you new adventures, incredible happiness and more loaves of date nut bread! We love you.
In honor of his birthday I thought I would share one of his favorite quick bread recipes, something that he remembers fondly from his childhood. I was introduced to this Date Nut Bread recipe by (his) mom on a recent trip here to the PNW, she made it several times in her short stay and since being handed down the recipe we too have made it several more times in the span of a few weeks. Lucy is a gigantic fan of muffins so we gave it a go in tins, if doing the same I would highly recommend using liners as this a very sticky, gooey bread, I however, prefer it as a loaf as the recipes states.
Date Nut Bread
3/4 C chopped nuts (we used walnuts)
1 C chopped dates (medjools)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C butter
3/4 C boiling water
1 tsp vanilla
1 C sugar
1 1/2 C sifted all purpose flour
For a gluten free bread
substitute all purpose flour for
1 C oat flour
1/2 C quinoa flakes or flour
Combine nuts, dates, soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Add butter and boiling water; let mixture stand for 15 minutes. Stir to blend. In a separate bowl beat the eggs slightly, add the vanilla. Stir in the sugar and add the sifted flour. Add this to the date mixture. Do not over mix. Place in a loaf pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Cool before removing.
Man. This girl rocks my socks off! I met Stephany years ago at a wedding photography workshop, I was there from Seattle, she was there from Minnesota (she’s referred to as ‘Minnesota, Yo!’ in my house). It was my first extended time away since becoming a mom and not only was I looking forward to some industry insight but I was also hoping to de-mom a bit while I staying at super posh luxury hotel..luckily for me, Stephany came to do the same! We instantly hit it off and have remained friends after all these years.
After getting to know her, outside of photography, I have learned that she can make just about anything- from awesome fondant robot cakes to cocktails, to amazing glass glitter deer heads. And she is amazing ON camera! She recently created ‘Making It with Stephany‘, a youtube channel filled with diy tutorials that are delightfully entertaining and show off her big heart and quirky personality. Seriously, so good! I am kindly asking my readers to please help make some big dreams come true for Stephany, she needs support in ways that only come from numbers; followers, visits, likes, comments, views. You can support her in any of your favorite social media platforms and please tell a friend or 50 do to the same. There are some exciting prospects that can come from your support and I know that she would graciously thank each and every one of you by buying you a shot. And by goodness, the girl deserves it! Many thanks in advance! x
– Her Site
-She’s on Instagram
-She’s on The FB
-Of course she’s on YouTube
-And don’t forget her on Pinterest
There are moments in one’s life in which the simple act of capturing one’s portrait is a lot like finishing a series of art. There are no more stories to be told about a young little girl with raven hair who stays up late some nights hand sewing her own clothing while drinking Japanese tea. A girl whose panache for pink sparkly dresses and fancy shoes are long past and as well as the giant barbie I once bought her for Christmas. That chapter has been closed and a new series is about to being. The tale of a young woman standing at the cusp of a new adventure, defining herself as a human and as an adult. The transformation that happens between 18-25yro has always blown my mind, the stepping into adulthood with both feet planted on the other side of the line, there is no turning back. Simple days of crustless PB+J sandwiches are replaced by providing for yourself and being mindful of the world around you. There is a veil that is lifted and you soon realize that the adults in your life were just trying their best all along, just as you are.
This leap seems to deepen relationships, provide meaning to life and offers up purpose for some. I hope this is the case for her. I hope in 7 years I will hardly recognized the person in these images, not out of meanness but out of love. I hope that she will be able to mold and shape the world in ways that only she can. That the effect of growth, intentional living and independence will surely reflect on her face and beam out through her heart. My wish for her is that she will transcend her own expectations and that her intentions for her own life hold fast and true to who she really is.
LRH, I am so proud of you in many ways, some of which I have made known and some I hope to share with you in the years to come. You are at the doorstep of something remarkable and astounding, I hope you jump head first, fearless and wholehearted. Create what it is you dream of for yourself and everything else will fall into place. It’s okay to let go and fly freely like the sea birds that sing overhead. I know you can make this shit count, so do it…hard. fromthestreettothesky xo
This a the view from Aaron’s childhood home, a place so large and vast yet warmly inviting and comforting. A place where we fill our souls with love, connect with the earth and spend time with new found family. This is also a place where we remember him, where we have grieved, poured our hearts and stories into the ground hoping that the sadness will leaves us, giving us comfort and peace.
Aaron was more than just our closest friend, he was family. Our family waiting for us at dinner, our family waiting to babysit, our family who challenged our views, our family who confided in us- and us him, our family who shared in hopes, dreams and disappointments, our family who painted little girl toenails and shared in our love for treats. Our family with the warmest heart, most beautiful smile and wholehearted laugh.
Four years ago today, I witnessed the most gracefully passing into the next life I have ever seen. I watched family and friends from all over come together to celebrate the life of a man who left an imprint so large I don’t think I’ll ever know to what degree. Aaron and I shared an intimate journey that forever changed my life, I can see the impression it has made in my life and am so grateful for it. It was a friendship so divine that it was truly a once in a lifetime experience, it honored respect and defined what it really means to call someone family. Today we honor a man whose spirit lives on in our hearts, in our lives and beyond what we know. We are continually being blessed by the number of friends he gave to us and more importantly the love ones he opened our hearts to.
In recent months my blog has grown in leaps and bounds to what it was before, I have since connected with readers via Instagram which gives a bit more insight about me and my personality, but I thought I would share a bit more about myself here since, well this is my little corner of the internet. I have also noticed while this space holds a truth for me I am not as transparent here as I am in life. That being said, I hope to find a bit more of my whole voice in this space in hopes that this just isn’t one sided. Those of you that know me, know that I am a bit more wild and have a sassy sense of humor.
A few things to know:
-If I wasn’t a photographer I would be a back dancer for Beyoncé or a sex therapist
-I grew up in So Cal and in the Philippines
-I have always felt a calling to be a healer and am gearing up to claim it
-I (almost) never drink soda
-I get the Asian flush
-I’m a gin + ginger girl but lately am loving a good old fashion
-I am a virgo and a dragon
-I love chocolate
-If I can make it, I will try
-I’ve been to a Timberlake concert and loved it
-I like to sleep with a heavy blanket no matter the season
-I drink a vanilla hemp latte extra hot
-I love video chatting (preferably over cocktails)
-I like things really spicy and can no longer feel the heat of most jalepeños.
-When I am snacky I choose crunchy over anything else
-I have been know, on many occasions, to make nachos after midnite
-Being by the water brings my stress level down several notches
-I am addicted to: notebooks, tote bags and nail polish
A few things you might not know:
-I struggle with being content
-I can be an all or nothing sorta person
-My main goal in life is to be happy
-My family is super diverse
-I no longer am dying my hair and letting it silver
-I don’t do well in the space in between transitions
-I like the internet
-I keep up with pop culture
-I don’t do well speaking in front of large groups
-I love handwritten things and write out recipes for loved ones
-I fanatize about moving out of the country, a lot
-My dream is to one day live in a yurt
-I’ve always wanted to be 40
-People (strangers) have always told me their secrets
-Dishes are not my thing
-Daydreaming is totally my thing
There are crafts to be shared and recipes to be written out but the sun has been making it hard to be indoors. We are spending lots of time out back on blankets with sun tea, school work and snacks, that sitting in front of screen seems to daunting or unpleasant at the time being. I am hoping to round up some blogging energy here this weekend in hopes of moving this space forward with content and collaborations. There are lots of thoughts swirling around in my head about where I want this to all go and what I dream of it becoming. But for now drinking homemade lemonade out of mason jars with my girls is what’s filling my soul.
Starting the week renewed and refreshed after listening to the rain fall all weekend, the slow and steady pitter pat of the drops hitting the windows is soothing to my soul. Our weekend was filled with a birthday party and running a few errands, nothing too remarkable but it was nice to not have too much of an agenda or plan. Sundays I usually reserve for myself to catch up on calls, emails, tinker here and there on the internet and drink my coffee in my favorite mug, slowly.
I have a good friend who is helping me organize and prioritizes some life and work goals: big and small, near and far. I have struggled with sitting down and being able to put things down on paper or even more trying to align my ideas/dreams with a plan. She reminded me to be gentle with myself and to lower my expectations a little, being a virgo I am constantly needing to be reminded of this. A kind reminder to put simplicity first. I am hoping that answering a few questions will help me take the next step forward for myself, this blog and for whatever the future has in store for me. I am hoping to share my journey with you as thing progress.
a lovely little list of gratitude:
-celebrating lucy’s BFF’s birthday horseback riding, befriending a donkey and cupcakes
-grateful for friends who are able to listen and connect at a heart level
-having a few drinks and catching up with my older brother
-relaxing in knowing that life doesn’t always go as planned
-thankful for lots of dinners outside last week
-blessed to be celebrating a special someone’s birthday this weekend
-the mister, just everything in general about that guy
When we moved this last time we chose a place that we would be closer to family so that the girls would get to spend lots of time around their cousins. Turns out one of them isn’t a baby fan, she’s a bit too unpredictable for his liking. Luckily, we all found this heartwarming and hilarious.
This stage of transition between careers is leaving me feeling angst and ready to jump ahead to 3 years from now but time and my heart are telling me to be still and let things happen organically. Today I was sent this lovely quote by Anaïs’ namesake from a good friend. It left me in tears and with a hope that listening to my heart is the right choice.
“You have not yet discovered that you have a lot to give, and that the more you give the more riches you will find in yourself. It amazed me that you felt that each time you write a story you gave away one of your dreams and you felt the poorer for it. But then you have not thought that this dream is planted in others, others begin to live it too, it is shared, it is the beginning of friendship and love.”
You know who you are, this is truly a gift, thank you.