intentional living // a practice

workhouseblogThroughout my life there have been many moments when holding an intention has pulled me through. I may not have had the easiest of childhoods but envisioning what kind of life I wanted when I grew up is what kept my spirits up and my heart softened. Often people ask how I’ve created so much peace and calmness around me and my family, holding an intention is the first answer I always give. My one true intention that I have held fast for my entire life is to be happy, to live a happy life. When things were challenging and dark I would switch my focus to what it was that I wanted to desperately feel and held it tight in my heart. I am by no means saying that my life is perfect or without struggles but I will gladly state that I am indeed happy and because of it there is a sweetness that surrounds me and my family.

When searching for what to hold onto be aware of your true self, don’t hold onto any unrealistic expectations that you or others have for you. Dig down deep and listen to your spirit. What do you hear? What do you see? I often ask people to make a list of what they want to change or experience, what does that: feel like, look like, smell like and taste like? What would you value most about your hopes?  What does it mean for you? Hold onto that. Say it aloud. Meditate. Pray. Share it with those who would support you and your intention.

I some times make a list of my values of a particular situation or goal, this can help shed light and give me insight of what it is that I truly desire. Be it hopes for my personal life, work, friendships, creativity, the list could go on and on. Staying mindful to what sort of emotional state or place I am in in my  life at the time can help me center with what is really attainable for me. I try my best to find the simplest thing to hold onto, for example my intention to be happy, it encompasses as a whole and yet is something familiar and easy to connect to. It is not a selfish desire for one’s self but a hope that I have the power to create what is meaningful and important for myself and my family.


gratitude // no. 19

There has been a pesky creature digging in our garden, I tied up our garden with with twine earlier last week but whatever it is it some how managed to force its way through this weekend trampling and digging up our freshly sprouted starts. Total bum deal. Sunday the mister walked up to the hardware store to buy some supplies to eradicate the issue, I on the other hand was ready to give up and eat my feelings with donuts, the former was the proper way to deal. Here’s to hoping that the problem has been solved, our growing season is short here in the PNW and if we don’t get things up and growing soon we will be out of luck.

We had a lovely low key weekend: yard work, basking in the sun while the girls played with the hose and random plastic containers filled with water and bubbles, grass and whatever else springtime potions are made of. I was also able to pass along a long standing tradition of gifting my niece with [black] pearl earrings for graduation, something my father started with my older sisters, my sister did for me and now  I was able to do for her. Traditions like that are my favorite. We then ate our weight in Korean BBQ and came home to make bubble tea.

Overall a pretty perfect weekend including the fact that me and the mister made this to go along with an evening of binge watching the new season of ‘Orange is the New Black’. Aye aye aye.

the gratitude list:
-this is the last week of school
-a summer of endless possibilities is awaiting
-the yard looks amazing
-blessed for a shared intention for partnership
-a daughter who is incredibly creative and quick witted
-a daughter who has a giant smile, wants to cuddle endlessly and is
learning her animal sounds, cats say ‘hi’ fyi
-sunday morning huddled in bed, two sleeping, one reading and one pinning the
morning away
-cups of earl grey with milk
-homemade Vietnamese iced coffee
-cool ocean breezes
-filling our home with houseplants. another fiddle leaf fig acquired and then some
-receiving a large order of books

What are you starting your week grateful for? Big or small. Things that fill your soul
and make life as an adult that much more doable.



bean 23-52 bird23-52| a portrait | once a week | every week | in 2014. |

LUCY / exploring a friend’s garden on a recent visit to the Columbia Gorge, walking barefoot on paths overgrown with mint that scented the air and created a sensory memory for us both. Don’t be surprised if our garden is soon surrounded by aromatics too.

ANAïS / just might be a lost boy, waiting for the menacing Captain Hook, prepared to hold down the fort.

linking up with practising simplicity
[note to self: challenge center frame composition]


niece // lrh

lrh  | workhousebloglrh  | workhousebloglrh  | workhousebloglrh  | workhousebloglrh  | workhousebloglrh  | workhousebloglrh  | workhousebloglrh  | workhousebloglrh  | workhouseblogThere 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





bean 22/52 bird22-52| a portrait | once a week | every week | in 2014. |

The difference between these two ladies is apparent. One is a light-footed fairy while the other is grounded to the earth. They were shot mere moments from one another. I will admit that some weeks are harder to shoot and make magic with. Some days I want to get out from behind the camera and experience life first hand, like most parents. What I would consider a mundane shot, actually reflects what our life looks and feels like. We work in our yard, in hand me down clothing, spinning in the grass, listening to music and reminding each other to drink enough water.

LUCY / showing me the way in which she spins and quickly sits down so that her dress is spread out like a flower. Her hands and feet are covered in dirt as they should be as a child.

ANAïS /  mesmerized by her sister while trying to figure the machines of the shovel. Working alongside Dad in clearing out the back space of our yard in preparation for more garden space.

linking up with practising simplicity




bean 21:52 bird21-52

| a portrait | once a week | every week | in 2014. |

LUCY / found this beautiful abandoned shed near our home. I am always amazed by the way she lets she spirit guide her to places like these, it was hidden and in a place where no one goes, she trusts where most people doubt.  Adding this to our collection of haunted houses.

ANAïS/ enjoying a sink bath with her older sister. The way she makes us all laughs is like food for the soul, it comes from a place of knowing that this is surely a way to connect with people. Her eyes sparkle and her smile is full bodied.

linking up with practising simplicity

post script: please bear with me as I fiddle around with new processing, my color and tones may not be as cohesive as I’d like for the time being.



in honor / aaron

rez-1024x764This 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.


personal // transparency

workhouseblogIn 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


rituals 03 // date nights in

date nights in | workhouseblog

photo james moes

A ritual we that we have kept as a couple with young children is our date nights. Even though we have yet to get back to the place where we go out alone on a regular basis or even at all,  we still manage to get a date night in every week, Sundays are our nights in. Its never anything too fancy or planned, just simply allotting time for just the mister and I to be together without any interruptions (fingers crossed) after the girls go to bed. Once in a while we’ll cook or bake together or indulge in a fancy cocktail that we’ve been wanting to try and if we’re too tired to do anything we’ll just put on a movie and spend time cuddled together.

We both make space for this time; we don’t make outside plans, we unplug and try to clear or scrap the to do list beforehand. I can’t tell you how many Sunday nights we’ve spent with toys scattered across the floor and dirty dishes in the sink but our relationship trumps cleaning. One thing that we have learned is to make a simple plan during the day like what movie to watch (to keep the browsing online to a minimum), or talking about a  pressing issue or simply just hanging out and being in love. Its a time for us to connect as adults, trying to put parenting aside so that we can make it just about us.

To create this ritual for yourself pick a day or evening where you have a chunk of time to allot for you and your partner. Let it be a place of love, refuge and fun. Create a space where you both are able to talk and be heard. Make a simple plan ahead of time and have an idea of what you want to do beforehand so that you’re not filling this time with “what do you want to do?”, “what do you want to watch?” “what should we make?”. Keep it easy. Uphold your partnership and love with dignity and reverence, let this time together be sacred and try to make this a weekly ritual. Love is everything.

I am sure that most of you with littles have had many a date night in, I would love to hear what you do. I have a good friends who put their kids to bed and make a big batch of nachos every Friday! Care to share some of your date nights in?



bean 20/52 |workhouseblog bird 20/52 | workhouseblog| a portrait | once a week | every week | in 2014. |

LUCY / alway searching for signs of faerie life on our daily walks, finding hope in nooks and crannies, there happens to be magic inside this wall of flowers but you have to believe to see. 

ANAïS / singing her way through life, serenading flowers, birds and her family. Lately she’s been humming herself to sleep to the sweetest self written melody. 

linking up with practising simplicity