A Creatives Brunch

The thing about Birmingham that I've been loving is the creative community. I'm part of some blogger and photography groups that have connected me with a bunch of lovely creatives.  As a member of the Birmingham Bloggers group, I met Meagan Williams and had the honor of photographing her for her blog.  

She's hosting an amazing event in June and I'm so excited to be a part of her panel! I'm so excited. It's really going to be so much fun meeting other creatives in Birmingham and the proceeds will be going to Healthy Concepts Inc. If you're free and in Birmingham, I'd love for you to come! 

31 Things I learned at 31

Recently my birthday passed, and I wanted to reflect on everything I learned when I was 31. It seems like no matter how old I get I'm always learning more. (And actually one key thing, I'm learning more and more how right my parents were... about almost everything.) While I know I'll never be perfect, I want to always strive to grow in character and know myself better. 

1. Keeping in touch with friends and family takes work, but it’s worth it.

2. Moving a business is not easy, but God can change the direction of my life and business in the most unexpected and wonderful ways.

3. The only way for me to keep a house/apartment clean is to tidy a little every day throughout the day.

4. Living in my own house is a dream.

5. Marriage is better than I could have imagined.

6. I will probably never fully understand southern culture.

7. To reach my goals I have to focus on small, consistent steps. (That’s how I reached my reading goal!)

8. Don’t knock it before you try it. I was skeptical of living of Birmingham, but I actually love it more than anything. 

9. I never knew just how much I loved surprises until I married a man who loved to surprise me.

10. Waking up early, early to drive Lance to work is a good thing. I dislike the waking up aspect of driving him to work, but I love to be awake for the entire morning. I’m just so productive. I love it. 

11. I love shooting film. Who knew? I love instant film, but I discovered how wonderful shooting on a film SLR was.

12. Hiking is really one of my favorite activities.

13. “Buggy” is the southern term for a shopping cart. “Keeping a baby” means babysitting. And “dinner” sometimes means lunch. 

14. Alabama heat and humidity isn’t nearly as bad as I was told it was. 

15. Alabama is incredibly colder than I thought it’d be.

16. I love road trips. In fact I might say that I love a road trip more than international travel. Maybe. 

17. I can’t travel the way I used to (all the time and for long periods of time). I can’t bear being away from Lance for long. Plus… I’m old now. 

18. I don’t have to go to a non-denominational church to be happy. I feel more at home at my current church, which is Lutheran, than any church I ever attended before. 

19. Owning real plants that stay alive make me feel alive.

20. You can never have too many blankets.

21. You can make friends in the most unexpected places and situations. 

22. Fried green tomatoes are delectable. I’ve been missing out my whole life. 

23. Lance has impeccable taste in tv shows and movies. (Thank you for making me watch Mad Max.)

24. Driving is fun (but still terrifying).

25. I like grocery shopping and running errands.

26. How to cook corned beef. Woot!

27. The library is truly a magical place. I’m so sad it took me so long to take advantage of it.

28. I just don’t have the energy to be a night owl anymore. I need to be in bed before midnight. 

29. It always pays to be kind and nice.

30. You can never say “I love you” too much. 

31. It only gets better.

 

My Lemon Poppy Birthday Cake, Feast & Forest, 212 24th Street North, Birmingham, AL | Canon 5d markii + 50mm 1.2L

Taking Control of What I Share Online

Have you heard of the Sudo app?  It’s a powerful app with a pretty awesome concept based on empowering people while they use the internet and connect with people.  Every day I use the internet, whether it’s to browse ebay for furniture for our new house or to connect with clients for my business.  And while I use the internet, I may unknowingly be sharing my personal information online.  That’s where Sudo comes in.  It’s a “powerful new way to protect your safety, privacy and personal data when you’re socializing and connecting online and off.”

I personally love the idea of Sudo.  With Sudo I can create a free persona with its own phone number and email address.  That information can be used whenever I need to protect my private information. Ever since I started marketing my business online I've received a steady flow of spam calls because I had to list my phone number in the ad. Now that I have Sudo, that doesn't happen anymore! Instead of sharing my personal phone number or paying to create a business line, I can just use my Sudo phone number. I feel like I've been able to take back control of my personal information. I also love that I can give clients this separate phone number. Once in a while I get that one client that wants to contact me at all hours of the night, so Sudo helps me keep balance and boundaries between my personal and business life.  

Some of Sudo’s key features include safe communication; a secure browser for safe online browsing and shopping; private personas to use to call, text and email people; SudoVault which is a safe payment method; and Social: SudoSpace which is more private way to connect with people.

If you're worried about your personal information while using the internet, this is the app for you.  Sudo is available now if you have an iphone; you can download it now.  It's coming to android based phones soon, so join the waitlist, and keep at eye out for their future roll out for the Mac OS desktop app!

Disclaimer: This blog post was sponsored by Sudo. While I did receive compensation for writing this post, all the content and opinions are my own. 

 

Birmingham, AL. March 22, 2016 | Canon 5d Markii + 50mm 1.2L

thankful thursday 24

"Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them."
Albert Einstein

This post of Thankful Thursday is a special one. St. Patrick’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays.  I love the mint chocolate milkshakes at McDonald’s; the corned beef, cabbage and red potatoes; and everyone wearing green.  I loved it so much that I even spent on St. Patty’s Day in Ireland! That was a hoot. But this St. Patrick’s Day I’m extra thankful and here’s why.

Lance. Lance is my best friend and fun, adventure partner, and I’m so thankful he’s my husband.  He’s always orchestrating little surprises for me and taking care of me.  He’s so kind and thoughtful. I don’t know what I would do without him.  For my birthday he helped Alison, orchestrate one of the best birthday surprises, which was.....

Alison came to the BHams! I couldn’t believe it.  Lance told me to be ready for a surprise at 9:40am today. I was ready, but not really. Nothing could prepare me for Alison showing up at our house! I had suspected that Alison would be visiting me, but as Lance’s proposal as an example, no matter how well I guess what the surprise is, I’m always surprised regardless. So there I was and there she was, and I just about wanted to cry.  It was such a great surprise.  I was so happy to have a visitor! I’ve been wanting for a long time for my immediate family to visit me here in Birmingham.  I often drive through our little neighborhood and dream about all the things I could show them about my life here.  It’s really amazing to have Alison here. I’m so thankful she was thoughtful enough to visit and surprise me. And I’m so thankful I have a husband to loves to surprise me, too. 

This house. With a bunch of cleaning and some sprucing, our house is finally becoming a home. The two rooms we use the most, our bedroom and study, are really starting to come together. Each room is basically set up in a way that suits our lifestyle, and we’ll slowly but surely get some art/pictures on the walls.  As for the other rooms in our, they’re showing some progress, too, however at a much slower place. I love coming home to our house. I love that it’s ours, and we’re making it ours. I feel like it’s so Lance, and yet so me.  It’s cozy, and I’m so thankful for it. 

Serendipity. Last Saturday Lance and I headed to the library, as we often do. Our plan was to spend the afternoon reading and working. While Lance perused the bookshelves, I headed to the Plaza, an area in the library with open seating, couches and a small coffee shop where I was going to situate myself and read.  To my surprise, that Saturday was “Purl in the Plaza”, an event the library hosts for knitters to come and hang out.  I’d always wanted to go but never made it for one reason or another.  That day for some reason, I decided to bring my knitting to the library (which I never do), so it was quite fortuitous that I found myself with my knitting and it was Purl in the Plaza. I parked myself between two older ladies and started to make friends while I knitted alongside them.  As we talked, I discovered one of the ladies hosted a knitting group every week. And you know what? She invited me! I inwardly squealed. I always wanted to be part of a knitting group. Yay!

The quote above by Albert Einstein. I remember when I was in college, our residence hall hosted a lot of fun trips.  One time they went to the Price is Right to be contestants on the game show, and another time they went to Hearst Castle.  Looking back those are two things I’d love to do, but at the time I was too scared to do something like that and do it alone, no matter how much I wanted to.  Nowadays those things don’t even phase me. I find myself in a lot of situations now where I don’t know anyone, like that knitting group I’ll go to or Field Trip. Yes, I still get a little nervous doing new things and meeting new people, but not to the degree that I used to years before that it would prevent me from doing things. I’m so thankful that I was able to overcome my “limits” and grow to the person I am today. I’m thankful for the hurdles that I overcame that gave me the confidence I have today. Plus, that quote is super awesome… and it’s from Albert, who is also super awesome! 

Last but not least, I’m thankful for another year of life. My birthday is coming up and I’m so grateful for another year lived. My life is really good.  I have an amazing family, husband and community of friends/cheerleaders/supporters/encouragers.  Lance and I are very stable and together we have a great life here. I really have nothing to complain about and so much to be thankful for.

 

El Capitan Canyon, Santa Barbara, CA. February 23, 2016 | Hasselblad + Film processed by The Indie Film Lab