Category Archives: life

love and influence

An Honest Talk about Love and Influence

Over the years through the Internet, we’ve found celebrity and significance in the feeds and scrolling that fill our days. As I look to inspiration, pattern, and creativity that fills our days, there’s a necessary purpose and meaning that comes to the surface. For many creatives, we quickly realized focusing on impact is the best solution. With this comes algorithms, a need to increase following, raise a tribe, and boost engagement. As our networks increase, so does our influence. It’s all done in the name of impact.

However, have we become more worried about crafting a voice, a message, and a brand, perpetuating the idea of building influence than we have love. Influencer by nature has an identity and significance tied to it. This idea of celebrity, where people care about what I buy and what I wear. It is definitely marketing in all of it’s forms. The truth behind many blogs is they are costly to run and are fueled by affiliate and digital products.

Have we become more occupied with influence and a persona than we have the hearts in front of us? I remember one day meeting someone for the first time. Due to the nature of my life and business, I choose to downplay and avoid what I do for a living when first meeting someone. I’d rather be interested in someone than dominate a conversation. I realize at the fast-pace and high-capacity nature of my life, I’ve created and built something that far exceeds my years. It’s normal for me and something I’ve experienced most of my adult life. However, usually while standing there some wants to engage with my social media, comment on my feed, and while filled with kind hearted comments, it usually stops a conversation quickly. “Wow, you shoot this yourself? Who are your clients? You’re so cool, I’m inspired when I’m around you.” Then there’s a moment. A moment where the comments stop and the other individual slows down the questions. I was never concerned about what I do for a living, I rather wanted to connect to the humanity of another during a conversation. Influence rises to the surface and conversation reaches to a standstill.

But what about love? More than my name and what I do for a living, are people drawn toward me because of who I am? Have I found myself to be the fullest embodiment of love they find? When someone is in my presence do they feel safe, known, and at home? Do they feel that more than a pretty table or delicious meal, their hearts are hosted well.

As morbid as it sounds, I’m someone that thinks about legacy often. Maybe it’s that I’m quickly approaching my 30th year or that the time of year where reflection and process is quickly approaching, but the decisions I make and how they affect others impacts me often. I think about the messages I craft and write. While I love creating things that matter, more than anything I want people to say of me, “She was someone who loved much.”

While there are gray areas, there are also moments that love and influence feel deeply juxtaposed. I’m someone that doesn’t get overly impressed by the status of people. I’ve been raised and surrounded by innovators and thinkers most of my life, regardless of where I found myself. However, what never ceases to amaze me are those who use their positions, their influence, to love those around them more. They hold their families close, honor sacrifice, and carry themselves with grace and dignity. More than influence, what strikes me is their ability to watch compassion and legacy rise to the surface. They are ones who love, mothering and fathering many in this world.

Today, how will you prioritize love over influence?

Join in on the conversation. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

you are enough

Monday Words: You Are Enough

As the holiday season is already in full swing, it’s already feeling somewhat crazed. (This is a super common feeling  for bloggers in Quarter 4.) I’m reminded of the beauty of self-worth. This Monday, remember you are worth more than what you get done, what you are able to do, or accomplish for others. May you receive and give love for who you are first and foremost than anything you might do for others. Your value is determined by the beauty of your humanity, the graciousness of your movement, and the gratitude of heart you carry. You are more than the crossed off lines on your to-do list, the clients you’ve booked, or the change you bring to the world.

May you have the courage to show up, grow, develop, and live as one who is enough this week.

In this Season

In This Season

Happy Friday everyone!

I’m currently writing in a favorite coffee shop, looking out the window as the rain pours down. Where I live rain days are few and far between. Over the past few months, I’ve been functioning at a crazy pace. I come home after long days and often crash in bed. But at the same time, I’m realizing I’m living my dream, the thing I’ve wanted for years. My spirit is often full, but my body becomes so tired at the same time. Maybe you’ve been there? As I look to this season, I know it will be full on. My shooting calendar is full, the collaboration list is long, and a site launch is on it’s way. Life is packed, however there’s unexpected joy, excitement, and beauty in it all. I get to see dreams come to life, watch people be impacted around every corner, and know the projects are getting done. (Needless to say, my entire house is sourced for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, and Christmas shoots at the moment. Our Target haul was super big.)

To my fellow dream chasers, allow your heart to delight in the creative process. Enjoy the people you collaborate with and provide yourself breathing room. Today this means wrapping a meeting and heading back to my beloved desk and creating in my dream space. It keeps me incredibly productive and I love every bit of that space. (We’re working on wrapping up our site launch at the moment.)

In this season, give yourself margin and breathing room. May you find peace, joy, and abundance around every corner. Whether it’s comfort in a still small voice or the creature comforts that you delight in. Embrace peace unlike ever before.

Here are a few things I’ve been loving on the Internet lately:

Perfect for a cold, rainy day, this vegan cheddar soup from Love and Lemons is perfect for dinner tonight.

We love this mustard sweater from Piper and Scout. With a cozy style, we love the versatility and might just rock this look on Thanksgiving Day.

Looking for ways to do the holiday season on a budget? This article from Camille Styles includes great tips.

We’re in the middle of planning our Friendsgiving and this beautiful guide from Half Baked Harvest is serving as our inspiration.

Just in case you missed it, here are this week’s posts:

Gratitude. From Holiday to Habit. | Gluten-Free Chicken Osso Bucco | Cozy Up: Fall Home Edit

Speaking of Thanksgiving, we’re headed to a cabin getaway in Bend, OR. Have any recommendations for Bend?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.


Gratitude. From Holiday to Habit.

As November has come in full force, it is only natural for thoughts to lend itself to gratitude. When I was a little girl, there was always the moment where each one of us went around the kitchen table, expressing what we were thankful for. At times it felt forced, my heart would become squeamish and slightly nervous. More than anything, my heart’s desire is to be grateful for this gift that I call life and the crazy journey it has been. Over the past four years, I moved to a mountain-laden town in Northern California and know more than ever, I realize the beauty of this place called home. My life is full, often times busting at the seams, incredibly imperfect, and some kind of wonderful.

Grateful for this body.

There’s a few more dent and crannies, wrinkles, and smile lines than I might like. Some days the skinny jeans don’t fit as perfectly as I would like. But this body has taken me far. It took me a while to learn to love this body exactly where it’s at and I’m thankful for the blessing it is. In high school and college, this body and I weren’t in sync. It was more like a crash and burn-wash-rinse-repeat story. But since then, I’ve found healing and learned to treat it with kindness.

Grateful for family.

For people that change car batteries in the early hours of the morning, the Facetimes with littles, and those that I live with day in and day out. The people I get to build with, dream with, and serve. There’s truly nothing like family. In my early twenties, I was far more focused on travel, adventure, and going from place to place than connection with my family. Now one of the highlights of my week are Facetimes with my family. From coast to coast, we’re currently in different time zones, but I love the connection we’ve all been able to foster. As I’ve built a home in Northern California, this year I’m learning more than ever the beauty of roots.

Grateful for restoration.

Last year I faced one of my most public failures to date. It had nothing to do with me, yet there I was remaining and responsible to pick up the broken pieces of a business. Less than a year later I found myself 500 feet away from the spot of my former location. Yet, there I was offering creative direction and design for a foundation that was dedicated to Redding and downtown vitality. I came home that day immediately undone and grateful for the kindness and full circle moment of my life.

Grateful for courage.

Courage to show up, to give grace to a season, and watch the fullness of dreams awaken within others. I recently discovered that one of the ways my personality type shows love to others is to champion and ask questions about their development. With all forms of self-development, it takes courage, margin, and the ability to encourage others. Over the past three years I’ve seen people take dream trips, pour into other creatives, and develop their businesses. I’ve seen successful launches happen, watched hearts come alive, and see others pour into each other’s passions. It’s beautiful and never fails to amaze me.

Take the challenge. From holiday to habit.

Grab a gratitude journal.

Make a list/add it to your planner.

Set a reminder on your phone.

Practice positive self talk.

Tell people in your life what you love about them.

Leave some beautiful notes for strangers.

On the back of placecards at your table, write encouragement notes for your guests.

This season, find one item you’ve always wanted and then gift it to yourself. (We even go so far as wrapping it underneath our personal tree.) The rest of the season find ways to be generous without breaking the bank.

Remember the disappointments, pain, and sometimes tragic moments of life. Then choose gratitude. Gratitude for the growth, the leverage, and change those moments have brought.

Do something great for someone else. Whether it’s paying for someone in the drive-thru line behind you, leaving a ridiculously generous tip, or helping to cover bills for someone in crisis, choose to do good and change the world.

What are some of the ways you cultivate gratitude? 

We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.


10 Things to Do Instead of Watching Netflix

10 Things to Do Tonight Instead of Watching Netflix

We’ve all been there. The days of fall are in full force and the functional hours of the day are filled with less light than desired. Right now we leave for work in the shroud of darkness and come home to the same thing. After a long day it’s easy to unwind with a show. However, more after than not one show becomes half a season, and we’re in a rut. Tonight, what if you did something to unwind other than watch a show?

Keep reading for the full post after the jump!

1. Take time to make an amazing meal.

All too often during weeknights, meals can be on the go, made in a hurry, and consists of prepackaged salads. You know that recipe you’ve been dreaming about from your feed? Go to the grocery, pick up your ingredients, and take time to enjoy a homecooked meal.

2. Read a book.

There’s a growing stack of books on our nightstand. We barely make a dent in our reading list every season. Turn off the TV, light a candle, and cozy up with a page turner. We love the idea of getting lost in classic fiction or finding our thoughts provoked with a bit of non-fiction. Either way, grow your mind and relax by reading.

3. Find a hobby (and get good at it).

Our parents somehow always had time for hobbies. Whether it was outdoors activities, going and watching sports, or creating something for themselves, Saturdays were spent on hobbies and fun. Wondering what was different, I think the answer is quite simple. Their lives were less on-demand. There wasn’t work emails sitting on their phone, smart TVs, or feeds of media living in a four inch screen. Their hobbies weren’t monetized and open to the world’s scrutiny. It was simply fun. Develop a part of your life that is strictly for you and enjoy the process of learning it.

4. Find a group or meetup.

Whether it’s a commonality among interest, faith, or simply an open mic night at a coffee shop, push yourself out there to meet new friends and bring yourself to the table. Kindness, generosity, and compassion are great ways to meet new people. Be this to others, allow intentionality to rise to the surface, and you’ll be amazed at how many people you’ll soon call friend.

5. Host a party, dinner, or gathering for friends.

Sometimes we just need an excuse to gather those we love. While the next two months will be full of gatherings for the holidays, we’re firm believers in inviting people over to your home, hosting them, and having a great time. It’s simple, but provides an amazing night for everyone. Living on a tighter budget this month? Try a potluck, taco bar, or soup night to stretch your budget.

6. Draw the best bath you’ve ever had.

You know when you see movie clips of people in these glamorous bathrooms and spas? Deep clean your bathtub and draw one of the best baths you’ve ever had. (This is a great time to use your samples from Sephora that you’ve stored for months.) Light the candles, make a ledge on the tub for your book. (We have a serving platter that pulls double duty.) Whether bath salts or fizzy bombs are your thing, use scents like lavender to relax and sooth sore muscles. We love to finish baths off with a great at home pedicure or manicure and magazine to complete the experience.

7. Get caught up on chores.

This isn’t at all glamorous, but frees up the weekends and maximizes daylight. We love batching our laundry and meal prepping at the same time. While it keeps us moving, we’re able to get everything done at one time a week. (Perks of the single life and one roommate.)

8. Fill your home with music and dance.

Sometimes days can feel a bit like groundhog day. Choose to put on some music and have a dance party (even if it’s by yourself). There’s something about music and dance that brings a hidden part of us to the surface, keeps us from taking ourselves so seriously, allowing happiness, and childlikeness to fill a space with joy. Put on a favorite album and let it happen.

9. Try a new workout.

Have you been eyeing a recent workout trend? Pull up a new at home workout and try it out. One of our favorites has been barre exercises. With no equipment (other than a chair for balance), this workout is great for leg day and brings a surprising amount of burn for relatively simple movements. Preventing getting fluffy during the fall and winter? Always a good idea in my book.

10. Dream for the future.

There’s something about dreaming that unlocks a hidden part of us. We often find ourselves in jobs we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves, remembering the days of our youth, where we were bright-eyed and full of dreams. We would daydream in class, sketching unseen worlds and realities in our notes. Grab a favorite journal or notebook and let your creativity soar. We give you permission, have the best daydream session of your life.