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Creativity… Better Done than Done Perfect

I had a student say she had a former photography teacher tell the class that "Every photo should be a work of art." and she asked me if I think that's true. And I said that's complete garbage.  I mean, what a creativity-crushing statement to give a new photographer! I sincerely hope this teacher was joking, or just trying to push for everyone's best, but if they were serious, shame on them. "Better done than done perfect" has always been a favorite life motto for me. It suits me because I gulp life down in pretty big chunks so I don't really have time to devote absolute perfection in any one area. So I really enjoyed reading Elizabeth Gilbert's new book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. {affiliate link} She is a huge cheerleader for creative souls to just get their dang work out there and then get back to creating more! If you feel like you have even one creative bone in your body (which really, all of us do!) then I highly recommend this book. As a teacher, and

Yoga Journey | Slow Down and Be Okay

In a lot of ways, I feel like I've taken some serious steps back in my yoga journey. But in the interest of full disclosure, I've taken even more staggering steps back in my personal life. The transition to single parenthood took a lot out of me. Kind of knocked me on my butt for about 18 months to be honest. The end of a marriage is a sad sad thing. I'm no longer depressed and I'm starting to get my sparkle back, but there are still a lot of really hard days.     So it's no wonder my body has suffered as well. I am less bendy than I was three years ago. Less limber. Less strong. WAY less strong. I am tight in ways I used to be flexible. I am tense where I need to breathe. My mind is racing when it needs to meditate. Lessons on the mat, as I have always found in my 5 years practicing yoga, are also essential lessons for my life.     Lately I have had to embrace almost a complete slowing down in my yoga practice. I am

Walking Towards the End of School

I'm really proud of my ladies for how hard they've worked this school year. But I'm happy for them that it's almost time for PLAY! School is almost over y'all! It's crazy.     What's even crazier is that we finally just started walking to school again. It feels like it's been six months.     I guess it has actually been that long. We had the kind of NY winter that lasts until April this year, something I haven't experienced in almost a decade since living abroad. (And yes, I sort of count Mississippi as "abroad", especially where the weather is concerned.) It's not just that it was cold and rainy and sometimes snowing on and off in March and April, it's also that I was just out of habit. I'm still a firm believer in the German phrase "no bad weather only bad clothing." But it does take a little too much effort (for me) to brave certain types of NY winter weather (with kids.) Even on a nice day, we have to get out the door at

30 Ways to Think Outside the SAD Box this Winter | Part Three

This is obviously not a comprehensive list, but I feel like we're all a little more armed and dangerous to make the last few months of this winter less of a bummer.  Which is good, because all the ice-slush-snow-freezing-rain we've gotten this weekend in Upstate NY is KILLING ME. Without further ado, here are the last ten tips to kick seasonal depression's booty...     21. Brew a hot cup of your favorite tea. Just putting your tea kettle on the stove can improve your mood. The cozy feeling of a warm beverage in your hands is one of the many ways to warm yourself up. Inside and out! Plus you get a bonus boost from feeling virtuous for treating yourself to the antioxidants and other nutritious goodness you get from most teas. I'm looking at you green ;-) 22. Spend $10 on something you don't really need. New makeup, nail polish, hair accessory, scarf, jewelry, etc. Anything that makes you smile. Even if you already own 30 scarves. or more. Not that I

30 Ways to Get You Through the Rest of this Winter | Part 1

Today I'm going to give you the first ten (of 30) tips and tricks I've learned to battle seasonal depression. You certainly don't have to have actual Seasonal Affective Disorder to experience the Winter Blues. February is that odd month for me... and I know many agree. It's short, it's full of exciting/busy activities, but it also just DRAGS on and on and on because we can see the light of Spring at the end of the tunnel but we just aren't. quite. there. yet. So if you're feeling the winter blues a bit, here are some ideas I've found to help me power through.      1. Spend 15 minutes looking at photos from an event that made you really happy. In her book The Happiness Project {affiliate link here, I highly recommend} Gretchen Rubin writes "Studies show that recalling happy times helps boost happiness in the present. When people reminisce, they focus on positive memories, with the result that recalling the past amplifies the positive and minimizes the

Birthday (and Holiday) Presence

This past week has been a whirlwind of fun fall festivities and Elsa's 7th birthday. I always have a tough time at family outings and events being torn between my photographer-self and my mom-self. Specifically, to take a picture or to enjoy a moment?  As a photographer, I place very high value on a photograph to preserve a memory... not just for my clients but for myself. I want so desperately to remember every little moment and I have this fear that if I don't take a picture I WILL FORGET... but then I have known for a long time that if I always have the camera in front of my face, I miss something else that I can't ever get back: being present in the moment with my family. I still take a lot of pictures, trust me.  But sometimes when I am out with my girls or we're home celebrating an event, I remember this moment I had with them once when we were traveling in Germany... If you travel with small children, then you know what it means to be tired of bathroom

How a “Watch” Strengthened My Resolve to be Present… Plus a Giveaway for You

Look what I found! It looks like a watch, it feels like a watch, but it's NOT a watch. It's a reminder to slow down.     And a very important reminder it is... This "watch" is great! You don't have to worry about batteries, daylight savings, time zones, or alarms. It really helps me remember to worry less. period. It may not minimize or eliminate all time-related worry, but it does remind you that sometimes, the best answer to the question "what time is it?" is "now."       I found the company on instagram (@stealtimeback) and I fell in love with their product and their message. You can browse their website here to find out more about the "now" movement, check out their shop full of cool bracelets, and read their awesome blog... full of inspiration and gentle reminders to enjoy this beautiful life that we have a tendency to FLY through at frantic pace. Consider these products as a great little gift for

How Losing My Watch Made Me a Better Mom (& Daughter, Sister, Friend)

Hi, my name is Jessica, and I am a recovering watch-addict. I didn't realize I had such a problem until I accidentally left my watch on the beach during a vacation. And then decided not to buy a replacement right away. I mean, you don't need a watch on vacation.       Well come to find out, I don't need a watch for real life either. In fact, I am better off without it! Until the watch was gone, I didn't realize how often I looked at the time... how often I stressed about "what time it was" and the fact that "we needed to hurry up and do this and that" before "that time". I also didn't realize how much of my day to day stress was based on the fact that I was running behind this imaginary demonic schedule that I hadn't really created intentionally. But it was there. And it bugged me. And I wanted to be "on time". Always. Even for silly things like dinner time and bedtime. (5:30 and 7pm SHARP thankyouverymuch)     So losing