Archive for February, 2011



my blog got a makeover! expect to see new pages, reviews and tidbits in the near future.

also, i would like to introduce you to:

my new photography blog!

all of my weekly photo challenges will be posted there, as well as little tidbits & new photos.

so if you like what you see, feel free to subscribe :]

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weekly photo challenge

this week’s theme: refuge

this picture was taken this past summer in the coloma, michigan area. my good friend cortney [the gorgeous girl in the photo] and i spent the day frolicking and photog-ing. we found this amazing tree in someone’s lawn – and so the owners wouldn’t see us, we took refuge in it. the result? a dark, grainy but beautiful shot.


thirty quotes.

lately, because of this lull i am going through, i have been into reading quotes about life, fulfillment and growth. i really enjoy hearing different views from people who have gone through hardships – and have consequently come out happier and wiser. so after a couple days of research and compilation, here are thirty of my favorite inspirational quotes. what are some of yours?


it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are ~ e.e. cummings

but you know happiness can be found in the darkest of time, when one only remembers to turn on the light ~ albus dumbledore

words mean more than what is set down on paper. it takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning ~ maya angelou

our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall ~ confucious

not all those who wander are lost ~ j.r.r. tolkien

one person can make a difference and every person should try ~ john f. kennedy

being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage ~ lao tzu

you yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection ~ buddha

today you are you, that is truer than true. there is no one alive who is youer than you ~ dr. seuss

there is something you must always remember: you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think ~ winnie the pooh

life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

ah yes, the past can hurt. but the way i see it, you can either run from it or learn from it ~ the lion king

art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life ~ pablo picasso

and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together ~ marilyn monroe

life isn’t about finding yourself – life is about creating yourself ~ george bernard shaw

the truth is rarely pure and never simple ~ oscar wilde

face your deficiencies and acknowledge them, but do not let them master you ~ helen keller

life isn’t measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.

for attractive lips, speak words of kindness. for lovely eyes, seek out the good in people ~ audrey hepburn

when you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly & unquestionably ~ walt disney

if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there ~ lewis carroll

when the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace ~ jimi hendrix

have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, a touch that never hurts ~ charles dickens

learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. the important thing is not to stop questioning ~ albert einstein

if you are going through hell, keep going ~ winston churchill

in three words i can sum up everything i’ve learned about life – it goes on ~ robert frost

your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life ~ steve jobs

that it will never come again is what makes life so sweet ~ emily dickinson


these last ten years.

this week’s topic : if you had five minutes and were able to travel back ten years, what would you tell yourself?

this was the hardest topic i could possibly imagine doing, because facing everything that has happened in the past ten years is extremely difficult. theoretically telling your thirteen year old self, is worse.


the second i would see her, i’d tell her to sit down & take out a pen and paper – this would be a lot of information in a short amount of time, and our memory is not the greatest. first i would start with the little things : even though braces suck, keep them. they’ll be worth it. but please please please don’t lose our retainer; stop picking at your face now, so that you don’t keep doing it at 23; enjoy your little cousin that’s on the way – she is our ‘mini-me’; don’t worry about the baby fat, you’ll lose it in two years – but lay off the ice cream when you get older; give high school your all, because you will go to and graduate from a great university.

she would nod and write things down, but then she would impatiently say “but what about boys!?” well… that could take more than the couple minutes that we have. i would tell her the main things though – the crush you have at 15? just leave it alone because it’s totally not worth it. but the boy you fall deeply in love with at seventeen? let it happen. his name is jeremy and he will be one of the most important people in your life. know that you cannot change him, but cherish the time you have with him because he will be gone before you know it. and if you ever have the urge to call and talk to him [specifically on a particular day in december], do it. i’d also tell her that she will eventually meet an amazing man who loves her, supports her and takes her as she is.

i would then tell her that, sadly, she is not living in california. yet. however, she made it out of michigan! but not that far… just to illinois – north of chicago. and no, she doesn’t have a big girl job. yet. but she is searching and hoping for something perfect to fall into her lap.

the most important things i would tell her would be about her mother and her grandfather. i would explain to her that the sudden death of her grandfather would shake her and her mother’s world – so she needs to spend as much time as possible with them. don’t turn inward and become bitter with everyone and everything, because it does not fix anything or bring him back to life. and remember that even though she is so similar to madre and butt heads often, know that she loves you and would do anything for you.

even though i would wish for more time to talk more about everything, i would leave her with some pieces of advice. music will become your best friend. turn to it when you need guidance or relief. keep pushing and strive for bigger and better. never settle. never lose that independent stubbornness – it is what has gotten you thus far. and finally, be strong. even though the next ten years are going to be a roller coaster, you will get through them alive and well.


weekly photo challenge.

what could be better than merging photography and blogging together? well, maybe a hot fudge/banana sundae… but after that, nothing! so thanks [again!] to my amazing friend kate for suggesting i partake in this challenge.

this week’s theme: curiosity.

this picture was taken in downtown grand rapids during a summer festival. a family was eating lunch in the art museum, while their toddler crawled around and climbed up the window to people watch :]



this morning i sat in the sunshine at my desk, drinking tea w/soy milk & honey, watching my kittens run around crazily – from the kitchen to their tree house to the bathtub. i hope the downstairs neighbors don’t hate us. let’s be real.. they probably do.

my phone rang – it was an area code that i didn’t recognize.. so i forwarded it to voicemail. lately, i have been receiving weird calls from businesses who saw my resume on career builder & want to meet with me for a sales position. this one company called me twice, texted me AND emailed me – all in the same day. when i googled their name, i found a whole discussion board dedicated to their scam. even if it wasn’t a scam, i still wouldn’t meet with them. nowhere in my resume/qualifications/etc. does it say that i should be working in sales. it’s just not me. do i know how to sell things? sure. am i terrific at it? not really, because it is not something i want to do.

am i being too picky?

i miss being a part of something, though – working all day & feeling accomplished, whether it’s at school or at work. but other times i don’t hate being unemployed. i get time to watch the rachael ray show/the nate berkus show/the ellen show, to read, workout, photog & blog. then when adam gets home, we have time to cook dinner, watch our shows or go out. and if i ever want to meet someone for coffee or lunch, i’m able to. it’s not too bad.

what i’m trying to say is… drumroll please… i am finally okay with being unemployed.

i recently read a book [poser by claire dederer] about a forty year old mother/wife who used yoga as an escape from her life. she struggled with childhood anxiety from her parents unnatural ‘divorce’ and the urge to be perfect – the perfect mother by buying organic food & toys ; the perfect wife by working from home to take care of everything ; the perfect woman by staying fit, judging others & driving the biggest SUV. but after a couple years of continuous yoga practice which practically became therapy, claire realized that perfection and judgment were contributing to her life in a negative way. she said “it was interesting to think that when judgment fell away, what you ended up with was clarity”.

i judge. A LOT. i judge what people wear, say, do, act, etc. but more than anything, i judge myself. i judge that i am an unemployed 23 year old doing nothing with her life. i have set so many high expectations for myself, that i judge myself for not hitting all of them. but when i read this particular line in claire’s book, i stopped in my tracks. is this judging bringing me happiness? no. it’s only bringing me more stress and pressure. i am only twenty three years old. why am i in such a hurry?

i should be savoring these moments of sunshine & kitty watching, instead of beating myself up.


smile like you mean it.

a couple of days ago, my friend kate asked me if i would be her blogging buddy for wordpress’ daily post. every day wordpress will send each of us a topic that we can choose or toss. if we find one that suffices our fancy, we write a blog about it. since i have nothing else to do [besides work out, eat & job hunt], i obliged. maybe blogging more will give us unemployed bums a morale boost? let’s hope so. as of right now, we’re going to blog once/week through the daily post – and more if we wish.

this week’s topic?

something that makes you smile.

sunshine. owlies. tea with honey. reading. chicago.

music also makes me smile – so much so that no matter what bad mood i am in, a great song can lift my spirits, make me head bob and sing. my favorite go-to boost music? fall out boy. bon iver. 311. gaga. the spill canvas. cartel. dear & the headlights.

what makes you happy?



if you are unemployed or have been unemployed in the past – or just need a good laugh – check this out: