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{praying mantis egg case : part 2}

3 May

garden season is finally here! which means my happiness meter just skyrocketed! 🙂

i recently gave my praying mantis egg case an apartment upgrade by relocating it to the community garden. i {safely} tied it to a trellis in my plot.

the praying mantis serves as a wonderful addition to any garden, since they are a beneficial insect. they prey on other insects that may otherwise be harmful to crops and soil.

plus, they are totally fascinating to admire and watch! and i am hoping i am able to witness the case hatch and capture it on film!

i will be checking on it regularly, so stay tuned for more updates!


#farmeraudrey

{stargazer stages}

3 Mar

stargazer lilies are one of my favourite flowers! they are not only stunning to look at, but the scent is simply intoxicating!

i appreciate the intricate details within every flower blossom of the stargazer lily. i love to watch each one go through every stage as it blooms and opens. it makes me think of the phases and stages we as human beings go through in life. it’s like a flower blossoming… our journey may start by feeling closed off to the space around us… unsure of ourselves or “hiding” from the world… then in a divine way, we slowly start to open up and reveal our true inner beauty… and ideally as we grow and blossom, the world accepts and appreciates that beauty and all that we uniquely are, and we are ultimately embraced in all of our glory.

but just like a flower, it doesn’t really matter if anyone notices or appreciates or embraces. the essence of a flowers purpose is to simply be. it is beautiful with or without the recognition it deserves. and if we are lucky enough to be in the presence of such beauty, it serves us well to pause, notice, admire, appreciate, and absorb all that which IS.

and we are given that opportunity every single day.

 

{total solar eclipse}

22 Aug

i drove down to columbia, south carolina to watch the total solar eclipse yesterday… and i’m so glad i made the trek! admittedly, i did not do as much preparing as i would’ve normally done… particularly because it kind of came together last minute. originally i had wanted to go to greenville, sc – which is where i was born {and supposedly where the highest totality and visibility would be}, but it all worked out rather nicely and i’m thankful to have been where i was… especially because it was also my mama’s birthday yesterday.

i didn’t have time to make a pinhole camera, which i really wanted to do, but of course i had a camera. if you follow me on instagram, i hope you saw the story… it was fun to create.

it was important to me not to get too caught up in taking fotos, because i truly wanted to enjoy the moment {two minutes, 36 seconds to be exact} 🙂

i shot these images with a 50mm lense… which, of course, isn’t ideal for something so far away… but i kind of liked showing the sky and having the tiny sun and moon fill up a tiny amount of space. i didn’t have a special filter, so i simply put my eclipse glasses over my lense. i thought about using my zoom lense, but like i said, i was more concerned with being there to truly witness the moment… it’s a hard balance sometimes, as someone who loves to take pictures… but i have been challenging myself to “capture the moment with my mind,” from time to time. this was one of those moments.

i took a few pictures of the crowd as well, but i wasn’t super thrilled with most of them. i think i was just too caught up in the experience to really take very many fotos… and i’m okay with that.

it was a truly incredible event and the sky was perfectly clear for the duration of {almost} totality. the crowd was wonderful, the vibe was awesome, the beer was delicious {i drank a special ‘black ipa’ aptly named, “blackout”.} i feel very fortunate to have been where i was during the eclipse. we reached totality around 2:30 p.m. in columbia, south carolina. the temperature dropped, the moon inched in front of the sun, making it as dark as night… the crowd went wild, people screamed and hugged and kissed… it’s kind of hard to truly describe how marvelous it was to see it all happen. the energy felt very intense to me… and as someone who has always admired and been in awe of the stars, it was a lot to take in… something for the history books, indeed.

i’m still buzzing from it all ❤

       

{nyc – through the eye of my camera phone}

17 Jul

i am working on a new volume of “memories in manhattan” and will post one next week… in the meantime, here’s a post about new york to keep the theme going 🙂


i took a trip new york in june… i had been wanting to go back for a visit for quite some time, as it had been about 5 years since i had been there. often times, i think part of me wants to live there again, so i was eager to experience the city once more to see how i felt about being there.

i had a wonderful trip, as i figured i would. the weather was a little ridiculous – as in sweltering hot. but outside of that, it was nice to feel the energy of that amazing city, again. new york has a way of making you feel on top of the world; as if the whole place belongs to you. as an introvert, it’s strange to me that i can be surrounded by people but still feel like i’m in my own little bubble. the “hum” that is always in the background doesn’t feel distracting to me… it’s a strange dichotomy that i have always appreciated.

all that said, i think i realized that i do not wish to live in a place like new york again. i long for a country life – on a farm somewhere, growing food and having lots of animals. of course, that may change – after all, we are human and our desires come and go as we move through life.

it was wonderful to be in new york once more and to walk around and take the subway and just feel the energy… i immediately settled back in to the “way of life” there and even had people asking me for directions – and i knew them! that’s also a good ego boost.

i didn’t pick up my camera too much… i guess because since i lived there for so long, i took so many pictures already and this time i just wanted to kind of experience it in a different way. of course, i did have my camera phone with me – so i captured a lot of snapshots with it.

here is a gallery of fotos from my trip – i hope you enjoy! :

 

until next time…

 

{1500 followers!}

10 Jul

New York City

i am so humbled to have recently welcomed my 1500th{+} follower on this cherished little blog of mine!!

thank you to all of those who have stuck around all this time. and thank you to the newcomers – i want to extend a warm welcome to all of you who chose to hit that ‘follow’ button and come play along as we talk about yummy food and pretty things, whilst taking pictures of it all!

instapics-2

as a reminder, if you don’t already – please follow me on instagram for the most recent updates on all things food&foto related. {you can also find me on facebook and pinterest.}

i appreciate all the love and support i’ve received over these last 6 years of blogging. i look forward to more adventures to come!

instapics

the most sincere appreciation to all of you, from the bottom of my heart.

—–

 

{saturdays in the garden : volume seven}

8 Jul

just a little update on the garden… my posts are not in “real time,” as it were… i’m several weeks behind in keeping up with what’s going on, currently.

for example, most of what you see in the following fotos, has been pulled from my plot. we are straight up in the heat of summer here in NC, and my tomatoes are just about all that remain. i pulled up all my broccoli, because i didn’t get it in the ground soon enough and it never formed a head. i harvested one beautiful cabbage that i’m currently making sauerkraut with. my cilantro is done… as is my dill and basil, but i planted more of both. i pulled my kale and planted arugula in its place. and my cucumbers are on their last limb, but i must’ve harvested around 200 of them this season. i have pickles for days! 😉

july will be focused on tomatoes. then in mid august, i will plant more cabbage and cucumbers and perhaps try again for more peas later in the month or toward september. i really enjoy making {and eating} sauerkraut, so i intend to plant a lot more cabbage for fall.

meanwhile, here are some pics of what late may/june were like in my plot :

so pretty and ALIVE!

still fascinated by pea tendrils… and i made lots of pesto with my basil!

oh kale, yeah!

harvest!

my beautiful cabbage! Continue reading

{it’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood…}

6 Jun

here are some pics from a stroll i took last month, when springtime was peaking and i was tickled to find a bunch “life” happening… ! 🙂


 

there are so many turtles around these parts!

tons of beautiful blooms, as well!


Continue reading

{a make-up blog : saturdays in the garden – volume six}

29 May

things are moving along quickly in the garden!! i actually harvested lots of kale this week and my dill is turning into a forrest! cilantro will only be here for a little while longer, and my peas are producing but will also begin to dwindle as the heat increases. i should be able to harvest some cucumbers next week. which means next month, i’ll be making some delicious pickles!! so so so excited about that!

on a community level, we have been donating over 15 pounds of collard greens each week and lots of radishes are going to donation, as well. our beans are starting to blossom, and the blueberries are coming in nicely. we also have tons of healthy tomato plants growing. june and july are the exciting months for gardening, as everything really starts to produce… i just love it.

and since i have fallen behind a little bit on updating on the garden, i am putting these fotos in gallery form, so i can squeeze them all into this post 🙂

{click on any photo to enlarge and scroll through gallery}


 

 


a {sort of} pano of my plot…

from left to right, counter-clockwise-ish :

jalapeños {hidden, back row} basil {back row}, peas {along left trellis}, lacinato kale, tomatoes {middle}, cilantro, celery, more tomatoes {middle}, cabbage, more kale {middle}, romanesco, more tomatoes, {middle}, cucumbers {along right trellis}, and dill.

i kind of planted in a zig-zag pattern…

i also squeezed in a few spinach plants throughout, but i’m not sure how they’ll fare.

thanks for following along!


how is your garden looking??! 🙂

 

 

{memories in manhattan – volume 5}

15 May

even though i don’t miss the winters in the northeast, or winter in general for that matter, i did enjoy the variety of weather that seems to roll in and out of new york. particularly, the evening rain. there’s something about a late night drizzle… it seems calming to me.

as i was looking through old fotos of my days living in new york, i came across a fun memory of a time when some visitors came to town and i helped them squeeze in as many “tourist attractions” as possible, since they were only there for two days. it made me feel pretty cool when they asked for suggestions. maybe because it made me realize that i had been in the city long enough to not only know my way around, but to be somewhat of a tour-guide.

one of my favourite places to visit and view the city was the empire state building. being able to experience the city from that perspective is something to behold. i only visited the empire state building twice during my time living in nyc, and both times were memorable and exciting. this particular night was memorable because it was very cold, and very wet. it was one of those kinds of rain that was almost like a mist, making the visibility low and the mood high.

the way way top

when my friends and i decided to go to the top of the empire state building, we didn’t realize that the very very top would be closed off due to wind and the aforementioned low-visibility. my friends didn’t care, and neither did i. by the time we decided to make our way to the destination, we had already been wandering the city for a good hour, sans umbrella… and it didn’t seem to bother any of us. besides, a huge part of the experience was being together – and for me, seeing the excitement on their faces, and living vicariously through their enjoyment. furthermore, the line was much shorter and there were fewer people on the tour… so it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves.

because of the rain, i found myself taking less fotos and spending more time reveling in and soaking up the moment… and doing my best to keep warm!

if i close my eyes, i can whisk myself away to some of those moments, and revisit and remember the experience so richly.

i love his hoodie

i love my hat

did i mention that these friends of mine are like the empire state building… in that, they are very very tall?!{especially standing next to me – haha!}  😉

 

{saturdays in the garden – volume three}

15 Apr

things are moving along nicely at the community garden…

it’s so rewarding to interact with other people who are just as passionate as i am about gardening. having us all come together and work as a team to prep the beds and tend to the crops is just such a marvelous reality. it’s something i really wish that every single person on the planet could and would experience.

last week, we had some eagle scouts come and help work in the garden. it was quite fun seeing their excitement as they helped move tarps and logs and plant seeds. we uncovered some potatoes from last season and the boys were very eager to collect them all and “donate them” – which was so endearing.

i am forever grateful to be a part of this community garden and it pleases my soul so tremendously to engage in it all. my cucumbers, along with other plants, are sprouting and the peas are growing quite nicely… i can’t wait to share those fotos next week!

in the meantime, here are some fotos of recent days at the garden… i hope you enjoy.


 

things are growing!! radishes and lettuce…

kale and peppers…

tools!

laying mulch around the blueberry bushes…

looks so good!

transplanting raspberries…

i can’t wait to get my paws on some of those!!

fig trees! oh my, i’m excited about these, too!!!

happy bees!

side note : would you believe i got stung AGAIN!? this time – right on my nose! – i was shocked. the garden leader thinks it may have been my sunscreen, so i switched to an unscented version. let’s hope that helps! if you follow me on instagram, you saw the story. annoyingly hilarious.  Continue reading

{it’s national beer day!}

7 Apr

i admit i am kind of disappointed in myself that i only just discovered this as of 9:07 a.m. this morning… but i will be making sure to celebrate later today! 🙂

in honour of this awesome holiday, i thought i would share some fotos of some of my favourite beers i have tried. i tend to drink beer the way i eat food – seasonally and liberally, haha.

but seriously, i like to “drink the rainbow” and i will drink beers that correlate with the seasons.

for example, now that we are in spring, i have been letting go of the darker beers and transitioning into lighter beers like wheats, belgians, and saisons. in summer you will catch me drinking IPAs, lagers, and occasional pilsners. in autumn i like my reds and of course, can’t get enough of oktobetrfests. and then when winter rolls back around i’ll divulge in browns, porters, and stouts.

i hope you enjoy! drink the rainbow! 😉

and, ya know, drink responsibly!! 

although it’s not quite time for this summerfest beer, it is one of my all-time favourite beers! it’s so clean and crisp and refreshing and has a lovely finish. this lager is very easy to drink, particularly while chillin’ on the porch and enjoying the sunset. sierra nevada is also one of my all-time favourite breweries and i’ve read online they are known for having very clean water, which is very appealing to me.

i look forward to seeing this back on the shelves.

belgain witbiers have a soft spot in my heart and belly… they were the “gateway” beer for me, once i first put down the boring bottles and opened up my palate to microbrews. i love the refreshing fruitiness of a witbier! “ZON” {meaning “sun”} has a hint of coriander and a low amount of alcohol and makes this one easy to drink – like orange juice! a very pleasing brew from the missouri-based boulevard brewing company.

although this isn’t a “red,” it has a beautiful red colour. i haven’t had this one in a while, but i remember thinking it was very interesting. “raging bitch” is a belgian-style IPA, which has interesting and complex features, as you can imagine. i am a fan of flying dog brewery, but this one is rather strong {8.3%} and it’s way more of a sipping brew, for me. delicious, nonetheless… and it pairs well with spicy food. of course, i’m a fan of flying dog brewery, since they are based in maryland.

i also happen to love the bizarre cartooning on the label.

this is a great nut brown ale! it’s well-balanced and has tremendous drinkability. not too sweet, not to bitter – it’s just right. ska brewing company has fun marketing, and they are based out of a small mountain town in colorado. i haven’t tried too many of their other beers, but this one is a go-to if/when i can find it.

ohhh, lagunitas. so full of diversity and flavour… and ABV!

seriously, the brews they come up with over there in california are super-duper strong and therefore i also enjoy sipping them… i have to watch myself because those kinds of beers will go to my head rather quickly!

undercover” is a nice and malty ale with a boozy undertone, thanks to the 9.6% ABV. it’s a beautiful colour and for some funny reason, i like drinking it while i’m munching on pickles.

new belgium is my all-time favourite brewing company. my affinity for them dates back to 2006 when i reached out to the company and had the most pleasant interaction with one of the staff members, via email. the employee-owned colorado company comes up with some of the most unique flavour combinations and i love to support their “green” mission.

giddy-up” does not disappoint in the “unique combinations” arena. brewed with espresso and lemon peel, this medium ale packs a power punch of flavours.

who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter?!

put that combination together in a beer, and i’m happy as a clam. i discovered this limited edition chocolate peanut butter imperial porter shortly after moving to north carolina. this state has some funny liquor laws, but one of the benefits of it, is you can drink a beer in beer stores. they also sell a lot of “single serving” beers, so it’s fun to create your own 6-pack and sample stuff you may have never tried… which i did when purchasing this beer from horny goat brewery in wisconsin {ha – that name!}

it’s pretty much as delicious as it sounds and makes for a perfect after-dinner brew, as it basically tastes like dessert.

the ultimate “dessert beer” for me – at least until i discover something that replaces it – is this decadent porter from saranac brewing company out of new york.

i will mention, it is extremely sweet. you’ll want to drink more than one, but for me, one is enough because of the sweetness. and this brew literally tastes exactly like a s’more… it’s kind of mind-blowing. hints of graham cracker, chocolate, and even marshmallow make your palate do a happy-dance.


what are some of your favourite beers?

 

{memories in manhattan – volume 4}

3 Apr

a good friend of mine just reminded me of an annual event that takes place in union square park, lower manhattan. it apparently just happened last weekend in new york, and i was reminded of the time that i was fortunate to be in the mix, camera in hand.

i’m talking about the ‘annual pillow fight’ 🙂

i’ll never forget the hilarity of this day. it was a sunny afternoon, but there was a spring chill in the air. 14th street was lined with people dressed in pajamas and costumes and carrying their favourite pillows under their arms. police staff stood closely by, and the occasional ambulance could be found parked around the corner, should anyone get hit a little too hard or fall off someone’s shoulders.

i meandered my way into the crowd, holding my camera close to my chest. i spotted several fotographers hiding out in the ‘pit’ and remember being nervous for them – like, what if someone or someone’s pillow knocked their camera to the ground? even though i came unprepared anyway {no pillow and all}, i was certain i would never be caught in the moshpit, let alone with my camera. i’m a self-admitted wuss like that. i prefer to have a nice long lense and stand nice and far back.

anyway, i people-watched for a good 20 minutes or so, snapping fotos like this :

i laughed at several costumes and appreciated how much thought some of the attendees took into preparing for this event. i wondered to myself if i knew anyone in the crowd.

hundreds of people people gathered in the shop windows nearby to get an aerial view… Continue reading

{memories in manhattan – volume 3}

27 Mar

after my experience with the cute stranger on the subway, i quickly started to realize that my fondness of portraiture was beginning to grow rapidly. when i was in college, i never really wanted to fotograph people… my ambition was to work for a place like j.crew and fotograph flat lays on white seamless. i think i would still enjoy something like that, but my point is, i was totally intimidated at the thought of putting people in front of my camera. 

the ironic thing is, part of the reason i was able to save up some money to even move to new york, was due to fotographing some portraits for clients during the summer months while i was living in delaware with a friend. i took the train up to manhattan twice and was able to squeeze in a few sessions on long weekends and put that money toward my moving fund. i think it was during that summer that i really started to fall in love with portraiture. 

the following fotos were taking during one of my first portrait/headshot sessions upon moving to new york. the only person i really knew in the city at the time just happened to be a film-maker, and he knew lots of aspiring actors and actresses that were in need of good headshots. 

i met this lovely young lady in central park for our session. she is of french descent, and i just love her unique features. she was a natural in front of the camera, and it was during this session that i started to really fine-tune my creative portrait eye. 

Continue reading

{memories in manhattan : volume 2}

20 Mar

there really is no place on earth like new york city. 

granted, i haven’t exactly been all over the world, but the most fascinating thing about new york is the fact that literally every culture in the world is represented in a 7-mile radius. it is something to behold, indeed. 

you can almost see my apartment from here

i remember noticing this right away when i first landed in the city. hearing all the different languages in the background as i shopped for groceries or seeing all the various colours of faces as i walked the streets or rode the subway. i love the condensed mini-world that new york offers with its existence. it was so inspiring to me to have such diversity at my fingertips. it became quickly apparent that i could walk 20-blocks in any direction and be magically whisked away to a different continent, in a sense. 

one of the other interesting aspects of living in the city is seeing celebrities walking around like “regular people.” one of my first memories was around thanksgiving, when i wandered into a little market on my block to shop for some artisan snacks to share with my roommate for the holiday. it was the cutest little store… not bigger than maybe 1000 square feet. packed from top to bottom, wall to wall, with delightful goodies and imported treats of all kinds. i remember standing in the small isle way of the freezer section, gazing at some pasta, when to my right i noticed a person approach. so i looked up as to get out of the way and quickly saw that julia stiles was walking in front of me. we exchanged demure smiles as we passed each other, and all i could think to quietly utter was, “happy thanksgiving.” she nodded and we parted ways. i guess in my mind, i figured she had chosen that little store to shop in rather than a big supermarket, so it was evident she wanted to go slightly unnoticed. even though i’ve always really admired her acting, i didn’t want to fan out and try to strike up a conversation or ask for an autograph or foto. i just wanted her to feel like a regular person for a moment. i quickly realized that a lot of celebrities choose to live or stay in NYC as to “blend in” and feel a little more sense of normalcy in their lives as opposed to living in say a place like los angelos. i have never been to LA, but i just get the feeling it’s a lot more “celebrity obsessed” than manhattan island. as it is, there are so many people walking around new york and so much is happening at any given moment, and that makes it easier for anyone, not just a celebrity, to “blend in.” 

dramatic shadows everywhere

i also found this to be true of myself. i’m an introvert at heart, and i don’t really like to draw attention to myself or have unnecessary interactions. one of the things i loved so much about living in new york was feeling “always alone but never alone.” shortly after moving to new york, i had someone tell me that, and it really struck a chord with me. the hustle and bustle of that crazy city just never ever stops and yet as an introvert, i found a way to detach from it and live in my own little bubble. no one was really paying attention to what i was doing. i guess sometimes they were, as i will regale in other volumes, but for the most part, everyone is just doing their own thing and no one is really taking notice of anyone else. this gave me a sense of control in the chaos… peace within the whirlwind. once i became more and more familiar with my neighbourhood and the metro system, it became joyful for me to throw on my headphones and enchantingly saunter through the streets, discovering my way to and through various explorations. i enjoyed people watching very much. perhaps people were also people watching me, but if they were, typically i didn’t notice – just like everyone else, for the most part.  

i remember taking the L train somewhere one day, and i was sitting across from this adorable young girl wearing headphones and drinking a kombucha. she was dressed so uniquely herself… mismatching tights and a poofy skirt with a denim jacket adorned in various pins, and her hair was cut super short and spiked with traces of leftover hair-dye in it. there was something about her that was so cute and charming and i almost immediately had the desire to want to take her picture… not just like, on the train, but actually take her out and have a portrait session with her. i remember sitting there and observing her blissfully unaware nature and thinking to myself that i wanted to give her my business card and offer to fotograph her. i pondered for a few stops, eventually talking myself out of it as i watched her get up and exit at 14th street. i immediately regretted not having the confidence to approach her, but i also remember thinking that maybe she wanted to go unnoticed, too.

bustling city at night

the most serenditipous thing happened like a month later. i saw that same girl on the same train. i was shocked! at the time, i didn’t think it was possible to see the same person twice while one was living in new york city. there were far less people on the train this time, as it was fairly late in the evening. alas, once again, i got too nervous to speak to her or give her my business card – how silly was that?! as many days continued to pass when i took the L train, i was hoping i would bump into her again. but in 3 following years, not once did i see her face again. to this day, i kind of regret not at least trying to talk to her, as i would’ve captured some amazing portraits if she had let me. however, all in all, i did learn a lot through that experience and it taught me not to let an opportunity or moment pass me by. as time marched on, i became more comfortable approaching people that i thought my camera would like to get to know better. 

{memories in manhattan : volume one}

13 Mar

a little preface here :

i have been thinking about my experiences living in manhattan… i’ve been thinking about it a lot, in fact. i hope to make a trip up to the city in june, and so i have been mentally reflecting back on my time there.

i thought i would start writing about some of my experiences. i enjoy writing so much, and yet i don’t do it enough. i try to keep a journal, but my fingers just can’t keep up with my mind most of the time. i’m a much faster and better typer than i am a writer, which kind of makes me sad but also makes me thankful that i can take time to sit down and type out my thoughts when i need to. having said all that, i really wanted to start a series here on my blog which will highlight some of my favourite experiences living in the big apple. some of the stories may include fotos, some of them may not. i don’t have any expectations regarding this, but i do know it’s something i want to do.  and so to honour this desire of mine, i plan to update this collection of memories on mondays.

i thank you in advance for taking this journey with me, and enjoying these memories with me…

and without further ado, i present to you –


memories in manhattan : volume one

i’ll never forget pulling up to 20th street with the half-empty u-haul and seeing my new roommate standing on the curb with her friend and his dog. i can’t remember the dog’s name, but i’m sure ms. judy will refresh my memory if i ask her. i was so eager to meet her, as we had been exchanging emails back and forth for about a month. my boyfriend at the time was living in manhattan and had helped me land this living situation by visiting it prior to me moving there. i met my roommate, miss J, online when she responded to an ad i had placed looking for a roommate/apartment. it was so serendipitous to have her reach out to me, because i had struggled finding a place to live that was reasonably priced and met some of the requirements i had set for myself. of course, i wanted a safe living situation and preferred a female roommate. i also wanted something on manhattan island and i had a certain budget i didn’t want to bend on. ms. judy met all my requirements and she even shared her name with my mother, which i found to be a fantastically sweet nod from the universe. 

i opened the truck door and stepped my foot onto the concrete jungle for the first time, looking up in awe at the trees all around me. it was the 1st of october, and the trees were ripe with a rainbow of colours and the air had a crispness to it that i wish i could bottle up. i took a deep breath and immediately reached out my arms to greet ms. judy. she gave me a warm embrace and proceeded to kiss me on one cheek, then the other. she pulled back a little and said, “in new york, we kiss.” my soul felt a warmth i was unfamiliar with and to this day has not been duplicated. her friend and neighbour then introduced himself and his sweet pooch, both of which i hugged {and ‘new york kissed’}. 

i fell in love with my neighbourhood immediately. the tree-lined street just off the east river had been built shortly after WW2 and was one of the only “complexes” in manhattan. it was tucked away just far enough off the bustling streets to feel like its own personal city full of park benches, fountains, and lots of greenery! right below our apartment was the most perfect little bodega that ms. judy and i strolled into shortly after unloading my things to grab some pizza for dinner. everyone working there knew her by name. the place was packed with just about every kind of goodie one could imagine. it became quickly apparent that this was going to be a place i would frequent – all hours of the day. 

although i remember those very first moments of arriving in new york city, i do not remember much else about that day. my room was already furnished, so it didn’t take me too long to unpack. i had been downsizing my things prior to moving to NYC, and so by the time i arrived, i had packed and unpacked so much it was like a science. 

i do remember the following few days… i pulled out my brand new camera that i had recently bought with money i received from selling my car. it was 2008 and digital cameras were much more expensive at the time than they are now. it was my ambition to make that happen, and sure enough, i did. 

ms. judy had given me lots of information about the neighbourhood, and in true audrey form, i had done a lot of research on the area as to {somewhat} know what to expect. i stepped out into the cobblestone-lined walkway just outside of our building and i began snapping fotos.

i think this was one of the first pictures i ever took in new york : 

my first foto in nyc

i was still a somewhat budding photographer at the time, and looking back at some of the first images i took in new york makes me kind of giggle – as i can now see how much i’ve grown as a photographer and artist.  Continue reading

{wordless wednesday : life, lately}

16 Mar

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{eat the rainbow!}

9 Jan

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happy new year, friends!

in honour of resolutions and commitments to a healthier life and all that jazz… and just because i truly believe in this lifestyle, i want to present a gentle reminder – don’t forget to “eat the rainbow!” as in : plenty of colourful foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables!

some things i’ve been enjoying lately: 

– baked purple sweet potato

– roasted cabbage w/ bacon bits

kaniwa w/ sautéed garlic and onion

red kuri squash risotto

– slow-cooked smoked ham and green beans

nom nom!

{a personal post : bye bye 2014, my last blog for a little while, happy new year, 2015 – 8, new beginnings, cycles, the universe, etc etc…}

31 Dec

wow.

so i’m sitting here… alone… with my baba black lager. it’s new year’s eve. the last day of 2014. the final day in this calendar  year… 2014 was a numerology #7. 2015 will be a numerology #8. i could write a whole blog about the significance of numbers, etc. i just think cycles are so interesting… cycles of all kinds… the seasons, numbers, etc.

does anyone else get all weird on this day? like, it’s just another day really… but somehow i find the energy to be soooooo … intense. in many ways.

like, i woke up restless – what’s that about? and i slept for like, 9 hours last night.

oh yeah, it’s not just because it’s new year’s eve… it’s because things are changing… again. at least for me, personally… in my life, everything is changing… including where i live… i’m saying good-bye to the tiny home… with a bittersweet feeling in my heart.

you know they say that the only constant in life is change. how funny is that!? like, well – you can guarantee this – stuff’s gonna be different tomorrow. not everything will be different, but a lot of it will… because that’s how life rolls… it doesn’t care if we are ready for the change or not… it just keeps on changing. people change, astrology changes, rules change, the weather changes, laws change, … most things around us do NOT stay the same… including the people in our lives, and those we love.

so what’s my point? 

i dunno, maybe i don’t have one. maybe i just wanted to sit down in front of my computer and keep it real with you readers… and myself.  maybe i’m tired of trying to “keep it together” all the time… as in, always having the perfect thing to say and taking so much time to think about how to express myself… because i’m so scared of being misunderstood. maybe i just wanted to be spontaneous and sit down and write while i felt the desire, the thoughts flowing, the keys being struck with force and purpose… maybe i want to just say whatever i feel and not be worried about how everyone else is gonna perceive it…

maybe i’m just feeling the baba… 😉

so how do you feel about the idea that the only thing we can be sure of is that things change… how does that make you feel? is it comforting to know that with each moonset and each sunrise, that life can end and begin all over again?!  does that give you peace to know that tomorrow… tomorrow… the sun will come out?! or does it make you kinda crazy to know that you can’t ever really count on anything?! does it give you total anxiety to feel like as soon as you get comfortable with something or someone, there is damn good potential for it to morph into something else entirely and seem completely illusive?!

i feel like there is a balance… as with most things in life.

most days i’m so thankful to begin anew… to wipe clean the “yesterday” that never really exists in the first place… to wake feeling renewed and purposeful again. i learned a lot about the beauty in each new day when i lived in new york… it’s amazing how that city just doesn’t stop for anything… it doesn’t care if you didn’t get the memo, it doesn’t care if you aren’t walking fast enough, if you missed your subway stop, or if you aren’t feeling its embrace. when living there, i had to learn how to be so completely present that nothing seemed to really effect me to the point of not being able to continue to be in the moment.

my challenge this year is to get back to that space…

i’ve been practically beating my head against the wall trying to figure out where i went… what happened to the person that seemed to be able to really stay in the moment… to embrace it even when it was chaotic, unpredictable, and sometimes down-right scary.  where did that audrey go that i spent 29 years trying to find when i met her in new york?!

she didn’t go anywhere… it took me all of 2014 to realize that.

i mean, seriously. just this past week i had the total epiphany that nothing is “wrong” with me… and if there is in fact anything that i feel uncomfortable with – that I, personally, have the power to change it. i can and always do create change in my life when i am feeling a need for it. sometimes it’s not always clear to me, but it’s almost like i do things without even thinking sometimes… and then when i’m on the other side of it, i go, “oh yeah… i see why we did this.”

i guess that’s true with everything in life… hindsight is 20/20, right?!

well, all i know is… i’m feeling more comfortable with change… dare i say, i’m embracing it. i’m not saying i love “change” during every moment while i’m in it… but i’m okay with the idea that everything seems “fleeting…” because really… if it’s true that the only constant in life is change… well, then i wanna make sure to be so immersed in each passing moment, that i love it for what it is… recognizing that it will never again be the same… that each moment really is a gift. maybe it’s not a gift wrapped in colourful paper and bows, maybe it’s not a gift we asked for… maybe it’s a gift we didn’t realize we needed.

but it’s still a gift… if we can be open to receiving it…

personally, i’m feeling happy to be letting go something while completely surrendering to something new and exciting. for me, my personal changes happen to coincide with the calendar change… but i’ve always been a firm believer that you can choose to make a change at any given moment in your life. you don’t have to have anyone validate your decision to change, you don’t have to have a party or mark it on your calendar… hell, you don’t even have to invite anyone. you can choose to make changes in your life while washing your dishes… you can choose to create a new life while driving to work… there are no rules for that. you can live life on your terms, but in order to do so, you must live life on your terms.

does THAT give you comfort?!  it sure does me… 🙂

so, as i ring in the new year and celebrate new beginnings, my heart is filled with gratitude for all the loving people, places, and things i’ve experienced. i just want to continue to hold a space of gratitude… and to be open to new things as i step boldly out of the familiar and into the unknown…

happy new year! – to each and every one of you. thank you for following my blog, for engaging and for taking time to read and give this blog purpose… i’m truly grateful to each one of you.

 p.s. – i’m not gone forever… just a temporary hiatus while i adjust to some new things… i’ll be back to blogging in no time… 

{some virtual holiday haps}

16 Dec

hey gang – how’s winter treating you?

i really don’t wanna jinx it, but this time last year we had like double the amount of snow, if not triple, that we do now. we had a storm blow through this weekend, but nothing really accumulated or even fell from the clouds. i’ll probably get chastised for saying this, but i am perfectly fine without all that cold white stuff. {i do, however, like to see it flurrying down my screen from wordpress tech wonderland…}

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i’m still in the holiday spirit, though. my tiny tree has been up in the tiny home since thanksgiving weekend and i’ve been watching tons of christmas movies and listening to christmas albums. i save “home alone” for christmas day – i wouldn’t say it’s my favourite, but it’s just one of those classics i have to watch every year. my favourite christmas movie ever is probably “love actually” ❤

what’s your favourite christmas movie?!

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i also plan on pretty much not taking off this santa hat until december 26th. i have two cowlicks in my hair and when it’s short it’s fine, and when it’s long it’s fine… but i’m in the funky “growing out my hair” phase and sometimes throwing on a hat is the only way to get through my day and be happy about my hair. this time last year, it was about the same length, but i got impatient and cut it all off. this time, i will persevere! 😛

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occasionally we get some really cool clouds up here. have you been looking up in wonder at the sky lately? …you should, and often.

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LOVE : that wonderful feeling that can present itself in many forms. and sometimes the only place to find it is in a sticker plastered on a bench at a bus-stop… but it’s still there! ❤

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a random salad i whipped up : brussel sprouts, cabbage, bacon, tart cherries, flax seeds, and parmesan cheese in a french vinaigrette. i admit i do not eat nearly as many cold salads in the winter… i just can’t get down with cold food in the cold months. but i do try to squeeze in some raw greens when the mood strikes me.

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as a child of the 90’s, peace signs were kind of cool when i was growing up. we drew them on our notebooks, put pins on our backpacks, some of us even got tattoos of the peace sign!  but it’s kind of weird to me that you don’t often see it anymore – at least not like we did when i was a kid. seeing this peace sign drawn in permanent cement made me smile – it’s there forever, dammit! 😛

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something so simple as a wreath does so much for my holiday spirit.  perhaps they remind me of my mom, in a way… i am pretty sure she would make them and we always had them on our doors, growing up. my neighbour thoughtfully bought me this wreath for the tiny house door… Continue reading

{base jumping – living vicariously through strangers}

15 Oct

during my trip through moab last month, i met some really cool strangers. well now, that’s a funny thing to say – i guess if i “met” them, then they technically weren’t “strangers” …

anyway, it’s kind of a funny story but basically we woke up one morning and these 5 dudes were sleeping in the camp we set up.  it was a little bizarre at first, until we got to talking to them… turns out, they were acrobats. traveling acrobats… from france.  i’m not even kidding.  they are certainly an adventurous crew!

to sum it up – they were creating a documentary style film about their {incredible} travels throughout the US.  they started in NYC {awesome!} and had planned to go to colorado after their stop in moab… and on this particular morning, they were going base jumping just a short walk from where we had camped.  my camera and i were all over that.  unfortunately, i only brought one lense and it doesn’t really capture the whole thing in the way i would’ve preferred, but i think you’ll get the idea…

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huge cliffs… i would say it is 400 feet?  maybe a little less…

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can you spot the tiny little people up there?!  it probably took them an hour and a half to reach the top…

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crazy clouds, little peeps…

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one of them yells…

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and fearlessly runs and plunges full spread-eagle right off the cliff… do you see him?  he is not airborne long before needing to pull the chute-cord….

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and it safely opens, and he lands to the ground…. {*whew*} Continue reading

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