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{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.

 

{i am a ritualist}

12 Jun

what can i say?! … i am a creature of habit.

i believe i have always been this way, but i don’t believe i have always lived this way…

over the last couple of years i have been particularly adamant about creating a healthy routine in my life… i have found myself purposefully setting intentions of a grounding “ritual” in my daily life from which i could draw strength.

at the very core of those routines and rituals is my desire for overall well-being.

i’m talking about wellness – inside and out – a sense of harmony… and i do believe that all starts within.

the more within myself i look, the more i realize that i absolutely THRIVE in routine. i believe part of that is because i recognize that all living things are in routine… and all living things exist by “obeying” certain laws of nature, many of which we as human beings are more removed from than i would prefer. nature is cyclical, and it is {for the most part} pretty predictable… therefore, nature also thrives in routine.

think about it…

all that to say, the more in touch with nature i’ve become, the more i’ve realized that i am as much a part of nature as nature itself. my body thrives in rhythm and routine, just as nature does.

one of the things i have been wanting to adopt as part of my healthy routine was including a daily vitamin supplement. although i generally eat a very well-balanced healthy diet, i’ve frequently struggled with finding a vitamin supplement that fit my desire for harmony and also fit my standards for well-being… which, i admit, are pretty high. 😉

and so it is with great enthusiasm that i say – I FOUND THAT!

which brings me to my purpose for creating this blogpost… my new best friend :

my ritual vitamins.

these wonderful vitamins came into my life serendipitously… as do most things that are “meant to be.” 🙂

as i said, i had already set the intent of finding a vitamin to add to my daily routine that would give me what i was looking for… an extension of my already healthy lifestyle choices, and SIMPLICITY.

what i love most about ritual is their simplicity. they have taken the guesswork out for us. instead of stuffing a tablet with unnecessary fillers and/or many of the nutrients that come from an already healthy diet, they’ve only included the 9 nutrients that most women lack or are deficient in… basically, it does what i have always believed a vitamin supplement should do… supplement, or as they say – “fill in the gaps”…


the 9 essential nutrients in ritual are :

  • vitamin K2
  • vitamin D3
  • vitamin B12
  • boron
  • iron
  • vitamin E
  • magnesium
  • folate
  • omega-3

so, instead of buying upwards of 4 or 5 bottles of different supplements, many of which include unnecessary fillers, you get all you need in 2 daily capsules. part of the allure for me is that it truly epitomizes the concept of “less is more.”

another reason i love ritual is the transparency – literally and figuratively speaking. the capsules are literally see-through… and the company is transparent by allowing the consumer to trace the source of each ingredient on their website.

ritual vitamins are made for women. they are non-gmo, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and the company was founded by a woman. these vitamins are designed specifically for women. for one dollar a day, you can invest in your health by supporting an outstanding company that is truly revolutionizing the vitamin industry. plus, you get bioavailable nutrients that help you look and feel your best.

i have chosen to be an ambassador for this incredible brand because i believe in their mission and i am an advocate for voting with your dollars, as in putting your money where it matters. the $30 a month investment is one that provides a wealth of health.

please visit this link to start your ritual today : food and foto loves ritual

and stay tuned for my personal review on how this vitamin supplement has affected my overall well-being.


 

{old school typewriter}

12 Feb

a friend of mine generously donated this {fully functional} old-school typewriter to me a couple years ago, and it’s mostly just been in storage. lately i’ve really been feeling the desire to use it and express my feelings on paper.

in today’s world of over-stimulation and instant-gratification, it’s kind of funny that i feel the need to put it in “reverse” and go back to classic ways of communication… like letter-writing. sometimes i think i’ll end up writing my memoirs on this typewriter. it seems a little odd {especially in today’s world} to have only ONE copy of something versus saving it to the cloud or a usb drive… but for me, that’s the basis of its appeal. i love the idea of only having one copy of something… seems to make it more romantic or sacred.

i can’t wait to find a place to have this tuned up so i can use it!

oldschooltypewriter-2

oldschooltypewriter-1

oldschooltypewriter-3

oldschooltypewriter-4

isn’t it cool?!

{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 ❤

       

{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!}  😉

 

{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 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

{happy birthday to me!}

22 Nov

mebeach-2

looking forward to a healthy year… mind, body, and spirit.


i want to take a moment to sincerely thank you all for being a part of my life. for taking the time to read what i write, for enjoying my fotos, for your emails, your comments, your jokes, and your love. i appreciate every word and interaction and cherish each one dearly. some of you have been along for the ride since the very beginning… and it just means so much to me to have you here! ❤

{notes from strangers}

21 Feb

youarelight-1

a customer left this on a table for me… and i pretty much melted.

it always feels so good to be seen.

❤ ❤ ❤

{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… 

{30-something}

21 Nov
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audrey’s perspective

it’s my birthday weekend!

Fun

classic audge – circa 2006

and i’m trying really hard not to feel lonely, weird, and slightly freaked out.  i kinda wish i could watch that show that was big in the 90’s… it may offer some comfort. but i do know one person that always makes me smile and feel better about life and all its weirdness – the late, great, george carlin.

i thought i’d share this with you in celebration of my “getting older”… you may have already heard or seen this, but it’s worth a second round, for sure!

———

GEORGE CARLIN’S VIEW ON AGING

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than 10 years old, you’re so excited about aging that you think in fractions. 

‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m four and a half!’ You’re never thirty-six and a half. You’re four and a half, going on five! That’s the key. 

You get into your teens, now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. 

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weee!

‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m gonna be 16!’ You could be 13, but hey, you’re gonna be 16!

And then the greatest day of your life…You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony… YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!! 

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! She TURNED; we had to throw her out. There’s no fun now, you’re just a sour-dumpling. What’s wrong? What’s changed? 

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happy me, on my 30th

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you’re PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away.

Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone. 

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn’t think you would! 

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60. 

You’ve built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it’s a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!  You get into your 80’s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime.

And it doesn’t end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; ‘I Was JUST 92.’ 

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. ‘I’m 100 and a half!’ 

May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!! 

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never grow up

HOW TO STAY YOUNG 

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay ‘them.’ 

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. 

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’ And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s. 

4. Enjoy the simple things. 

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. 

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive. 

7. Surround yourself with what you love – whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge. 

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help. 

9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is. 

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. 

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER : Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. 

—— 

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{a great reminder from the great ee cummings}

9 Nov

{my favourite poet!}

“to be nobody-but-yourself in a world that is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – is to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight… and never stop fighting!”

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{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

{mercury retrograde : october 4th – 25th}

4 Oct

it’s that time again!

you walk into the other room and suddenly completely forget why you went in there…

that’s right – it’s MERCURY RETROGRADE!

mercury will be taking his backward journey in the sign of scoprio/libra from october 4th through october 25th. as always, MR periods offer a chance for a “do-over” in some areas of our lives.  sometimes people from the past resurface or we get a chance to look at something from a different perspective, and perhaps make a different or more clear decision about it.  MR gets a bad rap, but it can really offer a second-chance in a way, we just have to be open.  mercury retrograde just wants us to consider things from ALL SIDES, and to make decisions from a more introspective mentality.  sometimes we need to see things form a different angle, and that sheds light onto a subject in a way we perhaps hadn’t noticed before.  conversely, sometimes MR periods cast “shadows” on matters… afterall, mercury himself is the epitome of duality – having both equal parts dark and light.  sometimes the key is to trust the saying, “if one door closes, another one will open.” the key is also to go within, and trust your intuition a little more.

some of the other key things to remember during mercury retrograde are as follows…

try not to sign any major documents… and if you must, go over all the paperwork with a fine-tooth comb, as they say, and make sure to “dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s” – MR periods tend to cause our minds to easily overlook small but important details, so it is usually advised that one does not do something like say – purchase a home or sign divorce papers – and the like, during this time.  

allow for extra time during travel… or try not to do too much of it in general – MR periods tend to slow down travel/transportation overall but by allowing for extra time, frustration can be easily avoided. i always suggest leaving the house an extra 10-15 minutes early on your way to work, just in case.

do your best not to make any major decisions… mercury is the ultimate trickster.  it’s important to use this time to “incubate” your thoughts… pay attention to how they may change or how you may suddenly see something in a whole new way.  MR periods have potential to cause confusion, so it is advised to let your thoughts simmer rather than act on them right away.

triple check your work… in going along with “crossing all your t’s” and such {which is kind of a weird thing to say in this modern keyboard-driven technological world we live in}, MR periods beg for us to make sure to pay attention to the details.  it’s easy to forget something that may seem like a habit to you. so just do your best to take a few extra moments to make sure you shut the garage door, replied to that important email, or sent a text to the right person 😐

be conscious of your words and any miscommunication… it’s one of the biggest downfalls of MR periods. sometimes you may just NOT hear someone right, or sometimes you may struggle to find the proper words to express yourself, or sometimes you may misunderstand what a person said – or vice versa.  just slow down, go easy, and remember that it will pass.  and try not to hold a grudge against someone if there in fact is some miscommunication… you can always talk it out after the 25th 🙂

of course, if you are a natal mercury retrograde soul like myself, you always have the green light for any of the things listed above.  it’s not to say that these periods don’t effect us in these categories, it’s just that we have a different way of interacting with the energies, since we live it on a daily basis.

mercury will be traveling through scoprio and libra during these 3 weeks.  some areas of our lives in which MR may have an effect are – divorce, sex, death, rebirth, finances {scorpio} and relationships, partners, clients, fairness, equality {libra}.

if you want to read more of my rants about mercury retrograde events, you can click HERE.

and i hope you backed up your important stuff recently… just sayin’

have fun! ❤

{colorado professional headshot photography : writer, john lilley}

13 Jul

hey gang!

i just wanted to share a few headshots from a recent session with my new client, john.  we met somewhat serendipitously when i was working for aspen ski resort last winter. john was going for a laid-back “brooklyn vibe” in his headshot session with me, and i think he embodied that quite well!

john is a talented freelance consultant, writer, and blogger.  check him out here.  we wandered the little town of carbondale, chasing light and looking for the perfect “new york city” type background.  i’m grateful john was up for the adventure – sometimes it can be hilarious to tag along with me on a shoot…

here are a few of my favourite shots :

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johnlilleyheadshots-web-107 Continue reading

{astrology update : mercury enters gemini}

18 Jun

hey gang, how’s your mercury retrograde treating you?

intuition

mercury retrograding in cancer teaches us this…

we are almost half way through the cycle… and now mercury has left the sign of cancer and entered his home sign of gemini…

so what does this mean?  — well, the last week or so may have presented you with issues to deal with, revisit, resolve, etc. in the following themes : home, roommates, intuition, nostalgia, mother/mother figure, childhood, emotions, security needs… these are some key themes of the sign of cancer.  perhaps you made the decision to move or make renovations in your home?  perhaps a past project came up that needed tweaking or you had an “epiphany” regarding something from your past. you may have learned to trust your intuition more, or to learn to come to terms with some emotions you are feeling… MR in cancer offers an opportunity to revisit, rework, and release in these areas of our lives… and with the full moon energy last week, this period has had amplified energy to support it, as well…

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now mercury is continuing his backward travel through the sign of gemini – which is where his “home” is.  for the next couple weeks we can expect to see our thoughts shift into the themes that gemini represents.  these include talks, short trips, local activities, brothers/sisters, electronics, vehicles, writing, the internet, and anything else that involves connecting or communicating.  mercury LONGS to connect, and when he is in the sign of gemini, he has the most success in doing so.  however, since he is retrograding in this sign, we can expect to see our thoughts become more introspective.  we may want to get other people’s advice or opinions on the current relevant matters in our lives.  we may revisit a writing project or rework a trip we had planned.  any vehicle or electronic issues may arise to be addressed {sorry, that IS one of the bummers about this period – i hope you backed up your computer recently!} and/or we may find people from the past showing up again to rework, reclaim, or revise a situation.  there is great opportunity during MR periods… it’s like taking a mulligan 😉

mercury retrograde periods get a bad rap – but i believe it’s because we don’t generally UNDERSTAND what they are for… and we don’t properly harness the energy presented during these times, so many of us are left feeling frustrated and wondering what happened.  which is ironic because that is precisely what mercury retrograde longs to be – UNDERSTOOD!  i can’t tell you how many times a day i catch myself thinking or saying “i just wish {that person} understood how i felt.” you may catch yourself using some of my catchphrases lately – like, “did that make sense?” or “i just want to explain it so you can understand…” or “that came out the wrong way, let me rephrase that…” or “wait, i didn’t mean to say that…”

astrology doesn’t MAKE stuff happen… it can’t cause events. but time and time again i find validity in the movements and study of the planets and their behaviour.  being natal mercury retrograde, i have a unique and tremendously accurate understanding of how this planet’s movements effect our lives in a major way.  perception is EVERYTHING in life – and it can be to our benefit or to our detriment.  this has been my biggest lesson during this current MR period.  i guess it all goes back to being true to who you are.  we are not all the same – we are very uniquely different.  but i believe that the ways in which we are the same can bring us together and allow us to be ourselves, as individuals… if we could just simply change the way we look at things – at life.

every puzzle piece has importance, significance, and relevance – we just don’t and CAN’T all have the same design, function, or purpose – we must each bring our own individual strengths to the group, the collective, the puzzle itself.  and we should never try force a puzzle piece to change its shape… we simply can’t. and besides, then it wouldn’t fit in the puzzle, anyway – you dig?!

thank you for reading, and for your support – it means the world to me!  and please let me know any thoughts you have or feelings you wish to share… i love hearing from you!  and don’t forget, i also am available for hire to conduct natal astrology interpretations.

 

 

{it’s my holiday – mercury retrograde!}

7 Jun

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mercury went retrograde in cancer today… for three weeks we can expect to see our thoughts become more reflective and introspective.  a few of the key themes will be home, renovations, real estate, roommates, moves, security needs, childhood, intuition, emotions, mother/mother figure, and creativity.

as you may recall from my previous rants, mercury was the messenger god in greek mythology… he “presides” over the following themes in our lives : communication, travel, electronics, writing, thought-processes, transportation, and the like.  he longs to communicate and relate.  he was the figure responsible for communicating messages to the “mortals” from the “gods” – what a job, huh?!  try communicating with a bunch of people who don’t “speak your language” … it can be quite challenging.

this time, mercury is retrograding in the sign of cancer.  and cancer is ruled by the moon, by our emotions.  cancer represents things like our security, home, family, and intuition.  what makes this particular mercury retrograde interesting is that the moon will be housed in it’s ruling sign, cancer, during this transition, as well… that means a WHOLE LOT OF ENERGY under one roof!  my advice is to expect the unexpected.  trust your gut – listen to that voice inside that speaks softly to you; it’s nudging you one way or another… and sometimes we have to surrender and let go of what we feel is “safe,” in order to open up to a whole new world…

as i’ve mentioned, i was born with natal mercury retrograde in my astrological chart.  these time periods {occurring about 3-4 times a year for approximately 3-4 weeks at a time} tend to make me feel extra good.  for one, i feel more like my “authentic self” and less like i’m trying so hard. i feel more articulate, open, and creative.  this is particularly true this morning.

i have had a weird couple of weeks over here and this morning i woke up feeling different… and i welcome good change.

now – to see where this energy takes me…

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by the way, i am available for hire as an astrologer.  i specialize in conducting accurate birth chart interpretation and would love to help you on your way to understanding YOU a little better… 🙂  

email me if you are interested!  

{sunday brunch for judi – and a very happy mothers day to EVERY WOMAN out there!}

11 May

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i miss my mama.  today and all week. i’ve missed her since april 14th of the year 1993.  this time of year is hard for me – i won’t sugar coat that. sometimes randomly, i’ll think of something that reminds me of her and it will be hard. it never gets easier. however, i find comfort when i spot a penny on the ground, or when i catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and do a “double take” because i look so much like her… and i find great comfort in knowing that i am now living in her favourite part of the world.  she was absolutely in love with these rocky mountains – and it’s an honor to live here… for her and for me.

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if my sweet mother judi were alive today – i would make her this simple and amazing brunch… which i’ve been eating every day for like a month now. i buy the ingredients from a local store here in town and it’s all organic, fresh, and farm-grown – you know, like how REAL FOOD SHOULD BE!!!! 😀

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sunday brunch for judi : 

– farm fresh organic eggs

– asparagus

– cippolini onions

– garlic

– bacon cubes

– colourful cherry tomatoes

– herbed goat cheese

– fresh fingerling potatoes

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this dish is perfect for one – what with my cute little ramekins and all… but i do have a second one, and would love NOTHING MORE today than to be cooking for my mama and using the other one.

i lined the bottom of my ramekin with avocado slices, to start… Continue reading

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