Tag Archives: writing

{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?!

{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!}  😉

 

{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

{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… 

{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! ❤

{a personal post – HSP}

5 Apr

hey gang.  hope you’re enjoying the weekend.

i unfortunately have not been sleeping very well at all this week and am extremely tired and worn out.  i look forward to resting this weekend, and doing not much of anything else…

my brain has been on overdrive, due to this lack of sleep and i’m sure a hundred other physiological aspects that come along with it… and i’ve just been in a lousy headspace today. when i don’t sleep well for several days, i can’t function.  as i’ve mentioned in the past, i’ve battled with insomnia for most of my adult life. i’ve found ways to “cope” but ultimately it’s an ongoing process.  sometimes things keep me awake, sometimes i just don’t sleep well. it just depends. point is, today my brain is so tired and yet it’s trying so desperately to think, that it’s focusing on stupid crap.

however – it did get me thinking and researching more about a term i’ve been familiar with but hadn’t thought about much until a friend mentioned it the other day.

HSP – Highly Sensitive Person.

google it, it’s a very real thing. even oprah talked about it on her show once, so the mainstream is accepting it, as well. and, wouldn’t you know – i, myself, am an HSP. Continue reading

{a community post : who is my “health hero” – and please don’t think i’m egotistical}

24 Mar

how is everyone doing?  i hope your week is off to a beautiful start.  i have been feeling SO GOOD with the change in seasons rapidly approaching, and the evening light sticking around longer.  i just feel so much better when spring gets here.  i do believe i sometimes feel “SAD” – you know, “Seasonal Affective Disorder” – that is a definite real thing.  it was so dark and cold this winter {especially for colorado} and i struggled on some days to even get out of bed.

i received an email recently, asking if i wanted to participate in a new campaign on a new site that is dedicated to offering simple information regarding all things health-related. i tend to be a little hesitant with stuff like that, but after researching the company, i realized that it falls in line with my own values and so i was happy to connect with them.

american recall center is running a campaign titled “who is your health hero?” and i’ve been asked to write a post about just that. so, here we go…

———

mecook2014-2

this is where the second part of my blogpost title comes in – i am my own health hero.

Continue reading

{“stray cats” – a special sunday post}

23 Mar

so – pretty much everyone knows that i used to live in new york city for about 3 years… part of me is {no doubt} still there, and always was and will be.  i miss it every day, but i have to trust my heart that i left when i was supposed to leave. the memories i made there were so special, so irreplaceable, and so life-changing that i reflect on my experiences often.  in fact, i know that i need to start writing more about them.

aside from being an old soul, i’ve always enjoyed the company of older people… even when i was young, most of my friends were older than me. when i was in manhattan, i lived with a spry, lively, hilarious sagittarius who was more than twice my age, and we were the best of friends.  don’t misunderstand – she could keep up with any 30-something i knew! i often don’t speak of her directly, nor do i of many of my friends, out of respect for their privacy.  however, this week i just had to post something in honour of the news i received from my former roommate in NYC.

straycats-1

this foto was taken in 2010 at our favourite spot, quigley’s, which is now closed. we frequented “quig’s” at least once a week, sometimes more – depending on fun events like mardis gras.  it was like our own personal “cheers” – everyone knew our name. the lady across from me in the foto is my lovely former roommate and still very close friend… we’ll call her “JG”.  the gentleman next to her is the quintessential new-yorker with the best sense of humour.  the gentleman behind me just lost his battle with cancer this week. his wife, behind him, recently had the same fate last year. i like to refer to them as the “IRISH” – because they are.

these people had a HOUSE in my heart.  not just a room, a house.  the couple that lost their lives to cancer were like family to me. quite literally – they invited JG and i over for every holiday dinner. most of JG’s family didn’t live in NYC, and obviously none of mine did either.  after a while, it became a running joke to call us “the stray cats” because we would just wander over for dinners, as they always invited us and made us feel like family.  the IRISH had a home business and they even hired me to take some fotos for their marketing.  these people were just so special to me.  when i found out about MISTER IRISH’s death, a part of my heart died, too.  that may sound morbid, but that’s how special these people were to me.  i never got sick of hearing stories about how they fell in love, or how much they remembered about the city changing, or how they knew about the “best little bakery in town” — or just their warm, kind, open, and loving spirits. it chokes me up to think about how special the IRISH’s are/were and just how blessed i am to have met them and been so immersed in their lives {and vice versa}.

things i miss most : morning paddle tennis games with a cup of coffee from the bodega downstairs, long chats in the living room with evening light drenching all the furniture, my endlessly-full wine glass, their amazing taste in art – particularly that italian painting above the kitchen table – i was obsessed with it!!!… what i’ll miss most is the way i felt whenever i left their presence… just so enriched!

so, in honour of the IRISH family, and my lovely former roommate JG – i bought these simple and gorgeous magenta carnations… they are JG’s favourite flowers.  i’d often buy them for her, since there are flower shops on every corner in new york. yesterday i bought them in honour of her, as well.  she stayed by IRISH’s side in his last days, and told him “the stray cats love you” — that meant a lot to me, since i couldn’t be there to say goodbye.  i also love carnations because they may be the ‘bottom of the totem pole” when it comes to flowers, but they last so long and they smell incredible and they will remind me of all the amazing memories i had in NYC with IRISH and JG.

flowers-1

heaven has another angel… and i know he’s being greeted with endless amounts of love.

thank you for reading.  have a beautiful sunday – and just please go out and share a little love… with the ones you love, and even with the ones you don’t.  the world just needs more of it.

xxoo

{1,000 followers! – that deserves a giveaway!}

20 Mar

FRIENDS!!

friends-1

ONE THOUSAND of you, specifically!  wow – THANK YOU!

that seems like a really big number to me.  it makes me feel very humble. and it makes me so grateful that THAT MANY PEOPLE find what i have to say valuable, interesting, or at least somewhat entertaining enough to make a simple gesture like click the “follow” button…

in the two years that food & foto has had life, i have found myself growing and changing right along with the blog.  from refining what it is all about, to being honest and open about things, to many twists and turns – we’re almost parallel, my blog and me.

i just was blown away today when i had my 1000th follower sign up to join the fun!  and it inspired me to want to do something special to honour it.

and what better to do just that – than a GIVEAWAY!!!???!!!?!!!??!?!

the big question is – what?!  what do i give away?  it can be anything i want, i suppose.  i could find a vendor that wanted to donate something… meh. i can do that anytime.  i could give away some healthy-eating coaching… meh. i kind of do that already.  i could donate a portrait session… meh. been there, done that. i could give away a camera?!?!  dude, that would be amazing… but i don’t have one to give away…

hmph.

would a beautiful print from my lab suffice?  your choice – a personalized print from my portfolio.  i have an extensive one, you know… portraits, landscapes, editorial, street photography, NYC, california, rocky mountains, macro, food, fine art… what’s your pleasure?!

and my goodness, how do i get people to get involved?

why, you already are!!!  just by following my blog, you are already automatically entered in the drawing for a free fine art print of your choice!  i will give away 5 prints before the end of April.  I will post a blog with choices and the lucky 5 winners will win a print of their choice.

how’s that sound?!

mostly, i just wanted to do SOMETHING to show my appreciation to each of you for following my blog. as i’ve mentioned, this is my personal little playground and i love engaging and hearing from each of you.  i may not always respond, but i want to take this time to tell you how much i appreciate the support!  as an introvert, knowing what i have to say in print matters… matters.

🙂

{new year’s eve 2013 – goodness, it sure has been an eventful 12-months!!}

31 Dec
sunrise - snowmass village, colorado © audrey michelle 2013

sunrise – snowmass village, colorado © audrey michelle 2013

it really has been a very very eventful year!  personally, i’m kind of glad to be saying good-bye to 2013.  i always say you can start over ANY time in your life, you don’t need an event like new year’s eve to make resolutions, start fresh, or even kiss a stranger 😉 but i’m still looking forward to wrapping up one year and starting a new one… i have been releasing a lot of old “stuff” over the last month… and i’m ready to welcome in the new!

i just really feel good about bringing in 2014 this year… things feel a little more peaceful in general, and that is great!

it’s been exactly 3 weeks

however, since my entire life changed in one single {terrifying} moment… i completely survived my car rolling twice on the icy highway roads on monday, december 2nd.  not a single person was harmed nor animal or lamppost involved… no semi-truck in the way, no major abrasions, pain, trauma, or overall inconvenience other than losing my awesome car, shelby the subaru. but like everyone said, “you can replace a car, you can’t replace YOU!”

i’m still shaking my head at how it even happened and most of all HOW i survived… walking away totally unscathed and mostly just in shock. the bizarre twist to all of this is that i have found many blessings come out on the other side of it all. i’m even going to write about the event, as it really did change my life. any event like that shakes up a person’s whole being… and when it’s “over”, it’s kind of impossible to claim to be the same person afterward. Continue reading

{whatever wednesday – happy thanksgiving and a shout out!}

27 Nov

yay-you

to YOU!

that’s right, you.  the reader reading this blogpost right now.

the lady with the latte in one hand while her nails dry…

the guy with the messy hair who just woke up and has his dog nipping at his leg, begging to be taken outside…

the teenager who thinks i’m cool because i keep it real…

the mom who wandered over to my blog and was inspired to create something different for dinner…

the girl who’s my age and who takes comfort knowing she’s not the only 30-something without a husband or kids…

the athlete who loves my smoothie recipes…

the family who wants to hire me to take their portrait. {just email me! :)}

the fellow blogger who appreciates artistry…

YOU!

all of you.

i wanted to shout out to all of my 700-plus readers who take time to stop in and give validation to the things i say and the things i share.  as an introverted artist, it takes a lot for me to “put myself out there” {ugh, i even don’t like the term} however, it gives my heart so much comfort and joy every time someone clicks that “follow” button.  i appreciate you all following my blog, taking time to read the wacky things i say, and taking time to comment and share.  this wordpress blog forum has really been an amazing outlet for me and i feel such a strong sense of community among bloggers i’ve met.

i am just so grateful to each of you – words won’t really be able to express {remember my natal mercury retrograde?! ;)} but i had to do something to show my appreciation.

this thanksgiving, i’m thankful for so much, as usual… but today i want to focus on being thankful for support.  THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart!  you inspire and encourage me, just by reading and engaging.

🙂

{whatever wednesday – my first guest post!}

13 Nov

hey friends!

tinyhome-1

how’s your week going so far?  mine has been nice, the weather has been so beautiful up here!

i’m so excited to share some news with you!  — a few weeks ago, i reached out to tinyhouseblog.com about doing a guest-post. i had been following tinyhouseblog for a while, since i knew i was going to be moving into this tiny home. i became somewhat obsessed with tiny living spaces… it’s so fascinating to me how many people live this lifestyle and it’s awesome to see what different people do with different living spaces.

i was so thrilled when kent agreed to let me write about my tiny home.  i have been eagerly waiting to see it posted, and today is the magic day!  i wanted to share the link, and share my pride a little 🙂  i will have another update on the tiny home very soon.. i’ve been making a few adjustments so it’s totally foto-ready!

thank you again for the opportunity, kent!

http://tinyhouseblog.com/

 

{some thoughts about love, transformation, and mercury retrograde}

5 Nov

hey friends.  how was your weekend?  i took a long one, and spent some time in denver visiting a few loved ones.  my goodness was it a rich weekend.  i am so blessed to have some truly amazing people in my life. they are generous and giving and never turn their back on me.  i am blessed to have such loving friends!

i had every intent to write “mercury monday” as promised yesterday, but i just ran out of time.  i start a new job today and had to tie up loose ends in other ways and just get mentally prepared for the day.  i’ll be working in glorious aspen… it is going to be a great season!

so here we are, in the final week of mercury retrograde.  how have you been feeling over the last couple of weeks?  personally, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster.  i mean, i know i mentioned that mercury retrograde periods are when i feel most alive and articulate, and that is very true and still applies {hence the reason i have started journaling more and even started writing a book, finally!} – however, that doesn’t mean i am immune entirely to the energies that come along with it.  Continue reading

{ch-ch-ch-ch-changes…}

22 Sep

hey everyone, happy sunday.  and happy first day of autumn!!

fallbearmountain-9

this is my favey-fav season, and not just because i was born in it 😉  but i do tend to thrive in autumn… i love the colours of course, and the calming down from summer, snuggling and cozying in and slowing down… i just love all that autumn brings along with it.

i’m just relaxing and enjoying my half-caff americano* and was thinking about how many blogs i want to catch up on.

*{that reminds me of this funny thing that happened and i took a foto of it}

halfcaff-1

🙂

my life has shifted so drastically in the month of september, that i just haven’t had time to keep up with the blog like i wanted to.  plus – a huge rebirthing is in order here at foodandfoto.com.  on a personal level, i have grown and “re-birthed” on my own so much, that it’s only fitting the blog shifts along with me.  i’m not exactly sure what that will look like yet, but do stay tuned – some big changes are on the way! Continue reading

{ways artichokes are like humans}

14 May

it’s artichoke season!!!

artichokes-1

and thank goodness for that!!!!  i wrote a blog or two about them last spring… i just love these beautiful babies. although they do take an awful lot of work to prepare for such a little amount of actual flesh… it’s SO worth it – the scrumptiousness waiting inside doesn’t quite compare to any other…

it got me thinking about how artichokes are kind of like us, like humans…

i know you may be chuckling thinking how the heck can i be like a green pokey vegetable?!  well… the way i see it –

artichokes-2

an artichoke looks like a flower.

just like us 🙂 Continue reading

{i miss my mama}

10 May

happy mother’s day, judi!

mom

i miss you more than there are words for.  i celebrate who you were as my mother every day.  on your anniversary this year, i was strong – no tears… i even went to work – i smiled and thought of your smile all day.  but this week has been rough. i couldn’t figure out why my emotions have been so high… sometimes it just hits me, yanno?!  i miss you more than ever, it seems.  i’m a “big girl” now, and all i want is my mommy.  i want to ask your advice, introduce you to people i meet, have lunch with you, buy you sweaters and scarves, make you smoothies, paint your fingernails, and brush your hair for you.  i also miss giving you back-scratches.  i know i always complained about doing that for you, but i would do it as my full time job now if i could – and nothing seemed to make me fall asleep like a back-scratch from you… i miss the littlest things.   i don’t wallow in sadness when i miss you… i mean, it hurts – they lie when it says it gets easier with time… it actually gets harder, one just finds ways to cope.  but i do find that some moments are extraordinarily harder than others…

i always say your death was “bittersweet” because i just can’t find another word to help me accept that it happened. even 20 years later – i don’t know who i’d be if it didn’t happen, and i don’t know how happy or healthy you would’ve been if it didn’t… so all i can really do is be extra grateful that YOU were my mother in this lifetime.  that for 13 glorious years, you were the one tucking me in at night and making silly “bear” faces in the car on roadtrips to visit family. all i can do each year on mother’s day is remember the wonderful things you did for me as my mother.

i’ll close with a few of the reasons and memories i have that made you the best mom ever : Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: