i know most people may long for weekends, but i adore the weekdays. the somewhat predictable routine and how all of our activities fit so nicely into the time allotted. my work day must come to an end at a reasonable hour, instead of the long days and nights i am used to otherwise.
i like how homework is always after school with a snack, then it's time to practice violin. i like how there is creative play or art before dinner and one of them inevitably puts on either Thelonius Monk or Charles Mingus while i start cooking. she sets the table and helps light the candles and then we sit to eat, all together.
during cleanup, she usually dances and begs for more play time. but it's bath and bed. a couple of stories, snuggles, and then we fall asleep to wake up and do it all over again tomorrow.
what do you prefer? weekdays or weekends?
this week you:
i used to do this as a child. wondering around ancient graveyards and trying to decipher what was written on the well worn stones. grave rubbings were a fun activity my mother used to do with us, and the little seemed to enjoy it as well! (block crayons work great, but charcoal and graphite are also a good choice!)
how's your week going?
this week you:
we make it a priority to budget in an evening out a week. lots of time we are getting a glass of wine and splitting some appetizers to save money, but getting out is so important to us that we just make it happen. being around other people and experiencing life and energy and new places and new food is something that inspires and motivates us.
but for those times we decide a night in would be preferable, we make it special in our own way.
our favorite nght in includes:
i started making up a dipping sauce for artichokes and french fries that i feel i have perfected over the years. it's so delicious and will really impress your friends!
Garlic Aioli Dipping Sauce
Mix all ingredient together and viola! You have a fabulous dipping sauce for all kinds of things. We have even been known to dip potato chips in this. And it makes great salad dressing as well if you thin it a little more with olive oil. We ate this with our handcut fries and artichokes!
Happy Date Night! What are some of your date night ideas?
we had a lovely brunch yesterday at one of our favorite places to eat. salt water farm is as amazing as it sounds and we have never been let down by a meal. this was our first experience with brunch and we were thrilled. there were at least 6 sides of bacon ordered for the table, delicious pastries, espresso (mark highly recommends "the hitch"), and savory greens with eggs.
we enjoyed the company, the laughter, the food, the sun, and even though it was completely freezing outside, we were all warm and cozy and well fed.
later we ventured into a nearby town for some antique hunting and we left with everything we had intended to find. love it when that happens!
now we're settling in to our work week. how was your weekend?
this week you:
people in maine continuously complain about the winter. we complain that it's too cold, too snowy, too dark, too lonely. you don't want to venture outside or remove yourself from the heat of your woodstove. oh, and heat. that too...we complain about our savings being drained by the enormous task of keeping our homes somewhat warm. we layer up our bodies so much that we tend to forget there is an actual body underneath. hats with ear flaps and wool socks are the hottest fashion statement since, well...summer.
but yet, we choose to live here. (mark likes to think we choose, but i'm a born and raised mainer and tend ot think i could never really leave.) with the majority of the year spent in winter, we tend to completely value and appreciate the sun and warmth of summer. i don't think we ever took one day for granted. there are those who live for winter sports, but other than our sledding adventures and random ice skating trips, our beloved activities happen during the warmer months.
so winter for us is all about family, connection, friends, good food, board games, home, and the occasional outdoor play when the temperatures permit it.
what is your winter like? what are some of your favorite ways to pass the winter days?
this week you:
i am so incredibly pumped, inspired, and flattered so many of you joined the "let go of fear" challenge! it's been on my mind everyday and i've already done a lot of personal work to let go of some scary thoughts i've been carrying around. it feels good...lighter. much lighter. funny how just that initial letting go of scary thoughts can be, well....scary! it's like you are suddenly so vulnerable. but it's good. very good.
we've been pretty busy over here. mark finished up a huge interior project he's been working on for months and now he's home for a bit figuring out his next step. like me, he's leaping into the great unknown. always too afraid to pursue his artwork for a living, and in the past has had too much holding him back to do so. he's working hard to move forward in a way that feels more authentic to him. and it's a hard journey, but it's the right one and i couldn't be happier to witness it all. (and being the one by his side rooting him on is a privilege.)
i've been working on a lot of projects. my current one will be a 4 month journey, launching me into a very different photographic world. i've had some amazing people up in my studio whose inner and outer beauty just shines through. it's such an honor to photograph them. i'm collaborating with other artists shooting different things and expanding my knowledge and repertoire. i'm working on a big styled shoot for february and may photograph a bridal runway show in march before flying out to NYC to speak at a conference. so many things. so many good, wonderful, exciting things. i have two offers for modeling gigs, which is hilarious seeing as i'm always the one behind the lens. it's an amazing learning experience which only benefits me as a photographer. what a life! i'm so grateful.
and the little one...the little one that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. she wasn't growing for a while there, but all of sudden the new jeans we bought are above her ankles and i swear her face changes every week. she is completely obsessed with the movie Frozen and sings the songs constantly. she is progressing big time on her violin, loves modeling in my studio (she's good, too!), and dances almost non-stop. she wants to be a professional dancer and artist, but instead of wanting that when she's older, she wants it NOW. she was in a bit of a playing rut for a few weeks there, and instead was constantly somewhat distant and always drawing. one day i said, "hey sweetie, why don't you play with your toys?" and she said, "because mama, i am an artist and i want to do nothing but draw. that's how i will get better." well, okay then. i figure it's both a blessing and a curse if she inherited her mother's ambition and drive.
so that's us. that's where we are right now. it's almost like with the start of a new year, everything just happens. things shift and change and surprise us, and we just are along for the ride.
what are you up at the start of this new year?
this week you:
when the new year came around, a huge amount of goals and intentions came with it. i don't really like to think of anything as "resolutions" because that makes me believe that something wasn't good enough and i need to change it. instead, i like to focus on my intentions going forward and try to visually map out the year in my head and how i would like it go.
2013 was a year i will never forget. so many things happened, so many wonderful and amazing things that have solidified the direction my life is heading in. i learned some things that didn't work and a lot of things that did. i learned who i wanted to continue to become and watched the parts of me i chose to leave behind. sometimes i feel like the artist of my life. we all have the ability to create whatever we want.
and that's exactly what i wanted to talk to you about today. it's time for a 2014 challenge...are you up for it?
as the new year approached, i was laying in bed one night and suddenly an overwhelming sense of panic and fear took over me. i felt it happen and didn't try to push it away. i listened to it and in a moment it was gone. it was the fear of failure; of not moving forward with the life i wanted to create. in a split second my mind raced from "what if i can't do it? what if it doesn't happen? what if i fail and i am stuck someplace i don't want to be?" if i had let that fear linger, it only would have grown stronger and IT would have been the cause for any "failure" that followed. that's how fear works.
when i was younger that fear did linger longer. and it made my personal work much harder. it made failure more of a possibility. operating out of fear requires so much more energy and it very rarely leads anywhere good. you can acknowledge the fear and say "thank you, but no thank you." and that's what i have learned to do.
what exactly are we all afraid of anyway? do i really think my business will come tumbling to the ground after years of hard work? no. but is it a possibility? of course! anything and everything is a possibility. but you have the choice to focus on whatever you choose, and i think you'll get a lot more out of focusing on what you want, than what you are afraid of.
so i took that fear and i acknowledged it and then let it leave my body. once it left, i felt at peace again. and then i had the space to get all pumped up and excited about moving forward.
we all have the ability to manifest what we want out of life. whether you want a new job, a relationship, a home, success, personal goals, etc. the key to successfully manifesting these things is to leave absolutely no room for doubt. none whatsoever. as soon as doubt and fear enters the picture, say goodbye to those marvelous things happening.
i've watched it over and over in my life. like i've talked about before, it is insanely easy to sink into doubt and fear and you get trapped. the longer you stay in it, and the more energy you put into it, the harder it is to get to the other side. if you're lucky and you reach a place of just letting go, that initial step can be hard, but the rewards are great. if you can't just "let go" and have to climb your way out of it, the battle of reaching to the other side can feel a bit endless and very challenging. you are learning to rewire your head and heart!
but i want 2014 to be the year i let go of any remaining fear. i want it gone. i want to live my life freely and with enthusiasm and excitement for tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. will you join me?
by joining in on the 2014 challenge called "let go of fear" we will choose to focus on moving forward and leaving fear behind. we will venture into the unknown with passion and be open to whatever comes our way!
so who's in? leave a comment and let us know. if you want to tell us a little bit more about what your goals are, add it in your comment.
also, here is a badge for your website or blog! just copy and paste the html link to your sidebar.
<a href="http://bluebirdbaby.typepad.com/bluebirdbaby/2014/01/its-your-life.html"><img src="http://img850.imageshack.us/img850/1350/ushj.jpg"</a>
here we go again! another year of 52 weeks. last year it was so wonderful to watch her grow each week. i'm thinking of turning the 52 weeks into a book for her. are you joining in this year? if so, leave a link in the comments!
this week you:
Happy weekend friends! xo
2014 came with freezing temps (-20F below!), frozen pipes (still), even more school vacation due to snow piling up outside, listening to the soundtrack to Frozen on repeat for three days straight, plenty of tea in the morning and red wine at night, hot soups and roast chicken, movies by the fire, and any way to stay sane in the midst of a pretty intense maine winter.
the cold temperatures have driven everyone in, even some businesses are closed. we can't even imagine staying warm enough to sled or snowshoe. i've been running on the treadmill (the little one has been too!), and there has been plenty of dancing in this house to move our bodies and brighten our spirits. we started one of our 2014 family goals: learning french. we all had our first lesson and i have to say, the little one is catching on rather quickly!
i've been looking at plane tickets to california and we may just make it happen. funny how i'm a born and raised mainer and i am in no way suited for cold temperatures. one of our goals for 2014 is to travel, travel, travel! to visit new places and meet new people and experience new things. so why not start in the depths of winter?!
so anyone out there in california around SF? e-mail me! i'd love to find some recs for places to stay/visit/eat.
what's the weather like where you are? hoping everyone else is warmer than us!
have a fabulous, terrific, and fun-filled weekend. xo
Happy New Year everyone! More to come, but I just wanted to announce the winner of a spot in the Eyes Open E-course:
My goal for this year is...to make time for myself and for my inner artist. I recently started working full-time to pay for my son's college education (a blessing I am privileged to do...but it sure does put a damper on the "me" time :) I have always been a creative person...when I was four I wanted to "be an artist" when I grew up. I was quickly told that "artist's don't make any money...why don't you be a secretary?" So...I didn't pursue it...even though I knew deep down that it was the right thing to do...for me. So now here I am...mid life...not living my heart's desire. I have to tell you, it makes me SO HAPPY to read about your daughter's endeavors, and how you encourage them...and give her a place to be an artist. It is SO important...as you can see by what I did NOT do based on what was told to me at the age of four. It sticks with you...the positive and the negative. I believe your little girl will grow up to be her authentic self.
Anyway...there's my life story (Hi. Nice to meet you. lol)...and the reason I'd love to win this e-course...maybe it'll help me jump start my waning creativity...get me back to ME.
Congrats Michelle! Can't wait to have you a part of this course! I'll send you an e-mail!
i already have 2 pages in my journal full of goals for 2014. i'm excited to push forward in every area of my life, creating opportunities and manifesting even more of what we want our lives to be like. this is only the beginning; this house, this community, the work i'm doing now...our life is just starting and there is so much more to come.
it is exciting and so very motivating to think of it all, and know that it is all up to me to make it happen.
we wish you the most for 2014 and hope that all your dreams come true!
the last week. wow. how did that go by so quickly? a year! a whole year! it's so fun to flip through these images from the last 52 weeks and see how much she has changed. i think i will join in on the 52 weeks for 2014 as well! how about you?
this week you:
I'll announce the winner of the Eyes Open Giveaway tomorrow! There's still a chance to enter!
a little late in posting this! holidays kept us very busy...
this week you:
I was super thrilled to be a part of a Q&A and giveaway with Erin over at Floret Flower a couple of weeks ago. Erin was a participant of one of my early e-courses and she just completely transformed her photography in those 6 weeks. It made me very proud! You can see her beautiful and amazing photos on her website and blog.
We have quite a fantastic group already for the next course starting on January 6th and have just a few spots left! I'm revamping some videos and looking forward to sharing everything I've learned with some new students.
As always, I'm offering one free slot to a Bluebirdbaby fan. Just leave a comment and tell me a resolution or goal you want to make for 2014, then share this post on Twitter or Facebook!
Also, I'm offering a 15% discount to readers until January 1st, 2014 with the coupon code "newyear" so don't miss out!
There's no better time than the new year to brush up on your photo skills, set new goals, and learn something new!
well, it's over. OVER! as much as i love the holidays, it's always nice to get back to regular life. somehow this holiday season consumed me more than ever before...i think it's because i was pretty knee deep in work and found that every spare moment i had was devoted to the holiday festivities (and the preparation!). the little one got a karaoke machine from santa which has been put to very good use already, and we anticipate many more early mornings awakened by a sweet little voice singing her favorite tunes.
i woke up in the middle of the night before christmas thinking about 2014 and all the things i needed/wanted to accomplish. it's not even a matter of NOT doing it...everything i want to do, i NEED to do. for myself and my work. it's very exciting, but also i found the whole notion intimidating for a moment. and that got me thinking about a 2014 challenge like those from the last three years.
so...would you all be up for a 2014 challenge? how about it? also, what would you like to see here on Bluebirdbaby in the coming year? i'd be so interested to know!
stay tuned for a Eyes Open post this weekend with a discount code and giveaway!
lately we have been quite busy. giant snowstorms, ice storms, nutcracker rehearsals, school holiday concerts, christmas shopping and wrapping and baking and crafting, trying to keep warm despite the 50 degree inside temps, work and modeling, running from one after school activity to the next...you know how it is. life. a busy life.
but with many things slowing down and others things speeding up, we are finding time to enjoy the holiday season without getting too overwhelmed. the shopping is officially done and we are now planning our christmas menu (lasagna wins!) and gearing up for time with family.
here are some other things happening lately:
what has been happening lately in your life? what are your holiday plans?!
this week you:
Wow! Thank you all for the overwhelming response to the Bella Luna giveaway. I had to close comments yesterday at 8 PM, but they were still coming in right up until then! There will be another giveaway on Monday, so stay tuned!
The winners are:
thank you! i loved my dad-made dollhouse complete with film canister furniture!
My favorite childhood toy was my stuffed bear "teddy" he was awesome :) he was even included in one of my senior pics. He was stolen out of my car as a teen. At 33 I attended a workshop and my roommate had an identical bear! She gifted me him at the conclusion. I call him teddy too!
So, Andrea and Amy...please e-mail me so I can pass your information along to Sarah!
We've been pretty busy over here...a full week with Nutcracker rehearsals, our normal activities, and poor Mark was in and out of the hospital with excruciating pain from kidney stones. All is better now, but it was quite an intense week with pretty much zero sleep for most of it! But we are getting back on track and looking forward to our first big snow storm this weekend (and hopefully not a canceled Nutcracker performance!), a studio shoot in my new studio, and drinking lots of hot chocolate and reading by the fire.
Speaking of studio, I am now all set up and we're having a blast messing with the lighting! I took some test shots the first day I got everything organized and here they are:
Happy weekend, friends! What are your plans?
If you haven't checked out Bella Luna Toys (especially for holiday gifts!), you're in for a treat! We are lucky enough to have Bella Luna's storefront just a short drive away from us, but I also love browsing through so many of the great quality toys Sarah stocks on her website. Sarah cares deeply about providing quality toys that are not only educational and beautiful, but also about the love and intention that went into creating them.
Some of the little one's favorites are:
Sarah is so kind to give 2 lucky readers a $50 gift certificate just in time for the holidays! So leave us a comment and tell us what your favorite childhood toy was. Winners will be chosen on Thursday (12.12) at 8 PM EST.
Good luck and thank you Sarah!!
we went hunting for the perfect christmas tree at our favorite little spot just down the road from us. we did find the perfect tree (one for the living room and a small one for her room) and came home to decorate while sipping hot chocolate and listening to christmas tunes.
here's a glimpse...
stay tuned for TWO amazing giveaways this week! cheers!
we just returned from our much too short trip to boston. we brought the little one down to see the Boston Ballet perform the Nutcracker for the holidays and decided to spend two days roaming the city.
the little one loves the city. she said, "mama, i want to live here!"
here's a glimpse at our stay (there's a lot!):
for most of the holiday week and our celebrating, my camera was tucked away. but i managed to get a few shots of the birthday celebrations.
mark's birthday fell on thanksgiving this year, so we celebrated it a day earlier. the little one and i got his presents and cards ready, made him chocolate chip pancakes, espresso, and bacon, let him sleep in (he slept really late!), and then delivered him breakfast in bed.
we had a nice, relaxing day and then i prepared his requested dinner for some guests. he decided to wear his suit to dinner and had us all feeling rather underdressed! the little one entertained everyone by doing sketches of each person (she's really good...check out the one of mark!). we ended the evening with his favorite flourless chocolate torte and gelato.
he is determined to live to a 120 (like, REALLY deteremined...) so i guess we'll have many more years of celebrating in the future!
here are some photos of the day...
oh my goodness...only 4 weeks left in 2013. it seems absolutely impossible!
this week you:
photo by the little one!
we hope you all had a fabulous thanksgiving! we spent the day with family and friends, celebrating thanksgiving AND mark's birthday. it was a wonderful day.
there's so much to be grateful for everyday. at this point i don't need a day designated to focusing on gratitude...i feel that way all the time! i feel very, very blessed.
what are you grateful for?
sunday morning mark and i woke up to a skylight covered with snow. the first snow of the season. it had already stopped and only left us with a half an inch, but it was enough to fill the house with a bright white light.
something about it made us slow down a bit. we lingered on the couch for a couple of hours sipping espresso and eating bacon while reading the paper. it was exactly how a sunday morning should go.
the little one went to sleep last night telling me that she was so sure it would snow overnight, but the forecast didn't look like that was likely. but sure enough, when we opened our eyes at 6 o'clock it was snowing. and it's still snowing.
the little one jumped out of bed and threw on her winter gear and headed out to play before school. the smile on her face was absolutely priceless!
what are you doing for the holidays?
this past weekend we had the pleasure of having four new friends over. we had a wonderful dinner, lots of laughter, and such delicious food!
i snapped some photos of the table before, during, and after the gathering. it was fun to see how the table could tell such a perfect story.
it was all so good. and most of it can be found on my pinterest food board if you're interested in recipes.
i hope you all had a fabulous weekend too! we're gearing up for the holidays and somebody's birthday!
this week you:
it's that time of year again...cold, dreary, brisk. waiting for the bus in the morning has us layered up in long johns, wool sweaters, and hats.
my morning jog has turned into a speed run just to warm up before my muscles freeze. the pellet stove is running full blast and attempting to keep this big place warm, although frost on the inside of our bedroom windows is not that far away.
the chickens have been following us all over the yard waiting for sunflower seeds. we welcomed marleaux into our family...a shelter cat who had been waiting for a home for three years. we lost our dear mr. pickles one day not so long ago. he just never came home. but as you can see, marleaux is quite at home and very comfortable!
the little one has been listening to christmas music since september and i keep making a mental note to get her her own cd player for her room.
we are looking forward to an amazing thanksgiving with my family and celebrating mark's birthday, which happens to fall on the same day this year.
what are your weekend plans, friends? we are hanging a show for mark, excited to have a dinner party here on saturday, and looking forward to a bit of relaxing on sunday.
one of our most cherised posessions is the photo book we made last year from pinhole press. i put together about 60 photos from 2012 to make one of their softcover photo books for ourselves and as a gift for my mother.
i have ordered christmas cards from pinhole press every year, and was absolutely thrilled with the quality of the photo book! it sits on our coffee table and at least one of us flips through it daily. the little one loves to see all of her pictures together in book form.
i made it a must to make one of these yearly. so many of my photos just sit on the computer and rarely get printed. my attempts at creating albums just never really works out, but this is such a nice way to keep them all together.
so i'm just about to put together our photos from 2013 into another book and make holiday cards, and pinhole press was kind enough to offer 33% off of holiday cards to bluebirdbaby readers with code "bluebird" (they have such amazing designs!).
the code expires on december 1st! thank you pinhole press!
with the little one at her papa's on the weekends, we take the time to catch up what we can't quite fit in during the school week. we typically choose somewhere to go and explore for a day, sometimes meeting clients too or joining friends for food and drinks.
this weekend we wandered around portland and brunswick. i dropped off a bunch of clothes at my favorite little resale shop and we proceeded to try the espresso at every coffee shop on the way to the water. we were a little bit energetic by the afternoon!
it was such a lovely day and felt so good to get out and about. being around other people really recharges me for a week of work ahead.
mark took a bunch of photos of me, and i of him. this is one of my all-time favorite outfits. the total outfit, from the shoes up cost me $38!
what's your favorite oufit?!
this week you:
sorry for the lack of posting...things have been busy! i've got some lined up for this week, so stay tuned!
remember me?! i used to write here at least a few times a week.
now i am that person who can't possibly fit in a third of what she needs to in a day.
so that leaves me having to prioritize! i have a giant list by the side of my keyboard that is all numbered from the most crucial and time sensitive to the semi-crucial and time sensitive. that's about it.
i took a day to relax over the weekend and now i'm paying the price. but it's good. i love it! love love love it!
i just need 10 more hours in a day, two full-time assistants, and a constant stream of espresso.
we had a shoot on monday up in rockland and the little one assisted me. she's been waiting to join me all year long on a shoot. she got her Nikon D70s ready and charged the night before. then she kicked butt on the shoot. she got some amazing photos. seriously! i can't wait to share some. what a talented girl!
we ended up at breakwater lighthouse on the beach as the sun was setting. she took some photos of us, we took some of her, he took some of me, and well...here you go...
what have you been up to?!
this week you:
makes me laugh like no other
loves me more than i thought was possible
has the best arms for hugging
always has something witty to say
has four pairs of glasses that look exactly the same
can't think before coffee in the morning
loves jazz music
has the most tremendous singing voice
loves to snuggle
is always making me things to show how much he loves me
has a shoe obsession which far surpasses mine
is the first person i go to for fashion advice
wants to be with me every single second of every single day, and when he can't, he gets sad
encourages me to be the best i can possibly be
has two enormous boxes of socks
gets four different fashion magazines in the mail
adores our chickens
loves me a whole lot.
and i love him.
this week you: