Las Vegas Highlights

This week Noah and I went to Las Vegas for the NAB Show but we fit some sightseeing into the trip! Due to our time constraints, we didn't get to do everything I would have liked to (I'm looking at you, Neon Museum and Seven Magic Mountains) but I'm very happy with some of the spots we did get to see.

I think it goes without saying that the classic Vegas sights (aka the strip + casinos) are not my scene, so we mostly hung out in downtown, Fremont, and the Arts District.

Food and Drinks

Sights

 








AJ Norris // Blogger Photography

Any shoot in the Lumen Room is always a good one! AJ is getting ready to kick off her own (first ever!) blog and we got some fun and vibrant headshots for her to use in on her website and social content.

I'm always a fan of making a photoshoot feel like a party, which is a vibe that confetti and balloons ALWAYS bring!


Monicasmixx // Blogger Photography

I've been doing a lot of blogger sessions lately and they are always a joy to shoot! I love to help other fellow creatives + bloggers build their brand through the images we create. Monica is one of the bloggers I started working with last fall and we work great together because we both have a love for those vibrant colors. Be sure to follow her on Instagram here!





BBN // Branding Photography

One of the highlights of being a small business owner is getting to collaborate and work with other small business owners. I've been fortunate enough to know Nicole of BBN for a few years now and it has been a joy to see her pursue her dream, watch her business thrive, and get to work with her. If any of my Fort Worth friends are ever looking for graphic design, branding, or a website, Nicole is always my first recommendation.

This branding session has provided Nicole with images for her website refresh, social content, and more. We had a blast shooting in the Lumen Room where some of her very own clients joined us to capture the quality relationships she builds during projects.


Embracing Art Outside of Your Niche

I think most people assume that just because my style is so niche that I don’t branch outside of it at all. That couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, the majority of my friends (IRL) create art that is very different from my own personal style.

There are a lot of reasons that I (and other creatives) diversify the art that they consume everyday, but here’s just a few…

 

IT MAKES YOU A BETTER ARTISTS

No one likes the person that only likes one specific music genre and is completely closed off to any music outside of it. I think this concept applies to all art mediums. Limiting yourself to a specific genre or style of work will prevent you from growth and get you stuck in a rut. PLUS, it will make you much more engaging in conversations.

(P.S. - Speaking of music, follow me on Spotify!)

 

IT HELPS PREVENT YOU FROM COPYING SOMEONE ELSE’S WORK

Intentional or not, it’s easy to consume art and replicate aspects of it in your own work. This is especially easy to do when you are only surrounding yourself with a certain style. We all know the classic fashion blogger poses or coffee + book flatlay on white bed sheets. While recreating popular looks within your niche might temporary get you more likes, it will fail to set you apart from the crowd and stunt long term growth.

 

IT SHOWS SUPPORT FOR ALL ARTISTS

Every artist needs all the support they can get. Even if you wouldn’t buy someone’s art or hire them for a project, you can still appreciate the time and skills that were put into their work. While artists need paid projects to pay the bills we also desperately need encouragement, affirmation, and support.

 

IT’S HELPFUL TO BRANCH OUT FROM YOUR DIRECT COMPETITION

While I don’t think you should view similar artists as competition (there is room for everyone out there), there is something to say about consuming and collaborating with artist who have a completely different market than you do.   

 

SOMETIMES YOU JUST GOTTA MIX IT UP

While I absolutely love my style and it comes naturally to me, it is sometimes helpful to just take a completely different approach to your work. Whenever I’ve been a creative rut I have found it helpful to edit in completely new ways and explore new artists.

 

SEPARATION OF BUSINESS AND PERSONAL CONSUMPTION

There are a lot of business and artist that I follow because we would be a good partnership professionally. But just because someone wouldn’t collaborate or work with you, doesn’t mean you can’t personally enjoy their work. Some people like to have completely separate accounts for business and personal consumption, which I think can be very helpful.

 

YOU WON’T KNOW WHAT YOU LIKE UNTIL YOU EXPLORE IT

When it comes to art, the opportunities are endless. You will never know what type of work you will love and embrace until you give it a chance.  When I asked my followers why they follow accounts that are different than them, one of the responses I got was “If you don’t choose to follow people different than yourself, you’re missing out on BEAUTY!” and I couldn’t agree more.

 

IT GIVES YOU A NEW PERSPECTIVE

One of the many bittersweet aspects of the internet is our ability to curate and filter what content we receive. When we only consume people who think like us, look like us, and create like us, we are setting us up for some major blind spots.

 

Convinced you need to diversify your creative consumption? I love a good challenge to put a concept into action in your own life!

Take some time to…

  • Grab coffee with a local artist who works with the same media that you do but in a very different way.
  • Follow someone online who looks different than you do.
  • Listen to an artist or playlist with a music genre that you don’t typically listen to.
  • Follow someone online who thinks and talks differently than you do.  
  • Follow someone who has a different aesthetic than you do.
  • Go to an art exhibit that you otherwise wouldn’t normally attend.
  • Collaborate with a creative who is different than you and exchange services (take portraits of each other, paint for each other, etc.)

Craft Made Goods // Branding Photography Mini Session

One of my goals for this year is to start blogging more of my photo sessions, so I figured that March 1st would be the perfect time to start!

Meet Chelsea, the fabulous creative behind Craft Made Goods (and her cute pup, Lemon). I first met Chelsea at an event in the Foundry District where she had a little pop up shop. While we primarily focused on her embroidery work on this shoot, she is talented in many mediums (which you can see on her Instagram).

I've been wanting to shoot with more local artists who create physical products so I reached out to her and we grabbed coffee to brainstorm what kind of shots could help her promote her creative business and side hustle. Chelsea, Lemon, and I met up at the Fort Worth Lumen Room shootout to shoot some branded photography that represented the vibrant, kindhearted, and talented creative she is.


Fort Worth City Guide: Date Ideas

One of the reasons Noah and I love living in Fort Worth is because it’s packed full of things to together. Whether you’re looking for a free (or budget friendly) option or are planning a high end Valentines Day date, Fort Worth has something to offer for every couple.

FOR THE COUPLE THAT LOVES THE CITY

  • Visit Sundance Square
    • Sundance Square is packed full of great restaurants, you can find a comprehensive list here.Visit Sundance Square
  • Visit the Fort Worth Water Gardens
  • Visit West 7th.
    • Restaurants in the area located here.

FOR THE COUPLE THAT LOVES THE OUTDOORS

  • Go on a hike (and maybe bring your own picnic)
    • Definitely recommend Airfield Falls, it’s a short walk with a beautiful view! There are also some nice picnic tables and a shady area at the trailhead.
  • Rent some bikes and ride along the Trinity
  • Visit the Fort Worth Nature Center
  • Go canoeing or paddle boarding in the Trinity
  • Visit the Fort Worth Botanical gardens

FOR THE ATHLETIC COUPLE

  • Go to Top Golf
    • Enjoy some golf, drinks, and food at Fort Worth’s Top golf!
  • Go to Leonards Golf Links
    • If you’d like a more low key range option, Leonards Golf Links is a beautiful range in west fort worth. Their top notch short game area and lit driving range is the perfect date night for any golfer.
  • Go rock climbing at Summit
  • Take a fitness class together
  • Go bowling at Pinstripes
  • Try axe throwing at the Fort Worth Axe Factory

FOR THE ANIMAL LOVERS

  • Visit the Fort Worth Zoo
  • Volunteer together at one of the local animal shelters
  • Bring your dog(s) to ZBonz dog park
    • Note that they are closed on Monday. If your dog is a swimmer, be sure to pack a towel for the car
  • Bring your dog(s) to MUTTS
  • Have dinner on a dog friendly patio

FOR THE COUPLE THAT LOVES THE ARTS

FOR THE ROMANTIC COUPLE

FOR THE COUPLE WITH SWEET TEETH

FOR THE COUPLE WHO LOVES A GOOD DRINK


WHAT IT'S REALLY LIKE TO HAVE COLORED HAIR

Ever wonder what it's like to have colored hair? I'm spilling all the details of the real life realities!

PEOPLE RECOGNIZE AND REMEMBER YOU… EVERYWHERE

It turns out that not many people have purple hair and that it’s pretty memorable. I’m always shocked by how staff remember me at the grocery store, local coffee shop, or my favorite shops. The WORST is if you don’t remember them!

PEOPLE ASSUME YOU’RE FRIENDLY

WAY more people talk to me in public with colored hair than when my hair was blonde. I think people assume you’re outgoing and free spirited so they feel more comfortable talking to you. In general, I consider this to be a positive thing but some interactions can be really awkward and weird.

WASHING IS AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS

This sounds disgusting but unlike dye for natural colors, fashion colors fade FAST. You will lose a significant amount of color even in your first wash. While there have been some great new products that don’t require you to take cold showers, you learn to train your hair to need less showers (and dry shampoo is your best friend).

NOTE: Don't forget you can shower WITHOUT washing your hair!

PEOPLE CAN SPOT YOU IN A CROWD

When trying to meet up with people in public it’s common to exchange descriptions of where you are and what you’re wearing (especially if you’ve never met the person IRL before). It turns out that purple hair is a surefire way for people spot you even in the most crowded places.

KIDS LOVE IT

One of my favorite things about having purple hair is kids pointing and loudly telling their mom, “WOW, mom she has purple hair”. My apologies (not really) to all the parents who blame me for giving their kids the idea to color your hair.

YOU HAVE A SPECIAL BOND WITH OTHERS WHO HAVE COLORED HAIR

Even if we don’t talk, we see each other. Sometimes you might be a little insecure because their hair is better than yours or you might silently be judging their dye job. You also feel obligated to compliment them back if they say something about your hair.

YOU FEEL MORE PRESSURE TO LOOK “PUT TOGETHER”

Stereotypes on people nontraditional hair and tattoos give you a lot of pressure to look put together whenever you go to meetings, are out in public, etc. (out of fear of looking unprofessional). I hate that this is the case but unfortunately it’s just the way it is. Here’s to hoping these stereotypes continue to have less and less power in society!

YOU LAUGH WHEN PEOPLE THINK THEY CAN DIY COLORED HAIR

If you want a hint of color, it’s one thing. But it’s always humorous when people who have dark hair expect to get vibrant hair with a splash of kool-aid or hair chalk. I’m very fortunate to have naturally blonde hair so my stylist was able to bleach it in one session, but it takes a LONG time for most people to even get to the point where they can add the color.

Disclaimer: I say this with complete acknowledgment that everyone with colored hair probably started by trying to do it themselves and doing a terrible job. We've all been there. haha

YOU FORGET THAT YOU HAVE COLORED HAIR

When you’re getting stares in public or people do a double take when passing you, sometimes you’ll remember… “oh yeah, I have purple hair!”

YOU GET ASKED FOR A LOT OF ADVICE

If you have colored hair you probably have a memorized spill of who does your hair, what products you use, and what the upkeep is like. I’m always happy to answer questions

I’m so thankful that I made the decision to color my hair last year. It might seem like a small life change and I don’t necessarily intend to keep it forever, but has been an extremely positive experience and rewarding creative risk!


1 Year Update on Living an Intentionally Sustainable Life

I dedicated 2018 towards learning how to live a more sustainable life. When I made this commitment I didn’t know how much I didn’t know, it has been a humbling experience to say the least. I’ve learned to continue learning from others, give myself grace in areas I’m not perfect in, and to just get creative! With that said, here is a quick recap on what I implemented in 2018 and what I hope to do in 2019…

FASHION

  • Cleaned out my closet and simplified my wardrobe
    • Was intentional about where I got rid of clothes. Either sold/gave them directly to people or repurposed the fabric for other things around the house.
  • Primarily bought clothes used or from sustainable brands.
  • Rented formal wear instead of purchasing a piece that would likely be worn once.

BEAUTY

  • Stopped using single use makeup remover wipes.
  • Use cruelty free products.
  • Use products with clean ingredients.
  • Use products that use recycled packaging, offer recyclable packaging, and/or uses as little plastic as possible). Then actually recycle them when empty!

HOME

  • Educate yourself on how your city’s recycling works.
  • Stopped using disposable wipes and paper towels for cleaning. I now only use washcloths and old t-shirts (that I’ve cut into squares).
  • Use more cleaning concentrates with reusable spray bottles.
  • Started composting.
    • We got a tumbler composter and it’s so dang easy! I’m excited to use this rich compost for our garden in the spring!
  • Avoiding buying new home decor when possible by buying used or going the DIY route. Facebook buy/sell/trade pages are my go-to!
  • Use reusable dishes instead of single use paper ones.
  • Use reusable Tupperware or mason jars instead of Ziplocks for leftovers and lunches.
  • For disposable items you just aren’t committed to giving up (like toilet paper and feminine hygiene products), purchase products that are organic and/or made from recycled materials.

SHOPPING

  • Carry around reusable silverware and straws to eliminate using plastic ones.
    • I’ve learned that you specifically have to ask to NOT get all this plastic. I can’t tell you how many plastic straws are in my car's glove compartment.
    • This is a big area that I’m by no means perfect in, but progress over perfection!
  • Bring reusable bags with me to the grocery store
    • If I ever forgot to bring my bags, I refuse a bag if my purchase is small enough to carry by hand or get paper bags and compost them.
  • Use reusable produce bags or no bags at all
  • Choose produce that isn’t already prepared and prepackaged.
  • Buy in bulk
    • While Noah and I don’t go through groceries very fast since it’s just the two of us, I always try to purchase things like toilet paper, laundry detergent, trash bags, etc. in bulk.
  • Refuse 2 day shipping when you don’t absolutely need something in 2 days. The slower you allow shipping to take, the more efficient it will be. (Even better, don’t order online if you don’t need to!)
  • Choose products that use recycled materials in their packaging.

MISC.

  • Bringing a reusable glass when getting coffee to-go and requesting glass cups when staying (some will give you a to-go cup by default).
  • Choosing glass packaging over plastic (when an option, especially relevant with jarred food).
  • Use a reusable water bottle while out and about.
  • Choose to drive to most gas efficient car when traveling the most (if you have multiple cars in your family).
  • For Christmas, I did not use wrapping paper and was mindful to use as little disposable materials as possible.

All in all, I’ve learned that sustainability takes a lot of intentionality. Especially when it comes to making purchases because consumers want options that are fast, convenient, and cheap. BUT, I’ve found that once you get past the initial learning curve, a sustainable life actually simplifies your life and worth every challenge you do face.

Whether you are only intentional about bringing reusable grocery bags to the store or you are very dedicated to living a zero waste lifestyle, every little bit counts and we are all in this together!


12 Books I'm Reading in 2019

*This post contains affiliate links. This just means that if you like any of the products enough to purchase them, I’ll earn some money (at no extra cost to you).*

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

Towards the end of 2018 I FINALLY started taking the time to read. Since I’ve picked up reading again, my to-read list has rapidly been growing. While all of these books aren’t brand new (though some are), these are all of the books I’m planning on reading this year!

IMPERFECT COURAGE: LIVE A LIFE OF PURPOSE BY LEAVING COMFORT AND GOING SCARED

I’ve wanted to dig into this podcast ever since it was released, so I’m finally making it happen this year! After listening to Jessica Honegger’s interview on the Sounds Good podcast, I’m extra excited to learn about doing big things and embracing imperfection along the way.

THIRST: A STORY OF REDEMPTION, COMPASSION, AND A MISSION TO BRING CLEAN WATER TO THE WORLD

I’m so inspired by world changers. This is the story behind the non-profit, Charity Water, and the journey behind it’s CEO. I’ve listened to many interviews by Scott Harrison and he inspires me to find ways to make a difference.

IF YOU FEEL TOO MUCH

This book is written by Jamie Tworkowski, founder of To Write Love on Her Arms. I’ve been following him for awhile and I admire his compassion for people suffering around him. The book is full of  essays that invite readers to believe that it’s okay to admit to pain and that it’s okay to ask for help - something we all need to be reminded!

THE COLOR OF COMPROMISE: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE AMERICAN CHURCH’S COMPLICITY IN RACISM

I’m a big fan of Jemar Tisby and know that this book will be nothing short of amazing. I’ve listened to his podcast (Pass the Mic) and followed his work for awhile. Jemar has played a huge role in helping my see my own blind spots when it comes to white privilege in our country.

WE ARE NOT YET EQUAL: UNDERSTANDING OUR RACIAL DIVIDE

Last year I learned that I had A HUGE need to properly educate myself on the racial division occurring in our country. I’m ready to be humbled and informed through this hard (but necessary) conversation.

GET WEIRD: DISCOVER THE SURPRISING SECRET TO MAKING A DIFFERENCE

It’s easy to feel pressure that we need fit in a box made by society. I’m stoked to explore the concept of embracing what is weird about yourself and how it can make a difference.

UNCOMFORTABLE: THE AWKWARD AND ESSENTIAL CHALLENGE OF CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY

Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE the church. But let’s be real, the church is full of sinners and there are a lot of messy things going on within cultural christianity. I can’t wait to dig into this book and learn how to help my own christian community grow.

EVERYBODY, ALWAYS: BECOMING LOVE IN A WORLD FULL OF SETBACKS AND DIFFICULT PEOPLE

I know, I know, how have I not read this yet?! I love all of the positive and optimistic vibes that Bob Goff brings into this world, so I’m pumped to dig even deeper in his book!

BECOMING

I mean, what even needs to be said?! I cannot ever imagine having the responsibility of being First Lady and Michelle Obama exceeded all expectations. I’m excited to learn about her life and hopefully become a better leader in my own circles because of it.

I THINK YOU’RE WRONG BUT I’M LISTENING

This book was written by the fabulous ladies behind Pantsuit Politics, one of my favorite political podcasts that encourages civil conversations between the left and the right. I think we all could learn a thing or two about having conversations with those we disagree with (especially politically), so I’m pumped to read this one!

GOOD NEWS ABOUT INJUSTICE: A WITNESS OF COURAGE IN A HURTING WORLD

This is a book than many leaders in the nonprofit world have recommended. While many often wants to separate Christianity and social justice, I’m excited to read about how these two go hand in hand.

THE GOSPEL COMES WITH A HOUSE KEY: PRACTICING RADICALLY ORDINARY HOSPITALITY IN OUR POST-CHRISTIAN WORLD

I just finished Rosaria’s book, Secrets of an Unlikely Convert and learned SO much from her. I’m ready to dive into her second book to learn more about biblical hospitality.

What books are on your to-read list? I’m always looking for recommendations to add to mine! <3