Monday, September 25, 2017

Year Six

Sideways photo because sometimes life is messy and not the way you planned... but you gotta throw the confetti up and squeal like your teenage girl self anyway! ;)

Today marks 6 years since I wrote the first words on this blog. Craziness right?!

I remember going back and forth... delete, write, delete, write. I didn't know whether this was something I should begin or not. 

I mean what could I possibly share that would add meaning to anyone's life?

I was interested in photography and loved to write, so after a long battle with self-doubt... I just hit publish. 

I'm so happy I did. This little blog of mine has grown me and lead me into so much more than I ever even imagined it would. 

I've met so many wonderful people and got to be a little part of their story, pushed myself beyond my comfort zone, and got to be part of some pretty amazing things. 

It's scary to put yourself out there. Show others your true colors, because that means you run the risk of some people not liking you.

// This is perhaps the greatest risk that any of us will take... to be seen as we truly are. // ~Cinderella  
It's something I've battled since I was a little kid in school, and I still do.

But then someone said something that really got to me, "If you don't have an outlet for your intake... you will stagnate."

Meaning if you keep learning, seeing, hearing... but never putting that potential anywhere, eventually you will stop moving altogether. 

To me that is the biggest risk and scariest thing of all. If God created me with a unique character and gave me specific gifts... I want to use them all.

Even if you think it won't lead anywhere, or your words, ideas, heart can't reach anyone... do it anyway!

Create something to grow yourself and to keep learning. Who you are can't ever be replicated... so share it. 

And whatever you do, never stop learning. Always remember even the expert was once a beginner. 

It's been 6 years... but it's only the beginning. Thank you so much for those of you that continue to follow along my words, the photographs, projects, and ideas I post. 

Even though I can't see who you are... this little home means the world to me, so thank you from my whole sappy-cries-for-everything-I-wish-I-could-give-you-a-big-hug heart of mine to yours. 

Here's to never giving up on your dreams, and most of all on who you were created to be.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sussex County Sunflower Maze

I love exploring new places. I had heard about the Sussex County Sunflower Maze for a while but never made the trip, so this year I finally decided to go before the end of September (they are usually gone by then) with my mom and sister. 

It's a perfect place for portrait sessions, engagements, and family shoots. Although the bumble bees definitely had us running at some points... but nonetheless was so pretty to walk through. If you have time, take a visit and frollick your heart out (we definitely did)! ;)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Back to Why

My cousin sent me a sermon by Pastor Steven Furtick the other day, and it sent my mind into a thinking spiral.

He spoke about passion. How everything in life often involves how much passion we have.

It all begins with passion.

When we first fall in love... there is passion for that other person and wanting to spend time and getting to know them.

When we begin a really cool project... there is passion and a whole storm of ideas and excitement.

When we first begin a business... there is a passion to help us start.

But what happens if we just don't feel the passion anymore?

Does it mean that it's just time for us to move on?

Contrary to what we may think, this verse speaks the truth loudly:

// Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. // Revelations 2:4

In this verse, Jesus was speaking about our first love for His Word.

The reason we don't have the passion anymore, is because we're the ones that left it.

We stopped doing.

We stopped loving. We stopped learning. We stopped growing.

We stopped doing the things of why we began it in the first place.

I can imagine that this is where many dreams die, marriages fail, and great ideas get buried.

"The proof of passion is perseverance." 

We need to go back to why we first began.

We need to do the things we did at first! Even if we don't feel like practicing... practice anyway.

Even if we don't feel the love for that person anymore... love anyway.

Even if we don't want to... do the things anyway.

In a society that tells us to act on feelings, we need to fight for what's right and act upon that instead.

Ultimately our passion serves our purpose.

Let's go back to the why and have the courage to start over and do the things, do the things.  

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Barcelona | Spain 2017

My cousins and I took an hour flight from Naples airport over to Barcelona, Spain. We have always wanted to take a trip somewhere, so this was the perfect opportunity since we were together in Italy.

Barcelona is the capital and largest city of the region of Catalonia in Spain. It's a major tourist area and so there is always something to do. 

The area is known for its art and architecture so we filled our days by visiting different museums, landmarks, and the cathedral La Sagrada Familia by the famous artist Antoni Gaudí.

Our first day we took a dip at La Barceloneta beach. Keep in mind, during the months of July and August it is high tourist season, so the beach is extremely packed.

We feasted on delicious paella dishes, different tapas, and sweet sangria. But no worries, it was all evened out by the amount of walking we would do each day ;). 

I tracked the steps on my phone and was shocked to see that in only one day we had walked over 26,000 steps! 

We also became pros at taking el metro, the subway system by the end of the trip. Since Barcelona is such a big area, you will need to take the subway to get from one site to another. 

Therefore if you plan on traveling to Barcelona, be prepared to do plenty of walking... it is inevitable! 

We had a great time exploring Barcelona... here are my photographs and travel guide to this beautiful city!

Casa Batlló: the beautiful home of famous artist Antoni Gaudí. If you love whimsical, this place is perfect for you. His home reminded me of Dr. Seuss's stories... surprises and colors in every corner. 

*Tip: Purchase your tickets online before arriving there to receive a discounted price!

Right across from Casa Batlló, is Tapa Tapa. We had a great lunch here with tons of different tapas to try from. Also, their Sangria was so good! Their prices were also very budget-friendly. 

La Rambla: This famous strip is like the Times Square of New York City. It has many restaurants to eat outside or inside, street performers, and cute little markets and stands to buy souvenirs from.

Bar Marsella: Though it was closed when we passed by, this little pub was where Ernest Hemingway would visit along with other famous artists!

La Boqueria: This marketplace is a food lover's paradise. Warning: Do not go when you are hungry because you will end up buying everything you see! (I overestimated how much chocolate I can eat, and it ended up melting along the way as I tried eating it.)

They have fresh fruits, chocolates, bread, peppers, nuts, steaks... and everything else you can imagine. 

La Sagrada Familia: When we came out of the subway, as soon as I turned around it was facing us and I was floored by its beauty and grandness. We did not go inside, but I would suggest purchasing tickets ahead of time online as well if you would like to.

Park Güell: Another beautiful artwork/ architecture of Antoni Gaudí. The grounds are so pretty and colorful. The tiles and whimsical shapes reminded me of Candy Land.

*Tip: Time slots fill up very quickly, so be sure to get there early or purchase them online. We had to buy them a few hours before our actual entrance time, so we decided to eat lunch and go to another area before it was our turn to go in. 

Montjuïc: This place is a must-visit. We got to ride the telefèric, which is a little cable car that took us up to this majestic mountain. The Castle still resides there from the 17th century, and the grounds with its beautiful fountains and view of the sea and city is absolutely stunning.

The last spontaneous thing we did was see a Barcelona soccer game at Camp Nou. It was so much fun! We saw advertisements for the game all throughout the city and thought what better way to end our last day. 

We all bought Barcelona jerseys, did the wave, and sang to the Barcelona chant... Barça! Barça! Baaaaarça!