Going into each photo shoot, my husband (and photographer) and I carefully envision the general theme and vibe of the session together so that we can accomplish what we are going for! We try to keep each photo shoot unique, yet the same style, that is “my style”. Along with that, I make sure to be as genuine as possible throughout my pictures and posts. I find it very important to be comfortable in your own skin, whatever or whomever that may be.
For this shoot, I chose the theme of “Flower child meets Garden fairy.” I enjoyed planning this one out because I felt I could be elegant, yet youthful with it. A way to wear a dress and play in the flowers at the same time. 🙂 Two things I adore! The metallic tattoos are some of my favorite additions because they throw a little surprise twist into the picture!
I particularly got excited when we found “the spot” to take the pictures we imagined! I loved how I was able to find a secret nook/hiding place within the flowers! When I was young, I used to always find secret places, such as these, to play in or pretend like I lived there. So needless to say, I still get a little excited when I find such a place! Hope you enjoy the shoot.
If today you wake up and feel you want to be a garden fairy, then be it with all of your heart and soul.
Vegan Mac n’ Cheeze + Queso Recipe: Bring a medium- large pot 1/2 filled with water to a boil Set to medium low and add 1 1/2 cups chopped red or yellow potatoes 1 c chopped carrots 3/4 c chopped onion (Chopping is optional but will cook faster) Cook until potatoes are tender In a blender, while veggies cook, add 3 TBS nutritional yeast (more to taste once combined if you like) 1 TBS miso 1/2 c cashews (soaked overnight if no high- speed blender) 3 TBS lemon juice 1 garlic clove or 1 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp chili powder or paprika 1 tsp salt(+more to taste) Optional- 1 tsp turmeric 1/4 tsp mustard powder Pinch of cayenne Once veggies are cooked, add 1/4 c of the broth water to your blender, set aside another 1/4 c in case you like your cheeze a bit runnier. Strain the veggies and add them to the blender. Blend until creamy deliciousness!!! (You may need to stir a few times to get it going depending on what kind of blender you have) I have recently discovered this cheeze pairs best with zoodles! Or zucchini noodles. But can be added with any noodle of your desire. For zucchini noodles use a vegetable spiralizer, a julienne peeler or a potato peeler for fastest zoodles. Peeling the skin off is optional. And finally to make this cheeze into queso, blend in 1-2 TBS of your favorite hot sauce or salsa For chunky queso add into your used pot 1 small-medium minced spicy pepper like jalapeño 1 small-medium tomato diced 2-4 TBS green Chiles or diced bell pepper Dash of pepper Simmer until it sizzles, then add your cheeze. Mix it all up and BAM! Best. Queso. Ever. How and why the best you ask? It is free from preservatives, dairy, guilt, and cruelty AND is loaded with good for you veggies and medicinal spices! It is creamy, cheezy, spicy, tangy goodness. Dip with chips, bake a sheet of tortilla chips with beans, onions, tomato, jalapeños, corn, and any nacho toppings you love to a crisp and add the queso on top for rockin’ nachos, or add to zoodles for mac n queso, pour on your tacos, taco salad, steamed broccoli, YOU NAME IT. This queso does it all.
Vegan Lifestyle- Q&A with Taylor
Me: How long have you been vegan now Taylor?
Taylor: I decided to dive into this lifestyle September 2015, so almost a year and a half now. It seems almost impossible that it has been that small amount of time because it feels as if I have been this way my whole life. It aligns so perfectly! And after I shifted, it feels as if I’ve been rebirthed. So, it honestly feels like it’s been forever! It’s quite an interesting phenomenon.
Me: What is veganism? (What does it entail?)
Taylor: Veganism to me put simply, is the consumption of no animal products. This includes no eating it, purchasing of it in retail, or buying anything that consists of animal products at all. Also cruelty-free, not tested on animals etc. But it’s so much more than that. Much much more. Go deeper and it’s the integration of a lifestyle with a heightened awareness and new perspectives. It often allows for many more realizations, perceptions on reality and life changes into health and wellness for all aspects of life. Including mental, physical, emotional and spiritual, that is if you choose and if that’s your desired journey. Basically, it can open up many beautiful doors for you. On this note, I would like to add that I typically like to call this diet “Plant-based” for several reasons. Some of them will be answered in further questions.
Me: What first inspired you to make the plunge and become vegan?
Taylor: My story may be a little unique compared to an average story. I had been mostly a vegetarian for 9 years, and towards the tail end of that was what a dear friend of mine called “opportunitarian” where you don’t buy meat, but if it’s offered you might it eat, or if it’s about to be wasted then you definitely eat it. So along my journey of life, I suddenly was feeling unfulfilled. I had examined my career, traveled a lot, and still something was off. I began to try and self-reflect for answers on what I needed in my life. After months of coming up short, quitting my job, becoming lactose intolerant (or more so, becoming aware of my intolerance) I would spend my days sipping tea and reading books in my tiny house, having the whole day to do what I enjoy, only to have found myself miserable. So much so, I just cried out! Literally screaming out crying one evening to anyone who could hear me, even if it was just myself. Asking what in the flippin flyin jahobees should I do? Humor put aside, it was with much pain, confusion and desperation. And then with complete surrender, two words came to my mind and my heart. They were “Go vegan, Go vegan go vegan.” Over and over. It was then that I began my deepest research and discovery on the topic with many sub-topics that were brought to my attention. Where as a lot of people really discover things that motivate them to go vegan, and research before committing. For me, it was the other way around.
Me: Compared to your initial decision to become vegan, would you say there is a bigger/deeper reason why you are vegan now?
Taylor: Yes!!! I would say it was always as deep as the great blue sea, but now I see why much more clearly. At first, it was mental and emotional, then environmental, then physical and medicinal and now spiritual. It has allowed me to cleanse my body and see my life with clarity, to hear clearly my inner guidance, to feel a deep sense of connection with all of existence, and to better understand my true self at the core. I could honestly go on forever.
Me: What is your personal motivation for sticking to the vegan diet?
Taylor: This is another unique question pertaining to me because I don’t need motivation for the vegan diet, that is, the food choice is part of this lifestyle. It is such a part of me now. It is so natural. Like I said before, it is as if I have been reborn and this has been my way of life forever. Now, this did not come without trials and errors. Before the initial decision to shift to a plant-based diet, I definitely used to let the food addiction take over me. With cheese of course! Becoming utterly aware of my lactose intolerance, due to cutting out most other harmful food, after a few times of getting sick, on every level (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual) the time came for enough is enough. Just like if you drink too much alcohol and get blacked out every time, when is enough enough? You emotionally binge eat and feel horrible afterward multiple times a week. You lose yourself on social media instead of exercising or spending time with loved ones. You continue telling yourself hateful thoughts about yourself. Or an extreme example, addicted to a harsh drug. At some point, you have to make a choice and just decide to be done, and take the baby steps to get there. It’s the same for any addiction, any habit. When will you choose to change your life? When will you choose to become truly happy and conquer your unfavorable habits by replacing them with new ones that nourish every part of your being?
Me: What are the health benefits of being vegan?
Taylor: There are SO many! And that is if you do it right! You see, Oreos are vegan. But we cannot live healthy, thriving lives by eating processed food, just because it doesn’t contain animal products. For starters, the biology and chemistry of plant foods is much more conducive to the human body than that of heavy animal products. Plants have the purest and most simple vitamins, minerals and amino acids that match to our bodies chemistry, DNA, and biology. Therefore, you get a much cleaner functioning body, more energy, more flexibility, more mental clarity, and are very less likely to get cancer. Whole food, plant-based diets have helped cure IBS, type 2 diabetes and more. Another health benefit is disease prevention, such as arthritis, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and cardiovascular disease, which is the number one cause of death in America, plus many more. Some more benefits are weight loss, healthy skin, almost no chance of a stroke or heart attack, having a longer life and helping or obliterating allergies. Dairy and meat have so many hormones and extra heavy compounds. I mean, milk from a cow is to make a calf grow around 400 lbs in 7 months for Pete’s sake! That’s 1400 pounds in 2 years, 700 pounds by one-year-old, and that’s small. That’s to say if a calf is drinking it’s own mother’s milk, which guess what, they don’t! Humans drink cow mother milk and baby cows get fed formula. Then, they get shipped off to be slaughtered for veal (baby cow meat), raised and fattened up for meat, or to become a dairy cow slave then butchered when she’s not qualified anymore. Oops sorry, truth tangent.
Anyway, more benefits. There are so many more! As for me and mental/emotional health, I noticed a huge drop in depression, mood swings, irritability, anger, anxiety, fear and much more. I felt more energized, more at peace, connected to all of life. I felt so fulfilled knowing I was aligning with my heart’s truest desires. It has also been found by dozens of doctors that people on healthy plant-based diets have far better blood results than those on the typical American Standard Diet. It’s funny how animal product consumers worry about vegan’s nutrients and protein when in fact THEY are most likely not getting enough nutrients, and FAR too much protein themselves, which leads to clogged arteries, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and much more. This greater awareness gives the space to shift you into a holistic place that then naturally encourages you to stop eating processed foods, refined sugar, and just allows you to become more aware of your health and the health of the planet. Thus more health benefits!
Me: What are the environmental benefits?
Taylor: Wow! Again, so many! To put an easy number on it, the average of resources you’re saving per day with a plant based diet is 1100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 Sq ft of forest, and 10 lbs of c02. There’s also the fact that 40% of the land on earth is used for agriculture. A huge part of that is to grow crops to feed to the animals that we are going to eat. We could feed near 800 million people with the crops we grow for animals in less than a year. And if those crops were exported, it would give the US trade balance an estimated boost of near 80 billion dollars.
Me: Overall do you feel like you have developed self-mastery being able to stick to a diet that is typically known as being a hard one to follow? -There must be a sense of pride knowing that you have such self-control over your body.
Taylor: Not pride as much as humility and humbleness. This has been such a blessing for me. It has opened up the gateway to getting to know my true self and to begin to learn to fall in love with every part of me, even the shadows… especially the shadows! Opening up to compassion for all parts of life has opened me up to compassion for myself and practicing what self-love means for me. I’m still on my journey of self-mastery, as I think I always will forever be! But as far as what I put into my body, what products I buy, what companies I support, how I spend my time and my energy, and how I continue to practice self-love and self-care, which translates to love for all of life and vise versa, yes. I have integrated the level of awareness and knowledge for the planet, for all aspects of my body, my health, for the animals, and for humanity, to a level that it just makes sense. It all clicks. It’s absolutely a part of me and there’s no going back.
Me: I know how passionate you are about veganism, what is one thing you wish everyone would know?
Taylor: I wish everyone would know it’s not hard! If you eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables, which you definitely SHOULD BE, then it’s easy peasy! Depending on how simple or not you like to be in the kitchen, this could mean fewer dishes, less prep time, etc. This also means more visually beautiful, vibrant, colorful foods on your plate! Physically, mentally and emotionally good for you and your body from the inside out, making you look and feel more beautiful and vibrant!
Me: Does it get easier as you go? What was the hardest part?
Taylor: It definitely does! Just like any old habit, psychology research tells us that it takes about 14-21 days to reprogram our mind and bodies. You’re letting go of old deeply ingrained ways and replacing them with new ones. This can be quite difficult, depending on where you stand in line with yourself and with your life, as well as your other programming that has brought you to your current thought patterns, beliefs, and perceptions. However, getting through that difficulty will cause a ripple effect for transformation in all dimensions of your life. Once you cleanse away the impurities and the things you crave due to chemicals being released in the brain(for example the chemical that binds cheese has a very similar addictive effect on the brain as heroin)and you detox from these things, your taste buds change and you actually begin to crave natural whole foods and the things your body needs. You may find a miraculous sense of freedom from not being unconsciously controlled by unhealthy food choices and other unhealthy life choices.
The hardest part of this journey for me was probably the opposition I faced at the beginning and the extreme passion I had to want to share this with everyone. Not everyone is ready to hear these things, and I learned that the hard way. But if you face that, it also gets easier fast. You just have to lead by example from a place of love and understanding. This mindset is infectious on conscious and subconscious levels. I learned is it’s just simply better for everyone that way. No one feels pressured, you’re not pushing anyone away, and you’re not getting constantly hurt or shot down. It’s a win-win.
Me: Isn’t it expensive? How do you manage to eat this way on a strict budget?
Taylor: Well first off, let me ask you, how much does your health and happiness cost? And no way! It’s not expensive. Again, if you’re doing it right. If you’re buying fresh produce and not eating it, therefore letting it go bad and having to throw it out, then yes, you will waste money and it can then add up to be expensive. In fact, on average, eating a whole food plant-based diet can cut your grocery bill in half, depending on how you shop. But, it most certainly will not be more expensive than an animal foods diet. The cost for rich plant-based proteins such as beans and legumes is about 1.4 cents per gram of protein, whereas eggs are 2.5 cents per gram of protein. Beef 4.5. And that’s the internal cost! There’s also many external costs that you don’t see leave your wallet in that moment you’re checking out at the grocery store. This includes the cost of health care, doctor’s visits, and hospital bills! Eating a highly plant-based whole foods diet is preventive medicine. As Hippocrates said, “Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.”
Personally, I am living a life with very minimal work right now. I manage this minimal budget by volunteering on a farm once a week in exchange for way more produce than I can eat. I receive mostly vegetables, but for fruit, nuts, seeds and other plant foods, I buy what’s on sale and discounted at a wholesale market up the road. Buying these foods as well as beans, rice and legumes from bulk bins, adds up in savings. Buying locally and seasonally is cheaper, as well as buying in bulk for a discount from your local farmer or grocer. Also, deciding what products feel right to buy, not organic or organic can help the budget. I like to reuse my bags and containers, as well as use reusable cloth grocery bags, which also saves me money in the long run.
Me: Do you consider veganism to be the right path for everyone? For ex. I was instructed by a doctor to eat more red meat to help my thyroid. What would you do in this situation?
Taylor: I would say the journey to full health IS for everyone. Everyone deserves to thrive and be happy. But everyone’s path is going to look different. Dietary changes and nutrition will/can be a huge catalyst for major transformations and other changes in your life. There are also other variables to be incorporated into having a fully happy, healthy, thriving life. For example, to decide to make a change in your life for the better and stick with it is to honor and love yourself, to have courage and support. These can also come in any linear order, encouraging the next to evolve like a domino effect depending on the person. For me, it was changing my job, nutrition, then friends, then hobbies. This will look different for everybody.
As for the direct question is a plant based whole foods diet for everyone? My answer is yes! Plant based, which means a diet highly based in plant foods, is for everyone (with current extreme exceptions of course) But this can look so different for a variety of people. For example, right now my body wants super clean raw foods, with the occasional lightly cooked foods, and even more occasional cooked starches, and if any oil, then coconut. No gluten, no animal products, no beans, and low in fats unless highly physically active or on my menstrual cycle. Whereas my partner, right now his body wants healthy bread, lots of good fats, cooked starches, tons of raw fruits and vegetables, cooked vegetables, the occasional soy product, no animal products but a lot of rich protein. Any suggestions from a health practitioner I would say go within and seek your own answers. Research, or go to other doctors. One doctor only has the information they have ever learned. Some schools and teachings can be biased, or limited. So do your own studying, internally and externally.
Again, that’s what this lifestyle is all about. Opening your eyes, making conscious decisions for yourself, what feels best for YOU. Find what works for you in each moment! Do what feels best in your heart because you are ever changing and constantly evolving, as well as your choices and ways of being. There are so many variables when it comes to living a conscious life. Such as, if one finds they actually need a type of meat or animal food for whatever reason in some part of their life, what’s the best action for that? It would seem easier to just buy meat from a local butcher, but wild meat from your area may actually be better for some people. It’s well worth finding someone you trust that may have hunted or fished humanely, or even raised the animal themselves. You see, when humans ate natural meat, that was naturally occurring because man domesticated farm animals as we know them for food. Yes, this was a part of our progression as humans but, even to that degree, practices were done with much more balance, more understanding of nature, and with much more respect.
To sum it all up…
This all may seem like SO much information, and difficult to live an aware life. It may feel like you just want to run back into the safe closet of what you know, your old habits. I am bearing my truest testimony when I say it’s NOT! It is just an illusion that it seems so difficult! This is due to the myriad of distractions, commercials, fast food, and junk cluttering our minds and lives. It’s completely worth your life to take the extra steps, to do what appears as some extra work, to make decisions that you fully feel good about in each moment. This is absolutely worth your time and energy to align with your heart, to feel deeply and live a life of meaning and compassion, of harmony and understanding. As the ball gets rolling, it becomes natural. Then you remember what it’s like to be human, an animal connected to all of Mother Nature, a very part of nature herself. And for this, it requires balance. Awareness will give you balance. Awareness inside and outside of self will set the path for you to take charge of your life, be empowered, create your happiness and to feel alive! You deserve it, beloveds!
For easy ways to raise your awareness, I would recommend watching some documentaries such as Food Choices, Earthlings, Cowspiracy, Food Matters, Forks over Knives, and other related films that you can find on Netflix.
Thak you Taylor for taking the time to educate and empower us all! I hope this paints a clearer picture and enlightens many. Everyone, take care of your body in the best possible way you know how.
I used to consider myself a “Big dreamer”, but the more I thought about these words in my head, the more I began to realize they had a negative connotation. I wondered to myself “Why should I only dream about the things I want, that’s not going to make them happen!” That is when I began calling my dreams PLANS instead. The difference between a dream and a plan, at least to me, is that a dream stays in your head. With a dream, there is no action that takes place with it. Therefore it always remains a dream in your head, it never actually happens. However, a plan has a goal attached to it! Having a plan will help you achieve exactly what you want! This is the proper way to accomplish things in life! Let’s talk some more about turning dreams into plans.
The Law of Attraction
I assume at some point in your life you have heard of this, “The Law of Attraction.” I wonder what it means to you personally? To me it is simple, it’s the ability to attract into our lives the things we are focusing on most! With our minds, we have the power to take our thoughts and materialize them into reality. This can apply throughout many aspects of our lives. Everything from success in your relationships and career, health with your mind and body, positivity in your attitude, making more money and anything else you can think up! 😉 However, you can also attract negative things into your life by constantly thinking negatively about yourself and/or others, so let’s be sure to keep it positive, shall we?
The first time I fully grasped the concept of the Law of attraction was when I read the book “The Secret”, followed by watching the documentary on it. I can honestly say it has changed my life. I believe in this “Law” full heartedly. It seems to be a lesson everyone has been taught once upon a time but never practiced using to their advantage (myself included). That is until I read this book! Others have used this law to their benefit, so why couldn’t I? It works, I’m telling you! There are several ways you can apply this concept into your life, but if you are anything like me, I tend to get distracted with life and forget about my realization only a few days later. For me, I find success with the law of attraction when I am able to see it daily right before my eyes! That would be called a Vision Board, my dears.
If you haven’t seen the documentary OR read the book “The Secret”, you should take the time to do so!
Visualize Your Future with a Vision Board
So what is it, you might be wondering? The purpose of the vision board is to be a visual reminder, using pictures and words that represent the things your heart desires. Having these items on a board will give you something to look at daily and be reminded of what you need to do! You need to see it, believe in it, and then go out and achieve it! Having a vision board is literally training your mind to use the Law of Attraction daily. Exactly what I need! I also find that it puts these goals deep into your subconscious, so much, that your mind is desperately trying to find ways to make these things come to pass. You will see this happen over time throughout the day/week/month/year! This is a much better outcome than looking at your New Year’s resolution at the end of the year and saying “Oops, I never did that!” This is a sure way to accomplish your greatest goals and see them unfold right before your eyes!
Q: How do I begin?
A: I personally use a giant white poster, ripped out magazine pictures, or printed off pictures I find that apply.
Q: How many items should I have on my poster? (Vision board)
A: As many as your heart desires, however, it is easier to visualize when it is less cluttered.
Q: What EXACTLY should I be putting on it?
A: Specifically things that inspire and motivate you. There are no rules or limits to this one. It could be words of affirmation to yourself, things you want to own, relationships you want to work on, or money you want to make, etc.
Q: Where do I put the vision board when I’m done creating it?
A: Somewhere you will see it daily and be able to ponder/visualize the items on it. (Mine is on the ceiling above my bed.)
I would like to give a few examples, in case you aren’t picking up what I’m throwin’ down!
Here is an example of one that I DO NOT really like, and I’ll tell you why.
Yes this looks pretty cool and serious props to this person for putting so much time into it, but I can tell you that this might not be very effective! I have found that the way you organize your board directly affects the way your brain and subconscious absorb it! So why would you spend time creating a vision board if it isn’t even going to help you at all? Beats me! So take note to this. Space out your items, simplify them and make sure they are specific!
Maybe you are wondering how specific?
Even though I do like this one visually with the clean and “Easy to read” organization, it isn’t very specific!! I’m telling you, if you want specific things to happen, you have got to make specific goals to achieve them!! For Ex. What about relationships are you wanting to happen? What about a vacation? Where? With whom? You want success? That’s pretty broad…what do you want success in? …I hope you see my point.
Here is a simple board that I found, I like it. It is simple, clean, easy to read, and specific enough to tell your mind an exact goal!
See what I mean? We have a winner! So maybe yours won’t be anything close to this, but at least remember to keep it organized and specific! That way you can’t go wrong!
Here are just a couple examples I have printed off to put on my own board. (I will include some words to accompany them later on.)
Feeling inspired already 🙂
Let’s Sum This Up
Digging this lately—> Pronoia: The opposite of paranoia; the belief that the Universe is conspiring in your favor.
Look at your vision board daily, be inspired by it
Read your goals out loud
Believe these things are already yours
Envision yourself living in this lifestyle, as if you already possess it
Acknowledge everytime you notice the Law of Attraction working in your life.
Be thankful for the progress/maintain a positive attitude about it in general
Enjoy your life as you achieve your goals.
Try making your own vision board everybody! I would love to hear about how yours was created, the ideas you came up with, and the success that comes from it! Meet me on our community Becoming Bohemian Reddit page soon to chat about ideas and/or updates with your vision boards! Positive Vibes all around.
What is my biggest inspiration? Well first, let me tell you about him. He is tastefully unconventional, just the way I like em’. An old soul, a genuine heart, a deep thinker, adventure seeker, and undeniably, my soulmate. Yes, my biggest inspiration is my husband, Kent. So let this be dedicated to him.
The very first time I was alone with Kent, he flipped my world upside down. I should mention that I had just gone through some extremely rough phases. I felt as though the life had been sucked out of me. All of my motivation and drive I once had, disappeared. After I hit rock bottom, I got to the point where I knew a change needed to be made. I wanted very much to be happy again. Suddenly I found Kent in my path, someone I knew very little about, but found myself being reunited with at an unexpected, yet perfect time in my life.
Right away I could tell there was something special about this man. He went about life differently than most. He had big dreams, big ideas, and he was the type to make them happen. I was drawn into his presence inevitably.
Back to Where it Began
There was this one evening in particular, in downtown Boise. Actually, it was the first time we truly were alone together. He decided to show me his favorite place he used to go to think. It was this rock and water feature that was right next to the train depot. He carefully assisted me to the top of this rock pile, where I could overlook all of the city. It was breathtaking. I will never forget the conversations I had with him while up on those rocks that night. And though the day may come where I no longer remember every single word that was spoken, I will always remember the feeling of “Home” that I felt for the first time. It seemed to me that my soul whispered to my heart “He’s the one”. Little did I know that this experience that night would change my life forever. The words he spoke felt as if they came straight out of my own heart. He was speaking for me, the words I hadn’t been able to say. As he shared his goals and dreams, he seamlessly inspired and rekindled my own dreams too. Lighting a flame within me that had been out for quite some time.
As we conversed back and forth, we quickly realized how special it was that we were able to open up to each other on such a deep and personal level. I felt I knew him all my life, and longer. It was acknowledged between us that we had only seen people open up like this when there was an outside source breaking down their walls for them. We, however, didn’t need a single thing except each other to feel this kind of high. Our very own kind of high. How incredible it is to find a kindred spirit that you connect so freely with, that together you realize you are your own drug. We spoke of things so deep and personal, I never imagined I could speak about with another soul and be on the same level. It was magical. Just everything about him.
We went on about our futures and somehow, it felt like we were speaking of it as if we would both see each other there. He asked me what I wanted. I found myself sharing things that I hadn’t even realized I wanted out of life until he asked, and I told. When people in the past asked me what my plans were, I must have always answered out of habit… but had I really never asked myself what my true desires were? The deepest desires of my heart were aligned with the goals Kent had for himself, as if somehow our paths had crossed and suddenly became parallel. I knew right then that we would be intertwined on this road together. This moment marked the first time I realized I was falling in love with my Kent. Life would never be the same again, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
When I went back home to Arizona after this trip, I was a different person. Everybody noticed. Almost like the old happy me, but better. I had been awakened. I had drive. I had motivation. I had dreams and plans to achieve them. I felt alive again. The only negative thing I felt after I went back to Arizona was some sort of homesickness I had never experienced before. I was homesick for my soulmate. That’s how I knew I would never want to live another day without him. Luckily, he felt the same.
My husband and I have been married now for 10 months. He still inspires me now just as much as he did that night, sitting on his thinking rocks. He is constantly amazing me. The passion he has for life, it’s captivating! But what’s most important, it that we support one another. We are a team, working to fulfill each other’s wildest dreams. If you have ever wondered if being married meant that your dreams would have to be put on hold, or that they are forgotten, that is incorrect. It doesn’t have to be that way, he is living proof. We are living proof. Every day we live life to the fullest together. We push each other to be our best, but also help and comfort each other when we are lacking. Together, we are our truest selves and that’s the way it should be. That is why my husband is my biggest inspiration. Beautiful people, I encourage you to go out and be who you want to be, do what you want to do, accomplish what you want from life. You can inspire others around you as they see your passion for life. Who knows, maybe along the way you might find a special someone in your path as well.
**Kent, I love you, my angel. Thank you for that night. I want you to know how you changed my life forever, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. You are, and will always be my biggest inspiration. I love you to the moon and back. Happy Valentine’s Day. 2017
This is my first time filming myself doing a braid tutorial, so hopefully it is clear enough what I’m doing! I will list the most descriptive & detailed steps that I can so that you can achieve this hairstyle on yourself or someone else too!:) Enjoy becoming a bohemian goddess with these gorgeous braids!
Part hair down the middle.
Put first french braid on top right side, braid along the top of the head and then all the way down the hair strands.
Do same french braid, but on the top left side this time.
Connect both braids together in the back of the head with a rubber band. (If desired, add wrap around a piece of hair to disguise the ponytail for extra decoration. Secure it with rubber band or bobby pin)
Do another french braid on the left side, just under the first one.
Once you get half way, braiding that second one on the left side, start taking pieces from the ponytail in the middle and incorporate them into your braid as you go down. Add in a strand each time you braid down.
Stop incorporating strands from the middle ponytail after about 4 times pulling pieces over from it and finish braiding the strand all the way down. (Be sure to leave half of the middle ponytail to do the same on the other side.)
Do the same on the right side, incorporating 4 separate pieces in from the middle ponytail again. (Use the rest of the half of ponytail leftover)
Connect both braids together in the middle with a rubber band, just under the waterfall design. (If desired, add wrap around piece of hair to disguise the ponytail for extra decoration. Secure it with rubber band or bobby pin)
Do a third french braid on the right side, just under the second one.
Half way down the braid, begin incorporating 4 separate pieces from the middle ponytail.(Only use half of ponytail, save other half for left side)
Do the same on the left side, incorporating the rest of the middle ponytail into the braid.
Connect both sides together with a rubber band just under the last waterfall design. (If desired, add wrap around piece of hair to disguise the ponytail for extra decoration. Secure it with rubber band or bobby pin)
I bet you could do it with a little practice on yourself, OR, grab a braid buddy and do this boho braid on each other! Let me know how it goes and if this braid tutorial is detailed enough!
Yes, this is our unfinished home! Well, this is a picture of our unfinished kitchen, to be specific. If you are new to my blog, my husband and I recently moved to Georgia. We are collecting the plans and ideas for the renovations to be made, and I cannot wait to see how it comes along! I have so many ideas accumulating in my head for our new home! Most come from Pinterest, Etsy, Amazon, and Instagram! Now I just have to figure out how to mesh all these wonderful ideas together into one perfect bundle of yumminess!
I usually have quite the imagination and can think of it all in my head! Actually, it’s pretty funny. My husband caught me in our apartment before we moved in, and do you know what I was doing? Well if you ask him, it probably just looked like I was staring off into space, but if you ask me, I was envisioning/visualizing (let’s call it envisualizing) my new home! There I was just perfectly content for about 45 minutes, staring at our new space (or off into space), figuring out the masterpiece it could be! The ideas are all up in my head, so I figured I would start to note them down on a fantastic idea board!
Feel free to let me know what you think of my ideas! I’m excited to see all the pictures laid out together and see the progress. And of course, I will keep you all posted as I make updates, eventually finishing the entire project! Let it begin!
Project #1- The Kitchen
My general concept for the kitchen is a combination of retro and bohemian. Let’s see how it goes! First I will focus on my dining/eating area. This will include a low to the ground dining table, pillows cushions/poufs for sitting on, and of course some lovely table settings.
I imagine this area will look somewhat along these lines (these are just examples from online). However, I’m sure my pillow and pouf choice will be slightly more colorful and eclectic. But loving these table settings!
I found this adorable listing for a bohemian dining table, isn’t it delightful? It happens to be the exact one that I want! The size is perfect and I love that there is space underneath to put our legs while we are eating at the table.
I will be using pillows and cushions, such as these, on both ends of the table. Must have texture!
I love this pop of muted mustard put in there! The corduroy texture is also a must! One of these cushions will be on each inner side of the table for lower to the ground seating.
Here are some of my discoveries for cute table settings!
Ok, these are just beautiful! These agate slices are great for coasters or even plates!! They add such a gorgeous finesse to the table! As you can see, I am beginning to throw my touch of rust orange in there!
Must have Mason Jars on the table, of course!
This can be on the table just for looks if you want, but I love tying more of that rust orange in there!
Alright, onto the next! As you see in our unfinished kitchen now, there are some major renovations to be done in this home of ours. Take a look at our back wall, see the blocks of concrete? WELL, we have this idea to paint it like it’s a brick wall! Rustic red tones with white in the cracks! I can’t wait to see how it turns out. This will work out for us pretty well because of the concrete already being in block-like shapes, exactly like a brick wall! It will look something like this!
However, you might appreciate this shortcut for your own home! BRICK WALLPAPER!! I honestly think everyone needs a brick accent wall in their kitchen, so this is a great and easy option to get that look.
Here is my favorite brick wallpaper! It’s so easy! Peel and stick! Not to mention, it is waterproof and easy to clean:)
Next, White Kitchenette. I love white, and I just think it would look so flattering in front of our brick wall! Wouldn’t you agree with this example?
Ok, this next part has to be my most favorite discovery!! This will give my kitchen a retro feel! Are you ready for this? It’s called SMEG, and it is my future of refrigerators.
Adorable examples. Keep in mind, they are available in a few different colors.
This is the one I will be getting, and I am slightly obsessed!
I will be tying in these three colors again throughout the appliances in the kitchen!
Ugh, this is just so cute.
That sums up most of the ideas up my sleeve for the kitchen! Maybe throw in a cool rug to tie the colors all together, some industrial lighting, cute herb plants, wooden shelves and bottabing bottaboom! We have a winner!
This is the chaotic masterpiece in my head I call “Kitchen”. In the comments, let me know what you think, plus some other ideas if you have any! Let the renovations begin!
My husband and I are moving all the way from Arizona to Georgia! We got all of our belongings packed in the car and ready to make the drive! But of course we didn’t want to just drive from point A to point B, so we decided to make a huge cross country road trip out of it! Here is the picture of all the stops we made.
Throughout the trip, we had some amazing adventures along the way with family, old friends, and new friends! On this trip we attended a wedding, went on a double date, attended a New Year’s Eve party, went on a mini Roadtrip within our road trip, got stuck in the snow, snowmobiled at Yellowstone National Park, waited out a snowstorm, made a surprise appearance, got a flat tire, ate some gumbo in New Orleans, took a photo shoot for a singer in Nashville, and eventually made it all the way to our new home in Georgia 🙂
As you can see, we now have some serious experience under our belt in the road tripping department! Now I have some big ol’ tips for saving you some time and money while on your road trip!
Road Trip Tips
#1 Gas Buddy. An App/website. This is a community that reports gas prices. With Everyone continually updating the gas prices around you, it makes it simple to know which gas station to go to. Not only is it good for your hometown, but I use it for road trips to find out which ones are cheapest to fill up at along the way. In average, I save anywhere from $40-$60 on road trip gas money now because of Gas Buddy. A perk of looking this up on their actual website (as opposed to the app) is their “Trip cost calculator.” That option isn’t currently available on their app yet, but it is worth going to their website to use. That is what helps me while planning my budget for the whole road trip.
#2 Waze. An app with a community that updates each other on the fastest routes, cops, speed traps, objects in the road, etc. and it has a “real time” fastest route checker. In most places where there are a lot of people using it and putting in updates, it can even be more updated than google maps! This is particularly useful when avoiding traffic, accidents and construction work. Recently they added a gas price feature, so we will see if it replaces gas buddy in the near future!
#3 Couch Surfing. A community of travelers which help each other to experience the world by opening their homes to each other. Whether it’s a private room or a couch, it is offered for free! But, it is important to build up your reputation for being a good host/guest so that others will be more willing to open up their home to you too. All of the reviews are recorded on the app/website so the community knows. It’s a way for travelers to give back to the traveling community. It’s not a place for freeloaders, it’s crucial to really play a role in the community. They also have “Couch surfing events” in many cities throughout the world. Seeking out and attending these events will help you make new friends and build up a good reputation as part of the community.
Because I love ya’ll, I will share one more small tip! It’s pretty simple, but most people don’t think to do it. Pre-pack meals for the road!!! Half of the road trip expense is from buying fast food all along the way! If you have room, bring a cooler and stuff it full of meals made from home! You might as well bring it all because by the time you get home, all the food in your fridge would have gone bad anyway! Take the time and pack it all up. If you are anything like me, I enjoy eating out while on the road, but I quickly get tired of fast food! It is nice to be able to reach in the back and grab out your next meal! Saves time too, since you aren’t stopping as frequently!
Ya know what else? Recently we have been getting asked, “What the heck we do for a living to be able to afford frequent traveling?” And to that I say, there is an efficient and inexpensive way to do almost anything, but you do have to prioritize, of course! I know you too can make road trips cheap, easy, and enjoyable if you follow these tips that I provided! I will continue to give more tips on easy and cheap travels in the future!
Have fun road trippers!
Here is a small example of my prepacked food to save money.
Here are some pictures from all along the way of our grand road trip 🙂
As most of you know, Kent and I have been on this extravagant road trip all across the states! We are actually moving from Arizona to Georgia. Lots of new things to come this year! Can’t wait to share it all with you.:) Amongst this glorious road trip, we got invited by Kent’s relatives to join them on a snowmobile ride through West Yellowstone. Of course, we said yes! That is something I had never done, and you know I’m all about that! So, instead of going straight to Georgia, we decided to go up and over through Montana so that we could join for the Yellowstone trip along the way. 🙂
Driving up through Idaho was intense! Slipping and sliding everywhere on the ice, yet somehow managing to stay safe! At one point we were nervous that we wouldn’t even be able to pass through, due to all the snow. The thought of that was devastating because we would have missed the entire snow trip! Luckily we still made it to Yellowstone and met up with the family soon after. It was so fun being all together for this adventure! Pretty soon we were all lined up in a row of snowmobiles, decked out in full snow gear get up and all! We looked pretty cool, not gonna lie!;) But you know what’s even cooler?! Kents GREAT grandpa (Papa) is the one who organized and attended this whole amazing trip! He is 93 years old and he is as active and adventurous as can be! He rode that snowmobile like a champ! I want to be that awesome when I am his age! You rock Papa.
Where do I go in Yellowstone?
Visiting Yellowstone was as snowy and gorgeous as ever! It was literally a winter wonderland. We rode through on snowmobiles, made possible through a business called “Two Top Yellowstone Winter Tours”. I highly recommend paying them a visit to schedule a trip! It was the most beautiful winter scene I ever set my eyes on! Adrenaline rushed through me as I rode through there on our snowmobile! I can already tell, this year is going to be full of trying new things, and I can’t wait!!
At Two Top, they really hook you up! They provide the full snow attire, which includes snow boots, snowsuit, gloves, face mask, and helmet! Ok.. pretty sure I looked like an astronaut but I’m totally ok with that.
During our ride, I had the opportunity to see “Old Faithful” erupt! Old faithful is one of the many geysers in Yellowstone. It erupts every 35 to 120 minutes for 1.5 to 5 minutes, and it’s maximum height of water shooting out ranges from 90 to 184 feet! It is an incredible sight!! I had never seen anything like it before! Oh, and for anyone who has absolutely no idea of what Yellowstone even is, it is a National park that is atop a volcanic hotspot! Technically, it is the biggest Volcano of all time that happens to be underground. This park is full of alpine rivers, forests, hot springs, canyons and erupting geysers, with “Old Faithful” being the most famous! It’s also home to hundreds of animal species, including bears, wolves, bison, elk and antelope. Some of these animals got right up close to us! Yellowstone is seriously huge!! It is mainly located in Wyoming but flows over into part of Montana AND Idaho. If you haven’t heard of or been to Yellowstone, I hope this paints a beautiful picture in your imagination of just how incredible it really is! But, you will only know when you go and experience it for yourself! Make it happen! It’s one worth checking off the list.
Well that, my friends, is a loaded question! Let me tell you why. There is a way to book a train ticket in India on your own, however, it is such a hassle!! After booking it ourselves in attempts to save money a couple times, we decided to give a travel agency a go! And OH MY! They were wonderful. They made our lives so much easier, not to mention, they ended up becoming some of our greatest friends from our trip! I highly suggest booking your tours, trips, and tickets through Invicta Travel Agency in New Delhi, India. You can get in touch with them here. Now, that being said. It IS possible to book your train ticket on your own, but there is some risk! If you purchase it as a tourist, they put you on a waiting list and don’t tell you until last minute if you are able to be on board for the trip or not. When you book through an agency, they are able to get you a for sure confirmation of your ticket and seat on the train. So worth it! If you are anything like we were in the beginning, we wanted to give it a go on our own. For that to be done, you need to create an account at www.irctc.co.in There, you will choose your location, destination, departure date/time, and class. In the end, we loved working with the travel agency so much better, so if you want the easier route, try Invicta!
We personally chose class 3AC, which is technically third from the best. 1AC has four people in a cabin, giving you more of a personal bubble, 2AC usually has 8 people per cabin, but there are sheet curtains to have a little privacy and separation. 3AC, the one we chose, also has 8 people per cabin, but no curtain. However, it is significantly cheaper than the other two and it has air conditioning in that class, which is basically all that I need. 🙂 We checked out the other classes, and they didn’t seem much better! Choosing 3AC seemed like the best way to go!
There is a lot! It may seem complicated on your first go round, but these tips should help prepare you! Once you figure it all out, it is quite enjoyable! I actually think train rides are my new favorite means of transportation, especially in India! For starters, don’t be afraid to ask workers or friendly locals for help and advice. (It would be wise to ask more than one person though to be sure it is accurate). The signs in the train station are primarily in Hindu, so you obviously NEED to ask for help/guidance. (Google translation can usually do the trick too!) Make sure you know which side and platform your train will be arriving at so that you are prepared to jump aboard quickly. The train won’t wait for you! It is important to arrive early to be sure you won’t miss the train.
On board, get to the correct class section if you are not already there. (Each class section is all connected and accessible through swinging doors, so no worries) Find your seat, put your luggage under you, and get situated. Depending on if it’s day or night when you arrive on the train, someone may already be in your seat/bed, and you will have to find another one! The seat benches are somewhat free for all until the night comes around, then the benches pop out and suddenly you have your sleepers! Sheets, a blanket, and pillow are provided for each person. The beds are not soft or comfortable in any way, shape, or form, but after my second time on the train, I actually got used to it!
During meal time(s), you will not starve! Unless you are a picky eater, of course. There are workers who walk up and down the aisles announcing which food they are offering to you. However, they are speaking in Hindu and they pass by really fast! You have to be quick and either take a risk at what you are choosing to eat, or you can go in prepared and KNOW A FEW HINDI FOOD WORDS. Food on the train is not the freshest…but it is better than starving, especially considering all of our train rides were over 20 hours long! On the bright side, the food they offer is very inexpensive!! Mainly because they are offering “Local prices” which are very reasonable. Ok, actually it’s dirt cheap!! They are catering to locals, but because of that, it also means spicy spice!! Yikes!
Bathrooms on the train are sketch, of course. Indian toilets are basically a whole on the floor where you squat and aim. HAHA. There is a little bucket and faucet to rinse your bum bum! I don’t know about you, but that is not the method I prefer!! Be sure to always have your own, personal toilet paper or pouch of tissues on hand if you don’t wanna get stuck in the bathroom with a bucket of water and your hand! …Let’s move on from this topic, shall we?
Keep track of your estimated time of arrival. It was personally hard for me to see the names of the train stops along the way, not to mention they usually weren’t in English! Again, find a local near you who speaks English and will help you get off on the right stop! Don’t be afraid to ask! I can honestly say that we would have missed our stop all 4 times of riding the train if it weren’t for the help of the locals on the train! Grab your luggage and jump off quick!
Hope this paints a clear picture of what to expect on your train ride in India! Don’t stress, you’ll figure it out as you go! Enjoy the ride!
Here is some footage of our experiences on the train!
In movies I had seen in the past, Indian women wore these gorgeous, colorful, even sparkling outfits! As I got older, I wondered if that was a culture fashion tradition followed in the past, or if it remained their current fashion of today. I thought about those old movies as I prepared for my trip to India, and I hoped to see those beautiful dresses while I was there! And guess what? I did, they were GORG!
So for my pleasure, and for anyone else who would like to take this time to admire Indian women’s fashion with me, I put together a simple lookbook! Below I included some typical casual everyday attire, ethnic jewelry, bindis, henna (mehndi), and wedding attire! Saris are a garment worn by Hindu women, consisting of a long piece of cotton or silk wrapped around the body with one end draped over the head or over one shoulder. A Bindi is a decorative mark worn in the middle of the forehead by Indian women. It is said to be the third eye in Hindu religion, and it can be used to ward off bad luck.! Mehndi is the application of henna paste in an intricate design to decorate the body, often for wedding celebrations and other festive occasions.
Hope you enjoy!
I was very intrigued by the designs of the woman’s clothing, so I set out to find a factory where they hand dye and stamp the clothing! Here is some behind the scenes footage of the factory.