Better late than never

So its clear that I've been neglecting the BLOG section of my website for quite some time now.

After I wrote and published my last post back in Dec 2014. I was feeling a bit down about myself. I was sucked into this black hole of feeling insecure and discouraged about what I was doing. I felt, as I scrolled down any social media platform, that everyone was progressing in some way, shape or form in their lives, while I was still where I was when I started. Along with not liking the way I looked and feeling bad about myself. I knew I had to make changes in my lifestyle and get balanced again so that I could get out of this funk. But I had no idea how or what to do.

Portrait of me shot by @rolandstoned

I know this sounds crazy and unlikely but one night in the new year or days before I had a dream. In that dream I opened my own doors, paved my own way to creative ideas and projects. In this dream, I was surrounded by amazing, inspiring people telling me that I am better than the state of mind I was in and can accomplish whatever I put my mind, heart and soul to and work hard at. ( I'm also the type of person who prays and talks/asks God for signs, so there's that too) Anyway, I knew this dream was a sign from wherever you believe. Big changes is what I spend most of my 2015 year doing. I'd like to take this time now and share the list of changes I have made.

Diet. Ever since I can remember this has been on my To Do List, New Years Resolution's List, New Task's List, you get the idea. I have been saying I will eat cleaner for a very long time. Well I am so happy and excited to let you know that I have finally made that happen. I have done so much research on diets and eating clean but I wanted something where I could still eat meat and all the foods that I really love. Then I heard about The Paleo Diet . Its been three months and my life, skin, and of course body feel like new. I can sit here and type that I feel better, stronger, have more energy and if you've seen me recently you might have commented on how flawless my skin looks. I'm not joking, I've told people I'm 27 and they think I'm lying. Needless to say I'm loving it.

Exercise. "I can eat whatever I want because I go to the gym on a daily basis" I'm embarrassed to admit that I am quoting myself here. Diet and exercise go hand in hand whether I like it or not. So NOW, after my work-outs I grab a salad or some grilled chicken and fruit. The hardest part for me about working out is getting to the gym. So once I accomplish that, I hop on the treadmill, stair-master, whatever my vice is that day and I don't get off for at least 30 mins. P.S. I became friends with squats, I do squats, I am one with the squats. I started out by taking a group exercise class that my gym provides and that helped boost my confidence at the gym.

Focus. I've learned that It's very important for me to stay focused. This year I focused on things and activities that make me happy. Focus on my family and friends. Focus on my career, hobbies, and art. Focus on ME and MY life. I don't worry about what others think or might be saying about me anymore because I've learned that, that says more about them. 

Priorities. I am a master at dreaming and making plans. Actually making them a reality and accomplishing them, not so much. I write down a list of things that I want to accomplish and that are important to me and my individual growth. I do this all the time and I've learned that these lists help me keep my priorities in order whether its at home or in my career. 

Skin-Care/Make-Up Routine. Maybe it was stress related or maybe I was just born with it but acne and blemishes on my face kept getting worse. And don't even get me started on the dark circles under my eyes. At 27 I honestly felt I shouldn't be looking like I hadn't slept in days; especially when I DO get sleep. I did research on natural skin care products and procedures and also researched what some of my favorite celebrities use in their daily routines. I discovered Aveda and use their plant based products religiously. As far as my make-up routine goes: Moisturize, fill in eye brows, curl eye lashes, and top it off with a highlighter on my check bones and little blush too. Super easy and fast. 

Kitten. I bought a cat. I know, I know. Shame on me for not rescuing but can I tell you that Seal Point Himalayans are not found in shelters very often, I looked and called many to ask. I knew the breed I wanted and color. I researched and asked friends about where they got their kittens. Long story short I found him, bought him, picked him up and I still don't know if half the time he wants to kill me or if he loves me. Regardless he is the best thing that has happened to me. We make each other happy. Life is better with a cat. 

Diego Rivera, my one year old Seal Point Himalayan

Projects/photo series. Shortly after bringing Diego Rivera home, (thats the name of my cat)one fall morning my boyfriend took a photo of Diego and I laying in bed cuddling. I posted the picture on my Instagram account and it got a lot of positive feedback. Later that week a girlfriend of mine told me how much she loved the picture and how I should think about photographing other girls and their cats. Needless to say, that is how my Power to the Pussies photo series was born (Thanks Jen). That personal project then inspired me and gave me the confidence to explore my photography even more by creating other series and asking other people to help me create my visions. You can find those in the Portfolio section of my website.

With that said,.

I reached out to new creative people. Scrolling down my Instagram feed, every photograph that I come across, it instantly inspires me. I try to keep it that way. I try to follow people that are exploring their own art and visions. I respect that and that is what inspires me to try harder and explore my own artistry. I also realized that a lot of people live around me. I email them, DM them to hang out and create. If it works out awesome, if not, no worries. Life goes on. 

Worked with said creative people. Again, Instagram has given me the capability to reach out, work with, as well as become friends with some awesome creative individuals. I participated in a few "Insta-meets" this year and look forward to future ones. If you ever see one being hosted anywhere near you, I highly recommend stepping outside your comfort zone and giving it a go. You'd be surprised to find how awesome it is to be around people as creative and fun as you. I know I was! 

Touched based with old friends. One of my best friends from high school is getting married next month. A couple of weeks ago we celebrated her Bridal/Bachelorette. I want to share with you guys the text I sent the group the day after our festivities: "Spending time with you all, even if it was for one day, made me realize how much I miss you all. Made me realize that now matter the time and distance, real and original bonds can't be broken. I felt like Saturday night was like we never even moved away and became real people. I miss you girls and love you all so much and cherish the times we spend together. Can't wait until the next time."

I spent most of this year really challenging myself in my artistry but also took the time to get myself, mind, and body more organized by loving and taking the time to listen to ME more. 2015 has been a huge learning/growing year and I look forward to continuing the lesson. 

Portrait of me shot by @rolandstoned