June 27, 2016

Flowers From E.T.

I've been feeling a bit lost this year, as I mentioned a few posts back, and as much as I'd like to say that I've found my way back, it's just not true. I'm unhappy with myself and my work.  I'm constantly daydreaming and planning for the things that I want to do, but not setting any time aside to actually accomplish anything.  My lack of energy and motivation has got me stuck in a circle of planning and not doing, spending too much of my time indoors instead of outdoors, and generally just feeling sad about where I am at this point in my life.

This post is most definitely NOT a pity party, and I don't want to come across as a "poor pitiful me" girl right now.  I'm 100% in charge and responsible for the decisions I've made and will make.  If I want something, I need to make smart goals and stop being discouraged when something doesn't happen as quickly as I'd like it to.

Having said that, I'm considering taking yet another break from blogging while I focus on getting myself healthy and happy.  That doesn't necessarily mean that I'll be gone for months at a time again, but my content might be less frequent and a bit different.  Instead of writing content to go with my photos, you might only see my most recent photography work instead. I've been considering adopting a more minimal/visual approach to blogging for a while, and I think it's going to be the right direction for me.  I'm also considering making a switch from Wordpress to Squarespace in the near future, but I haven't decided yet.

I want to remove as much stress as possible from my life right now, and just focus on improving the basics that I know cause me the most stress.  Over the next 6 months:

  • I'll be working on connecting more with nature by spending more time outside, hiking more frequently, and traveling when I can.
  • I'll be working harder on eliminating credit card debt, and focusing more on saving the money I earn so that I can afford to treat myself.
  • I'll be working on improving my diet, and developing a simple outdoor activity schedule to ensure that I do something active every day.

By the end of the year, I want to feel more refreshed and full of energy, so that I can venture outside of the basics, and start improving other areas of my life.

What are your favorite ways to cope with stress and/or lack of motivation?

June 17, 2016

Photo An Hour

So, in my previous post, I mentioned that I wanted to begin one or more photography projects.  Well my friends, here's the first one I've decided to run with!  I got this idea from Kaylah, and thought it would be a great reason for me to carry my camera around for an entire day just documenting the little things.  It also forced me to practice using different settings in my camera depending upon where or what I was doing at any given time as the day went on.  Overall, I'm super excited to do this again next month :)

9:20  I made breakfast for Matthew and myself.  This was actually my first time making Sunny Side Up Eggs!  I usually go for scrambled eggs, but thought these might make for a prettier photo.  Photography + Kitchen Adventures = Score!
10:00 After breakfast, I showered and got ready for the day.  These are my current makeup essentials.
11:24 Packed my gear into a backpack for the day, and loaded up the car for a drive to a State Park we hadn't visited before.  My vintage E.T. doll was along for the ride for a second photography project I'm starting.
12:18 Listening to some tunes on the road.  I have a serious fascination with serial killers (real life and fictional), and so I'm a big fan of this song.  It's a tribute to Buffalo Bill, the serial killer in Silence of the Lambs.
1:21 During our hike, we spotted lizards, frogs, damselflies, and a few roadrunners!  I wasn't fast enough to photograph the roadrunners, but I love this shot I got of one of the Leopard Frogs we saw :)
2:45 After our hike, we spent some time cruising through the park, taking wildflower photos, and checking out the campsites and trail systems for our next trip out there.  I'll share more about this place in an upcoming post, but it's seriously my new favorite hiking spot.  I can't wait to go back!
3:16 While planning our trip, Matthew stumbled upon a website for a Fossil Digging park that was nearby.  We were almost too tired to visit this place after our hike, but it was so close and sounded so neat that we couldn't skip out.  Let me just say this: I do not do well in heat.  It was in the 90's that day, sunny, and not very breezy.  I tend to get pretty beat down by the sun if I'm not careful, and this day was no exception.  We didn't stay here too long, but it was reeeeally cool, and I want to plan better for the next time we visit.
4:20 Definitely the kind of day that called for a DQ Ice Cream Cone.  Man oh man, those things are so yummy!
5:05 One of the neighborhood tomcats was waiting to be fed and loved on when we pulled into the driveway.  This guy is such a big sweetheart!
6:41 After a refreshing shower and change of clothes, I decided it was time for a fresh coat of nail polish.  I'm stuck on green right now, but have been using the crap out of my Revlon Posh.  I decided to change it up and use a a couple of my Essie polishes.  The pale green is Mojito Madness, and the soft pink is Fiji.
7:12 Getting dinner started, and winding down for an evening of relaxation.
8:00 I was in the mood for something funny, so I decided to go with "For A Good Time Call...".  If you haven't seen this one and your up for a good laugh, I highly recommend it.  It's such a fun movie.  It didn't take long for the day to catch up with me, and I was out pretty quick.

There you have it!  My first installment of the Photo An Hour Project!  I'm going to have a great time going back and looking at these when the end of the year gets here.

June 15, 2016

2016 Summer Wishlist

Nearly everything on my "I wish I had money so I could buy..." list lately is from Urban Outfitters.  Pretty much every item on their website is something I want to have.  In fact, I love their stuff so much-that only one item on this list is from somewhere else!  If I ever, by some miracle, fall into a large sum of money...I will fill my life with Urban Outfitters stuff.  For now, I'm going to try and pinch my pennies so that I can spend my summer collecting all of these gems :)

Screen Printed Cactus Top.  When I think of the perfect summer outfit...this is the type of top I want to fill my closet with and wear every single day with a pair of comfy jean shorts.  The print and colors are super fun, and the material looks sooooo soft.  $121.39

Heartbreaker Sunglasses.  I'm kind of really terrible about wearing sunglasses.  I know I should, and my eyes are totally hating on me for always forgetting them.  I've always wanted a pair of heart shaped glasses though, and these are pretty darn cute.  Perhaps having a cute pair of sunnies like this will encourage me to always wear them.  $16.00

Turquoise Portable Barbeque.  I've been looking forward to grilling Corn and Veggie Skewers, and I love that this cute little grill is colorful and portable.  The only problem is that it also comes in pink and yellow, and between the three it's going to be so hard to choose!  $69.00

The Wes Anderson Collection Book!  Can I just be super basic here right now.  I love Wes Anderson's work, and I NEED this book.  That's all.  $40.00

Waterproof Disposable Camera.  I used to carry disposable cameras around with me everywhere before I got my first point & shoot in 7th grade.  I always thought underwater photos were super fun, so I think this would make for a fun set of photos to share this summer!  The fact that it's rainbow colored makes me want it more.  $16.00

Moxi Lolly Roller Skates.  Now that I'm pledging to spend more time skating at the rink or on the trail, I really want to invest in these beauties.  I've been wanting a pair of Moxi skates for months now, but seeing as these and the cactus shirt are the most expensive things on my list...I don't think I can have both.  We'll see!  $279.00

DIY Crystal Saguaro Cactus Grow Kit.  Guys, I'm a little bit completely infatuated with this thing.  It's something that I would have been super obsessed with when I was little.  It's so pretty, AND it's the least expensive thing on my list!  $10.00

So that's it!  What's on your summer wishlist this year?

June 11, 2016

The Past 6 Months

Whew, I bet you were wondering if I would ever be back here huh?  After the longest blog break I've ever taken, I'm happy to say that I'm back and ready to move forward.  My previous post was in January, and it covered my goals and plans for the year.  I won't turn this into a Debbie Downer post (Good Vibes Only!), but to make a long story short, I basically ran myself straight into a wall of self-doubt and depression and all of my goals and plans took an extended vacation.  I couldn't get motivated or inspired to get out and enjoy the things I love most, I didn't touch my camera for extended periods of time, and all I wanted to do after getting home from work most days was snuggle under a blanket, turn on the TV, and eat junk food.  I feel like I'm finally coming out of my slump for good, and I'm soooo ready to jump back into photography and share the things that make me happy.  I've missed it so much!  So let's get to it:


I changed things up.  As you can see, a lot has changed around here.  Sometimes, when I'm in a blogging slump, it helps to get me motivated if I make visual changes.  I'm loving how clean, minimal, and organized my new layout is.  I'm still working on a few things, but I really like the direction I'm going with it.  I also did something to it that can never be undone.  I removed a lot of the content.  I'm slightly regretting that decision, but in the long run-I think it was the right thing to do.  When I made the switch from Blogger to Wordpress, I transferred all of my content over and it was available at both sites.  I decided that it would be best to not have the same posts in two locations, and removed everything that is available on the old site.  If you're missing it, or want to check those posts out, you can do so RIGHT HERE! :)

I signed up for Roller Derby again.  And after much consideration, I decided that for now I'm just going to skate on my own before I try it again.  Outside of practice, I haven't made an effort to go to the rink, to trail skate, or to even put on my skates.  Because of this, I think it's best that I first develop more of an interest and commitment to skating on my own before I take the next step and sign up for a skating sport.  I love the Roller Derby community, and I want to come back when I'm excited to fully commit to it.

I'm not shooting in Auto mode anymore.  One of my goals at the beginning of the year, was to get to know my camera.  Learning to shoot in Manual Mode was my ultimate goal.  I'm currently shooting in Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority.  I'm starting to finally understand the relationships between Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed and how to manipulate them to get the settings I want.  It was very confusing to me at first, but I'm finally starting to catch on and it's really motivating me to learn and try more with my camera :)  So exciting!

I went Vegetarian for 4 months.  Another one of my goals for this year was to explore Veganism.  I tried a few Vegan meals, but darn it if I can't stop loving cheese.  I did commit to eating Vegetarian all the way through the end of April, but then slowly fell off it.  I'm still eating Vegetarian about 75% of the time though, and I've discovered lots of new meals that I love.  I cook more now than I did before, and I definitely want to start sharing food and recipes here at some point.

I decided I'm ready to grow out my Buzz Cut.  After nearly a year of buzz cuts, I've decided it's time to start growing again.  I love having my hair this way, and I'll probably do it again many times in the future, but I've been crushing on short bobs lately and I really want to try that out again.

I bought a new car!  I mentioned this in my post in January, and never followed up on it.  I had my previous car for years, it was paid off, and had gotten to the point where none of the gauges worked (including fuel and speed limit!), the bumper was held together with wire and duct tape, and the steering wheel had begun to lock up.  I used my Christmas bonus and a bit of savings as a down payment, and BAM!  I got the car I had been drooling over for the past couple of years.  I'll actually be sharing a post about her soon :)  I can't wait to show you!


Explore More.  For some reason, I always have this idea in my head that in order to see something really interesting or beautiful, I'll have to spend lots of money to fly or roadtrip some place far away from where I am.  That's just silly.  There are tons of neat things close to home that I can go check out.  Also, Texas is pretty gigantic and diverse...I've lived here my whole life and haven't seen a whole lot of it.  Did you know that the world's largest bat colony is only about 4 & 1/2 hours away?  That's so neat, and I can't believe I've never traveled to see it before!

Skate More.  As I mentioned above, I haven't really put much effort into skating for Roller Derby.  Before I commit any more time or money to practicing for the sport, I want to spend more of my time actually skating on my own at the rink or on the trail.  My endurance right now is reeeeally terrible, so spending more time in my skates just skating is going to help me tremendously.

Start a Photography Project (or two...).  This is something that I've been wanting to do, but have always made excuses for not doing it.  "I don't have time for that", or "I can't find anything interesting to photograph".  No more of that!  I would like to try the 365 challenge at some point, but for now I'm considering doing 2 or more smaller projects that I can do once a month, or every couple of weeks.  I'm hoping that switching things up and spreading them out will keep me excited and motivated.  Right now, I'm thinking of doing a Photo An Hour Project, a Diorama Project, an Instax Project, and maybe a self Portrait Project.

Drink More Water.  I feel like I've been doing a decent job of drinking more water lately, but not as much as I need to.  I drink a lot of unsweet tea, but apparently that can lead to Kidney Stones which terrify me.  I'm kind of infatuated with Lemon Water these days, so I'm going to start drinking that a lot more.

Build A Better Wardrobe.  This one is going to cost me a bit.  My boss recently purchased us Scrubs to wear at work, and that's given me a lot more freedom in the clothes that I purchase outside of work.  Before the scrubs, I would wear a lab coat over my regular clothes but because of my tattoos, I was requred to wear long sleeves all year long.  Anytime I went shopping for clothes, I needed to make sure it was work appropriate, and either had sleeves or would be comfortable with a cardigan.  Now that  I can seperate work clothes with my personal style, I can actually invest in clothes that I really love and want to spend money on.  I'm so excited!  Outfit posts coming soon!

Love My Office Space.  I've done a few things to my office space at home over the past year, but havent really committed to "making it my own".  I want to paint my walls, invest in a really great rug, and pull off some awesome DIY projects to spruce it up to my liking.  It gets the best light in the house, so that's a big plus already.  To keep myself accountable for this one, I'll periodically share progress photos ;)

Diversify My Blog Content.  There are tons of things that I've always wanted to blog about, but have either not had the resources for the types of posts I wanted to do, or didn't feel confident enough to try it.  A few things I would like to branch out and include more of on the blog include: Personal Style + Hair & Makeup, Food, Photography Tips/Resources/Reviews, Photography Projects + Challenges, Macro Insect Photography, and Travel Adventures.

I'll be sharing my goal progress every 3 months, so we'll check back and see where I am in September!  Is there anything in particular that you'd like to see on Lady Serpentine?

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