Do you work out?

During my weeks of not blogging, I’ve had lots of photo sessions, I’ve been working on a few personal projects, and planning out some updates to my website (which will probably take a another few weeks to finish). Also I started doing yoga again.

I was talking to a photographer friend about how hard it is (physically) to shoot sometimes.. We got to talking about how much our bags and gear weigh, and how we can really feel sore the day after a session. Anyone want to take a guess on how much my bag weighs (with all my gear inside)? Or how much my camera weighs with the lens attached? I haven’t weighed either yet.. but I have to know now! 😛

To get ready for the spring rush, I started doing yoga again back at the end of March/beginning of April. I usually only do it once a week or so, with other random exercises thrown in another couple days a week. The funniest part of doing yoga for me, is how difficult it is to simply hold my arms out straight for extended periods of time. How is that so hard to do?! LOL. My biceps stay in pretty good shape carrying my heavy camera (and lifting toddlers sometimes helps too ) but my deltoid muscles apparently are non-existent! Until now, at least. I also signed up for another new adventure that took place a few days ago… I took an introduction to aerial training class over at Ascend Flow Arts. If you’ve never heard of this, don’t worry… I hadn’t either until a few weeks ago. My friend changed her profile picture to this amazing picture of her gracefully hanging upside down from a trapeze bar. When I went to the website she gave me, I saw more amazing pictures of people “dancing” from large pieces of silk fabric and posing on huge circle hoops in the air. Alternative fitness that looks like art? Yes, please! So I had no idea what to expect, but it was SO fun. But oh my goodness, I HURT TODAY. I want to take more classes.. so if you’re interested in trying it too, let me know! P.S. A note to others trying this (and a reminder to my future-self), if you don’t consider yourself a “muscular” person, or don’t work out seriously on a regular basis… don’t wear a belt the following day. For some reason that is one of the more troublesome parts of the day after- trying to get my belt undone and back on for bathroom breaks. Also opening & shutting heavy doors (aka car doors, fridge doors, etc). Pretty much anything that uses shoulder muscles and or “crelbow” muscles (thanks, Tammy for that wonderful word…) ;p

What are you doing on May 30th?? Come visit me in Pike Creek! I’ll have a vendor booth at the Pike Creek Reiki Mind, Body, Spirit Fest! I’m still planning out my booth.. I think it’s going to turn out looking really awesome so you should come see! I’ll also have a raffle and a giveaway going, so those are more reasons to stop by!

Also- May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness month, and if you’ve checked out my Instagram, Facebook (or blog!) then you’ve probably seen tons of pictures of Miss Kylee Rose.. She has both cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy. I posted a blog showing a little more about what a typical day is like for her, you can see that here. And if you’d like to learn more about CF and the CF Foundation, you can do so (and donate ) here. I’m also running an Ava Anderson Non Toxic fundraiser this month, 20% of all purchases will be donated to the CF Foundation. You can check out the products here. If you’d like to make a purchase, please use party code #65729 at checkout. If it asks for consultant id, mine is 8216.

 

 

Twenty-Nine.

29!!! Weird. I’m 29 today. At some point during my youth, everyone stopped aging in my eyes. Myself included. I look at my younger cousins now and I’m always baffled about how much they’ve changed and grown up, because I still think of them being 8 or 9 years-old. So when I think of myself being 29 – It’s just confusing. hahah

I always catch myself reflecting around my birthday and around the New Year…. Reflecting on my previous year, and reflecting on how far I’ve come over the years. I’m definitely not where I ultimately want to be, but I wouldn’t trade this journey for the world.

I think back about things I’ve done and I catch myself shaking my head saying “oh, boy… what was I thinking?!” Then I remind myself of one of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes – “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Then I always throw in Mahatma Gandhi’s “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And I move on with my life, and my mission(s). 😉

I can’t wait to share more with you all about some new dreams and goals I have.. but I want to get things planned out a bit more before I make that announcement. Stay tuned for that – and cheers to you all celebrating Cinco de Mayo tonight! Be safe and enjoy your Mexican food & margaritas! 😛

Artichokes.

Have you ever tried a new recipe, and been really confused?
I wasn’t sure what to blog about this week, because I have a lot of stuff going on at once, and some of it I want to wait before I announce publicly! But I was chatting with someone about how I tried a new recipe.. and then hilariously started eating it wrong… and we laughed so hard she said “this has to go on your blog”.

So here’s the deal. I love spinach & artichoke dip. I’ve ordered it at restaurants, had it at other people’s homes.. but I’ve never made it myself. Well, in my pursuit of eating healthy, I found a recipe for Roasted Artichokes with Lemon & Garlic. Doesn’t that sound amazing?! I’ve never had artichoke on it’s own, but I love it in dip form, so why wouldn’t I like it whole?! So I read the recipe, got the ingredients.. and made it happen. I was so excited.. it smelled and looked amazing. It came out of the oven, I let it cool off, peeled off a leaf and popped it in my mouth.

About 5-10 seconds of chewing and I realized “hmm.. this isn’t right.”. (Cue the artichoke aficionados’ laughter :p ) So I read through the blog post that accompanied the recipe and quickly learned the correct way to eat an artichoke. Apparently that blogger had her own funny experience eating artichokes for the first time too.. LOL.

Well, when you eat it right, the recipe really is as delicious as it sounds!

Sorry for the quick (and late!) blog post this week.. but I’ll have another post in a few days! 😉

If you have any funny and/or embarrassing food stories.. I’d love to hear them.. Make me feel better about my artichoke mishap! 😛

Still Shining.

So, today’s blog post is going to be a bit emotional.

Three years ago, today, my brother lost his battle against cancer. He married the love of his life (a truly amazing woman that I will forever call my sister) in September 2009, and was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer four months later. His attitude was incredible throughout all of the surgeries and treatments, but his body took a serious beating with all the chemotherapy. Three years later his body gave. It was a really hard time for our family and all of Matt’s friends.

For those of you who never met Matt, he was the kind of guy who could make you laugh even when you felt like crap. Even when he got out of his first surgery, heavily sedated (and we were all super anxious and emotional), Matt decides to start quoting Napoleon Dynamite: “But my lips hurt real bad!”, “Just borrow some from the school nurse. I know she has like five sticks in her drawer”. It took us about five minutes to figure out WHAT he was saying, and then make sense of it (when I say he was heavily sedated, I mean SERIOUSLY. Slur city and sometimes he fell asleep mid-sentence. )

Growing up with him (5 & 1/2 years older than me), we didn’t always get along. He “beat me up” a lot… (a punch in the arm here or there.. Normal sibling stuff) I was that “annoying younger sister”. And he would even make be be the goalie for hockey practice (and he wouldn’t give me padding to protect myself). But once we both got a little older, he started being nice to me, and then he moved to Maine. That was hard for me… My sister already moved to North Carolina years before, and I was left in Delaware without my siblings. But we actually grew closer then. I remember one particular late night phone conversation.. Where I had to sneak down in the basement because I didn’t want to wake up my dad. It was the best conversation ever. Somehow, we really opened up with each other, then learned that we actually thought really similarly about a lot of things. I joked and said “OMG, you’re like the male version of me!”

I love hearing stories about how he made other people laugh… Or feel good about themselves. He was really good at that.
The one thing I regret.. Is I wish we had more pictures together before he got sick. As a photographer, that’s the kind of thing I hear all the time from people who have gone through similar situations. We are never guaranteed tomorrow… But we often make excuses about why we don’t want to be in a picture today (hair, weight, etc). I wish that we had gotten professional pictures done as a family (both before our mom passed, and even after, too). I love the snapshots that I do have of him, but we were really little in most, and I took a lot of them when we were older so I’m not in most of those!

Anyway, I wanted to take this blog post as an opportunity to open up conversation… I don’t want you to feel sorry for my loss.. Loss is something that we all (unfortunately) have to deal with at some point in life. I know you feel for me, so instead of condolences (I, of course, appreciate them, but I don’t feel they need to be put into words.) I’d much rather hear happy things. If you knew Matt, tell me one of your favorite memories of him. If you didn’t know my brother, tell me a favorite memory of your sibling or someone close to you (whether they passed or are still alive)! I just want to hear some happy memories.. Something that makes YOU smile & laugh, since that was the kind of spirit that shined so brightly in my brother. Let’s keep his flame shining with stories of love and laughter.

Balance.

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not a New Year’s Resolution person. But for some reason this year, January 1st seemed to spark some sort of ignition in my life. I can’t quite pinpoint it, but it’s now March 1st and the fire is still going (a good fire. Like a really powerful candle that lights darkness and leads the way. A really good fire).

Maybe it was the closing of a chapter in my life (college) that caused me to look forward and lay out some new plans and start taking action. I don’t know what it was but I’m loving the energy I have.

Anyway, on to my “word of the year”: BALANCE. Anyone who has had a conversation with me has PROBABLY heard me say “the key to anything is balance”. I’m finding it comes up in every aspect of my life, and as I move forward in various (somewhat similar) ventures in my life, I see it more and more.

A few examples:
I must find balance between work time and personal time. Everyone needs this, but entrepreneurs especially do. When you can work from home, at any time of day or night: you will. Self discipline is the only way to keep yourself straight (as I type this blog post on a Sunday night at 8:30… Hmm )

I must find balance between healthy eating and comfort foods. I went to a really awesome “kick sugar cravings” workshop on Wednesday and it was SO helpful as I’ve been trying to eat healthier for years but I’ve been failing pretty miserably and I know my body deserves better and more nutritious food (my body is, after all, working pretty darn hard to keep me alive every second of the day..)
At the workshop I learned a ton of valuable information, and some really crazy facts about sugar. And it spurred me to take REAL action and get going on my health food journey (but also be realistic and not feel guilty if I treat myself to ice cream here & there ) If you’re interested in learning more about the workshop, or need some personal guidance, I highly recommend True Food Wellness with Cosmia. She’s super sweet and very knowledgeable.

I must remember balance when I speak with someone with varying viewpoints of my own. Saturday night I helped my doTERRA team host an essential oil workshop to six magnificent ladies. Afterwards, I was chatting with a really sweet woman who I have a lot in common with. She has been eating healthy and living very naturally (minimal toxins in her household) for years. I LOVED talking with her. But my heart broke a little when she told me that she frequently encounters people who ostracize her for not feeding her children junk food. (I’m going to let you reread that again)… I’m sorry, but WHAT?? She said that people act as if she thinks she is better than them.. For feeding her children healthy, nutritious foods. She doesn’t restrict them from trying junk foods (although they’ve eaten so well their entire life, that they don’t like the taste of junk food)… She doesn’t force her way of life down anyone’s throats, or tell anyone that they’re poisoning their child… She simply wants her children to be healthy, and she helps in any way she knows how!!! This honestly upset me that she experiences such adversity over such a simple thing. And then I started thinking.. My recent lifestyle changes have been the result of over 5 years of self-education (in my free time). Not everyone makes the time to educate themselves about things like I have… Nor are they interested in doing so (that also makes me sad- but I have to remember that I can’t control anyone else’s interests, nor should I try.) When I talk to people, it’s very easy for me to get over-excited and emotional when I discuss things I’m passionate about. It happens more often when I’m talking to like-minded individuals, but when I’m talking to someone with a different viewpoint (on any topic), I have to remember that just because I’m passionate about what I believe in, doesn’t mean that my stance is any better or worse than theirs (I think I’m pretty good at respecting others’ opinions, but I still like to remind myself every so often to keep balance in mind). They may have been through their own circumstances that have led them to where they are today, but we both have ideas that may be valid and wonderful… And most importantly: we can learn from one another.

I could go on and on about other times “balance” has come up in my life.. But I’m pretty sure you get the idea.

Love, Family & Relationships

I have a large family… My mom was one of five children, and my dad was one of TEN. I have over 30 cousins (and second cousins)… So keeping in touch with everyone is really hard. A couple years ago I was able to reconnect with a couple of my cousins that I hadn’t seen in over eight years! (The powers of social media!!)

Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of photographing my one cousin and her family several times a year.. But this month I’ve gotten to see them THREE times! In ONE month!! It’s been awesome, since they live down by the beach I don’t usually get to see them this much!

On one of the coldest days of the year so far, we ventured out to Longwood Gardens and headed straight for the conservatory (because seriously, that windchill was ridiculous, even with my three layers of clothing…). While we were there, my little (second) cousin, Madison, made a friend. This little boy was so entranced by Maddie’s princess dress, I think that’s how the whole thing started.

I absolutely love watching children interact with one another because I find it incredible and fascinating how kind and loving they are to one another immediately. I mean seriously, how cool is it that a four year old can go up and hug another kid just because she wants to share some love? Haha.. It makes me a little sad that it’s not socially acceptable for adults to do this! Why do we lose that as we grow older??

Anyway, Madison had such a good time playing with this little boy who was probably about two. I grabbed these pictures of her smiling and laughing after each time she tried to give him a hug (it was a fun little game they were playing). Our faces all hurt from smiling and laughing at these two, and so many people paused as they passed by, simply to smile, laugh, or comment on how adorable they were.

Check out some of the other photos from that session too… We had a blast in that warm & cozy conservatory!

What’s your hometown’s claim to fame?

Have you ever pretended to be a tourist in the area you grew up? Have you been to local attractions? If someone visits you from another area, where do you take them to show off your town?

I was born and raised in Delaware, and I have to admit… I have not been to MANY of the local attractions. I know it’s not exactly Delaware, but I’m a member of Longwood Gardens (thanks to a family friend who introduced me to that amazing place a few years ago). But I’ve never been to Winterthur, the Delaware Art Museum, Hagley Museum.. the list (shamefully) goes on..

Yesterday, Mark and I decided to go downstate to try to tour a brewery and a distillery. Unfortunately we didn’t get there early enough to make it on the last tour of Dogfish Head Brewery, so we just got to try four samples and then we moved on to our next spot. (I also learned that I’m probably one of very few people to actually get TIPSY off of beer samples. Such a LIGHTWEIGHT! 😛 )
Our next stop was the Delaware Distilling Company which is a nice little bar & restaurant in Rehoboth that distills it’s own rum, gin & vodkas on the premises. The assistant general manager gave us a tour of the the distillery (which you automatically think is going to be a big elaborate process, but it was all packed into a room that is probably only half the size of your bedroom. It was shocking! But it was really cool to see how the process works, and we also learned that they make all of the rum for Seacrets in Ocean City! Impressive that they can supply a bar that size with all of their rum out of that tiny room! We tried the Seacrets’ rum and Delaware Distilling Company’s house rum and Mark and I both liked the DDC’s rum the best. Both were very good, but the Seacrets’ rum tasted a bit more syrupy & sweet, where the DDC rum was lighter and had a nice touch of vanilla. Yum! After we hung out there making friends with strangers at the bar, we made the trek back up north in a snowy mess (it took us over 3 hours to get home! AHH!) We were disappointed we didn’t get to tour Dogfish Head, but the strangers we met at DDC told us in the warmer months, Dogfish does something called “Pints & Paddles” where you take a kayak tour of Broadkill River then tour the brewery. So I guess we will just have to head back down when it warms up! 😀

So around Delaware I’ve been to most of the state parks, and many of the beaches, but honestly I feel like I’m missing out on some cool stuff around here! What’s YOUR favorite spot??

Starting Fresh.

It’s February… I know. But I still consider it to be early in the year, and I’m still feeling the “New Year” flow. You know… that feeling of a “fresh start”. I keep so busy, with so many different things, that it takes me a while to get through them all to make sure they all have their own fresh start every year.

Well, I finally made it around to my Etsy shop. I sell fine art photographic prints and gifts there, mostly landscapes and nature prints. I plan on adding paintings and drawings soon too, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

I decided to invest in a new clean look, to showcase my artwork in a way that allows the viewer to envision it hanging on a wall above (or resting on) a desk (to give a suggested size comparison)… The way I would love for my photos to be displayed! I also decided to make many images limited editions, to help keep fresh images in my shop.

Daisy

So I’m still working on getting things listed.. But feel free to drop by and check it out!
https://www.etsy.com/shop/KatyRosePhotography

P.S. A portion of every sale in my Etsy shop goes to the chosen charity of the month! February’s charity is Tri-State Bird Rescue: “The mission of Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research is to achieve excellence in the rehabilitation of injured, orphaned, and oiled native wild birds, with the goal of returning healthy birds to their natural environment.” You can find out more about the organization here: https://www.tristatebird.org/

What’s Next?

Well, we’re only four weeks into my blog challenge and this week I’m a few days late… Better late than never, though… RIGHT?! I swear it’s with good reason that I’m so late with posting this week.

I graduated!! WOO HOO!!! And then I promptly went over to Stratosphere in Wilmington, and jumped on trampolines… got stuck to a velcro wall.. etc. It was a blast. But.. it was also VERY exhausting (who knew a graduation ceremony was so stressful? 😛 ) plus the acting like a child for a couple hours.. yea.. My legs are sore. Hah!

Anyway, since graduation, I’ve been asked a few times “What’s next?”. Well, what a loaded question!! If you had asked my 18 year-old self what I planned to do after college, I would have probably responded with a generic “well I’ll find a good job (if I don’t have one already), then probably get married and start a family.” My college degree has always been on my “bucket list” of things I want to achieve. I always hoped that I would be able to do so before settling down to start a family so that I would be able to find a job that would allow me to contribute to my family and do so while staying (mostly) at home raising my children.

Well, fast forward 10 years and here we are. I finally have my fancy Bachelor of Science in Photography, and my OWN business where I can work from home! So next is marriage and babies, right?? Hah! Clearly I didn’t read the manual on what it takes to run a business when I started this five years ago. I probably have another year or two of growing my business to where it will be able to adequately contribute to a family. However, if I’ve learned anything over the last ten years, it’s this: LIFE is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. (isn’t that a John Lennon quote?) So I can’t tell you what’s next, because I simply have no way of knowing!

I do, however, have another big “dream” that I’ve been contemplating for some time.. but I’m not quite ready to share that one with the world just yet. I still need to do some research to see if my dream is feasible, and analyze what steps I need to take to reach it. When I am ready to announce that one, you’ll be the first to know. 😉

So what big dreams do you have? Tweet one! @katyrosephoto #dreams

How did I get here?

So one week from today (actually, yesterday… I wrote most of this last night..), I will be walking at my Wilmington University graduation ceremony. The funny thing is, I’ve had not one, but TWO dreams that I arrived to the ceremony only to realize I had forgotten my cap and gown. I’m not sure why my sub-conscience is so concerned about that.. But I sure have gotten a few laughs about it.

Coming to the end of my college career (finally) has obviously inspired some reflection on the last 10 years, and my journey to a bachelors in media design and photography.

Did you know that I had four different majors in the last 10 years? Yep. FOUR! When I graduated high school, I really wasn’t sure about what I wanted. I knew I like to help people.. And I knew I love kids. So I figured, okay.. I can become a nurse and work in labor and delivery. So for my first year of college (at DelTech), I was an allied health major. I quickly realized that memorization is not my strong suit… And also, dissecting things is really gross (sometimes fascinating, but always gross). So I moved on to my second choice: kindergarten teacher! I switched my major to early childhood education, and suddenly was acing all my classes. It was awesome. Until I realized the politics behind teaching.

My personal feelings on education are simple: as humans, I feel that we fear things we don’t know or understand, and fear breeds hate. So I was extremely disappointed to learn all the rules that limit teachers on what they are allowed to teach students, as to not offend someone or cross the barriers into what other cultures or religions believe or celebrate. After about a year of early childhood education classes, I realized I’d probably get fired as a teacher for not sticking to the “core” curriculum, or crossing some fine line into religion if a student asked. So I went looking for a new plan.

One of my favorite parts as an early childhood education major was designing games for kids, then actually getting to work with the preschoolers at the center on campus. So after looking into graphic design programs, I decided to take a little time off from school and just work full-time, as the graphic design program was only offered at DelTech in Dover, and was more expensive anywhere closer.

After two years off from school, working full-time in retail, I realized I had to finish my education if I didn’t want to get stuck in a job I didn’t love. So I found an office job that offered partial tuition reimbursement, and I applied to Wilmington University for the Media Design program. WU offered night and weekend classes which fit my schedule perfectly… And I was super excited to get back to school, learning about design.

In my first semester at WU, I took the basic photography class. Somewhere in those 7 weeks, I realized that I had found my passion, and ran over to the registration office and changed my major to photography, and added a minor in print media. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with those, but I knew I loved photography and all things related to art & design, and was going to find a way to make a living off of those things.

Fast forward five & a half years, and here we are. I started Katy Rose Photography & Design (probably way earlier than I should have) in May of 2010. In my first year of classes at WU, I had learned that I wanted to work for myself one day… And figured I should start right away, part-time, so I could apply the things I was learning and build my business on the best foundation I could manage.

Now, I have been self-employed (full-time) for over a year, and I’m finally getting that expensive piece of paper that signifies knowledge, persistence and accomplishment. I’ve never felt that a degree was necessary for me to be successful, but it is something that I’ve always wanted to complete, and once I found my calling, the journey was not only fun, but I met so many amazing like-minded individuals that continue to be a source of inspiration for me. I think I’m going to miss it…

What was your favorite thing about school (grade school or high education)? Let me know @katyrosephoto on Twitter, or https://www.facebook.com/katyrosephotographyanddesign on Facebook!