Resolutions Come Crashing Down

As you may have noticed, I have been silent as of late.  I had such great expectations for 2011 and what I would accomplish and already, 5 weeks into the year, I have let certain resolutions fall by the wayside. My Project 365 may have been a bit too ambitious for me.  Not that this is an excuse, but I am taking 17 units at school this semester while attempting to get my photography business off the ground.  That, plus my lovely little girl Lola is pregnant with 4 puppies! That’s right, we are expecting in the next couple of weeks.  This has me running around crazy, all I do is feed and walk her.  Who knew dogs would eat sooooo much while pregnant?

Not all of my resolutions have failed as miserably as the Project 365.  I wanted to run more, and I have been doing a pretty decent job of it. In fact, I am running my very first half marathon this year. The other resolution I have been diligently following is to get my business up and running in 2011.  I am so lucky that I have a husband that allows me to follow my bliss, to work only part time while going to school and trying to see if this will work for me.  Out of the two of us, he is the practical business minded one, while I tend to be the more creative free spirited type. This is probably why I have been practicing massage therapy for the past 12 years and am now transitioning into photography. So when I said, I want to to be a photographer back in May of 2011 he said, “Write up a business plan”. Instead, I signed up for a couple of classes in Photoshop and photography. When classes got underway and I was getting the feel for it he said,”Write up a business plan”.  Instead I advertised my services and got a few clients.  Christmas came and I got a fancy new lens and camera bag from my parents.  I was so excited, more toys to play with and create new and wonderful photos! My darling husband again said,”Write up a business plan”.  (Are you noticing a pattern here?) And now, in the past few weeks I have been struggling because I so desperately don’t want to let this be one of those resolutions that are forgotten but wasn’t sure what to do, so I started researching business plans.  Yup, I definitely am one of those “I’ll do it on my time schedule not when you tell me to do it” kinda people. I was getting frustrated.  How do I price myself? What do I need to do? I want to be successful but I know all to well that you can be an amazing photographer, massage therapist, anything and if you don’t have a clear plan, you will fail.

Just as I was about to throw a small pity party for myself, as has been known to happen when I get frustrated, a ray of hope came my way via Facebook.  I was perusing the updates one morning and I saw that Alicia Caine from Served up Fresh had a new book coming out.  Happy Place.  Well, I want a happy place, don’t you? Alicia’s Happy Place is really a guidebook to writing your business plan. Hey, I really need one of those! So I downloaded the ebook last night and have just started reading it.  One chapter in and I am hooked.  Alicia really knows her stuff and I am well on my way to keeping this resolution!  What have I learned so far?

Happy Place = Business Plan = Direction & Goals = Happy Dana = Happy Husband

If you are a photographer, this is a must read.  Go check out her website or her Facebook fan page!

p.s. In case you were wondering….I am working very diligently on the new website, so keep an eye out! It should be ready soon.

p.p.s. Here is a little bit of oh so adorable-ness to get you through your day!

All Star Bulldogs

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Long beach take 2

Yet another short post. I am going to be back to normal in 2 days. Well, I hope. Here is what my evening consisted of. Night all!

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Let’s Make Some Dough

Well, since I am not entirely sure I am going to be able to upload my photos while in Long Beach, I want to try and continue my streak of a post a day in 2011.  I thought I would share some of my photos from  my most recent cooking experiment. One of my goals this year was to eliminate as many processed foods as possible.  To do this, I am learning to make things from scratch.  I have always had this fascination with doing things the way our grandparents did.  I don’t know about you, but I have always admired everything my grandmothers were able to do, all while looking fabulous on a budget.  I have fond memories sitting at my grandma’s kitchen table while she did her own roller set and had fresh bread in the oven.  So my experiment the other day was to bake my own whole wheat bread.  Now, let me preface this by saying I know I broke the cardinal rule of baking. Don’t mess with the formula.  Baking is chemistry and if you mess with the recipe, it won’t turn out.

I used this recipe from King Arthur Flour’s website for 100% Whole Wheat Bread. I couldn’t find dried milk so I substituted evaporated milk and cut down some of the water that the recipe called for. Well, my dough still ended up a bit to sticky.  I wasn’t going to mess with the recipe any more than I already had.                                                    I found that it didn’t even take an hour for the first or second rising of the dough.  It cooked pretty quickly too.  Although I will have to figure out how to get my bread out without destroying the loaf the next time I bake!                             

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Intended for Everyday Use

For the next few days, my posts will be brief, I am preparing to head to Long Beach for the TNNA convention.  My mom is a needlepoint designer and this is the BIG show of the year and lucky lucky me, I will be there helping her man her booth. I am actually looking forward to see the types of fibers that will be there, I am sure I can ge some beautiful photographs.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

There are things that we use every day that we just would not survive without. For me, it is my trusty teapot and cup and saucer.  I use both twice a day, filled with coffee in the morning and Sleepytime tea in the evening.  And to think, the sales person at Pottery Barn actually tried to convince me that we wouldn’t use the saucers or the teapot.  What can’t you live without?

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A Little Sunshine

The rain clouds have finally parted here in Southern California.  The sun has returned.  Unfortunately it is still unusually cold here.  And seeing as that I am a native Californian, the only cold weather clothing I own is my snowboarding gear.  (Do I board? No.  But that is another story).  Now, normally,  I would make some really great and heavy and warm comfort food but that wouldn’t help my New Years goal.  I know there are quite a few healthy recipes that are warm and comforting, but when I am talking about comfort food, I am talking about baked manacotti or lasagna or a big bowl of french onion soup with lots and lots of melt-y cheese.  But I am off on a tangent and a tempting one at that.  Today I am focusing on finding sunshine and warmth through the idea of color therapy.  With sun popping out, I was so tempted to use actual sunshine to get my photo. It is the new year and I can have some will power and self control. I fell in love with the beautiful lemons I got from my moms house and thought these are bright and warm and sunshine-y! Not only do they brighten up flavors in food, but they do make me smile.  A bit of sunshine in an otherwise grey winter!

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All the Possibilities

January has such a wonderful sound.  A fresh and shiny new year, just out of the package.  It can be anything you want it to be.  You can see this in a brand new calendar or planner, with their bright white empty pages, just waiting for you to shape your year.  It has so many possibilities.  Now, I know I may be romanticized the new year a bit here, but I just love the idea of being able to start something fresh and new.  This year, my husband and I have made a list of resolutions to tackle this year.  Wait, hold on, I really hate the idea of resolutions.  People always break them so often and so quickly.  I have found I have more success when I set goals for myself.  My goals for this year? Hubby and I want to build our savings and retirement accounts up.  We have been doing pretty well so far, but we want to see where we can improve. We sound like grown ups, don’t we?  Next, I want to see where this photography and graphic design thing can take me.  There are so many possibilities with this.  I am so excited.  I also have many projects I want to complete throughout the year.  I mentioned in a past post about my pile o’ unfinished projects, I really would like to complete quite a few of these because I know as everyday passes, I think of more I would like to do. Another goal I have is I  want to continue to lose weight.  I have been working on that (successfully) for the past 2 years.  I know I can do better, but I have lost about 40lbs since I started out 2 years ago, and that isn’t too shabby.  Hubby and I have been talking about our vacation for this year and we are thinking somewhere that requires bathing suits.  That is extra motivation if I ever heard it. My last goal kind of goes along with the lose more weight goal.  Last year I was able to run and entire 5k without stopping.  I have completed 2 5k before last year, but this was the very first one I ran without stopping.  This year, I want to up the ante.  I am not sure how far I am willing to run, because I don’t want to set myself up for failure, but expect a distance goal soon from me. 

I bet you are wondering what all of this has to do with todays photo.  Well, today was all about possibilities.  Where you can go with a bright and shiny new year.  I chose this photo of running shoes.  Because there is no limit to where these can take me.  They can take me to my new years goals and beyond.  What are your goals and possibilities for 2011?

Oh the possibilities!

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Breath of Fresh Air, take 2

I think I am having deja vu.  I opened my inbox and found the email for todays photo, Breath of Fresh Air.  Didn’t I just do this one?  Oh, that’s right I did.  And wasn’t it raining the last time?  Yes it was.  Well, welcome to Breath of Fresh Air, take 2.  I have a feeling I may have a few repeats in my prompts this month.  I am not complaining, I may be able to try something new or improve on photos I may not have been so happy with.  There isn’t too much different about this photo, other than it was absolute favorite out of all the photos I took today.  I should probably explain this photo a bit, our Christmas tress are out on our porch and thriving. I am not sure what it is about raindrops on plants that I love.  Maybe it is just that we don’t normally get rain here and I am mesmerized by it.  Maybe it is because the raindrops look like little crystal balls waiting to tell the future.  Whatever it is, it makes me happy.

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