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Year in Review – My Favorite Photos

A photo is so much more than just a photo. It’s a moment captured. Within one photo, so many memories and thoughts are held. 2017 was a tough year and it had several downs and many lessons learned but it also had many wonderful times. Times of strength, times of when love was discovered and joy was born.

This week I took some time to reflect on the year, sifting through photos that were taken throughout the year and just taking some time to sit and be grateful. Grateful for the people that stuck by my side throughout the year, grateful for the adventures I was able to attend and for the challenges I conquered.

My Year in Review: Photo Style

Photo Shoots & Art

Artistically, this was a big year of growth for me. I painted in more color, pushed boundaries and expanded topics, explored with varied mediums, and was in more art shows this year than ever before. I even painted a “party llama” for my best gal’s birthday! Super fun!

The same goes for my photo shoots. New angles, new styles, and new sides of me. Thank you to my photographer Anthony Machcinski, I was able to capture some of my favorite shots and discover a little bit about myself along the way. A little shout out to him – his photos are definitely worth checking out more @PhotosbyChinski on Facebook. Here’s a little sneak of one of my favorite photos from his collection (which I must note, it is so amazing to be able to have artwork next to his in the local art shows – gives me kind of that “look at us, we’re kind of like rock stars” warm and fuzzy feeling).

 

Food & Drink

Let’s just be honest here, food and drink is a pretty important category for every year. This year I really made a point to try new things though (which you’ll get to see a fun list in a later post “New Things I Tried in 2017). I tried new fish, fell in love with charcuterie boards, had champagne on my birthday, ate at a french restaurant, created amazing vegetarian pizzas for meatless Fridays during Lent, and had my first repin of a restaurant meal! It was kind of a fun foodie kind of year.

Adventures & Bucket List Items

I had one big grand adventure this year that I was able to cross off my bucket list – NOLA Trip!!! But I learned this year that it doesn’t have to be grand or far away to be an adventure. Adventures can happen anywhere, including right in your town or backyard! I crossed off touring the Haines Shoe House (yes it’s a house shaped like a shoe – an actual shoe – read more about it here: ‘What’s Up With That Huge Shoe by Route 30?’), I had a fun day being a big kid and eating lots of ice cream at the Turkey Hill Experience, I ran a 10 mile race in June (yeah, yeah, I know I talk about it all the time – but come on, this was a huge feat for me!), did squats by Inner Harbor in Baltimore for a fitness post, yoga in a bunny costume, bet on a horse race…no matter where you are, you can always find an adventure.

Little Moments & More Favorites

Coming home and seeing that your son made your mannequin dab, realizing that your dad’s old truck makes an awesome black and white photo, being rained out of a local charity race to find fun in grabbing grub at the local market, the beautiful flower in the garden you see in the morning that makes your day, Duck Donuts Mommy and Son Breakfast Dates, watching the pups always bantering on who has what, the cranky snapchat picture you send your BFF after a bad day……

 Finding out your dad has a brain tumor and that he’s going to need surgery but going out as a family and having a wonderful day anyways because you know that together you can make it through, the inspiration on your desk, the new puppy to the family, the moment you realize how much your son is like you, the funny things that happen at work, the beautiful sunrise you catch after an early morning gym appointment, the unconditional love from a pet……

The face you make when you know you have to go to the gym, you’re going to go to the gym, but you don’t want to go to the gym. The first time the puppy gets mail, the Subway lunch you’re having at 7:32 in the morning because you’re day started at 4am for Black Friday Shopping, and of course the SnapChat filters that make you feel pretty and laugh every darn time……

Life can have so many beautiful moments, big and small, sometimes silly, sometimes awakening. Celebrate them all, every day, every week, every month, every year. Celebrate you, your life, and everyone in it. <3 Onward to a new year ahead!

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Moments with a Glass of Wine – (& a special offer for my readers!)

A glass of wine means so much more to me than just a cup of alcohol…a glass of wine means friendship, good conversation, a moment to relax, to chat about memories and dreams. Some of my fondest memories circle around a good glass of wine. I remember sitting on the patio next to the garden dreaming up adventures and life with my neighbors, I remember the 4th of July that my mother and I sat on the porch and watched the fireworks from our backyard, the shared bottle of wine around the bonfire, the glass of wine with my best friend while we picked songs for her wedding…every glass of wine that I have ever had brought with it a memory. 

“Not much beats a good glass of wine and good conversation.”

I have an exciting offer to share with all of my fellow wine lovers out there too! I was given the opportunity to work with Mavenx and Drinks.com to bring you some very special savings. With warmer weather on the way I am excited to stock up for many warm nights and great wine with friends and family.

Find what deal suits your palate with all the exclusive offers I have on my Mavenx Board – Special Savings on Wonderful Wines. What’s great about these sites is that you don’t have to be in a club/subscription service to buy the wine at the special pricing!

 All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page

The Purpose of Memories

Memories……

We carry so many with us, it makes me wonder where they all stay. Some locked away only to be recalled by a certain spark. Some that bring strength, some that bring joy and just the slight smile, and some that still sting like the prick from the sharp edge of a dagger. I would not return any of them though, for they make up a part of me. 

I still remember the steadfast words that my grandmother told me while I sat by her hospital bed, “Everyday just do your best and that will always be enough.”  – This brings inspiration and purpose to every one of my days. 

I still remember the Fourth of July night that my mother and I sat on the porch with glasses of wine laughing about our trials of life and watching the fireworks. – This brings a smile to me every time. 

I still remember my first kiss under the play set on the playground. – This brings a memory of a sense of discovery. 

I still remember the first time my son told me hated me. – This brings strength and courage to me. 

Our memories are part of our story, they shape us and they remind us of where we’ve come from and what we’ve learned. 

Memories……

Some cherished, some painful…but all a part of us and that makes each one so beautiful and so powerful. Each one of our memories provides us a lesson in our lives. 

“Sometimes you will never know the value of moment until it becomes a memory.”