Throwback Poems

I was going through some of my writings/doodlings and came across some poems from a few years ago.

 

This isn’t the most mature or fabulous poem I’ve ever written, but for some reason, I just like it. 🙂 

Caution

 

I walk slowly behind my shadow,
I take cover behind my stare,
I hide behind blue eyes,
And camouflage myself with hair.
I look before I step;
I’m never off the ground to leap.
I sit before I stand,
And I think before I speak.
But I’m not scared of dying,
Or falling from a plane;
I’m not afraid of lions,
Or lightning in the rain.
Can you guess my biggest fear?
One darker than the night?
I think I’m scared of living.
My biggest fear is Life.
That’s what I thought before we met,
That Life could cause me the most pain;
That only Life could disappoint me,
Or leave me in the hardest way.
But my biggest fear’s not Life,
It’s saying what I know is true.
My biggest fear is Loving,
And my second fear is You.

I also like the poem below. I wrote it a few years ago, and I still live by it. I’m a sing-songy  writer, if you didn’t notice ☺️

Discipline

Enlightened are those who control their thoughts.
Humbled are those who know their faults.
Happy are those who choose to be.
Thankful are those who know their needs.
Evolving are those who know their seasons.
Educated are those who know the reasons.
Wise are those who know oneself.
Intelligent are those who study all else.
Hopeful are those who choose to believe.
Blessed are those who know all these.

 

 

Cheers!

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My Golden “Furiend”

Nikolai (Niko) is undeniably my best friend. He is a 3 year old Golden Retriever whom I have parented since he was a mere six weeks old. Here are some photos I took from that precious meeting.

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I adopted Niko with the intention of partnering with him for volunteer work involving animal-assisted therapy. AAT is any type of therapy involving a certified animal that is targeted to improve a patient’s social, cognitive, emotional, or physical functioning. Because of this, Niko and I started training from the day he came home.

Follow the link below to view a video of 8-week-old Niko performing a few commands:  Baby Niko Performing Commands

When Niko was almost two, he was ready for therapy training. He passed it with flying colors.

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Though Niko passed his training because he is such a good, smart boy, we are taking a break from it until I finish my Master’s. He started displaying some signs of anxiety when we would venture out, and it’s not fair to expect him to perform if he is not completely comfortable. We’ll work through that as soon as I have time to take him out a little at a time every day in order to get him over that hump!

For now, he is just happy playing with his cousins whenever he gets the chance.

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He has a very goofy personality, but he is also sweet, gentle, and sensitive.

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Feel free to comment with stories and photos of your furry family members!

Thank you for reading.

 

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Artful Attempts

As I stated in my “about me”, I tend to get these random ideas which lead me to becoming a “jack of trades, master of none”. One of those “ideas” was that I wanted to become a fine artist (for fun). Granted, I had absolutely NO experience with working with any medium, much less charcoal or pastels, but that didn’t stop me! I ordered a J.D. Hillberry’s book Drawing Realistic Textures in Pencil and got started, truly not knowing what I was getting into at the time! I have always been interested in art and artists, and J.D. is one of my favorite contemporary artists. If you are unfamiliar with his work, you can follow him on Facebook here: J.D. Hillberry – Facebook.

I only drew 8 pieces total (4 with charcoal and 4 with charcoal/pastels) before I gave it up because it is so time consuming and difficult! However, I definitely plan on getting back into it after I complete my Master’s degree (just for fun). The level of respect I have for artists is so much greater now that I have attempted to do what they do. It is so difficult, and time consuming, but at the same time I loved how meditative, fun, and rewarding it could be become. I’ll never be an actual artist but we all should draw, sing, and dance to our hearts desire for fun – regardless of level!

Here are two of the charcoal pieces I completed. They could use some work, but I honestly was surprised that they weren’t horrible given that I’m a beginner! I actually like the “eye” a lot.

Here are two of the pastel pieces I completed. I don’t like them as much, but I actually had more fun doing these than the charcoal pieces.

 

I want to try out colored pencils next! (Um, I’ve never even colored in a coloring book with them but OH WELL!)

Only one more year to go, BU! 🙂

You don’t have to be good to try or have fun – the arts (fine and performing) are for everyone to enjoy. They are such a part of being human.

If you’re into art, you may enjoy the works of Alyssa Monks. She is an amazing painter. I also quite enjoyed her TED Talk. Watch it below:

Alyssa Monks TED Talk: The Beautiful Awful

Here is one of my favorite paintings of hers, Synthesis. I have shared it courtesy of her Facebook page.

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Thank you for reading.

 

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Photo Fun

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Another fun activity I like to partake in is Photography. While going through undergrad, I worked two part-time jobs: one as a marketing coordinator for a doctor’s office, and one as a photographer for Sears Portrait Studio. Although I think we can all agree that Sears was never known for the splendor of its portraits, it did introduce me to a new art, and I fell in love. Soon after graduating I started a business called My Imagenation Photography. (Yes, I intentionally played the word “imagination” so that it could also read “image nation”. I never claimed that I wasn’t nerdy!) I have taken a break from this while I am in school, but I’ll start taking clients again upon graduation. It is such fun!

I’ll share a few shots!

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Remember: you’re only limited by your “imagenation”. See what I did there? I also never claimed to be cool. 🙂

I’m currently working with a Canon 7D, but believe I’ll update soon. If you have any camera suggestions, please free to share! I have been eyeing the 5D Mark IV.

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Thanks for viewing.

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Literary Lines

So, I have a lot of things I want to try in life. One of them is penning a trilogy. I like to blame all of my unfinished projects on the fact that I am working a salaried position while in grad school – who’s with me? It’s a great excuse. I cannot wait to dive back into the trilogy and write. I developed the full synopsis prior to starting, so I am excited to see my ending come into fruition. I have completed about 200 pages thus far. It’s a romance that turns into a bit of a mystery. It’s about a girl who recently graduates undergrad with the anticipation of marrying her college sweetheart that following summer. Unfortunately he dumps her just months prior to the scheduled nuptials. Having the honeymoon already planned, she takes the trip with her female best friend. She ends up meeting a man on a cruise and long story short, they end up continuing their relationship after the ship docks. She soon finds out he is married. But not all marriages are equal…

That’s all I’ll share for now.

Because I like writing poetry, I have incorporated some into the novel. The below poem is the novel’s prologue.

Safety

You’ll never sink,

If you never swim.

So hold your breath,

But don’t dive in.

Cause Danger’s shown to us through fear,

to save your heart from future tears…

You’ll never fall,

If you never fly.

So hold your wings,

And stay inside.

Cause Pain is never worth the ride…

 

Do any of you like writing novels or poetry in your spare time?

Little known fact: Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite poet. I am such a happy person, but I’m intrigued by the darkness!

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Look at What I Cook

Early last year I discovered I have a dairy allergy that was affecting my hormonal levels. That was pretty crazy, and it also put a slight damper on my love for cooking. However, realizing this really turned around how I live my life and look at food. Within a few months of becoming dairy-free, I felt so much better and it actually occurred to me that I should maybe start paying attention to what I put into my body, altogether. I know! What an amazing concept for an American to grasp! It only took me 29 years, but better late than never, right? 😉 After I was comfortable with being dairy-free, I started eliminating other things in my diet that were processed, especially if they had a lot of real or artificial sugar/syrups. Yes, that means that I went through a massive caffeine/sugar withdraw for far over a week because my parents literally let me drink soda/pop every day since I was in preschool and I continued that habit into my adulthood. I’m not blaming them for anything, I am just saying, I was beyond addicted. The good news is: I never have to go through that withdraw again. The bad news is: I can’t believe the damage I’ve probably been doing to myself. Anyway, it is very possible to find clean recipes or adapt recipes to make them cleaner.

Salmon with Coconut Rice and Mango Salsa is one of my favorite recipes. Rice isn’t exactly clean, but a girl’s gotta live sometimes. 🙂 I also noted some substitutes at the bottom because coconut milk is super fattening, too. Overall, this isn’t too bad, though. #moderation

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Salmon

4 skinless fresh salmon fillets (I had to buy it with the skin on and cut it off – but cut it off or it’s yucky!)

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp lime zest

3 Tbsp fresh lime juice

3 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Let the salmon marinate in the refrigerator for an hour. Pull it out when you’re ready to start the rice/salsa so that it becomes closer to room temperature prior to grilling.

(You can also use chicken breast or shrimp and it’s good!)

 

Coconut Rice

1 1/2 cups Zico Coconut Water

1 1/4 cups canned coconut milk

1 1/2 cups jasmine rice, rinsed well and drained well

1/2 tsp salt

I combine all the rice ingredients into a rice cooker and let it go! Then I start the salsa.

(You can use cauliflower rice instead of jasmine rice (but use much less liquid with cauliflower). Coconut milk is also really fattening so you can sauté some veggies to throw in the mango salsa if you’re concerned about that and forgo the coconut rice altogether. It will still be good! (I usually make it with the sautéed veggies, no rice, but I admit the rice tastes better!)

 

Mango Salsa

1 large mango, peeled and diced

1 cup chopped red bell pepper (1/2 large)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/3 cup chopped red onion, rinsed under water and drained

1 large avocado, peeled and diced (sometimes I leave this out)

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp Zico Coconut Water

Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the ingredients and place the salsa into the refrigerator.

(Sometimes I make it sweeter by adding pineapples to the salmon marinade and the salsa, and sometimes I make it spicy by adding red crushed pepper flakes to the salmon and diced serrano peppers to the salsa. I’ve also added both and made it sweet/spicy. This basic recipe is easy to experiment with however you wish.)

 

Then use olive oil on a cast iron grill (if you’re inside, which I usually am…) and grill the salmon until it’s cooked. (I’m sure you can foil wrap and bake it if you don’t have an inside grill.)

Then combine your meal and make it pretty!

 

I stole the basic recipe (minus a few revisions) from Pinterest and now I can’t even remember where it is from… whoops.

If you have any good recipes, let me know!

 

Cheers to my iPhone Food Porn!

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Wonderings

I just recently went on a trip to Europe for two weeks. Everything about the trip was amazing, and my only regret is not taking my higher quality camera. (These were all taken by my iPhone 6!) I visited Frankfurt, Kaiserslautern, Trier, and Cochem, Germany. (While in Germany I visited family.)  I then traveled to Paris, France, which ended up being my favorite city. I ended the trip in Italy, and visited Rome, Vatican City, Florence, and Fiumicino. Being the cry baby that I am when it comes to art, I may have shed some secret tears in The Louv and The Sistine Chapel. I can’t wait to return!

Germany:

Paris, France:

Italy:

I am thinking my next adventure will be JAPAN! Where are some of your favorite places to visit?

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