A Little Update: Life Lately

Life Lately: A Little Life Update - The Calm Collective

Happy Monday, guys. It’s a brand new week, and I for one am more than ready for a fresh slate. I’ve got quite a bit going on, but it’s all very balanced between work and seeing friends, getting organized around the #tccloft and still having time to unwind and relax.  Today is a big shoot day for this blog to go along with a lot of holiday content that I have in the works (so nuts that it’s already close to that time of year!), followed by a quiet night of writing.  This is where I’d say that I would pair that with watching Stranger Things, but I’m working on single tasking these days, and also, this season is not making me feel all that good. It’s so dark! Plus, I always notice around this time of year (when I lost my dad) that I need to keep myself uplifted and surrounded by positive energy. Every little bit counts.

So with that being said, I thought I’d do a little life update today here on the blog! It’s been a while, and there are a few new, exciting things happening around here.


  •  Some really big news (for me, anyway): I photographed my last large wedding as a photographer this past weekend.  (though I’m still doing small destination weddings, courthouse ceremonies & elopements) It was such a perfect day and an amazing way to end this almost 8 year streak.  This decision didn’t come easily, and I lost a lot of sleep over it – but in my heart of hearts I know it’s the right thing to do. It hasn’t been sitting well with my soul for the past year or so, but I kept letting fear control the decision.  I’m so grateful and excited for a new chapter as a photographer, and to continue this journey as an artist on a much more calming, minimal scale.
  • Speaking of commercial work, last week I was hired to photograph a spread for Self Magazine in a couple of weeks, which will be on newsstands March 2018! Aside from some incredible travel opportunities, this marks my biggest accomplishment with photography to date.
  • Have you guys heard of Society6? It’s a website that accepts artist’s work and turns it into an array of products (coffee mugs, tapestries, phone cases, even clocks! .. the list truly goes on and on) I submitted some of my work about a week ago, and you can now shop select Cassandra Photo pieces right here :) *the canvas bag set is my favorite.

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  • If you follow along on Instagram, you’ve probably caught quite a few stories of a house renovation that’s been in the works. My guy has been searching for a house for quite a long time up in Northern Michigan, and finally stumbled across the sweetest little chalet that sits just a mere 5 minutes from downtown Traverse City, and is surrounded by 6 acres of trees.  It’s been so much fun (and a lot of work!) gutting the entire house and giving it new life.  Stay tuned for a couple of blog posts and fun collaborations in the very near future!
  • About two months ago, I posted on my personal Facebook page that I was having issues with my sweet pup Jasper and his separation anxiety whenever I would leave. It was so bad, so I decided to take him to a behavioral specialist, and they confirmed that he has severe anxiety, which broke my heart. He’s been on some medication since he was suffering with some pretty gnarly side effects from panic, and is doing so much better. While I don’t love the idea of him being on an over the counter drug for the long term, it’s been a helpful tool while I do research on natural ways to help ease him. (I’m open to any and all suggestions, should you have them! He’s tried the calming treats and those don’t work for him)  I was worried about a personality change when we started him out on the meds, but he’s still the same hilarious, sweet, snuggly pup. So just a little update for those of you who have been asking, or if any of you have a fur baby who’s been suffering – there’s hope!

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  • I can’t stop applying this lip moisturizer.  Not only does it add the perfect amount of shine, but it does so without being sticky (like, at all) and my lips have never felt or looked so healthy. You know how as you get a bit older you start to notice lines in your lips? (hello, sun damage!) I’ve literally seen a difference since I’ve been wearing this every day, multiple times a day.  So, just a little PSA for you guys as the winter months are approaching!
  • One more thing to tell you guys about. This sweatshirt is heavenly. While in Aerie a few months ago, I came across this sweatshirt that was super basic, but super super soft, and I knew I wanted to add it to my closet for lounge wear. The only problem was that they only had an XL available, whereas I’m usually around a medium.  I held it up to myself in the mirror, not quite able to get rid of the idea that it wasn’t coming home with me (the whole love vs. like mentality)  and immediately had a light bulb moment. I bought the XL, love it even more, since I can wear it around the house with no pants (haha), and even pair it with leggings and booties as a day to day outfit.  It’s definitely making it’s way into my winter capsule this year, so stay tuned. I can’t recommend it enough.

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Health & Food

  • I’m going to admit that I’ve been so bad with my workout routine between the house renovation and just wanting to sit still and relax when I’m back in Chicago, but yesterday morning I woke up ready to get back into the swing of things.  It’s as of it just hits you one day, mentally. And even though you’ve been overlooking it, you just don’t feel good. And I’m there.  I never let that feeling last for more than a day or so if I can help it, because it can wreak havoc on my mental state – which there is just no time for that. Life is short and I intend to live long ;)
  • My sister has always been super into taking herbs throughout her days (even the babies take them!) and any time I’m feeling a certain way, one of her first comments is always: there’s an herb for that.  I love her for it, because she doesn’t run straight for over the counter medication, and I’m always trying to find ways to incorporate more homeopathic care into my life. For my birthday, she got me a bottle of Liquid Sunshine (which is amazing and I’m already almost all the way through! Sadly I can’t find it online) and when I was in San Francisco last week, I insisted we stop at one of my favorite little shops, Scarlet Sage Herb Co. so I could find some others.  I ended up with a couple of WishGarden’s (this one for stress and this one for my immune system; works like a freaking charm), and I also have one for cramps, which is invaluable, since mine hurt pretty bad each month and it’s so much better than taking Advil all day long.
  • I mentioned this in post a little while back, but I’ve been loving adding chocolate cashew milk to my hot coffee in the morning. Just a little splash, but it so good!  While I used to have about 3 cups a day (ha), I’ve been having one cup of coffee followed by a cup of matcha (which I’ve also started putting in my smoothies)  My favorite breakfast has been consisting of an egg white omelet with peppers, feta or goat cheese, and topped with either salsa or hot sauce. Yes, please. My favorite snack? Half an avocado with salt, pepper and hot sauce.  Savory foods for the win.

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Hope you all have a great week! Take care of yourself, won’t ya? ;)

Speaking off which: you can download your FREE copy of the Simple Guide to Every Day Self Care by signing up for the Weekly Newsletter on the sidebar of this blog.

(If you signed up a while back before this guide was created and would like a copy, send me a quick email and I’ll pop it over to you!  hello@thecalmcollective.com)