Intention Setting • November

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Memory Foam MattressVelvet headboardWhite sheets (the softest on the planet) • Sienna quiltWhite Down Comforter • Nightstand (old) | similarCeramic mug • Gold mirror (vintage – my great grandmother’s)

Happy Monday, loves. 

So I have some exciting news to share, and now is as good a time as any since this week is going to be all about preparing for what’s ahead.

I’m headed to Portugal on Friday!

My sweet friend Jess and I were hired by a new start up company to travel around Lisbon and Porto – her to try out their brand new itinerary travel app, me to take images of her using the app well as travel imagery capturing the landscapes, landmarks and food. 

Is this real life? I can’t tell. 

It’s all divine timing as I’ve been manifesting some changes within work. I absolutely LOVE photographing families/portraits, boudoir shoots and commercial work, but I had been itching for some adventure. I really got a hold of the travel bug last year, and it’s only been growing. Truthfully I never thought I’d be able to incorporate photography with traveling other than selling prints in my shop or shooting destination weddings, and then this happened. 

To say I’m grateful is the understatement of the century. Not only because I’m getting to experience a new place and do what I love, but to be able to do it alongside a friend I know will make this trip one for the archives. 

PS: Be sure to follow Jess’ IG to stay up with us on the trip! I’ll be posting as well, but considering I’ll be behind the lens majority of the time ;) you may be better off tracking her instead. 

In other news • I thought I would do a little recap on October’s Intentions, and introduce November’s since we’re in a brand new month.  Generally I feel like time is flying by, but this month felt really calm and steady. Aside from some overwhelm with my work schedule for part of October, it was a really lovely month and I’m happy to be sliding into November with some things to look forward to – like the aforementioned trip, my sister’s (favorite person) birthday, and Thanksgiving. We’re grieving the loss of my Grandpa as he passed away on Thursday, so I know these holidays will be both difficult and really magical.  Moments like this help us to remember how crucial our family and relationships really are. 

Let’s jump in.

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Take in fresh air as much as possible before the temps hit negative zero. 

I definitely did this, and then some. You could often find me in the hot tub on the rooftop deck after a workout or with girlfriends, taking Jasper down to the dog park multiple times a day and just relaxing on the bench, choosing to walk vs Lyft whenever I could, and sitting out on my balcony layered in sweaters and blankets. As long as there’s no snow, I’m taking full advantage.

Simplify each and every area of my life

There are still a few areas that could use some love when it comes to this subject, but I did get rid of my “junk drawer”, organized my desk, my desktop, my hard drive, organized my closet (a favorite past time) and finally got around to starting up a Google Calendar which has been a GAME CHANGER when it comes to having two businesses and freelance work on top of personal commitments. 

Discover my new neighborhood with Jasper

So as much as I wanted to get Jasper to be down for walks around my neighborhood (we did this sometimes), he’s just so much happier being leash free at the dog park.  So I gave up in that arena and end up just exercising him there.  But, I have a new friend who lives down the street from me that I’ve been spending a lot of time with, and it’s been so fun exploring the West Loop alongside her. 

Take photos just for me, not for work

Yes and no :)  This has mainly been occurring on my phone, so it’s not a total loss, but I didn’t take my camera out and around with me as much as I intended. Maybe it’s time to invest in a lighter camera to have for personal use? Mine is has heavy as a newborn baby, no joke.

Really hone in on my wardrobe style

1,000% yes. This month was really fun when it came to my style and dressing myself based on my intuition. You can see it come full circle through my Fall Capsule Wardrobe that I posted a couple of weeks ago. Major color theme going on, but it feels good to know full well that what I’m grabbing for each day is something that I love and really value. 

Now onto this month…

November Intentions Banner - The Calm Collective

Explore my relationship with yoga, sans judgement and pressure

Confession: I’ve always been super intimated by yoga. Why? I’m not really sure. While I’d describe myself as spiritual (surprising to all of you, I know ;) for some reason I had always felt like maybe I wasn’t spiritual enough to really gain the mental benefits of the practice.  And then I’d get into this head space of feeling like I don’t fit the persona of someone who practices yoga. I’m spiritual, yes. I’m super mindful, yes. But I’m also ridiculous – I appreciate witty banter a crass joke, drinking wine and binging on some Netflix from time to time, you get the idea.

But then something clicked for me during a class at a new studio I’ve been trying out. I looked around the room and I felt connected to everyone. We were all so different, and yet so very much the same. Some people were first timers, some had been practicing for years (and it showed). Some people cried during class (hi!), and some people let out some laughs due to the instructors jokes (even she made jokes! See what I’m getting at here?) Yoga doesn’t need to be compartmentalized or judged as a practice only for “x” types of people.  

One of my favorite quotes I’ve stumbled upon: 

Remember: It is possible to be a multifaceted woman. 

Read books and twerk.

Be spiritual and a freak.

That’s where I live, y’all. I’m a multifaceted woman. Forever and always.

Dance at least once a week

For a long period of time, I’d be dancing every single day. I danced for a studio and throughout high school and some in college, and then I just… stopped.  Probably because when you’re not doing it FOR someone or with an end goal in mind (competitions, a profession, etc) it’s easy to trick our minds into saying “well, why keep doing then?”  When my most recent transition took place and I had this whole “the world is my oyster” outlook, dancing was one of the first things that came up for me. I felt so pulled to get back into a studio – just for me, not for any end-goal in mind.  I recently started going to the Lou Conte Dance Studio at Hubbard Dance Center and to say it’s been therapeutic is such an understatement. So it’s my intention this month (and months to follow) to give myself the space and the freedom to just show up, even when life gets busy. Especially when life gets busy.

Try a couple of new recipes a week from my current favorite cookbook

I have this cookbook sitting on my counter, and have truthfully only made 1-2 things from it (I’ve had it for a while). Cooking is a relaxing thing for me, however shopping for ingredients is not. I actually find it a little overwhelming, so I want to try and form a rhythm that makes it less so (any suggestions are welcomed!) By planning out 1-2 meals a week that I pull from the cookbook and setting designated times to be at home and make said meals (whether for myself or for friends), I’m allowing myself to get creative outside of my every day mediums (writing and photographing). 

Start Free-Podcasting 

What does that even mean, you might be wondering? I literally just made it up. But what I’m trying to get at is that very, very often.. I’ll be in my apartment and think to myself “I’d love to talk about x right now on the podcast”, but I talk myself out of recording in that vulnerable moment, because I haven’t properly set up an outline. I tell myself that it’s a bit risky and reckless to just sit in front of the mic and start talking.. what if I lose my direction? What if I don’t make any sense?

…but what if I do?

So this month, I want to let go of the rules that surround podcasting. I’ve done it once before with this episode, and it was incredibly freeing. And since I’m a firm believer in showing up raw and real, why not throw out the outlines all together and get right down to the authentic truth of what’s on my mind? 

So there they are • November’s intentions. Something I much prefer rather than setting lofty goals that I may or may not reach.

Other Noteworthy Things

• Fill out this form and enter to win my favorite (favorite, favorite) electronic toothbrush!

• Don’t forget to enter this giveaway that ends on Thursday! The holidays are just around the corner, so if you don’t keep it for yourself, it makes for the perfect gift (plus it takes no time to enter)

• I’m working on my minimalist carry on for Portugal and will be posting this on Wednesday! Grateful to have my fall capsule all organized so I can simply pull from there.

• I just got these pants for Nordstrom (adding them to the capsule), and I’m in LOVE. High waisted leather pants that fit like jeans and aren’t over $200. Finally.


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