Happy Thanksgiving

This thanksgiving was extra special. This Thanksgiving, I was sick as a dog. Starting last weekend, I contracted a upper respiratory viral infection that evolved into asthmatic bronchitis. I didn’t take the onset of cold very well, I suppose. Days of high and mid grade fever, zero energy, no appetite, splitting headaches, awful body pains and coughing fits so bad I didn’t sleep for a couple of nights led me to the doctor’s where a big cortisone shot in the butt and a variety of drugs and inhalers got me back on track. It’s been 9 days of this so far but I feel so blessed!  Through it all I’ve had no problem getting to stay home and focus on healing. I have a wonderful husband that took care of everything including solo shooting a session for me.  My boss and office kept it stress free as I stayed home and the flexibility that comes with my job is so magnificent.  My family was sure to check on me and bring me loads of food.  :) My brother made sure to help me out however he could with runs to the store, food, and bossing me into taking my meds at the right times. I’m so very loved and supported. These are people that don’t just say they care. They do things to care for me. I love them and this Thanksgiving I’ve had nothing but blessings to think about. I pray to God that I always be like the people I am surrounded by!

Happy Thanksgiving!


This Too Shall Pass

I was pondering over my buffalo chicken wings today. There won’t be any more wings after I eat this last one.

Oddly it felt like a very profound thought. All things in a single human life pass, no matter how notable or trifling. The thought expanded; tendrils of the concept claiming more things it applied to.

School. Childhood. Disasters. Projects. Homes. Relationships. Parents. Jobs. Opportunities. Quiet moments. Wrath.

It was a reminder to endure the parts of our lives we don’t care for and embrace the moments in the parts of our lives we love.  The things in our lives that are routine tend to pass by without much impact on emotions or overall meaning in life but we have a tendency to spend the most amount of our personal time and mental energy on them, forgetting they’re only there to enable the wonderful parts of our lives and reduce the impact of the terrible things.

I’m not going anywhere further with this, but let it be known I really savored that last chicken wing.

UNDY for Sanjay

This weekend my family ran the UNDY race for my cousin Sanjay. Thanks to all of your donations, we raised about $1700 dollars and placed 5th overall for money raised. I am so thankful for both my family, friends, coworkers and even strangers who chose to give so we could help raise awareness, fund research and stand in solidarity with Sanjay.

You all are amazing and I’ll be forever grateful.



Gratitude is something I strive to practice as much as possible and the practice helps keep things in perspective for me.  I want to remember these lines from today’s Zen Habits

  • When I’m feeling mad at someone, I can try to see what about them I’m grateful for.
  • When I procrastinate with a project, I can look at why I’m grateful to be able to work on that project.
  • When I get injured or sick, I can remember that I’m grateful just to be alive.
  • When I lose a good friend, I can grieve, but also be grateful for the time I had with them, and all that they gave me.
  • When something bad happens while traveling, I remember to be grateful for traveling at all, and that these challenges are what make the travel an adventure.
  • When someone doesn’t like what I do, and criticizes me, I can be grateful they care enough to even pay attention. Attention is a gift.



Pavlok : Day One

Jeremy and I backed a project back in March called Pavlok. In a nutshell, it gives you an electric shock when you want it to. Here’s how it works.  It’s called ‘Aversion Therapy’ and it’s going to help me lose weight and be more productive. I can make these claims only because yesterday I used it to help control two things I want to change about myself. First: cravings for food not included in my chosen diet, and second: wasting time when I’m attempting to focus on a task.

The food aversion therapy was surprisingly easy.  Earlier this year I lost 30lbs of fat and gained 10lbs of muscle without any aversion therapy, but I became complacent soon after. I haven’t gained any weight back or let my body fat percentage slide back up the scale, but I’ve had trouble kickstarting the second half of my weight loss. Doctors, nurses, and the ‘know your numbers’ ladies for our insurance have had one metric I should meet: lose 40 lbs of fat. I want to gain an additional 15-20lbs of muscle to go with it. The Pavlok has arrived at the right time!

It’s amazing how many times throughout the day I think about food even if I’m not physiologically hungry. I zapped myself yesterday on accident, and it was enough of an aversion that I chose the right foods for the rest of the day. The thought of having to zap myself for choosing wrong and zap myself with each bite made it totally not worth it.  In terms of diet, when it comes time to make a conscious decision, the Pavlok is my extremely persuasive friend.

The issue that has been harder for me was the time-wasting when attempting to work. Last night I worked on wedding photos, but my efficiency has been reduced (greatly) by the fact that I wind up alt+tabbing to goof off. Sometimes it even starts out sounding reasonable:  “I’m just going to check out how other photographers handled this particular processing issue”… and I go down a black hole of links.

I zapped myself like 20 times yesterday while editing photos for four hours. From 6 pm – 10 pm I felt like a foolish rat. However, after about 2 hours of zapping, I was able to focus more. The last hour was just a solid block of productivity. I think part of the reason this was harder was that unlike the amount of presence my mind had to have while pursuing bad food choices, it’s almost a brain stem activity to alt-tab. I didn’t THINK. It was a habit in the worst way.

Today at work I’ve got my chrome extension all setup and if I wind up on my list of time wasters, I get zapped.  Just kidding. I thought I had it setup but it’s actually down for maintenance until later this month. I’m hoping they’ll do a little IFTTT integration so I can really take advantage of this device.

Day two, here I come.




“Sympathy’s easy. You have sympathy for starving children swatting at flies on the late-night commercials. Sympathy is easy because it comes from a position of power. Empathy is getting down on your knees and looking someone else in the eye and realizing you could be them, and that all that separates you is luck.”   – Dennis Lehane, 2004 Commencement Address to Eckerd College


UNDY Colon Cancer 5K

Jeremy and I are running in the Colon Cancer Alliance UNDY​ Run/Walk 5K on the 24th of this month on behalf of  my cousin, who is more like a brother, Sanjay Dharmaraj​ who is bravely battling colon cancer. Please consider donating to help us raise money to meet and exceed our goals!!

I am grateful for any amount you can spare towards this cause!  In place of donations, prayers and thoughts towards my cousin Sanjay would be much appreciated.

For everyone who donates $75 or more, I’ll do a 30 minute photo shoot of you, you & partner, you and your pets, your family, your bee hives, your 90’s troll collection or whatever as long as it’s within the Metro Atlanta area and I don’t have to go into anyone’s basement alone! Haha! I trust you guys! …maybe.

You can check out my work at for a quick snapshot of my work or to see more complete galleries.

Any donations can be made here:

Thanks again!


Thirty & Chicago

I turned 30 last week! Honestly, I’d been forgetting how old I was and telling people I was 30 all last year so it didn’t feel like much of a change.  I’ve honestly been looking forward to my thirties for a while. I feel like this decade will offer me the most in terms of being independent, healthier, and an adult! A real live adult. I had several dinners with friends whom I’ve known for so long now (another benefit to getting older!) and enjoyed a very relaxed weekend doing a lot of things I wanted, spending time with Jeremy, at home, with friends, and with family. It was a pretty wonderful start to the week, and a lovely start to my 30’s. I even have a couple birthday dinners after we come back. I am truly blessed with wonderful friends.

And… since my birthday has now passed…it’s that time of year again! Jeremy and I plan a longer trip around the time of our anniversary and this year it’s Chicago! We’re headed there for ten days, and I am so stoked! We are staying in Printer’s Row in an AirBnB. The views from the apartment are amazing, and I’m looking forward to a week of waking and going to sleep with the skyline in view.

Look for photos on instagram as the week progresses! :)


Magic 2.0

Magic 2.0 is a series of books that mashes together two of my favorite topics: magic and computers! The premise of the series lies around characters the discover a file that controls and reflects the state of the world around us and the consequences of changing things for their own personal gain. They tackle topics of time travel, changing matter, building Atlantis, and surprisingly some social issues!

Apart from being the somewhat-newish genre of  computer-magic-fantasy, the humor was just short of being campy and right in the middle of being enjoyable and worth a snicker periodically. Think Monty Python-esque humor in book form. : They’re all fast reads, with easy language. You can complete the books in a couple of days so I recommend buying them all at once!

Definitely pick up some copies if you’re looking to enjoy some lighthearted fantasy. I enjoyed them thoroughly.

Life, Photography, Travel

Blood Mountain

Jeremy and I hiked Blood Mountain this past weekend! Our friend Jenny joined us and we made two new friends! I had never been camping overnight before so I was a little apprehensive! The hike up the mountain was pretty strenuous. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath but I never felt completely winded. This was a huge change from when I tried to brave Black Rock Mountain a few years ago. That was also pre-boot camp, pre-lifting, pre-running Sunira. It felt good to take on the challenge and come out on top, literally.

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All The Light We Cannot See


The way I choose books is to check the ‘related’ list on Amazon, inspired by the last book I’ve bought. The big shiny pulitzer price medal on the cover narrowed it down and the book was dropped into my kindle. It was a good gamble to take as the writing style resonated with me. The book had refreshing language set amidst some pretty dark circumstances. The juxtaposition of the two stirred a type of enjoyment in reading I hadn’t felt since high school. I’ve always been a fan of writing that helps you think about the situation or feeling in a different way, framing it with images that wouldn’t come to mind.

“Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.”

The setting is World War II, and the story follows the lives of a German orphan boy, Werner, enlisted into the military and a blind french girl,  Marie-Laure, daughter of a museum employee. The details of their situations stirred with the sparks of thought within their minds makes for an intriguing read. Other characters I really connected with were Frederick, another student in Werner’s class who valued his internal ethics and Volkheimer, a german soldier in the field with Werner, who served his country, doing as he was asked.  Werner is really the balance between the two and how it tears at him is on of my favorite themes in the book.

“Your problem, Werner,” says Frederick, “is that you still believe you own your life.”

Marie-Laure is the embodiment of courage, working within her means to inspire those around her as well as push the limits of her faith in herself.

“There is a humility of being a father to someone so powerful, as if he were only a narrow conduit for another, greater thing. That’s how it feels right now, he thinks, kneeling beside her, rinsing her hair: as though his lve for his daughter will outstrip the limits of his body. The walls could fall away, even the whole city, and the brightness of that feeling would not wane.”

The scenery and the settings were dissimilar to the repeated storyline footholds of most books I’ve read of late. They were rich and painted a detailed visage of each place in my mind.

“None more complicated than the human brain, Etienne would say, what may be the most complex object in existence; one wet kilogram within which spin universes.”

I don’ want to ruin any of the story, and so I have to write vaguely. Each scene and character should be enjoyed through the exquisite writing of Doerr.  The book is a big long, but never feels like it. It’ll be a quick read if only because you learn to love the characters and the desire to know the outcomes of their lives overpowers your ability to sleep.

I highly recommend this novel!



We tried to go to the Atlanta Food Truck Festival this weekend but poor management and overcrowding prevented us from even making it to the Park.

We wound up getting off at Lindbergh Center station and walking around. I’d come to the area several times before, but never near the MARTA station. It’s an interesting little patch of nice buildings and landscaping that devolves quickly within a block or two.

I took a few photos of the area. :)

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Food, Review

Paper Plane

If you’re in Decatur and looking for a chill spot to spend an evening, Paper Plane is it! They have really cute outdoor seating in a little alleyway draped with hanging lights, some potted herbs and just enough sunlight and shade to keep you comfortable but let you enjoy the summer evening.

For libations, we ordered the Brighton Punch and the drink special that evening. Brighton punch did indeed pack a punch. It was flavorful, light on the tongue, strong on the kick. I only needed one with my entire meal. My husband enjoyed an Emergency Drinking Beer and a Nomader Weisse. Both come highly recommended.

The food we did order came out quickly and was delicious. We had fried balls of cheese, chicken and crab, a vegetable tartare, and a charcuterie board. All were delicious. I particularly enjoyed the fatty duck prosciutto.

We particularly appreciated the server with us that night that explained every dish, was well versed in the food and drink and really made some good recommendations!

This is a great place for a date or an intimate gathering of friends! I’ll be back!