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Inspiration + Goal Refinement

I have to tell you all, I've spent the first 9 days of this year completely inspired. How, you ask? By whom? Well, mostly by people just like you. I'm inspired by the community that comes along with blogging and {some} social media interaction. I'm inspired by so many of you who reach out in the comment section or through various other channels to say thanks or share your experiences. My friends and family members are also incredibly inspiring. I'm surrounded by creative people and that can only lead to good things.

I've also recently stumbled upon several different indie publications, of both the online and print variety, that take my breath away. I'm not being dramatic here folks. I get goose bumps while devouring the delicious articles, interviews, essays, videos, recipes, photography, short stories and more. We have some seriously talented people on this here planet.

Seeing the world through the artwork of others -- through their perspective -- makes me so excited to go out and create more, collaborate more and share more high-quality work. I desperately want to create as much beautiful, helpful and engaging content as possible this year. I'm on track so far thanks to my pledge to explore my creative side at least a tiny bit each day. You've all been holding me accountable and offer up regular encouragement, which keeps me both motivated and humble at the same time. Thank you for that.

My small daily exercises have resulted in a few beautiful moments, including the making of the photos below:

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I looked out my front window a few mornings ago and saw droplets on our tree out front. The sky was a bit hazy with low clouds, which led to nice, post-sunrise light. Not caring what my neighbors might think, I bundled up, went out front and started snapping away. I'm so glad I took the time to notice the tiny droplets and seize the photo opportunity. If I hadn't, I may have missed out on much-needed practice time and photos that make me happy.

Thanks to the focus on small moments of creative time, I've even been motivated to organize my thoughts a bit. It's tough to truly visualize success through a vague lens, so I've refined my creative goals based on different types of content:

  • Write and submit at least 10 articles and/or essays to publications both near and far
  • Take more thoughtful and well-composed photos specifically for my Society6 Shop
  • Create at least 5 well-shot and edited videos for various outlets {and, let's face it, for practice!}
  • Blog more about the region I know and love: the Sacramento Valley

That's a good start, right? I hope? Just writing these goals so close to a button that screams "Publish!" is making me nervous. However, I know that putting it out there in the universe will help me see my goals through.

Thanks again to all of you who have continued to read and participate. I'm thrilled to be doing this and you all make it so worthwhile.

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If you have any tips on nurturing your creativity, finding inspiration and refining your goals, please feel free to share in the comment section below.

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A Very NorCal Holiday

I hope you all had (or are still having) a wonderful holiday season surrounded loved ones. This is such a festive time of year and I can't help but feel grateful and full of love. For the holiday, we visited family in Crescent City, had a chance to see some old friends, ate and drank waaaaay too much (p.s. I'm totally making this soup to bring on the veggies) and enjoyed our time on the road. We're feeling pretty fulfilled at the moment and we still have a few family gatherings to attend!Here's a little photo snippet from our trip:

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{If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen a few of these. In case you're wondering after reading this post, I've decided to keep using the app for two reasons: 1.) the founders appear to have listened to their users (at least for now) and 2.) Instagram really does have the most user-friendly platform and the best filters (at least for now). :) }

The past week has been filled with good times and the peace and quiet I had been looking for. I hope to take a few more days off from this blog and return to bring you fun, helpful and engaging content in 2013.

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Happy Friday, all!

Looking for recommendations for a trip to Northern California? There's an app for that! I've collected all of my favorite places to explore the great outdoors in Northern California into one app, which you can download from iTunes right here.

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Northern California for Nature Lovers: The App!

When Everplaces reached out to me earlier this year to propose a partnership that would combine their amazing app development and design skills with my recently discovered wanderlust and (apparently) app-worthy content creation skills, I was elated. Naturally, I said yes without much hesitation.Who could say no to such a venture? Not this girl.

So...I traveled, explored my favorite spots, spent time researching a few new-to-me places, wrote reviews, researched a bit more, edited many, many photos and dug into my archives for favorite spots that I know and love, but couldn't visit this year.

After all was said and done, I was presented with this:

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Say it with me now: "ooooooh.....aaaahhhhh."

The app is aptly named Northern California for Nature Lovers and you can download it for the low, low price of $0.99 right here.

As you've probably guessed by now, the app is currently only available for Apple products. I'm hoping it'll be available on other platforms in the near future. If you're searching the App Store on your phone, just type in "California Nature Everplaces," and you'll get a screen that looks a little like this:

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{I'm still not over having a 'curated by' line, by the way. Not sure I ever will get over it.}

So, there you have it. I've created my very first travel app with some of the coolest, nicest people I've ever had a chance to meet over the internet. If you want to read up on Everplaces, you can see a few previous posts here and here. You can also check out the Everplaces app here. Obviously, I highly recommend it.

Finally, I'd like to give a little shout out to my friends and family who have been incredibly supportive as I try new things and say yes to opportunities such as this. You. all. rock.

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Happy Wednesday, all!

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