I'm Nikki, a creative old soul who loves tea time, tip-toeing through gardens, mounds of books, swaying to records, watercolors, sunset walks with our three yorkies, and star-gazing with Paul. This blog carries snippets of my life with just us two (five with Rusty, Lucy, & Ethel) - I hope it brings you happiness as you snuggle in with something warm and delicious and begin reading. Enjoy, friends!

the blog!

If I had to choose:

A Thing For Spring

Hello dear friends. Happy weekend – let’s start this right with some music. :)

And then let’s skip the part where I give you a really good reason as to why I haven’t been on the blog in awhile and go right to…

Can you believe it?? The weather may not be true to it’s season, but it’s better than snow. (Knock on wood. Always knock on wood in Minnesota.) Soon we’ll be whipping windows open, beating the dust out of rugs, tip-toeing through the gardens, singing along with the birdies (each morning when Rusty goes outside, I notice the birds are getting louder – I’m absolutely loving it), starting the first bonfire, ditching boots for sandals, extending our afternoon walks, swinging on the swing, dining under the stars, and all the good romantic things that Spring so lovingly gives us.

I have a thing for Spring. I was born in it, the colors are my favorites, Spring smells are the bee’s knees, the best sports begin in spring, thunderstorms and the pitter-patter of rain is divine, summer vacation is just around the corner, and you get to breathe that breath of new life. Do you smell that? When you walk outside and can actually enjoy it for the first time in months and you inhale deeply and you think, “Ahh! Spring at last!” It happened to me Thursday. I walked out of work after being inside all day, breathed in, looked up, and smiled. It smelled so good! Rain, grass, mud!! The first breath of life after a long, dormant season in the winter months of Minnesota. (Alaskans and other northern survivors above us, you are the ultimate troopers.)

As the wave of new life begins rippling through, I’ve been getting used to another new job. Yes, I know. I just can’t seem to sit still! However, this job is the puzzle piece I needed to complete my little life plan. As you know, a year ago (almost exactly) I decided that I would be retiring from wedding photography. Then came the inevitable question, Now What? I began looking for a variety of jobs I thought I might like (one can never know until one tries said job – that is my motto) and applied to a bunch of different places. I heard back from a little dentist office in the heart of the small town that so lovingly holds a piece of my heart. Of course I took it and I’m so glad I did. I met wonderful people and it gave me the confidence I needed to take the next job at a middle school (when one works from home for so long, one tends to lose confidence in people skills and general work abilities) which is where I’ve been until the last few weeks. And the reason I am at my current job now  is so much because of my previous job in the middle school library. I am now the district-wide Media Specialist!! I’m going for my Masters in School & Library Information and I’ve taken on the ginormous role of managing 8 different schools!! So you see, each little step from a year ago has gotten me here and if you were to tell me last February (when I was crying and hiding away in my closet deciding whether or not to quit the “dream job”) that I would be here, I would have stopped crying in shock and thought you were nuts. But here I am and I love it.

Having a stable career in a setting that I love has now given me the opportunity to do something I’ve been wanting to do for such a long time. I’ve tried being a one-career type of woman but that lifestyle just doesn’t suit me. I need more. I need a balance. So while I spend my days learning the ins and outs of this new book-loving job, I spend some of my evenings and weekends lost in dreams of another creative business.

What would you say if I told you I’m working towards being a small-business owner yet again? One that specializes in designing beautiful things like watercolor home decor, Photoshop editing actions for photographers, and websites and logos and brands for like-minded business owners? If there’s one thing I miss about having a small business, it’s the excitement of creating and building that brand with beautiful, uniquely me types of things. (When people tell me they see “my blue” somewhere and think of me, I get all giddy inside!) Clearly I’ve already started the Photoshop actions part (back in 2013!) and I’ve been showing you snippets of my watercolors, but it’s going to be wonderful (for my sanity) to umbrella it all under one name – Nikki Tran Art & Design. So, that’s all I’ll say about that for now (but guess what?! The business cards have been made and shipped and the website domain has been bought! Tiny steps, friends!). :)

Along with new life, this blog needs a little spring cleaning. I’ve updated the categories to be simpler (or so I think) and I’ll be weeding through old posts, changing some design things here and there, and just letting her know I still like her and want to keep her feeling fresh. She’s been so good to me these past 5 years – she deserves to be dolled up again. :)

And so do you! It’s Spring! Go outside, get some fresh air! Breathe in some rain! If you live somewhere where your garden is always growing, pick some flowers! If not, grocery store gardens are always handy! Go for a walk! Play fetch with your puppy! Watch the stars come out! Say good-night to Mr. Moon! Feed the birds! And take that long awaited book you have on your shelf and go outside to finally enjoy it under the sunshine. Xoxo


  1. Nana says:

    I just love reading your blog.Sweetie pie there is nothing you can’t accomplish,you are one talented young beautiful lady.I’m waiting for you to write a book.Love you more???