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:

Haircuts and Work and Play

Laundry going, tea steeping, clock a-ticking, dishes cleaned – all’s well in the Tran house today. Currently I’m alone in the still, quiet house; Rusty is out at the groomer’s getting his adorable rust-colored curls cut, and Paul is at work. I just came home from dropping Rusty off and having lunch with my love.

I feel like there’s been a lot happening in the past week and a half since I’ve been absent, but I feel like I don’t have much to tell you? We’ve been pretty preoccupied with a few things lately; preparing for a somewhat big surgery I’m having in March (recovery time can be 6-8 weeks! Yikes!); tax season (almost done already – can’t wait to have that stressor off our shoulders); Paul got a new job (which he loves – so happy for him :)).

? The groomer just called! My little love is ready to come home! Be right back! ?

Annnd we’re back! He is oh so shiny and he smells like vanilla. And the wonderful groomer even put an adorable bandana sprinkled with hearts on him. I’m in love!

On days like today – when my brain is focusing on a thousand different things – my blog posts can take awhile to write. I started this post at around 1:15pm and it is now 3:51pm. Paul is on his way home right now and then we’re off to the grocery store in the next town over (my favorite grocery store – I love going there; fresh deli, baking breads, meat market – yummy.) so I’ll assume I’ll be finishing this right before bed. :)

? Ha! Paul just pulled in the garage – be right back again! I promise, I will finish this post! ?

And I’m back again, and this time it’s 7:43pm. Ha! I told you, days like today are difficult for blogging. But I must persevere. :)

Another thing I’ve been working on/thinking about a lot is my new website. I told you awhile ago that the website was going to be one of my big projects this year, and since I have quite a large gap between weddings this year (can’t complain – more time to just be, #4 on my New Year’s Goals) I’m taking my time with it. I don’t want to rush it and then change my mind within a month; I want to truly hone in on my style. So naturally, I’ve been pinning!

What do you think? Does it look like me?? I do hope so. :) I’m also taking elements from my office, my painting nook, wardrobe, and of course, my tea collection to really try and pull my entire brand together. :) And I can’t wait to show you the final look – I think spring would be a lovely time to showcase it; everything is always so new and exciting in the spring. :)

I’m often asked by people (friends, family, strangers) what I do when I’m not working, or what I do when I’m not shooting a wedding. I think most people think I sit around eating bon-bons all day – wouldn’t that be wonderful if it were true?! However, when I’m not in the midst of a crazy season, more stress is added onto me – it’s a very different kind of stress than when in wedding season; I add stress on myself because I always want to make sure I’m always working on something. In the back of my head I have a gigantic list of to-do’s and I know that it’s not possible to accomplish all of these things when I’m shooting back-to-back weddings. So, when I have downtime during the year I have to make sure I accomplish all of these things.

For instance, the website. I’ve wanted a legit portfolio/interactive website since day one but it didn’t seem financially doable until I knew I was getting steady business every year. I’m on my 3rd wedding season so I’d say it’s about time, what do you think? :) I also want to create a more informational guide for my brides and grooms. Right now, each prospective client I meet with receives a “Welcome Packet” filled with photos, a vendors list, a wedding planning checklist, business cards, etc. But I would love to create something more in depth – thus another project I will be working on for some time. And just recently I’ve added mentoring to my business –  something I’ve been wanting to be able to do for a long time, which means more things to create, sort out, etc. Besides my wedding photography, I also try to make time for my Photoshop actions business. That part of my business is my baby, although it’s been a rather neglected baby lately. I have big dreams for it and I know in time I’ll be able to focus more on that. I’d love to have templates for photographers, more sky overlays, light overlays, and a wide range of action sets. Good things take time, right friends? :)

However, when I’m not working you can find me in the living room basement; heater on, Rusty sleeping, old movies or Disney movies playing, jug filled with water, brushes swirling in pools of beautiful colors, all by way of cozy lamplight. I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to finally be doing something I’ve wanted to do for so long! I love painting. Every little thing about it is pure magic to me. I can’t believe that I now paint on an almost daily basis when two months ago I would just stare longingly at all my paints wishing I had time/would make time/have the confidence to do so. And because I’m in such a wonderful mood about it all I thought I’d share with you, my lovely friends, some things I’ve been working on. Please be kind – I’m still a beginner. :)

Everything (or at least almost everything) that I give to people that involves a card or letter will be homemade. Why do I need to buy a Valentine’s Day card for my little nephew when I can create it myself? Homemade = love. ? The photos above are the front and back of a Valentine’s Day card I’m sending to two of my little nephews who live all the way in New York and who are not available for actual hugs and kisses from NeeNee. I’d say this is the next best thing, wouldn’t you? Perhaps with a little handwritten letter tucked in too. :) I have a few more nephews and one lovely niece (who is taking after her aunt and just adores tea and everything that goes with it! So proud!) so I still have a few more to make.

This one is close to my heart. :) For some reason, I just keep wanting to paint and write about Paul and I, especially the beginning of our story. This painting may be my favorite that I’ve made so far; we used to sit in his car in his parents’ driveway, out in the country, and watch for shooting stars. We’d talk and talk and talk, not realizing how much time would pass (I still had a curfew at that time), and then one night I saw it – my first shooting star. Amazing! So, I decided to recreate it and eventually will write about it. And maybe someday I’ll bind everything together and keep it as a keepsake for us. :)

Alrighty friends, it’s now 8:21pm and this has officially become the longest-blog-post-to-write in the world. Field of Dreams is on (Hello Daddy! :)) and Shoeless Joe is disappearing in the cornfield. Time to snuggle with Rusty. :) xoxoxo

  1. Mom says:

    “Is this Heaven? “