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:

Welcome to the New Blog!

Hi friends!

Notice anything different on your screen?? I have finally, ever since retiring from photography, have consistency in my website, shop, AND BLOG’S web address!! It is finally a one-stop website where you can actually get to everything. You don’t have to hop from place to place looking for different addresses, you can just come to www.nikkijeantran.com and you’ll find everything you need: my shop, portfolio, services, contact and social media information, and my 7-year-old blog. FINALLY!!

NEW BLOG ADDRESS: https://blog.nikkijeantran.com

When I first started photography I didn’t think I needed an actual website with a portfolio and pricing and other things. I thought a blog was pretty much a website. I held all my photography information – pricing, a portfolio, contact info, etc. – through WordPress on a ProPhoto-themed blog for three years of my photography career. And then finally, I discovered Showit, a completely customizable web design platform and built my first wedding photography website. I fell in love with it. (Of course, I only got to use it for less than a couple of years because shortly after I finished designing it I quit wedding photography.)

This is me, designing the blog for the first time in 2012 instead of watching the MNSHS Hockey Tournament with the family…

I’m not a fan of designing restraints when it comes to websites, which is why instead of just using WordPress templates, I incorporated ProPhoto into WordPress, therefore having the ability to design a bit more freely. (ProPhoto is amazing and I’ll be sad not to use it, but Showit knocks it out of the park with customization.) I also tried SquareSpace, another web design platform, but to me it was too generic. I wanted more control. Hence my love affair with Showit.

Anyways, I received my annual invoice from my web hosting company for my blog (nikkitranphotography.com) and decided enough was enough, I was going to merge my blog to my Showit site and only design/host my blog/website/shop in Showit, creating consistency and obtaining control.

(As I’m writing this in Word, the people at Showit are working on migrating all my data from my WordPress site to my new Showit site and I. CANNOT. WAIT. They have been so helpful. I keep checking my email to see if they’ve finished. I’m on pins and needles!)

So, I hope you like what you see here, friends. And I know it’s a bit confusing to have been going to one web address for 7 years and now you’ll have to remember to go somewhere else, so I’m going to have it set-up where if you type in nikkitranphotography.com it will automatically redirect you to blog.nikkijeantran.com. (That part will be working in about a week – I’m in the process of transferring my old domain to Google so I can forward you to this new domain.) Just be sure to add it to your favorites or wherever you have my old blog address stored.

What else is new?!

SNOW. So much snow!! Although it’s cold and tough to get out on the roads, have you taken a moment to listen to it fall? I let Rusty outside a couple of days ago when it was coming down yet again and it was pure silence. I couldn’t even hear the sounds of cars on the nearby freeway. It was if I stepped into a hushed snow globe, it was even quieter than our already quiet house. But just think, in a week it will be lighter later and spring will be trying to nudge its way through the solid ground. I just ordered another gardening book, The Curious Gardener: A Year in the Garden by Anna Pavord. The cover looked adorable (I’m a judger of covers, don’t judge) and I’m itching to read something that has to do with dirt under the nails and the satisfaction of a good weeding and the rewards of little Gardens of Edens growing in the backyard.

Speaking of spring, my little kitchen garden isn’t going as well as I’d hoped. My basil is growing just fine, but my poor chives and lavender never surfaced and my cilantro gave up on life. I’m going to try again, but I’m thinking the cold and the constant grayness might be dampening their spirits, so maybe as spring comes nearer I’ll replant them and see what goodness comes from it. My friend, Stacie, gave me the cutest planter and it does not do it justice to withhold it from hosting some sort of plant. Must persevere. Plus, I’d like a head start for the new vegetable/herb garden we’re going to make this year. We didn’t think we’d grow one at this house (as of right now we don’t plan on living here for a long time – we’re country mice at heart) but it proved to be disappointing last year without something to take care of in the yard (my flowers were pretty self-reliant).

I’ve been plugging away at the 2020 calendar, falling in love with the process all over again. I just finished London for November the other week and have decided it’s my new favorite month. It’s so fun to use my own travels to help create the little details on each page. I have five months left to finish:

January – debating between Greece, Coral Reef, or China (for the New Year – it’s in January for 2020, year of the rat!)

February – Italy (romance and all that jazz)

March – Speaking of jazz, looking like New Orleans for this. Excited about colorful backdrops with jazz musicians’ silhouettes and southern hospitality.

October – New England – Sleepy Hollow, Boston…

December – Scandinavia – Swedish horses, folk patterns, snowy mountains…

I’m WAY ahead of schedule this year with the calendar. This time last year I was literally just starting to paint random things before having the idea of creating a calendar. The first month I created was July – I thought it would be a patriotic circus/carnival…turned out something like that. :) For those of you that have one of my calendars, first THANK YOU! And second, I’m noticing that any ink I use to write appointments, notes, etc. on the page sometimes leaks through on the back of the paper…so if that’s happened to you, I’m so sorry. I’m going to be going for better and thicker paper quality. This was my first year – mistakes are a given I suppose. :)

My days are smooshing together a bit. I’m excited to get out of the house and be useful to other people. Soak up the sporadic sunshine, be excited to get home after a good day of work, enjoy the weekends without feeling like it’s another day at home. I’m getting restless. I think the weather also has something to do with it. Why oh why are we getting more snow? Oh well. Soon…soon…soon…spring will be here and it will back to sitting on the front porch with tea and favorite books, people and sunset-watching, al fresco dining, too. Rusty will be so happy to get out of the house and into the warmth. He can barely handle the cold when he goes outside; he’ll come slowly hobbling up the stairs and I have to pick him up to get him in the house, his paws are so cold on all that ice and snow that it makes him move slowly. I sit him in front of the space heater and all his troubles go away. He’s a newly 7-year-old dog, the years are going by too fast with him, but he’s just as funny and happy as he was when he was a puppy.

Have I talked your ear off yet? It’s been so long and although I feel like I have more to chat with you about, I should probably go downstairs. It’s nearly 7:30pm, my cup is drained, and I’ve still got to finish my daddy’s birthday card. The Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament starts tomorrow, something we have to look forward to in this deep gray abyss called winter, and we typically celebrate my dad’s birthday on the championship game day. However, with the terrible snow forecast for this weekend we’ll be celebrating with him tomorrow while watching the night games. It’s been 20 years since I’ve won the tourney (my family competes against each other every year; my dad creates the boards and we fill them out, my mom draws up the Master Board, and more often than not my stinkin’ brother wins) so I have high hopes this year is mine. In the past, I’ve chosen the winner based on their winning stats, whether or not they’re the lucky underdog, and even on their school colors. The one time I won was because I chose based on colors. So what do you think I did this year? Yes, colors it is. Wish me luck! (No prize is won, just dignity, our name on the family trophy, and bragging rights for the entire year. Worth it.)

Okay, now I’m signing off officially! I hope you enjoy the new blog – feel free to browse through it, leave a comment, say hi. There may still be some unseen bugs that I missed while designing. If you find one, please let me know!

Stay warm, keep wishing on stars, think springish thoughts, and have a lovely, lovely weekend. xoxoxo