I definitely have farm blood in my veins.  I long for that connection with the land… the wide open spaces… finding my roots.  Yesterday, we decided to take a trip down to a farm in southern Minnesota that we’ve been wanting to visit for almost a year now. DSC_1200 copy 2We got to meet a couple, who are farming the land and raising animals organically and in a humane manner. They have Jersey cows… every one of them has a name and they respond when called.DSC_1207 copy And they also have Berkshire pigs.  They love their animals and raise them all from birth.  I thought this one looked like Wilbur. 💙IMG_0735They love the land too and all the hard work… they told us “it’s not work when you love what you do”.  You could hear their passion in the stories they shared with us.  Before we left, they jokingly asked us if we wanted to come back next weekend to work on the farm… we answered more seriously “we would LOVE to!!!”.  We made two new friends yesterday.  It was a very good day.  My hobby farm needs to happen…. yes, one day.
xoxo ~michele

With the New Year we have such great expectations- we’re going to do so many things differently then the previous year… we are going to make better choices, change bad habits, find better balance and just in general be so much better put together… then reality smacks you in the face and you realize it’s not always as simple as saying it and making it come to fruition, sometimes it takes a little more to see those changes happen.

It really is easy to fall back on old habits, eat the wrong things and just slide back into the norm, those are our comfort zones even if bad ones, it’s what we know.
Changes are a process and take more effort then just saying it.
So this month of January has had lots of ups & downs and with it, the reminder that all good things take time to change, we need to remind ourselves that it’s to benefit our well being and to be a little kinder to ourselves when they don’t happen instantly… sometimes we need to remind ourselves of this daily in all that we do… because it’s so easy to push ourselves down for not achieving what we think should have happened yesterday…
So I am ending January’s month with…
the first sunrise of the New Year and

the last sunset. IMG_2205and even though my images have opportunities and aren’t perfectly shot, they are my days and I’m embracing them.  A metaphor of my life and what I would like to see change.  It’s a New Year with many days to live better, it doesn’t have to happen in one month… so here’s to looking forward to all the days to come and what they will bring
xoxo ~shirina

“At the heart of the cyclone
tearing the sky
And flinging the clouds
and the towers by
Is a place of central calm;
So here in the roar of mortal things,
I have a place where my spirit sings,
In the hollow of God’s palm.”
― Edwin Markham

[4:52] January week 4

“A year from now you’ll wish you started today.”

The word C R E A T E continues to present itself to me… so I have chosen it to be my word for 2016. Being creative helps keep me centered and relaxed. I can’t wait to see where it might take me.

~Shirina ❤️


where I live is really, really cold.  And for most of my life, I have shied away from the great outdoors from about November through March, going into a minor depression as soon as the weather started to turn cold.  However, thanks to my love for photography, I have come to appreciate winter and all that she has to offer.

Winter here has a subtle, quiet, hushed beauty that the other more colorful, flamboyant months do not.  Our winter hikes along snow covered trails have their own sights and sounds… from the unique crunch of snow underfoot…

…to the soft whisper of falling snow.  In this first month of the New Year, I have been on more outdoor hikes than I used to do over an entire winter years ago (albeit they all pretty much happened in the first week, before we plunged to below zero temperatures 😬).  And I love that even now, I can begin to embrace something that has been right in front of my face since I was a babe.  It’s never too late to find new passions… it’s about attitude and keeping an open mind and an open heart.  How do you get through the long winter months where you live?  I would love to hear!
❤ ~Michele (enjoying Day 1 of another journey around the sun!)


[3:52] January week 3

Possibilities and Gratitude

“What if this is just the beginning?” IMG_1613_janwk3_smaller

“I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness.”IMG_1681_janwk3_smaller

~shirina ❤️


A Year of Thanks
I love the idea of a gratitude jar. I tend to think about giving thanks in November, around Thanksgiving time, but I want to keep that feeling close all year long. There are so many things to be thankful for… sometimes it’s a particularly amazing sunrise or the smell of rain after a spring thunderstorm or a phone call from a loved one and other times it’s something huge, like finding out that a friend’s health scare is benign. This year I am going to write down all those special things that I am thankful for, along with the date. Then on New Year’s Eve, shortly before midnight, I’m going to empty the jar and read through them all.


Starting new traditions, with an open heart.    ~michele ❤️



[2:52] January week 2

One of our favorite quotes by Victoria Erickson… good reminders for when life starts moving too fast.

A List of Random and Unrelated Things to Remember

Time heals

Mountain winds sound exactly like ocean waves

You are worth everything now

Walls can be destroyed

The sun always rises (and is always beautiful)

Children know the answers

Logic doesn’t produce magic

Somewhere, somebody loves you

You don’t need to choose mediocre when fire exists

There is music in everything

The moon orchestrates our nights and tides

Your heart expands when it’s broken

Trees can grow through rock

You should do it now. 
~Victoria Erickson

Thank you for visiting.
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!
~Shirina & Michele ❤

[1:52] January week 1

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January… a month of new beginnings… endless possibilities… a new start.  On the first day of 2016, I found myself out in search of light… the source of life, energy, joy & renewal.  I found it… the most beautiful sunset graced us with her beauty at the end of our hike.  I stood quietly before her, saying a silent prayer for the coming year, giving thanks for all that it will bring and for my family and friends… old and new, those who are still here on this earth and those who have passed.

I am so grateful and thrilled that my dear friend, my soul sister Shirina, is joining me on this 52-week photography journey.  I can’t wait to see where it will take us.  Thank you all for coming along with us… much love to each and every one of you.


this one

With the New Year comes much reflection of the year that’s just gone by, one of the things I remember the most are the people who have been there for me throughout the year, encouraging me, inspiring me, listening to me when I needed a friend, giving me hugs and sharing much love and laughter.
They have been friends and family in the now, and also in the virtual world where I’ve met amazing women whom I care for just as much as the ones I get to physically hug and talk too.
It’s funny how a passion for photography can bring so many wonderful and inspiring women into my life, and for that I’m so thankful.
Thank you for being there for me day in and day out… and to my soul sister for her encouragement in this photography blog and many other things,
and to all of you I’m wishing you a New Year filled with joy, love and many possibilities….




January 1, 2016

Shirina and I are embarking on a new photography project together. We will be capturing moments in time, finding bliss in what makes each month special. In January, we will be looking for new beginnings, quiet moments and reflection… all the wonder that a brand new year brings.

We hope you will join us and follow along on our 52-week journey. Our first photos will be posted here this coming Sunday.

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!  May 2016 be filled with much love and light.

With love,

Michele and Shirina