Just You & Me
and the rest of the world
"Time to waste, time for unplanned conversation, time for biding our time”- Peter Block

Minimalist or Materialist?

This past week has definitely been one of reflection. Often, it is very easy to claim that I want to live a life of minimalism. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that I’m drowning in a pile of stuff. On the weekend I road tripped to Clear Lake to help my parents move out of our family cottage. Hardwood floors were put in and gaudy light fixtures and curtains removed. I found myself wishing we could stay. It’s funny how quickly my brain can return to it’s materialistic state. 

To me minimalism isn’t about getting rid of everything, it’s about getting rid of the items that no longer add value to my life. These items hinder my potential. It’s about understanding the tradeoffs. So yes, it could be argued that a family cottage is value adding. It took me the weekend to realize that it’s not about the building. It is the place and the people that have added value to my life.

Here's a shoot I did on the weekend with Alexa. She adds so much value to my life, I will keep her ;) . I'm looking for people to shoot portraits with. Send me an email if you'd like to get some free portraits. (my contact info can be found on the "Me" tab). 




Easter


I think everything about Spring caters to the theme of a fresh start. You’ve got spring cleaning, baby animals, green grass, and budding flowers. For me, this overarching theme holds a greater significance. For Christ followers Spring is about the love joy and peace that flows from the cross. It’s about Jesus wiping away our sin and reconnecting us back to God. That is my focus this Spring and my fresh start. I want you to know that I find no shame in eating chocolate bunnies and painting easter eggs. Quite frankly, the more chocolate bunnies the better. So however you celebrate the season I hope you enjoy your fresh start. 


Happy Easter. 

Go check out Lily Ardor for this dreamy easter egg tutorial.  

Stressed?

We need to consistently check ourselves to see if the path we’re on is still the right one - and if it’s not, we should take back charge and change track. - Eva Lim

Unfortunately, stress is inevitable. You will face stressful weeks, maybe months, hopefully not years. For me, this week has been very overwhelming. As one of my friends described, it’s as if we walked into a battlefield with a gun but no bullets. She said this after we both wrote the worst exam of our lives. So much time and effort had been put into studying. My frustration towards this exam just added to the other emotional and financial stress I was facing. So I’m here to encourage you when life is just not going so great. Here is how I stay composed when my brain is internally spinning. 

I ask myself what now?
Please do not to take your life too seriously. Give yourself credit where it is deserved. Instead of sitting in my exam and beating myself up, I gave myself a break. Take the moment your in and ask yourself from this moment on what can I do? For me, it was simply accepting that I had options. For some I know this isn’t easy. Sometimes we screw up and our brains like to spiral into worst case scenario mode. Instead of blaming yourself about the past, look forward with positivity. 

I like to meditate.
When I’m stressed I turn to God. I find comfort in knowing someone much greater is looking out for me. I know that not all of you share my religious beliefs. So instead, let's talk about the concept of meditation. Recently someone introduced me to an app called Headspace. Headspace challenges people to take 10 minutes every day to just stop (seriously, try it out). More recently i’ve also found hot yoga to be a great form of meditation. Whether it’s prayer, journaling, headspace, etc.. take just 10 minutes a day to gain perspective. 

I do my best to stay optimistic. 
No one likes a grouch. When your under stress please try not to take it out on the people around you. We all do this which only escalates the stress we are facing. Pessimism spreads like wildfire. Do your best to remain optimistic, looking ahead for relief. For instance if your midterm is Wednesday think about how great life will be on Thursday. If you can’t see a source of relief in your future it’s time to reevaluate and refocus your goals. 

So for me this was a long week, but it was also a good week of reflection. Keep it classy and do your best to handle stress like a champ. 



Sometimes when I'm stressed out I'll just flip through some of my favourite pictures. 
Heres an old shoot that turned out a little ridiculous and amazing. 

ps: If you ever shoot with us you are in for a real treat. Good luck keeping us focused.  
I shot one-on-one with Aislynn for most of the day. Check out her new blog post on 
"Changing" by clicking here . She's pretty rad. 


Gloria De Dios

A year ago. 

Sometimes I wish I could hand out free plane tickets so I could literally walk you through a story. There are things I’ve seen that I fall short on explaining with words. Seeing poverty first hand really screws up a person. Actually, I would argue that it makes a person sane. Seeing poverty made me realize I had been ignoring part of the world. 

In 2015 I had the opportunity to partner with Impact ministries. It was amazing to see the hope Impact is bringing to the communities of Tactic, Guatemala. 

My Photographic Memory

The technique has improved, but yet the art has worsened. “We’re now less likely to spend evenings huddled around a leather-bound album revisiting our own images then we are double tapping others’ on our lunch breaks” - Rachel Evan Lim. When I look back at my photographs I want to remember moments, people and conversations. 

Thanks Aislynn for these portraits, you’re forever logged in my photographic memory ;)

Valentine's Day Massacre

Very quickly a heart can become ugly and love can fade. I won’t pretend to be an expert in the field of love. Nah.. I’ll let all your friends meddle in your love life. This February I appear to be an outcast among many sour valentine's spirits. People glare as my actions fall just short of throwing heart shaped confetti in the air. At work I may have hidden 15 valentine's puns behind the bar.. including the sayings “I love you a latte”, “you are brew-tiful”, and “if you were ground coffee you’d be Turkish because you are fine”. Unfortunately, not everyone appreciated my intelligent puns. Countless people have been sure to tell me why they hate Valentine's day. So, I compiled a list for you titled “Valentine’s Day Massacre”. These are the reasons people tell me Valentine’s day should not exist at all. 

1. February 14th reminds me I’m still single 
2. It promotes materialism. It’s just another reason to spend too much money and own too much stuff. 
3. It puts negative pressure on a relationship 

OK guys I get it. Sorry, but I refuse to join the pity party. So forget about the Ben and Jerry’s you were planning to eat by yourself while you cried watching the notebook February 14th. You may be single. Maybe your heart is broken. Possibly you hate chocolate, roses and the countless pink and red symbols of the season. It’s time you hear me out. 

Maybe some of your friends need a little extra love this year. May you use this day to bring joy to those who are lonely. May we celebrate a day filled with love, not just romance, but unconditional love for friends, family and God. This Valentine’s day choose to count your blessings. 

I do know that love requires sacrifice and trust. One day I intend to find it. I hope one day you find your special someone. Until then may you give love and joy to everyone else in your life. 

xoxo 
Happy Valentines day *insert heart shaped confetti here*

- Brooke 


In the spirit of loving your friends a big shoutout goes out to my friend Sydney. It just so happens that she shares her birthday with Valentine’s day. So, happy birthday girl!  I miss you tons Syd Critch. May God continue to use you in the most wonderful ways. Safe travels in Thailand and Nepal. 

ps: I ate a cupcake in celebration of your birthday. You’re welcome. 

Priorities


You can live your entire life wishing you would have acted, living with regret. I have heard this thought in a series of forms. I think it's inspiration begins to dull amongst the reality of what life actually demands. Whether you're married or you have kids, there comes a time in which your own happiness becomes an after thought. 

If you're young like myself, you have plenty of time to grow up so explore your dreams now. I want to also reverse this statement. If you're older maybe you are running out of time. A wise woman challenged me with this concept of time once. I will forever treasure her for that wisdom. It is up to oneself to decide what his or her every day will look like. 

If you limit yourself, you will limit your success. The first step is to dream, ignore whatever stands in your way. I read a magazine article on a business man who always entered into new fields. If he was unfamiliar with a field it meant he didn't know its boundaries and its restrictions. He was then able to dream bigger than the experts of said field, granting him success. Don't limit yourself. 

My take is that life is a list of priorities. Some people burn themselves out making work their focus. I highly doubt that I’ll ever be rich, but wealth is something I’ve never desired. Passion, travel and God fall at the top of my list. Yes, I’m 20 years old and I live with my parents. My expenses are low and I own more than I should. Call my outlook foolish. Please tell me I’m a kid who doesn’t understand the adult world. I’ll grin and tell you I’m joyful, and I feel loved. Even some the richest people fail to find love and joy. Maybe I’m doing something right.

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