Humans of New York

{read here}

Recently, I discovered an amazing new blog: Humans of New York. This man named Brandon started this blog as a photography project to create a “visual census” of New York City. Everyday, he walks for a few miles in a section of New York, finds people who catch his eye, and asks to take a picture of them. In an interview, he said he wants to make it global – station people in all the major cities of the world and link all their pictures up to one blog. One big scrapbook of the world.

I seriously admire him. I think it would be so hard to go up to strangers all day long and ask to take a picture. Though, interestingly, I read on his website that most people actually don’t mind and are flattered. I’m not sure what I would say if someone random on the street asked me that.

What I love about the blog is how it captures the beauty of human beings. His pictures are like little glimpses into the soul. Most of the people on his blog are, well, different. Eccentric. Weird. Some people might even say wrong. There are  “normal” people too, but a lot of them? Not so much. In fact, I hate to admit it, but if I saw most of the photo subjects in real life, I would not think, “Oh wow, I want their picture!” I would probably just judge them.

Reading this blog makes me see the beauty in human beings. Even if I don’t agree with them, God made them and loves them. It gives me a new perspective on how I look at people. Everyone craves love, joy, peace. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a past. Everyone sins. But God loves them through it all. And I should too.

You should take a look.

Warning: some of the people he takes pictures of cuss. some of their bad words end up in quotes below their pictures. just wanted to give a fair warning. 

Summer Reading.

{source unknown}

I can not wait for summer. It’s so close, yet so far away. Only a few more weeks. But those weeks include at least four tests. It’s coming though. And I plan to spend as much of it as possible reading. The last time I really enjoyed a book was Thanksgiving I think, when I was reading the Hunger Games. I’ve read a book here and there, but not really. I haven’t been able to sit down and just read for months. And I miss it so much. You don’t really realize what a pleasure it is to get lost in a book until you see someone else, eyes locked on a page.

So to make the most of my book-filled summer, I’m making a summer reading list (a me summer reading list, not a school reading list. though i also have that one too, including Beowulf. ick.). And on my list is…

Ruth by Francine Rivers

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls

Forever and Always by Robin Jones Gunn

Loving by Karen Kingsbury

Want More? Life by Natalie Lloyd

Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalotos

The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Here’s to a summer full of reading!

Happy Accidents.


A month or two ago, my English teacher assigned a research paper. To ensure that we did well on said paper, she walked us through each step. One of those steps was reading a chapter from “Writing with Style” by John R. Tremble.

Call me a dork, but I couldn’t put it down.

I gobbled up all of his writing tips and felt so revived in my passion for writing. I think it’s hard to teach someone to write. I still believe that, but he definitely reminded me that there is always more to learn, always places to refine.

I think the most valuable lesson I learned was that writing is tough work. I love this quote by Hemingway: Writing must be a labor of love or it is not writing.

Not a walk in the park, not a stroll down a beach…no a labor of love. I get frustrated when words don’t flow naturally. When I read back over my writing and cringe. I want it to just happen. But this book reminded me that even the best writers don’t experience this.

I couldn’t find the exact page (since it’s my teacher’s copy, I can’t highlight. :( ), but I love how the author described rare moments of easy writing: happy accidents.

I love that. Nothing feels more right in the world than letting my fingers fly across the keys because they somehow already know what letter comes next, even though I don’t. Nothing feels more right than a happy accident.


I know it’s been a while since I posted on here. It’s just felt weird, writing about myself. Wondering if I’m doing it for me or for readers. Doing things to blog about them instead of blogging about things I did. And then to top it off, I read a really good article in Set Apart Girl about blogging. While I definitely did not agree with everything it said about the topic, it made me reevaluate blogging.

I still want to write on here, but maybe less often and think more carefully about what I’m posting.

Now that that is out of the way, my mom and I went and took bluebonnet pictures today! Bluebonnets are the state flowers of Texas and they are bee-a-u-ti-ful! They just starting popping up all over the place this past week so we got some pics before they left.

The equivalent of poppies in Texas :)

Tuesday Night.

Thankfully, I had very little homework tonight so I put on an I Love Lucy and got creative. I saw this pin on Pinterest a while ago and loved it. It’s so simple, yet so pretty. During lunch at school, I started re-reading Paperdoll by Natalie Lloyd and her words hit me right where they needed to. A quote from the book seemed like the perfect personal touch to add to my creation.

ink + watercolors + words = a lovely Tuesday night

How to Be a Blog Stalker {part four}

Hopefully, you now have a pretty good idea of why you should follow blogs, what type you should follow, and how to find them. So, here are my final notes on the subject…

Be careful. It’s easy to get sucked into reading blogs. Monitor the time you spend on them. Recently, I created folders for each day of the week and put two or three of my favorite blogs in each folder. This way, I only read a little bit each day and don’t get lost trying to catch up on them all.

Philippians 4:8 say, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ” Stick to your blog standards and only read blogs that allow you to think good thoughts.

If you’re looking for some good blogs to read, here is my list of favorite blogs! This list includes the ones I mentioned in this series, plus some others thrown in for fun…put your new techniques into use! :)

Young House Love — home renovations

Mod Style Lounge — fashion, beauty

Kendi Everyday — fashion

Elm Street Life — DIY, cooking, life, photography, faith

Kirra Sue — photography, life, faith

The Wiegands — life, faith

Summer Harms — cooking, life, faith

The Sullivans — faith, life

Natalie Lloyd — deep thoughts, life, fun quirkiness :)

Scribbe Chicks — writing tips

The Story of Us — life

I Heart Faces — photography

Ampersand Photography — photography, thoughts

Vita Henrike — life

La Mia Vita — life

Savor Photography — photography

Simply Semplicita — life, cooking, design



This afternoon, I lit a candle and made myself a cup of tea. {Studying always seems less taxing when candles and tea are involved.}

As I poured the hot water onto the tea bag, the smell of Earl Gray tea overwhelmed my senses. And, instantly, I was transported to another place, a past time.

It’s funny how our minds work like that, how just the smell of something can conjure so many memories.

When I breathed in the steam of my tea, I was reminded of my one of my good Italian friends, Claudia. On the first day of school in the seventh grade, my teacher “assigned” me to several girls in the room. It was their job to make sure I could do my homework and understand the lessons. And they were so sweet, inviting me to their homes to study. Always encouraging me. Claudia was one of those girls.

The first time I went to her house, she tried her best to teach me how to play the recorder for our music class. It was a lost cause. {I eventually got there, though}

We also drank tea, strong Earl Gray tea. She drank hers quickly, so I followed suit, gulping down the scalding liquid resulting in a painful headache. Little did I know how many more afternoons I would spend at her house, sitting in her cozy kitchen, drinking tea and nibbling on cookies.

Those were such sweet times. Because it was just like being with a friend. It was there that I realized that she actually was my friend, not just a tutor. I enjoyed talking with her. We had things to talk about. We could laugh together. Because we were friends.

This afternoon, as I drank my tea and looked at my window at the gray sky, I wished I was in her kitchen again. Drinking Earl Gray, eating cookies, and watching storms gather in the sky.

Give Them Wings

I love this song.

I love how she starts singing so softly. Like a secret, consuming dream that’s bubbling up within you and it comes out as a whisper, a soft hope that it could come true.

Then it gets loud and you can hear the determination and passion behind her voice.

I love that this song is about impossible dreams that God makes possible.

Because those are my favorite dreams. I love hearing other people share their dreams and I love dreaming my own.

You are strong enough to take my dreams, come and give them wings. Lord, with you there’s nothing I can not do. That’s beautiful .

How to Be a Blog Stalker {part three}

Since I read blogs a lot, I tend to find myself saying, “Oh, I found that on a blog…” or “I was reading this blog and…” And people always follow with, “How do you find all of these blogs????”

Then, I’m at a loss for words.

Because, it’s just pure talent and if you don’t have it, you don’t have it.

Just kidding. I really am at a loss for words though because I just find them. I don’t really know how. However, to help you out, I sat down, got out my notepad, and thought about it. And I came up with six common ways to find blogs.

Comments. If you like reading someone’s blog, it’s likely that the other people reading it will have the same taste as you. So always look at the comments. And if a comment interests you or even the name interests you, CLICK IT. Go read their blog. See if you like it.

Look at all of those comments and all the names with blogs behind them! These comments are from a post from Summer Harms, a blog I found through step #4, Favorite Blogs.

Links. Look for links in blog posts that might lead you to other blogs will similar topics. Look for links on the side. For example, on the Wiegand’s blog there is this little button on the side. If you click on it, it will take you to the top twenty-five baby blogs of the past year. If you’re into that type of blog, you’ve struck gold. You just have to be on the lookout.


Pinterest. If you’re not on Pinterest, go make yourself a profile. You can find so many blogs. Each picture is automatically linked back to the source so if you like a picture, see a craft, drool over a recipe, click on the picture and you’ll find what is usually the blog behind it. I found two photography blogs through Pinterest recently: Savor Photography and I Heart Faces. I love finding new photography blogs and Pinterest is full of them.

Favorite Blogs. On most blogs, you will probably somewhere find a list of the author’s favorite blogs. If you’re looking for similar blogs, this is the place to go. A really great fashion blog is Kendi Everyday. On the top of her blog, she has a “Love List.” On it, she has twenty + blogs that she loves. Always look for lists like that.

Word of Mouth. If someone says they love a blog, give it a chance. Look it up. My friend Michaela told me about Elm Street Life and at first I was hesitant to even look at it. It’s my favorite blog now.

Facebook. Under someone’s contact information on Facebook, there is a box for their website. If they have a blog, that’s probably where you’ll find it. I found a blog I really enjoy reading, Simply Semplicita, through Facebook. Also, look for links people post to other blogs.

This might seem like a lot of information. But it all boils down to this: links. Click on links. Don’t be afraid to just take a look. You might not like it. You might love it. You have to be willing to click. That’s how I stumble across random blogs, I click on things that interest me.

Check back soon for final thoughts on finding good blogs.

PS in case you don’t believe me, photographic proof: