Hawaii : Mouna Farm

Mouna means: Inner Silence

For three weeks I weeded, planted, harvest, laughed, swam, watched the sunrise during morning yoga, watered, ate fresh food, and made new friends. Mouna gave me rest in ways I have not experienced since I worked on a farm in Italy. Oh how I miss the simple life where we wake up before the sun rises and fall asleep an hour or two after the sunsets, where we walk everywhere cause no one has a car, and where we spend hours making dinner from food that was just harvested. My heart was filled by simple things like fresh picked guava and nightly dance sessions around the campfire.

I found this farm through a friend who found it on the wwoofing website. WWOOF- world wide opportunities on organic farms. They are all over the world in almost every country. You work for free room and board. Check it out here: http://wwoof.net/   Go check one out! It’s FREE!

Life goes on, it doesn’t wait for you to answer your emails, update your social media, or respond to texts. I have been convinced of this the last month living on the farm away from the internet world that life goes on without me. And the world doesn’t revolve around me or my business. I love my photography business I really do, but it was running my life. I let it dictate my schedule and take over in ways that affect my body and relationships around me. I took back my life from work and re centered it to be about people and rest. Work is an important aspect of life but I believe it should never be your whole life. I’m not normally a schedule or routine person. It’s hard for me to create one and than stick with it. But the couple times I’ve experienced “forced” routine I’ve found myself thriving in it. My schedule was:

Wake up at 6:00am for: alone time, mediation, yoga  

7:30-8:00 Breakfast with everyone in the kitchen

8:00-10:00am- water plants

10:00-noon- work the land in whatever way was needed on that day

12:00-12:30pm- lunch

12:30-3pm- break (usually swimming in the ocean)

3:00-5:30- finish working on projects or watering

5:30-7:00- shower, read, help with dinner

7:00-8:00- dinner and clean up

8:00-9:00/10- campfire and bed

We all have a choice what will run our day. I let my work, emails, to do list run my day for the last year. I was stressed, all over the place mentally, and usually disconnected when I was around people. It took a few days on the farm to break the habits of checking my phone every 5 minutes and thinking I needed to respond immediately to emails. But once they were broken my attitude changed and my body was able to physically slowed down.

“Eat when you are hungry, sleep when you are tired, and swim when you feel it”.Were the words I heard over and over again when living on the farm. My first thought to those statements were; that sounds quite selfish of me and goes against everything I was taught growing up in modern day christian church. Or sports teams. Igorne the wants of the body, push through, strive for greatness which doesn’t come by taking midday naps. But I’ve learned to listen to my body- to what it needs, what it wants, what I’m ignoring because I’ve been told to push it away. 

I’ve never in my life felt more satisfied by food than I have by eating on the farm. We had curry probably every other day with rice and a huge salad. Lunch was usually left overs from dinner the night beforehand. I never once felt my stomach growl, I never once overate, I never once (okay…..maybe once) got hangry. We ate all vegetarian on the farm and now have switched to a plant based diet. I’m not as tired, I think clearer, and I actually feel good!!! If you have known me the last couple years I’ve struggled with food allergies and new intolerances. I’ve been trying to figure out why the heck I feel awful all the time or have a headache or literally can fall asleep at the table in a second. I have not figured out exactly whats going on but I can tell you I feel 60% better than I have felt in the last three years ever. Let’s be honest, it probably has to do with no stress as well. But hey I’m working on it!!! So here is to a new lifestyle of finding a morning routine + eating plant based + destressing! 

Oahu Island is beautiful, of course, full of friendly people, good food, and inspiring beaches. The surf is wild and the acai bowls are magical! I have one more week on this island with a college friend than on to- Kauai and Big Island for more adventure!


Leah + Travis // Flagstaff,AZ

Leah & Travis

Flagstaff, AZ

In the beautiful mountain town of Flagstaff, Leah, Travis, and I drove up the furthest we could possibly go without ski’s. It was snowing the pretty kind of snow. Not too fast, just light and pretty. Leah and Travis walked through the winter wonderland of snow while I heard all about their love story. Both born and raised in Flagstaff, they knew of each other in high school but sparks didn’t fly until much much later. A little over a year ago Leah needed help remodeling her newly bought house in town and what do you know Travis knew a thing or two about remodeling.

Their wedding in May will be outside in the back yard of a historic mansion in town with a reception at a brewery. Hello fun!

Hannah + Mitchelle // Ohio

Hannah + Mitchell

Ok there are too many photos to share from this cold but beautiful day!!! It is always so fun being able to fly back to Ohio to photograph a friends wedding. It snowed and sleeted all day but oh boy did it create a beautiful feel for an indoor wedding. Hannah and Mitchell are intelligent, fun, and so madly in love.