instagram tags for the traveling photog.

well hello again friends.

i’ve been a long time follower of a sprinkling of city-specific instagrams, and have been on a few mini-adventures of late across state lines that have me digging to find the right tags crafted for their creative communities. all of this combined with wanting to see life outside my immediate locale has lead me to looking at hundreds of area tags across the U.S. thinking you might find it beneficial too, i’ve compiled this (not exhaustive) list of tags to refer to when you’re traveling, to check out the works of those around you and afar, and so you can maybe see what you are not utilizing in tagging your own photos.

alabama: #alabamathebeautiful #igalabama #sweethomealabama
alaska: #sharingalaska #alaskanadventures #alaskalife
arizona: #arizonacollective #visitarizona #discoverarizona
arkansas: #igersarkansas #outintheozarks #wonderfularkansas
california: #visitcalifornia #discovercali #californiaholics
colorado: #coloradolife #coloradogram #colorfulcolorado
connecticut: #ig_connecticut #connecticutgram #coastalconnecticut
delaware: #igdelaware #de365 #igersdelaware
florida: #roamflorida #lovefl #floridalife
georgia: #exploregeorgia #wandernorthga #weloveatl
hawaii: #luckywelivehawaii #lethawaiihappen #gohawaii
idaho: #idahogram #idahome #idahoexplored
illinois: #enjoyillinois #flippinchi #illinois_shots
indiana: #igersindiana #hoosiergrammers #exploreindiana
iowa: #thisisiowa #ia365 #ig_iowa
kansas: #igerskansas #kansasphotos #noplacelikeks
kentucky: #explorekentucky #kentuckykicksass #kentuckyproud
louisiana: #louisianalife #igerslouisiana #thatlacommunity
maine: #igersmaine #mainetheway #mainething
maryland: #marylandpride #mdinfocus #mdlivin
massachusetts: #igersmass #visitma #scenesofma
michigan: #puremichigan #michigrammers #michiganders
minnesota: #onlyinmn #capturemn #minnstagramers
mississippi: #mississippi #mississippidelta #visitms
missouri: #missouri #igersmissouri #missouri_photos
montana: #montanamoment #406 #montanagram
nebraska: #snapshotnebraska #nebraskagram #visitnebraska
nevada: #travelnevada #explorenevada #igersnevada
new hampshire: #igersnh #visitnh #getoutsidenh
new jersey: #just_newjersey #njisbeautiful #njspots
new mexico: #newmexicotrue #purenm #landofenchantment
new york: #igersnewyork #topnewyorkphoto #newyorkexplored
north carolina: #igersnc #ig_northcarolina #visitnc
north dakota: #ndlegendary #nodak #northdakotalegendary
ohio: #ohiogram #ohioexplored #myohioadventure
oklahoma: #myoklahoma #igersok #travelok
oregon: #oregonexplored #bestoforegon #exploreoregon
pennsylvania: #ig_pennsylvania #visitpa #explorepa
rhode island: #ig_rhodeisland #ig_rhody #scenesofri
south carolina: #discoversc #insta_carolina #palmettostate
south dakota: #hifromsd #sodak #southdakotagram
tennessee: #instagramtennessee #onlytennisee #livelocallytn
texas: #igtexas #texaslife #lonestarstate
utah: #utahgram #utahisrad #igutah
vermont: #vermontlife #vermonting #vermontshots
virginia: #virginiaisforlovers #loveva #visitvirginia
washington: #livewashington #explorewashington #wanderwashington
west virginia: #gotowv #igers_of_wv #wv_igers
wisconsin: #discoverwisconsin #explorewisconsin #travelwi
wyoming: #wyominglife #visitwyoming #wyomingexplored

and if you’re not looking for state specific, check out these regional tags:
#thegreatnorthcollective #teamnorth #igersnewengland #northeastisbeast #thatpnwlife #upperleftusa #thenwadventure #midwestmoment #midwestisbest #igsouthwest  #downsouth #mytinyatlas

cheers to new travels!

cheers to growth.

I’ve never been much of a gambler, but I suppose everything has its time & place. My days left at my current job now have a definitive ending date, and I’m not quite sure where I’ll be landing afterwards – and I’m surprisingly okay with that (for now at least.)

For the past two years, I’ve felt like I was kind of spinning my wheels. I have had a hard time committing to living creatively out of fear of failure, and have come to be a habitual toe-dipper in the risk-taking pool, never fully diving in.

With that being said, I really do believe all things happen for a reason. My time seemingly standing still has allowed me a great opportunity to grow. I have gotten to explore photography more than I ever anticipated, and I have learned a lot of little life lessons – about patience, self-reflection, the importance of family & friends, the power of positivity, and realizations about being a part of something bigger than myself.

So in the end what is this post about? It is about embracing the future. I’m not trying to delve into the freelance-full time life, I am just looking for a career that will better allow me to grow in the things that interest me (graphic design, photography, non-profit work, music, etc.) and allow me a bit more creative freedom. I am excited about this new journey, to becoming a happier and more whole person, surrounded and motivated by like-minded individuals. And perhaps most thrilling is the unpredictability of it all… where I’ll eventually end up, what new changes and challenges may lie ahead, and ultimately the outcome of whether it was all worth it.

Until next time, follow my adventures on instagram & feel free to share any job leads you may know of!


thoughts from a couch.

Lately I have been trying to spend little snippets here and there doing more creative things or thinking more about my long term creative goals. With that in mind, and with the recent onslaught of monsoonish weather, I found myself spending the better part of the weekend cuddled up with some paintbrushes and catching up on episodes of Southern Charm and Girl Meets World (my penchant for television knows no genre boundaries.)

Between swooning over Charleston’s Palmer Home and adoring the tropical-Kennedy stylings of most of the Southern Charm female cast, I found a lot of comfort in the men’s storylines. I identified with Craig’s notion of lost focus, always pressing forward in accomplishments and next steps, but wanting to stop and take in a breath and find footing. Most of my friends are deep into their lives with settled careers, proud husbands and wives, raising kids – established, you could say. And then there’s Shep, pushing 35, and content with where his life is at (sans white picket fence & children in tow.) I can cling to my bachelorette-dom a little easier now. And I appreciate hearing Landon’s history, having been married and realizing she wasn’t fulfilled, and being okay with stepping away from that and starting over.

Though much younger than myself, I couldn’t help but embrace Riley and Maya learning life lessons. I mean are you ever too old for a ‘moral of the story’? I think not! No matter your age, there’s always something new to learn. (And did I mention I started crying when I saw Mr. Feeney? That was unexpected. Water. Just leaking out of my face.) Television really is a special kind of mind therapy for me.

I haven’t taken to accepting where I am in life lately that easily, but I’m slowly coming to terms with it and trying to take it for what it is. I’d like to think these are my “character-building years,” only with the indie soundtrack playing solely in my head and without any hiking in the wild for weeks on end. (I would also like to note at this point that this post was abruptly interrupted by a tornado warning, which involved me taking shelter in my bathroom with my sneakers on and emergency bag packed. If that isn’t an experience on the checklist of Character-Building Years, yeah, well, it should be. Contact the moderator.)

Oh and I painted these. Lilly-inspired for my office!




ten songs: an exercise in reflection and peace.

In one of my final courses of my graduate degree, we were asked to create a project on our life plan – include things like a personal statement, your 1, 5, and 10 year goals, things of that nature. Music has always been incredibly important to me, so my stance was to design a case & a ten song CD that incorporated my life plan. The case itself has brief goals, three core statements, and a re-centering poem I wrote. I had created the CD with the mindset that these ten songs were at my core, and if I ever felt like my life plan was getting off track, they could get me through. At the time I just wanted to do something creative that reflected my personality, but then today I pulled out the CD (circa 2012), and didn’t realize what a wonderful and emotional powerful gift I had made myself. So, without further ado, I present ten songs. My life defined.

  • “But I’m thinking of what Sarah said, that ‘love is watching someone die’ – so who’s going to watch you die?
    What Sarah Said by Death Cab for Cutie
    Chosen as a reminder that life is short, make the most of it, and surround yourself with those you love.
  • “Sometimes we gotta leave, we gotta find the things that we’re seeking. All the things we’re needin’, the things that you leave behind often will cross your mind, but you won’t forget them. You won’t ever forget them.”
    Friends Like Those by Robert Ellis
    Chosen as a tribute to good friends – great friends – who may drift apart, but you’re forever tied to. Treasure them.
  • “They asked him ‘hey, where’s that bus going?’ And he said, ‘well I’m really not sure.’ ‘Well then, how will you know where to get off?’ And he said, ‘the place will the most allure.'”
    Love the Unknown by Eef Barzelay
    Chosen as an ode to a wandering heart, living for adventure and experience.
  • “But hold on to what you believe in the light, when the darkness has robbed you of all your sight.”
    Hold on to What You Believe by Mumford & Sons
    Chosen as a vow to stay true to myself and trust my inner compass undoubtedly.
  • “But I will never let it win, I will never throw the towel in, I hope I never feel like this again.”
    The Tower by Olle Nyman
    Chosen as a commitment to persevere through any storms I may weather.
  • “When you try your best but you don’t succeed; when you get what you want, but not what you need; when you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep, stuck in reverse. And the tears come streaming down your face; when you lose something you can’t replace; when you love someone, but it goes to waste – could it be worse? Lights will guide you home.”
    Fix You by Coldplay
    Chosen as a tribute to my family, knowing that if things hit wrong bottom, there are two people I can always turn to.
  • “My beautiful King, wake me up. I want to see You with new eyes. Break down these walls I built up, tear through this veiled heart. Lead me into your garden.”
    Distant Lights by Josiah James
    Chosen as a promise of faith, to choose lightness over darkness, to seek growth continually.
  • “Don’t forget, don’t forget, that I believe in you. Should you forget, should you forget, let me remind you that I am behind you.”
    Don’t Forget by Brett Dennen
    Chosen as a personal affirmation to believe in myself, that self-love is incredibly important in any journey.
  • “And in my hour of darkness, she is standing right in front of me. Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.”
    Let It Be as performed by Carol Woods & Timothy T. Mitchum (Across the Universe)
    Chosen as a dedication to my grandmother, remembering that she is constantly looking over me from Heaven.
  • “Leave the secret talks on the trundle bed, leave the garden tools in that rusted shed, leave those bad ideas in your troubled head today.”
    I Must Belong Somewhere by Bright Eyes
    Chosen as a reminder to stay positive & believe that one day everything will come together as it is meant to be.

It is my hope that you all can find something to meditate on, that re-centers you, and that you can find the time to dedicate to connecting to yourself, knowing yourself better, and envisioning the next steps and grand scheme of your life.


teaching an old blog new tricks?

So. I have a feeling that blogs only really work if you update them. Right? Right.

Spring break is ending and I’ve come to the conclusion I just need to tackle this blog thing head on, more often. I spent much of the first part of the week doing nothing, and did a little more nothing as the week carried on (and an extra side of nothing during the two hours that Young and the Restless decided not to have episodes on Thursday & Friday. Harrumph.) Though I didn’t tackle any large projects, I was able to fall back into a creative habit of taking & sharing photos, which I must admit felt pretty great.

I am really nervous that with work tomorrow I am going to fall back into work-drone behaviors, packing up doing everything I love again until the next break (summer.) Two years out from grad school and I still haven’t managed this work-life balance thing, even remotely. One day.

I hope to start sharing my photography more on the blog, and other little bits about my life. I also hope to make these posts more meaningful than rambling – but this’ll have to do for right now because there is a Teen Mom marathon on, people.


from dreamer to doer.

Well, here I go trying to do this blog thing again.

And, if you’re looking for an explanation, you are in luck my friend (wait – is that too forward? I’m sure we’d be friends in real life if we aren’t already.) So here goes why this is important the second time around.

In the second year of being a professional, I’ve never felt farther from what I’m supposed to be doing. And that isn’t to say I don’t enjoy my job, but I think sometimes you just know you’re meant for something different. I’ve always been drawn to artistic things – I loved my art and ceramic classes, I enjoyed designing Xanga layouts (once you’re done laughing, feel free to proceed), I liked making t-shirts, I’d joke about owning my own boutique, I wanted to pursue film editing. But, in the end I never did any of those things. I didn’t think they were realistic. I majored in something for the sake of majoring in something. I stuck to things I was comfortable with that had some kind of decent monetary pay-off. I thought I (1) would never make it in a competitive creative field and (2) if I sought a career doing the things I loved, I wouldn’t love them anymore. Now I’m in my mid-20s with barely any free time to even indulge in the things I enjoy the most. Embarrasingly, I’m Pinteresting my life away, posting the things I’d like to make or see or do rather than, you know, actually doing those things. Ay caramba, holy passivity, and all that jazz.

So. This is me taking back my life. This is me recommitting to personal happiness and pushing to sacrifice what I have to to become a step closer to living more creatively. This is me, most likely in baby steps, turning back burner dreams into reality. Because I have to be confident that it can, and will, happen. Because no one else is going to do this for me, I can only do it for myself.

The notion that we cannot have what we genuinely need is a culturally induced illusion that keeps us mired in the madness of business as usual. But illusions are made to be broken. Am I busy? Of course I am. Am I too busy to live my own life? Only if I value it so little that I am willing to surrender it to the enemy.” – Parker Palmer

What kind of posts should you expect? #NMT (New Music Tuesdays), craft & room projects, photography, inspirational sprinklings, and updates about life’s little – and big – pursuits and accomplishments.

To hope and happiness,