Wednesday, February 11

To anyone who stills finds themselves wondering to this side of the internet, I will no longer be using Simple Grounds. In fact, I stopped using a while back. Although I will not delete Simple Grounds, you can find my new blog at or my photo work at From there you can find photos and stories.

Thank you to everyone who followed along. See you elsewhere!


Sunday, September 21

You know what's exciting – being creative on a whim. Taking a friend, throwing on some clothes, running into the woods, and taking some photos. Was it planned? No. Was I prepared? No. Was it spontaneous? Yes.

There's something so intriguing about making art, whether it's a week long process or a spur of the moment. I enjoy running outside, laughing, taking portraits, and having freedom in creativity. I've learned a lot about myself and my art in this past year. Taking photos means so much more than a click of the camera or having 'exposure' and fame across social media. It's about creating a piece of work that can create emotion, share feelings, and ultimately allow myself to project the things of life into an image.

I recently ran into the woods with my friend Kylie and took a couple shots of her. Not really going into with any kind of ultimate goal, I let the photos move and work for themselves.

New Friends

Monday, September 15

You know what's awesome about being involved in an art full of fun & creative people? You get to meet these people, hang out, and become friends – people from all over the world, the country, and your state. As a photographer, it is such a cool thing being able to talk with another fellow photog and meet in person to hang out!

This weekend I finally got to hang out with one of my personal photographer role models and inspirations. San Antonio based wedding photographer, Anthony Guana of Tailored Filter Photography. Him and his sweet girlfriend, Amanda, drove to Houston this past weekend. We had a chance to meet up, grab some drinks and coffee at Down House, and explore some of the Heights! Remember back in the Myspace days when people used to say, "p4p?" Otherwise known as, "pic4pic." Well we totally did that. I got to take some portraits of Amanda + Anthony, and he took a few of me as well!

Despite the extreme Texas humidity that night and the gray skies taking up all of our sunshine, we had a loads of fun just hanging out and getting to know each other. I'm thankful to be part of this community of creative individuals who are always ready to explore, try new things, and make new friends.

Don't forget to check out Anthony's work →

Editorial Update

Saturday, September 13

Although I haven't been blogging as much as I used to, I have been working really hard on some of my photo/journalism work. Pursuing my career in writing has been a slow start so far (what am I saying, I just started college...) But I am feeling the passion thriving! I have so many ideas pent up in my head, and I love being able to share my words and use it intermittently with my art. You can follow along with my work on my website

Beauty Is Fleeting

Monday, September 1

Today, as I was hanging out with my six (almost) seven year old step-sister, she said something that pulled on my heartstrings and made me mixed with emotions. She was telling me about her "crush." Mind you, she just started first grade and has already begun noticing the "cute boy with the mohawk and glasses." As she was telling me about him and the quirky things he does, she told me,
"He doesn't like me though because I'm not pretty."
I asked her why she thought that and she told me because there are "many other pretty girls" in class. I was speechless.. How could a six year old girl with the whole world ahead of her believe a boy won't like her because she's not pretty? My heart sank, and I couldn't find the words to tell her how beautiful she is. How could I describe to a six year old that beauty is fleeting. It is merely a breath in the width of the world, and her beauty will fade and she will still be smart, and funny, and quirky, and goofy; all the things that make her her. 

How is it that girls, and even boys, today as young as six years old are being pressured to "look" a certain way? I can't even let her pick up a magazine or watch something other than Nick Jr. without fearing she will see something that will make her feel any less than she is worth. Are we not protecting the innocent, pure hearts of these girls and boys who need to know they are worthy of far more than their external appearance? Have we forgotten how easy it is to get sucked up into media and allow our worth to be dependent on the world? Losing your self-confidence is one thing, but allowing children to feel the pain of "I'm not good enough," or "I'm not pretty enough" is too much. The most children should be worried about is that art project they're doing in art class at school or finishing the entire episode of the Fairly Odd Parents before bedtime. They shouldn't be worried about their worth, their clothes, their appearance, or their "status" in their elementary school.

As adults and young adults in a culture saturated in media, magazines, TV, internet and these places that hurt the children of the future, we need to be uplifting them and encouraging them. We need to teach them that they are perfect exactly how they are. We need to be examples of this, and the only way to do that is to embrace our differences, accept our flaws, and rejoice in our mistakes. This children who look up to us will never understand it is okay to be different than what our culture labels "worthy." They need to look onto adults who are walking in humility, acceptance, and self-confidence. They need to see adults who can love themselves. And no I don't mean conceit – I mean embracing ourselves as we've been created.


Saturday, August 23

This post is veeeery past over-due. My blog has been left in a dusty corner of the internet for awhile. With so many things going on in life, it's been a chore just to open up Simple Grounds and write. With that being said, a LOT of things have been going on that I haven't posted about lately. But I'm ready to get back into it.

Three weeks ago, Tony and I got engaged! It was incredible, beautiful, lovely, and so surprising! Without going into a loooong story and speal, I will tell our story with photos

Our weekend started with Tony surprising me early from my shift, all the while planning for my boss to let me off early. My bags were packed, the car was packed, and we were off. (He even had a bag of M&M's waiting for me, hehe!) He didn't tell me where we were going, what we were doing, or how long we'd be gone. We just started our drive.

Our first stop was the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. Tony has been wanting to take a trip to this spot forever. So we finally did. He drank some free beer, and I snapped away at the beautiful historic building. It smelled like malt, but hey it was fun! After the brewery we hopped back into the car, anticipating another 2.5 hour drive. We arrived in the West Hills of Austin, Texas. One thing I've been wanting to do for quite awhile is stay in a vintage airstreamer. Waalaa! Tony worked out a night in a lovely vintage airstreamer through Airbnb. Thanks, Paul for being our host for the night and feeding us delicious banana bread and home-squeezed orange juice!

That night we headed over for a walk around Mayfield Park to hang out with some wild Peacocks. The cute little fellas let us feed them. If you're ever in Austin, you need to check this park out!

After a long day of driving, Saturday morning we headed out to the Longhorn Caverns State Park. Tony and I have a little mission to visit all the Texas state parks, so this was a beautiful one to add to the list. We took a tour through the caverns and enjoyed some fudge pops!

After a morning of hiking through some under ground caves, we headed to our next location. After a near 3 hour drive, Tony surprised me by pulling up to Enchanted Rock Natural Area. This has been a location we've been wanting to visit for awhile, and it was beautiful! When we arrived to Enchanted Rock, we had to hike out 2 miles through the hills to get to our primitive camping spot. (Next time we will definitely bring less stuff.) The heat, a back full of gear, and 2 miles is not a good combo. Thankfully, we met a really nice fella and his sweet daughter who talked with us during our hike. Camping out in the hills was absolutely serene and peaceful. Unfortunately, I fell asleep at 8 and missed the beautiful stars. 

I should've mentioned that we had to eat cold beans from a can that night... At least they were some delicious black beans from Trader Joe's!

 Sunday morning we woke up early, packed up, and decided to hike up to the summit of Enchanted Rock. An early foggy morning, it wasn't too hot and the landscape was just breathtaking. Prepped with a camera, cliff bars, and our CamelBak, we headed up to the top. After sitting atop the summit for some time, in awe of the view, Tony popped the question. He called me over from some place I was standing and showed me a wooden type box, and said, "Look what I found!" Laughing, I replied, "You didn't find that, silly!" "Yes, I did! Open it!" At this point, I knew what was coming, and tears started to fill my eyes. That's when he got down on one knee, told me I was the love of his life, and asked if I'd spend the rest of my life as his wife. Of course I said yes!

I couldn't have dreamed of a more wonderful engagement! We have already started the wedding planning process... a little stressful, but it is so much fun! We already have a venue picked out! Woohoo! I can't wait to be this handsome fella's wife!

Mended Ends

Saturday, July 26

My first post in over a month. Writing has become something I do in my journal, alone, private and secluded. The intensity this summer has truly put a minor halt to my words, to my writings, and to my "explainable" thoughts. Lately, writing down my thoughts has been like trying to search through millions of archives and never finding what you need. I don't know if it's because of the heat getting to my head, or maybe my work getting to my head, but I know it's not good. I find words to be important, and when I have absolutely nothing to say I get worried. And maybe sometimes I get sad, but that's for a different time of explanation.

Today I'm recalling on last Sunday – The past couple of weeks, I have not felt this need for church. I have not felt that tangible desire to get up on Sunday and be there. I mean really be there and take part. I guess you can say I've been another seat, instead of a working part of the body. And maybe I'm wrong, but that's how my flesh has felt. – As I sat and listened, I felt God tugging on my heart + asking for my obedience. I've noticed that every so often I get into this habit of doing. I get into a habit of doing for God out of a mechanical obedience and not out of a deep desire to love and follow Him. I get stuck in these useless 'works,' thinking I can somehow win God's affection with my "Christ-like" life and not my Christ-seeking heart. His affection has already been won, and it was done by Jesus on the Cross. Doesn't that beautiful knowledge remind me to love God and obey him out of a whole-hearted desire? Doesn't it remind me that I cannot save myself and nothing I do will affect my salvation? It's incredibly beautiful.

And as I think about these things and when I recall on the moments when my flesh has failed and my disobedience to Christ is apparent, I have to remember that there is no shame nor guilt in Him. There is no punishing myself. There is only conviction, repentance, and loads of grace. For that, I am thankful.

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