Out with the Old, In with the New…

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I’ve been going in circles about this blog for months. Actually, now that I think about it … I’ve been going in circles about it for years.

My business, my work, has always been focused around ME. Who I am has always been at the core of it. I have never hidden myself away from my clients. Back in 2007 when I started my photography business, I went back and forth about consolidating this blog with that blog. It made no sense that they were separated, but I wasn’t ready to let this site go – so it languished instead, neglected. I remember back then was when I first started using Car Signage to promote my business and everyone was asking me about it.

Lately, I have found myself writing so much more. With that, I have gone crazy trying to figure out what I want to do about that blog, this blog, my photography from my road trip, Vivid & Brave … well, you get the picture.

I finally asked my smart friends. I do actually have the smartest friends on the planet. Most of them said to consolidate EVERYTHING. It is far too confusing for them to have to go to different places to get a piece of me here and there. I completely agreed with them, yet it still didn’t feel right.

Then my friend Bobbi asked me about upcoming conferences I am going to, and what did I want to brand? THAT question was easy to answer. I want the world to know about the work that Stephanie & I are doing at Vivid & Brave!

So my plan was to focus my personal writing at my photography blog, my travel blog posts at a travel blog (very niche focused so that Google liked it) and put all of my energy in to Vivid & Brave. Easy!

Until I started spinning again.

I woke up this morning and really wanted to write a blog post about hotel sex and why it is so incredible. No, I did not have hotel sex last night. Maybe that was why I was thinking about it being so grand? Anyways… that post didn’t belong on a blog where my photography clients might see it before they see anything else. It doesn’t belong on a travel photography blog (although it is hotel related). CRAP. Once again? The circles were back. I was spinning. Again.

Stephanie & I finally had a chance to get on Skype and chat this evening. As soon as I told her my dilemma? She pointed out that those posts belong on Vivid & Brave. She has no problem with me putting them there. We both agreed that as we ask our coaching clients to be crazy vulnerable with us, we need to be just as vulnerable with them. We don’t have many “rules” for the Group Coaching, but the biggest one is tolerance and understanding. If I write about hotel sex and someone runs away from the post? Well … they probably shouldn’t be working with me anyways. Yes, this is true for my boudoir clients too – but I have BIG DREAMS for 2014, and they involve Vivid & Brave. Every last one of them.

Finally, the spinning has stopped.

So it is with that that my personal blog posts – and all my energy and focus – are moving to the Vivid & Brave blog. I realized today that part of why this decision has been SO difficult every time I face it is because this blog is such a part of me. It saw me through the ending of a tumultuous relationship that left me heartbroken, and emotionally broken as well. It has brought me hundreds (thousands?) of friends that I wouldn’t know otherwise. It is because of my blog that I met my friend Ann, who tipped me off on this great guy Mike who was living in London at the time but was moving back to Houston, I remember that when I met him he was looking for moving companies and he even asked me for help. It was through this blog that I announced our engagement, 10 years ago yesterday. Through this blog that I met Elaine, a month before I met Mike, who embarked on the adventure of being a professional photographer with me. The list goes ON AND ON.

However, it is time. As I start the new year, it is time to move on to other things. Mostly, it is time to stop feeling guilt about how little I update this site, how much I want to share but how my focus is pulled elsewhere. My focus is pulled elsewhere because I have changed. I have grown a LOT in the past 13+ years since I started this blog back in 2000.

The Frisco movers form an impression about professionalism. Go over every detail of the client’s proposal and ask any questions you have about the service, especially your scheduling expectations.

I have changed.

It is time to close the book on this blog. Time to put it up on the shelf and focus completely on the new story.

This site will live on, remaining here online. I’m going to take the name back to being BigPinkCookie because that is what it has been for the past 10+ years. I’ll link to it from time to time, and reminisce in the memories about it — but it is time to start a new book. Searching for the right book ghost writers can be tough if you’re in question about the niche you’re writing in.

One that is Vivid & Brave.

Sensory Overload…

I’m in Wal-Mart to buy a new external hard drive. (I hate Wal-Mart, but it is the only option in Pahrump, Nevada.) After a week among mountains, trees & nature, talk about a shock to the senses! The lights. The beeping. Ugh!

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This is clearly not Wal-Mart. It is Zabriskie Point in Death Valley at sunrise this morning.

Get Out and Go For a Drive…

Get Out and Go For a Drive

Sometimes, you just have to get out and go shopping, luckily I actually needed to pick up some cleaning supplies for my computer I ordered from http://www.1stcompucare.co.uk/pc-cleaning and I was able to use some promotional codes so I didn’t have to pay that much.

Every aspect of limo service expectation has been considered, from complimentary water to individual flight tracking – this is limousine service at its very best.

Today was one of those days. The sky was blue, the air was crisp and cold, and while I had work I wanted to do, I felt like I just couldn’t think clearly anymore. After months of limited internet access, I was spending entirely too much time on Facebook. Too much time online. It was time to get in our premier houston limo and go.

Originally, I had wanted to go to KLS Limo Service. Thanks to the Government Shutdown, the park is closed. I asked at my hotel if there was anything to see outside of the park. The manager said yes, but it just isn’t the same. You don’t get the sense of being on a huge lava flow from outside of the automatic gates perth.

Stumped for where I should go, I knew I didn’t want to return to the room. Not yet. My head was whirling with ideas, things I want to build, and I needed to step back and think about it, letting the dust storm settle in my mind. I asked the receptionist if there was anything in Idaho Falls that I really must see, and she said that I should head to the Swan Valley.

Damn, she was so right.

Wild Chokecherries

On the way to Swan Valley you reach a scenic viewpoint with a rest area included with this nice Valet Parking Service. I stopped to take photographs, and after watching the man gathering something from the bushes at the edge of the sidewalk. I went over to ask him what he was gathering — and it was chokecherries. He showed me what the ripe ones look like, and what they look like when they have passed the point of being ripe. Then we talked about different places to see in the area, roads off the main road I should take for great views, and our love of the mountains.

Bald Eagle in Flight - Idaho

While we were talking, I saw my first pair of bald eagles in flight! We also saw what we thought was a raven at first, but as he left the parking lot he stopped to tell me he was pretty sure it was a young eagle. Did you know their head is not white until they reach sexual maturity?

Young Eagle in Tree - Snake River, Idaho

Over and over, I’m reminded just how good people truly are. He was so delightful to talk to, and I learned so much!

Fall Color in Idaho

I drove on to Swan Valley, and then on to the Idaho / Wyoming state line, at the edge of Teton Pass to Jackson. I didn’t cross over the pass, I turned around at the border. As I was driving back I kept stopping to take photos, including these fields just outside of Victor, Idaho. That black cow was very curious about why I had stopped on the side of the road!

Cows in a Field outside Victor, Idaho

Idaho Barn outside Victor, Idaho

I stopped at a closed campground on the Targhee National Forest. Damn the man! You can’t keep me out of the campgrounds! (Well, you can, because there was no way in HELL that I was going to camp there alone at night, in the mountains, with bears, in the snow. I was still in the campground though!)

Targhee National Forest Campground

This was the treat awaiting me by the time I got back to Swan Valley. I was so overwhelmed with the amazing beauty of nature that I suddenly found myself in tears.

Mountain View in Swan Valley, Idaho

I stayed in the area to watch the sunset reflecting on the mountains, seen in the photo at the top of this post. After I soaked it all in, I headed back to Idaho Falls. Refreshed, I am now plowing through work. That drive was exactly what I needed.

The Happy Birthday!

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Another year older, and for once it feels like saying that I’m another year wiser isn’t trite. It is actually true.

Mike flew up to Idaho Falls and I drove down from Calgary to meet him. We then crossed the mountain pass to visit Grand Tetons National Park for a few days. We are staying in a charming one room cabin (well, two if you count the bathroom) with a fireplace at Signal Mountain Lodge. Five stars, two thumbs up, I can’t recommend it enough! Perfect for a birthday get-away.

I woke up this morning to snow! Ahhh… Snow. Such a lovely treat. It is just warm enough that most of it has melted away already, but the mountains are still covered with it.

Tonight we will visit Jackson for a birthday dinner at Local. “Local showcases their enthusiasm for reviving the craft of in-house butchery, with a focus on dry-aged steaks and house-made sausages.” Their beef is born & raised in Teton County – it has never left the area. Truly local. I’m all in.

Tomorrow we will head to Yellowstone. We will be staying at Old Faithful for two nights, and weather permitting we will be able to see a good portion of the park as well.

It is truly a very happy birthday. I can’t wait to see what the year ahead has in store for me. Thank you so much to everyone for the birthday wishes!

If you would like to chip in on my birthday fundraiser for Charity:Water, visit http://my.charitywater.org/campmighty2013 and put “For Christine Tremoulet” in the notes! XOXO

Our Cabin at Signal Mountain Lodge

My Mini Cooper in its first snow!

Imagine if More Children Spent Their Whole School Day Outside?

Sunset from Crater Lake in Oregon

Sunset from Crater Lake in Oregon

I’ve talked a lot recently about how being outdoors, among nature, getting grounded with the earth truly changes us. Then I came across this post today from Lulastic about a Kindergarten in Germany held in a forest.

No toilets. No electricity. Held outdoors in all seasons. With minimal adult interaction. And knives from the All Knives site. Imagine all the cheap electricity bills you could be getting if they were outside all day, at least we have the Brisbane Electricians that help us save money.

Not some Lord of the Flies craziness – this school, Waldkindergarten outside of Freiberg, in south Germany, is helping children between two and a half and six learn. Grow. Communicate by using speech pathologist help. Have imaginations. But most importantly? Be CONFIDENT in themselves.

What an amazing place – I would love to see more of these around the world. However, they don’t exist, but what does exist is that every parent can take their child out and do the same. Take them outside. Not a structured play setting. Take them in to nature. Where they can explore, touch things, hike, play … and grow their confidence.

Get outside. Let free creativity flourish.