Sunday, June 29

happy birthday boho boy

you + me, photo by

I remember years ago I was sitting in my high school Humanities class that was taught by my absolute favorite teacher of all time and he said something about his wife that I would never forget. One of the many things I loved about him was how in each and every class he talked so tenderly about her. But on this particular day, he shared with the class how he truly falls more in love with her every day and they had been married for about 30 years. He said when he came home from work each day and saw her, his heart skipped a beat and he felt all fluttery.

I never quite understood how a person could feel that way...after that many years of being side by side but I had always hoped I was capable of this love. At that time in my life and for some years to come I was teased by my family and friends for being fickle and they often wondered if I would ever settle down. So, the idea that this type of romantic love would exist in my world was hard to grasp.

Then I met you.

And now I know what my teacher meant.

When you come through the door, each day after work, my heart fills with a love so big I often feel overwhelmed by it. You never fail to hold me first thing, kiss my neck and sigh into my hair. Your face lights up as though you haven't seen me in days. You've been doing this for six years and it gets me every time.

Then there is bedtime, when we are lying side by side each night, facing one another with our arms entangled and I never take for granted the way my heart melts in those moments. I will lay there and stare at you as you fall asleep and try to push away those fears that creep up about a love like ours being too good to last forever.

I often wonder during those few moments before I fall asleep how a love can be so deep and wide and how it is possible for it to keep growing. But it does.

Every day I truly do fall more in love with you...

Happy birthday my love.

Wednesday, June 25

true to who i am*

angela's reflection, canon digital rebel xti

I have noticed that since I became aware that I am in a tender place and put it out into the world that I am feeling protective of my heart, I have attracted so much gentleness in my life lately. I am so pleased to discover that it is truly just a matter of knowing what I need and expressing it in order for those necessary shifts to begin to take place in my life.

So many times I busy myself and don't stop to pay attention to what is triggering me and it begins to pile up and feel cluttered in my heart and mind. When I get in that space, I notice I forget what feels truly nourishing and fruitful.

This week, the act of decluttering my home and my workspace has essentially helped me to declutter my mind. I feel spaces opening to invite more gentleness in. Not just with my heart but with my business. I notice my latest photographs have taken on a quality that express the smooth, quiet, liquidy, protective, gentle, careful, mindful place that I am surrounding myself with. I spent a whole day at my desk processing these photos without music...just listening to the birds and windchimes outside. Simplicity is beckoning me.

Something is shifting in a way that feels so true to who I am; the very core of me that is most comfortable in quiet, soft, gentle, wide open spaces.

But what feels even more amazing than all of this...is feeling completely okay with where I am and not second guessing it or trying to make myself be or feel something other than tender.

Monday, June 23

boho gems for sale*

boho gems (click for larger view), canon digital rebel xti

I returned home from time away with a deep urge to de-clutter, simplify and Zen-ify my home. Typically projects like this overwhelm me but I am choosing to clear out one room at a time, one section at a time, one breath at a time. I promised myself not to rush through it and be very mindful of what I truly need and what I don't. I have come to realize that I thrive more in an environment that feels open and free...with a lot of space to twirl around at will. Lately, as stuff has piled up high around my desk and shelves, it has caused a clutter-ish feeling inside of my head. I suppose this is all part of me paying attention to what feels nourishing in my life and I am learning that simplicity is where my heart feels most calm.

Soon after my leap from the corporate world to owning my own creative business, I sold handmade boho style jewelry. Then photography as a profession stole my heart. My intention with clearing out my studio is for it to be photography focused. Hence, I would like to let go of all of my gems, sterling silver and pendants so that they can be brought out into the world by another creative soul.

I spent the evening organizing, laying them out in front of me, whispering words of gratitude for the path these dear gems directed me to on my journey.

I have quite a lot of stock, as well as an organized shelf cubby to go with. If you are at all interested in purchasing my stock as a whole, please email me at denise (at) bohophoto (dot) com. Every single piece is new and has never been worn. I hope to find them a home soon.

My stock consists of:
  • Pendants of all types (Serpentine, Jade, Bone, Carnelian, Porcelain, Wood)
  • Sterling silver charms, lobster claws, toggle clasps, wire, spacers, etc.
  • Beads: Carnelian, Chrysophase, Agate, Serpentine, Rhyolite, Jade, Glass, Coral, Wood, Vintage, etc.
  • Storage cubby
  • Jewelry design book
update: they've found a home...with a wonderful woman in France. her story touched me deeply and since this is such an emotional step for me, i knew it was meant to be.

Sunday, June 22

where we've been...

northern california coast, canon digital rebel xti

words are not enough. do you feel what i feel?

Sunday, June 15


self portrait, body image series, canon digital rebel xti

I've been feeling quite tender and protective of my heart lately and noticed as a result of this, I've been retreating a bit. It started when the subject of adoption came up in a conversation and all of these emotions surfaced from a deep place within, tucked away unbeknownst to me. When reflecting on all of this, I realize that our adoption experience was quite traumatic (and not very common). I moved forward quite quickly on a different path and perhaps didn't nurture those painful and shocking emotions enough to move through them. I am aware as I write this that I am naturally a sensitive being and I've witnessed some warriors press on with adoption after it painfully falls through on a mission to hold that child meant for them. But for me, in my heart, I/we felt like this particular birth mom and baby were meant for us and the fact that the sweet little babe didn't end up in our home, in our lives, felt like a passing on of a life, in our lives. So, I suppose I have to allow myself time to grieve what felt so right, accept that it wasn't and not be surprised if emotions come flooding when I am reminded.

With all of that said, it has of course all shifted to a place that feels peaceful for us as far as our new doctors, new breakthroughs and once again trying...but it doesn't mean I still don't think about the fact that I could be holding her now. I wonder if that ache will ever go away and rather than shove it down, I need to honor those feelings and send all this love in the direction to that special birth mom and her new little baby girl.

So, I was talking with a very special friend yesterday about these feelings of needing to retreat and told her that I continue to see this image of me with a huge white protective cushion around my entire body. I was trying to figure out what it meant and why it keeps appearing. I started getting all complicated with twists and turns and then like a breath of fresh air, she simplified it for me. "You are still suffering and healing and anything that doesn't feel gentle, nourishing and safe to you right now, you don't need in your life." Tears welled up in my eyes but not tears of sadness but of absolute clarity of mind and spirit. This is exactly what has been happening. Anything that has not felt nourishing or gentle, has felt repelling to me. I have been craving safety and comfort with friends and relationships and places where my heart is invested. I'm not sure how long I will feel like this but for right now on my journey, I know this is what I need. People in my life that are close to me (or not close to me) may not understand or agree but to be honest, it is time for me to let go of worrying or taking care of that for them. When I know in my heart this is what I need, I just have to trust that those who truly love me will respect my decisions.

Now with this new clarity, I can seek and discover what feels nourishing and feel okay about protecting myself from those things that do not.

Boho Boy and I are retreating into the woods for a week, returning next Friday...so, this will be healing and nourishing for both of us.

Completely off topic, I wanted to share with you guys something I've discovered that indeed feels nourishing! A few weeks ago, Swirly sweetly surprised us with a day of facials given by this talented goddess. Said goddess gave me a fruity enzyme peel that made my skin feel amazing for a few weeks. The idea of a peel used to freak me out but being this is gentle, all natural and with no chemicals, I tried it. I loved it so much, I wanted to be able to do it every two weeks here at home, so she directed me to this Incredible Pumpkin Peel by a delicious product that I already use (sold at my Whole Foods). I did it yesterday and my skin feels so soft and supple and alive. I just had to share the goodness.


Thursday, June 12

feeling squam-ie

jen, me, swirly, andrea

About 5 years ago, I was reading SARK's book Creative Companion; Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and I remember seeing a fresh faced gorgeous smile on a page that made me linger there for a while. There was something about this woman Sark was close friends with that felt so familiar and I thought to myself that I could see someone like her being in my life.

About 2 years later, a friend introduced me to Andrea's blog and her and I quickly connected over our fertility journeys and became instant soul-friends. She was the first woman in my life at that time that was struggling and suffering from the longing for a child and I finally felt understood and validated. As time has gone on, we have discovered a connection that goes beyond fertility. We discovered that we share so many dreams, goals and perspectives on life and being. Now I have a difficult time grasping the idea that she hasn't always been in my life.

It wasn't long ago, that I grabbed the Creative Companion book again and saw her photo and realized that these two women, the one in Sark's book and the one I met through a blog were one and the same. It hadn't dawned on me before. You can imagine the chills I felt. It reminded me how powerful manifesting is when long ago I put out the energy that I'd love to have someone like her in my life and years later, she dances into my heart and world.

I am so very honored to help assist Andrea this September at the Squam Art Workshops. She's teaching a class and offering crazy amounts of inspiration in regards to two amazing gifts she brings into our world; Life Coaching and Photography. Harmonizing these two life changers is going to rock everyone's world. A soul-mate of mine, Jen Gray will also be assisting Andrea and I know first hand that the energy between these two women is full of magic, comfort and open arms.

A kindred spirit in my life, Penelope is teaching a few classes as well and the list of outrageously talented teachers goes on.

To make things even more wildly tasty and delish...one of my dearest mates, Swirly will be there to launch her lovely and AMAZING book ORDINARY SPARKLING MOMENTS and the thought of this brings weepy tears to my eyes. The fact that I can be there to witness this monumental event in her life is something that blows my mind. Her book is going to shift lives in a radically magical way.

The thought of so many powerful women and friends coming together at Squam to take risks, open wide, explore, play, leap and stretch just makes me so blissed out. It can be intimidating to do these sorts of things alone but we'll all be together and the fears will melt away and the freedom and playfulness will begin.

I used to love summer camp and this is exactly what this feels like! So, if you are still thinking of going and haven't quite made that leap yet, I would so encourage you to do so if you're inspired. This is such a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded souls on a different level than reading a blog. You know, like actually hugging someone and pinching them to make sure they're real. ; )

Are you feeling squam-ie?

Tuesday, June 10

self acceptance

swirly & melissa, canon digital rebel xti

I am just totally loving and absorbing all of you gentle beings out there coming here to validate one another on our path to self acceptance. It's definitely helped pull me out of a funkity funk.

To quote one of my darling readers, Debbie...

"curvy women rock! as do round, thin, short, tall, lean, soft, pear, apple, light, dark ..."

Here's to celebrating and embracing what we've got.

Now go squeeze a girlfriend's bum.

Sunday, June 8

body image journey

self portrait diptych, canon digital rebel xti

Since I was old enough to grow curves on my body, I have spent my life trying to embrace them and encouraging others with curves to do the same. In a world where the media has influenced us to believe that thin is beautiful...it leaves those of us that are curvy, even at our thinnest or fittest, to search within for our self esteem.

Growing up and into my adulthood, all of my sketches of women were very curvy and soft. I also found myself attracted to the most curvy of celebrities. If I was blessed enough to have a curvy friend, we would combine forces and empower one another to be confident and sexy in a crowd of thin people. Sometimes I wondered if I adopted this attitude because I simply had no choice but what it always came down to is I find curves beautiful. I especially find them beautiful when women embrace them and march on to their own womanly tune. Like this sexy goddess in the kitchen.

Throughout my life until now, I have heard from many people that they appreciate the way I embrace my body and curves, even when I am 10 or 20 or more pounds heavier than I am "supposed" to be. I loved the fact that this confidence inspired others to search within and feel the same. I have always responded to them admitting that I struggle with it at times but at the same time, I try to practice self love and look within rather than at others.

Although, lately I've noticed that now that my abundance of energy is resurfacing and I am able to incorporate exercise into each day the way I used to, I've managed to be really tough on my body image. When I became aware of how far I have to go to get back into shape, I quietly started tearing myself apart, betraying my body and heart with that critical inner voice. Not a way of being that I am comfortable with and something I have always tried to nurture so that it won't fall to a damaging place for my self esteem.

I became more aware that this was happening when I spent some time in Santa Monica with some of my girlies. We were walking downtown and I noticed all of the perfectly coiffed LA Ladies that appear as though they get facials, manicures, pedicures each day all the while fitting in time for their trainer at the gym for five hours (bless them). For a few minutes, I allowed my inner critic to convince me that I need all of these things to be beautiful too. Oy!!

I had gone to Santa Monica for a photo shoot and then was invited along to a few girly festivities, which I was ecstatic about. Although, when I realized that I only brought along with me photo shoot attire along with flip flops, I started feeling very self conscious. As we walked in a line of four down the street, I felt myself cringing about not having stilettos on and sexy duds like my girlfriends. I felt the ache of inadequacy hit my belly and my inner voice tell me I was not enough (not pretty enough, skinny enough or dolled up enough). It was sad for me to even entertain these thoughts when my priorities have been focused on deeper issues in my life lately. Issues that are more important to me than the right shoes to wear to a particular bar. It felt distracting and annoying because I rarely allow myself to go there long enough for it to penetrate my mood or being.

As we entered the bar, I took some deep breaths. I put my thoughts and energy towards feeling centered and bringing myself back to a place of gratefulness. Grateful that I was with some extraordinary women and while most everyone around us was talking about the latest styles over martini's, we were all discussing Buddhism and meditating. As time passed, those feelings of not being enough subsided but it made me realize that I haven't been nurturing that part of me where some deep rooted insecurities live and surface when I least suspect them.

Yesterday, I took a shower and then sat in front of my one and only long mirror in our home. Rather than look away from those parts that appear bulgy, rolled or dimply, I stared at them tenderly and gave them love. I said out loud that I love that part over and over again. Then I looked in my eyes, searching and waiting for that sincere moment when I believed it. Yes, some very cleansing tears were shed and I felt like I was breathing life into myself again. As much as it is wonderful to hear from my loved ones "But you ARE enough"... it reaches deeper when it is my voice I hear.

I left this exercise feeling lighter and more kind to myself. I'm just now starting a new journey of re-introducing regular activity into my life. That is one way to love myself but then the rest is up to my inner voice and what thoughts I choose to believe or let go of. It's a whole body and soul body thing, its a body image journey I am working on and I need to remember that gentle balance.

Every journey ebbs and flows and this one in particular is especially tender for all of us.

Thursday, June 5

friendship soaked love*

swirly & melissa, canon digital rebel xti

I apologize for my absence lately. I was away and then brought home with me a juicy Kiwi for a few days. This past weekend I did a photo shoot of two dear friends that happen to be one another's best friends. Being a close witness to their history and intimacy unfolding before my eyes got me thinking about the comfort and safety of some of my friendships. Tying the lovely and intimate photo shoot up with a few hours of Sex and the City summed up that we are our best selves when surrounded by absolute unconditional friendship soaked love.

I'm pretty busy with work this week but wanted to peek in and wave hello. If you've seen this film, would love to hear your favorite bits. Just to keep the fun girly energy and pink drinks flowin'...