14 Tips for Holiday iPhone Photos You'll Love!

holiday iphone photos Dec 22, 2021

Want to take more memorable photos that you'll savor year after year?

I know, I know. You have elf on the shelf duties, are grocery shopping for house guests, buttoning up end of year work stuff and might have kids out of school and hanging all over you at this exact moment, but even if you have 8 million presents still to wrap (me!) and are packing to head out of town (also me!), give yourself (and your future savoring self) 5 minutes to peruse these tips for holiday photos you'll love or to just get inspired to take some different photos this December. And savoring is a form of gratitude! So if you've loved my gratitude gravy challenge, savoring is the perfect side dish!

And if your December holiday celebrations already happened, (my apologies, I'm a little late for Hanukkah photo tips, or early for 2022?!), or you don't celebrate any holidays in December, then read through this, anyway, to practice taking better photos over winter break or anytime of year. 


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How to Create EASY Holiday Light Bokeh Photos with an iPhone


Wondering what light bokeh even is? It's these beautiful round circles of light that are intentionally blurry and out of focus. It's a Japanese word and a photographic style. 

Christmas trees are just begging for bokeh! But you don't need to celebrate Christmas to enjoy this creative trick. Twinkly lights are easy to find and this on-the-fly creative trick is so much fun to play with. 

If you've heard of bokeh, maybe you've mostly thought of it as a way to blur the background when taking a portrait of someone. I took this photo with my big DSLR camera a few years ago of my daughter, Jacey. I didn't realize you could actually achieve a similar creative effect with an iPhone. 

I accidentally discovered light bokeh on my iPhone last year when I was attempting to shoot this scene while parked at a BBQ joint chatting with an old friend before driving into cell phone dead zones during a snow storm.

My iPhone wouldn't focus on the tree as it kept trying to focus on the...

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The Case for Thanking a Stranger

gratitude gratitude gravy Nov 30, 2021

There's nothing like having a police officer unload your luggage from the back of a patrol car at a gas station to remind you of why it's important to thank a stranger.

A week ago, we were at the tail end of a 3 hour road trip to the airport from our mountain town, driving down hill at 75 mph when our car's electrical system COMPLETELY SHUT DOWN amidst busy rush-hour Denver traffic.

As the dashboard went from "every engine light, warning light on" red to complete darkness, we contemplated using the nearby runaway truck ramp. Luckily, my husband's skillful coasting took the car just a tiny bit further to a small triangular median between the onramp and the highway to pull over. Fortunately, we were alive, but the car was now completely dead.

To say this was scary and dangerous and a terrible way to start the Thanksgiving week is a gross understatement.

It was too dangerous to even open a car door to get out of the car, nearly impossible for an Uber to pick...

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A feasty month with Tara and the Soul Shines

Uncategorized Sep 02, 2021
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Step up your walks to skyrocket creativity & connection

Did you know that a few little tweaks to your walking can boost your brain power, skyrocket your creativity and help you feel more connected in your relationships?

You might soak up life's little details along the way and decrease your inflammation while staring at a rainbow. In this jam packed episode, Lizzie gives you 7 different types of walks (several you've probably NEVER heard of) to boost your brainpower, increase creativity and feel more connected in your relationships.

Plus, experience all the usual benefits of a walking habit. Listen in to step up your walking (all puns intended) with science-backed research, funny stories and down-to-earth tips. Want to know the perfect kind of walk to boost your memory, calm your stress, generate new ideas or to decrease your inflammation? It's all inside!

A few of the walks mentioned: passeggiata, flanerie (or flaneuring), awe walks, novelty walks, meditative walks, photo walks with favorites from Baudelaire, Nietsche, Thoreau, Jon...

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Look for a little Wabi Sabi on your Next Photowalk (and then sprinkle some in your life!)


Have you ever heard of Wabi Sabi?

I can hear your inner dialogue right now: Wabi Whatie?

No, this isn't a plea to go on a sushi photowalk and find some bright green wasabi while you're out and about (though don't tempt me, I am hungry right now). 

Wabi Sabi is the Japanese aesthetic of an object being beautiful because it's perfectly imperfect.

Of course, that is the overly simplified definition, in reality, it's a philosophy embedded in Japanese culture, and it's not that easily distilled down into a few words. 

Essentially, it's about seeing beauty in imperfection, savoring simplicity, and recognizing the impermanence and transience of nature. If something is Wabi Sabi, it's not beautiful in spite of its cracks or its patina or its handmade dents and dings, it's beautiful BECAUSE of these flaws.

It's the difference between a factory made "flawless" mug and one that's been lovingly created on a potter's wheel by a human with FLAWesomeness oozing from its...

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Overcoming Perfectionistic Procrastination (and my embarrassing Malibu Barbie & Bohemian Barbie Goals)

Do you have play pretend goals? Goals that feel great when you're thinking them up, but fall apart when you try to make them happen. If you're ready to call BS on your brain and figure out why you procrastinate your dreams into the next decade, then listen to this episode.

Lizzie talks about the simple way to find out if you're serious about what you want, how to talk back to your inner Dwight (he's a real pain), and why the hidden goal of staying "safe" is actually pretty dangerous.

Your path is meant to have obstacles, but they don't need to be insurmountable barricades. Instead they can be like the ultimate mix tap ro rock out that bigger and more meaningful life (yes you've probably been on autopilot for a while now).

Forego the junk food hit of your imaginary life in your imaginary future and, instead, experience the real rewards that are meant for you right here, right now.

To join the creative community everyone is talking about, Life Feast, click here

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When mom is less stressed, everyone is less stressed.

Uncategorized Jan 03, 2021

Photos by Shea Cochrane

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Sum up your 2020

Uncategorized Dec 31, 2020

 Want to listen to this instead of read it? Click below


I’ve spent the last 12 months vacillating between wanting to hug a human so much my heart hurts to rejoicing the fact that I rarely need to put on a bra these days. 

This is a year of dichotomies, we’re relishing the slow pace, and recovering from the screeching halt whiplash of last March.
I’ve had days when I’ve felt like crying because everything feels dark and heavy (Christmas lights in October helped!), and I have had days filled with absurd moments like when I did a socially distant trade on my front porch for a 12-pack of toilet paper in exchange for yeast packages for baking. 

There were serious moments, like helping my husband rapidly pivot when the company he worked for (and income we depended on) suddenly folded, and absolutely hilarious moments like when my mom accidentally swore unmuted in the middle of an online Zoom dance recital for all to hear (#earmuffs).


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Stressed about gifts this holiday season? 6 Ways to Hop off the Hedonic Treadmill...

Uncategorized Dec 06, 2020

There are exactly 19 shopping days before Christmas, 4 shopping days before Hanukkah. And if you’re anything like me, today is a day to give your Visa card a workout and get down to some serious holiday gifting. 

But before you do, I want to tell you about the hedonic treadmill. Don’t worry, this isn’t the latest workout craze with a waitlist as long as a Peloton. 

The Hedonic Treadmill

The Hedonic Treadmill is what psychologists call our human tendency to have our pleasure diminish over time, little by little things that used to give us a big hit of happiness.

We are highly adaptable creatures. Our ability to quickly adapt and habituate to a situation has kept us alive for thousands of years in an ever-changing environment. 

The advantages of adaptation
My twins just turned 15 years old and recently got their driver’s permits. Learning how to make a left turn at a traffic light gives them a thrill (and me a panic attack) like nothing else right...

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