A Valentine's Day Adventure

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On Saturday, we decided to brave the freezing cold to trek along Montrose Beach and watch the waves crashing into the air. It was a great opportunity to reconnect with my love for photography, which I haven't dedicated too much time to this winter. Despite the cold weather, I was so happy to be out there exploring and marveling at the wild waters, the giant chunks of ice floating in a mesmerizing pattern, and the sunset giving off that beautiful glowing light.

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Explore More

LaBagh Woods Chicago by Bryna Shields

Whew! September was a crazy month full of projects. Of course I'm thankful for these opportunities, but more than anything, I've been craving some time to explore something new. My friend Aidan suggested we check out LaBagh Woods, which is a forested area in Chicago. I've lived here five years and had no idea this little gem existed! It's refreshing to know that there are still places left to discover if you look hard enough. It was a wonderful weather to get lost in nature, and I'm thankful that summer has stretched its limbs just a little bit further into the end of this month.

LaBagh Woods Chicago by Bryna Shields
LaBagh Woods Chicago by Bryna Shields
LaBagh Woods Chicago by Bryna Shields
LaBagh Woods Chicago by Bryna Shields
LaBagh Woods Chicago by Bryna Shields
LaBagh Woods Chicago by Bryna Shields

Ocean and Sky

Last week I traveled home to Boston for a few days in search of clarity and direction. It was a much-needed excursion, despite running around all day every day (which tends to happen when you visit home, I've found). Every time I travel I remember how much I love the simplicity it offers: away from all the possessions, the chores, the incessant wave of incoming junk mail, everything from your daily life at home. Somehow being out of your element offers an unparalleled clarity. I returned to Chicago feeling refreshed and focused. Every time I go home I try to make at least one trip to the ocean. There is something so equalizing about standing in front of this grand, powerful body of water. My father and I walked along the shore, listening to the waves, letting our feet sink into the sand, occasionally collecting shells and rocks along the way. Afterwards we ate crunchy fried fish in a small restaurant on the water and I felt nothing but gratitude for the beautiful place where I got to grow up. I live for these simple moments.

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The Return

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It has been quite a while hasn't it? In all honesty I needed some time to evaluate where I wanted this blog to go, and just my business in general. It has been so exciting and empowering to have full control of the direction of my career as I venture into freelance life, but it is also quite overwhelming at times. There have been so many decisions I did not anticipate needing to contemplate. But despite the stress and occasional panic (ok, more than occasional), it is still the best adventure I've ever chosen.

As part of my business soul-searching, I traveled out west for the first time ever, exploring Los Angeles with a friend who used to live there. Being in California felt dreamy and inspiring and unlocked my mind, which had been feeling cloudy for a few months. I always find it fascinating how refreshed your mind feels from being in an unfamiliar place. The designer in me swooned at all of the gorgeous type found on signage, while the photographer in me went wild over the landscapes and golden sunlight.

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I was surprised at how hard I fell in love with this city - with all of the beautiful plants, the architecture, the art, the ocean, the mountains - it's hard to walk away feeling anything but a little romantic and daydreamy.