what is a blog anyways

06.16.2016

what is a blog anyways?

Well hello stranger.

It’s been far too long since I’ve written anything for this little corner of the internet. If we scroll back a bit you’d see I haven’t said much since March, to be exact.

And as life goes, it feels as if a lot has happened since then. I’ve gone on a solo trip, moved into a new place, and made some big changes to some things in my personal life. It was a time to pause and reflect on where I truly was. Anything that distracted from that energy (like blogging) felt unnecessary and trite. When I would sit down to start a blog post I got this gut feeling of “meh” instead of the “yasss” I used to have. Anything I started writing felt so off.

So instead of forcing it, instead of pushing through, instead of just pressing publish anyways… I just stopped. I went with the path of least resistance and took an indefinite break from it all. And it was marvelous. For a moment or two I even contemplated never coming back. Not blogging became this sort of the feeling you get laying under the hot sun on a far-off exotic vacation. The hot sun is seeping into your bones, warming you from the inside. You lay back, shut your eyes and soak up the simplicity. No mental deadlines, pressing blog drafts, or “must-dos” to disrupt your bliss.

But like laying under the sun for some time, you start to feel burnt and slow. You get tired, lazy, and find it a bit… well, boring. Staying away from the blog not only gave me respite from the monotony I had let it become, but on the flip side it also dulled my creative sharpness. Writing and designing for the blog was a constant creative exercise that forced me to push through. It was a space that was set before me and demanded to be filled. Some days I hated the things that I made. Other times I would become giddy with excitement at each new idea I had. Either way, you find that the more you do it, the more creative you feel.

So now that I’ve taken my sabbatical I’ve spent some time reflecting. If I am going to pick this back up, how is it going to be different than it was in the past? What’s going to make me keep doing this? And once I answered those questions I had to form a vision for the path before Observant Nomad. Do I want to go back to blogging in the traditional sense? With a calendar, content schedule, set topics and columns. Or am I more interested in something that is undefined, fluid, changing, and ambiguous.

When I first started this blog all I set out to do was to capture my life as it was happening, in more depth and exploration than social media could do. I wanted to make sure that when I looked back I could remember all the details and special moments of my adventures. And share them with you all too. That’s where my compass has always pointed, and I’ve just forgotten that.

I want to only curate posts that I find interesting or nourishing time and time again. I want to share my personal style, exploring my design taste, and create what I love. I enjoy reliving my adventures, sharing my experiences, and exploring my creative passions here. That’s what I’ve always loved most about blogging. So I hope to continue to keep the blog in this spirit.

I want to keep it open, interesting, and always evolving. Sometimes that might be a recipe I am loving, advice on travel, or a roundup of my favorite summer hats. But other times that might also mean interviews with local independent business owners, a photo journal of hiking the Colorado rockies, or waxing poetical about life itself.

It’s about changing “meh” into “hmmm I think I’m onto something…”

 

5 inspiring reads for creatives

03.09.2016

observant nomad / 5 inspiring reads for creatives

If you’re an avid reader raise your hand. Me too. But I haven’t always felt that I had enough time to read as consistently as I wanted too. Maybe you can relate. It wasn’t until I started making a conscious effort to reshape my daily habits that I realized that wasn’t true.

During the last couple months I’ve slowly been re-shaping my daily routine. And with that I’ve made sure to incorporate more time to read more. One of the ways I’m doing this is by setting aside time each morning for reading. Instead of scrolling my iPhone when I wake up, I try and get out of bed to heat up some green tea. Then I spend the next 15 minutes or so with an inspiring book.

Being a night owl, I like that this short amount of reading helps me wake up slowly and on a positive note. I’ve decided that in the mornings I’ll only read either creatively or spiritually inspiring books. I save the night for my guilty pleasure reads, like lengthy sci-fi and fantasy novels.

If you’re interested in starting (or ending) your morning this way too, here are some creatively inclined books on my current reading list…
observant nomad / 5 inspiring reads for creatives

So far I’ve finished Creative Confidence and man, it was chock full of useful exercises and motivating stories. So useful for flipping the switch on your perspective of work and creativity. I’ve also read the Crossroads of Should and Must, but I do feel like it’s such an important message, so I like to re-read every so often to keep it top of mind.

Next on my list is one from the 99U series, Manage Your Day to Day. I’m excited to see if there’s any new tips or ideas on how to structure my days to get more out of them.

These are just the five creative books I’m planning on starting with, and soon I’ll supplement these with some more spiritual feel-good stuff too.

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use these links to support your local bookstore

01 Creative Confidence by Thomas Kelley & David Kelley / 02 Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert / 03
The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna / 04 The Artist’s Way
by Julia Cameron /05 Manage Your Day-To-Day from 99U / 06 Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory

 

february retrospect

03.03.2016

observant nomad / february retrospect

February is always one of those months that fly by. The second month of the year never gets all that much attention. Minus Valentine’s Day there’s not a lot of exciting things happening in February. But after all the holiday events and start of a new year, I’m A-OK with that.

Most of my February has been dedicated to sticking to my new intentions. During the past several weeks I’ve been focusing on my new daily habits. And I’m really starting to see the positive benefits of the changes.

observant nomad / february retrospect

observant nomad / february retrospect

Reading + Meditation

Each morning I brew a cup of green tea and take a few minutes or so to begin the day with reading. In the morning I read something creatively or spiritually stimulating. Right now I’m finishing up Creative Confidence which has been a really nice way to rev my creative engines in the morning.

After reading I do some light yoga and then meditation. My experience with meditation deserves a whole other post in and of itself. After starting my practice, at only 5 minutes a day, I’ve been able to increase it to 10 quite comfortably and really look forward to it each morning.

At night I take time to wind down with another reading session. It’s been a really great way to bookend my days (oh punz). In the evening I usually read something more escapist, like fiction or adventure. I just finished Ready Player One and loved every geeky 80s video-game inspired second of it.

observant nomad / february retrospect

observant nomad / february retrospect

#TheWeekendCoffeeshop

Another new habit I’ve been trying out is spending a weekend morning in a new coffee shop. It’s a really nice way to keep novelty in my daily life but also creating a treat that I look forward to after the end of a long week. After ordering a cortado or iced americano, I’ll spend some time journaling, doodling, or planning my next trip on my laptop (like I did today).

So far this month I’ve been able to check out Bookbar, Huckleberry Roasters, and Amethyst Coffee. I’d have to say the Huckleberry Sunnyside location was my favorite. I love the down-to-earth staff and atmosphere. It was a creative Colorado crowd without trying too hard.

observant nomad / february retrospect

Foodie Shots… Of Course

These monthly retrospectives are always going to be full of food and drink pics. I love me some food. And beer. And a good cocktail. It’s one of the perks of living in a booming city like Denver, there are a dozen places opening up everyday to stuff your face with.

With that said… there’s nothing quite like Torchy’s Tacos. And now I don’t have to go to Texas to get one. They brought Torchy’s Tacos right to us! So this weekend the sun came out and with 70 degree weather it meant it was time for tasty tacos, queso, and $3 tequila sunrises.

observant nomad / february retrospect

observant nomad / february retrospect

With another 65 degree day showing up in February, we sauntered down to our favorite local brewery – Call to Arms. With food trucks posted up outside and the sliding garage doors wide open, we had no problem wasting away the last few hours of February.

And finally…

observant nomad / february retrospect

A cute cat to get you through your Monday.

 

valentine’s for him

02.09.2016

/ valentines gifts for him via observant nomad

If your dude is like mine and grows a beard he might want to invest in a good quality awesome smelling tonic that cleans and leaves it softer. Perfect for Valentine’s kisses. Or if you really want to spoil him surprise him with something he might not buy for himself – like a modern sexy watch. Is it ok borrow if I borrow it from time to time?

If he’s more practical, a minimal leather wallet can encourage him to pair down. Or a cozy pair of man slippers might do the trick. I can say that whiskey stones area always a good idea. If your guy is more outdoorsy get him these cool Peak playing cards that he can take on his next hut ski trip.

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01 Beard Tonic in Vetiver + Sage from Herbivore / 02 Minimalist Slim Wallet from Leather Rachiba / 03 The Slip On by Glerups via Huckberry / 04 La Boheme All Black from Cluse / 05 Whiskey Stones & Gift Set from UncommonGoods / 06 Peak Playing Cards via Huckberry

 

valentine’s for her

02.05.2016

/ valentines gift roundup for her via observant nomad

Can you feel it? Love is in the air, and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. But if you’re riding solo it can be a little hard to see everyone handing out chocolates to their loved ones. Don’t let that make you forget that Valentine’s is just another day to celebrate all the people you love in your life.

Maybe get your bestie a little something to let her know how awesome she is. Or for Mom, because she deserves it too. Well I got your back. Check out my Valentine’s wish list, just for the ladies.

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01 Best Gal Valentine Card from Moorea Seal / 02 Moonbeam Deep V Ear Jackets from / 03 The Liza clutch from Moorea Seal / 04 Mast Milk Chocolate Bar / 05 The Heart Cleansing Sponge from FP / 06 Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist from Herbivore