One Year of Caturdays with Steinway!!

June 7, 2015

Category / Photography / Simple Living


Roughly about a year ago, I decided to post a photo of my ridiculously photogenic cat Steinway every Saturday. I dubbed the weekly, dorktastically awesome event “CATURDAY” and cushioned it with a lovely little hashtag.

I did this because my cat photo posting on Social Media was starting to get a little too frequent by that point. Steinway was the first I cat I have ever adopted as an adult and on my own. As such, I was, and still am, super excited to have him in my life. Seriously, I am a huge Asian cat lover, and I’ve always wanted to have a cat. Caring for him has been the best thing EVER!!

To celebrate this first year of Caturdays, I thought I might share some of my favorite images that I posted. So, without further ado, let the cuteness now ensue . . .







I hope to have MANY more Caturdays with Steinway!

Thank you for following along!


Halfway Through My Year of Thankfulness

Simple Living


It was an experiment.  A BIG ONE.  I wanted to know how feelings of gratefulness would affect my life if I was intentional about being outwardly thankful in a public way on a regular basis.

I originally got the idea from my friend Leigh in Seattle who made several gratefulness posts last year on Facebook. This gave me the plan to post on social media (Instagram, Facebook, and twitter) every day with a similar sentiment. To distinguish these posts from all my others, I would include the hashtags #thankful and #365daysofthankfulness.  I started on January 1st of this year and have continued every day ever since.

So how has it gone so far?

Honestly, I’ve just been a lot happier lately. Seriously. Things that generally annoy me don’t bother me as much, and I am smiling and laughing more these days.

Another big change is that my creative work has been much more focused. I have been far more productive and intentional about doing the things that I love.

Essentially, recognizing the aspects of your life that are the most valuable reaps dividends. Gratefulness gives you a sense of clarity in that way. You come to know what truly matters to you above all else. This informs the decisions you make, the thoughts you allow your mind to think, and how you choose to spend your time.

Its also an incredibly positive way to think.  Instead of griping about what you lack or wish you had, you are celebrating all of the gifts you’ve been given.  This is wonderfully self-affirming and makes me smile just thinking about it.

I am so thrilled that I started doing this. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 6 months of this year of thankfulness will have in store.

I say bring it on!!! Woohoo!!!

(Insert fist-pump here).


Read About Simple Living

Simple Living


We all carry many responsibilities and pressures on our backs.  I’ve often thought about how we can lighten this load.  For me, the answer lies in the act of simplifying our lives.

Simplifying is not just about getting rid of stuff and clearing clutter.  At its core, it’s about constantly searching for the most important aspects of your life and figuring out how to integrate those components in a joyful and sustainable way into daily living.  All the other less important and less meaningful components can then be removed.

I’ve been reading a lot about what it means to live simply.  Here are some great articles I have found along the way that I want to share with you.  Maybe you will find these insights useful too:

1.  8 Simple Things Creative Professionals Do by Hilary Barnett:  Instead of creating until you have nothing left, take it from those who are doing it right. Aim for a more focused, inspired and productive style of creative work .  .  .

2.  How to Design a Simple Life by Melissa Camara Wilkins:  You don’t need to minimize yourself right out of a life. Design the life you want to live, no more and no less .  .  .

3.  Simplify, and Savor Life by Leo Babauta: These days we have an abundance of luxuries, but I’ve found that excess actually decreases my enjoyment of life .  .  .

4.  Letting Go of Shitty Relationships by The Minimalists:  Some relationships are incredibly pernicious. We often develop relationships out of convenience, without considering the traits necessary to build a successful bond with another person  .  .  .  .

5.  The Secret To a Simplified Schedule by Melissa Camara Wilkins:  Some people seem to do it all. They come up with great ideas, write the books, launch the projects, teach the classes, and plan the events, while the rest of us wonder how they ever find the time .  .  . 

6.  7 Common Problems Solved by Owning Less by Joshua Becker:  Three years ago, we sold, donated, or discarded over 70% of our family’s possessions. We removed clothes, furniture, decorations, cookware, tools, books, toys, plus anything else we could find in our home that was not immediately useful or beautiful. The result has been a completely transformed life and lifestyle .  .  .

7.  The Contentment Habit by Leo Babauta:  I’ll admit I do it as much as anyone else: see the cool things that others are doing and wish I were doing something cool like that too .  .  .

All of these suggested readings come from writers whose ideas and perspectives are ones that I can understand and apply to my own daily life.  There’s a whole lot of practical wisdom in the ideas they share.

The older I get, the more I have come to really value simple living.

We do not have to deal with so much stress.
We can find more joy and sweet contentment in what we have.
Little bits of happiness can be attainable in our daily lives.

For me, it’s about shedding all of those commitments and values that really do not matter in the end.  Once we do that and keep our lives simple, our backs, and our hearts, will feel lighter and joyfully free.


Where Pianos Roam In a Playground

June 2, 2015

Photography / Where Pianos Roam


Over the month of June 2015, I will be posting a new series of photographs for my ongoing art project Where Pianos Roam.  For those of you who may not be familiar with this undertaking, I am documenting the adventures of a traveling miniature grand piano named Oreo and her rowdy bench (named Buttercup).  Each photo is a vignette of an experience.  The photograph tells the story along with a brief caption.  The entire project currently exists on Instagram as @wherepianosroam.  Here is the actual web address.  Feel free to click on it to see the photos I have posted so far:

In this new photo sequence, Oreo and Buttercup come across a playground, and of course, blissful pandemonium ensues.  I had a lot of fun taking these pictures.  The end result, as you will see, are fun and colorfully whimsical.

Thank you to everyone who has followed along thus far.  I will be shooting more vignettes on the streets of Nashville this summer.  It’s gonna be super fun!!


How I Found My Creative Calling

May 29, 2015



In truth, I cannot say that I have always known what I was truly passionate about.  It took years for me to figure it out.  In my journey, I had to experience hardship, heartbreak, confusion, and many other trials before I had my own realizations.  I feel so blessed and grateful for this.

Essentially, It wasn’t until I was an adult and started playing a real piano on a regular basis that everything started to come together.  I had played piano off and on as a child and teenager.  Since my dad was a bassist, keyboardist, and singer, we always had instruments strewn about our home.  Growing up, I would find myself making up melodies on the keyboard just for the fun of it.  In school, we sang songs in class all the time, employing multiple harmonies in different rhythms.  I was always in some form of a church choir as a teen or young adult.  It just never occurred to me that I could combine all of these elements into something meaningful and transformative.

Those are the words.  Meaningful and transformative.  I found my creative calling when I found the one thing that changed me in a substantive way.  All these jumbled parts came together to build an entirely new whole.  For me, there wasn’t that one Aha! moment that other people have experienced, but instead, I had undergone a gradual but very real journey towards a creative rebirth.   It happened at a time of my life when I gravitated to the piano.  I realized the value in being able to remember everything that I played.  It dawned on me that I could sing and play music simultaneously with the greatest ease.  I also happened to be a writer of short stories, essays, and poems.  I discovered that I can sing on key and harmonize with anything.  Each of these discoveries lead me to my desire to become a performer, and this desire made me feel alive.

No, it did not happen overnight, but it did happen because along the way I never stopped searching.  I never stopped trying new things.  I never stopped matching older skills with new ones.  I was patient, and I persevered.  Finally, when I sat at a piano and started writing songs, a chorus of angels started to sing from the heavens.  The clouds parted and a ray of light shined down me.  It was an amazing epiphany of epic proportions!!

Okay, it didn’t really happen like that, but it sure did feel like it.  Before long, I became obsessed and wrote an entire album’s worth of material.

So, I moved to Nashville and the rest is a story that continues to write itself.  Music, in a variety of capacities, is the underlying force behind all that I do.  I love it because it challenges me and informs all of my other artistic endeavors.  The payoff after such a meandering search was finding something that gives me a sense of personal pride and purpose.


I found my creative calling because I never stopped searching and trying new things.  What I found in the end was far mare than I could have ever hoped for.