Career Feature on The Everygirl

www.nbarrettphotography.comI am so, so, so excited to share that I am featured on The Everygirl today! I am still pinching myself that this dream has become a reality. I read The Everygirl on a daily basis, so, without sounding like a total narcissist, it’s unbelievably exciting to see myself on the home page. Most importantly, I’m thrilled that this post showcases Touch A Life, the amazing organization for which I serve as the Director of Project Development. I hope readers will be inspired by the story behind the foundation, and maybe even a few people will want to get involved!

I am so totally overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support for this post – thank you to my amazing family and friends for cheering me on today! Thank you, too, to the incredibly awesome and talented Natalie Shelton for taking these special photos. And, of course, thank you to The Everygirl for being such a wonderful place where women can be encouraged and inspired every single day.

Head on over to The Everygirl to read the post and my interview, and check out some of Natalie’s fabulous photos below!

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Back in the Swing of Things

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetHello, friends! I am finally caught up on my life’s to-do list (I think) after returning from amazing back-to-back trips to two of my favorite places on the East Coast (Florida + New York). As much as I love traveling and exploring and shaking up my day-to-day routine (okay, and sleeping in), I’m excited to get back into the swing of things, especially as far as my blog is concerned. A more consistent posting schedule is on the horizon, so stay tuned! In the meantime, enjoy this photo of James & me as we crossed the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan last Saturday (trip recap to come!). I’ve decided that it’s one of my new favorite snaps of all time, so I hope you like it as much as I do.

Happy weekend!

New York

IMG_2388I know, I know – I just got back from Florida, but today James and I are heading to New York! We’re visiting some dear friends of ours in Brooklyn for five whole days – I am so, so excited. James has never been to New York so I can’t wait to explore with him and take him to some of my favorite places (perhaps for a meal in Soho here). The only thing that will be missing is Callie (oh, and Coach, of course!).

‘Til next week, friends! Lots of travel recaps to come.

Photo from my last trip to New York

Meet Coach!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe are so excited to be adding another furry friend to our family – meet Coach! Like Callie, he is an English mastiff and he was just born in the middle of February. Is he the cutest puppy in the world or what?! We absolutely love the breeders we found – they have been so kind to us, letting us visit Coach in his puppy phase. When we bring him home in April, he’ll be twice the size he is now! And by May, he’ll be the size of the pup you can see giving me a kiss below (wowowow). These photos were too cute not to share. Enjoy!

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The Cure for Anything

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.” – Isak Dinesen

We got back from Florida on Wednesday and I am still having major ocean-related withdrawals. Kyla, Lauren, Mom, and I had the perfect trip to Naples, full of beach time, sunset happy hours, dolphin & alligator sightings, delicious food, morning strolls, afternoon naps, and every other good thing under the sun. I read this book that Kyla lent me and by read, I mean devoured – it was so gripping, descriptive, tender, and moving. I felt so relaxed each day as we sat on the beach and watched the waves crash on the shore. I would read and nap and walk along the sand and giggle with the girls, and time passed in an instant, if it even existed at all. We all agreed that the ocean was soothing our souls, and we spent every possible second outdoors. It was the perfect trip.

Florida-Bound

IMG_5471I am so excited because tomorrow morning I will be on a plane headed to one of my favorite spots in the world: my parents’s home in Florida! Kyla and Lauren are coming with me as part of an adult spring break of sorts, and I can’t wait to introduce them to my family’s place near the beach. We’ll soak up the sun, take yoga classes, go on long walks, cook delicious meals, drink lots of wine & beachy cocktails, watch the sunset, go kayaking, and search for alligators. The forecast is dreamy and Mom has already set up shop at the condo in preparation for arrival. I am counting down the minutes…eeeeep!

For fun, here are some of my favorite photos from our adventures to Florida over the years!

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Pasta-Making Class

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIt’s been a whirlwind around here, literally speaking, as Dallas has experienced lots of crazy (to us!) weather, including tons of snow and, this week, lots of icy rain. But the skies parted last Wednesday and the weather was beautiful – sunny and warm(ish) and blue skies. It created the perfect backdrop for possibly one of the best dates of all time: a pasta-making class.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetJames and I spent our evening at Central Market, our favorite grocery store – it’s gorgeous and filled with the very best goodies, and it’s also home to an excellent cooking school. We’ve contemplated the idea of taking cooking classes there for a few years now but they fill up so quickly (usually a month or two in advance) that we never found ourselves with tickets to attend one. This time we planned ahead, poring through Central Market’s website in early January to find just the right class to take. There were so many good options (Jamaican food! risotto-making! French cuisine! knife skills! sushi-rolling!) but we finally settled on the pasta-making class. We rarely make pasta at home so it felt like such a treat to spend an evening learning how to prepare it and, of course, indulging in a plateful (or five) of homemade noodles and sauces.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe class exceeded all of my expectations – I had hoped it would be wonderful but I had no idea how elated I would feel throughout the entire evening. The cooking school’s kitchen was immaculate and spacious, filled with top-shelf appliances and pretty countertops. A long table was set in the middle of the room with pretty plates waiting to be filled and appetizers to munch on during the initial demonstration. The instructors were talented, patient, helpful, and fun, and they were quick to refill our wine glasses. We got to make so many treats – spinach pasta, fettuccine with lemon cream sauce, tonnarelli with butter & rosemary sauce, pasta with pesto, ravioli with ricotta & parsley, Naples-style green lasagna with basic tomato sauce. It was HEAVENLY. We also learned how to make our own basic egg pasta, which was so extremely easy that I couldn’t believe it was true until I tried it myself. It caused James and me to add a KitchenAid mixer (+ attachments!) to our wish list. We got to take our dough home with us, so it will be waiting in the freezer until we have the right equipment to transform it into noodles.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetJames and I had so much fun learning new things, cooking together (one of our favorite hobbies), and indulging in the most delicious pasta we’ve had in a long while. We can’t wait to sign up for another class!

It’s OK

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHappy March! (Wait, really – March already?!) James and I had the best weekend hosting my mom, dad, and brother, who were all visiting Dallas. The weather was icky, which initially felt like a disappointment, but it ended up being a total blessing because it meant that we got to all hunker down together and do absolutely nothing but enjoy one another’s company (okay, and lots of really delicious food and wine). Our family has gotten to travel to so many places together, doing fun activities and exploring new cultures all the while, and that has conditioned us to always be on the go, which is so very enriching and life-giving. But the flip side of that is the moments of stillness, the ones that really let you connect and laugh until your belly aches. There’s a very special sacredness in the quieter moments, and I was reminded of that this weekend. It feels so good to rest and connect and snuggle (Callie got a lot of love, too, as you can imagine). The weekend was just perfect.

This parallels an ongoing struggle I’ve faced over the course of several months, one in which I beat myself up for not feeling motivated or inspired to tackle a specific project or write a new blog post or put one more event on my calendar. I am an overachiever, to be sure, and I feel guilty when I don’t make headway on certain goals because I’ve just chosen to nap or watch shows on Netflix or try a new recipe or go to yoga class or meet a friend for a cocktail instead. This feeling is self-imposed, of course, a sort of internal attack that causes me to focus on the few things I don’t do instead of all of the lovely things I do accomplish and get to share in with people I love.

I was talking to Korena about this a few weeks ago and the overall response she gave me, which instantly flooded me with a sense of calm, was that it’s okay. She followed that up with some really lovely advice about honing in on things that bring me joy in order to regain the motivation and inspiration that may be lacking, about, in her words, nourishing my soul in the areas most important to myself. That was the brilliant part, I thought – nourish my soul in the areas most important to me, not in the areas that are most important to society or my friends or anyone else. She encouraged me to slow down and focus on spending time doing things I love – cooking, planning a trip, decorating our home, snuggling with Callie, taking pictures – and just enjoying them instead of worrying about achieving a certain outcome or checking an item off of my list. I loved that, and ever since I’ve put it into practice, it has really and truly worked.

So now, every time I look at my brand new It’s OK banner in my office, I’m reminded of my new mantra – that is more than okay to simply soak up the simple pleasures of everyday life, reflecting on the joy they bring and the peace they provide. Doing so will bring me all of the motivation and inspiration and pleasure that I could ever imagine…and more.