Travels to Istanbul + Returning To The Blog


I believe this has been the longest I've been away from this blog, and I regret my decision to distance myself from Indigo Ink. So much so, in fact, that I am determined to start posting regularly, perhaps once every two weeks. I wanted to start off this (early) New Year's resolution with some of my photographs from my trip to Istanbul back in February that I never shared.
You can expect a few more traveling posts in the next few months (from my trip to Morocco in June and my travels to Iran in July/August, as well as my upcoming visit to California in December). I truly hope you will enjoy these little snapshots of my brief journey to a distant land.

The Hagia Safiya

Istanbul was crowded with stray dogs and cats, and although some were frightened of travelers, some were extraordinarily friendly (like this one) and even posed for a picture. 

On almost every street there were various stands, selling not only food, but little trinkets and souvenirs. There was a variety of fresh baked breads in the mornings, served with cream cheese or Nutella, roasted chestnuts and grilled corn, available morning, afternoon and night. 

The Basilica Cisterns

Also, Indigo Ink turned three in August! I can't believe I've come this far.

Making Unplugging Easier + Why You Should Do It


We might just possibly live in the greatest time on Earth: The Age of Technology. We have easy access to laptops, smart phones, and tablets which give us knowledge and power with the world at our fingertips.

Twenty years back many people would sit at their dining room table eating meals together and discussing the weather, what they had done that day, etc. But now many of us eat dinners staring at a screen, work staring at a screen, and spend our free time staring at a screen. We connect less with people and more with electronics.

You know when it's time to take a break from that colorful, mesmerizing screen and hit the reset button; you can feel when your life is being consumed by electronic devices and things are out of balance. If you don't feel it, but friends and family are telling you that you should unplug - take their advice! But when you shut off all of your devices for the first time in forever, unplugging may prove to be a lot harder than you assumed it would be.

Ways to make unplugging easier:

+ Start small.
The easiest way to accomplish something big is to do it little by little, changing one habit at a time. Don't suddenly ban yourself from every electronic device; allow yourself some limited screen time and slowly wean yourself off of social media, television, and websites. 

+ Turn off your notifications.
Everyone finds themselves constantly checking phones and social media because of all the notifications that sneakly distract you from what you really should be doing. When you stop waiting for your phone to buzz with the newest person who liked your Instagram post, you will find it much easier to focus on other things.

+ Surround yourself with people.
I find that when I am having a conversation with someone, I enjoy myself much more than I do when I'm on my laptop wasting time. 

Unplugging has many benefits, even if you keep up with it for only a little while.

The power of unplugging:

+ Get physical.
Lately, I have been feeling inspired to go on long walks around our neighborhood and to nearby trails. Bluebells have bloomed, making the woods seem like a silent blue and green wonderland when you enter it. It's so inspiring to simply take some time off from the busy world and relax.

+ De-stress.
Connecting with nature is just one of the ways unplugging helps you de-stress. Laying down to read that book I've been wanting to read for ages, trying out new recipes in the kitchen, and getting rid of my writer's block are all results (from my own personal experience) of unplugging.

+ Create.
As I just mentioned, I had writer's block for several months before I unplugged for a little while. Being online can put a damper on creativity and potential projects. Taking time away from my screen has returned a steady flow of inspiration and I once again feel motivated create things that are truly my own.

Will you try unplugging and experience it's benefits? Let me know!

There Is A Tree Outside My Window


I love trees. I used to climb this small little tree at my sister's house when I was younger, but eventually I outgrew the little branches and discovered another one in the front yard which promptly became my new play thing. I used it's branches as make-believe seats and built a pretend fire beside it's roots. I still climb it sometimes.

There was a lovely old pine outside my window. It wasn't strong and tall like the one I used to climb, but it's many branches overlapped and billowed in the wind. It broke my heart when that old pine fell down. Leaning against the glass from which I once looked out on it with it's roots up in the air so pitifully.

It's brothers and sisters looked down on it with woeful glances. It's branches snapped, it's core laying on the dirt when it should be standing tall and proud. It will be gone soon; dragged away to make way for a new tree to take it's place. I'll miss that lovely sight outside my window.