I don't believe in resolutions because no one ever keeps them, but I do believe in setting intentions for myself. I know it's past the "new year" but it's never too late to set goals, and well, I needed more time to really know what I wanted to set out for myself. 2017 was a whirlwind - especially the second half - and quite frankly, it may have taken some years off my life... it also started to pepper my never-dyed hair ever-so-slightly. So, in 2018 I am focusing on health (both mental & physical), my career and skillsets, and my relationships.


master my mindset.

I ended the last two months of 2017 as a newlywed living minus my husband in an old, unfamiliar, unfurnished house in a new city, practically knowing no one, in the middle of winter (where winter actually exists). It was a wake up call. Now is the time to leave baggage, bad attitudes, grudges, self-consciousness, and more, behind. I am setting the intention of taking a minimal approach to 2018, clearing my head to focus on gratitude and to master my mindset (thanks Jen Sincero). This year, I am going to do what I want and need - and I'm going to do it well. Eyes on the prize. 
Are you listening, Universe?

getting over it.

I have always been athletic. I've been running since I was 15, I was on cheer and swim team in high school, and even acheived one my life goals of running and finishing the LA Marathon in 2015... and then thought I was a badass, and ran and finished the Chicago Marathon seven months later. I was in the best shape of my life. Since then, and with the wedding and move, my weight has fluctuated. I am a self-proclaimed wine-o and I am french fries' best friend. I've had highs and lows and now I am just looking for the healthy balance. I don't need abs or thighs that don't jiggle a little bit to be happy. I just want to feel good. I began this month with setting a 100-mile running goal, and although I'm more than half way there, I've learned not to put too much stress on it, and to make it fun. So far, it seems to be working. Living a healthy lifestyle and working out shouldn't be a chore to make those pants fit. Fitness is really not everything.
I have also started being really consistent about taking vitamins every morning: a probiotic, a women's multi vitamin, B12, and D3 along with a healthy scoop of Vital Farms Collagen Peptides in my coffee every morning (also, thanks for the tip Tasty Yummies) and it has made a huge difference in my energy levels, my skin, and gut health. So, I'm going stick with that.

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dotcom & beyond.

With this mastered mindset, I plan on going after the career I want more than ever. Although I am still working out the kinks, I would like my blogging and photography to play a major role in my career. I took a leap last year and started this blog to help improve my creative writing, lifestyle photography, cooking, and to share my life and travels. This year, I would like to take my blog and photography to the next level and work on branding myself. Seems scary and overwhelming, but again, I got married, got a dog, bought a house, moved to a new city, started a new job, and made new friends all within six months. So, yeah... anything is possible. I also intend on doing some tidy-work with my site and blog, updating my portfolio, and changing my domain name since I am legally no longer a "Baker".


What's the saddest thing about moving? Leaving your lifelong friends behind. And with all these new life changes, it's easy to get distracted and lose touch. I want to make a concerted effort to keep the friendships I held so dearly in Los Angeles alive even though I am now in Portland. I am also working on being open to new relationships. Relationships with other girls are always tough, especially when you're in your 30's and everybody else is also still trying to figure out their lives, or they figure it out before you, or they have kids (and you don't), or visa versa. For that reason, I'm learning to not judge and be more accepting of others, and so far, it's been working out pretty okay. I am happy to say that since the New Year, I have met and bonded with some really wonderful people here, and I can't wait to meet more.

my other half.

My husband arrived permanently last week and I could not be happier. It's been so great to have him home and start our lives here. But with our new house will come a lot of hurdles. Although it's going to be tough, along with more grey hair, I want to make sure we put our relationship first and to not let projects or renovations get in the middle of us. In the end, they are just "things" and won't matter years from now, but we will. I intend to always make time for him and to be more understanding, patient, and compassionate. After all, he is  going through a transition in a new city and a new home as well.


let's GO!

I know this year holds a lot of house stuff, but I also intend for Danny and I to go on at least ONE adventure. Travel has been such a big part of our relationship that we shouldn't let a house get in the way. Not sure where we will end up, but I know it will be great. And dog friendly!




We had a baby and his name is Steve!

Danny and I have always wanted a dog but it wasn't until a few years ago that we decided we wanted a Pomeranian. Story goes that we were at party a few years ago and we met the most friendly Pomeranian named Kevin, and then a few months later, another one named Samson. We were sold. But time flew, we moved a few times, and started watching our neighbor's dog, Marcel a lot. Later, we got engaged, had a puppy fund on our wedding registry, and then decided to pull the trigger shortly after we got married.

We searched for a long time to find our perfect match, but as luck had it, we finally found him. We contacted the seller and found out that she was not a breeder, but her two dogs had puppies. Exactly what we wanted.
On a Sunday afternoon, Danny and I headed to Temecula, CA to meet a few little fur balls.  It wasn't hard to figure out which pup was the one for us. Unfortunately, he was only six weeks old, so we were told we would have to wait two weeks before we could take him home.

Longest two weeks of our lives.

But, now he's here. We named him Steve. And he couldn't be more of perfect little Pom for us. He is a baby and he brings challenges but we are learning more patience, working together, and giving this little dude more love than he could've ever imagined.

Oh, and he has an Instagram @stevethepomeranian. You should follow him. Really. He's going places.




Chicago, IL.  This city and I have something going on.

If you know me, you know I love Chicago. And more so, I love my family there.
About 2 weeks ago, my beloved Uncle John passed away.   He was my Mom's youngest brother (out of 2).  He lived in the same house his entire life in the tight-knit Ukranian Village quarter of Chicago; a neighborhood that he witnessed go through many transformations (90's...not so good). Every summer, as far back as I can remember, my family would fly from LA to Chicago.  My older brother and I would spend anywhere from a week to a month there while my parents traveled.  My grandparents (Baba and Dido), Uncle John, and Uncle Mike "watched over us" as we ran amuck up and down the house. Those summers have been the best memories of my life to this day.  

My family owns an iconic brick three-flat within the village that lines the streets with their rust-colored bricks and unforgettable facades. Most of the homes built in this area date circa 1930s and are filled head to toe with vintage charm, all the original hardware and personal touches that make a home a family heirloom.  This house has been such a large part of my life, and what I love about it the most: it looks the same inside and out as it did from the first day I walked in.  

During my recent visit back to honor my Uncle's passing, I was able to meet a lot of his friends in the neighborhood and heard stories about him that I never knew.  He was a favorite in the community, and in a way, a guardian to most.  Witnessing such a strong community within such a large city was truly humbling and made me more proud of where my family was from.

Six and half years ago, I gave my dog, Frankenstein aka Frankie, to my Uncle John.  He devoted his life to this little dog, giving her endless love and guidance, making her the sweetest little nugget today.  Frankie remains in the neighborhood and will keep his presence alive.

Uncle John was truly a saint - a man that lived his life his way and his way only, keeping his original mullet hair cut from his younger days, 1970's glasses, and a no-BS attitude.  He was also the most loving, caring, and mindful man I have ever met, always putting others before himself and remaining completely devoted to his loved ones.  I am forever grateful for his generous heart and for him taking in my dog and loving her endlessly when life wouldn't allow me to have her.  He will be missed, but will never be forgotten.