Tell Your Story, Capture Your Life

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I’m a storyteller. I tell stories through a variety of mediums but my two favourites are through written word and photography.

Life has taken me on many strange adventures and journeys that have helped shape who I am today: a very optimistic and realistic person. Documenting my life through journals, stories, art and photographs has helped me in so many ways and I will forever be grateful for the therapy it has offered me through the good times and the bad.

My photography is just a small part of who I am, but it is a creative outlet I have loved since I was first given a camera. It was a disposable film camera on a family camping trip. The process of seeing life through a camera lens and capturing it for later enjoyment became an obsession. Since then I have taken film photography in school and have taught myself how to use a DSLR in more recent years.

Now I’m in school studying journalism, furthering my knowledge in how not to only capture and record my own story but those of others as well.

I enjoy capturing many aspects of my life: nature, landscapes, city streets, abstract, animals, people, events, a moment in time, and more. If it catches my attention and affection, for any reason, I’m likely to capture it.

I look forward to what life has to offer me, and to the world, and I hope to capture all that I can with my camera.

And that’s what my new ebook is about. It’s about capturing your life (hence the title).

Capture Your Life is NOT

  • A Book or guide on how to use your camera.
  • This isn’t a manual or a how-to book.

There are three purposes for this book:

  • A fun adventure to help you fall in love with taking pictures, whether it’s a new love or an old love.
  • To help you open your eyes and notice all of the beauty that surrounds you in your every day life.
  • A creative journey to help connect you with yourself, your life and your dreams.

In Capture Your Life you are going to do just that! You are going to learn to look at life through your camera lens in a whole new way.

This ebook is for you if:

  • You want to get more comfortable with taking pictures.
  • You want to turn each day into a photo-adventure, a treasure hunt, and open your eyes to the beauty that is all around you.
  • You want to learn more about yourself and your life through the wonderful world of photography.

Through ten lessons, all focusing on different types of treasure hunts, I will provide dozens of photo prompts to evoke the creativity in you. Each chapter has a different theme with new lessons and personal stories. I’ve written this book so that the lessons will flow easily from one chapter to the next so that you can apply previous lessons to the current one to help create your best photos and to open your mind in new and interesting ways. With this book you will learn to experiment and play, to take more bold and brave photographs, and to tap into your inner-child.

ALSO!

As excited as I am to launch my very first ebook, I’m even more excited for this next bit I’m about to share!

Are you ready to hear what it is?! Or have you guessed already? ;)

I’m looking for a variety of kick-ass bloggers to review my ebook!

Those that are chosen will get my ebook for free! All that’s required of you is to give it an honest review on your blog and to share it on your social media sites. And, if you want, upload some of your own pictures from the many photo prompts onto Capture Your Life’s private Flickr group! I’d also appreciate it if you can point out any spelling, grammar or typo errors in my book so I can fix it before the official launch (although, I’m hoping there aren’t any!).

Once the ebook is officially launched, there will be an affiliate program for the testers to use if they’d like to.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in please send me a message! You can reach me through my About page here or email me at nicole@peaceandchaos.com.

I’m very happy to finally be releasing my ebook! It is officially done, for real!

So what do you say?

Are you ready to live, love and grow through photography?

Peace,
Cole

10 Fun Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

winterblues

In case you hadn’t noticed (and I’m hoping you hadn’t) yesterday was Blue Monday.

It’s described as the saddest day of the year because of this equation:

equation_3168753cBut regardless of whether you believe it’s a genuine thing or some bogus science, the winter can get you down. Especially once the holidays are over.

I know for myself during the winter months of January, February, and even into March, I feel less motivated than usual. The spring in my step seems to break off; I rarely leave my house; I eat a lot of “comfort” food. And I’m left feeling a little (sometimes a lot) less happy than usual.

It can be difficult to see the bright side of things when the day outside your window looks so gloomy; the sun refuses to shine, and oftentimes rarely makes an appearance. After the holidays end we’re left with little in our pockets, maybe even some increased debt, and so we try to cut back on our spending. We stay in more to escape the chilly air, the icy roads and the harsh winds. Our social lives can plummet, our healthy eating habits go out the window and even the most exciting New Year’s resolutions may flicker out once the winter blues settle in.

It happens. It happens to me, to my husband, to my daughter even. I notice it in my friends, my family and my classmates. Even my cat Oliver sleeps more.

But winter doesn’t have to be so blue. We can still enjoy ourselves, even if it is freezing and grey outside.

Here are some ways to break the ice-cold grip winter may have on you:

1. Get together with your friends at one of their homes for a potluck and some board games. It’s cheaper than going out to eat, but still allows you to enjoy time spent with friends.

2. Take advantage of the weather when it does decide to cooperate. If it’s not too freezing outdoors grab your ice skates, your toboggan or simply bundle up and go for a walk to enjoy the outdoors. If you enjoy photography, the winter landscape can be quite beautiful at times! Just get out and soak in the sun while it’s out, because you need it to keep you happy.

3. Participate in a new class whether it’s pottery, yoga or cooking. Signing up for something that interests you and cost a little bit of money will help motivate you to get out and socialize, even when you thought staying on the couch with a bag of Cheetos and an entire season of your favourite television show was the way to go.

4. Have a girls night in; rent a movie, buy some popcorn and spritzers; do at-home facials and foot soaks and gossip while flipping through magazines. Girl-talk is a necessity in my world.

5. Hit up your local thrift shop with a friend, or two. Try on the silliest outfits you can find and take pictures!

6. Flip through your city’s activity guide or newspaper and see what’s going on in the community. Is there a gallery exhibition? A film festival? An author book signing? I know my local library is constantly hosting free events that are the perfect excuse to brace the cold and get out of the house.

7. Host a themed party. It could be a tea party, a craft party, a dance party – just invite your friends over and do what it is you enjoy most! One themed party I’m dying to try is curating our own gallery exhibition at my house; we could invite all of our creative friends to partake and swap art.

8. Stroll through the mall with no intention of buying anything. Nick and I have done this on a number of occasions when it’s too cold to walk outside but we really need to stretch our legs.

9. Join a club, any club! There are book clubs, running clubs, chess clubs. Whatever it is you enjoy doing there’s most likely a club for you!

10. Hunker down and throw yourself into your work! If it’s too cold to go out and you don’t want to leave the house but, doing nothing is getting kind of old, it might be time to read that business book you bought but haven’t made time for, to take an online course you’ve had your eye on, to finally start your novel or expand your business in new and interesting ways.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that when January hits you have to force yourself to get outside. It may be easier, or more comfortable, to stay inside, wrapped up in your favourite afghan with the TV on, but it will eventually get to you. It’s super important to keep productive, to maintain an active social life and continue to enjoy yourself.

I hope you enjoyed my list of ways to beat the winter blues!

What would you add to this list?

Peace,
Cole

P.S. I wrote an article for my school paper on SAD. You can read that here.

Caravans, Polaroids and MixMasters – Vintage Inspired Colouring Pages

colour pages children 2

Every child I know loves to colour whether it’s in a colouring book or on a blank page. But colouring isn’t just for kids; it’s fun for adults, too!

Actually, a creative hobby, no matter how intricate or simple, is good for everyone.

I know that when I take the time for myself to be creative, whether it’s writing, drawing, taking pictures, and even combining all of my favourite hobbies here on this blog, I feel better. A lot better.

There’s actually a reason for that, though: colouring helps reduce stress. It helps us take our minds off of our problems and as a result, it relaxes us.

colouring pages vintage

If you hadn’t noticed yet by my vintage shop, Tubular Retro, or the many pictures on my Instagram, I absolutely adore vintage decor, furniture, fashion and even a bit of the lifestyle.

My love for vintage has highly influenced my drawings, which are now available for purchase on my Etsy shop, Peace and Chaos Photo.

And the great thing about these drawings is that once you purchase one you can print as many as you like! Use for them to make invitations, birthday cards, posters, art for your home and more!

colour page collage

I hope you like my drawings, and take the time to check them out over at my Etsy shop!

So, what should I draw next? 

Peace,
Cole

A Promise to Stop Hiding and Start Living

sunrays2

My daughter, Sidney, is really into the TV series Once Upon A Time and the two of us watch it together often. I have to admit, it’s pretty good.

The other night something the Evil Queen said in one of the episodes really resonated with me but I didn’t notice until I was reading the Desire Map by Danielle Laporte. I was reading about feelings and anger and depression when I remembered what the Evil Queen said.  She said, “Without my anger who would I be?”

People who are close to me know I’m short-tempered, impatient and at times insensitive. But I mask my fears, sadness, confusion and other uncomfortable feelings behind anger. It’s easier to get mad than admit I was wrong; it’s easier to yell than to cry; slamming the door is easier than talking about it. Who would I be without my anger?

Not only that but I’m scared to let people in, to allow them to learn who I really am.

Classmates and co-workers don’t know me. For a long time, almost my entire life, I’ve hidden behind boring clothes when I’d much rather wear something fancy; I’ve kept silent even when I felt like I had something of value to say; I sat on the sidelines even when I wanted to dance. If they saw me be myself, what would they think?

gloomy skies

For a long time I had this odd impression of myself. Someone I didn’t like. And the more I didn’t like myself the worse it got. But this impression of myself was slowly created over the years by other people’s comments. In one way or another, people would tell me what they thought of me. Words that were used to describe me included: angry, hateful, judgmental, quiet, boring, sad, uninterested, “Eeyore,” depressed, unfriendly, melancholy, resting-bitch-face, stuck up, shy.

While I can be any one of those things at certain times, that’s not who I am as a whole.

My close friends prefer to use words like happy, silly, friendly, kind, generous, goofy, hardworking, curious, passionate, artistic, creative, talented, determined, talkative.

I can’t help but wonder why I’ve chosen to hide this person, intentionally or not? To only show the side of myself that is less desirable by society? Why do I hide behind anger, quietness and act as if I’m uninterested, when that’s not at all how I feel?

Since I started really putting effort into bettering myself through gratitude, self-love, dreaming and goal achieving, I feel like I want to let that negative version of myself go. But who would I be? And how do I do that?

It can be difficult to show people who you really are, especially when you’ve been hiding for so long, but I know that person deserves to be seen, to be acknowledged and known.

colesunshine

That’s why I have decided to live a more bold life.

To force myself out of my comfort zone. To stop hiding behind my insecurities. To wear more colourful clothes. To talk more. To dance more. To sing out loud more. To act silly and play more. To do my hair more. To wear makeup more. To smile more. To wear dresses and heels more. To paint my nails. To act goofy. To laugh more. To be creative in public more. To compliment people more. To compliment myself more. To show my affectionate side more. To experience more.

You can read my Ultimate To Do List here, where I share a life long list of things I hope to do and I think it will help me live a more bold life.

What about you? How do you let your best self shine? Or have you been keeping your best self a secret, too? 

Peace,
Cole

Pictures are from my Instagram! You can follow me here.

The Ultimate To Do List

ultimate to do list

This world, and life in general, has so much to offer! So many opportunities, adventures, people, places and things to see, explore and experience!

Sometimes, when I stop to think how limited my own little world is and how little I’ve actually experienced, I feel kind of left out.

For so long I’ve stayed close to home, barely leaving my own little region or even experiencing things that are in my own city. I make up excuses as to why I can’t: I don’t have enough money, it might not be that good, it’s a waste of time… but that’s no way to live. The point of living is to be happy and I think I’d be happier if I left my comfort zone and my excuses behind and tried new things.

I’ve created my own list of things I’d like to do. There are no deadlines, this is not a one-year plan, or a 30 before 30 list. Nope. It’s not a life list, or a bucket list, or even a goal list. Some things get crossed off while some may stay on this list forever, but it’s a starting point, a reference, a go-to list for when things are really dull.

It’s my

Ultimate To Do List:

Participate or attend a craft fair.

Volunteer for something you are passionate about.
I’ve been a volunteer at my local library for almost two years now! I’ve helped out with gallery exhibition openings, art festivals, book sales, community events and more. Now I’ve switched my role from special events volunteer to event photographer! And I love it!

Attend a yoga class.

Go camping in a vintage caravan.

Visit an art museum.

Buy something at an auction.

Swim in the ocean.

Go hiking.

Skate at an outdoor ice rink.

Go to the casino.

Attend a gallery exhibition.

Take Sidney to a water park.

Explore a new nearby city.

Watch a scary movie, alone.

Visit a marina and watch the boats.

Go to the movies by myself.

Try out a vintage recipe at home.

Go to a comedy club.

Fly a kite.

Write in a cafe.

Donate blood.

Grow an indoor fruit tree.

Write a memoir.

Start a blog link-up.
It’s called The Rebel Book Club! Check it out here.

Donate to charity.

Get a daring haircut.

Sketch downtown.

Read The Exorcist.

Go to a hot yoga class.

Attend a book signing.

Take a class outside of school.
Idea Exchange (my local library) has just started offering FREE online courses! They have ones on business, gardening, meditation, photography, graphic design, writing and more! I’ve already signed up and can’t wait to continue learning.

Get dressed up and eat at a fancy restaurant.

Meet the neighbours.

Open an Etsy shop.
I opened Peace and Chaos Photo last year! Yay! Also, my husband and I run Tubular Retro, a vintage Etsy shop.

Read a romance.

Pay off some debt.

Have an art show at my house.

Attend a live sports game.

Don’t spend any money for an entire week.

Create an ebook.
I did it! Capture Your Life is an ebook on falling in love with your life, just as it is, right now, as well as yourself and everything in it through photography.

Go for a family bike ride.

Go skiing or snowboarding.

Start a group of like-minded individuals.

Start a savings account.

Watch the sun rise.

Go on a road trip.

Take pictures of lightning.

Get professional photos taken.

Make a vlog.

Go to a punk music festival.

Have a tea party.

Visit a farm.

Drink cosmos while having a Sex and the City marathon (maybe not all of the episodes, but some).

Visit Algonquin park.

Go zip-lining.

Travel to Europe.

Drink Guinness in Ireland.

Attend a life drawing class.

Create my own piece of pottery.

This list will grow and change as I do. 

Do you have a similar list? Have you accomplished anything on it?

Peace,
Cole