two thousand and sixteen.

struggle, learn, network, grow, awaken, create, gather, reflect, intention, change, listen, heart, spiritual, healing, power, print, darkroom, need vs. want, gratitude, focus, social impact, loss, empowerment, reshape.

I started this blog by just putting down whatever words came to mind when thinking about this past year. they were written in no particular order, and I think they do a pretty good job of capturing the labor process of my 2016.

the year was pivotal. for me it was a year of preparation for a new beginning. it was also a hard year for most of us, a year of sadness, confusion, frustration and disbelief.  I think those things are the precursors to change as well.  there is something happening in this world, something coming, and my gut tells me that we will survive, we will be changed, and it will get better.

to pause and look back on this year, I am going to try to write one sentence for each word I’ve listed above. M isn’t mentioned specifically in any of my reflections, but he was an integral part of every one of them.

struggle: There was a heavy sense of discomfort in the biggest parts of my life that ultimately was my own struggle to work through.

learn: Learn and grow – they are interdependent, and this year I did a lot of both.

network: Living in San Francisco made creating a personal network of “super-guides” easy.

grow: The need for space that would allow me to grow personally, grow vegetables and flowers, and to prepare for future growth of my family was a huge driver this year.

awaken: When a veil is lifted from your eyes, you awaken to see the world in a different way.

create: Create a plan.

gather: I looked back, way back, to gather ideas for future photo shoots.

reflect: Take a moment each day to reflect on what presented itself and what lessons were provided.

intention: State your intention in the positive, as the universe hears the ask itself and not the part you “don’t want”.

change: Oh boy, change is exhilarating, and scary, and freeing, and hard.

listen: I learned this year that everything is here for us if we listen to our inner knowing.

heart: Place your hand on your heart, feel it beat, and know that you are alive and present in this moment.

spiritual: Becoming open to and aware of my own spiritual path was a giant step for me this year.

healing: Physical changes to my body, and the letting go things that were not mine to carry both required different types of healing time.

power:  The power to change the course of my life was within me, and it’s within you too.

print:  Making things tangible through print was a huge focus at the beginning of the year, and I can’t wait for the plans I’ve made to come to fruition.

darkroom: I spent a lot of time in the darkroom printing images from the last few years by creating my own digital negatives.

need vs. want: When conflicted, I learned to find clarity by journaling what I need vs. what I want – there is generally a big difference.

gratitude: The #gratefulproject2016* was my way to show and share my daily gratitude for the everything around me this year.

focus: In an image where everything is in focus it can be hard to see the details, so I chose to keep my aperture wide this year and focus only on a handful of things.

social impact: More than a year without Facebook, and the social impact of technology is still strong for me, but it is quieter, and curated to what I actually care about.

loss: There will always be loss, it is the balance of nature – but this year it was pervasive.

empower: Weird as it may seem, Beyonce’s “lemonade” empowered me and I think all women, to FEEL and express what they need when going through something with their partner. #notjealousorcrazy

reshape: this was the year of “realizing stuff”, and the year I was able to reshape my body, my relationship, my job and what the next phase of my life will focused on.


— it will be what we make it, so stay hopeful, stay positive, find your tribe and take steps to focus on what makes your heart sing. 

I want to say I am so proud of my kiddo’s for all they accomplished in 2016! it was a huge year for both of them, and I couldn’t be happier for what their futures hold.  cheers!

xo – nat

*#gratefulproject2016 can be reviewed on my instagram account: @tallienatt

the hives and the cleanse

I have suffered from ‘chronic idiopathic urticaria’ for over 20 years.  It has appeared with major life events, and hung around for 2 weeks to over a year. they started when I entered UW, then appeared again when I had my daughter, again with the end of my marriage, then a quick stint at the end of 17 yr marriage to Nordstrom.  most recently they’ve joined me with my move to SF.  this bout started in August, but it hasn’t beat my longest bout which was over a year.

what is chronic idiopathic urticaria you ask??

The common definition is: hives, and whatever it is called, chronic idiopathic urticaria is a painful, demoralizing condition. Chronic idiopathic urticaria occurs when a person suffers from wheals or itching, almost daily, for over six weeks, with no obvious cause. The word “idiopathic” means the condition stems from an unknown cause. Hives, in general, mean some kind of allergic reaction is taking place. The body is, in effect, seeing something as an enemy and reacting to dispel the intruder. <my body is fighting itself and I can’t seem to call a time out!>

Chronic idiopathic urticaria is a disorder that often baffles dermatologists and allergists alike. Without a known cause, it is nearly impossible to prescribe an effective treatment. Without effective treatment, the patient continues to suffer. The skin often becomes scarred and otherwise damaged from the wheals and scratching. Chronic idiopathic urticaria can cause secondary depression because the sufferer is continually miserable, embarrassed by his skin and pessimistic about ever being free from the disorder. <–yes, all of that has been true for me!

endless Benadryl, all kinds of prescription antihistamines that leave me grogggggggy all day and the feeling of always wanting to be OUT of my skin is driving me to try natural options.

the cleanse….

tomorrow I embark on a journey to rid my body of toxins by starting a 5 day juice cleanse.  I will track my progress here, the highs, the lows, and the hunger pains.  I have no idea if this will help calm my hives, but at the 9 month mark I’m trying everything I can think.  I’ve never been able to tie my hives to food, and allergists have tested me for literally EVERYTHING.  This cleanse will allow my body to be off sugar, dairy, and meat for 5 days — and I will ease myself back into foods one thing at a time. 

the hives are frustrating, and this cleanse feels a little daunting, but I’m excited to try.  

– xoxo itchynat – my juice source