Archive for ‘random’

February 9, 2015

You’re never too old for a woobie. Right? Right?!

I have a confession. I have a woobie. You know, that little security blanket that you must have in order to sleep. It’s a little bedraggled. Probably doesn’t get washed enough. It’s wrinkled and worn and absolutely a necessity for a good night’s sleep. Yup, I’m thirty-cough ahem- some odd- ahem- cough years old and I have a woobie.

I would like to introduce you to “The Original”…

Woobie | Kulik Photography

This beautiful quilt was made by my grandmother when I was a baby. It is thirty-cough ahem- some odd- ahem- cough years old. Years ago, my mom came across it and sent it my way. I was delighted and instantly snatched it up as if I was suddenly 5 years old again. With absolutely no concept of wear and tear on old (who are you calling old?!) fabric, I threw the thing onto my bed, and it was my new best friend. I loved staring at the stitches, seeing the imperfections, knowing that my Bucki made each one of those stitches with her own hands, with me on her mind. Every night I balled it up and tucked it under my arm and slept soundly.

And then it starting falling apart. And I started learning to sew. And I had a brilliant idea. I would make myself a new woobie, so I could preserve what was left of The Original.

Quilt | Kulik Photography

This is only the third quilt I have made and it still stands as one of my all time favorites. I actually want to re-create it as a large bed-sized quilt, but I absolutely cannot find that low-volume print anywhere and cannot remember for the life of me where I found it (it is very hard to see, but it has very pale blue birds on it….if anyone knows who makes it, I’ll be your new best friend!!!)

Quilt | Kulik Photography

The back. There are lots of things I do not enjoy about trying to teach myself a craft on my own, but one of the things I do enjoy is that fact that since I don’t know what I am doing, I just sort of wing it, and usually end up loving the end result. I looooove the back of this quilt so very much.

Quilt | Kulik Photography Quilt | Kulik Photography Quilt | Kulik Photography Quilt | Kulik Photography

Interesting Fact: In this post I mentioned that I put a little piece of my baby quilt in each of my quilt sandwiches. This is where this started. When I realized that I never ever should have put my baby quilt to use as an actual quilt, I was devastated to realize that a) I ruined it and b) it now was “useless”. At first I accepted the fact I would just need to fold her up and keep her in the closet if I wanted to preserve what was left of it. And then I thought about how sad that was. My Bucki worked hard on that. For me. The more sewing I do, the more I understand that it is hard work. SO much goes into it, even if many of us do not hand sew anymore, quilting is work. I cannot imagine creating something for someone, only for it to stay in a closet, hidden away. And so with quilt #3, I began a tradition. It was slightly painful when I did it, but I went into the closet, and I tore a small piece of fabric off of my baby quilt. And I placed it inside of the quilt sandwich. I questioned my decision at first. Did I seriously just purposely tear a piece of fabric off of my precious quilt? GAH! But I did. And more than anything, I love knowing that I have found a way of mending our two arts into one. And knowing that I can carry her memory in each of my own creations. I hope in my heart that she would approve, and be proud.


Quilt Details:

Name: Woobie Pie

Size: 32 x 32

Completed: December 2012

Fabric: Amy Butler Midwest Modern Linen, mystery low-volume blue birds *sigh*, embarrassingly low quality fabric from JoAnns. *averting eye contact*

Quilting: by me


February 2, 2015

I will always return

Costa Rica | Kulik Photography

I have been met with surprise each time that I tell someone that we will be going to Costa Rica for a vacation.

Again?” they will ask.

Yes. Again.

“But didn’t you just go last year?”

I will always return to Costa Rica. It will always be my go-to vacation. There are so many places on this beautiful planet that I would love to see and explore and experience. But I will always choose to return to Costa Rica. This country has had such a strange hold on me since my first visit. When I first set foot on it’s soil. When I first met the warmth of it’s culture.

On my first visit more than 10 years ago,  I was no more than 5 minutes in my friend’s home when the wife of one of his friends grabbed my hand and whisked me away down the city streets, winding through a maze of walkways and neighborhoods until I found myself in her family’s neighborhood, in the home of her mother, surrounded my a mass of women asking me questions in a language I had absolutely no grasp of. I sat in pure terror. And spoke to them in English. And they spoke to me in Spanish. And I swear we managed to have a conversation. We still somehow managed to understand each other.

I am a person that is forever uncomfortable. In her surroundings. In her own skin. I can always feel the edge of my anxiety, threatening to cut. And somehow, in a country that takes me miles and miles outside of my comfort zone, I feel more at home than I feel anywhere else. Costa Rica is good for me. It does something to my mind. It quiets it. It settles it. It reminds me of what is important and where my focus should be.

Costa Rica let’s me know that I am always welcome, and for that I will always return.

January 12, 2015


One Little Word


Such a simple word (ha ha, I had to, didn’t I?), but not so simple of a task.

I thought on my word for 2015 for quite some time. Usually the word comes to me before the year is even over, but this year I had to dig a bit to find it. And then I found it. And I knew.

I need to simplify. I need to pare down my world. I need to only have people that are really important to me in my world. I need to stop wanting more and more. I need to appreciate the small things. I need to stop being such an over thinker (someone please let my OCD know I need help with this task!). I need to let things go.

I need to just live simply.

I need to just simply live.

April 2, 2014

hobby hopping

I love photography. You know that, right? You might not, especially if you have been along for this little ride here on the blog. It is a confusing relationship I have with photography. I love it. I hate it. I avoid it. I devour it. I really, truly do love it. And let’s just throw some honesty down here…I am good at it. I can say that. It is not easy for words like that to come from me, I am realllly good at knocking myself down, it’s a little harder to lift myself up. But yeah, I am pretty good at photography. But here’s a little secret- just because I like it, and/or am good at it, does not mean I have to do it all the time. Or that by not doing it, I am wasting it. I do not have to do it all of the time. I do not have to make money at it. I tried that, and sometimes I think that is where we can pinpoint where my relationship problems with photography began.

I don’t like being told what to do. I am bratty like that. And the more people that push my own art on me, the more I find myself pushing it away. Just imagine me as a teenager 😉 Plus, honestly? I haaaaaaaaaaaaate the whole process of photography. I adore creating the images. Getting lost in my own little world when I am looking through the viewfinder. But after that? uuuuuugh. Sitting in front of the computer. Culling images. Editing images. And then what? I used to love sending film out, and the excitement of opening that envelope to see your images come to life. Now? I finish up on the computer………….and there they sit. Pffffft.

Photography will always be a part of who I am. But I find that throughout the years I have pushed it to the side to hop around to other hobbies. I used to make jewelry. That was kind of fun. And ahem expensive. And then all those beautiful beads sat in boxes in a closet. And then I hopped on the scrapbooking train. That was fun for about 5 seconds before my ocd kicked in. Scrapbooking + OCD = nightmare. And then one year, I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas. And then I started buying fabric. And then I started making little things. And then. And THEN. I realllly wanted to make a quilt.

gutermann thread | quilting | SW Florida Photography | Kulik Photography

You guys…I hobby hopped and then landed on the jackpot. I. Adore. This. Hobby. ADORE.

But let’s be clear on something…I have no idea what I am doing! At. All. But yet I enjoy almost every moment. Even the moments that freak me out and I avoid, once I start doing it, I am so very content. My mind is a very busy place, and when I am in the midst of a project everything just quiets. I just focus on the task at hand, and there is nothing else in the world. I love that. And maybe that is why I love this hobby so much.

quilting | SW Florida Photography | Kulik Photography

I also am learning that I REALLY love making things for people I love. I finally got the confidence to make my first gift quilt, for my mom. I am terrified to send it her way. What if she hates what I created? What if the whole thing falls apart?! But what if she loves it? I currently have a nice long list of gift quilts, and that makes me smile. Hopefully, they will all stay in one piece 🙂

Quilting | SW Florida Photography | Kulik Photography

And what I find the most ironic bit of it all? I find myself thinking…wouldn’t it be nice to get so good at this that one day I could sell my quilts? :p LOL

And so, there you have it. My new hobby. I will always take pictures. Always. But it nice to step away from my camera and not feel like I have to take pictures. In the meantime, I will be sewing 🙂

I’ll leave you with my favorite thing I have made so far….

Quilting | Chevron Quilt | SW Fl Photography | Kulik Photography



January 7, 2014

the obligatory post

First of all…can we ignore that little 2 month hiatus??? I am going to go with the idea that I really, really adored day 6, so I wanted to soak in it for a bit. That sounds good, right? And really, it’s pretty true. There was something about that day that will bring me warmth for the rest of my days. I promise we will get back on track over here soon. But in the meantime, we need the obligatory new year’s post, don’t you think?

I was actually feeling kind of down about this past year. I was reading other people’s posts and seeing all they have accomplished in this past year (because didn’t you know the healthiest thing you can do is compare yourself to others???) and I lamented to my husband that I had accomplished not one thing in this year. He stared at me for an uncomfortable period of time before plainly saying “What are you talking about? You barely had time to take a shit this year, you were so busy.” That. That right there people, is why I love him 🙂 Then he got up and made a very short, but very important list.

+ I passed my national certification for surgical technology.
+ I was promoted at my job.

Boom…right there are two pretty big accomplishments. The longer I sat on it, the more I realized that I did accomplish a lot in this past year;

+ I completed a year of hellish schooling, passed my national certification, and began a brand new career.
+ I began a brand new career….only to discover that that was not where my heart belonged. I was very fortunate to be presented with an opportunity to remain at my original job, which has always been where my heart lies, and is where I am now.
+ I bought myself a Brand. New. Car. This is very exciting. I am insanely proud of how hard I have worked to become financially responsible, and all of that paid off when I was able to buy myself a brand spanking new car, all on my own. ♥
+ A broken relationship has been mended, and my heart is so much fuller because of it.
+ I went through a crazy hair crisis journey (so vain, right?!). A simple hair cut actually had a lot of unexpected side effects on my life, and I kind of like where it has brought me. (blog post on that some other day, promise!)
+ In celebration of graduation we took a dream trip to Costa Rica and had the time of our lives.

And that is my year. The year that I at first thought contained nothing important. It was actually a pretty important year. So what does 2014 have in store? I’m not sure. I am hopeful for this year though. I started making a list, and had decided that this year instead of just choosing one word it would be a multiple word kind of year. And then when I sat down at my computer to create something with my list, one word slapped me in the face. More.

MORE 2014

My entire list consisted of things I wanted more of. Not in a greedy GIMME! kind of way. Just more. Well ok…maybe a little bit in a greedy way 🙂

Patience. I need to work on being a more patient person. With the world around me. With myself.

Music. My world, and my peace of mind, revolves around music. I want more music. More concerts.

Love {self}.  I need to love more. I don’t love well. I abuse it and don’t tend to it the way I should. I have a difficult time showing it to others, and an even more difficult time showing it to myself.

Craft. I have been learning (very slowly) to quilt over the past few years. This year I want to focus much more strongly on this craft. I also have vowed to learn to knit. Which, to date, has only resulted in me throwing knitting needles across the room. What was that I said about patience????

Friendship. Tough truth? I don’t do friendship very well. I am very difficult to maintain a relationship with. I am antisocial, hate the phone, have a thousand excuses why I need to stay home/not call/see you next time. I want to nurture my friendships this year. I have two incredible besties, and I don’t give them the time and attention that they deserve. I want to improve on that in this year.

Health. Would getting skinnier be great? Absolutely! But I have learned over the years. That is a silly thing to strive for. This year I have (quite slowly) been working towards a healthier me. I totally still do damage to cupcakes, but I have been working on creating a stronger body, and as you work on that I find it effects all sorts of other aspects in your life. So I will aim for health. and strength.

BOWA. This year, I will stop wishing for what is on the other side. I will stop pining for what I don’t have. I will start making the Best Of What’s Around. This might be the most important thing on this list. This effects me in so many ways. And it frustrates me. And yet I continue to live my life in the same way. There is a Dave Matthews Band Lyric that sums me up perfectly: What I want is what I’ve not got, What I need is all around me. I want to start appreciating what I do have, and finding peace in that. This will be my loftiest of goals. You cannot change a lifetime of behavior in one year…but you have to start somewhere. And the first step is hardest of all. (*Can I just do a little tap dance over all the Dave references I just poured all over this one?!)

I hope this year brings you all that you strive for. And if it doesn’t, I hope you are able to make the best of what’s around! ♥

October 1, 2013

waking up in Costa Rica…

…I mean, ok, we are on day 3 already. Clearly on day 2 we woke up in Costa Rica too, but not really. We woke up in Heredia, which is on the outskirts of San Jose, which while sure, teeeeeeeechnically it is Costa Rica. It isn’t really Costa Rica. I mean, it’s a hotel on a city street. I woke up to the sounds of people in the hallway. And the air conditioner that, clearly, this foreigner had no clue how to work, because it might have been snowing in our room. No…waking up in the Country Inns and Suites is not the same as waking up in El Ferry, Costa Rica.

We arrived at the house late the night before. We couldn’t see much because, well, we were in the country. You forget how dark the world really is at night, until you go out into the country, where city lights don’t litter the sky. No, we didn’t see much. But we did see the Milky Way. And what I thought were light bugs but were actually some sort of beetle that lights up. So if that is all I got to see, I’ll take it. We also saw that we would not have air conditioning. As an a spoiled American, I’m not going to lie, this was slightly traumatizing for a brief moment. I mean, it was HOT. Like, Florida hot. With no air conditioning. But I am on an adventure and I am in Costa Rica and if that means I am going to sleep with no blankets and all the windows open, then let’s do it! I also got to sleep under mosquito netting. And not because it looks pretty and added to the effect. No. I got to sleep under mosquito netting so I wasn’t accosted by insects in my sleep. I feel like this should have creeped me out, but it really didn’t. I’M ON AN ADVENTURE!!!

So we were informed that since the windows are open, we should expect some noises that might be slightly foreign to us. There is a small group of bats that live under the roof of their patio that surrounds the house. We should expect to hear them return in the morning. There is a chicken house across the street, so we should expect to hear the roosters first thing. Oh, and don’t panic when you hear the howler monkeys. Howler monkeys? I get to hear howler monkeys???? YES!!!!

And then, at what I can only guess was probably about 3 am or so, I heard the howler monkeys. And in my sweaty, sleepy fog I felt like a 5 year old who really wanted to run into her parents bedroom and hide under their blankets. These didn’t sound like happy little monkeys swinging around in the trees. Clearly, there was a colony of DINOSAURS out there just waiting to come and drag me out of bed. I had never heard anything like it. It was so prehistoric sounding. That first night, it frightened me. But every night, and morning, after that, I woke up with a smile on my face when I heard them. Most of the world wakes up to the annoying beep beep beep of an alarm, and here I was waking up to birds that might as well have been fake for how foreign they sounded to me, and persistent roosters, AND HOWLER MONKEYS.

I present to you…my alarm clock:

Nothing to see…just the sounds that we woke up to every morning in Costa Rica

September 25, 2013

day 2…the twisty turny road to bliss

Ahhhh, Day Two. The travel is over. We had a lovely evening lounging by the (chilly) pool, just soaking in the fact that Oh. My. God. We are actually in Costa Rica. We took this crazy last minute idea and actually did it and HERE WE ARE.

We enjoyed a yummy breakfast that consisted of mostly unknown foods and AH-mazing fruit. (Have I mentioned that by the end of my trip, I actually had sores covering the inside of my mouth because I ate an excessive amount of pineapple?  The pain was SOOOO worth it!)

And so we enjoyed our breakfast. We listened to the sounds of birds as they sang their foreign songs. We were filled with anticipation for the coming days. We were also filled with nerves…you are a liar if you say that you wouldn’t be nervous in a new country. We do not speak the language. We are unsure of all the customs. It is exciting and nerve-wracking all in one!

Random fact that we learned the night before: In Costa Rica, your waiter will not bring you the check unless you ask for it. I mean, you could throw your napkin on your plate, cross your knife and fork over each other in the middle of the plate, “AHEM” loudly numerous times. No. No check. Here, it would appear rude to ask for a check, but there, well, you will sit for a looooong time if you stay mum. LOL. Lesson one of numerous.

So we kicked back, hung by the pool, and relaxed. I did something I hadn’t done in a year…I. Read. A. Book. And we waited for our friends to come pick us up.

And this is when you are reminded that you are in another country. We received a message that they were on their way. And then we received a message that there was a terrible accident, and so they would be a bit late. Because that accident? It was blocking the only road that would get them from there to here. And so they would have to take a dirt road in the opposite direction in order to bypass the accident. Here? People would be absolutely beside themselves. There? What are you going to do?

So we are picked up. We begin our journey to their home…with one stop. The grocery store in San Jose that has many American treats.


Yeah, ummmm, Mtn Dew is a SPECIAL treat! 🙂 The one and only place that is seems to reside is in this store. And so, clearly, Mtn Dew needed to be bought. Priorities people, priorities. And then after a jaunt through the city streets (YIKES! Seriously, I should have taken video! Juggling with machetes? Sure, why not?! Driving with your fingers crossed because that seems like the best safety measure there is? Absolutely!) we were off.

And let the motion sickness set IN! To get to our friends home we would take the Pan American Highway(with random goats tied to the side of the road. For. Real.) and then a twisty turny road through the mountains that was absolutely gorgeous. And turny. And so pretty. But twisty. Ummmm, did I mention twisty? Our ride was probably about three hours and we were able to see lots of Costa Rica as it REALLY is, not just the postcard images. And that, I love! It is such a poor country, but so beautiful. People have very little, but it seems so long as they have their family, they have all they need.

Because I had been once before, I already had an image in my head, so it was not all totally new to me. But it still takes a period of time to adjust to this different world with different rules and standards. As a dog lover, Costa Rica is a very difficult country to be in, but I will touch on that in a later post. It is normal to see random dogs at the side of the road. And I mean, AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. Why aren’t they scared???? Men adore peeing on the side of the road, and it becomes a kind of game to see what we can peep 😉 A home without bars on it’s windows is, well, not a home you see in Costa Rica. Giant pot holes are the norm, dirt roads are not a nuisance so much as just another road, and the theme is “We’re in Costa Rica…we do what we want!” And so we were overstimulated and over twisty-turned and I was just trying to jam it all in my brain and lock the key so I didn’t lose any of it.

because it is pretty

And so…second day in and I am still busy taking photos with my phone! Oops! I promise day three has real, live PHOTOS *gasp* But no adventure can begin without a start to the journey. So this was our start.


September 17, 2013

shall we begin?

I mean, it has been over a month now, right? It only seems right that I should probably begin making some vacation posts, yeah? Because let’s be honest here, I know you having been laying awake at night, staring at the ceiling fretting over the fact that you haven’t gotten to read about my gloriously fabulous trip. It’s ok, don’t be embarrassed, we’re all friends here.

I took soooo many photos. I still have soooo many photos to edit. But if we wait for me to finish before we begin these posts, you may have a few more grey hairs. You might even have grandchildren at that point. So we will begin. But begin where??? Did I mention soooo many photos? How to share them all? I have decided the easiest way will be to post a day-by-day chronicle, with little diversions here and there where we dig a little deeper. Oooooh, sounds exciting doesn’t it?

And so, let’s start with DAY 1.

Costa Rica | Kulik Photography

Ok…so Day 1 isn’t very exciting. And, ok, we’re all friends here, so I’m going to be honest right here. There are Day 2 photos in there too. GAH! I know, I know.

Really, Day 1 was full of travel and settling in. I am a pretty daring girl, so I really wanted to live on the edge and start our trip out right by eating a Floribbean Tuna sandwich. I know how to live!!! So we travelled. We arrived. We amazingly found our driver immediately. SCORE! Communicating with our driver? eeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. He deserted us at one point curbside at the airport. WHEREDIDYOUGO????? This might be a good spot to pause and fill you in on one tidbit of information: We don’t speak Spanish. At all. I mean, I can tell you good morning, and thank you. Annnnnd, that is about it. The people of Costa Rica are insanely patient and accommodating and will make every effort to communicate with you and make things easy. And our country could learn a LOT from that. And that is all I am going to say about that 😉

We make it to our hotel, and we settle in. We discover you can watch the city traffic on tv. Say what?! It’s kind of like the food channel. You know you are bored. You know you want to change the channel. But you don’t. I can tell you all about the traffic patterns of San Jose.

We ventured. We grocery shopped. I stumbled upon a pet store a mere one minute walk from our hotel, because clearly I have doggy radar even in other countries. We bought tasty snacks that we bought solely on looks. We froze (damn Floridians!!! Ha! We were even called out by some Midwesterners at the hotel who noticed we were in long-sleeved shirts….”you must be from Florida?!”) We lounged by the pool and for the first time in a year I just sat. I just stared into space and thought of very little. And gasssssp I got to read a book!!!!

And so that was our first day. Is your mind blown? I knew it would be!!!

August 22, 2013

someone get the dustbuster…

…it’s time to wipe the dust away!

It’s been a loooooong year. Exhausting really. It’s all been rather blurry and dreamlike and now it is over and I feel dizzy from it all. And now I am back in the real world, and feel like I require some sort of transitional therapy to help my integrate back into the world of normal people.

And so here I am. Time to jump back in, heh? Lots has happened in the last few months…

I chopped all of my hair off…

where did it all go?!

The lesson learned with this one? Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, make a drastic change to your hair when you are emotionally spent. Seriously. Just don’t.

And after 12 years, 173,000 miles, and too many to count oops-I-almost-broke-down-again moments, I bought a new car!!!!

well look at that!

And finally, this happened…


I kind of felt like this moment was never going to come!

And in coming posts I will tell you about this…

pura vida!

When you finally finish a hellish year, you need to celebrate, right?! We chose to celebrate for 10 days in Costa Rica.

Stay tuned….


oh, and hey? It was nice seeing you again 😉

May 31, 2012

The Vacation Photo Post

The first week of May I stepped on a plane and headed up to New Hampshire for my fairly-annual trip to see two of my most favorite people- my mom and my best friend.

I want to show you all the photos I took of the beautiful landscapes. The portraits I took of my friends girls. The lovely self-portrait of me and my mom. But I can’t show you them….because my camera remained in it’s comfy little spot in it’s bag. Because that is the kind of photographer I am 😉

There was an epic battle. It looked something like this:

“Real” Camera vs. Cellphone Camera

I think it’s clear who the loser was. I choose to blame the six days of rain I experienced.

So instead, I will give you a breakdown of my trip in the form of Instagram photos:

So as you can see…this photographer might have failed even at taking cellphone photos 🙂 I like to think it was because I was too busy enjoying the company.

I should point out the first photo, in the upper left corner, is actually Florida. I believe that was the Sunshine State’s way of giving me the middle finger upon my return. After spending most of my vacation dodging rain drops, I spent my drive home staring at the thunderclouds building right over where I was headed.

My trip, as it always is, was fabulous. My mom geeked out and decided it was completely normal to celebrate my birthday almost exactly two months late. Princess crown and all. She made me a money tree, which realllly sent mixed messages and went completely against all those lectures I heard growing up. We saw mountains and oceans and all the land in between. She gladly tagged along for the no-longer-endless search for The. Perfect. Sneakers.

I was able to spend a great day with a best friend that has been in my life for what feels like forever. I spent a day with my most favorite aunt in the whole world. I had breakfast with my most favorite cousin in the whole world. I ate an embarassing amount of fried food. I did more shopping than I thought I was capable of 🙂 I saw not one, but two groundhogs (hey, I am easily excitable!).

We drove. We talked. We ate. We shopped. We talked more. Conversation. Wonderful Conversation.

My trips back “home” are always bittersweet. It reminds me of all that I am missing. My friend said it perfectly when she said it is almost easier not to see each other….because saying goodbye….well, it’s hard.

This trip was particularly hard, because due to my starting school in a couple of months, and then hopefully after that getting a new job, I am not exactly sure when it will be that I will find myself in the place, and with the people, that I miss the most.