Follow along as I document real love stories and share a glimpse of how I see the world through the lens of my camera.

2019 in Review

Happy new year!!!

Welcome to the first series of the DreamBox Diaries where I share a bit of my personal life.

As I reflect back on the past year, here is a recap of things that went well in my personal life, new things that I discovered and things that I’m looking forward to in 2020.

5 things that worked well in my life in 2019:

1. Taking time to pamper myself with full body massages and pedicures. Look – I have 3 kids under the age of 10 and I’m hunched over a desk all day and sometimes I just need to get away, okay?! If you’re looking for a place that will pamper you from head to toe (haircuts, facials, full body massages, manicures and pedicures), I suggest checking out Blush Salon & Spa in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It’s located inside of the Radisson Plaza Hotel and the prices are very reasonable. It’s my go-to place in west Michigan.

2. Taking solo trips to reset the mind and soul. See the solo trip that I took to Greece in 2019 where I travelled across the world to find inspiration. I find it refreshing to incorporate other cultures from other areas of the world into my photographs.

3. Investing my money to make more money. I started venturing out of my standard savings account, CD’s and 401k plan and started investing money in Vanguard’s ETF’s and Fundrise real estate crowdfunding. The risk of losing money is greater but the returns are also a lot higher. Rather than locking my cash up at the bank, I figured why not diversify? For those of you who may not know this, I’m a nerd at heart. I have an undergraduate degree in Accounting, a masters degree in Finance and I have a certified public accountant (CPA) license. I’m really into these kind of things.

4. Practice intermittent fasting. It’s amazing how much my relationship with food changed after doing intermittent fasting for a few months. If you’re looking to loose weight or just maintain your current weight, definitely look into intermittent fasting. I typically do the 16-8 fast (where I fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8 hour window) + do a 24 hour fast once or twice a week. You can learn more about intermittent fasting by watching Dr. Eric Berg’s YouTube videos.

5. Drinking my coffee early in the morning (with NO distractions) before everyone wakes up. It’s a form of meditation for me.

5 new things that I discovered in 2019:

1. Croissants + Nutella: Just try it together and you’ll know what I mean.

2. The Simply Luxurious Lifestyle Podcast – a lifestyle podcast about reaching your full potential and living the life of your dreams.

3. Create and Cultivate – an online community and conference for women looking to create & cultivate the career of their dreams.

4. Afford Anything Blog + Podcast – a podcast on ways to achieve financial independence earlier in life. My goal is to retire by the time I’m 50 and sit at the beach with my wrinkly butt sipping a glass of cosmo by a lake house. I’m working really hard towards that goal (maybe not the wrinkly butt part so much but everything else).

5. Soap made of goat milk – I received a bar soap from my sister-in-law as a gift and when I tried it, it felt so luxurious and moisturizing that I am hooked! I am in love with the Dowker Farm’s Smooth-N-Creamy soap made of all natural ingredients: Orange, Tangerine, Grapefruit, Juniper Berry, Bergamot, and Geranium.

5 Things that I’m looking forward to in 2020

1. Celebrating my BIRTHDAY in Paris! Tickets have been booked and my mind is already racing with tons of ideas. Oh you know I plan on doing some epic photo shoots there!

2. Seeing my kids experience new things and discover new places. Maybe Grand Canyon? Not sure if we’re brave enough to take all three kids to the very top though…

3. Creating more value-added content on the DreamBox website. I would love to share more tips and ideas on fashion, lifestyle and travel on my website going forward.

4. Creating and designing more editorial photo shoots that will challenge and push my work to the next level.

5. Learning French – I’ve always been fascinated by the language and took a class back in high school but have forgotten pretty much most of it. Since I’ll be going to Paris this year, I figured why not learn the language.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. I plan to post more DreamBox Diaries this year so please check back! Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR and may it be your best year yet!

Sincerely, Sandra

DreamBox Diaries #1

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