Mexico City

When I announced that I was moving, I alluded to a part two.

There is a reason why the timing of the move is just especially awful.  Over and beyond the fact that moving is always awful, even under normal circumstances and my circumstances for this move were anything but normal.

What is the part two?

I’m leaving the country for four days to go to Mexico City on a photography workshop with the amazing and talented Penny de los Santos!


Yes, in the middle of my landlord giving us 30 days to be out of our current place, finding a new place with very few choices, trying to pack, pre-moving in, this once-in-a-lifetime trip that I’ve had planned for months just happened to fall mid-chaos.  When it rains it pours.

I am so excited for my trip.  I have been wanting to blog about it forever, but decided to just hold off and surprise you all until I was hours away from departure.

I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I’d be moving right now, too.

I am trying to prevent the chaos and stress of life on the homefront from clouding or possibly minimizing any of the sheer joy, anticipation, excitement, giddiness, happiness, and just overall sense of awesomeness that this trip is all about for me.

I cannot wait to travel to the outdoor markets, and make photos, with Penny as my guide, teacher, and mentor.  She is a world class, award winning photographer and a senior contributing photographer at Saveur Magazine, she’s shot for National Geographic, and has shot in many countries around the world.

I am honored and humbled and words cannot express the sheer joy I have leading up to this trip and to spend time with such an accomplished photographer and also amazing person.   I linked to an amazing video she made, here that shows the type of human being she is.

Penny is everything I try to emulate as a photographer and as a person.  She was an enormous source of inspiration for my career fantasy & doing what you want post.  I don’t know exactly what or how my career path will ultimately unfold, but if it’s anything like what Penny has built and achieved, I would be thrilled.

And so, I trust in the power of the mind.  Mind over matter. 

It’s all in my mind and in my attitude:  I will not let any of the chaos and stress of life on the homefront due to our move deter me one iota from having the trip of a lifetime and phenomenal experience that I’ve planned on and waited for so eagerly!

The boxes will be waiting for me when I get back.

And 30 hours after I am back on American soil, movers show up and will move us into our new place. 

image 2 image 3

image 0image 3

And I’m so glad I’ve done lots of pre-moving in with carloads that I’ve brought over.  It will make the actual move so much easier.

And then, the whirlwind of these very, very crazy 3 weeks will be hopefully coming to a conclusion.

I better pop a few No Bake Chocolate Chip and Coconut Cookie Dough Bites for some energy!

From my last post about Snappy Crunch, most of you seem to love sugar snap peas as much as I do.  Fun to hear what you like to dip them into, too.


1. Have you taken any trips recently?

I was just in Aruba.

And I was there over Christmas, too.

Honestly, had I known when I booked this trip to Mexico City that my life was going to be in the state of upheaval that it actually is in right now, I would have never booked this trip to Mexico City.  Especially since I knew it was so close to the heels of my last Aruba trip, but trips seem to cluster up.  I don’t travel for ages, and then, all of a sudden, multiple trips.

But I am so glad things worked out the way they did and that I booked it.  Honestly, this trip, and having it to look forward to, has kept me sane, grounded, focused, and inspired the past few months (and the past crazy week!) and for that, I am so grateful!

2. Do you have any trips planned?  Or what was the last trip, workshop, conference, or event that had you really excited?

I posted about trips, workshops, and conferences recently.  About what’s on my horizons and what I’d like to do and some maybe trips or events.  Not sure yet how things will pan out, but I do have a couple things on the books that I am excited about!

The last event that really had me super pumped was my Real Food Styling Photography Workshop (one of the best things I’ve ever done!)

And this trip to Mexico City has me extremely excited!

3. Do you believe in mind over matter?  That what you tell yourself has a big impact on how you will ultimately feel or handle a situation, challenge, or interact with others?

I am a huge believer in this.  A positive mental attitude is everything.  If you tell yourself your life sucks, you’ll never get through something, this or that is “ruined” because something else happened, an interchange with a certain person is going to be doomed, you know what, things probably will suck, won’t work out, and everything will be pretty miserable.  A self-fulling prophecy, for sure.

Although I am not Suzy Cheerleader all the time, when the chips are down and it would be easy to throw in the towel, quit, bail, get my undies in a bundle, or just otherwise turn into a total grump, I have learned to smile, dig down deep, find my strength and poise and grace and just stay positive and tackle the tasks at hand, even if I don’t like what’s happening.  Fake it til you make it, if nothing else.

There’s also The Secret and Laws of Attraction.  You attact what you put out there.  Put out positive energy, you will get positive things back.  Put out negativity and that’s what you will attract.  Now, of course, there are exceptions to this, but in general, I do believe in all of this.

What do you think?

And with that, I am off to Mexico City Friday morning at 4am!  I will be blogging as much as possible because I do have internet access in my hotel room but my first priority is to live life first, blog about life second.  You understand.

Hasta luego!



  1. Wow, your trip sounds amazing!! What a great experience!!

    I absolutely believe in mind over matter. I think life is what you make of it and that karma is for real.

    Enjoy your trip…safe travels :)

  2. Wow Averie! Thats huge! Certainly does sound like a trip of a lifetime!
    Hope you have an absolutely wonderful time!!! :D
    For a minute I thought you were going to say you were MOVING to Mexico! hahaha…
    Love the look of your new house, esp the floorboards! Beautiful!
    Enjoy your trip, very much looking forward to future posts :D

  3. Have a safe and fantastic trip. Learn lots so you can share with us all!

  4. Sounds like an AMAZING trip!

    Food photography in foreign countries is so fun, especially in countries in Mexico, where markets and street vendors are plentiful.

    I’m traveling through Southeast Asia right now and one of my favorite things to do is visit the market, sample new foods, and take photos.

    Hope you have a fun trip!

  5. Wowza!! Enjoy Mexico – I hope this trip allows you to have fun and ease the stress of all the moving.

    1.) I was just in Florida.

    2.) Leaving next week for another ballroom competition.

    3.) I definitely do. It’s hard to master, but so worth it.

  6. this is such an awesome opportunity for you, averie. enjoy every moment. isn’t it great that you DO have the new place, have been able to do some packing and moving…this fabulous trip is just what you need.
    1. aruba in march!
    2. nope!
    3. “You attact what you put out there” – > totally. “what goes around, comes around,” too. an optimistic, positive outlook on life makes all the difference.
    never been to mexico – can’t wait for your reports!

    • you are so positive, always, cathy! your comments ALWAYS make me smile and soooo happy. i can FEEL your energy and enthusiasm, always.

      i know you truly DO live this way: “what goes around, comes around,” too. an optimistic, positive outlook on life makes all the difference.


  7. Wow, I’m going to imprint your last sentence into my brain with letters of fire. They’re so profound.
    I’m happy you’re embarking on such an enthousiastic trip and I’m sure you’ll be back way richer than before, although your photography expertise is already great.
    Also, I hope your long-waited for experience will make you forget all the hard times you’ve been going through lately.
    Thanks for this wonderful post today and have a special, unforgettable trip to Mexico City.

    (As for me, I’ve been to Barcelona and Ibiza lately – easy, I’m from Italy! – and really enjoyed the spirit there. Spanish and new Spanish countries have a lot to teach us when it comes to living your life with PASSION and color)

    • I am glad my parting words are so meaningful to you :)

      “Spanish and new Spanish countries have a lot to teach us when it comes to living your life with PASSION and color)”– YES which is why i am sooo excited!

  8. OH.MY.GOD. You are going on a workshop with Penny?? OMG! That is sooooo cool!!!! I absolutely admire her! I bet you will have such an amazing time there and learn great skills… aaaaaawwww, I am so excited for you!! Enjoy!

  9. Averie that is AWESOME!!! This is going to be such an incredible experience for you!!! I can’t wait for you to come back and share what you’ve learned.

  10. You already know how happy I am for you ;) And I mean it when I say don’t bring any of your chaos from home with you on this trip! This is your time to enjoy yourself and soak in all the knowledge and wonderful experiences that you can….not worry about how to fit as much in one box as possible :P I cannot. wait. until you’re back and can hear all about it!!!
    I haven’t traveled anywhere exciting recently. I was thinking maybe this summer I’d take a nice little day-trip to somewhere like Boston…but I’m not sure. Everytime I get in the car for longer than an hour I am reminded of how much I hate traveling, hah.
    Safe travels!!

  11. SO awesome that you are going on this trip! U will learn so much and also how amazing its going to be for you!

    U do NOT stress at all anymore girl! Just get excited for your trip! Pop a bottle of champagne and have a no bake cookie dough ball, and get ready!!

    love ya!

  12. So glad I found your blog – I find it so easy to become overwhelmed when I have to much to do, even when I LOVE what I am doing. And it’s important to try to remember how much of it really is mental. Brava to you for going on this trip and dealing with everything with such aplomb – we all os us should ALWAYS grab such opportunities. Looking forward to reading about it!!

  13. Ah I’m so happy for you! This sounds like a once in a lifetime opportunity. Go enjoy your trip! You deserve it after last week.
    1. London!
    2. Nope, but I would love to go to a blogger conference.
    3. Yes yes! It’s certainly not something I’ve mastered, but I’m working on it. It’s the journey that makes the difference right?

  14. That is SO exciting!!!!!!!!!! I cannot wait to read your posts about your experiences in Mexico with Penny. Awesome. The new place looks totally gorgeous too. I like the kitchen a lot. Trips? We went to Savannah & Hilton Head recently and went to Jamaica back in February. No trips planned now :)

  15. What an awesome opportunity! Timing may not be perfect, but when is it ever? I can’t wait to hear all about the experience. My last trip was to FL. Next week I’ll be in Chicago for work. Then in August I’ll be in Boston for fun.

  16. What an exciting trip! I say not to worry about the moving aspect whileyou’re there – let Scott worry about it! ;)

  17. You know how jealous I am about your trip and I wish I were there too!!! I need a vacation badly right now, but I can’t take one. I am starting to think about a beach vacation over Christmas break. My advisor in AZ made me promise him that I would do it. He said I’ll need it, and I’ll want to just work, but I had to promise him I’ll take a tch-free week and RELAX. He never steered me wrong in grad school.

    Have fun, don’t think about anything else, enjoy the moment, and learn lots!! Then tell us about it when you get back!

    I made your cookie dough balls (without coconut, obv) yesterday. Munch, munch, munch…

  18. My boy-friends family is from Mexico and even they are afraid to go there right now..I don’t know if you know about the drug cartel and how truly horrible it has gotten…I’ve heard some nasty stories from his family =/

    Please be safe while you’re there.

  19. This should be so exciting for you! I hope you will be able to relax a bit and get the full benefit and enjoyment from the trip. Mexico City! I remember seeing it from the plane when I flew to Costa Rica. Coming from a country of six million inhabitants it was pretty mind boggling! Am having my second iced coffee ever in the whole world just now :-).

  20. Have so much fun on your trip Averie! I know it’s just going to be amazing learning from Penny!

    No trips planned for me, aside from the one next month to Boulder ;) And we’re looking at the possibility of going to Palau early next year for a diving trip.

    I haven’t been to Mexico, aside from a day in Cozumel. So I’ll be anxiously awaiting your posts, and photos!!

  21. Have a great time at that workshop, her photography is so amazing!

  22. Averie how exciting!!! I’m sure you will learn so much on this trip — how wonderful!

    The last trip I took was to Vegas in Nov — and Jason and I are trying to plan some sort of trip for (hopefully) late this summer or early fall. We’ll see!

  23. Oh my GOSH, SO AMAZING!!! I took that online photography workshop Penny did recently and it was incredible, she really is an amazing inspiration. Have a BLAST, I bet it will be a life changing experience!!!

  24. Averie- what an awesome opportunity for you! That’s incredibly exciting. I hope you enjoy it to the max and don’t let the thoughts of moving even enter you head while there, it’ll all get done in the end.
    PS-love the pics of the new place!

  25. WOW!!! I remember you alluding to a trip but this is far cooler than anything I thought you were going to reveal. I am beyond excited for you (and jealous!), as you always seem to take action with your dreams instead of just talking about making things happen. I’m curious about how the trip was set up, if you know Penny or if it was some sort of contest or whatnot, but I understand if the details are private. I am so excited to see these photos I could scream haha!

  26. I love that you’re following your bliss with photography (and obv other things)! Not only is it going to enrich your life, but you’re setting a great example for other people too by sharing it.

    My travel list for this summer: Marco Island, Bethesda (Food as Medicine conference), California (near you–Bonsall, Temecula, Fallbrook), and in July/Aug: Disney World, Santa Monica. I’ll be moving in between Disney and Santa Monica…will be hectic, but I’m determined to just let it all flow.

    I definitely acknowledge when things are crazy, but also keep perspective and expect the best outcome in all situations—even if it feels like it’s not the best, the universe knows better than I do so I just trust it. Deep breaths and reminding myself of my gratitude list helps too!

    Good luck with all of your stuff!

  27. Oh my gosh, just getting caught up from the weekend and I can’t believe everything that has happened in the past few days! No wonder why you were stressed. I’m so glad that it worked out for you and what a great thing that you were able to move in so quickly. Your new place is beautiful!! So new and clean. What a score.
    Have a great trip…can’t wait to hear all about it!

    • Yes, moving with one week’s notice, leaving the country, managing my current life and all normal responsibilities..girl, it’s been a stressfest but I am so excited for this trip. I WISH I could be on it with me :)

      Keep me posted about everything you have going on. You have been in my thoughts nonstop especially since I read your donation/decluttering/organizing posts…we were living a parallel life last weekend!

    • haha I know, right? We’ll chat soon. Have a wonderful trip :)

  28. I’m so excited for you!
    We just got back from our annual trip to the Oregon coast to visit my parents and play on the beach. It was much-needed. Our next trip is a camping trip and while I know it’ll be fun, it’s a lot of work before, during, and after. Definitely not much of a relaxing trip.
    Have fun and soak up the experience! :-)

  29. Have an AMAZING time in Mexico!
    I am a huge believer in “fake it ’til you make it” and getting back what you put out (with positivity for sure)! This definitely helps a lot at work, when I am happy our visitors are much more apt to respond with excitement and positivity than if I were monotonous and boring.

  30. i hope you have a wonderful time in mexico. i’m guessing you’ll make so many memories and learn so much that it will leave you feeling happy, recharged, and psyched up to tackle those moving boxes.

    no big trips for me lately. we did drive to oklahoma last week to see old family and friends. that’s always nice. my husband and i are planning a road trip to new mexico for early next year. we’d also like to go to new orleans for our 10th anniversary, without the kids, but we’re not sure if they’ll be ready for something like that.

    i definitely believe that a situation is what you make of it and a positive attitude does wonders (or at least helps you stay sane when life keeps piling more on your plate!) if you have a good attitude and are doing good things for others, good things will happen for you, that’s always been my experience.

  31. Good luck with everything Averie! I know your Mexico trip will be absolutely fantastic and the stress of traveling and moving will all be worth it in the end :)

  32. Have SO much fun in Mexico – it sounds like an amazing experience! Be sure to share any awesome photo tips with us on a future blog!!! I just returned from an awesome vacay in Grenada! So beautiful! Next weekend we are off to Tobago!!

    I too am a FIRM believer that you what you put out into things/life/etc… is what you will receive in return! :-)

  33. okay when i 1st saw this post i thought you were moving to mexico city!

  34. You’re going to have a blast! It’ll be a much needed break, so don’t worry about moving while you’re there :)

    I just took a trip to San Diego. I’d love to go anywhere and everywhere though! I want to take a trip to San Fran. I have CA fever!

  35. What a fantastic opportunity! Don’t worry about what’s happening here while you’re there. Everything will work out. Your new place is really cute…I love the rich colours in the kitchen!

  36. Wow! That sounds like an awsome trip and a whole lot of everything at once! Trips- In a few weeks, I will be taking my kids by myself on a flight from Seattle to Singapore to visit my sister and her family. This will be my first international flight without my husband, and my children’s first international flight. Oh, did I mention my 13 year old has autism and likes to rock in his seat:-)? And they could not give us pre assigned seats for all of our flights- so if we can’t sit together because someone isn’t willing to move, don’t think I won’t use that rocking as my secret weapon. ;-) (Who wants to sit by a stranger rockin’ out for 22 hours worth of flying?) I am sure it will be fine. In all seriousness, the flight will be a challenge, but we will make it- I agree mind over matter. Actually I am looking forward to being able to travel with them on such a long trip!

    • the airlines tried to keep my 4 year old and me in separate rows flying home internationally from aruba last month.

      the ONLY way we were allowed to sit together was b/c a kind soul ended up switching but no one wanted to switch! The flight attendants cant make them and there are no rules in place regarding this. They bribed a woman with 2 free drink tickets and she switched. The men in the rows wouldnt switch but a woman did. It was an amazing commentary on human beings..and air travel. sheesh!

  37. Have a great trip and be careful!!

  38. averie ~ i can’t believe that you’re moving again! and guess what? i am moving again as well! i, like you, have moved so much in my life already! your new place looks awesome though!! and have fun on your trip!!

  39. Other than planning a trip to Taiwan to bring our girl home :)

    We are planning to go to SC in September for a week and enjoy the beach!

    Brooke Annessa

  40. That is so cool about the photography workshop! Super exciting, I hope you have fun and learn a lot. Sorry everything just comes down on you at one moment. Not fun.

  41. You’re incredible! I’m so happy that you aren’t letting any outside noise interfere with the pleasure this trip is bringing. That is the BEST thing you can do for yourself. Besides, nothing that is going on at home is worth the energy of getting so worked up over that it degrades the joy that this trip will bring. So wish I was going with you! :) I am drooling over those markets!! You are going to have an amazing time. I can’t wait to see the pictures you take… or is it make? :)

    When I was 6 my aunt brought me a puppet (with strings) from Cancun. It was such a fun gift. Skylar might like one if you can find one!

    I wish you safe travels and hope you have the greatest time–I know you will! *hugs*

  42. Holy shit, I guessed about the move, but not about throwing a big trip on top of it!

    Have a great time, take tons of pictures, but don’t succumb to the urge to post them all at once. Pace yourself, and you can get at least a whole month of blogging posts out of this!

  43. I’m so sorry to here about your crappy landlord and that you have to gp through all the hassle of moving. The same happened to us with our last place. We found a new place (our current flat) in a similar amount of time, and we’ve been here almost 3 years so hopefully you’ll be as fortunate too.

    Mind over matter- funny you mention this. It has been such a big thing for me this week. I’m on my final nursing rotation before becoming a registered nurse and I’m panicing about it. So, my lack of confidence and nervousness is coming across to my patients and the nurses I’m working with. It’s so frustrating. I’m going to have to try to fake confidence until I feel more confident. But it’s hard! Ah well. xxx

  44. You’re going to have an amazing time. That is so exciting!! Enjoy your trip and worry about the moving after. Have an awesome few days in Mexico City! I’m excited to hear about it

  45. I’m sorry for the unpleasant timing, but really, it’s awesome that you didn’t know about it at the time you booked the trip: I’m so glad for you that you’re going on that trip. Sounds just awesome and potentially life-changing.

    And yes, traveling is such a schedule-disruptor, and moving is too, but I know that you’ll make the best of everything.

    I believe in mind over matter, but only up to a point: when too much magical thinking comes in, it’s possible for a person to blind themselves to reality and keep doing something that isn’t serving them. So mind over matter, yes, but with some serious self-honesty and regular reality checks.

  46. aaah, I wondered if it was one of Penny’s workshops, when you alluded to travel with an inconspicuous photography bag… I am SO excited for you!! I really want to go to her photo food tour in Austin this fall – I love that city and it’s it’s food.

    I think I can relate to you right now – when we were moving into our current house, we had our annual trip to Austin planned, and were already living in the new place, had some things still at the old place. Right before our trip my appendix burst, I was in the hospital for 7 days… missed our vacation AND could not help finish the move (no heavy lifting allowed). it was a crazy time.


    • Omg that appendix story is horrific!! Wow. Horrible event, horrible timing!

      And yes, I was pretty sure anyone paying attention was going to put the pieces together with the trip…I had left clues. You are a true detective :)

  47. What an exciting trip! It stinks that the timing isn’t the best, but I think you actually have a great attitude. I definitely believe that our attitudes affect our lives. It’s hard for me to remember this and seek out the good in life, but I definitely try!

  48. Sounds like you’ve got a ton ahead of you–busy, busy, busy! All sounds so great though. Good luck with the move, and those no bake cookie dough bites sound delicious!

  49. Wow on the photography workshop, sounds like a blast! Can’t wait to hear more about it. So sorry for the bad timing on the moving chaos, but sounds like you have it all under control.

    1. A couple of day trips, but no vacations in awhile. I want to, but hubby’s work schedule and me needing to save my vacation time for emergency traveling for sick in-laws has gotten in the way. :-(
    2. Besides a few days trips – nope.
    3. Yes, I think we’re perfectly capable of stressing ourselves out about little things and over-worrying. And it’s not good for our health.

  50. Girl I cannot wait to hear about your adventures in Mexico City. It will certainly be life changing! xxoo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *