Return to Beauty

Share the ♥︎



My Escape to Hawaii

Aloha JPG Family 🙂 I am finally turning my incognito mode off and rejoining social media.

What have I been up to? Here is a sneak peak into my life…

  • Took a small road trip to Ohio for Christmas to see Grandma and Grandpa and Aunts and Uncles and Cousins

  • Rung in the New Year at the Grimm Family Reunion in Kentucky

  • Celebrated my dear husband’s birthday

  • Made a few trips to our Wisconsin cabin build in progress (It’s come so far! Separate post on that to come…)


  • Took a S-O-L-O vacation to Hawaii!



***cue exhale — Ahhhhhhhhh***

Just the thought of Hawaii brings me back to the mesmerizing rainbows and warm summer air.

I know, I know…all the pictures just look like I just sat on the beach escaping the freezing weather in Chicago, but I actually went to visit my new Oahu-based gal pal Laurie in Maui and to attend an incredible photo workshop with two of my photographer role models, Yan Palmer & Wendy Laurel.

This experience truly refocused my mindset, ignited my creativity, and reminded me the importance of slowing down for this upcoming photography season. As a full-time Mom and Photographer I am constantly being pulled in 10 directions, so hearing other boss-moms spill their secrets to maintain creative fluidity was very helpful and humbling.

You other mamas know this trip was much, much, much needed.

Here are a few of my favorite moments from Hawaii that I wanted to share!

Maui | return to beauty photo workshop

(We all coveted Mami’s bright beach blanket that I had her model for me)


Exquisite beauty
is often hidden
in life’s fragile,
fleeting moments

― John Mark Green, Taste the Wild Wonder: Poems


Oahu | my film scans


As you can see I was in PARADISE. Despite it being their winter/rainy season, Hawaii was full of rainbows and color galore. If you’ve never been, you need to make Heaven, I mean Hawaii, a priority to visit. This place is magical and rejuvenating!

A quick shout-out to Laurie for being such a patient model for my new film camera and I. I think it is safe to say I am officially obsessed with Portra film stock.


I was also lucky enough to experience Jim Deneven’s original farm-to-table concept and attend their Oahu dinner. It was a moment I will not forget. As you can see from the photos, everything was vibrantly green and ravishing.

Read the excerpt below to hear more about the concept!

Outstanding in the field + Ma’o organic farms

“We return to Oahu’s beautiful Lualualei Valley for dinner with our friends Kukui and Gary and their inspiring crew of young farmers and future community leaders. MA‘O is the acronym for mala ‘ai ‘opio – the youth food garden. Here, on 24 acres of verdant fields on the island’s west side, MA’O grows healthy food for its community and many local restaurants while empowering native youth with entrepreneurial knowledge and mentorship. Chef Ed Kenney is a longtime champion of this living local food system. Ed introduced us to MA’O when OITF made our first visit to Hawaii in 2012, and he has cooked in the field kitchen many times since then. We look forward to celebrating aloha ‘āina and enjoying a beautiful meal with our Oahu friends.”




“The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.” —Mary Davis

Photo credit to @ellerosephoto