Hi, and welcome to my site! It’s a blog about personal finance, the arts, travel and nature, usually told through the lens of my search for happiness and mindfulness in life. Why those things? Well, because I’m passionate about them, and I find they help me be more relaxed and happy. It works for me, so I want to share my thoughts with others in the hopes that it works for you too!

There’s a rare slice of people out there that are doing exactly what they were born to do, and making money doing it. For those people, they’re working because that’s what they want to do. If they won a million bucks, they’d continue to do what they do. If you’re like most people though, you work for some other reason. It’s a means to an end, not the end in and of itself. If you won a million bucks, you’d be gone. You’d quit your job to do… what, exactly? We’ve all got goals and dreams; what’s yours? [...]
Last month, I wrote about five places that were on my travel hitlist. These are places I wanted to visit for their natural beauty, and to do a bit of the photography I love so much. I had a few folks reach out with some other suggestions though, so I thought I’d compile a list of five more places to add to your travel hitlist if you haven’t been. [...]
The real name for this lens is the Canon EF-S 10-18mm F/4.5-5.6 IS STM. Woah that’s a lot of acronyms! Canon (and most lens makers, to be honest) has a habit of throwing all kinds of technical jargon in its lens names, and trying to read a review of these lenses is honestly a test of most people’s sanity. I love this lens though, so I wanted to provide a review of why exactly I like it so much. Better still for most of the people who will be looking to buy it, I’m going to do it from a non-technical perspective. No technical data charts, no lofty terminology, just a plain and simple perspective on what, in my opinion, makes the lens great. [...]
This is the third post in a series in which I pick some really cool photos and break down the elements about them that I like best. They’re designed to help you (and I) improve your photography. In case you missed the last one, you can check it out here. I promised last time that the next post in this series would focus on a wide-angle landscape shot, and I think we’ve got a beauty to work with today. This fantastic shot was taken by Frank Köhntopp, and it’s got a lot going for it. Let’s dive in, shall we? [...]
I wake up rubbing my eyes, groggy and irritated by the sound of my alarm. Five more minutes. Then I remember: it’s grading day today. Shit, I slept in. Get up, get up!! My wife and I both have our pre-black belt grading today. It’s more intense than the black belt grading itself, because we represent our sensei’s dojo there. Since our performance is a reflection of his, and we’ll be compared to students from other dojos, he tends to… uh, let’s say make sure… his students are ready to handle the challenges of the day. [...]