Hi friends. :) Shall we have some music to begin? Yes, let’s.

It’s already been one incredibly fast year since we put our first home on the market and I realized that I’ve barely shown you our new home! Like I said in one of my most recent posts, this blog has been neglected, so I’m doing my best to catch it and you up on life over here. :)

By far one of our favorite things about this 111-year-old home is the perfectly screened in wrap-around front porch. It’s as if we have an extra room in the house three seasons out of the year. We didn’t get to use it as much last year since we moved in the beginning of fall and were quite literally too busy to enjoy it, but the last few months we’ve really come to appreciate this extra living space and we try to spend as much time out there as possible. It’s screened in. We have little to no excuse not to use it.

So, come hither friend. Welcome to our front porch. There’s lots to do – would you care to sip tea and watch the sun go down? Or would you like to listen to the birds and paint a while? Or maybe just lounge about on the couch with a good book in hand? Or, if you’re like Rusty, perhaps you’d just like to stare at strangers and yell at them to go away? (He needs to better his manners.) Or better yet, would you care to dine beneath the twinkle lights listening to the sounds of cicadas reminding us autumn is near? Your choice.

Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we? Here’s darling Paul on our very first day of owning this house. We had just come from the signing and picked up dinner. Our first meal in our new home. :)

Front Porch | Nikki Jean Tran | wwwnikkitranphotography.com

Just a few weeks in and Paul already had the twinkle lights dangling and Rusty already figured out this was his new happy place. At our first home, because of the layout, Rusty never got to watch things from the window. He always had to be outside in the backyard if he wanted to watch the world go by. Now he has his very own porch. :)

I began to fall in love with the light very quickly. We never had dappled lighting at our first home – there was nothing to block the sun coming in.

The view from the porch when autumn comes to town.

The first snowfall. My heart melted pulling up the driveway to this after a day at work. Do you see those big green bushes in the front of the windows? Pay close attention – they’re leaving us in the next few photos. :) (Although I do love the snow sitting on top.)

Once the temperature was above freezing I made do with living on the porch again. Electric blanket, tea, books…what more could I possibly need??

My heroes, Joe and Paul, pulling up the overgrown greenery. They eventually tied it to the pickup and heaved it out of the ground. Success!

Children cheering them on. (Also, we were used to not having to rake leaves at our first home – we learned our lesson that this place actually has to be raked continuously.)

Ta da! No more overgrown bushes, just a few beautiful Annabelle Hydrangeas. Soon they’ll be flowing every which way, their white blooms weighing them down. Hurray. :)

I like to rearrange furniture a lot out here. This was a before shot to what it looks like now.

:) :) :) :)

Yes I dress my dog and yes he loves it. Trust me. He wags his tail when he sees me pull out his drawer of clothes and actually will put his head through the head hole. I promise. He loves it.

The sun is just about to go down. I’m very grateful we get to see bits of the sun setting among all the houses and trees.

My newest furniture arrangement! This little table was my sanctuary at our first home. It sat on the deck with the lake in view and I used to sit out there regularly with my diary and some tea listening to the birds go to sleep and watching the stars pop out. I needed to give it a useful spot at this house and I think I did. I love it here.

I took out my big camera to take some decent photos of what it looks like now. Rusty is not a fan of the camera. :(

The poor hydrangeas were being suffocated from weeds up until I decided to make this blog post. Nothing makes one weed as quickly as someone about to photograph their garden. :)

My sad excuse for a tomato plant. I didn’t prioritize a vegetable garden this year, clearly. :(

Mickey is here to greet you, always.

We bought Rusty a little castle for him to rule over the front porch! Everything is his kingdom as far as the eye can see.

Welcome to our humble abode, friend.

I hope you enjoyed a tour of our little nook. :) I listened to what you all voted for in the blog post poll and I’m gathering ideas for blog posts I think you’ll all enjoy (including this one :)).

Also, in case you missed it, the 2019 calendar I’ve been working on like crazy these past few months is finally available for pre-ordering!! :) :) Click the link below to order yours now – I’ll be shipping them out as soon as they’re back from the printer, for sure by September 10! I’m so grateful for all the orders that have already been coming in – you all just keep making my day. :) Xoxo friends and have a lovely Thursday and weekend!!

Shop the 2019 Calendar


Hi friends!!

Yes, it’s true!! The title of this blog post is super exciting so I’m letting you all know that you can now pre-order my 2019 calendar!! :) :)

It’s been a long 5 months of creating this whole project and so it was such a relief when the calendar sample arrived in the mail late last week! It looks wonderful and if I’m being honest, I keep it near me at all times and like to look through it at random. :) I wake up thinking about it and go to bed thinking about. I think of places where I’d like to sell it – boutique stores, gift shops, etc. (if you know of any place, please comment below!!) – how the packaging will all look when it’s put together, and I think about how many days until I receive the full shipment in the mail. :) I cannot stop smiling, friends.

So, I’m keeping this short and just letting you all know where you can find the calendar to pre-order! They’d make a great Christmas gift (it’s only a few months away!!), birthday gift, or just something lovely to have in your own beautiful home! Every page has hand-written quotes, bright and colorful illustrations, bold stripes, and quirky and silly holidays that I’m sure you all want to know about (Hobbit Day is an actual holiday?? Yes, please. Also, want to know when Dr. Seuss was born? Don’t worry, I’ve got you.)

Before I go, I just want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to those who have supported me this entire time, cheering me on from the sidelines, and even purchasing all the pre-orders I received in the last couple of days!! Seriously, you can ask Paul, I’ve been smiling non-stop and even have shed some tears of happiness. I’m literally living my dream and it’s all because of you, dear friends. Just know you all have made my entire YEAR. Sending you hugs through the computer screen. Xoxoxoxo

Click here to shop!!!

2019 Watercolor Calendar | Nikki Jean Tran | http://shop.nikkijeantran.com/2019-calendar

Hello, dear friends.

The window is open next to me, Rusty is curled on his “stoop” watching Paul change my brake pads in the garage, Finding Neverland is playing in the background, and I’m realizing how terrible I’ve been with my poor blog. (Shall we have some music first?)

I’ve spent the last two days completely gutting this thing, reorganizing posts and categories, archiving images, and I’ve come to a sad realization: I’ve abandoned this blog. In the last two years my views have dropped significantly. There are some months where I didn’t blog at all.

The past two years have been a bit chaotic in not only my personal life, but my career life. I’ve been trying to sift through the fog to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ve started new jobs, ended jobs, started school, ended school, moved from a place I felt grounded and whole to a place I’m just now trying to develop some half-hearted roots. In a nutshell, I’ve been trying to stay afloat ever since I announced my retirement from photography, and nowhere is that more evident than this poor neglected blog.

So here I am! I’m showing up, pumping life into the one constant that’s been with me since Day 1, when the background was green and orange floral and the theme song from Up blasted through your speakers when you came to visit.

To help get me back in the flow of things, I need your help. I need to know what you want, dear reader. What gets you wanting to read this blog? Do you like photos? Watercolors? Everyday life? Instructional posts? I’ve created this poll for you to take, similar to one I had you take over 3 years ago. Please do me this favor and help me out! This blog is no good if you don’t enjoy being here.

What would you like to see on the blog?

Thank you for taking the time to help me out. You’re the bee’s knees. :)

On to exciting news! Do you know what tomorrow is?? The sample calendar will be arriving!!! I wish I could convey how excited I am but trust me, I’m doing back flips in my head. I started creating that calendar in March, about a month after I left my last job. It’s been 4 months of creating, erasing, changing, and deleting and I am so excited to see the final product. Here’s a sneak peek into some of the months. :) :)

2019 Watercolor Calendar | Nikki Jean Tran | www.shop.nikkijeantran.com

Although it’s not technically for sale yet, I’ve added it to my new online store. Once I approve the sample coming tomorrow, I’ll be putting in the massive bulk order and they should all be here before the end ofAugust!! I’ve also added a downloadable/printable grocery list template to the shop, and I’m planning on adding more printable/downloadable items – next will be recipe cards. I can’t wait. :)

Now that the calendar is finished I’ve started on my next big project – a 2020 Children’s Calendar!! I’ve been wanting to create something for children for a long time and now that there’s no looming deadline, I’m enjoying this so much more.


This calendar is going to have all sorts of fun facts about animals and the earth. Each month is themed, for example, January with all its chilly frost and bluish days will be an Arctic theme, hence the polar bear in the above photo. :) I’ve also painted a narwhal, walrus, and I’ve even immortalized myself as a cartoon teacher that will appear somewhere on each page spewing off a random really cool fact. Think Ms. Frizzle but a cardigan and scarf-wearing brunette without a magical bus and talking lizard. :)

Well my darling friends, Paul’s about done changing out my brakes (he’s my rock, you know) and dinner still needs to be made. I’m thinking salmon for me, chicken for him, veggies for both, wine for me, beer for him. Perhaps we’ll dine under the twinkle lights tonight. I’ve rearranged the front porch – trying to grasp a spot outdoors that makes me happy like our deck at the last home – and I think I’ve found my new happy spot in our house.

Our deck at the old house…swoon.

Twinkle-Lit Deck | Nikki Jean Tran | www.nikkitranphotography.com/blog

And the new spot that will slowly but surely be as darling as the old home. :)

Farmhouse Porch | Nikki Jean Tran | www.nikkitranphotography.com/blog

Alrighty friends, it’s official – Paul’s done with my car and it’s time to eat. Toodles for now!! xoxo

  • Nadia MarieAugust 1, 2018 - 2:10 pm

    My blog is probably more neglected than yours, my dear, life happens so don’t worry! I’m excited for your calendar! I really want to get one for myself, one for my mom & one for my cousin-in-law (is that a thing?). Can’t wait!!!ReplyCancel

    • NikkiAugust 1, 2018 - 2:33 pm

      You are simply the best!! Thank you so much for taking the time to say hi – I appreciate it so much! I’ll be sure to update when the calendars are officially for sale!! :) :)ReplyCancel