Masthead header
Nikki Tran Blog | Designer. Artist. Photographer bio picture
  • Hello Friend…

    and welcome to the blog! I'm Nikki, a creative old soul who loves the romantic things in life. Tea time, tip-toeing through gardens, old and worn books, slow-dancing to records, painting by candelight, lakeside walks with Rusty, and starry-night picnics with Paul. This blog carries snippets of my life with just the two of us - I hope it brings you smiles and happiness as you snuggle in with your cup of tea and begin reading. Enjoy, friends! (Latest posts on the right!) --->

Well, it’s here. It happens every year at right about this time. It happens to a lot of people, especially Minnesotans. I like to call it the “Winter Blues.” It’s when winter has done its duty for the holidays and it’s now time for it to go away, and I start becoming impatient waiting for spring and summer. I wake up, look out the window, see white and grey, and then go back to bed or just shut the blinds. I start to watch baseball movies, eat sunflower seeds, look longingly at my summer and spring clothes in the closet, and reminisce of long summer evenings with bonfires and barbeques. I wait anxiously to hear if the groundhog didn’t see his shadow and if he does, I crawl back into bed. I’m sure you’ve all felt that way at one time or another, unless you are like my cousin and relish in cold weather and short days.

I’ve noticed that I’ve been feeling this way more frequently lately and unfortunately, it affects my mood. I don’t want to leave the house, even to go to the post office down the road. I tend to stay in my pajamas all day (until Paul gets home), and I have limited motivation to do anything. I HATE that feeling. By the end of the day I think to myself, “Okay, Self, what have you accomplished today?” and Self replies with, “Nothing.” It’s pitiful. You’re probably remembering days when you have felt like this and when you do, you just want to stay in bed all day and wait for bluebirds to sing and the sun to shine. But, it’s just too bad for us folks who live in the northern part of the world. How do we deal with the “Winter Blues?”

Here is what I’ve decided works for me. Like I said, I bust out the baseball movies (Field of Dreams is always on the top of that list, along with Rookie of the Year and Minnesota’s Little Big League) and stock up on sunflower seeds (Paul and I have to label our bags otherwise Paul sneaks into mine when he’s finished his). I watch movies that revolve around summer, such as Gidget, Now & Then, The Notebook (it’s not all about summer but do I really need to give a reason for watching it?), and of course The Sandlot (which also coincides with my baseball movies). I blast Frank Sinatra & Dean on Pandora because I just can’t get enough of them – they have nothing to do with summer but they make me feel good and isn’t that what getting out of the “Winter Blues” is all about? When my mood has slightly turned around, I just keep going. I find a recipe I haven’t tried yet, head on over to the grocery store, buy the ingredients and a little “treat” for Paul and I (it’s usually chocolate), and get back home. I don’t always wear my apron when I’m cooking so when I do, you know I’m in a good – “go get ’em” – mood. By the time Paul gets home from work, Pandora has figured out which Frank and Dean songs I love, wine is poured, the stove top is on and food is sizzling. In less than one day I’ve managed to release myself from those drat “Winter Blues.” I forget all about the dreary weather outside my kitchen window until the next day when I wake up to grey again…

…so here I am, sitting in my house with the blinds semi-shut and lounging in my pj’s. Paul will be home soon. I think it may be time to turn on Pandora.

  • AshleyFebruary 18, 2013 - 10:39 pm

    I get so many honorable mentions on your blog :) With today being especially dreary, I was actually extra productive! Though I am getting sick of needing my space heater every day . . . boo. Leave it to good ol’ Frank and Dean to cheer you up! P.S. I love that jumping wedding photo as the first one that comes up on your slideshow!ReplyCancel

We all know what day it is tomorrow. Some hate it, others love it, and then there are those that choose not to acknowledge it. Yes, I’m talking about Ferris Wheel Day.


Ha! Sadly, that is actually a holiday tomorrow but we all know I’m talking about Valentine’s Day; the day when roses suddenly triple in prices and chocolates come in Charlie Brown heart boxes (my mom and dad used to get us kids a little Charlie Brown box of chocolates every year and we LOVED them). Have you ever been to the store the day before Valentine’s Day? Or worse, on Valentine’s Day? I think it may be worse than the day before Thanksgiving in the cooking aisle. No joke. People literally fight each other in order to get to the “Thinking of You” section in the card aisle because all of the “Husband”, “Wife”, and “Special Someone” cards are completely destroyed. I’ll be honest, I was one of those people last year. I was so busy with school that I kept putting it off until the last day. In my defense I was initially going to make Paul a homemade card but realized at the last minute I was too busy. I’ve always loved homemade cards and used to make them for my family on their birthdays when I was little and couldn’t afford the $3.50 Hallmark card (rip off!). But, this year I have succeeded and Paul will be getting a lovely homemade card tomorrow! Then, after he’s done reading it he’ll put it aside. I’ll find it in some random place so I’ll put it in a keepsake box of all our little momentos – don’t judge. I’m sure most of you have little keepsake boxes, too.

Anyways, as you all know I am a hopeless romantic. So, in light of Valentine’s Day I’m going to be showering you all with little love quotes and a few of my favorite romantic photos from some of my romantic couples. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day, whether you will be watching scary movies, enjoying dinner with your sweetheart, or just doing what you love. :)

“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever.” – The Notebook

“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Emily Bronte

“…because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” – When Harry Met Sally

“If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.” – Anne Bradstreet

 “Ever thine, ever mine, ever ours.” – Ludwig van Beethoven

“Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.” – Albert Einstein

Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • AshleyFebruary 13, 2013 - 11:33 pm

    This is such a cute post for V-day! Ha, and I love your summary of the card aisle. Since it IS such a madhouse and rip-off, Jacob and I started doing what my parents do: buy one card for each other and trade it back and forth every year, adding post-it notes with a new message each year. I like telling people that so they think we’re cute, but really we’re just cheap :)ReplyCancel

I’m going to be sharing with you some of my goals, both personal and business. I think it’s always best if I can actually SEE the goals written out rather than just a little snippet coming in and out of my mind throughout the day.

I have a LOT of goals that I want to reach in my life. Some of you have already read about my Life Plan and what’s next for me (white picket fence), but I consider the Life Plan and my  goals to be totally different things. Now that I think about it though, I guess they’re not so different and you’re probably saying the same thing. My goals list has been more focused on my business than on my personal life lately. Starting a business is a LOT of work. It’s very time consuming and there are so many little details that can be overlooked and that have at one point been overlooked. For example, I know I’ve talked about branding before but it really is a big detail for a business. When I first started Nikki Tran Photography, that was not even a glint in my eyeball. I knew I needed a name, website, portfolio, and equipment. Oh, and there’s also the big thing of registering my business. But that was it! Everything else started popping up, however, when I finally started charging people for my photography. I needed to make contracts, create pricing, customize products, etc. It sounds like really minor things but at first I was in a whirlwind trying to figure out how to do everything and what else needed to be done. Why am I rambling about this?? Because! Now I feel more grounded in my business after a year and instead of my goals being “create a logo” they can now be bigger and better things.

One of the biggest goals I have for myself (and Paul) is to travel. I would be ecstatic if I were asked to travel for someone’s wedding. That would be my dream! Of course, the Bahamas or Jamaica would be wonderful, but if it’s Ohio or Iowa I don’t care! The fact that someone would want me to travel in order to photograph their wedding would be the biggest honor. I am photographing a friend’s wedding near Lutsen, MN in September and another friend’s wedding somewhere I’ve never even heard of in July and I can’t tell you how excited I am! Yes, it’s still in the state of Minnesota but it is still an adventure for me and I’m honored that they want me to “travel” for their wedding.

Because I’ve already rambled on and time is ticking away on my work day, I will finish with one last goal – one that has already been made! Hurray!

Does anyone remember one of the reasons why I started this blog? If you don’t, no worries! I’ll remind you. I really want people to get to know me, as a person and as their photographer. It’s not always easy pouring out some parts of my life on the Internet, but I truly feel that your wedding experience will be enhanced just by knowing who your photographer really is. Like I said before, after getting to know clients on a personal basis I feel as if I’m photographing a friend’s wedding and I LOVE that. I’ll be the first to admit that I am a complete sap at weddings; I cry as soon as the music starts and I do not stop until the bride and groom walk down the aisle in pure bliss. I am a hopeless romantic. However, I noticed a difference when I photographed my first wedding. Holy moley! I cried like a baby! It wasn’t because it was another beautiful wedding; it was because I knew how much Nate and Carly loved each other and how much they had been looking forward to calling each other husband and wife.

Anyways! I rambled again. Like I was saying before, one of my goals has been met! At John & Tegan’s wedding this past Saturday, one of the guests came up to me while I was getting some detail shots and said to me, “I know you!” I was a little confused because I didn’t remember ever meeting her before so I asked, “How do you know me?” She responded and said, “I know you from your blog!” Oh my goodness you have no idea how excited I was! I think I may have squealed! She told me that she reads my blog and feels like she knows me, Paul, and even my little Rusty! After talking with her I felt like I was floating in the air. My goal was to help you all get to know me and my life and even though she is only one person, I feel like 100 people just told me that they follow my blog and enjoy getting to know me. It’s always the simple things that make a person so happy, isn’t it? :)

I know I wrote more than I planned and now I’ve missed my lunch break. My boss is a tyrant and only gives me 10 minute lunch breaks. I hope you enjoyed my rambling! Have a wonderful Monday! :)