henna blossom


I’m flawed. I’m sensitive and easily overwhelmed. I’m prone to anxiety and living in extremes. I’m hopelessly unorganized and obnoxiously critical of myself and my abilities. I need lots of time alone and abhor feeling trapped. *Yeah, total dream-wife and mother-of-the-year material right there. Sigh.

But I’m also more.

Earlier this week, a blog friend (and inspiration) of mine, Sisilia Piring posted a “Recipe for a Long and Happy Life” by Ruth Bernhard on Instagram. And it hit me in just the right place. I felt an inner “YES.” It immediately brought me back to a promise I made to myself in my early teens, that I would never become jaded. This list is a verbalization of many unspoken vows which have preserved me from being crushed by my flaws.

I hope that you will find this list to be just as powerful, encouraging, sweet and inspiring.

Recipe for a Long and Happy Life by Ruth Bernhard

  1. Never get used to anything
  2. Hold on to the child in you
  3. Keep your curiosity alive
  4. Trust your intuition
  5. Delight in simple things
  6. Say “yes” to life with passion
  7. Fall madly in love with the world
  8. Remember: Today is the Day!

When I started this blog, I was tired and I was frustrated. But I was full of ideas and and I wanted to grow and to make something. It was excruciatingly hard for me to put myself out there in the open. It sounds funny now that I have a personal blog on the internet, but I was the private girl who didn’t even have a “relationship status” on facebook until I was “married.”

But blogging has brought me closer to each of these “ingredients” to a “long and happy life.” I am tired, I am a mess, I loose my cool all the time, and my photography, writing, and  design skills or whathaveyou are all absolutely just a “work in progress.” But I have this project on the side: HENNA BLOSSOM (me!) which makes me look at my life and the world through a different lens. It makes me want to create something from the little moments. To pay attention. To appreciate them, and when I just can’t appreciate them (like 5-7:30 pm every day with a toddler), to learn from them. :)

What’s funny, is that most of the work for this blog, you’ve never seen and maybe you never will. I’ve photographed food, style, travel, family and home posts. I’ve written essays in my drafts folder and even more in my head which I may or may not ever have time to finish. But it changes me. Having this ongoing “conversation” connects me to my life in a deeper way.

And as these posts pile up, I can see myself learn and grow. I’ve also been able to connect with so many of you fighting the same good fight. There are so many of us trying to live fully, in the middle of “LIFE.” And let’s not miss out on LIFE while we’re trying to live, eh? ;)


I’m in love with them. And haha, yes, they’re of me so maybe that statement sounds a little bit narcissistic. Okay maybe a lot bit. But ah well, I love them. :) They feel very me, and that’s not something I’m able to do consistently. I like that they came from an idea in my head. I like that they feel editorial, but they’re really of me snapping photos during Mateo’s nap in his playroom. My wardrobe is what I threw together as a spur of the moment “forest maiden” Halloween costume. I set up the camera and a tripod and timer. When I couldn’t get what I wanted, I begged the husband to take a break from work (Aki was working from home that day). I set up the camera for him and I’d just explain what I wanted and then we’d look at them and I’d explain again, ha. Thank you for going through that Aki! And then I edited.

So here is me and here is my blog. This is my life and I’m making it work. I’m a mom without much time or brainspace for creative things. But I thrive on learning and creativity and I am striving for a happy life. Sometimes I just say things and post photos for memory sake, and sometimes I post something that is straight from my heart and fills me with pride.

Thank you for stopping by.

Thank you Sisilia for posting Ruth Bernhard’s “Recipe for a Long and Happy Life.” If you want to check out Sisilia’s instagram feed (she’s kinda a rockstar there), here’s her new personal lifestyle handle: @piringsisilia as well as her major photography handle: @sisiliapiring. I find her incredibly inspiring. She’s a mom of two young, gorgeous little things and an incredible fashion photographer. I just like to know that people like her exist. That it’s possible. We would have never connected if I hadn’t started this silly blog, and there’s just another reason I’m thankful I put myself out here on the internet eight months ago. Tell her I said “hi.” She’s a good one.

And if you want to check out my Instagram feed. I’m: hennablossom. I’m not as amazing. But you’re here, so you probably like me anyway. :)

WHICH FROM THE LIST SPEAK TO YOU? 1, 2, 3 and 5 jump out for me, but I love them all.

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22 Thoughts on “henna blossom

  1. kate:

    That is a great, great list. Right after I post this comment, I’m going to dig out a post-it and mark those down, and stick it smack in the middle of the wall above my computer. Because they are superimportant things to remember. Superimportant is totally a word. And I love those pictures too!!! ;)

    Kate x

    • love that! this post made it to the sticky note wall! ;) But really, it’s such a good, simple list. It just resonates.

  2. Brad:

    Ditto. Every word you just said… ditto. I get it. I can relate. Great minds. ;)

    #4 is the one I keep coming back to. For so long, I didn’t. I’m learning to now.

    • Isn’t it funny, I think that these are all really natural things to us, but we forget, and we need to go back and relearn. #4 is a good one.

  3. Loved everything about this.
    2, 4 and 8 spoke to me so strongly!
    Thank you for sharing!

    Great photos too!

    • Oh thank you Charlotte! I just reread 2, 4, and 8. I love those three put together. Nice combo deal. ;) I love each of these but I think it’s so interesting, just like you said, how certain things “SPEAK” so strongly to us. It’s not about choosing which you like, but certain things just speak to us right?!

  4. Carley:

    love the last two pics! <3

    • Hi Carley! :) Oh yay, me too. That’s why they’re last. :)

  5. Beautiful, beautiful pictures, Henna, and you know what, I LOVE that you know they’re beautiful too. Life can be so damn hard at times and being your own worst enemy gets you nowhere. One thing you still need to believe though is you are an inspiration. You only have to spend two seconds in this little corner of the internet to know that. From a blog friend who thinks YOU are the rock star x

    • Gah, I just adore you Claire. I’ve wondered a few times how we ever even got connected in the first place. You’re my blogging twin. We started this together separately. I shouldn’t need so much validation, but sheesh, you always really do say something lovely just at the right moment. You’ve got timing, girl! ;)

  6. I’m a 4-6 kind of girl. I really admire you Henna. Your honestly, your realness. And really anyone who blogs, we’re all narcissists. When I started blogging I didn’t really have a filter. I would be so excited about a post, something that I created, that I couldn’t wait it out it out there, even if it wasn’t very good. But we get better. I think the best stuff stems from what is most authentic, the most honest and the most us.

    • You weren’t always so good at putting together the perfect photo story? Phew. Why is that comforting? :) I like that though, “But we get better.” Again, phew. I would feel better sharing my stories once I’ve figured out what I want to do with my life and share my photos once I learned to edit and shoot properly, but you know, I’ve grown twice as fast so far just by putting things out there before they’re ready. And YES, it’s so true, the best stuff comes from our most authentic selves. We might be good and being other things and playing other roles, but we’re our best and most passionate when we’re ourselves. By the way, your photography and documentary style has always been amazing but I’m looooving all the styled and more editorial shoots you’ve been playing around with lately! xo

      • Thanks Lady! I’ve been having fun, any excuse to practice and make something pretty. I came right over after I saw your maternity shots on instagram– GORGEOUS!! Yes, learning by doing, it’s the most fun way to do it. I’m excited to see more photoshoots from you in the future. ;)

  7. Rachel:

    Thanks for this. It is so important to remember 5 and 8 for me. Sometimes I look past the beauty in front of me as I prepare for the next thing. How many times do I get frustrated as we try to go out the door? I definitely don’t want a transcript of my thoughts in those moments. I appreciate your vulnerability yet again.

    • Oh my goodness, isn’t it true. When you have little ones the simple things become struggles and we get so focused on the battle of getting through and accomplishing, yeah, just getting to the door. I do have to say though, I think you’re really good at taking delight in the simple things AND bringing that to your boys. I think sometimes the things we think we need to work on or remember most are also the ones that are natural/important to us. And yes, Today is the day!

  8. Lisa:

    Hi Henna! I’m a random blogger that keeps coming to your blog and I just wanted to say hi and I can totally relate with the fact of being a private person, yet blogging on the internet, hah…it’s so bizarre for me, but right at the same time. Anyway, great blog, lovely pictures. Nice to “meet” ya. :)

    • Oooh, so fun! Hi Lisa! Nice to “formally” meet you! It really is nice to get to connect to who is actually coming here. And now I get to discover your blog. :)

      OH, I’m so glad you get private person blogging and social-media-ing. :) It’s funny, I went from uber to putting it all out there and hoping to be more and more out there. It’s still uncomfortable but it’s done so much good for me. I really do consider closing shop completely at least once per month, but while it’s pushing me out of myself and my walls, I’ll continue. It’s also INCREDIBLE to find a community and that’s another HUGE reason that I continue. And I’m guessing the same for you. So I’m glad that you introduced yourself! :)

  9. I love the happy recipe! LOVE!

  10. Id like to repost this list on my blog, as I think this is a great recipe. I know blogging makes me notice more, cherish more moments and of course remember more too. I can’t tell you how many times I have looked something up on my blog because I couldnt remember. What I always tell myself is that you need to live a blog-able life!! do something blog-able each day…of course I don’t have time to actually document it all! haha…still working on my time management skills:)

  11. Nico:

    Oh, yes. I blog for the same reasons, and it feels like I’ve come so far and still want it to be so much more :)

    This photo series is wonderful!!!

    • I’m so glad they we’ve connected through Instagram…and I’m looking forward to connecting more through blogs. You have a beautiful view of the world and how you capture and share it.

  12. B:

    I don’t know if you’re still active here, but I just discovered you through a chain of random events, and I am so glad I did. Thank you for existing.
    <3 B

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