In the Wilderness

Adventure, oregon, Personal, Photography



Last week I spent seven days in the Malheur National Forest camping. Seven days. No cell reception. No wifi. Not even a landline. Camping.  That is the longest amount of time I have spent, 1. camping, and 2. without any outside communication since I can ever remember.

It was a time spent with family, chatting, hiking, eating and playing Old Mexico.

Since there wasn’t facebook or instagram to distract us we were able to focus our attention on one another, and head to bed earlier and wake up way earlier than usual. This meant I got to see seven sunrises, some I saw with Seth by my side, others on my own.

I always hear people talking about quiet time, but up until this trip, I had never truly realized the importance of being quiet. At rest with my thoughts. Disconnected. It’s amazing the things you can observe and hear (or not hear) once you shut everything else off.  I learnt to listen to and recognize the sounds of the wilderness, deer running, coyotes howling, and a black bear creeping – trying to go unnoticed.

How much time do we honestly take to do this? To have absolute quiet time and gather or expel our recurring thoughts. We don’t. I don’t. This trip showed me how I’m letting the noise clog up my life, leading me to feel disillusioned and ending in a game of constant comparison.

I’m not where I want to be.

Am I failing at my calling?

Is this even my calling?!

Pointless, and hindering little thoughts.

These are some of the things I struggle with as a result of the daily noise. & sometimes it takes a trip into the wilderness to separate the important stuff from the trivial, what really matters and bring things back to perspective.

So today I’m encouraging you to take a trip to the wilderness – whatever that means to you. & then tell me how it went.


From The Weekend – Timberline Lodge

Adventure, Personal

It’s been a while since I went snowboarding, but having just finished acquiring all my gear, I was dying to go. So needless to say when my friend Carrie and her boyfriend invited us to go to Timberline Lodge and take advantage of lower spring season tickets, I jumped on it! It ended up being Carrie, Andy, Carrie’s sister Jenny, and my own little sis Laura!

We had a blast trying to make it down the hill, taking a number of drops on our butts, and of course – dealing with the dreaded lift. Laura and I finally made it off the lift at the end of the day without falling either flat on our faces or on some awkward position and then being shouted at by the attendant to move out of the way! If you know me, you know I can’t always hold my temper, but I tried really really hard that day 😉 I just wanted to shout at him that I obviously wasn’t on the floor by choice…

A serious tumble on my part (I was seeing stars for a while), mixed with sore muscles and a long ride home demanded we stopped at the lodge for an après-ski cuppa hot chocolate. I had never been to Timberline Lodge before, and boy was I blown away by it. It was built in the 1930s and is now a National Historic Landmark, it’s beautiful and rustic on the inside and the furniture is to die for, I want all those couches in my house (if only they would fit!).

Three days later I still have a sore neck that I can’t get enough Tiger Balm on and a few bruises on my palms, shins… but now I just can’t wait til the next time I go again!

California Skies – The Soundtrack



HeylenThienes | California Dreaming

We’re headed to California for a little workation and I’m so excited!

For the last two weeks, in addition to stressing out about my own branding, we’ve been remodeling our own home (finally) and redecorating a little.  Nothing major, but enough to make a much better living space.  We basically crammed everything we wanted to do in the last two years into the last two weeks – needless to say, we’re exhausted!So this trip may bring a much needed break, from the scenery at least (and the boxes)!

I don’t know why, but every time I think of California, it just makes me so excited! It must be all the movies and sitcoms we watched growing up.  Two years ago my sister and I came up with a list of songs to play as we crossed the Oregon/California border and then settled “California” by Phantom Planet, yes, the theme song to the OC; and it only felt right to come up with some sort of soundtrack to commemorate this trip too.

This time, instead of focusing on something state themed, I chose something more mood themed, and I don’t know what  is about it, but this Playlist by Barcelona based music studio Monday Music, just seems to feel right, and it will be the soundtrack for our trip.  So if you’re in need of something different, and don’t want to put a lot of effort into it, head over to their page and check out their goods.  I think my favourite song on the list has to be The Funeral by Band of Horses… no particular reason why, it just sounds good!


Boxing Day 2013

Favourite Things, Photography, The Outdoors, Travel, Uncategorized

Boxing Day has become more and more of a special day in my life, maybe it’s the fact that it isn’t celebrated in the States that makes me miss it the most.  This is my third Christmas Stateside and each year has been unique. And while Seth & I do not have traditions of our own yet, he has allowed me to continue the “let’s go for a walk on Boxing Day” Espinosa tradition in one way or another.  This year our ‘walking’ was more like ‘driving’ as  we drove home post Christmas celebrations, and a beautiful drive it was. Gorgeous blue skies and green forests, Oregon never disappoints.

Boxing day, being so close to the end of the year, also requests that we do some reflecting. And so we did.  Looking back over the past year, we have been extremely blessed with and amazing family, friends, health, great business and work opportunities….  However, as we talked about it more and more the word BUSY kept coming up, I couldn’t remember half of Summer, let alone late Winter because although this year was full of blessings it was BUSY.  And while being busy is great, it can also become an excuse; an excuse to not see friends, not visit grandparents or even call those close to you, or an excuse to stop going for walks and letting daily, unexpected adventures happen.


So on our drive home, as we were talking about it we decided to not let busy get in the way of adventure and spontaneity.  On the way to Christmas we had noticed the Detroit Dam had been opened (is that the right expression?!) and the river was extremely, eerily low – which just made it even more beautiful. We couldn’t stop because we were running late (we were ‘busy’), so on the way back we just had no excuse, and Seth was able to capture these beautiful shots.



Don’t let busy get in the way of life and adventure.

Photos take by Seth Thienes