I used to Not be a Voter.

“Voting is based on what I, Stacie Stine, care about. I don’t have to be a genius to know what I care about.”

I used to not be a voter.

The first election I was eligible to vote in, I didn’t vote. Partly because I felt like voting was for people far more mature than I, and partly because I didn’t really understand if and how voting could affect me. But mainly because I was afraid of the unknown that comes with voting (where to do it, when to do it, and who to vote for).

An honest thought about myself is that sometimes I think I am stupid. I’ve heard there are a lot of people in this world who sometimes believe the lie they are stupid. Well, Hi, I’m Stacie, sometimes I think I’m not qualified for things because I’m stupid. This. Is. Not. True.

On a crazier honest note— I used to think I wasn’t smart enough to make a well-informed voting decision. Have you ever felt this way?

I thought I had to understand everything about politics, and, defeated, I felt like I would be seen as a fraud, mess up voting, and they’d find out I didn’t really know anything about politics at all. For four years in high school I had even participated in mock Student Government at the capitol in Austin, Texas… while I somewhat understood how the government worked, I didn’t understand how my opinion could matter. Today, on social media, for various reasons, I see friends say that our votes don’t matter, but I guess that’s where we can (hopefully kindly and with love) disagree.

Why I felt like voting wasn’t for me:

In high school and college, I didn’t know how to have an opinion. I was afraid if I had an opinion it would make someone out there angry with me, so it was better to not have an opinion about political things. Talking politics meant potentially making people unhappy or uncomfortable, and for a people pleaser, those things weren’t worth talking about.

I also wasn’t sure how to make an informed and educated decision. I knew who my parents were voting for. I knew who my government teacher was voting for. I knew most of my friends weren’t voting because they couldn’t or weren’t interested in it. I wasn’t sure how to make my own voting decisions. I wasn’t sure how to communicate with anyone about it.

I also dreaded talking politics or thinking about politics— I came from a background where I felt bored and confused listening to political news on NPR, and frozen in fear watching news on terrorists and war on Fox News. Couldn’t my parents, whom I respected, and considered my opinion to be similar, just represent my vote? Weren’t they way more educated about the whole political arena than I was? Why did I need to vote if they were going to vote in favor of the candidate I would most likely vote for anyway?

Here are a few truths I’ve come to believe since my college days:

1) Voting is based on what I, Stacie Stine, care about. I don’t have to be a genius to know what I care about. What’s changed me the most is considering what voting really is for me. Voting is taking a step back from life, considering who and what I value, and seeing who I think could be an okay (not perfect) fit for a job that is probably very challenging to have. I care about people of different ethnicities and socio-economic statuses than myself. I care about what’s happening in my local community. I care about people being treated equally. I care about how certain laws impact my small-business. I care, so I vote for people and ideas that care about similar things. I’ve learned that people are voting on either side of things, because they care. Somehow I hadn’t grasped this before.

2) I have different opinions than my parents. This might seem like a no-brainer, but instead of asking how they would vote (or how my government teacher or political science professor would vote), I asked myself what seemed most important to me. What’s most important to me, is somewhat the same as my parents, but definitely not entirely. Voting, actually, is fascinating to me because I can vote so differently from my spouse, family, and close friends— and still maintain those relationships. While it still might feel uncomfortable to talk politics, it doesn’t have to be a shit show. In a lot of ways, it’s sharing what we care about— and I’ve never stopped someone from sharing with me what they care about.

3) I don’t have to understand all the political talk to vote. I can put in an hour or two of research to understand what makes different issues big or small. I can take quizzes about what I value and believe and those quizzes can point me in a direction to help me see which candidates beliefs and values, and agendas I line (somewhat) up with (and then I get to research those people a bit and make an informed decision about whether or not I’ll actually vote for them). The internet has been an informative game changer for me. Type in “where to vote in my city”. Type in “take a quiz to know how to vote” and there’s helpful information at your fingertips.

4) Taking time to do this might be the hardest part. Someone like me who is positively lazy can just say “I’ll vote some other election”. Due to my skin color and economic status, that’s an easy thing to say and do, but I’ve come to believe that’s not okay (If you’ve never read Waking Up White, it talks a lot about things white people can casually do because of privilege… it’s a challenging and convicting read!). Voting impacts myself and others. That’s why voting in every election is important to me now.

So we voted. And I’m telling you why I was who I was, and why I am who I am now. If you think differently, that’s okay. And I’m not even opposed to talking about why we think differently from one another. But I felt it was important to share what has come to be of importance to me.

Stacie StineComment
Peter Rabbit | Halloween Costume
Peter Rabbit-7.jpg

Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were--Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter.

One of my MOST treasured childhood memories is reading Peter Rabbit. Peter Rabbit was also one of the MOST AMAZING and HILARIOUS movies of the year for me. So this costume was TOO exciting for me to create and plan.

The miniature Peter Rabbit tea set in these pictures is FROM my childhood and I’ve been DYING to dress up as Peter Rabbit and drink tea out of my Peter Rabbit tea set. AND. I. DID. IT.

I love, love, LOVED getting dressed up as Peter Rabbit (or did I dress up as James Corden?). And I’d been scheming up Brett’s matching costume for a whole year leading up to this moment. At first I thought I might make him just be a bunch of vegetables, but then the idea came to make him the fence AND the vegetables. Brett also decided to claim he was Mr. McGregor too. So he became a three in one costume.

Dont’ worry, I managed to steal some carrots, eggplant, and tomatoes from his garden (That sounds kind of sexual… #marriedlovers). ;)

We took our costumes to a Halloween party, and we won best couples costume! Yay!

Until Next Year,


If you love this post, Pin it! Give someone else the Peter Rabbit/Garden idea for next year’s Halloween!

Outfit: My blue sweater is from Charlotte Rousse. Skirt is thrifted! My pretty clogs are Lotta from Stockholm.

Peter Rabbit-9.jpg
Peter Rabbit-32.jpg
Combatting Seasonal Mood Changes

Anyone else out there have trouble adjusting to fall?

Brett told me the other day Fall is his favorite season. I told him it’s not my least favorite (I’m looking at you winter), but it’s always hard for me to transition away from warm weather and lots of Vitamin D and coat-free outdoor strolls.

Sluggishness and days of hazy depression come with the Fall/Winter for me. Especially the days when I work from home. The more I’ve opened up with other women about my seasonal struggles, I’ve noticed I’m not the only one.

In light of seasons changing, pumpkins getting carved, and depression cycles trying to creep in, I thought I’d share with you a few ways I try to combat rainy day sluggishness and lethargic mornings where I linger too long in bed (resulting in discouraging days and lots of self-frustration and negative “I’m a failure” talk):

  1. Wake up when I go to the bathroom in the morning or right when my alarm goes off (The only way for me to get out of bed is to put my alarm clock on loud on my dresser or in another room so I HAVE to get up to turn it off… have you seen my husband? He’s so cute and I’d gladly stay in bed and snuggle with him too long, but that really throws off my willingness to want to get out of bed— snuggles are for night time!). Once I’m up, I don’t let myself get back into bed. If I get back into bed, I’ll be there an hour or two longer, I’ll be on my phone comparing my life to others on Instagram, I’ll feel like I wasted an hour or two of my day and get mad at myself, then I’ll stay there longer upset at myself and not feeling confident I can spend the rest of my day well or confidently… and sometimes that leads to Netflix binging (which officially leads to zero productivity and feeling like a sucky person).

  2. Having an Out of Sight Out of Mind mentality with my phone. Keeping my phone in my purse instead of right next to me is a sure way for me to think about it less. Sometimes I go hours without looking at it. Especially in the morning, if my alarm can be something other than my phone, it’s WAY easier for me to get up, do some positive self-talk, consider what my goals and values are for the day, get ready for the day, and it even allows me to have some undistracted time to read, journal, or write in the mornings.

  3. Take time to look professional and get to work on time. Okay, I know I just told you I work from home, but this idea of getting out of the house, driving or biking somewhere and showing up to “work” on time looking the real deal—- it’s really helpful. In the fall/winter I put more of my business budget toward coffee. Showing up to a coffee shop at 8AM keeps me on task, ready to get stuff done, and keeps me from avoiding work (I’m one of those people who sometimes avoids work if it’s hard or I don’t understand it). BY FAR, having a routine that has me “showing up” for work, is really helpful. Even when I can’t afford to go to a coffee shop, I come up with a routine that makes me feel like I had to show up on time.

  4. Keep outdoor walks shuffled into our routine (as long as the weather permits). Getting out of a building, taking time to walk and see the season changing. Sometimes I need these to connect with Brett. Sometimes I need these walks to connect with myself.

  5. In the past, continuing to work out or have a workout goal has been SUPER helpful for my mental state. Sometimes the winter is the best time for me to workout at a gym because I really don’t want to be outside. Preparing to walk/run a half marathon with my sister was one of the best ways I was able to get myself out of bed to the gym. Or I’d hit the gym up after work. Either way, it was really helpful to have a routine and to have something I was working toward. Having a workout partner has been really helpful in the past as well. I’m currently not in a workout routine (like I want to be), but with seasonal mood swings coming up I’m staring down November and December, considering how I can be refreshed at the gym.

  6. Embracing creative time, letting go of Netflix. Painting, creating tumeric latte recipes, writing songs, playing solitaire or Phase 10, reading books. For me, Netflix binging never leads to any positive feelings. I don’t feel more connected to myself, my husband or God when I’ve binged the day away. I feel like I’ve been living some other characters’ life.

  7. No naps. Some people need these. I am not one of those people. My brain is too “on” to fall asleep. If I tried to take a nap, I’d be too tempted to stay in bed too long and for all the wrong reasons. Getting plenty of sleep at night is all I need to have a productive day without a nap. I do take time to stop doing work and eat lunch. This typically includes a 20 minute episode of something on Netflix or I grab lunch with a friend. Something that’s not work-related. But like I said, I can’t let that one Netflix episode turn into 2-3. Can Netflix add a timer so society will stop binging? Probably not. They probably want us to binge. Thanks, Netflix.

  8. Doing seasonal things… like going to this pumpkin patch on a Sunday when we were both really busy with work— we stopped for an hour to do something rejuvenating and fun. And it was fun. We snapped pictures of our favorite pumpkins contributed to this pumpkin trail by our local community.

Easy DIY Iphone Case (Interchangeable and Personalized)
Retro Stacie_-5.jpg

I’d like to introduce myself if you’re new around here.

I’m Stacie, I’m in my late twenties living in the West Texas desert. I’m really good at putting an outfit together and my home feels like Fall Vibes all the time. I photograph weddings by day and myself by night (for this blog)!

Retro Stacie_-9.jpg

Oh…. and I drop my iphone— ON THE REGULAR.

I’d also love to introduce you to my really awesome, stellar, amazing case (my dad bought it for me after I shattered my first iphone), Speck.

When I offer clumsiness, my Speck offers peace of mind… and an iphone that’s still in one piece.

The specific Speck case I have is clear and less than $20, something, I’ve found, I really enjoy about my iphone!

This case turned into one of my favorite interchangeable and personalized DIY’s ever! And I’m pumped to share it with you today!

Instead of having to buy a new colorful case or new case to DIY every time I want to switch things up, all I need to do is switch out the picture I’ve inserted into my affordable case.

We have our phones on us all the time. This whole past year anytime I set my phone down I saw a picture of Brett and I smiling back at me. Or sometimes I’d lay it down at a coffee shop get together and someone would ask about who that stud was in the picture and I’d get to husband brag real quick (and show them how cute I think he is). I love that this case lets me keep my phone safe and reminds me of those I love—- all at the same time!

What I’ve learned about this project: Using photos printed on glossy photo paper and then leaving your phone in a hot car can sometimes melt the sticky photo paper to the case, making the photograph rip when you remove it from the case. It can leave sticky residue on the case. I soaked my iphone case over night in order to remove the sticky residue.

I love changing out the picture in my case whenever I want! I’m going to try to be better at changing it out as the seasons change!

What do you think? Will you be trying this DIY too?

Glacier National Park, Montana | Travel

Some families keep things close to home, but my family has been pretty spread out the past ten years. While sometimes I really wish we could see each other more, I’m really pumped that we’re all open to adventuring our own paths and going where we’ve been called. My brother and his wife live in Brooklyn. My Sister lives in Holland. There was a four year stint where I lived in California. And now my parents and Brett and I live in Texas (five hours apart). We don’t see each other a lot, so any time we have together is really special to me.

Nature and I don’t see each other much either. And when we do, it takes awhile for me to warm up to it. But give me time and I’ll fall in love with the smell of the mountains, the sound of absolute quiet, and the way the shadows of the trees change as the sun moves across the sky.

This year my parents took us to Montana because 1) I think they secretly just wanted to hang out with us, and 2) Because my sister just turned 40, and 40 is worth doing something epic for, and 3) they knew God really wanted to push me outside my “driving around mountain roads, right next to dangerous cliffs, doesn’t anyone remember how much I hate heights?” comfort zone.

This was seriously a fun and beautiful trip. We climbed waterfalls, hiked to hidden lakes, and stayed in a cozy cabin in White Fish. I could have stayed for days writing, reading, and writing, and reading. Maybe hiking, praying not to see any bears.

I love being a photographer, but sometimes, for me, it’s really freeing not to have a camera on vacation. So I only took my camera with me one day. A really FANTASTIC day to have it on me. No regrets. I LOVED being fully present on this trip. I loved learning why the heck glaciers look so much like mountains. I loved getting rained on and not caring if it messed up my hair.

10/10. Would Recommend. Can’t wait to go back.

Where’s an unexpected place you’ve considered going to for vacation?

P.S. We had considered going to Yosemite, but it’s a good thing we decided not to, because it was on fire and shut down most of the time we were in Montana. Not just a few weeks after we were in Montana, Glacier National Park was ALSO shut down because of fires. Somehow we managed to hit a good window of fire-less time. Some of the pictures you’ll see are places the fire in Montana directly impacted.

P.P.S. I mixed in a few iphone photos there for you at the end. I really love what my Canon Rebel photographed, but we had a few more iphone pics roll in once we all combined our phone pictures.