Category Archives: Personal Stories

Yesterday my friend invited me to check out The City Flea in Cincinnati for my first time. When we arrived, I was able to take in the experience as someone without expectations. My only guess is that it would feel like a large scale garage sale of vintage trinkets.
I was wrong and I’m about to explain why.

We did see vintage booths, but they were gorgeous and well thought out. We spent the day admiring the handwork of many talented artisans and curators. Most sell online or have local brick and mortar shops, so they are definitely aware of what buyers want. They brought a selection of their goods and represented zip codes across the state. I couldn’t resist two purchases, and the other two shops I’m sharing are perfect for rare Christmas gift ideas.

The City Flea in Cincinnati | Rock Paper Scissors Cincinnati |

Rock Paper Scissors is located in Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine District. Checking out their booth made me wish I were ten and drawing with pastels in  art class. I loved their selection of local cards & indie music. I was drawn to the cards, because I know the value of having my own little card stash for a rainy day.
This sweet little Washington Park card was designed by Andi of ap loves design.

The City Flea in Cincinnati | Captain Bessies |
I have to mention this booth because Justine & I were both exceptionally impressed with the eclectic style Nicole & Amber brought to The City Flea. It was full of cultured pieces that boasted intricate details & smart options.  I was thrilled to find out that it was their first collaboration and I hope they do it again. I’m excited to follow @ambertown & @nicole_musgrave to see what they have up their sleeve in the future. You can see previews of what you missed on their IG accounts.

The City Flea in Cincinnati | 419 Trading Co |
419 Trading Co was like walking into a store. It was branded consistently & Paul Fisher is exactly what you see in each product. I hope that my brothers are NOT reading this post. Because this is Christmas. Sorry if you are, but there are so many products that it will be hard to narrow them down. If you check out the site, you’ll notice that you can buy online or find 419 Trading Co items in a few shops around the state (Dayton, they are sold at Clash!).
The City Flea in Cincinnati | On the Prowl Vintage |

This skirt caught my eye twice before I finally pulled it from the rack.
I had one request and one request only from this skirt: please fit over my hips & booty simultaneously. 
Thanks to their pop up changing tent, I delightfully found out that this skirt & I are going to be a pair this fall.
And by fall, I mean this week. Pumpkin Spice Lattes are coming in August and it appears wool skirts are too.
We snagged a deal at On the Prowl by taking advantage of their buy two get one free incentive.

I tagged along with Justine & her two little ones, and clearly there was plenty of fun for them too! Apparently it’s tradition to blend E’s little strawberry smoothie by cycling to crush the ice at the Coffee Emporium spot. I know two boys that will enjoy this.

The City Flea in Cincinnati |
The City Flea in Cincinnati |

Thanks for reading my thoughts, looking forward to next time!


We grabbed lunch at C’est Cheese food truck.
There is not a picture of my “So Gouda” sandwich, but I loved the caramelized onions + fig preserves combination.

All images are iPhone 4 | Shot with Camera+ & edited in Afterlight
Justine’s dress isn’t dirty, my dear old phone just likes to add “creative” black speckles on images.


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Cincinnati Mural by John Ruthven

“Cincinnati, even your parking lots are gorgeous. I love how you let art garnish every nook of your city.”

I originally shared this photo & quote on my Instagram last night after visiting Cincinnati to help assist at a wedding. When I woke up, I saw that one of my brides mentioned that the man who painted this is artist John A. Ruthven… and I met him at her wedding! He was thrilled to host the wedding at his beautiful farm. He was a generous host who kept checking on the girls to make sure they had everything they needed while they prepared for the ceremony. They told me that he is a painter who also lives in Cincinnati, but I had no idea he was quite possibly working on this breathtaking painting that I saw last night. I wouldn’t have known this was his work unless I shared this iPhone image.

Over much needed coffee this morning, I’ve been speculating about the connections we make through the state & world. Sometimes it is overwhelming to keep up with the fast pace of the online community, but I’m so grateful for the people I’ve met. I treasure that we can keep in touch through images. It has brightened my day to discover the rest of the story behind a moment that inspired me.

Cincinnati Mural by John Ruthven

Cincinnati Mural by John Ruthven

After doing a little research, I saw that the acrylic painting this mural is based off of is titled MARTHA, the Last Passenger Pigeon. It is an ode to the manner that they flew in & the tragedy that the last one died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914. It is You can check out his website to see a video of the construction of the mural in a time lapse!

Thank you for sharing Erin! ♥



Find me on my personal Instagram @AndreaDozier and my Photography work at @AndreaDozierPhotography

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 Love is Christmas
by Sara Bareilles

I don’t care if the house is packed
Or the strings of light are broken

I don’t care if the gifts are wrapped
Or there’s nothing here to open

Love is not a toy, and no paper will conceal it
Love is simply joy that I’m home

I don’t care if the carpet’s stained we’ve got food upon our table
I don’t care if it’s gonna rain, our little room is warm and stable

Love is who we are, and no season can contain it
Love would never fall for that
Let love lead us, love is Christmas

Why so scared that you’ll mess it up? When perfection keeps you haunted
All we need is your best my love, that’s all anyone ever wanted

Love is how we do, let no judgment overrule it
Love I look to you, and I sing

Let love lead us, love is Christmas
Let love lead us, love is Christmas 

As I’ve been ironing & trimming the last few scraps of muslin fabric, tying the last pine branches to picture packages,
and assembling prints for the last time this year, I’ve been drinking in the message of this beautiful song.

I first heard it as I was losing my mind “Christmas spirit” as I wrestled stubborn broken lights that wouldn’t untangle from my
pre-lit tree. My hands were scratched from hours of trying to undo the perfect wrapping of lights that were clearly never
intended to be removed from the tree. It was the beginning of the month and I was already failing.

When Decembers roll around, I want to give my kids a hearty portion of treasured Christmas memories.
The truth is, it’s nearly impossible for any of us to squeeze in every ounce of our good intentions.

Aiming for perfection as a mother is a guaranteed quick fail.

Instead of surrendering to the certainty that I will always be inadequate during this season,
I’m encouraged that tender love will be remembered far more fondly than shiny packages or plastic toys.

Boys Playing Magicians in a Storage Container

Kevin handcuffing Damian and teaching him the “magic trick” of getting out.
He is obsessed with magic tricks this year!

Parking lot fun
Snow fight

My glasses broke in this snowball fight. It will always be epic to us.

Love when he can wear big brother

I loved that he was able to fit his big brother’s old coat & sweater.
He loved his red ambulance & wearing a green Angry Bird on his forehead.

Love is Christmas

We live simply & imperfectly & I am so grateful every second of this wonderful life. ♥

Really though, check out this song if you haven’t heard it already.

All images taken from my iPhone 4 and edited in the app Afterlight with the exception of the last one.




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Woke up to a foggy morning for Kevin’s first day of second grade!

Sharpening his pencils and packing his lunch last night made me secretly wish I could go with him.
There was always something wonderful about starting a new school year with
brand new crayons & pencils, fresh paper, a smiling teacher, and clean desks!
I envy him a little.

Our hearts were bursting with pride seeing him all ready to, looking so grown up.
My second grade teacher was Mrs. Miller too, but another person, another city, another life. ♥

iPhone 4 /// After all the commotion this morning, Sammy is already napping.

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  • Claudia MacPherson - August 19, 2013 - 7:37 pm

    There has always been something kinda magical for me on foggy mornings. Perhaps it was that there were few and far between where I grew up (southern CA). I love his little lunch box! I could see my town year old being super excited about having something like that!

  • Andrea - August 20, 2013 - 6:25 am

    It sounds like a beautiful place to grow up, I need to visit CA someday! We have short lived fog often in the early hours of fall moorings, because we live near a river. It’s always a beautiful drive to school for us (20 minutes away)! That lunch box was my favorite school supply, thank you for stopping by!

I’ve been wanting for some time to express how watching, “Bill Cunningham’s New York,” has influenced me. I watched it twice in a row because I was so captivated by his passion and humility. He is truly a remarkable soul and I’m so happy that I stumbled on his documentary on Netflix. I admired his sense to walk away from negativity & bloom creativity as a result of his purity. His sweet story has been fresh on my mind during this past month. Oh, and I unabashedly envy the way he rides around New York on a bicycle with his camera!

I don’t feel I’ve taken nearly enough pictures this summer. Yet as I was getting ready to clear my phone’s memory card, I kept stumbling on image after image that highlighted the victories & peaks of July. I started pulling them aside & found myself collecting bits of my heart into this little gallery of iPhone moments that eclipse the defeats & lows.

“It’s as true today as it ever was, he who seeks beauty will find it.” Bill Cunningham


* The car was not moving, we had parked & he was still asleep.

Thanks for letting me share these little glimpses of life with you, they are the twinkles of my favorite light. ♥

All images captured on iPhone 4 // Edited in Afterlight App // Text by Over App

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  • Jake Johnson - August 6, 2013 - 3:22 am

    These are really great images, Andrea.

  • alli - August 6, 2013 - 7:59 am

    Beautiful! So many sweetly captured moments.