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  • Do you desire a life where you know and live your inner purpose? That instead of floating through life you know exactly what your true desires are and living to your fullest potential? Do you feel like what you are longing for is just hidden under the surface and once you discover it there will be no holding you back?

    Live your desired life thumbnailDownload the Live Your Desired Life workbook and learn the 4 easy steps on how I started to live the life I always dreamed of.

Have you ever wanted to try something, a new medium of art, a new genre of reading material, a new sport, pull off a different style of clothing or shoes, or even wanted to live in a different part of the city? Have you ever felt that pull, that desire to expand further then where you’re standing now, but didn’t take a step further cause it wasn’t ‘you’? You weren’t known for those things, those things weren’t you, they perhaps belonged to someone else?

I’ve been there. I didn’t want to do photography because I had more then enough friends who were wedding photographers, I was intimidated in the kitchen because I have a friend who I like to call Martha Stewart cause she’s an awesome cook, I’ve wanted to pull off fun and fashionable clothing but didn’t dare purchase anything further then classic basics as I wasn’t a fashionista.

I felt the pull, the desire to be bigger then myself. I’m sure I am not alone. I am tired of living inside of the box I created for myself. Tired of only expecting ordinary from myself and want to bust those walls down. We should be living a life that we’re excited to live and inspiring others in our pursuit!

Are you with me?! Are you wanting to break out of your own walls, to be bigger then you expected? To inspire others to live an exciting life?

I was wondering, would you like to do this journey together? I would sure like some partners in crime! Let me know what you’d like to do, what walls you’d like to break down, what new thing(s) you’d like to try. I’m going to write a little mini series on what things I’m doing to live a more exciting life, and some things you can try as well!

Leave a comment or send me an email and let’s go on this journey together!

  • May 11, 2011 - 7:07 PM

    Amanda - I always feel like other people “own” things and that I can do them myself because they are “hers”. Stop. Let’s be the best we can be and take on new and exciting things. I’m going to own my style, bake and cook things that I want to, and just grab whatever new and exciting opportunities are thrown my way. Let’s break down the walls and conquer our lives.ReplyCancel

  • May 13, 2011 - 11:28 PM

    Grama - I broke out along time ago. Got my act together and started painting and putting my talent to work and getting paid for it, lol. Took courses in floral decorating, wow, that was fun, if you have an eye for it go for it. Never stop trying different things. Hubby and I are now with RVICS, roving volunteers for Christs service with our RV, we go all over the states and Canada and do work at schools, camps, campuse, where ever the most need is. We volunteer our time and do what ever we can. Believe it or not I got commissioned to do two pieces of art.

    Never doubt yourself until you try it.
    Hugs GramaReplyCancel

  • May 16, 2011 - 7:51 PM

    Brittany - I’m totally right along with you there Lesley…and I feel it’s something creative people have troubles with sometimes…it’s like you’re happy doing anything with your hands, but how do you put it all in play so that you can make a living of it, so that you can share and inspire others to do the same?

    For the past couple of years I’ve REALLY been into Photography, and I would love it to become something I can develop into my own…to have original ideas…to let other people look at my photos and see something of their self in them, to let people dream and to dream BIG.

    But then I think of the reality of it all…really there are SO many amazing photographers…could I be AMAZING? Could I make a LIVING off of something I really love so much? How would I BREAK INTO this? And is it really something that could be MY reality?

    I hate this world that puts doubts in our mind…making us feel like we’re something less that what God has created us to be. He has given us gifts, and talents, and passions for a reason. So why do we question ourselves so often? Why do we limit ourselves to only be “sub-par” of what we could be?

    I believe all these feelings are common struggles we all go through day to day. Maybe we just need to let God take these doubts from within us and let him bless us with the things our hearts desire. In HIS way :)

    xx -b.ReplyCancel

Dear Beautiful Reader,

The other day I was thinking about you, of your beautiful face illuminated by the blue screen of your computer, perhaps with a cup of coffee beside you, soaking in the words that I continue to write. I thought about how you continue to come back, sometimes lurking, sometimes leaving a comment when you feel it is most appropriate, and I can’t thank you for each time you continue to click on my blog.

We have been through a lot, you and I, and not once have you told me to “Suck it up Princess” when I’m having a rough day, or “Stop tooting your own horn” when I have a celebratory moment, you have continued to support and cheer me on despite all my rambling. You are truly my hero!

Thank you for continuing to read, send me little notes, and being there. I truly appreciate it!

Love always,

PS, These flowers are for you. Thanks!

  • April 30, 2011 - 4:40 PM

    Anouschka - My favorite flowers :) what a sweet post!ReplyCancel

  • May 1, 2011 - 2:01 AM

    Marta - Hi Lesley … thanks for the flowers – they are beautiful. Remind me of ones just like them we had in our garden when I was growing up. I miss you guys :) We have one more day in Asia before we come home and then we can catch up again!ReplyCancel

  • June 25, 2011 - 6:13 PM

    I'm an open book, ask me questions! | Adley Studio - [...] I wrap myself in my favourite turquoise zippy and curl up with my laptop, ready to blog and write my thoughts away. But then, in the midst of the light dripping of rain, I stop. My thoughts are my thoughts, they are personal and a little selfish. I don’t want to be selfish, but someone who gives, encourages, and inspires. I know I say this a lot but it’s really true! I want to give to you, my beautiful readers! [...] ReplyCancel

I crawled into bed and pulled the covers up tight around my face, my nose just barely peeking out so I was able to breathe. It was shallow and quick. My emotions were flooding me, almost to the point of overflowing with tears. I held them back and willed myself to sleep. Sleep came, but it felt short.

Once morning came, I didn’t want to turn on my computer, tired of feeling like everyone else’s business was cooler/better/more prosperous then mine. I decided to take a shower, it’s where I feel the most relaxed. Instead I came face to face with my emotions under the stream of water. How could I feel so defeated, so alone, and utterly useless when I’m living out one of my life dreams? I almost curled into a ball on the cold plastic floor. My stomach in knots, I pushed through and stepped out into the steam. I decided I needed a break from my everyday.

I turned off facebook.
I turned off twitter.
I only answered important emails.

I turned up music that would make me happy then I opened up the windows to allow fresh air in. And I worked and danced in my little groove. By afternoon I felt better and by evening I received some amazing emails encouragement, a long phone call with a new friend who supported me, and then a conversation with an old friend who pulled me out of my despair.

It’s easy to feel like you’re not good enough, that everyone is more amazing then you. But you need those people around you that support you and think you’re awesome sauce even when you feel like you’re not. Thank you to everyone who supports me, I truly appreciate and love each and every one of you. I wouldn’t be here without you!

  • April 20, 2011 - 4:52 PM

    Tanja - Sweetie, we all feel that way from time to time. Sending a big hug! Let’s have coffee again soon!ReplyCancel

  • April 20, 2011 - 4:56 PM

    Jelger - Hi Lesley, it’s quite a relief for me to read that I’m not the only one who’s sometimes struck by these feelings (even to the point that I feel creatively paralyzed) Sometimes it seems as if all of those ‘others’ who do seem so much better (especially at those down moments) never wrestle with such feelings.

    You probably know by now that I’m a big fan of you and your work, and feel inspired by it. Ironically enough, that makes you ‘the other’ when I’m in a down moment. Yet when I hear that you (and probably all of the ‘others’) are sometimes struck by the same ‘episodes’ it shows me that it’s a part of the road to becoming a better photographer, not a road block that keeps you from it.

    I know quite whell how hard it must be to share this experience with the world. Nonetheless, you do it and keep doing it. I can absolutely applaud you for it.


  • April 20, 2011 - 5:18 PM

    Alanna Nicole - I was having these exact same feelings just a few days ago! They come and go for me…it’s tough sometimes! Glad to know I’m not the only one going through this kinda stuff :) I miss you dear friend! I miss our work dates! I miss shooting with you! Hang in there :) You are FABULOUS! You are an amazingly talented photographer, and I admire you in so many ways! Love you girl!ReplyCancel

A glass of rosé wine sits on the coffee table next me, enjoyed almost to it’s last sip, while I type frivolously on my laptop. So many thoughts, so many emotions; good ones, ones that set my passions on fire. I’ve been meeting and talking with so many supportive and encouraging women that I feel I need to pass it on.

I was recently talking with a friend about her business, about where she wanted to take it, a particular dream she had for it. But before she would continue to dream she said “But I would never dare to do it”. Before her dream had a chance to grow, to become anything more then a thought, it was crushed.

I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been in the same position, not even daring to dream. Cause who knows how people will respond and I’ll end up falling right on my face, in front of everyone to see. How embarrassing! But to be honest, I wouldn’t be here, a boudoir photographer in the Netherlands, if I didn’t continue to dream, to take chances, even the embarrassing ones when I fall flat on my face. I’ve done it. I’ve been there.

So I encourage you continue to dream, out there, outrageous dreams. And pick a starting point, and start daring others to dream with you, cause you’ll end up somewhere even more amazing then you even dared to dream.

  • April 14, 2011 - 3:28 PM

    Sara L - Sweet Adley,

    It was a joy to meet you and a pleasure to now be able to read your blog and see your work. I love your BOUDOIR Photography!


I sat in a cafe, flipping through the latest fashion magazine to pass time, to gain some inspiration. Flip, ‘ohh!’. Flip, ‘hmm not my style’. Flip, ‘ohhh I like her shoes!’. Flip. I stop. Right in front of me is a part of my life that I want to see come true.

I sat there staring at it. I want this, sometime in my life, I want to see this come true. I quickly ripped it out of the magazine, knowing I could probably find the image online, but I needed to have it in my hands as if holding it was like owning it. I folded it and tucked it away in my purse. A few days later I found it laying at the bottom a little bit more wrinkled. I pulled it out and smiled. I want this, sometime in my life. I spread it out and showed Mister. I told him my dream, with our without the accessory of children but the blue bag was a must, I joked. He smiled at me and said we’ll make it come true.

Now it sits on my desk, as a daily reminder to me. Along with this torn magazine page I have a key on my keychain. It’s an old key from Paris. Another daily reminder to work towards my goals, to make my dreams come true. And I thought I should make an inspiration board of items and photos of things that I want to see come true in my life. And that you should too, start thinking about living your life passionately and what you want to see come from that. Look around and gather items and photos for inspiration and hang them somewhere. A daily reminder.

I’ve started mine!

  • April 4, 2011 - 7:47 PM

    Cathy Empey - I am doing the very same thing! I have been getting inspired! Thank you for reminding me to complete my task at hand! It is really exciting to think about the future isn’t it!!ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2011 - 8:20 PM

    Rachel - This ad is part of a series of gorgeous Tiffany winter ads, and I totally used one of these in a marketing assignment profiling “effective ads.” Obviously it’s effective to both of us!ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2011 - 8:37 PM

    robyn michelle-lee photography - i’m doing that too! i’ve always kept ‘inspiration’ images… now i’m sharing them on tumblr, too! (

  • April 5, 2011 - 9:26 PM

    Tanja - Love this so much Lesley. What a great start.ReplyCancel