Hosting and Guesting on Airbnb


I've been thinking a lot about the concept of home lately. Where I feel at home? What makes me feel at home? How I'm a homebody. And I've been thinking about how I love to share my home. I recently remembered that as a kid I wanted to run a guest house. I guess I already had the hospitality bug back then.

I've already done a post about how hospitality enriches life. That post was about hospitality in general, but I also wanted to share about our wonderful experiences with Airbnb as guests and hosts. Airbnb is a website on which private people can rent out rooms in their homes, or their whole flats to people traveling to their area.

We began our love for Airbnb as guests. As a traveler, Airbnb a great way to have cheap accommodation and to stay in a more comfortable space than at a hostel or hotel. Generally you have access to a kitchen, which is nice for preparing breakfasts and making tea in the evenings. But it's also fun to get to know locals and get some insider tips about places to go and see in their town. We've stayed in people's homes in Amsterdam, Berlin, and London. Again, I'm a 30 year old, home body, who generally travels on a budget so staying at someone's home when traveling is a lot more comfortable for me than a shared bedroom in a hostel.

As a host, it's not only a great source of extra moneys but a fun way to meet people and share your cozy space with them. There is a great accountability system in place on the website which rates the guests and hosts on communication and cleanliness, etc. It's also great because the payments happen through the website which gives both parties some security, and just saves for that awkward moment of asking for payment in person. We have yet to have guests who were disruptive, or super messy. They have all been very pleasant and fun to host.

About two years ago, a couple arrived at our home, just excited to have a home-base after having backpacked for 3 weeks. The man was a chef and they voluntarily and lovingly slaved away in our kitchen preparing us an amazing meal, which we enjoyed in the garden together. This is just one example of a lot of fun guests we have had over the years. And you get paid for this! The extra cash is great, don't get me wrong but meeting people and sharing our home is the best part.

So if you don't have a van to travel in for your next vacation, try out Airbnb. Or if you have an extra room and are interested in sharing your wicked space and getting some pocket money, try out Airbnb. You may be surprised at the good vibes and fun to be had in a shared economy experience like this.

Where is your next dream travel destination?

Thanks for reading lovelies,


Series: if our home were on fire #2


if our home were on fire #2 , Anna Baer, 2015, photograph

I photograph you and write to you as a way of saying good bye, in case we ever part ways. You've been precious to me.

If I could take a few possessions with me in case of an evacuation, I would take this box brownie camera. It is a camera from 1901. This is the first hand held camera for the masses. It was easy to operate and conveniently used film instead of glass negatives. I bought this camera for a steal at an antique store in Spokane, Washington for 10$. At the time I acquired it, I was I was working in the photography darkroom a lot and was falling in love with the process. 

I know I could replace it, but it represents my love for photography and capturing beautiful moments of life. It also, because it is such an important camera historically, represents my love and appreciation of art history. I love being part of this long history of artistic pursuits and delighting in the every day. 

I photograph you and write to you as a way of saying good bye, in case we ever part ways. You've been precious to me.

What is a precious possession you have been holding on to?

What stories are connected to it?  Bring it out from where it was hiding and display it.

Thanks for reading lovelies,


Calm Giveaway Winner...


And the winner of the year of Calm is... ELIZABETH MORENO   Congratulations!
I picked using a random number generator, Don't worry, it's not because her way to find calm was better (though it was good.)

You're all winners because the folks at Calm have offered a 25% off coupon to all Olive Green Anna readers for a year long subscription. Just visit

Recluse #6, Anna Baer, 2015, 50X50cm, Acrylic on canvas, 

Want to join me in using the Calm app? They have a few freebies including, 7 Days of Calm starter kit which gives you a taste. I must admit I went through that 7 day package about 4 times before deciding to ask for the year subscription for my birthday.

Thank you to all of you who participated. It's always nice to give something great, away.



Creativity: Morning Pages


I've started off every day the past two weeks with Morning Pages. It's a practice in which the first thing you do when you wake up is write a few pages down. There's no pressure and there should be no editing as you write. Julia Cameron started them I believe, they are meant to be stream of consciousness and longhand. I type them on my computer because I find that it's easier to write faster and more stream of consciousness if I am typing. The goal is 3 pages, I have been achieving two or three.

I've been hearing about #MorningPages in several different locations. I first heard about them on I think a RadioLab podcast, and then I recently read about them in Art Inc. a book by Lisa Congdon, another podcast called Art For Your Ear, by Danielle Krysa, mentioned them too. I was wondering why all these creative people were doing these Morning Pages and wanted to see for myself whether they were worthwhile.

Recluse #4, Anna Baer, 2015, 50X50cm, Acrylic on canvas, 
I am finding Morning Pages to be a great way to begin the day and let my thoughts be put down on paper. It's not great material that I am producing but it's making me realize a bit more what my thoughts are about things. At times they are complaints (I'm not a morning person!!!) or frustrations, sometimes they are lists of things I want to remember or forgot. At times, I get ideas for artworks and blog posts when writing, which is a fun by-product.

This pregnancy has brought out the desire to intentionally reflect again. It also has produced quite a few worries and anxieties in addition to all the joys and excitements, when one is with-child. I used to keep journals growing up, but I haven't kept a written one in sometime. It's a relief to write and write, knowing that I don't need to push publish or share my words with anyone unless I choose to expand on something.

Have you ever tried anything like morning pages?  Interested in trying it for the next two weeks with me?

Thanks for reading lovelies.


P.S. Don't forget the Calm app giveaway ends tomorrow Tuesday the 13th of September. 

Artist Residency: Berlin


I'm off to Berlin for an artist residency. I am dedicating a month away to making art in the capital of Germany. Away from my home, friends, family, except the baby in my belly he/she's coming with me.

I'm participating in an artist residency at Berlin Art Institute for the month. YAY! I'm hoping for it to be a time of focus, feedback, and growth. I have been feeling somewhat like an island here in Heidelberg. I do blog/co-work at Action House but I long to be around other artists and to discuss and talk about my and their work.

Reading through the Berlin Art Institute's Studio Program makes me really excited about my time there: studio space, workshops, critiques about my work, a few lectures, etc. I am so delighted for the opportunity. I'll be living in the van, and it is pricey, but I'm really hopeful that it will be a great next step into artisthood. I just can't pass up the chance. We're paying for this residency out of our own pockets, but for upcoming residencies and artistic endeavors we may need to seek some support.

My hope is that, by the end of my time in Berlin I will have:

  • gotten feedback and discussed my artwork with artists, curators, and gallerists
  • sharpened my focus conceptually
  • experimented and discovered new ways to communicate my ideas visually
  • a collection of strong pieces for my shop, portfolio, and art show in October

This sounds like a lot. It is a lot, but I'm hoping that without a home, husband, and friends to distract me, I can zoom in and focus on myself as an artist.

Thanks for encouraging me in my artistic pursuits and as always, thanks for reading lovelies!


P.S. Don't forget the Calm app giveaway ends on Tuesday the 13th of September. 

Calm Giveaway


Today, I have the pleasure of giving one of you a whole year of Calm!

Last fall I shared a list of things that make me feel peaceful, inspired by Moorea Seal's 52 Lists book.
My list included, home, candles, warmth, quiet, reading, intentionally listening to music, water, soup, paint, pencils, writing, playing guitar, arting, walking, singing, dancing, bathing, drawing, sleeping. 

Recluse #5, Anna Baer, 2015, 50X50cm, Acrylic on canvas, 

In addition to the things above, I've been finding my calm in meditations. Dominik bought me the Calm book along with a year subscription to the calm meditation app for my birthday. The app has honestly been a great help with finding calm. The meditations I have done so far have helped me relax and concentrate on how I am breathing and how my body is feeling. It has helped me to be okay with what is happening in my head and body, relaxing, and taking a few minutes out just to be. It's so refreshing.  The folks over at Calm have been so kind as to give one Olive Green Anna reader a free year long subscription to their meditation app. Info below...

Homescape #2, Anna Baer, 2015, 50X50cm, Acrylic on canvas, 

I am seriously jazzed (smooth jazzed....) about the Calm app. It's helped me to be okay and relax in spite of my insomnia. It is also wonderful to take time throughout the day to just be and rest, without consuming or producing anything.

They have several different meditations they lead you through. Sets for different types of situations. I've been working through the 7 Days of Sleep, and the 7 days of Focus, but they have other great things like Daily Calm which is a daily mediation, like a variety pack, or Emergency Calm which is a quick 2-10 minute meditation when you really need it. There's even Calm Kids.

I would love if they made a list for Birthing Calm. Haha. I may need this when I am trying to relax during the first stage of labor. I have been reading that it is best to relax your body and mind as much as possible, to allow our wondrous womb to do its work! Actually the bradley method book pretty much advocates a body scan type of meditation during the first stage of labor. So I think my practice with meditation using the Calm app could really benefit me when in labor.

How do you find calm?

Enter the giveaway by...
1. Sharing one thing that makes you feel calm in the comments below.
2. For an additional entry, Like my artist Facebook page Olive Green Anna.  (and mention this in your comment... :)
Giveaway ends Sept 13th.

Thanks for reading lovelies!


P.S. I was writing this post the other day and then thought, I wonder whether Calm would give one of my readers a free year long subscription, contacted them, and yup! 
You can all join me for this year of calm for 5$ a month (60$ a year), and one of you can have a year of calm for free!