december goals

HELLO DECEMBER!  Where did you come from?  We are back in our house after two weeks at the inlaws because of a broken furnace and one week at my parents in STL for Thanksgiving.  It felt so good to be back in our warm house and bed Saturday night but we had a great week full of family.  I was sad to leave it all.  But now it is back to routine and real life.  And I don't hate it.  How was your holiday?

While away I did some thinking about how I wanted to spend the last month of 2014.  As much as I have enjoyed coming up with a blogging schedule and blogging on a regular basis, I decided to take the month of December off to refresh a little and enjoy the season.  And by enjoy the season, I mean watching Elf and Love Actually as many times as I can.  However, there a few goals I would like accomplish in December. 

blog related.  I would like a more clean and simple blog design.  I want to start sponsoring other blogs but need to do some research.  Any recommendations on who I should sponsor in 2015 who has helped your blog grow?  Read and take notes on all of the articles on blogging that I have pinned lately. 

health related.  Go to the gym and lift 3 times a week.  Also, continue to walk and run with friends even though I will want to stay inside and snuggle all day.  Eat a more strict paleo diet and limit my alcohol intake.  

photography related.  Update Etsy.  Explore Etsy for ideas on how to network and get my shop out there.  Post on Alyson Cornman Photography.  Start another 365 photo project.  Get prepared to bring back #capturingmymoments in 2015.  

and last but not least, be in the moment.  I love the holidays and really want to enjoy them this year.  They always fly by.  But if you miss me too much, be sure to head over to ACP, Etsy, Twitter, and Instagram to follow along. 

What are your goals for December?
What are you most looking forward to this month?
What are your favorite holiday movies?

Linking up with Melyssa, Leeann, Bre, Elizabeth, and Meg today!

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what to do: st. louis, mo | forest park

When my parents first moved to STL in 2006 they bought a condo right across the street from Forest Park.  And since my first visit, the park is somewhere I like to see each time I am there.  

Forest Park opened in 1876 and spans a little over 1300 acres of land - larger than New York City's Central Park - and hosted the 1904 World's Fair. The park is free and home to the St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Science Center, the Missouri History Museum, The Muny, and the St. Louis Zoo.  Admission to the different museums and the zoo is free with the exception some of the special exhibits.  The Muny even offers free tickets to shows on a first come first serve basis.  I mean how awesome is that?  

Also, meandering throughout the park is dual path that is welcome to both leisure walkers and serious workouts.  It does not matter what time of year it is, hot or cold, there is always someone walking, running, or biking the paths.  Since my parents have moved a bit further - a whole 2 or 3 miles away - we don't go as much as I would like.  I do, however, want to make it a priority next week though. 

^panorama of the Grand Basin from the hill/Art Museum on a beautiful afternoon. July 2013. 

^Instagram of the Art Museum from the other side of the Grand Basin. December 2012. 

^Saint Louis statue in front of the Art Museum.

^wine, apps, and books with the family on the hill.  April 2012. 

^World's Fair Pavilion.  December 2013. 

You could seriously spend hours wandering around the park.  With all of the free options, everyone is bound to find something to do.  

Have you heard of Forest Park?
Do you have a park like it near you?

Linking up with Bonnie and Tiffany today!

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weekly wishes

Another week come and gone.  Another week spent at the in-laws because our furnace is still broken and won't be replaced until this week (hopefully!).  As much as I have enjoyed our time hanging out with the in-laws, I very much look forward to our bed.  We are leaving Friday for a week with my family so I would really like to be back in the house before we leave so I don't have to worry about packing in a cold house.  Ugh, whatcha gonna do?  At least there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  

health. eat better.  not horrible but not great either.  
gym. I need to hit up the gym at least 3x this week.  only went twice with a good 40 minute run with a friend on Saturday.  
website. add a few personal touches to the site.  i uploaded a new-ish photo.  I just need to add an about me and make a bit of a plan as to where I want to take it. 

lift. go to the gym 3x this week.
pack. make a packing list and pack.
nutrition. I would like to look into a more paleo diet.  I get sick of food pretty easily so any and all recommendations are welcome.

What are your goals for the week?
What do you have planned for the week?

Linking up with Melyssa, Leeann, and Meg today! 

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photography tips | favorite photo editing apps

Since buying my first iPhone - the 3G - in 2010, I have used my phone as my point and shoot camera.  I am still amazed how much better they have gotten over time and with each upgrade the photo quality just gets better and better. 

I have since upgraded to the 5 - albeit barely (the screen is cracked from a drop) - and usually have it nearby because you just never know what will happen that I need to capture.  at least that is my excuse for being on my phone a lot.  Anyway, after I get the image I want and before I post to Instagram or on the blog, I have three steps I go through to edit my iPhone photos. vsco cam, afterlight, and whitagram. 
STEP 1: vsco cam app. I only recently discovered vsco cam app in the past few months.  I upload the photo to my library then browse the filters to see which is the best.  I love their filters and in my opinion they are the best around.  While you can download the app for free, you will have to pay for most of the filters.  The cost for the different filters range anywhere from $.99 to $5.99.  They have specials for free or discount filters so I usually take advantage when that happens. 

image via google images

STEP 2: afterlight. I then turn to afterlight to adjust the brightness, contrast, clarity, saturation, etc of the photo.  This app is also a paid one - only $.99 - but is well worth it.  It's like having access to Lightroom or Picmonkey while on the go. 
image via google images

STEP 3: whitagram. Whitagram is another I just recently discovered.  I used to get so annoyed when I would upload my photo to Instagram and the gorgeous landscape I just captured is cropped into a square, eliminating a decent portion of the scene.  But with whitagram, you are able to keep the original size of the photo, with a white background, and upload it to instagram without any of the scene being cropped.  And guess what?!  This one is free.
 image via google images.

It only takes me 5 minutes, if that, to go through these steps before I hit the publish button in Instagram.  I want my photos to look their best when I share them with the world and these three apps help to accomplish that.  

What are your go-to phone photo editing apps?
What's your favorite?
Are you on Instagram?

 Linking up with Nicole and Ash today!

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what to do: st. louis, mo | travel tuesday

Since we are heading to STL for Thanksgiving to be with my family in a couple of weeks, I thought I would share some "what to dos" if you are ever in the STL area.  Today: The City Museum.

I think the word museum doesn't accurately portray what it really is.  Like I have mentioned before, I am not a fan of museums, so if you are anything like me then the word museum could possibly scare some people away.  In fact, the husband was not too thrilled when I made him go.  He ended up loving it though.  It is more like a giant playground - for all ages - with wire tunnels to climb through and 10 story slides to go down.  It is a place where everyone in your family will enjoy.

***WARNING: poor quality, grainy, iphone photos ahead***
 Source via Google Images
^view from the parking lot. 

 Source via Google Images
^when you first walk in. 

^Flying and heights are not my favorite thing.  If it seems like I am a little tense it is because I was. 

^circa May 2011. my mom and I pretending to be little kids.

^Instagram circa Dec. 11.  View from the bottom of the 10 story slide. 

^Instagram via December 2011.  Sliding partners.

I guarantee your family will be talking about the fun you had while climbing throughout and exploring The City Museum.  It is kind of place I wish we had in Pittsburgh (and would totally get a membership to for unlimited access).  As far as I know there is nothing like it anywhere else. 

What is your favorite museum you have been to?
 Have you ever been to The City Museum?

Linking up with Bonnie and Tiffany today!


weekly wishes

Soooo, last Sunday night the husband and I came home to a chilly house.  Unfortunately, and very appropriately, our furnace is no longer working.  Luckily, the first few days of November were in the 50s and 60s so the house wasn't too too cold.  Husband even opened the windows on Tuesday to let warm air in so we could keep it trapped inside.  BUT the cold air is a-comin so we have been staying at the in-laws until our furnace gets fixed.  (or until it gets warm again. just kidding.) #homeownerproblems

In an effort to get myself back on track, I would like to write down some goals I have for myself for the week.  I have been slacking and need to get back on track.
health. I have not been eating well lately and I can feel it.  I took one look at myself in the mirror yesterday before I showered and I am not happy with what I saw. 
gym. I need to hit up the gym at least 3x this week.  I took one week off because I was sick and only went 2 days last week again because I wasn't feeling well one of the days.  I have no more excuses now.
website. I have finally gotten around to posting on my photography site and am really loving the design I won from Kotryna.  I just need to add a few more personal touches.  And for a not so shameless plug, head over to the site and be sure to follow along on bloglovin, instagram, twitter, etc for updates. 

How have you been doing?
What are your goals for the week?

Linking up with Melyssa, Leeann, and Meg today!

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new shop additions

Here are some of the most recent additions to my Etsy shop
Title: "Fall"

Title: "Fall Color"

These should be some of the last Fall related photos I share until next year.  But I don't want to make any promises I cannot keep.

Do you have an Etsy shop?
Which one is your favorite?

Linking up with Nicole and Ash today!

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penn state | travel tuesday

In September, the husband and I headed back to his Alma Mater, Penn State, to visit his sister and her boyfriend who just moved there in August.  We arrived late on Friday, drank lots of wine, and played a game of Cards Against Humanity.  

Somehow we were able to get out of bed at a decent time Saturday to take a walk around campus.  When I first started dating the husband, he was finishing his last semester there so I spent most weekends visiting but I still find myself getting confused while walking around campus and never really know where I am.  As much as I would have liked to have the big school experience, I know I would have never gone to class, especially when it was cold.  

I have not been to too many college campuses but of the ones I have been to Penn State is by far one of my favorites.  Although there have been a lot of additions since the husband has been in school, some of the buildings on campus are gorgeous and enriched with history.  Old Main is one such building and seems to be the center that holds it all together.  Our walk around campus lead us behind of Old Main where I was able to get some photos of the back.  

^the line waiting to get in the PSU Creamery for ice cream.  I have yet to try it because without a doubt there is a line that seems to always lead outside.  I mean I love ice cream, just not that much. 

After a few Big Azz margarita (or two) and nachos from Mad Mex, my MIL, SIL, and myself headed out for a little shopping then chat on Old Main's front lawn while the boys watched some of the PSU vs UMASS (PSU won by the way!).  While we chatted I got some photos of Old Main, but this time from the front.  

^I almost didn't notice this tree until my SIL pointed it out to me.  Love all of the initials carved in it.  I wonder if the husband and his ex's name are on there? hmmmm haha

After meeting back up with the boys we headed back to the house to recharge before dinner out and more drinks at Happy Valley Brewery.  We had such a nice time visiting and hope to be up again in the next few months to  catch a men's volleyball game. 
^There were some pretty incredible spider webs intertwined in my SIL's bushes in her front yard.  I pulled out my Macro filters I got off of Amazon and captured this close up of one of them.  How cool is that?  Be sure to stop by photography site and let me know if you like this photo better in color or black and white.

Where did you go to College?
What is the most beautiful campus you have ever been to?

Linking up with Bonnie and Tiffany today!

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fall hike | find beauty friday

On Sunday, the husband and I went on a small hike through our favorite park.  With our 60 degrees days numbered we decided to take advantage of the unseasonably warm October day.  

Unfortunately, I think my posts of the beautiful Fall foliage is also numbered.   Until next year, these posts will have to hold me over.  

Where are your favorite places to hike?
What about where do you go to capture the colorful Fall foliage?

Linking up with Aimee today!

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