Like I mentioned in my last Weekly Wishes post, I would like to share more photos from last year's 365 photos.  I added the one above to my Society6 shop last week.  I think my favorite way to display this specific photo is framed or on a stretched canvas.  Although, I do think it would be kinda cool as a laptop skin as well.  What do you think?

I had such a wonderful weekend.  My one goal for the weekend was to sleep in on Saturday and stay in bed to read for a little.  And I did just that.  I am currently reading A Time To Kill, and although I have seen the movie a bunch of times, I am loving the book even more.  Obviously there are parts that are hard to get through but once you do it is hard to put down.  

My goals for this week are pretty short;
I will... finish the Pittsburgh 13.1 on Sunday.  I might be crawling across the finish line, but I will cross it.  If we can finish under 3 hours, I will be happy.  What do you think Barb?
I will... organize 3 months worth of photos and videos of my girlfriends for a project I am working on for their family.  I went through June of 2013 and am blown away by how fast they have grown up.  Sometimes I wish time would just stand still for a little while. 

Are you reading anything good these days?
Something you would recommend?
What about your goals for the week?

Linking up with Melyssa, Leeann, and Molly today!

until next time
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sunday hike

On Easter, the husband and I met up with friends of ours for a small hike through McConnell's Mill.  One of my favorite things about living in Southwest PA are the various state parks that are within an hour drive from where we live.  McConnell's Mill is just a 30 minute drive North on I79 and one of our favorite places to escape from the 'burbs.  

We hiked just under 3 miles in a part of the park I have not yet explored.  I have a thing for covered bridges and was excited to discover it on the hike.  I am not sure how I never knew there was one here but I am glad I now know.  It will be a beautiful place to photograph year round. 

I know McConnell's Mill is not Pittsburgh but if you live in the city or visiting and need an escape (other than Frick and Schenley parks of course), I recommend heading here.  As I said, it is such an easy drive up 79, a major interstate that is incredibly easy to access from the city.  

Do you have any state parks relatively close to where you live?
What is one of the favorite things about where you live?
Do you like to hike?

Linking up with Aimee, Jess, and Setarra today! 

until next time
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destination: asheville, nc

{image via Google Images}

On Saturday I booked a long weekend with the husband to Asheville, NC over Memorial Day weekend.  Now that we both have reliable cars, we had to buy 2 new cars within a month of each other, we both knew we wanted Asheville to be the destination of our first 2014 road trip.  I booked our 3 night stay through Airbnb and found this place that boasts of beautiful views of the mountains from the screened in porch while swinging from hammocks and only a 10 minute drive from downtown.  That price and location was too perfect of a fit for the husband and I to pass up.  We spent a little time last night researching things to do.  We both agreed Biltmore Estates and Blue Ridge Parkway are must sees but are obviously open to suggestions.  We are pretty excited for our long weekend and to have something to look forward to.  

Have you ever visited Asheville?
If so, what are your recommendations?

Linking up with Tiffany, Megan, and Bonnie today!

until next time
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it band

One of my favorite bloggers, Amanda, has been having a Runners Tell All link-up the 21st of every month.  Since getting back into running and training for my first 13.1 in a few years, it has been a perfect motivator and great place to share running related topics that I wouldn't normally share.  Today's prompt is: Share a bad race or training experience and what you learned from it. 
A few years ago I had this grand idea on attempting one half marathon a month, for 12 months.  I even blogged about my attempt at said challenge (which I seemed to have deleted) in 2010.  Since getting into running, the only thing that seemed to motivate me to run on a consistent basis was to train for a race.  So, in an attempt to keep me motivated and running consistently, I decided it would be a good idea to run 12 half marathons in as many months.

However, what I thought would be motivating, was not.  I wasn't training like I should have been and had taken some time off before I started this asinine idea so when I attempted a few long-ish runs I got injured pretty quickly.  Around mile 3.5/4, the outside of my right knee would start to hurt.  Like really hurt.  Felt like if I took one more step it would just break in two.  Being somewhat of a novice to running and never before really having any type of serious sports related injury, I feared the worse and thought my running "career" was over.

I explained to the husband where it was hurting and that is when he told me it was my IT Band, or the Iliotibial Band for those of you who are are more technical.  The IT Band is a band that extends from the outside of your hip/butt stretching all the way down to the side of your knee.  The pain can present itself anywhere between those two connecting points.

And this is when I was first introduced to what has become my running BFF, the foam roller.  The foam roller is a firm  cylindrical foam noodle-type thing that helps to massage those parts of your body that are hard to massage yourself.  To work out your IT Band, lay the foam roller on the floor then lay down on your side on top of the roller, rolling up and down, making sure to only target between your hip and the outside of your knee.  Then repeat on the otherside.  If my explanation is hard to get (I am not great at explaining things), here is a video that shows you how.

When I hoped to continue with the 12 half marathons in one year plan, I rolled out twice a day and on each side for 2 minutes.  Unfortunately, that didn't help me at the time so I had to accept that I wouldn't be able to complete the challenge at the time.  I have, however, discovered a trick that works for me now.  If I am going for a run that calls for 4 or more miles, I roll out each knee before the run. Knock on wood, I haven't had any serious pain since.

What is your worse training or race experience?
What type of running related injuries have you experienced?
Has your IT Band ever been an issue?
Have you heard of foam rolling before?  If so, do you make time for it when training?

Linking up with Amanda, Leeanne, and Molly today!

until next time
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daffodils + favorite reads of the week

Well, Spring has finally arrived and appears to be here for good (even though it snowed on Tuesday).  If you don't believe me, because I wouldn't either, just check out the daffodils above.  If that doesn't scream Spring, I am not sure what else does.  You will hear no complaints from this end about this weather.  I am not sure if my bones can take the cold any longer.  Happiest of Fridays and Easter to you!

favorite links from the week:
// Since some of us are trying to get beach body ready, here are some helpful hints to making your water taste better and a little more exciting. 
// One of my resolutions for 2014 is to limit my time spent on Facebook.  Rekita says it best in this post on why she is starting to dislike the social media.  
// The days of leaving the Canon when I am out past dark are behind me.  Thanks to Amanda's awesome suggestions, I am looking forward to trying out some night photography sans tripod. 
// I am not sure about you, but I am pretty pumped for the return of Jack Bauer in May. 
// I have been wanting an instant camera for a while now and I recently rediscovered a significant amount of money from PayPal I won a few months ago so I would really like to finally buy one.  I just need some suggestions from you, sweet, sweet reader.  I saw a few options on different Etsy shops like this one, but I am hesitant on which one to get.  Tell me, what are your favorite instant cameras?  

What is the weather like you?  Finally Spring?
What is your favorite moment you captured this week?
What are some of the favorite links from the week you would like to share?

Linking up with Aimee, Jess, and Christina today!

until next time
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1 // That Sun and 70s happened over the weekend. 
2 // Running.  With the Pittsburgh 13.1 sneaking up on me, I am getting more and more excited.  May not be very pretty, but we will finish. 
3 // Sunglasses that double as bottle openers.  And cost $5. 
4 // Hot pink toe nails.  May have taken an extra coat or two but they are hot pink.  I guess that is what I get for buying the cheap stuff. 
5 // The sound of the birds chirping in the mornings.  I have missed that sound so much. 
6 // Naps.  After these long run/walks, a 30 to 40 minute nap is what gets me through the day. 
7 // Pinot Grigio.  I am normally a red wine drinker but I start to crave white wines in the Spring and Summer months.  I think I have finally found the solution to my craving. 
8 // S. Pellegrino over ice with a fresh squeezed lemon in a mason jar. 
9 // FLIP. FLOPS. 
10 // Sunday nights that end with views and sunsets like the one above. 

What are you loving these days?

Linking up with Shanna and Julie today!

until next time
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I will...

While waiting for the husband to get out of yoga yesterday, I sat in my car with the windows down, Dave Matthews blaring through the stereo, and all was right in the world.  What is it about this time of year that makes me feel so nostalgic for my younger days?  Am I alone? please tell me I am not alone

I will... keep to my scheduled running program.  ever day but one.  
I will... upload photos to Society6.  I uploaded the one above.  Click here to check it out. 
I will... not go over 30 grams of sugar or 60 grams of carbs.  I admit I cheated twice this week but my hard work showed from the rest of my week once I got on the scale and saw I lost a little over 3lbs!
I will... use the Canon. accomplished.  beginning to feel inspired again. 
I will... take photos for littlest girlfriend's 2nd birthday present.  nada.  and i still don't have a gift for her.  any ideas for a 2 year old girl who already has pretty everything?

I will... continue to add photos to my shop.  In fact, I would like to start sharing them with you all more often.  I'll be sure to let you know when I do. 
I will... stick to my 13.1 training.  
I will... stick to eating low carb and sugar.  My goal weight is 4 more lbs and I'll be happy.  
I will... journal 3 times this week.  It is something I have been wanting to do and no longer want to make "wait until I get a polaroid" excuse to do so.  (unless you want to buy me a polaroid?)  

What are your goals for the week?
What does Spring mean to you?
What songs are you jamming to these days with your windows down?

Linking up with Melyssa, Molly, and Leann today!

until next time
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sunday at the park

I had just gotten back from a walk/run with a friend on Sunday and asked husband what he wanted to do.  Sun, blue skies, and high 50s were in the forecast so he suggested going to see the Pirates play.  Husband has been a huge fan of the Pirates since he was a kid.  Always a believer even when they continued to lose for 20 years.  Last year they had a winning season and actually made it to the playoffs for the first time since the early 90s. So the husband has been itching to return to PNC Park ever since.  I agreed.  
We parked where we always park.  It's probably a mile walk down this riverside trail but it's free and we don't have to wait for traffic when we leave.  There are some pretty views along the way too.

^abandoned IC Light.

PNC is one of the most beautiful baseball parks in the country.  If you are anywhere along the 1st base line, behind home plate, or the 3rd base line, you get an amazing view of the city.  We both dressed inappropriately thinking it was going to be cooler than it was so we ended up moving into the shade under the roof to coo off and get away from the sun.  If you are ever in Pittsburgh, I recommend getting tickets.  And if you aren't a huge of baseball, then the views are worth it. 

It finally feels like Spring around here.  Days spent at the baseball park and the sun shining on your face is what Spring days are made for. 

Do you enjoy going to baseball games?
Who is your home team?
Is Spring finally coming around for you as well?

Linking up with Aimee, Jess, and Whitney today!

and because this song just makes me want to dance. 



Today I would like to share with you all some of my favorite pieces from my shop at Society6.  In case you haven't heard of them yet, Society6 is a website where artists from around the world can upload and sell their work.  It's similar to Etsy in that it is a website to sell your work.  The difference is that Society6 does everything for you, the packaging, printing, framing, etc, etc.  The down side is that you do not get a very big cut.  Since I haven't really figured out Etsy yet and how to sell my own work for full profit, Society6 has been great.  

^^This print is my biggest seller so far.  There must be a lot 'Burghers visiting the site. 

I have loads more on the site if you are interested in checking more of my photos out.  They are always offering specials.  There are so many talented people out there too so if you are looking for a unique gift idea for someone in your life who enjoys good art, I recommend giving the site a chance. 

Have you heard of Society6 before?
If so, have you ever sold or purchased anything from the site?

Linking up with Julie and Shanna today!

until next time
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wishes for the week

Does it defeat the purpose if my goals are pretty much the same every week? 

I will... run when I am supposed. i only missed one day.  for me, that's good.  
I will... blog 4 times this week.  complete.
I will... respond to comments via email.  have a few left to reply to.  some of you are no-reply though so you need change that like yesterday. 
I will... stay on top of uploading my photos and keeping them organized.  i was very unmotivated in this department last week.  
I will... prepare blog posts ahead of time.   another fail

I will... keep to my scheduled running program. 
I will... upload photos to Society6.
I will... not go over 30 grams of sugar or 60 grams of carbs. 
I will... use the Canon. 
I will... take photos for littlest girlfriend's 2nd birthday present

What are your goals for the week?

Linking up with Melyssa and Bre today! 

until next time
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It's been one of those weeks (well a few weeks actually) that I haven't once gotten out the Canon to photograph.  I bought myself an adorable camera bag on Etsy that doubles as a purse hoping that would motivate me to take my camera around more.  It worked for the first few months now it stays behind like it used to in the ugly camera bag.  I just grab my wallet instead.  I was looking at some old photos of mine on Facebook last night, while a lot of them I am horrified that I at one time thought they were good, and was quickly reminded why I need to bring the Canon along with me more often.  Photography fuels me.  I don't know about you, but I get such a rush when I get THE shot.  You know, the one where you say to yourself, "Wow!  That is a great shot" the moment you check it on your LCD screen.  I need more of those moments in my life.  Here's to hoping next Friday's post is filled with grain-free, good quality photographs.  Alas, until then, grainy and iPhone photos will just have to do.  

Anyway, the below photos were taken Thursday morning.  I got up early to get a workout in before spending the day with my girlfriends because, as history proves, I will not workout after.  And while rain was predicted for the day on Thursday, the rain decided to hold off until late afternoon so I was able to get some pretty cool shots of the morning sky. 
after my workout

driving to see my girlfriends

view when I pulled up. 

If I am going to be up early, at least Mother Nature decided to be kind and show off how beautiful she can be. 

And in case you are need of some good reads for your weekend, below are 5 of my favorite reads from the week.  Do yourself and check them out already.  You can thank me later.

1 // Not sure 'bout y'all but I certainly don't live in the moment as much as I should.  But Erin was right, why put off tomorrow what you can do today because after all, you could get it by a bus.

2 // Since I have been hearing so much about the Divergent series, I added it to my own list of books to read in 2014.   I finished it a little over a week ago, and I have to confess,  I was not a fan.  I mean I didn't hate it but i didn't love it either.  Bonnie's review is right on though.

3 // Since warm weather is finally approaching the NE, I need to get out of hibernation mode and get out more, preferably with an adult beverage or two.  Whitney brings up a good point, why do we leave fun for the weekends?

4 // Melyssa re-shared one of my favorite posts by her in the last week.  It might not be new, new but it's still a great read if you are a Harry Potter fan. 

5 // Raven always puts it bluntly and I love it.  Her post about why she decided to start working out again is right on.  And if we are all being honest with ourselves, I think we can all agree. 

When do you workout?
What are some of your favorite moments you captured this week?
Any links to articles that you loved that you would like to share?

Linking up with Aimee, Jess, and Darci today!

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when pinterest comes to life

A little over a week ago I posted about my must-haves for a run.  I got a lot of compliments on my wrapped headset so I thought today's Creative Collective's prompt When Pinterest Comes to Life would be the perfect opportunity show y'all how.  

First, grab a pair of earplugs then hit up your favorite craft store, Michaels or JoAnn's, then buy as many of your favorite colors of string that your little heart desires.  Second, only if you didn't grow up making your Dad Chinese Staircase Friendship bracelets (I didn't know it had a name either), watch the video below (I am really bad at explaining things).
Third, instead of tying around your other pieces of string, you tie around the cord.  Then..
These have held up for about 3 years and I use them every time I go out for a run or walk by myself.  This was actually my first (of only three) Pinterest projects I have ever completed.  It's easy-peasy, just a little time consuming.  I suggest putting on your favorite TV show or movie and grab yourself a large adult beverage while working on it.  It helps.

What Pinterest projects have you completed?
Do you have any favorites?
Do you think these are something you would want to try?

Linking up with Melyssa, Rekita, and Nicole today! 

until next time
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