Happy Monday to you!  I am assuming you don't hate Monday as much as usual today since for most of you (if you live in the U. S. of A.) will have a short week.  Woohoo to short weeks.  And if not, I am sorry. for not being sorry

July & July 4th are quite possibly my most favorite time of the year.  I love warm weather, the smell of too much sun screen, the sound of water splashing, the taste of sweet and juicy watermelon, and watching fireworks.  And because I love all of the above (plus so much more), I am going to enjoy it to the fullest without having to worry about anything but what makes me happy in that moment.  Enter, a month blogging break.  I did the same thing last year and really enjoyed it.  I had more time on my hands and I felt rejuvenated once I returned to blogging.  I have been feeling pretty uninspired around these parts lately.  Just haven't been feeling it, ya know?  So, I while I am saying goodbye for now, have no fears, I will be back on Aug 1 - hopefully feeling inspired again, a few pounds lighter, with better ideas, and with  loads of photos to share.

July wishes:
-celebrate our 4 year anniversary with long bike rides, relaxing on the beach, wine tasting, and camping with my favorite husband. 
-visit my parents in STL for the long weekend - play games, go for long walks and runs, picnic at Forest Park, drink wine, and take a ride on the vespa. 
-celebrate a good friend's wedding.  and hopefully make plans to get together with this person more.
-complete a few different crafts I have in mind as gifts for good friends.  I am not the craftiest of individuals so it should be interesting. 
-go on another hike or two with the husband
-take lots of photos.
-have friends over.  And reconnect with old ones.

But before I leave you, I have changed the blog's url over to startingoveratdirtythirty.blogspot.com  I would like to get my photography only blog up and running in the meantime, so I didn't want to confuse anyone with the two different but similar blogspot urls.  Thanks for sticking around!

And if you are afraid you will miss me much too much, follow me on Instagram and Twitter for play by plays of my July.  Because let's be honest, why wouldn't you want to?

Hope everyone has a great month!
What are your plans for the 4th?
Anything exciting planned for the month of July?

Linking up with Melyssa, Leeann, and Molly today!

until August,
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morning fog {find beauty friday}

I had a completely different idea for today's Find Beauty Friday post.  But then I was driving to work this morning and this happened.  Reason number 21673131864 why I love mornings.  You just never know what you are going to get. 
Happy Friday! 

What is your morning commute like?
Does it ever stop you in your tracks?
What are your plans for the last weekend in June (<--what)?

Linking up with Aimee and Whitney today!

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run {weekly wishes}

Happy Monday, friends!  I had quite the busy weekend and every minute of it was perfect.  The husband and I went to two different shows, Tegan & Sara on Thursday and Jamestown Revival on Saturday.  Both shows were pretty fantastic with awesome openers that I plan on checking out as soon as I finish typing this post.  And yesterday, I spent the day brunching with two of my closest girlfriends from high school (+ a little dude).  Lots of laughing was had.

I have not participated in weekly wishes in a few weeks and notice how unproductive I am when I don't, so it's time to get back in the game...

I will... run.  I took a week and a half off and notice the difference in how I feel.  Need to get back out there.
I will... not overindulge.  I have been doing really well eating low carb/sugar and it was starting to show.  That is until last Tuesday when I ate a boatload of chips and had a piece of cheesecake at book club.  I am not really sure why, but I always feel bad not eating food provided for me when at another person's home, like I will offend them if I don't take it.  I need to learn to just politely turn it down when offered.
I will... start a photography blog.  I recently won a new blog design giveaway for Kotryna Bass Deslign and look forward to having a space to just post my photos.
I will... upload photos to Society6 and RedBubble.

How was your weekend?
What are your goals for the week?

Linking up with Melyssa, Leeann, and Molly today!

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tegan & sara {find beauty friday}

I have a bit of a confession to make today.  I enter giveaways on blogs.  I spend my Saturday mornings entering anything that someone is giving away that I deem worth my time, more than $25 and if it's something I would use.  It only takes me a few hours of my morning.  The husband works on Saturdays so it is not taking away from our time together.  That is what Sundays are for. phew, that felt good to get out. 

Anyway, about two weeks ago I got an email from Melyssa from The Nectar Collective letting me know I won the $130 to Amazon and $100 to Etsy giveaway she held on her blog.  I have won my fair share of these giveaways but it is always like Christmas morning when I get a notification saying that my time paid off.  Then while I was hanging out with my girlfriends, that same week, the husband sent me a message letting me know he won tickets to see Tegan & Sara through a local radio station WYEP.   The freebie gods were working in our favor. (he's not around to confirm it, but I think he played the lottery shortly after.) 

Despite WYEP forgetting to add us to their guest list, we had a great night in the city and listening to some live music.  Tegan & Sara put on one of hell of a show.  By far one of my favorite shows I have been to in a while.   

Do you enter giveaways?
If so, have you been lucky?
Are a Tegan & Sara fan?
Have you gone to any concerts lately?

and because my ears are still ringing (in a good way)...

Linking up with Aimee and Whitney today!
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swimming, camping, and canoeing oh my

The weekend before last, the husband and I got away again for the night and spent time in Cook Forest for the first time.  I am not sure about him, but I think it may be my new favorite camping area.  

We got a bit of a later start to our day than we wanted but we took full advantage of the time we had once we arrived.  After picking our camping spot, which we both thought was a little bit too central for our taste, we headed to the pool for a little sun and reading.  The pool was horribly cold so all I did was dip my feet in.   But since it wasn't too hot it was the perfect first pool day of 2014.  

Since I failed to make a list, I am usually a list maker, I forgot my tennis shoes (and would have forgotten our tent, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags if the husband hadn't remembered) so we weren't able to hike but we did take a little walk around the grounds just to get a feel for the place.  There were so many options of places to camp so we hope to reserve those spots ahead of time the next time we plan on visiting. 

As goes with being in nature, I did not have any cell service, so we listened to the Pirate's game on the radio.  Even though you may not be able to tell from the photo below, the husband was pretty happy about it. 

^^not far from our campsite.  too close to everything and everyone else. 

After the game was over, we started the fire, grilled some hot dogs, and drank some gin and sodas until it was time to turn in for the night. 

^morning sun

After getting our tent all packed away we headed for a good ole fashioned country breakfast at Farmer's Inn not even a mile down the road.  Just what we needed after a night of camping.  

After breakfast we decided, since I forgot my shoes, to rent a canoe and canoe 4 miles down the Clarion River.  It was probably my favorite part of our 24 hours spent there.  If you can't tell from the photos,  I didn't do much of the rowing.  Just took photos. 

We pulled the canoe off the river just in time for the clouds to form and the rain to begin.  We had hoped to walk through the old growth section of the park but decided to head back since the rain didn't seem to be letting up anytime soon.  Next time, Cook Forest, next time.  

All of the photos above were taken with my iPhone5 and edited in Afterlight using the Hollow filter.  I am very pleased how well they turned out since they only came from my phone.  Technology these days, I tell ya.  And I used to think the iPhone3 camera was good.. 
Are you a camper?
Do you use your phone for photos a lot?
If so, do you have a favorite photo editing app?

Linking up with Rekita and Nicole today!

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fields of gold {find beauty friday + lovely links}

Another field of wild flowers that I couldn't help but pull over to photograph.  I love the bright and Summery bokeh effect. (Anyone else think of Sting's 1993 hit Fields of Gold when you see this?  No?  Just me?)  

I did a lot of online reading this week so here are a few of my favorites...
1 // In an effort to discover more blogs to follow, I stumbled upon Humans of New York on Bloglovin's popular photography page.  It has now become my favorite daily read.  Do yourself a favor and check it out. You can thank me later. 

2 // As a former vegetarian now turned carnivore I found the Vegan vs Paleo article Sugar Free Glow shared really interesting.  Never really thought about how much these seemingly completely different dietary lifestyles are in fact actually pretty similar.  

3 // If you are need of a good Summer band to get into this year, Jamestown Revival is perfect.  Check out their YouTube channel for all of their beautiful videos.  They are currently on tour so make sure to check to see if they are visiting your city.  

4 // 10 useful tips for Instagram, more specifically #2.  We all have at least one person in our feed who is posting constantly but we hate to stop following in fear we may offend.  Here is how to end that pesky little problem.   

What are your favorite moments you captured this week?
Any good links you want to share?  I am always up for a good read.

because this song never gets old to me...
Mr. Brightside (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke mix) by The Killers on Grooveshark

Linking up with AimeeWhitney, and Amanda today!

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6 miles

A week and a half ago, the husband and I set out on a 6 mile hike through McConnell Mill.  This was our second trip there this year.  It such an easy and quick escape to nature that I am sure we will be visiting at least 3 more times before it gets cold again.  Although, I might have to head up there in the snow for a Winter hike because I know it would be just as beautiful.  Anyway, here are the rest of my photos I took while on our 6 mile hike.  I never realized how big the park was until this day.  We hope to explore the next half the trail on our next adventure.  
^I am not sure if it is just me but I always have such an inner struggle with wanting to just take it all in or taking a photo.  As we drove past a giant field of these wildflowers and I found myself fighting those conflicting thoughts.  As we turned the bend and passed the field, I shouted asked for the husband to stop so I could photograph them.  Lucky for me, I have a very patient husband (even though he threatens me with "no camera" hikes).  

^Look familiar?  Even more beautiful surrounded by all of the green. 

^I liked the spider webs.

^I was surprised how high we were once we got to the top.  

^half way point. 

^a little friend that startled me as he crossed our path.

^inside the covered bridge.  

Our butts were definitely kicked after the hike.  It pretty much took us all week to recover.  I forget how far 6 miles really is and how much hiking up hills will take out of you.  We had better build up if we ever hope to walk across the country one day:)

Do you have a favorite photo?
Do you have a hard time knowing when to take it all in or documenting it with a photo?
Where do you go to escape city life?

Linking up with Shanna and Rachel today!

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sweet treats {twosday tuesday}

The only sweet treats in our house.  Too dangerous to have more. 

Linking up with Tiffany and Stephanie today!

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