what do you want?!

During my blogcation in July I was able to think about where I wanted this blog to go.  I made myself a blogging schedule that I would like to maintain.  On Thursdays, my goal is to share with you, my beautiful readers, something photography related.  Be it the latest addition to my Etsy or Society6 shop or favorite photo apps or tips to taking better photos.  So, I want to hear from YOU!  What do you want see on Thursdays?  

Linking up with Nicole and Ash today!

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biltmore estate | travel tuesday

As I mentioned in my last Asheville recap, we were not sure if we wanted to tour Biltmore Estate but we decided to pay the $60 (per person) (when in Rome, right?) and do the tour.  We bought tickets online before hand, which I recommend because it saved us $10, grabbed some coffee, and headed back to Biltmore Village.  
^gorgeous bloom in Airbnb's garden

When we first got to Biltmore Village, we did what any 21+ year old would do at noon on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.  We hit up the bar for a few Bloodys before heading over to the estate.  Of course I cannot remember the name of the bar, but we had a great experience over delicious chips and Guac.  

Biltmore was completed in 1895, after taking 6 years, for George Vanderbilt.  He lived there alone - among 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces - until he married three years later.  The grounds to the estate are immaculate and go on for what seems like forever. The views of the mountains in the distance are just stunning.  For someone who has only been across the big pond once, I have never seen a castle/mansion of this caliber in person before and it was quite impressive.  It is pretty amazing what people used to be able to create and build without today's modern technology (AND made even better than most homes are today).  We had a 3:00 house tour so we had an hour or two to walk around the beautiful gardens.  We had just missed the flower festival by one weekend but the flowers were still beautiful.  The boys meandered through the paths while I busied myself with taking photos.  

^Imagine taking a walk on a lovely Sunday afternoon and seeing lush green mountains for as far as the eyes can see. 

^the detail. 

^fountain, ivy lined path, and Biltmore from the Tennis Lawn. 

^i loved the lily pads with beautiful pink blooms.  

^the only photo I got of the inside

I am not much of a museum-y type of gal.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I appreciate history and a good piece of art.  I just don't like the idea of walking around from one piece to the next in a crowd - the older I get the less tolerance I have for crowds - with everyone getting in your way of what you are trying to see.  But I loved walking through the immaculate rooms with the style of clothes displayed in each room.  There is something about being in a place that has been around for over a 100 years that makes you feel as though you are part of history just standing in it.  I think my favorite part though was seeing the servants' quarters in the basement.  Ever since watching Downton Abbey, my interest for that time period and the servants/owners relationship has grown. 

Have you ever been to Biltmore Estate?
If so, what did you think?
Would you play $60 for the tour?

Linking up with Tiffany, Tori, and Bonnie today!

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Welp, last week I took an accidental blogging break - and I was only back for a week. oopsy poopsy.  I hope to be better this week.  

Anywayyyyy, how was y'alls weekend?  I spent most of mine with my little girlfriends.  I swear, spending just a few hours with them a day are just what the doctor ordered.  They make me smile and laugh until I have tears streaming down my face on a daily basis.  I cannot complain about that.

The husband and I did get to hang out with some family.  His brother is house-sitting for their parents while they help their sister move to State College so we had a few drinks and a bonfire.  I got very lucky in the in-law department.  They have always made me feel like I am part of the family.

I have still been a bit of a funk lately.  There is so much I want to do and see that I start to feel overwhelmed by it all.  And when I get overwhelmed I tend to shut down.  Help!  Any suggestions on what I can do?  

In an attempt to get refocused though, here are my goals for the week.
health.  I have been eating so unhealthy and can feel it.  I know not feeling healthy plays a major part in my mood so this is #1.  I need to start planning meals for the week ahead of time.  Do you know of any easy, quick, and healthy meal options?
exercise. Since I fell a week and a half ago while running I have been nervous to try again.  I still need to get out though.  I have a great hill by my house that would be perfect for a good walk.  Also, I want to get back into weight lifting.  I am so weak.
routine.  Now that Summer is coming to a close, I need to get back into a routine.  As much as I like to do things and be out, I am a creature of habit and do enjoy routine.

What are you looking forward to this week?
What goals have you set for yourself?

Linking up with Melyssa, Leeann, MollyElizabeth, and Meg today!

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in the dirt {sunday sound}

Hopefully, when you read this, I am not horribly hungover from wine tasting fun with friends...
Happy Sunday!

S. Carey | "In the Dirty

The most productive thing that has come from my binge streaming tv shows from AmazonPrime is finding some new great music.  Thank you, Harvey Spector and Mike Ross..

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nostalgia | + recent reads

Yesterday morning I went to visit my old coworkers.  Since leaving, I don't often go back.  And it's a shame really since the town holds a lot of memories for me.  It was where I rented my first apartment, had my first big girl job, paid my bills, lived away from my parents, started dating the now husband, and learned to enjoy running.  I used to sit on these benches and read during my lunch break or write my case notes.  It was nice to spend a few hours with old friends and in my old stopping grounds.  Reminded me that I need to return more often.  I miss it.   
There is beauty in nostalgia. 

Speaking of nostalgia, I cannot help but bring up - yes, i know, again - the death of Robin Williams.  As with the rest of the world, I cannot stop thinking about him  and his family.  For some reason, his sudden death has affected me much more than any other celebrity deaths.  Maybe it's because I grew up watching Mrs Doubtfire, Aladdin, and Hook?  I really don't know why.  I just know that it has.  My stomach aches whenever I think about what his family must be going through right now and all of the questions that will continue to go unanswered.
Below are some of my favorite posts written about his death:

1 // While the death of celebrities do make me said, Robin's death is, at least for me, different than any of the others.  I am always annoyed by people's Facebook statuses or Twitter posts about how sad they are that so and so died.  I just felt like it was another effort to post another sob story and make it about them.  However, this post from Adam made me think differently.

2 // Working in the field of psychology for 6.5 years helped me to understand Depression and it's effects on the daily life of the person suffering from it.  This post written by Tyler is spot on.  Hollywood has been demonizing mental illness for decades.  Let's make something positive from his suicide and take the opportunity to discuss mental illness with your loved ones to help them instead of stigmatizing it and making them feel even more alone. 

3 // I am a huge of Raven.  She may come off as brash to some but I appreciate her brutal honesty.  The older I get the less patients I have for bullshit.  Anyway, she writes about how important it is not to judge someone's actions unless you have walked in their shoes.  No, I cannot imagine leaving behind my loved ones by my own doing.  But then again I have never been so depressed that I cannot imagine any other option but to take my own life.  Remember, "everyone has a story." 

And because nothing else seems appropriate today, a little Genie for #backthatazzup Friday. 
Friend Like Me by Disney on Grooveshark

What makes you feel nostalgic?
What was your Robin Williams movie?

Linking up with Aimee and Caitlin, Whitney, and Amanda today!

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alyson cornman photography | shop

Since getting into photography I have always wanted to sell my photos.  For a while I dabbled in portrait photography but quickly realized that wasn't the route I wanted to take.  I thought it would be easy and quick money.  Boy, I could not have been more wrong.  

Adding my photos to Etsy has been something I have been doing on and off for the past few years.  I have not been as successful as I had thought I would be.  I just assumed I would add photos to my shop, people would see them and love them, and buy them.  I mean, that would be the easiest and most comfortable way, right?  

I quickly realized I needed to whore myself out advertise and sell my works myself.  I wasn't ready to yet so I kept putting it off and putting it off - I doubt it had anything do with my shy, Type B nature {insert sarcastic look here}.  It was not until recently that I started to really research and consume any information on how to sell on Etsy.  I know I still have loads and loads and LOADS to learn but I am pretty confident in where I am starting. 

So, today, I would like to share with all of you - my fabulous and wonderfully beautiful readers - what I have added so far.   
"Pittsburgh in the Fog" | 8x10 print available at $15. 

"Sunflower" | 8x10 print available for $20. 

"Beach Sparkle" | available upon request, starting at $15. 

"Sunlit Vineyard" | available upon request, starting $20.  

Like I said, I still have so much to learn.  Pricing? Descriptions? Advertising? Shipping?  So much. I am all ears, y'all!  Do you have any suggestions on books or online resources I can turn to to help? 

Do you have an Etsy shop?
What do you look for when purchasing photography?

Linking up with Nicole and Ash today!

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travel tuesday | asheville, nc

As promised in my Asheville preview, I would like to share more of the photos I took on our adventure.  

We had originally planned to leave Friday afternoon after work but decided against it in an effort to save some money.  We started bright and early Saturday morning so we could have most of the afternoon to explore the city once we arrived.  It's a solid 8 hour trip so we were pretty happy to get out and explore once we got to town.  

After walking around for a little we decided we needed some lunch and resfreshments (read: alcoholic beverages) so we stepped into a place for some good farm-to-table hamburgers.  I am a sucker for a good burger - sans bun of course - but was disappointed by the fries.  As for the bev, as far as I am concerned you can't go wrong with Pinot Grigio.  I mean, paying more than $15 for a bottle seems expensive in our house, so I was happy.   Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the restaurant right now.  

After lunch, with our bellies full, we walked around town a little more then decided to check into our place for the weekend.  It was our first Airbnb experience.  And while it wasn't perfect, it certainly wasn't bad.  Great location with a room, kitchen, bathroom - WITH a sauna might I add #NBD - but the photos posted on the site were a little deceiving.  The husband and I both thought we would have access to her screened in porch.  It was a bummer once we realized we didn't but were able to use the porch pictured below with beautiful views of the mountains in the distance.  We opted to stay in our first night and drink some wine with a beautiful view of the mountains in the distance and save our energy for the next day.

^our wine glasses for the night

Our original plan for Saturday was to spend the day at Biltmore Estate and for wine tasting after.  Being that I am a poor planner, I did not realize 1) how much it cost for the tour and 2) the house and ground tours are part of the same package.  We decided to take a day to decide if we wanted to do the tour and walked around Biltmore Village for a little instead.  

Craving nature, we searched parks and discovered the Botanical Gardens at Asheville.  We walked around a little and as the boys rested in the sun, I took some photos of the different plant life. 

^view from our patio outside of our room
Hungry,  we had lunch at Whole Foods then went back to regroup and change for a drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway.  From where we stayed, there was a scenic road that connected us right to the Blue Ridge.  As we turned a bend, there was a mama bear with two of her cubs walking close behind her.  Of course I had the husband stop so I could get a photo of mama.  As you can tell, she wasn't so sure about me and kept a close eye on me to make sure I wasn't coming after her babies.  

For someone who gets car sick pretty easily, the drive to and on Blue Ridge Parkway is not easy on the tummy.  So pulling off for scenic views were a welcome respite from the winding roads. 
^mountains for as far as the eyes could see.  

We stopped at Craggy Pinnacle for a quick hike to the top for 360 views of the above scene.  The trail to get to the top were really cool, lined with some of the most interesting trees I have ever seen.  While it wasn't an easy hike, it was only a .75 miles to the top.  The hike back down was much more enjoyable. 

Exhausted after a day walking around and small hikes, we watched the sunset from our spot on the porch.  

There is so much more of the Blue Ridge Parkway that I still want to see and explore.  The husband is already talking about wanting to go back.  

The next day we did decide to tour Biltmore Estate and it's grounds so stay tuned for my post on that.  

Where have you traveled to this Summer?
What were some of your favorite moments?

Linking up with Bonnie and Tiffany today! 

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weekly wishes

Happy Monday everyone!  Another weekend has come and gone way too fast.  How was your weekend?  Not much happened over here.  Since the husband works Saturdays, I was pretty productive doing and putting away laundry, writing blog posts, and cleaning.  I was supposed to go for a walk with a friend early but wasn't feeling 100% so decided to cancel.  Luckily, she is very understanding!  (hi Barb!)

Yesterday the husband and I took AB, the 5 year old girl I nanny for, to the pool for a few hours.  Seriously, that girl.  She never ceases to amaze me.  She is getting so confident that it both makes me so happy and a little sad.  But only sad because she is growing up WAY too fast.  I tell her all of the time that she needs to stop growing.  Her response?  "I can't help it."  Touche girlfriend, touche.

And since it's another Monday, I need to get my shiz stuff together and get back on track.  I am starting back slow this time.

Goals for the week:
tv | I have made a bad habit of binge watching shows on AmazonPrime once I get home.  I need to spend more time outside either reading, going on a photo walk, exercising, or doing anything else really.  TV just rots my brain. 
instagram | I have been in a bit of a funk lately and I have a feeling seeing everyone's amazing Summer adventure photos has me all caught up in that evil comparison game.  I need to spend less time mindlessly browsing my feed.  Once a day.  That's it.
appointment | make an appointment to see about a few things.  Don't worry, nothing serious:)

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

Linking up with Leeann, Melyssa, Molly, Lisa, and Meg today!

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a favorite flower

As with most Sundays, we spent time at my in-laws this past week for drinks and dinner with the rest of the family.  They have some pretty amazing gardens spread out around their property. And every year, around this time, you are greeted with some of the most beautiful sunflowers I have ever seen as you enter.  This year they have a stalk that is at least 12 feet tall, no exaggeration, right in the middle.  Unfortunately I left my camera chip in the computer so these were only taken with my iPhone.  I hope to get some better shots before they are gone though.

I have been in search of a sunflower field for the past couple of years.  To photograph rows upon rows upon rows of sunflowers is on my photography bucket list.  Do you know of any sunflower fields in SW Pennsylvania?

What is your favorite flower?
Do you have a photography bucket list?
What moments did you capture this week?

Linking up with Aimee today!

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