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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spirit lead me

After our run/walk on Saturday mornings, my friend and I have been treating ourselves to warm Chai Lattes (with almond milk thank you very much) from a local juicery in town called Salud Juicery.  As soon as you walk in the door you are greeted by the friendly staff.  The decor is something straight out of a magazine or off Pinterest - nothing I would ever be able to dream up.  Hanging on the shelves containing the different Chai teas you get to choose from (!!!!) was a wood  painted pallet with this quote on it.  In that moment, as I was still catching my breath from our workout, it was just what I needed. 

Have you heard of Hillsong United?
What quotes have you stumbled upon recently that have spoken to you?

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destination dreaming: portland, me | travel tuesday

My Dad has been sending me emails with links to beautiful photos of Fall in the Northeast from USA Today recently.  It's pretty cute.  He got me my first big camera so he knows how much I appreciate it. I have always wanted to hop in my car and spend a week or two - giving myself time to stop and capture the beauty of course - driving up the East coast in October.  The links he has been sending me only increase that desire. 
Source: Stiletto Escape via Google Images
Give me a cup of coffee surrounded by nature and I'll be happy.  I mean with views like this one how could I not be?! 

Have you ever been to Maine?
Have you ever driven up the East coast in October?

Linking up with Bonnie and Tiffany today!

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park mornings | find beauty friday

Now that 5 year old girlfriend is in Kindergarden until 2:00, I get the morning with 2 year old girlfriend, just the two of us.  One of her favorite places to go is the "big pak" next to the Sewickley YMCA.  Last week, instead of parking next to the park, we parked a little bit farther away so we could hike to get to the park.  With the leaves changing to beautiful vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds, we had to stop a few times to capture nature at her finest along the way.

As much as I was dreading the change in season, I have really enjoyed Fall this year.  For the first time I am really taking in the scenes and doing my best to live in the moment.  Perfect time of the year to rediscover Netflix, crochet, and warm lemon water.  

What are your favorite things about Fall?  What are your favorite Fall activities?

linking up with Aimee and Casey today!

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photography tips | composition pt. 2

I have not been great about posting photography tips lately like I have promised.  I blame it on getting out of my routine lately.   But like I mentioned Monday, it's a new week and a new me.  

Anyway, today I thought I would continue with some more tips on composition:  depth of field, leading lines, and reflection. 
Depth of Field.  Since a photograph itself is only 2 dimenionsal, depth of field allows the photographer to portray the 3 dimenionsal world in the photo by placing a subject in focus and the blurring the background.     
Tulips in Spring.

Leading Lines.  Lines in the image that lead the eye to another focus point in the image.  
{print available on Society6}
The giant tree trunks of the Redwoods lead your eyes to the top to give you, the viewer, an idea of how tall the trees actually are.  

reflection.  I don't think this one needs much of an explanation, because duh.  Look in windows, puddles, etc the next time you are experimenting with your camera to capture a reflection.
The moonlight's reflection off of the Atlantic ocean in Topsail, NC. 

What have you been photographing lately?  What composition tricks to you tend to gravitate to?  Do you enjoy reading tips on taking better photos?  If so, let me know in the comments what you want to learn about. 

I hope all of this makes sense for you.  Stay tuned next Thursday for the last 3 composition tips, I promise. 

Linking up with Nicole and Ash today!

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cook forest, pa | travel tuesday

In August, the husband and I, along with another couple, went back up to Cook Forest, PA.  This time for the Wine Fest in the Forest.  Instead of camping though, we stayed at the Inn at Cook Forest, right on the Clarion River.   We have never stayed at a B&B before so we didn't have high expectations.  I mean, I was just happy to have a bed to sleep on instead of a crash pad and sleeping bag.  But for the price we paid - I think around $115 - I would have rather taken the crash pad and sleeping bag. 

 I won't go into too much detail - because believe me I could write an entire post dedicated to our experience - but the rooms were outdated, poor communication with the innkeeper, freezer burned-tasting hash browns for breakfast, and the topping on the cake was when the inn keeper got into a heated argument with a customer in front of everyone and then kept talking about to the other customers.  Extremely unprofessional.  So, take my word for it, if you are ever staying the night in Cook Forest, find a cabin on one of the many camp grounds to stay in.  
^I mean look at it.  Looks like it is straight out of the The Shining.  

Anyway, not far from where we stayed is the Old Growth Forest so to get some fresh air and the blood pumping before the wine festival, we headed out for a hike among the beautiful trees.  I lent my camera to my friend to practice because she is thinking of buying a DSLR so I did not get too many photos from the hike.  The trees in The Old Growth Forest range anywhere from 280 and 350 years old.  Pretty amazing to think these trees have been around for as long as they have.  Definitely not as cool as the California Redwoods, but pretty cool for Western Pennsylvania.  

^black and white

After our hike, we headed back to the inn to get dressed then headed to the wine festival.  Since I knew a lot of wine was going to be had I left my "big camera" in our room and only came away with a few photos of the actual wine festival on my phone.  Even though the venue where all of the wineries were pouring the tastings was small and seemed really cramped from all of the people, I wasn't bothered.  But I am pretty sure the wine that had a lot to do with that;).  We each bought a few bottles of wine, grabbed some dinner, then opened a bottle while we chatted over a bonfire in the backyard of the inn.  For August, the weather was chilly so the bonfire was perfect. 

The next morning I was up before everyone else so I headed downstairs, grabbed a coffee and headed outside to get a few photos of the morning fog cover.  We did not think we would have a good day but the Sun did come out for our 4 mile canoe along the Clarion.  

^the blue skies peaking through the fog. 

^The Pale Whale, where we rented canoes both times we have been up there. 

On the way home we stopped at North Country Brewery in Slippery Rock for lunch and some beers/cider before heading home.  Besides the inn and the awkward innkeeper, our weekend was well spent up in Cook Forest.  The husband and I both really like it up there.  I still cannot believe it took us this long to make a trip to this area.  We will definitely be back, if not this Winter to rent out cabins, but next Summer. 

What has your B&B experience been like?
Or are you more of a camper?
Have you ever been to a wine festival?
Did you discover any new places to explore this year?

Linking up with Bonnie and Tiffany today!

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weekly wishes

Since spending a few weekends away, I have gotten off track and out of a good routine.  We have no plans to go anywhere until the weekend before Thanksgiving so I am going utilize my time better and get back on track starting today.  Nothing like the beginning of a new week to get a fresh start. 
ymca. go to the gym 3 times a week. 
xmas. buy one gift this week. 
etsy. update my Etsy shop with some Fall photos. 

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

Linking up with Melyssa, Meg, and Leeann today!

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destination dreaming: amsterdam | travel tuesday

Amsterdam is a place I have wanted to see for a while but after seeing Casey's Instagram feed from her recent trip there makes me want to plan a trip there next Fall.  Vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds lining the city's canals with a coffee and my camera in hand sound like a great way to breath in the fresh Fall air.  
Source | Bryan on Flickr via Google search

Have you ever been to Amsterdam?
Where are you wanting to go these days?

Linking up with Bonnie and Tiffany today!

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birthday wishlist

{from top left to bottom right}
-I have been wanting a polaroid camera for a while now but have yet to bite the bullet.  With film so expensive these days, instant photography could potentially become a very expensive hobby for me.  
-I immediately fell in love with the brilliant colors in this Pittsburgh skyline print.  I am thinking of making a collage of Pittsburgh photos in our guest room and this would be perfect. 
-That pillow would be perfect for our couch.  But in burgundy, please:)
-How adorable is that initial necklace?  I just don't know if I would want it in silver or gold. 
-As you may know by now, I am kinda obsessed with Harry Potter.  I feel like the only real HP fans own the British series.    
-And those Hogwarts TOMs?  L-O-V-E.  I am not sure I would ever wear them outside of the house though. 
-That gorgeous sunset gold foil print from one of my favorite Etsy shops, RowHouse14, is a must have.  

What is your favorite item from my wishlist?
What would you add to your own?

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destination dreaming: oslo, norway | travel tuesday

source | Pursuit via Google

Ever since the husband and I have been watching Vikings, I have been wanting to explore the Nordic countries.  With views of the Northern Lights and Right Of Access allowing you to camp on any open land, how could I not want to explore such a beautiful place?  

Have you ever been to Norway?
Where are you wanting to go right now?

Linking up with Bonnie and Tiffany today!

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weekly wishes

dmv: get a new ID.  I have a temporary ID until the request I sent to get a new one comes in.  
gift: order bulk card stock paper. I feel so overwhelmed by where to find them.  Suggestions are very welcome. 
journal: write in one. negative. 

explore. with the changing of the season and the cooler temps all I want to do is snuggle up inside.  I need to get out more and explore with my camera.  I want to capture Fall this year.
crochet. Since it is cooler and rain in the forecast in the beginning of the week, some Harry Potter and working on the blanket I am making sounds like a good plan as well.
ymca.  I have been slacking in the weight lifting department.  Need to get back into the 3x per week routine.

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

Linking up with Melyssa, Leeann, and Meg today!

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