These cards from Nicole Marie Paperie have me rethinking my usual hatred of Halloween. Her 'howl-o-ween' cards have me thinking I just need to rebrand Halloween in my mind as the cute holiday where I eat a lot of candy and dress my dogs up ridiculously. This is just a little sneak preview of her cards, and the happiness that 'howl-o-ween' week is bringing me. I'm sure my neighbors already thought we were weird parading around with a giant camera half the time, and now that we are walking the dogs with their costumes, well, I'll enjoy the looks. Because these two are darn cute!

Last weekend I got to meet some amazing Pennsylvania bloggers. Gillian of Gladley, Kate of A Peony For Your Thoughts, Stephanie from A Geek in Glasses, Becky from B is for Becky, and Marisa of the Shades of Monet Chronicles. I've been lucky enough to meet Marisa and Becky before - so it was great to catch up and meet some great new girls! We had a wonderful time chatting and dining on delicious food at terrain outside of Philadelphia. It was the perfect place for a meet up - totally beautiful. We are hoping to do some more of these meetups, so I'll keep you all posted if we have another and hopefully more people will be able to swing this next time! 

Bread at the garden cafe at terrain is adorably served in flower pots. And was delicious! I enjoyed a yummy turkey bread over kale and brussel sprouts with pumpkin seeds. It was incredible - very flavorful without being heavy. Perfect for a lunch. We took some photos and shopped around in the garden. We also exchanged little 'treats' for a Halloween 'trick or treat' and I got some yummy things and some useful things. I love the idea and think it worked well (though, I got the most brilliant idea for my treat upon leaving, but there is always next time!). Anyhow, here are lots of photos taken in the center of a lot of pumpkins!

poker faced dress :: leah reena goren for anthropologie remixed
sweater :: target remixed
tights :: target remixed
belt :: target similar remixed
heels :: seychelles remixed
larch bag :: valhalla brooklyn remixed
necklace :: c/o uncommon goods remixed
ring :: c/o oasap remixed

let's all thank Marisa for all the beautiful photos of me! Thanks girl!

It's been awhile since Jason and I have carved pumpkins together - not since before we were married, so it was time for us to buckle town and get some pumpkins. We didn't have carving tools, which was a bad idea as carving hello kitty with a steak knife and exacto blade while drinking rum isn't wonderful. Fortunately, I have no cuts! So here's some photos from the night and a yummy spice recipe to add to your apple cider this fall.

There are two things puppies need : hope and ice cream. Well, at least Teemo thinks he needs ice cream. This collar is not only darn adorable, it's a helping hands to dogs. With $5 of each sale (she donates $10 before a certain time with each new collar launch) going to finding a cure for dog cancer, 2 Hounds Design has a nice product with an even nicer cause. They have a lot of other designs though - available in a variety of sizes for little and big dogs alike. But, I love the design of the 2013 Hope for Hounds collar - it's my favorite in their line because of the really individual stamp like design, I haven't seen much like it.  The colors are so bright and fun too - so to try and compliment Teemo I put on so bright aqua and yellow to match. 

soft serve dress :: modcloth remixed
cardigan :: j crew factory remixed
tights :: old navy
booties :: seychelles remixed
scarf :: old navy remixed
belt :: anthropologie remixed
ring :: c/o uncommon goods remixed
teemo's collar :: c/o 2 hounds design
-201 : a very sir tom christmas

Do you know what bokeh is? Bokeh is the word for those little blurry balls of goodness in the background of photos. It comes from the Japanese word for blur, boke. They can create the most beautiful effects in photographs, and it is one of the greatest sources of happiness for me (and other photographers - there are tons of Flickr groups dedicated to bokeh). Here's a few tips on how to achieve some great bokeh in your photos.

Pennsylvania has a lot of farms. I mean, a lot of farms. Agriculture is huge here, and my life has definitely changed a bit, especially since I moved closer to the more 'farm country' area. The farmer's markets here are mostly just 'this is our farm, it's located across from Target, we'll have a market.' My friend, Julie, happens to work for apples. The fruit. One of the apple growers here in Pennsylvania holds 'Pickfest', a bluegrass show in the middle of an apple field. I was truly shown as the 'city girl' as I can't handle bugs, but I did have an enjoyable time picking apples, listening to music, drinking some strange local hard cider, and talking with friends out in the middle of nowhere. That's Pennsylvania life for ya.

jacket :: sweet romeo via norstrom remixed
harvest season dress :: modcloth remixed
belt :: anthropologie remixed
necklace :: c/o uncommon goods
boots :: love culture remixed
tote :: sass & peril remixed
sunnies :: ray ban remixed

Throughout high school, history lessons were near daily and blurred together. Now, I've begun to appreciate and retain better good stories, and I've taken to reading a lot more about events and how things came about a lot more than I used to. Also, Drunk History really helps this. The Real McCoy Rum contacted me with a good story - which I love since lately I've been reading about the history of a lot of alcohol brands I drink anyway.The Real McCoyrum is based on the story of Bill McCoy, the pioneer rum runner of the prohibition era, who brought over 2 million bottles of rum to the speakeasies of New York back in 1920. McCoy never cut the liquor with chemicals like turpentine and wood alcohol, so he became known for a strong product. Because of this and his fair dealing, his name is the origin of the phrase 'it's the real McCoy.' Which is what this delicious, bourbon barrel aged rum is named after. In honor of the traditional nature of this spirit, I chose to create a fall daiquiri that is really quite yummy and lets the rum shine (aka, it's strong, but delicious).

Most of the items in my closet have a deep meaning to me. I have a strong memory, which sometimes comes in handy in parking lots, that attaches me to the strangest of things. This dress was purchased for me by my in-laws in 2007 at a mall in California. I can recall feeling festive in the dressing room, so excited to be in warmed weather in the middle of December with my boyfriend of a year. It's a good memory, and this dress has many more attached to it. These shoes were one of my last buys in Cincinnati before moving to Harrisburg on one of mine and Jason's many trips to the local Target. That's our happy place, and a hard-and-fast rule that we live within 15 minutes of one. For all of these items, the meaning is completely given by me and meaningless to anyone else.

This cuff on the other hand comes with meaning. That's what fair trade is to me - it gives a definite meaning to items. All of the items from Ten Thousand Villages come with a story, a positive meaning to buying something that is otherwise another piece in the sea. You can read about the company or village that your item comes from - for instance, this retro cuff comes from CFM Market Linkages in India. They link together many communities in India to market here. Ten Thousand Villages ensures that their products are fair trade - meaning that the workers make a fair wage. And they have been doing that since the 1940s. That's over 60 years - I didn't even know fair trade was a thing back then! They have a lot of items too, since they are like a marketplace, so it's a good place for more than jewelry and clothing. They are based out of Akron, Pennsylvania, which isn't but a few miles from my home, so it drives the meaning for me even more so. Local business doing global good. How's that for a piece with a great story?

headband :: goody remixed
sweater :: frenchi via nordstrom remixed
dress :: h&m remixed
belt :: target
heels :: missoni for target remixed
bag :: valhalla brooklyn remixed
scarf :: ebay
I adore weddings. I love taking photos at them because I find them to be a really special time. Perhaps I just love events - but weddings are really something. When you go to a fancy cocktail dinner, no one runs around taking photos of every little detail. Weddings are their own entity - they are a huge industry. I'll admit - I'm sucked into it. I especially love outdoor weddings. Mine was held in a public park. Becki's wedding this weekend was also outdoors. But let's talk about the one thing that outdoor weddings fear. Rain.

At my best friend's wedding, it rained. She got married on what would have been mine and Jason's 7th year anniversary (of dating) - and just like my wedding, it rained. I would say that I feel bad - but her and her husband made the most of it, and it was still a beautiful wedding. In all of these photos I took, they are filled with happiness and some great memories - and mine are just from the first part of the day. Sadly, due to the rain actually starting to flood their reception tent a bit, Jason and I felt it best to put the camera bag in the car. Plus, I had a certain number of drinks (no really, I have no idea how many or how few) and was intent on taking photos with Becki's iPhone instead. Rain is great symbolism - it's good luck in so many cultures, but it's hard to see that when you are plagued with things not working out and your guests getting upset or leaving. To that - I say dance in the rain. It's sure as hell what I did. And there is nothing better than having your first dance while raining - I have to say, it's one of my favorite things about our wedding, and in my own twisted way, I was happy to see Becki following in this weird tradition of having her first dance in the rain.