Hampden is by and far one of my favorite little suburb cities in the US. It's got the best shopping, food, and feel ever. I love visiting, and while we've visited before and taken photos, I've never really talked much about this area (and the last time we went, we weren't able to snap photos!). Jason and I went with my mother in law to shop and eat for our birthday, and I wore my brand new Kate Spade Keds to make sure I was comfortable the whole time.

We picked up my new shoes at Ma Petite Shoe - an adorable shoe and chocolate shop.

Jason got one of these sponge holders from Wild Yam Pottery.

We stopped in at the 13.5% Wine Bar before our dinner at the Food Market which I have been dying to try forever. It was SO good - those pretzels in the photo below alone will have us running back.

coat :: modcloth remixed
cargidan :: halogen via nordstrom rack remixed
wheatberry dress :: modcloth remixed
belt :: target remixed
kate spade x keds :: via zappos
typewriter clyde :: kate spade remixed
necklace :: gift remixed
ring :: kate spade

This recipe is quick, easy, and super flavorful. In contrast to the normal chex mix recipe, this is something a little different that isn't as salty, has a lot of great flavor and spice, and goes really well with fall.

I love the holiday season, and it seems most people use Thanksgiving as a time to put up the tree and start decoration. I know that's what we do at my mom's! As Jason and I are almost always out of town on Thanksgiving, I have taken to setting up the tree early so that home is ready for the holidays and happy when we get back to Pennsylvania. This year, I got some canvases and paint to spruce up our mantle with an easy DIY.

My husband and I both turned 26 today. While you will see many birthday related posts over the next weeks because we spread our birthday out over 3 weekends (one with my in-laws early in Baltimore, one here in Pennsylvania this weekend, and one in Cincinnati with my parents and friends), I wanted to share some photos from our birthday weekend, as well as the gifts we got each others.

First, Jason did something a little more 'me' and chose some shoes for me while we were out in Baltimore. It was a little shopping trip I didn't expect, and I love the shoes that he ended up picking out for me. It's my first pair of Miz Mooz!

I got lucky with Jason's gift. I had picked out this Hip Hopenguin art block for him earlier in the year. Jason loves penguins, and back when we were young, I used to get him all sorts of penguin things. We've been decorating our home a lot more, so I thought art that was suited to him would be perfect. I had it bookmarked, and a bit before out birthday, Eyes on Walls reached out to us for a review.

Jason loves his new art block from Eyes on Walls (and I do too, let's be honest, I wouldn't pick art I didn't like either) and it works so well with our other quirky, animal related art. The print quality is great and really vivid - and the black frame goes perfectly with everything in our house. I'm sure it would be really cute in a cubicle or work space, but as Jason floats at work, he's staying home. He works well here, like I said, anyway. He's hanging in our living room at the moment!

This post was sponsored by Eyes On Walls. This indicates I received a product in exchange for review, although the opinions and ideas expressed are my purely own. For more information - read the disclosure of this blog.

Last week, I got to meet up with Marine from Pictures and Paragraphs, who I met while she was working at an Anthropologie outside of Philly, in Lititz. It's an adorable little town with a yummy chocolate company right in the center and the cutest park too. We walked around, ate at Tomato Pie cafe, and had an all around enjoyable afternoon. Only thing that was not so enjoyable was coming home and realizing my camera is becoming worse for the wear, and most of my pictures didn't focus correctly. Oh, the terror that is a breaking camera.

sweater :: halogen remixed
dress :: dear creatures remixed
belt :: target remixed
weejuns :: bass remixed
bag :: my own design remixed
ring :: via the grey colt remixed
necklace :: modcloth remixed
During this post, we were giving away a Canon Rebel T3i with a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.5 lens. But, what do those numbers mean?!?

First, let's tackle focal length. For example, the lens below has a focal length of 50mm.

Focal length is the numbers that end in mm. They measure the space between your sensor and your lens. These basically translate into how wide your lens sees. A lower number is a wider lens, a higher number is a more zoomed in lens. For reference, on a full frame camera (a 5D), a 35mm is about your eyes' viewing. On a camera like a Rebel or Nikon 3000 series with a APS-C crop sensor, this would have to be a wider angle lens. What happens on most cameras you all probably own, is that you have a crop sensor. Meaning, with all lenses, your camera actually multiples that focal length by 1.6. So a 35mm lens on my camera ends up 56mm. So a 50mm is a much closer crop lens on a Rebel or 60D than it would be on a 5D.

Generally, anything wider than 20mm is considered wide angle. You'll notice some distortion with the lens, almost a 'barrel' effect, where if you were to shoot a wall the wall would not appear straight, but slightly curved. 30-85mm is a standard lens - a pretty normal viewing angle. Getting above 85mm and into about 150mm is a medium telephoto lens. Generally these lens are a bit larger but nothing too crazy. Above 200mm is a telephone lens and is quite zoomed. Personally, I have never found much use for my telephoto lens, a 70-300mm lens, and am selling it. For most purposes, the kit lens like the one that comes on the Rebel T3i is great for most things. I like having a good, standard, prime (meaning only 1 focal length) lens on my camera.

Next - aperture. Aperture is what determines your depth of field. The lower the number, the less depth of field (meaning blurry backgrounds). The higher the number, the higher depth of field, for landscapes usually. So why does the 18-55mm lens have 2 numbers?

The f/# represents the widest stop that the aperture can be set to. If you see 2 numbers, it means that when set to 18mm, the lowest focal length, the lens can be opened up to an aperture of 3.5. At 55mm, the highest focal length, it can be opened up to an aperture of 5.5. Prime lenses, like a 50mm, will have one number, for example 1.4.

If you shoot a lot of low light photography or want blurry backgrounds, having a lens with a wide aperture like 1.4 will make a huge difference. If you shoot mostly in daylight, then pretty much any lens will work well for you.

Hopefully that helps decipher lenses a bit more for you! Now go enter to win a DSLR yourself!

Adorable prints are right up my alley. You want to know what is even more up my alley? Adorable prints that feature a dog and chocolate. Living so close to Hershey, we end up bringing most of the people who come visit us into the town. Jason even works there, so we get a lot of candy all of the time. This Poppy London skirt was on my Modcloth wishlist in a different color, and when they approached me about reviewing it, I jumped on the opportunity to receive it in plum. I love my other Poppy London skirt which I bought from Modcloth earlier this year - it washes well, it has pockets, and it's a more appropriate length than most the skirts I own. This skirt is the same style, only a new print. I'm in love with the little bon bons all over it, and the little pup Fred who appears in some of the panels.

All of their clothing comes with an adorable little story book and in the cutest packaging. I love reading about the story that is so cleverly laid out on the skirt. All of their clothing comes in children's sizes (or maybe I should put that all of their clothing comes in adult sizes) which makes me want to stock up for my currently non-existent daughter.

sweater :: j crew factory remixed
tank :: american eagle remixed
chocolate shop skirt :: c/o poppy london
clue booties :: seychelles remixed
bracelet :: kate spade remixed

This post was sponsored by Poppy London. This indicates I received a product in exchange for review, although the opinions and ideas expressed are my purely own. For more information - read the disclosure of this blog.