Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Perfect Dress for November

How perfect is this dress for the month of November? I'm in love with the colors and embroidery. 

Okay, I'm not going to lie to you; I don't have a ton of time to type up a long well-thought out post today.  I'm flying out to Utah on Thursday and will be working all weekend and presenting at a conference. Everything is disorganized and the presentation has become a giant headache. Spoiler alert, I hate speaking in front of people. I absolutely dread it and it makes me want to throw up. When I do live segments it's different because I'm really just talking to one person and a camera guy/girl and that is fine. You're basically just having a conversation with the host and the cameras and the fact that it's being broadcast on live tv doesn't phase me but ask me to speak to a crowd of people and I'm a bucket of anxiety. Funnily enough, I used to be a great public speaker until high school. I also have regular work to do and I'm working on a big surprise for the blog that I'll be announcing soon. So just keep your eyes peeled for that. I may miss a post on Thursday and next Tuesday from traveling but I will be heading on a little staycation once I'm back to Lenox and will be posting about that so please forgive me if I'm inactive for about a week. I hope I can get back on schedule quickly. 

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

October Scenes

October is my favorite month for a lot of reasons. The air changes becoming crisp and refreshing while the sun remains warm. The stars become more clear and sparkly as the Earth shifts to face away from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy we call home. People tell lots of ghost stories and Halloween themed events celebrate the unique history and folklore of New England. My favorite meteor shower happens. The leaves shed their green mask, revealing the beautiful color they've been hiding since the spring. On the right evening, the sun begins to set casting a golden glow over the changing leaves before sinking below the horizon, and for just a moment everything is perfect.

To celebrate another fantastic October I am rounding up some of my favorite snapshots from the month across New England and my trip to Sleepy Hollow. These were all either taken on my Canon or my iPhone. I'm dying to play around with a film camera because I think it will make me a better photographer since you have to be more thoughtful about what you're shooting and composing a shot. I found some old film cameras of my mom's but have been having trouble figuring out what to do about the battery replacement. They took mercury batteries, which have since been banned. I tried to look up a replacement option but the ones that everyone said fit in the exact camera that I have didn't fit. So, if you know anything about film cameras from the 70's please send me an email! Anyways, I'm not a professional photographer by any means but, I hope you enjoy my photos! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Coffee in the Park

What I'm Wearing: 

Sweater: 1.STATE | Jeans: J.Crew 

Our leaves are finally starting to peak here. The foliage this year has been wicked late and all over the place. Some leaves are just falling right off and others are changing at a glacial pace and just staying on the trees. In other news, I put on this sweater and immediately thought, "I look like Diane Chambers." If you don't know who that is then please stop what you're doing and go watch Cheers immediately. It's such an iconic piece of television, especially if you're from Massachusetts. Just a note, the sweater is under $100 and comes in a bunch of colors.

I am trying really hard to stick to my consistent schedule of new posts every Tuesday and Thursday at 8 A.M. I will be traveling for a conference next weekend for the non-profit that I volunteer for and I'm really going to try to get ahead and get some things scheduled for when I'm gone and when I won't be able to shoot on the weekend, but please bear with me if I can't make it happen. That is part of why today's post is a bit shorter. We've been dealing with some crummy weather here so shooting around it has been a challenge.

Anyways, Halloween is tomorrow! Do you have any plans? Or did you do something fun over Halloweekend? Let me know down in the comments! 

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Stories of 5 Haunted New England Hotels & Inns

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, there's no denying that New England is steeped in history, legends, and folklore. In fact, it's one of my favorite things about the area. That is also my favorite thing about haunted locations. I once heard a quote that went something along the lines of, "ghosts are history begging to be remembered" and it just stuck with me because it's true. When we tell ghost stories, we are remembering the past and the people who are gone. These stories add a layer of color and mystery to our lives and that is why I adore them so much. So I put together the stories of 5 hotels and inns across New England perfect to tell at this time of year. 

Omni Mount Washington - Bretton Woods, NH

Image via Omni Hotels
I've wanted to visit this luxurious hotel nestled in the White Mountains for as long as I can remember. It was built in 1902 by New Hampshire native, Joeseph Stickney. He died a year later in 1903, making his wife Carolyn a widow and leaving her to wander the property alone. 11 years later she became a princess when she remarried a French prince. She lived with him until his death and then moved back to the hotel and has apparently never left. The legend goes that both staff and guests have seen her looking over the balcony of the hotel and descending the stairs. Her private suite, room 314, is also said to be a hotspot for paranormal activity. The handcrafted four-poster bed in this room is the very one she shared with her husband. Guests have reported waking up to see her sitting on the end of the bed brushing her hair, seeing an imprint as if someone was laying on the bed when there was no one there, or feeling the bed shift as if someone sat down on it. 

Concord's Colonial Inn - Concord, MA

Image via Concord's Colonial Inn
One of the oldest inns in America, the original structure for Concord's Colonial Inn was built in 1716. Before it began operating as an inn in 1889, one of the original buildings was used as a storehouse for arms and provisions during the Revolutionary War. When the British came to seize and destroy the supplies, the Americans met them at the North Bridge for what became the first battle of the American Revolution. The story is that in 1966 a couple stayed in room 24 at the Colonial Inn on their honeymoon and left quietly in the morning the next day with the bride looking rather pale. About two weeks later the inn received a letter detailing the bride's encounter with a shadow figure

The Kennebunk Inn - Kennebunk, ME

Image via Maine Magazine
The Kennebunk Inn was built in 1799 as a private residence. It was converted into a hotel called "The Tavern" in 1928 and a 2.5 story wing was added creating 50 guest rooms. In the late 30's the name was changed to The Kennebunk Inn. Rumor goes that one of the inn's clerks, Silas Perkins, who passed away in the mid-twentieth century continues to inhabit his former place of employment. Falling and flying wine glasses, along with other objects are said to be a sign of his presence. 

 Hawthorne Hotel - Salem, MA

Image via Hotels.com
Built in 1925 this hotel is located in the heart of Salem, Massachusetts. I've never been inside, but have walked by it many times on my day trips. With a colorful history dating back to the infamous Salem Witch Trials, it's no surprise that there are rumors of the Hawthorne Hotel being haunted. One of the first women to be executed during the Witch Trials owned an apple orchard where the hotel now stands. Another fun piece of history: on October 30, 1990, a séance was held in the Grand Ballroom in hopes of summoning Harry Houdini on the 64th anniversary of his death. However, it was unsuccessful. The apparition of a woman has been seen wandering the hallway and pausing outside room 612. Guests who have stayed in the room have reported the feeling of being watched as if they were sharing it with an unseen person. There have also been reports of faucets turning themselves on and off, unusual sounds with no apparent source, and the feeling of being touched.

The Quechee Inn at Marshland Farm, Quechee Vermont

Image via The Queechee Inn
The Quechee Inn was built in 1793 and purchased by Quechee Lakes Corporation in 1968 along with approximately four hundred acres of land. One of the spirits residing at the inn is thought to be a woman named Mary. A bride staying at the inn for her honeymoon told of seeing her and experiencing severe headaches. She described Mary as being from the 1830's or 40's, being very sad, and at one time locked in room 6. There is another ghost story about the room directly above room 6. Apparently, a couple staying in the room woke up to see an elderly couple staring down at them, who were later identified as John and Jane Porter, former owners of the farm. There are many other stories about Jane haunting the property and several that have not been attributed to a particular spirit including the feeling of being watched, encounters with unidentified apparitions in empty hallways, objects moving on their own, and disembodied footsteps. 

Have you stayed at any of these or heard these stories? Let me know down in the comments! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Style Staples | The Camel Coat

A good camel coat is something that everyone should have in their wardrobe, especially New Englanders. They're a classic; marrying both function and style. We can have some brutally bitter cold days and nights, but you don't always want to throw on an unflattering puffer coat. Sometimes you want to look a little more polished. A camel coat is the perfect choice for those situations. These coats versatile enough to wear them over a fancy dress or jeans and a t-shirt. They can also be layered with scarves and sweaters for extra warmth. I always recommend sizing up for outerwear so that you can layer without feeling like the kid in A Christmas Story if you want to wear your coat over a couple layers. 

There are so many different versions of the camel coat that you're sure to find one to match your personal style. They also come at all different price points, although I think it's better to invest in a good quality one that will last you for years. That's not to say that you have to drop $500-$2000 on one. You can find good ones at lower prices, just watch the quality so you don't have to replace it after a season or two. My exact coat is a couple of years old, but I've linked some similar ones below along with the rest of my outfit details. 

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Also featured in this post is the West Cornwall Covered Bridge in Sharon, Connecticut. This lovely covered bridge spans 172 feet over the Housatonic River. The bridge is believed to have been constructed in 1841 after the previous bridge was washed away by a flood in 1837. This is the second oldest covered bridge in the state of Connecticut and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Behind the Blog: What Goes Into an Outfit Post

There is a very common misconception about what bloggers do, especially with the trend of people just doing the Instagram thing. I know I'm preaching to the choir to all of you fellow bloggers! My focus is and has always been my blog. I own my blog and I am in control of it. It's not going to change the algorithm on me or get sold and shut down. I view social media as complementary and supplementary. That is part of why I wanted to give a little behind the scenes look at what I put into a post.

The Beginning Stages 

If you have been a reader for a while you know that I do different kinds of posts; mainly outfit and lifestyle content but here I'm just talking about outfit posts. An outfit post begins when I run across something that I want to share either online or in person at a store. I'm not one to follow and care about trends, I care more about my personal style than what's "in" and "trendy" so I don't pay attention to that stuff and only share what's "trending" with all of you. It just comes down to what I like. Next, I figure out how I am going to style the item I want to feature.

Once I figure out how I'm going to style something I need to find a location to photograph it. I like my photos to invoke a feeling rather than take them in front of a garage door my front stops, so I'm always looking for interesting locations I can photograph an outfit. I actually have a Google Doc with a list of places, contact information, and notes. I also have a few staple locations I use, mainly parks by where I live if I can't get somewhere further away or if it's a more casual look.

Making My Vision Come to Life

My mom takes all of my outfit pictures for me. We generally take about an hour and anywhere from 400 - 1,000 photos. I'm always self-conscious about my photos and trying to learn, grow, and create more beautiful images. I don't have a wicked expensive camera, I shoot on a little Canon Rebel that is a few years old with this lens. While I would love to invest in a really fantastic camera body and lens, I can't justify the cost at this moment in time. Maybe one day! Since good light is the most important aspect of photography, we try to shoot at golden hour on sunny days. Cloudy days we can shoot anytime so we usually do it earlier. I do a test shot and adjust all the settings on the camera and explain to my mom how I want the photos to look. As we are going along I stop and check the camera to see how everything is photographing and see what's working, what do I like and what do I not like and I make adjustments accordingly. I also always try to do something new, a new pose or a new way of doing something so I'm always learning.

Next, it's time to edit, I edit all of my photos myself. The first thing I do is pull them all off the camera. Once they are loaded onto the computer I go through each and every one and slide all the ones that came out the best into a folder. Once I have the images narrowed down I import them into Lightroom and begin editing. As I'm editing I narrow down the photos again into just that will end up being the final post. A lot of people are doing the overly bright, blown out highlights look that they describe as "bright and airy" but I try to stay away from that and go for more of a vintage look. This can take hours so I'm not going to go into details about how I edit the photos today. If you want to know more about my process, let me know and I can do that in a separate post.

Laying it Out

Next, it's time to lay it all out in a blog post. I play with the arrangement of the images until I get it just the way I want it. Then I link up everything and figure out if I have anything, in particular, I want to say in the text part of the post. If I don't, I kind of just type as I think. I read over everything and check the preview then make any final changes and finally, I publish the post and hope that you guys enjoy it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Sweater Weather

What I'm Wearing: 

Sweater: Loft | Bracelet: Touchstone Crystal c/o | Sunglasses: Francesca's | Jeans: Old Navy

It seems as if we are finally done with the 80 degree days for the year, so it's officially sweater weather! I always size up at least one size for sweaters because I feel that the roomier they are, the cozier. Anyone else? I also love to add sweaters with special details like crystals or ruffles to my wardrobe since they are such a staple in the fall and winter months. In addition to the one I'm wearing, I've shared some of the other sweaters that I'm loving lately below. 


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