Crossing Our Fingers
Kevin just got back from an interview at a company that he really wants to work for. He is technically still on his way back because he had a late flight which made him miss his other flight home. :( So, he is stuck in JFK.
If he does get this job, we would move to San Francisco! This is a big move and a huge change in our lives. He has never lived anywhere but Pittsburgh! Personally I have lived in a few different cities, but I think I am ready for a new start. As you all know I recently left my job of 3 years, and I feel like I need something new.
We will probably find out today. Wow. Fingers, toes, limbs and every other body part is crossed.
Edit: He didn’t get the job this time, but they want him to apply again in a month. :( Oh, and he drove home because his other flight was cancelled.
Trip to the Carolinas
I (Kevin) recently took a trip to North and South Carolina with my family. It was the first vacation I took in a long time. I enjoyed traveling and seeing places I’ve never been before, but my favorite part was shutting off my computer the entire time. I’m a web developer so my usual day consists of me sitting and staring at a computer screen. Logging off gave me a chance to do a few other things I enjoy.
I went for a run on the beach every morning and evening I could. I also read three books in the week I was on vacation. I haven’t read that much in the past 3 months.
Our first stop on the family tour was Chincoteague Island, famous for its wild horses.
Their “wild” horses were basically in a large pasture. At least the place had a beach.
I liked watching people crabbing more than actually doing it. I don’t have the patience for fishing or crabbing.
Sunset over the pier. Yada yada yada.
On the way to our next destination, we stopped in the little town of New Bern. My sister is into all of the Nicholas Sparks books and apparently his latest novel was set in his hometown of New Bern.
The second place we went was a place in North Carolina called Emerald Isle. It’s part of the “Crystal Coast” (sounds like a drug haven or lame TV cop drama).
A beach wedding outside of our hotel. Flips flops worn by all.
Diner for dinner.
A beach with lots of shells and shark teeth. This one was perfect to run on. Not too soggy. Not to hard. It was just right.
My sister relaxing on the porch with the constant ocean breeze. If my family wasn’t having a conversation, I would’ve been asleep in that hammock in 15 seconds flat.
Our final stop was Charleston, South Carolina.
The obligatory tour of the city in a carriage.
At the tour place, you stick a pin in the place where you’re from.
The coolest part about Charleston for me was the unique doors on all of the old houses.
How can we resist caramel apples and homemade fudge?
As close to a real pirate ship that I’ll ever get.
This sums up the beauty of Charleston in a single photo. Beautiful brick and wrought iron work, interesting doorways and palm trees, and a blue sky.
Row of oak trees planted nearly 200 years ago. Talk about planning ahead.
This vacation made me realize that I need to take more vacations. There’s not nearly enough of this world that I’ve seen traveling with people I love.
Becoming a wedding photographer!
I (Mandy) am venturing out into the wedding photography business. I decided this only recently after this amazing wedding I photographed for a friend. You see, I have been a second shooter for at least 10 weddings now, and I thought I hated it. But that is because I was second shooting. I have really discovered my love for being able to capture couples the way I want to capture them.
I also was a stylist for my previous job, so I can offer a unique service of photographing and styling. Especially engagement shoots. I have my best friend who does makeup too! How perfect does it get? Anyways, the point is I wanted to talk about it and how excited I am. I already have three weddings booked for next summer. ALSO, I have two awesome engagement sessions booked one in NYC and the other in Baltimore this summer. I CANNOT WAIT.
Here are some photos from my most recent wedding:
Brad and Courtney are my friends and were so fun to capture on their wedding day! :) I know they will have many years of happiness together. <3
Niagara Falls + Toronto
Kevin and I recently traveled to Niagara Falls with my family! We stayed at a place called Branches of Niagara, it was pretty nice! Best part was that it was dog friendly. I was so glad to get away from my daily life and see such an amazing and historical place. Let me tell you the story in photographs.
Off to Toronto for the day. First stop Casa Loma!
^our future home
^we are adorbs
Next we went to the Toronto Zoo!
Then we visited the CN tower
We had such an awesome time. I cannot wait to go back. :) <3
P.S. All of these images were straight from my camera.
Gluten Free for Mand-y
I have felt like absolute crap the past few weeks. Every time I would eat something I got a stomach ache, and it made me never want to eat! It has been absolutely no fun at all, so I did some googling and found a few ideas on what could be wrong. The most popular solution that kept popping up was that I might have Celiac’s disease, or may just be allergic to gluten. I read many articles, some saying to get tested by a doctor first, others saying to try the diet to see if you instantly feel better.
I recently lost my health insurance from my old job, so yeaaa, I decided to cut gluten out of my diet. haha
I first ate a shit ton of gluten the day before my cleanse to see how I felt. I was sooooo sick! The next day I didn’t eat any gluten and I didn’t get a stomach ache at all! Solution? I am 90% sure that I am allergic to Gluten, and that is good enough for me right now.
Good thing there is a gluten-free brewery in Pittsburgh who is in AlphaLab’s program, so I can be one of their first customers! :)
Oil Creek State Park
Over Memorial Day weekend, I took a little time to myself to get back to doing something I enjoyed when I was younger: backpacking. I used to backpack and camp much more when I was in Boy Scouts, but I haven’t done much of either since I was 15. I needed time to myself after I started a new job and have been working like crazy.
Backpacking is relaxing to me. Sometimes it can be hard, like it was at Oil Creek, but there’s nothing that rivals the accomplished feeling you get when you finally get to your campsite for the night.
Maybe finishing a marathon is similar…
I parked my car and headed out on the trail. No more than 10 minutes later, I took a wrong turn on the trail and had to stop and look at my map. I noticed a hitchhiker on my pack and knew it was going to be a fun weekend.
My hike to the camp was nothing more than two miles and would’ve been a lot less had I not taken a wrong turn. I made a delicious dinner of a chicken and rice tortilla.
I made a fire, even though it was 90 degrees after the sun had gone down. I needed a break from the constant barrage of biting insects.
I woke up early on Saturday and made the worst breakfast I’ve ever had in my life. Pancakes are difficult to make with a really hot stove and a saucepan. Noted for next time.
I got on the trail and promptly saw this guy on the trail, the first Garter snake of about 50. My dog had no idea it was even there.
The trail on the first day with surrounded by a gorgeous clear forest with lots of ferns. I like ferns.
The trail was also filled with many hills. Many many hills. Apparently, Oil Creek is the second hardest hike in PA. Quite a reintroduction to backpacking for me…
I stopped for lunch at a scenic overlook on the trail.
I was supposed to hike around that very far little town you see in the overlook picture, but I decided against it because I was already tired from hiking all morning. My dog, Luna, was exhausted too and took a nap while I ate lunch.
I cut off about 6 miles from what I was supposed to do that day, and got to camp around 5pm, with plenty of time to make a nice dinner (Lemon Dill Tuna with rice) and read a book before sunset. On Saturday night, I slept in a nice adirondack the park built.
I woke up Sunday morning ready to go and thought it was right around 7am, my usual time for waking up when I’m camping. As soon as I saw the sun, I knew it was much later. I checked my watch and it was 10am! I haven’t slept into 10am in years, let alone when I was camping. It felt great, though.
Realizing that Saturday’s hike took more out of me than I planned, I decided to take the easy way out to my car and walk along the bike path for as long as I could.
Walking along the bike path, I actually saw quite a bit more wildlife than when I was in the woods. I saw geese, snakes, song birds, and even two pheasants, that my dog wanted to eat more than anything. I also saw a Red-Spotted Newt. Believe it or not, I was obsessed with these little dudes when I was a kid. I didn’t want a fish or a dog as a pet. I wanted a tank full of Red-Spotted Newts.
Walking along the bike path also gave me a chance to get much better pictures of the creek I was hiking around all weekend.
Alas, the bike path ended and I needed to get back on the main trail and brave all of the constant hills. It was a gorgeous path the whole rest of the way.
After about 3 hours of up and down and up and down, I got to the site of the first camp. I rested, filled up my water bottles and ate lunch. I had an avocado/bacon wrap that was so delicious. Maybe I would’ve thought any food was good at that point, but this might have been the best wrap I’ve ever eaten. (Also, if you want to challenge yourself backpacking, try babying an avocado for a whole trip)
Only a mile to go, so I suited up and got going. You can’t tell from this picture, but my shirt was drenched in sweat. I must have drank my body weight in water to stay hydrated that day.
My favorite sign of the entire trip.
It was a bitter moment to have the relaxing and fun weekend over, but it was mostly sweet because I wouldn’t have to hike anymore. All told, I did about 25 miles with 50 pounds on my back. I let my dog off her leash and let her run around in a field while I just laid in the sun. She found a couple birds and chased them until she was as exhausted as I was. It’s no easy feat to wear Luna out, but she slept for the next three days.
Greetings and Welcome!
This is a blog for my boyfriend, Kevin, and me, Mandy, to share some of our explorations and adventures!
But first, a little background on us:
Kevin: Kevin is a web developer who is working for a small company in Pittsburgh. He’s making us an awesome theme for the site, so when it looks awesome, you’ll know who is behind it.
Mandy: I am a curvy girl who has a fashion blog, used to be a plus size model, recently left her job in fashion after 3 years. Now I’m trying out dog walking, and photo gigs to support my student loans. Not to mention, I am starting a clothing company.
So, that is just about it for now! Talk to you soon!