Today marks the 152nd anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

 Last weekend my mom and I took a whirlwind, last-minute trip to Gettysburg, a place that neither of us had been before. For a sleepy Pennsylvania town, it is brimming with relevant history and is absolutely one of my favorite experiences in a while. It really was an investment to go, as a historian, and as a stakeholder in history education. It was powerful to see the sprawling, hilly fields of Gettysburg and contemplate what it may have looked like all those years ago. It was a somber but meaningful visit, especially as I am becoming more and more interested in the Civil War. Short weekend trips like this can teach you so much, and make you appreciate your country. It was really good timing, as today marks the anniversary of Lincoln's famous address; it was also the weekend after Veteran's Day which really made me think not only about our country, but the people who quietly gave what they could to serve to make our country great. In light of recent events I am even more grateful for this.

Not sure if I should be posting this, because technically we broke a rule...but my favorite part of the trip was going onto the fields at night. Not to hunt for ghosts, but to take pictures of the stars. The milky way was fantastic. Streams of stars lit the sky. Little bright balls of white developed the longer you kept your eye on them. The starlight picture above was taken at the site of one of the hospitals at Gettysburg, near Cemetery Ridge.

Even without the history, Gettysburg is a delightful town. All the locals that I spoke to love living there. It is quiet, simple, and well maintained. The town has a certain dignity along with its charm. We found some cute cafes and restaurants on the main street, Chambersburg Street, including this place and this place. 

I can't sufficiently express what I got out of this trip. I loved every second of it and can't wait to visit again.

ciao! xo



Fall has been unusually quick paced, with weeks and dates blurring into one another.  I have found time to do a lot of the things on my to-do list, but it is already winter and I fear that this lovely grace period of fall has come and gone! Cool (but not frigid) nights, no pressure to shop for the holidays, time to enjoy all things pumpkin, apple and cinnamon-y. I have enjoyed a lot of it, but I could always use more!

For Halloween, I was a nerd. :) Did not require much dressing up or acting! I loved it. Speaking of nerd,  I was giddy when I found this 1979-era Nikon M film camera at a yard sale. The price of this camera was unbelievably fantastic. It is the first full-frame and film camera I have ever owned and I love the risk, the calculation, and the unknown of shooting with film...the way it used to be. I wish, so badly sometimes, that I was born a little bit earlier before the digital age overtook everything. I find it exhilaratingly challenging.

Daylight savings has also been awesome. That extra hour, especially in the mornings, is quite nice to have.

okay...enough chatter! ciao, xo


some november thoughts

Hellooo! It's incredible that we are already over a week into November, and I haven't posted since mid-October! I promised I wouldn't give up blogging, and I wanna stay true to that! But the idea of privacy has definitely taken the pressure off the need to post a certain number of times per week and month. I feel like it's a good fit for now. November is the month of gatherings and birthdays here in this family. It has been lovely and busy, as usual, with lots of dreaming and doing. Here are a few thoughts, favorites, and phases for November so far...

  • my nifty fifty lens! I had been eyeing up the 50mm f/1.4 prime lens for my Nikon for a few weeks before making the (not so big) splurge. It is so cost effective and I love the super wide aperture, which results in a more blurred background with a delightful bokeh effect. The picture above was taken of me with the nifty fifty. Love the versatility of this lens, even though you can't zoom in and out. Definitely can see how it is a piece every photographer should own. 
  • outfit obsessions right now: hats, vests, and boots. I have been all over hats for a while and it seems suddenly with the ushering in of fall, they are EVERYWHERE, available in all stores, and man I love it! This one is an oldie from last winter from Brixton - love the super wide, floppy brim. The whole trend is really great and even extends into better haircare, I think...here's my thinking...if I know I am wearing a hat, I'm not worrying about my hair or what it looks like.  Outerwear and vests are another current obsession of mine - I keep finding myself pinning new pieces and really lusting over unusual, textured pieces that make layering easy and interesting. And boots! I'm searching for a nice pair of black booties, and I expect I will wait until I meet the perfect pair.
  • amazon prime movies and rentals. this is my new friday night date! I have been all over Amazon Prime's rentals - most start at $2.99 - because it is so effortless and easy, and almost any title is available. I've really been enjoying it on cold weekday nights when I have some extra time to relax in bed. With the free titles, I've been exploring all types of movies I normally don't watch - oldies, war movies, Jane Austen classics, etc. Most of them are clunkers but it is fun to give it a shot. My most recent eye-roller was Miss Julie, with Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell....it had me for a while, but just got so horribly bad. My on-rotation favorite is the Civil War documentary by Ken Burns. It is going through its 25th anniversary again on Sunday nights, PBS :)
  • cabin dreaming. I have been really keen on the idea of simpler country living, it seems. This year we've had talk in the family about what it would be like to have a cabin. It just seems like all of this dreaming and talking is turning the idea of a cabin into quite a lovely aspiration. The country appeals to me for its lack of crowds, the fresh air, the untainted night sky, the sounds and smells of the outdoors. I was not always like this! I am not sure where this is coming from...but I am feeling really into country, cabin life. 
  • wanderlust: i am dreaming big and small. We are taking a small trip to Gettysburg this weekend, which I am looking forward to immensely. part of it is inspo from watching the Civil War documentary! It will be a poignant, but eerily enriching trip. Big dreams include international travel...I'm missing the big time trips!  I really want to get some plans into work about London, my friend and I have been wanting to go for years now but the plans just never fell into place. Maybe something in the next few months will work out...