fall foliage!

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We are truly fortunate to spend some of this time in our lives here in Upstate NY!  Fall is such a beautiful time of the year with all the colors changing and making you feel the change in the world, still full of possibilities.  Yet, this morning while I was walking Walter I felt it was a bit depressing too, because everything is dying the leaves are falling and once again … it signifies all the change that’s to come.
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We made one last hiking trip of the year out back to Minnewaska State Park Preserve.  And this time we brought Walter along since we knew the trail pretty well and figured he could handle it.  The views were nothing short of absolutely stunning.  The colors peeking out were like brush strokes in a painting.  Nature’s painting.  
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See what I mean by brush strokes!
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It’s hard to believe in all the time we’ve had Walter … this is our first family photo with all three of us!
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This beat didn’t slow down one bit!  I was worried he would need to take a lot of breaks especially after mile 3…. but he just kept going.  The only time we slowed down was when we stopped to take in the sights.
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Stunning!
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Doesn’t phase him one bit!
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This was taken at the beginning of our 10 mile hike!  We took the trail again toward Lake Awosting.  Took us 6 hours in total to get there and back!  Can’t wait till next year when we start hiking again.  For now…. I guess we should all let Fall take it’s course…and bake more. :)

treat yo’self!

Over our weekend we went on a family hiking trip to go see all the beautiful fall foliage!  I’ll post about that later this week.  But after we came home from a 10 mile hike with Walter, the entire family was exhausted.  That didn’t keep me from peeling, slicing and dicing half a dozen apples to make some apple crisp.  It was actually my very first time making it!  I got on pinterest to search for a recipe, and found one easily enough.  It came out delicious!  Perfect end to our adventuring outdoors.CaptureThe recipe I used came from The Girl Who Ate Everything- Perfect Apple Crisp. Pretty easy recipe to follow!

Last night’s dinner

I thought I’d try making Dragon Noodles for dinner, finally.  I’ve had the recipe pinned for a while now.  And every time I scroll through the recipe board and I see the pin, my mouth starts watering.  So I finally had all the ingredients to make this delicious dish.
lo mein noodlesIt was super easy to make and turned out to be every bit satisfying as I had hoped.  Will definitely be making this again as long as I keep a steady supply of lo mein noodles, sriracha, brown sugar and soy!

signs of fall

My morning didn’t start out so bright.  I had an interview fall through.  One I wasn’t expecting too.  And I get really agitated when things out of my control just don’t work out the way I had expected.  Probably more agitated then I should get, which leads me to get entirely way too anxious and react in ways that get me more worked up.  This morning was one of those incidences where someone told me no….and I was extremely annoyed.  More so, because the PR person who is handling the interview is just not media savvy and I get extremely annoyed with people who’s jobs it is to accommodate the media…yet they don’t have the slightest clue about what it is we do.  All this on my day off.

So I was hard to get motivated to do household stuff.  Eventually I got my but out the door to do some grocery shopping then took Walter out, and stumbled into this gem.  Loved taking a moment to enjoy the simpler things in life.Capture

Why hello fall . . .

photoSpeaking of fall … I’ve found a way to make pumpkin spice syrup for lattes at home!  Ta-Da

For the recipe check out http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2013/10/how-to-make-your-own-pumpkin-spice-latte-for-40-cents/

It’s super easy!  Happy Fall everyone.

Life with a View

Last year we went camping soon after our wedding and honeymoon.  This year we decided to keep with that trend and go soon after our wedding anniversary.  Our friend, one of Nol’s buddies from college tagged along.  100_4083

Our camp ground was a little town near New Paltz!  It was drizzling a tiny bit when we got there, so setting up the tent was our first challenge.  Oh and, the boys forgot the rain fly… but no worries, they got resourceful and created a makeshift roof with some tarps pieced together.  Problem solved!
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After we set everything up, and ate lunch we headed to our hiking spot.  The Minnewaska State Park Preserve! This is us, pre-exhuastion. Even from the start, the area was full of great views.  But the best was yet to come.
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This place did not fail to deliver at anything.  Words really can’t do justice to the view from the cliffs here.100_4120

It was lightly raining on and off throughout our 8 mile hike.  Slippery rocks slowed us down a bit…and when that wasn’t an issue we had to watch out for these big gaps!  Good thing none of us have a fear of heights.  Along the trail we made stops at Patterson’s Pellet, and eventually made it to Gertrude’s Nose, which offered another amazing view of the valley below.  We sat there for a bit snacking on our munchies and resting before making the hike back down to Lake Minnewaska, where we had parked our car.
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By the time we made it back down to the lake…. I think it took us about two hours? The sun decided to come out and play.  It was the perfect ending to an exhausting day! There were moments I was very crabby with Nolan and thinking when on earth will this hike end?  Not that I wasn’t having fun … but there were parts of the hike that were very grueling and I felt like I was getting my butt kicked by nature.  Yeah, thanks nature.  You WIN!  But time and again … the payoff is always awesome.  With views I will cherish for an entire lifetime…and so thankful I had the opportunity to physically get through this and enjoy these moments with Nol.
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A panoramic shot of Lake Minnewaska.  After we had hiked all day… we were primed for the camp fire and some relaxing.  Hands down my favorite part of camping is starting the fire…and making some food and s’mores!  Few things in life deliver such great satisfaction of having your food cooked by an open fire which also keeps you warm.  The night was cool, but not too cool.  And the ground…well it was pretty uncomfortable but I still slept like a baby because I was exhausted.  Day 2 consisted of a hike in the same park but a different trail which would take us to Lake Awosting…. a body of water few people visit because it requires one to either hike or bike to the lake. :) Now that’s crowd control!

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We were on Carriage trail for most of this hike.  It made the hike we did the day before feel like the gauntlet! This trail was very well manicured ….there also wasn’t a lot of climbing involved.  It was nice that this came on the second day …to give us a bit of a break.

One of my favorite parts of doing this trail…. were the views we saw of the other side — which were the areas we had hiked along just the day before!

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Some more magnificent rock formations that took our breath away.
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And Nol had to inch closer to the edge.


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After about an hour more of walking at a leisurely pace, we made it to Lake Awosting… and sure enough it was  void of annoying people.

However, as soon as we took our food out… these little guys managed to mosey on over.  There are signs clearly posted that state not to feed them.  But I have the sneaking suspicion most people don’t follow those rules…because they were awfully insistent.  And don’t worry — we did not feed them.  They had to learn to hard way.

100_4176After our delightful lunch — we headed back.  Took us another hour and half I think.  It was a great end to our two day adventure.  Couldn’t have asked for a better companion to travel with…. love you Nol!

One Year Later

We celebrated our anniversary a week ago, and we both managed to make it a very special day for each other.  Looking back on our first year of marriage made both of us realize how fortunate we are to have found each other and have each other’s support through the good times and the bad.1yearOf course, there was a glass of pinot grigio involved to celebrate our big milestone.  We had a wonderful dinner at a nice French restaurant.  Nolan tried beef tartar for the first time.  He wasnt a fan of the raw beef and the consistency.  Although, he says he’s glad he ordered it at that restaurant since it was probably the best prepared..at the very least, he tried it at its finest.  I on the other hand ordered fish.  And it was fantastic!  Served with roasted veggies and sauce.  I savored every bite.  We had gushed over our appetizers too.  DIVINE!

photoPerhaps one of the best parts of the meal — dessert!  Creme Brulee por moi! And Nol ordered a Chocolate mousse.  It was a wonderful three course meal to ring in our 2nd year of marriage and celebrate the year that had been!  After surprising me with a video game like none other (yes, he made a video game!) JUST FOR ME!  It was insane!  And too sweet.  I handed him this.anniversary frameA framed reminder of the places we have been, and the places that hold so much meaning for the both of us.  Easy to make, and makes quite the impact each time we look at it and are reminded of where our journey has taken us.

photo (2)Finally, I’ll leave you all with this.  As fall approaches … my flowers are still holding up!  I’ve been lucky to be able to care for them and see them bloom morning after morning.  They always make me contemplate life and how ever changing it can be at all times.  Loving my life these days for the most part and incredibly lucky to be doing what I love and being with the person I love the most in all of the universe.

Ch-ch-changes

Monday morning came and I was ready to not be a sore loser about it.  My work schedule is slowly being tweaked, and it includes a tiring turnaround from Sunday night to Monday morning.  As I was eating breakfast, and making more coffee to take to work, I managed to spill it all on the counter in a lame move.  Couldn’t have been more perfect for a sitcom scene, it was almost unreal how stereotypically Monday that moment felt.  I didn’t let that one clumsy move deter me. Off to work I went, with little knowledge of what the day would hold.

Eventually, as I settled on a story that seemed to be working out I sat out in the backyard with one of the people I was interviewing, with a crushing headache that was coming on, but again, I was hell bent on making the day a good one as I enjoyed the nice day, took in the smells, and greenery. And then it happened,  bird poop from above.  Thanks nature.  It was disgusting and my trusty photographer was nice enough to run and get napkins.  My interview just looked at me like, that’s life.

We sat in the car, putting the story together about a coach that was let go unexpectedly (and I thought my day was going bad) . Everything pales in comparison.  My headache has now developed into a pounding ton of bricks and I felt like I was going to die (I might be exaggerating only slightly, but it was extremely painful and uncomfortable those last few hours of the day).  So I did what I always naturally do, go shop for snacks thinking that will make everything feel better.  I got a sparkling grapefruit drink that was super refreshing and a Kashi bar.  But it didn’t make me feel very good.  Had I made a mistake?  I got through the next few hours somehow completed my day, and was happy that the day ended well before midnight (which is normally when my nights wrap up).  Other news stations had started showing up, and a nightside crew from mine turned up to take over for us.  Seemed like my talking up the story had garnered even more attention and this was turning into a big deal. For me though, the day was over by 6:30 and I was a happy camper to go home, even with my pounding headache.

Then came another phone call last Thursday!  The coach got his job back! I havent felt so good about a story in a long time, but I know by pursuing this story I got the ball rolling, even if it made the tiniest impact on getting more attention on his problem and getting this man his job back, I was glad to have been a part of it!

It’s back to work for me tomorrow, and who knows what’s in store this week.