Summer in Milwaukee

Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 3-Milwaukee Public Market 60

I must say that I love Milwaukee in the summertime.  I love it in the other seasons too, but there is just so much happening here in the summer!  Taking a photography class this summer, I have had a lot of practicing to do.  Each week I was required to go out and shoot for 1-2 hours and continue honing the craft of operating my camera in the manual mode.  I am so thankful not just for the lessons on how to use the camera, but the challenge that it gave me to explore and appreciate my city a bit more.  From Alterra on the Lakefront, to the Mckinley Marina, to a ski show/competition in Veteran's Park, and then on to the many beautiful gems in the Third Ward- I was reminded of how truly beautiful Milwaukee is.  It's crazy how much we bypass during our regular day to day activities, not taking the time to take a minute and soak in all the beauty surrounding us.

One of my favorite things to do over summer is spend as many meals as possible on a patio or a rooftop somewhere.  The one pictured below is a great spot in the Third Ward- Cafe Benelux.  On the corner of Broadway, across from the Wicked Hop, this is the place to be. Not only is it one of the only restaurants with rooftop seating, but they have great food and a ginormous beer list, much better described as a beer book.  As I sat at our table with the warm breeze blowing, the sun shining on my face, and a beer in my hand, I couldn't help but think about how great my city is.

As I take more steps to learn how to capture beautiful images from behind my camera, I am so excited to be able to appreciate the amazing creations in front of it.  I'm excited to go out again this next week and try to explore new territory and see some of the beauty I've yet to discover.  What about you, have you found some hidden gems in your city?

Thanks for tagging along with me in this adventure.  If you've never been to MKE, I hope you get to check it out someday.  xoxo

Third Ward Milwaukee building

In Love with Life: The Define School

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Remember when you were little and older people used to tell you "time flies when you get older!"?  I remember hearing that all the time, but thinking to myself- yeah right, the school year is creeping along.  And here I am 27 years old and I catch myself being that older person saying, Oh my gosh isn't time flying!?  

With that said, I feel like it has been a crazy past couple of weeks/month.  School is done- which I know doesn't apply to me, but my sis is a teacher so I feel like it does.  Warmer weather is finally showing its face in WI (and hopefully staying?).  People are traveling right and left. Soo many weddings are coming up.  And well, I'm just trying to keep up with all of it.  Although I'm not being the world traveler, nor do I have the exciting step of getting married coming up, I do have something that I am right in the midst of that I am pretty darn excited about.  I am taking a photography class!! 

I received my first DSLR as a birthday present from my sweet Grandpa in May, and since I don't really know how to use it other than on the auto setting, I decided that it would be a good idea to take a photography class.  It's an online class called From Auto to Manual through The Define School.  I heard about it through my Instagram feed, and I am glad I did.  It's not your typical online class because it's more hands-on.  At the end of each lesson, each student submits some photos to be reviewed and critiqued by our teacher.  I am only one homework submission into the class, but the critique was already really helpful.  I'm really excited about this class, and look forward to learning how to use my camera to it's full extent.  

I am really thankful for this opportunity and thankful that my husband is so sweet in supporting me as I try to continue my learning experiences as an adult.  Continuing to take opportunities to learn and figure out who you are is a great way to be intentional about being in love with life, dontcha think? 

Watch out for some of my "homework" as I learn how to use my camera and practice, in hopes of capturing some beautiful images.  

Cheers to photography and photos and all their loveliness.  


Straw Bale Gardening

Monday, June 3, 2013

Over Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I made the six-and-a-half hour trip to the tiny little town in Minnesota where he grew up. His parent's house is situated on a 45-some acre lot with tons of trees, a creek (or "crick" as they say), a few hayfields, a couple garages and sheds, 3 horses and a bunch of random cats. Both my husband and I grew up in the country (although I wasn't quite in the sticks like him), and so it is always a treat to get away from our city-apartment and be immersed in the country, with lots of fresh air and beautiful stars at night.

Our trips to Minnesota are always filled with a little bit of excitement.  Whether it be an experience eating Pig Weed (essentially grows in horse fields, near manure piles... look it up), taking a few snowmobiles for a spin, or hopping on his dad's latest toy, a mini-bike, and riding it around the property, it is always a good time.  In addition to attempting to climb a tree, this time, we got a chance to be assistants as his mother taught us a new technique she is trying out in her garden- straw bale gardening.  

I don't know about you, but I have never heard of, or seen this before so I was a bit skeptical.  But after she explained how the bales are first fertilized, watered until soaked, all in the efforts to pre-treat the bales to prepare for planting, I am very intrigued in how this is going to work out.  The goal of planting in a straw bale is to avoid some of the annoying weeds that make their way into the plants and to give the plants a productive, warm, nutrient rich environment in which to grow.  

Because this is the first time my mother-in-law is attempting this, she decided to go with a few rows of bales with pepper plants, and a couple other bales with seeds for lettuces and beans.  For the plants, we simply dug a hole into the bale, set in the plant, and filled around with potting soil.  

And for the ones with the seeds, we laid a layer of soil, followed by the seeds, and topped off with another layer of soil.

Not only is it an innovative way of gardening, but the little plants all nestled in the bale are pretty cute, right?   

Since we won't be there to see how it all turns out, I told his mom she has to give me progress reports with pictures as to how these little babies are doing.  I am really excited to see how successful straw bale gardening is!  Although we don't have enough space in our duplex to attempt our own straw bale gardening, we did come home with a few pepper and tomato plants to try out on our little porch!

I can't wait to have a house of our own where we can have a lovely garden to play with!
Cheers to warm weather, planting, and all the good things that come with it.

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