Seasoned View Vol. 29

Each month we share our Seasoned View.  Snapshots of nature and daily life taken by the Seasoned sisters. Find our archive of past months’ views here.

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Welcome, November. Today we’re sharing our joint view. While Katie explored the mountains of Colorado, I biked the streets and swam the cenotes in Mexico. You can upload one or all of these photos to use as your desktop background or even as phone and tablet wallpapers.  Simply click on the download link below each photo and save the image.  Enjoy!

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Taking the Bus from Cancun to Tulum

Curious about international travel? Here’s how to save, here’s how to pack, and here’s your first destination.

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It’s Monday! Time to daydream for a moment about taking a bus in Mexico. Ohhhh intriguing. A Little bit scary? Meh, it’s amazing. Let me tell you about it. The Yucatan is perfect this time of year. The rainy season just wrapped up and now the weather is quite perfect, warm, but not oppressive. Hurry down soon because once January rolls around, tourists flock to the area for the next couple months.

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Best Scary, Dark, Horror, and Halloween T.V. and Movies on Netflix

It’s scary movie time! Even if you’re a horror hater, you must watch at least one creepy flick this month. I recently watched The Houses October Built with a few of my friends and I was so surprised at how well done it was, more on that below. I decided to compile a list of my favorite Netflix shows and movies that veer towards the dark side. There are a few I haven’t watched, but are on the list, I’ll denote them with an asterisk* Happy haunting!

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The Fall – This is a Netflix original T.V. show and like the rest, it’s amazing. The Fall is about a detective trying to track down a serial killer.  This show is disturbing on a few levels. The serial killer is an attractive, unassuming family man, and the violence portrayed against women is pretty graphic. Maybe don’t watch this one if you’re a single lady living alone.

The Killing – Another Netflix original T.V. show, The Killing is based on the investigation that takes place after the murder of teen Rosie Larsen. I watched the first two seasons and then I faded out, but initially, it is a nail-biter.

*Mindhunter – I haven’t watched this one yet, but it sounds super interesting. Yet again, another Netflix original (they obviously know what viewers want) it’s about two FBI agents in the seventies who look at the psychology of murderers.

Hostel – I saw this movie in 2005 before I had ever traveled anywhere. I didn’t even realize what a hostel was or that this concept for shared bunk rooms was prevalent in most countries besides America, where there are surprisingly few. Eeeek, travel and horror, this one hits close to home.

Saw – All the Saws are on Netflix right now, but if you haven’t seen the first one, it’s by far my favorite. Saw is the type of movie that horrifies me because I didn’t even know such dark thoughts were possible. You’re a real freak, James Wan. Thanks for having a healthy outlet for your dark thoughts.

*Gerald’s Game – I haven’t seen this, but it has a rating of 9.1 on IMDB, which is unheard of for a horror film. Here’s the synopsis: while trying to spice up their marriage in their remote lake house, Jessie must fight to survive when her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her handcuffed to their bed frame. I think the movie delves into the darker side of one’s psyche.

Gremlins – A classic and actually a lot freakier than I remember it being. Basically, a new pet turns into a thousand new mischevious little monsters that wreak havoc all over town.

The Babadook – A dark movie with an interesting theme. I really enjoyed how vague The Babadook was at times, but how evident it was during the final few scenes. A satisfying watch.

The Houses October Built – I thought the premise of this scary movie was sooo spookey. It’s about five friends on a road trip looking for the ultimate haunted house. They travel around looking for bigger and better scares until it seems like it’s being taken too far or is it all part of the haunt? Who knows?!

 

Hopefully you have a friend or at least a pet to watch these flicks with, if not, you may want to stick to the Gremlins. Good luck!

*And if you want to make a witch silhouette for your window, more on that in this post.
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Halloween Costume Idea : Troll Dolls

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Happy Monday! You have about two weeks to throw together a costume if you’re partaking in Halloween this time around. Last week we shared the Broken Doll and the week before, Katie offered up a few toddler suggestions: a Disco Ball and a Strong Man. Today I’m back with another super simple, yet iconic costume: a Troll Doll. Again, you must forgive the crappy cell phone pics. One of these days I’ll document a costume properly…

I dressed up like a Troll in 2010. At that time it was a throwback, Troll dolls being hella popular in the nineties, but now that the Trolls movie was such a hit, I feel like everyone will be clued in. Even though only a few people guessed my costume correctly back then, when I told them what it was they immediately knew, flipped out, jumped up and down and most gave me a hug. The next question was always about the hair, which every single person then squeezed. Troll dolls man, nostalgia in one cute and slightly strange costume. Here’s how it’s done: live seasoned halloween trolli doll costume-1

Troll Doll Essentials :

Some things explained :

  1. The bellybutton gem : cut a large diamond or circle out of the iridescent paper. Cut the shape much larger than your actual bellybutton as you’ll want it to be clearly visible. Use fashion tape or double-sided tape and adhere it to your nude tanktop.
  2. How to achieve high hair : It’s actually really easy. Find an empty water bottle. Remove the cap. Bend over and flip your head upside down so your hair is hanging down. Place the bottle on top of your head and gently gather all the hair around it, wrap a ponytail around the top of the bottle and your hair. Hairspray it a bunch and then flip your head right side up. The bottle is so light that you’ll forget your hair is up and you’ll most certainly hit it off taxi roofs and other small spaces. If your hair is shorter, use a crap ton of gel without a water bottle to create a similar (and in my opinion more realistic as far as troll dolls go) effect.
  3. How to get great hair color : shake the color spray for at least thirty seconds. Hold the can a foot away from your hair. It’s best to have a friend help and to do this outdoors. Cover your hair evenly, wait 3-5 minutes and repeat as many times as necessary.

That’s that y’all. There’s really nothing to it. This costume is especially great for a whole gaggle of friends. Whatever you do, don’t forget to strike the Troll pose – arms out, fingers spread!

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Halloween Costume Idea : Broken Doll

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Happy Halloweenie! Each year I browse my closet, find a favorite dress, and work towards a costume from there. In the past, this has served me pretty well as Cleopatra and Breakfast at Tiffany’s Audrey Hepburn. Last year it sparked the idea of a porcelain doll and to add a little creep factor, I went as a broken one. You could go a few different ways with this costume, cute, sexy, or creepy. I choose creepy 🙂 Forgive the photos, I never have my sh!t together I’m usually too drunk to take high-quality ones on Halloween night.

Porcelain Doll Essentials :

  • Porcelain doll inspired dress – look here for inspiration and then search your (or your sister’s and friend’s) closet or go thrifting.
  • Stockings or thigh highs
  • Mary Jane heels or really any shoes of your choosing
  • Long locks or a wig & wig cap – I highly recommend going to a beauty supply store and trying on wigs instead of buying one online. I spent about $25 on mine, take care to store it, and plan on using it again in the future.
  • Thin satin hair ribbons and matching choker – I simply tied a length of ribbon around my neck and it stayed put all night
  • Makeup – admittedly the hardest part for me! I enlisted the help of my makeup savvy girlfriend shown below.

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That’s that! Super simple with the potential to be incredibly creepy. A major bonus for this costume was not having to talk too much. I like to slip into my costume’s character, which usually means putting on some type of accent or alternate personality, but with the broken doll, I could just stare and blink at people without saying anything at all. Perfect!

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Next Level Landscape Photography

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Ask most photographers what they truly want to shoot and the answer is almost always landscape and travel photography. If there was a viable way to make a living from nature photography, we would all be doing it. It’s not impossible, but it usually comes with the goal of selling something, a product, a place, an agenda, it’s never just a nature shot. That doesn’t stop us from taking our cameras to the woods though. There are landscape shots and then there are landscape shots. Here are a few tips to elevate your game.

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Two Bits

We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned.

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Sarah Here :

Happy Friyay babies! As a photographer, people are always asking me, “How long have you been taking photos for?” And my response is usually, “ah, about five years.” As I drove away from the shoot today, I realized I’ve been lying to everyone. I’ve been taking photos for as long as I can remember.

I can remember taking stealing my Pop’s camera and taking it to school in first grade. My teacher promptly confiscated it and when I tried to turn it on at the end of the day, I couldn’t. I was so terrified that I broke it and that my Pop would be upset. I’m not sure whatever happened to that camera, but I don’t remember getting yelled at so I’m sure it was fine.

When I was a couple years older, I was gifted all types of funky polaroids and when I got to middle and high school, my parents bought me point-and-shoot cameras. A lot of them. I wish I were kidding, but I probably went through five or six cameras! One was stolen at a party, another I lost on a ski slope, one was carelessly put in my backpack and the screen broke, another got too hot at the beach and the screen exploded, and so on. Even though I would lose or break these cameras after only a few months, my mom always bought me a new one. She scolded me for being careless, but she never gave up on my love of photography even though at the time, I’m not sure we knew the extent of it.

Now, let’s say twenty years later, I’m still taking photos. I find it intuitive to capture a scene and tell a story and that’s why in 2008 I changed my major from magazine journalism to photojournalism. I can still remember the moment, the first time I said it aloud to my roommates, ‘I think I’m going to switch majors.’ The uncertainty was overwhelming. My parents asked logical questions like, ‘Can you actually make a career of it?’ I wasn’t sure, but I knew I wanted to try and here I am, almost ten years after making that decision and I’m still not sure. I mean, I’m doing it, but it looks radically different than I envisioned and that’s what I hear when I talk to my fellow TU alumni. We’re all hustling, few of us are working at newspapers and even fewer are employed full-time as photojournalists. We’re the freelancing generation. We hustle. We have to prove ourselves at every gig and we’re terrible at business, but that’s not why we got into it. We wanted to tell stories and I think we’re all doing just that.

With this question of, “How long have you been taking photos,” in mind, I looked back through my archives and discovered I have digital images from way back in 2004. Then I decided to browse year by year to see what exactly I had been up to during the last decade of September 22s. With just a single photo, I’m able to remember the days so clearly and the two years that lack an image, I lack recollection. I’m lost without my camera so even if it turns out that I can’t make a career out of it, I can make a life out of it and that’s just fine with me.

On this day :

2007 : I distinctly remember throwing up in the parking lot of a Breaking Benjamin concert although I cannot remember a second of the concert.

2008 : Probably getting stoned on campus, contemplating switching my major to photojournalism.

2009 : Katie Albin and I jumped on a tiny three-foot trampoline, in the middle of Temple’s campus and I don’t think we have ever laughed harder.

2010 : I spent the day at my sister’s apartment in Philly before heading to the Reading Terminal Market to shoot video of street musicians.

2011 : I lazed away with my then boyfriend as I would move to Thailand in just a few weeks.

2012 : I photographed an event on an army base, a new and different experience for me.

2013 : The Schu siblings visited the Bloomsburg Fair with baby Alex in tow!

2014 : I worked a gig in Charlotte that tested my knowledge and techniques. I remember feeling the pressure to deliver that day.

2015 : I learned a new (and horrifying) shat kriya technique during my yoga teacher training in Nepal.

2016 : Whatever I was doing, I didn’t take a photo of it.

2017 : Today I’m taking a three-mile walk across town with Cash to pick up my Schubaru from the shop.

2018 : Will surely be my most important September 22 as I’ll be celebrating my best friend’s wedding. <3

What are you up today? And how about ten years ago? And what about ten years from now? xo

 

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A Day at Circular Quay in Sydney Harbor

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Your first stop in Sydney will inevitably include a trip to the harbor and really it should, it is the most beautiful and active harbor I’ve ever seen. There is so much going on around The Quay that you’ll have no trouble spending an entire day in this area.

First, take a stroll up and down the steps of the Sydney Opera House and wander around the backside to watch the ferries streaming back and forth to Manly beach. If you can, try to spot the Sydney Harbour bridge climbers and contemplate if it’s something you’d like to do yourself.
If you’re hungry, head down to the Opera bar. Nestled right under the opera house near the water, the Opera restaurant and bar has mostly outdoor seating, with a few tables undercover. From this vantage point, you’ll be able to shift your gaze from the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the majestic Sydney Opera House all the while making sure those ballsy Sydney seagulls don’t steal a hot chip from your plate. Watch it, because they will.
After you’ve had a bite, wander slowly around the harbor, taking in the sights of street performers and beautiful sounds of street musicians. Over the course of the weekend that I stayed in the Sydney CBD (central business district) I discovered a handful of new favorites. There is some serious talent hanging out at the harbor waiting to be discovered or simply playing in-between gigs.
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If it’s the weekend, the street artisan market will be in full swing. Wander the long way around the harbor (past the big cruise ships and the Park Hyatt) until you see the bridge overhead. Wander through the lovely lawns of the park and take a rest under the bridge on the Adirondack chairs. Then hit up The Rocks Market. Simply head down George street until you see Argyle Street and you’ll run into it. Weave through all the market stalls, following the market onto Playfair Street. If you’re feeling an afternoon snack or brew, the market streets have ample offerings in the way of food stalls and sitdown restaurants.
After some shopping in The Rocks, roam back towards George Street and The Quay and you’ll see the back entrance of the Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s free of charge so enjoy and leave a donation on your way out if the experience spoke to you.
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After art comes gelato. There are a plethora of places nearby, I had Royal Copenhagen, it was divine. I highly recommend the passionfruit, but go ahead and sample them all first.
Take a nice rest on the lawns in front of the art museum while you watch tourists enjoying the harbor for the first time and locals making their way home from work. Let flocks of Australian white ibis invade your spaces as you listen to your new favorite street musician.
If you’re feeling energized, walk back up through the rocks to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Stroll to the center or climb up into the Pylon Lookout and watch the golden hour cast a beautiful color on the city of Sydney with soft yellow light. If that sounds like too much work, head into the Sydney Theatre Company, or one of the other dozen theaters, take a seat, and enjoy the show.
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Recreating Family Portraits Year After Year

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We’ve all seen the amazing examples, family photos taken in the same spot, with the same clothes and poses, a decade spanning the two. We wish we had one of those, but hey, we’re working on it. Year by year we’re taking the time and energy (and appropriate bribing methods) to sit down on the front porch of the beach house and snap a family photo or five.

We don’t bother checking to see who sat where or looked in which direction, however, we’re hoping to amass a large group of photos that depict our growing flock and shifting group of friends who stop by. Sometimes we take a photo during Russian Christmas wearing masks and holding our dogs and other times we scrounge up all the elephant pants we own. Sometimes I accidentally wear a tank top that says fuck on it. It all depends on the month and the amount of caffeine running through our bloodstream.

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Backpacking on the Ozette Loop

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Hey there! In July, I hiked the Ozette Loop in Olympic National Park in Washington. Although I completed the loop as an overnight backpacking trip, the Ozette Loop would also make a nice day hike.  The nine-ish mile loop starts in a coastal forest environment, forks right and winds its way across boardwalks until it dips slightly to the coast. Walking along the beach is the more challenging section, but only because you’re trudging through sand. Eventually, you reach Sand Point, a gorgeous outcropping with a large rock that you can climb atop of. It’s the perfect spot to watch the sunset and the ease of the return trip makes it possible to hike back during twilight and even as darkness falls if you’re not keen on camping. Over the course of the loop, the elevation change is less than 500 feet and beside the beach, most of the trail is on a wooden boardwalk. It’s nearly impossible to get lost and while you should always take a map, you shouldn’t need to consult it even once.

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I found the Ozette Loop to be equal parts easy and exciting. As I mentioned, there’s not much elevation change and much of the trail takes place on a wooden boardwalk through coastal forests. While hiking on a boardwalk can be a bit boring, it gives your brain a chance to focus on your surroundings instead of your next steps. Walking amongst giant hemlock and cedar trees and seeing beautiful ferns and moss dripping with moisture had me thinking about ancient reptiles, sea creatures, and dinosaurs (turns out the first dino bone discovered in Washington happened just a couple years ago).

After about three miles, you’ll shuffle down a short and steep section (there’s a rope to aid in your decent) that spits you out on the sand. At this point, my hiking partner and I took off our shoes and shirts, found an enormous downed tree and had a quick snack and snooze. Then it was time to march on along the beach. Looking out towards the sea stacks we thought about the expanse of the Pacific. Was the trash on the beach from Japan? Some of it seemed so.

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I opted to hike the two beautiful miles along the beach in Chacos. I tried bare feet for a few moments, but the sand was a bit too coarse for comfort. There was also a fair amount of sharp debris, kelp piles, driftwood and rocks covered in barnacles underfoot. Depending on the changing tide, there will be a few impassable headlands. You’ll have to scramble up over a big boulder or two (apparently there are ropes to assist, but we didn’t see or use them) or hike into the woods to navigate around them. These areas are evident and I found them to be easy enough to manage with an overnight pack. I thought that navigating around the series of downed trees was more exhausting, mostly because I’m short and those tree trunks are huuuge.

As you make your way around the headlands, be on the lookout for the Wedding Rocks petroglyphs. I’m sure I would have missed them if my friend hadn’t pointed them out to me. They are so amazing we thought that they might be fake, but a quick google search proved us wrong. I had seen petroglyphs in Mesa Verde, Colorado, but these were radically different not only in style (obviously) but also in size and definition. Thinking back, I wish I would have prepared myself for that moment because I would have stayed and enjoyed them longer instead of thinking I was being duped. I had expected to see small paintings, not large rock carvings. The petroglyphs were carved by the ancestors of the Makah tribe using tools made of rock and bone.

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Soon enough you’ll reach Sand Point and a whole host of campsites. We wandered around for a good bit trying to find a site that was semi-secluded, which proved to be tough since we rolled in late on a Friday evening. Although we could see other tents from our site, once the sun went down I truly forgot that anyone else was around. There was also the option to camp on the beach, but we liked the sheltered feel of the forest. If you do camp on the beach, know where the high tide line falls or you’ll wake up soaking wet. The next morning, bask in the sun and eat your breakfast on the beach before hiking the 4ish miles back to the trailhead.

Know before you go :

  • As always, Leave No Trace.
  • No pets, use of weapons, or wheeled devices on the trail.
  • Reservations and permits are required for overnight camping between May 1 and September 30 & must be made no more than 48 hours in advance. (The website said 72, but we were told 48 at the station. It may depend on the month)
  • Campfires are prohibited between the headland north of Yellow Banks and the headland at Wedding Rocks including Sand Point.
  • Only use driftwood for fires. Don’t gather firewood from the forested areas. Use existing fire rings or build fires on the beach to prevent damage to tree roots.
  • All food, garbage, and scented items must be stored in a park-approved bear canister. Bear canisters are available to rent when you pick up your permit.
  • Max group size of 12 people.

Water & waste :

  • There is a creek at Sand Point and Cape Alava, but beware that Cryptosporidium and Giardia are present in coastal streams and rivers. Bring a purification system or boil your water. Iodine is ineffective against cryptosporidium. I didn’t know that until this trip. I’ve been using iodine all my life. I ended up purchasing these chlorine dioxide tablets, which treat both Giardia and Cryptosporidium.
  • Pit toilets are available at Sand Point and Cape Alava. Elsewhere you must bury your waste and paper six or more inches deep and seventy steps from water sources and your campsite. LADIES! Always take your used toilet paper with you after you pee. It’s offensive to see it on the ground. I carry a plastic ziplock that I put all used toilet paper in. It’s that easy.

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What to pack for a day trip :

If I’m day hiking, sometimes I like to be extravagant. Wine with dinner while watching a sunset, anyone?

  • Apply sunscreen + bug spray before you leave
  • Water
  • Purifying tablets
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Knife
  • Snacks
  • Lunch or Dinner
  • Wine?
  • Sunglasses
  • Pullover
  • Rain jacket
  • Chacos
  • Camera
  • Hammock + straps
  • Headlamp

What to pack for an overnight trip :

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The food we packed :

We started later in the day after we ate lunch so we packed snacks, dinner, and breakfast for our overnighter. And wine. And weed. Relax, it’s legal in Washington.

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