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    Fall road

    A Beautiful Fall Road Trip to The Laurel Highlands, PA

    Fall road trip to the Laurel Highlands of PA

    In October my mom came out to visit Kevin and I for my birthday. We decided to take a fall road trip to the Laurel Highlands, PA which is located about an hour and a half outside of Pittsburgh.

    The Laurel Highlands is a mountain region in southwestern Pennsylvania with beautiful forests and farmland. The fall foliage was in full effect during our trip and the autumn scenery was a welcome change from the city.

    WINERY FESTIVAL

    Our first stop on our trip was the fall festival at Greendance winery. The festival included food, music and craft vendors. 

    We took a walk through the winery grounds and stumbled upon a campfire area equipped with seating and supplies to make smores. The fire area overlooked a small pond on the property and was right next to the wedding amphitheater. 

    The property was very beautiful and well kept so it was a nice stroll.

    I also tasted some of the best apple cider I have ever had in my life! They were pressing the cider on-site so it was very interesting to watch it being made. 

    Of course, we did some wine tasting which was a new experience for me. This was my first wine tasting ever! I am more of a rum and Dr. Pepper kind of woman. However, I ended up purchasing two bottles: blackberry and the Isabella blush wine. 

    Although there were tons of food options we did not eat the winery and decided to find something to eat closer to our next destination.

    Walkway at Greendance Winery
    The walkway towards the fire pit and wedding area.
    Green dance Winery Pond
    At the wedding amphitheater overlooking the pond.

    LUNCH 

    We stumbled upon Paint Room Pizzeria on Mill Run Road. I love pizza and the Paint Rooms pizza was so good! The restaurant was absolutely spotless. Truly one of the cleanest pizza shops I have ever seen. The customer service was also fantastic. Definitely worth a stop if you are in the area. 

    FALLINGWATER

    After filling up on delicious pizza we headed to our final destination: Frank Lloyd Wrights Fallingwater. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect and designer who integrated the environment into his buildings.

    Creek by fallingwater

    Fallingwater is one of the most well-known of the private residences from Wright. He designed and built the home in 1935 for the Kauffman family who owned Kauffman’s department stores. 

    One of the main reasons for the Fallingwater’s popularity is because it was built over a waterfall. Hence the name, Fallingwater.

    This is the part of the day I was most excited for! I have wanted to visit this home since I was in high school.  I first heard of the home from a documentary in art class. So after 10 plus years of waiting, I finally made it. 

    Fallingwater

    We took a 60 minute guided tour through the home and the guest house. After the tour, you are permitted to walk through the grounds so we made our way across the creek from the house to get a view of the home over the waterfall.

    The home was stunning! Mostly all of the interior furniture and decor are original and well preserved. It was amazing how Wright brought the outside woods into the home and literally made the environment part of the home (I won’t give away how he did this so you will need to see it for yourself). 

    I enjoyed seeing the home in the fall with all the beautiful leaf colors and would love to go back again maybe in the spring.

    No photography is permitted within the home and to be honest I don’t believe that a photo would do the justice this historic home deserves. 

    The minimum ticket price is $ 30 for the 60-minute tour so it is a bit pricey. You can get a grounds pass without taking a tour of the home but you really cannot grasp the beauty of the home without seeing the interior. 

    Waterfall at Fallingwater

    Conclusion

    I had a great time with Kevin and my mom on our amazing fall road trip to the Laurel Highlands. I definitely plan on heading back to that area as there is so much more to see such as Ohiopyle State Park, Laurel Caverns, and several historic battlefields. 

    If you have any other attraction suggestions in the Laurel Highlands area feel free to leave them below in the comments.

    Fall road trip to the Laurel Highlands of PA

    Until next time,

    Rachel 

    A SAMHAIN FEAST

    Although Samhain is over and we are now headed toward Thanksgiving and Yule, I wanted to share with you my first ever Samhain feast!

    I had 9 of Kevin and I’s closest friends over to celebrate. Fitting all those people in our tiny apartment was a challenge, but everyone had a good time and the food was delicious!

     Luckily, I had my friend Christina come over to help me prepare for the meal and get everything set up. 

    Before I get into the menu I wanted to give a brief background of what Samhain is.

    WHAT IS SAMHAIN

    Samhain (pronounced “sow-win”) is an ancient Celtic and pagan festival that honors the dead and the end of the harvest season The festival is celebrated from sundown October 31 through November 1. Celebrants believe that during this time the veil between the living world and the underworld is thin and the dead come back to visit with the living. 

    The modern-day Halloween is a derivative of Samhain. In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III moved All Saints Day from May 13 to November 1 in order to merge the pagan tradition into Christian observance. Coincidently October 31 became All Hallows Eve; Hallows meaning consecrated or holy. Later the two days were shortened into what we now call Halloween. 

    Many Halloween traditions such as jack o lanterns, costumes, and apple bobbing were celebrated by our ancestors during Samhain.

    Modern-day pagans, Wiccans, and witches celebrate Samhain amongst the 11 other sabbaths on the wheel of the year. Many celebrate with a feast such as myself. While others may visit deceased loved one’s graves, and/or perform rituals, divinations or spell work. 

    Now that we have had a bit of history lesson on Samhain let’s get into the menu. 

    MENU

    I kept the menu as simple as possible due to the small space I had to prepare the food as well as to save time.  

    APPETIZERS

    Of course, I had to add a charcuterie board for the appetizer. We have really been into cheeses and meats as an appetizer anytime we have company over for dinner because it is super simple and no cooking is required! 

    I also added apple butter, pumpkin butter, olives, pickles, dried fruits, and crackers to the boards as well.

    charcuterie board 5
    charcuterie board
    charcuterie board 2
    charcuterie board 3
    charcuterie board 4
    charcuterie and appetizer table

    MAIN

    For the meat and sides, I incorporated dishes that had seasonal herbs such as rosemary, sage, and thyme.

    I chose a traditional roman recipe of porchetta and made it in my new roaster. It turned out to be absolutely delicious! I would highly recommend this recipe for any holiday meal. 

    I also roasted a small chicken in the crockpot in case anyone was not a fan of pork. This turned out to be a great idea because many of our guests had both and we had few leftovers. This was also my first time roasting a whole chicken…ever! I was surprised how moist and delicious it turned out to be. 

    I also made a spiked apple cider punch but forgot to take a photo! Oops…

    roast chicken
    table setting

    DESSERTS

    What would a fall feast be without pumpkin and apple? I served the classic pumpkin pie and Christina made an apple crisp. 

    This year’s feast went well so I believe I will continue on and make this into a yearly tradition. It seems to be the perfect time to get everyone together because it’s right before the major holidays when everyone gets busy and offers a nice end of summer get together. 

    Do you celebrate Samhain with a feast or have a “Friendsgiving”? Let me know in the comments below!

    Thanks for reading!

    Rachel

    fall fashion

    Fall Photo Shoot & October Recap

    Halloween has come and gone and now we are advancing towards the end of the year. Thanksgiving is weeks away and winter is approaching fast. 

    October was such a busy month for me and I am glad that things are starting to wind down with my schedule. 

    As much as I hate cold weather I am looking forward to spending more time inside relaxing, catching up on the blog, reading, and binge-watching Netflix. 

    I also am looking forward to spending time with my family over Thanksgiving and the yummy food that comes with it.

    I have a few blog posts coming out soon highlighting my adventures from October. 

    In the meantime, I’m sharing with you the awesome day I had last month catching up with Lilly who is an old friend from my Starbucks barista days.

    Lilly and I went to Panther Hollow Trail in Schenley Park which is absolutely gorgeous to do a fall-themed photo shoot.

    Since we shot at the beginning of the month it was still warm out which made a really pleasant walk. 

    The only disappointment was that the leaves hadn’t fully changed yet.

    I absolutely love how these photos turned out and I can’t wait to work with her again. 

    You can check out Lilly’s photography site by clicking here.

    Don’t forget to check the Halloween photoshoot Lilly and I had!

    Shop my outfit with the links below: 

    The skirt is no longer available but a similar one is here

    T-shirt

    Boots 

    Jacket 

    Wig

    Thanks for reading!

    Happy Halloween!

    Celebrating Halloween and Samhain with this gorgeous cemetery photoshoot and my favorite things about Halloween.

    The Weather 

    Honestly the best part of Halloween is the weather. It is finally cooler outside after the scorching summer heat and humidity. The leaves are beautiful colors of orange, red and yellow. With the sun setting so early and the continuous fall breeze, it adds to the eerie elements of the holiday. Not to mention the delightful smell of dead leaves and the earth cooling. 

    Halloween Aesthetics 

    Halloween is the only holiday I decorate for, which means I tend to go a little overboard with shopping. Walking into numerous stores and seeing all the creepy black, orange and white-colored decor really gets me going. I am not much for the gory, horror side of Halloween, but I prefer the black cats and owls!

    Classic Halloween Movies 

    The Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, Beetlejuice, Halloweentown, The Craft, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina…I could go on, but I adore creepy movies such as these. There are so many Halloween movies to watch it is hard to fit them in all in one month, which is why I watch them all year round!

    My dress, wig, and jewelry are from Amazon.

    Photography by Lilly Silknetter Photography.

    Fall 2019 Fashion Essentials

    My Must-Haves for this Fall

    It’s that time of the year where brands have launched their fall items and this year’s trends are hitting the stores and the web. I rounded up a few fall items that I absolutely want to buy this fall. Some of these are staples and some of them are trends.

    1 2 3 4 5

    Over the Knee Suede Boots

    That’s right I still do not own a pair of these although they have been a staple for many for years! This year I’m going to change that. I have extra-wide calves so I have a hard time finding boots that fit. I plan on checking out Torrid as they sell extra wide calf boots. 

    Trench Coat

    Another staple item! I’ve wanted a trench coat for a long time but I never bought one because to me a trench coat is an investment piece. In order for me to get a good quality coat, I have a budget of $125 and plan to check out Banana Republic and Nordstrom Rack. 

    Leopard Booties

    Animal print is really hot right now and it’s actually a comeback. I remember in college leopard and zebra print were a thing and then it faded away. Now it’s back again and I am hoping to update my closet with some leopard print booties.

    Wide Leg Jeans/Pants

    I avoided the wide leg pant craze all summer because I was afraid it wouldn’t fit well with my body type. However, after consistently seeing so many different body shapes wearing these I figured I would give it a shot. 

    Button Up Shirts

    Again another staple item I do not own. I have stayed clear of button-up collared shirts because they always seemed boring and too business casual for me. Thanks to the rise of fashion on social media I have been inspired by so many unique ways to style these shirts and can’t wait to try it out

    That is my top five for this season! Of course, I will keep everyone updated when I find my essentials and share with you where I purchased them. Let me know in the comments below what you fall essentials are for this year?


    The Five Donts of Visiting Pittsburgh

    After living in Pittsburgh for 10 years and venturing all over the city, I feel confident in advising visitors of the city of bridges what is worth seeing and what isn’t.
    Some things you may come across when researching your trip to Pittsburgh are tourist traps and generally regarded as such by the locals.
    Below are my top five DONT’s to avoid the tourist traps and to experience the city like a real yinzer.

    DON’T Go to Primanti’s

    Since starting college in Pittsburgh in 2009 and then officially moving here, people from my hometown and others from outside of Pittsburgh consistently bring up Primanti’s.
    They want to know how great their infamous sandwich is and explain that they always wanted to go there. Even my dad couldn’t resist the heaping pile of coleslaw, fries and meat all squished on one sandwich. 

    Seriously though…THE SANDWICHES ARE REALLY NOT THAT GOOD…I REPEAT THEY ARE NOT GOOD! 

    Yes, that right I stabbed the number one Pittsburgh food icon right in the heart. The whole sandwich ends up being a mess. The coleslaw isn’t good, the fries are bland and the italian bread is dry and tasteless.

    Honestly, the best thing I ever had at Primantis was chicken tenders, which I found out are not even served at all locations. The rest of the menu has your run of the mill bar food which also isn’t good.

    I would say overall a Primanti’s experience is overrated and highly lacking in delicious food.

    My advice is to skip the messy, tasteless sandwich and eat elsewhere.

    DON’T Plan on Spending Days Downtown

    Most cities have a thriving downtown or center city with tons of things to do and see…at least in my experience. Don’t expect that coming to Pittsburgh. There is literally a tiny, tiny portion of Downtown worth seeing and the town is practically dead after people go home from work.

    The cultural district, Market Square and Point State Park are the only appealing spots, but strolling your way through these areas will not even fill up a whole day of sightseeing. 

    I lived downtown while in college and have worked downtown ever since I moved here and I avoid downtown like the plague.

    There isn’t shopping or any grocery stores. In my opinion, the area is dirty and sketchy. Avoid walking on Wood Street and Smithfield Street if possible as those are streets are the least safe and offer little for food or sightseeing. 

    DON’T Waste Time at a Pirates Games

    Unless you are a baseball fan, AVOID SEEING A PIRATES GAME! Don’t get me wrong the stadium is beautiful and the view isn’t bad either, but you will waste lots of time and money here if baseball isn’t your thing.

    DO NOT go to Southside

    If there is only one thing you take away from this list it is this one. STAY FAR FAR AWAY FROM SOUTHSIDE. Especially if you are coming here as a family with children…Southside is not for you. 

    Southside has a ton of bars, tattoo shops, music venues, and nightlife clubs. If you happened to venture there at night you will likely be surrounded by hundreds of drunks who are vomiting, urinating and fighting on the sidewalks and in the streets. If you make your way there in the daytime you will likely see trash and weaves tumbling down East Carson Street. 

    On the other hand, if you like to take a walk on the wild side then maybe Southside is the place for you or at least a place to have an interesting experience. 

    DO NOT mistake the Inclines as tourist attractions

    Mt Washington has great views of the city and one of the easiest and most popular ways to get there is by taking the incline at Station Square. As someone visiting the city please keep in mind the incline is not a tourist attraction. It is considered public transportation and many Pittsburghers take the incline to work every day. 

    I suggest taking the incline outside of rush hour or on the weekend so you have space to watch out the windows as the incline takes you up to the overlook.

    Now that you know what NOT to do when visiting Pittsburgh why not check out the top five must-sees in Pittsburgh!


    Five Pittsburgh Must-Sees

    I moved to Pittsburgh 10 years ago and still have not explored all the attractions and neighborhoods, but these are my top five that you do not want to miss when visiting. 

    Point State Park 


    The Point, as many call it, was my go-to spot in college. The Point is situated at the intersection of the three rivers where Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt once stood. It boasts a giant fountain with an incredible view of the city and walking paths along the river. 

    While you are there you can visit the Fort Pitt Blockhouse for free! The Block House is the only surviving structure of the forts that once stood there. You can also visit the Fort Pitt Museum within the park as well to learn about the role Pittsburgh played in the French & Indian War and the American Revolution.

    Mt Washington Grandview Overlook

    This is the ultimate view of the Pittsburgh Skyline. It’s a very popular spot so expect it to be crowded during the day and at night. If you venture off of Grandview Ave and up Shiloh street you can find several restaurants and bars to enjoy as well. 

    Cultural District and Market Square

    The Cultural District and Market Square are practically right next to each other and offer a variety of places to eat, drink and be entertained. 

    Market Square has tons of events going on throughout the year, including a weekly farmers market, Saturday night market, yoga and concert series. In the winter, Market Square houses Light Up Night festivities and a holiday market. 

    The Cultural District is the place to go for theater, opera and music. There are also tons of restaurants and bars throughout the area. It is also across the bridge from PNC Park if you are visiting for a game. 

    Visit a Pittsburgh Museum

    Pittsburgh has a lot of cool museums all over the city. From art to history there is a museum for everyone. There is also a museum in every neighborhood so no matter where you are staying, you can easily find a way to hit up one on your trip. 

    Station Square

    Station Square is another place with great views of the city and is located right near the incline that takes you to Mt Washington. The center of the square features the Bessemer Court Fountain which has over 10 different water and light shows accompanied by music. You can also hitch a ride on the Gateway Clipper for a scenic cruise or dinner on the river.

    Now that you know what to do and see when you visit Pittsburgh, check out my post on the five things to avoid!


    Fall Traditions

    Fall is finally upon us and I am so excited! Fall is my favorite time of year and of course, Halloween/Samhain is my favorite holiday (my birthday is also in October…yay)!

    I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the autumn season and the traditions that have been apart of my life. I am excited to share them with you in hopes that I will inspire you to create or add to your own traditions.

    Childhood Traditions

    I have fond memories as a child in the backyard of the house I grew up in. We had two huge maple trees and a chestnut tree. The chestnuts would fall off the trees and litter the ground with sharp, spiky burs. We would have to wear gloves to pick them up or sometimes we would use a shovel. It was quite the family ordeal. My grandparents lived beside us and they would come out and help too. We would dig the chestnut out of its spiky casing and collect them in a bucket. 

    Once we had all the sharp burs picked up from the chestnut tree we would rake up the leaves from all three trees into huge piles that my brother and I would jump into.

    The best part of the whole thing was when my mom and dad would buy us the jack-o-lantern leaf bags. We would fill them up and then sit them in the front yard as Halloween decorations.

    Pumpkin carving was a staple too. My dad would really get into the carving and he would buy the biggest pumpkins and wow us with his skills. He always prepared the pumpkins for us by doing the big slicing and gutting. 

    Most years we had handmade costumes. My grandmother was a skilled seamstress and made us all sorts of cool things. She would take me to Joann Fabrics and have me pick out what costume I wanted for the year. She even made costumes for my mom when she was little and some of them I ended up wearing.

    Off the top of my head, I can remember a few costumes she made: a pink poodle skirt because I was obsessed with Grease, a Luke Skywalker costume for my brother, and a dual costume for my brother and I as Raggedy Anne and Andy. 

    One year mom and dad even dressed up to go trick or treating with us. Dad put on a black hood cape and carried a real scythe and posed as the grim reaper. While my mom dressed up as Catwoman. My brother and I always liked trick or treat night to be a big show. We considered it to be a success if there were tons of kids walking through our neighborhood going door to door. Once we started getting older along with the other kids who lived around us the nostalgia started fading. It seemed like fewer children were knocking at the door.

    I can still picture the decorations my mom put out every year. She made gravestones to put in the yard and posterboard ghosts to put in the window. My absolute favorite is her a collection of ceramic haunted houses and the little village on top of the piano. 

    Adult Traditions

    When I first moved out on my own I didn’t keep up with or start any fall traditions because I was a broke college graduate in a small apartment. The only thing I did was order pizza, drink and watch movies on Halloween.

     However, now that I am older, have a better paying job and have a bigger apartment I have slowly started traditions of my own. From baking to watching movies, almost every weekend in fall is booked. Below, I have listed all of the traditions I have now and the new ones I am adding this year.

    Baking 

    Every year I bake a pumpkin pie and apple pie (using my moms’ recipe). I absolutely love pumpkin with cool whip on top. Truly, I would eat the whole pie myself if I wouldn’t feel so guilty about it later.

     I like to bake right before Halloween when I first start craving these seasonal treats. Baking at this time also holds me over on the pie cravings until Thanksgiving. 

    Home Decor Shopping & Decorating

    Last year was the first year I went shopping for Halloween decor and boy did I splurge! I went again this year and picked up even more cool stuff. 

    I end up decorating my house twice in the fall. Once for Halloween and then I take the Halloween stuff down and put out things that are more fall/Thanksgiving related. 

    You can check back later in October to see my Halloween home tour and in November for my fall home tour.

    Pumpkin Patch

    Since my boyfriend and I started dating we have made it a habit to go to Trax Farm to get pumpkins, gourds, and apples. Trax is great because it also is a grocery store where you can get amazing apple cider, wine, produce, baked goods and more.

    On weekends they have a fall festival that offers hayrides, a corn maze, and a chance to pick your pumpkins right off the vine.

    Normally, I just grab pumpkins right out of the bins and skip the festival part but this year we are taking his nieces with us to pick out their own pumpkins and go on the hayride. 


    Watching Movies

    What would fall season be without watching a classic? My number 1 go-to movie during this time of year is Hocus Pocus. There’s so many other I enjoy watching as well and recently I started watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina again. 


    New Traditions this Year

    This year I am adding three traditions onto my long list!

    A Fall Feast

    The biggest tradition I am adding is having a Samhain/Halloween feast. If you are unfamiliar with Samhain it is a pagan festival that marked the end of the harvest and the descent into the dark half of the year. Many of our contemporary Halloween traditions derived from this ancient festival. 

    The feast features seasonal foods and spices such as pumpkins, apples, root vegetables, allspice, and rosemary. 

    I will have more to come on this as I am planning on writing a blog post about Samhain and the feast!

    Passing Out Candy

    Yes…really…5 years of living on my own and I have not once passed out candy. This year I am changing that! Passing out candy also provides an excuse to wear a costume because I never go to any Halloween parties.

    Halloween Care Box

    My nephew is two years old and have been waiting since he was born to send him cool Halloween stuff. 

    Unfortunately, my nephew, brother, and sister in law live in North Carolina. So I won’t get to do all the fun traditional stuff with my nephew. Because of this, I decided to send a yearly care box instead.

    This year I got him a book, coloring books, a mummy bowling game, and a Paw Patrol Halloween movie. 

    Wow! What a list! I hope this gives you some ideas to add to your list to make your fall season even better! 

    Let me know your traditions or if you are trying out any new ones in the comment section below!

    Introduction to Some Roots Wander

    Hello everyone! 

    Thank you so much for checking out my first post on Some Roots Wander! I am super excited to start this blog and this journey. I am full of so many ideas and feel so optimistic about this blog and its potential. 

    To start off this journey I wanted to introduce myself, my background and why I started Some Roots Wander.

    A Little Bit About Me

    I’m Rachel, the creator of Some Roots Wander.

    I’m 29 years old and live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with my boyfriend and two cats. 

    I am a coffee connoisseur, crazy cat lady, and a Scorpio.

    I am obsessed with shopping, owls, history and antique finds.

    I curse like a sailor, enjoy nature and love to cook and bake.  

    My Background 

    My passion for visual and fine arts began in high school where I studied videography, photography, and design.

    I briefly attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for Video Production and then transferred to Point Park University. At Point Park, I obtained a bachelor of arts in broadcast production and programming. 

    Since graduating I have worked at Starbucks and Verizon Wireless. For the past three years, I have worked at a local health insurance company.

    Although I didn’t end up in a creative field like I had imagined, I still try to keep art as a hobby. Additionally, I try to volunteer at local museums to keep my creative juices flowing.

    Not So New Blogger

    That’s right…I am not a new blogger. In fact, this is my fourth blog. Blogging has changed so much since my first blog and back then I had no idea what I was doing. 

    First off, none of my past blogs were self-hosted which means I had very little customization options. I definitely never monetized any of those blogs or even dreamed about using my blog to make money.

    Second, I didn’t treat those blogs as a business and never invested any money into them. I wrote posts when I had time and wrote about whatever I wanted. I never put a thought into writing for an audience. I was only writing for myself.

    Lastly, Pinterest was literally just starting when I was blogging. I remember being accepted into Pinterest and no one knowing anything about it. Pinterest marketing was literally non-existent.

    Below are the first three blogs I had. All three still exist. I plan to keep them up as a reminder of who I was in college and where I started from.

    Serious Writings on Blogger

    This was the first blog and I posted papers from college as well as diary entries and rants. I did the bare minimum on this blog as far as customization.

    Split Ends to Turning a New Page

    Originally this blog was to be a duo with me and my best friend from high school. She was attending college in Philadelphia and I was in Pittsburgh (hence the title split ends…Philly and Pitt are opposite ends of Pennsylvania). 

    We planned on talking about our college experiences in this blog. However, my friend didn’t keep up with it, so I renamed it to Turning A New Page.

    Once solo, I wrote about my experience in college, fashion, DIY and random rants or diary-type entries. Prior to Some Roots Wander, this was the blog I put the most effort into. 

    Coffee, Art, and Baking 

    This is a blog I started after college when I was living in my first apartment and working at Starbucks. At the time, coffee, art, and baking were my three main hobbies so that’s what I wanted to blog about. I posted twice and then lost focus. 

    The Start of Some Roots Wander

    Some Roots Wander has been in the works for 2-3 years. Originally, I started researching how to start a blog on Pinterest in early 2017. I wanted to understand how to make money from blogging. I also wanted to know how to create the picture-perfect blog I dreamed about in college. 

    In 2018 my co-worker came up with the name Some Roots Wander after I was describing to her the vision I had for the blog (thanks Kelly)!

    Despite all of the research, preparation and two written blog posts, I never pulled the trigger on actually creating it.

    Then one day in July of this year, I just decided to go for it. I started making a list of blog post ideas, started writing, growing my Instagram following, creating images and putting everything together.

    Why Did I Start This Blog

    Money

    One of the main goals of Some Roots Wander is earning side income. The ultimate goal is to take revenue from my blog to invest in additional sources of revenue such as rental or AirBnB properties. Like many bloggers earning enough from both income sources to quit my office job would be a dream come true.  

    Channeling My Creativity

    Working in an office for 8 hours gives me serious mental burnouts. I sit at a cubicle all day and stare into a computer screen which can be mentally draining at times. I find it very hard to incorporate my creativity and personality into my job. 

    Starting this blog is a way to incorporate all of the artsy, creative talents I have and rediscovering them. I am really excited to be getting back into visual communications again.

    My Audience

    I hope to help, inspire or entertain other people out there that feel they can relate to me. 

    Most of the time I feel like bloggers or influencers are not relatable because so many of them are moms or don’t have the same fashion style as me or are thin or petite or have different lifestyle views than me. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of those things, but like in real life it’s hard to relate to someone online that isn’t of the same mindset. 

    Perhaps this blog could lead to a community of like-minded people sharing their thoughts and helping each other navigate through life.


    First Time Flyer Tips: From Someone Who Recently Flew for the First Time

    In June I took my first ever plane ride from Pittsburgh to Boston. Per my usual, I did a lot of research on Pinterest and online about flying trying to find tips and tricks.

    I also sought out advice from friends and family who have flown before. Of course, I heard stories over the years about how terrible getting through security is and how some TSA officers yell at you and like to overuse their authority. 

    The information I researched and received was a bit overwhelming and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. After it was all said and done I felt really silly because I was anxious over nothing and it was much easier than I had expected. However, there are a few things I will do differently next time and some things I wish I would have done to make my flight easier. 

    Neck pillow

    In my research everyone said to have a neck pillow and it was there “must-have” item. I do not own a neck pillow and felt that it was an unnecessary expense for an hour and 20-minute flight. IMMEDIATELY regretted that once I got into my seat and tried to get comfy and realized that the headrest was completely uncomfortable. Definitely get a neck pillow for comfort. They sell them at the airport which can be pricey but I have found them at Amazon, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, etc.  

    Wear shoes you can get off and on easily

    Okay so before getting to the airport I knew I would have to take my shoes off to go through the metal detector. I also knew I didn’t want to wear sandals, flip flops or anything that didn’t require socks because I didn’t want to walk barefoot on a floor where tons of people walk because ewwwwwww. I wore my lace-up vans and while it was not a huge waste of time I felt awkward trying to get all my stuff off of the conveyor belt, put all my stuff back in my bag and put my shoes on. Next time I fly I will likely wear slip on vans with no shoe socks. 

    Have your ID, ticket And hygiene bag out while waiting in line

    My mom told me to make sure to have my ID and ticket out while waiting in line for security and I did. I also didn’t print a ticket or pick one up from a desk and used the Delta app on my phone which saved me time. I would recommend to take out your clear hygiene bag, take your belt off, take your watches/jewelry, wallet, anything you can hold in your hands while waiting to get in line to go through security screenings because this saves time. Some people are in a rush to get through security so this helps alleviate tension from impatient people behind you. 

    Take Dramamine

    Even if you have a short flight, take Dramamine. I was told I probably wouldn’t need to take Dramamine for a short flight…WRONG. I get migraines and within 15 minutes of being on the plane, I got a nasty migraine that lasted the whole flight and took about an hour to get rid of once we landed. Some people do not get motion sickness or migraines like me, but if you have never flown before I would take it just in case. 

    Wear layers and comfortable clothes

    Another tip I received from frequent flyers was to wear a jacket or sweatshirt because typically airplanes are cold. Both flights were extremely hot. I was sweating. The plane was also small, cramped and completely booked. It was very uncomfortable. Make sure to wear something comfy and breathable on your flight. Don’t worry about looking glamorous. Also, bring a jacket in case it is cold. A jacket can double as a blanket too!

    These five tips are the most important takeaways from my first experience with flying. As I continue to fly, I will gain insights to add on to this list. If you have any newbie flyer tips feel free to share them below in the comments!

    Thanks for the read!