lifewjess@gmail.com

Travel with Jess | Venice, Top Ten

It's taking painfully long to work through the edits on my hundred and hundreds of photos from Italy this fall. I wish I could just accept them as-is and have them be ready, but I can't. I fully embrace the lovely phrase "better done than done perfect" but when it comes to my art, my photography, I just have to do some work to be happy with what I show the world. I can't un-know what I know about how much more I love my images after I've edited them! It takes hours. And hours and hours. I listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks. Sometimes I get frustrated because it's such a big project. And it gets interrupted often with real life demands and other photography (clients take priority over my vacation photos, after all.) But then I'm so pleased. In the end, it's worth it to me. Even if no one besides a fellow digital artist would understand why I would put so much effort into these photos or why it takes so damn long to finish a set, I know. And it matters to me.

Travel Adventures | A Cautionary [Trail] Tale

Last summer, my sisters and I went on a camping and hiking adventure in Acadia National Park, Maine.   We hiked and canoed and looked at lighthouses and went tide-pooling and swam in lakes and roasted fresh clams over a campfire!  It was fabulous. Except this one thing...     So I may have mentioned a time or two that I'm the least experienced hiker of my siblings. I mean, two are accomplished 46ers, one is on her way to being a 46er, and the other is working through the Appalachian Trail. Heck, if I don't watch out, my siblings will probably end up turning my kids into more experienced hikers than I am!     But really, what I lack in experience and strength I make up for in enthusiasm and optimism!  Spoiler alert - this is where I ended up on the day in question:     Still smiling ;-) So it doesn't phase me at all when my sister tells me this trail she's considering taking us

Rediscovering CMOG Through the Eyes of a Child

Have you been to the Corning Museum of Glass lately? I just wrote a post for Urban Corning about how taking the girls recently helped me see CMOG with fresh eyes.      If you want to read the whole post, you can find it here!   Like this post? Please tell me in the comments about the last time you played tourist in your home town! I'd love to write down new

Local Gems | Camp Cherith of Western New York

Shauna Neiquist talks about "thin places" in her absolutely-wonderful-you-should-own-it book Bittersweet. {affiliate link} She was traveling in Ireland and studying Irish literature and poetry and she learned about this Celtic mystical tradition: A thin place, according to the Celtic mystics, is a place where the boundary between the natural world and the supernatural one is more permeable - thinner, if you will. Sometimes they're physical places. There are places all over Ireland where people have said, if you stand here, if you face this direction, if you hike to the top of that ridge at just the right time of day, that's a thin place, a place where the passage between heaven and earth is a short one, a place where God's presence is almost palpable.     About an hour from Corning is a very special thin place. It's a place where I have memories from almost every year of my life. It's a place that's a deep part of me. You hear whispers here... I think you

Market Street Construction Photo Op

I might be too late to enter these photos into Urban Corning’s contest  but I was inspired by Sean’s thoughts and I wanted to share my pictures anyways! Sometimes we forget that there’s a certain beauty, or at least something interesting, in everything… even the smelly, loud, inconvenient things like construction.     Three cheers for how quickly the Market Street repaving project happened! But while the street was closed, it was definitely an interesting experience. And I appreciate Urban Corning’s push to get out there and appreciate the unique chance to explore Corning in a different way!     I even had a couple chances to wander the empty streets at night with friends (and kiddos) and I hope that the memory of racing their friends up and down the street outside of Dippity Do Dahs stays with them. It was kind of fun that one of the busiest streets in Corning turned into a little bit of a

National Trails Day | Sperr Memorial Park

Happy National Trails Day!  If you're looking for a great way to celebrate #NationalTrailsDay you should check out Sperr Memorial Park in Big Flats. It's just off 86 at exit 50.      As a part of the rails to trails network, it's also a beautiful memorial park to New York State Trooper Andrew J. Sperr.     We really like Catharine Valley Trail but it's a bit more of a commitment... Sperr Park is so nice because it's very manageable on a beautiful sunny evening after dinner.     So grab your bike (and helmet!) or your sneakers, and check out the peaceful trails around the pond.       There's easy parking and a playground. And in a pinch, there are... ahem... rustic restrooms for those with strong stomachs ;-)     Enjoy your lovely weekend! And I hope you get to enjoy a trail near you soon!     Like this

Travel Adventures | Montreal, Canada

So my siblings are pretty close. And one sister is about to abandon the family go off on an epic adventure to the Appalachian Trail. Naturally we needed to do a quick sibling trip to celebrate and send her off!      She suggested Montreal and the rest is history!     First of all, everyone remember that I'm not a travel expert and in fact, I'm absolutely terrible with maps and directions so take all of my advice with a lot of grains of salt ;-) But I hope you enjoy the pictures and if you do travel up there, maybe a tip or two from this post will be helpful!  I like this map app. I used it a lot in Europe because the offline feature gave me peace of mind.     Okay so our hotel was AMAZING and I highly recommend it if you're traveling in a small group. Trylon Apartments and Hotel has fully furnished spaces in a great location. Comfy and clean and well-priced. We didn't have time to use it,

Happy St. Martin’s Day

Today in Germany, villages of children will celebrate St. Martin's Day with a parade of lanterns. I got to see the celebration once through the eyes of my daughters. And the memories of the night have always stuck with me... I think of it when the leaves have mostly fallen and the nights get longer. St. Martin's Day chases away the dreariness of long cold nights with thoughts of cheer and warmth and generosity. St. Martin is a famous Christian saint.  He was a bishop known for his charity and good heart.   Every November, the children in the German villages celebrate the day he was buried. The legend is that when St. Martin was a soldier, he was out on a cold winter's night and saw a poor man with no cloak. Martin took his sword and cut his own cloak in two so he could give the freezing man something to wear.  This scene is re-enacted each year (the bigger kids in the kindergarten did a short play) and it is the act that St. Martin is famous for. So in

Travel Adventures | What to Eat [and Where!] in Colmar, France

You're going to want to have a snack nearby (or just start with a full tummy) when you see this post. Don't say I didn't warn you... cause I intend to make you drool. Here you will find everything you need to know about my favorite eats in Colmar. But this on is literally a walk through the city using my food daydreams as your guide ;-)     Since breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, we'll start with Bagelstein for an old fashioned, homemade bagel sandwich to die for! We liked it so much that I almost cried a little the next day when we were hoping to go back for sandwich number two, only to find them closed! BOOOO! So make sure you find your way to 55 Grand' Rue.     The manager's name is Philippe (can you get more French?) and he speaks fabulous English, for those of us who speak zero French. He's Mr. Smiley. He really likes to joke. It makes for a great, cheerful atmosphere in the

Donna’s Famous Cinnamon Rolls

We did it! We finally got to Donna's on a Wednesday morning IN TIME for cinnamon rolls! (Back story - once this summer we made the mistake of thinking there would still be some at 9am ;-) but then Donna and her son Michael informed me you can just let them know on Tuesdays how many you need "reserved" for your party and there will never again be a sad-faced-little-girl among you! Whew!) We joked that we were there celebrating the fact that Elsa lost another tooth. Don't tell her, but we were really there because Mommy was on Market Street running errands on a Tuesday and actually remembered to pop in and ask Donna for a reservation ;-) A couple notes on Donna's: Great diner food Cash only open Mon-Fri 6am-2pm open Saturday 7am-1:30pm closed Sunday call (607) 936-9732 on Tuesday if you want cinnamon rolls on Wednesday ;-) Donna also has an amazing collection of vintage Pyrex sets on display. Anna and Elsa love the blue and pink the best