A while back, on my six month in Cleveland anniversary, I visited a new to me abandoned building. So needless to say, I've been holding on to these photos while I tried my hardest to research more about the building. I'm finally throwing in the towel. I can't seem to find much at all. This is an abandoned factory that did metal plating, aside from that I have no dates or history. It was still an interesting building, and I'm rather pleased with my photos so here they are...
All the machinery has been removed since this place closed its doors but the upstairs offices have tons of paperwork, books, and records strewn about. That kind of stuff is always my favorite but I am always curious who was the one to make such a mess in these places. Was it a former employee trying to prove a point before he left the place for the last time? Young kids just having fun making a mess? I mean, you can't deny it would be fun to just go nuts in place like that, let out a little steam.

PS. If you're as curious as I was when I first saw it, that "hot!!!" file tab literally had nothing exciting in it. I was hoping for juicy office gossip, or maybe some nudie pictures (we found some fairly graphic ones in another part of the building!) but it was just regular old paper work! Booooring.

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Last week I spent one afternoon hiking with my pal Anthony. Fall in Ohio is so insanely beautiful. It was such a great day for a hike. Perfect weather, the colors all seem to be peaking, plus it had been raining for nearly a week straight beforehand so mushrooms were abound!
The mushrooms were great but the find of the day had to be that wood frog. I don't think I've actually ever seen one, or maybe if I have it wasn't such a vibrant color. Of course, since I didn't know much about them Anthony, who teaches over at CSU, went into full on teacher mode and told me alllll about them. Did you know that the male wood frogs' call sounds like a quack? Or that they're extremely freeze tolerant? In the winter they hibernate in leaf litter or soil close to the surface. They're able to survive freezing the whole winter then just thaw out in the spring. Isn't that super incredible?

Pssst. Prints available on Society6

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I only recently discovered my love of nutella. I had seen people rave about it online for years but never given it a second thought. Jeff made me try some on an apple and since then I've been wondering how I got this far in life and didn't know how amazing it was. What else have I been missing out on!?! So, obviously, I've been making up for lost time. I'm trying nutella on everything and thinking of every possible way to include it in things. Then it hit me, I need to bake with this goodness! I'm not a huge muffin fan, cupcakes are meh, but I love me some banana bread! Not only does banana bread taste amazing (especially this banana bread!) but it's quick, and easy to make.
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large ripe bananas mashed
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
very generous 1/2 cup Nutella
half bag of chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch loaf pan and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy. Beat in the banana and then beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture until just combined. Divide 1/2 of the batter into a separate bowl and stir in the Nutella.

Alternate layers of regular batter and Nutella batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips generously on the top.  Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into bread comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool 10 minutes in the pan before moving to a wire rack. Let cool completely before slicing.
Jeff and I killed this loaf in no time at all. It's incredible delicious. I think this is only the second thing I've baked in my new apartment, really makes me want to get back at it. I always forget how relaxing baking is, especially in the fall.

Recipe found on What Megan's Making.

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This year has been absolutely amazing for me. Obviously moving to Cleveland, getting my own apartment, taking up cycling, making new friends, and challenging myself out of my comfort zone were/are huge HUGE huge things in my life. Most recently though, I feel like I'm finally getting my creative spark back!!!

I'm not sure how many people have been reading long enough to know that a few years back sewing was my main business, blogging was just something I did on the side for fun. I made super cute zipper pouches from adorable fabrics, some of which I even screen printed myself. I sold thousands of them. My work was available in boutiques all over the world. Eventually I just got burned out. I put too much pressure on myself, and killed my drive to do any sewing at all.

Even in the months leading up to that I had gotten into this really awful mindset that if it wasn't something I could sell, it wasn't worth my time to do. Taking up new hobbies or learning new skills would involve a great period of time where the results wouldn't be perfect. I didn't have time for that. My work was in demand, I wanted to stay ahead so making something for myself just felt wrong. I couldn't even make things for myself in my off time because there was no off time. I was always working on wholesale orders, new designs, my product photos, etc.

On top of that I wasn't really in a great place in my life, I guess. I basically just stopped making things completely which I'm just now realizing was incredibly out of character for me. Even as a child I liked to make things. My favorite aisle in the store? The craft aisle. I was always begging my mom to buy me a new craft kit.  My favorite class? Art class. I've just always loved doing things with my hands.

These last few months the urge to create has been gnawing at all like crazy.  Finally, last month, I took up embroidery and have been having a blast just poking around at fabric. I'm not great at it. It'll take time before my work is awesome. It doesn't matter though, I'm having fun. I'm enjoying myself. It's incredibly relaxing.

I've finally accepted that it's okay to make things for no reason. It's okay to make things no one else will ever see. It's okay to make things for YOU and you alone. It's okay to make things that aren't perfect. It's okay to try new things for the fun of it. It's okay to make art that no one else understands. If it makes you happy, inspired, excited, or anything other positive emotion that is all that matters.
I've been having lots of fun at the beach lately. It's where I've been feeling the most creative. I've always liked picking up the things I find for photos but I've been thinking of them on a larger scale these last few weeks. I want to make more permanent things with the items I find.
On another note but still related to beach trash, remember when at the beginning of summer when I said I was going to collect all the lighters I found on the beach to see how many I'd have at the end of the year? Yeah, still going strong on that one. Below is how many I found in less than an hour. It blows my mind how many there are. I'm getting pretty pumped to count them all up

Get creating!  xoxo

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