Beautiful Fall Foliage

fall leaves

Some consider Autumn to be the most incredible time of the year. Gorgeous colors vibrantly encoring the end of summer as the trees put themselves to bed for the long sleep of winter. The Great Smoky Mountains floods with thousands upon thousands of annual visitors all hoping to achieve a breath taking view of the beautiful renaissance of nature.

The Smoky Mountains team has once again released their foliage prediction map, updated for 2017. The complex algorithm uses historical and forecasted precipitation and temperatures, as well as historical leaf peak and observational trends to predict when the trees will be at their most colorful. As each year passes, there’s more historical data to consider, and therefore, the predictions get more accurate.

This 2017 Fall Foliage Map is the ultimate visual planning guide to the annual progressive changing of the leaves. While no tool can be 100% accurate, this tool is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year.

Beautiful Hidden Havana

Looking to travel to Cuba? Before you go, check out Atlas Obscura for the perfect itinerary. The itinerary features many of the best suggestions submitted by Atlas Obscura readers who have previously explored Havana. Delve into immersive history, religious traditions, music and dancing, artist interactions, and curiosities galore. Read all about it here.

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Photos from Atlas Obscura

Beautiful Photography

Photographer Timo Lieber uses his fine art photography to tell a story about the fragility of our planet. His latest project, THAW, conveys Greenland’s ice caps shooting the growing lakes from an aerial view. THAW will make its public debut from February 20 – 23, 2017 at Bonham‘s in London.

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The resulting images are simultaneously stunning and scary. From a fine art perspective, the balance of colors, as well as the visually stimulating composition, draws the spectator in. From an environmental view point, Lieber’s work is an eerie reminder about the effects of global warming.

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Year after year, Greenland’s lakes continue to increase in size, as the ice caps slowly melt. Since 2009, the Greenland ice sheet has been losing an estimated 419,000,000,000 tons of ice annually. This is three times more than the contribution from Antarctica. Thus, Lieber felt the urgency to shoot this transitional phase in order to raise awareness about climate change.

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THAW showcases the rapidly growing number of blue lakes and rivers that form on the Greenland ice cap —one of the most inaccessible areas on earth. Here, in the pristine landscape, stripped to the bare minimum of colors and shapes, the dramatic impact of climate change is more obvious than anywhere else in the world.”

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Images by Timo Lieber via My Modern Met

Beautiful Historic Homes

I love architecture and when I’m out-and-about I sometimes find myself stalking the neighborhood to check the latest and greatest home designs. With the building frenzy going on in Seattle and so many structures being torn down and replaced at such a rapid pace, I’m developing a new appreciation for the beauty of old homes and buildings. I’m personally a fan of modern design with the less is more approach but my heart holds a special place for authentic craftsman style homes in Seattle, the colorful Victorian homes in SF and Row Houses in DC. It amazes me how much residential architecture can define a city. Put them in a different location and they almost look silly. Hopefully more will be preserved so that a cities don’t lose their historic identity. Enjoy these images, one day they may become just that, an image.

San Francisco Victorians

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Row Houses of Washington, DC
Many of these are about 200 years older than the SF Victorians and 300 years older than the Seattle Craftsman Bungalows! Built long before western states even existed. Amazing they have survived.

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Seattle Craftsman Bungalows
With the Seattle building boom, sadly many of these are disappearing and being torn down only to be replaced with what I consider poorly designed modern homes and condos. I am a huge fan of well designed modern homes however the surrounding neighborhood and homes always need to be taken into consideration.

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Beautiful Puglia, Italy

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Will somebody please drop me off in this place and let me stay for awhile? It is gorgeous! Who really cares where it is but for those who do…at the heel of the Italian peninsula lies Puglia, a region best known for its Tuscan cuisine as well as its arid, rustic landscape on which a splendid display of whitewashed towns and villages highlights the scenery. The area produces much of the country’s wine, olive oil, produce, and wheat used to make pasta. The cuisine alone is enough to make me want to go. In the north, the mountainous terrain of Gargano greets the Adriatic with dramatic white cliffs overlooking azure waters, and as you travel down the coast, the view transforms into sand pebble beaches mingling between ancient farmland. At the southern tip lies the beautiful town of Lecce, known as “Florence of the South” for the splendor and profusion of its baroque architecture from the 17th Century.
TAKE ME THERE!

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Images by Kate Holstein

Beautiful Los Angeles

I never much appreciated LA area much having lived for quite some time in SF. But this month I spent a week with 2 beautiful people and was endeared by what it has to offer. So many contrasts; this time I took a closer look and was enthralled.


City of great architecture. Not nearly enough time to explore fully.


Beautuful Laguna Beach. I so miss the quietude.


High Scool of performing arts. Wow wish I went to such a fabulous HS!


Jamming in Chinatown


Wonderful Broad Museum. Had some fun with this image.


The Getty Center is spectacular!! I need to return soon. The landscaping is a work of art as well.


Views from the top. Loved the Friday night festivities.


Drive along PCH and enjoy the endless sand and water.


Huntington Beach and Newport Beach; life doesn’t get much better.

Beautiful Dream Life

Design bloggers Brooke and Steve Gianetti, (Velvet & Linen) have written a beautiful book about the process of building their marvelous home in Ojai, California called Patina Farm.  And now it’s in a book with beautiful photos of a place I would call utopia living.  It’s the stuff that dreams are made of, of a beautiful alternate life adorned with vintage French wood doors, charming chicken coops, dreamy landscapes, glass walled showers and baby goats.  I would love to visit this place.

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Backyard garden view with gravel path through boxwood shrubs leading towards backdoor of tan house with red tile roof.
Backyard garden view with gravel path through boxwood shrubs leading towards backdoor of tan house with red tile roof.