Ways To Adventure On A Budget

One of my favorite quotes is “Create a life you don’t need a vacation from.” And so I shall. Quarter of a century old and having the time of my life. Every day is a new adventure. What if the best vacation, or rather staycation was in your own backyard? Sometimes it doesn’t take a trip to the Bahamas to feel like you’re winning in life. I came up with this blog because not everybody (including me) have the funds to permanently vacay, so why not explore your surroundings?

#1 Go for a drive

Sometimes when I have nothing better to do, I go for a drive in hopes to stumble across a new place to adventure. Thus far, I have had pretty good luck. I found an abandoned train and watched an epic sunset. Pink and blue skies and not a care in the world. They say the best things in life are free.



#2 Waterfallin’

As it turns out, NY has a ton of waterfalls to see. So, I packed a lunch, and had a picnic right in front of a 137-foot waterfall. This picnic included a sandwich, pasta salad, mini blueberry pie, and red wine which I happily drank out of my favorite “wine bitch” glass. Who says you can’t be fancy in the middle of the woods? If there were ever a statement to describe me better than the previous one, I don’t know what it would be. My family can attest.

Pratt Falls -Manlius, NY
Salmon River Falls -Pulaski, NY


#3 Run a 5k or 10k

I love the way running makes me feel and what better way to stay in shape than signing up for a 5K? It gives you an excuse to train and gives you something to look forward to. The feeling afterward is one of accomplishment, plus you usually get a free pint of beer. win-win. Got a team of friends together for the annual cider run and had a blast! If you’re not an avid runner, I almost encourage you to try it even more because the satisfaction (and free cider) afterwards. Scenic views and running for a good cause—practically spells adventure.

Chair for 3?
Free cider, success!


#4 Explore the outdoors

Snapping a picture on a railroad track with an oncoming train? Checked that one off the bucket list. I enjoy walking around the closest downtown city and appreciating the architecture of the buildings, the graffiti, and the simple fact that there are homeless people out there playing saxophone on the streets. I also enjoy exploring the country-side just lying in a field of dandelions just for an epic picture. Leaning out on the top of a parking garage downtown? Been there, done that, and took some photos, obv. Find happiness in all things.



#5 Try a new restaurant

New parks, new restaurants, new dessert locations, and new coffee shops as you will see in my future blogs. I’ve found some amazing restaurants in surrounding areas. I cannot wait to share them with the world. Every restaurant is unique in its own way. It is especially fun to speak with the owners just to get a taste of their different personalities. One restaurant I’ve recently discovered has a pasta man in his own little bubble cranking out fresh pasta right in front of you! It’s like they imported him straight from Italy. I love food. Exploring new restaurants every now and again is completely affordable and super fun as long as you appreciate the details of everything it takes to successfully run the place. Remember, you are paying for the environment and the service, not just the food. That being said, be sure to tip your servers!

Just Donuts: Pheonix, NY


Olives Eatery: Baldwinsville, NY


#6 Winery/Brewery

So many wineries and breweries to choose from. They are all a blast. Do some research in your surrounding area and go for it. Grab a group of friends, split a bus or limo, and prepare to have a hangover that will be well worth it—I promise. Just don’t be silly and think that you can drive just because it is just a few wine and beer samples. You cannot and should not. Some samples turn into full glasses for some reason. It is no surprise that I recently bought a shirt that has a T-rex and it is holding two glasses of wine. The wording states “WINO-SAUR.” For a taste of my style, you can look forward to unique style blogs here. 💁🏼






Ok, so there are so many things to see in Canada. If you want it to feel like a real vacation, what better way than technically being out of the U.S.? Niagra falls really is beautiful, especially if you walk over to the Canadian side when there is nicer weather. If you are close enough to go for the day, super cheap. If not, Airbnb.com is a great option. I did that while visiting Toronto, check out my experience in Toronto here.

Niagara Falls


Rooftop: Toronto, Canada


Moral of the story: if your life is lacking adventure, make your own. While its more fun to venture out with another, it’s also fun now and again to venture out by yourself. It takes me back to green beer Sunday and my cab ride home with Mr. Osirus (the amazing ninja cab driver), if you haven’t read it—here it is.. Cab Ride With the Man-Bun. What are some of your favorite adventure spots?

Happy adventuring.




Spring into Something Beautiful

As spring has finally arrived, so does my spring-influenced style blog! I can tell you’re as excited as I am. As nicer weather comes our way, so do brighter and more colorful styles.

Did I mention shopping is a hobby of mine?

This floral print Peek-a-boo sleeve blouse is simply awh-mazing. There are so many styling options for this spring! A necessary flirty addition to your wardrobe. Pairs well with jeans or shorts. On a breezy day, try adding a jean jacket. I know jean on jean sounds iffy, it works though — I promise. Join the floral craze.



I am a huge fan of cropped jeans. They are the good kind of trendy — plus you don’t have to worry about rolling them up! The best part? They go perfect with heels or flats. These are also the comfiest pair of jeans I have ever owned plus high-waisted so basically love at first sight.

Summary: high-waisted, distressed, and cropped, what’s not to love? I wouldn’t steer you wrong. So these are sold out, but I almost like the ones I linked better! 👉🏼 I need these jeans.

Feeling more casual? Check this “Champagne Problems” tank. Yea, I can think of worse problems to have. They are now sold out too, but I took the time to find some great shirts, with the same saying! Tee on etsy or Tank on etsy.


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View More: http://raeoflifephotography.pass.us/erin-hartle-blog

Now, drumroll… My favorite part of this outfit. Two words — Floral and Heels. So as you may have guessed by now, I’m really into floral. By Jessica Simpson, oops she did it again. Oh right, wrong person. Anyway, these chunky heels I could literally run in. As a matter of fact, I have already tested their durability. You’re in good shoes, ladies. Hours of dancing approved. Gets these beauts right hurr… Lannah Pumps. They are on sale right now! $50.

If you think this outfit has too much floral, I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. If you are not a fan of heels, no worries. I’ve also paired this look with suede flats. $52 at Nordstrom. These aren’t the exact shoe pictured, but are very similar. I want these flats right meow.

Now, go get your style on. Follow me @ Be UNpopular for more fashion and women inspiring posts. ❤️

Erin Hartle Blog Images-Waterfall-0086.jpg






Cab Ride With The Man-Bun

The best cab ride ever. I had the time of my life on green beer Sunday right before St. Paddy’s day. I started drinking at noon if that tells you anything. Like any typical girls night, I was having way too much fun to leave — so I didn’t.

9:00 pm rolls around, all of my friends are already gone, and I’m finally ready to leave. Two cabs are sitting out front, so naturally I approach the first one. He said “$45.” My house is ten minutes away. No wonder Uber is taking over. Me being the sassy girl that I am said “I bet this other cab driver will give me a better deal!” I may be sassy, but I was right. Other cab driver said he’d give me a $10 break. You get vibes from people, and this guy sent good ones. I sat in the front seat with a beer in my hand — apparently I walked out with it, sue me.


He probably thought I was just drunk and wouldn’t remember our conversation, but to his surprise, I remembered every word.

I asked him what he wanted to do in life and he replied with how much he wanted to be an actor which lead to the topic of martial arts. I’m thinking maybe like a Jackie Chan kind-of-thing. He showed me insane videos with him hitting dummies left and right. Hi-ya! Turns out, he’s somewhat of a ninja. He told me a story about one time this man three times his size put a knife to his neck and tried to rob him.

Say what?

Thats crazy because the cab driver is a pretty big man, too. Little does the robber know that man-bun is a martial arts master disguised as a taxi cab driver.

He was so funny and animated while telling me this story. So he goes on to tell me he is “acting” nervous while grabbing the cash for the robber, making a point to tell me he was actually very calm and that being calm is important. So out of the blue, he grabs the robbers hand so that he drops the knife, elbows him in the face, and then pushes off the dashboard to end up in the back seat with the robber.

He kicks him while opening the door so that he falls out onto the street. He gets back in the drivers seat and the robber is up and on the hood of the cab. So — he did the obvious and drove off  with the bad guy still on top of the car. Just like the movies. Man-bun-1, other guy- 0. I’d watch a movie starring Mr. Osirus, he even has a cool name.

So instead of a silent ride home, we just talked like we knew each other. I adore conversations with strangers. Not a big fan of small talk like “Hey how are you?” and “I’m good thanks.” Its like a never-ending cycle of boringness. I don’t care if it’s customary, Be UNpopular. Get to know each other. Let’s forget pointless polite convos that are easily forgotten. I don’t want to be easily forgotten.  I don’t want to look back and wish I would have done things differently. Find your shine lovies — because when you do, the feeling is like no other. I’m never going back.

Attempting a Kick..
Oh and he carries a wooden sword in his car, you know just in case.

It was a $35 cab ride btw. Totes worth it though.

Had to meet up with him sober for these photos. I’d say it was a success. ✔️ Do something crazy today. Do something UNpopular. Interview below.

1.   Q: What inspires you everyday, what gets you motivated? 

A: I feel needed in the community, that’s why I don’t drink at all. I like to be ready at all times, in case someone needs a ride.

2.    Q: Are you going to try to be an actor?

A: That would be cool, maybe if I had the chance.

3.    Q: What is one thing you wish people would know about you?

A: I wear driving gloves and I think people get the wrong idea. Just because I look tough, people judge me right away, but I’m a really nice person.




Life is a Trip.

Toronto, Canada treated me very well. If you were talking to someone for just a month (give or take) and they asked to take you on a surprise trip, what would you say? Me a year ago—NOPE. No way José — need more details, more notice. The “not enough money” excuse would have come into play, or the “I’m just not comfortable with it yet” cop out. Living fearlessly takes less effort than you think. You just say yes — and that’s exactly what I did. I call him B, his name is Brandon though.


(Posing in the middle of the road in high traffic area — “We do it for the photos, for the memories.”)

He had to tell me the night before we left where we were headed (so that I could bring my passport), though that didn’t make it any less exciting. Road trip was around 4 hours. While going through the border to Canada, the customs officer said “Any firearms or drugs in your vehicle?” B looks in the back all sketchy …and then says no. The officer is like “Why are you looking in the back, is there something you want to tell me?” LOL OH DEAR. Yea so we definitely ended up having to get out, no surprise there. Face palm. We made it through though! We jammed out to old songs, new songs — everything from Blink 182, to matchbox 20, to Ariana Grande. Thankfully we have the same all-over-the-place taste in music. I guess it matches our up-for-anything attitudes.


(Exploring downtown where we vibed to a song with a homeless woman at a cafe called Second Cup Coffee.)

We have arrived — the view from the room on the 30th floor was breathtaking. We got all settled in, then decided to hit the town. King St. W. was pretty bumping, considering it was a Thursday. It was probably 20 degrees out — or less. Absolutely coming back when it’s warmer to explore more of DT Toronto!


(Drunken admiring of the city lights in my own little world.)

First stop was Wvrst (restaurant). We walked up a flight of stairs to get there — we could hear the loud music before we walked in. Lights were hanging low and it had communal seating so that you can mingle with whoever. It is the only one that exists — which is actually pretty awesome. Being that it was a German restaurant, it served all kinds of crazy sausages like kangaroo and rabbit. Also serving a variety of craft beer, which I happen to be a HUGE fan of. We ordered a flight of beer in which you didn’t get to choose the different kinds of beer you wanted, hey we’re in Toronto — let’s do this! Their duck fat fries are legit amazing. I went the basic route and got Italian sausage with cheese and onions because wild boar, etc. was a little too gamey for my tastes. Next time maybe I’ll be more adventurous, and there will be a next time. I asked the bartender what time they closed and he replied “12:00.” I’m like “Huh, that’s a little early.” He then stated with a mischievous face “We need to go out and drink too!” LOL, MY MAN. We learned that Canadian one and two-dollar coins are called “Loonies” and “Toonies.” So of course B making me laugh, as per usual, kept saying “We got Luneys and Tuneyssssss!” Haha it was funny at the time, I swear. So I recommend going there 100%. Great time, awesome food, really unique place.


(Goofing off at the museum.)

That was night numero Uno. The following night, we went up to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum). We took in the museum, all of the culture and beauty, then headed up to the 6th floor lounge for some adult beverages, live music, and a Toronto night city view. The lounge was beautiful. The first band was a psychedelic band I think? We did not know how to vibe to it, because there was essentially no real beat. It was funny trying though. The next band included a girl whose voice was as mesmerizing and beautiful as she was. Luna Li band it was called. We had a great time laughing and enjoying the cool atmosphere. The Uber ride there was pretty amusing as well, or maybe it was the ride back to the room? Little fuzzy there. Tickets were so cheap! Great touristy thing to do while in the the six, I recommend. Fun fact: Toronto used to be broken into six cities — Old Toronto, Scarborogh, North York, York, East York, and Etobicoke. The Toronto area code is also 4-1-6. The debate continues on which one is actually the true meaning of the famous nickname “The Six.”


(Finding warmth in each other’s arms on the walk back.)

So, on to the final day. Sigh. If only there were a better word for the euphoric feeling I felt on that epic last day. So B tells me, “Erin, I have another surprise in store for you today, we are meeting up with a couple of 19 year olds downtown.” In my head WAIT, WHAT?! I’m thinking, what could we possibly be doing meeting up with a couple of random kids in Toronto? He wasn’t telling, and I secretly didn’t want to know. We all met at union station. They are the coolest people ever, by first impression. Albert and Chris are their names. So we say hello and they say “Follow us — you’re in for a great surprise” with big genuine smiles on their faces. So I follow, confused as hell still. We go into a building and hop into an elevator. They press the Top floor. They have backpacks on, so I’m wondering what is in those mysterious backpacks the entire time. So we arrive to the top floor, walk out the door to the rooftop to a vertical steel ladder. They say ok, put your purse around you and climb up. The adrenaline rush was out of this world. What is happening right now, and WHY on earth am I saying yes to this?! So many thoughts going through my mind. So I get to the top of the cold, steel ladder and look up. I swear to you the most beautiful view I will ever see in my life. The sun, the sparkling water, the buildings, the CN tower. It was an absolute rush. I would compare it to something, but you see it was incomparable. My eyes must have been smiling because the look on Albert’s face was one of true satisfaction, and I just hugged him saying thank-you. I felt strangely close to a stranger in that moment. Funny side note—Im also scared of heights. There was another ladder higher up and less safe that they talked me into climbing. It turns out these “kids” are amazingly talented photographers. We had a photoshoot right there on that roof. It was all so so movie-esq. Like my wildest dream came true. Forever memorable. Photos below. Photo Credit Instagram.com/diu.lei and Instagram.com/chriischenn. Follow them for unique views of Toronto! The Prince Charming that made this possible … Brandon Deem

So friends, if you’re feeling like taking a chance, my advice to you is to just say yes. You never know what will happen, maybe you’ll find your rooftop.


(Scared, but safe in his arms.)


(Photoshoot at airport following the rooftop shoot, still on a high from the experience.)


(Candids are the best.)


(Too high to come down.)


(Living on the edge, literally.)


Some Days I am Inspired.

Some days I’m inspired. Some days I lose focus and forget what I’m doing or why I’m doing certain things. Sometimes I’m lost, sometimes I’m found, — but everyday I am thankful.


I spent a lot of wasted time explaining to people why I do what I do, but eventually came to the conclusion that I don’t owe anyone an explanation. If they get it, great! If they don’t, I don’t care. Sometimes people don’t understand me and occasionally I allow it to throw me off my game. I have to remind myself to let my creativity flow. Realize this —not everyone will understand your journey, but as long as you understand it, other people’s feelings about it shouldn’t matter. How could they possibly understand you? They’re not you. You’re you, the only you. People may not always understand, but they will eventually see the fire and passion in your eyes and support you whole heartedly wishing they could find the same. You never know, maybe it will be you who helps them do that.

I search for self-validation, I try not to search for it in others. You’re unstoppable as long as you believe it. Sometimes I have bad days, but I impress myself just by the way I handle it — changing my mood and making things happen despite having a bad day. Yup, I’ll just be over here kicking ass and taking names if you need me.

Sometimes you just have to focus on you, even if you’re the only one in your corner. Once you believe in yourself, people will start to follow that notion. It takes practice and patience to believe in yourself. It also takes hard work, dedication, focus, and most importantly — confidence. Don’t let people lower your standards to meet theirs, let them want to raise their standards to meet yours. Be the one to encourage others and help others believe in themselves when no one else will.


I had to tone down my negative attitude 95% to get to where I am now. It definitely took some work, but it was well worth it. Something about getting older made me feel like I couldn’t let loose anymore, couldn’t be goofy. Once again — caught trying to live by the rules of society. I was straight-faced 24/7, always taking things to heart and making mountains out of molehills.

Now — sometimes all it takes to get me back to my happy place is being at a coffee shop by myself just reflecting and writing, contemplating my next bad-ass move. A margarita at a nice little bar sometimes works the same. Tequila is my girl.. It used to take someone telling me I’m awesome to bring me back to life — now I’m that person. Sometimes I sit at work and smile to myself because genuinely don’t hate being there anymore. Just because everyone else hates working, doesn’t mean you have to. I feel so lucky to have found myself. I believe some people never do and hopefully with this blog, you will find some inspiration.




13 Things to do on VDAY for a Single lady + Recipe

With Valentine’s day here, one might wonder what there is to do as a single lady. I have come up with a list for you.. You’re welcome.


  1. Listen to Beyonce` —If you like it then you shoulda put a… Never mind.

  2. Go watch 50 shades—Probably with a friend of some sort, yes it still counts if no one else can actually see this “friend”. It’s weird though because you know everyone is going straight home & you know, let’s Marvin Gaye and get it on (awk).

  3. Bake goods all day—like heart-shaped cookies and other red, vibrant desserts. Everyone likes desserts, so that’s an easy win (If you don’t, I don’t think I need your negativity in my life). Trifle recipe below.

  4. Go on a date—yolo. There’s Tinder, and like this thing where you actually can introduce yourself to people face-to-face. Mind-blowing, right?

  5. Hang out with other single friends—If these people even exist.

  6. Drive without a destination in mind—All by Yoseeeelf (Insert song here).

  7. Whine & chill—’Nuff said

  8. Sleep all day, wake up on FEB 15th—Cross that off the bucket list.

  9. Hang with your pet—If you don’t have one, refer to #10.

  10. Go buy a pet

  11. Have a VDAY party for girls only—Including food, dessert, and obviously chick flicks. No, that doesn’t make you a loser.. (ok maybe a little, but I’m not judging you).

  12. Pamper yourself with an at-home spa day or if the bank account agrees, go to a spa—look good, feel good.

  13. Do something spontaneous. Spontaneity is contagious. Ex: Travel to a nearby city and explore. Loserville is my absolute fave.


I joke a lot, but seriously there is nothing wrong with being single on V-day. Don’t let this amazing day make you feel unworthy. Remember, no one else is like you. You’re a rockstar. Choose to make today your day! Remember: Girl, the world is at your fingertips, you just have to believe it.

Recipe Time. 👇🏼

The other day my mom called me to tell me that I could open the package she sent me for Valentines Day because she was not available to FaceTime on Valentines Day because of things going on that day (I was supposed to wait until VDAY to open).

eeeek, what did I get?! She said I have to open the card first I’m like “what card?!” “What if it’s not here yet?!” She said “Then you’ll have to wait!” So I ran to check the mail and I see a red card—thank baby Jesus, hallelujurr. So we FaceTime and I open my card which consists of a single recipe card for a trifle dessert. Yes please. I precede to open the package and see a glass trifle bowl! What a thoughtful and amazing gift! I have never actually made a trifle before, but no worries! It was not-so-complicated and it tasted even better than it looked. I made sure to mention she gave me the perfect dessert to blog about. Thank you mom.


1/4 plus 2/3 Cup sugar

1/4 Cup Fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp. Almond extract

1 Angel food cake, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 Pound cream cheese (at room temp.)

2 Cups heavy cream

1/4 Cup water

2 Pints Strawberries

Handful raspberries to top



Heat 1/4 c sugar, lemon juice, and 1/4c water in saucepan over medium-high. Heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract. Dip 1-inch angel food cake pieces in the syrup and start layering in trifle bowl. Beat the remaining 2/3c sugar and cream cheese with a mixer until smooth and light. Add heavy cream and mix until consistency of whipped cream. Layer cake cubes, followed by strawberries, and lastly the cream cheese mixture. Repeat layering of cake, strawberries, and then cream cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate.



Single & 25

I think of everything in life as an experience -The good, the bad & the ugly. Even if things don’t work out the way you had hoped, you still learned something in the end. As I am recently single, it only makes sense to do a relative post. You might think I’d be a little down on myself, after all, single & 25 isn’t the most glamorous of titles. I actually feel hopeful. Its MY year. My year to learn everything I possibly can, do everything I’ve ever wanted to do, and just be myself. While I’m admittedly sad & disappointed that things didn’t work out—still nothing can stop me from achieving my dreams.

For the first time in my life, I realized that I didn’t like being alone. Why though? Ask yourself if you had one day to hang out with yourself, what would you do? Ask me that a year ago & you would undoubtedly get a deer in headlights stare. Ask me that now and you will see my face light up! Wake up, drink coffee, read a book, practice my guitar, go for a run, do some squats, etc. Goodbye to that girl who was afraid to be alone—time to enjoy being single & hanging out with my cat. LOL But seriously Instead of looking for the next partner, I’m working on me. I will not settle this time.

View More: http://raeoflifephotography.pass.us/erin-hartle-blog

Things to know about me— 1. I don’t owe anyone anything 2. I am more than capable of being happy alone 3. Dating can be super fun 4. My time is valuable to me and it will not be wasted 5. I will always stick up for myself 6. If you don’t like me, that’s ok— not everyone has good taste. hehe.

I’ve changed so much in the past year, it’s hard to know where to start. So I’ve zeroed in on the conclusion that the next one will find me when I least expect it. It’s how I know I’ve recently grown & changed. My outlook isn’t “I hate all guys.” It’s more like “The next one will be worthy of me and what I have to offer.” If I don’t feel like the most confident and unstoppable girl that I know I am —he’s going to be sidelined.


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It is crucial to take the good and not just the bad when exiting a relationship, even though they may not have been the ideal partner. We have all had a few less than ideal partners (eye roll). Everyone is different and has different experiences and personalities. That’s the beauty of life. Although we may not agree with everything our past partners stood for, we still have an opportunity to learn from them. I chose to take a great deal from my ex-boyfriend. I took an AMAZING amount of knowledge and wisdom. In a way, he inspired this blog. So the only words I would have to him are THANK YOU. Try it—thank your exes, even if they don’t deserve it.

There is no need for all of the hostility and drama involved with break ups. FORGIVE. Choose to forgive— not for them, but for yourself and your inner peace. Of course you don’t have to forget, for the past makes you wiser. Being sad is normal, you’re grieving the loss of a former BFF. Stay strong and move on. You rock.