Wednesday, February 27, 2013

self | portraits

really enjoying my 30 day "In  Plain Sight" photo project. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Music | Mondays

today  I am feeling like I want to leave the suburbs. Like I need to get away. Do more. Be more in addition to all that i am. Do you ever have days like that?

Music inspires me to leave. Even if only in my mind.

What inspires you?

The Head & The Heart -"Ghosts -(van sessions)"

Glen Hansard "Don't leave me waiting"

Michael Kiwanuka "I'm getting ready"

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday |ness

Alas, it is Friday.

We are still recovering from the stomach flu at our house. Blech.

It's windy and the rain is due at any moment.
I've had 3 cups of coffee this morning. And I can't get warm enough.

Tomorrow I go to get my hair cut. Thinking about something different, as I get bored very quickly. I have to keep it interesting, but there is only so much you can do with stick straight super thin hair!

I hope to do more reading this weekend. Reading when it is warm and sunny outside, leaves me feeling guilty but when it is cool and rainy, it seems perfect. no?

I'm still keeping up with my 30 day of self portraits class, with Catherine Just. I'm really enjoying it.

What will you be doing this weekend?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wordless | Wednesday

I'm really enjoying taking part in Catherine Just's E-course {In Plain Sight}. I feel it is really making me  find the time to take a photo or two a day and pushing my creativity. I've chosen self portraits as my 30 day project. Something I feel uncomfortable and vulnerable doing (being in front of the camera). But, an area I wanted to push myself because of those very reasons.

Backyard -Not Feeling Pretty Today

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wordless | Wednesday

Remember that cute lace top I found at the Thrift store a few weeks back?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's| Day | Jewelry Gift Guide

Need some last minute thoughts/ideas on what to get your honey?

 Well, I always think you just can't go wrong with jewelry. Or chocolate. Hmm...better make that jewelry AND chocolate!!! And, you know what they say about diamonds. Yet, I think that it pretty much applies to ALL jewelry though.

Marilyn Monroe Source: 

 Some of my favorite jewelry right now are by Kendra Scott. I really love the simplicity but moderness to her pieces. Plus, they are all over the press and have had oodles of celebrity sightings wearing KS!

 Now, personally usually  prefer simple, classic pieces. I tend to like very feminine items when it comes to my baubles. And, I'm really into the look of gold right now, too. But, I am also digging all of those "statement" pieces that have seemed to sprouted up EVERYwhere. Yes, I too heart them.

Kenddra Scott has some beautiful ones! The Harlow Necklace is amaze. It's the epitomy of statement piece. And it comes in all kinds of fun colors.

The  Danielle Earrings ( in Carnelian color) are just gorgeous. I could definitely see myself wearing them as I have always loved dangly earrings! Don't these just scream throw your hair up in a messy bun or cute chignon and head out on a date with your significant other? Of course, I would rock these at Target too. Heck yeah! Love 'em.

 Perhaps you aren't a fan of bright/bold color? Well, I can understand that. What about this beautiful Heather Gardner piece? This 5 Layer Victoria Chain Ethiopian Necklace would stand out in a crowd. It is feminine and beautiful in a fun bohemian way ( I love bohemian stuff!) and would instantly jazz up almost any outfit!

Another fun way to add a cute and easy-to-wear jewelry piece is gorjana's taner bark necklace. It is modern and chic, and goes with just about anything. You can wear it with Jeans and a T-shirt as well as a cute dress when you head out for a night on the town! I also adore their Laurel Bangle bracelet. Again, easy to wear and looks stylish!

 Apparently the Tribal look is going to be HUGE this Spring. If you are a fan of bracelets, this Lisa Stewart turquoise modern small cuff bracelet is stylish enough to be worn alone, but would also look great paired up with a few other bracelets. (I always like to pair my bracelets whenever possible).

Being a mom, I am always on the lookout for unique jewelry pieces that represent the love for my kiddos. There are LOTS of them out there, of course.  I really like this 14k Gold 2 Disc Necklace from Posh Mommy Jewelry. It's simple and I'd probably layer them with a few other thin gold chains. Again, I do like the layered look. :)

What are your thoughts? Do you like to wear jewelry and , if so, what sorts of things are you drooling over and throwing hints at (or just dreaming over)?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Music | Mondays-- The Grammy's Edition

Did you watch the Grammy Awards last night? Even though I'm a huge fan of music I don't generally watch awards shows all that often anymore but I'm going to post a Grammy edition of my first Music Monday in honor of them.

First up, the band "Mumford and Sons" is fantastic, and have gotten a lot of worthy press. They also took home a Grammy last night for Album of The Year.

Check out Mumford & Sons "I Will Wait". (I should note that this band is one of my husband's faves, so it gets played a lot while my kids are in his car. I wish I had video of my two year old belting this song out, as it is quite cute, but sadly I do not)

Another remarkable group? "Florence + the Machine"
Even though they did not win a Grammy, they were nominated for best pop/group performance. If you haven't heard of Florence + The Machine, give them a chance and listen /watch this You Tube video of their song "shake it out". Just soo good.
  Every heard of the band, "Alabama Shakes"? I hadn't either until last year. They were one of the "buzz" bands of 2012 but ironically all still had day jobs in 2011! Pretty cool, huh?
At first sound I immediately really liked their Album debut song "Hold On" because I thought it had such gumption and strong vocals (Although I have to admit, the first few times I heard the song on the radio I actually thought the lead singer was male. I was wrong. Whoops!)
Unfortunately, I don't think they left with an official Grammy but they were nominated for three Grammy awards including best new artist/rock performance.
Give em' a listen.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Pinterest | Roundup | Valentine's Day edition

Are you all getting ready for Valentine's Day next week?!?

 We are !!!

I confess, I never would have considered decorating or really getting into Valentine's Day much prior to having kids. Even though Valentine's Day is kinda special due to the fact that I actually MET my husband on Valentine's Day. (I know. How cute is that, huh??)

Having little ones is a great kick in the butt to get festive and have fun with Holidays in general (even if only  Hallmark holidays). We are finishing up all of our Valentine's Crafts and getting ready for two Valentine's Day parties next week.
First, I'm hosting the Valentine's Day party at C's preschool - everything is planned/organized and purchased and now I just have to make food for 12 little ones next week-! Where did I find so many ideas and inspiration ?? I'll tell you. Like many parents, Pinterest!!

A's Kindergarten party is also next week, and although I can't attend (because I'll be at C's preschool party at the same time) I volunteered to bring in all of the paper plates/napkins for the class (easy-peasy enough completed by a quick Target run to grab supplies)

 At home we have been making some homemade Valentine's as well as a few DIY/Crafts. Being that I'm Pinterest obsessed, I figure it was the perfect opportunity for a Pinterest round-up! Below are just a taste of some fun holiday ideas, and the links provided below. There are soooo many more --
to see them all you may just want to follow me HERE on Pinterest!!!!

#1Valentine Branch Tree at The DIY Dreamer
#2 Pretty Simple Garland by Lemon Tree Dwelling 
#3 Heart Lunches by Lisa Storms
#4 Be My Valentine Cookies by Land O Lakes (bonus these are dye free!)

I think we will make a few more Valentine -ish crafts this weekend (and I'll blog about them next week!) 
but so far..

  • I made not one, but TWO of the Valentine Branch Trees (they were so simple/cute, I figured why the heck not?)

  •  I attempted to make the sweet garland yesterday but for some reason couldn't find doilies at Target.

  •  And I am making a similar version of the Heart lunches for the kids at C's presschool next week. Not sure which dessert though-yet!

*Side note*--this blog was written assuming you are equally an obsessed Pinterest person but if you have been living under a rock not heard of it and don't know what Pinterest is all about, I encourage you to check it out! It is essentially a "virtual pinboard" on which you can collect and share just about anything you view on the internet. Oh and, yes, it is addictive. ;)

So, do you get into Valentine's Day?  care to share your Pinterest finds for the week? Feel free to link up!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wordless | Wednesday

jump around. jump around. jump up- jump up -and get down!

Linking up to The Paper Mama , and project alicia

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thrift | Shop | Challenge

Hey ya!

So, the good people over at Young House Love posted this Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge bout a week ago and I knew I wanted to give it a try.  I love to shop, and I love it even more when I find a good deal!! T.J. Maxx and Marshall's are my best friend, but on occasion I like checking out local thrift stores too. What I love about them is that you really have to dig around but you never know what you may find!

The goal of this challenge was to go thrift shoppin' with just $20 in your pocket (like the song says) and spend it on whatever you wanted. You were supposed to take a pic of yourself outside the shop with your $20, but I forgot to go to the ATM (i rarely carry cash anymore) so I took a lame pic of myself with my phone sans 20 dollar bill anyway. But, I promise you I did not spend more than $20 though!

I think my total was $18 something?

I really do not like this photo I took of myself quickly before I entered Goodwill. But I am going to play along and post it anyway! Gotta love how my wrinkles and creases show up while I look into the sun!

-----OK. sorry I had to take down this photo of me. It was really creepin' me out. lol--------

Also, to make it even more fun (as if shopping could get more fun??!) there was a scavenger-hunt type of quality to the challenge as well, as you were supposed to snap a photo of something heard in the song.

I found a pair of moccasins as referenced in the song. Not bad right? hahah

And, here's what I went away with for real!

  • 2 matching wrought iron candlesticks (I love wrought iron and liked that it was a pair!) $3.93
  • cute lace top $2.99
  • Cotto floor tile (that can be hung on a wall) $2.12
  • 5x7 picture frame $1.91
  • cute gold flats $3.99

Do you like thrift shopping? And if so, where do you go and what gems have you found??



Saturday, February 2, 2013

More | Green | Smoothie

My husband took our daughters out this morning for a few hours to a local children's gym while I stayed home and worked out/and got a peaceful (ie: no kids storming in the bathroom asking me where something is or whining about their sister not sharing) shower. Oh, and then I made a quick trip down to our local Goodwill store ...But more on that later.

He called me on his way home and told me they were picking up Chick-Fil-A and if I wanted any thing. Ummm. I kinda did want a chicken wrap. But, I said no and instead opted for something a little healthier instead.

Enter Green Smoothie.

I made one of my favorite's again the Tropical Green Smoothie (visit blog post a few weeks ago for recipe). But, I made a few minor changes to it and liked it even MORE. This time I added an extra 1/4 cup of chopped ice. and, a half banana. Yummmers!!

A few photos of the before and after shown below.

Oh, and notice how I now have a lovely watermark thanks to Kelsey?? :) :) No, it is nothing fancy, just a simple watermark that was super easy to make in Lightroom!

Friday, February 1, 2013

&(%$##!! | Watermarks |

Many photographers watermark their online images for security and protection of their images. Makes sense. I used to do this, and then got lazy. But then yesterday I read a story online about someone swiping photos of their kids off off a photo sharing community (Flickr) and using them in not nice ways.

This morning I sat down to make a Watermark.   So that I too, can start protecting my images (as much as possible) on the internet.

I thought I remembered how to do this. I thought maybe it would take me 15 minutes tops to bust one out.

Well, you know what i learned this morning?

That I suck at making watermarks!!!!!! (And anything to do with photoshop Elements in general.)

I have spent the past hour reading through them, and I still can't get a darn good looking watermark. I don't even want it to be fancy. 

Just basic. And I know I prefer the Png type, because I don't deal with brushes. Ever.

I need to take a class on how to do this stuff. There are hundreds of free online tutorials on this very topic (and you have probably seen them online if you are too a photographer).

Anyone want to make me one? Because seriously, this is what I came up with. Go ahead and laugh. ;)

 How I got my last name to be more highlighted than the other words is beyond me??!! ( I did not do so intentionally) Hmm...

Oh and I thought I had made a box for this to go in. But, nope. Looks like that did not work either. 

Are you a photographer who also struggles with photo editing software??? Makes me feel frustrated (cursed at my computer on and off for the past hour, thankfully little one #2 was watching TV and not listening at the time!)  
So, am  I the world's most most incompetent at Photoshop Elements photographer??!!