Saturday, April 30, 2011

Office Space Inspiration

My office space is super-boring, it's messy and cluttered and crowded. My chair is starting to drive me crazy and it's just about time to replace it - which made me look for some inspiring spaces online... which of course I couldn't keep to myself! Make sure to click on the links (if you have a little time) I worked hard to find original sources for each of these images that I found on pinterest.

{  source :: via :: via  }
how to turn a closet into an office - what a brilliant idea! 
Love the colors and wallpaper - this wouldn't be an expensive solution. 

{  source  ::  via  ::  via  ::  via  }
be sure to check out the source link
so many amazing ideas and photos
I love how she converted a tiny little space into something brilliant. 

My DIning room   :office bit
(  via  }
You don't need a lot of space to have a fun, colorful office area!

via  ::  via
sometimes it just takes a little pop of color to turn everything around!
I want my new office chair to be this cozy and bright

{  source  ::  via  }
love the pretty pops of color

love the matching mismatched chairs

what a brilliant cork board idea! 

I'm in love with these square storage areas!

{  source  ::  via  } 
I just had to throw this last one in - because I love the storage and colors here too!

Friday, April 29, 2011

baby baby baby

This baby will be here before I know it! He reminds me a lot of Katie-Abigail - really active - he likes to practice his pro-soccer moves every night, I can't wait to meet him. This pregnancy has already gone by crazy-fast, I'm already just about to start my third trimester - wow.  I am so blessed to have fairly easy, uncomplicated pregnancies -  though I've had to start really watching what I eat - my hands have feet have started swelling a little and I have pretty bad heartburn. If you have any advice about this mamas - bring it on!! 

My biggest struggle with this pregnancy has been picking a name!! Eli has been a favorite since the first weeks of this pregnancy but the hubs hasn't agreed to anything yet. His favorite name is Graham, which is growing on me - but not for a first name. I spent the morning looking through some baby name sites and wrote out a huge list of possible names - most of which I'll cross off tonight or tomorrow. A few other favorites are Ethan and Nathan and I kind of like the name Ashton for a middle name. Since this is our fifth child I kind of like the name Quinn as a middle name - since it means "fifth" but I'd like to give him something more meaningful. 

Little Man's name is Josiah Leeland and I love his name. Josiah is a name that we picked out before we were even married, we had a long car trip and were talking about future kids names. When I was pregnant with my oldest I wasn't sure I loved it, but by the time Josiah was finally born I couldn't imagine naming him anything else. Leeland comes from a band that I like, it's the name of the lead singer/songwriter.  I was looking everywhere for an artistic middle name to go with Josiah's strong, biblical first name and I love love love his unique, beautiful middle name. But now trying to find a name for our second son that I love equally and that the hubs will agree too - that has proven quite challenging! 

Here is my long, rambling list of names... 

Allen, Alden, Anderson, Ayden

Ben, Blake, Brayden (or Breaden), Bryce

Callum, Carter, Clark, Colin

Elias, Elliot, Emmett, Eoin (like Owen)

Finn, Gavin, Jack, Jake, Jonah, Jude, Jacob

Keegan, Kayden, Lewis, Lee, Logan

Milo, Noah, Noel, Nolan

Owen, Oliver, Tobias, Toby, Tate

Quin (means "fifth"), Reece (or Rhys), Rowan (or Ruan), Ryan, Riley

Teagan, Tucker, Ty, Scott, Vaughn

So what do you think - I'd love to hear your thoughts... what are your favorite names? 

thumbs up!

a couple more cute photos of my little man

alt crop 2

alt crop 2

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happiness is a banana cream pie

Despite the crazy thunderstorm last night that woke my kids up in the middle of the night and had them sleeping in my bed (however considering all of the devastation of this recent string of storms I'm thankful that life can carry on as usual today and I'm thankful that the storm came after my daughter's trip to the zoo.)

I think I've been smiling all day...

Okay,  maybe not all day. Not when my little man was pitching a full-out laying-on-the-ground-crying fit at McDonalds, and not when my kids were all talking to me at the same time in the dollar isle at Target, but otherwise -  from sitting with my little man this morning drinking hot tea and listening to the rain to the sunshine that's pouring through my windows right now - it's been a great day.

I got a cookbook at the Library today by Tyler Florence and I sat in McDonald's sipping iced tea while my little man played and read it from cover to cover.  I especially love reading the introduction to cookbooks - you know, all those words at the beginning that you usually just skip over to get to the good stuff?  I love that part.  And this one was particularly good.  I also love the beautiful photography of this cookbook. I may only try one recipe but I'll enjoy looking through this cookbook all week, dreaming of cornish hens, scallops and creamy shrimp soup - but cooking mac and cheese. I mean seriously - how yummy does this shrimp-stuffed avocado look? I think I'd make it with chicken though...

I was also able to get some adorable invitations for my daughter's birthday that is coming up. We are going to invite a couple girls from her class at school to come over and decorate cupcakes. How fun does that sound?! I've been to so many stores looking for something colorful and cute and something that she'd like. These were crazy inexpensive and I was able to also get a few cupcake decorating items from the on-sale Easter isle which I'm very pleased about.

invitations for Emma's party

When we came home I took some photos of my kids while they were eating their snack and I had one of those "this is why I got a new camera!!" moments. Getting good photos of my kids indoors is always super-challenging for me - my kids move so quickly and are generally either uncooperative or stick silly smirks on their faces when I get the camera out (thus my love for food photography - it doesn't talk back) so needless to say I'm really pleased.


And just because the title of this blog post has to do with banana cream pie - here's a photo of the one I made this afternoon...

The hubs and I loved this so much on Easter that I just had to make it again!!!

Reading cookbooks is one way I re-charge my creative batteries... what about you? What do you do that makes you smile and feel inspired again?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Camera wars: Nikon D80 vs Nikon D700

Alternate title: Post-Easter Sugar High - I'm loving all the on-sale post-Easter candy! 
Originally published here

Yesterday my  Little Man took a blissfully long early nap and I was able to get some serious photography done. I wanted to compare how my two cameras would behave in identical conditions using the same lens. So I got out some props and some jelly beans (one of my favorite things both to eat and to photograph lately) and had a wonderful time!

Left: Nikon D80 & Right: Nikon D700
cell phone pic

All of the following were taken using my Nikon D80 10 mega pixel camera and my Nikon D700 12 mega pixel camera with my Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5 lens (unless otherwise noted) all images are SOOC.

I also used my macro adapter ring for a few shots
Here is my set-up: I have a white piece of poster paper as my background and another piece of poster board reflecting light back onto my subject. I have to give credit for this technique to the amazing new food blog the kitchen generation which is where I learned this technique.  Below I've demonstrated what a huge difference it makes! I haven't yet used this technique when photographing people but I love to use it whenever I'm photographing food. The sweet tart jelly beans were especially difficult to keep still! I was wishing I had some spray adhesive to keep them in place. 

taken with Samsung Vibrant Gallaxy S cell phone
Sweet Tart Jelly Beans
without the reflector
without reflector board
with the reflector
with reflector board
taken with Samsung Vibrant Galaxy S cell phone
Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans

For my Jolly Rancher jelly beans I used a piece of poster board as my shooting surface and some poster paper to reflect some light:

a happy accident
this was a happy accident! my fingers holding my reflector

Here are my first side-by-side shots with the Nikon D80 vs. Nikon D700:

aperture: f/3.5 exposure (shutter speed): 1/160 focal distance: 18mm ISO: 500
aperture: f/3.5 exposure: 1/160 focal distance: 18mm ISO: 500
I have a difficult time seeing a significant difference between the two shots above since they're not from the identical angle or the two shots below since the shutter speeds are slightly different.

1/250 f/5.6 ISO500
1/160 f/5.6 ISO 500
1/160 f/5.6 ISO500
f/5 1/320 ISO 500
(L - D80) & (R - D700)
I have a few observations about this set: while the D700 has a higher ISO range and larger frame capabilities and also has a faster auto-focus and more auto-focus points - so far I have not seen a huge difference in the quality of the the images between these two cameras (and the price gap between them is significant) one of the things I noticed when I was shooting with the D700 was that I was able to use faster shutter speeds, which generally increase your chances of getting nice sharp focus. So if you're considering venturing into professional photography the D700 is the better choice but the D80 is a really high-performing camera!

Here are some more shots:
f/3.5 1/250
D700 with macro adapter ring
f/3.5 1/200
1/250 f/5.6 ISO500
D700 with macro adapter ring
f/5.6 1/250 ISO500
D700 with macro adapter ring

Both taken with D700

I {heart} jelly beans
aperture:f/3.8 shutter: 1/500 focal length: 24mm ISO:500

Camera wars: D80 VS D700

Alternate title: Post-Easter Sugar High - I'm loving all the on-sale post-Easter candy! 

Yesterday my  Little Man took a blissfully long early nap and I was able to get some serious photography done. I wanted to compare how my two cameras would behave in identical conditions using the same lens. So I got out some props and some jelly beans (one of my favorite things both to eat and to photograph lately) and had a wonderful time!

Left: Nikon D80 & Right: Nikon D700
cell phone pic

VOTE for your Favorite: Routine

Congratulations to DASH Photography: y'all voted her photo as your favorite from the Pastel photography challenge!

Here are my top five picks for the Routine challenge:


Sunny Yellow Window

Bringing Up Benjamin

you've just got to go read her post - it's too cute!

DRW Photos


Honorable mentions:
Moments in Between
June Makes Six
Flower Photography

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