Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Self Portrait - 33 weeks: Photography Challenge with Paper Heart Camera

DSC_0977 sugar cookies low sat
33 weeks
The self portrait theme at Paper Heart Camera is Numbers and I immediately knew what I should do for this challenge. I finally got out my tripod to do a belly shot. I'm 33 weeks pregnant - only 3 weeks until "full term" though I'm pretty confident that he won't come for a few weeks after that. See more edits on my flickr page - I'd really like to know what you think.

Touch Up Tuesday's at the Paper Mama




self-portrait in a mirror
and here's one more...



and then, she {snapped}

Photography Challenge: Together




The theme this week is "together" - should be fun! This is a pic from the weekend of my kids with their Grammy.



FYI:
There will not be a top five during the month of May.
Obviously, the photo must be your own, taken by you!
Anyone can participate in this challenge, regardless of photography equipment or skill.
Your photo does not have to be taken for this challenge - but a new photo is always fun! :)
You can link up your blog or Flickr page - be sure to link up your post and not just your image or your blog's homepage.
Please link up only once per person.
Please link back to my blog!
Please grab one of my new buttons from my sidebar - thanks :)
Do take a minute to comment on each other's photos - it makes it so much more fun for everyone!
Link-up is open until next Tuesday.
Check out the list of upcoming challenges in my sidebar
I can't wait to see your photos for this challenge!!

Misc-Monday-ish

{one} this is going to be a very random kind of post - don't say I didn't warn you!

{two} this was a movie-watching kind of weekend.

The hubs and I saw the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie and we really enjoyed it. I missed a few of the old characters but Penelope Cruz did not disappoint in her performance - she was brilliant along with Johnny Depp, I knew she would be! But for me the highlight of the movie is the Missionary - his relationship with the Mermaid is on par with something from the Twilight movies.
... or better.

I would go see the movie again, just for that.

We also took the kids to see Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D - it was awesome. The kids loved it, it was the first time they had ever seen a movie in 3D and it was adorable to see their reaction to the 3D. The movie was good, although the hubs and his mom almost fell asleep in the middle.
Grammy and the kiddos

{three} can we talk for a minute about how expensive it is to take a family of six to the movies?! It's highway robbery. We could have bought the DVD for everyone in our family for the price of going to see it in the theaters. Next time I'm waiting until it comes out at Redbox.

{four} I bought an awesome maternity shirt yesterday - yay for having something new to wear. I've been wearing the same four shirts for the last month and it's nice to have something cute (that I didn't have to pay twenty bucks for) to wear.

{five} I know I've said this recently but at 33 weeks preggo  I feel huge. My hands and feet have been swelling up which means lots of time with my feet up and I have also had to make myself eat a high-protein diet. I'm not a fan.

my high-protein breakfast
plus a muffin, so I won't totally loose my mind!

little guy's baby blanket... still needs a lot of work!!
have you tried this yogurt?
SO good!!
We're still trying to nail down a middle name for our little guy. I think we'll probably stick with Eli for his first name. Yesterday the hubs suggested "Flynn" for a middle name. That's kinda cool - except that it's really close to Finn which is one of the main characters on Glee and I'm not sure I'm down with that. Also it reminds me of the character from Tangled whose name was Flynn Ryder and our last name is Raider - is that too close? I'm not too sure about that. Why oh why does picking this little guys name have to be so freaking hard?! I like the idea of using a last-name type name for the little guy's middle name but I don't want it to be some random name. It ought to be either totally cool-sounding or have some kind of meaning. I'm thinking maybe Lincoln. Like Linkin Park and Lincoln Brewster. Or maybe not.


{six} the hubs and I love to go to the bookstore at the mall together... it's been our default date ever since we were newlyweds. over the weekend we went there together without kids (yaaaay!!!!) and I saw that Elizabeth Gilbert  has a new book called "Committed" have you read it yet? I think I'll be downloading it to my kindle next weekend. I looooooooved Eat. Pray. Love.  it wasn't brilliant and I hated how it ended but I enjoyed reading it so very much.

{seven} my going-into-first-grader decided that she's going to grow out her bangs this summer. She's had bangs ever since before she turned a year old so this is huge. It is so exciting to see her exercising more preference yet at the same time simply crazy that she is growing up so fast!

growing out bangs - day one
{eight} speaking of kids growing up my middle daughter lost her sixth tooth this weekend! She pulls out all of her own teeth now. It freaks her out if I try to do it. Her daddy has started calling her "toothless" too cute!

"toothless"
{nine} I keep saying that since so many of my favorite shows on TV are not going to be playing through the summer that I'll have so much more free time - but  now I keep seeing all these summer shows that I want to see! So You Think You Can Dance is at the top of my list. love that show. seriously. love it. I'm hoping that it will be my one show that I watch this summer and anything else that I watch will be on-demand. Like Extreme Couponing. My kids love that show. What's up with that?! I have really mixed feelings about couponing like that but it makes me think that maybe I should try a little harder to save more money on my families grocery budget.
I am SO glad we have a community pool!!

{ten} one of the upsides of taking somewhat of a break from my blog is that it has given me some time to re-focus.

June is going to be such a great month for blogging. I've been working on re-vamping the look of my blog - not a total re-design but a few tweaks that are going to go a long way. I've also got a couple super-fab blog-design giveaways and a bunch of new sponsors for the month of June which mean sponsor spotlight posts (fun!).

I'll also be guest-posting at a couple of my friends blogs (yay!) and will be working on getting my newest class ready - 30 Days of Simply SLR which is going to be a fun, socially-oriented class through the month of July (similar to the first Creativity Bootcamp) I can hardly wait!

I've also decided to go ahead and blog about things that I enjoy writing about but haven't much here. TV, movies and my kiddos for a start. I'll try to make sure that when I blog about my babies that it's clear in the title so you can skip those posts if it's not your thing :)

I'm also changing up my photography challenges! There are SO many photography challenges out there and I want mine to be more helpful that it is at the moment so I'm re-directing it towards style & technique challenges. I've got lots of ideas for these challenges and hope that it becomes even more fun and educational. If you have ideas for themes for upcoming challenges please leave a comment on my blog's Facebook page.

Linking up with:



Miscellany Monday @ lowercase lettersGrab a button...or two...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'm still here...

just enjoying life with my family... we've been swimming a lot, watching movies - hanging out.  We saw Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D - it was the kid's first time seeing a movie in 3D! It was such a fun experience. I finally went on a great date with my husband - the first one this year.
I'm also now 33 weeks pregnant and feeling huge...  just huge.
So I've got my feet up and I'm watching the last couple episodes of Glee...
and I'll be back to my blog soon :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Photography Challenge: Messy






My Messy Little Man

The theme this week is "Messy" and I couldn't think of a better photo that this shot of my little man. His sister covered him in mud!! He loved it :) What is your mess?!

FYI:
There will not be a top five during the month of May.
Obviously, the photo must be your own, taken by you!
Anyone can participate in this challenge, regardless of photography equipment or skill.
Your photo does not have to be taken for this challenge - but a new photo is always fun! :)
You can link up your blog or Flickr page - be sure to link up your post and not just your blog's homepage.
Please link up only once per person.
Please ink back to my blog!
Please grab one of my new buttons from my sidebar - thanks :)
Do take a minute to comment on each other's photos - it makes it so much more fun for everyone!
Link-up is open until next Tuesday.
Check out the list of upcoming challenges in my sidebar: next week's theme is together
Be sure to vote for your favorite from the last challenge!
I can't wait to see your photos for this challenge!!



Monday, May 23, 2011

a few favorite beach photos

DSC_0946DSC_0957
DSC_1006
DSC_1030DSC_1033
DSC_1064
DSC_1061DSC_1455
DSC_1082DSC_1298DSC_1151
DSC_1135
DSC_1137
DSC_1987
DSC_1264DSC_1210DSC_1351DSC_1176

How to NOT photograph your vacation

We're home from Myrtle Beach!! We had a wonderful time and were not at all ready to come home after just a weekend!

One of the highlights for me of our weekend at the beach was photographing my kids and their wonderful day at the beach. As a photographer having something fun and exciting (and challenging!) to photograph was one of the things that made me happy... also waking up and walking out onto the balcony of our hotel room to watch the ocean - that was wonderful.

So now I have a couple hundred photos to sort through and I have to decide which I'll post here, which I'll put into a Blurb photobook to send to Grammy and which to trash... but as I've been thinking about all of the ups and downs of photographing this weekend a post has been coming together so here you go: How to suck at photographing your vacation. Lessons learned - the hard way.

First only bring one battery. Why would I need a backup battery? Or even a battery charger for that matter. You know that the battery life of the one I you use every day is just amazing and there's no way I would need to... oh I don't know re-charge it while we're on vacation, right? It's silly to think I could miss a shot of oh let's say my family at our favorite doughnut shop on the beach only to discover that my battery is dead? That wouldn't happen - would it? I didn't end up taking that shot with my cell phone, right? Wrong. Lesson learned: Always bring a back-up battery and/or a charger.
the fam at Krispy Kreme at Myrtle Beach
May 2011
Which reminds me of the last time we were there when I also took a pic of the fam with my cell:

Sunday's Breakfast @ Krispy Kreme!
the kiddos at Krispy Kreme at Myrtle Beach
May 2009

Second only bring one memory card. Because I almost always never fill up my 2GB memory card in two days. I'll just bring the one I have in my camera and I won't worry about back up memory cards! That's a silly waste of space. I won't even check to make sure that the memory card is empty because there is no way that I'm going to take over 200 photos during a weekend at the beach, right? Wrong. Lesson learned: Always pack an extra memory card (or two).



Third only bring one lens. I brought my 55-200mm lens because the auto-focus is killer and it's my favorite lens for shooting outdoors. I can zoom in on the action without being too close. Since I'll be taking most of my photos on the beach that lens is perfect and I shouldn't need another lens. Because I don't want to take photos of my family doing boring things like sitting around our hotel room or going out to eat, right? Wrong. Lesson learned: go ahead and bring additional lenses.



Fourth do not periodically check your lens. Because why should I worry about tiny little grains of sand flying up onto my lens and creating big horrible nasty shadows on every single freaking picture? Really - that's a silly thing to worry about. Same goes for dried-on water droplets. Nothing to worry about, right? Wrong. Lesson learned: check photos and lens frequently for crap on the lens
this may very well be best shot I got of E the whole weekend!!


Fifth only rely on your viewfinder screen to determine how good or bad your photo is. Because they always look true to life when you're outdoors on the beach in the bright sun and you can totally rely on the accuracy of your viewfinder to determine if you should delete a photo, right? Why ever would you look at your histogram or wait until you're indoors to start deleting photos? Because the image preview of your viewfinder screen is completely reliable, right? Wrong. Lesson learned: don't judge how good/poor your photos are coming out by how they look under the bright glaring sun. 

Sixth let your husband talk you into loading your photos onto his iPad. Apparently loading photos onto an iPad isn't the trick. It's getting them off of it that's the tricky part. I loved being able to empty my memory card and view the photos in our hotel room and it was really kind of him to offer. But I'm still waiting on him to transfer the files onto my PC. He was originally going to email me each photo individually, (which would have taken forever) then he was going to upload a few into my Flickr for me. I think sometime sooner or later we will figure out how to transfer my photo files onto my computer - but in the meantime I think I may get a few gray hairs.
happiness in a box


Grab a button...or two...   


P.S. my brilliant hubby figured it out and now I have lots and lots of photos on my computer... hopefully some of them will make it here sooner rather than later :)

Sign up to be notified about upcoming classes!!

* indicates required