Monday, October 31, 2011

Choosing gratitude

originally posted here
 

Good Monday morning! Here we are again at the start of another week - with another opportunity to choose gratitude over resentment or self-pity and to look back over the week and count my blessings...

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I am thankful, so thankful that Katie-Abigail's allergic reaction wasn't worse and didn't effect her mouth or throat.

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I am thankful for the time I got to spend with Katie-Abigail this week. While it was difficult because of how her medicine effected her mood I am already missing her today, now what she's back at school.

I am thankful to be a work-at-home solo-momtrepreneur and that I didn't have to worry about making up hours or having a frustrated boss this morning.

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For a friend who brought us dinner when she heard how difficult this week had become.

For a husband who was willing to pick up dinner for me and who was a big help this week while I was at the end of my rope.

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For time spent outside in my backyard, camera in-hand, photographing all of the beautiful things that I usually overlook.

I am thankful for my sweet, snugly, smiling baby boy.

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I am thankful for a weekend full of resting and creating.

I am thankful for a week full of work to do here on my blog. I'm also butting together my Simply Style test drive group this week. Today is the last day to jump on board!

I took these photos for:

Photography Challenge Top 5

Natural Beauty
Here are this week's top 5!! IT was very hard to pick just five!
deb duty

 
this and that

my life just as it is
allison hoffman
tiaras & tantrums

Natural Beauty
deb duty
this and that
my life just as it is
allison hoffman
tiaras & tantrums
Results


LOL
Last week I was busy taking my daughter to the doctor instead of writing the top five post. Here are my top 5 from last week's photography challenge.
not always picture perfect
luvin life photography
cedar's photography
bunch of barrons
falafel and the bee

LOL
not always picture
luvin life photography
cedar's photography
bunch of barrons
falafel and the bee
Results
Honorable Mention:

Choosing Gratitude on a Monday

 

Good Monday morning! Here we are again at the start of another week - with another opportunity to choose gratitude over resentment or self-pity and to look back over the week and count my blessings...

DSC_7730.JPG

I am thankful, so thankful that Katie-Abigail's allergic reaction wasn't worse and didn't effect her mouth or throat.

DSC_7752.JPG

I am thankful for the time I got to spend with Katie-Abigail this week. While it was difficult because of how her medicine effected her mood I am already missing her today, now what she's back at school.

I am thankful to be a work-at-home solo-momtrepreneur and that I didn't have to worry about making up hours or having a frustrated boss this morning.

DSC_7753.JPG

For a friend who brought us dinner when she heard how difficult this week had become.

For a husband who was willing to pick up dinner for me and who was a big help this week while I was at the end of my rope.

DSC_7742.JPG

For time spent outside in my backyard, camera in-hand, photographing all of the beautiful things that I usually overlook.

I am thankful for my sweet, snugly, smiling baby boy.

DSC_7737.JPG

I am thankful for a weekend full of resting and creating.

I am thankful for a week full of work to do here on my blog. I'm also butting together my Simply Style test drive group this week. Today is the last day to jump on board!

I took these photos for:

Product Review: My Publisher

MyPublisher, Inc.
I recently found a new photo book publisher called My Publisher. I liked their fan page on Facebook and got a coupon code for a free mini-book. So I ordered one and got it in the mail at the end of last week. When I saw that envelope in the mail it was like Christmas had come early to my house - it came  just in time to give to my mother in-law who had come for the weekend! Perfect timing, perfect little gift.


I knew, from the moment I started ordering this that it was something I wanted to share with y'all so here we go. My thoughts on My Publisher and the mini photo book.


Ease of order: sometimes I honestly don't care how wonderful a product is - if I can't order it quickly I'm just not going to complete my order. Ordering a photo book needs to be easy to understand, simple to use and highly visual but above all it must be easy to control. All of these needs are satisfied with the mini-book. 


The uploader was very easy to use, even with my huge file sizes from using my D700. Some photobook uploaders require that I re-size my photos in order to use their uploader but I didn't have a problem with that.    



Once the photos were loaded I was able to pick where each photo would go. It was really easy to manipulate the order of the photos. Not quite as easy as blurb but definitely not frustrating.


I was really hoping that I'd be able to put two vertical images side by side in this layout. I wasn't able to do that - so I had a bunch of white space (or I could have chosen to fill the page and crop the image). It doesn't look great this way, but at least I was able to load those images and maintain the balance of the original composition.



Price: this is one of the things that I really like about My Publisher- their prices are definitely on the low end.  Maybe not the craptastic supercenter low prices, but super-low. For example - the mini book that I ordered is regularly only $2.49 - I'd pay that much for a greeting card! I've been getting their promotional emails for a couple weeks and they are always running a really great sale of some kind or another.

Here is just one of them:
MyPublisher 50% Off next PhotoBook


Quality of Product: I was very satisfied with the quality of the product I received considering the price that I paid for it. The printing is clear, the colors are good, the binding is sturdy.


This is a truly mini book! I photographed the mini book next to a quarter so you would get a better idea of how truly tiny this photo book is. It's about the size of a business card. However this would be an awesome thing to add to Thank You notes after a wedding or birthday party with a few favorite photos from the event - or at a wedding with photos of the couple. I will definitely be printing these up for my Aunts and Uncles that we don't see as often as we'd like and I know my nieces and nephews will just adore these little books. I printed this one up as a grandma's brag book. I would also like to print one of these to have with my to show people examples of my photography so if we get into a conversation about taking photos of their kids I could show them what I do and then hand them a business card. It's small enough that I could have it with me all of the time without having to lug around a portfolio. 


For the sake of full disclosure: While I did sign up for their program in my affiliate network and will get commission, I wouldn't blog about a product that I wasn't 100% behind, so let me give you my honest opinion about this product. This is not for professionals. If I were a professional photographer I would not use this to print mini books for my clients. 


The reason why is mostly because of the condition of the cover. Although it's printed on a heavier  slightly glossy cardstock than the rest of the book I guess it's not heavy enough - or maybe the packaging needs to be  re-done - I don't know exactly why but I thought that the outside binding and cover were less than 100% perfect. Below you can see that the back cover was slightly discolored by a red sheet of paper that was inserted into the package - a "thank you" note, sorta.


However, with that being said I am really excited about My Publisher for personal use and can't wait to try out their other products. I'll be printing a bigger book soon, they also sell calendars and photo cards and offer gift certificates.

Because I'm involved in their affiliate program I have a really great offer to pass along to you: MyPublisher, Inc.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

FREE desktop calendar + template for PSE

download the wallpaper heredownload the template here

download the wallpaper heredownload the template here

To use these desktop wallpapers simply click on the link below the picture and save to your computer, go to where you've saved the image on your computer, right click on the image and click "Set as Desktop Wallpaper" if you need this in a different size please leave a note in the comments.

To use your own image download the template (it's a .psd file - if you'd like something else let me know by leaving a comment and I'll see what I can do!)  add your own image, change the color of the text to coordinate with your photo and save!

font's used:
Print Clearly
Script MT bold

A little glimpse into my backyard

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I took several dozen photos outside in my backyard yesterday afternoon. Here's one. It's always such a great experience looking at the world through my lens, capturing little details that I may not have noticed before. Especially after this stressful week it was so relaxing and re-invigorating to get a few minutes to take some photos. See the sooc one (and a few more versions of this edit) here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Shades of Autumn: red



Thanks to everyone who has been praying for me today - it was so much better than yesterday. I actually got a few minutes of peace and quiet today. I let Katie-Abigail paint, one of her most therapeutic activities, and she was overall more calm. The swelling and redness in her face has diminished significantly as well, however she is still extremely itchy, even with all of the medicine she is taking.

I made some muffins (pictured above) and muffin bread from a recipe that my friend texted me. Yes, it is that easy. 
Here's the recipe:
1 15oz can pumpkin 
1 spice cake mix
1/3 cup water
They are very moist so don't over-bake them. I think I baked the muffins at 350(f) for about 15-20 minutes and the muffin bread was closer to 30 minutes. Yum! Couldn't be easier!

The color challenge today is red - my favorite mug is red and I've been drinking tons of coffee lately (four cups today!) I have to really work at not over-doing it in the caffeine department when the weather turns. I love coffee and tea. Also apples are red and autumnal. So there you go. At least today's post has a photo! Hopefully I'l get a chance to photograph some of the pretty leaves around here tomorrow!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

things I did today

played Candy Land with Josiah & Katie-Abigail (aka "the littles")
unpacked boxes of DVDs that have been sitting in the garage since we moved
(it's what KA wanted to do today)
had a dance party with the littles to the end credit music of their movie
unpacked boxes of little kid books
read books
listened to Katie-Abigail read to me
ate chocolate cake in a bowl of milk
looked through photo albums
listened to CDs I haven't played in years
settled a gazillion fights
said "Josiah, stop!" and "Katie-Abigail, calm down" at least a hundred times


Katie-Abigail, reading to me
her poor face is so itchy!


things I didn't do today
reply to emails
read any blogs (boo)
take a good photo with my "big" camera.
cook dinner (I'm so thankful for sweet hubbys who pick up dinner on the way home!)

I am somewhat in awe of my former-self that managed to stay at home all day, every day with all of my kids and I still managed to cook dinner every night and get at least a little bit of stuff done, even when my kids were littler. This is hard. I have to be on and stay on every single minute. If I stop to send a tweet or read my Facebook page I'm interrupted by fights and literally have to pull the kids off of each other. The doctor warned me that this medicine that Katie-Abigail is taking is mood altering and she might be more fragile. I wasn't mentally prepared for how exhausting that would be for me. By two o'clock I'm exhausted, by five I'm beat, by eight I'm falling asleep in my chair. I finally just got my shower - at ten pm.

This is hard. 

Smiling helps. When I feel like I'm starting to loose it I smile at Eli and bask in his huge, infant grin. I hug my kids and tell them how much I love them. Even though at the moment I'm wishing I could just hand the baby to Daniel the moment he walks in the door. I remind myself that this is only for a little while and everything will be easier soon. I take a moment to be grateful that my situation could be lots worse but it's not. I am so blessed. I put on some nice music and remind myself again that I'm so blessed.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: golden hour

The last two days have been crazy here. My sweet little Katie-Abigail woke up with one of the worst cases of an allergic reaction to poison ivy that I've ever seen. She's working on day#2 home from school and her medicine is making her extra grumpy, on top of the itchy grumpy and not sleeping well grumpy.
Last night I was so tired I didn't even check my email! (And as someone who practically lives online that is really tired.) I have a feeling today is going to be pretty rough too.
So I'm just bopping in really quickly to post a few more photos from Sunday and that beautiful golden light...

Katie-AbigailKatie-AbigailDSC_7243.JPGDSC_7249.JPGDSC_7263.JPGDSC_7269.JPGDSC_7275.JPG
All of these are sooc (StraitOutOfCamera) and while I think that they would probably look better with a little processing I'm completely at a loss as to what direction to go in - I'm really loving this perfect imperfection look - underexposed and soft focus. It feels really good to let myself go there after being worried about having "perfect" photos for so long. Growing your skills and continually getting better is good but sometimes it's nice to do something different.

NapTime MomTogand then, she {snapped}

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