July 31, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 31 - Extra!

You didn't really think I'd leave you with that last photo did you?? Nope, not a chance!! Because I chose a month with 31 days and there were only 30 challenges I decided to make Day 31 a free for all!! I wanted to share with you all some of my favorite photos from my small collection!

These roses were a surprise one day from my Chuckles!! They were truly gorgeous and they were just because flowers - my favorite!!

The sky and the yellow field of flowers are just stunning in this photo! This is by far one of my top favorite scenic shots!! The lighting was perfect, the evening was perfect, and after getting this shot I got to head off to book club!! It was a great evening!!

My Belle! She is just so darn pretty (yes I'm biased) and I actually entered this photo into our local fairs this year. The first fair it got a ribbon and we are headed out Friday night to see how it placed in the second fair!

Talk about perfect lighting! One Friday I worked later than normal (6:30ish) because I wanted to catch some shots of sunset at the Round Barn by my work! I love this picture so much! It again was lucky timing on the sun setting and of course using the bokeh setting on my fancy camera!

Hawaii Shot!! This beautiful flower was found at the Honolulu Zoo on our Honeymoon and another entry into both fairs! This one also got a ribbon at the first fair, so lets hope it places again!!

I love love love love love love this shot. Between the golden yellow flowers with a sprinkling purple in there and the horses in the background with the green grass and tress = perfection! I couldn't have been happier with this shot! It was one of those days my Paps and I went out to just take pictures and as we were about to pull away we spotted the horses. Naturally we put the truck in park, got out, and spent the next 10 minutes shooting these beauties! 

This one happens to be one of Chuck's favorite photos! It's probably hard to tell but it's a scenic shot of a beautiful valley and vineyards! This one picture captures so much of where I live that it's a keeper! Chuck even wants to blow it up and put it in our bedroom to replace the "gloomier" shot that I love! Maybe I'll surprise him and get that done this weekend!

This shot is by far one of the coolest building shots I've ever taken! This was taken in San Francisco when Chuck took me their for my birthday! We spent the whole day sightseeing before a surprise party that night, so not only do I love the shot but I will always have the best birthday memories from that day! I did change the photo to be a black and white because I wanted the focus to be on the building and not the beautiful blue skies from that day!

This photo is where I can show off those blue skies! This was the same day and we were so excited to take the boat tour around the bay! We went under the Golden Gate Bridge, which every one who visits the city must do! It's absolutely amazing to be underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and you can get some great shots!!

This used to be our only living flower! It's dead right now, but I am confident it will come back to life during the fall and winter! I love these flowers and this picture was taken right after it had rained. Some of my favorite shots are ones of water or dew sitting on flowers, grass leaves, or tree leaves. I think they are so simple but so beautiful!!

I've never been a great still life photographer so I've been practicing! Apparently practice can make close to perfect :) This was taken with my little digital point and click camera so imagine how happy I was when it turned out so well! This is another I entered into the fairs! The first fair it didn't place but I re-cropped it and centered it better in the frame in hopes of placing in the second fair! In the original form (and my frame) the bottom of the glass was cut off which basically ruins the whole scene. Wish me luck I get a ribbon on this one!!

Another great shot! This one was taken at some local railroad tracks and is actually hanging in our house! Something about the angle and the bokeh (yes I love that setting) just made me fall in love with this picture! Simple yet classic!

 And last but not least, actually these are in no particular order, I present you with this precious one! Those little acorn casings (I think those are acorns) were so adorable and sitting on the stone wall just like that. I swear I didn't move them one bit! They reminded me so much of Elephant Trunks, well the "nostril" part and they were just so cute! I love the stone wall, love the nut casings, and love that a part of the green grass shows up and breaks up the photo a bit!

And that folks is the end of my photography challenge! It has been challenging, fun and worth every minute! I've really enjoyed myself this past month, blogging on a daily basis, and getting to have fun with my phone camera, point & click camera, and my fancy schmancy camera! I will more than likely do another challenge during the holiday months or perhaps I'll just take some awesome shots to share with you all!

If any one else does a challenge like this please let me know! My best friend Alycia did this challenge and I loved seeing her posts every day!! It's always a pleasure to see other peoples work! :)

July 30, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 30 - High Angle

You'd think a high angle shot would be easy but it was a challenge for me! I knew what I wanted to get a shot of but of course none of the animals were cooperating every time I had my cell phone on me and then when one of them would my cell phone camera turned them into demons with my flash!!

Fortunately I was able to finally get a shot of the Foxy Roxy with my fancy camera!!

A lot of times (90%) when I go upstairs one or more of our animals sits down at the first landing just waiting for me to come back downstairs! We block the dogs off from the upstairs when we are home because A. Keep them out of the cat food and litter and B. Keep them out of trouble!! It never fails when we "test" the waters and allow them upstairs one (or both) get into some sort of mischief!

Thus why they are now held hostage downstairs...the poor things :) I do love it when they are patiently waiting for me to come downstairs...nothing feels more like puppy love :)

And seriously who wouldn't want this little cutie waiting to smother you with kisses when you walk downstairs after being "gone" for less than 5 minutes!!

And that my friends is the completion of the Photography Challenge!! I have completed all 30 tasks that I was challenged too and I am so happy I did!! This has been tough but fun, challenging but rewarding!! I might even have to try a different challenge during the holiday months because how exciting would it be to photograph all the fun holiday items and events??!?!?!?

Until then...I hope you all have enjoyed this photography challenge as much as I have!! I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening!!

July 29, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 29 - Long Exposure

After being slightly worried about the Long Exposure challenge I finally had figured out an awesome idea (so I thought) and then planned out exactly how to achieve it.

Step 1. Wait for a Friday or Saturday night
Step 2. When said night finally happens drive out to a look out point after dark.
Step 3. Take Long Exposure Shot of the city lights.
Step 4. Head home!

Sounds easy right? Well this photographer waited too long to do this challenge and now I'm stuck with pictures that I'm not fond of. But the tester shots I took at home, just to confirm I knew what I was doing, turned out somewhat neat!

I knew in order to test it I would need some sort of light and my first thought was a burning candle. Since Chuckles got home from the movies before I left we decided to just use a lighter. So I had him flick on a lighter and then I snapped away using a couple different shutter speeds.

I ended up with this:

Kind of neat looking right? I thought so too and trust me it's way better than the "city lights" I was trying to capture!

Just to give you an idea of the difference in the shots here's one of the camera at regular exposure:

I personally prefer the regular exposure shot. I mean how well did that capture the flame?? Pretty darn well!! Plus the second shot shows less of my messy living room....

You just went back and looked at my first photo didn't you? :) It's okay I would too!!

But there is quite a difference in the two photos. While I like the regular exposure out of these two photos my Paps recently took some amazing photos of a waterfall using a long exposure. I think I'd like to work on my long exposure shots more and try again this fall, maybe I can capture of flowing river or a small stream. I'm headed to our local fair one night this coming week, maybe I should bring the camera and try it on the rides?

I am definitely intrigued by these types of shots now and I can't wait to play around with them...

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday!!

July 28, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 28 - Me With 13 Things!

Sorry for posting so late today! I'll be honest I've been sucked into a video game for the last couple hours!! I actually don't play video games all the time but when I'm in a mood for one I can end up playing for hours!! Granted after tonight I'll probably take a break and not play for a month but for now that's how my Saturday evening has gone!!

And better late than never I am here with my photograph challenge of today!! I chose the Me with 13 Things!! I knew that I was going to need Chuckles help with this one cause I really wasn't sure how I was going to be able to show off me + 13 items and take a picture!! Since we were home today he was happy to help!!

Yup I'm repping my A's - WOOHOO!! They won by the way for any of you Orioles' fans that might read this (cough Pap cough)

Yup, that's me with my 13 favorite cook books!! We definitely have more than 13 cookbooks but these are the ones I rely on :)

Here's a list of them all (in no particular order):

1. Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook
2. Guilt Free Cookbook
3. Betty Crockers Cooky Book
4. Sandra Lee Semi Homemade Desserts
5. Christmas Cookbook from the Heart
6. I <3 Sugar
7. Hungry Girl (1st Book)
8. Comfort Food Fix
9. Hungry Girl 1-2-3
10. Joy of Cooking
11. Gooseberry Patch Magic of Christmas
12. Santa's North Pole Cookbook
13. A scrapbook/cookbook my Mom made for me (and one for my Sister) that includes recipes we grew up with!!

Obviously you all know that I love cooking, however maybe you've forgotten since it's been awhile since I posted a new recipe!! I promise new recipes will be coming!! I took a little cooking hiatus with the heat but I am hoping to get back into it tomorrow :)

For now that wraps up Day 28 of my photography challenge!! Me + my 13 Favorite Cookbooks!!

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend so far!!

July 27, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 27 - Self Portrait

I thought about saving this one for last but then I figured ehh why not do it today? The original challenge has you taking a self portrait at the beginning and the end of the month, a.k.a the first and last day, but I really wanted to do it today because A. My hair cooperated and I actually wore it down (need to get a trim) and B. I'm wearing my glasses. 

 I feel like I hardly ever take pictures when I'm wearing my glasses. Don't get me wrong I really like the style of my glasses but I HATE my glasses in general. I had to start wearing glasses in 6th grade due to an astigmatism and my vision has just progressively gotten worse. I have to wear contacts or my glasses 24/7 now because I really can't see far away, I'm talking like 5 feet in front of me is blurry. It's really quite annoying and I fully plan on getting surgery to correct my vision eventually but for now, these spectacles are a part of my every day life!

Like I said I normally wear contacts but every once in awhile I give my eyes a full days break and wear my glasses! Today is one of those days and I'm actually enjoying it! While working on a few projects at work I've been able to take them off (since I'm reading paperwork) and really let me eyes relax!! 

But that's me for today folks! I'm a glasses wearer cube working fool! I honestly can't wait for this work day to be over!! I am getting off work and doing happy hour with the husband before we go home to spend our night playing video games! Yes I play video games. I am by no means a video game nerd but every once in awhile (like every couple months) I get a huge hankering for some quality time with the PS3 and what better to fulfill that need then some Lego Harry Potter!! Awhile back I beat Years 1 - 4 (yes it's a childs game but I love it and am proud of beating it) and then Chuckles purchased Years 5-7 for me and I never got the opportunity to spend time playing it!

So our big Friday night includes getting tipsy and filling our bellies at the local BJ's Brewhouse, then a quick stop at Game Stop, and then it's on like Donkey Kong!! :)

Have a wonderful Friday and a Fabulous!!

Back to work I go!!

July 26, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 26 - Sunset

I feel so lucky to have this beautiful field outside my back patio (well aside from when they cut the grass and it causes major allergy issues) and I knew immediately with the sunset challenge that it was either this or a trip out to the beach. Since I can't make it out to the beach on a weekday and no guarantee for the weekend I took this shot last night!

I know it's a little hard to see but the colors that lay across that field were really really beautiful! I tried to zoom in but no dice! Trust me when the sun sets the colors that fall on that small field are really beautiful!

Considering we live right off a really busy street in our city I do feel pretty darn lucky to have this field. I'm sure to most it looks like a really overgrown field that should just be put out of it's misery and homes built, especially because it's got a pretty run down shack on the property, but I really love it! Living in a condo you would think we'd step out and look into another persons patio and yes we do, but turn your head to the left and you get this. I just love it!

July 25, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 25 - Silhouette

Boy oh boy did I save some of the more challenging "challenges" for late in the game! I think I've probably mentioned that within the last few days because seriously these ones are testing my noggin!!

I was finally able to capture a silhouette picture YAY!! It wasn't easy to remember to go outside at certain times in order to catch the perfect lighting. But my Sister in Law was over for dinner last night so instead of being sucked into a million other things to do around the house we just sat around and chatted. I was carefully watching the time and felt so lucky to catch this awesome shot from my back patio!

I think silhouette shots are super fantastic, especially after googling them to make sure I knew what a silhouette shot was! I, for sure thought a shadow picture would count but apparently not, well not according to definition! I almost still used a shadow shot cause I got a pretty sweet one of myself and then I figured if I'm going to do this challenge I gotta do it right!! 

In fact I'm seriously concerned about the Long Exposure shot cause I have no idea what I'm going to do and of course I still need to look at my camera manual to make it happen! I'm pretty sure that will need to be a weekend challenge! Definitely stay tuned for that one, I'll make it as good as I can!!

For now I leave you with this beautiful silhouette shot of my 'hood!! 

Have a great day everyone!!

July 24, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 24 - Bokeh

For this particular photo challenge I chose to do a photo that I had previously taken off a fancier camera since I knew my phone camera could not capture a bokeh style photo. What is bokeh you might ask? It is simply a picture that focuses on one part of the picture and blurs out everything else. And it's a setting on your camera that creates this really cool look! I personally love bokeh photos because they keep your focus on one thing rather than everything in the picture.

My Paps and I spent an hour or so on a Saturday morning at a local garden taking pictures. Since flowers are one of the easiest (and best in my opinion) subjects for bokeh style photos I wanted to share one of the ones from that day. I would've loved to take a photo using that camera today for this challenge but we don't have any flowers in bloom where I live. I certainly could've driven elsewhere and chose to do this challenge on a day where I could take a picture of a flower somewhere, but I really do love the shots I got from that day and this just happens to be one of my favorites!

Isn't that flower gorgeous!! I love it's vibrant color and if you look really close you can see that it kind of looks like a paper flower! I swear when looking at these flowers in person they look wrinkled and thin like tissue paper! 

I assure you that is a real flower but I thought it was so neat how it simply looked like a tissue paper flower! This is truly one of my favorite bokeh shots that I've ever taken and I am so happy to share it with you all! I know it's probably breaking some rule for this challenge but I've been known to break a few rules every once in awhile :)

I hope everyone had a great day!! I needed a pretty picture today as it's been a pretty rough and stressful day at work! I feel like it's been that way for a few weeks now so I am so ready for this month to be over!!

July 23, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 23 - Eyes

I have been waiting and waiting to get this shot for this particular challenge! Our cats have absolutely beautiful eyes and I am always trying to catch the perfect shot of one of them for the Eyes challenge.

Today one of our cats, Jasmine, was feeling frisky on our stairs! I definitely stepped up and took my opportunity...

Sure she may look a little crazy but I think she might've been! I swear she found a secret stash of cat nip because she was acting a little nuts!!

Aren't they gorgeous (crazy-ness aside)? Both our cats have really stunning big yellow eyes, and this picture really doesn't do Jasmine's eyes justice! It was hard to get a good picture without the flash cause our stairway isn't super bright!! But I do think this is one of the best pictures I've captured of her!!

Photography Challenge - Day 22 - Your Shoes

I am so bummed out to say I missed posting a day! I do have a good reason as to why though!! I had my Sister's bachelorette party this weekend and by the time I got home Sunday afternoon I was exhausted!! I took up my spot on the couch and ended up falling asleep!! But I did take a picture yesterday so I can post about it this morning and I promise to not a miss a day the rest of the month!!

For yesterdays photo challenge I chose my Shoes!! I was hoping to do my shoes from Saturday night's festivities cause they were gold and sparkly but then it wouldn't have been an accurate photo of the day! Instead I chose my most favorite flip flops!!

Like I had mentioned my shoes from Saturday night were super hot gold glitter heels and I LOVED them!! But my feet, not used to wearing heels ever, were so excited when I slipped these super comfy flip flops on for the rest of Sunday!! They were even happier when I got home and went barefoot for the rest of the afternoon and evening, not that I really did much walking or standing.

I love these flip flops! They are comfy and cut!! But those little jeweled peace signs make these ones so much better than your average flop! I am a total hippie child at heart (sans the drug use lol) and whenever I can incorporate the smiley face, peace sign, or really anything from the 60s I am a very happy hippie!! :)

These are my favorite flip flops (yes even over my leopard print ones) because they truly are my style!!

Oh and in case you were wondering, the bachelorette party was a complete success and my sister had a fabulous time!!

July 21, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 21 - Someone You Love

Today's post is actually an easy one!! It's a photo of Someone You Love!! Lucky for me I have a lot of "Someone's" I love!! I have an amazing family, awesome friends, adorable "furbabies", and hilarious husband!! (Betcha thought I was going to use an another 'A' word - gotcha :)) I truly am lucky to have so many loving people in my life but since this year we made a huge change in our lives and got married I knew this post would be all about my Chuckles!!

There's my husband!! The handsome man I get to hang with all the time :) I feel pretty lucky!! Chuckles is super laid back, super funny (sometimes in a dumb way - lol), and basically the yin to my yang!! We definitely like the same things (for the most part unless its sports teams) and we totally have the same sense of humor, which lets face it, is HUGE in a relationship!! You have to be able to laugh and laugh hard with the one you love because you are stuck with that person for the rest of your life :)

What did you really think I'd say cause you are so lucky and blessed to have that person in your life forever...uhh yeah you should know by now I don't roll that way!! Don't get me wrong I love my Chuckles and sometimes I get mushy but that's for him only :)

Seriously, I am so happy that Chuckles and I got married this year, and while he's already getting on my nerves, I still think he's the bees knees and I guess I'll keep him!! :)

July 20, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 20 - Faceless Self Portrait

Well folks I had been thinking long and hard about this challenge all day!! I had a few ideas but the minute I got home after work the answer was staring me in the face!!

For my faceless self portrait I took this photo of our calendar!!

I am extremely type A!! And this calendar just shows a small portion of that personality trait! I am a planner to the MAX!! I will plan things out a year in advance! It's sick I know but I own it! I know that I am totally crazy! I can't help it! I like to be busy, I like to spend time with people, and I like enjoying our freedom without kids yet!!

This past year and half has been so nuts and crazy!! And right as the craziness slows down after my Sister's wedding we enter into our families busy season!! Starting in September we kick of a whole slew of fun family festivities!! We have campfest, then Pumpkin Dinner, then Thanksgiving, and then the glorious Christmas Season, where we trim trees, and bake enough cookies to feed an army!! I am so excited for all of our families fun activities!!

And in addition to those family festivities Chuckles and I have some fun events planned on our own, perhaps even a nice little trip to the snow with the dogs!! Fingers crossed that works out...and in case you are wondering...yes it's already planned on the calendar :-)!!

I feel like with all my planning I am creating a lot of fun things for us to do and really get so much out of life! I want Chuckles and I to enjoy life as much as possible and do as many fun, memorable, things that we can! I want us to just enjoy every minut, because life is really too short.

I just want to take a moment to say -
My heart goes out to the victims' families from the horrible event that took place in Colorado. And I only hope for a quick and full recovery to all those who were injured. It was a horrible tragedy that we will never be able to understand.

July 19, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 19 - Flowers

It's official, this challenge is starting to get challenging!! I've kind of blown through all the challenges that I was excited to be doing and now I'm left with the remnants! Don't get me wrong the remaining challenges are all still good ones but I'm finding out they are getting harder. 

For today's challenge I really debated about what to take a photo of. Real flowers? Fake flowers? Flower the Skunk??

Just kidding, but seriously adorbs!!

I ended up choosing fake flowers, mainly because I don't think a lot of people enjoy fake flowers. I mean, I'm not saying I want to be getting any apology fake flowers but as for decorating the house I am totally game for the silk flowers!! In fact we currently have silk flowers in three rooms. The downstairs bathroom, my scrapbook room (my bridal bouquet), and our living room!

These beauties are from our downstairs bathroom and they have been there since we moved in almost 4 years ago!!
I truly love silk flowers! Yes they can be a pain to keep clean and sure they "look" fake but hello they are!! I think they bring some color into a room and are a great accent piece!!

And who doesn't love seeing Sunflowers every time they use the restroom? Not this gal! They just make me smile and I like to think they bring joy to everyone!! I think silk flowers were more popular while I was growing up, but they have definitely lost some of their appeal. In fact, I don't know that any of my girlfriends have silk flowers in their homes, at least I haven't noticed them. 

What's your opinion? Yay or Nay for silk flowers??

July 18, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 18 - Childhood Memory

Readers today I give you a photograph of a beloved childhood memory! This is my Baby Mona!

She is a cabbage patch doll that I have had since I can remember! And the little dress she's wearing is a dress that my Grammy "helped" me make when I was little!! Isn't she such a doll? ;)

Baby Mona was my "babydoll" growing up! I always made sure she came to sleepovers with me and she slept in bed with me every night as a child. And she always had prime real estate when I had to make the bed. She was front and center!! I had different outfits for her, including the one above, an Oakland A's Cheerleading outfit, and the cutest purple knit dress!!
Now I keep Baby Mona in our house, out of harms way, but not in a box! I just couldn't bare to put her away in a box with the rest of my stuffed animals that I saved. I keep her, and her other outfits, in our master bedroom closet where the dogs can't get to her but where I know she's safe!

Who else had a childhood "babydoll"? or maybe it was a teddy bear...? My Sister, my Cousins, and I all got Cabbage Patch Dolls. I still had a bunch of other stuffed animals (they are in a tub in the garage awaiting our future children) but none of them even compared to my Baby Mona!!

July 17, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 17 - Hands

Today's challenge is a picture of Hands! At first I really didn't want to take a picture of my own hands. I wanted to take a picture of someone else's hands but I really couldn't figure out who. Of course it needed to be done on a day that I'd see that person but that put quite a limit.

I spent a whole week thinking of who to do and when I'd be able to see them. And then I realized that I should take a picture of my own hand!

As you can see I wanted to show off my wedding ring! I still find it surreal that Chuckles and I are married, that we've been together for about 5 1/2 years now, that we've owned our condo for 4 years, and that we've been the sole providers for all 4 of our furbabies! I just can't seem to believe that it's really been that long and now we are married.

Signing my new last name is still odd, but I love it. Saying my husband, super weird, but I'm excited every time I get to say my husband :) 

I can't believe I'm grown up enough to be married, I couldn't be happier and that's why I chose to show off my wedding ring!!


Calling all Hunger Game readers!! I have got a new book to share with you and you might have already heard of it!

I just finished reading Divergent last week and holy moly was I totally sucked in!!
I had first hear about the Divergent trilogy on a couple different blogs but being as I didn't have 3 empty spaces on my book list and I was trying really really hard not to add more books I resisted!

But finally I broke down. I heard about it again for like the 10th time and it's always, "If you liked the Hunger Games" you will LOVE this series! I jumped on board, bought the book and devoured it! I seriously couldn't put this book down. I loved all the characters and it's "similar" to the Hunger Games but overall it's a very different story line. A little more adult as well, even though the kids are only 16.

It focuses on 16 year old Beatrice and her time to chose her faction. Currently the "world" is divided into 5 different factions - Abnegation (where she was raised), Candor, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. And each of those factions are know for key personality traits and the idea is that they all can coexist but in their separate factions. Each of the factions contribute a key quality to society. It's rather strange trying to describe it but I promise it's amazing.

Once you turn 16 you are required to go through a test, then decide what faction you'd like to commit the rest of your life too. You can choose to stay in the faction you were raised or you can "transfer" to another one and basically give up your old life and family!

There is way more to this than the above description but that's because it's so interesting and such a good book that I want you all to read it!! There is a huge storyline that (I'm assuming) carries over to the second and third books that will make you want to read them one after another!!

I was so happy with this book that I decided to read the 2nd and 3rd even though they aren't on my list. Only problem the 3rd isn't even written yet!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! I was so destroyed over that! I hate reading series and then having to wait for the next one. Harry Potter was the only series I followed like that and it killed me then!

So now I am planning on reading our book club book for July and then immediatly getting into the second of this trilogy - Insurgent. Then I guess I'll have to wait until next year (apparently it will be out in November 2013) to finish off this trilogy!!

Hunger Game readers you must get this book!! You will enjoy it immensely!

July 16, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 16 - Clouds

Today was the Day!!! The weather finally turned from blazing hot to slightly chilly!! And that means we got some great clouds !! As I was driving home from work I noticed how pretty the clouds were so I knew I needed to get a picture as soon as I got home!!

I mean how pretty is that sky?? We still had bright beautiful blue skies but the clouds rolled in this afternoon!! And they were super big fluffy clouds!! I kind of wonder if some rain clouds will roll in overnight, that would make me soooo happy!! As long as it clears up by the AM it would be fabulous!! I just love the smell off fresh rain!!

I am so happy we got some great clouds today!! It definitely turned my Monday right around!! Hope you all had a great Monday too!!

July 15, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 15 - Something Orange

Today's challenge was a tough one for me! I wanted to do the Something Orange challenge because I've been thinking about what I could possibly photograph...an orange? sure except I don't eat oranges. Something Giants related?? Absolutely Not. Even though there are plenty of Orange Giant's items in the Mancave there is no way that would end up on this blog. An orange flower? it's a possiblity if I could find one.

I seriously was racking my brain until I experienced the light bulb moment! What holiday is full of orange items?? Halloween!!!

Who's a huge fan of non generic "Fun" socks?? That'd be me!!

I am a huge lover of themed socks. I have socks for Halloween, Christmas, and Valentines Day. I have socks that are leapord print, mismatched, toe socks, striped socks, argyle socks, hippie socks, and even something "gel" socks from my Sister in Law! My Mom even gave me Wedding Day socks which had a Bride on them! I swear I love any type of themed sock!!

And yes I wear them year round!! This year I actually went through all my socks and pulled out the Halloween and Christmas socks to wear just at the appropriate time of year! But trust me it was no problem to pull out the little gem above!! I keep them close by, you never know when I might get a hankering to throw on some Ghost Socks!!

I love these socks and they are the only Orange piece of clothing I own! I'm not a yellow or orange wearer!! These socks are so comfy and you better believe I spent an hour in them after the picture!! I only took them off cause it's a little warm here and most definitely not sock weather!!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Sunday!!! Any other themed sock lovers out there?? Or an even better question - does any one know of a Sock of the Month club?? Brilliant idea right?? I must research this now!! :)

DIY - Picture Wall - The Easy Way!!

We have a really nice stairway in our house with ceilings that go all the way to the top of our condo. Meaning they are like 20 foot walls (I think, don't quote me but they are freakin tall) and a blank canvas!! We randomly have put up pictures since we moved in but never really took the time to decorate the wall nicely. It was quite a mess!

One Saturday Chuckles got invited to go to a San Francisco Giants game leaving me with the house all to myself! I ended up getting a "bug up my butt" (love that expression) and decided to fix our disaster of a stair way! I won't even show you a before picture...nope I won't it was a mess!

I took all of our photo's down on every single side of the wall and decided to focus solely on the center wall. I had ordered a bunch of wedding photos, including a 16 x 20 canvas, and we had already purchased a wall frame kit (6 months ago) that had been sitting in my scrapbook room.

I picked up an awesome tip from Pinterest (isn't that where all great tips come from) where you cut out paper size copies of all your frames then tape them up to the wall so you can play with the positioning of each picture before putting a million holes in the wall. And when I say a million I am not exaggerating (okay maybe slightly) but if you remove a couple photo's from my scrapbook room you can clearly see I am challenged when it comes to hanging photos! So this little trick made my life so much easier as well as my wall relatively hole-less.

Ugly ugly light fixture!

 Just make sure you clearly identify which frame is which paper!!
Then wait for your husband to come home and hang them for you. You could always do it yourself but Chuckles prefers to hang things himself. How sad is it that I can't be trusted with hanging nails and hammer while he's gone?

Notice the ugly fixture, cat perch, and white shelf.

The wall was by no means completed but it was looking so much better than before! I had a brilliant idea to make a cute sign to hang above our canvas picture. Originally I wanted it to say The Garcia's Est. 4-28-2012. Unfortunately along with my pitiful photo hanging skills I am challenged in estimating sizes on everything.

I did manage to get up The Garcia's and LOVE how it turned out. Yep I hand crafted that. It took me 2 hours to get it all put together but I also had to run all the squares through my cuttle bug. What you can't see is the awesome texture it added to my card stock! I ran a piece of black ribbon behind the letters and then secured it to the wall using push pins. Don't you love? I do!! Totally worth the time cause A. It was fun and B. It turned out perfect!!

Along with the sign I wanted a new light fixture. I have hated our stairway light fixture from the minute we moved in. It was hideous and very old skool! While I was hosting my Sister's bridal shower Chuckles hung up our new light fixture!! YAY!! We also removed the white shelf cause it was just taking up space in an already small space!

I am so happy and so in love with our wall! It truly is everything I wished for! Aside from missing the Est. 4-28-2012, which really is not big deal, it is more than I could've imagined! 

Some people might think it's weird to showcase our wedding photos, heck some people might even think it's conceited but can I help that we are so good looking that we want to stare at ourselves every day?? JUST KIDDING!! I get to do that in mirrors DUH!

And we actually got some items up on the other wall so we have just one wall to finish. Which I have a good idea for! I'll make sure to share once it's completed :)

I picked up these two signs at Kohls one day (bonus they were 40% off) and I loved them! I was worried Chuck wasn't going to like them but he knocked me off my rocker when he ended up really liking them! YAY!

You see this when you first start up the steps!

Seriously though we are so impressed with our wedding photos that it'd be a crime not to showcase them. Plus, not all of the photos are of just us :) 

Has anyone else used the awesome paper technique to hang their photos??

July 14, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 14 - A Close Up!

I am sure it comes as no suprise to you all that my choice for a close up shot was of one of our animals! And this time it was the adorable Buster Roo!! I actually chose to do this shot in a black and white cause....well cause look at how cute it is in black and white!! :)

I actually chose to do a black and white shot because it was fun taking one the other day and I never make pictures black and white! I think we have one picture in our entire house that's black and white!! Everything else is full color, which is awesome but sometimes black and white is the way to go!! :)

And how stinkin cute is our Buster Roo!! I was so excited he actually let me take such a close up picture of him and for how cute it is!! I just love our Buster Roo!! He is so lovable and such a good dog!!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!!

DIY Rotating Goal List - Fabulous!

 I am loving all the Pinterest projects I've been completing lately! This one just happened to be one of my very first pins ever! A rotating goal board!! I immediately decided I needed it for my scrapbook room, now months later it's come to life!

Ta Da!

You don't really need that many supplies and in fact most of the supplies I started out with reminded me of grade school projects. I got 3 different color posterboard, 2 different pinks to match my room, and a white one just in case, Crayola markers, more cardstock, index cards (the original project calls for post it notes but I didn't have any handy and I had a bunch of leftover index cards from my Sisters bridal shower), scissors (or paper trimmer), and glue. Plus any additional embellishments you might want to add!

The first thing I did was cut out my posterboard to match the size I wanted. You can make it as big or as small as you would like. I decided to go with the pinks and left half an inch spacing around the sides.

Next up I used some leftovers from the wall sign I made for our wedding photo wall (that post will be coming I promise) and  then I grabbed these sparkly pink letters that I've had for years and have been "saving" for the perfect project! I think it's absolutely ridiculous that I "save" certain embellishments for projects in the future that I don't even have figured out yet. Ridiculous but I still do it! :)

After getting the title all situated I started to size down the index cards. I knew I wanted to keep one at its regular size for the month, but then I wanted the actual goal papers to be slightly smaller so I  cut them into 4inch by 4 inch squares.

Then I got out my stencils that I loooooovvveeee so much! Seriously I freakin love stencils they are so fun! And made the July sign! Yup that's where the crayola markers come to life!

Then I started to assemble and glue down all the pieces to my puzzle!

Next up was creating my goals! This actually was harder than I thought. I wanted to do goals that I knew I had a realistic shot at achieving and I wanted them to be "fun" and related to creativity.

After that I made an "extras" folder to hang on the back. That's right the original project did not include this but I didn't want the extra index cards floating around where I'm sure they'd end up lost, then I'd buy new index cards and poof they'd magically appear!!

Instead, I avoided that mess, and took a plain white envelope, cut off the top fold and..........

Voila...secured it down with hot glue and placed all my extra index cards inside!

I added a few more embellishments (see the pretty sparkly flowers!!) and finished tacking all the pieces with glue!! Called Chuckles into the scrapbook room and we got the hanging it!! I secured it to the wall using two small nails.

 I must say I LOVE LOVE LOVE this project!! It was so fun, so easy, and a great way for me to stay on top of my monthly goals!! I love having goals, it just keeps me from getting lazy and sitting on my butt every night in front of the TV. Seriously I'd be a total couch potato without my hobbies and I'd hate every minute of it!!

So for the month of July I want to:

1. Complete 4 Pinterest Projects
2. Try 4 New Recipes
3. Do 10 Blog Entries (I believe this is already checked off)
4. Scrap 4 Layouts
5. Make 2 Cards (this is a new goal for me, I'm so not the card maker but I do enjoy creating cards)
6. Complete 1 Sewing Project!

Has anyone else seen this project on Pinterest and actually made it?? I would love to see your creation!

Oh and here's the fabulous source of this fun project. Check it out here.

July 13, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 13 - Technology

 Well folks today's challenge was a no brainer for me! I chose technology because I am now a proud owner of this little baby!

This little watch of awesomeness is the Garmin Forerunner 101. It's a sports watch and it tracks your mileage, time, and pace time while you run! And it's pretty pricey! I've been holding off for awhile on getting this because I wasn't running longer than 3 miles and just didn't think I could justify the splurge.
 Garmin meet the Readers, Readers meet the Garmin!

Then Wednesday happened. I had mapped my route before I left in the morning, because I need to know how far I've gone, and it said 5 miles. It was my first time running that long and I was stoked when I came to the stopping point and my stopwatch said 49:18. I also couldn't believe. Regardless I knew I'd gone further than I've ever run in my life!

After remapping it while at home (like I said it was unbelievable to me) I came up with 4.90 miles. Bubble slightly burst but still awesome cause it's 4.90 miles in 49:18, which breaks down to a 10:03 pace, umm Holla!! I ended up remapping the damn route like 6 more times throughout the day and every time it said 5 miles! So I started thinking...I needed a more accurate way to know my mileage.

Enter the Garmin. I went online, ordered it, set for in store pick up and got this little baby yesterday on my lunch! I was so excited to open it up and get it all set up for my run this morning!

Turns out my route that I did Wednesday was indeed 4.90 miles and not 5 like I had hoped! But today I did 5.01 miles! And I knew when to stop because hey it's right there on my wrist! Not only does this baby track your time, mileage, and pace (btw my pace is NOT 8:06) but when you connect to it's internet site it breaks down your runs by mileage and pace!!

Apparently I start out leisurely and get super motivated at the end! It also tracks your calories, umm who burned 813 calories before 6:30 AM ----> ME!

I won't be any more obnoxious than I already am right now, cause my blog is definitely not a runners blog, nor a fitness blog, but how can I not share all the cool things the Garmin does when it's my focus for this post!! 

If you are an avid runner I highly recommend this watch. Two friends recommended I get this a few months ago and of course I'm always behind the times but I just felt I didn't need it until I started upping my mileage!

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