Sunday, January 25, 2009

#49: Splurge on one great Item for me!

Ok another post about me completing something from my list of 52 things. #49, splurge on one Great Item for ME. This is actually really hard for me, I have trouble spending money on myself most times. I usually think that I should be spending it on my son or my husband, or even friends and family. Well today I did it. I bought myself a new lens.

The opportunity came up to buy the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L lens, and I took it. Yes I got me some L glass!! I can't believe how awesome it is, this lens will be with me for a long time coming. I can't believe how sharp this lens is, but it is a beast next to my 50mm.

*All pictures SOOC*
Here is a picture of my new baby:

And one of the first pictures I took with the new lens (I just posted about white balance, and I totally forgot to fix it for this picture, o'well...):

And of course a picture of my first and favority baby!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Lori B tagged me for this honesty post, so here goes.

Apparently I'm suppose to tag 7 people who follow my blog.

I also have to post 10 things being completely honest, things you may not know about me.

So here goes,

1. I'm going to break the rules, I won't tag 7 people like I'm suppose to, o'well.

2. I always feel guilty when I spend money on myself.  I just feel like I should spend it on my husband or on my son or other family and friends.  I think I need to get over this, its good to be frugal, but every once in a while you have to treat yourself to nice things.

3. I absolutely hate dusting, seriously I get so annoyed and its probably one of the easier house duties.  I love vacuuming on the other hand. 

4.  Off of #3, we have my mother in law come over almost every week to clean and straighten up our house.  We first started after Caleb came and I went back to work.  At first it was all so much to do for me, so she helped out.  I probably can handle things myself now, but I really like being spoiled and having the house spotless.  She likes to dust :)

5.  I haven't scrapbooked in probably over 6 months, and its one of my favorite hobbies.  I'm going to scrapbook tonight and I'm so excited!

6.  Sometimes I miss singing and playing my instruments (clarinet / flute), I really use to love music, and its sad that its not really a part of my life anymore.  Well I do sing to Caleb every day so that's something I guess.

7.  I long to be creative, sitting at a desk most of the day is not very creative so I find myself searching out creative outlets on a daily basis.

8.  I am obsessed with sour cream, I could put it on everything.  I dip my chips into sour cream when I'm at home, and its yummy.  Sometimes if I'm out of milk, I'll use sour cream in our mashed potatoes and its great!!

9.  I love to bake and cook, but I hardly ever follow recipes.  I'm always changing something to make it better, or I just refuse to measure stuff. for the most part its fine and my meals still come out tasty.

10. I hate shoe shopping.  I know I'm super weird.  I just bought new shoes last week b/c I had a gift card for DSW, I seriously was in and out of the store in 15 minutes flat, and came out with a great pair of comfy clearance shoes, they are sooo comfy though (although not much to look at - totally plain) and that's ok with me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Check, one more thing down...

So on my 52 things list, I had learn CWB (Custom White Balance) this is the thing that you can set on your camera if your in daylight, shade, or fluorescent lighting, I think my fancy camera has like 7 or 8 settings, well one of them is setting a CWB. It was sooo simple, I don't know why I didn't do it before. Now my skin tones will look more natural and this will shorted my PP (post processing) wayyyy down! Think when you take a picture and you get yellow-y or orangy, or like I like to call it -oompa loompa skin. Well custom white balance is one thing you can do to fix it.
I'm probably a little too excited about this but o'well... its the little things in life I guess.
Ok here's an example. keep in mind these are SOOC (Straight off of camera) and since it is evening I couldn't take one of Caleb so I used the bowl of fruit. The bowl is very white IRL (in real life).
The first one is just done on AWB (auto white balance):
And this one was done with CWB, however, I don't have a real calibration target yet, so this was done with my homemade coffee filter target, pretty darn good though:
Those are same lighting conditions, same placement, same distance, same everything.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1 book down

One thing off my list of 52 things to do in 52 weeks was to read a book every month. I am happy to report I have finished my first book of the new year! "Learning to See Creatively" by Bryan Peterson. I've also read Peterson's book "Understanding Exposure" and let me say, I love his writing. He is great at illustrating his points in teaching you how to be a better photographer. His books are not just for the ones with SLRs, but for anyone and everyone who want to learn another view point or correct composition. Even if you don't care how to take better pictures or if you don't even know how to read :), he has a lot of cool pictures in this book! 2 thumbs up! Buy it from Amazon, its much cheaper!!
Next Book for February:
"The Photoshop Elements 6 Book for Digital Photographers" by Scott Kelby
I've already peaked at this one, and it's so helpful - I'm really learning a better workflow for my post processing!! woohoo

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy MLK day

Had today off from work, so I spent it with my little man. We did a mini photo shoot to get pictures for his first birthday card. Here's a couple, for more go see my photography blog, you can find the link in my profile.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Ok my last post for the evening, ha, catching up on the blog is fun!!

So if you live in Michigan, you know how freakin cold its been these past few days. My temperature gauge in my car this morning said -10 deg!!

We have a pretty awesome icicle growing off our front porch, so I finally remembered to take a picture of it!

What's for Dinner 3

So after the Steak on Monday (we had Salmon on Tuesday not pictured) then Wednesday we had the Chicken, and more chicken on Thursday (not pictured); we really needed a vegetarian dish, so here's what I came up with.

Ok so this one wasn't from Rachael Ray, this was my own creation. I just cooked up some veggies (onion, garlic, broccoli, tomatoes) and black beans in a chicken broth, and then mixed that with some cooked whole wheat pasta. And threw in some spices for more flavor.

What's for Dinner 2

Another meal from my Rachael Ray book. This one is called, Impossibly Good Chicken and Simple Mixed Green Salad. I also threw in some buttered noodles.

Here's the dressing recipe:
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
3 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
3 tbsp EVOO

it was delicious!

What's for Dinner 1

What's for Dinner 1: So another New Years goal, was to plan more meals and try new stuff. So I cracked open my Rachael Ray 30-minute get real meals book and found this one. Its called, Saucy Buttered, Smothered Steaks with Spinach Gratin.

I used a Filet instead of the sirloin it calls for. It was yummy!!


Haven't posted a picture of my little man in a while so here ya go!!

And no its not an oreo in his hand, its just my lens cap.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Being Green-er

So one of my goals for the New Year was to be Greener. In 2008 we were recycling, most of our stuff, and we were trying to bring our canvas bags when we shopped, but in 2009 we WILL recycle anything and everything we can, we WILL use canvas bags. I also decided to try and stop using so much paper towel in our house in 2009.

Stuff I wasn't recycling before but I am now: baby food containers, soup containers and tin cans, duh just rinse them and put them in the bin - easy!

So... we are about 2 weeks in to the new year and where are we... I am happy to report that we haven't changed a roll of paper towel in weeks!! probably 3 or 4 weeks and we still have lots left. I bought a package of 60 white shop towels from Costco to use for cleaning, and we no longer use paper towel for napkins, we use cloth napkins!!

I am also happy to say that for my first grocery shopping trip of the new year I used my canvas bags!! It is so much easier in my opinion, you can fit most of your groceries in 1 costco canvas bag, thus reducing your trips from the car to the counter. Also I don't have to store all those darn plastic bags, although they are recyclable so if you have them laying around, please don't put them in the garbage, put them in the recylce bin.

Also today my lunch was totally green. I have these wonder bread sandwich plastic containers that I made my sandwich in today (also used one for Tony). Then to save a little cash, I usually buy a big bag of chips and separate out a portion for lunch (I do the same with cookies and other treats). Well instead of putting it in a baggie, I decided to use some of my rubbermaid tuperware. I'll just go home and refill it for tomorrow and voila, all set for my green lunch with little garbage! So that's portion control / cash control / and eating green all in one meal!!

Have a nice day!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sick House...

Ugh, so we're all sick, Caleb had to go home early on Wednesday had some stomach issues at daycare, he couldn't keep anything down, and what was already down was coming out really messy.  So I decided to stay home with him on Thursday, except I had to get some work done at work so I ended up going in really early in the morning so I could be back home in time for Tony to leave for work.

Well now Tony and I are both sick.  I had to call my mom this morning to come over and help us.  I just couldn't hardly even lift Caleb, let alone take very good care of him.  She stayed all day then we decided she would just take him home with her for a sleep over.  I'm so thankful for my family!

Now I'm feeling about 50% better but not Tony, neither of us have eaten all day (and that Taco Bell I had last night was a BAD idea).  Hopefully its just a 24 hour thing and we'll be better tomorrow.  

That's all!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

DIY Project...

So everyone knows I love little girls, and I really want to have one of my own one day. But until then, I'll just stick to doing cute DIY projects for the ones I love.

I made this Pink Tutu, using 5 yards of pink tulle and a ribbon, it was a no-sew project and super easy. I might have to make one for myself next halloween!

I also made a wonderful cake in the shape of a large cupcake! Go visit my photography blog for pictures of Mandy digging in to it (literally!)

And of course I have to include a recent picture of Caleb - this was taken today:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years!

Happy New Year everyone! Our New Years Eve was much different from previous years, it was our first new years with our Caleb.

So we decided to go have dinner with some friends of ours who have 2 little kids. Jackie who is just 6 months older than Caleb and Mikey who is 5 (I think?). Caleb loved meeting the new kids but he really loved all their toys, I couldn't even get him to look up for any pictures. O'well!

After dinner we chatted for a bit, but went home early to put Caleb in bed, we were probably home around 8:30 (I know we're lame now! LOL) and Tony and I played a couple games. Our new favorite is called, "set" its is so much fun. After I beat him we cuddled up and watched a movie. The movie got over in time to go snuggle up in bed and watch the ball drop.

I loved being at home and able to kiss my men goodnight and happy New Year, of course I missed being with friends, but I got a whole life ahead of me to do that.

Here's some pictures for ya!

Little Mikey - he is soo like his father, very chatty.
Little Jackie (I hope I spelled that right), such a beauty, just look at those eyes!