Monthly Archives: January 2012

Got My Head in the Clouds.

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I hope everyone had a great weekend. Our’s was nice and relaxing, not a lot going on for us. Which is nice because the last three weekends we’ve had birthday parties. January is a big birthday month. But we’ll be back at it next weekend with my niece’s birthday in Kansas City. Ok, this post isn’t about my agenda, so I’ll just get on with it.

Ok. I’ve listed one of my fetishes as photography but I haven’t talked about it yet. Until today, that is. Today I thought I’d share some “ooops shots.” These are the shots that you take on a whim with little, to no, planning. The shots that once you pull the camera down to check out the display, you’re like “M-O-G” ( That’s what my 5 yr old daughter says, its hilarious!)

Lately, the skies have been capturing my attention. I guess my head’s been in the clouds. At these particular moments the only camera I’ve had on hand was my cell phone camera. Which still isn’t that bad of a shot, actually, sometimes it works out  for the better. With my Canon I probably would have put too much planning into it and missed the “moment.” But with my cell I just point and shoot no settings to mess with. In a couple of these shots I did use some effects on the camera. One shot I used an app called FxCamera. It has several different effects like “Fisheye,” “Andy Warholizer,” “SymmetriCam,” and a few others. Which most of these can be done afterwards.

This shot was taken through the kitchen window sometime between 5:30-6. I had all the lights off in the kitchen and the sunset was glowing through the blinds. In person, it was just a cool, calming, effect. I knew what I was seeing was really cool, but I wanted to see what the camera would see. So I grabbed my cell and went to the window. Sunsets don’t last long, I had to just shoot until it was gone and look later. This was my favorite shot. I added a vignette afterwards.

 

 

And this one was taken at 70mph….No, it’s not a drive-by-shooting,  it’s more like a ride-by-shooting. I would never shoot and drive, that’s incredibly dangerous. I have never done that, no way. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 😉 ) Again, this one is of the sky. The clouds caught my eye and so I grabbed the cell again, hoping I could capture what I was seeing. The tree, which ends up being my favorite part of the picture, wasn’t planned. In fact it was just collateral. The landscape was zooming by at 70 mph. I couldn’t plan it even if I wanted to. What is it about a lonely tree in the middle of nowhere that is so thought-provoking?  

This one is down to earth, literally. For a change I pointed my camera down to the ground. Now, I know not everyone is as amused as I am of the sky, but who can resist looking for shapes in the flames. We had a bon fire at my folks and out came the camera…this time I was playing around and used the FxCamera app. I set it to the SymmetriCam. With the ever-changing flames, I had no idea what would end up on the display. What do you see?

The first time I looked at it I was focusing on the flames at the top, how they come up on each side like pointy ears or something. But as we all looked at it my brother spotted the “dragon.” In the center of the picture where the photo is spliced together to create the symmetry you can see the face. The eyes, nose and open mouth with teeth on the bottom. Off each side are dark lines that create wing shapes. The longer you look at it the more you can see. For my brother, who’s a firefighter, it was especially noticable, he said that they can always see a “dragon” in the flames. Eeeww, creepy.

You never know what will happen that very instance the shutter opens and closes. Amazing!

I have to say that I’m not the only one with my “head in the clouds.” I got an email from my dad the other day, he sent a photo that he had taken. I bet you can guess what it is… Yep, the sky. It must run in the family. The sky had caught his eye, so why not try to capture the moment. (Oooh, the beauty of digital photography. In the film days this kind of shutter action would end up costing ya!) Just like the fire shot above gave back something more, so did my dad’s shot of the dusk-sky. Can you see it?

 Can you spot the “angry bull?” ( I almost typed angry bird….I think that’s a sign I should cut back 😉 ) Look at the tall Oak in the middle of the hedge row. In the tree there appears to be a bull’s skull. The two horns are sticking out each side, right below the horns are the eye sockets. If you follow the “snout” down to a point it looks like the clouds are the smoke coming from the nostrils…very strange! That is soooo not what my dad was expecting to capture. 

I love accidental photography! I still remember my first “accidental” shot. I was on vacation with my BFF in Miami, Florida. Palm trees galore!! That was the beginning of a major crush for me, that still exist this very day. I HEART palm trees in a major way! Thanks to my 110 film camera, I realized the potential of the shutter. I’m pretty sure I filled a whole role (24 shots, sometimes 24 and a half…anyone remember the some times partial picture caught on the extra film at the end of the role? Take a look at some of your old negatives…I’m sure you’ll find one. 🙂 ) of palm trees. One of them was the perfect silhouette of a palm tree. For a 12 or 13-year-old with a cheapo camera, the composition was perfect, the lighting was incredible, it was “picture perfect!”. Of course, the picture has lost some quality and not to mention has some creases and cinches due to the fact that it stayed tucked along the edge of my mirror for the biggest part of my “cool” years… but the condition of that photo doesn’t hinder the fact that, that picture was just the beginning a lovely relationship. No I’m not talking about palm trees, I mean with me and photography. 🙂

What do you have to lose, just pick up and shoot! The delete button is free!

Do you ever have accidents, huh, photography accidents that is?

Happy-head-in-the-clouds-Monday, all!

A “Dirty” Secret…

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Sorry about the late post….originally I wasn’t going to post at all  because I had a lot to get done, but….

Today is just one of those days…I have plenty to do but……..but…….I’ve got nothing. I can’t even come up with a reason or excuse. Actually, the only thought that I could completely formulate today is, “I can’t even formulate a thought today.” The only thing I could do with my attention span, or lack of I should say, is clean.

 I love a clean house, I love the smell of a clean house. In the years past I took great pride in having a clean house. I was a bit of a Monica.

” If only they made a smaller one to clean this one…”

 If you’re familiar with Friends you may remember that scene. Yes, I have been spotted cleaning my vacuum after vacuuming. Carpet lines were a specialty. I still do, want a clean house, but it doesn’t stand for the same thing as it used to. It used to be my show of work, my little trophy. But all that changed when…

I went to an Uppercase Living party quite some time ago. I looked through the catalogue filled with cute sayings and inspirational quotes. Funny ones, sweet ones, and then this one…”A Dull Woman Always Has a Clean House.” Huh? What’s that supposed to mean? I object! That is so not true….is it?

For a while I got by on my justification that,  it’s just an excuse to not clean your house. Unfortunately, my justification has lost credibility. It’s not as comforting as is used to be. Turns out that not a whole heckuva lot people care that I have a clean house. In fact, I kinda got the feeling it was annoying.

Not the stamp I want to leave!

So here’s my “dirty” secret about my clean house. When or if you see my house clean, know that I’m not boasting, bragging, or anything of the sort. I just had a day that my brain was off in la-la land and was only capable of the thought-less task of cleaning.

Like I said…..its just one of those days.

Happy Thursday, All.

 

 

 

It’s No Picnik…

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“Nooooooooo, why God, why?”

Okay well it’s not that dramatic, but it is pretty sad…Picnik.com is “closing.” I just got the email notice the other day. It’s not all bad news though. All though, the Picnik website is closing, Picnik is moving to Google+.

I’m a little nervous what sort of changes will come from this, but definitely in love with Picnik enough to follow them over to Google+. Also, members who pay for the premium membership (me) will be refunded. That’s pretty cool, but even cooler is, they are refunding the whole amount, ($24.95) not a prorate amount…So for instance if someone paid the yearly fee last February, and their membership is about to expire, they too will receive the whole fee! ( I know this is sounding a little infomercial-ish, it’s about to get worse, sorry. Can’t help myself.) But wait! There’s more! Not only is Picnik refunding all membership fees, but they are opening up their website, premium features included, to anyone and everyone for F-R-E-E!

 Don’t wait! This sweet deal goes sour on April 19th!

If you have never tried Picnik.com or even if you have now is the time..Its the easiest and funnest (I know that’s not a word. I would change it but I don’t want to..:) ) photo editing website. When I say easy I mean, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy easy!! Just upload and go! All sorts of tools, all sorts of frames, all sorts of effects. Seriously all sorts of fun!!! Here’s some photos that I’ve created and played with….

Collages…

 

Before and Afters…

 

 

Seasonal fun…

 

 

Enhancing the heck out of a photo is always fun…

Before:

 

After:

 

 

Lets not forget how much fun text is…

 

 

It’s even kid friendly…this is my son’s creation he made with his own photo-alphabet pictures…

 

 

 

It really is endless!

I encourage everyone to put on their thinkin’ caps, smartie pants, or whatever gets your creative juices flowing and have some “Phot-ablulous Phun” with Picnik while you can! Here’s the link…all that free fun is just a click away!

Picnik.com 

Happy Creatin’ Wednesday, All!!!

It’s Official.

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Yes, I have reached a milestone. I’ve begun a new chapter in motherhood. As of yesterday at 2:38 pm I became a mother of a “teenager!”

 Whoa, whoa, whoa! Is it possible, some may ask.  Well, I guess so, the math doesn’t lie. 🙂

I don’t feel any different. Am I supposed to?

This is my theory. Entering into “teenage-dom” is like entering into the “terrible two’s.” I believe it’s a slow progression. I don’t believe I have too much to worry about right off. We’re still a year (although probably the shortest year ever) away from a learner’s permit to drive. Still a year away from high school. I mean right now he’s thrilled to be able to watch PG13 movies, thrilled he can go to the mall to hang out with his friends. But I know what’s to come….

I want to sit him down and scare tell him about all the crossroads that lie ahead. But how much does he know or not know? I certainly don’t want to give him the impression that kids his age are, or could be, doing drugs, having sex, or committing crimes if he doesn’t already know it’s happening. But at the same time I don’t want him to be so naive, that he could be manipulated or taken advantage of  by others. Okay, so maybe I do have somethings to be worried about right off…Yikes, now I’m scaring myself!

(Deep breath….clean air in, bad air out…) Okay…

Of course, I’m not naive. ( I wish I was some days.) I know he knows more than what he thinks I know he knows…does that make sense?

 I’m going to take what I know he knows and add some, because he thinks I only know what he knows I know. Thats not much better is it? 🙂

 I’ll put it this way:

  •  I will assume he knows waaaayyyy more than what I know he knows.
  •  I will, of course, have lots of talks with him. Even the ones that’ll make me blush…
  •  I will let him know that he can always ask me anything. (You can’t see me right now, but I’m cringing!)
  •  I will repeat over and over how important it is to be a kind and respectful human being.
  •  I will repeat over and over that no matter how bad the truth is a lie is always worse.
  •  I will repeat over and over how much I love him and how I will always be there for him.

But most of all…

  • I will be the best listener ever on this planet!

 

Now, I just hope he talks to me…

(Wow! Parenting is the most wicked cycle! We want them to talk, we don’t want them to talk, we want them to talk…Geeesh!)

Just a short disclaimer before I go….I do not think that I have it all figured out. If you read this and want to leave a comment, give advice, or just straight up want to correct me, please do! It only cost 2 cents! 😉

Happy Tuesday All!

 

“Just Lunging Around”

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Well, All, it’s Friday! Can I get an, A-lle-lu-ia?? Alleluia!!!

Not only is it Friday, here at Twentyphive its…”Phitness Friday!” It’s, try-not-to-eat-anything-fried-day! It’s Fit-day! It’s…ok, ok, you know what I mean.

One of my goals for this year was to work on my legs…I’m shooting for “Carrie Underwood legs.” If you haven’t taken notice to her legs, google it! Pictures galore!! Like I said, I’m “shooting” for legs like her’s. If I miss and fall short, I’ll still be thrilled!

What does one do to work out her legs? Running is a great start, but this girl is not fond of running in the cold…

What next?

Pinterest to the rescue!!

I like to search for new ideas and workouts all the time…in fact I have a whole board dedicated to workout inspiration. Some are pretty hard-core and others are catching on! Such as, the “100 Workout.” It’s pretty popular and a great workout, but has anyone seen the “99?” Just a tad bit easier than the “100” you think? Uhhh, NOPE!  Here’s the “100”

It’s not an easy one by any means but, it’s a good-doable 45-55 minute workout. It’s a serious leg workout! I would avoid stairs, if possible, for a while after this. Wobbly legs and stairs do not go well together. (Especially if you’re going down. 🙂 ) This would be a great workout with your girls on a Saturday morning! Maybe I’ll get some of my girlies together and tackle this. You know who you are!! I’ll be callin” ya. How’s next Saturday look?

Don’t worry about the “99” though, I don’t have the guts to try it, yet. At least not in one session. If  you broke it up into days it wouldn’t be that bad but, I think its meant to be done as a single workout. Yikes!! Here’s the “99!”

Uuuuhhh…..Did you read that it’s also known as the “If I Finish This Alive I Must Be Invincible,” part?  I’ve read this many times, and still I read it and I’m speechless! Can this really be done? I know what a 60 second wall sit feels like, but a 99 second wall sit…and thats just the beginning!!  If you add up all the reps, by the end you will have done:

  • 484 Jumping Jacks
  • 484 Crunches
  • 8.06 minute Wall Sit
  • 484 Leg Lifts
  • 44 Push Ups
  • 11 minute Run

I’m cool with the push ups and the run, but the rest….not so much. Sitting at the wall for a combined 8 minutes and  484 leg lifts, you’d be numb from the waist down!! Running would be hazardous at that point!!

Let’s get real and talk about a mini-leg workout. Something that you can do real quick before you get in the shower or during the kiddo’s nap time. I got this, too, from Pinterest. This is called the “Sexy Leg Workout.”

This is Per-Fect!! I did it yesterday and it took me about 10 minutes. The jumping jacks get your heart rate up a bit and the other exercises target your glutes, quads, hams, and calfs ( or would it be calves? IDK…some one correct me if you know… 🙂 ) It’s quick and specific. It’s very important to have proper form! I cannot stress this enough! When you’re doing squats hold your arms up or in front of you to help keep your back straight. It’s helpful to use a mirror. I know  it’s a bit uncomfortable watching yourself but it’s key to making sure you are keeping form. You don’t want to bend over, you want to “sit” back in a chair. When you do lunges, make sure your forward leg is bent just til its parallel with the floor and make sure your knee does not go past the toe. Keep your weight on the heel of the foot, you should be able to flex your toes up and down. Same thing goes with the wall sit. Don’t let the knees extend farther than the toes and try to sit back to the point of having your legs parallel to the floor. Last but not least, through everything, keep your core tight! Hold in your stomach, tuck your pelvis, and make sure you are engaging the abs. This is soooo incredibly important! It will maximize the intensity and also protect your lower back from injury.

Does anyone else want Carrie-Underwood-legs? Or maybe you have another fitness goal for yourself, feel free to share it!

If you have a fitness goal for yourself, don’t just lounge around think about it, “lunge around” and do it!!

Happy Fit, Fried-free, Friday!!

 

Likes with Likes….

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I, once,  had the pleasure of listening to a presentation by a professional organizer. Wow! Who knew there was so much logistics in organizing. It’s not just about being tidy, it’s about being efficient and tidy at the same time. Her words of wisdom have stuck with me since that day. One thing in particular she said was “…likes with likes. The most basic of rules when it comes to organizing…keep that in mind when putting your things in their ‘place.'”

Well I have a cabinet in the kitchen, above the desk, that tends to catch the ” I don’t know where else to put this, so I’ll put it in here,” items. Perfect cabinet to exercise this wisdom that was passed on to me.

First…the embarrasing before picture. It was a struggle to get anything out with out some other item(s) crashing to the desk below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And with most messes like this, it gets worse before it gets better. Pulling everything out can get really ugly, like this..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and this…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I separated  everything while chanting “Likes with likes, likes with likes…” Its sorta catchy when you put a little shoulder shake with it… it helps pass the time…Now I have this…a “clean slate,” a “clear mind,” the perfect starting point. I can actually see some progress at this point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, I took out any items that would be more efficient in another place…the cook books were better-placed and more accessible on the other side of the kitchen. Not that I’m pulling them out every night to create a gourmet spread for the Fam, but definitely a better fit over there…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, I removed anything that was broken or not useful anymore. I went through the medicine box and checked all the experation dates. I checked all the flashlights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m glad I did, because I found this…The flashlight was being eaten by battery acid from the inside out…gross!! In the trash it went. ( Please don’t call the EPA…I’m sure I wasn’t in compliance with proper disposal protocol.)

 Just for the record, I am a proponent for recycling and regularly recycle our used batteries. I just didn’t want to touch these.

 

 

 

 

 

 Anyways, back to the task at hand…

 

I knew I wanted the bottom shelf to have more clearance for some taller items so I simply removed the shelf,  pulled the shelf brackets out,  and replaced them a couple of notches higher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I went down stairs to find some sort of baskets or containers to help with keeping the “likes with likes,” (insert shoulder shake, right, then left and repeat…” 😉 I found a couple of napkin holders I had found on clearance a couple of years ago, I’m sure, knowing me, at Walmart…I used them for a party once and never thought about them again till now! Welcome back , little napkin baskets, welcome back! One basket is holding some miscellaneous items.

*Tip: Give your self a limit. For instance I have this basket for my miscellaneous items, but once its full…its full. If its full and I need more space, I know  its time to purge or go through and re-organize the items.*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other is holding batteries and the battery-checker-thingy. The batteries get their very own basket because we’re owners of a magillion things that take a magillion batteries, especially Leapsters. Geeeesh!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m seeing some serious progress here!! Whahoo!!! I’m doing my likes-with-likes-shoulder-shaking jig with a big ol’ smile on my face!!!  It’s the little things in life!

Ready for the Big Reveal?! Readers, scroll on down!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No need to keep your other hand ready to catch the falling flashlight or pack of batteries anymore…Nothing but ease to get what ever you need…I’ve got my mini craft section at hand, got our household gadgets together, got our medicine box up a little higher and lunch bags out of the way. As you know with the cook books, not everything went back in here…the leaning tower of tape had to go back to the garage, where they originally came from…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this shiny guy…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, don’t I deserve something for this huge cabinet reno? Just kidding…this guy’s been living in here next to the gorilla glue just waiting to be repaired…he “dropped his bat.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No worries! He’s back to his old self again and back in my boy’s room where he should be!

What a productive day!!!!

One more before and after before I go…                                                      

  Before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s wishing you all sorts of productivity today!

Happy Thursday All!!

She Shoots…..She Misses!

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