Friday, January 29, 2010

Going Blind...part 2

April writing...

As seen here, I purchased and started installing some new faux wood blinds in our master bedroom. I love them...and even more I loved them being HALF off at $9.48 each!

Last night we completed the installation and enjoyed and extra dark nights sleep!

Here's the dreaded before...the navy blue curtains that I made myself when we first moved in...and they haven't matched a thing in the room since then...bleeehhhh!!

Here's what our annoyingly odd windows look like all-nekked and what not. Wide and boring.

And then you have that same window complete with new blinds!! Love it!

Here is Cory finishing the other window in the room and shortening the blinds! (They came 64" long...ehhh a bit much for our shortie-windows!

And the finished product!!! I think it looks great. I am sure it will look even better when we paint the room (finally) and finish purchasing the rest of our Ikea Hemnes Bedroom Furniture. (Which we are doing in Brown-Black) We already have one tall set of drawers, now we need the full shorter set, the mirror and the side tables.

Then, slap some new bedding on that queen sized sleep area and we are all done.

...till we replace the carpet...oh my...cannot WAIT for that day...gesh, now I got myself thinking about it....haha!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

the iPad...*insert gapping mouth*

April writing...


I mean...I am a Mac/Apple lover...although mainly from afar. We only own one iPod Nano and an iPod touch between Husby and I...and while the Macbooks look amazing, the prices are crazy expensive.

But this...

the iPad.


I's basically a jumbo sized iPod Touch...but I It's

It's the most portable mini laptop there is...forget those little netbooks!

Check out the video about the iPad here.
Tech Specs.

It's a bummer though...Apple still finds a way...they nickel and dime you anyway they can...from what I am reading, you have to buy a monthly data plan and there are other monthly fees associated with owning this new little beauty.

But still...super cool.

Guess it's one of those...if-I-had-a-ton'o-money gifts ehhh?

Simple Pleasure Thursday

April writing...

I know it's kind of a small picture...but do you see it?

How adorable is the header that Mozilla provided me when I opened the Internet today? Well actually, it provided me the chance to pick one that I liked...I thought this one was cute. brought a smile to my face, a sweet simple pleasure. Hope you are having a happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bedding...makes me sleepy

April writing...

Ahhhh the master bedroom...the master bedroom bedding...ahhhhhh!!

I feel like I have been looking here are a few of my favorites that I have found and their prices.

$174.00 at Linens-N-Things
It's cute...and it's the color scheme I am looking for...but it kinda screams blahhh to me...

$149.99 at Kohl's
This is a little less and seems a little more luxurious with the sateen finish. Just not sure how I feel about sleeping on sateen bedding, when we are used to cotton.

$179.99 Bed, Bath and Beyond
I LOVE this set...except for it not including brown...but the black isn't too bad. Husby has seen this in person and he isn't a huge fan of it.

Now these...are out of my price range...but I really like them both...

$too expensive...haha. All items are sold separately...between $70-$250 at Macy's.
Like I said...out of our price range, but it is pretty cute and whimsical...not to sure if that would work, since we are going for a more adult vibe.

$ expensive...all items sold separately $80-$250 at Macy's.
Now this one. I am head over heels in love least via computer. I would have to see the colors in person. I LOVE, love the design...I think it is gorgeous!
But...out of our price range. So I am on the hunt to see it in person (at Macy's) to check out the colors and to find it CHEAPER somewhere else! Then I may be sold!

What are your thoughts? Which do you like?

Going blind...

April writing...

So I stumbled across a wonderful find at Target during my lunch breach on Wednesday...

I talked about trying to find a good window treatment option here.

We have long in 72"(ish) long...and they are short 32"(ish) high. So we have had trouble figuring out what to do with them.

We knew that we needed something that would block out the light...because Husby sleeps during the day. I am one for curtains, as I think that bald windows are ehhh...blinds only is ok...but I would have to see to decide or not if curtains are needed too.

So...anyways...back to what I found at Target!

Bali 2" Vinyl Blinds - Wood Grain

The dimensions seem to be right around where we need them to be to two fit blinds across our long windows...which should work.

Husby and I will be taking a look at the blinds tomorrow I will be sure to take some pictures and share with you if they work or not!!

OH and I almost forgot...the wonderful part of this find...They were originally $18.99 each, and I got them for $9.48 each!!! HALF PRICE!!! Outstanding. And after reading the reviews online I see that even though they are vinyl, they have the great look of real wood!!!

I am excited!!!
Pics to come soon...

I hung two of the blinds basically by myself! I am super proud of myself...Husby helped me with some of the more window to go tomorrow!! Then, I promise some BETTER pictures! Here's a teaser for now (crappy phone pic) find bedding...more on that soon!

Husby rocks...

April writing...

I's not Friday, but I am going to brag on Husby for a moment...because he got me...


Yep...that's right...I got a Wintercheck Factory "Julian Scarf" from Husby..."just because" (actually it was for Valentine's Day...but he couldn't wait to give it to me!) and I did not complain!

Here is a picture of it in action...don't mine whatever it is my hair is doing in this picture...or the big arm ever so slightly blocking the awesome scarf action! :P

It's lovely pockets delicately handled my chapstick and phone for the evening. I LOVE IT! Thanks sweetie!

Wordless Wednesday

"Give me the LEMONHEADS!"

-I do hereby post this terrible picture...because I miss my Summerly-Joy...and her blogs!

DSLR Photography...Part 1

April writing...

I would say this post is more for my benefit...but I have been doing alot of reading lately on digital photography. Not so much point and shoot, but using a DSLR camera. (Digital Single Lens Reflex) All in all it pretty much means you are in control of the shutter speed, the aperture, the order to take better pictures.

I haven't taken any formal classes, which I would really love to...however...I need a DSLR to work with. I have my eye on one. It's the Canon EOS Digital Rebel T1i. She's top-of-the-line for what I am looking for...but I need to save some moola for her! I keep trying to convince Husby to let me have a portion of the tax refund for her, but ehhh, not too sure how that's gonna work out. :P

So, in the meantime, I will continue to learn as much as I can, because one day, I will own her! Husby is going to laugh his face off at this one...(since he thinks of me as such the entrepreneur!!!)...but I would really love to do photography for some extra $ on the side. I already love taking pictures of friends and family and their babies. I would love to take pet pictures as well! But anywho...I still got some learnin'-to-do!

So, journey along with me in a typical day of learning!

In the beginning, here are some important things to know:
  • Don't throw away your camera should become your new best friend.
  • Learn to use all of your SLR's camera functions, like ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed. (more on those soon.)
  • Some important additional pieces of equipment are a sturdy tripod and remote release. (important in taking pictures that require a longer shutter speed.)
  • If you are finding that your pictures are blurry, change to a faster shutter speed.
  • Learn through experimentation.
So, now let's learn a little about ISO: (taken from
  • The letters ISO refer to the film speed.
  • ISO determines how sensitive the image sensor is to light.
  • The most common ISO settings are 100, 200, 400 and 800.
  • Depending on your camera model, the range can be between 64 and 1600. (the camera I want has a "Wide range ISO setting 100-3200 with ISO expansion: 6400, 12800"...freaking sweet!)
  • The lower the ISO number, the slower the speed. The higher the ISO number, the faster the speed.
General rules for using ISO:
  • Use an ISO of 100 or 200 when taking photographs outside in sunny conditions.
  • If the sky is overcast or it is evening time, then use an ISO within the range of 400 to 800.
  • Night time or in cases of low light you might need to set your digital camera ISO to 1600. If you don't then your photo will appear too dark if at all.
If you set your digital camera to a low ISO, for example 100, the resulting photograph will be better quality than one set at 1600. The higher the ISO the more grainy the photo will look. Therefore go for a low ISO number whenever possible.

Now. What about Aperture: (taken from

For photographers who use SLR cameras, AV (Canon) or A (Nikon) mode determines whether all the photograph is in focus or part of. For example photographers can choose to have a sharp foreground and background, or they can blur the background.

On SLR digital cameras, aperture is indicated by a f-number value.

example of aperture F stopThe higher the F number, the more of the photo that will be in focus. For instance if you're taking a photograph of a landscape, chances are you will want all of the foreground and background to be sharp and in focus. For this to happen you will need to set your digital camera f value or aperture as its known, to a large number, for example F/11.

On the other hand if you're taking a photograph of a bird and you want the animal in focus but not the background, then you would choose a small F number like F/4.

When the f number is small, the lens diaphragm is actually wide open. So if someone says to you that you need to open your lens more, they mean to lower the aperture or F number. Alternatively, if the aperture is a large number, say F22 then the lens diaphragm is smaller or more closed. This often causes much confusion with beginners.

  • Opening your lens more refers to lowering the f number.
  • Closing your lens more refers to a higher f number.
And last for today, let's learn a little about Shutter Speed: (taken from

Shutter speed is described as being the amount of time a digital cameras shutter is held open for when taking a photograph. Shutter speed allows light to reach the cameras image sensor.

example of shutter priority TV mode

To set your digital camera on shutter priority, turn your mode dial to TV like the image on the right. In case your wondering, TV stands for time value. Now rotate the main dial until you have the shutter speed your after.

Shutter speed is measured in seconds and looks like 1/500, 1/250, 1/2 or 1 as in one second etc. It can range anywhere from 1/8000 to B for bulb. Bulb keeps the shutter open for as long as the shutter button is pressed down.

How do you know what shutter speed to use?

The shutter speed you will need to use depends on the type of photograph you want to take. For example, if you want to take a photograph of water frozen in action with every little bead in focus, then you would choose a fast shutter speed like 1/500 of a second. If you want to blur running water like the example below, then you would need to use a slower shutter speed like 1/4 of a second. Often when you use a slow shutter speed, you will also need a tripod to help avoid camera shake.

example of blurred water taken with slow shutter speed

The photograph of blurred water shown above was taken with a shutter speed of 0.25 sec (1/4). At this speed I was lucky enough to hand hold the digital camera steady to avoid having to use a tripod.

Now in contrast, here is a photograph of water taken with a faster shutter speed of 1/60 sec so every bead of water can be seen.

example of fast shutter speed

Night photography also requires a slow shutter speed. Once again, this allows enough time for light to reach the cameras image sensor. Otherwise your image might turn out nothing other than a black rectangle or a series of colorful circles. Here's a neat tutorial on taking pictures of light trails.

So here's a recap of shutter speed:

  • Slow shutter speed, slows motion.
  • Fast shutter speed, takes the image almost instantly as in frozen in time.
  • Use slow shutter speeds of at least 10 seconds or more for night shots of cities, buildings and streets etc.
  • When using a slow shutter speed it's also a good idea to use a tripod and remote shutter release to avoid camera shake.
  • If for any reason you don't want to use a tripod, then a general rule to avoid camera shake is to never set your shutter speed slower than the reciprocal of the focal length value. For example, if your lens focal length is set at 50mm then don't use a shutter speed any slower than 1/60th of a second and so forth.
  • To photograph a running child or animal while blurring the background, set the shutter speed to between 1/40 sec and 1/125 sec. Then follow the running child or moving animal as you press the shutter button. This is often referred to as panning.
Gosh, all of this just makes me giddy with excitement, like I want to try it all now! haha!
So do you have a DSLR? Are you self-taught or did you take classes? I am off to look at DSLR pictures and drool over the thought of owning my Canon EOS Rebel T1i one day! :)

Me, Me, Me, Me...

April writing...

This made me happy this morning...enjoy.


April writing...

So I spent about an hour and half tonight working on our taxes. We were only waiting on one piece of paper...basically small and non-important....and it was reasonably painless and stress-free. (except for a minor headache with the software installation haha!!!) Let's just say I am not happy with talking to someone who barely speaks English when it comes to my tax software...ehhh.

I am SUPER happy with the outcome and our tax refund. We will be able to pay off one of our credit cards and buy a new front door and still have some leftover...maybe my new camera?? (wink, wink Husby!) maybe some for the crown moulding in the living and dining rooms?? maybe setting the rest aside for our potential trip to Montana this year??

We shall see.

Are you ready for tax season?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


April writing...

We have been talking about "Hope" at church since the beginning of the year. In fact it is our THEME for the year.

I was turned on to this short movie by my cousin, and after watching the beauty of the story unfold I was reminded again about how strong HOPE can impact our lives. (See the link at the bottom for "The Butterfly Circus.")

I took the following from

1. the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: to give up hope.
2. a particular instance of this feeling: the hope of winning.
3. grounds for this feeling in a particular instance: There is little or no hope of his recovery.
4. a person or thing in which expectations are centered: The medicine was her last hope.
5. something that is hoped for: Her forgiveness is my constant hope.
–verb (used with object)
6. to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.
7. to believe, desire, or trust: I hope that my work will be satisfactory.
–verb (used without object)
8. to feel that something desired may happen: We hope for an early spring.

I think my favorite one is "something that is hoped for." It lines up perfectly to be something connected to our you can see in Hebrews 11:1 (which has always been my favorite verse) "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

I strongly urge you to watch the video at the link below for "The Butterfly Circus." It was nothing short of inspiring and a reminder to us all that "out of the ashes, comes beauty." We have room to hope, room to to have FAITH for better things to come!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I SEW love them! :)

April writing...

So I finished up my bay window seat pillow about a week ago. *finally!* I had been so nervous about it. It didn't turn out quite like I wanted it to...but I am pleased. The window still looked a little empty to me, so I decided to make some pillows to go...

I used these fabrics...the underside obviously because it matched the pillow seat fabric.

Then I sketched in our initials "C E A" and stitched them on with green yarn.

on the other pillow I sketched out "est. 2003" and stitched them on with green yarn.

I stuffed both pillows and then sewed them up...this is getting exciting. I hope they look good on the window! (Does anyone else get nervous when they are about to see the final product?!)

Annnndddd waahhh-laaahhhh!!! I LOVE IT!! They looked great! I am super pleased with the outcome! What do you think??


My new phone!

Game art!

April writing...

I was 'blurfing' (blog surfing) this morning (thanks to my chock-full Google Reader) and I happened upon a GREAT idea for a game room over at Infarrantly Creative.

Hanging game boards on the wall as decor, and including the game pieces on the back...for storage!!!



Wow...GREAT idea...then you just play the game on the picture...and hang it up when you are done!!! EASY PEASY...and no BOXES!!

Awesome job!

My Husband Rocks Fridays

My Husby rocks this week because he got me my new phone!! (I know, technically it's our money paying for it....but still) He went through the trouble of calling Verizon and trying to go to bat for me to get it for free, he ordered it online and had it delivered as soon as possible to me at work; knowing how much I wanted to play with it NOW!

Thanks ROCK! :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New the Movies

April writing...

My cousin Chris turned me on to this site's SO awesome. What a great way to plan a trip to NY...

NY Movie Style!!

Week One

April writing...

Well I wish that I had a weight loss number for you, but I forgot to go get a scale this I will pick one up and then weigh in tomorrow morning. :P

Here's how I feel..
Certainly less bloated. I don't feel FAT after meals. I am watching my portions and I haven't had any soda in over two weeks. That's actually probably been the hardest part. Sometimes you just need that burn with certain foods...but I have survived!

In fact I have actually been craving water. Sometimes even in the middle of the night! And I rarely wake up in the middle of the night; but I have...with the driest mouth in the world, just begging for water! So, I guess my body knows what it wants!

I did 4 days of workouts too...circuit 10-15 minutes jogging on the treadmill and 2 25+ reps on the front and sides on the Ab Lounger, and then some reps with weights. I like the energy I am getting from that!

So I don't know if I lost weight this first week, but I certainly feel good!

We shall see!

Feelin' a bit cheeky...

April writing...


Simple Pleasure Thursdays

My simple pleasure today is sleep. My body has been craving it so much lately. I feel like I can't get enough...but when I do...that moment where I wake up completely rested...bliss.

What's your simple pleasure?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Garden plans...

April writing...

Ok, so it's not like Spring is here...or even almost here...let's just say it's around the corner and may be here before we know it!

So in order to sustain my sanity through the rest of these cold are some of the plants I am looking at for the backyard!!

I've always loved the look of Weeping Cherry trees...I think they are bold and have alot of character!

Then, I love the Hydrangea Tree...heck, I love Hydrangeas! I just love how thee hang...again another tree with character!

Now for some plants...
These are Freesias. The colors are so beautiful, and you can cut them for flower bouquets!

These are perennial sweet peas...I had them growing up the mailbox last year...they smelled so fragrant and they were so pretty.

These are Blue Prunellas. I think they are so dainty and cute. They would make a great border plant! I really love purple plants too!

These are Ajugas. Another sweet little purple flowering plant!

And, for a taste of the exotic on the East Coast...Giant Perennial Hibiscus.

I am a bit of a geek in that looking at plants makes me SO excited for Spring. haha! Oh well...if my front planner grows in like I think it will this year, it will make last years work all worth it! I can't wait for our yard (front and back) to be the best on the block. (Not that this is a hard thing in our neighborhood!!)

What are your plans for the Spring? Do you Garden?

Wordless Wednesday

"Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all" - Harriet van Horne

a little sessy dancing with Martha...

April writing...

Yup, you heard right.
Martha Stewart.
Pole Dancing.

Overt your eyes...if you can...

You see this right?

April writing...

I have been on my AAAAAAA-game!
I have blogged 27 times this month...that's crazy! Guess I got it back!!
Well, here's a little bit of the stuff on my mind...and what's been happening around these parts...

Husby is back to midnights (I am readjusting and so is he, his sleep schedule has been all whack-a-doodle)...

I am starting auditions for this years Murder Mystery (Super excited about this!)...

Still sewing, finally finished my window seat pillow (pics to come)...

Cleaned up my scrapbook room...converting the space now more to a "craft" room (as I haven't scrapped in forever!)...

We get to see my Cousin Joy and meet her new Hubby this weekend (they are in the states from Australia for their Honeymoon!)...

We are preparing for at least two trips this year (the first one is to the beach for our 7th anniversary in April, then Boston in June with our friends Jason and Brittany! We may also be taking a trip in November or December to Montana to visit Cory's grandma...that depends on his schedule though!)...

We may finally be putting up crown molding in our dining and living rooms (I can't wait...I think it's going to give it such a finished look!)...

I am already planning our backyard garden renovation for this Spring and Summer (more to come on that...and Cory even mentioned possibly wanting to lay the patio ourselves!)...

There's more I am sure...but that's all I could think of for now...many more blogs to come...I am on FI-YAAHHH!!

mah cell-u-lar.

April writing...

It's been ordered...unluckily for me...I didn't get it for FREE...cause apparently Verizon thinks that only the primary holder of the account is worth the $100 upgrade allowance...Not me...I only pay $9.99 a that makes me less worthy. OHHH...but I don't have to pay full price...whatevs.

I got it.

The Samsung Rogue!

It gets delivered tomorrow!! Thanks Husby for ordering it online for me today and going to bat for me...oh well, we tried right?!?! And thank you for being the bigger man and letting ME have the cooler phone, for a little while at least :P

I am terribly excited!!

Sooo cute!! :)

April writing...

Such an inspirational story!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Finger Breakdancing...

April writing...

Oh...I LOVE it!

Monday, January 18, 2010

My surprisingly yummy snack...

April writing...

So I am hanging out with OD, like we do every Monday and it hit 10pm and we got a little snacky...and since I am following a new "eating" plan...(see how I didn't call it a diet...booo) I knew that I only had about 275 calories left to eat for the day. So I thought outloud...what am I going to find in my house for under 275 calories that's going to satisfy this snacky hunger?

Well, the other day I purchased some Wasa crackers...I was a little ehhh on them, but I know they are supposed to have a really good crunch. So, I said what-the- hey...

So OD and I headed to the kitchen...I quickly started formulating a plan (duh duh duhhhh)...Wasa crackers...some laughing cow garlic and herb cheese spread, a slice of turkey and maybe some sliced grapes...a little crunch, a little sweetness...oh and some TANG...I even added a little mustard.

You know...even though the Wasa crackers themselves are just shy of tasting exactly like super stale communion wasn't bad. The crunch was enough to make me feel like I was having a real sandwich or at least a significant snack!!! And get was all only 154 calories!!!!

What is was your most random "good for you" snack?

Oh my gooooossshhhh....

April writing...

I LURVE it!!

It's one of my favorite things...a SCARF...with pockets!!! AHHH!!!

*sigh* LOVE IT!

Can I get'a UPGRADE...

April writing...

So it's time to upgrade to a new cell phone...and I am on the APRIL ASKS...which phone should I pick?

(click on the phone to take you to the details page!)

HTC Droid Eris

Now operating on the Android platform, the new Droid Eris by HTC combines performance and functionality in one sleek package. Eris offers the HTC Sense UI on a 3.2”, touch screen zoom capability, a virtual QWERTY keyboard, and a 3.5mm headset jack in addition to the Virtual Keys (Home, Menu, Back, Search). The ultra–slim Eris can filter your Inbox, and stay connected securely with your office via HTC Sync. Take advantage of WiFi connectivity and its 5MP camera w/auto focus and video capture. Social networking is a breeze with easy access to your Favorite contacts, YouTube and Facebook. The Droid Eris by HTC is the ultimate in customizable handset that puts the customer at the center and it’s all about you, you, and you…

*PROS - 5mp camera, WiFi, Touch Screen, social networking, 4 out of 5 rating
*CONS - No real QWERTY keyboard, possible email charge

Samsung Omnia II -

The Samsung Omnia® II will change your perception of what a phone can do. The first to offer Swype technology, the Omnia II allows you to type up to 50 words per minute without lifting finger. It also features one of the largest widescreen displays ever at 3.7 inches, delivering brilliance in clarity and color. The oversized touch screen gives you plenty of room to take advantage of premium multimedia features like creating and editing videos, the DivX video player offers high quality playback that makes dramatic use of the brilliant AMOLED display, Wi–Fi access and built–in widgets for Facebook and MySpace are tools for a networking genius. Add in Visual Voice Mail, Microsoft® Office Mobile, full consumer and corporate email support, and the Omnia II gives you smarter ways to work, socialize and communicate, all in one stroke.

*PROS - WiFi, 5mp camera, visual voicemail (fun), social networking, touch screen, create and edit videos, 4 out of 5 stars
*CONS - No real QWERTY keyboard, possible email charge

Samsung Rogue - (So far my initial favorite!)

Your fast–paced life requires more – more function, more style, more muscle. The Samsung Rogue™ has a sleek 3.1–inch brilliant widescreen display to give you the enhanced viewing experience you crave, whether it’s watching videos, taking and sharing pictures, or connecting to your favorite social networking sites. The 4–row QWERTY keyboard, one–touch Widgets and full HTML browser all work to give that rich desktop internet experience – virtually. Add in the convenience of threaded messaging and Visual Voice Mail, you get the Samsung Rogue. Your life. Enhanced.

*PROS - QWERTY keyboard, 3mp camera, social networking, visual voicemail, widgets, 4.5 out of 5 stars
*CONS - none really?

LG enV Touch -

Designed for your most discriminating customers, the new LG enV® TOUCH combines undeniable style with an unrivaled multimedia experience. The exceptional range of leading–edge features puts the enV TOUCH in the company of the world’s finest handsets. Its bright, external touch screen measures an impressive three inches and features state–of–the–art tactile feedback. The full–size QWERTY keyboard, with widely spaced keys, accommodates the texting needs of the most demanding executives.

*PROS - QWERTY keyboard, 3.2mp camera, visual voicemail, 4 out of 5 stars
*CONS - nothing really, except the Husby has the same phone. (boring)

So there you have it...I am really, really leaning towards the Rogue...but the Droid Eris seems pretty cool too!!! Anyone have any of the above and want to give me your reviews? Husby and I are dropping by the Verizon store tomorrow to check them out in person. I have an $100 upgrade to use well, so there is the potential for the phone I pick to be FREE too!!!
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