Saturday, June 28, 2014

Another Simple Moment: Independence day

{my simple moment} – A new ritual. A single photo, maybe two – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, significant, blessed moment. A moment I want to treasure and remember
inspired by SouleMama
________________________
"Independence Day"


American Honey

Do you ever find yourself suddenly feeling nostalgic out of the blue? Or a certain something (a trigger) sets you on a walk down memory lane?

I had one of those moments last night at dinner. My family of three was eating dinner last night and "American Honey" by Lady Antebellum came on Pandora.


Why am I so sentimental of this tune you ask?

Well, it's a song I sang Little Miss when she was born. I distinctly remember sitting at the hospital and rocking her to sleep while singing it. It was so sweet and precious--a proud simple mommy moment for me as I began my journey of motherhood. Music was one of our "tools" to calm the savage beast her as newborn. It doesn't work for everyone, but it did for her.

So here I am last night, sitting across from my Little Big Girl eating dinner by herself with no assistance from Mommy or Daddy. I start to feel the tears welling up in my eyes as this song plays gently in the background. Just prior to dinner, she took herself to the bathroom and announced she was going poop! This is nothing new, but she usually only pee-pees,  but this time she did go #2! I was so proud of her and her sweet look of success in the bathroom was precious! Slowly....

She's only done this a couple times, but she's finally getting it.

Mommy loves you.
You're growing up so fast.

It's not just the solo pooping and eating (it's okay to laugh by the way....I am talking about poop!), but it's her mind that amazes me as well. Her vocabulary is off the charts and we recently played pretend together! I literally have a front row seat to her imagination as we look for fairies or chase them no good "milk bandits" with Sheriff Callie.

You don't get more simple and significant than that! Do you know what I mean?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

To IKEA I Did Go

Thanks to my Hubby and a little bit of planning, I was able to scratch some things off my Summer Bucket List this weekend! Woohoo, High Five
  1. Go get a manicure or pedicure (I've never had a professional pedicure)
  2. Get my hair cut (and maybe colored)
  3. Go to Starbucks 
  4. Go to the movies with my hubby
  5. Trip to Ikea (this is happening this weekend. It's my first time!!!)
  6. Continue earn more about GIMP or Photoshop and picture editing 
  7. Dinner with girl friends
  8. Read a book on the couch uninterrupted for as long as I want. (Check out my summer reading list here).
  9. Take a really cute, pretty, fantastic fourth of July picture...maybe with fireworks. 
  10. Go on a little shopping spree for some new work clothes and shoes
  11. Start gallery wall or personalized office space project (notice I said start....not finish LOL!) 
I know my Hubby reads my blog (Hi, Babe!) because he suggested I take sometime on Friday and go get myself a pedicure. Um, how AWESOME was that? If your Hubby says you can escape and treat yourself to some pampering.... you better be taking him up on that!! RUN, DON'T WALK.

My trip to IKEA had been in the works for a couple weeks. My girlfriends are IKEA pros so I called them for some scheduled girl time and to be my guide through the land of Swedish furniture. I really wanted to see what the hype was all about.
IKEA is kind of like the Disney world of home decor. The store is big, quite large, HUGE. We walked the whole store top to bottom at a slow pace and I am sure we missed stuff. IKEA literally has walls of stuff from top to bottom. I don't recall ever seeing a "wall of couches" prior to this trip. My friend Hannah thought I would go nuts over the photo frame area! She was right, but I held back the urge to stock up on frames. I'm not ready for the gallery makeover yet. Soon......


I love the room displays! It's really nice and helpful as a customer to see how the furniture, decor and accessories work together in a room. I found myself walking around going, "Oohh, that would like nice in (insert part of my house)." I made sure to sign up to be apart of the "IKEA Family" aka discount card and get the current catalog for potty reading and future reference.



By the end of the day, I was tired, beat, pooped. We did a lot of walking. I went in with the mindset that I wasn't going to go on a spending spree and come back with large boxes of furniture. We didn't have a vehicle large enough anyway.

I did buy a couple of things, but I walked out of the store spending a little over $40. I bought a rug for my office space, a new spatula for baking, a splatter guard for the kitchen, a grill pan and a night light.

After we shopped till we dropped, we decided to grab some grub at the Columbia. This is one of the oldest restaurants in Florida? at least in the area.... I had an delish lunch of 1905 salad and an authentic Cuban sandwich.


Overall, I had a great day out and about with my friends! It is always nice to catch up with my people and have adult conversation. It was just what I needed to recharge my sanity batteries.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Another Simple Moment: Infinity

{my simple moment} – A new ritual. A single photo, maybe two – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, significant, blessed moment. A moment I want to treasure and remember
inspired by SouleMama
________________________
"Infinity"


Friday, June 20, 2014

Friends Forever and the Big 15

This past week, I had the privilege and opportunity to practice my photography skills on my friend's daughter. I had been looking forward to this day for the two weeks since we planned it! Since I am on summer vacation, I know that it is a perfect time to practice, but there are only so many times and way I can take pictures of my kid around the house. It gets boring....does that make sense?

The birthday girl had the STUPENDOUS idea to incorporate her best friend into our photo shoot. I am so glad she suggested it because it made the shoot so much more dynamic! I mean, what teen doesn't want to play dress up and pose for real pictures....not selfies in the mirror?

What did I learn from my first "big" photo shoot?

  1. If you are going to take pictures in the morning, you should start as early as you can because in Florida it gets hot fast. We got started @9:30 am and worked for about 2 hours. By the end of the day, we were parched and sweaty.
  2. Make a list of the shots you want to take (I am a newbie and this really helped me stay organized).
  3. Ask your models/clients, if they have any ideas for pictures.
  4. Sneak peeks are important and so much fun to publish! I adored the reaction I got from the girls' mothers. 
  5. Editing takes time. Don't try and cram it all in a once because you will go cross eyed looking at the computer. LOL--I am sure when I learn more about editing, this process might increase more. My goal is to have editing done in a two week time frame, but for this shoot I will be done this weekend. 
  6. Set up your props in advance if you can. It will save on time and energy. I was pooped by the end of the day between the heat and multiple locations. I didn't even get a chance to use the burlap birthday banner I made. Ooops. 
  7. Get down and dirty if you have to and wear comfy clothes.
  8. Talk to your models. I tried to encourage them to be comfortable and silly....I LOVE candid moments, don't you?
Here are a couple of the sneak peek pictures from this shoot. You can see more on my Facebook page!




What do you think? Overall, I am very happy with how all of my pictures turned out. Yes, there were some stinkers on my SD card, but I know as I get better there will be less of them.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Summer Bucket List

This bucket list idea just popped into my head as I sit here on the couch at 6:45 am. I was on Pinterest  looking a cute Fourth of July manicures. It's funny how those thing happen, right?

These are the things I would like love REALLY enjoy getting a chance to do before going back to work! This list is about me and activities that I would like to do without my "mommy" hat if you know what I mean? For me, it's the little things.....(in no particular order)
  1. Go get a manicure or pedicure (I've never had a professional pedicure)
  2. Get my hair cut (and maybe colored)
  3. Go to Starbucks 
  4. Go to the movies with my hubby
  5. Trip to Ikea (this is happening this weekend. It's my first time!!!)
  6. Continue earn more about GIMP or Photoshop and picture editing 
  7. Dinner with girl friends
  8. Read a book on the couch uninterrupted for as long as I want. (Check out my summer reading list here).
  9. Take a really cute, pretty, fantastic fourth of July picture...maybe with fireworks. 
  10. Go on a little shopping spree for some new work clothes and shoes
  11. Start gallery wall or personalized office space project (notice I said start....not finish LOL!) 
I know everyone doesn't have summer's off like me, but what's on your summer to-do or "bucket list?" Do we have anything in common?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Baby Go Back To Bed

Good morning, friends. I am sitting here with my first cup of coffee for the day pondering about my night. My  sweet little, darling daughter has started getting up in the middle of the night again----Talk about a Throw Back Thursday #TBT!

The first time was around 12:45 am I heard her crying out in the living room. She had a poopy diaper. I totally understand why she was up. (Remember, we are still using diapers at night. We've got day time potty training down.) So, I cleaned, we snuggled and then it was back to bed.

4 am I hear her again. Her diaper is dry. Why are you up? I trudge back to her room and escort her back to bed. To the best of my ability, I try and explain it is still night, night and she needs to stay in bed. I mean what else could I do?

And last but not least, when I walk out of my bedroom this morning, she is sitting on the floor outside our bedroom door. She wasn't crying. I think she might have been trying to peak under the door actually. SMH. I am so glad I am on summer vacation because I would be exhausted and probable more irritable not a good combination for anyone.

Is this a phase? Will this pass? Dear Lord, I hope so. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions? I know this isn't a crazy thing. My kid is an early riser to begin with, but she really needs to stay in bed.

I love her dearly and this is just something we are going to have to work through. Just another day in the life of a mommy. End mommy mini rant.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

DIY Prop Painter

This is going to be a photo blog post sneak peek of me creating props for my first photo shoot! 











Birthdays and best friends....it doesn't get any better! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Little Big Steps

I have a big crush on my photography hobby right now! I am kind of OBSESSED with it presently in addition to stepping up and improving myself in the blogosphere. This is what happens when I am on summer vacation from work. I have to MUST focus my mind on something or I will go stir crazy.

Do you know what I mean? I am not the only one who tries to occupy themselves, right?

I know I have my mommy duties...those are an ever present given. Trust me. I know they don't go away. o at the present my mantra is "Summertime is Practice Time!" I have worked on my very basic (that's a nice way to put it) editing skills and I've broken the camera out of carry case jail and taken some pictures around the house. (Click here for my latest Simple Moment series photo)

Here is a recent editing attempt where I tried to do a "vintage look." What do you think? Can you tell the difference?
I can take pictures of my kid all the time....trust me I do. I bomb my personal Instagram and FB page with Little Miss regularly, but I am looking for new victims models subjects and new sessions or scenes.
Yesterday, I loaded up my kiddo and we went to Michael's and Hobby Lobby because I was looking to props for my FIRST PHOTOSHOOT! EEEP! Exciting right? One of my BFs has a daugther who has a big birthday coming up (15) and I asked if I could take some pictures of her for practice. I love my friends who don't me using their kids as guinea pigs LOL!  So it's going to be a mini birthday and best friend session. I've even gone as far as to create a Pinterest board for ideas and inspiration. I've been doing that a lot lately? You probably noticed if you follow me....hint, hint.

Here is what I bought at the craft stores:

I am going to use the stencil to create a burlap birthday banner. I have letters and numbers and a mini scalloped chalkboard sign....so many possibilities. Additionally, I am going to try and make a garland on the cheap using plastic table covers. This is going to be awesome!

Another first and time consuming "project" I did  yesterday was I made these digital advertisements/pricing guides.

Don't you love the glitter and sparkle?

I don't know if I am going to use the green pricing guide because I really just wanted to see if I could make one, but it is nice to have one on hand for quick reference.

It's scary and exciting to move forward with my little big steps, but I am eager to see where this will take me.

Is there anything in your life that you want to get better at or want to move forward? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below. We can take these little big steps together!



Monday, June 9, 2014

My Not So Little Big Girl

My little girl is growing up. Yeah! Sniff. Slow down. Can't wait. What do we do now? Oh goodness. It's fair to say that I have mixed emotions about the whole thing. What parent doesn't? It is truly amazing to me to see the miracle of life develop right before my very eyes. Slow down baby girl...

My daughter is a treasure---my treasure. Now, we all know that parenthood is no easy battle, but this is not one of those "hardships" or "struggles" posts. This is about love and moving forward a little bit at a time. One of my summer projects is to make my daughter's room a little less baby and a little more big girl.

As you might recall, we fought the good fight with the transition from crib to toddler bed. Now, mommy wants to focus on decorating her room! I'll be honest, I didn't do much decorating when it was her nursery room. I didn't have the energy and realistically she wouldn't have known what was on the walls, comforter
etc.

Last weekend, this project began. I don't know what it was last weekend, but I am a cleaning, organizing, DIY machine! Thank the Lord for those bursts of energy. 

Bye, bye changing table that we were no longer using and hello side table with drawers. The side table I had stashed in the closet so I brought it out and put the changing table in the closet for "shelving."


Next, I decided to add some butterfly decals to the wall. "Butterfly" garden was the theme I was going for in her room. I had a few things already in there, but they decals bring it up a notch. I was going for a butterfly cascade. Did I nail it? Hey for 98 cent stickers at Wal-Mart I think that it came out pretty cool if I do say so myself.
Lastly, I broke out some paint and a stencil. Little Miss has plain white furniture which worked, but I felt a little update was needed to go along with the big girl now decor revamp.  Th stenciling didn't come out perfect, but it definitely made a nice difference. I love the pop off color off the white!


It's a bitter sweet moment to see my little girl's room transform like she does each and everyday. I don't always have all the answers and I don't always know what I am doing, but I want to be there for her every step of the way.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Another Simple Moment: Pure Joy

{my simple moment} – A new ritual. A single photo, maybe two – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, significant, blessed moment. A moment I want to treasure and remember
inspired by SouleMama
________________________
"Pure Joy"


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Change the World Speech

You might have heard about this one already. My Hubs told me about it first and then my school superintendent sent it out to the entire district. It's 19 minute long, but worth the watch or listen. I think my favorite part is about making the bed......simple, but significant.

Is there anything you would add to his list of 10? What's on your list of things to keep in mind if you want to change the world? (Hmm.....another blog post idea.)

My Three Bathroom Essentials

{My Three} A simple list of three things — a different topic — every week, just for fun.


Play along if you like (please do). Leave your list or a link in the comments. Inspired by Little Miss Momma

Today's theme:  Bathroom Essentials (and no I am not talking about toilet paper or tampons! LOL) 


Like most women, I do my getting ready for work ritual in the bathroom and the first essential that popped into my mind was under eye concealer. I was blessed with fair skin and naturally "dark" eye circles. I have them even when I am well rested. Lovely, I know. For me, under eye concealer is my first line of defense when going out in public :) I'll admit that I am not the best makeup-put-on-er in the world. I try and read helpful tips and tricks, but realistically I don't have the time or desire to spend big bucks on "high end makeup"----my drug store brand work just fine. So here's to my first essential under eye concealer. What brand do I use? I really like Almay or Physicians Formula in case you were wondering....


My second bathroom essential is lotion. First, I am a mom with a kiddo kinda sorta still in diapers (almost done knock on wood) and I wash my hands A LOT an inordinate (sounds smarter) amount of times. Don't you hate it when you have dry, itchy hands? I do BIG TIME. Plus, I like to have a variety of smell good, foo-foo lotions. A girl needs variety, right?

Last, but certainly not least my third bathroom essential is....wait for it.....wait for it....a hair claw clip. These little buggers are great for getting my hair out of my face while I "prep my canvas" (ie face) with lotion and primer. Plus, I also use it when I am straightening my hair with the hand-dandy flat iron.


Okay, so you've heard mine....now it's your turn. What are your bathroom essentials?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Couponalicious: Mama Loves Coffee

Okay readers, I am super excited to share with you my latest adventure in couponing. I have swung a similiar deal like this one at Winn-Dixie before. What makes this deal different was that I used my last $5 off $30 Q! GASP, SHOCK, THE HORROR (too much?...Don't worry, I will be ordering more this afternoon)


Today, I did two transactions. I am so glad I checked the couponing pages this morning or I would have missed out on day one of this deal. Winn Dixie had all K-Cups on sale for $5.99 and they auto deducted $1 off each when you bought five. This is a good deal because most of the K-Cups run $8 plus for a box of 10-12 which is a little pricey. This is why I stock up people. Buy, Buy, Buy when the price is low, low, low!

Transaction #1: Buy 5 boxes (4) Starbucks and (1) New England.
Coupons used: $5/$30, (4) $1.50/1 SB Q, and $2/1 NE Q
Final Price: $12.26 OOP
Savings $38 (75% saved on transaction overall) 
Transaction #2: Buy 5 more boxes (4) Community Coffee and (1) New England
Coupons used: (2) $5/1 Community Q and (1) $2/1 NE Q
Final Price: 12.95 OOP
Savings $31 (70% saved on transaction overall) I totally would have saved more if I would have had another $5/30 Q. Kicking myself on that one.....
Overall, I am super excited to have my coffee stock pile back up. What makes this even better is that I got time to do it again! Nothing tastes better than good coffee at a super cheap price, right?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Change She Is A Coming

Exciting things are happening behind the scenes here at My Simple Significance. And by behind the scenes I mean me at home on my laptop scheming and planning. So pay attention or you will miss it!!!


Any guesses as to what is going down?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Weekly Wonderings & Musings 6/1/14

When this momma gets some time to herself to unwind sometime between 8:00 pm to 8:30 pm, I like  to read the latest blog posts from the bloggers I follow, waste time on Pinterest, read a little news or a book, and La-dee-da on Facebook. I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the highlights from my week.

Randomness

These pictures made me laugh out loud this week. You know, the silly,dumb, stupid kind of funny that lightens your load a little bit. 



Simple Moments Captured


Simply Lovin'

Skinny Cow Dark Chocolate Dream Clusters--OMG! They are DELICIOUS! They have been my go to chocolate fix here in the afternoons. Like most women, I appreciate a something sweet.

Grateful Wife 

This week I am grateful for my husband's health. He has been battling a yucky virus for the last two weeks or so and he is finally starting to feel better. There is nothing worse than feeling out of sorts while having to work and be a parent/spouse.

Also, I am grateful for the fact that we both share in the household chores. We had a long list of things to do this weekend. You know the normal things that need to be done mop the floors, clean the bathrooms etc. The kind of things that are very easy to put off because no one really wants to do those things, but it is very noticeable when you do. Yuck.

Significant Scripture Focus

Why is it so easy for "us" to loose faith at the slightest bump in the road? God is so amazing. I mean, he is there with us each and every step of our way out of love and devotion. Sometimes we try and walk by our sight and by worldly ideas and institutions only to find that that path is wrong. Any path without God is the wrong path. It takes conscious effort to keep your faith in the forefront of your heart, mind and soul. May I always remember to walk by faith each and everyday.