Friday, July 25, 2014

Business Card Bad Luck

I have had bad luck with business cards. Does that make sense? A little confused?

Let me explain.....

There have been three times in my adult life when I have requested or issued business cards. The first time was when I started teaching and my email address was printed incorrectly. The second time was right before I left for summer break this year. I finally requested new ones after the email email misprint. (Yes, I know I could have done this much earlier, it just wasn't on my list of priorities.) Well wouldn't you know if my title/subject area was mislabeled. The card says I teach science. I do not teach science. I teach social science (aka social studies). I will definitely be sending these little boogers back to the print shop ASAP. I know it was probably a simple mistake and not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but is it so much to ask to have my work card correct? I am proud of what I do. I am a professional and I want to be able to distribute a nice card at parent teacher conferences or professional developments. 

On to business card number three. Recently Vistaprint did their semi annual sale when they slashed prices 50%! So when prices are that great, I decided it might be a good idea to make a business card for my photography. While I don't consider my hobby a true business yet, I know that if I plan to continue to build a portfolio and client base I'll need something to promote and distribute to clients and potential clients. 

Here's the cards I got:

They are simple just how I like it. I triple checked that there was no errors. If there were the responsibility would be mine. I ordered 500 for less than $15 which includes shipping. I am secretly looking forward to giving away my first card. It's the little things right? 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Freak Accident: Shower Curtain Ring

I am not sure how to start this post. We are still dealing with this one and I am not sure how it is going to end.  All I know it is terribly inconvenient, extremely gross and frustrating and I can't believe this happened.

So last night, I was using the guest bathroom because it was closet to the living room and after I flushed I moved the shower curtain which was tucked behind the toilet. As I positioned the curtain back in the tub, one of the chowder curtain hooks fell into the toilet as it was flushing and got washed down the drain!!

It happened so fast I didn't have time to really react. The water just washed it down the pipe. I mean it was a metal shower curtain hook. Why didn't it just stay in the bowl? It's not like I flushed it knowing  it would stay in the bowl. The flush was already in progress!

I feel so guilty!!
If only I would have gone to the other bathroom....
If only I would have left the curtain alone......
If only I would have flushed a little later......
If only I would have thrust my hand into the water maybe I would have snagged it.....

The Hubby was in the other room and all he heard was me squeal, "oh no!" Over, and over.

So now the Hubby is left with the task of trying to find it because it can cause and I quote, "unknown damage to our plumbing and plumbers was too 'effing expensive!'"

Tempers and frustrations flare out of fear and frustration. I feel helpless because I am not much of a help so I fetch whatever he needs and hold whatever he tells me to.

At this point, the guest bathroom toilet is disassembled completely. He is going to purchase another snake tool and than if he is still unsuccessful and finally out of options, he or I should say we are going to have to call and make arrangements for someone to come out to work on our "ticking time bomb."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Engagement Photo Shoot: Sam & Katie

Last week I did my first ever engagement photo shoot. This photo shoot was for the winner of my Facebook 100 likes contest. One of the cool things about the winner was that she was a former student! They grow up so fast....sniff.

Prepping for the session was simple: Pinterest and Painting. Of course, I have a Pinterest board for ideas and inspiration called Before I Do. (insert big smile) I suppose as I get more experience I will use this less and less, but for now I love it!

Katie and Sam were great to work with as a newbie photographer. They were patient, understanding and open to suggestion. It makes such a difference when the "models" are comfortable. You can see it in the pictures. 

I recently upgraded to Photoshop Elements 12 so I looked forward to working in the program with these pictures. Side note: I love the open in camera raw option because it makes editing some much quicker. Additionally, I downloaded some Photoshop Actions from TheCoffeeShopBlog that I was itching to try out! 

Here are a few of my favorites from the session: 

So what do you think? I think they turned out great, but I am biased of course. I am delivering the gallery DVD today to Katie. I hope she loves it and blasts it all over her Facebook!

To the happy couple, I wish all the best in these last few months leading up to your wedding. My God bless you both and your marriage. I leave you with this advice:

Rant: Kids In The Car

I am sick and tired of hearing about how parents have left their small child in a hot car saying they forgot or didn't want to wake them up. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?! Please note, I am referring to the long periods of time/neglect not the 30 seconds to grab the mail or something to that effect. There is a difference.

First of all, I am having a hard time conceptualizing the idea of "forgetting" there is a kid in my car. I can see the car seat in my mirror and the odds are that I put the child in the car.....Not to mention the fact or process of giving birth is pretty hard to forget.  Why is I forgot "your"excuse? No one can be in that much of a hurry or "out of routine.

Just recently here in Florida a woman was charged with neglect, endangerment etc because she left her 19 month old sleeping in the car (the car was running with the air on low) for 40 minutes while she shopped at Target. SERIOUSLY?! A stranger came across the crying child in the car after he or she woke up alone in the car and was crying. Kudos to the stranger for intervening and calling the authorities. Lady, if you couldn't wake your kid up to go shopping YOU DON'T NEED TO GO SHOPPING! I don't care how more convenient it is--suck it up. Or better yet, make plans for the child to be with a sitter, spouse or family member! A child's safety should never come second to shopping!

Where is the common sense? Where is the parental responsibility? SMH.

I know I shouldn't be judging, but it hurts my heart and pisses me off when kids get hurt especially when it could have been easily avoided.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Summer Bucket List Update

I am really proud of all the little things I have "accomplished" (I do use that loosely) on my bucket list this summer.
  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!) 
It's been nice to have little goals here and there for my summer. There are points on my break that I get bored...stir crazy even. At a recent family get together, someone flat out told me I have too much time on my hands. I laughed because it is the opposite in fact because I like to stay a little occupied and not lackadaisical.  

I am grateful for the the time I get with my daughter, but it's nice to have some me time and adult like activities to look forward to. Throughout the summer, I do make plans for me and Little Miss so it's kind of like our mini bucket list. 

So what are my plans to finish more of my list? I think I will save the hair cut and color for closer to the end of summer when I have to go back to work. In order to go the movies with the Hubs, we have to agree on a movie to see and plan for babysitting. Any volunteers? 

I am not sure if I am going to finish book number three on my summer reading list. It has some really weird parts that kind of weird me out a little bit. I'll give it a little longer. I am not one to NOT FINISH a book.

Unfortunately, I don't see the personalized office space and gallery wall happening anytime soon. Maybe that's because those projects take more effort? Perhaps. Maybe these projects are ones I can phone a friend on....make it more fun and a lot more motivating.

Well I think that is all for now. My laptop battery is getting low and I need to get my butt off the couch.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Family Outing Hassles and Hangups

Do to ever feel like a big "fuddy-duddy" hermit who never really feels like going anywhere?  Yeah, as slightly shameful as it is to admit we've got that problem.

Th Hubs and I can come up with a list of excuses or be uninspired when it comes to choosing what to do:

  1. That's too long of a drive.
  2. Too hot (Florida problems)
  3. Too crowded (sorry you won't catch us at Disney world anytime soon)
  4. Too expensive
  5. Too late in the day
  6.  I don't think she's (Little Miss) is old enough for that yet.

Eventually, someone gets mad and we scrap the entire idea and are left with nothing to do, but stew about how we have nothing to do at home. Do you see the pattern? It's a rather sad and frustrating experience especially since we have a small family of three. You would think we would be a lot more flexible. I don't think we're horrible for not wanting to run ourselves ragged. I mean, we both work full time and with an energetic 2.5 year old; we have to be able to have fun and function.

One of this things I have tried doing this summer is to make a list of activities and places I would like to go to and we try and make it happen. Other times, it's more spur of the moment. Both of the options work when we are willing (that's the key isn't it?)

One of the spur of the moment outings we recently did was going to Build-A-Bear and a petting zoo. Build-A-Bear was cute, but very expensive! She very much wanted shoes and skates for Twilight Sparkles, but it would have been another $60 +. We told her next time. She's still hasn't forgotten that promise yet!
 She knew immediately which animal she wanted! That's my girl.
 The Build A Bear experience was cute. The employees made it fun and so interactive.
 Daddy absolutely loves places and outings like this one. Can't you tell?
Little Miss couldn't stop talking about how much she loved her new pony. As big as it is, she's slept with it every night. She has a menagerie of animals in her little toddler bed.

Here are a couple quick shots from the farm. She loved feeding the animals! She would feed them one piece at a time. It was cute.

I suppose the "moral" of this story for us is to stop talking about it and just do it because we had fun each time. Sometimes we must overlook the hassles to make the memories.

Another Simple Moment: At The Farm

{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
"At The Farm"

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Newbie Photographer Wishlist Update 3

In April, I shared my original  "wishlist" of things I would like for my photography hobby and the first update. A girl can dream. right? Yes. A girl can splurge, right? Absolutely! Did I? Maybe a little.

Here is the original list stands presently:
  1. A new lens up to 250-300 mm for distance and eventually maybe a macro lens
  2. Lens Brush for cleaning 
  3. Clear filter cap for lens
  4. Kelly Moore camera bag (or a large Michael Kors bag)
  5. Photoshop elements or lightroom
  6. Take a class or have time to learn editing in above programs
  7. A personalized or decorative camera strap from Etsy. 
I am a list person and it warms my hear to see this list almost complete. It's not bittersweet because it is just the beginning.

Last week, the hubby "convinced" me to get get a nice camera bag. It wasn't the $250 Kelly Moore I was drooling over; Instead, it was an Epiphanie which was also recommended to me at my Mom-a-razzi, but in all honesty I forgot about it. What makes this purchase so exciting was that this company was having a 50% off flash sale and I got this beautiful Lola bag half off! Now, that's my kind of bargain!

My next bargain came from Amazon. As you know, I have been learning (or attempting to learn) photo editing on GIMP 2.8. I have been eyeing Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 for a couple weeks now, but I still wasn't able to pull the trigger and make the purchase. They wanted $79.99 and I wasn't feeling that price. Well, I checked this listing yesterday and my jaw dropped when I saw the price was $59.99!
So what is a girl to do? This price won't last forever. I have been watching tutorials and I have been loving the features. Plus, I have already scheduled my photo shop class. Just do it....I told myself. So I did. It will arrive early this week just in time for my class.

On a side note, I have lined up more photo shoots! How exciting! I did a contest on my blog Facebook page and a former student won a free 1 hour session. She is going to do an engagement session. In addition to the freebie session, a co worker of mine is talking to me about doing some of her engagement/save the date pictures. I am honored and blessed to have the opportunities to grow and capture their love. 

Another Simple Moment: Light Up the Sky

{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
"Light Up the Sky"