Friday, June 26, 2015

Cousin Photography Fun

I was recently contacted by a former student about doing to pictures for her grandmother. Of course, I was thrilled! The photo shoot took place this week after a little planning and setting it up on both ends.

The weather was perfect, the farm setting was lovely and my models/clients were super sweet!

This was the  first picture I posted on my Facebook page as a sneak peek. I love how it looks in both color and B&W. What do you think?

I haven't gotten far into the editing of this session yet because I have been busy with Little Miss activities, but when I came across this picture of Miss Savannah I gave myself a mental high five because I think this one came out beautifully. I mean come on...those eyes!?

Some more photos that I am loving because of beautiful colors. I did a little color boost in PSE.

I've got more photos to edit and I am sure I will stumble across another favorite or two....or three. What a beautiful family for sure! You could feel the love and playfulness. And I think that will come out in their photos!

{Project 365} Day 178: Sky

Day 178: Sky

I took this picture standing in my doorway a while back. I am reposting for the project. Don't you love the beauty of nature?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

{Project 365} Day 175: Favorite Time of Day

Day 175: My morning cup of coffee.

Side note: I do not drink four cups of coffee in the morning. My Hubby does and this is actually his picture. I was totally going to take a picture of this setup, but he beat me to it!

{30 Before 30} The List Updated

  1. Go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal studies
  2. Drink butter beer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  3. Take a family vacation
  4. Take another photography class
  5. Enter a photography contest
  6. Have a girls night at Painting with a Twist
  7. Finish painting and decorating the home office and bathrooms
  8. Go to a fancy makeup store and learn how to do my makeup better.
  9. Eat at a restaurant featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives
  10. Take daughter to Disney World
  11. Family trip to go see  and play in snow. Do you want to build a snowman?
  12. Meet a celebrity TV/Movie
  13. Attend an event which requires a fancy dress
  14. Drink champagne
  15. Have a staycation at the Gaylord Palms Resort
  16. Go to the shooting range with The Hubs (a first for me and he would love it)
  17. Go to a sporting event with a sports enthusiast (more fun)
  18. Make a Vlog Post
  19. Meet an author of a book I have read
  20. Go to a blog conference
  21. Maybe get another dog. I think I would like a Corgi.
  22. Eat a food that I've never eaten before
  23. Do a girls weekend away maybe at the beach
  24. Go back to the place where the Hubs and I went on our honeymoon for a little getaway.
  25. Stay out late with friends just talking and hanging without getting tired before 12 am!
  26. Ride in a limo
  27. Go to a comedy club for the first time (not vulgar though)
  28. Pay for a strangers meal in a random act of kindness
  29. Do something brave
  30. Participate in a good book club or bible study

 How am I doing so far friends? I don't know if I can realistically do all these, but I reserved the right to edit at anytime and trade out an idea. Anyone want to help a sister out and do something off the list? Let me know LOL!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

{30 Before 30} Family Vacation

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite photos from our family vacation this year. Our first family vacation by the way! We spent a lovely time at the beach. It was Little Miss' first time and she was a little nervous at first, but slowly came around to exploring and having fun. 

I'll tell you what...we rented a house instead of a hotel and it was FAN-FLIPPING-TASTIC!! I don't think I'll want to be in a hotel for an extended stay if I can prevent it. I did over pack in regards to food and I didn't wear a stitch of makeup. 

We ate at a lovely seafood restaurant overlooking the beach. Everyone of us cleared our plate without complaint. For the Hubs, that is a big deal because he doesn't "trust" new restaurants that often. 

I am happy that we made the effort to go and get out the house. To break our boring everyday routine with a new adventure. 

For more posts on my 30 before 30 check these out: the wizard world,  painting and buying a new dogbible studies, or my valentine's day adventure

Sunday, June 21, 2015

{Project 365} Day 166: Special Friends & Bowling

Prompt: Special Friends of #thebethadillychallenge f/4, 1/100s, ISO 3200, 55-250@70mm

Since I am on summer break, I want Little Miss and I to be out and about having fun. A couple days ago, I took her bowling for the first time. She was reluctant at first and was scared. She is not the best at trying new things or being in new places.

Eventually she calmed down and was able to be coaxed to play with a little help from her friend.

I am so proud of my little girl when she decides to be brave. We all get scared from time to time, but when we traverse through the little fears we can have a lot of fun.

Monday, June 8, 2015

{Project 365} Day 155: Means A Lot

{155|365} I went to the park today with my favorite kiddo. It means a lot to me that I get to spend summers with her. this is my favorite picture of the day! I really like the light. 50mm, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 100

{30 Before 30} The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Do you know want to know where I stand on my 30 before 30? It's been a while since I written anything let alone given an update big to do list. For those of you just tuning in this all started with this post right before my 29th birthday day. There were even a few blog posts as I crossed items off my list like  painting and buying a new dogbible studies, or my valentine's day adventure.

My most recent cross off was my trip to......well, you can see by the title where I went! LOL
  1. Go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal studies
  2. Drink butter beer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
One of the things that I was really jazzed about was the fact that this trip was free because I chaperoned a school field trip. Yea for a free ticket. The down side was this school function was Grad Bash and I would need to stay awake until 4:30 am!! I am not a up all nighter. I am more of an in bed and going to sleep between 9:30  to 10 pm!! But the draw of Harry Potter superseded my need for sleep because I HAD TO GO. I was like my pilgrimage to Potterhead Mecca!!

Can you see the utter excitement in my eyes?

I was so thrilled to be hanging with and be shown around by the fellow nerd, Amy! Only a true fan can appreciate the excitement with a first timer like me. We were basically joined at the hip the entire night in Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley.

We rode the new Hogwarts Express together which was pretty cool. We didn't know there was an additional show on the train going to Diagon Alley. Oh, well. Next time I'll see it!
Hogsmeade village was absolutely breath taking in both the day light and at night! I really wish I could have brought my DSLR to capture better photos, but I didn't want to lug it around all night (literally).

Amy and I were not huge ride people, but we did do the ride in the castle. It was a little intense with the jerking about and twisting. I am glad we didn't ride it on a fuller stomach!
As chaperones, we got to skip the student lines and go through the fast pass lanes! How awesome is that? I felt very important and I really liked the fact the Universal didn't seem "packed" like it would be on a normal visiting day. Another bonus.

I bought a swanky new shirt and a chocolate frog! Side note, the frog was $12! Very pricey for a block of chocolate. I kind of wish it would have been hollow and a little cheaper, but it was all about enjoying the experience.

In the battle of regular or frozen butter beer, I have to say I am on the side of frozen! It was delicious! If I go back to WWOHP, I won't even get the regular stuff.
Perhaps, my experience was a little tainted by the fact the regular butter beer was flat. Boo.

The newest part of the WWOHP is Diagon Alley. I think one of the coolest part of this area was the Gringotts Dragon. It looked amazing! The dragon breathed fire every 10 minutes and even though you are perfectly safe in regards to distance, you can definitely feel the heat from this bad boy! It's looked magically terrifying at night. It was also funny to see people's reaction who got caught off guard by the fire breathing.

One of things I wish I would have known about was the wand features! I will be taking part in this next time. You see, when you buy a wand at the park, they give you a map and instructions on where you can go to "make magic happen" with your wand. My nerdy senses were tingling on that one Granted, wands are a little pricey ranging from $25 to $35 so you have to willing to pay!

As the night went on to the wee hours of the morning, so did our energy level. I mean, we worked all day and then left from school to head to Orlando. A couple other chaperones, some random students, and us just chilled on this stoop12 Grimmauld Place, the last little bit of the night until the gates were opened to load up the buses.
If you waited around long enough looking at the window, you would see Kreacher, the house elf, peaking out the window. It was a little creepy!

All in all it was a great experience besides the sleep deprivation! I am so happy to have been asked to go. I really felt like my 30 Before 30 list was a strong motivator to say yes to experiences like this one rather than my usual ho-hum nights.

I will conclude this blog post with a most fitting quote:

What's next off my 30 before 30 bucket list? Family vacation.....stay tuned.

Monday, June 1, 2015

{Project 365} Day 151

Even though I haven't been sharing daily like I should....I have been thinking about and in a perpetual state of catch up on my 365 project. Here are the latest contribution the challenge based on #thebethadillychallenge photo prompts.

Prompt: Basket 50mm, f/1.8, 1/60s, ISO 1000
This is a picture of the crap catch basket on my counter!

Goodbye Graduates 2015

It has been another successful school year for this high school teacher. It was not without its stresses and challenges. I mean, I assumed the role of department chair where I worked with two new teachers who eventually chose to leave us for other schools. My co-worker had her first baby and I wanted to make sure her students and grades were taken care of because I know what it is like to "worry" about your classes while on maternity leave. As a school, we dealt with end of course and end of year exams which were a disaster because they were poorly made. Did I mention that these tests are tied to teacher evaluations? Yea. SUPER FUN!?!?

However, this post is not about ranting about the hassles and woes of teaching. This is a reflection on my year with my graduating seniors. For the last five years, I have presented the "Psychology Award" at the senior award ceremony which usually starts with a speech written by yours truly. Here is the one I wrote last year. I always look forward to my closing remarks to my students, It is a bitter sweet moment.

Here is my 2015 speech:

In honor of this year's graduating class, I will keep this speech short and sweet. And to further emulate the class of 2015, I will have you know that I wrote this speech about an hour ago! #truestory #thestruggleisreal

No matter how you are feeling about graduation: relieved, unsure, or just grateful to be here; I hope that you take time to savor the moment because all too soon  your next chapter will begin whether you are ready or not.

Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life! Tip toe if must, but take the step. Growth can be painful. Change can be uncomfortable, but nothing is as painful and uncomfortable as staying stuck somewhere you don't belong and that leaves you unhappy and with "what ifs." So choose wisely and learn from your choices and grow from any mistakes you make along the way.

Now that the sentimentality is out of the way--it is my pleasure to recognize the psychology and sociology volunteer of the year. This young lady maintained highest marks all year long while working, dual enrolling and helping manage the boy's soccer team. I can not imagine this year without her. I would like to recognize. Miss CJ!!

There were some hugs and tears and an epic on stage selfie!! Yea I am that teacher!

Thanks for all the memories Class of 2015! It was real...sometimes a real struggles and other times a real blast! Until we meet again.