Sunday, April 29, 2012

First Pool Day :)

Today at 4pm it was still around 80 degrees out, so I thought it'd be a prime opportunity to pull out the inflatable kiddie pool we bought Krew. A nice temperature without the crazy midday sun rays. The water from the hose made the pool a bit too cold, but after adding two pots of nearly-boiling water from the stove (a trick I learned from my grandma - she used to do it for me when I was Krew's age!) he was happy as could be. And proceeded to spend the next two hours swimming around like a little fish. :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Edit Me Challenge - 2012 Week 17

Time for another Edit Me Challenge!

Here's this week's original photo:

And here is my edit:

First I reduced the exposure, brightness, and contrast in ACR, then imported the photo into photoshop. I then ran the My Four Hens action Superb and turned off the layer that converts the image to black and white. This is one of my favorite ways to edit photos - it was a photo tweak I randomly landed upon one day while just messing around, and I've used it a ton since then. After running the action and reducing the contrast a little, I added two color layers in soft light mode. One color was a pale pink at 20% opacity, the next was a dark gray-blue at 13% opacity. After that, I decided the image was a little dark, so I added a levels layer and moved the middle slider a bit to the left to brighten the midtones. I was careful not to brighten it too much, because I didn't want to lose the detail of the white flowers.

After that I cropped to remove the random flower at the bottom of the picture on the right, then resized, sharpened, added my watermark, and saved for web & devices.

As usual, head to to see the other edits. Or even bookmark the blog and join in next week! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ripped Off

We're in the process of putting the finishing touches on Krew's new room, such as wall hangings and organization. I decided we needed a fun place to store his stuffed animals up and off the floor, because he's acquired quite a few and they take up a lot of room.

I looked into several options online.  I considered the mesh stuffed animal hammocks that hang on the walls, using a wall planter (idea suggested in a magazine), and wire racks.  After some discussion with Dave, we decided to purchase the following mesh organizer:

Pretty cute, right? And at a (supposedly) decent price.  We thought it'd look great in an unoccupied corner of his room.  And with the way it's designed, he'll be able to get out and put away many of the stuffed animals on his own.

To my excitement, the product shipped that night and we received it two mornings later (today). Yay!

Opened it up, and was shocked when I saw this hanging off of it:

Um, excuse me?? IKEA???

So of course, me being me, I immediately rush to the IKEA website to see how badly I got ripped off.

Grrrrrrrrrr...seriously??? I paid two and a half times that!!

I rushed upstairs to Dave in an angry fit of disbelief, and he said he wasn't surprised about it, since it looked like an IKEA-type item. I said I was going to return it and he said, "Really? Is it worth the hassle?"

I could see his point. I'd have to ship it back to Amazon, wait until the next time we're in Charlotte, and then make a trip to IKEA. Not the most convenient plan. Is $8.00 worth that?

So I guess we'll probably keep it. Dave and I are equally frugally-minded, so if he supports just keeping it then I'll go along with it. But ooooooooooh does it irk me!!

Please tell me I'm not the only one who's fallen for a gimmick like this?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Candle Expressions

Tonight I was catching up on photos from the last two months (editing and uploading for family - I'm way behind!) when I came upon the following series of pictures.

I thought they were pretty cute.  So many expressions for such a simple thing as blowing out a candle. :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekend Recap

It was a busy weekend - but one that I truly enjoyed because it was filled with lots of quality time with people I love. :)

Friday was playgroup with friends, family dinner at Pei Wei (buy one get one free!), followed up by a free Blockbuster Express rental with the hubby (gotta love those free rental codes!).

Saturday morning was the SPCA Dog Walk in downtown Raleigh, which I participated in with my coworker/friend Maggie. It was a really neat experience. My pups had never been around so many unfamiliar dogs at once (there were supposedly about a thousand there, all walking around within about one square block) and for a bit I was worried they might both die from heart attacks because they were so excited. Eventually I think they just became overstimulated and from that point on just walked around in a calm state of shock. :) But no really, I think they had fun. I know I did.

The rest of Saturday was filled with another free Blockbuster Express rental with the hubby, some housework, dinner with friends at our house, and crafting of growth charts to hang on the wall for Krew and the new baby. (I'll have to show pictures later!) Today was lots of quality time with Dave and Krew - lunch at Qdoba (buy one get one free again...we really scored this weekend), shopping at Lowe's and Kid to Kid (where we snagged Krew some awesome Adidas sneakers), planting of our summer garden, a little organizing in the garage, moving the crib out of Krew's room (it's all "big boy" now!), and painting of a few items for the "big boy" room. (I'll have to do a "reveal" of the room when it's all done.) Oh, I finished off the already-jam-packed weekend with a trip to Target where I stocked up on groceries and found an awesome gray fabric ottoman/stool thing marked down from $49.99 to $14.99.

And that, my friends, was my weekend. Very busy and fun filled.

How was yours?? :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Edit Me Challenge: 2012 Week 16

Edit Me

It's my third week in a row for participating in the Edit Me Challenge! Go me! :)

Below is the original photo this week:

And below is my edit:

First I pulled the image into ACR (Camera Raw). I added fill light to brighten the shadows, then lowered the overall exposure of the image. I also used the noise reduction in ACR to remove any noise.

I then took the image into Photoshop and applied a texture (Brownie Mix from Chasing Dreams).  I wasn't sure exactly where I was going with the texture, but ended up really liking the effect it had on the image.  I tweaked the opacity, masking, and saturation of the texture to my liking using Florabella's Texture Action.  I then applied a levels adjustment to give the image a bit more pop, pulling the blacks arrow toward the right and pushing the grays arrow a bit toward the left and putting it on overlay mode at 20% opacity.

After that I resized for web, sharpened, applied my watermark, and saved for web & devices.

Be sure to check out the other edits at!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Witto Boy Outside

Dear Witto Boy,

We've had a lot of nice evenings lately, and it's been so wonderful. Because boy oh boy do you love being outside.

You love to climb through the mulch and bushes, and stare down the neighbors who live behind us.

You love to run, run, run in circles and yell, "KREW RUNNING!!!"

Usually at some point while you're outside, you take off your shoes. You always seem happier without them, even when you're running through the itchy grass or stepping in the rough mulch.

You enjoy doing all kinds of cute little boy things, like playing with your dump truck, filling it with grass, dumping it out, and starting all over again.

Tonight you even decided you wanted to find a way to ride your dump truck.

You also pulled every leaf off a dead branch with great focus and determination.

Every time you're outside for long in the heat, even if it's only warm, your cheeks turn bright red like they're burnt. It's fooled me into thinking you were sunburnt when you weren't more than once.

Little Crouton, I love following you around outside, watching your little mind and body work. I hope you never lose your love for the outside, because your momma here sure loves it too. I'd rather be outside trimming bushes and mowing grass than doing dishes anyday. You are so fascinating to me!  I cannot wait to watch you grow in the days, months, and years to come.

And by the way, I think you're the most adorable thing ever. :)

Your Momma