Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mums, Pumpkins, Wreath & Pillows, Oh My!

A glimpse of my Fall porch. Pumpkins and mums are from my happy place, the Farmers Market.

Wreath and pillows are handmade by yours truly.

We just went apple/pumpkin picking this past Monday so I'll update later with my gorgeous pumpkin finds. Or rather, my hubbies, as he always hunts and finds the best ones for me.

It's how I know he loves me. :]

Black and White Photography

I've always loved it. I think it conveys so much emotion.

Here is a recent photo I converted. The before is straight from the camera with no touch ups.

I am in love with the after.

Which do you prefer? Color or B&W?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Birthday Cards

August is a very busy month for our family. Four birthdays, including mine. It seems this year was even busier, and so, I ran out of time to make 'different' cards. But I did manage to create them color specific. And they enjoyed them. This is a new favorite design for me and I see many more of these in my future. Maybe you will to?

What is your favorite card to receive, handmade or store bought? {I do love me some Papyrus}

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

1st Birthday {Sneak Peek}

A certain little red-headed beauty celebrated her 1st birthday this past weekend.

I seriously can't believe that a year has passed since I brought home my tiny 3lb bundle.

Here is a sneak peek into her day. We had 25 kids there. So, as soon as I recoup from that, I'll have the full party details posted.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

I am not one for being creative in the kitchen. I can cook, I can follow a recipe, I can bake. And I can make it all taste yummy. But, I don't go in the kitchen, excited to create something out of the few things I may have on hand. That's the hubby's department.

I'm not really sure what triggered my desire to attempt a meal sans recipe, maybe it was the Fat Tire, maybe it was my complete and total aversion to cleaning. Either way, I found myself in the kitchen creating a meal out of the few things I had on hand.

 Surprisingly, it turned out fantastic! It was such a hit and my family devoured the entire dish.  So, here I am, sharing my recipe with you. The measurements are approximate, as I didn't measure a thing.  Enjoy. And tell me what you think if you try your hand at it.


1lb Ground Turkey
2 Tbl Butter
1 large Green Pepper {diced}
1 small Yellow Onion {diced}
2.5 cups Cooked White Rice
2.5 cups Colby Jack Cheese {shredded} Reserving .5 cup for topping
1 Tbl Fresh Basil
1 tsp Fresh Rosemary
1 Tbl Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce
1 can Tomato Sauce

In a medium frying pan, saute green pepper in butter. Just before peppers are done add chopped onion, saute till transparent.
Brown ground turkey in separate pan. Drain, return to pan, and add Worcestershire sauce, fresh basil. fresh rosemary, and italian seasoning. Simmer for approx 5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl place the meat mixture and rice. Stir the rice in with the meat and add tomato sauce. Mix that in, then add salt, garlic powder, and 2 cups of cheese.
Spread mixture in a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle pepper on top, to taste. Spread remaining cheese on top and place in 350 preheated oven, uncovered, for approx 30 minutes.

If you make the recipe and share it, please give credit where credit is due. Also, I would love to hear about your experience. Or what you would do differently. Remember, I don't claim to be an amazing creative cook. But this recipe was loved by my kiddos and hubby. And that is a true success right there!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Aologia Live

Apologia is in my hometown March 9-10. So excited!!

Tickets are $115. But if you want a chance to win one, The Thrifty Mama is giving one away. She also has some materials from Apologia for the winner as well. Giveaway ends tomorrow, so hurry and enter...or me better odds! :]

Enter giveaway at The Thrifty Mama.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Easy Photo Tutorial::Rewarding Results

I wanted to share with you my first go-to actions when editing my pictures. People always ask how I change these things and I figured it would just be easier if I showed you. Please note, I am no Photoshop guru, or photography editing specialist. I am not a pro. I just make some simple adjustments to my pictures until I like the way it looks.

I shoot all of my pictures in RAW, which I suggest. If your camera has the capability, do it. It gives you the most control over edits. Basically, RAW is like the film negative. Once you make your edits and adjustments, it's then converted to jpg. P.S. I'm still learning my camera :]

Below you can see a photo (click photo to enlarge) I took of my lil squishy in the bright snowy daylight. Part of it is washed out and her face is in so much shadow, there's not a lot of depth and there are no blacks. I want this picture to be defined with depth, detail and shadow, while getting rid of the shadows on her face.

 There are three things I always do first to a photo. I work in CS5 {hubby is a graphic designer, and an awesome one at that} so I get spoiled with the latest software. But these edits can be done in any version of PS, including Elements. If there are technical terms for all of this, I apologize in advance for not using them. Again, I just play around until I like it...because I am too impatient to wait for my hubby to teach me.

First, I change my white balance. You can see that I put it on custom. I feel I get a better start from there than trying to adjust it from say, the cloudy setting etc. In this setting I can adjust the temperature (warm/cool-blue/red) and the tint (color).

The original was actually a little warm for where I wanted to take the photo, so I just moved the temp slider closer to the blue and that took some of the red out. Next I just barely adjusted the tint, it was a little blue and I wanted the color to be bumped up just slightly to a natural flesh pink.

Once I have those two steps where I want them, I move on to my exposure. Bringing my exposure up or down will effect the brightness of the photo. This was already pretty bright due to the glare from the snow, but I actually liked it. I didn't feel the need to adjust it on this particular picture, but usually I do. I find it helps to bring the exposure up slightly when I want a lot of detail in the face.

 (Click photo to enlarge)

So there you have it, my 3 "go-to" steps. I almost always do these three edits on all of my pictures before really getting into the edit.

Once I have completed my go-to steps, then I can get funky! I love to enhance the eyes, details in the face, blur the background and change the feel the photo. Most of the time I use Actions for that. Hmm, maybe I'll make another tutorial with actions...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Six Months

I can't believe six months have gone by already. I still feel like I am adjusting to life with a "newborn". People say that it's the third child that makes or breaks you. When Super Hero asks if I want any more, I say "Bring it!". Guess it didn't break me.

Just six short months ago we brought home this little bundle.

And now here she is, all sweet {almost 20lbs} of her! 20 lbs people! You should see those thighs!! No one believes me when I tell them she was 6 weeks premature. She sure doesn't look it.

Yes, she is a red head, and no, she doesn't look like me. But she sure is high maintenance. Super Hero says that's how he knows she's mine for sure!