Wednesday, March 31, 2010
For you non-photographers, a shootsac is this divine invention that makes it easy to switch lenses and carry your essential gear when out on a shoot. I typically use only two lenses, but I like to have an extra memory stick handy and my substitute battery pack. I've been drooling over this bag for about a year now. At $180, though, it wasn't in my budget. I secretly hoped Santa would bring me one for Christmas, especially since they had an incredible sale, but alas, no shootsac was under the tree.
This wedding season has us faced with 3 weddings and multiple portrait sessions. We are very grateful that our little business venture is growing. (We are so very blessed by your support!) We have a couple of camera bags, but neither of them is very convenient for switching lenses. The other day, when we were shopping at Office Max, I found this neoprene lunch sac on sale for around $10. It was the perfect size since I don't, yet, have the large momma-lens (another piece of glass I'm coveting). I made up a sketch in my brain and came up with this.
I'd purchased 2 yards of the belted fabric and 2 packages of the hinged clips. I used a 40% off coupon at JoAnns, so that purchase totalled to $15. Because I didn't have the adjuster hardware (the thing you can use to shorten or lengthen the strap), I measured the bag to act like a messenger bag for my body and stitched at the base of the hardware and again where the strap ended. Afterwards, I sewed a stitch slightly off-center from the middle and another at the base to make it a flatter bag. The excess fabric from the base actually adds additional padding to the bottom of the bag, which I really like.
Here I am wearing/modeling it. You can see that it easily fits the two lenses I use the most.
Finally, this is the homemade pizza that Primo made for us. It is resting on the Cookie Monkey plate, which is totally festive. And the other day when we were at Il Cane Rosso, we learned that the crust is also known as pizza bones. Isn't that fun? Yes, and this pizza is every bit as delicious as it looks!
- The diapers are delivered to my house when I choose.
- There's no tax on the diapers.
- They are cheaper on Amazon.
- Sign up with Subscribe and Save and they are even less expensive.
- Free shipping!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Anyway, I really liked it and if it's been a long while since you've been in front of the camera, I highly recommend it!
Thanks again Danika, Rego, Stacey, Mandi, and everyone else at Fresh Focus Point Photography, including the make-up artists, Cassie and Jerry!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
This is a mini series put out by HBO. I knew Don would really enjoy this mini series since the key players were ancestors of his (John Adams and John Quincy Adams). Interestingly enough, there were parts where Paul Giamatti isn't donning the wig and he sports a bald head and there are some very distinct features that they share. I understand they tried to be as accurate as possible. Don and I both conjectured which dialogue/actions are accurate and which are based on letters exchanged over the time. It is definitely a fun history lesson to watch for all of those who didn't pay attention in History class. The only disappointing thing I can say is that I didn't like the costumes as much as I wanted to. Definitely worth the rental! And both Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney's performances are incredible. BTW, Linda, if you are reading this, that Thomas Jefferson is quite a looker! Rating: Full dose of nyquil...cherry flavored.
RUN, don't walk to buy this book. If you are near me and want to borrow it, first one to call dibs is welcome to borrow my copy. I INHALED this novel in the course of a sickly weekend, more than half of it in one afternoon. Kathryn has such a way of adding such vibrant colors to her characters, you can see the key players walking around in front of you. I heard about this book from The Daily Lit's weekly newsletter. They had sent an excerpt which I gobbled up immediately. My absolute favorite thing about this book is the author's final note about why she wrote the novel. Indeed it added a personal touch! So what is the book about? Well, it is told in 3 different perspectives, with one chapter told in omniscient voice. Each of their voices ring loud and clear. I found myself hooked at the end of the chapter and wanting to fast forward to the next part to read more about what would happen. It all flowed rather nicely, though, and I was lucky to see the different perspectives. I found myself being more compassionate, pausing to analyze different perspectives of those around me. If you read this, maybe we can have a virtual book club in April, if you are interested. Let me know! I rate this a double shot of cough syrup with codeine and a healthy side of amoxicillin!
have a great week!
*By the way, check out my photo blog to see some awesome before and afters from the photo shoot this past weekend!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
When life gets in the mix, and you are too young to realize the gifts you've been given, you often take for granted your treasures, your friendships. I'm so very thankful for the advent of social networking sites that have allowed me to reconnect to friends whose names I haven't heard in years. I really enjoy seeing those names flash along the screen and instantly remember really, really great times. The inside jokes we'd share, the unified antipathy held for certain Biology teachers, the piercing smell of a freshly finished coat on a gym floor, endless laughter, slumber parties, bouncy rubber gym floors, homemade birthday cakes, Ms. Attel & Mrs. Oliva, writing and writing, and writing, the beginnings of finding my voice. The memories...so very many wonderful memories. And the heartache I felt when I left. The pangs I felt every time I went to visit, only to know I was a visitor. But he kept me centered and in the loop when I pushed her out. Eternal gratitude for that, honey! I love you My Michael!
That first year after I'd left, my parents surprised me at Spring Break. I'd just gotten back from an early morning track meet, grumpy that I was forced to not only clean my room, but get up ridiculously early. I remember the moment. I walked into my room, and lazily threw my bag on the floor, and noticed a bag unfamiliar to me. I glanced around and there she was. My entire body shook and exploded with happy laughter, squeals, and lots of tears. We shared an entire week together, catching up on secrets, making a home video, taking photos, and making up for lost time. I missed her....I miss her, now.
It still hurts to drive through certain parts Lewisville because I see her face. I remember that corner where we would meet "halfway" except it wasn't halfway, really. Or that alley where we hid after we'd snuck out to go toilet paper someone's house, but then later chickened out. Left with two eggs and a big roll of toilet paper, she bravely aimed and launched her egg. It cracked squarely in the middle of the stop sign. I clumsily dropped mine on the concrete. She was always an excellent aim. The next day, they were both cooked and we had a good laugh about it.
The other day, after having a giggle fit with Mari, she snorted. I laughed even more because it reminded me so much of her. I wanted to call her to tell her. But I just looked up to the sky and gave thanks for having had the opportunity to know her. Anita's laugh was truly infectious. :)
For those of you friends who are reading this and you were a part of my life then, thank you for your friendship! And for all of my friends now, thank you. You mean so much to me and I'm truly grateful to have each of you in my life.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
- additional images
rss feed for blog and connect twitter
- email signature
presentation Alice in Wonderland Grocery Shopping
- Special Surprise for Destinee (started)
Evite for Pearl Trunk Show
- Bought running shoes
- Ikea trip for organizing essentials and bought a new wall lamp for Mari
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Anyway, tomorrow, I'm taking a vacation day to spend time with Don. We have a whole lotta stuff planned out. So much that we have each written a list with very attainable goals that will be met. Is it ok that I thoroughly enjoyed making my list because I used my brand new purple Pentel EnerGel Medium Tip pen. Oooh...smooth!
Here's my list:
- additional images
- rss feed for blog and connect twitter
- email signature
- Alice in Wonderland
- Grocery Shopping
- Special Surprise for Destinee
- Evite for Pearl Trunk Show
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Today, I went to see my nephew play lacrosse. They won by a technicality, but the game itself was their most difficult game this year. The final score was 9 - 1, and my nephew was pretty down that they had that many points scored on him. My heart felt for him, but it was ok. He really loved his new shirt that his Nino sent him. An official practice t-shirt for Navy Lacrosse. He proudly wore it.
Afterwards, we headed to Ikea to get some stuff to organize the mess that has overcome our dining room. I got enough boxes to store all of my fabrics (thanks Sivje for the organization inspiration and Sarah for posting amazing eye candy at La Maison Boheme!). My small craft space is actually starting to see some daylight and I'm so very excited to see the shelfs in awesome use. Also, I'm glad I'm utilizing my table in the dining room. It actually looks pretty darn good.
Later, we headed to Market Street to check out their wedding expo. I tried some cake, chocolate covered strawberries, some nasty champagne, and a few amazing dips. Ooooh, I love you smoked gouda pimento dip. I shall visit you again soon!
When I got home, I was ready to take a nap, but I fought the sleepies to stay awake so I could get my football fix. We have a buddy who plays for a minor league team and he invited us out to play. Well, 10 minutes before I left and Mari decided to get full on Mari. She was bouncing off of the walls! She was into everything, refusing to nap. Moments later, our HOA vice president came over and we had some catching up to do before the meeting in a couple of weeks. Well, an hour had already passed and the time I had allotted to go to the game had long since been passed. Same goes with the nap I had planned on taking.
So I picked up the pieces and got to work. Luckily, my prima helped me with the organization! I'm feeling so much happier with it, seriously. Tomorrow, my sister will run her first triathlon for the season. I hope to run 3 - 4 miles. The bigger goal being to get new running shoes and load up the content on my new project: 13b.foto.
Here's the official announcement that I'm a professional photographer. I guess you can say I've been pro for a few years, but I'm finally legit, or feeling more legit. Business cards are on their way. Website is slowly getting populated (13bfoto.com). Twitter and Facebook presence is up. Photo promotions are in the works, and I am not only open for business but have clients. It is a full part-time job that will hopefully allow Don and I to spend more time together pursuing a passion, simultaneously bringing in enough income that will help fund
Now that the secret is out, I'd like to take some time to thank all of you who have supported me along they way. A very special thanks to past clients, especially you early folks who acted as my guinea pigs. Seriously, you guys are amazing!!! And for the rest of you, if you need a photographer, let me know.
Oh, and one final thing, the photo biz will have a separate blog of it's own, so feel free to add a bookmark there if you like to see pictures.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I was able to go out on a Sunday afternoon with my girlfriend to see this movie. (Thanks Studio Movie Grill for the free passes!) Going into this movie, I expected super cheese. C'mon, it's called Valentine's Day and it came out the mere days before Valentine's day. Mindless romantic comedy drivel, but the sort of thing that's perfect to eat up on a Sunday afternoon with no worries. And because I am a sucker for cheese (good cheese, mind you, none of that processed stuff, ooooh yeah, gimme some of that amazing manchego), I liked this movie. All of the character's stories intertwined, similar to the way they did in Crash. I know that type of film making has a specific technique, but I just can't remember the name right now. Anyway, it was a good story, with some genuine laugh out loud moments that aren't forced. You don't get lost in the movie though. Ashton Kutcher's character reminded me of the one he played in A Lot Like Love. Julia Roberts was still Julia Roberts. So was Jennifer Garner, Jessica Beal, and Jessica Alba. (whoa, that's a lot of J names!) Despite all that, it was still worth the time. I am glad that I didn't watch it when it first came out and also that I didn't have to pay for it. I would definitely recommend it for the rental. If nothing else, than for the little boy who stole the show. A-d-o-r-a-b-l-e with a capital A for sure! 15 minute hand massage
I'd first heard inklings and ramblings of this film a long while back. I was eager to watch it. When I later heard it had the backing of both Tyler Perry AND Oprah, well, I knew I had to be there. I desperately wanted to go on opening day when it first showed at the Angelika, but I was unable. Then later, I just couldn't make it. Imagine my excitement when Don had it waiting for me on the night it came out on DVD. Long after Mari was asleep, I was in a place where we could watch. Did it captivate me? Yes. Was I moved at my core? YES! Every single player in this film was perfect, even the children. I fell in love with her classmates. I fell even more in love with her teacher. Lenny Kravitz was a doll. And Mo'Nique!!!! Wow, I haven't hated a character and somewhere deep inside of me, feeling a tiny sense of compassion towards her. Every fiber of my being wanted to choke her, but then I needed to forgive her. This movie was thought provoking. Long before I watched it and read an excerpt from Push, I was thinking. I'm still thinking. 1 hour Swedish massage with a half our scalp massage and add a bit of reflexology for kicks. If you haven't seen it yet, be prepared to be get a little uneasy and have a box of Kleenex on hand.
UP IN THE AIR
I'd heard mixed reviews about this movie. Some of my friends loved it. Others of it though it was just plain 'meh. Since we are catching up on movies, and the Oscars were just shown on Sunday, this was on the list to watch. So, here we are. Anyway, it was fun. Light-hearted and sometimes, it took itself a little too seriously. George Clooney played typical George Clooney. Poor Anna Kendrick, I just couldn't look past her Twilight persona. She tried the best she could, but I couldn't see past it. I did, however, really enjoy Vera Farmiga's performance. I had a greater appreciation for all of those corporate travelers. I would be very excited just to reach 100K miles, but it'll take what I can get. In any case, it was worth the rental. Basic mani/pedi.
Also, for you Twilight fanatics, who all is heading out to buy their copy of New Moon tonight? ;)
The other day, I was frustrated with Mari. She was being her typical self. I was being my typical rushed self. She needed me to pause and slow to her level. I snapped because I was trying to bend her will to mine. And then I put myself in a time-out. I had a good cry over that one. Later, I recounted my actions to Don. I confessed to him to partially gain a type of familiarity (yes, you aren't alone in this adventure) and to see what I could have done differently. I let him know that I didn't want to kill her wild spirit. I certainly didn't want her to fear me or be afraid to fail. Growing up, I had a fear of failure. I had misunderstood my parents. I didn't need to be afraid of them if I failed. I needed to look to them for support if I failed. The many times I did fail, they were there to support me and get me back on the right track. Each failure taught me character and grace. While I may not have had the opportunity to pursue theater or acting early on like I had wanted to, I was handed a pencil and paper. The most powerful tool to make real those far off places I'd go to when I had to sit still.
Write, Bianca. That's right, Bianca.
I found the following video from Clementine Studios blog. It is on TED, and certainly worth the listen.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Last Friday, I sat in traffic, looking forward to the familiar guitar chords of StoryCorps. For you NPR listeners, you know what I'm talking about. For the rest of you, how do you not know the wonderful goodness that is StoryCorps? I heard this story in traffic, but it was preceded the week earlier with this story. Both were moving, not unlike their typical stories. Yes, they pull at the heartstrings, but that's what is inspiring. If you don't have a chance to click on the link I'll break it down for you. Essentially, a teacher became the legal guardian of one of his former students. Not only was it unique because they didn't really know one another, but also because the boy the teacher was taking in was about to be a parent. Not only that, but he was going to be a single father at age 16. The new guardian wasn't married and never had children. So this was quite a change. I loved that he said this:
"I'm a young black man and you're a white man," Williams said. "And I'm like, 'I don't know anything about white people.' "
This is so true when you start fresh and new, right? The anxiety, the fear, any ol' thing that is unknown is contributing to these new situations. Yes, frightening.
I'm plagued with those same anxieties any time that I try something new. So there I sat on NCX, a blubbering mess, happy that I hadn't yet applied my eyeliner when my sister calls. Because she knows me well enough, she can tell that I've been crying. When she casually asks what is going on, I reply back that I'd been listening to NPR. She utters out a familiar smile. It is not unlikely that at the same time when she calls me every weekday morning that on Fridays, I'm probably tearful.
But that quote above, marinate on it. Think about what you see in people and how you've helped to contribute to that. What you see in me is a reflection of what you put in me.
Blessings come from the most surprising of places and God will always find a way to let you know.
Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it.- Hebrews 13:2
Monday, March 8, 2010
What kinds of craftiness have you been up to?
Sunday, March 7, 2010
ok, that's it. I'll see if I can come up with something a little more entertaining for the next post.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
I saw this on a friend’s blog and I thought, ok. Here is my list of 99. Not having done 19 is pretty good. Some may be surprising to y'all.
(The things I have done are bold.)
Copy and paste to your blog and let me know.
1. Started a blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Bought something from an infomercial
4. Had more than one flat tire on the same road trip
5. Shopped at the Mall of America
6. Been to Disneyland
7. Climbed a mountain
8. Jumped on a pogo stick (failed miserably)
9. Fell from a tent naked as a child (what does that even mean?)
10. Been to Mt. Rushmore
11. Toilet papered someone’s house
12. Watched a lightning storm
13. Taught yourself an art from scratch
14. Sold knives (after the interview, I quit immediately after learning it involved cold calling for sales)
15. Had food poisoning
16. Put a worm on a hook
17. Had “Glamour Shots” taken
18. Failed a class
19. Been interviewed by the police
20. Had a pillow fight
21. Been a part of a Broadway show (not on Broadway, but was in one that had been before)
22. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
23. Built a snow fort
24. Held a lamb
25. Gone skinny dipping
26. Ran a marathon
27. Been white water rafting on the Arkansas River in Colorado
28. Played spades
29. Watch a sunrise or sunset
30. Hit a home run
31. Quit smoking (although, I started and stopped within hours)
32. Been a friend to someone no one else liked
33. Walked the stars on Hollywood Blvd.
34. Seen an Amish community in person
35. Ate tacos in Tijuana
36. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
37. Done tongue tricks for a crowd
38. Gone rock climbing
39. Adopted a middle-aged pet
40. Sung karaoke
41. Seen Old Faithful Geyser erupt
42. Burned my mouth on jalapeno seeds
43. Seen John Wayne’s birthplace
44. Walked on a beach by moonlight
45. Drove down Snake Alley
46. Witnessed someone else’s child being born
47. Call my brother his name backwards
48. Fell asleep on the couch
49. Wore mis-matched socks all day
50. Ran out of gas
51. Kissed in the rain
52. Played in the mud
53. Gone to a Drive-in Theatre
54. Been in a movie
55. Dated a criminal
56. Started a business
57. Made a stranger laugh
58. Burned tacos
59. Served at a soup kitchen
60. Sold Girl Scout cookies
61. Been in a cave
62. Got flowers for no reason (one of my favorite things!)
63. Danced to the music in my head
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Fell up the stairs
66. Bounced a check
67. Been to Cocoa Beach Fl.
68. Saved a favorite childhood toy
69. Wore a henna tattoo
70. Been given a car-for free (thanks Mom & Dad!)
71. Laughed hysterically at yourself
72. Had pink hair
73. Drove on the Golden Gate Bridge
74. Been fired from a job
75. Went horse back riding through mountains
76. Broken a bone (although, nothing bigger than my pinkie toe)
77. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
78. Seen a redwood forest
79. Drove on the PCH
80. Saw Chicago from the Sears Tower
81. Watched a street performer on Venice Beach
82. Missed a flight
83. Had your picture in the newspaper
84. Had a surprise party thrown for me
85. Hailed a cab
86. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (I was unsuccessful in killing the snake, but I did try and I helped prep)
87. Had chickenpox
88. Been serenaded
89. Partied on a yacht
90. Met someone famous
91. Fired a gun
92. Got a tattoo
93. Had a baby
94. Seen the Alamo in person
95. Lived with an incredible view
96. Received a $50 tip.
97. Owned a cell phone
98. Been stung by a bee
99. Quit a job without giving notice (see 14)
Monday, March 1, 2010
In any case, what have I been up to?
Well, I've been doing a lot of many things. In the past two weeks, I've been spoiled to have spent 5 days with girlfriends!! 5 days people. That's epic. It's so difficult to get us all together and to think that two of those times were dinner spent sharing a bottle of wine with at least 4 of us. WOW! Our hectic schedules MIGHT allow us to get together maybe once every few months. (how sad, isn't it?) Anyway, one such night, I went out to Shecky's Girls Night Out. I dropped $15 for unlimited shopping/drinking/marketing/girl time. Why would I spend $15 to hang out with my girlfriends? Well, I figured I would spend that much anyway, and for a chance to see what all the hype was about, I figured, 'eh, why not? For going, we also received a nifty goody bag filled with all of the goodies below. Quite an eclectic assortment of products, right? Each bag had similar items, but no two were the same.
While out, we also had some amazing deals. I bought two super cute sweaters for 50% off and 65% off retail price. My sister scored a pair of Lucky brand jeans for $20. I nearly dropped $70 on a pair of Harajuku Lovers heels retailed at $250. Yes, great deals on merchandise. Midori sponsored the event, so we were able to knock back as many as we were willing to stand in line to receive. And frankly, it was worth it just to hang with a lovely pair of my girls.
In that bag, I received a box of Nailene nails in natural color, short length. For kicks, I thought I'd try these out. They reminded me of those old school Lee Press-on nails. Do y'all remember those? I literally slapped these babies on moments before passing out. Yes, they are cheap plastic. But you know what? For less than $10 they'll pass for when you need a nice set of nails. Cheap, but not cheap looking from afar. They aren't nearly as thick or heavy as acrylic or solar nails. Best of all, when I'm done, I can just apply a little extra force and it snaps right off. I'll soak them in a bit of acetone nail polish remover to take off the glue and a buff later I'll be back to normal. Those of you on a budget who need a classy manicure for a night out, special date, or just to get a tiny happy boost, I'd recommend these over spending a couple of hours in a nail salon.
One of the other outings was with my BFF and her son to Willowbend Mall. We took our kiddos to play in the play area there. It was his first time to be at such a place. It was so cute because I told Mari to hold his hand. She complied and guided him to the area. Once there, though, she let go and was off and running to explore the area. We let them play for about 45 minutes before it was time to go. On our way out, we stopped by this store to admire the amazing tricks the guys were doing. Immediately, I made a mental note to research how I too could learn how to ride the flowrider and potentially learn to surf. Mari, of course, was begging me to let her ride. She must be at least 42" to ride, so we still have 6 more inches before she's there. Such a little thrill seeker, I tell ya.
Speaking of, weren't the Olympics fun? I hope you had the chance to watch some of it. My favorite performances were Shaun White, Johnny Weir, Apolo Ohno, and the snowboard cross. What about you?
Also, I've been wearing my photographer hat. I've had a few sessions lately. One of them was around the Arts District with a bride. Let me tell you, folks. She was a celebrity! The people at the new Winspear Opera House were so kind to let us sneak in for 5 minutes to grab a shot next to their BRILLIANT red wall and on the staircase. She was GORGEOUS. Once the wedding passes, I'll post her portrait.
I was fast and furiously trying to finish up my sewing project for the 2010 recon-a-thon sponsored by The Fabric Floozie, but alas, I fell short. :( I do hope to finish it soon, though. To give you a preview, I took an old dress that I wore in a Quince (the turquoise fabric) and used some of the fabric for a purse I'm working on. I also tore apart my costume from Mari's birthday party (the red fabric) to use as well. I also used some more of the turquoise satin on a SPECIAL project for Mari. We have a small card table in our kitchen that we use as a prep table and Mari has taken to hiding under it. Once we had a flour sack towel hanging over the edge and she was over the moon pretending it was a curtain. That got me thinking that I need to really start cultivating that imaginative play of hers. I LOVED nooks and crannies as a little one and it seems she does too. That project is in the works and I'm so excited to see how it'll turn out.
I have also attempted running again. My lungs are not cooperating as well as I would like them to. Of course, part of it is that I'm out of shape, but another part is that they are just working a lot harder than before. This asthma thing really sucks (ha ha...pun intended) and I hate being reliant on an inhaler. I'm glad I have it and it helps, but it is quite a change from days past. Oh well, at least I can still knock out a 5K, albeit, not anywhere nearly as fast as I would like. It'll come, though, I'm sure of it.
Finally, I've been wearing my wedding coordinating hat. One of my BFFs is getting married in July, so we've been running around trying on dresses, researching ideas, and planning like mad for her showers and bachelorette party.
Here's to hoping the weather clears up a bit and I slow down enough to update you guys a little more than I have been. Prayers and blessings out to all of you!