Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A picture is worth a thousand ....

I've always loved taking pictures so when we got married and had a little extra money we decided to buy a nice digital camera. The winner was the Casio Exilim EX-Z700.

Casio never came to mind when I thought of nice cameras, but this one is awesome. It is 7.2 mega pixels which is plenty for a point-and-shoot (for us at least), and it takes really great pictures. There is an anti-shake feature which I always leave enabled, and tons of different modes that help take the best picture possible. But the most important part is that it is so easy to use, I really have nothing bad at all to say about this camera and the rest of the Casio Exilim line - love it.

Real photography became a slight, now full blown, obsession when I discovered the genious that is Megan Knorpp. I instantly fell in love with her candid style and the ability she has to capture the feeling of the moment in every frame. She did my engagement pictures, bridals, wedding and reception, and most recently some family pictures that are more valuable to me than I could have ever known.

When I found out she is moving to the big CS and wanted to start working together I couldn't have been more excited. So I needed to upgrade from my little Casio to something more professional but soon found out that cameras get expensive - quick. My wish list changed from Catherine Malandrino tops and Diane Von Furstenburg dresses to zoom lenses and external flashes.

I'm starting out, under Megan's direction, with the Canon 400D and so far it's my new favorite thing.

( If you're looking for a good camera and are a little lost with the million different "deals" you can get online - stick with B&H Photo . They include everything you need, unlike most of the other websites, and offer great "kit" deals that inlude little extras like memory cards to save money in the long run. )

Photography is something I've always loved and great pictures never go out of style. I look forward to learning a lot during the next few months with Megan and my little 400D.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Danger lovers

I am not a danger lover, but I am married to one. It's pretty fun most of the time because Jared's really pretty careful so it's always an adventure. But when I saw these pictures from his latest trip to Albuquerque to see his best friend I got a little afraid. I've discovered growing up with three sisters didn't prepare me at all for living with a boy - let alone one that has no fear.

Repelling off of a cliff face first, or "Aussie Style" , does not
sound like fun to me. But when boys get together they come up with these "fun" things to do that only danger lovers would consider doing.

Playing "who can shoot the golf ball further"

A few ones from different trips:

(notice where we are and where Jared is)

And my personal favorite:

If we have any boys I forsee a lot of camo and bandaids in my future . . .
Love you babe!!

smells are important to me

My love of candles and all things that smell nice is a bit out of control.

I blame/thank my mom - she discovered how to make the most wonderful candles ever. So every time we would go home to visit for the weekend, at least 5 hours of that Saturday were spent picking out and mixing scents to make delicious candles. It became a pretty big operation, all my friends wanted to come and make candles, people who smelled them wanted to order some, just all around fun.

But not so fun when I discovered that I burn so many candles so often that black soot was starting to accumulate on the light switches, picture frames, lamp shades - basically anything that doesn't move often. Jared and I probably have black lung and don't even know it. But smells are important to me so I love this new addition to our little soot covered townhouse.

Lamp rings and fragrance oil ( I love the ones here from Bath and Body Works) They cut down on fire hazards, leave no soot and are pretty manly if you (or your husband) are not the candle type.

**Just be sure when you take the ring off the lamp to put oil in it that the lamp has been off for a while. All but three of my fingertips are pretty much burned off.

Friday, July 20, 2007

undershirts galore...

There is a special place in my heart for a good undershirt. I actually think of myself as a bit of an "undershirt connoisseur", a title that you should automatically earn upon your 20th, or so, undershirt purchase.

Do I like wearing undershirts, no - adding one more layer in Texas during the summer is like death. It's hot, humid and - well really hot. But I think it looks so trashy when girls wear shirts with necklines so low that you can guess their bra size with 99% accuracy. I'm equally disgusted by the sheer amount of
back fat/crack/thong I've been exposed to by girls bending over or sitting in low rise jeans. Not cute. I don't even care if you're a size 2 , I don't want to see your butt.

Hence, the pursuit of the perfect undeshirt is a worthy one. It has to be tight enough to not add bulk, long enough to either stay tucked in or cover your business, and not so high necked that you look like you're wearing a t-shirt under your clothes (a huge pet peeve).

My favorites are from Old Navy actually! They are microfiber (stays cool and fits snug) tanks that I have in white, black and nude - the trinity. I also love a cami like this one if you want a little slimming action (and gets rid of bra lines). I also love these from Shade Clothing because they are super thin, just long enough, and come in lots of colors. But you can never go wrong with these from the Gap. Cheap, soft, perfect neckline, loves it!

However, this is not a fix-all for every shirt that is too low/sheer/short/etc. On that note, don't ever do this:


My sisters rockin' undershirts the right way:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I love you, but you smell ...

This is our new kitty - Chauncey. Isn't he so cute! It took lots of convincing to get Jared to agree to a pet but I think Chauncey's won him over. I grew up with lots of pets - cats, dogs, horses, hamsters, even a short-lived ferret (my sister Kellye wanted to train him to ride in the hood of her sweatshirt, but on the first try it latched onto her ear and sealed it's own fate) Jared, on the other hand, didn't have too many family pets, none that he was ever attached to in any way. But when we went to my parents house in Tyler and saw the new little bunch of five baby kittens I wasn't leaving without one (I tried for two) So Jared picked out and named little Chauncey and he came with us back to College Station.

I had everything planned, two litter boxes - one upstairs, one downstairs, food, snacks, bowls, scoopers, carpet freshener, everything! It was all going well too, until we discovered that while we were gone during the day he would use the corner behind our T.V. instead of the litter box - sick. There is no smell worse than cat pee and there is almost no way to get the smell out of carpet if it's gone down to the pad - so sick. So I thought Chauncey was a goner for sure because there's no way we are going to be that cat house that smells.

So, thoroughly distraught, I researched cleaners and odor removers online, checked with the vet to see what they would suggest ( "oh, he's still a kitten, that's just what they do. He'll grow out of it" - thanks a lot) , and ultimately went to Target and bought everything that promised to clean the carpet and/or remove the smell. I was in full desperation mode when none of that worked.

Then I found this for four bucks at Wal-Mart (sorry Russell) and figured I'd give it a try - and it works!! I'm amazed and so so excited! It's just a bag of rocks that magically pulls the odor out of the air, don't ask me how it works, it just does. And I'm a fan.

I think we've stopped him from using the corner (if you put a food bowl wherever they have "accidents" then they won't return there to go again because they won't go by their food, huh!) So it's good news all around. The carpet is clean, there is no smell, and Chauncey is here to stay!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Friends are good, friends with cool stuff are gooder

You know when you have a friend that moves away and you don't talk to them in a while, and then you get that message from them on your cell phone? How you tell the real friends from the "eh" friends is what they say in that message - if they sound irritated that you haven't talked in a while/try and make you feel bad for not calling them first/back then you have yourself an "eh" friend (you have to make the sound). The kind that will be happy for you when something great happens but are nowhere to be found when you really need them.

On the other hand if they - don't act surprised or irritated that they got your voicemail / try and tell you about some random event that apparently was hilarious but you don't know why because the message was too long and cut them off /choose to sing instead of speak the entire message to you / all of the above - and know you probably won't call them back for 2 weeks and that's just fine with them - then they are definitely worth keeping in touch with, even if it is voicemail to voicemail.

So here's a recipe courtesy of one of my favorite people!

Tangy Tomato Dressing :
(by Lindsey)

2/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 pinch thyme
1 dash salt

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking often, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Cover the dressing until cool, then refrigerate it until well chilled.

I haven't gotten to try this one yet but, knowing the fabulous-ness of Lindsey, I trust that it's tasty. Let me know what you think if you try it!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Pancake art - update

**An update on the birthday breakfast - my first post was about my husband's amazing skills when it comes to making pancakes combined with the fun twist he puts on breakfast for birthdays. Jared not only makes the best pancakes ever (I like them really fluffy as you can see!!), but on birthdays just having plain round pancakes is out of the question. Here are some pictures of this year's birthday breakfast.

This is my heart shaped one, I said I like them really fluffy!!

Last year's creations were a bit more "freehand" but this year he used some pancake molds like these. Who even knew these existed! Love it! I'm sure if you have kids they would love them, just be sure and spray them with Pam or something before you pour the batter in or the shapes will be a little mangled, or don't if you're going for the mangled look.

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