Thursday, December 30, 2010

Resolutions: Part 2

My second resolution on the list is to learn how to use my camera.  I got a Canon EOS Rebel Xsi for my birthday (thanks dear!) almost 8 months ago. It's been great and I've loved experimenting with it. Even if you keep it on the "auto" setting, anyone can take a better photo with it than with a point and shoot. It's just better equipment. But I want to really understand exposure, aperture, white balance, shutter speed, etc.  I got the 50 mm 1/8/f lens for Christmas (thanks again, dear!) and am loving it so far. It's totally frustrating though, when I see the AMAZING photos people are taking with the exact same equipment. I usually get a few awesome photos for ever 100 crappy ones I take. I'd really like to improve that ratio.

I have a few photography books laying around the house that I should really get around to reading.  I'm also thinking about taking a class when it warms up in the spring. Either way, I'll use this blog as a way to record my progress. Hopefully I'll notice some improvements by the end of the year! Here are a few shots that I've taken with the new lens. They are mainly unedited . . . I think I just added some boost and messed with levels a bit.

Know of any good photography/instructional blogs I should check out?

Resolutions: Part 1

Tomorrow is the last day of the year, and before stuffing myself with jello shots, cookies, and bacon-wrapped things, I think I should take a good hard look at my life and make some resolutions. I know, people rarely keep resolutions, especially me. But I like the idea of writing them down here, in this blog. Maybe I'll have a better chance at actually keeping them.

I have a lot of them. A lot, a lot. So I'm going to break this down into several posts.

1. Blogging. I'm going to make an honest attempt to blog every weekday. Even if its two words.  Even if its just a picture uploaded from my phone. The thing is, I REALLY love reading your blogs. My google reader has about 100 different blogs in it, and i probably read at least 30 of them on a regular basis. Like, obsessively. And I check for updates three times a day. I'm not kidding. I need to channel that energy into actually writing. My thing is, I sit here and think "no one wants to read this". But I want to do this for myself. Yes, of course its important for me to have others entertained by my writing, but I really want it so that I can look back and see what was going on in my life at different times of the year. It's scary to me how bad my memory is. I don't remember anything. I think this will help.

Stay tuned for my next New Year's resolution, which I'm sure will be just as riveting as this one ;)

This is me. I'm not making a duck face. I'm just pouting because I gave myself bangs and I think I might have made a mistake. It's NOT a duck face. This is duck face.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This is how it goes.

Working at home on the internet can open you up to a world of distraction. Here's how this morning went so far:

  • Opened up my computer. Oooh. My google reader is up. Read thirty blogs.
  • Stop reading blogs. Time to do work. Start typing in "" but my unconscious mind takes over and somehow I have typed in "". Has this ever happened to you? It happens to me all the time. 
  • Check my newsfeed on the Book. Read the comments from the picture I posted last night of my husband, at the movies. I kid you not, this pose and outfit (including shoes) was unintentional:

  • Realize that I'm totally procrastinating because I'm totally in a work-rut right now and hate what I'm doing. 
  • Google "existential crisis".
  • Forward wikipedia existential crisis link to my husband. 
  • In my Gmail for real this time. There's an email from my mom. 
  • Respond to my mom's email, which takes about 20 minutes. I spill my guts about hating my job, the job I have worked so hard to create for myself. Other things too. 
  • Sign into Hootsuite to start working some social media magic. Look on the stream for MY twitter and click on a link for an updated blog I follow. End up reading about 30 more blogs.
  • Sign into Blogger to waste even more time and tell you about it. 
Now it's noon and I haven't done any work today FML. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Losing it.

In the good way! 

I started my diet on monday and I have lost something to the tune of six pounds. I know its not "real" weight, it's not fat. It's all water weight. Especially since I started the diet weighing about five more pounds than my normal weight after a weekend full of bloat-inducing pizza, beer and other goodies. But I'm kind of glad I did that. Because those few pounds just slipped right off and made me feel like I was actually accomplishing something.

I'm an instant gratification kind of girl, long term goals are hard for me to stick to. I know a lot of people don't recommend weighing yourself every day, but having only ONE day at a time to think about is good. I know that I have to get on the scale the next morning, so that motivates me to be good today. If I only weighed myself once a week I would start thinking things like "oh, I have a whole week to make up for this pizza I'm about to eat". 

Anyway, I'm kind of in the honeymoon phase of this diet. I think the hardest part of a diet is getting started. You keep putting it off and you feel totally restricted for a few days. But then after a while you start getting excited and it feels like a game. I feel so accomplished after I choose to eat something healthy. It's like one point for me. 

So what am I doing? It's not really a diet, I guess, I'm just trying to make healthier choices. I'm eating whole foods like eggs, nuts, vegetables, lean meats. Cooking meals at home rather than going out and grabbing something. Planning meals ahead of time so I don't succumb to cravings. I'm also watching my carb intake (much less sugar, bread, pasta) and trying to keep sodium down. The sodium thing is mainly accomplished by not eating prepackaged or takeout foods. 

But if I feel totally restricted by what I'm eating, I'll fail. Which is why I keep a bag of Dove chocolate in one of the cupboards. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Decking the Halls

We got a real tree this year, actually went out and chopped it down ourselves. This feels like our first "grown up tree".  I also got some new ornaments (from Target, of course).  I love the antiquey mercury glass trend that they have caught onto. These giants aren't for the tree, they're up on the mantle. However, we did get a big pack of bulbs from target that are different shades of brown and subtle gold. Those coppery/brown icicles are from Walmart, who knew?  We still put up our little woodland creatures (my favorite). Oh, and the reindeer/deer (?) are from TJMaxx or Marshalls. Post links to your holiday decorating photos!

Monday, December 6, 2010


You would think that Mondays would be significantly more tolerable when you work from home and are your own boss. But it doesn't work that way. Not having someone breathing down my neck, telling me what to do only means that I have to breathe down my own neck.  And finding the motivation to motivate yourself when its 20 degrees outside and there is a perfectly cozy king size bed just in the next room, is excruciating.

I know that I have to dedicate 4 solid hours to one of my projects today, plus another hour for a different one. But I keep procrastinating. And now it's 11:15 and I still haven't done anything, so that just pushes back my day another hour.

We put up our FIRST REAL LIVE christmas tree yesterday and I love it.  Its all light gold, champagne-colored and sparkly chocolate brown bulbs with some woodland creatures mixed in. I plan on doing a post of pictures once I can fix some pics up in Photoshop.  One day we'll have a tree filled with tacky painted macaroni and awkward school photos, but for now I'm enjoying our pristine color-coordinated tree.

In other news, I hit rock bottom this morning. Yep, its back to dieting. Frank started a hard-core diet the other day and I told him that I was not totally mentally ready to join him. I still needed to hit my rock bottom.  Enter massive amounts of chinese food, mashed potatoes and binge drinking and now I'm ready to go. I weighed myself this morning and the number was 132.6. This is officially the most I have ever weighed. I swore to myself that I would never be over 129 lbs, except during pregnancy. FAIL. I know that 130 lbs is not a lot or fat, but its a lot for me. I am small-boned and have a small frame, so 130 lbs looks on me like 150 lbs might look on someone else. I just don't feel comfortable at this weight and I know that I'm not being healthy.

So I'm going to start with 14 days on phase 1 of the South Beach diet. I know, that was popular like five years ago. But it works. I did it once before and was able to lose a lot of weight. I'm hoping that losing a little in the beginning will help motivate me to keep that weight off. After phase 2, I'll just focus on eating healthier in general. More cooking at home, less eating out. Less drinking. Less 10 pm trips to the gas station for a treat. Did I say that out loud? My goal is to not be totally embarrassed in pictures and bathing suits. And to lose a cup size. And my double chin.