Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Winner, Winner

My friends at have selected my lucky camera strap winner. Congrats to the following visitor:

Ashley Harris: "I love shooting at the level of my kids. It gives a great perspective of what they see. It just makes me happy. Oh and no flash!"

Ashley, e-mail me at with the camera strap you want (pink, green or something not shown), as well as your mailing address. Thanks!

And, thanks to all of you for commenting with your photo tips. I love reading your ideas!


P.S. If you're interested in ordering a custom camera strap wrap, please e-mail me at I would be happy to discuss options with you. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

To go or not to go: Part 2

Thanks so much for all of your great comments and thoughts on the big reunion. I really appreciate all of your ideas and insight. I didn’t end up attending, though I thought long and hard about it. I’m afraid I was unable to scrounge up a date. Cor is working his life away right now and was unavailable and I couldn’t convince any of my old HS pals to join me. So, I chickened out and passed on the event. Can I get a bawk bawk?

On a brighter note, I did spend the day with one of my best childhood chums, Jewels. We went to brunch, went shopping around Salt Lake City and Park City, stopped for dinner and watched a flick at my house. It was a great day. A mini reunion in its own right.

We had a blast checking out Abode, a cute and quirky consignment shop in Salt Lake.

On the quirky side, we encountered things like this (Yes, those are creepy clown heads on the ends of their pens):

On the cool side, we were taken with bits and bobbles like these:

And we had oh, so much fun playing with a cool row of chairs parked out front. I just love the shadow these old seats casts on the pavement.

Jewels worked her way down the row, striking a different pose at every stop.

Following her lead, I got creative with the seats and even lounged across a desk. Eat your heart out, boys. ;)

It’s amazing how time apart matters not when it comes to those deep relationships. Julia and I have been friends since we were both four—24 years, if you do the math. And no matter how much time passes between visits, it’s always like the good old days when we reconnect.

In the spirit of reconnecting, I have a little challenge for you. I want you to think of one person from your past—distant or not-so-distant—and I want you to reach out to them. Maybe you call them up. Perhaps you look them up on Facebook. Or it could just be sending them a card (handmade, preferably). I don’t care how you do it, I just want you to give it a try. I promise you’ll find that you and the person you’ve touched will both be happier as a result.

Friends are a gift from God. Make more time for them and enjoy all those silly moments.

Thanks for the great day, Jewels!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Choose Your Own Blog Candy Adventure & WIN!

Let’s play a little game. Consider yourself a treasure hunter and follow these clues to find the pot o’blog candy gold.

1. Do you like free stuff? If yes, proceed to #2. If no, well, game over.

2. Do you own a camera? If yes, proceed to #3. If no, then I'm afraid this is the end of the road for you, my friend.

3. Do you want to look like a stylin’ photographer when you take your pictures? If yes, proceed to #4. If no, still proceed to #4.

4. Do you want to take better pictures? If yes, proceed to #5. If no, proceed to #6.

5. So, you want to be a stylin’ photographer AND take better photos, eh? Well, you’re in luck. I have the hot tip on how to win a handmade camera strap (made by me) AND a brand new camera lens.

For the details on how to win a handmade camera strap, see #6.

To enter to win a camera lens, you’ll want to check out the Creating Keepsakes blog. We’re giving away a Tamron Camera Lens (valued at $629) to a lucky winner. Hurry. You have until Monday to enter. Good luck!

6. So you want to be a stylin’ photographer but don’t care so much about taking better shots. Well, I’ve got something for you. I’ve made camera straps that slide over existing straps (using delicious BasicGrey fabric), and I’m giving one away to a lucky winner. What’s that? These straps won’t fit your camera? You don’t like pink or green? No worries. If you’re selected as my winner and find your prize won’t work for you, all you have to do is let me know and I’ll customize one that will work. How’s that for service?

How to Enter:

On or before Aug. 25, leave me a comment on this blog post, stating your favorite camera or photo tip. This can be a tip for organizing your photos, a tip for using a camera setting, a tip for traveling with your camera…anything! From the comments I receive, I’ll randomly select a lucky winner. That name will be announced on my blog on Aug. 26, so please check back. Good luck!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Don't You Judge Me

You might say I had a bit of a meltdown last weekend as I sat on my couch, taking in the mess surrounding me.

Me: “This…this…this is no way to live!”
Cor: “Huh?” [Looking up from his nerd show, with a look of surprised confusion on his face.]
Me: “Look. Just look. There are piles of chaos and disaster at every turn! This is not how people should live.”
Cor: “Calm down. We’re doing the best we can. Maybe you’re just extra emotional at the moment.”
Me: “Oh no you don’t. Don’t go and blame this on PMS. This is a problem and it’s time we take control of it!”
Cor: “We’ll be fine. Everything will be fine. Try and relax.”
Me: *Huff* *Puff* *Pout*
Cor: [Reengages with nerd programming.]

Okay, so maybe my reaction to the mess that is our house was a little drama queen, but it really is overwhelming. It’s gotten SO out of hand that it’s hard to even find a starting point. Check out Exhibits A, B, C and D.

WARNING: Viewing these photos may be hazardous to your health. (And don’t you dare judge me.) ;)

Exhibit A: Our Family Room/Home Theater—the place where we spend most of our time. It definitely has that “lived in” look, don't ya think? Yeah, if it were in a barn where the pigs slopped and wallowed, perhaps.

Exhibit B: Our Bedroom—Yes, we actually sleep in this filth. I'm lucky there's even a clear path to get to my resting place. By the looks of things, I'm doing a little more resting and a little less cleaning. And don't you just love my half-assed attempt at a made bed? Yes, that's the bed when it's "made." Don’t you dare judge me.

Exhibit C: My Craft Room—Believe or not, I do get things accomplished in here, and I'm not just talking about the accomplishment of filling every square inch with stuff.

Exhibit D: Our Kitchen—This is actually on a clean(er) day for the kitchen. Only a few dishes flooding the sink. Only a few boxes of food on the counter. And my sewing machine on the table. Since when did my kitchen turn into a sewing room? Maybe if "Exhibit C" were in a bit more order I could actually use it to, I don't know, craft!

Are you judging me? You better not be.

Sure, most of the…ahem, “clutter” is mine. I’m a girl. I shop. I have things. It’s what I do, who I am. But what the photos don’t show are little dog-hair balls the size of prairie dogs roaming the floor. Dust blanketing every flat surface. Candy wrappers and bottles overflowing. It’s a wreck, I tell ya. A wreck!

The Problem: Cor and I live at work. We’re both gone for most of the day. When we’re home, we’re either eating, unwinding or sleeping. This doesn’t bode well for our abode.

The Solution: I made a chore chart. I know this is very “mom” of me, but it was this or let the chaos consume me. I choose this. To make it feel a little less motherly, I titled the chart “Back to Balance” and the items on it are tasks. But it’s really a chore chart (though, I'll never admit that to Cor).

The Chart: We each have one manageable task to do when we get home at night. Ideally, this is done before the television is turned on, before the laptop is opened and before our heads hit pillows. If we can’t do a night, we know that means two tasks the next night. Plus, we each have one weekend project to attend to. Call me psychic, but I see many busy weekends in our future.

The Result: Well, I’m three days in and I won’t lie; this task stuff is hard work. It makes me tired. BUT, it’s working. I now have a clean bathroom, clean laundry, clean floors, clean sheets, paid bills and dusted rooms. Not too shabby for three days, eh?

The Catch: I’ve been doing double duty. Cor is literally working 17-hour days right now, which doesn’t leave him much time for chores. Rather than let them pile up on him, I’ve been stepping in and doing his. I know he’d do the same for me.

Why am I sharing this dirty laundry (pun clearly intended) with you? Well, I thought my confession might inspire you if you find you're running into "piles of chaos and disaster at every turn." Or, if order and cleanliness are more your things, I thought you could share some tips for how you manage the madness. Advice and help are always appreciated.

You’re not judging me now, are you?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

To go or not to go? This is my question.

My ten-year high school reunion is this week. Now I’m faced with the inevitable question: do I attend? I could use your advice. Here are some of the thoughts going through my head:

  1. I would likely be flying solo. My sweet hubby will join me (though, I imagine he won’t be thrilled about the idea), but it appears none of my closest HS pals will be there. Since they’re the ones I’d want to see the most, is it worth going knowing they won't be there?

  2. Most of my pals are on Facebook. Thanks to the magic of my online book o’ faces, I can keep in touch with my HS pals on a daily (vs. yearly) basis.

  3. I’m fat. Okay, this is a half joke. I may not be the twig I was in HS, but who is? I wouldn’t let my appearance keep me from attending, but it does cause me to hesitate.

  4. Am I accomplished? That’s the point of reunions, right? To measure up and see who’s done the most? I know this isn’t supposed to be the purpose, but I know that deep down it sort of is. I have a wonderful spouse, a lovely home, happy dogs and a good job, but is it all enough? I was our class valedictorian. Are people going to expect me to come in with letters behind my name? I’m 28 and have yet to have children. Is that going to make me look like a failure? I know these thoughts probably sound silly, but I’m being honest here and these are the thoughts racing through my head.

  5. Tickets are $60 each. Ouch!

  6. I have this nagging feeling I should go. Despite these rational reasons to pass on this event, I have this nagging feeling I should attend. But why? To sit and mingle with people who most likely won’t remember me anyway? Or is it that I just hate to miss this milestone in life?

Help! I have only a day or two to decide.

Would you go if you were me? Did you go to your ten-year? Are you glad you did or did you find that it wasn't really worth the time? Did it feel like a competition or was it an enjoyable experience? Any perspective or thoughts you have to share would be appreciated. Thanks!