Monday, January 31, 2011


Two birds, one stone.
It seems to be a running theme in this blog how busy my life is. Today, after working out, I had exactly 20 minutes to eat & being the multi tasker I am, it was also the perfect opportunity to take my Monday me picture.
ISO 800 f2.2 1/400

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Slow day around here. Not much activity to take pictures of so I took some quick shots of this monster trunk. We got this in November at a bazaar & it's from India. I love these latches.
ISO 2500 f2.5 1/80


This picture is being posted a day late but I'm pretty sure you didn't even notice. :) I find that, while I may be able to take several pictures on Saturdays, editing/posting them is something I run out of time to do. I had tried to take several pictures of my brownies resting nicely next to a glass of milk but none of them came out the way I hoped so they were deleted. Boo. Luckily I had this lovely salad last night. Fresh spinach w goat's cheese, toasted walnuts & cranberries. I topped it w my favorite home made maple-mustard dressing. This salad is a fab meal when you top it w chicken!
ISO 160 f2.5 1/60

Friday, January 28, 2011


Today the girl helped me make some brownies. Of course, from scratch! I intend to compile all of my paternal grandparent's recipes into a cookbook so I would like to try & make as many of them as I can bf I print them out. These babies took abt 20 minutes longer than the suggested cooking time but turned out really nice. She loves to help me do anything but oh, how messy cooking w a 3 yr old can be. At one point there was melted butter all over the floor, which meant not only did I do some baking today, I also did some cleaning.
ISO 400 f2.2 1/160
In an editing note, does this picture look a little cool? I can't quite decide.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


It was chilly enough for a hat & cloudy enough for a quick picture this morning bf we left for school. This guy is my oldest. I love him dearly. He makes me crazy but really he is so great. He is your typical, not so typical 5 (almost 6) yr old. I expect a lot from him. I'm hard on him, I know I am. But I love him dearly so I make a point to tell him often how great he is & what a big help he is around the house. The other day he was getting a stern talking to the whole way to school. I was so frustrated w his attitude & wanted to make sure he knew it. Once we got to school I said to him, I love you. He waited. But? he said. There were lots of things I could have added in to really drive my point home but instead I said, That's it. No buts. I just love you, period. I have to remind myself he's only a little boy & little boys act like little boys. Man, there are days I just don't know what to do w him. More often there are days I don't know what I'd do without him.
ISO 160 f1.8 1/160

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I don't follow a lot of blogs but one I do try & catch is Life's Ambrosia. I love the recipes & the food photography is awesome too! Her slow cooker pulled pork is my go to recipe bc from one roast I can also make her enchiladas & her bbq pulled pork sandwiches! For Christmas I made her chocolate mint truffles & they were a big hit! Tonight I made Buffalo Chipotle Chili & it was my first time ever using these chipotle peppers! When I opened the can they smelled SO good I had to taste the sauce so I put one tiny fingertip on the can lid & took a taste. It took abt 3 seconds for me to go into a coughing spell that had me flinging the fridge door open & chugging the carton of milk! Yikes! These babies are HOT! The recipe only calls for two but this chili is so good, the boy proclaimed me the 'best chef he knows' & we all had two bowls! The baby even ate some beans out of my bowl! This will definitely be added to my monthly (winter) meal rotation.
ISO 160 f1.8 1/100

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Little buddies.
These guys were born a month apart, almost to the day. They are so cute together & even though they aren't really 'playing' w each other it is so fun to watch them learn & explore w someone their own size. Usually they are grabbing for the same toy or kicking the other one in the face. Sometimes they chew on each others hands or pull the little bit of hair their buddy has. I wish we all had more time together so they could grow up & really know each other but sadly, we all move way too often!
ISO 100 f3.2 1/125

Sunday, January 23, 2011


A mom's work is never done.
Really I had hoped to get a cool picture of me today. Artistic maybe. Makeup on, at least. But my days are so filled w school drop offs & pick ups, ballet class, laundry, making baby food, making meals, exercising, SHOWERING, play dates, etc. I barely have time to cut my fingernails until I'm mortality wounding one of the kids. Even right now I'm sitting here w the baby in a sling, being smacked in the face w Sophie the giraffe. My kids don't even have homework or play competitive sports or that 4th sibling we keep talking about yet & still every day is filled from sun up to sun down. I'm a stay at home mom & some days I barely have time for mothering. Is this just me or does everyone feel this overwhelmed?
So here's Monday Me. Making peanut butter w my helper bf I whisk her off to ballet.
ISO 1000 f2.8 1/400
PS, I so appreciate all the comments you leave for me every day. It means so much & I promise to try my very best to comment on all of your blogs as often as I can. I have really enjoyed 'meeting' all of you & look fwd to getting to know you better as the year continues!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Japanese fizzy drinks & a happy accident.
Today has been a crap day. I only had a few minutes to snap the kids having their snacks of Japanese crackers & fizzy drinks & got this shot, not having a plan, just hoping to get a different angle. When I finally saw it I thought it would be perfect w only the bottle in color. I just got Scott Kelby's book on Lightroom in the mail this week & had actually seen an example of this! It was so easy! Duh, you editing geniuses are saying. But I have likened myself to a chimpanzee hitting the keyboard when it comes to editing, so I was well proud when I did this. Yea me.
ISO 125 f2.8 1/400
I'm posting this to CIUAN's I learned bc I did actually learn something I could show you this week!


Monthly pedicure apt w the girls.
If you've heard of Okinawa, chances are you've heard of Cocok's (silent k).
Foot soak, leg massage w oil, hot steamy towels & then the most amazing nail art you've ever seen! When I first moved here I couldn't believe everyone had their toes painted so elaborately. It seemed - just tacky! But now after a year here, I can't even imagine my toes painted any other way. I've had hibiscus flowers, cherry blossoms, a Halloween montage, snowmen & trees for Christmas & my favorite so far, gold & black tiger stripes w a hot pink tip! I honestly have not had just one color painted on my toes in a year.
ISO 640 f2.8 1/125

Friday, January 21, 2011


I had been thinking abt trying to give the baby a bottle for awhile now. He is having some severe separation anxiety - way worse than any of my other kids - & I was thinking it may help him, uh, separate from me, for lack of a better term.
I was kind of nervous abt this. He is exclusively breast fed but I have introduced a cup. The last time we tried a bottle, a few months ago, he screamed like a demon!
Today I pumped & tested out the bottle & he took it like a champ!! It was awesome. He even held it himself the whole time! But of course, he was so cute doing it, I held him the whole time anyway. Sheesh, maybe I am the problem!
ISO 640 f2.8 1/100

Thursday, January 20, 2011


We've recently discovered some great new friends that live down the street from us. I tell you, these friends can cook too. They've invited us over for Mexican & Greek. This weekend they brought us left over smoked brisket, bbq sauce, pasta salad & cole slaw & them Sunday morning brought us fresh (STILL WARM!) cranberry orange scones! Tonight, my dear neighbor showed up on my doorstep w a Margarita! Honestly, I've been bugging them for margaritas ever since I had one of theirs a few weeks ago! They are ah-mazing. It couldn't have come at a better time either. My whole house was in full 5:30 meltdown mode. Ah, serenity now!
ISO 400 f2.8 1/60
Clearly, I could have widened my aperture to allow more light in but as you can probably tell, I was very thirsty.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Some days it is so hard to choose just one picture. Today my plan was to get shots of some quirky Japanese clothes I bought the baby. But dang it, he is just so darn beautiful I had to choose this one. Thanks to Kathleen for keeping his attention & thanks to Courtney for those back button focusing tips. I can tell a big difference! PS, my husband has proclaimed he looks like he has a plastic chin. That isn't overboard editing skills, it's drool any mother would (probably) recognize.
ISO 160 f2.0 1/800

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


At day 18 I officially had my slowest day of shooting. I have been really lucky so far to have at least a few options to choose from, but today was slim pickens.
I watched my friend's kids tonight & one came in w this lovie. As the kids were all off & playing I turned around & saw this guy sitting, staring at me. It was so odd. It's rare these days that something looks at me without screaming, asking for something or needing to be fed or cleaned up. I was happy to see him.
ISO 400 f1.8 1/125

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Monday Me
I'm not going to lie. I love this photo. It's not exceptional or amazing but it means something to me. If you didn't know better, you'd look at this picture & think of a gal having a quiet, relaxing breakfast. A cup of coffee in a peaceful seaside cafe. The reality couldn't be farther from the truth. The truth is, we were having breakfast out bc our cleaning people were at our house. We were squeezed into this tiny seaside cafe where you could hear a pin drop. My son was drinking the last of his syrup from the plastic container while my daughter sat & watched yogurt drip off her wooden spoon onto the wooden floor. The husband & I were tag teaming holding the baby bc there were no high chairs. I had set up my camera on top of two menus w all eyes on me & the husband thinking, NOW! You're doing this NOW! I took only 3 shots. So yeah, I love this photo. It represents both the reality & the idealism of my life.
ISO 400 f2.0 1/60
Ha! Ok so my shutter speed is crazy slow but as I said, my life doesn't allow for extra time to fiddle w settings.


Ok, so the laptop is never in the dinning room. It just happened to be there today. Maybe I got distracted w editing or looking at all your fabulous 365 blogs. Either way, when he finally got my attention back, he looked like this. Yikes.
ISO 320 f2.0 1/250

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Two best girlfriends wearing their finest princess dresses & crowns, watching Beauty and the Beast.
ISO 2500 f2.2 1/125

Friday, January 14, 2011


Today was a really special day for my husband & our family. We are so proud of him & everything he does in his job & in his daily life as husband & dad. There is so much I could tell you abt him & how wonderful he is but honestly, it's one of those things for which I can't quite find adequate words. Congratulations on your promotion. We love you.

Integrity First
Service before self
Excellence in all we do
ISO 4000 f2.8 1/400
I KNOW! The ISO again! But honestly, I only took abt 10 pictures & I was trying to rush. I didn't even really look at my settings.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I've been drinking loads of green tea lately. Like, 3 cups a day. I took this picture, which isn't all that spectacular, but what I'm really excited abt is how good I was able to make the tea look. With some editing, I was able to make a murky, grayish yellow tea look like a delicious, refreshing green tea. The husband questioned why I was even drinking the stuff in the original picture!
Bottoms up!
ISO 1000 f1.8 1/200
I'm submitting this over at CIUAN's weekly 'I learned' just bc I'm so jazzed abt my editing. Check out what everyone else learned.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


The kids have come to understand that bath time is not play time w me. Bath time is all abt business. The quicker I can get them clean the quicker they can get out (& to bed!) But I guess if I can get some shots like this, bath time might be a little more fun for everyone.
ISO 2500 f2.8 1/125

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Soup du jour.
When you're 7 months old, this is what your dinner looks like. Peas & prunes.
ISO 2500 f3.2 1/200

Monday, January 10, 2011


Put on a little make up, make up...

I wasn't able to post this last night. Computer problems again. Ah, I'm so tech savvy. Anyway, I snapped this last night to begin a Monday Me. I'm putting my face on bf going out to play bunko w the gals. It was so quiet & I was so completely alone I took the opportunity to take abt... 100 shots. I know the focal point pretty much missed my face but it's a start. I posted in b&w bc I thought it added something to it, even tho I have no clue how to convert (properly to b&w). How bold! Please critique but please, don't crush me. I have feelings.
ISO 3200 f3.2 1/125

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Today the husband made us some Irish soda bread w currants. Yum. I never feel bad abt eating lots home made bread. At least I know what's in it! But I'm so tired after this weekend, this may be what everyone is having for dinner tonight.
ISO 6400 f3.5 1/2000
Looks like I still haven't learned my lesson from yesterday. I'm pretty sure my ISO didn't need to be so darn high.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I couldn't post my picture yesterday bc I was having some problems w Flickr & Lightroom but it's all worked out now. I can assure you, this picture was taken yesterday as I'm still sitting in my pajamas & only two kids have eaten breakfast.
I love natural light in my house. Chances are, if it's dark outside it's dark in here too. I get a lot of teasing for that. ;) So anyway, I set up this shot w the baby to get him in the little bit of natural light we had in the house. After a second look, it appears pretty grainy. Is that just what I must deal w in low natural light settings? Could anyone give me some tips for reducing noise in LR?
ISO 6400 f2.8 1/4000
This was also taken w the zoom I'm test driving so I can't go lower (number) w my aperture. I know my shutter speed was maxed out but...??

Friday, January 7, 2011


Today I got to test drive my friend's zoom lens. My only lens is a 35mm & I'm trying to decide what zoom to get. Any suggestions??
So since I was trying to work this lens we took the kids to the park, even tho the clouds looked ominous & it was getting pretty chilly.
The baby has been a bear lately. Let's blame teeth. But the fresh air always seems to make him happy so he will sit & play alone for quite awhile. I bought him this Anpan man rattle at the Japanese Toys R Us & it's just the perfect size for his little hands. Anpan man, btw, is a hugely popular Japanese cartoon character, whose head is made of bread & filled w red bean paste!!
ISO 200 f3.2 1/125

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I got a pedicure AND did yoga today. Lucky you.
I'm doing p90x in attempts to lose the rest of my baby weight. It's not a NY's resolution kind of thing, in case you were wondering. Just a coincidence. Not that there's anything wrong w NY's resolutions, I just don't make them. I resolve to do things in my own time. :)
Nothing feels better than fanning your toes in Cobbler pose. (Did I just rhyme??) I love yoga & rarely have the time to do it so I'm excited it's a part of the p90x program. My goal is to be able to do Crane pose. For like, 60 seconds. That would be awesome.
ISO 3200 f2.0 1/160

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Today we finally had some sunshine & warmth so we put the kids back into the park routine. The playground was really busy today & we had some new friends join us. I couldn't resist to snap a pic of this little lady attempting to eat her freshly picked flower! Mom was such a great sport & let me snap some pictures bf promptly snatching it up out of her hand & throwing it away! Ah, but isn't she adorable!
ISO 160 f2.0 1/1000

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Subtitled: They call soccer 'football' in Mexico...

The boy got this from a school gift exchange for Christmas & I really like it. It cost (maybe) 10 bucks. It isn't electronic or digital; it doesn't require any batteries & it keeps us entertained. Now normally I am not one to encourage smack talk. But today, as he rammed a plastic figure to score a winning point he shouted, 'How do ya like THESE quesadillas!' Hmm...
ISO 5000 f2.5 1/500

Monday, January 3, 2011


Today was the husband's birthday. Even tho we've been married for almost 8 yrs this is the first year I've made him his all time favorite dessert. I usually take the easy route & buy one but this year I made from scratch NY style cheesecake w fresh whipped cream & homemade dark cherry sauce.
ISO 100 f1.8 1/5

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Today was all abt saying good bye to Christmas break, taking down decorations, cleaning & rearranging. Letting the kids choose their own clothes, IE pajamas, having a big, home made late lunch & then at one point, busting out the hammock so the kids could swing. He kept calling this a 'hamrock'.
ISO 400 f2.5 1/1600

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Husband put the tent up in the backyard to take the kids 'camping'!
ISO 1000 f4.0 1/40
What the hell was I doing w my shutter speed at 40?? Sheesh.