Category Archives: Photography

Green with Envy

For at least six months, I have been wanting a camera bag that doubles as a purse. I love taking my camera with me places, but I’ve always disliked lugging around a camera bag along with my purse, or trying to stuff my personal stuff into a small compartment on the camera bag. I fell in love with a Jo Totes bag, but couldn’t afford it, until my birthday when I got some cash from John’s family! Finally!

I ordered my Rose bag in Moss and waited anxiously for the package to arrive. It did not disappoint!

The box arrived on a Saturday morning, so it was waiting on my front step when I got up, the box announcing there was a special delivery inside!

After carefully opening the box, I found my bag lovingly wrapped in another protective bag, declaring the goodness that awaited inside!

I finally had my first glimpse and my new tote (sidenote…I messed up the color on this image…the color in the next two photos is much more accurate)

And here it is, in all its glory!

And of course, we can’t forget the inside fabric! The bag game with 5 separate dividers – I tried to figure out how to use them all, but didn’t need more than 3, but it’s great knowing I have them if I do end up needing them someday when I have more gear.

So, there it is! I’ve used it once so far – but only to my parents’ house. It will be getting lots of use the rest of this month at several birthday parties and photo shoots, so be on the lookout for it to pop up in the future!

P.S. I wasn’t paid or otherwise compensated for this post. I’m just super excited about my new camera bag!











Live Every Moment: Vibrant Colors

It’s been forever since I joined a photo challenge, but now that we’re a bit more settled with the house and everything, I want to get back into it again. Not only is it fun, but it forces me to use my camera more – which I need sometimes!

We’ll kick off my return to photo challenges with this gorgeous rose from our backyard for the LEM Photo Challenge.

To see more vibrant colors, check out other entries by clicking the button below.

New Beginnings

I know, I know, I’ve been MIA for almost a month now. Life’s been crazy (when isn’t it?) and blogging just wasn’t something that was a major priority for me in the midst of all that was happening.

But, I should be back for good now (at least once a week!), so for starters, I thought I’d let you all know what I’ve been up to!

Many of you know that my husband and I were house hunting most of February and early March. We had an offer accepted and opened escrow on the home on March 9. Just 21 days later, March 29, we became the owners of THIS home in Ontario (about 40 minutes from where we currently live) and I was able to check off #45 on my 101 in 1001 list!

I’m sure you’ll be reading more about all of our fun adventures of being homeowners, especially in the coming weeks as we do some work to the house (we’re currently in the process of removing the AWFUL popcorn “acoustic” ceilings throughout the ENTIRE house that I’m sure were a great selling point back when the house was built!).

Some rather shocking and sad new arrived just as we closed on the house – I was being laid off. I had a little bit of notice and began the job search right away, but still haven’t found what God has for me next. Prayers for guidance, trust and peace are much appreciated, if you’re a praying type of person.

The lay off has, however, given me some time to work on a project I’ve been wanting to launch for a few months now…my own photography business!

It’s been a lot of fun building a buzz around the new business and I actually have my very first shoot TOMORROW morning! I’ve always toyed with the idea of owning my own business, especially in photography, but felt like I just didn’t have the time or good enough equipment or enough talent to be successful. But, here I am! I know it will be a lot of work, especially the first couple years, but I know it’s something I will love doing and I AM good at! (If you want to check out the site and my work, just click on the logo above or find me on Facebook.)

So, that’s what’s kept me so busy the past few weeks – and all the new things that are ahead for me and my hubby (who has been super supportive, especially of the business endeavor – he’s sort of my advertising manager)! I’ve got lots more to catch you up on, so stay tuned! You’ll be seeing a lot more of me!

Shadows, Color and a Super Cute Baby

It’s been a very long time since I’ve participated in photo challenges. In fact, I don’t think I’ve done any in 2011 (or very few anyway).

I already had these photos taken a day or two before the themes were announced, so I figured, I may as well join up this week and share some of my more “artistic” photography!

This one is for Perceptive Perspective’s theme of “Window Light.” I’m not sure if this is what she meant by it, but I have actually been meaning to take this photo for a while and finally did last week! My sister’s cats love to sit in the front window, between the curtain and window, in the mornings, creating some really awesome light/shadow shots!


Next is a photo, I’ll be honest, that I’m not entirely thrilled with. I’m not sure if I screwed up the editing on it or what, but some of the colors look like they’re glowing (anyone want to help me figure out why, I’d really love to learn!). It’s for Faith’s Simplicity theme of “Colorful” (at least it fits well, right?).

This last one is my favorite one, by far! It’s one of the cute babies from our Bible study (there’s 5 of them now…hopefully more on the way soon!). I used one of the black and white actions from Mandy over at a sorta fairytale and I think this is my new favorite action to get awesome black and white images. I love high contrast images, and this particular action does it so well! I think I also used PW’s eye pop action (I’m to lazy to look up what it’s actually called). I’m linking up with Live Every Moment’s black and white theme.

I must say, it actually feels great to be doing this again! I have learned so much on the editing end that I feel like my images have improved a lot over the past few months! I’m excited to use these challenges to continue learning more!

Photo Challenges 1.7.11

I haven’t entered in any photo challenges in a rather long time – December was just a crazy month (I even tried to make it not crazy, which was unsuccessful)!

So, here are a couple of photos I’ve taken over the past week…which just happen to fit some of the challenges this week, as well!

This one is for Simplicity’s White on White theme.  I must say that I am loving shooting in RAW.  I feel like even if my exposure in camera is awful and my white balance is way off, I can have a decent shot at actually fixing it (though I admit I still have a lot to learn about white balance…it’s one of those thing that didn’t exist on film cameras, which is what I learned on when I was in high school!).

This is Mikayla. She’s the adorable almost 11-month-old daughter of one of my college roommates.  Since realizing we live just 5 minutes away from each other, we’ve baby-sat Mikayla twice and she’s been so much fun! She’s probably one of the most laid-back, easy-going babies I have ever met!  I’m not totally thrilled with this photo since I had to use the flash (there just wasn’t enough light inside), and shot it on full-auto, which meant no RAW image (BOOO!!!).  At least her cute adorableness makes up for the poor technical qualities of the image!  I’m entering it in a new-to-me challenge at Live Every Moment.  The theme this week is anything!

Scavenger Hunt Sunday 12.12.10

The weekly scavenger hunted hosted by Ashley has been one of the most consistent photo challenges I’ve participated in and is definitely one I am going to continue. I like having 5 things over the course of the week and it’s fun to go through my photos at the end of the week to see how I can make the photos I’ve taken fit the categories (though I admit I sometimes fudge a little and take some photos from a few days before that week…shhh, don’t tell!).

So, here are my finds for this week!

1: Holiday Colors

2: Winter/Holiday Icon

3: Tree

I’m also entering this in the Happy Monday photo challenge of “Bokeh” this week.

4: Quiet(This is the hallway of the school at the church where I work. It’s usually full of students!)

5: Favorite Color (Lime Green)It’s a self-portrait that I actually like! It may be over-edited, but I actually like the way it looks!)

So, that’s it for this week!  For more Scavenger Hunt photos, check out Ramblings and Photos!


The Past Two Weeks

I never intended to be away from my blog for two weeks. Time just flew by as I spent some time evaluating what I want this blog to be and how blogging will fit into my life. It was actually kind of nice to not have to worry about sorting and editing photos, writing a blog post, uploading photos, linking to memes, etc. I was able to enjoy the craziness that December has been so far!

You see, for the past two weeks, almost every night, my hubby and I have had somewhere to be in the evening. Wednesdays are our small group Bible study. We started taking Early Childhood Education classes that meet for 3 hours once a week (but we’re taking two classes, so that’s two nights a week). We’ve had a Christmas party, a trip to Disneyland, and of course, church (in the new building!).

Oh, and don’t forget Christmas shopping (DONE! Just waiting on one more thing in the mail and I have 2 or 3 little things to make) and Christmas decorating (DONE!) and Christmas cards (not quite done…hopefully early this week!).

So, what I’ve pretty much decided while being away, is that I’m probably only going to be participating in 1 or 2 photo challenges a week. I didn’t like what my blog has become – post after post of photos that I took just to fulfill an “assignment.” I felt like my creativity was being compromised because I was always looking for something to fit into a particular theme. Photography wasn’t fun anymore. It became one more thing to check off my list. I still love taking photos (though I’m glad my 365 photo challenge is only 20 days from its conclusion), but I want to work more on photographing things because I see something, not because it will fit into a particular category. I’m not saying doing what I’ve been doing is wrong for anyone else, it’s just not right for me.

I want to share my life…all the fun and exciting things that have happened and will happen, as well as the mundane and normal…and my journey on my 101 in 1001 and Mission: Lose Lotsa Weight challenges. Our little family of two also likely has some big changes coming in 2011 and I want this blog to be a place to share and celebrate those changes (for those of you wondering, we’re planning to purchase our first home and are hoping to grow our family, too).

As for the photo challenge I started, Lens Art…it’s on hiatus indefinitely. I would love to continue the challenge, but I just don’t have the time or energy for it right now. I thank all of you who did participate and I loved seeing your photographic artwork!

So, with all that said, I do have a long list of blog posts to catch up on…mostly 101 in 1001 related, but there’s a lot that’s happened in the past month and a half or so that I haven’t posted here yet. I hope to see you all around still, even if it’s just to read about boring ol’ me.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday 11.28.10

Does it seem like the past week was really two weeks long to anyone else? It’s like we had two weekends almost – Thursday and then now the real weekend. I don’t know about you, but my days have been all mixed up! At least I’ve been productive – my goal was to be done with Christmas stuff this weekend so I could enjoy the season instead of rushing around – I’ve made some major progress, and the majority of it should be finished tomorrow with my very-likely-full-day shopping extravaganza, which is why I’m posting this now…

It is indeed (almost) Sunday, which means it’s time to reveal my finds for this week’s scavenger hunt.

1: Black & White

#2: I Ate This…

So, I didn’t actually eat this on Thanksgiving, but believe it or not, I didn’t take a single photo of Thanksgiving this year. Yep, major fail. This recipe is actually a BBQ pork chop slow cooker recipe that’s super easy and very tasty!

#3: Historic

Trees are historic right? Especially the big, tall ones? Yeah, a stretch, I know…but I like the shot.

#4: Off Center

I totally LOVE this photo. I want to play with it more…add some textures, play with different variations on the color/mood, stuff like that. I considered using this image for this week’s Scripture and a Snapshot, but I’m coming up way short on a verse that I feel really connects with this shot (though it seems to be screaming for one…I’m sure God will bring it to me at just the right time).

#5: The End

This was the finish line of the race I ran on Thanksgiving morning (a 5K for those of you who are new around here). These were some of the runners crossing the finish line of the race before mine. (More on my race in another post coming soon!)


What I’m Thankful For

I realize that pretty much everyone is doing one of these posts today, but I’ve been realizing this week that we don’t spend nearly enough time remembering the things we are so lucky to have, especially living here in the USA. And sadly, Thanksgiving is often looked over as we jump from one commercialized holiday in October to another in December.

So, here’s my list of what I’m thankful for this year (I’m linking up to several different meme’s with this post…see who at the bottom).

A: Awesome Co-Workers (I really don’t think I could work with more amazing, supportive, encouraging people. I love my job because of who I work with and am so thankful that not only do I have a job, I have one I love.)

B: Babies (There are a lot of these in our life right now (friends and family)…though none of our own yet. It’s such a miracle to think how a baby is created and then develops and grows…and the expression of love that child is)

C: Creativity (Both God’s amazing creativity in how He made this world, and the creativity He has given to me to glorify Him)

D: Disneyland (Such a magical place that has so many memories for me. I’m fortunate enough to live close by and can afford to have a pass (even though I don’t have one right now) so I can enjoy the entertainment it offers.)

E: Electricity (It’s amazing how we become so lost when we don’t have it)

F: Feet (I’ve rediscovered running over the past few months and even though I hated it in high school, I’m enjoying it and know it is making me a healthier person…and my feet enable me to do that!)

G: Grace (It’s a free gift from God and yet I’m so slow accept it and then to offer it to others. I will never understand it, but am so grateful for it)

H: House (It’s not ours and it’s not our ideal living situation, but living with my sister is allowing us to save for a place of our own, hopefully this spring)

I: iPhone (Yes, this may be silly, but I often take it for granted! My iPhone is invaluable to me, especially when it comes to the map feature)

J: John, my husband (I don’t tell him enough how grateful I am to have him in my life and the things we does for me and how much I enjoy spending my life with him.)

K: Kitchen (I love cooking. Having a kitchen to do it in is a huge blessing!)

L: Love (Again, both God’s love and the love we experience in our relationships with each other)

M: Mom (Until a few years ago, I didn’t realize just how thankful I am for her and the sacrifices she and my dad made for us growing up. I also realized how much she really does know…it’s it funny how your parents get smarter as you become an adult?)

N: New Friends (While I’ve been part of a small group through my church for over a year now, I struggled with attending for most of this past year. Now that I’ve been attending regularly again, and our group has grown, I am loving this new group of friends I have and look forward to continuing “doing life together.”)

O: Olives (Kinda weird, I know. Olives are one of my favorite things to eat. It wasn’t that long ago I was still putting them on my fingertips prior to eating them…though smaller fingers seem to work much better. In all seriousness, though, this is representative of the vast array of foods that we have access to, and the supply is pretty much endless.)

P: Prayer (I get to talk with God…whenever I want, wherever I want, about whatever I want. How awesome is that?)

Q: Quilts (They keep me warm at night, especially with the recent turn in our weather.)

R: Rain (It’s fairly rare for us to be getting this much rain in Southern California in the fall, but I’m loving it and know how much we need it)

S: Senses (Like the 5 senses. Some people do not have one or more of these. We use them every single day and yet it’s so easy to not even realize what a gift they are and how they allow us to experience the world around us.)

T: Technology (I am so reliant on technology…my computer, emails, blogs, digital photography, cell phones, cable TV, debit/credit cards…the list goes on. I remember when Y2K threatened to bring it all down. It makes our lives so much easier and enjoyable!)

U: Unanswered Prayers (This kind of goes along with “P.” How many times have I asked for something only to be told “No” or left unanswered, only to discover later that God had a much better plan than what I wanted. Now, if I could just learn to be thankful when I’m being told “No” or “Wait” in that moment instead of when I can look back and reflect on it after the fact.)

V: Victory (Christ’s victory over death so that I could have eternal life with my Heavenly Father)

W: Water (Since we would die without it after only a few days and there are many people in the world who do not have access to clean drinking water, I’m thankful that I can turn on my faucet whenever I want or need to use water!)

X: Xpedx (For those who don’t know, it’s a paper and graphics store. I often purchase bulk paper and envelopes here…and it’s really cost efficient. In fact, I’m headed over there this afternoon to get envelopes for our Christmas cards I’m putting together this weekend.)

Y: Youth (As in the high school students I get to minister to every Wednesday for half an hour. I love these girls and being able to pour into their lives.)

Z: Zoom Lens (It’s not really mine, but I get to use it 99% of the time. I was so lost without it when my mom took it with her for her 2-week East Coast trip. I love the ability to get in close to a subject without having to be super close physically.)

So, here’s where I’m linking up to today:
PhotobucketFinding Joy | The ABC's of Thanks

A Scripture & a Snapshot 11.22.10

I started this challenge about a month ago and it’s become one of my favorites (even though I’ve missed it the past couple of weeks).