Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fall Into Reading Challenge 2010 Wrap-Up

I've been a terrible blogger.  And this entry is really just to sum up how I did on the reading challenge at Callapidder Days (all did terribly on this!).  We've just been really busy and we found out a little over 4 weeks ago that we're expecting baby #2 (woo hoo!!!!) and I just have a hard time, well, thinking!  That being said, I'm hoping to get a bit better in the new year, especially once I hit the magica 13 week mark!  Cuz right now, I just feel GROSS!!

Now onto my very disappointing reading challenge wrap up!

I had a hard time getting through this book.  In fact, I've still got about 200 pages or so to read.  I just don't love the way that it's written and it makes it hard to want to read it, even though I love the content.  I had read a bit of it and watched the movie before we went to DC in October, and it definitely made the Iwo Jima Memorial seem even more magnificent.  It totally added to our experience to know a bit of the background instead of just reading a plaque.  Hoping to finish this at some point, just not sure when that point will be ;)

I really enjoyed this book!  It was one of those "I have to finish this now so dishes, laundry, etc can wait...for a few days!!" books.  When in DC, we went to the National Museum of American History and they had the Greensboro Lunch Counter there, and again, because I had read this book and got a glimpse into what these people's lives may have been like, it was actually a bit emotional for me.  

As I mentioned before, every time I read a book about the Plain life, there is a part of me that longs for a simpler life.  This book was no exception.  It was a good read, not overly dramatic but still gripped me and made me feel like I was a part of their lives.  Loved it, and planning to read more by Ms. Wiseman.

Once again, I never actually got to read this.  Mostly because I lost it some time between putting it in a pile to write that I was going to read it, and well, now :)  Never a good feeling to lose a book!

Didn't get to Nickel and Dimed either.  Another time.

This book was probably my favorite of the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers.  It was beautifully written, my body was downright tense many times because of the different situations that came up, and I again felt like I was almost losing a friend when the book ended!  I was definitely a bit sad to see the end of this series, but it was another stop-everything-so-I-can-finish-this kind of a book, and I'm not sure my house and family would have made it through another book ;)  This was by far my favorite book of the challenge!

I had also planned on reading my Bible more and reading to Gracie more, and for the first few weeks that worked well, but since I've been feeling so gross, I have wanted to do much of anything.  I have tried to read to Gracie when she asks and I feel like I can see the words without getting sick, but I've learned not to ask her because she'll always say no!  It's as if she thinks that if I offer and she accepts, she is admitting that she needs help with something and that is so not the case!!  She IS two years old after all ;)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Photos from About A Boy

Here are some more pictures for the countdown to Halloween at About A Boy.  The lighting isn't great, being dark and all, but I had a great time shooting things that I normally wouldn't really think about photographing.  I also got to shoot at night, which I hardly ever get to do (I'm a total fraidy cat!).  I loved doing this countdown!

Favorite picture of the night - this was actually this morning but I love this picture.  It's not great photographically or anything, but I love that it shows how much she really loved the bounce house!  This is one of those great memory-makers for me.

Fill the frame:

Step to the Other Side: another great memory maker!  Jabba the Hut answered the door and Gracie would NOT say trick-or-treat, she would NOT say thank you, and she burst into tears!  It didn't help to have the red light filling the whole house!


Cut Off Parts: Being chased around by cousin Emery

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Playing with Lightroom

A blog that I read called "About A Boy" has a challenge of sorts to get ready for Halloween. I'm not really into Halloween, for no reason in particular, but I've loved taking part in these challenges because it's getting me out of my comfort zone and shooting different types of things! Katrina is a great resource, definitely one of the best photography blogs I've found! She also encouraged me to get my new fave lens when I went on the Photo Walk in Sacramento with her. So I owe her a lot ;)

Anyway, this particular challenge was to get a "spooky" picture by playing around with Lightroom a bit. And let me tell ya, once I downloaded the free trial and a free preset, I definitely know what I'm going to be saving up to buy! What a great program!

So here is my attempt at "spooky." Hopefully it will show up, I'm very new to Flickr, so give me a bit of grace please ;)


Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Heart "Beef"

This week's challenge at I Heart Faces is all about beef!  Yum!  I love me some red meat!  Which is a good thing, since I'd likely be disowned by my family if I didn't ;)

I found the following recipe at Tasty Kitchen.  

Ceridwen's Steak Marinade

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2

3 cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 cups Worcestershire Sauce plus 2 Tablespoons
2 Tablespoons chopped Rosemary
Pepper to taste

Preparation Instructions:
Coarsely chop 3 garlic cloves.  Combine with the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and rosemary.  Pepper to taste.  
Marinate meat on each side for 15 minutes.

***I did make a few tiny changes to this.  I cut my steaks into chunks, marinated it for a few hours, then popped the cubes on fresh rosemary skewers from my garden.  Absolutely wonderful!  ***

Check out more awesome pictures by clicking on this ridiculously cute button!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall Into Reading 2010 Challenge


Everything about fall is wonderful...the crisp, cooler air; the smells of baked goods; new soup recipes; leaves; the colors...I could go on and on.  But one of my new favorite things about this time of year is the reading challenge at Callapidder Days.  She does reading challenges in the fall and the spring, so I'm guaranteed at least 2 seasons to get some serious reading done.  Well, as serious as it gets now that I'm a mommy and a wife! ;)

On my list for this Fall Into Reading Challenge are the following:

I will be visiting my sister-in-law in DC and my dad just finished this book, so I thought it would be a good prep to go see the Iwo Jima memorial.  I've read 4 pages or so to just get a feel for it and!!  I am hooked already!

I've also already started this one because I got it from the library (I was #60 on the waiting list! So I had no idea when it would come).  So far it is very interesting, but not sure if I'll be able to finish it or not because I didn't start it til a few days ago and I only have 2 days left to finish it.  We shall see.

Again, already started this one (I really had a hard time getting into any one book for a while, so I had a few on the go!), only a few chapters in, but good so far.  I have to admit though that any time I read a book about the Plain life, there is a certain appeal to it.  

I had this on my list last fall and never made it to even opening the book...or if I did, I certainly can't remember it now! :)  Looking forward to reading another Joyce book.

I heard about this book in a class in college, finally bought it from a yard sale or something, and have yet to read it.  It will be interested to see what it says since it's about "getting by" in America with poverty-level wages, and things seem even harder for people now, 9 years later than when the book was written.

Super excited about this last book in the Mark of the Lion series!  Finally got it from my friend 2 Sundays ago and hoping to be able to use it as my "reward" for finishing my other books.  Though I'm not sure it can wait that long ;)

I am also going to add into this challenge that I want to make a point to read more to Gracie and to read my Bible more consistently.  I think that the colder months lend themselves to reading because it feels so comfy and cozy...and just plain RIGHT!  

I'd totally encourage you all to join me in the challenge.  It starts today, but you can post your blog entry for a while I believe.  It's just nice to do something that is for ME and to know that there are other people who are doing the same.  It makes me a much nicer mommy and wife I think :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Heart Faces "Smirk" Challenge

The challenge at I Heart Faces this week is "Smirk."  This is as close as I could get!  It's actually one of my favorites of G because nobody was really paying attention to her, we were all just kind of chatting and she took advantage of it by getting the last little bit of daddy's chocolate "crumbs."  This sweet look is one of "Yes, I got caught, but no, I am not sorry cuz those Cadbury Buttons were gooooooood!"

To look at more entries, visit

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Heart Faces: Photojournalism

This week's theme at I Heart Faces is photojournalism.  This man sitting on a bench in the farmer's market in San Francisco absolutely intrigued me.  I just kept wondering about his life and who he was.  And yes it is the picture from my post about San Francisco.  I liked it so much that I put it up two out of three entries :)

Check out more entries here:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Heart Faces "Beach" Challenge

It's been a while since I've entered a photo in an I Heart Faces challenge, but I have a boatload of pics from our recent trip, so thought I'd give it a shot, since the theme is "Beach."

Sweet lil guy thought that the sand was pretty tasty!  He definitely is ALL boy!

Catch more entries at 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mushrooms and Musicians (or, Why I Love San Francisco)

I love San Francisco.  I could go to the same places every time I go and never grow bored.  One of my favorite places is the farmer's market on The Embarcadero.  

It's got food.

It's got music.

And it's got a whole lot of random photo ops.



It's the most inspiring place I've been.  I love to walk around and people watch (as you can tell by my pictures of random strangers!).  You meet all types there and there is a feeling of "Whatever you want to be, you can be.  Whoever you want to become, you can become."  I love it.

We have a lot of pictures of San Francisco.  A LOT!  So I tried to challenge myself a bit by taking different perspectives of the "same ol'" things or just different "things" in general.

Coit Tower, bridge

House on the way to Lombard street

Alcatraz (that's the blurriness in the water there ;))

Sea Lions on the Pier

Not sure what this is actually called, but it's one of those special memory places.

Golden Gate Bridge

Isn't it a beautiful city?!  Seriously, every time I go I am inspired and I actually feel like it is going to be part of our future.  I'm not necessarily sure in what capacity, but I know that God's going to use my love for this city for Him.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Spring Reading Thing Wrap Up

I FINISHED!!!!!  I finally finished a reading challenge!!  Which means that I can cross off number 81 in 101 in 1001, which was to "Do everything I plan to do in a book challenge."  Of course, I finished the last book LAST NIGHT at 9:30, in my true procrastinator way, but the point is that I finished, and I feel darn good about it!  

Here are the books I read.

Yep.  Still love it :)  I was kind of surprised that I liked it so much as a kid, but there ya go :)
Very fun book.  You could totally see what the end was 3 miles away, but there were some surprises all throughout, which made it interesting.  Very clean, which I loved, and a sweet love story, both between Emily and Jonas and Emily and the Lord.  
Wow, I was not expecting this to be so intense.  It definitely showed this mother's love, how powerful it can be, and how worth it it can be.  Very good.

Why in the world do people obsess over Edward Cullen when Mr. Darcy is CLEARLY a better choice?!  Beautiful book, so glad I finally read (well, listened to :)) an Austen book.  I definitely see more in my future!

Oh goodness, still love love LOVE this book as well.  

I love the way that Oz and Roizen explain our bodies in easy-to-understand terms and illustrations.  Some yummy recipes too!  I love seeing a "just take good care of yourself" book instead of a "only-eat-carbs-or-protein-orgrapefruit-or-candy-bars" diet book.  Loved it.

This was probably one of the best books I have EVER read!!!  Be warned though, you will HAVE to read the 2nd book as well, and I am assuming the 3rd.  It took me a loooooooooong time to get past the first 50 or so pages (mostly because there were so many names and I kept getting interrupted so I would forget where I was and couldn't find my place again) but I am SO GLAD I did!!!  Absolutely beautiful.  And again, I have to say, waaaaaaaay better than Twilight!  It gripped me much more than a bunch of vampires and werewolves, partly because it could have been a true story.  I find myself wanting to tell people about something that happened in the book, and then realize that it wasn't real life!  I totally recommend this.

Alrighty, guess that wraps it up!  Thanks Katrina for putting on another wonderful reading challenge!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Thrifty Awesome-ness

My mom and I went to a huge community garage sale a few weekends ago, and we found ourselves at the home of a man who formerly had an antique shop and still dabbles in, um, antiquity?!  Anyway, we got to talking with him, and my mom mentioned that she had bought some stuff from him he let us go into his shed in the back where he kept all the rest of his stuff!  He said we could take a look and buy whatever we wanted, he would give us a great deal.  The place was immaculate, perfectly organized...beautiful, blissful.  I wished that I had brought my camera because it was just so breathtaking!  And then these little beauties caught my eye:

Aren't they beautiful?!  I fell in love with them instantly and my mom suggested I ask him how much they were.  I kind of brushed it off cuz I thought I couldn't afford them.  And then something in me said, "Hey, if you don't ask, you don't know."  I think it was my mother-in-law ;)  So I asked and he said he'd give all 3 of them to me for...are you ready?!  Are ya?!....  FIFTEEN DOLLARS!!!!!  I plunked down the money and was on cloud nine for the rest of the week.

It's the simple things in life, isn't it?!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I Heart Faces Photo Walk

So yesterday was absolutely one of the best days ever!  I went on my first photo walk!  It was put on by one of my favorite sites, I Heart Faces.  Our fearless leader was Katrina Kennedy and she was FANTASTIC!  She even let me borrow a lens that I have been umming and awwing about buying.  What a gem!  I was able to ask questions and get some pointers, which was super helpful as I am just starting out on this fun adventure!  

I took over 500 pictures, almost all of a lovely, sweet girl named Marina.  She made it so much fun cuz she would do whatever any of the 26 of us would ask her to do.  Total sweetheart!  Very different from my usual subject who cries to be held 5 minutes into the "session" ;)

Here are some of my faves.  Some of them are not great, and I know that, but I was really just trying to do new things and play around with my camera.  So let me know what you think!  I'd love to get ANY kind of feedback!













There ya go! Like I said, I would appreciate any feedback, whether you are "into" photography or not!