Monday, April 30, 2012

I'd Rather Be...Snorkeling

Yet another addition to my series "I'd Rather Be..." and as you can see, it's me!  I'm very sweaty under that mask, FYI, it was easily 90 degrees today!  I need some color on those white legs too, dang!  And, truth be told, I would rather be snorkeling!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Campfire Bliss

I know, I know, another bloody iPhone picture!  Sorry, we killed the battery on my Canon yesterday and was too foolish to bring a back up!  So, this is the cutest moment of my day...seeing my little peanut sitting (in her puppy slippers) in front of the fire, sipping on her hot chocolate.  FYI, she wasn't this blissful about 10 minutes prior as she moaned from inside her sleeping bag that it was too cold to get up and she would never get out of the tent...never, eh?  I can still smell the fire as I pack it in for the night, what a great morning!  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Good Morning, Zion!

Good Morning!  This is what I saw when I woke up at our lovely hotel this amazing sunrise pushing light through the blinds.  The light pulled me outside to take in the mountain view beyond the quiet parking lot and then to the opposite side where the rocks were soaking up the morning light.  Wow. Magnificent, eh?  It's going to be even better from our tent tomorrow morning, can't wait!!  Off to the hot tub to start the morning (and amuse the child)...better than watching cartoons!

Price of Fun

I can't help but show my age here...HOLY CRAP THAT'S EXPENSIVE!  I just have to wonder how teenager are surviving this insanity?!  When I was a teenager my freedom was in direct proportion to how much gas I had in my car.  I would scrape up quarters I found around my parents house to fill my tank--and that's all it took!  It never cost more than $12 to fill my 12 gallon, baby blue, Chevy Chevette beast!  I gag at paying $69 (and I can afford it) just to head out on a camping weekend (which used to be a cheap get-a-way, right?)!  Dang!  Things like this make me want to go political on's too bad there really is a price of fun (and $69 seems to be it for me this weekend).

FYI, I was too pooped to post this last night...Dad got stuck at DIA so I had to drive us to Utah (I know, a whopping 3 hours away, it was an easy, beautiful drive) and by the time we crashed...I was done.  :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shiny Shoes

These shiny shoes are a picture of childhood.  The bruises and marks on the chins are too, as well as the nick on the toe of the shoe and the pushed down socks, it all makes me smile.  My daughter won't let me take pictures of her face, but she doesn't seem to mind me shooting her feet...go figure.  I don't mind, these little shoes are just as sweet a reminder to me...this moment is fleeting and I want to embrace all of it, even the shiny shoes!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Pretty amazing, eh?  When I lived in Alaska I couldn't stop staring at the night sky when the Aurora Borealis was out.  It was the most magical phenomenon I ever witnessed.  It only came out in winter and it felt like a reward from nature for enduring the dark, cold days. Now that I live in the desert, I find clouds to be my skyward distraction.  It's so seldom that we have a cloudy day that when we do, all I want to do is lay in the grass and stare at the shapes and colors above me.  The various shades of gray against the gorgeous blue sky are just amazing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Paint By Number Tree

This image just made me think of an oil painting or a paint-by-number since it's so painterly.  I love it when that happens!  I actually am still playing around with HDR in Lightroom (for those who don't know, you take 3 images at different exposures and the computer "magically" merges them into one shot).  You can see some ghosting in the tree to the right but I think it looks cool so I kept it.  This shot was taken around 6:30pm, under a rather cloudy sky (was hoping for rain but it didn't).  I just played around with the colors.  :)  Nature and technology can mix beautifuly!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kick Butt Chick

This is my sweet friend, Sheila.  She kicks serious butt at the gym but you wouldn't know it by looking at her here (or at least that was my intention).  I just started a new work out by Jillian Michaels (Body Revolution, no less) and was inspired to capture an image of a bad a$$ personal trainer...I think I did.  You GO GIRL!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!  We went out and enjoyed a day in Mother Nature today, what fun!  I also learned how to process an HDR image in Lightroom, how exciting--here's my first.  It is a little trickier to do this with a child (they move a lot) but she was a great model.  It was a day of fun in the sprinklers for her and hopefully, it will help that brown patch of grass green up a bit! Can you believe we didn't have ONE rose last year and now those bushes are bursting with them, how awesome!  I'm so glad I didn't let him chop them down over the winter.  :)  Enjoy a sprinkler, a rose or just a view soon, it's a good thing!

I Heart Date Night!

ACK!  I forgot to hit "publish" last night...I was so dizzy with excitement about our date night that I forgot to post!  Sorry!  Well, I can tell you that the "Festival of Beer" was no disappointment.  Whew.  What a night.  It was made even sweeter by the company of good friends (who are moving in a couple of weeks, boo).  One of the more interesting moments was our gluttonous dinner at Bottles and Burgers.  We had a very charismatic waiter who served us a "chocolate cake" shot--incredible gastronomic moment, I must say.  It really tasted like a bite of rich, chocolate cake.  None of us had a clue what was in the glass (it was a clear liquid) but it was yummy!  Ok, now I have to kick start my metabolism with my new Jillian Michaels (love her) 90 day starts today!  Whoo Hoo!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fake Nails

"Oh, I can't believe I have fake nails!" she says as she squeals with joy and stares in the mirror.  It really is the little things with kids, isn't it?  One trip to the dollar store can yield so much happiness.  So, she wore the fake nails to Disney on Ice and felt so beautiful the whole night. It wasn't long after this shot that they all fell off, but that was ok.  

In photo news, I heart Lightroom!  I finally installed it yesterday and took a 2 hour class on it last night.  I bought a Kelby book on it and the hub is hooked too.  I developed this shot in Lightroom and it was so much quicker and easier than the PS BS.  I also feel pleased with myself for figuring out the watermark, smile.  I guess with big girls it's the little things too!  

By the way, Allison, I shot this sucker in almost total darkness at 3200 ISO!  Not bad, eh?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sponge Bob

Meet my tennis ball, Sponge Bob.  Yes, I am a hypocrite, I won't let my daughter watch the show yet I invite his presence in our lives...because he's funny.  How can you not smile when you see this face?  You may have figured it out already, if not, this dangling tennis Bob is telling me when to stop when I park my car in the garage...he bounces off my windshield.  How ironic, a moronic cartoon character offering me a warning that I will hit the wall if I don't stop.  It's just a way I add a little joy (however meaningless) to an otherwise dull day.

Uncle Jimmy, in case you're reading this, I think I got the idea of the tennis ball from you!  :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'd Rather Be...Traveling

Here's a shot I made today for my "I'd Rather Be..." series called "Traveling."  Isabel was a great sport as I posed her in many different ways, asked her to move the clothes, stand here, stand there, plug in my strobe light, smile, look at the camera, look away...etc.  We kept cracking up through each shot because, for some reason, this is not something she does each day at the dry cleaners!  Today is the first time I set my white balance for "custom" because although this space was covered in fluorescent lights (hideous) that setting was giving me an awful blue color cast (?).  The AWB did the I was happy to see something better from the custom setting!  Yay!  I knew there was a reason for this blog...forcing me out of my comfort zone.  

Escaping from reality has always been one of my favorite things to do and I guess I'll never grow out of it...I'd rather be traveling too!

Monday, April 16, 2012


There are many reasons why this image is cool. The reason I love it is because it immediately caught my eye to see something personalized on a jet.  The skull was an "after market" didn't come off the line that way, I know, you're shocked!  Very seldom will you see a jet with any "unofficial" markings (save the A-10 with her sweet nose art).  You will have to continue to wonder what kind of jet this skull is on (I'm not telling) but I will tell you was flown later that day, it is super duper fast, it is not stealth, it is flown by a person in the jet (with wind under her butt), the number 258 means something, the skull means even more and after I took the shot I was told that I really needed to put my camera away.  :o  

Side note:  I didn't shoot this today...I did break out my camera tonight but I only shot people (adults) and I didn't have their permission to post the images so I pulled this one from the inventory for fun!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kilts Rock

I can't help myself...kilts just do "it" for me!  I love seeing men in skirts!  What's up with that?  Here's a shot of a couple of blokes at the Scottish Highland Games today at a little park in nowhere Las Vegas.  It was so much fun.  Very Renaissance Festival meets the Highland Games...awesome people watching!  Loads of cool tattoos, mini-kilts, crazy mohawks, bagpipes and good beer...oh, and funnel cakes!  I like these guys because the drum sticks in his socks are awesome!  If you haven't been to a good fest yet this year, I highly recommend you check one out, they are a hoot!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pirate Gear

Everyone knows that you need a proper sword to be a proper pirate, right?!  So, that's exactly what a house-full of kids made today. I think my favorite part of watching this event was watching the girls "bedazzle" their swords with gems and stickers.  It really is proof that we are born the way we are...girly or not.  Some (like mine) are as fou-fou as they come (completely Fancy Nancy) while others come out of the womb as tomboys.  (likewise for boys)  This is how nature made us and you just can't argue that it's not a fact...ok, I guess YOU can, but I don't.  :p

In the meantime, I'm digging the swords with the skull and crossbones as well as the jewels!  Awesome!  Arrrrrrrrr

Friday, April 13, 2012


My shot du jour is this cutie pie, Timothy.  He is only 8 weeks and gave me several smiles!  I was giddy and feeling like I had some sort of knack with babies until my friend (who was holding him) starting laughing and told me he had gas the whole time.  Hey, I'll take what I can get.  :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'd Rather Be...

Here's another image from my "I'd Rather Be..." series.  This one is called "at the spa."  Naturally, what woman wouldn't rather be at the spa instead of doing laundry?  I'm digging this one because I like the color, the smile on her face, the movement of the clothes and the joy of the escape.  I hope you like it too. Please tell me what you would rather be doing so I can create your happy place!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Free Spirit

This sight makes me happy when I look at the mirror of my truck.  Not, the sun setting into the mountains (although, I love that too) but the little hand that still enjoys the simple pleasures of life.  I used to love sticking my arm out the window of the car while my dad drove and weave my hand through the passing wind.  I loved the lack of control my hand had as it moved about naturally.  I haven't done that in so long...why?  I'm sure the sensation is the same as it was then, am I bothered by the wind messing up my hair?  Maybe I just forgot how to be a free spirit, I need to work on that...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I just love these little toes...I've loved them from the first moment I laid eyes on them.  I've watched them grow from tiny peas to little beans and enjoyed every moment along the way.  What a blessing it is to have toes to watch grow.  It's fun to cuddle with them, watch them run through grass and paint those little nails too!  I hope I never take these moments for granted and I pray that I will have these toes next to mine for a million years more.

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Tripod is My Friend

There's something I rarely admit to myself...I'm stubborn.  I convinced myself that if I could hold myself steady enough, hold my breath, and slowly, masterfully, press the shutter button I could execute a night shot sans tripod.  Insert clown music here, please.  Alas, I cannot, nor will I continue to disappoint myself (and make my loving husband bang his head against walls) because I have given in to the need for a tripod.  Of course I had to buy the sweetest tripod I could find (Italian Baby, ciao) and I'm really digging it.  My photography has grown by leaps and bounds. It's really amazing what you can do if you aren't stubborn. Smile.  Enjoy a few before and afters yourself and see the difference!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Egg Hunt

Happy Easter, Happy Spring, Happy Egg Hunting!  This little man just stole my heart today.  We put the plastic eggs out for all the kids to hunt and although he had no idea what we were doing, as soon as he saw an egg in the grass he instinctively walked over to pick it up.  Then he saw another, and another and was so pleased with his treasures he didn't know what to do!  So, like most kids, he figured he'd try to eat it.  Not so lucky...oh well.  The joy was definitely in the hunt today!  

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Simple Pleasures

Do you see yourself in this image?  I do!  Me and my best friend, Cookie, would relish in moments like this...sprinkler, slip-n-slide, or just a water hose, it didn't matter, water was always fun.  Kids really don't need fancy things because the simple pleasures really are the best.  Homemade cookies, a giant cardboard box, or a cheap slip-n-slide with a friend...that's living!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Just Us

Oh, how I love date night, even if just means we have a night alone at home.  We both adore our daughter but she wears us out and leaves us with very little energy at the end of each night.  Tonight, she is sleeping over at her friend's house so we went a little crazy and spent a whole hour at REI (shopping for everything but nothing we need or don't already have) and then walked to the wine shop next door for a couple bottles of the good stuff...yum.  It's past 9pm and we are still wide awake, wow.  I better get back to my date before he either breaks my camera (he's playing with the settings) or falls in love with it and wants to trade!  Happy Good Friday!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Key lime cookies with buttery lime frosting, yummmm!  Ok, so I really don't want to write about cookies, I want to write about inspiration.  I have learned that the more I research the work of other photographers, the more inspired I become.  I'm always striving to be better and lately, I'm searching for my "signature style" (not just because my teacher told me to).  I find it so much easier to recognize the signature style of others, I am sure this is normal but it's also very frustrating.  When I was looking through my friend Jennifer Larkin's 365 photography project I was inspired by one of her cookie shots today (I wanted to eat them AND photograph them).  I can tell that her signature style is a shallow depth of field, she also creates very beautiful images that give you a glimpse into her world.  ( -- her 365 is on her FB page) I know that I love to photograph weird stuff and I tend to use a wider depth of field but I'm still not sure if I have a style yet...I'm still a work in progress.  By the way, if you haven't made cookies lately, do it, they make your house smell yummy!  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Shave Ice

Yummy, another sign of summer is to see the "Shave Ice" truck and actually be hot enough to want some!  It was about 85 degrees here today (don't throw tomatoes at me, I can't help it if you live in a cold place, smile) and the farmer's market was full of people.  The line at the shave ice truck wasn't as bad as summer but it was still a line.  I just love the whole food truck doesn't make sense because I scoff at buffet food, fast food, pretty much any junk food but I love to patronize these food truck owners for some reason.  Maybe it's the "little guy" thing...maybe it's an excuse to allow myself to indulge...who knows, who cares.  :)  I do love some shaved ice though!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Nature Framed

I spent an enjoyable day on a picnic with my daughter at the park (complete with her picnic kit) since she is on Spring Break.  We went to a park we normally don't visit and played while we's a view from the playground.  Not bad, eh?  Pretty gorgeous Spring day!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Big Boy in Barstow

Here's a shot of an American food icon, Bob's Big Boy, as seen off interstate 15 in Barstow, CA.  Apparently, Big Boy restaurant started in 1936 in Glendale, CA and this statue is the likeness of a boy who would frequent the place and order the sandwich.  I'm sure, if he were alive today, the boy would be about as big as the statue because that is one, big, pile of fatty junk food!  I honestly have never been inside a Big Boy, nor have I ever wanted to taste one of these burgers but I'm sure plenty of American's have indulged and probably love them...maybe that's one of the reasons we are the most obese country on the planet!  That darn Big Boy is throwing off the weather patterns and screwing up ocean tides because of his fatty burger!  Ok, that might be a bit dramatic but it really is interesting that the double-decker burger became popular over 60 years ago!  I love the plasticity of the statue since that whole Americana look appeals to me, but my heart (and arteries) can do without this one.  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Camp Sea World

Do you remember raising your hand to every question the teacher asked...even if you didn't know the answer?  What changed?  Why don't we have that same eagerness to impress or please like we used to?  NONE of these girls knew the answer to the question the Camp Sea World instructor was asking (how many teeth does the average shark go through in their lifetime? It's 40,000!) but they all raised their hands anyway.  How cute is that?  We spent the night at Sea World (we slept in the penguin exhibit--it was amazing) and the staff kept us up painfully late doing various activities to wear out the kids so they would sleep when it was time.  I've never heard so many little kids beg to go to sleep...clearly the staff has done this before!  It's fun to revisit your childhood through the eyes of a parent, not that much has changed.