Week 3: Feet

SONY DSCFor this weeks photo challenge on feet, I decided I wouldn’t torture you with pictures of grown people’s feet, but who doesn’t like baby feet? I have to say, I am a little obsessed with how it came out. I usually have an idea of what I want my pictures to look like and this time, it was exactly what I envisioned. I did VERY minimal editing on this picture which is my goal for all my pictures.

A quick note on my camera and editing so you know what I’m using going forward (some of you have asked). My camera is a Sony Nex-C3. It technically was a gift my husband received a few years ago but I have pretty much adopted it as my own (thanks babe!). It is pretty widely known that Canon and Nikon are really the best cameras for photography but so far I have really loved this Sony camera. Maybe in the future if I get more involved in photography I will feel the need to upgrade, but I don’t feel like that right now. As far as editing I have used two different programs. I started using picmonkey, which is a free online editing tool. You can pay to have upgraded features but I was only using the free version. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re not interested in investing any money into editing software. The second is photoshop. I am currently using a trial version to see if it’s something I want to purchase it.

As far as how much editing I do to each picture, it really just depends on the picture but, for the most part I try to do as little editing as possible. Most of the time I’m just adjusting the lighting slightly. I hope the more skilled I get at photography the less I will need to edit. Of course sometimes editing is just fun to do when your looking to alter the image drastically.

I have to say I’m really enjoying this project, I hope you’re enjoying reading about it.

Week 2: View From My Window

SONY DSCThe challenge this week was harder than I thought, mostly because the view from my window is nothing special. We also live in the city so the view is almost exclusively other row houses. My favorite picture is the one above, this is the view in our alley. I like it because you get to see how each house has different character. It’s one of the things I really like about DC. Even though the houses are attached to each other, they can look completely different, with a style all their own.

SONY DSCThis is the view from the front. Its not exactly a great picture in my opinion, but it does capture something about the front view that I really love…trees! I like being able to look out my window in the morning and see all this green. It is another thing I really love about DC. There are lots of trees and parks everywhere. We lived in a row house in Philly and it was kind of depressing. Every house looked exactly the same and I don’t think there was a single tree on our street. DC has its drawbacks, but since we live so close to downtown we get the benefit of how clean and green they keep it.

I already see the benefit of pushing myself to take pictures of different things. The experience of using the self timer and taking pictures of myself last week was way different than finding angles and aspects of our view that are interesting. Another successful week I think!

 

Week 1: Self Portrait

Lets just say that taking pictures of my self with a self-timer is one of the most awkward things I’ve ever done. It’s not the first time I’ve done it and it something I really want to get good at but that doesn’t make it any less awkward. Elizabeth over at Delightfully Tacky takes all her own pictures with a self-timer! She is truly an inspiration. If you have a minute to look through some of her posts you will be amazed too. All that to say, week one’s challenge went pretty well. One of the things I read about photography is to take a lot of pictures so you have a lot to choose from. I’m definitely prone to take a few and then realize later that I didn’t like any of them. Below are the few that turned out the best!
SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC I’m hoping that no one noticed that I only posted once last week even though I said I would post twice. Of course if you didn’t notice I am now reminding you of my failure! I apologize mom, dad and the three other people that were looking forward to another post. I want to say I plan on posting again this week (because I sincerely do) but, we will just see how it goes! I hope your week is going great and let me know if you have any feedback on the pictures.

Photography Challenge

SONY DSCLife has been a little crazy in our house the past two weeks. My goal is to try and post at least once a week but, sometimes life just happens and I don’t have the time. Last week was one of those weeks BUT I’m hoping to make up for that by posting twice this week!

Today I am excited to announce a mini-series I am going to start on Tuesdays. Here is the background to what and why I wanted to do this series. One of the things I have unexpectedly loved about blogging is photography. I usually try to use my own pictures and had no idea how much I would enjoy doing so. If you know me well or just read my blog profile, you know that I have a tendency to go a bit over board when I find a new “love”. I’m discovering that bad habit ends up diminishing my love for things. I put so much pressure on myself to become an expert at something, that it ends up being overwhelming and my affections for it wain. I am determined to not let that happen with photography! So I thought it would be fun to document my journey in learning and practicing photography more on the blog. That kind of already takes place each week since I use my own pictures but this series will be completely dedicated to the pictures.

This project is really more for me than you. Sorry! I hope you enjoy seeing the pictures and I would love your feedback, especially if you are into photography yourself. But, I knew that announcing this mini-series would force me to actually do it each week, which is the push I need if I want to get good at something.

Each week will have a different theme so that I can practice shooting different ways. There are lots of different “photography challenges” you can find online but I ended up compiling my own list to suit my interests and what I will practically have access to. This list takes me right up to around my due date when I will most certainly need to take a blog break. I’m hoping to have some nice photos to show for myself by then.
SONY DSCI hope you do enjoy the journey with me but if you’re more into the things I usually write about, I plan on still posting a more “regular” post on Thursdays! Let the picture taking begin!

 

Hotlanta

SONY DSCWe just got back from an amazing trip to Atlanta and I wanted share some of my favorite moments. My husband had some meetings to go to and I got to tag along to see friends and enjoy the city. I love Atlanta, it has a special place in my heart. It has amazing shopping, incredible food and beautiful neighborhoods. It has all the hustle and bustle of a big east coast city but people are actually nice and have that good old southern hospitality. It also helps that a lot of people that we love are in Atlanta and its just great to visit friends. As usual my friend Shawndra took me to some great new places, she has introduced me to almost all my favorite places in Atlanta. She is the same friend who explored this flea market with me and was my partner in crime in NYC. The restaurant above was one of our first stops. Daddy D’z. You can ask my husband that atmosphere is almost as, if not more, important than how good the food tastes when it comes to eating out. If I get good vibes, I’m usually a fan. Daddy D’z was homey and eclectic in the best possible way. It felt very authentic, kind of like you were eating at someones house. It wasn’t glamorous but that’s what was good about it, just some delicious southern BBQ. SONY DSCThis darling little coffee shop was another favorite stop. It was very communal with lots of long tables and these amazing lamp shades and umbrellas hanging from the ceiling. What added to its charm was that it was nestled on a little block that had about 8 other neighborhood establishments. These kind of blocks are all over Atlanta and I’m kind of obsessed with them. Locally run stores are so inspiring to me, something about thriving business thats not apart of some big chain reminds me of the uniqueness of people and I really enjoy supporting them. SONY DSCI could really see myself spending some long hours in a coffee shop like this, and of course the coffee was very good as well! SONY DSCIf you don’t already know about my love for ice cream, you can check out this post. This trip turned into a bit of a battle of the ice cream stores. There is an ice cream store called Morelli’s that I have been obsessed with for a few years and my sister-in-law has been raving about a place called Jeni’s for months. I planned on making a trip to both while I was there. Shawndra also took me to a delightful little confection store called Kilwin’s and she happened to know the guy working at the time. Lets just say I might have sampled all 31 of their flavors and then had this giant bowl of ice cream you see above. It was delicious! We only made a quick stop at Morelli’s to pick up some ice cream for a girls night so unfortinalty I didn’t get any pictures. I have to say that Morellis is the reigning champ in my opinion, although my sister in law is appalled by this. SONY DSCI will say that Jeni’s was very charming and their ice cream was very good just not my kind of style. They had pretty eclectic flavors and some interesting combinations. I’m just more of a down-home kind of girl when it comes to my ice cream flavors. SONY DSC

I didn’t get any great pictures of the restaurant but this is us at one of my favorite restaurants, Murphy’s. The food is amazing and it has a great atmosphere. We basically shut the place down talking and eating delicious desserts. This night was definitely a highlight of the trip.

We make it to Atlanta fairly often so if you’re from Atlanta or have some places you love there, I would love to hear about them!

Empire State of Mind: The Food

SONY DSCWhile food is on our brain this week, I thought I would look back at some of the amazing food we had in New York. Our actual first meal in New York was a deliciously oily piece of pizza which I regrettably didn’t take a picture of, but you will just have to take my word for it. Yum! Our next meal was at this charming little Italian restaurant in Soho. It had recently opened and the cute lady in this picture lured us in with her Italian accent. She had just arrived in the states to help her friend open this new restaurant. She was so sweet and a very good sales lady. I’m a sucker for good atmosphere and this place felt like we had just walked into a little corner of Milan. Our food was pretty yummy. Mine was a little on the salty side but still good.

SONY DSCThe reason we were even in Soho was because we wanted to go get Cronuts at the Dominique Ansel Bakery, so after our little Italy experience we headed over there. Unfortunately all the Cronuts we already gone for the day but they had a huge selection of delicious treats to try and so we did.

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SONY DSCMy friend tried the Nutella Sweet Bread. We are still trying to figure out where the Nutella is but however they incorporated it, it was so good!

SONY DSCI tried the “Magic Soufflé” which was also really good.  Although I really wanted to try their Frozen S’more. This is the description of it on the menu, “our signature honey marshmallow wrapped around a Tahitian vanilla ice cream with chocolate wafer crisps, served on a smoked willow wood branch and torched to order”. Sounds like they made it just for me! But it was cold outside so I passed.

SONY DSCOur last stop before we headed home was Sarabeth’s right outside Central Park. The food was really good but in my opinion not worth the astronomical wait. We did however have a super sweet waitress that almost made up for standing in line for 50 minutes…almost. I had the french toast with a yummy apple chutney. Breakfast food is my favorite food to eat out. I’m not sure why but I LOVE going out for brunch.

SONY DSCso there you have it. A peak into our trip via all the delicious food! Do you have any favorite places to eat when you’re in New York. I would love suggestions for my next trip! Oh and Happy Thanksgiving. We should try to cultivate a heart of gratefulness all year long, but Thanksgiving is a great reminder. Praise the Lord for all his good gifts-including food!

Empire State of Mind: The Sites

nyc2I love New York City. When I lived in Philly I made it to the Big Apple at least once a year but I’ve only been back once since living in DC. I had been itching to visit for a while now and last weekend my amazing husband gave me the weekend off so I could have a getaway in New York with a friend. The friend that I went with had never been to NYC before so I was excited to get to see her experience the city. There is nothing like your first time in NYC. I went for the first time for my 18th birthday with three great friends. We had no money of course and so we ended up staying at a church in Brooklyn since my dad knew a pastor there. We literally slept in the balcony of the sanctuary on an air mattress and showered in the small shower in the pastors office. It was unconventional to say the least but we didn’t care. I’m also not sure how we didn’t end up getting kidnapped that first trip. We spent a lot of hours on Canal Street where they sell all the knock-offs. On more than one occasion we ended up down an alley in some random basement looking at fake bags. Not my proudest moment. but it was an experience. This trip we hit all the big tourist sites, ate some good food and did some shopping. Even though I had seen most of the places before, just being in New York is inspiring.

SONY DSCThe last few times I had visited I didn’t get to see the progress on the Freedom Tower. This time we got to go down by the two reflection pools at the 9/11 Memorial and the Freedom Tower (above) looks like it almost done! It’s a beautiful building. I had seen the pools on TV  the last couple of years during the 9/11 memorial specials but it was really sobering being right there. It was good a reminder that we are not promised tomorrow.

SONY DSCTimes Square was a highlight for me, only because it was so fun seeing my friend witness the chaos for the first time. I’ve been there more times than I can count but it’s still quite a site to see.

SONY DSCOh Central Park. This is one of the places I really wanted to go. For some reason on all my trips I’ve never spent a ton of time in Central Park. This was my first time seeing the big lake and it was beautiful. There is something so odd about having such a large, gorgeous park in the middle of the “concrete jungle”.

SONY DSCAll in all the trip was a big success. You can’t beat a kid-free time away with a sweet friend. I’m writing about our trip in more than one post since I had so many pictures. Look out for the other posts in the next few weeks! Do you have any crazy New York stories?