Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving (Drunksgiving) was a delicious success! My family isn’t American, but we still know how to feast! The menu was complete with turkey, mashed and roasted potatoes, roasted carrots/sweet potatoes/parsnips, broccoli, homemade green bean casserole, rolls, macaroni and cheese, nut loaf, gravy, chocolate cheesecake and fail brownies! Needless to say, we all hurt from overeating (in the best way possible). Also, drinking began with mimosas, transitioned to coffee and Baileys and ended with beer and wine. (P.S. grocery stores here in the deep south DO NOT sell alcohol on Thanksgiving!- note to self.)

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Thanksgiving

I must say, the macaroni and cheese I made this year was the best I’ve ever made. I used this recipe as a guide. I used extra sharp yellow cheddar, Vermont white cheddar and gouda from the fancy cheese section and it was AMAZING. I also added just a little heavy cream and baked it for about 20 minutes with an extra special sprinkling of cheese.

My husband, being the honorary American at our dinner, requested green bean casserole, which really isn’t something we normally cook. I found this recipe and just tossed some thin sliced onions with flour and breadcrumbs and baked them instead of deep frying the topping. The combination of shiitake and thyme was phenomenal.

IMG_4907Before eating we decided to take our family wolf pack (3 scotties, 1 husky and 2 mutts) out on a big walk. It felt so much like fall in the chilly air and crispy leaves. We discovered a dog park along the way and the dogs had fun running around and swimming in the muddy pond. Also, I had my entire left leg disappear into the swampy ground while chasing a dog and had to have my husband yank me out. It was actually hilarious and totally unexpected. Sinkholes do exist in these parts.

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Happy Thanksgiving x.

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31 Days to a Better Photo: Day 19 and 20

The 31 Days to a Better Photo series has been in the back of my mind despite being too busy to keep up. Let’s get back into it!:

Day 19 was about flash, which honestly I’m not really interested in. I’ve always hated how flash makes photos look (redeye- gross). I’m definitely more interested in using natural like and manipulating the aperture and shutter speed to get the right look.

Day 20: Art in Photography; definitely right down my alley! I’ve always had an eye for art. I love design and matching colors, patterns, etc. I’m working to improve my photos and make them more interesting. It’s so intriguing how subjective photography is. A photo that really appeals to me might do nothing for you.

In this post she discusses lines, color, forms, space. All the elements you can use to compose a great photograph.

Best x.

I’m a Bad Blogger

When it comes to blogging I’m definitely not a pro! Life gets a bit busy and my posts get few and far between. I thought it was time to do a bit of an update.

Thursday:
Today! I’m enjoying an evening to myself with a glass of wine (dry riesling) and House Hunters International. Plus, packing for a much needed cabin weekend in the mountains with my ladies! I’m looking forward to a weekend of catching up, hot-tubbing, girl talk, wine, cheese and antiquing. I can feel the stress melting away already! It might snow and the thought of soaking in the hot tub while watching the mountains get blanketed with snow makes me smile. Also, I’m bringing my camera, so stay tuned for fabulous views!

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Wednesday:
Homework, homework and more homework. Plus, they tortured me in physical therapy with electrical muscle stimulation and OUCH that stuff hurts!!!!

And, I got my new white balance lens cover and played around with setting the white balance manually. So far it seems great! The first photo is a lovely snap of my backyard on auto white balance, the second is with the white balance set manually with my news lens cap. I’m loving the more vivid colors!White balance pic

Tuesday:
Last class of the day cancelled= watching American Horror Story: Asylum on Netflix for hours. I skipped this season in the past and am seriously regretting it! Probably the scariest season so far!

Monday:
Bad news. My knee still isn’t doing well; it healed kind of sideways. My doctor wants me to try “aggressive” physical therapy and he gave me a brace that looks like a piece of hardware. I might have to have another surgery in December if I can’t get my kneecap to bend back to where it’s supposed to be. Damn these knees I was born with!!!

Sunday:
Caught up with a friend downtown over coffee. I tell her that I see her seasonally since we’re both so busy and she doesn’t live in Savannah anymore- so it’s always so nice to trade stories. I suppose I’ll see her again in the winter!

Best x.

Day 16, 17 & 18: 31 Days to a Better Photo

Day 16,17 and 18 in the photo series were just quick reads, no camera action. Very informative though.

Day 16: Exposure compensation. read it. got it. don’t know if I’ll use it much, but good to know.

Day 17: The Low Down on Lenses. I definitely know that my lens isn’t the best. It came with the camera and wasn’t super expensive, but from reading some of the reviews online I think it’ll do the job. I do really want a lens with a very large max aperture to play around with; it’s on my wishlist list!

Day 18: What Camera Do You Have? I have a Nikon D3200; it’s a great little entry level DSLR. Day 18 is a great read. I feel comfortable with the camera I have, and I really don’t feel like I need a $5,000 camera!

 

Day 14 & 15: Histograms! & Breakfast!

Day 14 and 15: Histograms are another topic I didn’t know much about and I’m a fan of them already (I’m a numbers and charts and graphs kinda girl!) I set my nikon to show the histogram with the images when I go into playback mode to view my photos.

Also, here’s a photo of one of my favorite easy breakfasts: toasted pita, mashed avocado, a fried egg and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

DSC_0178Best x.

Day 12 & 13: 31 Days to a Better Photo

Day 12 and 13 are both about white balance, which I find challenging. I think it’s just because I was completely unaware of the white balance setting in the past. I made this little chart to help me remember how different white balance settings impact the photo. She does have really great charts of her own on her page. 
Bird WB ChartI just bought a BaLens lens cap on amazon so I can mess around with custom white balance.

Best x.

Wonderful Wednesdays

My youngest sister visited last weekend for her 21st birthday, yay! …but her birthday isn’t until later in the month, boo! We still celebrated with the fam and went out for a fabulous dinner at Public Kitchen (highly recommended). I owe her a chocolate martini when she actually turns 21!

I forgot to take pictures-all I have is this blurry one of us at dinner.

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Today was Wednesday: my favorite day. I have no class and the husband has no work, so we get to sleep in and get brunch and catch up. We ate outside at J Christophers for breakfast and slowly strolled the streets of Savannah in this perfect 70 degree “fall” weather with hazelnut lattes in hand. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, but I got a few snaps on my iPhone.

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We’ve made some health goals together and I’m pretty excited about them. I’ve been slowly strengthening my knee by doing my PT exercises and riding a stationary bike that I bought on Amazon. My husband is getting back into running and having our chubby husky join him (she’s such a trooper!).

Also, I’ve got some exciting travel plans in the works. It’s going to be big! Stay tuned!

Best x.

Day 10 & 11 of the 31 Days to a Better Photo Series

Day 10 was all about understanding the light meter; a pretty basic lesson to me.

Day 11: Fun day! Today I use everything I’ve learned in the previous lessons to take some photos in manual! To challenge me, I decided to use my parents Scottish Terriers as my subjects. Scottish Terriers are so hard to take photos of. They’re so dark and usually just look like big blurry shadows in photos (plus they move all the time so that doesn’t help). I shot these at ISO 1600.

DSC_0078Gromit is looking very happy in this photo.

DSC_0060Romeo says hi!

 

Best x.

31 Days to a Better Photo Days 7,8 & 9

Day 7 was more about depth of field. Darcy suggests keeping your camera in aperture priority and taking a series of photos of something and noting the change in the depth of field. Naturally, I decided a bottle of wine was the best subject. I posted the photo with the largest and smallest aperture to highlight the big differences.

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This photo is take with a large aperture, f/3.5.  The bottle is in focus and the background blurry; shallow depth of field.DSC_0022This photo was taken with a small aperture, f/22. The fence, trees, and grass are in focus as well as the bottle; wider depth of field.

Day 8 explained the exposure triangle.

Book Suggested= Ordered

Day 9 discussed the exposure scales.

Best x.

31 Days to a Better Photo: Day 4, 5 & 6

I promise that I’ve still been doing the 31 Days to a Better Photo series. Midterms were this week and it has been hectic!

Day 4 was all about ISO and I made another visual to help me remember what adjusting ISO does to a photo. I kept the shutter speed and aperture the same for all 4 photos. Here’s a few shots of a coaster on a table in my living room:

ISODay 5 and Day 6 are Understanding Aperture (part 1 and 2). She posts a great photo series of a measuring tape showing different numbers coming into focus as she adjusts the aperture. Also, I now understand what depth of field means.

DSC_0844This photo was taken with the aperture set at f/4.5 so the depth of field is low; things further away aren’t in focus.

Anyway, that’s what I got from those lessons.

Best x.