Tuesday, October 14, 2014

the joys (or struggles) of photographing

 mountains are  one of my favorite things to photograph, because 1) they're stunning, breathtaking and absolutely awe-inspiring. And after climbing one, I have come to realize how humongous they really are. 2) They hold still. You can sit there for twenty minutes changing the settings and working through lighting issues and moving to different angles and there is absolutely no hurry. I'm serious, it's beautiful. There is no complaining during the shoot, no wiggling, no awful faces, no blinking. That's why I like photographing mountains, (and trees. Although if it's windy they don't hold quite as still.)

children, on the other hand, can be the most difficult subjects to photograph on the planet. The shoot starts out with good intentions; Just a quick photograph to send to the big brothers, just put them in a line, and have the taller ones lean down and squat down so that they're faces are framed on the same level. Take a couple tester photos to check the lighting. And then suddenly everything goes south really fast. You find yourself repeating things over and over, "hold still... don't move... can I have a real smile... Stand up... squat down... look at me not the goats..." And finally you think/say something along the lines of, "just stand there and try not to look like you're killing each other.
then again, they are pretty cute. no i'm not biased. why would you ask something like that? ;)
I think we were pretending to be some sort of lion or tiger or bear here. His poor little face is all banged up from a tumble down the stairs a couple days ago. I think I'm rubbing off on him. ;)

what's your favorite subject to photograph? Any tips on bribing kiddos to hold still and smile pretty? 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

it's a girl thing // of owls and heels


the details:
Skirt: thrifted {8.99?}
cardigan: thrifted {4.99}
black pumps: kmart {19.99}
purple cami: Fred Myers {12.99}
Owl Necklace: antique shop {8.95}
earrings: Walmart {4.99 for six pairs of studs}
aren't they simply adorable?! I've worn them so many times in the last two weeks, but I won't tire of them. they're too cute to not wear! :)

these outfit pictures aren't the classiest, (you can see the sticks on the porch and the extremely classy snoopy towel we draped on the bench in an attempt to keep my puppy's hair off it, since that is her favorites place to sleep currently. And you can't see my face because of the sun. But I was determined to take them, and so take them we did. :) I wore this outfit last Wednesday to run errands and take the girlys to their ballet lesson. It was one of those *amazing* hair days. you know, where your hair may not look as amazing as you think, but you feel like it looks wonderful, and it changes your whole mood. I felt cute,  and that's the whole point of dressing up, right? :)

this is the stack of books I've been working on lately. {and i'm just gonna throw this out there... the baby name book is for naming characters. :)}  I have since finished both the Anne books, watched mulan, and finished American Women and World War 2, (after working on it sporadically for the last  eight months. It was good, really interesting and informational, and WW2 has always fascinated me. But you guys, it was massive information overload at times. So i just read a little here and there as i felt like it.
     I'm reading through the Anne Shirley series again, and enjoying them so much. I would seriously recommend going back and rereading them all if you haven't anytime in the last couple of years. I always find something new and beautiful to admire in each book. :) And the characters are decidedly quirky, which is my favorite character trait in fictional characters. I get decidedly bored with normal-follow-every-rule-and-never-say-anything-clever characters. And, to be perfectly honest, the man reason I have fallen so completely in love with Anne is the fact that she gets into so much trouble, doing things I can completely seeing myself doing. :)
     Oh, and this stack of currently-reading-books has grown again since I took this picture. I'll just admit to the title of a confirmed bookaholic. :) 

how was your weekend? have you gotten any reading or whatever your particular hobby is, done? :) did you get to do anything fun, or relaxing? 


p.s if you haven't heard of these guys already, go do yourself a favor and listen to 2cellos.  and also the song "me and my cello (happy together,)" by The Piano Guys. pure fun and gorgeousness. :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Mysterious Benedict Society // Book Review

The Mysterious Benedict Society:
Trenton Lee Stewart
{5 of 5}

When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (and you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end, just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. With their new found friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?
(from the back of the book. :)

I began this book with HIGH expectations. I read a review, more than six months ago by someone I highly admire, and she simply raved about The Mysterious Benedict Society. Under normal conditions, I don't expect much from Children's books in general. They tend to be poorly written, without much plot and full of run on sentences and extraordinarily STUPID characters, because "kids won't know the difference, so lets just focus on pumping out more and more books instead of focusing on quality." Unfortunately that plan will backfire, and produce lazy, stupid children, who don't even enjoy reading, because the contents of the books they have read are lame and full of pointless, spineless characters. (I shall stop ranting now.)
Not so with The Mysterious Benedict Society. The characters were quirky and brilliant,  and the storyline was fascinating, even though it was a bit strange and quite far-fetched. Stewart made a great point of stressing relationships and working together to accomplish huge, almost unattainable results. Every time Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance tried to work on their own, disaster befell them.  Each character had their weak points, but they all had their own particular strong points, and put together in a foursome, they were able to blend together to get things done.
The villain, Mr. Curtain was fascinating, and his identity was quite BRILLIANT. Well played, Mr. Stewart, well played. He was quite awful enough, and I didn't find myself falling for him, as I have with so many wonderful {awful} villains before. I did, however, quite love one or two of his minions. To say that they were misunderstood is a massive understatement. 
Mr. Stewart's book is about good triumphing over evil, teamwork, and genius. I found his chapter titles to be quite amusing. The Trouble With Children, or Why They Are Necessary. People and Places to Avoid. Bad News and Bad News. Of Families lost and found. Etc.  And the artwork sprinkled throughout the book is wonderfully quirky. 
To say that I enjoyed this book (and it's sequels) would be an understatement. In my humble opinion, these books by Mr. Stewart are superb.  Do use caution when giving them to children, however, because they are a little thrilling, and those whose imaginations are quite vivid would be advised to await a time when they are better able to handle the suspense. They have my high regard, however, and are quite lovely.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

pretend it's cold // it's a girl thing

Skirt: Gift  altered by me. {0}
Sweater: Kmart {17.99}
Belt: Walmart {4.99}
Boots: thrifted {9.99}
Scarf: Walmart {5.99 for two. :)}
Earrings: County Fair {3.98}
Spoon ring: Farmers market {10.00}

These pictures are proof that I do, in fact, occasionally wear shoes. :) I don't think I've remembered to put them on for ANY of my outfit posts before. :) 
I'm not gonna lie. This outfit made me feel incredibly cute, even though I nearly died of heatstroke whilst running errands. o.O maybe it's not quite cold enough for warm sweaters. I love the look of these boots, although they annoy me to an excessive degree because they squeak when I walk. :) 

have you started wearing scarves, boots and sweaters yet? What is your favorite go-to fall wardorb item?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

r e a l

I realized, whilst thinking lately, that I portray myself very differently online than I do in the every day. I use massive words, (as opposed to smaller expressions which plausibly would be more effortless to comprehend,) in an attempt to sound more educated. :) The pictures I post are the ones in which I look as close to perfect as possible. (i.e. nice smile? check. clothing all laying right? check. make-up? check.) But that's not who I am. 
If you were to follow me around for the day, you would discover several things. 
1) I'm weird. As in, really really weird. I have strange pet peeves, I have strange habits, (and the first time I typed that I typed habbits, because of rabbits... :) 
2) you would discover that i'm really insanely klutzy and dorky. I trip over things that aren't there, and regularly fall down the stairs. just because.
3) most days if we aren't going out, my hair looks awful and I won't have make-up on. 
4) I'm not the sweetest person on earth. in fact, I'm super sarcastic, and my temper runs away with me more times than i'd like to admit. 
5) I'm more of a country girl redneck (I'm being honest, see?) then you would EVER guess, especially if you've only seen me in group settings, or when I'm not entirely comfortable. (Mostly group settings. people can be SCARY. :) loud mufflers? of course. you wanna take me mudding? absolutely. Shooting guns? take me with you! i admire trucks, and everything, at least in theory, can be fixed with duct-tape and super glue

So, this post is random, and has some blooper photos, (I was scared to death to post them, but inspired by this sweet girl.). some of these pictures are WEIRD but for some strange, unknown reason, they captured my fancy. 

i don't know why i liked this, except that it makes me think of Peter Pan, and losing his shadow. Yes, that is a movie I regularly watch with my little siblings, along with Bambi, Robin Hood, the Aristocats and Jungle Book. 

the leaves are starting to die and fall to the ground, in a last tribute to the beauty they once were. 

 this is posted because I threatened him that if he didn't make a nice face, I'd just go ahead and post one of the awful ones. He didn't make a nice face... :)
in case you have never tried this, I suggest you do in the next moment of absolute boredom: Take your camera, and set the shutter speed for 1.5 to 2 seconds and then spin in a circle, whilst taking pictures continuously. You should get one or two that look like this, (And a whole bunch that are awful and should be thereby deleted forever. Because if anybody saw them, they would question your abilities as a photographer.

and a preview of an outfit post that should be up in the next couple days. :)

happy october!
(I'm so glad i live in a world that has Octobers.)