Thursday, May 31, 2012

*waves white flag*

The other day I decided to try my hand at photography again. And by that I of course mean take pictures on auto with my husband's fancy dSLR. I have no idea what I'm doing and it's not real photography, but whatever, it makes me happy. After taking and editing a few pictures of my garden I decided, duh, I'm going to blog about it!

After editing my pictures, I remembered that I had wanted to start watermarking the ones that I put on my blog. I mean, we know everyone wants to steal my super amazing, fine art quality photographs right?! I just thought it would be best practice to start doing so anyway. I remembered the last time I tried to do this from Aperture, I couldn't. I learned recently that you apparently can but unless I'm a huge idiot there's like 10 fonts to choose from, all in pre-determined sizes. (Please note: I'm no Aperture expert so there very well could be a much better way to do this.) I thought I had previously downloaded Gimp so I went searching for it only to find that we had Adobe Photoshop Elements. So. Excited! (I don't really know anything about it except that other bloggers have said it's great.)

So I open it up and away I go adding a cute little watermark to my photos, feeling all proud of myself because it's so freakin' easy with Photoshop and the hardest part was choosing the font. Then I tried to upload to blogger. *cue evil music* I could not figure out how to do it. With Aperture I could get right into my saved files and find the ones I want. My photoshop edited photos were nowhere to be found. Sigh.

After lots of frustration and google searches (which were so not helpful by the way), I pretty much gave up. Then this morning I actually figured out a way to do it (hence the watermarked pictures in this morning's post) but I'm pretty sure I'm going about it in a very round-a-bout way.

Here's where y'all come in. Hopefully someone out there has had the same sort of problem and/or knows way more than I do and can help me!

1. Is there a better way to watermark photos in Aperture? i.e. with more fonts and better capability of changing the size/color.

2. Is there an easy way to get photos from Photoshop to blogger? (My files are saving to some weirdo folder that I can't find easily)

I really really hope one of you is much smarter than I am and can help!!! :)

Disclaimer: I was not asked to review or compensated for reviewing any of the above mentioned products. I am not connected to any of the companies or products in any way.

Summer Garden

Yes, I planted a garden even though I knew we were leaving soon. But it's so cheerful I couldn't help myself. And we only bought the cheap flowers from Home Depot. ;) And unlike last year (when we spent half a day removing concrete chunks from our garden), all we had to do was get rid of some weeds and the plants that didn't survive the winter, turn the soil a bit and we were ready to go.

This is along one of the fence lines. To be truthful I didn't take any pictures of the other fence lines because they're not as exciting. Maybe I'll do a post about the plants that are dying soon.

I'm such a girl. I love pink flowers.

Our orange ones are pretty cool too. Don't ask me the names of the flowers. I just call them by their color.

And these little guys are just the cutest.

And ironically, this is quite possibly my very favorite part of the garden. Ironic because it's not actually part of the garden. ;)

There you have it. My cute little garden that I'll be leaving behind in a few short months. My new house has a much bigger garden but unfortunately we'll get there too late to plant anything. But that's all the more time to plan for next year!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cross Your Fingers, Hold Your Breath, Do a Rain Dance...

...or whatever else you do that brings you luck! Remember the house I told you I was totally in love with and really really really hoped we could get? Well, it looks like it's going to happen! I'm super excited but I'm still a little nervous too. I've heard a few too many stories of these things falling apart at the last minute.

So for now, I'm just going to sit and hope and wait. And dream about my house wishes. And start building my Big Giant House List (more on that later) in my head.

Speaking of my house wishes...this house totally fulfills some of them already!
1. Vegetable Garden: definite possibility
2. Dedicated laundry room: CHECK!
3. A fenced yard: CHECK!
4. A place for everything and everything in it's place: Obviously we'll have to wait and see, but there is tons of storage space so I look forward to my house being much more organized than it is now!

Anyone have any advice for first time home buyers?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Look

Hey y'all! I spent a little time giving my blog a makeover today. I'm pretty much in love with it but if you have some constructive criticism I promise not to cry. ;)


Monday, May 28, 2012

Best Laid Plans

We were supposed to leave for Nebraska today. We had a nice little trip planned to go house hunting and check out the area. But we're not leaving today, because we returned from Nebraska early this morning. Ah, Air Force, how you love to throw a wrench in my perfectly laid plans.

I had this big ol' post written about all the craziness that led to us being in Omaha this past weekend but when I re-read was really boring. So here's the skinny. We were supposed to go today, but we left Friday at about 1:00am instead. We drove by about a million houses when we got there Friday since several of the ones on our original list were no longer available. This happened several times. Saturday after we had about had it with driving by even more houses (we weren't meeting with our realtor until Sunday so we couldn't actually go in any yet), we went to the zoo. And forgot the memory cards for the camera. Manny bought one but of course it was all effed up and only about 10 of the pictures he took came out. Good thing I had my handy dandy iPhone. Because these are totally the same as dSLR pictures. ;)

After the zoo we had a quick dinner and then crashed because Sunday was the big day! The day we actually got to go through some houses!!! We went through 5 houses and I fell in love with the very first one. The last one was pretty great too but after much deliberation I think we're going to proceed with house #1. I am so nervous because I know that there are SO many things that could go wrong and I love this house. Hopefully in a couple months I will be posting some pictures of our awesome new house. :)

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Brain Dump

We have a lot going on right now. Or at least I feel like we do. When I get busy/overwhelmed one of the first things to go is my "me time" which includes blogging. Sad, but true. I feel like I don't even have time to think of topics let alone sit down and write about it. But alas, the brain dump. The solution to my problem of having some stuff to share but none of it's really big enough for it's own post.

1. My step-mom and sister came to visit! It was great! We went to the zoo and to a dairy farm and went shopping and ate a lot. My dad and one of my brother's are coming soon and I'm very excited about that too.

2. Soon we're taking a little trip out to Nebraska to go house hunting. Super exciting but also a little overwhelming. I really don't feel like I'm old/mature enough to buy a house. I still giggle at potty humor. Really? Home owner?

3. I have some sort of stupid hip problem. It's been hurting for a while but just recently has gotten worse. Went to the doctor, had initial X-rays, now have to get an MRI. Am scared of the tiny little tube. And I'm not allowed to run until we figure out what's wrong with it. :/

4. My dogs are the cutest. That is all.

So I didn't have as much to dump as I thought but you can agree that none of those were enough for an entire post. Maybe if I had done as I had planned and taken tons of cute pictures during the family's visit or had more to share about house hunting. Eh. All in due time.

Oh! You should also all check out the photo that my awesome husband took. It didn't win the photo contest, but it's on the blog right below the winner (the photo featuring a manatee). HOW COOL IS THAT!!!! Click here to check it out!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekly Money Check Up: 5/21/12

This is my first one in a while and I'm excited to be back! :) I'm linked up with Ginna over at My Pretty Pennies

1. The most I've spent this last week was on car insurance. Super fun. ;)

2. Today I am thankful for my job. I know I'm thankful for this one a lot, but it's truly something I think about a lot.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was water my flower garden! I don't know why, but I love watering the garden. Ok, I guess it's not totally free, but I'm sure it cost less than $1 in water so that totally counts.

4. I will consider this week a success if I transition to my new work schedule without falling asleep at my desk. 

5. I am really trying to be less neurotic. I'm all for a healthy dose of neuroses that keep things interesting but when they get in the way of enjoying life or trying new things, that can cause issues. So I'm trying to learn to relax and go with the flow a little more.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Shredded Bed

So Ella may have a little separation anxiety. Why do I think this? Because she rips her bed to shreds almost every time we leave the house. Her one comfy, plush bed has been reduced to this.

Mostly just a pile of not so comfy mush. I really want to get her something else. I'm a sucker for my puppies and want them to be happy and comfy. But does anyone have any ideas of something a little more durable?!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

May Goals

I've been trying to decide if my complete failure at my goals lately has really been out of laziness or out of poor goal setting. Either way, I'm doing things a little differently this month...or at least for the rest of this month... ;)

1. Set weekly goals to accomplish smaller tasks.
2. Enjoy my birthday.
3. Enjoy visiting with my step-mom and sister!
4. Continue exercising regularly.
5. Buy a swimsuit.

My goals over the last few months were feeling a little too much like all work and no play. So I would ignore them. ;) I thought that including some fun goals in with my real goals would make me a little more likely and a little more motivated to accomplish them. :)

Fantastic Runtastic!

No one has asked me to review this app, nor am I receiving compensation for doing so. I just really freakin' love this app!
The first time I got on this bike it became obvious that I would need wanted some sort of gadget to keep track of all the data from my bike rides. Something along the lines of my super amazing running GPS watch, but for cycling. What can I say, I like numbers. And gadgets. And things that could possibly be put into Excel spreadsheets and color coded. I digress. (Ps, Nike, if you're listening, could you just do a software upgrade to the watch so that it's good for cycling as well??? Thanks!)

They do sell these really expensive little cyclometer gadgets that track all the data I'm looking for, but since I've already invested a bit of money into the bike and helmet and shorts and jersey (and I still want shoes), I wasn't really looking to spend another couple hundred dollars on a cyclometer. Never fear, the iPhone saves the day again. :) Manny found this app called the Runtastic Roadbike app (Runtastic actually has a whole mess of apps). So all I needed to buy a little case that hooks onto my bike...and away we go.

Here is my case fitted on my handlebars....

This is what you see during your ride....(there are also several other options and you can customize your display to see the information you want)

And here is one of my favorite parts, the overview...

The only thing I don't like about this app is that it really drains your battery. If we ride for two hours or so my battery is almost completely dead. However, if you get Runtastic Roadbike Pro (which I did) and you download the map you're going to be using before you head out, it saves you A LOT of battery life.

Now I know a real cyclist would scoff at the thought of adding the extra weight of the phone to his bike, but let's be serious, I'm no Lance. I still have my reflectors and don't even wear the special shoes. :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April Goal Review

1. Write 5 letters.
2. Read 3 books.
3. Run 2x per week.
4. Use only dSLR pictures on the blog.

Yeah, let's not even bother reviewing how badly I failed on this month's goals. (Though I did exercise quite a bit). I have had another month where I just haven't really felt up to anything. I don't know if it was the cold weather that came back to haunt us for a few weeks or maybe I was just in a mood (for two months...) but I'm starting to feel a bit more like my old, annoyingly happy self again. :) I'm hoping this feeling lasts and allows me a lot more energy this month.

I will be making goals for May, but I'm thinking of having them be not quite so...goal-y. They will be goals, yes. But maybe ones that don't revolve around housework and other things I feel that I never quite have enough time for. You'll see. :)

How did the rest of you do on your goals for the month?

New House Wishes

As much as I've enjoyed and appreciated my pretty little townhouse in Ohio, I'm starting to have dreams and wishes of a "real" house when we move. There are just some things you can't have or do when you share walls with neighbors or only have a few square feet for a garden or can't make any alterations to the house.

1. A vegetable garden. A few times when I was a kid, my dad attempted (and sometimes succeeded at) a vegetable garden. Some attemps were better than others but the memories I have of them are good ones and I'd like to give it a shot.

2. Dedicated laundry room. I know this is a big "if" and I don't really have much control over it unless our house comes with one, but I still would really love it. Then maybe my bedroom wouldn't be a dumping ground for unfolded clothes.

3. A fenced yard. Oh how my puppies would love to run around outside every day. Since the closest dog park is a good 15 minutes away, my dogs unfortunately don't get a lot outdoor running around time. But whenever we do get to the park, they just run and run and run and I just know they would love having  yard to play in.

4. A place for everything and everything in it's place. This is a little less tangible, I know. I have two problems with keeping my house neat and organized. 1. My hoarding and messiness tendencies. 2. Not enough space. I'm really hoping that with a little more space I will acutally have a designated place for the things that currently don't have homes because there just isn't enough room

I know there are a few more things but I can't think of them just now. Do y'all have any wishes for you current or future home?