Sunday, February 26, 2012

February Photo Challenge Week 3

My computer decided to bonk.  Remember the old days of dial-up speed?  That's pretty much what I was dealing with, that and "not responding" messages.  I forget how much easier things are now as far as speed and efficiency go.  Having only just bought it December, I was pretty frustrated to say the least.  I'm finding that even with all the other technology in my life, I'm pretty tied to my laptop.  Good news is I bought this laptop at Costco, which has a 90-day return policy - yea!!!  We took it back over the weekend and purchased a similar one for less money, so I'm back in business.

Week Three in Gray
Day 15: Music
Day 16: Your handwriting
Day 17: A memory
Day 18: Music
Day 19: Looking down
Day 20: Itsy-bitsy
Day 21: Architecture

Though I haven't been accomplishing many other photography tasks, I've managed to keep up with the February Photo Challenge on Facebook.  I'm still learning little tricks with iPhonography - an extra challenge within a challenge - I love that my phone is always around, lightweight, and that with the fabulous apps I'm able to turn an ordinary shot into something cool.  This week I was able to photograph my (second) favorite subject - TOYS!  I guess you can all guess who takes spot #1 :)  I've photographed these little trucks before - a gift from our friend, T., who made a special effort to get them for Beansprout while in Toronto.  I just love itsy-bitsy!

Have you taken on any challenges this month?  What are your thoughts on camera photography?  Hope you have a great start to the week - thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

"Let the rain kiss you. 
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. 
Let the rain sing you a lullaby."  
-- Langston Hughes
Playing in the rain

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

"Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, 
and sings the tune without words, and doesn't stop at all."
                                                    -- Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Photo Challenge: Week 2

I love photo challenges for their ability to motivate me to use my camera everyday!  This week I found myself taking even more pictures than usual and I've been experimenting with the hipstamtic app.  I bought a couple of add-on packs and have really enjoyed the effects.  I'm still getting the hang of putting all of the elements together well, but practice makes perfect, so they say.  Have you ever photographed a stranger?  Did you ask permission first?  Has anyone every ask to photograph you?  I felt intrusive even on the road!

Week Two

Day 8: Hands
Day 9: Junk Drawer
Day 10: Stranger
Day 11: Something Red
Day 12: Shadows
Day 13: Makes me laugh
Day 14: Heart

Monday, February 13, 2012

Celebrating Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's Day!  It can be schmaltzy and highly overrated at times, but I ignore that it's a created, "Hallmark" holiday and embrace the opportunity to celebrate the relationships in my life.  Knowing that Matt generally hates the hype of these occasions, I try to do something low-key to remind him how happy I am we found each other and then I focus on doing little things for my friends (and family.)  Here's how I tackled spreading a little love this year:
Red Valentines (February Photo Challenge)

1-3. Co-constructed different valentines for the grandparents and sent them off (way too late!)

4. Made valentines for the nephews and sent them off (way too late!)

5. Pulled together a Cupcake Party Package (inspired by for a friend and her two boys.  I had sent one of these back home at Halloween, and thought it'd be fun to try it again.

6. Printed signs that I keep seeing in the blogosphere and hung them around the house for Hubby to find.
from Eighteen25
from Simple As That
via Pinterest
7. Printed this flyer from Kind Over Matter and taped them all around the high school where I teach.
from Kind Over Matter

8. Had a Valentine's playdate.  The kids made contact paper hearts and Beansprout gave out "You're Super Cool" Valentines with sunglasses attached.
Contact Paper Heart

You`re Super Cool Valentine

9. Made Friendship Tea gifts for good friends at work.  (More on this soon!)

10. Intended to write Love Letter of Friendship for close friends,who are far away.  May still accomplish this (way too late!)

So that's my way of bringing a little happiness to February!  Sometimes my ideas are bigger than I can manage, hence sending some things way too late, but it felt good getting those xoxoxoxo decorated envelopes in the mail and it made me smile to bring a Cupcake Party to my friend!

How do you celebrate Valentine's Day?  Any traditions you follow or boycott?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Last Year Today . . .

Train Table February 2011
Beansprout is sprouting independence.  Today he was running around the whole house laughing and giggling with his friends, having a grand time and barely needing anything from me.  This evening in the book store he meandered to different parts of the store on his own, comfortable with a safe distance knowing we were within reach.  It's funny how it feels so sudden, when it's actually been coming on for some time.  I remember looking at moms of older kids at the park last spring and thinking that would be me this spring and now that the moment has come I'm feeling oh so nostalgic.  So I decided to take a peek at what he was up to this time last year.  It's so fun to compare!  (And extra convenient that I actually took a picture of him on February 10th last year!)  The train table is now covered in tracks and bridges and I've put away those puzzles with the pegs to make more room for the "big boy" puzzles he loves completing now.  Even his hair is different!  Looking back, I'm reminded that the small moments get away from me quickly and I'm even more grateful that I keep challenging myself to capture them along the way.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

"That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up."
                                                                 -- Walt Disney

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February Photo Challenge: Week 1

I was so happy to see February 1st roll around!  I hate to wish away any days, but I have to admit that I seriously struggle with January.  I think the combination of a lull after the holiday season and the cold absence of light leave me feeling less than my best.  Since moving to Beautiful British Columbia, February is the light at the end of the tunnel.  I also find that having something to focus my mind on helps tremendously!  Besides preparing a few things for Valentine's Day this year, I'm thrilled to be a part of the February Photo Challenge on Facebook.  My friend posted that she was participating, and I knew it was the perfect remedy for my winter blues.  Here's the first week along with a photo describing each day's challenge.  I decided doing the photos with instagram was the surest way to make sure I captured a photo everyday!

Week One
Day 1: Self portrait 
Day 2: View from your window
Day 3: Passion
Day 4: Something you ate
Day 5: Words
Day 6: Looking up
Day 7: Friendship

I have especially enjoyed seeing the way others in the group interpret and document the prompts.  Hope you enjoy my interpretations - I'm looking forward to sharing again next week!

Do any of you struggle with winter?  How do you keep your spirits up?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pinterest-inspired Parking Garage

Beansprout loves playing with cars and cars paired with ramps?  well, that just makes his day!  I found a few ideas for garages out of cardboard and pinned them on Pinterest until I could get to making one for him.  I love them both -- the details on the one from bhoomplay's blog make me think it might last a little bit longer and who can resist the signage!?!  The many ramps of the garage from kinderpendent and the fact that this one was made with the help of the kiddos from cardboard scraps really caught my eye.

I decided to try for a combo of the two.  Hubby says I went a little overboard, but it was so fun.  Why didn't I have a child sooner - he's the perfect excuse to get out the glue gun, paints, and sticker paper!  

Park here!

Free parking!

I'm happy to say it has been a hit.  I don't know if he plays with it as much as other parking garages he's seen at friends' houses, but he has tried all sizes of cars and it has definitely been a part of the daily play circuit since I finished it.  Now Matt and I are pretty hooked on cardboard toys - we're already hoarding some cardboard in the garage, so hopefully we'll have some new projects in the works soon

Have you been doing any building?  Crafting?  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

"Photography to me is capturing a moment which is passing, and which is true."
                                                                               - Jacques-Henri Lartique

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Month in Photos - January 2012

January favorites
"Driving" at KinderCafe
Shoveling with Dad.
Enjoying a bit of sun with Mom.
Art class!
Hiding in the fridge.
Building our first snowman!
Practicing sledding on our new zipfy!
Splashing in the rain with new pirate boots.

A few years ago, before I started this blog, I kept a basic blog for family members to highlight our monthly happenings as a new family of three.  I typically wrote a little blurb to explain what Beansprout was up to and how we were enjoying parenthood so much.  When I saw Rebecca Cooper's Month in Photos link-up, I knew it was the perfect way to get back to that simple way of recording what our family has been up to each month.  I'm trying to plan ahead this year and edit the pictures for our family photo book each month instead of putting it off and never getting to it.  I envision this monthly collage as either the intro to each section of our yearly book or as a "Year in Review" section.  I'm also thinking a monthly look at my instagrams will be a nice way to capture even more of our favorite moments.  I don't have Photoshop, so I wasn't able to take advantage of Rebecca's generous template, and since I'm still mourning the fact that Picnik will shut down in April, I've decided to try my collages in Picasa.  This makes the layout a little more basic, but still produces a nice product.

Have I mentioned that I`m thrilled that January is over?  Phew.  More on that later . . .