October 5, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 25

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious"? Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious”. I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

October 3, 2012

Selectively sharpening in Photoshop!

Yes, this is certainly true!  Do you want to know how?  I’d be happy to share it with you!

With your image open in Photoshop, right click on your background image to create a duplicate layer.  This will prompt a menu to open.  From here,  choose Duplicate Layer.  Let’s name it Sharpen

October 2, 2012

A perfect example of putting the healing brush to good use

Toddlers and boo boos.  It’s like you can’t have one without the other.  Unfortunately. 

This is Alivia on her birthday.  This photo was taken back in August.  At that time, my only photo editing software was  Photoshop Elements and the spot healing brush just wouldn’t cut it for removing these scratches on her face.  In Photoshop CS6, however, this picture was no match!  Hooray for the Healing Brush!  Are you guys familiar with this awesome tool?  It allows you to choose a clean spot on the face and sample it somewhere else.  A little like cloning.  Sort of.

Dodge & Burn

Can you see the differences between the following images?  They are pretty subtle so look hard.  Give up?

Okay, I’ll tell you. 

The dodge and burn tool in Photoshop can be used for so many different things such as brightening/defining eyes, which I published a tutorial on HERE, and other stuff like lightening your highlights and darkening your shadows to add more definition to the face.

October 1, 2012

Quarterly Top 5 – July, August, and September!

I can’t believe it’s that time again!  That time to post your quarterly favorites for July, August, and September!  This is such an incredibly difficult task for me.  Fun, but difficult!  I have so many favorites it’s hard to narrow it down to only five especially when it comes to my baby!  Okay, so here I go…

September 28, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 24

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious"? Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious”. I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

September 26, 2012

The Big E Fair!

Sorry I haven’t been posting as much!  There have been BIG things happening over here!  Hopefully I can share some of them with you after the dust settles a little!

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few pictures.  The hubby and I took Alivia to the fair this past weekend!  Despite the horrific stand still traffic, 3 1/2 hour car ride, crowded fair grounds, and cranky over tired children (Alivia and her friend Mackenzie), we had a good time!  It’s amazing how expensive one day out can be!  They really soak you at these fairs.  Between admission tickets, carnival ride tickets, parking, food, etc., we have barely anything left in our pockets!  The poor hubby’s going to have to do an overtime just to make up for the money we spent!  No, I’m just kiddin’ sort of.

September 21, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 23

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious"? Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious”. I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

September 18, 2012

Six things I do to every photo!

I watched this you tube video the other day about 5 edits made to every photo.  It was quite informative.  I love to learn how others are processing their photos.  It made me think of the 5 things I do to every photo I process.  I thought I’d share them here with you today (okay so I’ve shared six)!  Maybe we have common editing styles?  If not, maybe you can learn from me and me from you?  What do you say?

I’d love to hear your editing recipes!  Or maybe the one thing you can’t live without doing to every photo?

My editing process below is based on images of people. 

September 16, 2012

Recovering exposure in CS6 & LR4!

I took some pictures of Alivia on Friday night and as I was checking the play back feature on my camera I noticed they were a little under exposed.  I had forgotten that I set my ISO to a maximum of 800 which means that even if the ISO needed to be increased to create proper exposure, it wouldn’t.  Although I had adjusted the ISO for the remainder of my images that night, I was disappointed thinking the images I had taken of her already would require more editing time that I actually had. 

September 13, 2012

It’s an Instagram kind of day!

Alivia had her two year doctor’s appointment today!  Luckily for us both she wasn’t due for any shots!  HOORAY!  I just hate bringing her in to get shots (it rips my heart out)!  Oh and, get this, children two and over can now have the flu vaccine via a mist administered through the nose!  No shot, no tears!  I think that calls for another HOORAY!  Anyhow, I’m happy to report she is doing really well both physically and developmentally!  Go Alivia! 

September 11, 2012

Let’s try this again shall we?

Guess what?  I’ll be having a guest blogger posting this Friday from Two Shades of Lovely and I’m so excited!  She’s going to be sharing some great links with you!  If you don’t already know Jeni, I’d recommend hopping over to her site!  Take a load off and have a look around!  Oh, and in case you have been following my The Missing Link posts (on Fridays), I’ll be posting Week 22 over at Two Shades of Lovely so I hope to see you there!

September 10, 2012

Brightening Eyes

I’ve been using a pretty awesome action from Paint the Moon to brighten eyes in my photos but have since found a great little tutorial online to create the effect myself.  Of course, wouldn’t you know, I can’t find it.  I could have sworn that I pinned it to a board on my Pinterest page but apparently not so much.  Thinking back, I don’t think I pinned it because it was so easy for me to remember.  If I’d a known I was going to do a post on it, I would have saved it especially so that I could give credit.

September 6, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 21

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious"? Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious”. I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Do you want to be button buddies?

I think this is such a great idea and was wondering if you’d like to swap buttons with me?  You know, I’ll post your button in my sidebar and you do the same for me!  A little like scratching each others back I guess!  If you are interested, feel free to email me and we can discuss.  You can find my email button in my sidebar at the top of my page.  My buttons are readily available on my buttons page in a variety of sizes so I’m sure you will find a size that works best for your bloggy site.  If, however, you need a different size just let me know so that I can customize to your request.  Just be sure to contact me first so that I can grab your button as well! 

September 4, 2012

Where did the weekend go?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  I had quite an eventful one!  The hubby and I took Alivia to York’s Wild Kingdom in York, ME with her Auntie Nancy, Uncle Erik, and friend Mackenzie on Saturday, Auntie Gina’s on Sunday, and Nana’s on Monday!  By Monday afternoon, Livi* was asking for nothing more than to go home.  I’ve noticed that as much as Livi enjoys getting out of the house and socializing that she gets over stimulated after awhile and wants to be left alone.  Oh the tribulations of being an only child!  Poor baby!  I don’t blame her though, her mama is the same way!  With that said, we took her home and she relaxed with Daddy for the rest of the day while I went to the mall with my mom and started Livi’s Fall shopping!  I say started because I still have shoes, outwear, and some hair accessories to purchase.  Lucky for me I love shopping (I sort of have a serious shopping problem addiction) or I might find this to be overwhelming! 

August 30, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 20

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious"? Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious”. I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

August 28, 2012

Are you using actions?

Since I got a new laptop I also made the switch from Photoshop Elements (PSE) to Photoshop CS6 (PS).  I was a little hesitant to make the transition because 1) Photoshop was very expensive and 2) I’d grown to love some actions that I had purchased strictly for PSE.  Actions that I hadn’t yet learned how to create manually.  I recently repurchased them on Paint the Moon and am so happy I did.  They work so much better in PS (or I think so anyway).  Not to mention the action selection has changed since I last purchased them and the bundles included actions like remove color cast and remove the wonky colors (love that word “wonky”)!  Today, I thought I’d share some before and after images.  I like to do this every now and then as I know it can be useful (or fun at the very least) to see how others are editing their images. 

August 27, 2012

Disabling the copying of images!

I am so excited today!  It’s amazing how one little post can do that to me! 

I’ve been extra cautious lately about protecting my images.  I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about watermarking your images so that people can not steal your photos.  Apparently stealing has become too much of a common occurrence!  Although I’ve been watermarking for quite some time, I wasn’t watermarking my photos in the ideal place.  I would always place my watermarks in the corner of an image so that it wouldn’t be a distraction to the subject.  Nothing was worse to me than having a gorgeous picture with a logo/text across it!  Now, however, I am watermarking right where I think it will be most difficult to crop out.  In addition to changing the location of my watermark, I’ve looked into disabling a photo so that it can not be copied.  I was lucky to come across this particular post over at Build a Better Blog!  It’s crazy to think that all it takes is a little HTML code to rock my world!   I realize that computer hackers can get around my little code, but at least I’m making it more difficult for them!  Go me!

I hope you will consider protecting your images too!

August 26, 2012

Desktop background being removed?

I’m going to share a little secret with you, well for all the MacBook users out there!  Apparently there is some type of glitch in the system that removes your desktop background every time you restart/shut down and log back onto your computer.  I was a little disappointed to say the least especially seeing as I just bought the new MacBook Pro Retina and wanted to personalize my desktop with a picture of my baby girl!  You figure you pay that much money for something that a simple thing like being able to customize your desktop background should work!  After trying many different things to resolve the issue with Apple Support on the phone, something finally ended up working!  So here’s the fix:

August 25, 2012

This is a test

This is going to be a short post.  I am using my new Macbook Pro Retina and just installed (or I should say my nephew just installed) VirtualBox so that I could run Windows 7 inside of my MAC operating system all so I could keep Windows Live Writer (WLW) as my blog posting tool.  Now if that’s not dedication, than I’m not sure what is!  If you’ve been following me, you’d know that posting has been a pretty BIG issue for me.  Every blogging tool that I’ve tried was removing my formatting (adding or removing spaces between paragraphs and images) so that my posts would look sloppy.  Anyhow, WLW is the only blog posting tool that has ever worked for me.  It keeps my formatting in tact!  I’m sure now you can understand why I’m so dedicated! 

August 24, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 19

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious"? Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious”. I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

August 23, 2012

Intermittent Exotropia… (wish I had control over my baby’s eyes)

I think I last left off telling you about how well Alivia was tolerating the eye patch.  Feel free to catch up on previous posts regarding Alivia’s Intermittent Exotropia HERE.  Since, and unfortunately, I’ve been seeing her strong eye now deviate outwards.  After a phone discussion with her Ophthalmologist, it was recommended that I stop the patch for at least a week or two to see how her eyes are doing.  If I’m not seeing her strong eye deviate, I can resume patching.  The goal, according to her doctor, is to keep the vision in both eyes as equal as we can.  As a reminder, the patching was not to treat the eye from deviating but to assist her in using the eye muscle in her weaker eye thus preventing vision deterioration/loss.

August 21, 2012

Free Financial Templates… Can I afford this & how much money will I have left over?

I’ve been thinking of doing a post on finances for a long time now but never had a spare minute to create the spreadsheet templates that I wanted to attach along with it!  I woke up early this morning to work on them and just finished typing my last number.  I feel confident enough to speak on the subject of finances since I’ve always been great with money!  It started when I was a little girl and would steal the coins from my dad’s end table in my parent’s bedroom.  Yeah, I was a little thief, but soon those coins would add up to $10, $40, and then to hundreds that I would stash under my mattress!  Even when I found something I really wanted to buy, I almost always found a way to talk myself out of it.  No doll, clothing, board game, etc. would satisfy me the way watching my money grow did!  Soon I would have enough to open my first bank account and so that’s what I did with the help of my mother of course!  I never felt more grown up than I did on the day we opened that bank account.

August 19, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 18

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life?  Well, it could just be one of the links below.  Hence my post title!  You may ask yourself "Is she serious"?  Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious”.  I'm just feeling silly.  Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love.  What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang!  No that isn't a typo.  I told you I was feeling silly.  So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

August 15, 2012

Finally shooting RAW!

Guess what?  I’m finally shooting RAW!  I didn’t think the ol’ laptop was going to be able to handle the RAW files, but I lucked out!  It didn’t shut down once!  It’s amazing how much you can alter a RAW photo file.  So much more than a JPG/JPEG that’s for sure!  You know what I love though?  A photo that barely needs any processing!  As much as I love to have fun with edits, it’s quite refreshing to get a shot that needs little to no tweaking!  Especially when you’ve taken hundreds of photos! 

Alivia’s Birthday – Part 1

We’ll call this post Part 1 since my laptop apparently can’t handle editing RAW files.  I’m hoping to be able to process the rest of my sister’s pictures when I get my new Macbook Pro in a couple weeks! 

So these pictures, like I mentioned in Monday’s post, were taken by my sister so don’t fall off your seat or anything but, yeah, I’m actually in them!  I was having such a great time processing these pictures until my computer would randomly shut down when I opened a RAW file.  It was ridiculous!  You can imagine how long it took me just to process these ones that I’ve attached here. 

August 14, 2012

Alivia’s Birthday Party!

Alivia’s birthday was yesterday!  She turned two years old at exactly 8:58 pm!  I can’t believe two years have gone by!  It’s like I was just mixing formula for her bottle, turned around, and a little girl took my baby’s place!  As much as she’s changed, if I look hard enough, I can still see the newborn in her.  Her eyes and nose are quite the same, only a bit larger.  Her mouth is the only thing that has really changed.  Although the shape remains the same, her lips have become fuller.  And the shape of her face that was once a tiny round circle has become slightly more defined around the jaw line!  And these are just her physical differences.  I could write a book about how much she has developed mentally!  It’s crazy really! 

August 9, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 17 (Crafts/DIY edition)

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

I just want to cry!

If you’ve been following me, you’d know that I got my new MacBook Pro in the mail, however, I’m typing this on my old laptop.  Why, you ask?  Well I’ll tell you…

First, and most importantly, Windows Live Writer (which is the tool I use to write my posts) isn’t supported by MAC and after hours of searching for a new blog posting tool, I’ve come up with nothing!  That’s right NOTHING!  I’m not yelling, I promise.  I’m just venting.  I tried publishing some test posts using two different applications but with no luck.  Ecto removed my formatting so my post was a mess and MarsEdit apparently published my post but it wasn’t showing up on my blog!  Really?  Qumana couldn’t find my blog at all even after multiple installations and I’m pretty sure Bleezer was the program that needed my FTP host and path which I still have yet to find!  I’m worried that I will not find a blogging tool!  I could use the Blogger interface but I’m cringing just thinking about it.  They always remove my formatting so my posts are all over the place.  You know, paragraphs and images inconsistently spaced!  It drives me MAD!

August 6, 2012

Getting my craft on!

I have a little treat for you guys today!  I’ve been crafting all weekend (you know in between changing diapers, giving baths, washing clothes, cleaning out my closet, making returns, etc.) and you can say I’m rather exhausted!  It was so much fun though!  Crafting I mean.

August 2, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 16

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

August 1, 2012

Which edit are you digging?

So here’s the scoop.  I need some help.  If you follow me, you’ll remember seeing this picture of my hubby already.  I've decided to print it but not sure which edit I like better.  I thought you guys could help me choose.  Please, however, do not take #2’s crop into consideration when you are choosing.  It’s really not cropped like this; I just wanted to fit it into the same size box as the rest of the photos and I was working with a collage template.  In my original crop, his chin is not cut off and you can see more of his hair.

Child Photography (Are you editing faces)?

I have a question?  How do you edit your photographs of children?  Do you touch up faces?  If so, how much?  Sometimes I edit without thinking.  In this case, I had edited a picture of a child where I removed all blemishes from their face.  To me, a blemish is equivalent to food crumbs, dirt, bruises or cuts/scrapes which I’d also remove assuming it didn’t fit into the picture.  In other words, if I caught a picture of a child eating birthday cake and then removed all evidence of food from their mouth, it wouldn’t be quite as interesting.  Another example would be if I caught a picture of child crying who fell down and was lifting their pant leg up to see their boo boo but then I removed all evidence of the cut/scrape, it wouldn’t really make any sense now would it?  It’s like I’m removing half the story.  In this particular case, however, this child was posing for me.  It was a close-up of their face with no real story behind it other than “I’m so freakin’ cute with my BIG brown eyes”!  Blemishes in this case were distracting.   It takes someone like my husband to say “do you think the parents would be offended” to make me stop, think, and realize, “I’m yeah, they might find it insulting”! Crap! What to do, what to do?

July 30, 2012

Software Price Comparison & Mackenzie’s Birthday Bash!

First, for those that are here to view pictures of Mackenzie’s birthday bash, feel free to scroll right down pass my ramblings!

If you’ve been following me, you’ll know that I purchased the Macbook Pro with Retina Display last week!  I made a trip to Best Buy this weekend to check out the prices of Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4, and Office Home & Student.  I started a price comparison at home and found Amazon to be the least amount for all three programs.  Even though Adobe was offering $50 off when you buy two software programs together, Amazon was still the cheapest.  I thought I’d share my price comparison information with you in case any of you were in the market for the same programs.

July 27, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 15

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

July 26, 2012

In the market for a desktop?

I just wanted to apologize for being MIA lately.  I’ve been putting all my free time into researching a new desktop to replace my old and VERY slow HP laptop.  I’ve been having so many problems with my laptop, I’ve kind of been waiting for it to die already.  I guess I’ve just been lucky! 

I decided on a desktop thinking I wouldn’t be able to get the specifications needed for photography in a measly little laptop.  Apparently I was wrong.  After careful consideration, I bought the Macbook Pro with the Retina display!!!!!!!!!!!  Can you tell I’m a little excited?  No, I’m not typing on it at this very moment (unfortunately).  Since I customized it, I had to order it online and it’s estimated to deliver around mid August!  Not sure I can wait that long! 

July 24, 2012

Intermittent Exotropia Update

First, if you unfamiliar with Alivia’s Intermittent Exotropia, you can find some previous posts I’ve published about it HERE.  

It’ll be about two months that we’ve been patching Livvy’s strong eye to treat her Intermittent Exotropia and she’s been tolerating it fabulously!  We started out with around 25 – 30 minutes and are currently patching for about an hour now!  When I first started patching I was noticing her eye deviate a lot less.  At around the month and a half mark, however, I started to see it deviating more frequently.  Not quite as frequent as when we weren’t patching at all but never the less, more frequent.  In the beginning I was hopeful that the patch was going to be a successful treatment but now I’m not so sure. 

July 22, 2012

Jake

While on vacation in Cape Cod, we had the pleasure of visiting with my sister’s Niece-in-law (NIL) and her 3 month old baby, Jake (or as they like to call him, Jakey)!  So this is my sister’s husband’s niece (his sister’s child).  Let’s call her Bianca.  Why?  Well, ‘cause that’s her name!  So Bianca and Jakey stayed with us for a night and I took every opportunity to snap pictures of this cutie!  Let me just warn you, this infant is ALL boy and man does he have a set of lungs on him!  He has the cutest little infant cry ever!  Really, though, Jake is such a good boy.  He sleeps well, eats well, and poops well!  What more could you ask for?  You know what I love most though?  That adoring look that an infant gives to his mama when he’s all snuggled safe in her arms.  You know that one where they just look up at you as if you were a super hero?  Assuming they even knew what a super hero was of course.  Oh how I love that look.  With that said, I’ll start you off with this photo of Jakey looking up at his mama with his BIG eyes…

July 19, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 14

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

July 18, 2012

Do you want to be button buddies?

I think this is such a great idea and was wondering if you’d like to swap buttons with me?  You know, I’ll post your button in my sidebar and you do the same for me!  A little like scratching each others back I guess!  If you are interested, feel free to email me and we can discuss.  You an find my email button in my sidebar at the top of my page.  My buttons are readily available on my buttons page in a variety of sizes so I’m sure you will find a size that works best for your bloggy site.  If, however, you need a different size just let me know so that I can customize to your request.  Just be sure to contact me first so that I can grab your button as well!  Okay, so there is my request.  Out there for all to see.  I guess I’ll just sit back and remain hopeful that someone will want to be button buddies with me!

July 17, 2012

Google Tutorial & Back to School Printable!

Sometimes I take for granted the small resources that I use to make my blogging easier.  It’s only when I get a question from a reader that reminds me I really should share my resources.  So a BIG thank you to Natalie over at Growing up a NJ Wife & Mom for asking how I loaded a .psd file into a Google document.  I already replied to Natalie’s inquiry but thought I’d share with all of you incase you were curious also.

July 16, 2012

Getting to know me…

I thought it might be fun to share a few things about myself.  Well, 10 things to be exact.  It also allows all of you to find out if we have similar interests or things in common which is always nice!  I don’t know about you but when I find I have something in common with someone, I instantly feel closer to that person.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!  Anyhow, here it goes:

July 15, 2012

Melasma anyone?

Apparently at some point during pregnancy my body responded with a “hell yes” to this question!   Wondering what Melasma is?  Does the term “pregnancy mask” spark any type of recognition?  I read a little about this while I was pregnant but never looked into it.  I guess I really should have.  Two years later, after giving birth to Alivia, I have been battling with what I thought were age or sun spots when all this time it was Melasma

July 10, 2012

Did someone say “food”?

I guess it’s a recipe kind of week!  This will be my second recipe guest post for the week!  Who doesn’t love food, though, right?  Skye, from First Time Mama – First Time Blogger is sharing some of her favorites below and boy do they sound delicious!  Incase you are not familiar with the lovely Skye, here is a quick recap:

- Wonderful Mama to the beautiful and adorable Julianna.
- Posts unbelievably cute photos of her little one.
- Photography lover and learner.
- Blogs about everyday life and experiences.

And, sorry to all the Bostonians out there, this mama is a Yankees fan!  Yeah I’m sneaky, I got this little tid bit of information from her About Me page.  You go Skye!

Okay, okay, onto Skye’s post!

First Time Mama Blog Header

Removing objects from your photos

So, what’s on the agenda for today!?  I have a little tutorial for you from Becky over at Finding My Creativity!  What can I say about Becky?  Hmmmm, where do I begin?  I’ve been following and corresponding with her for quite some time now and she is just one sweet mama!  That’s right, she’s a mama to the beautiful little girl you see in the blog header below!  Adorable right?  She’s also one unbelievably talented photographer!  If you haven’t visited her bloggy site, you are missing out!  I hope you’ll take the time to hop on over and visit Miss Becky!  I’m sure you’ll find some fun posts to read and gorgeous pictures to ogle!  Enjoy!

Finding My Creativity Blog Header

July 8, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken

Oh boy, do I have a surprise for you.  Well not really a surprise since I made mention of the lovely Kyna over at Great Expectations in last Friday’s post.  The recipe, however, that Kyna is sharing today IS certainly a surprise.  That’s right, I can keep secrets! 

So have you guys met Kyna?  I just love her blog header.  Nothing better than chubby legs and with legwarmers no less!  Kyna is an aspiring photographer and blogs about everything from everyday happenings & personal experiences to yummy recipes (like the one below).  Did I mention that she usually throws in a couple adorable shots of Ellie (her daughter), or mouth watering foods like Crock Pot Chicken?  Try not to drool on your keyboard!  Okay, enough of my ravings.  I’ll let you see for yourself!
 
great expectations blog header
 
Hello all of you lovely Cropped Stories readers! My name is Kyna, and I blog over at great expectations.

Photobucket
 

July 5, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 13

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

July 3, 2012

Happy 4th… (freebie holiday collage)!

Hey there!  I have something special for you guys today!  I created a 4th of July collage!  For my sample, I took pictures of Aliva’s 4th of July dress which, I thought, went perfectly with this collage.  I hope to get some tomorrow of her actually in it!  I’m sure these will be a lot more interesting.  Although, I’m not quite sure the dress is going to fit her.  I’m thinking it’s a bit too small!  It’s a good thing I kept the tag on and have the receipt.  Something tells me we may be taking this back!  I hope not though!  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  I really should have tried the dress on her today.  You think I would have thought of that sooner when I had the darn thing out and she was actually awake (she’s in bed now).  My brain is mush today and it’s only Wednesday.  I’ve been extra busy over here trying to clean the house and prepare for a vacation that we are taking in 3 days!  Woo hoo!  Yeah, I’m a nut.  I start preparing for a vacation a week in advance.  I admit it!  I just hate to forget anything.

You’ve got me begging… (& Freebie)

Okay, you guys are not going to make me beg are you?  Okay, okay, then, here it goes…

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, won’t you even consider being a guest blogger on my awesome bloggy site?  We would love to have you!  Still, NO?  Than, how ‘bout a bribe?

I created a fun printable below.  I’ll turn my head and you just take it.  In return, though, you promise to write a little something for my readers.  What do you say?  Deal?

June 30, 2012

Finagle a Foto Guest Judge and FREEBIE

Guess what?  I am going to be a Guest Judge for the Finagle a Foto challenge this week!  You could say that I’m a a little excited!  Okay, a lot excited! Woo Hoo! So, have you heard of this photo challenge? Did you say “No”? Uh oh, well I hate to tell you but, you sure are missing out!  I hate to see people missing out.  If you are interested, here is a little information about the challenge!  If you’d like to join in the fun and link up, feel free to click on that button below!  The linky goes live on Sundays!  See you there!  I can’t wait to see your submissions!

June 28, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 12

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

June 27, 2012

Free Printable: New Baby Checklist

I’ve been reading an awful lot of bump updates lately and I remember when I was pregnant (especially with my first child) that a new baby checklist would have come in handy!  I found a few partial lists on various websites but never came across a complete and thorough one to really keep me organized.  The hospital is fantastic in that they usually provide all of your immediate essentials like formula, bottles, diapers, swaddling blankets, infant caps, pacifiers, washcloths etc. but when you go home, we all know, that you are on your own!  I guess it’s safe to say “you better be prepared”.  I don’t know about you, but my favorite part of pregnancy was the preparation.  I really relished in all of those moments from purchasing boring necessities like petroleum jelly to the fun and exciting things like a little onsie that read “I love my Mommy” on it!  I just about melted right there in the clothing isle!  The hubby could have dropped me off at any baby store and I would have been happy for hours!  Need infant brush & comb; CHECK.  Need nail clippers; CHECK.  Need bouncy seat; CHECK.  Need want that adorable little bunny with those super floppy ears for the shelf in the nursery; CHECK!  Anything I could think of, I bought! 

June 26, 2012

New Grungy Collage

Hey there!  Yeah, I’m a little late posting for Tuesday.  You’ll have to forgive me, I went to bed super early last night (which is when I would have been drafting my Tuesday post) because I wasn’t feeling well.  I’ve been feeling super run down and almost like I’m fighting what could be a pretty serious cold.  Either that or I have allergies.  Not sure.  I didn’t give myself the ol’ booger test.  You know what I’m talking about right?  You blow your nose and if your boogies are green it’s a cold but if they are clear than it’s allergies.  It comes in handy when the little ankle biter gets sick.  It’s nice to be certain what she has so that I can treat it correctly.  Anyhoo, so last night when the hubby came home from work (at round 7:15 pm), I took advantage and ran myself a nice hot bath and then climbed right into bed afterwards at around 8:00 pm.  I don’t think I’ve been to bed at 8 o’clock since I started this blog seeing as my nights are really the only time I have to myself.  Anyhow, it was nice.  Today, I am feeling a tiny bit better, but still not myself.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t come down with anything.  I’m already envisioning Alivia and I sick for the weekend.

June 24, 2012

Guest Bloggers Needed

That’s right, I’m going on vacation again in two weeks!  The family and I will be packing it up and getting our SUN on in Cape Cod, MA.  I hate to leave my little bloggy for an entire week but I’m excited to go and relax!  I’d love to have guest bloggers to post in my absence and was wondering if you would be interested?  Yeah, YOU!  I’d need five guest bloggers to make sure the entire week is covered.  And in case you are wondering, or have never been a guest blogger, it is really simple.  You can submit your posts to me in one of the following ways:
 

June 23, 2012

Check me out!

Check me out!  I  wrote my very first post for someone else’s blog!  I’m officially a guest blogger!  Woo hoo!  If you’ve been following me, you’d know that I create my own collage templates so I thought it might be fun to share a tutorial on how to create one yourself.  If you are interested in this lesson, feel free to come visit me over at Growing up a NJ Wife & Mom.

I also wanted to link up the picture below to the following photo challenges.

June 21, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 11

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

June 20, 2012

Quarterly Top 5 Photos

 
I’m linking up the following 5 pictures (from April, May, and June) to the Quarterly Top 5 Photos photo challenge.  If you’d like to join in, feel free to read the rules and link up over at one of the following blogs:
 
 
  • Linky begins Wednesday, June 20th and ends Tuesday, June 26th
  • Go through the photos from April, May, and June 2012
  • Choose 5 and post them on your blog or Flickr account beginning March 28th
  • PLEASE only use photos that include your CHILDREN and/or PETS
  • Accompany each photo with a short explanation of why you chose it
  • Be sure to include the Quarterly Top 5 banner or button in your post and you will be entered to win one of the prizes

June 19, 2012

New Pics… Esterina’s Birthday!

Go Elena, it’s your birthday!  Go Elena, it’s your birthday!  Well, not really but yesterday was just as exciting!  I made it through my dentist appointment!  Apparently, the dentist thought it was just a fluke that my filling fell out and that it would probably not happen a second time if she refilled it.  So that’s what she did!  It took all of 10 minutes and I’m as good as new.  If it falls out again, however, apparently I will need a ceramic fill which is essentially a crown.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn’t fall out again!  It will cost around $600.00 out of pocket!  Yikes!  It’s amazing how little that dental insurance covers.  I still can’t believe that dental work (other than cleanings of course) is considered cosmetic!  Are they kiddin’ with this crap?  Seriously, it’s crap!

June 17, 2012

Monday already?

Can’t believe it’s already Monday?  Yeah, me neither!  I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  Alivia’s cousin, Esterina, turned the BIG 2 in June and we celebrated on Saturday with family!  It was a gorgeous day (a little chilly for June but still gorgeous)!  I snapped some pictures of course only I haven’t processed them with the exception of a few of Alivia which I’ve attached below.  Hopefully I’ll share the rest of Esterina’s birthday party tomorrow (Tuesday).

June 15, 2012

A shout out

I feel the need to discuss something VERY important!  Every day my blog followers grow and my posts are receiving more comments which is super exciting to say the least! Seriously, I love every single comment that I receive!  What’s most exciting, though, is to know that I am actually posting content that is interesting to all of you!  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!  So, where am I going with this?  Good question!  In addition to leaving all of my commenters comments on their blogging sites (I like to show love too), I wanted to do something a little extra to show my appreciation.  I actually copied and pasted every single comment that I’ve received in 2012 into an Excel spreadsheet then sorted by name to see who my most dedicated followers were.  I wanted to make mention of them in this post! 

June 14, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 10

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

June 13, 2012

A few of my favorite things & GFC update

Apparently I don’t think us Blogger folks have anything to worry about regarding Google Friend Connect (GFC). I received quite a few comments regarding my previous GFC post (HERE) and I’m pretty convinced that GFC is only going to be retired for non-Blogger blogs. This link was provided by Skye over at First Time Mama – First Time Blogger confirming this. I also noticed that a lot of you commented with this same thing (about Non-Blogger blogs) so I think it’s safe to say we are in the clear! A BIG thanks to everyone that responded! Whew, right? And so the world is NOT coming to an end after all! I will still continue to follow my favorite blogs via GFC assuming it is available on your website. I am finding, however, at least 35% of the blogs that I’d like to follow don’t contain a GFC button at all which is a little disappointing especially seeing as I really don’t like to follow via feeds. Don’t get me wrong, I respect all of my fellow bloggers and your choices to include or not include the GFC button on your websites ;o)

June 12, 2012

The eye patch update

In case anyone’s been following our Intermittent Exotropia journey, I wanted to share some updates.  If you wanted to catch up you can find my previous posts on the subject HERE.

Last I left off I was trying the eye patch on Livvy’s good eye.  After that first try, however, I didn’t have much luck patching her eye for about a week or so.  I was not giving up though!  I thought it might be a good idea to try patching her eye when Daddy was home this time!  I thought he could help me get her excited to put and keep it on.  I put the eye patch on my hubby first and then on Livvy.  She looked like she was a little annoyed with it at first but we were quick to take her mind off it.  The hubby chased her around the house yelling out “I’m going to get you” while making this animalistic sound (something between a bark and bear growl).  I don’t know, don’t ask.  It seemed to work well and it’s amazing that Alivia could run without falling with only the one eye to see.  After that we put on Jake and the Neverland Pirates and she almost forgot her eye was patched completely!  It was a miracle!

Is it true about Google Friend Connect?

Has anyone else heard that Google Friend Connect (GFC) may be extinct and VERY soon?  You can find a post on this topic HERE.  The reason I ask is because I follow a lot of blogs through GFC and am wondering what I will do now to keep all of my favorite blogs in one place.  I feel so organized with GFC to be updated every time a new post is published on one of the blogs I am following.  It really is nice.  In an effort to be proactive, I signed up with Bloglovin’.  I figured this would be the next best thing.  For all of the blogs I follow via GFC, I am now following through Bloglovin’.  Also I have to, apparently, copy and paste ‘Follow my blog with Bloglovin’ code in a post to be able to claim my blog on bloglovin’ so here it goes:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I’ll eventually be adding a Bloglovin’ button to my sidebar along with my other contact buttons like Facebook, PInterest, Instagram, etc.

June 11, 2012

Web hosting + blog registration = confusion

I have a question today.  Does anyone out there use web hosting for their website?  Also, do you register your blog?  I’ve been doing research on these two topics and I’m still not understanding them completely.  Apparently a web host makes your website accessible on the world wide web.  This is strange.  The minute I created a domain name, I was accessible to everyone on the internet.  I’m not sure I get it.  Among providing accessibility though, hosting sites will provide you with various amounts of disk space to back up your content to.  Some hosting sites also provide security monitoring and advertising credits (which I’m still not quite sure what that is).  I don’t know about you but the back up services alone are enough reason for me to purchase services.  Does anyone know if Blogger does this already?  Back up your content? 

June 9, 2012

I’m rockin’ the shot!

Rock the Shot is having a June photo challenge and the theme is DADS.  I couldn’t be more excited!  I had just taken about a million pictures of Livvy and the hubby on our vacation in Sarasota, FL.  I had the following shot in mind.  It fits the theme perfectly, although it would fit the theme LOVE as well.  I say this because I love the way she is looking at her daddy in this picture!  She is so in love with him and, as you probably guessed, him with her!  One of my favorite parts of vacation was watching them interact with each other!  I could watch them forever!

June 8, 2012

New Pics… Some painted piggies

Who doesn’t love piggies?  I can’t get enough of them!  When you add polish, though, it just makes them that more appetizing!  I polished Livvy’s toes for the first time on Wednesday.  She was so good staying still for her Mommy.  I only applied one coat and then she sat still and watched me blow on her toes to help them dry.  I even filled up the sink with VERY cold water for her to soak them in to really make sure they were dried good.  In case you are wondering, I learned this little trick in nail school a long long long time ago.  Did I mention it was a LONG time ago?  No, seriously though, it works awesome.  I highly recommend this method.  I do it for my own toes when I give myself a pedicure.  In fact the colder the water, the better it works at drying the polish.  And it’s also supposed to be running water which is what I use for myself.

June 7, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 9

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

June 6, 2012

New Pics… Sneak peek of Disney World

I planned on sharing all of my Disney World pictures in one post (my Thursday post) but, had unexpectedly (and at the last minute), went out to run some errands that took me ‘till 10:00 pm Wednesday night so now I’m exhausted.  I could only bring myself to process the following three pictures.  I hope to have the others processed to include in my The Missing Link post that I publish on Fridays.

June 4, 2012

New Pics… So here’s what we know

Alivia loves being outside.  She loves playing with the sand, but not standing in it even with shoes on.  We had to lay a towel on the sand for her to feel comfortable sitting in it.  When she got even a speck of sand on her feet she’d demand us to “wife” her feet.  That’s not a typo.  She pronounces “wipe” as “wife”.  She likes the warm ocean water but absolutely loves the pool!  She likes Mommy and Daddy to pull her around in her floatie.  She also likes to lean back in her float just enough to be able to kick up her feet comfortably and show off her pruned little piggy toes!  She loves sunhats and sunglasses and wears them well!  She loves her pink crocs and Little Swimmer pull-up diapers!  Hmmmm, what else?  She loves her Daddy!  She got to spend so much time with him while we were away on vacation!  It was so nice seeing them play and interact with each other.  I love the way she looks at him with such love in her eyes.  You can see that she feels so safe and secure in his arms.  I am going to write a post about this separately because I have some great pictures of the two of them together.  Today, however, I wanted to share some pool pictures.  Our pool in FL was so beautiful!  It was pristine, heated, and deserted (just the way we like it).  Nothing like having a HUGE pool to yourself!  Boy did we pick the perfect week to vacation in Sarasota.

June 3, 2012

New Pics… Home from vacation

Well, the family and I are home from vacation.  I usually get home sick and miss home, but this vacation was so different.  I felt so relaxed and at home in Sarasota that I just didn’t want to leave.  I think I speak for the rest of my family when I say that too!  We definitely weren’t ready to go home this time.  We could have used another week in Florida.  I guess that is a good indicator that we had a fabulous vacation.  We made some memories that will last us a lifetime!

June 1, 2012

New Pics… It is a laughing matter

So let me tell you a little story.  It’s not for the faint hearted.

You know when you see a bug, like a spider for instance, and for the rest of the day you would swear that you feel something crawling on you? You start scratching your leg, an arm, under your neck, on the shoulder etc.? Well that’s me. That’s what type of person I am. I swear they are crawling on me even though they aren’t. I don’t even like the sight of them.

The Missing Link – Week 8

As a special treat today I have asked LeiShell over at A Correll Collage to host this week’s The Missing Link for me since I would be on vacation. I thought it would be fun to have someone else compile a list of links they love for all of us to enjoy (including me)! For those who haven’t met LeiShell, she is a wife, mommy to a cutie pa-toot-y, and photography lover!  What can you find on her blog?  Good question.  You can find everything from writings about family, crafting, advice, and even personal struggles.  And what blog is complete without adorable pictures?  Don’t worry folks, she has that too!

May 31, 2012

What do all these buttons do?

I’m sure you are starting to figure out by now that I am a pretty BIG High Dynamic Range (HDR) fan! I’ve already had one HDR guest poster this week and this will be my second.  I seriously can’t remember who referred me to Deno’s website (my memory is horrible), but I’m so happy they did.  Since I’ve been referred, I’ve been on his website every day just looking around at all of his fancy High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography.  He can turn simple subject matter (things that you would never even think of photographing) into some serious kick a$$ art!  He rocks!  If you’d like to visit his website, you can find it at What do all these buttons do?  You’ve got to love his blog title too!

May 30, 2012

Have you guys met Melanie?

Since I came across her blog a few months ago, I’ve been totally hooked!  I mean who doesn’t love to see pictures of an adorable little boy?  I’m always excited to see what Jax is up to.  What boggles the mind though, is that she is fairly new to photography and her pictures are fabulous!  She has a great eye, fresh perspective and her processing is so much fun!  This is one talented mama!  And if all of this wasn’t enough, she posts very relatable content which is always a pleasure to read.  Of course it’s hard to believe something when you haven’t seen it for yourself so I hope you’ll take a hop on over to Happy Jax.  Oh, and if you like photo challenges, don’t forget to link up to her weekly Finagle a Foto Challenge!

May 29, 2012

Routine, Routine, Routine

What do I have in store for you today?  Another wonderful guest blogger that’s what!  Natalie blogs about everything from personal experiences, to give-a-ways, product reviews, and recipes, etc.  And you can always count on adorable images of little E?  Who is little E?  Well you’ll just have to visit her website over at Growing up a NJ WIFE & MOM to find out!

May 28, 2012

Sunset over Nice, France

So I told you I’d have some guest bloggers for you this week. I don’t think I mentioned how awesome they would be though. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have been referred to Akseli’s site.  His work is truly amazing!  Some of his shots actually have taken my breath away.  I seriously could look at them for hours!  If you’d like to take a peek at his website, you can find it at Blogs for Photos.  Happy viewing!

May 27, 2012

I’m nothing but a Finagler!

On vacation here in Sarasota, FL so I’m a little less wordy than usual.  I know it’s not Wednesday or anything, but it really should be allowed on the other days of the week ;o)  Sorry for such a short post, but if you had a gorgeous beach in your backyard what would you do?  So, let’s see, you can stay inside and write OR swim in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, build sand castles with the white powder sand, soak up the sun for some much needed Vitamin D, and relax and let the gentle breeze cool you off!  Hmmmm, it’s a toughie I know.  I’ll let you think about it.

May 24, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 7

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

May 23, 2012

Something wonderful in store for you!

I don’t know if you read my post HERE but I am going to be away next week on vacation.  After publishing a post just yesterday asking if anyone may be interested in being a guest blogger on my site, I was sorting through several emails of interested parties.  And here I thought I wasn’t going to get much interest at all.  So I’m not a loser.  Whew, it’s a good thing!  No, I’m just kidding!  I just love ragging on myself!  On a more serious note, though, I just wanted to give a BIG shout out to all of the interested parties (you know who you are) and say THANK YOU so much! 

Anyhow, now I know you are going to miss me terribly while I’m away but, chins up, I have something wonderful in store for all of my forty followers readers.  Since I will be leaving early Saturday morning, I have lined up some great guest bloggers to post in my absence.  I’m VERY excited to have each one of them!  So excited that I can barely contain myself! 

Each of my guest bloggers posts will contain a brief introduction by me and will contain a link back to their little parts of the blogosphere where you will be able to visit with each of them.  I really hope you enjoy what I have lined up!  I wish you all happy reading and, oh, viewing too!  You have to admit sometimes the images are the BEST part!

As a reminder, I recently added the Google Friend Connect gadget to my sidebar for those interested in joining the site. You just have to scroll down the page a little to see it. Additionally, I just published a Contact Me page to the tabs below my blog header where you can either email me or follow me on Facebook, PInterest, and/or Instagram! Happy Navigating!

New Pics… Does my Nana see?

Livvy and I will have these moments of pure love.  She’ll be sitting on my lap (stomach to stomach) and she’ll just look my face over like she is trying hard to remember the details.  I’ve memorized her face; her eyes and every speck of gold and green that shine through, her mouth and how she holds it slightly open when she is watching TV or staring off into space, her cheeks and how they get ever so flushed when she is only a little warm, her hair when her ringlet curls fall so softly against the top of her back.  It is moments like this when I’ll turn my head up towards heaven and ask my nana “Are you seeing this kid”?  And I truly wonder is she seeing how amazing my baby is?  How beautiful she is both inside and out?  How happy she makes me?  How not a day goes by that I don’t wish that they could meet.  I know that my Nana would have just eaten her up and I almost feel bad that she never got the chance to.

May 22, 2012

New Pics… Interested in being a guest poster?

So here is the scoop.  The family and I are taking a trip next week to Sarasota, FL where we will be staying in a very nice condo on the beach for a whopping 7 days!  We are looking forward to getting some much needed rest and relaxation.  Well as much rest and relaxation you can get with a toddler.  We are even more excited to take the little one to Disney World for the first time!  We can’t wait to see the expression on her face when she meets Mickey Mouse in person!  I hope to have some really great pictures to share with everyone next week! 
 
I do plan on posting next week and joining some photo challenges.  “Some” being the key word.  I usually join multiple photo challenges per day but next week I am limiting myself to one photo challenge per day.  And although I love reading everyone’s blog and usually visit on a daily basis, I am also limiting my blog reading while on vacation which means my comments may be few and far between.  I apologize now but I have to make time for the family on this vacation.  I have a secret though.  I really will miss reading your blogs while I am away.  Seriously, if it were up to me, I’d never take a bloggy break!   
 
In the meantime, I was wondering if anyone would like to be a guest poster on my blog?  If you are interested, please feel free to send me an email.  Just click on the Email Me button in my sidebar.  You would really be doing me a favor.  Since I don’t have many followers yet (my page view stats aren’t too shabby though), I can’t really say that posting on my blog would offer you much in return.  I would, however, be truly grateful! 

May 21, 2012

New Pics… Creating a button for your website

Did you start your blogging website without really knowing anything about HTML?  I did.  Blogger made it so easy to create a website without having to know code which was nice.  If you want to customize, however, that’s a different story.  I’m always looking up code online.  You know stuff like ‘creating image code’, ‘removing page titles’, ‘centering and image’ and my most recent search ‘creating buttons (thumbnail pictures) with scrolling text underneath'. 

May 20, 2012

New Pics… My future’s so bright that I gotta wear shades

How was everyone’s weekend?  We lucked out over here in New Hampshire!  Saturday and Sunday were both 80 degree days with completely clear skies.  Seriously, I don’t think I saw one cloud the entire weekend.

Alivia and I spent our days outdoors!  Awhile back a neighbor had told my mom about a pond in our town but I never got the chance to see it.  On Sunday, however, we decided to go just to check things out.  Well I’ll tell you, boy have we been missing out.  I’ve only been living here for about six years and this is the first I’m hearing of this?  It’s crazy!  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was clean, water was warm, and it even allowed for kayaking, canoeing, fishing, etc.  How nice is that?

May 19, 2012

New Pics… She’s going to be the death of me

I seriously don’t know how I make any time for blogging.  Alivia has been glued to my hip.  Yesterday was the worst.  It seemed like from the minute she woke up in the morning to when she went to bed at 8:00 pm that night, she was in my arms.  Every other minute all I heard was “hold”, “hold”.  When I couldn’t hold her than all I heard was whining, but mostly crying followed by the overly dramatic hunched over mope.  I never felt so bad in my life and you can’t even imagine the cramping I’ve been getting in both arms.  It’s like I just had the hardest workout of my life!  Last night, in an effort to give myself a break, I thought I’d run an errand when my husband got home.  Saying goodbye to Alivia for the night was the worst feeling ever.  When she realized that I was going out she started crying and shouting “hold mama”.  It was horrible and all of a sudden my heart sort of dropped and there I was standing there in a pool of guilt.  Like I was doing something wrong.  I fought the overwhelming feeling to just stay home, wiped my tear filled eyes, took a deep breath, and walked out the door.  This kid is seriously killing me.  She is going to be the death of me.  I know, I say it all the time but it’s so true!

When I told my mom this story she said that I am still the death of her.  I will continue to be the death of my mom no matter how old I get.  She told me as if I were going to be surprised or something.  I get it though.  I already realized that Alivia would be the death of me until, well, forever!  That’s okay though.  I signed up for this!

May 18, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 6

cropped stories

Before I go into my whole introduction to The Missing Link, I just wanted to let you all know that I created a button that goes right to my Missing Link page where you will find all of my previous The Missing Link posts.  If you missed my previous posts, please feel free to visit the page and steal my button too!

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

May 17, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

Go me; it’s my birthday!  Go me; it’s my birthday!  Nah, I’m just kidding.  It is, however, a great day to be a blogger!  I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by the wonderful Jeni and Kendel over at Two Shades of Lovely!  I can’t thank them enough!  I’m really VERY honored especially since I’m fairly new to the Blogosphere and have been working really hard to meet other bloggers with similar interests!  This award will allow me that very opportunity.  Please feel free to click on the button below and it will bring you to the Versatile Blogger Award website.

New Pics… Very Attractive

I thought I’d share this Instagram photo with you.  What?  Do you like my toe nail?  I know you do.  It’s very attractive!  It may be a little too short.  I’m trying to grow it longer.  It’s weird how my big toe always grows the fastest.  I think there is something seriously wrong with my other little piggies.

May 16, 2012

New Pics… A Pigtail or Two

Guess what?  I finally made a button for this little ol’ blog o’ mine!  If you are interested in buttoning up, feel free to steal it!  You will see it in my sidebar.  The reason it took me so long to create one is because I wasn’t sure how to cropped storiesdo it.  I finally had some time to do some research online and found a tutorial.  I would have attached the link to the site, but the code provided was incorrect.  After many tweaks, I finally fixed it.  I’ll try to do a future post about creating buttons incase you do not know how to create one yourself. 
 
On a different note, I just tried the patch on Alivia’s eye yesterday.  It didn’t go as badly as I had pictured it in my mind.  I had this idea that if she saw mommy wearing it, she may want to wear it too!  I actually saw a hint of a smile when I first put it on.  She thought we were being pirates together.  I ran around the house saying “Ahoy mates!”  Yes, it was quite the sight!  She quickly realized it wasn’t that fun after all.  I struggled with her a bit to keep it on, but in the end she won.  She finally ripped it off.  I don’t want to force it too much.  I don’t want her relating the patch to fighting with mama.  I will introduce it slowly but persistently in hopes that she, at some point, will be a little more cooperative.  I’m supposed to be patching her eye for about 20 – 30 minutes a day.  Even if I can get it on for 5 minutes at a time, I will be happy.  In case you are a little lost, I wrote about Alivia’s Intermittent Exotropia in some previous posts which you can find HERE and HERE.

May 15, 2012

New Pics… Whipped & Wimpy

It is a My days with Alivia have been getting more difficult.  She continues to be clingy but it worsens each day.  I noticed she was warm a couple of days last week so I took her temperature to find she had a fever.  Other than being a little more clingy than usual, she was showing no other signs of being sick.  I soaked it up to teething and gave her some Advil to reduce her fever and help with any pain that she may have been experiencing!  Since those fevers, she has been doing much better.  The clinginess, however, has not lessened.  Not that I really expected it to.  She has been wanting me to hold her 24/7.  If I don’t, God help me!  She usually has a temper tantrum complete with bright red cheeks, choking on her saliva, moping, drooling, and arms extended reaching out for mommy.  It’s horrible to watch. 

May 14, 2012

New Pics… Mother’s Day

So, how was everyone’s Mother’s Day?  I got some beautiful flowers from Alivia and the hubby!  They must love me bunches!  Thought you’d like to see just how beautiful the bouquet was.  Gorgeous colors right?  And who doesn’t love roses?  Especially white ones!

May 10, 2012

The Missing Link – Week 5

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

New Pics… Alivia’s 2012 Photo Book

I’ve been working like crazy on Alivia’s 2012 photo book.  My goal is to complete one for every year of her life.  I thought it would be something nice for her to have when she’s all grown up.  With the amount of pictures I’ve been taking, though, it’s going to be more like 2-3 photo books per year.  It’s only the beginning of May and I already have close to 75 pages in her photo book now.  I wanted to be able to share the link for everyone to check out my photo book, but I’m nowhere near done.  Instead, I thought I’d offer a sneak peek.  In case you are interested, I am using Mixbook.  I spoke about it in a previous Missing Link post which you can find HERE.  I love the software.  It is very easy to use.  They also have a large selection of backgrounds, clipart, and fonts to work with.


May 9, 2012

Almost truly wordless and another Freebie

I can’t do it.  I can never publish a post with no words at all.  Seriously, though, this post is going to be a lot less wordier than any of my previous Wednesday posts.   I usually draft my posts the night before but I will not be home on Tuesday night so if you can believe it I am drafting this on a Monday night.  For Tuesday,  I have planned a girls night out with my sister and mom for an early Mother’s Day celebration.  My sister and I bought her tickets to Burn the Floor.  I can’t wait to see the show.  I’ve seen it once before, but many many years ago.  It was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. 

Anyhow, I can’t let a Wednesday pass without linking up to all the Wordless Wednesdays out there.

May 8, 2012

I Heart Faces May 2012 Photo Challenge

I Heart Faces is having a May 2012 Photo Challenge that opens today for submissions.  This months theme is “Hey Girl!”  If you are interested, be sure to pay them a visit and link up.  I’ve included their instructions on how to link up a photo below.

New Pics… More Freebies and a Photo Challenge

Do you know how I drafted this post?  With Alivia in my lap moving around as if she had ants in her pants.  She was grabbing my glasses, playing with my hair, and calling out parts of the face.  Eyes, nose, ears, cheeks, etc.  She has been crazy clingy lately.  I have no idea what’s going on.  She has been crying if I don’t hold her.  She has been getting very upset even if I get up to get a drink, go to the bathroom, anything that requires me to be away from her if even for a couple seconds.  This is like separation anxiety to the extreme.  Now I have to get up and get her some water.  Wait for it.  Can you hearr the wailing?  I can’t carry her with me everywhere, she is way too heavy for her little mama.  Seriously, I’m 93 lbs. and she is about 24 lbs.  Shall I do the math?  She is more than a quarter of my weight!  To say I’m weak would be putting it mildly.  I lack upper body strength badly.  You should see the size of my scrawny arms.  Don’t mind me while I rag on myself!

May 6, 2012

Just a few photo challenges

I hope everyone had a splendid weekend!  Our weather wasn’t too bad this past weekend.  It was about 62 degrees on Saturday but overcast and around 65 degrees on Sunday with partial sun.  Hey I’ll take what I can get. 

I had a very busy weekend.  It was sort of non-stop from Saturday morning right up until 8:00 pm on Sunday when I placed Alivia in her crib for the night.  I went clothes shopping for myself on both mornings, then a little walk around the neighborhood to get Alivia some fresh air, some chores around the house, and a visit to my sister’s.  I’ve been trying to get Alivia outside every chance I get since I’m pretty sure we are supposed to get rain after Monday for three days straight.  

May 5, 2012

A Fix for Posting Issues and a Photo Challenge

I’m seriously afraid to jinx myself here, but I feel the need to say “I think I figured out a fix for my posting issues.”  Wait, let me knock on wood. 

So here’s the deal.  And before you get too excited, I should clarify one thing.  I think I figured out a fix for my posting issues within Windows Live Writer.  Unfortunately this fix did not work in the Blogger interface.  If you haven’t read my Issues with Posting and Why Isn’t it Working posts and you are currently experiencing issues with the Blogger interface, please feel free to read them HERE and HERE to catch up.  If you already read them, than guess what?  I think I found a fix.  Not sure it is going to work for everyone but I thought I’d share my findings anyway.  Okay, so are you ready?  Originally I was formatting my posts with justified paragraphs.  I don’t remember what made me remove the justification (maybe pure desperation) but I did and wouldn’t you know that since I haven’t experienced any problems.  Again I’m knocking on wood.  What, I’m not superstitious.  Anyhow, now that I’ve been able to whip Windows Live Writer into shape, I highly recommend it.  You will have way more control and flexibility over your post content.

May 4, 2012

Shoot. Edit. Submit, Fabulous Friday, and FIF at IHF

What is wrong with me?  Seriously?  I link up to Shoot. Edit. Submit every Friday and here I am this morning already visiting other blogs to leave comments thinking that I am done posting for the day.  It’s been a crazy week with just me and the little one at home and the hubby off on a business trip in Sin City.  Yeah all of my weeks are crazy, how can they not be with a toddler, but this one was especially busy and exhausting. 

May 3, 2012

The Missing Link–Week 4

064 RSHave you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

New Pics… A reason to celebrate the overcast day

Alivia and I actually got out of the house yesterday regardless of the overcast, almost rainy, damp and chilly day.  We didn’t go far, just across the street to my mother’s house.  It was nice to get some air though especially after being stuck in the house for the past two days.  I could tell that Alivia needed to get out too!  We were both going a bit stir crazy.  Here’s a reason to celebrate the oh so gloomy overcast day!  It’s fantastic for taking pictures!  You don’t have to worry about harsh light, shadows, squinty eyes, etc.  As long as it’s not raining, you are good to go!  So get out there!

May 2, 2012

New Pics… Why isn’t it working?

Okay, I’m seriously stumped.  I am writing this as a follow-up to my Issues with Posting post which you can find HERE if you haven’t already read it.  I received a comment from Sarah over at It’s on the tip of your tongue that she was using Windows Live Writer (WLW) and loved it so I thought I’d give it a try.  This very post, as I type it now, is being drafted in WLW.  Before this post, however, I tried a couple of tests.  Unfortunately when I hit that little ol’ publish button my posts were reformatted again.  Some of the reformatting included the removal of justified paragraphs and the insertion of additional spacing between paragraphs and pictures.  I just can’t seem to get away from that one!  It’s literally driving me MAD I tell ya!  I still would like to give a BIG thank you to Sarah and others that offered wonderful feedback, but I am really starting to wonder if it’s something in my own system.  Perhaps a glitch of some sort? 

May 1, 2012

A Revamp

I gave my bloggy site a little revamp which included widening my post column.  I wanted to add a little color although I'm sure I'll revert back to my neutral color palette at some point.  This means that I can now attach 600 px wide photos to my posts instead of measly little 515 px wide photos!  Although I shouldn't say that really.  515 px wide is fairly large for a single photo.  If you are, however, posting collages in this size the images start to get too small for my liking.  Such a shame when you have such beautiful shots to show off.  Anyhow, this will be my last post with these smaller sized pictures.  Yay! 

Issues with Posting?

Now onto more frustrating things...

I hate to be a complainer, but I've been experiencing some problems with Blogger.  When I draft my posts and format them exactly the way I want them, the minute I hit that Publish button, my formatting changes.  When I say formatting, I am referring to the spacing between lines, paragraphs, pictures, etc.  For example, let's just say I single space between paragraphs and double space between pictures (using the enter/return key), then I publish the post only to find it has completely reformatted itself.  Once in a blue moon Blogger will remove line spaces, but mostly it will add additional line spaces between content so that there are HUGE gaps of empty space between paragraphs and pictures.  Then my posts look sloppy.  Additionally, I draft posts that I am not ready to publish at that very moment so I will save and close them.  The next time I open these same posts to make updates, the formatting is entirely different.  It is quite frustrating to say the least.  Sometimes I have to go into that post and reformat it multiple times (usually 4 or 5 times) for it to finally be correct.  I'm way too anal to let it go.  So now that I've vented, I feel a little better.  I wanted to show you what I mean, so I've attached screen shots of the way I format my posts (pictures 1 & 2) and screen shots of the way Blogger reformats my posts (pictures 3 & 4).  Damn you Blogger!

April 30, 2012

A month in photos

This will be my first time linking up to A Month in Photos over at SIMPLE AS THAT.  I like the idea of putting a collage together of your favorite photos for the month.  I had a difficult time choosing my favorites and since my collage only allows 6 pictures, I had to put together two.  I hope that's okay.  I look forward to seeing the other submissions as well.

Baby ESP

Have you tried the Baby ESP application?

When Alivia was born, I found it difficult to keep track of, well, everything.  Most importantly, though, the number of bottles and ounces she would drink and the number of pee and poop diapers she would have in a day.  I knew this was important information that her pediatrician would inquire about at her appointments.  I've never been good at guessing, so I knew that I would have to track these things somehow if I wanted to give the pediatrician accurate information.  At the time, while I was in the hospital, the easiest way to keep track of everything was to write it down.  So on that first day, when Alivia was born, so wasn't a journal.  I'm really pushing it when I say journal.  I kept all of my notes on a small pad of paper and tore off pieces as they were used. 

April 28, 2012

New Pics... The Paper Mama Photo Challenge

Meet Alivia.


She's is my 21 month baby girl. 
She is my BEST friend. 
She is my silly goose. 
She is my cuddle bum. 
She is my love bug.
She is my crank pot. 
She is my drama queen.
She is my chatty Kathy.
She is my love.
She is my life.


In short, she is my HAPPINESS
Seriously, how can this picture not make you smile?
I'm linking it up to The Paper Mama Photo Challenge.
Hope it puts a smile on your face!

The Paper Mama Photo Challenge


As a reminder, I recently added the Google Friend Connect gadget to my sidebar.
You'll just have to scroll down the page a bit to see it.
If you like what you've read, please feel free to join my site.

April 27, 2012

Shoot. Edit. Submit. & FIF

I almost forgot to link up to the Shoot. Edit. Submit. photo challenge over at Mom Tried It.  How could I forget?  It's been a crazy Friday already and it's only 12:39pm.  Anyhow, here is this week's submission.  I love this close-up of Alivia.  If you've seen any of my pictures, I'm sure you know that I'm a BIG fan of filling the frame shots.  I like this one mostly because of her messy hair (it was windy out) and I'm glad I chose to convert it to black & white.

The Missing Link - Week 3

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

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