Cheers to a New Year full of happiness, love, adventure and becoming the best you YOU can be! 



The 365 Project

One of my goals for the year is to actually complete a 365 Photography Project.  In case you are unfamiliar with this, the project consists of you taking a photo a day for an entire year.  I did not come up with this idea (even though I wish I had) but have loved the idea of it ever since I first heard about it.  

I attempted one last year but only made it from November to March.  Which I guess is pretty good but most of the photos were taken with my iPhone.  Which is also fine but since I have my phone with me a majority of the time it wasn't as much of a challenge to get photos.  This time I hope to use my DSLR a majority, if not for all, of the project.  I hope this project will challenge me creatively, force me to go outside of my comfort zone and encourage me to really learn how to use Photoshop and Lightroom properly.

It has only been 10 days into the project but I am so far having a lot of fun and get a little excited about getting out there to photograph.

Here is what I have captured so far:

12/21/12: Day 1 of 365
"Winter Berries"

12/22/12: Day 2 of 365
"Christmas decor silhouette" 

12/23/12: Day 3 of 365

12/24/12: Day 4 of 365
"STL fire" 

12/25/12: Day 5 of 365

12/26/12: Day 6 of 365
"Wine Collection"

12/27/12: Day 7 of 365
"Christmas Tree Heart Bokeh"

12/28/12: Day 8 of 365
"Retirement Flowers"

12/29/12: Day 9 of 365
"Wintery playground" 

12/30/12: Day 10 of 365

My goal is to share with you my progress once a week in a post.  They are also on Flickr in my The 365 Project set if you are interested in checking them out on a daily (hopefully) basis.  

What about you?  Have you ever started or completed a 365 Photo Challenge before?  If so, what did you find the hardest part to be?  How did it help your photography?  



Necessary Evils.

I cannot believe Christmas has come and gone again.  Always comes and goes way too quickly.  Why can't January and February (and March) go by as quickly?

I have already gone through the post Christmas hangover and slowly starting to look forward to what the new year has to bring.  With that being said, I would like to share with you our adventure to STL for Christmas.

Since I recently decided to quit my job with the airlines, our decision to spend Christmas in STL with my family was made a little late (like 1.5 weeks before Christmas late).  Needless to say the airfare was outrageous so we decided we would drive.  I mean we drove to FL this summer so we figured the 10 hrs 13 min (according to Google) would be a breeze.

Me excited for our 10+ hour road trip to Christmas, family and booze. 
Husband not so sure about NSYNC singing about happy holidays 
Well, as with most travel plans, it didn't work out how we planned.  We had just gotten my car (our chariot for the road trip) from the shop Saturday.  It needed inspected and 100+ wah wah wah done to it so we thought we were being good and responsible road trippers.  Until the obnoxious beeping that had been given us problems returned with it's "STOP car immediately" warning.  Like other times, we just ignored the warning because it seemed to be running smoothly.  It wasn't until we started a slight incline up the hill that poor Passat started to make a sound like we were hurting her.  We pulled over at the first rest stop we saw and parked the car.   As we pulled into the parking lot, Passat was starting to sound pissed.  So husband, pretending to know what he was looking for, lifted up the hood and quickly remembered he didn't know what he was doing called AAA. 

Thank goodness for smart phones and the iPhone's decent picture quality to keep us both entertained while we waited only 45 mins (which in AAA time is record breaking) for our tow to pick us up.  

I kept looking back and thinking "man, some asshole is really riding this guys ass" until I realized I was looking at my poor car that kept looking longly into our new ride sadly from the back.  

Luckily we purchased AAA before we headed down to FL over the summer and luckily we got the second best option which covered us for a free tow up to 100 miles away from the car garage of our choice.  We pulled over in a small town in OH (just 16 miles West of Wheeling, WV) 89.3 miles away from the garage.  Phew!  Anyway, we ended up catching a flight early the next morning thanks to my Dad and his points.  

We, and by we I mean husband, hasn't heard from the garage yet.  We are both hoping this does not mean the end for Passat.  She has been good to me over the past 120,000+ miles and I hope to experience a few more thousand with her before I have to say good-bye.  

Hope you had a nice holiday and drama free travel experience!  




Every year I make resolutions for myself.  Every year I fail... miserably.  And I think know the reason is because I do not make my resolutions known to friends or family (some even I don't share with husband).  This year WILL be different. 

I was a little hesitant to even make goals for myself for the coming new year until I saw this link up from Kisses From The Mrs.  When reading different articles, blogs, etc on how to stay motivated one of the best ways to keep up with your goals is to share your goals with others.  That is what The Mrs link up is all about, sharing your goals and progress throughout the year.  So, this year I am going to do just that. 

Resolution #1: Be healthier
I eat healthy most of the time but find it extremely difficult to turn away from the nilla wafers or gold fish while I am baby-sitting.  I go through periods of when I eat great but only lasts for like a week.  I need to discover healhy alternatives (that do not have gluten or dairy) to keep my belly full so I am not tempted. 
I would also like to run at least 3 times a week and maybe take up a class.  I am thinking a kick boxing or Jujutsu class.  I have been watching Alias and Jennifer Garner's character inspires me to want to learn how to kick ass.

Resolution #2: Complete a 365 photo challenge.
I would like to start this on new year day.  But maybe today or tomorrow.  It will encourage me to take my camera with me more places.  
I am going to include conquer Photoshop and Lightroom in here as well. 

Resolution #3:  Make more time for Us
Husband just started working as a Massage Therapist.  He and I both have been working somewhat different schedules.  I want to make more plans for just us to sit and just be together whether it be to go somewhere or just to snuggle on the couch together to just talk.  

Resolution #4: Spend more time with friends. 
I have gotten much better at this this year but would like to continue it.  I love spending time with girlfriends.  

Resolution #5:  Really to start to save money.  
Save to pay off debt.  Save to travel.  Save to do whatever, whenever we want.  

I am really looking forward to this challenge and would really appreciate feedback.  It is always nice to hear from others for ideas, motivation, support, etc.  

What are your resolutions for 2013? 


Linking up with
Kisses from the Mrs.


if not now then when

I am not a crafty person.  I browse Pinterest on a daily basis in search of inspiration/motivation pretending to be.  One of my goals for 2013 (assuming the world doesn't end before hand) is to seriously buckle down and really decorate our home.  I have recruited my sister-in-law and have a few ideas up my sleeve that I can't wait to start (and hopefully finish.  I have the ADD).  

I have loved seeing the different ways people have decorated their homes incorporating their favorite quotes.  I love quotes and have my favorites.  When I came across this one yesterday, I thought "PERFECT!"  No really crafty talent needed.  Just a black sharpie and frame and voila!  I already know just the place I want it to go.  I mean that is half the battle, right? 


What, dear readers, are your favorite quotes?  Have you used any of them as decor in your home/apt?  If so, please share!  I would love to see:)  

Happy Hump (hehe I said hump) Day!  




One thing I love about the end of the year leading into the new year are the new music releases.  And when I heard this song I was ecstatic to learn they had a new album.  While this song is not new - coming out in 2005 - it was new to me and I am always happy when I hear good music for the first time. 

When I first heard this song, I raced home and looked it up on YouTube and immediately fell in love with the video.  One of my favorite movies is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it.  It is beautifully done and I know anyone who has broken up with someone you really loved can relate.  Anyway, one of my favorite scenes in the movie are when the two main characters (Carrey and Winslet) head up to Montauk, NY for a night picnic.  Something, since I have seen the movie, have been wanting to do. 

Stars - "Your Ex-Love is Dead"

I am pumped to check out their new album.  So far, I have loved what I have heard. 

Hope everyone's Monday isn't too stressful so far.  Just a few a little over a week until Christmas!:)


Jacob and Family Christmas 2012

Here's Jacky.  The most adorable 2 year old I know.  Seriously.  So cute!  I met him at his home in Blackhawk to get photos for Christmas cards.  Like I mentioned in this post it was difficult to get a good image shooting a 2 year old with a slow shutter speed but still came away with some pretty good ones!  I have been wanting to photograph kids holding Christmas lights (oh hey Pinterest) but have been too afraid to ask parents if they would let me wrap their kids in lights.  I was thrilled when Mom suggested it!  Photo shoot bucket list - photograph kid in lights: check.

Thanks guys for letting me come into your home to photograph your adorable son!  As always, it was a pleasure.  I'll take any excuse I can get to see y'all and hang out with Jake:)


Amelia Christmas 2012

It's Thursday!!!  You know what that means?  Nothing really.  Just one day closer to the weekend:)

Today I would like to share with y'all some of my favorite photos from a photoshoot a few weeks ago.  Amelia has the perfect little face and amazing blue eyes!  She was seriously a great sport.  I am always amazed by little ones who actually sit long enough to take a photo.  I mean I know how hard that can be for me sometimes.  And please check out her cute little dress.  Doesn't her mom she have the best style?

Speaking of her mom, see that adorable headband ?  Mom MADE it!  Mom and I went to college together and she was always the crafty one.  I always knew she would make a great elementary school teacher and an even better Mom one day.  Impressed like I am?  Check out Mom's Etsy shop here and her Facebook Fan Page here to order your own handmade bows, headbands, diaper covers, etc.  Mom, like Amelia, is seriously one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet.

Without further adieu...

Hope you enjoyed them!  

Hope your week hasn't been too stressful.  Cheers to it almost being the weekend!!!  


I choose happiness.

Like I mentioned Sunday, last week was a bit hectic and crazy (and not the good kind of hectic and crazy).  And this week was quickly starting to follow suit.  So, I decided - as of yesterday - to quit the second PT job at the airlines.  This decision was a difficult one but not because the pay is good, the management is great or I would not be seeing new friends often but because I had to let go of the cheap travel benefits.  For those of you know who me, I have never enjoyed flying.  Like not at all.  To the point where a few nights leading up to my flight I would be stricken with nightmares of the plane crashing and not being able to say good-bye the ones I love most.  My fear of flying has kept me from doing so many things in my life that I now regret like studying abroad in college or going to the University of Alabama for college (the idea of flying to get to/from school was something I was not willing to do).

However, that fear has started to fade away over the past few years.  This past June I flew over the big pond for the first time with two younger sisters to spend time in Ireland and Scotland.  Now the travel bug has set in.  To the point where there is not a place in this world I would not be happy to travel to.  Seriously.  Anywhere.  So when I heard of the openings at the airlines and I was offered the job on the spot I was ecstatic and immediately began to day dream of the different places I would now be able to see for an extremely cheap price.

To make a long story short, even though I told the woman who hired me numerous times I had a second job where I worked 3 days a week she either a. didn't listen b. didn't write it down or c. just didn't care (I'm thinking all of the above).  I mean she called me the day after I talked to her about when I could next come in to catch up on some training that she was sorry she hadn't gotten back to me yet but was wondering if I could come in on Monday.  Seriously the next day.  That is how bad she was.  Now I know she had a lot on her plate with the large influx of new hires but wouldn't it have been just as easy to write down, "I talked to yada yada on at yada yada time and we discussed yada yada"?

Anywayyyyyy, I was scheduled for the night shift from 6:30-? which is fine but that would mean two days out of the week working from 7:30am to 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 in the morning.  And after some thinking I decided the travel benefits were just not worth it.

I mean yesterday morning, before I had to decided to quit the airlines, I was changing the baby's (who I nanny for) explosive poop she had which resulted in me getting shit on my fingers, my pants and the carpet because I accidentally set the wipies down in the shit that had gotten all over the changing mat all while the baby was getting frustrated because I wasn't changing her fast enough so she ended up getting shit on her as well.

And you know what I did?  I laughed and thought I would rather do this any day over working somewhere for peanuts for cheap travel.  Because you know, hanging out with kids, cleaning their shit and all, in the moment makes me so much happier than planning a trip for the future.  The last 6 months have been about change.  A change that makes me happy.  And I plan to stick to that.

I choose happiness.



I feel it in my toes.

I love Christmas.  Everything about it.  The smells, buying gifts, spending time with family, etc.  However, I refuse to do anything Christmasy until Thanksgiving is officially over.  In fact, I have even have a hard time getting really excited for Christmas until Dec. 1st.  I won't even allow myself to watch Elf or Love Actually until after Thanksgiving (and if you know me at all you can appreciate how hard this is for me).  

So for this Music Monday music themed blog post I would share with you what songs I jam to during the holidays via YouTube

1) Justin Bieber ft Boys II Men - Fa La La (Acapella)
2) Olivia Olsen - All I Want For Christmas Is You
3) Billy Mack - Christmas Is All Around 
4) Zooey Deschanel & Leon Redbone - Baby It's Cold Outside 
5) Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby
6) Jars Of Clay - Little Drummer Boy
7) Amy Grant - Grown Up Christmas List
8) Louis Armstrong - Cool Yule
9) Thurl Ravenscroft - You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch 
10) Jody Marshall - Carol of the Bells

I hope my temporary lapse of musical taste has not detered you from reading further music themed posts.  I promise I will get better:)

Hope everyone is having a great December celebrating with your loved ones! 




This week has been one of those weeks of being crazy busy but not the good kind of busy.  The kind of week where I barely had time to breathe.  I recently started a PT job with American Eagle Airlines as a Ramp Agent - which I learned is just a fancy name for someone who cleans the planes.  I worked two shifts from 5am-2 or 3 then started my (and what will be my normal schedule) night shift of 630-1 (or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5.  All depending when everything gets done) last night.  Like with every job, starting and trying to remember everything that you have been taught is uber stressful.  I do not want to be that employee who everyone refers to as the "idiot new hire."  Not how I want to be known.  But alas  I am a new hire and will make some mistakes but once I make the mistake I know I will learn quickly how to remedy it.

Anywayyyy, that is why I have been absent from the blogging world all week.  And before you think I am complaining after only working 3 shifts all week I also nanny for two adorably hilarious girls Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.  So see, crazy busy.  Now that I have a schedule figured out and know it will work out and have a better idea of what I am going to doing hopefully this week will be less stressful.

Now, to figure out where we are going first...:)

Since today was my first day off, husband and I went down the street and grabbed ourselves our Christmas tree.  I can smell it all the way up the stairs in the man room.  Mmmmmmm lovely!  Since I am not participating in this weeks Scavenger Hunt Sunday:( I will leave you with a few photos of our tree so far:)


Sneak Peek - Jacob

This cutie (even though you can only see his back side) is a re-occurring photography subject for me.  I love being able to spend time with him and his family.  It has been so great to see him grow up over the last 2 years.  He is seriously the sweetest, cutest, funniest 2 year old I know. 

And he was such a sport!  Seriously!!!  Since I was indoors and wanted to really get the ambiance of Christmas in this shoot I had to use my tripod and a really slow shutter speed.  In order for me to get photos of him that weren't blurry I asked him to stay super still for me.  And he did!  Something you really can't say about most 2 year olds.  

Without further adieu,

Isn't Christmas through a child's eyes one of the sweetest things ever?


Hello December

Oh hey, December!  Where did you come from?  And where is your bitter cold weather?  No, I'm not complaining I promise but I would like some snow on Christmas.  That would be awesome.  Thanks!

Today's post is another Sunday Scavenger Hunt.  Below are my interpretations for Missing, Numbers, Purple, Music and Bracelet.

1) Music. 
Running water is like music to my ears.  

 2) Missing. 
This window display is missing some jewelry.  

 3) Numbers. 
Sewickley United Methodist Church clock tower.  

 4) Purple. 
One-Way to purple.  

 5) Bracelet. 
Photo from last week's Christmas shoot with a good friend's 21 month old girl. 

Sorry for the short and sweet SHS post today.  I have a lot to do to get ready for the week.  

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look see.  Why don't you stay a while:) 

Linking up and signing off with,


Sunday Morning

Two Sundays ago I went with husband up to one of our favorite parks in our area, Sewickley Heights Park.  Him to run with his old HS XC coaches (how cute is that by the way?!) and me to take photos.  It was a gorgeous morning with nothing but blue skies and sun.  I could have spent hours up there and would have but made myself keep track of the time so I wouldn't leave husband waiting for me at the car for too long in the cold sweaty (because isn't being sweaty AND cold the worst!?).

As much as I dislike the bare trees, I am happy the sun is out:)  

Happy Friday!  Hope everyone has a great weekend!