Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Freebies, Giveaways, Inspiration, Tips, Tutorials, Presets

Hello Everyone! It's good to be back.

Baking Recipe (Cooking Light)
  • Peanut Butter Banana Bread - want the recipe? Get it HERE.

I have been a long time follower of Ree Drumond, a/k/a the Pioneer Woman.  She is a wonderful blogger, photographer and cook. Check out her free photoshop actions, photography tutorials and cooking recipes at her blog. She is also giving away a Canon 50D. Click HERE to go to her blog where you can enter your name for a chance to win a fabulous camera.
Are you in the mood for some visual eyecandy? If so, head on over to the Artistic Musing blog...gorgous colors, wonderful photography
Lightroom Presets
  • Twilight Inspired presets @ Matt's Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips Blog. Be sure to check previous posts for other free presets.10445


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Disney World Here We Come!

Screen shot of Disney photos from Google
One more sleep until we board the airplane to Disney World in Orlando, Florida! It has been a long summer and I've had an extremely hard time trying to keep the secret from the kids. But I did it, as much as I wanted to tell them, I kept my mouth shut and didn't spill the beans, so to speak. Here it is the day before the trip and they still don't know.  I can't wait to tell them tomorrow morning! I bet they will be incredulous beyond belief and excited!

Are you wondering why I decided not to tell them?
1. I wanted to surprise them.
2. Kay is the most excitable child in the whole world and when she is excited she talks non-stop about the trip every day until the day finally arrives.  Frankly, I didn't want to deal with it ALL summer long.  Besides, I'd like for them to sleep well so they are rested and ready to face all the new experiences they will be encountering.   

Lucky for me, my friend Elizabeth is going, too, so I was able to tell them that I was doing research for her, which is partly true because I had to plan the whole thing. From picking up the travel tickets, to ensuring that our names are on the Magical Express list for pick up and drop off from the airport to the hotel, itinerary, down to dinner reservations, I had to do the whole thing.   I've been stressing about it all summer.  I haven't been able to sleep properly for 3 weeks now. I've been waking up at about 3 in the morning, staying up for about 2 hours, and when I return to bed I have a hard time sleeping because DH is snoring or I can't shut down my brain.   Needless to say, I feel kind of tired, yet relieved that the day is finally here.  I will walk the parks until I drop and will probably sleep better now that I can put the worries behind me.

Now, for some details:

We will be staying at the Disney All Star Sports Resort inside Disney World. 

We will be arriving in Orlando tomorrow at around 1:30 p.m. We have dinner reservations at Planet Hollywood.

On Thursday, we are going to Disney Hollywood Studios.  We will be dining at Mama Melrose Ristorante Italiano.

On Friday, the kids and I will be at Epcot.  We will be having dinner at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (in the Norway pavilion) with the princesses.  I bet Kaylie will be super excited about this because she loooooooves all of the Disney princesses.

On Saturday we will be going to the Animal Kingdom and will be dining at Tusker House Restaurant.

On Sunday, we will be spending the day at the Magic Kingdom.  It was super hard to get reservations at the restaurants we wanted, so we had to settle for The Plaza Restaurant.

We will return home on Monday. The kids will have to return to school the following day and I have a teacher's conference with Liam's teacher promptly at 8:50 in the morning, so no rest for the weary.

I am taking my DSLR camera with me so I can take tons of photos, of course. Do you think that 20 GBs is enough? I have 2-8gb cards and one 4gb.  I am also taking my little camera (my Canon that has a problem with the flash unit) but takes excellent outside shots.  For that camera, I am taking 3-2gb cards, so I think I am covered! :)

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First Day of School!

The day that I'd been waiting for all summer finally arrived yesterday - the kid's first day of school! Kaylie looked forward with anticipation and trepidation her entrance into 4th grade; Liam, on the other hand, not so much. But I do have to admit that both of them got up promptly, ate their breakfast without much fuss and managed to get out of the house in a timely fashion.

Of course, I walked them to their classrooms, and took photos! I met their teachers, who appear to be very nice, took their photos, then left. You should have seen Kaylie, she was a social butterfly. She gave Mrs. Pelcak, her former 2nd grade teacher, a big hug.   We then walked to Mrs. Smith's classroom, Kaylie's former 3rd grade teacher, and gave her a hug, too. I then walked her to Ms. D'Adamo's 4th grade classroom, who quickly hugged her (she was Kaylie's 3rd grade math teacher), took their picture, then left.  As you can tell, Kaylie is a warm and caring child, well-loved by all who know her. 

Liam said hello to Mrs. DeMenezes, his 1st grade teacher; and greeted Mrs. Johnson, his 2nd grade teacher, too. I quickly introduced myself to Ms. Bonomo, his 3rd grade teacher, and asked her to pose for a photo, too.  Both teachers were most gracious and allowed me to photograph them. 

Here's a few photos of the kids on their first day back at school.

Hannah Montana - a new favorite of hers!
My Little Man.
He looks adorable with his new haircut.
We looked high and low for a backpack, he finally settled for this one.

New shoes.
Take a picture now!

We are ready!

Liam kissing his sister.

Kaylie kissing her brother.
Liam and Mrs. Bonomo
Kay and Ms. D'Adamo

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

9-6-2010-Labor Day / Last Hurricane Harbor Trip

Kaylie graciously took a picture of the man-eating shark...
Kaylie and Liam slid down the orange slide.
Discovery Bay
Liam and Kay @ Taak eet eze creek
Kay and Liam @ the Wave Pool.
Labor Day was the last day that Hurricane Harbor would be open, so of course, we HAD to go as this was Kaylie and Liam's last summer hurrah. The place was crowded, but they managed to get on a few rides.  Liam wanted to stay with Daddy, which meant that he wanted to stay so he could play Wii, but I made him go.  He even managed to have fun, just like I knew he would. It goes without saying that Kaylie loves the water park and would go every day if she could.:) We returned home around 5:30 to get them ready for the their first day of school tomorrow. 10122

9-5-2010-Meet "Fishy"

This is FISHY, our pet fish.
Kaylie out for a bike ride.
We got FISHY back in June - a "favor" from my uncle's anniversary party. Kaylie chose "her" name...very original, don't you think? :)

9-4-2010 - A Lazy Day

Macro of a Sunflower
Sunflower against a blue sky.
Kaylie at the Creek.
Sunflowers from the Olde World Bakery garden. Kaylie at the Rancocas Creek.

Are Disposable Cameras Worth the Money?

You know, I get tired of lugging around my heavy dslr camera. So, I had the bright idea that I would be better off purchasing a one-time use, a/k/a disposable camera.  All you do is press the shoot button and reload.   Boy, was I out of my element.  It sucks not having options such as zoom, WB options, exposure control and delete! :) Granted that these photos are better than nothing, but I had to do some heavy duty processing to get them to look decent. They aren't great, but will have to do.  My only consolation is that I paid $10.00 for this water-proof camera at Walgreens, rather than $24.00 at Hurricane Harbor. The only good thing about was that it was light as a feather and it had a rubber band to attach to one's wrist.  I am not sure that I would buy another one-use camera again. My, how times have changed. :) 10122

Birthday Party at Coco Keys

Kay and Liam heading to Coco Keys for Kelsey's birthday party.
Kelsey and Kay tubing in the lazy river.
Kelsey and the kids.
Birthday girl.
Kelsey hugging the Coco Key mascot.
Kay, Kelsey, Lily and Kelsey's cousin with Coco.
Make a wish and blow out the candles.
Kay playing skeet ball.
Kelsey celebrated her birthday on 8/25/2010 at Coco Keys, an indoor water park. The kids spent 2 hours in the Hurricane Harbor-like mini water park. It was their first time there and they enjoyed it a lot. Now Kaylie wants to have her birthday party there, too. 10122


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