Monday, May 31, 2010

Random dinner photo

Raspberry walnut vinaigrette on spring greens and topped with grated piave cheese (aged one year, supposedly) and grilled chicken breast.

I like cheese.

For the record, it was delicious.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hostess for a day

Remember how I mentioned that I was hosting a bridal shower last weekend? This is the first party of this nature that I've organized, and speaking honestly, I haven't been to many showers in general. Despite my inexperience and the fact that it was around 95 and humid that day, I think the party was a success. Between 25-30 people showed up (I lost count). I was pretty busy running around, checking on food levels and chatting with family members, but I still managed to take a few photos.

We had a nice spread of food. Good food is essential for a good party, right?

The complete food list:

  • banana bread (recipe)
  • lemon bread (recipe)
  • lemon poppy muffins
  • cake
  • tortilla chips and salsa
  • cheese and cracker tray (4 kinds of cheese, 3 kinds of crackers)
  • meatballs and sauce
  • peppers, broccoli, carrots, and several veggie dips
  • strawberries, grapes, apricots
You also can't have a party without beverages.

The complete beverage list:
  • lemonade
  • apple juice
  • orange juice
  • champagne/mimosas
  • ice water with lemon/lime
The bride-to-be didn't really want a themed party. So for decorations, my mother-in-law and I went to Sam's Club and picked up some solid bouquets, which we then arranged into more colorful groupings. We aren't professional floral arrangers (like my sister-in-law, who is amazing), but I think we did an alright job.

We played a quick game - the purse scavenger hunt - but only one game because it's kinda tough to do activities with such a large group of people.

My living room was at maximum capacity.

Then our lovely bride-to-be opened gifts, and I snapped a few more photos.

I thought it was funny that the cookie sheet packaging put such an emphasis on the nonstick feature. It's like it's shouting at you. NONSTICK!

And that's about it. First bridal shower = success. Here's a few more photos. I really should have been using my external flash since the indoor lighting was so wonky, but I didn't want to annoy my guests with the large flashes. Live and learn, right photographers?

P.S. Congrats to Elle and Mike, who just sold their condo and are currently house shopping. A July wedding and a new home. Exciting stuff!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Photo editing: Fix-it-Friday

Here's the latest photo editing challenge from the I Heart Faces blog.


I didn't have a lot of time, but I did three quick edits. The first 2 are in Adobe Lightroom, and the third is in Photoshop.

What I did

Edit No. 1

  • In Lightroom, ran the "aged photo" preset included with the software
  • Post "sunrise" from One Willow Studio
  • Notched exposure up 2 times
  • Cropped
  • Post "clearly"
Edit No. 2
  • In Lightroom, ran the "golden shimmer" preset from One Willow Studio
  • Post "sunrise"
  • Notched exposure up 2 times
  • Cropped
  • Post "clearly"
Edit No. 3
  • In Photoshop, tweaked curves and levels to get some nice contrast with the skin
  • Ran the free "evanescent" action from Isabelle Lafrance
  • Used "magic powder" from MCP Actions to smooth the skin
  • Sharpened

You can view more edits or participate yourself here:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Basements are for finishing

We have basement progress! Get ready for this, Internet.

In order to get the correct level of excitement for this post, please press the play button on the video below. Then continue reading.

Ok here we go.

Here's what it looked like at the beginning of last week:

Tuesday night, it looked like this:

Note: Night time + basement + no flash = kinda fuzzy photos. Sorry 'bout it.

In case you can't spot the difference, Rob finished the framing in the workbench corner:

He added a utility closet:

And at the far end (may be hard to see), he added a wall for the storage room:

Embree is doing her thing

The storage room is accessed through a doorway behind the stairs (from the laundry room):

On Wednesday, we picked up 800 pounds of flooring:

We also made a trip to Home Depot to buy replacement parts for a new dryer vent. Our old one broke, and was not really up to code.

Step-by-step instructions on how to install a dryer vent

And Rob installed the insulation on Thursday:

And then he started to lay the floors on Friday:

It's coming along, slowly but surely. I know one thing. It's 10-15 degrees cooler in the basement, so I can't wait for it to be done so we can hang out down there.

Exciting stuff, dude. That's all I have to say about that.

Related posts:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Attic office eye candy (with some help from our readers)

Last Monday, I asked for some inspiration help for our upstairs studio/office. My blogging buddy Jennifer of A Thousand Words (check it out) sent me these. Thanks, Jen! She has even more inspirational photos on her second blog, Inspiration for Decoration. That makes her my hero.

This first room really caught Rob and my interest. We like that there's a long desk in the middle of the room. We didn't think of that. But with odd built-ins and slanted walls, this might be our best option for not blocking our low windows. The desk itself doesn't look like it would be too tough to build. Maybe we will sell our current Ikea Galant desks on craigslist. We got such a great deal on them that we probably won't lose any money.


Our room has almost identical built-in shelves to the room below.

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Great colors in this room:


This one (below) is probably my favorite. I think our window might be too low to build a desk in front of it, unfortunately. I love everything else about this room. If money were no object, we'd make this happen.


This room is bigger than ours, but I really like the seated window area. We could do something like that for sure.

Another window bench:

Another reader/blogger Kate sent over this video link to an awesome Candice Olson creation. I was pretty amazed by the transformation on this one. Here are some photos, but you really have to check out the video to see all the features.

Kelly (Tearing Up Houses) also shared a pic of her office. I love how she put the desks in front of the window to get maximum light.

Finally, here are some more photos that I had saved on my computer. I believe I swiped these from Sara's blog.

Now I just need to decide what to do. I think a lighter paint color might be in this room's future. And probably the building of a new desk. We'll see.

Got room photos? Send 'em. ... Please.

someone else's words

"Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others." - Buddha

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