Saturday, July 30, 2011

A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.  ~Robert Orben

Adios for a few days.... we are heading soon out for our much needed beach vacation in the Outer Banks (North Carolina). I think my 32GB and 16GB cards 'should' provide enough storage for all the pictures I will be taking! 

This will be the view from the back deck of our rental house ...

(This was a picture from a few years ago in the Outer Banks)

Friday, July 29, 2011

New Friends

I recently bought some new accessories for my camera - and I'm learning {sort of} how to use them!

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera LensI have been thinking about getting a 50mm lens for a couple months now. After much consideration and research, I decided on the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens. It is the lower end model, but everything I read on it said it's the best bang for the buck. And let's face it, I am completely 'photography' clueless with what I am doing still, so the 'bang for the buck' 50mm seemed like the way to go. 

It did get rave reviews online as well! I got it last week and I am still trying to get used to it since it's totally different than my normal kit lens that my T2i came with. I am trying to get used to the wide open aperture and the focus. It does seem to be very fast & sharp! I thought this was a macro lens but I found out it is missing something and is not considered a true macro lens. I am also considering a "Macro extension tube kit" which are very inexpensive and seem to work well from what I am reading. Does anyone out there have any experience in using the Macro tube? Is it even worth it to buy? (It's only 12.99). 

Professor Kobre's Lightscoop, Standard Version Bounce Flash Device, Universal Model, fits over the Pop-up Flash of most SLR Cameras (American Photo Editor's Choice 2008)My other toy I got is a "Flash Scoop". I will apologize right now because one of my blog mom friends told me about it - and I just can't recall who it was! (Mommy brain!).  This is a very cheap & convenient alternative to a the speedlite I really want. I hope Santa will bring me the speedlite for Christmas, but until then, this scoop will do just fine. I have to tell you, I am more than impressed with this Flash Scoop - and for $30 - who can argue! It redirects the light and bounces it off the ceiling. It does a fairly outstanding job for the price! This is a great find for anyone on a budget that is looking for an alternative to pop-up flash! 

I haven't actually taken any 'good' shots with either of these things yet... but will be taking plenty of pictures on vacation - so you know I'll be posting those! Oh wait - I lied. I took a portrait of Elmo since he is our newest 'family member' and a few others.
Here you go: 


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Catch up!

Here are some catch up photos from the last month -

One day when Julianna wasn't feeling well - she was laying on Daddy's lap looking very pathetic!

Julianna has a new friend & she's a few months older than her and loved her!
She was so cute giving her kisses on the cheek! 

Julianna with her bathing suit on and her cover up - ready to go swimming in the pool on July 4th! 

Pretty girl with the pretty eyes! 

Julianna in her baby pool on Grandma's deck! She loved her baby pool! 
And... we finally have enough hair for pigtails! 

 Daddy & Jules walking around!

Julianna at the pool wrapped up in her towel.

Flowers in my mother-in-law's garden 

 Another flower in my MIL garden.

Brian being silly with my sun hat on at the pool! 

Happy Jules!! 

Julianna loves the "Splash Pad" at the pool. 

Me & Julianna walking through the sprinklers at the splash pad! 

For a week, we were wondering what was eating our tomatoes. We thought maybe a bird or squirrel. We were wrong. We caught this fat furry groundhog red-handed. He was munching on a nice big green tomato! He came back the next day to get the last 2. He nicely sat his fat butt on my flower pot as he ate his tomato buffet! I was so mad but I had to laugh because it's too funny! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What's New?

Hellooo blog friends!! 
Wow - How I have I missed everyone! 

I've had a bad case of the MBM's {Missing Blog Mom!}.
I've been MIA for a little while. I took a much needed break. I'll fill you in on what's been going on in our lives... but first I would like to say - thank you for not forgetting about me & understanding that I needed to take a mental vacation (gosh I wish I could take a few weeks mental vacation from my job too!).

I need to catch up on my blog reading too! Sheeesh! How behind I am! We've been so busy here - swimming, weekend trips, outdoor activities, shopping and other fun summer stuff!

Interestingly enough, I logged into blogger a few days ago for the first time in 3 weeks ... and I noticed they changed everything! Wow! All new settings to get used to now... again. I did work on a new blog design while I was MIA. I needed something fresh & summery feeling! I think I like it. I might tweak it some more - but this is what I am going with for now...

So we reached a pretty big milestone here. Julianna is 14 months and has started walking. (Yeah, she's a late bloomer with the walking!) She's walking if we hold her hands and walk/run/scurry with her (Ouch my aching back!! Bring on the advil!). Actually, she is walking/scurrying/running like a drunk sailor. I love it. She can furniture surf like a pro! She loves when we put a toy on the sofa so she can stand up and play with it. She has yet to take some solo steps, but we are getting there. She is also pulling herself up on anything she can. She likes to crawl over to us, pull herself up and grab our fingers to walk with her. Cute. 

Now that summer is here, we are going to our pool and Julianna is a fish! She loves the water! She loves the baby pool and the splash pad.

We went to my inlaw's house and Julianna went in their pool with her floaty raft with Daddy. She loved that too! My mother in law bought Julianna a small blow-up baby pool which she happily went in every day. It has toys attached to it, and she enjoyed squeeking those toys while lounging in the water and staying cool!

Some random things: 

Julianna will drink water from a sippy cup. We are working on getting her to drink milk from a sippy. When I give her milk in the same sippy she normally drinks water from, she throws it. OK, fine, I get it, she doesn't like milk in THAT sippy cup. So after some sippy cup research & purchases, we found one that is kind of like a nipple (by Nuby) and she {so far} is ok with it. She will drink milk from it. I am fine with having a different cup for the milk. I really wanted to get her 'off the bottle' by now - so this is working out well! (Off the bottle - lol - sounds like she has a drinking problem!!)

Swim lessons - We are wanting to sign Julianna up for swim lessons this fall or winter. I read that at 18 months to 24 months, she can kick her legs and learn how to doggy paddle - so we are shooting for that. It is important to us that she learns how to swim.

Blanket - Every night, Brian and I go into Julianna's room and 'check on her' before we go to bed. I usually cover her up with a lightweight blanket. I just started doing this and she kicks the blanket off after a while - but I want her to get used to a blanket for when it gets colder in the fall/winter. She will be a year and half old this winter and I think it's a good time to start her with a lightweight blanket.

Table Food - She eats table food like a champ - chicken, turkey, fish sticks, meatballs, fresh fruit, cheese, pasta, and the list goes on and on. We try to keep everything organic and natural or fresh with no sugar or preservatives. Call me anal but I don't see the point in giving her any extra sugar or fried stuff if we don't have to! We have yet to find something this little girl doesn't like!

Beach Visit soon - What will Julianna think of the sand? I can't wait to put her feet in the sand.

Elmo - Elmo is Julianna's new love. She just loves this little furry Sesame Street character. Her face lights up when I give her Elmo. It's the cutest thing ever. Good thing he's pretty cute. We have been tivo'ing episodes of Sesame Street and we put it on for her for a few minutes at night before bed. She is very interested in any of the Muppet characters like Elmo, Abby, Zoe, Telly, and the classics like Bert, Big Bird, Grover! I grew up with Sesame street and I don't see anything wrong with letting her watch it.

I have a bunch of pictures that I will be posting separately tomorrow! I did not want to overload you all right now!


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