Project 13 Blog Circle - New

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Welcome to the first installment of a monthly collaborative photo project I am thrilled to be participating in with several talented photographers. This project concentrates on focusing on our everyday moments. Together we will share our images at the end of each month focusing on various sub-themes related to the over-arching theme of Everyday Moments.

 As we all know, life slips by very quickly and the images shared will be small glimpses into our everyday lives. It also provides us a place to share images that may or may not be technically perfect, these are the ones that pull at our heartstrings. I invite you to follow along with me on this project.

Our first theme is "new beginnings."  I chose the following image for several reasons. One of them is that I have made a goal of trying to get into the frame more often. I have a bazillion images of my children, but not very many of us together. So, one of my new resolutions is to get in front of the camera once a month.  Another reason I chose this image is that we are starting a new gardening project with our kids and journaling our discoveries as we grow our own vegetables this summer. We have just planted the seedlings, and in this image my youngest daughter and I are checking out the tiniest sprouts before we set them out in the sun for the day. One of my greatest joys is watching the sparks of wonderment in the eyes of my children as they make new discoveries about this great big world we live in. 




Thank you for visiting today! To see more of our project, please visit the next blog in our circle hosted by Crystal. And be sure to check back next month for the second installment of Project 13.

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Friday Photo Journal - Week 9

Hello friends! Welcome to week 9 of Friday Photo Journal. I have been nursing sick kiddos for the past week or so, and now it seems it is my turn to be sick. Even though we haven't been feeling all that great, we have found moments to celebrate. 

Here's a peek from our past week:
What have you been up to?

Friday Photo Journal
Thanks for visiting! I love catching up on your news. 
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Barbie Mega Bloks Review

I was recently selected to review a new line of Mega Bloks® Barbie® toys for girls. I have a couple of brick building lovers in my little clan, but in the past we have been disappointed by the building themes available for girls. When I saw the Mega Bloks® Barbie®sets, I just knew my 7 year old would love them. And as I suspected, she squealed with delight at the sight of them!  There was a mansion, a pool, an ice cream cart, a stylist set and lots of fun and fashionable accessories. Of course a girly party was in order.


There were a lot of pieces to the mansion so we got started putting that together. I was surprised at how quickly it came together. The instructions were easy to follow, but there are lots of tiny parts that can be frustrating for little fingers. These toys are recommended for kids ages 4 and up.


 We played dress up, ate cupcakes and had tons of fun playing with our Mega Bloks® Barbie® sets. The sets are simple to put together, but have tons of components that allow your imagination to build any thing a girl could wish for. There is a beautiful mansion with furniture and design elements that can be arranged in many different ways. There is a pool for outdoor play and fun sets that allow you to take Barbie and her friends out to eat, to a makeover, on a date with ice cream, to a party, or just about anywhere your imagination can take you!

The girls loved choosing the clothes for each doll and roll playing with each set. It was such fun to see them share ideas and build together. Everyone had a great time and each girl was able to take home her very own play set from Mega Bloks® Barbie.®    

These toys are available in stores now! You can also follow news about them on Facebook and twitter.

**I was provided with select Mega Bloks Barbie Build 'n Style sets in order to facilitate this review. All opinions herein are my own based on my experience with these products. **
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Litte Things - That Make Me Smile

I have finally succumbed to the germs that have been passing through this house for the past two weeks, and I have to say: sick stinks. Fortunately it's just a cold, but I hate being sick and feeling like I'm not able to stay on top of things. Funny thing is that I'm so swimmy-headed that I keep catching myself doing things like putting the milk in the cabinet, or stopping mid-sentence with my words just dangling, suspended mid-air because I have completely forgotten what I was doing. So, if this post is rambling and incoherent, I must apologize and blame it on the DayQuil. Hopefully I'll be back to my usual (only slightly less) flighty, scatter-brained self in a day or two.

Here's my share for Little Things Thursday. This was one of those serendipitous moments when silliness and my shutter clicked in unison. Love that, don't you?


Little by Little
Don't forget, tomorrow's Friday Photo Journal. Come by and link up your favorite shots of the week. You can grab the button in my sidebar.

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WW in Black and White

Tuesday, February 26, 2013




Thanks for stopping in! 
Kleinworth & Co., your best weekly button, DIY sharing, project sharing, recipe sharing, weekly Wednesday blog link up


Don't forget to join me for Friday Photo Journal! It's a simple new link up where you can share your images each week. You can share one image, a few anecdotes, or a photo for each day of the week. Whatever suits you. Just capture those precious memories and share your favorites in a post, then link your posts here on Fridays. Visit friends and encourage one another!
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P52 - My Sunshine

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy Monday my friends! Since last week was full of runny noses and cold, wet rain, I am hoping this week brings an end to the sniffles and a bit of sunshine. I have been nursing four sick kids for days, and doing my best to keep the germs at bay. I am feeling a little under the weather, but not terrible. Hopefully the extra vitamins and fresh berries I'm loading up on will help.

Today I'm sharing an image I took of Little Miss one late afternoon last week when the sun decided to peek through the clouds. Poor girl is currently fighting a runny nose and nasty cough. Hopefully it soon will pass.

Thanks for stopping in! Your comments always brighten my day :)
Linking up with these lovelies: Gina and Tamar.

This year I'm also participating in a P52 with Kim Young on Shutterbag's Facebook Page.


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P.S. Did you know that I'm a contributor over at In the Moment With? Stop by today and check out my post. You can also enter to win $50 PayPal cash here! Hurry! The giveaway ends tomorrow.

Friday Photo Journal - Week 8

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hello Sweet friends. I'm glad you're here! I hope that each of you has enjoyed a productive and fulfilling week. The past week, for me, brought some big highs and some big lows. I'm trying to focus on the highs and ride out the lows with faith and positivity and an extra bowl or two of ice cream. 

"For every day that there is sunshine, there will be days of rain,
it's how we dance within them both that shows our love and pain."
~Joey Tolbert

Here's my recap from last week:


Friday Photo Journal

Thanks for visiting! I love catching up on your news. 
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Game Time - Back to Classics

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

For Valentine's Day I decided to go old school and get the kids some classic games. iPads and iPhones are great, but it's much more fun to connect as a family over a board game or puzzle. We've had lots of fun lately playing Connect Four, Battleship, and Trouble. Even Little Miss likes to get in on the fun. Of course, once she gets her little hands in the mix that usually means "game over."




What's your favorite board game?

Thanks for stopping by!
I'm linking up with these lovely ladies today:
Little by Little

Don't forget, tomorrow's Friday Photo Journal. Come by and link up your favorite shots of the week. You can grab the button in my sidebar.

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WW- These Boots Were Made for Walkin'

Tuesday, February 19, 2013



Thanks for stopping in! 
Kleinworth & Co., your best weekly button, DIY sharing, project sharing, recipe sharing, weekly Wednesday blog link up


Don't forget to join me for Friday Photo Journal! It's a simple new link up where you can share your images each week. You can share one image, a few anecdotes, or a photo for each day of the week. Whatever suits you. Just capture those precious memories and share your favorites in a post, then link your posts here on Fridays. Visit friends and encourage one another!
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P52- Week 7

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Monday my friends. This long weekend has slipped by pretty quickly. Is tomorrow Tuesday already? While I don't feel like I have accomplished much over the past few days, I feel like I have been quite busy. I don't know where the time goes. To be honest, I haven't picked up my camera much lately. Last week brought another 'bout of cold germs and most of the images I captured were with my iPhone. The cold weather has kind of zapped my inspiration. I'm yearning for balmy days and golden rays. The daffodils and crocus have begun to peek through the soil though, 
so I know the warmer days are coming. 
In the mean time, I have been playing with indoor natural light. At first I wasn't crazy about the angle of my son's profile in this image. I would normally want to see a little more of his face. But the more I looked at this image, the more I liked it. The little glimpse of his profile, the rim light on his cheek and chin, the lashes poking out and the smirk...all of it together makes me smile. I decided it was a keeper after all.



Linking up with these lovelies: Gina and Tamar.

I'm also participating in a P52 with Kim Young on Shutterbag's Facebook Page.
 This week's theme is "steps."
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Friday Photo Journal - Week 7

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hooray for Friday! And a long weekend!! I hope you all had a fantastic Valentine's Day. I celebrated at home with all my favorite peeps. The kids loaded up on sugar and hubs and I enjoyed a delicious steak dinner. How did you celebrate?

Here's a peek at our past week. It was a fun one, but mostly cold and wet. I am ready for spring. I saw some signs this week that brought me hope...the daffodils have started to come up. I love those first little bursts of spring color and all the promise of beauty they bring.



Friday Photo Journal
Thanks for visiting! I love catching up on your news. Have a fantastic holiday weekend friends :)
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Looking Toward the Future

Some days I love that my big girl is growing and her tastes and dreams are changing. She's into fashion,  music, and art.  But, other days I miss that sweet little girl who needed me so. 
I guess I'm thankful the she is still young enough to want me around most of the time, but old enough to have her own ideas and opinions. She has a mind of her own. She is confident and won't let anyone walk over her. (She has her brothers to thank for that.) She's a tough cookie and a smart one too. 
I think she'll do just fine in her 'tweens and teens. It's her dad and I that I worry about.


Thanks for stopping in. Happy Valentine's Day to you!
Linking up with these lovely ladies today:
Little by Little

Don't forget, tomorrow's Friday Photo Journal. Come by and link up your favorite shots of the week. You can grab the button in my sidebar.

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Creating a Composite Image in Photoshop

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

After several people asked how I created the image from my WW post this week, I thought I'd post the steps here. I must warn you that I am not a Photoshop expert and there is very likely a better way to do this. This is just the way I have learned and it works for me. 

For my original image, I asked my son to jump across our couch which was situated in front of several windows with late afternoon light streaming in. Here's what that image looked like after a clean edit in Lightroom.

In Photoshop, I opened both the image of him and the sky image I wanted to use as my background. I floated the image of my son in a separate window so that I could easily move between the two.

Next, I used the quick selection tool to outline him, being careful to make sure my edges were clean. Here's the rough draft. You want to be careful to not have any of your unwanted background selected.

Then I used my move tool to drag him over to my sky background.

This is what I got once I dropped him where I wanted. 

 I pulled the edges of the selection to resize his image and adjust the angle to my liking.

Then, by double clicking on him, I merged the two images. (Here you see some rough edges where I wasn't as precise as I should have been because I was lazy in recreating the process for this tutorial. Sorry, I had whining children at my heels. Make sure your selection is precise or it will be noticeable when you merge your images.)

Next I added the sun flare layer by going to File> Place and selecting the flare overlay I wanted to use from my hard drive. I placed it over my merged image and resized and moved it where I thought it would look best. Then I tried different blend modes (available in the layers palette in the drop down menu above your top layer) to see which looked best. For this imaged I used "soft light".



I then flattened my image and ran an action to add some pink haze and soften the finish. 

 I finished up tweaking the edits to my liking, added my watermark and resized it for the web. 

Here's my final edit:


 The most difficult part of the process is the quick selection mode, which is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. It helps to have a clean background with contrast to work from. Trying to select a dark item from a dark background or any item from a busy background can be very tedious!

I have only done a couple of composites but they can be lots of fun to play with. Give it a try!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. There are many video tutorials on you tube that can be helpful as well.

Kleinworth & Co., your best weekly button, DIY sharing, project sharing, recipe sharing, weekly Wednesday blog link up

Thanks for visiting!


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