Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge {Pets}

It's been awhile since I participated in the fun over at I Heart Faces, and I miss it! So, when I saw that this month's Photo Challenge was Pets, I knew I had to join in!

This little sweetie is one of my girls, my loves, my snuggle buddies -- this is Addison "Addi".

Don't forget to check out the other entries!  Just click the link above, or this handy button here!
Photo Challenge Submission

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fix-it-Friday #143

Time for another Fix-it-Friday over at I Heart Faces!  This week's image is by Nicole Begley Photography.

My editing steps: created an adjustment layer in which I removed the green tint on his white fur, as well as some of the bluish tint on his nose/mouth.  Lighted the remaining areas of the photo slightly.  There really wasn't much editing needed with this adorable image.  I also converted it to a sepia/bronze shade, which I liked very well!

Here are my edits!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Auggie's Spring Concert

I was recently invited to my nephew's spring concert at his preschool.  I couldn't wait for the day to arrive because I don't get to do as much with Auggie as I'd like to, so this was exciting!  Yesterday was the day, and boy was it entertaining.  Not only did I get to see Auggie, but one of my good friends daughter also goes to the same preschool, so I got to see Brogan too.  

Auggie looked so handsome, wearing a white dress shirt with a cute little tie.  He loves to dress preppy, and he looks so adorable!  Almost the entire time he was up on stage singing he was flirting with the little girl next to him, and she was doing her share of flirting back!  More than once I chuckled during the performance!  After the concert, we were invited to share lunch with Auggie, it was a lot of fun!

Here are a few photos from the event.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fix-it-Friday #142

Another Fix-it-Friday over at I Heart Faces.  Today's beautiful image is courtesy of Paige Ewing Photography. I had fun editing this one!  I darkened the background slightly, sharpened a bit, and made her eyes pop a little more.  I then ran the PPA Summer Days action, which I adjusted to my liking.  I also converted it to black and white, which I loved as well.  Hard to choose between the color or black & white version on this one!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

I Heart Faces | Fix-it-Friday #140

Another Friday, another Fix-it-Friday over at I Heart Faces!  Fix-it-Friday is a great way to practice your photo editing skills.  The staff at I Heart Faces posts one photo each Friday that you are able to download a full resolution image copy of, then you can have fun trying out your editing skills...and then you can post your edited version in the topic thread where others can comment/critique your skills and you can see how others have edited as well.  You will have to join the I Heart Faces community in order to participate, because the Fix-it-Friday links and discussions are held in the forums, but it's completely free to join.

This week's beautiful photo is by Karey Miller Photography.  And here is the original along with my cropped  and edited version.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Auggie's 4th birthday

I can't believe my sweet nephew is turning four!  Oh how the time flies!!  A couple months ago, I "pinned" the cutest construction cake on Pinterest.  My sister-in-law saw it and thought it would be cute for my nephews birthday, so I made it!  The party was yesterday at the restaurant & bowling alley inside The Bass Pro Shop, what fun!!

For the cake, I made my families favorite "Black Midnight" cake and the traditional icing that goes with that recipe.  I added milk chocolate rocks as the border, with a few added to the top.  I then decorated with a few Caterpillar brand toys, digging a chunk out of the cake to make it look like the backhoe was digging up a project!  I also added a few street signs, caution cone and a barrel from a fun package of add-ons that my sister-in-law picked up.  I think it came out cute, and my nephew seemed to LOVE it (which is the most important part!).  Please excuse the awful cell phone photos of the cake!

And here are a few photos from the party!

Friday, April 13, 2012

I used to love participating in the I Heart Faces Fix-it-Friday sessions, I haven't participated in a long time, so today I thought I'd jump back in the fun!  It's fun to see how other photographers edit photos, so many different perspectives and ideas!  I'm posting my edit here, but if you'd like to see what all the buzz is about, head over to I Heart Faces.

Fix-it-Friday #139: Photo copyright Angie Arthur Photography

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, friends!!  My niece, Shelby, stayed overnight last night so this morning we made "nest" cookies for Easter.  I bought Cadbury Mini Eggs to use as the eggs in the nests, I thought they looked so cute.  Shelby loved it!!

Please excuse the poor quality cellphone pictures!

I got the recipe off of, but I'll share it here because I made a slight variation (adding peanut butter) to give it a little more flavor.  I hardly ever make a recipe "as printed" - lol!

Nest Cookies
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
4 cups Chow Mein noodles
Cadbury mini eggs 

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together the marshmallows and butter; stirring constantly.  Once melted, add peanut butter (may want to use slightly less than 2 Tbsp); stir until thoroughly melted. Remove from heat and add the chow mein noodles, stirring quickly to coat.

I used my hands to take out balls of the mixture and quickly form into nests, placing them on wax paper that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick spray.  While still warm and gooey, add the Cadbury mini eggs so that they will stick (and stay) well in the nests.  Once cooled, we put them into cupcake liners that we stretched open so the nests would fit.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sharpie Tie-Dye T-shirts

Recently on Pinterest, I came across something that I thought was pretty cool that I instantly thought my niece and nephew would love.  So, a couple weeks ago we invited Shelby over to spent the night and squeeze in some "craft time"...she loves to do crafts, which makes me happy because I love it too!

You need:
Sharpie markers
Rubbing alcohol
Small dish for the alcohol
Plastic cups
Liquid dropper (medicine dropper)
Rubber bands

Other helpful items:
Paper towels
Wax paper

To contain some of the "mess", I took the lid off of one of my large plastic tubs and put it on the table, we also put a small cookie sheet covered with wax paper inside the t-shirt to keep the colors from bleeding through to the backside of the shirt.

You place the plastic cups inside the shirt and stretch the fabric tight across the top of each cup and secure with a rubber band.  For the pink shirt, we placed and secured each cup and then Shelby used the markers to draw whatever she wants within the shape of the cup.  For the white shirt, we laid the shirt flat with a wax paper covered cookie sheet inside and drew the designs on the shirt, then added and secured the cups once we had our design planned out.


Now, the fun begins!  You use the medicine dropper to "drop" rubbing alcohol onto the areas that are stretched over the cups.  As the rubbing alcohol hits the drawing, the colors will start to bleed which mimics a tie-dye effect.  You will want to be careful which colors you put next to each other on the shirt because when some colors bleed together they may turn into a brown color (this happened in one spot on the white shirt).

As the rubbing alcohol dries, you can begin to remove the rubber bands and cups, either to re-position and being adding alcohol in new spots or to remove entirely if the area is mostly dry.  Our shirts came out pretty cool and Shelby had a great time!  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of Shelby wearing one of her shirts, but here is a photo of the finished product as it was still drying a bit.

Going off of advice I saw on other websites, we did a heat treatment to both t-shirts to help keep the colors from bleeding when washed with other laundry.  You can do the heat treatment by either putting the completed shirt in a hot dryer (we did this on the anti-bacterial setting, which is really hot!) or by ironing the shirts with a very hot iron, preferably with an old towel between the iron and the shirt (so you are ironing on the surface of the towel).

I have already promised my nephew that we'll make shirts for him soon.  I just need to find a time that works when he can come over for an afternoon of "crafts" and baking!  I can't wait!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lilian Grace Birthday Giveaway.

I am a fan of lots of photographers and photography related websites, and by photography "related" I am referring to those sites that sell cute things that can be used as props (hats, blankets, headbands, tutus, etc) or places that sell Photoshop actions or other things that can be helpful to my photography passion/business.  One of those sites that I love is Lilian Grace, who sells FABULOUS, BEAUTIFUL vintage inspired "props" such as headbands and lace tiebacks.  I love this stuff!  She has a Facebook page and a website that you won't want to miss!  And best of all, right now there is an awesome giveaway going on called the "It's My Birthday (almost) 6K Birthday Party Giveaway!"  If you have a passion for photography, like me, you've got to check out this giveaway FULL of FAB prizes!!!  But if you win, promise you'll share with me! LOL!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Several years ago, at work, our floor had a Chili & Soup Cook-off.  One of the winner's of this contest was a Chicken Tortilla Soup, which the winner happily shared the recipe for.  Unfortunately, somewhere in the shuffle of life, I lost the recipe. But through the wonders of Pinterest, I found a similar recipe and made a few small adjustments...we had it for dinner tonight and it was wonderful!

Now I can't take all the credit for tonight's delicious dinner, because all I did was set out the recipe and all the ingredients (well, those that did not require refrigeration) and let my hubby throw everything in the crock pot this morning.  It was so good, I know we'll have it again (sooner rather than later, I hope!).

So, are ya ready?

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (we left them frozen until adding to crock pot)
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 can lima beans
1 can corn (we used reduced sodium)
1 onion, chunky chopped
2 cans low sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. cilantro

For serving:
Tortilla chips
Shredded cheese
Sour cream

Put all ingredients EXCEPT chicken (and hold the water for now) in crock pot, stir to mix.  Next, add 2-3 whole chicken breasts, making sure to push down in the liquid.  Like I mentioned above, we used still frozen chicken breasts.  Cook on high 6-7 hours or low 8-9.  If soup is too thick, add 1-2 cups of water, if needed (we did NOT).

Before serving, shred chicken breasts using 2 forks or if tender enough all you may need to do is stir vigorously and the chicken will fall apart on its own.

Serve in bowls with crushed tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Project 52 | Week Three

Nothing like waiting til the last minute to enter my week 3 post!  The topic for the third week of the My Four Hens Photography Project 52 is "Inspiration".  Check out the M4H Project 52 Flickr Group to see all the entries!
So my inspiration and one of the major reasons I got into photography is to capture the great memories of my family.  With my photography business, I am able to capture memories for other families as well, and that brings me MUCH joy!

This week's photo is of my dad and my niece...2 of my greatest inspirations!

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge - Family Fun

I'm entering in the I Heart Faces weekly photo challenge.  This week's theme is "Family Fun".  I chose a holiday themed photo, even though it's nearly a month past Christmas...but this photo immediately came to mind when I read this week's theme.

This photo is of a Grandma (Pam) and her 4 beautiful granddaughters.  All of whom just happen to be extended family of mine!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Project 52 | Week Two

This week's Project 52 topic over at My Four Hens Photography is "Life".

2/52 {Life} - "Life is short and it will be measured not for its length but how many lives you have touched and how many souls you made happy."

I chose this week to represent life in my memories of Karen.  The lesson in the loss of Karen, due to her tragic car accident, is to live each day as if it's your last...and always tell your friends & family that you LOVE them!

This photo showcases a bouquet from my wedding, a photo of me & all my lovely bridesmaids, a business postcard of Karen's from her SF agency and a photo of her & I together on my wedding day.

Karen, I think about you often...I love & miss you, dear friend! <3

Monday, January 2, 2012

Project 52 | Week One

I wanted to join a Project 52 or 365 last year, but never got around to it.  So, this year I have joined the Project 52 that is being hosted by My Four Hens Photography.  She will be posting one theme each week for 52 weeks (the entire year), each theme will be posted in the "For Photographers" section of her website, but the actual photos will be posted in the Flickr group here.

This weeks theme is "Resolution".  As I explained in my Flickr entry, I haven't set actual resolutions for 2012, but instead I've made plans to focus on me, my family, and my blossoming photography business.

With that being said, this photo represents a quote that I love (to kick me into gear) and books that I either have read or plan to read that align with my hopes & dreams for 2012.

Featured books:  Adoption is a Family Affair by Patricia Irwin Johnson, Adoption without Fear by James L Gritter, Never Say Diet by Chantel Hobbs, Photographing Children - Photo Workshop by Ginny Felch & Allison Tyler Jones, and Exposure - Photo Workshop by Jeff Wignall.