Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reindeer :)

Turns out the Thanksgiving Point Ice Cream Parlour is pretty fantastic. I have dreams about the brownie sundae. When Scott goes with work friends I get reallllly jealous and then it's all I can think of. I need to get over that. ANYWAY, my first (and only) time there ,we went in conjuction with a drive around the Christmas lights! We got a free pass from One on One so we thought we better use it! It's basically a big field with moving Santas and lit arches. Kind of cool to do if you have a free pass :) But the reindeer were really fun! I learned all sorts of fun facts and stared at them as long as I could until my fingers froze off. Raindeers "bellow" as opposed to moo-ing or squaking.

They can weigh up to 300 lbs. Read: They can kill you.

Both males and females grow antlers, which sets them apart from other deer.

And after the reindeer- Brownie Sundae :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

MoTab Christmas Concert

We spent Sunday in SLC. We were literally gone all day (longer than a work day) and were tuckered out by the time we got home! My mom scored us some tickets to the Christmas concert in the conference center featuring Jane Seymour and some "famous" singer who wasn't really my style. Jane stole the show. I can only imagine what a show with David Archuleta (last year's vocalist) and Jane Seymour as the narrator would be like!

Well after we parked Bryan just said "Come to the corner, you can't miss me." And I think he was right! I have the two most handsome boys around! Scott was thrilled to finally see the death masks at the museum on temple square. He has been dreaming of this day for over 2 years. Seriously. Since before we were married he has been talking about the death masks. I wonder what he will fixate on now that we've checked this one off the list!

The rest of the day we spent at church in Centerville and at the after party for our cousin Daniel. He is leaving for a mission in Guadalajara Mexico next week! I'm sad I didn't get my camera out at that event! After the party, we transferred our grandparents from the house to the car to the assisted living, which is quite the ordeal. Many bear hugs later we got Grandpa safely to him room. Phew! Had some friends over for personal apple pies once we got home, and called it a night!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gender Reveal Party

I never posted about our gender reveal party! And since we had our official 20 week ultrasound yesterday, and it is still a girl, now seems like a good time for the post!

This was the night of the gender check. Both my doctor and ultrasound machine is WAY better than the one they had at Utah Valley. Just Sayin...

When people arrived at the party, they chose a flag according to which gender they were guessing. That's how we divided into teams for the games. Good fun!

Everything was pink and blue. We got mostly funny, but a few really great name ideas too!

Not too elaborate, but some good food to keep us going.

And promptly at 7:30, we opened this box to reveal...

The pink balloon!

So fun to have friends over. Especially on a week night :)

Thanks for coming to celebrate everyone! And for being so excited with us!

Characteristics we already know about our baby girl:

Very polite: crossed legs through most of the ultrasound

Daddy's girl: Scott claims she was waving at him much of the ultrasound

Flare for the dramatic: She covered her face with her hands- she's saving her facial features for her grand debut.

Healthy: Has no club foot, spina bifida, cleft lip, heart defects... none of it!

The official due date is still May 3, but she is measuring to be due about a week early at April 27! Wahoo!

She wants to come out and play for sure!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Photography Tips

Here is the holiday photography tips blog I did as a guest post the other week. Enjoy!

1. Get Prepared

We are already into December, so now is the time to get a fresh memory card and fully charged battery into your camera. Keep an extra battery (or at least your charger) in your purse so you are never without it! Trust me, It is the worst feeling ever to be at your party and see that red flashing battery after your first photo!

2. Go Macro

Most handheld digital cameras come with a macro mode, and those with an SLR have it for sure! I love shooting with my Canon 50mm lens to capture the details of fun event: ornaments on the tree, table decorations, sweets in a bowl, nativity scene on the mantle, mistletoe in the doorway... sometimes it’s these tightly cropped images that are the "golden photos" of the night!

3. Get Candid

That being said, there is nothing wrong with pictures that are posed. In fact, I encourage it for Christmas card, or more formal photos. But, you can create a variety of images for your next Shutterfly book by taking candid shots at a family or social gathering. Have your camera out and ready when people are engaged in conversation, opening a gift, singing carols, or goofing around with that crazy uncle!

4. Try a new angle

Get your hands dirty! Down on the floor, up on a ladder, do the splits if you have to! Everyone has seen a photo of a Christmas tree before. What makes yours pop? Take a new angle.

Now, for those of you learning to use your SLR to it's maximum potential (like me!):

5. Watch Your Aperture

I quite often shoot in Aperture Priority mode ("Av" on your SLR) on a day like Christmas! I'm generally too busy preparing the hors dourves or wrapping a last minute gift to shoot in manual (to control every aspect of my photo).

So, for example, when taking shots of a champagne flute, I’ll select a large aperture (a small number like f/2.8) to throw the background out of focus. But for a shot taken from the end of the table of everyone sitting down to eat, I’ll choose a small aperture (like f/8 to f/11) to give me a larger depth of field and keep everyone in focus. This gets easy with just a bit of practice, promise!

Thanks for having me Amy, and feel free to come on over and see what I'm up to!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cousin Gingerbread Party

Last weekend we got together with some cousins to build gingerbread houses!

The structure of my house had some trouble in the beginning, but I got it standing before the night was through.

Matt and Jessica are so cute! I've always loved Matt, and Jess is such a great fit for him!

Melissa and Tyler- well, not as "Cute" but lots of personality :) Thanks for hosting you two, Killer party!

Allison, me and Melissa. I love my girl cousins! We missed Sarah and Rebecca!

Do we look alike?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Awkward Things About Pregnancy

Here is an awkward post inspired by Betsy.

These are a few things that have happened lately:

1. Having a ~50 year old lady at work that you don't really know or like pat your belly.

2. Throwing up in a plastic bag at the produce section of the grocery store.

3. Putting on "belly butter" daily.

4. Leaving a church meeting early because your clothes are seriously too tight.

5. Gaining 10 lbs in 13 weeks.

6. Weighing less at 20 weeks pregnant than you did a year prior when you weren't pregnant.

7. Someone looking you up and down, then asking "Do you have indegestion?" To which you respond, "No. I am growing a person."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Festival of Trees

I've regretted not going to the Festival of Trees for the past 3 years!

I almost didn't make it again this year, but we pulled through, and it was totally worth it! The Festival of Trees has been going on for 41 years as a fundraiser for Primary Children's Hospital in SLC. It is so impressive to see all the trees/quilts/wreaths made and donated for this cause. Individuals, families and businesses can contribute and then the trees are auctioned off for... lots and lots of money. Many of the trees are dedicated to children who have either passed away or are currently battling a terminal disease. Their stories are written on the back of the plaques. I only read 2, both of them had my crying so I had to stop reading them. They were too sad. I think I was especially sensitive to the sad stories about these babies and young kids since I am growing one of my own!

Here is a world/travel themed tree:

My dad's firm Stoel Rives has a branch in Salt Lake who decorated this tree:

Each tree had such variety and was totally different from the next!

Stoel Rives' was a sock monkey tree!

Here is a White House gingerbread house! So impressive!

Lots of Disney themed trees and things. Here is a cute one from Tangled:

Mom- this quilt screamed your name!

We took this photo for our friend Margene- it had sand dollars and beachy things all through it!

And you want to know the coolest part? As we were standing in line for tickets, this man came up and told us that 2 from his party couldn't make it- And then he gave us his extra tickets! Talk about spreading some Christmas cheer! Loved that!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Guest Post

Today I am guest posting over at my good friend Amy's blog, Naptime Crafters. So head on over and check out what I have to say about holiday photography tips!

But for today, here is my version of the "Pee Pee Teepee." These are becoming more and more popular as protection for moms and dads against their little boys!

I used the most boy-ish looking material I had on hand for the outside, and a soft fleece for the inside!

I started by cutting out my fabric to the template of a bowl from our kitchen. Just use anything you can find with ~6" diameter. Then, cut the circle in half to form a half circle :)

Sew around the curve, right sides together, of course!

Then, iron out the curve.

Finally, sew a single line connecting the two sides to form a teepee shape. I did a second zig zag stitch just to secure it, but you don't have to.

Monday, December 5, 2011

DIY Camera Bay

I really love my new camera purse! For a total of $25 (instead of $90 + shipping for the similar Jo Totes bag) I came up with a camera bag I love! Shopping for the purse was the hardest part. I wanted something with a base to it, a flat part on the bottom. It needed a zipper closure on top. Not too big, not too small! And, I am glad I ended up with a classic black exterior! Oh, and it had to have handles that were the perfect length. It's the worst when you can't get it over your shoulder comfortably.

Because it's black on the outside, I wanted to make it a party on the inside! So I got 1/2 yard of this fun upholstery fabric on sale for $5/yard at Joanns. Love it!

I really didn't follow any method in making this, I just took it one step at a time and it was done in about 3 hours. As with any project, it would go much faster if I made another, now that I know what I'm doing. I used a 1 inch foam for the base, and 1/2 inch foam for the sides and dividers. Measure, cut and fit the foam before sewing the fabric case.

Once you have your foam pieces cut and you've put in your camera body and lenses to make sure it all fits, then cut your fabric!

I sewed the two long sides right sides together first and then put in the foam- the case was about an inch bigger than the foam at this point. We have to leave fabric to connect the foam pieces!

Then I pinned the fabric right next to the foam. Next step, sew it up! I probably could have been more exact with this, but it turned out great, so no complaints :)

Once the sides were done, I just folded in the extra fabric at the ends and top-stitched them closed. Sewing is much less time consuming when you're not flipping things inside out and ironing and measuring all the time. (I do all those things normally, just not with this project!)

Then I tried velcro-ing (sp?) the 1/2 in sides to the 1 in base, but the velcro wouldn't stay attached to the fabric without velcro adhesive... I just had a lot of trouble with it. So I ended up taking that off and just did a basting stitch to connect the pieces together. It went very quickly, looks nice, and I think it will hold much better than velcro in the long run.

So this is the inside once the sides and dividers were attached.

And everything fits inside quite nicely :) There is a lot of space on the right side, I am considering adding a vertical divider, or I will just put miscellaneous things in that section.

I've read on photography forums that this is the best position to store your camera body- lens up! Any thoughts?

And there's the beauty:

Very excited not to lug my huge camera bag around when I'm downtown or when doing a mini session. (not a great pic of me, but it kind of shows the size of the bag.)