Thursday, September 30, 2010

Camera Recommendations?

Hi lovely readers.  I need your help.

My camera makes me very angry.  I yell at it.  I belittle it with sarcasm.  Still, it takes blurry pictures.  For every 1 picture I post on here - I've taken 37 others that didn't turn out.  Add to the mix the fact that our house is like a bat cave sometimes, and that I usually don't get home in time for daylight - and you've got some pathetic pictures on your hands.

Let's be honest - it's a Casio.  That explains it all right there. [I have middle school memories of the kids with Casio calculators who were waaaay inferior to the TI-83 cool kids].  [no offense if you like Casio].  [don't hate me].

I'm not ready to dive into a real, big-girl camera quite yet.  So I still want a point and shoot - but I want one that works.  Is that too hard to ask???

I'm thinking $250 or less... so something fairly inexpensive - but will last me longer than a year. 

ANY suggestions or tips are much appreciated!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall Project #2 & #2 1/2

Here's "trick yourself into thinking it's fall by making stuff" project #2 (and #2 1/2).  It will knock your socks off. Ok, it won't.  I just painted some pumpkins.  But they have glitter on them, so they are sorta fancy.

All it took were two dubious pumpkins from the dollar store, some metallic craft paint, and copious amounts of glitter.


Much better!  

PS - can someone please explain to me how this styrofoamy pumpkin is allowed to be labeled "carvable" ???  Some poor kid is going to be sorely disappointed.

Here's project #2 1/2.  It's not special enough to be labeled a full project.  It took me longer than it should have five seconds to make. I had bought a bag of gauzy leaves from the DS as wreath filler, but didn't end up needing them.

So I glued them to a piece of ribbon as a base, and made a little sheet of leaves to go under a candle on an old tray I had.  It's actually looks pretty good on our coffee table.  

$3 for these projects - so that's $7 total so far for my autumnal accessories.  

This and more fun stuff here:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall Project #1 - Dollar Store Wreath

As promised, I've started to get my craft on, to help put me in the autumnal mood.

This first project was not only super easy, it was completely stolen from the internets.  

For $4, and one trip to the dollar store, I now am the proud owner of a fall wreath.  

I bought the wreath base thingy (what is the proper name for that?  wreath wring?) and 3 garlands of leaves.

I sprayed the WW with a light brown color before I started, just in case it showed through.  I popped the leaves off of their plastic vine, and hot glued the leaves down in a randomish color pattern.

Easy as pumpkin pie (mmmm, pie)... 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Tony, on this couch:

(this couch has lived in his grandparents' house almost as long as they have!  it's a lot more neon-ish in real life than it looks here! )

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sharing History

This past weekend, we headed up to Columbus, Ohio with Tony's parents to visit his grandparents.  I had personally never been to the state at all, so it was a nice glimpse of Midwest, especially since it's actually fall up there.  Leaves are changing, the weather is crisp, and school is just starting.  

We made the trip, in part, to celebrate the grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary.  Sixty years.  That's quite a feat! 

Being there, in their house (that they've lived in for many decades), immersed in Tony's extended family, was such a complex feeling.  Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, Tony's mom told stories of how the guest room we slept in was once her bedroom growing up, we drove by Tony's dad's house that he grew up in...

It got me thinking about how crazy it is that, when married, you essentially adopt a whole new second family, that becomes your own, becomes part of your shared history.

Of course I realized this long ago (two moms! two dads!), but you get a whole new half of a family tree, not just in-laws.  Beyond that, our children will also inherit this connection - an even stronger connection than my own, linked by deeper bonds than marriage.  

Tony's grandparents on his father's side (not the ones we saw this weekend), are Greek.  That makes Tony half Greek, and in turn, our babies will be 1/4 Greek - a fact that I absolutely love!  And believe me, our last name leaves nothing to the imagination in terms of heritage.  Let's just say my married name is a liiiiiiitle longer than my old one.  

My side of the family is of typical Western European descent (which, don't get me wrong, is awesome - helllllloooo pilgrims) but I don't know a whole lot about our lineage.  I love that now I have a whole separate cultural heritage to add to my own, and share with our future children.  

Honestly, the best part of all this is the desserts.  Not gonna lie.  If you've ever had galaktoboureko then you know what I'm talking about.  Baklava is good - but that's for rookies.  Galaktoboureko is phyllo dough pie-type thing filled with delicious custardy cream, topped with a sweet syrup.  Seriously - get yourself to a Greek restaurant or Greek fest and try it.  You will never be the same.
Tony and I happened to have a giant piece of this, as our meal (don't judge!  we were on vacation!), one night (there is a large Greek community in Columbus, which means lots of delicious, and authentic, restaurants).

Can't say I like feta or olives any more than I did before, buy hey, you can't win 'em all.

Additionally, Tony's family, having grown up in Columbus, are naturally rabid Ohio State fans.  I knew and cared zilch about this school before meeting Tony, but now - I sometimes catch myself cheering for the buckeyes a little more than my dawgs.  (they are both red - so really it's not a far stretch...).   I got up close and personal with a few Brutuses (Bruti?) during our trip.

Of course with a spouse, you are naturallly going to reciprocally share interests and hobbies, and learn to love what the other is passionate about.  But the sense of family and connectedness I felt this past weekend was fabulous, and something I'm proud to be a part of.

OH!  IO!!  ... Opa!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It's been a rough few weeks around here - nothing bad, just hectic!  Work has been crazy-busy for me, making Tony a one-man housekeeper/dog lover/relaxer for a while.  We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Ohio (more on that later), in time for another looong week.

I sit here sweating as I type - since our air conditioning broke last week.  Thank goodness we have a home warranty, because that sucker is ex-pen-sive.  

On that same note - we are in a recession here in Georgia - AN AUTUMN RECESSION.  (and yes, I spent the majority of the day just waiting to put that clever little quip into writing...)

What the heck??  It was almost 100 degrees today.  

We got a mean tease of cooler temps, Claire got her fall decor out - and bam!  Sweating buckets.  Glad we have such a strong 18 year old  newly-deceased AC.

It should be 77 during the day!  Not at night!!! 

Regardless of Mother Nature's cooperation or not, I indeed did bust out the fall decor.  I love fall - it's no secret.  But my goal so far this year has been to "make do - buy nothing new" (see, this motto rhymes, making it cute and only semi-infuriating).

Besides, Tony did such a great job of packing it up for me last year.  Yes, he's available to address your wedding invitations, or write your thank you notes --- he's that good.

Here is my lackluster, pitiful attempt at drawing fall out from behind the freaking hot sun.

I even spraypainted pine cones, look at that. 

I didn't have the right color of candle- so I painted that too. 

 Take that Target, with your adorable autumnal displays.

I want to be crafty too this season -- but it's going to at least need to drop to 80 before I will be ready.    I will be ready to overshare on the internet as soon as it does.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Simple Pleasures

These two dogs, behaving beautifully.  And my insane brave husband behind the camera, with the front door wide open..

Are you guys sick of seeing my dogs as my SP?  Truth is, with work weeks as long and hectic as these have been - they really are my SPs when I get home.  

Monday, September 13, 2010

Love & Apology & Forgiveness

My lovely niece Ava was dedicated this weekend, and she couldn't have been cuter in her fluffy white dress.  She has the biggest smile, and eyelashes most grown women would die for.

Interestingly enough, during the minister's sermon at the service (sermon unrelated to Ava's dedication...) - he brought up a point that really stuck with me.

Basically, the gist was this - wouldn't the world be a much better place if we all just admitted when we were wrong, asked for forgiveness, and moved on?

It's so true - even pretty big errors or wrongdoings are made a little better by the wrong party just owning up to the mistake and asking the wrongee for forgiveness (yes, that's a word).  And little errors - sooo totally fixable by a small word or apology, and an admittance of wrongdoing.

I'm happy to say Tony and I rarely get in real arguments (disagreements are a whole different ballgame!), and when we do, they are usually about trivial things that are blown out of proportion (of course, not by me, no way, not me).  Also, I may or may not be the kind of person who always wants to have the last word in an argument...  YES I DO, SO THERE!

And too often I feel the need to hang on to resentment, or anger, or frustration, because ohmygoshIwastotallyrightandhewaswrongandheshouldknowI'mreallymad.  In reality, most arguments in one's life are a little their fault, a little the other's fault.  How much easier would the world be if, instead of holding on to self-righteous indignation, people just admitted their fault, asked for and gave forgiveness, and just moved on??

To clarify, there's no situation in my life right now that this post is alluding to - but his message simply hit home to me.  In my quest to better myself and my life's outlook - this is something to add to the list (it's getting pretty long now: thrivingliving on less, enjoying time...).   

Often, once I swallow my pride and apologize (to Tony's credit, he's usually the one forgiving instantly anyway), the situation is done, it's over, and we can move on.  Because really, whatever argument we were having wasn't really relevant or earth-shattering anyway.  No need to waste precious minutes being angry and holding on to self-satisfying anger.

Because seriously, nothing in the world was ever solved through hanging on to negative, consuming feelings.  But certainly, lives can be changed by a little apology and a little forgiveness.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Visiting our alma mater:

Shayla, Kacy, Me, Tony, Kaly 

For all of the non-Southerners out there - that's the iconic arch at UGA.  Myth stands that you can't walk under it until you've graduated.  Lucky for Kaly and Shayla, they both graduated successfully many dog years ago.  Kaly has also learned how to walk herself (see leash for proof).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Long Weekend... Long Week

The good thing about long weekends:  Saturday, and fake Saturday!
The bad thing about long weekends:  The Monday feeling that persists, despite Tuesday rearing it's demanding head.

So, I don't have anything groundbreaking or profound to share - but luckily for you, I did take 300 pictures of dogs at the lake this weekend.  Even luckier, I am posting them here for your viewing pleasure. 

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