Friday, October 29, 2010

The Sunday Creative - Dynamic

Maggie Dynamic 1
Maegan's theme for this week was a fun one!  When I saw the prompt I instantly thought of my niece and nephew who never seem to stand still, they are always in motion.

Maggie Dynamic 3
I convinced Miss M to show me some of her dance moves.  She hasn't started classes yet, so all these are moves she's made up on her own, saw someone else do, or picked up watching TV.

Maggie Dynamic 2
I love that even her pig-tails are in motion when she spins.

Today's songs is completely obvious, a little Elton John.
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Night Photography

Purple Sunrise - House
I love Kat's night-time photography series.  I was in awe of the amazing photos she captured and it made me want to give it a try.  If you haven't seen her series yet, head over there now, you will learn so much!

Purple Sunrise - Trees
I still have a long way to go, but I woke up at my house last week before the sun and as I worked I saw the sky start to turn purple as the sun started to rise.  I grabbed my camera, dashed out to the porch and started snapping.

Purple Sunrise - Ridge
I love the rich color I captured, the silhouettes and mostly I just loved trying something new.  I wish I'd had a tripod, but I still think I did decently for my first try.

Purple Sunrise - Mountain
What photo techniques have you recently tried out?  How did it go?

To celebrate a little night photography, here's another one of my $5 amazon purchases - Josh Ritter's Beautiful Night:
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Office Project Kickoff and GIVEAWAY

My office inspiration from Emily A Clark - Planning to use the same IKEA bookshelf and similar paint, but mine will be a few shades darker and blue blue than purple.

I'll admit it, I spend a lot of time reading design blogs and dreaming of projects I want to do around my house.  While I'm home this fall and have a bit of time off I'm planning to tackle one of those projects - my home office.  It's a large airy room, with big windows that is perfect for an office.  Best of all moving out there will get me away from the kitchen table which is much too close to the pantry and fridge for my waistline.  I anticipate working from home more during the next year so I want to get the office ready as quickly as possible and I'm planning to share my progress with you as I go.

I have decided on a color to paint the walls and on the type of flooring to install, but I'm still working on all the little details which, let's be honest, is what will really make the place my own.  I'm trying to keep the budget down, so there will be lots of bargain shopping, DYI and re-purposing for the project.  I almost wish I was eligible for the surprise I have for you today, my very first giveaway.

The kind folks at CSN Stores have given me a $35 gift certificate to give away to one of you!  CSN is an online shopping mecca with over 200 stores where you can buy anything from dining room chairs, to rugs (I need some for my office), to lighting right down to storage solutions for media collections (another thing I really need!)

The Rules
All you have to do to win is comment on this post telling me what home project you plan to tackle next.  For a bonus entry become a follower and add a second comment letting me know you've done so.  Already a follower?  Simply add a second comment letting me know you are.

There has never been a better time for all of you lurkers out there to come out of the word work and show me a little comment love.  The contest closes at mid-night Sunday, October 31.  I'll use to pick the winner and will make the announcement on November 2.

The small print
CSN only ships to the US and Canada and international shipping charges apply to those of you in Canada.

A little song for luck from one of my all-time favorites:
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall Colors from the Alpine Loop

As I sit and watch the first snow fall of the year I realize I haven't posted any of the photos I took just over a week ago of the gorgeous fall color I found on the Alpine Loop.

Last Sunday, to celebrate my homecoming, I got in my own car and headed to the Alpine Loop which has some of the best fall colors in Utah and happens to be practically in my back yard.

It was such a peaceful ride, just me, my camera and some good music.  No responsibilities and I was free to stop anytime I wanted to grab a photo or to just take in the beauty all around.

About half way through the trip I remembered that my car had a moon roof, then it took me digging out the owners manual to remember where the controller was to open it.  A sign the moon roof doesn't get much use.

If I had waited just a couple more days the leaves would have mostly been gone, so I feel lucky to have gotten home just in time for one of my favorite times of year.

I mentioned Friday I had discovered my local library had a great music collection.  I found a couple of Kasey Chambers' albums and have been listening to them pretty steadily.  I love her voice and her song writing.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

A Little Inspiration

I'm talking about inspiration today at Mortal Muses.  I am so honored to be participating with one of my favorite online groups.  The Muses are celebrating an entire week of inspiration with posts by some talent folks and lovely giveaways, do come over and check it out, you don't want to miss a chance at the Shutter Sister's book "Expressive Photography."

I've listened to this song about 10 times in the last week - I love the lyrics and the melody:

I picture you now
You are beautiful
You are golden
Just like you were
When you thought
No one was looking

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Friday, October 22, 2010

October's Cheap Music

After last week's music week, I thought I'd set aside one day each month to highlight some great music you can pick up on the cheap. Each month has a list of about 100 albums you can download for $5, I usually want to buy everything, but maybe sharing my wish list will help me control myself.

Those I already own and can vouch for:

Those I purchased this month and LOVE (especially Tift Merritt):

On my wish list:

Looking for something even cheaper than $5? Check out your local library. I discovered this week that my library has an AMAZING music collection, I've got a great list on hold, that I'm waiting to hear.

If only I didn't have to wait for the 100 other people ahead of me on the list for the new Kings of Leon.

Have you found any great deals on music lately? What song or album have you picked up lately you can recommend to the rest of us? Pin It

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hop on Over

The playlist we created this week over at Inspiration Studio is so AMAZING that I can't resist sharing it here too:

To play the songs in the playlist, click on the sideways triangle in the middle of the embedded player above, the songs will play in order, one after the other.  You can skip ahead or back by clicking on the < or > on either side of the player.

I'd love to have your suggestions for next week's playlist: Sunny Days Will Come, so hop on over to the post and add your picks.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Still Lucky!

This photo has nothing to do with this post, but she's so cute, I just couldn't resist.

You know that luck I talked about last week?  I'm happy to say it has continued - except at the horse track and looking back, my bad luck there may actually be lucky because I now have no desire to bet on the ponies again.

I got an amazing parking spot on a Friday evening at Gardner Village during their October festival (those of you from the SLC area know that took AMAZING luck.)  Then, this weekend I discovered I won another blog giveaway, a Simply Deliteful Cookbook, over at Caitlin Wilson's Design Blog.  I hope the emphasis is on the simple part of the book and it will improve my non-existent cooking skills.  But the best luck of all came in the form of a shiny new Kindle as a going away gift from my friends in Kentucky.

If any of you have advice on cases for the Kindle or any other tips or tricks please send them my way.  I've had the Kindle app on my iTouch for a long time, but I'm excited to see how the actual Kindle works.

The last bit of luck was discovering this lovely song while my iPod was on shuffle this morning.  I'm sure I've heard it before but it reached out and grabbed me this morning while I was getting ready for the day.
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

At Home

I am so happy to be home, I honestly didn't realize how much I had missed it until I got here and started settling in.  It is so fun to spend time with family and to know that I don't have to fit everything into a weekend visit.  There is time to relax and just enjoy being together.

I'm also realizing the little things I've missed.  My own bed.  My nearly silent dishwasher.  My own car.  The view from my back porch.  Having my full wardrobe in one place.  Shoe options. 

One thing that hasn't changed, I can't spend enough time with Miss M and Tiny T.  I haven't convinced T to stand still for photos yet, but Miss M let me grab a couple while we were running around the yard (my own yard!) on Saturday.

What things do you miss when you are away from home?  What is the first thing you want to do when you get back home?

I'm in love with this song.
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Monday, October 18, 2010

To the Races

On my last full day in Kentucky one of our great volunteers decided I couldn't leave without going to Keeneland, the local race track.  She talked one of her friends into giving us her box for the day, which was conveniently located on the finish line, the perfect way to see my first horse races.

None of us had a clue which horses to bet on, but we sure had fun.  I tried picking my horses by looking at the colors they wearing, their number and by name.  None of my methods worked - but I still argue voting for a horse called "Six Pack Abs" is a good method.

I came home $10 poorer, but had an amazing afternoon.  What a great way to say goodbye to KY.

I'm working on this week's post for Inspiration Studio, and this song was one of the suggestions for the playlist.  It is so amazing (and fitting) that I can't help but post it here too:

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Homeward Bound

As you read this I plan to be on a plane.  I've said goodbye to KY and am saying hello to UT.

All my UT peeps - drop me a line, I'll be in town for a while and am dying to catch up with you.  It's been a long, long year (or 5.)  This will be the longest stretch I've had at home since I moved away in 2002 and I plan to make the most of it, so let's get together so you can fill me in on all of your adventures.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Where did the time go

Here's the deal - saying goodbye is taking more time than I thought, and since I want to enjoy the time I have left here, I'm going to put them emphasis on living life, not blogging.  Thus the short post, with one of my favorite photos from the past few months and a song I love.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lucky Me!

Last week was a lucky one for me.

I was the VERY lucky winner of a $30 gift certificate to Gaby Burger Design's Shop thanks to Kirsten at 6th Street Design.  Both Kirsten and Gaby are insanely talented, so I'm feeling very lucky indeed.  I think I'm going with the earrings pictured above, but there are so many great things to chose from I'm having a hard time making up my mind.  I'm also dreaming of giving Kirsten a call for some of her design expertise in my master bath.  I'm totally stumped and could use a bit of her design genius.

I also received a lovely award from the oh, so talented Tezzie, the mastermind behind the lovely Not Always Picture Perfect blog.  Regardless of the title of her blog, her photos are nearly always perfect , I love checking in on her photos of her life in Finland.  Its like a mini escape each day.  Thanks Tezzie for thinking of me, I'm honored.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

I Know Where I Was

The event I've been in Kentucky working on ended Sunday.  We are thrilled it went well and exhausted after months of planning and at least 6 weeks of operations (without a weekend.)

To commemorate our success and to make sure we had a reminder of a group we loved working with, we got together for a photo op, on 10-10-10 at 10:10.  What a great way to celebrate, with a team that ranks a 10 in my book.  I'm going to miss them.

Where were you?

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Friday, October 8, 2010

The Sunday Creative - Nostalgia

Maegan couldn't have picked a more perfect prompt for me this week.  This is my last full week in Kentucky and as I wrap up the project I've been working on, pack and close up my apartment I've been filled with nostalgia.  I've loved living here this year.  I've met some incredible people and been charmed by the beauty of the surrounding area.

I'm posting two of my favorite photos of the Kentucky Horse Park after I've spent some time editing them.  I'm loving the use of actions and textures, it gives me the ability to take my photos in fun new directions and makes me feel even more like an artist.  (For those of you who care, I used Pioneer Woman's Heartland Action and Kim Klassen's Extreme Grunge texture.)

One of my favorite artists from Kentucky - Dawn Landes (thanks Cindy for the introduction to her music.)

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

How Much for Dinner?

Recently I was given tickets to a $300/plate dinner catered by chef's selected by the James Beard Foundation.   I don't run with the society set, so a fancy dinner isn't part of my normal life, but when something like that drops in your lap, you can't say no.

I threw on a dress (and after a month of nothing but khaki's, tennies and a work polo shift, I felt like a new woman) and headed to the dinner.  We started with cocktail hour which included a wine tasting and a signature cocktail, none of which I tried (I'm a non-drinker) but soon the hors d'oeuvres came out and I was in food heaven, check out this list:

  • Smoked Pepper Polenta, Sweet Corn Relish and Chile-Maker's Mark Bourbon Glaze
  • Stonecross Farms Pork Belly, Confit Tomato & Thyme, Sapori d'Italia Goat Cheese and Brioche
  • Tesa wrapped Kentucky Blue Brawns, Henkle Farms Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho and Chile Oil
  • Potato Chip with Scallop and Caviar (I missed out on this one, but I was ready to give caviar a try for the first time)
Each bite was amazing.  I could barely wait for dinner to begin, but while we were outside for the reception I did manage to catch a shot of the amazing sunset that night.  Then it was on to a five course dinner.
  • First Course: Tower of Yellow Fin Tuna, Herb Salad, Yuzu Granite
  • Second Course: Parsnips Agnolotti, roasted Pumpkin and Heirloom Apple, Parmesan-Parsley Jus
  • Third Course: Sous vide Venison Loin, Candied Yams, Red-Eye Jus
  • Fourth Course: Braised Alltech Angus Short Rib of Beef, Field Bean Succotash, Confit Musrooms and Tomatoes
  • Fifth Course: Roasted Fig and Dark Chocolate in Phyllo, Brandied Cherries and Muscadine Syrup.
As a non-red-meat eater the third and fourth courses weren't my usual cup of tea, but everything else was AMAZING!  Not sure I'd be willing to shell out $300 for any meal, but I've proven to myself that my taste buds have matured enough to appreciate true dining perfection.

Any foodies out there?  I loved the second course (parsnip pasta with shredded apples) so much I'd love a recipe for something similar.

Saw this song on Glee a couple of weeks ago and it hasn't left my head.  If I was a billionaire I'd add a few more dining experiences like this to my life.

It's Thursday, so don't forgot to click over to Inspiration Studio for my weekly post, I'd love to hear your suggestions for next week's playlist
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Musical Walk Down Memory Lane

Today's post started when I watched last week's episode of Private Practice (don't judge me, I couldn't sleep and it was on.)  I was half-heartedly watching when a song playing in the background caught me attention.  I knew it and yet I didn't.  I kept listening until I placed it and realized it was a cover version of a song by a band I LOVED back in the day, a-ha.

Now I know that for most folks in the US they were pretty much a one hit wonder, but I fell in love with them and even had a German friend who would send me cassette taped recordings of their European hits since I couldn't find their music in the US.  While I was in grad school I was checking out the offerings at a used music store and found an imported CD of their greatest hits.  I snachted it up and loved it.

A few years later I pulled it out to load it into iTunes but the disc wasn't in the case.  I was convinced I'd lost it to a roommate in one of my many moves.  I was sad, since finding it again wouldn't be easy, but I also didn't spend a lot of time looking.  A few months later my lovely sister surprised me at Christmas, she'd tracked down a copy of the import and got it for me.

I tell this story for a couple of reason - to prove how great my sister is, to share what sometimes geeky music taste I have and to introduce an awesome cover version of their one big US hit, "Take On Me." If you like interesting covers - check out Runar Eff's other stuff on YouTube, kind of great!

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Autumn Leaves

I know I'm the five millionth person to post photos of the lovely colors of fall, but I just can't resist doing it.  The colors are amazing.  I love the photo above because the leaves are perfect, they are spotted with age.  

I've been having fun experimenting with Textures, especially those from Kim Klassen.  I think the use of her nutmeg texture turns this average photo of some fall leaves into something a little more.  The texture adds such warmth.  A huge thanks to Kim for her talent and generosity for keeping us in textures.

A little Eva Cassidy really does make every day a little more beautiful, her "Autumn Leaves" is the only choice for this post.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Sis

Today I'm sending huge birthday wishes to one of my favorite people in the world, my sister N.  We are far enough apart in age that we never went to the same school and didn't share a lot of friends.  This meant we led separate lives growing up, but we were lucky enough to live together for a couple of years after she finished college.  Those two years were an incredible gift for me, I got to know her better and we became not just siblings, but friends.  The very best kind of friend, the one you can share every win with and the one who will cry with you then cheer you up.

N - I wish I was there to celebrate with you, but I promise to help you celebrate again in a couple of weeks.  In the meantime, here's a song that was written for another baby sister, the first line is perfect, "What good is a dollar without your baby sister."  You're the best.

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Friday, October 1, 2010

The Sunday Creative - Nothing

When I saw Sunday's prompt, a line from a song immediately got lodged firmly in my head and it didn't go anywhere all week.  I found myself singing this song all week, which since it is such a great song isn't such a bad thing.

I decided to go with the lyric and attempt to photograph it, but I cheated a bit because they sky was so much more interesting to photograph with a few clouds around.

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