Thursday, July 24, 2014

{Photography} Scenes from the 4th

My photography class is winding down for now. 
  One of our assignments was to shoot photojournalist style
 I used the 4th of July parade to do this.

 I posted a few of the photos here but now I'm sharing the rest.
  
 I also batch edited the set of photos to give them a more unified look.

 I think I did ok with the editing but I still need to work on my skin tones.
 Practice, practice, practice!
I even captured a few falling raindrops here.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

{The Abode} Deck Refresh

I've shared our deck quite a few times on the blog starting with this post and revealing our new cushion covers in this post plus lots of outdoor entertaining posts featuring the deck through the years (like this one when we refinished it).
 The cushion covers are still looking good (almost 4 years later!) but the brick red umbrella had seen better days.
 I picked up a new, larger umbrella in khaki.  When it's up, it keeps the family room cooler by shading it from the sun=added bonus.
The umbrella goes up with the push of a button which is nice for shorties like me.
 We also added an outdoor mat. It looks like a rug but it's super lightweight and can be folded up easily to take to the beach or park as a picnic blanket (and hosed off to clean it!).
 It keeps the deck cool and is cushy underfoot.  It also defines the space and gives it the feel of an outdoor room.
 The coolest thing about our new umbrella has got to be the solar lights inside.
We had them in our last umbrella and I knew I'd miss them.   They add such a pretty glow at night.  The technology is even better now and the lights are brighter and whiter than in our last umbrella.
These two little changes have made a big impact.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

{Family} Two Perfect Weekends...Part 2

Our summer weekends have been so nice, dare I say perfect? And by perfect, I mean perfect to me...beautiful weather,  family togetherness, some fun/different activities with great food thrown in for good measure.
This was 4th of July weekend and the girls and I started it out with the movie "Tammy".  We loved it--not quite as laugh out loud as "The Heat" but still very funny with a lot of heart.
The next day was the 4th and we went to our local small town parade.
{College Girl's patriotic manicure}
We got to hang out with this wonderful family.
Gotta have way too many some classic cars in the parade (I love the reflection!)


 This little guy is partial to these two.
It started raining near the end of the parade but we didn't let that get us down.
Later that day (it cleared up) and we were able to barbecue. 
Veggie dogs!
A blurry photo of my dinner: veggie hot dogs, baked beans, sauteed spinach, fresh pineapple.
 I made homemade baked beans in the crock pot (almost didn't because I forgot to plug it in before we left for the parade, thank goodness for the high setting!)  
I can't cook before I've had my coffee, lesson learned!
We went to the fair that night.
BINGO selfie.
My not very lucky BINGO cards.
Rides!
Speaking of rides, the next day we went to Hershey Park.  The girls hopped right on Sky Rush as soon as we got to the park.  Another gorgeous day!
Conquered it!
I love rides and roller coasters but they don't love me back.  These days I have to go on the tamer rides like The Kissing Tower that goes all the way up and gives you a 360 degree view of the park.   My family humors me and goes on these mild rides with me.
You do get some great views.
Hershey has a lot of coasters and they all seem to be built right next to and around each other.
We had a nice lunch in the park. I did my research and knew they had both Subway and Chickies N' Pete's in the Boardwalk area. That is the perfect combo for us! The girls and I got veggie subs while the hubs picked up crab fries to share and a chicken cheese steak. 

After lunch there were more rides, my kid are in the fourth row back. This thing took off like a rocket!
I captured College Girl taking a photo of the ferris wheel (while the other two were on it).

No trip to Hershey is complete without a visit to Chocolate World.  We love taking the (free) ride through the "chocolate factory"with the singing cows. Trust me, you can't miss it. It ends on a sweet note with a free sample of Hershey's chocolate (this time it was dark chocolate covered pomegranate!).
The store is full of Hershey merchandise as well as every kind and variation of Hershey candies and food.  It's amazing!!  There's a cafe and a dessert/ice cream shop too, as well as other interactive chocolate themed activities.
We were getting tired and ready to head home by this point.
We stopped at  The Cheesecake Factory for dinner as we got closer to home which is always good. None of us got an cheesecake though, I guess we were sugared out!

Our last trip to Hershey (we hadn't been there in four years!)

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

{Scrapbooking} Disney Autograph Album

My kids used to love getting autographs from the characters on our Disney trips. 
  I wanted them to have a mini scrapbook of the autographs rather than just an autograph book.
 We would use mini Creative Memories albums and have the characters sign a page and leave the other side blank for a photo.
 When we got home, I'd add the photo and stickers and embellishments for each signature.
 It's fun to see the unique way each character signs their autograph.
 I've used a sampling of a few of the books we've made through the years.
 It's pretty special to get two characters to sign on the same page!
 We would go to a lot of character meals to get signatures but sometimes we could get them walking around the parks (if the lines weren't too long).
 This was a mini Disney album and perfect for autographs. We asked Mickey to sign in the Mickey ears on the inside of the front cover.
It's always magical to get a Disney princess to sign your book!
For more of our Disney adventures, click here.

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