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This April

Hi guys! It’s been an interesting month. I quit my job, took some time off to recuperate from these crazy last six months and now I feel like I’m back in action. I’ve got lots of blog post ideas and I’ve finally started making resin stuff again. It’s funny how something can zap all your creativity and motivation. I am glad to be getting it back.

I got all my veggie sprouts in the ground
I got a cold twice, lots of soup with extra pepper to the rescue!
I added two more cameras to my collection
I started making coffee with this french press from Ikea, I love it!
During my first week off work we spent a few days at the beach. Unfortunately it was freezing cold and rainy the whole time! We still managed to have fun though
My flowers are in full bloom!

I am looking forward to May, and I hope everybody has a wonderful month!
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This January…

I took these babies out for many walks around town, and added to my collection of film rolls I need to develop!

I Changed my hair drastically

For Stevens birthday we went to a Chinese buffet that served fresh sushi!
I worked on my sweater quite a bit….
But then I learned how to crochet and abandoned my sweater to make granny squares.
We ate at the best hot dog place in town.
I read this book about the discovery of living Coelacanths, written by the guy who identified them. I am completely obsessed with this story! Also, this is the first book I have been able to finish in about seven years.
We always get a couple freak warm days in January, so my bulbs started coming up already! I hope they don’t get too frostbit.

I took advantage of the nice days to let my bonsai sticks get some sun.

January was an okay month. My job involves sitting down all day and sorting things so my upper back, shoulders and arms have been killing me every day. I’ve been there for three months now and I can’t believe my body still hasn’t gotten used to it. I’m beginning to think it never will.. Also since Steven and I ride together to save gas, but our shifts are an hour and a half apart and we live almost half an hour away, means 11 hours of our day is spent getting to and being at work. Needless to say I have been keeping my eyes open for other jobs that wont make me so dang sore and won’t take so much of my time.  All of this stuff really puts a damper on my creative side!

Even though February is my birthday month, it may be my least favorite month out of the whole year. Usually I’m tired of winter by then and just want spring to finally start. Good thing I’ve got my birthday to look forward to and it’s a short month! I would like to see some snow before winter is over though. We’ll see! Hopefully my next monthly recap will be less negative 🙂
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A Look Back on 2014

2014 was a pretty good year, filled with fun adventures and some changes, here’s a look back at some highlights of the past year.

We ended up taking four trips this year!  I always have the urge to travel and am constantly day dreaming about my next trip, so being able to go on four little vacations this year was a dream!

The first trip we took was to Pittsburgh, and visited the Frank Lloyd Wright house, Falling Water

The next trip we took was to the Blue Ridge Parkway, to see the lovely mountains.

Then we visited Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s house with my Mom, Aunt and Grandma.

 And lastly we went to the Beach!

 Last year around this time all I could think about was starting my vegetable garden. It turned out to be everything I imagined and it was wonderful to be able to grow my own veggies, even if I lost most of them due to squash borers.  I can’t wait to try again this year.

I tried out doing a “what I wore” post in February, and surprisingly enough I kept up with it, posting one almost every week.  I never liked taking pictures of myself, I was always very critical and found something to dislike about each photo. But I forced myself to post them anyway and found it easier and easier the more I did it.

 My cats became stars of the blog when I decided to start posting cat photos every Friday.

I finally finished school in May! I started taking classes at a community college when I was 16, and then worked towards a bachelors degree in biotechnology, taking only two or three classes a semester while I worked a full time job. That took seven years. I am so glad to be done. I was in school so long that I think I burnt out. I once loved biology and wanted nothing more than to get my PhD in it and study that for the rest of my days. Now I am rather un-enthused by the subject and would much rather spend my time learning how to use old cameras and developing film, or something like that. But, who knows, maybe I’d burn out on that too if I was forced to learn it. 

I also had to find a new job this year, which I didn’t expect at all. Things went bad at my old job and everyone’s hours got cut, which meant I had a lot of free time for about six months and I really got used to it. I had so much time to spend taking photos, writing up blog posts and working on my jewelry. Now I am back to working long hours, but I do have money again which is nice. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep this exact position, I may stay in it if I get better hours, or maybe I’ll transfer in the company to a new position, or maybe I’ll get an entirely new job.. My future that was once so certain has turned completely uncertain! Maybe I just need to find the right job to make myself excited about my career choice again.

Other than that it was a pretty good year, and I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings!  I’ll be back in a few days with some goals for the new year along with seeing how I fared with my goals last year.  I hope everyone had a wonderful 2014!

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November Recap

It’s the last month of the year already. How did that happen?! It seems like just a few weeks ago I was just starting to dig my vegetable garden.. Anyway, November is over and here are some highlights of the month!

I started the month off with some Christmas food. The first five times I had stollen I thought it was really weird and I wasn’t too sure about it. But then I decided I loved it and it’s a tradition to eat it every year!  And eggnog of course is another holiday favorite of mine.

Big news! We have a dishwasher!  Actually we’ve had it for two years because it came with the house.  When we first moved in we looked inside it, convinced ourselves somehow that it was completely rusted and shoved it in the corner of the pantry. We almost threw it away twice, but the only reason we kept it was because we ran out of yellow paint while painting the kitchen and the dishwasher hid the little bit of green that was left.. One day, in a fit of desperation and a sink full of dirty dishes we decided to open it up and see just how bad it was. To our surprise it had no rust at all!  It was just a little bit dirty and it easily came clean.  It didn’t work at first, but we fixed it with a 10 dollar part ordered from amazon and now we have a rolling dishwasher!  Party!  Chester of course enjoys watching the water drain from it.
I took a break from knitting my blanket, to start knitting myself a sweater. We’ll see how long I keep up with this one. Haha.

I got a new lens! I finally switched out my kit lens for this nicer 18-140 mm one. I haven’t had a lot of time to try it out yet, but I’m liking it so far. I’ll write a little review on it once I use it a little more!

We set up our tree and found the cats a new gingerbread house!

Last winter we spent the majority of our time playing minecraft. So as soon as the weather turned cold this year I got the instant yearning to play it again. I love that game so much!

I had to work a half day on Thanksgiving, which wasn’t too bad. It was really slow so I snapped some sneaky pictures of my new workplace. It’s about the size of a walmart!

After work it was time for a Thanksgiving feast at Stevens parents house.
My contribution was a delicious version of a fruit cake. Something I call a fruit loaf.

I’m still getting used to these long workdays. Steven and I ride together since it’s a 25 minute drive, but he goes in at 7 and I don’t go in until 8:30.  I keep myself occupied by knitting and reading, and sometimes I get to clock in early, yay overtime! A downside is that it’s dark when we leave for work, and dark when we get home 🙁 By the time we make and eat dinner, and do any chores and errands it’s usually after 7 and I’m pooped!  Which doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for blogging or resin making, but I’m still having fun blogging when I do find the time! 

So how was everyone else’s Novembers?

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October Recap

October is over already!  It didn’t seem to fly by as fast as September did, but it still went by pretty quick. Here are some highlights of the past month.

We took a few trips through the mountains to see the turning colors. Something I’ve wanted to do for the last couple of years but we could never find the time.

The local fair happens at the beginning of October and I took a ridiculous amount of photos there.
 I ate plenty of autumn treats, including these homemade caramel apples, apples martinis and of course, plenty of pumpkin spice coffees!

I watched the trees change colors.

My mom found the cutest lost cat! We made posters, put them around the neighborhood and he was back at his home by the end of the day.

We decided to check out a little restaurant a few blocks from our house and were not disappointed by their breakfast! I had an egg and cheese on a croissant and it was sooo good!

The month ended with a pumpkin carving party and a fun Halloween!

I finally found a new job!  It’s weird going from being free all day every day, to being very busy all day at work. I’m usually exhausted by the end of the day. But hopefully I’ll get used to it soon!

I kinda went a little blogging crazy in October, with a post nearly every day! I usually try not to have one more than every other day, but I just had too many ideas. Since I am working again I’ll probably go back to less posts, hopefully I won’t run out of ides or be too tired to write anything.

I bought an older version of photoshop elements at a good price and I am pretty excited about it. I used an online photo editor before and I just wasn’t happy with the way it compressed all my photos.

I am VERY excited for November because in my opinion, Christmastime starts the day after Halloween! (Yeah, I’m one of those people)  But Christmas is my favorite time of the year, why wait to start celebrating if it make me so happy? I had the biggest smile on my face on the drive home from handing out Halloween candy at my moms because I was so darn excited that it was time for Christmas! And no I didn’t forget about Thanksgiving, I just see it as part of the holiday celebration!

Anyway, I hope everyone had a happy October!
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June Recap

Wow, I can’t believe the year is already half over! (Six months till Christmas! Eek!) Since the time seems to be flying by I have been trying to enjoy every day as much as I can, but that can be tricky because sometimes I end up wasting the day trying to come up with ways to have fun, instead of enjoying each little moment.

Here are some of the highlights of the month

I had a little graduation party. I got my diploma in the mail finally, so now it’s official! I always thought I would feel this sudden rush of relief and joy when I finally graduated, and I guess I did.. But it mostly feels like it was all just a bad dream and going to school never actually happened. Like when you’re having a nightmare, you’re surrounded by it; it’s all you can feel and you so badly want it to go away, but then once you wake up it quickly fades away and a few hours later you can hardly remember it. That’s how I sum up my experience of going to college. Haha

We went on lots of adventures exploring the city, including…

 Visiting a junkyard for the first time! Party!

Visited my garden almost every evening to see how everything is growing

Planted these neat pumpkins! And.. Whatever the heck a turk’s turban is… 

I started couponing! Every so often Harris Teeter has thing thing called super doubles, where they double any coupon up to four dollars. I spent 64 dollars there on groceries and saved 33 with coupons. It was amazing. As soon as I checked out I wanted to do it all over again. Hahaha. Also Harris Teeter has some amazing pizza for like 2-3 dollars a slice! We may or may not have eaten there three times last week……

We got new porch furniture so it’s nice to sit out there and watch the sunset.

Jeeves had an identity crisis. 

 We watched a documentary about a little dairy farm called Moo Man, and it made Jeeves crazy! He sat in front of the TV watching it, meowed whenever the cows mooed and even climbed behind the TV to try and find them! It was really funny. 

 I also dyed my hair red. I was going to do a blog post about it but whatever was in the stuff I used to lighten my hair, made it so other colors don’t stick to it. It’s been a week and it’s already faded so much!
Overall June was one of my favorite months yet! I am looking forward to July; my Aunt and Grandma are coming to visit and we’re going on a little trip to Monticello.

Hope everyone else had a lovely June as well! 

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50 mm Lens Review

To celebrate my camera being fixed, I decided to buy a new lens! I had been wanting to try out a different lens for a while now. I had never bought a lens before and have just been using the one that came with my camera, which I soon came to learn is often called a “kit lens” (because it comes in a kit!) and is usually rather low quality. I didn’t know anything about lenses so I did a bit of research, learned a lot, and decided on the classic 50 mm lens, which is often used for portraits. The reviews I read were great and people were saying that once they bought this lens, it never came off their camera! At first I was going to buy one that did not have autofocus, it was between 80-100 $ on amazon whereas the the autofocus one was 100 dollars more. But then I realized if the reviews were true and this lens was never coming off my camera, I would get real tired of manual focusing real fast, so I splurged on the autofocus lens.

I thought I would write a small review about my experience with it so far in case anyone out there is in the market for some new lenses as well. 🙂

First off, I had NO idea what the millimeters on lenses were referring to, but I had plenty of crazy guesses, like the length of what was in focus, the closest you could get to your subject, ect. Turns out none of them were right. The millimeters listed is the length from the image sensor inside the camera to the glass of the lens, and basically tells you how zoomed in your photo will be. For instance, the shorter the millimeters, the wider your frame will be.

 50 mm

18 mm

I didn’t really keep this in mind when I bought the lens. I didn’t make the connection that 50 mm meant that I would be significantly zoomed in from what I was used to, so when I first tried it out I was a bit disgruntled that I couldn’t fit everything I wanted into my frame. Another thing to note is that this lens is fixed at 50 mm so you cannot zoom in or out, which means you have to psychically move closer or father from your subject which also took some getting used to. Especially since my old lens went from 18 mm to 55 mm.

After being less than amazed taking shots of my house, I decided to go outside and take some closeups of my plants and I was instantly pleased! This lens has a super shallow depth of field, (which is the area that is in focus) so everything in front of and behind the subject are blurred and it really makes the subject pop!

Bee bum!

These photos above show off just how narrow your area of focus is, which looks great but it takes a lot of tries to get it right. I’m used to just aiming and snapping and having a decently focused photo in just a few seconds, but this lens forces you to slow down and really narrow in on your subject. 

This lens goes down to an F stop of 1.8, which is just a fancy way of saying it has a super wide aperture. The lower the number, the wider the aperture is opened up. The benefit of this is that is lets in more light, which means you can have a faster shutter speed and makes it way easier to capture sharp photos of those pesky pets who are constantly moving! Or for normal people who aren’t obsessed with taking cat photos, it means this lens is great for taking pictures in low light. For a comparison, my old lens only went down to an F stop of 5.6.

For the first few days I had it, I was convinced it was only good for taking close up shots because of its narrow depth of field. But while out on a few walks, I realized it actually took some pretty nice landscape photos too! Although like I mentioned above it can be tricky to get your subject in focus when you’re used to just pointing and shooting and it might take a bunch of tries to get it right. I can’t tell you how many photos I deleted when I looked back on them later and realized either nothing was in focus, or the wrong thing was in focus.

A good feature on this lens is that it has a manual focus override ring, which you can use to override the camera’s manual focus. A lot of times the camera doesn’t do a great job on focusing in on exactly what you want it to, especially when you’re taking close ups. I am still super glad I went with the autofocus though.

All in all I am beyond happy with this lens! It did take some getting used to, but don’t all new things? The photos it produces are so much better than those from my old lens, everything is so bright and clear. The only thing that can get tiring though is getting far enough away so that I can fit everything into my frame. Maybe one day I’ll get a 35 mm.

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It’s gonna be MAY.

It’s gonna be May and I can’t wait!

 April had some good moments but I have a feeling May will be even better, which is mainly because….

 I’m finally done with school!! I haven’t been around much on here because I was studying for the last exam in cell biology and I ended up passing the class with a B. Which is a big deal because this guy is kind of known for failing all of his students! I had already attempted this class once and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to pass.  I still can’t comprehend that I’m done, maybe because I’m half expecting them to call me and say that they messed up and I actually need to take more classes. :0 But I’m sure it will sink in once I get my diploma in the mail!  I am so looking forward to all the free time I’ll have!

Anyway, here are some things I have been up to the past month:

We gardened a LOT.

I got a mixer and have been a baking fool ever since. Stay tuned for plenty of recipes!

We bought a tree!  It’s a Himalayan birch and we’re pretty excited about him.

Started taking the ugly siding off our house and uncovered a city of stinkbugs! Hopefully once it’s gone our stinkbug problem will go away.

At work we had to move out of our lab into one across the street and only had two days to do it! And I have to say, packing up a lab is pretty annoying, because it’s either stupid expensive super fragile glassware, absurdly heavy equipment, or toxic/gross chemicals. But we ordered pizza and it was a nice day out so we had that going for us.

And I also gained an interest in painting my nails with cool patterns. (Although I did this while I was studying so maybe it was just procrastination!)

Hope you all had a lovely April as well!

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February Recap

February was a pretty good month, much more exciting than January anyway! Here are some highlights from the past month.

 It was my birthday month!  We had a little party in our newly Ikea furnished dining room.

We had our most successful Ikea trip yet. We didn’t get overwhelmed and they had everything we wanted in stock!  I love Ikea food so much. I could eat it every day..

I found a polaroid land camera on my birthday adventure!  I actually managed to snag some film for it on ebay. I haven’t tried it out yet because I still have to decide what to take my first picture of. The film is way expired though so I have no idea if it will even work. Stay tuned!

It snowed almost a foot!
We decided to make a delicious bean chili/dip on the snow day. I’ll be blogging about that soon!
I spent most of the snow day unpacking some boxes that have sat in the corner of our spare bedroom since we moved in a year and a half ago. And yes, you are seeing correctly. The walls, door and ceiling are all painted the same exact shade of blue… That will not be staying.

 I added some more resin necklaces to my Etsy shop!
But most of all… I finally started my vegetable garden!!!!

February was fun, but I am really looking forward to March. It should bring plenty of gardening, some outdoor adventures and an exciting trip to Pittsburgh!   
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January recap

January wasn’t a terribly exciting month. Mostly it was cold. Very cold. Many days the temperature didn’t get any higher than the mid 20’s, which is kind of uncommon for this area. I actually got so used to it that when it was 35-40 degrees one day I felt like I needed to break out the shorts and flip flops! 

I didn’t take very many pictures this month, I definitely want to start taking more photos of every day things, just to remember what certain days were like.  Here are some of the very few photos I did manage to take this month.

 We visited the lake on one of the rare not-so-cold days.
I got this teapot for Christmas and have been using it all month. I love it!
From the one time it snowed this winter.
I got these seeds in the mail and I am beyond excited about them!

I think one of the most exciting things is that January has been my first full month of blogging! It has been a lot of fun and I’m glad I have been able to stay inspired and keep it up.  I have so many future blog ideas and I can’t wait to post them!

I am looking forward to February (My birthday month!!) warmer weather and hopefully some gardening 🙂