Friday, April 29, 2011

One Shell Of A Wedding! : The Photo Shoot of a Lifetime

I think this is my absolute, undeniably, holycrap, let's-make-a-gallery-wrap-out-of-you favorite wedding photo. It's been my desktop background for a while now and I don't see that changing any time soon. This is one of those photos that 100% completely confirms why you chose the wedding photographer you did - when a photo takes your breath away you know you're onto something good.

I truly treasure the shots we have with our wedding party. They are certainly not your typical smile and pose classic photos, to me they're so much more.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

One Shell Of A Wedding! : You & Me

Once we were on the road to our wedding reception, the gravity of the day sunk in. We had just gotten married - married! It was simply surreal.

For the first time since we'd arrived to Rhode Island we had a moment that truly felt our own.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Camera Shy

 For someone who has gotten nicely situated with a new camera body, "upgraded" lenses, and a super cute bag there's a pretty obvious absence of great photos on this blog. Not only do have what should be considered "the stuff", but I've actually got a decent understanding of the more academic side of photography, too.

Here's the thing though, it's both an art and a science. I've got the science. I trust my ability to understand lighting, aperture, shutter speed, composition and the other ins-and-outs of how to take a picture and when. In that way, I'm a good student. I've learned some solid, basic skills that should deliver me some consistent results. But I get hung up on the art. I consider myself a creative person but don't fully trust myself. As a result, I carry my camera around but it pretty often stays in its bag. Not really the point, right?

You know that kid who is a little late to potty training, but all of a sudden they're totally trained and never have an accident? That's me with photography. I'm afraid to try it until I'm sure I can get it right. I'm quietly observing, taking mental notes, but not fully confident in pulling out my camera even when the moment strikes me. I get camera shy. 

Then last Sunday, I asked my friend Allie if she'd let me "play" while we waited to be seated for brunch.

So, my friends, if you've gotten this far we've both survived my first post including photos where I was actually "trying". Phew!

Do you have something you wish you were more confident about?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Miscellaneous Follow-Up

I've shared several things lately that I either liked or was considering purchasing for our home. I'd hate to leave you hanging, so here are some previously mentioned "things".

1. Chevron Pillow

It's been a perfect addition to our living room and I simply love having a bold pattern to liven up our space.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Official Kitchen Reveal

I have so much to say about our kitchen renovation and the process of how it all came together. I'm almost at a loss of words - where to start? Today the plan is to share these photos with you (since this whole thing began 6 months ago!) and then go back and show before and after pictures explaining what we did and where over a few posts. Personally, I'm a sucker for before and after pics and love to study the details of what has changed. You know, like that weird activity at the end of People Magazine.

For now, enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

One Shell Of A Wedding! : The Ceremony (Part 2)

Come now and declare your union. And we who love you, declare our intent to hold you dear forever and ever. 

I, Brian/Amanda, take you, Amanda/Brian, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

De-Lamping: Bringing work home

It's another weekend and I brought some work home with me again. Our condo building has two stairwells, front and back, that have a ceiling fixture at every landing and a wall sconce between levels. These lights are on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Being an engineer that works on projects to use controls to reduce energy, this drives me crazy. We also perform energy audits for clients. We walk around looking at things like how their mechanical systems are functioning and recommend updates. Lighting is a great place to save money. I do lighting surveys where you count lamps and fixtures, take light level readings, and find smart ways to reduce energy. Our home and the building we live in is not immune to these efforts. I tried not to, but I brought more work home with me. Why not. My skills can be used to hopefully trim a few bucks off our condo associations operating expenses. We recently updated old busted fixtures with three CFL lamps on both the walls and ceilings to two lamp fixtures. However, I felt there was still more that could be done.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's Not Extreme Couponing, but...

...I made $106.69 upgrading my camera body.

Basically, sometimes I am awesome. And I'm now the proud owner of a Canon 60D.

Here's the story: a while back I got the idea in my head that I wanted to upgrade my camera body. However, I'd recently bought my two new lenses and Mr. Fix-It basically wanted to wring my neck at the suggestion of investing more money into this hobby of mine. He underestimated my determination.

To make the story as short as possible, I listed my Canon Rebel XS on eBay to offset the cost of a new body. I also put our Cricut on Craigslist. I was hoping to rake in about $600 between those two items and then I'd have another $400+ to scrounge up for the camera body. If you haven't done the math, the Canon 60D (body only) was $999 (pre tax). I hit a gold mine and my Rebel sold for $660 and the Cricut went for $185. Meanwhile, I realized I had a 10% off coupon to Best Buy, plus random store credit, plus $45 in Reward Zone money, plus uncashed ThankYou points on a credit card which I traded in for $150 in Best Buy cards.  The camera rang up at $1094.99, but after my coupons and credits I was down to $738.31. My eBay/Cricut sales gave me $845 to pay off the remaining balance, which became a PROFIT of $106.99.

I got it today. I tore open the camera box and took a few photos around my office.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Solving My Internet Woes, One Problem at a Time

Fellow bloggers: does it drive you nuts that your photo only shows up when you comment on certain websites? For a while I was. I knew part of the reason was because I had a blogger account and not wordpress. When I'd leave a comment on a wordpress blog my face was represented by a not awesome patchwork icon.

{You are not my friend}

Frustrated, I knew there had to be a solution. Enter gravatar. You make an account, upload a photo, and then your gravatar follows you where ever you go online.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pretty Things Steal My Money

Yesterday I noticed my iPhone case had cracked. It really wasn't that bad, but the wheels in my head started turning about how I might replace it. Today over lunch I swung by the Apple Store. A pink Apple brand iPhone bumper looked like it could do, but I just wasn't feeling it. The other options weren't so amazing either. Too boring and boyish and blah.

Standing in the middle of the store I had one of those moments where I knew I had solved my problem. I quickly made my way over to the iPad display area and searched "monogram iPhone case" on etsy. Guess what I found? Rouge and Co's shop. I die.

I'll show you what I picked when it arrives. For now at least we know why our bank account is perpetually lower than we'd like.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Seating For Six

We haven't even properly revealed our kitchen yet, but we're already taking on a new project.

What in the world could we be up to?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Babies Can't Read Anyway

{a brief conversation with the fix-its}

Me: I found this poster on etsy today that literally made me laugh out loud.
Mr. Fix-It: That is kind of hilarious.
Me: Can I buy it and hang it on a wall?
Mr. Fix-It: Sure.
Me: It's not very family friendly. OMG. Let's hang it over our baby's crib. I would love our child that much.
Mr. Fix-It: It's not like babies can read anyway.

...and we have a new letterpress poster on order.

Friday, April 8, 2011

My Camera : The Bags

Soon after I purchased my camera I knew I needed a way to get it around safely. I went to my local Wolf Camera store and picked up a super simple, non-cumbersome camera bag. The main advantage was that it was small enough to fit inside another bag if I was out and about.

It worked, it held my camera nicely (read: boring), but I outgrew it pretty fast. As soon as I bought a second lens I realized it couldn't hold my gear anymore. Additionally, I wasn't super into the idea that it was so obvious that I was carrying a camera. When traveling this makes you a pretty nice target for theft. Note: I'm the least paranoid person you'll meet, but I can even get on board with the idea that you don't want it to be obvious that you're carrying around hundreds/thousands of dollars of equipment. (People who wear those "money belts" when traveling get a serious eye roll from me.)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Camera

I learned photography (still learning!) on a Canon Rebel XS. It was an amazing "starter" dSLR and I'd highly recommend it to anyone interested in photography as an excellent camera without a huge investment.

{canon XS}

I got my first dSLR (the canon xs) in May 2009. I was one of those who assumed nicer camera = nicer photos. Eh, not so much. I was shooting on "auto" (since I didn't know what else to) and the photos looked a lot like what was coming out of my point-and-shoot. For a while I couldn't rationalize carrying a bulky camera when my little one gave similar results. Ultimately, my camera collected dust until Thanksgiving 2010. I'd take it out here and there (vacations, events) but the photos weren't anything special.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Who's side are you on?

Alright, I am going to admit something that you may have not guessed yet. From the dozens of posts Mrs. Fix-It has posted, it is pretty obvious she is perfect. I am not. I have made mistakes. In fact, my last post identified another mistake I made installing the plumbing for our sink. I hope I can teach people from my mistakes, or at least how to make them right. Not cover them up, that is not what I want to teach.

So, we decided to make the island of the kitchen with two rows of cabinets back to back. This gave us a fantastic storage opportunity on the dining room side of the island and created a great surface area. We wanted a 36" deep island so I had to use a wall cabinet and a base cabinet. I used a 30" high wall cabinet to allow me to have a toe kick like the other side of the island. I had to create a platform to place the cabinets on, but the platform would be visible from the side. The other issue would be the sides of the island would have a large seam down the middle. I made my platform and set the cabinets on top. My 36" x 60" island was born, but it like a scene from Frankenstein.

This post is about my mistake and making the island look custom.

Monday, April 4, 2011

One Shell Of A Wedding! : The Ceremony (Part 1)

On behalf of Amanda Rose S. and Brian John V., I welcome you to this formal declaration of their marriage. This service is an expression of their love for each other, their dedication to their families and friends, and their deepest desire for the future that awaits them. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

One Shell Of A Wedding! : Seashells and Wedding Bells

It was time to officially get the show on the road! Guests began arriving at Manning Chapel on what turned out to be an amazingly gorgeous day. A perfect day to get married if I do say so myself.

As guests entered the chapel they were greeted Mr. Seashell's goddaughter who handed out our handmade programs.