Tuesday, November 29, 2011


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Sunday, October 09, 2011

Fall Decor

We had a few days this week where you could almost feel a chill in the air. I swore that I could smell fall announcing it's arrival. So I decorated! And then I remembered that we live in Southern CA and that fall isn't really a season here. We should be back up into the 90's by Wednesday. Perfect timing for Medium's big trip to the Pumpkin Patch. Blarg.

Anyway, at least it looks like fall around the house!! :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Deodorant, Yes, Deodorant

I'm having a bad day. And although it's only a very small spec of my bad day, I'm pissed off at my deodorant. So let's talk about deodorants for chicks and why they suck:

First of all, it stops working. I can't seem to get through one entire stick of deodorant without having it just stop working at the end. It's like my body just builds up an immunity to it and is all, oh you silly deodorant, I own your ass, here comes some stink! And just when I'm used to smelling like flowery girl farts, I have to go find another deodorant and pray it works. And by works, I just mean that it keeps me from smelling like a sanitation worker running a marathon. Because although I always opt for the antiperspirant, that is a big stinkin lie that does NOTHING to stop me from sweating.

So last week I ran out of my random-brand-name-clinical-strength deodorant (which had stopped working anyway) and so off to Target I went. I decided to try the um, we'll call it "Confidential" Smooth Effects - you know, the one that's supposed to make you have to shave less often. After lamenting the fact that there was no option of odorless, I picked Smooth Powder (although why me or ANYONE would choose to have their armpits smell like the stuff that goes on a baby's ass is a mystery). I gave it a week. I was immediately put off by the fact that it is NOT a solid! It should be considered a goo. My armpits felt like slimy nastiness all day. And guess what? It was no match for 110 degree heat, I was not only sweaty, but smeeeellly too. Bonus: It did nothing to curb the hair growth. This morning I had HAD it. I went to Brooks' bathroom and used his deodorant. No smell. No sweat. And I smelled so good that I kind of wanted to make out with myself all day.

So now I have to ask Old Spice, can you please make a deodorant for women? We already love your spokesman and your scents totally beat the pants off of any aimed at us. I mean, here were my choices from "Confidential": Satiny Tropical, Silky Botanical, Refreshingly Floral, Wildflower Fresh or Smooth Powder. Do I really have to smell like a flower? My husband can smell like: Limes, an Ocean Breeze and Freedom, Wilderness, Open Air and Freedom, Palm Trees, Sunshine and Freedom or Ice, Wind and Freedom. I WANT TO SMELL LIKE FREEDOM!! Why do guys get to smell so much cooler when all we get are flowers? And seriously, how come their deodorant, um, works?

So here is your challenge Old Spice Man: I want to smell like Ocean, Margarita and Freedom. Make it happen.

I Heart Faces: Back to School

This week's theme at I Heart Faces is back to school. I took WAYYYY too many back to school pictures this year, but this one was my favorite. I love the light of it and the positioning of their feet. So excited to start a new school year!

Don't forget to hop over to I Heart Faces and check out all the other beauties!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Rats Triumphant Return!

So September is a totally acceptable time to start decorating for fall, right? I mean, I know I can't will Southern California to drop below 100, but I HAVE TO TRY! So last week I got out all of my fall decor and went to town. I put all my pumpkins out, fall colored sprays in Mason Jars, even made my own Burlap Bubble wreaths for the front door. BRING IT FALL! I will post mantle and wreath pictures soon, I promise, but for today, we're all about the rats...

Remember that um, pet, rat we used to have? And how we replaced him with three smaller pet rats? (And Jebus that is one of those things that sounds crazier when you type it then it feels in real life but oh well.) So yeah. Well, when we put our old house on the market we had to pack them away. I thought that they would be an awesome selling point, but our Realtor? Not so much. Plus all that traffic would put them in danger of suffering the same fate as their ancestor. So away they went.

Until I unpacked all of the Fall and Halloween goodies! BOOYAH!!!

Welcome home little ratties ;) Now I feel like I need to order a pizza to make sure they still "work"...

Friday, September 02, 2011

Photography Assignment 2: Composition

For my second assignment, we had to move on to shooting in Manual mode (thank GOD) and work on composition. We were to pick one subject and stick to it. I choose succulents because I have access to a ton and I knew they'd make great subjects with their colors and textures! Here are my top ten:

What do you think? Oh, and I got a 100% on my first assignment :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mom Goes To School

My first photo assignment for my first ever photography class was kind of a pain in the ass. First of all, it had to be done completely using the camera's automatic camera setting. I have been shooting in Manual exclusively since I got the 7D and to say that it's automatic performance is lacking would be a huge understatement! Not being able to set my own ISO, aperture and shutter speed was like torture. And not being able to choose my own focal points? Yeah suck. Now add the fact that all the pictures had to be taken outside with no flash? I thought that wouldn't be an issue, but the camera wanted to pop the flash every.single.time. Ugh. Oh and all cropping had to be done in camera with no post editing. Sniffle, I miss photoshop.

Even the assignment itself was a challenge - we were given ten words and we had to be creative in capturing them on film. I am NOT an outside the box thinker. NOT. I like my box. Anyway, here were my attempts...

1. Twist: It's diet coke! With Splenda! And look at the twist! (sigh)

2. Trek: Baby feets :)
3. Tower: Succulent spray
4. Tow: Special thanks to Nik and Briar for staging this one!
5. Tinsel: Decorative, Ornamental and Sparkly? Check.
6. Timid: Glass ladybug on an angle
7. Tiger: Striped and Ferocious
8. Three: My three favorite people...
9. Texture: Yeah, I probably could have been more creative with this one...
10. Terminial: This was my favorite. It's where we have to drop Fin off in the morning. The place where I hand him off to begin his long stretch of day without me. The terminus of my role as his primary educator and the beginning of his real formal education. Sigh.
Can't wait to see how it goes! Up next: how sick I am of reading photo critiques that use the word meaning every two seconds. Sigh.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hi, my name is Maggie and I have a son in Kindergarten...

Like all other parents, we've been busy these past weeks. School has started. In our house, it's only Finley who has begun as Dash's preschool doesn't start till Sept. But oh the changes...You see, we are "afternoon" people. And this year we had no choice. Kindergarten starts at 8am, with the playground opening at 7:30 which means we have to be up at ohmywhere'sthesun o'clock. I can only imagine what this will feel like in the winter when the house is cold and it's still dark outside. *Shudder* Brooks is in trouble since I've already had my first awkward run in with a parent and it's his fault. He volunteered in the class this week alongside another dad. They spent a good long time together and chatted it up. The dad then came to find me at pick up (two days later) to tell me how much he enjoyed meeting my husband since as a stay at home dad he spends most of his time around mom's. So I asked if his K child was his only and he said yes. Then I made a comment about being jealous of his alone time. His whole face f e l l. "Didn't your husband tell you that my wife just had a miscarriage??" No. No he didn't. F*&#$.

Anyway, we're surviving. As much as I hate getting up early, I am finding that I love BEING up early, so that's a plus. It's an awesome thing to have all the daily chores done before lunch. And Fin is thriving. He loves school. He's been on green every day so far (they go on a stoplight system, green=good, yellow=warning, and red=note home to parents) and his teacher told me he's doing great so that makes my heart sing. We have homework every night but so far there has been little protesting over doing it. He is also just flying through books. We're reading The Adventures of Captain Underpants series as a family and before we start that each night he reads a different book to his brothers. It's amazing how much they love to sit and listen to him. I'd love to catch a picture of it some day, but so far I haven't been able to tear myself away from watching them.

Dash and Kell are in a whirlwind of colors and shapes and letters and trying to find ways of playing agreeably while Fin is at school. Dash will have Miss Annette and Miss Shannon for Pre K this year. Fin had Miss Annette as a 3 and she couldn't be nicer and at this point, Miss Shannon is family :) Dash can't wait for his turn and I'm looking forward to having some alone time with Kell. Kell had a fabulous second birthday - getting a new basketball hoop from his grandparents and a ride-on toy from mom and dad. He never ceases to amaze me with his joy over the funniest things - the book he got from a friend was just as exciting as a giant plastic Little Tykes monstrosity. Go figure.

Dad's work is trucking along and my big news is that I started classes this week. I had a few moments of panic over what-am-I-doing and how-will-I-do-this and then again what-the-fuck-was-I-thinking, but I feel ready to start something new. Not sure I'll finish a degree or certificate, and not sure I need to, but it feels good to be doing something for me. I'm already being challenged to think outside the box and I am SO an in the box person that it should be interesting. My rules for assignment number one included keeping the camera on Auto and shooting in full sun - so contrary to what I prefer to do! And I am totally amazed at how easily the camera decides I need the flash. Irritating is saying it gently. I'll try and keep you up to date on my projects if they turn out at all interesting. The other students certainly are (more on that later). I've also been dieting. I know, I hate that word almost as much as the general concept. I miss carbs. And I miss booze. And I'm starting to get increasingly concerned that I am a totally boring and grouchy person when I'm sober for long periods of time. So we'll see how long that lasts.

Off to play with the littles before it's time to pick up the Fintastic!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I Heart Faces: Eyes

This week's challenge at I Heart Faces is eyes. I love my boys' eye's. I love their friends' eye's. I love taking ridiculously close-up pictures of eyes. This made for a tough choice...

In the end I had to go with this one. I was trying to take a nice picture of Kell on the train. But Kell seems to think that the closer he gets to the camera, the better the picture will be. And for once, I agreed. :)

Don't forget to head over to I Heart Faces to take a look at some of the other great entries!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Shopping With Kids? Yes You Can!

I love to shop. I especially love antique stores that are packed to the gills with treasures and curiosities. I also have three smallish children. You can see where this would pose a problem. Yesterday we took the boys to a bunch of the neat stores over in Ventura and I had a fantastic idea: I made them each a checklist of things to find. This time I made it just five easy things - a doll, antique utensils, old books, old signs and costume jewelry. I also had them work as a team against Brooks and Kell (who had the actual list of things I was looking for). They had a great time and it totally kept them from being bored. When they had checked off everything on their lists, I had lollipops ready. But they were SO good that when they spotted a cupcake shop, I agreed to the upgrade :)

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Alphabet Summer

I was really hoping to find some way to keep the kids learning this summer without resorting to simple workbooks. And when I read about Alphabet Summer, I knew I had found it! The idea is that you choose a letter a day (or every few days in our case) and plan on some learning activities that complement the letter. I made my boys each a notebook with a basic plan for each day as well as some worksheets to go along with each theme. We're skipping around as we go and working the letters in where they fit with our schedule.
Here's Dash's notebook and the first page...
So far it's going wonderfully! Finley especially enjoys finding new words that go along with each letter so that our days are full :) Here are some pictures from W and R days. And here are some links to other families that have inspired this terrific idea:

Home By Heidi

The Moes Family

What are your kids up to this summer?

Monday, June 27, 2011

DIY Art Project!

One of my favorite blogs is The Lettered Cottage. Layla's designs and remodels are amazing, but I usually read them and wonder if I should hire someone to do something like that around here. Then she published this tutorial. Not only did I love the idea of a piece of art like this, I had the perfect place for it AND I figured Brooks and I could make it happen! So here's what we did...(TLC has WAY more detailed instructions, I'm giving you bare bones here)
First the frame had to be assembled.
Assembling the frame was an all-male event :)
After it was all put together, it was time for staining...
Once the stain dried, I sanded it lightly just to rough it up a bit. Then I sat down with the stamps...
I did the stamping and tried to be as haphazard as someone with OCD is capable of...
And expertly hung by my Woob...
Finished product...
It was so fun to make and I LOVE the result! Don't forget to hop over to TLC for other great decorating ideas :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Heart Faces: Boys

This weeks theme on I Heart Faces is Boys. As I have so very many of them, I had my work cut out for me in choosing a picture! In the end, I went with this one. I just love how natural they all are and how they can't really go a straight minute without touching each other in some way. Although at times that is admittedly more a curse than a blessing! Here are my boys :)

Don't forget to visit I Heart Faces to see all of the other amazing entries!