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self-portrait, featured picture

365 Self-Portrait Project (week 24th)

First of all, I want to mention, the community of wold’s mothers World Moms Blog I contribute to, has gotten on ForbesWoman’s list of “Top 100 Websites for Women 2012“!!! Isn’t it that great!!!

Next to this positive news there is not so positive one:

because, being honest with you, I am getting a little tired of this 365 project… .

A few times this week I thought about not doing it anymore.

More than physically I feel mentally exhausted!

Our No.2 sleeps really good but the thing is that after I feed her at night I have such a hard time falling back to sleep and by the time I do fall asleep it is time to get up again. Still there is something more to it than just not getting enough of sleep… .

Luckily I was able to pull myself together and keep going one day at a time… .

So here we go:

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Last Friday I had a really hard time to come up with something. I took about 10 different pictures. Every singe one sucked. This one sucked too, so I had to edit it to hide all the imperfections and vuala:

The Hollie Rogue

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These days I’m feeling pretty blue, under the weather, sad, depressed, melancholic… you name it! Each day I hope for a better tomorrow and for the door to open and show me the blue sky!

I know, I know, the door won’t open on its own…

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Park, Park, Park!

Every single day. After dinner we go to the park where our NO. 1 is in heaven!

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Have I mentioned that every day we go to the park?! ;)

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On Tuesday I baked challah for the first time in my life and it was so delicious!!! While I was taking pictures of it No. 1 was stealing a piece after piece whenever I turned to do something else. I caught her red-handed ;)

but I couldn’t say NO to this smile:

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Yesterday we spent our morning and early afternoon in the swimming pool. No. 1 is not afraid of the water anymore. Now it’s the opposite. She doesn’t want to get out. I got so tired of swimming with her so I sat on the edge of the swimming pool and was pulling her back and forth until my arms got tired, then it was time to go home…

Photo Art Friday

but she didn’t want to:

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One of those pictures from “whatever” series when I just need to take a picture but there is nothing interesting going on.

A mirror or the blinds always rescue me in those moments.

Hope you have a great weekend, my friends!

Hope to see you next week in a much better mood!

365 Self-portrait Project (week 17)

This week was very… hm…  I would say “transitional”.

I’m getting to a point where I can fall asleep in almost any position and at any time.

In addition, our losing weight and sleeping all the time Little One transitioned into a very hungry baby who doesn’t want to sleep if we do not hold her. After my husband digged out an old swing chair that issue got a bit easier to deal with, though. 

but, enough of my ramblings. lets get to this week self-portraits

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On Saturday we went to Babies”R”Us and got a mirror for the back seat. It works great for taking pictures ;) After that we had a wonderful time at the Iris Garden I blogged about a few days ago. It was a perfect day it a perfect place!

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Sunday was a lazy day for everybody. Not having the swing chair at the house yet, for almost half of the day I was working as the most comfortable pillow ever.

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Monday was really crazy. Trying to have at least one thing done I looked like that:

Our place looks like a battlefield and I actually have no control over it anymore. The food I’ve cooked this past week wasnt’ really very good. I’m too tired or in a hurry while making it. In between screaming infant, begging for attention toddler and begging for food dog (or stealing it from the toddler who later gets so angry because of that) there is a little space left for my attention to be focused on cooking. 

I know I will get use to it but for now it’s crazy around here.

In addition this project takes an extra time, as well as blogging which I think I’ll have to limit at some point.

I do not want to stop this project, though, because it brings me a relief for most of the time.

While everything around me is focused on everybody else in this project I can focused on myself. Just for a few minutes per day but it’s always a few minutes more than zero.

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Here I was enjoying homemade avocado-spinach-banana ice cream and a quiet “me time” in the bathroom. That quick shower I took in the middle of that day was so nice I didn’t want to go back to that craziness.

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Brushing my teeth :)

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First that day while checking my emails I saw a great news: I sold my first print EVER!!! Picture of a KETCHUP. That brought a big smile on my face and made my day

A few minutes before I took this picture I got popped on by our No 2. (that’s why I do not have any pants on). It has happened a few times this week and it feels like I will never learn ;)

Later that day I took one more picture which I think is really sweet: 


Our Little One does not appreciate kisses, yet ;)

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This self-portrait was inspired by Bonnie’s theme for this week:

a piece of photo art that references, in even the most oblique way, the title of one of your favorite books“.

I do have 3 books on my shelf that are next positions on my to-read list  :

- “A World without Women” by David F. Noble,

- “Woman Hating” by Andrea Dworkin,

- “Women who hurt themselves” by Dust Miller.

Those are not my favorite books but I do love to read about women and women’s issues in general. 

No wonder one of my favorite books is “Eat, Pray, Love” BUT before it was made into a movie!!!

At the same time the second favorite book on my list is “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsing :)

In addition when it comes to today’s picture, I do feel pretty down lately wondering if it’s just because I’m tired or because my PPD is appearing again :/

We’ll see.

Have a great weekend, my friends!

Photo Art FridayChic Homeschool MamaMommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?

ewa samples, iris garden 02

B-day Girl and Nola’s Iris Garden

Uff…

Finally I got a chance to sit down with a cup of my favorite green tea and write a post.

Finally, because lately  for most of the days I look like that: 

Our Sleeping Beauty has changed into Not So Sleepy or Sleeping Only When You Hold Me and If You’re Not I Scream Beauty. I can’t decide what’s better: me worrying all day long about her not eating and loosing weight or her being such a needy Little Stinker. My poor back is hurting me terribly because not only that she doesn’t sleep much BUT she eats a lot which means she gets heavier and heavier each day. In addition it’s really hard to have anything done around the house.

So, this is what’s happening with our No 2.

Last week our No 1. turned 2. We have a small family celebration at Chuck E. Cheese’s. She loved it and I was happy I didn’t have to bake or cook anything that day.

On Saturday we went to THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE ON EARTH:

Nola’s Iris Garden!!!

The thing is that I really don’t care about Irises. I think they are not that pretty or interesting as flowers. 

BUT

For me that place is magical. I wrote about it last year when we visited it for the first time.

It’s magical maybe because while I do not like irises this place full of them is my favorite place. I haven’t found anything better than that. 

Maybe I like it so much because this is how I would want to live. On a farm, with a few horses and cows and chickens running around. I want to have a  place full of dogs. I want to have gardens.

This place looks like that only for a few weeks while the irises bloom. For the rest of the year the owners support themselves by selling bulbs and grass-fed cows (for meat, of course). They do rent horses as well.

This young creature was abandoned by its mother after birth and the owners had fed him from the bottle for a while. Now she is on a mixed diet: grass + grains. It’s an experiment as normally those people have only grass-fed cows this time they want to see if feeding her with grains will make a change in the taste of the meat. Yes, this cute thing is going to end up in our food chain in a near future.

Scattered Horizons

Last year our daughter was barely walking when we visited this place. This year she was everywhere. It was hard to stop her from running all over those flowers. It was like she was on a sugar rush.

From time to time she would lost her chips. Myself I do believe in a rule of not having many rules when it comes to eating from the floor. So while she was cleaning up the mess she made I was watching my husband’s “a little bit concerned face”. Nope, we do not agree on many things. Eating from the floor is one of them but anytime it’s not his food we’re talking about (picking from the floor) he let it go ;)

(And that’s why he stopped watching me cooking in the kitchen. He was simply afraid that if he continues to do that he wouldn’t want to eat what I cook.)

Anyway, our daughter strongly believe that what fell on the floor is as good as something what is on the plate (or in a  bag in this case).

There is all kinds of small sculptures placed all over the garden and I love it.

So for now I’ll leave you all here. My quiet, dreamy time came to the end.

Have a great evening, my friends!

Live, Love, Travelparenting BY dummiesand  then, she {snapped}


Enjoying our time before the big change

This is definitely my last post before the second baby arrival and probably my last post for a while.

This past weekend we enjoyed great weather and even with me feeling uncomfortable and tired we had spent some time playing together outdoors. 

Saturday we spent our afternoon in the nearby park:

On Sunday we went to a great Farm Park, one of our favorite places to visit.

This mean creature was trying to find a way to bite me for the entire time I stand in front of her.

This one didn’t give a damn about anybody and anything. Oh, how jealous I felt looking at her:

Didn’t know what to think about this one:

That didn’t look comfortable but different things work for different creatures. right?:

We found some eggs, too! They weren’t painted and, I bet they didn’t taste like chocolate either.

Our daughter had the most fun!

Finally, yesterday I made a hat for our soon-to-be born:

If you interested in the pattern – it’s from here. Of course I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t change a few things in this pattern but that’s not important ;)

I have never crochet a hat before so this was a bit intimidating.

There is a few things I want to have done for her (read: crochet) before she gets here but I think I won’t make it… Still, there will be plenty of time in the hospital so I am not so worried. I just want to have a few cute things for her newborn pictures. Though, I have no idea if I’ll be up to doing it when I get back. I hope I will. 

Till then, my friends!

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Me, Myself and I

Here I am: a full month of self-portraits behind me. At some point I feel overwhelmed knowing that it’s ONLY a month and there is 11 more to go. The last two weeks were really hard with almost no inspirations or energy to think about creative shots. Oh well I did it anyway and I’m proud of myself (so far).

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February theme for {In The Picture} – self-portrait project hosted by Urban Muser is “write on” so this is one of my interpretations. 

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At the park staring at the sky and watching my daughter and my husband having fun. 

because while I was being lazy pointing my big belly up to the sky my family was doing this:

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It just happened unexpectedly: while I was holding the camera in my hand my Little One had a breakdown and she needed a hug really bad. Snap, snap and I was done with my self-portrait for the day. I like when it happens so easy.

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Ok, that is a weird picture. I mean, it’s a weird me in this picture, especially that look. I think I was checking if my camera is working and while I was checking it snapped. ugh… 

And yes, I tried to take a few more without that look but they came out much worse so I had to go with this one, explaining to myself: it’s not THAT bad after all.

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I finally used tripod and I don’t know why I don’t use it more often. It’s so much easier with it. It would be even easier if I had the remote, but so far I need to get creative with what I have.

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It’s getting warmer and warmer every day, but my feet are still cold like ice so even in a warm sunny day I like to have my socks on.


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There was no more editing to this photo than color adjustment only. It was taken on our patio while my daughter was messing around with some brums and pots and I was sitting on the bench holding a piece of a broken mirror in front of me. This is my favorite photo from this week collection.

Chic Homeschool MamaPhoto Art FridayIn The PictureMommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?

Have a great weekend, Everyone!

food photography experiment-43a

Food Photography Meetup


Last Saturday I had the opportunity to meet with people from “photography club for women”. This meetup theme was Food Photography. Many times I planned to go to one of those meetups before but it didn’t work for me. This time it all happened at the local park where I could take my daughter (and my husband) with me. The weather was just beautiful and the company excellent. This group is very mixed. From very talented photographers who tries to establish a business locally to a amateurs who want to learn more about theirs equipment, lightening and composition. Thanks to Sabrina – our organizer it all was well prepared. We were put into groups with 3 people in each. A few days before the meetup, we got email addresses of our group mates so we could contact each other and talk about who brings what and how we’re going to work.

I can’t speak for all of us but I think that most of the people had a really great time.

I normally edit pictures in GIMP, but this time I used Lightroom and I am so happy I did that. I think I discovered one of my favorite presets so far. Toy camera. A few weeks ago I got it for free from here. If you look at every picture in this post I wrote which one was edited using that particular preset.

Here are a few pictures I took. Many of my pictures are of this basket as I really liked the set up and mixed vivid colors. While going through them I couldn’t decide which one to choose so I’m posting almost all of them.

 

My group mate’s, Patricia’s fresh picked lemons were a great subjects to photograph, as well.  I started to peel one of them and…, and they smelled… OMG!!! So intense and sooo good.  I wanted to eat them right there.

edited with "toy camera" preset for lightroom

edited with "toy camera" preset for lightroom

That one lemon brought a lot of attention to our work table:

It might seems weird but the bigger problem for me was to make that single cabbage looks interesting. I couldn’t find a good angle or a good place for it. When I picked it at the store I thought it would be a great subject to photograph as it has interesting texture and it’s not that simple as… lemon for example. How surprised I was when the lemon (or an apple) appeared to be a better thing to photograph that the cabbage.

Beautifully polished apple:

edited using "toy camera" preset for lightroom

Juicy and sweet orange. I know, I ate it after all :)

edited using "toy camera" preset for lightroom

and what I called a “balanced diet” :)

The strawberry and a basket of raspberries were the last thing I photographed.

With the raspberries I wanted to focus on the entire scenario rather than only on the fruits, and I didn’t want to get in the way of one of the group member Christine, who tried to catch the perfect light for her pictures.

edited using "toy camera" preset for lightroom

My group mate, Patricia, trying to take her last snap before we were all packed and ready to go home.

Now if you’re still here feel free to go and check out more pictures of people who were at this meetup:

1. May Rogers

2. Celeste Wyrick

3. Maiyang Liu

4. May Yam

and

the general gallery from this meetup.

If I get more links from people from our group I’ll post them here. For now it’s all I got.


Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase lettersLive, Love, Travel

a little bit of this and that

At least I’ve got my smoothie!

Uffff.

Aren’t you happy that Christmas is over?! I am! Now I can’t wait till those stupid Christmas commercials on tv are over with as well.

Most of my Christmas time I was too exhausted to enjoy it, and not very happy with what was going on around me. At the end I welcomed Tuesday with such a big relieve. At least we had a great weather on Christmas Day and we spent our morning in a park testing new playing tools.

As for Christmas without gifts we ended up with bunch of stuff, mostly our daughter’s, I’m tired of cleaning and picking up off. Yep, I’m grumpy like that. I’m really happy she likes every single piece of what she got, but the best thing she got (in my opinion) is a big teddy bear. In this case there is almost no space left in her crib for her to sleep on. Everything is covered with teddy bears, and books. One more thing and she will have to sleep outside.

... and that's only a small part of what she always goes to bed with...

We ended up with a tent even!!! I was hoping she wouldn’t like it and I will have a reason to pack it up and store it in our garage. I was wrong. Not only she loves but our dog as well. Example!? She slept all night in this tent – the dog not our daughter. Our daughter was about to do the same, but I wouldn’t let her.

Those few toys make the least mess. They take space but nothing more. I can live with them around. After our in-laws left I pack most of new toys and and hid it – for further use, of course (mhm!). We both got tired of walking around our home like it’s a minefield. I left her a few things to play with and even with those few every morning I go through a heartbreak when I see our living room… .  I’m just weird like that. You would think that after almost 2 years with a kid in the house I finally got used to to living around toy mess.  But the truth is different… .

At least I’ve got my smoothie!!!

frozen strawberry and pineapple smoothie with a hint of honey!!!
frozen strawberry and pineapple smoothie with a hint of honey!!!

parenting BY dummiesand then, she {snapped}NapTime MomTogLive and Love...Out Loud

The Perfect Day

I call it The Perfect Sunday.

Perfect because I got the chance to drink a coffee. As a coffee lover I really miss my morning coffee. With my first pregnancy it was really easy to quit drinking it. It just came naturally. One day I could not finish my morning coffee. It tasted bad and smelled awful. My body said: “No, you are not going to drink it”, and I didn’t. For the entire pregnancy and for few months more after Little Stinker was born.

This time is different. I had a few days when I couldn’t drink it, but with my 1st trimester that feeling disappeared and there is nothing that keeps me away from coffee these days. There is one thing I do.

I do not buy coffee so I don’t have it at the house. My last package of coffee ended up a few weeks ago. Since then I had only one cup a few days ago… and one more yesterday.

About a week ago we watched the movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. I just went through that movie to find one moment where I see myself.lol

Don’t remember her name but there is a woman who’s on the “drinking fresh juices only” diet and she’s doing her shopping and it happens she passes by a shelf filled with coffee. It’s 40th minute in the movie. So funny!

Link to this movie here or you can watch it’s on Netflix.

Anyway, yesterday we walked to the nearest Starbucks and everybody got something. Day was beautiful. Fall in its fullest. Husband got his hot chocolate and newspaper. Little Snow(wo)man ate her cheerios. I got my black coffee. Even doggy got lucky and could clean up leftovers our daughter left under her chair.

Today coffee is just a beautiful memory which scent I can still smell around me ;)

… and I am left with frozen berries smoothie and a cup of green tea.

Of course, I had to share my smoothie,

because no food will go unnoticed when she is around :)

Oh well.

Few more months… . Just a few more months… .

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ewa samples Autumn shots

Fall shots

I’ve wanted to go out and take some Fall shots since tha Fall started. Every time we went out I would forget my camera or just felt too cold to stop and shoot. Being a cold blood creature makes me very sensitive to the weather and if it’s just a bit too cold and too dark for me I’m depressed and do not want to do much outside. Of course if I’m bundled up everything is more bearable… just like today.

Always feeling cold myself I think that wherever/whenever we go our daughter should be dressed as warm as it’s possible. So, today she looked like we are ready for some serious Winter… . lol



I’d tried to take some “throwing, flying, falling down leaves” kind of pictures with her… but one free hand is not enough for that and that little Blue Snowman didn’t get it and she wasn’t very helpful either. 

Anyway, I’m happy we finally done some Fall shots and I’m hoping for more. I bet my daughter can’t wait for that, too. She’s learned to ignore me when I try to take a picture of her. It takes me while and a lot of calling her to finally be able to take a decent shot. I mean it depends on her mood. Sometimes she starts to pose as soon as she sees me taking out the camera. Sometimes it takes me FOREVER to make her look at me when I’m shooting. She’s such a girl… !

Bike ride, Hell’s Angels funeral and shooting that we missed

My knowledge about motorcycle clubs is what my husband told me about it and… he told me a lot. Do I remember everything… hmm… That’s the question. lol

I read two books about Hell’s Angels. One by Chuck Zito (really enjoyed that one) and one… don’t even remember… it was something about Sonny Barger. Now I remember that there is a book about Hell’s Angels written by Hunter Thompson. Wouldn’t mind to read that.

Anyway what I’m trying to say is that having a chance of going to the funeral of the president of the San Jose chapter of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club was really exciting for me.

He was gunned down a few weeks ago in Reno.

Right after we heard about it on the news my husband informed me that he really would like to go to the funeral. So we went.

being on the motorcycle I realized how I’ve missed riding with my husband :( I wish we had the time to do that more often. Maybe when we are old and free from kid(s) :)

After we got there I was lectured by my husband what to do, what not to do, what to say or how to act if something happens, and so on…, and of course to stay close to him. Just in case.

After I saw a guy with that patch I wasn’t sure if I will be able to say “thank you” for letting me take that picture.

With a fear in my eyes I said it (trying really hard to hide my accent) just to hear them joking about having a camera like mine or being able to use it. I slowly backed away in a jungle of motorcycles pretending I’m busy with taking pictures :) Actually I wasn’t pretending… but still… didn’t want to stick around.

There were a thousands and thousands of people and motorcycles. Among all those different clubs I saw Hell’s Angels clubs from Washington, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, Sacramento, Oakland. I bet there were more but I didn’t notice them.

Among those there were a few people trying to get attention by being simply dumb. That girl looked really ridiculous trying to climb up there without exposing her panties and at the same time pretending like she is very shy about that. It didn’t matter that her two girlfriends were wearing jeans and actually it would be much better for them to climb up there and take a few shots.

From behind where I was standing I heard different than “dump” description… it sounded more like “slutty”?, but that didn’t stop those who said that to stare at her waiting for an accident to happen, some kind of strong wind blow or her lifting her leg a little bit higher. Even my husband where peeking like he hasn’t seen an underwear before.

My husband always asks me why I am so mean talking about those kind of situation and the people taking part in them. Because I am jealous of people with brain damage or lacking brain in general, and of the courage of showing it off every place I go. Simple as that.

Anyway, right before we left my husband pointed at the building across the street… :

There were police everywhere, but those up there were especially funny. I’m not actually sure but is he really doing what I think he is? (picking his nose on post.lol)

Despite all that surveillance after we left there was another shooting and one guy was killed. Close friend of Jethro Pettigrew (it was his funeral) was gunned down by another Hell’s Angels member. Police didn’t get to him.

Oh well. Only in America :)

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Photobucketparenting BY dummiesand then, she {snapped}Better in BulkNapTime MomTogBlack and White Wednesday

Have a great day, everybody!

Hugs from a safe corner of my safe house (so far).