Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Black and White Wednesday - White Rose

Usually, for B&WW, I show off my photos from my travels around Connecticut. (I am working on a personal project of visiting and photographing every single state park in the Constitution State.) However, this past fall, as I mentioned a while back, my territory was extended around New England. I didn't spend as much time in CT as I have in the past, so I didn't get to visit many parks. I've run out of park photos to show you! Thus, I am now resorting to showing off my other b&w photos.

Here's one I shot and processed back in the spring, but never posted.

the long road

I haven't answered the questions for Whatcha Say Wednesday in a few weeks, so I figured I'd join in this week.

1. What is a family tradition you’ll pass on to your significant other/kids?
There are so many depending on the time of the year or the holiday at hand. One tradition that I recently maintained, even though I don't live at my parents' house anymore, happens the day after Thanksgiving. My family is not too keen on shopping, so we don't bother with Black Friday sales. Instead, we spend the day warming up leftovers, watching holiday movies, and putting up Christmas decorations, namely, the tree. This year, Jon and I spent the morning putting up the tree in our condo. Then, when he went to work, I went to my parents' house and helped them start decorating.

2. How early do you start holiday shopping? It varies. I don't have a set date that I start by, as long as by Thanksgiving, I have an idea of what I am looking for. This year, I started mid-October, just because I found some items at a Hallmark store that had a 50% off sale going on.

3. Pick a song of the day! I cannot even explain how much I LOVE this song.

Where in the nursery rhyme does it say humpty dumpty is an egg?

I never realized... It doesn't actually say! This question got me thinking, so I looked it up. Apparently, back in the 1800's, it was meant as a riddle. Interesting!

Monday, November 29, 2010

i heart faces Challenge - Scenic B&W

I am also entering this photo into the Happy Monday Photo Challenge, which is now being hosted by Allie. The theme this week is ANYTHING! It makes me happy to take photos of my friends, especially my photo junkie friends.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Color Splash Sunday - Purple Present


Welcome to Color Splash Sunday!

Color splash photos are those that have been converted to black and white, but one object has been left colored. Sometimes, it's easy to just isolate your colored object and you're done. Other times, more editing is required, such as adjusting color levels/light/shadow/etc.

I recently switched to an open themed link-up, so there won't be any specific themes for your photos. Any photo is fine, as long it has selective color and you haven't posted it before. You can read more about CSS guidelines by clicking here.

My photo this week is a present that I got for my birthday a few weeks ago.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fix My Photo Friday 11.26.10

Trendy Treehouse has started a new Friday link-up called Fix My Photo Friday. This is a good alternative to Fix-It Friday run by i heart faces because it gives us a chance to edit photos that aren't taken by a professional.

Here is this week's SOOC photo:

And here is my edit in pse8:

The Trendy Treehouse

Macro Friday #27

This is the first of 3 black and white macro photos that I forgot I edited. They all still have that cloud watermark I had added in photoscape before I got pse back. Please look past the cloud to the little flowerbud underneath.

Little life updates:
-Jon and I spent Thanksgiving at my parents' house yesterday. My mom is such an amazing cook. So amazing that I may never cook my own Thanksgiving dinner.

-I am decorating the condo for Christmas today! Jon is a firm believer that the 2 holidays of Christmas and Thanksgiving must be separate, which mean no Christmas decorations, music or movies until Black Friday. Which means that today is ALL about the decorating!

-I am still getting used to being home, not being at hotels, and I start back in the office full-time on Monday. I hope I can get back to a regular blogging schedule soon.

-Jon and I have a very busy month planned for January: A week in Orlando with his family, then a week in Tennessee, including more time with his family and some time with my friends. I am uber-excited about this trip! More details to follow...

On a slightly related note, since I will be gone for 2 weeks in January, I am looking for some bloggers to do 1 of 2 things: either a guest post, or temporarily host Color Splash Sunday for me. If you are slightly interested, please leave me a comment with your email address, or you can email me at yma 367 at hotmail.com.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Color Splash Sunday - Something Masculine


Color splash photos are those that have been converted to black and white, but one object has been left colored. Sometimes, it's easy to just isolate your colored object and you're done. Other times, more editing is required, such as adjusting color levels/light/shadow/etc.

This is our LAST week of CSS with an actual theme - Something Masculine. Starting next week, the permanent theme will be open - YOUR CHOICE.

This is a photo I took last November when we went to visit family at Thanksgiving. My little cousins - 2 very rambunctious boys - are always running and yelling and leaving little toys scattered behind them. To a camera junkie like me, this always means plenty of photo ops.

Batman to the rescue!

PhotobucketYOUR CHOICE
(new permanent theme)

Before you link up, please read this page very carefully, and look at my examples of color splash photos to see if your photo uses selective coloring.

*Please let me apologize for getting this up so late. I had a girls' night out last night, complete a road trip, a concert, and a hotel room. So I was feeling less 100% this morning, and then we still had to drive home because I had to drive to Boston for work.

I am leaving this week's Linky Tool open until 12 pm EST on Thursday to account for it being put up so late.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Live Every Moment - Thankful

This is my first time linking up with Tara's photo challenge, Live Every Moment.

This week's theme is Thanksgiving, or something you are thankful for.

I am thankful for so many, many things. I can afford to buy food, I have a roof over my head, I have warm clothes. My friends and family are all safe, happy, and healthy. I am getting married next year to an amazing man.

But the thing person I am most thankful for?

My little brother.

If you are a regular reader, you know how much I love this guy. He is the core of my family; we all revolve around him.

I am thankful that my mom, when Matt was born, dismissed the doctor who said my baby brother would die and found one who was more optimistic.

I am thankful to all of the skilled therapists and doctors who have worked with Matt and cared for him for the past 20 years. They have helped him to grow and blossom in ways that we didn't know how. And I am thankful that they have all taught us along the way so that we, too, could work with him and use the techniques that they used to help him develop.

I am so thankful that the school officials have let him stay in high school this long. He is in his last year now, getting ready to graduate in June. He won't actually have a high school diploma (no thanks to the politicians behind NCLB), but I am still thankful that he has had these past 6 years with his friends and his wonderful TA and his incredible teacher.

And more important than anything else, I am so thankful that God has let my little brother stay here on Earth with us. I am always striving to appreciate every little moment with him, every hug and every conversation. No words can describe it; all I can do is drop to my knees with tears in my eyes and just think...

"Thank you."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hugs from Henry

For all my photographer friends:

Faith from Simplicity is spearheading this project called
Hugs From Henry - Love Lucas.

This project is being organized to raise money for a little boy named Lucas who has Down's. He needs physical therapy in order to learn how to walk, and to develop his motor skills.

I know all about family struggles with disabled children, and I know how costly therapy can be. My own younger brother received speech, oral motor, physical, occupational, and vision therapy as a child, and he is still entitled to these services.

Those services have pretty hefty price tags, and not everything is covered by insurance (even though it should be, but let's not go there).

So, Faith is forming a collaboration of photographers to volunteer to take photos of Lucas' sock monkey, Henry, as he travels around the world. Once all of the photos have been gathered, Faith will create a book of these photos, and all proceeds from book sales will then go to Lucas' family to help defray the cost of his physical therapy.

This whole story is very close to my heart, as are all those that involve children with special needs. I strongly encourage all of my photographer friends to go look at Faith's blog post about this project, and consider joining in.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

RAW(e) - one(5)

Don't fall off your chair now, but here is an entry for Sami's challenge, RAW(e). She took a few weeks off (she had a baby, totally acceptable), and then I took a few weeks off (laziness is not acceptable). But we are both back and ready for some RAW(e) photos! (And yea, she's been back doing this challenge for longer than I have... I just finally started linking up again.)

So, this week's theme is one(5). First folder, 5th photo. This photo is from my first November folder in my 2010 folder. All I did was watermark and resize for web.


RAW(e) is run by Sami.
The only photos allowed are those that are

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Simplicity and Shutter Love

The theme this week for Faith's Simplicity Photography Challenge is Daydream. I used an action from AMP called Daydream, before adding a texture from Shadowhouse Creations.

The theme for Shutter Love is Birthdays, so here's a cupcake to celebrate! YUM!


i heart faces Challenge - Silhouette

Taken with my new (to me) iPhone.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Fun stuff!

A few weeks ago, I posted a photo of my best friend Caitlin and entered it into a photography contest hosted by Allie and Amy. the contest was The Window to The Soul and the theme was Eyes....

I got 2nd place!!

I am going to be guest posting on Allie's blog (http://alliereid.blogspot.com/) soon, so stay tuned!

Until then, check this out:

I published a new page on this blog called 30 by 30. If you look at the purple bar under my wedding countdown, this new page is on the far right.

This is my list of 30 things that I want to accomplish by age 30. To think that I am only 5 short years away being 30 years old kinda makes me queasy. I mean, didn't I just turn 21 yesterday? And it was only last week that I had a Sweet 16 party.

I know I'm not exactly rushing through life, but I'm not just sitting around, wasting my life either. I'm living free and enjoying my life (although I AM a bit anxious to start my own family). This is my way of enjoying it even more.

The 30 things on my list are there because I want the experience. I crave the rush of adventure, the magical sensation of seeing or feeling something I've never felt before. The natural high that comes from that sort of experience is what truly makes me feel alive.

So, what do you think of the things on my list?
Are any of them experiences that you, too, want to undertake?
Have you already lived through any of these adventures?
Tell me, please!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Color Splash Sunday - Something Feminine


Color splash photos are those that have been converted to black and white, but one object has been left colored. Sometimes, it's easy to just isolate your colored object and you're done. Other times, more editing is required, such as adjusting color levels/light/shadow/etc.

This week's theme is SOMETHING FEMININE. Next week will be SOMETHING MASCULINE, and then I will not be posting themes anymore. The permanent theme will be open - YOUR CHOICE.


Before you link up, please read this page very carefully, and look at my examples of color splash photos to see if your photo uses selective coloring.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Meet my bridesmaids!

From left to right:
Caitlin, she basically rocks.
T, my best friend from high school (even though we went to different high schools), who is my maid of honor.
K, who has been friends with me forever... We expect her to be engaged any day now.
L, who has also been friends with me forever.

S, a cousin, another bridesmaid.
A, another cousin, my junior bridesmaid.

Jon and I have decided not to have a flower girl because his nieces are too young (in my opinion) and all of my cousins are too old. We are going to have two ring bearers - his nephew/godson, Jack, and my little cousin, Jake. We are also going to have Jake's brother, Josh, bring up flowers for the Blessed Mother.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quarter Century Club

Today is the 25th anniversary of MY BIRTH! I am now officially a part of the Quarter Century Club (even though I had my quarter-life crisis last year).

When I was younger, I pictured myself at 25 to be married, have a kid or 2, and be teaching. Other than that, I didn't really have set goals for my life or my future. So now I am 9 months away from getting married, getting anxious to start my own family, and not too anxious to get a teaching job. I am truly enjoying my college admissions job, even though I never ever expected it.

My goals for the next few years are fairly simple: stay madly in love*, start my own family, and stay healthy.

My goals for the next few months: finish planning my wedding!

My goals for the next few weeks: finish my Christmas shopping, save up some extra money for January, and finish decorating the condo....

Yes, Jon and I moved in together! When his grandma sadly passed back in June, it was decided that Jon would move in to her condo. Naturally, he asked me to come with him. We didn't actually move in until October, and we have been slowly rearranging and putting everything away for the past 6 weeks. I'll share photos as soon as everything is done. And trust me, I will share LOTS of photos because some of our windows face east and others face north, so we get lots of bright sunshine in the morning and afternoon. If only Jon would be more willing to model for me...

Anyway, remember the keys that I photographed a few weeks ago? They are my condo keys! Here they are again, with a clue to something else in my life:

Here's the color version:

It's going to be EPIC.

the long road

*Quote from Linger by Maggie Stiefvater.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Color Splash Sunday - Kelly Green


Color splash photos are those that have been converted to black and white, but one object has been left colored. Sometimes, it's easy to just isolate your colored object and you're done. Other times, more editing is required, such as adjusting color levels/light/shadow/etc.

This week's theme is YOUR CHOICE. Starting the week of November 28, I will not be posting specific themes. This means that the theme is now permanently going to be YOUR CHOICE. I chose to switch to open themes because the weeks that were YOUR CHOICE were always the weeks with the most entries. This gives you free rein over photos and creativity. If you have any questions or concerns with this switch, please ask them in a comment.

This is my selective color photo that I used for the October 2010 photo hunt. It's from a Notre Dame football game. Jon's brother and SIL went there for college, so all of the Gallagher family members are die-hard fans (which means I have to try to be interested in football). I'm not going to lie, the whole experience is fun, with tailgating and wearing kelly green. But the sport itself is not my favorite. I'd rather watch basketball.

And yea, my last name is going to be Gallagher in a few months. ;)


Before you link up, please read this page very carefully, and look at my examples of color splash photos to see if your photo uses selective coloring.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Things I Love on Thursday - 11.4.10

I always want to share things with my fellow bloggers, so I try to mix them in with my regular posts. But I get so disorganized, and I can never remember what I have (or haven't) posted. So I am going to do what some other bloggers do and post it once a week. It'll be
Things I Love on Thursday.

First up is music. I am SO loving Bruno Mars' new song, Grenade. His voice is just so sweet. This video is simply a single image of the cover art for his new album, so you can press play and listen while you read the rest of my post.

I am really loving the fact that my wedding is just over 9 and a half months away! I am super excited for the ceremony itself, not to mention the opportunities that will present themselves after it's over. It's going to drastically change my life (not for better or worse), and hope for the future is so tangible, I am swimming in it. Drowning myself in dreams that finally seem within reach.

I love my bridesmaids' dresses! Well, it's one dress. My original plan had been to pick one style dress in several pastel shades. But with an August wedding, pastels look so off-season. So I picked one color, and I had wanted to let my girls each pick a different style dress in that shade. That, however, is extremely difficult and expensive. And I also switched my color. So, the shop owner generously ordered a sample dress in my new shade for my girls to try on. All but one of them has tried it on now, and they all look gorgeous! Blondes, brunettes, tall, short, freckly, tan, and porcelain - I have a colorful group, but each girl looks beautiful.

Last but not least, I love that I finally ACTUALLY have a photo for YouCapture! I haven't linked up to Beth's meme in ages, but I have been taking lots of photos lately, and I saw this week's theme just in time. There are 2 themes: Halloween and silence. My Halloween photos are nothing special, so I am just going to post a silent photo:

My silent hotel room last night.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Black and White Wednesday - Hilltop View

the long road

Black and White Wednesday is run by Lisa over at
The Long Road to China.

This hilltop view can be found at Platt Hill State Park in Winchester, CT. This park is all about nature: hiking, bird-watching, and scenic vistas. There was virtually no parking and the entrance to the park was not well-maintained at all. I'm thinking that the reason this hilltop was turned into a park was to prevent contractors from developing the land and turning it into either a housing complex or a strip mall (because we really need MORE of those).