Thursday, March 31, 2011

A to Z of Amy!

I saw this over on Teacher Girl's blog and just knew I had to play along!

A. Age: 25.

B. Bed size: Full. I wanted a queen, but it was more money. Duh.

C. Chore you dislike: Washing dishes. And folding laundry.

D. Dogs: My family inherited a cranky old poodle from an aunt when she passed, and I hated that little dimwit with a passion. He growled at everyone, peed in front of my bedroom door, and bit my little brother. Left a bad taste in my mouth for dogs. Jon's family has a big chocolate lab who is incredibly friendly, so I am constantly trying to convince myself that not all dogs are like that stupid poodle.

E. Essential start to your day: Sunlight! First thing I do every morning (after I go to the bathoom, of course) is to open the shades in the living room.

F. Favorite color: purple

G. Gold or silver: No real preference. My engagement ring is white gold.

H. Height: 5 feet 2 inches

I. Instruments you play(ed): None, sadly. My mom always promised me that she would teach me how to play the piano because we have an upright that has been in my family for years, but she can't afford to bring someone in to tune it.

J. Job title: Admissions Counselor

K. Kids: I can't wait to have some of my own! I've known I wanted to be a mother since I was 15, but that's a story for another day.

L. Live: In New York, but not the city and not upstate. In the middle. The beautiful Hudson Valley. I would love to live in Florida, but I can't leave my family.

M. Mom’s name: I absolutely love my mom's name. She was named after her grandma, and she also has 2 middle names. It's beautiful when you say the whole thing out loud, but I don't want to put it online.

N. Nicknames: With a short name like Amy, my nicknames are all longer than my real name. Ames, Amer, Amina. At work, they call me Gypsy.

O. Overnight hospital stays: None for me, but I've stayed overnight with my little brother during some of his stays, and he's had plenty.

P. Pet peeves: 2-faced people. Don't be nice to my face and then talk shit behind my back. If you don't like me, don't talk to me! Also, rude drivers who are always rushing to get places and honking their horns. Just have patience!

Q. Quote from a movie: I have 2, and they are both originally from a book, and they are both said by the greatest wizard ever.

"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."

"There comes a time when you must choose between what is easy and what is right."

R. Righty or lefty: Righty.

S. Siblings: One older brother and one younger brother. Always wanted a sister.

T. Time you wake up: Varies everyday, depending what time I have to be into the office. I try to sleep in (til 8ish) on weekends, but my body usually wakes me anyway, since it is so used to waking up earlier.

U. Underwear: aerie's boybriefs. Most comfortable!

V. Vegetables you don’t like: cauliflower and carrots.

W. What makes you run late:
When the alarm goes off and I go to turn it off, but my bed is just so warm and snuggly that I hit the snooze. Then I am 5 minutes behind schedule and my body is dragging, refusing to wake up, and then I can't find the shirt I want to wear to work, even though I thought I left out the night before, and then I try to put my contacts in but my eyes refuse to open wide enough... It's a domino effect.

X. X-rays you’ve had: That I remember? My right ring finger. It's actually a funny story, remind me to tell you someday!

Y. Yummy food you make: Jon loves my pizza casserole in the crockpot. I've only been cooking for the 2 of us for a few months now, so I am still trying to perfect my style on our favorite dishes.

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Ohmigosh, all of them! Well, except the birds. They are kinda boring. I really like monkeys, bears, penguins, and giraffes.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shutter Love - Hands

Ah, one of my favorite things to photograph! Especially my little brother's hands.

What do you think of this diptych with one shot in focus and one shot out of focus?


A Quick Reminder

Don't forget to head over to Ashley's blog today to grab my flower photo and do an edit! The winner that I pick will be able to pick one item from the After Nine to Five etsy shop. I absolutely adore her Love Birds necklace, and the camera necklaces are cute, as well!

CLICK HERE to go to Ashley's blog and get the photo for this week's editing challenge.

Monday, March 28, 2011

i heart faces Challenge - Slices of Life... and GTKY!

1. what inspires you? lots of things... the sun, newly bloomed flowers, brand new crayons, an empty SD card, a new action or texture, a favorite song. and people, too. people like Kelle Hampton and Beth Fletcher and Keli Hoskins. people like my younger brother and his friends.

2. what was the last thing you bought yourself? I had to get gas 2 days ago, does that count? Oh wait, I have a DD gift card, so I treated myself to store-bought coffee last Friday.

3. would you rather watch a movie in a theater or from the comfort of your own home? the comfort of my own home. theaters are only fun for 3D movies. I hate the smell of all the different snacks, and the kids running around, and people talking on their cell phones, and sticky floors. one hot mess.

4. household chore you don't mind doing? Believe it or not, laundry! I love the smell of clean clothing, and how everything is warm straight out of the dryer. I actually get sad when Jon does the laundry for me. I also don't mind cleaning toilets, even though most people hate it. I'm weird.

5. coffee or tea? Ah, depends on my mood. Usually tea in the early morning or late night. I never drink coffee later than 6 pm.

6. what could you eat every day and not get sick of?? sushi and pasta. I'm seriously craving sushi right now because I haven't had it in a few months.

7. what's the last book you read? Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. 2 months ago. I had planned to reread the series, but then I decided to take a random college course for professional development.

8. do you think you look you "look" your age? Nope. I have always looked younger than my age. I remember a teacher thought I was in 2nd grade when I was in 4th. Then, another kid (who was also my age) thought I was in 4th when I was in 6th. In high school, everyone thought I was about 12. In college, everyone thought I was in high school. I was even told to show my hall pass when I picked up my younger brother from his JUNIOR HIGH (6, 7, 8th grades). Now that I have graduated college (4 years ago), and am visiting high schools for my job, most people think I am still a college student. Some people even think I am a high school student when I walk through the hallways. I used to hate it, now I don't mind it. I hope I love it in 10 years!

And this is what you really came here for: a photo for the iheartfaces challenge this week, which is Slices of Life.

This is what you'll find Matt doing on a random sunny afternoon. Sitting at his desk, listening to music. That's Life for this kid.

Click on the button to see more entries!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

SOOC Saturday & Texture Twist

My SOOC shot for today is one that I took in Florida back in January. It was shot with a Nikon D90 (my dream camera for the past year and a half) on AP. I've also emailed this photo to Ashley for her new editing challenge, Edit Me. I hope she'll pick it, and if she does, I'll let you know! Ashley picked my photo for next week's challenge! Head over to her blog -Ashley plus 3- on Monday to snag the photo and do an edit. (Don't use the photo below because it's been resized for web, so the resolution is much lower.) And if you want your photo featured on Ashley's blog, head over there to get her email address!

SOOC Saturday

For my Texture Twist today, I used the newest freebie texture from Kim Klassen. It's called chamomile, and she even gave us a recipe for using it! I did tweak the recipe a little bit when editing my photo (shot with a Nikon D80 on manual), but I really love how it came out. I am also entering this photo into Laura's Macro Friday.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Edit Me - 3.25.11


My clean edit:
straighten, crop, levels, add warmth (brush off face), slight sharpen, manual eye sharpening

My color edit:
AMP* Mud Pies, tweaked to taste

My b&w + texture edit:

Disclaimer: This is not my photo. I did not take it.
Copyright belongs to the original photographer.

*Please note: I just went to grab the link for Amy McMaster's page so you can all partake in the glorious-ness of her free actions, and found out that her shop is now called Olive Juice Shoppe. She has combined all of her free PSE actions into 1 set, and she also has some free LR presets available. Just a little nugget if anyone loves freebies as much as I do.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Then and Now

Christy over at The colour 4 posted a "Looking Back" thing on her blog today, and I wanted to give it a try! She posted some specific points from the past, like 10 years ago and 5 years ago. We're supposed to think about what we were doing back then, and reflect on how much things have changed.

Sounds fun! And I even found some photos to supplement.

10 years ago: March 24, 2001

I was finishing up my sophomore year in high school. I was still discovering myself and who I was inside, and was quite uncomfortable in my own skin. I didn't have a boyfriend, although I had quite a few male friends, one of whom was Jon. I danced at the same studio where I had been attending classes since I was 3, and I was cheering on my high school's JV team, as well as an all-star team in the area.

Would you believe, my skin really WAS this clear!
I didn't do any retouching.

5 years ago: March 24, 2006
I was finishing up my 3rd year of college. I was dating a guy who I loved, but we didn't work well together. We knew it almost from the very start, yet we continued to date for almost 3 years, fighting each other and the truth until the bitter end. (This took an emotional toll on me and always left me feeling very empty and alone. Separating from him was like a breath of fresh air.) After living on campus for 2 years, I had moved back home and was cheering for a college-level team.

1 year ago: March 24, 2010
I was finishing up my Master's degree. I was dating Jon and we were so happy, even though I was anxiously awaiting his proposal. I knew it was coming, I just didn't know when. I was living on campus again, but I was miserable, and couldn't wait to move home. I was working part-time in the same job where I am now working full-time.

Yesterday: March 23, 2011
I worked most of the day, and was supposed to have class, but it was canceled because of snow. I was able to go home and have dinner with Jon, sloppy joe's over rice instead of buns and snap peas for a veggie.

Today: March 24, 2011
I am working all day. When I leave here, Jon and I have an appointment, and we'll be having dinner together again (which is a rarity). We're having mushroom barley stew in the crockpot. We are less than 5 months away from our wedding!

Tomorrow: March 25, 2011

I'll be working all day, as usual. When I come home, Jon will be out with his friends, so I plan to spend the night at home, writing a paper. Dinner will be pizza, because there is a place right by us that has great prices, tastes delicious, and delivers for free!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Getting to Know YOU... is BACK!!!

Remember the Getting to Know YOU meme? It was run by Keely over at MannLand5. She ended it a few months ago, and I was very sad.

But now she has decided to start it up again! YAY!

And with a new button, too.

Here are this week's questions:

1. if you won the title of miss america, what would your platform be? Public education. Our nation's teachers are underpaid and underappreciated. They should not have to take the blame for students who come from illiterate homes, and thus do not understand the importance of education.

2. outdoorsy or indoorsy? outdoorsy, even though I love my home comforts. I told a friend recently that if there were no bugs outside, I would live outside.

3. pajama's out in public..classy or tres tacky? I have to admit, I wore pj's to high school on dress-down days (aka no uniform days). Once I started college, however, I quickly realized how unprofessional and immature it looks to wear pj's out in public. The only exception is going to a pharmacy if you're sick and need medicine.

4. what's your favorite room in your house? When I lived at my parents' house, it was my bedroom. In my little condo with Jon, I honestly like each and every room!

5. nook, kindle, or book? Book. There is nothing that can replace the solid feeling of a book in my hands, the pages in my fingers, and the sound of the paper whispering its story to me.

6. would you rather wear the same outfit for a week or not brush your teeth for a week? Same outfit! I hate the feeling of gummy teeth.

7. what's your favorite blog at the moment? MannLand5, for bringing back GTKY!

8. lately i've been daydreaming about.........? Babies... Well, I've been daydreaming about babies since I was 15. Something else... My wedding!

And I'll end with a photo for Allie's Happy Monday challenge. This week's theme is Spring. My mom bought these pretty spring flowers to dress up her dining room.

Taken with my iPhone and edited with instagram.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Color Splash Sunday - Rainbow Cookie

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.

This is 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 3 favorites from last week 2 weeks ago:
(These photos are all copyright of their original photographers.)

And the winner is...

Rebecca over at From Mommy to Calm Insanity! This was SUCH a hard decision. I was really torn between 2, and then I asked Jon's opinion. He picked Rebecca's photo, but I was still torn. In the end, it won because of the bright colors. (CLICK HERE to see it full size.)

Congrats, Rebecca!
Feel free to snag this button
and display it on your blog!

I wanted to take a second to thank the 3 of you who went ahead and posted your selective coloring photos last week, even though I wasn't able to get the link-up posted. Thank you!

Also, I have to work next weekend, so I am going to cancel CSS for March 27th. I don't like to cancel CSS because of work, especially because I usually work 2 or 3 weekends a month. But we are having an event on campus that goes all day long, and we have been preparing for this event since early January. I'll be pretty preoccupied this week as we are finalizing details, and one less distraction will help me stay focused on my job. You all understand, right?

And finally, here is my photo for this week:

Your turn to link up!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

SOOC Saturday & Texture Twist

Here is my SOOC shot for Marvelous Mommy's link-up:

SOOC Saturday

And here is the edited version for Texture Twist:

I used a couple different textures from Kim Klassen to edit this photo. I believe (but am not certain) that I used golden and 2 layers of sweet treat, all with different blending modes and opacity. I am also entering this into Tara's LEM Challenge because this week's theme is Anything.



I am going to be featuring a different app
each week when I post my iPhone photos.

This week I am going to tell you about Camera Fun Free,
which is a shooting and editing app.

When you open the app, you can take a photo with the in-app camera, or choose a photo from your camera roll. If you use the in-app camera, you also get to preview your photo with the selected effect. Since I have the free version of this app, I only have 3 photo effects - canvas, sepia, and sketch. The sepia is a little bit too orange-y for my taste, and the canvas texture is so overdone that doesn't work with many photos (landscape and sky shots look okay). However, the sketch effect is very cool for abstract, high-contrast or infrared-type photos.

After you select a photo effect, you can then send to twitter or fb. One drawback - the new photo with the effect is not automatically saved. You have to remember to tap the "Save" button or you will lose the photo.

Here is a photo SOOP and with the 3 different effects applied:

And here are some more photos that I've used the sketch effect on:

Okay, that's all for today! I've got plenty of wedding planning to keep me busy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Edit Me - 3.18.11

The past couple of weeks, i heart faces has been running their Fix It Friday challenge in their online community. I'm not a part of this community, which is why I haven't posted a FIF edit in a couple of weeks. I know, it's a free community, there's no reason NOT to join. I just have so many sites that I already have to log in to access, and I really don't feel like having yet another username and password.

But I am addicted to photo editing! Sadly, I don't have any subjects to photograph, so I have no people photos to edit. I can only edit so many flower or snow or Scrabble tile photos before I just want to throw up from the repetitiveness of it.

Thank goodness that I found a new blog: Ashley... plus three! She just started a new photo editing challenge called Edit Me. Regular people like you and me can submit photos, not just the professionals.

Here is this week's SOOC shot:

Here is my clean edit:
Levels, manual eye sharpening, crop, and Boost action from Pioneer Woman (converted by Rita from CoffeeShop)

Here is my first color edit:
A spicy, autumn-y feel.

My second color edit:
A vintage-y feel.

My b&w edit:

Disclaimer: This is not my photo. I did not take it.
Copyright belongs to the original photographer.

I am hoping to get my iPhoneography post up tonight, since I missed it last week. Be on the lookout for that! And Color Splash Sunday is planned to take place as usual tomorrow morning. Additionally, I do still owe my readers a GINORMOUS wedding update, which I hope to post asap, especially because I've been doing a little bit here and there on a daily basis. Stay tuned, bloggy friends!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy Monday - Texture

Here is my texture photo for Allie's challenge:

I looooove photographing dried flowers! And I love textures, especially from Shadowhouse Creations. I just can't remember exactly which textures(s) I used on this photo.

In other news, my Street photo from last week (HERE) was picked by Destiny as a favorite for her Twisted Fate Photography Challenge!

Monday, March 14, 2011

i heart faces Challenge - Sun Flare

My very pregnant* soon-to-be co-SIL (aka my fiance's brother's wife), feeding the seals at Sea World.

*Actually, she's not pregnant anymore! Her 4th baby was born today, March 14th! More details will be posted soon on her blog.

And stay tuned here for a GINORMOUS wedding update!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Color Splash Sunday - March 13

My laptop battery is dead and I left the charger at work. I'm typing this on my iPhone, so I don't have access to my files and photos. I'll post last week's winner next Sunday. If you have a selective coloring photo for today, please leave a comment with a link so I can go check it out once I get my laptop charged. Sorry about this!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Twisted Fate Photo Challenge - Street

The theme for the Twisted Fate Photography Challenge this week is Street. This is the photo I had originally planned to use - a photo of my best friend and my mom walking down the street of the town where I live.

Here is the before and after comparison for Pixel Perfect:

This is a really basic edit: crop, levels, black and white gradient map, and a free texture from Isabelle Lafrance. Done!

After editing, I decided that it didn't really fit the theme. So I went back into my archives, found another one, did some more editing, and ended up with this:

And I love it! So THIS is my entry for Destiny's challenge. I used the Heartland PSE action from Pioneer Woman (converted by Rita from CoffeeShop) and lowered it to taste, plus the XSGrunge texture from Shadowhouse Creations.

Do you agree with my choice of photo for this challenge?