Wednesday, January 30, 2013

february photo a day challenge

can you believe january is about done?! hopefully you enjoyed playing along with chantelle's photo a day challenge (or at least looking at my pics on either facebook or instagram). february is a short month so it's perfect for easing into the challenge if you've been debating joining.  when i first started doing these, i found it most challenging to remember what the day's prompt was.  since i use my phone to take all of the pics (through instagram) i just saved the photo below as my screensaver.  you can either make it the lock screen or your wallpaper.  sometimes i take more than one pic a day and decide that night which one i want to use.  other times the perfect photo just comes to me.  and yes, there are days where i'm either too busy, i forget, or i'm just uninspired.  it's not a contest, just a challenge.  so have fun with it!  

February Photo A Day Challenge - Are you ready for some photo-taking fun?
play along! find me on instagram @alohaneener

Friday, January 25, 2013

fashion friday - raindrops keep falling on my head

barley and birch contest

UPDATE: we won!  many thanks to our family, friends, and readers that voted for saraya.  i'll post a new pic of her modeling her prize shirt when we get it. :)

we are big fans of barley and birch around these parts.  they have been a staple in saraya's wardrobe for the longest time.  their clothes are cute, comfy, made in the US and 100% certified organic cotton with water-based inks.  they're also committed to environmental and social causes, donating 30% of their profits to charities and carbon-reducing initiatives.  what's not to love?

right now, they are having their first competition on their facebook page to find the face of barley and birch for the month of february.  i'm biased of course but i think saraya would be an awesome brand representative!  please consider voting for saraya on the b&b facebook page here.

voting is from january 25th through january 31st.  feel free to spread the word and get saraya's photo as many 'likes' as possible!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

book/movie review: Life of Pi

Life of Pi

Life of Pi is the incredible story of a 16-yr old boy that becomes stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger.  That is a tagline meant to pique your curiosity and maybe even stoke your incredulity.   The story is much more than that tagline offers and if you're willing to look past the ridiculous notion of a boy and a tiger in a lifeboat you'll see a wonderful story told in a wonderful way.  I'll be the first to admit that I was initially turned off when I saw the book in the bookstore.  I'm a fan of fiction but it seemed beyond silly and I didn't even read the full blurb or any reviews.   A little later on, the title showed up on a list of recommended reads based on previous books I enjoyed.  I decided to read up on it a bit more and was more intrigued this time around when I read " I have a story that will make you believe in God."  This story was very imaginative and managed to keep me as a reader both entertained and inspired.  

When I saw that they were adapting the book to film, I was wary at first.  The commercial seemed cartoonish with the special effects and I was concerned that they'd leave something important out or twist the story in some way.  I'm so pleased to say that this is a rare film that is better than the book.  It did more than stay true to the story.  The director Ang Lee took scenes that were effective in my mind's eye and transformed them into visionary masterpieces beyond my imagination.  I felt swept off of my feet during some of the scenes.  And having watched the film both in the regular theater and in 3D, I completely recommend seeing it in 3D.  Unlike action films that I actually find distracting when objects are flying out of the screen at me, the 3D for this film was just one more outstanding vehicle for showing off the visually stunning scenes.

Author Yann Martel said in one interview, “The theme of this novel can be summarized in three lines. Life is a story. You can choose your story. And a story with an imaginative overlay is the better story.”  This novel, and the movie are a better story.  I haven't seen all of the Oscar nominees for this year's Best Picture but I can say that this deserves to be among them.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

staircase gallery

our blank slate
 open staircases are beautiful blank canvases begging for something to cover them.  in the case of the previous homeowners, that something came in the form of LOTS of art and the canvas was every square inch of the house.  fast forward to us finally getting our act together and starting our own gallery.  i say starting because we will obviously have to add/change some family photos when #2 arrives.  but in the meantime, what we've started helps make this place feel so much warmer...

remember this?


Monday, January 21, 2013

sprinkle vs shower and a little surprise

the first time you have a baby, a shower is a wonderful way for family and friends to help you with all of the baby things you need (because Lord knows there's so MUCH you need).  unless your kids are born many years apart, i think most of the big items are taken care of.  family and friends still want to show love and support because it's still a celebration and that's where sprinkles come in.

a sprinkle is like a mini shower.  more than anything we want to celebrate the impending arrival of our new one with people we care about.  and to add a little twist, we're going to also make it a gender reveal.  this week is our ultrasound where we may be able to find out the sex.  i am just too impatient to wait until the birth but i like the idea of a little surprise so we're going to ask not to be told the gender right away (assuming he or she even cooperates) and to have the sex written down and put into a sealed envelope.

we'll deliver the envelope to a baker that will make a cake that's neutral on the outside and either pink or blue on the inside. when everyone shows up they'll pick a favor that's either boy or girl, depending on what they think the baby is and after we cut the cake, we'll see who guessed right!  i think that amount of suspense is just enough for me.

so stay tuned to see/hear how it all went.  has anyone else done one of these or been to sprinkle or gender reveal party?  let me know what you liked or didn't like about it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

DIY chandelier makeover

the original brass monstrosity

when we moved into the house, the chandelier that had been hanging in the dining room at the last inspection was nowhere to be found.  we searched everywhere and pretty much decided it must be a sign that we should get something new.  have you ever priced chandeliers?  they are pricey.  and the ones that aren't expensive are usually not very attractive.  i'm not terribly picky but i didn't want any old light fixture thrown  up there just so i could take it down when i found something better.  we'd be installing this thing ourselves and i wanted to limit the amount of times we needed to reach that high.  and by we i mean justin.

enter pinterest.  pinterest has some of the best DIY ideas out there.  when i saw someone had transformed a funky brass fixture into a pretty purple photo prop, i knew just what i wanted to do.  i found a cheap brass chandelier on craigslist, cleaned it up and sanded it down.  i used one can of rustoleum in an oil bronze color.  then we took advantage of having handy guests over and got it put up in no time.  it's perfect!  we love it and it ended up being a really easy DIY project.
purple chandelier
from designsponge

Monday, January 14, 2013

guido daniele - handimals

"One should either be a work of art or wear a work of art." - Oscar Wilde

art is a very subjective thing.  it's difficult to say what is good or beautiful when my definition of those words can vary greatly from yours.  however, i think creativity and talent are easy to recognize and appreciate.  guido daniele is both creative and talented in my eyes.  you may have seen some of his handimal work in AT&T advertisments.  here are some that i find just incredible...


elephant white on gold



python royal
komodo dragon
horse brown on white

zebra on blu