12.30.2009

26 Books Every Photographer Should Own

Quite an interesting list that I came across on the Popular Photography website this morning. I will definitely have to (gradually) add a lot of these to my collection.

26 Books Every Photographer Should Own - Digital Photo Tips and More on PopPhoto.com

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12.28.2009

Holiday Things.


Niko on his birthday last week.

As I am writing this, I am looking outside and there is snow on the ground. We didn't have a White Christmas but it's definitely been a White December. We have enjoyed many evenings (and sometimes entire days) by the fire. The dogs love it. Especially Bella. If she could have her own little dog kennel with a mini fireplace she would have asked Santa for that I'm sure.

We had a really nice, relaxing Christmas with just the two of us this year (plus the dogs of course). Nothing too extravagant. Just some things that we really wanted. Tim got me a Wii Fit Plus and the Balance Board which I totally love (and I have already picked a few favorite exercises -- love the Super Hula hoop!) Can't wait to get one or two more games for that in the upcoming months. I got him the new Dan Brown book The Lost Symbol and, like a typical Dan Brown book, he can't seem to put it down. Then we got some other things like Wii games, clothes, dvds, etc. Just nice and simple. The funny part is, I was able to guess all of my presents before I unwrapped them.  I felt so clever! I'm such a sleuth. ;)

So now we are trying to figure out if we want to do anything for New Year's Eve. It's supposed to snow here quite a bit that day, so it's kind of putting a damper on things. I would like us to go out to dinner or something but not too many places are accepting reservations this late so maybe we'll just stay at home to celebrate.

I have already started thinking about my resolutions for 2010. I need to keep it around three, otherwise I'll lose focus and get too overwhelmed with everything I'm trying to accomplish.

Here's what I'm thinking for my resolutions:
  1. Work out on the Wii Fit three times a week for at least twenty minutes.
  2. Pay down my credit card debt a significant amount (I have a certain dollar amount in mind) and stop using it so much.
  3. This one is still a work in progress but it will have something to do with photography and/or my Etsy shop. It needs to be specific so I can hold myself accountable.
I feel like #3 just needs a little inspiration and then I'll have it all done. My mom got me a beautiful Ansel Adams day planner for Christmas so I think that will really help me to not procrastinate prioritize (I sometimes still do procrastinate but have gotten much better at prioritzing) all of my goals. I'll let you know when I get the third one figured out.

I hope you guys have a great week and please feel free to share your New Years resolutions! You never know who you might inspire. ;)

12.22.2009

Food and Festivities



Last Thursday we had Tim's managers over for a nice little holiday dinner. He put so much work (and love) into this little shindig. I don't think they really understood all the preparation that went into it but if they did, they would know they got the most thoughtful boss holiday party ever.

Here are a few food highlights:
  • handmade truffles*
  • caramel-glazed creme puffs (Tim calls them "croquem"-something... can't remember)*
  • prime rib
  • baked mashed potatoes
  • baked dijon asparagus

 
*Desserts pictured above.

 
We had all sorts of scrumptious food and drinks. The pomegranate margaritas seemed to be the drink of choice for the evening. Best of all, the house stayed so pretty and clean for a whole 24 hours (except for the kitchen).

Tomorrow I'll be posting about Niko's birthday and the recent snow activities.

12.16.2009

Over the (Ohio) River and Through the Woods!


This little package of Christmas goodies (weighing no less than 8lbs and 7oz. ... much like a little baby Jesus I would presume) found its way to the post office today and is officially on its way to Clemmons, NC to see my family! Niko's little nose did the final inspection and everything was OK by him, so off it went.

Now I am off to work at Cincinnati Tan for the evening and then tomorrow we will be getting everything ready for our little holiday dinner party!

Cheers!

12.14.2009

Frustrated...please help!

When we first moved to Cincinnati this summer I looked around at several area gyms and fitness clubs to see which one I wanted to join. Group fitnesses classes are a huge factor in this decision. I love spinning and yoga classes especially. It's a good combination for me to stay in shape. That being said, I ended up joining Urban Active because they were less than five minutes from our house, offered spinning classes just about every day of the week (only about one yoga class a week but that's doable) and Tim already had a membership there and really liked it, so I joined for $40 a month.

Fast forward to November when I learned that they cut ALL classes at our location (and our location only) indefinitely to keep costs down. Now, I would understand maybe if they did this at other locations also, or maybe just cut down on a few of the unpopular classes at our location, but it wasn't that way. (There were several times I attempted to go to spinning class on a Monday night and couldn't get in because the class was already full at least 10 minutes before the class even started!) Frustrated, I fill out a "member concern form" after I learn about the situation with the classes, and wait to hear from someone at Urban Active so we can talk about this.

A week later I talk to a UA representative. I tell her my frustrations, why I joined the gym in the first place, and how I don't want to drive twenty minutes to the other locations to take a class that should be offered at my location, especially if I am driving to take a spinning class and I am not even guaranteed a seat when I get there! She listens and does not waiver in her stance. She tells me my options:  I can have my rate lowered to $20 a month but only stay at our "home" location, without an option to take a class at other UA locations; if I am really dissatisfied I can cancel my membership for a $100 cancellation fee; or wait to see if they bring the classes back closer to summer (with no guarantee of that happening of course). I told her that I didn't really like any of those options and I would have to think about it.

I feel like my whole conversation with her was pointless. I knew all of those options already and she didn't offer to do anything really.  I have been looking at local yoga classes but there aren't very many studios that have flexible schedules plus I would still want to do spinning/cardio somewhere. Then I started thinking about getting a WiiFit for the yoga option but I'm not sure about that whole thing.

 I feel like Urban Active did nothing in the way of customer service and now I just don't even want to go in there to work out. It makes me angry to go over there but I need some cardio in my life. What do you guys think? Are these people crazy? Do you think they should have offered more options to me or am I just being silly?

Please comment with any sort of recommendation or resolution that you think would help. :)  I would greatly appreciate it.

12.10.2009

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I hear free holiday music playing on my iTunes! Make sure you get your's too!

Go here to preview and download your free 21 holiday songs. It's a pretty varied selection of artists so it'll be great for a dinner party or whatever festive event you have coming up soon.

Happy Thursday.

12.09.2009

Just Launched!

Tonight the livvielane photography fan page went live on Facebook. There's a widget here on the blog to the left where you can just click and become a fan. Come check out the page and feel free to leave some comments. You'll see a few new items that haven't been listed in the store yet.

I'll be posting some holiday shopping specials this weekend. Stay tuned!

12.07.2009

12.06.2009

Pictory

I subscribe to a few different photography-related emails each week. One of my favorites is called Photojojo. Sometimes they introduce you to new and nifty camera accessories, other times it calls attention to remarkable photography and a few things in between.

This week's email introduced me to Pictory. This is a website (magazine) that has collected stories from all over the globe that showcases a photographer's captivating picture and then the compelling story to go with it. The stories that these pictures tell are quite interesting. My favorite picture so far is the first one called "Bright Lights, Ancient City." It's a photo that I could see myself taking.

Enjoy reading the different stories. It'll be a good way to start your Sunday afternoon. :)

12.02.2009

Hello, December. Please don't be too cold this year.

My December 1st was a crazy busy but fun day and hopefully the rest of the month will be much of the same. In fact, it probably will be starting with this Friday and the Cincinnati Tan managers' holiday party. Then next Tuesday night getting together with the people from Tim's work and then who knows what after that!

We, the dogs included, have been enjoying many evenings in front of the fire recently. I am not really a cold weather person but I don't mind it too much if you have a warm fire to snuggle in front of.

Please stay tuned. Lots of pictures will be coming up soon!

11.26.2009

Holiday Extravaganza Kick-off


As you can see, we've been pretty busy the past week so I thought you would like to see what we've done! I have definitely been in the Christmas spirit (I guess when you don't work in retail anymore during Christmas you don't become a Scrooge before Thanksgiving).
After Tim got back from his trip Friday we decided to do some holiday-oriented things on Saturday. Pictures one through four are from the Krohn Conservatory Holiday Floral Show. They had some beautiful flowers all throughout the building, an impressive rotating structure with a model train going around the display of downtown Cincinnati, as well as some people selling their homemade wares. I was really impressed with this woman's homemade beeswax products. I ended up buying an awesome honey-vanilla lip balm and a small pillar candle. You can visit her website here: http://www.beehavenhoney.com/.
Pictures five through eleven are from the Germania Society Chriskindlmarkt. It wasn't quite as fun as Oktoberfest but it was still entertaining. There wasn't nearly the selection of food and drinks that I thought there would be, but it was definitely festive and had a few arts and crafts as well. I think my favorites from this activity were the cherry streudel dessert, the cuckoo clocks display and my "Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie" hot chocolate cocktail drink. (Take one cup of hot chocolate, add 1/2 shot of Peppermint Schnapps and 1/4 shot of Baileys. Top with whipped cream. YUM!!)
Pictures twelve through sixteen are from around the house. Some pictures show the process of Tim cooking an early Thanksgiving dinner for his staff at the Olive Garden. Lots of preparation and hardwork went into that dinner but it was oh so delicious! (Let me just tell you how much restraint you have to have when you have enough cookie dough to make 200+ chocolate chip cookies.) The other pictures just show a few of the decorations around the house. I'm very excited that we got to put the Christmas tree up early this year. And my "Joy" painting turned out just how I had hoped! It's a sweet beginning to the holiday season. :)

11.19.2009

Joy: A Holiday Painting


Tell me what you think! I know the picture isn't that great since I took the picture with my cell phone. I was in a hurry to show you guys but I will take a nice picture of the finished product hanging up on the wall in a few days after I put a coat of varnish on it.


Photography Inspiration

One day I stumbled across this blog of a local photographer here in Cincinnati. I was really inspired when I looked through her portfolio and have occasionally gone back to the blog to check up on what's new with her. Today when I read, I was catching up on a few entries when I saw this post and was so excited. Please take a moment to check out the interview and view his website and begin your day inspired. Truly beautiful photographs.

Happy Thursday to you.

11.17.2009

Feelin' Crafty for the holidays?


I've been inspired lately by so many websites and blogs posting DIY Holiday crafts that I thought I would gather them all together in one place in case you guys felt like you wanted to join in with me.

First, there's the art journal that I talked about the other day -- I love it. Sadly, I didn't win Ali Edwards' give-away on her blog so I may be forced to buy it (or make something as similar as possible). Same thing goes for Elise Blaha's holiday mini-book kit. Cute and easy! I'm sure there are lots more out there in the way of scrapbooking but those are my faves.

If you want to try your hand at an entire workshop, check out Kayla Aimee and Wilna's: A DIY Holiday online workshop. They have more than 25 projects you can do! (If you don't want to pay the $20 for the workshop, you could always try this free project they have posted. I'll probably try it sometime this week and let you know how I do.)

Do you feel like 25 projects is a little too much? Try your hand at some of the crafts that Martha Stewart has posted. Some are fairly easy while others might take you a while. Just browse through and you'll see a lot of possibilities there.

Or if your idea of "crafty" is just printing out something, adding some ribbon and then calling it a day, maybe you should visit Nordstrom's Holiday Gift Shop and see what you can do.

My project this week will be a holiday painting. I haven't painted in a while and we have this one wall in the living room that is dying from something to hang there. :)

Enjoy your crafts and please share what you create!

11.16.2009

Real Beauty

For those of you who love Real Simple, they have a new website called Real Beauty. It's full of wonderful tips and quizzes to help you simplify your beauty life and questions. This morning I took one of those quizzes to help find the "right" fragrance for me. It only took about five minutes and I felt that it described me pretty accurately. Feel free to look at my results and then take the quiz yourself and see what you get! :) Have fun and Happy Monday!

Fragrance Finder Quiz Results

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11.14.2009

Twitterpated and holiday things...

Note: I don't like to write on my blog when I'm annoyed but I'm hoping that if I get this out of my system then I'll feel better and be able to move on and this person will stop being annoying.

A couple of days ago I got all these weird DMs (direct messages for those who don't twitter) from a random follower on my account. Well, I clicked on one of the links (dumb me) and then my twitter account got hacked. I figured out the next day what had happened and of course immediately I changed my password (one with numbers AND letters, thank you) and thought that would resolve the issue.

Well, it hasn't.

Whoever this person is that tried to (or I guess I should say did) hack my account is still continuing to do so!! I have tried to log in a few times in the past few days and now all I get is this message: "Locked out! We've temporarily locked your account after too many failed attemts to sign in. Please chillax for a few, then try again."

WHY DON'T THEY STOP!? I am so frustrated right now about this. I don't know if there's anything that I can do but just wait it out. Has anyone else had this happen to them? If you have, please help me figure it out! Thank you!



In other news, I am slowly getting into the holiday spirit. The other day I just did a few things with some decorations around the house to see if Tim would notice (he did) and warm him up to the holidays a little bit earlier this year. Last year, we (read: Tim) didn't put our tree up til about 10 days before Christmas. That's waaaaaay too late I think. I'm aiming for a little bit earlier this year. I am hoping for around Thanksgiving but we'll see what happens. In the meantime, I will mentally rearrange our living room to see where the Christmas tree will fit in our new house.

Also, if you want a little memory-keeping inspiration for the holidays check out this cool pre-made art journal designed for on-the-go scrapbooking during the busy holiday season. :) Just put in your photos, write a little something and you're done! Love it! And Ali Edwards is giving it away on her blog this weekend. Score!

(This is a little sign that I found at Big Lots that I have propped up on the window ledge. So cute! And also, please don't laugh at this picture since I had to take it with my cell phone. :) Thanks! )
Have a great weekend!

11.10.2009

Food, Inc.


Last week Tim and I both had the evening off together so we decided to watch a Movie On Demand. We were going through the list of movies available and weren't too thrilled with the selection we had to work with but then we saw this documentary. It seemed pretty intriguing after we watched the preview. And being that Tim works in the restaurant industry, and I am just interested in food in general, it seemed like a no brainer.

Let me just say, that was the most informative and educational $5.00 we've spent in a while. If you haven't watched this movie you should. Honestly, I feel like every American should watch it. Everyone has the right to know where their food comes from (and they should want to be informed about it) and this film will definitely open your eyes. Although don't watch it right before Thanksgiving because it might ruin it for ya. Maybe just watch it this week or next and then tell me what you think.

11.08.2009

Countryside and Detours and Deliverance, Oh My!

I have decided that (unfortunately) I don't have the time nor the energy right now to write about all of our vacation but I will tell you guys about the scariest (and longest) part.

When we left Thursday morning, Tim wanted to be out of the house and on the road by 6am. We missed the mark by about 20 minutes but he made up for it by speeding so he cut down on our GPS-ETA by 15 minutes. We were doing so good we thought we were gonna be in NC by 1:30. Wellllllllll, I-40East had other plans for us. Evidently, there was some gi-normous landslide in the mountains that blocked off several miles of the highway and we were re-routed on this detour that took us an hour out of our way. We were slightly annoyed and disappointed but what were we gonna do ya know?
So we are somewhere in the mountains of East Tennessee on this detour route when all of a sudden we slow down to 8mph. Tim and I give each other this look like, "OMG. What now??" Turns out we are behind one of those trucks that paints the white traffic lines on the side of the road. Well, that got old real quick. Tim looks at me and says, "Well, do we try another detour or do we see how long we're gonna be behind this thing?" I say, "Let's just do another detour. Who knows how long we'll be on this road." Famous. Last. Words.

We turn right on this road and start on this scenic drive up the side of the mountain. It was nice... at first. As we got further and further up the mountain, the road went from two-lane to one and a half lanes, then to a one lane road ... and then -- just as I asked Tim if the life insurance policy was paid and up-to-date -- we are on a dirt road. In the Mustang. On an incline. Very scared. And did I mention we had no cell phone signal??? Yeah. I swear the banjos of Deliverance were playing in the background as we were driving up that mountain. I haven't been that scared in a really long time.
I seriously told Tim that I thought the GPS was taking us somewhere to die. All I got in response was, "That's not helping!! Just let me concentrate on driving and you take pictures over there so we have evidence of all this craziness." So that's what I did.
We finally made it to the top of the mountain thirty minutes later, got out and stretched and we saw this.
And I must say, I got some really great shots out of the whole detour situation but I do not wanna go through that ever again. And just in case you're wondering, we finally made it to Karl's house in Gastonia at 3:45. Definitely felt like the longest. trip. ever. but well worth it.

11.05.2009

A "teaser" if you will....


... one of the many pictures from our vacation. A select few will be for sale in the shop. As always, I love to hear your feedback!

11.04.2009

Halloween and NC and Hair Color and...


all sorts of things that I will be blogging about soon that happened on our trip down to NC for our friends' wedding. There's so much to talk about I will probably have to break it down into a few different blog entries so stayed tuned! (By the way, my new hair color is almost the same shade of red as the leaves above. Beautiful and seasonal all at the same time. ;) Thank you, Suzanne for putting some vibrancy back into my hair! )

Also, check back in the next few days for some new items to be added to the Etsy shop. You won't wanna miss it!

10.28.2009

Vacation has started!

And not a moment too soon, I might add.

We are driving to North Carolina in the morning -- in the EARLY morning -- Tim wants us to try and leave the house by 6am... we'll see if that actually happens.

It should be a fun-filled weekend of friends, family, and a Halloween wedding to boot. And the dogs will get a nice little visit from their "grandma" as Tim's mom comes to dog-sit for us for the few days while we're gone. Good times for all.

Enjoy the rest of your week -- I know I will!! :)

Happy Halloween!

10.26.2009

Monday, Monday.

Moment of Zen at Mitchell Memorial Forest

So a couple of weeks ago I thought it would be a really good idea to work part-time at The Limited for the holiday season. I love their clothes and thought it would be an opportunity to save money on buying some fall and winter clothes while making a little bit of money to catch up bills. And while I have gotten some nifty items (like the Infinity scarf) at a great discount, I feel like (well, I have been) burning the candle at both ends trying to work there and at Cincinnati Tan so I think I may quit while I'm ahead. I'm not sure. (I don't know if I really wanna work Black Friday at Kenwood Towne Centre that much.) In any case, this is the reason I've not posted any new Etsy items or blogged in a while so sorry for that.


I am, however, planning on catching up on things these next few days before we take a quick trip down to NC for a little R&R and watch our friends get married on Halloween. That should be great fun! I think it'll be just the mini-vacation that Tim and I need.

Have a great Monday!

10.16.2009

Good Eats!


When it starts getting cold outside, there's a lot of baking that goes on in this household. This week we tried two new recipes: one for carrot cake and another for apple spice cake. Both were delicious so I thought I'd pass them along to you guys! The carrot cake is pretty easy but the apple spice cake might take you awhile. Either way you're in for some good stuff!
Happy Friday!

10.15.2009

Fall-en








Fall is pretty in Ohio but it sure is COLD!
Tomorrow I'll be posting a recipe for a really tasty apple spice cake. :)


10.09.2009

Five on Friday

A special theme of Breast Cancer Awareness this week:


1. One of my favorite lotions. $4 of each sale goes to the Breast Cancer Research foundation.


2. Support this site who donates a percentage of sales to free mammograms.


3. The Pink Ribbon bagel at Panera Bread. So tasty and good for you!


4. Love me some yogurt!


5. The best way to stay informed and celebrating 25 years.

10.02.2009

Five on Friday

This week's favorites:


1. This recipe for banana walnut bread (or muffins if you'd like!).


2. This Tom's of Maine's soap. I bought it because I ran out of Aveda and Tim and I both loved it. It doesn't leave your skin with that filmy feeling. Totally awesome and only about $3.

3. Flash Forward. I think it's my new favorite TV series.

4. Spa Ritual's new matte purple nail polish. I die.

5. My mom's birthday was yesterday! I wish I could've been there. I love you, Mom! Hope you like your presents. :)

9.29.2009

Spreadin' a little Aloha around the world...


This little package arrived in my mailbox Sunday afternoon. A nice, hand-made necklace from my friend Michelle of "me feel pretty" designs. A little bit of vintage with some bling and an "O" to complete it all. A little bit of beach sea glass to have with me always. Love it. Thanks, Michelle!

9.25.2009

Five on Friday

I enjoyed it so much last week I decided to do it again!

The favorites this week:

1. This leather jacket at The Limited. (I haven't loved a jacket in a really long time.) And with a Friends and Family 40% off coupon, and a nice surprise from Tim, I am now the proud owner. :)

2. An impromptu date night with Tim last night. We went to Slim's for dinner and Honey for dessert. Let me just say that my favorite part was not Slim's (for a number of reasons) and we will definitely try Honey for dinner sometime.

3. Tonight we are having Vigna Dogarina Pinot Noir and I love it. I can't remember how much we spent on it though so don't blame me if you go buy it and it ends up being a sticker shock. :)

4. This magazine rack from Crate and Barrel.

5. If you are a dog person/owner, and you can spare 15 minutes to take a quiz, go to DogAge.com. It's fun, interesting and informative.


9.22.2009

Because you know I'm not gonna get up that early...


A while back, probably at least a month ago, Tim and I were looking through the guide on TV to see what's on and we came across a sunrise at Haleakala on the Big Island. We sat there and just watched it for like five minutes and I said, "What IS this? It's so awesome!" So the Info said it was "Sunrise Earth" on the Discovery Channel. (It is especially great if you can see it in HD because you feel like you are really there.)

Well, I set it to record all the new episodes of Sunrise Earth and now I'm just in love with this series. If you want to take a nap, it is the perfect thing to fall asleep to. So peaceful. I could imagine doing yoga to it as well.

If you need a mental breather, and you haven't checked out Sunrise Earth, you are missing out.

9.18.2009

Five on Friday

Five things this week that I'm really liking:

1. This top from J. Crew.
2. This tunic from Urban Outfitters.
3. This cardigan from The Gap. (Can you tell I'm itching to go shopping?)
4. This print on Etsy.
5. This recipe from Giada. (I'm hoping I can get Tim to do this for a special occasion sometime.)

Feel free to share your favorites this week!

Have a great weekend!

9.16.2009

"Pardon me while I draw on your leg."

I really had the best intentions to keep blogging about vacation last weekend. Until on Sunday I felt like I was gonna die. (That may be a slight exaggeration.)

Sunday I didn't have to work until 5:00 so I had planned on getting alot of things done: cleaning the house, working on Etsy, scrapbooking, etc. Well, much to my annoyance, NONE of that got done. I couldn't even sleep that night. I had the worst headache, waves of nausea, and felt like I was running a fever. Not good at all.

So I take some Extra Strength Rapid Release Tylenol and sucked it up and went to work for a few hours.

I need to back this up for a second.

We have a HUGE problem with mosquitos here. I mean, anytime Tim and I try to have a nice dinner on the back patio, we pretty much have to bathe in OFF spray and then swat at something every 30 seconds. So it's not uncommon for me to have bug bites right now.

Well, I get to work and I'm telling the girls that I feel like crap and then I say, "Take a look at this freakin' mosquito bite. It did NOT like me."

Laura looks at me and says, "That is NOT a mosquito bite. THAT is a spider bite!"

Oh crap. NO wonder I felt so bad!

So I keep on my Tylenol regimen that I have established for myself and I'm starting to FEEL better but my bite has gotten way worse.

Monday I go to work and I still have the headaches, fever and nausea coming and going but it's more manageable. I got a bright idea that morning and said, "Ooh! Why don't I take some Benadryl. That should definitely help."

Well, it helped a little. Not nearly what I thought it would do though. By lunchtime, I was getting worried. So I call my mom and tell her and of course, she does the Mom thing and freaks out. "How much swelling is there? How red is it? How much does it itch? What are your symptoms? Do you think it was Brown Recluse? I just read that Ohio has one of the highest concentrations of Brown Recluse spiders in the nation! Do you think you can leave work?"

OMG. Way too many questions. I started getting very nervous... and I left work and went immediately to Urgent Care about 10 minutes away. Thankfully I didn't have to sit too long in the waiting room because the itching was BANANAS at this point.

The doctor comes in the room and I tell her how I think it happened sometime on Saturday, started feeling like death on Sunday and the whole nine yards. She said, "Well I'm pretty sure it's not a brown recluse but I've never seen anything quite like this." Thanks, doc. That's so reassuring.

She writes me two prescriptions: one for antibiotics and the other for steroids (for infection and swelling). Then I am cautioned that if this does not improve within 24 hours or my bite starts to turn grey or black I have to go straight to the Emergency Room. <>

Then she says, "I don't mean to be rude, but pardon me while I draw on your leg. This way you'll know if the redness gets bigger and worsens." She proceeds to draw a large circle on my leg that ends up being about the size of a baseball. Now I feel like a freak, AND look like one. Thank you very much. But I'd rather have a big circle on my leg than have to amputate my leg.

Typically this would be the point in the blog where I would have a picture. I decided to spare you guys that notion today. You can thank me later. The only people that will ever see that picture is my family.

Forty-eight hours later, I am happy to report that the medicine is working fabulously and I have killed at least six spiders in my house since I've been bitten.

Take that, nasty spiders. There's more where that came from!

9.10.2009

Hello, old friend. Let's chat about our stay-cation.

Yes, it's been a while. I really didn't plan on waiting this long to blog about vacation and things but, eh, that's life.

So where do we start? I think Oktoberfest is a good one to start things off with. It was a great way to kick-off Tim's vacation. We had a lot of fun in just a couple of hours that day. People were walking around in authentic German attire as you listened to the German band on stage. Tim tried a lot of great beers and I tried some new German foods (a sandwich that I cannot remember how to pronounce or spell) and finished it off with the best $3 I have ever spent on a dessert. An authentic Bavarian chocolate-covered creme puff. WOW. One could (and did) have dreams about that thing. Sinful, indeed.




After we came home and pretended to catnap, we went back out to explore some more and found ourselves walking around Winton Woods park. A really pretty and nice recreational area only about fifteen minutes from our house. We took Bella and just walked around the lake for a little bit and discovered they have paddleboats, horseback riding and all sorts of activities. We'll definitely be going back there in the future.



Sunday we decided to venture to the East side of town and walk around Eden Park and Krohn Conservatory. Loved them both. I highly recommend walking around this part of town if you ever visit Cincinnati because it really has so much to do and you don't have to travel very far. Both places are free to visit (although it is nice to make donations) and they offer so many opportunities to take beautiful pictures (which I loved) and they are just so relaxing. I easily took about 100 pictures at Krohn Conservatory. It was so neat and interesting. It has four different greenhouses that house so many species of plants that I didn't even know existed! My favorite part was probably the orchid house.


We had such a great weekend last week. Truly relaxing, fun and inspiring!

9.01.2009

Dear Mr. Blog,

I'm sorry I've been a slacker in updating you. I promise we really have been busy while Tim is on vacation this week and I'll have plenty of material to post for a week or more. Just a few more days I promise.

Don't hate me.

Signed,
Olivia

8.28.2009

I have opened up Pandora's Box... and I LIKE IT.


So about two weeks ago, one of Tim's friends on Facebook posted something about Pandora. I happen to be at the grocery store when he calls me and says, "Do you know about this website called Pandora?"

I said, "Umm. I think so. Isn't that like not appropriate for me to discuss on my cell phone in the grocery store while I'm shopping?"

He replies, "Well, I don't know what you're talking about ... but I'm talking about music."

(I breathe a sigh of relief.) I say, "Ohh... yeah, just kidding. I knew that." (I really didn't. I won't tell you what I thought he was talking about.)

When I get home he shows me this website Pandora.com and I am fascinated. It's like Genius for iTunes but waaaaay better. I mean, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better. And, it's free! You can listen to 40 hours worth of music per month for free. If you want to listen to more than 40 hours worth, then all you have to pay is ONE DOLLAR for the rest of the month. And then it starts all over again at the beginning of next month.

Brilliant.

So up until now, we've just been listening to Tim's free account. This morning I signed up for my own account finally.

I typed in Taylor by Jack Johnson. (Really people, what else were you expecting?)

These are the songs it played after I typed that in:


Lucky- Jason Mraz (love it.)

Crash Into Me- DMB (love it.)

Stick By You- Andrew Lipke (who I didn't know about before, but will grow to love i'm sure)

Music- The Beautiful Girls (really like it.)

Movin' On- Thomas Cunningham (it was ok. maybe not in the mood for it.)

Flake- Jack Johnson (no need to comment here.)

Darlin' Do Not Fear - Brett Dennan (great song! just learned this morning that Michelle Ramirez is a big fan.)

The General- Dispatch (Amanda Sluys introduced me to them. another great song.)

The Ocean- Barefoot Truth (had never heard of them or the song but really like it now.)

Mudfootball- Jack Johnson (one of my faves)


I mean, I could go on and on (ha! no pun intended.) but you guys have to get on with your day.

I love good, free music. TGIF!




PS - Pandora, where have you been all my life?

PPS - Shame on you for those that knew about this and didn't tell me!


8.25.2009

A Look at The Barkives.

You know I love dogs.

You know I love photography.

You know I love to take pictures of my dogs.

So what am I trying to say here?

I aspire to be as good as this girl one day. Really. Just go look.

Awesomeness indeed.

8.17.2009

Handmade Shout Out!


I left a comment on this girl's blog and ended up winning a giveaway for these cute little cards that look like sock monkeys! Please check out her etsy shop. Cute stuff. Thanks!


8.15.2009

Great news!

As of yesterday afternoon, I am now employed! Hallelujah! I'll start working part-time at Cincinnati Tan next Wednesday. And it'll take me less than ten minutes to get to work. Score!

In other news, I am listing new photography items in the Etsy shop in the next few days so keep an eye out!

Here's a little sneaky peek:

And one more note, kinda random, does anybody know if they make covers for papasan cushions? Just curious... leave me a note if you have knowledge on this subject.
Thanks! Have a fantabulous weekend!

8.13.2009

Daily Eye Candy

Style Statement is a new blog that I looooooove. Each day brings something new and different -- a quote, a cool product (like a travel hammock!), or some sort of pop culture type thing.

I will have to get the book soon....very soon. Leave me a comment if you've read it!

Happy almost Friday!

8.11.2009

Cafe Handmade

I'm doing a virtual craft show booth for the next four weeks. I found out about it on Twitter and I am hooked on this website called Cafe Handmade. Similar to Etsy, it has handmade items and art, but you don't buy the items there, just preview them.

Check it out!

livvielane photography on Cafe Handmade

Posted using ShareThis

8.09.2009

Daily Deals

We all know I love Target (as does most of the free world). And last week, I posted about how I was fretting over curtains for our living room. Well, I was very frustrated when I didn't find any curtains that I liked when I went to our local Target and didn't really find any at other stores in the budget that we're working with. So then my friend Shannon says, "Why don't you try Target.com?" (Duh, thanks Shannon. Sometimes I forget the obvious things.)

So I'm on their website and of course, I get easily distracted and find this thing called "Daily Deals" and I got REALLY excited because they had some awesome stuff on there for pretty cheap. Unfortunately they didn't have any curtains on sale that day but I will keep checking back.

Go check it out! There's awesome stuff on there! (For instance, yesterday one of the deals was a pair of Men's Lucky Brand Jeans that are originally $110 and right now they are $59.99 + free shipping! hello!) :) I promise I wouldn't lead you astray. Well, not with Target anyway.

8.08.2009

Riverboat cruise!

We had a lot of fun on Wednesday when we went on the sightseeing cruise down the Ohio river. Just a nice little one-hour cruise to hear a little history about Cincinnati and enjoy some time with Tim. Our captain was really funny and a little sarcastic which was great. Tim was enjoying the commentary as I was snapping my camera away at the Ohio and Kentucky scenery. I've already put the pictures on Facebook but here are some of my favorites:






Tim has Monday and Wednesday off next week so we're excited to get a few out-of-town guests Scott and Kirstie (and their two dogs Daphne and Dougan). We haven't seen them since New Year's so I'm sure we'll all have a great time together. :)

Did someone say Hofbrauhaus?

8.03.2009

Maybe I should just make my own?

Curtains that is. It's really one of the few things left to do with the house before it's "done." And, you would think this would be a pretty easy task. But I seriously can't seem to find any that I like so far (that are reasonably priced). Tim and I are trying to find curtains and rods for the living room for about $200. I don't think that's too unreasonable.

Immediately I go to Target and I think, "Surely they'll have something I like. Target always has something that I like." I'm going for slightly modern that will go with a chocolate brown leather couch. But, really, they didn't have much. So then I go over to Bed, Bath and Beyond. I spend about 30 minutes in there. They had a few things that I liked but I wasn't crazy about them. After that I went to JCPenney (too traditional) and then to Northgate Mall which has a Dillards, Sears, and Macys. None of stores at the mall even sold curtains at that location. SERIOUSLY? What kind of department store are you if you don't even sell curtains? Ridiculous, I say.

So then I look on the internet this afternoon and I find these (pictured below) at West Elm that I looooooooove. Like, I love them like I love Italian food. For reals. The print is awesome but they are too expensive. It's about $50 per sheer panel plus s/h plus curtain rods plus the other set of panels. And I have two windows to do. I want them to be somewhat durable because of the dogs, ya know? I love this look but I just don't know who would have something similar.


Internet-land, I need some help!! Any suggestions?

8.01.2009

Happy August.


Layla says it's time for some weekend fun!
I'll be shopping for curtains, updating Etsy, and hanging out in the backyard with the dogs!
And, if you Twitter,
search for livvielane and add me!

7.27.2009

Well, at least I worked out today.


Lately when I've been watching tv I've been catching glimpses of this trailer and I CANNOT WAIT to see it! It was filmed on the Na Pali so I know it's gonna have gorgeous scenery if nothing else. So, so excited about it. So excited.
In other news, the OG employee picnic is tomorrow. I think it'll be a lot of fun. Rumor has it that there will be a sno-cone machine making an appearance. I have my fingers crossed. I'll let you know.
And by the way, if you haven't tried the new dessert Berries and Zabaione -- you're missing out! Seriously, people. It's the perfect summer dessert. I had some of that after I got some Grilled Shrimp Caprese and I thought my stomach was going to implode.
Thank goodness it's a seasonal dessert.

7.23.2009

Get a drink - this is a lengthy one.

Yesterday and today Tim had the day off from work. Of course that means we did lots of good cooking. Actually, that means HE did lots of good cooking, and I assisted/tasted here and there. :) Not a bad position to be in. So let me tell ya what we made.

Well all day yesterday it was really rainy up here. I mean, I seriously think we got at least two inches of rain. It wasn't bad thunderstorms or anything, just a good steady downpour. To me, rainy weather = soup (or chili). So we ended up making a shrimp and corn chowder. Not any recipe in particular, just taste as you go. Oh. My. Goodness. Finger lickin' good. (I know it's not a finger food but just go with it.)

Oh! Let me back this little story up with a grocery store find that I was SUPER excited about. I mean, I wanted to do a cartwheel in the aisles of Jungle Jim's. People. Do you KNOW what I FOUND? I'll tell you. MAUI WINE. Yes, as in Maui, Hawaii. And they had TWO different kinds!! TWO! Maui Blanc (pineapple) and Maui Splash (passionfruit). Of course, I got one of each. That stuff just totally made my week. (Obviously, there's not too much excitement around these parts.) ;) I'm giddy just knowing that it's in my fridge right now.


So, back to the food. Tonight for dinner, Tim made a wonderful salmon entree with some sort of sauteed zucchini and yellow squash teriyaki sauce. All of this to go with the pineapple wine. Delicioso. Wait. I'm not done yet. Dessert was a .... trifle. Actually - I'm not exactly sure what to call it but I'll tell you what we did and then maybe you can figure it out. (Pictures will be posted later.)

First, we made our own lady fingers. That was an interesting process. Then we poked a few holes in them with a fork and drizzled a little Mocha flavored Kahlua and let it soak in while we made the rest of dessert (the other layers). Next comes the pastry cream. Kind of like what you would get in a cream puff I guess. Not heavy like in an eclair. Anyway, I digress.

We drizzled the pastry cream on top of the layer of lady fingers. Then comes blueberry sauce. (I really wish I were better at culinary terms.) I don't know if you would call it a sauce, but it was similar to a blueberry pie filling. Then another layer of lady fingers, then more cream, and then a layer of strawberry "sauce."



The third layer of lady fingers was put in, then another layer of cream, then a thinly-sliced layer of bananas, followed by a cherry-chocolate sauce. (Are you drooling yet?) :) Then a final layer of the pastry cream and then top it off with the last layer of cherry-chocolate drizzleness. So if you're a visual person, it'll look like this:

cherry-chocolate sauce -- top
pastry cream
cherry-chocolate sauce
pastry cream
thin layer of bananas
pastry cream
lady fingers
strawberry sauce
pastry cream
lady fingers
blueberry sauce
pastry cream
lady fingers -- bottom layer
bowl

done.

HOLY COW. It's making me hungry again just thinking about it and typing this. It is so decadent.

Enough talk about food.

Actually, that's the perfect segue to another thing I did this week: Buy a gym membership. :) Lord knows if we keep up this kind of cooking it will definitely come in handy. I went to Fitness 19, the YMCA, and Urban Active and I ended with Urban Active. They had the better value overall. Plus, that's where Tim's membership is so it'll be nice to workout together every now and then.

Now, y'all know I don't like to run unless the building's on fire or something; I'm definitely more of a yoga and spinning kind of gal. But Urban Active has the Cardio Cinema thing which may be just what I need to get off my butt and do more cardio. Imagine this: you are in a dark-ish room (maybe like a movie theater? hmm?), there's a good movie playing (with surround sound), and you have your choice of a treadmill, elliptical, or bike. And you can work out however long you want to. You can watch the whole darn movie and not have to do a sign-up sheet or anything. HOW COOL IS THAT?! I'm so in love with that idea. I know that when I miss a spinning or yoga class, I'll definitely be in there.

So, today we took the dogs to two nearby parks. The first one is next to the school and is going to be the location of the OG employee picnic next week. The other one was more of a nature preserve -- a great little photography spot. The awesome thing is that they're both only about five minutes away! Such great exercise for us and the dogs just walking around checking everything out. (And especially for me to just get out of the house. Whew.)



I can't wait to see what else Cincinnati has in store for us this summer.

7.18.2009

Saturday? Already? Really?


I'm not quite sure where the time went this week but it sure did fly by for me. And the funny thing is, I don't really feel like I did a whole lot the past few days. There was the usual looking for jobs, cleaning around the house, then spending time on Etsy, and playing with the dogs in the backyard but somehow, I really still thought today was only Friday. In that case, I've got some catching up to do!

Last night I started working on a Charlotte mini-album (inspired by Elise's NYC mini-album -- except mine is not an "album on the road" since we lived there for a year, but you get the idea). I gave my printer a workout let me tell ya. I went through and picked out my favorite pictures from our time there (I'm sure it's close to 50 right now and I still have a few to get off of Tim's computer) but today, hopefully, I can get all my supplies together and get it started. I'm really excited about it. I haven't done a mini-album in a while. It's been way too long.


And right now, I've got three napping dogs, Tim is watching Delta Farce on Showtime (it is terrible, don't waste your time) and I'm ready for the weekend to start! Happy Saturday!

7.15.2009

Newport and an Invisible Fence


This weekend when Tim's parents were in town we decided to go to the Newport Aquarium on Saturday. I totally loved it. There were certain areas where I felt I could have stayed all day and just taken pictures. I can't even remember the last time I went to an aquarium....if ever? I took some fantastic pictures that I plan on uploading soon. Probably will put one or two in the Etsy shop. Give it a few days though.

Anyway, Tim and I ended up getting annual passes to the aquarium, so that's cool. While down in the Newport on the Levee area, we ended up going to Brio for lunch. Also an excellent experience. We will definitely have to explore that area more when we have another weekend (or day) together.

So now, since we have all the dogs together again; we put in an invisible fence. We really weighed all the options and that was the best one of them all, I believe. Especially since we did it ourselves (well, Tim mainly -- I helped a little here and there), we saved a lot of money considering the size of the yard, labor, installation, etc. We got the PetSafe DIY invisible fence. It ended up only costing us about $300 I think. (And about 8 hours of manual labor.) It's only in the backyard so hopefully it'll be enough room for them to run around and get the exercise that they need without us having to worry too much. Layla (of course, it would be her) has already tried and successfully broken through the boundary this afternoon. Hopefully we won't have too many more instances like that. (Darn squirrel in the neighbor's yard.)

Although, I certainly got my exercise.

7.12.2009

A Full House Once Again





Our dogs are with us once again. Tim's parents got here Friday afternoon with some rather excited Bella and Layla dogs. We've been going non-stop since then having nothing but fun.
Pictures from the Newport Aquarium and other activities to be posted soon. (Probably after the guests leave and the dust settles.) :)

7.07.2009

Etsy Shop Update

New stuff listed in my Etsy shop! I'm so excited to put some new photography on there. It needed a little oomph.

Here's a sneak peek:

I will list one new item every day this week. :) Keep a look out and tell me what you think. Also let me know if there are certain flowers or subjects you'd like to see on there.

Happy Tuesday!

7.06.2009

Weekend Photos and a Wii

This little guy has been hanging out in our yard recently and Niko is lovin' it. We won't be seeing him after Bella and Layla get here Friday.

A little boiled shrimp and caprese salad for dinner. Ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

Colerain fireworks over near the high school. Pretty darn good.

And Tim gave in and bought a Wii this weekend. :) We only have two games so far (both are sports) but we enjoy the friendly competition.
Actually, I forgot, we have four games. We downloaded two more the other day: Pong Toss (read: Beer Pong game) and The Legend of Zelda.
Guess who bought those? I'll give you one guess.
As for me, I will keep on puttin' the resume out there and practice more photography.
Maybe today I will scrapbook about my Dad. It's a good day to remember him.


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