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!

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