Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday-Meet Theta

Eleven years of marriage, three kids over five years and countless moves later we finally added the last piece to our family....a puppy. Meet the newest member, Theta. She is nine weeks old and just the cutest, sweetest little puppy ever!

Our older two kids are still at school so they haven't met her yet, we didn't tell any of the kids we were getting a puppy. We wanted it to be a surprise. I CANNOT wait to see their faces when they get home!

For more inspiring photos be sure to check out:

Monday, January 28, 2013

How to take quality photos (when you're not a pro)

You wont always get that "perfect" shot but that's not always what's important in photography.
I believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and going by that belief has helped me see beauty where others don't see it. Sure I take plenty of bad pictures but Ive also managed to capture some great photos as well.

The trick? There really isn't one. The most important thing in photography (as well as in life) is to be YOURSELF and let that show through your photos. You don't need to spend tons of money in order to achieve that either. I like to follow these five simple rules when taking a picture.

   * Experiment
   * Try different angles
   * Get up close and personal
   * Get down to your subjects level, great for taking pictures of children
   * Shoot in black and white

Landscape shots are wonderful to play around with. Stand up, sit down, get on your hands and knees, lay on your stomach. Each has a different angle and therefor a different perspective to it.

One of my favorite ways to take pictures of flowers is by getting up close and personal. You can so much more detail that way and the shots come out beautifully.

Getting down to a kids level is one of the greatest tricks I have learned over the years. When doing this it allows for the child to look directly into the camera. No looking up and straining their neck and no looking down. Just right at you.

Shooting in black and white is always a favorite of mine. For me it adds a certain softness and classic look to a photograph. If your camera isn't capable of shooting in black and white you can do a simple edit in almost any photo editing program out there.

While you may not get that "perfect" shot you were going for you are sure to get some great pictures that you love. Just think outside the box! The more creative you are the more it will show in your photographs.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Connect the HTC Windows 8x to a Mac

I have searched high and low for a way to connect my Windows phone to my computer, a Mac. For months now I have come up empty handed and then I found it, what I have been looking for all along. An application specifically for Mac's from the Apple Store called Windows Phone. I know, completely and totally obvious, I should have been able to find it immediately.

The app itself is pretty self explanatory but I will break down a few key points for you.

After you download the app plug in your Windows 8x phone. Make sure that you do not have the phone locked or it wont start syncing. If you do have it locked it's not something to worry heavily over, simply unlock the phone and it will start immediately.

You can choose to name your device or just leave it as "Windows Phone".
Once it has finished syncing it will show you the status of your memory on the bottom of the screen. Click continue and you can manage your photos, videos, movies, tv shows and you can sync your iTunes music library to the phone as well.
I wanted to point out that if you do not have the current version of iPhoto it will not transfer the MP4 (MPEG-4) files. MP4 files are your videos from your phone.

This entire process took under five minutes to complete, and even though it is not specifically for the HTC Windows 8x phones it's works great and so far I haven't experienced any flaws with the app.

* I am part of the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program. A device was provided to me with three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the device. All thought and opinions expressed therein are my own* 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to back up your blog on Blogger

If you're a blogger you've probably had a nightmare or two about your blog disappearing. All of your hard work, photos and years of writing poof GONE. I've had it a few times and I usually back up my blog as soon as I wake up the next morning. Over the last year or so I've heard/seen that many people do not know how to back up their blogs or they've just simply never done it. So I am hear today to show you how to back up your Blogger blog if you aren't aware how. It's really a simple process, no need to pull out the big guns here. Just follow these simple steps are you'll be all set.

Select Settings

Select Other (it's the last option under settings)

Select export blog

A box will pop up saying
"Export your blog into the Blogger Atom export format. You can do this to move your blog to another blogging service or simply to store your blog on your own hard drive. Learn more
Don't worry, your blog will still remain on Blogger until you delete it."

Don't freak out, just click Download Blog" and save the file and that's it. Nothing will be deleted, or moved. Everything will be just as it was but now you will have a file of your blog so if something were to ever happen and your blog went missing in action. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday-Baby face

I absolutely love that my youngest still has his baby face. He will be five in a few months and I am perfectly happy with him keeping his baby face as long as possible. He has the softest, cutest, squishy cheeks and I can't help but smother him in kisses every day.

For more inspiring photos be sure to check out:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday Tunes-Avatar...the band not the movie

So I discovered a new band this morning. I love when that happens because then I spend the next few hours reading about and listening to their songs. This morning it was Avatar. I may just be addicted to them. I can't stop listening to them. In reading about them I quickly discovered they are from Sweden. This seems to be a common thread with all of the music I have recently discovered. Metal + Swedish. What can I say....they know how to do it out there. Not only is their music awesome but ::::cough cough:::: the bassist is a mighty fine specimen to boot.

So the song I heard on the radio was called Smells Like a Freak Show and I dare you not to like it. It's catchy and one of those songs that (if you like Metal) pulls you in and doesn't let you go, even when it's done you want more.

They don't have a traditional sound and I have to say that I LOVE it. I have listened to I think all of their songs now and I have picked two favorites. Okay three but I'll just share my top two so I am not overwhelming you with my love of metal. The first one is the song above, smells like a freak show and my next one is called Torn Apart. Actually if we go in order of favorites I would put this one as number one. 

Now I have a ton of things to do and I have spent enough time listing to all of their I lie, I am going to listen to some more while I finish up some work and clean the house.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday-Oh the faces he makes

I just love the facial expressions of this boy!


For more inspiring photos be sure to check out:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Tunes-One Republic

So I was late in the game of finding out about One Republi, I only discovered them about a year or so ago. I know I know, you'd think I was living under a rock or something but I very rarely listen to the radio when I am at home so the most exposure I get is when I am either taking the kids to school or running errands. Getting off track here....One Republic. I have posted about them before but with the new album coming out in March and such great songs, I couldn't resist sharing one of their songs again.

Feel Again I am sure you have heard on the radio. If you haven't heard it well then take a listen! There is just something about Ryan Tedders voice that just...soothes you. And it's not just his voice but the actual music as well. It's like peas and a pod. That group was made for each other.

I want to share more but I don't think I would be able to stop myself from sharing most if not all of their songs and I am not sure you all like me enough to sit here for hours upon hours. So instead I leave you with a question. What is your favorite One Republic song?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday Tunes-It's Back!

I am so excited, the awesomeness that is Amanda (High Impact Mom) has brought back Tuesday Tunes. Oh yeah, that's right Tuesday Tunes is officially back yo! If you've never participated in Tuesday Tunes before be sure to hop on over to Amanda's site and check out how to participate. It's simple and fun and who doesn't love being introduced to new types of music.

Has anyone noticed the increased popularity of dance types of music? I don't listen to the radio often because I usually only get the chance to when I am in the car...which isn't all that often but even I have noticed. Not that I am complaining, honestly I love it! But I have noticed that a lot more artists are doing it. And you will never catch me repeating these words, but there is one specific song that I am really loving right now....and it has Britney Spears in it :::GASP::: Yes you read that right I like a Britney Spears song. No I am not hanging my head in shame, instead I am laughing. She may not be my typical cup of tea but you can't deny she still knows how to kick some ass. 

I am not sure which version I like better, the original with and Britney or the remix done by Reidiculous. If you haven't heard of Reidiculous before and love music that's awesome to dance to you NEED to check him out! Seriously the guy is amazing.

Now if you'll excuse me I am off to go work dance by myself and do some housework but I want to know which version do you like better?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wordless Wednesday-Happy New Year

The last week in 2012 was an awesome week. We had a wonderful quiet Christmas with our kids and we got to experience our very first white Christmas. While we didn't get a whole bunch of snow on Christmas we ended up getting some more snow two days later. I am not sure which day had more accumulation but in the end it didn't matter. Seeing my kids outside playing together, running around chasing each other with snow and making snow was perfect.

I know I shared two photos last week of the snow but I am still giddy over it that I have to share a few more.

First thing I did when I woke up was grab my camera and run the safety of the garage of course, it was windy.
 I don't know what possessed me to do this photo in black and white but I just couldn't see it any other way.

 Snow cone perhaps?

For more inspiring photos be sure to check out:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Starting the year off right with Diet-to-Go

Every year, I always say I won't set resolutions because I never stick to them, and so, for the last few years, I haven't set any. But this year I am breaking my own rule and setting one. It's a general one, but it's still one  important to me.
Be healthier

There are many ways for me to start being healthier, but the first step  I am taking is eating healthier. I am not the most unhealthy eater. I eat a lot of salads; I love fruits and vegetables and  have cut my portions way down from what they used to be, but there is still room for improvement. To help me kick of the new year right, I am trying out a three- day supply of meals from Diet-to-Go. Diet-to-Go is a diet delivery service that was recently rated the number ONE diet delivery company by Epicurious. Yes, I said Epicurious as in the awesome food website. I love they offer three different types of menus: low-fat, vegetarian and low-carb.  They also have twenty different plans to choose from. With such a huge variety there is sure to be something for everyone. Another thing that I think is great especially for those that have wanted to try out a diet delivery service is that with Diet-to-Go there are no cancellation fees, no commitment or contract, AND they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

"The goal is for customers adopt habits that lead to sustainable healthy eating and healthy weight long after leaving Diet-to-Go. It is not enough to be the best tasting. We believe the product must be priced to be accessible to customers who have grown accustom to cheap, processed, unhealthy foods. We have worked hard to control cost everywhere in our business other the food. This allows Diet-to-Go to deliver quality, delicious fully prepared and ready to eat meals, for as little as $6.81 per meal. This is the best price/quality value on the market, bar none."

I know my biggest worry in using a diet delivery was will the food really taste good?
Well, if you have been seeing any of my recent tweets you may have noticed me all but drooling over my meals that Diet-to-Go sent me. Okay, I may have actually drooled over a few of them. I am slightly picky on my food, when it comes to bell peppers in my food I like them to still have crunch. If they are soft or stringy I won't touch them. So I will be honest here, when I cooked my first meal - the Fajita Omelet -  I was a little apprehensive about trying it. But am I glad I did. It was divine.  Seriously, the eggs were light and fluffy, not rubbery at all;  it was smothered in cheese (you can never go wrong with cheese) and the bell peppers were all crunchy!

Meal 1 Breakfast: Fajita Omelet with a side of artichokes

Meal #2 Dinner: Spaghetti Pie. Spaghetti topped with parmesan and mozzarella with a side of cauliflower. Again, cheese, you can't go wrong there and the cauliflower was nice and crunchy.

Day 2, Meal #3 Breakfast: Mushroom and leek strata with chicken sausage, peach yogurt and V8. I have never had a strata before but I may be addicted. This was so good, it was beyond good, I could eat it for breakfast lunch and dinner.

Day 2, Meal #4 Lunch: Since I didn't eat my lunch from yesterday I switched the days around and ate this Turkey Sandwich. And when I say turkey, I mean like fresh, shaved-cut of turkey. No processed lunch meat here. I only ended up eating half the apple and half the sandwich I was so stuffed.

Day 2, Meal #5 Dinner: I LOVE BBQ and I never get to eat it since no one in my family seems to enjoy it. So colored me excited when I got a BBQ meal complete with BBQ chicken, green beans with almonds, roasted red potatoes, baked beans, and of course. BBQ sauce. Soooo much food here I barely made a dent in my plate.

So yeah, as you can see by the photos above, the food is amazing! I am going to be sad when I run out of meals from Diet-to-Go. It's been such a nice experience not having to worry about what to cook and having it all ready for me, complete with nutritional value to see exactly how many calories I'm eating in a day. It has helped me start off on the right foot in my goal to becoming a healthier me in 2013.
Right now, in celebration of the new year Diet-to-Go is having a 1,000 meal giveawayThe Grand prize is free Diet-to-Go meals for a month (10 Winners) and the 2nd prize is for free Diet-to-Go meals for a week (25 winners). You can enter here. And for you, my readers I have a special gift. Simply enter newyear2013 on your order to receive 25% your first meal plan. The coupon is only valid from today January 1st until January 8th.

My final thoughts: 
Would I recommend Diet-to-Go as a good diet delivery service? Absolutely! Not only are they affordable but with their great selection of plans and menus and the very tasty and filling food I think they are an all around sound company and I would definitely recommend their services.  

*FitFluential LLC compensated me for the Campaign. All opinions are my own.*