Thursday, May 27, 2010

A borrowing concept...

I've been perusing multiple photography blogs and came across something a little different.  Apparently there is a whole market out there devoted to renting lenses.  So you can rent lenses (or bodies or just about anything else) to try them out for a trip or to test drive them before you buy brand new.  I thought this was kind of cool since I don't know many people with my camera and definitely not a lot that would loan out their camera equipment!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Craigslist Love

This past weekend, I finally did what I said I was going to do.  

About this time last year, Rico and I cleaned out the garage, threw out a lot of stuff and reorganized it so we could actually walk in there.  I also made a pile of my wedding decor that we had saved and was still usable.  Well this weekend was gorgeous (the gray rainy Seattle weather is back in full force this week though) so I got the camera out and started photographing/inventorying what we had stockpiled from the wedding.  I then posted it on Craigslist to see if we'd get any bites.  And sure enough, we were able to sell our first box of foam Plumerias on Sunday (to a lovely girl who is getting married in a Florida destination wedding).  I'm loving the whole Craigslist thing!

We have one more box of margarita candles that we didn't even put out because I forgot to in the rush of the reception day.  What a waste there!

We're keeping the lanterns that we got for super cheap at Bed Bath & Beyond on clearance.  When we bought them, we knew we wanted to save them for our future house - they'll look great on a deck or in the garden/backyard.

Other than that, Rico is swamped right now with homework (finals are coming up so apparently they are trying to cram everything in at the end of the quarter).  But despite that, he's lost 8lbs on his Biggest Loser diet.  Tonight we're having dinner over at Billy & Nakita's (with their adorable son Aiden).  I have no idea what we're having but it probably won't be healthy.  I guess I'll just have to do the best I can and try to implement the whole portion control thing...wish me luck!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fix It Friday #2

Sitting in the house with all the windows open and the breeze blowing, the smell of bbq's grilling!  A great end to the week. As I said last week, this will probably become a regular thing as I'm trying to learn new techniques with Photoshop and Aperture.  

Making it work

A while back I mentioned getting a second job...well that's not going so well.  It could be where I'm looking (mostly in retail venues) and it could be the economy.  Either way, the fact is that I don't have that 2nd job so we're looking around to see where we can cut corners a little more. My monthly inheritance from my grandmother's estate runs out next month so Rico and I have to come up with an extra $300 a month.  So far this is what we've come up with...
  •  Reduce Comcast cable from HD/DVR/HBO Digital package (yes we're spoiled) to basic cable.  We talked about getting rid of cable completely, but when we spoke with Comcast, to get rid of cable means upping our price on internet to the same price it would be without basic cable (we currently get a reduced rate because we have two services through them).
  • Reduce our Netflix from 2 at a time to 1 at a time (we won't get rid of it completely just because we stream a lot of movies this way and it's free with any portion of this services so it's free access to lots of movies on demand.  We watched the the first 5 seasons of Lost and 4 seasons of Heroes this way and it's really convenient.) This also keeps us from going out to movies as much.
  • Lower our cellphone plan from 700 to 550 shared mins per month.  We very rarely go over 550 anyway and we'll have rollover minutes as well so we most likely won't ever go over that.  I also got rid of my texting plan all together.  It was only $5 a month anyway and I figure if I pay per text, it's still going to be cheaper than the plan (that shows you how many texts I actually use).
  • Rico's 401K loan payments end in Sept so that's an extra amt coming in that is currently tied up.
  • We're going to try to rearrange the storage unit so we can get rid of that completely. Hopefully sell some stuff or just move it to the garage.
I mentioned giving up one car as an option - I'd be willing to get rid of my car.  That would mean one less payment + half the insurance, meaning about $450 a month.  But I think we would drive each other crazy if we went to a 1 car family, considering we'd have to change our work schedules and work around each other if we wanted to do something that the other didn't want to do.  

If I'm lucky - which I'm not counting on - my 2 year review is coming up in June/July.  They didn't do one last year so no raise.  Maybe they'll make up for it this year....we can only hope.

Enough of this depressing subject!  Today is a gorgeous 70 degrees with bright blue skies.  Perfect for grilling hamburgers and airing out the house!  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Outing

This weekend turned out gorgeous on both coasts.  Apparently the soft crabs are popping like popcorn back home, which is keeping them busy (in a good way, definitely).  Here on the West Coast, the rain clouds parted and the temps rose to around 70 with gorgeous blue skies, perfect for a Mother's Day outing! Rico and I took Erika on her first trip up to Snoqualmie Falls.

Lookie what I made ... I figured out how to put watermarks on my photos.  I haven't decided if I want to go with a more traditional name like Lopez Photography...but for now it's LocoPhoto :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Today, I'm celebrating a woman who has encouraged me to dream, who has supported me through tough decisions, who is the strongest woman I know.

A woman who knows her own mind, speaks it freely and is an incredible business woman.  

Intelligent, forgiving, patient, stubburn.   A wife, mother, and soon-to-be grandma.

To her I say, thank you.  Thank you for being an inspiration and a support system.  You're who I want to be when I grow up.  I love you, Mom!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fix-It Friday #1

Whoohoo! It's Friday! We made it to the end of the week! Tonight, I'm lucky enough to get to go to the Nickelback concert at the Tacoma Dome.  Amanda had an extra ticket and since I've never seen them and love their music, I jumped at the chance to go!  No pictures though - they have a strict camera policy unfortunately and I don't want to chance having it confiscated.

The organization that is sponsoring our photo walk in June (I Heart Faces) holds a weekly challenge for it's members.  It's called Fix-It Fridays.  They upload a random imperfect photo and you practice your editing on it.  There's no contest and no winner, it's more to see different styles of editing and tips as well as tricks.  So with that said, here's my first attempt.  I'm at work so all I have is Google's Picasa to help me...

The original
 Fix #1
 Fix #2

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wild Weather

Nothing compared to what Tennessee is experiencing right now but here's a few shots that took us by surprise tonight...
Looks like rock salt but it's pea sized hail...silly May weather!

Before & Afters...

I've been practicing a little on the post processing of my photos.  The before shots are SOOC (straight out of camera) and the afters are I've tweeked and tortured the pictures in either Aperture or Photoshop.  These are from Colorado and Antigua.

In other news... It's amazing how long a bag of chips last if you only eat one suggested serving size at a time...