Easter Weekend or Something Like It

I hope everybody had a Happy Easter. Mine was okay, but none of my siblings were home so it wasn’t very exciting. I will bore you with it anyway.

Friday Bryan and I went to the WRAL Azalea gardens for a lunch picnic:

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Then my parents had a party of their house.

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Saturday I saw one of my brothers for about 2 hours and then scrapbooked the rest of the day.

Then Easter happened. This was the entirety of Easter:

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I also had two glasses of wine with dinner and then went back into the craft room. There is no photographic evidence of this, but Lady Gaga was heavily involved.

Then today I made these wonderful coasters for my future apartment. They match that beautiful quilt there that my sister made me.

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Typical weekend…but twice as long. 🙂

Rainy Days

Something I’ve noticed ever since I got my camera is that I feel like I have a new pair of eyes. Everything I look at, I try to see as a photograph. It makes me appreciate the little things – like driving home when the sun is at that point in the sky that it shines right in your eyes – that’s not just annoying to me anymore- it’s some of the most beautiful and flattering light. And rain? Rain makes everything shine and sparkle a little bit more than usual. Rain clouds are so interestingly shaped and textured that they make the sky itself a good subject for a photo.

In conclusion – we have a beautfiul little world. And I love taking pictures of it.

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Disclaimer: I was at a REALLY long stop light when i took this ^Image

This is probably one of my favorites for a very simple reason – I did absolutely zero post-processing on this. I didn’t even convert it to black and white. This is exactly what I saw through my camera the other night when it was stormy. It hadn’t started raining quite yet…I was on my way home from work on Ebenzer Church Rd and I pulled over by the bike trail to try capturing pictures of the crazy looking storm clouds. Little did I know it would turn out so awesome. (I like when I’m accidentally good at photography)

 

 

All By Myself

My weekend is winding down (at least for the next few hours). It’s been a pretty exciting one, considering I’m at my parents’ watching the dog for them. I’ve practiced a lot of photography which I’m most excited about. And yesterday I got to have lunch with two old friends who I haven’t seen in over four years! I won’t bore you with more words…here’s yesterday in picture form.Image
Probably one of the best pictures I’ve gotten of him. He’s not very photogenic.
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(I think I’m gonna redo this one with a whole dandelion…it wasn’t a difficult shot. Just need a clear blue sky for it…and a dandelion. Which apparently don’t exist here in Knightdale yet)Image
Wish this one was more in focus.Image
Before I took this I read about spot metering. Taking this picture actually made spot metering make so much sense…if the buildings were correctly exposed, the sky would look white. But, I metered off the sky and underexposed it a tad and then brightened it in paintshop. I’m practically an expert now, guys! I did, however forget to open my aperture a little bit so more of the background was in focus. You win some, you lose some.Image
I haven’t taken any pictures today but I’ve been pretty productive – I cleaned my car inside and out (which took about 2 hours and was probably a waste of time because it’s now parked under a tree gathering pollen). And I gathered all the shit I’ve been storing in my closet for when I move and consolidated it to a giant box. Basically, that was me starting to pack. More of that will come in the following months. Much more. I might go shopping (again) now…for lack of anything better to do.

Sunrise and Smoothies

Good morning! I’m at my parents’ house taking care of the dog this weekend. When I let him outside this morning I took my first attempt at a sunrise shot. After a little post-processing and cropping, this is what I got.

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I need some practice before our beach trip in July (we’re staying on the sound which will get some incredible sunsets). Can’t wait! 🙂

I have a new obsession with smoothies. I had one for breakfast AND dinner yesterday. I even bought cute straws to make prettier pictures of them. Here’s the one I had for dinner. And i even included the recipe (totally improvised btw…once you get the hang of what goes in a smoothie, you really can’t screw it up).

1 c. Strawberries
1 Banana, frozen
1/4 c. oats
1/2 c. almond milk
1/2 c. plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp peanut butter

I didn’t realize I still had some vanilla protein powder with me or I would have used that instead of the yogurt. Or really, you can use both. But I used the yogurt for its protein. Here are some beautiful pictures of the result!

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And it was delicious. Also, so are these nutella no-bake cookies (gluten free, but loaded with sugar…not super-healthy)Image

 

Yummm.

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Today was a gloomy, disgusting Monday. But this wasn’t such a terrible thing. I’ve been wanting to try taking pictures of rain somehow, and while I didn’t whip out my camera until later this afternoon when it had stopped raining, I think I managed to capture the essence of spring.These little guys are growing alongside my building’s parking lot, so I tried some macro shots when I got home from work today. I’m not sure I got the “perfect” shot, but I think the ones I got are pretty good (or 2 out of the 8 of them at least).Image.

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Pretty yellow flowers! Ahh…I love springtime. 🙂

Do Rad Things

Yesterday was the day. I’ve been planning for it and working towards it for 2 months now. However, this story should really begin about 8 months ago. (warning, a little bit of sappiness to follow).

I’ve always been blessed with the ability to eat whatever the hell I wanted to and not gain a pound. Part of that I attribute to having danced a lot throughout high school. College didn’t seem to change me all that much – I may have gained 5 pounds over the four years, but that was due to the fact that I was losing muscle and replacing it with fat. Though this was pretty cool and convenient, not having to worry about weight and exercise and dieting, I soon learned that size isn’t everything and I needed to make some changes. This sudden realization that I needed to develop healthier habits happened when I went to my annual doctor’s appointment. After having my blood pressure, weight, and height checked, I got situated in the room, waiting for the doctor, when the nurse came in to check my blood pressure again. This was because she literally did not believe it was correct the first time, because for my size and age 150/90 is just not normal. 150/90, guys. Normal is 120/80.

So that was when I starting making changes. My mom loaned me her blood pressure monitor (because, surprise! She struggles with blood pressure too…must be where I got it from). I began checking it every day and realized, that what I thought was “white coat syndrome” (where your blood pressure is high at the doctor because you’re nervous about being at the doctor), was a real problem. On a good day I was probably 140/85. So little by little, I improved my diet. I stopped eating Taco Bell as much (I’ll always love you,#7 with chicken). I joined a gym after trying to run a mile for the first time in over a year (and NOT succeeding). And since then I’ve filled an entire drawer up with workout clothes and now own some dumbbells and an exercise ball.

I made a New Year’s Resolution to run a 5k this year…REALLY run it. Then in February, I saw that Color Me Rad was coming to Raleigh so I signed me and Bryan up. The last 2 months I’ve logged a lot more time on the treadmill and cleaned up my diet even more and it all paid off because yesterday’s race was so incredible!!

And now…pictures: (Note: some of these were taken on my dad’s phone)

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And the lovely finish line picture! I didn’t time my run exactly,  but according to the clock I was approximately 27 minutes. My goal was 32 minutes…so I was pretty damn happy about that. I couldn’t believe it. 🙂

 

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Shout-out to the best parents in the world for coming out to support me. I don’t think I would have ran the whole way if I didn’t know they were waiting for me at the finish line.

 

So Rad!

I’m making up for my lack of posts last week. Two in a row this week and it’s not even the weekend!

Look what I picked up today! I had to drive literally to the opposite corner of Raleigh from work, but luckily I avoided MOST of the traffic since I leave at 3 on Fridays. 🙂

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Yayyy…so many fun goodies! I’m so pumped for tomorrow. I don’t think Bryan is as excited as I am though…especially after I dropped the bomb on him tonight over our spaghetti dinner (hello carbo-loading) that we have to be there at 8:45am.

That is all for tonight. Be on the lookout for race pictures! I hope I can get a few before and after shots in tomorrow.