Learning Something New

I’ve JUST begun a wonderful, basic online photography course. I’ve learned some working definitions of Aperture, ISO, don’t know how to adjust the exposure, or what metering EVEN IS yet (talk about a long way to go), but I’m already learning so much.

So far, I’ve had very little opportunity to practice clicking away in the daylight, so grainy, indoor, night time shots will have to do for post one.

20106246_10155618208553987_8688929711193053761_n.jpgSilly and insignificant as this may seem, it was my first time adjusting the aperture to get that vase in focus and that background out of focus. I get an F for composition, and think it’s pretty overexposed with some distracting magenta, but I LEARNED during this photo. So I give it a 10 out of 10.

I am learning this skill for my job at Sumner Academy, but have been pleasantly surprised by how much I’d like to learn this purely for the sake of personal enjoyment.

Lucy.JPG

The handiest subjects are our two pups when I’m confined to the house at night. I love seeing them snuggled into the pillows (yes, we let our dogs on the sofa whether the sofas are donning white or light beige slipcovers; the whole point is that you can pop them off and wash them clean).

I just love the way Lucy looks so nestled in and cozy.

Harley 2.JPGSnoozing Harley was next…

Harley 2_1.JPG…Though the sound of the shutter woke her right up.

Mr. S was kind enough to get the camera for me so I wouldn’t disturb the sleeping dog. If I’d gotten up myself, she almost certainly would have followed me. She’s my little shadow most days, most content within a 5-foot radius of my feet.

Harley.JPGMy little subject just kept wiggling; you can just make out her little raised front paw, as she’s hoping for affection and confused by lens zooming in toward that nose.

Ricky.JPGThen, of course, there’s my favorite subject of all, Mr. S. Those baby blues, that kind smile, and those laugh lines all around his eyes. I could look at that face all day.

Sitting Pretty

IMG_4605-0.JPG
Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I can’t resist giving an updated account of Lucy’s progress.

*Lucy waits patiently for minutes after kibbles are poured and doesn’t eat until she hears, “Amen!”
*She can retrieve a few specific items from around our home like her bowl, her bone, and even her leash.
*When her water dish is empty, she brings it to me to ask for more.
*She releases items without a fight. She simply flops over and shows us her belly submissively.
*Upon return from a walk, she sits down and waits for her leash to be unhooked rather than tearing off in a panic.

We still need to work on her habit of jumping on company out of excitement. She even licks them on the mouth… It horrifies me. So does her tendency to beg at the table. I am hoping that Mr. S will work with her obedience on the leash, too. She pulls so…

She has gotten too smart for her own good and tries her best to disobey commands to get into her crate by hiding under our bed, cowering behind pillows, or simply sitting at the entrance and refusing to walk in.

I Snagged a Deal, Y’all!

I’ve got a confession.

I’m completely obsessed with a chair. Would you be surprised if I told you said chair is from none other than Restoration Hardware? Of course you wouldn’t! Because nearly everything in that store is a lovely mixture of tasteful, refined, and bold. Meet the Vintage French Round Upholstered Side Chair (that’s a lot of adjectives).

prod2420111_S13
Splurge Chair

This drool-worthy beauty comes in several color options, and I happen to adore every single wood finish and fabric. It’s feminine and traditional, but the casual linen fabric saves it from being too stuffy. This is just the look I’m going for in our home (I bet I don’t have to tell you that we’re still pretty far from achieving said look). Though it has a lot to offer, it comes at a price. Literally. These things start at around $200.00 and creep their up to around $400.00 with shipping and tax. Yikes! I don’t judge anyone who forks out that much for a chair, but there’s not room in our teacher/police officer budget for such a splurge. Could we? Sure. Should we? Nope!

photo 2 (2)
Steal Chair

I had resolved that, while I’d never own such a lovely chair, I could be sincerely happy for whoever’s home was filled with such delights. Then lightning struck. I saw this beauty at T.J. Maxx of all places! Along with all three of her perfect sisters! I am not the girl who magically finds the “perfect thing” often. So when I say lightning struck, I really mean it!

She has the pretty pickled-pine finish, linen cushions, oval back, and carved legs of my dreams! And I got all four for about the price of a single chair from RH.

We currently have a bar-height kitchen table. It was an awesome moving-sale steal, so I’ve been thankful for its sturdy build for years. But as we’ve increasingly had toddlers visiting our place, we’ve discovered they’re not ideal for company with young children. Additionally, the leaf is destroyed beyond repair, so hosting more that two other folks is a challenge for us.

We have plans to build a new table with the help of my handy dad, but we definitely don’t have the time/talents to build chairs, too. I’m so thankful for this economical alternative that I truly adore as much as the RH version and can hardly wait to build a table for them. If anyone has a suggestion for a specific wood finish to pair with these beauties, I’m all ears!

For now, they’re scattered all over our tiny one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment, so we’re a little cramped. 😉

photo 1 (2)Another relatively recent change is the addition of this little seafoam pillow from World Market on our bed. I know, it’s not very attention grabbing. But to a neutral-loving girl like me, this is quite the pop of color. 😉 I love that the soft velvet is such a contrast to the rumpled, rough linen duvet and shams.

Our room sure doesn’t look professionally decorated, but it is filled with things we love (like the thumbprint tree pictured left signed and stamped by guests at our wedding in the church where we met). I walk in the door after each busy day and feel such peace and comfort.

Little Valentine’s Day touches also abound thanks to some roses on clearance at our local grocery store. Flowers can feel like such an indulgent treat, but I’ve learned to make the most of single bouquets by spreading out small groupings of the flowers in little clusters.

photo 4 (1)

photo 3 (2)

photo 5

Thanks for stopping by to tour our little home! It’s not grand, but it’s full of love and a whole lot of happy, that’s for sure. Hope you felt it, too!

 Lastly, here is a shot of our cute, wet, miserable puppy after her bath:

1555329_10152216413363987_574203825_nWe love you, Lucy. But you REALLY needed that bath. Stinky girl.

The Tale of Two Doggies

Every girl wants a puppy. Sometimes, it’s a fleeting dream. Other times, it is a non-negotiable need. For me, it’s the latter.

We had a “dream dog” for many, many years. Her name was Maddy.

Maddy was one of those once-in-a-lifetime dogs. Looking back, I should have been able to predict that from the moment we first met.
Continue reading “The Tale of Two Doggies”