Moody Apple Picking

A couple weekends ago, I went apple picking with a friend and decided to practice shooting manual with my camera. I tend to avoid this setting on my camera because it usually results in frustration and blurry images. (Insert annoyed face here) But I know that the only reason I get such crappy results is because I don't shoot manual, ever. (Obviously - lots of face palming) The issue that I tend to run into is that I can't seem to focus my own vision in order to focus the lens. Sounds like a personal issue! So I decided to work through all the eye squinting, and huffing and puffing and continue to practice shooting manual. I was only able to salvage a few images and then decided to give them a moody look - to match my own mood, obviously ;) 

Doodle Romp at Sandy Hook, NJ

What is a Doodle Romp? At first I didn't think that I could say Google it, but yes, even Google knows what a Doodle Romp is. 

 Have you ever heard of a Labradoodle... Goldendoodle... pretty much anything Doodle? Well a Doodle Romp is a meet up for all the crazy Doodle people and their "doods". Yep, my family and I have become super crazy Doodle people and I think I am okay with it! This was our first Doodle Romp, and Ellie's first time at the beach. We weren't sure what to expect. Was it just going to be a bunch of Doodles and their huumans running around? Yeah, pretty much! 

I had a blast! I didn't plan on going in the water but I ended up going in, clothes and all. Ellie wouldn't get out of the water. Even though she was so tired and could barely stand she kept running back into the waves. 

Ellie needed some coaxing to get into the water. Once I walked in she was right behind me. 

Ready for iOS 9?

Who is ready for the new update for Apple products? I know I am! I try to not be technology obsessed, but I can't help but love playing with new updates :) I could spend all day learning all the new features, tricks and secret easter eggs that the new updates come with. So, what can you do to get ready for the new iOS 9 update?

  1. Back up your phone/Apple device  - This is the most important step!
  2. Go through your device and try to get rid of photos, apps and music that you no longer need. - I know I tend to keep photos on my phone for way too long and I have apps that I don't even remember downloading! 
  3. If you have anything important in your notes, it may be a good idea to export them in an email. Just incase notes resets itself. - I've had that happen. And if you're as forgetful as I am, I am sure you tend to put a lot of important stuff in your notes app ;)
  4. Lastly, wait patiently. - The update won't be available until tomorrow September 16th. And chances are everyone with an Apple device will be downloading the update at the exact same time and will take hours to install. (Been there) I would suggest waiting until later in the day or ever a few days from now. But if you are like me, again, forgetful and impatient you probably won't be able to wait!

A couple relate/kind of unrelated tasks I did tonight along with my back ups and patiently waiting... 

I noticed that I haven't exported my photos on my phone or from my Instagram account in a while. I usually export my photos from my phone a couple times a month, just to keep things current, incase something terrible happens to my phone. I don't want to lose all my photos. On my Mac, I use Image Capture to download all my photos from my phone. It is super easy to use! I just plug in my phone and open Image Capture. Then I create a new folder titled "import 9-15" (obviously the date will vary). I have organized my photos by year, month and then event. So, for example, "Pictures>2015>September>import 9-15" Like I said, super easy! Now you can either delete photos from there after you download them or go onto your phone and delete them from there. 

Next: exporting your Instagram photos! I use a website called instaportme all you have to do is log in with your Insta account and choose if you want to export all, some from a particular date, or time frame and then START EXPORT! Once again, you will have to be patient ;) this may take a while. 

Once it is down exporting click "download."

This will create a zip file. Go into your Downloads folder, the new file should be name instagram_date.zip. Either move this file to a new location (similar to the file organization that I explained eariler, "Pictures>2015>September>Insta import 9-15" or double click to unzip right there. 

Since I have a few Apple devices, I did a back up on all them including my Mac Book. On September 30th, there is going to be an update to the software for Apple computers. I figured while I had the free time I would take care of all my devices. 

Hopefully this post was helpful or at least a good reminder for Apple users! 

Happy updating! 

Watercolors!

The pens I ordered finally came and I just want to watercolor everything. I ordered set of three aquash pens and a color brush pen from Pentel, as well as a watercolor cakes. I have already gone through an entire watercolor paper pack, and had to run out to buy more!  

I am still working on my hand letting technique so stay tuned!  

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Finally Crafting, again. Or At Least Trying!

Lately, I have been obsessed with Instagram. What am I saying, I have been obsessed with Instagram since it was released! I think it came out for the iPhone first and I had a droid at the phone. I was so upset that I couldn't play with it. Anyway, my point was, INSTAGRAM. I love it. And... Recently I have been finding and following more crafty accounts that have beautiful hand lettering designs.. stuff.. photos, whatever! And now I am extra obsessed and decided I should try doing this myself. But wait, I have terrible hand writing. I pouted about it for a few weeks. Picked up a pen a few times to try and gave up a few times as well. UGH.

But then A Beautiful Mess wrote a post about hand lettering! THANK YOU! Because that motivated me to get my sh*t together, stop being lazy and stop making excuses. 

I researched pens and paper and kinds of stuff, only to find out that I am broke :(. So I opted to start small (and be cheap) and I bought Crayola brush pen/markers, Crayola watercolor pens and watercolor paper. Everything costed less than $20 and I even had a coupon (go me)! 

Fist thing I did was just practice. Practiced writing letters, the alphabet, words and my name (with a normal pen). I also had A Beautiful Mess's Messy Pen Set that I got for Christmas and I used those as well since there is an extra fine, fine and medium pen. 

I can't say that I have perfected my hand writing but I can say that it has improved from chicken scratch to somewhat legible :) In past week I have been using the Crayola pens and markers and really really loving them. The only thing is that they are cheap and I am already seeing the wear on the tips of the pens. Soooo, since my tax return came, I ordered some Pentel brand stuff and watercolor cakes! I ordered the same pens that are linked in the hand lettering post from A Beautiful Mess (link above). They haven't come yet, but I am dying to play with them!

But until then, this what I have been doing. It's not much, but for me it's a huge deal!

So these are the pens.

The watercolor markers came with spongy paint pods (not sure what to call them). What you are supposed to do is fill the pen with water and then dip the tip into the paints. I did that at first but then I just started to apply the paint first and then dip the pen into water. I liked that better because a. I didn't have to keep refilling the pen (lazy!) and b. it created a more watery colory affect. (I know! not a word but you get what I mean). The other pens are just like markers and you don't have to do anything special to write with them. I am, however, thinking of dipping them in water to see how that looks... stay tuned!

I don't know if you can tell but I am a huge fan of Lights. I love all of her albums and her music is just amazing to me. It's inspiring, empowering and just gives you so many good "feels." (you can't see but major heart eyes right now<3<3) 

Please, excuse my terrible penmanship, the random words and letters, and my rambling. But either way, thanks for checking out my post!


Winter Blues and Motivation

While 2015 is moving right along... heck it's already February! Time still sort of feels like it is standing still - at least when it comes to getting stuff done and having the motivation to do said stuff. And I mean getting ANYTHING done. My laundry tends to pile up and I just think "I don't have time for this mess! Parks and Recreations is on Netflix." And my giant white fluffy blanket pulls me back into the cocoon of my bed and another one of my days off turns into a Netflix marathon. It has to be the snow and the cold and the thought of scraping ice off of my car that is two inches thick that makes me never want to leave my house. And believe me, I've tried to get out there. I've taken my dogs outside to play in the snow and I've gone out with a friend to take pictures. I still think about hibernating all winter long, but I've decided that I am going to try and slowing pick away at my to-do list until the temperature reaches above 60 degrees and flip-flops are acceptable. 

What has really helped with the winter blues are bubble baths, thanks to Lush bath bombs :)

Yoga

Cooking

Dogs in boots

This awesome ecourse from A Beautiful Mess. It is a combination of two courses: DSLR Basics and Photoshop for Bloggers. I highly recommend it! 

And wine. Wine is very helpful for winter blues ;)

Apologies for being inactive

Sorry for being inactive lately. My schedule has been hectic and I haven't spent much time in front of my computer :( I have some projects in the works and hopefully soon I will be posting my creations! :) Until then, thanks for checking out my site! I frequent more on Instagram (since it is right on my phone and much easier to get to than my laptop) so if you want to see what I am have been up to add me @kristinnemily. Thanks! 

Sharpie Mugs

After seeing the DIY sharpie mugs posts all over Pinterest, I decided, what the heck! I'll give it try. The hardest part was finding oil based sharpies, since most posts said to use them because they stayed on the mug the best... I wanted to use them as well. The first set of four were ordered online through Amazon (just search for oil based sharpie markers, tons will come up). Then I got a few porcelain coffee mugs (found at Homegoods). It was later discovered that my local craft store sold them as well. It wasn't a huge selection, but enough colors to start.

The one post that I followed can be found here where the mugs were baked for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. The key to this is to put the mugs in the over and THEN turn the oven on. You need to let your mugs come to temp slowly to avoid cracking and other disasters. Then once 30 minutes is up just turn off your oven and let them cool down INSIDE the oven. This should take about two hours. 

My Mom and I made a bunch of them. We've been having our tea, breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner in these mugs! They are great size for most meals and they are super cute! 

These will make awesome Christmas gifts ... shhhh ; ]


Smoothie Kick

Recently, I have been making and drinking smoothies nonstop! It is the best, quick on-the-go meal that one can have (in my opinion)!

My favorite recipe is: 1 cup of vanilla non-fat greek yogurt, 1 banana, 1/2 OJ, handful of strawberries, (can be frozen), handful of blueberries (can be frozen) and a few leaves of spinach. It's delicious! 

I also buy the frozen tropical fruit blend bags at the store. It has papaya, pineapple, mango, strawberries and kiwi in it. I pretty much follow the same recipe from above but I substitute the strawberries and blueberries with a handful and half of the tropical fruit blend.

I have yet to really switch it up, but I plan to very soon! 

And yes, I have also been buying smoothies too. After a night out in the city, a smoothie can be the best hangover cure ; ]

Happy...

CATURDAY! 

Since I won't be home tomorrow to participate in Caturday activities, here is your fix one day early.

 

Say hi to Lola.

This is also a great time to introduce the kitten I rescued about a month ago. It was the week after I got back from vacation and word was out that there was a kitten outside (at my previous job).  The animal lover inside of me just had to see this kitten! She couldn't have been more than 3 pounds and 10 weeks old, but she was absolutely beautiful. My heart was breaking every night that I would go home knowing that she was out there alone. Day 3, I decided I was going to capture her. 

A group of us had been feeding her and trying to get a hold of her, but she just would not get close enough. I was able to get her to eat out of my hand the morning we finally caught her. I knew that was a sign that she just could no longer stay outside in the wild near a very busy road. 

With her caught in a raccoon trap and in the back seat of my car, I realized I had no idea what I was doing! Ahh! I have a kitten and no place to take her (being that I already have a cat, two dogs, and a father who would not allow another animal in the house). Thankfully I had been in contact with a friend who had called BARKS, and an appointment was made for her first check-up that evening. At that point I had called my grandmother (who had been wanting a cat for over a year) and told her today was her lucky day... she was getting a kitten! I stopped at PetSmart for supplies and then headed over the vets. 

Turns out she was better off than she looked. She got her first shots, heartworm meds and ended up being flea free! When you took her out of the cage and held her, she just melted like putty in your hands. I think she felt that she was safe and no longer needed to worry about where her next meal was coming from. You would never be able to tell from the pictures below that she was a terrified 3 pound ball of fluff. Now she romps around my grandmother's apartment playing hard with her toys and causing chaos like any kitten should! My grandmother loves her to pieces and calls me almost everyday saying, "You won't believe what Jolie did, that little stinker!"

So, say hello to Jolie!

She is almost 6 months old now and is living a very happy and healthy life :D

Family Vacation

My family decided to go on one last vacation together before my brother goes off to college and we all become too busy to get away. So we went to the Dominican Republic and stayed in Punta Cana. It was a blast! We snorkeled, swam with sharks and sting rays, held starfish, drank our weight in rum and tried all sorts of interesting foods. Hope you enjoy my pictures!

 

Weekend Shenanigans

This weekend went by so fast that I can barely remember what I did. But luckily I captured a few photos! 

My weekend was filled with breakfast dates, delicious food, smoothies, and doggies that don't like their picture taken : ]  

DIY Duvet Cover

Decided to spruce up my room with a new DIY duvet cover! 

Don't mind the wrinkles! Someone got on the bed before I could steam out the fold marks ;]

Don't mind the wrinkles! Someone got on the bed before I could steam out the fold marks ;]

First, you take two sheets (I bought two sheet sets from Homegoods) and put them right sides facing each other. I did start out by pinning it, but found that they got in the way and made the corners not match up. So I just free-handed it!

Then sew around three sides leaving the top open. To find out where the ribbons would go, I spread out the duvet on the floor and placed my comforter on top of it. I placed it in the middle leaving about 5 inches on each end (the sheets ended up being longer than the comforter, I didn't mind because then it would cover more of the bed skirt that I detest but haven't gotten around to changing). Then I pinned the ribbons in place.

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Lastly, (duvet cover still inside out) I sewed closed about half way of the open side. 

Finally! Put your comforter inside of the duvet! You may have to crawl inside to tie up the corners ; ) For now I am leaving the half opening the way it is. Maybe in the future I will close it off with buttons or snaps. 

Obviously still haven't steamed out the wrinkles. Don't judge!

Obviously still haven't steamed out the wrinkles. Don't judge!

Succulents

So I had tried to take a break from my compulsive plant buying, but this is mostly because all of the stores in the area haven't restocked their succulent selection : ( However, this weekend after a delicious brunch with the family I headed into town because a little birdie told me Lowes had gotten in some new plants! There were tons to choose from! I told myself I was only going to get one to replace another that seemed like it was dying : ( But I couldn't help myself and I walked out with a handful! 


Have you ever joined a drumming circle?

Well up until very recently my answer to that question would have been no. However, two weekends ago my friend Lauren (also my yoga partner) went to The Breathing Room Center's five year celebration. We had a blast! We sniffed our way through the essential oils to find the exact blend that is used in the class we take. Then we each got a henna tattoo on our hands (my first henna tattoo!). We snacked on yummy food and then decided "why the heck not?!" and joined the drumming circle that they were about to start. Now if you don't know me, which you probably don't, I am what some may call musically challenged. Or to be plain and simple I cannot keep a beat, a tune... NADA! Even when I tap my foot to a song I like, I am pretty sure I am off behind on the beat : /, it's a curse. But for this particular experience that didn't matter! And thank goodness it didn't because I was all over the place trying to keep pace with the teacher. But everyone was so nice and having such a good time that your skill level wasn't important. 

The teacher talked about the different parts of the drum and were you would tap to get different pitches or tones. (I do not remember the exact terms so please bare with me) Then we went through a handful of different beats and songs. I was sad when it was over!

Before we left, Lauren and I bought a t-shirt and thanked everyone for the wonderful time we had. 

It was an experience that I truly enjoyed, and would suggest anyone and everyone to give it a try!