Christmas, family, phot editing, Photography

Taking Family Photos to Send Out

I am the absolute worst in the world at sending out Christmas cards. My daughter, The Southern Belle, and my mom make me ashamed every year that they can get this done and I cannot. I made the decision that this year I am sending out family cards in January. They go out this week. I need to let those that I love know that I am thinking of them, even if December is too nutty for me to even think of sitting down to write out cards. I have written a letter to send and while we were at the beach I forced convinced my family to go out on the jetty so that we could take pictures that I made a collage out of. I got the idea from this blog. I took one of my chalkboards and had each group write one word on the chalkboard to represent them. I love the results. My photography skills are improving a little.
Here is the one going out:

This was created using Pic Stitch
I hope you enjoy the out takes too. It really took about ten shots per group to get the shot I wanted. Full disclosure: The Southern Belle deleted most of her out takes.

I used a variety of photography apps to create the collage I plan to send out. Here are some of the attempts along with the iPad app I used.

this is a program called Collage
I loved this one, but could not get Miss Maeby in the shot.

This one was from Frame Artist.
Remember that I am cheap so the apps are all the free or 99 cent variety. There were things I liked and did not like about each of them, but my guess is that most of my problems was due to operator error.

Happy 2013 from my family. Continue reading “Taking Family Photos to Send Out”

cooking, mid-life, Star Hill

Changes in the New Year

My long suffering husband and I are people of a certain age. My friends call it mid life, but I have done the math, and unless Hubby is going to live to be 110 we are past that mid life mark. We are in what I have decided to call the third quarter. We have two adult children, enough money to do some things we want, and we are in overall good health. For the new year we are not going to make huge changes to our lifestyle. No fad diets, no hiring a trainer, no plastic surgery.
We have started to make some changes to our lifestyle. We are limiting our eating out to once every two weeks. We both make bad choices when we eat out. We are taking our lunches to work, and we are keeping fruit and cut up veggies in the house.

We are both committing to move more. We are parking further away from stores, taking the stairs when possible, and finding activities to do that involve physical activities. Hubby is joining a gym and I am getting up thirty minutes sooner so that I can Wii or treadmill in the mornings.

The hardest change I am making is to limit the amount of artificial sweeteners. I do love a diet Mountain Dew… too much. I know that my cutting caffeine and those fake sweeteners at the same time is not a good idea for those that I work with and love so coffee and a teaspoon of agave will keep me fueled up. I am also going to drink more water. Good ole plain water. Yuck.

Hopefully we will see results from our small changes. We want to look good for a wedding this June and most importantly, we want to enjoy this third quarter of our life.

I will report in on our progress periodically just to keep us honest.

Happy New Year from my whole crew! The Southern Belle, Joe, Baby Boy, Sweet Amanda, Hubby were all together with me for the holiday. We are loving our extended time at Star Hill. I will be back home January 5 with new posts.