30 June 2009

Oh happy day!
Minnesota FINALLY has the Senator it deserves!

28 June 2009

cherry and the spoon bridgeToday we had a wonderful Sunday. Mike left bright and early for a mountain bike ride. When he got home we headed off to our new 'favorite' breakfast cafe in the City, we like to try one every other week from our 'green guide' book, because it's good to try new places and it's awesome if you have coupons!). We took a walk through one of the neighborhoods we long to reside in(insert pained sigh), and browsed in the small stores that lined the street next to the restaurant. After a scrumdiddlyumptious meal and thoroughly satiated, we headed to Centennial Lakes for a stroll and a paddle boat ride. Piper and her Daddy took to the water while Paisley and I looked on. After ice cream we headed home for a short nap and to pack a picnic. We jumped into the car, and headed back to the City for an early dinner at the Sculpture garden. I tried to get a few decent shots of the cherry and spoon bridge, but it was 4pm and still pretty bright. If you look closely, you will see a rainbow in the bottom right hand corner...kind of cool, as across the street a festival for gay rights had just ended.
After a stroll through the park we headed home with two extremely sleepy Snowflowers....just the way we like it!

My wonderful husband is tired. dog tired. He works hard, even harder since the layoffs at the company he works for...taking on more and more work. He's not alone, many like him are shouldering the burden of those vacated chairs and offices. Yet, he finds the time to put his daughters to bed and read them their favorite story every.single.night!. He's home for dinner by 6pm, even if that means he is back on his laptop by 8. My husband is tired.
He needs a vacation.

j.u.m.pthe kid has springs in those legs!
and apparently, in her hair too!

27 June 2009

jumpin' jamboree!
Today was the Red Rhino's last day of Soccer for the season. They played two games and Piper scored a couple of goals. Piper has been somewhat of an instigator of love on her team, in the first weeks the boys didn't want to come within two feet of the girls, but she worked her magic and slowly but surely she has turned their team into the love~bunch, lots of hugs and kisses all around. I was a long way away from this when it happened, but I love how her team-mate closed his eyes when he went in for the embrace.so cute!

26 June 2009

Paisley @ the Park

b.e.n.d.yterrible photo, I am yet to figure out warehouse fluro lighting with my lens...but I had to post this because it's cool..Piper is working on backward walkovers, crazy how flexible they are at this age eh! Paisley is chompin' at the bit to go to gymnastics but she will have to wait until next Spring when she is three. By that time I'm sure Piper will have taught her a few fancy moves!

signing piperThis week was Piper's first photoshoot. We just recently signed her with two local agencies, one that is based both here in Minneapolis & New York City and does mostly print, and another agency that deals more in acting work. Who knows what will come of it, but it's fun and she loves being the center of attention!apparently the stylist was rockin' 80's style on this one...I flashed back to Punky Brewster! The stylist said she was more of a NYC girl in style than a midwest girl! representn' Obama & Dan Zanes! That's my girl!

25 June 2009

ZiZi loves Taylor Swift too!

Paisley might be the little sister, but she refuses to be left out of anything...her favorite words being 'my turn Piper', well, she finally had her turn in the car yesterday after we dropped off her big sister at daycamp(ok, it's not a real day camp, it's just an hour, but Piper likes to call it that). Paisley was in hog heaven that she could sing the song without her sister belting it out beside her, she takes her music seriously don't cha think!

scroll down to pause music

23 June 2009

where faeries bathestraight out of camera adjusted white balance in lightroom which I could have done on site by adjusting my white balance. This was a lesson well learned. If you get bored with the photography Mum, just let me know!

Today I took the snowflowers to the Arboretum so that I could take a few shots for my online class. I'm really enjoying it, although it is quite the challenge I must say! One of my assignments was to take a shot with a slow shutter speed. Let's just say, taking two ornery kidlets to a place where there is water and the heat index is 105 degrees....well, I should have known better! I set them up on a nice picnic blanket under a tree while I set up a shot...within, uh, maybe 26.5 seconds both of them were barefoot and up to their knees in the creek. The reason they were barefoot is because they had thrown their converse into aforementioned creek....hmmm...thankfully we live less than 5 minutes away and I ran back tonight to actually 'take photos'. Why don't I learn...toddlers + cameras = disaster!
I love the Arboretum...we're lucky to live so close

eaten alive for thisI have another assignment for my online class.
I messed with this one in lightroom because frankly in it's original form it sucked. I need to peruse Flickr and get more ideas...at least I tried, and in return I gave blood to at least 57000 mosquitos...up here they are the size of wilderbeasts.

21 June 2009

Happy Daddy Day!You are the best Daddy in the world..we love you so much!

Growing Snowflowers in the Peace Gardenall we needed was sunshine and a few raindrops and guess what happened. I love these photos I took today..they aren't perfect, but I shot EVERYTHING in manual mode and am learning a lot about what my lenses can do and how I can stretch them to their limits. I took one lens to the park today, my little 50mm f/1.8, it's an inexpensive lens, less than $100 and I loved what I can do with it. beautiful flowers in the garden this season don't you think?

beautiful Paisley RoseI know n.o.t.h.i.n.g. about Adobe lightroom...nothing, nada, zilch, zero. I downloaded the free trial and have just used one of their presets to change this photo...I will have to do some reading to be able to figure out how to download all those fancy presets floating around...I especially love the Pioneer Woman presets, I just cant figure out how to get them into my LR so I can apply them to the photos. But I did like this version best...softer, more whimsical. I guess I should crop it, but one thing at a time people...which one do you like? Please give me some feedback....I need it BIGTIME!

20 June 2009

my sister sells pretty thingsMy sister Tracey sells pretty things. She just opened her Etsy store and sells upcycled and repurposed vintage and custom dresses and shabby chic clothing. I love her stuff...love it, especially the upcycled sweater dresses. I cannot wait until she brings out her childrens line of sweater coats and dresses, because the Snowflowers will be stylin' in their eco-concious gladrags! It's a whole new concept in clothing and it's part of our glabal goal to reduce.reuse.recycle

shooting in manual
Introducing Foo...our Jiangxi puppy
Like I mentioned earlier, I'm doing this online photography class...it's a wee bit intimidating, as was my PFP workshop...I kinda feel a little like Charlie Brown when his teacher is trying to impart some academic gem that will save his life...but all he hears is "wah wah wah"....well, I'm spending hours reading my manual and the field guide for my camera and, funnily enough some of the information is finally settling in. I might be losing some other important information, but danggammit my brain can only hold so much, and if I cannot remember my phone number or my daughters birthdays then so be it!
Tonight I tried messing with 'manual' mode, this is very intimidating to me. I mean there are some pretty nifty settings on this camera I have to admit, but to have to manipulate each and every part of the equation to make a good photograph is a little more daunting than I thought...so...my self imposed exercise was to take a photo indoors, at night, with low ambient light. I meddled with the ISO, the aperture, the f-stop and the exposure...and for a while I ended up with very fuzzy or very dark photos...until this one. Admittedly, it is not the most well composed photo, the rule of thirds has not been applied, but I sucked it up.
I'm learning me some technique!

she shoots...she scores!It was a hot start to the day...we hit 80 before we even touched the soccer field...thats kinda hot for us up here in the North. The kids were sweatin' it out and playing like Manchester United! I'm so proud of how far the team has come in the last couple of months...they actively pass, dribble and score goals...the best part is watching their team spirit and good sportsmanship build game after game.
Piper scored a goal today and was incredibly proud. I didn't get the shot because I was pfaffing around with my camera settings trying to handle shooting in manual, which by the way...I completely suck at! I'm doing an online class right now and in a bit over my head but it's challenging and I'm going to get it..one day...and then I wont miss the big shots!

18 June 2009

Lazy Summer Day
Mike took this week off so we could do some jobs around the house and just hang out as a family. It has been so nice, really low key. We pulled out a bunch of bushes ready for the new fence to go in, we did paperwork and housework, and grilled out as much as we could...but most of the time we just hung out with the girls. We don't have a fancy swimming pool but the girls seem to do just fine in the little paddling pool I picked up on amazon. The neat thing is that when it's time to change the water the Snowflowers help me water all the plants with the pool water! aaaah, Al Gore would be proud!
Another GREAT summer item for the Snowflowers is this super cheap water table I got them last year...it provides HOURS upon HOURS of solid entertainment! Who knew!

there was even reciprocal hair washing...which led to this...and THIS!and the customary waterboarding of Ariel.the girls have about one million swimsuits, but honestly the bulk of them came courtesy of our friend Lisa in NY who keeps Paisley clothed in style! Thanks Lisa!

17 June 2009

Piper loves Taylor Swift!

I wish I'd captured video when she did her first rendition, it had the hair flip and soap opera expressions, it's never the same when you ask them to repeat their 'show'...after all, impromptu is always best...but I couldn't resist putting this one on for my Mum & Dad. After hearing the song 3-4 times she knew all the words, she gets them mixed up here and there but for the most part she has it down! Next step? Piano lessons? nope. Violin lessons? nope...guitar lessons?...absofreakinlutely! Who says the Snowflowers stay inside the line? not this Mummy! Mike suggested Paisley learns the drums...hmmm, funnily enough I agreed.

don't forget to scroll down and pause the music if you want to hear Miss P sing.

10 June 2009

playing with lightroom
I have no idea what I'm doing...yet
I just downloaded the 30 day free trial for lightroom, and although Deb gave us a wonderful tutorial at her workshop, I was completely lost because I've NEVER used any kind of post processing software...frankly it terrifies me! However...I'm going to conquer this thing, *I'm gonna learn me some good ole photographic manipulations and I'm gonna get good at this thing if it kills me.
Now don't get me wrong, I don't aspire to the heights of those super-mega-fancy-schmancey-blogger-mommas out there with the megabuckaroos invested in all the gadgetaramas and software bonanzas...after all, we are a single income family and we have to eat. What I do hope to do is slowly build a small collection of gear that I can use to take photos of my Snowflowers and hopefully one day I will get good enough to take photos of friends children.
*note: I don't regularly manipulate the English language like this...I just thought the post called for some holla'speak.

09 June 2009

it's okay...I'm with the band
watch out Jonas Brothers, here come the Snowflower Sisters.
Both of the girls ADORE music...Piper prefers mainstream girly pop,like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift, Paisley is our rocker, she loves the Ting Tings and Flogging Molly...I have great hopes that they will form an all girl band and tour pre-schools from coast to coast! Mike and I are seriously considering guitar lessons.

Paisley has some serious 'tude, she takes her music very seriously, she prefers the foot stamp in time to the beat, Piper likes to dance it up and perform(well, thats no surprise)...together it is really quite the show. I must get them on video!

check out the pout...it's a ska thing, she's also working on the rocker scowl...I don't know where she got it from, it's like she's channeling Mick Jagger! This is her stone face rocker look...a little pouty a little "watch out while I smash this guitar"...

rock on girls...rock on!

08 June 2009

nine years

I don't look like my wedding pictures anymore, but the man who stood beside me on that day in June nine years ago is as wonderful, kind and loving as the day we met. We have always walked hand and hand together in this marriage and we consider ourselves truly truly blessed to be each others best friends.

03 June 2009

Oh Canada...and other snipits
conversation in line at the bank...
"Mummy, wouldn't it be silly if a bird sat on my head"
"that would be silly Piper"
"what would it do up there?"
"I don't know, but it might poo on your head!"
"does that happen Mummy? really truly?"
"it has happened"
"oh, does it happen in Cananda too?"
later that day Piper tells Paisley a bedtime story..
"Paisley, in Canada there are really big crabs...it's really freezing up there in Canada, you can turn into an ice cube"
"ice coob Piper"
"if we go to Canada a bird might poo on your head...Mummy told me it happens all the time"
"ew yuk poop"
"I know...it's disgusting"
who needs television when you have two kids!

01 June 2009

"ice ceeeem pleeez""nummy"
da kid loves ice cream, although admittedly only half of what is in the cone makes it into her tummy! Todays flavor is chocolate chocolate chip...mmmmmmmessssy!