Team Up Thursday - Landscape

>> Thursday, September 30, 2010

I wish that I could wake up to this view everyday. Right before the sun rises and all is still quiet. My shot is from an early morning walk while on vacation in Topsail, NC. Gosh, to me that is paradise. Angie's landscape is completely opposite of mine with all the lush greenery. Her contribution is the driveway leading to her family's ranch. It is also a piece of paradise in her neck of the woods. Maybe we should have called our Team Up "Paradise" this week :)

Check out more Team Up Thursdays at Melody's and Megan's.


WW - Middle fake, big fake & baby fake

>> Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I know that I take too many pictures of them. They have heard "I will give you *insert whatever I have handy here* if you just do what I ask for 2 minutes". Really that is all you need most days and normally they are happy to help their mama get a treat. We played after school today and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to get a shot of all 3. As I was going through all the pictures I came across this one - they are so cheesey. In fact they were probably even saying "cheese" in that fake "but I am smiling" sort of way.

Piper has her school pictures on Friday. My girlfriend was surprised that I was getting them done and well, I wasn't really wanting to pay $14 for 2 3x5's and a few wallets. Highway robbery! Matt wants them. I guess so that we can look back and laugh at her b/c historically aren't school pictures the absolute worst? I have quite a few years I would like to magically disappear :) I can't wait to see the cheesey smile Piper comes home with.

More Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom and for the more chatty ones like myself there is Wordful Wednesday.
and also


Gettin' a little action

>> Friday, September 24, 2010

I got Lightroom a few years back for a steal. It is what I use to initially work on the photos I take. I am FAR from even scratching the surface on some of the things it can do but for the edits I like to make it is great. PS has SO many actions that are fun to try out. I tend to love actions on other peoples shots but not so much on my own. Mostly I just try and process as closely as I can to normal. That doesn't stop me from playing with them for much too long at night. I mean I see some real art out there so each time I hit "play" I secretly say "please let this one look REALLY cool" in my head. Ok, mostly out loud. My family is used to me talking to myself. Anyway, I recently found some actions for Lightroom that give quite beautiful results and best of all many are free! Check out Pretty Presets if you are using Lightroom.

Before SOOC:


What do you think? What is your opinion of actions?

BTW, the owner does not know me and definitely doesn't know that I am even posting this. I loved the way that this action turned out on my shot and I need to give credit where it is due - not to me lol :)


Team Up Thursday - Fly

>> Thursday, September 23, 2010

Group theme this week was FLY. Imagine a picture from above. I thought and thought about how to go about doing it and finally came up with "Don't Text And Drive". It is hard to see but Piper is holding a Blackberry :) I took the shot from our second story deck so it is sort of higher up than I had hoped but it still makes me smile and my girls had fun doing it. When I opened Angie's email I smiled at hers too. It's a slam dunk!

I have a feeling I will be doing a bunch of smiling this week as I visit the other blogs participating. Wednesday as I was putting this post together my sister in law sent me a text about a blog that she recently found. It's called Mila's Daydreams. That is one creative mama! How perfect does her ENTIRE blog go with our group theme?

Check out more Team Up Thursdays at Melody's and Megan's.


I heart faces - Smirk

>> Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This girl is the queen of smirks. As I go back through pictures I take of the girls I laugh at hers. She always has some sort of goofy look on her face. I don't even think it is on purpose which tickles me. She is bored and gets funny looks.

Want smirks? Go to...


Inspired By Finn Amber Teething Necklace Giveaway!

If you have ever seen a picture of our little Ruby I am sure that you noticed the necklace that she wears. We get comments on it all the time and then I take that opportunity to tell them that it is amber and helps with pain. I did not know about the benefits of amber until pregnant with her. I bought the necklace when she started teething at 3 months old and she has worn one ever since. Recently I had the pleasure to review an amber necklace by Inspired By Finn. The necklace we received was very well made. If you are afraid of your child breaking it and the beads becoming loose don't, they are individually knotted to insure that won't happen. We chose the rainbow round necklace and I think it looks beautiful on our girl, don't you?

From their site:
Historically, Baltic Amber has been used in Europe as a natural and traditional remedy and curative for many ailments for centuries. Long ago it was considered one of the leading ‘medicines’ of its time. Baltic Amber is the most esteemed amber in the world, and the healing qualities of Baltic Amber make it unlike any other type of amber found in the world.
When baltic amber is worn on the skin, the skin’s warmth releases trace amounts of healing oils from the amber. These oils contain succinic acid and are absorbed into the skin.

Baltic Amber has some of the highest concentrations of Succinic Acid found in nature, and this is what makes it so special. Succinic Acid is a natural component of plant and animal tissues, and it's presence in the human body is beneficial in many ways.

Baltic amber contains analgesic properties and helps take the edge off of many types of discomfort associated with dental issues, headaches, joint pain, etc.

I encourage you to read more about amber's benefits especially if you have a teething babe or perhaps you have some mild pain. I know many mamas that wear these and swear by them!

'Like' Inspired By Finn on Facebook and receive 20% off your total order, please use code FB20.
'Like' Inspired By Finn on Facebook AND use the 'Suggest to Friends' link to save 25% off your total order. If you choose to do this one please use code FB25 at checkout.

Inspired By Finn is offering one of my readers a 16" or smaller amber necklace of your choice. Just to gauge sizing I ordered Ruby a 12.5-13" necklace and she is 18 months old.
Please include your email address with your comment if it is not visible on your profile or you do not have a blog - thanks!

Mandatory Entry: Visit Inspired By Finn and let me know which necklace you would choose if you won and who it would be for. With so many pretty options to choose from I won't hold you to your decision today :)

Extra Entries
1. 'Like' Inspired By Finn on Facebook.
2. Follow me on twitter and tweet about the contest.
3. Request to be on Inspired By Finn's email list to receive sale and product information
4. Follow my blog publicly.
5. 5 extra entries for making a purchase from Inspired By Finn now until the the
end of the giveaway on October 4, 2010.

Please leave a separate comment for any additional entries. Contest ends October 4, 2010 at 11:59 pm. Open to all my US & Canadian friends!


Team Up Thursday - Small

>> Monday, September 20, 2010

Yes, I am late. It is b/c I am a failure at actually trying to accomplish anything while on vacation. I had a few posts that I scheduled for last week but to come up with one? Nope, didn't happen. Do you know I had eBay auctions end while I was on the road too? Some days I think that my brain wakes up on a different side of the bed lol :)

Here we go! Angie's shot is perfection. I can tell that she is loving her new camera! I am not sure that with my noisy crew I would even get a dragonfly to stay near me. Great job Angie! My shot is of a shark's tooth. Small but still I wouldn't want to run into that shark anytime soon. The awesomeness that is Topsail Island has many unique things to beach comb for. Violet actually became quite a little shark tooth finder. We found so many I don't even know whose this was. It is one of my most favorite things about that area.

Of course the laundry is still not done so more vacation pictures (although not many) to come.


Coming Into Her Own

>> Friday, September 17, 2010

It is hard to look at Violet as a baby anymore. She is 3 1/2 and turning into a big girl in front of my eyes. Don't believe me? Check out this super model pose :)

Gone is the chubby little baby and before me is a growing, intelligent little beauty.

Mommy goggles?


WW - The Hunt

>> Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Aunt Bebe loved to go thrifting. I went along with her at an early age. She loved the hunt and in turn taught me to love it as well. When Matt and I first met we used to go to antique shows and swap meets. Fun times. My kids are still a little too young for that yet but what they aren't too young for is thrift stores. There is always something to find at a thrift store right? Violet now asks me if we can go to the Goodwill or Value Village. My girls love those stores as much as I do. It makes me so happy. I had some errands to run and asked her if she wanted to stop by Goodwill on our way home. Well certainly she did. So I packed up my car with 2 boxes that I had to donate and off we went. It is like a vicious circle, I buy and then I purge lol :)

What goodies did we come home with? Well I found a beautiful "much to fancy to wear to school but since it was $2 she can" dress for our Violet. A swim cover up for me - while you are reading this I am probably wearing it b/c we are AT THE BEACH! Finally the the pièce de résistance - the owl necklace.

While we were in the parking lot Violet found a dime. She decided she wanted to buy something with her money. I know a dime doesn't buy much these days but I agreed to let her look at the costume jewelry. She found this piece with no price tag and they gave it to us for $.50. I thought that was a little high but she loves it. I know I am not really teaching her the value of money b/c I had to give her $.40 to cover it but she is 3. There is a lifetime to learn you can't afford anything. That is why you shop at the thrift store - treasures to be found!

More Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom and for the more chatty ones like myself there is Wordful Wednesday.

and also




>> Monday, September 13, 2010

in the summer sun! I loved that song when I was a kid. Did I mention I was raised by great grandparents :)

The family truckster is packed. Remember when Clark called it that?

Get with the times Jessie! The family swagger wagon is packed.

Yuppie car topper on. We bought this when we realized that going anywhere with a family of over 3 required more storage room than a minivan could provide. These days ours is a sleek looking Thule but remember the "big mac"? My family gave me one of those when I moved from WI to CA. When we moved to NC we brought it here as well but then gave it to a deserving couple also taking the plunge and driving to their new home many states away.

Swimwear packed! I packed light. A few outfits per child, a few outfits for mama, and as many swimsuits as we owned. I don't plan on doing anything but playing on the beach.


I will be disconnecting from the internet (except for Thursday when I do my quickie Team Up assignment), phones (unless there is an emergency), texting, and best of all FACEBOOK! Bet you can't believe it! That is why I won't be blog hopping but I can't wait to come back and see that the real world actually does still go on even though I am not here lol :)



Wanna know how to make a little girl excited about racing?

>> Friday, September 10, 2010

Paint the car pink and purple. Add a rainbow and unicorn to the hood.

Maybe a cute baby seal to the rear. Another rainbow? Of course!

Some kitties & puppies. Flowers, hearts, and ice cream cones help too.

Then let them sit in it!

What could be better?

If you have no idea what I am talking about please refer to video. If it doesn't put a smile on your face I don't know what will. I thought it was the neatest thing when I heard they were actually running this paint scheme - tonight!

My Wee View


Team Up Thursday - Work

>> Thursday, September 9, 2010

Check out Angie's shot would ya. How about that for selective focus? Perfect mama! Except wait, that was last week :) This week is WORK and she absolutely loves her work too. I am amazed at this shot of hers. If you haven't visited Angie's blog you must b/c you are missing out. When I opened her email to find her shot I had to giggle that she was painting a dog b/c "who doesn't love puppies, kittens, and baby seals?" If you would have asked me 6 years or more ago if I loved my job I would have said "Nope". I would sit that last hour going CRAZY b/c the clock wasn't moving. My husband on the other hand really loves his. The shop is where he spends most of his day when he is in town. Bummer for us but at least he isn't staring at the slow ticking second hand trying not to die of boredom. Lucky him.

Check out more Team Up Thursdays at Melody's and Megan's.


WW - Busy, Busy, Busy

>> Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My older girls are off to school now. With Violet gone 2 days a week and 3 hours a time you might think that I have some time to take a deep breath and get some things done around our house. You would think that if you didn't know Ruby. That child has me running constantly. These 3 shots were taken within a few minutes while she was literally running from one side of our yard to the other checking out everything in between. This baby is wide open. Matt called her "Forrest Gump" the other night b/c "if she is ever going anywhere, she is running!". Since that is my all time favorite movie it got a laugh from me :) So if you think you might drop by and find a clean house anytime before that baby goes to preschool, well you might be disappointed.

More Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom and for the more chatty ones like myself there is Wordful Wednesday.

and also


Sending off another one...

>> Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Today our Violet started 2 day a week preschool. She was so excited. I asked her if she wanted me to walk her in or if she wanted to just have me drop her off. She knows the preschool well b/c it was where Piper went last year so she said drop off. Until the door to the van was open and then she said "bring me in" but the teacher already had her unbuckled and whisked out the door and into the school. I cried. Again. She couldn't stop talking the whole way home about the fun she had. That makes it a little easier for me :)


Road Trip!!

>> Friday, September 3, 2010

Off we go for a few days of fun. We are joining Matt in one of our most favorite destinations - Hotlanta! Panda bears, American Girls, and a Dwarf House - what more can our girls ask for?

From last year b/c it is a ritual

I wouldn't mind hitting the Marietta Diner featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives for breakfast, lunch, or supper. Gosh I hope we can fit it in b/c the menu looks amazing AND child friendly. A must around here :) Until Monday...


Team Up Thursday - Selective Focus

>> Thursday, September 2, 2010

I have been crying for over a week. If you regularly read my blog you are probably sick of it. Sorry, I can't help being heartbroken over Piper starting school. I am coming around though. Today she came home with a butterfly puppet. She earned 3 happy chips and got to pick a prize. Piper loves school. Piper loves her teacher. Piper loves riding the bus. I need to get a grip and let her go out and enjoy this new experience. Still, she is my subject today :) My baby with her butterfly.

Angie lives in such a beautiful place. Look at this cotton. She said there is a whole field of it. Beautiful! Do butterflies like cotton?

Check out more Team Up Thursdays at Melody's and Megan's.


WW - I want to remember

>> Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I was somehow blindsided that Piper was going to be in school. I knew it but when it came right down to her going I thought "Now, really. It's too soon." I am paying special attention these days to moments and funny things they do. How Piper and Violet still wear their headbands "Flashdance" style. How when I am able to finally get Ruby to sleep the older girls and I enjoy picnics in the living room. How they will still climb on my lap for hugs & kisses. I have blinked and my oldest went from a babe to Kindergartner. My middle is going to start preschool. How my heart is breaking watching these firsts and I can't imagine it will get any easier from here on out. These are the times I wish I were better at scrapbooking or even buying my youngest a baby book.

There is a special closeness that my girls and I have. I know that it isn't going to always be this way but oh how I wish it were. Matt says they are my army - have I mentioned that before? We have a chant "1-2-3 Lucas Girls!" Watching them do it makes me smile every time :)

More Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom and for the more chatty ones like myself there is Wordful Wednesday.

and also

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