Friday, January 13, 2012

I left my heart in San(ta) Elena

I served an LDS mission to Argentina when I was 21 years old.  I served in 4 different cities during the 16 months I was in Argentina.  I spent 6 of those months in my last area, Santa Elena, and loved ever minute of it.  The people were amazing and the Lopez family was my family while I was so far from my own.  Can’t believe 18 years have passed since I was walking up and down the dirt roads of Santa Elena.  Elvira (la mama of the Lopez family) has been in SLC visiting her daughter who lives in Utah now that she is married to a Utah boy.  We were so lucky to have her visit us and teach us how to make empanadas.  It took almost 3 hours to make them but it’s a night I’ll always remember!  

Homemade maza (dough) stuffed with ground beef, green olives, hard boiled eggs, red peppers, onions, cumin, paprika, garlic, salt.  Fried in Crisco.  Sooooo good!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I’m using pictures from yesterday because I didn’t take any pictures on the 11th.  I subscribed to  Capture Your 365.  They send me a daily email reminder with a photo suggestion or idea for the day.  One of the suggestions was to slow down your shutter speed and capture the action of a picture.  Remembering that sharp isn’t always the ultimate goal in every picture.  I did my best attempt but clearly have room for improvement.

Canon 18-55mm
AWB. ISO 1600. 18mm. f/3.5 1/200 (not a super slow shutter speed but slow for how fast the rollercoaster was moving).

Edit: Cropped.  Lightened with levels.  Increased midtones.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Birthday Girl

Birthday weeks are always busy and I had a few days without taking any pictures!  Crazy!  But I made up for it on the 10th with a bazillion pictures of my birthday girl.  Mia turned 4.
Canon 50mm f/1.8
Custom WB.  ISO 100.  f/2.2 1/500

I made the mistake of not overexposing the picture when taking an image in snow since the snow tricks the camera into underexposing the subject.  Still not sure how to overexpose in AV mode and should have taken this in manual using my light meter.

Edited with adjusting contrast, light levels, increased midtones and shadows.  And edited eyes and skin with Coffeeshop Powder Room 2.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

January Birthdays

We celebrated January birthdays tonight at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house.  Mia was not shy when it came time for pictures with her cake.  She was ready to pose!  On the way home, she tried to change her usual seat in the car.  I asked her to just sit in her usual spot (all of the kids fight over the ‘best seats’ in the car).  “But, I’m four now Mom.”  She was a little confused when I told her she still wasn’t four until Tuesday.  “Oh, so I’m still 3?’  Just a few more days cute girl!  Happy Birthday to Mia, Ryder and Heidi!

P.S.  I hate indoor pictures.  Don’t like the flash but it never turns out great on AV mode either.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Ryder, my nephew, was baptized this morning which meant all of the cousins got to be together for the baptism and a celebratory lunch.  Nothing beats having a cousin and a friend!

Canon 50mm f/1.8
AV Mode with flash
ISO 400, f/4, 1/60

Editing: Cropped, lightened with levels, Coffeeshop Perfect Portrait 2 used to increase contrast, sharpen, eye define and smooth skin.


A break from winter

Canon 50mm f/1.8
AWB, ISO 100, f/2.5, 1/100
Edited in PSE 9.  Cropped.  Increased midtones in color curves.  Increased contrast.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Yerba Mate

I think the last time I ‘tomared’ mate was 16 years ago.  Mate is a popular drink in Argentina. Most spend a few hours a day drinking mate and chatting with family and friends.  It’s like an herbal tea but instead of sipping it out of cup, you drink it out of a common bowl with a metal straw that everyone passes around and shares. 

I offered it to my kids when they got home from school.  Ryan tried it but hated it.  His friend didn’t dare try it after he realized he had to share the same straw as Ryan, me and my friend.  Once Hadley and Morgan got home from school, they asked what we were drinking.  Morgan looked at it and said “Gross!”  and then intervened when I asked Hadley if she wanted to try it, “Mom, she doesn’t like it.  It’s gross!”

Can’t believe 20 years have almost passed since those memorable days in Argentina.  Thanks Laura for sharing your mate with me today.  (And that’s NOT what it sounds like.  It’s pronounced ma-tay.  Not Mate. It was an exciting afternoon but not that exciting!) Even if it took me a minute to warm up to the taste again.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 3 and i’m already overwhelmed

I’m already feeling overwhelmed with this project.  Not by posting a picture everyday but just with what I should be photographing and posting.  Is this to help me remember every day of 2012?  Or is this to showcase my non-existent photography skills?  And why am I not doing this on my regular blog?  I can’t even finish up Christmas on my family blog but have decided to start a different blog.  I’m tempted to just abandon the old blog and start anew.  I like starting fresh.  Just like the new year.  I’m not giving up yet.  Still just trying to find my purpose.

Photo for today . . . One of my favorite things about Christmas.  Getting the mail and displaying my family and friends beautiful faces on my kitchen cupboards.  They’re all coming down tomorrow to be stored in my ornament box.  I like to look at all of them one more time when decorating my tree the next year.  I also found this great idea on Pinterest.  Take a picture of each Christmas card picture with your phone and import your friend’s cute picture into their contact info.  I love this!  I wish I got more phone calls and not just texts so I could see all of these cute faces all year.

P.S.  Ignore the fingerprints all over the microwave and fridge.  I have six kids.  And I’m really busy blogging and not cleaning.

Canon 50 mm f/1.8
ISO 400

Monday, January 2, 2012


I’m always ready after Christmas to clean out every closet and drawer and give it all away.  But this year we didn’t really have a choice.  We had to pick up about 50 games before we could even put Christmas away.  The little kids like to go in the storage room and get out about 3 games at a time and leave all of the pieces mixed together on the floor.  Well after a year of doing this . . . it was time! Today we organized the storage closet and were able to walk in it to put all of the Christmas decorations away.  Only two days into the new year and I’m feeling good!

Canon EOS Rebel T1i
50mm f/1.8
ISO 3200 f/2 1/100