update

I’ve been meaning to sit down and write for months now. Seriously, months. As I’ve pondered this whole blogging thing, I’ve asked myself why I want to blog. People have different reasons, but for me, it comes down to chronicling my life. There are so many funny, crazy, overwhelming things that happen that I want to remember.

So I’m back.

Since we last met, quite a bit has happened. But I’ll just give you the highlights. (That’s not a promise to be short, just that I’m leaving out lots.)

We moved to a new apartment. Not stressful at all. :/ Who knew it could be 85* at the end of October?

We moved to a new apartment. Not stressful at all. :/ Who knew it could be 85* at the end of October?

We did the Color Run 5K in Charlotte! It was SO fun. Everyone needs to do it at some point.

We did the Color Run 5K in Charlotte! It was SO fun. Everyone needs to do it at some point.

My brother and sister were there along with a bunch of our friends.

My brother and sister were there along with a bunch of our friends.

Seriously, so fun.

Seriously, so fun.

I did a photo shoot for my cute nephews. They already look bigger.

I did a photo shoot for my cute nephews. They already look bigger.

cox

And I did a photo shoot for this cute family.

IMG_4186

I got to hang out with some cool kids when my bff came into town for a week.

IMG_4246

We celebrated Christmas with lots of these dark chocolate covered peppermint jo jo’s. I loved them so much that I wanted to document them. Don’t judge.

IMG_4256

We also celebrated Christmas in style.

IMG_4310

I had a merry birthday with a wee party in our new place.

IMG_4315

Even my photos got in the spirit of things!

IMG_4344

We rang in the New Year with games and friends. 5 hours can fly by when you have Mexican Train.

IMG_4450

We finally got some snow. This snow bunny loved it. Don’t let her face fool you.

I got bangs! Maybe you're unaware, but this is a monumental occasion in a woman's life. And apparently they are butt holes when it comes time to grow them out. There's your PSA.

I got bangs! Maybe you’re unaware, but this is a monumental occasion in a woman’s life. And apparently they are butt holes when it comes time to grow them out. There’s your PSA.

IMG_4568

We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary in Boone and Blowing Rock. We got to play in some snow there, too.

IMG_4592

You can never really get the mountains out of your blood. They’re always calling.

IMG_4600

We had an AMAZING dinner at the same restaurant, in the same table (!) where we had our first date 9 years ago. I would’ve taken a picture of my ahi tuna steak, creamed kale, and jasmine rice and Brian’s meat loaf with Cheerwine barbecue sauce, creamed potatoes, and asparagus but the lights were too dim. Besides, some memories are best left tucked away in your heart. (I’m talking about the meal. Seriously, so good.)

So there you have it. Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. 🙂

Advertisements

in review

This last week was filled with friends, fun, and amazing weather!

On Friday we celebrated our friends’ baby’s first birthday. She is just the cutest thing EVER. Honestly, there’s no point in me having children if they’re not going to be this cute. This is one of my favorite pictures with her. She had a major freak out when we all (8 of us, 4 of whom were her family) softly sang happy birthday while looking at her. So she only let me cuddle her for a little bit like this. But it was presh.

I’m babysitting again for 2 weeks for the toddler. She’s hilarious as always. And her English is getting better.

When I went to get her out of bed the first morning, I noticed Henrietta (you may remember her as Yeyah) had spawned an offspring. Later that day we watched a few baby hippo videos on youtube. So naturally we watched a few baby sloth videos next. She laughed so hard at this one.

 

 

 

 

I also nearly-completed a few more paintings. All that’s left is adding some love.

The weather has been lovely. Hot and humid with rain and storms. My zucchini is threatening to take over the planter.

The return of warm weather also means walks to YoPop. Yum. I’m also really digging this nail polish. It makes me look “tan” and stays on for so long!

A few other highlights include running lots (almost 30 miles in the last 2 weeks… huge for me!) and using coconut oil for many things other than cooking. 🙂

 

updated walls/Pinterest Challenge

So I just thought I’d show you what I’ve done with the items I got at the flea market a few weeks ago. 🙂 I’ve been Pinspired!

Here are two of the windows over our couch. I’m hoping it makes our Ikea furniture look a little less Swedish.

And here are the Pepsi crate and blue mason jar on top of our bookcase. It’s to the left of the couch, it’s probably one of the first things you see when you walk in. I had that big white vase on top of our kitchen cabinets but needed something to add height above the shelves. I love our vaulted ceilings, but it makes decorating kind of tricky. To add even more height, I stuck a few sprigs of sakuras and pussy willow in the vase.

The only problem is they cast a pretty creepy shadow…

See… It almost looks like a monster.

And this is where the third window and gears ended up. It’s kind of like a combination of a collage wall and window-wall of the many that I’ve seen on Pinterest. The plate was a gift from a friend who visited Morocco. The black frame is from another picture which is now hanging in a new frame in the bathroom. I picked up the F (and two B’s) at a kitschy chic shop on Vancouver Island. The photograph is one of my favorites (but is over a year old!) in a frame that I re-finished this week. Here’s a close up:

The original frame was brownish with flowers on the inner border. I rubbed some lotion on it (for lack of Vaseline), spray painted it off-white, rubbed some more lotion on it, aiming for the nooks and crannies, and spray painted it Tiffany’s blue. Once it was all dried, I took an old towel and scrubbed reasonably hard. The paint didn’t stick well where the lotion was and rubbed right off. And it smelled nice. 🙂 The picture is one I just stuck to some scrapbook paper. Kind of reminds me of this pin from this site.

I also re-painted this frame:

It’s the same color as the one above, just in a different light. I didn’t do any weathering to it, just left it neat and clean. I took a postcard-sized painting that my friend brought me from Paris and stuck it to some lovely scrapbook paper. I like the contrast of the pinks and blues in the frame, backing paper, and painting.

There you go! I was wondering if I’d have this post done in time to take part in Young House Love’s Pinterest Challenge. Looks like I did!

I do love switching things up and keeping my home feeling fresh and fab. 😉

I saw snow!

In my last post I mentioned that I had yet to see any snow this winter and really wanted to. Well, my wish came true! 🙂On Friday night we arrived at my in-laws just before the wintery weather started. As we drove the 4+ hours, we watched the temperature fall from a mild 58* to a chilly 30*. We got bored around hour 3, so we turned our Pandora Radio to the Movie Soundtracks station and played “Guess the Movie”. I got a few right. But most were either too dull to hear or too generic. We arrived in time for Brian to join his family in a rousing game of Carcassonne. I did not join in on the excitement because my brain was mush. Plus, what’s better than crocheting beside a fire and watching futbol when it’s sub-freezing?By 10:00 I officially threw in the towel and headed up to bed. I looked out the window and noticed some white sparkly stuff falling from the sky and squealed to myself. When I opened said window, I could smell it. And hear it. It was definitely snowing! Around 1:00am I texted Brian because he was no where to be found (still in the basement playing Carcassonne). As soon as he returned he said something about flashing lights and a car fire. I didn’t fully understand and had to clarify the next morning. Apparently a car in their neighbor’s driveway spontaneously combusted and reached the out-of-control level quite quickly. I heard none of this. I must have been quite tired. 😉 I heard his mom describe the location where they live as “Dead Man’s Curve” and it’s quite fitting, unfortunately. Over their decades in that house, many people have had crazy car accidents in their yard. I’ve witnessed half a dozen myself. But thankfully I was able to sleep through Friday night’s debacle. We spent Saturday the way Saturdays were meant to be spent. We sat in the basement by the fire watching TV and playing games/crocheting/chilling. I enjoyed myself immensely. On Sunday afternoon I had a Norwex show to do (the reason for our visit). The show went well and I especially enjoyed the location of the party. The house was tucked back behind a state park and faced the Patomac River. From their house you could even see across to the opposite shore, Maryland’s coast. I never would have guessed it was back there. Secluded, but still close to civilization.We got back late last night, avoided more wintery weather, and I started my busy, busy week today at 4:45am. Yep, there’s one of those in the morning, too.

As tired as I am, I do enjoy being busy. And I don’t mind the early mornings. I just miss my 8 hours of sleep. 😉

fun with apertures

So the other day as I was taking pictures of my wee Christmas tree I was reminded of how fun it can be to play with the aperture, making shapes with the bokeh.

I had my 50mm f/1.8 lens on. Quick lesson: The f/1.8 refers to the aperture value. The aperture is the hole that lets light into the camera, like the pupil in your eye. On a bright day, your pupils get smaller, but in a dimly lit room, your pupils get larger. On your camera, you need to adjust the size of the aperture like your eyes do automatically. Unless you’ve had those crazy eye drops at the eye doctor.

Anyway, I love to use a lower f-stop because you get a much softer image. I’ve been known to wipe drool off of my chin after playing with a f/1.4. Yes, the change from f/1.8 to f/1.4 is big. In the photo above, I switched my lens to manual focus and made it way out of focus because I wanted the blur. Then lowered my aperture as far as it could go (i.e. f/1.8) and got those lovely round circles of bokeh from the Christmas tree lights. If I had used a higher f-stop of f/3.5 or so, the shape of the aperture comes through and you would see hexagons rather than circles. I wanted a circles.

Then I decided I wanted hearts and stars.

So I left my lens on manual focus, made myself a few little aperture shape filters like you can buy here, and had fun!

And of course life isn’t complete with out a little birdie.

So if you have some scrap cardboard, gitcha some scissors and let the creative juices flow. Here’s the ones I made. The holes are about the size of a nickle while the cardboard around it is still big enough to cover the entire lens.

I even saw this in a video and it really made me want to get a new DSLR that captures video. Someday! You can see it here around the 1:00 mark (and other times).

 

new job

Yesterday I got to do two of my favorite things, a photoshoot and talk about healthy living. More to come on the latter in a minute.

 

Our new friends and fellow AIA staff members here in Raleigh wanted a quick photoshoot for updated pics since they had a baby this summer. Here are a few of my favorites. 🙂

 

I mentioned I also got to talk about healthy living yesterday. I have really enjoyed the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle over the past year or two. As a couple, Brian and I have committed to eating lots of veggies, hormone-free meats and dairy, going organic when we can afford it, exercising, and (something I feel is easily overlooked) choosing to rest. Part of what I also really enjoy is researching ways to make my home healthier. This includes getting rid of chemicals and other toxins as well as creating a space to relax. It’s easy to go crazy reading lots of hippy-articles on the web, thinking one needs to basically become Amish in order to be “healthy.” So for me, what it boiled down to was not only reading the labels on my food, but also on other products I use around the house. If you’ve ever tried to find the ingredients to Tide, Swiffers, Febreeze, or anything else, you know it can be a hard go. Even if you find some ingredients, you need doctorate-level degree in chemistry to understand what they actually are. (Side bar, if you do want to know what’s in your Windex, Glade, or other SC Johnson products, they created a great website called What’s Inside SC Johnson. IMO though, they’ve done their best to not appear like a chemical giant and go so far as to equate Windex with water… Sneaky sneaky.) That’s why when I discovered Norwex, I was hooked. And I’ve decided to sell it.

 

I don’t want this to seem like a commercial for why you should spend all of your money on my fancy new products. I just wanted to let you into my life a little more and give you some background as to why I decided to start this new job. In fact, I’d rather you spend your money buying dryer balls (that are PVC and BPA free) and then throw out your fabric softener! Liquid and sheets (and now bars)! (If you’re curious, Norwex sells Nellie’s Dryerballs.) That will be one simple step to reducing the amount of toxins in your home that contribute to cancer and neurological damage.

 

I love talking about being healthier and so working with Norwex was a perfect fit for me. 🙂 You can check out my website here: beccafowler.norwex.biz.

 

Also, did you know that every 10 years your mattress doubles in weight due to dust mites, their feces, and your dead skins cells? Gross. In fact, if you or someone you know snores, most likely they are reacting to the dust mites and their droppings. You don’t need to buy a new mattress though. National Allergy sells pillow and mattress encasings and Norwex sells a spray to clean your mattress. Ignorance is bliss right? Well I guess I just popped your bliss bubble. 😉 *Glass shattering*