The Craziest Book Signing EVER {aka Meeting The Bloggess}

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I have been a fan of Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, for a while now. Her irreverent humor often has me laughing in stitches and wondering how any one woman could be THAT funny.

I especially loved her Pick Your Battles post, and her response to ridiculous PR pitches that bloggers receive every day. I will never look at Wil Wheaton in the same way.

I’ve even enjoyed her Twitter campaign to convince Nathan Fillion to send her a picture of himself holding twine. Several celebrities have obliged. Sadly, Nater-Tater isn’t one of them.

When The Nerd and I decided to go visit our friends in Houston a few weeks ago, we wanted to download an audiobook for the trip. We often do this on trips. It’s sometimes difficult to choose a book we both enjoy, and he was skeptical at first when I suggested downloading Jenny’s newly released book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir).

I convinced him, though, and soon we were both giggling hysterically while cruising down I-45. The audiobook is read by Jenny herself and really, it seems like you’re just sitting around listening to her tell her funniest stories. It’s that good, y’all.

Jenny stopped in Dallas last week as part of her book tour and I made The Nerd go with me. It was a decision I think he later regretted, but not for the reasons you’re thinking.

You see, Jenny is awesome. She’s funny, and hilarious, and down-to-Earth. She talked about her terror at speaking in public and how she’s now AFRAID of bathrooms because she has hidden in so many before speaking engagements. I can totally relate.

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Then she read a chapter from her book (seriously guys, go buy it now!) and I died of laughter. Just kidding.

And because the book signing was at the book store of awesome (aka A Real Bookstore, yes – that is its ACTUAL name), they were selling alcoholic beverages in celebration of the event.

Soon the questions had been answered and it was time to line up for the signing. Our part of the line was directly in front of the bathroom for a while, which was convenient and also a little unnerving. Especially when two girls came out CARRYING their friend who was so drunk SHE COULDN’T WALK on her own. Seriously.

And if that wasn’t weird enough for the evening, not 10 minutes later The Nerd and I are standing there and the lady behind us trips and falls into The Nerd. He graciously caught her and she mumbled, “Oh, so sorry.” “It’s okay,” he said, as he helped her back to her feet. But as his hands left her she PASSED OUT and fell (there wasn’t enough time for him to catch her; he tried) and hit her head on one of the tables holding books.

It was insanely scary.

Luckily a woman who seemed to have medical training came forward and started reviving the woman, who appeared to be fine except for a huge gash right above her eye that was bleeding profusely. Someone nearby called 9-1-1 and the paramedics came and took the woman away. But not before her friend got Jenny to sign their books and their spatulas. Because that’s awesome.

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A little while later it was our turn to meet Jenny and I was super excited. Ever more so when I saw Copernicus!

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And then Jenny signed my book and made my life complete and totally forgave me for wearing yoga pants to her book signing because I was too lazy to wear real clothes. Or she would have if I had fessed up to that. She probably thinks I’m just lazy.

Jenny also signed a copy of the book for one of YOU! You didn’t think I’d leave you out, did you? It has a special message for you from her. You’ll love it. I promise.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Open to US/Canada only. Must be 18 years of age to enter. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Contest ends 5/8. Good luck!

 

{DFW Mom} See's Candies Opens First TEXAS Store in Frisco

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Growing up in Texas, my only exposure to See’s Candies has been that “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy can’t keep up with the conveyor belt and ends up eating all the candy. You know the one.

So when I was invited to a preview event at the first See’s Candies store to open in Texas, I didn’t really know what to expect. Let me tell you, I was impressed.

The fun, vintage black-and-white tile just adds to the family atmosphere of the store. The candy is all hand-packed and it just FEELS like you’re getting homemade treats straight from Mary See’s kitchen. LOVE IT!

I tried so many treats, but I have to say that my absolute FAVORITE was the Scotchmallow — I’m a fan of dark chocolate… Add marshmallows to the mix and I’m SOLD.

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If you’re in the DFW area, be sure to check out their grand opening at the Stonebriar Mall in Frisco… They’ll be giving away Texas samplers with a purchase!

Have you ever tried See’s Candies? What’s your favorite? What do I absolutely HAVE to try?

Happy Friday!

Photo Booth Fun!

Last weekend, we went to visit our friends, April and Eric, in Houston. It had been a while since we got to hang out with them and I was so excited to have the chance to see them again.

We did lots of fun things, like playing the board game Munchkin (which I will TOTALLY share more about… LOVE that game, and I’m not a board game person!).

Before we left, we went to eat at this burger joint called Huskey’s, which is kind of like a bar/restaurant/arcade all rolled into one. The Nerd and Eric played air hockey and some other games, while April, Andrew and I talked. It was great.

It was amongst the dingy change machines and brightly lit arcade games that I saw it… the PHOTO BOOTH! I LOVE photo booths. I don’t know what their appeal is… as a teenager, I always wanted to shell out the $2 to have a printed record of that moment. It made me feel special. It made me feel like that moment was worth documenting.

And this moment definitely was worth documenting. Since I’ve become a mother, I feel like EVERY moment is worth documenting, much to the chagrin of my husband and infant son.

Oh well. They sucked it up and now we have fun photo booth pictures to remember the day by.

 

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And they’re glorious.

Happy Thursday!

 

 

How To Edit Photos on the iPad

How to Edit Photos on iPad

If you know anything about me and my husband, you know that we’re usually early adopters of technology. The Nerd was one of the first to own an iPhone… I preordered an original iPad as soon as they were announced. We own all the video game consoles imaginable, along with numerous computers and laptops.

My absolute favorite piece of technology lately is the newest version of the iPad. I upgraded when the newest version was announced, and even switched my service to Verizon Wireless for the faster LTE coverage.

I use that sucker all the time for work, for blogging, for social media and to entertain The Nerdling on long road trips. I have it with me all the time.

I’ve been determined to figure out how to use the iPad to its fullest potential. And, if you know me at all, you know that I usually have my DSLR in front of my face. So, I thought it would be helpful to be able to edit photos on my iPad.

Editing photos can become a huge time sink. I shoot hundred of photos each time I pull out my camera. I then have to narrow it down to a few dozen, edit those, upload them and blog about them. It’s a very daunting task!

I’ve simplified my editing method using the iPad. It has made my life SO MUCH EASIER.

And — if you can’t afford Photoshop or even Photoshop Elements, there are very affordable alternatives for photo editing available in the App Store. This post will detail the apps and devices that I prefer.

Let’s get started!

Photogene for iPad

First, you’ll need to download the Photogene App for your iPad. The basic app costs $2.99 but you can upgrade to the Pro version for an additional $7.99. I highly recommend doing that, so that you have the full features available to you.

The thing I love most about Photogene is that it will read RAW files from your DSLR. I always shoot in RAW, so it’s nice to be able to edit those files on the iPad.

Once you get the app downloaded, you’ll need a way to get the photos from your camera to the iPad. Here are some ways to do that:

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When you connect your camera card, you’ll be able to choose which photos you want to import. Just click on the photos to select them. A blue check mark will appear next to the ones you’ve selected. The check mark will turn green once the photo has been imported.

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After the photos have imported, you’ll need to open Photogene. Select the album containing the photos you want to edit.

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Select the photo you want to edit from the album.

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Here’s what the editing screen looks like. Select what you would like to do from the options along the bottom.

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Under Adjustments, you can edit the Curves of a photo to adjust the brightness.

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Under Retouches, you can use the Healing Brush on a photo to remove a blemish.

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For a quick edit, use the Presets to adjust your photo! I applied the Vivid preset, then the Warmer preset to this photo.

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Once you’re finished editing, there are several different Export options available. Upload your photo back into your Photo Library. Share it on Facebook or Twitter. Upload it to Flickr.

But my absolute favorite way to export is upload it into Dropbox. I use Dropbox all the time to store files on my iPad. You can then open Dropbox on your computer and download the files.

The best thing? It’s FREE for up to 2 GB of space! If you download Dropbox, use this link and you’ll receive an additional 500 MB of space for Free.

Here’s my SOOC shot:

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And here’s the finished edit:

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I hope this tutorial has been helpful to you! Tell me… do you have an iPad? What are some of your favorite ways to use it?

 

 

**Disclaimer** I am a Verizon Wireless Ambassador. I received a wireless device and phone/data plan free of charge to use for review and evaluation of Verizon Wireless products and services. As part of the program, I was asked to share my opinions with others, however, my opinions are my own. I purchased my iPad and iPad data plan with my own funds. Please contact vzw@comblu.com with any questions about the Verizon Wireless Ambassadors’ Program.

 

Andrew's Easter Pictures from Tara Swain Photography

Two weeks ago, we hit to road to head to Paris, Texas, for an Easter mini photo shoot from Tara Swain Photography.

I LOVE Tara’s photos. They’re so bright and colorful and FUN!

When we arrived, there was a HUGE line to get a ticket. Once you got a ticket, you had to wait for your number to be called.

Six hours later, it was our turn. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. We had a fun day. We went out to lunch and just laid around and played with the baby. But it was also a long day, and the Dude decided right before our pictures to be sleepy and fussy and he was not very cooperative.

Tara had an elaborate set up with a lamb, baby chicks and bunnies. It was adorable and I was really excited when it was our turn.

Yesterday, we got to go pick up the CD and I got to see some of the images she shot of Andrew! I really love how they turned out!

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This is one of the few where he’s actually looking up!

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I love how he’s looking at the bunny in this one. So cute!

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Isn’t the bird cage adorable?

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He’s totally asleep.

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“But Mommy! My hands are WAY more interesting than that lady with the camera!”

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And this means he’s DONE taking pictures. “Enough is enough, Mommy!”

 You can visit Tara’s blog to see some of her favorite photos from the day. There are some ADORABLE ones!

Droid RAZR from Verizon Wireless: Video in HD

The folks from Verizon Wireless challenged us to share our favorite feature from our devices. And while I do love the Xyboard, I have really enjoyed my time with the RAZR the most I think.

One of the things I love the most about it is the camera — it takes great photos and is so convenient to capture the little moments of life. That’s especially important for me with my growing family.

Andrew has gotten so LONG. Earlier this week, I took him to his four-month check-up (he was actually almost five months old, but we’re a bit behind with his immunization schedule because he was sick).

At two months, he was in the 8th percentile in weight. At four months, he’s in the 11th percentile. He’s slowly and steadily gaining weight, and the doctor was really pleased with his progress.

At two months, his head circumference was in the 30th percentile. At four months, it was in the 40th percentile. So he’s growing there, too.

But his length is what was most shocking. At two months, he measured 21.25 inches and was in the 3rd percentile for his age. At four months, he was 25.75 inches and was in the 58th percentile! He grew 4.5 inches in TWO MONTHS! Isn’t that crazy?

I’ve started calling him Bean because he’s such a bean pole.

I should have known that he was getting super long, because his favorite thing to do is to try to kick me in the face. And this is where the RAZR comes in. I just HAD to capture his antics, and the RAZR’s HD video capabilities were the perfect way to do that. What’s even better is that I could upload the video directly to Youtube or Flickr after shooting it. So convenient!

Isn’t he a crazy little kid? LOVE that boy! I don’t know what I’m going to do when he gets even longer!

 

 

**Disclaimer** I am a Verizon Wireless Ambassador. I received a wireless device and phone/data plan free of charge to use for review and evaluation of Verizon Wireless products and services. As part of the program, I was asked to share my opinions with others, however, my opinions are my own. Please contact vzw@comblu.com with any questions about the Verizon Wireless Ambassadors’ Program.

 

Andrew's First Easter

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We had a wonderful Easter with our little man.

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Of course, I had to snap some pictures of him in his Easter bunny hat!

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He got pretty tired of Mommy taking his picture, though.

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The Nerd helped him snag a few Easter eggs for his basket.

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It was a great day with my two favorite boys!

How was your Easter? Tell me about what you did!



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