February 15, 2014


Yesterday Ransom had a V-day party at his preschool which was basically his favorite thing ever. He got a giant bag of Valentine's from his classmates ( read: candy) and he got extra playtime at school ( we usually only go on Tuesdays and Thursdays). I spent the whole time nervously making small talk with very well dressed mothers. I had put on make up and worn my clean pair of black pants but I still didn't feel like I was measuring up. I basically went out of my way to not mention that even if we wanted to go to this preschool next year, we wouldn't because WHO CAN AFFORD THAT?! ( apparently prices go up to full-on private school tuition once you hit actual "preschool" age. So instead of paying for your kids college you can just go ahead and spend that money on private preschool (whaaaaa!?! ) .

But I didn't. And by the time we left I was feeling about as insecure as my 16 year old self. I'm THIRTY! I kept telling myself, I'M THIRTY! I SHOULD BE OVER THIS!

But the thing is, I'm not over it. I care a whole heck of a lot what other people think. But the embarrassing part there was that I should at least care about IMPORTANT things, right? I mean, what these ladies thought of my last seasons ( Target) shoes should not be on my list of what is important. Ever.

But sometimes I slip into this really awful insecure place where people do things at me. They wear their designer Jimmy Choos  at me.  And they throw perfect Valentine's parties at me. 

So stop whatever you're doing and read this blog post right now. Quit pointing your avocado at me. It should be my anthem. And I should definitely remember it when the Mommy guilt or the 16 year old self starts to seep in.

We're all fighting some battles and instead of spending my time in that preschool class room being insecure, I should have spent it loving those adorable 3 year olds, their great teachers and those other moms  ( and Nannies...there were several Nannies) of 3 year olds...because if their 3 year olds are anything like mine, then they need some major loving too....

So here's to being less about me this next week.

P.S. This blog post is brought to you by 2 hours of ALONE TIME AT STARBUCKS during the usual late evening bedtime ritual which is being handled beautifully by my wonderful husband so that I could write in peace. He is a gift.

February 06, 2014

Picture, picture on the wall...

This is my second post in what could loosely be called a "series" about my love of pictures. The first one was on Photobooks and how to keep all our picture memories at our fingertips, quite literally.

Photobooks tend to be a lot of work, though totally worth it! But printing pictures should NOT have to be that hard! So, the other way I enjoy our picture memories is by printing individual pictures and displaying them around our home.

Our photo wall ( which has pretty much met capacity...) in our dinning room is always GREAT when we have first time visitors to our home. Its has all kinds of good conversation starters right there on display! I choose pictures for print using a few guidelines:

1. Is it "artistic"and captures an important event in our life?
2. Is it flattering and does it capture important people in our life?

So my photo wall is a mixture of landscapes ( places we've lived and visited) and people ( friends and family who make us who we are)....if you're curious as to how I accomplished placement of over 40 pictures without loosing my sanity and our renters deposit ( because of the holes)...then look no further than THESE BABIES. ( thank me later).

I also have pictures in frames in our "office" that are just of our family. This has been a more recent edition and I'm enjoying adding to these picture that are of a more personal nature.

But then lately I've enjoyed just "sticking" pictures (with magnets, tape or clothes pin) that are not framed in other places around the house, usually just pictures of the kids that I find irresistibly cute....maybe I need an intervention? Hmmm...

Anyway, if you're interested, I use three major sources for printing pictures:

Kanvess.com is my current favorite. I use them for printing my "birthday pictures" tradition. The bonus (slash drawback...its the only size they offer!!)  is that they have the perfect size for my birthday print needs: 3x3s. And they are fast and easy to use and pretty cheap ( right now they have a great little Winter sale, where your first 6 prints are free using this code: WINTER7360 ) . They have an App ( and for Android) that will let you quickly and easily buy photos off your Instagram account. Or you can go on their main site (surely they will update their app for this soon?!)  and order pictures from your computer, phone or other photo keeping sites.

Postalpix is another favorite for buying prints right off my phone! Their App ( here's the Android link) lets you very easily add pictures to your cart and once you reach a full order just click "buy"! Once again, I'm drawn in by their "square" photos and I often use their 4x4s in framed pictures. But they also have your traditional 4x6 and 5x6, 8x10 etc...SO EASY if you're an "I only use my iphone for pictures" person like my self....sigh. My poor poor DSLR you are so neglected now that I have a second child!

But, once upon a time, I DID take pictures on my DSLR and I do also periodically get pictures from friends and family. I will often stick those in Dropbox and then transfer them to my photo library on my phone and still use the above Apps to print pictures! It really is just so easy and fast!

However, I still can't beat Snapfish for their bulk prices on your traditional print sizes...so when I'm buying up a bunch of traditional sizes, say to update my photo wall, I will use their company. ( they have an App too!). In further contemplation the only reason I do not like Snapfish they just have NOT got on board with the square pictures that Instagram has made me love so very very much ( clearly I'm nostalgic for some Polaroid!) and their app and website is not very user friendly in my opinion. What can I say, I find Snapfish a necessary evil.

So, that's how I print pictures for our home. If you've got some great sources that I have mentioned let me know! I'm always on the lookout for the trifecta: ease, expense, expedient ( oooh yeah, alliteration!).