Saturday, January 25, 2014

JAN 25, 2014 - My review on life & Nikon 1 - J3...

    *  Song of the Day: The Zolas - Ancient Mars
        About a year ago I bought a Nikon 1 - J3 ... used it only a couple times, and have gone back and forth since over selling it.  I originally purchased it due to its compact size, and reviews stating the comparability to Nikon's bulkier DSLR.  I took it for a trial run yesterday to see for myself.

       I was quite surprised at the quality of this small DSLR; designed mostly as a point and shoot for convenience and portability.  I shot similar photos previously with my D90, and they came out virtually the same.   I'm now fully confident when going somewhere that doesn't involve multiple lens changing, I can take the petite Nikon 1 instead.  

        The lion's share of my photos illuminate the smaller snippets in life.  For instance... the unnoticed beautiful Bell Symbol that no longer exist on the manhole beneath your feet, or the tiny hearts on the caps of vanilla bean bottles that add to it's packaging beauty most take for granted, and the glowing yellow of fresh lemons crated that color blind, and blind are regrettably unable to experience.

          Bernard Shaw once said, " You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul." 

         I feel that I'm the manhole you walk on, the tiny hearts taken for granted, and the vibrancy of color that the seeing can witness but overlooks.  I'm those tiny details in this world of big ideas, dreams, and love, disregarded.  I've always taken my time to appreciate delicate things, and the unnoticed beauty within them.  One day you'll look for me and I won't be here, but images of these little treasures will.

           My advice: "Slow down your life; admire, appreciate, and embrace the simple and humble beauties everywhere around you."  No one else can do that for you.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

JAN 21, 2014 - Spending the day with my favorite people in the world...

          * Song of the Day:  Death Cab for Cutie - Soul Meets Body

           I had one of the best days for as long as I can remember last Friday, in the Strip with my children.  Well, one I can't really call a child anymore, Audrey 14, and Jack 7.   We arrived around 11, and first had some errands to run before our fun could really begin.  With those out of the way, our day together was on.

           Stop # 1, Jack's favorite place, the Art of Steel.  He loves different rocks and gems, and this is the place he begs to go.  He picked out some of his favorites, and was proud to buy them  with his birthday money from his own wallet.  I love this place for so many different reasons.  They have beautiful hand painted tiles (I own an octopus one..of course),  jewelry and key chains with different bugs in them, (I own a beetle and spider necklace), and my all time favorite find... a vintage package of True Crime collectors cards. When I saw them I was like a kid in a candy shop.  I can't believe they made these at one point, but being a lover of serial killers, I had to have them.  My pack included Jim Jones, Bugsy, and Bianchi/ Buono cards.  It's a little strange I'll admit to be so happy to own a Jim Jones trading card, but hey that's me.  I stop here and look for more every time I'm in the Strip praying they have more.

               Stop #2, Penzeys Spices.  We all LOVE this store.  Today's purchase: Mace, which is a spice that is a little less intense than nutmeg.  I will be using this on my next batch of pumpkin spice cookies.  Audrey and I love cooking and baking, and are always looking for new spices to experiment with.  Jack loves the table where you can draw and color a personalized picture and hang it on their wall to display.  Today he drew 2 TMNT, which the staff and I totally guessed their names wrong.  He insists we return ASAP so he can finish drawing the other 2 remaining.  Don't worry buddy, I'm sure that won't be an issue. :)

             Stop #3, Mancini's.  There are so many products here that I buy on an almost weekly basis.  Today's purchase, one pepperoni roll.  Their Pesto, Foccacia, and Pepperoni Rolls are amazing.  There is also the option for wholesale, if I owned a business with bread options this is only place I'd buy bread from.  Audrey is saving her roll for later to help her power through studying for midterms; although she's so tempted to eat it right then and there.

          Stop #4, Prestogeorge.  Here I usually order an array of hard to find specialty teas and coffees.  Today's purchase: 1 small black darkest coffee they have.  I gave up coffee while pregnant with Jack 7 years ago, every now and then since I would buy one.  I am back to being hooked, and there's nothing better on a cold winter's day than a hot cup of black coffee from Presto. 

     Stop #5, Parma Sausage.  Today's purchase: 3 small pepperoni sticks.  I can't tell you the last time our fridge didn't contain something from here, albeit breakfast sausage, sliced pepperoni, pepperoni sticks, salami... you name it.  I can't wait to get home and start cutting one of these up, accompanied with some wheat thins and NY style white cheddar cheese.

             Stop #6, The Pittsburgh Popcorn Co.  Today's purchase was huge... 2 large bags of Caramel, 2 large bags of Peanut Butter Choc, 2 large bags of Choc Pretzel, and one small bag of movie popcorn for Jack.  I can't stop eating their popcorn, it's now becoming an obsession.  They have many other locations, but this is by far my favorite.  The guys here are always so wonderful and happy, their sheer charisma draws and pulls one in, not even the product.  I dropped off some vegan cookies (first time ever making anything vegan), and finally our shopping time was done.  We dropped everything off at the car, and now it was time to EAT !!

  Last Stop #7, LUKE WHOLE'Y WILD ALASKAN GRILLE. Today's purchase: 1 Land and Sea, and 1 Young Captian's Grilled Cheese.  Audrey and I LOVE seafood.  I promised her today we would eat here, since she has been excited about it for weeks.  Jerry sat us right beside my favorite octopus!  Audrey and I split the Land and Sea.  The Fillet was perfectly cooked (Med Rare, more on rare side) and everything else on the plate was also.  Audrey would have licked the plate if she could have when we were finished, she loved it that much.

  Jack's grilled cheese sandwich was also perfecto!!! He said it was the best grilled cheese he'd ever had before.  Now, I might know what you're thinking... grilled cheese, how could it be that special?   I don't know what cheese combination they use, but believe me it was more than special, it was delicious.   Audrey started eating some of it, and Jack pretty much told her back off, it's mine. 


 It's been a long time since a smile on my face was real. 
 Today was a great day,