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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - UnBEARable!


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Peppers & Peeps

I've been camping my whole life but peeps & peppers were never on the menu...until this year. Remember the Bailey's Marshmallow recipe? The same family was thinking outside the box over the weekend when they brought Anaheim peppers that had been in a teriyaki marinade for two days. After they had been roasted over the fire a hotdog (roasted separately) was stuffed inside and waaaa-la! A Mexican Hotdog was born! Yum!









Then there were the peeps....extra sugary, extra sticky, extra gooey goodness...that is if you like peeps in the first place.













More camping pictures to come after I catch up on work, laundry, work, menu planning, work, grocery shopping, work, vacation planning, and you guessed it.....work.

















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Monday, September 28, 2009

My New Website!

You can still view my recent work at carriepauly.blogspot.com, but my new website, carriepauly.com contains all the details about the services I offer. Check it out today!



To celebrate the launch of my new website I am offering a special package for new and existing clients.



Included in the package is a 30 minute session, sneak peak within two days, online proofs within two weeks, your choice of five images that I will burn onto a CD for you (and sign a copyright release form), and the option to purchase additional prints from your proof site at any time.



With Christmas just around the corner why not get family portraits done now? You'll be able to avoid the inconvenience and expense of ordering through a studio. With a CD of your five favorite poses you can head to your local photo lab and print enlargements and photocards in a few simple steps.



The package price is $200 but you can save $50 by referring a friend or family member.

For every family that books a session through your referal you will save $50. Help me book four sessions and your session is FREE!



Schedule a photo shoot for sometime between October 19th and October 25th to take full advantage of the Fall colors!















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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Alphabitty Moments - the letter D

Welcome to Alphabitty Moments and week two of the $50 Mixbook.com give-a-way! There is still time to enter, but you'll have to go to this post to enter the link to your own post that includes a page from a mixbook book you've made.

Here is my page for the week....
I took these pictures the very first time Julia put on a tutu (my little sister's old one). She knew what to do without being told. She twirled. She pranced. She gazed in the mirror.

I posted about that night here.

She hasn't stopped dancing since that day. If there is music, (like today in the toy aisle at Walmart) she's grooving. I love that she feels confident enough to do her own thing - be her own person.


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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Straw Bale Garden Goodies

I've been picking 3-4 tomatoes from our garden every day for the past week. My goal is to can a batch of salsa using my new canning equipment that I scored last week at a garage sale for $20. It's hard with only 4 plants to produce enough at one time to can though.



****Update***** Our neighbors were giving away tomatoes by the gallon so I now have enough tomatoes to can salsa and tomato sauce!!! PapaBear and I spent Friday afternoon chopping and peeling tomatoes.



See that tiny little grape tomato? They are Julia's favorite - she eats a half a dozen every day.



We've come up with a way to tuck away tomatoes for soups & chili one or two at a time by freezing them. Our high tech food sealer aka: vacuum with a straw taped on the end, keeps the tomatoes fresh until we're ready to use them.



(First you set the tomatoes on the tray in your freezer and then when they are solid, stick them in a freezer bag and suck the air out.) When you are ready to use the tomatoes run them under hot water and the skins will peel right off.





So what does our garden look like after almost 4 months? (click here for previous straw bale gardening posts) The bales are decomposing and the tomato cages don't like to stand up anymore, but other than that, things are great!

I cured the problem with my tomatoes rotting on the bottom (extra calcium did the trick) and by some miracle, a zucchini plant came back from the brink to produce some nice zucchini. I'm still in awe that a plant that I was planning to pull and throw away made such an incredible comeback.



The habanero peppers are out of control. There are WAY too many of them. The 5 I used in the salsa were yummy, but the 45 that we'll freeze should be enough for a while.

I will freeze them and not plant any for the next few years.



Next year I will plant twice as many tomato plants and green pepper plants. I was conservative this year since it was our first time planting in straw. If YOU decide to try a straw bale garden next year let me know! The hardest part about gardening in straw is the unknown, but I think much of that stems from the fact that it's my first year gardening in general. I have a lot to learn. In the meantime I'll be canning the fruits of our labor!



Have a blessed Sunday everyone!



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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mixbook Give Away & Alphabitty Moments - letter C

Welcome to week three of Alphabitty Moments! This is an exciting week in Bear County because I have been given the opportunity to offer one of YOU a $50.00 Mixbook gift card compliments of the fine folks at Mixbook.com. But first I want to take a moment to explain what Alphabitty Moments is all about for those of you who are just joining us.



I created this carnival as a way to record the little things my kids do. The special occasions get enough attention in photographs, blog posts, and storytelling. These keepsake book pages are meant to take a closer look at the ordinary and every day moments of childhood. Some day we will look back on all the little things and realize they were really the big things.



For more information on the roots of Alphabitty Moments click here. As far as participating, it's pretty simple: Each week (usually Thursdays) post a word that begins with the letter of the week and a corresponding photograph.



For example: Here is my page for the letter C using Mixbook's easy online bookmaking software. (No they are not paying me to say that - I am just that excited about their product that I can't help myself!) I started using cloth diapers right before Julia turned 6 months old. I wasn't able to use them as long as I would have liked due to the fact that she outgrew them SO fast. (She was 20 pounds at 4 months and 36 pounds on her second birthday.) The bottom picture is special to us because it's the one Kissaluvs chose for their Mothering Magazine ad a couple years ago.

I haven't parted with my stash of diapers yet (it would help if I actually posted them to CraigsList I suppose) but when I do, I will be keeping a couple for myself as a reminder of the days when my laundry basket was always filled with soft fluffy diapers.



(Seen here with last week's letter B is for Beauty Shop....)

Sam's pages are in the works. I need to take a couple more photos when it's light out and then I can post his layout.



So now for the details of the give away....



To be entered in the drawing for a $50 Mixbook gift card follow these steps:



1) go to mixbook.com and sign up for an account. Everything is done online which is really nice for group projects and for saving space on your harddrive.



2) Have fun creating at least one layout in a Mixbook album (Be careful! It's addicting!)



3) Post a page from your new project on your blog. Please note - the layout does NOT have to be an Alphabitty Moments page - ANY theme/subject qualifies.



4) Come back here and enter your link in the MckLinky below. Please be sure to enter the specific post link, not just your blog address. (If you choose not to participate in the give-away you can still enter your link for Alphabitty Moments in the MckLinky.)



#5 is optional (but one of the most fun parts of Alphabitty Moments) visit other blogs and be inspired by their creations using mixbook.com



I will draw one winner after 8pm (central time) on October 1st. Good Luck Everyone!!!







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Wordless Speechless Wednesday

I walked into Sam's room tonight at bedtime and saw this:



"What in the world!?!?" I thought because we've never practiced spelling JoJo before.
Then when Sam said that he wasn't the one to write it my jaw hit the floor.


Julia can write letters? Since when? OK, so I knew she knows 'O' and 'H' but to spell out her nickname? As I said in my tweet earlier I ran downstairs to get the camera so I could take a picture of the magnadoodle before it was errased and then I had her right it again.
Sure enough, she knows her J some of the other letters in her given name.

Did I mention that we don't practice writing with Julia? With Sam we do - he's two years older and is required to write his name in preschool.

My baby is going to be 3 in a few weeks.

At this rate she'll be typing 60wpm in 3rd grade.





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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I could while away the hours.....

...because while I wait for photoshop to complete a task, I am creating book pages.

While I wait for my book software to think, I upload pictures to my computer from my camera.

While I'm getting even closer to maxing out the hard drive on my computer, I upload images to proof sites.

While I rush to meet photo shoot deadlines, I search for discount codes online until photoshop lets me finish up a picture.


While photoshop saves a photograph at a snails pace, I think of titles for new blog posts.

While I'm thinking of new titles, I pick out pictures to upload to blogger.

While pictures upload to blogger I get a couple more photos edited in photoshop.

and round and round my evenings go.....

How do YOU while away the hours?


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Monday, September 14, 2009

Guess how much I love you?

Tonight as I walked out the door to head over to the office he said I love you first. Usually I call out to everyone 'LOVE YOU!!!!' and the same words are tossed back at me (or catapulted - if everyone is upstairs)and off I go. But not tonight.

"I love you Mama", he said, "All the way to God....and back to your heart."

Ditto Sam.
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Contemplative

When I saw the theme for this week's challenge at I Heart Faces I knew exactly which photograph I was going to pick.



Julia at 21 months. Somehow she's about to turn three. Tomorrow is her very first day of preschool.





Hey fellow photo lovers! While I have the traffic I wanted to throw out a job opportunity....

I have a book client who wants to hire someone to photoshop his images for a book I am designing for him. You need to be able to replace backgrounds of images besides the usual Photoshop skills. There are only 6-8 images that need to be touched up. If you are interested I will email you two images (before & after) If you feel that you have the skills to recreate what you see in the 'after' one then we can go from there. Thanks in advance!



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I ♥ garage sales

Specifically the three days I garage sale each year. They fall right after I've switched to Spring/Summer wardrobes for the kids so I head out knowing exactly what I'm looking for. Remember this post about all the things I got for under $100? I didn't think it was possible, but I did even better this past week! I sold something on Craigslist (just down the street from all the sales! What are the chances of that?!) which canceled out $100 of my purchases, leaving me with 100 things for only $60. Most of the 25 pairs of pants I found for Sam look brand new. He won't wear some of them for 3-4 years but it would be stupid to pass up 50 cent 'new' pants.

Julia didn't make out nearly as well this time around, but based on her drawers and closet that I've switched over to Fall/Winter, that's OK. We were generously given really nice hand-me-downs from my cousins. She was too busy trying on three fancy dresses that I got for a total of$4.25 to notice that her pile wasn't as big.
Yes sir, I ♥ garage sales.
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Saturday, September 12, 2009

You Don't Say Saturday



There's no other love like the love for a brother.
There's no other love like the love from a brother.

~Astrid Alauda



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Friday, September 11, 2009

What do you title a post like this?

I'm still speechless whenever we get to the September 11th page in the devotional I stuck in PapaBear's stocking the Christmas before our wedding. It was December 24,2000.



(Hopefully clicking on the image will make it big enough to read....otherwise here is what it says:



"That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness." )





We will never forget.





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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Alphabitty Moments - The Letter B

Welcome to round two of Alphabitty Moments! I created this carnival as a way to record the little things my kids do. The special occasions get enough attention in photographs, blog posts, and storytelling. These keepsake book pages are meant to take a closer look at the ordinary and every day moments of childhood. Some day we will look back on all the little things and realize they were really the big things.



For more information on the roots of Alphabitty Moments click here. As far as participating, it's pretty simple: Each week (usually Thursdays) post a word that begins with the letter of the week and a corresponding photograph. (creating scrapbook pages is optional. I used Blurb.com for the last book, but am using mixbook.com for this round.



Need more inspiration? This link will take you through all my posts from our previous trip through the alphabet. One thing I'm going to do differently with my mixbook is to do one letter on one page instead of a two page spread. It will save me money and it will encourage me to create pages that are a bit more cohesive.



Julia's page:

This week, B is for Beauty shop. When Julia says it it's more like bouy shop, but that makes it all that much cuter. I sit on the floor with a towel wrapped around my shoulders and she works her magic with bows, a squirt bottle and a (sharp) comb. It brings back memories of combing my dad's hair when I was a kid with a little black comb that I would stick in the a cup of water to get wet. I wonder how many times I stabbed him over the years! Getting poked with the comb every once in a while is WAY better than getting water sprayed in my ears. Not that I would know.



Today was the first day of school for Sam and therefore the first day of mother/daughter bonding time. I can't think of any other way that I'd like to spend the morning with my daughter.



Sam's page:

Off and on for the past three years Brianna has been coming to our house while her parents were at work and/or school. She is a huge part of Sam and Julia's childhood. I know this book is about the little things, but I can't help but record this very special friendship Sam shares with his friend Bea. I want Sam to be able to look back years from now and see how little he was when his friendship with Brianna began.

Now it's your turn...What little moment do you want to remember for the letter B?







And now for the winner of the prize from last week.....the random number generator chose one of the tweets that went out mentioning #alphabittymoments. Congratulations go out to Mommy Bear over at the Bear Bunch. Rather fitting don't ya think? Mommy Bear would you leave me comment telling me which letters would be appropriate for you family so I can send you a special alphabet related prize?



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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What a bummer

Summer vacation is over. I feel like I missed it almost completely.



Bummer.



Target doesn't carry my favorite hair dye anymore. I have to use a brighter color.



Bummer.



I can't find a fireplace insert for our fireplace for under $500.



Bummer.



There are beautiful fireplaces on CraigsList, but we only need an insert at this point.



Bummer.



We picked the very last apple on Monday. Sam declared, "Apple season is over!"



Bummer.



We tried to go pick wild grapes on Monday, but the mosquitoes drove us away.



Bummer.

I found clothes in the basement that Julia would have fit into all summer long had I known they were there.



Bummer.



I took Friday through Monday off from work, but spent a decent chunk of my vacation cleaning and organizing the house.



Bummer.



My SIL is going to miss out on Fall Camping. It's the highlight of our year.



Bummer.



The mosquitoes have been feasting on Julia for the past two weeks. She has 18 places where she's made herself bleed.



Bummer.



We almost had an empty campground for the first time in 5 months. (until one lone RV pulled in tonight and decided to stay a couple of nights)



Bummer.



I can't go to my 10 year college reunion because it falls on the last weekend of camping.



Bummer.



Sam starts 3 day a week pre-school tomorrow. My baby is growing up.



Bummer.



What are you bumming* about?



* The definitions I read for the word bumming were much more depressing than I originally intended for this post to sound. You know when you have all this stuff swimming around in your brain and you just want to clear the slate? Well this post was my round about way of doing that.



mI would be bummed if you got the wrong impression.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

You Don't Say Saturday


Like kites without strings and butterflies
without wings,my mother taught
me to soar with my dreams.

--author unknown


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Thursday, September 3, 2009

66 and counting...

I'd already put in my 40 hours for the week by 2pm on Wednesday, but in my line of work there is no pay for overtime. The trade off is that I have the luxury of scheduling photoshoots around my the activities my family has going on. Unfortunately in the summer that pretty much means that one job is scheduled around another job and when I'm not working at that job I'm working on things related to my third job. I'm not writing this to complain - I'm writing this because this is what life in BearCountry is like for me at the moment. It has always been my intention to be real with everyone - to share the good with the bad - the highs and the lows....

When I am overtired and overworked it's challenging to stay positive, but every day I can feel the Lord whispering to me that He knows what He's doing, that this too shall pass, that we are blessed in SO many ways.

Tonight I am at the tail end of some pretty big projects. The biggest is a 400 page blog book for a missionary who just returned from Nepal a few weeks ago. Jenn spent 2 years in Kathmandu and surrounding villages sharing the love of Jesus with everyone around her. It has been an honor to put her words and photographs into print. I'll let you know when you can see a sneak peak of the project via a tweet later tonight.What does a 400 page book look like? Here's a preview of less than half the pages - the most I could get on the screen at one time. I'm looking forward to flying through a few shorter books in the weeks to come after this hefty one!

While 161.2 MB of information is uploading to Blurb.com I will be finishing up the proof sites for a senior session and a large family session from a couple of weeks ago. When that deadline is met around midnight, I'll play around with 600 portraits I took earlier during 2 sessions from this past week (a graduate and then a mom with her two sons). Here are a couple that jumped out at me as they were uploading to my computer. (They are straight out of the camera.) I can't wait to see how they look after a run through photoshop!
That should about do it for one night.
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66 and counting...

I'd already put in my 40 hours for the week by 2pm on Wednesday, but in my line of work there is no pay for overtime. The trade off is that I have the luxury of scheduling photoshoots around my the activities my family has going on. Unfortunately in the summer that pretty much means that one job is scheduled around another job and when I'm not working at that job I'm working on things related to my third job. I'm not writing this to complain - I'm writing this because this is what life in BearCountry is like for me at the moment. It has always been my intention to be real with everyone - to share the good with the bad - the highs and the lows....

When I am overtired and overworked it's challenging to stay positive, but every day I can feel the Lord whispering to me that He knows what He's doing, that this too shall pass, that we are blessed in SO many ways.

Tonight I am at the tail end of some pretty big projects. The biggest is a 400 page blog book for a missionary who just returned from Nepal a few weeks ago. Jenn spent 2 years in Kathmandu and surrounding villages sharing the love of Jesus with everyone around her. It has been an honor to put her words and photographs into print. I'll let you know when you can see a sneak peak of the project via a tweet later tonight.What does a 400 page book look like? Here's a preview of less than half the pages - the most I could get on the screen at one time. I'm looking forward to flying through a few shorter books in the weeks to come after this hefty one!

While 161.2 MB of information is uploading to Blurb.com I will be finishing up the proof sites for a senior session and a large family session from a couple of weeks ago. When that deadline is met around midnight, I'll play around with 600 portraits I took earlier during 2 sessions from this past week (a graduate and then a mom with her two sons). Here are a couple that jumped out at me as they were uploading to my computer. (They are straight out of the camera.) I can't wait to see how they look after a run through photoshop!
That should about do it for one night.
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Have a good morning!

It's back to school season and whether your kids start before or after Labor Day new routines are on every mom's mind these days. T...