O Christmas Tree…

I love getting creative during the holidays and when the weather turns cold and the days are shorter I crave crochet projects. There’s nothing better than starting an afghan in the fall to keep you warm while you work on it all winter long. But for me I like to work on projects while I have blankets in progress because sometimes it’s nice to take a break. I found a pattern for Christmas or winter trees that I wanted to make and Mike was 100% for them. I made one evergreen style, one snow covered, and one Christmas tree style. You make the trees and then place them over styrofoam cones to keep their shape. The trees look perfect on our new walnut table that Mike made himself.

Once the trees were complete I practiced using my DSLR to take some photos. Oh the options you have with yarn and crochet!


Chicago 11.26.2017

On Sunday Mike and I traveled downtown for the day to explore the city. One of the best things about living in Chicagoland is you’re not far from Metra stations, we are very close to a commuter train station and then have another station in the neighboring town plus more! And what makes it even better is you can purchase a weekend pass and ride the Metra as many times as you like Saturday and Sunday.

I took my camera with me to continue my practice and used the aperture setting. The day was beautiful for taking photos outdoors- sunny, blue skies, and we even saw a bride and groom outside the planetarium. I wanted to see the Christmas tree so we went to Millennium Park where the outdoor skating rink (one of my bucket list items) and the bean are located.

After lunch at the Italian Village- great restaurant- and one of few open on Sunday, we walked to Adler Planetarium. I took photos indoors too because while I love outdoor photos I know I need to practice indoor too. The Adler Planetarium has Gemini space capsule from NASA which was super cool to see and I love stars and the solar system. We only paid for general admission which doesn’t give you access to the movies and that was fine with us.

Before heading back to Union Station I took some pictures outside of the planetarium adjusting the white balance. I’ve seen what a difference custom white balance makes using the Light Room software but for the pictures I took of the skyline I simply switched between, daylight, shade, and auto white balance and there was certainly a change between each one!

Here are some of my favorite photos and maybe some not so favorites so I can continue to learn and improve with my photography.

I love this picture of the bean but with some editing we would be able to see the blue sky that is visible in my other photos. That is where a custom white balance would be beneficial.
The back of Gemini space capsule at the Planetarium- the heat shield.
This photo turned out wonderful with the vibrant colors, I was impressed after taking it.

Below is a slideshow of the photos I mentioned where I adjusted the white balance. It was about 3 pm in the afternoon and the sun was to my left shining on the buildings – you can tell in photo #2.

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Friday's Top Ten

Friday’s Top Ten, 12.6.13

Happy Friday!

I hope you are having a fabulous week and are ready to enjoy your weekend! I plan to stay warm as we are going to have freezing cold temperatures this weekend, brr! Although it could be worse, my home town is getting freezing rain and snow and out of the three I’ll take the cold!

I’m excited to go to happy hour with Mike and enjoy some jazz music at the Mason Street Grill tonight. It might be chilly outside but some wine and music will certainly keep me warm! We’re also doing another brewery tour this week at Sprecher. They brew beer and root beer and I’ve had the root beer before and it’s really good!

Have a good weekend, ya’ll! PS- Christmas is only 19 days away, ahh!

#10 Naughty Elf on the Shelf

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Elf on the Shelf for kids at Christmas time but here is an adult version- Naughty Elf on the Shelf. These pictures are hilarious! One of my favorites is a spoof on Silence of the Lambs- Put the lotion in the basket!

#9 Holiday Nails
I love these nails from pinterest and if I was better at painting my nails I would certainly try to replicate them!
Holiday Nails

#8 Copycat Frontega Chicken Panini- IGE
Iowa Girl Eats posted this duplicate recipe from Panera of their Frontega Chicken Panini which is really good. I don’t know why I never tried to make it myself having worked at Panera but it was probably because I was sick of the food after working there for awhile. Anyways, I would certainly try the recipe now!

#7 House Plant
I received this plant after our office hung the holiday decorations and I love it. I really hope I can keep it alive especially because it looks great in the apartment!
House Plant

#6 Run to You, Rachel Gibson
I just finished reading Rachel Gibson’s new book Run to You and I loved it! It was an easy read but still captured my interest throughout the entire book and was a nice love story. If you’re into that kind of thing I highly recommend it and check out her hockey series too!

#5 Hamsa Tattoo Idea
Hamsa Tattoo Idea
I’ve been missing my grandpa a lot lately and when I nearly busted out crying in a Panera where people would think I’m crazy I decided to call my cousin and talk to her. She knows exactly how I feel since we’re going through the same thing together. I know everyone grieves differently and differently for each person who passes but this time has been more difficult than I anticipated. Well when I talked to her she told me she’s getting a Hamsa tattoo of the Hamsa necklace my grandfather used to wear. I think it’s an awesome idea and it certainly made me feel better talking to her and hearing about the tattoo.

#4 Sweet Potato Stuffed Apples- IGE
It’s an I-love-everything-Iowa Girl Eats-makes kind of day and I love this recipe for sweet potato stuffed apples and can’t wait to try it! I LOVE sweet potatoes and don’t knock the canned sweet potatoes because they’re good! ;)

#3 Corgi Cuteness
Christmas Light Corgi
Christmas corgi for you!

#2 Christmas Songs
I’m happy to listen to Christmas songs now that we’ve reached the holiday season and really enjoyed the music during the christmas special in Rockefeller Center. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” never gets old and I love “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”. What’s your favorite Christmas song? What’s your least favorite?

#1 Christmas Cookies
Dark Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Along with Christmas songs that also means the over abundance of sweets! Mike and I are preparing to bake our cookies in the next week or so and I know one of the ones we’ll make is Dark Chocolate ChipĀ Oatmeal Cookies. I can’t wait to bake the rest!