31 March 2010

Smile!



I’ve seen this same smile countless times in my own photos from when I was a kid. I have so many other photos of Josh and Zoë with the same “smile.” This one below is of Zoë and her “best friend” L. I pointed my camera at them and said, “Smile” and this is what I got!



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Please help out my friend Lindy and head on over to Future Blackmail where she has a giveaway for 16 sets of beautiful handcrafted jewelry (see a sampling below). Lindy is a wonderful step/mother and she writes with wicked honesty and humor. She and her family are raising funds to help defray legal costs of getting full custody of her two stepchildren, whose biological mother had committed a crime. Between now and 11th Apr, everybody who makes a donation will automatically be entered into a draw for one of the 16 sets of amazing handcrafted jewelry. Winners will be announced on 12th Apr.

30 March 2010

An Apple a Day



It used to be that we had to peel the apples and then cut them into slices or chunks, because that was the only way they would eat apples. Josh used to make us peel everything –even grapes!

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I’m so glad that we can now go out with whole apples –no more peeling, no more cutting or slicing, no more packing them in a snack container. We just wash the apples (and/or pears, grapes) and put them in a Ziploc bag and we’re ready to go.
Do you like your apples peeled?

29 March 2010

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I played tourist today. For you. So I can show you one of my favorite places here in Hong Kong. I used to hang out here every day when Josh was in K1 --when I would drop him off at school, go over to Stanley with a couple of my mommy friends, stroll through the lanes (and almost always ending up with at least a couple of bags of purchases!) until it was time to go pick up Josh again. Every day, for 11 months. You’d think I’d tire of the place already.

I still go there three times a week now (kiddies’ activities and church), but I have more restraint now. I try not to venture into the lanes unless there is something I need to get. But today, we have a guest in town and that was as good an excuse as any to browse. I almost always take friends visiting from overseas to Stanley Market. It’s colorful, great value shopping, with lots of knick-knacks and good souvenir items, as well as a good variety of clothing items and accessories in prices that are good enough even for locals.

There are paintings and shops that do framing services…

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These cards are Chinese names for common English names. Like, Oliver is 澳利崋, which, when pronounced in Chinese sounds close to how Oliver is pronounced in English.

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Or you can get the key chains instead… more practical than the cards, I think.

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You want bags? There are plenty. Cute and fun ones, like these…

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and there are trendier ones like these. These are priced at 50% off –all the time. Some shops have Buy-2-Get-1-Free deals to encourage tourists to buy more.

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Of course, you will find pandas…

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and these knick-knacks. I’m not exactly sure what these are for… something to hang on your key chain or the end of your cell phone or a zipper pull, maybe?

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And then you have these… really cute umbrellas in a container shaped like a wine bottle!

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Speaking of wine bottles… wine bottle covers! How cute are these?

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Scarves make nice presents for friends back home… light, does not take up much room in your luggage.

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This is one of my favorite shops in Stanley. This shop sells linen clothing. Really nice. I love linen, but I hate that it gets creased very easily; but when it’s crisp and fresh, there’s nothing like it.

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Check out these tees…

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And these silk robes…

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And these cute little girl clothes… The other wall has displays of cute little boy outfits, too. Most of these clothes are export overruns.

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Onesies and baby clothes… There are quite a number of shops that sell children’s clothing. You get Gymboree, Ralph Lauren, Carter’s, Jacadi, Next, Janie & Jack, Oilily, etc.
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This shop sells tablecloths, napkins, laundry bags, doilies, hankies…

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Chops, anyone? Click on the link to find out what these are.

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Pearls, pearls, pearls galore…

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and other types of jewelry.

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Silver compact mirrors…

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Paper lanterns and miniature tees.

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Pencil cases, tissue box covers, chopsticks, table runners, place mats, etc.

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There are, of course, countless shops that sell souvenir tees. There’s a Salvation Army store, flower shops, a fruit stand, a book store, some shoe stores… Stanley Market is a shopper’s delight. If you ever find yourself in Hong Kong, make sure you find your way to Stanley Market. Make sure you do that. You will thank me. I know you will.




Please visit
iheartfaces and check out other dramatic B&W entries.



26 March 2010

image

Okay, officially, this is the first time I’m joining Fix-It Friday with CS4! I am playing around with Actions and am loving it! I can’t decide which one I like best and if I have the time, I’ll probably try each and every one!


The original4463354463_0c14705184_b



Fix-It #1 – Took as much as the dark shadows away from under the eyes as possible, removed traces of snowflakes on hat and hair, Surface Blur, Smart Sharpen, Cropped, Curves + PW’s Colorize actionFix-It48



Fix-It #2 – All of the #1, except Colorize, + PW’s 70’s actionFix-It48-70s



Fix-It #3 – All of #2, except 70’s action, + PW’s Lovely & Ethereal actionFix-It48-LE



Fix-It #4 – All of #2, except 70’s action, + PW’s Soft & Faded actionFix-It48-SF



Fix-It #5 – All of #2, except 70’s action, + PW’s B&W action / adjusted opacityFix-It48-BWplus


Please tell me which one you like more… Me, I'm partial to the Colorize (Fix-It #1) and the Soft & Faded (Fix-It #4) actions. If you’d like to play around and join in the fun, please visit iheartfaces.


We Want YOU




Study 1 - black border (resized 150) 
…to join us in Communal Global’s picture contest starting 01 April –to the theme of ‘Today’!   So start thinking of a photo that you want to share for the contest.  You can check out some of our ‘Today’ photos here, here, here, and here.  OR better yet, simply browse through the Communal Global site for all the ‘Today’ posts and the other themes as well.  *wink*

All you have to do is post your ‘Today’ photo on your OWN blog and link it to the Communal Global blog when our “Mr. Linky” goes up on 01 April.  The Mr. Linky will stay open for 5 days, so you’ll have plenty of time to link up.

The best part?  We have Miz Booshay as our Guest Judge!Yes, the same Miz Booshay who is a regular contributor to the Pioneer Woman’s Photography section.  How cool is that?!   Miz Booshay will pick her ten favorites and then we will open up the polls for everyone to vote.  The winner will get a fantastic super fantastic prize package.

Please head on over to Communal Global to read up on more details about this exciting picture contest …and start snapping away this weekend!

25 March 2010

Mommy or Mama?




I heart Mom
What did you call your mother?  Was she Mum, Mommy, Momma (Mama), Mom, Momsky, Mother, Ma…?


When I first learned I was pregnant, I very naturally started thinking of myself as “mommy,” even though I call my mother Ma.  Imagine Bea Arthur’s character, Dorothy, in The Golden Girls calling Sophia (Estelle Getty) Ma.  I loved that show!  But I digress…


With Josh, I started as Mama, then I became Mommy.  Occasionally he calls me Mom (as in But, MOM!).  Zoë has always called me Mommy, but somehow lately I’ve become Mama.  It’s Mama this, Mama that.  I don’t know how that came about, but I’m loving the sound of it.

The innocence of Why, Mama?  What this mean, Mama?
The sweetness of I love you, Mama; Sit with me, Mama.
The irresistibility of Please, Mama.  Pretty please?    
Just tugs at my heartstrings. 

What do your children call you?

24 March 2010

Shopping Cart-a-lator



No matter how many times I have seen this, I am still fascinated by how it works.  What a cool idea to have a little escalator of sorts just for shopping carts!

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23 March 2010

Our Little Playground



Where we live we have a little playground downstairs where all the children play. Zoë and Josh would normally play there after they wake up from their afternoon naps. They bike, ride their scooter, play What Time Is It, Mr. Wolf? and generally just have fun with the other children.
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I love that the playground is outdoors. It does get a bit chilly sometimes with the wind blowing in from the sea, but that just means putting on a light jacket on the kiddos and they’ll be good to go.

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When I go down to the playground with them, I used to think that I could bring a book and read while they play. Silly me. What was I thinking? Now I bring my camera instead.

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Zoë’s singing some song she made up on the spot here. She spontaneously bursts out in song whenever she feels like it. That’s Zoë for you.
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One other thing I love about our playground is that I don’t have to worry about cars. It is not on street level and the only cars I ever saw that could get on were wedding cars (by special permission) and ambulances (for emergencies). So the children can all run about freely on this huge open space without me worrying that they might run into the street while chasing after a ball.



While there is a small patch of green on one side, I do wish we have a bigger grassy area. BUT having said that, I’m really glad that we have quick, easy access to this playground. Josh and Zoë are here almost every day (when they don’t have any scheduled afternoon activity) and they never tire of it.
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I’ve been playing around with Photoshop and the Actions function in it… What do you think of the processing of these photos? You like? No? Suggestions? I’ll probably be experimenting a lot more with different edits. It’s loads of fun!

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