Thursday, July 31, 2014

Budgeting bloggers: July

First off, a plea for help. I know this post often brings in a lot of folks who don't regularly read this blog--welcome, everyone!--thanks to Fran's linkup. If any of you do self-photography with a Nikon and a remote, could you pretty please read my previous post and send any advice you have my way? I'll love you forever.

Okay, now on to July's clothes budget! Initially, I didn't intend to buy anything this month. But then a week before our engagement photos, I was hit with a serious case of I-have-nothing-to-wear-itis, and had to go shopping. I kept it mostly under control, though!

july budget

1. Victoria's Secret dress via Discount Fashion Warehouse. I never thought I'd wear something from VS that the general public would see, but here it is. The gorgeous tulip hem and faux-wrap style are unlike anything else in my closet, and I love it. | $22 {same dress, different colors}
2. Striped 3/4-sleeve top via TJ Maxx. I love the gold zipper down the back, and I especially love how soft and comfy it is. | $14.99
3. White tee via Target. Needed something for the Color Run (which I've just realized I have yet to do a post about. Oops!) | $9 {exact}
4. Michael Kors capris via TJ Maxx. I don't know what I loved best about these pants: that they're MK, that they were so inexpensive, or that they were a size I haven't squeezed into in years. Either way, they're a win all around and I'm terrified to wear them because I just KNOW I'll spill something. | $20
5. BCBG sandals via TJ Maxx. I had exactly one pair of brown shoes (or rather, boots) and these looked so great with the MK pants and the striped top! | $34.99
6. The Limited knot earrings via DFWh. Bought to replace a pair I've had for ages and have since tarnished beyond salvation. The only non-essential purchase I made this month! | $5 {exact}
7. The Limited gold necklace via DFWh. To go with that gorgeous green dress, natch. | $7

Not pictured:
1. A nude-colored backless/strapless sticky bra from Target. Halfway through my dance performances earlier this month, my existing backless sticky bra just kind of gave up. I rushed to Target in the few hours I had between shows and picked up another...this time with replaceable sticky parts. | $30.98 (with extra sticky things) {exact}
2. Earrings for my two newest cartilage piercings. The existing hoops were wayyyy too big and noticeable. Fortunately, a local tattoo/piercing shop was running a BOGO sale, so I got two for the price of one. | $10.75

Total spent, including tax: $162.51. Yikes. I'd say August will be a no-buy month, but I desperately need a new everyday bra (yawn) and a bikini or two for our beach trip (yay!). Oh, well.

Do you keep a monthly clothes budget? How'd you do?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What the heck, camera?

Okay you guys, I think I am seriously losing my mind. After a year of getting my tripod self-shot outfit photos to focus with little issue, I suddenly can't anymore. Seriously. The ability is gone. I am so frustrated, I could scream.

So here's my setup. I have my regular tripod, and I have a crappy tripod with a clipboard attached to the top. I set the crappy tripod up and position my camera, on the regular tripod, at the desired distance. I focus on the clipboard. Maybe take a few test shots. Then I switch to remote-release mode and take stand where the crappy tripod/clipboard was. Before, it worked like a charm. And now, for no apparent reason, it just doesn't.

What am I doing wrong?

My remote doesn't do the auto-focus point thing that some other remotes do (it's a cheapy from Amazon), but that never was a problem before.

I've tried changing my focus area and my autofocus mode, and I've even tried switching to manual focus after I've gotten the auto-lock on the clipboard. Nothing. Works.

I'm shooting with a Nikon D3000. Any advice or ideas would be most appreciated. Please hurry, before I pull all my hair out in frustration.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Can I get a TGIF?



dress: The Limited via Discount Fashion Warehouse
cardigan: Express via DFWh
shoes: secondhand (Nine West, maybe?)
necklace: Express
bracelet: Etsy

For real though, this week has been one headache after another. Sometimes figurative, sometimes (like this morning) literal--though that's my own fault. I practically collapsed onto the couch when I got home last night and dove face-first into my drink of choice lately: The Kentucky Mule. Good bourbon + ginger beer + a splash of lime = pure amazingness in a glass. The perfect thing to take the edge off a day in which you lose five hours of work for no explainable reason. Computers are dumb.

Anyway, I'm super excited for this weekend. My cousin is getting married, and that side of the family always throws wild shindigs, so it should be quite a let-loose-and-forget-about-how-annoying-work-can-be kind of evening. True story: When my aunt (same side of the fam) got married several years ago, one of the groomsmen tore his shoe in half. Yeah, it's that kind of party. We're an entertaining crowd :)

What about you guys? Any entertaining plans for the weekend? Or will you be catching up on your R&R (and maybe some Netflix) at home?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I get knocked down, but I get up again, etc. etc.

So remember last month/earlier this month when I said I couldn't wait until July 14 because everything would settle down again?

I was wrong.

And looking at my calendar, I don't know if they will before August. Or maybe September. Either way, I'm not going to apologize for what may be a lack of regular posting, because I'm on this new "post when I want to, not when I feel like I have to" kick. But I will apologize for what may turn out to be a lot of discussion on why I keep saying yes to things when sometimes I should say no.



blouse: Express via Discount Fashion Warehouse
skinnies: H&M
flats: Target
necklace: Etsy

Again with the blurry photos.

I think there might be some dust (or god forbid, a scratch) on my camera's sensor. Because my friend Emily used my camera to shoot Matt's and my engagement photos this weekend, and even she had trouble with the focus. And she went to school for photography, so if she can't get it to work there's a good chance it might be actually in need of service. Lovely. I'm kind of terrified to clean my own sensor, so it looks like I have to research places that do that type of thing. You know, in all my spare time.

Have you ever cleaned your camera's sensor? Is it hard? Any tips?

Friday, July 18, 2014

26 in 26 update: Photo a day project

So one of the things I was most excited in my 26 in 26 list was the photo a day project. (Okay, I'm excited about the whole list, but this one is gonna be both really fun and really challenging.) One month in and I'm doing pretty well. I've missed a couple of days, but for the most part I've been on top of things. I especially like how this project is challenging me to see things differently. I'm paying more attention to composition, and I'm beginning to see subjects appear where I might not have noticed them before. It's pretty cool, and I can't wait to see how that trend continues over the next 11 months!

So in honor of completing my first month, I decided to share a few of my faves. You can view the whole album (as well as descriptions and photo info) over on my Flickr, of course.

June 21

June 24   June 28

July 1   July 3

July 4   July 12

July 6

Have you ever done a photo a day project? What challenges did you have to overcome? What did you learn from it?

Monday, July 14, 2014

A not-so-triumphant return

Alas, I had hoped I would have better photos to share once I returned from my self-imposed blogging hiatus. For some weird reason, I've been having issues with focus on self-photography lately, and a lot of the shots I'm getting turn out unfocused. Which I don't realize until I upload them, because my camera screen is tiny and (I suspect) fairly low-res.



shirtdress: Express via Discount Fashion Warehouse
hat: H&M
gladiator sandals, bracelets: Target

I did manage to get one in-focus shot (perhaps not coincidentally, it was one where my "focus marker" tripod was still behind me, so I had to crop). Unfortunately, I'm making a weird face.


Oh, well. The important thing is that several time-consuming projects--two three-story freelance writing assignments and an in-depth dance residency--have come to a close. That's not to say I'm totally free; I still have a batch of photos from a baby shoot to edit, and as soon as I'm done with those I'll have to edit our engagement photos, which my friend Emily is kindly shooting this weekend. On top of that, in the next two months, I have: the Color Run, aforementioned engagement photo shoot, my cousin's wedding, shopping with my mom for her mother-of-the-bride dress, a friend's weekend bachelorette party, a beach trip, and a secondary engagement photo shoot at Ohio University in Athens (where Matt and I met). I just wish I could keep myself this busy in the winter months, instead of just sitting around binge-watching Netflix and eating way too much junk food :/

Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this whole "kill yourself with activity in the summer and with boredom in the winter" thing. Right? RIGHT??

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dance, baby, dance like the world is ending

I think this is the longest hiatus I've taken from VM since its birth three years ago. I really hate posting just to tell you how busy or tired I am, and to be honest, I haven't had much to say the past three weeks or so except that I'm swamped and exhausted. I'm on my third mega-caffeine drink of the day (compared to the two moderately caffeinated beverages I typically inhale) and honestly, I don't think it'll be my last. I met my June 30 freelance deadline by just a few hours, and it's getting to be crunch time with the other two things going on right now: another freelance project (due Monday) and the dance residency I've been participating in, which culminates tomorrow/Saturday. If you're in the Columbus area, you should ABSOLUTELY check out Taking PLace (Garden Theatre in the Short North, Friday at 8 pm and Saturday at 2 and 8 pm). I have some transcribing to do before dress rehearsal starts, but first, here are some photos from the process so far.

July 1

July 6

Scene's from Coco Loupe's fishnetting workshop #TakingPLaceColumbus

Scenes from Coco Loupe's fishnetting workshop #TakingPLaceColumbus

Scenes from Coco Loupe's fishnetting workshop #TakingPLaceColumbus

Scenes from Coco Loupe's fishnetting workshop #TakingPLaceColumbus

Scenes from Coco Loupe's fishnetting workshop #TakingPLaceColumbus

WHAT THE WHAT YOU GUYS. This is what happens when dancers attend a dance party. #TakingPLaceColumbus

WHAT THE WHAT YOU GUYS. This is what happens when dancers attend a dance party. #TakingPLaceColumbus

(You can see more photos and some videos over on my Flickr.) See you all next week!