Friday, April 22, 2016

Current Obsessions

I thought I'd do a little post today about some of my current obsessions...cause 1. maybe these are your obsessions too or 2. maybe you had no idea about these things and they could be your new obsession too.  And what better way to tell you allllll about my favorite things than with a list?!  --And a top 10 list at that!  So!  Here we go!

1. June & January

This HAD to be #1 because it really is a huge obsession as of late right now.  First off, June & January is an online shop for ahhhhhhdorable kid and baby clothes.  I'd say most of their items are tailored to girls, but Patrick does have a few things (lounge shorts) from them that work for the dudes as well.




I probably have another 50 pictures or so I could have added here that showcase Ro's extensive J&J collection, but I'll spare you.


Shockingly this pic I snapped only a week or so ago isn't even current anymore -- we've added a few more pieces to our collection and probably will add even more next week when a new release comes out!

Why do I love these clothes so much?  A couple reasons...first, they are ADORABLE.  The colors are so bright and vibrant and minus a few patterns (ice cream!) or stripes, they're pretty plain and simple, which is how I like it.  The quality is excellent, and very lightweight and breathable.  And, best part, the resale value is AMAZING.  For whatever reason, other mamas are equally as obsessed with J&J as I am and it's like crack on the BST boards when someone posts an item up for sale.  You usually can get back about as much as what you paid, if not more!  I love it so.

2. Bath & Body Works Lotion

I feel soooooo middle school Alex posting this, but I am currently obsessed with Bath & Body Works lotion, more specifically, these bad boys:


I have no clue what it is about these lotions but I really love them and love that it's warmer out now so I can coat my ashy legs in them before heading out the door.  The Hibiscus Guava Fresca is my current fave and I think I need to go back to B&B and stock up on some before it's gone forever.

3. Applecheeks Learning Pants

Patrick is 3+ weeks into deciding to potty train himself and has had a whopping 2 accidents thus far, which is pretty darn impressive if I do say so myself.  However, when we are out and about Patrick likes to wear his "sliders" (as he calls them).



They are training pants that look and feel like undies, but actually have an absorbent layer in the bottom to catch any accidents justttttt in case.


We have been absolutely THRILLED with Patrick's potty training, but even more so with having several pairs of these pants to give us some peace of mind that even if he does have an accident he's covered and protected.  I know a lot of people don't go the training pants route and just ditch the diapers for undies, which is awesome, but I think these AC learning pants are a good way to go too because they're not like Pull-Ups or any other trainers I've seen out there that still kinda look and feel like diapers--they're more like undies with some added protection.

4. Canon EOS 5D Mark iii

I just got my brand new camera a few weeks ago and it is quickly becoming my most favorite thing EVER.



All of my recent photo shoots I've done using it and although my other camera (6D) is a full frame and very similar, I can still tell a worlds' of difference between it and my new 5D.  It is just awesome the picture quality it has and takes and what amazing snaps it shoots.



I have a zillion example snaps I could show you but I'm resisting and just giving you two I snapped very quickly one morning of Ro on our bed before I left for work.  Both of those have very little editing done to them and are pretty much SOOC (straight off of the camera).  I just love it so much!




My camera bag is officially bursting with my two babies and lenses and flashes and I am one happy snappin' mama.  This is definitely an expensive obsession; however, I feel like my hobby is slowly turning into a professional real business adventure for me, so I feel like my expensive purchases are also slowllllllyyyy becoming justified :)

Side note: having a good camera (a DSLR or SLR) is a MUST if you're a parent.  Cell phone cameras are great but cannot compare to the picture quality that these types of cameras give you!  It's most definitely an investment, but one that is worth it! -- EXCEPT if you're someone I take pictures for.  Then disregard this message and you don't need a camera just keep calling me :)

5. Brady Bands

My hair is crazy CRAZY long right now -- probably the longest it's ever been (like halfway down my back!).  My go-to hairstyle 99% of the time is to toss my hair back into a braid and throw a headband in and I'm DONE.  I've always been picky about my headbands, because I have 2 requirements that they must meet and it's been a bit of a struggle to find ones that meet both of these WELL: 1. don't get me a massive headache for being too tight or uncomfortable 2. stay put and don't move. ever.



A year or two ago I discovered Brady Bands and I've never looked back!  They never EVER give me a headache and they stay put.  My current faves are the non-slip bands, but I also like the fabric headbands as well.  Both equally as awesome and both don't move on my head. Ever.



What's cool is that they were looking for brand reps a few months back and I applied to be one and I got it!  Woot!  So now I get to promote these fun little bands all the time on Instagram and offer people discounts (15% your total order using the code AM15 -- see what I did there??!) who want to order them.

I probably have more headbands than I know what to do with but I sure like matching them to my clothes and outfits and all of the fun prints they come in.  Until my hair gets chopped I'll be sportin' these bad boys forever and always.

6. 4x4 Prints

I recently did a little makeover to our chalkboard wall in our kitchen because I felt like the top was being totally underutilized (bottom gets lovely chalk art courtesy of Patrick all.the.time.) so I decided to repurpose it with some twine and mini clothespins into a picture gallery!  Mooney Memories if you'd like.


How awesome does that look?!  Biased, I know.  But I'm so excited to have a place to showcase 30+ pictures that can be easily changed out without dealing with picture frames.  Anyways, I think one of the reasons why I love it so much is because it's uniform and concise thanks to the 4x4 prints!  For a long time Instagram only let you post square prints, therefore I have a TON (and still do!) of square prints.  Print shops caught onto this and started offering 4x4 prints, which is great because then you could print your square prints without trying to recrop them into a 4x6.

Anyways, I am obsessed with the way 4x4 prints look, especially on my memory wall, and loooooooove getting my pics printed that way.  Plus, Shutterfly often has free 4x4 (and 4x6 as well) prints so I take advantage and print my recent snaps so I can then change out my photo wall with newer pics.  I love it so.

7. Custom Watermarks

I found a bunch of tablets for my computer graphics class to use when working with Photoshop and I decided to do some doodling of my own.  I really liked the watermark my brother made me, but I also reallllllly like my handwriting too, so I decided to take a stab at creating my own handwriting watermark!



OMG, it was stupidly easy and I really love how it turned out.  I did a black on white and white on black so I'd have both available depending on the picture I wanted to watermark.  I'm actually going to have my students create their own watermarks as well too so they can stamp their photos with their signature too.

I am totally obsessed with creating these custom watermarks right now and I'm guilty of borrowing a tablet from school and doodling allllllll night long on it trying to come up with a new design.  I love it so.

8. Xero Shoes

These haven't even come in yet and I'm obsessed with them.  I ordered a pair of custom-made Xero Shoes earlier this week and I cannot wait for them to come in.  I like having something on my tootsies but nothing heavy or limiting, hence why I pretty much live in my Teva flip flops and Keen sandals.  However, a friend recommended these shoes so I thought I'd give them a whirl and I know I'm going to love them and they're not even in yet.  They're simple, small, match everything (they're black!) and I'm going to wear them everywhere I'm pretty sure.  Check them out if you want something to wear that feels like you're not wearing anything and barefoot all the time--which is what I've been yearning for.

9. Mitz Accessories

I'm kinda a big Kickstarter fan lately, and love seeing the different things out there people come up with that are trying to get going.  One thing I came across lately is this one -- "Clothing for girls and boys free from gender stereotypes."  I love this so much -- I mean, yes, I put girly girl clothes on Ro and very manly clothes on Patrick, but not always.  And especially when they're babies (and we don't find out what we're having!!) I loved having gender neutral stuff that works for either of them.

A lot of gender neutral stuff all looks the same: yellows and greens with animals.  This stuff is actually different and I love the styles SO MUCH.  I did give them a backing cause I really hope they take off (cause I'd love some gender neutral clothes for the kiddos and for whenever #3 comes along cause we won't be finding out the gender with that kiddo either)...anyways, take a gander and make throw a few bucks their way too to back them!

10. Google Photos

When I deliver pics to clients who've had their pics snapped by me at Pics & Paws Photography I've delivered their pics to them in one of 3 ways: Google Drive, Dropbox, or DVD.  Neither of these ways I really loved, cause there was always a catch: needed a gmail account, needed a dropbox account, needed a CD drive to open DVD.  Ugh.

Well, my counterpart at school told me about Google Photos (which I've used for a while as a camera roll backup on my iPhone) and how it's totally changed and would be a great medium for me to deliver my photos to clients.

OHH EMM GEE.  Was he ever right--it's freaking awesome.  And stupid easy to use.


I can upload the full size resolution pics to Google Photos (since I have no storage limit on my business gmail account) and put them in an album.  Then I simply send the link to the album to my clients and they click and go!  It's that easy! 

Seriously, try it--click here.  You don't need a gmail account to access the album and can bulk download them all super fast by just clicking one button. 

It's my new favorite thing, and I've also started backing up my personal stuff to Google Photos as well.  If you have a regular gmail account you get 15GB of free storage, and can upload high quality (not full resolution) for free without going against your storage space.  It's pretty awesome.


--
Okie dokie folks, that's about all I've got for my current favorite obsessions 'round these parts.  I know you are thrilled with reading about these things, aren't you?!  Yes, I'm sure you are.  Heck, maybe I've opened your eyes to a few new things for you to check out and go be obsessed with as well.  I surely hope so.

Have a wonderful weekend friends and I'll catch you on the flipside!

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