Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tell Rayovac How You or Your Mom ROCKS the Holidays for a Chance to Win $1,000!

Does your Mom ROCK the Holidays? Or how about YOU! Then Rayovac's Mom ROCKS Holidays Sweepstakes is a must for you to enter.

Entering is a simple two step process:

  1. “Like” Rayovac on Facebook: Facebook.com/Rayovac
  2. Go to Rayovac.com, complete the entry form and at their option, tell Rayovac in 120 words or less how you (or your mom) rocks the holidays.
Grand Prize: Three (3) Lucky winners will win $1,000 cash from Rayovac.

Runner Up Prizes: Twenty (20) First Place Prize winners will receive a Rayovac Jam kit including a Paper Jamz guitar, drum, amp and guitar strap as well as 2 packs of Rayovac Alkaline AAA 24 packs (prize package valued at $90).

Hurry on over to Rayovac's Mom ROCKS Holidays because there's not much time to enter. The sweepstakes ends on December 5th

Disclaimer: Followers who promote the Rayovac Mom Rocks the Holidays Sweepstakes may receive gifts from Rayovac.

Tell Rayovac How You or Your Mom ROCKS the Holidays for a Chance to Win $1,000!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My 5 Tips for Editing and Creating Beautiful Photographs

As you can sort of tell by my blog, I really enjoy photography. I think it all started way back when I was just a young girl taking photos of the Thanksgiving Turkey in the oven. My family thought I was crazy. While I didn't pursue a career in photography, I did end up graduated from college with a degree in Printing Management which I guess was my way of being creative. That meant using applications like Photoshop for color correction, as well as other page layout programs. My way of being artistic. lol

Anyhow, it wasn't until after I had my son and bought my first digital camera, a Canon Powershot G6, that I really wanted to learn more. So I began my journey within my cameras manual and then headed to my local library. At the library I was able to find books of all kinds that taught me how to use light, aperture, shutter speed, deep of field, etc. I got a basic understanding of my camera controls, what they meant, how they worked, and what I could possible achieve. After about 5 years of messing around with my Canon I finally bought my first D-SLR and I'm loving it.

So here are 5 of my tips for editing and creating beautiful photo:

1. Learn your camera, and how to use the controls that are on it. A wonderfully edited photo needs to start from somewhere and that is usually with the original photo that you have taken. So learn your camera, what it can do, what it can't do, and how you can use those little controls to help you get what you want to begin with. A good place to start is with your camera's manual. Then work your way to your local library to read up on techniques, etc. Or take an online photography course or class at your local college.

2. Practice by taking lots of pictures. It doesn't matter where, when, or how. Just go out and shoot. Play around with the controls on your camera. Take the same picture over and over with different settings and even at different times of the day. Get a feel for what changes occur when you change your settings, and what happens during different times in the day. The more photos you take, the more you have to work with later when editing.

3. Find a good editing software program and learn how to use it. Right now, while I would love to own any Photoshop program such as Photoshop Elements, I just can't afford it. So I use GIMP. It's free and gives me the tools that I need to edit my photos in the way I need for now. From the use of layers and blending modes to contrast, sharpening, saturation, etc. It gives me enough control to go from this

 to this

4. Don't be afraid De-saturate. Changing your photos from color to black and white. Black and white photos can make for some really nice pics. When I think of black and white photos I think of shades of grays from dark to light or light to dark. if you look at the photos below you can see how they differ. Changing a photo to black and white may even be the way to go if you can't get the colors to look just right. Or you could choose to use selective coloring like I did to my sons eyes in the first photo below. There is something beautiful about black and white photographs.


5. Don't be afraid to apply a texture or pattern to  your photo. They can really help to add some of your own style to your photos. Textures come from textured images, or from using patterns or paint brushes in your editing program. You can also create your own textured images to use by photographing items like brick, stone, rust, etc. Below are a few examples of photos that I used textures or patterns in.

My sisters hands where in this photo and I needed a way to remove them so I used a textured pattern to remove her hands.

Adding texture to this photo just gave it a little bit of style that I kind of liked. Plus it made the water on the glass door stand out a bit more.

No matter how you choose to edit and create your photos just be yourself. Photos are windows to the soul not only through the people that are in the photos but also through the people who are creating them.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Adobe blogging program, making me eligible to receive a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm in Need of Your Vote - Help Me Win a Magic Castle Bounce House for My Sister and Her Family

Hey Everyone,
I was wondering if you wouldn't mind helping me out. Right now Bounce Houses Now is having a 2010 Holiday Photo Contest on Facebook. The photo with the most votes by 12/15/2010 will win a Magic Castle Residential Bounce House.

I really want to win this Bounce House for my sister and her family. She has 5 boys that I know will thoroughly enjoy this prize, including the oldest, but I really need your vote.

The photo I entered is of my nephew, Jacoby. He is actually a Christmas baby and will be 2-years-old this coming Christmas. My sister has no idea that I'm even doing this so if I won it would certainly make for a wonderful blessing and surprise. And I know how much this would mean to her and her family. Your vote would be greatly appreciated.

Voting is a 2-step process:
1. LIKE "Bounce Houses Now" on Facebook
2. LIKE the photo that I entered of my nephew.

 I can't begin to thank you enough. God Bless!

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5 Minutes for Mom Christmas Giveaway 2010! Haul Out the Holly!

It's that special time of the year again! Starting on November 8th, 5 Minutes for Mom will be hosting there awesome annual CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY 2010! And as always, this year will be jammed pack with fun and tons of great giveaways. It is definitely an event you do not want to miss.

The Christmas Giveaway 2010 is scheduled to begin on Monday, November 8th and will run all the way through the month of November with all entries closing on Tuesday, November 30th at 8pm EST. With this month long Christmas Giveaway comes loads of giveaways, tons of fun, and plenty of chances for you to win.

The gals at 5 Minutes for Mom will also be sharing some great gift ideas that you can add to your Christmas shopping list. Maybe even get a few of those family members and friends crossed off your list. So if you'd love to hear about some of these great ideas and have a chance at winning some of these great prizes, then make sure you stop by 5M4M to enter! See you there!

Winners will be drawn randomly and will be announced on 5M4M on Friday, December 3rd.  

2010 Giveaways List:  

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama and GameStop are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?

My wish for my family is that each and every family member near and far would know how loved they truly are. And that this season would remind them that Jesus loves them greatly. And for all those family members who have not received Jesus yet, I pray that they would this Christmas. I also have a special wish for my younger brother. He is heading out today to spend 6 months on the Mission Field in the Ukraine. My wish for him is an abundance of love from the church family there and that he always remembers that we love him and are so very proud of him. And that we are praying for him and the people of the Ukraine that they may come to know the Lord this Christmas season.

2. What is your Christmas morning tradition? 

Since it is just myself and my 8 year old son, I usually get up early (after going to bed late) to make sure that everything is just perfect. To make sure that Santa (wink, wink) has drank at least half of the glass of milk that was left out. And eaten at least one and a half of the yummy cookies. Then I grab my camera and I wait for my son to awake which is usually anywhere between 7:00 am and 8:00 am. We always start out with a big Happy Birthday shout out to Jesus then a Merry Christmas. Then off to the stocking my sons goes. After emptying his stocking, my son then heads to the presents under the tree. I just love watching the joy in his face when he opens his gifts. And most of all the thankfulness to the Lord for this day.

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?

I could ask Santa for so many decadent things, but this is the season for giving and wishing for others. My decadent wish would be that someone out there in this world would be granted their wish and that through their wish someone else would blessed and so forth and so on. A continuation of blessings being passed on from one individual to the next.

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?

We bake a birthday cake for Jesus. When we all get together after dinner we sing Happy Birthday. My son and I also love watching Christmas movies. From The Christmas Shoes, which always makes me cry, to A Christmas Story, which always makes me laugh. "You'll shoot your eye out kid". lol. We also love gathering around the fireplace with a warm glass of Hot Cocoa. Nothing like a warm toasty fire on a cool crisp night.

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?

My family were very big on playing games. We loved playing Pac-Man and Donkey Kong on our old Atari game system as well as board games like Scrabble, Candyland, and The Game of Life. Then there was hide-and-go-seek in the house. LOL. I remember the day that my dad tipped the screen playing Pac-Man. That is when you reach the highest score even possible on the game system. I still remember him sitting in the chair in front of the old tube TV and all of us kids watching. LOL I miss you dad.

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?

Some of the Christmas traditions that we have carried over from my childhood would be hanging stockings, leaving cookies and milk out for Santa, Christmas Eve service, and watching "It's a Wonderful Life".

7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?

I would love to go back home to Boston to visit some of my family that I haven't seen in a very long time. But then again, I would also love to be out on the mission field surrounded by those who do not have the luxuries that we have but have one thing in common. . . the love of Jesus.

8. Check out GameStop and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year? 

The three top items on my GameStop list this year are the Nintendo DSi XL Red Bundle, Kirby's Epic Yarn for the Wii, and Super Mario Galaxy 2

Mama’s Holiday Wish List MemeSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Send Your Name to Mars!

I just thought this was way cool that I had to share! I have an 8 year old who loves the planets, stars, sun, and just outer space in general. He was so excited when I told him.

If you go to the NASA Website and fill in your information, your name will be included with others on a microchip on the Mars Science Laboratory rover heading to Mars in 2011! Pretty neat. And when you complete your information you can even print out a really cool certificate. My son already has his hanging on his wall.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dear Crissy’s Can’t Wait til Christmas Lenovo Laptop Giveaway

I entered Dear Crissy’s Can’t Wait til Christmas Lenovo Laptop Giveaway
and hope to win a $799.00 IdeaPad! 

And I think you should too. I mean come on. Who can pass up the chance to win a brand new Lenovo IdeaPad U460. Not me that's for sure. I have been desiring a laptop for a long time so this would be the most sweetest Christmas present that I will place under my tree just for me. 

Winning this laptop would change the way I do many things when it comes down to my computer time. I could use this baby for work and when I travel. I can surf the internet, and check email in the kitchen while cooking dinner, or while out in the backyard during a beautiful summer night. I could upload my photos after shooting or hang out in the living room with my son and still have access to a computer right at my fingertips. Right now my desktop computer is in my bedroom and I hate being stuck in there when I could be moving around the house with this lovely Lenovo IdeaPad. How about you? You up for the chance. If so, make sure you visit Dear Crissy and get your entry's in. Giveaway ends December 4th at 11pm EST.

Dear Crissy’s Can’t Wait til Christmas Lenovo Laptop GiveawaySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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