Saturday, January 17, 2015

Reader's Gold!!

Is just read The Maze Runner series (however not the prequel ... Yet...) And thought they were pretty good. The language is a little off - the author has made up his own curse words, but very suspenseful story line. Over all, I'd recommend if you like action/adventure books, especially if you liked the Hunger Games and/or Divergent books.

Speaking of which, I came upon a gold mine while trying to find The Maze Runner, as my local library had two copies and over 100 holds on each...

I have a Kindle app on both my tablet and my phone. That site has tons of ebooks to download! There's a search box in the top right corner that is started with by searching for the titles of books I know are being made into movies, buy after I exhausted that list, I just looked in the 'series' tab. For me - Pure Gold!!! Things like Divergent, Kingdom Keepers, Percy Jackson (and other Rick Riordan books) and more are there!

Most books were an epub format (and all super easy to download), which doesn't work with kindle or kindle apps, but there's another website,, which converts the files to the right format. (Some didn't work with this site, so I had to use a different one, I just Googled 'convert epub to mobi'). Also, I had to do the converting on my desktop, it wouldn't work on my tablet.

After I had that finished, I could transfer the files strait to the kindle folder on my tablet by connecting via USB.

However, to read the books on both my tablet and phone, I download another of Amazon's apps on my desktop, 'Send To Kindle',  find those files that you converted , right click, and select 'Send to Kindle'. I found added 100 Free ebooks, mostly from the ibookpile site, and still have oodles of space on Amazon's cloud!

(If you have a kindle app, you should automatically have Amazon Cloud Drive storage space,)

(You may not have to convert your files from epub if you are using the Send to Kindle desktop app, I just barely wanted access on 2 devices so mine were already all mobi format)

I hope this will be worth something to someone, as I had a hayday finding all these free ebooks!!!😁😄

Oh I probably should mention, both my devices are android- not sure what format ebooks with kindle on apple would take - if they'd even be different...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Grocery challenge: complete

So its been a while, but I was sorta waiting till I has completed the challenge I had issued myself before I added any new thoughts.

Anyways, the Sam's club grocery challenge from my last post was indeed a success - not only did my family like most of the recipes (except for the one with quinoa) on the list I found, but it lasted us many more meals then the 20 it was intended for. Plus, 2 month's later, we still have a few freezer meals left, and some groceries left from the initial trip!

I considered trying the 20 meals for $150 Costco list, but I decided with the new year I'm going to just try at least one new recipe a week. I have so many cookbooks with so many yummy looking or sounding recipes, and I still plan my menu ahead so we can do budget friendly, and I want my girls to continue to be so adventurous and willing to try at least one bite of anything with out fights.

So here's to some adventures at dinnertime!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Grocery Challenge

I had a good friend post a link from this site ( a week or so ago, and I decided to try out the "20 Meals for $150" with options for 2 lists for Sam's Club and 2 lists for Costco.

We started out with the first one for Sam's Club.

The recipes so far are yummy and simple, but the 4 servings that most the recipes make are too much for my family of 4 as two of the mouths are three or under. 😃  So I took it into consideration when I made my initial list. I already had a few things, like rice and canned tomatoes, but after making my list and comparing it to the one the site had, I found it was missing a pricey item: quinoa. Once we went to the store, I found that our Sam's didn't have some of the same things that were on the list, like the spaghetti sauce and salsa; the prices were also different, which i expected. Plus (as stated above) two of our four mouths are very small, So I didn't get as much meat as on the site's list. Then I didn't get the avocado (only my hubby eats it) or mango (that's one I just gotta do fresh 😉) or bakery rolls (I got frozen Rhodes rolls instead). Oh. And we got bacon.

That being said, (before taxes) we spent $137.

And by my estimates, not only will we have the 20 meals plus leftover food, we'll a few extra whole meals and maybe enough to 'create' a whole new meal!

As of right now, I believe I have dinners planned thru Dec 14, but that is taking out most Sundays as we're usually with extended family... We'll see if it works out to not have to buy much for dinners in the next month!

Here's a secret though, I just copied and pasted the recipes from the listing she had, and didn't buy the printables, (being the designer I am, I will make my own printables). However, (the site changed since I last got on it) the links to the recipes aren't in the meal plan page anymore, but i bet the recipes are still on the site.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cake crumble

Ok, so not really crumbling, just ditching, as a few weeks ago, we finally threw away the rest of our wedding cake. We only ever pulled it out for our one year anniversary (and it wasn't very good then...). It was sent to its doom a month after our 4 year anniversary when I was cleaning out the freezer. But not before, of course, I snapped some pics!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween VACATION!

The Monday before Halloween we were able to Trunk-or-Treat at our church, and my little ones were, I think, adorable. Brynna requested to be a 'ballerina fairy' so this is what we got.
And I had to dress Brooklyn in the same costume that Brynna wore when she was about this size, and isn't this the cutest pumpkin ever?!?!?!?!
Then to top it all off, we were given an early Christmas present- plane tickets to California!!! It was a blast! We went to a 'pumpkin patch' to get the pumpkins for carving,
 then carved the pumpkins,

then my girlies went trick-or-treating with no coats or hats or gloves, and Grandma Shauna made the cutest costumes!!! Look at these adorable things!!

Then (on Grandma Shauna's BIRTHDAY (: ) Brynna went on her first (and second and third and wanted to go on more, (they're in the very last car)) roller coaster ride at Disneyland,

and Brooklyn went on her first park ride too (she was too little last time we came.) She didn't like the first one -Buzz Lightyear. Then she slept through the Haunted Mansion. But she did like the others after that. And there are so many pictures I'll go through them in depth later and publish them on my website! :)

And then we heard that friends and family were getting snow whilst we were considering going to the beach... And we did!

Brooklyn exploring the sand for the first time:

And the water:
 And daddy stopping her from running back out to the ocean...
My other beach beauty:

and cousin Star surfing! (Uncle Ryan (Darren's half-bro) never quite got up for a pic!)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I'm a Photographer - but sometimes I don't feel like it...

So here's the thing, I'm going to try to keep up on this blog more for me and my creative side than for anything else.

See, I'm a professional photographer, and I'm good at what I do. But I don't get enough photos of my own family except on birthdays and holidays. Its a cycle if found I'm stuck in:

I feel if I pull out the camera, I'm working. That's not a problem as my 'work' can be completely intertwined and submersed with my family. But I know that after the pictures are taken, I've got to get them all to the computer, organize them, tweak, edit, design, etc..... And this isn't a problem either, and I actually like this part even more than taking the pictures, but then that in itself can be a problem, once I sit down to work, I really like to get all I can done, and it really doesn't take too long compared to others, but I have two growing daughters that love to 'help' or need my attention. So over time I've stopped pulling the camera out for quick little things.

Then there's another facet, the cell phone. I know how easy it is to snap a picture with one, and I know most cell phones and tablets have much better quality than even just a few years ago, but I have an amazing camera! I am a professional photographer, and am almost embarrassed to post or publish photos that aren't the best quality, as I know what my best quality looks like. So over time I've stopped taking pictures of quick little things.

Then there's the extended family situation. Do any other photographers feel this way? That since there's a photographer in the family, they're (I'm) just expected to pack their equipment along with out any spoken consent, and take care of all the photo needs? Recently this was shown again to me when my husband was asked to make sure I brought my camera to an event. Maybe I'm just being picky, but I'm part of this event too, and A)  would like to enjoy it just like everyone else in the family, and B) could you have talked to ME about it??? I have ears, I can speak, and yes I really do have an opinion...... And then there's the fact that for anyone else I would do this for $XX amount while I'm not charging you a thing as your family.

OK enough of that soap box. Conclusion, I'm going to pull my camera out more often and take more pictures not only of my wonderful little family, but of other random things as well, like this awesome lasagna I made, and is one of the meals I can ALWAYS count on my girlies eating every last scrap off their plate - I'm pretty sure they're half Italian, half Mexican, but only in their stomachs.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tall and Quiet..... oh you mean Brittney?

So I decided recently that I'm going to use this blog to become Quiet No Longer.  Some of you know that I have always been pretty shy, and I in fact was given a nickname by one of my college photo teachers, 'Quiet One'.

But that's OK, that's me. Now, though, my amazing hubby gets the brunt of the opposite as I keep my opinions to myself until we are alone and I won't hurt anyone's feelings... So he gets what's truly on my mind.

Anyways, here I'll be posting randoms tidbits of my mind and life, mostly just to keep myself entertained and also to have a record of some random things that I can't find a better place to record/stow away for later use. Like this!

WallFlower Juniors 37" Inseam Basic Legendary Bootcut Jeans in Britney:

I just got these jeans in the mail today - I don't usually buy clothes online cuz its hard to find the right size. Well, I got two different brands, two of one brand and this one that is 2-3 inches than normal LONG jeans, and all 3 pairs fit great, and the long ones are so long, they brush the ground when I'm wearing my only pair of 2 inch heels!!!

So any of you that have a constant battle to find jeans that are tall enough (especially after you wash them and accidentally put them in the dryer) I would have told you 'shop at Vanity, they have great long jeans, I've been buying them for years' but these from Amazon are normally $20!! I shopped at Vanity cuz I could usually get a pair on sale between $25-$40 (which as you tall ladies know is a great deal for Longs in any jeans), but Amazon is my new fav!

Oh and if you notice the color choice... Britney (it's missing a T but the color is my favorite jean color too!! )

OK, enough rambling for now. Until next time, the Quiet One 😉