Monday, November 28, 2011

Getting Our Ducks In a Row: Part 1

Months ago, I posted about our quest to find the perfect digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera. After buying trade magazines, watching way too many video tutorials, and searching endless websites, we decided that the Canon Rebel T3i was the one for us.

It's a solid entry level DSLR camera that should help us get our feet wet with taking digital pictures in manual settings, but not so basic that we will outgrow it in a year or two. (Hey, I did take a photography class in high school - granted, before digital cameras were around - but f/stops and apertures are not new terms to me. It's gotta be like riding a bike, right?)

We also loved that the Canon T3i can take video because, let's be honest, I am not gonna haul both a giant camera and video camera around. This way, if and when the twins start doing something adorable that needs to be captured on film for all eternity, I can switch from camera to movie mode in with the click of the dial.

So we were settled. All we had to do was wait two months for my birthday to roll around...

And when it finally did two months ago, I was paralyzed by indecision. Now lenses had entered the picture, and I wasn't sure if we should just buy the camera with the stock lens and upgrade as needed, or get a bundle that included a better lens.

Just to add to my camera crisis, our local Costco began selling DSLRs. They had bundles with the model above the T3i, the Canon 60D, and an older Rebel model, the T2i, for what seemed like great deals. (Check them out here and here.) And it's Costco, so we liked the idea that if we weren't happy, we could always return the camera within 90 days. We almost bought the 60D - Ryan was sold - but it just felt like too much camera for us, and it was more than I wanted to spend on a camera.

So another month went by sans camera, until, over the weekend, we finally pulled the trigger clicked the "buy" button!

We bought the T3i from Amazon with the stock lens. We figured we could get to know the camera before deciding which len(s) we wanted in the future. The camera and a high speed data card are coming this week, and I am thrilled! Maybe now I can finally take some decent photos of our smooth walls and my ever-growing baby bump.

So step one in getting ready for babies has been checked off the list. Now we just have to tackle the rest...

Any DSLR pros out there? What camera do you use? Any thoughts on the T3i? Any tips for this DSLR newbie (gear or setting advice)?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pinterest via Nico Lvy via Etsy TPartyDes

Happy Thanksgiving all!

If you're traveling, safe travels. And if you're staying the day at home, may you be surrounded by loved ones and lots of great food.

In the spirit of the holiday, here's what I am thankful for this year (in no particular order):

  • Getting to meet our new (and first) nephew today! 
  • Spending the holiday with family we don't see enough of (due to the pesky states between California and Colorado).
  • My family that I won't be spending Thanksgiving with. But that's what Christmas is for!
  • Getting to *finally* eat some turkey! Oh, how I've missed you, turkey sandwiches. 
  • The two twins in my belly. Enough said.
  • Ryan, who will be such a great dad and who has been super patient with me these past four months.
  • Amazing friends. I wish we lived closer.
  • The pooches. I might never get exercise or stop to appreciate the little things if it were not for them.
  • My job, which keeps me on my toes in all senses of the world, and finances...
  • Our home. We have arrived.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Rug That Started It All

I'm back as promised with the rug that is serving as our inspiration for twins' nursery.

It's the Dream Menagerie Rug from Anthropologie. It's 5' round, which should be perfect to ground the middle of the room that the nursery will be in. At pretty much $300.00 plus shipping, it's not cheap, but it's 100% wool, so we don't have to worry about the twins (eventually) crawling all over synthetic materials and the chemicals used to process them.

I love the bright, vibrant colors and the giraffe peeking its long neck up from the foliage on the left. Ryan is as smitten as a man can be about a rug with the bright orange lion (his favorite color and animal), which I think is also a sweet homage to our lion hunting pups. (Just to clarify, we don't use them to hunt lions. That's what Rhodesian Ridgebacks were bred for.)

The wide color palette means that we can take the room in any direction, and this rug should be suitable for either gender - or both! - once we find out what we're having.

And Anthro has it shown in a shared children's room, so it's nice to see that the rug can grow with the room and the kiddos.

So that's all we have figured out for now. Once we know the genders, I will shift into overdrive putting the palette and the other design elements in place. Only a month to go...

Happy day before Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nursery for One

When we first decided to start trying, I created this nursery inspiration board that I was quite settled upon, even after we found out we were pregnant. I even went so far as to order the sheets (see below for source info). But once we found out we were having twins, this just didn't feel right anymore. Perhaps because we decided to switch which room the nursery would be in, or perhaps because it just did not feel vibrant enough for the colorful life that would certainly be ours in a matter of months. But I still love elements of it, which will certainly make their way into our twins' nursery, and so I thought I would share.


Crib - Ouef Sparrow Crib in Grey
Plush Giraffe - Fiesta Toys via Amazon
Wall Decals - Elly Elephant and and Gerry Giraffe
Smile Pillow - Honey Pie Designs
Elephant Nightlight - Jonathan Adler
World Pouf - Urban Outfitters
Alphabet Art - Ink Tree Press
Grow Sign - Oh Dier

I'll be back to share the new rug that is our jumping off point for the new direction we are headed with the twins' nursery. Until then, what are your thoughts? Are giraffes and elephants too tired these days? Are themed nurseries too predictable? Or do you have a soft spot for long necks and pachyderms like we do?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What I've Been Up To

Wow, has it really been almost two months since I last posted? I guess that seems about right. I never intended to take this much time away from blogging, but I really haven't had the energy to blog - and there has not been much to post about in the way of home improvements, cooking, or fashion these days...

...because I am pregnant. With twins.

So life has changed, and is going to change even more dramatically in the months ahead. And all of this change has left me contemplating where, if any where, this blog fits in my new life. I am still not sure. I don't know if I want to share my little ones with the world (when they get here), and I might not know until they arrive and I meet and get to know them. I do know that I cannot keep up with 5 posts a week. Probably 2-3 is more realistic. However, what I have come to realize is that I truly miss the act of writing daily, and even more so, I miss the communication with you all out there in the blogosphere. So here I am.

I hope to continue to share home improvement tales, cooking successes and failures, and maybe some fashion I hope to fit back into as my belly all-too-quickly turns into a beach ball. I also want to share our preparations for babies, and learn from any wisdom you mamas out there have to pass along.

So I'll be back tomorrow to share the inspiration board I whipped up when we thought there was just one baby in my belly. Then I'd like to give you a sense of what design direction we are heading in these days now that we know we are having two.

And in the meantime, here are some belly shots from last week when I hit the 14 week mark.