February 15, 2010

What's Not To Love?

Valentine's Day on a Sunday isn't my favorite. And let's face it, with the kids home from school ALL last week due to snow, I was already behind on life in general, not to mention any sort of plans for V-Day. But due to cancellations aplenty on Saturday, I was able to sneak away with the Hubby for some delicious Thai food and last minute shopping which resulted in a lovely Valentine's Day for everyone.

We usually have a big breakfast on Valentine's day, including heart shaped biscuits and sausage. Not possible this year with early church. I thought the Hubby's solution was perfect. And the kids didn't complain one bit!

On Saturday night I was able to combine Olympic watching {did you see that Apolo take silver?} and heart garland sewing, using these hearts here. All the cutting out was worth the look on little faces Sunday morning as doors were opened. And it's reusable, so I'll be tucking this garlandy cuteness away until next year.

Ollie has a wicked cough right now, so he and I stayed home from church, which gave me time to finish up one last little project. I got three small $1 boxes of Russel Stover chocolates from the grocery store and embelleshed them with paper and scrapbooking do-dads for each of the kids. After removing the chocolates and disposing of them in an appropriate manner {chomp, chomp, swallow} I filled the boxes with conversation hearts and special coupons custom made to fit the loves of each child. Here's Big C's box:

The boxes {Hannie B's pictured} were front and center on the pink plates adorning our table. These pink dishes were a thrift store find and only come out twice a year - on Valentine's Day and Easter. Pretty cute!


My energy level kicked in at the last minute and I ran down to the basement to get all the heart shaped dishes right before it was time to eat.  This one was perfect for chips and salsa!

The dinner menu this year included Red Chicken Enchiladas, Heart Shaped Quesadillas, Salad, Strawberries, Cherry Jell-O {crowd fave}, Chips and Salsa and Strawberry Ice Cream. What's do be done with poor evening lighting?  {Suggestions Sue?}
The coupons were a big hit with the kiddoes.  I even made some for the Hubby {not pictured}...
We ended our day with a family dance off to the Wii game "Just Dance".  If you have not played this game, you must.  It is hilarious and had us all laughing our heads off. I may or may not have actually wet my pants whilst dancing and laughing so hard.  Love was everywhere yesterday!

Tomorrow:  The awesome outtakes from my impromptu Valentine's photo shoot with the little Owl.  And one Valentine's note that stole the show.  Happy Monday!

dragonfly signature


aiketa said...

You are so gifted... and everything you prepared for your family is so adorable!
I will do that one day with my own family! Love it!!

Kasey Hunt said...

I love everything about it! Bravo!! It looks so sweet.

MelancholySmile said...

I'm so impressed with that Valentine's Day spread!

Apis Melliflora said...

I knew it...the snow did nothing to crimp your style. Tres jolie et yummie.

The Queen Vee said...

I'm speechless, so clever and pretty and wonderful....my heart is bursting with pride.

Tobi said...

That is A LOT of work but you explain it like it's no big whoop. YOU have a big heart and I love all your creative ideas.

Sue said...

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, 'eh Queen? I really need to get more festive with my holidays.

Regarding the evening lighting: indoor lighting has different color temperatures which cast various hues over your subject; Florescent lights give off a green cast, incandescent lights give off a yellow cast. Our eyes naturally correct for these shifts in color, but cameras do not.

The only true white light is a flash, so if you photograph indoors without a flash you will have to deal with some color shifting. On-camera flash (like the one built into Edward) can often look harsh and take away a lot of the ambiance, so even though the color is slightly annoying, I prefer to take a lot of my indoor "ambiance" shots with just ambient light.

On bigger SLR cameras you can mount a stand-alone flash and bounce it off the ceiling to illuminate the room with soft white light, that's what I often do at weddings. But it's not a practical solution for most people. Generally what I do is just color correct in Photoshop, realizing that it will never be just right. The other thing I do is experiment with the white balance settings on the camera until I find which setting gives the most pleasing color. Just remember to switch it back to auto white balance when you are done with your artsy-fartsy stuff!

All that being said, I quite like the contrast of warm light falling on the table against the cool light coming in from the window.

A word of caution about shooting in low light without flash: particularly when shooting people, you must be sure there is enough light to prevent your subject from becoming blurry. If you're shooting on auto your camera will automatically turn on the flash when there is not enough light to freeze action. But if you are using some of the specialty settings you have to monitor the pictures yourself to assure there is no blur. For instance, you can be at an indoor basketball game and use the "sports" setting and your pictures will come out blurry because there is not enough light to give a fast enough shutter speed to freeze a moving subject. You could use the on-camera flash, but that will likely be ineffective because the distance between the camera and the subject is too great.

Be careful what you ask for, Dragonfly! Wrap your brain around all that technical information and feel free to ask qustions.