Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Key to My Best Shot

I'm excited to say that above and beyond working on Shutter Sisters (due to launch Jan 21st-yay!) I've been transferring the archives from Picture This to a new and improved blog site. Oh baby. Good times. I will be unveiling the spruced up version of Mother May I soon after the New Year. Yikes, that's like in a few days.

I'm taking this time of transition to make all the changes my little heart desires. That's the key to keeping it fun, interesting and creatively inspiring for myself (and hopefully for you too).

I have been poking around and playing at SquareSpace and I can say that I am loving it. I figure if people like Krystyn, Maile and Irene are using it, it must be pretty great. They offer a free 30 day trail so you can try it on for size before you buy. Very cool. Just thought I'd mention it. I find SquareSpace to be a refreshing change from Blogger, that's for sure. And transferring posts from a different platform has been a breeze. Really. Just thought I'd mention it, just in case you needed a little nudge.

And I also wanted to mention how much I appreciate you trying to get the new BSM button onto your blogs and I know there's been all sorts of issues. Arg. I feel your pain. I think, since I am refurbishing, I will wait and give you the code when I get things all finalized at SquareSpace, kay??

Now that that's all settled, let's get on with our Monday (which I realize I posted on Sunday).

What is the key to your Best Shot as we say farewell to 2007?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Home Sweet Home (on the Range)

I hope the day brought you all your heart desired.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Best Shot Monday & Holiday Salutations

Welcome to the very first Best Shot Monday hosted at Mother May I. I appreciate your willingness to come on over! I've even created a bright and shiny new button commemorating the event. Yay!

red BSM button

I know it's Christmas eve and everyone is busy with the festivities of the season but I am giddy to post something holidayish. After all, it's not everyday you see Santa taking flight! Thanks for indulging me and joining in the fun.

Would you like to share a little holiday cheer?

If you've got a Best Shot Monday badge on your blog, I'd love it if you'd replace it with the new one. And don't forget to link it back to this blog; BSM's new and proper home. Thanks!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Closed Door, Open Window

As you might already know, I have said my good-byes at Picture This on ClubMom. Sniff sniff. But before I left I handed off the Thursday's Themes to Stacy at The Land of Ka.

The theme this week was WINDOW which I thought was fab as I am a big fan of window light of almost any kind. Plus, I can't help but think of that quote about one closing door could mean an open window or something like that. However it goes, I like the meaning behind it as it feels appropriate right now.

This photo came to mind instantly. I love the backlight flair and I love my girl in her jammies. I'm a day late (is it Friday already?)but hey, better late than never I always say. To see other interpretations on the theme pop over to The Land of Ka.
See you Monday for Best Shot Monday, kay?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Nintendo Glow (Holiday Gift Ideas, Round 2)

It’s no secret than in just over a year my family has gone from non-gamers to total gamers. Nintendo gamers that is. I wouldn’t have believed it if you’d have told me that last September before we hosted our Wii party. No way. I did not expect to be won over--but I have been, by not only the folks behind Nintendo but by the products! The Wii has been a welcome addition to our family since we got it last Christmas. We still have regular family bowling or golf tourneys in our living room. No kidding. Unfortunately, the Wii is hard to come by again this year so I won’t be talking it up anymore. At least for now. I did however want to preface this post with a little bit of our Nintendo story.

One Nintendo product that is readily available this season (YAY!) is the DS Lite. Love, love, love it. I had never even heard of a DS before we were gifted a few last year (one for each of our girls) and now, I cannot imagine life with out these little wonders. I know, it’s so dramatic, like when people were like “you don’t have a cell phone? How could you live without a cell phone?” Yes, I was a cell phone hold out and was probably the last person in the free world to get one. Well, although the DS might not be as crucial to everyday life as a cell phone, when it comes to having the perfect babysitter at your disposal anytime of the day or night, it’s a close second. Not to mention it’s a lot more fun than a phone and no matter how long the kids are on it, there’s no cost for additional minutes. That’s saying something. Yes, I believe in electronic babysitters for my children. At least I know that when I’m on an important business call the only sound I’ll hear are the adorable little sound effects from the DS Lites.

Though I knew my oldest daughter would be able to play the handheld game with no problem, I was a bit concerned that my youngest might struggle. But, there was no point trying to keep it from her as anyone who has 2 kids knows, what the older one has, the younger one wants, no matter what it is. So for those first few months she just had fun scratching notes and sending them to her sister. Happy faces, hearts and the like. I know, how cool is it that you can play back and forth between 2 DSs?

And then we found Cooking Mama (thanks to a helpful gal at the EB Games)! I shop at game stores now—huh? It ended up being a perfect game for her even at the ripe age of 3 ½ and she’s still loving it a year later. And her sister does too.

What was not available back then was a fab game for the younger set but alas! Now there is Smart Girl's Playhouse which is a delightful game for the DS that really is meant for young ones. We just got it and she really enjoys it. They also offer Smart Boy's Gameroom for the boys in your life. The graphics are adorable and the variety of games is ample and perfectly age appropriate for little gamers-- challenging enough to keep busy minds occupied and simple enough to keep busy hands well, busy. Since many of you have little choice but to get the younger sibling a DS, now you know there is a game that is suitable for the age.

As far as the older kids go, well, I only have girls so I’m not sure what a favorite pick for the boys would be but for my 10-year old daughter it’s got to be Nintendogs, hands, er, paws down. Even I think it’s totally cool. There is a lot of reading involved, just so you know and although there are features that can be used (and figured out) without reading, a non reading gamer will need some help with it. It even takes the feature of playing between tow sets to a whole new level. Once we were at the post office waiting for over and hour for our Passports and my kids and 2 little boys who were also waiting played Nintendogs between each other (they had it too). They had a doggie playdate, traded dogs, and had a regular dog party while passing the time. That’s what I mean when I say babysitter.

So, what’s on the Christmas List this year? Mario Party DS and Cooking Mama 2 (dinner with friends) and I know those are 2 gifts that are going give back all year long!

Thank you, you cute little DS Lites. I love you.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Holiday Gift Idea, Round One

Since it's that time of year when we are all scurrying around trying to figure out what to get for out kids, I thought it was a great time to post some ideas for your little photographers. Actually, I only have one camera I am reviewing today for The Parent Blogger Network but hey, one is better than none, right?

Discovery Kids is offering what they are calling the Slide and Shoot Digital Camera. It looks more like a little cell phone than a camera which is probably why my daughter is wild for it. She has yet to get her own phone so anything that even looks like a phone is cool with her. The other plus is the slide feature that gives the camera a spy gadget sensibility. Yet another design perk. My daughter has been taking it everywhere with her, hidden in her purse and pulling it out kamikaze style-- shooting pix of everyone and everything in her path--the hockey rink, her sister brushing her teeth, the shrimp scampi. I think it makes her feel sneaky. And the LCD screen is cool! Small but efficient enough so that you know what you are shooting (no holding up to eye necessary) which is ideal for a stealthy photo spy. Needless to say, it's been a hit.

Now, as far as the nuts and bolts go, it produces the kind of low rez images you would expect from a tiny toy camera. Even the highest resolution setting will only give you an image that will print to 4X6 (barely). I'm not complaining really, I mean, I can't imagine we would want to print anything larger than that anyway. Plus, the upside to the small size is that they are easily shared via email or, um, in a blog post. Ahem.

So, what about the quality of the images? They look great when taken in ideal light situations. By ideal I mean bright light. It's when you're shooting indoors (low light) that you're going to get lots of grain. But like I said over at Picture This this morning, I don't really mind grain much. Especially for play pix. Still, I know some people aren't that forgiving but keep in mind, when you shoot in low light settings you're going to get more grain (or noise) with almost any digital camera. The cheaper the camera, usually the worse it can be so I'm not sure I would use that in a case against this particular camera.

Exhibit A- Outdoor shots look great. This was even taken in the shade and it's pretty impressive for a "toy" camera.

Exhibit B- Indoor (low light) and grainy, or er, artsy.

The camera comes with the easy to use photo uploading software (YAY!) and simple editing software to use with your pix once they are on your computer BUT...when I say simple, I mean simple as in basic. As in maybe a little too basic. I dunno, maybe it's because my kids a photographer's daughter but neither one of us felt compelled to use the editing tools or even the artwork (borders, etc) to adorn her pix. Yawn. And there are no options for true editing anyway except for cropping or red eye removal. Let me put it to you this way, there is no flash on this camera hence you'll never even get a chance to use the red-eye feature. Just a little something I noticed. Still, with that said, my daughter interrupted my complaining with her high drama, tween urgency voice, "Mom, I don't care about the editing tools, that stuff doesn't matter to me. You had better give this a good review and say that I love this camera because I do!" And I think she even referred to it as her baby. More than once. Huh?

I'm thinkin' that's all that needs to be said.

Oh, and that even though I only am reviewing one camera today, I saw a pretty cool little kid camera review round up over at AlphaMom for even your littlest of shutterbugs.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Spreading the Good Word

Everyone seems to be Babbling about JOY!

And with kid's jerseys that declare messages like Joy, Compassion, Humility and Courage, why wouldn't they be?