Venus Trapped in Mars

31 March 2015

Who Takes Your Pictures?


I've been struggling with getting pictures for the blog lately. And by lately I mean since 'Nam. I bought my fancy camera in August of 2013 and promptly took one of those Groupon 4 hour classes on how to work said camera. This class very much helped, but no one ever became a pro at anything without practice. So, not without great frustration, I practiced

But as you guys all know, as a lifestyle blogger occasionally faced with fashion posts, you have to be in the photos!

I've messed with a tripod in the past, but I can't figure it out to save my life. This post was taken using my DSLR and a tripod. Meh. My iPhone would have been a way better choice. I'm not particularly in focus, the background isn't nice and blurred, those photos just have nothing special happening. Certainly nothing that warrants the cost of the camera and lens!

Let's face it, I'm not a professional photographer, I don't know what I'm doing, and I certainly don't have gobs of time to practice and master using a tripod. 

So what do you do? Well, you can hire a photographer to take your pictures. I hired Megan to take the photos that I use on all my different sub-pages like here and here. She was fantastic, the pictures perfect and beautiful. But even though she was priced very reasonably, I can't afford that every time I need blog photos for a brand or sponsored post. 

ORRRR- you can pay your boyfriend in kisses, followed by hateful remarks when you first see the images on the preview screen of the camera! 

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times... how do fashion bloggers do it? Who takes your picture? Do you use a tripod? Do you pay someone? Does your man-friend take your photos? 

Did you train your man-friend to be constantly snapping candid photos of you without your knowledge? Displaying shock and surprise, hand draped over your heart in astonishment, with your perfect red-lipped mouth open in awe. Or beautifully looking off into the distance with your hand in your hair, c/o skirt floating in the breeze? Were all of these photos unexpected? Was he just snapping because he likes to admire your beauty with one eye shut, through a half inch by half inch viewfinder?

Or do you lay it all out for him, explaining that you aren't going to be looking at the camera? That you are going to pretend to be shocked/surprised, and he is to quickly take 48 picture options. Do you micro-manage the poor man, the whole time he has his finger on the trigger? Because that is what I do.....

Who takes those photos from above? Those photos that I freaking love and I'm not quite sure why. You know the one.... with the perfectly ripped jeans, farmer's market brown paper wrapped tulips, possibly a cup of coffee with an inspirational, hand-lettered "dreams don't work unless you do" quote adorning the side. Is he standing on a stool behind you, towering down from above?

PLEASE SOMEONE, PLEASE. SHOW A BEHIND THE SCENE SHOT!!!! Rid me of this inner turmoil that plagues my brain, how you do it? I promise I won't copy!!!!


Trust me, I'm not hating. I'm just jealous over here and I need your secrets.

Spill your secrets!!! 





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30 March 2015

$150 Anthropologie Giveaway

It's that time of the month where we make some new friends, give some money away... a little bit of this, a little bit of that! So let's get the ball rollin'!





Of Golden Roses

// Start Here // The Shard ::: The Cliffs of Moher
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Top 5 Favorite Cities You've Ever Visited?

1. Bristol, England: My love for Bristol began when I first moved to this unfamiliar city back in 2013. I hadn't heard much about Bristol before moving, but the more I saw of this unique city the more I fell in love with it.

2. Castle Combe, England: This sleepy village is one of the most beautiful and untouched areas in all of England. Barely spanning one main road, the village of Castle Combe is home to a church, a graveyard, and a pub or two.

3. Bath, England: I know, another city in England. But England has so much to offer it's hard to limit down my favorites! Bath has so much to offer, from Roman ruins to a Jane Austen museum, a trip to Bath is always worth your while!

4. Edinburgh, Scotland: Despite the fact it's freezing most of the time, Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Every corner holds historical significance. A trip to Edinburgh feels like you are stepping back in time.

5. San Antonio, Texas: Having lived in San Antonio during my freshman year of college, I grew to love and appreciate the cities unique and fun atmosphere. Whether your drinking a margarita in Market Square or taking a boat ride down the Riverwalk, San Antonio is always fun.



 Just Jessie

// Start Here // Creeper Snacks: An Online Dating Story ::: 5:30am Workout Before/After
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Top 5 Favorite Cities You've Ever Visited?

1) Los Angeles: California! Warmth! Beaches! Surfer boys! And it introduced me to frozen yogurt.

2) San Francisco: More California! I love the Golden Gate Bridge and the city itself is beautiful.

3) New Orleans: Amazing culture, food and music (and scary vampire stories).

4) Minneapolis: I know, random. I went to Minneapolis a few years ago for a blog conference and really loved the city! 

5) Ireland: I'm adding this to my list even though I'm not going until September of this year!



 A Hundred Tiny Wishes

// Start Here // Things I've Learned About Parenting ::: Things I Really Suck At 
// Get Social // Bloglovin ::: Twitter ::: Facebook ::: Instagram

Top 5 Favorite Cities You've Ever Visited?

I'm one of those people who really hasn't traveled outside of my home state... I mean I would love to tell you that I have visited New York and had an Empire State of Mind, but I can't. Instead, I will tell you that I love Chicago, because I love how so many cultures can culminate into one city; that I love New Orleans, because, well duh, New Orleans; and I love Indianapolis, because it has so much to see and do.





 Route Bliss

// Start Here // 5 Cameras Worth Considering For Traveling ::: Roadtripping: 10 Planning Tips
// Get Social // Twitter ::: Instagram ::: Bloglovin ::: Pinterest


Top 5 Favorite Cities You've Ever Visited?

I'm not huge on city travel ... but of the places I've been ...

1) Vienna, Austria. The history, the architecture, and the culture!

2) Dallas, Texas. Close to home, so much to see and do even when you live within an hour or two, it makes for a lot of daytrips!

3) Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Gateway to Grand Teton National Park (and the south end of Yellowstone National Park) + the scenic views from this (expensive) Old West town make me want to go back permanently if I could afford to live there.

4) Moab, Utah. Gateway to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks as well as Dead Horse Point State Park. Small town feel and so so many scenic views!

5) Colorado Springs, Colorado. Of all the places I've traveled, this is on the very short list of places I'd up and move to if I ever leave Texas. Near Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods as well as an hour from Denver. Olympic Training Center + the Air Force Academy are here as well.


 Constantly Seeking Wonder

// Start Here // I Don't Believe in Guilty Pleasures ::: 10 Tips for Anxious Flyers
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Top 5 Favorite Cities You've Ever Visited?
I'll admit I didn't get to travel much until I was 18, but in a few short years I've really tried to make a good go of the United States. Next up? Abroad!

1. San Francisco

2. Chicago

3. Miami

4. Philadelphia

5. Boston

The culture, history, food, and architecture. For all of them! Those are my favorite things and each city delivered!


-----
 
Christine // Kelly
Magen // Tabitha
Margo // Christina
Kippy // Sarah 
Jessie // Sara

 


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27 March 2015

5 Things You Need to Know Before You Go: All of the Feels Edition

Everything in the sports world this week made me emotional. True, I would get emotional over a pizza buffet, but still.... these are some great stories you need to hear from this week!

The 5 Things You Need To Know Before You Go: All of the Feels Edition 
 
Let's start with THE best news of the week, month, year! We first met Leah back in September when the Cincinnati Bengals became my honorary favorite team in the NFL when they signed Devon Still to the practice squad so he could keep his health insurance and pay for his baby girl, Leah's, cancer treatments. Devon, just a week later, was brought back up to the 53 man roster, and proceeds from his jersey sales were donated to Pediatric Care Cancer Research. That story is still so beautiful to me.

But then....
June 2, 2014 and March 25, 2015 are days I will remember for the rest of my life. As everyone probably knows, June 2nd was the day doctors walked into the waiting room to tell me my daughter had cancer. It was the most devastating day of my life. March 25th , however, is feeling like the best day of my life. Today we received news from Leah's oncologist that her cancer, stage four neuroblastoma, is officially in REMISSION! After 296 days of day dreaming about what it would feel like to hear the doctors say my daughter is in remission, I finally know the feeling. Funny thing is there is really no way of describing it because I never knew this feeling existed. When I look at my daughter all I can do is smile and hug her. It was not easy but every day, and every treatment Leah fought like hell and kicked cancers butt! I'm so proud and blessed to call her my daughter. She has made an impact on me and on the world, at the age of four, that I can only wish to make in a lifetime. Thank you to my family and friends for the support through all those tough days. Thank you to everyone who has sent a letter to give Leah and our family motivation to keep fighting, a toy that helped Leah get through her days in the hospital, and more importantly a prayer that helped God hear our cries for healing. Thank you to the doctors at CHOP for putting together the best plan of action for my daughter. Thank you to Child Life members Sarah, Laura, and Lindsey for really turning what could be a scary place into a place where Leah would enjoy going because she knew she would have fun with you guys. Thank you to the Bengals for taking on my situation and standing by me and my family and for helping to raise money to fight pediatric cancer. To every media outlet and persons that helped raise much needed awareness, thank you. Leah is not done with treatments yet. She still needs more to make sure the cancer cells do not return and to build back up her immune system and other damage from the chemo but I know my little warrior will get through it! #FistBump #LeahStrong #BeatCancer #TheFightAgainstChildhoodCancerIsFarFromOver #ThrowingTheBiggestKidPartyEver #WaitForIt
A photo posted by Devon Still (@man_of_still75) on

What a dad. What an incredibly strong, inspiring little girl. Go take on the world now, Leah! 

All of the feels. 


I'm sure you all know Dean Smith who passed away last month at the age of 83. He was the former UNC coach, and one of the most legendary basketball coaches of all time. Yesterday it was made public that he had left something in his will to every single player that he had ever played at UNC. 

image via

He left every single former varsity basketball letterman player of his a $200 check with instructions to have dinner out, on him. 

All of the feels.





I've got a player in the NCAA tourney I think you will LOVE. Meet Nigel Hayes, one of Wisconsin's best players and your new favorite person in the tournament. First, he got all excited that he would be occupying Kobe Bryant's locker during the sweet 16....


Then he started a press conference with a little test of the stenographer's spelling capabilities....

image via

And then, what you'll totally die of cuteness over....

He calls the stenographer beautiful, not realizing anyone can hear him, and then gets ALL embarrassed.



 
Holy adorable. I just cannot stand it. You just gained a fan, Wisconsin... and by Wisconsin I mean Nigel! 

All of the feels!!


Our girl, Mo'Ne Davis will have a Disney movie made about her, but that isn't what I want to talk about today. This douchenozzle (sorry, no other word for him) college baseball player sent out the most disgusting tweet about Mo'Ne and her Disney movie. I'm not posting the tweet, but it was foul and the school he played for immediately dismissed him from the team. 

What was Mo'Ne's response?

First, she makes an appeal to the school to reinstate him and says this on SportsCenter....

“Everyone makes mistakes and everyone deserves a second chance. I know right now he’s really hurt and I know how hard he worked to get where he is. I mean, I was pretty hurt on my part but I know he’s hurting even more.”


WHOA.

I'm not adult enough to forgive the jerk yesterday who didn't wait in line like the rest of us, and cut me off to jump the line on the exit ramp... yet she can be this mature, compassionate and understanding about this douchenozzle??? Get it girl, I look up to you.

All of the feels. 
 


Images via: Ben Platt / MLB.com:




Will Ferrell played every position on the field, and played for 10 different teams on Tuesday. I'm not kidding. 

He started as the 5th batter for the A's, that's a pretty good spot to have, assuming you recall the baseball lineup according to Carrie Bradshaw! He was traded throughout the day to various teams, for various things..... yes, things.









Traded, released, picked up off waivers... Will traveled from team to team by van and helicopter. He did this all in partnership with HBO and Funny Or Die, in an effort to raise money to support the fight against cancer. A lot of money. As in nearly a million raised.

All of the feels!!
Want more Ferrell antics from the day? Go here



Venus Trapped in Mars


  • Write a post about anything listed here
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Finding the Right Formula For Your Dog

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ProPlanPet #CollectiveBias



pelfies = pup selfies 

My sweet little Jack Russell, who you may better know as Veenie Bo Beenie, has a very sensitive stomach. The dog is made of steel on the outside, she jumps fences, catapults herself on and off counters in the house like a cat, and goes about a mile a minute all day, every day. CB and I sometimes have to call her white dog, rather than saying her name. Because once you make that Vee sound, you will, without a doubt, have a dog all in your face... Did you call my name? Do you need me? Hello? Hi... mom? Did you need me? What did you need? I heard Vee? What's happening. Do you need face licks? Ear licks? Me to jump all over my sleeping brother? What what what is it you need? Hi hi hi hi hi hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! 

But her little tummy didn't get the memo regarding her indestructibleness. (Is that a word? Google didn't tell me it wasn't... let's roll with it)

I've been wanting to switch her food ever since I heard about this big case filed against the food brand I was previously using, but I was worried about her getting sick during the transition. 

Both of my babies have been on the Banfield monthly wellness plan at PetSmart for the past 3 years, and it is a game changer for my over-protective dog mom sanity and my wallet. I had dropped Veenie off for her routine checkup, and decided to poke around PetSmart to see what other food options were available. 


 
There was one brand of food that took up an entire row, bag after bag of personalized choices available based on a pet's age, weight, lifestyle and even one with a sensitive skin and stomach formula! Purina® Pro Plan®, it was perfect for Veenie! 



 
Purina® Pro Plan® is the first dry dog food brand to use and be founded on the idea of real meat as the #1 ingredient to help promote total body health. Every high quality ingredient is chosen for a specific purpose. Veenie's bag has salmon as the first ingredient. I bought a bag for Veenie to give it a test run.... and a peep squeak toy and new collar, because I'm a terrible impulse buyer but that's neither here nor there. 





 
Veenie scarfed it down immediately, but no one ever said that her appetite was a problem! 



 
Fast forward a week and a half later, Veenie is just as bonkers as ever, no food change slowing her down! Since I live in a small apartment, I do my best to get both Veenie and Gee out on long walks around the neighborhood as often as possible, but it's pretty easy when you live in the coolest neighborhood in Dallas... just sayin.  



 
Look Veenie... PIZZA!! 
Maybe it's scratch and sniff?!

 
 Orrrr maybe it's not.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


One of the coolest things about the Purina Pro Plan was their website. When you visit the MyPlan website, you will answer several different questions about your pup, and they'll get their own personalized recommendation bag. Plus, you'll receive a rebate offer for a free bag of Purina Pro Plan Dry Dog Food, the 4-6lb bag, which is worth up to $18.99! This offer is good only in U.S.A. A.P.O's, F.P.O's. Void where taxed, prohibited, restricted. Allow 6-8 weeks for shipment. LIMIT ONE REQUEST PER INDIVIDUAL, ADDRESS, or EMAIL ADDRESS. Offer expires 04/30/2015. See full terms.

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26 March 2015

Thoughts I Have When Posting to Instagram

Date: March 17th, St. Patrick's Day 
Time: 6:00pm
It's 6pm, on St. Patty's day, and I haven't posted anything to Instagram yet. If I don't post on Instagram on a holiday, did the Holiday even happen? No, is the answer to that question.

*Gathers all the green things in the apartment: a cup, a cocktail umbrella, and a second hand bookstore book that often doubles as a coaster for guests.*

I'm going to toss these next to my keyboard. The best instas have a keyboard.
 


boring. maybe point the camera closer???
 
*boyfriend takes a seat and grabs a beer.... knows we will not be going to dinner for a while.* 

 "That isn't quite it yet either, maybe I put the mouse back in...?"


Why is everyone with a pulse better at staging photos than I am?

Forget this, maybe I'll just hold my drink and ask CB to take my picture. 

I feel bad asking him to get up, he just sat down....

"HEY WILL YOU TAKE MY PICTURE?"

*patient boyfriend sighs deeply, sets beer down and rises from couch reaching for iPhone*
*patient boyfriend takes 4 steps backward---*

"NO NO NO NO, WHY ARE YOU SO FAR BACK?? I JUST WANT FROM THE CUP, UP."

*patient boyfriend takes 4 steps forward, snaps picture, hands iPhone back. He remains standing, waiting... knowing we aren't even close to done....*
poor kid... it must suck to have a blogger for a girlfriend.

*glances down at picture on phone*
"SICK"

the devil called, he wants his "muahahhahahaa face" back.

*takes braid out, hand phone back*
*patient boyfriend takes two more* 


"OH DEAR LORD IN HEAVEN --- NO!

"JUST FORGET IT, THANKS ANYWAY"

*patient boyfriend, feeling like a failure at life now, sits back down with his beer*
hmmm... now what? 

duhhhhh, why didn't I start with this... selfies + dog = instagram... and look, there's a dog right there!

"VEENIE, VEEEEENIE.... VEENIE LOOK AT THE CAMERA... VEENIE CAMERA. WHOOO! VEENIE. HEY VEENIE. VEEEEEEEEEEN!

*snaps fingers next to iphone camera* 

 if you can't beat em, join em

 meh.

how about I channel my inner fashion blogger?


ok but, how the heck do they do this so perfectly? I've been blogging for 2 years and am totally baffled by the "over-the-head" outfit picture...

hmmm... let's try no face...




orrrrrr pretend like I'm drinking it?

 effing stupid. you and your stupid face suck Sarah.
let's go back to no face at all





not the worst ever... but I'm sure I can do better...

*lightbulb dings above head, like in the cartoons*

"GREEN BEER! FOOD COLORING! YAAAAS!"

*moves back to computer desk*




 nails are kiiinda painted, maybe i should open the book?




i need a beer. 

oh right, i have a beer, I could take a picture of me drinking the green beer!!!! #genius


*sits on couch next to patient, failure-stricken boyfriend*

*takes boyfriend's hand and apologizes* 

*drinks green beer*

*posts absolutely nothing to Instagram*
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