final month of love post

So, I figured I should get this in before April.

This past weekend, I headed down to Moab with my brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, dad and step-mom. Justin, Cherity, and I were joining a huge group of our classmates in running (fast walking in my case) the Canyonlands Half Marathon and Nev (my dad) and Sharon came along to watch the kiddies. It was so much fun (even the half marathon part)! We had this great condo and the kiddies got to see their parents run by.

With all of the other MBA kids down there, we had lots of opportunity to go hang out with them, but we all decided to be homebodies and just spend time as a family. I think I’m starting to realize just how far away New York is going to be from my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and, while it will be great and technology makes it not so far away (isn’t video chatting the best!?), I do want to take advantage of the time I do have with them all.

Feb 28 – I love my family!!!

my new favorite book

A few months ago (when I was still healthy and went to the gym regularly) I was reading O Magazine and came across a little blurb about a book called Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb. Admittedly, the title was a little off-putting, but the description sounded interesting. Last week, the night before I headed to Phoenix, I decided to buy it on my Kindle so I’d have something to read on the plane.

So, I really think that this book is a must read for ANY single person who wants to get married. And actually, it’s probably not a bad read for married people who might be contemplating divorce. It just has a lot of very realistic information about dating/marriage and it’s pretty well researched. Maybe it’s just by business oriented mind, but I loved the way she talked about maximizing vs. satisficing and the concept of “pricing” in dating.

I know there are plenty of people who are turned off by the title, and the book. No one who wants to “fall in love in a movie” wants to face the reality of a real marriage. And for those people who don’t want to ever get married, um…don’t waste your time. I, for one, would like to get married at some point and I think this book had some great information and is actually quite inspiring. As a result I now have, what I am calling, The Two Year Plan. Basically, I’m going to take the dating bull by its horns and get on with my life.

But really, this post isn’t just about this particular book. Because I am finishing up my month of love…
Feb. 27 – I love reading!

a giveaway as the belated month of love continues

ETA – This contest will end at 11:59 pm Thursday, March 11.

I can’t believe I had a month of love and did post about three of my very most favorite things. I will go into detail about these in subsequent posts, but I just wanted to get them down for now.

I know I mentioned musicals, but I love music. Now, I don’t love every type of music, but I can definitely appreciate the majority of genres. My go to favorites are independent artists (and I kind of feel betrayed when they end up on the radio). I love sharing my new music finds (which are often Sarah or Kelly or Candice’s new music finds) with the rest of the world. Music has played a huge role in my life. I spent a good portion of my time singing in both high school and college (little known Chloe facts) and still love singing harmonies at church on Sundays. Neil Diamond was my childhood soundtrack. My first cassette was Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual which I listened to on my pink, on speakered boom-box that I carried like a purse as I rode around the neighborhood on my bike. I think I was seven.

When I was around 11, I got a “sound system” for my birthday. One of those combo dual cassette deck, turn-table, multi cd player things. By older brother bought me my first CD; Billy Idol’s Vital Idol–the re-issue that had eight songs instead of the original seven. To this day, White Wedding is still one of my favorite songs, in part because it’s a great song, and in part because every time I hear it I am reminded of how excited I was that my brother was sharing his music with me. I spent many years of my life hearing, through a closed door, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, and Pink Floyd blasting in my brother’s room.

The first album I purchased? The Party. Please someone out there remember this band! Please.

Oh how I love music! Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Poison, The Cure, Shawn Colvin, Dave Matthews, Tracy Chapman, Alanis Morrisette, Sheryl Crow. These are the artists that got me through, what I like to refer to as, “the s@#$ years.” You know, the second half of high school and the beginning of college.

Now, as I said, my go-tos are the independent artists, but I get in my moods. Like, when I want to listen to country (yes, country) I do and I love it. But music is always there. Always a part of my life. I love hearing it live. I love covers of songs that I know and love. I love how it can change my mood instantly.

Random facts that illustrate my obsession and how influential music has been in my life:

  • I have 19 different versions of the song Time After Time…and only one is performed by Cyndi Lauper
  • I have listened the song What If I Leave by Rachael Yamagata 104 times…and I only got it at the end of November
  • I have 6,665 songs in my iTunes, and I’m not even halfway through downloading my cds
  • Genres represented thus far: 41
  • In the next three weeks, I will be going to three concerts
  • If I like a movie, 9 out of 10 times I will buy the soundtrack…I might not even love the music, but it will remind of the movie and the emotions I felt while watching it
  • If you ever need a concert buddy, I am pretty much a guarantee provided I don’t already have plans–seriously
  • In planning my hypothetical budget (in my head), music purchasing has its own category
  • I still love Neil Diamond–LOVE

Representing Feb. 26 – I love music! Seriously. And in fact, I’m going to copy my lovely friends and do a March Mix CD giveaway. Just leave a comment and I’ll draw a winner. (The odds are in your favor because my readership is way down, so I’m guessing you might have a 50% of winning…maybe if there aren’t too many of you, I’ll make one for everyone who comments.)

learning takes practice and patience

The month of love is over, however, I still have more love to share. I’ve done some of it retroactively, but since I just did this tonight (finally), I didn’t want to lie on my blog.

A few weeks ago, I saw a this great picture on Nicole Hill’s blog that had been edited using something called tilt-shift. Not being super into photoshop, I’d never heard of this (come to find out it is all the rage). Anyway, I really wanted to try this out, but I needed to be able to take some pictures from the right angles. So, while in New York, I took the opportunity to take some pictures for the sole purpose of being able to practice editing them.

I kind of forgot about them once I downloaded the pictures, and then tonight on my reader I saw this post on a friend’s family blog and it reminded me that I wanted to do try it out. Kelly had told me that I could find a tilt-shift action, so I did and downloaded it. (If you want to know how to do it without an action, there’s a great tutorial–and example–here.)

Here are my first attempts at using it:

Now that I have used the action, I have realized that this is not as easy as I had hoped–is anything?–but it is fun to play with photoshop. I tried to use a few different techniques and I can definitely tell the difference. Lots to learn, but very fun!

March 1 (in place of Feb. 25) – I love learning new skills…even if it isn’t as easy as it looks.