The Weekly Ramble

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The weekly ramble: where I blog like it’s 2004.

The Weekly Ramble - The weekly ramble: where I blog like it's 2004. This week: camera tips, heat waves, yoga, and tummy issues.

About a year ago we splurged on a DSLR camera. Up until that point I’d been using a Canon Elph point and shoot. I’ve worked pretty hard to get decent food photos going, but now I want to 1. take more pics of my kids than food and 2. take good pics of my kids.

This was one of my practice shots this week. Nothing fancy, trust me. I think it was set on auto. I have a really hard time getting people shots in focus without a flash. If you know of some tutorials that would help me or if you have some tips, I’d love to hear them. Mine is a Canon Rebel T3i with a “plastic fantastic” lens (50mm/1:1.8). All help is welcome.

In other news, it’s been a crazy hot week. (Forgive me while I talk California girl for a minute.) Where we live in a coastal area of So Cal, we don’t really get hot weather in the summer like everyone else. It comes in late August or September and sticks around through Halloween. Our house doesn’t have air conditioning, but there are really only about 2 days per year when I really wish we did. Except…

This month has been different. This summer has been different. It’s been weird weather, as I’m sure happens ever 50 to 100 years or so, but still. Whine. Complain. Sweat. Rinse. Repeat.

We’ve ordered another fan — from Amazon — because every place in town is sold out. I’ve taken to lying on the cold ceramic tile of the entryway to cool off. I’ve left cooking to the very last minute since it’s basically too hot to move. It’s been interesting.

Wednesday I took the kids to the pool, thinking we’d be fighting a crowd. We had the place to ourselves. Nice! It was amazing to be able to float on my back and really relax. One lifeguard, four kids, and me. Talk about living the life! The heat wave broke that afternoon. That night we grilled pita bread pizza outside so we didn’t have much kitchen work. I went to bed a happy camper.

We currently have a break in the weather, but it’s scheduled to heat up again soon, though not the 90-100 that it was. Oy! Yes, I am a wimp.

Anyway, now that that rambling is over, thanks for praying for me and my tummy issues. I’m on the mend. I’m back to yoga a few times a week, something that is actually recommended on the medical websites for tummy/stress issues. I’m also working harder at relaxing and worrying less. I’d like my GI system to cooperate with me for another 50 years or so — hello, I love to eat! — so I gotta get that head stuff under control. Speaking of which, what helps you relax?

Meanwhile, here’s what’s been happening on Life as MOM:

The Weekly Ramble - The weekly ramble: where I blog like it's 2004. This week: camera tips, heat waves, yoga, and tummy issues.

Here’s what’s been happening on Good Cheap Eats:

Coming next week:

  • What Did I Do All Day?
  • Booking It
  • The Beauty of the Snacky Lunch
  • Anna & Elsa Costume Tutorials (with FREE Design Template for Anna’s tricky bodice)
  • Great Cakes You Can Make

Be sure to let me know what stories and articles are helpful to you and what you’d like to see more of in the coming weeks. I want to make your “life as MOM” as fun and as easy as possible.

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  1. Glad your tummy is getting back to normal. I’ve had those before and it’s annoying and stressful. Which is funny, because it’s caused by stress. I have noticed that I will have a lot of those symptoms AFTER the stress is gone. I’ve learned that after a crazy time to allow myself a day or two to recover, and hopefully prevent those attacks. It’s helped.


  2. I’ve discovered that the best way for me to relax is to put on my headphones with some good music and just zone out playing silly games on my computer, like card games or simple number games. It really helps me unwind and process my thoughts in a calm way. Other ways I relax are writing in my journal and spending time outside alone. As an introvert who only recently realized I was an introvert, I’m all about finding ways to spend a bit of time by myself when I’m feeling most frazzled.

  3. Glad you are feeling better. This relaxation idea won’t work until your weather cools down, but a hot bath at bedtime really helps me relax. I think it helps me sleep better, too. A little Calgon and a good fiction read are great, too!

  4. I feel your pain with hot weather. It was SOOOO hot. I found myself feeling really irritable, and had to work hard to keep from snapping at people over stupid things.

    I’m glad you are feeling better. 🙂 It is amazing what stress can do to our bodies. I was reading something about that just this week, and the chemicals that help us react in crisis situations are harmful to our bodies if they are there all the time. This past spring I had stomach pain that I was sure was because of taking a certain daily medication. (doxycycline). Then I went on a trip for 2 weeks at the beginning of the summer- same medication every day, no pain. Hmmm… I still have to take it (malaria prevention), and my pain had mostly stayed gone.

    Mild exercise has helped me to relax. I’m not a big fan of exercise in general, but I like to ride my bike. I can ride for about 1 hr or more, get hot, tired & sweaty, and not feel like I’m “exercising.” I also like to do some Pilates in the evening to help me relax. 🙂

  5. It was 110 where I live! It was AWFUL, and you’re right, I didn’t want to be in the kitchen much. The oven never got turned on during those days (and thank goodness for air conditioning!).

    Sorry I can’t help you on the photography – I’m way more clueless than you. (However, your wanting to take more pics of the kids than food cracked me up!)

  6. Totally not a professional photog or anything, but I too have cute younguns that I like to shoot (pics that is!). That’s a great little lens really. I’m never very happy when I have to take pictures indoors without natural light, so that’s my only advice….natural light however you can get it (outside, by a window, etc). And then adjust one thing, shoot, adjust again, shoot, etc. Great thing about digital is we can DELETE! 🙂 When I shoot my pretty babies outside, I feel like a “professional”. Haha! The sun does 90% of the work for me!

    • Yes, I was going to say the same thing! Indoors, there’s not enough light to let my shutter speed be fast enough to capture an image without blur. (Actually, my photog sis-in-law just showed me how in one of our rooms, at 10 am, with the blinds pulled up, there is. It’s been fun!)

      I’d recommend using Aperture priority mode. That lets you choose your aperture (which, to put it simply, can help control how out-of-focus your background is), and will take care of the shutter speed for you. Practice outside a lot, until you feel pretty comfortable knowing how different aperture settings will affect your photos.

      Then turn up your ISO if you’re inside–I sometimes have mine on 1600 or 2000, even though it might make the photos a bit grainy. That will make your camera more sensitive to the light that’s there, so you can use a faster shutter speed to capture a non-blurry image.

      Oh–also, when you’re checking on your camera to see if you like the photo, zoom in to the subject’s eyes. If they’re crisp, you know you’ll probably like the photo. If they’re blurry, try again.

      It’s taken me years to even be able to construct sentences including the words aperture and ISO, so take it slow and practice when you get time! 🙂 Love your above photo, by the way–her eyes are really sharply in focus and love the little catch-lights in them!

  7. I relate the sense of smell to many things , and candles, perfume and essential oils help me get out of a funk. I used to spray diluted cologne when my kids needed “Monster Spray” before bedtime so it makes some sense to me that if you can change the smell of a room, maybe you can chase the stress from it, too. Orange is great for clearing the head and focussing, so I buy Citrus Magic spray at the grocery or MegaMart. Vanilla makes me hungry, so I avoid that. Lavendar is calming. And before we have to close up the house for the colder weather I burn anything that smells like linen, cotton, the “beach” or pretty flowers. As long as I don’t have to directly watch the flame burn during the warmer months I’m ok.

    I’m reading up on the effects of a low magnesium level. Could increasing something in your diet help, or perhaps using a magnesium “oil” help?

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