About Me

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Columbus, Ohio, United States
I'm a stay at home mom and wife with a passion for family, creating and photography. I'm a little bit quirky and a little bit odd, but that's what makes me...well me. I'm a jack of all trades. So check back often because, to paraphrase Forest Gump's mom "I'm like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Breakthrough

I have had time to do much blogging these days, but I was so excited I had to share with someone. Previously I had been doing all my editing with a free online service (Picnik). It was time consuming and limiting, so I had finally started using my Photoshop. It has been a challenge and a lot to learn. Something I had been having the most difficulty was cleaning up faces. Try and try as I might I couldn't get it down. Last night I had my big "Ah-ha" moment and I'm so excited!!! So here it is. I know I still have a lot to learn about my Photoshop, but this was a giant step in the right direction for me.

I will be posting this to these challenges when the day arrives.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thrift store Thursdays-Budget Fashionista

I'll take photos of anything and everything. Something else I've been doing on my hiatious is getting spending under control. Thrifting has become an major part of that. Especially since I've lost 52lbs. I needed a new wardrobe and couldn't afford to buy one. 

Since I am back down to a medium shirt and size 4 pants. I want to find the sexy again. I'm tired of cheap frumpy clothes. I want to wear cool and beautiful clothes. Only problem is that I can't afford the designers and brands that I really like. Here comes in one of my favorite pastimes ever, shopping in thrift stores. My mother and I used to have our best bonding moments together in thrift store riffling through the piles of discarded goods. So I've decided to take this skill my mother taught me and use it to create a stylish and hip wardrobe that is current but appropriate for where I am in my life. I'm always so proud of my finds that I want to photograph them anyway, here's my excuse. Also, I'm trying to break myself of my fear of being in front of the camera. So is born Thrift store Thursdays. I'll talk about what I found that week and share at least one look of the week that has been created with my thrift store finds. I plan on Thrift store Thursdays becoming a weekly event. For no other reason than to keep my Thrifting in check. 

Let's start the maiden episode with some accessories...

A must have essential for every woman's closet are belts. Every woman should have a basic black and brown belt in her wardrobe arsenal. Always take a couple of minutes to look at the belts. A good leather belt can last a life time, and if you look for simple designs they will always be in fashion.

Both of these belts I purchased at Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio - VOAGOon Henderson Rd. The brown belt is a Calvin Klein leather belt with silver buckle ($3.99) and the black belt is a Ralph Lauren Italian leather belt with a heavy silver buckle ($2.50). Both are made of high quality leather that will stay in style season after season and will look great with almost any trend.

I'm also a sucker for the shoe department. Hip styles can be expensive. Especially summer the hot wedges styles that incorporate natural elements like wood and basket weave designs. Platform wedges are all the rage this summer, but they can be rather expensive. Starting around $50 new for a good and comfortable pair, you can blow your entire clothing budget on one pair of shoes. This is especially bad when your monthly clothes allowance is only $50. These shoes I found at Volunteer of America Henderson location are the height of fashion without braking my budget. In fact both pairs only cost a grand total of $5.00. Leaving me plenty of money browse the racks. 

Both of these styles go well with this summers fashion trends. The wood and leather Boho chic shoes from Mia ( $4, on the left) look great with cuffed crop pants or short shorts paired with a peasant blouse or finishes off any boho inspired dress. Teamed with an awesome hobo bag and you have a look straight out of the magazines for less than a fraction of the price. Perfect for a modernized version of the 70's look that is hot right now. The Global inspired shoes from Rampage ($.50, on the right) are a must have basic. Not only will they complement this seasons globally inspired fashions, but they are a wonderful statement pieces that will make your legs look great in anything you wear.

Some tips for shoe shopping in thrift stores. Try them on, It may say the size you wear, but the last person who owned them may have had a wide foot turning that size 8 into more of a size 9. Another thing to check, especially with sandals, are the buckles and straps. Make sure that they are in good shape and not fraying or broken. With platforms this is especially important. The last thing you want while walking in a heel is for the straps to brake. This could lead to injury.

It's summer and the sun is bright so everyone needs sunglasses. Next time you need a pair check out the thrift stores first. I found these awesome Kenneth Cole sunglasses for only $1. You can't buy a cheap pair at Wal-mart for that.They are still in awesome shape with no scratches and they usually retail for around $50. A deal like that is definitely worth the side trip to the glasses department of your favorite thrift store.

Note- Thrift store stocks vary from day to day. Use this as a guideline for what to look for. If you go into a thrift store knowing what you are looking for,then its easier to sort through the 
racks of miscellaneous items and find what you is perfect for you.

If you would like to get a sneak peek of  next week's installment of Thrift store Thursday check out and like my thrifty facebook page Sage Living.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Along came a spider

I was on the phone with my BFF when I found this guy. Here's how the conversation went.

Me: OMG!!!
BFF: What?
Me: You should this spider I just found. He's the size of a Silver dollar!! He's so big that I can look him in the eyes and count the hair on his legs.
BFF: OMG!!! Kill it!
Me: I'll call you back I've got to get a picture of this.
BFF: (lots of uncomfortable laughter) Dumbass! Talk to you later.

Which is what I did. I definitely used a zoom for this one. Didn't want to risk pissing him off and him doing some kind of crazy spider attack move on me. This photo makes him look nicer than he actually look. I quickly and carefully took my shots, then let him go on his merry way. I mean how often do you run across a tarantula sized spider in the suburbs. I swear he was posing for me. What a ham

I haven't seen him since our brief encounter, but I do have to say after meeting him I'm much 
more careful when I move things around in the yard these days.


Friday, August 5, 2011

I am a paleontologist....

Besides the photography and baking I also love to Thrift. It's almost an addiction, my husband is just grateful that my shopping addiction rotates around thrift shopping and not more expensive stores. I've had a page on facebook I used use for an e-bay business had that I sold my son's old clothes. Since I don't do that anymore and I have some followers already I changed the direction toward talking about all the wonderful things you can find in thrift stores if you just look. Check it out and like it at Sage Living

My favorite fashion piece to shop for when I'm out Thrifting or Garage sale shopping are handbags. I don't care what they say about shoes, purses are a women's best fashion friend. They carry all your things without complaining, you can take out your frustrations on them without hurting their feelings and they never make you feel fat. My absolute favorite brand of hand bags is Fossil. I love the warm rich earth tones they use and their simple tomboy style. I'm always searching them out. 

These are a couple I've found on my second-hand shopping adventures. The dark brown handbag I found at an Ohio thrift for $4.50. It is great for and everyday bag and it is large enough to carry juice, snacks and the occasional dinosaur around for my 4 year old. The red bowling bag style purse I purchased at a garage sale for $3. It is one of my signature pieces. It was in almost new condition when I bought it. The leather tag was broken off the main zipper, but I replaced it with a large camera charm (I'm also a freelance photographer). That just made it all the more special.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Gone in 15 Minutes Brownies

Besides photography another one of my talents is baking. It is actually one of my favorite things to do. There is a Zen in the art of baking. You can't bake in a foul mood, or everything tastes foul. So when I'm having a bad day I like to bake to clear my head. As many of you know I've recently lost 52 lbs, so baking hasn't been going on in our house. Not since Christmas, with the exception of my son's birthday cupcakes, has a confection past through my oven doors. Last night was National Community night out and my neighborhood had a big cook-out at the neighborhood park. Since we are new to the neighborhood and I thought this would be a good event to try to network at and also make a good impression on the other mommies in the neighborhood. So I decided to pull out the big guns. These brownies are better than any restaurant brownie I've ever had (trust me I've had a few). I know I'm tooting my own horn, but I brought a batch of these to the cookout and they were gone in 15 minutes. Granted there were a lot of people there, but we were 45 minutes late, and they were sat on a table full of confections that had been there since the beginning and mine were still gone in the blink of and eye. Maybe I made them too good. Heee Heee

I know your dying for the recipe, but if I told you I'd have to kill you. Sorry. =-) This is one of my family secret recipes I've started squirreling away to past down to future generations. If you would like to try and find it, I cut it out of one of my grandmother's Family Circle/Woman's Day magazines dating back to around 1971. This recipe alone was worth going through boxes and boxes of old mags cutting out recipes and decorating ideas. So good luck finding it, but if I'm coming to your potluck you can always request them. Otherwise they never get made.

Wordish Wednesdayand then, she {snapped}

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A step in the right direction

Have you ever taken photos of someone and wished that it was you in the photo? That's how I feel about these shots I took of my friend Desi while we were hanging out on my 40th birthday. Not that I don't think she looks gorgeous in them, she is one of the most beautiful people I know, but I'm a little jealous. The collection I'm including here tell the story of my journey back to myself.

For the past 16 years I've been fighting a serious battle with depression. It began with the death of my mother while I was studying in Germany. I was lucky that I was able to go home and be with her when she died, but I never got the chance to say goodbye. By the time I had gotten home she was already in a coma and my family wouldn't let me see her alone. So I've never felt that I've said proper a proper goodbye. That guilt has lived with me for years. So much that for a long time I used to have dreams that she was mad at me for it. I know she isn't. My year of study in Europe was a dream of hers and since she was always ill, she lived vicariously through me. Her dying wish, she told my stepfather, was that after she was gone that I returned to Germany and finished out the year. Which is what I did. Only when I returned home, it was like she had just died the day before to me, while the rest of the world had moved on. So I retreated into myself.

I've never been one of those sunshiny kind of gals, but I've always creative and outgoing.  My friends always likened me as a cross between Veronica in the movie Heathers and the basket-case in the Breakfast Club. That was part of my charm. After my return though, I was constantly an emotion wreck, and no one knew how to deal with me. Most of my friends just kind of faded away from me and my family told me to get over it. With the pushing of my family, I reluctantly tried anti-depressants, but they weren't for me. They did little for the depression, but they made me really sick. So I quit taking them. Not soon after I woke up one morning and decided it was time to leave. So I packed some of my belongings, turned my back on my family and move to Atlanta, with dreams of winding up in Athens, GA and becoming an Archaeologist. Shortly after moving I met my future husband and those plans to move the Athens soon faded away. I was happy that I had found someone who excepted me for all my issues (mostly because he had issues of his own that he can tell you about if he wants). He listened and cared about how I was feeling. It was exactly what I needed.

The years that have since passed, I wish I could say have been all cotton candy and rainbows, but they haven't been. We have had a lot of great times, but along the road to those time have been many detours of unhappiness on both our sides. Beside a brief break up, we had dealt with a miscarriage, the deaths of 3 of my grandparents and my father,  a love/hate relationship with my in-laws and lots of personal demons belonging to both of us. Put it this way, we had enough baggage between the two of us to fill a cargo ship. Regardless of  how choppy the water has been we've always been there for each other.

I had hoped that with the birth of my son that the hole that I had been feeling would be filled. That's a lot of responsibility to put on the shoulders of a baby, I realize that now. After Sage's birth, I didn't even think that I would have issues with post-pardum, but unfortunately the depression I had been feeling previously was only magnified. My husband travels for his work, and I was left with the baby all by myself most of the times. I was over-whelmed. I had estranged myself from my family and I really can't talk to my in-laws. So I had let everything build up, and since I was a party girl before I got pregnant I really wasn't as prepared as I thought for the change that bringing a little one in this world and caring for him would bring. I think the same went for my my husband, but I can't speak of his feelings. That is not my place. So needless to say the past few years have been tough. Don't get me wrong I was never Susan Smith depressed, but I wasn't the most pleasant person to be around.

This past year I have started reconnecting with my family, especially my sisters. This was what I needed. I've started feeling like my old self again. The me before my mother died. For a while that me didn't know how to meld with the me I had become. A big part of that was how I saw myself. When I met my husband, I weighed 110lbs and was a in great shape, but at Christmas this past year I weighed in at 182. I had gotten so heavy that even though I love photography and it has been one of my greatest healing tools, I would allow my photo to be taken except on special occasions. One night, when my husband was out of town and it was only me and Sage, I experience chest pains. Luckily it was only heartburn, but that was my wake up call. My mother died at 49 and my father at 59. There was so much that they have missed and I was determined that I wasn't going to miss those things in Sage's life. So I set out to change my life and in turn make Sage's life a better one.

So this year I've set out to change my life for the positive. To stop dwelling on the negative and try to bring a new light and life into my family unit. It was almost like I woke up one morning and the veil had been lifted. I found my motivation and strength within myself. It was like the ship had docked and the baggage was being uploaded. Not to say that I still don't have days. Everyone has those days. Only the good days have become more frequent than the bad days, and I'm starting to enjoy life again. I've kicked the smoking again. I've lost 50 pounds and I'm keeping it off. I've have found myself again through my photography and preforming live. I have a joke that I'm taking complete control and full advantage of my mid-life crisis. I feel better and more alive than I have in over a decade. For once I'm happy. I still struggle with the demons but I can look them straight in the eye and say "Eff off!" now. 

There is still a lot more I can and will talk about. But for now I'm drained. Until next time.....

Saturday, July 30, 2011

It's been awhile.

Hi to everyone who has either hung in there with me or just simply was to lazy to remove me from their following list. You rock. I had to leave for awhile. Things got really dark in the House of Wild Things last year, but the sun has finally began to shine again and I've come back out to play. You may be asking yourself "Why didn't you just talk about it in your Blog." Well if it were totally up to me I probably would have hung all my dirty laundry out to dry, but out of respect for my husband I opted for internet silence. Although things are looking up, they aren't perfect. We're working on that though. For now the station is back up and my silence is broken. A few thing that have happened since I was last here, we've moved, OriginalPsyn Photography has taken off, Sage is now potty trained, I've lost 50 pound and I've turned 40.

 The move has probably been the best thing that has happened for the family. When we moved to Columbus we weren't familiar with the city and it's neighborhoods. Our real estate agent was from a pocket community that was surrounded by ghetto. She was determined to sell us on the area. Unfortunately for us we drank her Kool-Aid and bought a house in a less than desirable area of Columbus. Until we had Sage the neighborhood wasn't that big of a deal. Now that he is getting close to school age, we had to reevaluate our location. Especially since a neighbor who was a school teacher told us that we better start saving for private school or plan to home school, because even though she taught at the school she would never send her kids to them because they were so dangerous. We took her advise and move north to the Worhtington/Powell/Dublin area. The move has done wonders for our family unit. Granted the area is not perfect. It's a wealthy area and snotty pretentious people run amuck up here. I'd rather deal with them though than dodge bullets and carjackers in my old hood.

The new neighborhood has been great for little man also. We are now living the suburban dream, in a nice neighborhood with lots of kids and a huge park where everyone meets and socializes. He has come out of his shell with other kids and is beginning to make friends. This has also led to him to decide to be a big boy and put away the pull ups and start potting like a big boy. After a year and a half of fighting with him, it's funny that all he need was to be around other kids his age. Go figure. Now he is all excited about starting school and learning about everything. It makes a mamma proud. He has actually even embraced my photography and instead of running from my camera, he has become a total ham and totally mugs for the camera now. He is working toward his 2011 explorer badge with the Columbus Metro park system and we are really enjoying it. He's funny when he finds something cool or is doing something he likes I'll hear him yell "Mommy, Mommy come here and take a picture of me." That just brings a smile to my face and my heart.

Speaking of my photography. I've officially launch OriginalPsyn Photography, and it's doing pretty well. We haven't done a lot of advertisement yet beside my facebook page. I still have some things to sort out before I can really get into the business, but still without advertising I'm booking a hand full of client every month and I've started selling my art pieces. Soon I will get an Etsy shop up and I hoping to sell my photos in print, cards, stickers and magnet forms. I'm even looking to turn them into scrapbooking supplies also. So stay tuned for more news on that as development come up.

The move and everything else has been great, but the biggest change has been with me. I've finally shaken the depression that I've been in for years. At the beginning of the year the realization that I was turning 40 hit me. I'm not going to go into great details on that right now. It's a post all in itself.  I realized no one except for myself was going to change things in my life. A big issue with me was my weight gain. I had always been thin until recent years. I can remember when I went up to a size 8 before I got married I cried for days. But after quitting smoking and having a baby in my mid-30's I really packed on the pounds. Then day I woke up and my weight over 180 and my size 14 jeans were too tight I said ENOUGH!!! I decided it was time to do something about it. So I set out to loose weight. So within the past 4 months I have lost 50 pounds and am now fitting back into size 4/6 jeans and medium shirts. I haven't been that size since before I was married 6 years ago. But like the depression that's a long story in itself. I'll tell you about it later.

For now I have to go. Part of me blogging again is finding the right balance and not getting carried away with my posting. You will see me back in the photo contests soon. I have so missed seeing everyone's beautiful work and being inspired by your stories. Hopefully I can rebuild some of the bonds I had before I went AWOL, and build some new friendships. Till next time.....