Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Photography Class Pics #2

In the second photography class we learned about the advanced settings on our camera. I am still trying to grasp all of the information so I think today I will only talk about our homework assignment. 

We were asked to take 5 pictures using the "A" setting on the camera dial and 5 pictures using the "S" setting on the camera dial.

In the "A" setting you set the aperture and the camera selects the shutter speed. This controls the degree to which the background or foreground is blurred. My random examples are the first 5 pictures. *The pictures from the Broncos game didn't turn out so well. I would have gotten better results if I had a better zoom lens.

In the "S" setting you set the shutter speed and the camera selects the aperture. Use this to freeze or blur motion. My examples are pictures 6-10.

Have you ever shot in "A" or "S" mode? 

Fire hydrant. Background blurred.

It appears that Augusta is blurred and grass is not.

Most everything is blurred due to crappy lens.

Hochstein fans. Background blurred.

Most everything blurred.

Augusta frozen in time.

Augusta blurred.

Near Blackhawk. Water blurred.
Near Blackhawk. Water blurred.
Near Blackhawk. Water blurred.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Truth about the 10 Day Eat Clean Challenge

Do you want to know what it is really like to eat healthy for 10 days straight, minus a cheat meal? Here is the truth...
  • Days 1, 2 and 3 SUCKED. All I could think about was the unhealthy foods I couldn't have.
  • Chocolate Shakeology with a banana SAVED me! I had Shakeology everyday for breakfast and whenever I needed a chocolate fix. 
  • Tiers 1 and 2 in Michi's Ladder are restrictive, but doable.
  • I did not go hungry.
  • It takes planning to eat clean. You cannot wake up and expect to find a healthy meal in your pantry without planning for it.
  • More than likely, you will have to go grocery shopping more than once to stock up on Michi approved foods to get you through the 10 days. 
  • In my opinion, eating off of the top two tiers of Michi's Ladder is not more expensive than eating regular. 
  • A cheat meal is a MUST. It gave me something to look forward to. 
  • What I craved the most was Diet Coke. 
  • My Michi approved go-to snack was Whole Grain Toast with Almond Butter. 
  • My cravings DISAPPEARED around day 5!! 
  • Looking back, I probably should have drank more water.
  • Alcohol is not permitted.
  • I excised while doing the challenge. However, I hurt my back and was not been able to workout the last 3 days of the challenge.
  • I lost 2.2 pounds!! I upped my calorie intake on days 7 and 8 to ensure I wouldn't loose any more pounds. We started round two of the Work Weight Loss Challenge on September 8th. There is some strategy to winning the challenge. It does not help when you lose all your weight with 3 weeks to go. 
  • It does not take a super hero to do the 10 Day Challenge. YOU can do this!
Sheila and I are restarting the 10 Day Challenge on Tuesday. 


The prize... a FREE sample of Chocolate Shakeology and a NEW YOU!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Photography Assignment: Thirds

Tomorrow we are to turn in 5 photographs that represent the rule of thirds.

The rule of thirds says that your subject should fall along one of the lines or intersections of the lines. The most common mistake amateur photographers make is they put the subject in the smack middle of the picture. Because of the way the brain processes the picture, it is more pleasing to the eye when the subject if off centered. The picture on the left is a perfect example of applying the rule of thirds. 

Below are the 5 picture that I am turning in tomorrow. The last 2 did not make the cut.
I love August's drool on the concrete.
My favorite.
Harley. I love the white on his chest.
Interesting photo, not sure if it follows the rule.

I love that Harley's eyes are closed.
Augusta & Harley.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Little Bee

I feel guilty admitting this, but I did not like the book Little Bee. I am appreciative that the author wrote about this topic and that book clubs are reading the book and discussing it. The topic deserves to get attention. But it doesn't mean I have to like the book Little Bee.

I give Little Bee 3 stars out of 5.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Surprising Results

Here's a no-duh for ya, eating clean brings results. When I first started Insanity in August I was frustrated because my weight was spiraling upwards. I thought, well this doesn't make sense. I'm working out 6 days a week hard. Why am I gaining weight? I ended up convincing myself that the gain in weight was normal in the first week of Insanity. The things we tell ourselves...

This time around I am only eating from the top two tiers of Michi's Ladder, with the exception of one cheat meal per week. Since last Tuesday (the first week of Insanity) I have lost 1.4 pounds! I am doing the exact same workouts as I was in August, but this time around I am actually losing weight. This is soo awesome! Obviously eating clean has made the difference.

I am not going to lie,  eating clean is not easy. There are times when all I want is fast food or whatever Preston is eating. The one thing I cannot get out of my mind is pop. Side note: I have always called pop, pop. I think it's a Colorado thing? If I do say soda I like to say it with a Minnesota accent. I would give anything to have a Diet Coke right now! But then that would mean I cheated on purpose and therefore would have to face the consequences. Not gonna happen!

On a different note, fall TV starts Monday!!! This is so exciting. Here is my TV schedule. Good thing for DVR.

  • Monday: Oprah, House, Kate Plus 8 & Monday Night Football

  • Tuesday: Oprah & The Biggest Loser

  • Wednesday: Oprah

  • Thursday: Oprah, The Office, Grey's Anatomy & Private Practice

  • Friday: Oprah

  • Saturday: Nothing

  • Sunday: Dexter & Keeping up with the Kardashians

  • *I usually do not watch Oprah, but this is her last season on regular TV. As a woman, I feel like I should tune in.

    **Week 2 of Insanity starts tomorrow.

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Photography Class #1

    Tonight was my first photography class at Cottenwood Center for the Arts. I was introduced to co-student #1 as soon as I walked into the door. Probably unfairly, I sized him up at first sight. Male, 50's, married (gold ring on wedding finger), slight slur that might lead some people to question the wedding ring, a little geeky and not the look of the type who might take a photography class, maybe an Excel class, but not a photography class. I thought great, is this small class of 4 going to be filled with old men? It is then that I met co-student #2. And that it what led me to write OMG on facebook. #2 male, in his 50's or 60's, has a limp that would prevent him from walking very fast or far if we were to take pictures outside as a class, already complaining about the temperature of the building and was hard of hearing. And then there was me. In their eyes: female, kid, maybe 21, however married due to ring on finger and quiet.

    The instructor was a little late and #1 and #2, which I will now refer to as Tweedledee and Tweedledum because this it was popped into my head the moment I saw them, started freaking out because the classroom door was locked. They scurried around the building asking randon people if this was our correct photography class room. Tweedledee checked the door handle at least 5 times to see if it was still locked. The instructor showed up and the next thought was great I am in for it- anther geeky looking male. At last co-student #3 walked in. FEMALE AND NORMAL LOOKING. Saved!! I will not be stuck in a 3 hour class with 3 nerdy old men! Don't get me wrong, I would love to take the class with my dad, but taking a photography class with 2 unknown old men is not what I had in mind.

    In all honestly, the class is going to be very beneficial. I have already learned at least 4 new things.

    Homework: take 5 pictures using the theory of thirds.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Restarting Insanity

    Instead of picking off from where I left off (day 2, week 2), I decided to restart Insanity. I really want to get the most out of this workout and I think this is the best way to do so. I am also adding jump roping to the end of as many workouts as possible. The main reason is to get my number of calories burned up. I have the Body Bugg, which is supposed to be 99% accurate but it only calculates me burning an average of 300 calories per workout. People who wear Polar often report they are burning 1000 calories per workout!! Some days I wish I had a Polar instead of a Body Bugg...

    What type of calorie/heart rate monitor do you use?

    P.S. Check out Chalene Johnson's website for a $15 discount on the Body Bugg.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Mr. Michi

    I am the type of person who requires games, wagers and consequences to complete a project or reach a goal. I literally have to be bribed into doing something. It's not that I don't want to do it, but I need that extra push or bribe to motivate me. Funny story, my Freshman year of high school I was trying to decide it I should play softball for Falcon or volleyball at Calhan. I wasn't the best volleyball player, but on the other hand playing softball for another school was a little intimidating. My dad bribed me with a new car stereo to play volleyball. He must have known (before I even figured it out) that I run off of bribes. 

    Does anyone else click this way? I now a couple of people that once they declare they are going to do something they do it till the end giving it their all, no questions asked. Oh how I wish it was this easy for me. I declare I am going to (insert current flavor of the month here) and whala it's done!  Ha, ya right! 

    Here are some of the games I have going on right now.

    In order to motivate myself, and more importantly to get Preston involved, I came up with the Poop Game. The rules are each week poop has to be picked up by Thursday. If it is your week and you forget you owe the other person $20. So far I have payed Preston $40 and he has payed me $20.

    As you recall, I came up with the grand idea of starting the Weight Loss Competition Game at work to help motivate me to shed the last couple of pounds (a couple has now turned into 10). As you recall I lost and ended up putting $25 or $30 into the pot. We started round two last week. I am hoping to have better results this go around!

    In order to complete the tasks that I put off forever and ever, but really need to do like go to the dentist a friend at work and I came up with the Points Game. Each month we make a list of tasks, to do items, appointments, etc. that we want to complete and assign a point to them (1-5). By the stated date each of us has to of accululated "x" number of points. It we both reach the goal then we get to go out to dinner together. If one person does not reach the stated point goal then they have to pay for the entire dinner and the winner gets to pick the restaurant. So far we both have made our goals. In fact, this month I have to accumulate 23 points. I reached the goal last weekend with about 3 weeks to spare. I tell ya, lists really work for me

    The other projects that I have going on that I do not have a game associated with are complete Insanity, finish Little Bee and start the Photography Class on Thursday. 

    Because I am absolutely crazy I convinced another coworker to do the Barbie Decker Eat Clean Challenge with me. So for the next 10 days we can only eat food items from the top 2 tiers of Michi's Ladder. This means no alcohol, pop or Starbucks along with candy and other bad foods. Click here to view Michi's Ladder. The list is actually pretty restrictive. We are allowing one cheat meal. If we eat something not on tiear 1 or 2 there is a consequence that is too embarrassing to even post on here. I am pretty sure you will know if I mess up!

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Turbo Fire Preview

    I have spent a good part of tonight previewing Beachbody's new workout program TURBO FIRE. Long story short, I cannot wait to start this program!!

    First Impressions...

    - MUSIC: The music is just the way I like it: up beat and current. I found myself saying wow great song multiple times. Chalene's love of music really shines through and makes the class atmosphere energetic and fun.

    - TURBO FIRE MOVES: Most of the moves are fast paced so it is important to view the "New To Class" section of the DVD before starting the actual workout to get a breakdown of the moves. I think it would take me at least 2 full classes before I could nail every move. As long as you are patient and work hard in every class, you will burn calories no matter if you feel a little lost.

    - HIIT FIRE DRILL: HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, which is what this program is based around. When the fire drill sounds you hit it as hard as you can for 1 minute. As a result, your body cranks up its metabolism and shifts into calorie burning mode.  

    - CHALENE JOHNSON: She is so motivating!! I love her high energy and motivational words. She really does her best to get you to dig deeper.

    - WORKOUT PEEPS: Everyone in the class is extremely buff! Sometimes this can turn me off, but for some reason (maybe it is my current mindset) it made me think I can look like that!

    Honestly, TURBO FIRE looks like soo much fun! I cannot wait to start this 90 day workout. But first I must complete Insanity.

    To buy TURBO FIRE visit my website:

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    The Cure 5K

    Today was The Cure 5K at Garden of the Gods. The turnout was amazing. 7300 people registered for the run/walk. It was great to see soo many people support such a great cause. 

    I get that the point of this race/walk is to raise money for the cure, but as big as the race was (registered runners/walkers, volunteers, bands, booths, police, even porta-potties) it lacked in a couple of very important areas, in my opinion.
    1) The shirts they gave out to registered participants were t-shirts, not a nice dry fit runners shirt that they could have easily had donated by a running shop.
    2) The race did not use chip timers. 
    4) They almost started the race 7 minutes early. The lady on the microphone said well it's not quite 8:00, but close enough. Another lady had to step in and say well actually we have 7 minutes and people are still trying to make their way towards the start line so we better wait. 
    5) They asked that spectators register (aka pay) to cheer on the runners and walkers.

    Other than that (haha) the race was great! The first hill is still brutal and the view is still breathtaking! I realized that I suck at setting and keeping a pace. I tend to start out fast and strong and then taper out at about the half way point. Then in the end I run as fast as my little legs will carry me. The good news is I finished the race under my goal time of 30 minutes and I didn't stop to walk. I know that it sounds kind of silly to still have the goal not to walk, but it is soo tempting when you see people around you stopping.

    I finished the race in 27:51. Not bad!

    Embarrassing story, I puked right before the finish line. I had to hold it in my mouth until I crossed the finish line. See the person bent over in the black pants with the white and pink shirt. Yep that's me puking.

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Stewie= Lori, Lois= Preston

    I do this to Preston all of the time... just to say hi! It drives him crazy!!
    I think it is hilarious!

    Photography Class

    I am signing up for my first digital photography class at Cottonwood Center for the Arts. The first class starts this Thursday. I can't wait to start taking magnificent pictures!

    Anyone want to join me?

    Click Here for more information.

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Stuffy, Smelly, Dark Work Out

    I had a little freak out moment today, but I am better now. You see I realized that The Cure 5k is this Sunday. I was really hoping that the gal I am running it with would back out. Then I got an email this morning confirming that we were still on. YIKES!!!!!! I haven't worked out since Friday. I wanted to crawl in a hole and not come out until Monday.

    Long story short I got home and got the case of the lazies. I begged Preston to tell me it would be okay if I didn't work out tonight. In his own way he told me the world wouldn't end, but that my race time might suffer. Well crap I knew he was right, as usual. Side Note: I have no problem admitting that Preston is always right. I have no idea how he does it, but he knows a little about a lot of things. I rarely win a bet and when I do I have to gloat in my glory for an annoyingly long period of time because it is guaranteed I will not win another bet for quite some time. He also has this amazing gift of giving great advice. Honestly he could be the next Dear Abby.

    So I finally convinced myself to get off the couch and workout. As you all know I started Insanity, but with the race less than a week away I started to worry that I wouldn't be ready. So instead I headed down to the Gold's Gym on Powers and Palmer Park to run on the treadmill. Insanity is a great work out and I plan on continuing the program, but honestly I am a little hesitant if I will be prepared for the 5k. I think I will feel a lot better if I run on the treadmill the remaining days up until the 5k. If I was a real go getter I would do Insanity in the morning and run on the treadmill at night, but honestly I don't think I have it in me.

    Let me put out this warning, DO NOT GO TO THE  GOLD'S GYM ON POWERS AND PALMER PARK until after they officially open in October.  This is why:

    1. The temporary gym is actually a very small room unattached to the other "workout" room. Odd.
    2. The room must have been apart of the next door Chinese Restruant becuase the wall separating the two is very thin and not completely finished.
    3. The Chinese food smell is very overwhelming.
    4. It is very, very hot and stuffy which does not help with number 3. 

    Yes I ran on the treadmill, in a small stuffy room, next to a smelly Chinese Restruant, with not lights. Need I say more? I really wish I would have taken a picture so you would believe me.

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    It's Over...

    I finished the last book in The Hunger Games series today. What a sad day. This series is without a doubt #1 on my favorite book list. It beats out Harry Potter, The Kite Runner, Circle of Friends, The Street Lawyer and The Help to name a few of my favorites.  The plot is captivating and unique. I have never read anything like it.

    What next? How will I ever find my next book to read when all I want to do is re-read this series? I just can't seem to get the ending out of my mind.

    I have Little Bee on hold at the library on audio. I heard this book "will blow you away." I am wondering if it will stand up to The Hunger Games? Or if it might be hard to make the transition from a teen book to a more serious adult book?

    Suzanne Collins also wrote another teenage series called The Underland Chronicles.  This series has some meat to it- 5 books!

    Right now I am in the mood to hold a book and read it, not listen to it on audio. There is something about holding a book in your hands. I think it adds to the experience. So what do I do, buy Little Bee or the first book in the Underland Chronicles? Decisions, decisions. Another reason why I hate starting a new book. I love buying books, by the way, and keeping them in alphabetical order by author on my cheapo book shelf. My dream is to have a den (for some reason my parents always called the offices in our houses a den and it has always stuck with me just like how I call a vacuum a vacuum sweeper. Preston doesn't understand why I put sweeper at the end. Always have, THAT'S WHY) with a built in book case filled with books and maybe even a sliding ladder like you see in the movies.

    I think I am leaning towards starting Little Bee. Ashley invited me to her book club. The first book on the list is Little Bee. But what if I buy the book and then I can't get into it or I am not sold on the plot. Pickyness kind of runs through my blood. I am a picky eater and a picky reader. I bet if I pay attention I will find that I am picky in other areas of my life. I will have to pay attention to this.

    Huge tangent: I also just reciently realized that I am a need-to-know type person. For example, on Markshuffle (a 2 way road that I have to travel on everyday) they are expanding it to 3 or 4 lanes. I have so many questions to ask like how many lanes is it going to be, are you putting in more stop lights, what will the speed limit be and why, did the city have to pay the business owners for taking part of their land or is it considered easement? See soo many questions! I would die to know their plans. I am soo curious! But also a little part of me thinks they are doing it wrong!

    My curiousity absolutely drives Preston crazy. The other day I said I would iron his shirt. He said no. I said why? He didn't have an answer for me. I mean I was offering to iron it for him and he still said no. So I thought there must be a reason why he didn't want his shirt ironed that I am not thinking of. So I kept asking why. Ya, generally not a good idea to keep asking Preston why... He tends to get a little angry!

    The moral of the story: if I ask you why, please just tell me why so I can put my curiosity to rest!

    Wow, getting late. Time to hit the hay. And yes once again everyone in this house is already asleep but me. And I am the one who has to get up early to do my Insanity workout. Good Night.