Photo Diary: Illumination at the Morton Arboretum

Last weekend Grizz and I doubled with our friends and went to this really cool tree light festival at an arboretum. I had an opportunity to play with my Lensbaby which is a super fun lens, impractical that it may be. It has little magnetic aperture disks that turn lights into cool shapes and it’s super perfect for Christmas lights because you get a lot of small shapes.

I took it off and tried to get some other photos too but I didn’t really get that many. I think it’s more fun to experience than to photograph. I left a gallery below. The ones that are hearts are all actually lights on the trees, you just can’t see the trees because it makes everything else blurry, and of course it was nighttime and I wasn’t using a flash. I still need to get the hang of the lens so I can potentially use it do more practical things… we’ll see. I never really get much time to play with it.

My layoff season at work is coming. My last day of work for the season is on Friday. So after that I’ll have a lot of time to update this blog. I’m going to work on reviewing Wet n Wild Beauty’s rainbow highlighter. I just got it and I was super excited to try it out. I’ve used it a couple times and I have a few things to say. That should be coming later on this week, actually.

I know I said I would review and swatch the Morphe x KathleenLights eyeshadow palette, but I feel like I’ve taken too long and the moment’s passed. But if people are still interested, I will still do it.

For now, enjoy the photos!

How’s your Christmas shopping coming along?

Thanks for reading. If you liked my post hit follow to geek out with me every week! And you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at softlysaturated!
♥J

 

Christmas Haul 2015

Hello everyone! I hope you had an awesome Christmas! For me, and I’m sure for a lot of people as well, Christmas was almost a week long affair. But I’m finally recharged and relaxed and ready to share some of the wonderful presents I got from friends and family!
(I’d also like to preface this, as many people do, by mentioning that I am not trying to brag about the things I got. I’m incredibly lucky to have such great friends and family who think of me. If Christmas Hauls are something you don’t like to see, then click away.)

I’m gonna split these up by party, I think just so it’s a little more organized.

So first up is Friendsmas!
I’ve recently starting hanging out with a new circle of friends and we went to a Friendsmas party with them. I don’t know anyone that well yet but we did do a Grab Bag Gift Exchange. We all drew a number and picked a gift to open. I ended up with this really pretty box with a wolf on it! There were some strange gifts in the bunch but I’m really happy with the one I ended up with! I’m not so sure what I’ll be doing with it yet, but it’s really nice and I love it!

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Next is the stuff I got from my friend Barry. He came to visit from DC.
He brought me this multi colored scarf with a Lego pattern on it and this adorable Pikachu hat!
Also not pictured, is a little Hearthstone from World of Warcraft and a card pack for the game Hearthstone. Love it!

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On Christmas Eve Grizz and I exchanged gifts with Tarara, our roommate. She got us this adorable container for holding spatulas and things like that. It’s cute because it looks like a mason jar! Also, you can see the rainbow whisks in there, which she gave  us as well. Because rainbow.

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Grizz and I also decided to give each other one of our gifts as well as the new ornament tradition.
The ornament he got me is this awesome Dalek one. He’s wearing a Jayne hat, which is the ornament I got for him.

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And the “secondary” present is a camera strap. Super colorful and boho which I love. I took a picture of the picture of it because I’m so meta. But mainly because it hasn’t arrived yet.

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Christmas morning was main gift day for Grizz and me!
He got me Pocket Wizards for my camera! For those who don’t know, Pocket Wizards allow me to remotely fire my flash instead of keeping my external flash mounted to the camera. I’ve been using cheap knock offs until now, which do the trick but are nowhere nearly as reliable. I’ll need more as my “studio” grows, but I have an awesome start now, so I’m super excited!Xma2015-1850

Then it was off to my parents house to exchange with them and my sister. And Bonnie!

My parents got me a Rogue Flash Bender. Pictured is the box it came in because I’m using it to shoot this.  But it’s good for when I am using the flash mounted to my camera because it’s a large bounce panel, for softening and spreading light.

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And here is a Luxi Light Meter Attachment. You’re supposed to be able to attach it to the camera on your smartphone and then download a light meter to use it with. So far I can’t find a good light meter that does all the things the Sekonic does. Particularly, catching the exposure value of a flash. Anyone know of one? To be honest, I just threw this on my wish list without researching it, so it could be that this item is just a dud. Which is no one’s fault but my own. It was totally a thoughtful gift.

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I got green Skullcandy Earbuds which I wanted with the intention of specifically using with my tablet. Love it. Skullcandy has never failed me. Hands down, best headphones.
To also go with the green theme of my tablet I got this green case for it. It comes with a bluetooth keyboard. Which I find super awesome but I am having a slight issue. Nothing with the keyboard itself but with the bluetooth on my tablet. I noticed a problem with it when I bought my color changing bluetooth speakers. When I go to connect my tablet to it sometimes it won’t connect and I have to restart the tablet. Even then it cuts out eventually. I also noticed the same problem when trying to send something from it to my phone via bluetooth. I was hoping I wouldn’t have the problem with the keyboard, but same thing. It’s definitely something wrong with my tablet but I have no clue how to fix it. Any ideas?

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Another adorably thoughtful gift is this little handmade car trash can. It has a little weight on one end, which you put in the glove box. I was there when my mom got it because we went to the craft show together but I love it. This is a huge life saver for me, as I tend to just throw my trash all over my car and never clean it. So this at least  holds me accountable to throw it all out when it gets full. And the Pac-Man design is the best.

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No Christmas with be complete without a nod to my favorite store, Bath and Body Works. I have enough travel sized bottles for a million vacations now. ^_^

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Miss Dolce Vita had also given me some B&BW stuff! A Sweet Pea gift set. Love, love, love!

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My big present this year was a joint present for me and Grizz from my parents. They’re these super awesome chairs. Looking at them they’re just regular dining chairs that go really well with our table. But they also fold up! So my parents got me this set and we’re gonna get a couple more that we can tuck away nicely for company. My mom actually needed to use my Costco membership to get these so she never wrapped them, she just left them at our house as an early present. So we’ve been using them for the past few weeks and they are fabulous!

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After Christmas morning at my parents’ house, it was time for Grizz’s family. We went over to his older sister’s house and did our Secret Santa gift exchange. My future mother-in-law got me these fabulous crow leggings. I adore them, and they happen to be the one pair of leggings I wanted the most!

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And then of course, I overheard her asking Grizz on the phone what else I wanted because she was looking for one more thing and he said to check the wigs. So I was kind of wondering which one I was gonna get and she got me the one that happened to be my favorite on the list! It will appear on my wig collection post, so I’m just gonna throw a little selfie in there. I promise, whenever that comes out you’ll see a much better photo.

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The day after Christmas was spent with my dad’s side of the family. We do a Secret Santa every year. This year one of my cousins gifted me an AMC card and some yummy movie snacks. It’s like a cute little movie date kit. I think we’re gonna go see Mockingjay Part 2 with it sometime this week, so yay!

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We all received a check from our late great grandmother as last Christmas gift from her. I’m not going to say how much, but I will say that I’m going to do the adult thing and kill some of my debt with it. But with a little bit of it I still wanted to treat myself, so I got myself a Wacom Drawing Tablet. I just ordered it so I don’t have a photo, so I’ll just leave a link to it. I have HUGE Photoshop goals I want to achieve next year, and this will really help out. So, thank you Grandma, I love you.

I’ll even have a little bit left after doing the responsible thing AND getting my drawing tablet so I will be getting a new wig. You can help me decide which one I want by voting on my last post!

AND for the last Christmas party. This was with my closest group of friends. We also did a Secret Santa. My friend Tim got me a Pokemon Origami book. Isn’t this so adorable?!

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What did you get this year? Who did you spend your holidays with? Was it awesome? I hope it was!

Thanks for reading. If you liked my post hit follow to geek out with me every week! And you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at softlysaturated!
♥J

 

 

 

Upcoming Look Book

So far, I have about four different Christmas gatherings to attend on different days this week, and I wanted to put together an outfit for each of them. My goal was to approach the diversity of my style so I can try my best to put together a “Me” look for MANY occasions.
Since each of these events has it’s own tone, this is probably the perfect opportunity to do just that.

On Christmas Eve, I’m going to my parents house for some pizza and to open presents with my puppy-wuppy. Super duper casual. I could probably show up in sweat pants if I wanted to. But I want to put something casual and cute together.
Christmas Day, James and I are hosting dinner with our families at our apartment. It’s our first time hosting a big dinner in our new place together. Exciting! I want to dress up- but not too formal. Like, I think I want to take something really formal and grunge it down a bit.
Saturday after Christmas, it’s the TACS Christmas party! It’s probably pretty casual, but I want to have the “going out on the town” sort of look for this.
Then Sunday after Christmas I’ll be going to my extended family party at my grandma’s senior home. For this one, I want to go… business casual I guess? A little less dressy than that even, but not crazy casual. Blue jeans with a nice top sort of situation.

The fun part of this challenge is I want a winter/Christmas theme for all the outfits. I started this post thinking I would start putting together the outfits today, photograph them all on the bed or floor or whatever and post them so you can see what I’ll be wearing for the week. But now, I’m starting to think I might want to do the full look (make up and hair) each day and post them all next week?

I think that’s what I’m going to do instead. It’s much more exciting to see how the look pulls together on me than to look at a bunch of pictures of clothes.

Anyway, I posted this explanation of it – so that means I have to do it now. No excuses. I have a tendency to make plans for my blog and never follow through (remember how I promised the “what’s in my camera bag”) and I really want to break that habit. Since deciding my ultimate goal is to get into fashion photography and I already talk a bit about beauty on this blog, I would really like to get more serious about regularly posting.

Now that I’ve let this explanation get a little long and rambly, I’ll leave you with that. I’ll possibly be posting more holiday stuff throughout the week, but keep an eye out for the look book by next Monday.

Thanks for reading. If you liked my post hit follow to geek out with me every week! And you can follow me on Twitter: @softlysaturated
-J

Christmas Haul

Hey everyone!

I’m here to show you some of the things I got for Christmas from my awesome family and friends!

I meant to take real photos and edit and all that jazz. But I had a lot going on over the weekend. And yesterday I was so exhausted after work I slept right after I got home. On and off all the way til I had to get up this morning.

So I do have some pictures of things that I took with my phone.

Anyway, here we go.

First I had my family party on Saturday. My cousin got me a spare battery for my mp3 player, a trackpad decal for my computer of the soot guy from Spirited Away:

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and brushes from e.l.f!

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That was a 12 piece set and I love them! They really pick up way more than my ecotools brushes do and I’ve gotten so much better at blending now that I actually have a blending brush!

Tiffany got me some earrings. And anyone who knows me, knows that I apply my lack of love for shoes (that most girls have) to a distinct love of earrings. Some of them are rainbow, which I sometimes say is my favorite color because I love all colors. And I love the star motif.  My favorite set of earrings I have are stars, I love stars.

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I got a ton of kitchen stuff between James and I. My mom got me some pots and pans and some cookies sheets. IMG_20131225_104718

We also got a pastry board, a pizza cutter, an ice scream scoop, a garlic press, a rice cooker, a cupcake and waffle maker,  and some Trader Joe’s sea salts.

My mom and dad also got me a sewing kit. And a Diablo 3 Calendar.  And a Hello Kitty bathrobe. So comfy!

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My sister got me this awesome bracelet:

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Along with a gift card for Target.

And then my friend Barry got me a Doctor Who ice cube tray. It makes Daleks and TARDIS’s. You can’t see it but this is a TARDIS.. IMG_20131224_201057

From Sandy I got a mini tripod, perfect for shooting my jewelry on a table or little things. And some Doctor Who socks.

And James got me a 23.6 inch monitor for editing photos. So now I have a nice little dual monitor thing going on, something I’ve been wanting for awhile.. and my parents got me a corner desk I’ve been looking at. Perfect for my computer set up.

Then, Bath & Body Works ran a sale the day after Christmas. So I got myself a few things too.

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That middle one, Vanilla Bean Noel? So freaking amazing. I smell like Starbucks when I wash myself with that!

So that’s my haul. I don’t think I missed anything… but I could have.  I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas! AND have a Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading. If you liked my post hit follow to geek out with me every week! And you can follow me on Twitter: @softlysaturated

-J

P.S. Please take a second  to make a donation to the Nerdy Neehigh Ninjas in their fight for Futures Without Violence, if you can! We’d really appreciate it!