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That’s a Rad way to Match

2014 September 2
by Katie

There are big things happening here at the Bower house and there is a toilet in the front yard.

There.  I said it.

A toilet.  In the grass.  I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the boys are peeing in it right now.

Also…my little sister had her baby this past week and I am OBSESSED with her little girl.  Literally I just sit there and look at my iphone photos of the little sweetie.  I need to snuggle her face. right. now.

So until the time comes where I can deep breathe in her newborn-ness and exhale it all here on the blog…I will carry on.  Just know that I am a little distracted though.  For now, here is a fun little post about how you can use RadLab filters to unify a bunch of photos.  No RadLab doesn’t know me…if I have a cookout, they won’t show up with crudité.  I just love this method for making a bunch of photos match and wanted to share a quick trick for newbie photographers out there.

It’s really easy.  This is like photoshop instagram-style.  Does that make sense?  I’ll explain.  You know how you use Instagram?  You snap a picture with your phone in the Instagram app, then you apply a filter making yourself look instantly airbrushed and then post it for viewing by all your friends, family, coworkers, frenemies, haters and that random guy who you don’t know that found you through hashtags.  You nailed that whole Instagram thing right?

Well, this is just as easy.  I bought the RadLab filters and they are used through Photoshop.  They are a little pricey at $149 but if you consider the cost of hiring a photographer, it could save you money if you are just trying to do a mini-shoot.  Also, you can try them for free for two weeks if you prefer.  You open a photo in Photoshop and then go to Filters/Totally Rad/RadLab.

Up will pop a whole new window.   If only real window installation was that easy, am I right?!

In the RadLab window you can apply all sorts of different filters…just like Instagram.  You can also adjust how much of each of those filters…and how much of each part of those filters gets applied.  You can also mix them up together and create your own cocktail of filters…they call them recipes.   For these ones of LJ, I did Sugar Rush, Lux Soft, and Lights On at 28%.

You can see side by side comparisons too…which is really fun if you are saving a photo from the hum-drum life.

When you hit finish, the recipe gets applied to your photo and….

Done and done.  You are awesome.  If you want to reapply that same recipe to a whole slew of pictures (like what I did for the photos in this post….I just hit Control+F.)

Now let’s get to oogling my baby.  Drink some water.  It’s important to stay hydrated when oogling.

Seriously…the HAIR.  I have this feeling that it won’t always be curly and if I ever give him a haircut the curls will be gone forever.  I will probably die.

So don’t get all weird on me when he turns into Fabio because I refuse to cut it.

Ok…I was experimenting with creative cropping…and came up with this…I love it.

He has beautiful eyes…like steel to turquoise to the palest gentlest baby blue in the center.  His cousin Braden said they look like fireworks.  I agree wholeheartedly.

And in case I haven’t told you…he is the happiest baby.  Super laid back (for now) and he opens his mouth really wide when anyone looks at him or pays attention to him…it’s like his signature smile…

And even though he isn’t the best sitter (Weston was crawling by this age and I was NOT a fan of it that early), he is really good with his hands.  Will and Weston never had the best fine motor skills so this is a new change for us Bowers.

And this last one will be my favorite of the bunch.  I feel like it combines the fun cropping with the soft angelic editing and shows him as he is right now….sweet and curly and edible in every way.

p.s.  there is an affiliate program with RadLab for any bloggers out there that would like to give it a whirl.  I haven’t signed up for it so I don’t know the details.

I like to Move it Move it

2014 August 29
by Katie

Can I be honest for just a second? I feel like sometimes my life is so crazy frantic when it comes to room renovations.  Nothing is done!  I’m running around like a dinosaur with its head cut off.   Imagine this.  I’m a human dinosaur wrecking ball with arms that are way too small to carry all the mess that is EVERYWHERE and even if I tried to fix one thing, my giant tail knocks over something else (giant tail is not an exaggeration by the way) and I’ve ended up with wasted time, wasted money and the entire house just gets more messy.  And on top of that…I get way more help now from Jeremy and my mom than ever before.  So I deal with the guilt of not getting much done and the frustration of wasting everyone’s time.

So I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m at a point where I cannot wait to get some of these rooms done.  Can.  Not.  Wait.  To date, the laundry room is still not finished.  Will’s room…still not finished.  The office….not even close.  Don’t even bring up the living room.  The dining room still needs work.  Mention the play room….I might punch you in the upper lip.  The list goes on and on and on it just feels like the entire house is upside down.

I just want to get something done.

I don’t care if it’s perfect.

I don’t care if it’s right.

I  don’t care if it looks the best or it’s the most pin-worthy thing on the Internet.

I just want to finish some spaces.  My sanity depends on it.

Okay.  Tangent over.

Let’s see where I’m at right now.  I have been working a little bit on the Great Switcheroo. If you remember, the Great Switcheroo is where we’re turning the office into a playroom so that we can get the big toys out of the living room.

My office is getting the boot and needs a place to go so we’re turning the reading room into my new office.

We first tackled the reading room space.  We cleared it out, we painted the walls, painted the ceiling and it looks way different.  It’s the first time that I’m experimenting with white walls so that’s….um….interesting.   Enter big eyed emoji here.  Apparently I don’t know how to play nice with white paint.

You got a sneak peek of my office here.  Honestly – that looked ok with the white walls but I didn’t know what to do with the rest.

I have discovered that the new office is not quite as large as my old office.  That means my dumping ground has become smaller.  But hopefully having a smaller space means that I am forced to keep it tidy and the fact that it’s one of the first rooms anyone sees will help too.  That’s why I need smart storage solutions.

The Ikea Malm dresser seemed to fit my “inexpensive but closed storage” needs so I went to Ikea to check them out.  They were having a friends and family special on it and that drop the price $10 off each.   One hundred and forty bones later, I am the proud new owner of two of them.  That’s eight large drawers of fabric and craft supply storage!  (apparently I can not resist fabrics.  I am a fabric addict.)

I also scored a clearance Billy bookshelf.  It was only $40 and you should have seen me trying to get this fully assembled piece into the car.  Maybe not.  It was probably like a cat giving birth…a little awkward and a whole lot of horror.   Side note – do not google animals giving birth.  It will eat up your entire afternoon.  And you’ll probably end up watching some lady on YouTube give birth to her son on the bank of a creek.

Anyhoo…my sewing table got moved into the little corner near the doors.  I am hoping my relationship with my sewing machine will become a little bit better now that were in close quarters.  Here we can spend some quality time together that does not include me verbally or physically abusing it.  No promises were made.

There wasn’t enough walls for the desk to sit on…so the natural solution is that it will be floating in the middle of the room.  Jeremy thinks it looks weird but I think that once I get a rug, it will work.  I haven’t found one yet that I absolutely love.  My BFF Sherry found this great one at West Elm and I was tempted to try it out in my office but in the end, the color won’t work so I am disappointed we won’t be rug twins.

When it comes to the doors, I am convincing myself that they’re just windows.  They’re not doors anymore.  They don’t have door handles.  They are just floor windows with transoms.  Nothing to see here people.  Move it right along.  Once they get curtains, you will be convinced and it will add some color and softness to the room.

The walls desperately need art.  The white white white room is really hard on my brain. I don’t know anybody else that has dealt with white walls but for whatever reason I am having a much harder time with it than I thought I would.  It’s like an empty canvas that is staring into my soul. So I definitely want to get some cute artwork up and photographs of the boys and stuff that represents me and inspires me to be in here so that I can get some work done.

Speaking of getting work done, when we moved out the furniture from the old office it is back to being empty.  Here’s what it looked like ALL THE TIME….

Just kidding.  It was this…

I know.  I did the walk of shame.  I said a prayer.  That office is terrible.

But we did clear it out and now it looks like a ready shell of a room.

We decided to keep a few things in here but if they don’t work out…we will just move it…in other words…don’t get too attached to the half done rocker in the corner or the bookshelf that has kiddo art supplies.

Also…Jeremy would like me to note that this is not the chandelier that is going to stay.  We will probably move this bad boy into a closet.  We both agree that those shells look like a pitching target to our two rambunctious boys.

I will definitely miss my white board.  It doesn’t really go with the vibe in the new office so I we are breaking up.  I think Jeremy is gonna use it though in the garage.  Oh did I mention that we are also working on the garage?  We are turning it into a workshop of sorts.  Yeah.  Add that to the list…because obviously we don’t have enough going already.

Speaking of projects….I know that we tackle a ton of different rooms simultaneously.  Nothing ever gets a grand reveal or makeover.  I know that can confuse people.  But hopefully someday in the future, it will mean a buttload of makeover reveals all at once.  That will be fun, right?!  Plus…this is real life…we just do what we can.  So just hold onto your pants as we continue tackling this house.  Literally hold onto them…because you don’t want to lose them in the chaos, ok!?