Thank you for stopping by! As I rarely have time to update this blog anymore, please come visit me at my new photoblog, Cari Berry Photography where I'll blog the occassional Beauty and the little Beast story, as well as post sneak peeks and stories from all my photo sessions. I try to give return blog love to all visitors over there, and hope to start giveaways there in the very near future!

For visitors to this blog, please accept my apologies, but I've had to turn on captcha because of the insane amount of spam comments I've been getting. Dontcha hate it when one bad apple ruins it for everyone else??!! ;)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

SWS: Speech Impediment Rhymes

I got "wocks" in my "cwocs"!!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Silhouette Runner Up

As I've been making the rounds viewing the awesome i Heart Faces Silhouette entries this week, I've noticed a lot of bloggers posting their photos that didn't make the cut. Because I worked so hard to capture silhouette shots, even keeping my kids up WAY past bedtime hoping to catch the sunset (didn't happen - I swear it doesn't come until 9 pm in Seattle!!!), I'm posting the shot I would've entered for the kids category had there been one this week!

You can view my actual entry in my previous post! Thanks.

I Heart Silhouettes

It's silhouette week at i Heart Faces. I dragged the family to the beach to practice, practice, practice Susan Keller's tips for my kids entry, only to learn it was a one entry contest again this week! So my shots of Beauty and the little Beast were pushed aside in favor of my adult entry, a photo I took many weeks ago of my good friend Colleen (seven months pregnant) and her 19-month old daughter.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

6WS: Just another day at the beach...

A Little Dirt Never Hurt Anyone!

Take one guess how this happened...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hit Me With Your Best Shot!

This week at i Heart Faces is really special. They are requesting the very best closeup face photos from both amateurs (that's me!) and professionals. The winners will be published in an i Heart Faces photobook by Blurb!

Thank you to everyone who responded to my cry for help in choosing which of my top 5 face photos to enter (prizes will be awarded soon!). Although many of you liked Ms. Smartypants in braids, and a few liked Beauty's photos, a huge majority of you voted for this photo of the little Beast:

I hope we made the right choice!

I am submitting this photo into the Blurb Book photo contest. I am granting I ♥ Faces permission to use my photo in a printed version of a book for commercial use and possibly advertising of a photo book on both the Blurb and I ♥ Faces web sites.

Please Help Me Choose My BEST Face!

This week at i Heart Faces is HUGE. The very best faces entered this week will be published in a BOOK!!! That is a lot of pressure and I want to make the right choice, but I have looked at these pictures so many times - and I look at these faces all day in real life too - so I cannot make a clearheaded decision. That's why I need your help!

Which of the following photos do you consider the very best face photo (some of them have been previously posted here, but the contest calls for my BEST photo whether its been submitted before or not)? Which one do you think the talented photographer judges at i Heart Faces might consider worthy enough to PUBLISH in an actual book - remember I'll be competing against some much better photographers!?

I'm leaning towards the last one of the little Beast in the tunnel. Thanks in advance for your feedback. Perhaps a prize randomly awaits one of you helpful commenters???


Sunday, May 17, 2009

WinnerS and Pictures: I Heart Seattle

I'm super excited to announce the winner of my wicked-awesome Seattle prize pack because I really do love this place:
the Space Needle. (Taken from my car while driving in rush hour traffic, not technically legal, but who could resist that cool view?)

Mount Rainier at Sunset

A Forest Road (taken from my car while not driving)

Freight ship entering the Puget Sound

Beachfront at Dash Point State Park

What a great city, huh? The selected winner of the I Heart Seattle Giveaway should have been commenter #21, none other than the funny, sweet and oh-so-generous BlogBaby. But her comment says "No need to enter me for the contest..." and when I contacted her to tell her she was technically the winner, she said that she would be thrilled if I would make someone else's day by selecting them as the recipient for all those fabulous Seattle-made goodies! And that blessed person, also selected by, is:

Shonni of Nations Around Our Table. Congratulations! Please contact me via email before Friday to claim your prize or I'll have to choose another winner.

And speaking of another winner: It was so much fun reading all the things you loved about Seattle that I decided to award prizes for my 5 favorite comments about Seattle!!

I'll be mailing some yummy Seattle goodies to each of the following fabulous FIVE folks. (Dontcha love alliteration? I felt a smidge like MckMama typing that, LOL!)

Runners Up:
Heather at But I Don't Want To Be A Cowboy for her entertaining blog post about her trip to Seattle (read it here!)

DiPaola Momma of Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom for this funny and totally accurate comment:

"Where oh were should I start with the "I love"s? let's see.. I LOVE the new layout! You already know I love Beauty's big flower headband! I love that Beast owns his status. I love how you make me giggle... Now on to Seattle. I love Puget Sound (did I spell that right?). It's so serene. Then I love the fish market. I'm a fresh fish girl and it don't get no fresher than dat! I love the vibe in Seattle, sort of brainy-hippie meets angst and creativity. I don't love the weather 10 months of the year though. So sign me up.. cuz one last thing.. I LOVE THE COFFEE AND I NEED IT!!!!"

Mikki Black of Here's What Let's Do for her heartfelt nostalgia and shameless sweet-talking:

"How awesome are you?! (Aside from the re-design, I mean.) I almost never go to the contests featured on the Sunday Shout-outs, but I couldn't pass yours up. I am soooooooooooo homesick for Seattle. We went to college in Kirkland - right on the other side of Lake Washington - and used to hop the bus over the bridge ALL the time to wander about in the city. I want that basket so bad, I can smell the Sound! (hope I win and thanks for the chance!)"

Margaret of Nanny Goats in Panties because she left a fun comment listing some of my own favorite Seattle places, and well, really, the name of her blog just cracks me up!

"I came over here from SITS because you were the commenter before me and now this????? A contest? OK let's see...the thing I like about Seattle besides Starbucks? Hmmmm. Uhhhh, the weather? Yeah, that's it. The weather. And don't you have a needle in space? That's kinda cool. And there used to be a Ye Olde Curiosity Shop down by the water maybe? I don't really remember, I was a kid. And the Pacific Science Center, that was fun. Did I mention Starbucks already? Do you guys have Starbucks up there? OK, but seriously... I think I missed your previous banner, but I really like your new one! Very cool!"

Christina of Rant-Rave-Roll because her brown-nosing made me chuckle. She left this comment:

"Holy Cow! Is this Extreme Blog Makeover? It looks awesome! And Seattle... One of the things I love and make Seattle great is that you live there... OK.. ok.. I know! Total suck-up momnet. It is green... is that better?"

Winners, please contact me at with your mailing address and I will send off your prizes! Thanks to everyone who entered, especially those of you who follow my blog. This was a really fun contest for me - I wish I could give you all prizes! Fortunately, I am just a few days away from my 100th post and will be having another giveaway to celebrate, so stay tuned for a chance to win a new prize her at Not Quite A Fairytale.... Beauty and the little Beast!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Six-Word Saturday: A Brother's Love


OR: dumping water on poor Beauty's head...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Little. Brown. Stick.

In honor of Ree the Pioneer Woman judging over at i Heart Faces this week, I've decided to publish this post inspired by her that I wrote months ago but have been hesitant to share for fear it might offend some readers (how's that for a run-on sentence?!). Please let this serve as both warning and apology to my more sensitive readers: Over the next few days this blog will feature more mature than usual content, not that I won't be my same goofy childish self, just that several of the next few posts will contain adult humor. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this Ree-inspired, never-before-published post from my archives...

This post was inspired by a blogger most of you are probably familiar with: Ree of Pioneer Woman fame. (She was recently named one of Time Magazine's Top 25 Blogs!) I was cruising around her archives and found this hidden little gem. It's an audio recording of her youngest son mispronouncing a request for a juice bag. Hilarious - definitely worth a listen. Go ahead - check it out. I'll wait...

Welcome back. Now, here's the little Beast's version of dirty mispronunciation {Warning for those of you who don't appreciate adult humor - this might strike you as inappropriate, sorry!}

The little Beast is always collecting odd, useless little objects he finds outside, like buttons and rocks and pinecones. The other day at the park, it was a stick, and when he dropped it and couldn't find it again, he became a little bit frantic. Here's a couple short video clips of him whining to me about helping him look for it. See if you can catch what he actually says when he means to say "little brown stick":

What words do your kids hilariously mispronounce?!

Though this isn't a video about emotion, it is technically a vlog, so I'm submitting it over at Fort Thompson as part of their Vlogemotions carnival. I think the concern and disappointment the little Beast is feeling is evident in the clips, even if he can't yet verbalize his emotions!

Monday, May 11, 2009

I Heart {Laughing} Faces

This week's theme at i Heart Faces is Laughter, a great week made even better by the fact that this week's judge is the incomparable Ree Drummond - the Pioneer Woman herself! See her linked over there in my sidebar under "Blogs I Heart"? I do, I really do! She was one of Time Magazine's Top 25 Bloggers of 2009! I've seen some of her posts garner over 18,000 comments. And now there is a chance she might be stopping by my blog! Isn't that intimidating?! If you've never entered a photo at i Heart Faces before, this would be the week to start!

My kids entry is the little Beast preparing to peg me with a snowball on his very first snow day. I love the genuine fun and humor in his adorable little face. That day in the snow is one of my favorite memories because we all laughed so hard. BTW, daddy made that perfect snowball then coached the little Beast to throw it at me...

My adult entry was taken almost exactly a year ago at a rare breakfast out after church. The little Beast was trying to make faces at me and it cracked his daddy up! Maybe you can tell from the picture, maybe not, but my husband has the world's BEST laugh - he puts everything he has into it!

Blogger is cutting off the right-hand edge of each photo for some reason, but you can click on it to view the whole thing in GIGANTIC form if you'd like...
For more fun faces, head over to i Heart Faces!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Six Word Saturday: Daddy's Home!

Reunited and it feels so good.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Heart Faces, Constructive Feedback Friday

HELP!! I'm a beginner and I often find my photos under or overexposed. I know that I need to work on getting the exposure right straight out of the camera, but when I don't, are there tricks for rescuing a photo that I've ruined? I don't know, but I hope the experts at i Heart Faces can provide the answer! They'll be dropping by today to offer tips for fixing my photo!

Below is a shot I took of Beauty several months ago on my Sony Cybershot. She has the cutest expression and I want to salvage this photo but don't know what to do with it, since it's so terribly composed and underexposed. I've tried two different crops, increased the exposure, upped the contrast and played with color and effects in Picnik. Nothing has worked. Maybe you all can do better. Thanks in advance for any advice, examples, tricks you can offer! Please feel free to leave some suggestions for what I could do in Photoshop or Elements since I often use GIMP which is similar enough that I can usually translate PS directions into GIMP tasks. Thank you.

The original: f/2.8; 1/25 sec; ISO 100; 9 mm (I know, I know. I needed a higher ISO and faster shutter speed. I took this the first day I ever put my camera in manal and didn't know what I was doing!)


Color Pop:

(At the last minute, just before linking up, I changed the photo I wanted help with. The first few comments are from regular readers who saw the first photo I posted. Thanks)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What the %@*#?! Wednesday, Fashion Show

"WHAT THE %@#*?!"

That's the first thing my husband said when I emailed him these photos. The next thing he said was, "Some things just aren't funny."

Well, duh. Like train wrecks. Or cancer. But this? This is stinkin' hilarious.

The little Beast begged and begged to play with the girls. Cried and whined because they excluded him.

Finally, they got tired of listening to his complaints, and let him in on the fun.

Let that be a lesson to you, Beast. Be careful what you wish (or whine) for.

*The blondie (you know, the one with the underwear on her head) is our very own Ms. Smartypants, a cousin, and the adorable little brown bear is a family friend.

**I apologize for the poor quality of these photos. I suck. I also had the wrong settings on my stupid camera. For much better photos, head over to SevEn CLoWn CirCuS for Wordful Wednesday.

Monday, May 4, 2009

i Heart {Hats} and Faces

This week's theme over at i Heart Faces is hats. My kids entry is a recent shot of Beauty in her cupcake hat and rainbow-colored tutu. This was the day after she started crawling and she did NOT want to sit still and have her picture taken!

And my adult entry is hubby and the little Beast in their sun hats during our family vacation last July. (stupid Blogger cuts off the edge of the picture if I resize it bigger, grrr...)

Please feel free to offer constructive criticism of my photos; your feedback helps me improve, thanks! And despite tons of online research and 2 hours playing with cameras at Best Buy, I'm still using my point and shoot. If you have an affordable, quality dSLR recommendation for a beginner, please leave that advice in your comments too!

To view more people in hats, head over to i Heart Faces.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I Heart Seattle Giveaway! Super. Awesome.

Okay everyone - get ready for a super awesome giveaway!

You noticed my spankin' new blog design, yes? Isn't it BEE-YOO-TIFUL?! Heather at Adventures of Aidanpod gave me a makeover and since she's a local girl - and since I'm celebrating my husband's return home to Seattle after five months stuck in dreary Oklahoma (no offense Oklahomians Oklahomites rednecks) - I am giving away a basketful of my favorite "Made In Seattle" goodies, a prize worth more than $70!!!

This prize includes the following so far (though I keep adding to it as I discover more "Made in Seattle" things I love. Hmmmm.... I wonder if the little Beast would fit in that box. Although, technically, he was "made" in California while we were on vacation. What?! TMI?)

Seattle's Best Coffee, Ground, Anniversary Blend

Starbucks Coffee, Ground, Colombia Medium

Starbucks Mocha Dark Chocolate bar

6 bliss-inducing Seattle Chocolates truffle bars (including my very favorite candy of all time - the Coconut Macaroon Truffle Bar - as well as other flavors like Pike Place Espresso, Rainier Cherry and Meltaway Mint.)

Cougar Mountain Original Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Copper River Sockeye Smoked Salmon from Anacortes, WA

Tim's Cascade Jalapeno Seasoned Potato Chips (so delicious that I already ate the bag from the photo above!)

Chocolate Caramel Kettle Corn (yummy. No, I've never eaten an entire bag by myself in one sitting, I swear!)

Seattle Magazine. (The place I work is featured in the latest issue - I took the photo and wrote the ad copy myself. If you win, I'll tell you which one is mine)

Sunset Magazine. (I think it's actually published in San Francisco, but there is a lot of information on Seattle and its suburbs!)

Washington State stationery, playing cards, and postcards.

A copy of Just Breathe, the latest book from Susan Wiggs. (Fantastic novelist who just happens to be from the Seattle area.)

See, I told you. Super. Awesome. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post telling me one thing you think you know, or like, about Seattle. If you can't think of anything, tell me something you like about my new blog - I love compliments!

To earn extra entries, do any or all of the following. Be sure to leave a separate comment for each as that counts as your extra entry:

1. Follow my blog.
2. Visit Heather over at Adventures in Aidanpod and tell her what a great job she did designing my new blog. And be sure to mention her adorable Aidanpod too!
3. Blog about this contest on your own site with a linkback here. Then leave the url of that post in your comment.
4. Fave me on technorati (click the words "add to technorati" at the bottom of this post. Then leave your technorati username in your comment here).

The contest will run until Saturday, May 16th at midnight Seattle time. A winner will be chosen randomly by the widget. Only residents of the US are eligible to win this prize. If you don't live in the States, you can still enter to win, but I'll send you a prize that costs much less to ship, LOL!

Thanks for playing, and best of luck to you all!

SWS: Uh-Oh!

Watch out! Look who's started crawling!


Can I keep up with two?!