the splash of cold water I needed

cassis, france

Have you ever had a period of time where you just felt, blah...blah, blah, blah? I haven't posted in days. Just when I had a mental format, I allowed myself to miss my own deadlines. Lately, the feeling of just going on vacation from all of it, and I mean blogging, twitter, and FB for awhile has been on the forefront of my mind. Until, I read this from the Managing Editor of Schmap Guides in my flickr mailbox... 

"Hi liza,
I am delighted to let you know that your submitted photo has been selected for inclusion in the newly released seventh edition of our Schmap Marseille Guide..."

I squealed from the office and the kids came running. They thought I saw a squirrel in the house, again. (A story for another time.)  You see, she approached me sometime ago that one of the pictures from our mediterranean trip was short-listed for review and that if submitted and selected I would be notified of its inclusion. I was flattered at the idea and, consequently, put it out of my mind. Then, BAM, the good news came today. This is all very exciting for me. 

You can find me on Schmap here. Click on the left arrow on the right-hand side of the next link to scroll to my picture of Cassis a beautiful beach in the French Mediterranean. 

I can't believe it, I got discovered. I'm on cloud nine. 


seeing dots? seeing floral?

it depends on the hour of the day you're visiting. well, I'm testing things out around here. found these new backgrounds and other extras free at shabby blogs. you know how much i like free. they are cute, however, i think there's a certain age when cute is good and cute is just age inappropriate. me thinks i'm approaching the later. expect things to change frequently with the blog's appearance until "goldilocks" finds the one that fits...thanks!

it feels like i have blogger's tourette.

Carlos & me, 1972

this spring it's been twenty years that he has passed away but he is someone that i think about often. still remembering...
Breyer's butter pecan ice cream
stamp collecting
passion for great literature
his typewriter
a sense of humor
the bay of bigs
his love for Cuba
his love for my grandmother ...still missing you.


before & after :: beach edition

Three little shots straight out the camera (SOOC) of the cutest little girl in the world. Spoken like an unbiased mother, I know. Portraits on the beach are a little cliche, however, this was an actual snapshot while on vacation in Key West. Completely, unintentional and absolutely great. The timing was just right. We happened to be there at dusk, while the sun was setting which provided a fantastic background. I love shooting at this time of the day. 


no.1 I love that look!


no. 2


no. 3

Well, the photo shoot wouldn't be complete without a Picnik. Eventhough, I absolutely adore the expression on her face in the first one I'll pick no.2 for this editing session. It seems to be telling a better story...it's more photojournalistic.

For this next session you'll need the updated version of Picnik for a minimal charge per year. It's worth it because the effects are great. Come on, whip out the wallet.


no. 1 :: polaroid with a grey vignette @ 63/18/19


no. 2 :: cross process no fading


no. 3 :: Reala 400, no fading


no. 4 :: ortoni-ish, no fading and no vignette


no. 5 :: orton-ish, no fade with vignette @ 60/12/65


no. 6 :: infra-red, fading the effect to 65%

Each effect on Picnik has a "fade" option. You'll see a set of sliders that you can either keep the effect at 100 percent of its power or fade it for a softer effect. If you're wondering what the numbers mean after the vignettes, they stand for strenghth/size/fade. 

Looking back at my work, I still love the shot SOOC. I would possibly add a very light vignette if at all and hang it on my wall. But, if I were going for a more artistic look, I still would chose my all time favorite, the polaroid. So, there you have it our second Picnik in two weeks. Have yourself one and let's see what you've done. 


Turn up the Volume

Theme Thursday Tour and it's.......ooooooooh, fire! Beware, must be viewed in good company.


wednesday wishes

Mirror, mirror on the wall...who's the fairest of them all? Giovanna. Maybe two years in Italy will transform me into this or this.  She's the glamour queen on the style blog The Satorialist. She so freakin' glamourous. I wish. By the way, the meaning of satorial is to be of or pertaining to style or manner of dress. Therefore, to be a satorialist is to be a very stylish and elegant person. A year later of browsing through the site and I finally looked up the meaning. Maybe, that explains many of my fashion hiccups. I can't always blame it on mommyhood. Need to get my wardrobe in check. Any suggestions?

Alexandra Nechita; A Child Prodigy

"Sometimes in the back of my mind memories of my grandma and mother's lullabies resurface, leaving me the bittersweet fragrance of joyous melancholy."

Love that Sails Forever. 2002 Named the "Petite Picasso" at a very young age because of her style. She's all grown up now. Child prodigy's fascinate me. About the child prodigy. More here & here. 


earth angel

A little bit of doo wop, mixed in with the heavens and earth for
Theme Thursday tour group. 

Looking into the future.

From the belly of a Fortune Cookie opened last night after a quick takeout meal with military man and the wonder kids...


How did it know? Another serendipitous moment to add to the library. I just hope and wish that my experiences will be blessed and my connections fruitful.

p.s. (posted later in the day) The move to Italy is looming but the temporary relocation back to my hometown is closer. We plan to move from our home for the past four years in less than two months. I'm in complete denial. Military man is keeping me in check. He handed me a ledger and forced me to compile three lists. List A, contains things that will be kept in storage while in Italy; list B, is made up of things the Navy will ship there; list C, are the things that will be expressed shipped to our temporary lodging in Italy, while looking for our new home. 

Two + half hours it took to itemize/catalog our entire household...room by room. Two + half hours summed up what it has taken four years to collect and organize....just two + half hours. 

As excited as the move to Europe will be, I can't help but feel a great loss for the place we're leaving behind. We have rooted ourselves here, more so, than other duty stations. Our routines have been lovely but in the recent months I have joined an exciting group of ladies that I wish I could get to know much more. They have taught me so much and have provided me a safe place to reveal thoughts and feelings that have been buried for a long time. Oh well, it's better late than never. I have benefitted from their friendship and because of them I am leaving enriched and hopeful for the future. 


easter weekend

Picnik collage We are catching up on quality family time and enjoying every minute. As I'm typing this, I hear Lucy cooking in the background, father and son playing the wii and Nina having play soup on my lap and pining for the keyboard. Have a wonderful holiday!


Why Worry?

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

matthew 6:34

If I start to worry about things now, then nothing will get done. The planning for the moves have begun. Even though, I would rather run into the ocean with him. 




My head is racing with this latest news. I'm excited overwhelmed and shocked. The news we've been waiting to hear for about four months...the detailer (the man in charge of our fate and lodging for the next two years) phoned to tell us that he can guarantee our top choice for the next duty station. 

Arrivederci Florida...we're going to Italy or so it seems.

What I mean by guarantee is that, so far, we have a verbal agreement. Which is about the best that we can get due to the budget cuts. Our lovely Commander in Chief has been scissor happy and cutting away at the defense budget. So much so, that it has affected relocation and transfers. Basically, there is no money to give final written orders to anyone until the next fiscal year, which starts in October. This explains my potpourri of emotions. I will not be able to physically see myself anywhere until late fall. But we have to have faith in the system. One that has provided us with sixteen years of security through slow economic trends and the doozy of this recessions that has reached global proportions.

First, things first... a temporary move with family for about six months because, in addition to the exciting news about Italy, we also got word that military man deploys this summer. Unbelieveable! Yes, two moves, a deployment and a trip to Spain for a wedding. A crazy summer this way comes. 

Oh, I crave the simpler days.


memory, no. 3

pink dreams

pink dreams
a slow monday morning some time ago, shortly after waking 
Lucy from slumber.


this weekend

soccer, sidelines, sun + silent reading...

Our niece drove in with the rest of the family for a soccer tournament we couldn't miss.

this weekend       this weekend

this weekendWhat do you do with a picture that is over exposed and yellow? Make it into a polaroid. I really loved the action in these shots and the colors gave it an edgy&vintage feel to it, therefore, the look was exaggerated with a polaroid border available through picnik premium. This sounded like a advertisement, didn't it? My apologies, I wanted to share the photo recipe. The family was enjoying itself during the game while I experimented with light. It was mid afternoon with the sun pointing straight at us. Not always the best conditions for photography but sometimes the gods smile upon us. Here's the sideline entertainment. this weekend
Finally, some sun and silent reading after a long soak. According to the mister, this was the children's idea. They laid out the towels and picked out their own reading material. Too cute! The mister even tried a few shots on manual setting, while I was giving my feet the attention they needed. Bravo..I'm rubbing off on you.

this weekend this weekend

Great job, honey. I don't know whether to be proud or jealous. The best part of this weekend is not photographed...the best part is that Noel, military man, will be home for two weeks, which means as I write this note he sleeps and will not wake at 3:30 in the morn for his weekly trip to the sub. We are so thrilled!


Wish List: A Fuji Instax in White

now, how much fun would this be. the fuji instax 7s polaroid camera. love it! the birthday is too far away, christmas is even longer but easter is around the corner. will the easter bunny stuff this in mommy's basket? hummm...i'll let you know.