Canon Elph 110 HS Camera Review

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my camera.  For a point-and-shoot, it takes really nice pictures.  And it wasn’t really all that expensive.  I’ve definitely gotten plenty of use out of it.  It’s the Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS.

Amazon's stock photo.  I can't take a picture of my own camera.

Amazon’s stock photo. I can’t take a picture of my camera while I’m holding my camera.

Truth be told, I don’t know all that much about cameras, so I’m just going to list the camera specs on here from the Amazon page:

  • 16.1 effective megapixel, 1/2.3-inch high-sensitivity CMOS sensor
  • 3-inch TFT PureColor system LCD with wide-viewing angle
  • DIGIC 5 Image Processor
  • Full 1080p HD video with stereo sound and dedicated movie button
  • 24mm wide-angle lens (5x optical zoom, 4x digital zoom and 20x combined zoom) with optical image stabilizer

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Canon
  • Model: 6039B001
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 16.1 MP
  • Optical Sensor Technology: CMOS
  • Optical zoom: 5 x
  • Minimum focal length: 24 millimeters
  • Maximum focal length: 120 mm
  • Display Size: 3 inches
  • Image types: JPEG
  • Viewfinder Type: fixed LCD
  • Width: 6.00 inches
  • Height: 2.00 inches
  • Weight: 0.85 pounds

If all that means something to you, great.  The only thing I knew about when I bought it was that Canon was a good name, 16.1 megapixels was pretty high for that price, and Ashton Kutcher looked especially adorable in the commercials!  I really don’t know much more than that now.  I skimmed through the book and it does a bunch of awesome things, like that trick where one thing is focused in and the rest are out of focus?  Or color accent – where an entire picture is black and white except for one color?  This camera produces those effects.

It also does video…as you regular readers know, the baby is almost 4, and I have had a blast taking videos of her over the years as she’s grown.  I don’t have a good smartphone, so I take all my videos with the camera.  The picture and sound quality are very good for a point-and-shoot camera.

Another really cool feature is face recognition. You can program 12 people into it, and then it will search for those faces when you tell it to look for someone in particular.  Especially convenient if you break up with someone and don’t want to go through all of your pictures one by one to delete his ugly face.

I try not to play with the settings too much.  It worked so good right out of the box with the default settings that I’m afraid I will screw it up if I play with them!  It does have a “reset to default” settings option, though, so I may start playing around a little.

It comes with a rechargeable battery.  I love this feature.  I was always the mom at the school event that has to ask another mom if they have batteries…because my camera’s batteries died.  I bought an extra rechargeable battery when I got the camera and haven’t had that problem since.  The other moms aren’t afraid to sit next to me anymore.

Now, we get to the fun part.  I get to show you some of the pictures this camera takes.  Some of you know that I also do Virtual Assistant work, and I sell images with blog posts, so I take pictures of random things everywhere, because you never know when one will go with an article.  Check these out.  None of them have been edited any more than being resized and cropped so that if any of you are a creepo, you won’t be able to tell where I live.

Nutella Dip my daughter made *Note to self - have her make it again!*

Nutella Dip my daughter made *Note to self – have her make it again!*

Notice that the camera even catches the fingerprints on the cooktop stove.  This was taken in artificial light and wasn’t anything we planned on showing anyone.

Cupcakes I made

Cupcakes I made

The cupcake picture was taken with the flash off – you can see how well it captures shadows and natural light

Shoes that I was selling on eBay

Shoes that I was selling on eBay

I love how well my camera captures the shine in this shoe.

The place I grew up...looks like a scene from Little House On The Prairie, doesn't it?

The place I grew up…looks like a scene from Little House On The Prairie, doesn’t it?

In this one, you can see how well it does with distance.

A random tree stump.

A random tree stump.

Look how detailed the fuzzy dandelions are.

My mom's bleeding heart plant.

My mom’s bleeding heart plant.

I like how the focus is on the flowers and the rest is blurry.

A goat from my daughter's field trip to the farm.  Because, it's a goat.

A goat from my daughter’s field trip to the farm. Because, it’s a goat.

Fall in upstate NY.  So pretty.  Check out how blue the sky is!

Fall in upstate NY. So pretty. Check out how blue the sky is!


What the Ebola Scare Has Taught Me

ebola, scare, death, diseaseEverywhere you turn, people are talking about Ebola. There are so many different opinions, but I figured I’d share my thoughts since everyone else is.

1.  There are 3 people in the US currently diagnosed with it.  There are well over 300 million people in this country.  So calm down.

2.  This crap may or may not be airborne.  The CDC says it’s not, but from what my understanding is (and remember that I have no degree in science), if someone with Ebola happens to sneeze and you happen to get it on you…you can become infected.  So the disease can’t fly through the air unless it is sneezed or vomited.  Then it flies through the air but is not technically considered airborne even though it is carried by air.  Apparently there is a difference.  Maybe to some, but not to me.  Again, I am not a scientist or some sort of infectious disease specialist.  I’m a writer.

3.  If you’re dying, you probably should find a different hospital to go to than the one that sent an Ebola patient home.  Also, the doctors and nurses they hire don’t seem too competent. A patient with Ebola is first discharged, and then the nurses who treated him claim that they were not given the correct protective gear.  Blame the hospital if you want, but if I’m a nurse and I’m not in a spacesuit, I’m not going near the guy whose bodily fluids will kill me if they touch me.  I don’t care how much you pay me or if I get fired.  I’d rather be homeless than dead.  So we now know that they either thought they were invincible or just aren’t too bright.  Either way, if at all possible, don’t go to that hospital.

4.  People are either completely complacent or completely freaked out.  They’re being end-of-world preppers and pulling their kids out of school indefinitely, or saying that they’re not even remotely concerned that Ebola will strike them or someone they love.  Some people are so not bothered that they actually say things like they are more afraid of a nude selfie getting out.  I don’t know about you, but I really don’t find death and disease funny. Are they also less afraid of cancer than nude selfies?

5.  Even Ebola is a conspiracy theorist’s playground.  According to some, Ebola is either a) non-existent, and being used by the government to show everyone the need for Obamacare or a global health care system, b) non-existent and being used by the government to distract the American public from noticing some absurd bill being passed, c) non-existent and a ploy by the government to force people to get vaccinations, or d) it exists and is something the government is doing to either thin out the population or because Obama wants to kill Americans.

6.  No matter why it is here, there is nothing we can do about it.  As much as you’d like to ground all the planes and close the borders forever (maybe that’s just me…), it’s in the hands of other people to make those decisions.  So you can complain all you want about our President appointing a lawyer instead of a doctor to manage a deadly epidemic. You can wonder all day about the hidden agenda of those who insist on allowing travel to and from Ebola-stricken countries. You can even ponder the fact that whether or not you are allowed to fly here from an Ebola-stricken country depends on your answers to questions and whether or not you took ibuprofen to mask your fever before you got to the airport – this one particularly bothers me since I’m sure there is a cheat sheet of some sort out there.  The only real thing you can do is postpone your travel to Liberia (I’m not sure what is so special that people want to go there anyway), wash your hands frequently, and hope and pray for the best.

Try not to panic.  Seriously.  Mass hysteria is almost worse than an Ebola epidemic.  Hell hath no fury like hundreds of millions of people convinced the end of the world is in weeks.  People will start acting like rabid animals rather than civilized humans in order to survive.  Literal survival of the fittest is scary.  Please don’t feed into it.  Even if you’re absolutely terrified.

The good news? Nigeria is now Ebola-free.  If they can get rid of it, the US surely can.  We have much more technology and very smart people that know how to use it.

It’s up to you what you do in the midst of all this.  As for me, I’m going to hug my kids, call my parents and tell them I love them, and spend less time worrying about stupid things and more time remembering and taking care of what and who is important. I’m turning Ebola into something good – a reminder that life is short and that I should  be making the most of it, whether my life ends tomorrow or in 50 years.

 


25 Incredible Italian Recipes (Roundup)

Italian, Recipes, Roundup

The weather outside is frightful…at 80 degrees. In mid-October. In Upstate NY.
Nonetheless, I have a craving for Italian food. So I did a little roundup of things I plan to make once the weather cools off a bit.
Anyone want to sing “That’s Amore” with me?

1. Super Easy Baked Pasta – Super Easy being the key word here. Yum!
2. Crockpot Baked Ziti
3. Antipasto Sandwich
4. Easy Cheesy Focaccia Bread
5. Hearty Skillet Lasagna
6. Stuffed Zucchini (Bonus: You can omit the rice and make it lower carb!)
7. White Fish Italiano (Cod or Tilapia)
8. Pizza Meatloaf Cupcakes LOVE this idea!
9. Italian Prosciutto Panini
10. Slow Cooker Minestrone
11. Mostaccioli & Sausage Bake
12. 3 Layer Baked Eggplant Parm
13. Italian Prosciutto Panini
14. Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Can’t wait to try this!
15. Chicken Pasta Florentine
16. 3 Ingredient Lasagna
17. Spaghetti Bake
18. Tuna Bruschetta
19. Eggplant Rollatini
20. Italian Sausage & Peppers in the Crockpot
21. Spaghetti with Garlic Butter Sauce   (Already in weekly rotation at Casa Moody)
22. Easy 30 Minute Pasta Bake
23. Cherry Tomato & Mozzarella Balls Caprese Salad (This one will work even though it’s too hot out!)
24. Homemade Meatballs
25. Chocolate Tiramisu Because we can’t forget dessert!

Do you have a favorite Italian recipe? Feel free to share in the comments!


How To Make Halloween Korker Bows

korker, bow, hair, diy, halloween

In my opinion, nothing looks more adorable than a korker bow in a little girl’s hair, and at this time of year, Halloween – themed bows will make your little cutie even more adorable!

They’re so easy to make that I can’t imagine why someone would pay ten dollars and up for them at a boutique. Anyone can do this, and there is no sewing required.

You’ll need:
korker ribbon
hair clip
hot glue gun (and glue!)

Start with korker ribbon. The more you use the bigger the bow. This bow used 36 pieces about 4 inches long each (curled, not pulled straight). You can buy korker ribbon in craft stores, on Etsy, eBay and Amazon, or you can use my tutorial to make your own.

korker, bow, hair, diy, halloween

First, lay the first piece down and then dab a tiny amount of glue in the center. Put the second piece on top, to make an X. Continue this process like you’re making an asterisk.

korker, bow, hair, diy, halloween

When you’re finished, you glue the korker bow to the hair clip. Because I used an alligator clip, I wrapped that in ribbon too just to match. If you’re using a different type of clip, you may not have metal showing so you won’t have to.

korker, bow, hair, diy, halloween

Note: Make sure that the clip is OPEN when you glue the bow to it, or you may end up gluing the entire thing shut!

korker, bow, hair, diy, halloween

Take a blow dryer and blow out the glue strings.

korker, bow, hair, diy, halloween

You’re done! It’s that easy.

I’ll be making a few different style bows for my daughter as time goes on, so keep an eye out for more tutorials!


How to Make Korker Ribbon

Korker ribbon, how to, tutorial, bow

Korker ribbon is awesome – you can use it for all sorts of things, from gift wrap to funky flip flops to custom hair bows for your kids.  You can buy pre-made korker ribbon, but it’s very simple to make yourself and you’ll save a lot of money if you do your own.

What you’ll need: 

Grosgrain ribbon.  You can do any size, but I find that the smaller it is, the better it works.  I prefer 3/8.  Any color or pattern is fine.

Wooden dowels.  Again, any size, and for larger ribbon larger dowels works better.  You may have to experiment with different sizes to find the one you like the best.  Smaller dowels make tighter korkers.  You’ll want them about a foot long, but you can always get long ones and cut them (or break them) to the size you need.

  • Wooden Clothespins
  • Scissors
  • A lighter
  • Your oven

korker bows, korker ribbon, tutorial

Instructions:

  1. Clip the end of the ribbon to the end of the dowel with a clothespin.korker, korker ribbon, korker bow
  2. Wrap it tightly around the dowel all the way down, leaving no space in between.  At the other end, use a second clothespin to hold it tight, and then cut it off at an angle to prevent fraying.3a
  3. Place the dowels on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.5a
  4. Take the ribbons out and let them fully cool. This is important.  It’s hard to resist, but walk away or they won’t stay curly.  Usually about a half hour is good, depending on the temperature of your house.korker, ribbon, bow
  5. Gently unravel the ribbon from the dowel.6a
  6. Check the ends where the clothespins were. If they have hard spots or are straight, cut them off (at an angle).
  7. Using a lighter, run it over the edges of the ribbon to seal them and prevent fraying. Don’t do it too long, though, or it will melt the ribbon.  Just a quick swipe.  You’ll be able to feel a crusty sort of texture when the ribbons have been sealed..

That’s it!  Wasn’t that easy?  Think of all the fun things you can make!  In a few days, I’ll be posting a tutorial for a big hair bow, so be sure to check back!

 

 


25 Gluten Free Recipes (Roundup)

gluten, gluten free, gluten free recipes, carbohydrate, low carb

Even if you don’t have Celiac Disease, it’s possible that you have a gluten sensitivity, so lots of people (including myself) are trying to go gluten free for a while to see if it makes a difference in the way our bodies feel.  I know all about carbs and things like that, but when it comes to the entire gluten thing, I’m lost.  So I asked some bloggers to share some of their favorite gluten free recipes with me to help me out, and now I’m going to share them with you.

1. Paleo Coconut Flour Bread Recipe
2. Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
3. Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
4. Breakfast Macaroni and Cheese
5. Cheesy Zucchini Rice
6. Gluten Free Vegan Buffalo Wings
7. Chili Meatball Supper
8. Tofu Fried Rice
9. Paleo Crock Pot Lasagna
10. Southwest Ranch Dip Dressing
11. Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
12. Dr. Pepper BBQ Ribs
13. Spicy Double Crunchy Garlic and Honey Chicken
14. Banana Coconut Upside Down Cake
15. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
16. Peach Balsamic Rosemary Chicken
17. Quinoa Pumpkin Cookies
18. Gluten Free Apple Pie
19. Snickerdoodles With Almond Flour
20. Summer Pasta Salad
21. Gluten Free French Onion Beef Stew
22. Gluten Free Dairy Free Crab Cakes
23. Parmesan Garlic zucchini chips
24. Hazelnut Chocolate Brownies
25. Super Easy Caramel Corn Sundaes

Give them a shot and let me know what you think in the comments! I’m all about the Caramel Corn Sundae right now. Yum!


The Time I almost Got Abducted (And Other Poor Parenting Choices)

abducted, teenager, grounded, education, parenting, pedophile, sexual predator, arrest, kidnapping

Image courtesy of morguefile. http://mrg.bz/ZDhWXp

Backstory:  I hated school.  Absolutely hated it.  And I was super smart.  In the “gifted” class until high school when being “gifted” meant being a nerd.

And I had waaay too much fight in me, especially as a teenager.  I did not see the purpose of learning how to plot X and Y on a graph.  As a matter of fact, we just had our 20 year high school reunion, and I promise that I have never once needed to know how to do that.  Sorry 9th grade math teacher, but I told you so.  If I could only remember how much I had bet you that I wouldn’t use in 20 years I’d be happy.

My mom, on the other hand, was all about education.  We could be crashing to Earth in an airplane and she’d want to know not if I was belted in, but what my grade was on the last biology test.  She thought a 15 year old girl should spend her afternoons and evenings in her room studying.  So we butted heads.  And I was always grounded.  From one report card to another, from 7th grade to 12th.  I was never allowed to do anything, and I was too stubborn to give in and do what she wanted.  I didn’t feel that my self worth should be judged by my GPA.  She did.  So I would wait till the next report card, and hopefully my grades were up to her standards.  If they weren’t, I’d get grounded till the next one, which was ten weeks at a time.

After a few years of this, my father got tired of all the fighting.  One day he said to me, “You’re not allowed to use the phone or go to the dance, but you are allowed to walk.  We don’t know where you walk.”

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25 Delicious Casserole Recipes (A Roundup)

Casserole textThe cooler weather is here, and we’re all thinking about bundling up and making some nice casseroles (or hot dishes as they say in the Minnesota area! – can I just tell you I think that is the funniest thing ever?)

Anyway, I’ve compiled a roundup of some really yummy casserole dishes that you should give a try this winter…even the tuna noodle looks great, and I’m definitely not a tuna noodle kind of girl!

Let me know what you think and add your own in the comments if you want to share!

Happy Hot Dish! (Hahahah I told you I love that term!)

Breakfast Casseroles

Breakfast Egg & Bacon Casserole Freezer Meal – Eggs, bacon, cheese, and even spinach combined for a make ahead hearty breakfast your family will love.

Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole – This one would be great for large families.  Nutritious and a perfect start to a school day!

Sides

Baked Potato Casserole – Picture a loaded baked potato in a casserole.  Delicious!

Best Ever Sweet Potato Casserole – You’ll never look at sweet potatoes the same after you’ve had them in a casserole with apples.

Twice Baked Potato Casserole – All the cheesy goodness of a twice baked potato in a casserole.

Easy and Delicious Cheesy Holiday Hashbrown Casserole – Not just for holidays.  This casserole would make a tasty side dish to just about any meat you serve.

Entrees

Pork

Pork Sausage Casserole – Ingredients for this one include long grain wild rice, mushrooms, and sausage.  If you don’t like sausage, another meat would work well as a substitution.

Ham Casserole –  This recipe is a smart way to turn leftover ham into a second meal.

Seafood

Not Yo Mama’s Tuna Noodle Casserole – Classic tuna casserole gets a makeover.  Your family will actually want to eat this one!

Shrimp and Grits Casserole – This is a less spicy version of traditional shrimp and grits, and there are some great tips to cooking grits in there too if you’re unfamiliar with them.

Beef

Hamburger Pie –   If you forgot to prep dinner before work, this is a quick and easy hearty meal  You can also change a few things up to make it a little more homemade.  Try adding some corn or peas to it to make a complete one pot meal!

Hashbrown Hamburger Casserole with Veggies and Cheese – Hashbrowns make this casserole different.  It also uses 2 cups of mixed vegetables, so you can be sure that there is a lot of nutrition in this as well.

Beefy Sour Cream Noodle Bake –  Sour cream, cream cheese, and cheddar transform ground beef and egg noodles into something fabulous.

Sloppy Joe Casserole Recipe – Awesome alternative for those who love sloppy joes but hate the mess they make when on a bun.  Now they are officially fork-worthy.

Chili Cheese Tater Tot Casserole – No casserole roundup would be complete without a tater tot recipe!  Jamie at Love Bakes Good Cakes said it best…”This Chili Cheese Tater Tot Casserole is like eating, well, chili cheese fries – but in a casserole form.”

Chicken

Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Bake –  Chicken and pasta with a cool ranch kick make this an awesome weeknight dinner option.

Hot Chicken Salad – It’s chicken salad taken to the next level by baking it with cheese and potato chips!  Great for a lunch dish served hot or at room temperature.

Curried Chicken and Rice Casserole – Comfort food turned healthy.  If your family isn’t fond of curry you can also substitute oregano or basil for a more Italian flavor.

Creamy Chicken Broccoli Pasta –  Chicken, Broccoli, and cheese?  Yes please.  This simple recipe will probably become a staple in your menu.

Mexican Inspired

Turkey Enchilada Bake – Three layers of turkey enchilada goodness made even better when it’s topped with lime and avocado.  This recipe is beautiful and packed with nutritional value.

Tamale Pie – An interesting recipe that takes tamale ingredients and tops them with cornbread.

Cheesy Burrito Casserole – Burrito ingredients in a casserole.

The Ultimate Wet Burrito – If you love Mexican food you will love this!  Complete with everything you’d ever want in an enchilada.  It’s a spicy one but you can tone it down by using mild salsa and omitting the jalapeno peppers.

Italian Inspired

Easy Baked Penne – This simple to make baking dish full of deliciousness will feed quite a few.

Pizza Spaghetti – Two favorite foods combined.  How can you go wrong?  Customize to your family by mixing in some of your favorite pizza toppings – mushrooms, peppers, onions…the sky’s the limit!

 

 

 

 

 


I Challenge You To Stop Being Selfish By Dumping Ice Water On Your Head

8 out of 10 posts in my Facebook newsfeed are videos of people dumping buckets of ice water on their head.  I have one thing to say here.  What the hell is the matter with you people?  Desperate for attention much?

Yes, ALS is a horrible disease.  However, so is cancer, cerebral palsy, HIV…do they not deserve some “awareness”?  Not that this challenge is promoting any awareness anyway.  It’s getting donations coming in, and people are talking about it, but how many of those videos have you watched that people actually spout out some facts about ALS?  Most people say simply “I have been nominated by my friend Silly McIcypants to take the ice bucket challenge.  I nominate 14 new people to do the same or donate to ALS.”  Then you dump a bucket of ice water on your head.  So what are you aware of?  That ice water is cold?  That you now know how to upload a video to Facebook? That you didn’t donate money?  Do you even have any idea what ALS stands for? (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)

What does ice water have to do with ALS anyway?  Shouldn’t you be doing something more relevant?  How about go an entire day without eating or speaking.  Without being “challenged” to do it.  That’s much more admirable, don’t you think? And then you would be “aware” of part of what it feels like to have ALS. And then you should donate money.

My personal favorite is the teenage girls that use the ice bucket challenge to show themselves off in a bikini.  Or the women who think it’s a wet Tshirt contest.  “Here I am in my white t-shirt and no bra to raise awareness.”  Coincidence?  I think not.

ice bucket

Wish I could give someone credit for this, but it’s just a random meme that showed up in my Facebook newsfeed. **Update: The man behind the meme is Beau Reyes, and he makes lots of really good ones! Look for more in the future!***

And, much like the meme I found on Facebook…you’re pouring clean water on your head to get out of giving money to a charity.  Just donate.  And while you’re at it, donate to every other charity that comes your way.  Even if it’s $1.

In light of this, I’m starting a few new challenges.

Dump a bucket of sand on your heads to raise awareness that there are children all over the world that would live longer if you donated that bucket of clean ice water to them.

Dump a bucket of naked barbies on your head to raise awareness that your 13 year old daughter just showed everyone on Facebook what she looks like in a string bikini.

Dump a bucket of rocks on your head…just because.

Pick one.  And after that, make a donation to your favorite charity.  You have 24 hours to accept.  Video not necessary because this isn’t about you.


Ten Signs You’ve Been a Mom Way Too Long

Image Courtesy of Morguefile  http://mrg.bz/xSgyRI

Image Courtesy of Morguefile http://mrg.bz/xSgyRI

Top Ten Signs You Have Been a Mom For Too Long

Remember when your first child got their first skinned knee?  You wondered if you should take them to the emergency room just to be safe, but a more experienced mom told you that you were overreacting.  As much as you thought she was calloused and jaded and you never liked her anyway, you eventually realized she was right.  A few years down the road you’ve probably become that very same woman.  Here’s how to know you’ve been doing this for far too long.

  1. You no longer jump when you hear a cry.   It better be a blood curdling scream to tear you away from your Lifetime movie.
  2. The kids may have eaten sour cream and onion potato chips for breakfast a few times once.
  3. You’re irritated by the new cast of Barney.  The other kids were much better actors.
  4. You laugh when a new mom freaks out over a booboo.  You console them but secretly think that they better learn to deal with it because it’s only going to get worse.
  5. You don’t pay attention to the television rating system.  You learned long ago that the TV execs really have no idea what your kid can or cannot handle.
  6. You subscribe to Parents magazine for the Gymboree coupons.  You open the magazine, root through, grab the coupon and throw the magazine in the recycling bin without reading a single page.  20% off every month is a great deal.  Who really has time to read anyway?
  7. Long gone are the days of socks matching outfits.  With everything you’ve got going on, you’re just happy to find socks at all. Doesn’t matter if one is black and the other is green.
  8. Last week’s date night was a karaoke bar.  You belted out “Let It Go” with a passion that would make Queen Elsa step down from her throne.  The babysitter was in such a hurry to get out for the car at the end of the night that she forgot to get paid because you gave an encore performance while driving her home.
  9. You can get out every stain under the sun if given the chance.  Unfortunately, you usually don’t notice them until they’ve been baked in by the dryer.
  10. You long for the day the kids go away to college just so you can have your life back.  This will also bite you in the ass.  You’ve been a mom for so long at this point that you’ll have no memory of life before children.  And you wouldn’t want it any other way.