Vacation Photos

I took a ton of photos with my iPhone and I’m still struggling as to how to organize the photos to put into a vacation book.  I did some looking for an app that could put my photos into frames to save me from creating my own framed photos and found Insta Booth.  My trial is almost over but I really like the possibilities with this app so I’m considering buying it for $5.99 when my trial is over.  It’s only available for iPhones but I’m sure android phones have similar apps.  I also like using VSCO Cam to edit my photos.  It’s free.  I edited the photos half with VSCO cam and half with Insta Booth and have noted in the photo descriptions.  VSCO cam is more flexible in that the filters can be adjusted so their’s room for creativity.  Insta Booth has lots of set filters, including, HDR, but they can’t be adjusted.  Okay…there’s my mini review I slipped in there.  Wasn’t planning for that but I really enjoy using these two apps so thought I’d share it just in case anyone hasn’t heard of them.

The family vacation was fun.  My 12-year-old had national dance competition in Seaside, OR, so the family decided to make it a one week road trip vacation.  This trip was one of those where we weren’t exactly sure where else we were heading after the competition so we brought our passports along just in case.  The competition was one full week but daughter’s dance group only competed one day.  The thing was if they ranked high enough they would then have to compete three days later at the finally event.  It turned that daughter’s dance group didn’t make it into the finally so that meant we had the rest of the week to kill.  With the extra time we decided to take a ferry up to Victoria, British Columbia (Canada).

On the road trip, we rested in Twin Falls, Idaho.  It was July 4th, Independence Day, when we arrived in Twin Falls and got to watch fireworks from the hotel parking lot.  We arrived in Astoria, Oregon the next day and stayed at a hotel right under the Astoria bridge.  I was surprised at how quiet it was in our hotel. [Photos edited and framed in Insta Booth]

VACOR1_072014_800Astoria bridge at sunset, dance daughter’s silhouette, and other daughter getting dirty in the sand.  [Photos edited in VSCO Cam and framed in Insta Booth]

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Another silhouette and Canon Beach. [Photos edited in VSCO Cam and framed in Insta Booth]

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We drove up to Washington State, left our car, and took the ferry to Victoria.  The ferry ride was about 90 minutes but it felt so much shorter…like maybe 30 minutes.  Victoria was gorgeous but extremely touristy.  When we first arrived, there was a Starbucks staring at us, so we headed there for drinks.  We stayed two nights and two days, walking the city, and riding a carriage horse, in which the tour guide provided us with some really interesting history about the city.  [Photos framed in Insta Booth – no editing]

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The carriage tour guide recommended we try Roger’s chocolate so we went there after the ride.  [Photos edited in VSCO Cam and framed in Insta Booth]

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The family walked the streets a couple of times.  Everything was pretty close so and the historical buildings made the walks enjoyable.  It was fun spending Canadian money.  I didn’t know they don’t use pennies or one dollar bills. [Photos edited and framed in Insta Booth]

VACCA3_072014_800As mentioned in an earlier post, I didn’t bring the DSLR but did bring the waterproof point and shoot.  Didn’t use it much though.  I think we only took five photos with it and then resorted to the camera phones.  They worked out pretty good.

Remembering Moments

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The family vacationed in Seaside and Astoria, Oregon (for daughter’s national dance competition) and Victoria, British Columbia (a mini trip in Canada) last week.  More photos to come but for now these take my breath away.

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I took these with my iPhone then edited in VSCO Cam (also available for android users).  In the silhouette photos I learned that I couldn’t click at the moment my 12-year-old dancer jumped.  When I did that, I ended up missing her jumps since they happened pretty fast.  Instead, I clicked just a second before and that did it!  It’s all about timing.  It would have been easier if I had the DSLR with me but I didn’t bring it.  The family was trying to travel light since this was a road trip in the Camry.

Credit: Word art used in first photo by Karla Dudley.

An Awesome Leap

My daughter finished regional competitions this year.  She is very passionate about dance and it shows.  Here she is captured (by a professional) doing a leap.

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A Few Snaps From the CDBF

Over the weekend, the family went to the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival.  It has grown so much over the years.  I can’t believe it’s been 9 years since the Hmong dance group my sister and I created performed there.

The food was delicious.  They even had funnel cakes, cheese fries, and cotton candy.  We know where we’ll be going again next year.

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Cinderella

Both the girls were in the play, Cinderella, through their dance school.  It was exciting to see them partake in this production but I am more glad that it is over with.  They still have their regular dance classes to go to for a couple more weeks then they should be on break until next year.  With the weather getting colder, I just want to stay home, drink lots of hot chocolate, and work on my Project Life.

Photos from the play (Note: these are from rehearsal, the day before the actual performance):

CINDERELLA_0076Kylie is the pumpkin second from left.

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CINDERELLA_0100Kida is center.

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OSOM & a Booty Shakin’ Performance at the Dragon Boat Festival

The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival was this past weekend.  The family went to see my sibling’s band, One Sun One Moon (OSOM), play and had wanted to stay longer to see the main stage performances but it was too hot for the girls.  I also had serious dehydration for a couple of weeks (with heart palpitations) and had to be careful since I’ve only gotten better within the last few days while taking prescription Potassium and tons of Gatorade (thank goodness for Costco) w/water.

OSOM had the stage for a full hour so it was great!  This year performances were separated to smaller stages all around the park with the main stage being the biggest for the dances.

Here is a clip of one of their songs called, SOLID.

We were only only able to watch one main stage performance, a booty-shakin’ dance, by the Pacific Pride and Island Hearts.

The food was delicious as usual.  These days I find myself forgetting to take photos of food.

Holiday Decorations And Earlier In the Weeks

The house was decorated since the first week of December but I just didn’t have the time to post any photos.  The snow on the Christmas tree was an idea I saw at the mall when husband and I took the girls to see Santa.  We bought our tree (it’s real) from Costco and when we brought it home, out came quite a few spiders!  I’m not scared of spiders if I see them once in while but this was a little different.  These spiders were small and they kind of flew out every which way.  We also found a ladybug in there, in which, Kylie decided to care for by building it a little home out of things we had on our coffee table.  She eventually took it outside giving it one of her teddy bear children’s vitamin to keep it from going hungry.

Here’s what’s been going on since Dec 6 (just within the last two week!):

Kida had her first orchestra concert at her school.  I was almost in tears watching her play her violin to Dreydl, Seminole Chant, Good King Wenceslas, and Jingle Bells.  Here’s a video husband took with his cell phone of Dreydl.  It’s very bad quality but it’s a glimpse at the concert.  I think the kids did great given less than 3 months to learn their instruments and four songs.

 

Kida performed in The Nutcracker, a play through her dance school.  She auditioned in September and landed a role as one of the tiny mice.  She went to rehearsal every weekend up until the show.   She was thrilled to see her 4th grade teacher, her 3rd grade teacher (whom promised over the summer when she missed Kida’s recital that she’d make it to the next show and she did!), and her two aunties at the performance.  The video is a clip of her performance during rehearsal.  She is third on the left to the back.  It was a great show.

 

Kylie performed at her pre-school’s Christmas show.  I thought she was fantastic!  She had been practicing her verse at school and at home too, with me.  I had no idea that she was also learning songs and such.  She never talks about them (when I ask) and the only song she sings at home is “Deck the Halls” (she sings ‘Deck‘ with an i) instead of the ones she learned at school.  Here are a couple of videos of her during the Christmas show.  In the first video, she is near the end (letter, X) in the purple dress.

 

The girls finished ballet/dance classes for the year.  They performed for the parents and also gave out presents to their teachers and treats to their classmates.  Husband and I missed Kida’s dances (because I forgot) but we attended Kylie’s.

 

Kida is done with school until the new year!  How time flies!  I was asked to be the photographer again to take some class pictures.  Kida gets so excited when I’m there.  She just loves showing me everything and wants me to see her goof around with her friends.

Kida performed at the Hmong Catholic Christmas party.  She danced to the choir’s, “Oh Holy Night”.  The dance was choreographed by her and her auntie (my sister).  She didn’t seem to have practiced much but it still turned out great!

(updated 12/19…with my sister’s much better recording of the performance)

We donated a little money at Kylie’s preschool to help the less fortunate during this Holiday season.  Kylie also picked out an angel card off a Christmas tree to give a gift to a less fortunate child.  Originally, I was supposed to take the girls shopping for the gift but husband and I ended up doing the shopping because of the limited time we had to buy and wrap the gift.  Both girls got to drop the gift off with me though.

We celebrated husband’s and my birthday at my parent’s home and then we gave each other cakes and a card at our home.  We also went to dinner without the girls.  We had wanted to go to our favorite sushi place, Makuni, but it was closed.  Out of business.  The Cheese Cake Factory was nearby so we went there instead.

Christmas cards were made, printed, and sent to friends and family.  Btw, I ran out of cards and had to do a quick print at Walgreens!  This means some will receive one a little late (I’m sorry if you are one of them).  This year, I decided to do something new by including a 2011 In Review Newsletter for friends and family who don’t follow me on this blog or Facebook.  The newsletter is basically the same things I blog about but less detailed.

And, finally, I have been keeping up with the 24-days-of-Christmas gift giving to my girls.  I’ve taken photos of every one of their gifts but as you can see, it’s been a busy couple of weeks and I haven’t had time to post (but I will!).   Most of the gifts are fun toys and candy.  The girls really love this idea except they’ve gotten bored of some of the things I’ve given them.  Hopefully next year, I’ll be better prepared with not jut random things but more meaningful things.

Also, if you’ve been following my digital scrapbook blog, you’ll know that I’ve been spotlighted on Inside the Creative Studio on Creations by Tinamarie’s blog.  The spotlight includes a free quick page download I made using the Christmas Morning kit by Creations by Tinamarie (in collaboration with Valorie Wibbens Designs).  I hope you stop by Tina’s blog to read about me and to grab this freebie!