The Brenizer Method

The Brenizer Method - Little Lady Little City
I thought it would be fun to share one of my favorite photo techniques with you all. Especially because these are some of my favorite types of photographs to do on the blog. The Brenizer Method/Bokehrama allows you to get the look of a large format camera with a regular DSLR. The results are pretty darn wonderful.
The Brenizer Method - Little Lady Little City
The first thing you need to do is to find a place that you think would make for a nice background. Have your subject strike a pose and make sure it is one that can be held for a little bit (at least 30 seconds). Next focus on your subject take a picture and then take a series of overlapping pictures of your subject and the background. Do not change any settings including the focus from your first photo. 
The Brenizer Method - Little Lady Little City
I put together a little gif that will hopefully help. You can experiment with how many photos you take (this one used 8) just be aware the more photos you use the longer it will take Photoshop to work its magic (totally the technical term for what it does hehe).

Once you have all of your photos you are ready to take them into Photoshop. (You can click on any of the images below to see larger versions)
The Brenizer Method - Little Lady Little City
Go to File > Automate > Photomerge
The Brenizer Method - Little Lady Little City
Select browse and chose the your photos. Click Reposition for the layout ( I usually use  that or Perspective) and then hit ok.
The Brenizer Method - Little Lady Little City
Depending on how many photos you have in your merge, and your computer's processing power it can take a little bit for Photoshop to put it all together. I recommend not doing anything on the computer while it is thinking. Once it has put everything together it should come out something like this. You can see that there are some missing areas, but for the most part all the important parts are there.
The Brenizer Method - Little Lady Little City
Select the crop tool and crop you picture so you do not have any empty spaces.
The Brenizer Method - Little Lady Little City
The Brenizer Method - Little Lady Little City
And BAM you have yourself one pretty great looking "large format" photo. Don't let all the steps scare you this is a pretty easy process that will give your photos a little something extra. 

I would love to see what you come up with! Leave me a link in the comments if you give it a try.

x's and o's

Don't forget Featured and Large Ads are be 15% off with the code "FirstWeek" until tomorrow, that includes future ads too. 

Wash Those Blues Aways

The last couple of days I've been feeling all kinds of mopey, the type of mopey that starts off with one thing then spirals downword about a hundred other things. It started off with mainly missing friends (one in particular) then somehow ended with how I am a horrible grocery shopper (which I don't think is actually true), but that spiral can be pretty sneaky with how you feel about things. So today to help cheer myself up I decided to get dressed and do my hair like I was leaving the mountain to go somewhere fun, and it actually helped quite a bit. It's kind of funny how little things can help you out when you are upset. 
I got this shirt years ago and still absolutely love it, especially it's ridiculously tiny and not practical little pocket. Will and I have a running joke about pocket bunnies, and yes that is just what it sounds like. Maybe the little pocket is just ahead of it's time and waiting for pocket bunnies to become a reality, haha.
tank // Forever 21
cardigan // Target (I am in desperate need of new cardigans! Where do you all get yours?)
shorts // my dads 
shoes // Keds
Summer is here? That question mark is not a mistake, the weather up on the mountain has been acting more like winter weather than summer. I am talking about 40's and 50's for the past week. Then today it jumped up to the low 80's and muggy, so maybe that means summer is here?
On a completely unrelated note, you know when you have a codependent cat when you can't be outside for more than two minutes without her mewing at the top of her lungs for you to come get her, haha. But c'mon how can you say no to that little face? Anyway, she kind of took over the little photo shoot so get ready for some daily style "cat" addition coming at you riiiight now.
With this little nutter butter and her silliness how could I feel blue for too long? She is kind of my favorite, next to Will of course. Definitely feeling a little better now, hopefully tomorrow I will be feeling even better.

What are some of the ways you help get yourself over the blues?

x's and o's
I think this was her way of telling me she's done with the photo shoot. What a little sassy pants haha. 

Also be sure to enter the $90 Zappos Giveaway I am a part of over at Like Ordinary Life!

Sponsor Program

After a lot of thought and late night talks (and ramblings) with Will I have decided to start charging for monthly advertisements. Just within the past year I feel so lucky to have watched this blog grow in ways I could never have imagined. I put a lot of my heart and time into it so helping it to continue grow just makes sense to me.

I'm really excited (and nervous) to be starting this new advertisement program. In all honesty I just want to be able to do different DIYs/recipes and get those fun things I think you guys might like as giveaways (as my way of saying thank you for reading), without worrying about money. Ultimately I'd really like to be able to offer more to all my readers in the hopes I can have this little blog of mine grow and continue to connect with more of you. Therefore, it's important to me to point out that 100% of any profit made from sponsors will go back into this blog.

So, now with the new paid sponsorship comes new perks!

Featured Ad- There is only one Featured Ad offered per month. It will always be at the top above all other ads. The Perks: You will have the option of writing a guest post on Little Lady Little City; whether it be DIY, recipe, or talking about your shop, you get to decide! Or if a guest post isn't your style you can host an individual giveaway instead. Either way, you get a post dedicated to you! And of course you will be featured at the top of the Meet The Sponsors post.

Large Ad- Large Ads are located directly below the Featured Ad and will rotate every time the page is loaded. The Perks: You can participate in a group giveaway and will be feature in the Meet The Sponsors post.

Small Ad - Small ads are located directly below the Large ads and rotate every time the page is loaded. It's a great way to start out if you are just testing the waters of paid advertising. 

In honor of the new ad program and as a thank you to all of you guys Featured and Large Ads will be 15% off with the code "FirstWeek" until June 1st. The new ad program will begin on June 1st, so check out the Sponsor Page for more information.

Thank you for all your support and encouragement it means so much to me!

x's and o's

And for those of you that already have approved Ad Swaps: don't worry this isn't going to change a thing for you, I'm honoring all of those swaps.

Week in Instagram v11

I haven't done a Week in Instagram post in a while, so I thought it would be fun to do one again. 

  1. Will getting everything ready for the paint by numbers wall mural.
  2. Found a snake in our greenhouse the other day, only to then find out we actually had two snakes taking up residence in there. I think I am finally getting used to finding snakes in weird places haha.
  3. Post-painting snuggles with my favoritest Wigs.
  4. Amazing surprise from Will! I told him about a Spiderman record I had as a kid and he hunt it and a record player down for for me! I was tickled pink when it showed up! 
  5. The finished mural, I absolutely love the way it came out! 
  6. Chocolate chips cookies, yum.
  7. Root beer float; one of my favorite summer drinks. Seriously I could probably drink one every night and not get sick of it, haha! 
  8. Making pudding from scratch (Wigs sometimes like to see what I am cooking especially if it involves milk, hehe). 
Our internet has be so wonky this last week coming and going as it pleases. The tower from which we get it was struck by lightening, and they are having a hard time getting it back up. That's something that you guys probably haven't heard before as an excuse for the internet being down, hehe. Oh small town living. 

So what are you all doing for the long weekend? 

x's and o's

Paint By Numbers Wall Mural

Paint By Numbers Wall Mural - littleladylittlecity.com
The other day I mentioned that Will and I had started on a really fun project for the house: we created a Paint By Numbers wall mural! I've seen this kind of thing done before and always thought it was absolutely amazing, and now we finally got to do our own.
Paint By Numbers Wall Mural - littleladylittlecity.com
click to see larger version
It was actually a lot easier than I originally thought it would be. After find a painting that we really like, we picked out the colors in Photoshop then went down to Lowes and got color samples of all the colors we needed. The sample sizes were absolutely perfect for this project, and they only cost little over $2 each (score!). We then projected the painting onto our wall and traced it out.

Wall Mural Time Lapse from Will Hyler on Vimeo.
A time lapse of the process. 
Paint By Numbers Wall Mural - littleladylittlecity.com
Paint By Numbers Wall Mural - littleladylittlecity.com
I think the only thing about the whole project that I didn't care for was standing up on the scaffolding. I'm pretty ok with heights, but our scaffolding was just the slightest bit wobbly. Anytime Will or I moved I would get a moment of panic, haha. By the third day of painting I was doing much better, though. 
Paint By Numbers Wall Mural - littleladylittlecity.com
I think Will has one incredible view from his work area now with the mural on the right, the arch window looking out into the valley on his left, and of course his flying super hero figures form his childhood. I think we might build a nice little wood frame to go around the whole painting, just for a little extra something.  

x's and o's

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I mentioned before that the last couple two weeks were pretty busy/stressful with work for me. Three video projects all due within a day of each other, never fun. With video work you always have a fair amount of downtime when a video is rendering, which is usually just enough time for me to whip something yummy up. I always find myself doing a little baking to help relieve the stress, it's my go to stress reliever. And I think Will enjoyes all the benefits from my stress cooking hehe. So onto the recipe.

I adapted these cookies from this recipe.

Ingredients
• 2 1/4 cups flour
• 1/2 tsp backing soda
• 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup) room temp (I think the next batch I will try it with just one stick)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 brown sugar
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 tsp vanilla
• 2 large eggs
• 2 cups (or really as many as you would like) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix together flower and baking soda. In a mixer add butter with the sugars and mix until light and fluffy on medium speed. Change speed to low and add salt, vanilla, and eggs, beat until well mixed. Add in flower mixture until combined, then stir in chocolate chips.

Scoop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15 minutes (all ovens are different so you will want to check the cookies at around 8-10 minutes).

Let cool just slightly and enjoy with some cold milk or almond milk!
Also can I just say how much I love my Meeko cup! I am such a sucker for these cups that they used to sell with kids meals at fast food places when we were little. Anytime I ever hit up a thrift store I always go to the glassware section to see if they have any, they just make me happy. 

What are some of the things you guys do to help when you are stressed?

Hope everyone is having a nice Wednesday!

x's and o's

Whoops

So my blogging schedule kind of disappeared the last two weeks. I blame work and our internet constantly moving slower than a turtle/just going out all together.  Our internet always seems to get wonky when I get loaded down with work our internet starts to act wonky, which is one of the downsides living where we do. Is it sad I kind of dream of big city internet and 24/7 tech support? Anyways, I digress so onto this lovely dress.
All those little dots around my head are bugs. We have officially hit black fly season, ugh. 
I got this dress years ago when I was meeting the first lady my dad started to date after my mom had passed. I really love it, but have only worn it a couple of times since then because it always reminds me of how weird I felt that first time. It's funny how an article of clothing can remind you of things, but I am trying my best to make a lot of new fun memories in the dress so I won't leave it on the hanger in my closet for such long periods of time.
dress // Nordstroms (years ago)
shoes // Lulu's
necklace // gift from Will
I really love its details, the button scrunch up sleeves and of course the polka dots. So it definitely shows a lot more cleavage than I am used too and I am kind of shocked at how many eyes I saw wondering down (for a split second) to greet the ladies. It was very bizarre. Also looking at these pictures has made me realize just how pale I am, haha! I am in desperate need of a tan. 

Anyways if you follow me on Instagram you probably have seen a new project Will and I have been working on! It is something super fancy and I will have a blog post dedicated to it in the very near future. 

Hope everyone is having a nice and relaxing weekend. 

x's and o's

P.S. I just spent the last hour trying to figure out why all my photos were coming out way over-saturated with Picasa, only to realize that Google recently came out with some photo enhancing thing in Picasa and changed my settings to automatically do this by default with all my pictures. Talk about annoying especially because I had already worked on my photos in Photoshop haha! 

Mountain Home: A Work in Progress

After my last Mountain Home post I got a lot of people saying that they want to see more of the house and what is going on, so I thought I would share a little more of the outside of the house (it has been forever since I have really shown the outside work). While there is still a looooong way to go before it looks anywhere close to being finished, it's home and I love it. 
Eventually the house will be covered in stone, like the chimney. It is an extremely slow process as you have to wait for the previous layer of cement to almost completely dry before you start on the next layer. And the stones we are using are not the lightest things on earth haha. Sometimes it's hard to imagine what the house is going to look like all finished, because I'm so used to see it just with the cinder blocks I know one day it's going to be absolutely beautiful! 
I think one of my favorite things is that our house is surrounded by trees and beautiful tall grass. There is something so wonderful when the wind blows through the grass, I seriously could just sit and watch/listen to it all evening. I'm hoping to get our little fire pit rebuilt soon so Will and I can hangout enjoying the clouds and the nice breeze with maybe a root beer float or two, hehe.

What are some of the favorite things about your home?

x's and o's

Greenhouse

We finally got our greenhouse all up and running once again. It took quite a beating over the winter being that the winds are pretty crazy up here year round. It's especially brutal during the winter. We tore off all the old ripped up plastic and then re-sided the whole thing. That wasn't the easiest thing to do with that previously mentioned wind huffing and puffing all around us hehe. So needless to say it was pretty much an all day event. It feels really nice to have it in working order again, especially because we had started some seedlings a couple of weeks ago inside and they were in need of some more sun and warmer temperatures. 
Now that we have running water our little watering system is working even better. Last year we really had quite DIY system. I'm so happy that all our plants should stay nice and watered while we are gone for most of July. I would be devastated to come back to dead little plants, I grow far too attached to each little guy hehe. 
I'm really excited about all the seeds we've planted this year. The super amazing Hannah got me a whole bunch of them for my birthday (the girl really knows the way to my heart). This year I am even going to try to grow some corn, eee! I am really kind of excited about this, so keep your fingers crossed for me! 
We actually put in a window in our greenhouse this year. One day the whole greenhouse will be made of glass, so we don't have to rebuild each year. It is really surprising what a huge difference having the window has made to our little greenhouse. It is just so much more fun working in there while getting to look at this gorgeous view. 

If you have been following me for a while you know this is only one of a ton of greenhouse posts that will be happening, so get ready. 

x's and o's

Little Thoughts

Mother's Day is one of those holidays that just kind of sneaks up on me, it always has. When she was still here I was reminded by commercials of when exactly it was, but I knew it was coming at some point. Now that she is gone I don't even think about it until I start getting an absurd amount of emails telling me all about their great gifts for mom. I wish there was some way to tell them these specific emails are no longer applicable to me.

I remember when I was little and dad would take my brother and I to the store to pick out something we thought mom would like. I always chose jewelry thinking I was buying her something wonderfully unique and real. It wasn't until I was much older that I realized I was buying her nothing more than costume jewelry, but she never let on. She would proudly wear the fake ring until her finger was green, then just scrub the green off and wear it some more. 

She was the best and I miss her very much.

iPad Mini Giveaway!

Guys I am super excited about this amazing giveaway! When Chantilly emailed me to see if I wanted to be a part of a giveaway with a bunch of super talented ladies I jumped at the chance! I'm actually a little jealous I can't enter the giveaway, I mean who wouldn't want to win a Mini iPad?!

Now let's meet all the lovely ladies who are helping to make this giveaway happen! 
ChantillyMarisaLisaShellMarilynSammyAmanda E.ReginaKatherineAmanda A.JoannaRoxyVanessaSabrinaMiss AngieShaiChelseaLaurenJennaJessa
Click on either the image or the link below to check out all these awesome gals!

Chantilly ~ ChantillySongs ♥ Marisa ~ The Shades of Monet Chronicles ♥ Lisa ~ Lala Faux Bois ♥ Shell ~ Kitty and Buck ♥ Marilyn ~ Pulp Sushi ♥ Sammy ~ The Cookie Button ♥ Amanda E ~ Little Lady Little City ♥ Regina ~ Acute Designs ♥ Katherine ~ Of Corgis and Cocktails ♥ Amanda A. ~ Little Tranquility ♥ Joanna ~ ModaMama ♥ Roxy ~ GrrFeisty ♥ Vanessa ~ Take Only Memories ♥ Sabrina ~ The Little Owl ♥ Miss Angie ~ My So-Called Chaos ♥ Shai ~ Vagabond Studio ♥ Chelsea ~ Life Unpublished ♥ Lauren ~ A Wild Tonic ♥ Jenna ~ Kitty Cat Stevens ♥ Jessa ~ Caked Blog

Seriously be sure to check out all these amazing ladies, because I have a feeling you are going to have a ton of new favorite reads!

Onto the giveaway info. It will run until May 30th and will be open to readers only in the US, Canada, Germany, the UK, and Australia. The winner will have their choice of either a White or Black 16GB!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What would be the first thing you would do with your new iPad Mini if you won?

Best of luck everyone!!

x's and o's

Apple Blossoms

click to see larger
'Tis the season for apple blossom! This is one of my favorite times of the year, when the apple trees are really coming back to life and are full of the beautiful blossoms. Last year was actually the first year Will and I were up here to see the trees in bloom. Every year prior we either were up here at all during this time, or there were no blossoms at all. The saddest years are when you get a late frost and it kills all the blossoms before they get a chance to bloom. 
Will got these amazing shots the other day after we got back from our walk. We are pretty lucky to have these beauties in our backyard. Sometimes it's hard to believe that all of these lovely flowers will be apples in a matter of months. Is it weird/sad that I have already started scouring the web for apple related recipes? I already have my staples which include apple pie and apple cinnamon pancakes, but we end up with so many apples there are enough to try out new things. 
I just had to include this photo of all the yellow flowers. I can hardly believe I am lucky enough to have these right outside our back door. I'm going to be so sad when they are gone, but for now I'm soaking them up.  What are some of the things you are loving this spring? 

x's and o's

What to Wear: Casual Coffee Date

 
When I heard the theme for this week my first thought was sometime along the lines of 'man I would kill for a good cup of coffee at some cute little coffee shop.' Living in a very small town we don't have any coffee shops so I'm pretty much out of luck (I still have yet to break down and actually buy myself a nice little coffee maker, one day). Anyways, after my dreams of those yummy roasted beans left my head I picked out this little outfit.
I got this dress a couple of years ago from ModCloth and had a hard time figuring out how to style it. It ended up being tighter around my hips than I thought it was going to be. But after a while of it just sitting on the hanger in my closet making me feel bad, I decided to embrase the hip hug, just wear it, and have been really loving it! I am not sure why but I always get the feeling of an old-timey carnival when I wear this dress. Like I should have a big bag of cotton candy, haha.   
dress // ModCloth 
jacket // Old Navy
shoes (which I just realized you can even see in any of the pictures haha) // thrifted
Hope everyone is having a nice day, and don't forget to check out Nicole and all the other ladies who linked up this week.

x's and o's