Photo 101: Composing your photos

Today is our awesome monthly feature, Photo 101, which is all about photography!  It has been a big hit with you guys, and I am so happy to be answering your photo-related questions again and sharing a few tips along the way!!     Each month, we will talk about various topics.  So far, we’ve discussed:

taking great pictures with your iPhone

where to print you images

photo storage

and being a mom with a camera

Today, we are talking about composing your shot, and don’t worry!   We won’t get too technical here!   These will be some simple tips that you can use when setting up your photos for a more eye-catching or professional look!  If you are a visual person like me, then this graphic should be super helpful!

Here are my top 5 favorite composition tips!

Tip 1: Rule of Thirds

In the rule of thirds, photos are divided by using the grid shown above. Important compositional elements (your subject) are placed on or near the imaginary lines and where the lines intersect.  This creates more visual interests in the areas that the eye are naturally drawn to already. 🙂

Tip 2: Leading Lines

Leading lines are lines within an image that lead the eye to another point in the image. Anything with a definite line can be a leading line: Fences, bridges, even a shoreline can lead the eye.  I am a big fan of a good leading line!

Tip 3: Cropping

They always say that you want to get your composition right when you take your image….However, if you didn’t get what you wanted when you took the photo,  cropping allows you to recompose your images afterwards for maximum impact.

Tip 4: Point of View

 Point of view’ refers to the position of your camera when viewing a scene.   Playing with the POV can give you instant interest in an image.   Shooting from up high or from the ground gives a unique viewpoint and instantly creates a story!

Tip 5: Horizon Line

Placing the horizon high in the frame accentuates all of your details in the front of the image and enhances the sense of distance.  I love this for a moodier or introspective shot!   And, Horizons placed very low in the frame accentuate the subjects on the horizon.  For instance, I almost always place a horizon very low if I want to draw attention to someone  or something near my horizon line.  (Think a sunset, a rainbow, or even athletes on a sports sideline. :))

Now, tell me what you would like to see in our Photo 101 feature, y’all!!  I would love to know!   Just leave me a message in the comments!  Happy Thursday! XOXO Narci

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

One of our favorite pies to make in the summer is strawberry rhubarb pie! If you need something fun for your summer dessert, try a fruit pie! They never disappoint.  To simplify the recipe, you can always use frozen fruit as well! 🙂  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 double-crust pie dough of your choice

3 1/2 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds, untrimmed) rhubarb, in 1/2-inch thick slices

3 1/2 cups (about 1 pound) strawberries, hulled and sliced if big, halved if tiny

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a well-floured counter, roll half of pie dough into a 12-inch circle and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate.
  2. Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, lemon, salt and tapioca in a large bowl. Mound filling inside bottom pie crust and dot with bits of unsalted butter. Roll second half of pie dough into an 11-inch circle and cut decorative slits in it. Transfer it to center over the pie filling. Trim top and bottom pie dough so that their overhang beyond the pie plate lip is only 1/2-inch. Tuck rim of dough underneath itself and crimp it decoratively. *i feel like I should tell you that my pies never look cookbook perfect, so don’t stress if yours isn’t perfect either! It’s going to taste great!
  3. Transfer pie to a baking sheet and brush egg yolk mixture over dough. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the pie is golden and the juices bubble visibly.
  4. Transfer pie to wire rack to cool. When fully cooled(several hours later,  the juices will gel. Serve. 🙂

 

Happy Wednesday, y’all! XOXO Narci

Happy 9th Birthday, Luke!!

Happy Birthday, Luke!

Lukey, Lukey Bear, the Lukester, the Nature Boy, Hammertime…they say nicknames are born out of your love for someone…and it doesn’t surprise me that you have so many of them.  You are well loved, my sweet boy! 

You are laid back,  social, athletic, a hard worker, SO SMART, and a great friend.  Today, you are 9 years old, and I can hardly believe it.  

Luke, you were the baby that we fell to our knees and prayed so many years for… and, then, you were ushered into this world during a very scary middle of the night delivery that completely took our breath away….I’ll never take one day for granted with you or your sweet siblings because of this.  You are a huge blessing to our family, and your big smile still slays us on a daily basis. 😉

You can be slow to warm up, but once you feel safe in a situation…you let loose!

A little wild, a little noisy….

 and with a twinkle in your eyes that JUST WON’T STOP.

At school and in sports, you are focused, rule abiding, team centered, coachable, a leader, and the kind of kid that everyone loves. 

Luke Dreffs: in our family, you are the spicy center

the one who is always worried about how everyone feels, the first to hug or cuddle if you notice that someone is feeling down.

you are a perfectionist, respectful, and born to have fun.

We couldn’t be more proud of the young man you are becoming

Today, we are celebrating with an “epic” birthday party with your friends!   About two weeks ago, you requested this “epic” party….It kind of surprised me, because you’ve always preferred a simpler party….and your daddy and I were so confused by what “epic” really meant to you (we kept envisioning something out of a rap music video! haha!). 

 However, it turns out that IN YOUR EYES, epic means “surrounded by friends, with lots of snacks, and having lots of fun.” 🙂  so, there you go…An epic party, it is, my friend!

I can’t wait to celebrate you today, our precious boy!

XOXO Mama

Summer Bucket Lists and a Challenge

Hey, y’all!   This is our first week of summer, and I couldn’t be more pumped!   We slid into summer break on a hope and a prayer, and now we are prepping for a summer full of adventure and rest!  This week, both boys are doing sports camps and celebrating birthdays!

In the meantime, we came up with our Summer Buckets lists, and I loved hearing all of their fun ideas!

I took their ideas and made a master list for our family (I only had to delete the request to buy more fidget spinners…;) ), and I am thinking it is shaping up to be a really amazing summer!

*The Dreffs Summer Bucket List*

–swimming–volleyball–walk Dixie–Movie night–Game night–plant a garden

–go to Michigan–go to a fancy hotel–softball–basketball–have friends over–play soccer–stay up late

–go to play arcade games–squirt gun battle–celebrate the boys’ birthdays

–baseball camp–deliver Meals on Wheels–play computer games–Beach Trip

While I was talking to the kids….we decided that summer photo challenge would be a fun way to remember this summer by!  So, for the month of June (and maybe July/August), we will be documenting all of our fun over on Instagram.  I’d love for you to join us!

You can use your fancy camera or your cell phone, and I hope to be able to share some of my favorites on here from time to time as well!     We will be starting on June 12th!

It’s going to be a great Memory-making summer!  I can’t wait!

Happy Monday, y’all! XOXO Narci

 

Friday Favorites

Hey, y’all!! It’s Friday, so we are hosting Friday Favorites with my girls, Erika and Andrea!  Summer is finally in session over here, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it!

This week, my favorites include last day of school photos….

and talent show cuties 🙂

and, I picked up a trial size of this daily peel on a whim at Sephora, and I fell in love!   It made my skin so soft and smooth!  I love it!

I am sucker for the small trial sizes near the checkout, and this moisturizer jumped out at me as well!

If you have oily skin, then I think you will like this one! It hydrated my skin and managed to control the oil, but it didn’t dry me out!  This one is a winner!

And, finally, I ordered these denim shorts!

I tried them on in store, and I LOVED them….but I needed to size down on them (I think they fit a little big, so you might need to as well) and the store didn’t have that in stock.   So, the right size is on its way to me!

I hope you have an amazing weekend!  Up on our agenda: the boys birthdays are next week, so we have a lot of celebrating to do!  Bring on the birthday cake! 😉  Happy Friday! XOXO Narci

Summer

Hey, y’all!!  I’m just over here working away… editing some precious sessions and also making sure that we check off all of our “end of school” commitments as the kids finish their last day of school!

  I’ll be back here tomorrow for our Friday Favorites!   Happy Thursday! XOXO Narci

What’s up Wednesday!

Hey, y’all!! I hope you are having an amazing day!! Happy Wednesday!

Today, I am linking up with Shay, Sheaffer, and Mel for their super FUN link-up: What’s up Wednesdays.  I just love sharing what is going on with us every month!   Let’s get started! 


The last Wednesday of each month, we answer these questions.  Here we go!

What we’re eating this week….

This week is a crazy week for us, so our menu is pretty unexciting…..I am totally feeling this way about food at the moment…. 😉

I have grown pretty accustomed to the “end of school” mayhem over the years, but this year has just been extra chaotic!  

What I’m reminiscing about… 

these popped up on my memories, and my heart could just burst.

What I’m loving…

I am loving  a few cute swimsuits that I found for this summer!

I bought these bottoms to go with a top that I bought earlier in the season, and they are so comfortable!  I love the mix and match style so much, but the matching top is so cute and comfy as well!

matching topbottom

I loved this set too–the color is even prettier in person!

similar topbottom

What I’m wearing…

Embroidered Dress

I’m going to be wearing this dress ALL SUMMER long!  This was selling out at my local Factory store the day after they stocked it, so grab it if you love it!  This dress is so cute and breezy, and the embroidery is beautiful!  It comes in white too!

Peplum Top

 

no

I wore this gorgeous top last week, and it is so bright and colorful!   I wore it with jeans, but it will be darling with denim shorts as well!

What I’m dreading…

nothing at the moment 🙂

What we’ve been up to…

Just a little bit of swimming

and downtown shopping

followed by fun with friends

and special time together

 What I am working on….

I have a lot of projects that are wrapping up this week, but I am still crushing on this baby girl.

What I’m listening to…

My new obsession on Pandora is the Mercy Me station!

Also,  I downloaded the Spotify app because I know so many of you love it, but I need some recommendations on how to navigate!   This Pandora girl needs your help!

What I’m watching or reading…

I just finished this book

and you can read about the books I read last month over on my Carpool Book club post here

What I am looking forward to next month!

 Vacation time!  Woohoo!  We are super excited to spend some fun quality time together! Summer here we come!

 Thank you so much for the fun link up, girls!!  Xoxo Narci

Weekend Wrap-up!

This weekend, we had a little taste of summer, and it was amazing!  Our weekend started off with something super special!  Erika brought home her precious girl, Britt!Needless to say….we are over the moon about this cute girl!

On Friday, we enjoyed the pretty weather with a fun car wash

and some swimming!   PS I finished this book, and it was SO GOOD! 😉

We had Nerf Gun wars

a little bit of silly fun

and a whole lot of sweetness thrown in for good measure.

Manda’s birthday was over the weekend too, and she was on our hearts all weekend long.

The weekend brought fun with friends

and even a sweet newborn to finish it off!

What a great weekend, y’all!   Happy Tuesday!  XOXO Narci