Thursday, November 1, 2012

Five Things

Time for another Five Things day! 

1. Trader Joe's in Houston! 
We got our first Trader Joe's in Houston recently, so I went with Jeff and our friend Thomas to take a look around! 

It's inside a historic old movie theater, which I love. The old theater has been sitting empty for a few years (I think it was a bookstore before that), so I'm glad someone's finally doing something with it! 

See the "Welcome to Trader Joe's" sign in the back? That's where the movie theater screen was! 

I love that they kept a lot of the architectural details. 

We walked all around... Jeff was curious to try their "Three Buck Chuck" wine, of which there was a giant display:

I was most interested in the floral department, where Thomas and I found a couple of Flaming Katie plants! Yes, these are actually called "Flaming Katie." I bought one once about a year ago, but I hadn't seen one since until this trip!

Photo from Thomas

So in the end, I got a cute little potted flower for $2.50, and Jeff got a bottle of wine for $2.99, and it was a quite successful trip! 

Oh, and we got to stand in the "movie theater" lines while waiting to check out. Love it!

2. New Master Bedroom Furniture Has Arrived!
They're here! They're here! One big dresser and two nightstands! They're here and I don't have a good picture yet and our room is a total mess, but look! new furniture! 

We're still working on moving everything into the new dressers, which has been an interesting process. Who knew I had so many pairs of Christmas socks hiding in my drawer? And who knew Jeff had so many socks in general? 

EIGHT pairs of Christmas socks. Ridiculous! I've got snowflakes, reindeer, snowmen, holly berries, penguins... To be fair though, most of them were gifts! 

SO MANY Jeff socks! These all came out of a teeny drawer! 

3. I've Ordered a New Camera!
Last spring, we made a plan that we'd use part of one of my summer associate paychecks to buy a DSLR camera. Then life got busy, and I just didn't have enough time for a while to do my research and decide which camera I wanted. I finally made a decision a couple weeks ago, and I just ordered a brand new Canon EOS Rebel T4i! I wanted to go with Canon because I've always had Canon cameras in the past and I love them, and after going back and forth between the T4i and the 60D for forever, I finally decided I liked the lighter weight and video capabilities of the T4i. I found the best price at B&H Photo, plus they have a 30-day no-questions-asked return policy, so that's where we bought it! 

After lots and lots of research, I decided to order it with the 18-55 kit lens, and I took advantage of a buy-the-camera-get-a-lens-discount deal at B&H Photo to get a 55-220 lens for just $105 (a $150 discount). So I'll have those two lenses to start with. 

I also ended up with a fancy schmancy Canon photo printer. There's a rebate going on where you get a $400 AmEx card if you buy a Canon DSLR and the fancy printer, but the printer only costs $338, so we "bought" it too (actually, we sort of got paid $62 to take it!)! It prints on paper as big as 13" x 19", which I'm really excited about. 

In the end, I was able to get the camera, the 18-55 lens, the 55-220 lens, and the fancy printer for a total of $835, which is less than we had budgeted and saved for this purchase, so yay! I absolutely CAN'T WAIT to start figuring out how to use it! It should arrive next week! 

4. Second Guest Room Sneak Peek
Remember how I mentioned our friend Thomas who just moved to Houston? His apartment wasn't ready right away, so he moved in with us for a week or so. We have one guest room furnished and done already, but the in-progress second guest room has a bigger bed, so I challenged myself to get it finished before he arrived. It's still not quite done, and I still haven't taken good "after" photos, but here's a quick sneak peek (I snapped these around midnight right before Thomas arrived on a late-night flight). 

5. A&M-LSU Game
I forgot to mention our last trip to College Station on October 21st! We've been tailgating for all of the A&M home games this season, and the LSU game was no different! We went with my parents, my youngest sister, and Thomas, and we had a great time! Spence Park was pretty crowded, and there were quite a few LSU fans, which was fun. 

Photo from Thomas

Thomas had never been to A&M before, so we walked around campus and showed him the front entrance to Kyle Field, the Reveille cemetery, Academic Plaza, etc.

Reveille Cemetery

Kyle Field!

Academic Plaza

It was another fun day of tailgating (and another "fun" few hours of roller coaster emotions while the Aggies make you think they're going to win, then ruin it, then start to improve, then fall back, etc., etc., etc.)! But as they say, "we've seen 'em win, we've seen 'em lose, but we've never seen 'em quit!"

So that's it! Anyone else getting new furniture or new cameras? DSLR owners - do you have any advice for how to start learning how to use it properly? Anyone else trying to decorate a guest room on a as-close-to-$0-as-possible budget (it's tough!)? Someone please tell me I'm not the only one with a bajillion pairs of Christmas socks... 


  1. Gosh I'm so jealous of your camera! I've been wanting one for years!!! and just haven't been able to justify spending the money on it. I'm possibly going to ask everyone in my family including J to all go in together to get me one for Christmas this year. We'll see!

    And I love how your guest room turned out! Are those burlap curtains?

  2. Please do yourself a HUGE favor and learn to shoot in manual mode!! I mostly learned by checking out youtube videos (search for aperture, ISO, shutter speed), but there are plenty of other tutorials out there. Reading your manual front to back is another big help! Check to see if a Photoshop elements disk came with your printer (it did when I bought mine with the same rebate program a few years ago). If it did come with Elements, that's a great program to edit in. I would suggest shooting in RAW format (not Jpeg) and using the camera raw function in Elements to do your basic edit...SOOOO much easier than trying to edit a jpeg!

    I could go on an on about other things you'll want to learn, but those are the basics! I've had so much fun learning my camera and seeing myself progress as I practice more and more! Let me know if you have any other questions, I'd love to help!

    1. Thanks for the advice! I only shoot using manual on my Canon point-and-shoot (I can control ISO & white balance, but not shutter speed or aperture or anything), so I'm sure I'll use manual on the new camera too. I would be thrilled if I got Photoshop with the printer! We'll see!