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Archive for October 2014

How to Understand Lens Numbers

Thursday, October 30, 2014

what do the numbers mean on camera lens
When I decided to buy my first lens, I taught myself what all the different numbers on the lens meant. This is important to understand, so you're buying the lens that you want.

What does the mm mean?

what do the numbers mean on camera lens
The mm number on your camera lens represents the focal length, which is the distance between the front of the camera and the camera sensor. This number is how wide your photos are. The smaller the number the wider the photo. A wide angle lens typically is a number below 24. A larger number has a more zoomed in appearance.

What is the difference between one number and two numbers mm?

what do the numbers mean on camera lens
The number in front of the mm is either a single number (left lens is 50mm) or two numbers separated by a dash (right lens 10-20mm). A single number is a prime lens, which means that it doesn't zoom. If you want to get closer or farther away from your subject, you have to move your foot. The numbers with a dash is a zoom lens.

What does the ratio mean?

what do the numbers mean on camera lens
The ratio, which always starts with 1: is the widest or maximum aperture. Aperture is what gives you blurry backgrounds. To read more about this, check out my post about exposure.

What does the f mean?

what do the numbers mean on camera lens

When you buy a camera lens online, the aperture is shown by f and a number, instead of a ratio. Just like the ratio example above, the f describes the maximum aperture.

Read more photography tutorials here:

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Linking up with: That's Fresh Friday, PinWorthy Projects, Pin Me Linky Party

Animals at 1818 Farms

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

wedding at 1818 farms mooresville alabama
We got ready and took most of our photos at 1818 Farms. The church where we got married is just one room, so we needed a separate place to get ready and keep our stuff. Thankfully, 1818 Farms was a very short walk away and affordable. And best of all, we got to take photos with animals!

wedding at 1818 farms mooresville alabama

wedding at 1818 farms mooresville alabama
This lamb was pregnant and gave birth to twins the next day.

wedding at 1818 farms mooresville alabama

wedding at 1818 farms mooresville alabama

wedding at 1818 farms mooresville alabama

wedding at 1818 farms mooresville alabama
This is baby Ollie who was born the day before our wedding!

wedding at 1818 farms mooresville alabama

wedding at 1818 farms mooresville alabama
The women on the left is Natasha, the owner of the farm, and she's teaching me more to hold chickens. Chickens like feel secure so you have to hold down their wings and hold them pressed against your body.

wedding at 1818 farms mooresville alabama

wedding at 1818 farms mooresville alabama
The chicken on the left with the spiky hair is called a silkie.

wedding at 1818 farms mooresville alabama
Chickens like to dig holes in the ground to take dirt baths. It helps keep them cool.

bridesmaids with chickens 1818 farms mooresville alabama
One of the highlights of the wedding day was holding chickens with my bridesmaids! I tried to convince Sam to do it, but he said chickens are dirty and gross.

All photos taken by White Rabbit Studios

Other Wedding Wednesday posts:
Wedding Wednesday
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Our Savings Plan

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A couple weeks ago I got a question about how much money we have left over from our budget at the end of the month. We have a zero based budget, so we don't have any money left over. A zero based budget means we tell every single dollar where to go, so there's nothing left over.

savings plan with a zero based budget

Our goal for creating a budget was to come up with a savings plan. I don't think of our budget as the way we spend money. Our budget is a guide for our future plans. We know we want to buy a house, a car, go on vacations, and retire well. In order to accomplish those things, we needed a plan, so we created a budget.

savings plan

There are so many articles out there explaining how to start a budget. Most of the articles I've read say to track your spending before coming up with a budget. Another traditional way to budget is to subtract your bills and expenses from your paycheck. We actually didn't use either of these methods when we started our budget.

First, we decided to save everything I make and live off Sam's salary. Then we came up with our savings plan for how we would divide up the money. After our savings plan was in place, we budgeted our regular monthly expenses. After our budget is laid out, we have zero dollars left over.

I remember reading somewhere that people who automate their savings, end up saving more over their lifetime than those who don't. My credit union (I'm pretty sure most banks have this option) automatically takes money out of my paycheck and puts it into my savings accounts. Since I never see that money in my checking account, I never miss it. I started automating my savings way before I met Sam, and we do the same thing with our money.

We currently have 5 different savings accounts and 1 checking account. Right now the bulk of our money is going towards saving for a down payment on a house. We're also saving for vacations, a new car, car expenses (mostly insurance), and building up our emergency fund. The image below is from our account that shows our progress in our accounts.

actual saving plan in Mint

When I first started saving money, I only had one savings account for my money to go into. I tried the multiple accounts thing, but it was really depressing how slowly I was going to reach my goals. It made more sense to me as a single person to save for one thing at a time.

I know it can be really hard to only live off one income, but if one of us every loses our job, we'll still be able to pay our bills. It's definitely worth the sense of security! Plus, we're able to save a lot of money to reach our financial goals.

Do you have a savings plan?

Other money posts:


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Linking up Inspire Us Thursday and Thrifty Thursday, That's Fresh Friday, PinWorthy Projects, Pin Me Linky Party, Frugal Fridays, Flaunt It Friday

Fall Activities Check-In

Monday, October 27, 2014

Back in September I wrote a list of activities that I wanted to do in the fall. Sam and I love fall and I had lots of things planned. Here's a review of the list and what we actually accomplished.
fall decorations
  • Pick pumpkins at 1818 Farms. Unfortunately, they decided not to have pumpkins this year.
  • Go hiking on Monte Sano mountain when the leaves change. The leaves haven't really changed yet here in Alabama.
  • Fall foods - cook old favorites and try some new recipes. We cooked a LOT, including this pumpkin apple galette.

pumpkin apple galette

Civil War Reenactment in Pilot Knob
  • October 4th - I'm trying to convince Sam to go to Nashville for his birthday weekend. I want to go to Arrington Vineyards and stay at a B&B. Other options here in Huntsville include the free 5 Points Walking Tour, Haunted Trolley Tour, or free Madison Street Festival. I ended up doing the 5 Points Walking Tour with my mom and then going to the Madison Street Festival.
5 Points neighborhood in Huntsville, AL
  • October 6 - Sam's birthday. I want to make him a pumpkin cake or maybe a pie. I ended up making him chocolate chip cookies because that's what he requested.
  • October 10-14 - go to Mississippi for a girl's weekend. Check! I had lots of fun talking and eating!
  • October 17-19 - our annual friends camping trip in Kentucky. It was lots of fun! See the whole post here.
friend camping trip in Kentucky
Coming up in November:
  • sister trip to Ft Benning, Augusta, and Atlanta
  • beach trip to Destin
  • Thanksgiving at home (I'm assuming that we'll be hosting it again this year, but we haven't talked about this yet)

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Currently, Vol 6

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Anticipating all the fun things happening in November! Our current plans are to go camping this weekend in the Little River Canyon/DeSoto Falls area. I'm trying to convince my mom and my sister Stephanie to go, but my mom wasn't too thrilled about the cold weather in the forecast.

The weekend of the 8th, Stephanie and I are considering a trip to Ft Benning (her future home) and then Ikea in Atlanta.

The weekend of the 16th, Sam and I are going to the beach! Sam has a work trip in Destin, and since work is paying for his condo on the beach, I'm going to be tagging along!

Thankful For - I don't think I've mentioned this on the blog, but my sister Stephanie is temporarily living with us. Her job in Charleston was seasonal, and now she's living with us until her husband comes back to America (he's currently stationed in Germany) and they move to Ft Benning. I told her she could live with us if she helps with the meal planning and does my grocery shopping. Actually, she's at the grocery store right this very second. It doesn't matter how little is on my shopping list, I never spend less than $120 at the grocery store.  On the other hand, Stephanie only buys what is on the list so this is saving me a lot of money!

Since Stephanie left to attend college at Niagara University in 2009 and then Germany in 2013 we haven't spent much time together. But now we see each other everyday!

Dreaming about buying a house. We go back and forth about whether we should build or buy. Our current plan is to start looking at houses in February and then decide if we want to build or not. This is the latest floor plan that we've been looking at:

Organizing - I've finally started going through leftover wedding stuff. When Stephanie moved in, I just piled everything into our craft room, which Sam isn't too thrilled about. I started working on sorting the piles and took a few things to the thrift store.

Laughing at - this photo of Finn sleeping on my head!

Linking up with:
Joyful Life
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Mr and Mrs Wedding Portraits

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I wanted to take all our photos before the wedding, so we could spend time with our guests after the ceremony. We had photos taken during our First Look. And a couple weeks I posted our portraits with our dog, Finn. After the photos with Finn we were supposed to take some portraits of just us, but we were running late on our timeline. We ended up taking our portraits after the ceremony, which didn't take long at all.
Wedding Portrait with shoes

Wedding Portrait in Mooresville AL
 We took these photos around the tiny town of Mooresville. It really feels more like a neighborhood than a town because only around 50 people live there.

Wedding Portrait in Mooresville AL

Wedding Portrait in Mooresville AL

Wedding Portrait Mooresville 1818 Farms

Wedding Portrait Mooresville post office
 This photo was taken at the back wall of the oldest post office in the state of Alabama.

Wedding Portrait 1818 Farms Mooresville
These photos were taken at 1818 Farms, which is where we got ready and had our wedding party photos taken

Wedding Portrait Mooresville AL

Wedding Portrait 1818 Farms Mooresville chicken coop

All photos in this post were taken by White Rabbit Studios in Mooresville.

Coming up next week:
The time I held a newborn lambie and other animals from 1818 Farms.


Other Wedding Wednesday posts:
Wedding Wednesday
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