I’m back! (and a little guessing game)

After a long day of travel (22 hours!), I arrived back home late last night. I can’t wait to start sharing stories and photos from my trip. I hope you won’t get tired of hearing about it. I’ll probably be posting about it for quite a while, but I plan to keep up with my normal day-to-day posts too. But before I can get posting, I have a whole lot of photos that I have to go through!

I thought it would be fun to see who can guess how many photos I took during a 3.5 week trip to Europe. Whoever guesses the closest will get a little package of some trinkets that I picked up along the way. I’ll keep the guessing game open until Wednesday night at midnight (MDT) and let you know the winner on Thursday.

Just so we have all the details clear (and a little bit of a hint) – the number will include photos taken on both my Rebel and my S100 (but will not include phone photos or polaroids). And if it helps at all, I will say that I was surprised that I never had to use my second 32gb memory card and didn’t end up taking as many photos as I expected.

Here’s the first photo from the trip:

Driving through the English countryside.

And after an undisclosed amount of photos, here is the last photo from the trip:

We splurged on a selection of treats from the patisserie next door on our last night in Marseille.

More to come and good luck guessing!

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Give-Away Winners!

You guys! I loved reading all of your comments. Like, so much! Usually I try to reply to all comments, but I couldn’t this time because I didn’t want to make it harder to find the give-away winners. It was so hard not to comment on your comments. You had so many great things to say, and I loved learning more about your hobbies and favorite fairytales.

But I know what you are all waiting for, so I’ll get straight to the point. Here are the winners for the give-aways!

Give-Away #1

You know, something tricky about give-aways is that there can only be one winner. And that made me feel sad. Well, I only have one Snapdragon Jewelry gift certificate and one watercolor, but it’s just as easy to order multiple prints as one print, so I decided to have several give-away winners for #1! I ended up with 6 because it was a nice even number.

1. sara b. | 2. jenny d. | 3. suzanne m.

4. amanda a. | 5. anne f. | erica m.

Give-Away #2

The lucky winner of the $25 gift certificate to Snapdragon Jewelry is…

brynn c.

Give-Away #3

And finally, the winner of the one-of-a-kind Princess and the Pea watercolor is…

sally w.

Congratulations to those who won! I’ll be emailing you shortly to get addresses or give further directions. I also want to give a hearty thank you to Kylie and Matt for donating their incredible talents. And thank you again to everyone who left comments! I’m so glad you celebrated this milestone with me. But for now, I can’t wait to get back to my regular blogging. I have tons of photos and little adventures to share!

Give-Away #3

To conclude my week of blogiversary celebrations, I have a really special give-away. I may have mentioned once or twice about how my brother is an amazing artist and storyteller, but he’s also a really incredible big brother. We didn’t always have the best relationship while I was growing up (big brothers like to tease), but he’s more than made up for all the times he would get mad at me when I had to practice the piano or that time he annihilated me at Risk and I took it personally. Over the last 15 or so years, he has been nothing but supportive and offered me lots and lots of brotherly love and advice and many free meals. And now he’s offering one of you lucky ducks an original work of art!

He volunteered to do a watercolor, but he asked me to come up with the subject. I wanted him to do a fairytale, and somehow decided on The Princess and the Pea. I had done an embroidery of the fairytale for Izzy a few years ago, and I liked the idea of all those mattresses stacked up. Matt, of course, put his own twist on it.

I love how he brought the pea to life and gave him expression. I love that the princess and the pea now have a relationship. I also love the angle of the watercolor and how it looks down on the mountain of mattresses. I hope that you love it as much as I do.

So what do you have to do to win?

I think you know the drill by now. Just leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite fairytale by Sunday, April 29th at midnight. One lucky winner will be drawn at random. I’ll announce the winners on Monday, April 30th.

p.s. There’s still time to enter Give-Away #1 and Give-Away #2 if you haven’t yet done so.

Give-Away #2

I am absolutely thrilled to offer my next give-away. Kylie has been making jewelry for over ten years now. It started out as a hobby, but grew into a business. With her cousin, Shawna, she opened Snapdragon Jewelry in 2005. As her best friend, I have been the lucky recipient of some beautiful pieces over the years. I’ve also given them as Mother’s Day, Christmas, and birthday gifts. And now I’m pleased to offer some Snapdragon jewelry as a blogiversary gift to one lucky winner.

Here’s what you’ll get:

$25 Gift Certificate to Snapdragon Jewelry

That’s right! You’ll receive a gift card in the amount of $25 to spend on anything that you want at the Snapdragon Jewelry Etsy shop.

So you could put it toward this great earring and necklace set (or buy the pieces individually):

|Green Turquoise Necklace and Earrings|

Or perhaps buy a pair or two of stunning earrings. I really like these two pair:

|Cherry Quartz Circles and Sterling Silver Treble Earrings|

For the gents out there, you could pick up a Mother’s Day present for your wife or mother. Or surprise your significant other with a “just because” present. One of these elegant necklaces is sure to please.

|Lucite Flower and Jade Necklace and Peruvian Opal Necklace|

So what do you have to do to win?

Just leave a comment on this blog post before Sunday, April 29th at midnight. Let me know which Snapdragon original is your favorite. Remember, you can enter all of the give-aways this week, so if you already entered Give-Away #1, you can still enter this give-away. (And if you haven’t entered Give-Away #1 yet, go enter!)

Make sure to check back on April 30th to find out the winner! Good luck!

Give-Away #1

Just as a little recap, I’m doing three give-aways in honor of my 1000th blog post and my 8th anniversary of blogging.

Originally I was just going to do one, and I approached Kylie, who makes amazing jewelry, with the idea. She jumped on board. When I told my brother and sister-in-law about it, Matt volunteered to paint a watercolor. I immediately said YES! And then I thought that I needed at least one more give-away because all good things come in threes. Why not give away something of my own? So to get this week of celebrations started, I’ve decided to give away….

1 8×10 print of one of my photos

or, for the indecisive

2 5×7 prints of two of my photos

To be honest, I feel a little sheepish about this since I know I’m not a professional photographer. But I wanted to share something that I really enjoy and a way that I express myself. Of course, you are free to choose any that you like, but here are some of my favorites.

|Liberty Park in the Snow|

|Mountains on the San Juan Skyway|

|Tulips at Pike’s Place Market|

|Houses in the French Quarter|

|Sunset over the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain|

Or there are also lots of photos you can view at flickr. (Although, I haven’t uploaded anything there recently. I always forget about flickr, but I wish I knew how to use it better.)

So what do you have to do to win this amazing prize?

That’s super easy! You just have to leave a comment on this blog telling me how much you love my blog about one of your favorite hobbies or places to photograph by Sunday, April 29th at midnight.  On Monday, I will announce the winners for all three of the give-aways. And don’t worry, you can enter each one of the give-aways. In fact, I really hope you do!

p.s. Even if you’ve never left a comment before, please feel free to do so now. I absolutely LOVE getting comments! They always make my day. F’reals. And even though I love getting comments on facebook, too, only comments on this blog post will be entered for the give-away. Good luck!