Friday, January 24, 2014

The Friday Five

1. Sometime during the Great Coffee Binge of 2012/13--the one that prompted the whole Latte Friday idea once I realized how much I spent on coffee--I earned a Starbucks gold card.  That means that every 12 drinks I purchase, I get a free one!  Does anyone else save up that free drink for something expensive and decadent that you wouldn't otherwise buy?  I know I do.  Instead of my normal plain latte this morning, I got a quad grande 2-pump hazelnut latte.  It's almost six dollars for that puppy, but I got it for free!  Yay.  It's a little bit too sweet, though, even with all that extra espresso.  I guess you really get to appreciate the plain latte once you get used to them. 

2. The Husband's birthday is on Sunday!  I'm really excited to give him his present.  I think he'll love it.  Saturday, we're going to check out Grit and Grace, a new restaurant downtown, and I can't wait to try it out--apparently it's unlike anything else in the city, described as American Dim Sum.  I hear they have mai tai's with a kick, too, and since I'm still missing our Hawaiian honeymoon, you can sign me up for one of those.  Of course there's one more thing to be excited about: the cake I ordered for him!  I went though my favorite Pittsburgh pastry chef, Miss Meghann Walsh, who's based out of a great Strip District restaurant called Cioppino.  She made our amazing wedding cake, a bunch of holiday pies for us, and a few of the Husband's birthday cakes, too.  I actually worked with her for awhile so I've tasted a ton of her desserts and I've never been disappointed!  This year, the Husband requested chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse, which was one of our wedding cake flavors. 

3. Earlier this week, I used some Amazon gift cards and ordered a new lens for my camera--one that's much more appropriate for food photography than the cruddy kit lens I've been using.  Well...I can't blame all of my woes on the kit lens; I think part of it is on the lighting I've been using for my photos.  I think Spring needs to come faster so I have more daylight!  I've been snapping pictures either early-early-early in the morning, around 6:30am before the sun has even thought to show up, or after work when it's already dark outside.  I can't wait to use some natural sunlight or--gasp!--take things outside and shoot on the deck.  I think it'll really help to improve my photography, but until then, I've got to use what I've got!

4. I also scored a new pair of JBrands from Gilt earlier in the week for $69.  Woohoo!  I needed a new pair of flares ever since my old standbys ripped.  I guess I wore them way too much--I'm a huge jean lover.  I'll never understand the people who can't wear jeans all the time!  I think I'd actually pick jeans over yoga pants, that's how deep the loves goes.

5. All of my runs this week have been amazing!  Yesterday's was probably the weakest of them all, and I blame the snow...even though I was running on a treadmill in the gym.  I just have this awful anxiety about driving in the snow, and while I was doing my workout yesterday, all I could do was run in place and watch the white stuff cover the roads.  It made me just want to get out of there and get home safe.  Still, I pushed ahead and finished three miles at a little under a ten minute mile pace.  When I got out, the roads weren't as bad as they looked--a little scary, but the city actually plowed the streets around my house (yay!), and that's always the worst part.

Happy Friday!!


  1. What ISO/shutter speed/aperture are you using?

    1. I've been playing around with the ISO between 100 and 400 because any higher and it turns out grainy. Aperture is usually around 4.5-6.3 depending on the focal length, and I can't remember shutter's pretty slow because that's the only time I get good exposure. I use a tripod.

  2. Did you get your new lens, yet? It can go to 1.8, which, while it has a pretty shallow depth of field, is also friendly to low light situations. And if the picture is brighter, you're not going to notice the grain as much, which means you could bump your ISO to 800, which will help even more.

  3. Not yet--hopefully today! It's supposed to be there when I get home but who knows what'll happen with this stupid weather and everything. I can't wait to try it out.