Just returned from a day trip to Vegas. I love it there!
First stop, in Henderson actually, was Trader Joe’s. I brought a cooler and ice packs for the frozen items such as the Japanese ice cream the kids are so fond of. I also picked up a bottle of the new Clementine Sparkling Juice. Two thumbs way up!
After filling the cooler half way and securing the non-perishables, I ventured over to the Mandalay Bay hotel & casino. It is the first resort as you enter the strip from the south end, and offers quick access to their parking facilities.
The restaurant formerly situated next to the Burger Bar has been replaced by the new Hussong’s Cantina. It being Cinco de Mayo, I was in the mood for a margarita and Mexican fare. Ok, I’m always in the mood for a margarita and Mexican fare.
Hussong’s was having “The Most Interesting Man” Look-Alike contest. Had I know, I would have tried to bring my husband. He has the beard & mustache!
Well, regardless, I made my way to the entrance and requested a table for one. I was given a nice little table off to the side, a basket of chips & salsas, the menu and time to review it.
Hussong’s offers an Original and a Traditional margarita. I honestly didn’t know the difference, but assumed the original would be loaded with alcohol. When my waitperson approached, she offered me advice on my cocktail selection as well as my lunch choice. The Original uses all fresh ingredients while the Traditional uses a mix. I opted for the Original (both cost $10/ea.) I was torn between the lobster tacos and the avocado shrimp salad, and my server raved about the salad, calling it one of her favorite dishes. I ordered the salad, then sat back, enjoyed my chips, salsa and cocktail while listening to the laughter of fellow diners.
Soon my meal was approaching… an entire avocado, breaded and deep fried, filled with cooked shrimp and served on a bed of lettuce. Interesting! Tasty. Not sure I would order it again. The batter was rather thick on the avocado, but not bad overall. I gave Hussong’s 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp.
After lunch, I went to see my stylist, Brooklyn at ARCs, also in the Mandalay Bay. She gave me a trim and brightened my color (i.e. covered my gray). Her lovely assistant, Little Kelly did an amazing job rinsing & washing my hair and massaging my head & shoulders.
On the way out of dodge, I swung by the Cheesecake Factory for a few slices for my family; original with strawberries, key lime, and red velvet. I can attest the key lime is fantastic!
To view highlights of the day, just push play.
• What is your favorite day trip destination?
• What do you do there?
• Do you Yelp?
Tag Archives: Video
Vegas Day Trip
Just returned from a day trip to Vegas. I love it there!
Kittens In Da House!
We have kittens in da house! Ya, boy! Nine weeks ago a beautiful, black kitty adopted us. The girls named her Alexis after one of the new Liv Dolls. Alexis is the sweetest cat, far sweeter than the two we already have. (Shhhh… don’t tell Wiggles and Getta.)
We took Alexis in for her shots, and scheduled to have her spayed. As her surgery loomed, we noticed her getting quite plump. Sure enough, she was pregnant.
March 4th ~ Alexis arrived. May 3rd ~ Her five kittens arrived. Yes, just that fast.
• Does one of these kitties have your name on it?
• Do strays follow you home?
• How has May greeted you?
Filed under Podcast
I did it! I started an iTunes podcast. It was easier than I anticipated, and some helpful links are posted below.
I’ve only subscribed to one other podcast in my life and that was CNN Robin Meade‘s. She airs behind the scenes antics & interviews. Being a podcast newbie, I don’t know what is normal or expected, so will just put my spin on it.
REALITY with Jean Has Been Shopping, so far, revolves around my family. If anyone else would like me to stalk them with my Flip video camera, I’d be more than happy.
I really want my husband to take his Flip to his favorite hangout bar because some of the stories he tells are so juicy! In the meantime, here is Episode 1 / Pool • Time.
I cannot recommend iMovie enough! This week I learned how to create a freeze frame (control + enter). Reminds me of those 80’s shows that always ended on a cheesy still.
• Podcasts can be hosted for free at BlipTV. Warning: Some of the videos are explicit.
• BlipTV can submit your podcast to iTunes. Prior to submitting, create a 600×600 image for your iTunes cover art. iTunes Podcast Technical Specs can be found here.
• To view and/or subscribe to my iTunes podcast, click here.
1) Have you tried podcasting?
2) Do you subscribe to any podcasts?
3) What do you feel a podcast should feature?
4) Would you allow cameras into your home?
Thanks for reading!
Filed under How To... VIDEOS, Podcast
PS Tips VI: Photo Correction
Take the best qualities of individual photos and merge them into one.
I’m using PhotoShop CS2.
Step 1: Open the photos. File, Open, and select the jpg images you wish to work with.
Step 2: Select Lasso Tool. In this instance, I lassoed the open eyes.
Step 3: Select your Pointer Tool. Drag the open eyes to your main (keeper) photo.
Note: I adjusted curves to lighten the eyes and more closely match the keeper photo. To adjust curves: Image, Adjustments, Curves. Slide the line on the grid UP to lighten or DOWN to darken (with jpg images. The reverse is actually true for cmyk images.)
Step 4: Soften Edges. Using your Magic Wand, click anywhere on the image except for the new eyes. Make sure you are on the new layer.
Select, Feather. I chose 5 pixels. Press “ok”, and then your Delete Key. You can press delete several times to get a softer edge. If you go too far, use Apple + Z to reverse the last step.
Step 5: Repeat. I used these same steps to bring the horse over to the “keeper” photo.
Step 6: Erase hard edges. Instead of feathering, I chose to use the Eraser Tool to soften the edges of the horse layer.
Step 7: Copy/Paste. While on your main (keeper) background, copy (Apple + C) a few individual leaves and paste (Apple + V). A new layer will be created with these leaves. In the Layers Window, drag this new layer to the top (above the horse layer).
Using your Pointer Tool, drag the leaves around the photo and place them in a believable, foreground position. Feather or erase hard edges.
Step 8: Merge Layers. Layer, Flatten Image.
Step 9: Save As. File, Save As, enter a new name so the original file will be unchanged.
FINISHED PRODUCT: Christmas 2008
Thank you for reading!
Filed under How To... VIDEOS, Photoshop
There always has to be some controversy, doesn’t there? I flicked on the news today only to find out that someone is raising a stink over the current Sports Illustrated cover. The cover features a skier in a tuck position. She’s sexualized (“they” say). Frankly I think that is hog wash. She’s skiing, for crying out loud.
I photoshopped this woman, Lindsey Vonn, into some sexy scenes. Do you know what? She wouldn’t even raise a few eyebrows.
• Is Lindsey too sexy for her skis?
• Did you hear of her before today?
• Are you a fan of the banana hammock?
The peeved “someone” is Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi of WomenTalkSports. You can find her [controversial] opinion here.
Filed under Humor
Great Christmas of ’09
Merry Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Ours was magical as we were visited by not only Santa Claus but also the Tooth Fairy. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when those two met up in our home. I asked the kids to write a story or draw pictures of that event, but neither of them went for it.
We took a ton of pictures and video which I condensed to 2 minutes and 10 seconds. I have to give huge kudos to iLife software. MAC makes it so easy to edit, add music, and share. If you know of similar software for the PC, let me know. One of my friends is shopping around for an easy editing program.
Here’s a photo I took Christmas night outside of our bar room. I like how the back yard is reflected in the window, and how you can see straight through and out the window on the opposite side of the room. So much to take in all at once.
• How was your Christmas?
Filed under Arizona
How To: Raise Hams
“Come on, Tom. It’ll be fun!”, I pleaded. “It’s just you and me. I’ll set up my camera, and you grab your meat, all nine pounds of it.”
Fits of laughter.
“Ok, I’ll take my big cannon and show you who’s boss.” Tom cajoled.
More laughter and innuendo.
The buzz of the evening wore off, but the playful conversation lingered in my head. Was he ready for his close up? Yes, actually he was. While I set up the tripod, he cleared the counter and set up an array of spices and secret ingredients for we were making an instructional video. Not the type Carrie Prejean would record but an honest to goodness How To video for making jerky.
I should call him One Take Tom for he could expound on the subject without missing a beat. It was hard to decide what should fall to the cutting room floor, or be deleted via iMovie. He’s my husband, and I felt a bit guilty omitting recorded episodes of meat grinding, salt sprinkling, and the tearing open of hot pepper packets. But cut I did, and replaced with photos overlaid with text. Even with all the snips, the video runs nearly seven minutes long. I’ll post the YouTube link below for those interested in jerking their meat.
With Mommy and Daddy making videos, it seemed natural when my seven year old asked to record her recipe for a soda drink. She wrote down her ingredients, sending Tom to the store for more Diet Coke. She had plenty of Pepsis which are on hand for guests. Her little sister was her lovely assistant, nodding her head and chiming in at just the right moment. I think my girls had a lot of presence for seven and four. Who else but a child would combine the two powerhouses of cola?
• Coke or Pepsi?
• Carrie Prejean, Donald Trump, or Perez Hilton?
• Behind the camera or in front of it?
Tom’s YouTube debut! How To: Make Elk Jerky
Filed under How To... VIDEOS, Humor, Recipes
How To: Make a Mayflower Martini
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose…. Oh, hi! I’m just getting in the mood for the holidays! Do you know what always puts me in the mood this time of year? Martinis! Yes, that’s right. Martinis.
Here’s a recipe for the Mayflower Martini. It’s easy & tasty.
• 1 tsp. Vermouth
• 1 part gin
• 2 parts white cranberry juice
1. Add 1 tsp. Vermouth to martini glass. Swirl to coat. Pour out excess.
2. Add ice to martini shaker.
3. Pour 1 part gin and 2 parts white cranberry juice into shaker.
4. With cap in place, shake the shaker.
5. Remove tip of shaker. Pour/strain cocktail into martini glass.
This recipe comes from Sandra Lee of the Food Network. She makes meals that are “almost” homemade. Her Thanksgiving menu really caught my eye a few years back. Let’s see if I can find the link and add. Ah, here it is! Semi-Homemade Thanksgiving. Wait! Even for semi-homemade, that looks like a lot of work. You know who really nailed down a fast Thanksgiving dinner? Rachel Ray. Seriously. Here’s a link to her recipes for Thanksgiving in 60 [minutes]. You’re welcome.
• Can I make you a martini? I promise I won’t spill your cranberry juice.
• Have you tried any of Sandra or Rachel’s recipes?
• What is on your Thanksgiving menu?
Filed under How To... VIDEOS, Recipes
PhotoShop Tips V: Add Text to Photos
Thank you to Steve for this tutorial suggestion.
Part 1: Downloading Fonts from the Internet
Check out FontSpace.com for free fonts.
Choose your free font, download it, and unzip it (doubleclick on the zipped file). It will appear in your download folder.
Launch your MAC hard drive (click on Finder or the icon for your hard drive). Click on System, Library, Fonts. Drag the new font file from the download folder to the font folder. If your computer requires a password to add fonts or programs, you will be prompted to enter your code. The font is now in your system, and will appear when you launch your applicable programs.
Part 2: Adding Text to Photos
Launch PhotoShop and open the jpg file you would like to work with.
Select your Text Tool (the uppercase T on your side toolbar). Drag your mouse over the area of the photo where you will type text. Font selection is on your upper toolbar. Scroll through the fonts and make your selection. You can also select color via your side toolbar.
Type your text. To quickly change the font size, depress Apple plus A, and tap your > or < keys (greater than or less than). While on your pointer tool you can drag your text anywhere on the photo.
Make sure your Layers window is open (Window, Layers). Click on the lowercase f to make style changes to your font. Options include Drop Shadow, Stroke and Outer Glow. Experiment with the options. You will see the previews for these styles on your text prior to clicking OK. You can simply hit Cancel if you do not like the effect.
To warp text, click on the lopsided, underlined T on the top toolbar.
Step 6: When you are satisfied with your text, combine the layers. Layers, Flatten Image. Then Save As (change the name of the jpg if you do not want to damage the original file.
Upcoming tutorials may include the scrumptious Mayflower Martini and finding my own a** with both my hands. Some say that later one can’t be done.
Remember, I’m always open to your suggestions.
Filed under How To... VIDEOS, Photoshop
PhotoShop Tips IV: Create a GIF
Thanks to Zero_Option for this tutorial suggestion.
This technique creates a gif with fading images. If you do not need to modify your jpgs, simply number in sequential order (see note in red below), and begin at step 10.
Step 1: In PhotoShop, open the two jpg files that you would like to animate.
Step 2: Enlarge the canvas of one jpg to give it a plain white border. Image, Canvas. Increase your width/height by 1″.
Step 3: Enlarge the canvas again to make room for the 2nd jpg. In this case, anchor the main jpg to the lower left, then increase width by 5″ and the height by 3″. Use the measurements of the 2nd photo to give you an idea how much of an increase is needed.
Step 4: Using your pointer tool, drag the 2nd jpg onto the 1st jpg.
Step 5: While on Layer 1 (the photo you have just dragged over), lower the opacity so you can see through it.
Step 6: Use your pointer tool to align the 2 photos. Code (the apple key) plus T allows you to transform. Shrink the photo to fit, and rotate to align. Make sure you hold the Shift button down keep proportions accurate. Otherwise your image will warp. Now return the opacity to 100%.
Step 7: Crop your image to remove any excess canvas. You are now ready to prepare your files for animation!
Step 8: Merge the layers. Layers, Flatten. When you save, create a new folder. File, Save As, 1.jpg.
Step 9: Undo the merge by pressing Code (the apple key) plus Z. You could also choose Edit, Step Backward.
Step 10: While on Layer 1, lower opacity to 90%. Merge the layers (Layers, Flatten). Save to your new folder as 2.jpg.
Repeat the process of undoing the merge, lowering opacity, and saving in numerical order.
Note: if you will have more than 9 final jpgs to combine, you will have to be creative with your numbering. Instead of naming the files 10, 11 and so forth, choose 91, 92, 93. The 10 would appear directly behind file number 1 and would throw things off.
When all of your files are ready, launch Adobe ImageReady CS2 (free with purchase of Adobe PhotoShop CS2).
Step 10: Choose File, Import, Folder As Frames. Select your working folder.
Step 11: On top of the Animation Box, click Animation and choose Select All Frames. On any of the frames, choose a speed (i.e. .2 seconds). Press the Play button to view the animation. Adjust speed if necessary.
Step 12: If it is all to your liking, select File, Save Optimized As… Change the default format to Images Only. Name your gif file.
Your GIF is ready!
If you have a suggestion for a future tutorial, please let me know.
Filed under How To... VIDEOS, Photoshop