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Archive for August, 2010

There are always many questions regarding photography and photo editing running around in my head.

And that’s awesome since I always have something new to learn or find out.

For example, for quite some time now, I’ve been wondering how to apply a color tint to my pictures.

Today, maybe because I still feel a little overwhelmed by the romantic atmosphere of the wedding we attended recently, I decided to definitely learn how that thing is achieved.

Of course, as with everything in the photo-editing realm, there are about 3 gazillion ways how to achieve certain effect.

In fact, I’m glad I found at least this one.

So if you know of any other approach, feel free to let me know.

I’ll be more than happy.
 
 

This is the original picture.

I took it while I was house sitting (and dog sitting and canary sitting) for my parents about a month ago.

Those days were long, lazy and filled with taking scandalous amounts of pictures.

Scandalous, I’m telling you!

As I was choosing the picture to play with today, I noticed these flowers. They were literally calling for some romance to be brought into their lives.

So this is what I did to help them…

Note: I am using Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 here.
 
 

I clicked LAYER  -> NEW ADJUSTMENT LAYER -> PHOTO FILTER.
 
 

This is what appears on the lower right-hand side.

Right now, a wonderful time begins for you – just go and choose whatever color tint you want in your picture.

I went for ‘Warming Filter’ under the ‘Filter’ option. The filter option includes gorgeous preset tint colors.

Instead of the ‘Filter’ option, you can also click the ‘Color’ button (just under the ‘Filter’ button) which will allow you to choose from any color that basically exists.

 

Now that you have your color selected, you can adjust the intensity of the color with the ‘Density’ option. Dragging the ‘Density’ slider to the right adds more of the color to the image for a stronger amount of tinting, while dragging it to the left reduces the amount of color for a more subtle tinting effect. You can see a preview of what’s happening in your image as you drag the slider.
 
 

When I was perfectly happy with the new tint of my picture I flattened it (LAYER -> FLATTEN IMAGE).

Then I decided to do one more thing – to lighten the image up a little. I clicked ENHANCE -> ADJUST LIGHTING -> LEVELS and dragged the slider to the left until the image was as light as I wished.

Ta-da!
 
 

Here are both pictures side-by-side for you to compare.

Gosh, I LOVE this tinting game!

Just try it, it’s awesome!

Love,

Petra
 
 

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So!

The wedding is over.

And it was truly amazing.

The bride looked just wonderful. She changed three dresses throughout the evening – gold, white and blue one.

She looked dazzling.

The groom was as cute, kind and handsome as a groom can be. And his hands were as cold as groom’s hands can get.

If you know what I mean.

 

The ceremony took place in a church and I loved it, except for one little detail – I didn’t understand a single word.

No, I didn’t go through some random period of mental disintegration.

The thing is that I just don’t speak the native language of the couple being wed. But I liked it anyway. Partly because it gave me more time to focus on the photographer’s work and his equipment. At one moment, I was really tempted to jump up and run around with my camera, just like him.

Except, I didn’t have my camera with me. Which was a painful torture.

Ouch!

Are you asking why the heck I went without a camera?

Well, before the wedding, me and my man came to a conclusion that it’s inappropriate for me to bring the camera along since I have this strange uncontrollable tendency to detach from this world’s affairs for quite a moment once I start taking pictures. And if that happened, I wouldn’t probably be the best companion.

I agreed.

 

 

Then there was a party – loads of scrumptious food, the most delicious champagne, all sort of sweets, the wedding cake with six layers, new friends, bottomless hospitality and a lot of mad dancing.

Just marvelous!

 

Also, what I wanted to show you, and what you definitely must have noticed by now, is the loot of mine that I really adore – a cookie place ‘card’.

Isn’t that just the cutest idea for a place card?

I love it!

So that is what I wanted to show you…

Now, I have shown it to you…

 

P.S.: Some of you have asked me to let you see the whole outfit I was wearing and which I presented in parts here. The answer is – I might, once we’ll be sent the pictures …and I will be present in at least one of them. Let’s hope…

 

 

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Before attending a wedding a girl has a right to go crazy.

In all possible ways.

Right?

Well, at least, I think so.
 

Me and my boyfriend have been invited to a wedding that is taking place tomorrow. It’s a wedding of my man’s best friend – so it’s really something.

When I was thinking about what to wear, my basic plan was to find a dress that would be very tolerant to …hm, how would I say this – a dress that would be very tolerant to what my love of food brings along.

And let’s not talk about that anymore, please.

Please!
 
 

Last Wednesday, very early in the morning, I packed three apples and set off for a journey to a nearby city to loot it from left to right and from north to south.

I decided to get the dress first and find the accessories that would go with the dress later.

Five hours, one coffee, one Red Bull and one emotional breakdown later, this dress appeared in front of me.

Thank you Marco Pecci of Peek & Cloppenburg – whoever you are – for making this lovely romantic dress for me.

You are my savior.

I think I love you!
 
 

One more coffee and three hours later, I bought the shoes which I am not showing here for indescribable reasons.
 

Whether I could believe or not, the day was almost over and it was time to go home.

Which was awesome because the craze had spread into two days.

On Thursday, I went to find my accessories. Since my dress and my shoes were all black I wanted to cheer the look up and decided to go for the color red.

I bought a bracelet…
 
 

… and a ring.

It’s a diamond ring.

(In my dreams…)
 
 

And then I bought these earrings.

I am not quite sure whether they go with the ring and the bracelet but I don’t worry about it much since they will be perfectly hidden under my hair.

 
 

This is a scarf.

A large scarf.

I bought it instead of a jacket or cardigan or whatever – in case the weather is cold.

I plan to wrap that around my arms so that I am a little warmer.
 
 

I love this scarf as much as a girl can love her scarf.

Just look – it’s half lace and half warm.
 
 

I really adore all the details.

In fact, I might be the only guest who is wishing for some colder weather for tomorrow.
 
 

And then there’s this.

My beloved Ruby Rose.
 
 

Aaahhh!

Doesn’t your heart feel a little warmer right now?
 
 

Look!

There’s more!
 
 

I think I might choose something from this side.

 

I just can’t wait for tomorrow.

See you soon.

Love,

Petra
 

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Thank you all for your wonderful ideas on how to play this game …all of them were terrific!

Also, I am very relieved that I’m by far not the only one who’d play this game with alcohol.

So relieved!

And the winner who gets the chess set is…

Tram-ta-ra-daaa…

Linda: “To play this game of chess I’d use cherry vodka… and I’d probably lose even if I played with a monkey.”

Congrats Linda and have a lot of fun (which I am sure you will)! You’ll be contacted via e-mail soon.

 
Thanks again my dear friends and keep an eye on this site since a new cute and colorful giveaway is waiting for you just around the corner.

Have a wonderful day!

Love,

Petra
 

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As you might have noticed, my greatest passion is to prepare simple and healthy dishes for this blog.

Okay, sometimes I just break loose and prepare a sweet little dessert.

Okay, okay …you mostly see me preparing desserts and you might have heard me saying about a million times how much I love baking and how I can’t live without it, but listen folks – I am attending a wedding this Saturday and really need to squeeze myself into that cute dress I haven’t even bought yet. That is the main reason why I’ve been treating myself to vegetable diets or lemon juice afternoons recently.

Yes, lately I’ve been determined to lose the weight of at least one well-fed elephant.

Or even more.

Because when I think, I think BIG.

So that is for the theory.

In practice, I’d like to note that chocolate has never tasted better than it does these days and I’ll also be posting about those wonderful, wonderful cream cheese crepes soon.

And you know what?

I think I’ll just blame the lack of my self-control on the full moon.

Yeah, that’s exactly what I’ll do.
 
 

Now, back to the Chicken Steaks with Green Onion Potatoes.

This dish is truly wonderful, light and the determined ones will definitely appreciate its low calorie count.

In the picture above I am showing the ingredients that I’ve used to prepare it.
 

1. First, grab the young, green onions.

Aren’t they just cute?

Place them on a cutting board and lop off their tops.
 
 

2. Slice the onions into little rounds.

Set aside a couple of the rounds for later.
 
 

Then play with the chopped onions – form various shapes and take pictures of it all …let this activity last for the next 30 minutes or so, then start feeling really hungry and continue the cooking process.
 
 

3. Heat up some oil in a medium pot and throw the onions in.

Fry them for a little while over medium heat.
 
 

4. Peel, wash and slice the potatoes.
 

5. Add the potatoes to the onions.
 

6. Add the salt.
 
 

7. Then add the other spices –  red sweet paprika powder, ground black pepper and the ground cumin.

Stir it all together.
 

8. Add a little water – about 1/2 cup (125 ml), cover and let cook.
 

9. Keep your eye on the potatoes while they are cooking – stir them every now and then (!) and when the water evaporates add some more (this thing likes to burn a little so make sure there’s always at least a little water in the pot).

The whole process – just until the potatoes were done – lasted (in my case) about 30 minutes.
 
 

10. In the meantime, wash the chicken breasts and slice them in half lengthwise.
 

11. Pound the breasts lightly so that they are of even thickness.
 
 

12. In a pan, heat up some vegetable oil.
 

13. Put the breasts in the pan and sprinkle them with your favorite grilling spice.
 

14. Fry over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Then turn the meat, sprinkle the other side with the grilling spice and  fry for another 5-7 minutes.
 
 

Now place your lovely, fragrant steak on a plate…
 
 

… and add the delicious, irresistible potatoes.

Yummy!
 
 

Sprinkle with the remaining onions that you’ve set aside.
 
 

And enjoy, dear friends.

It’s really good – even my man said so!

(This recipe makes 2 portions.)
 
 

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Send Your Toys For a Vacation

Note: Although I’ve already posted this once I’ve decided to do so again since my newly established travel agency for toys needs some more marketing. Please, come and have a look at the gorgeous possibilities we offer for your teddies to enjoy…

 

My teddy has left for a holiday.

After all, he definitely deserved it – he’s been my sweetheart for such a long time.

You may be asking who he’s traveling with.

Well, it’s my new travel agency that I established recently.

I thought I should really let you know about it since you might be one of those people who would like to send their beloved toys somewhere for a wonderful trip and need that ‘someone‘ to arrange all the necessary details.

Please, feel free to enjoy the pictures from the places my teddy has visited…

First of all, it was Paris – shown in the picture above (he looks so incredibly happy there).
 
 

Then Egypt – what a wonderful place.
 
 

He was joyously excited over there.

The weather was wonderfully hot, there was a  lot of water around and even some camel riding was possible.
 
 

What a pleasure it is to spend time on a beach.

Maybe your teddy will meet his/her long lost relative there.
 
 

Is your teddy into adrenaline?

Then why not try white-water rafting?

It’s so stress-relieving.
 
 

Oh, and this is something for those who are keen on flying.

What a bliss.
 
 

Your teddy also deserves some scrumptious yet healthy food.

Yum!

All-in-all, your precious sweetie will be taken care of with the uttermost attention.

Now I’m sure all of your toy friends definitely want to go too.

For more information (or if you have any suggestions), please, contact me in the comment section.

Meanwhile, I am going to put a bit more thinking into the whole project…
 

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Because one of the best things I’ve found in this world is giving presents to the people I love I’ve prepared a cute little something for you.

You definitely deserve it!

It is a Chess Set …but this one is played in a rather funky way – on a glass board with cute shot glasses filled with your drink of choice.

I see so many advantages of this kind of set over the usual one – first, it definitely lets you have a lot of fun. If you go ‘soft drink’, it keeps you hydrated. If you’re an adventure seeker, just fill the glasses with alcohol and set out the rules so that the player who takes most pieces drinks most grog. I think even a pro playing against a beginner can have a pretty enjoyable match – any kind of ability gap will be swiftly bridged. Think red wine versus white wine, for example. Or silver tequila against gold tequila… gee, I got carried away.

So yes, one of you can win this game.
 
 

Contest Closed. Thank you!
 

TO ENTER

To enter this contest, just answer the following question in the ‘Comments section’ of this post:

What kind of beverage would you choose to play this game with?

 

THE RULES

  • One entry per person, please.

Extra entries:

  • Twitter (follow ZoomYummy; leave a separate note about it in the comment section of this post),
  • Facebook (become a fan of ZoomYummy; leave a separate note about it in the comment section of this post).

(So together you can have three entries.)

Winner will be selected at random and announced on Thursday (August 26).

Good luck, everybody!
 

Contest Closed. Thank you!
 
 

And now I’d like to show you a little magic trick.

Café Frappé – it’s truly magical.

Why?

I’ll show you…
 
 

Café Frappé is a beloved drink of the Greeks.

All you need to prepare it is some instant coffee, sugar, water, milk and a few ice cubes.

It’s as simple as can be.

You also need to steal a frappé shaker from your Mom. If your Mom dares not to own a frappé shaker or if you are a decent person and don’t steal, then just use a glass with a lid.

Easy!
 
 

1. In the shaker/container/glass mix 2 teaspoons of instant coffee…
 
 

2. …with 2 teaspoons of sugar.
 
 

3. Add 4 tablespoons of water…
 
 

4. …close it and…

SHAKE IT… SHAKE, SHAKE IT… SHAKE IT LIKE A POLAROID PICTURE!
 
 

Shake it just until you get from this…
 
 

… to this frothy heaven.

Did you know that your instant coffee has this kind of ability?

It can transform into this thick and foamy wonder in no time.

I just love it!
 
 

5. Then fill a glass half way with ice cubes.

If you are a maniac like me, you can try to make these flavored ice cubes sometimes.
 
 

6. Pour the foam into the glass.
 
 

7. And add as much milk as you like.
 
 

Yum!
 
 

I’ve learned that the Greeks like to drink this foam-covered iced coffee with a straw.

Also, they like to stir the coffee and enjoy the relaxing sound of the ice cubes hitting with each other and with the glass.

Wonderful!
 
 

Just give it a try – it’s simple and delicious!

Oh, and don’t forget about the giveaway…

Love,

Petra
 

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