Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hunger Games Movie Soundtrack

With any movie comes a soundtrack.  I'll admit I used to have a terrible addiction to movie soundtracks.  And ok, sometimes I still buy music from movies I see.  I've been searching for what the Hunger Games album will be comprised of and right now, it seems a little fuzzy.

Taylor Swift [feat. The Civil Wars] has one song locked in called "Safe and Sound."  It's folksy and quite different from her other music.  I found it very depressing and somewhat unrelated to the Hunger Games.  The lyrics are closely tied to Rue's song and I hate to see this song take away from hers.  It's as if they said, "We need a song that's going to sell with a big name artist.  If Stephanie Meyers got Muse, we must have Taylor Swift!"  Blah.  So far, it has 7766 ratings on iTunes with the average rating being 4.5 stars.  I read a lot of the comments and while many people call it "brilliant," I side more with those who say Taylor is a wonderful artist but she's not for the Hunger Games.  Regardless of the ratings and comments, the song shot to #1 on the iTunes singles list within 24 hours of release, which was December 23.  The illustration below shows the most frequently-used words in the song, with the largest words most frequent.

Win Butler and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire have written a song called "Horn of Plenty" for the movie.  The Decemberists have also reportedly contributed to an original song called "One Engine" that is to appear on the album, set to be released before the movie in March.

The soundtrack's producer is T Bone Burnett.  The rest of the soundtrack lineup has not been released, but according to a press release, it will feature "all new songs based on themes that figure into the movie's storyline."

Jennifer Lawrence will not only play Katniss in the movie, but she'll also lend her vocals to the soundtrack.  Imagine that.  An actress who's also a singer.  I'm betting she models too.  Burnett had high praise for her singing.  He said it was "beautiful.  She did great.  She's singing great.  Killer actor too."  Did I mention Burnett also contributed to "Safe and Sound" as well as the Decemberists song?  Let's hope his three-word sentences aren't a tip off to the kind of music he writes...

iTunes is also home to a host of music "inspired by Hunger Games" if you're interested.  Simply search Hunger Games in the "title" section to listen.

MTV says, "Fans are totally geeked about the new big-screen adaptation that could be the next-generation "Twilight" series, which is why we put together our list of the top 10 "Games" moments of 2011."  First off, "geeked?!?"  Really?  What is that?  And B, Hunger Games is NOT a next-generation "Twilight."  It's so much better than that!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Family Photos, Texas Style

I got to take some photos of my gorgeous cousin, Holly and her beautiful [growing] family today.  It was cold and misting rain but we managed to get a few good shots.  Of course, when you work with pretty people, it makes things easy!  Holly and I have always been close.  Her husband, Sean is great and downtown Hannah Brown ("That's not my name!") is absolutely precious!  We had a great time....well, until the cold and the lack of a nap got to Hannah.  You'll see what I mean. :)  Then later, after naps, dinner and a several rounds of Dance Central, we took a few in front of the Christmas tree like my friend April over at Mommy Murray.

The whole family!

Happy, happy, happy

Beautiful Hannah

Such a sweetheart!

Right where she likes to be!

I know it shouldn't, but this photo makes me laugh every time I see it!


Christmas glow

Coming soon!

One of my favorite quotes with my favorite pregnant lady!

Monday, December 12, 2011

December: Favorite Things

Simply amazing!  If you haven't checked this out, do so immediately.  An instant classic you'll want to listen to year round!

I have loved these socks since I first saw them on Pinterest.  Seriously, what did we do before that glorious web site???

I can't think of a Christmas movie I like more than this one.  It always makes me laugh and my brother is the epitome of Will Ferrel's Elf character.  I think we could quote the whole movie.


Though I LOVE the winter weather, my skin definitely pays the price.  Carmex lip balm is the best and now they make lotion.  It's great and has that wonderful Carmex scent...if you like that sort of thing....and I do.

Carmex Healing Lotion and Healing Cream

So this is a combination of two of my favorite things.  If you know me, you know I have an affinity for both gnomes and wrapping gifts...ok, and paper in general.  This is from Paper Source and I am in love with it.  Each year I choose a theme for my gift wrapping.  In previous years, I've used brown craft paper with brightly colored ribbon, white monochromatic, all shades of green....and this year, I think I will do gnomes!  They're just so cute and festive! Paper Source has a whole line of products featuring that adorable little gnome, including gift bags, if that's what you prefer.

Ok, so this is another Christmas album....but IMO, there are really only two you need!  (Ok, and maybe some Crosby and Sinatra)  As most of you know, Zooey is my very favorite.  She does it all (acting, singing, modeling, cotton, hellogiggles, etc.) and this album does not disappoint!!  Definitely a must for your Christmas collection.

Mmmmmmmm!  My all-time favorite winter-time drink.  It's so yummy and comforting, like a hug in a cup.  It makes any moment/movie/outing/book 100% better.  I've become quite a connoisseur of ho cho but truthfully, I will drink any kind of hot chocolate so long as it's not white chocolate (blah!).  My favorite is dark hot chocolate.  Preferably with marshmallows on top.  The very best kind is the actual shaved chocolate that you mix with milk until it's melted.  But in a pinch, the Swiss Miss powder in water does the trick too. I also really like the kind with a hit of peppermint.

Williams-Sonoma Hot Chocolate and Vanilla Marshmallows.  Yummy!!!!

Of course my Kindle!!  There is something magical about reading.  Especially after a long day of watching Elf, and gift wrapping while listening to Christmas music with perfectly moisturized skin, wearing boot socks and sipping some hot chocolate.  :)
Amazon Kindle

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Cookie Bash 2011

Each year my cousin, Angela (or as I call her, Gayla--yes, the same cousin from the Christmas photos) makes dozens of sugar cookies and she and her family invite friends over to decorate.  Her aunt makes adorable kid-sized aprons for each of the children so they don't frost their clothes.  Everyone had a great time and I tried to capture some of the fun in the midst of decorating some cookies myself.  It's just so fun!  Here are some photos from the 2011 edition.  Special thanks to Wade for watching Jovie!

The Girls
R & B
G & D
Isn't she lovely?!
Showing that cookie who's boss
Ammy and Me
Concentration is key.
A steady hand....
...makes the best fanny pack!  I SO loved this.  lol
Oh Christmas tree

One guess who loves sprinkles this much :)
Christmas Cookie Fun!
The End
This is a great activity for kids (young and old) and their friends and family.  I highly recommend it and know they love this Christmas tradition!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Candace Goes to the Dentist

...for about the fifth time ever.  I guess I should preface this with I've always had good teeth and general oral hygiene my entire life.  No cavities, broken teeth or gum issues.  I've been very fortunate in my 26 years.

I recently decided it was time for a cleaning.  "Nothing major, just a cleaning" is what I told a co-worker.  So on Wednesday, I went in.  They took x-rays and discovered that I had, not one, two, three, four or five....but six cavities.  SIX.  Three on each side.  Even though they said this had nothing to do with my home care (my home care is great), this was a definite blow.  I realize compared to what many go through, this is nothing-even preferable.  Given how I took getting this news, I can't imagine how I would take news I had cancer.  I am used to going to the dentist (what few times I have been) and being praised for my great chompers.  So now, basically I have to accept the fact that I am flawed and destructible.

They set two appointments for fillings.  Three would be on Thursday and three would be on Monday.  Then later that day they called and asked if I wanted to just do all of them on Thursday.  Not having had this done before, I said, "Sure!" thinking it would be nice to get it all done at one time.  They said it would take an hour and a half.  Sounded good to me.  I told my cousin later that night and she thought I was crazy for doing all of them at once.

Thursday I went back.  Sitting in the waiting room, I was more than nervous.  I could hear a drill in the back and couldn't shake the sick feeling in my stomach.  They took me to a room, laid me in a chair, gave me headphones set to a Christmas music station, covered me with a blanket and gave me the gas.  I was in there sniffing gas for a good long time.  Well it seemed like a long time.  Not sure how long it actually was.  I fell asleep.  Then the doctor came in with the dental hygienist.  I told them both I hadn't had cavities before and wasn't sure what was about to happen.  They said I'd be fine.

So he rubs something on my gums then shoots me up with something that is supposed to numb me.  As soon as he finishes this along the top, the dental hygienist starts trying to cram what she calls a "pillow" in my mouth.  The pillow is about the size of my fist.  Can you fit your fist in your mouth???  Me either.  As she's doing this, my heart starts racing and I immediately have the sensation that something is terribly wrong.  My body is starting to twitch and my heart is beating so fast I think it might burst.  I start sweating and can't feel my hands or my shins (odd combo, I know).  My throat feels like it growing smaller and it's harder to breathe.  I start choking and gurgling.  They had to have seen me twitching and at this point, tears are running down the side of my face into my ears.  I reach up from under the blanket and rip off the head phones, which are tangled with the gas on my nose.  Push her hands away from my face (she's still trying to ram the pillow in my mouth) and rip out the dang "pillow," which for the record feels nothing like a pillow.  I tell them I can't hear anything and my heart is racing and I can't feel my hands or shins.  Then I completely lose it and think I may have had a panic attack.  The doctor talks me down for quite some time.  Puts the gas back on my nose and tells me that this doesn't happen very often but in rare instances people have this reaction to the shots.  Lucky me.  He also tells me he's not in any hurry and we can take all the time we need and that I shouldn't worry.  I lay there and try not to worry but really I'm mortified and can't stop wondering if anyone has ever died at the dentist office.  The dental hygienist just stares blankly at the wall like I'm wasting her time and annoying her.  And maybe I was.  What 26-year-old has this kind of reaction?  In my defense, I'd never had a cavity, so I'd never had this done so how was I supposed to know I'd have this reaction?

I laid there for quite some time.  Again, not sure how long.  When I had somewhat settled and my heart resumed a normal-ish rate, he began drilling.  Not sure what he did.  I should have googled it before hand.  I'm the kind of person who can't stand to not know things.  Maybe it's a control issue, but I have to know what's going on.  Also, I don't like to be touched so people having their hands in my mouth doesn't rate with me.  The actual drilling part was not so bad.  Had I not had that reaction to the shots, it wouldn't have been bad at all.  Though no one warned me about the smell that went along with getting a filling.  Maybe my teeth are as hard as diamonds.  It smelled like when you're using an electrirc sander and stay on one patch of wood for too long and it gets a friction burn.  Maybe that doesn't happen to anyone else.  Maybe I imagined it.  Who knows?  I tried to keep my eyes closed.  At one point I opened them and swear he was wearing a welder's helmet and sparks were flying out of my mouth.  It was definitely better to keep my eyes shut.

So he finished the top right side and we were about to move to the left.  On the right side, they were all on the top.  On the left, I had two on top and one on bottom...which meant more shots.  Eeeek.  I had the same reaction but with no crying this time as I knew what to expect.  Still not pleasant but at least I knew it was coming.  He finished those, made me to this bite and grind routine so he could shave down the fillings.  They are tooth colored, by the way.  Then he thanked me for coming in and said the hygienist was going to polish things up and I'd be good to go.

She nearly drown me with whatever she was doing.  And finally, she was finished.  She sat my chair up and I couldn't get out of it fast enough.  I stood up and stretched.  My entire body ached and I was covered in fuzz from the blanket.  I didn't realize it at the time but I'd laid there completely tense the whole time.  So much for the gas that was suppose to relax me.  It had to have been only oxygen.

It's good that they did them all at once because I wouldn't have been back for the next three on Monday after that reaction.  I've never been as terrified as I was during that.  I will be going to the dentist every six months for a regularly scheduled cleaning in hopes of never having to get a shot like that again.  Over all, it was far worse than I thought it would be.  But no one could have known I was going to have that reaction.  And luckily, now we do.  When I left the office, my body ached as if I had just run a marathon.

The good news...Later that night, I found out my Christmas photos had been used on the ABC World News.  If you missed that blog, click HERE.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Photos on ABC World News!

Yesterday was a fantastic day (minus the trip to the dentist-- but that's a different post).  I have an app on my phone called Instagram.  If you have an iphone, you must get this (free) app!  When using Instagram, you can take pictures (or upload from your existing photo library), add filters to make them look a certain way and then share them on other sites such as Twitter or Facebook.  It's also a way to follow other IGers, "like" and/or comment their photos and see what's happening in any part of the world.  It's super easy and there's always something new to look at.  It's a wonderful social media platform for both amateur and professional photographers.  Like with other social media sites, hashtags are important.  They are how your photos discovered and categorized.

I happen to follow ABC World News on Instagram.  They post fascinating photos all the time and, many times, ask for people to submit photos related to stories they are working on.  Yesterday, they asked for photos of ugly Christmas sweaters to be submitted with the hashtag #WNUgly.  I submitted all of the family photos.  They immediately started getting a lot of "likes" and comments on Instagram.  Several people even started following me. 

That night when I got home I turned on ABC World News, not thinking my photos would be on there.  I assumed they'd contact me if they were going to use them.  As other news stories were playing, I got online to see if there was a slideshow up.  (They said on Instagram there would be a slideshow and a news story).  I found the slideshow and there, at number three, was my brother!

Caption:  "Brother bear in his Christmas vest," writes Candace Timmons of this very special sweater. A small tree, not a common holiday-sweater accessory, adds a jaunty note. (Courtesy Candace Timmons)
To see the whole slideshow, click HERE.

So as I'm looking through the slideshow, the story about the ugly Christmas sweaters comes on the news.  I sat watching with great anticipation and then........there was Cortney and Jeremy (my sister and brother-in-law) and their dog Pate!  And then Bubba (my brother) shortly after!  You can see them on the video below.  Cortney and Jeremy are at 1:14 and Bubba is at 1:25

As soon as it was over I got a text message from my friend Karry saying she had just seen my brother and sister on the news.  I was also trying to call everyone in my family to let them know and none of them were answering their phones!  Finally I reach Jeremy, who was having dinner with Cortney and told them.  Jeremy had gotten a text from one of his friends saying they saw it too.  My parents were very excited and then, when I finally talked to Bubba, he was the most excited of all.

This may not be earth-shattering news, but it is fun.  And in the midst of all the bad, it's so nice to be a part of something that makes people laugh.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hawpe Family Christmas Photos

This past weekend I got to shoot Christmas photos of my cousin Gayla and her sweet, beautiful family.  Their house is gorgeous and we had a great time.  You can definitely feel the love this family has for each other.  And though her son is supposedly an anti-smiler, we managed to get some really good photos. :)

I pulled out this photo below and edited a little differently.  I just love the expressions they are making.  They're both so sweet and such a lady and gentleman.  Definitely one of my favorites.  Love them!

Family Christmas Card

This year the family decided we wanted to do ugly Christmas sweater Christmas cards.  My brother, sister and I had done one of the three of us a couple of years ago but wanted to expand this year.  We also wanted to include pets.  Needless to say, getting a photo where all six people and four dogs were looking at the camera was no easy task.  Also, my uncle had just gotten to town and the boys were itching to get to the river for 4-wheelers, guns and dirt-you know, man stuff.  We hurriedly took about 150 photos.  Here were some out takes:  (Bubba had a different pose in almost every shot.)

Bubba testing the remote.  I have laughed and laughed at this one.  He looks so deranged.

So then we took a few individual/couple shots.  Here were the winners:

Bubba holding a mini Christmas tree like a lumber jack.  Because all lumberjacks have a fancy Christmas vest, right???

Me and Jovie!

Jeremy, Cortney and Pate

Mom, Dad, Isabella and Piper

And here is the front of the Christmas card:

The inside of the card reads, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is wearing a fancy Christmas sweater!"  They are being printed by (love them!) on recycled paper so the "enviros" in the family can send them out guilt free.  :)