Fotodiox Pro Lens Mount Auto Adapter [vlog]

Posted Leave a commentPosted in photography, Video

I’m totally enjoying vlogging these days, so finding camera accessories for my Canon M6 to make the video recording process easier makes me happy. Truth be told, I probably didn’t need a lens adapter, but I’m very, very dependent on my prime lenses (50 mm & 24 mm) so hmmm, maybe I did need the adapter. I’m needy and like what I like. 😉 Anyway, the Fotodiox Pro Lens Mount Adapter is $40 on Amazon vs the one available with Canon at $249. The reviews for the Fotoxio adapter were good (4.5 stars and 129 reviews….good enough for me). No regrets yet!

More babbling about the lens adapter:

The City

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Chicago, Cinemagraph/Stop Motion, photography

Recently, my oldest friend (in time, not in age) celebrated her 40th birthday. :-O She wanted to do a big girls trip, but knowing that some of us (er, me) had young kids, that was a little bit of a hard sell. Somehow it evolved into a staycation in Chicago. Yes! I’m in. So Saturday afternoon, I drove into the city and had a rare (these days) night on the town with a few lovely girls.

We started off at The Peninsula for afternoon tea.


Those sandwiches are filling, so if you have a steak dinner following, I wouldn’t suggest not stuffing your face with so many sandwiches. (Easier said than done.)


And what do you know? We had dinner reservations at RPM steak house where the water mentioned that he could do family style. (For our stuffed bellies, we were all about this.) Read more about it here.

Because then we went to Apogee for drinks. Prosecco pops – that’s where it’s at.

Cinemagraph at Apogee Bar Chicago

Not a bad view at all!

cinemagraph Chicago traffic at night

We crashed at the Dana Hotel. I ended up in a room with two girls who were leaving early (5AM!) the next morning – one was catching a flight and the other one was driving her to the airport. (That’s a good friend, by the way!). So I ended up alone in the room on Sunday morning. Best. Morning. Ever. I took my time getting ready with a little Bravo in the background. It was pretty awesome.

cinemagraph jumping on bed at Dana Hotel Chicago


cinemagraph Dana Hotel

And then it was time to get back to my non-Bravo reality. 😉

Chicago Marathon 2017

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Chicago, photography

Chicago Marathon 2017

Man, 2017 provided a beautiful day for the Chicago Marathon. It started off on the cooler side…I admit that if I were running, I probably wouldn’t have been comfortable as the temps warmed up after 10AM (I think it was officially somewhere in the upper 70s but it felt a little like it was in the 80s). But as a spectator, it was fun to stand, cheer, talk to my friend’s husband as we waited for our Marathoner at the 11.5 mile mark, watch The Kid chase his friends and then, abandon Adult Conversation to stop The Kid from running onto the course. (“Wow, he is full of energy,” the friend remarked. Ha ha ha, very much an understatement.)

Chicago Marathon 2017
He totally missed the superheroes run past him.

Chicago Marathon 2017
The energy was awesome, as it always is.

Chicago Marathon 2017
I love that this guy was taking a selfie or vlogging, mostly because I know I would have been dying at this point if I were in his place. (So much admiration here!)

Such a fun morning, and I hope I have a reason (to cheer someone on*) to return next year!

Chicago Marathon 2017

Random notes about this year’s marathon:

  • There’s a Chicago Marathon app that let’s you track runners in real time. It tells you where they are and where you are in relation to them. I thought that was so great! Such a good app.
  • I arrived in the area around 10AM (so I totally missed the ultra-marathoners. Oh, and congrats to Galen Rupp!). The Husband wasn’t too confident that I would find a decent spot, but I actually did find street parking when I arrived (on Franklin and Huron. Funny enough, there was nothing but street parking on Huron. Yay).
  • I’ve been a spectator to a handful of Chicago Marathons in the past, and I’m sad to say that I noticed the amped up security this year. I won’t lie: I was very relieved to see them and glad they were there to keep the runners and crowds safe. Much props to the men and women of the CPD that kept an eye out for all of us this weekend.

*Because there is no way I’ll be running.

Photobook Talk [vlog]

Posted Leave a commentPosted in photo book, Print your pictures!, Video

Vlog Episode 4:

I want to do more vlogs focused on photo books. We’re in a period of time where “everyone is a photographer” and there are more pictures taken now than ever before, but everyone is so focused on getting their pictures up on social media, which is cool for sharing purposes. But aside from Facebook’s “On This Day” memories, how will everyone revisit their photos 10 years from now? (Please don’t say Facebook will help you with that.) I’ve done a video touching on that. But, er, this isn’t that video. (It’s coming.) This is, however, a video talking about scanning pictures for a client to put into a photo book. I’ve been working with him for a few years putting together family albums with his digital photos. While moving, he and his wife came across boxes from their travels in the 80s and asked me to scan them and put them in a photo book to keep it consistent with the other books they have. I have to say, it’s been a fun process.

P.S. Can I still call this video “Vlog with my dog” if it’s not Giada focused? Maybe I need more of a general vlog name like Diana Takes Pictures or DTP. I’ll keep thinking about that one. 😉

RPM Steak

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Chicago, Food

I should have posted these pictures from a few weeks ago when I was at RPM celebrating one of my best girlfriend’s 40th birthday. We did a city staycation weekend to celebrate – a post on the weekend is forthcoming. But since my stomach is growling at me, I thought I’d post the few pictures I took at RPM Steak with Daphne.

I should preface by saying that we had just come from afternoon tea at The Peninsula, so not all of us were super hungry although I was getting there! The waiter suggested that we order a bunch of things and he could serve us family style. We had no idea that could be done! (It ended up being a perfect set up.)

oysters at RPM Steak Chicago
Started with oysters. Yum.

And then the food came out:

Did you need a close up of the beautiful steak? Because here it is:
RPM Steak Chicago

I kinda became obsessed with the Hasselbeck potatoes and ended up making them at home the following weekend (using Pioneer Woman’s recipe):

So good.

I’m sorry to say that we didn’t get dessert, but they brought out a little treat for The Birthday Girl:
cotton candy RPM Steak Chicago
Cotton candy!!!! What’s not to love about this place? Not sure when I’ll be back, but hopefully sooner rather than later. (Already drooling as I think about it.)

P.S. RPM is a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, and The Birthday Girl mentioned that around the holidays, LEY will give you $25 for every $100 giftcard you purchase. So you can use the gift card here or another restaurant (if you’re from the Chicago area, you know there are plenty of them to choose from!). Good tip – I’ll have to remember this one.

Vlog with my dog

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Giada

Episode 3:

This pretty much covers what Giada does on a given day. She’ll tell you that her life is ruff now that she is no longer the center of our universe, but with daily walks and plenty of table scraps, I think she is doing a-okay. (She might argue with me on that though, lol.)

Sigh [a Project 365 photo]

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Family Life, Life, photography

picture of baby making mess in nursery

Everytime I’m out doing errands with the kids, someone will – inevitably, it seems – say, “Enjoy these times. You’ll never get them back.” (Or something to that effect.) I smile politely and think to myself, whatever…. And then moments like this happen – I swear I had only turned my back for a minute. Instinctively, I get irritated. On my truly off days, I admit that I fly off the handle or get pretty close to tears. (“I just organized everything in there!!!!!!!!”) Then, I take out the camera for no other reason than out of pure habit. I click, breath, quickly check out the image on the back screen, smile…and realize that those strangers are on to something.

Day 271/365

Lunch at Mitsuwa & adding to the photo books

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Life, photo book

family eating lunch at Mitsuwa
Mitsuwa was a last minute stop after a morning at the Deerfield farmers market, Whole Foods (no, this is not a normal grocery stop for us, but there was one across the street from the market and I realized I needed something for that night’s dinner…and the 90 degree temps was telling me to get out of the heat and into an air conditioned store) and Barnes & Noble. We had intended to stay at the bookstore for awhile and buy a few things but left empty handed after 10 minutes as The Kid had a meltdown because I wouldn’t let him go up & down the escalators for the 5th time (true story). Anyway, there’s nothing remarkable about this picture, but this is my little community of roommates (minus Giada) so I love it. My friend Chris (no link because she’s my IRL friend, ha ha) once told me that when I look at my kids I should remind myself that “this is the smallest they’ll ever be from here on out.” Sadly, this is also the youngest that my husband & I will ever be from here on out . 😉 Anyway, I came home & immediately added the picture into the family photo book so that I could look back at this in 10-20 years and smile (and pretend that these were not the energy-sucking years, ha ha).


Regarding the family photo book….I’m working on two. One is the annual family photo book and the other one is for The Girl’s first year. I’ve been pretty good about keeping The Girl’s book up to date. Every week, I’ll add pictures and then write about what she’s been up to that week. It’s pretty cool to see how she’s morphed from a little alien (a cute alien, mind you) into the baby goat that she is now (because she loves stuffing paper products into her mouth…yeah) . I have really enjoyed going through her brother’s book from his first year & I’m looking forward to doing the same with hers when the book is complete. But she’s not a year old yet (another few months), so I have time. And I’ll have to pat myself on the back for being consistent with her her book because….

Oh man, the family album… It’s late September and this album is all over the place. There are pictures acting as placeholders for each month, but I don’t actually have a completed month yet, which – at this rate – isn’t good if I’m looking to send this off to Blurb on January 1. Yikes. I’ll try to get the book up-to-date in October, but hey, I have a page spread from September complete:

family photo book layout

Yay! 🙂

Hanging out at home [cinemagraphs]

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Cinemagraph/Stop Motion

First off, I need my coffee:

cinemagraph mom getting coffee


cinemagraph of mom holding leash and stroller
“Time to take picture!” The Kid will yell before climbing out of the stroller (as I yell at him to get back in).

cinemagraph of cooking and watching RHOC
I don’t know what has been happening in the last few seasons of RHOC, but I do love rewatching the earlier seasons on Hulu. (Also: I kinda miss Lynne Curtin.)

mom cinemagraph
The Girl is getting so active, and it’s definitely hard to get her to sit still during her waking hours. But with the power of cinemagraphs, it looks like getting her to stay in one place is possible. 😉

cinemagraph of kid napping
The Girl trying to wake up her brother. (He opened his eyes for a second before going back to sleep.)

cinemagraph of woman with dog
Hanging with my G.