The Blog:

1. Where did you get your blog layout? Did you design it yourself?

-No, I have quite the love/hate relationship with html so I did not design this on my own.
-Stephanie G Designs made my blog all pretty in November 2012, after 5 years of attempting design on my own.

2. How do you get your pictures so big?

-I save all of my images to Flickr before I add them on this blog. Then I copy the html code for my picture, making sure the width is not greater than 860 pixels. If you add a picture wider than this number, your readers with smaller screens will not see the entire image.

-Once you copy the html code you can paste it directly into blogger with the 'edit html' function. It's quite easy, actually, and I like it a lot better than adding each image one by one through the the 'add image' function.

The Photos:

1. What kind of camera do you have? Lenses? Etc?

-I bought the Canon Rebel XSi in January 2009. I am utterly obsessed with it. I received the kit lens and also the 55-250 mm telephoto lens from B&H Photo when I bought the camera. Then in March 2009 I bought the famous Canon 50 mm f/1.8 lens from Amazon and it is now my most favorite, beloved lens. For only $80 you cannot beat it's wide open aperture and crispy details in images. Go get it right now!

-Then in December 2011 my beloved Rebel gave out and a shutter broke. I decided to take this as a sign to upgrade to a delicious Canon 60D. I thought I was in love before, but watch out, world!

2. Do you edit your photos?

-Yes, of course. I use Photoshop CS and can't imagine NOT editing my photos. Even if it's just a quick boost of the contrast, a little bump on the Curves, or slight increase in the brightness...I always touch up my photos before posting them online. I just can't leave well enough alone. {updated after mommyhood---I really don't edit all of my photos that often. Only if I'm feeling REALLY energetic}

-I would suggest looking into Photoshop Elements for a more inexpensive version of the beast. I have the old version of Photoshop and I think they are up to Photoshop CS4 these days....it's very pricey. Honestly, PS is such an overwhelming program that you don't even use many of it's capabilities....if you are a 'for fun' photographer like myself. So check out Elements for a watered down version if you please.

-And I've recently become a big fan of Pioneer Woman's PS Actions. They are free and they are super fabulous.

3. What mode do you use most on your camera?

-I use the full Manual mode on my camera now. I despite my flash so I'm always trying to avoid low light conditions if possible. Nate still uses the 'Program' button on my camera because he doesn't feel like dealing with the Manual mode:)

4. Did you read any books or take any classes before shooting with your SLR?

-No classes, yes to many online articles and one book: Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson. I highly recommend this book if you are just starting to learn about aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. He has other articles that I like, too, but this is a good start.

The Rest

1. What kind of dog is Henry?

-He is an adorable Cockapoo---his mom was a Cocker Spaniel and his dad was a Miniature Poodle. He is about 25 pounds, low-shedding, and a little love bug [as long as you aren't a stranger]. He has us wrapped around his paw and sleeps with his head on a pillow, body under the covers, planted directly between us each night. Yep, we are THAT couple. {UPDATE summer of 2009: actually, we hired an in-home dog trainer and broke him of that habit. And really, he is much better behaved now and we have one less blanket stealer in the bed}

2. Why did you move to Wisconsin? Isn't it cold there?

-Nate is from Milwaukee and his parents still live here. When deciding on a graduate school we figured that paying in-state tuition made sense and we were ready for a change after our wedding. So here we are.....and yes, it's freaking frigid here. Nate lied when he said the winters weren't that different from St. Louis. They are longer, colder, and snowier. But I'm trying to be a trooper and survive with a smile on my face:)

3. What is your favorite baby gear/which car seats did you choose?

-My posts on baby gear, including car seats--And basically, we got the Graco SnugRide 35 for the infant carrier, and then Radian RXT by Sunshine Kids and also Britax Boulevard 70 for our convertibles. We also liked the Britax Marathon but went with the Boulevard instead because of added side impact head support. The SK seat is awesome b/c it folds up and is very portable with a carrying case, which we use a lot when flying and carting the seat in/out of airports. It's also one of the only convertibles out there that is narrow enough to fit three across a back seat---pretty amazing feat! We are keeping both seats rear-facing until Truman is two years old even though he is well above the weight limit of 20 pounds to forward face and he is super tall, so yes--his legs do scrunch up against the seat. But honestly, after reading articles and watching You Tube videos out there, I just can't switch him around yet. And he really doesn't mind rear-facing since he knows nothing else. End of random tangent on car seats...

Both of our convertibles fit well in our cars, even rear-facing, and I definitely recommend going to an actual store that allows you to try the seats in your car before purchasing. We got ours at Buy Buy Baby and were glad we could test the fit in our car before making such big purchases. Nate keeps one convertible in his car (the Britax) and I keep one in my car (Sunshine Kids) because we both like to have access to picking up/dropping off Truman at daycare (but in reality, it's me that does this 98% of the time). When T was in his infant seat, we each had a 'base' for the seat and kept the actual seat with him while at daycare, so we could each theoretically pick him up.

Here is a great resource from FindTheBest for moms trying to compare the options for car seats. There are so many!

4. What can you tell me about cloth diapering?-this is my most recent updated post about cloth diapering. And here are all of my tagged posts about CDs. We love our one size Bum Genius pocket diapers and have about 18 of them for Truman. Also tried Fuzzibunz and Kissaluvs, didn't fit Truman as well but they are still good diapers.

5. How did you handle life as a pumping, working mom?-Here are all of my posts about breastfeeding. And here are my posts about pumping. A few of these posts overlap because for me, breastfeeding and pumping went hand-in-hand as a working mom. Wouldn't trade it for the world! Love my Hygeia EnJoye breast pump and the cute brown bag it came with.

6. Where did you buy your fetal doppler? Rented or purchased? Did you need a doctor's note for it?

I bought mine on Ebay and it's the Hi BeBe Fetal Doppler Heart Monitor BT-200. Definitely wanted to purchase and not rent because I knew I'd want to use this baby from the first possible moment that a heartbeat could possibly be heard in early pregnancy until the very end:) Didn't need a doctor's note, not sure why there are places out there that make you have one? There are other brands out there that are about half the price of my $100 Hi Bebe, one that comes to mind is the Sonoline B. But I believe my Hi Bebe allowed me to hear the baby's heartbeat SUPER early at just 9w1d on the first try, when I've seen a lot of other pregnant ladies complain that their Sonolines don't work well until much later. And trust me, if you are psychotic enough to check for your baby's heartbeat in early pregnancy you are going to want to hear it as early and as often as possible. This has been the best money I've spent on anything pregnancy related by FAR. The sense of relief I get from finding my baby's heartbeat is indescribable, probably because of my missed miscarriage in 2011 when the baby had stopped growing for over 3 weeks and my body never noticed. Yes, I will take my doppler checks any day to keep my worries at bay. And I realize if I have a day when I cannot find the heartbeat I will probably freak out and demand to go to my OB for further investigation, but so far that hasn't happened!

7. Where did you get your brown boots from these pictures?

I got them for Christmas in 2010 from Zappos. They are by Corso Como 'Richmond' style and I love them so much I asked for them in black for Christmas of 2011. I think that my color is not listed on their site anymore, it might have been something like 'whiskey'?? I can't remember. But love these riding boots.

8. Where did you buy your chevron rug in your family room?

I love Rugsusa.com for all of our rugs, pretty much! I got Cecelia's nursery rug there and then our big 8x10 chevron rug, too. It's called the 'Home Value Chevron Light Blue Rug and sometimes you can get it 75% off, so it's not an expensive rug but it's holding up quite nicely. Surprisingly, Nate made the final decision on this bad boy after I narrowed down our options to a top 3---never thought he'd go for a trendy pattern but I'm so glad he did!


  1. What a trooper! I don't think I could survive all that snow and the frigid temperatures!

  2. Thanks for the post! I know I asked about the blog. And now I'm uploading the template to mine!!!

  3. Thanks for answering all the pesky little questions I always think about when I look at your kick-butt pictures! :)

  4. Thanks for the template/photo info! Your blog looks amazing!

    I can totally relate about Henry's sleeping habits. My husband and I don't sleep well if Blakely is not right in the middle. :-)

  5. Thank you for posting about how you take photos. I'm always impressed by your photography, and I'm trying to learn more about my dSLR (for fun and documentation). I'm definitely going to pick up "Understanding Exposure"

  6. Hi Julia, I came across one of your photographs online. Is the black nursing gown in the hospital nursing photograph Amamante Nursingwear? I am the owner of Amamante and would love to use this photo with your permission if this is our gown. Thanks in advance for letting me know. You can contact me through my website http://www.amamante.com

  7. Please tell me what program you used for this? I would love to know. Also, other than clementine, what is the other font you used? I am mildly obsessed with your blog and get super excited everytime I see a new (1) next to your blog in my google reader. Thanks in advance!! :)


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