Sunday, August 28, 2011
I spent about 3 weeks searching. comparing my top choices and just generally obsessing. I wanted something that would look nice and double as a purse so I would not have to carry more than one bag, I also wanted something that was not obviously a camera bag. I’m not a photographer, I’m just a girl who likes to play with cameras; I wanted to be able to carry my camera around and not feel self-conscious about it. I was also concerned about size – I wanted it big enough to do what I needed, but not so big that it would be awkward to carry.
I was seriously considering 3 options, but leaning towards a Kelly Moore Bag. Kelly Moore provides the largest number of choices in terms of style and colour, her website offers a lot of detail – photos and video demos by Kelly – to give you a feel for the size and functionality of each bag. I watched videos. I measured two of my favourite purses (much to Husband’s confusion) and compared to the dimensions on Kelly Moore’s site.
Two things finally decided me.
First, I found this video review on vimeo.com. When looking at the styles available, I had originally passed right over the B-Hobo. It wasn’t really a style that jumped out at me (I was initially drawn to The Classic, but was concerned it might be too big). But watching this video, and then watching Kelly’s demo changed my mind.
Second, I found a Canadian retailer, Love Those Bags that carries Kelly Moore bags.
A couple of weeks later, I was the proud owner of a Kelly Moore B-Hobo bag in Walnut.
It has taken me a while to get around to posting this review because I wanted to wait until our trip to NS so that I could actually travel with it. Then while we were away, one of my lenses broke. I sent it away to be fixed the day after we returned home, so then I was waiting to get it back so I could show exactly what I carried in the camera bag while away. There have been a few cameo appearances on the garden blog though, because this bag is where my camera has lived since the bag arrived.
Kelly Moore bags have a flat, reinforced bottom so that it will stand up when you set it down. Inside, there are dividers that can be moved around to find the best configuration to accommodate your gear.
I carried my Canon Rebel camera body and 3 lenses – one lens on the camera in the center, and each of the other two lenses in a side compartment.
I have a fixed 50 mm, an 18 – 55 mm, and a 55 to 250 mm. They will all fit when attached to the camera body, even the 250.
In addition to the camera body and lenses, I carried:
Tissues, wallet, small flashlight, camera remote, Hello Kitty band-aids, spare lens caps, lip balm, keys, lip gloss and iPhone. I also had a pen (not pictured). There are pockets front, back and on each end of the bag (see the Kelly Moore site for demos), so you can stash quite a bit in the bag.
How did it travel? I carried it during the whole trip. It can get a bit heavy, carrying all that stuff around, but I think that would be the case with any bag considering what I was carrying. The only thing I wished I had space for in the bag and didn’t was my Kindle, so I can see myself getting a slightly larger bag at some point for travelling (I love the Libby and the 2 Sues which is new and was not available when I purchased my B-Hobo). But for day to day carrying around, this bag is great.
I carried it around for two days at my parents place before someone – either my Mom or my friend who was visiting – said “Is that your camera bag? I thought it was your purse!” My mom commented on the pretty purple lining.
When I’m wearing the bag, I do sometimes find it a bit awkward to get the camera out, especially if I’m rushing. That may have something to do with the fact that I have the neck strap attached to my camera (Husband calls me Miss Butterfingers. Neck strap just seems smart), and I think it is getting easier as I get more used to it.
These are not inexpensive bags, but the quality is good so my camera bag should last a good long time, even with me carrying it out to the garden several times a week.
The LowePro bag that came with my camera, which now gets used to store extra bits and pieces like camera chargers, my SD700, the shorter shoulder strap for my Kelly Moore bag, etc.
The Kelly Moore bag, sitting between my two most-used purses.
It is a little bigger, but still a manageable size for me. Kelly Moore bags come with two straps – a shorter shoulder strap (on the bag in this photo) and a longer cross-body strap, which is what I normally use. (Unrelated – that green bag is my newest and current favourite purse, it’s by Matt & Nat and I love it.)
And here is my 5-foot undertall self with my Kelly Moore bag.
For anyone else on a similar camera bag hunt, I highly recommend Kelly Moore bags, I can’t imagine that you would be disappointed.
My other two top choices were Jo Totes and Epiphanie. though Cheeky Lime bags are also cute. This blog post at blog.veralana.com (and the commets) lists an impressive number of options.
I wanted to write this review because when I am shopping around online for something I always look for reviews to read. I was happy to find so many options when I started searching for a camera bag, but it was also a little overwhelming. There were more choices than I expected. There are lots of reviews out there, but most are from professional photographers. I wanted to add my 2 cents as a hobbyist. If you are searching for a camera bag, I hope you find this post helpful. To everyone else, thanks for reading!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
This week on As The Fit World Turns: JavaChick buys protein powder. Husband seeks an answer to that eternal question; what’s for dinner? And JavaChick learns to cut herself some slack. Hopefully.
I started out writing this with more detail but it was getting really long and I didn’t want to put y’all to sleep. Welcome to the shortened version.
Basically I suggested to Husband that we had to make a change if we want different results and I wanted to start basing most of our dinners around salads. I do my best to make healthy choices and watch portions, but I feel like dinner is where things often fall apart.
So the first week we had lots of salads for dinner, with sides to round things out. Chicken for Husband. For me smoked salmon or vegetarian protein sources like quinoa & beans. At the beginning of the second week Husband asked what were the dinner plans for the week. I said salads. At the beginning of the third week Husband asked what were the dinner plans for the week. I said more salads. This weekend Husband asked what are the dinner plans for the week, I said salads…Week three actually did not go according to plan, but I’m ready to start over this week.
I also decided to try protein smoothies for breakfast after reading about how whey protein can help with weight loss because it seems to lower ghrelin levels. I’ve never been a fan of smoothies, for various reasons, and have not liked protein powders I’ve tried in the past, but I decided to give it another go.
At the grocery store, I hunted for a whey protein isolate powder that did not contain stevia. I found exactly one. I wished it was in a smaller container, since I didn’t know whether I was wasting my money, but I bought it. On the first try I didn’t love it, but it wasn’t terrible either. After a bit of experimenting, I came up with a smoothie that I enjoy. Husband wants nothing to do with the protein powder, but after some experimenting we came up with a yogurt smoothie that he is liking. Husband has commented that he is enjoying his smoothies for breakfast, and after our blender met an untimely end on Thursday morning, husband mentioned missing his smoothie.
A week ago, Charlotte posted about dailyfeats.com, a site that can be used to track actions and motivate you to build good habits. I started using it as an acknowledgement of all the little things I do every day. I forever feel like I don’t do enough, I can’t keep up with everything I should do, most particularly housework. Our house is usually a disaster. It’s so easy to compare myself to my Mom who managed to keep a spotless house despite four kids and various pets over the years. Or to my friend whose house always looks like a spread from a home decor magazine.
So I started to keep track of the things I do everyday. Making meals. Washing dishes. Exercising. Taking care of the cats. Piano practice. And I was hit over the head with the obvious. My Mom did not work outside the home. My friend may work full time, like I do, but she doesn’t have pets; she doesn’t work out; she doesn’t play piano; she doesn’t blog. I chose to do the things I do and I wouldn’t give them up.
True, there are people out there who keep up with all of that and still manage to have a neat and tidy house. But there are plenty of other people who can’t. We all do the best we can. I am going to try and hold onto that for when I start to feel all these undone tasks closing in on me. Feel free to remind me when I backslide.
Phew. And this was the short version. You’re welcome.
This week’s photos:
Ingredients for the JavaChick approved smoothie:
I like a combo of yogurt & protein powder, with peaches (right now, once they are no longer in season I will switch to frozen fruit) and Coconut Milk. I also add a splash of vanilla. Husband likes frozen berries, banana, a full serving of yogurt and orange juice instead of coconut milk.
Replacement blender. So pretty and shiny and new.
Our kitchen is sort of starting to look like a Cuisinart ad. In behind the blender here, we have my Cuisinart Grind & Brew Coffee Maker (how do I love thee? Let me count the ways) and a Cuisinart spice & nut grinder. We also have a Cuisinart toaster oven, popcorn maker and garbage can. They should sponsor me.
Test of of the new blender at lunch time today, along with a test run of a new-to-us mac & cheese. Review posted separately to keep this post from being any longer.
I’ll own up. I like Kraft Dinner. We don’t eat it often, but we usually keep a box around for emergencies. We had one of those occasions recently (i.e. too tired and lazy to cook real food) and went to the cupboard to discover that we were mac-and-cheese-less. Somehow we survived.
However, when I happened to be in Sobey’s on Monday, perusing the Organic Food section (because that’s entertainment for me) I discovered Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese on the shelf. I’ve seen it out in blogland of course, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in a store around here.
So of course I had to pick up a box. And knowing the box was sitting in the cupboard, we had to try it this weekend.
I have to say it – I love the bunnies on the packaging.
I did find that the cheese mix got lumpy when I added it into the milk, according to the instructions on the box. A whisk fixed that though. I added some black pepper because Kraft Dinner is not complete without pepper, and why break tradition?
I wouldn’t say that it tasted exactly like Kraft Dinner – not quite as cheesy? But I liked it and I’d be willing to make the substitution on a regular basis for a boxed mac & cheese that is a little healthier.
Husband said he couldn’t tell the difference between this and KD, but he also said he’s not the connoisseur of mac & cheese that I am.
I will be picking up a couple more boxes the next time I’m in Sobey’s. Speaking of which…I am a Superstore shopper. I’ve just always preferred their stores for some reason. But I’ll go to Sobey’s if there is something I can’t find at Superstore. Over the past couple of years, I’ve found Superstore has stopped carrying some things that I like. What’s up with that Superstore? Yes, there are alternative products, but when I like something I like it and that’s what I want to buy.
A couple of those things being Olivina margarine and Billy Bee Honey Mustard. And while perusing the shelves at Sobey’s, we discovered these infused oils. I picked up the Lemon one a couple of weeks ago. We’ve been using in on salads and liking it, so while I was there this time I picked up another bottle of Lemon and one of the Basil to try.
Sobey’s also has a better selection of Liberte yogurts and I picked up a container of Mediteranee in plain, as well as the Coconut one which I love. I have way too much fun in grocery stores.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Keeping a long story short – we have chinch bugs in our lawn. If left untreated, they will destroy the lawn that we paid good money to have made all healthy and pretty looking. Our landscapers are great, they try not to use chemicals any more than they have to, and they try really hard to not spray inside the cat fence. So a week ago they treated outside the fence. And the cinch bugs decided to move inside the fence. So today they had to treat the lawn inside the cat enclosure, which means the cat door is firmly shut and the cats can’t go out until tomorrow after we get home from work.
Equals unhappy cats.
Lately if Frank gets upset/stressed/frustrated he will start peeing all over the house. Unsurprisingly, we do not enjoy this and would prefer he not do it. So, in an effort to keep him from being too upset, after getting home from work, giving the cats their food, changing clothes, I took Frank up the hill and stood around for an hour so he could sit outside and look for rodents (he’s very good at this and he did find one; we will never have a mouse problem as long as we have these cats). I also brought Zappa out for a bit, though it’s hard to manage both of them at the same time.
Then I came in and heated up leftovers for supper (thank goodness for leftovers), sat down long enough to eat and watch last night’s episode of Big Brother. Then took Frank back outside until it got dark.
I don’t mind taking Frank out for a little while every day, but spending most of my evening standing around when it wasn’t even nice out (it’s been gloomy all day and all while we were out there Mother Nature seemed to be trying to work up the gumption to rain) was sorta frustrating.
I did not do a workout. I did not practice piano. I did manage to find a few minutes to stuff my face with chocolate. I don’t want to talk about it.
Broke into the coffee my sister brought me on her unexpected visit home last month.
I loved the packaging and it also turned out to be really good coffee. If you can’t see the fine print on the ‘Trekie’ label, it says ‘Live long and savour.’ I love it! My sister knows me well.
You’re saying: “Wait! Sunscreen is neither new nor fun!” I can’t argue with you. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this Neutrogena sunscreen. Once it goes on I can hardly tell it’s there. That never happens. Granted, I haven’t been to a beach or any place requiring me to be coated from head to toe this summer, but so far so good.
I tried out the BareMinerals one this weekend. I was a little nervous I used it on my face, neck, chest area and I could barely tell it was there. But I didn’t get burned and did not end up with a greasy face. I liked it.
Where did I test out this sunscreen? Working in the garden yesterday. The sun finally shone for a whole weekend and I finally got out to weed my poor veggie garden.
And look what I brought in:
Lots more garlic out there waiting to be dug up, I dug up this bunch just to see how it was looking. Lots of green tomatoes and blossoms on my plants too, so fingers crossed for a good tomato harvest.
Lots more garden photos on the garden blog.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Yesterday I completed 7 days of yoga for this challenge and I feel good that I managed to do all 7 days. Some days were short, if that’s all I had time for, but it got done and I enjoyed it. I considered continuing on for the rest of the month but my shoulders are feeling like they need a little break from all that downward dog and chaturanga-ing.. I would like to continue focusing on it though, I feel like I’ve lost a lot of strength and flexibility and if I want it back I have to work at it. Haven’t decided for sure what I’ll do, but today was Pilates which was a change but kept things in a similar vein.
After dinner I took Frank out for a walk. Everything is soaking wet because it started raining yesterday in the afternoon and kept up for most of today. Again. It rained pretty much every day last week. I am scared to go out and look at my garden, it’s probably a swamp by now.
I didn’t take my camera out at first, but I ended up running back for it (again! but this time only once). I was quite fascinated with the water drops that were everywhere. Frank was enjoying being outside, but not enjoying all the water so much. Too bad I didn’t have the camera pointed at him when he tried to step down off his perch and discovered he was cut off by a giant puddle. Kitty may be brave, but he does not like to get his paws dunked. At one point I turned around and managed to catch a deer heading into the trees.
Here are some photos – hope you enjoy!
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Last time on As the Fit-World Turns…JavaChick’s Husband agreed to make a more serious effort to eat a healthy diet…
Not that we eat a completely unhealthy diet as it is. I do make an effort to make sure we’re getting our fruits & veggies, but we could both stand to shed some pounds and too many treats are creeping in for that to happen. Being consistent is hard work, and it’s even harder when only one of us is making a conscious effort.
This week has gone really well and Husband has actually surprised me more than once. He seems to be really trying and thinking about what he can do which makes me happy. Now if we can just get the hang of this consistency thing.
Friday night is usually our grocery shopping night and most of the time we go out to dinner. Tonight we brought dinner home from Costco.
We saw these chicken burgers and decided to give them a try.
You may recognize the brand name if you are a fan of the Looney Spoons/Crazy Plates/Eat Shrink & Be Merry cookbooks (and their show on Food Network Canada).
We don’t often buy Costco prepared foods, but we have tried their Greek salad and liked it, so Husband was looking in the cooler for that and he spied a quinoa salad. They happened to be giving out samples of it, so we tried it, we liked it, and we brought it home, along with some 9-Grain Ciabatta buns. It should be noted that I’d fed Husband different quinoa salads for the previous two nights; shocked that he voluntarily suggested it for the third night in a row.
Dinner is served!
I will not often agree to buy chicken burgers, and I’m not sure why I went along with it this time. Maybe something about the sound of “fire roasted vegetables’. I am very picky about textures and usually do no like ground chicken or turkey. But I have to say: these were tasty burgers! Frank & Zappa also approved of the tidbits that I fed them.
It made for a quick meal after a busy week and our evening of grocery shopping, and we enjoyed it while watching last week’s episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day. My kind of Friday evening. It’s a wild life I lead.
Then later on I got to watch Frank chase a fox away from our yard.
What did I tell ya? Exciting life indeed.
Monday, August 1, 2011
This is actually the last day of our vacation. I can't say that I'm looking forward to going back to work tomorrow, but back I will go.
It's been a pretty good week - a weekend home in Nova Scotia, and then a week relaxing at home in Saint John. The weather has been decent, a little bit of rain but mostly sun.
For the last week I only got in a couple of workouts. I didn't worry about it since I'm on vacation and I didn't want to be feeling like I HAD to do anything. For the most part I have either been puttering in the garden or doing a few things around the house every day - except for Friday when I did mostly sit on my butt all day.
July 01: Gardening[90 mins]
July 02: Gardening[60 mins]
July 03: Gardening[4 hours]
July 05: Solar Flow Yoga + Gardening[60 mins]
July 06: Spartacus Workout[20mins]
July 07: Walk[20 mina]
July 09: Walk[20 mins]
July 11: Jackie Warner Xtreme Timesaver DVD[30 mins]
July 12: Zumba Mix[60 mins]
July 13: Pick Your Level Pilates[30 mins]
July 18: Walk[20 mins]
July 25: Walk[20 mins]
July 27: Pick Your Level Pilates[30 mins]
Now vacation is over and it's a new month, I plan to get back into the routine. Though I will continue to make time to work in the garden or stroll outside in lieu of a workout if that's what I want to do. Summer is half over already - I'd rather enjoy the rest of it than stress about working out.
However, I am going to attemp this Seven Days of Yoga Challenge. I figure it might be a good way to ease back into the work routine after a week of vacation.
Husband has agreed to try making some changes to our usual dinner routine, in an attempt to help both of us shift some pounds. I have some ideas, I expect it to be a challenge; we'll see how it goes.