Jaime Caldwell on Foodista

Heifer International


New Year, New Header

Happy New Year!

This is going to be a good year. How do I know?

Because 2011 is a PRIME number! And you know how I feel about prime numbers. :)

David, Moses and I journeyed from Cambridge to Houston to Birmingham and then back through Houston to Cambridge over the holidays. I have a holiday redux coming soon, promise!




Miracle on 22nd Street

I just love this story...



Friday Favorites - Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Given the recent plunge in temps across the country (it's even freezing in Florida!), all I can think about right now is staying warm. Today's Friday Favorites is dedicated to some of my favorite things for keeping warm and some that I wish I had! Any of these would make a great gift or perfect stocking stuffer!


a. Red Velvet Chocolate Herbal Tea Bags from Republic of Tea
Mmmmmm! Zero calories, zero guilt!

b. Hordern Hat from Aubin & Wills (UK)

c. Striped Eternity Scarf from Aeropostale

d. 180's Down Ear Warmers from City Sports
I have these and LOVE them! They make ALL the difference when you have to walk outside on a frigid day!

e. Lip Butters from Yes to Carrots
Also love these and keep a stick in the pocket of all of my coats and jackets. They're paraben, petroleum and phthalate free and so soothing. Find them at drugstores everywhere!

f. Striped Sweater Slippers from Old Navy

g. Soleus Air Oscilating Radiant Heater from Amazon 
Obsessed doesn't even begin to describe it. My acupuncturist turned me on to this heater and I love her for it. Forget space heater, this is a radiant heater that heats up immediately, is gentle and is energy efficient. You also won't burn yourself if you bump into it and it has an automatic safety shut off if it tips even in the slightest. I keep finding Moses lounging on the couch in front of it - he loves it as much as David and I do! This heater will change your life, I promise!




The most wonderful time of the year?

U.S. Troops Surrounded by Holiday Mail During WWII

I know this is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year so why does it almost always end up being the most chaotic time? David is in the middle of finals (no fun for either of us) and I feel like I've done everything half-way: presents are half-bought, decorations are half-put up, plans to see friends are half-made and my mile long list of things to do is only half-done. 

This time last year we were days away from leaving for our honeymoon. I HIGHLY recommend escaping to far off lands with your sweetie to celebrate the holidays! We didn't worry about gifts or decorations or the inevitable madness that comes with the holidays. If only I had a money tree...

Image: "Christmas Chaos" - U.S. troops almost buried by parcels do their best to handle 1944's holiday mail via Smithsonian


It's great to be an Auburn Tiger!

While I couldn't be more happy for our Auburn Tigers this season, it's been tough not being able to go to any of the games. I think that's probably a common feeling among alums so far north of the Mason-Dixon. But the wonderful thing about Auburn fans is the lengths they will go to to support each other no matter how far the distance.

Case in point: Cam Newton's arrival at the Heisman Trophy ceremony in NYC on Saturday night. Hundreds and hundreds of Auburn fans showed up at Best Buy Theatre on Broadway to form a great Auburn past time - the "Tiger Walk." Fans and alums drove from all over just for the chance to cheer Cam on as he entered the theatre. You can see the look of surprise and happiness on Cam's face as he walked through the throng of ecstatic fans chanting, "It's great to be an Auburn Tiger!" What a wonderful moment for him and for the Auburn family! And the icing on the cake? Cam won the Heisman! War Eagle!



I just love this video (currently the #1 viewed clip on YouTube!) and wanted to share with you. "Tis the season!


Camera Questions

I often get questions about our camera (which is very flattering!) so I thought I would share a post on what we use and how we use it.

We are the proud owners of a Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera. There are several newer models on the market that have HD video capabilities but for our purposes, we didn’t really need the fancy video function, so we went with the sole camera and I’m madly in love with it. We had zero prior experience with SLR cameras and this one does most everything for you. Ours also came with a very basic EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens. It’s a standard lens but there are soooooo many lens options out there so save your pennies and start your collection!

The magic is ALL in the lenses. I’ve turned into a bit of a lens-aholic. These are the lenses I swear by:

Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens This 50 mm lens is what I call a “fixed” lens. It doesn’t zoom but that’s a very good thing. Maryam in Marrakesh who is a fantastic photographer told me that one of her photography instructors stressed the importance of getting up close to your subject and that’s exactly what this lens does. And then it rewards you with really great pics!



My new favorite all-purpose lens is the Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 SP XR Di II VC (Vibration Compensation) Zoom Lens. When I’m traveling and don’t want to pack a bunch of camera stuff, I take just this lens. It has a great zoom and has quickly become my best lens friend. I can’t say enough good things about this lens!



NOTE: For Nikon fans/users, all of these lenses are available in Nikon-compatible versions. 


Odds and ends:

  • Invest in a lens-protecting filter that fits your lens. Your lens is precious and if you scratch it or get grease on it, it’s game-over. These filters are crystal clear and relatively inexpensive. Believe me, you’d rather spend $25 on a new filter than $500 on a new lens. Our lenses don’t leave the camera bag without them. 
  • Read your manual! For the love of photography, please read your manual. It’s not nearly as intimidating as you might think!
  • When shopping for a camera or lens, think about what you want to shoot… I shoot a lot of food and hands-on stuff. I also wanted something that would take good portraits of dogs, babies, hottie husbands, etc. The lenses we have are perfect for these types of photography. If you’re into shooting landscapes or fast-motion activities such as sports, do some research for the lens to suit you. There are few things worse than spending a chunk of change on a lens that just gathers dust.
  • The internet is your friend. My two favorite sites for all things camera-related are:

Digital Photography Review - My dad turned me on to this site. If you’re looking for a camera or ens and want to read reviews AND SEE SAMPLE PHOTOS, this is your site.

  Pioneer Woman – She’s got an entire chunk of her site devoted to photography (LOVE HER!). I have learned heaps and heaps from digging around here. She has fabulous detailed lessons for questions like, “what the heck is an aperture?” and “what do you mean by composition?”

  •  I NEVER use a flash and always shoot in one of the manual modes. Play around with different settings (and consult that manual!) to get things where you like them. You’ll find your own “sweet spots” where you tend to shoot most often this way.

I've also tweak some of the photos here and there using iPhoto and Photoshop Elements. But really, if you have good lenses, you'll be amazed at what your camera can do!

As always, feel free to email me or leave comments with any questions you have and I'll do my best to answer them!

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