Happy Day After the 4th of July!

I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday weekend (and if you’re at work, I’ll have an adult beverage on the beach for you).

We’re still working on the site, so please bear with us.

We’ll be back on Monday with a regular post, but in the meantime all we have for you is a pic of the fireworks from last night on Siesta Key Beach.

Siesta Key Fireworks 2013 Little House. Big Heart.

Have a great weekend!

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Europe 2013: Rome – Part 2

As promised this morning, here are the remainder of our photos from Rome (or at least the remainder of the ones we’re sharing; we have tons more).

Rome Lambos

Lamborghinis lined the streets near the Vatican for a 50th Anniversary celebration in Rome

Rome Santa Angelo 1

The Castle Santa Angelo across the Tiber River at Sunset

Rome Tiber River 1

St. Peter’s Basilica from across the Tiber River

Rome St. Peters Basilica 1

St. Peter’s Basilica at Sunset

Rome St. Peters Basilica 2

The City of Rome, from the cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

Rome St. Peters Basilica 5

The inside of the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

Rome St. Peters Basilica 4

A mosaic of a cherub on the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

Rome St. Peters Basilica 3

The Pieta by Michelangelo in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

Rome Ostia Antica 4

A cobbled street leads towards two story insulae in Ostia Antica

Rome Ostia Antica 7

The amphitheater sits vacant but intact in Ostia Antica

Rome Ostia Antica 8

A small lizard suns himself on the ruins of Ostia antica

Rome Ostia Antica 6

A lone arch stands among the ruins of Ostia Antica

Rome Ostia Antica 5

Poppies grow among- and even on- the ruined walls of Ostia Antica

Rome Ostia Antica 3

Cupid and Psyche share an embrace in Ostia Antica

Rome Ostia Antica 1

A black cat watches over the cataloged ruins of Ostia Antica

We hope you enjoyed the photos from our trip! We were so excited to share them! If there’s anything else you’d like to know about our trip (recommendations, how we planned and booked the trip 100% on our own, why we took so many danged pictures) feel free to ask us in the comments or email us at littlehousebigheart {at} gmail {dot} com.

Have a wonderful (and safe) Memorial Day weekend!

Europe 2013: Rome – Part 1

We’re slowly but surely starting to settle back into life at the Little House after our whirlwind European tour. This week we’re catching up on laundry, mowing the lawn (it’s a jungle out there), cleaning house, and washing the puppies (they need it).

Since we’re a little light on the DIY this week, we’ll be sharing photos from our recent trip with you today!

Be sure to check out our photos from Munich, Innsbruck, Venice and Florence while you’re here! Today we’re finally at our last stop, Rome. We’ll be posting half the photos now, half after lunch. There were just too many to pare down!Rome St. Paul Outside the Walls 3

Our Favorite Basilica in Rome, St. Paul Outside the Walls

Rome St. Paul Outside the Walls 2

Stunning gold mosaics on the facade of St. Paul Outside the Walls

Rome St. Paul Outside the Walls 4

Tourists gaze at the 1000 year-old mosaics in the basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls

Rome St. Paul Outside the Walls 1

A Fiat parked outside St. Paul’s

Rome Villa Borghese 2

A rose blooms in the gardens of the Villa Borghese

Rome Villa Borghese 1

A forgotten bicycle leans against a lamp pole in the gardens of the Villa Borghese

Rome Piazza del Popolo

A view of the Piazza del Popolo and St. Peter’s Basilica from the Gardens of the Villa Borghese

Rome Spanish Steps 1

Tourists sit among the azaleas on the Spanish Steps

Rome Pantheon 1

An Egyptian obelisk topped with a cross stands outside the Pantheon in Rome

Rome Pantheon 3

The oculus in the Pantheon

Rome Pantheon 2

A woman observes the tourists below from her jasmine covered window

Rome Colosseum 1

A moody sky hangs over the Colosseum

Rome Forum 1

Roses bloom in front of the Senate Building in the Roman Forum

Rome Forum 2

Tourists wander through the ruins of the Roman Forum

We’ll be back after lunch with the second half of our Rome photos!

Europe 2013: Florence

We’re slowly but surely starting to settle back into life at the Little House after our whirlwind European tour. This week we’re catching up on laundry, mowing the lawn (it’s a jungle out there), cleaning house, and washing the puppies (they need it).

Since we’re a little light on the DIY this week, we’ll be sharing photos from our recent trip with you today (I finally got WordPress to cooperate)!

Be sure to check out our photos from Munich, Innsbruck, and Venice while you’re here! Today we’re off to Florence!

Florence Santa Croce 2

Santa Croce Cathedral

Florence Santa Croce 3

Santa Croce

Florence Santa Croce 5

The archangel from Donatello’s relief of the Annunciation in Santa Croce Cathedral

Florence Santa Croce 1

Azaleas in the cloisters of Santa Croce (I have not edited this photo… they were that brilliantly pink)

Florence Santa Croce 4

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate gelato on the Piazza Santa Croce

Florence Scooters 1

Scooters in Florence

Florence Piazza della Signoria 1

Tourists wander in the late afternoon sun at the Piazza della Signoria

Florence Duomo 1

Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo) just before dawn

Florence Duomo 3

Death, as portrayed on Brunelleschi’s dome at Santa Maria del Fiore

Florence Duomo 2

The duomo at Midnight

Florence Ponte Vecchio 1

Street lights reflect off the Arno River and illuminate the Ponte Vecchio in Florence

Florence Ponte Vecchio 2

The first stars of the night are visible over the Arno River and Ponte Vecchio in Florence

Florence Piazza Michelangelo Sunrise 2

Sunrise over Santa Maria del Fiore and Santa Croce from the Piazza Michelangelo

Florence Piazza Michelangelo Sunrise 1

Sunrise over Tuscany from the Piazza Michelangelo

Just like Innsbruck and Venice, we wish we’d had more time to spend in Florence! We hope you enjoyed our photos (especially you, Mom)! We’ll be back tomorrow with our photos from Rome, the last stop on our trip!

Europe 2013: Venice

We’re slowly but surely starting to settle back into life at the Little House after our whirlwind European tour. This week we’re catching up on laundry, mowing the lawn (it’s a jungle out there), cleaning house, and washing the puppies (they need it).

Since we’re a little light on the DIY this week, we’ll be sharing photos from our recent trip with you today (I finally got WordPress to cooperate)!

You can check out our first stop, Munich, Germany, here and the second city of our trip, Innsbruck, Austria here. Today we’re sharing our photos from Venice, Italy with you.

Venice Grand Canal 1

A Gondolier goes by on the Grand Canal in Venice

Venice Grand Canal 2

The sun comes out on the Grand Canal in Venice

Venice Canal Walk 6

A colorful home along a small canal in Venice

Venice Canal Walk 5

Ivy covers a wall on a Venetian side street

Venice Canal Walk 4

The view from the front door of our B&B in Venice

Venice Canal Walk 3

A Venetian Window

Venice Canal Walk 2

Colorful homes and flowers along a canal in Venice

Venice Canal Walk 1

A disused door decays along a canal in Venice

Venice Lido 1

The sunset over Venice from the shores of Lido

I hope you enjoyed our Venice photos! We’ll be back tomorrow to share photos from Florence!

Europe 2013: Innsbruck

We’re slowly but surely starting to settle back into life at the Little House after our whirlwind European tour. This week we’re catching up on laundry, mowing the lawn (it’s a jungle out there), cleaning house, and washing the puppies (they need it).

Since we’re a little light on the DIY this week, we’ll be sharing photos from our recent trip with you today.

You can check out our first stop, Munich, Germany, here. Today we’re off to the second city of our trip, Innsbruck, Austria.

Innsbruck Hafelekarspitze 1

Halfway up the Hafelekarspitze

Innsbruck Hafelekarspitze 2

Suddenly the clouds parted and we saw this (at the summit of the Hafelekarspitze).

Innsbruck Hafelekarspitze 3

A cross seen on a near by mountain from the summit of the Hafelekarspitze.

Innsbruck Hafelekarspitze 4

The first flowers of spring bloom next to snow on the Hafelekarspitze

Innsbruck Altstadt 1

A group of friend joke as the walk through Innsbruck’s Altstadt

Innsbruck Altstadt 3

A view of Innsbruck from the Stadtturm

Innsbruck

Along the River Inn

Innsbruck Altstadt 4

The same view of the River Inn at night

Innsbruck Hofburg 1

The Giant’s Hall at the Innsbruck Hofburg

Innsbruck Hofkirche 1

A Funeral Statue of King Arthur at the Innsbruck Hofkirche

We fell in love with Innsbruck and wish we’d had more time to spend there before leaving for our next stop, Venice! Check back tomorrow for our photos from there!

Europe 2013: Munich

We’re slowly but surely starting to settle back into life at the Little House after our whirlwind European tour. This week we’re catching up on laundry, mowing the lawn (it’s a jungle out there), cleaning house, and washing the puppies (they need it).

Since we’re a little light on the DIY this week (unless you’d like a post on laundry), we’ll be sharing photos from our recent trip with you today.

First up is our first stop, Munich, Germany.

Munich Marienplatz 1

Flower Stall at the Marienplatz

Munich Frauenkirche 1

Munich Frauenkirche Main Aisle

Munich Frauenkirche 2

Prayer Candles at Munich Frauenkirche

Munich Residence 2

The Green Room in the Munich Residenz

Munich Residence 1

A Small Bird in the gardens of the Munich Residenz

Munich Viktualienmarkt 3

Vegetable Stall at the Viktualienmarkt

Munich Viktualienmarkt 2

A beautiful cabbage at the Viktualienmarkt

Munich Viktualienmarkt 1

The Beer Garden at the Viktualienmarkt

Munich Englisher Garden 4

A man and his grandson feed the ducks at the Englisher Garden

Munich Englisher Garden 3

A waterfall in the Englisher Garden

Munich Englisher Garden 2

D+R in the Englisher Garden

Munich Englisher Garden 1

A couple walks along a stream in the Englisher Garden

We’ll be back tomorrow with photos from our day in Innsbruck, Austria! Check out our teaser photos here!

Which photos from Munich are your favorite?

A Few Pictures

It’s Friday and I’m feeling lazy, so I thought I’d share a few pictures from our trip with you.

There’s one photo from each destination (Munich, Innsbruck, Venice, Florence, and Rome). Enjoy!

Munich

Innsbruck   Venice

Florence

Rome

I hope to have a few more pictures from each place to share with you next week. I’m a little disappointed with myself on some of the photos, so we’ll see just how many are actually worth showing!

Happy Friday!

I Love Black Friday!

Hi everyone, this is Kevin! Following up on my post from last week about Black Friday, I’d like to share what LHBH bought (that we’re super excited about).  To begin, I’ll let you in on a little history.  We have owned a DSLR camera for about a year and a half now.  We’ve owned 3 DSLR’s in that time.  Yes, that’s right.  We bought 3 different cameras in a year and a half.  The first two were Canon Rebel XS DSLR’s pictured below.  We sold one of these on Craigslist for $200 (what we paid for it).  We still owned the second, but hadn’t used it in almost a year.

Canon Rebel XS

The third is a Canon T1i that we LOVE.  This is what we’ve been shooting with for the past year.  It’s a great starter camera that shoots video, has 15.1 MP, and is very well built.

Canon T1i

We’ve also collected 3 lenses total.  The 18-55mm lens came with each of these cameras.  This is generally considered an inferior lens by professional photographers (although it’s worked decently for us) You can pick a new 18-55mm up for about $60.

When we bought the T1i, it also came with the 75-300mm telephoto lens for long range photography.  This is a nice lens, nothing special, and definitely in Canon’s value line of lenses.  It sells on Adorama.com (highly recommended) for about $180 new or $130 refurbished. (WIFE EDIT: I dropped this lens off a 3rd story balcony onto grass… and it still worked. It’s an awesome, rugged lens.)

For Jess’ Birthday last year, I got her a “Nifty 50” 50mm lens.  Although in the value line of Canon, this is probably our favorite lens.  Set it to a high F-Stop and you can get beautiful landscape shots that are clear over a wide range of distances.  Set it to a low F-Stop and you can get fantastic close-up shots where the entire background is blurry.  This is an awesome lens.  On the downside, because this is a prime lens (ie. only one focal length, 50mm) with no zooming, you have to move your body so the lens gets everything you want in the picture.  (WIFE EDIT: This has actually been a good thing for teaching us about shot composition.)

So, knowing all of this, Jess and I wanted to replace our 18-55mm basic lens with something that takes a bit better pictures and has a bit more zoom so we don’t have to change lenses very often.  That’s when we found the 18-135mm lens, a highly recommended everyday lens. There was only one major problem: It costs $500… a little more than the Little House budget.  Enter Black Friday.

We really wanted this as our everyday lens, but there was no way we can afford it on it’s own.  Instead, we put together a strategy for Black Friday.

1.  Sell our remaining Canon Rebel XS with 18-55mm for $200 on Criagslist: DONE

2.  Sell our Canon T1i with 18-55mm for $300 on Craigslist: DONE

3.  Buy a new camera that comes with the 18-135mm lens: DONE

What, #3 is done?!…umm, ok, let’s talk.  

Well, Jess and I purchased the Canon 60D DSLR refurbished from Canon on Black Friday.  We found an incredible deal at Canon online that included the 60D with the 18-135mm lens for $780+tax.  This is a HUGE upgrade for us.  The biggest improvements we will see are: upgrade from 15.1MP to 18.1MP, battery life increasing from 400 shots to 1100 shots, the 60D is weather sealed for shooting in light rain and dust, and is has a flip out screen so you don’t have to be directly behind the camera to see what your shooting.  If you haven’t used snapsort.com before, now is the time to check it out.  Here is the comparison of our old camera vs our new one.

And now: revealing the Canon 60D:

Total Cost = $840 for the 60D with lens – $200 for the Rebel XS sold – $300 for the T1i sold = $340 for a better camera with a $500 lens.  I’d say that’s a deal!

We also bought a 64GB SDXC card to store all of our pictures and videos on.  We found a deal on Amazon for $32 for a Sandisk Class 10 card.

Let us know what you think of our new camera, we should be getting it today.  We’ll use it for a while and write a review.  Are you a Canon, Nikon, Pentax, or Sony fan?  Someone else?

Dear Old Rose

…the sweetest flower that grows.
Here’s to your colors rose and white
Here’s to the ones who’ve kept them bright.
Colors true for those who honor you
Here’s to everything you’ve done,
Here’s to every fight you’ve won
Dear old Rose.

That, my bloggy friends, is Kevin and my alma mater’s fight song. I’ve had it stuck in my head since we stepped off the plane from Homecoming this morning. I used to dance to it at football and basketball games on the Rose-Hulman Dance team. 🙂

We were up and at ’em at 2:00 am to make our flight back to Dallas, so I haven’t had much time to write a post. I’ve got a great fall recipe for you tomorrow, but until then, here’s some pictures from our trip to Rose-Hulman in Indiana this weekend for Homecoming 2012!

It all started with the bonfire… in a torrential downpour.

Campus is beautiful this time of year. The leaves are changing, but there’s still some green.

We ended the weekend with my family, catching a (devastating) Colts game (I’ve lost my voice from yelling at the referees) and cooking them dinner (which we’re going to share tomorrow).

Have a great Monday!