I Love A Kid In A Cape At The Grocery Store…

I LOVE A KID IN A CAPE AT THE GROCERY STORE….

You know when you see a “kiddle’ in a grocery cart and he/she has on a CAPE?! They feel so invincible, so awesome, so everything?!

I FREAKIN’ LOVE THAT!

And you know that Mom – the one that let them wear that cape or princess dress to the grocery store?

I FREAKIN’ LOVE HER!!

I was listening to a group of women talk about dressing their children (they were not talking about special events, but rather about daily life) and how important it was because they felt their children’s appearance was a direct reflection on themselves. I about spit out my coffee!

While I agree it is important to help choose their clothes initially, after the purchases have been made, LET YOUR CHILDREN DRESS THEMSELVES.

PLEASE, just let them dress themselves….they are so much better at it than you are and it is  IMPORTANT to them – I mean seriously, everything in their life is controlled for the most part – what they eat, where they go & what they do.

I look at pictures of my daughter and her outfits and think “I would have NEVER put flowers and leopard print together – but she totally rocks it!”

When you look back at photos of them, dressed in whatever they wanted to wear…..you will be so glad you let them dress themselves!

Pick their wardrobe….but let them dress themselves.  It’s like Scrabble with clothes!….and it is awesome!

I mean seriously, would you rather have photos of how YOU dressed them…or how they dressed themselves?  (Hint: they will never dress themselves like this again…too soon the pressure to “fit in” will affect their fashion choices….and then they will look just like everyone else.)

Awwww…did you see the boots?!

Scrapbooking with Iphone photo apps – made EASY (Part 2)

PART 2 -Apps I love & how I use them. Grids, Fun labels & Filters (tutorial)

My daughter loves our scrapbooks – it is like an illustrated fairytale of her (our) life – how could you not love that!?

I love the IDEA of scrapbooks and I love scrapbooks themselves.

I love all of the little stickers, stamps, tapes and decorations for scrapbooks.

I love having a hard copy of the most important photos on my computer.

What I do NOT love is the stress of scrapbooking.

When I bought an iPhone, I discovered some fantastic, easy apps & the stress disappeared when I developed a “SYSTEM” that is fast – and fun!

I still get to use all those wonderful little decorations and we actually have a scrapbook to sit down and look through – which is better than a box of mixed up photos any day!

Scrapbooking with Iphone apps – made EASY, divided into three posts (I post on Wednesdays at 11:30 MT).

1. Scrapbooking with an iPhone – my SYSTEM & apps

2. Apps I love & how I use them. Grids, Fun labels & Filters (tutorial).

3. Tying up the loose ends from parts 1 & 2, extra apps – everything comes together!

SO HERE WE GO! PART 2!

Apps I love & how I use them. Grids, Fun labels & Filters

VISUAL TUTORIALS OF MY FAVORITE APPS!

1.PicFrame ($0.99)

This app allows you to combine up to 5 photos into a grid and add labels.

Click to enlarge

If you will be using your photo grid for a 5×7 postcard with the app PhotoCard, be sure to click the 3:2 measurement in the upper right corner (See #1).

2. Montage Magic ($.99)

This app allows you to combine tons of photos, label them and has great backgrounds – wonderful when you want to use more than 5 photos!

I previously posted a tutorial of this app and you can find it here!

3. Bill Atkinson’s PhotoCard – Postcards ($0.99)

This is my MUST HAVE app. It is the backbone of my scrapbook – I use grids, filters & labels on my photos and always import them into PhotoCard to send a finished 5×7 laminated photo postcard to myself for my scrapbook.

Click to enlarge

FILTERS & LABEL APPS

No tutorials on these apps – the filters are either super easy or difficult enough that I just mess with them until I get something I like and then save it; the labels are the same!

LABEL APPS

MaskingTape

(great for adding a cute label to one photo)

Photo Notes

(great for speech bubble photos and text)

Ransom Letters

Love this app! Let’s you add text like a ransom note with cutout letters!

FILTER APPS

Pixlr-o-matic

Easy

FilterMania 2

Easy – SUPER FUN

- only works for square photos – it will force you to make your photo a 1:1.

Snapseed

This is my “go to” for editing

Easy photo editing; great filters

Iris Photo Suite

Easy

ScratchCam

Hard – unless you just play around with it until you find something you like.

PicGrunger

Play around with it.

***********

NEXT POST:

Pictures of my scrapbook pages

Comparison of other photo postcard apps – Pros & Cons

Scrapbooking apps

Tying up loose ends!

Next Post: WEDNESDAY, JULY 25th @ 11:30 a.m.

Be well! Have a safe weekend and July 4th!

By Eleanore Macnish

Scrapbooking with Iphone photo apps – made EASY (Part 1)

I have a cousin named Maureen who is an amazing scrapbooker. Her scrapbooks are like works of art – the layout, her color choices, use of space, font selection, etc. – she is a true “scrapbooker”. 

I on the other hand, am someone who loves scrapbooks – but try as I might, I just cannot make all the elements come together.  I can order the prints. I LOVE to go to craft stores and buy all sorts of beautiful paper, stickers, tapes, pins, jeweled brads & tools. I love all the organizational bins & folders.

But when it comes time to sit down and organize all those photos, date them, narrate them and use all those wonderful stickers and ribbon, it is soooooo frustrating that I end of getting very little done, and just throw everything back in the box.

When I bought an iPhone and discovered some fantastic and easy apps, everything changed and I developed a “SYSTEM” that is easy & fast and when I am ready to make the pages, everything is dated and narrated AND the photos are already laid out!!

While my scrapbooks are not works of art like Maureen’s, I still get to use all those wonderful little decorations and we actually have a scrapbook to sit down and look through – which is better than a box of mixed up photos any day!  The narrations are way better than anything I could try to pull from memory – because I write them within hours of taking the photo!….usually!

Scrapbooking with Iphone apps – made EASY, divided into three posts (I post on Wednesdays at 11:30 MT).

1. Scrapbooking with an iPhone – my SYSTEM & apps

2. Apps I love & how I use them. Grids, Fun labels & Filters (tutorial).

3. Tying up the loose ends from parts 1 & 2, extra apps – everything comes together!

1. SCRAPBOOKING WITH AN IPHONE

APPS: Get these apps and start playing around with them.

  • Bill Atkinson’s Photo Card  Free    (Buy PayPal credits – costs about $2 to print & mail a      5 x 7 double side laminated postcard.)
  • PicFrame  $.99    (Great for combining up to 5 photos into a picture grid and includes great labels “stickers” for labeling photo. You can save your picture in high res.)
  • Montage Magic  $.99     (How this app is only $ .99 I will never know. It is the only app I have ever run across that might actually be worth $10 – yes, it is that good!  Lots of backgrounds, lets you drag photos & words around the screen and pinch or zoom to change the size.  Also, allows you to download free fonts within the app from font sites on the internet. You can save your picture in high res. so everything is crystal clear).

They are so easy, you probably won’t even need next week’s tutorial post, but I will show you some settings that are good to know about, etc.

MY SCRAPBOOK “SYSTEM” – I swear to you, this is easy and it works.

  • Take a picture or a bunch
  • Use PicFrame or Montage Magic to label one photo or make up to five photos into a grid/collage and label.  Save to “Camera Roll” in High Resolution.
  • Use Bill Atkinson’s Photo Card to make your previously saved pic or grid/collage into a postcard.

  • On the back, write a letter to yourself about the picture(s) and mail it to yourself.
  • When your postcard arrives in the mail, throw it in your “scrap box**” (mine is in the kitchen) until you are ready to deal with it.
  • When you are ready to use the postcard for a scrapbooking page, make a copy of the back and cut out the narration you wrote to yourself.  Choose your paper, tape on the postcard and copied narration, decorate and slide it into the plastic sleeve of your scrapbook!
  • DONE!

**The black and white box in the title photo holds ALL of my supplies – Paper, stickers, adhesive ribbon, brads, double stick tape, scissors, labels and lots of Washi Tape!!  The scrap box’s “home” is on the floor, tucked into the corner under the breakfast bar in the kitchen – it’s pretty and no one notices it anyway (-or you could always keep it in a cabinet). The fact that this box lives in my kitchen is one of the “keys” to my successfully keeping up with a scrapbook because the kitchen is where I go through the mail.

I use a 8.5 x 11 scrapbook because the size for page layout is easier for me. I buy them at Hobby Lobby (in our city, Michael’s does not carry this size of scrapbook or paper).

P.S. Yes, this is the second time I have mentioned PhotoCard. No, I have not been paid to promote it – it is quite simply my “go to” photo card app and it is better than the others I have tried…..by leaps and bounds!

By Eleanore Macnish

Word to the wise….Wordle is addictive!

I’m taking a “posting break”!  Every Wednesday for the next few weeks, I am posting past posts from my blog when I was at Blogspot!  This one is from 2009!  Enjoy!

Here is a site you will get absolutely addicted to……..WORDLE- it is so so so much fun! I played around with it for a while and thought “hey! What a cool invitation you could make with this!” All you do is enter a bunch of words and then the computer jumbles them up and makes very cool designs with the words! If you don’t like it, you just hit the button to get a new design!

If you want to make some words larger, just repeat them – “make a button button button earring” would result in a jumble of “make a button earring” with the word “button” being large.

And, if you want to keep the program from separating some words (like I did in the mock invitation) put a tilde between the words. “Eleanore~and~Tom” kept our names together!

P.S. Although there are some great color combinations from which to choose, you can also take a screen picture on your computer (you have to give credit to Wordle somewhere on your finished piece) and import it into something like Photoshop or PicMonkey and then play around with the colors.

Erik Estrada…..my boyfriend.

I’m taking a “posting break”!  Every Wednesday for the next few weeks, I am posting past posts from my blog when I was at Blogspot!  This one is from 2009!  Enjoy!

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine who works with a graphic design firm, asked me if I would like to be in a public service announcement with Erik Estrada.  I thought “hmmm, it fits all of my requirements of “that sounds like fun”……the requirements being:

1. I’ve never done that before.
2. That sounds fairly safe.
3. Why would I not want to do this? (personal phobias do not count if number two is valid – even though I used to have a GIGANTIC public speaking phobia)

Oh my gosh – I’m so glad I said yes! We had such fun!

We arrived at the shoot location downtown and called our friend Heather to convince her to come down and be in one of the spots.  Everyone joked around and had a great time – we asked the make-up artist if his hair was real – she said “yup! I just blow dried it!  It’s all real!”  The man is amazing.

It was a long day of basically messing around with  intervals when everyone had to be quiet so they could film; in one of my spots, Erik kissed me….so I’m thinkin’ that kinda makes him my boyfriend – right?

Here are the links to the Public Service videos:

DWI spot

Speeding spot

By Eleanore Macnish

Soul Sister Auto

I’m taking a “posting break”!  Every Wednesday for the next few weeks, I am posting past posts from my blog when I was at Blogspot!  This one is from 2009!  Enjoy!

I took the picture of this car while we were on vacation in California last summer…..because it “spoke to me” (not literally spoke to me…..like “hey! Come over here and take my picture”).

This morning, I gave my child ice cream for breakfast because I figured it has milk and protein so that must count for something…..and there wasn’t anything else that caught my eye for breakfast.

When I dropped my child off for her golf lesson, I felt something sticky on my face and realized the sunglasses I grabbed on my way out the door had honey on them and now it’s on my face……why do my sunglasses have honey on them?

This car is my soul sister – I can relate to this car and totally understand how all of the sudden this car must wake up in the morning and think “How has it come to this? How is it that I am held together by duct tape?”

……..and I’ll bet there is honey smeared on the backseat somewhere….. and peanut butter.

By Eleanore Macnish

Top 10 List – Being a kid in the Summer

TOP TEN LIST OF

BEING A KID IN THE SUMMER

1.    Climbing trees, getting stuck & telling younger kids to go “get help”- – but not from an adult”…..
2.    Camping in the back yard in tents with flashlights.
3.    Garden hoses and Wham-O Slip n Slides.
4.    MS Walkathon back-yard carnivals.
5.    Playing “tag” at dusk with tons of kids in big Kansas front yards
6.    Looking for four leaf clovers in the front yard…..when Dad’s were about to mow over the clover – “Hurry while he does the back yard!”
7.    Putting on “shows” for our parents on the patio.
8.    Trolling the neighborhood as a “spy team” .…. for the “safety & security” of the neighborhood.
9.    Playing Marco Polo, “who can hold their breath the longest” & underwater handstands at the pool…eating frozen Snickers bars, and sitting on the hot concrete for 5 minutes when you did something a life guard told you not to do….but you did it anyway.
10.    Catching lightning bugs in jars.

…..and of course Summer Camp!

Did I miss something? Leave a comment of your favorite Summer memory!

By Eleanore Macnish

I’m not comfortable with that.

I met some friends for dinner and a book signing last night. At dinner, a friend recounted a recent conversation she had had with someone who was round aboutly (and absolutely) slighting a group of people.

She talked about the moment she could tell it was going in the wrong direction and how helpless she felt to stop it (she DID stop it, but not quite as gracefully as she wished).

Everyone at the table commiserated and spoke of how they wished they had simple words to quickly end conversational train wrecks about to happen, “without being rude”.

As we were sitting there, one woman spoke up and said “That reminds me of something I read about situations like that.”

- to say “Exactly what do you mean by that?”

And it reminded me of a friend (Laurie) from whom I learned a valuable lesson a few months ago when I heard her say “I’m not comfortable with that,” in a completely adult and fairly innocuous way – whatever it was, she just did not want to do it – and made it crystal clear in a very graceful way; a way that put no one on the defensive…she just did not want to do it…..(as I recall, it was about a guest list and excluding someone).

Both phrases convey strength, calm, self confidence and “You might want to drop where you’re headed with this right now & and I have now removed myself from this conversation.”

When I think back on all the jams, embarrassment, dangerous situations and self doubt that could have been averted in my life from age 14 – 28 (I got better at standing up for my self around 29) , had I only uttered one of these beautiful, straight forward and strong sentences…..at the moment my gut told me something was amiss!

Commit these to memory and teach your daughters:

  • I’m not comfortable with that.
  • What exactly do you mean by that?

(I’m not thinking sons so much because guys have their own ways of dealing with these things – and they don’t care about being rude – they just deal with it and move on….I envy them.)

A teenager who was with us for dinner piped up and said “When I’m with my friends at school and they start talking about someone, I just say “I don’t want to talk about this,” and I walk away.”   That girl is good stuff! I wish I could look at a bunch of women and say “I don’t want to talk about this” and walk away…..now that I think about it, I guess I can….and perhaps I will!

Is it just me? Looking back on your teenage years (and beyond), could these two sentences have helped you out of some situations forcefully and/or gracefully? Any other favorite phrases I should know about?….so I can add them to my arsenal!

A Mother’s Day Manifesto: “I’m exhausted and I want to go to the hospital like Lindsay Lohan!”

“Due to her extremely busy schedule, Ellie Mac was admitted to the hospital for “exhaustion”.

After dropping off her daughter at school, Mac was noticed taking a nap in her car in a McDonald’s parking lot due to fatigue, and was brought to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Mac’s never-ending errands, driving kids on field trips, laundry, shuttling her daughter to various events/practices, carpooling, cooking breakfast & dinner and work schedule is said to be the cause of her nap.

Friends of Mac told Star News,  “Mac dropped off her daughter at school at 8:00am, and at 8:05am went to a nearby McDonald’s to get a coffee before embarking on her morning errands. She was sleep deprived during her work, errands and laundry of the previous day, which contributed to the accumulation of her fatigue and her choice of McDonald’s over Starbucks.

It’s a shame that she has so many errands and laundry and “stuff” to do- she really needs a Nanny, Maid, Cook, Driver and Personal Assistant to help her but she just INSISTS on doing it all herself!”

Mac’s friends, said that Mac would continue to do her work, drive carpool and run errands, but that they would be “keeping a closer eye on her napping habits”.

A couple of weeks ago I took my daughter to school and went to McDonald’s to grab a coffee before I started out on my day of errands, studio work, stuff that needed to be done at home, etc.  Because it was still very early (8:10 am) I thought “I will just park my car, sip my coffee and go through some emails on my phone for a few minutes”.  As I sat there in my car, seat reclined just a bit, sipping my coffee, the warmth of the morning sun beaming down on me,  I started to feel drowsy….actually really, really drowsy!  I thought “Wow! I could really take a nap right now! But I can’t because……..zzzzzzzzzzz.”

I awoke with a start after about 20 minutes and thought “Oh GREAT!  So this is what it has come to!?  ME asleep in a McDonald’s parking lot at 8:30 in the freakin’ morning!??  REALLY!!!?

What is my point?

My point is this: You know how Movie/TV Stars check into the hospital for “exhaustion”?

Well guess what!!?  I AM EXHAUSTED TOO! (duh!) …and I have come up with a plan for all of us! We must join forces! Write your Congresspeople and Senators!

WHAT I WANT FOR MOTHER’S DAY (this is the Manifesto part)

  • I want Obamacare or my insurance company to add “exhaustion” as a legitimate claim to use a hospital bed for taking a nap.
  • Where ever I happen to be, when I feel completely exhausted; I demand the right to “Google Map” the nearest hospital on my phone, drive there and announce upon arrival “I would like to admit myself for “EXHAUSTION”; if Lindsay Lohan can do it, I think I should be able to do it too.
  • When I announce my “exhaustion” admission, a kind and caring female staff member (preferably my mom’s age) will look at me with empathy and compassion, call me “dear” and show me to an “Exhaustion Suite” featuring a comfy bed with cotton sheets, down pillows, cable TV, a couch, a bathroom with good towels, quality travel sized toiletries and an armed guard outside my door.
  • Because of her nature (and by law), the aforementioned staff member will ask if I am comfortable and if there is anything I need…..I will look at her adoringly and say “No, this is just perfect…(sniff, sniff).
  • She will say (as required by law) “My job is to get you back on your feet!  All you need is a little rest and you will be “right as rain!”
  • She will (as required by law) ask if I would like her to “tuck me in” – and I will say “yes”, because even though I am 44, sometimes when I am at my parents house without my husband, my Mom sits on the end of my bed at night and talks to me and without even thinking about it, she tucks me in….and I still love it.
  • I will sleep until I wake up. No alarm will be set. All of my responsibilities will be taken care of until I feel “up to” resuming them (because I have registered my schedule with the hospital upon check-in).
  • There will be no psychiatric evaluation as a result of checking oneself in for “Exhaustion” – it will be considered an efficient way of keeping the Mother’s of this country happy and healthy!

BECAUSE WHEN MAMA’S HAPPY, EVERYONE’S HAPPY!

Happy Mother’s Day To You!

P.S. Yes, it’s true.  I fell asleep in a McDonald’s parking lot – but everything else in the “News” story above is not true. No one reported me and I was not taken to the hospital – (although it would have been really nice to lay in one of those great adjustable beds with the remote thingy, sleep, watch T.V., and have food brought to me (preferably by friends who would bring it to the nursing station and drop it off so as not to “disturb me”)). I cut and pasted (inserted my info) the beginning news story about a star who was legitimately admitted for exhaustion from this site.

By Eleanore Macnish

Uh, yeah….in my Rainbow House!

….notice how it is out in the middle of the ocean? There’s a reason for that!

Last night, I told my husband “I’m going to have a glass of wine and phone a friend in my “RAINBOW HOUSE!

Meaning: I’m going out to the patio to have a glass of wine and talk to a friend, ALONE! ….and I’m taking my friend on the phone with me as my guest….I invited her over for a glass of wine…in my Rainbow House!

A couple of days ago my friend Heather at Flawless Skin Spa, wrote a hilarious blog post about a saying a group of my friends have been saying for years; it is a phrase I absolutely adore and I thought it would be fun to write a post about how it came to be.

Here is the story: I have a dear friend named Lynn and she has a daughter named Haley.  About 6 years ago,  Haley was talking to an adult about all of these wonderful things she had…..a pony, some chickens, a beautiful diamond crown, lots of cake, etc.  The adult, wondering where she had gotten all of these things and where she kept them, said “Really?!?” to which the little girl said “Yes……in my Rainbow House!”

Everyone in the room just looked at each other and thought “Oh – my – gaaaawd! That is so perfect!”

It is incredibly cute for a kid to have a Rainbow House and an absolute NECESSITY for a woman to have a Rainbow House!  – and it is a wonderful phrase to have as part of your repertoire for sarcastic retorts!  Like….

“You went to Paris, France for the weekend!??”

“Uh, yeah – in my Rainbow House!!…actually I went to Paris, TX to visit my in-laws!”

Once you get the hang of it, you will find yourself using “Rainbow House” aaaall the time!

You may be wondering what my Rainbow House is like……

In my RAINBOW HOUSE:

  • No part of my kitchen counter is held together with Gorilla Glue because of a child using a hammer to crush Oreos….in my Rainbow House.
  • I have the perfect body without even trying, everything looks fabulous on me and everyday is a “good hair day” ……in my Rainbow House.
  • “Stuff” puts itself away!….in my Rainbow House.
  • There is no dust or dirt or sand spilled from socks and shoes…..in my Rainbow House.
  • The surroundings and decor change according to whatever I happen to like on Pinterest…in my Rainbow House.
  • My child never whines and we never argue. We spend time doing only fun and emotionally rewarding things together; making wonderful lasting memories……in my Rainbow House.
  • My dear husband is dear and sweet ALL the time….in my Rainbow House.
  • I am dear and sweet ALL the time….in my Rainbow House.
  • Every window looks out onto a different view – my balcony with geraniums looks out to the blue sea off the coast of the Greek island of Paros, my lanai looks out to a beach on Maui and my breakfast room is actually a street side cafe in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy (that serves the most sublime pesto you have every had in your life!)….in my Rainbow House.
  • There is no mortgage on my Rainbow House.
  • Telemarketers do not have the phone number to my Rainbow House.
  • George Clooney does have the number to my Rainbow House, and he calls it frequently to talk to me and see if I will accompany him to his house on Lake Como. Alas, I cannot but I do enjoy the attention….but apparently, he also calls Heather to try to talk her into going to the Academy Awards with him….this must be addressed!

If I ever become a little restless in my Rainbow House, I go over to Heather’s Rainbow House and we play “ring toss” with her pet Unicorn in her infinity pool.

Since no one’s life is perfect, I often wonder what celebrities’ Rainbow Houses are like – they must have them – perhaps their Rainbow Houses are impossible for the paparazzi to photograph, have stores/restaurants/movie theatres where they can go and just be a normal person without everyone bugging them!

If anyone has the guts to Tweet/ask your favorite celebrity “What’s in your Rainbow House” with this post url (so they have some idea what you are talking about), tag your Tweet with #inmyRainbowhouse to make it searchable.

What is in your RAINBOW HOUSE?      (if you Tweet it, make sure to use #inmyRainbowHouse)

By Eleanore Macnish