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?!


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


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!


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


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


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!



(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!




FilterMania 2


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


This is my “go to” for editing

Easy photo editing; great filters

Iris Photo Suite



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


Play around with it.



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

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



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!

Friday’s Gift……”Saving Graces”

“Why Ellie Mac – Tart of Life?  Why do you think these things are so “fly”?”

Because they “rock” – that is why!

#1. Bill Atkinson’s Photo Card iPhone App – Ohhhh yes, there are so many photo card apps and I have many of them; but this one is the one I keep going back to time after time! Easy to use, fantastic quality & customer support, 5×7 postcard (laminated front and back) arrives in your mailbox…..love, love, love!  A “saving grace” for me because I tend to document my child’s life on my phone!  I take a picture with my phone, choose it as the front image, type a message on the back (there is plenty of room), add little “stickers” -the heart and basketball in this photo), send it to myself and sometimes others – Done! Yay!!

You buy PayPal credits ahead of time, so you never have to enter your credit card info or “log in” – you just choose if you want to email the card (free) or have it sent in the mail. It costs $2 to send the card by mail.  Particularly helpful when on vacation! – you just compose one card and choose as many recipients as you would like from your contact list!

#2.  Stuck On You ID Labels.  Ok, I know at the outset this might seem like a “no big deal” thing………and in that case you would be wrong…….so very very WRONG!  A friend of mine (April Young) turned me on to these about 5 years ago and I love them so much, I even have a set for myself with my email address!

This is why they are so amazing:

  • They are dishwasher & microwave safe.
  • They are vinyl (not paper!)
  • You can put them on the inside of shoes & coats
  • They are so small, kids are not embarrassed of them (the ones in this link are about the width of your pinkie finger nail) – and you can trim them down to just their name to make them even smaller.
  • They come in “cool” colors.
  • Stick them to everything!  Mobile phones, tools, inside of luggage, loop around the zipper of anything, cameras, chargers (think “Girls weekends” when everyone is plugging their charger into any available socket and everyone’s is the same), iPods, iPads, Nintendos, laptops, key fobs, notebooks – a bottle of wine – ha! – anything you do not want to lose – slap one of these babies on it and you’re good to go!
  • Think: Every single freakin’ thing you send your kid to school with – lunch boxes, cups, supplies – anything you want back or don’t want to have to buy again if it is lost – think about that my friend!

This a NOT a sponsored blog post – these are just things I love and thought you would like to know about – that is if you don’t already know about them!

Enjoy your weekend!

By Eleanore Macnish

Friday’s Gift……Fill in the blanks and make your own crossword puzzle!

Crossword I designed for the child of a friend – kids LOVE this….because it is all about them!

There is a site I truly adore.  I adore everything about it….the aesthetics, the mission, the beautifully honest and charming way she speaks about everything that is who she is, what she makes, why it is important to her, her products and her wonderful sporadic blog (I gather she is quite busy!).  “She” is Lea Redmond and she is refreshing and so great!  Her site is filled with her products and many free projects – my favorite is one of her conceptual knitting projects called the “Sky Scarf“, in which you knit a row of whatever color the sky happens to be everyday; at the end of the year, you end up with a 5 foot long scarf that is a visual sky calendar of the past year.

One day while looking at her blog, I happened upon a link that generates a crossword puzzle with your own words!  -You also write the hints (obviously)!  Such a fun thing for birthdays, holidays…..or any day! Kids love it because it is all about THEM!! — and you can make the answers as simple as can be, so even a 4 year old can enjoy something like this as long as an adult is there to fill in the blanks!  NOTE: Sit down and come up with a list of questions and answers first – then go to the site and plug in your answers & questions!

** #2 across “An old ______ injury makes Eleanore’s (me) back hurt sometimes.”

Answer: Bullfighting (I have an old bullfighting injury that makes my lower back hurt – but only about once a year…..and it is waaaaay cooler than having an old tennis injury!  When I was pregnant and hurting because of it, my OBGYN just looked at me dumbfounded.  I said “I was not fighting a bull yesterday! It was 15 years ago – in Spain no less!!” …..my explanation didn’t seem to make a difference.)

Enjoy your weekend!

By Eleanore Macnish

Manifesto of an 8 year old: “Why I Should Have My Ears Peirst”

This just pulls at my heart strings….

Ooooh the earnestness of youth!  I just love that my daughter does this!  She has only done it twice but each time she has delivered one of these notes, my heart just melts. She does NOT understand why sanctions are imposed on her and she does her best to make a persuasive argument….as only an 8 year old can.  Above is her first Manifesto…..(her second was regarding why she should be allowed to have and play the X-Box game “Assassins Creed”…..but that is a different story.)

Perhaps the reason this so “gets” to me is her persistence (after many conversations about why she could not have pierced ears until she was 12) and the heart-felt earnestness.

I finally caved when she was nine.  We were at Anthropologie when two separate women came up to me, in the space of about 5 minutes, and said “I think your son is looking for you”, as my daughter was calling “Maaaama?!? Maaaaaaaama! Can you hear me?” while walking through the store (I was standing by the sale rack and responding “I’m right here, just follow my voice”….really really softly…kidding – I said it loudly enough for her to hear).

I thought “Really!??  You mean my “son” who is wearing pink sweatpants and a shirt with daisies printed all over it…..who has a Pixie Cut?”  There was just something about the whole experience that irked me…..we got in the car and she said “Where are we going next?” ….and I said “To the mall to get your ears pierced (peirst)!”

I look back on that time and remember thinking: “Yes, I am giving in — will she remember this and learn from it and exploit my emotions in the future? Does getting her ears pierced at nine instead of 12 really matter in the grand scheme of things?  Will it lead to drinking or other self destructive behaviors at an early age? Will she think me weak?  If she does realize my weakness, will she organize elaborate “flash mob” situations without me even knowing, as a teenager to convince me I should extend her curfew?…..just because I let her get her ears pierced at age nine?” – Probably not.

Amazingly enough, no harm done!…..with the exception of having permanent holes in her body!

……..and then I thought, “you know what? I’ll bet this doesn’t really matter…..except it matters a lot to her.”        

UPDATE:  She is now 10, and is feeling “pretty good”, and is trying her best to navigate the “pre-tween”  waters!

Hopefully, she did not hire those women to approach me……….

If anything pops into your mind of stuff that may be coming my way in this regard….please comment with how you handled it – so I can be prepared! Thanks!!

Update: This blog was featured on Daily Buzz Moms – Raising Daughters. Check out other fun blog posts about raising daughters!

By Eleanore Macnish