• Blogging,  Tips & Tricks

    The 7 Best Apps For Photo Editing

    I love, love, love to take photos. Most of the time I drag my big ol’ DSLR camera along with me when I go somewhere and I edit those photos in Photoshop. But sometimes, the convenience of being able to bring your phone with you to take pictures just makes so much more sense. It is great to be able to kick things up a notch too with photo editing apps! You can brighten up a dark photo, or add some fun text or filters to give your photo a little flare. So today, I’m sharing the 7 Best Apps for Photo Editing. (I use the following apps on my iPhone, but some may be available on other devices.)

    7 Best Apps For Photo Editing

    Camera+ by tap tap tap – Camera+ is an amazingly awesome app that allows you to have more control over your camera settings than the regular camera on your phone. It has really good manual mode settings which allows you to take beautiful photos in all sorts of different lighting scenarios. Plus, there are a lot of extra filters and options to help your pictures POP!

    Processed with Camera+

    Adobe Photoshop Express by Adobe – The Adobe Photoshop Express has many great features, but I think my favorite would have to be the blemish removal tool. I’m not a fan of editing out permanent facial features (see my wrinkles!) or making people skinnier, but this option is perfect for removing that scary, huge pimple that popped up over night or those few crumbs you didn’t notice on the floor before you snapped your photo. (Luckily, I didn’t have any zits at the time of this pic!)

    Processed with Adobe Photoshop Express

    Pic Tap Go by Totally Rad! Inc. – This is my favorite, most used photography app. I love that I can quickly load a photo into Pic Tap Go and apply a few filters or crop in no time at all. Usually, I just brighten and sharpen, since I love my photos to pop with color. However, there are a lot of fun options to choose from (which you can preview before you even apply) if you want to go for a vintage or black and white look as well.

    Processed with Pic Tap Go

    VSCO by Visual Supply Company – I love VSCO because it is so simple and the results are almost always beautiful. The app is super user friendly, with easy to use controls and lovely filters that can subtly accent your photos.

    Processed with VSCO

    Rhonna Designs by Rhonna Farrer – If you want to add pretty graphics and text to your pictures, Rhonna Designs is definitely the way to go. There are tons of gorgeous font options and designs that can help you create beautiful and unique graphic photos.

    Processed with Rhonna Designs

    Waterlogue by Tinrocket, LLC – Sometimes it’s fun to get a little artistic with your photos and Waterlogue is the perfect way to turn your pictures into art. This app takes your photos and, with the just the click of a button, changes them into beautiful watercolors. This photo started out as white plain flowers outside of our home, but now it looks like it was painted by an artist. So pretty!

    Processed with Waterlogue

    Moldiv by JellyBus Inc. – This last app is great if you want to showcase several photos at once in a collage. Moldiv can stitch together a grouping of photos (like a this set from my home tour) and there are tons of combinations to choose from, which is perfect for sharing on social media, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, etc.

    Processed with Moldiv

    I love how using an app to edit photos can give it just that little extra oomph! What are your favorite photo editing apps? Do you use any of these? I would to hear your recommendations in the comments below!

  • Blogging,  Family, Kids, Pets,  Life & Family

    2016 New Year’s Resolutions

    It’s a new year, which means everyone is sharing their latest resolutions and I am no different. There is something about putting away all of those holiday decorations and recovering from excessive delicious food consumption that really motivates people to want to make changes. Without further ado, here are my 2016 New Year’s Resolutions.

    2016 New Year's Resolutions

    Blog Resolutions

    1. Try To Successfully Do This DIY Blog Thing On My Own – When you are used to sharing all of the responsibilities of blogging equally with someone else, it can be a little intimidating to think of doing it all on your own. I know most of the bloggers out there are running everything solo, so it is totally doable. Wish me luck!

    Painting with Paint Brush

    2. Share More – Though things may a bit sporadic and sparse around here while I try to get this solo blogging gig under control, one thing that is important to me is to share more of the personal stuff on the blog. Sure, step by step tutorials are great (there will still be plenty of DIYing going on around here), but throwing a little of the life material in with it all will hopefully make things more fun.

    Kids Having Fun

    3. Be More Intentional – There may have been a time or two (or ten) that I have created something just so I would have a project to share on the blog. As fun as it is to put together most projects I work on, it can be frustrating to have put time into something that ends up in the trash or being donated because I don’t have a use/place for it. In 2016, I hope to be more intentional and create/work on projects that our family will love and use.

    Cable Spool Clock

    Personal Resolutions

    1. Spend More Time With Family – This is kind of self explanatory. I find that I tend to keep piling stuff on my plate just to try to please everyone, which in turn takes me away from the people I care about. Learning to say “no” is OK and something I hope will allow me to be present in the lives of my husband and kids. Because they are what matters the most!

    Chutes and Ladders

    2. Get Organized – I am finally reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and so far, I really like it. I have rounded up 3 garbage bags of clothing to donate and it is such a freeing feeling. By letting go of the things that I don’t love, I will be able to really enjoy our home. I’m tired of not being able to find things I need because they are hidden underneath all of the extra clutter we have.


    3. A Healthier Me – Of course, this wouldn’t be a good resolution list without a little health talk, right? I’m doing the typical stuff… trying to eat clean, exercising, and drinking more water.

    Nike Running Shoes

    So, did you make any resolutions for 2016? What sort of things are you working on? I would love to hear what you want to accomplish this year!


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  • Blogging,  Life & Family

    My Struggles with PMDD

    Have you ever heard of PMDD? It’s basically severe PMS. (Find more out here.) I hadn’t heard of it until about 2 years ago when I was diagnosed with it.

    Let’s go back in time for a minute: In late 2012, I went nuts. Literally, crazy. My emotions were all over the place. I couldn’t control them at all. I possessed so much anxiety, anger, and sadness. Friendships were ruined and I hurt a lot of people I care about. Thoughts of suicide sat heavy on my brain. It all started in September of that year, I had just stopped breastfeeding my one year old and I had a very active 2 ½ year old. I thought, “Two kids, two and under. I am probably just sleep deprived. That’s got to be what is going on with me.” So, I just kept chugging along.

    When my feelings weren’t getting any better, I decided to start seeing a therapist. After several months, I started to realize my therapist was getting annoyed with me because all of my “huge problems” were actually quite petty. Luckily, my awesome husband didn’t take kindly to my bullying either, but he also very much understood I was having a hard time.

    In addition to everything going on in my own head, my husband and I were also realizing our youngest son had special needs (you may know my youngest son has autism spectrum disorder.) I wanted to connect some dots for you. 2012-2014 is the same time frame we were finding all of that out.

    As the year passed, I started to recognize there was a monthly pattern to my emotions. My solution was to just start avoiding people during those times of rage. Insomnia was also very much a part of my life. I would sit up at night and worry that a friend of mine was saying something bad about me. I lost so much sleep thinking people were saying things they weren’t. (Who cares, right? Well, I certainty did.) I felt miserable.

    In December of 2013, I finally called my GYN and made an appointment. I had been keeping a mood journal for several months and shared what I had been experiencing. That’s when I received the PMDD diagnosis. My doctor prescribed me a daily dose of 20mg of fluoxetine (Prozac) to help stabilize my mood.

    The first several weeks of taking this medication my body did not react well, but the doctor told me to stick it out and make it to the six week point. So I did. That made all the difference in the world. I was myself again. All the worrying was gone. I could finally enjoy my family the way I had always wanted to.

    Alright, now let fast forward to November and December 2015. I was beginning to recognize some changes in my mood again. This time I chalked it up to being stressed about the holidays.

    One morning, I guess I was in a particularly bad mood and I was yelling at my five year old because he was running late for school. He looked up at me with big teary eyes and said “Mommy why are you being so mean to me? Can you stop yelling at me please? It hurts my feelings.” I stopped dead in my tracks. I hadn’t even realized I was yelling. That’s when it dawned on me; all of my PMDD symptoms were back. I called my doctor immediately. He said sometimes this can happen where your medication can “poop-out” or stop working. So, he recommended that I up my daily dosage.

    Right now, I am in the middle of the adjustment period to the new dosage and I am not entirely sure it is working. I am awake during the nights and sleeping during the days. My dreams are so stressful that my rest doesn’t even feel like rest. I keep getting so worn down that I keep getting other sicknesses as well. So, with all of that being said, I am going to have to step back from the blog and focus on my health, personal struggles, and my family. This decision did not come easy to me, as I have loved meeting people, sharing ideas, and working with my sister on Elizabeth Joan Designs. I am sure Erin will have many great new things to share with you. And who knows, I may pop in every now and then to share the happenings around here.

    Well, thanks again for all of your support and goodbye for now!

  • Blogging,  Life & Family

    Happy New Year & Changes

    Hello, Friends and Happy New Year! We hope that you had a magical time during the holidays! For me, the break has been so wonderful and it has been great to spend more quality time with the kids and hubby. We’ve played tons of games, done Christmas crafts, went to see the Nutcracker, visited the zoo to see the Christmas lights, and of course spent lots of time with family and friends!

    Zoo Christmas Lights

    But now it is back to reality. The kids started back to school yesterday and I’ve been tweaking some blog stuff here and there. You may have noticed the mini “blog makeover” going on. Since it is a new year, we’ve decided it was time for a new look. It is such a process, but hopefully everything will be back to normal working order soon!


    In other blog news, we’ve decided to shift gears slightly. Don’t worry. We will still continue to bring you plenty of fun DIY, decor, and craft projects. But we have felt that there was maybe a little something missing. What’s that you ask? Well, it’s personal. Literally. We thought it was time to welcome you into our lives and share a little more of the personal details. Don’t be scared. It’s not anything too crazy.

    Flower Colored Pencils

    We are so glad you stopped by! Check back later this week for an update from Emily too!


    Have you downloaded your free 2016 Calendar and Planners?

    Monthly Weekly Planner