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Tips & Tricks


Protect Your Photos ~ iPhone Watermark App

I am so grateful for the photo technology we have today. I am able to record so much of Parker’s daily life with my iPhone. In just 15 months I have taken thousands of photos to share with family, friends and to record his milestones.


For awhile I would download the photos off my iPhone at the end of each month. Then using Photoshop I would watermark the images I put on our family blog, Cherry Blossom Love. It was hard though, there were some photos or posts I wanted to do right from my phone, but couldn’t watermark them.

I have also heard a few cases where someone posted a photo of their kids on their private Facebook page only to find the same picture in a Google search being used on a website, blog, newspaper article etc… Even Facebook friends sharing personal photos can make a parent feel uneasy. You don’t know who their friends are or what their privacy settings are. Yes, I realize that once something is on the internet, you can’t think it’s private anymore. That doesn’t mean you can’t take measures to try and protect them from misuse.

I decided to search around to see if there were any iPhone watermark apps. To my surprise, there were tons of them. They all seem to do the same thing, allow you to easily create text and graphic watermarks right on your phone. I ended up choosing iWatermark after reading reviews and seeing some of the features. Now I can watermark a photo before I put it on Instagram, Facebook or my blog. I know it takes a little away from the photo but I feel better knowing someone can’t use it as their own.

I love how user friendly this app is and how quickly I was able to figure it out. You have the flexibility of choosing the text, font, size, opacity, color, angle and position of the watermark. Once the watermark is done, you can save it for future use.  


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Backing Up Your Inspiration

Okay, time to be honest… How much time do you spend on Pinterest a week?

I had the fortune of discovering Pinterest early on, around May 2011, right after my wedding. Go figure. Since then, I have probably spent the equivalent of a few weeks pinning projects and visiting websites. I have put blood, sweat and tears into this site. Well, not really blood…. or sweat… okay, not even tears… BUT I am not joking about the time.

In the beginning, I would pin an image and save it to my computer under the appropriate folder. Then one day I went on a little pinning spree and after about 50 pins said, “this is for the birds” and stopped saving them all together. That was about 2,500 pins ago. Since then I have created more boards, 89 at the moment, and have a grand total of 2, 993 pins. I like to cover everything from food to organization to accessories to family and even tattoo designs. I am very proud on my Pinterest collection!

A few weeks ago I got a little paranoid when Pinterest was acting a little funny. I realized it was time to get my butt in gear and figure out a way to at least save all of the images I have pinned. Since I often print things to PDF for my records I decided to see if it would also work for my Pinterest boards.

Wouldn’t ya know, it does!

I always save the page with all of my boards listed first as kind of the table of contents in the folder I save each board. It takes a little time but is well worth it! We are in the process of painting and redesigning our home and

Then I do the same exact steps with each of my boards. The important thing is to make sure is that you scroll down and wait for all of your pins to load before you save. You will know you are at the end when you see the P symbol at the bottom.

Seeing this puts my mind at ease!

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Making The Change To Bloglovin’

But it may mean doing a little work to make the transition smooth…

You probably realized by now that Google Reader is going gone I was bummed to find this out since it’s an easy way to follow my favorite blogs along. Then I heard that Bloglovin’ was taking its place and after using it for the last few months, I actually like it better.

Their homepage is visually appealing and super easy to maneuver.

Each morning I get an email in my inbox with all of the latest posts from bloggers I follow on Bloglovin’. It works out kinda perfect because I can catch up with all my favorite people before I even get out of bed. Now that’s productivity for ya! Bloglovin’ made it really easy to add the blogs you already follow on Google Reader. I wanted to put together a really nice tutorial for you on how to make the switch but came across A Bloglovin’ Tutorial from nutrition ella and it was so perfectly written, I just decided to share that instead!

Don’t skip a beat here at My Crafting Attic and make sure to follow us

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Monthly Challenge ~ Meals On A Budget

Over on my personal blog, Cherry Blossom Love, I host a monthly challenge link up. This months challenge is meal planning on a budget. Since it involves organizing and creating fun documents, I wanted to share it here. I hope you enjoy!

Rob and I are still trying to adjust our spending on a single income. I have to admit, it’s a little harder than I  originally thought it would be. One of the areas that can really put a dent in our checkbook is grocery shopping and eating out. Our goal is to get away from eating out and making more meals at home. We also want to get into a routine of only buying what we need for the week at the store to ensure we are not wasting food.

Goals of this challenge:

1. Stay on a budget with grocery shopping.
2. Plan our weekly meals and do the grocery shopping on Sunday’s to start the week out right.
2. Plan well balanced meals that include all of my WW requirements. 

As with any of my challenges/projects, I first started making a list of everything I needed to organize to set myself up for success. This was what I came up with:

Create a…
Monthly Calendar (9/1/12)
Weekly Menu (9/1/12)
Shopping List (9/1/12)
Food Inventory Checklist (9/1/12)

Organize a…
Binder compiled of our favorite recipes from cookbooks and magazines
Envelope for all of our coupons (9/1/12)

Purchase a… 
White Board (9/1/12)
iPhone App that is a shared grocery list so I can upload items and Rob can get them on his way home (9/1/12)

Decorate a… 
Clipboard to keep everything together in one place (9/1/12)

Here is what I have come up with so far! 

I created a food inventory document so we could see what we already had in the house to use for meals and snacks. I will do an inventory at the beginning of each month and take special note to expiration dates. There is nothing I hate more than throwing away food because it is past expiration.  

At the beginning of every month I want to go through the calendar and see what we have going on. When will we be away, when company will be staying over, outings planned etc…  

At the beginning of each week, I want to take a look at our inventory in addition to what we have going on that week and plan out our meals for the week. Once we know what our tentative plans are, we can take a look at our recipe binder and choose our meals. Once P get’s older, I want to incorporate theme nights to add some excitement! 

I find that having a specific list helps keep the cost down at the store. I know what items I need for the meals we plan to make that week. I decided to include a favorites section for things we are constantly eating such as granola bars, crackers and string cheese. 

I love our white board area in our kitchen! That’s right, call me a nerd 🙂 Even though we share a Google Calendar, it is nice to have everything written out for the month. The white board below the calendar has three columns; notes, to do and the week broken up by day. This is where we jot down pantry items we need, Rob’s “honey do list”, and a break down of the week (appointments, meetings, outings, etc…). The third white board is our recent purchase to help achieve this monthly challenge.  What I love about this white board is not only can I jot down our meal plan by day, but I can pin any recipes we plan to use for easy access! 

While I am no where close to holding the title of extreme couponer, I do like a good bargain. We get the Sunday paper for the weekly coupons and monthly P&G. I have also found a few websites, such as Grocery Coupon Network where I can go online to find printable coupons. Between the two, we save quite a bit during our shopping trips.

This month however, I want to challenge myself a little more. For example, last week we had a coupon for $1 off two boxes of Jimmy Deans breakfast sandwiches. While having a coupon was great, and prepacked sandwiches are convenient, the total cost was more expensive than if we had purchased the ingredients to make our own sandwiches. This month I want to try and find the most cost effective way to get some of the same items we love to eat.

While I made a handy dandy grocery shopping list, I know there will be times when Rob will need to pick something up from the store. Fortunately, I found an app for the iPhone that I love! It is called, Buy Me A Pie. My favorite feature and the reason I chose this app is because I can add items and Rob can see them on his phone. This will eliminate the need to text him a list or for him to try and remember everything from a voice mail I leave.

This is probably my biggest project for this month. As you can see, we have quite a collection of cookbooks, magazines and printouts of online recipes. My goal is to take these three shelves and combine it down to one shelf with a few of our favorite cookbooks and a binder that has all of our favorite recipes organized into categories.

That’s all I have for now! I look forward to reading all of your ideas, best practices and goals for the month!