Selfie Time!

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Every month I team up with U.S. Cellular and share a little about my Samsung Galaxy S7 Smart Phone.  This is one of those posts.

According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 71 percent of cell phone users keep themselves entertained by taking photos and posting on social media.

In fact, there’s now a national day to celebrate it on June 21 (that’s tomorrow): National Selfie Day.

To participate, all you need is a smartphone with a good quality camera.  The key to a good selfie shot is to make sure that your device has a front-facing camera.A front-facing “selfie camera” which has Smart Auto Focus to track faces and make sure everyone in the selfie is clear and in focus.

Me…I’m not the best selfie taker and definitely need some help.  Check out this photo I took of me and Carver awhile back….UGH.  I need selfie help for sure.

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Here are some suggestions from U.S. Cellular that will help us all take better selfies.

Use the right light. Selfie-takers should avoid fluorescent lights and instead opt for natural, indirect light such as outside or near a window, and be sure the light is coming from behind. The best lighting is the golden hour before sunset – that natural glow can’t be beat.

Work the angles. You can experiment with different camera angles by tilting the device slightly off center and sideways to find the “good side” of your face. While it may seem unnatural at first, selfie professionals recommend leaning your head to one side or, alternatively, angling the camera.  A selfie taken at an angle is almost always more flattering than one taken straight-on.

Spotlight activities. With U.S. Cellular’s high-quality network, capturing and sharing selfies from a hike, vacation, concert, trendy new restaurant, or with best friends is easy and quick.

Crop before posting. Selfie-takers should remember that for a perfect “photo finish,” they should pay attention to what’s happening behind them to avoid any awkward backgrounds.

Here’s selfie of me and Kelli…we took their advice of tilting the camera and working to find good angles.

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We did forget to crop though.  You can see the picture would look better had we taken the time to crop it.

There are many helpful apps that can improve selfies, enhancing the contrasts, smoothing skin, and embellishing them with cool edits and designs. One such app is Perfect 365, a virtual makeup app, allows users to improve their complexion, hide imperfections, add blush, mascara and other cosmetics virtually. Experiment with different app options and see which is best.

Until a year or so ago I never dreamed of taking selfies.  I always hated pictures of myself.  I’d do the whole self image thing of “who wants to see those chubby cheeks of mine and the like”.  I’m trying to get over that…having my 20-30ish year old kids is helping.  They often want a picture and I’m so bad at saying no to them….so I do it.  All in all, I’m glad I have.  I know there are others like me who don’t like getting their picture taken but I think it’s time we start.  Years from now, after I’m gone, I want my grand kids to see in the everyday…not just in a posed picture.  This little snap shot selfie of Kelli and I, that’s how I want them to see and remember me….so ladies, take a few selfies…our families will be glad we did.

 

Friday Night Fun

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This all started on Thursday.  Over nap time I checked Facebook and saw an estate sale in Nashua.  I looked at the pictures.  There were lots and they all looked really full and kind of junkie.  There were 26 pictures in the lot of photos and I don’t had a bit of time.  Something about that white-ish base cabinet to the right in the picture caught my eye.

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I scrolled down about three more pictures and saw this…Look way to the right again.  See all those drawers.  My heart skipped a beat.

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That’s all the time I had.  The kiddos woke so that night I flipped back and forth between the two pictures.  Yep, I was fairly certain it was the same cabinet in the two different pictures.  Hmm….

Well something made me remember it all as the next morning I decided that I would send a message and see how much it was and if it was available.  I didn’t think it would be but it’s a diamond in the rough and other people can’t always see that.  I messaged her…but as I did, I saw the name of another junker saying he had messaged her.  UGH…It the same guy we bought our upper kitchen cabinets from so I was sure I the lower cabinets at this estate sale would have been snapped up by him.  I crossed my fingers and sent the message.

Yes, it was still there and if I would take it, I could have it.  I needed strong people to help me move it though.  Okay…now to convince Hubby.  So I called him at nap time and asked if he wanted to go on an adventure after work.  Yep…he did but where.  I explained that there was an estate sale…he said- really?  He had seen the same cabinet and wondered the same thing but didn’t say anything to me as he figured it was gone too.  He was willing to go and I was HAPPY.

In the meantime, the lady sent me this picture.  I know…you’re all wondering what I’m thinking to be in love with this…I am though.

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We went to the sale and ended up spending $11.  It was a steal of a deal.

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Here’s what’s in the truck…. [Read more...]

Summer Childcare

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The school year has been over here for two weeks.  The craziness has kicked in.  Summer childcare is always harder than school year childcare.  The school agers are now here all day so there’s a new schedule, another age group of kids to entertain and more importantly, a new pecking order has to be established.  It’s all part of the process and thankfully I’ve been doing childcare long enough to know that each summer starts with boot camp.  Seriously, new rules need to be set.  The older kids need to be reminded that the other kids aren’t babies and can do things for themselves and can even join in the play.  I don’t want you to think it’s all bad…just remember back to when your own kids were home for the summer.  It’s the same thing only a bigger scale.

I snapped a few pictures to show you some highlights.

I have a gal that comes every other week from Fayette County Food and Fitness.  On this day she was planting seeds with the kids.

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Here’s the little guy that is close to Carver’s age.  Normally he crawls on all fours but he doesn’t like grass on his legs so “bear crawls” on the grass.  What a cutie!!

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Ruby is back to her playing days with the older kids here.  The two school age girls are the two who usually dress her up.  Ruby doesn’t look the happiest here but she was okay with it.  She knows that if she doesn’t like whatever is going on, her kennel is her domain and can go there to get away from the kids….I laughingly told one of my childcare moms that I need a kennel to retreat to on some days.

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We spend LOTS of time outdoors.  These two love the fairy gardens.

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We have been doing lots more activities.  It’s easier to do them now as we aren’t dictated by school schedules.  Here’s a fun project we did.  The kids loved it!

We took baby food containers that were cleaned.  Each kid got a half of Hershey’s candy bar.  We broke it into pieces and put them into our containers.  The containers went outside in the sun where they melted.  (Easy science project)

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Then at snack time we had vanilla wafers and strawberries.  The kids could dip the strawberries and wafers into the now melted chocolate.  This was a HUGE hit.  Try it with your kids or grand kids.  They are sure to enjoy it too.

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Here is Carver.  He’s so busy crawling right now that he actually, no fooling, crawled right out of his pants.  See them on the floor behind him.

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He’s grown by leaps and bounds.  He can now do “so big”, “pattycake”, “give us five”, wave and say “da-da” meaning Craig.  He is at such a fun age.  He could be a better napper and better at eating food, but hey, even my grand kids can’t be perfect!!

I have had to do a little adjustment with Neighbor Girl.  I don’t get paid at all for her to be here even though I am responsible for her.  She was coming here everyday, all day.  She ate all of her meals here and even was overnight a few days last week.  I want to be helpful and available but things started to get harder.  She asked me to do her laundry (she didn’t like it when I said my 10 year old kids did their own laundry so if her laundry was going to get done, she’d have learn how)… selected childcare rules didn’t apply to her…I caught her in a couple fibs….she would leave my house without telling me…she would try to dictated meal choices and do the “yuck” type complaining over the food I was serving and other similar things that every ten year old does.  But, those things were eating on me.  I felt no one at her house was taking responsibility for her at all.  No one called and checked on her.  No one called and asked her to come home.  She was at my house for over 60 hours straight and no one checked on, came over or called her.  I was frustrated…Hubby was frustrated that I was frustrated so…we implemented a new schedule.  I am allowing her to come three childcare days a week and that’s it.  The other two days, her family is going to have to take care of her.  Mom works overnights and sleeps during the day but they can figure it out. I am hoping that making a schedule might make them step up a bit too…the weekends she can come and go as she pleases but she eats what we eat or she doesn’t eat here…no special meals for a picky eaters anymore.  (Yes, I had to explain that English Muffins are just the same as toast and aren’t worth saying “Yuck” over)

I am not mad about any of this-it’s growing pains.  It’s her learning about my world and me her world.  I had my own ten year olds and know that this is the territory.  I love her dearly and want to a part of her life.   But I want to be a PART…not her whole life.  She’s welcome at my house but can’t live here.  We know she feels loved here and wants to be here because of that.  I know we are always busy (and not sleeping) so we seem more exciting than her home but still, I can’t do it all-all day (and night).  I have to get things straightened out before DHS places her cousin at her house and I end up with two living here.  UGH.

I’m all okay…child care is going okay…summer is well underway and we’re making the adjustment…Before I know it summer will be over and I’ll be back adjusting to a new schedule again.

Before I go I thought I would recommend some awesome Facebook pages that have fun kids crafts…Easy Peasy and Fun, Paper Magic, and I Heart Crafty Things.  We’ve been doing daily crafty activities and these pages have been making things super easy for me.  With them, planning has been a breeze.  I know many of you have kiddos in your life and might enjoy them as well.

I am happy to report that all is well here and the childcare kids are keeping me hopping which is a good thing!

What I’m Working On…

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It looks like I did a lot but a couple of these things have been on going projects.

This first project I’m showing you is my beginning design process for a quilt for Hubby’s great niece for her wedding.  I started out with this and a phone call to Kelli….

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After talking it over with Kelli I was happy with the idea so I worked on it some more……

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For most of you this is a bunch of gibberish.  For me, it’s the pattern written out in short hand.

I put a quilt on the frame.  This one….  Check it out… [Read more...]