Friday’s Fabulous Finds ~ My Favorite Apps!

So it seems that most everyone has the ability to use apps on either the Apple Device of choice (mine is my awesome iPad 2) or Droid Device (my phone – yes I know – I’m a photographer and I don’t own an iPhone… It’s okay, I’m also a PC *gasp*). With that, I thought I would share some of my favorite apps, although most of these are indeed apple apps – some are also available on Droids. So here is my crazy, geeky, cool list, in no particular order:

1. Etsy: For those of you who know my love of Etsy, well, this one won’t be such a surprise. That said, I am still test running this app and am not sure that another one may suit me better. But this one is free and I had to give it a shot. Etsy is a one stop shop that allows you to buy directly from independent, creative businesses all over the world!

2. Fabric Stash: This app I have not yet gotten, but when I start up my sewing projects again – it may very well become a must have. With Fabric Stash you can keep your entire stash of fabric with you at all times by snapping a photo of your fabric, entering notes, and you are ready to sort out different projects and go shopping on the fly without worrying over matching swatches you forgot at home… This is a paid app.

3. ProCreate – sketch, paint, draw: Another app I do not yet own, but I’d really love to get at some point. I just couldn’t pass sharing this one. It is currently a paid app and has been rated as one of the best drawing/art apps there is so far. It seems as if it will be a great app, and I’d love to get back into art when I’m on the go. If anyone out there has this and has some opinions on it – I would love to hear about it!

4. NASA: Okay, so this is the little geek in me coming out to play… and yes, I have this app, and yes, I use it. I have been a little obsessed with the space program since I was a kid, and frankly, moving to the Space Coast was an adventure for me. Hearing those shuttles come back to earth – and go off for that matter – or more like, FEELING them, was one of the most awesome things I’ve ever experienced. And no, my life is not so dull… It really is quite the sight to see. So I like to get a little scientific and see what NASA is up to, this is the app I use to do it. It is also Free!

5. Geocaching: You’ve heard me talk about this before and basically, it is treasure hunting for adults. This is a paid app, and although I don’t currently use it – it is because I have no time to go geocaching right now. But you better believe that once I do have some time to go – this is the first thing I’m getting! If you haven’t been Geocaching before and you are a bit of an adventurer you HAVE to check it out!

6. iPeriod Free: Sorry, but this one is for girls only, and although it is a personal app, it is one I feel I really couldn’t live without and so I am sharing it. So if you are a gal, check out the free app. I have used it for a couple of years and love it. There is also a paid version, but the free version has served me well.

7. Draw Something Free: A super fun game, and it is free. The basis is that you play online with friends and other random gamers and you draw out a word, the other person has to guess what the word is, then you have to guess what the word is that they draw etc. It is really fun to see what others come up with and can be a challenge at times. This one is also available on Droids for sure.

8. We Rule: I have played this game for a long time, and I found it a little addicting, so you were warned. It is a free social game where you basically build a kingdom with cool buildings and people and you get goals and quests… There is a little bit of everything from castles to steampunk, asian to pirate to orc inspired items… And they just keep adding more and more cool stuff all the time!

9. Grimm’s Fairy Tales: I have a personal photo project I am working on that involves Grimm’s stories and I love this app. It is basically a book app, you can read the different fairy tales, but it has a beautiful layout, interaction, and a wide selection of works. It is also free. Just keep in mind, these are the original stories, so if you read them to your little ones, this is NOT the Disney, Happily ever after sort of stories you may think.

10. Skype: I live very far away from family and friends, I travel a lot, and I have very busy clients. This allows me to connect with everyone, via video chat, for free. For me a must have app to help me connect with all the important people in my life.

11. Grimm’s Fairy Stories and Puzzles: Okay, so another version of the Grimm Tales, and with it, old illustrations that when you double tap on them, turn into a puzzle – in case you want some double entertainment! It is a free app, and is fun, and entertaining. One of my favorite ways to do research.

12. Comics: Another app that shows my true Geek… and I’m proud of it. This allows you to purchase and view your comics right on your iPad and frankly – I love it! This one features Marvel (my fav), DC, and The Walking Dead. No, it isn’t the same for you collectors out there – but I often want to read some comics and not have them take up more room than I have to store them all… And yes, I do collect hard copies of certain comics still – a little known fact about me, I’m a dork. I love all things Marvel, but I collect Witchblade comic books by Top Cow… ๐Ÿ˜€

13. Jamie’s Recipes: Okay, so another love of mine, the food network. One of my favorite shows that you don’t see anymore – Jamie at Home… I have been a fan of Jamie Oliver for a while – this app is free, but you can purchase really cool recipe sets within it as well and it is well worth it if you are a foodie and love to cook like I do! Check it out!

14. Photogene for iPad: This paid app is the only app I really use if I want to edit a photo on my iPad for something. I don’t do this much anyway – but it is an amazing editing app. If you do need the ability to edit on your iPad, this is a must have! I like it for when I am traveling and taking personal photos I want to share!

15. Lose it!: The health and fitness app. When you use this app regularly it can really make a difference. You can set a goal weight, or a weight to maintain, and it will tell you how many calories you can have each day to reach or keep that goal. You then input what you eat and any exercise you had for the day and it calculates it all for you! It is a fabulous app if you need a little more of a visual to keep track of things for you. Lol, you should see my negative calories for the day on a wedding day because I move around so much, I burn more than I consume every time! See, it IS like a 8+ hour workout all day!

16. Relax melodies HD: This little app has served me well for a few years and it just keeps on getting better and better. It is a free app but I do believe there is also a paid version, and it is also available on Droids. It is a white noise ambiance for sleep, meditation & yoga generator and has a tone of different options. Some of my favs are the thunderstorms, crickets, and rain options. And when I’m feeling like I miss camping in the SCA I use the firepit, and drum sounds as well. ๐Ÿ˜€

17 and 18. Priceline and Kayak: I am sorry if putting these two together seems wrong, but they are two of my favorite ways to book plane, hotel, and car rentals and I couldn’t live without these handy little apps to get me the best deals for all my travel needs. And I can’t help but love that the Priceline app does the Priceline negotiator jingle when it opens! ๐Ÿ˜€

19. Notability: I couldn’t do without this app – ever. It is a paid app and it is the BEST money I have spent on an app for note taking. You can type, free hand write, draw diagrams, insert photos, and more. I use this thing the most for photo notes and when I go to workshops or a conference where I am attending multiple workshops in one day, this is how I take notes and stay organized. You can even add voice recordings to it! Seriously, if you are a student and have an iPad – this is a MUST HAVE app as well. You can then email your notes to yourself to file for later.

20. 1000 Places to See before you Die: Just like the book – this free app will tour you around the globe to tell you all the cool places you should see in your lifetime. If you like to travel and are a bit of an adventure seeker like me – you’ll appreciate this app.

21. Flipboard: This is a new way of seeing social media – it concentrates on photos and really brings social media such as facebook to life for the more visually oriented folks like myself! You’ll never want to go back to the old layout of facebook after this! This is a free app.

22. Brides HD: This is a free app that features different area Brides magazines, Atlanta, Chicago, and Dallas – I just find it fun to flip through.

23. Adobe Photoshop Express: This one I use to reduce noise, crop and straighten, and add borders to my photos with – if I happen to be using the iPad for photos… It is free – so I couldn’t pass it up.

24. Whole Foods Market Recipes: I like this one because if you ever host dinner for anyone that has allergies, or for yourself of course, it is a great way to get some new ideas. If you need a gluten free meal, dairy free, low fat, or just a healthy and tasty recipe, this is a fun resource. And yes, I’m a whole foods junkie – but we don’t have one close to us, so I frequent other health food type markets, and farmers markets as well… Just not as much as I’d like.

As usual – you can follow this link HERE to see my full board on these apps, and click on the app icon to go directly to the website to find out more information on each app. I would like to note that I do not get paid to recommend or review these apps in any way from them or any affiliates – I just thought this would be a fun post to share. ๐Ÿ˜€ Enjoy!

Friday’s Fabulous Finds ~ Foodie Delights

For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a true foodie and proud of it. I have an appreciation for beautiful, stunning, and delectable eats, and I love to share the best with my nearest and dearest. On a truly down day, I love to spend it in the kitchen, and my husband out does me in this department all the time. He really does make some amazing eats, and give him time to do magic with a smoker and you’ll have some of the best barbeque you’ve ever had in your life! Of course he denies these talents – but then, often great artists do.

This last year, at Thanksgiving, I took part in making my first German Apple Strudel from scratch and it was exhilarating. The results were pretty yummy too, and I learned a lot for this years version – but I think I found a new tradition. For me, this process was an emotional tie to my Dad, you see I’m 3rd generation German on my Dad’s side, and he grew up with the gals making this delectable delight every holiday season. But I didn’t grow up around my Dad’s side of the family, and I feel often that I missed out on some amazingly rich, family and cultural history, not to mention bonding with them. So for me this was a distant tie to that side of the family, and it was nice to feel like I was a part of something bigger.

Above are home made breadcrumbs from Panettone bread – so yummy all by itself!

The fun really starts with stretching the dough over an entire table top, so thin you can see through it! I mean a BIG table – I know for next year to use our formal LARGE table for this! You put down a clean sheet (I bought muslin from the fabric store specifically to use for strudel making) and you flour it, then get to stretching. I didn’t really know what I was getting into before I started researching different ways to go about the whole process – but having my Dad here with me to help give advice on what he could recall helped a great deal – and it was a bonding experience I’ll always remember.

After that you fill it up with delicious goodness and roll… Mine were so big you had to use two large pans to put the results in, and that was only HALF of the dough!

Food is like that for me in many ways. Yes, I believe that it is nourishment, and we should only eat the best of the best, and stick with as organic and true to nature foods as we possibly can. But I am also a lover of baked goods, all in moderation (or that’s what I tell myself, following that is another story). After all, I think pie counts as a great breakfast food, especially if it is one of my peanut butter and jelly pies – protein, fruit, dairy, can’t get much better! Or a good chocolate cream pie like this one that I made!

Pie reminds me of my Grandmother, who baked, cooked, and did everything from scratch without recipes to follow at all… Her pies were to die for! And when we would go out to pick the ingredients for pies and jam and then spend the day in the kitchen making the goodies for later that day, it was magical. The pie crust scraps sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar were the BEST too! Her place always smelled good, and she worked hard and cooked for an army even when there were only a few of us. When I get to can preserves I always remember her telling me how to sanitize the jars, and make sure to add enough of this and that… It is something I’ll always hold dear and I hope to pass onto our kids when the time comes.

On that – I thought I’d share one of my inspirational pinterest boards – my Delectable Delights board! Follow the link HERE to see the entire board and to get some fun recipes. I plan on trying some of these new yummy treats this year, what are you going to make to entice your pallet, bond with family and friends, and have some fun in the kitchen?! I’d love to hear some of your favorite things to cook up, so don’t forget to comment below!


*Please follow the link to this pinterest board to see where these great ideas came from to include the wonderful photogs that created each photo!

rich - May 18, 2012 - 6:10 pm

not only are your photos beautiful – but your food looks amazing! making me so hungry right now!!

Erin - May 19, 2012 - 6:48 am

Oh yum – I’m seriously craving sweets now! That apple strudel sounds so good!

Tracy - May 20, 2012 - 2:35 am

Reading your blog and seeing these photos before I’ve had lunch was a bad idea!
I am now starving and craving your strudel!!

Biju Oommen - May 20, 2012 - 2:36 am

๐Ÿ™ Now i am really hungry. Your photos are beautiful and I am sure the food too. Lucky are those who had a taste of that. Nice shots.

SuperMoon = Romance

I give to you the SuperMoon! This amazing beauty shines it’s brightest – this year, on Cinco de Mayo! A supermoon occurs when the moon is both making its closest approach to Earth and turning full. It happens about once a year. The moon will appear up to 30 percent brighter and 14 percent bigger than the dullest moons, and it was a sight to be seen! If you were able to catch it with your honey, it could have made for one big romantic night! In fact you still have time to go out and see it! It’s the perfect lighting for any romantic adventure, and, if you are planning something big, like proposing – and your honey is into the celestial events – tonight is the night! Best wishes to all my fellow Moon lovers out there, may your hearts overflow with love and happiness on this bright occassion!

Monica - May 19, 2012 - 3:25 pm

Fantastic moon shot!

Tracy - May 20, 2012 - 2:32 am

I love this image! Just stunning!

Daniel Cruz - May 21, 2012 - 8:42 pm

Killer shot of the moon! It amazes me how close it is, and yet how mysterious the moon has been to us. Crazy!

Friday’s Fabulous Finds ~ Paper Poms DIY

I have a love for paper… I don’t really know what it is – but put me in any office supply, scrapbooking, or greeting card store and I’m a happy girl! It is no wonder that weddings with more paper products and details (cards, letterpress tags, handmade embellishments, poms, tassels, etc.) get chosen for magazine publications so often. They are just pretty, personalized, and fun to interact with! I have been planning out my office space, however small or large it may end up being in D.C. and hanging paper poms is one of the decor projects I have been contemplating for a while.

So I am excited to share my recent experiment of paper pom making! I used a bright and colorful striped tissue paper for the two small poms, and a white for the large pom. The project took me around an hour of running around and gathering all my tools, then sitting down and making all three – as well as to get a snack, a drink, and you know – make a phone call… After all – I have a short attention span. Realistically – each small pom takes about five minutes, the large, maybe seven – you have to be patient with the larger one as the paper can rip easily.

The striped tissue was 5 sheets of standard Hallmark issue paper.
The white tissue I used was 12 sheets of 20×26 inch paper.

What you’ll need:

Tissue paper in your color of choice (you can even stack different colors together)
Florist wire, Long Pipe cleaner, or jewelry wire
Ribbon of your choice or clear fishing line or clear jewelry thread to hang it with.

Step one for Small Poms: If you plan on making small poms – you can get two poms out of five pieces of tissue paper. Simply unfold your tissue paper flat and cut in half in the middle vertically with the long edge of the paper and stack to make one pile of ten pieces of tissue paper. After completing step one and accordion folding along the short side of the paper – you will divide your accordion folds in half and cut along the crease in the middle (you are cutting vertically along the short side this time), so you now have two accordion folded pieces, around four folds a piece… Continue onto step two.

Step one for Large Poms: Unfold tissue paper flat, then accordion fold approx 1 1/2-inch-wide sections of the tissue paper (folding on the short side), and crease the paper as you fold.

Step two: In the middle of the paper – place your wire and twist tie shut around the paper. It should be snug, but it shouldn’t crease or fold the paper.

Step three: String ribbon or clear thread you intend to hang the pom with through the wire at this time. It is easier to do this now rather than later, I kept forgetting this step so I know. ๐Ÿ˜€

Step four: Trim the edges of the paper into the shape of your choice. Experiment with different finishes. If you plan on hanging multiple poms, having a variety can add extra depth and texture to the arrangement.

Step five: Unfurl each piece of paper individually, and take care not to rip the tissue – it is delicate and will tear much easier on the larger poms than the smaller as well – so take your time! I did this by pulling half of the paper in one direction, then the other half of the sheets in the opposite direction on one side, then repeated for the other side until they were all fluffed. Straighten out the edges of the paper as you go – fluff when done.

Step six, hang and enjoy!

You can finish the ribbon off with a little hot glue on the ends if you want to make a loop to hang on things, or leave both ends loose so you can tie them onto whatever you need. You could just as easily hot glue the entire length of ribbon together, leaving a small loop at the top to make it look a little more “finished” than letting it go loose if you have more decorative ribbon.

I had a lot of fun with this project and I hope you do too!

Biju Oommen - May 20, 2012 - 2:40 am

I loved this and am gonna try this myself. You make this look so simple. ๐Ÿ™‚ Nice work.

Friday’s Fabulous Finds ~ Date Night!

I am a BIG supporter of date night. In fact, I encourage it, no matter if you are still planning that wedding, or already married! My husband and I do date nights still, and when we do – it is a ton of fun, allows us to reconnect despite our crazy busy lives, and relax together. You don’t have to spend a lot of money for a great date night either. Some of my favorite date nights are when we play video games all night, watch obscure movies no one has ever heard of (some of them are actually pretty great, almost always, the ones my hubby picks out), and have an easy dinner and drinks at home.

There doesn’t have to be an occasion to spice it up either – if you want to go all out and paint the town, have a blast and go for it! I thought I’d share some ideas to help you get inspired! Enjoy!

1. Have a themed movie night. One of my favorites – Harold and Kumar go to white castle, now I know that not everyone has a White Castle, or even Krystals, near them. That’s okay! Make sliders and fries at home with this super yummy recipe: Sliders with Chipotle Mayonnaise And get some fries from your local fav fast food joint or some great frozen shoestring fries (they are my fav) and serve with a little extra Chipotle sauce. Yum! Then snuggle in for a great movie and dinner! We actually watched the movie, and at 1am decided it was a great idea to drive 45 mins away to get White Castle! It was totally worth it!

2. Go Geocaching! So a couple of mine told me about this once, and I have to admit – this is the ultimate fun treasure hunting experience! Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Most people have a phone with GPS capabilities these days, and a basic membership to is free! Try it out, it can be a lot of fun.

3. Go Rollerskating. Now I know this may take you back to when you were kids, which may be a good thing or a bad thing, but no matter what happens, it has a nostalgia to it that is simply fun and unforgettable. Personally, this activity would leave me on my backside, or face depending on my momentum, because I am the WORST skater on the planet. On the other hand, my hubby is an amazing skater – so, go figure. I guess if it means I fall into his arms, I’m all for it, and a few laughs! ๐Ÿ˜€

4. Recreate your first date! In High School I think it was cuddling on the couch at a friends house while we all watched Armageddon… but we weren’t really dating then soooo, technically, I think ours was movies, and spaghetti, where he burned his foot and I nursed him back to health for the week, we drank beer, ate duck, and king crab legs, and watched football – I think it was more like a date week… lol. Officially, it was dinner at this fantastic Mediterranean place and we went to go see 300 at the theater. And it was perfect! ๐Ÿ˜€ So recreate yours, as best you can, and have some fun!

5. Get some Bubbly! That’s right, grab a bottle of your favorite wine or sparkly drink, and some bubble bath… I’ll let you figure out the rest. ;D

6. Get some Culture! That’s right, go snag some tickets to a great Broadway show, local play, visit a museum, art gallery, or concert! Have a blast, get dressed up, and make some memories!

7. Steak! Okay, admittedly NOT for more cruelty free peeps, but I’m sorry, I LOVE me some Brazilian Steak House! And that is just what I recommend. Google your nearest one, there are so many popping up all over the place now – there is bound to be one within an hour of you somewhere – GO!!!! You won’t regret it!

8. Feed the Animals. Maybe not the best choice to post AFTER the Brazilian Steak House idea – but I also adore going to the zoo or aquarium, and it makes for a fun filled day with your honey! At many of these places you can actually feed the animals. Our local zoo has a place to feed Giraffes, awesome! Hey, just cause I’m an adult doesn’t mean I don’t like going to the zoo and having a blast. Besides, you may see something you have never seen before and share a new experience together! Ahhh, memories. ๐Ÿ˜€ Don’t forget to take your camera!

I could have this list go on for miles – but these are some of my favs! Hope I inspired you to create a date night soon. It is a great way to reconnect, so if you are just about to say your I do’s the one rule is NO wedding talk! And if you have been married for a while – the rule is, flirt like you just met, oh, and let the kids stay with family else where – this is about the two of YOU! Happy Friday!