Have a Very Merry UnBirthday with an Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter Tea Party Birthday!

Have a Very Merry UnBirthday with an Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter Tea Party Birthday!I have always loved Alice in Wonderland, both the books and the classic Disney movie. My daughter and I decided it would be a lot of fun to host a Mad Hatter Tea Party for her birthday. It is a lot of fun to create a party from a theme that is not "in" or "popular" or "new." Parties like these make me stretch my creative muscles and I won't [more]

Try Delicious New Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches!

Try Delicious New Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches!New from my favorite yogurt brand are the Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches for the family! Delicious, convenient, and organic goodness for on the go, mess free eating. Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches are available in nine flavors for your YoBaby, YoToddler, and YoKids! No worries, you don't have to be a kid to enjoy these but we will get to that later.   My kids love pouches, it's like space man food meets crazy kids [more]

Butternut Squash Soup with Organic Squash from Hometown Harvest

Butternut Squash Soup with Organic Squash from Hometown HarvestButternut Squash Soup is something I really enjoy eating. It is not a dish I have ever tried making. When I got my Hometown Harvest bag I found a nice sized organic squash tucked inside. Originally I thought, I will chop this up and sauté it with some olive oil and zucchini. My friend however challenged me to step outside my cooking comfort zone and make a soup using my [more]

Host an Eggcellent Easter Party with Oriental Trading!

Host an Eggcellent Easter Party with Oriental Trading!Easter is almost here! Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and families are gathering for some good ol' fashioned Easter fun! Make your Easter the best yet with these excellent eggcellent party decorations and crafts from Oriental Trading!  What I love about Oriental Trading is that I can put a party together easily without spending a ton of money.  I hung up the Light Blue and Lilac Paper Lanterns to add a pop [more]

Captain America The Winter Soldier: A Must See! #CaptainAmerica

Captain America The Winter Soldier: A Must See! #CaptainAmerica   Captain America The Winter Soldier is the number 1 movie in the nation and the film with the largest April box office! And for good reason too. From start to finish Captain America is packed with action, drama, and a little comedic relief.  Chris Evans, Samuel L Jackson, and Scarlett Johansson are exactly what you would expect- awesome. I will admit I wasn't always team Black Widow, especially as a kid, [more]

Our Disney World Vacation: Making Memories

Our Disney World Vacation: Making Memories After sharing with you all How to Make the Most of Your Disney World Vacation I wanted to follow that up with a more personal post. Again it took me awhile to sort through the pictures I wanted to use remember I took over 1500 and also to put into words how amazing our trip was. I still don't feel like this post can do it justice, the magic of Disney [more]

Category Archives: Technology

Make Awesome Videos Thanks To Digital SLR Video and Filmmaking For Dummies!

Digital SLR Video and Filmmaking For Dummies review

They seem to be everywhere now, those really nice cameras that make the users feel like a professional photographer. I bet you probably have one, or at least thought about getting one. We definitely have come a long way from the disposable and old school film canister cameras! But with all this technology built into these cameras do we really know how to use them? Oh I’m not talking about throwing it on auto focus and flash but really use the cameras for all they are made for.

I am pretty snazzy if I do say so myself with taking still shots on my Nikon. When I feel particularly embolden, I will switch up my exposures, settings, and what not but that’s about it. I knew I could shoot video with my camera but knowing something and doing something well are two different things. Sure I knew how to switch it to video mode but filming a video that doesn’t look all shaky like the blair witch project, eh not so much. What’s a mom to do?

For Dummies to the rescue!

Digital SLR video and Filmmaking For Dummies teaches you how to use your SLR camera to create professional looking videos. Whether you are a professional or an amateur, this book will teach you a thing or two about your digital camera. The author, John Carucci, is an entertainment television producer who has worked behind the camera as a producer and a director for numerous video projects and music videos. Needless to say the guy knows his stuff. Best of all, he has a great sense of humor. You will find yourself laughing out loud while reading this book. The way Carucci compares shooting scenes for a movie to pigging out at an all you can eat buffet is truly poetical.

Carucci walks the average dummy, I mean person, through common video projects like making a wedding video, video greeting card, and a music video. For the more advanced students, he teaches how to film movies from preshoot work to final cut editing and creating a documentary. All these tips are great and if you are reading this book then you already have the camera but is that it? Are you ready for the filmmakers guild? No. Any movie, tv show, or professional video you watch wasn’t just made with a camera. Therefore this book isn’t just about how to point and shoot. Alongside tips and tricks for creating videos, the reader will find a list of the right gear to use, how to hold the camera steady, working with “actors”, and getting to know your way around Adobe Premiere Elements.

What I loved about this book and all For Dummies books is the way the author takes something complicated and makes it easy for the average Joe (or Jill) to grasp. You will find the familiar icons for quick references: remember, tip, technical stuff, and the warning. Digital SLR Video and Filmmaking contains full color pictures showing the reader steps to complete a project, why different angels matter, gear, and more. For a visual learner like myself this is awesome!

With this book learn how to:

  • Use DSLR video tools and processes to achieve better shots
  • Edit in Premiere Elements and output to different platforms
  • Develop a screenplay, shoot like a cinematographer, and direct your movie.

 **This is where I would put a video of me showing off the new tricks I learned.**

However, before I could make my directorial debut I got laryngitis and I still haven’t gotten my voice back. Sorry to disappoint you all, but one day I will win oscar ;)

Lights. Camera. Action! Find it today in the For Dummies Store and on Amazon!

And don’t forget to connect with For Dummies on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and updates!

 

*This post is sponsored. I was given the book for free in order to write this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.

Microsoft Office 2013 For Dummies

Microsoft Office 2013 For Dummies

Whether your are a MAC or a PC  there is one program you will have to use at sometime or another in life… Microsoft Office. And if you’re like me and curse the day when a new update comes out just as you were getting use to the old one then let me tell you about this book. It’s not just any book, it is Microsoft Office 2013 For Dummies, and it helps those of us who feel like dummies when it comes to technology.

In this book, author Wallace Wang  keeps his explanations simple and easy to understand. He suggests that everyone, from people upgrading from older versions of Office like 2003 or XP and those who are familiar with 2007 or 2010, get this book for all the latest tips on getting the most out of Office 2013. Wang walks the reader through using Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access. By the end readers will be building spreadsheets, managing email accounts, and making presentations like a pro! Not to mention being able to use Office like they were born to be Sheldon Cooper.

The book is broken down into parts with each chapter focusing on a different feature of the programs that make up the Office suite. For readers who have really been living under a rock, Wang also breaks down “conventions” which basically are common technical terms that more active computer users don’t even think twice about. Terms like clicking, mouse pointer, dragging, and shortcut keys. Icons are used throughout the book to highlight important or useful information. For me the bomb icon was extremely helpful. Basically it warns if you are about to sabotage your work or wipe out all your data. I’ll admit that has happen to me once or twice.

Why should you get this book? Well just like the words *new* and *update* would suggest, Office 2013 has some new tricks to show you. And you don’t want to be the only one who doesn’t know how to use it!

Some of the new aspects of Office 2013 are improved touch functions, slide designs, read mode in Word, presentation mode in PowerPoint, and bookmark like feature for syncing documents between different devices. There are a lot more but I’m still a dummy and don’t quite understand them! The ribbon system has a fresh look too with subtle animations. No idea what that is? Once you upgrade your Office say goodbye to the old pull down menus. I have to say as far as pleasing to the eye, I really love the ribbon. To me, it is a huge improvement to the menu system!

Have I lost you already?

Don’t worry I lost myself too when I started. I definitely fall in the late to upgrade category. I am notorious for not doing every upgrade, it drives my tech husband crazy. So usually when I make the jump from one program or operating system to another the changes are huge. Although I like to think of myself as pretty tech savvy sometimes I find that I spend more time stumbling around a program than getting any work done.

Aggravating.

Not knowing how to do something and do it well is a big pet peeve. I don’t want to be a dummy and I’m sure you don’t either. That is why you and I need Microsoft Office 2013 For Dummies. Especially when it comes to Excel. I really dislike Excel and I feel like it’s not user friendly, or maybe it’s just me. So when I started with the For Dummies book I turned right to the Excel section. This is where I knew the book would make me a believer or prove me right that Excel is really an evil tormentor.

Getting started in Excel. Who knew there were more options other than the typical spreadsheet? Ok I’m sure a lot of people knew but I didn’t! So far so good. I literally followed Wang’s instructions to the T and decided to create a teacher’s list since I know a lot of them and use to be one.

Microsoft Office 2013 For Dummies

Success! I played around, made changes just to see how easy it would be and ta da. I wish I had this back in my school days but now at least I can pass it along to my friends and homeschooling parents. Best of all, I’m not a dummy anymore! At least until the next version is released ;)

Microsoft Office 2013 For Dummies

Now that I know what I’m doing, and yes I will admit Excel it was me not you, I feel like I have some bragging rights! Want to join me on the high horse? Are you ready to impress your friends with your amazing Office 2013 skills? Find it today in the For Dummies Bookstore or on Amazon!

And don’t forget to connect with For Dummies on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and updates!

*This post is sponsored. I was given the book for free in order to write this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.

Back to School Protection from Master Lock

I don’t know about you but I am prepped and ready for the coming school year. School supplies have been bought and everything is labeled. Some parents don’t label their children’s things but that is one way I keep their supplies from being stolen. And if they are picked up then it is easier for the teacher to know who to return them to. Luckily my children are at the age where the most expensive school supply they carry are their backpacks. However, my husband has gone back to taking classes and I occasionally assist the music teacher at my kids’ school. That means we have a lot of gadgets, that are not cheap and need to stay safe.

According to a recent survey conducted by Survey Monkey, 60% of Americans worry about the security of their belongings while they or their children are at school. Electronics are the items that are stolen the most, especially on college campuses. Yikes! I know I don’t have extra money lying around to replace my stuff if it gets stolen. Really, who does? So what can we do to keep our stuff from walking away and becoming joe schmo’s stuff?

Master Lock is there to help keep your valuables safe and secure this back to school year. Since 1921 they have provided security solutions for the home, school, office, automotive, storage security, and more. Master Lock is the world’s largest manufacturer of padlocks and other security related products. They offer a wide variety of innovative products to protect all your major electronics and your lockers.

My favorite is the 5900D SafeSpace.

Master Lock SafeSpace, Portable Safe, Travel Safety, #Masterbacktoschool

The SafeSpace™ Portable Safe is security on the go. I can keep my phone, camera, wallet and other small valuables safe no matter the place. It is water resistant, comes with a cable to lock it to a fixed object, and offers shock absorbing foam. I also love that when I am traveling for work or pleasure I can easily take the safe with me and lock down my valuables, giving me piece of mind wherever I may be. Practical and fashionable, choose from black, white, or pink.

Master Lock SafeSpace, Portable Safe, Travel Safety, #Masterbacktoschool

Keeping my money and toys electronics safe!

Master Lock SafeSpace, Portable Safe, Travel Safety, #Masterbacktoschool

This feature will come in handy when I start traveling again this fall!

For my husband he likes the SafeSpace™ Laptop Computer Lock. Whether he is in class or at the library trying to find a quiet place to study, he can use this lock to secure his laptop. If you are in college you need this lock! I know too many classmates that had their laptops stolen out of the study hall and even their dorm rooms. Don’t let that happen to you or anyone else you know.

Also, be sure to check out Master Lock for their other great products. Including the Speed Dial Set-Your-Own Combination Lock, Set-Your-Own Combination Locks, and the new dialSpeed Digital Combination Lock.

Master Lock Campus Challenge Game:

From July 15th through September 8th, Master Lock is hosting a game on the Master Lock Facebook page or at www.MasterCampusChallenge.com. You have a chance to win Master Lock products, gift cards, video games, and other electronics! Daily instant winners and if you participate weekly you are entered in to the weekly sweepstakes as well as earn extra entries for the grand prize drawing. Also, earn points for the grand prize and a digital SLR camera using the hashtag #MasterCampusChallenge. Take a creative photo or shoot a video featuring your Master Lock product. Show them off on Instagram or Twitter to show Master Lock how you master any security challenge.

Looking for more ways to win awesome prizes from Master Lock?

Join the Master Lock Twitter Party on August 6th at 8 PM EST, hosted by @ResourcefulMom #MasterBacktoSchool

One winner will receive a homework prize pack (ARV $227) and an Apple iPad! 10 Winners will receive a homework prize pack!

To RSVP and for more details: Master Lock Back to School

Good luck and have a safe school year!

*This post is sponsored by Master Lock. Compensation was received but the opinions expressed are my own.

Picture Collage Maker for Mac

Picture Collage Maker for Mac 2.0.0 by Pearl Mountain is packed with all new features to make your collages even better than before! 

What is Picture Collage Maker? It is an easy-to-use, you guessed it, collage maker that allows you to take your pictures and turn them into amazing collages in seconds. But it’s not just the ability to put single photos into collages that makes this app stand out. It is the design template, photo editing, and personalized photo products that make Picture Collage Maker the photo program to have.

Even if you are picky like me, with over 140 design templates to choose from, there is something for everyone and every occasion. Do you like making personalized photo gifts for your family? With Picture Collage Maker you can create personalized collages, greeting cards, calendars, scrapbooks, and more. Say you forgot about a birthday or holiday and there is no time left to mail your gift. Send it via email or post it on Facebook, and save yourself the “I can’t believe you didn’t remember” lecture. You’re welcome.

I do dabble in photography when I have free time, so I need photo software that won’t break the bank but still gets the job done. With the photo filters and effects, Picture Collage Maker makes it easy to achieve professional looking pictures without spending a lot of time or money. One of the other new features I really like is the text edit options. I can change font, size, color, but also I can add gradient colors, backgrounds with rounded corners, and I can make my words glow. Pretty awesome!

Not only is this the perfect app for the average user but I think it is a great resource for bloggers. With Picture Collage Maker you can create and edit custom photos for your blog posts. I have also used it to watermark my photos. It is a great program and I know I will get a lot of use out it in the future.

For my first project I wanted to make a new desktop background. I started with a pre-designed layout with 6 photo openings. After adding some of my favorite pictures from our Christmas photo shoot I dragged and dropped them into place. I ended up deleting one photo cell and shifting around the remaining pictures. Then I chose a classy background, graphics, and added text. It was very easy to make the collage look the way I wanted it to. I loved the finished collage so much I started working on one just of our children to send to family who live far away.

Picture Collage Maker for Mac, Picture Editor

 Choose backgrounds, round picture corners, drag drop, edit photos, add graphics, and more with a few clicks of your mouse.

Picture Collage Maker for Mac, Photo editing app

Add custom text to your photos. I love the idea of doing gradient colors, it gives the words a little pizzazz!

Picture Collage Maker for Mac, Photo editing

Set as your desktop background, email it to family and friends, even send it to Facebook. Picture Maker makes sharing your custom creation simple and easy.

Take it from a perfectionist like me, Picture Collage Maker is an awesome app that is a must have for your Mac!

Find it today in the Mac App Store!

The Technical Stuff:

Picture Collage Maker for Mac 2.0.0 supports Mac OS X 10.6 or later and is fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.8 (mountain lion). A single user license costs $19.99 USD. For more information about the full version and the lite version visit: Pearl Mountain.

Don’t have a Mac? It is also available for your iPhone and Windows 8/7/2000/XP/Vista

What will you use Picture Collage Maker for?

*This post is sponsored by Pearl Mountain creators of picture collage maker. I was given the app for free to write this review. No monetary compensation was received and the opinions expressed are my own.

Get Social Recommendations From Your Friends with the New Vyne.me!

Vyne.me, social recommendations from friends, new social experience

 

“Help! Does anyone know a good AC man that won’t drain my pockets?” That was me last summer, when on the hottest day of the year our AC broke. My first reaction was to curse the AC unit my second was to jump on Facebook to tell my friends and get advice.

A few weeks ago I was planning my daughter’s birthday. I posted a status asking if anyone knew where to find fully grown wheat grass. A friend responded with a link to a fan page of a local business and I made a mental note. Fast forward to when I needed the information, I could not remember what was suggested. Ever forget? It happens to me. So I had to scroll back through my timeline, which of course was so much fun, to find the answer. I went to the fan page, found their number, made a phone call and too much time later ta-da I had my wheat grass.

If you are like me, when you need to find a hairstylist, daycare, plumber, etc you post about it on Facebook. But with all the changes made to the news feed on a constant (and aggravating) basis your friends might not see your post for help. Or as in the case of the wheat grass, you get an answer then life becomes so busy  you forget and then can’t find the information! Wouldn’t it be nice to have a site that with a few clicks you could find which businesses your friends use based on their Facebook likes? Vyne.me is that site.

With Vyne.me you can:
  • Ask your friends which services they would recommend.
  • Introduce your friends to new services that you love.
  • Review businesses in your area so others nearby can see real opinions and not just the good ones.

Vyne.me is an easy and effective way to find information in a small amount of time. Signing up takes no more than a few clicks of the mouse.  Instantly see your friends likes or ask your friends who they recommend. When they answer within Vyne, the information will be stored for quick retrieval when you need it. After I signed up with my Facebook login I searched for hairstylists in my area. I have one that I like but at the same time they are expensive. Now I want to find one that won’t cost me a month’s pay. A quick search on Vyne and I was able to see who my friends like. I could also send them a message to ask for details such as which stylist they use.

If you don’t see any recommendations for what you are looking for ask your friends. Choose to have this message post to your Facebook wall and/or send a message to individual friends, it is up to you.

Vyne.Me

You see who your friends would recommend but you want to know more. Send them a message through Vyne.me and find out the answers to your questions.

Vyne.me

The future is bright as your Vynes and mine continue to grow! Don’t go at it alone, Vyne your way to better services.
Don’t forget to connect with Vyne.me on Facebook  and Twitter for all the latest updates. And don’t miss this chance to get started with them and earn a chance to win a gift certificate too!

***Vyne.me is offering you a chance to win $50 gift certificate to the restaurant of you choice! All you have to do is sign up for their social recommendation services with your Facebook login.***

Official Rules: You must sign up to Vyne.me with your Facebook login for a chance to be entered. All entries must be received by 11:59 pm by Friday, May 5th 2013. The winner will be notified by the email address (s)he has as his or her Facebook login on May 6th, 2013. if the winner does not reply with a physical address to mail the gift certifcate within 72 hours, a new winner will be chosen. No purchase or payment necessary to Enter or Win. This promotion is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook. You must be 18 years of age or older and be a resident of the continental United States to be eligible to win. One entry per person. Void where prohibited by law or regulation. All eligibility is subject to all federal, state, provincial and local laws and regulations.


 

 

* This post is sponsored bu Vyne.me. I received payment for writing this post. Opinions expressed are my own and the giveaway is handled strictly by Vyne.me*

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