Amazingly Easy Steps to Taking Better Pictures

Posted Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 by .

You might not be the next Ansel Adams or Annie Liebovitz, but you have every right to be able to use that new camera you got for Christmas. It’s hard to keep up with all of the improved functions that seem to change daily, but there are certainly many tips and tricks you can use to help make your shots picture perfect. Here are surefire ways to improve your photography skills right away.

Photographer, know thy camera.

It can pay off big if you take the time to read through the manual that came with your camera. There are bound to be many particulars unique to the brand and model in your possession, and spending time getting to know them can make a big difference in your shots. Likewise, it can help you avoid future malfunction frustrations!

If you don’t already own a camera, here are the top 10 digital cameras, according to Consumer Review.

Set the mood.

Taking great pictures is not always as easy as shouting, “Smile!” It can make all the difference in the world if you take the time to consider things like background, foreground, and lighting. This site has advice for a variety of different shots, and if the subject is you, here are eight steps to help you take perfect selfies.

Consider the Principle of Parsimony.

KISS, better known as “keep it simple stupid,” can help make photography easy. Complicated devices are not necessarily the best. Similarly, trying to memorize many special functions can become tedious. It’s also likely to make you devote more time to figuring out your camera, and less time actually using it.

If you want to save time and energy, and simplify the entire process, here are 15 cheat sheets designed to make your life capturing memories much less complicated.

Now, all you need is someone who’s ready and willing to say, “Cheese!”

DIY Projects for New Year’s Resolutions

Posted Thursday, January 15th, 2015 by .

Did you make a New Year’s resolution for 2015? If you are like many people, you probably vowed to improve your life or the lives of others. Top resolutions include things like losing weight or quitting smoking, of course, but many also revolve around saving money.

If you have gone with spending less and saving more, there are a variety of ways you can save a penny here or there. One particularly great solution is to take advantage of all the DIY projects available right at your fingertips. No worries if you aren’t crafty, as many projects are perfect for novices. And if you haven’t made a resolution, here is a list of 50 suggestions to inspire you toward self-improvement.

If you want to spruce up your house

Think designer light switch plates! These simple creations are easy to make, cost next to nothing, and add flair to any room. All you need is paper or duct tape, mod podge, and a paint brush. Here are directions.

If you vowed to reduce, reuse, and recycle more

Get started with a market tote! You’ll never have to answer the “paper or plastic” question again with this easy DIY bag. If you don’t know how to sew, don’t worry because there are no needles required. All you need are scissors and an old T-shirt. See how here.

If you’re planning to spend more time outdoors

Make a new lounge chair! Admittedly, this DIY project is a bit more complicated, but the end result is simply amazing. And if you vowed to read more, you’ll need a comfy place to sit. Directions for this project can be found here.

If you want to be good to your 4-legged friend

Bake homemade dog treats! Stop buying expensive store-bought bags, and make them from home. Here are 10 recipes to choose from, with a variety of ingredients to please even the most finicky pooch.

These are suggestion to get you started. Check out these other great DIY projects we’ve found on Pinterest.

Improve Your Office Feng Shui With These Amazing Tips

Posted Thursday, January 8th, 2015 by .

If you follow the philosophy of feng shui, everything is alive, connected, and changing. We create balance in our environment, which impacts our lives and our energy levels. You can bring this balance into your office, forming a space that enhances your productivity and creativity and, perhaps most importantly, simply feels good to be in.

When designing individual work spaces, consider the best layout for efficiency. You will want all the important things to be within easy reach and within eyesight. Likewise, it’s important to have a desk and chair that are comfortable and supportive.


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Creative Crafts for Bored Kids

Posted Thursday, January 1st, 2015 by .

The kids are out of school on winter break, and by now you’re likely tired of hearing their cries of “I’m bored” ringing throughout the house. It’s time to liven things up a bit with printable crafts you can do in the comfort of your own home! Give the kids a whole new reason to regret the day they must return to school.

Turn on some music, set out a tray of finger foods, and get ready to make memories as a family.

For the family heavy on hot wheels

We’ve got printable roads!  You can set up highways, cityscapes, even neighborhoods with these free roads from picklebums.  Your kids are sure to have hours of fun, and the cleanup is a cinch.


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Eliminate Time Zappers at Work

Posted Thursday, December 25th, 2014 by .

The average American spends about 8.7 hours per day tending to work-related activities. Just what is going on in the office certainly varies, but some studies indicate that we actually spend a lot of time, well, wasting time. By all accounts, it adds up to almost 2 hours each day!

Here are tips to help increase your office productivity.

Learn to manage email.

Many people have email systems within their workplace to help increase communication. In reality, reading and responding to emails can be a real time zapper.  It takes valuable time to open them, read them, and then to decide on when and if you need to respond. The good news is that people do not always expect an immediate reply, and some are even willing to wait up to a week for you to get back to them. 

To save time, skim through emails right away in the morning, and respond immediately to the ones that take less than a minute. Next, you can file all the remaining emails in your inbox into categories such as “Respond Today,” “Needs More Info,” and the like. This can help you to move on with your day without ruminating on messages you still need to get back to. At the end of the day, set aside time to follow up on the remaining emails. This also works for phone messages.


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3D Printing Your Holiday Presents

Posted Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by .

Does shopping over the winter holidays leave you feeling cold? Are you the type of person that would rather have your teeth pulled than stand in line at the mall for another present your child simply has to have? Do you wait until the last minute to shop every year, then wonder why all the good stuff is gone?

This holiday, maybe it’s time to think about 3D printing! You might be surprised at what other people can make with just a few clicks.

Satisfy the Fashionista

Maybe your partner prefers sensible gifts over knickknacks. Or perhaps others are asking for specific types of clothing. For your favorite fashion lover, designers are dreaming up hats, dresses and even bikinis to wear!


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The Unfashionably Late Dell Venue 8 7000

Posted Thursday, December 11th, 2014 by .

The world’s thinnest tablet might be taking many folks back to their childhood, though not necessarily in such a good way. Remember when you were a kid and you wanted something so badly you could almost taste it? Maybe you counted down the days to a holiday or your birthday, thinking the big day might never come? Grownups told you to stop asking, already, it’ll be here before you know it.

The new Dell Venue 8 7000 Series is having a similar effect. Introduced on September 9th by none other than Michael Dell himself at IDF 2014, it seems it might never make it to anybody’s hot little hands. Originally set to ship in November, the month has come and gone and it seems this little tablet might also remain a mere wish through the rest of the winter holidays.


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DIY Holiday Countdown Crafts

Posted Thursday, December 4th, 2014 by .

The countdown to our favorite December holidays is about to begin. Depending on your beliefs, there are many ways to celebrate the most festive time of the year. Instead of spending a lot on store-bought items, here are some DIY ways to mark the days until your special celebration begins.

The Festival of Lights

To count down this eight-day festival, you can use items you probably already have at home. This project calls for a yardstick, eight envelopes, and a little bit of imagination to create the numbers for the countdown. Using a variety of envelopes, including paper bags or coin pouches, adds to the appeal. Office clips or clothespins are used to affix the envelopes to the yardstick, and all that’s left to add are small gifts for the envelopes.


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Office Decorations To Spice Up Your Cube

Posted Thursday, November 27th, 2014 by .

When Monday rolls around and it’s time to head for work, do you find yourself fighting the urge to call in sick? Are you working in a “cookie cutter” office space that leaves you uninspired? Try personalizing your space to make work life less ho-hum and more exciting! We have some suggestions for you.


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Time Saving Decorating and Activities for Thanksgiving Day

Posted Thursday, November 20th, 2014 by .

Decorating for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas can be time-consuming and expensive. Save both with some great tips that we’ve put together for you. With a little prep work, you can make your Thanksgiving décor something the guests will be talking about long after the feast’s over.


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