PicMonkey

picmonkey

Many people ask me what program or site I use to edit and create all different kinds of images.  My response is always the same…PicMonkey!

PicMonkey is a FREE site that you can use to design, create, and edit images. You also have the option to upgrade to a Royale membership, which I highly recommend, for around $35 a year. As amazing as all the FREE content is, the upgrade gives you even more. I think it’s completely worth it.

Here’s just a few things you can do with PicMonkey…

edit photos– crop, change exposures like brightness and darken, sharpen, soften, add filters, airbrush flaws, reduce wrinkles, whiten teeth, touch up makeup, etc.

create your own designs– using your own photo or starting from scratch, you can create your own images easily. All of the graphics I make for awifeandmom.com are made using PicMonkey. You can add text, images, overlays, colors, borders, anything! They always have the most fun and hip graphics to add to your creations and seasonal extras are always being added and updated. Spooky themes for Halloween and festive ideas for winter. I love them all!

I also use PicMonkey to design invitations and announcements.  Start with a blank design and create with images, fonts, and colors until it’s perfect, then print them out at a photo center in 5×7 and you’ve just made the easiest and most adorable invitations! They also have collage options.

Did I mention that PicMonkey is SO easy to use? I promise you, you can do it, even if you’re less than tech savvy. Go check them out and fall in love with their site and services!
Update: PicMonkey now has a mobile app!! Yessss!

Share with me! Tell me about your favorite creative photo editing program or site!

Image from mommylikewhoa.com
All opinions are my own and I have not received any compensation for this post.

DVD Organization

WAMDVDorganization

I love clearing out clutter. It feels so good to get rid of things and make more space. The whole feel of a room can change just by getting rid of some unneeded things. The problem is that sometimes I get into a “but what if I need it?” phase. Well, 99% of the time the answer to that question is, “you won’t!” One of the best organizational things we’ve ever done was organizing our DVDs by getting rid of all the DVD cases. What took up way too much space on shelves can now be stored in a small plastic container! It’s so simple and you’ll feel so free after you toss all those big cases into the trash!

It’s so simple…

Step #1 – buy a lot of paper CD sleeves-enough to fit all your DVDs and some extra for new ones

Step #2 – buy a plastic container/tote/box that will fit the DVDs and still allow you to close the lid

Step #3 – Put all your DVDs into the paper sleeves and place in the box standing up so you can flip through them easily

At first, I worried it would take forever to find the DVD I wanted…this is not the case. We store ours in alphabetical order and we have children’s DVDs separate from regular DVDs. It is so quick and easy to flip through the sleeves and either browse or find exactly what I’m looking for.

Take the plunge and clear out that clutter! It feels so good!

Leave a comment and let me know if you do this or if you have any other great organization tips!

*I do not use this DVD storage method for our Disney Classics that come out of the vault on BluRay and DVD. I feel it’s best to keep those in the original case so they’re complete. I don’t know why, that’s just what I do.

Favorite Apps for Kids

WAMAppsforkids

As much as I’d like to be the mom whose children don’t spend more than a few minutes a day watching TV or staring at an iPad, it’s just not always how it is.  Sometimes, as a mom, dad, or care giver, you just need some quiet, down time. Time to yourself, time to get dinner started, time to feed the baby, etc. and allowing my {almost} three year old to watch shows and play games on his iPad (yes, he has his own, go ahead and judge me) is easy. There are some days when “easy” is the best you can do.  Mason uses his iPad to practice his letters, numbers, fine motor skills, colors, shapes, to learn songs, animals,…a ton of great things. So when he watches Paw Patrol or Curious George, I have to know that’s OK too.

We go outside, we play with toys, we build forts, we get creative with art supplies, and we watch TV. It’s just part of what we do.

So, I decided to put together a list of our favorite apps for babies, toddlers, and children. Many are free, and some are not. I know these are all on the AppStore, but I can’t say if they’re on Android as well. You’ll have to let me know if you’re an Android user.

endless-reader-1-l-280x2801. and 2.  Endless Numbers and Endless Reader– These apps are great. Endless numbers works on number recognition, counting, fine motor skills as you child “catches” the number and drags it to where it belongs. It also incorporates addition. Endless Reader is the same format, but children become familiar with words and the letters that make up each word. They also incorporate sentence structure, not just isolated words. If I remember correctly, you can start off with a small amount of numbers for free, but then you have to purchase additional numbers. Definitely worth it though.

icon180x1803. Pretty much all of the Fisher Price apps – These are all free and awesome for babies and toddlers. They have storybook ones that include nursery rhymes such as Pat a Cake, Hickory Dickory Dock, The Animal Fair, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Buckle My Shoe, and Itsy Bitsy Spider. They also have a counting one called “Let’s Count” that incorporate animals and their sounds as they cover the numbers 1-10. All of these apps also have fun bright colors and sounds to engage and peak the interest of babies and toddlers.

the-wheels-on-the-bus-100-l-280x2804. The Wheels On The Bus – This app has grown with us. You can listen to and sign along with the song, play a memory matching game, drive the bus on a racing type game, and more. At first I thought it was cheesy, but Mason has always enjoyed it and the fact that theres multiple things to do within it.

88x88xICON_Disney.png.pagespeed.ic.YiuVVfaRS85. Disney Junior Appisodes – This app is free, but you have to purchase any “appisodes” that you want to actually play. They have Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Doc McStuffins, etc. You are watching an episode, but it becomes interactive and your child gets to help the characters, click on stuff, and play little games as part of the episode. You can get the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally Appisode for free. Honestly, I think they’re too expensive, but they are fun. I have purchased one or two for Mason after we got iTunes gift cards, but they’re not something we purchase often.

These are just a few of our favorite apps, in addition to the regulars like Netflix and NickJr. Mason also watches anything that involves big trucks, buses, firetrucks, and trains. If you have boys and want to know more about our favorite truck apps and shows, just let me know.

Maybe the next time you’re stuck in the car or doctor’s office and your kiddos are trying really hard to be good, you’ll give one of these apps a try.  Share your favorites too! I’d love to hear what apps your children are loving right now!

*These opinions are entirely my own and were not sponsored in any way.