Thursday, April 28, 2011

iphoto issues

Ok - I'm going to attempt to explain my iphoto issues since several of you so sweetly asked and offered to help.  (Thank you!)  When I had my PC I just used folders to organize my pictures.  I blog a lot of my pictures (as you all know!) so I developed a system where I organized my pictures by date and blog post.  I found for me that I remember where my pictures are best by blog posts.  For example, if I want to find that one picture I took of Addison in her big girl bed for the first time, I can remember the post I did about it and around the time I wrote the post and find the picture easily that way.  OR I can look in my blog archives to find where it would be located.  I take and keep a TON of pictures so it's important for me to be able to find what I need quickly.  So this is how I organized my pictures on my PC:

I had a 2010 folder  - inside it a folder for each month - inside each month folder - a folder for each blog post.  Also in each month folder a folder for "random pictures" from the month that I wanted to keep but didn't blog.  Example of my folders:

          Blog Posts:
                Organize something or other
                Scrapbook something or other
                Kids something or other
          January Randomness:
   February:  (same thing as above - you get the picture)  

Then I would set up additional folders for pictures I wanted to get developed for my kids' albums.  A lot of folders, but every picture had a happy home where I could easily find it.

When I got my Mac, I transferred all of my pictures over and kept my old pictures organized in folders on my computer exactly as they were.  Then I started putting all of my new pictures in iphoto.  I tried to set up the same system as above using iphoto albums (which worked fine).  BUT...

Here are my issues with iphoto (you may want to grab a snack) --

1) It would take me FOREVER to bring over all of my old photos and organize them this way in iphoto so I now have my photos in two different places.  If I'm doing a post that includes a new photo and an old photo I have to "import" or "export" the photos so they are in the same place.  It's a pain not having everything together.

2)  It drives me nuts how in iphoto I can't move the pictures around unless I'm in an album.  If I take 10 pictures of my spring mantle and want to choose the best one to blog, I have to put them in an album in order to move them around next to each other to make them big and compare.  So I make an album, move the pictures around, compare, pick the best one, delete the rest.  Problem is - the ones I deleted are only deleted in the album - not in my "photos" - so they are taking up space on my computer and I feel like I then have to go back into photos and delete them again.  LAME.

3) While it's handy to have iphoto editing right inside the program, I like Photoshop much better for editing.  The "enhance" which I use a lot (because I rarely have time to do any real editing!) doesn't do a quick fix as well as the "auto smart fix" in Photoshop (in my humble opinion).  :)  So I find myself not using the editing feature in iphoto as much.

4)  When I do use Photoshop to edit or to do something like make a new blog header, I can't save what I edited/created straight to iphoto.  I have to save them in a folder on my computer and then "import" them to iphoto.  One more step.  LAME.

5)  When I make a collage in Picasa (because I love making Picasa collages - they are so easy and quick!) I again can't save them straight to iphoto.  Same as above, I have to save them somewhere else and then "import" them to iphoto.

It just feels like I am creating folders anyway to do some of this other stuff and leaving iphoto to edit so I have been wondering if I should just leave iphoto altogether and keep my old folder system which seemed to be much easier for me.  Plus that way all of my pictures would once again be in one happy spot!

Maybe I just don't know how to use iphoto?  Maybe I can do a lot of the things I don't think I can?  Maybe there's a better way to organize my pictures altogether?  Maybe I need to stop eating the Cadbury Egg I just tore into?

I don't know.  I'd LOVE any tips, insight, or advice.  Unless you're going to tell me to stop eating my chocolate.  Kindly keep that advice to yourself.


Thanks so much and have a great weekend!

Breaking up is hard to do

Hoping to find some time to spend in here today.

I'm in the  mood to organize my various piles of "inspiration" that have been piling up.

I'm also in the mood to figure out a better system for organizing my pictures.  I had a great system working until I got my new Mac.  Love the Mac.  Not so sure I love iphoto. 

 The two of us seem to have a love/hate relationship.  

We might break up.

I'm seriously contemplating it.  

On one hand I feel like I committed so the right thing to do is to stay and try to work things out.  On the other hand trying to make this work is driving me crazy and a part of me feels like there just might be something better out there.  

All I know is that we're in a vicious cycle and something needs to change.  

Advice?  Help?  A good therapist?


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Closet clean out

 I've been doing a bit of random cleaning.  Spring Decor came down!  That was fast.

I don't know why, but I was anxious to get it back to the norm.  Then something amazing happened a few days ago...

 I asked Kenny to go through his clothes and tell me what I could send to Goodwill.  And he DID!  Funny that he hates stuff like that when I love it so much.

 His clothes clean out inspired a little closet clean out.  Kole still isn't feeling great (took him to the doctor and learned it's just a combo of shots + a cold + teething which = nothing I can do for him).  But he did seem to perk up when he noticed we were organizing.  That boy of mine just loves to organize!

This has nothing to do with anything, but aren't these make-up organizers cute!?  They are from the Fossil outlet and have been perfect for traveling.

 The big one opens revealing several zipper compartments.  I just love zipper compartments.  My mom bought me these for Christmas last year after we saw them shopping together and I said "Mom!  Buy those for me for Christmas!"  Makes her shopping easier.  I'm nice that way.

 And the closet after my clean out party!  I should have taken a before picture.  Not the cutest look, but at least it's organized.  My closet is the only place in this house to store tall decor items so the top shelf is where they all land.  I have so many fun ideas bouncing around in my head for how to organize my next house closet!  Just need to get my next house closet first.

 A few years ago I bought these brown hangers (some from Costco and some from the Container Store) to give the closet a more cohesive look, but do you know what drives me crazy about them?  They get SO dusty.  It really bugs me and I dust them often.  Anyone else out there dust their hangers?  Should I not have admitted that?

 I decided to hang my jeans instead of throwing them in my dresser since I've spent more on them than any other item of clothing I own!

 Love seeing all of Kenny's dress pants and shirts so orderly.  That will be the first thing to get messed up.  His belts and ties are on a tie rack on the side of the closet...

 and my belts are just looped on some hangers.

 I use racks like this one for skirts.  I bought this at Bed Bath and Beyond and it's a great option to help save space in tiny closets.

 This one hanger can hold four skirts and several scarfs!  Or four skirts and just one scarf if you only own just one scarf like me.  I tend to buy scarfs and never wear them.  And you know if I'm not wearing something, it's off to Goodwill!

 I also took a minute and straightened our random "catch all closet" in the guest room.  It holds Halloween costumes, my old prom dresses, the ironing board...

 and other miscellaneous crap we can't seem to part with.  Semi organized clutter is what I like to call it!

And what were my children doing while I was having a closet clean out party?  Kole was fussy so I told the girls to do whatever they could come up with to keep him happy.

This is what they came up with.  I love that they first put a pillow in the laundry basket for him this time.  And that Addison is playing with an ice pack (??).  And that Ellie is in her pajamas at 4:00 in the afternoon.  And that this picture is a bit blurry because I took it with lightning speed so that I could capitalize on five minutes of the kids entertaining one another.   Typical afternoon around here!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What I want to remember

Hi everyone!  Hope you all had a great Easter weekend.  I have to be honest and say that our weekend wasn't the best.  Nothing awful or even worth mentioning happened.  It was just one of those weekends where things weren't clicking.  The girls seemed to be fighting a lot.  Kole got all of his one year shots a few days ago and hasn't been feeling well ever since.  He was so fussy all weekend - just wanting to be held - not sleeping great.  Not his normal self at all.  Kenny and I have a lot going on and are trying to make some really important decisions.  We couldn't carry on a conversation for more than three seconds without being interrupted and we were just both on edge.  A little tired - a little stressed - a little burned out.  

I got Addison and Kole to bed early tonight and when it was time to put Ellie in bed she said out of the blue - "mom, you know that part in Dumbo when all the animals are with their mommies and Dumbo visits his mom and she rocks him with her trunk and they are so sad because they can't be together?  That part always makes me want to cry.  I don't ever want to not be with you."  

I don't know what made her think of that because I can't even remember the last time we watched Dumbo, but her words suddenly made me forget about the stressful weekend.  They made me think about the real reason we celebrated today.  How grateful I am for the Savior and how grateful I am for my family - even though at times they seriously exhaust me to the point of no return!  I got in bed with her and we snuggled and I told her how we would never be apart and how much she means to me.  Then we had an equally deep discussion about how stressed she is about losing her other front tooth which is so loose that it hurts when she eats and how she does NOT want to say words funny like in the song "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth."  

Anyway - I was planning to post a few pictures of the girls at the annual egg hunt at the park or of them in their new Easter dresses all ready for church, but I changed my mind.  

Because the conversation I had with Ellie is what I want to remember about Easter this year.  

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Weekend!

It's Easter Weekend!

I'm sure we'll eat lots of candy...

enjoy snacks in our Easter tin (since I don't use it to bake)...

attend our annual local egg hunt...

and jazz up a few Easter Eggs.

We may or may not make attempt #2 to put Kole in Addison's old bunny Halloween costume.  Probably not though since the first time we tried he was less than impressed.  I'm sure it was the pink ears and feet.  If they would have been blue, maybe he wouldn't have that "are you kidding me mom!!?" look all over his face.

Happy Easter everyone!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shoe Organization

I dream of having a mudroom.  A big beautiful bead boarded out mudroom.  And in our next house, I will hopefully have more room than I currently do to make that happen.  But for now, the only place for shoes, coats, and backpacks is in our garage.  I shared how I organize our shoes a while ago when I did a post on garage organization.  That was working ok...but a little something made me decide to re-think things.  And that little something would be the new mini van.  Since I'm now a mini van mom (sad how easily that rolls off my tongue these days) the new ride is taking up more space in the garage than the old one leaving no space between it and the shoes.  Luckily the van beeps like crazy every time I park so I am able to avoid hitting the shoe rack, just not able to avoid the beeping van headache that often follows.

Plus having our shoes this close to the door always resulted in a messy pile of shoes just waiting to be tripped on.

Plus I bought the girls new summer flip flops.  And flip flops this cute just seemed to need a fun new home!  Plus let's face it.  I was just in the mood to organize something.

I didn't do anything major, but just a little rearranging made a huge difference!

Wa-la!  I bought one more shoe rack and moved all of the shoes from the front of the garage to the side under the racks we use to store garage tools, coats and backpacks.  As cute as the mudroom I've designed in my head?  No.  As practical as the mudroom I've designed in my head?  Definitely.

Do you love how our coats are mixed in with yard tools?  Ha!  Lovely I know.  If we were planning on staying in this house longer, I would have put in a new rack and separated things better, but I'm still holding out hope that we'll find a house we love sometime in the near future and this set up works great in the meantime.  

I decided to bring down all of the girls shoes from their bedroom to free up more space in their closets. Most of mine and Kenny's shoes are in our closet other than our "slip on quick and go shoes" (Uggs for three months out of the year and flip flops for the other nine)

 Speaking of flip flops, this fun little basket is a new home for ours!  So easy for the kids to grab and go AND easy for them to keep picked up and put away.

 All boots fit on the top shelf.  Want to see my secret for keeping boots standing up straight and tall?

Floppy boots bother me so I've always just stuffed a few paper towels in them!  When Jen posted on her shoe organization, she mentioned using magazines for her boots.  I loved that I wasn't the only person bothered by floppy boots!  And magazines are another great solution! 

 Want to see my favorite part about my new little shoe system?

When the kids come home from school, the van door opens, kids step out, and immediately put their shoes away on the rack.  They empty backpacks and hang them along with their jackets.  The "after school mess" is taken care of before my kids even enter the house!

No shoes come in the house, no shoes in front of the door to trip on.  I had to snap these pictures so quick to catch Ellie in action!  Luckily she's so used to me taking pictures of every mundane thing we do she didn't even question why I was running around snapping pictures of her taking off her shoes from all angles.  All par for the course around here!  :)

Our Bougainvillea vine, while beautiful on the outside of our garage...

always creates a lovely mess for me on the inside of our garage.  I have to sweep the garage out at least every other week.  So worth it though.  I just love that vine!

 Then I bought a new rug that matches the one in my kitchen to complete my little project. 

Now that my shoes are out of the way it feels like the mini van was made for my garage!

See what I mean...rollin' right off the tongue...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fun blog and more beach!

Some fun news today!  I'm being featured on I heart Organizing!  If you're like me and love to organize and haven't checked out Jen's blog you are in for a real treat!  I discovered her blog a few months ago and was hooked immediately.  It's seriously one of the first blogs I check now.  Oh the sleep I lost pouring over her past posts!  So many great organizing and decorating ideas and tips.  I just love it all and am so excited to be mentioned on such an inspiring blog.  Thanks Jen!  It's so much fun finding other people who share my passion for organization.  And to celebrate my love for organization, tomorrow's post is a fun new shoe system I created a couple of weeks ago after being inspired by one of Jen's posts.  YEA!  I'm excited to share it.  :)

But for today I wanted to answer a few questions in yesterday's comments.  Do you love how I answer questions in my posts instead of in the actual comments?  If you ask a question, do you check back in the comments for the answer?  I would forget, so I assume everyone else would too.  Ha!  Probably not so.  I need to work on answering questions in the comments.  Further my quest to become a real blogger.  Do you also love how I get so sidetracked and can't stay on the topic at hand?  :)  Back to the questions - several of you asked where we stayed in Maui.  We own a week each year at the Westin Villas in Ka'anapali, Maui.  That is why we vacation in Maui so much.  Yes.  It's an amazing place to stay and I would totally recommend it for a family vacation!  The villas are huge (like mini houses with full kitchens and washers and dryers) and we love that we have a room seperated from the kiddos.  The timeshare thing was a perfect solution for us because we wanted to make family vacations a priority, but we can sometimes be too practical and were afraid we wouldn't travel because it's so expensive, so much work with the kids, etc.  This way we have something set every year.  We can go to Maui, or trade and stay in other amazing places like when went to Cancun with my family two years ago.  We can also use points (part of the timeshare system) and stay in Westin hotels all over the world.  We did that for our ten year anniversary and went to Italy.  You have options!  Optionality is my favorite word.  :)  Anyway, if anyone is interested in learning more I'd be happy to answer questions.  Just send me an e-mail - my link is to the right.

A few more beach pictures...

I have to say one of my favorite things about this last trip was seeing Addison have so much fun at the beach.  Ellie has been a beach girl from day one.  She has always loved the sand and the ocean.  Addison - not so much.  Usually she is afraid of the ocean, doesn't like getting dirty, too hot, too sandy, sunscreen in her eyes...always something.  She has never loved the beach.  I don't know what changed since last summer (maybe just an age thing?), but to see her throwing all caution to the wind this trip and truly enjoying the ocean made me so happy!

I too can sometimes be a bit hesitant to swim in the ocean.  Especially here in San Diego because the water is alway so cold.

But the water in Maui is incredible and this trip, I felt like a little kid again!  Swimming and splashing in the waves.

And yes Traci!  Those are Ka'anapali waves!

They are huge!

I seriously got laughing so hard.  I think I had more fun playing in them than my girls did one morning!

Kenny was laughing at how hard I was laughing.  My cute friend Josie who is 7 months pregnant took these pictures and I'm so glad she did.  Even though I look like a total dork, these pictures just make me smile.  Fun memories with my girls.  I seriously think I'll be washing sand out of our hair for the next three weeks!

Ahhh...yes.  It was an amazing vacation.  And now.  Reality.  My friend Shari commented yesterday "Re-entry is brutal.  Hang in there."  Man is that ever the truth!  The last few days have been crazy trying to unpack and get back on top of things.  We are still on Maui time going to bed too late and NOT wanting to get up in the morning.  Yesterday I did manage to go grocery shopping.

Got all of my healthy snacks washed and ready to go.  Felt good about that.  On today's to-do list?

Good times around here.  

Have a great Wednesday and if you have a minute check out Jen's fun blog!  You'll just love it.  :)