10.31.2011

How to use the PicFame & Instagram apps to make collages on your iPhone

First of all...
Is everyone ready to get this candy-crazy holiday goin!? We are!
This is the first year that our twins have wanted to be completely different things for Halloween, and I love it! It's been so fun "dressing-out" all of their little personalities and then watching them go ga-ga over themselves in the mirror afterwards. BEST part about Halloween (besides the candy) is living in a bit of an alternate universe for a day, via crazy elaborate costumes. ha!
I wanted to leave you with a few quick phone photo tips that you might find helpful, before you all head out for fun-filled days of parties and trick or treating.

Lately I've gotten really into all of the awesome apps that the iPhone has to offer. I'll fully admit that before I owned an iPhone I used to say things like... "I just don't think I will ever really NEED to have the internet on my phone" and "How the heck do people actually type on those tiny keys in their screens, without bumping all of the other unwanted keys along the way?" ha!
Well... fast-forward to about a year or so later, and I'm now a proud addict owner of an iPhone of my own.
Really, with my "job" as a blogger, it's like my lifeline away from my desktop computer. I can stay totally connected with everything that's going on, AND continue to network and share our going-on's all at the same time. In fact, I feel like I share SO MUCH MORE about our day-to-day doings and even projects through my phone, then I ever would through just my desktop computer! Crazy how technology changes things :)

I know that I've talked about this before, but I've been getting SO many questions about our photo collages on Facebook and twitter, that I thought I would do a quick post and address the most FAQ's that we keep getting.

Let's just touch on the Instagram app again quickly. I talked about this in a post earlier, but for those of you who missed it and want to know how to take pictures with your iPhone, and then add cool different effects to your photos... this app is for you. And it's free!
My friend Kami taught me not too long ago that you can follow other friends and bloggers on Instagram as well, to see what they are up to, through cute, creative, pretty photos! LOVE, LOVE , LOVE! I'm totally visual and my Instagram feed for me, is basically like twitter on crack :)
So how do you see all of OUR photos and updates? Well, you can follow us on Instagram by searching "houseofsmiths", my feed will pop up, and you just have to push "follow."
Easy as that! 

Okay, so moving on to the app that most of our questions have been about. PicFrame.
I use this app ALONG with Instagram. PicFrame is basically an application where you can input multiple pictures from you iPhones camera and put them in a bunch of different types of collages. PicFrame is .99 cents and also has an additional option to buy "extras" like these fun labels, to customize and put anywhere on your photo collage. There are actually a few different apps that allow you to do labels, but this one is just easiest for me.
So what I do, is take a few photos, with my iPhone camera, of what I'm wanting to tweet, facebook or instagram about...upload them into my PicFrame app, add a funky custom lable, THEN upload it to Instagram... pick a pretty lil' photo effect and I'm done. Easy peezy, and now it's ready to share!

Here's an example of one of my PicFrame-Instagramed tweets from the other morning.
And might I add, one of Cason's personal favorites to, date.
 :)
It must have been a rough night... for my 'left side'.
Can you say Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?...yeesh.

These are some samples of other photo collages that I've done lately.

PicFrame for me, is basically a really great way to do "mini-blog posts" during my day. I can share our funny, creative, crazy moments in only minutes through these two apps!

When you purchase picframe it comes with the options to have different style backgrounds, rounded corners, and gives you the capability to widen or narrow each collage template as well. Pretty cool!


This little present on the bottom of the PicFrame app is where you'll purchase your labels.

Once you purchase your apps you'll see that most everything (as far as putting in your actual images and such) is really self explanatory and easy to do.

I hope that this mini tutorial helps answer all of those questions about how we make our fun collages, while we're on the move! Now go and see what kind of photo collages YOU can make during the day!
 Once again, have a
Happy SAFE Halloween everyone!

10.28.2011

DIY Girly, Easy, Fairy Party Favors & The Tomkat Studio

Easy, Inexpensive, Girly Party Favors
You're about to get a whole-lotta girly birthday goodness headed your way next week, so I hope you're ready! Our 4 year old fairy ballerina party was a HUGE success! I don't think I've seen my little Aubrielle any happier then she was on her special day.

10.27.2011

My Kids Ate Spinach!!!

This post has no rhyme or reason and not a single picture, so bear with me.
 I am just SO excited that I can't even contain myself.
Yes... it's true.
MY KIDS ATE SPINACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Like, the actual green, leafy, VEGETABLE!
They didn't really 'eat' it, but they DID drink it!
What does...
1 cup of skim milk
10 fresh strawberries
1 banana
1 spoonful of Stevia
10 ice cubes
and
A sneaky handful of raw spinach, in a blender make?
3 very happy kids and 1 equally as happy Mom
:)

Fish Window Cleaning - Brightening your World!

A few months ago I put a "help message" out on our Facebook page, asking anyone local who they would recommend for an affordable, thorough window cleaning for our home. I got a few responses, but didn't really follow through, because I was scared of the time commitment, price, and well... quite frankly, our windows had NEVER been cleaned before and I was a bit embarrassed at their current condition. I thought that between the hard water stains and the paint over-spray from our basement construction 2 years go, that our windows were hopeless. So a few weeks ago when Fish Window Cleaning contacted me to see if I would do a review of their services and cleaning foam, I jumped at the opportunity! :)

I don't know how many of you actually get your houses' windows cleaned regularly, but let me tell you, it's TOTALLY PAINLESS! Fish came out, walked around my house, gave me an estimate...and then came back about a week later to actually do the cleaning on my windows.

Do you want to know the BEST part about the window cleaning service? Their price includes cleaning the SCREENS! Whaaaa!? That's crazy-awesome!

10.26.2011

Fabric Shopping Online with 6th Street Design School

Shopping for fabric online
I have a project that I'm dying to finish up and for the life of me I can't find "the perfect" fabric for the LAST piece of my project! After tons of shopping around and not finding exactly what I wanted, I called on one of my favorite go-to interior designers, Kirsten Krason from 6th Street Design School for help.
I'm sure that a lot of your already follow Kirsten, but if not, then you MUST. She is like the the fabric mixing queen! She's always putting tons of color, texture and prints in her spaces... but seems to make it all flow perfectly in the end. I envy her eye for design.
 (I guess you get those mad-skills when you actually GO to interior design school. ha!)
Check out her amazing home... doesn't it just make you happy? :)
After an SOS to Kirsten via email, about not being able to find my perfect fabric, she pulled a bunch of swatches for me and gave me some GREAT resources for fabric stores that I hadn't even heard of!

10.25.2011

Thistles Home, Fashion and Gift $50.00 Giveaway

Thistles Home, Fashion and Gift Giveaway
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
Happy Tuesday everyone! This weeks giveaway is coming to you courtesy of our wonderful sponsor Thistles Home, Gift and Fashion! If you remember, the girls and I went on a little adventure to their shop a few months back, to check out all of the home decor and fashion goodies that they had to offer, and we had a blast!
Not only do they have a great selection of products in-store, but they also carry most of their unique, beautiful items online as well! Remember these awesome pillows!?
I'd like one of each please! :)

10.24.2011

The Candy Corn Wreath Tutorial - By Heather from WhipperBerry

Happy Halloween {well, sort of.  We're close enough right?} I am so excited that Shelley asked me to share one of my tutorials with you! Truly, giddy with excitement to get to meet all of my fellow House of Smiths' friends!! Let's get the introductions out of the way so we can move on to being great friends... I'm Heather from WhipperBerry! I have to admit I have been one of those girls who really didn't get into Halloween in the past, I could take it or leave it and be totally fine.  This year however, I have fallen in LOVE with all of the creative fun to be had with this holiday.  I know, I know... I'm not sure why it took so long.  Because I haven't been a huge fan in the past, I don't have a  lot of Halloween decor.  So this year I worked pretty hard to remedy that, in true WhipperBerry fashion.  Here is one of my FAVORITE projects that I thought I would share with you today!  My Candy Corn Wreath...
Isn't it FUN?!  Here is what you will need to do to make one of your very own...

10.21.2011

Laboring - for the most precious delivery: ABC News Million Moms Challenge

Million Moms Challenge Part 2
...Everything was going smoothly at first. There was chatting, laughing, breathing and light hand-holding. After a while of feeling a bit uncomfortable (mostly from the lack of not being able to stand up because of sitting in a bed for 3 hours) I decided to get an epidural. Was I in pain? nah. But I wasn't going to risk it. The night was going so great, why ruin it now!? Our family was checking in on us every few hours and we were even watching some of our favorite TV episodes, like we had nothing more important to be doing... Then the labor really started, and I quickly became aware that my epidural wasn't working. Something wasn't right. My legs were completely numb, but not my belly or the "laboring half" of my body that the epidural was meant for...if you get my drift. Things went quickly from bad, to worse and I was NOT prepared for the next 30 minutes of my life...

This is just a small part of the story I'm telling over at the Million Moms Challenge site today. To read more about our unexpected laboring experience with baby #3, head on over to the discussion and share your stories too! It's been so fun to hear everyone's experiences with pregnancy, lately! And again, just by sharing your thoughts on the subject you can be entered to win some fabulous prizes!

10.19.2011

Birthday wishes from Africa, Outlet shopping & Mini wedding dresses

Birthday wishes from Africa, Outlet Shopping and Wedding dresses...

Yup. That's what we have either done, or have in store for today...

10.18.2011

Halloween Porch Decorating

Happy almost Halloween! Today I wanted to share with you the little corner of my world that is ready for the trick-or-treating goodness that is coming our way! We've been so incredibly busy lately, that Halloween decor is coming a little late this year, but better late then never, right!?
This time around I decided that it would be fun to "Hallow-glamify" our front porch. Again, I don't know why I have such a hard time actually using orange for Halloween, but I just do. I will buy it... but then always end up tossing the color out of my Halloween mix. (hmm... I guess orange just isn't my color?)
Anyway, here are a few simple things that I did to spookify up our place.
Let's start with pillows. And let's also start off by saying that a girl can NEVER have to many. Agreed?... Good :)  ha! I made the green and white striped one with fabric from IKEA. The yellow striped one came from Pottery Barn, and the black and white pillow with all of the text on it came from the Goodwill.
(although I think it's originally from Target)

10.16.2011

Scentsy Headquarters - An Aroma Extravaganza!

A few weekends ago I was invited by the fabulous people at Scentsy to Meridian Idaho, for the ultimate Scentsy experience! I'm guessing that most of you know, but for those of you who don't... Scentsy is the industry's leader in the wickless candle and ceramic warmer business.
The Scentsy company is owned by the most amazingly down to earth, friendly couple, Orville and Heidi Thompson. Orville, being the entrepreneurial mastermind that he was, decided to buy the once tiny, home-based Scentsy business from two Utah Mom's and make it into the thriving, amazing product that it is now. As I learned from all of the amazing stories while on my trip, making Scentsy as successful as it is, was no easy task. It took tons of hard work, time and faith from the Thompson's family and friends to grow this business into what it is today. You can read the whole Scentsy story here. It's really good :)

10.14.2011

How to talk to Mom's, Dad's and Girls

Need a good laugh today? 
Check out these videos from Alec Greven on "How to talk to Mom's, Dad's, and Girls"
These little nuggets of funny-ness just made my entire morning...
:)

10.13.2011

A Chat with Kelly Ripa, Comfort Food & Raising Money for OCRF

Kelly Ripa, Electrolux, Comfort food and Raising money for OCRF
Comfort Food. Everyone has one, right!? From Chicken pot pie to home made spaghetti with meatballs... there's just something about our favorite foods that make us happy!
Some of you may remember our NYC trip a while back where the girls and I team ed up with Miss Kelly to spread the word about OCRF (Ovarian Cancer Research Fund) with the "Tea Party Ready" campaign.

10.11.2011

The Vintage Pearl Giveaway

I know that our next sponsor needs no introduction, but nonetheless I want to formally welcome Erin from The Vintage Pearl to the House!

Erin's adorable, customized pieces are by far some of the hand stamped industries best creations. The quality and care given to each item that The Vintage Pearl creates is extraordinary...

10.10.2011

Swap a Smile - Charity Auction

I'm so excited to be teaming up with Amy from The Idea Room and Heather from Whipperberry to take part in a craft charity auction along with some fellow bloggers to help change children's lives! You can read more about what project I'm donating, and also the other fabulous items up for grabs towards the end of this post!

600 wide banner

Eyelash Extension Q&A with Heather from Aqua Spa

Eyelash Extension questions answered with Heather from Aqua Spa Inc.
Today I wanted to post about one of my most frequently asked questions.
As I went through our FAQ submissions I started giggling at how MANY of you ladies had the same questions over and over again about my eyelash extensions post that I did a few months back. ha! 
A Home DIY blog and you all want to know about my eyelashes?...Go figure! lol.

10.06.2011

Custom Invitations - Brightside Prints

Brightside Prints - Custom Event Invitations
I'm so excited to keep these birthday updates coming :)
Can you tell I'm having WAY too much fun planning this party? ha!

You can't throw a party without fabulous invites, right? Well, thanks to Jill from Brightside Prints I don't have to! Jill is an amazing graphic designer who has owned her own design business for over 15 years. In the Spring of 2011 she teamed up with other professional designers to bring us Brightside Prints... the place where you can get custom cards, labels and invitations to celebrate the bright moments in your life! Brightside Prints' party invites, wedding announcements and Holiday greeting cards that are incredibly beautiful. The perfect blend of trendy and traditional all in one. I love it!

Poor Jill, the second she became a sponsor here on the blog I was all over her like white on rice. ha! Asking her if she could do this-or-that for invitations for Aubrielle's party. She was a DREAM to work with and had proof samples to me in no time flat. After just a few emails Jill came up with the PERFECT invitation to round out what this cute party was all about.
Adorable, right!? I'm so happy with them. She even came up with some custom sticker labels as well, for the backs of the envelopes and my party favor containers.
I am seriously impressed and can't wait to use everything!

10.04.2011

Tulle Rosette Wreath Tutorial

Tulle Rosette Wreath Tutorial
As I'm getting ready for Aubrielle's birthday party at the end of this month I've had to do a bunch of little DIY projects and crafts, and this was one of my favorites! A Tulle Rosette Wreath. Modeled basically the same way that I did my Spring wreath and using the same technique as these crepe paper roses, but with tulle instead. The perfect material for a "fairy ballerina" party...
(don't ask. ha!)
It's exactly what she wanted. NOT just a ballerina party and not JUST a fairy party... A FAIRY-BALLERINA party.
So here's how I did it...

Simply Utah - The Best of Utah for Everyone!

Hey Utahans, are you a fan of Simply Utah yet!?
Well I am, and I want to share with all of you this really fun, awesome site! It's a fabulous resources for all things Utah! Leslie and Lyndsay are two sisters who love living in Utah so much, that they wanted to share all the fabulous things that Utah has to offer!
Hi there, we are two sisters that love all things Utah! We feel that there are so many creative people that live right here in our state, and we intend to find them all and put them in one central location so that we all have access to them at any time.  What exactly is Simply Utah, you’re asking yourself?  Well on a weekly basis you will find fabulous companies offering great discounts on their products, a weekly giveaway, and often times we spotlight some of our favorite blogs out there.  It changes every day, so you’ll want to keep checking back so that you don’t miss a thing!

10.02.2011

H of S Designs Packaging and Thank You!

We'v had such a successful few days during the grand opening of our shop and I just wanted to drop in to give everyone who has ordered product, left kind comments, or emailed and called me with words of support and advice when starting out with a small business, a great big virtual hug and... 
THANK YOU!
It really means so much to us, more then you know.

On another note, we have finally finished designing our shop packaging. yay! We'll be mailing out our first orders on Monday and we're ready to go!
We've also been entertaining the idea of carrying a few other fun items in our shop for our customers that may include small pieces of limited time handmade furniture, frames, knobs, pillows...etc. All "House of Smiths style". Designed by yours truly, and most pieces built by our in-house master carpenter and handyman (aka: my Dad) ha!
More on that later...
:)

We hope that everyone is having a relaxing afternoon, filled with lots of quality time with family.
Happy Sunday!

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