Showing posts with label Apps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Apps. Show all posts

Monday, May 20, 2013

Picture Quote Monday {Sum Total}

So often we hear words involving "daily" in a negative context. The daily grind. Day in and day out. Day after day. It's like these phrases are trying to convince us our daily lives are boring and meaningless. But it's our daily lives that lead to our future. It's like that old saying, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." But I like this saying better.

(Created with A Beautiful Mess app - read about it in my latest Small Things post)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Small Things - May Edition

Encouraging Words

I've started getting feedback from my beta readers and I gotta say, they've put a gigantic smile on my face. From my mother-in-law's (slightly biased) praise, to a mom who was inspired to read it aloud to her kids, they've been both helpful and super encouraging. But the highlight was this week at writers group when my friend brought me a message from her two boys: They like my book so much they've already planned the movie trailer. *Cuteness overload* Combine that with their love of the characters and the fact they beg for more at the end of each chapter, and my day was made. Heck, my year was made. I'm more excited than ever to take the next step toward publication. A huge shout out and thank you to all my beta-readers!


An Old Favorite

I've been revisiting one of my favorite children's books, The Wind in the Willows. My own book's style and characters were hugely inspired by this story, so it has an extra special place in my heart. What makes it even better is the fact that this particular copy is part of my collection of vintage and antique books. I love the delightful simplicity of the cover of this 1933 edition, but the best part is the inscription inside, from a mother to her son on Christmas. I love imagining that little boy curled up on a snowy winter day, absorbed in the very same book I now hold. You can see a photo of the inscription here, in my Instagram feed.



A Beautiful Mess App

Now that I've finally joined the current century and upgraded to an iPhone, I'm even more in love with taking and sharing photos. As a lover of doodles, type, and creative flair, A Beautiful Mess is everything I could dream of in a photo editing app. With beautiful hand-drawn borders, great fonts for custom type, and fun doodles and phrases, it's the perfect way to add your own funky style to your pictures. You can also create custom backgrounds using a variety of included images/patterns (like the vintage library card in the Beta-Reader thumbnail above). Just to show you how awesome this app is, I used it to create all the images in this post. It's well worth the $0.99 to download. You can also visit Elsie and Emma's lovely lifestyle blog here.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Picture Quote Monday {Pencils}

As a graphic designer and a writer, most of my creativity is captured on a screen using a keyboard and a mouse. But I find when I get stuck, the best antidote for writer's--or creator's--block is to step away from the electronics and go old school. That's when it's time to break out the pencil (or pen) and paper. There's just something magical about a blank page that you can see and feel, and a nice sharp pencil with a brand new eraser. (Quote by Joyce A. Myers. Handwritten text by me. Paper effects done in Phoster app).


Friday, April 12, 2013

The Small Things

After my Favorite Things post, I decided I wanted to make that sort of thing a regular deal. So every month, I'll be sharing the stuff that I'm currently in love with--the small things that bring an extra dose of happy to my day. They might be writing related...or not. Here's what I'm digging this month...

Alter Eco Dark Chocolate with Quinoa

I love everything about this chocolate...the taste, the ingredients, the gorgeous packaging. It's just the right level of darkness (not too sweet, not too bitter) so it's still smooth. Plus, it's split into the perfect sized squares--small enough you don't feel guilty, but big enough you're not so tempted to break off a second piece. And with crispy Quinoa instead of rice, it's like a beautiful, grown-up Krackle for hipsters.




Relevant Magazine/Podcast

There's not a website, publication or podcast I love more than Relevant. From social justice news to thought-provoking articles on current issues to tongue-in-cheek humor pieces, these guys are the best. Want to find great new music? The latest in Youtube hilarity? Interviews with authors, musicians, and world changers? Look no further. Not only can you get all this from the website and bi-monthly mag, but it gets even better when you throw in the weekly Relevant Podcast (a new one releases every Friday). And don't even get me started on the iPad edition of the magazine--it's pure genius in design. Check it out. Trust me.


Plant Nanny App

It's fun and it has a practical, healthy purpose. Pick from a variety of adorable plants, then care for it while caring for yourself! Plant Nanny calculates the ideal amount of water you need each day, based on your height and weight. Each time you drink a glass of water, give one to your plant. When your plant is fully grown, stick it in your garden and start a new one. Don't drink enough, and your plant will give you sad eyes and turn brown (yes, I know this from experience). The customizable reminder alert makes it easy to create a healthy routine. Happy plant = healthier you.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things




Journals App

This Journals app is a great way to organize and jot down notes and ideas. With four different styles of journals and dozens of fonts, it's fun and easy to customize. I love the fact that each journal can be split into chapters and pages because I can keep multiple writings separate, but under one common heading. Plus, you can attach photos, videos, and even draw and record audio right there in the app. My only word of caution is to make sure you remember your password if you choose to create a locked journal, because as far as I can tell there's no recovery option. The app gets a 4.5 star rating in the app store and is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
NOTE: Since I originally posted, Journals has updated their app to allow for password reset.  



Some people need complete silence to write, others enjoy creating a writing playlist. I'm in the latter group. I love music and I love having a soundtrack attached to my stories (though admittedly the songs don't always have anything to do with what I'm writing about). English alternative rock band, A Silent Film (think sounds similar to Snow Patrol and The Killers) is one of my go-to bands to rock out to and get the creative juices flowing. I love lyrics that tell a story, and with tracks like "Danny, Dakota and the Wishing Well" and "Anastasia" Sand and Snow is one of my favorite albums to put on shuffle as I write.

 


When people ask what my favorite book is, this is the answer I give them. (Yes, I know it's not just one book, but who can really pick just one?). This series is about seven siblings who choose to adopt each other after leaving the orphanage where they grew up. As adults, each one has taken an intense job: Chicago PD hostage negotiator, US Marshall, forensic pathologist, firefighter, children's trauma psychologist, paramedic, and pediatric physician, respectively. Each of the six books center around one individual's story (with one sister's story being told across the books). The novels are filled with suspense, romance and incredible details about each sibling's chosen field. The result is a story you can't put down and characters that seem incredibly real. I've read through the entire series four times, and individual books several times more. The Protector (Jack the firefighter's story) is my favorite. Since I'd just finished reading it when I met my husband--who was a volunteer firefighter at the time--the book was practically his wingman.

Feel free to share some of your favorites (current or all-time) in the comments below!