Alt Summit Online Classes

Posted on: June 28th, 2012

Alt-Channel Online Classes

Just a few years ago, I heard about this cool-designer-blogger-conference-where-you-meet-tons-of-people-and-everyone-looks-rad-in-SLC. I saw photographs from the event and started reading blogs authored by the people who attended. I thought, “those are my peeps!” And I knew had to go someday. It is called Altitude Design Summit or referenced as Alt Summit and it’s a “place where design and lifestyle bloggers in all their forms— foodies, photographers, travelers, fashionistas, interior designers, product placers, adventurers — come together, share ideas and connect with marketers.” Sounds amazing, right!?

Well, I haven’t made it to the conference in SLC yet (hopefully in January!), but I have attended the next best thing. Their online classes which are taught by professional bloggers via video in a sort of online classroom setting where you can chat it up with other class attendees and even live tweet about your learnings. They cover a lot of blog how-to topics such as advertising, using photoshop, and staying organized. Most classes are for the beginner blogger trying to find their voice on the internet. I must tell you I was blown away by the $15 registration fee and I’m talkin’ blown away as a good thing! You learn so much and it’s a real hoot connecting with other bloggers! So far, I’ve taken two classes, but I plan on taking many more.

Find out more information about Alt Summit classes here.

*By posting this, I am receiving 2 FREE online classes from Bing. (Thanks, Bing!) You can too. Image via

How to Set Up a More Secure
Password on Your iPhone

Posted on: June 12th, 2012

Securing Your iPhone

Tech Tip Tuesday comes again! It’s one of my favorite days. Many of you already know how to set up a 4 digit passcode on your iPhone. {Settings > General > Passcode Lock > Turn Passcode On > Enter 4 digits}. I have never turned this feature on because it takes 2 seconds to enter in a passcode which is 17 days in technology time, but I imagine when Leni starts crawling around and grabbing things I might want to set one up.

The problem with a 4 digit passcode is that it’s not the most secure. Think about if you lost your phone and someone hacked your four digits and flipped through your apps; Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Amazon, mobile banking, etc…they could find a ton of information on you and possibly make purchases through your accounts!


Directions to set up a more secure iPhone password:

Step 1: Go to Settings

Step 2: Select Passcode Lock

Step 3: Turn Simple Passcode Off

Step 4: Turn Passcode On

Step 5: Enter New Passcode {Make it at least 5 digits long or else it will avert back to the 4 digit passcode login screen. If you do 4 characters, it will give you the longer passcode login screen}. A potential thief will not know if your passcode is 5 digits or 10 digits with the longer passcode screen.


Next time you lock your phone it should look like the screenshot above. I haven’t set a passcode on my phone {well only for experimenting for this post} because of the 17 days thing, but I’m curious…do you? What is your reasoning for or for not setting one up? And what happens if your forget your password? I’m not brave enough to find out ;).

Happy Monday Links

Posted on: June 11th, 2012

Happy Monday Links! These should start your workday off right. Because we all know how productive Mondays are. And hopefully they will give you some ideas for Father’s Day. Leni and I are still working on something special for Chris. But I’d love to get him any one of these!


A polarizing filter case for the iPhone? Yes.

Carded iPhone case. Awesome.

A bed that literally makes itself in under a minute. You have to watch this.

Oh my! These are going to be hot this summer. I have got to get Chris {me} some.

And…wood watches!

Ever heard of the iDad?

This is perfect for the computer specialist {geek} dad.


I hope your week goes perfectly.



My Desktop is a Mess

Posted on: June 7th, 2012

Simple Desktops

Let’s be honest with each other. My computer’s desktop is a mess.

I’m notorious for letting the desktop get filled up with files and photos and then dumping EVERYTHING into a new folder called “desktop” on the desktop. Ha! Out of sight, out of mind, right? Then the “desktop” folder on the desktop goes untouched for months and sometimes even years. I’m a file hoarder. And it’s time to stop. I’m determined to get all 5 (yes, we have 5) desktops in immaculate order. And then I want to share my organization tips with you!

How about you? Do you work with a messy desktop? Are you like Capree? Did that just give you anxiety? Are your files nice and tidy? I’d love to hear your tips!

The above image is from Simple Desktops. Their pretty wallpapers might motivate me to get started.


A Cleaner Internet

Posted on: June 6th, 2012

A Cleaner YouTube

Have you heard of A Cleaner Internet? They make surfing sites like YouTube and Amazon clutter-free. Instead of the related videos that populate to the right of a YouTube video, the interface is clean, sleek and only shows the video you are watching. Try it out here. It sounds pretty great because how many times have you wound up watching hours and hours of cat videos on YouTube? Just one more…just one more.

It would also be useful for watching YouTube videos with children of any age. Sometimes the related video thumbnails can be questionable. eliminates the worry of something inappropriate appearing in front of your kiddos.

10 Built-In iPhone Features You May Not Know About

Posted on: June 5th, 2012


It’s Tech Tip Tuesday! Hooray!

The iPhone never ceases to amaze me. Apple products are the most user-friendly, aesthetically beautiful devices and the creators seem to know what we want before we know what we want. There are thousands of useful apps for the iPhone, but these built-in features are goodies that work straight out of the box! I have compiled a list of 10 built-in features of the iPhone that you may or may not know about. My favorite discovery was #1. Wow. Awesome. Chris’ favorite was #7. Because is he directionally challenged or what? Always.

1. Volume-up Button to Snap a Photo
Instead of snapping your photos with the “take picture” button in the camera app, the “volume up” button does the job too. Sometimes it’s a little easier to access. Useful for all those selfies!

2. Screengrab
Press the “home” and “lock” button simultaneously and a screengrab will be added to your camera roll. If you really want to throw someone for a loop take their phone, take a quick screengrab of the home screen and leave that image open. They will be tapping on their apps wondering “Why isn’t this working!”

3. Tap to Focus the Camera
This works with video too, and the best part is you can move closer or further away from your subject and re-tap and it will re-focus. Awesome.

Update: Ok. Pause. Are you trying these out and calling me crazy!? That’s what happened to my Mom and we realized she hadn’t updated her software in awhile. Some of these tricks only work with iOS 5. (And now, there’s an update for iOS 5.1.1). If you need to update your phone to iOS 5, just plug in your phone to your PC or Mac and follow the on-screen instructions. Once you update to iOS 5, you will not need to connect your phone to your computer to update. It will then just be a touch of a button.

4. HDR
Open the camera app, tap on options and select HDR. When you snap a picture using HDR, the iSight camera captures 3 different photos internally, each with a different exposure and then magically turns those into one great photo! Seriously. This option is especially useful for landscape photos where the sky might be washed out, but everything in the foreground looks good. Now, the entire picture will be at the perfect exposure. The iPhone will save the original and the HDR photo in your camera roll.

5. iMessage
iMessages are text messages sent between iPhones. They are unlimited and appear blue on your text message interface. A regular old text message appears green. And the “…” that pops up after you send an iMessage means the recipient is sending a response right that minute. Neato!

6. Save Images From the Web
In Safari touch and hold an image and you will be given the option to Save Image, which will save it to your camera roll. Or you can copy it to paste into a message or email.

7. Use the Compass with Maps
In the maps application, tap the “location” button twice and voila! The map is now based on whichever direction you are turned. Didn’t you hate not knowing which direction was which? I know my husband did.

8. Create Web Clips on Your Home Screen
Do you frequent a website? Next time you’re there, tap the “go to” icon at the bottom of Safari. Choose “add to home screen”, give it a name and now it’s easily accessible from your home screen. Now you can get rid of all those browser windows.

9. Create Shortcuts for Texts
Setting up shortcuts in your keyboard settings can save you a bunch of time. I text Chris “I love you!” all the time. Now when I type “lu” the iPhone automatically writes “I love you!”. Pretty neat. To do this, go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Add New Shortcut and set up a few shortcuts to make texting quicker.
Sidenote: When you are typing a text double tap the spacebar and it will automatically add a period, a space and then capitalize the next letter. Who knew?!

10. Slide & Review
When your phone is locked and a push notification pops up, such as instagram, instead of sliding to unlock your phone, tap and slide the instagram icon to directly open the notification in the instagram application. I learned this one on accident. Happy accidents.


A few other great features that did not make the list:

« Notification center.
« airPrint.
« Switch quickly between apps.
« Siri: Raise to speak.
« Drop a pin in Maps.
« Emoticon Keyboard (so geeky, but awesome).


What are your favorite built-in iPhone features?

iPhone image from Apple. Modified by me.