Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Holiday Gifts: How to Choose the Best Photos for Phone Cases (*Guest Post)

The holidays are here! With the flurry of fun Christmas greetings, cookies, and parties comes the reality of shopping for your family and friends. Just like you would design Christmas photo cards online, why not consider creating a personalized iPhone case for someone in your immediate circle? Whether your friend or family member has the new iPhone 6 or an older version, cases are a great way to protect their investment and help them express their personal style. Some may find it intimidating to design a case for someone else, but here are some tips to help you get started:

* Select something that’s meaningful to them. Browse any non-copyrighted photos you have and think about choosing a picture that features the people in your friend's life, her favorite vacation spot, or something else that’s personal to her. Remember, you want something that expresses her style and a little about her life – and often, these are the things that matter most to us. Another option is to design an iPhone case with a favorite quotes. Find or create a PNG or JPG image (that’s not copyright protected) featuring the quote against a backdrop your friend will love.

* Make sure the photo you pick has a high enough resolution. Photos without a high resolution will look chunky or blurry when printed. Most phone case photos should have a dpi (dots per inch) of around 300 or higher. For a brief comparison, most computer monitors display images at 72 dpi.

* Don’t choose a photo with a lot of white space. You don't want to waste space on your friend's new case, so crop the image as closely as you can in order to narrow in on the interesting part of the photo. Remember that, depending on the case and the size of the image, the photo may not totally fit on the case as is – so be sure when you load the image and place it on the case (during the design phase) that you’re okay with exactly where the photo will be cropped.

* Don't limit yourself. Many makers of iPhone cases will allow designs with more than one photo. Sometimes you can fit two, three, or as many as six photos on one case. See if a collage like this may be something you’re interested in. This works especially well if you don’t have one great photo or have too many to choose just one!

With the upcoming holidays comes the opportunity to get creative with your gifts. Have fun and happy designing!

Author Bio: Heather Hewitt is a seasoned writer and guest author who enjoys connecting people with thoughtful products, services and ideas as they relate to crafting, photography, gift giving and personal expression.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Spread the Word: Giving Tuesday

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Everyone knows these days dedicated to getting your holiday shopping season off to a quick start. 

Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. This year, we’ve set a goal of raising $50,000 on Giving Tuesday, which will be matched by a generous partner. That means we have the opportunity to help connect kids with up to 1 million meals — all from one day's work. With your help, together we can make sure that every kid gets the healthy food they need to succeed, this year and beyond. 

You can spread the word today here, and join Team #NoKidHungry on social media December 2nd to celebrate #GivingTuesday and help us reach our exciting goal.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Peanut butter dog treats

My mind is always in 30 places at once and I can go from one thing to another in one fell swoop.  Yes, I'm weird... it’s part of my charm :p

I was home sick on Friday and after I dropped the kid off at work I went over to give my BF the Jeep (we share now) so he could drop me at home and go on his way to work. I had gotten my Boyfriend’s landlord’s dog a giant peanut butter bone shaped cookie that I had gotten over the weekend and I hadn't seen him all week.  Well, I gave him that cookie and  I swear he walked away and was jumping for joy.  Bf's LL even shared a video of Apollo happily chomping away on it too :)

While I was home I decided I would make him some bones myself and I found the perfect recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction which, once my oven is fixed I will be making for the biggest mushball I know :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

my oven is on the fritz...

I moved into my apartment in July of 2011, and a few weeks after I moved in my stove broke.  It took them almost a week to realize it couldn't be repaired and finally since my LL was on vacation his son caved and just bought me a new one.

Well, last night as I was preparing a batch of blondies I turned the oven on and roughly twenty minutes later when I went to put the blondies in the oven I realized the oven wasn’t even remotely warm... the pilot wasn’t on, no gas smell... and my landlord wasn’t home.  So it turned my absolutely fine day upside down since I had planned on doing some baking and making a casserole for dinner.

When I left this morning at 7am LL’s car wasn't in the driveway and I didn't want to bother his wife so I’ll talk to him later when I get home.  The stove itself is actually working this time but the oven isn't going on, no gas smell and no pilot light so God only knows what’s going on here.  All I know is I can’t go very long without a working oven since I use it a few times a week for dinner.

Lets hope this isn't a week long debacle like last time... at least I know LL isn’t away or going away any time this week... at least not that I know of.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014‏

I'm So in and SO excited to be a part of this again this year! :)

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Who wants to win some marshmallows?

Doing a little R&D this weekend with the marshmallows and since the holiday season will be here before you know it I figured why not share some marshmallows with a lucky winner?  Come visit the Fluffy n' Sweet FB page to get the latest news :)

Contest runs until Friday 9/26  :)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Hello Keurig... my review of the Keurig 2.0

As an Influenster I sometimes get little perks and this has been by far the best perk yet! I love a good cup of coffee and although I still have my trusty old BHG Grind & Brew at home I'm the only coffee drinker here and making a whole pot of coffee is often wasteful.  I don't mind brewing a whole pot if I know I'm going to use it and over the summer it wasn't bad drinking coffee straight from the fridge, but it gets old fast.  Having the option now to brew just one cup or 3-4 in the carafe is very nice :)

 After taking a little coffee survey I was lucky enough to get chosen to try out the new Keurig 2.0.  After reading the reviews online and seeing the models here I was thinking we were going to get one of the basic models.  I was sure in for a surprise when the box arrived!

What I got was a Keurig 2.0 Model K550 Which is the top of the line model in the 2.0 series.  Lemme tell y'all I am NOT disappointed!  My BF has an older model Keurig and it's so noisy when you start it up and I was really kinda worried that this was going to be as well, BUT it's whisper quiet.

Say Hello to the Keurig® 2.0 K550 Brewing System — the first Keurig system that features revolutionary Keurig 2.0 Brewing Technology which is designed to read the lid of each K-Cup or K-Carafe pack to brew the perfect beverage every time. The K550 brewer allows you to brew a 4-cup carafe with the same ease and convenience of brewing a single-serve cup — all at the touch of a button. It’s so smart, and so simple!
The brewer has other great features including an extra large 80 ounce water reservoir, 2.8 inch color touch display, programmable clock, an auto brew option and a strength control setting for brewing bolder coffee. There’s even a separate setting for hot cocoa and other specialty beverages like lattes and mochas. The K550 model also has a customizable night light in the water reservoir and offers hot water on demand. So many options to choose from — not at all like a typical coffee maker.
Choose from over 250 varieties of coffee, tea and specialty beverages — including iced beverages — from 40 brands you know and love. Just look for Keurig Brewed® seal on your favorite K-Cup pack and K-Carafe pack varieties.
The Keurig 2.0 K550 Brewing System includes a Keurig Carafe, a 2.0 Water Filter Starter Kit with one filter, and K-Cup® and K-Carafe packs to get you started.
Variety pack includes:
4 K-Carafe packs:
  • Green Mountain Coffee® Breakfast Blend
  • Green Mountain Coffee® French Roast
  • Green Mountain Coffee® French Vanilla
  • The Original Donut Shop® Regular
6 K-Cup® packs:
  • The Original Donut Shop® Regular Extra Bold
  • Green Mountain Coffee® Hazelnut
  • Green Mountain Coffee® Nantucket Blend®
  • Barista Prima Coffeehouse® Italian Roast
  • Starbucks® Pike Place® Roast
  • Celestial Seasonings® English Breakfast Tea

You can see the difference in size between a standard K-cup and the K-carafe cup here.

 In my box I also received a full box of Decaf Breakfast Blend which I was a little befuddled with at first because I don't drink decaf but I will totally use it in chocolate cake and brownies :)  Since I got my box well after coffee drinking time for me (which I usually cut off to no later than 2 PM otherwise I know I won't sleep) the first one I brewed was the decaf to see how it worked, poured myself a small cup and then poured the remaining coffee into the ice cube trays and toss the cubed into my already strong iced coffee and it's awesome.


I love how quiet the Keurig is

Alright so it may not be the greatest sound in the world, but man do I love my coffee mug from Our Name is Mud.  I got this mug almost ten years ago and it's chipped and I broke the handle once, but it's really held up great and I can't seem to find another one just like it.

All in all, I love this machine, it's quiet, I can brew my coffee while I'm getting ready to haul ass out the door at 7am (I did mention in my last post my child is going to college and it's a two hour train ride each way didn't I?).  Pods can get a little expensive and for now this isn't compatible with any of the reusable cups but if you go to the Keurig site and sign up for special offers and Amazon always seems to have a good deal.  Otherwise every grocery store has them, for the new brewers make sure they have the Keurig logo on them, or they won't work with this machine.  For me it isn't an issue since this is my first Keurig.  I love all the varieties and that The Kid can use it also for tea and iced tea and cocoa when the weather gets cold.

So grab a mug and Enjoy your coffee with the new Keurig 2.0.  I definitely am :)