Saturday, March 8, 2014

How to Take Better iPhone Photos

Want to take brighter, cleaner looking iPhone photos using ONLY ONE app? I'm going to walk you through what I've learned in the last month. 

First, download the VSCOcam app. Open up the camera in the app and place two fingers on the screen. You should see a focus icon and a exposure icon. Lock focus first and move the exposure icon around until your photo looks bright (it's important to get your photo bright before you take the photo).

Take the photo.

Next, hit the wrench symbol to edit your photo. Then I adjust exposure (sun icon) by making my photos a little brighter.  

Second, adjust the temperature (thermometer icon) usually a little warmth is needed. 

Then I add contrast. Be careful not to add too much. 

Last, a tiny bit of sharpening. 

That's it! Less is always more when editing and starting with a clean, well lit area makes all the difference. Here's my finished photo. 

Here's a wonderful video resource for using all the other features in the app. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hitting on my Husband

Not me, someone else did and it's too outrageous not to share! I don't usually post topics like this, but it gives me a good laugh and makes my blood boil just thinking about it. 

About two weeks ago someone Chris knew from high school friended him on Facebook. No big deal. A day or two later she sends him a private message. This was a little strange since they never talked or were friends in high school, just attended the same school. 

Her message was short and sweet. Small talk, with a lot of flattery about how cute and adorable our kids are. Chris shows me annoyed and says he won't respond (he can be really lazy). I naively tell him he should respond and thank her for the kind words, so he begrudgingly does. 

She writes back. More small talk asking where he lives and works. Talking about her kids (she's single). Weird, but he responds briefly and says something along the lines of hope you're well (aka: stop messaging). 

She responds again this time flirting with a bunch of "lols", more flattery about the kids, and then "What's your number these days? Mine is xxx-xxxx." She goes on say she wants to call him and chat? What?! Needless to say he didn't respond. 

I'm not worried or threatened at all because we both are strongly rooted in our faith and very happily married, but I'm shocked there are people out there that do this. Neither of us plan to have any communication with her. I'm sure she's doing the same approach with other, possibly married men which makes me furious. 

Has anyone else experienced having someone hit on their boyfriend/husband/? How did you react and what did you do? 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Pinterest, Google + and Bloglovin'

I recently joined Pinterest, Google + and Bloglovin! Click the gadget buttons on the right or follow by clicking the links in this post.

I'm really enjoying Pinterest and share lots of photography and home resources on there. You can now pin anyone of my blog images, by simply scrolling over an image and hitting the "P" icon. You can follow me here: marjoriemjones

On Google + you can leave me a review, view my recent work and check out the photography resources I'll be sharing. Join my circle here: Marjorie Jones

Bloglovin' is a great blog reader app. It's more simple to use than the Blogger app in my opinion. You can follow me here: Marjorie Jones

Have an account on either site? Let me know in the comments so I can follow along! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Master Bathroom Makeover

Here's a look at our master bathroom progress. This was painted Mediation by Benjamin Moore, but again we just had Sherwin Williams do a color match with their brand of paint to save. The water closet (left door) is the same color as our bedroom (Carrington Beige) just for some definition and because it's a dark room we wanted to brighten.
The bathroom was already beautiful when we moved in, so we just had it painted and added a few touches. We removed the standard construction mirror and put in this Audrey Mirror by Ballard Designs. Very affordable and so pretty! 
I picked up the faux orchid from Home Goods. 
This moss covered letter was originally in our downstairs bathroom, but I moved it to this smaller/better portioned wall upstairs. 
The only element remaining is some sort of artwork for the wall over the tub. I'm taking my time deciding what I'd like. The retractable Cameron Cotton Cordless Roman Shade is from Pottery Barn and is excellent. It has a hidden handle you can pull to adjust the curtain to different lengths. I'm hoping to get another for our inside mount window in our kitchen. 

Master Bedroom Makeover

Here's a little look at our master bedroom makeover. We still have few last finishing touches, but for now here's a peek. There will be a video tour once it's completed!
The walls are Carrington Beige by Benjamin Moore, but we didn't purchase Benjamin Moore paint. We had Sherwin Williams do a paint match, so we got the same great color without the hefty price tag.
My dresser and Chris' dresser is to the right. The black leather album contains my Glamour & Boudoir photos. Here's a look inside.
This is Chris' nightstand and the left side of the room.
The photo below used to be over our fireplace in the family room, but we moved it up here and put a canvas in its place of the kids.

Below is my nightstand and the right side of the room. There is a significant amount of space of either sides of our nightstands, but I didn't photograph it because those areas are not finished yet (there will be a chair, some shelves and maybe a potted plant).


Bedding - Pottery Barn
Canopy drape - Pottery Barn
Fur pillow - Home Goods
Curtains - Pottery Barn
Curtain rods - Lowe's
Furniture - Ethan Allen (years ago)
Lamps and shades - Target
Pot and (real) plant - IKEA
Glass vase and dried flowers - IKEA
Mercury jars - Home Goods
Globe - Home Goods

Friday, February 7, 2014

Ikea Maskros

I saw this light fixture, the Ikea Maskros back in the summer. Fell in love, but didn't have anywhere in our house suitable for it I thought.
Last weekend it was cold and boring (this is my slow season), so I suggested heading to Philly to look around Ikea. Our kids love it there and it's free. I went specifically to pick up a faux sheepskin rug they had, but we passed this light. Chris immediately liked it too and suggested it for our living room. Why didn't I think of that?!
It's simple to install following the video seen here. Attach black wires to black, white to white and ground (usually green) to ground. Ours had an additional red wire for a fan, so we just capped it off. The only hardship was finding a ladder tall enough. Thank goodness for our neighborhood site Next Door! We were able to borrow a 12ft ladder from our neighbor.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Canvas HQ

*I was NOT sponsored for this post
When we made over our master bedroom, I moved our wedding photo that was over our fireplace to our room. I felt our wedding photo was better suited in our room, and a family photo better for our family room. I really wanted a large canvas (the number one mistake people make purchasing canvases is they get one too small), but didn't think it would be affordable. A photographer friend suggested Canvas HQ
A 32x48 inch canvas came to $153 total with a 25% off coupon! We chose the odd size because we wanted to keep a 4x6 ratio, so as to keep as much of the original image as possible. 

There's the option to have a traditional 1.5in edge or a thinner .75in. We went with the thinner to save money. I'd prefer a larger print vs a thicker print for the money. Also we considered longevity of the canvas and because the kids are so young and grow quickly, it really will be displayed for only 2-3 years at the most before it would need updating. Another reason we didn't want to spend the extra money for a thicker wrap. 
It's a perfect fit and focal point for the room. I'm so impressed with the quality of the canvas (for best results upload an image at full quality from a DSLR). 
The light fixture is the Ikea Maskros and there's a post coming all about it! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Best Drugstore Makeup

I'll be first to admit, I'm a MAC snob. I only use their brand of brushes, lipgloss, eyebrow pencil, etc. However, some of my staple makeup products are drugstore brand and I wanted to share.

I've tried ALL sorts of foundations both high and low end. I have very oily skin and my foundation would always look shiny after only an hour of wear. Then I found Revlon Colorstay Foundation (for oily skin). I've worn it for up to 12hrs with no shine. I've been using this for a year or more and I'm still very happy with it. The key is to apply it with MAC's stippling brush or a beauty blender.

I always, always come back to L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara. I get the curved brush addition in black.

I just found this product (recommended by the Makeup Geek) and I love it! I was looking for a powder alongside of my foundation to combat my oily skin. Maybelline Dream Matte Powder works great, but be sure to always apply powder with a brush and not a pad! 

What are your favorite drugstore makeup products? 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Last in Diapers

I'm not wasting time getting started with my new year goals. Over Christmas vacation we brought out the training potty and undies for Evangeline (aka: last child in diapers).

People say potty training girls is easier. Not true. All depends on the child I think. The first few weeks we couldn't get her to go near the potty, she demanded diapers and would cross her legs when we tried to put on underwear. We tried the usual asking nicely, reading stories about the process, bribing, and begging to no avail. 

Then a week or two later I was finally able to get her sit on the potty till something happened and she went! She cried. She was scared, but we made a huge happy deal of it and that's it. She took off! Hardly any accidents, telling us when she had to go. 

However, she still refused underwear. She just wanted to go pant less which obviously was a problem. She requested "pony undies" and so I gave in and got some (we had just plain white training pants). 

Now, week four and she is taking trips without diapers. Huge progress in a short amount time. One downfall is public potty trips with a little girl are MUCH more gross than a little boy who can stand and go. While the boys had more accidents, they were trained by age two. She's on the older side to begin training (almost two and a half), but making faster progress than the boys did. 

Any other potty training mommies out there? How's it going? 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rain Boots

My first pair of rain boots! I've been considering purchasing a pair for a long time, but never had any style stand out to me until I saw Grace wearing these!
I loved the neutral black with brown trim which coordinates with pretty much anything. The bow is a perfect girly touch. The quality is great; real rubber. My only complaints were: shipping was slow, they smell awful at first (apparently that's typical of authentic rubber), and they do run a size large. I definitely recommend ordering a size smaller than your normal shoe size like I did.
I ordered them here. Last I checked, they were sold out of this style, but they have tons of cute pairs on Joules website to choose from. With this cold winter, they already have gotten tons of use!
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