Is PSE worth the cost?

YES!!!!!!

I have had PhotoShop Elements since last May, and would say that it is definitely worth every penny {that Mr. SD spent on it, LOL}.

There is so much you can do with it, and it makes such a difference when digi scrapping and in your finished photos.

Here is a photo of Ms. E and MerryLegs ~ before and after using the PSE Actions from Florabella:

*I also ran the ‘Color Clean’ action before Whitening the pony.

Taking pictures of the moments that make life special, should be about capturing the moment… not worrying about the details.  Being able to ‘clean-up’ the pony after the photo has been taken makes me happier with the photo, and we don’t have to give the pony a bath before every ride.

To learn more about using PSE and Action Layers to edit photos check out these sites, they have lots of tips and tricks that I have found helpful in learning how to edit my photos to get the ‘look’ I am looking for: Cathy Zielske’s Blog {incrediably helpful} ~ Texas Chicks Blog ~ Everyday Elements with Amanda ~ MCP Actions {free videos in their product descriptions}

I have not done any ‘paid’ tutorials or workshops at this point.  If you want to save time, paying for a class might be the thing for you, but right now google {or SwagBucks} is my friend.  So… I just search, watch videos, and learn something new.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - -

You can also create amazing Digital Scrapbooking pages almost effortlessly using PSE {I am currently using PSE 10}

Just download some of the many free Click and Scrap templates/layouts available, start adding your photos and ‘snap’ them to the pre designed template, add some pizazz and flare that goes with the photos {or your favorite colors}, and you have yourself a creative memory keeper.

Want to learn more?  Here is a tutorial by Digital Digitals {non~video} to show you some more details.  I personally love all the layout options at The Shabby Shop… here is a direct link to their Tips and Tricks category on their shop blog.  The Shabby Shop calls their templates ‘Easy As Pie’ and have a great video to show you how to use them.  They truly are easy, quick, and painless {especially if you edit your photos before trying to use them on a scrapbook layout, LOL!}.

Next week’s post is going to be about my favorite places to scrounge up scrapbooking freebies, and where I buy elements {the pizazz and flare I mentioned above}.

Want to see pages I have created using PS ~ here you go!

 

{Tuesday Tips} How to Boil Eggs Perfectly

This detour through the kitchen to actually cook is due to Pinterest.  {blame the internet for this one folks, LOL}

If I had never seen this Pin, I would have never thought twice about what my boiled eggs looked like.

Of course… after seeing that you could get a boiled egg with ONLY a yellow center… I had to try it out and see if this non-cook could succeed in creating ‘the perfect egg’.

And you know what???  It worked!!!!

I just followed the steps that Ashley outlines in detail at ‘It’s Fitting’ to cook these eggs in her ‘stupid proof’ way.  Now onto the proof that I actually cooked the perfect eggs…

Eggs on stove at medium heat until boiling. 

When boiling move to cold burner, and sit for 10 minutes.

Then put into ice/cold water bath for 5 minutes.

And presto…

~ The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg ~

{Here is where I party!}

Tuesday Tips ~ Decorating Mantel for Holidays

Here is what I have found helpful when decorating my mantel, glorified TV shelf, for the various holidays.

First tip is that you need to declutter anyplace you want to switch out decorations on a seasonal/holiday basis. 

The less you have in the space that is year round, the less you have to adapt to the ‘seasonal/holiday’ theme. 

Here in Texas one of the hardest things for me to hide/store are candles.  Depending on their color they don’t adapt well to different holidays/seasons, and with the heat we have here I can’t just stick them up in the attic {our only large quantity of storage space in our current home}

And I l-o-v-e all types of candles!  Here is how I adapt them to holiday/seasonal themes.

First take the item you want to keep in the space, but need to disguise.  Grab a seasonal bag that the item will fit inside of.

Place items inside of bag.  Double check that the bag is balanced, and not going to tip over easily.

Place your decoration back in the space.

 

Now your candles {or other items}  are in the perfect disguise for the season!

{Linking up to these parties}

Tuesday Tips ~ Vinegar for the Dryer

With all the handy tips out there on the web on how to ‘Go Green’ I have been working on weeding through some of them. 

I tried the ‘Honey Challenge’ over at Crunchy Betty, and now I am hooked on finding simpler ways to live with simpler ingredients.

A big change for me {almost bigger than using honey on my face} is using Vinegar with Citrus Essential Oil when drying laundry.  I spritz the wet load with 15 to 20 spritz’ and then start the dryer as normal.

When I first thought of getting rid of my Downy and Dryer Sheets I had a mini-melt down.  I l-o-v-e some fresh, clean sheets to snuggle in.

After ‘toughing’ it for a month… I have found I don’t even miss the Downy in my sheets.  Amazing, huh?

The way Mr. SD’s work clothes smell soooooo fresh coming out of the dryer is wonderful, and I know that I am using less chemicals and ingredients than I was.  All for a healthier life for my kiddos.  That is a pretty good feeling.

{Where I am linking up}

Toddler Cubes for Bathtime {Tuesday Tip}

The original inspiration for this idea was from Pinterest… {Link to link on Pinterest} and used regular ice cube trays.

Well, since I didn’t have any extra ice cube trays I could use for this, I used the Doggie Ice Cube containers to create these fun bath time ‘toys’.

Here they are before freezing.  I added 2~3 drops of food coloring to the container, and then added the water.  Make sure to leave room for expansion as they freeze.

 

Once they are frozen, and you are heading to the bath… well when the children are heading for the bath {this might not be as fun to play with in your bath, LOL}, just run hot/warm water on the bottom of the plastic and the ‘cubes’ will pop right out.  They don’t last very long in warm bathwater before the ‘dissappear’. 

Ms. E enjoyed playing with them just as much as Ms. V during bath time.  Proving that these are a fun addition to bath time for both the toddler crowd and the baby crowd.  Watching them play with these reminded me of playing with slippery soap.  The food coloring did tint the water, but neither child was ‘tinted’ once they were done with bath time and dried off.

These are a definitely a win/win, no~cost, fun addition to bath time around my house!

 Kimberlee, Thank you for visiting!

Linking up at:

DIY Thrifty Thursday at Thrifty 101

Hookin’ Up with HOH at House of Hepworths

Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family

How to keep your toddler happy… while cutting fruit.

Challenge: Cut fresh fruit for Family Dinner without ‘losing’ the fresh fruit to the ‘starving’ toddler that just had lunch.

Solution: cut strawberries as normal, then skinny cut the flesh from around the green leaves.  Place in mini bowl so that it appears to be a huge amount amount {a key when dealing with toddlers}. 

I was very surprised with how much ripe ‘flesh’ I was able to give to Ms. E.  She was very happy with her Strawberries, and even helped me dispose of the leaves without trying to eat them {after tasting the first one of course, LOL}.

The ‘recipe’:

4 cups Black Seedless Grapes

4 cups Green Seedless Grapes

1 pint sliced Strawberries

Cut the strawberries into slices rather than chunks to create a more dramatic look.  Slices seem to show-up better against the grapes, while chunks become the same size as the grapes and loss their visual impact.

To keep this salad chilly after putting it on the table {or if you are transporting it in a warm car} freeze 2 to 4 cups of the grapes and put these in your serving bowl before placing the other fruit on top.  The grapes won’t freeze ‘hard’, and will help keep the other fruit on the cool side.  Which will make this refreshing fruit salad that much more delicious on a warm/hot day.  Enjoy!

Kimberlee, Thank you for visiting!

Linking up at:

Tuesday To-Do Party at The Blackberry Vine
Take A Look Tuesday at Sugar Bee-Craft Edition

 

 

Mixing drinks at home. {Tuesday Tip}

I love the convenience of having juice concentrate in the freezer.  What I don’t like is trying to get it ready to drink with a thirsty toddler watching every move.

 

Which is why I adore my Pampered Chef quick-stir pitcher!  This particular pitcher has been in service with our family for 5 years.  I ordered it from the clearance section the fall after Mr. SD and I were married.  Got a great deal on it since it was Pampered Chef’s summer color.  Which just happens to be our kitchen color; Blue.  This one is a gallon, but they also have a version that is half this size at two quarts.  I have both sizes, but the two quart size is living at my mom’s currently.

 

Here it is after making Grape Juice.

 

Just grab the frozen concentrate out of the freezer.  Use a knife to get the concentrate out of the cylinder if you need to.  I always mix in an extra ‘can’ of water for each ‘can’ of concentrate.  If you don’t tell anyone they won’t know you ‘watered’ it down.  Then ‘quick-stir’ it several times, and watch the water and juice swirl.  Pour into waiting sippy cup and enjoy.

 

Here is what the quick stir ‘paddle’ looks like.

 

 

Even after smashing frozen concentrate over the last several years, there are no cracks and the bottom is still as stable as when it was new {and never abused}.  It comes clean easily.  And even grape juice has not left any lasting color on any parts of the pitcher.  The spout has three options; Closed, Strain, and Open.

 

PS ~ if the spout is open and a toddler is ‘helping’ you get the juice out of the fridge… make sure you keep the pitcher level.  Otherwise your floor will be getting an impromptu cleaning.

 

 

Yes, I know this first hand after Ms. E ‘helped’ Big Bro with the juice.  She also helped with the clean-up, LOL!

 

So, my tip is to buy a quality drink mixer if mix any amount of frozen concentrate at your house.  It is one tool that will really help you out, and you won’t be able to remember how you did it before!
Kimberlee, Thank you for visiting!
PS ~ I do not currently have any affiliation with Pampered Chef.  I was ‘consultant’ briefly over four years ago.  Now I am just a loyal customer that lovers/adores their products.  This is one that I love and think everyone should have in their kitchen.
Linking up with:
Works For Me Wednesday at We Are That Family

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~ About Me ~


I'm Kimberlee, the owner/creater of 'The Spunky Diva'. Here is a little about me... In addition to my love of blogging I adore all crafts, sewing, quilting, improving my non-existent cooking skills, and playing with my two girls. We have a 'collection' of animals around the place to keep us busy; two 'huge' dogs, a cat, kittens, several horses, and assorted wildlife. We live east of Austin, Texas, in the middle of farm country. Here at 'The Spunky Diva' blog I get to share daily life moments, fun crafts, sewing and quilting progress/finishes, and brag about my 'Babies'. Thank you for visiting and sharing some of your day with me!

~Kimberlee

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