Britney Spears Wednesday – Slave for You Body Motivation


Ladies, if you ever need work-out motivation simply watch Britney’s “Slave for You” music video. This might be the hottest little video of all time! Whenever I watch it, I am just memorized by her abs, her pretty face, and how good she looks all sweaty!

This video is guaranteed to get you In the Zone at the gym, with workout videos, or when road running! Yes, I just made a Britney Spears pun.

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How to Make Photoshop Like Pictures for Free (and without Software)


Pic Monkey

When I did design in my undergrad, I learned to use Photoshop.  I love Photoshop, but for a normal person like me (who does not use it at work and does not make a living as a designer) it is expensive to buy! I just can’t drop … oh … $700 fucking dollars on Photoshop! Yet, I have started this little blog and I love creating images for the posts.

This post is totally sparked from one of my best friend Amanda (OMG she has the best blog ever you have to check it out! It’s about her experience as a transplant survivor called Transplanted to Life). Back to my post, she asking how I made that cool little collage in Real Girls’ Beauty Must-Haves. Today I will show you a step-by-step DIY to edit your images with PicMonkey.  It is also worth noting, I discovered this website by just researching and trying out different free website based photo editors. I can say confidently, this is by far the best online free photo editor. And guess what? You get a sneak peak at Thursday’s post!

SOMETHINGS TO KNOW ABOUT PICMONKEY

It is free! It doesn’t require a log-in! It doesn’t add weird logos tot he bottom of you pictures — unless you choose an editing option only allowed with the upgrade. You can upgrade for $2.75 a month and have access to all the PicMonkey features. If I hit 100 followers, I plan to treat myself (FOLLOW ME!)

STEP 1 – UPLOAD A PHOTO AND BEGIN EDITTING

When you get to the home page of PicMonkey, there is an option to EDIT A PHOTO or CREATE A COLLAGE. Creating a collage is super easy — you just upload your photos and try out different collage templates until you like the look. You can go directly from the collage platform to the photo edit to add text and effects. For today, we are just going to edit a photo.

Pic Monkey Before

Image before editing with PicMonkey.

STEP 2: EFFECTS

Effects change the look of the image (much like a filter on Instagram). I actually don’t use these much YET, but they are really fun to play around with. Plus, it allows you to modify the effect and have control over how it looks — take that, Instagram!

Pic Monkey Posterize

I made this image “Posterized” to add a little umph.

STEP 3: ADD TEXT

This is what initially drew me to PicMonkey — I wanted to add text to everything! I find a lot of great blogs through Pinterest, and you need something interesting to look at to get people to your blog. With this text tool, you have some really great typography fonts that blow Word out of the water. For this text, I used the “eye-drop” tool (click on the selected color displayed and it gives you the tool). This tool is incredible because it allows you to pick a color already present in your image and mimic it in the text color.

Write anything you like on your images with great typography

Write anything you like on your images with great typography.

STEP 4: ADD OVERLAYS (SHAPES OR FUN ADDITIONS)

I usually add an overlay of a simple shape to allow the text to be easily read. In addition, you can add sunglasses, hats, birds, postal symbols, you name it! This can be seen in Step 5’s image.

STEP 5: CHANGE THE FRAME OF THE IMAGE

Pretty self-explanatory, but this option allows you to spice up the border of the image. For my image, I decided to go with the rounded edges… just cause I could!

Pic Monkey Round Corners

Round your edges or add another funky frame to your image.

STEP 6: PLAY WITH ALL THE DIFFERENT SETTING AND SAVE YOUR IMAGE.

Check out the before and after (I used the collage platform for this one, baby!) It isn’t insanely different, but it looks a bit more put together and represents the post.

PicMonkey Collage

If you want to learn how to take better pictures from you iPhone (all of my images are from my iPhone because I am lazy) check out Lauryn Ann’s posting Behind the Lens: Photo Souvenirs on her blog Inspiration and a Carry On.   It is seriously a gem of information and has made me pay attention to light and my flash. Shout out to Lauryn!

love, Sarah

To be a Woman — in the Words of Dustin Hoffman


A great friend of mine showed me this amazing clip.  It is Dustin Hoffman recalling an experience that made him make the film “Tootsie.” While you don’t need to see “Tootsie” to understand this clip, this video really does encompass the inner turmoil us women go through in our need, and want, to feel beautiful. It is such a raw, honest, and powerful little clip. For the first time I feel a man, in 3 minutes, explains the sadness and disregard every woman has experienced at some point in her life (me included!) Maybe all men should dress up in drag to feel what it is like to be a woman and gain some awareness?

ENJOY and be ready to be blown away by Mr. Hoffman.

love, Sarah

Stay Organized with an Old School Planner


Planner iphone moleskine

I am a child of the internet age and I love my iPhone, apps, and [of course] Google. If you haven’t figured out yet, I am a librarian so I love learning new technologies and the newest ways of organizing information.

I also have ADHD — see my story here.  Why this is relevant is sometimes if you are different you, have to accept some things work for you and some things just DON’T.  For today’s lesson, I am talking about time management and calendars.  I was a college student for 7 years and finally nailed down how and in what format to get myself organized.  I so want to be one of those people that has online calenders, receives little beeps when they have a meeting to attend, and syncs all my calenders to be connected at all times.  I tried a strict online time management for some time but could not (a) remember to write in the calender on my phone, (b) would ignore the little reminders because they were annoying and (3) could not text as fast as I can write.

For my ADHD, I learned through trial and error I have to handwrite all of my appointments, fleeting thoughts, cleaning lists, and phone calls in one place.  As you can imagine, I require a very large planner! Dork Alert! Who wants to be that old school loser toting around a giant planner? You either look like a crazy fucking coupon lady (no offense to coupon ladies!) or one of those people who micro-manages all their time and all the people in their life. Then the battle was over when I found the best planner in the world, the Moleskine 19-Month Extra Soft Cover Weekly Planner — and it isn’t dorky! At only $23, it is well worth the money to be successful.  That said, any planner could work as long as you learn to keep and manage information in a way that makes sense to you.

I am not joking when I say I write down everything in my planner. This photograph is proof! This is from the heyday of my graduate program. Here, I will share some tips that have worked to keep my successful and organized in school and in life.

diylibrarian_personal_Planner

A sneak peak into my personal planner.

How I use a paper planner:

  • Use the daily calender area for scheduled appointments such as doctors, advisors, school assignment due dates, sexy dates with actual times and dates. Other tasks you want to save for a different area in the planner.
  • Have a note area in your planner that looks like lined pages to write to do lists, tasks, ideas, and assignments. The Moleskin planner has two of these pages per week (planner heaven)!
  • On that note area, break the different areas of your life up and place those takes in the proper areas: i.e. Homework, Phone Calls, Errands, Home Stuff, Groceries, etc. That way you can always find your thoughts.
  • If you are even more insane, do as I do and highlight those notes on the days they need to be done. I use to use a pink highlighter for tasks I wanted to complete that day, blue for the next day, orange for a few days away.
  • If you are a student, when you get your syllabus from your course write down all the due dates, all the tests, everything that pertains to the course in your planner before the class even starts. This will help you look at the entire life span of the course and prevent you for getting overwhelmed.
  • Bring it with you everywhere! That way when you get an “ah-ha” moment, write it down. For example, just now I thought “Oh! I need to send that fax to the Rabbi who is marrying us.” If I do not write this down right this moment, I will forget by the end of this sentence. Until I complete the task I get strange waves of memory that ensues in panic. These thoughts go as quick as they come.

Do you have any good time management tricks?

love, Sarah

Britney Spears Wednesday — Since Jay-Z Loves Toxic


This may be old news, but Jay-Z recently announced to the twitter world he was not only a fan of Britney Spears, but his favorite song is “Toxic.” DUH! “Toxic” is AAAMMAZING. This is also my fiance’s favorite song of hers. I am extremely proud that Britney is getting the credit she deserves from the hip-hop King.

I like Jay-Z, but lately I have been really disappointed in his music . I love his “99 Problem” days, but feel his new stuff has terrible rhymes; his flow isn’t really what it use to be. Needless to say, this openness about his love for Britney Spears has made him my favorite person.  I have bought a ticket for the I am on the Jay-Z train.

Enjoy some of magically pop gold that is “Toxic”

Job Hunting Tip!


I have been on the job hunt for many months now and finally landed two interviews this week! Yahoo! However, I have found myself in a little pickle. One job I applied for was so haphazardly done, I don’t remember the job description, minimum requirements, or the pay rate from the posting. When they asked if I would interview I almost yelled, “Of course! Are you fucking kidding me!” but I kept my cool and was all, “I would be delighted. I am free anytime on Thursday. When is best for you?” After we scheduled the time, I tried to find the job posting and… NOTHING. It has been taken down and I can’t find any indication it ever existed.

This long winded story has one moral:

Copy and paste the posting details for all job applications you submit.

Don’t let this be you! Save all job posting info.

love, Sarah

How to tell people they aren’t invited to your wedding…


We are in the heart of wedding planning at the moment. The first thing we decided was to have a very “intimate” wedding with only parents, siblings, and oldest friends. This decision was easy because Scott and I both have large families and I was not about to ask my parents to dish out $70,000 for a 150 person wedding. It was either all or small, and we decided on the small.

Now, telling people you are getting married but they aren’t invited is really awkward. I reached out to my favorite wedding blog Off-Beat Brides and found this gem of a story on 10 blunt-but-loving ways to tell people they are not invited to your wedding.  All good advice, but in the end my parents, Scott’s parents, and I decided we would throw a very casual (and cheap) shin-dig for family in our respective locations across the country. Think of it as a reception tour!party

Honestly, this is the best thing you can do if you decide to throw a small wedding. When I called my aunt and uncle I was able to say, “We are getting married and are having a really small ceremony in Las Vegas with only about 10 people [fibbed a little here, more like 15].  But we are having a fun party in the Spring of 2014 to celebrate our wedding and we hope you can attend! We will send out more information later.”  To be honest, no one seemed to care and we have everyone’s support. We have the green light for our small Great Gatsby themed Las Vegas Wedding.  So much fun research to share!

Random funny story:

I called my 90 year old grandmother to tell her Scott and I were getting married. Her response was classic,

“Oh honey. I am so happy for you. That is just wonderful news. Are you pregnant?”

love, Sarah

Life Hack #1 – Stay Hydrated with Free Filtered Water from Starbucks


I feel like I always hear about these little “life hacks” from friends, books, research, and my favorite resource: Buzzfeed.  I thought I would share some of this wisdom with you all with a new segment focused on awesome life hacks.

starbucks_water

For this first Life Hack segment, I am sharing how to stay hydrated for free with Starbucks. Ok, I know you are thinking, “water is free, you big dummy!” Yet if you are like me, you never remember to bring a snazzy little water bottle when you leave the house and end up spending money for unnecessary (and wasteful) bottled water.  I have a friend who lives by this trick, we will call her L. L is a hydration Queen.  She swears that Starbucks is required to give water to anyone who asks, regardless if you purchased one of their products. All you have to do is (1) walk in line (2) ask for a Venti ice water – or Trenta if you are feeling bold (3) enjoy free filtered water in a durable cup. This cup is much better than a water bottle because you can reuse it for a couple days and then recycle.  Plus, the water used at Starbucks in notoriously good quality. Starbucks keeps their coffee tasting similar throughout the world by using filtered water – this is a well known fact and also shared on the blog Coffee Cup News.

Happy Friday and stay hydrated out there!

love, Sarah

Britney Spears Wednesday – Baby … One More Time Performance


I am a true Britney Spears fan. From the first time I saw her music video “Baby … One More Time,” I was in love.  I was only 11, but I remember thinking she was the greatest thing that ever happened, like ever.

Now 15 years later, I am still as smitten! I am dedicating Wednesdays to celebrating Britney Spears. Wednesdays always need a little spicing up because it is mid-week. This morning I listened to Britney’s new song “Oh La La” on repeat for about 30 minutes — it seems the ability to listen to songs on repeat is an ADHD quality? Who knew! I just don’t get sick of Britney … much my man dismay. I have taken over his Pandora by adding 5 Britney Spears stations. Yep, such a lucky guy.

For the first Britney Spears Wednesday, this video is from her “Oops I Did It Again” tour. She is not lip-syncing and is dancing her little ass off. *sigh*

Happy Wednesday!

Yeah… saying no to work-out apps


iFitnessLarge

Screw you workout apps!

When I created the Britney Spears + Jessica Alba Work Out Routine I was determined to use an app to track my progress and reps.  After doing this work out a few times — honestly, less than I am proud to admit — I have sworn off work-out apps! I was using Gym Geek, but found it wasted SO MUCH of my previous gym time trying to record the information. I would run on the treadmill and then have to spend a whole minute logging the information. I know a minute does not seem like a lot of time, but for all the different exercises it really does add about 20 minutes to the work-out. And let’s be truthful here — I have a hard enough time getting my ass to the gym, I don’t need to spend the next an extra 20 minutes calculating my reps.

As an alternative I decided to try my iPhone Notes. Yep, that free little notebook that comes with your iPhone and uses that awful Comic Sans font on fake yellow lined paper. To my amazement, I love it! Sometimes easy is the best way.

photo

Use iPhone Notes to track work-outs

My advice, screw all those work out apps and just keep it simple. I do still love Ab Workout App!

Since I now have a wedding dress to look good in, look forward to more DIY work-out tips and tricks. I don’t want to end up like this guy!

giphy

love, Sarah