Photofy to the Rescue

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My smartphone is pretty much the only camera that I use these days. Thanks to this, I need flexible apps that allow me to edit images. It’s also great when I can create something unique on the fly without my laptop. I have finally found something that can do all of this thanks to Photofy.

Photofy app to the rescue

This single app allows me to edit images with filters, light effects, photo mirrors, and fit them for specific social sharing size. In addition to this, I am able to add text with 90 plus fonts, make a collage, use 40,000 plus overlay options, create a Meme, and more! The latest release also has templates and geofilters available.

Photofy options

When you launch Photofy, you may select an image of your own or something else from the more photo options that pops up at the bottom. This will allow you to use stock photos and images from your social media accounts. Many, but not all of the options are free. What I adore is I don’t have to scroll through looking for something that fits. I am able to search the stock photos using a key word or theme.

Watermark on Photofy

The free version of Photofy means that your image will include an app watermark. You may select from ten options. To remove the Photofy watermark from all future creations, the cost is $1.99. I have to admit that I just may do this soon because I find myself using the app a lot and it would be well worth it.

Creating images with Photofy

While many people may be drawn to using the Meme maker, I am in love with all of the overlays. These are great to use on my own photos and the stock images that are available to  use. Once you select an image, simply click on the text and overlays open. From here, go to stickers and the elements pop up. As you can see above, I used Hanukkah as a search term. I was honestly shocked at the variety available and used them often during the last week for The Festival of Lights. When you select one of the stickers, you are able to move it around, size it, change the opacity, and sometimes switch the color.

Templates on Photofy

One of the newest features on Photofy are the templates. This is a quick and easy way to share images with already made sayings. Once again, you may search by theme or your own key words if you select to view all templates. I was quite impressed with the selection and options. This is a great way to dress up a photo for Instagram, Facebook, or to simply email to family and friends.

Photofy creations

As you can see, I have used Photofy for many different projects. It’s fun, fast, and allows me to be creative. How would you use this app to help you in your life?

It's Me

Disclosure: As a member of the Verizon Lifestyle Bloggers, I receive devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 to test out and share ways that I use it in my life. I am a long time Verizon customer, and all opinions are my own.

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Tuesday Tales: Coloring Books by Millie Marotta

It’s no secret that I love to color. While many are starting to realize the calming effect of adult coloring, I have known this for years. What I love these days is that there are so many book options to pick from. In addition to this, I have grown to appreciate some amazing artists that make these books for us. Thanks to Sterling Books, I was able to check out and review the latest coloring books by Millie Marotta.

Adult Coloring Books by Millie Marotta

Animal Kindom: Color Me, Draw Me – Drawn by Millie Marotta – Published by Lark an imprint of Sterling Publishing –  ISBN 9781454709107 –  $14.95 – Paperback 96 pages

Tropical World: A Coloring Book Adventure – Drawn by Millie Marotta – Published by Lark an imprint of Sterling Publishing – ISBN 9781454709138 – $14.95 – Paperback 96 pages

Inside Mille Marotta books

Both of these books burst onto the scene in September 2015. I had looked at books by Ms. Marotta, but never owned one prior to this. The books are stunning on their own. I could sit looking at her beautiful art because it is calming without pulling out the coloring items. Animal Kingdom is waiting to be colored and is filled with illustrations of whales, owls, flora, and other creatures. In addition to this, there are spaces left by Ms. Marotta with cues around them to inspire your own creativity. Tropical World is filled with images of flowers, birds, butterflies, and reptiles. When I started to use this book, I tried colored pencils since that is what Ms. Morotta suggests for blending and more depth. Prior to this, I used mostly Sharpie markers in my adult coloring books. I knew this was not an option for these drawings since the book has images printed on both sides of the paper. I had to try something that would not bleed through.

Colored Pencils with Millie Marotta Books

I need to get used to colored pencils again. I also tried some gel pens. I really enjoy these because they add sparkle and it’s even more therapeutic to see the strokes of the ink as you color in the spaces. The gels pens worked beautifully on the paper in these books. They did not go through the pages and do extremely well in the small intricate spaces.

Gel Pens with Millie Marotta Books

Another item that I love, is that Millie Marotta has made a video of drawing an image from this book. It truly is fascinating to watch how she creates one of these stunning pieces of art. The process involved to make these books must be a labor or love.

If you are looking for beautiful books to gift to someone this holiday season, I would definitely recommend Animal Kingdom and/or Tropical World. Add in something to color with and it’s the perfect treat that someone may not purchase on their own.

If you could have Millie Marotta create a dream coloring book, what would it be? As always, Tuesday Tales is all about sharing our love of books. What are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?

It's Me

Disclosure: As noted above, I received both of these books from Sterling Publishing to review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

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It’s Time to Celebrate Hanukkah

Tonight at sundown we will begin to light our menorah and celebrate the Festival of Lights.

Chag Sameach

I do believe that TechyDad, the boys, and I are ready for Chanukah. Yes, I am mixing up the spellings because I can and it’s fun. As you can see above, my nails are set with silver sparkles and one of the new designs for Hanukkah.

Things are often busy this time of year. Still, we are going to keep to the basics for Chanukah. This year, we hope to focus on our own family traditions.

Hanukkah crafts

We love to try different types of crafts, sing Chanukah songs, and read different tales about the Festival of Lights. One of our favorite new Chanukah albums is by the Maccabeats and they have a great new video featuring one of the songs. I think most of you will recognize the catchy tune used. Enjoy!

No matter how you spell it, Happy Chanukah to those that celebrate the Festival of Lights.

It's Me

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When a Screen Shot is Not Enough

#VZWBuzz Disclosure

My smart phone is often my work space on the go. When I am short on time, grabbing a screen shot of a Jamberry design, crochet pattern, or educational advocacy item is a life saver. Many times I will read a great post related to autism or special needs on Facebook and want to share it with TechyDad. Since he is not on this platform, I can not simply send him a link. Screen shots are often too small to get all of the information.

When a Screen Shot is Not Enough

While getting used to the S Pen, I have tried a few different features on the Air Command screen. I am now in love with Screen Write. When I find something that I want to capture and share, I simply pull out the S Pen. This launches the Air Command screen where you select Screen Write. This allows me to capture a screen shot and so much more right in one app. When you click on Screen Write, it immediately captures a regular screen shot. From here, you can use the S Pen to write on the screen, Scroll Capture, Share, Save in Scrapbook, or Save in Gallery. If I want to point out a specific item, I can use the S Pen to highlight text, circle an image, or anything else that you could use a pen and paper for. The pen options within Screen Write are at the top of the image captured. I adore that I can select several types of pen settings. Below, I used the pencil option and was able to change the width of the line, along with the color to make it pop more.

Using Screen Write

Of course, a regular screen shot is not always enough and this is where Screen Write has become my new BFF. When the image within my phone screen does not contain everything, I select the Scroll Capture option at the bottom. This scrolls down the page bit by bit. If you still need more, press the Capture More as many times as needed. Once the image is the proper size, click on the done. From this point, you can share the image, save it in Scrapbook, or Save in your Gallery.

Screen Write on the Galaxy Note 5

When saved in the Gallery, it is a .jpg which makes it very easy to utilize in the future. TechyDad and I found that when I text him the image, it does not work well with his phone. If I email it and he opens it, there are no issues. So what does the final image look like? Here’s the example from my Ravelry project page.

Long Screen Capture on Screen Write

There is so much more to explore on my Galaxy Note 5, but so far I am in love with the capabilities and extra features thanks to the S Pen. How would you utilize the Screen Write App?

It's Me

Disclosure: As a member of the Verizon Lifestyle Bloggers, I receive devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 to test out and share ways that I use it in my life. I am a long time Verizon customer, and all opinions are my own.

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Emergency Chat for Times When You Can Not Talk

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Last year, I wrote about The Middle School Phone Debate. While my son continues to go without his own phone, I know the time will be coming soon. As we get ready for this major milestone, I have been looking at apps that may help him. NHL is autistic and I recently heard about an app called Emergency chat. The premise of this app is simple. It allows someone that is unable to speak to communicate when it is needed. I decided to put it on my new Galaxy Note 5 phone to check it out.

Emergency chat review

When in need of the app, you simply press the icon above. For an individual on the spectrum, it could be when they are feeling overwhelmed and anxious. If there is too much going on, they may be afraid to talk, or unable to because they are too busy processing everything from the environment. Once they push the icon, it goes to a splash screen that you can personalize. The example that they include for Aspies is the following:

Aspie screen on Emergency Chat

When you push the continue button, it brings you to a simple chat screen. An example of this chat is seen below. When you set up the app, you can make it automatically switch between two people that would be using the app. From the splash screen, you can also hold it down longer to bring up the settings.

Emergency chat screen and settings

The settings area allows you to personalize the message for whatever no talking emergency that may be need it for. Some additional examples are:

Emergency chat splash screen options

As soon as I put the app on my phone, I knew that I would have to go and set it up for my mother on her phone. After her heart attack in June, I worry about her being alone and unable to talk. When she had her heart attack, she could barely whisper to me while I was sitting next to her at the table. This is certainly something she could keep on the main screen of her smartphone to let people know about her heart condition.

Another item that I really like about Emergency chat is their Facebook page. There are lots of great samples and examples of splash screens and different ways to utilize the app. The possibilities are endless, but include things like blood sugar alert, PTSD, allergic reaction, and more.

I will definitely be sharing this within my autism circles and beyond because I know that Emergency chat will help many people when they may not be able to speak, but have to communicate.

It's Me

Disclosure: As a member of the Verizon Lifestyle Bloggers, I receive devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 to test out and share ways that I use it in my life. I am a long time Verizon customer, and all opinions are my own.

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