Monday, June 3, 2013

Rainbow Rice

This post is long overdue!  I can tell from the photo that I did this last summer, sometime after the Worst Haircut Ever (see story at bottom of this post).  This photo is so cute to me because she is wearing an old T-shirt that I owned as a child (when I was about 6 or 7).  She looks a lot like me at the same age.

There are many pins on Pinterest on making Rainbow Rice.  Some involve using rubbing alcohol and food coloring.  Others involve using Koolaid.  The best method for me was using the rubbing alcohol and food coloring.  The Koolaid one didn't work as well, and it smelled funny.

First you pour a little bit of rubbing alcohol (helpful hint: don't use the wintergreen flavored rubbing alcohol.  It has a funny smell.) in a bowl and drop at least 20 drops of your food coloring in (I did 30 drops).  The more food coloring you use, the brighter the colors will be.  Pour in your rice (and/or pasta) and mix well.  Pour the colored rice onto wax paper (which I put on baking sheets) and let dry.  You can stir the rice around until it dries completely.

As you can see, I used an old tablecloth on the floor just in case Gracie spilled any.  She had fun mixing and pouring.  To store, I poured it into two Tide Pods containers.

I recently got the rainbow rice out again for her to play with, this time I let her play on the kitchen table.  I bought an oil drip pan (a large round container that is fairly deep) at Dollar Tree to use for manipulative activities such as this.  It has a spout which makes for a little bit easier cleanup and is easy to wash up.

One of the best places to get cups and funnels, spoons and colanders, and other fun things to use for rainbow rice or sand and water play is Dollar Tree.  They are fun to use and not a lot out of pocket if they get lost or damaged.

"Worst Haircut Ever" Story
Gracie was born with hair, but not a lot of hair.  I have been patiently waiting throughout her short little life for her hair to grow out long.  I have been taking her to get trims since she was about 1-1/2 years old so that her hair can look nice and neat while it is growing out.  My favorite hairdresser got married and moved to Georgia about four years ago and it has been difficult to find a replacement at a price I don't mind paying.  (I'm cheap when it comes to paying for haircuts!)  One place I like is Fantastic Sams down past the mall towards Lakeland.  They have nice people and it is a very relaxing atmosphere.

Last summer, I discovered that there was a Fantastic Sams closer to us (Germantown Parkway and Dexter Road, next door to Kroger).  I decided to use them since they were closer.  The owner cut both my hair and Gracie's hair.  I told him, very specifically, that I wanted her bangs cut (out of her eyes) and the back of her hair only trimmed a little bit because I wanted to grow out her hair.  So what did he do?  He cut most of the back off of her hair, then combed her hair forward from the crown of her head covering her forehead and trimmed her bangs -- the exact opposite of what I told him to do.  Not only that, but who cuts hair like that?

He cut my hair fine, but he set back Operation Grow Long Hair back by a year!  Needless to say, I have not been back there.  They took my phone number, and I've always said that if they call me, I will tell them I will NEVER go back to them again!  Gracie's hair looks much better now.  The back is slowly growing.  She has bangs and the sides are cut at an angle while they've been growing out properly.
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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Favorite iPhone Apps and Tips

I'm excited because my friend Valerie, who blogs over at Valerie Write Now, just got a new iPhone!  We have been tearing up the cell phone waves texting about different features, and I got motivated enough to want to write a blog post (or two or ten) about my favorite iPhone apps and tips.

A Few Tips

1.  Tip #1:  How to Take a Screen Shot
Hold down the home button and the power button at the same time and release.  It will "blink" and make a noise like it is taking a photo.  I use this all the time to save information (e.g. conversations on Facebook) to use at a later time or even to send to people.

2.  Tip #2:  How to Send a Screen Shot (or photo) to Someone
After taking your screen shot, go to your photo album, view your photo, select the little arrow in the bottom right of the photo, select message (or email or any of the other options).

3.  Tip #3:  Restrictions
If you have children, I recommend you go into the Restrictions (Settings, General, Restrictions, enter password) settings and turn the deleting apps OFF.  That way, when children use your phone, they cannot accidentally delete your favorite apps.  They will be able to move them around, but not delete them.  When you want to delete any apps, go into restrictions, turn it to ON, delete the app, and then go back and turn the restriction OFF.

Favorite Apps

Here is my home screen:

Home Screen
Here are the apps:

First Row:
Calendar:  I actually do not use this.  I do like how it always has the date on the icon.
Notes:  This app is great for taking notes.  You can have a lot of different notes.
Photos (Photo Album):   Your screen shots and camera photos are stored here.  Also, if you are on Instagram, you can tell it to store your Instagram photos.  You can also set up albums (took me forever to figure out how), but I don't really use that feature.
Camera:  Use this app for taking photos.

Second Row:
App Store:  The number on the icon (called icon badge) shows how many of my apps need to be updated.  This is where you will find and install your apps.
Paperless:  This is a great app for making lists.  I like it so much that I bought the paid version which I think was $2.99.
Cozi:  This is the app I use to put in appointments for our family calendar.  They have other great features, too.
Clock:  Timer, Stopwatch, and Alarm Clock.  You can set as many alarms as you want!

Third Row:
Instagram:  Fun app where users share photos (that have been edited with their special filters).  You can like and comment on others' photos.  My username is MrsKinsey.
Twitter:  Tweet here.  The only thing I don't like about this app is that I can't add specific users to my lists.  I have to do that on the computer.  My username is MrsKinsey.
Facebook:  Social Media aka biggest time waster ever, but oh-so-fun!
Show of Hands:  This is a fun app that has various polls with only two answers from which to choose.  You can view the stats for each question based on political party, gender, age, and income.  My username is MrsKinsey.

Fourth Row:
Pinterest:  I love me some Pinterest!  If you do, too, get this app!
Gmail:  I read my regular home email on here.
Words with Friends:  Fun game that is like Scrabble.  My username is AvaKinsey but you can find me through Facebook.  I like this game, but I'm also kinda off-and-on about playing.
Kindle:  I read my many ebooks on this app.

Fifth Row:
Pages:  Here is where I post and view my blog Facebook page and my photography Facebook page.
Amish Wisdom:  Fun app sponsored by author Suzanne Fisher.
Simple Bible:  My Bible app. (I'm pretty sure it's free.)  If you see me on my phone in church, I promise you I'm reading the Bible on this app!
Say the Same Thing:  New fun game.  You have to be Facebook friends with me in order to play with me.

Sixth Row: (The apps on this row show up on all of the screens.)
Phone:  For making calls
Mail:  I have a Gmail email account that I use only on the iPhone.
Safari:  iPhone browser
Messages:   Text messages

Second Page
While on the home page, if I swipe to the left, this is the next page:

First Row:
Settings:  This is sometimes called iOS Settings.  You control all of the settings for your iPhone here.  I may do a future post on specific settings at a later time.
YouTube:  View and post YouTube videos here.
Maps:  Look up locations and how to get there.  This app has a far better GPS than the one in our car.
Reminders:  I don't really use this, but you can set reminders here.

Second Row:
The Weather Channel:  View the weather forecast here.
Beat the Traffic:  View current road conditions for Memphis (and other cities, but I don't know which ones)
Roku:  I don't use this, but if we lost our remote, I could use this app to control our Roku.
Google Maps:  Another Maps/GPS app.

Third Row:
ShootLocal:  For photographers to find and post favorite photoshoot locations.
PhotoBiz folder:  Some of the apps I use for my photography business.

Another tip:  To put apps in folders, press down on the icon of an app and drag it over another app.  It will automatically make a folder and put both apps in that folder.  You can drag other apps into the folder.

Yellow Pages:  For finding the contact info and location of businesses.
Netflix:  My daughter's favorite app.  Actually, we all love Netflix.

Fourth Row:
Home Routines:  I don't use this much anymore, but it's great for people who follow FlyLady.
Royalty Rewards:  I don't even know what this is.  I will delete it.
Google+: I don't use this because I have little time to view the other social media things I belong to.  I probably ought to delete it, too.  I will put these apps in a folder called Delete and when I feel like it, I'll delete them all at once.
Weebly:  This is the editing app for my photography website.

Fifth Row:
Carbonite:  Free backup for your iPhone data and photos.  If you're very new to your phone, this is a great time to start it because otherwise it will take days and days (and so far, a couple of weeks) to backup the stuff on your phone.
BackBlaze:  This is the backup I now use for my computer.  I can view my backedup files using this app.
Mail2Group:  Set up groups of people to email to at one time.  One of the things that the iPhone email (and Gmail app) is lacking is how to email to the same group of people at once without inputting all of the names every stinkin' time.  I just downloaded this app so I haven't really tried it yet.  I send out Prayer KneeMail emails to our church members and this should be a great, easy way to do it when I'm away from my computer.
OurGroceries:  I haven't tried this app yet.  It's supposed to be a good app for grocery lists.

I have MANY more apps on my phone, but they will have to wait for another post.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!

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