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Please excuse me

Please excuse the current state of affairs on my site. Things are just a wee bit messy in my attempts to transfer to WordPress. Yes, I finally caved and let everyone talk me into making the switch. BUT it’s a step in the right direct and one I can’t turn back from sooooooo things may be a bit wonky but we’re working on it and hopefully by the end of the week we will be fully functioning and back in business!

As for my giveaway that I have up right now, I know the links got a screwed up so I will more then likely extend the end date to give you all a chance to enter.

In other non related to anything news, look at me as a youngin, wasn’t I cute!

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My five picks for a replacement RSS Reader service

As we all know tomorrow Google Reader RSS will officially be closing their doors. What does that mean for you/us? It means that through this service that has allowed us to read through news feeds, blog posts and articles in one central location, that it will be no more. I for one foolishly forgot about this and never researched a replacement service. When I went to Google Readers homepage and received the message pictures above I clicked the link provided which opened up a page like this one.

This simple breakdown (pictured above) explains a little bit of what Reader does and what you can do before you find a replacement service. They recommend Google Takeout. Now I am not a coding genius, far from it in fact and while I did as they suggested it brought up about five files that made absolutely zero sense to me when I opened them. So I went to the next best thing. I asked friends what their preferred reader was out of the three that I was aware of.

2. Digg

I have been playing around with the three readers above and so far I am liking Feedly the best. All three of them were beyond simple to set up and navigate. Simply create an account and import the Google Reader feed but Feedly is the only one that had any type personalization options beyond your basic tile or list viewing options. I am a very visual person so that is very high on my priority list. If you don’t need to have the visual aspect then you should have no problems with any of the one’s listed above. While I do love Feedly, the ease of set up, navigation and overall options I still wanted something with a bit more…..oomph. So I went hunting and what I found was Flipboard. The only downside…..this is an iOS &Android based service so if you have an iPad, iPhone or Android this is the way to go. You can visit and do some basic account edits but not much beyond that. But let me show you right quick why that despite it only being available on mobile devices I will still be using it in addition to Feedly.

One last mentionable site that I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about is Bloganize. While they’re still in the Beta phase the site is very user friendly and appealing to the eye. One difference that I noticed is that you can mark blog posts to read later and you can also mark them as favorites. Also you can create “stacks”. A stack is an organized selection of blogs. If you see below I currently have three stacks. Those blogs on Blogger, General blogs and Social Media Moms. With stacks I can pick and choose who I want in which section and separate them by category if I choose to do so.

There you have it, my top picks on a replacement RSS reader service now that Google Reader is no longer. If you happen to find a service you absolutely love please share it here, I love hearing what others have found.

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The new BlackBerry Z10

I am tickled fancy that I was chosen to do another round with Verizon Wireless and be an Ambassador. This time around we were given a BlackBerry Z10 for review. Now I have never used a BlackBerry phone. My husband had one back in the day (I love saying that even though it was only like five or six years ago) and he loved it. I tried using it a few times but it was very blah for me. I Just couldn’t get into it so I steered clear and stuck with my LG phones. Well now that I have been using this BlackBerry for a week I am wondering what was I thinking!

I’m just going to start out with a few key points that immediately attracted me to the Z10.

  • Sleek design
  • Light weight
  • Cover on the back of the phone that comes off to remove the battery, SIM card and SD card
  • Graphics are awesome
  • The keyboard is the bomb, yes I said the bomb. It’s seamless and has many features that I think all phones should have 
  • There is no home button, I know at first I was very thrown off by this but I actually like that there’s still a simple way to return to the home screen

So there’s a little sneak peak into my initial thoughts on the BlackBerry Z10. I am really looking forward to delving in and telling you all about this fancy schmancy phone. And trust me, it is fancy!

* I am part of the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program. A device was provided to me with three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the device. All thought and opinions expressed therein are my own*

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Best free photo apps for iPhone

Anyone who knows me knows that  I am a photo’holic. I take tons of pictures with my Nikon and with my iPhone. I just cleared off over 1,000 pictures from my phone two days ago and I already have almost 150 pictures on it. One of my favorite things about the iPhone is the plethora of photography apps available to you. And what’s even better is there are tons of free one’s to choose from also. I share a good portion of my photos via facebook and twitter and sometimes it’s nice to add a simple edit to them. I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you all today.
I am sure if you have an iPhone you’ve already heard about Instagram. It’s a free app that allows you to edit photos and share them by linking your account to various social services such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, Posterous and via email. People can also comment and like your photos on Instagram if they too have an account. 
This app offers a wide variety of filters for you to choose from as well as borders and lighting that you can add to your photo. What I like is they don’t have just your typical borders and textures that everyone else has. There are four steps to editing your photo. Upload, filter, lighting and frame. This app also allows you to share your finished project via various social sites. Out of all the editing apps out there this one ranks number 1 on my list simply because of how much they offer. They recently updated the app offering even more edits. There are too many to mention but each new set is only .99 cents which is still a great bargain.
Camera Plus offers anti-shake, automatic save of photos, filters, timer, cropping and of course sharing through social networks. I am not too familiar with Camera Plus. I do have it on my phone but when I had the iPhone3gs it didn’t work as well as I had expected. Since upgrading to the iPhone4 I am hoping to play around with this app a little more to learn all that it offers. There is a free version and an upgraded version, Camera Plus Pro which sells for $1.99

This app is my newest obsession. I have been on the hunt for a good free collage app for about a year now.  I have download so many collage apps only to end up disappointed. As you can see there are currently nine different frame options. The app is very easy to use. Simply select your frame, and if you want a theme slide the bottom of the screen to choose from five different theme’s or simply leave it at no theme which defaults as a white border. Tap to each section to choose your photo. If you double tap your photo you can choose to add an effect to your photo. Once you are satisfied with your collage you can change the border colors and add rounded corners. Frametastic also offers social sharing via email, twitter, facebook and more. 
Just to show you an example of the collage here are two collages that I recently made. 

There you have it. My top free photo editing apps. I use three out of the four apps I mentioned almost daily and don’t have any complaints about them. With the way technology is constantly growing I am sure there are apps out there that I do not know about. If you have a favorite free photo editing app that’s not listed above I would love to hear about it.

*For your convenience all the titles of the Apps are linked directly to the App store*

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