Wednesday, July 17, 2013

An Apple a Day Keeps the PC Away

One of my favorite things in the entire universe is my computer-I'm in love with it actually. As a teacher, I think that's a pretty obvious statement.  I don't know how teachers taught during the floppy disc era.  I'm pretty sure I would have a daily migraine from looking at that black and green pixelated screen for 10+ hours/ day.

Between my husband and I {the only two human occupants in our home} we have four computers...yes, four. My passion for computers grew immensely when I received my first MacBook in 2008.  Was I apprehensive and totally confused for the first 72 hours? Yes. Did I think Apple just made everything the opposite of what you would do on a PC? Yes.  Am I forever grateful for getting my hands on one of these bad boys because without it I would have been missing out on meeting one of the greatest loves of my life?! Well, let's just say my heart's been fluttering like a butterfly for the past 5 years...

Benson boycotting mommy working over the summer-seriously, how precious is he?!

I'm almost positive Taylor Swift wrote her, "We're never getting back together" song about a PC. Yes, the new operating systems PC's offer now are a lot better than when I was using them in college, however it's nothing compared to what Apple has on the table.  Yes I know, they are a tad pricier than the traditional run-of-the-mill computer, however they are going to last MUCH MUCH longer, if not forever!  I had to say good-bye to my beautiful white plastic Macbook last year when it got in a fight with a Frappuccino on the last day of school :/ It's sitting on the bottom shelf of my office bookcase waiting to be repaired.  Luckily, computer number 3 was there to save the day!

current laptop: MacBook Pro

Below is a list of people that would benefit from using a Mac:

-All Mankind

Well....that pretty much sums it up. {Getting down off my soapbox now...}

When I got my first iMac years ago, I also purchased the Mac Box Set-it came with OSX Snow Leopard, iLife, and iWork.  We mainly bought it for the upgraded operating system, however little did I know two of these programs would work their way into my heart in no time.

iLife includes iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, and iWeb. *Another plus of using paired products: When I take pictures in my classroom with my iPhone, they automatically show up on all of my computers & iPad through the magic of iPhoto's photo stream!  This is definitely a time & sanity saver if you use class photos quite often for your newsletter, webpage, etc.  iWork included Numbers {similar to excel-never use it due to my hatred of spreadsheets}, Keynote {900 steps up from PowerPoint}, and the mother of all word processing programs....Pages. 

Ready-Made templates to choose from

I could talk about Pages! I don't know how I ever functioned without it!  Have you ever started making something on your computer and thought, "Is this lined up?  Are those pictures the same size?  Is that line straight?"  Well, never again will you question your creative design with Pages by your side. These magical blue lines will occur on your document when something is lined up evenly-it's glorious!  Adding clipart? Easy-drag & drop it, move it anywhere your little heart desires, and admire it. Stuck on ideas for a template or layout?  No problem.  Get bea-u-tiful ideas ranging from newsletters, brochures, flyers, posters, cards/ invitations, business cards, certificates, resumes, envelopes, reports, and muchos mas! Worried about having to convert your existing Word documents? Ain't nobody got time for that! Let pages take care of it for you!  You don't need to purchase the entire box set to obtain this miracle working program-download it instantly at the App store {they even have an iPad version}.  It really is a teacher's BFF. 

photo credit @pagesformac 

Ready to dive in?  Here is a helpful video to get you up and running! You'll be devouring it whole!  Don't say I didn't warn you...

So, it's time to call it quits with that dusty, clunky PC and join me in my love affair of everything Mac.  The saying is "An Apple for the Teacher" ya know. :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The High/Low Project: Wooden Accent Chairs

One of the great things about being on summer vacation is having the opportunity to shop 7 days a week! Now, what some people don't know is shopping does not equal purchasing (contrary to what my husband might think).  Places like Target, TJ Maxx, and Steinmart to name a few, change things out weekly-if not DAILY, which means you have to be on your toes if you want to find the best bargain to "homey up" your home.

HGTV magazine features a "High/ Low" project in every issue.  For normal people like me {I use the term "normal" loosely}, this is always a go to for projects and products on a budget.  I'm fairly certain my sisters and I got the bargain gene from my mom who is like the coupon queen without the coupons.  She always finds the best deals simply from being out and about multiple times during the week.  The minute one of us finds an awesome deal, a group text is created, shared, and the ogling begins.  The High/ Low project we have among ourselves is the reason why all of our houses are accessorized in quite a similar fashion.

This was one of my most favorite High/ Low projects by far. EVERYTHING Restoration Hardware sells is beautiful, however my 10 month teacher salary doesn't like it coming into my home.  My sister recently purchased the Madeleine Side Chairs for her eat in kitchen in the brown oak drifted finish and let me just say they are bea-utiful! They have that rustic, lived in feel while adding texture to the room at the same time {not to mention they are surprisingly comfy on the boo-tay for not having a cushion}.  One chair retails between $139 and $199.  We were all so excited to see RH had them on sale for a whopping $99!  Me, being the hesitant card swiper that I am {insert sarcastic joke here}, didn't want to make the plunge just yet.  I knew there had to be a dupe out there...and of course I was determined to find it.

I'm not a huge fan of Kirkland's home decor style, however, a good shopper checks in from time to time. My heart sank when I saw these chairs in the front window.

Seriously?! They were IDENTICAL to the weathered oak drifted finish from RH! I became frantic wanting to see the price of these bad boys.  No. Flippin'. Way.  The chairs were originally priced at $79, which was a bargain in itself, but to my surprise they were on sale for-drum roll please-BDDDDDDDDDDDD-$52! I wanted to buy every last one in the store, but thought I should share the wealth and only buy what was needed {hey, there's a first time for everything}.

Let's break it down...









These chairs are not available online so hop out to your local Kirlands to get your hands on one...or four... or eight of these puppies before they're all snatched up. In the mood for something darker? A simple sand and stain of your color choice will fix that right up. At $52 you can afford to try out a few different colors :)

High/ Low Project Success!