Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Back from my Summer Hiatus

Back from my Summer Hiatus!

Thank you for your patience while I work my way back from my Summer classes for my Master’s program – whew!  It feels so good to be done and back on my regular schedule! 

*Brag Alert!* I got A’s in both of my classes this Summer!  I’m off to a great start in my new degree!

I cannot wait to show you all the new aspects of my life, including some really fabulous developments in my organizational, business, and scholarly life!   Yay!

Just a head’s up – today I took my new 2013-2014 Academic Year Planner to the Office Supply store to have it bound!  I cannot wait to share my files with all of you!  I know that you will LOVE what I have done with my previously almost unworkable system…  my new planner will be a fabulous post for everyone to see – and you’ll see how easy it is to customize the planner to your life and your needs! 


Everything in Place Please

Friday, May 31, 2013

Graduate School Lament!

I used to be intelligent
I swear, I really did.   I was the “smart kid”.   I was the high school Salutatorian and was a member of the state champion Speech and Debate team.  Really!

What happened?   I went to College & my brain cells began to rot.   After graduating with one degree, I decided to go back for another  - and now that I am working on my Master’s not only do I have very little time to work on this blog (you’ll only get my posts periodically now)  - but I swear my IQ has dropped 15 points!

I promise I'll be back again as soon as my courses are over for the summer!  5 more weeks! 

There, I said it  - School is making me dumb!    (or at least filling up every one of my brain cells to capacity making me feel less intelligent!)

Everything In Place Please 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thursday Tech Tip - Easy Background Removal

For today's Thursday Tech Tip,  I am going to share with you one of the best tips I've found for background removal on an image.   You can use Photoshop for a more precise result,  but it takes at least 4x as long to get the image clean.  

Microsoft Word 2010 has an amazing new feature for the removal of backgrounds - check out their step-by-step tutorial here.

Instead of replicating their tutorial, I thought I would show you some of the images that I have changed using this simple tool.


One of my trombone students (although I had to take off the slide to make it fit on the poster)
Just to show how quick this tool really is, I am going to take a picture of my dog and remove the background for you - Here is the picture before:
And this is the picture halfway:
This is the screenshot with the in-process background removal

This is the final product: 

This only took me 5 minutes, and that included selecting a photo that wasn't blurry from Lucky moving too much!  

I'd love to see what you can do with this simple tool!  

Everything In Place Please

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Free Photo Shares - Thursday Tech Tip

For today's Tech Tip, I am going to show you a few of my favorite file share sites.   I use these sites a lot in my work because I make a lot of posters, and I don't want to run into any trouble with copyright issues.

The first file share that I use a lot is from Microsoft.  All of the photos are free-share, meaning that they do not have copyright issues.  Lucky for me, there are hundreds of files on this file share; and lots of instrument pictures.  At work, most of my posters are concert related.   Therefore Instrument backgrounds are common.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/   -  This is the address for the microsoft images - I recommend bookmarking it so that you can use it whenever you need it.
This is an example of the results you get with a simple search.   I used the word "instrument".


This is a second site that I use, although it is not nearly as exhaustive as the Microsoft file share.... http://www.copyrightfreephotos.com/    The downside to this site is that it does not have the search function available with the other site, but there are good quality images.  

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/    This website has a very well organized selection of free photos, it also has a search function.   The left-hand navigation menu has a list of categories (and sub-categories) of thousands of popular photos.  

http://www.stockvault.net/   The stockvault website is more on the design-heavy side.   It is a valuable resource for design conscious individuals, although it has less type-specific images. 

http://freerangestock.com/index.php   Free stock photos are also available from this site - and there are some very high quality stock photos on this site, and guess what?  There is a search function! 

Everything In Place Please



Friday, March 22, 2013

Pitcher-Perfect

**I am in no way being compensated for this post, and all opinions are strictly my own**

For today's Friday Favorites, I would like to introduce you to my new best friend, my pitcher.   I know it sounds corny; but I love this pitcher.  It is a wonderfully easy addition to my routine and is very easy to clean!  The little reservoir keeps fruits for infusion into the water, and let's face it - flavored water is way better than plain water!
Picture from Amazon
This Ice Fruit Pitcher can be found on Amazon here.


Here is my pitcher with lemon and blackberry flavored water!


I am in no way being compensated for this post, and all opinions are strictly my own.

Everything In Place Please

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Snipping Tool - Tech Tip

It's time for another Tech Tip Thursday!

Today I will share with you one of the most used tools in my tech toolkit the Snipping Tool!  I love this particular snipping tool because it is so user friendly and self-explanitory.

A view of the Snipping Tool

Because I use a PC, and use lots of Microsoft products, using this tool made perfect sense for me and my operating system.  This tool is automatically a part of Windows 7; in any of these capacities Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise & Ultimate.   Read More about it here

There are several snipping tools available on the internet, and most of them are free -   I use them to create pictures from photos I've already taken for my blog - see two examples below of photos I uploaded & modified, then used the snipping tool to save them as jpg photo files:

Another useful thing about the snipping tool, is you can use it when you are not hooked up to a printer to save important documents right from your computer screen.   The most recent use that I have found for this snipping tool was when I was not able to print a flight confirmation during a last-minute airport fiasco, but I was able to save the snip to my desktop for proof of purchase! 


Everything In Place Please

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Car Emergency Kit (Survival Series Part III)

In this Totally Tuesday post, I will walk you through the items in my Car Emergency Kit.

I have always had an emergency kit in my car, thanks in large part to over-protective parents!  The basics that everyone needs to have in their emergency kit are:
  • small first aid kit 
  • food 
  • candle and/or flashlight (test the batteries)
  • jumper cables
  • basic hygiene items (tampons, baby wipes and/or toilet paper)
  • kitty litter 
  • shovel 
  • water
  • change of clothes
  • a blanket 
I know there are several more items in most emergency kits, but these are the basics.  I will walk you through the how/why below: 

Here is my Emergency Kit - The whole thing fits in a Large Utility Tote from Thirty-one Gifts, mine is embroidered with the word "EMERGENCY" in big pink letters, so that anyone will know what it is (if god-forbid I was incapacitated, someone else would know exactly what this bag contains).
 The Kitty Litter & Shovel sit outside of the bag, and for good reason: if you are stuck in a ditch in the snow; you will need to be able to get to these items first!  The shovel helps you to dig out around the wheel wells quickly, and the kitty litter will be poured behind each tire for traction!  If you live anywhere where snow falls in the winter, I highly encourage you to place a $3 bag of this life-saver in your trunk! 

Now for the inside of the kit: 


As you can see, a blanket and change of clothes are easily accessible.  This is for 2 reasons: again, winter - if you are cold and bordering hypothermia, you will not be able to handle an emergency well; second, if someone else is hurt in a car crash, a blanket will help keep them from going into shock! 




I have chains for my tires, jumper cables, a flashlight, a roadside emergency vest (in the paper towel tube), and emergency road-side flares in my kit, for those just-in-case car trouble moments. 

I also have 2 hang-up bathroom-organizer bags with clear pockets with all of my emergency supplies in them.  Because of the clear pockets, I am able to keep everything organized while still being able to see what is inside!  Shop similar here & here & here
Pocket contents starting from the top left: Small First Aid Kit; Fire Stuff; Ponchos; Tools, Duct Tape & Bungees
top right:  Food: tuna, high calorie backpacking bars & can opener; fruit leather & crackers; Personal Care items (tampons TP); Baby Wipes
 NOT PICTURED - a large bottle of water inside a gallon ziplock bag  (DO NOT FORGET WATER!!)
These two roll up bags contain just about everything that you would need to survive for 24-48 hours in your car if the worst case scenario came true.   The food is all high calorie/high nutritional value food for the sake of a survival situation - two people could survive 2 days on this amount of food.   Water is really important in a survival situation, and I do not have enough water in this kit - I only have a 1.5 liter bottle, which would be barely enough to survive 1 day.   Another important thing to note, if you have canned tuna in your kit; please remember a can opener!

Now for packing the kit:

1. Put the heaviest items (and the ones that take up the most space) into your kit  first.
tire chains, water, & kits go in first!

2. Place everything else into the kit, paying careful attention to what you will need first in an emergency


3.  Finally, place the blanket on top of everything and leave it in the trunk of your car
                         (& hope you'll never need it) 




See Part I - Introduction
Part II - $20 Dollar Store Survival Kit Start
Everything In Place Please