Friday, October 10, 2014

5 Photography Apps to Make Your Photos Instagram-Ready

I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that you all are familiar with Instagram.

Whew, now that that's out of the way, let's talk photography apps.

It's taken some time, but I've finally found my groove when it comes to taking photos with my iPhone and sharing them on Instagram. When I look back at my early photostream, I cringe; there was no consistency to the photos I took, and the "editing" was horrendous! I've since fallen into a system that consists of running my photos through one of a handful of different filters and apps to achieve a more consistent style.
How do I prep my photos to make them Instagram-ready?

Afterlight // My favorite editing app! You can crop, straighten, lighten; adjust contrast, saturation, temperature, and so much more. Standard editing options aside, Afterlight has tons of filters and film overlays for every occasion and type of photo imaginable. My go to filters are 'relic', 'breeze', and all of the season-specific options (though, they're good at just about any time of year!)

VSCOcam // Why use one photo-editing app when you can use two!? I'm sure this makes life harder on myself, but I'm a fan of VSCOcam if only for the "portrait" filter. It's great for a quick fix on a selfie, and a pretty great all-around editing app as well. You could easily get away with using either this or Afterlight, but I like the variety of editing options both provide.

TimerCam // I believe it was ruKristin who first turned me on to this app with her #Thursday3 tag. Taking a photo of yourself is hard, and your arm making an appearance in every selfie can make your Instagram stream kind of dull. With TimerCam, you can place your phone down wherever you'd like and snap a picture of yourself that's not limited to how far your arm can reach. Hoorah!

Instasize // Sometimes I like to take normal-sized landscape photos (as opposed to square ones) but still upload them to Instagram. Instasize is great for uploading landscape pictures into a square format so that you can at least still share them on the photo-app giant. Exhibit A.

A Beautiful Mess // For when I need to add some text to an image or do my #currentlylist card digitally. I'm still perfecting my ability to minimize and rotate text (my fingers aren't the most dexterous) but overall I've found this app to be the easiest way to customize my photos with words.

Bonus: Collect // Kam turned me on to this app after mentioning it in a Project Life post, I believe. You can set reminders to take a daily photo, and keep track of your photos in a calendar spread. Super handy for scrapbookers who want to keep their photos organized!

What are your favorite apps for taking photos on your phone?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

It's officially autumn and I couldn't be happier for all of the cold weather that's arrived (and hot beverages I've consumed). To me, there's nothing quite like chilly days, bundling up in flannel, and keeping cozy, and that's just what I've been doing lately!

♥ Friends who give it to you straight. Do be gentle with me, please. But that doesn't mean I don't want the truth. I sometimes need a reality check, and I'm thankful to have friends in my life who will dole out said reality check, yet in a supportive way. Goodness knows I've needed it this week.

♥ Sometimes I wish I weren't so responsible. I feel like I'm constantly planning, budgeting, strategizing, and I sometimes wonder what it would be like to throw my inner planner to the wind and live life on my terms. But looming things like loans and bills get the better of me, and while I may not end up with the decision I want at times, I know it's a sound, responsible one that will help me down the line.

little loves
orange leaves ♥ hot tea ♥ birthday parties at Anthropologie! ♥ the Internet in its current state (as opposed to, y'know, 1997) ♥ apple festival apple gathering ♥ baking homemade apple pies ♥ positive affirmations ♥ blankets! ♥ hot apple cider ♥ not having to walk far in the rain ♥ thoughtful friends ♥ wool socks (because I'm apparently now an old woman whose feet never stay warm!)

What are you thankful for this week?

Monday, October 6, 2014

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.124

( source ) 

brood v.: to dwell gloomily on a subject (via)

It was hard to see what made the story's gloomy hero so attractive; he was often to be found brooding in the corner rather than exchanging pleasantries with the other guests.

For the Love of a Linguaphile is a weekly series celebrating the snazzy words we encounter, from those found in great literary works, to those pesky words that keep popping up in everyday life. Hopefully you can incorporate a new word into your vocabulary, or even share one of your favorite words!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

I Heart Instargam Tag!

Alexis over at Strange & Charmed chose me to participate in the I Heart Instagram tag a while back, and I'm finally getting to doing it! I thought giving some insight into my Instagram account and habits would be a lovely idea, especially because I do keep it under lock & key for the most part (general rule: request to follow me! As long as I verify you're not one of my students, we're cool!). Plus, Sonya reminds me that I have a pretty deep-rooted Instagram photo-challenge addiction. I'm sure there are worse things...

What’s your Instagram handle? @mylifeasateacup
How many people do you follow? 328
How many followers do you have? 558
What are your favorite hashtags? I don't get too caught up in hashtags, since I'm pretty sure my tagged photos only show up to my followers. But I tend to use #bookstagram #30Lists #Thursday3 #fmsphotoaday #coffee and #filofax a lot.

Most of my posts consist of books and Pittsburgh adventures, with the occasional comics, cats, and coffee. Recipes tend to make quite a regular appearance as well, not to mention a host of sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes blog photos!

What is your favorite genre of pictures? Show me a picture of your desk, planner, or book pile and I turn to mush!
How often do you post? I usually end up posting at least once a day due to some challenge. I find it easier to post regularly when I participate in photo challenges, since I'll typically add each day's prompt as a new to-do in Wunderlist. That way I don't forget to post for weeks on end.
How often do you check Instagram? Sometimes every 30 minutes. Sometimes twice a day.
What’s your favorite filter? I haven't used an actual Instagram filter in over a year! I usually edit my photos in Afterlight before uploading them and posting to IG
iPhone only, purist or rebel? Since I'm always on the go, my photos are usually iPhone only. But because my photo stream is so easy to access, sometimes I'll repost DSLR photos for blog post promotions, etc. I'm not strict; whatever's pretty and on hand!
Three favorite IG accounts currently? @moekyun0822 (gorgeous snaps from life back in my Japanese hometown), @melissacreates (dying over her literary-inspired mugs!), and @superspacechick
I'm not going to tag anyone specifically, but if you decide to play along, please send me your link — I'd love to sneak a peek into your Instagram habits!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

It seems like every week I'm talking about changes I want to make, and it seems like every week I'm writing the same posts after posts. Part of it is my fault: I haven't really had a chance since September to sit down and write the big things I want to write. But even then, I'm realizing how much more I want this blog to become.

Unfortunately, I'm in some Wordpress stalemates at the moment, and until I've been putting most of my spare energy there to get the site restructured. But I promise: change might be slow, but it's a-coming.

But enough whining:

♥ Exhibit A (on the writing the same post and no idea what I'm doing front): I was so worried with trying to think of what I'm writing for this week's post, that I forgot about my birthday on Saturday! Regardless, I had a lovely weekend celebrating with family and friends, and while I don't feel any different (hooray for being another year older?) I feel like the next 365 days are going to be very monumental ones.

♥ Having a (relatively) steady job is nice. Sure, I may get calls to sub at ten, eleven o'clock at night, or not even until the morning of, but it's more or less reliable and for that I can't complain.

♥ Every March and September I look forward to the #30Lists challenge. While the past few rounds I've struggled to keep up amidst school/finals/new jobs, I'm so proud of myself for buckling down and finding my own groove! The prompts this time were great fun, but I would like to find a way to share my lists more. I used to post each on my blog in its early days, but it was literally 30 days of extra posts. I switched to a weekly digest, and then I just stuck with sharing them on social media. I've got some ironing out to do, but I'm looking forward to tweaking my process for next time! How do you list?

little loves
getting a head start on The Graveyard Book (shhhh!) ♥ Hawkgirl! ♥ surprising students who don't believe that girls play video games ♥ homemade soup ♥ planning apple picking excursions ♥ making cider with friends ♥ Chinese take out ♥ apartment hunting ♥ nothings ♥ good, yet depressing episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ♥ getting accepted to work on English & technology curriculum for the state! 

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Smitten: Gotham

Ever since hearing that a Gotham-inspired television show would be hitting the air this fall, I've been ecstatic, yet a little nervous. Superhero-themed television shows are all the rage now, and while the concept behind Gotham seemed right up my alley, I could see the trendy show easily sinking into the IT'S A BATMAN TV SHOW! territory rather quickly.

Nevertheless, I tuned in last week to watch the pilot and while it didn't steal my heart entirely, it showed promise.

I love that the focus is (or is ideally) on the Gotham City Police Department, and I'm curious as to how they're going to follow Gordon's storyline. My favorite aspect? Penguin. He's perfectly smarmy and creepy and pitiable and what I find myself looking forward to with each episode.

But the good things were rather overshadowed by the overbearing references to ALL OF THE THINGS IN THE BATMAN UNIVERSE. How many villains were introduced or alluded to in the first episode alone? Answer: too many. Some references were so blatant that I might have actually face-palmed in real life. I'd much rather see the show focus on the city of Gotham pre-Batman, and the GCPD and Detective Gordon than make it out to be a Batman-fest. There's a lot of good material in the city itself, and I'd hate for that to be overlooked. Plus, do we really need baby-villains? Mini-Selina just lurked (though, her story could be an interesting one) and I'm still not over Ivy Pepper. Ugh.

The end left me hopeful, and while I won't spoil that here, it left me curious as to where the show was going to go the week after. Here's to hoping the writers keep their heads on straight and take this show in the direction it deserves to go.

Did you catch the first few episodes of Gotham? What did you think?