Top 5 Photo Editing iPhone Apps


Am I the only one that has had a dozen iphone apps for photos? I would always hear about new apps, download them, use them once or twice and move on. I recently deleted all the apps I don’t really need and have pared down to my absolute favorites. Most people don’t need 15 photography apps, I promise!

Afterlight is by far my most used photo editing app. I use it on almost all of my photos before posting to Instagram to brighten, fix colors, etc. You can manually edit your photos or use their filters which are pretty good, but I usually opt to manually edit.

Over is my favorite for for adding text to photos. I don’t use it as much as I did when I was running my clothing store and overlaying text on photos more often, but I still use it now and then. There are some great fonts and you can play around with the opacity if you want the text to be a little transparent which is great.

Diptic is for collages. It’s one of the first apps I ever downloaded and I’ve found no reason to move to another collage app. There are a lot of basic collage layout and some more intricate ones, too.

Rhonda Designs is another one I use for putting text on photos. The fonts in this app are beautiful and there are also a lot of premade overlays with badges, banners and saying. I don’t use those that often, but every once in a while when I have to make a graphic and I’m away from the computer I’ll throw a graphic or two from this app on there.

Squaready is what I use when I have a photo that I want to post on instagram, but I don’t want to crop it into a square. Squaready allows you to fit the whole image in and you can fill in the background with white or any other color.

It’s crazy how much we rely on our photos for photography these days! More than half the time photos don’t even make it to my computer, I can do pretty much everything I need to do on my phone before sharing to social media. The apps above are my absolute favorite, go-to photo editing apps, but I’m always willing to try more. What are your favorite photography or photo editing apps?

A Guide to Ditching the Daily To Do List

ditch-the-daily-to-do-list Lists make me feel organized. Getting thoughts out of my head and on paper (or digital notebook) clears my mind and decreases the feeling of having a million things to remember and get done. I used to start each and every day with a fresh new to-do list. Every morning I would end up moving half of the items I didn’t get done the day before onto my daily list due to trying to squeeze too much in one day. Over the last few months I’ve been changing the way I make my lists and have ditched the daily to do list.

why a daily to do list can be bad

Every day you have high hopes for getting a lot crossed off your list so you jot down everything you’d like to get done for the day. What most people don’t realize is that they are stuffing their day with more than they can possibly do. If you sit down to make your list in the morning and are regularly moving things over from the previous day, you’re always going to be frustrated that you didn’t finish it the day before. Feeling like you failed the day before is not a good way to start the day.

keep your lists short(er)

I’m definitely one of those people who would like to write down every single thing I do each day so I can cross it off. But spending your days adding little things to your list is a waste of time. Instead if you’re about to write down something that will only take you 1-2 minutes, just get it done and move to the next thing. Adding something like “invoice client for 2 hours of design work” to your list when it’ll only take you one minute will only make your list longer and more daunting.

create master lists

Rather than creating a new list everyday, keep master lists by class or project. I a master list each of my clients, my blog, my job at the rescue, house projects, etc. Each time I think of something that needs to get done, I add it to the correct master list. To track priority, I recommend starring the items that absolutely need to be done the soonest and crossing them out as soon as they’re done. Once everything that’s been starred has been crossed off, you can review your list again and add more stars. If you do this digitally (not with pen and paper) you can use a program like Wunderlist and you can just drag and drop them in the desired order. I use a combination of Wunderlist and Asana (clients and business).

keep a calendar

Most people keep some sort of a calendar, usually to schedule vacations and appointments. But I use my calendar much more than that. If I have something that needs to get done by a deadline or something that needs to be done regularly, I add that to my calendar. For example, I bill my clients on the 1st and 15th of each month, so rather than adding that to a master list, I add it to my google calendar with a reminder set to remind me the day before. Try to resist adding everything to your calendar to add deadlines, only add what’s really needed to be done by or on a certain day.

weekly goals

While I avoid a daily to do list, I still strive to set weekly and monthly goals. These are not 50 item long lists, but rather a short list of goals to meet each week and month. You can see my weekly goals here to see what I mean. These are just to keep myself generally on track, but not in a strict daily list sort of way. It’s also a great way to know where to focus your efforts and a little win when you complete your goals because you haven’t overloaded yourself.

I can tell you from experience that ditching my daily to do list has eased my constant sense of urgency and chaos. Do you keep a daily to do list? What are your tips for list keeping and productivity?

Weekend Happenings & Weekly Wishes No. 5

lolasbirthday3 lolasbirthday4 lolasbirthday5 lolasbirthday7 vcfair2 vcfair4 vcfair5 Over the weekend we made our way down to the LA/Ventura area for several events and had entirely too much fun. We celebrated my Lola’s (grandma) 86th birthday, went to the Ventura County Fair and then went to a good friends birthday party. Between the fair food, the alcohol and the lack of sleep I woke up feeling like I needed a detox. A green smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch did the trick and I’m back to my normal self, aside from feeling gross due to the humidity today. Every time we head to “civilization” and get to see friends and family I crave moving back to be around the people I care about most and have to remind myself why we’re far away and why it’s ok. Today I’m feeling thankful we got to pack in seeing so many of our people as possible!

Every week I start off with weekly wishes, just a few things that I’m publicly accountable for that will make my week a success.


  1. Get my first tattoo! Fail. Basically instead of getting it I put $50 in my “tattoo fund”. We now have a broken window that is taking priority.
  2. Finish a book. Still reading My Name is Memory, but haven’t finished it. Fail.
  3. Develop an email list. I start the planning and got the process started in MailChimp! Now I need to make sure it’s put up for people to sign up.
  4. Get moving for 30 minutes every single day. I didn’t really track this, but I was definitely more active in general. Without facebook in my life I found myself able to step away from the computer more often. Most of my daily “moving” consisted of spending an hour each day cleaning/organizing. Not sure if this was a pass or fail.



  1. Drop off donations. I’ve always been into having yard sales, but right now it’s so hard to find the time. What usually happens is I start gathering a bunch of stuff in a box for a yard sale and it sits there bugging me for months. Right now I have at least 3-4 boxes sitting around the house taunting me. I think it’s time to just donate most of it and maybe keep some of the nicer/bigger stuff to sell on Craigslist.
  2. Add opt in form. I have my email list set up in MailChimp, my next step is to kind of rearrange the blog to add an email list opt in form either in the header or the sidebar.
  3. Email list incentive. As far as I can tell, this is a great way to get people to sign up for your email list so I’m working on putting together some sort of free when you sign up ebook. There are a few ideas swimming around in my head, we’ll see which one comes to life.
  4. Start designing for secret project. Super vague, I know. I hope to be sharing about this in the next month or two. This week I want to at least lock down a basic logo and color scheme.

What are you hoping to cross off your list this week?

Foster Pupdate // week four/five + bad news again

fosterpupdate45 fosterpupdate45-2 fosterpupdate45-ripmalibu fosterpupdate45-venice To say that fostering this litter of Yorkie puppies has been a stressful, heartbreaking and eye opening experience is a true understatement. I began with the hope of an amateur, knowing that raising puppies from five days old and beyond would be hard, but convincing myself we’d beat the odds. Then Catalina died. She was the only one to die in my arms, she was the only one I held as tears streamed down my face in sadness, frustration and disappointment in myself. When Huntington started to go I spent the whole drive down to Bakersfield holding him with one hand, driving with the other and let myself get emotional for just a few minutes.

Then last week, even quicker than the others, Malibu just got lethargic, stopped eating, and passed away. At this point I was almost in a fog from the lack of sleep, the guilt, just everything. By the time bedtime came I knew I should stay up with her, but I also knew that her mind was no longer active and her body was just barely hanging on. Early the next morning there she was, half out of the blanket I had cuddled her up in, gone, just as I had expected. I don’t know if I even cried this time around. While there’s a sadness, there’s also this feeling that I can’t describe better than just “acceptance”. That alone made me feel like a monster, I wasn’t as sad as was socially acceptable when losing a 4 week old puppy that I had raised from a newborn. I was just so tired, physically and emotionally. I honestly don’t even think I realize now how tired I am as I push forward. The crazy thing is I’ve been so (ridiculously) worried that people would view me as the girl who let three puppies die. To be honest, I would judge myself if I were looking in from the outside.

Now Venice and I are continuing on this trying journey with a lot of hope, but also a lot of caution. One feeding at a time. One day at a time. Venice is now five weeks old and very obviously delayed in development. She continues to be shaky on her feet, though she’s getting stronger, and still hasn’t mastered the art of lapping formula out of a bowl so I continue with bottle feeding. At this point she should be a playful bouncy puppy, and while I’m starting to see her personality just barely peek through the newborn puppy phase, she still seems so tiny and almost fake to me.

Here’s to Venice, who was always the strongest of the four and who has the best chance at surviving. It’s just you and me, little lady.