Category Archives: howto

Top 10 Things to Worry About When Travelling Without Your Children

I love to travel. I beg for work trips. I love meeting new people and seeing new things. Life is all about the experience! I love to see all my remote coworkers in person, engage with customers, and learn how create more success through work. This type of learning experience is often the best motivation.

Since becoming a single parent (50/50), I get a little anxious about traveling without my children and it’s not just about the kids.

Here are my Top 10 Things that parents worry about when they travel.

  1. Childcare: If your ex has a career that limits the days they can have the kids, you need to arrange additional backup for those times. Or maybe your ex just needs a night or two off if you are gone for any length of time. If you are completely single parenting, you need to find someone to act as a parent while you are away.
  2. Animal care: Can someone watch the pets? Is there a way to trade pet sitting? Money seems more important than ever. If you have someone being the parent for you while you are away, perhaps they’ll stay at your house and watch the pets too. You’ll owe them big time!
  3. Facetime

    Cell plan: If you are travelling out of the country, call your cellular company to discuss travel plans. It’s worth it. There is also wifi everywhere. Take advantage of Skype, Facetime, and FB Messenger.

  4. Drugs: Bring medication for the ailments you might encounter: allergy; headache and fever; sinus; anti nausea; immodium; and any prescription medications.
  5. Last minute chores: Usually before a trip, you will be inundated with dozens of mini-emergencies from family, friends, and work. You may want to shout obscenities, “Why didn’t you tell me about this last week!” Instead, if finances allow, drop off your laundry at an inexpensive laundry service or splurge on a cleaner the week before your trip.
  6. Pack Light: Most of the things you wear can be worn twice. Leave room in your luggage for gifts! You should bring trinkets from your hometown for people you meet or want to meet.
  7. Carry-on vs. checked: Checking your luggage usually adds about $70 to the cost of your trip. So, as long as you aren’t bringing liquids, you may want to cram everything into a carry-on bag. I typically travel this way. It’s exhausting if you have a bunch of connections, but worth it. The best part is there will be no lost luggage.
  8. Ride to the airport: As a single parent, there is often nobody to drive you to and from the airport. In order to save money, you may want to line up a drive ahead.
  9. Hotel arrival: Make sure you have wi-fi! Some hotels charge in your room, but have free areas. See if there are services that the hotel offers or are nearby that you can enjoy. Find a grocery store to save money and eat healthy. When you check into a hotel, be sure to use the corporate card or your money will be tied up the entire week!
  10.  Have fun: Travel is often filled with meetings and dinners. Take a few hours to have fun and enjoy the location!

These are the big things I worry about as a single mom who occasionally travels for business. I’m sure there will be more after my next business trip.

Are there any tips you can offer before I travel again?

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Best free photo editing app (Android/iPhone)

Are photos your favorite part of Facebook, Instagram, and online in general? Do you have a photo envy complex? Did you know that you too can make your photos rock without paying a cent on an app? I’ve used both Samsung Galaxy and iPhone and my favorite app is available for both!

Best free photo app: PicsArt

picsartedit
PicsArt
 is available through Google Play and iTunes App Store

People may tell you that Facetune it the way to go, but PicsArt can do pretty much everything that Facetune can do and so much more. I paid for Facetune, but I never use it.

Today, I’m going to talk about my favorite photo editing options for portraits, but there are many more creative things you can do within PicsArt.

For portraits, I typically start with Edit. Using that I can open any photos on my phone to perform all of my favorite edits to create the perfect photo.

Within Edit, I primarily use Tools and Effects.

Tools

15731389_10155288479760016_462038569_nThe tools contain many of the basic photo editing tools such as Crop, Clone, Curves, Adjust, Enhance, and Perspective. So once you have decided your photo is worthy of editing, get to work to make it the best it can be.

My personal favorite tool is the Stretch tool. Why the Stretch tool? This tool allows you select part of the photo you want to not edit and then you can squeeze, inflate, swirl, or warp other parts of the photo. This means you can make eyes bigger, make love handles smaller, or just warp something completely for effect. It’s really fun to use.

Tip: Tap on an active tool for more fine tuning options in addition to the options displayed above the photo.

Now you like your photo, but you aren’t finished yet! There is so much more you can do with PicsArt.

Effects

Best Face Forward

When sharing a photo of friends or even yourself, you don’t want to hear any of the following complaints: I look so old! Look how yellow my teeth are! I didn’t realize how big my pimple was! Can you at least fix the red eye?

15801210_10155288514590016_465309033_nStart with Corrections! Here are the basic corrections currently available in PicsArt. I should mention that another great thing about PicsArt is that they constantly improve and add more features. Here are my favorite corrections:

  • Denoise: Use Denoise as the first step for removing noise imperfections from the face.
  • Eye tools:
    • Prism: Make the eyes pop.
    • Eye Color: Change the eye color.
    • Red Eye: Change red to grey.
  • Blemish Fix: Like Bandaid, use this to remove pimples and any other larger imperfections, like food in your teeth.
  • Face Fix: A blur tool specifically for faces.
  • Suntan: Darken with a golden glow.
  • Teeth Whiten: In case someone forgot to brush.

I also like to Blur the background and sometimes perform additional corrections to faces. It allows people to focus on the subject of your photo. There are many other Effects that you can try.

There are so many more actions you can perform on your photos and graphics within PicsArt. It’s a great thing to do while you wait for your kids to finish their favorite activity.

I love it! You will too! Have fun!

Example

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This selfie is over-edited. Be subtle with yours. I went nuts on this photo so you can see a comparison of the original snapshot and a heavily edited photo. The version displayed here uses all of the available corrections, plus a blurred background. 6 year olds do not require heavy editing, and neither do you!

Ideally, you should use the editing options in a realistic manner. The version of this photo that I personally posted on social media had a blurred background, lighting adjustment and contrast added.

Recommendation

Look at the correction you have made and reduce the opacity of the correction to fall somewhere between 25 and 50%. Subtle is best.

Want more?

Read Improve your Instagram Feed  by artist Kate Giffin.