3 Things You Should Be Doing With Your Pictures

3 Things You Should Be Doing With Your Pictures

If you are like most people with a smart phone or camera, then you have hundreds, or thousands of pictures just sitting around on your devices. It’s time to do something with these!

3 Things You Should Be Doing With Your Pictures by Aduke Schulist

This is a sponsored post and contains affiliate links.
1. Organize Them

Before you do anything else, stop and organize your pictures. This includes deleting repeats (Who needs the same selfie 50 times?). Delete any out of focus images, or images of scenery that you can’t even begin to place. If a picture doesn’t bring back a memory for you, then let it go.

I recommend consistency with how you organize. I like to organize mine by year first, and then event or date. It is easier to find my daughter’s 9th Birthday if I have it labeled “Aybra’s 9th Birthday” instead of some obscure date.

2. Back Them Up

I learned a hard lesson when my first child was born. My computer system crashed and I lost every single image that I had taken of him. I was only able to recover images that I had sent to my family. Since then I’ve been backing up my images every few months.

Folder Organization for Picture Storage and Backup using Google Drive

Google Drive is a great place to start. You can back up your images and access them from any device. The above image shows a peek inside my 2017 folder on my Google Drive.

If you use Amazon Prime, they offer unlimited photo storage. External drives are great, but I am finding online storage to be best for me.

3. Print & Display Them

As a photographer one of my passions is urging people to print and display their family portraits. Sure, digital pictures that you can share with your friends online are great, but seeing a portrait of your family in your home brings those memories alive.

If your photographer doesn’t offer prints, then you are in luck. Photowall is an online printing company that will let you print any image for display.

Family Picture on Canvas by Photowall

Canvas is one popular option that displays well. I recently used Photowall to print one of my family’s portraits (that I took myself!). I was a little nervous of the DIY frame, but it was a breeze to put together and my family portrait looks great sitting atop our piano. (I need to get some strong muscles to help me move the piano so I can relocate the image and hang it above the piano!)

Family Picture on Canvas by Photowall Review by Aduke Schulist

Yes, it’s large, but Photowall makes printing big affordable. Photowall doesn’t stop at family portraits though.

Photowall Has It

Photowall has all the artwork needed to decorate your bedroom, living room, kitchen, office, or even business. They offer some super cute motifs whether you just want to add a little color with a small canvas, or spice up an entire room with some fun wall paper patterns.

Here are just 6 of the thousands of patterns offered:

Patterns offered by Photowall

All products are made to order, environmentally friendly, fire-retardant, and won’t fade in sunlight. They have a satisfaction guaranteed. So, what are you waiting for? Start printing your pictures now!

When is the last time your had family portraits printed?

Smile Fearlessly with Professional Teeth Whitening at Home

Smile Fearlessly with Professional Teeth Whitening at Home

Long before I was self conscious about my weight, I was self conscious about my smile.  My teeth weren’t as white as they could be, and I had these white spots (from fluorosis) on my two front teeth that were the cause of much embarrassment. I used to cover my mouth when I smiled or talked because I was scared of what other people would think. Now, I can Smile Fearlessly thanks to Smile Brilliant and their Professional Teeth Whitening kits.

Smile Fearlessly with Smile Brilliant a Review by Aduke Schulist

Smile Brilliant Professional Teeth Whitening Kit

Each kit comes with everything you need to get a beautiful smile without ever having to step foot outside.

Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening Kit

Included in the Smile Brilliant kits are two trays with the paste needed to make impressions of your top and bottom teeth. Detailed instructions are provided to help you get the best impression possible. They even include an extra paste in case of a bad impression. Once your impressions are done, simply let them dry overnight and then ship them off in the provided envelope. They go to a lab where your custom dental trays will be made and shipped back to you.

Smile Brilliant Custom Made Dental Whitening TraysThis entire process took about a week. Not only is it quick, it costs about 70% less than the cost of custom dental trays from a dentist. The trays even arrive with a hard shell carrying case.

Once your trays arrive, the whitening can begin!

This was the most complicated part for me. My first application was messy and my gums were sensitive. It took a couple of uses to figure out what was causing my gums to be so sensitive. I wasn’t using a lot of the product, but the tiny amount that was getting on my gums hurt. I realized that my toothbrush bristles were too hard and my aggressive brushing was causing micro-abrasions on my gums, which were then super sensitive during whitening.

I switched to a toothbrush with soft bristles, brushed my teeth a little more gently, and was careful around my gum lines. The change was fabulous. Where before I could tolerate them only up to 45 minutes, I could now tolerate whitening my teeth for longer periods without any problems. Smile Brilliant recommends 45 minutes to 3 hours, but you may need to work your way up to those times.

Smile Brilliant Whitening Gel

When ordering your kit, you can choose between sensitive or non-sensitive. I recommend the sensitive kit option, even if you don’t have sensitive teeth. The sensitive kit comes with desensitizing gel which is used after the whitening process. This desensitizing gel really helped sooth my gums.

Before / After Photos
Smile before Smile Brilliant at Home Professional Teeth Whitening
Smile before beginning Smile Brilliant
Before Smile Brilliant Whitening System
Before using Smile Brilliant
Aduke Schulist Smile Brilliant Results after 1 Session
Smile Brilliant Results after 1 Whitening Session

Isn’t it amazing how much change is present after just ONE session? This stuff really gets in between my teeth – those places that most whitening systems can’t reach. Imagine what the full process is going to do to my teeth. I can’t wait to show you guys the full results.

In the meantime, you can enter to win your own Smile Brilliant kit below. Be sure to check out my social media channels for more:
Facebook: Aduke Schulist
Instagram: @AdukeSchulist
Twitter: @AdukeSchulist

Are you ready to Smile Fearlessly?

Head on over to Smile Brilliant to enter the giveaway. Entries without an email will not be valid as they need an email to contact the winner.

The Smile Brilliant giveaway is for a $149 Smile Brilliant credit. It is open for 1 week and open to USA, UK, Australia and Canadian residents.

Alternatively, use code adukeschulist15 when checking out for 15% off your order.

Happy Whitening!

Tooth Whitening Gel

Alcohol Free Eggnog Recipe For Those That Don’t Like Eggnog

Alcohol Free Eggnog Recipe For Those That Don’t Like Eggnog

Eggnog is one of those things that you either like or don’t. I don’t know if there is an in between, except perhaps poorly made eggnog.

I have been team “I don’t like eggnog,” but my older son has been asking me to buy it for him every.single.time I go to the store. So, for our Christmas activity advent calendar, I added “Make Eggnog” to the list.

Growing up my Grandpa made it and I drank it, until I figured out what it was and then I couldn’t get past the mental block of drinking eggs.

Alcohol Free Eggnog Recipe by Aduke Schulist

Turns out, when you make it yourself it is pretty darn good.

Alcohol Free Eggnog Homemade Recipe

I can’t believe I just typed that. 

Here’s my Alcohol Free Eggnog Recipe for those that don’t like eggnog. Who knows, it may just convert you to an eggnog drinker.

Print Recipe
Eggnog
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl, add egg yolks and sugar. Beat with a mixer at high speed until pale yellow and thick in texture.
  2. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and milk to the mixture and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until they form soft peaks.
  4. Add egg white mixture, and whipped cream to the first bowl. Mix until combined.
  5. Serve with a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg on top.
Share this Recipe
 

Alcohol Free Eggnog on tray with a book Alcohol Free Eggnog Topped with Cinnamon and Nutmeg Alcohol Free Eggnog

If you are like me and have fond memories of your grandparents whipping up a batch, but later found yourself not liking it so much, I encourage you to try this recipe. It might just change your mind like it did mine.

Do you like eggnog?
Have you ever made it homemade?

Check out some of my other recipes here.

5 Things To Prepare For Family Portraits

5 Things To Prepare For Family Portraits

Fall tends to be a busy season for photographers. It’s no wonder why. The weather is great and the changing leaves usually lead to gorgeous backdrops for family portraits. I recently took my family to a local park to update our family portraits.

Whether you are like me and taking the family portraits yourself, or hiring a photographer, I have a few things you should do to prepare for family portraits:

Family Portraits by Aduke Schulist- Back

Outfits

Prepare everything right down to the shoes. Don’t wait until last minute. Start thinking about your outfit choices days in advance. You don’t want to be running around at the last minute looking for a t-shirt or scarf to match the family.

Family Portraits by Aduke Schulist

Stick with 2 colors and one neutral to get the best look possible. Be mindful of patterns. Mix and match these colors between members of your family for a cohesive look that isn’t too cookie cutter.

Attitudes

I’m not sure about your kids, but mine suddenly become fuddy duddies when I whip the camera out and tell them to smile. They moan and groan and complain about how long it’s taking. Get them ready ahead of time and bribe them (I do!) with a nice treat if they cooperate.

Family Portraits by Aduke Schulist- Abby Family Portraits by Aduke Schulist - Kaia Family Portraits by Aduke Schulist- Losh

Or threatening always works too. – I’m only slightly kidding – I told my kids they BETTER cooperate and the quicker they do, they sooner we could be done. Worked like a charm.

Expectations

It helps going into a photo shoot to know what you are wanting. Be prepared with a list of poses and ideas. Also, be prepared for the photographer to suggest other ideas that may be more flattering, or better suited for the location/lighting available.

Family Portraits by Aduke Schulist- Group Shot

Know that not every image snapped will be one worth sharing. Eye may be closed, or the focus may be slightly off. Before moving on from a much desired pose, take a peek at the image to make sure it’s suitable.

Location

Do a little research beforehand to know if any permits are required or if the location you are using has already been reserved. Keep in mind that it is illegal and considered trespassing to shoot where you do not have permission.

This job is usually left up to the photographer, but I have increasingly seen photographers shooting at illegal locations, or not receiving permission or permits prior to the shoot.

Equipment

Finally, and especially important if you are taking the portraits yourself, prepare your equipment. Charge those batteries, clear those cards, and make sure you have every thing you need to complete the shoot, including those pesky tripod clips that always seem to walk off.

Before you walk out the door, take inventory to make sure it’s all there.

Family Portraits by Aduke Schulist- Back copy

That’s it! Follow these 5 steps and you will be prepared for your family portraits.

If you are in Central Arkansas and need your family portraits updated, let’s talk! You can find my photography page on Facebook here.

Have you had family portraits done recently?
I took my family and got all the images you see in this post this past week. Prior to that, 2013 was the last time we had portraits done! Yikes!!

First Impressions of the KonMari Method

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First Impressions of the KonMari Method

From a young age I was interested in organizing things and I liked my space to be tidy. I grew up with 3 sisters and my room was always the tidiest.

While I didn’t have a hoarder’s amount of belongings, I did have organized clutter. As I got older and collected more and more stuff, it felt like a never ending cycle of decluttering. I would go room by room and get everything neatly organized and within a few weeks or months it was back to disarray.

First Impression of the KonMari method and a BEFORE of my house

Making My House A Home

Currently, I live in an older style rental house with terrible floors and wood paneled walls. Everything is outdated, from the floor to the ceiling. I like the layout and the space the house gives my family, but cosmetically, it is lacking. This year I am really working on making my house a home and updating it as much as I can as a renter. I previously blogged about how I re-did my laundry room and bathroom, but now it’s time for the rest of the house.

As I get to the bigger rooms I notice they need a lot more than just a fresh coat of paint. They need the KonMari method. This is a peek into my older son’s bedroom. As you can see, it has turned into a storage room of sorts since he hasn’t been sleeping in there.

Cluttered bedroom before decluttering and organizing using the KonMari method

The #1 Recommended Method

I noticed a trend on Facebook of people asking for advice on how to declutter and one common answer was among all threads. The book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up  by Marie Kondo, AKA the KonMari method.

I got my hands on a copy of it within a few days, read it quickly, and couldn’t wait to get started. Her method of decluttering and tidying up takes you category by category instead of room by room.

The KonMari method takes somewhat of a minimalist approach where you keep only things that bring you joy. Even though I had just made over my laundry room and gotten rid of a lot of things, I realized I held onto items that could have gone. As I was reading, I was thinking of all the things that were stored in there that I didn’t actually need or want.

Putting The Method Into Action

While I am following her advice and using a majority of the KonMari method rules, I am not going category by category for everything. I have started in my living/dining room and oldest son’s bedroom with the items that I KNEW I could get rid of with no problems. So far this is working. I am even making some money off of selling all the items that are no longer taking up space in my house.

Okay, technically they are still taking up space, but only temporarily. I have the middle of my living room designated as the place to put all items that will be finding a new home.

Decluttering using KonMari method - Things to get rid of

As a busy single mom – that just started a new year of homeschool – I don’t have a lot of time to do the entire house at once, but I am slowly getting there. I can’t wait until my house is in order and actually tidy! I already notice a change just from the things I’ve already done – Hello, less dusting!

I’m excited to finish so I can show you guys some before/afters.

What are your tips for decluttering and tidying-up a house?