Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth


Once again, thanks to my front yard and my iphone, I was able to catch some beautiful growth in action.

Be Still Friday

[Stealing a moment just for me. Taking a deep breath, being still, capturing a fleeting moment of beauty.]

It’s been far too long since I’ve completed a Be Still Friday post. I’m on a mission to get back on track.

a new green friend

lighting up the night

tiny flowers

backyard bounty

the next batch

For more, visit my other Be Still posts

Great Apps for Easy Photo Editing

So you want to be an iphoneographer. Alright then, let’s chat.

You guys already know that I love me some nature. Probably the only thing I love nearly as much as nature (besides my family) is taking pictures of the nature I encounter each day. So today I’m going to show you how I edit all the photos you see in my Be Still posts. I feel like I am sharing all of my sacred photography secrets today, but I really like you guys so I’ll let you in on a little secret…I’m not really good at taking great photos, but I sure do have a whole lot of fun editing the ones I take. And with these great apps shown below, it becomes really easy for anyone to do! So come on, let me spill some of my tips….


I usually use the first three apps shown above for nearly all of my photo editing. Instead of trying to describe each app in detail, let me show you how I use these apps. We’ll start with a random, unedited photo from my backyard:

original, unedited photo captured on iphone

Photo Forge 2 is by far the most powerful photo editing app that I have found. In addition to the basic functions like cropping and rotating, this amazing app allows you to adjust the exposure, white balance, color balance, curves, levels and much, much more. It also has a pop! cam application that lets you have a bit of fun playing with different types of film and optics. This is my go-to app for editing a photo. If you only download one photo editing app, this should definitely be it. Here’s an example of how I might edit a photo using this app:

Edited with Photo Forge 2 (adjusted curves, applied GBS optics lens in the pop! cam app, added warm filter, added border)

Next up we have the Photo Toaster app. This is also an excellent app that allows you to produce great photos very quickly. Although it is not as powerful as Photo Forge, I end up using this one the most when I’m in a hurry and the photo doesn’t need much help in the exposure or color balance department. Here’s an example of what this app can do:

Edited with Photo Toaster (overcast correction applied, vibrant filter added, small black vignette added, old paper texture added, black border added)

The third app that I love is Pixlr-o-matic. This app is so much fun! I use this one to give my photos a retro, vintage feel. It also has the best borders/frames, hands down. I use this app often, even if just for the borders. Here’s an example:

Edited with Pixlr-o-matic (Melissa film applied, vignette added, dirt frame added)

There’s one more important app that you should probably get to know. The Photo Markr app allows you to quickly and easily watermark your photo, as shown below:

Watermark added via Photo Markr

The other apps shown at the top of the post are worth checking out, too. The apps for making collages are extremely useful if you are into that sort of thing…


I hope you found this post mildly helpful. I have so much fun editing my photos, so I thought all of you should, too.

So tell me, what photo editing apps do you love? Have you used any of the ones I mentioned in this post….what’s your take on them?

On Solitude, Sickness and Symphonies

Just a quick note–today is the last day to vote. I have been blown away by the responses so far. Thank you a hundred times over for helping me feel like my voice matters! Cast your final vote here Top Outdoorsy Moms Contest


“We too are called to withdraw at certain intervals into deeper silence and aloneness with God, together as a community as well as personally; to be alone with Him — not with our books, thoughts, and memories but completely stripped of everything — to dwell lovingly in His presence, silent, empty, expectant, and motionless. We cannot find God in noise or agitation.”
― Mother Teresa

This past weekend I attended a solitude retreat in order to meet my Creator in the presence of one of his most wonderful creations–nature. It was a time of renewal and restoration that was much needed. I realized that it had been years since I had sat in complete silence. Crazy, huh?



Unfortunately I fell ill after returning home. And for the first time in over a year, I accomplished another first: I laid in bed for ours, resting, while hubby tended to the kids. Hmmm, maybe being sick isn’t so bad 😉


But then I had a little one join me. Poor Big Brother. He didn’t feel quite as bad as me, but he definitley wasn’t himself.  I captured this sweet moment in the darkness…


We seem to be on the mend now.


I awoke early this morning feeling much better. I remembered to take some time alone in the stillness of nature. I was rewarded with a symphony of birds in my backyard. I captured some of it for you and I hope you take a moment to be still and enjoy. I’ll be back tomorrow with a real post, promise.