Where Do We Begin?

Looks like we have some reading to do!

We’ve had so much fun researching sites in Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls, and many other smaller cities we plan on visiting in between.  It’s always a challenge making sure we’re able to fit everything in during our time in each city!
We’re using as many resources we can find.  Here’s a list of good sources you may want to use when you begin researching your next adventure!

  1.  Google.com
  2. TripAdvisor.com
  3. PlanetWare.com
  4. Touropia.com
  5. Frommers.com
  6. Expedia.com
  7. TravelandLeisure.com

Of course, those are all great online resources, but never forget the good, old-fashioned research methods:

  1. Book Stores
  2. AAA stores
  3. Local tourist centers



iPhone Challenge–PhotoToaster App Review

Continuing the challenge–taking great photos using only the i-Phone 7Plus.

In today’s digital world, editing has become a big part of photography.  I focused on a new editing app this week.  It is called PhotoToaster.  You will find it in the AppStore.

The PhotoToaster app requires IOS 8.0 or later.  It is compatible with i-Pone, i-Pad, and i-Pod touch.  There is a one-time cost of $2.99;  however,  although it is not a free app, I’ve already found it to be incredibly useful in creating stunning edited shots.

The photo below was taken at mid-day.  The editing has created a feeling of warmth, as if it had been taken at sunset.

                            This is the original.                                             This is after editing.

Of course, I will continue looking at many of the other features in this editing app, but so far I think it will be well worth the $2.99 I paid.

 Upon opening the app you find 4 links to places you can access the photo you wish to edit:  Recent, Photo Library, Camera, and Clipboard.

Below that, you see a pink box that will take you to the Community / Tutorials area.  This area includes all of the tutorials needed to use in editing.  The tutorials are not in video form, so it is easy to read, try it out,  then return to read it again, if needed.

The editing features include:

There are several other fantastic editing features that I can’t wait to try!

The Community area also includes a variety of “challenges” for the photographer.   They list a Fall Challenge, Sunset Challenge, Ice Challenge, Reflections Challenge and many others.  Each challenge specifies what to focus on, for example, the Ice Challenge focuses on Highlights and Shadows.  These will prove to be very beneficial in improving our i-Phone photos and editing abilities, then sharing them with the PhotoToaster community.

This is an incredible app for the photographer who enjoys editing their photos to add interest and beauty.

Camera Bags and More

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears—On A Hillside In Austin, Tx

It’s always a fun adventure when you think of something to do at the last minute and it ends up being an unexpected surprise!
My cousins Sylvia and Melinda visited Austin to attend 2 different workshops.  As we were sitting at home one afternoon trying to think of something to do, the word “theater” was mentioned.  This reminded me that there was a performance of the Wizard of Oz scheduled at our local Zilker Hillside Theatre.  All we needed was a blanket to sit on and off we went!
As we approached the theater area, the colorful blankets, umbrellas, and chairs appeared.  It was as if we had walked into a box of bright colors.  It was beautiful!
The performance was excellent!  It followed the original, except with a few lines here and there which added some humor.  It is Austin, after all—keeping it weird is what we do!
It was a fun time!
Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers!


Surprise Meeting!

Ever wonder how many relatives you have yet to meet?  Yes, we all remember all the good times we had with our cousins when we were younger.  But at some time, those same cousins had their own children, who are now grown and on their own.  Unfortunately, due to the mobile society we live in, we sometimes never get to meet those 2nd cousins.
 I recently had the chance to meet my 2nd cousin, Miranda and it was completely by accident.  I was scheduled to pick up my cousin Sylvia, at the airport.  It was a surprise to us all that Miranda happened to be on the same flight into Austin.  I was thrilled to meet Miranda, who happens to be my daughter’s age, and had the pleasure of spending an entire day with her exploring some of Austin’s unique sights.
Our adventure began at 10:00 am, as we walked along South Congress Avenue (also referred to as
SoCo), taking photos and browsing through every little shop.  I had been wanting to visit this area for a while to work on my i-Phonetography, so this was perfect timing.
 We had such a good time getting to know each other, as we walked along admiring all the Austin “weirdness”!

First stop?…The Continental Club.  This is one of the more famous spots in the Austin music scene.  Many big names have performed in this small club, such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Joe Ely, Junior Brown, and even Robert Plant!  

 Judy In Disguise was another interesting stop.  This is where Austinites come to find the perfect costume for any occasion.  In fact, while we were there, a guy came in looking for a tuxedo “costume” for a wedding.  I wondered where his bride would be shopping for her dress–Party City perhaps?
Judy In Disguise, Austin
 We found a cute little shop called Uncommon Objects, and the name truly says it all.  In this shop, we found everything we could possibly imagine and more!  Incredible collections of antiques, fabrics, cameras, even trophy animals!  We spent a long time browsing through this fantastic wonderland of  uncommon objects!
The Tom Store has a location here, and it is a combination Tom shoe store and coffee/bar.  Not only are the shoes really great, but even the coffee and drinks help fulfill their commitment to the One For One promise throughout the world.


As we were walking, we came across this beautiful covered walkway.  As you can see, at the end were flowers and a picture frame.  We were curious and thought we’d walk to the end to see what it was.  It was a marriage proposal that had been prepared for someone.  We practically ran out of there and forgot to take a picture of the vignette he had set up.  Someone is a lucky girl….I hope she said, “Yes!”.

It was a memorable day, for sure!
And then, there was this…

iPhone Challenge– Touch ReTouch App Review

The challenge—take great photos using only the Apple iPhone 7Plus

My new iPhone 7Plus camera has already impressed me with the sharp, crisp pictures it takes.  It is a 12MP camera, with a wide angle f/1.8 aperture lens, and a telephoto with an f/2.8 aperture lens, making it well equipped to take amazing portraits.  The optical zoom at 2x, helps bring things close, without distorting the image.

Like many of us, I like to edit my photos to add interest, so this week I began researching editing apps that are available for use on IOS phones.

Some of my older photos are, truthfully, not that great.  I have photos that are messy and have a bit of “noise” in the photo.  I read about an app called TouchReTouch, that can easily remove unwanted things from a photo, making it more interesting to the viewer.  **It is available through the Apple Store. This app requires IOS 9.0 or later. It is compatible with i-Phone, i-Pad, and iPod touch.

The Touch Retouch app offers 5 editing tools:

  1. Removing unwanted objects

2.  Removing lines

3.  Removing small objects quickly

4.  Removing blemishes

5.  Using a clone stamp

The app includes simple to follow tutorials for each function making it easy to use.

I tested out the Removing Unwanted Object feature, and it worked GREAT!

SAMPLE remove object

        FROM THIS…………………………………………………………..TO THIS!  So easy!

I love this the Touch-Retouch app, and plan on using it in the future!

Camera Bags and More

New: Wordless Wednesday!

At times, when we come across a new visual piece, it’s best to simply give it our own words.

Kind of like going to an art museum to stroll the halls, stopping only to look at paintings that catch our attention.  We stare at the painting, thinking…”Reminds me of when I was 5 years old.”, or, “Hey, what are you running from?”

Let’s try this out!  Here is our first picture…feel free to share your “words”.

“But Mom, I forgot my guitar.”

                                          (This is an older photo…it was not taken with an iPhone camera)

Camera and Photo Supplies


I Found My Terminator

I have an English Springer Spaniel, whose name is Emma.  I love Emma and all of her idiosyncrasies, but one thing about her has been driving me nuts!  She has been shedding excessively lately and I’ve been sweeping up dog hair, once, twice, sometimes three times a day! fullsizeoutput_b7c

Someone told me about a tool called, <a href="http://FURminator Long Hair deShedding Tool for Dogs, Large“>FURminator, so I finally decided I’d spend the $25.00 and give it a try.

fullsizeoutput_b82 Out of the package I noticed that it is a very sturdy tool.  It has just enough weight to do the job without much effort.   It comes with a cover, so the rungs are well protected when not in use, and is ergonomically made so that it rests easy in my hands.  I couldn’t wait to try it, although Emma did not appear too sure about this new purchase!

Immediately, I sat on the sofa and gave Emma a couple of strokes with the <a href="http://FURminator Long Hair deShedding Tool for Dogs, Large“>FURminator.  I was amazed at how much undercoat I had in the comb with only 2 strokes!  I think finishing this process outdoors may be a better idea.

The next day, I thought it best that I should go into the garage to complete the comb-out, since it was a breezy day and I didn’t want hair flying all over my face, or the garden!  fullsizeoutput_b85

To my surprise, Emma seemed to love the entire process!  It took about 30 minutes to comb her out entirely.  I did take a little time to trim some areas that needed special attention,

Can you believe this all came after only 30 minutes? Wow!

but she let me work on her without even a whimper!

This <a href="http://FURminator Long Hair deShedding Tool for Dogs, Large“>FURminator is amazing!  I’ll be using it a couple of times per week, to start.  After that, I may only need to use it one time each week.  I’ve already noticed a BIG difference in the amount of hair I have laying on my floors!  So great!!!

The Furminator is my Terminator (of dog hair, that is)!

Looking good, Emma!

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