Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Customize your Instagram feed with Circles using INK 361

There are upwards of 200 million monthly users on Instagram, and 60 million uploads a day, according to the latest stats on the Instagram blog. It's safe to say that IG is rising to the top in terms of platform usage. The number of accounts we are all following are increasing every single day, and it's very easy to miss a post because it's almost impossible to keep up.
With all of this growth, and as I personally find new and inspiring accounts to follow each day, I have often wished for an easy way to sort my feed. As a Social Media professional, I'm always looking for new tools to help streamline content. There are time that I just want to see what my close friends are posting. And other times, I want to be inspired by the incredible art that many of the photographers who I follow post.
I was thrilled to read about the new Circles feature on INK361! It allows you to sort the users you follow and see the content you want to see at any given moment. Similar to Circles on G+,  it is easy to use and create categories. I find this feature pretty intuitive and less cumbersome than creating lists on Twitter. Your circles are private, and other users will not know whether you've added or removed them from a circle.
All you need to do is log into your INK361 account, and then you can create Circles right in your feed by clicking on the blue circle icon, or, you can add to and create Circles on each image. You can go as micro as you want with categories - how you organize is all up to you! Pretty simple!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Birthday Gift for a Mason Jar Lover

My colleague Dan is full of energy and positive spirit, and I am happy he has joined me on the social team at work. He is also a huge lover of Mason jars of all kinds. He brings his water in an Atlas glass with a Cuppow fitting and he brings his am juice in a small jar every morning. Since he loves jars so much, I thought I'd make him a personalized one for his birthday. Like my Easter project, I used a small Kerr jar and my Martha Stewart Glass Etching Kit. I was disappointed with how faint the etchings were for my last project, so I consulted my good friend Jenny, and she gave me some council for getting better results! This time, per her direction, I really slopped on the goop, and let it sit longer than the instructions said to. I also created a hand-made tag with "hbd" stamped on it. Hope he likes it! :-)

I played around with my rubber stamps until I got a design I liked
I ended up with "hbd" flanked by two smiley faces.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Beach Day!

A common theme that plays over and over again in our lives since we've moved to New Jersey is proximity. We live in a suburb of NYC that is, for the most part, pretty suburban but nothing like the town we moved from. The train to Penn Station is walking distance from our house, but driving into Manhattan is pretty easy too (and sometimes faster depending on time, day, etc). We have the mountains. Prior to moving here, we had not realized that this part of NJ was right in the Catskills. This lends to lots of State forests, lakes, and loads of areas to hike, ski, bike, and picnic. And, we have the ocean. The entire eastern edge of NJ is water. The furthest south we've been is Point Pleasant, which is about an hour and a half away. Perfect for a day trip! This weekend we decided to take advantage of the perfect beach day on Saturday and head down. We discovered that Joey loves roller coasters and fast rides. We ate beach food all day. We stayed in our swimsuits until it was time to go home. On the way out, we had a chance to see the glorious supermoon over the ocean. What a beautiful way to end a perfect day!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sweet & Cute

My good friend Tina from Rochester (whom I miss dearly) has turned her passion and interests for baking and candy making into something a bit more ambitious. She has recently launched her own business Sweet & Cute. She is making flavored sugar cubes, marshmallows, candies, and syrups. She sells them at many local festivals around the greater Rochester, NY area. You can also sample her sweets at the Cottage Hotel in Mendon, where her syrups are used in mixed drinks. I was fortunate enough to receive a lovely care package from Tina, and brought her goodies with us to Michigan. My family sampled all of the yummy sugar cubes in their teas and coffees every day, and raved about them all. The Chai Spice has just the right balance of flavors. The pumpkin spice is not too sweet, and not too "vanilla-y" (to quote my sister in law). I am a purist when it comes to my coffee, and the organic raw sugar was just right! Not all of the packaging designs shown here are considered final. We haven't tried the coffee syrup (she uses Joe Bean Roasters coffee for her blends!) yet but will very soon.....

Michigan 2014

Heading up to Greg's Mom's over the 4th is becoming a yearly tradition for us, and we are really loving it. We had yet another great family visit with Oma, Erika, Veronica, Mike, and Andrea and their families. Gottfried and Jasmine (cousins on Greg's Dad's side) were also there visiting from Austria. We were just missing Toni! Canoeing, ice cream, sports, great food, and a pretty cool rocket that Greg and Joey built were all part of the fun this year. Can't wait to see everyone again!

Christopher's ice cream

The ice cream place in Reed City has been around since Greg & co were little
Mike's ice cream
My ice cream (keepin' it simple)
Michigan sunset over Oma's land.
Canoe Rental place

Heading into the Pere Marquette River

Erika and Ian brought their own kayaks

Mike and Jeanette had the tandem paddling down pat!

Emma and Marta took an unintended dip

Beautiful dragonflies were everywhere

Mike and Olivia

The boys loved getting out and taking a swim
Jasmine and Gottfried were troupers!
The rocket built by Greg and Joey successfully launched!


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