Monday, June 28, 2010

Tips & Tricks #4 - Blog Safety while vacationing

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First I want to apologize for not having our Tips & Tricks in past 2 weeks. I went with my family on vacation and I make it a rule, never to announce when I am going for protection for my home and family.

These tips may not be received by all but its something everyone needs to hear.

This is a Tip I want to encourage more bloggers to use. Please do not announce (as tempting as it is) that you will be gone for a while.  There are too many predators, hackers, and just bad people that would like to do you harm.

Did you know that most of the apps for Twitter have a way for you to see who is "tweeting" around where you live? Yes!! You do not have to be a "friend" to do a GPS search on your phone app for Twitter to see.
What if you had "Leaving for vacation in the morning!!" on your Twitter status and someone decided lets see if anyone's vacationing this week!
All it takes is a bored teenager (we've had some 2 summers ago that were bored and damaged something on our house late at night and we have a super quiet neighborhood) for the summer come along and damage your property because they have nothing better to do. Thieves have it way easier now because we help them. We let them know when our home is going to be sitting empty. I have 3 neighbors watch my home but they are indoors and they sleep too, so they cannot protect you. Please do not announce you are away from home!

With today's technology it can be too useful in the wrong hands. So instead of announcing your leaving and PLEASE do not update with pictures of your trip and how its going until you are back. This is the same thing as announcing you are leaving.  Instead, do the following:

Tip 1 - Pre-Post
  • 1-2 weeks before you are leaving, pre-type your posts for the week or time frame you will be gone and schedule them to post on those days you are gone. This way, it looks as if you aren't on vacation. 
Tip 2 - Safe Statuses for Twitter and Facebook
  • Be just as careful on your status on Twitter and Facebook. Do not tell them how wonderful the beach is or your trip to your family, etc. Keep it more general like.. "having a great day today", "busy, busy busy" (they dont know your busy shopping on vacation!), etc.
Tip 3 - Posting Photos
  • This is one I hope you really get. As tempting as it is, to share those adorable photos of your children, please protect them! So many predators, search for photos of children (especially for those summer shots in their bathing suits) and thanks to you, they can just take them and copy and save them to their harddrive. Then many of these photos are taken and put on the internet in terrible places. They also are photoshopped so PLEASE PROTECT YOUR FAMILY!!!!
  • Do not think if you put a "NO RIGHT CLICK" on your site, that it stops them. It doesnt. Even I could easily take your photos from your site, its VERY EASY!
  • If you want to share, create an album in Snapfish, Flickr, or Photobucket and put a passcode on the photos of your vacation. Please be smart and make it hard to hack that passcode. Use letters and numbers. Then only give it to the family you trust and ask them NOT to share it with anyone or you will have to remove the album.

We all want to keep our family safe and have a great summer, so please remember these 3 tips.  Pre-Post, Safe Statuses and Protective Photos.

Have a great SAFE internet Summer!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Baby Blog Buttons...Latest Work!

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I've had sooo much fun making these new Baby Blog buttons.
Check out these adorable ones. Some have children that are now teens and still ordered them for their blog.

One client ordered the print size too and is printing them and framing them to put in their bedrooms.
Neat!! (I may try that!)

Order yours today!!!

They are only $5 or $4 if you order two or more.

You can choose the color scheme and all I need is the following info:

Name (can be nickname, given, blogname, whatever!)
Date of Birth
Eye Color + descriptive word (bright, dark, cheery, deep)
Hair Color + descriptive word (thick, short, spikey, curly, etc.)
3-word description (our precious girl, etc.)

For Adoptive Families that would like a "GOTCHA DAY" blog button, I will need the following:

Name (can be nickname, given name, blogname, whatever!)
Date of Gotcha Day (day you first saw your child to bring home)
City/State/Country (where you picked up your child from or their birthplace)
Eye Color + descriptive word (bright, dark, cheery, deep)
Hair Color + descriptive word (thick, short, spikey, curly, etc.)
Age (when you "got" them)
4-6 word description (loving, adorable smiling baby boy)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Newest Client Work...

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Looking for a unique birth announcement for both your blog or print?

These are available as both a birth announcement for print OR as a  Baby Blog Button custom made.  You provide 7 details and I will create it to your request. Size: 150px (smaller sizes available by request) 
I am also making "GOTCHA DAY" baby blog buttons, celebrating the day we held our adoptive son in our arms!!! So all adoptive families can order a "GOTCHA DAY" Baby blog button for their blog too! 
It has the description of his hair and eyes, his age when he was ours (gotcha day), date of gotcha day, location of gotcha day or birth (your choice), and custom description of your child or phrase of your choice.

PRICES to Order:

Blog Buttons for both Birth and Gotcha Day Adoptions are only $5 each.
If you order 2 or more they are only $4 each.

Birth Announcements for Print / Gotcha Day Announcements for Print
You will receive a 4x6, 300dpi, ready to print digital file of your birth announcement/gotcha day announcement for only $8.
You can get them printed at your local printers or VistaPrint, etc.

Just go click on ORDER FORM to order today!!
It's also a great gift for your friend or family member that just had a baby to put on their blog or get gift certificate to order for Prints!!

STORE FRONT (Web/Business)

I recently had created a twitter background for this client, 
The Doves Nest.(see below)
They wanted to created an attractive web site "store front" for their e-commerce store that also linked to a couple new pages (about, local, contact) and wanted some special features at the bottom like a Twitter Feed and direct links to their Facebook and Twitter Pages, along with a News Feed.
They purchased the Build-A-Blog for Web Business ($100) and added the Express Kit ($25)
and chose Twitter Feed Widget, Social Icons, Titled Buttons and special Layout.

Visit their adorable store at

 This is a neat store that has Vintage, Shabby Chic, Cottage Style Decor for your Home and Restoration Hardware! 
"The Doves Nest"

Twitter Background

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tips & Tricks #3 - Backup-Part 2 - DownThemAll Plugin for Images

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Last week, we talked about how we need to backup our blogger blogs.  I see that many of you enjoyed that Tip and tried it out.

This week we are going to learn how to use a neat tool called DownThemAll.
This is the neatest tool I've ever played with. You use it to quickly back-up/download all your images, videos and links from your blog.

How to Use Down them All

1. First make sure you have downloaded both Firefox Browser and the firefox plugin Download Them All.
Go to these two links to do that first.

*you will have to close the firefox browser after downloading the DownThemAll plugin so it can upload it into the Firefox browser.

2.  Okay, now that you've downloaded both the Firefox browser and the Download Them All Plugin, we can begin.

First open your FIREFOX browser because this plugin only works in Firefox browsers.

Second, in your firefox browser type the url to your blog you want to backup.

Third, you will now go to the top menu of your firefox browser and click on TOOLS, then choose DOWNLOAD THEM ALL Tools and choose Download Them All.

Now you are ready.

The Download Them All Tool Window should have opened and it will automatically add all the image links into the window.

Look at the top of the window and you will see 2 tabs. One is called Links with the number of links found in parentheses. The second one is your pictures and embedded images. 

Click on the Pictures Tab to see what you will be saving/downloading.

You will not want the pictures becasue these are just your followers profile pictures. They should automatically not be checked to be saved.

Once you have chosen all the files you do and don't want saved, you can now move on to the saving process.

Below the DownThemAll list, you should see
'Save Files In:', click the folder next to that box below it.
Now a pop-up window will open up for you to go choose your folder or create one that you would like your files to be saved into. When you are done, click OK.
* there is a Make New Folder button at the bottom of the pop-up window you can use to make a new folder.

Now you can leave the Renaming Mask as it is.

You want it to choose both the Image and Videos.
If you do not want videos or images, just unclick one of them.
*this is a great tool if you only want to backup videos or only images with no videos.

You can leave this as is.

If you are ready, now just click START!
A pop-up window will open showing the Progress and Completion of all the images being saved.

*if you get a FILENAME CONFLICT! pop-up window, this means you have TWO images/videos with the same file-name. So you need to choose to rename it or overwrite the one that is saved(i dont recommend this one) or skip saving it. I like to choose renaming.
*if you have more than one file for this, then choose under "REmember this setting" _ Just for this session. and click OK.

when it is complete, all itms will be checked and in green and say 100%. You can now close that pop-up window.

And you are done!!


I know I personally do not want to lose any of my precious photos or images I have found and used in my blog posts.

GOOD LUCK and let me know how it went!!