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Saturday, October 12, 2013

LegoKidsFest

 LegoKidsFest was everything we thought it would be and more. I couldn't believe how excited everyone was for this event. Here's a short video that gives you an idea of the energy at the Lego event. (I tried to edit out the screaming.)

As soon as we walked through the entrance we were greeted with huge Lego creations like these.


We immediately went and signed up for the Master Builder's Academy, because there were limited spots available. At least that's the way it was presented, my guess is that space is not limited.
I also thought the Master Builder leading the session would teach the kids to build a certain thing, but he didn't. He did an educational thing about building and answered questions. It was interesting and I learned a ton about Lego. After the Master Builder talks he tells the kids to go make a plane and that's pretty much it.
Here are the planes my kiddos made. You'll notice that Jonah has lost a tooth!
 All around the fest was stations. At this station my kids got to shoot things down.
At this station they got to compete with Chima Legos. Afterwards all kids received a Chima
 At this station everyone could build whatever they wanted to and add it to a map of the United States. They had tons of tables set up and plenty of legos available for building.
 I'm a die hard Red Raider, since I went to college at Texas Tech, and I built a double T and had them place it in Lubbock, TX.
Needless to say, most were putting their creations up in Oregon and Washington. I still felt pretty good about it.
Oregon/Washington

We spent a lot of time at the Lego Technic station one of the best parts of the show for older kids. It was manned by a company called Play-Well Teknologies. I was super impressed with their staff. They are a nationwide company and hold camps and classes. I'm hopeful they will be offering classes near us. 

I like what they were doing so much that I ask where to get the Legos they were using. They suggested I check out their site where there would be more info. He mentioned that these types of Legos were expensive and to check their site for info on a resale Lego shop. Well, I check it out and it's called Bricklink. It's a phenomenal site where you can literally buy any Lego imaginable. So, instead of having to buy a huge expensive kit to get these parts, I only have to buy the ones we need!
We also stopped buy the Star Wars station, the challenge station where each kid received a Lego car set to make the Bat Mobile, the game station where each kid received an iPad game Life of George (they love this game), and lots of other stations. Overall it was a great time.

How to make a LEGO Lion



Disclosure - I received tickets in exchange for a review.  Opinions are my own.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Creating Collages for Pinterest

One of the best ways to showcase your work on Pinterest is to create a collage. I recommend using a vertical collage, because they get more repins and clicks.

There are several ways to make a vertical collage with free programs.

Free Photo Editing Site
  • www.Pixlr.is a free service and you can create vertical collages with 3 or 4 pictures.
  • PicMonkey.com is a free service and you can create a vertical collage with 5 pictures. It also has many other layouts for collages. It can be confusing to start with PicMonkey, because you must first make the collage with pictures and then you can "edit" it in the regular editor program. In the edit program you can add text, overlays, 

Collage Making Apps

  • PicStich is another great app that allows you to create collages with up to 6 photos. You can post them directly to social networks or save them to your camera roll. I created this collage in no time at all and automatically posted it to Instagram from the app.

  • Bazaart app allows you to create collages with however many photos you'd like.  I created this tea party collage in just a few minutes.

Instaframe+ is another collage making app. It's my least favorite these, but works great and links to social networks.

No matter what program you use keep a few things in mind while creating your collages.

Use Good Photos

  • The best photos are well lit. You can see which photos are too dark for my tea party collage. I should have lighten each of those photos before using them, or left them out. 
  • Crop out anything that you don't want in the picture like too much sky or pavement.

Create a Graphic

  •  Cutest Blog on the Block has tons of free banners, buttons, and more. I get the one I want and then modify it, however I like in one of the photo editing programs, like PicMonkey. For example I grabbed this free banner and turned it into pinterest graphics for my posts. Right now these graphics are not hyperlinked, because I didn't need them to be, but if you did just use Powerpoint to add hyperlinks.


Add Text

  • Make sure the font you choose isn't "too busy". You want the font to compliment the photo, not ruin it. 
  • Center the text. 9 times out of 10 you will want your text centered.
  • Only use 1 or 2 fonts depending on how much text you have. I usually use only one font, but sometimes use different sizes for different words.
  • Pick out a text color that matches something in your photo. For instance a blue pool with a red umbrella. Make the font red.
  • For this photo I used PicMonkey and added a rectangle overlay that I shaded aqua. I choose overlay from the drop down menu and then put my text on top of it. This was the final result. I love it because it made it look almost 3D, like the words are under the water.

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

30 Linkups for Blogs

Linkups are a great way to get some traffic to your blog. Here's a list of linkups that you could participate in.

Monthly Linkups
Share Your Best
Organize It

Weekly Linkups by Day

Monday
Made by you Monday

Tuesday
Handmade Tuesdays
Tuesday Tots
Take a Look Tuesday
Time to Sparkle
the diy dreamer

Wednesday
Whimsy Wednesday
Wow me Wednesday
What's for Lunch Wednesday
Empty your Archive
Whatever Goes Wednesday
Wanderfood Wednesday
The Disney Wordless Wednesday

Thursday
Thrifty Thursday
All Things Thursday
Blog Stalking Thursday
Transformational Thursday
Tasty Thursday

Friday
Shine On Friday
The Pin Junkie
Link Party Paloozay -  i heart naptime (same party, link up on one show up on both)
Tickled Pink Times Two
Photo Friday
Friday Day Dreamin

Saturday
Saturday Show and Tell
Strut Your Stuff

Sunday
Think Pink Sundays

Monthly Linkup
Share Your Best
Organize It


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