Instagram has killed my blogging mojo

Instagram AngryJulie

I’m sure that you have heard or seen this written by several bloggers already…

Life is just getting busier, and when I sit down to the computer, I can’t find the words to actually blog. I’ve done several races, attended several events, and even a conference recently. I want to recap all the awesomeness.. But it is just so easy to post a photo on Instagram. I even get rewarded on my Instagram posts with “likes” and comments. People don’t really comment on blogs anymore, but they take the time to comment on my photos.

Instagram AngryJulie

I have posts in draft and when I find the time I will write them. I’m slowly plugging away at them. My main problem is the photos. I have hundreds of photos to go through and post-edit. But if I could find the time in between family, work, running, kid’s hockey, and now crossfit…

I hope you enjoy my Instagram feed though. Even if you don’t follow me already, I’m @AngryJulie on Instagram also!

If you are a blogger, are you having the same issues as me? Finding the time to keep up with your blog?

Instagram Gets Video! And I Made One!

How to Stop Auto-Play on Instagram Video

I have loved the app, Instagram, ever since I first downloaded it. I’ve been an avid user since 2010. I even wrote a post in 2012 titled, “Instagram, What Not To Do”. But wow, they have grown in the past two and a half years!

Four days ago, Instagram announced that they now had VIDEO! Within the app, you can shoot fifteen (15) seconds of video and they also have thirteen (13) filters, specifically made for video. Yippee, I think?

Now everyone is probably saying, well Vine has been around for awhile, and it is a great video app. But I downloaded the app, and could never get around to using it much. I never uploaded any video to Vine, and rarely even open it. I guess I just don’t have the time to use another social media app, because I probably spend too much time on social media as it is.

But when I saw all of the hoopla on Twitter about Instagram getting video the other day, I was intrigued. So on Thursday, I spent a little time watching the videos in my Instagram stream. And then I got annoyed….why? Because they all kept auto-playing! Eeek!!!

How to Stop Auto-Play on Instagram Video

Luckily, I figured out how to “stop auto-play on Instagram videos” the day that the update came out for the app. I took some screenshots on my iPhone and made a little visual tutorial (see above). I like to scroll through the photos and videos when I have free time. I don’t want to hear the sounds/videos randomly. I would like to be able to “choose” which videos to watch. Bam, option chosen!

And of course, I got bitten by the bug, and made a little cheesy video. Obviously, I hadn’t quite figured it out yet, so it is a little jumpy. But I took some video of my 5.31 mile run the other night.

Embedly Powered

Embedly Powered

What do you think? Horrible right? Maybe I should stop chugging my water so loudly? I have no clue on what I’m doing, obviously. But hey, that’s a video of me! Will I make more? Who knows?

Have you tried Instagram video? What do you think?

My Insta-Week 12-2 to 12-7

It’s been awhile since I posted my week through Instagram. I really need to start doing that more. Actually, I need to use Instagram more also. I figured that everyone got sick of my running pictures and would be like, “geez Julie, you are running again..how exciting…not so much”!

But it was a busy and fun week, so here it is:

A Week of Instagrams 12-2 to 12-7-12

From left to right:

1. Christmas Tree all decorated. The Mickey Mouse tree topper was made by my husband last year. 3 plastic Christmas ornaments in different sizes glued together.

2. The light-up Bumble at Ace Hardware. I want this decoration to put on the roof of my house. But ye gads, $60 is too pricey for 18 inches of Bumble awesomeness.

3. Monday Night Football at ESPN Zone in Los Angeles. My son is just starting to get interested in football. It is so cute to watch him.

4. Nokia Live in Los Angeles with a beautiful tree and ice skating rink outside.

5. Me and the kid. Super excited to be watching the Jingle Ball concert.

6. Posted the day after, the kid playing one of those dance games at ESPN. He was hilarious to watch.

7. Our Griswald Christmas decor is done. My husband says that we still need more lights.

8. Finally made it to see Tera Rae Stephens to get my hair cut and colored. YES, I do have more fun being blonder.

9. Caramel Hot Cocoa at iHop with Kelly. Who knew that iHop had such tasty hot cocoa?

My calendar is starting to get VERY full with Holiday parties and events. Hopefully I can maintain my sanity? Most of my Christmas shopping is done. I still need a “big” gift for the kid though. This is a difficult age to buy for, seven.

life rearranged

Insta-Friday

I’m way behind in everything right now. I think I have a bazillion photos to edit that were taken on my Nikon. I rely on my iPhone as a point-and-shoot camera.  Luckily, I have that awesome app Instagram to share all of my photos online with everyone.  I swear that I’ve left Instagram over my blog most days. I can tell a little story, post a picture, and bam, it’s done!

But since everyone doesn’t use Instagram, I thought I would share some of my photos here:

Operation Pixie Haircut Growout: Month 11. Not long enough for a full ponytail but highly annoying. @BicBands around foreheard plus tiny high pony and low pony. Seriously ghetto. I looked like a Lhasa Apso tonight but got the job done. 6.4 miles. #45miles
Running Hair: I do this double ponytail look with a bic band to keep the tiny hairs out of my face.  I am a few days away from the one year mark of growing my hair out from a pixie cut. Update coming next week, and oh my gosh, the roots are getting colored also.

Finished project. 3 of the 6 dozen. All camouflage. #cupcakea
Camouflage cupcakes: I made these for my friend’s son. He was turning six. I made 6 dozen after working all day, crazy!

Dinner with the Fam!
A new Red Robin in two. Yum, Petite Cheeseburger with Bacon. Totally not on the menu. But I order it anyway.

Playing goalie today @DiscoveryCube. #wildsummer
Playing goalie at Discovery Science Center.

Soccer Camp + Swimming + Sleepy Tired Kid = Worth Every Dollar! I love you UCI Sports Camps!
A long day at soccer camp. Totally worth the money! I’m already saving up for next year, seriously.

The kid showing me what he was building in #MineCraft earlier today. There is so much going on in this picture. Not my desk.
The kid has a MineCraft obsession. He will sit in the hot steamy garage and play it during the middle of the day. He comes in the house all sweaty like no big deal.

life rearranged

Instagram, What Not To Do

Instagram is my most favorite app on my iPhone.  I posted my first picture on Instagram on December 28, 2010. How do I even know that? A little awesome website called Statigram told me so.  Statigram also told me that there are 4257 comments and 17,779 likes on the photos that I’ve posted on Instagram.  Pretty cool, right?

What is Instagram?  Instagram is a photo sharing site. Instagram is a fun and free way to share your life through photos via your mobile phone device whether it be an iPhone or Android.

Instagram just released for the Android, and had 5 Million downloads in 6 days.  Which means, there are a ton of new users.  Also, I’m sure that you might have heard, that Facebook recently purchased Instagram for one billion dollars.  That is a lot of zeros.

Although Instagram sold-out to the Facebook overlords, I’m not quite ready to ditch the app just yet, but I am starting to get annoyed with some of the Instagram users on there lately.  I’m not the only one who has developed some pet peeves when it comes to Instagram.  I polled a couple of my friends, who are active users on Instagram to see what “bugs them” about Instagram.

My Top 10 Things Not To Do on Instagram

What Not To Do On Instagram

1.  Instagram Is Not Facebook or Twitter

Please save your thoughts, reflections and updates for those sites.  Instagram = Pictures. Got it?

To clarify this: I’m not talking about the text going along with the photo that you post. I’m talking about posting this silly Tweegrams and other notepad things like this.

2.  Instagram is not Etsy or E-Bay

We love that you make homemade lovelies, but please pawn off your wares elsewhere.  I enjoy seeing your creating your crafts, etc. But  I don’t want to see prices and buyers listed in your comments. Awkward much?

3.  Post Gross Photos

My friend is a runner, and she follows other runners on Instagram.  She loves to see all of the happy runners after races with their shiny metals. But, she loathes seeing photos that some runners post of their black or missing toenails.  I mean really, I don’t think that I would even show my husband that gross-ness in person.

4.  Re-post Someone Else’s Photo from Online and/or Pinterest Type Sites

I’m noticed more and more photos that are in the “popular” section on Instagram, are actually popular on Pinterest also.  They may be a nail paint job, or a certain hair-do.  They are not your original photos, i.e. thieving teenager who gets 3000 likes on someone else’s  photo that they right-clicked or screen shot from the Internetz.

5.  Beg People To follow You

If your photos are good, people will follow you. I promise.  Don’t leave comments on “popular” posters photos that say, “follow me” or “i love your photos soooo very much, come and check mine out”.  That is slightly annoying and a little creepy.

6.  Screenshot Your Blog Or Website

If there is a special occasion, new design, etc. go for it. But seriously, you don’t need to screenshot every blog post to say, “hey look, i have a blog, please come look”.  Instagram isn’t about promoting your blog, even if it is awesome.  Instagram is about photo sharing.

7.  Over-sharing Self Portraits

Yes, I think you are pretty, or maybe even beautiful. But really, self-portraits posted every day is a bit narcissistic.  I get uncomfortable when I see these posted over and over again by the same people.

8.  Using Too Many Filters On Your Photos

There are some really rad post-editing apps for photography on cellphones now.  Believe me, I know.  I have at least two pages of photography apps on my iPhone.  But really, there is only so much you can do when editing photos taken with your phone.  Be careful not to use too many filters on your photos.  And cross process, I love you, but cross process is turning into the new comic sans of photo edits.

9.  Over Posting On Instagram

As a blogger, I get invited to events occasionally.  Usually the brand or person hosting the event has some kind of hashtag that they would like you to use during the event and after for tracking purposes.  It makes the brand happy to see their hashtag #radbrandisawesome.  But I have noticed lately, that there are some bloggers who are over-promoting their events via Instagram.  We get it, you are at an event.  But posting a photo EVERY five minutes is not memorable for your followers.  Go through the photos that you took via your phone, and pick out the best ones.  Share those photos throughout the next few days with the hashtag.  It will have more ROI (return on investment) for that brand. And you won’t get unfollowed.

10.  Not Paying It Forward

Instagram is a photo sharing site.  The purpose is share and interact with each other’s photos.  I love when people comment on my photos.  And I love to give “likes” and comments on other people’s photos. There is nothing better than to take an awesome photo, crop it, add a filter, and then re-size it to perfectly fit in that little IG square….and then get instantaneous comments and likes.  Everyone loves praise! Do someone a favor, share the love!

Yes, every once in awhile, I violate my own pet peeves. 

But there is a time and place for everything!

What are your Instagram pet peeves?

Follow Me on Instagram @AngryJulie

Insta-Friday

I miss sharing all of my random photos with you every week. Now that I’m not doing Project 365, you don’t get to see all of my food, and other random crap that I take photos of. Well today, you will get to see all of my randomness!

Happiness is pork quesadillas @CafeRioMexGrill.
Lunch at Cafe Rio with my husband, son, and husband’s co-worker. We used to go to Cafe Rio all the time, but I got totally burnt out. I got something different this time, a pork quesadilla.

Angry Kid playing on the iPad
Last Sunday, Angry Kid and I lounged around. He sat in the bed in our master bedroom and played on iPad for a few hours. He was all warm and cozy in the down comforters.

Antipasto Salad and Garlic Bread. Tis' my dinner tonight.
My antipasto salad from Haus of Pizza. I love the shell bowl that they serve it in. It makes it look so pretty. Everyone on Instagram commented that I eat so well. Obviously, I’m not posting the bowls of Lucky Charms, etc. that I also eat.

Random Jeep
Random orange Jeep. We used to have a Jeep, which was more like a beast, a 1984 CJ7. It was a complete nightmare. I love the orange color though. Husband’s response, “Not a Rubicon, only 2 doors, but has hard top”. Obviously, he likes the 4-door Rubicons. A Jeep is totally not happening though, been there, done that.

Is it against the rules to have breakfasty stuff for lunch? Because if it is, I'm a rule breaker.
Why yes, I had breakfast for lunch last week. I realized that it was 2pm, that I hadn’t eaten, and that the Rooster Cafe closes at 3pm. I had a Hearty Scramble, which is bacon, eggs, cheese, sausage, and ham all scrambled together with red potatoes.

My son is obsessed with watching old GI Joe cartoons on The HUB. I'm tired of our DVR being filled. I used giftcards and bought this 17 DVD box set on @Amazon. He was very excited. Pic taken by husband.
$150 is what is costs for hours of silence for me, and enjoyment for the kid. Vintage 1980′s via Amazon. Purchased with gift cards and Christmas money. SEVENTEEN DVD’s!

A little bit of sunshine on my walk back from school drop off. My neighbor, a video game designer, says that they call them "God Rays" in the gaming industry.
I’m such a hipster. I walk my kid to school. And I take photos with my iPhone along the way. My neighbor says that they call those “God Rays” in the video game design industry. Totally unedited photo.

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This is pretty much it for my week. The rest of the photos on my iPhone are screenshots to remember things, coupons, and photos from work that go along with the “what happens at work, stays at work” theory.

life rearranged

Wordless Wednesday: Squawking Plants

I saw this grouping of Bird of Paradise plants and had to take a picture. Ok, I might have taken about ten trying to get the right shot. I love how all of the blooms look they are birds squawking at each other.

Birds of ParadisePhoto Information: Photo taken with iPhone4, Camera+ App with Clarity and Vibrant settings, Snapseed to straighten the photo.

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Welcome to “Angry Julie Monday’s Wordless Wednesday Linky”!

If this your first time here, HELLO! I do a link-up every Wednesday! Post a picture(s) and link back to it here. Wordless Wednesday is a great day to post an awesome picture that “speaks” for itself, no words needed.

Be sure to check out Wordless Wednesday Link-Ups at these other sites also:

Project AliciaBetter in BulkBy Word of Mouth MusingsCrazy About My Baybah, Dear CrissyFive Minutes For MomLive and Love…Out Loud,  Naptime Momtog, Parenting By DummiesSeven Clown CircusSupermomThe Divine Miss Mommy

Also, Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy does “What I Wore Wednesday” every week with a great big link-up.

And, I can’t forget Krystina from Lollipops whom does “What I Love Wednesday” every week with a great big link-up.



How To Organize Project 365 and Stay Sane

It is the first week of January and I’m already seeing all of the Year Long blogging projects being spoken about. Everyone seems to have some kind of blogging resolution and they want to start new and fresh. I can totally relate, but my motto is “chillax” this year.

Last year, I started a year long photo project which also turned into somewhat of a blog project too. I did Project 365 for the first time ever in 2011. You may have seen this phrase “Project 365″ all over the Internet this week, but what does it really mean? Project 365 is committing to taking one photo a day for a year. I’ve seen several different ways to do Project 365: with a DSLR, with a mobile phone, self-portraits, picture of your child, or even a picture of a certain object. I chose to do Project 365 using my iPhone along with the app, Instagram.

You know how to they “it takes six weeks to form a habit”? Well, that is when I hit the wall, mid-February. I was over taking pictures. I am constantly taking pictures but somehow doing Project 365 made it feel somewhat of a job. My husband was shocked that actually made it to February, and for some reason, that gave me the extra push. I can be somewhat of a flake on things, and often don’t finish some of the projects that I start. I became determined to finish Project 365.

10 Tips on How To Organize Project 365

Here are 10 Tips Showing What I Learned Doing Project 365 and How To Stay Organized:

1. Take photo with iPhone. I had no particular thing that I was taking pictures of. I took pictures of my food, my son, myself, the weather, flowers, and about anything else that I could find, that looked interesting.

2. Start early in the day with your photos. When you take multiple photos throughout the day, it is much easier to select that “perfect” photo for the day. Also, you won’t have panic at 11pm when you forgot to take a photo, like I did on some of the days.

3. Upload to Instagram for sharing. Obviously Project 365 is something that I set out to do and conquer. But I think that everyone loves a good photo, and most of the time, mine are pretty decent.  Instagram is my FAVORITE app on my iPhone. Yes, Instagram beat out Twitter this past year as my favorite. There are some fantastic photographers that post on Instagram. Find me as @AngryJulie over there.

4. When Sharing on Instagram, have photos sent to my Flickr account. I use Flickr for all of my photo storage and blog photos. It is great site to keep everything organized and tagged properly. I use the Flickr Pro version which is $24.95 a year. Flickr has a free version which you can upload 2 videos and 300MB worth of photos each calendar month. I love the Flickr Pro version for unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and archiving of high-resolution original images.

5. Create a set on Flickr to store all of my Project 365 Photos. What is the point of having all of these photos if I can’t find them to look at them? If I didn’t set-up this set on Flickr, all of my cherished Project 365 photos would be lost on my iPhone and my Instagram account. At the end of each day, I made sure that I added my “Project 365 Photo for the Day” into my Flickr set titled “Project 365 2011″ obviously.

6. Label each Project 365 Photo of the Day with the Proper Day Number. Some days I took 5 photos and some days, I took 1. I had days where I found  myself at the end of the day without taking a photo, because I was too busy. I went throughout my house and found something funny, or maybe even one of my son’s toys. But I always went back and numbered my photos stating this, “Project 365 1/365″ for each of the 365 days. I kept the title that was already with the photo from my Instagram photo, which was somewhat of a description.

7. Make sure that the numbers on my Project 365 were actually the correct date number. It is easy to do the first month, January. There are 31 days in January. After January, it gets more difficult with Day 32, etc. I thought that I was doing a good job with my numbering and that I was on track at the end of the project. Well, when I was working on my preliminary Week 52 post, I freaked. I realized that the numbering of my days in the Project was off by three days. I took a day and went through ALL of my photos and found the error, which was on FEBRUARY 26th. My friend, Megan, sent me this online calendar to make sure that all of the dates and numbers matched up when I went to fix all of my photos, and all of my recap posts. That particular project took three days.

8. Make sure that the photos are in numerical order within the Flickr set. There are actually people who like to check out the photos that you take for Project 365, and there are also Flickr Groups that you can join to add your photos too. I like to make sure that the photos are all in order. You can do a “batch” organizing, and re-arrange them “oldest first” which will start the group with Day 1.

9. Do a weekly recap post. Every week on either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, I did a recap week of all my Project 365 photos for the week prior. Since January 1, 2011 was on a Saturday, my weeks went from Saturday to Friday, 7 days. I labeled my posts, “Project 365: Week 1″ and so forth. I also have a button on the sidebar of my blog with the “Project 365″ category for easy access.

10. Be dilligent about organizing your photos daily. If you use some of the tools and steps that I’ve outlined above, it will much easier to accomplish this project. If you are a big photo taker like me, it can be difficult to go back a few days and properly organize, tag, and label your photos.

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It was a fun project to do! I am really happy that I finished it. But seriously, I am a bit exhausted. I may have shaken my fist in the air, and shouted, “YESSSS I’m done, I’m really done” last Saturday night. I posted my last week here, Week 52. I giggle to myself a little when I see everyone posting their Project 365 pictures on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. But seriously, so glad I did it. Maybe in 2013, I will try it again.

While I was working on this post, I was chatting with Janice Croze from 5 Minutes For Mom on Skype. Janice is VERY similar to me, as we are both a little over-the-top with our perfectionism.  She kept asking me questions about Project 365, and what it was. I tried to explain to her what it entailed by cutting and pasting some of the verbage from this post while I was typing it. But she wanted me to quote her on this little statement that she made.

“SO, what happens if you miss a day? Do you have to kill yourself??? Cause I am a perfectionist – I don’t think I can handle the pressure OR the empty space.”-Janice Croze, 5 Minutes For Mom

Janice has a good point. What if you miss a day and forget to take a photo? Will you be fired from Project 365? Do you have to stop doing it? Can you cheat? Obviously, you are just cheating yourself, because this is your own self-guided photo project. But I have to admit, there were a few days that I flubbed. I had some really long busy work days where either I had nothing interesting to take a photo of, or my iPhone was dead and needed charging. I admit to taking an extra photo from the day prior or the next day to fulfill 2-3 days within the project. I know what days those were, because my photo upload date to Flickr is different than the actual Project 365 date. Those days were totally haunt my OCD/perfectionism. So to answer Janice’s question, “will I kill myself? No, but I know, I will always know…but I’m ok with that, because YEEHAW I’m done!

I hope that my tips will help you on your journey of 365 days and 52 weeks of Project 365 or in 2012, Project 366!

Here are some other great tips for a successful Project 365: