Over 50 different ways to use Amazon Alexa with your children

Over 50 different ways to use Amazon Alexa with your children

Due to the recent school closings and endless time at home, here is a list of 50+ ways to use your Amazon Alexa smart speaker to break the boredom and introduce some fun into your day. Here are some resources to find inventive ways to interact with your Amazon Alexa:

 

01  |  15 Things Your Kids Will Love About Amazon Alexa and Google Home

The suggestion to play games led us down a path of interactive fun for 30 minutes. My children mostly enjoyed the “Animal Game” and Alexa guessed at least 10 different animals with my 8-year-old son before moving onto the next activity.

02  |  20 Alexa games to keep your kids busy

The “Chompers” podcast is a great way to get your children to brush their teeth while the “Kids Court” seems like it would be a humorous way to deal with meltdowns and disagreements between siblings but exercise caution – it is just a game.

03  |  50 funny things to ask Alexa: Jokes, trivia and more

These questions will keep you and Alexa busy for at least a good 30 minutes. The kids enjoyed her comment about her weight and if she knew Siri.

04  |  The Ultimate List of Things Your Kids Can Ask Amazon Alexa

Alexa, open the Magic Door” was a great resource and my son went through two options that lasted around 10 minutes total. He enjoyed the stories and sat mesmerized the whole time with a few giggles.

05  |  Amazon Alexa Skills

Do not forget that Amazon is also a great resource for finding more “skills” and new games for the Smart Speaker or Home Assistant. You will also be able to disable and enable games or skills on your personal home assistant before you interact with it and your children. Also, you should download the Alexa App onto your smartphone to remotely operate your smart speaker to make calls, announcements, set timers, and make routines. It has been a great resource in our home since the #1 thing we use Alexa for is praise music blasting a solid volume 10 almost all day long.

How to use Google Slides to create a Children’s Chore Chart

How to use Google Slides to create a Children’s Chore Chart

How to use Google Slides to create a Children’s Chore Chart

Would you like to learn how to use Google Slides and create a beautiful chore and responsibility chart for your children? Wouldn’t it be great to better understand Google Drive to demystify the technology so you can better utilize it?

Not only can you better understand Google Drive, but you can create amazing printables that will better serve you and your family, today! If you love technology and view it as a tool, not a hindrance then let’s dive into today’s post all about using, editing, and printing a PRINTABLE Google Slide Children’s Chore Chart (or any printable you truly need).

FREE CHORE CHART_Editable Google Slides Chore and Responsibility Chart for children

*This post contains affiliate links.

What is Google Slides?

Google Slides is Google’s version of the PowerPoint Presentation. What is PowerPoint? It is a great software tool that professionals and students have been using for the last 20 years to present eye-popping, sometimes gimmicky, presentations that have become the #1 standard for presenting anything today. So get on board or get left behind. You can read all about my love for Google and how I use it on a daily basis on this post.

How do I get Google Slides?

  1. Set up a Google Account by setting up a Gmail account that will provide you with an email and access to Google Drive.
  2. Within Google Drive, you will have an option to create a “+New” digital file.
  3. After clicking the “+New” tab, you will select “Google Slides”

Another option, you can also download “Google Slides” to your mobile device and create items directly within the program without accessing Google Drive. (Google Drive is your Windows Explorer ONLINE or a cloud service that stores all these files in a place that won’t disappear and you can access anytime anywhere.)

Why should I create a Children’s Chore Chart?

As a mom to four little kids that are eight and under, I understand the importance of trying to create routines and schedules. I love drafting charts and lists on regular paper but nothing beats a well designed, pretty, and evenly lined up chore chart slipped inside a page protector, or better yet, LAMINATED so my children can quickly and easily check off their achievements – #WINWIN situation!

*Post was written during the great Coronavirus quarantine so we were desperately looking for systems to stay productive.

FULL TRANSPARENCY! I am not a born organized person. I lose my keys on a daily basis and have mini piles all around the house! As a creative, I rise to the challenge of creating something beautiful and surrounding myself with beautiful things like clean and straight forward charts HELPS A TON!

What works for you? Leave a comment below with tips and tricks for staying organized as a creative.

How to use Google Slides to create a Children’s Chore Chart

STEP ONE:

You could create one from scratch OR just use the template that I have created for you 🙂

Use the link below to gain access to the template we will be using throughout the rest of this guide.

Link text

STEP TWO:

You have two options.

One, you can download the PDFs of the Chore and Responsibility Charts without any editing needed to print directly. All you have to do is write in the chores and duties the child[ren] will accomplish and Voila! You are done.

Two, Click the link provided to you via email to access the template. FIRST THING YOU MUST DO is create a COPY! If you do not have a Gmail account then the only option will be to download.

 

STEP THREE:

The edits available are located in the name, chore lines, and verse text at the bottom of the chart.

Click the first line in the table to start writing the duties and chores needed.

^^^DON’T WORRY about making a mistake. There is an easy to use “redo” button located at the top of the Google Slides page that will backup your edits.

STEP FOUR:

You have entered all the data needed and am ready to download and/or print.

You could download as PDF or image file (.jpeg). A PDF would be used to PRINT and utilize on a fridge, etc. An image file could be used on your phone as a screensaver or perhaps inside an app that you can easily manipulate that way you save some paper.

STEP FIVE:

The print preview and print option will provide you with more options to make sure the Chart fits onto your paper size.

You should select “advanced options” then “fit to printable area” so that the whole Chart will print on your paper size.

Windows 7 End of Life: What does it mean for your personal computer?

Windows 7 End of Life: What does it mean for your personal computer?

OH NO! My computer keeps saying it will no longer support Windows 7 by Microsoft after January 14, 2020. What does that mean for my personal computer?

The time has come for the End of Life (EOL) support for the Windows 7 operating system by Microsoft and for a lot of people this almost constant pop up window for the last year is more than concerning. If you own a personal computer, laptop or desktop PC, with the Windows 7 operating system but use it for nominal use like checking your email or social media, you may be scratching your head about what to do next.

*This post contains affiliate links which are marked with an *. This means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through one of my links. If you do, thank you for the support ♥

I started this article before the end of support date of Windows 7 and am now writing it to myself and the many others who may have a device older than five years that supports this beloved operating system.

Gone are the days when you could continue using outdated and unsupporeted programs like Winows Vista and those before it.  Every time you tap the keys and connect to the internet you are putting your personal data at risk.

You are probably saying, “I know Holly but all of this is going over my head! I don’t know what to do next nor do I have any money to protect or upgrade my computer!”

Let’s discuss the options available to YOU! (Remember I am here to serve you and if your computer is at risk connect with me at holly [at] knittingourstory.com)

 

1 | WHY IS MICROSOFT ENDING SUPPORT FOR WINDOWS 7?

Let’s face it. Microsoft is a tech giant and software is a hot business. Over time, they have learned that to keep up with their competitors they have to keep raising the bar with their software packages. It is ultimately their choice to continue or NOT continue to support a product they developed.

You can read more about their decision here.

The wave of smartphone technology and the minimalismus categorical design of software is overtaking technology.

Ever use Netflix? Or have a Roku TV? The cards or blocks with vivid imagery is an easy and visually appealing way to convey information quickly. You can easily select your choice without having to read any information. And that approach has been utilized across almost ALL consumer technology. INSTANT GRATIFICATION with no time wasted on having to sort through useless information.

What are the differences between Windows 7 vs 10?

01  |  Account Integration

Microsoft has now introduced Account Integration which requires the user to link an account to their device for any type of functionality.

HUH? If you own an Apple iPhone then you are already familiar with inputting your Apple ID to open your phone or download any new apps. It is a way to create a seamless user experience over multiple devices and allows access to some feartures offered by Microsoft.

02  |  Start Menu

The Start menu has a new icon, and unlike Windows 8, Windows 10 brought back some of the things that Windows 7 users love.

The menu has items listed in Alphabetical order and different icons so do not assume a program is gone because you do not see it’s normal image associated with it because the new design is the biggest learning curve. You still have access to the normal functions like Shut Down, settings, and control panel.

TIP: If you need it larger, you can bring your mouse to the edge of the window and ENLARGE it.

03  |  Tiles (Apps)

You will notice an area to the right of your long list of programs on the Start Menu that Mircosoft calls the “tiles”. Each tile can either be a shortcut to program you use regularly, a webpage shortchut, or an application. For example, You have an option to use the “Facebook” app or just log onto the internet using your explorer (such as Edge, Google Chrome, or FireFox). If this all seems a bit much and you dislike the functionality, right click the tile and disable it.

04  |  Cortana

Your personal assistant via Mircosoft which functions just like the Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri.

Ask it to jot down notes, make an alarm, find a document, etc. A new feature that I haven’t full utlized but something you should be aware of since it pops up pretty often unless you disable it which you can!

05  |  Accessibility (Control Panel, Settings, and Edge)

Mircosoft really changed up their design and flow to offer a more streamlined experince for their user but if you like continuity and maybe a little resistant to change then serarching for these areas may not come easily.

The control panel can be accessed by holding down the Windows Key + X to access the nitty gritty areas of your computer, while the all encompassing Gear Icon, which has become the universal Settings icon on everything, is where you access your settings for design, WiFi, devices, etc. The design is pleasing and straight forward but still a learning curve from Windows 7.

ALSO, you have a new Windows Internet Explorer! Edge is the new and imporved windows explorer so don’t get frustrated when you cannot find your old icons.

 

2 | WHAT TO DO IF MY COMPUTER IS STILL RUNNING WINDOWS 7?

Gathering digital images for organization

You need to know that each day pass January 14, 2020, the more at risk you are making yourself and your precious data on the computer or laptop.

01  |  Outdated Software

The functionality of your computer will slowly depreciate. The more programs added and files downloaded the more it will slow down your computer. Like any device, it requires regular maintenance and cleaning. Yet, the lack of security and updates on your computer will make it more at risk of crashing or being hacked.

The outdated software means that your computer data could be lost if it ins’t back up!

Back it up!

Get an external harddrive and save all your documents, photos, videos, and music. This is just regular legacy maintenance but MOST DEFINITELY important if your hardware (computer/laptop/smartphone) is over five years old. Gone are the days when you could keep something for a lifetime with regular care.

Windows 7 will not be aided or support without an “extended care” support plan. Start looking into if your computer needs to be completely replaced or just upgraded.

02  |  Security Risks

Since you do not have Mircosoft providing security through Windows Defender, you need to have an alternative security system to keep your device afloat.

I recommend using Malwarebytes, it is a wonderful program that is available for FREE with limited security while a full license will provide full security at a reasonable price. Considering you are choosing to continue with Windows 7 against their approval I would recommend this or any other type of third party security software to protect your personal data shared online. 

We use it and love it.

3 | HOW TO UPGRADE?

A while back, Mircrosoft offered a free upgrade to Windows 10. According to this article by CNET, you can still get that free download and upgrade. 

UPDATE: 2/29/2020 I used the above link and it worked! I did find however that one must have already downloaded it previously and chose to revert. When Windows 10 first debut, I did use it but chose to revert because there were too many bugs.

The alternative would be to pay for the upgrade which could run you around $139.

Hope that you were able to upgrade, replace, or find the information needed. Leave a comment below if you need more assistance with Windows 10.

My word for the year in 2020

My word for the year in 2020

What is a word for the year? Why do I need a word for the year? How do I find a word for the year?

In 2017, I started using a word for the year to keep motivated and focused on the annual goals for my personal, spiritual, and physical life. It came naturally to dive deep into my heart to find a word, or as I like to view it, a feeling or emotion that needs to be addressed throughout the upcoming year. 

*This post contains affiliate links which are marked with an * as an added level of transparency. This means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if a purchase is made through one of the links. If you do, thank you for the support ♥

In 2018, I chose THRIVE because I was ready to tackle a new endeavor in videography that eventually morphed into photography! I jumped onto WIX to create my first website, created a Facebook business page, and promoted my services to the community. It was a year to branch out and THRIVE aka prosper, grow, and develop a service that would blossom into a flourishing business. The word for the year did not lead me astray and kept my eyes on the prize – a thriving business that would have slow growth but GOOD Growth!

In 2019, I chose SIMPLIFY because I was saying “YES” to all the things to feel apart of something outside of being “just” a stay at home mom (that statement needs a FULL post but I am not ready to tackle that just yet).  The real focus needed to be on my heart and home for this frazzled creative. I know that I am not alone when it comes to being a night owl and not an innately structured person so simplify morphed into decluttering and pruning to make time for what matters most.

Before I reveal my word for the year 2020, let’s discuss what it is and how to find yours?

1 | WHAT IS A WORD FOR THE YEAR?

Defining your goals for a the year can seem overwhelming but a word, just ONE word, is simple. You can speak it into all areas of your life – marriage, family, work, exercise, diet, and your walk with the Lord.

So if you enjoy making plans and goals, yet struggle with focus as the year weans, then embracing this new method may be just the thing to keep you motivated and on track.

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” -Hans Hofmann

Ok, let’s do this.

You will pick ONE word or small phrase to embrace as your mantra for the year.

It is a simple idea but finding the word, the emotion, or statement that speaks to YOU may be difficult. Let’s dive into how then I will share more about my word for the year of 2020.

2 | HOW TO FIND YOUR WORD FOR THE YEAR?

Gathering digital images for organization

First, I do not like to reinvent the wheel so here are two resources that you could use to discover a word on your own.

01  |  she works HIS way

In 2017, when the Lord impressed upon my heart to step out in faith to bless other people with photography and films. I immediately joined the she works His way member community as my very first step to becoming a business leader. The organization is amazing and I am NOT being paid or compensated for this opinion.

They produced a wonderful article in December of 2019 that dives into how one person schedules time with the Lord to purposefully establish a word for the year. You can read more about it here.

02  |  Fill out a quiz

DaySpring is an online shop that wants to help you know & share the life-changing message of God’s love #liveyourfaith

Currently they have a charming little quiz to take out all the guess work. You can visit here* or by clicking the image below.


Word For The Year  |  DAYSPRING

 

I enjoyed the seven question quiz from DaySpring. Each question felt like it spoke to the emotions that you would feel when planning a year… “where do you want to go with your relationships?” “where did you struggle this past year?” And the answers were rooted in scripture though it wasn’t explicitly described that way.

The quiz reaffirmed my chosen word with STAND. The Lord had not given me that particular word but I wouldn’t be able to move forward without STANDING.

You will also be provided with an image like this after you complete the quiz with an opportunity to receive emails about your word throughout the year!

03  |  PEN AND PAPER

Here are the steps I have gathered from all these resources.

01.  Grab your Bible, something to write in like a journal or notebook, and a pen (or pencil as long as you enjoy writing with it).

02.  Choose a day and time that will give you ample time to reflect and evaluate your past while contemplating your future. I would suggest the early morning or a Sunday since it is already a day of worship and praise.

03.  Spend time in prayer and journaling your worries, fears, desires, and ambitions.

04.  Now it is time for the real heartwork. Pray over the words. The journaling. The heartaches and struggles. The goals and vision that the Lord is laying on your heart. During this time of deep meditation is when the Lord starts to pull out the emotion that feeds into my word. The next section is an example of the dialouge that happened in my heart that secured my word and direction for 2020.

 READ ALSO: How to apply your peronsality type in Bible Study

3 | KNITTING MY WORD FOR THE YEAR

Reflection  |  MY PAST

I have learned that my personality type goes to the deep places in my heart without hesitation. It is comfortable (for me but maybe not you) embracing and wallowing in the hard places of life like grief, tragedy, and suffering.

You see, the book of Job spoke to my teenage heart, and even today, still resonates in my bones every time I read through his longsuffering.

Therefore, as I reflected on 2019, it would be easy to see our health issues and growing family as a place of worry going forward BUT I have joy in my heart.

“…Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” -Job 2:10

Personally, I need to move away from the hurt but not forget the unexpected blessings. I need to stand firm, like the roots of a tree, in God’s mercy that he bestowed upon our family. Shake off the dead and decaying cancer that tried to choke us. Place the agony at his feet. Praise His Name and continue to step forward in faith.

In 2019, God simplified our lives by pruning away the distractions, the clutter, and unnecessary stuff in our lives that could have caused wedges in our relationships with one another and especially with Him.

Reflection  |  MY FUTURE

If you have any garderning experience, you know the benefits of pruning away the dead or overabundance of growth on plants. We have an amazing burning bush in our front yard. The burning bush is a hardy plant that requires little maintenance plus can grow to a mighty 15 feet! It has flourished to the point that it was obstructing the view of the street from our front porch which meant I coud not see our children easily on the sidewalk.  (NO GOOD!)

The plant required pruning to aid us in our vision of what is to come. The plant will heal and grow. It will also now have a deliberate path for growth. And with it’s new growth it will increase the beauty of our home.

Therefore, like the burning bush, new growth will happen in our lives. The growth will be strong because the roots are established. It will bloom once again with healthier leaves and gorgeous flowers.

The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.

But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. 

-Luke 8:14-15

MY WORD FOR THE YEAR IN 2020

 

GROWTH

 

Spiritual:  Increase in knowledge of scripture through consistent Bible Study. Would you like to join?

Marriage: Deepen our marriage through “love & respect” with intentional time together while also creating more clarity in our decision making process. {AKA I will be more decisive and clear in my communication with a bolder attitude yet it will always be respectful.}

Family & Home: Cut the CHAOS and create a home of loving support, peace, and joy. Muster up the self-discipline it requires to MOM with all my heart.

Physical: Strengthen my body along with my soul. AKA lose the baby weight and increase my energy levels with better diet and increased exercise.

Professional: GROWTH. Grow this online ministry. Increase my capacity as a photographer/family filmmaker/leader/speaker/writer.

Six ways to organize your life with Google

Six ways to organize your life with Google

Free resources available through Google to organize YOUR life 

As a loyal PC and Android user, I am quite familiar with Google and its free products. Let’s emphasize the FREE part which is a crucial reason WHY I adore Google and it’s software products. Yes, I tend to be quite frugal and Google has been a go-to software for this reason.

Over the years, we have seen Google transform and innovate their products from a standalone search engine into a diverse company with a number of free and paid for products. Let’s review my favorites from the point of view of a mother with young children and beginner blogger.

Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google LLC, used with permission.

01  | Gmail

Gmail is the email service that is provided for free through Google. I can remember when you needed an “invitation” to join the email service provider back in 2005 and readily jumped on the bandwagon from my yahoo account. The Gmail account has transformed through the years and it now means you have a “Google Account” that opens the door to many other products. 

PRICE: Free

HOW: To sign up for Gmail, create a Google Account by going here. You can use the username and password to sign in to Gmail and other Google products like YouTube, Google Play, and Google Drive. You will need to remember your username and password to sign in unless you also use the Chrome search browser, in which case, you can choose to let the browser save your information for easier login.

My top tips for Gmail

1. Open a free account today! It is easy and opens the door to the following products that are an added bonus to this service.

2. Do NOT continue to sign up for all the spammy accounts that will run your email inbox up to 1000 unread emails – again! Allow this new account to be your fresh start.

3. Organize your inbox using the Gmail provided organization system or create your own!

4. Create an email signature along with automated responses for vacation time, etc. It is easy and looks cool. (I have a couple created at the bottom of this blog post AND I created them with Google Slides.)

5. Use this service on your phone instead of the straight out of the box email app that it comes standard. You will need to download the app and connect it to your Gmail account. However, personally speaking, it will provide more usability and user friendliness.

6. Real World Use: I use Gmail for communication with doctors, school administration for my children, with my husband to schedule appointments within our shared google calendar, receive notifications from our church, and now, as a professional email account via Google Domain by making an official ” @knittingourstory.com” email address.

02  | Google Drive

A Google account via Gmail provides you access to a multitude of other products. The first one you should take advantage of is their cloud service called Drive.

PRICE: Free

HOW: To sign up for Google Drive, create a Google Account from the previous review item. You can view what Drive is all about by going here. You can use the username and password to sign in to Gmail and other Google products like YouTube, Google Play, and Google Drive. You will need to remember your username and password to sign in unless you also use the Chrome search browser, in which case, you can choose to let the browser save your information for easier login.

My top takeaways for Google Drive

1. Use it to store important documents, projects, and make important documents.

2. Drive can be used as your default option to download to and save items to within Gmail! Great way to instantly save important documents from your email.

3. Save images here but only ones you will probably use on a regular basis otherwise I would use Google Photos as your photo library which will be discussed below.

4. Use Drive to create documents! Google Drive is where you can access Google’s online word processor online software apps that are similar to Microsoft products such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

5. Use it on all your devices with the free 15 GB of storage for email and Drive items.

6. Real World Use: I use Drive to make cool printables for my kids and church, write blog posts, make images for this site, make shared slideshow presentations for instructional purposes, save important PDFs that I need to access frequently but DO NOT want to download to my phone’s internal memory.

03  | Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drawings, My Maps, Sites

Create your own documents, slideshow presentations, financial spreadsheets, and much more with just a click of the “+ New” icon within Google Drive.

PRICE: Free

HOW: To use the resources within Google Drive such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more. You only have to click on the “+ new” in the left-hand corner section (on Desktop) or the “+” symbol in the lower right-hand corner (mobile).  You have access to all of these resources for FREE and they automatically back up on the Drive so need to worry about it crashing or losing all your work. Offline is also available if you want to work on documents without internet. To access these apps on your mobile device you may download the apps individually or use them in a browser window.

My top takeaways for using the processing applications

1. If I need to compose a formal email and want some collaboration with others for editing purposes = Docs.

2. Track your expenses and make a family budget = Sheets.

3. Create a cool printable of Paw Patrol or Fortnite characters for your kids = Slides.

4. Create and collaborate with other moms, teachers, missionaries on a presentation = Slides.

5. Gather input via a survey or poll for your new product, classroom idea, or outreach project = Forms.

6. Drawings, My Maps, and Sites are for specific uses that I could elaborate on more if you are interested. Leave a comment to let me know if you would like a tutorial on them 🙂

7. Real World Use: I use Docs for my blog posts and Bible Journaling in the morning. I use Sheets to track blog posts, affiliate information, and store information in an ordered manner. I use Slides the most creating images (as well as Canva) and instructional presentations because I love the ability to keep everything in ONE place.

04  | Google Calendar

A Google account provides access to their calendar that is used across the internet! It is amazing!

PRICE: Free

HOW: Calendar may be accessed via the right hand side menu under your account name and picture (on desktop) and download the app for your mobile device.

My top takeaways for Google Calendar

1. Create your work schedule, home life routines, and share it with your close ones.

2. Save important dates straight from your Gmail.

3. Add tasks and reminders within Gmail or Calendar and it will save at an exact time and place perfect for you.

4. Share it! Or save your kids’ school schedule directly to your calendar! Or your church’s or whoever else may have their schedule available online.

5. Real World Use: I use it to save important appointments like doctor visits and schedule reminders for tasks or projects along with saving the local school’s calendar. My husband and I also collaborate on dates and times for events without double booking! #winning

05  | Google Keep

An app and desktop application that you can use for quick reminders, save important images, lists, etc.

PRICE: Free

HOW: Google Keep is another resource located on the right hand side corner along with Calendar that is an added bonus but not something you may realize is there from the beginning.

My top takeaways for Google Keep

1. An easy and quick to use smartphone application that allows you to jot down things you want to remember. It is very similar to Evernote.

2. I love how visually appealing it is along with how it integrates with all the above applications as well.

3. You may end up with a long note that would be better used as a document which you can easily convert with a click at the bottom of your board.

4. It is a great grocery item list maker.

5. Real World Use: Grocery items, school reminders for the kids that can be scheduled in the calendar, blog post ideas, names and pictures of cards for people I need to remember but will lose in the bottom of my purse.

06  | Google Photos

My favorite for last! Google Photos is the unlimited photo cloud storage service, at certain file sizes, along with videos. It also comes with Google Assistant which means you can create little home videos.

PRICE: Free

HOW: Google Photos is also available via the right hand side corner menu that is freely given with your Google account.

My top takeaways for Google Photos

1. BACKUP YOUR PHOTOS AUTOMATICALLY!

2. The cloud service can be downloaded onto your phone and used as a backup for all your everyday photos and videos.

3. The unlimited storage and organization allow you to have peace of mind that your digital memories are safe.

4. The Google assistant puts the creative control in your hands as a total beginner! Let the artificial intelligence create home films or create them yourself.

5. Real World Use: My go-to cloud backup for my everyday digital memories. I share images with those NOT on social media like grandparents who do NOT need a Gmail address to access them. Along with SHARED albums with my husband so both of our phones are backed up. I have also used the movie maker feature that is great for TOTAL beginners.

Conclusion

Today’s technology isn’t going anywhere. We are very blessed to have these tools available and smartphones mean we can carry it with us everywhere. I also always encourage people to be mindful of their screen time – children and adults – but understand that it is a tool used for work and pleasure so use your judgment.

The applications are available on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Who would benefit? Parents who want to stay connected with each other and with their kids. Tracking changing schedules, updating resumes, writing school essays, or compiling a list of donors for non-profit events. Teachers who need to create things on the go. Missionaries trying to create communication pieces on the frugal. Bloggers or online creators designing content to share but do not have the ability to purchase Microsoft Office products. 

My hope is to transfer knowledge into YOUR hands. Let me know how I can help.

#LegacyLoveLetter

Dear littles, 

I hope that as you stalk this site that you will see that I never stopped learning. I pursued more knowledge that could be used effectively and efficiently for our family. Even as #4 sits in his high chair enjoying Nutella, I am seeking to further the kingdom throughout my everyday actions. 

Hi! I’m Holly, and at Knitting Our Story, I embrace the fact that you can love your new smart device while also living a full and intentional life; you do not have to choose one over the other. If you desire to use technology as a workplace resource, a fancy new toy, or want to utilize it for creative resources, I’m here to support you with why you should and how it can be done.

Read More

My favorite easy to use video editing software for mothers and total beginners

My favorite easy to use video editing software for mothers and total beginners

It is about time I wrote my first review. This is an honest and unbiased review of a video [and photo editing software – PhotoDirector] perfect for beginners or serious hobbyists – Cyberlink PowerDirector. If you are here then are you probably looking for an easy to use video editing software for mothers and total beginners – I was too!

My favorite easy to use video editing software for mothers and total beginners because:

A favorite because it was my first (semi) professional video editing software willingly purchased. It had a non-linear timeline that allows you to have creative control over the editing process! It was exactly what I needed in that season of life.

Who would benefit from a video editing software program? 

Someone looking to edit their favorite smartphone videos and photos into a family keepsake film that everyone will love AND enjoy. [Let’s be honest – not all photo slideshows are created equal.]

Parents of young ones capturing day to day activities

Parents of teenagers capturing the multitude of events and sports

Grandparents doing the same thing

People starting a new adventure like retirement in an RV  

Missionaries sharing their story

Small startups creating engaging video content

MLM/Direct salespeople making video content 

Teachers creating lessons, promos and a year in review

And whoever else wants to create something but doesn’t want a steep learning curve

If you are considering this an easy to use a video editing software for mothers and total beginners, just like I was in 2016, then you are probably asking yourself several questions like: 

 

#1: Why do I NEED this easy to use video editing software?

 

After falling in love with video storytelling in 2008 through a very simple and free software [insert post about windows movie maker] I knew that I WANTED to create a more detailed and engaging film. 

 

Fast forward eight years, I was a wife and mother of three adorable children and my smartphone and computer were quickly filling up with images of our life together. Again, it really was the best option for an easy to use video editing software for mothers and total beginners.

 

One day, while scrolling through social media I noticed a beautiful film – and I mean film – that someone created by piecing together home footage from a smartphone! 

 

GASP! I was in awe!

 

I just knew I needed this in my life! But my budget was in no place to pay someone else around $500 to create a family film.

 

SOOOOOO, I started to research video editing software. Days on days and weeks of research that ultimately led to purchasing CyberLink PowerDirector 13. It fit the bill in all the right places for this Stay-At-Home-Mom in the market for making family keepsake films with smartphone footage.

 

 Ready to give it a try? Click Here for a 30 day FREE trial!

 

 

#2: Does it have everything I DESIRE?

Easy to use – CHECK

Non-linear timeline – CHECK

Cool transitions – CHECK

Multiple timelines for music and voice over – CHECK

Add graphics ON TOP of my images and films – CHECK

Save in high quality – CHECK

ONE TIME PURCHASE!!!!! – CHECK

If you have children or family members or pets that you have captured in a media format then you have the stuff to manipulate just like I did (and still do). 

 

I had different types of footage and images that once pieced together into a Non linear time frame would produce a family keepsake film for, at the time, my grandmother. 

 

The program needed to be able to slow down, speed up, scroll and pan through images AND control the focus points so she knew where to look and when. 

 

HOWEVER, if time is short or you have a limited knowledge base, artificial intelligence can do basic movements across the image and create stunning effects as well. The creative control is in your hands, OR NOT, it is your choice.

 

#3: How user-friendly is this software?

Right out of the box, the video editing software PowerDirector gives you choices on how to startup your project. 

 

You have the option to let the software guide you through a simple photo/video slideshow that will ease you into the editing process or you can start from scratch with the FULL timeline option. Without a doubt, PowerDirector is easy to learn if you have a basic knowledge of video editing. If not, I am here to teach you some tips and tricks on how to use it or where to find other people who can also help.

 

Check out this guy to get you started: How to Make A Video That Doesn’t Suck | CyberLink PowerDirector 18

#4: Does the price justify the purchase?

PowerDirector is a robust user-friendly prosumer video editing software. You have the choice to buy it one time and keep it forever. It is yours. No strings attached. However, currently they are offering a subscription-based package that is similar to Adobe’s plan.

 

For me as a stay-at-home mother who wanted to start knitting together all the video footage, photos and memories I was creating with my growing family – it was a lifesaver. I had tried free programs but I found their limitations to be stifling once my knowledge base started expanding. 

 

So if you too have hit a creative wall with the “free” software programs then I highly recommend this as your first “big” investment for video editing software.

It does exactly what YOU need in a beginner software and more. 

One caveat, it is only available on Windows, Android smartphones, and now, Chromebooks. Again, for transparency reasons, I am only reviewing products I have used and can share an honest review to SERVE you in finding the best product.

In Summary

I enjoy photography and videography. I knew I wanted to create family films that we would enjoy and want to sit down and watch together. I wanted something much more than just slideshow photos that faded slowly and lacked the sounds of our children.

 

I wanted a new and innovative “family keepsake film” that included music with fancy transitions. I wanted to control the focus points and guide the viewer’s attention to our children and our love and joy and laughter together.

 

A legacy for my family that was more than just smiles and portraits of one another but a story that needed to be shared. A testimony of our love to pass down to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren because let’s face it, today’s digital age means we have a digital footprint that stays longer than we ever expected it to. 

 

Between our Facebook photo albums and YouTube videos, the memories can’t deteriorate like a book or photo sitting on a shelf that will slowly degrade. It is something that will last through the ages. Therefore, we should carefully consider what is being posted of our children and family. 

 

So in my honest opinion, Cyberlink PowerDirecotor is a tool to create an intentional legacy.

Try it for free for 30 days. Click Here.

Save up to 30% Storewide. Click Here.

What story do you want to share with people?

Please leave a comment below about the stories you would like to create and/or questions you have about this program.

 

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