In Category: ‘Personal’

Here is the information for the upcoming class in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. The class will be taught by the amazing Katie Leverenz of Corpus Christi, Texas. She has been with doTERRA for over a year and has a wealth of information to share. You won’t want to miss this insightful class on March 10th, 2013!


EssentialOilsParty3 10 13 Make Over Your Medicine Cabinet with doTERRA Essential Oils! Click on the flyer to see a larger image.

Thanks to Katie for agreeing to travel all the way to Ohio from Utah to spread her knowledge of these incredible essential oils. Hope you can join us!

Thinking about upgrading to the new iPhone 5? Well, before you sell that old iPhone or give it to your child to play with, listen up.

A few months back, the minutes expired on my pay-as-you-go (PAYG) phone. And while I love the ‘ol PAYG phones, I kind of got tired of carrying around two phones. (Totally petty, I know.) It wasn’t actually two phones per se, it was one cellphone and one old iPhone, which without a phone plan, was just a newer iPod Touch. You see, I have a hand-me-down iPhone 4. Frankly, I don’t actually NEED a smartphone, I just need a working cellphone, which is why this conversion works for me. The WiFi and other features of the Apple products are just a bonus. And it’s grown on me. Anyhow, since the minutes were expiring on my cheap PAYG phone, I asked my Tech-savy husband if I could just convert my iPhone 4, i.e. ‘fancy iPod Touch’, into a bona-fide PAYG phone. His stern answer: NO. Not one to back down so easily, I did what I do best. I researched online. Within five minutes, I found an old blog post explaining how to do such a thing. But that blog post was for converting the iPhone 3 into a PAYG phone. The size of the SIM cards have changed from the 3 to the 4 and 4s, so I had to dig deeper.

In a nutshell, I needed to find a PAYG plan from a company that sold a phone with a removable SIM card. The phone doesn’t matter whatsoever since I’m not planning to use it anyway. I just needed the SIM card and a PAYG plan. Many of the smaller PAYG phone companies that have helluva good minute and text plans don’t have SIM cards in their phones. What they have, I don’t know. It’s really a pity, though. Last year, I had a PAYG phone from Platinum Tel that cost me all of $85 for an entire year of calls and messaging. Talk about a steal! However, I was willing to pay a bit more just so that I can use my iPhone. Plus, that old phone had a tendency to drop calls which kinda sucks.

Anyhow, it was narrowed down to two, almost three phone companies: AT&T, Verizon, and almost, but not yet Virgin Mobile. Some of these companies offer PAYG smartphones now, but you have to pay for the smartphone. If you already have one, you can’t get on one of these plans (nor would you want to because they are priced higher to include the cost of the phone). No company that I know of has a PAYG plan in place for old, used iPhones. Nevertheless, using this method got me exactly that: A PAYG iPhone. It should be noted that the ‘smartphone’ part of this phone is only available when connected to a wireless network. The phone and messaging work anywhere and everywhere. But if I want to hop online or check the weather, I need to be near and connected to a wireless network. Do I wish it was a working smartphone 24/7? Absolutely. But as a full-time stay at home Mom and a part-time photographer, there is no way I can justify paying hundreds of dollars a year for a cellphone. The hub’s company pays for his phone, so we don’t need a family plan. I do realize that family plans are BIG money-savers, so if you have a few people in your family that need/want smartphones, that is probably the way to go. Except, of course, that you have to BUY a new smartphone.

So, deciding that AT&T had the best plan for me, I set off to buy a GoPhone. I went to the local AT&T store and somewhat told the surly girl working there my intentions. She quickly told me that no, it wouldn’t work for the simple reason that the SIM cards are different sizes. Besides, these companies would make a whole lot more money on smartphones if converting the old iPhones DID NOT work. After walking out of that store empty handed, I headed over to the local Walmart. At last, I found a like-minded dude working in the electronics department. This guy seemed to know his stuff and was surprised and impressed by my idea. Right away, he pointed out the differently sized SIM cards, but then followed it up with, “But you could buy a SIM card cutter and cut it into a Micro SIM.” This blew my mind. Just. Bang. I said, amazed, “You mean you just cut the card? And it doesn’t damage it?” At this point I was getting excited. I thought that finally, my plan just might come to fruition and (bonus!) I could rub it in my husband’s face! (Say Uncle!) Well, I bought the cheapest AT&T GoPhone at Walmart but I didn’t want to buy a SIM card cutter just to cut one measly SIM card. So yet again, I ran home and researched online how to cut the SIM card myself. With scissors. MacGyver-style. This is what I found. An adorable Australian college student with a template and instructions. Man, I LOVE the internet!

Here is the video:

Following his instructions, I cut that new SIM card (also called a Mini SIM) to Micro SIM size and popped it in my old iPhone 4. Poof! After activating the phone, it was a working, functioning PAYG non-smartphone iPhone 4. Now, it’s worth noting that I’m not a big phone-talker. In fact, I hate it. I don’t have that filter found in normal people wherein they stop talking before making an ass of themselves. So naturally, I prefer the thoughtful process of email and texting. Ah, texting. The plan that I have now, after experimenting with a few plans that proved to be not generous enough in the minutes/texts per $ area, is the $9.99/month for up to 1000 texts. And phone calls are 10 cents per minute. I rarely make/take calls on my phone, so it’s a deal for me. They have plans that have unlimited texts/calls for around $50/month, which is way more than I want/need.

While I realize that this plan is not for everybody, I do think it is ideal for me. I also think this plan is ideal for tweens or teens that want the latest gadgets, but no money to afford them. Plus, you can buy an AT&T gift card that can be used toward the minutes/text of a plan. So you don’t need a credit card to start a plan. Perhaps baby-boomers that want a phone but don’t necessarily need a smartphone could benefit from this too.

If you have any additional questions about how I did this or if you know how I can cheaply convert this phone to a bona-fide smartphone, I’d love for you to leave me a comment. Thanks! -KW

UPDATE 2/8/13: Platinum Tel now offers ‘BYOP’ or Bring Your Own Phone plans. You can buy SIM cards from them to use their plans with whatever phone you already have. Yep. I’m heading over there as soon as I run out of money on my current AT&T plan. Horray for PTel!!!

UPDATE 2/25/13: PTel’s SIM cards are the big ‘ol mama-jamas. So I used the video mentioned above to cut it. I decided to go with the Real Pay-As-You-Go plan and then bought a hotspot from Virgin Mobile. Figured that way I can use the WiFi for my phone, the kid’s Kindle Fires, and a future iPad that I’m toying with the idea of buying. That hotspot was on sale for $83 and change, then costs $30 per month (no contract) for 4G of data, which is more than enough for our needs. I could easily bump it up to $40/mo. for 5G and so on, but 4G should be plenty for now. Next task: Come up with a creative name for my hotspot… Oh, it is ON!



My husband and I started this tradition before we had kids. But like many things, kids make the experience even better. This past Saturday, we made our annual trip to Sugar Pines Farm  in Chesterland, Ohio where the process of cutting down your own tree runs like a well-oiled machine. They provide the wagons and saws. You provide the labor and cash. Now that my son is old enough to help, I am pretty much there for comic relief and to take pictures. Which is pretty much why I am invited to do anything at all. And I wouldn’t want it any other way…

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Right now my house smells like peppermint and pine. Santa and the Elf he sent us watch over my kids. And comfort foods are ALWAYS on the menu… I love this time of year!


December 1, 2011 Lily – Third Birthday

Here are pics of my niece Lily, turning the big 3! This girl has amazing communication abilities. Even since before she was 2 years old, you could seriously sit down and have a full-out conversation with her. In these pics, I was testing out my new Lightscoop flash adapter thingy. Me likey! First things first, a party isn’t a party until there is hard liquor, no?

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“Wow. A princess cake!”

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Lily really loved her gifts, as you can see…

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Check out this wrapping job. This makes total sense to me. Now I know what to do with all that junk mail I get every day…

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Happy Birthday, Lil! Aunt Kris loves you!

Here is my niece Bella, all decked out in her Halloween costume. I watch Bella once every two weeks and while it was difficult at first, what with two small children of my own, I really enjoy it now. She is so sweet. She just staggers around the house, blabbering, exploring, and smiling.

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This is my brother and his wife, also known as ‘Bella’s parents’. Happy Belated Halloween!

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Ok. So. Yeah. I’ve been a little behind in blogging lately. The fall months are turning out to be my busy months. Between the cooler weather and the beautiful fall leaves, EVERYONE wants photos done in the fall. And who could blame them, right? Certainly not I. So then let’s get to it. First up: My cousin’s wedding. Although I was NOT the official photographer, I did snap a few photos on my own. And these are the ones I like and felt were worth sharing…

First, this is my husband and son, the ringbearer. My husband’s current winter beard, for all its warmth and ease for him, totally sucks for me. Come on, springtime! See how dashing he is with a clean-shaven face? See?!

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Oh, happy day!

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This is the Bride’s Grandfather (on the other side). He caught me taking a picture of him so he said, “I’m going to take one of you. And then I’m going to tell everyone that you’re my girlfriend.” Go ahead with your bad self…

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My unsolicited marital advice: Always be respectful of each other, even when you disagree.

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Good luck Melissa and Yigit!




Here are some of the photos I took on a wet, dreary and windy-as-all-getout Saturday for the annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk. This year it was held on October 1st. I wish I would have captured a shot of the broken umbrellas sticking out of garbage cans. That would have perfectly explained the weather for the day.

I love Cleveland, regardless of its failed use of beautiful coastline. Yeah, I’m talking about you, Burke Lakefront Airport. So I was glad to shoot in Downtown Cleveland. Just wish the weather was better, but you don’t live in Cleveland if you can’t handle disappointment. Yeah, I’m talking about you, Cleveland Browns/Cavaliers/Indians.

Anyhow, this is Terminal Tower. How could I work right across the street from this building for years, and NOT know that there is an observation deck way at the top?! Shame on me. One of these days when the weather permits, I must go back there.

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Our walk started in the Old Stone Church in Public Square in Cleveland. It had amazing details and intricate carvings, as you can see.

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Since the weather became rainy and cold, we opted to move over to Tower City and the attached Ritz-Carlton Hotel. These shots are of the hotel lobby.

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Here is a shot of the roof from the first floor of Tower City. At first I struggled to find something worth photographing… until I looked up.

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Then we moved onto the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. For information regarding the Civil War, including battle sites, cemetaries, and regiment information for any Ohio Civil War soldier, visit their website at, also found HERE.

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Next, we headed over to East 4th Street. Did I mention that it was wet?

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Somehow, we received an impromptu invitation to visit The Greenhouse Tavern while we were shooting on E. 4th Street. The owners gave us a tour of all 4 floors, including the basement kitchen. Although the restaurant was not yet open for dinner, the staff was diligently preparing for a busy Saturday night. It smelled HEAVENLY in there. And they had lots of wine. I can’t wait to go back there and actually eat a meal or have a drink. Here are the shots I got of the restaurant.

How cool are these chairs?! I love the simplicity of the build. Their menus are made from leftover leather from the seatbacks. Sadly, I did not photograph them.

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Most, if not everything, in the restaurant is recycled material. This wall was a Civil War-era barn that they purchased and dismantled. I think it’s beautiful!

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These were the lights draped across the restaurant’s rooftop bar, showing evidence of a wet night.

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Lastly, we headed to the Arcade. This place is notorious for shooing away photographers, so we shot here in a haste. Why it’s called the Arcade, I do not know. Probably should look into that… Nevertheless, here it is.

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You can purchase any of these and my other photos here. Thanks! -kew

May 15, 2011 Mama’s Babies

Nothing has changed me more than being a Mom. If I do nothing else right in this world except to raise happy and friendly adults, then I will consider myself successful. Here are a few pics I took on Mother’s Day.

To the two best kids I have ever known: May you never forget that Mama loves you no matter what mistakes you will make in life. And thanks for letting me shower you with kisses whenever I damn well please.

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