Category Archives: tips and tricks

Quick Tip: How to Clean Brass Jewelry

A Pretty Penny - How to Clean Brass Alex & Ani Bracelets C started an Alex & Ani collection for me about a year ago, and every now and then he surprises me with a new one. I love that each bracelet comes with a special meaning; everyone’s stack tells a little story about who they are. After several months of daily wear, my brass Alex & Ani bracelets started to tarnish and leave black marks on my wrist. I was super bummed and thought they were ruined, until I learned this simple trick from a friend on Facebook. A Pretty Penny - How to Clean Brass Alex & Ani Bracelets You’re going to need some ketchup. If you don’t have any in the fridge, take this opportunity to make a trip to Chik-fil-A for waffle fries and pick up a pack or twoI mean, any excuse for waffle fries is a good excuse, amiright? A Pretty Penny - How to Clean Brass Alex & Ani Bracelets - BEFORE Cover each brass bracelet in a thin layer of ketchup, and let them sit for a minute or two on a clean cloth. Then, using another clean cloth, carefully wipe it all off. A Pretty Penny - How to Clean Brass Alex & Ani Bracelets Quickly run the bracelets under warm water to remove any remaining ketchup and dry them completely, and voilá! Good as new. A Pretty Penny - How to Clean Brass Alex & Ani Bracelets - AFTER Update: Use this trick sparingly and pay close attention to your pieces as you clean them. While ketchup is an effective brass polisher, Alex & Ani sent me a friendly tweet to warn that it could damage the finish. So exercise a little caution. :)

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my super simple skincare routine

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These days I’m really into healthy skin and minimal makeup. My face is at its best with a super simple routine; the more I experiment with products the more aggravated my combination-dry sensitive skin becomes. When it’s angry, it rebels in the worst ways: flakiness, redness, and cystic acne breakouts that leave discoloration behind for weeks.

So for now, I’m skipping the harsh chemicals and anti-aging formulas in favor of gentle, natural products… with high hopes that lots of moisturizer and SPF will guarantee good skin for the long-haul. It worked for my grandmother, so fingers crossed.

Keep reading for a long-winded breakdown of my current short-list routine!

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My Favorite iOS Apps for Mobile Blogging

A Pretty Penny | My Favorite iOS Apps for Mobile Blogging

In my early days of blogging, I relied on my DSLR and Macbook to churn out content. Publishing posts took a lot of time, planning, uploading, and work space.

With the flower shop commanding more of my time and energy, it’s important for me to keep the blog fun and manageable; which means finding ways to share and stay connected as conveniently as possible. Now I can create content anytime, anywhere with my iPhone or iPad and a handful of iOS apps.

Thanks, technology!

Here are 11 of my favorite apps that help me keep the blog updated regularly with limited time:

Instagram – (FREE) Everyone uses this photo-sharing app, but I especially love it for blogging. WordPress recently added an Instagram widget that shares my latest ‘grams in my sidebar; this helps me keep the  blog updated with fresh content, even when I’m not posting.

Facebook Pages Manager- (FREE) This app helps me stay connected with my Facebook audience. I can easily share photos and updates, as well as respond to comments and private messages and keep track of stats.

Paper by FiftyThree- (FREE) This app turns my iPad into a notepad. I can sketch, write, and draw; and then save, share, and stream.

PicTapGo - ($1.99) This simple photography app is the mobile version of RadLab. It puts a variety of Photoshop-style actions and filters in the palm of your hand, turning your iPhone camera snaps into creative images that can be saved for blog  posts or shared across mobile platforms.

Pinterest - (FREE) I prefer the Pinterest iOS app to the web version! It’s so easy to “like” and repin images by touch. I love Pinterest for finding style and beauty inspiration, browsing DIY ideas, and creating my weekly mood board posts.

Polyvore - (FREE) I use this app to create style and beauty collages; like this and this!

TimerCam - (FREE) I don’t always take selfies, but when I do, I prefer TimerCam. Please go back and reread that as The Most Interesting Man in the World. My latest outfit shots were taken on-the-go with this self-timer camera app.

vscocam - (FREE) When I want to spice up a photo quickly, I run it through this photography app to add filters and adjust levels. The majority of my Instagrams are uploaded through vscocam.

Waterlogue - ($2.99) This new photography app turns plain ol’ photos into pretty watercolor illustrations! I love using it for beauty product posts, like this one.

WordPress - (FREE) I can manage nearly every aspect of my blog directly from my iPhone or iPad with the WordPress app. I use it daily to write short posts, share photos, interact with readers, and keep an eye on my stats. Push notifications let me know when I have new followers, new likes on posts, or achieve new milestones in traffic.

Wunderlist - (FREE) Organization at its finest! This is the ultimate to-do list maker and task manager. It’s great for storing blog post ideas, making lists of goals, and tracking deadlines.