Meagan Musing: February 2014

Meagan Musing


How to Organize Your Digital Photos

I take a lot of photos.

I average about 300 per month and I'm really, really bad about culling photos of my everyday. It's hard to permanently delete them - what if I change my mind, right?

My photos used to be really disorganized with random folders of downloads here and there. There was little rhyme or reason to it, and it made me crazy.

How to Organize Your Digital Photos

I started organizing my photos by month back in 2011.

Now, when I go to upload photos (which I do almost daily) it looks something like this:

How to Organize Your Digital Photos

I use Lightroom to organize my photos, but even if you don't use Lightroom you can still use the same organization system.

I went through a lot of trial and error but I finally have a good system down, and it makes me happy. I know exactly where I'm going to put files and how I'm going to name them.

Step 1 -  Create a new folder at the beginning of each month, naming it with the year first, followed by the month so that the folders are always in dated order. If I'm uploading pictures of everyday life they go straight into the main month folder. I have many months where all my photos are contained in just one folder.

So I'm currently uploading all my pictures to the 2014_02 folder.

Step 2 - If there's a special day or activity or if I do photos for friends that month, they get their own destination folder within the month. So vacations, newborn photos, holidays  - they all get their own folders within the month.

So if we went to the zoo next week I'd upload just those zoo pictures into a separate folder called Zoo, within the 2014_02 folder.

Step 3 - I use the file number that my camera automatically gives to each photo throughout my editing/sharing/saving process. That way I can always go back and find the original RAW file if I need it.

For example:

I do 95% of my editing in Lightroom. So if I want to save an edited photo for printing I'll export it from Lightroom at the original size into a Print folder within its month (and special day if applicable) folder and keep its name the same, i.e. IMG_7807. Then when I'm ready to print a book or 5 x 7s, the photo is ready too.

If I want to share it on the blog or Flickr, I open it in Photoshop, apply my watermark, and save it in the appropriate size for the web as a jpeg with WEB in the name, i.e. WEB_IMG_7807. It gets saved into the original monthly folder and looks like this:

How to Organize Your Digital Photos

Sometimes I want to share a photo with friends or family through Dropbox or I'll want to have it play on our Apple TV slideshow so I'll need it sized differently than for print or the web.

I will export the photo from Lightroom (or open in another program like Photoshop and resize it) at the adjusted size, and save it with a special tag in front of the original name, i.e. FB for facebook sizing, SS for slideshow. If you add them at the beginning of the photo's name it'll keep those files grouped together within your folder and they won't get lost.

Keeping the original file name was a game changer for me. I used to try to name my photos things like "Andrew Backyard" or "Flowers" and I was always losing them. This way they stay in dated order and are traceable back to the original file.

Step 4 - Back it up! I can't stress this enough. Just do it. I try to manually backup to an external hard drive once a week. It's a big pain, but so is losing my photos. I use the Passport from Western Digital. It is small and fast and easy to use.

A few simple steps can save you a lot of headache, especially if you're starting the year with a Project 365 - that's a lot of photos to keep up with! Stay organized friends. :)


If you're curious about my workflow within Lightroom, you can check out my post on Lightroom 4 from last year.



Friday Shares - Haircut Edition

If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen my haircut picture last weekend. I decided to start fresh, and we chopped it all off.

I've had mixed emotions, pulling on phantom hair and looking for my long ponytail, but I've settled on happy with it. It's so bouncy and healthy and is holding curl well. And it's much, much easier to brush and style. It just took me a few days to land here. It's a big change, but as Brian pointed out it nothing like when I cut bangs or went dark the fist time.

Apparently I have a thing for changing up my hair.

It's Valentine's Day! The kids had their parties at school yesterday and had so much fun. They've been hopped up on candy and cookies and sugar in general ever since.

Brian's picking up fancy pizza and we're staying home with the kids tonight. Nothing very romantic, but it'll be special all the same. Do you go all out for Valentine's Day?

To celebrate the day I gave Brian a milk frother and would you believe he thought it was more of a gift for me than for him?? I mean...I would never do something like that! :) But honestly, we're both pretty excited about homemade lattes.

I had fun sharing some of my Instagram friends last week and thought I'd do it again, spotlighting some of my favorite calligraphers.

Lauren Essl is a local Dallas calligrapher. I took her beginners calligraphy class back in December and I loved it. Her style is so effortless and beautiful. I need to keep practicing!

Fozzy is just amazingly talented! Everything she does is gorgeous and she's super generous with tips on her blog and her Instagram account too.

Korie at The Weekend Type's work is so girly and romantic. It makes me want to create hand written letters and mail them to everyone I know.

Happy weekend friends! I hope it's filled with all things lovely!


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Project 365, February 3 - February 11

These past two weeks have been full. I'm working on Andrew's birthday party prep - lots of dinosaurs! rawr! - we finished up their class Valentines for friends, my new Wordpress blog will be ready to go next week, and it's tax prep time at my "real" job. So lots of takeout and scrambled egg dinners and late nights for me.

Do y'all do that with dinner? If life gets super busy, the first thing to go is meal planning and healthy homemade dinners. We can only do so much and chick-fil-a for dinner once a week just doesn't seem that bad in the scheme of things.

And the kiddos certainly don't mind! :)

Project 365
"Profile" 34 // 365

Project 365
"Chillin'" 35 // 365

Project 365
"Mr. Spike" 36 // 365

Project 365
"Snow Day" 37 // 365 

Project 365
"The Living Room is My Gym Mom!" 38 // 365
Project 365
"Click!" 39 // 365

Project 365
"Chick-Fil-A Does it Again" 40 // 365

Project 365
"Happy Snowman!" 41 // 365

Project 365
"Brightest Shoes Ever" 42 // 365


Nurse Loves Farmer

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Bento Lunches Jan. 27 - Feb. 6 - Valentine Style

These lunches are a mix of Valentine and non-Valentine themes. Some were eaten with great praise and others came home still half-full. You just never know, right?

*affiliate links used in this post*

January 27, 2014

Valentine Bento Lunches

I try to get my Monday lunch packed on Sunday night because Mondays are hard enough. This lunch was kind of thrown together, but it worked I think. All packed in the Laptop Lunch. He had leftover turkey sausage with ketchup for dipping, baby carrots, pop chips, grapes and apple slices. I threw a few little animal forks in to brighten it up a bit.

January 28, 2014

Valentine Bento Lunches

This was a silly little lunch for Andrew. He had ham roll-ups and raspberries packed in a little star cup with a few Cheerios on the bottom layer and an orange, star shaped naan and a few carrots on the top layer. I added an eye pick to the orange and he thought it was hysterical. :)

Valentine Bento Lunches

Caroline's lunch was cute and simple packed in the lock&lock box. She had cheerios and ham roll-ups, flower shaped naan and raspberries. I used two silicone cups for color, a little strawberry baran and flower picks in the raspberries.

January 30, 2014

Valentine Bento Lunches

Caroline's lunch was packed in the two-tier frog box. She had a turkey dog, but asked for a pig pick and I had to laugh at the irony. :) She also had yogurt melts, mozzarella cheese, raspberries, cheerios, and yogurt covered pretzels. The raspberries were packed in my new favorite flower cups and the hot dog was packed in a heart shaped cup.

PlanetBox Valentine Lunch

Andrew's lunch was more clearly Valentine's themed with its heart sandwich and strawberries. It was packed in our PlanetBox. With the hearts he also had celery with peanut butter for dipping, an orange in an orange cup and mozzarella on another heart pick. The hearts on the sandwich are just a cut out fruit strip, stuck down with a little bit of cream cheese.

February 3, 2014

Valentine Bento Lunches

Apples seem to be my go-to Monday fruit. We've always burned through our other fresh fruit by Monday, and apples last a long time so they're a great option. I slice them and then soak them in a little bit of water with lemon juice and they stay crisp and not brown until lunchtime. The kids always eat them.

Along with the apples Andrew had peanut butter cracker sandwiches, popcorn, ham roll-ups, and celery with ranch dressing for dipping. The robot picks were a fun little addition to this lunch packed in the Laptop lunchbox.

February 4, 2014

Valentine Bento Lunches

Caroline's lunch didn't turn out very pretty, but she was so excited about it. She had turkey sandwiches stamped with Hello Kitty, heart shaped cheese under crackers, raspberries, goldfish, yogurt and a little heart gummy treat.

Valentine Bento Lunches

Andrew's lunch was packed in the stacking Lego box. He had turkey transportation sandwiches, blackberries in a flower cup, tiny kishu oranges, a cereal bar and a heart gummy treat. I used a little baran strip to keep the oranges away from the cereal bar.

February 6, 2013

Lego Box Valentine Lunch

This lunch for Andrew was a total fail. He ate the sandwich, pretzels and cheerios and left the blueberries and carrots...he almost never does that! The carrots weren't very sweet, but still...I was surprised.

The PB&J was decorated with a little bunny baran (using a dab of cream cheese to help it stick) and the blueberries were packed in a heart cup with a waving pink fox. The whole thing was packed in the Lego Box with a mini Lego block inside.

Valentine Sandwich

But Caroline's lunch was SO cute and she loved it, so that almost made up for Andrew's bad news. Her lunch was packed in an Easy Lunchbox and they are truly easy. Her little bear sandwich was cut and stamped with the CuteZcute cutter. I added heart shaped cheese and cheerios, both in heart cups and heart shaped strawberries with a Love pick. Adorable! She was so excited about this lunch and that's what it's all about. :)

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Friday Shares - Snowy Edition

We're really looking forward to the Olympics in our house. In fact, I'm probably a bit of an Olympics nerd.

As a kid I was sure I could become a champion ice skater after watching the winter games. We even named our boy cat (we thought he was a girl!) Katarina Witt after the '88 Olympics. She was amazing!

And then there was the time I spent hours, hours, practicing rhythmic dancing with a long streamer thing so that I could be one of those dancer gymnasts. I thought that was a more attainable goal than your common tumbling gymnast.

Dreams, people. I had them.

Andrew loved the summer Olympics two years ago so I'm hoping he enjoys these winter games too. But I'm hoping for no professional snowboarding in his future - those kids are crazy! :)

So I've been kind of fascinated at how NOT ready Sochi is for these games. It makes me sad for the athletes who've worked so hard. I hope all the crazy stuff doesn't overshadow their accomplishments.

But this story from the Washington Post with all its out there Sochi tweets and photos is kind of hilarious. I'm curious to see if NBC will report on all the bad stuff in the city or if it'll be all fun and games.


I bought Andrew his first pair of lace-up tennis shoes today. I let him help pick them out online and he really wanted the laces. He can't tie them himself though, and I'm afraid it'll drive me crazy having to help him put his shoes on everyday. Does your almost five year old tie his own shoes? When should they learn? I'm having doubts about the shoes now.

I also ordered him a few new Honey BeeTees. They are my favorite. Andrew was so sad that the Apatosaurus was out of stock in his size, but the tiger seemed to make up for it.


Are you crazy about Instagram? Do you follow my friend Katie? She and her family went to an ICE CAVE in Breckenridge today. Whoa. My Frozen obsessed kids would be so excited! Other Instagram favorites? Blue-eyed Bride and AlliAars. They're both moms to sweet little boys and have big, caring hearts.


I'm looking forward to a Mavs game, a birthday party, church and warmer weather this weekend. No more snow for we Dallasites. We're about over winter. :)

Happy weekend friends!


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Project 365, January 26 - February 2

It's official! I'm moving my blog to Wordpress! I'm a little nervous. Okay, a lot nervous. But I've recruited help. Joy at Five J's Design has already been super helpful, and she's thankfully in charge of moving all my years worth of posts over to the new spot.

But I'm doing all the design work and building of the new site myself. And I have to say that website builders/code developers are rockstars. I feel a little in over my head, but the design part is ready to go, and it's so pretty. 

I can't wait to share it with you! 

I've been blogging with Blogger since December 2006 - yikes! Those first posts are SO awful. Please don't read them. :) But I'm ready for a change. I'm ready for a site that looks nice on your iPhone and allows you to comment from it. I'm ready for a site that will help some of my posts get noticed with better SEO. I'm ready for a site with a back-end editorial calendar so I can (maybe?) be a little more organized. I'm ready for a site that it'll make it easier for you to find specific bento lunch themes.

I'm just ready! But we have to wait a little longer. I'll keep you posted, but it's looking like the week of February 17th will be go-time. Yay!

On with the photos:

(I've committed to taking a photo (with my Canon dSLR!) everyday in 2014. Join me!)

"Oops" 26 // 365
"Grumpy Monday" 27 // 365
"Gender Roles for Breakfast" 28 // 365
"Toddler Toes" 29 // 365
"Grumpy Thursday" 30 // 365
"Sampras in Training" 31 // 365
"We Saw Frozen!!!!" 32 // 365
"My Guys Can Cook" 33 // 365


Nurse Loves Farmer

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Dinosaur Valentines

Dinosaur Valentines

Andrew LOVES dinosaurs...everything about them. He knows which ones are big and which ones eat meat and which ones have feathers or live in the water. He can pronounce weird ones like parasaurolophus and can sing the Dinosaurs A-Z song 18 times in a row. Yep.

So when it was time to get to work on our Valentines for Andrew's Pre-K class I knew we needed to go with a dinosaur theme.

And we came up with these two adorable dinosaur Valentines.

Dinosaur Valentines

I mean? Adorable right? We needed two because dinos and hearts go so well together. :)

We couldn't decide on one so I combined them, and had them double-sided printed with the brachiosaurus on the front and just the little steggy and his 'rawr' on the back. I can't wait until Valentine's Day so he can pass them out!

Dinosaur Valentines

We're going to attach a mini dinosaur to the back for a little treat for all his dino-loving friends.

Do you have a dinosaur lover in need of a Valentine? These are for you!

There is room for your kiddo to personalize them on the front or the back depending on if you attach a mini dinosaur. We're using these little vinyl dinos - it's going to be hard for Andrew to give them away! 

Please share and enjoy!


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