I’m going to Flickr you off

I’m on Flickr and so are most of my edited photos (that I want to share).

We just talked through how I store my digital photos and now that we have them all neatly organized – how do we share them?

You should be using Flickr if:

You have a blog that has a photo on it. When you upload a photo into your {wordpress/blogger/etc} gallery to use in a post that photo needs to load before your site is visible to your audience. If you have a million photos on your main page (say you allow 5 of your current posts to just scroll on your landing page and each post has at least one photo – all of them you just uploaded to your gallery to use within your content management system for blogging – EACH photo slows down the load time.) Also? If you lose your site files or your content package when you upgrade or change themes?? You lose your photos, too. Have fun with that one.

Having your photos (as a blogger) load from Flickr in a post (I’ll show you how) lessens load time because your server is reading a “place” not a “file” and will load the content quicker because of it.

You take more photos than the average person. This is when you need to have a pro account. It’s all of $25 a year – well worth it. You can download original size files (which is why I do not store my edits, I delete them all once they’re on Flickr) – Flickr is essentially my secondary storage of my photos. But it works (literally, like an intern) for me – so it pays for itself in the first 30 minutes.

Go ahead, I’ll wait while you sign up.

There’s a free account too – so you can ease in to it – but only 200 photos will be displayed/usable in a free account. Currently I’m storing just shy of 17,000 photos on Flickr … so uh, 200 is a drop in the bucket. (BUY A PRO ACCOUNT.) Ehum, sorry – did you hear something?

There are a number of ways to upload your photos to Flickr once you have your account. (Because you have one now, right?)

When you’re in the HOME tab you can Choose to UPLOAD YOUR PHOTOS

HOMEUpload FROM Flickr

From here it’s pretty easy to walk through the process.

Choose your photosChoose and opennow upload, set privacywaitadd description

Now you’re photos are uploaded to your account. You could stop here and not lose a thing. BUT … you can organize, tag and group your photos together for easy navigation (and SEO, for those who want it) in this next screen … so I think we’ll go through that.

a lot going onchoose a set

A set is like an album. Organize your photos into groups that make sense. For this tutorial all my photos are in a set called “Storing Digital Photos” – and it’ll include ALL the photos from this series of tutorials on digital file photo storage and what to do with them after.

I make sets differently than I do with my original files (that I store according to YEAR_MONTH_DAY and every day has it’s own folder. In Flickr I use descriptions for my albums and groups or sets. You can have “parent sets” that hold like-minded smaller sets (so for instance, KIDS and then all the sets “Jessica’s birthday!” “Oliver does the critter barn!” can live underneath the hierarchy of KIDS. It’s like a word tree – with words that are really photos.

I do this because I only ever put my edited images on Flickr. I do not save copies of edits anywhere else. Once I process a batch of photos, burn them to a disc for a client (if needed) or upload them to flickr – I wait about a week before I delete them entirely. I have all the originals and all my edits either live on Flickr or a disc or both. Redundancy is only good twice, then it’s just too much.

Photos are a large part of what I do, so having this system down pat is important for me. It streamlines my time and effort when I need to sit down and batch edit 900 photos at a time. I’m not wasting time, emotionally or otherwise, worrying about my photos because I have a system that I trust and has worked for me for 6 years.

add tags

You only have to add your TAGS once in the batch edit after you upload (in the field above) and it’ll automatically add those same tags to every photo in the batch. Nifty!

Picture 11
Give them a story

When you’re through with all that (seriously less than 5 steps!) you click SAVE and you’re ready to roll.

Next we’ll tackle the Flickr Uploadr (makes this whole process easier) and then How do you put your photos in a blog post?

Questions so far?? Comments? Let me hear em!

Renting

Dining room

I’ve been getting some emails about our journey to debt freedom and our living situation.

Timeline 2010-2011 housingClick on photo for larger view.

This timeline is the actual progression of things over the last 15 months (I say 15 months because the sale of our home was a few month progression to offer/agreement/closing).

Looking back would I do it all over again?

Yes

However I would do a few things differently. Perhaps instead of finding an interim apartment (originally for 4 months while the house we were building was completed) I’d find something I was comfortable being in long-term. If there’s one thing we’ve proven the past year it’s that Anything Can Happen.

I’d probably save myself a lot of heartache and just not try to buy another house, no matter how ON SALE it is, for a good year. Anything Can Happen, Yes – but we don’t always have to be rushing to the next hitching post.

We could have paid off our car instead of trying to buy the first house that didn’t work out. We stalled and waited and then tried to buy ANOTHER house.

We were knocking out our debt but we could have been here 4 months faster if we just stopped and followed through. Ever since we got married it feels like we’ve been on a fast track to better. Better what? I couldn’t even tell you. I had this image of what life was supposed to be like, unfortunately it mirrored the image of where my parents were at age 50 – successful in their careers, no mortgages or payments … who could easily go on vacation or spend thousands on a purchase with a check … because they worked hard, saved and built their financial security with diligence. Not frivolous risks.

We were poor when I was younger but I never knew it. We didn’t live poorly even though we couldn’t afford things. And really, I didn’t know any different.

I love getting emails from readers who say I’ve inspired them to work hard at their own debt-free plans or just to change one small thing about money in their lives. I love having these conversations: I love money. But not in an idyllic sort of way. I’m enamored with the math of it.

I’m a geek. And it’s just money, after all.

We’re still on a path to building a future and we’re doing well. I’ve had to confront my expectations on this issue so often. Life isn’t a rear view mirror.

We’ve come so far in such a short amount of time (read about it here) that I have this idea that we’ll get to the end EVEN FASTER!

When really – I don’t ever want to get to the end. How boring does that sound? I want to get to a place where I feel like there isn’t an end coming. You know? And that’s not financially. Just in general. I’d like to find a place to be present in my today and willing to cope with my tomorrows.

So! I’m a geeky numbers gal who loves a budget and a savings plan. Compounding interest is by far the most fun thing to play with. Ever.

Seriously – if all you do (and you’re close to 30, + or -) is set aside $200 a month in an account that on average (over a 10 year period) yields 12% (which is not astronomical or a myth) you’ll have over 7 million dollars by retirement age.

The math geek in me jumps around at that equation. COME ON! It’s stupid not to think like that. $200 a month? For most people that’s less than only one of their car payments. Not even a months worth of groceries. Day care? $200 a month isn’t hard to find when you look for it.

Ok, one more thing and then we can move on. And we are moving on!! I have stuff to show you!

I’m not a couponer and have a decent grocery budget – we eat out often, pay for a babysitter weekly (or more) and enjoy dating each other. Our entertainment budget is large. I have no qualms about it. But I make up for it in other areas:

Literally, I don’t shop. I do not go shopping. Groceries it is for me! The occasional pair of shoes for the kids or thrifting for a need (shorts, jeans) but for myself – for the house? I have patience. I don’t impulse buy, and I used to all the time.

I browse the aisle of the side of the road, behind industrial shipping agencies and yes, have dumpster dived behind popular retailers. Craigslist is my favorite “box store” because what can’t you get there?

When I do buy new I price shop first but don’t feel bad when I find out I haven’t gotten the best deal on the item. Gas costs money too. I DIY everything I can and I allow myself to make mistakes and try again. It’s still less costly than quickly filling a “need” which usually ends up to be a “want”.

Your turn:
If you were going to change one thing about your life – financial or not – what would it be?

Elsewhere: Get out of a working Rut

Get out of a working rut

Over at My Turnstone this week I give my best tips and tricks for how to get out of a working rut. What are your’s??

You can also see my at CurvyGirlGuide.com this week where I share my recipe for How to: Make Walking Tacos and self expose with an article on My Favorite Relationship: Food.

Join the conversation! To keep up with all things I love join me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google + or LinkedIn.

Dreams. Awkward ones. Alternately titled at bottom.

{This has taken me two days to write and I was going to leave all kinds of this story out for later … but ended up just letting it come out. So … Here’s the ordeal.}

I had this bizarre dream yesterday Wednesday while napping with my kids. It could be chalked up to the fact that I haven’t napped mid day in over a year or that I’m emotionally raw and receptive to all kinds of 4th dimension thinking when my eyes are closed. Or that I was so exhausted I just made up some really fantastically awkward situations for myself in a dream.

As promised by Aaron today:

conversational promises

We’ll get to the news one of these days – and this dream has to do with the current status of this situation called Our Address. Or rather, Our Hunt For An Address. Or rather, How We’re Trying Not To Be Homeless In Nine Days.

I interrupt this broadcast to yell: Grandma? Please look away.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!

So the dream, then.

We’ve been looking at homes to rent these past few days because our lease at our current rental is expiring the end of this month and is already re-rented to a new tenant.

In the mean time – early last month we put an offer on another home. And told NO ONE about it. For a good 6 weeks. Can we keep our mouths shut about being pregnant? Not for a second – but buying a house after the first try earlier this year didn’t work out in epic proportions – we were damn well going to cross every single T and dot ALL the I’s before admitting to trying this again.

Like Mortgage Infertility.

We weren’t having any luck looking for a rental that would be a month to month situation while we figured out the closing date and what not of the home. Our realtor has a rental he showed us and we are forever thankful to him for all the work he’s done for us this year … without getting paid because we have yet to close on a house. Seriously. Ugh. However – there is a real possibility this rental (where ever we end up) could be another permanent-for-the-time-being situation if we didn’t get things ironed out with the house. And the rental he showed us wasn’t something we could see ourselves living in long(short) term.

When the skies opened and we found a house to rent in town. An entire house. It has a dishwasher. It’s almost double what we’re paying in rent now (ugh!) but it’s a whole house and did I mention the dishwasher? And hopefully, it’s temporary. I want my own house. Let’s just be clear there. Renting needs an expiration date in my life.

So, hi?! There’s a dream in here somewhere.

We had yet to see the house, in fact had just heard about it and finally I stopped vomiting and crying constantly about WHAT THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO DO NOW when I laid down with my kids and fell dead to the dream that folded out like this:

In my dream we hadn’t signed a lease yet but were given keys to move things in – only instead of moving things in we became squatters in the house. There was orange carpet and the owners were on vacation so we were just there. For some reason, Aaron was naked. (I said it was awkward) and we were all sleeping when the owners came home to check on things … only to find us just literally hanging out in their house.

Enter the most difficult dream-conversation I’ve ever had to direct with my eyes closed.

Good news is: we did meet the owners and saw the house (no orange carpet) and are signing a lease (month to month for now) tomorrow morning. We’re also moving tomorrow.

However: About our Mortgage Infertility …

So guess what? We were promised by the bank that we were all set – things were a GO! We had a tentative closing date, then a home inspection. And here’s where we take a left turn. Or would this be considered the round-about? Are we lost? We’ve been down this road before.

Still haven’t told any one. Refuse to write about it online or make any proclamations. Why? Why not just tell our families and get the support of our closest friends? Because I want this so bad. Because I want my own kitchen and bedroom and I want a garden and safe place for my children to play.

There were some major issues with the house after the inspection – and the bank (the home was a forclosure) was willing to fix the biggest of the problems but would not give us a time line and of course, we’re counting down the days til we have to be out of the apartment we’re already in.

Last week Aaron took a couple days off work because we were looking at homelessness as a serious option for a good month. Our families are mostly around here but no one has enough room for a family of 4 to live with them for an extended period of time. And house-hopping is just no longer and option for us.

Somewhere in there we told our families who then would not stop asking us questions about the house or what color paint am I thinking for the kitchen …. SERIOUSLY? THAT IS NOT OK. Stop. It.

Painful is what this is – to constantly be reminded that something we want so badly is not available to us.

We had started to tell some friends about this as well – we announced We’re Buying a House! a few weeks ago only to have things fall apart from there.

I’m embarrassed and ashamed. Not because we didn’t keep this quiet longer or because people are going to find out, again, that this isn’t working for us – but for believing so blindly that when we were ready – a house would be too.

Which I suppose begs the question: Are we really ready, then?

This post could also be titled “How we went from taking a loss on our home, to building – and selling that home all the while renting to trying to buy a bungalow – to not buying a bungalow to still renting to wanting to buy a home while renting – to our lease is expiring and we’re going to be homeless … To: We’re still renting. Somewhere new.

I guess I just needed to write this? Sorry it’s forever wordy. I’m a fragile flower lately – and tonight I’m going on a fabulous date with the love of my life and some of our best friends. Tonight? I have an address … and it turns out, tomorrow I will too.

An update from the silent corner

News: my son is allergic to animals and hay & taking a class at a local critter farm didn’t prove to be a very fun experience. Ehum. Poor kid. We’re dealing with some crazy intense moving situations, none of which I want to talk about – but this attributes to my silence lately. And all of the crying. Making food for a family with new baby and then having them cancel on you provides you with ready made meals in your freezer – bonus. Today is the first day in a long time that I woke up and didn’t immediately vomit or break down in tears. And it’s going to be over 90 today. How’s that for an update?

Also? Truth: The last few posts I’ve tried to make in my status bar on Facebook but each time was told I had too many characters. SO FINE, Facebook. We’ll thank you for forcing me to update my website this week.