Category Archives: Photos

Best List of Free Stock Photo Websites for Bloggers

best free stock photos

Bloggers will love these resources. These chosen sites have a great selection of free stock photos and while you have to register to be able to download on most, there is a good selection of free to use photos – most attribution free. While most of these sites seem to be set up as affiliates for paid stock photos, you can easily find the “free” section without having to dig. There are a ton of others, but I found them either cumbersome to navigate, or you had to pay a yearly subscription fee to get them free. Not a bad deal, but not necessary when there are a ton of free sites. I’ve also not included Flickr’s Creative Commons although that is one of my favorites.

My advice? Set up a folder in your bookmarks for these so you can easily access them all to compare.

 

Free Photos Bank

Requires registration, but has a decent selection of photos. Download size is decent too.

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Pixabay

Some of their photos are outstanding including this guy right here. The download sizes are decent too.

pixabay photos

 

Image Free

Not the best quality photos, but a decent selection. Worth keeping in your bookmarks and doing a quick search.

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Free Range

This site has some beautiful photos and one very cool feature – the editor – allows you to crop and add text right there (although I found it a bit slow to use)

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rgbstock

This site had quite a few cool photos. I love this one of the lime.

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New Old Stock 

Old-time scanned photos. This would be a cool site to leaf through all day. I now know where to send my old photos that I scan. Photos, maps, charts – it’s all there, but I didn’t see a search option on the site.

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Morguefile

This site has a ton of photos – decent quality – and easy search function. No need to register either.

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Free Images

Great URL. Seriously – they win the Internet. Lots of great photos – require attribution.

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 Stock Free Images

A lot of very cool images – but you have to pay attention on the page to what’s in the free section and what’s in the paid. You’ll end up doing a lot of clicking around for nothing.

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Cab View Photos from NYC

When you travel for work you might only see the city from the inside of a hotel or cab.  At least that’s been my experience for the past few months.

I’ve been to Dallas, Houston and NYC and never seen enough of the cities to really say I was there.  I can’t even get a good hotel post out of it because the only part of the hotel I seem to see is the pillow and the shower.  And the Starbucks.

So with that I give you New York from inside a crazy cab with cool filters.  Filters on the photos.  Not the cab.  Although that would make instagramming a lot easier.

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First Impressions: Windows 8 and HP Envy X2 #win8officevisit

Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest of Microsoft. It was an all expense paid trip. I received a Windows computer and phone as well as other goodies to enhance my learning experience.

This past week, I had the opportunity to attend the Microsoft Campus Tour event in Seattle. In order to participate a little better, they upgraded me to a new computer with Windows8 and Office 365 Home Premium. My new HP ENVY X2 is so incredible!

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What I love about the HP ENVY X2 is that it doubles as a tablet and a laptop. With the slide of a button, you can detach the screen from the keyboard for full tablet use. This also means my computer is touchscreen, even when attached to the keyboard!

So here’s what I love about Windows 8 so far (I’ve only had this for a few days!):

Friendly start screen interface

All of the tiles are so colorful and welcoming! It makes me feel like I’ve leaped into the future.

I don’t have to rely on the Apps

You can switch to the desktop, which is just another tile on your tart screen, that has the look and feel of operating a Windows 7 computer. Being both a Mac and Windows 7 user, it is making the adjustment a little easier.

The APPS!

When you use an app, they are full screen for a full immersion into the app. The seamless scrolling through is so great because YOU dictate what you see in the app.

There are also some great time killing apps that we learned about such as “FreshPaint” and “How to draw a stick man”.

Skydrive

With Skydrive you get full integration of ALL of your devices, even your Macs and Android devices. Storage is affordable, and you can access documents, pictures, and pretty much your life on any device. For those lacking a Skydrive app, the Skydrive website is a great way o log into any computer to access what you want. All you need is a microsoft account which is 100% free to get.

Battery Life on devices

I’ve charged this computer 3 TIMES since I’ve had it and I’ve been using it every day, almost all day. Same thing goes for my new windows phone! I had about 10-15% left on the device and was still able to take a million photos, text, and call  for a little more than an hour without it dying. My iPhone, on the other hand, didn’t make it.

 

So there you have it! That’s what I love about Windows 8. However, there are some things I wish were different.

Lack of certain apps

An easy thing to fix, but a lot of apps that I’m used to using on a regular basis aren’t available  YET on a windows 8 device. There are ways around it though, for instance, using your desktop. I’m a big Spotify user; we have a subscription and I never have to buy my music again. I had to download Spotify from the web to use it, when I wish it was in App form.

 

Sometimes my computer won’t let me use my track pad

Being a touchscreen computer, I switch back and forth frequently between using my track pad and touching the screen to select things. Sometimes, however, I have to restart my computer because my track pad stops working. I haven’t tried using an external mouse just yet (these are, after all, my first impressions)

 

A lot of my issues with Windows 8 are small and there are fixes for them. We can’t always get what we want, and in his age of technology where things have to be instantaneous, working around things can be tedious and frustrating. It’s all a matterr of getting used to a new device with a new operating system. Overall, I’m very happy with Windows 8 and I’m glad to say I will be making the switch.

This week I’ve learned how to actually use Windows and Office (which was why I switched to Mac in the first place way back when). It all makes sense now, and already I feel more organized especially with OneNote which I can’t wait to tell you all about!

Love the Blackberry Z10 Camera #VZWA #VzVoices

I’m a VZVoice Ambassador and received the Blackberry Z10 to review.  

I love the camera on tis phone.  You’ll love it too.  The photos I’ve taken are awesome… clear, sharp and the colors are perfect, even in low light.

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What’s best and what will have me wondering if I should keep this as my phone is the Time Shift mode.  Here is a video showing how it works.  Be ready to be amazed.

This comes in handy with a moving baby.  I mean does he ever sit still? While most of the images in the gallery are blurry, I’m bound to find one where he’s got the right face.

This feature will come in handy for family photos – you can actually choose which face works for which person with the face recognition feature.  Then find the best shot for each one.  No more blinking catastrophes!

B’s First Grannycation

Two days down for Grannycation (the name I created for my 4 day all day all night Beckathon while Maggie is at Microsoft having fun being a blogger)….

Two days in and I’m toast.  Not bad toast.  Good toast.  But I’m freakin’ exhausted.  B is too.

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I realize today how easy I have it compared to my daughter.  It will be noon and I feel like it must be dinner time.  The days are long and tiring. I get nothing done.  Nothing. And it was different when I stayed home with my kids.  I chose to stay home with them.  Maggie went into the hospital one day and came out the next with a baby to raise all by herself.  She’s still adjusting to her new life 5 months in.  A life I know she’d never trade for anything.

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I have so much respect for Maggie and everything she does. I’m so glad she can enjoy her time in Seattle.

Grannycation.  Yes it’s been busy for me, but I’m not doing it alone.  We’ve had visitors to make the days go by.  Which is good because B doesn’t like to spend time alone.  B loves people.  He truly does.  He lights up whenever you talk to him and while he may be a bit needy, you can tell he loves us.  Really loves us. We spent the mornings lying on the floor on our mat and he’d turn his head to me and smile and squirm like he was so excited I was laying there with him.

Lying on the floor makes you realize how badly you need to vacuum and dust.

So we called Uncle D on day 1 to see if he wanted to come over and help while I cleaned.  Now this is up for interpretation, but I swear Beck said “D” twice when he got there.  He loves to be with his Uncle Derek, which thrills me since he’ll be the only male figure in his life for now. And by the looks of it, Uncle D is smitten too.

Aunt Coco and Knox came today to help a little in the afternoon.  We even took a ride in the car with Knox riding shotgun and me in the back with Beck.  He thought it was cool that Granny could sit in the back with him and the car still moved.

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Two more days.  I’m going to cherish each one.  Has anyone ever said “I wish I’d spent less time with my grandson?”  Not happening here.  I’m enjoying every exhausted spitting screaming laughing sleeping on my chest minute and wishing I could have more.

The Ultimate Blog Party #UBP13

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

Today, I’m joining in on the fun with the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom. The UBP is a way to share you blog with other bloggers. Its basically a party where you can meet new people, but you can wear yoga pants all day and no one will know, or care, because they are probably in their yoga pants too.

Well, I’m Maggie (Margaret, Marg, Margie, Margarita, Margalicious, call me what you’d like). I’m a 20 year old single mother who is attempting to do this rearing a child thing all on my own while blogging here and going to school full-time at the oh so full of crime alerts, VCU (Grab your pepper spray!)

This is Linneyville.

Linneyville: (noun) a Parenting, lifestyle, and whatever else we can think of blog written by Maggie and her mom, Linda. You can find product reviews,the occasional recipe, parenting woes, triumphs, and cute pictures of the little bebe.

We have the worst room-mate ever, he goes by Little B, or B. He is up all night, eats all of the food in the house, and demands our attention. As of today, he is 4 months old. And I just got him to take a nap by playing Bohemian Rhapsody.

Mommy-ing for the win!

Thanks for poppin’ by. Feel free to leave a comment to say hello, or holla at me (@itsmargomg) or view adorbs pics of Little B on Instagram (@msellers2).

 

 

 

Confessions of a Nursing Mother

It is days like these, that I struggle with the fact that I breastfeed my son. It is selfish reasons, like my inability to eat chocolate or a delicious eggs benedict that make me want to invest in formula and make the switch. Breast is best, I know. However, its days like these where I want to eat everything in my path, regardless of how bad it is for me or baby.

I love my baby and I only want what is best for him. I love how he will look at me when he’s nursing, giggle, and then continue eating. It warms my heart. I don’t, however, love how when he has a growth spurt I am directly affected by it.

It took 8 weeks for him to sleep through the night. Not too bad, all things considered. This moment of joy lasted about a month. I imagine that’s what ecstasy feels like. He would go to bed from 9:30 pm and wake up at 6 or 7 am. He now sleeps for 4 hours at a  time.

I know as mothers we make sacrifices. We sacrifice our bodies to make a beautiful baby, and we sacrifice our sanity along with it making sure we are eating healthy not consuming BPA, pesticides, or too much tuna fish. I sacrificed meals in my pregnancy, and many foods I loved because I was throwing up everyday and everything made me nauseous. I thought I was past the body sacrifices. I just want to be able to eat cheese and chocolate, people. One of the plus sides to nursing is I don’t necessarily get a period, but nursing makes up for it in the fact that you starve and can’t seem to eat enough whenever your baby hits a growth spurt. I get cravings, and recently I’ve come to believe I am anemic, which means bring on steaks and burgers. I can’t help but feel like my body is lacking no matter what I do. No amount of water, meat, or crackers satisfies me, and I could drink about 5 Shaklee 180 shakes per meal.

How do I know this is different? One Shaklee shake filled me up during the era of good feelings (towards breastfeeding).

Do n’t get e started on how frequent I have to feed. I live off of 2 hour increments, meaning: my mind processes the time in two hour increments. Who would have thought that you could be brainwashed to think of the clock that way? Luckily, it takes 1:30 to read 30-40 pages in my history textbook or do an English assignment, AKA the time in between feedings.. That’s my day. Read, nurse, eat/read, nurse, watch a tv show, watch a tv show/nurse, run to the store and try to make it home before my 1.5 hours are up…you get my drift. I’m also not the type of person who is 100% comfortable nursing in public. I am all for it, and I wrote two papers on it (in my time in between feedings) on how it is important that people don’t discourage it. It isn’t for me, though. I’m not someone who likes to be naked, not wear pants, and I have to wear a bra, SO, I’m not exactly going to [almost] expose my boobs in public.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I made the decision to breastfeed, but at the same time I can’t help but feel guilty every time I indulge on a small piece of chocolate or eat a hamburger. I think to myself, “does this make me a bad mother for eating something my body wants, but my baby can’t handle?”

Blackberry Z10: First Impressions #VZWA

One more round as an Ambassador for Verizon Wireless.  Yes this is phone number 3.  The first one, the HTC Droid Incredible left a lot to be desired and is currently in residence with my son who’s phone had seen better days.  The second one, the HTC Droid DNA is not my main phone.  I’ve given up the iPhone believe it or not.

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Third time may or may not be a charm. I’m testing out the Blackberry Z10, and first impressions are mixed.  Yes, it’s a different operating system, but the switch from iPhone to Droid was tougher than the swipe of the Blackberry.  I don’t mind that part.

The keyboard is awesome.  Love, LOVE the touch and the smart features – swipe to add a suggested word.  Super easy.

The browser is fast.  Very fast.  Puts my iPhone and Droid to shame. Maybe it’s just new and uncluttered.

Setup was easy and getting to all my notifications is so simple.  They are all in one place on the dash.  Twitter, FB, email… this is one of the most convenient features.  I’m not sure if it’s customizable though like other dashes.

The apps?  This is where it does me in.  I don’t do much with apps, but I love my photography apps.  And I’m not just talking Instagram.  There isn’t much available for photographers, period, unless I haven’t snooped around enough.  There are some cool camera features which I haven’t tried but will share later.

I’ll be playing and giving more details throughout the next 3 months. We’ll see if I’m sold.

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product

Tony Stark and I live similar lives.


I’m just about as excited about the new Iron Man 3 movie coming to theaters on May 3 as the next person. In my process of being super stoked, I’ve realized Tony Stark and I live very similar lives.   me to explain:

We are both super Heroes and normal people when we are needed. He fights crime, I fight cries.

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We both wake-up and get ready for our day, as usual, complete with checking our awesome selves out.

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We both end up with things on our hands and wonder where it came from

IRON MAN 3

We both think that he is awesome.

IRON MAN 3

So where will you be on May 3rd? You can find me at the movie theater seeing Iron Man 3.

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Mamavation Monday: A smaller, less important, Shaklee 180 Journey

I am now 4 months postpartum. (SQUUEEE!)tumblr_m1giorvccw1r9x0sdo1_500

While I am smaller than when I first got pregnant (50 lbs lost since the day I went into labor…I know. 30 of that was baby), I’m still not where I want to be. I chalk that up to breastfeeding. It burns 500 calories a day, but that doesn’t mean my diet is reflecting well on that. I also don’t workout except for the occasional ten minutes on the tredmill looking like a freak. There is a little suspicion going on in my head that I am possibly anemic or lacking protein because everyday I HAVE to have a burger. Here’s the real kicker- I hate burgers. I think ground up meat is disgusting and beef always tasted weird to me. Now, it practically melts in my mouth. Obviously, burgers everyday are not necessarily a good thing for your health.

Recently, my mom started blogging about her journey to lose weight on the Shaklee 180 program. It is working so well for her that I decided to give it a try in an effort to get all of my nutritional needs. Yes, Shaklee 180 is considered safe for nursing moms, assuming you get an appropriate amount of calories. There are, however, some differences. In your turnaround kit you are given a Metabolic Booster to take at every meal. Its a giant purple horse pill that is basically a super doped up vitamin. For nursing moms, they recommend ditching that and instead using their Vita Lea with Iron supplement, which provides nutrients for breast health plus the iron. I’m thinking this is a pre-natal vitamin with a different name, but I was attracted to the Iron. 

For you Mamavation Moms reading here’s where Shaklee might be appealing to you: it is GMO-Free and proud of it. It is also Gluten free and lactose free (but also Dairy free-I found no dairy in the labels which is amazing because B is now allergic to dairy). The way Shaklee 180 works is with an amino acid, Leucine, helping you burn the fat without losing muscle. I’ve noticed a big difference when I drink two shakes a day as recommended, or swap in a meal bar. I cheat (DA BURGERS), but so far I’ve lost 2 pounds in about a week. My clothes are fitting looser and looser, and I’m feeling better and better. I’m not eating (as much) crap as I was in the beginning of baby (hellooo cookies) so look at this like a detox. I’ve noticed I’m more toned, which is great because I’m not working out the way I should.

We recently bought myself some shakes and bars so I don’t dip into Mom’s supply since she is doing this more “for realz.” I’m so excited to try the Caffe Latte flavor in the shakes, and may add in some coffee. I’ll let you know how that goes!

So, Mamavation Moms, how are your goals going!?