Oct 23, 2014

Y'all are still a hot mess

I'm gonna start this post off with one of the most unique home screens I received, and I'm gonna close it out the same way. To kick us off, Travis' home screen. Travis is from Florida. Not coincidentally, he is the ONLY person who had a folder on his home screen dedicated to Fishing. I am super-perplexed that he moved his Calendar to a perma-spot and put his Texts up top. I don't even know what to make of that.

Ombre for the win! I love Nikki's ombre background, and I think my sister will totally obsess over it. So cute. She said, "I loved your post last year. It was the starting point of "operation get my phone in order." I had zero folders before that day, and multiple pages of apps." GRASS STAINS. #changinglives #chargeyourphonenikki

Fifty-four uninstalled app updates. A Fantasy Football app. More than 9,000 unread emails. It's a good thing Chris has some stellar qualities, none of which have to do with the state of his phone.

Okay, this reader's screenshot was titled "home screen - color coded." Look closely, left to right. Green, royal blue, sky blue, multi-colored. BLOW. MY. MIND. (Who sent this? You need to take credit in the Comments because I accidentally deleted your email!)

Jenifer's home screen is the only one I got that swapped Messages out of a perma-spot in favor of Settings. Huh. Ima have a hard time arguing logic with someone who sent their screenshot in when her battery was at an exemplary 100%, however. WELL DONE, JENIFER.

Natasha said, "I'm sure you're going to have a field day about my unread mail." UM. Dear Anyone Who's Ever Sent Natasha An Email: It's time to give up now. Love, Grass

Heather says that having too many folders on one page upsets her. So she has "two home screens," as she put it, and they both look about like this. I'll tell you one thing: I'm not going to argue with a cat who has that look on its face.

Meggan is one of the few people who still admits to playing Candy Crush. And she admits it Loud and Proud, right there in the middle of her home screen, not hidden in some Games folder somewhere. YOU BE YOU, MEGGAN. Also, please return those eight phone calls. And CHARGE YOUR PHONE, FOR THE LOVE.

Rachel is the only person I remember seeing who's downloaded an app that customizes her everyday app icons into something more. I have to assume all of her really embarrassing stuff is on screens two and three -- aside from the glaring fact that she doesn't have her battery percentage turned on. THAT is staring us all in the face.

I'm dying to know if Nichole's home screen background is seasonal (for Halloween), or if it looks like this all the time. I almost have a seizure every time I look at it, but surely that's just me. And are the icons DANCING? They look like they're dancing.

"Less" is Colleen's word of the year. All the apps are in a folder titled "Stuff." She said the second screen looks pretty much like this one ... she's from Canada. I don't know if that explains it or not. What say you, other Canadians? This one cracks me up.

Everyone will immediately know this one is Rachel's, because it's a gorgeous sunset photo in the background. Also, Camera, Camera+ and ProHDR all in a row right there. I won't tell you how many unread emails she ACTUALLY has, but that 52 is a total lie. I don't know how she gets it to SAY 52, but that's just sorcery.

Sarah is an artist. Don't ask me why I can look at this home screen and tell that this random assortment of icons in no particular order is the home screen of an artist, but I can. Weird, isn't it? She was humble about it, too. "Let's take a moment to talk about perfection." Was the title of her email.

Patrick is one of the most unique people i know, and his home screen shows it. Please take a moment to compare apps with him. How many do you have in common? THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT. Also, it nearly kills me outright that he doesn't have his Gmail tied to his Mail app, so his Mail app sits there, empty but taking up a perfectly good perma-spot. GOD HELP US ALL.

Honor is one of my closest friends, having been a part of my life for 23 years now. Am I surprised that she has a folder on her home screen titled "Mom's Games"? I am not. Am I surprised that she has two-and-a-half times as many photography apps as I do? YES I AM. Also, if you have to consult four different weather apps every day, you might need a better weather app.

Ricky has more apps in his Useless folder than in any other folder. I'm not sure if that says more about Apple or about Ricky. I will say this: The icons are so small that I can't say for sure that he has them properly stowed by category. But after he sent me this screenshot, he tweeted me a new one that clearly indicated that he'd stashed Photos in the SOCIAL folder. IN THE SOCIAL FOLDER, INTERNET. So basically his entire system is suspect.

Tracey asked me to "be gentle." When am I not gentle? Chevron background, battery percentage turned on, battery half full, Tweetbot installed ... What's not to like? OH I SEE. You didn't send me your second screen. You're hiding your dirty little secrets on Page Two. Nicely done, Tracey, nicely done.

Beth has seven -- SEVEN -- pages of apps. Beth, help me help you. HELP ME, HELP YOU. I know. You don't want to be helped. You participated last year, and here you are again. AND YOU ONLY USE THREE OF YOUR PERMA-SPOTS. Lord have mercy.

Elizabeth's home screen is one of the more unique ones I received in terms of apps and placement. Sleep Pillow? White noise and alarm clock. (I asked.) Dictionary? She uses it every day. And you can see that she's moved Camera+ to a perma-spot, eschewing the stock Camera app altogether. Mail got moved up to the second row on Screen One, where it sits with Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Robin's home screen hasn't changed too much since last year. Poor thing ... she still won't make a folder to save her life. Next year she may be up to 22 screens.

Laura-pronounced-Lora carries the distinction of being the only reader to send in a screenshot with Snapshat in a visible location. I told her that the fact that I don't recognize half of her apps AND she has Snapchat installed totally show her age. Or mine. Whatever.

I like how Giann decided that she needed a Misc. and a Misc. 2. One big Misc. folder was just too much work. I also enjoy how Tweetbot and the Bible are side-by-side. Tweetliness is next to Godliness.

As you'd expect, Jamie changed most of the names of her folders to cute little descriptors. Bookish. Snaps. Screens. The Man. Buy Low. This is also -- I'll have you know -- her "Fall screenshot," as she told me when she sent me a text that said, "I want you to use my Fall screenshot." Instead of the summer one she'd originally submitted. She's not high-maintenance at ALL.

Kate said she was excited to hear my "verdict" on her home screen. Well, Kate, I'm fascinated that you're firmly with me in the Vertical Screen Lock Camp, but you don't have your Battery Percentage turned on. How do you sleep at night? What is your secret?

Carolina girl Leslee is equal parts Education and Entertainment. I don't even HAVE a folder titled Education. Bygones. Leslee, don't you constantly open the Phone app wanting to text and open the Text app wanting to make a phone call? I don't know WHY Apple made them the exact same color, and it always drove me nuts. I had to put them on opposite sides of the bottom row to keep myself sane.

Jan. Jan, Jan, Jan. I think Jan dropped her phone in the toilet or some such thing, so now she has some Dharma Initiative thing taking up most of her home screen. I don't even KNOW what's going on here. Also, a red notification bubble by the Phone icon that has no number in it? GAH.

Ruth sent a bulleted list via email with her screenshot, as if it would protect her from judgment. HOW QUAINT. The best part about her email was that she admitted to moving things around before taking her screenshot so that it looked better. First appearance of several apps here, and my most favoritest of these is the little Songza guy. HOW CUTE IS HE. BRB after I recover from the background image.

A few Droid users wanted to play, and although I know NOTHING about their phones, I included their screenshots since they were nice enough to send them. This is Loyal Reader Breenah's home screen, and I have to say, I'm envious of the big timestamp. I'm super-confused about why it says "9:19 a.m." in big numbers at the top left and "7:33 a.m." in smaller numbers at the bottom right, but ... okay.

Cathrine from The Netherlands seems to be a really organized gal. Also? She chose a nice picture for her background. P.S. If there's an app that puts a half-calendar like this on the home screen of an iPhone, I'd be interested in knowing about its existence.

So if you were wanting to know how to get me not to say anything mean about your screenshot, take a page out of Michelle's book: "My screenshot is more about the background. This is a picture of my mother and father a few days after I was born in 1977. They divorced before I was 2, so this is one of the only pictures I have of the three of us. My mother passed away in 1986, and my father just this past July."

And finally, the inspiration behind yesterday's post: Shawn, the 19-percenter.

Out of ALL the people who talk such a big game about how they never use the phone, they ONLY text, and they hate Hate HATE the phone, I've never known a single soul to move the Phone app to a "Useless" folder or even out of a perma-spot. Well, lo and behold, SHAWN DID IT.

And not only that, but his perma-spots -- with the exception of Text Messages -- are completely different than the ones Steve Jobs set him up with out of the box. And for that I give him a Slow Clap.

Thanks, everyone, for playing! It was fun again this year!

Oct 22, 2014

The Great iPhone PHONE Challenge

I hate to tell you this, but my post on all of your hideous iPhone home screens has been delayed yet another day.

BUT. That is because reviewing all of them -- NAY, BEING SCARRED FOR LIFE BY ALL OF THEM -- brought me to a startling revelation.

There are many, MANY among you who claim that you never use the phone. That you ONLY text. That you jump three inches anytime your phone actually rings.

And yet. AND YET, INTERNET. Of all the home screens that were sent in to me -- and there were a lot of them -- only one person had moved his Phone icon from a perma-spot to a different location on his home screen.

Yes, of course it was a man.

So I am issuing my first-ever Grass Stains Challenge:

Today, all of you who swear you never use the phone -- or even if you only use it once or twice a day -- move your Phone icon out of its perma-spot at the bottom, into another spot on your home screen. And choose an app you open MULTIPLE times a day -- be it Twitter, Spotify, Words with Friends, Feedly, {...shudder...} Facebook -- and move that app into a perma-spot.

Give it a week, and come back and tell me how it's going. We'll talk about whether you miss the phone, if it's a move you wish you'd made years ago, and if you actually owe me cold, hard cash for changing your life. Tell your parents, tell your friends, tell your minister. LET'S DO THIS, Internet.

After all, if you REALLY don't use the phone to call people, and you really only use it to answer calls, you don't need the Phone icon in a perma-spot. When you receive a call and your phone is sleeping, the screen wakes up like this:

And when you receive a call while you're in the middle of a task on your phone, the screen reverts to this:

So. What are you waiting for?

Challenge accepted? Who's in? Who's out?

Let me know in the Comments. I'm dying to know.

Oct 20, 2014

Seasonal reminders from Grass Stains

Your GHASTLY collection of iPhone home screens is coming, Internet.

Never fear. It's coming.

But first, I wanted to be sure to post my Seasonal Reminders to you. I'm a little late this year, so hopefully you've already scheduled -- and maybe already TAKEN -- your family photos for your holiday cards. But if you haven't, GET ON THAT.

And if it's been more than a year since you've had a good head shot taken, have that photographer get a couple of you and your spouse individually that day. It'll probably be better than your latest selfie, and it'll certainly be more appropriate for your LinkedIn profile or, at the very least, it'll help you out the next time somebody asks you if you have a picture of yourself and you have to try to crop a kid or a dog out of it.

Also about this time every year, I'm supposed to remind you that it's time to order your 2014 Christmas ornaments before Pottery Barn runs out of them. I'm so selfish that I never remind you to order yours until I've ordered my own, which I just did last night.

(If you're new here, I order a photo frame Christmas ornament for each of my kids every Fall with the year engraved on it. My Christmas tree is chock full of them. It's my favorite tradition and our kids love their ornaments.)

This year Pottery Barn has the rectangular one that I always order AND a round one that's really cute. But that seems like it would be circle-times as hard to cut a photo out to go in it. Don't say I didn't warn you. 

I AM really bummed that they're not offering a customizable version of this frame this year, though (at least, not that I saw). In the past, you could choose any date to engrave on it, and this year you can only get 2014 ... so if you're trying to "fill in the blanks" on your tree, you're going to have to find a different ornament frame.

I am not affiliated with Pottery Barn in any way and don't get anything for mentioning them every. stinking. year. Anyone who does is clearly LIVING THE DREAM.

But speaking of affiliates {nice segue, Grass}, if you haven't set your Amazon.com home page to my Affiliate home page, this would be an EXCELLENT time to do that.

Since I asked you to, at least two of you must have done it. Because I checked, and I have earned $4.63 since then. That is a full one-third more than I'd earned in the preceding two years. So, you know, I'm RAKING IT IN.

But seriously. As I mentioned in my original Ask, if you would like to support my blog at no cost to you, you could change your Amazon bookmark to (copy and paste it): 


That is my personal Amazon Affiliate home page link. It would be a "passive" way to support my work here, because a small portion of your eligible purchases would be paid to me as a commission each time you shop there.

 I won't know who does and who doesn't, so there's no pressure on you one way or another. With holiday shopping right around the corner, I figure I MIGHT be able to break $10! Thanks for considering it.

Oct 16, 2014

iPhone home screens, because I'm a glutton for punishment

Okay, Internet.

It's been a year since we've done this. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?

Yes, a year since I first LOST MY EVER-LOVING MIND over the state of your iPhone home screens. It was purely accidental, and I can't believe I'm about to do this to myself -- and to you -- again on purpose.

But I am. And as I look back on my own home screen from a mere year ago, I'm surprised to see how much it's changed in that time.


And now:

If you weren't around a year ago, what happened was that my friend Rachel innocently texted me a screenshot of her home screen in the process of asking me a question about something related to her phone. And I don't think I was even able to answer her question, SO DISTRACTED WAS I BY THE STATE OF HER HOME SCREEN.

I was so undone that I knew I had to investigate to see if others were living in similar states of chaos -- hundreds (or thousands!) of unread emails, screens upon screens of apps just piled upon one another, horrid background images flying in the face of all that's good and holy -- and SURE ENOUGH.

You were.

You provided enough fodder for two posts. The original, and then a follow-up. Truth be told, there were even stragglers beyond that, but I was worn slap out. I couldn't bring myself to post any more screens. My eyes were nearly seared out of my head by the ugliness of it all.

But I'm ready. Bring it, Internet. BRING IT.

Send your home screen screenshots to stainsofgrass at yahoo dot com. (I assume you all know how to take a screenshot. If you don't, email me and ask.) (I probably won't tell anyone you had to email me and ask.) (PROBABLY won't.)

I'm VERY interested to see if anyone has finally moved the Phone out of a perma-spot.

Oct 14, 2014

Around the house

I'm working on posts that cover trips to two waterparks over the summer. They're picture-heavy -- SURPRISE -- so in the meantime, I thought I'd share with you a couple of small projects that have gone on around the house lately.

(While perusing my Our Home page a minute ago looking for an old picture of our bedroom, I realized I've never updated our den pictures, either. GEEZ. Good thing I'm not a home blogger.)

Anyway, I recently bought some cute paper balls to hang in a corner of Amelia's room. (Here's a picture of her room in natural light, but taken with my phone. Sorry for the graininess.)

Here's a picture taken with the overhead light on. The pinks in the balls don't match her curtains exactly, although they're not as far off as they look in these pictures.

Her curtains have raspberry and soft pink in them, and of course her walls are grey ... the balls coordinate okay. The most important thing is, Amelia loves them!

One of the other little changes in the house is that I hung a turquoise quatrefoil shelf above our toilet to hold toilet paper. It holds four rolls. Do I wish I had put four rolls in it for these pictures? Yes, yes I do. Also, there is a picture in that frame now.

Sometimes I get ahead of myself. Sorry.

And I also recently painted our bedroom a deep grey. It's not quite charcoal, but it's pretty dramatic. I LOVE IT.

As a reminder, it was a light khaki before:

And I was happy with that for a long time ... but I was ready for a change, and I felt like with the bright-white board-and-batten all the way around, the room could handle a darker color now.

I've ended up liking it so much that I've used it to paint the inside of our front door, our back door, the inside and outside of our basement door that goes out to the garage, and our laundry doors. Forgot to take pictures of any of those, of course.

You're just gonna have to take my word for the fact that I love it.

Have you made any changes to your home lately?

Oct 10, 2014

Sorry I disappeared

I didn't mean to write a couple of posts this week and then disappear on you, but I guess that's what happened, huh?

Grayson's been sick and my mom came into town unexpectedly, so the week kind of turned around in a hurry. Also? The posts I have in draft? They all involve a LOT of work.

And we all know how much I hate that.

I mean, some of them will require going through 200 pictures to narrow it down to the mere 149 that I will share with you. Even though we're now into fall, I'm assuming you still want to see pictures of some of our summer adventures.

Because EASTER.

Until I get around to those -- maybe next week? YOU KNOW BETTER THAN TO HOLD YOUR BREATH -- enjoy these pictures of Nick, Jake and Amelia with my friend Lisa's new Maltipoo puppy, Rocky.

They're in love.

Two items of particular note in these pictures. First, when Jake wears a collared shirt (he's the only one of the boys who still does -- he CHOOSES to, sometimes), he pops the collar.

Second, if I get near Amelia with so much as a hair clip -- not even a barrette, but just a little CLIP -- she yells "NO!" and pushes me away. But Miss Joycelyn at daycare managed to put not one, not two, but THREE pigtails in her hair yesterday. WITH ELASTIC BANDS.


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