Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pinterest WIN: Customize your iPhone home screen apps!

I saw a screen shot of someone's iPhone layout on Pinterest and had to customize my phone!

Here is a how-to, as the app is not all that easy to use. tried to make it simple for everyone to understand but it is a lengthy tutorial. You have been warned.

**The concept is easy, you are creating a shortcut to the actual app on your home screen with a pretty shortcut picture. 

1. Download Cocoppa. It's free in the app store.

2. Open the app and make a free account. It looks like this when you're done.

3. You need a nice pile of pretty icons ready to change all your apps over and ready to make shortcuts etc.
Because the app is badly translated from who knows what Asian language, it is basically impossible to use the tags function or the categories function for anything other than confusing yourself.
Browse about, click on any icons you like, press the like button.
The search function sort of works for some apps but you end up missing the best icons as the creators haven't always saved them with english titles.
The tags section is just ridiculous.

4. View your liked icons. Click the Mypage bit on the bottom.
Click like at the top next to your name.
Choose your icon for your first app.

The first icon we will make is for a store App. 

1. Click the icon you want to use. Press set up link.
2. Press App Search. Resist the temptation to laugh at the false advertising on "you can easily create shortcut..." 

3. Search the app name.
Pray to the God you like best that the search function will work. It sometimes will not find the app you want AT ALL, and suggests the most ridiculous apps that are clearly not what you searched for.
Press the correct app if it shows up.
Add gloss if you want, decide if the icon looks nicer with it on or off.
Change the Icon name to whatever it is you want.
Press OK

4. Press yes. The app will open up safari where you will see the image on the right. 
Press the circled button to add a shortcut to the home screen. 

5. Wait for the image to change to the one you wanted (a second or so) and click add to home screen.
Change the name if you fancy. 
Click Add.

6. Put the new icon where you want it.
Move the old icon to the very back of your phone where you will shove them all in folders out of the way. If you delete them the new icons will not work.

When you click the new icon it will take about a second to open the app as it is a shortcut link, if you have no patience you might not like it. But I personally think it is worth the tiny second wait.

Repeat for all the store bought apps you want changed. Changing original iphone apps comes later.

The next icon we will make is for a speed dial.

1. Pick the icon you want from your likes list.
Click set up short cut.
Press phone number.
Either enter the number manually or get it from the phone book.
Click done when finished.

2. Add gloss if you want. 
Change Icon name
App will go to safari. 
Click add to home screen.

3. Change name if needs be.
Press Add.
Move in place.

Shortcut will ring your contact when pressed.

Set up email short cut.

1. Pick icon from likes list.
Press set up link.
Click mail.
Either click the contact where the email address is also stored or enter manually

2. Change icon name.
Add gloss if you want.
Press OK
App will open safari.
Click add to home screen

3. Click add.
Move icon in place.

Icon will open up a new email message with the address already filled out.

Set up text or imessage shortcut.

1. Pick icon from likes list.
Press set up link.
Click message. 
Click phone number.

 2. Enter phone number from phone book or manually.
Change icon name.
Add gloss if you want.
Press OK.
App will go to safari.

3. Add to home screen.
Move app in place.

App will open messages to that contact. imessage if they are an iphone user, text if not.

Set up internet link.

1. Pick app.
Set up link.
Press URL.

Enter URL.
You know what to do now...

Link will open up website. 
Use to link to news sites. Blogger homepage. Reddit. Etc etc. 

Change standard apple apps.

Right, here is the slightly trickier bit but by now you should know the gist of how to add short cuts. Some original apps (anything that doesn't give the option to delete when you make the apps bounce, such as mail and music and phone etc) can be opened with a short cut. Some can not, or if they can I have no idea how. Some are a bit impractical such as mail.

In order to not further patronise I'll keep it brief. Set up the icon the same way as you did for URL.

Instead of entering a website address enter one of the following.

To open music = Music:
To open messages = SMS:
To open maps = Maps:
To pictures = photos-redirect://

They will open straight to the app. 

The next couple are not as straight forward.

To see mail inbox you need to enter mailto: when the icon opens the new message click cancel and you will be back inside you inbox. You will probably prefer the original icon so you can see the notifications. 

To open safari you need to enter an address as you cannot open a blank safari page (well I don't know how). I used a link to google.

Some others I could not get to open. For those I just downloaded alternatives from the app store, such as a notepad that wasn't the standard Apple notes or a new weather app. A lot of the time you can get better apps than the ones that came with the iphone anyway. 

What if I can't find my app in search? 

Truthfully, you're screwed. The search function is outrageously bad. 
I deleted my weather app because I couldn't find it in the search to create a short cut. I searched weather and downloaded whichever one came up. 

Like so:

Go back to the app and click set up link. Then do the usual. 

The app also has some pretty wallpapers, click the wallpapers tab at the top of the homepage to browse. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pinterest WIN: One Dish Italian Chicken

Easy one dish chicken. Throw everything in the dish, cook your noodles, and serve. I used zucchini and asparagus instead of artichoke hearts. We also eliminated the pasta for a carb free dish. 

Core and chop about 4-5 roma tomatoes. (serves 4 so cut in half if you want less :-)


Thinly slice two cloves of garlic.
Drain a small jar of artichoke hearts (except I used zucchini and asparagus!)
Place all ingredients in a bowl and pour in a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, a generous amount of S&P, a teaspoon of sugar, a couple tablespoons of flour {since the chicken will produce so much liquid}.

Place the tomato mixture in with the boneless skinless chicken breasts {that are generously seasoned with S&P}. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake until the chicken is almost done (40 minutes). 


Take the almost done chicken out of the oven and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top. Place the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes {keep an eye on it!} until the cheese is golden brown and the vegetables are caramelized.


When you pull the chicken out of the oven, sprinkle some fresh basil on top and the heat of the dish will wilt the basil.


Serve over whatever pasta you love and ENJOY. 


Pinterest .....OKish: Banana Oat Cookies

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pinterest WIN: Big Juicy Burgers

Now this is my adapted recipe, originating from Rachel Ray's burger recipe I saw on her show. Guaranteed to produce juicy burgers!

  • 1 lb hamburger meat, the least amount of fat the better, but it does get more expensive with less fat. Anything over 85% will be good.
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • shreaded cheddar cheese, mozz, cheese and parm cheese to taste (optional)
  • peppers, onions (optional)
The breadcrumbs and egg are the most important part of this recipe. Let me know what your favorite ingredients are to put inside the burger!
  1. In a bowl mix meat and egg, then add bread crumbs and mix, then add cheeses if you wish (this makes it YUMMMMMY I promise). Mix well. Add chopped onions and peppers if you wish.*to mix get your hands dirty! stick both hands in, fingertips down. Then turn your right hand to the right, and left hand to the left. Best way for mixing!
  2. Split into four even sections and mold each into a burger. When finished use your thumb to press down in the middle of each burger before grilling. This will help to decrease the hump in the middle of the burger because you DO NOT want to flatten it with the spatula! That's where all the juices run out! No good.
  3. Preheat grill on Medium and put burgers on. Cook each for about 6-7 minutes on each side depending on how well you want it cooked. Flip once and DO NOT press flat!
  4. Add a slice of cheese if you want (you can never have too much cheese!)
  5. Garnish with lettuce, tomato, and put on a nice fresh kaiser roll. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pinterest WIN: Chicken and Spinach Alfredo

Now we love alfredo and tried to make a healthier version. So I bought the light alfredo sauce and added spinach (left over from this spinach and chicken recipe) and made this Chicken and Spinach Alfredo. It was yummy! And you can't even taste the spinach! So I loaded it in there! 

·         26 ounces Light alfredo sauce ( I used Classico)
·         1 tablespoon olive oil
·         1 lb cooked chicken breast
·         16 ounces  fettuccini alfredo noodles
·         16 ounces fresh broccoli florets or 16 ounces fresh spinach
·         salt (or McCormicks Perfect Pinch Garlic and Salt seasoning)
Heat the olive oil. Add chicken, salt and pepper (or the McCormicks Perfect Pinch Garlic and Salt seasoning) and mix well.

In another pot pour in jar of Alfredo, spinach or broccoli and heat until slightly bubbly. Keep on Low. Add chicken when it is fully cooked to alfredo and veggie sauce.
Start boiling the water to make the pasta. Put in pasta when boiling.

When pasta is done, mix pasta with chicken mixture well. Heated up some ciabatta bread with butter and garlic salt in the oven. Enjoy!

Pinterest WIN: Baked Apple Chips

Ok, I saw this baked apple chip recipe when looking through my "Healthy" board for a dinner idea and thought, hey I have one apple left, so cut it up and threw some slices in the oven! 

What you will need:
  • Apples
  • Cinnamon
  • Remove apple core. **I have a corer and slicer but totally disregarded the fact that if I use it to core the apple it will also slice it into 6 moon shape slices... so halfway down the apple I realized this and pulled the corer off but it still left me with some already sliced pieces so I made mini chips :-) 
  • Thinly slice the entire apple.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place apple slices on it.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Bake at 275 degrees for two hours. At the end of hour one flip them over so they bake evenly.
  • Check on them at the hour mark and every 30 minutes after that. Once they look nice and crispy take them out. :) 

Mine: (I should have sliced them thinner, but they were delicious! and made the house smell so yummy!)