Cannot Take Photo, Not Enough Available Storage


Just the other day my one-year-old son, Will, stood up and looked like he was ready to take his first step. Despite this being my 4th child these milestones NEVER get old. Like any good modern parent I grabbed my iPhone, ready to capture the moment if he decided to go. I flipped up the camera then saw this, “Cannot Take Photo, Not Enough Available Storage.” What!!! I don’t have time for this. I frantically went into my Camera Roll and deleted 10 pictures of my 4 year old’s thumb. I cleared up just enough space, but Will decided he wasn’t ready for the next big step and crawled off. Regardless, I sat there a little confused. It was a fairly new phone and I am pretty good about deleting the bad photos out of the Camera Roll. I needed to figure out what was sucking up all my storage.

There are a couple of typical items that chew up most of your iPhone data. We are going to look at the most common and find out how to fix the problem. I am sure it is no surprise to you that media (photos & video) are typically the main culprit of storage hogging. But you may be surprised to see where they can hide out!

Just like going into the doctor, the first step is to look at all the health of the phone. Go to Settings > General > Usage. Wait for this area to load, it can take a minute, especially if you are having space issues. Once every thing has loaded you can see exactly how much space photos or apps are chewing up. Here is the one that can surprise people, Messages. This may not be the case for you, but many people are losing a ton of space to their Messages usage. We’ll cover more about this in the Message section. We are going to look at the three most common issues: Photos, Messages, and Apps.

You are probably fairly familiar with your photos app. There is a Camera Roll, Photo Stream, and any additional albums. The first step is keeping your Camera Roll as clean as possible. I know I harp on this issue, but your photos are your own personal museum, be sure to be the curator of it. This means DELETE. Get rid of the photos that aren’t any good. Just go ahead and delete those on your phone. If you have your iCloud/Photostream linked up with your iPhoto on your computer you should receive all your photos into a photo stream event automatically. While I would say this works 90% of the time I am not convinced. The best way to ensure you keep everything you want is to plug your phone into your computer. In addition, your videos are NOT transferred over via the Photo Stream. You want to make sure those are brought over as well.

Go ahead and plug your iPhone into your computer (for this post, I will assume you are using a Mac). Your iPhoto should pop up and identify which photos are not already in your library. It should also recognize duplicates and skip them. Once you do this you will be prompted with the question whether to keep or delete the photos on your device. Now that they are on your computer you want to delete them off your device to clear up space.

Stubborn Photos
Now inevitably whenever I go through this process I look down at my Camera Roll and there are still some random number of photos/videos that didn’t seem to get pulled over in the transfer and also didn’t get deleted. Time to bring out Image Capture. Image Capture is one of those great hidden Mac Applications. In fact, a lot of the time I like it even better than iPhoto.

Go to Finder > Applications > Image Capture, with your device plugged in you will see your photos and videos listed out. You have the option to import to a place, including the iPhoto library, or you can delete. This is the best way to deal with stubborn photos that won’t get off your phone.

Here is where things get sticky. I think this is one of Apple’s dirtiest little secrets. Your iMessages chew up tons of space. Especially if you are someone who tends to receive a lot of photos and video. Even if you save them to your own Camera Roll they are still saved in the iMessage cache. Now there does seem to be a little confusion about this, but it appears that deleting the message immediately might save you because it never gets committed to the iMessage backup where it lives FOREVER. Well almost forever.

I hate to say it, but there really isn’t a clear-cut solution. There are high hopes that the iOS 8 release in the fall will bring one. Until then there is this work around It is not great, but if you are desperate it will solve your problem and open up some space for you.

Last but not least is your Apps. The size of the application and the data that application saves can start to really build up. In General > Settings > Usage, look and see which apps use the most space. If it is an app that you don’t even use, get rid of it. If is an app that you do use, and it takes up a lot of space, you may want to consider deleting it and re-installing to get rid of all the data it is holding onto. Be careful with this decision, that data may be important.

Does anyone else have any other tips to open up iPhone storage? 

GetMeGeeky{EATS} – The “Distracted” Edition

eats_logoGetMeGeeky{EATS} is going to bring together technology and meal planning using the fabulous tool Plan to Eat. Here’s how:

1. Every Weekend we will post and email (for those who sign up below) the weekly meal plan.

2. You sign into your Plan to Eat account then become friends with “JGBenson”. Using the drop down next to her recipes find the tag word for the week. The tag word will always be in the weekly post.

3. Look through the recipes under the tag word and then press the “plan” button to add to your weekly meal plan.

3. The best part, it is going to create your shopping list for you. From there you can make your adjustments as necessary and head to the store.

That’s it! Plan to Eat has a fabulous tutorial if you need any extra guidance. It is even easier than it sounds, promise.

Your weekly GetMeGeeky{EATS} host is my friend and foodie, Julie. I hope that through this setup you can find a way to eat healthy all while saving time and money.

Take it away Julie!

Tag word is: “Distracted”

Alrighty folks, I ran the 5k and didn’t collapse. In fact, I completed the whole hilly thing without stopping (sidenote: we will not be discussing my time). The whole way home from the race I was buzzing with the possibilities and the rediscovered joy of exercising and then I walked through my door and saw my new sewing machine sitting on the table. It was like a siren calling to me saying “don’t do housework, don’t exercise, just sew” and I crashed. If you have ever entertained the idea of sewing, beware, it is addictive! So, distracted as I am, I need meals that don’t require a ton of focus. There is no reason to rely on boxed meals in times like these. It is possible to have a totally fresh meal on the table and your beautiful sewing project humming along simultaneously.

A couple of weeks ago we went to dinner with our neighbors at this place called Villains. They make hero style sandwiches that are inspired by the bad guys in movies. I was stuck on what to order, the Colonel Kurtz (Bahn Mi) or the El Macho (Puerto Rican Torta). Ultimately I got the El Macho and it was dance in your seat good but I still missed the Colonel Kurtz. No matter, I have two hands, and a stove so I just made it at home a few nights later and boy it was good! The recipe is for making meatballs but I just made them into hamburgers that I cooked in a skillet. It is a versatile dish that you can put your own spin on and it is easily made in stages as you find the time. A couple of secrets for you on this one: 1) use your veggie peeler to make ribbons instead of coarsely grating your carrots. It’s quick and your fingers will stay intact. 2) Grow your own herbs. It satisfied my soul to walk outside and pluck my very own basil and cilantro. 3) Kiddies can’t tolerate spice? Just portion out the meat and mix separately so that the kids get the protein and you get the protein plus pizazz.

The next night I made Polenta Bowl with Garlicky Spinach, Chicken Sausage, and a Poached egg. This was an easy put together and was a good fill your belly and warm you up meal for a crazy late spring cold front. I had never poached an egg before this meal and it was a hot mess. After the fact (like a true dummy) I looked up how to poach an egg and learned really quickly (from Alton Brown) that getting your egg white to stay together is really easy. All you do is add a little vinegar to your simmering water and you swirl the water so that the water tunnel keeps your whites from spreading. Read directions, don’t be like me! Speaking of directions, the next night I followed a bad recipe right on down the drain. I was cooking a whole chicken and should have used my thinking cap. I knew better, I thought the instructions sounded off but I didn’t want to think I just wanted to sew and what we had was dry and gross. It wasn’t a total loss because I used the leftover carcass to make chicken stock in the slow cooker for a really good Lima Bean Soup the next week. Have you tried making your stock this way? Totally cinchy and totally delicious. Just put your chicken bones in, what ever odds and ends of aromatic veggies you have laying around ( I used onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and parsnip), filler up with water, season lightly, set on LOW, and walk away for the day. Strain your stock with cheese cloth, discard solids, skim fat, and voila! Way better than the stuff at the store.

I love cooking, I love entertaining, and once I told my husband that big holiday feasts are like my superbowl. It’s my chance to prove my kitchen wizardry. If this is any indication to you of how distracted I am, I totally bombed Easter. The only truly good thing on my table was the ham and I didn’t really make that, Trader Joe’s did. We had some guests for Easter and thank goodness it was good family friends that didn’t need me to knock their socks off. The silver lining was that ham. It was delicious and it served us the entire next week. After Easter lunch, I just trimmed off the majority of the meat from the bone and packed it away in the freezer and fridge. I set the bone aside to use for New Orleans style White Beans. I had been looking forward to those beans for weeks and they did not disappoint; bonus points from the baby as he gave me a round of applause between shoving handfuls of the beans in his mouth. I also used the remainder of the ham to make a pot of Hoppin John with braised collard greens and to add a little meat into the Lima Bean Soup. That quarter ham was a good investment.

A couple of months ago, my husband and I went to the Alton Brown Live show here in Atlanta. In the show, he mentioned that he has a culinary pet peeve and that is chicken fingers (as chickens don’t have fingers). It never occurred to me to be annoyed with a food like that. Flash forward to my kitchen one day last week at dinner time, my husband asked me what was for dinner and I said Patty Melts and he responded “ugh, my culinary pet peeve”. Wait, what? Why? He said it had something to do with calling a hamburger something different. Whatever, I was almost done cooking so he was going to have to eat it whether it annoyed him or not. So I did a small victory fist pump when he devoured it and started dreaming of having the leftovers for lunch the next day. I believe it was so good for several reasons; I cooked the onions in a tiny amount of butter rather than a whole stick and let the onion really shine on it’s own, I used a local grassfed beef, and I dressed it with catsup from the Preserving Place (remember, not to be confused with ketchup from Heinz!). Oh and speaking of preserving, try out my quick pickled tomatoes for an awesome zing on your salad!

This past week has been kind of a doozy for me. My husband is going into finals so he is pretty much MIA around the house and I have come down with some sort of terrible throat/ear illness. I can testify that these meals are all totally easy and doable when things just aren’t going your way. One afternoon last week I even stepped on a yellow jacket while getting the mail barefoot and I was still able to get that Hoppin John on the table.(I think I can hear my mom somewhere out there saying, told ya you have to wear shoes.) I was suppose to go out of town this weekend but my illness derailed me. I was totally unprepared and really not interested in cooking dinner or going out so I pulled the other half of the Squash Casserole out of the freezer and then made Easy Shredded Chicken. It was delicious, nutritious, and now I have my pyrex back from freezer quarantine!

Oh man, is it May yet? April crept by very slowly for me. I was impatiently awaiting the arrival of a couple of babies for family friends (they are here, ya!) and while I adore the beautiful foliage we are blessed with I do not adore the powdery yellow substance that

is coating EVERYTHING in April. See you back here in May and hopefully you will find a healthier me with a clean house, full menu, and a few fun sewing projects completed.

The Menu:
Pork Meatball Banh Mi
Polenta Bowl with Garlicky Spinach, Chicken Sausage, and Poached Egg Patty Melt
Hoppin John with Braised Collard Greens
New Orleans Style White Beans
Lima Bean Soup
Tex Mex Squash Casserole with Easy Shredded Chicken
Quick Pickled Cherry Tomatoes


iCloud Keychain: Are You Handing Over Your Passwords and Credit Card Numbers to a Thief?

Password management is right up there with insurance and taxes as far as exciting and interesting topics go. I mean who knew one day passwords would be become such a pain. Nobody follows the same system. You can never remember which password goes with what. Then many of us end up writing all of them down in a notebook, sort of defeating the whole purpose to begin with.

Apple uses a password management tool called Keychain. Keychain used to only be available on the Mac computer, but the last iOS update included Keychain as well.  Let’s first take a look at what the iCloud Keychain does for us, how to set it up, and finally look at the steps we need to take to ensure this helpful tool does’t hurt us in the end.
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