How to Use Instagram Without an iPhone, and Why You Should Bother (and my birthday giveaway!)

by | Sep 20, 2014 | Birthdays, Blogging, Giveaway | 66 comments

I know I am late to the Instagram party, but I had a good excuse: I didn’t have an iPhone.

I still don’t.

But all the cool kids were doing it, so I’ve finally made the plunge and joined. Here’s why, and how, and what I think so far.


I joined Instagram because Facebook keeps messing with their “algorithm” (whatever that is), which means, even if you’ve liked my page, you won’t necessarily see everything I post. That’s lame. The problem is that Facebook lumps bloggers in with businesses. They would like me to pay to “promote” my post so that more people will see it. I’m sure that makes sense for businesses, but I’m a not for profit blogger, so I can’t really justify paying Facebook to let you see my posts.

On Instagram, if you follow someone, you get to see everything that person posts.

Also, I kept hearing that Instagram was drama-free. Just an image, and a few words. A happy place. I feel like my blog’s Facebook page is pretty positive, but overall, Facebook IS drama-full. I see comments on friends’ posts and cringe, and then I have to decide: to engage or not to engage. Not engaging is, of course, almost always the right decision. I’ll leave it to you to figure out if I take my own good advice.

So, I decided to do it. But how to manage without a smart phone?


Instagram is viewable on a desktop computer, but you can’t share images from there. You can only post using the Instagram app, and it has to be on a supported mobile device. Currently Instagram works on iPhones, Android phones, iPods, and iPads. Well, I don’t have an iPhone but I DO have an iPad. But it’s not the new one with the fancy camera. And it’s a big ol’ iPad, so if I use it, I’m pretty much stuck taking bad photos and looking lame doing it.

So that’s one way to do it. Just use your iPad. And own the lameness.

However. I’d rather use my nicer camera anyway, because . . . it takes nicer photos.

So, here are the two ways I’ve found to do it.

1. Take photos on camera. Upload to desktop as usual. Then either
          a. Email or message the photo to myself, or
          b. From the desktop, upload it to an “only me” album on my personal Facebook page
THEN, from my iPad, I save the image to my iPad photo library, either from email or Facebook, and share it on Instagram right then, or later.

Many steps, but it works.

But THEN I got a Wi-Fi Memory Card
. And things got a lot better. They aren’t cheap, but they are a lot less expensive than an iPhone 6, and you don’t have to camp out to get one. I just got one and am still playing around with it, but mostly, the idea is that this SIM card wirelessly transfers photos to an app you install on your mobile device. So, I can quickly get photos from my camera to my iPad (or a smartphone) without a computer. And, again, better camera, better photos for Instagram. Having a really great subject doesn’t hurt, either.

The limitations are:
1. It needs wifi, so, home or a hotel or a wifi hotspot, but not . . . the beach. Not just anywhere, like the “real” Instagrammers. (I suppose if you had a smartphone with 4G, you could transfer on the go.)
2. There’s no option to select which photos you send to your mobile device. It sends them all. This isn’t a problem for me, because I usually download photos on a very regular basis. I scroll through the photos on the camera and delete the obviously bad ones, then I upload just a couple onto the iPad, and then choose which ones to share on Instagram.  Later, I download them all onto my desktop for keepsies. If I’m traveling, I’ll need to use two cards, one to store all my photos to bring home, and the wifi one for social media images, or just be good about deleting unneeded images off of the iPad.
3. It drains the camera battery more quickly than usual. So, I carry an extra battery.

But. I think it’s a pretty great compromise. I get to be on Instagram and I get to put the photos I like on there.


Yes, yes I do.

As a blogger, it’s nice that with one click in the Instagram app I can share images to Instagram and Facebook as well. Since I was already sharing images on Facebook, it doesn’t really take anymore time to do both.

I’m a complete amateur when it comes to photography. But I do love looking at GOOD photos, and some people are just SO GOOD! There are plenty of beautiful photos of ordinary things to be seen on Instagram. I’m trying to wade in slowly, so I’m just following a handful of friends, family, and bloggers so far, but already, I find myself loving the artsiness I’m finding there. I also like that it’s a window into the everyday. I love the feeds of my family members and friends who are clearly not staging the “just so” perfect photo of their breakfasts, but are sharing the joy of little moments in their days.

And, again, I have a SUPER small sample here, but do people seem to “get” it more on Instagram than Facebook? It seems to me that the captions are funny and insightful, the comments are funny and insightful, the images are fun and sight-ful, and it’s just a nice, smart place to be.

So, if you’re on Instagram, or if you have been convinced to join, please come find me, I’m @kendra_tierney. And, hey, just to make it a little more fun, let’s play a little game.

Lulu just happens to be setting off today on a very exciting journey. She’ll be spending the next ten days visiting some lovely and special places, and if you’re on Instagram (or Facebook, it’ll be there too), you can try to guess where she is. She’ll be posting photos labeled #whereislulu. The first few correct guesses on each photo will get entered into a drawing for a prize package of little trinkets from the trip.

Speaking of prizes . . .  today is my birthday! And to celebrate, all this week, while we’re galavanting about with Lulu, I’ll also be here at the blog, hosting Hobbit-style birthday giveaways for YOU! (That mean it’s MY birthday, but you get the presents.)

The first giveaway is a beautiful handmade cross of glass and wood, created by artisan Hylda Rodriguez of SACRO.

The winner will receive a MINI handcrafted Cross in any color the winner prefers. The winner will have 10 business days (2weeks) to reply the email from SACRO choosing the color you prefer in order to claim the cross.

And there are coupon codes especially for Catholic All Year readers. If you purchase a minimum of $50 (one large cross or two MINI) you’ll get a $5.00 USD discount and if you purchase a min. of $150 you’ll get a $25 USD discount. The codes expire on September 30th.

MYCROSS – Code for a $5.00 USD discount.
LOVEJESUS – Code for $25.00 USD discount.

All the crosses are totally handmade of natural materials. The colored glass cross on top is formed by cutting little squares of glass and fusing them together at very high temperature (1400 F). They tell me, “These little squares represents all the ups and downs in our lives, but when looking at the big picture; it is just beautiful.”

There are many colors available, and each one representing a different virtue or gift of the Holy Spirit. The SACRO Facebook page explains the meaning behind each color.

To enter the drawing, just go to the SACRO etsy shop and take a look at the lovely items available, then come back here and leave a comment telling me which color you like best. You may also, if you choose, wish me happy birthday and/or bon voyage. But to enter the drawing, you must mention a color. The winner will be announced on October 2nd. Good luck!


  1. Claire Rebecca

    Happy Birthday! My favorite color is either green (knowledge) or purple (hope).

  2. Blair

    Happy Birthday, Kendra! Hope you have a fantastic day! I look forward to following your trip. And I love the All Colors cross because I have a colorful house, and am hoping to be decorating a new house in all the colors very soon! (Sorry if it posts twice, phone issues!)

  3. Lisa

    Happy birthday! Cute idea with the where is lulu hashtag! Although I'm hoping you all aren't sticking around the west coast bc that is definitely foreign territory to me 🙂 if I win, I'd love turquoise!

  4. Erica Saint

    Kendra, this is brilliant! My Instagram account is sad. I have six followers, and I am only following six people as well. Hopefully with your tips I can figure out how to post my pictures (I do not have an iPhone and probably never will), and with Bonnie's suggestions I will find more people to follow.

    I have started following you and am excited to see where Lulu visits!

    I love the gold Sacro cross. Beautiful!

    Happy birthday and safe travels!

  5. Elise

    Happy birthday, dear Kendra! So excited you're on instagram!

  6. Laura @ Keeping Up With the Mikes

    Happy birthday, Kendra! I'm so glad you are on Instagram! I'm also relatively new to it and I too am finding that it is just a more pleasant place than Facebook.
    The reason I just got on Instagram is because I just got a smartphone, which was previously cost prohibitive for my family. If cost is keeping you from a smartphone check out republic wireless. I think it's a new phone company owned by Google and I pay $25/month for almost 3 GB of data, which is less than what I was paying for a dumb phone through Verizon….
    P.S. I like the clear cross.

  7. E

    Happy Birthday!! Hope someone makes you a cake!

  8. Sarah

    Happy Birthday – hope you and sweet LuLu have safe travels. I love the light blue – mercy.

  9. Amelia Bentrup

    Happy Birthday! I love the golden one.

    Although I'm a bit disappointed in this post. I was hoping you found a way to use instagram from a regular computer (I don't have an i-anything). Oh well…

  10. Maria

    Hope you have a blessed birthday!

    I really like the "all colors" one!

  11. Teresa

    Happy birthday! I really like the "multi colors" cross. So pretty and would look great in a number of rooms in my house. 🙂

  12. Sarah

    Happy Birthday! I'm digging pink and the multi-color!

  13. Neely

    Purple for Hope! Not only is it my favorite color, but I just love this: “An infused virtue that gives mankind the capacity to trust and have complete certainty of obtaining eternal life and the resources, either supernatural or natural, necessary to reach it, while resting on the omnipotent help of God.” (PS Happy birthday, Kendra!) 🙂

  14. Christy from fountains of home

    I love the turquoise on the most, but they're all really beautiful! I love finding new Etsy shops that make beautiful, holy things. And Happy Birthday! I think I've said that to you on all possible medias now…

  15. October Rose

    I have an Instagram account and no smartphone, and had no earthly idea how I might use it other than to look at other people's lovelies. Thank you for the tutorial!!

  16. Casey & Brynn

    I have been following your blog for a while and really enjoy it, thanks for the time and effort you put into it. The gold cross really caught my eye, and I hope you have a very Happy Birthday!

  17. Anonymous

    Happy birthday Kendra! Hope your day has been lovely. Thanks for the cross giveaway! My favorite is the light blue. Have a great trip as well!

  18. Miss Jill and Mister John

    Happy happy birthday!! I commented on FB how much I love your photo with Frankie… we take so many pictures today… but you really have joy in both of your faces. I bet this will be an all time fave pic!!

    My favorite cross is the multi color… I love color.. can't help but gravitate towards lots of brights!

  19. GarmA

    I like the multicolored one the most. They're all beautiful though!

  20. Joanna

    Happy Birthday! (It is practically a hobbit birthday party here on your wonderful blog!) I love the multicolor cross.

  21. Sasha

    The blue and gold are both lovely. Happy birthday to you! What a coincidence to share a birthday, wondering if it's a sign I should just have more children 😉

  22. Lizzie

    Happy birthday and enjoy your trip! Lulu is adorable, as always.

    I would love to win the multi coloured cross.

  23. Rebecca

    Happy Birthday, Kendra! And bon voyage! Have a fun trip! Love the multi-color "color" cross.

  24. Jennifer

    I have found your blog through a mutual acquaintance Elizabeth Chapman. Even though we share different faiths (I am a Presbyterian) we know the importance of sharing our faith with our children. I have a 3.5 year old daughter and a 13 month old son. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me. Jennifer from Virginia

  25. Jill VT

    Happy 38 Kendra! Can I just ask…barring any significant financial difficulty, why don't you have a smartphone?

  26. Emily

    Ooh, so pretty! I love the gold one. Oh, and happy happy birthday!!

  27. She Simply Sews

    Happy birthday. Thanks for the giveaway. These crosses are unique and beautiful. I like the multicolored one.

  28. Amy @ Motherhood and Miscellany

    The clear one is my favorite – "Abnegation."

    Happy birthday! And I hope you have a wonderful trip. I'm also excited to be able to follow you on Instagram too. I've had an account for a long time, but I'm just learning to appreciate and use it more myself.

  29. Anonymous

    Happy Birthday (one day late). You share a birthday with my niece :). and I love instagram!

    My favorite cross is the gold one.
    ~Ruth Anne

  30. Mandi

    I like the teal and light blue. Happy birthday, Kendra! Have a lovely trip! I can't wait to hear all about it!

  31. Heather

    Happy Birthday! We have the same phone and it's perfectly fine for my needs but I have been missing out on instagram. I don't have access to an iPad so… bummer… but my son created an instagram account for me on his phone so I can at least follow people and view their instagram. I'm constantly taking photos so I wish I could share but.. eh… not enough to upgrade from my "dumb" phone to a smart phone.

  32. Dara

    Happy Birthday! I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip.

  33. Jessica Carney

    Happy Birthday! I think my favorite color is the purple–but they're all gorgeous! Have safe, fun travels!

  34. Emily Barnes

    Happy Birthday! Hope Lulu is having a fun trip!
    All of them are so pretty, but I think the clear would look great on an empty space I'm eyeing right now

  35. pearpod

    Multi-colored one is so fun! The birthday pic is making me crave pie. Is that a lemon meringue all for you?

  36. Elizabeth

    Happy birthday! My favorite is the clear one, but I also like the turquoise and gold.

  37. Aileen

    I'm late to the party but Happy Belated Birthday!! So now I just started following you on IG. 🙂

  38. Sandra

    Happy Belated Birthday Kendra! How you're having an awesome trip. I'd love love love the purple or multi-colored cross! Thanks!

  39. catlanz

    (A little late…) Happy Birthday! Enjoy your traveling adventure with Lulu! We'd LOVE the multi-colored or blue cross. Simply beautiful.

  40. Amanda

    Happy belated Birthday! Love the purple one, multi, and clear. All so beautiful! And, I am loving you on IG! Lulu is always sharing the sweetest smiles!

  41. Alicia Copley

    Happy Birthday! I'm really liking the gold, clear, and green! All so pretty!

  42. Jdouglas

    I love the blue or all color. They are all so pretty. Can't wait to hear all about your trip.

  43. Ashley Crane

    I think you just convinced me to join Instagram 🙂 And happy birthday, happy travels, aaand… I love the clear and the "colors" crosses. But really I love all of them.

  44. Greta

    Happy belated birthday to you!
    I'm loving the Orange one; the way it pops against the wood is beautiful.

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

If you’d like to learn more about what Catholics believe and why, and to be inspired by saints from every era all over the world, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of how to teach your kids about the faith in a way that’s true, engaging, and lasts a lifetime, we can help!

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