I love using Adobe Photoshop Elements (I am using version 8). It took me a while to master, and I still have a lot of learning to so - totally self taught from the internet... but as well as learning all the controls to change this or that, it is awesome when you can just apply an action to a photo.
I'm pretty sure I've spoken about actions before, but they are essentially a series of settings applied to your photo to give a certain effect - similar to the filters in Instagram (the iPhone app). As I mentioned in my setup of Project Life post, there are some great sites that have free actions that you can download and use in elements (different photo editing software uses different actions so make sure the actions are compatible with the software you are using). Rita's Coffee Shop Actions and Pioneer Woman sets are awesome, but if you google "free photoshop actions" you will get a whole host of pre-made effects for your photos.
Who says you need to be a professional photographer to get great photography results?
Check out this lovely soft action, or this pastel vintage look.
Almost all the photos I now print are in some way adjusted (even if it's an "auto adjust" of contrast and colour) and one of my favourites is the "Lovely" action (which I think came in the Pioneer Woman sets). Just make sure you save the file as a "copy" or name it something else (I often put "edit" or "v1, v2, etc", otherwise you may overwrite your original image if you click "save". I always keep the original - just in case I want to alter it to something else later on, it's better to work with the original.