What’s your 2018 motto?

For the last few years I’ve had a hashtag to remind me of goals, to celebrate my accomplishments and stuff. Thanks to Felicia Hamilton for my start on that. Y’all know, I’m all about hashtags too!!!

2018 hashtag is…….


No not the song by Salt n Pepa. I constantly finding myself saying “Just keep pushing it” or “Push through it.” Right now I’m Saying “Push the envelope. Push it further than before. It refers to so many things.

This is a year for me to step outside my box. To go places I’ve never been, to do things I’ve never done. It’s time to grow to new heights with more people.

There’s so much I want to accomplish this coming year. I know there will be ups and downs. There will be uncomfortable and tense moments. Of course there will be those moments I’m just lazy. I’ll just have to push through those times.

For 2018, my hashtag is #PushIt. I’ll also continue to use the following: #Unapologetic #Unrelentness #YearOfFirst #BecauseIAmForty

What is your motto, quote or hashtag for 2018?


Photography Tips 6

26. Reason to avoid the built in flash.

In using the built in flash of your camera, it can provide an undesirable effect to your subject. It can leave your subject with too much light. Thus, if you can save up some money, it is best to invest on a quality external flash. Pair it with a diffuser, and learn how to make use of them properly to obtain the best photo quality.

I love my external flash. I love trying new shots and learning the lights. I’m not strong in artificial lighting, so the external flash I have teaches me a lot.

27. Talk to your subjects.

When you are trying to take portraits, it is best to talk to your subjects while you are doing it. When you talk to them, it would make them more comfortable in front of the camera, which makes the photos look more natural. Aside from that, it can also provide you a chance to take candid shots.

28. Testing out the modes of your camera.

If you have just bought a brand new camera, one of the first things that you can do is to test out its different modes. You should try out its auto mode, manual mode, and such. By doing that, you would become more familiar of its settings. Thus, you would learn more about what settings to use in different types of photo taking.

I’m very introverted. So sometimes I be nervous, especially with new clients. I found out just talking and having fun relaxes us both. So make sure you’re engaging with them. Don’t forget, candid shots make some of the best photos.

29. What to do without using a tripod.

If you don’t have a tripod, you can still take quality photos by bracing yourself while shooting. You can do this by leaning against a wall, or resting your camera on top of a stable object. Aside from that though, to make sure that the photos are not blurred, it is best to hold your breath when pressing the on the shutter button.

This is also one of the first things my mentor taught me. This has been some if they most valuable information I’ve received. I do events where I don’t have time to keep moving the tripod to get the shots. So the bracing and breathing techniques has really helped me.

30. Always return the settings of your camera to the average one.

There are times when you want to take pictures while you are strolling around the park, or in your neighborhood. To make sure that you can take an instant shot, it is best that you always put your camera on regular settings. With that, you would be able to snap on it immediately, without having to go through lots of hassles in getting the right settings.

I learned this early on. If you have to fix settings you’ll miss a lot of images. When in just strolling I keep my settings on regular or auto.

“Girl Power” Playlist

The other day I found that I needed a “Girl Power” playlist.  I went looking for an already made list and to my disappointment only found one on Pandora radio (which was pretty sad because it was break up songs) and the other was Disney (had a few good songs but it focused on the movie or show).  So I set about to create my own list.  I did have some help from some of my awesome FB friends.  So here’s my list.

  • “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato
  • “Jumpin’ Jumpin” by Destiny’s Child
  • “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child (because so many still love the song)
  • “Boss” by Fifth Harmony
  • “Feeling Myself” by Nicki Minaj
  • “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
  • “Rude Boy” by Rihanna
  • “Conceited” Remy Ma
  • “Whateva” by Rema Ma
  • “I’m Real” by J Lo
  • “Who’s That Girl” by Eve
  • “I’m Better” by Missy Elliott
  • “Eve” by Eve
  • “You Had Me, You Lost Me” by Eve
  • “She bad Bad” by Eve
  • “Make It Out This Town” by Eve
  • “Grind Or Die” by Eve
  • “Zero Below” by Eve
  • “Empire State Of Mind” by Jay Z & Alicia Keys
  • “Girl On Fire” by Alicia Keys
  • “Roar” by Katy Perry
  • “Swish Swish” by Katy Perry
  • “Broken Glass” by Rachel Platten
  • “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten
  • “Stand By You” by Rachel Platten
  • “Who Says” by Selena Gomez
  • “Ladies Night” by Lil’ Kim
  • “Look But Don’t Touch” by Empire Cast
  • “Just Stand Up!” by Artist Stand Up To Cancer

Those are the songs currently on my “Girl Power” playlist.  Do you have others that should be added?  I’d like to know!

Photography Tips 5

21. Check out the exif data.

When you check back on your pictures, it is best to check out the camera settings when you took them. Some of the setting you want to know about regarding this would include the aperture, shutter speed, and such. To do that, refer to the exif data of the pictures. By doing that, it can help you take note of the things you have done right or you have done wrong, and make improvements.

This has been a great help for me, especially when I create an image I love by accident. I want to know how to do it again. On the flip side, it helps when I can’t get it right. When I ask a mentor I’m able to give them that information. Most of the time they can tell me off the top what I did wrong.

22. Use your flash outdoors.

This idea may seem a bit funny for some. However, using your flash when you are taking pictures outside is actually a good idea. It is often referred to by professionals as “fill flash”. Using your flash outside can help light up your subject even on a sunny day, especially if the light is coming from behind them.

This was one of the first things my mentor told me. It was hard to understand or grasp at first, but when I took the same shot with and without the flash was able to see the difference.

23. How to take pictures of sunsets.

Setting your white balance to daylight and not to auto is a good idea when taking pictures of sunrises or sunsets. Oftentimes, when there is lower amount of light, your camera may not provide you the best photo for it. Thus, it is best to set it to daylight, or better yet, put the white balance mode to manual.

This tip I’m still working on. I rarely get the chance to experience either. I’d love to hear how that works for you.

24. Back up your images.

Backing up your images is one of the most important things you need to do. You can easily do it by purchasing an external hard drive for your computer. By backing up your images, you are assured that they won’t get lost. Back up your photos every one or two weeks, and store the it in a place that is safe.

I would also recommend using some sort of cloud storage as well. Granted it may not always be able to be saved in RAW format but, that is your extra protection. We never know when a disaster may strike and we may not be able to get the laptop or hard drive, but at least they’ll still be in the cloud. I use an external drive and cloud as backup.

25. How to manage your hard drive space.

Managing your hard drive space is very important, since it is where you would store your images. Save space on your hard drive by spending some time in sorting out the images. Select the images that you really want to keep. After doing that, all those that you have not selected should be deleted, so that you can save more room for future photos.

This is so true. However, sadly, I haven’t done that. Why, not really sure. Still I know that is definitely a 2018 project goal.

Photography Tips 4

16. Create a homemade light box if you are trying to take pictures of your products.

If you are trying to sell certain products online and you want to take pictures of them, you should have a good light box for it, so that your pictures would really look good. A homemade light box can be made with a cardboard box and a tracing paper. With your homemade light box, you can take quality pictures of the products, which would help in selling them faster.

For me, I just got to where I want to sell my craft products, so instead of making one (due to my time restraints). I absolutely love it. I do recommend you making one or buying one for your products.

17. Lower down your camera.

In most cases, you would usually take a picture standing up. Try lowering it down for certain types of shots, so that you can also explore different angles. Checking out different perspectives would provide you with more options on how you want to go about in taking a picture of your subject. Aside from that, lowering down your camera is one of the best things to do when your subject is small.

I love doing this. This is why I made sure I got a camera with a swivel screen. Due to knee surgery I can’t bend that low. If there is a will there’s a way!!!

18. Make your hobby pay you for all your hard work.

To gain more motivation in taking beautiful pictures, one of the best things that you can do with them is to sell them on stock photography websites. These sites can expose your pictures to people who are looking for the best images for their marketing efforts. In other words, if companies find that your pictures are in good quality, and they are applicable to their products, then they would purchase it.

I haven’t personally add anything yet, but I will be. So don’t miss out.

19. Use plastic LCD screen protectors.

You need to protect your camera’s LCD screen at all times, since it is where you would check the images you captured. To achieve that, you can simply make use of LCD screen protectors for them. They can ensure that your LCD would be free from scratches and dirt. Thus, with them, you can maintain the quality of your digital camera for a longer period of time.

Very important. Let’s not forget to do that.

20. Manipulate light.

Capturing light for the picture that you are taking is considered by some as an art. To manipulate light, you need to consider the different sources of it, such as the sun, flashes, and lamps. You have to know that these different sources may also need different tools, in order to take advantage of them, such as the reflectors, diffusers, and snoots.

This one I’m still learning. Sometimes I catch certain light patterns by accident. The more I practice with the tools above the better I get. The images you can create will be awesome.

5 Weird Things I Like

5 Weird Things I Like

  1. Ice Cream and Chips….Not just any ice cream and chips, it has to be specific.  Ice creams typically include: Butter Pecan, Pralines n’ cream or Orange sherbet.  Sometimes Vanilla will work.  Chips include: Hot fries, Sweet Heat and Munchos.
  2. I like to drink the pickle juice from the pickles.  I really love the bread and chips ones.  Those are my favorite!
  3. I love working in Fabrics and Crafts.  I don’t think it’s weird, but others do because it’s such small and tedious stuff back there.  My customers make it all worth it. I enjoy interacting with most of my customers. I love hearing about their projects and when they bring pictures of the final product, I’m elated.
  4. I enjoy school.  I know most people be like “I’m done with school.”  Me, you can never know too much.  Learning keeps you growing and motivated.
  5. I enjoy unpacking after a move.  I don’t care too much for the packing part or the actual moving part (unless I hire movers), but I LOVE unpacking.  I don’t know why, but I do.  It gives me life to unpack and redecorate and figure things out.

Those are five of my weird things I like.  Is there something weird I like that I may have missed?  Share!  What about you, what’s something weird that you like? I’d love to hear from you!

“My Hobbies”

My top five hobbies!

  1. Photography.  I love photography for so many reasons.  You capture the moment in time.  I love looking back at what my parents looked like, how they dressed and everything.  I believe that our children’s’ children should be able to do the same thing.  The ease of creating a snapshot, or doing a short photo shoot is way too easy.  We shouldn’t be passing up chances to capture those memories in order to share with others and to look at in the future.  It’s great for those with memory illnesses too.  It helps with those memories.  I also like to help others build their self esteem and make them feel beautiful and confident.
  2. Reading. When you’re reading it takes me to another world.  It’s a time to read about other people’s lives and their drama.  It’s a stress relief.  Plus you learn.  I read all types of books.  Every book I think has something you can learn from the book.  Even though I maybe reading a fiction book, I still aim to take something away from it.  It keeps me sharp no matter what I’m reading.
  3. Writing Poetry.  Poetry is a serious stress releif for me.  You may not see as much right now because I’m adjusting that brand a bit.  Not to worry I’m still doing some behind the scenes writing.  Even though I maybe branching out to get into some novel writing, poetry is still my best vent avenue.
  4. Football.  Football is football!  I have always loved the sport.  Loved playing and watching.  I really love the energy some of the home team fans bring.  When you’re in the stadium, it gives me life!  That excitement just rolls through me.
  5. Traveling.  I love to see and do new things.  Being at a standstill is so out of the question.  I want to see the world and different cultures.  Being a military child I did get to see a lot of things.  Now, I want to see even more!  The excitement of a new place, new people, new things to see is just a great feeling.  When I tell you I can feel the excitement coursing through my veins when I travel, it be that serious!  When I travel, I travel to have fun.  I’m not going to be sitting in a corner mopping about.  I might go somewhere close to relax and chill but it’ll be for that purpose.  Otherwise, I’m out seeing the sites and capturing those memories.

Those are just five of my favorite hobbies.  What are your top five hobbies and why?

Business Review (Red Roof Inn)

Red Roof Inn

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Last weekend, (Nov. 3rd) we got to our hotel in Mt. Pleasant, SC. This is right outside of Charleston. For this hotel to be this close (10 miles) from the cruise port and other tourism activities, I was surprised at how awful the room was. I have NEVER been in a hotel this bad. I’m wondering what the reviewers where looking at when they rated this hotel.

We got our room, the room was FILTHY. Urine on the bathroom floor, food in the microwave, dirty table and the list goes on. Yes, the night manager moved us. He upgraded us to what was supposed to be a premium room. When we walked in we inspected the room first. Much better, but not all that great, but survivable for ONE night. It’s very obvious they did some spot cleaning. Dirty lamp like someone touched it while eating. Thick dust on the lights over the beds, hair in the towels. Then you look around and wonder “This is a premium room?” The only difference in the room was we had 1 extra pillow on each bed and supposed to have had some snacks and things that we didn’t even have.

Yes, a full refund was issued the following morning, but it shouldn’t have came to that. I’m sure we are not the only ones that arrive late in the evening/night. Who wants to go through all of that after you’ve been on the road?

While the customer service was decent, the cleaniness of the hotel overshadowed everything else. One room, okay, you missed the room. Two rooms, we have a problem. A HUGE problem.

Official Rating: ⭐

Country Life vs City Life

Last week I discussed the difference between Military (DODDS) schools and Public Schools. Today I want to talk about the difference in living a country life vs a city life, according to me anyway!!!!

I want to start off saying there is nothing wrong with either way. Just your personal preference. For me though, I’m a city girl through and through. There’s nothing country in me. Surban, I’ll take, but country just not in my DNA. I’m all about the conviences of city life. Before the questions begin, yes, I’ve lived in the country before. It wasn’t all bad. Just wasn’t my cup of tea.

I’ve talked to many that live in the country and they love it, wouldn’t have it any other way. I personally can’t do the one trips to the city. Living and working on the city has made life a tad bit more livable for me. Plus, y’all know me, I have to stay connected to the internet. Yes there’s some spurs in the city that may have low cell signals, but for the most you’ll get service in the city. As for the country, not so much. A lot of times it can be very spotty. In some cases you can’t even get Wi-Fi through cable. Or even cable for that matter. I don’t have time for that.

Now, every now and then (very rare) I just want all quiet around me when I get off work. Country life is great for that. However, I can be scary at times. Maybe I watch too much Criminal Minds or NCIS. I mean some priorities are pretty stretched out. I know some are close (which is where I’d be.) But if I wasn’t, who would hear me scream? Granted, even in a lot of cites they may hear you and still ignore you.

The other convenience for me is trash disposal. The way my life set up, I don’t have time or want to take the time to burn trash. That’s kinda where my bougie status kicks in a bit.

One thing I REALLY don’t care for is that almost everybody knows everybody. Everyone don’t need to know me. Yea, that can skip me too.

Like I said, nothing wrong with either, city or country life. I just personally prefer city life all the way.

What’s your choice? City or country life?