It’s Time To Fall For Cornbread Dressing

As a child it was simply known as, Dressing. Everyone knew what you were speaking of. Often times dinner would be at my parents house. The late comers would always call to verify if there’s any Dressing. It was the staple for a true fall family gathering. If there weren’t any left, it just wasn’t the same.

There are so many variations of dressing. Some people add sausage, mushroom broth, or carrots to name a few ingredients . There isn’t a wrong or write way to make it. It’s all in personal taste. My two main have to have’s is it must not be dry and whole cranberries on top. untitled-1891-1.jpg

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When Should You Purge Clothes From Your Closet?

Have you started to notice your closet is packed with all types of clothes you thought you’d wear? You have shoes, hats, swimsuits, sleeveless tops, sundresses and even a pair of sunnies you never touched. In fact two summers has gone by and you never worn them at all ( tags still on) or you wore them once.

It’s time to purge the closet from summer clothes. Anything you didn’t wear or barely wore the last two summers should  go! It’s closet rules. You may have bought it compulsively, because it was only $5 bucks. No matter the reason, the fact is you obviously  don’t like it that much. You may say, “well if I get rid of it, my closet will look bare.” You only need the things you want and love enough to wear. Are you still with me? Stay focused on summer clothes. Be brutally honest with yourself. You don’t need to impress anyone with a closet full of things you don’t find flattering enough to wear. I think you get the gist.

Clear out the summer things on a day, when you aren’t in a rush . Make sure you’re in the mood for it. Otherwise, you will not do a good assessment. In that pile of clothes, shoes and accessories should be things that never fit correctly in the first place. For instance the shoes with your heel hanging on the edge, the shoes thats too tight, sunnies you bought because Sarah bought a pair, the pants that are three sizes too small, because you were going to loose weight 5 years ago. You know that top is too big and you’ll never get it altered. Get out of here!!

Get a large trash bag and toss it all in. Nope, its not going to the garbage. There are tons of people that need these things. We just dealt with hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Do a good deed and donate. jakob-owens-91197onur-bahcivancilar-140823.jpg

Underwire Bra Issues

Are any of you ladies having bra issues? I delayed this blog post for a while, because I really didn’t know where to begin. Although I’m still not sure, I don’t want to postpone my thoughts any longer. If you’re reading this you’re more likely a lady that has had some issues with bras over the years as well.

Dating back when I first started wearing bras. I was around ( 9) years old. I remember how annoying it was to wear. Then they looked more like sport bras where I simply stuck my head through the large opening and place my arms through the side openings. Its was so annoying! They itched, rubbed and always felt constricting. Do you remember that?  When I became a teen I moved to a bra with more support. The bra actually had cup sizes. Anytime I was in class it would rise with the slightest arm raise. My bra would always become lopped sided. I’d always think if I were a boy; I wouldn’t have to go through this. I’d only get jealous of boys during the summer, when they could just rip off their shirts in public and mow the lawn. If I was hot, I had to drink cold water. The shirt had to stay on. How unfair was that! LOL

Eventually I heard this talk about unwire. I asked my mom if she could buy  one for me to see if it would help with my rising problems. She did and it helped a bunch.  However, no  one warned me about the metal leaving bruises and marks under the breast. Perhaps I’m wearing them too tight. I’d loosen the shoulder straps and the band. In most cases it didn’t help. It’s something you get use to as a girl.

Once I became an adult, I realized the more the bra cost, the better the padding over the wire.  It didn’t fix the comfort, but it was padded much better. There was a difference in the quality as well.  The bra would fit the shoulders and not the back or vice versus. I have never had the best of both worlds. A few years ago I went to a lingerie boutique by the name of LiviRae. It’s in Kennesaw, Georgia. They’ve had a docuseries on Lifetime called Double Divas. They are best friends Molly Hopkins and Cynthia Decker. They were known as the ” bra whisperer .”The first episode was January 10, 2013 – September 24, 2013. Molly always tried finding her customers the perfect fit and Cynthia created sexy garments . They traveled across the globe to fittings and bridal shows and other related events.

One day I made it a girls day with my daughter. We went to get fitted for bras together at LiviRae’s.  I forgot to mention they named the boutique after  their daughters Olivia and Rainey. I thought this was cute since they are best friends.  As I mentioned my daughter and I went to a bra fitting. It was so exciting! There were women everywhere waiting to get fitted for the perfect bra. I felt hopeful, because the Double Divas had large breast and I thought surely they can help me. I’m only a  B cup….or a C. Who knows! It was weird for my daughter to get fitted with me. They put us in the same dressing room. Whenever I got fitted she’d close her eyes. I remember her saying, ” ewww I don’t want to see my mom.” They asked her if she’d like to go in a separate room, but she chose to stay because the wait was an hour. She’d have to get back out their with the general population and wait another hour.  After our fitting , they told me I’ve been wearing the wrong bra for 100 years! They didn’t really say it that way. It is was my comprehension after we all laughed so much about it. In their words, ” you should be wearing a 32D.” What! I was confused.  The bra was a little on the pricey side. They ranged from $45 – $70. That was  the  price range for the bras I tried on.  I think they had some much higher. The one I tried on is the actually one I could purchase. I purchased one for $45.00. I don’t recall what I paid for my daughters. I bought it, because it is the first time a cup size actually fit me. However, I didn’t realize until after a few wears that the band was uncomfortable . I kept the bra, but don’t wear it often.  As I mentioned earlier, I’ve always been able to accomplish one without the other. If the bad fits, the cups or too big and the shoulder straps fall off.  I’m a chick and I’ve always had this chick issue. I’ve learned to accept it.

Bra sizes can be confusing. The number is the band size.  The letter is your cup size. If you choose the wrong band size, your back can begin to ache and leave impressions in your skin. This could mean it’s too tight . If you choose the wrong cup size, your breast are lost and sagging around. The bra hangs and your shoulder straps fall. Lovely!!

When most women get home from a long day; the bra is the first thing to go! I’m the same. I work from home. Guess what?  No bra! I’m not sure what to do because bras are just uncomfortable . Lately I’ve had issues with bruising. It’s frustrating. Now I’m thinking about not buying anymore bras with under wire. I’ve read and heard the metal can compress breast tissue and cause benign tumors. In general as you get older everything starts to become more bothersome. Lately bras have been more of an issue than ever.

Where should I go to try another bra? Have any of you gotten a custom fit? Thats what I thought I got at LiviRae’s, but they were off the shelf. I’m thinking  more like someone making my bras for me. I’m going to do some research and get back with you on it. In the meantime I’m going to try Intimates. They offer bra fittings as well. If any of you thought about telling me about Victoria Secret . Nope! It’s a big box store and they just want to sell you anything there. I’ve tried them. Besides  they seem to be more interested in PINK.  The Pink line appeals more to young girls around ( 9) years and up.  I have woman problems.

As of late, I went crawling back to the ugly rubbery sports bra. These type of bras you see pictured have not been my best friend.  The sports bras aren’t as bad as I thought. They’ve been a bit more comfortable and I’m not worrying too much about how they look. Another characteristic of an older woman . Comfort before cuteness. Wow! I really can’t believe I said that, but my breast health is extremely important. Nubian-Skin-Promo-3

Things You Can do With Your Wedding Gown After the Wedding.

A wedding gown is part of a brides love story. It’s much more than pieces of fabric. In society today with so many modern women, very few women carve out time to feel like a magical princess. However, there is the one time when she wears the wedding gown of her dreams.

I loved my gown so much, I planned the exact day it would be worn again right after my wedding. It was worn the following year, a month before my first anniversary.   I was so anxious to do it. I called my photography mentor a few months after my wedding and booked the fun shoot.

Here are 10 things you could do with your wedding gown, post wedding:

  1. Have it cleaned and placed in a shadow box to hang on the wall
  2. Transform it into a  regular dress
  3. Preserve it for your daughter
  4. Wear it for an anniversary portrait
  5. Donate it to a charity for breast cancer or a bride that can’t afford to buy a nice gown
  6. Sell it to a consignment shop such as,  Le Dress Boutique, Discount Wedding and Evening Dresses
  7. You could trash your dress for awesome photos
  8. Become a bridal model and showcase your gown
  9. Rent it out for bridal marketing images
  10. Keep it and store it away from natural lightMMP_1692.jpg This was such a fun first anniversary session!

Photo by: Moreland Photography

 

Do You Have To Break The Piggy Bank, To Have Adequate Lighting?

Today’s subject is about the type of lighting equipment you need to create YouTube videos or videos for anything.  Do you need to have the latest and greatest lighting equipment? Some of you think you need it all to get started. Guess what? You don’t.

I discovered these nifty little beauties by watching YouTube.  They are by Limo Studio. You can find almost anything on YouTube. They’re handy , lightweight and very easy to use. These are called continuous  lights. The reason ( for you lighting newbies) this equipment is called continuous , because the power is turned on continuously. In other words the bulbs do not flash.  Easy enough …right?

This type of  artificial  lighting  is the best for videos.   You can also use them for photos. However always keep in mind natural light is the best light.  If you can sit near a window by all means please do so. It is the most flattering . Realistically there are some cases where using natural light isn’t feasible. What if  you  recorded a webinar during the evening; when most people are available to attend?  You’d need some type of artificial  light.

These awesome lights can be considered as a starter kit. They are inexpensive, and very easy to set up.  This will be the beginning of improving the looks of your videos. They can also be used with other lighting equipment . The kit includes: Three light stands, 3 bulbs, 3 light sockets , 2 white ( 1 reflector pictured) reflectors.  Lastly a carry case for the bulbs and one for  the  rest of the equipment. You can purchase this kit on http://www.amazon.com for only $55.99. The only suggestion I have is to invest in brighter bulbs. The bulbs that came with the kit are 45 watts. With the reflectors you’d lose some output.

If you are not a professional, but want to  produce nicer looking videos , I don’t think the Limo Studio lights will disappoint you. The best part about it, you won’t break the piggy bank!untitled-4582-1-2

 

10. Reasons Why You Can’t Be Anything You Want To Be.

As a child I had high hopes for my future. At nine years of age, I knew I wanted to be a photographer . Then later ( Young adult) in my life I added midwifery to the list as well. My love for photography is steadfast. There isn’t a moment I don’t think about how I can turn something into an art form from a photo. I see things differently when I look at it.   Experts say that people like me are right brained. I’m creative and definitely intuitive.

As for being a midwife.  I never became one, but I tried by enrolling in college and studying until 3:00 in the morning.   The courses were not so bad. I scored very high in subjects such as,  anatomy, English and science.  The not- so -easy stuff to most people. However, my math scores …lets just say there wasn’t a score board for me. Often times my scores were ( F t) . Have you ever heard of F plus? That was me.  I wanted so much to be a midwife, because I found the reproductive system highly interesting. My goals were to take my photography skills and integrate it with midwifery. Clever huh? Despite how much I tried it didn’t happen. I tried for over 2 years in college, until I was kicked out of college after academic probation.  No matter how great my other classes were going, I needed to pass them all.  Yes, I could have tried at a later time in life, but life got in the way, got married, had children, grew older and the math side of my brain is completely hopeless.  The math side of my  brain didn’t shut down. It never opened.  I have a reason for my math skills being so low, but thats another blog.

Anywho, my passion for photography is alive and well today. I get the pleasure to photograph women  in all situations. However, I do not like nude photography. There is a lot more beauty and appeal in clothes. My genre  is beauty and weddings. I’ll find the beauty in any woman and catch it with my lens!   I don’t like basic stare( cheese photos) at the camera type images. Although there are times when that type of photography is needed. Such as a family photo or product shot.  I’m always thinking the possibility of the photo becoming wall art.

I’m not where I want to be in the field of photography . I’d love it if I got to shoot more weddings and beauty images.  It would be a plus be able to have more images framed and hung on the walls of my customers. I’ve been working on my home gallery for years.  A dream differed !

Who says you can be anything you want to be? It’s the classic phrase every parent has probably said. There are so many obstacles that can get in the way.

  1. Health
  2. Job
  3. Family members
  4. Spouse
  5. Yourself
  6. Lack opportunities
  7. Knowledge
  8. Money
  9. Friends
  10. Tools

 

I can’t be anything I want to be – but I can be a lot more of who I am already ? A great photographer!sweet-ice-cream-photography-91777.jpg

Atlanta: The Ninth Largest City

 

 

Atlanta is an awesome place. It is full of diversity and culture. There is so much to photograph for tourist. It sounds like cliche today, but everyone likes to get a shot of the Atlanta famous skyline image.  It’s a  film and tv landmark. You can’t visit Atlanta without  getting the picture. It proves you’ve been to see Atlanta. Well, I won’t go that far!

There are so many versions of this image on Google. The fun is in getting your own. Plus you don’t want to face copyright infringements, do you?  Get your tripod if you want to blur the cars on the highway or take long shots at night. There is no right or wrong . It is all up to you.

Atlanta was once known as the city of terminus, because it served as the end of the Georgia rail road line. I thought that was pretty cool history. I try to bring a little known fact to most of my blogs. I hope you like that.

Back to the fun stuff. I went out one morning to shoot the skyline in Atlanta.  It actually finished  raining as I was heading to get the shot. I’ll disclose this is my second time taking a trip to shoot the skyline and probably will not be my last. The first time I used a 50mm prime lens to get the shot. This time I used a kit lens, 18-55mm. For those of you who are still using the kits lens, there is hope for you. Don’t let anyone tell you, it will not work with a kit lens.  You’ll bring a different perspective to the table. You must know you camera and how far you can push it.  It’s all about knowledge . untitled-4372-1

It was an over cast sky. I should have used a smaller aperture. I used f/10. The clouds looked like smoke moving through the buildings.  Like it or not , I brought a different perspective . The best part of it all was the outing with my family and I own the image.

A Tip for Looking Your Best on Your Wedding Day.

No, this isn’t about looking 10 pounds lighter for the camera or how to pose. It’s something I believe many women forget whether they are wearing a backless blouse or an wedding gown. I see it all of the time. I would create a thought bubble over my head if I could.

Have you ever  notice a bride wearing a lovely wedding gown; from the front the bride looks put together well.  Then you see the back of the dress  and your eyes are drawn to the distracting bra straps. It’s one of my wedding day pet peeves. Depending on the style of the gown a strapless bra will not suffice either. Please don’t wear the bra with the clear straps. The straps aren’t clear, I see reflection glaring against the skin of the bride.

Moreover, consider how low the back of the gown is designed. Yes, it’s beautiful , but much more flattering without the undesirable  straps from a bra. Your goal should be  to look  absolutely flawless on your wedding day. Take the extra time and money to look for the best suitable under garment for your gown. As soon as you say, “yes to the dress” proceed on the hunt for your perfect brasserie. It may be simple as sewing cups inside your gown. If you are large up top this may not be the solution, but it may work wonders for others.

The solution to looking stunning in your  backless wedding gown is a strapless / backless bra. There are so many out there from the cheapest to the most expensive .  Adhesive strips  are already sewn onto the bra. The more expensive the bra; the stronger the adhesive. With your cheaper bras you may get a few wears out of it before you’d have to trash it. You can wear the pricey ones if they are taken care of properly up to 25 times. Let’s see I’ve worn one on my wedding day, then again for my anniversary. That’s twice. I think it’s worth the money.

More of the brand named bras will come with silicone type sides that stick to your skin. (Be sure to test the silicone on your skin with a 2-4 hour wear test)The way it works is to make sure your skin is  dry and free from any lotions or oils. Make sure the silicone tabs aren’t sticking to your clothing. The tabs need to stick directly to your skin. You will want to hold the tabs on your side as if they were normal straps to fasten.  Be sure to hold them in an upward position for firm hold. This type of bra will cost around $ 35.00 – $50.00.   The cost for beauty is usually greater than anything less.

Your pictures will look amazing! For years to come you will not  fret over those unsightly bra straps. Remember this is your special day. untitled-4264-1untitled-4275-1

 

Do You Think Spices Really Expire?

Do you ever think about the spices in your pantry at length? They’re stacked in the pantry staring at you as you open the door. There are a few that you’ve never opened. You just saw a recipe that calls for it and you bought it.  You never made the dish! How long ago was that?  Did you keep the box? Is the date stamped on the bottle?

Many spices aren’t date stamped, such as drug store the or the ones from  Dollar Tree.

McCormick has the date stamped on the bottom of the container. I found this one in my pantry. It reads Best Buy Nov. 26 07. What does that really mean. It’s best buy that date, but does it means it’s expired? Will it make you sick? untitled-1707-1

A few years after this date it will lose it’s potency. The food will not have the flavor that was intended from your McCormick spice…or any spice. Ground spices will last 3-4 years. This means I should have tossed this around 2011. Honestly when I think of how much this tiny bottle cost; I’m in denial that it has expired.

Before I go on Let me say I’m a fan of McCormick, because it’s gluten free. As a mom of a gluten intolerant child that is comforting to know.

Check your spice rack, it could be hoarding outdated spices. untitled-1696-1Make a note to clean the pantry as part of your spring cleaning. The sweet smell of apple pie or sweet potato pie doesn’t smell so good; with old nutmeg that has lost it’s kick.

The Rest of the Wedding Cake.

Did everyone from your baker , your friends and family tell you to save the top tier of your cake for your first wedding anniversary? Were you one of those brides whom had a bad experience with frozen cakes? Therefore, you are reluctant to saving the top tier, but you paid a pretty penny for that thing and hate to throw it away. Well, I don’t know about you, but that was me.

Who knew I would try marriage again. Nonetheless do something traditional as save the top tier of my cake for the one year anniversary . Did you know the tradition symbolized recycling to your wedding into the celebration of your first child? It’s also a sentiment of good luck and prosperity. Often times this is done out of sequence. Children come along before marriage.

I’m not saying it’s a good or bad thing; however I can think of many reasons why some things should remain traditional.

cake My cake was plain and elegant. May I emphasize it was plain.  This is the top tier. It looks a little beat up from other items in the freezer pressing against it.

How to Freeze a Cake:

  1. Wrap it in plastic wrap. ( Preferably brand name)
  2. Zip it in two freezer bags. ( The good ones; don’t be cheap)
  3. Try to have a spot in the freezer solely for the cake. ( I didn’t have the space)

It may not look delicious here, but it was more than good. Looking at this image I can smell the fresh butter. Have you ever tasted a cake that tasted better after it’s been frozen for a year?  This cake was it girls!  The icing was amazing. Typically I expect the icing to taste like food coloring. That old yuk sour taste. No girl, this cake was smooth and flaky. It wasn’t spongy, crunchy, hard, dry…you get the gist.  I’m not good with food descriptions. Hats off to all of you food bloggers.

Don’t judge me too harshly on my photo. You see that sliced piece? I literally cut it for my myself. Immediately I dropped it on the plate and ran for the camera. I’m so mushy this way. Memories are important to me. More important than a technically correct photo. Besides as soon as I saw this shot, I thought of my finger prints pressed in the top, from unwrapping the plastic.  This is what preserving the memories is all about.