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

 

Facing Fears And Loving Yourself : The Solution to Being a Happy Successful Woman.

I have been contemplating writing this blog about this topic for so long. Yet it keeps resurfacing my brain like the plague. This time I decided I’m going to write about the importance of women ( of all races) loving themselves and facing their fears. Believe it or not the two goes hand in hand. If you’ve been following my blog I discuss things that interest me. This shouldn’t be a surprise , because it’s what makes a good blog, when one can share their  knowledge and interest. However, I hope my blog doesn’t seem too broad or bore you to death.  I mean my topics are related to anything from food, weddings , and shopping tips. Initially my idea was to discuss only photography tips. It’s my main interest in the world . My eyes is a lens. I see potential photos throughout my daily life.  For the longest I couldn’t think of a blog title and AskDaralynn , just stuck into my head.  It probably doesn’t  make much sense, because I rarely get asked questions. This will possibly be the first blog without a photo. I love photos and its pretty tough for me to write a blog without  posting a photo. However, this is more about something very thought provoking . I want you to really dig deep into your soul and only think of yourself at the moment.  Place a photo in your mind of yourself, while reading this blog.

If you’ve been hating yourself. Stop it today! I know this sounds like a cliche, but you are truly beautiful inside and out. No one can be a better you, than you.  As a woman myself this thought process did not come to fruition over night and it didn’t come until I believed it. A million people can tell me I’m awesome! Until I made up in my mind that I’m smart, beautiful and worthy, things begin to change for the better.  Hopefully you are still with me here. This is an unusual topic for me. However, it is something I’ve struggled with for years.

You should check out my Instagram. Go to http://www.instagram.com/daralynn_L  It’s mainly about self love. If you are struggling with self love, I want you to do two things for me. Take a bunch of selfies and post them on social media. Analyze them and mention as many great things about yourself as you can think of. It doesn’t matter what you wear or how your hair is styled. You don’t have to post your thoughts . People will think you are a narcissist  or some snob. Just post a picture and say something nice. Leave a nice quote. It works for self love. Comment on something nice about another woman.  Do it! In the beginning if you’re not accustom to photos of yourself, you’ll feel silly or you may think you don’t look good enough. Do it anyway! The more pictures you take, the more positive things you say, it begins to become a part of you.  Hopefully this topic will inspire someone to change their existing situation to a much better one.

Facing fears doesn’t always mean you should face each and everyone of your fears, but the ones that have enslaved you the most in life. Often times its is the fear of being independent , strong and loving yourself as a women. Without courage and a positive mindset, the will to challenge yourself, you’ll always have doubt. You’ll always depend on a man to make you whole. If the man in your life disappoints you, you’d have to settle because of the lack of self esteem and skills.

The brain is a powerful organ. It will grow into the direction based on the information it is fed.  Feed it negativity and it becomes who you are.  A negative Nancy. If you not only speak on positive things about yourself, but act on them as well.  It will become second nature. You’ll begin to feel better about yourself, start to treat yourself in a more kind and loving way and that’s when the doors of success start to open. No matter what you think you see in the mirror; tell yourself otherwise. Repeat each day: I’m worthy, beautiful and good as any other woman . You can’t rely on others to see your worth. If you need someone to express your worth each day; you aren’t confident in yourself. You’ll only live for compliments.

This isn’t about women who chant and boast about how they don’t need a man, but more about being happy with yourself. No matter where you are in life, in order to be a successful woman, in anything you do;  you must FIRST love yourself. This sounds like I’m beating this topic over your head, but it is so true. Too many women hate themselves.   There are the normal struggles like PMS…that’s a mouth full in itself.  Then we add more pressure by sizing ourselves  up with others.   We have the media and men to thank for that. It’s easy to find yourself not good enough. Your boobs are to small, saggy, or too big. Your waist isn’t small enough or its too big. Your skin is too light , too dark , your hair is too curly, too nappy or too straight . You are too tall, too short, too fat, to small. You’re not smart enough, good enough or you walk strange . If you hear this all of your life, it’s enough to drive anyone insane. Plastic surgery can not fix your mind.

The happiest woman is the confident one whom loves herself.

 

 

Disneyland Dad

Help support Father’s Rights. Dads matter.

Systematically Alientated Dads (SAD)

Disneyland Dad

A Disneyland Dad is a product of the current system that forces one parent from being a meaningful impact on their child’s life. This is usually, though not always, the father. There are definitely, Disneyland moms as well.

A Disneyland Dad is basically a dad who is forced into being a “visitor” to his children.

Typically a Disneyland Dad only sees his children 4 days a month through court order and in their “best interest”.

The time with his children is so limited that he tries to make the most of it by making memories through planned events if possible.

Going to the water park, a shopping spree, an amusement park, Disneyland or whatever.

Every visit by the children is an “event”.

Your time so limited and your desire to have a good time and “make memories”, to see smiles on their faces and make the most of…

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Are Cheap Clothes Really Cheap?

i-m-priscilla-228220.jpgThere aren’t too  many people that would argue about clothes being expensive. Some people think if you shop for cheaper clothes you can expand your wardrobe faster with many selections. Expensive clothing may take more time to replenish the closet. This is all true. Should you pay less or more for your clothes is the question.

Have you every thought about buying  cheap clothes aren’t really cheap? In terms of the life you get from a cheaper brand of clothing versus a more expensive brand that could last you a lifetime. Have you ever had a beautiful blouse you’ve owned for over 10 years? Whenever you wear it you receive compliments as if you bought it yesterday. Perhaps it cost you a pretty penny and you are careful with the way you launder it. Proper laundering extends the life of a fabric as well as the quality of the fabric.  On the flip side, you bought this cheap trendy blouse and it makes you feel great for the moment. You are looking hip. Suddenly after laundering it may be three times it starts to look worn, the color is dull and the fabric is stretched and out of shape. It looks like you’ve had it for 50 years! The part it doesn’t fit you anymore. The cheap top cost you $8.00 and your other top  cost $80.00. Where is your savings?

You saved when you spent more for the nicer blouse. It has become an investment piece; not in a traditional since. Yet you can build upon that piece with a jacket, slacks, jeans or skirt. This can instantly become 5 outfits with a statement piece. It will last you for many years. This one blouse can see you through , college, job interviews,  and even your first good job until you can afford to splurge on something new to freshen your look. Mixing old pieces with new pieces does wonders.

Your closet may look bare with more expensive things but you will save more money  It’s not always about the quantity of clothes that you have in your closet, but the quality will last forever.  Sure when you show someone your closet they are in awe about all of the stuff  you have. However, if they were to dig deeper in most cases all you have is a lot of junk.

Take your time and invest in your wardrobe. Think of pieces  that can create outfits with what you have. Never go shopping for outfits. Buy pieces. More than likely the outfits will cause frustration, because you’ll think those pieces can only be worn together. Then your wardrobe has become boring. Don’t be  afraid to mix and match with pieces.  Buying more expensive clothes doesn’t  always mean you had to pay a house note for it. It could have been on the clearance rack at Neiman’s. It’s the quality of the fabric. Great fabric is stretchy  and looks great and comfortable. There is nothing worse than having 20 pairs of cheap jeans that are uncomfortable and look a mess , than having 5 pairs of nice , comfortable jeans that make you feel good and you look amazing in them.

Remember when you go shopping the next time. Cheap clothes are really expensive. You’ll buy them over and over.

What! Coffee Has Health Benefits.

About nine months ago I decided to alleviate a few more things from my diet.  I mean why not? It’s been 30 years ( literally) since I ate any red meat. I’m on a roll!  I no longer drink any sodas , especially my favorite Dr. Pepper. Then I decided to discontinue drinking  caffeine free coffee. I heard it’s a synthetic  drink and is bad for you. I know the coffee   (at least I thought) with caffeine is worse.

I’ve always had this thing about not allowing any thing such as bad habits control me. Not to mention there are so many people in the world with bad health; whom continue to eat things that worsen their health.  I’m not perfect, but I try to listen to my body and do what’s best. Finally I am proud to say my main drink of choice is  water. I actually crave water. I know, I sound sick.  I can drink juice, Almond milk  or lemonade  and will not feel a sense of satisfaction until I’ve had some water.  Some of you can relate.

However , here is the problem at hand. I gave up caffeine free coffee, because I heard it’s bad for me as I’ve mention. Another problem I have is repeating myself. Ok back to the subject:  Coffee  causes insomnia , nervousness, upset stomach, increase heart rate, headache, anxiety, nausea,  ringing in the ears and diarrhea. I’m sure there are other symptoms from drinking coffee.  It’s surely caused irregularly heart beats and increased my heart rate, caused nervousness and upset  my stomach.  This is why I stayed away from the caffeine . The caffeine free has small traces of caffeine.  If you ask me, it’s like saying I don’t use crack , but I use crack light. Therefore, I decided not to drink it at all. I have the coffee pot, and coffee maker at home. Perhaps I’ll donate it soon. It’s taking up space in my pantry. Sometimes I think I’ll have a relative over that will ask me for coffee.  I’ll hold on to it a little longer.  Yes, I was really into the caffeine free stuff. In my refrigerator was all of the non dairy flavored creamers  to enhance the taste. It was full of sugar and each time I poured it in my coffee, I felt bad. my conscience would ask why are you doing this to yourself.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not perfect. I’m not extremely strict on my diet. I still eat cookies guys. A for sure weakness. The doctor would have to tell me to step away from the cookies , before I give them up. I must add, that my cookie intake has decreased. Too much of anything can be bad. Sugar is not the best thing in the world to eat. annie-spratt-65077

The confusion comes along when I read an article that express the benefits of coffee. It protect agains Parkinson disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease and some cancers. Come on now.  The sugar that most people put in their coffee is enough to cause diabetes alone. Is coffee good or bad for me?

This blog is not meant to verbally beat up on coffee drinkers. Receiving mixed information on weather it’s good or bad for my health is the real problem. I should be able to make an informed choice to do something or not. With all of the misconceptions , it makes it that much more difficult. I love the flavored coffee. I gave them up to improve my health. Now I’m not sure if I’m giving up some of the small joys in life in vain.

One thing I no for sure. I can’t go wrong drinking water. …unless I’m poisoned.

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

Wearing A Used Wedding Gown: Is it Settling For Less?

So you’re getting married. You’ve dreamt of this day since you were 10 years old. They way your gown will look and the location of the  venue.  Oh! lets not forget about the amazing lucky guy. You’re the apple of his eye. I see you smiling in my mind. This is you isn’t it?  Yes , girl you have your hair in a beautiful updo, from a photo you cut out from a magazine 10 years ago. I know, I know.

Now things have gotten real. You’ve priced venues, flowers, cakes, decorations and this doesn’t include the honeymoon or let alone the gown.  The gown is a biggie. I’ve  always teased brides – to – be when saying no one cares or remembers what the groom had on. However, everyone will remembered the gown. It’s 90% true,  please groom; don’t test your bride. You need to look dapper. You’re part of the package.

Is there anything wrong with a used wedding gown?

It depends on who you ask. It isn’t always about if a bride can afford a new one or not. Many times it has much to do with personality type. If you’re the type who couldn’t dream of wearing a gently used wedding  gown, simply because it is much more cost effective; you aren’t going to do it.  The average cost of a wedding gown is $1,400.00, but as you probably know it can soar as high as $12,000.00 Sometimes its tough to choose a discounted gown when your heart is set on a particular style. It can be daunting to search all over the world for a certain style and get it for a reasonable price. Sometimes you want to go all out for ( you hope) this once in a lifetime occasion.  So you just buy retail. Also brides may want to experience the whole bride feeling which includes shopping for a gown the traditional way from the large retailers. Standing on a platform and modeling for the entire shop. There is no right or wrong.

When buying gently used or pre- owned, you want to make sure you know your key measurements.  Getting the right fit can be a key element since the previous bride already tailored it  to her body.  I recommend you buy up in size and have a seamstress create a custom fit. Make sure you have time to try it on and  examine the  gown  thoruoghly before purchase. Normally there isn’t a return policy on used gowns. This means you’re stuck with the dress after purchase. Look for signs of wear near the arm pits and hem line. If they look great then your probably all set to purchase. Gently used gowns will run about $300.00 – $1,000.00 .  Try small businesses that sell wedding gowns. Often times they operate a full bridal salon from the basement of their own home or have an online store. You’ll have a beautiful gown without breaking the bank.

Congratulations on your big day!photo-nic-co-uk-nic-224379

 

 

Motherhood: The Bond Between A Mother And Son.

When I found out I was having a boy 29 years ago, I was deeply worried. I thought how can I teach a boy, things that only a man would know? I was close to my dad and felt I would rely on my dad a lot for guidance on raising a son. Especially potty training . Besides I never owned a weiner gun. Someone needed to show me, how to show him; where to aim it in the toilet.  We had to learn so much together.

It was easy in the beginning. Infant boys and infant girls have the same needs. Love and attention. I did that, but I made sure I went the extra mile. As he grew older I became more frighten that I would not be able to guide and teach him. I didn’t want to baby him too much, but didn’t want to seem distant as well. Eventually I learned the happy medium. Don’t call him pet names in public, don’t caress his face and say that I love him around his friends and don’t ever sit with him in the movies. I had it all down!

I hated taking him to the barber shop. As expected the barber is filled with men. It was tough finding a good reliable barber. I went through many before I found one that didn’t watch porn in front of kids, curse, speaking down on women and talk about who they had last night. I’d find myself closing his eyes and ears and sometimes walking out. I could have gotten his uncles to take him to get hair cuts, but I was his mom. When he was born I vowed to God I’d be the best mom I could be. Eventually I found a good respectable barber. He was like a grandpa.

Once  he became an adult something changed. The space he desired as a teen didn’t seem as desirable anymore to him. He’d ask when is our next lunch date, or when or we going for a drive, by the way when can we just hang out on the couch and talk. Wow! what happened? I thought I was” too mommy” for him. Although the space hurt my heart just a little bit, I knew it was healthy for him to be his own man.

I’ve taught him all the basic things, clean your room, always groom and never play with a woman’s emotions. I’d always say, remember you have a sister and a mother. Our bodies and souls are attached to feelings. Then there are the funny times. Teaching him to ride a bike and drive a car. Watching him graduate from high school and college with my big box of tissue. Oh yeah! I cry when I’m happy and sad. I’m a big cry baby. The milestones that once seemed far fetched and scary. It literally flashed before my eyes.

I worked up so much misery in my head . Perhaps I’m just feeling lucky. With Mother’s Day around the corner. I wanted to jumpstart the joys and memories of motherhood, by expressing my love for my wonderful son. He’s more than I could have imagined. He protective, loving, kind and talented. As soon as he learned to write he could draw. He’s also bilingual. English / Spanish. By which he taught himself Spanish as a kid for the fun of it.  He loves eating healthy and working out. As a kid he was bullied for being skinny, quiet and different.

Raising a son wasn’t too bad. I don’t know why I worried so much. He’s know longer my skinny little boy. He is a full fledged intellectual man. I’m a proud mama whom still calls him pet names behind closed doors. untitled-1756-1

Petite And Being Fit

Many people think you have to be overweight to have fitness issues. The truth of the matter is anyone can have problem areas or something about their body they wish to improve. In this blog I’m not talking about someone with body image issues or low self esteem . Thats a different blog.

This blog is more about getting back into shape. Although I’ve never stopped working out on some level; I once worked out religiously.  I had a schedule. Today is yoga, tomorrow is weights, and so forth. What happened ? I’ll tell you what happened in a nutshell. In order: I fell on some photography equipment ( I’m a photographer) during a session. I injured my knee. My knee hasn’t been the same since, then later my daddy died. Yes, I said my daddy. I’m an adult, but that was my daddy. After those two episodes I couldn’t get back to life. My dad was my world. The best man that God has ever put before me.

Here I am still blessed despite. It is a wonderful thing to be a size 2 at 48 years old. No, I’m not bragging at all. It truly is a blessing. Fortunately I’ve never been a large person. My entire life I’ve worn a size zero ( 0) until I got in to my 30’s. Now I’m happy to say I’m the ideal weight  for my height and age. This is according to my doctor.  The only thing desire the most is to tone up.   I don’t hate the way I look, I know I can use some improvement . However, I’m not conceded by the slightest.

I love taking pictures of myself , because pictures are one of the most endearing things to me. To have a piece of life frozen in time is priceless. I can never get it back once the day is gone, but I preserved it on film or digital. Back to this picture that gave me the ah ha moment. I had been complaining to myself regarding getting my legs  into shape, but it didn’t dawn on me, just how much until I took this selfie.

This was taken 1 day ago.  So I’m not cheating with an old photo. LOLuntitled-1736-1There isn’t anything wrong with my legs. They work great. Besides these are the legs God assigned to me. I want to be stronger, toned and have  nice shaped legs. I am committing to do just that.  Before  I really do extensive work outs with my legs, I’m going to pay a doctor another visit . I want to check on my left knee for advice on what type of exercise to perform based on my issue with my knee. The problem is it will dislocate sometimes. I’ll find myself bent over on the floor crying and popping in back into place. After this happens it’s sore for a month. Then that leads me to another workout setback.

Lastly, I want to say don’t beat up on yourselves too bad ladies and gents.  Take each day at a time. Work on baby steps. I started by just walking a few times a week for 1 hour. I’ve noticed a change in my endurance and strength already. You can do it too! Whatever it is you want to improve on yourself go for it! Don’t look at celebrities, or anyone else in magazines, social media or TV as the parameter for what is acceptable as beauty and fit. You have to be your own kind of beautiful!

Ingredients to Make the Number 1 Easter Appetizer.

Easter is tomorrow so I wanted to bring you this blog before I’m too late.

When spring has sprung there isn’t anything better than appetizers.  The first to kick off spring is deviled eggs.   Your  family and friends will love you for this simple dish.  They’re so many deviled egg recipes, but I like to keep it simple. Some traditions should be left untouched.

Things you’ll need:

Eggs

Cooking pot

Sugar

mayonaise

paprika ( garnish)

fork, or meat masher, spoon and knife

While the others are obvious , the spoon and butter knife is used to scoop the yolk to insert in the eggs. The Flat side of the knife is used to push the yolk onto the egg. This is the way to go if you don’t have a piping bag or sandwich bag to pipe the yolk. Besides the piping bag is a water of time of there are going to be tons of toppings on it. Such as capers, bacon…things that hide the piped look. I’d also like to add spooning the yolk saves time as well. If presentation is imperative I’d suggest you pipe the yolk.

 

My family and I have dinner together every Sunday. It’s not always the so -called Sunday dinner. We can have tacos and rice as long as we spend one day a week together. I loved this as a child. Now we have to forbid electronic devices at the table and focus solely on one another . I look forward to it every week.

Don’t forget to give the eggs an ice bath to prevent over cooked eggs.

Happy Easter!