Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cynthia Bailey Opens Up About Uterine Fibroids Tumors

This time last year, I was at home recovering from a myomectomy surgery due to complications resulting from uterine fibroids. I've documented as much as possible about my myomectomy experience but this week on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, model Cynthia Bailey spoke up about her issues with fibroids and I'm glad that she did.

Her systems of heavy bleeding was not something that I experienced because my fibroids were on the outside of my uterus pressing against my bladder while another one pressing against my back. I had a puffy tummy, but I'm so skinny that unless your familiar with exactly how small I am, you would only think that I was finally putting on some weight, a comment that I frequently heard.

As I watched the show, I wished the doctor was able to discuss more options with her other than a hysterectomy and Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). Other options are available so be sure to speak with your doctor.

As open as I've been about my issues, I think there is something to be said about seeing a beautiful women in the public eye, that's dealing with the same issues as you and I.

I get it that most women don't want to discuss complications pertaining to the most private parts of her anatomy. It's not a fun topic but I don't want anyone to feel alone while having to deal with this. Peter, Cynthia's husband, didn't understand how the fibriods were affecting her. Your family might not get it, but you are not alone.

Take care of yourself.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Revlon Top Speed - Vintage #570 Nail Polish

Perfect for all skin tones, this nail polish is a warm blend of a berry toned red.

I applied 2 coats plus a top coat to get full coverage. I'm not the best at painting my nails but this is such a easy color to pull off that it makes my hands look beautiful regardless of the questionable paint job.

I've had this color for quite some time now so I have no idea how much I paid for it, but the beauty of drug store cosmetics is that you can always find them on sale.

Monday, October 14, 2013

3 Sites That Will Improve Your Photography Skills

Having a passion for photography is wonderful, however let's be real, there is a downside... THE COST.

If you're a newbie, deciding where to invest your money can seem daunting, there's equipment, software, computer hardware, lighting, etc., and the list goes on. One place you can save money is to take advantage of available online resources. is a wonderful blog that has great "How To" courses that are 100% free. The posts are informative and easy to follow, often times providing a look behind the scenes. This site is such a great resource BUT, promise me one thing. You must check out the archives on the lower right side. Lots of great tutorials there. I promise you will not regret it. Information galore. currently has over 360 courses dedicated to photography. If you're a visual learner, these video tutorials are a great resource. Pricing plans starts at $25/month with access to over 100,000 video tutorials. There is no long-term commitment so you're only out $25 if you don't like it but, here a little secret... they also have a YouTube channel with FREE video excerpts from their tutorials. When I made the decision to jump into wedding photography, the groups on Flickr were invaluable. This site might seem like just a photo sharing website, but it's much more than that. Trust me when I tell you, get involved in the groups.

Flickr is a photography community that shares a wealth of personal and technical information. Often time photographers will share what camera, f/stop, shutter speed, lighting equipment, editing software and other details of how s/he got the shot. All for FREE.

It doesn't matter if you're new to photography or a seasoned pro. There's always something new to learn. You just have to get involved.

Best of Luck and Happy Shooting

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pastor Blasts Photographer During Wedding and What You Can Learn From This Screw Up

As someone who has been a wedding photographer for a few years, I want to discuss this situation, that should of never happened. First, take a look at this short video.

How this could have been avoided...

Introduce yourself to the pastor/priest/officiant. Each ceremony is different. It's your responsibility as the official photographer to find the officiant before the ceremony to establish: What are the ground rules? Are you allowed to use flash? Is there anywhere that you can't stand?

You're a professional so act like it. The moment the pastor asked the photographer to move, he should have been gone, no discussion! Your role as the photographer is to capture the story, not become part of it. Yes, we all want great shots for our portfolio, but never at the expense of upsetting the couple.

Knowing all the odds and ends of a camera will not make you a great wedding photographer. That's only part of the story. As in any professional environment, you have to know how to act, what's appropriate, when to be humble.

The right equipment at the right time. Using a long lens and/or a wide aperture (at least f/2.8) is part of the reason why wedding photographer is so costly. Lens are very expensive. Most of them cost more than the camera. Had this photographer used a long lens, possible one with a zoom, he would not have to position himself so close to the officiant.

If you are inside of a building and the officiant doesn't want you to use a flash, you need at least a f/2.8 lens. Knowing how to use the lens is only part of the picture. You should know when it's appropriate to choose one over the other not only because of lighting conditions, but also because you have to respect the event.

Was the pastor out of place? In my opinion, it doesn't matter. I'm a huge proponent in taking responsibly for how your actions contributed to a situation. Since I've never been an officiant, I can only speak as a photographer. Whenever I'm asked to shoot a wedding, I feel incredibly blessed to have the responsibility of capturing this families memories. It's your responsibility to create a pleasant experience AND kick-ass photos.

Take every opportunity to create a pleasant experience. Sometimes you have to be assertive, especially when Uncle Bob is holding up his iPhone in the middle of your shot. Dancing between being assertive to Uncle Bob while being pleasant to your client, their family, and their guest is a part of your role. This separates the amateur photographers from the professionals.

What do you think about this situation?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Taste of Mystic 2013 Review

Since I've moved to CT, one of my favorite summer past times are going to food festivals. Hands down, the best food festival is a Taste of Mystic in Mystic, CT. Here are some of the highlights.

FREE Admission. If you're not interested in buying anything, you are welcomed to bring your chair and enjoy the free music. You can also bring your dog, however, you're not allowed to bring the dog into the vendor row.

Wide Range of Food. Mystic isn't just known for it's pizza. I tasted dishes from Jamaica, Vietnam, Thai, Ameican clasics, and so much more.

Time of Year. Early October in New England is gorgeous. The days are not overwhelming hot which makes for a perfect environment to enjoy outdoor activities for all ages.

A Weekend Affair. The festival spans over the course of three days so finding time to go is very convenient.

The Grounds. The absolute best thing about this festival is the location. The green separates Mystic's river and the street of the festival. Children are free to run around while others might decided to side by the dock. Finding a spot to relax is easy.

Hubby and I look forward to this event every year, especially since we can bring Blizzard. Here are a few photos from the day. Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos of the food but I'll be sure to do so next year.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How to Become More Confident

Dear CandidAnn,

I've been watching your videos for a while now and I have never seen anyone else in my life have amazing confidence like you. I'm the exact opposite and I really need your help. All my life I've been so insecure and its been stopping me from living my life.

I always care and think about what other people think, and I hate that characteristic. Have you ever felt this way growing up? What are some of your experiences? Since you have amazing self confidence can you please make a video or even reply to help me out? I think this topic will be a great Friday Night Confessional (FNC) for this week! I'm going into High School this year and I want to go in and not be insecure about what other people will think about me. Please help me. Thank you :-)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back to School at Almost 40

While on bed rest from my myomectomy, I was forced to do something I seldom have the time to do: Be still and think without interruption. I was looking forward to the time off, even though it was not ideal circumstances, it was still a mental reset for me.

While I was in the prep room getting ready for surgery, I was on the lookout for the Anesthesiologist. At one time in my life, I was hell bent on becoming a physician but life didn't work out in such a way that would allow me to attend Medical School. When the Anesthesiologist walked in, I had questions for him. I wanted to know, where he went to school but not for the reason one might think. I wanted to know how he did it and was it possible that I too could still do it. It was just a question in the back of my mind. What I found out surprised me.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Summer in Review

With the exception of the mosquitoes, there isn't much that I don't like about Summer. Summer is my favorite season but while I've been out and about, unfortunately, my blog posts have been suffering because of it. I'm hoping, reeeeally hoping, to make that up by posting more frequently. So we've got a little catching up to do.
Hubby and I at the reception
Love is in the air
I kicked off my Summer with a long awaited wedding. My brother-in-law, got married to a dope ass chick and I was ecstatic to witness their union. Let me tell you, when it comes to in-laws, I hit the jackpot. I don't even like to use the word "in-laws", those are my brothers and sister. Period.

Back To School?
Remember my Social experiment? I gotta an A in that class. I was nervous about my ability to keep up with other student, but this is what I realized: Unlike my first Bachelors degree (English Literature), I'm very clear on what I want out of this. When I got my first degree, I only wanted to be educated amongst my peers in Corporate America. As to what I want out of this degree... that's another blog post for another day.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Breaking a Social Norm Experiment

Most corporate environments have an expected style of dress that everyone adheres to. Even on casual Friday’s we all know what’s acceptable and what’s not. The corporate environment is one where most people do not want to veer too far from the norm in fear of sticking out.

Social norms are expected shared ideas of what is acceptable behavior within society given a specific context. Breaking a social norm at your place of employment might come with disciplinary actions, but what would happen if you broke a social norm in public. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, I set out to do my chores, while wearing a mint green facial mud mask.

My first stop was Ocean State Job Lot and while I got a few double takes, most people tried not to stare at me, so I'll jump ahead to my Walgreens experience cause I damn near cussed a woman out for acting as if I'm stupid. Here's what went down.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Why I Fell In Love With Photography

Last week, I came across an image that reminded me of why I fell in love with photography, specifically photojournalism.

Keeping in mind that I do not own a television, I had no idea of the devastation that took place in Bangladesh until I saw this New York Times Magazine article.

Albeit, the situation that has taken place in Bangladesh is horrifying, this image grabbed my heart and did not let go. I will never forget this image as long as I live simply because he never let her go. As everything crumbled around him, he never let her go. I thought to myself, "Who would hold me until the very end like that?"

Although I respect the beauty of fashion magazines, with perfect lighting, hair, makeup and fashions to match... that is not what made me fall in love with photography. Yes those images are beautiful but, they are usually far from reality, this image however, is nothing but.

Despite the horrific situation that has unfolded here, what you are looking at is LOVE. A love that grabs hold of you and will... not... let... go.

Wedding photography, is as close as I have been able to get to this type of photojournalism, without fear of risking my own life.

While the historical impact of wedding photography effects only two families, the moments captured, are ones that will make a man run into a burning building because it means that much to him.

I have often said that if I could afford to shoot weddings for free, I would. It's one of the few moments that I feel blessed to have this responsibility each and every time I'm assigned to do so.

Capturing historical moments, great or small, is what my passion lives for.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Photo Tip for Vacationers

As the weather warms up and you're thinking about vacation, here's a quick photo tip you'll want to keep in mind.

As we travel, we often want to take photos in front of a famous monument or building. Before you snap that photo, position yourself to the left or right of the monument so that your body is not blocking the monument you want to remember. It's a simple tip that makes a huge difference to your photographs.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Installing My First Kinky Twists

As summer nears, I plan on being out and about with my camera. I don't want to be stuck in the house dealing with my hair too often, so when I watched a video by YouTuber ToniDaley80 speaking about installing kinky twists, I wanted to try installing a set of them on myself.

Prepping Natural Hair for Twists, Braids or Weave
  1. I cleansed with a moisturizing shampoo and on my final rinse used a 1:3 Apple cider vinegar : Water mix. 
  2. Deep conditioned using a heating cap.
  3. I stretched my hair by twisting it loosely in large sections. When the twists were about 80% dry, I applied a few drops of jojoba oil to my hands and I divided each twist into 2 smaller sections. I stretched it further by starting off with a braid only at the root and then a loose twist.
Keep in mind that I did not do this all in one day. While the twists were air drying, I put on a knitted hat and went to the park with Hubby, my dog, and my Nikon. The process left my hair so soft, I could hardly keep my hands out of it. I will repeat this process upon take down.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I didn't want to nag him, but that could have killed him

It's been a few weeks since I've been able to write a blog post because life happened and it was pretty damn scary. My husband had a bone infection.

He woke up one day complaining about shoulder pain. We assumed he slept in a bad position. Unfortunately, it wasn't that simple. We realised something was seriously wrong when a lump appeared on his neck/chest area. Things got hectic quickly after that. You can watch my Friday Night Confessional called "Go to the Doctor or Divorce Me" to find out more.

Neither one of us have heard of bone infections before, so this situation was completely new to both of us. The surgery involved removing the infection which included part of his clavicle bone and part of his sternum. The surgeon left a 2 1/2 inch wide by 3 inches deep incision open on his chest in order to allow the infection to drain. I was able to see his remaining clavicle bone and much more past that, although I had no idea what I was looking at.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Skin That's So So Soft

I'm still learning how to apply makeup, but one thing I know for certain is the importance of starting off with a good foundation. I'm not referring to a 1 oz bottle of cosmetics, I'm talking about your skin.

Maintaining healthy skin is important to me, especially since I'm not getting any younger. I've gotten myself into a regime and I believe that consistency is just as important as product.

I'll hold off on my entire facial care regime for another post, but one thing I do every Sunday night is exfoliate.

I start in the shower with a body scrub. I'm not particular on brands therefore, I usually go for whatever is on sale. The picture below shows a few of my current body scrubs. I literally grabbed these from my shower and my stash, that's why some of the bottles only shows what's left.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Finding your talents

How do you find your talents / skills / hobbies when you don't think you have any? Have you ever wanted to change your career but you have no idea where to start? Here's a simple exercise to get the ball rolling.

Write down all of your talents, skills, and abilities on a piece of paper.

Start off with the obvious skills you've included on your resume. I started with my software skills as my day job involves knowledge of designing presentations, marketing, and branded materials. Then I started to think about the not so obvious.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wet n Wild Fergie Lipstick Swatches

As a lipstick fanatic, I had to try a few lippies from the new Wet n Wild Fergie Collection. The entire collection contains 10 new lipsticks. I picked up 4 of them and I was very pleased.

The formula is creamy and highly pigmented. Priced at $3.49 these are worth every penny.

Wet n Wild Lipstick

Wet n Wild Lipstick Swatch


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