Author Archives: Tina B

Three Question Thursday – Interview With Photographer Matthew David Parker!

Usually, my Three Question Thursday posts are just me answering three random questions…

Not today!

Today, you get treated to an eight-question interview with Photographer Matthew David Parker!

Tina B's World - Interview with Photographer Matthew-David-Parker

Photo Credit: Mr. Parker’s website

Here we go:  Matthew David Parker’s Thoughts on Photography

1. Do you prefer shooting indoor or outdoor?

Outdoor light is the best source of illumination for my photographs. It provides natural unlimited rays that can be manipulated to bring out some of the best photos. The free and unlimited backgrounds in their natural form birth high levels of creative energy and inspiration.

Natural light is the best lighting – no matter how much you think flod lights and fancy editing can usurp the classic power of the sun, as humans, it’s all about the great outdoors.

2. When you shoot outdoors, do you prefer shooting during the day or at night?

Outdoor lighting is often changing and the perfect time for an outdoor shoot can be difficult to determine. Soft sunlight is always better than the harsh sunlight of the day. Too much light and compromise a perfect moment. Utilizing early morning light at dawn, when the scattering of the sky is at its best, and the intimate light just before the sun dives behind the hills produces less contrast because the soft light adds a warm glow to the scene and adds depth as well as texture to images. Although, some buildings are best captured at night with their lights at their brightest.

3. Name three cities you haven’t shot in yet, but are on your bucket list.

  1. Miami, it’s just got a radiant skyline. It’s imposing and endearing at the same time. These features among others provide a great inspiration for some of the best photographs. It’s like New York at night – you really appreciate it more due to the magnificence of the buildings. Gothic architecture at night really evokes a sense of resonance in I would say, many people.
  2. Washington DC because it’s DC. There’s a subtle but overpowering sense of dominance in the capital. Maybe because that’s where the president lives but the classic roman architecture really speaks to me. The powerful white pillars that jut out and seem like they’ll stretch for miles. Come on, you can’t beat that.
  3. California finally, because it’s a lazy place. You get to take pictures of water sports and the beach. It’s more laid back than New York which is kinda defined by money. But California has this hippie influence that draws you in.

4. Do you have favorite buildings in NYC and Las Vegas?

Funny enough, my favourite buildings in New York are rarely known by people. I’m drawn to not only the raging bull in the financial district but also, to the grimy efficiency of the subway and how every time you hop on it, you’re transported through time.

Las Vegas: (laughs) The Bellagio but mostly because it’s so ostentatious, like it’s really up there in terms of decadence and absolute wealth. And… I might have spent some time on their slot machines.

5. Name three celebrities you would love to do a photo shoot with.

  1. Kanye West. He’s just Kanye and has his own persona, and doesn’t capitulate to societal norms. He’s a fascinating character, and in art, fascination is interesting.
  2.  Jennifer Lawrence because she looks so bubbly so I bet she would be a fun person to shoot.
  3. George Bush. I know, oh the irony, but he’s been out of the public eye for a while and he’s endearing to so many people. I feel people would like to know what jr. is up to.

6. What’s one piece of equipment you pine for and hope to purchase one day?

The new Pro LED Light Table that allows top quality imagery and requires little or no post-production. The lighting will allow me to capture my photographs without the hassle of compiling arrays of light for my subject.

7. Do you use your cell phone to capture photo or video? If so, which make/model have you used?

Yeah, I’ve used the Asus ZenFone 3 which has a camera that has a great zoom and a colour correction sensor. It also has optical image stabilization allowing me to capture steady photographs while I’m on the move.

8. Do you have any advice for an amateur photographer?

Some of the best photos are produced when photographers pays close attention to the rules on the lighting, depth, viewpoint and perspective. Explore all kinds of photography without limiting your creativity.

What a great interview! Thank you so much, Mr. Parker!

Check out his amazing skills on his site HERE

and

Definitely follow him on Twitter!

Kitty Litter Smells Gross Meow-t

I don’t know about you, but I can’t STAND the smell of a dirty litter box. Actually, I kinda wish I had the patience to toilet train my cats.

“Use baking soda” is the most common suggestion I receive. Would you like to know what happens when I do? That litter gets flung faster than a summer love! I’m guessing they’re not fans. Also? My dogs are a fan of *ahem* “used” litter. Gross, I know.

So, what do I do now?

Enter the Litter Genie!

Litter Genie Review - Tina B's World

I was so excited for this campaign when it came up on BrandBacker! It was seriously like a wish come true. I was a fan of that other “Genie” product when Mini was a baby and I was so hoping this would be along those same lines.

IT WAS!

Litter Genie Review - Tina B's World

Beautiful, isn’t it?

It even comes with it’s own scooper, which is always a good thing to have extras of!

The Litter Genie is very easy to use and man oh man, it WORKS. My nose is so happy, I could cry. Here’s a little step-by-step:

First, prepare your Genie.

Open it up, insert the bag and pull it through. Make a knot in the bottom to hold.

Litter Genie Review - Tina B's World

Close the Genie and open up the top. It should look like this..

Litter Genie Review - Tina B's World

Next, wait for your destroyer of mini-blinds to make a deposit in the litter bank. Then, get ready to scoop and drop it into the Litter Genie.

Litter Genie Review - Tina B's World

Pull the lever out, then push it back in so the litter “disappears”.

Litter Genie Review - Tina B's World

Litter Genie Review - Tina B's World

When you’re ready to get rid of the waste, open the Genie. Pull the bag through (you have to pull the lever out to give the bag some leeway) and slide it into the cutter.

Litter Genie Review - Tina B's World

Litter Genie Review - Tina B's World

Cut, tie it off and dispose.

Litter Genie Review - Tina B's World

Litter Genie Review - Tina B's World

The best part of the Litter Genie is the ease of use. I love that my kitchen smells better already! I also like that it is sturdy and not easily knocked over by curious kitties or even the doggies.

To find out more about the Litter Genie, look them up on social media!

I highly recommend a Litter Genie to anyone with cats, whether you have 1, 2 or 10!

Finally, a hello from my kitties, Biggie & Tupac. It’s kinda blurry because you have to sneak up on them with a camera. Haha!

IMG_5195

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April 2017 Photo Challenge – Color

One of my fave things about Spring is that the trees and flowers are in bloom.

My apologies to the pollen allergy sufferers, but I just love it!

Here are my five pics for this month:

1. Sunset at Cedar Beach

April 2017 Photo Challenge - Color: Tina B's World

I absolutely LOVE this beach! The sunsets from this point are incredible. The pics don’t do it justice!

2. Dusk at Cedar Beach

April 2017 Photo Challenge - Color: Tina B's World

Juuuust as the sun is setting on one side of the beach, this incredible color pops up on the other side. Yes, it’s just as peaceful as it looks :)

3. This Jungle Theme Background Behind Mini

April 2017 Photo Challenge - Color: Tina B's World

This was at our district author event where Mini was chosen to read her tribute poem about Carrie Fisher (which we are going to publish here soon!). I had to crop it because there were other kids int he photo and the background was falling in one spot. It is filtered to show off Mini’s shirt ;)

4. Treats from the Dessert Truck in Some Festive Easter Wrapping

April 2017 Photo Challenge - Color: Tina B's World

YES, we have a dessert truck nearby! Okay, it’s not like right around the corner, but it’s within a short driving distance. We always stop when we’re in that area. Those are Mini’s fave from the truck, their Rainbow Cookies.

5. Dyed Eggs

April 2017 Photo Challenge - Color: Tina B's World

This was the first year I was able to convince my husband that coloring eggs is fun and we should totally be doing this. I taught Mini how to dip-dye the eggs and even how to get two different colors on it. She goes and does a tri-color egg. GO MINI!!

I only have one bonus pic for this one..

At a recent birthday party, Mini was able to take her first solo go-kart ride. She. LOVED. IT! Being the only girl, of course (much to her chagrin) they stuck her in the pink car. She isn’t a fan of pink, but she just shrugged and hopped in. Look at that smile!

April 2017 Photo Challenge - Color: Tina B's World

I’m off to see what everyone else did for this month.

To check out the links for this month’s challenge, click HERE.

To link up to the next month, hop on over and join the challenge’s FB page HERE.

Mini Monday – Post 15 – One of the Chosen Ones

Hello, everyone!

Yes, I am one of the chosen ones!

My school district has a reading and writing expo. It’s pretty new. They showcase the student’s artwork and writings.

There is a Poetry Cafe and the students can read their poems aloud.

I WAS PICKED TO READ MY POEM DURING THE POETRY CAFE!!

That’s right! I get to share my poem with lots of people!

My poem is a tribute poem to Carrie Fisher. Princess Leia is one of my favorite superheroes.

My Mom will do a post later this week that will include my poem. I asked her not to share it with anyone until after the expo.

Well, that’s all I have to say. As my Mom always says, “YAY ME!”

See you next time!

~Mini

February 2017 Photo Challenge: Love

 February’s Photo Challenge was:

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

What is love?

Baby don’t hurt me.. don’t hurt me.. no more. <- Admit it. That was your first thought too!

Love is many things.

Love is checking up on your friends..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

..or stalking, whatever. My foster cats are super nosy! They are constantly staring at the neighbors and anyone who happens to pass by.

Love is cleaning off your Mom’s car when it snows..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

..especially when you know your mom has arthritis and needs all the help she can get! This pic is super blurry because it was taken through a screen door and zoomed in. We (thankfully) didn’t have much snow this winter, but the one storm we had was pretty bad. Another note: Mini’s winter jacket used to belong to her beloved Great Grandmother, Nanny, and Mini loved wearing it :)

Love is hearts..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

..ripped into your pants by one of your Pugs. I can’t say I’m totally mad about the rip though (rest in peace, pants!). It was pretty hilarious!

Love is a hug from one of your besties..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

…and nothing beats a Pug Hug!

Love is ice cream on a warm day..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

…or even a warmISH day. It was around 50 degrees. That’s warm enough for us! By the way, if you’re ever on Long Island, you have GOT to visit McNulty’s. It’s on North Country Rd in Mt Sinai. No matter where you are, it’s totally worth the hike out there!

Now for the bonus shots..

Love is a sweet kiss to help you get through your homework..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

Love is subjecting yourself to a silly Snapchat filter because it makes your kid smile..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

Love is letting your Senior Pug have your napping pillow..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

Last but not least,

Love is the peaceful feeling you get from a clear beautiful sky on a gorgeous day.. 

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

I can’t wait for next month’s challenge!

If you want to link up or try the challenge next month, please go HERE.

Mad For (Top)Hatter

I like auctions and I like winning them.

Doesn’t everyone?

Tophatter is an awesome site where you can bid on things and win within seconds, sometimes minutes depending on the amount of bids. Call them instant auctions, if you will. Some items are new, but there are also used ones as well. Each used item I saw was clearly indicated as such.

Upon signing up, I received a $5 credit. YAY! I’m unsure if it was a temporary thing, but when you sign up, look for the pop-up or check your “account” (where you can add credits based on special codes).

As you start browsing, you will notice the costs are up front ($this + $that shipping). This is listed on every single item. Think fast and bid fast. It moves VERY quickly. You can click on the item description (tap if you’re using the app) and it will tell you exactly what you’re getting.

If you’re not really in for the thrill of bidding/winning (LIAR!), you can purchase the items at a “Buy It Now” price. You’ll possibly pay less for the item during bidding, but if not, you can always head to the sale page. You also have the option of being notified when your fave items go to auction. Just go to the item’s page and tap the heart icon. Easy-peasy.

Here is a screenshot from the Android app. On it, you can see the current auctions and even a notification on an item I had asked for notifications on. When the bar disappears, the item is up. Scroll quickly! By the time you find the item, it might be sold already. You can also clearly see the price and shipping amounts.

Mad For (Top)Hatter - Tina B's World

On the Tophatter landing page, you will see the “Live Events” (items currently up for auction). When you see the item you want, click the green BID bar. You will see if your bid is still winning or if you’ve been outbid. A pop-up will tell you if you have won and gives you payment options. I chose to connect with Paypal, which is connected by one-click. Checkout was super fast and easy.

Now for my spoils!

Right away, I happened upon a make-up brush that I wanted to try but most I seem to find are a bit out of my budget. I won! It was $3 + $6 for shipping and was only $4 for me after I applied the credit. If you’re wondering how accurate the listings are, here is the listing from the app and the bottom is the actual brush (used – I forgot to take pics before I ripped it open and started using it OOPSIE!).

Mad For (Top)Hatter - Tina B's World

Next, I found a 5pc set of Water Droplet-shaped Flawless Smooth Pro Makeup Powder Puff Beauty Blender. They looked almost exactly as they did on the site and were good quality.

Mad For (Top)Hatter - Tina B's World

I spotted a gorgeous “Love & Heart” ring set. Sapphire was my birthstone so I was pumped! Right afterwards, I saw a set of Owl earrings that I knew would be perfect for a friend.

Mad For (Top)Hatter - Tina B's World
 

Here are two quick examples of packaging. Each item was well-wrapped and nothing came in scratched, chipped, ripped or dented.

Mad For (Top)Hatter - Tina B's World Mad For (Top)Hatter - Tina B's World

Thrilled with my little victories, I decided to hop on over to Tophatter’s Instagram page and give them a follow. Within seconds, they slid up into my DMs and offered me ANOTHER $5 credit. SCORE!

Armed with that credit, I chose a Tribal Knot ring. It was $7 (no shipping, which is actually somewhat common), so I received it for $2. I haven’t received this item yet :(  but I’m looking forward to it!

My credits through BrandBacker came through, I picked out a Black & Purple Rhodium Ring…

Mad For (Top)Hatter - Tina B's World

… and an Adult Coloring Book. With cuss words. I can NOT WAIT to start coloring this. I added the stars by the way :)

Mad For (Top)Hatter - Tina B's World

Here is a fantastic necklace I found. It’s kinda small, so I put it next to a tube of lip balm so you can get an idea of the size. I have a few other great items on the way that I can’t wait for :)

Mad For (Top)Hatter - Tina B's World

 I can not recommend this site enough! I have loved every time I have purchased. The descriptions are accurate and the site’s pics are spot-on. 

DISCLOSURE: I was compensated by Tophatter (through BrandBacker) with 2 separate purchasing credits to complete this post and share on social media. All opinions and pics (unless otherwise indicated) are my own. Also, the links to Tophatter are my personal invite link, where I earn credit if you make a purchase.

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Happy Love Your Pets Day!

We make no secret that we LOVE our pets here :)

We always welcome our visitors’ canine companions as well. The more the merrier!

This is our squad (the very definition of “squad goals” if you ask me!): Eli-Princess just turned 4 and she is the big one in the back. Our Pugs are (from L to R) Jordan (12), Mookie (1), Cheyenne (11), Jack (11) and Koko (9). All have their own unique personalities and quirks. I love that about them.

Love My Pets Day 2017 - Tina B's World

Excuse the mess.. we’re trying to act innocent after ripping apart the cardboard recycling pile :)

I tell everyone to get a dog. Why? 

They make you feel happy when you’re sad. Seriously, they just know when to comfort you.

They are super helpful. I mean, who hasn’t needed their dog to show off a cool trick or two during a lull in conversation when people are over?

They teach responsibility. Mini’s daily chore is letting the dogs out for their afternoon constitutional when she gets home from school. She knows that gets done as soon as she gets home, before she even does her homework. I don’t even have to remind her anymore, which is great.

They’re protective and bark to alert you of potential danger. That car door closed four houses down and you NEED to be notified. Repeatedly. Just in case. Also, your neighbors are having a conversation in their yard. You need to know what’s going on, right? ;)

I absolutely LOVE my pets. I can’t imagine NOT having one, but I totally get that they aren’t for everyone.

For fun, I decided to take this great breed quiz from PuppySpot to see what type of dog would fit our lifestyle. PuppySpot is dedicated to the safety and health of all their puppies for sale, which is shown through their no puppy mill promise.

I have to admit I was a bit nervous because I already have my babies and I think they are a good fit, but maybe my next pup should be something else?

Breed Flowchart_x2 (1)

YAY! I got “The Loyal Companion”, which I think PEFECTLY describes my Puggies and even my Hound. Eli-Princess is pretty mellow, but loves to run around crazy-like and play fetch in the backyard.. Note: by “fetch” I mean she grabs whatever I throw, runs it over to the other part of the yard then leaves it there for ME to go get so I may throw it again. I’m so very well-trained :)

Hope you enjoyed the quiz and I encourage you to paw through the PuppySpot site. Maybe you’ll meet your new bestie over there!

Three Question Thursday 1.12.17

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Here are my 3 questions for this week..

1. What are you looking forward to this coming year?

Mini’s first concert! Since all of my younger siblings are out of school now, we haven’t been to any school concerts in recent years. I’m pumped for this coming May!

Just this week, her lessons were increased to two days a week and we got the sheet music home! YAY for no more plucking and random notes.

3QT 1.12.17 - Tina B's World

2. Has Mini chosen a theme for her birthday party yet?  

Yes, she has! It will be featured in a Mini Monday post very soon! We’re very excited about this one.

3QT 1.12.17 - Tina B's World

3. Have you finished putting your 2017 Planner together yet??

No. I’m still working on it. I need to find my 3-hole punch. I have a heavy-duty one that is driving me nuts! It just never seems to line up right anymore :(

Here is my cover though.. It is from Scattered Squirrel, who has a TON of amazing FREE printables so definitely check that site out.

I added the 2017 and my name.


Sometimes, my questions have short answers :)

Have you been asked any good questions recently?

Mini Monday – Post 14 – My New Glasses

I had to get glasses.

I did NOT want them.

I got a paper from the nurse saying I needed them.

I was so upset during my eye exam.

When I sat in the chair and I couldn’t see the letters on the screen, I was upset.

My Mom got her glasses in 4th grade and I am in 4th grade now. My Dad got his glasses in 2nd grade. Mom thought I was going to get glasses last year in 3rd grade, but the eye doctor said no.

I shrugged and was still not happy about getting glasses, but I liked all the pretty frames I was allowed to try on.

I tried on all sorts of colors like green, red, purple, black and even gray. I chose the blue ones.

I think I made the right choice.

Mini Monday - 14 - New Glasses: Tina B's World

 Mini Monday - 14 - New Glasses: Tina B's World

Mom knew how much I was concerned about what the kids at school would think. She very rarely gets on camera, but she took a selfie with me to show me how proud she was of me.

Mini Monday - 14 - New Glasses: Tina B's World

See you next time!

~Mini