Author: Reba

  • Things I’m Digging – April 2022

    It’s hard to believe that it is May as I’m typing this. The year is flying by. April was a great month for music. Here are a few things I was into in April

    Crooked Tree – Molly Tuttle

    mollytuttle

    This album was on heavy repeat all month. It’s all the things I love – good lyrics, folk/Americana music style. This is a great album to check out!

    People say I'm different and my way of life seems strange
    I took the road less traveled, twists and turns along the way
    But like the crooked tree, 
    I'm growing stronger day by day as the clouds roll by
    A river never wonders why it flows around the bend
    A mountain doesn't question how it rose up from the land
    So who am I to wish I wasn't just the way I am? Who am I?

    JOHNNYSWIM – JOHNNYSWIM

    johnnyswim

    An album that was too long in the waiting but well worth the wait. JOHNNYSWIM is one of those bands that I can listen to over and over. I had this album on repeat for the first week and in heavy rotation since then. All the songs are just perfect. One of my favorite songs is “Desmond’s Song” – yes, it is named after Lost’s tv character Desmond and even has elements from the TV show throughout the whole song. The first time I heard it I got goosebumps.

    Beautiful dream, lost in a moment
    Woke up too soon to find you're gone
    I would've stayed right there forever
    Had I known
    Tell me you're here, not just in moments
    Tell me you'll find me in the light
    I'll give you my hand, my always
    Find your way back to my life
    

    Fringe –

    This was a show I watched from episode one. It’s the perfect sci-fi show with parallel universes, time travel, strange creatures, and more. A lot of people thought it was a modern-day X-file and while there are elements of the strange and bizarre Fringe took all that a step further and created multiple universes, alien invasions, and has a mad (but lovable) scientist behind the F.B.I special division. Fringe ended in 2013 and I had been wanting to do a rewatch. This winter I decided was a perfect time! I loved this show, even more, the second time around – no waiting week to week or several months between episodes. I caught a lot more themes through the show and nods to other sci-fi shows. If you are looking for a great watch check this show out. Warning it can be a little gross at times.

    I watched it on HBO Max. 

    DegThai –

    Thai street food is right up the road from me. I’ve had the Pad Thai with chicken several times this month. If you are in the Nashville area this place it amazing. I also have a little love affair with their Thai Green Tea. 

    https://degthai.com/

  • Books I’ve read in 2022 (so far)

    It’s already April. Spring is here, and as we get ready for longer days of spending time outside, I wanted to update my reading list for 2022 so far. This winter was full of a few really good reads.

    This winter, I read more novels than I’ve read in a while. It’s been a good break for my brain and a trend that I want to continue. I’ve never been a big novel reader. I’ve read the Harry Potter Series and many young adult popular series. I grew up reading Stephen King, but my jam has always been books that pushed me to change my thinking, productivity, Christian living, etc. But, I’ve learned that giving my brain a break helps me soak up what I’ve been reading and gives me room to allow the ideas to form in my brain.

    Currently Reading

    This is a book that I’ve been reading for awhile now. It’s an amazing book but I find myself only reading small sections at a time so I can soak it in. It has already helped me reshape the way I approach some daily habits and tasks. I’m about 1/2 way through this and would highly recommend it.

    Ripple Effect

    2022 Books I’ve Read So Far

    Shadow & Light – Tsh Oxenreider

    This was my advent book, so it’s technically a 2021 & 2022 book, but I finished it at the end of the Advent season in 2022. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent guide for the advent season and one I would recommend for your next advent season.

    Shadow & Light

    On Beauty and Faith – Alabaster Co

    Alabaster creates beautiful Bibles, but I am drawn to their articles and books on faith, art, and spirituality. They have a great small collection going, and this one was a great addition. Each chapter covers an aspect of beauty like art, mystery, justice, etc. They offer a refreshing perspective on beauty and faith.

    beautyandfaith

    East (book 1) and West (book 2)- Edith Pattou

    This two-book series follows Rose, a wander in a family of homebodies. A daring adventure with a bear, a magical castle, dwarfs, all while figuring out who you really are. Yes, it’s a young adult book, but I found it a magical escape.

    East and West

    The Midnight Library – Matt Haig

    I was unsure about this, but I kept seeing it everywhere, and I’m glad I read it. As I read this book, I felt like I was watching a movie. The imagery is spectacular. I found Nora to be a very relatable character. The situation she finds herself in is one that many can relate to. This book does deal with suicide and depression but is a strong read.

    Midnight Library

    The Last Thing He Told Me – Laura Dave

    Mystery, intrigue, multiple lives, and more. This book has it all. This book reads more like a movie script. I found the story compelling, and it makes me want not to put it down. I would have liked to see a few plot lines developed more, but this is a read I would recommend.

    the last thing he told me

    Peace Is a Practice – Morgan Harper Nichols

    Nichols is great. I get her daily emails and follow her on Instagram. I’ve read her poetry books and loved them, and while I did like this book – I did not love it. It seemed a bit long. I found myself skimming over large sections of this book. I’m guessing this was just the case of it was not the right time for me to read this book.

    Peace is a Practice

    The Genius of Jesus – Erwin Raphael McManus

    McManus is one of those authors that I read everything he puts out. Some of my favorite books have come from him, but to be honest, this was not my favorite. There were some good nuggets in this book, but I struggled to get through it. The reviews are stellar, so I’m guessing this was just the case that it was not the right time for me to read this book.

    The Genius of Jesus
    books-pinterest
  • Six Creative Apps for your iPhone

    Everyone has their phone with them all the time. Got five minutes; let’s scroll Instagram or break the latest jewel game, but what if we used it as a tool rather than a time killer?

    Recently, I removed all games from my phone, so I’m not tempted to spend my time making three jewels match. I also deleted Facebook and messenger. I still have Instagram, but it’s not on my main iPhone screen. I tailored my iPhone screen to help me stay on task and want to create.


    The creative apps I keep on my home screen:

    Camera app

    The native camera app is excellent, and for quick photos, it’s the primary go-to.

    Moment Camera App

    This is the only other app I have for taking photos or videos. I sometimes use the Moment lenses. This app lets me control those settings, but even if you don’t have the lenses, I find this the best all-around photo/video app other than the stock app. Lots of handy controls to give you complete control over how your images will look. Unlock pro features for a low one-time cost.

    Check out the Moment app

    VSCO

    I’ve used VSCO since back in the old days when they were Lightroom desktop plugins only. This is a great app to stylize photos and even create some basic collages, animated gif-type graphics, and some double exposures. It’s a fun tool to work on those creative muscles. Pay monthly or yearly to save a few bucks.

    Check out the VSCO App

    UNFOLD

    This is the primary app I use to create Instagram stories. I use Final Cut Pro on my Mac for more advanced stories, but this is my go-to app on my iPhone. The selection of ready-made templates is fantastic, and they have video and photo versions. It’s easy enough to customize what you want. You can also edit your Instagram feed, schedule posts, and more. If you want a basic Instagram bio link, you can also do this in Unfold. You can also create brand standards to use for your posts. This app is owned by Squarespace is a great app to add to your social media arsenal. Pay monthly or yearly to save a few bucks.

    Check out Unfold App

    Adobe Capture

    Ever see a color you love or a font you want to remember on the go? This is your app. Adobe capture is a powerful addition to your design flow. You can capture vector shapes and color schemes; you can even capture audio in Adobe Rush or Premiere projects. It’s like a creative locker for your on-the-go ideas and things you see. Included in your creative suite subscription.

    Check out Adobe Capture App

    Adobe Lightroom

    I use Lightroom more on my iPad, but this is a must-have app for editing photos on the go. It’s the best mobile editor on the market, and they keep improving it. It’s easier than ever to create masks to selectively edit your images. The iPhone takes excellent photos, but with a few adjustments in Lightroom, they can really stand out from the crowd. Monthly or yearly subscription.

    Check out Adobe Lightroom App

    Be Creative

    It’s easy to break jewels on our iPhones or get caught up in the social media doom scroll. Still, iPhones are a creative powerhouse just waiting to be used to their full potential. So don’t let inspiration escape you. Take that pictures, capture that audio, and grab those color samples. Edit photos, create online stories, share a video, and let the world see your unique creativity.

  • Brevitē- My new Everyday Carry Bag

    brevitebag

    First of all, let me say that I’m a camera bag addict. I have tried almost all the major camera bags on the market. I have purchased a lot of them. I currently have five bags sitting in my office closet (I’m selling a lot of them). I have tried messenger bags, slings, backpacks, and fashion bags – all of them. I have had bags from ONA, Peak Design, Lowepro, ThinkTank, Tenba, etc. I have tried hundreds of bags over the years.

    For the last several years, I’ve been using the Peak Design slings, and they are great bags, but I started finding them lacking for my everyday carry (EDC). I had to carry my bigger headphones, water bottle, lunch bag, and phone in my hands, and then I started dropping stuff. So I went on a search for a better bag. I had the Peak Design 20L backpack, which is excellent for trips, but I did not want to carry it all day – every day. So I took to Google and Youtube. I ordered a few backpacks and returned them because they were not quite right. Then I came across Brevitē on Instagram. The bag looks like a backpack I would have carried in junior high—nothing fancy but stylish in a minimal way. I started watching videos on the bag and decided to order one. These bags sell out often, so if I wanted the black version, I would have to wait four weeks, and I wanted one sooner than that. So I went with the Royal Blue version. The moment I opened the package, I could tell this was my bag. It’s just the right size and weight. It’s not awkward or too heavy, even loaded with my camera, laptop, earphones, water bottle, and other various things.


    Below is a list of what I like and don’t like about it. This bag is an excellent purchase for someone looking for an EDC to carry gear or who heads out on weekend adventures.

    Dislikes:

    • I wish the straps were a bit more padded. They are not uncomfortable, but I’ve gotten used to the cushy Peak Design straps.
    • Colors – they have loads of colors to choose from, but I’m not crazy about a lot of them. I like the blue I got but wish they had a dark purple or more stock of the black. I wanted the yellow but was afraid it would get dirty quickly.
    • Smaller pockets – it has big front organizational pockets, but I wish it had a few smaller compartments for things like SD cards, batteries, and AirTag.
    • It would be nice if the laptop compartment had a small sleeve for an iPad.
    cameragear

    Likes

    • Plenty of room for camera gear. I don’t carry a ton of camera gear every day. So this bag has ample space for adding a lot more equipment than I even own.
    • Has ample storage for things like earphones, notebooks, pens, masks, and personal items.
    • Four compartments in the front storage and big open pockets means you can keep your stuff organized in your bag.
    • Easy camera access – this is a big one. There is a side pocket, so you can quickly grab your camera out of your bag without taking it off. Easy Camera access is a must-have for me.
    • Passport/wallet area – a small pocket is tucked into your back so you can keep your passport or wallet extra safe.
    • Grab Handle – having a top grab handle is a must for a quick grab and go.
    • Luggage strap is excellent for when I start traveling again.
    • Stands up – It’s funny that I did not think much about something until I started setting my bag down, and it stayed up. I’m not ever fumbling to pick this thing up since it’s always upright.
    • Water bottle holder – I have a water bottle with me every day, so having a dedicated spot is fantastic. I loved the Peak Design sling, but there was no place to stick a water bottle.
    • Minimal – this bag does not scream camera bag. It looks like a regular everyday bag, so it does not scream I’m loaded with expensive gear.