Learning Photography: My Camera Starter Kit

Learning Photography: My Camera Starter Kit

This semester, I challenged myself to learn something new. I enrolled in my first college art class to learn photography. It’s a skill that I admire and have wanted to learn for some time. But, the process of figuring out what I needed to do photography was a bit overwhelming. I didn’t know what camera would be best for me.

Through class lectures and some personal research, I was able to figure out exactly what I wanted and needed to get started. If you want to get into photography too, I hope that this blog helps!

Here’s my camera starter kit:

Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR: I ended up getting this camera for a few reasons. First, the reviews gave me confidence in it. Many said good things about this camera and said it was great for beginners. The price also wasn’t too bad since it included the camera body, the lens, and a few other accessories. Also, I noticed that there were a ton of free resources online for this camera. So many people have created YouTube video tutorials on how to use the Rebel. I have found this extremely helpful in learning.

32GB Memory Card: Honestly, this was the memory card that was suggested to buy with the camera online. In short, it works! Do I necessarily need 32GB’s worth of space right now? Nope. But, could it come in handy? Yes.

Camera Cleaning Kit: My professor recommended not to spend a lot on a camera cleaning kit. They all contain about the same things that do the same jobs. In this kit specifically, I have used the blower brush the most. I’ve found YouTube helpful in learning how to properly clean my camera.

Pink Cross-Body Camera Bag: It’s very cute, functional, and protective. It has been convenient to take on the go when shooting.

Lens Filters: The first lens filter I got was a polarizer. This type of filter comes in handy in some lighting scenarios. Now, I want to get a UV lens filter. This type of filter is good for general lens protection. Looking back, I would’ve bought the UV lens filter first.

What camera do you currently use? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

February Highlights ’21

February Highlights ’21

Let’s catch up and recap February!

Early in the month, I had the opportunity to attend a yoga event led by Janice Liou. If you don’t already keep up with her on Instagram, you should! Her feed is very creative and inspiring.

The event was so relaxing and made me realize that I should make more time for movement in my days. Even doing a quick cardio routine in the morning can make all the difference with my mood and productivity.

Right in the middle of February, I had a great time celebrating Valentine’s Day with my significant other. We ordered some delicious takeout and watched our favorite show, Doctor Who. I even made some chocolate covered-strawberries sprinkled with cacao. Yes, there were as yummy as they look.

Later in the month, I attended another event, but this time it was a podcasting webinar. Scott Seidenberg hosted and shared his story along with podcasting tips and tricks. It was cool to gain some more insight into podcasting. Also, I was able to learn some ways to further develop my podcast, Megan Till Midnight.

And speaking of podcasting, my episode with Lexy Panterra came out in February! I thought this was very fitting since one of her albums is named “Gemini Valentine.” You can listen to the show here.

Before closing out the month, I want to say thank you and welcome to anyone new! In February, viewer records were broken. It makes me happy to see this space grow, and I am excited to share more with you all in March.

What were your highlights? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

Reviewing the Bando Goody Bag: Is It Worth It?

Reviewing the Bando Goody Bag: Is It Worth It?

Cue Britney Spears, “Opps!…I Did It Again.”

I just can’t resist Bando‘s annual warehouse sale. This is when Bando releases their mystery Goody Bags for purchase. During the last sale, I bought one and reviewed it on this blog. I figured it would be fun for all of us to unbox another one together.

The first thing that I reached out of the mystery bag were these carryall bags. They make a really cute pair, and I know that they will come in handy. My desk needs a bit of organizational help at the moment, so these bags will be great to hold cords, pens, pencils, and other supplies.

Second, I got this disposable camera bag tag. It’s super cute and has a little message on it that reads, “look forward, not back.” I think this will go perfectly on my new camera bag!

Next, I discovered this little wallet. It was originally from the Benefit and Bando collaboration. I love the colors, and I am excited to organize my wristlet with it.

The fourth thing that I discovered was this adorable travel mug. It reads “forever busy” in bold lettering. I believe you can never have enough coffee mugs or travel mugs.

Next, I pulled out this 17-month planner. While I already have my personal planner for the year, I have debated getting another one specifically for content planning. It’s like Bando knew just what I needed.

Lastly, I received this smiley wine stopper. This may motivate me to buy wines that are not just screw tops…

Overall, I am happy with everything that I received! Also, I can confirm that I got my money’s worth.

I paid about $30 in total for my Goody Bag with tax and shipping. The value of what I received was over $65. There were a couple of items that didn’t have price tags, so I didn’t account for them in my total.

I would recommend taking advantage of this deal if you are a fan of Bando like me or just want some cute and usable items. I will most likely be purchasing the Goody Bag again!

Have you ever bought a mystery bag? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

3 Ways to Style Your Hair with Claw Clips

3 Ways to Style Your Hair with Claw Clips

Claw clips have been making a major comeback. Lately, I can’t miss them while scrolling through Instagram. I decided to try the trend myself and come up with some cute and easy looks to show off during Zoom calls.

I picked up a large claw clip from my local corner store. I’ve seen a ton of cute options on Etsy as well. If you have long hair like me, the large claw will be best. If your hair is short, you may find that these styles work best with a small or medium claw clip.

French Twist Pony. I love this first look as an alternative to putting a hair tie or scrunchie in my hair to switch things up. All you have to do is gather your hair into a low pony, twist up, and secure your twist with the claw clip. If you want to see how I did this, you can watch here.

French Twist Tuck. For this look, you follow just about the same process as the first. You gather your hair in a low pony, twist up, and get your claw ready. The only difference is you want to clamp more of your hair in. Since I have long hair, I had to twist my hair up a bit more and then fold it down to be clamped.

Low Bun Claw. For this final style, you will gather your hair in a low pony. Then you can twist your hair while wrapping it into a low bun. But don’t wrap all of your hair into the bun! Leave a fair chunk of it out to clamp above the bun with your claw clip. Easy and cute!

What’s your favorite hair accessory? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

How-To Create a Mini Charcuterie Board

How-To Create a Mini Charcuterie Board

This is definitely one of those “Pinterest made me do it” moments. For a while now, I’ve wanted an excuse to create a charcuterie board; as it turns out, Valentine’s Day is the perfect reason!

My goal was to create something cute, festive, sweet, salty, and easy to replicate. This board will not cost you a ton of money to create, and it’s the perfect appetizer for one or two!

What you need: Mini Tray, Parchment Paper (optional), Baking Cups, Hershey’s Kisses, Bagel Chips, Port Wine Cheese Spread, Brownie Crisps, Chocolate Hearts, Mixed Nuts, Sahale Pomegranate and Vanilla Cashews, and Skinny Dipped Cacao Almonds.

Tip: When shopping for ingredients, get single-serving packs of chocolates and nuts! It reduces cost, and then you get just the amount you need.

Steps 1-3. In these steps, you are creating a “chocolate rose.” This will act as the centerpiece of the board. All you have to do is place one baking cup inside another and pinch its sides. Then, you can add the kisses!

Step 4. You can spread the port wine cheese spread as thick as you like onto the bagel chips. Then, you can place them in a curved pattern that “hugs” the rose. You will want to place these closest to the left side of the board.

Step 5. On the opposite side of the board, place a row of brownie crisps. You can add a heart-shaped chocolate to act as a bookend of sorts.

Step 6. Add some mixed nuts in-between the bagel chips and brownie crisps.

Step 7. Sprinkle some of the cacao almonds and pomegranate cashews on top of the nuts.

Steps 8-9. Dress up the board a little more by folding the baking cups and placing them at the back of the board.

And, ta-da, your mini charcuterie board is complete! All that’s left to do is enjoy the sweet and salty goodness. If you’re 21 and above, I believe the flavor profile pairs nicely with rosé.

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day treat? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

A Few Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

A Few Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about candy or flowers. Even though, I do appreciate both of those things. It’s about showing love to others and yourself.

I came up with a few ways to enjoy the day that don’t require a rom-com storyline. All you need is yourself and maybe some loved ones to participate in these events and activities:

Attend a fun online event. Eventbrite has a ton of options! You can virtually attend a Valentine’s Day Happy Hour with all the DIY supplies you need to make chocolate truffles and hibiscus-rose margaritas sent to your door. Or, for just a few bucks, you can see a pop version of Romeo and Juliet performed.

Support your local greenhouse. Pick up a bouquet for your significant other, friends, family, or even yourself. It’s a great way to spark joy and show love to a local business.

Cook a special meal at home. My significant other and I are planning to stay in and cook. A few recipes I am considering include vodka pasta and veggie flatbread pizza. I also want to try and make us a charcuterie board with a Valentine’s Day theme!

DIY a box of chocolates. Most likely, plastic or cardboard heart chocolate boxes do not contain your loved one’s favorite treats. To personalize the typical gift, pick up a heart-shaped tin and fill it with something special. You could even bake treats to put inside.

Dress for the day. Utilize red or pink in your February 14th outfit. Yes, you can use this idea as an excuse to go shopping. I recently went to my local Goodwill to pick up something cute for V-Day. They had a ton of different options, which were all nicely color-coordinated. I ended up with a cozy pink sweater that will pair nicely with a skirt or denim depending on the weather.

What are your Valentine’s Day plans? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

Love at First Sip: Valentine’s Day at Dunkin’

Love at First Sip: Valentine’s Day at Dunkin’

Cupid’s back in town! This means Dunkin’ has some delicious holiday treats for us to enjoy in February!

As you may already know, I love conducting coffee reviews here and there. I can never seem to resist Dunkin’s seasonal offerings. With it being the month of love, I figured it would be appropriate to enlist the help of my significant other, Max, to test Dunkin’s Valentine’s Day menu.

First up, we had to try the Pink Velvet Macchiato. This drink is so eye-catching and cute! Last year, I taste-tested the Pink Velvet Latte off of Dunkin’s seasonal menu. I thought it was really fun and sweet. I’d say my thoughts are pretty similar on this year’s Pink Velvet drink. I think it tastes like you are taking a bite out of a cake. Max said it was literally like a “liquid birthday cake.”

Next, we sipped on the Mocha Macchiato. This drink isn’t exclusive to just Valentine’s Day, but it is featured as part of Dunkin’s V-Day lineup. I’d suggest this drink for any chocolate lover. It is extremely rich in flavor and, well, chocolate. If you want more of the espresso taste to come through, I’d suggest adding an extra shot. Max noticed a “minty” taste in the drink’s profile.

Lastly, we shared an adorable heart-shaped donut. I went on my Dunkin’ trip later in the day, so they had run out of the headlining Brownie Batter and Cupid Choice Donuts. But, they still had some other heart-shaped options. I opted for the powdered heart with chocolate filling. Max and I really enjoyed it. We both thought the inside was the best part. It tasted just like pre-made frosting (which I have eaten right out of the jar before).

If you are looking to get the frosted V-Day donuts with sprinkles, I’d recommend going early in the day. I’d even recommend asking your Valentine out for a morning coffee date to enjoy all the sweets Max and I did.

Have you tried Dunkin’s Valentine’s Day Menu yet? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

January Highlights ’21

January Highlights ’21

We are already one month into 2021! Let’s catch up and chat about January.

Early in the month, I officially joined Beachwaver as a campus ambassador! I am very excited about the opportunity and can’t wait to share more tutorials with you.

In case you missed it, I recently posted a video on my YT channel unboxing my first package from them and doing my hair with the 3B Waver (you can check it out here). If you want any Beachwaver goodies for yourself, use my code MEGANGREENBAY and this link for 20% off!

Mid-January, I had another project with Goodwill come out! I was able to join them for their Winter Style Challenge series (as you may remember, I was also part of their Fall Style Challenge). It was so fun to shop around and put together a stylish winter look.

The month was definitely a busy one between projects, classes starting, and work… but, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you for following along! I’m excited to share February with you.

What were your highlights? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

My Go-To Iced Coffee Recipe

My Go-To Iced Coffee Recipe

I don’t know about you, but I love to enjoy iced coffee year-round. I start most of my days with a cup and occasionally have another in the afternoon. Of course, I drink it to help with alertness, but I also view it as a daily treat to enjoy.

To make it at home, I use Bizzy Cold Brew Concentrate, Torani Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup, Oat Milk, and Ice. Here’s how I put it all together:

How do you like your coffee? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

4 Habits I’m Creating In 2021

4 Habits I’m Creating In 2021

In the past couple of weeks, I have been creating some new routines and habits for myself. Some of these are motivated by New Year’s resolutions, and others happened more organically. They have all helped me to reset and get motivated.

When creating habits, I think it is important to reflect on goals and what you want. Habits are much easier to maintain when you realize the why behind them. Here are the top four habits I’m working on and how they are working for me:

Habit 1: Creating manageable to-do lists. Before this habit, I would write to-do lists longer than hours in the day. It was overwhelming and impossible. I realized that if I gave myself more manageable task lists, then I could leave each day satisfied with everything checked off. Planning my weeks out ahead of time has helped me to do this.

Habit 2: Reading to relax. Reading for enjoyment is something that sometimes gets lost during the busyness of academic semesters. I just began reading The Book of Moods in downtime. It feels good to read because I want to rather than because I have to for an assignment.

Habit 3: Drinking coffee at home. I created this habit when I realized how many coffee-runs I was going on. I’d much rather save some money and practice my barista skills at home. This isn’t to say that I never visit my local coffee shops; I’m just more mindful of the frequency.

Habit 4: Getting active each day. Since I work from home and attend classes online, it has been hard to get much movement in my days. I notice I feel a lot better and a lot more energized when I do some cardio or yoga in the morning. I really enjoy and would recommend Blogilates workout videos.

What habits will you create? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!