Top 5 Tuesday – Our Top 5 Favorite Photo Apps

One of our favorite things is to take beautiful pictures that captures our favorite moments. Luckily, Misti Blu is an accomplished photographer but let’s face it, having the equipment to take all these pictures on the fly is just not an option. That’s where our handy dandy phones come to the rescue, but what do you do when you’ve captured a beautiful shot but it looks flat and uninspired?

Photo Apps to the rescue!

Many of the best photo Apps have a wide variety of options from preset adjustments to full autonomy where you can choose what the picture needs to adjust. I’ve also been known to use multiple apps on the same picture if I’m looking for a certain effect. Here are the ones we are playing with now but tell us your favorites!

1) Autodesk Pixlr 

This is a free app that gives tons of options for presets and is one of my favorites for selfies. Why? Because it has a lovely button to create a smooth glow to the picture. I also love their text options, borders and overlays that can add anything from laser beams to pretty morning light flecks that add a touch of magic.

imageimage

What I don’t like is their stickers. Though I’m not one to use them on the regular to begin with, I personally find their options cheesy.

*Bonus Feature: If you have a blemish there’s a “heal” button that will eliminate it. Sigh…if only there was one in real life.

2) VSCO

My son turned me on to this free app about a month ago. Though their options for presets are limited in the free version, I do love the many easy to use options to adjust the picture by hand. I find this app particularly helpful when I take a picture that is too dark. Sometimes just changing the lighting and contrast won’t cut it. The color and sharpness may get lost in the process which is where this app really shines. From tint colors, saturation, sharpness….I’ve taken pictures that were unrecognizable to wow in moments.

image

*What I don’t like? There’s no add ons, like writing text or overlays but as a straight up photo editor, it kicks ass.

3) TextsPhoto

image

Admittedly I’m just starting to play around with this one. I’ve tried several apps that add texts along with the option of banners and stickers for my advertising. Though you have to pay .99 cents to get all the font options, they still give you enough for free to feel like you can mix it up a bit. I love their banners, seals and scrolling that you can add to the picture however I’m still figuring out how to adequately shrink the text with out tilting it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so to see a line of text ever so slightly askew and I keep overshooting to make it straight again, I get frustrated and trash the whole project.

Again, this one has been superior than some of the other “just add text” apps but still has its quirks. I still use Pixlr Express because its a little more user friendly but it definitely does not have all the options that this app has.

4) Afterglow


  
Afterglow is Misti’s go to app. You can resize images into squares for Instagram, play with filters, add light leaks or film scratches, record actions and save them for easier and faster use. I love how artsy you can make an image. If I could change one thing about it, it would be that there was a text option.




5) Diptic



Diptic is a collage app that also lets you adjust filters, borders, color, text, etc. I especially love that it does not add it’s logo to your collage when done, like the other collage apps I have tried. It is great for personal as well as professional. I use it a lot for before and after shots and for marketing. Super simple and saves your favorite templates.

Shoutouts:
ABM: Cute and quirky fun photo app with filters and stickers and texts to dress up and photo on the fly.
 

Hipstamatic: Artsy film style camera that let’s you collect and use different lenses, film, flashes, etc. Great for the film nerd who misses their old camera.

 

Advertisements

Music Monday – The Village Idiot – IdiOlympics!

We have some exciting news! For the past month we’ve been working with the awesome people at The Village Idiot Pub in Cocoa Village, on a little side project.

On Monday, September 7th, the Village Idiot will be throwing the first ever IdiOlympics! A day of fun events, team competitions, and lots and lots of beer over at the River Front Park in Cocoa Village. If you haven’t signed up yet, get over to the Pub and sign up your team by no later than the 6th then sleep well my friends. It starts at the crack of noon!

Where do we come in?

As we all know, Misti has her fingers on the pulse of the local music scene so with a wave of her magical conductor baton, she has arrange an day of some kickass music. Here is the lineup:

image 

The Mondo Tikis are a three piece from Cocoa Beach that are fun and flavorful and put on a good time. Jim Pacelt is also part of The Seagullmen and Jon Woodward is in The Wilderness. These guys breathe music so you know the passion is there for the taking. 

image 

Jacie is just so stinking adorable! She has a great voice and can jam on the guitar in a cute dress. You can buy her music on iTunes! I see this girl going places one day so see her here while you can! 

image 

The Dull Blades are a duo that have been around for a few years now and just get better and better every time I see them. They sound like a breed of The Strokes and The White Stripes. Raw talent here. Anthony on the drums has always been in the music industry and it is pretty rad seeing him on the other side of the recording booth. 

image

Andy Harrington (Heliophonic) is just ridiculously talented. He has played in many bands but lately he has had his solo project, which is mind blowing. I know he is also working on a visual aspect to his man made solo album that I am dying to see. His music is deep and soul whispering. I can’t think how else to describe it. It is a breed of Radiohead and The Pixies if I had to pick. He oozes talent. 

  
Tone Egan is super fun. He is the type of musician you want to just keep in your pocket and hear him sing and play like all the damn time. You will never get sick of it. His voice always reminds me of Cake but he has such versatility and a range of dynamics. I love his shows. They are always coupled with an interesting event which is refreshing here when everything seems to be the same old, same old night life. He tends to shake things up with a crew, such as spinning a wheel or rolling a dice for which musician plays next. Very fun! 

Tone Egan

Jacie Madison

Dull Blades

The Mondo Tikis

Andy Harrington

 
Here are the FAQs of the event:

  
 
Facebook Event Page

Street Style Saturday – Biker Babes with Electric Oranges

Electric Oranges is Carly Sinigoi and Sarah Starling from Brevard County in Florida. It is a pop up style shop filled with vintage, up cycles and couture clothing straight from the Sunshine State. Their collection features items that span several decades and their tastes are impeccable and fun.

Danielle Gess, Theresa Lanno and Misti Blu Day where the hair and makeup team for this shoot. We got ready at The Big Bang Studio and took this set outside of the studio. Photos are by Misti Blu Photography and of course wardrobe and styling by Electric Oranges. We came together to collaborate on a few ideas. Stay tuned for our Street Style Saturday, which will be dedicated to sharing these delicious shoots as well as including information on how to track down Electric Oranges.
1DSC_18431DSC_18591DSC_18221DSC_1830DSC_1849


Upcoming Electric Orange trunk shows:

 

September  5th 10am – 5pm

Electric Fall Events

Rehab Vintage Market Melbourne, FL
(Parking lot)

Pop up $5 Holler Sale

(EVERYTHING is $5)


October 10th 9am-5pm

Rehab Vintage Revival

Highland Ave, Downtown Eau Gallie

Large variety of vendors


 

October 17th

Salty Sweet Women’s ProAM Surf Contest at the Cocoa Beach Pier

Over 100 Women Surfers

Including Electric Oranges’ Shay Mahoney

Foodie Friday – Hawkers Asian Street Fair in Orlando, FL

Eathawkers.com

1103 North Mills Avenue

Orlando, FL 32803

Hawker’s chefs select the best authentic street food recipes fro macross Asia to the table for you to experience.

Two Chrysanthemum Tea is great for the immune system.

Crispy Roast Pork “Siu Yoke” Seasoned tender pork belly, roasted to a crisp and served with a hoisin dipping sauce. This is like bacon on crack. It was hot and juicy and sinful. Total food porn moment. I will do 20 crunches when I get home as punishment.
 

Curry Duck Noodles A Southeast Asian favorite. Egg noodles, vegetables and roadt duck stir-fried in Hawker’s own curry recipe. The curry sauce is perfect. So perfect. I don’t know what else to say.

Beautiful Thursday: Are You Getting A Proper Blow Out?

“It doesn’t matter if I do the best haircuts in the industry if I can’t showcase it with a beautiful blowout.”

image

A few years ago, the world was introduced to blow out bars. Popping up in metropolitan areas like Manhattan, Los Angeles and D.C., it was a marketed as the “it” experience for professional women to get their hair coiffed in a long lasting hairstyle in a luxury setting. Oftentimes, cocktails would be served while pursuing through a glossy menu of style choices, giving the client the feeling of being in an episode of Gossip Girls where Blair Waldorf could breeze in at any given time.

imageimage

It’s a business model that reminds me a little of the nail salon industry. Very specifically catered to a woman who will slap down $35 to $50 a week for a polished and finished look. The funny thing is, salons have been offering this service for generations and the introduction of blow out bars had only created a rise in requests.

If you have crazy thick curly hair that you only wash a couple times a week (because who wants to blow all that out everyday?) the investment of having someone do it for you and it lasts for a few days? Hellyeah!

Or if you have an event like a wedding, a reunion or a night on the town, and you want to look gorgeous but not like you tried too hard?  Yup. A banging blow out.

But are all blow outs the same?

image

First off, and many of my colleagues may get mad at me for saying this, not all stylist are trained to give a quality blowout. It seems like the simplest of hair services and is often approached that way by many salons but in truth, it’s far more complicated than one would think. Aside from having an understanding of what the client desires; the cut, texture, density, length, and quality of the hair all influence how the stylist approaches the blowout. Each factor will determine what product to use, what brush, the direction in which they hold the hair, how much hair they take in each subsection, what heat to use. Every head of hair mapped out so that each strand falls to its desired location.

This takes training from a knowledgeable educator, patience and a lot of practice. Sadly, not something all professionals want to commit the time to. Why? Time and money. Blowouts are often included in haircuts or color services which adds 20 to 30 minutes to the hair service so many people devalue its importance.

Time is money…..but quality is King.

So how do you know you got a value out of your investment?

First, you should be able to get your fingers through your hair. If the stylist is putting heavy sticky hairspray in your hair (or layers upon layers of product after you are dry), the chances are, they did not properly seal the cuticle or work the hair enough. A  little serum and a light working hairspray that still leaves your hair with movement and bounce should be adequate.

image

Second, your ends should be smooth. Many stylists work on smoothing out the hair (creating that beautiful shine) but give up by the time they get to the ends of your hair which typically needs the most help. The ends of your hair is the oldest part of your hair and is subjected to the most damage. The point of a good blow out is to smooth the hair thus giving it the appearance of healthy hair.

Third, your blow out should last 2 to 3 days. What does that mean? Your hair should maintain it’s smooth texture and with just some light brushing, it should get somewhat back to it’s original style. Granted, there are exceptions to every rule. Some people have over active sebaceous glands but a little bit of dry shampoo at the scalp should put things back in order.

When I worked in New York, the demand for a perfect blowout was so high that it often monopolized my book. Once my clients came in for a cut and had a proper blow out they became excited about their hair’s potential. They were accustomed to that rough dry  followed by a flat iron which left no body. It’s an experience they never had with their hair before and It’s a little addicting.

So, now that you are armed with all this information, the question you should be asking yourself is….

Are you getting a proper blow out?

Wanderlust Wednesday: Brooklyn Love

I have to admit, Brooklyn was not an area I visited often when I lived in NY. Though, in theory, it was a short trip from where I lived, the truth is the traffic was normally a nightmare, and mass transit wasn’t appealing to a person who likes to get in the car and go. So when my sister announced she was getting married in her neighborhood in Brooklyn I decided to take my vacation time to be with family and we booked a night at the Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge the night before the wedding.

Marriot at the Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn, much like NYC,  is an area in that is growing and evolving. Truth is, when we drove in, I was stunned by the amount of development that had happened since I was last there.  The Barclay Center, which debut was in 2012 , has created an epicenter for new construction, businesses and entertainment. Built where Fort Greene, Prospect Park and park Slope neighborhoods join, I heard many locals grumble that as the neighborhood has expanded, so has the cost of living, pushing out many of the same people that has made Brooklyn the eclectic and artisan haven so many flock to.image

Though I was intrigued by a lot of the great restaurants, it was Friday night. People just getting out of work or coming to the area to start their weekend flocked to the area so we settled on roaming into a Shake Shack that was, by far, the best burgers and fries I’ve had in a while (not to mention the shakes) Even though it was a fast food joint, the urban decor with its reclaimed wood accents and huge windows opening up to the busy streets, added to the “hey, I’m in Brooklyn” experience.

Shake Shack

image

image

image

After finishing the night drinking a couple of Berry Mojitos at the hotel bar we called it a night. The wedding was taking place at 9am at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and a trolley would be picking us up at 8:15am (have mercy!)

Being a hairstylist, there was no way I wasn’t going to do the bridal party’s hair so I recruited my dearest friend and partner-in-crime, Ramon Montalvo.

image

Thank God he made himself available (and was my date for the affair) because not only is he a brilliant hairstylist but a perfectionist that was quick to dive in and adjust my sister’s hair throughout the event, leaving me to marinate in the joy of the event.

image

With the temperature a cool 75 degrees, the guests walked through the beautiful gardens and marveled at the  breath-taking venue. There was a feeling that we were the only ones roaming about even though it’s in the heart of Brooklyn.

imageTheir ceremony and vows perfectly reflected their union.  Heartfelt, refreshingly unique and enough quirky elements that made you feel like you were on an adventure. How many weddings have all that?

image

After the ceremony we all boarded a trolley, passing local landmarks like the Brooklyn Flea (oh, if I only had more time!) and arrived at a lovely French cafe, Chez Oskar.

As we entered, the string quartet played Bittersweet Symphony by Verve, my ALL TIME favorite song.
image

The food, the music, the great conversation and the bustling neighborhood made for a brilliant morning.

image

Though we had to quickly depart after the reception was over (had to pick up my son), rumor has it the bride and groom walked home in their bridal attire to change for their honeymoon. As they walked through the streets, locals clapped and cheered the newly weds and the bride, realizing she never threw her bouquet, threw it into a crowded sidewalk cafe as onlookers cheered on.

….and they lived happily ever after.

image

 

 

Music Monday – Long Distance Love 

  
1) Otis Redding – Thousand Miles Away Listen

“I want my share, baby give it to me. Ooh, but you’re a thousand – I can’t get it from ya.”

2) Billie Holiday – We’ll Be Together Again Listen

“Your kiss – Your smile – Are memories I’ll treasure forever – So try thinking with your heart – We’ll be together again.”

3) Billy Joel – You’re My Home Listen

“Well I’ll never be a stranger and I’ll never be alone. Whenever we’re together, that’s my home.”

4) Deer Tick – These Old Shoes Listen

“Oh, I will take these old shoes to get to you. Yes, I will take these old shoes to get to you.”

5) Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine Listen

“Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone – It’s not warm when she’s away – Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone – And she’s always gone too long – Anytime she goes away.”

6) Postal Service – Brand New Colony Listen

“I want to take you far from the cynics in this town – And kiss you on the mouth – We’ll cut our bodies free from the tethers of this scene, Start a brand new colony.”

7) Blink 182 – I Miss You Listen

“Don’t waste your time on me you’re already – The voice inside my head (I miss you miss you)”

8) The Velvet Underground – I Found a Reason Listen

“Oh I do believe – You’re all what you perceive – What come is better that what came before.”

9) Nick Cave – Far From Me Listen

“You who are so far from me – Far from me – So far from me – Way across some cold neurotic sea – Far from me.”

10) Beatles – Across The Universe Listen

“Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns – It calls me on and on, across the universe.”

11) Proclaimers – I Would Walk 500 Miles Listen

“When I’m lonely yes I know I’m gonna be – I’m gonna be the man who’s lonely without you. When I’m dreaming yes I know I’m gonna dream – I gonna Dream about the time when I’m with you.”