10 Things About Me

Are you wondering why I have all of these posts day after day this week? Well, I’m doing the Feel Good Blogging Challenge that Alex Beadon has started. It has been so fun and awesome! Today’s challenge is to tell you 10 things about me. So – here goes.

1. I am a twin and I’m the daughter of a twin. Yep. I have a twin sister. We’re fraternal even though we look alike. At least we were fraternal in 1981…lol. I’ve heard that there are new ways to determine whether or not twins are fraternal that may indicate we’re actually identical. Who knows. My dad is also a twin. He and his brother look nothing alike to me. They remind me of the movie twins where one was tall and thin and the other was short and round. Yep. That’s my dad and his brother.

2. I’m a math geek. Although I never finished college, I did study math. In fact, I’m less than a year away from graduating with a degree in Mathematics. Weird, huh?111214-Monica+Lenny-715

3. I watch Cartoon Network all day long. I used to be an ID addict but realized that all that negativity of murder and death was really bringing me down. Now I constantly spend my days with Clarence and Teen Titans in the background. Nope…I don’t have children.

4. I’ve been married 8 years and have 0 children. That’s right. Love me or hate me but my husband and I are kid free. Would you believe that we get strange looks and questions all the time? We actually don’t have children because of infertility. I’ve had two tubal pregnancies. I now have only one tube and one ovary. And these are on different sides. If you haven’t figured it out yet, we have to do IVF to have children.

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 4.58.41 PM5. I’m a photographer. Most of those that read this blog already know this but for those of you that don’t here you go.

 

6. I love to bake. I love to bake and decorate cookies and cupcakes. I don’t always eat them though. I’m lucky to have a husband that takes this stuff to work!!

7. I have really, really good friends that I’ve met on facebook and have only seen a couple of times in person. I never would have consider that possible when I was growing up. I love the friends I’ve made online.

8. I’ve lived in Alaska, Boston, Charleston (SC), and San Juan, Puerto Rico all within the last 8 years.

9. I don’t remember a thing from the Star Wars movies and have only seen 1 or 2.

10. I’m going to write a book next year. I can’t wait to get started!!

 

This was fun!! I have about 20 more things I can see adding to this list. :)

Sugar Skull Tutorial

Can I just say that this was one of the most fun things I’ve done recently? Well it is. Transforming myself into a Sugar Skull face truly taught me patience…lol. I was a little worried when I started. It took a while for the makeup to layer and I was worried that my pores would continue to show through. I’ll admit that I used a very cheap set of makeup to do this tutorial. In fact, the white makeup cost me 97₵. I didn’t expect much from it and can’t wait to try this again with a much better quality costume makeup. I also purchased a Halloween makeup kit from the store that cost me $6.99. It included small tubes of white, black, and green as well as a palette of different colors, some blood good, skin stuff, and some sponges. I have an extra one so if you want it, be sure to share my post and comment here that you did so. I’ll choose a random person and gift it to you!! I mean really – who doesn’t love gifts? I also played around with some makeup sticks. They weren’t my favorite but the white one worked well on my lips.

Here are some tips for when you try this.

  • Make sure you moisturize your face and lips. This makeup is drying. It also caused my noise to itch a little.;
  • Prime your skin and your eyelids. I’d also prime your lips. The white makeup highlighted my pores. I didn’t realize mine were so open before this! Make sure your skin is primed well. You can also mix your white with a little bit of foundation. You won’t get the stark white that I did but you’ll still get a pale complexion.
  • Put something around your hair edges if you think your hair will get in the way;
  • Have an idea of your design in mind. Of course you can wing it but having a general idea of what you want to do will help a lot.
  • Set your makeup with black eye shadow around the eyes and white or clear setting powder in the other areas. I didn’t keep my makeup on long but setting it should help it last through a party.
  • Have fun with it!!

Now, watch the video and let me know what you think!!

A Simple Introduction

Hi all! Although I have a handy dandy section that tell you who I am, I think it’s a great idea to just write a post all about me. :)

Monica Does ItMy name is Monica Day. No, I’m not the news anchor or beauty pageant contestant. I am a photographer, artist, baker, writer, wife, daughter, and sister. I’m sure I’m a lot more things as well but that’ll do for now. I’m from the south but have lived all over the country. I’ve never lived abroad though unless you consider Puerto Rico abroad. Oh, I live in San Juan, Puerto Rico but don’t speak very much Spanish. I’m trying to learn though. It’s just so easy not to when everyone speaks English as well. I’m also on a journey of wellness, weight loss, and accountability. I love to teach about the things I know and love, love, love to share.

I started this blog a couple of months ago (August 2014) to mainly keep myself accountable to my weight loss efforts. I quickly realized that I had more to share. I then decided that I’d like to cover my photography, fashion, fitness, and food. Of course I need all of those to start with the letter “f” so let’s go with “foto”. I actually started this blog with my YouTube videos. Those aren’t all about weight but they were a great place to start with posts. I’ve been wanting to actually commit to blogging for some time now. I’ve started probably 3 or so blogs but never followed through. This time I will. I actually called this blog Monica Does It because I want to actually do it. I want to do EVERYTHING I say I’ll do. I don’t want to be that unaccountable girl anymore. I want to be the woman that everybody can count on.

My blog is for women who are seeking encouragement and motivation. My blog is for anyone that’s looking for answers about photography, fashion, food, and fitness. I want to show these things from my perspective. The perspective of someone who has tried everything only to learn that hard work and persistence really are the secrets to success.

I’ve recently been working on finding my passion for photography again. I am so excited about it. I must say that my recent trip to New York for a photography workshop has helped tremendously. I have a new found passion. I’m also working on my YouTube channel even more. I have a great list of ideas that I cannot wait to implement. I can’t wait to see it grow and become something super fabulous. 

The one message I absolutely want people to take from this blog is that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. I’ve lived in a place where dreams were just that. Dreams. I want my dreams to be reality and have figured out that all it takes is a little commitment. The faith of a mustard seed has moved mountains in my life. 

 

Lara Jade Workshop Review

Why am I writing about a photography workshop here? Well- two reasons.Lara Jade Workshop

1. This page is about photography, too.
2. I actually did it!!

I’m a photographer. I love photography and have loved it for some time now. I got burned out. I attended one of Lara Jade’s workshops. I’m about to tell you all about it.

I actually signed up for this workshop earlier this year and was supposed to attend while I was living in Boston. We found out we were moving to Puerto Rico around the same time so I couldn’t go when I’d originally planned. I was bummed and had a little bit of a freak out moment. Thankfully, I was able to come to the October 2014 workshop. Lara Jade set up her workshop to run for 2 days at an amazing studio in Brooklyn, NY. I arrived in the city the day before the workshop since it started at 9 in the morning.

Day 1

Lara Jade Workshop New YorkWhen I arrived at the studio I was so excited. The studio is actually in this industrial area. It looked a little bit sketchy but boy oh boy…lol. When I walked through the door I saw what I dreamed of in my own studio space. Colony Studios is absolutely gorgeous. Old wood, open space. What more could I ask for? Lara did an awesome job selecting this location. There were models getting prepped, hair and makeup going, stylist prepping,  backdrops being steamed, assistants setting things up, food and coffee, chairs with awesome little notebooks, Ashlee Gray, and Lara Jade. Lara and Ashlee were extremely friendly and approachable. I really appreciate that both of them would talk to any of us that approached. My suggestion to anyone attending would be to introduce yourself to Lara and whoever else she has presenting. They’re people too and are most likely a bit nervous about how the workshop will go.

We all introduced ourselves and then Lara went through a lot of her portfolio. It was nice to see some of her work and to hear about the shoots. We followed this with portfolio reviews. We were initially split into two groups to do the reviews but it turned into a big group review. I actually like the group portfolio reviews. It’s nice to hear critique from others to get the feedback from a variety of different styles. I know that some are not comfortable with group portfolio reviews so Lara offered individual ones as well. After this, we had lunch. Lunch was catered in and we had more than enough food. It was nice to have food and drinks available throughout the day. We had sandwiches and wraps and cakes and cookies. We took about 45 minutes to eat and regroup and then it was time for part 2.Lara Jade Lighting Demonstrations

We started with a lighting demonstration. Lara went through several different lighting scenarios and showed us an image of hers that corresponded with the setup. She also introduced Donald, the stylist, and he answered our questions about that part of the shoot. I asked him about finding a stylist and he gave us some great ideas. Then we got to shoot. (I’ll post my images in another post.) We were able to photograph 6 different lighting setups. We had 6 different looks and 2 models, Lidiia and Klaire. All of this was done in about a 3 hour period. We were each able to shoot about 20 frames for each setup. Lara was right there giving assistance to anyone that needed it. She also had a few assistants who helped with lighting, reflectors, and things like that. Our time did run over a little but it was awesome that we were able to keep shooting.

Day 2

Lara Jade and Monica Day
Lara in the studio on Day 2.

The second day was all about business, marketing, and even retouching with Ashlee Gray Retouch. We started with a review of the day before. We touched on the lighting scenarios we’d covered and then got into the business of fashion. Lara shared with us about having a strong portfolio, how to create your shoot, and pricing. I was impressed that she shared the numbers of a basic shoot. It was nice to get an idea of pricing. Ashlee’s part came after this. She showed us a lot of her work and even some before and afters. We broke for lunch and then got ready to start a retouching session. 

We were all given the same photo to work on so that Ashlee could guide us closely. She covered retouching skin and removing blemishes, color correcting, toning, fixing details, and even swapping body parts. I have had experience with most of this but it’s nice to see her take it down to the basics. We did spend quite a bit of time on this but it was all worth it. Ashlee really helped me see how valuable a retoucher is. Right now, I’m working on improving my retouching skills but one day I’m sure I’ll be hiring out.

Ashlee Gray Retouch
Me and Ashlee after dinner.

After we concluded the workshop, we met up for dinner. Not everyone attended but a nice group did. We met at an Italian restaurant about a mile away and had a great time. The seating was a little strange so both Lara and Ashlee moved around to talk to everyone. This dinner was awesome because we were able to talk to the other attendees and really get to know them more. It’s also nice to see your instructors in a more relaxed environment.

At the end of the workshop I can absolutely say that I was impressed with how professional Lara is. She did an excellent job putting this workshop together. Her willingness to share really impressed me. I absolutely respect her place in this industry and appreciate her candid approach to this workshop. I definitely recommend to any photographer that is either interested in the fashion industry or who wants something different to reinvigorate them. I cannot wait to see what I do with all that I have learned.

Be sure to check out my video and my interview with Lara and Ashlee.

 

*UPDATE!!

I’ve added one of the images.

Lara Jade Workshop Model

Cancer Can Kiss My A–

Cancer Sucks
My mom on the left and my aunt Diane on the right.

Why do people say that a person has “lost their battle” with cancer when they pass away? Did they really lose? Maybe the fought for a long, long, long time and now they are ready to move on. Maybe they fought long and hard and actually won the fight because they didn’t let cancer take them away 40 years ago. Maybe the battle was about living a fulfilled life with this monster in their system despite this monster in their system. 

Cancer is close to my family. I’m sure we all know someone who has dealt with cancer in same shape or form. The “c” word has become all too common in our culture. While there are several different cancers, October is about breast cancer. So here’s my story.

I have never had cancer. I do have family members that have had cancer. I have two aunts that have passed away from cancer. I have a mother-aunt that passed away from cancer after fighting for 40 years. Her name is Aunt Diane.

I call Diane my mother-aunt beFamily love through cancer.cause she was definitely like a mother to me. You see, she never had children of her own. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was just in college. Yep. She was diagnosed super young. The Aunt Diane I know was always interested in biology and what goes on in the medical field. She could answer any question you had about medicine or procedures. It figures though. She not only dealt with these things, she also took care of sick friends and family members. She’s given so much that it would literally take a book to go through it all. Just know that if you needed someone then she was the one to call. She wasn’t the richest but she would give her last to you. My Aunt Diane passed away 2 years ago. She was 59. She lived nearly 40 years with that c word in her life. Her death hit me with a sense of relief at first. She had been struggling a bit before her death. I could tell it was wearing away at her. But then that sick sense of longing set in. I wanted her back. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t have her in my life anymore. I was so fortunate to have her for my 31 years of life. I wanted her for more though. I wanted to share my children with her. I wanted her to see the many places I’d live. I wanted her to always win those battles. 

I found out after she passed away that she knew this time would be her last. She’d had a few bouts and this one was different. I kind of knew something was up when she asked me to take her picture. Not only did she ask me to photograph her, she asked me to do it without her wig on. It was one of the hardest things I’d ever done. I feel like I’m supposed to share her story. I’m supposed to share about her. For now, I’m going to share this photo and remind you to never, ever give up on anything. Continue to fight. Continue to make the most of your life.  

Aunt Diane didn’t lose her battle with cancer. She didn’t lose the fight. She lived a life. 

Faces of breast cancer.

Make sure you get checked for breast cancer or any other type of cancer. Have your yearly exams and stay vigilant. Get treated and live your life to the fullest.