What Women Really Want For Valentine’s Day

          Fellas, Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and it’s time to figure out what to get your lady or ladies if you’re a player. Yeah I know you’ve waited until the last minute because I would always wait until the last minute. You’re scouring the internet looking for something decent that can be delivered the day of. Trust me, they don’t wanna hear it was delayed in shipping. 

             I’ve got you covered mane. Check this out. Don’t stress it because women aren’t as complex as we’ve been led to believe. They don’t all want huge displays of love like we’ve been told. Unless there’s a hating chick at her job. In that case, do something showy at the office. Other than that, women just want food! Yes, that’s it! But not just a plate of food. Turn it into a well thought out evening.  

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          How? Skip flowers because they will die anyways. Get her favorite bottle of wine, order a 20 piece order of wings, and get a romantic movie like Love Jones or Love and Basketball and BOOM you’ve won bro! Throw in a bubble bath and a massage for extra points. Seems too simple right? Well it is that simple assuming you present it the right way. Make it about her fam. A romantic evening that’s just about you two and you’re actually paying attention!!?? Win fam!! Put the phone away and tend to that lady mane! Now this is truly #FreeGame. 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

So I Started Back Vlogging!

         Yep! I started back vlogging and I’m going to stay committed to it this time!! I’m going to start off with doing smaller 1 min vlogs to get the flow and some added practice in. I need to test out some techniques and make sure I’m using the right equipment. 

         This is vlog 001 of the year and I y’all about starting up with  food delivery service Freshly! Check it out! Update coming soon!  

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

Guy Tip: You Don’t Have To Be Tough All The Time

I know that title might rub some the wrong way, but let me explain. As a man, more specifically as a black man, life is tough. We don’t get to show signs of weakness. Feel bad about a breakup? Mane you’re weak. Fellas remember back when you skinned your knee on the playground? You knew it hurt like hell and want d to cry, but you couldn't. Why not? Because guys can’t cry. Guys can’t be weak.

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A Stout I Actually Like

I love beer. I really love beer. I’m no beer connoisseur by any means, but I know what I like and what I don’t like. I don’t go around looking for a hint of this or a drop of that. I just drink it and either love or hate the taste. I tend to stick to Ales, Hefeweizen, and every now and then the fruit based beers. I normally stay away from the IPAs and Stouts. 

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The Real Reason She Hates “WYD” Texts

This seems to be the text that has set the internet and women off collectively. Well, it all recently hit a head when a young woman posted a picture (below) of herself holding a list of her bills and stating they were the reason she couldn’t accept a WYD text. I honestly don’t see the connection between the two in any way, but I do have an opinion. 

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New Vlog!!

          Hey y’all! I don’t vlog much but I do love doing it. If I didn’t have to hold the camera and look like a weirdo walking down the street talking to myself, I would totally do it more. I decided to vlog my latest adventure. I was asked to joint the guys over at 247 Memphis at Memphis’ hottest new restaurants, The Gray Canary, to discuss sports and food. I decided to vlog about what I saw. Check it out! 

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B

Linking Up With With Ameerah

Whenever I travel out of Memphis, I try to link up with an influencer in another city and do a shoot for them. It’s mainly to meet new interesting people and usually to test out a new lens or technique. This time was no different. I reached out to a couple people in Philadelphia. I must admit it’s gotta be kinda weird to get a random request to link up for pics from a stranger, but Ameerah responded! She was a finalist for 2018 Miss Singapore, so I was so excited when she actually wanted to shoot with me. What made it even better is that another IG friends, Don, drove up from New Jersey to hang as well. We all met up at a place in South Philly called Tattooed Mom. This place was awesome! Check out the images!! 

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I Got a Philly in Philly and Caught a 76ers Game!

That title made me chuckle a bit, but we are just gonna roll with it anyways lol. I got a real Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia and I’m so excited! I was super happy when I found out that I was going to training in Philly and began looking for places to get a cheesesteak. The people up here literally argue about who has the best cheesesteak. It reminds me of Memphians arguing about who has the best BBQ. I ended up listening to my friend Will Weeks recommendation of a spot called Tony Luke’s.

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A quick stop in NYC

          I’m spending the week outside of Philadelphia on a company training trip. I usually treat work trips like mini vacations and try to take in as much as possible. This trip was no different. I took the opportunity to head to NYC for the first time. I also got to meet a guy I’ve talked to every day for the past 5 years that I’ve never met. Online friends are real friends y’all. Shout out to my guy Shawn Evan. 

          I learned a couple things about NYC. I learned that driving a car is pretty much a terrible option. I met up with Shawn in Manhattan and I was pissed the entire drive. Why? Well it took about 30 mines to go 1.5 miles and this was normal. That lead me to my next lesson. Parking ain’t cheap. I parked my rental in a garage and it was $60. Yes $60! The last thing I learned is that the people aren’t friendly like back down south. You speak and no one speaks back. 

          We went by the memorial for Sept 11th, saw the Statue of Liberty, ate New York pizza, and so much more. It was a truly wonderful experience and I’m glad I went. Check out the pics from the day. All taken with my Sony a7iii and Ziess 16-35mm f4.  

 

The Amazing Chef Gary Williams

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          Waking up this morning to the news that Chef Gary Williams passed just didn’t seem real. He recently made a Facebook post that I left a laughing emoji on. There are so many other things I could and should have said instead of just an emoji.  

            The photo above is the first time I met Chef. It was at the an anniversary event for Pink Diva Cupcakery. The space on Florida St. was actually his older spot that he was leasing out so that someone could chase their own culinary dream. He had recently moved to the newer location on Main St. I introduced myself and told him I was new to blogging and he was so excited. He’s a guy that’s never met me a day in his life and he’s genuinely happy for me. He told me to chase my dreams always and never stop. He told me to come by his restaurant and do a review for him. We exchanged numbers. I didn’t think he would remember me, but when I called him a few days later he said Hey Mike! He asked when I was coming and he had something for me to try. 

         I went and had some of the best New Orleans food I have ever had in my life. Let me just say that the Arkansas Outlaw was basically something Jesus created. 

         After the meal, Gary talked to me for about 2 hours about Memphis, his family, leaving New Orleans and sports. I would drop in the restaurant every so often and we would have these long talks each time. He really loved to see people doing good things and really wanted other Blacks to succeed. He would always give me a plate of something to try and would refuse every time I wanted to pay for it.  

           He was just a great person and so supportive of others. I never heard a bad thing come out his mouth about anyone else. Well, he did say his chili was way better than Phillip Ashley and Brian Sanders. He did win  the chili contest so I guess he really never did say a bad thing. I will always remember the smile and that laugh. Memphis lost an amazing chef, a great person and I lost a friend. Chef, I don’t want to say goodbye but I want to say see you later. 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

Assistant Mike

           Most people don’t realize the hardest working people on most projects are actually the assistants and interns. Their work behind the scenes is extremely vital to the daily operation of everything. From small tasks such as emailing customers to making sure a director has the right lens for a $75,000 camera system, they are seriously the most vital to any project. 

          I got to switch roles for the first time ever and be an assistant. I got a text from photographer Erica Dunlap (@arekahthegoddessphoto) to help assist her for a shoot. I didn’t even ask for any details and instantly texted back YES! I really admire her work and I knew I would learn so much working with her. We both recently worked on the “Wonderland” project together and the chemistry was amazing. Here’s a link to the Wonderland video. LINK

            I went in thinking it would be a breeze, but I did some serious working! From unloading the car, setting up and testing lights/strobes, making sure the lenses were clean, setting up the scenes, and packing all back up. I did all this all while taking behind the scenes video! Needless to say I was so dang tired! I learned a lot so it was worth all the back breaking work lol. Erica is an amazing photographer and her shoots are all about business. I’m thankful for the opportunity. 

Its Erica!  

Its Erica!  

All these bags!!  

All these bags!!  

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Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

A Thanksgiving I Will Never Forget

         Thanksgiving. A day for family and to be thankful. While some don’t like the history of the day, I still see it as a great day to enjoy family and stuff your face. As I’ve grown older, I’ve grown to appreciate being around family and making memories. Which led to one of the best Thanksgiving Days ever. 

Maddy and I take over Florida! 

Maddy and I take over Florida! 

            My mom has never seen the beach in her life and really enjoyed seeing the images from my last stay at the Shores Resort and Spa in Daytona, Florida. So I did what any son would do. I bought my mom a plane ticket from Atlanta to meet me and Maddy in Florida for Thanksgiving! I really want to thank everyone over at Shores Resort and Spa for making this day possible! They were so accommodating and even left us a special gift in the room! #swag 

Shores Swag! 

Shores Swag! 

View from our room

View from our room

            Upon arrival we got a s’mores kit from the front desk and headed to the fire pits. This was my first time ever making s’mores and we failed miserably lol. Marshmallows roast fast as heck, but hey we tried. They still tasted better than they looked. 

           Waking up the next day proved to be a super challenge. Don’t set a time while on vacation. It will never go as planned!! Maddy refused to leave the bed. I got up early to check out the sunset and it was breathtaking! I recently bought a 16-35mm lens and it was the perfect lens for this trip. 

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          We learned two very important things Wednesday. Disney World is very crowded on Thanksgiving and the tickets aren’t cheap. They were $129.....each! I love Disney like the next person, but those prices coupled with having to wait in line a minimum of an hour and supremely overpriced food, makes Disney not a vacation I would recommend  unless it’s something you absolutely have to do. We enjoyed our time, but after paying $409 after taxes for 3 tickets, we didn’t feel we got our money’s worth. That and we were only able to ride 1 ride. 

         We headed back to the hotel to change and hit the beach! My mom literally cried when she saw it. That was the highlight of the trip for me. Just seeing how happy she was made my entire year. I’m so glad I had the means and the opportunity to do this for her. Maddy, on the other hand, had to be dragged from the ocean each day. This little girl loves being in the water and on the beach. 

          This was just day one! I’m going to do a part two for the amazing brunch we had on Thanksgiving Day at Shores Resort and Spa. You’re going to go into a food overload! Trust me, it’s worth it. 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

We Ain't Saved No Daylight Mane!

            Daylight Savings Time. The time of the year when we supposedly gain another hour of daylight. Everyone is so excited to sleep in for another hour so they can still barely make it to work on time. It’s sounds all good, but what daylight have we really saved? I walked out of work at 5 o’clock and it was already dark outside. I just wanted to go home and chill on my couch with a beer and a blanket.

            So why is Daylight Savings Time even a thing? A quick Google search later and I found that it’s to increase productivity. We humans need daylight in order to do work apparently. Makes sense because when I got off, I was instantly ready to do nothing. So we are basically all like Superman; powered by the sun. I was once told we had Daylight Savings Time so working kids wouldn’t get hit by cars. Yeah, I feel dumb for believing that now!

          Well, Daylight Savings Time is here and it’s a very real thing. I don’t have any cool tips to manage the extra hour. Maybe use it to spend time with your family, grab another drink at the bar, get a little more sleep, learn to do interpretive dancing. I will gladly take more daylight, but 1 day into Daylight Savings Time and I don’t feel like we’ve saved any at all. Another reason I hate the Fall. Ugh.

Life is for Living,

Michael B.