San Diego Fashion Week Proves Bow-Ties are Haute Couture


Bow-ties are haute couture

What comes to mind when you hear the words “Fashion Week?” Do you rub your well-manicured hands together with glee in glorious anticipation of seeing the latest fashion trends?

Or… do you shove your hands with their bitten nails into your sweat pants pocket as you run screaming from the room?

Not everyone is a fashionista, but everyone appreciates a put-together look, especially if bow-ties are involved.

[bctt tweet=”Everyone appreciates a put-together look, especially if bow-ties are involved.” username=”windigenredhead”]

Usually when we hear about Fashion Week, we imagine glittering runways complete with striding models sporting the next new fashion trend, seen in cities as New York, Paris or Milan. However, even smaller cities host their versions of Fashion Week and San Diego, California, is no exception.

The staff of Above-Time, the bow-tie accessory brand you have read about over the last year, attended the 2016 Fashion Week San Diego (FWSD) Fall show.

Above-Time’s bow-ties and accessories are displayed and sold at Alexander Salazar Fine Art Gallery, which helped garner that coveted invitation to FWSD. CEO Carey Reddick’s presence in the San Diego community continues to open doors for the fledgling business.

Fashion Week San Diego

Held at various venues, Fashion Week San Diego kicked off its first night with a look at hair, makeup and art.

Friday and Saturday nights were all about the runway shows. Even dog lovers got into the act where adoptable dogs from Rancho Coastal Humane Society wagged their tales down the FWSD Runway at annual Haute Dog Fashion Show, in hopes of finding their forever homes!

FWSD culminated in a trunk show where guests viewed and shopped all the labels and designer fashions that debuted on the runway, including other FWSD vendors & partners.

Network, Network, Network!

Reddick said their goal was to network with at least three other local San Diego designers. There was some definite interest from a designer specializing in couture gowns wanting to incorporate bow-ties into their designs.

Above-Time Brand Ambassador Tyler and Fashion Intern Caroline enjoying San Diego Fashion Week
Above-Time Brand Ambassador Tyler and Fashion Intern Caroline enjoying San Diego Fashion Week


Brand Ambassador Tyler Kirk helped work out a future deal with a company that manufactures alcohol, where staff will wear Above-Time’s bow-ties. A signature bow-tie cocktail is in the works and a launch date is expected in early 2017.

And network Reddick and his team did! They scored an invitation to the New York City Fashion Week next February, 2017!

Stay tuned!

Although this is a sponsored post, the intent of this article is not to sell a product, but to focus attention and awareness on the growth and evolution of the Above-Time brand. Opinions are my own.

Nostalgic About Halloween Candy

Macro close-up of candy

Halloween is right around the corner and the stores are loaded with bags of candy for trick-or-treaters.

I love my weekly photo challenges and I couldn’t believe that the planets (or pumpkins?) aligned for a photo challenge trifecta!

Candy Close-up for Halloween photo challenge.

Nothing is more nostalgic than a bowl of candy for Halloween. I remember loving Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Pops as a kid.

According to the Tootsie Roll Industries’ company history, Leo Hirschfeld began selling the chewy candies in his little shop in New York City in 1896.

We buy the huge bag and donate most of it to our church’s Harvest/Halloween Festival, then distribute some to the neighborhood trick-or-treaters.

[bctt tweet=”Nothing is more nostalgic than a bowl of candy for Halloween.” username=”windigenredhead”]

The Photo Challenge

If you follow my blog, I rarely miss the opportunity to post in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is Nostalgia

Jennifer Nichole Wells has THEE best photo challenges, and she puts in a lot of work to organize and host these. This whole month is about all things Halloween and today’s prompt is Candy!

This is my first submission for the Macro Moments Challenge: week 13 hosted by the lovely Musin with Susan’s Blog The close-up of the candy was fun to shoot with my trusty Samsung Galaxy 5.


Weekly Photo Challenge Triple Play: Nostalgic about Halloween Candy

I created this graphic with one of my images in PicMonkey for sharing at link parties. If you are wondering how to do this, check out my eBook, Better Blogging with Photography available for 99 cents on Amazon.

Have you considered participating in photo challenges? The ones mentioned above are open to anyone!

You, Too, Can Write an Ebook

You started your blog to practice the art of writing, to explore genres and experiment with writing styles and projects.

As bloggers, most of us dream about writing a book someday, whether it is a work of fiction, an informative non-fiction book, a memoir, or some other literary work just waiting to be brought to life with our words.

This is probably why you started your blog, to practice the art of writing, to explore genres and experiment with writing styles and projects.

When it comes to writing, whether you write a blog or eBooks, most sources tell us the best books are written about subjects others want to read!

My blog is about leisure and I love writing to educate others about embracing a leisure lifestyle. However, three years of blogging have proven that my most popular posts are about the how-to’s of blogging, along with my posts submitted for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenges.

Do you write in a journal? My first eBook, Better Blogging with Photography, combined blogging basics with beginning photography and image creation. Is this my masterpiece? Not by a long shot, but it did allow me to experiment with the interesting, yet challenging world of self-publishing. My next book projects can be read here.

During the last few months, I learned a lot about self-publishing and book marketing. One of the concepts that stood out is the community that is developed and how we can help and encourage each other in our writing.

If it were not for the encouragement of my fellow bloggers, I doubt I would have bothered to write the book.

Successful indie authors MUST engage with people. Whether it is with fellow bloggers, other readers, or in communities within your social media networks, building relationships with a variety of folks is critical to the success of indie authors.

[bctt tweet=”Successful indie authors MUST engage with people!” username=”windigenredhead”]

Speaking of community, over these last few days of my book promotion, several generous bloggers shared my posts, helped promote my eBook, and/or actually bought the book and wrote amazing reviews. Please visit these kind souls and see what they are writing about on their blogs.

Silver Threading  Sacramento Bloggers  Sizzling Toward Sixty

DG Kaye writer Smorgasboard: Variety is the Spice of Life

Jo Robinson  Janet Sunderland  Hughs News and Views

Skipahs Realm  Send Sunshine  Dream Big, Dream Often


Cover Better Blogging with PhotographyToday is the final day to pick up Better Blogging with Photography FREE on Amazon.

After today it goes back up to a staggering 99 cents!

Do you have a book idea brewing? I would love to hear about it!


What I’m Writing in My Next eBooks: Weekend Coffee Share

Writing subjects for my next set of eBooks

Last November, as we shared coffee, I mentioned that I was taking some time to start a writing project, namely an eBook.

As I gathered information for case studies and other research for my (work-in-progress) eBook “How Midlife Women Reclaim Their leisure Time,” another eBook made its way into the world of self-publishing first.

Get Kindle eBook FREE Better Blogging with Photography

Better Blogging with Photography  was originally meant to be a free eBook to be used as a give-away and incentive for subscribing to my blog. It morphed into a 50-page Kindle eBook and is still free through October 3. After this date, it is available for 99 cents.


Today, if we were having coffee, I would ask you to sit and enjoy a cup of medium roast coffee (or tea, if you prefer) while I share my next writing projects. By sharing these ideas with you, I hope it holds me accountable to write them!

As I finished Better Blogging with Photography, my editor, Jo Robinson, suggested that this could be part of a series. At the time I thought, as I mentally raised an eyebrow, “what else can I possibly write for an eBook series?”

[bctt tweet=”What else can I possibly write for an ebook series? ” username=”windigenredhead”]

After reading and more thinking, I came up with an idea for a short series, “The Better Blogging Series” that dives into what we bloggers (and writers) do. My next eBook, for which I have a decent outline started is “The Better Blogger’s Lifestyle” which will become the prequel to my current eBook. In this book I describe all the types of blogs out there and what it takes to write and maintain one.

What do you think?

More ideas for the series will include short topics like “Getting Results with Social Media,” “Advanced Photography for Bloggers” and “Turning Your Posts into eBooks.”

I hope you enjoyed coffee today. Please visit the hostess of Weekend Coffee Share at Part-Time Monster Blog.

What kind of blogging topics are you interested in? Please let me know in the comments!

Can You Spare a Few Stars?

please leave stars in your review
original image by Yvonne Vermey, graciously used with her permission


Bloggers who downloaded my free eBook, Better Blogging with Photography, are invited to leave an honest review on Amazon or in GoodReads.

Go ahead…the eBook is still free until October 3rd.

Reviews are critical to the success of any book. Have you ever considered buying a book, but saw no reviews? Honestly, if I like the title and read the description, I am likely to buy the book, but I have been known not to purchase a book with one or two-star reviews. If it’s a pricey book, I will read the reviews to help me make my final decision.

I wrote this guidebook for fellow bloggers and website managers to educate you about the vague and confusing copyright laws. Piracy and plagiarism abound in our business, but don’t you be the one to get caught using someone else’s intellectual property. Most images you see on Google belong to another source.

There are certainly a number of free image sites available. I leave a great round-up list in the eBook.

I also wrote this guidebook to help bloggers find content inspiration in using their own images. A good blog post is that much better with a nice image attached.

[bctt tweet=”A good blog post is that much better with a nice image attached.” username=”windigenredhead”]

Here is an excerpt from Chapter Four: How to Use Your Images to Generate Blog Ideas and Readers

Using Your Images as Inspiration for Blog Posts

As a blogger, how often have you searched for inspiration in writing your next post?

If you have a large (or small) file of digital images, take the time to go through them. Most images tell some kind of story, whether it is a memory of a special vacation spot, family photos from 20 years ago, or images that can be edited into “art.” Chances are, you have a great subject for your next blog post and the image to go with it!

TIP! Your photos tell stories!

Looking through Your Digital Files

What works for me is to take a look through my vast files of images. I use Dropbox, which stores them chronologically by month and year, typically older posts on top. If I am thinking of a post for the summer, I will peruse through my posts from June through August (opposite if you are in the southern hemisphere). For example, I decide on an image of some bicycle riders I captured. My brain thinks, “Oh how nice to go for a bike ride today.” Then, “oh, but it is way too hot outside today.” Suddenly inspiration hits with a “how-to” post about summer cycling safety and a post is born!

Can You Spare a Few Stars?

I have had some fabulous reviews so far. See what fellow bloggers have to say about Better Blogging with Photography.

five stars“A Blogger’s Handy Guide” By D.G. Kaye on September 24, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Disclaimer – I was gifted with a copy of this book from the author

This little book is action-packed full of great tips for blogging, with great, simple explanations of how to set up a blog, how to effectively use photos and images to enhance your blog, the author also gets into the importance of only using images that don’t infringe on copyrights. There are photos to help demonstrate some of the instruction in this handy little guide as well. If you’re new to blogging, or perhaps, a seasoned blogger who may not be aware of all the little tricks to manage a blog effectively, I would highly recommend this book.

five stars“Great Advice!” By Amazon Customer on September 14, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is amazing advice for anyone who has ever dabbled with the thought of starting a blog or is looking to improve their site! I wish this book existed when I started blogging as it would have saved me much frustration. Terri supplies great resources that will further help my adventures with blogging and the power pictures provide! Thank you!

Today’s Blog Images

Since I am writing about blog images, let me tell you about the images in this post. I saw the starfish photo on one of my friend’s Facebook pages. I asked her about it and she said another friend had taken the photo. I asked if she would allow me to use it on my blog some day and I was given permission to do so (mentioned in the image caption). You never know where a great image may be found.

The five gold stars were easily created in PicMonkey and added into this post. Perhaps it’s called Pic “monkey” because even a monkey can make these images? If you feel less than confident about creating fabulous images for your blog, post-editing programs are easy to use (and free).

Check out the eBook and see what the hype is all about! And don’t forget to throw some stars my way!

Pick Up My eBook FREE for a Limited Time on Amazon


Get eBook FREE Better Blogging with Photography

I am excited to announce my eBook Better Blogging with Photography is available FREE for a limited time!

To help you make the leap over to Amazon to check it out, I included excerpts to pique your interest!

What’s in it for me? I am hoping you will “buy” the book, then leave a positive review. The book goes back to its staggering price of 99 cents beginning next week.

Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.
–Bruno Barbey

From the Introduction

Are you a new blogger struggling to get more readers? Are you a seasoned blogger continually seeking inspiration for quality blog posts? Do you feel there is something missing from your blog or website?

This guidebook is designed to help you utilize your own images on your blog or website.

Blogging used to be a simple task. Once you found your web platform, a theme and a good idea, you simply sat down and wrote. Enter social media and blogging changed forever.

[bctt tweet=”Nowadays, featuring a compelling image in your blog post is expected. ” username=”windigenredhead”]

From Chapter Two

Why Using Web Images Can Be Dangerous for You and Your Blog

Why use your own images? Let me answer that with this question. Can you say “copyright infringement”?

A graphic artist friend, who is in this business, said this is the new, trending lawsuit. Other bloggers have described their terrible experiences of innocently using a random photo on their blog post and being sued.

Even posting the following so-called disclaimer on your blog is basically useless.
“This blog claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog belong to their respective owners. If there is an image on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it appear on this site, please e-mail us with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.”

I still read wonderful posts from a LOT of bloggers using photos and images from the Internet. Most of these likely have copyright restrictions, so please BEWARE if you choose to use them. If you use images from the web, be careful. It is obvious that most of these images are professionally photographed.

I reiterate: Exercise extreme caution in using Google Images on your blog or website.

A Review

Janet Sunderland, a fellow blogger in WordPress wrote this review: (go visit her blog–she is also working on a book!)

This is one of the best how-to books I’ve read on both blogging and using images in blogs. Terri’s experience as a teacher clearly shines as she organizes the book in a step-by-step fashion with great tips, both the do-this, and the don’t-do-this! She uses images throughout to illustrate her points, which gives a visual representation of the information. Along with instructions on the skills of blogging, she includes recommendations for social media sites as a tool for getting that blog seen. In the final chapter, she includes “a round-up of links and resources…” A great book for beginning bloggers as well as a fine resource for experienced bloggers.

To learn more about how to avoid a lawsuit for innocently using “free” images on your blog or website, pick up your free copy today of Better Blogging with Photography. After reading this guidebook, you will be able to produce your own, high quality images for your blog or website.

Click here to get your free copy today! You can also click the image in my blog sidebar.

Happy reading!

Never Ending Quest for Food

Male hummer finding food

If you are a bird watcher, you know that birds love to eat! Every day I delight in watching my hummingbird family enjoying their hourly quest for food.

The male is very brave and has been know to fly right up to me as I patiently wait for the right photo op!

Soon, the female joined him on the quest for their meals. Hummingbirds on a quest for food

Not long after, a third, then fourth hummingbird appeared, entertaining me with their cavorting and competition for the feeder. Sadly, last May, I found two dead, featherless babies who had fallen from the nest. My theory is that the second set of birds are new babies, now juveniles.

[bctt tweet=”Hummingbirds need to feed 5 to 8 times per hour!” username=”windigenredhead”]

These photos are included in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge Quest. Feel free to join any time!