Capture precious holiday moments with Fujifilm’s Instax LiPlay


I don’t want to give away my age, but I grew up when MTV actually aired music videos, VHS tapes and it was a big deal to have a Walkman for your cassette tapes. Sigh… I feel old.

Back then, you had to purchase film for your camera. After you were done taking pictures, you had to take them to the store to be developed and wait a week or more to get them back.

It was always exciting to open up the envelope to see the pictures you took. Sadly, many of them turned out pretty bad. People had “red eye,” weren’t looking at the camera, or they turned out blurry.

When instant cameras came out it was the best thing ever (at that time). The idea of being able to snap a photo and see it instantly and not have to wait a week or more was awesome.

I am SO GRATEFUL for digital cameras and smartphones. I love that I can instantly see the photos I take, and have the ability to make edits to ensure the pictures I took look the best that they can. I also enjoy the ability to share the photos instantly with family and friends. It’s also fun to be able to add graphics and frames to photos.

It seems like instant cameras disappeared for a bit because everyone was using digital cameras. As much as I love digital cameras, it’s always nice to have a tangible photo you can hold in your hands and display on your fridge, in a frame or a cork board.

I know that you can always print out photos on your printer. However, when you are out and about, and your printer is not nearby, it’s not possible.

Thankfully instant cameras are back (well… they have been for years). The new and improved instant cameras also come with a lot of “bells and whistles” making them a lot of fun to use.

I was sent to review a Fujifilm Mini LiPlay camera. It’s a instant camera “hybrid.”

I received the black one to review. The camera is also available in silver/gray and rose gold.

Inside the box you’ll receive the camera, a USB charging cord, wrist strap and a brief start up guide and warranty information. The start up guide is just a basic guide to get you started. If you look online you can learn more about all the fabulous things you can do with this camera.

At first glance, the Mini LiPlay looks like a regular camera. Trust me, this is no ordinary camera. This is part camera, part instant camera, and part photo printer – all rolled up into one.

The camera is lightweight. I was actually surprised at how lightweight it is. But don’t let the weight fool you. This is a well made, sturdy camera. It’s made out of a hard plastic casing. It’s a very durable camera.

One of the photos on my fridge (the faces were blurred out). The picture is small, about 1/2 the size of the original instant camera pictures.

The camera has a nice texture to it. It feels comfortable in your hand. I think the texture helps you to keep a good grip on it. A smooth finish might make it a bit “slippery.”

One the front side of the camera you’ll find the lens, flash, and the button you press if you want to record sound (more on that later), as well as a tiny selfie mirror.

On the backside of the camera you have a nice size LCD screen and the release to the “door” that you need to open to insert (or remove) the picture paper. In addition, there are three buttons – go back, playback and print. You will also see the function “wheel” that allows you to navigate the different settings and “bells and whistles” that come with this camera.

One the one side of the camera you’ll find three buttons labeled 1, 2 and 3. These are shortcut buttons that you can assign your favorite effects and frames to. This is a nice feature because you don’t have to scroll around between all the effects/frames every time you take a photo. If there are certain ones that you use frequently, you can assign them to a number.

I like the Fujifilm thought of that. It makes things a lot more efficient and it’s a time saver, especially if you are shooting multiple pictures.

Ignore the cat hair on the camera.

Of course, there is also the power button.

This camera allows you to save some pictures on it (40). You can add a memory card if you’d like (sold separately) which would allow to save hundreds of photos on the camera.

As I mentioned, you can record sounds on this camera. Obviously you can’t print out a sound. With this camera, if you want to include sound with a photo, it puts a QR code on the printed picture. Using your smartphone,  you can have it “read” the QR code, which will in turn play the sound. That is a nice idea. I haven’t tried this feature as of yet. So far the pictures I have printed out really didn’t require sounds or the spoken word. It proves you with 10 seconds of audio.

Unlike other instant cameras on the market, the Fujifilm Mini LiPlay allows you to decide which pictures you want to print out. Other cameras print out the picture every time you snap a photo. Not being able to see what you’ve captured on the camera before it prints out can waste valuable print paper. With this camera, you can decide which photos you want to print out. This gives you time to edit them and add frames and other elements.

Below are some screen shots from the app to give you an idea of what it looks like. The photo is of our newly adopted cat, Callie. She is blind (and has neurological issues), which is why her eyes look a bit “off.”

I blurred out the faces of my “work kids.” This is the start up page on the app. It shows the last picture you printed.

This is our adopted blind cat Callie with one of the frames. You can see how you can scroll around the various frames on the bottom.

The “Love” frame is one of my favorites.

The photo it’s self is a poor quality, which is why it looks a bit blurry. The Fujifilm camera did NOT take this photo. This is one someone sent me that was on my phone (the animal shelter took the photo which is why it’s grainy). You can see some of the editing functions that you can slide with your finger until you get the look you are after.

I played around with the brightness on this photo, just to give you an example. Please read the comment above about why the photo is “grainy” looking.

I love the frames you can add to the photos. You can even do collages AND split photos, which is cool to do.

My absolute favorite feature with this camera is the free app you can download. The app allows you to edit photos on your smartphone before printing. You can also pick and choose with photos to print.

You can also take group photos using your smartphone as the shutter button.

The BEST part of this app is that you can print out photos already on your smartphone.

Printing out a photo.

Sometimes “life” happens, and you might not have the Fujifilm Mini LiPlay on hand to capture the moments. If you snap some great photos on your phone, you can easily print them out off the camera using the free app.

I am sure there is A LOT more that this camera can do too. I’m sure I’ve just explored the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to this camera.

You can purchase film paper for this camera just about anywhere cameras and film is sold. I see a bunch of different sellers of the film paper on Amazon. The price varies. The film paper comes 10 sheets to a roll.

If you would like more information about this fun camera, please visit the FujiFilmUSA website, or the Instax website.

This camera is sold at many retail locations including Amazon, Best Buy and Khols, to name a few.

What do you think about this camera? Does it sound like something you and your family would enjoy?


*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Celebrate National Cat Day with a Logi Circle



Happy National Cat Day!

If you follow my blog on a regular basis you know that we have five crazy and lovable cats – Velcro, Kitty, Padmé, Anakin and Bella. We also have a dog and a fish (Espn and Fishy).

I cannot imagine a life without our furry family members. They bring us so much love and joy.

Growing up I only had two cats – Kitty and Bear (yes… another at named Kitty). In fact, Bear came to live with us a few years ago but she was not happy here (I think having to share us with five other cats threw her off – she was used to being the only cat in the house). If she stayed with us we’d have six cats. Imagine that.

We often wonder what our cats do when we are not at home. We see evidence of things they do (random cat toys scattered about, things knocked off the shelf…). But we really don’t know. We joke that they have a party when they know we’re going to be out for a long time and invite over all their kitty friends. LOL!

Cat Party

We often wonder what it would be like to be a “fly on the wall” and watch what they do without us knowing about it.

I’m also curious as to how many asthma attacks our cat Bella has when we are not at home. She has severe asthma and is on pills and two different inhalers – yet she still has asthma attacks.

Recently we were sent to review the Logi Circle Portable Home Connection Camera. It’s a portable camera that shows you what is going on at home from the convenience of your smart phone in real-time.

The Logi Circle is designed to capture the moments that happen in your home every day, and deliver them to you through a seamless and secure app. Now, you can look back on what’s happened while you’re away, and receive Day Briefs™ that provide you with a full day’s highlights in just 30 seconds. So if Fluffy knocked over your flower pot or got in a playful tiff with Fido, you’ll know exactly what went down.

This brief video will give you some more information about the Logi Circle.


I know there are plenty of home video cameras on the market – but the Logi Circle Portable Home Connection Camera, in my opinion, offers a lot more “bells and whistles” then other home cameras.

First and foremost the Logi Circle is small in side and lightweight. It’s not big and bulky. This allows you to place it just about anywhere in your home. It’s also not very obvious so you can kind of hide it so that people are unaware of it (kind of like a “nanny cam”).

What I really like about the Logi Circle is that it’s portable. You can move it from room to room. With other cameras they are stuck in one place. You can move the Logi Circle camera with you whether it’s the kitchen, living room or even your back patio. As long as it’s within reach of your WIFI the Logi Circle camera will work. You can also get up to three hours of power before the camera needs to be returned to it’s charging base.

I like the portability because I have been able to move the camera around our condo and try and capture different angles of the rooms to establish which is the best angle for watching our cats. I’ve found that the top of our armoire pointing the camera down a bit gives us the best view of the living room where the cats seem to spend most of their time.

Logi Circle

Logi Circle is available in white or black

Logi Circle 1

I’ve actually viewed Bella having an asthma attack on the camera. I know she’s having an asthma attack by the way she positions herself (its as if she’s trying to hock up a huge hairball). So far I haven’t caught any other attacks, other then the one. So that gives me a bit of relief knowing that she’s not having many asthma attacks when we’re not at home.

You don’t have to be a techie to set this up. My husband set it up for me, but he said it was easy enough to do. It’s just a matter of setting it up on our WIFI system and downloading the accompanying app (the app is FREE).

We’ve used the camera to make sure our kids are home from school/college too. We also set it up (unbeknown to the kids) so that we can see just want they do in the kitchen when we’re not home. Yikes! No wonder we seem to go through a lot of food during the week. The kids are eating us out of house and home.

Logi Circle in the kitchen, on a candle on the counter.

Logi Circle in the kitchen, on a candle on the counter.

A great feature that comes with the Logi Circle is the ability to have a two way conversation with people from the camera and through the smart phone on the app.

I have a new job now and I get home late from work. I barely have time to get dinner started before my husband walks in the door. Lately I have been relying on my 16 year old son to help with dinner. I’ll leave him messages on what he needs to do (turn on the oven, put something in the oven…). Having the ability to talk with him (kind of like Skype – except he can’t see me) allows me to see what he’s doing and let him know which pan to use or what have you. All he needs to do is hold up a pot or pan and I can let him know which one I need.

This will be a great way to connect with my family the next time I travel. They can set the camera up near the dining room table and I can virtually have dinner with my family and join in on the conversation.

Logi Circle can also see in the dark (up to 15 feet away). I haven’t had the opportunity to try this feature out yet.

Logi Circle on a shelf in the dining room.

Logi Circle on a shelf in the dining room.

Logi Circle 2

Logi Circle on top of the pantry in the kitchen looking to see what our teens are up to (EATING!) when we are not around.

Another feature with Logi Circle which I don’t regularly use, but I have tried it out, is being able to see what happened in a 24 hour period in a matter of a few seconds (a high speed version of the day). My son is looking forward to trying that feature out when we have a snowstorm. He wants to set the camera up so it’s looking out the window and be able to capture a snow storm from start to finish and watch the snow rapidly pile up. I like his idea and I’m looking forward to trying that out.

Through the app you can also go back and re-watch live action. It holds recordings for I believe 24 hours.

So far I am enjoying the Logi Circle Portable Home Connection Camera. I don’t view it every day, but it’s nice knowing that it’s available to me when I need it. I keep it in one location for the most part (to see the entire living room) but if I do need to move it to another room it’s nice knowing it’s possible.

If you would like to learn more about the Logi Circle Portable Home Connection Camera visit the Logitech website, www.Logitech.com, and search for Circle. You can also check out Logitech on Facebook and Twitter.

What do you think about the Logi Circle Portable Home Connection Camera? Would you use it to spy on your furry friends? Or would you use it to connect with your family? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Logitech Logo


*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Jazz up your camera with fashionable accessories from Mod


Mod Camera Straps

Not too long ago my beloved camera took it’s last picture. I’ve had it for many years and it decided it was time for me to put the lens cap on it and remove the batteries for good. She was a good old camera and is greatly missed.

I need a camera. Not only do I need a camera to take pictures of thing I blog about but I also enjoy taking pictures of my family, pets and the world around me.

I have been agonizing about which camera to buy. I wanted to go up a few notches and get a better quality camera than my previous one – one with a lot of “bells and whistles” and a camera where I can use different lenses.

I lucked out and came across a camera “kit” (camera and two lenses) that was on clearance. There was nothing wrong with it. The store just purchased too many of them for the holiday season and this was the only one left.


Nikon D3100

I ended up saving around $100 for the camera. It’s not the one I truly wanted, but it’s a start. What I bought is a good introductory level camera that will help me learn more about DSL cameras and all the different things you can do with them.

Now that I have a beautiful new camera I also needed a new camera case. My new camera is twice as big as my old one and won’t fit in the camera bag that I already had. I needed to find a new one.

I looked on Amazon (my go to shopping spot) figuring they would have a nice assortment. They had some great bags but nothing really stood out to me. I wanted something with “personality” and something other than basic black. I couldn’t find anything that I liked.

Around the same time I bought my new camera I received an e-mail from a company called Mod. Mod carries BEAUTIFUL camera straps. I really wanted a nice strap for my camera (the one that came with it was “boring”). I asked Mod if I could do a review and they said “yes”. Yeah!

It was hard to narrow down which one I liked best. They are all so pretty! I eventually decided upon the Premium Strap called Kaleidoscope. I liked how colorful it was. It looks like a fun strap and I’m a fun person so I knew it would be perfect for me.


I noticed on their site that they also carry camera bags and totes. Since I was in the market for one and I have not found one I liked thus far I wanted to see what Mod had available.

Mod has what they call “drop in” camera bags. They are drawstring bags that slip over your camera. When combined with the camera strap it gives the appearance of a small purse.

I asked the kind people at Mod if I could review a camera bag too and they happily agreed. Thank you Mod! :-)!

Since I was already getting the camera strap in the Kaleidoscope design I thought it would be fitting to get the camera bag in the same design.


As you can see from the above photo from the Mod website the camera bag and strap combined give the illusion of a purse/pocketbook.

I was super excited for the strap and bag to arrive. The moment they did I put the strap on the camera and tucked it neatly inside the bag.

The strap is just as bright and colorful as it appears on the computer screen.

The underside of the strap (the part that rests on you body) is line with a super soft, plush material making it VERY comfortable to wear. Unlike leather straps which can stick and rub on your skin, this plush strap rests comfortably across your body.

You can wear it over your shoulder or across your chest (as pictured). I’m a “big girl” and I was able to wear it across my chest comfortably.

The camera bag is made of the same material both inside and out. The inside is just as soft and plush as the strap.

The drawstring is made of a ribbon. I was concerned that it might slide open but that never happened. When you pull the straps closed it stays closed until you open it up again.

Unlike bulky camera bags this bag is light weight and enjoyable to tote along with me.

I took this bag on a trip to the West coast with me. My ONLY concern with the bag is that plane rides can be very bumpy and I worried about the camera getting knocked around under the seat in front of me (I had placed it in a larger tote bag). Thankfully my camera survived the trip.

Mod Strap and Bag

If you are planning on using the overhead compartment to store your camera or checking it with your luggage you will need a sturdier case because this will not protect your camera against much abuse.

For day to day use this camera bag I perfect.

I currently keep this on my camera at all times. The only time I would swap it out is if I was going to travel again, which I rarely do.

Since the strap is on my camera it was hard to take a picture of my camera with the strap and bag so I had to use my cellphone. They pieces are much nicer in person.

I am THRILLED with the strap and the bag. I love them both and I really think they show off my personality too.

Mod carries a variety of patterns, designs and colors. They also carry other accessories like bags for camera lenses (I plan on picking up a couple to match my camera bag) and Cap Savers which help keep your lens cap safe and helps you not to lose it. I found out the hard way that you ned something like this.  My cap kept falling off and I almost lost it a few times. Mod’s Cap Savers are pretty too – kind of like jewelry for your camera.

If you are looking for a new camera strap or an easy, fashionable way to tote around your camera, look no further than Mod.

For more information or to check out the product line visit www.ModStraps.com. You can also find them on the various social networking sites.

Mod strap


*I received free products in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

Record special moments in your life with a Brinno Self-Portrait Time Lapse Camera



Have you ever looked a child and think to yourself about how quickly they have grown? In a blink of an eye a child can go from an adorable, rambunctious toddler to a moody teen with a voice like Barry White (such as in the case of my son).

Kids grow up in the blink of an eye. I still can’t believe my kids are teenagers (pictured above). Our daughter will be 17 this year and our son will be 15. I still remember their chubby little faces and squeaky voices. Sigh…

I have seen videos on the Internet where parents will record their child growing up. They will snap a photo of their child on the same day each year, then put them together in a video. I love that idea and I wish I had thought of something like that when my kids were babies. All we have are photos where we have to guesstimate how old they were when it was taken.

Other fun things that people like to document is a pregnancy progressions. It’s fun to see someone with a flat tummy suddenly appear like they swallowed a watermelon. 🙂 Not only is it fun to see how a pregnant woman changes every month, it’s also a fun way to document the moments leading up to the birth of a child.

You can easily take pictures of the moments you want to remember, but then what? Do they sit in a photo album or your hard drive? Or do you plan on doing something with them?


A Brinno Self-Portrait Time Lapse Camera is a special camera that captures those moments and then puts them together into a video that you can share with family and friends, or just cherish yourself.

The Brinno Self-Portrait Time Lapse Camera can capture thousands of photos and then convert them into a time lapse video.

Here is an example of a pregnancy documented using a Brinno.


I received a Brinno Self-Portrait Time Lapse Camera to review.

The camera comes with the camera it’s self, a mirror attachment and a plug that will allow you to snap a photo from a distance. It also comes with batteries.

Setting up the device is easy. Simply insert the batteries and memory card and you are pretty much ready to go.

You could use a smartphone to capture the same photos, but the Brinno converts them into video. If you were to take photos and turn them into a video it would take a long time to do whereas with the Brinno it’s instant.

Unlike a smartphone or camera the Brinno comes with a mirror attachment which helps you to line yourself in the same position each time you capture a photo. With regular photos you will either have to make sure your face lines up in each photo, or you will have a video that jumps all over the place. Having the mirror allows for a seamless transition from photo to photo. It’s as if you stay in the same spot and your background moves around you.

Brinno Camera

If you want to capture a child’s growth or weight loss, for example, find a location where you can set up the camera and leave it there so you can document each day with the same background. This is only a suggestion.

When you are ready to snap a photo simply press the button at the end of the shutter line. The camera will capture the image. There is nothing else you need to do.

When you are ready to view your video you can either insert the memory card from the Brinno into your camera or video camera, or use a micro USB cable (not included) to upload it to your computer. The USB cable is standard. You might already have one for another device. You can also pick one up at places like Staples or Radio Shack for a nominal fee.

I am not a “techie” and I was easily able to set this camera up in a matter of minutes.

You don’t have to wait all year long before enjoying the video. You also don’t have do document a long period of time. You can shoot as many images as you want and turn them into a video at any time.

Some people use the Brinno to document their vacations. I love this idea! I don’t travel much, but if I did I would love to do something like this. It would be fun to snap a photo in front of historical sites or popular tourist destinations. The next time I go to New York City I am going to take this with me and see how many popular NYC locations I can snap a photo of myself in front of it.

Here is an example of a Brinno video someone took on a trip to Florida. This person just snapped images of herself walking around.


I’m sure there are many different uses for the Brinno. I think it would be fun to see a time lapse video of a seed growing into a flower, fruit or vegetable. Or maybe a video of a dog or cat and how quickly they grow and change over the course of a few months. Honestly, the possibilities are endless.

I have not came up with anything to take images of to create a video thus far. Me and my kids have been playing around with it. Actually my son had a great idea – take a time release photos of an impending snow storm. He wants to set the camera up on a table near the window and snap photos throughout the next 24 hours and see how it goes from no snow to up to a foot of snow. That would be cool to see.

Whether you want to document a pregnancy, a child’s growth or your next vacation and turn it into a “video diary”, the Brinno Self-Portrait Time Lapse Camera is a fun and easy way to capture these special memories to cherish for years to come.

If you would like to learn more about the Brinno Self-Portrait Time Lapse Camera or other Brinno products, visit www.Brinno.com. You can also find the brand on the various social media outlets.

What would you like to document with the Brinno Self-Portrait Time Lapse Camera?



*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

Optrix XD4 for amazing sport photography



Have you ever seen those videos where the person involved in the action is wearing a special camera so that you, the viewer, can see things from their point of view? It is as if you are a part of the action.

My son has always wanted to film from the front seat of the car when we are driving around the streets of New York City. He wants to see what its like to be in the front seat of the car and see what it’s like from the driver’s point of view. He’s only 14 so he has a way to go before he can officially drive.

If you have an iPhone you know how fragile they can be. The idea of taking one along with you when you are enjoying some extreme sports is a crazy idea. One little bump can knock your phone out of your hands and have it come crashing down and shattering. My daughter’s phone shattered and it was only knocked off a desk.

What you need is a very protective case, one that will protect your valuable phone from being dropped, as well as the elements (mud, water, dirt, dust…).

I was sent to review a pretty cool photo system that would allow you to take those super cool action photos and videos.

I was sent to review the Optrix XD4, from company by the same name (Optrix).


According to the website;

Transform your iPhone 4 or 4S into an action sports camera.

Perfect for capturing videos on your iPhone 4/4S in action sports such as biking, motorsports, water sports, skating, motorcycling, snow sports, and more.

Wide-Angle Lens

The Optrix XD4 enhances the stunning 1080p HD video of the iPhone by adding an all glass, three element, 175 degree wide-angle lens. Your action sports will look like they were professionally shot.

Military Grade

When we think tough we think military grade. Optrix conforms to MIL-STD-810F. Bump, bash, crash, and splash with your phone safely housed in our polycarbonate shell and rubberized inner iPhone case. Perfect for sports like skiing, biking, skating, motocross, auto-racing and many more.

The military grade shell really caught my interest. With all the sports mentioned (skiing, motocross, skating…) you NEED something of this quality to protect your phone. iPhones are super expensive!

I was sent one of these to review. It was easy enough to set up. I simply slipped the rubber case on to my iPhone 4S, opened the plastic shell, slipped in my phone, and locked it closed. That’s it!

The case already came with a lens attached to the shell. Other lenses are available for purchase on the Optix website.

The lens reminds me of a “Fish Eye” lens by the way it contorts the scenery.

Here is an example. The top photo is taken with the Optrix XD4 and the bottom photo is taken with my phone (no case or lens). These are untouched and unedited.


Without the Optrix XD4 Case & Lens


With the Optrix XD4 Case & Lens

These photos were both taken in the same spot on the same day. As you can see the Optrix XD4 expends your view considerably. I was really impressed. The other photo (regular camera) only shows what is straight in front of you. That is a noticeable difference.

It’s unfortunate that I don’t participate in any kind of sport, nor do my kids. They work out at the gym, but that is about it.

My son does want to use the camera attached to his bike, the only problem is that it’s Winter here in New York and his bike is packed away in the storage room until Spring. It’s not like I can even take his bike out because there is no where for him to ride around right now that isn’t muddy and it’s too cold to be outside riding a bike too.

I’ll have to revisit this post and update it in the Spring when we’ve had a chance to take the Optrix XD4 for a “test drive”.

The case comes attached to a mounting bracket that you can use to mount on your bike, helmet or other base.

This would make a great gift for someone who enjoys outdoor sports and activities and would like to document it for viewing at a later time, or sharing the experience with others.

For more information about this and other Optrix products visit www.Optrix.com. You can also check them out on the various social media outlets (all the links are found at the bottom of their home page).

To see some amazing photographs using Optrix equipment visit their Instagram page, www.Instagram.com/Optrix.

What do you think of think of this special camera? Do you have someone in your life you think would enjoy something like this?



*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.