Equipment I Have Bought For My New Camera

I have mentioned in a previous post, I bought the Canon M50 Mark II camera back in January, which is their entry-level mirrorless SLR. This was an upgrade to an old EOS Rebel I have had since 2009. It unfortunately stopped working towards the end of 2019, but I didn't look to repair it, both because I was working with the amazing Deeana Kourtney Photography (miss her so much!) when I was living in Charlotte for blog photos. And for everything else, iPhone camera quality has come pretty far since the days were I was using most using that first camera. Fun fact, I'm pretty sure the phone I was using at the time I got my first camera was bright orange with a slide-out keyboard!

I didn't have many lenses with the first camera: a 55-250mm telephoto lens, and a fixed 50mm (which you might have heard as the "nifty fifty") lens. But I would now need an adapter to use either of those lenses on the new camera with the EF-M mirrorless system. So after playing around with the kit lens for awhile, I started to look for a mirrorless equivalent of the 50mm fixed lens. One of the things I love about the mirrorless camera is it so much smaller and lighter than my old one. It fits in many of my bags (even a fanny pack!) with the kit lens. So I was hoping for something a little more versatile, but was also small.

 After a broad search of "best lenses for Canon M50 Mark II" I found a few recommendations for the Neewer fixed 35mm lens. I read a lot of reviews stating how great it performed for just $80 (for reference: most Canon lenses are about $250 minimum). Even though I was a little hesitant that the lens was manual focus only and I had not used a third-party lens before, I thought I would give it a try.  I unfortunately rarely strayed from autofocus over the years of using my other camera, so I thought now was the time to learn manual. I first tested the lens out after some rain, and I was very impressed with it!

All I have bought otherwise for this specific camera is this carrying sleeve. I didn't want a full camera bag, but this keeps it safe within a tote bag or handbag. I also have had the same tripod for about as long as my first camera. It looks like the exact one is no longer made, but this one looks like a pretty similar option.

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First Anniversary Trip To Florida

TJ and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary in Florida, and I'm excited to share all about it! We spent our honeymoon in the Florida Keys (more on that here). So we thought it would be fun to see another part of Florida to celebrate a year later.

We broke up the trip down with some antique store stops, and drove 6 of the 8 hours the first day.  We enjoyed visiting Planter's Walk Antique Mall in Locust Grove, GA, Payne Mill Village Antiques in Macon, GA, and Bula's Antiques in Tifton, GA. I picked up some great finds, but there were even more stops I wish we had some time for that day.


We made it in to Tampa for our first day, and started by visiting Hyde Park Village. I have seen the area on social media for years, so it was fun to see it for ourselves. We got burgers for lunch from Goody Goody, which has been around for almost 100 years! Followed by coffee from Buddy Brew. There was a lot more to see in the area, but we headed to our hotel to check in. This was our splurge hotel of the trip, we stayed at the Current Autograph Collection. It's a beautiful hotel with a great infinity pool on the bay and a rooftop bar. We spent some time in the pool before heading to dinner at The C House. Which specializes in charcuterie, cheesecake, and champagne. We only ended up trying one of the "c"s which was a chocolate and salted caramel cheesecake, which did not disappoint! Then we ended the night with a drink at the hotel's rooftop bar.


Our next stop was about an hour and a half away in Sarasota. I was most excited to see the Ringling Museum. It was possibly the most beautiful place I have seen in the United States. We first headed to Ca D'Azan, which was the house of the Ringling family. We did not go inside the house, but there was more than enough beauty on the outside overlooking the water. I was blown away with every detail, and have more photos of it on Instagram. On to the actual museum, which was just as incredible. The pink walled courtyard was decorated with beautiful tiles and extravagant doorways. The art inside was just as stunning, with a variety of art styles to see. Oh and it's free to visit on Mondays!

We spent a few hours at the museum and then went to Lido Key Beach. We unfortunately were rained out fairly quickly, but we enjoyed the clear water and white sand while we could. Then we headed to Longboat Key for dinner at Whitney's. Which we loved, especially their key lime pie (in case you missed last year's post about our love for key lime pie). Then we went to the beach access across the street just in time to catch the most beautiful sunset. We even got to see a sea turtle rescue letting a few baby sea turtles into the water. Then we ended the night with some margaritas from Wicked Cantina.


The next morning we drove about 30 minutes south to Venice, FL. TJ's favorite activity at any beach is to look for fossilized shark teeth. Venice, FL is known as the "Shark Tooth Capital of the World" and he had visited before. So he was very excited to show me their beautiful beaches full of shark teeth to be found. We visited Caspersen Beach (pictured above), Manasota Key Beach, and Stump's Pass Beach. What I really liked about these beaches is that most of them still had rows of trees along the beach. Even at a public beach access, if you went past the area of chairs and umbrellas (which was fairly small compared to many beaches), it felt like you were on a private beach. We brought picnic lunches to the beach each day and TJ left with over 200 shark teeth. Plus they have a cute downtown full of shops and restaurants. We enjoyed dinner at Cassariano's and ice cream from Venice Avenue creamery. Although if you plan on visiting, keep in mind that many things in this area closes on the early end. We had some trouble finding a dinner spot after 8pm our first night.

Back through Sarasota

We headed back up to Sarasota to see more of their beaches. We wanted to see Siesta Beach, but thought it was going to be fully packed, so we started at the nearby Turtle Beach for the first part of the day. Turtle Beach did not have the white sand of Siesta Beach, but had similar water and was much less crowded. We headed over to Siesta Beach around 3:30 and it was still packed, but we were at least able to get a spot. It was a beautiful beach, but from growing up going to the Carolina beaches, makes Myrtle Beach look tame. But we spent the most time swimming in the water at this beach, it was so clear and calm and we could have spent all day in there.

We spent our last night getting dinner in downtown Sarasota at Boca. I wish we had more time to see their downtown, but I enjoyed what we were able to see of it. We quickly left dinner to catch a sunset beach walk at Lido Key Beach. Then walked around St. Armand's Circle after dark. I would love to go back there during the day sometime to at least see their Lilly Pulitzer store. We stopped into Gelato-go but ended up getting some key lime tarts. They were similar to a lemon meringue tart and were delicious! Then the next morning, we took one last beach walk on South Lido Key before heading out in the morning. This beach was full of beautiful shells and such a nice note to end the trip on.

Thanks for reading!