Archives for May 23, 2020

Don’t feel like cooking but want a home-cooked meal? Black Bear Diner has you covered!

Don’t feel like cooking tonight? I had the opportunity to receive a Family Meal from the Black Bear Diner in Torrance and my family was quite impressed! Black Bear Diner has locations throughout California and is currently offering curbside and delivery service of the new Family Meals to make family life easier.

They have quite a variety of meal choices for either breakfast. lunch or dinner. I chose to try the Chicken Fried Steak Family Meal and it was delicious! It’s perfect for a family of 3 or 4 people and included 4 Bear Paw Chicken Fried Steaks with country gravy, 4 housemade cornbread muffins, and a choice of 2 sides. I chose the Mashed Potatoes and the Seasonal Veggies!

This was absolutely delicious!

Black Bear Diner’s specially priced Family Meals are hearty, home-style food for the whole family – including breakfast (helping remote working parents during busy mornings.) Family Meals include Bacon, Eggs & Pancakes and Roasted Turkey Dinner and serve 3-4. You can find the options on their website here:

I’m looking forward to trying one of their breakfast Family Meals soon! But, I really recommend their Chicken Fried Steak Family Meal which is $34.99. And, their chocolate cake is absolutely divine!

Don’t forget to order a slice of the Chocolate Cake! It’s big enough for 2!

You can find Black Bear Diner locations here.

Self Disclosure: I received a comped meal to facilitate this post but no other compensation was received and I highly recommend! Images by SoCal City Kids.

4 Tips to Take Best Pet Portrait Photo

Our pets might not have two legs and opposable thumbs, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t part of the family. Our furry friends have made their way into our lives, and we can’t bear to live without them. As with many other things we love, we want to capture precious moments on film, but this can be tricky. Follow our four tips for perfect pics.

Plan Your Sessions

Capturing candid shots of your pet might be difficult if you haven’t planned for it. They tend to move around a lot, and when you see that perfect moment, your camera or phone isn’t ready, and you miss it. Plan a time to take the photos, and decide on what kind of picture you want. 

If you’re going to have a pic of them relaxing, the best time would be in the evening when they are sleepy. Action shots are better when they are energized, so playing with your pets will bring those pictures to life. 

Try to take the photos in an environment that your pet is familiar with. If you’re in an unfamiliar place like a photo studio, your pet won’t be relaxed, and you might not get the desired effect.

Light and Shutterspeed

Use natural light as much as possible, and don’t worry too much about complicated lighting setups. Bright lights might frighten your pets and could create a red-eye effect in the photos. If the weather outside is clear, you can consider taking pictures in your garden.

Pets move, especially dogs, so action shots are challenging to take if you don’t use fast shutter speeds. You will more likely get a blur instead of an image when using slow shutters. This means that you would need a decent digital camera to take these kinds of shots. A smartphone simply won’t work.  

Level Down

Most of the time, we look at our pets from above, and photos at that angle are not that flattering. If you have a small dog, you could try putting it on the couch, with you sitting on the floor beside it to capture them from the front. With bigger dogs, you might need to lay on your belly to get the perfect shot. The idea is to take the photo from eye-level or lower. 

Attention Grabbers

Once you have your pet in the right place and at the right time, you want them to focus on you. To do so, you need to grab their attention. For dogs, a treat out of camera range might do the trick. For cats, a toy on a string will pique their interest. If you have a partner helping you, then let them stand behind or next to you with the treat. 

In this way, your hands are free to take the photo. Be patient, and as soon as you see the picture you like, start snapping away. Don’t only take one photo. Take a whole bunch so that later you can decide which one is the best to keep. 

A beautiful way to immortalize them is to have the photo converted to a panting. If that’s something you like, then you could go to Instapainting or other sites to get amazing portraits.

Final Thoughts

Pet portrait photos are precious memories that will stay with us long after they’re gone. It’s worth the effort to get that perfect shot. If you struggle with doing it yourself, consider hiring a photographer to come to your house. Either way, have it done while your pets are still with you.