Reviewing the Portable Movie Projector Cinemood

Read to the bottom for a discount on Cinemood!

As the temperature starts to rise, and spring and summer nights become a haven for spending time with friends outside, have you ever wanted to have a movie night out there with them? I don’t know about you, but I love inviting friends over for a camp fire and some adult beverages. But even more so, I love just having a nice conversation while watching a fun movie or show!

I’m also the type of person to hang out with friends and pretty much use those movies or shows as background noise to a conversation, but it’s also nice to watch something new together!

Now it’s not exactly common for people to have TVs outside, so you would need some sort of projector – enter Cinemood! I have had my Cinemood for about six months now and let me tell you, I love it.

Cinemood is a portable movie projector and connects to your phone for easy mobility through the app. Since I have really only had it during the colder seasons, I haven’t used it as an outdoor movie experience yet. But I love using it to project my shows on my bedroom ceiling. I have also projected it onto a white board in a separate room in my house that didn’t have a TV so my friends and I could chat, enjoy some food, and watch a movie together.

This little projector is small but mighty! It can connect to all your favorite streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube and more! One of the big things they advertise that it can do is entertain your kids with fun, educational games or bed time stories. I also see lots of parents using it as a way to keep their kids entertained on flights or at restaurants. Since I don’t have kids, I just use it to stream shows and movies in more creative ways.

More about the device itself:

  • Its compact for easy transport
  • It has an internal and silent fan that cools the system down
  • There’s about five hours of battery life
  • You can download movies or shows from a service like Netflix, take it to a place that may not have service, and it can stream those shows that you saved!
  • Based on what you are projecting on, you can even adjust the focal setting to get the most crisp picture
  • And my personal favorite, you can even connect it to a Bluetooth speaker so that you can get an even louder volume. I personally think the volume isn’t that loud so being able to get a louder volume with a Bluetooth speaker is a definite plus.

If you plan to take it outside, you definitely will need to set something up to project it on like a white board or a white sheet otherwise it just won’t work to see the show easily. You can also use it to project onto your garage door and do a little mock drive-in type of theater! Also be sure to take care of it when you do take it outside – it’s not indestructible! So be sure to make sure you don’t take it out when it rains and that you don’t put it directly on the ground. That could possibly lead to something tripping on it or kicking it. Easy to say, I personally love my Cinemood 360 and I love the options it provides for getting creative with how we watch content on the go.

This isn’t to say that I am so hooked on television that I can’t live without it for a weekend out and about. However, I love being able to have the option to have my favorite shows so that when my boyfriend and I get to a point in our busy day where we just want to cuddle, we have the option to do that even without a TV.

There are different versions of this device and the 360 version is the second tier. Based on your needs you may want to go to the lower tier or the higher tier!

Whichever product you got, I have got you covered! You can use my code DONNAGAIL to receive $100 off of your Cinemood. This coupon code can be used on any Cinemood product. I am so excited to get even more creative with where my boyfriend and I can connect and laugh over our favorite shows. Next stop, I’m thinking a movie night out in the desert.. πŸ˜‰

Click here to be directed to the Cinemood website


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Taking beautifully bright picture of the spring spots in Carlsbad San Diego

Things to Do in Spring in Carlsbad, San Diego County

Let’s craft your perfect Spring day here in San Diego shall we? {Also don’t worry, these are not San Diego specific things – so use this as inspiration for things to do in your own hometown too!}

Go to Brunch @ The Shorehouse Kitchen

I have lived in San Diego my entire life, and it wasn’t until about a month ago that I learned… Carlsbad is kind of cool! It’s got some small town, beach vibes and there is beautiful architecture everywhere you turn. My friends, Ashley, and I visited the Shorehouse Kitchen as our first stop on our spring day adventures. It featured a great menu selection, multiple options for coffee and mimosas (so of course I got both), and great areas just outside of the restaurant for impromptu pictures! I would definitely go back here for breakfast because they had some of the best Eggs Benedict that I have ever had!

Go Pick Flowers @ The Flower Fields

It’s every spring fairy’s dream to dance around the flowers so our next stop was the Flower Fields! Many areas for photos and the flowers there were unbelievable! They offered multiple stops more “in” the fields where you could get pictures, but just be mindful that there are lines to wait in to get pictures. For every line we waited in, it was about a 20-30 minute wait. You can only spend 10 minutes max in each spot but some people were not following that rule. So just be mindful of your time and make sure that when it’s your turn that you already know what you want to do! These spots are amongst different colored flowers so if there is only a certain color you want pictures with, then you only have to wait in the line for the flowers you want! Entry is $20 a person.

Go Pick Strawberries @ Carlsbad Strawberry Company

Just a short five minute drive from the Flower Fields was our last stop of the day! And after having so much fun amongst the flowers, I needed a little snack – the Carlsbad Strawberry Company! This place offers you the opportunity to go out into the strawberry fields to pick your own strawberries (or just eat them like I was). You will have to pay for your entry as well as any little bucket you buy to pick the berries. They also had a free sunflower maze which we didn’t have time to do but I would recommend getting there with enough time to do it!

Overall, bring your camera for all the cute pictures or just enjoy all the sites and the smells of spring!


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When to Stop Accepting Gifted or Non-Paid Campaigns

Congratulations! You did it! You have successfully made it through the 5 steps in becoming a content creator and you are now starting to monetize your posts! Because you have started building a portfolio of either great pictures or actual sponsored posts, you have gotten to the point in your creating that you are asking yourself “should I still be accepting unpaid work?”.

Let’s dive in to this topic!

This post will be for anyone who has started working with companies on a gifted or hosted basis, looking for more information on this topic, or is wondering when you should start cutting the cord from even accepting free items for content purposes.

And the truth of this topic is simple – there is no one right answer. So overall, my hope from this post is to at least give you some guidance and to get you to think about what’s the best course of action for you.

For me personally, my page originally started as the social media account for my small shop, but after sharing more of my personal life and style, the page naturally transformed in to something else entirely. So after some thought, I changed the name, I changed the direction, and I started making all of my content as “lifestyle blogger” content. And even though I have had the account for over six years now, I really didn’t start doing influencer stuff until about late 2019! So currently, even with over 18,000 followers, I still will sometimes accept gifted opportunities.

That being said, I have rules for myself when accepting gifted campaigns. The reason I have these rules is because I have started valuing how much time and effort goes in to all of my posts and I cannot just be accepting things because its free. So the three reasons I will accept a gifted campaign are:

  1. It’s a product I was going to buy anyway AND the deliverables are not excessive. If I really wanted that product but they are asking for three Instagram posts, a Tik Tok, and a YouTube review, well then I’m passing. One post and an Instagram Story with a swipe-up link is perfectly fine.
  2. It’s a product that I can link via RewardStyle and make some commissionable sales off of it. In this way, I can actually make money off of a free product by talking about it on my social media and hopefully getting some small compensation for it.
  3. It’s a company that I really wanted to work with. I have my own list of companies that if they came knocking, I would 100% answer the door as quickly as possible!

Now to answer this question for yourself, you first need to ask yourself “how much is my time worth?”. For me, I started setting these rules for gifted opportunities only last month because, for all of 2020, most every single sponsored post I did, I was only getting paid about $25 per post (which is NOTHING!). So after reevaluating my page and refocusing the direction, I decided that it was time for me to start standing up for my posting rate, which is currently around $100 per single Instagram post. So maybe if you value your time or page a little bit less, accepting something for free could possibly be as good as getting actual payment for it!

However, let’s say you are constantly getting DMs or emails for opportunities, your schedule is booked with all these fun campaigns, and you may be getting to the point of not having enough time to mix in your own non-sponsored posts. This would be a definite sign that you need to stop accepting those non-paid gigs and start giving them your posting rates. Free is always fun, but if opportunities are always knocking on your door, then obviously you are doing something right and people are noticing! By responding to these campaigns with your enthusiasm and your ideas for how to showcase their products, but ending it with “however, I do not accept products as payment. If you liked the ideas I had for promoting your product and feel like I am a good fit for your brand, I would be happy to discuss my posting rates with you!” could get you that CHA-CHING! But keep in mind, companies will say no – there is always going to be someone who will do it for free. But you don’t have to be one of them.

This doesn’t have to mean the end of gifted opportunities though. Remember, I still have my own rules for receiving product as payment. So let’s say that you respond to that email saying that you would happily discuss your rate and the company responds with “Thank you for your interest, however at this time we are only doing gifted products for content.” Well, you can just as easily think it over and respond with “After thinking it over, I really feel like my audience would appreciate seeing your brand, and I would be happy to do product in exchange for content.” Or you can even say “Thank you for thinking of me for this campaign, please keep me in mind for your next paid opportunity!” If you really just want to work for free, no one is stopping you! But with the influencer market becoming so large, there will ALWAYS be someone willing to work for free if you won’t.

Which leads me to another interesting tid-bit of information. One of the big reasons that I am an advocate for moving from gifted work to paid work is because the market is so saturated. Influencers left and right want to work and they are willing to do it for free. Now again, this is fine to build a portfolio or to get your foot in the door with a brand you really like, but the reason influencers are getting a lot of DMs and emails for non-paid work is because other influencers continue to ACCEPT those campaigns. So those companies know that they can get away with offering gifted campaigns because people are willing to work for only that.

Can you imagine the impact we would all have on the influencer market if we started working together to stand up for our time and energy in to these posts? Companies everywhere are turning to influencers because it is SO MUCH CHEAPER to use hundreds of influencers to promote them than it is to spend a whole lot more money on doing fancy photoshoots where they hire the photographer, the wardrobe department, the lighting, setting the scene, and the editing team. I assure you that they have room in their marketing budget to pay influencers a decent rate. But they won’t if they know someone will work for free.

And you don’t need X amount of followers to do paid work! You should not be selling yourself short just because you don’t think you have a big enough following to get a company’s attention. If you have an engaged audience and you are getting brands wanting to work with you, keep up the good work up! I have seen so many people get paid deals with as little as 2,000 followers. Don’t sell yourself short if you think it’s time that you started getting paid for your awesome posts!

Overall, just take this with a grain of salt – there is no one right answer to this big question of “when you should stop accepting non-paid work”. It will forever be a moving target! You just need to decide for yourself when your time and your work needs to start making you money in return.


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How to Disney Bound on a Budget

As you know from one of my other Disney Bound blogs, Six Reasons Why You Should NEVER Clear Your Closet Out If You Want To Disney Bound, it is extremely important to never get rid of what’s in your closet because Disney Bounding is a pretty expensive hobby! So how do you make sure you can still keep your Disney Bounds fresh, frequent, and cute but not break the bank?

I won’t drag this out any longer – shopping at thrift stores, on the Poshmark app, and on Shein!

I grew up bouncing from thrift store to thrift store with my mom. The long hours, the disorganized atmosphere, and that weird smell that they all seemed to have all gave me the impression that thrift stores are, in all matters of the word, “icky”.

Years passed, social media grew, and I started to see all these people finding just absolutely adorable Disney finds by shopping at thrift stores! Not to mention, finding pieces that seemed way too new to be found at a thrift store! So last year I took the chance at braving the storm and decided to go back to a thrift store after years of avoiding it and what I found was shocking.

I was preparing myself for the worst – the chaotic aisles, the clothes thrown on the floor, and of course, the old-lady smell. But what I found was a complete 180. Oh. My. Gosh. New floors, actual aisles and sections, everything was color coordinated! AND NO WEIRD SMELL!

Since then, I have frequented thrift stores as my go-to for finding those pieces that make all new Disney Bounds with ease! The bill has always been so cheap and the quality has actually been shockingly good. I guess you can thank fast-fashion for that! Because that fashion sure turns up in thrift stores pretty darn fast!! For those in the San Diego area, my absolute favorite thrift store is Valley Thrift Store. I can’t tell you how many things I have found there, including actual Disney Parks products! Sometimes I shop for Bounds and sometimes I just buy things because they are awesome Disney items.

I think one of the biggest things you need to remember while thrift store shopping is to not go in with one specific idea of what you want or need. It’s good to have direction, but it isn’t a good idea to have one exact thing you want otherwise you will walk out disappointed.

The other big thing I think you need to remember while shopping is to remember that you don’t HAVE to shop! What I mean by that is to remember what you have in your own closet at home! There’s no need to waste money on something you can easily incorporate into your outfit that you already have.

Below I have attached some pictures of my content that would not be possible without thrifting!

Carlos from the Descendants
Olaf from Frozen
Not necessarily a Bound, but a perfect example of finding cool Disney merch!

Now, if you can’t find any thrift store finds that suit you or don’t have ones near you, then I highly recommend getting addicted to Poshmark like I have. Through this site, I was able to find the types of pieces that I wasn’t able to find while shopping and scored an incredible deal on them. An example being this super cute plaid shirt that had the front laced that I wanted to wear for a Dark Side look around Galaxy’s Edge.  I would like to think that the majority of Poshmark listings are pretty much shopping thousands of thrift stores in an online setting. Not to mention, I can make some side money selling the pieces that I have grown out of or don’t have a need for anymore. {If you want to jumpstart your own closet, use my code DONNA_FAABORG when signing up for a new account and you will receive $10 to spend on the app!}

Here’s some examples of pieces I have found on Poshmark:

Yesss from Wreck It Ralph 2
Stormtrooper in Galaxy’s Edge
A general Star Wars Dark Side look

Lastly, Shein is an online store that has a huge library of great finds for Disney Bounds. The prices are usually pretty low and there are pages and pages of pieces to explore. The only downside is that some of the item are pretty hit or miss in terms of fit and quality. I really only shop on Shein for more specific things I am trying to find for my Disney Bounds. Below I have attached some pictures of outfits that were put together solely from Shein: (shop these looks by clicking the picture or following me on LikeToKnow.It)

Slave Jasmine from Aladdin
Rapunzel from Tangled and “Legally Blonde” crossover
Ahsoka Tano from the Clone Wars animated series

Overall I am coming to realize that I never ever, ever should have given away any of my old clothes because I probably got rid of so many great things that I could have used for future Disney Bounds! So as much as your boyfriends or husbands or significant others may beg and plead for you to empty your closet, just let them know that by cleaning it, that just means you have to spend more to create other beautiful outfits. Don’t let them bully you πŸ˜‰

I hope if you had a similar opinion about thrift stores that this blog will help you give it a second chance to blow you away. Start shopping and get to creating beautiful outfits! And I can’t wait to keep adding to this topic because I have so many new Disney Bounds that I cannot wait for you to see!


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Location Ideas for Instagram Photos in North County San Diego

As someone who has spent much of her time at Disneyland taking pictures for my Instagram page, I was left scrambling for a solution when Disneyland closed its gates over a year ago. My biggest fear was that I just wouldn’t be able to make content because now I didn’t have a location to take pictures. What I didn’t know at the time was that this was the biggest blessing in disguise! My content has become much more inspired now that I have left my comfort zone.

Now I want to help you do the same! Whether you are also a content creator in San Diego or you are planning a visit and want to know some hidden gems for pictures, you have come to the right place! What I can promise from this blog is that these spots will NOT be on any lists for “Top 10 Spots to Take Pictures in San Diego”. Definitely not. I’m not a tourist and there are many more places to take pictures – you just have to be a little more open minded about the locations and what you can create there!

Rosemary-Duff Florist // 101 W 2nd Ave, Escondido CA 92025

Just a regular florist shop? WRONG! This florist shop loves being the center of attention when a new holiday comes around! They paint a beautiful mural for most major holidays and it makes for an amazing back drop for some cute, themed pictures!

Old Poway Park // 14134 Midland Rd, Poway CA 92064

This place offers a number of photo spots. Styled like an old town, this offers beautiful architecture, train tracks, old rusted train cars, and a beautiful park that looks amazing during golden hour.

American Flag Wall // 2224 S Escondido Blvd, Escondido CA 92025

Who wants a little ‘Merica? This is a great location to celebrate your own patriotism or the big moments in American history – the Fourth of July, a new election, or just a cute American styled outfit!

Red and Pink Brick Wall // 135 E Felicita Ave, Escondido CA 92025

**Please note that the address displayed is a residential house. This is the closest mapped spot.** The wall is outside of this residential house but it is right up against a public sidewalk with a fence that separates the wall from the residency.

Hill Overlooking Poway // 14117 Tierra Bonita Rd, Poway CA 92064

**Please note that the address displayed is a residential house. This is the closest mapped spot.** The view overlooking Poway is on the opposite side of the road. This is a great spot if you need pictures with mountains in the background or if you want a lot of blue sky in the background.

Palomar McClellan Airport // 2198 Palomar Airport Rd, Carlsbad CA 92008

This small airport provides a great opportunity to have an airport photoshoot in a location that is not that crowded and is very well maintained!

Dried Riverbed // 14326 Tierra Bonita Rd, Poway CA 92064

**Please note that the address displayed is to the Poway Rodeo grounds. This is the closest mapped spot.** The riverbed borders the rodeo grounds and depending on the season can be a great spot for spring pictures or summer pictures! During the winter though, it’s mostly dirt and dead plants.

Keep on exploring because San Diego is full of opportunity and creativity can be found everywhere! And if you don’t live in San Diego, use this blog as inspiration for finding hidden gems where you live too!


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